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Sep 22, 2010

Nick Nicolaas Discusses the directional Change from Public to Private Investment. Sept. 22nd., 2010

09/22/10 ‘MIDWEEK’ with Nick Nicolaas

"Mayday - Mayday - Mayday"

Nick Nicolaas discusses the directional change from
Public to Private investment

Stay Tuned for Midweek with Nick Nicolaas
when we will discuss ‘Martin Armstrong’,
America's #1 Political Prisoner and author of the
‘Economic Confidence Model’


Mike Maloney Schools Bankers on Deflation (Part 1 of 2). Sept. 22nd., 2010

Capital IQ Power Moves : Barclays Capital Appoints Tom Quarmby and Jon Windham.

Taken from Capital IQ Power Moves

MarketWatch : Personal Finance Daily : Home prices and jobless rates. Sept. 22nd., 2010


Personal Finance Daily
SEPTEMBER 22, 2010

Wednesday's Personal Finance stories

Don't miss these top stories:

By MarketWatch

Is it a good thing or a bad thing to live in one of the most expensive housing markets in the country? What about living in the cheapest city? In some ways, it's relative, since salaries vary geographically too, at least somewhat. You're not going to earn in Detroit what you'd make in Greenwich, Conn., unless, maybe, you're a car-company executive. What matters is that you can find work and that you like your city. If you're a homeowner, you want to live in a market that's appreciating. If you're hoping to buy your first home, well, then cheaper tends to be better.

Read Amy Hoak's story for a look at the 10 priciest and 10 cheapest housing markets. Also, don't miss her column on how, thanks to the bank-reform law, the government soon will collect more data about you when you apply for a home loan.

Also, don't miss Kristen Gerencher's Vital Signs for the latest effects of another sweeping piece of legislation: the health-care reform law that President Barack Obama signed six months ago. Starting Thursday, health plans won't be allowed to limit your lifetime benefits, and your child can stay on your health plan until he or she is 26 years old. But read the story to find out why some of these new rules may not apply to you right away.

There are reasons, of course, why houses in one city cost more than those in another — namely supply and demand. The ideal situation from a personal-finance perspective is to have a great, high-paying job in a cheap city. But in some cases, such as Detroit, that's exactly where the jobs aren't. That city is among the most affordable housing markets, with the unemployment rate there is about 15% right now. In San Francisco, one of the most expensive markets, the unemployment rate is about 10.8%.

On the other hand, there are plenty of places with relatively low unemployment and cheaper homes that won't show up on a top 10 list. I'd venture to guess home prices in Fayetteville, Ark., don't touch the top 10 most expensive, yet the unemployment rate there in August was 6.4%.

Andrea Coombes , Personal Finance editor

The 10 most expensive cities to buy a home

Newport Beach, Calif., is the most expensive real-estate market in the country and Detroit is the most affordable, according to a report by Coldwell Banker.
Read more on the 10 most expensive cities to buy a home.


Health-care changes kick in

Parents who want to add their adult children to their health plans and people concerned they'll burn through low annual limits on their health benefits if they get sick are about to get some relief as the health-reform provisions kick in.
Read more on health-care changes kick in.

Abbott recalls powdered baby formula

Abbott Laboratories (ABT) said Wednesday it is recalling its Similac-brand powdered infant formulas after finding bugs in the popular product.
Read more on Abbott recalls powdered baby formula.


Time to stop worshiping small businesses

America worships small businesses as the main engine of growth in the economy, but that's largely a myth, perpetuated by leaders looking for simple answers to our economic problems.
Read more on time to stop worshiping small businesses


The 10 most expensive U.S. housing markets in pictures

Homes for sale in Newport Beach, Calif., have an average listing price of $1.83 million, the highest in the United States, according to Coldwell Banker's Home Listing Report. The data cover February to August and specifically look at four-bedroom, two-bath houses.
See the 10 most expensive U.S. housing markets in picture

What the government knows about your mortgage

The government already collects information about you and your mortgage when you apply for a home loan, including your race, sex, income level and the tract of land on which the house sits.
Read more on what the government knows about your mortgage

U.S. house prices lowest in nearly six years

U.S. house prices fell 0.5% in July to the lowest level in nearly six years, according to data released Wednesday by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
Read more on U.S. house prices lowest in nearly six years.

Commentary: Housing isn't close to stabilizing

Much has been written about the so-called "shadow inventory" since the term was first coined a few years ago.
Read more on housing isn't close to stabilizing.


Delta workers to hold union elections

Some 16,000 passenger service employees at Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) are expected to hold an election soon on whether they want union representation, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers said Wednesday.
Read more on Delta Air Lines workers to hold union elections.


Fantasy Earnings Trader: Play for free

MarketWatch's David Callaway introduces Fantasy Earnings Trader, a new free game from our Virtual Stock Exchange platform. Test your stock-picking talents against our experts during earnings season and win a new Apple iPad. The game begins Oct 4.
 Watch video on Fantasy Earnings Trader: Play for free

Seven investments that beat stocks now

Only the most bearish market analysts really expect us to get back to the March 2009 lows anytime soon.
Read more on seven investments that beat stocks now.


Talk radio's a hit in nasty political climate

The nastiest political climate the United States has seen in 40-plus years isn't negative for everyone. For hosts of conservative talk shows in particular, as well as for the companies that syndicate their programs, things couldn't be better.
Read more on talk radio's a hit in nasty political climate.

Commentary: Summers' end brings little hope of change in economic policy

Three down and one to go is what House minority leader John Boehner is saying to himself with a smile after the White House this week announced the departure of senior economic adviser Larry Summers.
Read more on Summers' end brings little hope of change in economic policy.

Commentary: How will history remember the Allison-Tarp era?

The midterm exodus from the Obama administration continues. Herbert Allison who oversaw the Treasury Department's bank bailout is stepping down.
Read more on how will history remember the Allison-Tarp era?

GATA : THE GATA DISPATCH : Don't trade yourself out, Turk warns precious metals investors / Like China, Japan considers buying resources abroad. Sept. 22nd., 2010

Don't trade yourself out, Turk warns precious metals investors

5:32p ET Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold (and Silver):
In a seven-minute interview with Eric King of King World News today, GoldMoney founder and GATA consultant James Turk warns precious metals investors not to trade themselves out of their positions. Instead Turk urges steady accumulation for the long term as a form of savings in sound money. You can listen to the Internet at King World News here:
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

Like China, Japan considers buying resources abroad

Moves to Weaken Yen Not Over, Kan Says
By Mure Dickie and Michiyo Nakamoto
Financial Times, London
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
TOKYO -- Japan stands ready to intervene again in foreign exchange markets but also plans to put in place broader economic and monetary policies that will help to weaken the yen, according to Naoto Kan, the prime minister.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Kan stressed that Tokyo's yen-selling intervention last week was forced by "drastic" exchange rate moves, a reference to the 15-year highs Japan's currency hit against the dollar following his victory in a ruling party leadership battle.
Mr Kan said there was a "common recognition" among G20 nations that overly rapid currency movements were undesirable and that he would seek to promote understanding of Japan's action in New York this week.
While some European and US politicians have criticised Tokyo for acting unilaterally, Mr Kan made clear his government was ready to continue to intervene alone if necessary.
In his first interview since becoming prime minister in June, he said: "If there is a drastic change (in the currency), such intervention is unavoidable."
But Mr Kan stressed that Tokyo wanted to create a "total" package of measures to expand domestic demand and encourage a more appropriate currency level. One possibility, he said, was to use the yen's strength to invest in natural resources overseas, adding that continued efforts by the Bank of Japan to set appropriate monetary policy were also essential.
"I think it is necessary to combine economic policy and monetary policies that will be conducive to ... a (yen exchange rate) slightly lower than the current level," Mr Kan said.
The prime minister waved aside suggestions that Tokyo's intervention made it harder to persuade China to allow the renminbi to rise against the dollar.
Tokyo was suffering from drastic currency movements while concerns about Beijing centred on the maintenance of its dollar peg despite sustained economic growth, Mr Kan said. "I think the issues of China's renminbi and Japan's yen are completely different."
Mr Kan's visit to New York comes at a difficult time, with Beijing demanding the immediate release of a Chinese fishing boat captain detained after clashes with Japan's Coast Guard near disputed islands.
In spite of growing tensions, Mr Kan said: "I think that if it is dealt with calmly, it is entirely possible this will be a temporary problem."
Mr Kan will on Wednesday give a speech to a UN summit on the Millennium Development Goals at which he will highlight Japan's contribution with initiatives which involve healthcare policies for mothers and babies and an approach to basic education known as "School for All."
He said he would focus on two new initiatives that are intended to tap Japan's rich experience in social policy for the benefit of developing and poor nations.

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Saturday-Sunday, September 25-26, 2010
Metro Toronto Convention Center, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The Silver Summit
Thursday-Friday, October 21-22, 2010
Davenport Hotel, Spokane, Washington

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Wednesday-Saturday, October 27-30, 2010
Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel

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CNBC EVENING BRIEF : What, Exactly, Is the Federal Reserve Trying to Tell Us?. Sept. 22nd., 2010


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FINANCIAL & FOREX INFO NEWS : Reuters - daily Investor Update

Indexes end down, led by techs and Nasdaq
Blockbuster expected to file Chapter 11: source
Potash Corp sues BHP, escalates takeover battle
Timing of Goldman case "suspicious": SEC watchdog
Dell CEO says annual rev to surpass $60 billion
Home loan demand ebbs
Wealthy benefit most from tax subsidies: study
Adobe shares plunge on concerns of weak product demand
Geithner: Banks can meet capital rules with profits
Banks value social responsibility more after crisis

RTTNews: Evening Market Wrap : Stocks See Moderate Slide Amid Continued Economic Uncertainty - U.S. Commentary . Sept. 22nd. 2010

Evening Market Wrap Wed Sep 22 17:01 2010  


Sep 22, 2010 Stocks See Moderate Slide Amid Continued Economic Uncertainty - U.S. Commentary Stocks saw moderate downside on Wednesday, as the footing of the economic recovery remained uncertain in light of the Federal Reserve's indicated willingness to commit to further quantitative easing measures. Full Article

Forex Commentary

Sep 22, 2010 Dollar Hits Lowest Since May Versus Euro The dollar fell further versus most major currencies on Wednesday, as traders continued to digest the Federal Reserve's comments indicating a willingness to further ease monetary policy to support the economy. European debt concerns were eased by another successful bond offering in Portugal. Borrowing costs have been high, but Spain and Ireland have also drawn strong investor demand for their public debt. Full Article

Political News

Sep 22, 2010 Poll Shows Paladino Within Shouting Distance In NY Governor's RaceWhile recent polls had shown Democratic Attorney General Andrew Cuomo with a commanding lead in New York's gubernatorial race, the results of a Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday showed Cuomo with just a six-point lead over Republican businessman Carl Paladino. The poll showed that 49 percent of likely New York voters said they would vote for Cuomo compared to 43 percent that said they would vote for Paladino. Full Article
Sep 22, 2010 Treasury Secretary Defends Financial Bailout As Unfair But NecessaryTreasury Secretary Timothy Geithner Wednesday offered a spirited defense of the federal government's $700 billion intervention to prop up the nation's financial institutions. Geithner, speaking at a forum for Treasury Department employees overseeing the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, said that while the measure wasn't popular it had been "absolutely instrumental in keeping our nation out of a second Great Depression. Full Article
Sep 22, 2010 Democrats Likely To Face Another GOP Filibuster Of Campaign Spending BillAfter failing to secure enough votes to move forward on a key defense spending bill on Tuesday, Senate Democrats are expected to bring a controversial campaign finance reform bill up for a vote on Thursday but are likely to face similar Republican opposition. The motion to move forward on the defense bill, which included a provision to repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, failed by a vote of 56 to 43, with all of the Republicans in the chamber voting against the measure. Full Article

NYT : Afternoon Business News : Apologizing, Egg Producer Says His Business Grew Too Quickly. Sept.22nd., 2010


Apologizing, Egg Producer Says His Business Grew Too Quickly

Austin J. DeCoster testified before a Congressional panel investigating an outbreak that sickened more than 1,500 people.

Facebook Hopes Virtual Credits Make Real Dollars

The currency, Credits, passed a milestone as the top developer of Facebook applications adopted it this month.

Seeking Bank Secrecy in Asia

For centuries, Switzerland has been the sanctuary of choice for wealthy people seeking to hide their fortunes and evade taxes. Now the rich are flocking to Singapore and Hong Kong.

Chief to Depart as Asset Relief Program Winds Down

Herbert M. Allison Jr.'s departure as the head of the Troubled Asset Relief Program marks him as the second Obama administration official in two days to announce plans to step down.

Cash-Strapped Spain Struggles With High Cost of Power

A new energy strategy to raise self-sufficiency at an affordable cost was due before the summer break, but the government has yet to present any sort of plan.

U.S. Department Of The Treasury Press Release : Obama Administration September Housing Scorecard Shows Continued Advances in Housing Market. Sept.22nd., 2010

Obama Administration September Housing Scorecard Shows Continued Advances in Housing Market
September 22, 2010
Obama Administration September Housing Scorecard Shows Continued Advances in Housing Market, but Challenges Remain
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury today released the September edition of the Obama Administration's Housing Scorecard (, a comprehensive report on the nation's housing market. The latest housing figures show continued signs of stabilization in house prices. Although existing and new home sales declined in July, recent data shows housing starts rebounded in August.

"Over the last 17 months, the Obama Administration has taken comprehensive action to keep interest rates at record lows, provide incentives to responsible homebuyers, and help millions of families stay in their homes," said HUD Assistant Secretary Raphael Bostic. "But we're certainly not going to stop fighting to turn things around.  That's why we are focusing on successfully implementing the programs we have put in place, such as additional assistance on refinancing and helping unemployed homeowners stay in their homes, and will continue to monitor the market closely in case more is needed."

"We've been steadily enhancing our programs to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure," said Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Herb Allison. "We understand that the foreclosure crisis can be highly localized and some regions have seen severe home price declines and faced severe unemployment.  As a result, we have announced more than $4 billion for states hit hardest by this crisis.  Our goal is to help build a sustainable, long-term housing recovery. As part of that effort, we have delivered critical support to struggling homeowners while the market continues to heal."

The September Housing Scorecard features key data on the health of the housing market including:
  • Families continued to benefit from the lowest rates in history on 30-year fixed mortgages. Since April of 2009, record low rates have helped more than 7.1 million homeowners to refinance, resulting in more stable home prices and $12.7 billion in total borrower savings.
  • Existing and new home sales shifted downward in July, though stabilizing housing prices drove improving expectations in some regions. As expected with the expiration of the Homebuyer Tax Credit, new and existing home sales showed a dip in July. At the same time, home prices have leveled off in the past year after 30 straight months of decline and homeowners added $95 billion in home equity in the second quarter.
  • More than twice as many modification arrangements have begun compared to foreclosure completions. More than 3.35 million modification arrangements were started between April 2009 and the end of July 2010.  These included more than 1.3 million trial Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) modification starts, more than 510,000 Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loss mitigation and early delinquency interventions, and nearly 1.6 million proprietary modifications under HOPE Now. The number of agreements offered continued to more than double foreclosure completions for the same period (1.24 million).
  • More than 468,000 permanent modifications granted to homeowners; more than 33,000 homeowners received a HAMP permanent modification in August. In addition, servicers continue to work aggressively through their backlog of pending modifications, which is expected to decline in coming months. Homeowners in permanent HAMP modifications have a median monthly payment reduction of 36 percent, or more than $500 per month.  Homeowners in permanent modifications saw their median first-lien housing expenses fall from nearly 45 percent of their monthly household income to 31 percent.
Each month, the Housing Scorecard incorporates key housing market indicators and highlights the impact of the Administration's unprecedented housing recovery efforts, including assistance to homeowners through the FHA and HAMP. The Obama Administration's complete Housing Scorecard is available at:

U.S. Department Of The Treasury : Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Michael S. Barr CFED Asset Learning Conference. Sept. 22nd., 2010

Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Michael S. Barr CFED Asset Learning Conference
September 22, 2010
Remarks by Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions
Michael S. Barr
CFED Asset Learning Conference
Hello, it is great to be here with all of you.  What an amazing assemblage of people who care deeply about all Americans being able to save, build assets, and invest in their future and our country's future.  The feeling of power and energy in this room is palpable.  Thank you to Andrea and the Corporation for Enterprise Development for inviting me to speak with you today.  When President Obama came into office a little more than 18 months ago, our financial markets were frozen, our economy was shrinking, and we were facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. We were losing nearly 800,000 jobs a month. Small businesses were closing their doors. Home prices were in free fall.  The President broke the back of the financial crisis, stabilized the housing market, and restarted economic growth.  Today, the Administration's efforts have stabilized our financial system, started the economy growing again, and reduced the widespread harm brought by the failed policies of the past. 
Even though the economy is healing and businesses are starting to hire again, it will take time to fully heal the scars of the crisis. We were stuck in a deep hole, and millions of Americans are still suffering from the damage caused by the policies of the past. 
Over the last decade, the poverty rate climbed to 14.3 percent. Now, 1 in 7 Americans lives in poverty.  These families were the least prepared to handle the shock of the recession.  Low and moderate income households usually have little or no savings to fall back on when they face a personal economic crisis, such as losing a job, a medical emergency, or the need for a major car repair.  These realities are something many of you know all too well.  You have seen this first hand with the families you work with. 
Enabling low- and moderate-income families to build assets will not solve all of these issues, but it will help create greater financial stability for individuals and families. It will allow families to invest in their future by helping them build retirement savings, save for an education, or save to buy a house.  Financial stability and the ability to invest in the future is a pragmatic imperative for American families. 
This administration has moved forward aggressively with asset building initiatives for low-and moderate-income Americans.  We, in partnership with many of you, are building the solid foundation required to encourage and empower people to save for the short and long term.  Asset building requires three significant components: financial education, financial access, and consumer protection. 
Financial Education is critical.  People need the financial skills and knowledge to help them make good decisions.  The Treasury Department in conjunction with the Financial Literacy and Education Commission has recently issued a draft of core financial competencies.  The development of core competencies is a fundamental step in establishing a clear understanding about what individuals should know and the basic concepts program providers should cover.  Furthermore, the Core Competencies are particularly important in establishing a baseline of knowledge, which is crucial for both individuals and providers of financial education.  This baseline of knowledge addresses the current lack of consistency in various financial literacy programs in identifying goals and objectives including how program success is measured, and what financial information and problem-solving skills participants can be expected to acquire. 
There is also significant evidence to show that financial education is most effective when it is immediately relevant, is part of a financial decision, and there is a product or services that will allow the individual to carry out their decision, which brings us to the next key piece. 
Financial education must go hand-in-hand with Financial Access.    Individuals need the knowledge to make good financial decisions, but that knowledge is not helpful unless they have access to safe and affordable products.  Likewise, if individuals have access, but a poor understanding of how to use the products or services, the chance for misuse or that they will be taken advantage of is much greater.  Effective financial education and financial access combine together to create Financial Capability: The ability of individuals to make and execute good financial choices for themselves and their families. 
I want to talk a bit more about access.  First, there is access to basic financial services, because without basic financial access, asset building becomes much more difficult.  Low- and moderate-income households in the United States often lack access to basic, mainstream financial services.  An estimated 9 million households do not even have a bank account[1] -- the service that is usually the starting point for entry into the formal financial system.  Without bank accounts, these families face high costs for conducting basic financial transactions through check cashers and other alternative financial services providers.  These families find it more difficult to save and plan financially for the future.  Living paycheck to paycheck leaves them vulnerable to medical or job emergencies that may endanger their financial stability, and a lack of longer-term savings undermines their ability to invest in continuing education, purchase a home, or send their children to college.  Another 21 million households are underbanked, which means they have a bank account, but are not well served by those accounts and still rely on alternative financial services for money orders, check cashing, and pay-day loans[2]
Mainstream financial services providers have made some strides towards expanding access.  But our financial services industry is still bifurcated, with mainstream financial services products inadequately tailored to the needs of the unbanked and underbanked or to low- and moderate- income households.  As a result, these households too frequently do not or cannot avail themselves of the opportunities to build assets and create wealth that mainstream financial services products can give people. 
Furthermore, the current product offerings of many banks are not meeting the needs of the unbanked and underbanked consumers.  These products and services need to be able to meet the customers' needs with reasonable costs, and must also be sustainable for banks.  Overdraft and other fees are one of the best examples of this mismatch.  The FDIC did a terrific study of these programs in 2008, and its results were troubling.  The FDIC found that overdraft fees hit low-income areas and households the most, and that 14% of account holders – those living paycheck to paycheck – pay over 90% of total non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees.  Debit card transactions comprise the most frequent type of overdraft; in these cases, the amount of the transaction – a median of $20 – is generally lower than the size of the fee – a median of $27.  If this loan – generally unasked for – is repaid in two weeks, the APR calculates to over 3,500 percent.[3]  In addition, the FDIC's National Survey of the Unbanked and Underbanked in 2009 examined the reasons that previous banked people closed their accounts.  20%[4] of these account closures were due to too many overdrafts or bounced checks or service charges being too high.  The previously banked are a significant segment of the unbanked, roughly 50%[5].  These fees are driving low-income people out of the banking system. 
Our discourse seems to be stuck in this current argument that there can only be a trade-off between banks making money and low-income customers having affordable and safe accounts, and that both cannot happen simultaneously.  That is not right.  Banks do need to be able to make a reasonable profit in this segment to have a long term sustainable solution to address the unbanked.  There is a need to leap forward out of the current paradigm I described.  That leap will be fueled by new product and service innovation.  There has been significant movement in technology advances.  Reloadable prepaid debit cards and bank accounts with only debit card access hold promise as a low-cost financial transaction tool.  Mobile applications – such as texting to convey account information or facilitate remote check deposits – are growing and expanding service offerings with the potential to reduce costs. 
The unbanked and underbanked currently spend billions of dollars on high-priced alternative financial services.  The banking industry is undergoing changes and seeking to find new business models to grow and prosper.  It appears that there is a great opportunity for innovation that can both address the needs of the unbanked and underbanked in a safe and affordable way, as well as provide profitable and sustainable products for banks.  We hope that these innovations will both reduce the cost to serve the customer and provide services that better meet customers' needs. 
We also need access to asset building resources.  The nature and the amount of resources that are devoted to encouraging asset building have a significant impact on asset building.  The vast majority of asset building resources benefit middle- and upper-income families, who are able to take advantage of tax subsidies that promote homeownership and retirement savings.  There is a need to make more resources available to encourage low and moderate-income individuals to build assets and the Obama Administration is taking steps in that direction. 
In addition, initiatives for access and asset building must build on what we have learned from behavioral economics about how people make financial decisions and what we can do to encourage them to save.  We need to empower consumers to make good choices for themselves and their families. We need to recognize that inertia is a powerful part of human decision. Anything that we can do to create an automated aspect to savings decisions has a lasting impact. How choices are framed and ordered can also have big impacts, which requires us to be intentional about the architecture of choice; defaults are ubiquitous and powerful, so choose the default wisely, and people view gain and loss differently, so an assurance of safety can be an attractive draw to save.  These are just a few of the lessons that behavioral economics has taught us about human behavior.  These and other lessons should be considered wisely to access and asset building efforts. 
The President's 2011 budget begins an effort to commit more resources to asset building for low- and moderate-income people.  Let me highlight a few specific proposals. 
Automatic IRAs would offer convenient access to tax-favored saving for workers whose employers do not currently offer a 401(k) or any other retirement saving plan.  Currently, half of American workers have no opportunity to save for retirement at work.  Under this proposal, most private sector employees working for employers with more than 10 employees who are not currently covered by a workplace retirement plan would be given the opportunity to save through regular payroll deposits that start and continue automatically, unless the worker elects out, and the savings would be deposited into the worker's own IRA.  The employer would receive a temporary tax credit. The automatic IRA approach is intended to help these households save by overcoming the barrier of inertia. 
Expansion and enhancement of the Saver's Credit will make it more valuable to lower income workers and to cover millions of additional households.  The proposal would provide a uniform refundable 50% credit as a direct-savings match for low- and moderate-income workers who contribute to retirement-savings plans, whether or not they have any federal income tax liability.  All eligible savers would receive equitable tax treatment.
We've proposed reform of asset limit rules that determine eligibility for public assistance programs, so they encourage, rather than discourage, saving.  This enables low-income people on public assistance programs to build savings that can be used to invest in their future to help them climb out of poverty.
Our proposed Bank On USA initiative will encourage local and state collaborations between government, financial service providers, community organizations, and financial educators to address basic financial access issues and innovative savings approaches.
And the Administration has begun to take action on the great opportunity to improve the tax administration process while simultaneously providing opportunity for low- and moderate-income people to get access and build assets. That means:
  1. Making tax time safer by licensing and examining tax preparers.
  2. Eliminating the provision of the debt indicator to banks for use in making refund anticipation loans.
  3. Undertaking a tax time account pilot that will launch in 2011, and will inform the structure and value of expanded tax time account efforts in the future.
  4. Exploring how to allow individuals to pay for tax preparation directly out of their refund with proper fraud protection.
  5. Improving the process to make it possible for people to save part or all of their tax refund by enabling direct purchase of savings bonds in the tax process.
All of these efforts must take place on a level playing field.  That is why Consumer Protection is another critical building block to asset building for all.  Without these changes long-term growth will be weakened and families, businesses, and taxpayers will be exposed to unnecessary risk.  The pain our country has endured in the recent past should leave no doubt about the high-cost of failing to have either in place.  The Administration worked in partnership with Congress to craft and pass the Dodd-Frank Act that the President signed into law.  This law will deliver the financial reform and consumer protection we need.  Thank you to all of you who worked in partnership with the Administration to pass this historic legislation. 
One of the central aspects of this legislation is the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, whose sole mission is to look out for American consumers and empower them with the clear and concise information they need to make the financial decisions that are best for them and their families.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will create a level playing field for all providers of consumer financial products and services, regardless of their charter or corporate form.  It will ensure high and uniform standards across the market. It will help lead efforts to increase financial literacy.  It will rein in misleading sales pitches and hidden traps, and foster competition on the basis of price and quality.  In short it will enable markets to work fairly based on clear information. 
At the Treasury Department, we have been working aggressively on the creation of this new bureau.  We are determining how to consolidate core authorities that are currently fragmented across several federal agencies.  We are working to ensure fairness and transparency for mortgages, credit cards, and other consumer financial services.  We are taking a hard look at large nonbank providers of other consumer financial services, such as credit bureaus and debt collectors.  We are planning for the provision of consumer assistance and education nationwide, including literacy programs, online resources, and a consumer complaints hotline.  We are working to establish the offices that will focus on protecting military families and seniors that will exist within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  In sum, we are launching the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to empower American families.
Those are the three major building blocks to help spur asset building for all: financial education, financial access, and consumer protection. 
There is another building block that is as important, if not more important, than all the rest.  This is the Asset Building Movement.  That is all of you.  You are what has gotten us to this moment.  We have accomplished so much and have the opportunity to accomplish much more.  If it were not for all of you we would not be where we are today. 
1.)     You have organized people to fight for asset building policies.
2.)     You have encouraged people to utilize programs that work. For example, tax time savings bonds, IDAs, and the EITC.
3.)     You have supported local Bank On efforts to foster savings and build assets.
4.)     You have innovated and taken good risks on new approaches.
5.)     You have demonstrated that the best ideas for getting to scale are ones that are sustainable for businesses as well as individuals.
6.)     Statistics and evaluation are important and what good programs should be built on, but you have also told the individual stories of success that move people to action.
Thank you again for the opportunity to speak with you today.  You are all amazing and we look forward to working together with you to build a Stronger America.  An America where working hard and playing by the rules means security for our families and hope for our future. Where firms compete based on price and quality, not tricks and traps. Where old fashioned values of thrift are rewarded.  And where once again America leads the world.  Thank you very much.

[1] FDIC National Survey of the Unbanked and Underbanked 2009.
[2] FDIC National Survey of the Unbanked and Underbanked 2009.
[3] FDIC Study of Bank Overdraft Programs (November 2008).
[4] FDIC National Survey of the Unbanked and Underbanked 2009.
[5] FDIC National Survey of the Unbanked and Underbanked 2009.

MarketWatch Special Financial Services : Goldman analyst tries to fill banking ‘void’. Sept. 22nd., 2010

The Ratings Game: Goldman analyst tries to fill banking ‘void’
By Alistair Barr MarketWatch

Dividends, buybacks may get U.S. bank stocks out of valuation ‘no man’s land,’ Ramsden says 

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GURUS BLOG : Twenty Five Years Later . More Social Spending And The Same Ratio Of Poverty. Sept. 22nd., 2010.


Twenty-five years later. More social spending and the same ratio of poverty

evolucion gasto social y ratio pobreza españa
Though only with cold data can not be removed , if it is interesting to have a look from time to time and that can sometimes surprise us. Particularly, I have quite surprised statistics OECD concerning the evolution of expenditure social on GDP and poverty rate. We focus on the case of Spain, but the pattern is quite similar in other developed countries.
All we have in principle the perception that our country and our society has grown significantly over the past 25 years ( talk about the period between from 1985 to 2004 full housing bubble and where they multiplied fish and bread ). Significant improvements in social rights, better health , better infrastructure and yet the rate of poverty in our country has remained stable despite a increase in social spending considerable , not only as % of GDP but also in absolute value for growth has had the GDP in our country against population growth .
In 1985In Spain was devoted to spending social 18% of GDP and our poverty rate was 14 % of the population. From that year things were progressing , up to 1993, where he started a crisis severe economic .
España tasa pobreza gasto social
In 1993The spending social represented 24% of GDP and the poverty rate had fallen to 12% of the population. Sorpende a little 6-point increase in social spending only have reduced by 2 % poverty rate , but then something had advanced.
España tasa pobreza gasto social
Since 1993 , we reverse. The spending social is reducedAnd comes at 2004 to represent 22 % GDP (although in absolute value I'm sure increases a lot) and poverty rate returns to the 1985 , is again a 14%.
España tasa pobreza gasto social
This phenomenon also occurs in other countries, some even more aggravated yet. For example , in 1985 Germany spending social represented 25 % of GDP and had a poverty rate of 8%. In 2004 , the poverty rate had increased to 11% although spending social had come to represent 28% of GDP.
Surely there are explanations for this phenomenon, but something is not working quite right, when developed countries continue to increase social spending, and in principle one of the main objectives that should have this policy should be to reduce poverty. Either there is structural poverty in each country that can not be reduced (which I hope not) or investment spending social is not being managed efficiently or not being spent on who should be designed or perhaps , and also hope so , whenever the economic developed are less competitive and had it not been for the expenditure social rates poverty us have shot at every time we need more money to keep poverty under control.