Breaking Political Branding

Politics aren’t as easy as the 1800s when you could ply your voters by providing enough booze to kill them and hope they hit your name on the ballot box. It involves complex branding and image control. There are degrees based around setting up a good political image. It’s a serious business.

The real question is how much of your vote is based around branding and not candidates?… [Read more]

Greek Financial Crisis: Tsipras Gets a Second Chance

This year began with a call for sweeping change in Greece when the Syriza party reached new heights and its leader, Alexis Tsipras, became Prime Minister. With economic instability having plagued the country for the better part of a decade, the election results in January represented yet another shift in the national approach toward escaping debt and taking steps toward financial independence and prosperity.… [Read more]

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Debt: Accounting 101 for Politicians

If children are our future, why is their commencement into adulthood a Sisyphean burden of student debt?

Both Republican and Democratic candidates have begun sprinkling policy specifics into their presidential campaigns, and addressing student loan debt has managed to earn some attention in between blustery rhetoric aimed at Trump, Obamacare, and choosing the best epithet for describing immigrants.… [Read more]

Bank regulators modified debt rules – How will it change things?

U.S. bank regulators have come up with some modified rules for the least possible holding company debt requirements. By the first week of July this year, the U.S. regulators disclosed the new set of rules which are supposed to limit the leverage that banks can engage in business. As per the economists, these new rules may have significant impact on the business decisions of eight of the most important financial institutions in U.S.… [Read more]

Diagnosing the Causes of Medical Debt in the U.S. (Infographic)

With the rollout — and consequential fallout — of Obamacare, the real importance of healthcare reform had been temporarily swept aside to clear the stage for politics. While the dust settles on the budget battleground, we are revisiting the initial reasons behind the reform. As the average age and weight of the people in the United States increases, health issues become more pressing.… [Read more]

How Excessive Paperwork Can Stunt Small Business Growth

Small businesses help fuel the nation’s economic growth. Small business owners are already busy juggling plenty of challenges. Between tasks such as managing employees, keeping tabs on the industry, and striking a balance between operating expenses and turning a profit, small business owners have their work cut out for them. The last thing any small business owner needs is to heap on an unnecessary burden – such as excessive paperwork.… [Read more]

Municipal Debt and Congressional Hypocrisy

Since the City of Detroit made history by declaring the largest municipal bankruptcy in the nation’s history, there has been much talk about credit ratings, debt burdens and the legalities of bankruptcy, which allows those who declare it to take time to restructure their financial obligations and, often, to repay less than what was previously owed.… [Read more]

Congressional Raises and Budget Games

Attached here is the “EXECUTIVE ORDER: ADJUSTMENTS OF CERTAIN RATES OF PAY” signed by President Obama on Friday. The Order ends the 2010 federal employees’ pay freeze, at which time the White House estimated that a salary freeze would save $2 billion for the remainder of fiscal year 2011 and approximately $28 billion over the next five years.… [Read more]

Before Election Day, a Look Back at the Debates: Did We Learn Anything New?

The third and final presidential debate is over. And, despite the idea that this was the time for the voting public to learn something new about the candidates, looking back all three debates it turns out that there was nothing new to learn. The same things were said over and over again, and it was the same talking points we’ve already heard before.… [Read more]

The Biden-Ryan Debate: Here’s Hoping Biden Brings It

Make no mistake about it: despite Mitt Romney’s changed tone and policy flips during his debate with President Obama, the fact remains that although they will never state it directly, a major political party, the GOP, has built its platform on the backs of the poor, middle-class, civil servants, veterans, elderly, disabled, ‘working stiffs’ and ‘non-elite’ people of this nation — even though unemployment, poverty, illness and disability affects people of all political affiliations.… [Read more]

Poverty…Israel’s Internal Enemy

Poverty is the worst form of violence. – Mahatma Gandhi

Almost two weeks ago 57-year old Moshe Silman, a social protester from the northern city of Haifa, set himself on fire at a demonstration for social justice in Tel Aviv. Standing before a crowd of people, Silman read a letter explaining how the State of Israel had “robbed” him, poured flammable liquid over his body then set himself alight.… [Read more]

The United States of America: Made in China?

By the time you have read this article you will have most likely heard the controversy over the U.S. Olympic teams’ uniforms being made in China.  Although most of the U.S. seems alarmed and shocked by this, I can’t say I’m surprised…

Most people seem to think of China as this monolithic force that’s stealing U.S.… [Read more]

Debt Decisions

So, you’ve set an intention to get yourself out of debt. Noble, my friend. Studies have shown that the average American has over $10,000 in debt, most of which is credit-card debt. Yikes. But then you’re staring at your pile of bills, or your Mint.com account, and wondering — where do I start? Which debt do I tackle first?… [Read more]

Under Siege

I recently had a conversation with someone regarding the current global state of affairs.  Whether in the U.S., England, China or Nigeria the masses of the people are struggling just to survive. Why is that?  Why is living in the 21st century, when there is an abundance of resources, so arduous. Especially when the fact of the matter is it doesn’t have to be. … [Read more]

Borrowing from the Money Store

In case you aren’t painfully aware that the student loan situation has gotten terribly out of hand, consider this: the average college graduate owes $25,000 in debt—what do you say to someone in that situation? Add to this the sublime impossibility of finding a job (days and days spent, dozens of CVs sent out… it’s like a ritual of sorts) and the proliferation of unpaid, or “for credit/experience/exposure” internships, and moving back home to your parents seems like more of a dire necessity than a sensible decision.… [Read more]

Is it Just Me Or is That Ladder Getting Taller?

What can $250 Million dollars buy?

62 islands in Belize

500- $500,000 houses

6,250 Brand New Mercedes Benz

$250 Million Cheese Burgers at McDonald’s

A financial report that was released last week said that Mitt Romney has a personal fortune of $250 million.

For President Obama to make $250 million he would have to be president for 625 years.… [Read more]

Making Your Money Matter — Part 3 of 4

This is part three of a four-part series on aligning your personal finances with your values.  Find parts one and two here. 

Okay, now we get to the fun stuff. And by “fun”, I mean “the part where you actually have to face your realities and how that may or may not be in line with what you think.”  Don’t be afraid; I’m here to hold your hand, and I promise I’ve heard it all before.… [Read more]

Rethinking the Four Year Degree

Education is going to be a hot button issue during this election cycle. The GOP will call President Obama an elitist for insisting the youth of America learn stuff. Liberals will yell that the real elitists are rich white kids who get into Harvard and Dartmouth on legacy merit alone while the poor and middle class try to compete.… [Read more]

Talkin’ ’bout My Generation: Stop Bankrupting Our Future

On Wednesday, April 25th, the youth and students of America are taking action and sending a message to big banks and Wall Street: they need to stop destroying our climate and bankrupting our future. It is a nationwide day of action against both crippling student loan debt and Bank of America, the number one financier of the coal industry AND the number one fore closer on American homes.… [Read more]

Weighed Down By the Burden of Debt

“The borrower is servant to the lender.” ~ The Bible, Poverbs 22:7

We’ve talked often at BNV about debt in its many forms – both personal and governmental. The fact that most nations have debt obligations is not news. The U.S.’ debt to China has been a point of political contention that continues to stoke the flames of partisanship and incite fervent Congressional battles.… [Read more]