Esquire Theme by Matthew Buchanan
Social icons by Tim van Damme

13

Apr

In honor of Financial Literacy month, I wanted to share the fireside chat from the Council of Economic Education's Visionary Awards dinner last fall. Very powerful statements on financial education were made by the evening's honorees — Harold Burson of Burson-Marsteller, Maria Bartiromo of CNBC, and Dr. Henry Kaufman of the Kaufman Foundation.

Simple statements that speak volumes for parents, teachers and children. 

(Disclosure: Lucky to have the double honor of working for Harold Burson and serving on the Board of the CEE.)

13

Mar

The Council for Economic Education (CEE), in collaboration with the Calvin K. Kazanjian Economics Foundation, released its seventh Survey of the States: Economic and Personal Finance Education in Our Nation’s Schools. The bi-annual report brings attention to the critical importance of economics and personal finance education by documenting its status in the fifty states and the District of Columbia.The recent economic downturn has brought nationwide attention to the dangers of a financially illiterate society. The new survey shows that while there has clearly been progress since the first survey in 1998, that over the last two years, the trend is slowing and in some cases moving backward.
This report gives great insights and benchmarks for goal-setting for moving ahead as a nation committed to finanical education.

The Council for Economic Education (CEE), in collaboration with the Calvin K. Kazanjian Economics Foundation, released its seventh Survey of the States: Economic and Personal Finance Education in Our Nation’s Schools. The bi-annual report brings attention to the critical importance of economics and personal finance education by documenting its status in the fifty states and the District of Columbia.

The recent economic downturn has brought nationwide attention to the dangers of a financially illiterate society. The new survey shows that while there has clearly been progress since the first survey in 1998, that over the last two years, the trend is slowing and in some cases moving backward.

This report gives great insights and benchmarks for goal-setting for moving ahead as a nation committed to finanical education.

21

Nov

Girl Scout’s New Cirricullum Includes Financial Literacy Badges
A modernized new program for the Girl Scouts includes 13 badges earned for becoming financially literate. From budgeting to saving to understanding debt and credit, girls are able to access information typically not found in school, yet so critical.
Certainly, the need for this education is not limited to girls. It’s not even limited to the youth. It was the very lack of financial education that led to poor decision making, which was part of the series of events resulting in our current economic environment.
While we await the government providing more formalized requirements in our school system, it’s great to see the Girl Scouts taking the lead.

Girl Scout’s New Cirricullum Includes Financial Literacy Badges

A modernized new program for the Girl Scouts includes 13 badges earned for becoming financially literate. From budgeting to saving to understanding debt and credit, girls are able to access information typically not found in school, yet so critical.

Certainly, the need for this education is not limited to girls. It’s not even limited to the youth. It was the very lack of financial education that led to poor decision making, which was part of the series of events resulting in our current economic environment.

While we await the government providing more formalized requirements in our school system, it’s great to see the Girl Scouts taking the lead.

19

Nov

Time for a Federal Mandate to Teach K-12 Financial Education
Dan Kadlec of Time magazine is good to call out Education Secretary Arne Duncan in his article last week, “Hey Secretary Duncan, It’s Time to Teach Kids about Financial Education (Not Just Talk About It).” Secretary Duncan gave a good speech last week to the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Education, created by Obama in January 2010. The Secretary used strong language promoting the need for financial education, but fell short by not calling for a federal mandate. It’s time that he make good on his words to promote greater teaching of financial literacy in K-12 education. 
As Kadlec points out, the work of developing the curriculum today is being provided by not-for-profits, like the Council for Economic Education (CEE). These programs are largely funded by business as part of their corporate responsibility commitments. 
Below is an excerpt of Secretary Duncan’s comments:
“As important as reading and math and social studies and science are, I think today more than ever financial literacy has to be part of that. To continue to have a population that is relatively illiterate in these matters, I think has real negative consequences to our democracy. … This is not a place where we just need to get a little better. We’ve got to get a lot better, and we’ve got to get better faster. … You have to start young. … There are some problems where I think we’re pretty close to solving them, we just need to tinker, and this is not one of those. We have to get so much better. … We have a state of crisis here. We have an emergency, and I feel this tremendous sense of urgency.”
Kadlec points out, “The committee’s recommendations will likely include an appeal for educators to engage with the stakeholders from the financial services industry to help devise finance planning curricula that address the core elements of personal finance.”
As the advisory committee works toward its final recommendations to the President and the Treasury and Education departments, it is important to recognize that the foundation for making this K-12 financial education broadly available is already well underway through the CEE and other organizations.
American’s have never had to assume so much personal responsibility for their own financial well-being as today — with businesses eliminating defined-benefit programs, social security a relic and the stock market uncertain. The need for action for the younger generation has never been greater. It’s a great gift that we can give them.
(Disclosure: As part of my deep interest to support economic empowerment, I serve on the board of the Council for Economic Education.)

Time for a Federal Mandate to Teach K-12 Financial Education

Dan Kadlec of Time magazine is good to call out Education Secretary Arne Duncan in his article last week, “Hey Secretary Duncan, It’s Time to Teach Kids about Financial Education (Not Just Talk About It).” Secretary Duncan gave a good speech last week to the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Education, created by Obama in January 2010. The Secretary used strong language promoting the need for financial education, but fell short by not calling for a federal mandate. It’s time that he make good on his words to promote greater teaching of financial literacy in K-12 education. 

As Kadlec points out, the work of developing the curriculum today is being provided by not-for-profits, like the Council for Economic Education (CEE). These programs are largely funded by business as part of their corporate responsibility commitments. 

Below is an excerpt of Secretary Duncan’s comments:

“As important as reading and math and social studies and science are, I think today more than ever financial literacy has to be part of that. To continue to have a population that is relatively illiterate in these matters, I think has real negative consequences to our democracy. … This is not a place where we just need to get a little better. We’ve got to get a lot better, and we’ve got to get better faster. … You have to start young. … There are some problems where I think we’re pretty close to solving them, we just need to tinker, and this is not one of those. We have to get so much better. … We have a state of crisis here. We have an emergency, and I feel this tremendous sense of urgency.”

Kadlec points out, “The committee’s recommendations will likely include an appeal for educators to engage with the stakeholders from the financial services industry to help devise finance planning curricula that address the core elements of personal finance.”

As the advisory committee works toward its final recommendations to the President and the Treasury and Education departments, it is important to recognize that the foundation for making this K-12 financial education broadly available is already well underway through the CEE and other organizations.

American’s have never had to assume so much personal responsibility for their own financial well-being as today — with businesses eliminating defined-benefit programs, social security a relic and the stock market uncertain. The need for action for the younger generation has never been greater. It’s a great gift that we can give them.

(Disclosure: As part of my deep interest to support economic empowerment, I serve on the board of the Council for Economic Education.)

16

Oct

Ten years ago, Steve Jobs was alive, Bob Hope was alive and Johnny Cash was alive. Now we’re outta jobs, outta hope and and outta cash.

Don’t miss Peggy Noonan's witty and poetic analysis of the Occupy Wall Street movement in the Weekend Wall Street Journal. She nails it, as only she can do.

"This is No Time for Moderation" (an excerpt)

Ten years ago, we had Jobs, Cash and Hope.

OWS is not in itself important—it is obvious at this point that it’s less a political movement than a be-in. It’s unfocused, unserious in its aims. But it is an early expression, an early iteration, of something that is coming, and that is a rising up against current circumstances and arrangements. OWS is an expression of American discontent, and others will follow. The protests will grow as the economy gets worse.

A movement that will go nowhere but could do real damage would be “We hate the rich, let’s stick it to them.” Movements built on hatred are corrosive, and in the end corrode themselves. Ask Robespierre. In any case, the rich would leave. The rich are old, they feel like refugees in the new America anyway. A movement that would be helpful and could actually help bring change would be one that said, “Enough. Wall Street is selfish and dishonest, and Washington is selfish and dishonest. Together their selfishness and dishonesty, their operating as if they are not part of a whole, not part of a nation of relationships and responsibilities, tanked a great nation’s economy. We will reform.”

Why is this happening now, and not two years ago? Because at some point in the past year or six months, people started to realize: The economy really isn’t going to get better for a long time. Everyone seems to know in their gut that unemployment is going to stay bad or get worse. Everyone knows the jobless rate is higher than the government says, because they look around and see that more than 9% of their friends and family are un- or underemployed. People put on the news and hear about Europe and bankruptcy, and worry that it’s going to spread here. Eighteen months ago smart people could talk on TV about how we’re on a growth path and recovery will begin by fall of 2010. Nobody talks like that now.

And people have a sense that nothing’s going to get better unless something big is done, some fundamental change is made in our financial structures. It won’t be small-time rejiggering—a 5% cut in this tax, a 3% reduction in that program—that will get us out of this.

From Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal Opinion Page, October 15-16, 2011 (for the full article)

14

Aug

Economic Breakdown Song (Now on iTunes!) (by JonSlagle)

This music video was created for an Economics Final at Frontier High School in Bakersfield by four classmates. It was written on Thursday, Song recorded on Friday, Shot in 5 hours on Saturday, Edited on Monday - with a couple of pick-up shots. Final editing and mastering on Tuesday and turned in on Wednesday morning.

13

Aug

4 Tips for Journalists on How to Cover the Financial Crisis -- in Plain English, please!

It’s great to see journalists thinking about how to best communicate macro economic news in ways that educate the general public.

We could all use some help figuring this mess out!

03

Aug

The Unexpected
Sharon Epperson of CNBC has been a long time advocate of financial literacy, devoting her career to public education and having served on the board of the Council for Economic Education.
Here, Sharon puts aside the grieving of her father to share their family’s story of financial security through his forward-looking family care to ensure his family would be well in his absence.

The Unexpected

Sharon Epperson of CNBC has been a long time advocate of financial literacy, devoting her career to public education and having served on the board of the Council for Economic Education.

Here, Sharon puts aside the grieving of her father to share their family’s story of financial security through his forward-looking family care to ensure his family would be well in his absence.

20

Jul

The Language of Finance: Bloomberg “Your Money”

YouTube is a treasure trove of all things these days. That certainly extends to financial literacy. This helpful video reinforces the basic components that comprise one’s financial profile. In four minutes, Ann Griffin from Ameriprise Financial Services explains these concepts in straightforward language. You may learn a thing or two or just use as a good reinforcement.

YouTube hosts a broad series of useful video on financial literacy basics at Bloomberg: Your Money.

07

Jul

How does gender-driven company culture impact women's negotiating skills? Part II

Interview with Tracy:
Vice President, Beauty Industry
Deidre:
Do you think women are better/worse or same when it comes to compensation negotiation?
Tracy:
Worse. They haven’t had the same social views growing up that encourage them to tout their accomplishments. So once in a business environment, there is often an immediate disadvantage given the competitive environment. Men value themselves much quicker and more easily. They ask for what they think they are worth. Women are getting training and getting better, but it’s just not an innate skill.
Deidre:
What qualities do you think women either do well or need to improve upon when negotiating?
Tracy:
Women are naturally good at relationships. Building on that, they parlay their unique skill sets with demonstrable examples -- deftly working them into the conversation. Objectivity is critical to keeping emotion out of the conversation. Women need to be sure that they can bring that objectivity into the conversation to ensure a strong negotiation.
Deidre:
Does working in a female-dominated company offer any unique insights to compensation negotiation?
Tracy:
Negotiating for compensation is less clear cut and has multiple layers to be evaluated. Softer skills count in a woman-led company and are included in the overall measurement of one’s success. In a majority female environment, some of the masculine traits of objectivity are lost. Woman let their guard down and are less likely to be thoughtful negotiators. Still, this is counter-balanced by being in a very supportive professional environment for woman.