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Where the money goes. January 22, 2013

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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“They would give poor families in rural Kenya $1,000 over the course of 10 months, and let them do whatever they wanted with the money.” And it appears to be working wonders.

“Do you want to give food? Add up its retail price. Take that money out of your wallet. Flush 90% of it down the toilet. Send the food bank the rest. You’re still helping more than if you gave the food.

“The profits in this racket are downright hallucinogenic: A military veteran sharing his story with Occupy Student Debt has paid $18,000 on a $2,500 loan, and Sallie Mae claims he still owes $5,000; the husband of a social worker bankrupt and bedridden after a botched surgery tells Student Loan Justice of a $13,000 college loan balance from the 1980s that ballooned to $70,000. A grandmother subsisting on Social Security has her payments garnished to pay off a $20,000 loan balance resulting from a $3,500 loan she took out 10 years ago, before she underwent brain surgery….The finances of Sallie Mae, the former government sponsored enterprise formally called SLM Corp, are a bit difficult to divine, but the operating profit margin is over 50 percent.

“A time-share mogul who makes a string of bad bets during a bubble can slip away from $18.5 million in debt. But a working-class family hit by job loss or injury can be permanently impoverished by an $18.5 thousand debt, with no means of escape. Until now.”

“I long assumed that if you’re fortunate enough to be in the top 2 percent, you can at least afford an accountant or financial advisor to explain the basics to you.

Nonprofit outpost of Panera to open in Brookline. No prices, just suggested donations, and you pay whatever you can afford.

Job openings ticked up 11,000 last month to 3.67 million, the Labor Department said Thursday. That’s about 12 percent more than were advertised in the same month a year ago. The number of available jobs is slowly climbing back to the roughly 4 million that were advertised each month before the recession began in December 2007. More than 12 million people were unemployed in November. That means there were 3.3 unemployed people, on average, competing for each open job. That’s the lowest ratio since November 2008.”

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