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Author Archives: Adam Levin

  • The New American Pie: Breached, Tracked and Strip SearchedData Security, Blog, Privacy, Identity Theft, Technology


    For those of us who care about privacy, these past seven days have truly sucked. With relatively little fanfare in the midst of a cacophonous (that means “noisy,” Senator Santorum) parade of news, three significant events seriously undermined our constitutional right to privacy and highlighted (in a muted sort of way) the extent to which new business practices and perhaps the second oldest human inclination (criminality) have continued the relentless assault on our individual rights […]

  • Hey, Get Out of My Face(book)Social Media, Privacy


    Over the past few months there’s been a growing hue and cry over reports that some employers ask job applicants for their Facebook login and password information as part of the vetting process. They are hardly alone, though it’s not easy to know just who’s doing it and who’s not.  But this is not new–some state and local government agencies, particularly law enforcement agencies, have been doing it for years. To wit, the job application […]

  • Student loan

    The Next Bubble: Is It Time for the Feds to Cap College Tuition?Education, Blog


    At $1 trillion dollars, student loan debt has eclipsed credit card debt for the first time in American history. To make matters worse, come July 1 the interest rate on federally subsidized Stafford student loans will automatically double, from 3.4% to 6.8%, unless Congressional action is taken to extend the lower rate before then. Depending on which side of the aisle you choose, extending the lower rate will cost between $3 billion and $7 billion […]

  • Sluts, Snobs, Seamus and the Almighty DollarPolitics, Blog


    I’ve always been a political junkie. Since my earliest days as an observer and later as a participant in all things electoral, the golden rule has not changed: love thy neighbor’s wallet as though it were your own. Americans “vote their pocketbooks.” I have always accepted it as a truism — doesn’t everybody? Can’t you just hear James Carville whispering those four magic words into Bill Clinton’s ear over and over and over again in […]

  • Flipping the Bird: Is the Fed on Twitter a Horrible Idea?Social Media, Government, Blog


    Even the farsighted Founding Fathers could not have foreseen this — the Fed is now on Twitter! Just think of the possibilities — one fine Friday any Fed functionary could foment a world crisis in 140 characters or less! It could be as simple as a typo. For example, the Fed’s second tweet was: “Watch a video of Chairman #Bernanke explaining the structure of the Federal Reserve. #fed #economy” What if it accidentally read: “Watch […]

  • National Consumer Protection Week: It’s Up to You (Sorry!)Blog, Money


    Once again National Consumer Protection Week falls smack in the middle of Lent. Is this yet another coincidence, or rather a celestial reminder of the benefits of occasional restraint? This year, in particular, no one really wants a restrained consumer, and by no one, I mean not your Occupy-Wall-Street-friendly, local small business, nor the largest of American corporations, nor the government, nor the underpaid factory workers in China. No one. Consider this: the most recent […]

  • Best Way to Win the Gas Game: Don’t PlayBlog, Personal Finance


    Earlier this week, the New York Post shouted the headline “US Credit Card Debt Nearing Toxic Levels.” The article was referring to the latest report from the Fed that in December, total consumer debt, which is the sum of both non-revolving and revolving debt, increased by 9.3 percent to almost $2.5 trillion. The increase in revolving debt, principally consisting of credit card balances, was at an annual rate of 4.1%. Thus, despite the fact that […]

  • Identity Theft: Are We Doomed?Blog, Identity Theft


    Opening my e-mail reminds me of walking through the bazaar of a third world open air market — the pickpockets are everywhere. In the last 30 days I have received spam purporting to be from the Better Business Bureau, the Internal Revenue Service, the United States post office, the FBI, and most recently (this morning) even one from the AICPA — the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, a group of which I am not […]

  • Mortgages, Greece & Obama’s Budget: The Global Financial Literacy CrisisFinancial Literacy, Government, Politics, Blog, Personal Finance, Money


    Seven days, three seemingly disconnected announcements, and one subtle theme: what we have here is a failure to communicate… or more to the point, a failure to educate. America and much of the world is in the midst of financial literacy crisis that goes well beyond one’s ability to manage his or her own money. Consider what’s going on at home and abroad. First, the attorneys general of 49 states agreed on a $26 billion […]

  • Eastwood Meets West Wing: No Permanent Foreclosure Crisis?Mortgages, Blog, Personal Finance, Money


    I am a New Yorker. I am a Giants fan. They made my day last Sunday. Sorry, Gisele. Like over 100 million of you, I saw the Chrysler commercial and, for the record, Clint Eastwood made my day. Now, in the interest of full disclosure — my college flame was the granddaughter of a famous Chrysler design engineer — so I confess that I have a warm spot in my heart for those guys, but […]