Expensive to Be Poor: Expenses Twice as Much as Income for Bottom 20% of US Households

By: Thursday September 27, 2012 11:38 am

A new study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics out today probably won’t get as much notice as their other report showing the US gained 386,000 jobs more than expected. However, this one shows a persistent problem in America, that it’s actually expensive to be poor. The average individual in the lowest 20% of the [...]

Republican Dan Lungren Working to Gain Support to Avoid Principal Reduction Tax Time Bomb

By: Tuesday September 18, 2012 11:44 am

Here’s some good news in an otherwise dispiriting Congressional session. A Republican House member is trying to accumulate support for a bill that would extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act by three years. As I’ve been reporting, a failure to extend this law would mean that all debt forgiveness, in the form of principal [...]

DAs Lend Stationery to Debt Collectors, Intimidating Debtors into Payment

By: Monday September 17, 2012 7:44 am

My initial post of the day concerned organizing around debt resistance as the connective tissue for a new project out of the Occupy Wall Street movement. When you read about this example of corruption around debt, you understand why organizing against it is such a vital project. The letters are sent by the thousands to [...]

Occupy Wall Street Begins New Organizing Campaign as Strike Debt Launches

By: Monday September 17, 2012 6:19 am

Today is the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, and FDL’s team of reporters and citizen journalists will have you covered with all the on-the-ground activities. I wanted to add some coverage of this new offshoot of the Occupy movement, in the vein of Occupy Our Homes, the successful effort to fight foreclosures through direct [...]

Bernanke Says Student Debt Not a Crisis (Well, Not to Him, Anyway)

By: Wednesday August 8, 2012 10:18 am

Ben Bernanke came out with a statement yesterday that student loans won’t cause a crisis. Bernanke, of course, is a great judge of crises, considering his statements from 2005-2007 that housing was fine and the bubble was manageable. I particularly enjoyed his statement that “The Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession” in January [...]

CFPB Report Lays Bare Private Student Loan Market

By: Friday July 20, 2012 11:05 am

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has delivered a report to the Senate Banking Committee on the rise of the private student loan industry. This industry took a hit after 2010, when the Affordable Care Act included a provision that ended the practice of private banks administering student loans guaranteed by the government, and just had [...]

Our Unsustainable Higher Education System

By: Monday May 14, 2012 10:19 am

In my story on California’s budget woes, I mentioned a study showing that more qualified high school graduates are choosing not to attend college because they are priced out of the market for higher education. I should add that the ones who do choose to matriculate end up with a pile of debt after the [...]

Looming Interest Rate Increase for Federal College Loans Would Cost Students Thousands

By: Thursday March 22, 2012 2:13 pm

If nothing is done in Congress by the end of June, interest rates on federally subsidized Stafford student loans will double, from 3.4% to 6.8%. The general public, in particular students, have only now become aware to this looming time bomb that would raise financial obligations by thousands of dollars over the life of the [...]

CFPB Details Growing Danger of Rising Student Debt

By: Wednesday March 21, 2012 2:15 pm

In a rare moment of disagreement among major federal agencies, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has found in its preliminary research of student debt that the problem is even greater than they at first surmised. A speech before the Consumer Bankers Association by Rohit Chopra, the student loan ombudsman for the agency, termed the student [...]

Student Debt a Factor in Preventing Housing Recovery

By: Monday February 27, 2012 10:29 am

In discussing Warren Buffett’s claim that housing will come back simply due to structural factors (he calls it “hormones”), Matt Stoller makes the point that the significant drop in household formation is a new phenomenon. Only three years since 1947 have shown a negative household formation, and they include three of the past four years [...]

The Misinformation Around Debt

By: Monday January 2, 2012 10:15 am

Paul Krugman today patiently explains that short-term accumulations of federal debt simply do not create the disastrous effects claimed by those who want to prevent any progressive economic policymaking. Perhaps most obviously, the economic “experts” on whom much of Congress relies have been repeatedly, utterly wrong about the short-run effects of budget deficits. People who [...]

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