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  • Google’s New Privacy Policy: Close But No Cigar

    Data Security Blog Privacy 

    Last week was a pretty good one for the notion of privacy in America, which has increasingly become forlorn and tattered as a result of the advancement of digital technology. First, the Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Jones that warrantless GPS tracking of a criminal suspect by the FBI was unconstitutional, and then later in the week Google announced its new privacy policy, a model of simplicity and fairness with one sizeable flaw. […]

  • The Real SOPA Opera Should Be ID Theft

    Blog Identity Theft 

    The Stop Online Piracy Act, and its sister legislation in the Senate, the Protect Intellectual Property Act caused quite a stir in Silicon Valley, Hollywood and Washington. The two bills were intended to put a hard stop on theft of intellectual property on the Internet, by means that are controversial in terms of the First Amendment. Big players from the overlapping worlds of movies and music pushed for this bill. So did their high priced […]

  • The S&P and the EU: Timing Is Everything

    Government Banking Blog Money 

    In keeping with a tradition firmly established in the 20th century, Europe suffered a late-night bombing raid on Friday evening. This time the attacker was Standard & Poor’s, everybody’s favorite rating agency, which announced well after the markets closed in New York it was downgrading the debt of no fewer than nine European countries. France was dropped one notch and therefore lost its prized AAA rating, and Italy and Spain both dropped two notches. Portugal’s […]

  • Hey Romney, It’s an Inauguration, Not a Coronation

    Government Politics Blog 

    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 Longshot

    Financial Literacy Government Banking Politics Blog Personal Finance 

    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 […]

  • The First Annual Most DisCREDITed Awards

    Financial Literacy Blog Personal Finance Money 

    Welcome to the first annual “Most disCredited Awards.” In a bad-economy year full of silly laws, mortgage miseries, political gaffes, Hatfield-McCoy feuding, credit downgrades, mysteriously rising prices, fee gouging of every description, and art-project political campaigns — whew(!) — I thought you might like a guide to help you to weed out the ridiculous from the truly tragic. So what follows are the awards for the worst ideas, policies and personalities of 2011. Most disCredited […]

  • Foreclosure mortgage

    Foreclosure Review Deadline Looms: Opt In By Monday, Or Risk Losing Cash

    Personal Finance 

    If you were in foreclosure in 2009 or 2010, you’ve got until Monday, Dec. 31 to request of independent review of your case. You’ve got nothing to lose except a chance at free money. Pursuant to a settlement between federal bank regulators and 14 mortgage servicers, homeowners in foreclosure in 2009 or 2010 have until Monday to sign up to have their cases reviewed and these reviews can lead to some form of compensation for homeowners. […]

  • Fannie, Freddie & Freud: Washington Needs a Shrink

    Government Mortgages Politics Blog 

    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 Matters

    Government Politics Blog 

    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 […]

  • Memo to American Consumers: You Just Got Screwed… Again

    Government Mortgages Blog Personal Finance Money 

    The too-big-to-fail boys and their GOP handmaidens — the Hon. Richard Shelby, the Hon. Mitch McConnell and the other 43 legislative dwarves in the U.S. Senate — have struck again. Today, they blocked the confirmation of Richard Cordray as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is the first federal regulator with the sole purpose of protecting regular people from the likes of financial scoundrels. Plain and simple — just like we experienced a […]

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