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Federal study finds overdraft fees are complex and costly

A new report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finds that overdraft fees continue to pose high risks to consumers, despite recent regulatory changes. The report focuses on the dreaded overdraft charge — the fees banks and credit unions ...

UMASS Building Authority elects Philip W. Johnston

University of Massachusetts President Robert L. Caret recently announced the election of Philip W. Johnston as Chairman of the UMass Building Authority Board of Directors.

Community activist Mel King questions new luxury development at former Boston Herald site

When I recently learned about plans for developing the “Ink Block” — so called because the area housed the Boston Herald — I was reminded of when I received a copy of the late Boston Traveler newspaper while attending Claflin ...

Rep. Mel Watt gains bipartisan support to head federal finance agency

President Obama recently nominated Melvin (Mel) Watt, a long-time North Carolina Congressman, to direct the operations of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). While major news media reported on the development, few mentioned exactly what the new job would entail ...

Tougher gun laws needed to combat violence in Boston

In response to letters from three students at the Harbor School in Dorchester, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, a Boston mayoral candidate, shared his thoughts on preventing youth violence. The below is excerpted from Conley’s speech last Saturday ...

Student loan borrowers need flexible payments

Earlier this year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) asked for public comments on private student loan debt affordability. By the April 8 deadline, over 4,300 organizations and consumers answered. The volume of these requests suggests that the more than ...

Racial bias: A dangerous ‘blindspot’ in our society

It is no accident that one of the nation’s leading researchers on implicit bias, Harvard psychology professor Mahzarin Banaji, has titled her most recent book: Blindspot: The Hidden Biases of Good People. She and her colleagues have studied brain architecture, ...

Report: Wealth of Latinos and blacks lags behind whites’

“Less than Equal: Racial Disparities in Wealth Accumulation,” from the Urban Institute’s Opportunity and Ownership project, analyzed data and trends from 1983-2010. Over these years, the average household income of whites remained double that of either black or Latino families. ...

National, state groups push to preserve foreclosure aid

A broad coalition of state and national organizations is pushing to preserve a key federal program that has helped more than 1.1 million troubled homeowners and reduced mortgage payments by a median savings of $546 each month.

Poll finds public support for BPS reform, charter schools

The poll of 445 likely voters sponsored by Education Reform Now, a nonprofit group that supports President Obama’s agenda on education reform, was conducted in February before Mayor Thomas Menino announced he would not seek a sixth term. The poll ...

Black leadership positioned to sway Hub mayor’s race

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino’s decision to not seek re-election presents a unique and opportunistic occasion for the city’s black community. Not since the mayoral candidacy of Mel King in 1983 has the black community been strategically positioned to sway the ...

BPS needs bold approach to ensure quality schools

Boston families eagerly awaited a new plan to assign our children more equitably to seats in the public schools

Report: Payday loans drain up to $1B from communities

One of the worst ironies of the nagging economic recession is that consumers with the fewest financial resources have lost the most. Now, a new report finds that payday loans not only strip much-needed income from low-income families, but also ...

‘Common good’ needs investment of the state and all of its people

As shown by a diverse and burgeoning chorus of voices from around the state, the people of Massachusetts understand that the embrace of greater revenues must happen and cannot be half-hearted. An alternative plan that supports limited growth but kicks ...

U.S. Senate race needs an emphasis on urban issues

The campaign jousting to replace former Massachusetts U.S. Senator John Kerry is off to a spirited start. Congressmen Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch have emerged as prominent contestants from the Democratic Party. State Rep. Dan Winslow, former U.S. Attorney Michael ...