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  • NOBAR: Could It End the Credit Gap and Get Banks Lending Again?

    Government Banking Blog Personal Finance Money 

    While a whole lot of folks are obsessed with what to do about, or to, the 1%, I would like focus on an issue involving the 90%. This isn’t about the wealth or income gap. It’s about the credit gap. It’s driving the Fed crazy and stifling the economy. Here’s the problem. Right now, banks are lending the bulk of mortgage money to people who have great credit, but are less likely to spend the […]

  • Hackers: If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Pay ‘Em Like Bankers

    Data Security Blog Technology 

    So what’s it worth to you to prevent world-wide economic collapse, or even a major interruption of essential services, like power or water? These are not hypothetical questions. Nor will they be caused by the Eurozone disaster, a double-dip recession, the disintegration of institutions deemed “too big to fail,” or government spending run amok. I am talking about cybergeddon — or the endgame of cyber warfare. A concept well-worn in national security organization conference rooms […]

  • Did Facebook’s Privacy Problems Foretell the IPO?

    Blog Privacy Identity Theft Technology 

    For anyone who plays the stock market — and I confess I do from time to time — the drama that unfolded over the past couple of weeks surrounding the Facebook IPO reminded me of the “give them bread and circuses philosophy” of the Roman Empire, except this time the Empire kept the bread. The whole thing is so, well… Facebook. We should have seen it coming. Facebook’s approach to its IPO was consistent with […]

  • Hello Citizens United, Goodbye CFPB: Consequences of the Wisconsin Recall

    Government Politics Blog 

    I have watched with horror Republican efforts to emasculate, strangle and kill the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. At present, there are at least nine pieces of legislation (that we know of) snaking their way through Congress that would dismantle a number of the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act and in the process annihilate the CFPB in the process. I am convinced that if the masters of the universe sieze the White House and further […]

  • A National Service Corps Can Solve the Student Loan Crisis

    Government Education Blog 

    Suddenly, and finally, everywhere we turn somebody is talking about the student debt disaster. Headlines scream it. The presidential campaigns are beginning to seriously talk about it. Congress is starting to focus on it, well….as only Congress does. Last week, once again demonstrating its ability to turn a simple box into a Rubik’s Cube, in two separate votes a majority of Democrats and Republicans rejected each other’s proposals to extend the low 3.4% rate on […]

  • Is It True About Commencement Speeches? (A Response to James Franco)

    Education Blog 

    Over the past few months, in preparation for and in reflection of the commencement address I had the privilege of giving at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University on May 12, I watched scores of them on YouTube and read literally hundreds of them as well as their reviews. A few days after my speech, I came upon a piece by actor/director/producer James Franco on the subject of commencement addresses with […]

  • Crowdsourcing the Student Loan Mess

    Government Education Blog Personal Finance 

    For the record, I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Hitler Youth. I point this out because based on the comments to my last few columns (which focused on the idea that a National Service Corps could help solve our student debt crisis) it would seem that some of you — not too many, thankfully — seem to think I’m affiliated with the organization. This, as you can imagine, […]

  • Student loan

    It’s Time to Solve the Student Loan Crisis

    Government Education Blog 

    If you’re worried about student loan debt, what it means for graduating seniors and for the future of our nation, congratulations. That means you’re paying attention. Now that Americans owe over $1 trillion in student debt, more than they owe on their credit cards, many people are beginning to see that our country’s current way of paying for college cannot be sustained. Unfortunately, as I mentioned in this space last week, our leaders are not […]

  • The Other Student Loan Slow Jam: Is It Time for a National Service Corps?

    Government Education Blog 

    If you haven’t taken the time to watch Obama slow jam the news on Late Night from last week, take the time. It was a political masterstroke that so infuriated conservatives (because they’re incapable of approaching that level of coolness), that they actually tried to make being cool, uncool. It, of course, was not that cool. The slow jam was all about student loans, and though it may have been a big deal for Jimmy […]

  • Say Something Already! Obama and Romney’s Housing Crisis

    Government Mortgages Politics Blog Personal Finance 

    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 […]