Friday, February 13, 2009

Financial regulators, regulations, bailout, stimulus and financial literacy...

In the light of recent events regarding the financial meltdown, financial institutions and the bailout money that key banks in the United States have been given but in the meantime, thinking about the urgency to spreading financial literacy which is a personal and professional commitment, even though it can be a bit difficult mixing politics, politicians and financial issues, on February 11, the House Committee on Financial Services held a very interesting hearing ("TARP Accountability: Use of Federal Assistance by the First TARP Recipients") where CEO's from Goldman Sachs (Lloyd C. Blankfein), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (James Dimon), Bank of New York Mellon (Robert P. Kelly), Bank of America (Ken Lewis), State Street Corporation (Ronald E. Logue), Morgan Stanley (John J. Mack), Citgroup (Vikram Pandit) and Wells Fargo & Co. (John Stumpf) testified before the committee.

Trying to keep our focus on financial literacy as much as possible but - after learning the details of this particular hearing - being also aware that there's a heated discussion between
free markets / deregulation and government intervention given the nature and scope of the crisis and its impact on the financial system (which is causing a growing controversy about sensitive issues such as huge bonuses for banking executives), I also believe that helping the public to acquire a basic financial literacy to understand what an interest rate is, a credit card is, a mortgage is and... bankruptcy is, also involves understanding what politicians are doing to try to fix a huge financial problem and why not... contributing -yet modestly- to make people (voters not only in the United States but around the world) realize that their voices must be heard by demanding their representatives take appropriate actions to fix indeed this global problem.

Although this blog post could imply a personal political view about who the "good" and "bad" guys are (Republicans, Democrats, Bankers or whatever), I truly believe that a financially literate person, must be politically active as well when the time to raise his voice to let politicians and businessmen know "do your job and do it right".

Let's consider these views about banking accountability and the stimulus bill...

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Financial Culture / Cultura Financiera
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