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The Ladder

A Blog from New America's Asset Building Program

The Fed Gives Consumers an Early Christmas Present

December 24, 2008

<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <![endif]-->Last week the Federal Reserve released some long awaited new credit card rules that will provide important new protections for consum

Learning from the SEED Demonstration of Child Accounts

December 19, 2008

Back in 2003, we partnered with a number of organiziations interested in savings and asset building to launch the SEED Demonstration which sought to test the potential of children's savings accounts. You can check out details of the effort here, but one of the original objectives was to create a foundation for an informed national policy.

Fair Housing, Predatory Lending, and Just Where Does the NYTimes Come Down on the Community Revinvestment Act (CRA)

December 18, 2008

After our event yesterday on Responsible Homeownership featuring FDIC Chair Sheila Bair and researchers from the Center for Community Capital at UNC, I was approached by Nandinee Kutty.

YES WE DID! Save, that is

December 16, 2008

Members of "Generation Net" aka the "Millenials" are commonly characterized as having technological prowess, needing instant gratification and consumption, requiring frequent praise and recognition, and offering a weaker work ethic than any preceding generation.

Asset Building Event: Responsible Homeownership (Featuring FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair)

December 15, 2008

As 2008 draws to a close, over 2 million families have already lost their homes or are facing foreclosure. Many homeowners in need of relief are wondering if help will be on the way anytime soon.

"We are doing everything we can to be responsible," said Aoah Middleton, who started missing mortgage payments when her five-year-old daughter was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, to the New York Times. "Banks are getting helped. Rich people are getting helped. Why isn't there anyone to help me?"

As policymakers struggle for solutions to revive the economy, FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair has stood out in the search for creative policy decisions to keep people in their homes. She's been called "the consistent voice of reason" by CNN, adding that she has "loudly and courageously... thrust the corrosive issue of foreclosure to center stage."

Join us this Wednesday, December 17th, for what promises to be a stimulating discussion with Chairman Bair. The event will also feature groundbreaking research from the Center for Community Capital at The University of North Carolina that provides a roadmap for making responsible homeownership work, especially among lower-income families.

Discussants will include Eric Stein (President, Center for Community Self-Help), Mark Willis (Visiting Scholar, Ford Foundation), Reid Cramer (Research Director, Asset Building Program), and Ellen Seidman (Director of Financial Services Policy, Asset Building Program).

The Case for Savings (Cartoon version)

December 15, 2008

A little Monday morning humor, courtesy of Tom Toles at the Washington Post :

The Next Mortal Combat Match-Up: Thrift vs. Debt?

December 9, 2008

Ohio State University's Devfinance listserv, an email network for students, practitioners and researchers of development finance and economics, is one of my go-to lists for fresh debates and hot-off-the-press publications and research on all sorts of microfinance issues. Every once in a while it's also surprisingly entertaining. Take, for example, last week's pro-thirft/anti-debt post announcing a new competition to develop a thrift-focused video game (re-posted here with permission from Jane, the original author):

The Ladder Presents: Your One-Stop Holiday Reading Guide

December 4, 2008

We find ourselves simultaneously in two stressful and exciting seasons: Transitition season, and holiday shopping season. Looking to quench the thirst for new, thoughtful policy ideas while ticking off an item on your Holiday shopping/reading list? Look no further than Asset Building and Low-Income Families, a recent book from Urban Institute press.

Edited by our good friends Signe-Mary McKernan (Urban Institute) and Michael Sherraden (Center for Social Development at Washington University and Godfather of Asset Building), Asset Building and Low-Income Families brings together a number of experts to discuss the burgeoning field of asset-based policy. Our very own Reid Cramer is among the impressive list of contributors.

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