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Showing posts from 2014

Investment Insights from Student Loan Data

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Direct loans are low-interest loans for parents and students to help pay for the cost of post high-school education. Parent PLUS, available through the Direct Loan Program, lets parents borrow money to pay costs not already covered by a student's financial aid package. The current PLUS interest rate is fixed at 7.21%. The Parent PLUS, combined with other student loans, should lower the student loan default rate. However, we should note that the financial responsibility rests Parent PLUS not on students, but on parents. When a borrower fails to make their monthly payment at a scheduled point in time, a default occurs. The cohort default rate is the percentage of a school’s borrowers who enter into a repayment agreement on Direct Student Loans during a given fiscal year and default within the period. Cohort default rates nearly tripled from 2007 to 2010. The US government is now focused on strengthening the Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program to stop the default rate increase. While th

Federal Judges as Rubber Stamps

Commentary: Judges shouldn’t be rubber stamps

Appeals Court Ruling in Citi Case Is a Gift to Big Banks

Anyone still waiting for justice with respect to the role that large banks played in the financial crisis had to be disappointed in a New York appeals court's ruling in a case involving a settlement agreement between Citigroup Global Markets and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Read more at: http://www.americanbanker.com/bankthink/appeals-court-ruling-in-citi-case-is-a-gift-to-big-banks-1067939-1.html Also see:  http://www.prlog.org/11948760-william-michael-cunningham-files-revised-brief-in-sec-vs-citigroup-2nd-cir-ct-of-ap.html

LeVar Burton and Crowdfunding

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(Photo from: Top 50 Crowdfunding Campaigns: Fifty Most Successful Crowdfunding Campaigns Kindle Edition.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RKK4NL0 ) We note with interest the recent Kickstarter campaign by LeVar Burton for Reading Rainbow . According to one news report, "Reading Rainbow, the PBS children’s program hosted by LeVar Burton that debuted in 1983 and went off the air in 2006,upset many with its departure. But Burton, who also executive produced the program, has managed to keep the project alive in some form or another in the time since. He launched the show as an app in 2012. And now his new venture is to take Reading Rainbow’s large digital library of books and videos to classrooms nationwide for free. But to do so Burton needs capital. So the Star Trek actor turned to Kickstarter to raise money. He launched his campaign last Wednesday to raise $1 million to launch his PBS children’s series online. Although Burton had allotted 35 days to raise the money, within 24

Mr. Gary Becker, 1930 - 2014

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The photo at left is Mr. Gary Stanley Becker (December 2, 1930 – May 3, 2014).  Mr. Becker was thesis adviser for my Master's degree in Economics at the University of Chicago.  The photo was taken at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC on September 23, 2013 .  Thank you, Mr. Becker.

Federal Reserve Banks show economic activity increased

Quick summary of the US economy: Overall Activity: + Consumer Spending: + Tourism: + Advertising: + Transportation: + Manufacturing: + Housing: Flat Loans: + Ag: mixed Wages: Flat Prices: Flat

Crowdfunding: New SEC Rules Thursday, February 20, 2014 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM (EST)

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Crowdfunding : New SEC Rules Thursday, February 20, 2014 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM (EST ) Washington, DC This seminar will summarize the JOBS Act and current developments. Henry Burger will discuss Real Estate Crowdfunding. We will have copies of The JOBS Act: Crowdfunding for Small Businesses and Startups for sale. See:  http://www.amazon.com/The-JOBS-Act-Crowdfunding-Businesses/dp/143024755X Finally, we will discuss the following developments: http://crowdfundingnow.blogspot.com/2014/01/strategies-7-keys-to-crowdfunding.html http://crowdfundingnow.blogspot.com/2013/08/how-to-crowdfund-5-crowdfunding-tips.html http://crowdfundingnow.blogspot.com/2013/06/successful-crowdfunding.html https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1XNaKgws4wJTgtEeLt4BiOFyLJx-f1ARLIH5KB56Vf6g/viewform Register at:  https://crowdfundclass.eventbrite.com Thanks! Related articles Crowdfunding: New SEC Rules Alabama Takes Pragmatic Approach To Intrastate Crowdfunding What do the new crowdfunding rules mean f

STANDARDS FOR ASSESSING THE DIVERSITY POLICIES OF BANKS, INVESTMENT FIRMS, CREDIT UNIONS

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Under Dodd/Frank,  " six federal financial regulatory agencies – the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency –" must, by law, develop standards and an approach to assessing the diversity policies and practices of entities they regulate. This means looking at diversity at all banks, investment firms, and credit unions. All of them. Each of these agencies will develop a way to determine if the policies of the entities they regulate are fair, or at least, inclusive. They are asking for comments on this. I suggest you comment, and have even drafted proposed comment text for you at:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_dVF9yIbI5SU_QkiwuNFg3sOkImTdXnUk5J6-pEm0ZM/edit?usp=sharing Comments are due by Feb. 7, 2014. Submit them via email by going to: Co

Performance of the Diversity Fund, 4/19/11 to 1/12/14

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Performance of the Diversity Fund , 4/19/11 to 1/12/14 Related articles Views on Diversity Diversity - not just a Business Case Difference Between Diversity and Inclusion Importance of inclusivity and diversity Residents of more ethnically diverse neighbourhoods actually reported higher levels of social cohesion Top 10 Reasons Diversity Is Good For The Boardroom

DC actually leads the nation in municipal environmental responsibility

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Yesterday, I testified on the Sustainable DC Omnibus Act of 2013 (Bill number: B20-573). According to the Mayor, the Bill will: "1. Require electric and gas utilities to provide aggregated whole building (energy consumption and environmental performance) data to building owners and managers electronically to facilitate their ease of reporting required benchmarking data..on a monthly basis 2. Require sellers to transfer all benchmarking data at time of building sale. This will eliminate a 10% fluctuation in buildings reporting data. 3. Create a broad public engagement venue that will allow District residents and engaged stakeholders to participate in an open process each quarter that allows for information sharing and program examination… 4. Prohibit..polystyrene containers for food services. 5. Provide support for an Environmental Literacy Program. 6. Establish a Radon Contractor database. 7. Require the Mayor create a responsive Apiculture regulatory environment. 8. Re