July 2012 Archives

Tulsa World
By: Phil Mulkins
July 20, 2012

Action Line: Underbanked helped by new Extended View credit score

Experian announced June 13 it was introducing a new credit score - the "Extended View Score" - developed exactly with you in mind. "To help identify and assist the underbanked population," now accounting for one-fourth of the U.S. population (nearly 64 million consumers) who have limited or no traditional credit history. This new score will help lenders expand their lending universe and will help consumers receive credit products and services that the credit reporting bureaus can track and report on.

Bloomberg
July 30, 2012

Obama and Romney should say what they'll do about housing

For an economy that's growing at an anemic rate of 1.5 percent, you would think there would be more discussion of the U.S. housing market on the campaign trail. The sector has powered past recoveries and is responsible for as much as one-fifth of gross domestic product.

Washington Monthly
By: Paul Glastris and Phillip Longman
July/August 2012

Introduction: Jobs are not enough

More than any election in living memory, the 2012 race is shaping up to be about one thing: jobs. Pundits are convinced that the rate of job growth between now and November is the magic number that will determine the outcome. The main policies the candidates are debating--whether to cut taxes or raise them on the rich; whether to shrink government or increase investments in infrastructure or research--are all pitched as ways to "grow" jobs. The presumption is that if we can get the economy to create jobs like it used to, America will be back on the right track.

Business Matters
By: Adam Lowenstein
July 28, 2012

A child's approach to money, and how to teach kids beyond that
My son, who turns 4 next month, has an enviable way with money.

First of all, it's simple. Every coin he finds is a penny, no matter its actual denomination. We tell him pennies are the only brown coins and that if the coin is silver, it's not a penny.

TIME
By: Dan Kadlec
July 31, 2012

Back to school: Top five things that stress college students

College students have always experienced academic and social stress. Now financial stress is in the mix in a big way and helping push student anxiety to record levels.

The chief money-related stress for many is debt. Outstanding student loans have soared to $1 trillion and there seems to be no stopping the growth. In 2001, 5.6% of college-bound students expected to use $10,000 or more in loans the first year. By 2011, this figure had more than doubled, to 13.3%, the most recent American Freshman: National Norms survey found.

The Huffington Post
July 27, 2012

NYC Publilc advocate sues city over soaring small business fines

(Reuters) - New York City's public advocate, a Democratic mayoral candidate known for his liberal views, on Thursday sued the city to obtain data to determine if soaring fines are hurting small businesses.

CNN
By: Sara Max
July 30, 2012

43 year old single mom strives to save for college and retirement

(MONEY Magazine) -- Soon after her 13-year marriage ended in 2008, Mary Beth Carr had an epiphany: She wanted a baby, even if she had to do it on her own.

Today she's the proud parent of 15-month-old Johnna, whom she had via a sperm donor.

Carr, 43, wants to fully pay for her daughter's college education and to retire shortly after Johnna graduates.

"But I don't have a financial backup," she says. So the Raleigh, N.C., resident, who works as a director at a communications firm, is maxing out her 401(k) and saving in an IRA (she has $271,000 stashed). Plus, she's putting away $200 a month for college.

Too important to fail

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

Washington Monthly
By: John Gravois
July/August 2012

Too important to fail

If you want a hint as to where the battle of the 2012 general election might go, you could do worse than to look at where it started. On the morning of January 4, 2012, in his first official act of the campaign year, President Barack Obama mounted a podium in a packed high school gym outside Cleveland and rolled out an announcement. Blowing past months of GOP filibustering, he declared his recess appointment of Richard Cordray, a mild-mannered former Ohio attorney general, to serve as the first head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a powerful new regulatory agency created by the Dodd-Frank law. Back in Washington, GOP leaders, who had held Congress open in a pro-forma session during the Christmas break precisely to block such a recess appointment, went into fits of televised dudgeon, calling the move "arrogant," "unconstitutional," and--this from Mitt Romney himself--"Chicago-style politics at its worst."

The New York Times
By: Peter Edelman
July 28, 2012

Poverty in America: Why can't we end it?

RONALD REAGAN famously said, "We fought a war on poverty and poverty won." With 46 million Americans -- 15 percent of the population -- now counted as poor, it's tempting to think he may have been right.

Look a little deeper and the temptation grows. The lowest percentage in poverty since we started counting was 11.1 percent in 1973. The rate climbed as high as 15.2 percent in 1983. In 2000, after a spurt of prosperity, it went back down to 11.3 percent, and yet 15 million more people are poor today.

TIME
By: Noliwe M. Rooks
July 30, 2012

Why the online education craze will leave many students behind

You have probably heard some of the hoopla about elite universities offering free online courses through Coursera, a new Silicon Valley start-up founded by Stanford University computer science professors Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng. In just the past few weeks Coursera has added 12 new universities to their lineup, bringing their total to 16, including Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, Duke and Johns Hopkins.

The Huffington Post
By: Bonnie Kavoussi
July 26, 2012

Only 3 in 10 rich men think wealth inequality is a problem: Survey

Rich men just don't care that much about you.

Only 29 percent of rich men agree with the statement that inequality is a problem and that "the wealthy don't pay their fair share to society," according to a recent survey by the consulting firm Spectrem Group. On the other hand, 40 percent of rich women agree with the same statement.

On the whole, just 34 percent of rich people think that wealth inequality is a problem. The study considered people with investible assets of more than $100,000 rich.

These findings are quite troubling, especially given that the number of impoverished people in the U.S. is on track to reach a half-century high, according to the Associated Press.

Why do rich women care more about inequality than rich men? It could be innate. Some studies have found that women generally are more empathetic than men.

Numerous studies have also found that rich people are less empathetic than everyone else.

The rich are more likely to take candy from babies, lie, cheat, endorse unethical behavior at work and cut off pedestrians while driving, according to a study published in February in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Rich people also are more likely to be disinterested in the welfare of others and cheat on a test to get ahead, research has found.

In February, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon did not show much empathy for journalists, who get paid an average $43,780 per year. Dimon, who earned roughly $23 million last year, told reporters at JPMorgan's annual investor day that they are ridiculously overpaid. He said the percentage of newspaper company revenue paid out to employees is "just damned outrageous."

Washington Monthly
By: Barry C. Lynn and Lina Khan
July/August 2012

The slow-motion collapse of American entrepreneurship

For all its current economic woes," the Economist magazine recently asserted, "America remains a beacon of entrepreneurialism." That idea is at the heart of America's self-image. Both parties celebrate entrepreneurial small business as the fount of innovation and growth. Even if America no longer manufactures its own smartphones or computers, we cling to the idea that American entrepreneurs invent most of the new products and services that matter to the world.

TIME
By: Amy Tennery
July 26, 2012

Retirement-age women twice as likely as men to live in poverty--What's going on?

When it comes to personal finance, there is (if you'll pardon the pun) a wealth of information to show women are more cautious, more meticulous and more responsible. And yet, a new study today from the U.S. Government Accountability Office shows that women of retirement age are far more likely than men to live in poverty. What's going on?
First, the report: A survey of men and women from 1998 to 2009 shows that women 65 years of age and older have a median income that's 25% lower than that of their male counterparts, according to Bloomberg. Even worse, the federal study showed that women of that age group are twice as likely as men to be living at or below the poverty line. The gender gap here is undeniable -- and the data is a shocking reminder that women face financial challenges later in life that men often don't.

Medical Economics
By: Steven Podnos
July 25, 2012

Start early when teaching your children about money

Many in the author's generation and previous ones grew up in homes that had enough money for basics but little else. Relatively simple items such as a new record album or nice item of clothing were considered treats. Parents cannot help noticing that children have different temperaments concerning money. Some are born savers; others are not. This hard-wired characteristic can be difficult to change and will have a great effect on a child's later financial behavior. In these years, it's worthwhile to introduce both a checking account and a debit card. The card can be attached to your child's checking account which you can help teach him/her to balance, or it can be a prepaid card that can be replenished online.

The Huffington Post
By: Khadeeja Safdar
July 25, 2012

Living paycheck to paycheck is reality for two in five households: Report

Nearly two-fifths of American households are living on the edge financially.

According to a report from the Consumer Federation of America and the Consumer Planner Board of Standards, Inc., 38 percent of households live paycheck to paycheck. In 1997, this figure was 31 percent.

The Huffington Post
By: Alexander Eichler
July 25, 2012

More Americans saving for vacations than college tuition: Report

Remember when Whitney Houston sang, "I believe the children are our future"? Nope.

More Americans are saving today for a big-ticket purchase in the short term -- like a car, a vacation or a home improvement project -- than for their children's college education, according to a survey released Monday by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards and the Consumer Federation of America.

The Atlantic
By: Sam Forgione
July 25, 2012

Rich kid, poor kid: How mixed neighborhoods could save America's schools

During the half century that Theresa Cartwright has lived in the East Lake neighborhood of Atlanta, she has twice seen the area's schools undergo a complete transformation. In the 1960s, black families like her own moved to the neighborhood's Craftsman bungalows and a new public housing project, driving out their white, middle-class neighbors. When she was in second grade, her elementary school was all black. By the time she was in sixth grade, the projects were so violent they had earned the name "Little Vietnam" and her mother refused to let her go to the failing local middle school.

TIME
By: Kayla Webley
July 26, 2012

College 'shopping sheet' designed to help students compare financial aid, overall costs

Aiming to make the cost of college a little more clear--and easily comparable--the Obama Administration released a new guide on Tuesday to help students understand how much they will have to pay, how much debt they may have to take on, and how likely it is that they will be able to repay the debt.

The Washington Post
By: Lori Montgomery
July 25, 2012

Senate passes bill to keep tax cuts for the middle class

The Senate on Wednesday narrowly approved a plan to preserve tax cuts for the middle class while letting them expire for the wealthy, a powerful if largely symbolic victory for Democrats who have been pushing to raise taxes on the rich for more than a decade.

The Huffington Post
By: Bonnie Kavoussi
July 25, 2012

Financial Security of Americans declines in July, the biggest drop in nearly a year

Kristen, a Los Angeles resident, used to earn $95,000 per year as a sales manager at a national newspaper. Now she is unemployed and buried in $300,000 of debt.

Since being laid off three years ago, she said, she has applied for many jobs and had several job interviews. She even landed two positions: an 18-month contract position without benefits and a full-time job that paid $50,000 per year. However, she was laid off after only two months.

The Huffington Post
By: Nick Bassill
July 23, 2012

America is drowning the little guy!

My article, "Is the American Dream Dead? Not If We Have Something To Say About It" received many responses that it is not dead, but is drowning in regulations, certifications and red tape. Many entrepreneurs and young college graduates looking to start their first business are finding that the "Land of Opportunity" is now the land of regulations, certifications and red tape! Just to get a new business started requires clearing a multitude of hurdles set up by local communities to "protect" its citizens and by special interest groups to protect their turf. As you look around, you start to see all types of roadblocks set up with the intention to protect the public welfare, but in fact are protecting the special interest of many other groups or businesses.

Reuters
By: Sam Forgione
July 25, 2012

Americans less fearful than most about retirement savings

(Reuters) - A global survey has found that most people around the world are worried about their financial health after retirement, but that Americans are the least pessimistic.

Accenture, a global technology and consulting firm, found that about just 16 percent of respondents, are confident that their rate of retirement savings will be enough to cover their post-retirement needs.

Washington Monthly
By: Ed Kilgore
July 24, 2012

Cold hard facts of growing inequality

If you read my last post, I feel obliged to offer a mental palate-cleanser to get rid of the taste of Ari Fleischer's banal spin for his wealthy paymasters. Here's the New York Times' David Leonhardt's quick summary of the basic facts of growing income inequality in recent decades:

Since median inflation-adjusted family income peaked in 2000 at $64,232, it has fallen roughly 6 percent. You won't find another 12-year period with an income decline since the aftermath of the Depression.

This unhappy phenomenon has two major sources. First, economic growth in this country has been relatively slow in recent years, which means the total bounty that the American economy produces, to be shared by all of its citizens, has not been growing very rapidly. Even before the financial crisis began in 2008, economic growth in the decade that started in 2001 was on pace to be slower than growth in any decade since World War II.

Then of course came a deep recession that caused the economy to shrink.
In addition to the slow growth in overall size of the pie, the share that has been going to anyone but the richest Americans has been declining. The top-earning 1 percent of households now bring home about 20 percent of total income, up from less than 10 percent 40 years ago. The top-earning 1/10,000th of households -- each earning at least $7.8 million a year, many of them working in finance -- bring home almost 5 percent of income, up from 1 percent 40 years ago.

Add in the rising debts that preceded the Great Recession for so many middle-class families, and the depleted assets it produced (the subject of Phillip Longman's analysis in the July/August issue of the Washington Monthly), and you have a pretty accurate picture of the economic plight of working Americans at a moment when far too much of the national debate seems to assume that unemployment is the only real challenge--or as Fleischer insists, that we should be most worried about the sad plight of the overburdened wealthy.

The Atlantic
By: Jordan Weissmann
July 20, 2012

A $150 billion burden: What to do about subprime student loans

Today, the Obama administration offered us some very bad news and some very good news about the America's student debt burden.

Reuters
By: Deborah L. Cohen
July 24, 2012

Credit unions banking on bills to lift small business lending

(Reuters) - When Phoenix entrepreneur Eric McCarthy needed money to build an ice cream business, the banks would not budge.

So McCarthy, like a growing number of small business owners, turned to a less likely source: his local credit unions.

Reuters
By: Beth Pinsker Gladstone
July 23, 2012

Having a financial plan builds confidence and savings

(Reuters) - Americans who have a financial plan of any sort not only feel more confident and are more optimistic about their futures, but are also saving more and getting into financial trouble less than those without a plan, according to a new survey.

The Asset Agenda

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

Washington Monthly
By: Reid Cramer
July/August 2012

The Asset Agenda

Over the course of the last two decades, a community of academics, policy wonks, and practitioners has been busy developing and testing ideas for helping ordinary people to save more and build their assets. Here are a few of the signature proposals of what has come to be known as the asset-building movement.

Bloomberg
By: Carter Doughtery
July 24, 2012

Payday lenders seek U.S. Oversight to avoid state rules

The Internet's "don't-call-us- payday" lenders are making a bid for more respect in Washington and less control from state regulators.

Firms offering short-term online loans, including Fort Worth, Texas-based Cash America International Inc. (CSH), are ramping up political contributions, hiring lobbyists and asking Congress to largely transfer oversight from states to the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. A House committee today will hold a hearing on the proposal, which the OCC itself opposes.

The Washington Post
By: William Booth and Nick Miroff
July 23, 2012

Returning migrants boost Mexico's middle class

SANTA MARIA DEL REFUGIO, Mexico -- For a generation, the men of this town have headed north to the land of the mighty dollar, breaking U.S. immigration laws to dig swimming pools in Memphis and grind meat in Chicago.

In the United States, they were illegal aliens. Back home, they are new entrepreneurs using the billions of dollars earned "on the other side" to create a Mexican middle class.

The Huffington Post
By: Alexander Eichler
July 20, 2012

High taxes on the rich not a problem for small business: Report

Analysts are looking askance at a claim that raising taxes on the rich would spell doom for America's small business owners.

According to a policy brief from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think tank, if Congress were to let the Bush-era tax cuts expire for the wealthiest Americans, it would probably leave most small businesses unharmed. (Hat tip to The Washington Post.)

TIME
By: Martha C. White
July 20, 2012

Would you pay $529 in interest to borrow $375? 12 million Americans did last year

Americans spend more than $7.4 billion on payday loans every year. That's hardly peanuts, especially when you consider that these billions are earned $50 to $100 at a time, often off the backs of the Americans who can least afford to part with their hard-earned cash.

TIME
By: Martha C. White
July 23, 2012

Subprime private student loans: No way out

Although private loans make up a relatively small slice of the roughly $1 trillion in outstanding student debt, a new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in conjunction with the Department of Education shows that these loans have the ability to harm borrowers' credit and future financial security at a disproportionately high rate.
A $5 billion industry just over a decade ago, the private student lending market ballooned to four times that size before the economic crisis hit. It shrank back to $6 billion last year, but that contraction still leaves a huge number of students and former students saddled with expensive debts they can't afford to repay. It's gotten so bad that government officials are calling on Congress to permit private student loans to be wiped out in bankruptcy.

The Billfold
By: Karina Briski

Young, privileged, and applying for food stamps

One recent Friday morning, I went to work. Not to any glass-blocked high rise, or a sprawl of windowless office buildings, but a corner cafe, four minutes from my apartment. With my $1.50 cup of coffee in hand, I dropped my bag and sat down next to my housemate, also a freelancer-slash-struggling-painter, and a new friend. At some point, our casual conversation turned to the stack of papers sticking out from my seam-busted bag: My application for food stamps. Turned out, this new friend had been on them for a few months. I hadn't even noticed them tighten, but in a second, my shoulders slumped at ease.

"Go to this grocery store," she said. "They let you buy beer and toilet paper." I smiled slightly, less because of the beer, and more out of relief to be talking with someone who'd been through this sort of thing. I'd never been on any form of government assistance. I'd also never been more unsure of how I'd make rent in a few weeks.

The Washington Post
By: Associated Press
July 22, 2012

US poverty on track to reach 46-year high; suburbs, underemployed workers, children hit hard

WASHINGTON -- The ranks of America's poor are on track to climb to levels unseen in nearly half a century, erasing gains from the war on poverty in the 1960s amid a weak economy and fraying government safety net.

Census figures for 2011 will be released this fall in the critical weeks ahead of the November elections.

Albuquerque Journal
By: Richard Metcalf
July 22, 2012

Bankruptcies still going down...for now

July 22--Bankruptcy filings continued to dwindle in New Mexico during the first six months of the year despite a sluggish economy and job picture that would seem conducive to financial distress.

The Huffington Post
By: Dan Froomkin
July 19, 2012

Half of American households hold 1 percent of wealth

WASHINGTON -- The share of the nation's wealth held by the less affluent half of American households dropped precipitously after the financial crisis, to 1.1 percent, according to new calculations by Congress's nonpartisan research service.

By contrast, the share of total net worth held by the weathiest 1 percent of American households continued rising, hitting 34.5 percent in 2010. The top 10 percent's share was 74.5 percent.

The Huffington Post
By: Daniel Wagner
July 20, 2012

CFPB: private student loans parallel subprime mortgage lending

WASHINGTON -- Risky lending caused private student loan debt to balloon in the past decade, leaving many Americans struggling to pay off loans that they can't afford, a government study says.

Forbes
By: David Brooks
July 10, 2012

David Brooks blames women for income inequality

Leave it to David Brooks to figure out a way to blame the ladies for income inequality.

In his most recent New York Times column, Brooks decided to take a look at the most recent research of Robert Putnam, the Harvard University political science professor best known for writing Bowling Alone, the modern treatise on why many of us feel so isolated. Putnam has now moved on to class distinctions in child-rearing, and discovered what many others, including most famously sociologist Annette Lareau, have found: the upper middle classes parent very differently from everyone else. They spend more time with their children, and they emphasize achievement and vaguely salutary extracurricular activities ranging from soccer to singing classes for their progeny over after-school jobs and familial responsibility. All of this, in the view of Brooks, is responsible for our nation's stunning lack of income mobility.

TIME
By: Dan Kadlec
July 19, 2012

Proof that workplace financial education works

When it comes to financial education, nothing works like one-on-one counseling at the office during work hours, according to a new analysis from The Principal Financial Group. Employees exposed to this kind of program become more engaged in their financial affairs and save more, among other positive outcomes.
Among employees who attended a one-on-one session in 2011, 92% agreed to take certain positive steps and 80% followed through with those steps, according to The Principal. The most common steps were to increase savings now and agree to automatic increases in the future.

The Assets Effect

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

Washington Monthly
By: Dana Goldstein
July/August 2012

The Assets Effect

Willie Elliott grew up in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, just as the steel mills were shutting down. His father, a train conductor and engineer, was frequently laid off; his mother worked as a waitress and in warehouses to help make ends meet. The family experienced several bouts of homelessness.

Washington Monthly
By: Phillip Longman
July/August 2012

How to save our kids from poverty in old age

The federal government spends more than $500 billion a year on policies designed to help individuals acquire or build assets. The three most expensive of these policies--the mortgage interest deduction, the property tax deduction, and preferential rates on capital gains and dividends--together deliver 45 percent of their benefits to households with average income exceeding $1 million. "Put another way," concludes a report commissioned by the Federal Reserve, "the poorest fifth of Americans get, on average, $3 in benefits from these policies, while the wealthiest one percent enjoy, on average, $57,673."

CNN
By: Trina Shanks
July 12, 2012

For poor children, trying hard is not enough

(CNN) -- I am the granddaughter of an elementary school cook and a woman who cleaned other people's homes. Both my grandmothers worked hard and didn't earn much money, but they encouraged their children to get an education.

Counterpunch
By: David Rosnick
July 19, 2012

What's really driving income inequality?

Over the last several decades, inequalities in both incomes and wealth have grown substantially within the United States and in other high-income nations. In the United States, for example, the income share of just the top one half of the top 1 percent grew from 5.39 percent of the nation's income in 1979 to 13.37 percent in 2010. By contrast, over this same period the share of the bottom 90 fell from 67.65 percent to 53.74 percent.

Teach your kids to buy and sell

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Huffington Post
By: Nathan Greenberg
July 17, 2012

Teach your kids to buy and sell

The art of a yard sale is part negotiation and part socialization, all backed by the science of commerce. Its important for today's kids to learn how to negotiate, how to read people and how to understand the true economic value of an item.

The Huffington Post
By: Catherine New
July 18, 2012

Poorest Americans turning to payday loans to afford food, electricity

The poorest Americans are stringing together multiple high-interest loans each year just to keep the lights on and food on the table, according to a new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts.

According to the report, 7 out of 10 borrowers use payday loans -- typically short-term, high-interest cash advances -- to make payments on recurring bills, including utilities, car payments, food, rent and mortgage payments. This is contrary to the typical marketing from payday lenders, who often pitch the loans as quick cash for a onetime cash crunch.

TIME
By: Michael Sivy
July 19, 2012

Why Obamacare should be redesigned, but not repealed
Last week's vote by the House of Representatives to repeal President Obama's health care plan was the 33rd such attempt - and just as unlikely to have any real effect as the previous 32 votes. In fact, repealing the entire law and replacing it with something completely different will be quite difficult politically. Nonetheless, over the long term, financial pressures are likely to force substantial alterations in the law as it currently stands. If those changes are made intelligently, they could lower costs and increase consumer choice, while preserving universal coverage.

East Bay Express
By: Ellen Cushing
July 18, 2012

The Microfinance Myth; A solution to global poverty? Not so fast, says Hugh Sinclair

One sentence into the preface to Confessions of a Microfinance Heretic, Hugh Sinclair makes his first bold statement: "The microfinance community often resembles a religious cult." It's a striking declaration in a book full of them, and it speaks to the fervor with which philanthropists have embraced the idea of microfinance - which offers loans of as little as $20 to impoverished people in developing nations - as a figurative and often literal great white hope for global poverty.

The Huffington Post
By: Lawrence Summers
July 17, 2012

Walmart heirs worth same amount as bottom 40 percent of Americans in 2010: Analysis

The six heirs to the Walmart fortune are worth as much as nearly half of all American households.

The Walton family was worth $89.5 billion in 2010, the same as the bottom 41.5 percent of U.S. families combined, according to Josh Bivens of the Economic Policy Institute. That's 48.8 million American households in total.

The Huffington Post
By: Joel John Roberts
July 14, 2012

Who should win this country's housing lottery?

Placing people in those coveted, and quite limited, permanent supportive housing units across America is a bit like desperately trying to win that golden ticket in the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Millions of people are in need of affordable housing, and only a handful of apartments are subsidized by the government.

States News Service
July 17, 2012

HUD announces nearly $13 million to produce affordable housing for low income native Hawaiians 2012 marks 10th anniversary of native Hawaiian housing block grant program

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced $12.7 million in funding to produce affordable housing for low-income native Hawaiian families. Since the program began in 2002, HUDs Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant (NHHBG) and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands have built, acquired, and rehabilitated more than 460 housing units.

The Washington Post
By: Steven Overly
July 15, 2012

What will be the impact of 'impact investing'?

The philanthropic organizations and foundations that make up Washington's massive nonprofit sector are borrowing lessons from the business plans of their for-profit counterparts as they look to fulfill social missions and achieve financial sustainability.Those dual objectives may have once seemed contradictory. Nonprofits have long been characterized as the bleeding hearts of the economy, forgoing the benefits of big profits, or any profits at all, for the sake of helping society's less fortunate. But now some grant-making institutions have begun to experiment with financial mechanisms such as loans and equity investments that require nonprofits or socially minded businesses to repay the money over time through returns.

NC Policy Watch
By: Carl Rist
July 17, 2012

A healthier gambling alternative to the lottery and sweepstakes games

Governor Perdue's veto of the $20.2 billion state budget proposed by the Republican-led legislature and the subsequent override of the veto represent just the latest skirmish over our state's uncertain finances. And, with an economy still struggling to rebound and a state revenue-raising structure that's increasingly not up to the challenges of a 21st century economy, these battles are likely to continue into the foreseeable future.

The Huffington Post
By: Andrea Levere
July 17, 2012

With nothing to lose, declining net worth means little to asset-poor families

New data on household wealth paints a disturbing portrait of the decline in net worth for American families. But those numbers only tell part of the story -- the story of households with actual assets to lose.

Last month, the two sources of national data on household wealth -- the U.S. Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation and the Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Consumer Finance -- released new data for 2010 on household net worth, which is defined as total assets minus total debts (or liabilities). Both data sources showed that median household net worth has fallen dramatically. According to the Census Bureau, median net worth has declined 35 percent since 2005 from $102,844 to just $66,740 in 2010. The Survey of Consumer Finance showed an even bigger drop of 39 percent between 2007 and 2010.

The Huffington Post
By: Lawrence Summers
June 16, 2012

Larry Summers: Inequality of opportunity a more important focus than income inequality

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 15 (Reuters) - Even if the process of economic recovery proves protracted, the American economy will eventually recover, and cyclical issues will cease to dominate the economic conversation. It is likely that issues relating to inequality will move to the forefront. There is no question that income is distributed substantially more unequally than it was a generation ago - with those at the very top gaining share as even the upper middle class loses ground in relative terms. Those with less skill, especially men who in an earlier era would have worked with their hands, are losing ground, not just in relative but in absolute terms.

CNN
By: Blake Ellis
July 16, 2012

CFPB to supervise credit reporting agencies

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Credit reporting agencies will soon be subject to a deeper level of federal oversight.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Monday that it will begin supervising the nation's biggest consumer reporting agencies this fall.

TIME
By: Dan Kadlec
July 17, 2012

Retirement savings: 11 times final pay is the new target

Philosophers have long puzzled over why we exist and whether we are alone in the universe. But the cosmic question of our day is decidedly more practical: How much money do I need to quit work for good?

TIME
By: Brad Tuttle
July 17, 2012

Going away to college this fall? You're now the exception

For American students, heading off to college has traditionally also meant physically going away to college. But now, at a time when college costs are soaring, and when news of young people being saddled with burdensome student loan debt is unavoidable, today's students are trying to trim college expenses in every way possible. More than half of students, in fact, will be living at home when the fall semester begins--up significantly from the 43% of students who commuted a couple of years ago.

The Great Illusion

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

Economic & Political Weekly
By: D N Ghosh
July 14, 2012

The Great Illusion

Over the years, financial activities have come to consume an enormous amount of time and resources. The gross value added by financial corporate business in the United States (US) has been moving upward consistently: from 2.3% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 1948 to 9.1% in 2010 (p12). Clearly, we have been witnessing what Kari Polanyi Levitt (2008) termed "The Great Financialisation", signifying a long-term shift in the centre of gravity of the capitalist system from production to finance. Also labelled "financial capitalism", this finds its reflection in every aspect of the economy: share of financial profits as well as of total profits, rising levels of debt relative to GDP, a pyramidal financial superstructure built on the foundation of innovative opaque instruments, and so on.

Mortgage banking
By: Katherine McGee

Wells Fargo's new home lending site

Simplicity and transparency guided the design of Wells Fargo's new home lending site.

In October 2011, Wells Fargo launched a brand-new Home Lending site (www.wellsfargo.com/mortgage/home-loans), designed to help consumers make sensible home financing decisions before buying a home, refinancing or accessing their home's equity. By focusing on the consumers' goals and needs, and providing information and choices that help them make informed decisions, our goal was-and is-to help more families reach and sustain their dream of homeownership.

The Huffington Post
By: Keith Weigelt
June 14, 2012

Creating savings and investing groups in the inner city

Wu-wei is a verb of sorts. It explains how one behaves strategically with what the Taoists call no action. It is the act of doing nothing by acting naturally -- but by acting naturally, getting things done. Unfortunately, acting naturally does not mean following one's own groove. There are laws to follow because you are part of a bigger picture, that of nature. And, you need to be in harmony with nature to practice wu-wei.

The Huffington Post
By: Kristie Arslan
July 12, 2012

Small business owners concerned about the impact of the Supreme Court's Affordable Care Act Ruling

As the nation sorts out the details of the Supreme Court ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and considers the long-term impact of the decision, one thing is clear: the nation's 22 million self-employed and micro-business owners are still worried about rising health care costs and they want Congress to act.

Two classes, divided by 'I Do'

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The New York Times
By: Jason Deparle
July 14, 2012

Two classes, divided by 'I Do'

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Jessica Schairer has so much in common with her boss, Chris Faulkner, that a visitor to the day care center they run might get them confused.

They are both friendly white women from modest Midwestern backgrounds who left for college with conventional hopes of marriage, motherhood and career. They both have children in elementary school. They pass their days in similar ways: juggling toddlers, coaching teachers and swapping small secrets that mark them as friends. They even got tattoos together. Though Ms. Faulkner, as the boss, earns more money, the difference is a gap, not a chasm.

TIME
By: Martha C. White
July 16, 2012

Financial planning 101 for older college students

Back-to-school season is around the corner, and it's not just for kids anymore. A growing number of older Americans are enrolling in college today, and their numbers are expected to increase further through the end of the decade. Financial advisors say it's more important than ever for these students to head back to school with a financial plan as well as an academic one, or risk being saddled with debt into their middle age or even seniority.

The Times and Democrat
By: Gene Zaleski
July 14, 2012

Group working to build entrepreneurs

July 14--Keylon Singleton says life's obligations have kept him busy over the past few years, hindering his ability to do what he has always wanted: to start a small business.

"This is the first time I have been able to find time," Singleton said. "I had to deal with school and taking care of family."

Southtown Star
By: Kathy Barks Hoffman
July 15, 2012

Michigan, Pennsylvania put limits on families seeking food assistance

HOWELL, Mich. - The 2010 Buick Enclave parked in her garage kept Michigan resident Renee Moore from getting food stamps for two months last year, even though her family's income had dropped to below the poverty level, her husband's Ford Explorer had 300,000 miles on it and her family had less than $1,000 in the bank.

The Huffington Post
By: Catherine New
July 11, 2012

CoreLogic's new mortgage credit score could expand lending reach to more subprime borrowers

Subprime mortgage lenders have not gone away. They're just getting new tools in order to reach the poorest borrowers.

The creditworthiness of Americans has taken a beating in recent years, exacerbated by record numbers of foreclosures, bankruptcies and defaults. But worse consumer credit has not stopped the lending industry's hunger for new sources of profit. In order to tap a new pool of borrowers, mostly those who do not qualify under existing reporting methods, credit reporting companies have been busy creating new formulas to evaluate them.

The Huffington Post
By: Shahar Ziv
July 11, 2012

Swimming in the real-world financial pool

Summer always brings a certain excitement as a new crop of freshly minted college graduates descends upon Manhattan and other cities, ready to take on the world. But while these young adults come armed with diplomas, a new wardrobe, and endless ambition, most lack a solid grasp of what it means to be financially literate. Today's graduates are diving into the real-world financial pool without even the basic strokes of personal finance. As the recent financial crisis has illuminated, not only is the water quite deep, but there are also plenty of sharks and, unfortunately, not as many lifeguards as we would have hoped.

The 12 cookies joke

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Huffington Post
By: Stan Sorcher
July 11, 2012

The 12 cookies joke

A CEO, a Tea Party member and public employee sit at a table, with 12 cookies on a plate. The CEO grabs 11 cookies and tells the Tea Party member, "You better watch him. He wants your cookie."

The CEO took 11 out of 12 cookies. This isn't a question of what's fair. The CEO has the economic power to take 11 cookies, and he does.

Eastern Iowa News Now
By: Hayley Bruce
July 12, 2012

Local kids get chance to be ice cream entrepreneurs

IOWA CITY -- Expresso Economy, Cookie Dough Takeover, and Mountain Climber Sludge were just the top three finalists among several ice cream flavors that local fifth and six graders had the chance to design as part of a camp put on by the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurship Center this week.

CNN
By: Les Christie
July 12, 2012

Many working veterans can't afford housing, report says

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Young returning veterans claim one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, but even those who do find work are having a hard time affording housing, a recent study finds.

Even though the government offers training programs and other assistance to returning veterans to help them re-enter the workplace, many of the jobs they're landing don't pay enough to cover the cost of buying a median-priced home, or in some instances, the average rent on a one-bedroom apartment, according to a report from the Center for Housing Policy.

CNN
Les Christie
July 12, 2012

Many working veterans can't afford housing, report says

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Young returning veterans claim one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, but even those who do find work are having a hard time affording housing, a recent study finds.

The Washington Post
By: Michael Gerson
July 12, 2012

Romney can gain upper hand on economic policy by focusing on class

On economic policy, Barack Obama has left Mitt Romney an opening. The president has responded to a severe, continuing labor market slump with a four-year-old, marginally counterproductive tax increase proposal. His current economic agenda has little relevance to anything except his current political requirements: picking a political fight on tax-code equity to distract attention from his economic stewardship. It is the triumph of tactics and the surrender of seriousness.

The Huffington Post
July 11, 2012

In 2009, Americans paid taxes at the lowest rate in 30 years: CBO

In 2009, Americans handed over the smallest percentage of their income to the government in 30 years. A major reason? Rich people paid less in taxes.

The income tax rate fell to 17.4 percent in 2009, the lowest level since 1979, according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office (h/t the Washington Post).

The Huffington Post
By: Nate Hindman
July 11, 2012

Small businesses increasingly turn to small banks for loans: Report

Small banks continue to beat out their bigger counterparts when it comes to small business lending, according to credit marketplace Biz2Credit's June Small Business Lending Index.

CNN
By: Carolyn Bigda
July 10, 2012

Young dad, $15,000 in credit card debt

(Money magazine) -- Like many thirtysomethings, Carlos Rodriguez is repairing financial damage from his twenties.

The health care project administrator has $15,000 on credit cards, partly from financing a master's degree, but also from "reckless spending," he admits.

Making innovation work

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

CNN
July 12, 2012

Making innovation work

Dr. Judith Rodin, head of the powerful Rockefeller Foundation, talks about taking innovation out of labs and boardrooms and into the real world.

FORTUNE -- Founded in 1913, the Rockefeller Foundation set for itself the not-insignificant task of promoting "the well-being of mankind throughout the world." That is has done, from the development of a Nobel-prize winning vaccine for yellow fever in the 1930s to the agriculture techniques pioneered that jump started the Green Revolution in the 1960s and beyond. In the last two years, the foundation has held innovation forums to "identify how innovation can be applied in new and interesting ways" to promote its mission. Dr. Judith Rodin, the foundation's president and the former president of the University of Pennsylvania, spoke to Fortune about that goal earlier this month. The interview took place at the 2012 Rockefeller Innovation Forum. What follows is a lightly edited transcript of the conversation.

The opportunity gap

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The New York Times
By: David Brooks
July 9, 2012

The opportunity gap

Over the past few months, writers from Charles Murray to Timothy Noah have produced alarming work on the growing bifurcation of American society. Now the eminent Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam and his team are coming out with research that's more horrifying.

The Huffington Post
By: Peter S. Goodman
July 11, 2012

Unemployment problem includes public transportation that separates poor from jobs

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- In the two months since he lost his job driving a delivery truck for a door company, Lebron Stinson has absorbed a bitter geography lesson about this riverfront city: The jobs are in one place, he is in another, and the bus does not bridge the divide.

NPR
By: Theo Francis and Lam Thuy Vo
July 4, 2012

The value of taxing the wealthy: $56 billion

The debate is back over what to do with the Bush tax cuts, which are scheduled to expire at the end of the year.

The Obama administration wants to extend them only for families earning more than $250,000 a year. Republicans generally favor extending them for everyone. What hangs in the balance are tax breaks for wealthier Americans.

The machine and the garden

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The New York Times
By: Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer
July 10, 2012

The machine and the garden

WE are prisoners of the metaphors we use, even when they are wildly misleading. Consider how political candidates talk about the economy. Last month President Obama praised immigrants as "the greatest economic engine the world has ever known." Mitt Romney says that extending the Bush-era tax cuts will "fuel" a recovery. Others fear a "stall" in job growth.

Richer rich, and poorer poor

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The New York Times
By: Catherine Rampell
July 10, 2012

Richer rich, and poorer poor

A while back I wrote about how there was greater inequality in wealth than there was in income. Now a new report from the Pew Economic Mobility Project shows that across the income distribution, every income class is earning more than it used to, even if the raises are uneven. But when it comes to the wealth distribution, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.

The Washington Post
By: J.D. Harrison
July 9, 2012

Small business optimism suffers largest decline in two years

Slowly but surely, small business optimism had been improving over the last several months.

Not anymore.

"All in all, this month's survey was a real economic downer," NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg said in a statement. "The economy has definitely slowed; job growth will be far short of that needed to reduce the unemployment rate unless lots of unemployed leave the labor force--no consolation."

CNN
By: Tami Luhby
July 10, 2012

Economic mobility: Who gets left behind

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Most Americans make more than their parents did, but that doesn't mean they're all moving up the economic ladder.

Some 84% of Americans have higher family incomes than their parents had at the same age, according to a new report from the Pew Economic Mobility Project. And 93% of those who grew up in the poorest fifth of the income ladder exceed their parents' family income as adults.

The Huffington Post
By: Premal Shah
July 4, 2012

The course and success of the economy belongs in all of our hands

The last five years of slow job growth and economic recovery has proven that the course of the economy affects each of us in profound ways. It has the power to create or take away opportunities for jobs, homes, retirement, education and even personal pride. Every person reading this has experienced the fear or reality of losing what it took years to create.

Do suburbs make you selfish?

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

TIME
By: David Fuutrelle
July 9, 2012

Do suburbs make you selfish?

New numbers from the Census Bureau suggest that America's long love affair with the suburbs may be cooling off just a bit: In the year-long span from July 2010 to July 2011, in the majority of America's largest metropolitan areas, densely packed urban areas grew faster than suburbs - reversing a trend that has held since the heyday of the Model-T in the 1920s. If this current trend holds, it could be good news for the environment, reducing the time commuters spend in gas-guzzling cars going to and from their jobs in the city. Could it also be good for America's social ecology?

The New York Times
By: Catherine Rampell
July 9, 2012

Will ending tax cuts for the rich hurt the economy?

President Obama on Monday proposed extending most of the Bush tax cuts, but not those for the highest-income Americans. Republicans responded that all of the tax cuts should be extended, since tax hikes of any kind would hurt economic growth.

The Washington Post
By: Ylan Q. Mui
July 9, 2012

Consumers watchdog agency proposes new mortgage disclosures

The federal consumer watchdog agency on Monday proposed banning several controversial mortgage fees and unveiled new disclosure forms intended to help borrowers better understand the terms of their home loans.

The Huffington Post
By: Fred Leeb
July 8, 2012

Nonprofits are now too critical to fail

In 2010, 46.2 million people were in poverty according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Of those, 15.7 million or 22 percent of the children under 18 were in poverty. The total number of people in poverty had worsened significantly in 2010 to 15.1 percent, up by 2.6 percentage points from 2007. [Poverty thresholds for 2010 were $11,344 for one person under 65, $14,602 for a two-person household, $17,552 for a three-person household with one child under 18, and $22,113 for a four-person household with two children under 18.]

NPR
By: Jennifer Ludden
June 30, 2012

Buried in debt, young people find dreams elusive

Growing up near Philadelphia, Michelle Holshue's dream was to serve those in need. Applying to nursing school at the University of Pennsylvania seemed like a smart move -- in 2007.

Nursing jobs were plentiful. The students' running joke was that hospital executives would soon be stopping them in the street, begging them to come to work.

Then the economy tanked. For a time, Holshue was an Ivy League grad on unemployment and food stamps.

"But I made it work," Holshue recalls. "I learned to cook really well on a tight budget, which is a skill that's served me ever since."

TIME
By: Brad Tuttle
July 9, 2012

Food stamps; More benefit to big food than to the poor?

The federal government is spending millions to encourage more Americans to apply for food stamps, or rather the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which replaced food stamps. Ads paid for with tax dollars are asking more people to enroll in SNAP even though the program has dramatically expanded in recent years: Roughly 46 million Americans now get SNAP benefits, up from just 17 million in 2000, and the costs associated with the program have risen from $17 billion in 2000, to $30 billion in 2007, way up to $78 billion last year. While those receiving benefits must be happy with the program's growth, there's another group that might even be more pleased: corporations that make or sell junk food.

The Washington Post
By: Ylan Q. Mui
July 8, 2012

For black Americans, financial damage from subprime implosion is likely to last

The implosion of the subprime lending market has left a scar on the finances of black Americans -- one that not only has wiped out a generation of economic progress but could leave them at a financial disadvantage for decades.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Laura Meckler
July 9, 2012

Obama to push extension of middle-class tax cuts

WASHINGTON--President Barack Obama will propose a one-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for families earning less than $250,000 today, an effort to shift the conversation away from the sagging economy and onto ground of tax fairness, which Mr. Obama prefers.

Dayton Daily News
By: Cornelius Frolik
July 7, 2012

1.8 million Ohioans lost 25% of income; Report sees dip in 2010; more lack safety net to cover emergencies.; The economy

A record 1.8 million Ohioans saw their household incomes decrease by 25 percent or more in 2010, according to a new report.

As the risk of financial losses has increased in the state, more Ohioans lack an adequate safety net of savings and assets for use in the event of an economic emergency.

Many Ohioans do not have enough savings to last three months without experiencing serious hardship.

Big data for the poor

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The New York Times
By: Quentin Hardy
July 5, 2012

Big data for the poor

ZestCash, founded in 2006, had a winning idea, in principle. It made loans to borrowers with poor credit scores by using complex data analysis to better determine their credit quality. But now it has decided to move out of the business of making loans and instead concentrate on selling its analysis to other lenders serving poorer and marginal borrowers.

The Huffington Post
By: Catherine New
July 3, 2012

Money won't make you nicer: What science says about rich people's behavior

The rich are more likely to:

a) Cut off other drivers.

b) Be disinterested in the welfare of others.

c) Cheat on a test to get ahead.

d) Give more to charities.

e) All of the above.

Science has shown that not having much money generally leads to all kinds of not-so-awesome outcomes: shorter life expectancy, higher stress, poorer health and a lack of social mobility. Increasingly, however, the rich are being put under the microscope.

Growing income inequality is providing research fodder for psychologists, economists and others who study what effect money--and socio-economic class--has on a person's behavior.

Business Insider
By: Alyson Shontell
July 3, 2012

There is now a startup demo day for prison inmates

San Quentin, a prison located 25 miles north of San Francisco, just held its first startup demo day for inmates who are learning about tech for the first time.

One of the participants, Eric Phillips, has been in prison for 18 years; he was incarcerated for second degree murder. He's never sent an email or surfed the web, and yet he proposed a tech-related startup to a room full of investors though "The Last Mile" program.

The Atlantic
By: Jordan Weissmann
July 5, 2012

An off-the wall plan to save homeowners (and make some investors rich)

It is distinctly possible that some small cities in California and a venture capital fund are hatching a plan that could fix our sick housing market, and maybe start healing the economy.

TIME
By: Brad Tuttle
July 6, 2012

Steadiest, fastest-growing jobs: Service gigs that pay poorly

The latest jobs report indicates that economy added a mere 75,000 jobs during the April-June quarter, and that the unemployment rate remains stuck at 8.2%. The news may seem worse in light of the kinds of jobs most likely to be created nowadays: The industries that are growing the quickest and have been hiring like crazy are offering jobs with meager salaries, as well as duties that many workers find beneath them.
Over the past two decades in the U.S., one category of employment has outgrown all the rest: the "personal service job." The jobs that fall into this category include cutting hair, cleaning houses, assisting the elderly, and serving burgers and fries in the fast food world.

The Washington Post
By: Josh Hicks
July 6, 2012

'Obamacare' tax hikes vs. tax breaks: Which is greater?

Republicans have seized on the Supreme Court's health-law ruling to blast the Affordable Care Act as a giant tax on the middle class. Rush Limbaugh went so far as to call it the "biggest tax increase in the history of the world," a preposterous claim we debunked in a previous column.

The Huffington Post
By: John Arensmeyer
July 3, 2012

Supreme Court ruling to uphold Affordable Care Act an affirmation for small business

In ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act on June 28, the Supreme Court made a mark on history -- a mark that signifies victory for the countless small business owners who've struggled with excessively high health insurance costs for decades.

The Huffington Post
By: Shane J. Lopez
July 3, 2012

Hope and happiness delayed for the indebted generation

"We are going to pay off Daddy's student loans!" My son, 6 years old at the time, knew it was big deal. He was sharing the news with everyone we passed on our walk to the post office. That happy memory is quite fresh. I finished paying my loans in November 2011, after more than 10 years of mortgage-sized monthly installments.

The Huffington Post
By: Michelle Conlin and Melanie Hicken
July 5, 2012

Housing affordability crisis: Americans squeezed by higher rents, tight credit

July 5 (Reuters) - One night last spring, David Hall returned home to his studio apartment outside Boston to learn that his monthly rent had spiked from $725 to $995.

It would be much cheaper for the maintenance manager to buy a nearby starter house than to stay put. But his mortgage broker told him that while his credit score was good, it was not high enough to meet banks' tough standards, he said.

International Herald Tribune
By: Chrystia Freeland
July 3, 2012

The middle class withers and the political center follows

America likes to think of itself as a middle-class country, with a moderate middle-of-the-road political majority. But as the middle class is economically hollowed out, will the political middle inevitably shrink, too? In fact, maybe that's happening already.

The Atlantic
By: Medline Kruhly
July 2, 2012

What America looked like: The struggles of the Navajo Nation in 1972

With camera in hand, photographer Terry Eiler ventured into Arizona's stark northeast corner in 1972. Hired by the Environmental Protection Agency, he was instructed to document how much the nation's growing environmental concerns were impacting the Navajo community -- a society that was often missed on the country's radar.

CNN
By: Jennifer Liberto
June 29, 2012

Congress extends low student loan rates

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) -- Congress voted Friday to extend low 3.4% interest rates on federally subsidized student loans for another year, barely beating a July 1 deadline when the rates would double.

American Banker
By: Jennifer Tescher
June 26, 2012

'Underbanked' is an increasingly unhelpful label

This month, I spent a few days with some 750 people focused on the underbanked market opportunity. These bankers, retailers, technology start-ups, regulators and advocates gathered in San Francisco for the seventh annual Underbanked Financial Services Forum, organized by the Center for Financial Services Innovation and American Banker. What was the buzz? Here's my top 10 list:

The Huffington Post
By: Janean Chun
July 2, 2012

Eric woods of Harlem Vintage on why he left Wall Street to start a wine business

Working as a trader at JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs from 1992 to 2003, Eric Woods enjoyed the expensive vacations, dinners and possessions his Wall Street income afforded. But he was arriving to work at 5:30 a.m., operating in what he describes as a dog-eat-dog environment and felt stress reactions every time he heard his BlackBerry buzz. "I definitely had a nice lifestyle, but that all comes with a price. You get handcuffed," Woods said. "Some people want to make changes in their lives but can't because they're beholden to that level of income."

TIME
By: Dan Kadlec
July 3, 2012

Selling your dream for cash: The unfortunate mainstreaming of the reverse mortgage

When did the American Dream turn into a cash machine? Home ownership has long been a source of pride and a symbol of achievement. In recent years, though, it's taken on a more utilitarian role: retirement backstop.

New Haven Register
By: Jim Shelton
July 1, 2012

Grads without trust funds may want to listen to this financial expert

Hey, graduates, hope you enjoyed that festive cap and gown ceremony. Now it's time for a fiscal reality check, courtesy of Mitchell D. Weiss.

"So many of these kids with student loan debt cannot go on with their lives," says Weiss, a financial expert from the University of Hartford and author of "Life Happens."

"They're so limited in cash they can't get cars. They can't get married. They can't start their lives, and that hurts the national economy," Weiss says.

The Huffington Post
By: Cari Guittard
June 27, 2012

Entrepreneurs wanted...everywhere but America

For the past several years here in the U.S., supporting entrepreneurship has been touted as a high priority by President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and numerous leaders in the private and NGO sectors. There have been countless symposiums, conferences, white papers, speeches, and programs dedicated to understanding and then finding ways to support entrepreneurs.

Rolling Stone
By: Jeff Tietz
June 25, 2012

The sharp, sudden decline of America's middle class

Every night around nine, Janis Adkins falls asleep in the back of her Toyota Sienna van in a church parking lot at the edge of Santa Barbara, California. On the van's roof is a black Yakima SpaceBooster, full of previous-life belongings like a snorkel and fins and camping gear. Adkins, who is 56 years old, parks the van at the lot's remotest corner, aligning its side with a row of dense, shading avocado trees. The trees provide privacy, but they are also useful because she can pick their fallen fruit, and she doesn't always¬ have enough to eat. Despite a continuous, two-year job search, she remains without dependable work. She says she doesn't need to eat much - if she gets a decent hot meal in the morning, she can get by for the rest of the day on a piece of fruit or bulk-purchased almonds - but food stamps supply only a fraction of her nutritional needs, so foraging opportunities are welcome.

The Washington Post
By: Catherine Monson
June 29, 2012

Why the health-care ruling may stop franchises from opening new stores, creating new jobs

While it may have been ruled constitutional, the Affordable Care Act is truly unworkable and unaffordable for our country's small business owners - particularly franchise owners.

Chicago Tribune
By: Monique Garcia
July 1, 2012

State's health care funding for poor taking major hit

When sweeping health care cuts take effect Sunday, the parts of Illinois that stand to be hit hardest are the places where folks already are struggling to get by.

Sacramento Press
By: Dell Richards
June 28, 2012

Assets and opportunities choses mutual housing for local lead

Sacramento|Yolo Mutual Housing Association recently was chosen to lead the Corporation for Enterprise Development's (CFED) new Assets and Opportunity Network in the local area.

"Participation in this network allows us to work with other communities and take advantage of information on asset-building and ways to promote resident financial stability," said Amy Williamson, Mutual Housing's Special Projects Coordinator.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from July 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

June 2012 is the previous archive.

August 2012 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.