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ForeSee E-Government Satisfaction Index (Q4 2014)

GCN.com: “Thirty-one percent of federal government sites provide an excellent government experience for citizens, according to the ForeSee E-Government Satisfaction Index. ForeSee, a customer experience analytics provider, gathered 220,000 survey responses across 100 federal government websites, as well as mobile sites and applications. The index, which quarterly measures citizen satisfaction with e-government, is now inContinue Reading

EPIC Challenges Samsung’s Surveillance of the Home, Files FTC Complaint

“EPIC has filed a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission about Samsung’s SmartTvs. “Samsung routinely intercepts and records the private communications of consumers in their homes,” EPIC wrote. EPIC detailed widespread consumer objections and charged that “privacy notices” do not diminish the harm to American consumers. In setting out the privacy violations, EPIC cited theContinue Reading

Locate the closest Taxpayer Assistance Center

Free Tax Return Preparation for Qualifying Taxpayers: “The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $53,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation withContinue Reading

Environmental Working Group Annual ‘Dirty Dozen’ List

“Nearly two-thirds of the 3,015 produce samples tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2013 contained pesticide residues – a surprising finding in the face of soaring consumer demand for food without agricultural chemicals. EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce calculates that USDA tests found a total 165 different pesticides on thousands ofContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – African Growth and Opportunity Act, DOE Real Property, Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request, Foster Care, IRS Investment

African Growth and Opportunity Act: Lessons Learned from Other Countries’ Trade Arrangements with Sub-Saharan Africa, GAO-15-393R: Published: Feb 25, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 25, 2015. DOE Real Property: Better Data and a More Proactive Approach Needed to Facilitate Property Disposal, GAO-15-305: Published: Feb 25, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 25, 2015. Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request:Continue Reading

FDIC-Insured Institutions Earned $36.9 Billion in the Fourth Quarter of 2014

FDIC news release: “Commercial banks and savings institutions insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) reported aggregate net income of $36.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014, down $2.9 billion (7.3 percent) from earnings of $39.8 billion that the industry reported a year earlier. The decline in earnings was mainly attributable to aContinue Reading

Hoard Behavior During Commodity Bubbles

de Paula, Aureo and Hong, Harrison G. and Singh, Vishal, Hoard Behavior During Commodity Bubbles (February 2015). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP10441. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2569270 “Hoarding by large speculators is often blamed for contributing to commodity market panics and bubbles. Using supermarket scanner data on US household purchases during the 2008 RiceContinue Reading

Hawks and Doves at the FOMC

Eijffinger, Sylvester C. W. and Mahieu, Ronald and Raes, Louis, Hawks and Doves at the FOMC (February 2015). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP10442. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2569271 “In this paper we estimate ideal points of Bank Presidents and Board Governors at the FOMC. We use stated preferences from FOMC transcipts and estimate aContinue Reading

Process Systems Engineering as a Modeling Paradigm for Analyzing Systemic Risk in Financial Networks

Office of Financial Research (OFR) Working Paper Series, February 11, 2015: “Financial instability often results from positive feedback loops intrinsic to the operation of the financial system. The challenging task of identifying, modeling, and analyzing the causes and effects of such feedback loops requires a proper systems engineering perspective lacking in the remedies proposed inContinue Reading

HBR – What Millennials Want from Work, Charted Across the World

Harvard Business Review – Henrik Bresman, February 23, 2015: “As more Millennials assume leadership positions around the world, organizations are becoming increasingly concerned with how to ensure their success. However, most existing research on those born between the early ‘80s and late ‘90s is skewed toward understanding what a narrow, typically Western, population wants. ConclusionsContinue Reading

Financial Regulators Issue Guidance Encouraging Youth Savings Programs

“Five federal financial regulatory agencies today issued guidance to encourage federally insured depository institutions to offer youth savings programs to expand the financial capability of young people. The guidance also provides answers to frequently asked questions related to the establishment of these programs. Many financial institutions already collaborate with schools to establish programs that allowContinue Reading

Alaska Leads U.S. States in Well-Being for First Time

“This story is part of Gallup’s annual “State of the States” series, which reveals state-by-state differences on political, economic, religion and well-being measures.” “WASHINGTON, D.C. — Alaska residents had the highest well-being in the nation in 2014, reaching the top spot for the first time since Gallup and Healthways began tracking well-being in 2008. WestContinue Reading