Week of September 2, 2013

In this edition of New and Noteworthy, we are highlighting the predictive power of economics, regulatory action around Bitcoin, and the intersection of privacy, technology and “mobile for development” programs.

  • Last week, the U.S. marked the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. While much has been made in terms of civil rights progress, a new survey from Pew Research shows the widening gaps between blacks and whites in terms of financial and economic well-being.
  • Alex Rosenberg and Tyler Curtain wax philosophic in this New York Times opinion piece on the predictive power of economics and what that means for the next Federal Reserve Chairman.
  • In much of the developing world, the adage of keeping money under the mattress is quite literal – often cash is kept in safe boxes or other hiding spots in the home.  A new IMTFI blog post addresses why the poor continue to keep money at home even if bank accounts are accessible.
  • A recent report from the New America Foundation discusses principles of privacy and security in a time when mobile technology is gaining immense popularity in international development projects.
  • Forbes reports that in the wake of a recent ruling by a federal judge declaring Bitcoin as real currency, the New York State Department of Financial Services subpoenaed 22 digital-currency companies and investors asking for information regarding a host of topics including money laundering controls and consumer protection practices.
  • The future of banking may look like “a cross between an Apple Store, a Starbucks and a W Hotel lobby,” according to this article on the expansion of Umpqua Bank’s “bank-as-community” retail model.

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