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Government


  • Welcome to the Fiscal Blip. Demand More in 2013Government, Politics, Blog

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    In what Democrat pundits are trying to spin as white-flag politics today, it would appear a deal is imminent and each side will spin the merits, or lack thereof, for the purposes of the overblown shadow play that we’ve witnessed around the so-called “fiscal cliff.” The difference between right and left isn’t much when you consider the kind of money that people are making these days in the more rapacious sectors of our economy. The […]

  • The Dodd-Frank Act Paved the Way for Effective Gun LawsGovernment, Politics, Blog

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    I admit that I am no expert on the gun industry, but I am sufficiently experienced in politics, lobbying, finance and public advocacy to know that the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting made it possible to change our gun laws. I remember a time when even the most optimistic consumer advocate believed that the Chicago Cubs would win the World Series before banks and credit card companies would be reined in; that the lords of high […]

  • The Disturbing Inaction of Congress on the Mortgage CliffGovernment, Mortgages, Politics, Blog

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    With the presidential election over, the fiscal cliff is all anyone can talk about. The “cliff” is actually a drastic metaphor for a chronic political logjam caused by partisanship. There’s another cliff on the horizon that is about to hit much closer to home for a lot of Americans. It’s not the product of echo chamber hype. It’s a family killer. Worse, unless Congress drops the obstructionist approach, this second cliff is going to be […]

  • What Black Friday and the Fiscal Cliff Have in CommonGovernment, Politics, Blog

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    Black Friday is upon us. Yes, it’s time once again for intrepid American consumers to hit the stores like there’s no tomorrow — nudging hundreds of thousands of retailers into the black and ourselves into the red, only to spend the balance of the year clawing our way back to some semblance of solvency. But this year, things are different. While visions of sugarplums may dance in our heads, we have butterflies fluttering in our […]

  • How the SEC Almost Shut Down Wall StreetGovernment, Blog

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    Here’s a fun fact: Hackers, just like bankers, real estate agents and collectors of Star Trek memorabilia, attend conferences. Even better: they play games at the conferences. One of the games they play has attendees aggressively competing to access any device in the hall, thereby demonstrating prowess in obtaining sensitive information. The goal is to exploit any vulnerability, or crack that which is perceived to be impenetrable, and share details for both educational purposes and […]

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    Europe: The Confidence Game That Could Break the BankGovernment, Banking, Blog, Money

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    The word “economy” comes from the Greek “oikos” or “house.” Lately, the global economy has been like a nightmare episode of “Holmes Inspection.” You know the one. The owner fixes one problem only to find a more insidious problem underneath. Confidence in the contractor quickly turns into fear of the unknown and soon a new floor turns into a new foundation. It all goes way over budget and none of it is to code. It’s […]

  • ‘Corporations Are People’ and They Don’t Want You to VoteGovernment, Politics, Blog

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    It’s hard to miss the coincidence: those who want to limit voting hours and demand stricter voter ID protocols also believe that corporations are people. They want to control women’s bodies, and pay them less than men. They’re against higher taxes for the wealthy, and they want to do away with consumer protections. And make no mistake about it, this is a consumer issue. Are they racist and ageist when it comes to voting? Of […]

  • FEMA, Dodd-Frank and the CFPB: It’s All the Same to Mitt RomneyGovernment, Politics, Blog

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    When the long-predicted storm finally hit us, it struck with so much destructive force that it caught even grizzled New Yorkers by surprise. The storm’s surge quickly overran our defenses, overwhelming all emergency responders, causing mayhem across an unprecedented swath of territory, and leaving millions of homes underwater in its wake. I could be talking about Hurricane Sandy, but I’m not. I’m talking about the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008. Four years ago, the […]

  • When Debt Collectors Attack (Disabled American War Heroes)Government, Blog, Personal Finance, Money

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    When it comes to scandalous behavior by debt collectors, I thought I’d heard it all. This is an industry known for its bottom feeders, who routinely bully and intimidate the weakest and most vulnerable among us. Many debt collectors berate and humiliate people into paying off debts that never existed, and pursue people for years, even after the law, common sense, and human decency all demand that they cease and desist. Now, not all debt […]

  • Why Romney the Closer Is a Consumer NightmareGovernment, Politics, Blog

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    Politicians often have a lazy relationship with the truth. Everyone knows that these folks will say damn near anything to get elected. The Romney-Ryan ticket has put new luster on this homespun truism, revealing a brave new world of lying — beyond Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and the echo chamber — that will mean trouble for America if the GOP retakes the White House in November. In my field, the same tendency takes the form […]

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