Week of January 11, 2016

1. Financial Lives of Americans:  The second post in a blog and webinar series on the hidden financial lives of Americans discusses the impact of income volatility for low- and middle-income households. Even when families are saving, a mismatch of income and expenses creates barriers to financial stability. Stanford Social Innovation Review

2. Minimum Wage: In November, Emeryville, CA became the first US city to raise the minimum wage to $15 practically overnight. While some workers notice almost immediate financial relief, others don't feel they are getting ahead (but do say they aren’t falling behind quite as rapidly). The Nation

3. Microcredit: Growing client indebtedness, regulatory loopholes, and debt-related suicides in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are causing some to wonder if theses areas are on the verge of a crisis similar to Andhra Pradesh's in 2010. The Wire

4. Mobile Money:  Con artists across Kenya are using phishing techniques, like posing as telecom customer service agents, to obtain customers' account numbers and passwords. The rural poor are particularly vulnerable to such schemes. Mobile Money Africa

5. Credit: In a new report, the CFPB found that subprime credit card companies specialize in onerous fees (many incurred by simply signing up) with opaque terms and conditions. In fact, mailings from these companies announcing pre-approved cards were 70% longer than those from mainstream financial institutions. The Atlantic

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