November 3, 2013 |
The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which was bailed out and is still owned mostly by British taxpayers, said Friday it would "accelerate" the sale of its U.S. banking subsidiary, which includes Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. Citizens has 159 branches in Philadelphia and its four suburban Pennsylvania counties, more than any other bank in the region. RBS said in a statement that it was planning a "partial initial public offering" of Citizens Financial Group for 2014 and "intends to fully divest the business by the end of 2016.
August 23, 2013
WITH HIS school facing a $355,740 shortfall this year, Greenfield Elementary principal Dan Lazar recently sent an "urgent request" asking parents to contribute a $613-per-pupil fee to compensate for the school's inadequate funding. At first blush, the idea seems intriguing. These are extraordinary times that require unprecedented measures. Philadelphia schools almost didn't open on time, and Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said that he still needs millions in additional funds to run the district.
August 14, 2013
IF THE FEDERAL government is going to overhaul the way mortgages are sold, I hope as much emphasis is put on what's a manageable amount of debt for borrowers. It haunts me when I think of some of the mortgage loans I've seen and still see. Too many people, who certainly should have known better, agreed to buy homes when their monthly mortgage payments were 50 percent to upward of 70 percent of their net pay. That's just too much. President Obama has laid out plans to rebuild the housing market.
June 11, 2013
Gov. Corbett and the legislature know Philadelphia isn't the only school district in Pennsylvania facing a financial crisis. So why is it taking them so long to come up with a viable statewide solution? Already there have been teacher layoffs and other budget cuts. Academic and extracurricular programs have been eliminated, and class sizes have grown. The situation will only get worse unless the state lives up to its legal and moral obligation to provide its children with "a thorough and efficient education.
May 16, 2013
PARIS - The eurozone is now in its longest ever recession - a stubborn slump that has surpassed even the calamity that hit the region in the financial crisis of 2008-09. The European Union statistics office said yesterday that nine of the 17 EU countries that use the euro are in recession, with France a notable addition to the list. Overall, the eurozone's economy contracted for the sixth straight quarter, shrinking by 0.2 percent in the January-March period from the previous three months.
May 11, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve has broadened its oversight beyond banks and now monitors a wide range of financial institutions that could hasten another financial crisis, Chairman Ben Bernanke said Friday. Bernanke said the Fed was still monitoring banks and other important financial institutions. But it has widened its scope to include other participants that could either trigger a crisis or make the system more vulnerable. Chief among them is the so-called shadow banking system, which includes loans that are turned into securities and sold to investors.
April 24, 2013 |
This story has been updated. IN THE LATE 1990s, the kids at Henry C. Lea Elementary School at 47th and Locust streets lacked a library. A few years later, the University of Pennsylvania built them one. The university, which had a relationship with Lea dating to 1960, secured donors to fund construction of a space and procure books, computers and audiovisual equipment for the K-to-8 school. The Lea affiliation is one of seven that Penn has with disustrict schools, including its best-known partnership with the Penn Alexander School on Spruce Street near 42nd.
March 18, 2013 |
What was the biggest shortcoming of 2010's massive Dodd-Frank financial reform - a flaw that still threatens the U.S. economy and all who rely on it? One answer pops up with remarkable consistency from across the political spectrum: the belief that the law didn't actually solve the problem that some financial institutions are so large that they're "too big to fail. " Tea party favorites such as Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) have warned against it, as have conservative pundits such as George Will and Peggy Noonan - making unusual common cause with liberals like former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, Columbia University economist Joseph Stiglitz, and former Sen. Ted Kaufman (D., Del.)
March 15, 2013 |
Any number of us may disagree with new schools Superintendent William R. Hite Jr.'s closure of 23 schools, as well as his proposals to cut programs, increase class sizes, and reduce teachers' salaries. But none of us should question his sincerity in pushing the envelope to generate new ideas and debate how best to solve the Philadelphia School District's financial crisis - without harming the quality of our children's education. We all recognize that the district is at a critical financial crossroads, confronting a projected five-year deficit estimated at $1 billion.
March 7, 2013 |
Wow, the Dow Jones industrial average blew past its previous high, set on Oct. 9, 2007, on Tuesday, closing up 125.95 points at 14,253.77. What's next? Who knows? I say, "Get on with your lives, citizens. " The media (of which I am a card-carrying member) get hung up on round numbers, milestones, and anniversaries. But in the grand scheme of our tight-money times, the Dow's surpassing a previous high is quite meaningless. After all, median household income remains below where it was during the recession.