University of California

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Meet Janet Dupree:72, Alcoholic, HIV-Positive, $16,000 In Student Debt: "I Won't Live Long Enough To Pay It Off"





One would think that Janet Lee Dupree, 72, a self-professed HIV-infected alcoholic, would be slowly putting aside material worries as she prepares to set the intangibles in her life in order for one last time. One would be wrong.As she admits, "I am an alcoholic and I have HIV," she tells the BBC. "That's under control." What is the cause of most if not all consternation in the final days of Dupree's life? "I was sick and I didn't worry about paying back the debt." As a result, Dupree defaulted on her loan, and since she turned 65 she has had money withheld from her Social Security benefits. "Just recently I received a notification that they are going to garnish my wages because I am still working," says Dupree, who works 30 hours a week as a substance abuse counsellor. The debt in question: Dupree owes $16,000 in student loans she acquired in 1971 and 1972.

"I will never live long enough to pay off my loan."

 
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Frontrunning: September 10





  • British PM begs Scots: Don't rip apart our UK 'family of nations' (Reuters)
  • Obama has become Bush: Obama’s Task: Rally U.S. Public, Allies in Terror Fight (BBG)
  • Alibaba's record IPO covered after first few roadshow meetings (Reuters)
  • Ferrari chairman Luca Di Montezemolo to quit after 23 years (BBC)
  • Combat Reversals Pressure Assad (WSJ)
  • Top LBO Fund Investors Pile on Leverage to Boost Returns (BBG)
  • BOJ's Iwata upbeat on economy, unfazed by post-tax hike slump (Reuters)
  • Carney Can’t Escape Housing as Debt Colors BOE Policy (BBG)
  • Detroit Clears Crucial Hurdle on Bankruptcy (NYT)
 
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53 Million Temps: All You Need To Know About The "Jobs Recovery"





The chart below shows the civilian employment to population ratio: a convenient indicator of the real state of the US labor market which does away with the labor force entirely, and the associated rhetoric of why it may or may not be plunging, and merely focuses on two simple things: total population and the total civilian population of the US. One thing is clear: the ratio crashed when the depression started and has flatlined since. Which, incidentally, may be all you, and the Fed, needs to know about the recovery.

 
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Currency Reform In Ancient Rome





The global economic downturn of 2008, in particular its monetary facet, readily invites comparison between the troubles of the modern world and those of the Roman Empire; just as Western currencies have declined precipitously in value since their commodity backing was removed in stages starting roughly a century ago, Roman currencies were also troubled, and present a cautionary tale. The Roman coin in use through most of the empire was the denarius, which demonstrated a persistent decline in value, starting from the time of transition from Republic to Empire, and continuing until its decimation during the Crisis of the Third Century AD. Although efforts by Diocletian taken after the monetary collapse are commonly associated with Roman economic reform, there were other efforts by earlier, lesser known emperors that suddenly and unexpectedly improved the silver content and value of the denarius. Firsthand accounts and archeological findings provide sufficient detail to allow examination of these short, if noteworthy, periods of voluntary restorative policies – and their architects.

 
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California Droughts: Then And Now





With Lake Mead water levels at record lows, the obstinate drought in California is showing no signs of letting up, and is now being compared to the last major drought which took place during 1976 and 1977. However, the current drought may get much trickier if we don’t see a sharp reversal in rainfall patterns soon, as 'there is a conflict brewing...'

 
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Hoisington: 30Y Treasury Bonds Are Undervalued





With U.S. rates higher than those of major foreign markets, investors are provided with an additional reason to look favorably on increased investments in the long end of the U.S. treasury market. Additionally, with nominal growth slowing in response to low saving and higher debt we expect that over the next several years U.S. thirty-year bond yields could decline into the range of 1.7% to 2.3%, which is where the thirty-year yields in the Japanese and German economies, respectively, currently stand.

 
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What's Lurking Beneath The Glossy Veneer Of The Jobs Report?





The jobs report has little value if we don't peer beneath the glossy veneer.

 
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Was The Department Of Defense Behind Facebook’s Controversial Manipulation Study?





You have probably heard about the extremely controversial Facebook “emotional contagion” study in which the company intentionally altered its news feed algorithm to see if it could manipulate its users’ emotions; but here is where it starts to get really strange. Initially, the press release from Cornell highlighting the study said at the bottom: “The study was funded in part by the James S. McDonnell Foundation and the Army Research Office.” Once people started asking questions about this, Cornell claimed it had made a mistake, and that there was no outside funding. Jay Rosen, Journalism Professor at NYU, seems to find this highly questionable.. and it gets even more interesting from there.

 
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Coming To A Protest Near You... A Drone That Blasts Pepper Spray





What’s a crony status quo to do when it is ultimately confronted with an unruly mob of plebs frustrated with the fact median wages haven’t increased in forty five years, while the 0.01% has stolen everything in sight with the help of the Federal Reserve and corrupt Washington D.C. politicians? Well, naturally you’d launch the South African made Skunk Riot Control Copter, fully equipped with a suite of high-definition and thermal imagine cameras, strobe lights, speakers and a pepper spray firing paint ball gun which can fire 80 shots per second!

 
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Obama Urges Bailed-Out Students Recant Their "Climate-Change Skepticism"





While handing out tax-paying citizens' cash to less tax-paying (but still voting) citizens in his latest bailout (of the student loan bubble) may seem to some just big-hearted, the quid pro quo appears to have just been unleashed. In a commencement address yesterday to graduates of UC Irvine, Bloomberg reports that Obama delivered one of his feistiest critiques of lawmakers; calling on Americans coming of age to demand that politicians respond more aggressively to climate change, comparing those skeptical about man-caused alterations to the environment to a belief that the moon is “made of cheese.”

 
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Top 10 Universities With The Richest Alumni





As student loan bailouts rain down from Washington, we thought it may be useful to consider where the world's wealthiest University alumni are. As Private Wealth reports, following a survey of 70,000 millionaires around the world, eight of the top ten universities with the highest number of rich alumni are based in the U.S., with the U.K. home to the other two. Engineering degrees produced the most millionaires, although most engineering grads made money as entrepreneurs, the study revealed. MBAs, law, accounting, and finance degrees also led to financial success.

 
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The Unfaithful Departed: Meet The People Who Bailed On The Obama Administration





Friday's latest resignation of yet another former Obama administration faithful - that of White House press secretary Jay Carney - got us thinking: how many people have jumped off the USS Obamic? The answer is, in short, a lot. Below is a list (by no means complete) of the most prominent officials and advisors who have quietly exited the Obama administration stage left over the past 6 years.

 
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The Richest Rich Have Never Been Richer Than The Rest Of Us





"The message for strivers is that if you want to be very, very rich, start out very rich," is the wondrous conclusion Bloomberg BusinessWeek's Peter Coy has from delving into the details of the latest data on income growth in America. The richest 0.1 percent of the American population has rebuilt its share of wealth back to where it was in the Roaring Twenties. And the richest 0.01 percent’s share has grown even more rapidly, quadrupling since the eve of the Reagan Revolution.

 
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Reverse Mortgages Spike 20% In 2013 As Baby Boomers Scramble For Cash





While we have covered the various ways in which Americans are scraping by in the current feudal economy, from food stamps and disability fraud, to student loans and living in mom and pop’s basement, this reverse mortgage thing is a piece of the puzzle we have been missing. These mortgages are not insignificant either. According to Inside Mortgage Finance, originations were up 20% in 2013, hitting $15.3 billion. So when you see that older guy working the cashier at Wal-Mart and wonder to yourself how he is surviving, the answer may increasingly be a reverse mortgage. Oh, and since the FHA is originating many of these loans, you the taxpayer will be on the hook!

 
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