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Are you ‘unbanked’ or ‘underbanked’?

Financial illiteracy is a calamity in the making
 
The North American Securities Administration Association declares that “The need for financial education in the United States has never been greater. The precipitous drop in savings rates and the rise of personal debt indicates a looming crisis that will be averted only through the combined efforts of public and private sectors, educators, and in the end, individuals making informed choices about their own financial futures. “These problems will not be solved by education alone, but we are certain that they cannot be solved without education.”

This ominous quote calls attention to what is a genuine calamity in the making, not just in America but throughout the world. A great deal of the analysis and personal angst surrounding the most recent financial crisis and the resulting recession focused on a worldwide financial establishment that, in the view of many, had wickedly “run amok.” During this time, a number of financial experts cited the onset of new and expanded banking practices as having a decidedly detrimental effect on the global economy. For example, when the financial crisis emerged in 2007, Americans quickly became familiar with terms such as deregulation, subprime and adjustable rate loans, credit default swaps, the housing bubble, collateralized debt obligations, mortgage-backed securities, hedge funds, predatory lending, over-leveraging, and the shadow banking system. Continue Reading →

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