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Lessons from the La Raza Study on Prepaid Use by Latinos

Adam Rust's picture

Posted May 17, 2012

The National Council of La Raza has released a new study which offers some interesting insights into the use of prepaid debit cards by low-income Latinos. La Raza conducted a survey of 279 Latino tax filers at VITA sites in five cities in April 2010.

  • Top reason to get a prepaid card: "It seemed convenient."
  • Best place to buy a prepaid card: Wal-Mart
  • Top reasons to use a prepaid card: Pay bills, shop online, buy basic household items, or save money for an

A Short Review of Checking Account Disclosures

Adam Rust's picture

Posted March 2, 2012

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is clear about its intent to pay attention to how financial products are represented to the public.

"On transparency and disclosure," says Richard Cordray, "a key insight here is that more disclosures don't always make things better. As it accumulates, there can be so much dense, fine print that it can actually make things much worse. Consumers find it hard to penetrate, and they often will not read it. That's a concern, and that's why we're trying to make things more transparent, simpler and clearer with our "Know Before You Owe" project."

Here is a simple page count of the disclosures that accompany basic checking accounts at some of the big banks.

Wells Fargo: 86 pages

Big Detail from the Liberty Tax Initial Public Offering: The Instant Cash Advance

Adam Rust's picture

Posted December 16, 2011

The parent company of Liberty Tax recently announced its intention to offer to sell shares to the public. The obligatory prospectus filed with the SEC for the benefit of interested investors provides a chance to look under the hood of the nation's third largest preparer of tax returns.

Guess what is under the hood? It turns out that a new kind of refund loan may soon be available at Liberty Tax through a

CFPB to Help Students Understand the Risks of College

Adam Rust's picture

Posted October 26, 2011

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says that it will create a standard disclosure form that will make the real cost of college clear to prospective students. The model disclosure is designed to help students gain a sense of the costs of college. It does not break down the costs for individual schools but it does differentiate by the type of school.

College is increasingly become more of a financial risk. The cost of college is still going up,

Excerpts from Jamie Dimon's Letter to Shareholders

Adam Rust's picture

Posted April 13, 2011

Jamie Dimon's 35-page letter to JP Morgan Chase shareholders is an interesting commentary on how his bank has navigated the financial crisis. The letter offers extensive insight into discrete elements of the WaMu acquisition.  Dimon even proffers several surprising opinions about TARP, Dodd-Frank, and the CFPB. While he extends some support for each, he is less than content with either the Durbin Amendment or the new Basel rules.

Tom Brown says that JP Morgan Chase's letter, penned by Jamie Dimon, is an outstanding letter.

Beyond Disclosure: CFPB Wrestles with Choice and Suitability

Adam Rust's picture

Posted December 2, 2010

When is it appropriate for a government agency to spell out the type of products that appear in the marketplace? The upcoming rulemakings on the CFPB seem destined to pit consumer advocates against banks, and the preference among lawmakers for either "suitability" or "choice" will probably provoke much of the contention.

Although the Dodd-Frank bill established the CFPB, much remains to be done to determine what it will mean. From its initial conceptualization, the CFPB has promised to revitalize the power of consumer disclosures.  Elizabeth Warren spoke at the Consumer Federation of America's annual conference in Washington, DC this morning and she reiterated her faith in the power of disclosure to protect the public. At once excited but simultaneously weary, she made an effort to emphasize that she believes that most Americans will appreciate the results of the new bureau once they can see its benefits.

"Do you hear people saying that the Consumer Product Safety Commission should do less to protect the safety of infants in their


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