Americans don’t save enough - in 2005, Americans’ personal savings rate was negative for the first time since the Great Depression ─ instead of piling up savings, we are piling up debt. Two behavioral economics columns on how switching signup for a 401K plan from opt-in (say yes to be enrolled) to opt-out (say no to be un-enrolled) dramatically raises enrollment rates.Read More
Poor people are less likely to make smart financial decisions; however, new research in the U.S. says this is not about intelligence but rather about a brain being overwhelmed with issues related to poverty. To combat that barrier of stress, organizations around the world are making financial decisions easier for people experiencing poverty by making borrowing easier and automating future financial planning, like 401(k) contributions.Read More
Funding with too many strings attached makes it hard for non-profits to grow and be impactful. An American organization, Nonprofit Finance Fund (N.F.F.) Capital Partners division, is finding ways to finance non-profits likes companies and has already shown great success in pilot situations.Read More
Foreclosure affects millions of homeowners and millions more owe more on their mortgages than what their homes are worth, but Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People (ESOP), offers assistance. As a free service to borrowers, ESOP holds lenders accountable with fair lending agreements, creates constructive communication, and ultimately saves homes.Read More
In part, miscommunication between bankers, brokers and homeowners created the 2008 economic crisis. Protection laws mandating better labeling and trusted third-party intermediaries could improve communication and help prevent another crisis.Read More
More Than Wheels, a New Hampshire-based non-profit offers an economically stable solution to the high cost of owning a car. The program offers low-cost car loans that go toward the purchase of fuel-efficient vehicles.Read More
A panoply of responses to poverty has emerged to address poverty in the United States and abroad. The responses share in three key tactics: Measuring impact, paying for success, and collaboration.Read More
Many people who own a trailer home live in a corporate-owned community where the rent goes unregulated but it is too expensive to relocate the trailer. In New Hampshire many manufactured home communities are owned by resident co-ops.Read More
Lotteries aren’t usually considered part of the solution to a savings crisis experienced across America, particularly by the nation's poor, but with more hopefuls purchasing lottery tickets than setting aside rainy day funds, one organization, Doorways to Dreams, is working to change federal and state laws to allow banks to offer prize-linked savings. In Michigan, the programs have seen some success.Read More
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, necessity has bred an interesting kind of financial invention for the New York MTA: the world’s first “catastrophe” bond - a reinsurance for the insurer - designed to protect public transportation infrastructure, specifically against storm surge. These bonds privatize risk for public gain, creating a kind of tool that may protect economic development against all kinds of natural and man-made disasters around the world.Read More
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