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Politics


  • Say Something Already! Obama and Romney’s Housing CrisisGovernment, Mortgages, Politics, Blog, Personal Finance

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    President Obama, Governor Romney and their backers may be spending hundreds of millions of dollars to live in the most expensive and exclusive house in the nation, but they aren’t saying enough about the fact that housing in America is broken. Despite what the media and candidates might have you believe, real estate, home ownership and mortgages are the most important issues of the coming presidential election. No one, however, is really talking about how […]

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

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    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 […]

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

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    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 […]

  • Hey Romney, It’s an Inauguration, Not a CoronationGovernment, Politics, Blog

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    Can’t you just feel the temperature rising? Feel the rush of adrenalin as the political gladiators enter the arena and begin to slash each other to pieces. Doesn’t it feel a bit like Spartacus, but with suits replacing loincloths? (Think blood-stained Starz Sparacus, not the more refined Kirk Douglas one.) The GOP presidential primary campaign is becoming more strident and colorful lately — especially as the debates are getting almost more TV airtime then reruns […]

  • Is Obama’s Cordray Appointment Unprecedented? Not By a LongshotFinancial Literacy, Government, Banking, Politics, Blog, Personal Finance

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    President Obama “manned up” Wednesday, exercised his executive authority and announced the recess appointment of Richard Cordray as the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—ending months of partisan bickering and obstructionism by 45 Republican Senators and their patrons in the financial services industry. I read the comments of GOP leaders in the House and Senate (which we all expected) and could only shake my head. I felt like I was reading the script of […]

  • Fannie, Freddie & Freud: Washington Needs a ShrinkGovernment, Mortgages, Politics, Blog

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    As a citizen, a voter, and a consumer, what do you think this country needs? Less partisanship in Congress? Less Congress? Easier credit? Lower taxes? Higher taxes? There are about 307 million Americans and given the state of the American economy, perhaps there are as many answers to that question. Here’s what I say: I think we need a good shrink. I’m talking real, Freudian-style analysis, because, dear readers, we don’t seem to be paying […]

  • Killing America One Vote at a Time: Why the CFPB MattersGovernment, Politics, Blog

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    The Honorable Richard Shelby, Mitch McConnell and — to quote Spiro Agnew — “those nattering nabobs of negativism” (by which I mean the 43 senators who always say “never”) — sure had their turkey shoot last week. The innocent bystander was Richard Cordray, the president’s nominee for Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The targets were Barack Obama and the CFPB itself. However, when dinner is served, consumers throughout the land will come to […]

  • Tea Time for the OccupationGovernment, Politics, Blog

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    Historically, America’s greatness as a country could be measured by the social mobility of its citizens. If you worked hard enough at a well-defined goal, you could get where you’re going, no matter who you were or from where you started. Case in point, the election of Barack Obama — but is it really true that anyone can make a billion, and/or become President these days? Increasingly, the United States is a place of less […]

  • Consumers Be Damned: Senator Shelby, Captain Queeg and the Politics of NoGovernment, Politics, Blog, Personal Finance

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    Last week’s Senate Banking Committee hearing on the nomination of Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau featured prepared speeches that were utterly without sound and fury but still managed to do a huge disservice to American consumers. It felt like a really bad Capitol Hill reality show, devoid of all emotion, featuring actors who made Snooki and the Situation seem like “clean” coal shills at a global warming conference. Confirmation hearings are […]

  • Freddie and Fannie — Has Everyone Gone Postal?Government, Mortgages, Politics, Blog, Money

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    Between Freddie and Fannie’s latest woes and the United States Postal Service teetering on collapse, it’s been a bad week or so for quasi-governmental agencies. Late last week the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced that it was facing a shortfall of approximately $5.5 billion in terms of its obligations in the month of September, and that without Congressional action it might have to cease operations entirely during the winter of 2011. In a week […]

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