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CFPB Publishes Report to Promote Financial Wellness in the Workplace

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published a report to promote financial wellness in the workplace. The report contains case studies that are designed to educate employers about practices that can improve employees’ financial health and increase worker productivity…Research has shown that, particularly since the recession, financial distress is widespread among the American workforce. This distress can have a significant, negative impact on employees’ work. Financial distress decreases employees’ productivity, increases their absenteeism, and may even undermine their health. Companies can use financial wellness programs to reduce that distress and support an employee’s overall financial health. These programs should educate employees to help them plan out their life goals and make responsible financial decisions to meet these goals. Because of the importance of employees’ financial health, the CFPB is publishing this report on promising practices to promote financial wellness in the workplace. The CFPB reviewed research on financial wellness programs and on the delivery of financial education in the workplace. The Bureau also engaged with executives in the private sector, nonprofit leaders, and financial education practitioners to solicit feedback. Through this process, the Bureau found that many businesses believe financial wellness programs generate greater engagement, loyalty and productivity. Some of the practices that best support financial wellness include:

  • Begin at orientation: When employees are new to a company, they are generally more open to change. As a result, this can be a good time to work on financial wellness priorities as new employees are focused on making important decisions about tax withholding, retirement savings, and employer-offered health insurance. Successful programs that begin at employee onboarding can include financial education workshops and individual financial coaching.
  • Peer-to-peer support: Coworkers can help each other develop better financial habits. Work teams that go through financial wellness training together end up supporting each other and creating a more collaborative environment. As employees form small teams, they often encourage each other, and that peer support may help individuals adopt and sustain sound financial habits.”

New GAO Reports – Collision Aftermarket Technologies, HUD Rental Assistance, SBA

TRANSPORTATION: Federal Vehicle Collisions and Aftermarket Collision Avoidance Technologies, GAO-14-408R: Published: Apr 24, 2014. Publicly Released: Apr 24, 2014. HUD RENTAL ASSISTANCE DEMONSTRATION: Information on Initial Conversions to Project-Based Vouchers, GAO-14-402: Published: Apr 24, 2014. Publicly Released: Apr 24, 2014.  SMALL BUSINESS RESEARCH PROGRAMS: Agencies Did Not Consistently Comply with Spending and Reporting Requirements, GAO-14-567T: Published: Apr 24, 2014. Publicly Released: Apr 24, 2014.

Volkswagen: Big Data Doesn’t Have to Mean Big Brother

Ina Fried: “Given the vast amounts of data that will be collected by the cars of the future, strict protections are needed to prevent government intrusion, the chairman of Volkswagen Group said on Sunday. “The car must not become a data monster,” Martin Winterkorn said, at the start of the CeBit trade show in Germany. Car makersContinue Reading

Cross-Agency Priority Goals

“Cross-Agency Priority goals address the longstanding challenge of tackling horizontal problems across vertical organizational silos. 15 Cross-Agency Priority Goals were announced in the 2015 Budget, these include 7 mission-oriented and 8 management-focused goals with a 4-year time horizon. To establish these goals, OMB solicited nominations from Federal agencies and several Congressional Committees. Established by the GPRAContinue Reading

The Highly Educated Federal Workforce in Two Charts

“The federal workforce is getting smarter. Or at least it is spending more time in school. In supplementary budget documents released Monday, the White House said federal agencies employ between half to two-thirds more “highly educated workers” than private sector firms, depending on the size of the company. The Obama administration went as far as to note the increaseContinue Reading

Politico – Judge orders NSA to preserve call data

Josh Gerstein: “A federal judge in San Francisco has ordered the National Security Agency to preserve all metadata from its monitoring of U.S. phone traffic, setting up a potential clash with the Washington-based surveillance court which oversees the NSA-run counter-terrorism program. U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White issued the order Monday afternoon California time in response to requestsContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Federal Rulemaking, FY2015 Budget, Nuclear Safety

FEDERAL RULEMAKING: Regulatory Review Processes Could Be Enhanced, GAO-14-423T: Published: Mar 11, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 11, 2014. FISCAL YEAR 2015 BUDGET REQUEST: U.S. Government Accountability Office, GAO-14-429T: Published: Mar 11, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 11, 2014. NUCLEAR SAFETY: Countries’ Regulatory Bodies Have Made Changes in Response to the Fukushima Daiichi Accident, GAO-14-109: Published: Mar 6, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 11, 2014.

Why the Federal Reserve Failed to See the Financial Crisis of 2008

Why the Federal Reserve Failed to See the Financial Crisis of 2008:  The Role of “Macroeconomics” as a Sensemaking and Cultural Frame. Neil Fligstein, Jonah Stuart Brundage, Michael Schultz; Department of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, CA.February 2014. “One of the puzzles about the financial crisis of 2008 is why the regulators were so slow to recognize the impending collapse of theContinue Reading

EIA Brief on Qatar

“Qatar is the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world, and the country’s exports of LNG, crude oil, and petroleum products provide a significant portion of government revenues. Like many of its neighbors, Qatar relies on its energy sector to support its economy. According to the Qatar National Bank (QNB), Qatar’s earnings fromContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Defense Management, Dodd-Frank Regulation, TARP Audit, Reverse Auctions

DEFENSE MANAGEMENT - Actions Needed to Ensure National Guard and Reserve Headquarters Are Sized to be Efficient, GAO-14-71, Nov 12, 2013 DODD-FRANK REGULATION - Agencies Conducted Regulatory Analyses and Coordinated but Could Benefit from Additional Guidance on Major Rules, GAO-14-67, Dec 11, 2013 FINANCIAL AUDIT - Office of Financial Stability (Troubled Asset Relief Program) Fiscal Years 2013 and 2012 FinancialContinue Reading

Waste Lands – America’s forgotten nuclear legacy

WJS.com: “During the build-up to the Cold War, the U.S. government called upon hundreds of factories and research centers to help develop nuclear weapons and other forms of atomic energy. At many sites, this work left behind residual radioactive contamination requiring government cleanups, some of which are still going on. The Department of Energy saysContinue Reading

BIS – Property price statistics

“The property price statistics bring together data from different countries. The BIS, with the assistance of its member central banks, 1 has obtained approval of various national data providers to disseminate the statistics as long as the original national sources are clearly indicated. The sources and any relevant disclaimers are listed separately (sources of data). Copyright in theseContinue Reading