Week of August 10, 2015

1. Cash: The artisanal movement may have reached its peak. Hipsters everywhere can now pay for their hand-sharpened pencils and small-batch mayonnaise with homemade, locally crafted currencies. The New York Times

2. Household Finance: Despite recent economic growth and falling unemployment, many American workers are still struggling to save for emergencies or make ends meet.  Financial capability programs, offered through employers, may help participants alleviate some of their financial struggles through knowledge and access to products and services. CFED

3. G2P Infrastructure: The Indian Supreme Court ruled that biometric identification cannot be mandatory to receive government subsidies. Bad news for banks and financial inclusion advocates, good news for officials siphoning funds from "ghost" beneficiary accounts (see Muralidharan, Niehaus, and Sukhtankar's massive RCT). NDTV
 
4. Poverty in the US: A new study claims that while deepening income inequality is a problem in the US, increased economic and racial segregation coupled with concentrated poverty is a much bigger deal. City Lab

5. Research: IPA is hiring a Program Director to oversee all of their financial inclusion work, both US and international, including existing research and dissemination efforts and several large research funding pools. Innovations for Poverty Action

Dr. Abu S. Shonchoy is auditing implementation work during Mobile Banking Research field visit.

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