Chicago Sun-Times
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White House Financial Literacy Council finally meeting


The economic meltdown impacting almost all of us highlights the need for individual financial literacy. While the U.S. regulatory system failed, people also got themselves into jams by agreeing to mortgage terms that set them up for financial failure.

First Lady Michelle Obama, in launching her mentoring program on Monday, said one goal is to coach young women on financial literacy.

Studies show students especially lack basic financial skills.

Noteworthy: The President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy is only getting around to having it's first meeting under the Obama administration today. The last meeting was under former President Bush, on Jan. 6, 2009. The council was created on Jan. 22, 2008.

Today will be its eighth meeting.

I asked a Treasury Department spokesman why the delay, and this is the statement I received, along with an admonishment that I could not use the name of the spokesman.

"On background, it's true that we have only had one meeting this year while the Administration considers the best way to proceed with the council and maximize its effectiveness. During this planning phase we have, however, continued much
of the ongoing work of the council. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Literacy Michelle Greene meets with members of the council regularly and the working groups of the council continue with their ongoing duties.

"We look forward to ramping up the council's activities in the coming months and will have much more to share soon."


"Financial Illiteracy" should be addressed at all levels of the educational system and the workforce. It is not something that restricts itself to any ethnic, school age or demographic platform.

As Warren Buffet says "we only see who has been swimming naked when the tide goes out". Sadly, we are seeing plenty of naked swimmers amongst companies and individuals, but one of the truths is that it is never too late to build good money skills.

We need an aggressive approach to educate all citizens. Although government recognition is welcomed, teaching Financial Literacy should be addressed from all industries and people from all walks of life who can share their experiences, expertise and opinions. The learning process should succeed inside and outside of the classroom.

We are all morally responsible for this cause.

Alan Chokov

Great to hear that there will be forthcoming traction on the Financial Literacy Council. Support is much needed wherever possible to promote financial literacy education.

I do believe that the key influencers are parents and teachers-these are the role models that children aspire to and the earlier we start the better!

I've personally come full circle on this- starting at corporations and employee training programs for money management and ended up concluding that the greatest impact starts at home. The new book "The Adventures of Exokid and the Teachings of Money" is designed for parents and teachers to read to their children and enagage in the dialogue around money management.

Thanks for the article. @ Alan, I agree.

I run the Financial Tales blog and wanted to offer a few of my Financial Tales, written specifically for your audience, as lessons.

If there is anything I can do to promote or help, let me know.


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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on November 3, 2009 7:20 AM.

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