Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Latest (Late) Links

An Explanation of the Credit Crisis

Raise your hand if you don’t quite understand this whole financial crisis.

It has been going on for seven months now, and many people probably feel as if they should understand it. But they don’t, not really. The part about the housing crash seems simple enough. With banks whispering sweet encouragement, people bought homes they couldn’t afford, and now they are falling behind on their mortgages.

But the overwhelming majority of homeowners are doing just fine. So how is it that a mess concentrated in one part of the mortgage business — subprime loans — has frozen the credit markets, sent stock markets gyrating, caused the collapse of Bear Stearns, left the economy on the brink of the worst recession in a generation and forced the Federal Reserve to take its boldest action since the Depression?

Teachers Can Make $125,000
“The money, as funny as this may sound, is not about the money,” he says. “The money is a signifier. Because money, in our culture, is a signifier of how jobs are valued, and right now schools are telling teachers that they are not valued. The great and talented people who go into teaching are incentive-ized in every possible way to leave the classroom for jobs in administration or jobs outside of schools altogether. What we are trying to do is reverse those incentives. We want the best teachers to keep on teaching, to be challenged and valued.”

Tuition Breaks at Harvard Law
For years, prosecutors, public defenders and lawyers in traditionally low-paying areas of the law have argued that financial pressures were pushing graduates toward corporate law and away from the kind of careers that they would pursue in the absence of tens of thousands of dollars in student loans.

“The debt loads that people are coming out of law schools with are now in six figures,” said Joshua Marquis, the district attorney in Clatsop County, Ore., and vice president of the National District Attorneys Association. “When the debt load is that great, I have had a lot of applicants who’ve said, ‘I’d like to take the job, but I really can’t afford it.’ ”


Free From Broke said...

I love the school experiment. Can't wait to see how that works. Teachers need a better incentive to go into the field. My wife was a teacher, became a guidance counselor, and is now considering becoming a nurse because there's not enough incentive to keep her in the DOE.

Nice explanation of the credit crisis (I think I understood it). Sounds a little like the S&L problems in the 80's. When will Wall Street stop thinking it's invulnerable?

Thanks for the articles!

Noel Larson said...

On the Financial side...Don't forget what year it is too.

Until recently it was actually expected to have cyclical down times. It was like the ocean tides. Even when the ecomomy was slow it was rebuilding and burning off waste.

Now that is politcally unacceptable.

The right thing long term for the economy is to have a strong dollar, good utilateral trade and low inflation. We are setting the table for the negative of all three.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the teaching article! I just had conversation with a fellow teacher yesterday about this concept. We both felt that it is demoralizing that whether you work your butt off or just do what you have to do to slide by you get the same lousy salary in teaching. There is little incentive to being an outstanding teacher, and that is why our classrooms are filled with so many mediocre people. I put in countless extra hours and work on multiple committees to improve curriculum because I want to help my students, but it would be nice if these efforts were rewarded with some cash now and then. I downloaded the application for this school- wow...it is very detailed. I would love to apply if I could talk my husband into moving to New York! :(

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the gripe about teacher salaries? They are paid what the market will bear and what taxpayers can be convinced to fund. If they need a few more dollars, perhaps teachers should work 50 weeks each year instead taking so many days off.

Jon said...

The amazing thing about the school experiment is that it's being done with public money.

In other words, ALL New York teachers could be paid significantly more if their schools weren't wasting so much money!