529 Tax Benefits Vary Widely Across States

December 5, 2011

The Wall Street Journal has a good, foundational piece up on the varying nature of state tax benefits in the various 529 programs offered by the states. Here's Annamaria Andriotis

How are Families Really Doing? Part 1: Economic Security

December 2, 2011
Publication Image

In the coming days, we will be releasing a series of interviews with policy experts who participated in a event we hosted on November 22nd, "Poverty, Inequality, Mobility, Oh My," where we explored different ways of assessing how families are doing post-Great Recession and how applying these different approaches to the design of public policies might improve the conditions and opportunities of low-income families.

President Calderon Announces Largest 'Banking the Poor' Effort in the World

December 2, 2011
Publication Image

Yesterday in the Mexican municipality of Batopilas, President Felipe Calderon announced “the largest banking access program in the world that is targeted at the poorest people.” More than 6 million families, all current participants in Mexico’s government public benefit program Oportunidades, would benefit from the Calderon’s efforts, which he explained would help reduce the gap between the rich and the poor.

Upcoming Event: Beyond Our Means

December 1, 2011
Publication Image

On December 13th, the Asset Building Program is pleased to welcome author and professor Sheldon Garon to speak about his new book, Beyond Our Means: Why America Spends While the World Saves. You can join us in person at 4:00 p.m. on the 13th or online for the live webcast (registration is not required for the online webcast).

How are Families Really Doing?

December 1, 2011

Two years after the official end of worst recession since the Great Depression, the economy is recovering but families are not. According to a flurry of new data, poverty and inequality are reaching historic highs and the current of economic mobility is flowing most forcefully down the economic ladder. 

Kenya’s Leaders in the Financial Services and Savings Industry Gather in Nairobi for Joint SPINNAKER-FSD Workshop

December 1, 2011

This post originally appeared on the SPINNAKER Network.

On November 18th in Nairobi, Kenya, the Global Assets Project in partnership with FSD Kenya held a half-day industry workshop to share initial findings from the SPINNAKER Network’s recent landscape study on savings products in the country. Jamie Zimmerman presented on the study’s initial findings to Kenya’s policy makers, practitioners, and financial institution representatives, and facilitated various discussions on salient issues related to 1) access to financial services 2) client uptake of savings products and 3) regulatory hurdles facing institutions seeking to offer savings products to the poor.

Battling the Global Youth Bulge: Mobile Phones are Making New Connections Between Youth and Economic Opportunity

November 30, 2011
Publication Image

Originally posted on

Born and raised in the slums of Cape Town amid poverty, drug abuse, and gang violence, Marlon Parker was like millions of youth living in hardship today.

Summarizing the Research: Why Early Savings Leads to Later Savings

November 28, 2011
Publication Image

In recent years, researchers and policymakers have offered up young people’s savings policies (e.g., Child Development Accounts [CDAs], the ASPIRE Act) as potential solutions for mitigating the effects of parents’ and households’ financial resources on young people's educational and financial outcomes. One question of interest is whether young people’s financial outcomes can be improved by extending access to basic financial services early in life. In other words, if you give someone a savings account in adolescence, do they maintain that account into young adulthood and beyond?

Follow-Up: Poverty, Inequality, Mobility, Oh My!

November 23, 2011

On November 22nd, the Asset Building Program hosted a panel of experts to discuss how Americans are faring in the years since the Great Recession according to different measures. (Video from the event is available here.) Speakers from Wider Opportunities for Women, the Half in Ten Campaign, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and Pew’s Economic Mobility Project joined moderator, Rachel Black, for a discussion of current data and indicators, who’s falling short according to these measures and by how much, and policy ideas for  making progress.

Asset Building: Wealth Inequality and Occupy Wall Street

November 17, 2011

In this podcast, Reid Cramer, director of the Asset Building Program at New America, describes the new dynamics of inequality that emerged in the wake of the Great Recession and have given rise to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Without dramatic changes to the housing market and policy efforts designed to get families out from under the overhang of debt, significant wealth inequality will persist for years to come. This is particularly apparent when recognizing the staggering growth of the racial wealth gap.

Syndicate content