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  • Who’s Behind the Latest Bank Giveaway?

    Banking Blog 

    Last week offered a very good snapshot of the state of things in the wake of mortgage crisis. On the one hand, there was news of a woefully inadequate $8.5 billion settlement as “remedy” for irresponsible (and worse) behavior by mortgage servicers. On the other, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced regulations that might help stop such abuses from happening again. The two news items underscore the marked difference between a government agency that stands […]

  • Can Lessons From Lance Pump Up Your Finances?

    Financial Literacy Blog Personal Finance 

    Now that the interview has aired and Lance Armstrong is the poster boy for the dangers of running (or bicycling) from the truth, you knew it was only a matter of time before I figured out a way to turn it into a teachable moment for improving your credit portfolio. Hounded for years by former teammates and others close to his cycling team who alleged that he used banned drugs to win the Tour de […]

  • Financial info

    Forget Your Money Resolutions! You Need a Plan in 2013

    Financial Literacy Blog Personal Finance 

    We live in uncertain times. Uncertainty spooks financial markets and keeps a lid on lending. It gives millions of businesses a legitimate argument to sit on the sidelines hoarding trillions of dollars that could otherwise fuel meaningful economic expansion. That private sector money could fuel the most effective “stimulus program” this country has ever known if only some market confidence could be fostered. But these are all things that are beyond our control. Some degree […]

  • 9 Ways Disconnecting Doesn’t Make You Any Safer

    Blog Technology 

    A funny thing happened on my way from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. this week, I found myself on a flight without Wi-Fi. The prospect of being unplugged for more than four hours on a flying machine without the ability to communicate with (or distract) colleagues, with zero information from the outside world — let’s just say I almost lost it. I had two newspapers and a book by my favorite fiction writer, Vince Flynn, […]

  • Welcome to the Fiscal Blip. Demand More in 2013

    Government Politics Blog 

    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 […]

  • It’s Not You, It’s Your Credit Score: 7 Ways to Improve It in 2013

    Financial Literacy Blog Personal Finance Money 

    The dating world has been turned upside down (yet again). There is no new feature on Match.com, eHarmony, or Christian Mingle. Believe it or not, the culprit this time around is that universal theoretical measuring stick of financial maturity: the credit score. I came upon this fascinating story in the New York Times (though for a moment I thought I was reading a dating column in Cosmo). Apparently, the new normal involves both sides of […]

  • Cybergeddon or Cybersanity? Identity Theft in 2013

    Blog Identity Theft 

    In 2013, we’ll have to make a choice: Either we acknowledge we’re at war and push back hard, or we keep pretending nothing’s wrong — and pay the price. In the coming weeks, as we’ve seen every year for the past six, there will be endless reports detailing the digital dangers and identity threats lurking in every corner of our highly networked universe. But to what end? Despite considerable coverage and legislative initiatives, identity theft, […]

  • The Dodd-Frank Act Paved the Way for Effective Gun Laws

    Government Politics Blog 

    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 […]

  • How to Fix the Student Loan Crisis (for Real This Time)

    Education Blog 

    As Washington slides ever closer to the fiscal cliff, financial vortex, or whatever will be the next term du jour, and our national focus finally shifts to fixing that which has heretofore been deemed “unfixable,” perhaps 2013 is the year we endeavor to fix our very broken student loan system. In the first quarter of 1999, Americans owed $90 billion on student loans. It now exceeds $1 trillion. That’s not a bubble, dear friends, that’s […]

  • The Disturbing Inaction of Congress on the Mortgage Cliff

    Government Mortgages Politics Blog 

    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 […]

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