Thursday, February 11, 2010

Banking Under the Mattress: Financial Literacy and Unbanked New

Thursday, February 25, 2010, 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnhold Hall

55 West 13th Street, Second Floor (between 5th and 6th Avenues)

A new FDIC study finds that seven of every 20 New York households is
“underbanked.” In most cases, these are low-income, minority and
single-parent households that either have no bank accounts or rely
heavily on alternative financial services such as payday lenders and
pawn shops. Such families can pay exorbitant fees and interest, are at
greater risk of robbery, and often can’t borrow because they have no
credit history. New York and other cities and states are experimenting
with solutions, including low- or no-fee community banking services
and financial literacy campaigns. What works? And what should
government, nonprofits and the banking sector do now?


Jonathan Mintz, Commissioner, New York City Department of Consumer
Affairs, presenting new data on the unbanked in New York


Cathie Mahon, Executive Director, NYC Office of Financial Empowerment

Deyanira Del Rio, Associate Director, Neighborhood Economic
Development Advocacy Project (NEDAP)

Edward Kramer, Executive Vice President, Wolters Kluwer Financial

Leslie Parrish, Senior Researcher, The Center for Responsible Lending

MODERATOR: Dean Starkman, managing editor of the Columbia Journalism
Review’s The Audit

Admission is free, but you must RSVP. Call 212.229.5418 or email

Supported by the Sirus Fund and the Milano Foundation.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

From the Boston Globe

The college admissions scam

By Neal Gabler
January 10, 2010

"NOW IS the winter of high school seniors’ discontent. But then every winter is one of discontent as seniors file their college applications with a mix of dread and hope - mainly dread. Those applying to the most selective schools have the odds stacked against them no matter how sterling their high school records, though college admissions officers typically offer the cold comfort that rejection is not equivalent to failure and that, as one Yale admissions officer put it, “It matters far less which strong college admits you than it matters what you do with your opportunities once you are there.’’ To which most high school seniors would say, “Hogwash.’’

They know that it does matter where you go to college, if not educationally then in terms of social recognition and opportunity. They know that America, for all its professions of meritocracy, is a virtual oligarchy where the graduates of the Ivies and the other best schools enjoy tremendous advantages in the job market. They know that Harvard or Stanford or MIT is a label in our “designer education’’ not unlike Chanel or Prada in clothes.

So here is another, more realistic comfort to those anxious seniors who will soon be flagellating themselves as unworthy: The admissions system of the so-called “best’’ schools is rigged against you. If you are a middle-class youth or minority from poor circumstances, you have little chance of getting in to one of those schools. Indeed, the system exists not to provide social mobility but to prevent it and to perpetuate the prevailing social order."