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December 20, 2013

New & Noteworthy

By Alicia Brindisi

Our last New and Noteworthy of the year includes new research on poverty rates in the US, racial disparities in retirement savings, and commitment savings devices in the Philippines.

  • The African Development Bank released a new report on the state of financial inclusion on the continent, highlighting opportunities and challenges for expanding access to financial services for the poor.
  • According to a new study from researchers at Columbia University, government safety net programs like food stamps and unemployment insurance helped reduce the percentage of Americans in poverty from 26 percent in 1967 to 16 percent in 2012. However, the economy by itself has failed to improve the lives of the very poor in that time period.
  • The National Institute on Retirement Security released a study on the racial disparities in retirement savings - fewer than half of black and Latino workers have retirement plans on the job or benefit from tax breaks and policy incentives designed to increase savings, putting them at greater risk for downward mobility in retirement.
  • In the latest installment of its Debt Inc. series, ProPublica explores the effect on payday loan recipients when their lenders decide to sue for money owed.
  • In case you didn’t make it to London in October for the Financial Inclusion 2020 Forum, CFI published a magazine with a roundup of key sessions and forum highlights.

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