Fatal Stampede in South Africa Points Up University Crisis

Posted by administrator | 11/01/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Fatal Stampede in South Africa Points Up University Crisis
News from New York Times:

Adrian De Kock/Associated Press

Thousands of students and parents pushed their way into the gates at the University of Johannesburg on Tuesday.

JOHANNESBURG — One woman died and several people were injured Tuesday in a stampede by students desperate to apply for admission to a public university here.

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Reuters

Shoes were piled up after a stampede at the University of Johannesburg on Tuesday.

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New Jersey lawmaker looks to update alimony rules after advocacy group claims lifetime punishment
News from FOX News:

Fairness must be put back into divorce court, an advocacy group in New Jersey is arguing, pushing legislation to update what it says are antiquated alimony laws that disproportionately favor the recipients of alimony, regardless of changing circumstances.

“Lifetime alimony and the family court system in New Jersey are driving real people to the brink,” Tom Leustek, president and founder of New Jersey Alimony Reform, told FoxNews.com. “My own divorce resulted in a lifetime alimony order in 2008. I remember during one of the court hearings, the judge saying to me, ‘It’s not fair, but it’s the law.'”

Alimony, or spousal support, is an amount of money paid by one spouse after a divorce to enable the lower-income spouse to cover living expenses. 

Leustek, a professor at a local university, contends that many of his state’s alimony laws are slanted because they were established in the 1940s and 1950s when women were largely stay-at-home mothers and men were considered the principal income earner.

Leustak has won the ear of Republican state Sen. Sean Kean, who is sponsoring legislation that seeks a plan to overhaul Garden State alimony laws like lifetime payments.

“In New Jersey, an individual divorced 30 years ago could still be required to make payments to his or her spouse while in retirement, irrespective of changes in income or other l…………… continues on FOX News

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Canadians getting better at paying off credit card debt: Equifax
News from Toronto Star:

Sunny Freeman The Canadian Press

TORONTO—Canadians are paying off more of their credit card debt as they cope with a weaker economy and some restrictions on credit expansion.

The latest national credit trends report from Equifax Canada, released early Tuesday, says the average credit card debt fell in 2011 by 3.4 per cent.

Despite that improvement and a reduction in consumer bankruptcies last year, overall debt continues to rise — though much more slowly than before.

“The only product that has shown a reduction in balances over the course of 2011 are credit cards,” says Nadim Abdo, vice-president of consulting and analytical services for Equifax Canada.

“That in large part is due to changes in legislation and some restrictions placed on credit card issuers.”

As the economy slows and consumers become more nervous about the future, Canadians are curbing spending and paying down some debts.

It appears consumers may be heeding warnings from Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and others about the perils of taking on too much debt as household debt loads hit record highs last year.

The government has also clamped down on risky mortgage lending and other credit with new rules.

The E…………… continues on Toronto Star

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Top New Year’s resolution: Pay down credit card debt
News from Echo Press:

The results of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) December poll show consumers remain very connected to their credit cards.

When asked to rank their 2012 financial resolutions, only six percent of more than 2,300 respondents indicated that decreasing dependence on credit cards was their number one goal. However, the overwhelming majority (62 percent) selected “decreasing debt” as their top focus for 2012. These numbers reflect consumers’ mixed feelings about credit cards.

“Credit cards are a mixed blessing for most,” said Darryl Dahlheimer, program director at LSS Financial Counseling Service. “Access to credit provides options for consumers and can help build a good credit score, but credit card debt can also cause personal turmoil and financial instability.”

Weight loss is a helpful metaphor to understand how credit and debt can play a role in our lives, Dahlheimer said. “Americans understand that maintaining a healthy weight improves overall health and vitality, yet struggle with overeating and sedentary habits that keep extra weight on,” he said. “In the same way, most consumers intend to pay off charges on their credit cards, but many find themselves paying only minimum payments, prolonging debt and personal hardship.”

Losing the “weight” of debt is among the most important steps to financial wellness, Dahlheimer said…………… continues on Echo Press

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The Small-Investors’ Guide to Activist Investing

Posted by administrator | 11/01/12 | Tagged Credit Card

The Small-Investors’ Guide to Activist Investing
News from Motley Fool:

You might think it takes Carl Icahn’s deep pockets or Bill Ackman’s silvery mane to be an effective activist investor. Wrong. It might feel like the stock market is rigged against the little guy, but the truth is you don’t need big bucks to effect change on Wall Street. The information age has made it easier than ever for small-fry investors to make their voices heard and rally others to a cause.

Don’t believe me? Just look in the rearview mirror, Fool. It has been almost 12 years since thousands of Fool community members joined forces to help sway the SEC to pass Reg FD. Happily, the same tools and strategies that allowed Fools to connect and effect change are available to you today, only they’re even better. A social web and greater transparency have made it even easier for little guys like us to demystify investing and make ourselves heard.

I’ll explain in a moment just how you can follow our playbook with both regulators and companies that you think can do better by shareholders. But first, here’s a quick example of the way your typical activist story plays out.

A typical activist tale
Activist investing usually plays out along these lines. An investor with deep pockets, c…………… continues on Motley Fool

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Citi chief urges risk disclosure shake-up
News from Financial Times:

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