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Fed's Duke: "America's Poor Have To Make A Choice Between Paying Their Gas And Their Mortgage"

Tyler Durden's picture


And another pearl of wisdom from the Fed's uberthinkers, in this case Elizabeth Duke: "the recent increase in gasoline prices has affected consumer choices in housing and other purchases, big and small. Family incomes have not kept pace with rising costs and many families, particularly those with low-to-moderate incomes, are actually facing the decision between buying gas to drive long distances to work and paying their mortgage. During the housing boom, when gas prices were much lower, potential homebuyers moved steadily farther away from employment centers in search of more affordable homes. This was referred to as the "drive till you qualify" method of home buying. Foreclosures remain high in these areas where the cost of driving to work has become so great." At least America's poor can still afford to buying deflating iPads... And after all didn't they said QE2 was a success for everyone? Or maybe the recent Philly Fed finding that lower and middle class families are actually suffering under the QE2 mandate, much in line with expectations of everyone who is not a Princeton economics professor or alumnus, are finally being validated. Oh well, this is nothing that a little QE3 can't fix. And some more thoughts from a Ph.D. in Captain Obviousness: "the collapse of housing prices and resulting worker immobility has changed consumers' appetite for homeownership. In Fannie Mae's 2010 Own-Rent Analysis, the percentage of respondents who said they were more likely to rent their next home than buy climbed from 30 percent in January to 33 percent in December of the same year." It's insight like that that explains why those Fed governors get paid the big Bernankebux.

Full Duke Speech:

Research, Policy, and the Future of Financial Education

I would like to thank Eric Rosengren, President of the Federal
Reserve Bank of Boston, for inviting me to speak to you today. This is
the third in a series of conferences on the Future of Life-Cycle Saving
and Investing cosponsored by Boston University School of Management and
the Boston Reserve Bank. The audience here includes leading academics in
household finance and consumer financial education, industry
practitioners, and policymakers. The work you do every day is critically
important to the financial well-being of American consumers and to the
overall functioning of our economy.

Today's topic is a daunting one: how to improve consumers'
financial education
. I hope to set the stage for your discussions by
sharing my perspective on recent economic factors and trends in the
financial services industry and the impact they have had on consumers,
particularly those with low and moderate incomes. I will also give you
my thoughts on the role of financial education in facilitating effective
decisionmaking and suggest areas where additional research could help
shape policies and practices to benefit individual consumers and lead to
safe and sustainable economic growth.

The Case for Financial Education
I certainly don't need to impress upon this audience the
importance of financial education. Today's consumers are making
decisions among increasingly complex financial products and in the
context of uncertain economic times. A working knowledge of basic
financial terms and concepts can lead to better economic decisions and
outcomes for individuals over the course of a lifetime. In addition,
there is a clear relationship between individuals' financial decisions and the health of our entire economy.

The financial crisis and the slow recovery from it has obviously
had a dramatic impact on the financial decisions made by American
families. Many now have fewer financial resources and limited options.
The pace and timing of their saving and investing life cycle has also
been disrupted. For example, high unemployment levels among recent high
school and college graduates, especially among young African Americans,
means that this demographic likely won't be able to start saving and
investing as early in life as previous generations.

In addition, starting salaries for recent college graduates have also declined, which means that young Americans who are
employed will have fewer resources for saving and investing than their
predecessors. Young people are living with their parents longer, which
helps conserve their limited resources but likely places a strain on
their parents' budgets.

Also troubling is research showing that many consumers who should be saving
for retirement instead have been forced to take hardship withdrawals
from their 401(k) plans. According to an analysis by Vanguard, hardship
withdrawals increased by 49 percent between 2005 and 2010. Other types
of withdrawals increased by 56 percent.

The increasing use of retirement savings for other purposes is
particularly troubling given that the responsibility for saving for
retirement has shifted away from employers to individual employees.
Having a secure retirement is a high priority and a significant
long-term goal for many Americans, so it is especially important that
they have an understanding of what level of resources they will need in
retirement and the investment options available to them.

Individuals who are approaching retirement age, in particular,
are being forced to make changes to their plans for retirement. Social
Security Administration data indicate that in 2009 and 2010, the
proportions of men and women claiming social security benefits at age 62
began to rise again after several years of decline. Workers have either
chosen to leave the work force early in the last few years or, more
likely, have applied for social security benefits as early as possible
because of the weak job market.1 Opting
to receive a smaller social security annuity earlier in life is just
one of many hard decisions Americans have had to make in order to
balance their short-term and long-term financial needs.

The recession has clearly disrupted the future expectations and
financial plans of millions of Americans, but even in the best of
circumstances, effectively managing one's longevity risk requires a
level of financial knowledge well beyond that required of any previous
generation. The pending retirement of Baby Boomers means that millions
of older households will need to assess pension distributions and make
decisions about payout options for their defined benefit plans. Those
with defined contribution plans will need to make decisions about the
purchase of annuities or rates of withdrawal from these plans.

Younger workers, a majority of whom will not have pensions, will
need to make complicated decisions about their target amounts of
retirement savings, portfolio allocation, and asset management using
401(k) plans, individual retirement accounts, and other, non-tax
advantaged, accounts.

Financial products have also become more complex, adding a
significant degree of difficulty to the important task of managing one's
own retirement savings. Consumers need information and education to
understand their saving and investment options, to make the best choices
for themselves and their families, and to help them implement and
monitor these choices over time.

In short, your efforts to identify, address, and meet the
financial education needs of consumers in all stages of the life-cycle
have never been more urgent.

Changing Consumer Behaviors and Information Needs
The financial crisis has changed all of our assumptions about the
future. Naturally, consumer behavior is changing as a result, though it
is unclear whether these changes represent temporary or more permanent
shifts in thinking and planning for the future.

For example, the collapse of housing prices and resulting worker
immobility has changed consumers' appetite for homeownership. In Fannie
Mae's 2010 Own-Rent Analysis, the percentage of respondents who said
they were more likely to rent their next home than buy climbed from 30
percent in January to 33 percent in December of the same year.

Similarly, the recent increase in gasoline prices has affected
consumer choices in housing and other purchases, big and small. Family
incomes have not kept pace with rising costs and many families,
particularly those with low-to-moderate incomes, are actually facing the
decision between buying gas to drive long distances to work and paying
their mortgage. During the housing boom, when gas prices were much
lower, potential homebuyers moved steadily farther away from employment
centers in search of more affordable homes. This was referred to as the
"drive till you qualify" method of home buying. Foreclosures remain high
in these areas where the cost of driving to work has become so great.

But, even independent of recent economic trends and the
increasing complexity of financial products, consumers' need for
financial information and education is changing.

Evolving Education Needs
There is growing evidence that the changing financial services
landscape has disconnected young and other vulnerable consumers from
mainstream financial services, making them more prone to using
alternative financial products. For example, some consumers prefer using
reloadable stored-value cards to opening a deposit account at a bank or
credit union.2 
This choice could have significant implications for a consumer's
financial well-being, both good and bad. These cards, with their Visa
and Mastercard branding, make it easy for consumers to make purchases
online, but do not carry the same robust federal protections as debit or
credit cards and their use does not establish a relationship with a
financial institution that can serve as the entry point for other
financial services such as loans.

As more and more new products are introduced to the financial
marketplace, it becomes more important for consumers to be able to
evaluate and compare products' benefits and potential costs. Many
consumers seek the advice of friends and family when making financial
decisions. Online social networks are increasingly playing this role as a
source of financial information, particularly among younger consumers.3  At the same time, it is crucial that they also have access to accurate, comprehensive, and unbiased financial information.

Starting Financial Education Early
Successfully navigating the volumes of financial information out
there, whether from advertisements, advisors, or social media, requires
critical skills based on a foundation of numeracy, language arts, and
decisionmaking that is first developed in school. It is important that
these skills be included in curriculum and measured in student
achievement tests. If our schools can't spare the resources to provide
financial literacy as a subject unto itself, I believe that the concepts
required for sound financial decisionmaking should, at a minimum, be
incorporated into existing subject areas. Math problems can involve
consumer financial calculations. Social studies classes can help
students understand the real world financial issues and decisions they
will face as young adults. I also think that the work many of you are
doing to make financial lessons more appealing to school aged children
is extremely important given the competition for attention from media
and web-based entertainment and games.

More broadly, financial education is a life-long endeavor. Sound
financial decisions are made when consumers have access to information
that is clear and culturally relevant and that is provided at critical
"teachable" moments, such as when a consumer is financing education,
buying a car, starting a family, purchasing a house, or planning for
retirement. These are just a few examples. As academicians,
practitioners, and policymakers, we need to identify as many of these
moments as possible and determine how best to support positive financial
outcomes for consumers at those moments.

Reaching Consumers
There's a saying among communications professionals that "the medium is
the message." In that vein, I believe that how we deliver financial
education has a significant impact on how effective the lessons will be.
New technologies present exciting new opportunities to deliver timely
financial lessons. Mobile payments and financial services are growing at
a rapid pace.4 
Financial management "apps" for smart phones abound, making it possible
for consumers to get just-in-time information. The developments in
mobile financial services have only begun to exploit the potential of
this technology to provide tools for consumer financial decisionmaking. I
will be particularly interested to see how technology can be used to
better serve lower-income populations who may be more focused on
stretching their paychecks to meet monthly expenses than on investing.
If you can have an app to track what you eat, certainly you could use
one to track what you spend.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Financial Education
Until now, we have had a limited understanding of which methods
work best with respect to financial education. For years, one of the
correlates of higher scores on the JumpStart Financial Literacy test was
participation in the Stock Market Game, an enrichment program offered
in many schools. The FINRA Education Foundation sponsored a study to
determine just what it was about the game that made a difference. Not
surprisingly, the answer is that the game seems to develop math skills.5 

Entertainment-based financial education also seems to be
effective in capturing attention and instilling knowledge among youths.
Young people who played one of the Doorway to Dreams (D2D) financial
education games reported increases in financial knowledge, aspirations,
and self-confidence.6 

Among young adults, financial education was found to be most relevant when it was tied to financial outcomes.7 
For example, in a Federal Reserve study conducted with Army Emergency
Relief, young enlisted service members who participated in a financial
education program seemed to make better car-buying decisions. These
soldiers had higher down payment-to-loan ratios and shorter-term loans
than a comparison group who did not take the financial education

These are notable examples, but the fact is that we have very
limited data on how effective financial education is in improving
financial well-being. The Financial Literacy and Education Commission,
of which the Federal Reserve is a member, has only recently developed a
core set of financial competencies, and has yet to establish the
knowledge, skills, and behaviors that will meet these competencies.

In order to develop an effective financial course of study, we
need to find the answers to some important research questions. I believe
the answers to these questions will be quite important:

  • What do people need to know in order to improve their long-term
    economic well-being? How does this content vary across demographic
    groups, such as by income, employment status, age, or culture?
  • How do people obtain and process financial information? What
    sources do they use? Do outcomes vary by the source or timing of the
  • Is instilling financial knowledge enough to improve consumer
    outcomes, or do we need to fundamentally change consumer behavior as
    well? How can we as policymakers influence financial behaviors?
  • How should financial literacy be measured to evaluate the impact
    of financial education on financial outcomes and predict future
    behavior and well-being? Should these measures vary across demographic
    groups and the context in which consumers make financial decisions?

Undoubtedly some of the research shared at this conference will
shed light on these questions and also raise others. I look forward to
learning from your work and to implementing and supporting programs that
have demonstrated results.

Decisions about saving and investing have a profound effect on
the financial well-being of individual consumers. Collectively, those
same decisions shape our national economic outcomes. Changes in the
financial products offered to consumers and in the economic
circumstances of those consumers have added even more complexity to the
financial decisions faced by consumers. Comprehensive, effective
regulation of consumer products is the first step in ensuring positive
outcomes for consumers. But consumers must also be equipped with the
necessary quantitative and decisionmaking tools, and supported with the
right information at the right time in order to make the best possible
choices. While much attention and many resources have been devoted to
financial education, we still have surprisingly little information about
the effectiveness of financial literacy efforts. I hope that the dialog
facilitated by this conference and future research will focus on
understanding the best who, what, when, where, and why of financial
education that will help American consumers make better decisions and
achieve better financial futures. The outcomes of this conference will
help us develop the tools to do that. I commend you for your efforts and
wish each of you success here and in the future.




Our own thoughts on first steps in improving consumer's financial education? Cease all Fed speechs in perpetuity. Effective immediately


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Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:41 | 1304566 The Profit Prophet
The Profit Prophet's picture

Why would anyone still be paying their mortgage???.....bitchez.

T.E.I.N. everyone!

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:53 | 1304592 Xibalba
Xibalba's picture

The choice is rather: gas, food, or RENT.  The poor do not have a mortgage.  They live in their cars. 

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:20 | 1304670 Weisbrot
Weisbrot's picture


if you really want the price of something to rise just start giving it away and watch the cost of that item skyrocket!!!



Tue, 05/24/2011 - 23:14 | 1307778 silberblick
silberblick's picture

Click below to see a visual graph of Bankster's dirty needs arranged according to Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs:

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:41 | 1304735 aheady
aheady's picture


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:18 | 1304848 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture


Food, beer,dope or Ipad apps


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:39 | 1304928 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

Better just to live in a Walmart parking lot.  No rent (it's free), no fuel (you don't have to go anywhere) and food is only 200 yds and an EBT card away.  Plus free WiFi, if there is a McDonalds or Starbucks out front.  If you are really ambitious, you can get a part time job handing out smiley face stickers to the kids.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:53 | 1304993 financeguru500
financeguru500's picture

The walmart in my town only let's people use the extra parking spots for 24 hours. Any longer and the vehicle would get towed.

On the main point of people making choices, I call bullshit. If people really cared they would be carpooling with each other or driving less. Look on any city street in any city in the U.S. and you will see 90% of drivers driving alone and traffic congestion now is as bad or worse than it was 5 years ago.

The truth of the matter is we are in the situation we are in because everyone consumes as much as they possibly can. They won't lower their consumption until they are forced to. I say bring on $10 gas.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:16 | 1305075 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

You're right! People are just out there driving around town for no reason in order to waste as much gas as they can afford

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:17 | 1305098 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

You say that because it will make YOU money, banker-gangster.  That's the only reason.

That's Capitalism, baby!  "Fuck you, cause I got mine!"

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 13:20 | 1305709 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

What Capitalism?  Who's forming Capital these days?  Where are the factories and products?  China?  And you say THIS is Capitalism?

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 14:08 | 1305921 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Of course it's Capitalism to move factories abroad so the buyers of labor (i.e., capitalists) cut costs.  Isn't that common sense?

The unholy race to the sweatshop bottom is fundamental to the entire con game!  To suggest that Capitalists care about 'nationality' or political ideology is to misunderstand the whole system.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 13:21 | 1305714 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

What Capitalism?  Who's forming Capital these days?  Where are the factories and products?  China?  And you say THIS is Capitalism?

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 13:23 | 1305723 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

What Capitalism?  Who's forming Capital these days?  Where are the factories and products?  China?  And you say THIS is Capitalism?  Obama and his gangsters hand out cash to their friends and you say THIS is Capitalism? You got a funny definition that not even Marx would recognize.


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 13:21 | 1305729 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

What Capitalism?  Who's forming Capital these days?  Where are the factories and products?  China?  And you say THIS is Capitalism?  Obama and his gangsters hand out cash to their friends and you say THIS is Capitalism? You got a funny definition that not even Marx would recognize.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:34 | 1305213 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

At our Walmarts you are supposed to get a parking permit for RV parking.  That rule is being ignored and stores aren't enforcing it.  Park far away from stores enterance and you are ok.  At one store most RVs are over by the Olive Garden.  Another favorite spot is the empty lot next to Sam's Club (no other stores ever built there).  Smaller RVs, vans and car occupants can get away with it in grocery store lots or malls.  Kmart is also a popular place to park and sleep.  Daytime you will find them in public parks cleaning up and taking care of "business" in the public bathrooms.  We also have a national forest nearby, which is a popular squating spot off of the backroads.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 12:11 | 1305400 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Carpooling is not feasible for the majority of the population. It is better suited for large factories where many people arrive and leave all at once. Where I work, for example, I'm in an office with about 30 people. Only one of them travels on the highway I live on, and he isn't on the same schedule as me.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:59 | 1304621 Popo
Popo's picture

And why is the Fed reporting on this as if it is an impartial, 3rd party observation -- rather than the direct result of Fed policy?

Correction to Duke's speech:  "WE have created, through our own actions, a scenario in which lower income Americans *must* default on their mortgages.   We're sorry.  We honestly thought if we flooded the system with liquidity, and debased the dollar, that animal spirits of economic prosperity would rise up from the Earth and bestow blessings of wealth uponAmericans of all classes.   How this could have failed is beyond my small, academic brain which treats economics as a belief system akin to a religion -- and refuses to examine data empircally.  Thank you for attending.  There will be hors d'oerves served in the atrium."



Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:14 | 1304666 pavman
pavman's picture

Its workin for me.  Course I don't have a mortgage. ;)  Good 'ol animal spirits.  Although I would like some nice stock bargains again, so no QE3 please ... trying to jump to the upper class here.  What does one need these days to be considered part of the upper class?  A billion or two?  Hmm, might need alot of stock bargains...let's make a deal.. you don't do QE3 and I'll vote in your puppet master in 2012.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:17 | 1304855 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 12:14 | 1305413 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

I was going to ding you for the "honestly thought" statement, but then you stated it's all a belief system anyway, so I guess it's all good.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 13:45 | 1305837 swamp
swamp's picture

"Poor" have mortgages? lol  Only in America.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:44 | 1304569 BobPaulson
BobPaulson's picture

No choice required: not enough debt collectors in US to meet demand. Pay neither. Buy a flat screen TV. Somebody in China will pay for it.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:50 | 1304586 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

You have hit on a brilliant idea - if nobody pays their debts, the amount of debt collectors required will be huge - all the unemployed can then become debt collectors - collecting each others debt!

The successful debt collectors can use their pay to pay back their own debt collectors.


A brilliant scheme - what could go wrong? - I'll ask my mate Bernie if this is a good idea, give me a couple of days as he can only receive 2 calls a week!

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:01 | 1304625 southsea13
southsea13's picture

Hats off to you mate: that`s one hell of an idea - a kind of CDO, but with `real` `live`(ish) humans. I`m not quite up on the mechanics of how this could work, but then I don`t really need to be as it`s got the makings of a great Ponzi scheme and therefore *cannot fail* as if anything goes wrong, the scheme will be too big to fail and the government will have no choice other than to step in and stop the unemployed people got it: unemployed! There must be a market for setting up consultancies and investment seminars too. Count me in! 

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:17 | 1304665 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

I've already got SEC approval!

I told them

"it's a money making scheme which will make the Government a fortune in taxes - can't say too much at the moment as it's all a bit secret - me and Southsea13 have a lot of 'consultancy' work penned in at great cost"

They actually stamped the approval after I said the word 'taxes' - the rest fell on deaf ears.

All we need now is about 300,000 suckers volunteers investors in the scheme and we're in business.


Goldman have promised to fund the startup costs - all I had to do is sign some piece of paper with the words 'soul' and 'devil' on it.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:17 | 1304677 pavman
pavman's picture

I'd like to get on the ground floor so I can get out before the ship hits the proverbial iceberg...where do I sign up?!

Always remember: The guys who were in first w/ Maddoff and Ponzi were the winners (just like Charlie Sheen).

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:31 | 1304913 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

I've got a name, "Americollects", the new civilian collection corps.  Do two years of paid service in our debt collection army, and earn credits for reduced (or waived) student loan interest rates, preferred hiring status at government or TBTF banks and a few thousand lucky participants will receive title to a free and clear Fannie/Freddie owned condo in Las Vegas, Phoenix or Miami.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:27 | 1305152 Calculated_Risk
Calculated_Risk's picture

Do I get to carry a shotgun like the jackboot thug banker slavery enforcement agency IRS?!

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:55 | 1305340 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

Hell we'll even give you a uniform - how does 'Big Bird yellow' grab you? - you need to be visible.

A nice cap and a double breasted suit will finish it off nicely.


No boots though - too militant - I think a nice pair of kickers.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:39 | 1304730 southsea13
southsea13's picture

LOL! :) 

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 13:32 | 1305775 Bubbles the cat (not verified)
Bubbles the cat's picture

OK. Count me in. I am well qualified for this. I gotta molecular PhD and know nothing about employment law, taxation, debt collection or honesty, integrity, accountability or responsibility in business, banking and finance. I am completely clueless in such matters and therefore consider I have a strong case for appointment as CEO of this new, yet somehow oddly familiar, enterprise. I pledge a couple of mill of Gen Alpha pension funds to assist startup., I don't already work for GS.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:38 | 1304696 fuu
fuu's picture

We should start right away with the DVD series on how to get started in the unlimited growth market of self help debt collecting. A couple of web pages, some slick glossy brochures, and a 10 part dvd set of people with super shiney teeth explaining how you too can make millions a month collecting on the debt of your freinds, neighbors, and relatives!


Buy now at the low low introductory price of $99.99 per installment for 5 installments!


We can call it Wecovery Services LLC. The url is available.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:48 | 1304766 southsea13
southsea13's picture

I`ve been thinking: why don`t we set up a Ponzi scheme? Everyone here is pretty much up to speed on how to set one up, and I reckon it`d be an internet first. Another bonus is that as it`s `virtual` (with some Russian proxy servers and PGP encrypted Thunderbird clients for email and so on), it would be very hard to identify and prosecute the `directors`. In true Bilderberg fashion we could meet in small cabals in (unlike Bilderberg) unheard-of destinations (membership strictly limited) and think up new ways to entangle the government in `too-good-to-be-true-too-big-to-fail` schemes. Also, a good slice of profits could be dispensed in charitable donations and financing groups who want to take on the banksters and give them a very hard time. :) As has been shown, if you can wrap shit up in hard-to-open, but shiny `blingy` packages, some chump will buy into it. 

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:55 | 1304789 MissCellany
MissCellany's picture

Only potential trouble I see is if the debt-collector jobs get outsourced to India or someplace. ;^)

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:11 | 1304827 southsea13
southsea13's picture

Given the rash of suicides and indebtedness of people in India (and the rest of the developing world), I see that as an opportunity to `assist` people in `reaching their aspirations`. :)

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 12:16 | 1305424 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

They already have.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:06 | 1304817 BobPaulson
BobPaulson's picture

Let's call the business: "Sheriff of Nottingham's Collection Services". The beauty of this business model is that if you subcontract to the right debt collection professionals, they don't really need to know how much "debt" you have, to be able collect. Working on the assumption that everybody is in debt, they can just go out and collect, in cash, electronic equipment, jewelry and other more liquid assets. All you need then, is a special clearing house, say for example, we call it "Freddy the Fence's Asset Redistribution Office" where debt collateral is received and recycled into new collateral for higher risk/return debt that you operate through another window, say "Knuckle's Loans". 

With the right people, you can blow away the puny returns of the small minded chumps in the more conventional lending business.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:18 | 1304847 southsea13
southsea13's picture

That`s pretty good and hard to top imho: collect debt in cash or other assets, liquidate and then lend out at stupendous APR. Strip the customers of their assets, but also offer *debt counselling and restructuring services (at `competitive`rates), and entrap them in such a way that the cycle becomes endless until someone defaults and goes bankrupt (to minimise the risk, prey on the least-educated most vulnerable (and needy) clients). To reinforce this structure, open a few `foundations` from the huge profits (to forestall bad press) and also start selling the shakiest debts on *before* people default, leaving yourself `hands-clean`. Buy a few off-the-peg politicians and you`re laughing! :)

Any other ideas? Now where`d I leave my copy of Business Plan Pro? 

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 12:01 | 1305352 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

A few payments to the authorities to fill the gaps in their budget - and we're legit!


Seriously - what can go wrong with this plan?

Someone pen a letter.

Dear Ben,

I hear you have financial woes.....well have I got the solution to all your troubles, and best of all it's more reliable than your existing scheme..

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:44 | 1304571 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

Wouldn't educating the low-moderate income families be counterproductive to how the American markets operate?  If we tell people that they do not need to buy the crap marketed to them on an unending basis, then those companies will have lower revenues.  Of course, with lower revenues comes lower stock prices, and that goes against the Fed's ultimate mandate.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:46 | 1304576 tgatliff
tgatliff's picture

No worries... All those multi-nationals have an SIV to hide all those "inconvenient" losses...

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:22 | 1304601 Manthong
Manthong's picture

"Today's topic is a daunting one: how to improve consumers' financial education"

Curious. Must be some kind of death wish.

If you educate the sheeple in finance, they will understand the scam and want to shutter the FED.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:37 | 1304721 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Not just the Fed's mandate - the accumulation of Capital is the mandate of Capitalism.

That's why Uncle Sam has been chiefly concerned, since the Slavers Republic was created, to protect the interests of Capital Uber Alles.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:16 | 1305089 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

More nuggets of wisdumb from the bastard child of Mao

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:22 | 1305102 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Shouldn't you be giving Vikram Pandit a massage?

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:45 | 1304572 tgatliff
tgatliff's picture

Oh, thats an easy one Mr. Fed...  The average american you have been screwing over for about 3 years now should pay the gas and screw the banks to undue all of that "good" you have been doing.  Actually, it would be a cost savings.  I mean with all of the foreclosures, the average american probably has 18 months before the bank even has a chance to file the paperwork.  If they are lucky, they might be able to squat another 12 months after that.

Now that is financial education that actual helps the average guy...

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:45 | 1304574 Husk-Erzulie
Husk-Erzulie's picture

What's all the debate?  Just inflate inflate inflate...bitchez.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:43 | 1304575 Debtless
Debtless's picture

We really don't need these Fed people do we?

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:53 | 1304594 cossack55
cossack55's picture

good guillotine fodder

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:47 | 1304577 Dolemite
Dolemite's picture

Gold at a crossroads?

Oil completing it's dead cat bounce?

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:47 | 1304583 mfoste1
mfoste1's picture

ms duke, tell us something we dont know you cuntbag. Better yet, take action to remedy the problem.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:49 | 1304590 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

I can't imagine America without cars.....


It will be like when there was a no fly zone due to the ash cloud - an eiree peace falls across the land...

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:56 | 1304607 Henry Chinaski
Henry Chinaski's picture

I can't imagine America without cars.....

you just did hamburger head

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:59 | 1304614 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

No - I wrote - you imagined. don't confuse your thoughts with mine - they are not the same.


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 14:03 | 1305920 malek
malek's picture

You mean you can write things without thinking of them?

Congratulations, you just reached a new level of moronism

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:46 | 1304756 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

More than half of America's history - and arguably some of its best - was without cars.  What single item of Americana is more symbolic of consuming more than one can afford than the car?


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:19 | 1305109 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

 More than half of America's history - and arguably some of its best - was without electricity and running water

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:52 | 1305306 andybev01
andybev01's picture

I imagine it would be much like those surreal days after 9/11.

My ears were ringing from the silence of no aircraft overhead.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 12:17 | 1305447 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

And the bluest skies since the early 70's.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 13:31 | 1305769 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

no blue skies while they're pwning the weather 2025.


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:53 | 1304596 Reliantmedia
Reliantmedia's picture

And I thought our choice was between our food and fuel? Next you'll tell me that while our prez goes on another world-wind tour that fewer Americans will be going on vacation this summer due to our great economy. Wow! I knew these guys were brilliant..... Maybe they should just 'print some mo'!

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:18 | 1304669 DarkAgeAhead
DarkAgeAhead's picture

Ha, true.  As a taxpayer, I'm just thrilled that the president is able to drink a Guiness in his ancestral Irish homeland, while I just paid my vacation $ to the government...


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:53 | 1305312 andybev01
andybev01's picture

'Moneygal' no less!

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:54 | 1304600 southsea13
southsea13's picture

Firstdivision is right: if you educate people so they realise that buying loads of junk on credit is just making their masters richer (or - shock, horror - they cotton onto the idea that the 200000" LCD Plasma Future-Proof 3D/4D Cinemamawankery Tv and Ipads are just gimmicks not worth buying) then *bang* goes the US sales-based economy. This won`t be a major issue for China as they`ll own half the world by then and won`t need money from the `ghosts` any more (unless that`s paying off the huge debt and recklessness that made the USA China`s kid).

`The art of fighting without fighting, bitchezzz` :)


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 12:40 | 1305553 sethstorm
sethstorm's picture

This won`t be a major issue for China as they`ll own half the world by then and won`t need money from the `ghosts` any more


Not if the US owns the other half and wants to put China back in the 19th Century.

China forgets so easily that there are more than enough US citizens that do not like that country (and can do something about it).  If China tries anything rash enough, the US will be more than happy to reassign ownership to someone who isn't connected to the PRC.



Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:54 | 1304603 Henry Chinaski
Henry Chinaski's picture

Summary:  Crush and reeducate the middle class.

Practical example:  Bus ridership is up and touted as good news:,0,...


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 12:24 | 1305465 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

When that first happened here (the $140 oil spike), they admitted it was due to rising fuel costs. But now, they are bragging that it is due to their management.

At least I'm not watching empty, giant buses (bigger = more fedgov $) roaming the streets anymore. Of course, they've put ads over the windows, so it's harder to tell if they're empty or not.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:55 | 1304604 Tense INDIAN
Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:55 | 1304605 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

...and they couldn't be happier about it.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:54 | 1304608 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Non violent revolution requires that a society reach a point of desperation or disgust where they will defy the law. Where they will finally realize the law is used to abuse rather than protect them.

The law and the state depend on the willingness of the great majority to comply voluntarily. To support and help defend its' contractors (police). When this Marginot line is broken, failure can swamp the state like a Mississippi levee break.

There are few catalysts that are more powerful than hunger and poverty, especially in the face of reports on the lifestyles of the wealthy. Coupled with exposes on the collusion with government to maintain their monopoly of power and wealth, the fuse is easily lit. 

The choice between gas and a home? Got a match?

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:03 | 1304633 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

"The choice between gas and a home? Got a match?"  Killing two birds with one stone?  I would argue that there is no such things as "non-violent PROTEST".  This is an oxymoron.  Even if the protestors do not act violently, the riot police always will (it is their job to get physical).  Real change requires blood sweat and tears and does not guarantee the expected result.  Humanity can change and adapt as long as the resources are there to do so.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:25 | 1305133 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Then you would not be a student of history. There is every reason to be non-violent: being violent legitimizes the police actions of the ruling elite, it keeps people from being forced to commit violence against their countrymen, it is more effective.

When people choose to NOT support the law, it exposes the numerical deficiencies of the elites. It starves them of funding (taxes). It increases their costs to police resulting in actions that may turn even greater numbers against them.

If you think non-violent protest fails to require blood, sweat and tears- you have not studied the historical effects. 

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 12:34 | 1305535 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Your missing his point that any form of protest is sowing the seeds for a violent conflict. Also, the oxymoron is that protest itself is violent. Not physically, perhaps, but mentally and emotionally.

I was very active in anti-war protests leading up to Iraq 2.0, until I started to realize that I was creating a point of conflict by attempting to interject my views onto others in public. On Saturday mornings, us peace folks would line up in front of the Post Office, while the freepers would line up across the street. While we were mostly all civil, there was no lost love between the two groups, as both viewed the other as an ignorant, dangerous enemy.

So, here I was, a Veteran for Peace, out fighting for peace! At this point I stopped all form of political activism, as I constantly could see how my actions were undermining my goals.

Protest is not the answer, but as you state, refusal to obey the law is. Protesting is just a form of strengthening the resolve of all of the warriors and white knights who will fight for any cause that they deem to be in need of defending. It serves no one except those who profit from a divide and conquer polarity.


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 13:01 | 1305645 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Exactly.  You want to change things.  Go out into your community, right now, and make them happen.  Protest now will simply identify you as an enemy of the state.  The black markets are booming and as more people come "off the radar" (purposefully or otherwise) the legitimacy of the system will be recognized for what it is.  Eventually the new black markets become the free markets until "new" economists corrupt those markets and the cycle begins again.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 13:46 | 1305838 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

personal protests, opting out of the systems that keep folk cornered and caged, is the only way to find the change(s) needed to survive. . .

the more positive aspects include a sense of actually doing something, less feeling "helpless" because you are helping yourself and others - and your perspective of self-reliance is an example to those who are still waking up to the new "reality" of how the systems have limited their thinking/actions.

as you've both noted, standing around with a sign & an argument only identifies you as having a "side" - not really all that smart in these times. . . best to be undermining the systems in clever ways, on the sly.

(not to mention it feels better to be pro-active, not re-active!)


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 16:26 | 1306590 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

I didn't miss the point at all. I just don't agree. You can only have a violent conflict if both sides choose violence. Further, protest doesn't require a march or gathering. You can choose to not obey the law- pure and simple. Civil disobedience has a tradition in America. From Thoreau to the civil rights movement. 


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:09 | 1304639 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

People in freedumb's land are fat and happy.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:46 | 1304743 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

And when they aren't, as is the case in Wisconsin (or Egypt), they're criticized on these pages for being so greedy!  "Liquidate Knowledge!  Liquidate Public Health!  Who needs any of that shit?" say the bootlicking Liquidationist Bourgeoisie as they stroke the banker-gansters.

As if groveling to banker-gangsters to ONLY flatline for 4 decades is greed!  Or demanding the right to bargain collectively is greed!  

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:59 | 1305004 Thisson
Thisson's picture

Hey, fuck you and the other leaches who think they're entitled to suck off of our productivity. 

Collective bargaining is fine for private unions.  But for public unions, it's just collusion between politicians and unions: you raise my benefits, I vote for you. 


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:09 | 1305034 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

"Productivity"!!  What a laugh!

Sure thing, banker-gangster:  there's a lot of productivity in credit default swaps and double-leveraged ETFs, isn't there?  

It's not productivity you're concerned about - it's someone else's money you're looking to pilfer.  That's why you want to abolish the rights of workers.

Your ilk has already done so in the private sector with your mad, global race to the sweatshop bottom.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:27 | 1305170 RKDS
RKDS's picture


I can't believe the nerve of some people who honest to God believe that how much money you earn/steal is the sole measure of a human's worth.  That the empty-headed government-suckling executive on the golf course is more important then everyone in the factory or the office because he pays himself more than all of them combined.  When I hear that a parasitical group is holding America back, it is largely they, along with the politicians (and some dysfunctional minorities), who come to mind.  This country is becoming no different than the English monarchy that our ancestors risked everything to escape from, moneyed interests in bed with the crown perpetuating a centuries old feudalistic society.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 13:41 | 1305826 indio007
indio007's picture


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 18:08 | 1306908 southsea13
southsea13's picture

As a Brit, I could not get my head around the near-worship surrounding the `royal` wedding by some people in the US. Your ancestors had the good sense to throw off the yoke of a bloated, corrupt monarchy; but now, it seems that any kind of glitz, glamour, bling or whatever has substituted anything of real substance (and by that I mean a stable economy, a living wage, and life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and so on).


The vile scum that have wrecked lives around the world (aided and abetted by their friends, the politicians) have got away with daylight robbery (and they`ll do it again!) Meanwhile in the UK a diet of trash TV and half-baked `recovery` measures are in place that will probably cause more problems than they solve.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 13:10 | 1305669 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Maybe, but you better take a look around, state workers in my state are "all-in" the private sector when it comes to their retirement.  The politicians will be executed if wall street steals them again.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:01 | 1304612 SwingForce
SwingForce's picture

Anybody who is underwater should think about this, its not about the over-spenders anymore. The rest of the world decides on food, we decide on gasoline for our 3 cars, huh.  How many people are paying $5oo extra a month ? That's a bailout for the bank, if they even know who owns your note & title, but who cares as long as you keep paying SOMEBODY who's a bankster! What has The Fed done for YOU today? NOTHING, and the value of your house will be dropping further because of that.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:59 | 1304613 Ray1968
Ray1968's picture

If you work in Baltimore or Detroit, you need to live 1+ hour away. These cities are dirty shit-bag cities full of drugs and crime! Yes, the gasoline prices are killing the middle class who seek to live in a good neighborhood.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:44 | 1304750 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

What do you expect:  banker-gangsters and their lackeys make serious bank off the drug trade.  

Pumping the ghettos full of poison is a twofer for White Capital!

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:00 | 1304617 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Funny how people will stop driving cars before they will dump their cell phone, internet, and cable.  It is also very clear if things get even tighter, people will stop paying their mortgage before they stop paying for their cell phones or entertainment.  There won't be any riots in America until people have to choose between feeding themselves and paying their mortgage.  You don't want to be the holder of low-rent apartments when this happens because they won't be paying their rent either.  Even then, people might have to starve for a few months before the "average" person gets thin enough to get their fat ass off the couch.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:05 | 1304636 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Agreed. People in the usa aren't hurting. Squid sucking Genocidal Ben is killing people who really are poor around the world tho...

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:21 | 1304680 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Yep, you are NOT poor if your fat ass is putting fuel into a SUV to begin with.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 13:04 | 1305657 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Oh look, I got junked.  As always, the truth hurts.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:17 | 1304676 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

I have a suspiscion that mobile phones and Gas always come before everything - yep that includes food.


I will not be surprised when beggars drive cadillacs and have a cell phone but still beg for the price of a cup of coffee.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:18 | 1304678 velobabe
velobabe's picture

yeah, these dumb new mothers with their new baby in a huge ass stroller and tons of whatever is needed to stroll your baby. one hand on the handle and one hand on the cell phone, blabbing away. give yourself and your new baby cell phone ray cancer. i just can't stand what this country has turned into, talking cell phone heads. so loud out in public. cell phones make people so stupid. talking to yourself. make friends with your neighborhood wildlife instead. they don't have cell phone service.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:46 | 1304755 aheady
aheady's picture

I am SO with you on that, V.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:27 | 1304881 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

I always wanted to take a dial phone, hold it in one arm and walk around talking away 

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:01 | 1304626 Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture

Problem solved:

No gasoline worries here, sticking it to the Banksters. Love it.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:05 | 1304630 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Boom time for maids, butlers, pool cleaners, chauffeurs.

The frontier: Valets, Parlor maids, croquet mallet tenders, food tasters, 

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:15 | 1304657 DarkAgeAhead
DarkAgeAhead's picture

Just another fantastic day in our slide to corporate feudalism.  For the global elites to win, the virtues of owning property in fee simple absolute must be eroded and functionally obliterated.


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:02 | 1305013 Thisson
Thisson's picture

We're already there.  There's no alloidal title here in the USA.  Pay your property taxes or you're evicted, Mr. "Owner."

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 13:12 | 1305679 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Yeah, people forget about that little gem.  But then again, if property owners across the Nation say "fuck you" all at once then it gets interesting.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 15:54 | 1306441 DarkAgeAhead
DarkAgeAhead's picture

Exactly.  What you describe may be the last flicker in my belief in the America of our founders.

When I see so few actually paying taxes, well...that's another force that'll push us beyond that threshold.  Probably why our leaders are throttling really hard toward that.

But I gotta believe, some minimal taxes that are directly connected to specific services, the basics like police/fire protection still fit within a meaningful form of real property ownership.  Not the farce we all pay into today, but something of which remnants still remain and may again return.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:13 | 1304660 spanish inquisition
spanish inquisition's picture

Wow, maybe with more study you will come to the conclusion to have Wall Street in charge of educating people on financial responsibility.... 

Honestly, sounds like a Duke is trying to corner the OJ market gain...... 

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:18 | 1304667 White.Star.Line
White.Star.Line's picture

Deciding whether to pay the mortgage or fill the car is a choice brought to you courtesy of the federal reserve/usury clan.

Next up - the choice between starving your kids or starving yourself. This choice will also brought to you courtesy of our international banking elite.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:48 | 1304765 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

No, it's the product of an economic system in terminal decay due to its inability to satisfy the needs of the global population.

It's the product of a legal system that has created a furious race, globally, to the sweatshop bottom in order to ensure that banker-gangsters have plenty of access to casinos atom man-made islands rife with cheap smack and whores.

Thanks, Capitalism.  Any chance we can get another landfill?  The last one you built provided so many jobs!

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:00 | 1305016 Thisson
Thisson's picture

No, actually, it's just the product of the Federal Reserve and fractional reserve banking.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:11 | 1305044 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

The Federal Reserve is wholly owned by the banker-gangsters.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:31 | 1304703 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

The Case for Financial Education??  A great financial education means that you will be able to make more intelligent choices.  What good is that when all your choices have been co-opted by the thieves running our government?

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:34 | 1304704 velobabe
velobabe's picture

fuck this asshole arrogant mofo fed guy. he is speaking in boston, pravda on the chuck people. god this country makes me so sick, that idiots listen to these sorry fuckers. thank god i have slightly awoken, and can determine this as propaganda, in all of it's liberal deliverance.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:41 | 1304723 WallStreetClass...'s picture

America's poor have houses and drive cars? In a way, I guess...

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:44 | 1304945 Seymour Butt
Seymour Butt's picture

Not for long.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:45 | 1304740 Hannibal
Hannibal's picture

Ride a bike and bus.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:57 | 1304801 schizo321437
schizo321437's picture


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:43 | 1304749 serotonindumptruck
serotonindumptruck's picture

"Young people who played one of the Doorway to Dreams (D2D) financial education games reported increases in financial knowledge, aspirations, and self-confidence."

Hey bro, you gotta play this new game! It's fucking sick! Hella fucking cool, bro! Way better than World of Warcraft!

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:47 | 1304759 schizo321437
schizo321437's picture

End of suburbia. Heard it before.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:53 | 1304775 treemagnet
treemagnet's picture

Once in a while I listen to NPR just to eavesdrop on the keynesian elite.....those fucktards are arguing there was never enough QE and states should have open lines of inexhaustable credit w/the fed.  Simply amazing. 

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:53 | 1304780 White.Star.Line
White.Star.Line's picture

FED policies are creating exponential numbers of "real" poor, folks who do not choose between paying mortgages or filling their gas tanks, because they no longer own homes or cars. These people are losing their houses, cars, and income sources almost as fast as the FED can print and steal.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:53 | 1304781 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

Only from the mind of a Fed employed PHD economist could these pearls of wisdom be spawned.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:03 | 1304816 southsea13
southsea13's picture

Re: Doorways to Dreams. I couldn`t find the game, but check this from their site: 


Appendix B—Preliminary Small-Sample Testing

Appendix B.1—Farm Blitz Financial Skills Self-Confidence Measures

Rate your degree of confidence in doing the following (1 to 5): PRE POST % Change

Not take on more debt than I can handle.        3.37        3.85 14%

Start saving money.        3.73        4.12 10%

Follow the directions of my boss or supervisor.        4.68        4.68 0%

Avoid finance charges.        3.56        3.76 5%

Pay my debt on a regular basis.        3.59        4.07 14%

Save money regularly.        3.24        3.93 21%

Manage my finances.        3.76        3.93 5%

Perform job-related tasks.        4.56        4.44 -3%

Use savings to pay off debt.        3.49        3.95 13%

Allow savings to grow by not taking it out.        2.93        4.05 38%

Avoid high interest debt.        3.61        4.02 11%

Save for financial emergencies.        3.20        4.05 27%


Now, there are two `job-related` sections of interest: the first in bold and underlined (by me) relates to being able to follow instructions by a `boss or supervisor`. Before engaging in D2D and after the programme, the change was 0% in terms of confidence; there was 3% drop in confidence in handling job-related tasks. Does this infer some degree of job satisfaction, perhaps exploitation in dead-end minimum-wage McJobs? 

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 16:00 | 1306464 HagbardC
HagbardC's picture

>>Follow the directions of my boss or supervisor.        4.68        4.68 0%

>>Perform job-related tasks.        4.56        4.44 -3%


I'd be interested to see how their bosses rated them on these questions. 

Somehow I think the numbers would come up different.


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:04 | 1304818 lamont cranston
lamont cranston's picture

Boss Hogg needs to lock this Duke up and throw away the key.

Bo, Luke & Daisy long ago cut relations with her.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:12 | 1304826 espirit
espirit's picture

I'm maxing out my 401 contribution with my good job at MickeyD's, and have figured out that when I retire my net income will be -$25.00 per month with SS that I owe the govt because of my higher education/student loan obligations.

Own a home? You have got to be kidding. Will be lucky to have a dry cardboard box.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:21 | 1304861 southsea13
southsea13's picture

Stick the boxes together with duct tape, paint them bright colours, get some astro-turf and other `scenic` features and sell it on as `luxury professional executive apartments`. Sorted! :)

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:24 | 1304878 espirit
espirit's picture

+1  Working on the screened porch and community pool idea as we speak.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:30 | 1304895 FoieGras
FoieGras's picture

America's poor should never have taken out a mortgage and tried to become homeowners. The poor are supposed to live like the poor, not own McMansions they can't pay.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:30 | 1304897 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

" I won't have to work on putting gas in my car, I won't have to work on paying my mortgage"

How do you feel now Peggy?

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:32 | 1304917 Doyle Hargraves
Doyle Hargraves's picture

"What do people need to know in order to improve their long-term economic well-being? How does this content vary across demographic groups, such as by income, employment status, age, or culture?"

People need to know the Fed is a ponzi scheme that we are on the hook to pay for with our labor! After that the people need no further education, they will have all the knowledge, then just a swift end to the Fed and return to sound money bitchezz!

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:07 | 1305023 PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture

This is what happens when they sell Zero Down Ninja homes to people who have no possible way of affording all the costs of ownership.

Renting is so incredibly cheap now...why would anyone want to buy anyway?

Plus, house prices will drop another 30% so why overpay now?

Doesn't make sense.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:08 | 1305029 Zombies On Toast
Zombies On Toast's picture

The average American can't do basic math so the idea of better financial education is a total joke.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 12:01 | 1305356 PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture

BobSullivan's book, "Stopped Getting Ripped Off" is great. Besides giving some great advice, he cites stats such as over 50% of Americans cannot answer:

"What is 30% of 75."


Now htink of how clueless they were buying Zero Down HOuses where sellers told them..."just sign here and move in. Simple as that!"

It's all BOOOOOOOOOOYAAAAAAAAAAH for years to come.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:18 | 1305083 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

are people actually still paying their mortgages ?

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:21 | 1305124 Hubbs
Hubbs's picture

Only those who have been paying over the years and have built up some equity, to the point that it is still greater than what they have lost since the housing bubble burst. Although that assumes that they didn't take out HELOC.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:16 | 1305091 BurnCycle
BurnCycle's picture

so i guess there is no greater mercy from the banksters and their legions of badged criminals then to gracefully let the majority of us die of hunger in our own homes so we at least can die on a bed or with a roof over our heads.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:18 | 1305103 Hubbs
Hubbs's picture

About those Ipads: Some guy who works at RadioShack said that they cost Apple $34 to make, including $.50 shipping costs, when shipped in bulk. And I thought that only Nike had this kind of profit margin, except that the professional athletes that endorse Nike probably take up half the profits. Good thing I only buy New Balance, which I hear does not advertise via professional athlete endorsements.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 12:03 | 1305339 ZapBranigan
ZapBranigan's picture

Try lower-end Saucony's. (it's the same exact shit as their top-tiered models) Absolutely the best sneakers on the market and they will only cost you 1/3 of what a pair of Nikes cost.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 18:00 | 1306889 nufio
nufio's picture

i just checked online. they dont seem to be that cheap. for a shoe that costs $2 to make they really shouldnt be selling for > $20.


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 18:04 | 1306891 nufio
nufio's picture

well i worded it wrong. I am surprised no competitor exists that can sell it for $20.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:29 | 1305172 JR
JR's picture

Excerpt from…

White Trash, Fast Food (and “what stand out are the symptoms of intellectual neglect”)

How Globalization Is Creating a New European Underclass: In the West, gradual de-industrialization has created a new underclass of the unproductive and intellectually depraved. The spiritual cousin of the American phenomenon of "white trash," these strangers in their own land have become a serious threat to democracy.

by Gabor Steingart SPIEGEL ONLINE INTERNATIONAL | 10/26/06

European democracy's greatest threat

The new proletariat as a homogenous class first came into existence in the last 10 years. And it is by no means an exclusively German phenomenon: An underclass is emerging in every self-described leading industrial nation. The modern political economy clearly has nothing to offer to those who possess little knowledge.

It is no mere coincidence that the rise of the new underclass is happening in tandem with the erosion of industry jobs. In Europe, the process of de-industrialization may end up being more influential than the common currency or the effort to forge a shared constitution. The disintegration of society threatens the West today more than international terrorism, even if politicians are focusing on combating the latter.

Though bombs can shake a democracy or market economy, they cannot destroy it. But the process of economic erosion deprives the West of jobs, then money and, in the end, democratic legitimacy. What is citizenship worth if people are denied the opportunity to participate in the working world? What use are civil liberties if the right to an independent lifestyle is no longer among them? Would it be acceptable if the rights set down in the constitution were only applicable to the educated classes?

Questions of fundamental importance are forcing their way to the foreground: Can a democracy tolerate having part of its populace continuously shut out from the rising quality of life? And if that is accepted, will this decision come back to haunt us in our lifetimes?,1518,442649,00.html

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 12:15 | 1305437 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

There are always productive uses for "surplus" labor if barriers to employment were removed.

This bottom 20 percent was traditionally employed as the servant class. It is better than letting them sit on their ass collecting government aid.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 12:12 | 1305418 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Choosing between gas and mortgage? What luxury!

The rest of the world's poor would love to face such a dilemma.

We Americans have become such whining pussies.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 13:12 | 1305678 HileTroy
HileTroy's picture

MMMMM lets review.

Japan a  glow in the dark ruin. Natural disasters in the US up the ass blag blag all of you know whats comming down the pipe. Natural selecion will make A BIG COME BACK. You can take you American Idol and Dancing with the Dumb Asses and stick it. Shove you fake paper money up your ass and if you are not armed you will be very sad.

Few more months and we will all be playing road warrior.  You guys rock I guess we are the 6 Zion but im pretty sure there is no ONE  coming to save the system.



Middile class was fun



Tue, 05/24/2011 - 13:09 | 1305682 HileTroy
HileTroy's picture

MMMMM lets review.

Japan a  glow in the dark ruin. Natural disasters in the US up the ass blag blag all of you know whats comming down the pipe. Natural selecion will make A BIG COME BACK. You can take you American Idol and Dancing with the Dumb Asses and stick it. Shove you fake paper money up your ass and if you are not armed you will be very sad.

Few more months and we will all be playing road warrior.  You guys rock I guess we are the 6 Zion but im pretty sure there is no ONE  coming to save the system.

Middile class was fun

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 13:41 | 1305832 swamp
swamp's picture

Only in America can the "poor" have mortgages. Hah, and taxpayer funded at that.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 14:29 | 1305985 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture


I don't have a Mortgage. However we do have part time work assignments based on gas cost versus total hours worked net pay. If they only offer 2 hours 50 miles away? Nope. But two hours within a short bike ride? Sure.

I park one vehicle, have spare stores of gasoline purchased at less than half today's price and stand ready to feed other vehicle as long as the necessary use is productive. Such as work hours in excess of cost of gas. Yes both vehicles paid for.

Yes I will have to repenish today's storage use at today's prices. But it good to be able to buy gasoline. Solar is too rich for my blood at moment. Maybe silver Bullion will rise to 200 ounce and we can make that solar work free and change. Who knows?

Some of that provided power to the home after the tornado last month for a week off our Generator. We probably stood to lose about 300 dollars food in the Ice box and another 500+ dollars worth in the deep freezer storage if we did not have power for a week.

More importantly we were able to occupy our home and keep the Looters out with several weapons and armor at ready.

The only choice I have to make is how much I can put into Silver Bullion. Sometimes not so much. Other times? Well... back up the truck.


I make my case based on the obselete Minimum wage standard which is insufficient. 7 dollars an hour gross does not pay for the gasoline to work or anything after net. You need to raise the Minimum about 21 dollars or so before you have a productive economy. What does it matter if the business quits because they cannot afford to pay 21 dollars an hour. That only weeds out the weak and keeps the strong.

Belarus devalued it's currancy some time ago. If we did the same, that Silver Bullion will be useful.

The only choice I have left is Gas? Or Pay off the credit card? It's gas for the storage. No brainer.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 00:20 | 1307923 Zoran
Zoran's picture

The economic collapse is happening at a rapid rate. Most citizens live in a economic situation they neither comprehend nor gain from. The reality is realestate speculators sowed the seeds of their own downfall by bidding up asset values using unsustainable leverage and easy credit -- a way of life that become entrenched in culture until every idiot out there was certain asset price can't drop back to past levels when average wages could afford average homes. Check out the ridiculous comments from property spruikers on forums such as the to see how entrenched is this "markets always rise" myth! US governments have a woeful record in providing a fair asset markets. Many European countries have better models that operate more equitably for everyone, yet even still, those Euro countries must still bail out their banking systems. Anyway, the moral is no one gains from asset price inflation in the end, because bubbles always pop. Sure, we hear claims from the spruikers that prices will rise forever,  but when most people are priced out of the market then something has got to give. Now the ponzi scheme is finally collapsing (it was inevitable), and so today's underclass will have the last laugh when asset values do drop up to 50%, which is happening already in many places around the world.

Zoran Slaveski


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