Financial Inclusion

Social Protection: not just a catch phrase

February 9, 2012
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It seems that in the field of international development, there is a new catch phrase being thrown around: “Social Protection”. If you haven’t heard it yet, you will. It has been a key focus of poverty reduction strategies at such institutions as the International Labour Organization, the World Bank, and the United Nations.

Asset Building News Week, Groundhog Day Edition

February 3, 2012
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The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on the The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include CFED's release of its Assets & Opportunity Scorecard, financial education, jobs, asset limits, lower-income consumers, the mortgage mess, and rhetoric about poverty, inequality, and mobility.

Mitt Romney Needs a Tutorial on How Well the Safety Net Works for Poor People

February 1, 2012

Conditional clauses are very important. Mitt Romney's statement yesterday that he's "not worried about the very poor" is based on the supposition that "there's a safety net there," an "ample" safety net at that. This is similar to my saying that I'm not worried about whether my husband will starve to death when I leave town because he knows how to order a pizza.

Is the CFPB Doomed to Fail?

February 1, 2012
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The front page of today's American Banker (subscription required) shows their headline writers having some fun (perhaps too many CFPB related articles has them looking to keep things fresh?) There are three articles highlighted in today's daily briefing:

New Podcast: Is there a Business Case for Youth Savings Accounts? - Perspectives from YouthSave Financial Partners

January 30, 2012

Originally posted on www.youthsave.org

In this podcast, Payal Pathak, policy analyst for the Global Assets Project at the New America Foundation, highlights key takeaways from YouthSave’s Financial Institution Learning Exchange in Nairobi, Kenya. During the event, members of the YouthSave Project including Consortium representatives, financial institutions and researchers gathered to discuss and debate several questions emerging from the youth savings field; for example, can youth savings accounts be commercially sustainable? This is the first podcast in a series featuring interviews of the Project's financial partners who discuss how their respective banks define the business case for the YouthSave Product. 

The Politics of Economic Opportunity: Will Growing Poverty Affect Election 2012?

January 30, 2012
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Engagement with elected leaders by their constituents is a powerful accountability mechanism, and elections are a decisive expression of that function. In a year where poverty and inequality are at historic levels and the prospects for low-income families to improve their circumstances increasingly uncertain, how will these conditions influence both the rhetoric and policy proposals of those seeking elected office and the choices of voters?

CFED Webinar: Assets & Opportunity Scorecard Release

January 30, 2012
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Our asset building friends at CFED are hosting a webinar tomorrow at noon Eastern Time to release a major report, the Assets & Opportunity Scorecard. This key document presents national and state level data about families' asset levels and financial stability. Registration is available here.

Asset Building News Week, 4th Edition

January 27, 2012
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The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on the The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include alternatives to mainstream banking, EITC awareness, financial literacy, income and wealth inequality, homeownership, bankruptcy, and weakened social protection.

William Elliott: Ideas for Refining Children's Savings Account Proposals

January 26, 2012

Today, the Asset Building Program and the Center for Social Development at the Washington University in St. Louis released the final report in the “Creating a Financial Stake in College” series. The fourth report “Ideas for Refining Children’s Savings Account Proposals” makes a case for establishing formal mechanisms for low- and middle-income children to save. Author William Elliott argues that a systematic, national approach to children’s savings accounts is a critical part of improving access to postsecondary education, particularly for low- and middle-income students.

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