Virtual currencies like Bitcoin are the newest buzzword for more and more investors–even if you can’t exactly explain what a Bitcoin “is,” you may still recognize the potential for return. However, as with all new technologies and financial endeavors, the fraudsters are keeping pace in their unrelenting mission to separate you from your money! One place to start before taking the Bitcoin plunge is at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. As Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are classified as commodities, the CFTC is the government agency tasked with regulating them. Subsequently, they provide a wealth of information on their website HERE for consumers to help avoid being defrauded and make safe investments in legitimate companies. If you’re considering getting into this financial area, cruise over and check it out!
News from the Reference Desk Category: Economic
Did you know that the Illinois Treasurer serves as the state’s chief investment officer? It invests approximately $25 billion on behalf of the state, units of local government, and families saving for college. Illinois State Treasurer Michael W. Frerichs maintains, however, “that we must also invest in people. The best way to do that is to provide people the tools to invest in themselves.”
One way is to capitalize local banks and lending institutions. The Treasurer’s office provides money at below‑market rates in return for their commitment to loan that money to individuals and businesses trying to better themselves and, by extension, their community. Farmers are familiar with their popular Ag Invest program which has provided more than $1 billion in loans over the years. Some homeowners are familiar with the Finally Home program that helps homebuyers who barely miss qualifying for a conventional mortgage. This year, it has added a new program to the portfolio to help small businesses still wading through the ripple effects of the recession. The Community Uplift Program commits $500 million in new money to flow through local banking institutions to help individuals obtain loans at below-market rates to fund business growth or expansion. The program provides capital in a manner that supports community development while meeting primary investment objectives of safety, liquidity, and return on investment.
Currently, 300 lending institutions are qualified to participate. Growing the number of institutions willing to participate in just one of these loan programs will help strengthen Illinois. If you are a business owner, farmer, or potential homeowner, click here for more information. Bankers and other lending institutions can click here.
Well, the holidays are over and it’s the start of another year–and another opportunity to reevaluate your financial life and practices, woo-hoo! The good news is that it just got a lot easier, thanks to all the wonderful resources and tools available at Smart About Money (SAM). Smart About Money is one of the many programs of the National Endowment for Financial Education®. NEFE® is an independent, nonprofit foundation committed to educating Americans on a broad range of financial topics and empowering them to make positive and sound decisions to reach their financial goals. They offer tips, strategies and information on diverse topics like crisis and fraud, saving and investing, spending and borrowing, housing and transportation, taxes and more.
Click through and take a look at some of the tools like the Life Values Quiz, designed to help you better understand how and why you make financial decisions. Knowing your own habits and patterns is the first step to making positive changes in your financial life!
Almost every day new books arrive at the Library to be processed and then placed on the shelf or in your hands. Take a look at some of the books that have arrived most recently at the Library. Ask for more titles at the Research Services Desk!
Newly Arrived Nonfiction:
by Dick Gregory
With his trademark acerbic wit, incisive humor, and infectious paranoia, one of our foremost comedians and most politically engaged civil rights activists looks back at 100 key events from the complicated history of black America. An engaging look at black life that offers insightful commentary on the intricate history of the African American people.
The benefits of mindfulness include better performance, heightened creativity, deeper self-awareness, and increased charisma– not to mention peace of mind. This book gives you practical steps for building a sense of presence into your daily work routine, explains the science of why it works, and gives clear-eyed warnings about the pitfalls of the fad.
by Cara Mentzel
The younger sister of the larger-than-life Broadway star Idina Menzel describes their life together, from the time they were children to the very different paths their adult lives took, the unending support and love they have for each other, and how she learned to find her own voice as a teacher and mother with the support and love of her sister.
by Mark Tier
In-depth case studies are used to reveal the Key Performance Indicators shown by today’s major companies when they were just starting to rocket to success in order to predict and invest in new companies likely to follow similar trajectories.
by Ophélie Neiman
Rocket science is complicated, wine doesn’t have to be! An illustrated, informative guide to understanding and enjoying wine covers everything from how grapes are grown, harvested, and turned into wine to judging the color, aroma, and taste of the world’s most popular varietals.
by Rich Cohen
Combining reportage with memoir, the author chronicles the history of the Chicago Cubs and— drawing on interviews and travels with recent Cubs players, owners and coaching staff— tracks the famous curse that was placed on the team in 1945 by the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern.
by Jesse Mecham
Based on the tenets of the award-winning financial platform, “You Need a Budget,” a well-planned budget does not involve deprivation and counsels readers on how to prioritize financial goals, reduce stress through strategic cash flow allocations, and meet the challenges of unplanned expenses.
by Saadia Zahidi
An award-winning economist and the head of the World Economic Forum’s System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Education, Gender and Work describes a shift in the Muslim world created by more than 50 million women joining the workforce and discusses how they are challenging and changing familial norms and social conventions.
by Joanne Lipman
An award-winning journalist and publisher outlines anecdotal solutions for harmonious working relationships between the sexes, citing the unique contributions of professional women and how their male counterparts can implement a healthier business culture that bridges gender gaps.
by Richard Ellis
Through comprehensive and in-depth coverage, the author looks at how the presidency has evolved in relation to the public, to Congress, to the executive branch, and to the law, showing at every step how different aspects of the presidency have followed distinct trajectories of change.
by Emma Byrne
A scientist reveals how swearing has been around since the earliest humans began to communicate, and has been shown to reduce physical pain, to lower anxiety, to prevent physical violence, to help trauma victims recover language, and to promote human cooperation.
by Liam Drew
A freelance writer and former neurobiologist examines the biology, evolution and traits of humans and explores the anatomical and physiological attributes that make us mammals and that ultimately separate us from other members of the same scientific class designation.
Looking for fiction? Head over here for our newest titles!
President Trump is poised to sign the recently passed tax bill, and the first question on many folks’ lips is: when will the tax cuts start? Because the legislation is complex, it’s hard to know exactly when it will effect taxpayers across the U.S. Some of the bill’s impact will begin at the start of 2018, though other elements won’t take effect until 2019 and beyond. For instance, when you file your 2017 taxes in April, you’ll already be getting some benefits like lower tax withholding, but other perks won’t show until you file your tax return in April 2019. Luckily for us, the experts at Fortune magazine have broken it all down quite nicely HERE.