Financial News and Publications

Financial Issues in the News  

Stressed about money? Scared to check your balance? These tips are for you.

How to face money problems : Life Kit : NPR, Andee Tagle and Sylvie Douglis, January 6, 2022

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Podcasts and Videos

Mailchimp Presents Second Act, a show which follows those who have chosen a new direction in their careers, discovered their passions, and defined their own versions of success.   

Reclaiming his Eritrean roots, Efrem Fesah opened a coffee shop to honor the culture.  Watch the seven-minute video here>

Podcast  Improving the digital customer experience – account opening, American Banker, Open Span, January 31, 2020

Podcast  Can small-dollar loans be both profitable and fair?, by Brendan Pedersen, American Banker, July 29, 2020

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Bank On Washington offers entertainment and education about money to help children and adults learn together.  Facebook –

National Bank On Data Pilot

In partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the Bank On Data pilot collected and measured quantitative data on 2017 Bank On certified account usage at four pilot financial institutions with certified accounts: Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo. The pilot reveals the kinds of relevant account data that can be collected, how it might be collected, and what it might show; as well, this pilot highlights the benefits of a central reporting system for financial institutions with Bank On certified accounts and for their coalition partners across the country. Read the full report on this pilot here: The Present and Future of Bank On Account Data: Pilot Results and Prospective Data Collection. 

The anonymized dataset at the zip code level is available for download here. Want to play with the data yourself? A newly published Bank On Coalition Playbook Chapter, 2017 Bank On Data Pilot: Accessing the Data, details how Bank On coalitions can use the Local Bank On Data Tool to produce reports of this data locally to support their work to expand banking access and the availability of Bank On accounts locally.

The CFE Fund and Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis hosted a webinar on this report and the Data pilot. Click here to watch the webinar.   Click here to download the report.

Who is ALICE?

ALICE is a United Way acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.  The United Way ALICE Report for the Pacific Northwest shows that one-third of our population struggles every month to afford basic necessities. Read the report>  Watch the United Way of Pierce County video>

Integrating Financial Capability

Prosperity Now, formerly known as CFED sees an opportunity to integrate financial capability discussions, resources and tools within existing human service programs such as housing, early childhood education, community health centers, and child welfare, in order to increase the overall impact of these programs and increase the scale and reach of financial capability services. Folding financial capability services into these other social services can address the central and interrelated problems families face in achieving financial security. Learn more>

What It’s Worth

Americans everywhere struggle to build strong financial futures for themselves and their families.  What it’s worth, provides a roadmap for what families, communities and our nation can do to move forward on the path to financial well-being.  Learn more>

VIDEO: Meet America’s Thrivers & Strugglers>

Turn it Right-Side Up

Fight Wealth Inequality, Learn more>


Supporting the Previously Incarcerated Through Rental Housing Counseling, The Bridge, Quarter 3 2021, Volume 9 Issue 3
The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle (ULMS)
and the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) are increasing access to safe, sustainable housing among previously incarcerated individuals, who often face steep challenges to finding stable housing.

Does State-mandated Financial Education Affect Financial Well-being?, by Jeremy Burke, Michael Collins, & Carley Urban, Center for Financial Security, University of Wisconsin-Madison, September 2020.

Pre-Existing Conditions: Assessing the Financial Services Response to Racism, Inequality, and COVID-19, The City of San Francisco, Office of Financial Empowerment, August 2020

Don’t Fixate On The Racial Wealth Gap: Focus on Undoing Its Root Causes, by Anne Price, INSIGHT and Roosevelt Institute, February 2020

Understanding and Working with Students and Adults from Poverty, by Ruby K. Payne, Ph.D., Poverty Series Part 1 – 4

The Effects on Employment and Family Income of Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage, Congress of the United States Congressional Budget Office, July 6, 2019

NYC Civic Corps Program Evaluation, by Nathan Dietz, Daniel Teles, Deondre’ Jones, Urban Institute, March 14, 2019

Inequality Versus Inclusion in US Cities, by Christina Plerhoples Stacy,  Brady Meixell, and Tanaya Srini, Urban Institute, March 11, 2019

Rebuilding a City from the Eye of a Child, by Feargus O’Sullivan, CITYLAB, December 17, 2018

Financial Fragility in the US: Evidence and Implications, by Andrea Hasler, Annamaria Lusardi & Noemi Oggero, Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center, April 2018

The Financial Health Check, Scalable Solutions for Financial Resilience, by Katy Davis, Owen Footer, Abigail Kim, Antoinette Schoar, and Piyush Tantia, Ideas42, February 2018

Whose Bad Choices? How Policy Precludes Prosperity and What We Can Do About It, by Solana Rice, Kasey Wiedrich, Lebaron Sims, Jr, Holden Weisman & Sean Luechtefeld, Prosperity Now Scorecard, 2018

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) releases the 2018 list of consumer reporting companies.  You may know that your credit record affects your ability to get an affordable loan, a job, an apartment, or any other essentials of daily life. But, do you know where and how to request your credit report and what you can do once you order your consumer reports?  Over the past few years, the CFPB has updated and published a list of consumer reporting companies.  Read more>

Voices Rising, African American Economic Security in King County, by Angela Powell. The purpose of this study is to expand upon the Economic Security section of the “Creating an Equitable Future” report and provide a deeper context through the story. There is power in the story, and reading this report, in combination with statistical analysis, is a potent combination. Read more>

Economic Mobility: Research & Ideas on Strengthening Families, Communities & the Economy
A new book from the St. Louis Fed and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System offers new research and ideas central to understanding how families, neighborhoods and the economy can move forward. Center Director Ray Boshara co-authored the introduction of the conference volume, which includes contributions from Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen, Raj Chetty, Joseph Stiglitz, Katherine Newman, Robert Putnam, and many others.  Learn more>

The Health and Wealth Connection, Opportunities for Investment Across the Life Course, by Jason Q. Purnell and Anjum Hajat, The Asset Funders Network, 2016

Integrating Financial Capability Services into Community Health Centers, by Joanna Ain, David Newville, Parker Cohen, and Alicia Atkinson, CFED, November 2016

An update on who is poor in the United States, by Diane Whitmore Schanzenback, Lauren Bauer, and Ryan Nunn, Brookings, September 26, 2016

Paychecks, Paydays, and the Online Platform Economy. Big Data on Income Volatility, February 2016, JP Morgan Chase & Co. Institute

Professionalizing the Field of Financial Counseling and Coaching: A Journal of Essays from Expert Perspectives in the Field, Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund and Citi Community Development and Inclusive Finance, May 2016

Why we’re wrong about lower-income consumers, a three-part series, a companion to ideas42 recent white paper, Reimagining Financial Inclusion, they tackle three myths in turn.

  1. Three Myths About the Underbanked, Part One: What Is a “Rainy Day” When It’s Always Drizzling?, by Katy Davis & Nicki Cohen in Blog, ideas42, February  17, 2016
  2. Three Myths About the Underbanked, Part Two: “I Can Tell You Exactly Where My Paycheck Is Going”, by Katy Davis & Nicki Cohen in Blog, ideas42, March 17, 2016
  3. Three Myths About the Underbanked, Part Three: “Affordable Financial Management Is In Reach”, by Katy Davis & Nicki Cohen in Blog, ideas42, March 31, 2016

Increasing Financial Well-Being Through Integration: A growing body of on-the-ground experience is demonstrating how integration can increase the impact of primary social service, such as helping an individual find a job, while also addressing other financial challenges and barriers that person may be facing. Prosperity Now, formerly known as CFED federal policy publication series, “Increasing Financial Well-Being through Integration,” chronicles policy changes that could increase the impact of social service programs by boosting families’ overall economic outcomes.

  1. Meeting People Where They Are
  2. Gaining and Retaining Employment
  3. Gaining and Sustaining Housing Stability

Tracking Financial Capability is a series designed for frontline organizations that plan to provide, or are already providing, services to help clients manage their financial resources more effectively and become more financially secure. The three guides in this series will help you establish processes to track your programs to ensure they are being implemented as planned and resulting in the outcomes you set out to achieve.

  1. Identify and Prioritize Your Expected Outcomes
  2. Build Your Logic Model
  3. Select and Collect Indicator Data

Understanding King County Racial Inequities, King County Racial Disparity Data, by Francesca Murnan, Public Policy Intern, and Alice Park, Community Impact Manager, United Way of King County, November 2015

Spikes and Dips: How Income Uncertainty Affects Households, by Johnathan Morduch of FAI and Rachel Schneider of CFSI, U.S. Financial Diaries

The Rapid Re-housing for Families Pilot: Interim Evaluation Report, Committee to End Homelessness, July 2015

Family Options Study: Short-Term Impacts of Housing and Services Interventions for Homeless Families, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), July 2015

Excluded from the Financial Mainstream: How the Economic Recovery is Bypassing Millions of Americans.  CFED’s 2015 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard data reveals financial insecurity in America.  See how Washington state fares.  Read the report>

The Politics of Financial Insecurity, Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, January 8, 2015

The Self-Sufficiency Standard for Washington State 2014 prepared for Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, by Diana M. Pearce, Ph.D., University of Washington School of Social Work, November 2014. Read the report>

Mapping Public Benefits for Immigrants in the States, Issue Brief, Pew Charitable Trust, September 2014. Read the report>

Head Start Parent Ambassador Individual Development Account (IDA) Project Evaluation Report, prepared by The Prosperity Agenda, September 30, 2014. Read the report>

Families Out of Balance, How a living wage helps working families move from debt to stability, by Ben Henry and Allyson Fredericksen, Alliance for a Just Society, The Job Gap Economic Prosperity Series, August 2014.  Read the report>

Building Financial Capability in Youth Employment Programs, August 2014. The Savings & Financial Capability team at CFED report is a joint publication of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF).  CFED prepared this report as part of their work on the ASSET initiative Partnership (AIP), which is a collaborative effort across ACF to bring the benefits of asset building to more low-income individuals and families. Read the report>

Financial Capability of Adults with Disabilities, Findings from the Investor Education Foundation 2012 National Financial Capability Study, National Disability Institute, July 22, 2014.

Data point: Medical Debt and credit scores, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, May 2014.

Paul G. Allen Family Foundation:  Disrupting Poverty: Coming Together to Build Financial Security for Individuals and Communities.  The report highlights lessons and best practices garnered from the foundation’s examination of a variety of asset building strategies that they and other foundations support.  The report concludes stating, “Partnership and collaboration have become the guiding maxims for helping individuals and communities disrupt the cycle of poverty and build financial security and resilience.”  One collaborative model and approach noted in the report is the Seattle-King County Asset Building Collaborative, now known as the Financial Empowerment Network | Seattle-King County. Read more>

Financial empowerment training for social service programs. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a report last week that summarizes the results of the national field scan, highlighting how programs that already train case managers and counselors have succeeded—or struggled—in their efforts to provide training, tools, and resources to change case manager and client behavior. The field scan, conducted from October through November 2012, included a high-level national inventory of organizations that are training case managers and other frontline staff in financial empowerment. The field-scan included in-depth interviews at five organizations whose work was of special interest: Seattle-King County Asset Building Collaborative (SKCABC), United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Louisville Metro/Living Cities, The Financial Clinic, and the State of Minnesota. Read the report>

Financial literacy annual report, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, July 18, 2013. The CFPB has undertaken a broad array of education initiatives in the last two years to implement its financial literacy strategy. This report highlights some of these initiatives.

State of The American Dream: Economic Policy and the Future of the Middle Class, Demos, June 6, 2013

Informing Students about Their College Options: A Proposal for Broadening the Expanding College Opportunities Project, The Hamilton Project, by Caroline M. Hoxby and Sarah Turner, June 2013

The Retirement Gamble, April 23, 2013,  A PBS Frontline documentary uncovered how average consumers with actively managed employer-sponsored retirement plans are paying huge chunks of their retirement savings in fees to investment managers and financial advisors.  Read more>

Report: Feedback from the financial education field, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau initiated an outreach program to listen to and engage the many stakeholders who have an interest in improving consumers’ abilities to make informed financial decisions. This report summarizes the results of that outreach work and outlines how it is shaping the CFPB’s work to help consumers make sound financial decisions and navigate the financial services marketplace. Published by CFPB, May 14, 2013.

Piloting Integration: Lessons From FEGS Health & Human Services and Solid Ground, CFED convened a six-month Intensive Learning Cluster of five social service delivery organizations seeking to strengthen the financial security of the low-income households they serve. Published April 2013.

Hard Choices: Navigating the Economic Shock of Unemployment, The study examines how American families cope with unexpected financial setbacks and how those periods of economic uncertainty draw down financial resources, leaving them more insecure in the future. Published by the Pew Charitable Trusts, April 2013.

Integrating Financial Security and Asset-Building Strategies into Workforce Development Programs, by Angela Duran, Jennifer Brooks and Jennifer Medina, CFED, April 2013

Imperfect Protection: Using Money Transmitter Laws to Insure Prepaid Cards, A recent report shows that consumer protections required by money transmitter laws are much worse than the protections offered by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insurance. The report demonstrates that prepaid cards are much riskier products for consumers than checking accounts. Published by the Pew Charitable Trusts, March 2013.

Banking on Opportunity: A Scan of the Evolving Field of Bank On Initiatives, by the US Department of the Treasury, including a case study of Bank on Seattle-King County. Published November 2011.