Tags >> finances
Apr 01

Money Monsters

Posted by Bruce Robinson in speaker , Sebastopol , Santa Rosa , Ideas , finances , families , education , economy , budget , author

Bruce Robinson

The keys to successful investing and money management are not financial, they're psychological.

Spencer Sherman was motivated to write The Cure for Money Madness because he saw himself and others making financial mistakes, when they clearly knew better.


 Are you experiencing Monen Madness? Take Spencer's online quiz and find out.

It's not just individual investors whose decision-making is compromised by their "money monsters." Sherman observes that even big financial companies exhibit some of the same flawed behaviors.


When adding up your personal net worth, Sherman recommends including a calculation of total career earnings up to retirement, to help add some long-term perspective.


Spencer Sherman talks about Money Madness at Copperfield's Books in Santa Rosa on April 2, and  at Spirit Rock Meditation Center on April 19th.


He has also prepared this video preview to introduce some of the issues and ideas contained in The Cure for Money Madness.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lW5BnZcVDB8 400x400] 




Mar 29

CA Budget Gap

Posted by Bruce Robinson in politics , legislation , government , finances , education , economy , budget

Bruce Robinson

The budget news from Sacramento remains grim, while the legislature awaits the decisions of the state's voters, in May's special election and beyond.

The two pie charts below offer a snapshot of California's anticipated income and expenses for the current fiscal year.


 For a summary and brief history of the measures on the California special election ballot on May 19, click the appropriate link below.

Proposition 1A

Proposition 1B

 Proposition 1C

Proposition 1D

Proposition 1E

Proposition 1F


Mar 26

Come Home, America

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , speaker , rights , resources , politics , peace , news , media , legislation , justice , jobs , Ideas , history , government , finances , economy , Congress , climate change , business , budget , author

Bruce Robinson

What must America do to effectively respond to the multiple crises that confront us as a nation today? Political writer William Greider's answer can be summed up in two words:  Grow up!


A staunch critic of the economic establishment, Greider has his own, contrarian ideas of how government should move to reestablish credit and restore order to the American banking system.



A former managing editor for the Washington Post, Greider has contributed to six "Frontline" documentaries on PBS, and is now the National Affairs correspondent for The Nation. This first-hand experience has made him keenly aware of the role that consolidation of media ownership in this country has played in fomenting our current crises.  


In his newest book, Come Home America, Greider offers both an analysis of the cultural and political  missteps that have contributed to the current crises we face, as well as some no nonsense ideas for ways to recover and move forward. Here's an excerpt from the opening pages:


"I HAVE SOME HARD THINGS TO SAY about our country. Beyond recession and financial crisis, we are in much deeper trouble than many people suppose or the authorities want to acknowledge. Because I think Americans always deal better with adversity if they have a clear understanding of what they are confronting, this book will address the gloomy circumstances and rough passage I see ahead for the American people.

"Everything around us is changing, and Americans must change, too. First, we must be honest with ourselves, face the hard facts, and put aside some comforting myths. Then, we must find the nerve to take responsibility again for our country and democracy. Taking responsibility means having the courage to step up and reclaim our power as citizens. We have to relearn what many in earlier generations knew: how to assert our own ideas and values on what the future should look like, how to make ourselves heard amid the empty noise of politics, how to assert our convictions as aggressively as necessary to alter the course of history.

"Americans will get through this. Our country has been through far worse in the past. We can emerge from it in promising new ways, not necessarily richer, but wiser and joined more closely together as a people, more able to realize fulfilling lives. If we do the hard work. If we change.

"WE LIVE IN A COUNTRY where telling the hard truth with clarity has become taboo. Its implications are too alarming. Any politician who says aloud what some of them know or feel in their guts is vilified as defeatist or unpatriotic. Many are clueless, of course, and others are too scared to raise forbidden subjects. I understand their silence and I do not forgive them.

"This book is about hard truths that were mostly not addressed during the long and intensely reported campaign for the presidency. A few marginal candidates did challenge the orthodox version of American greatness, but their also-ran status ensured they would not be widely heard. Most politicians looked the other way and stuck to familiar themes of patriotic optimism. The news media did not help much, either, by generally adhering to conventional thinking and ignoring dissenting opinions. Under these circumstances, citizens are more or less on their own, and remarkably, they do often find their way to the truth about things. In these very difficult times, I hope this book will help them."


  William Greider's previous books include Who Will Tell the People:  The Betrayal of American Democracy, and Secrets of the Temple, an inside look at the Federal Reserve Board.

Mar 23

Financing Affordable Housing

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Sonoma , Sebastopol , nonprofit orgs , housing , government , finances , families , economy , construction , community , business , budget

Bruce Robinson

Tight credit is creating an additional challenge in the creation of affordable housing in Sonoma County.

John Lowry (right), Executive Director of Burbank Housing Development,  says the federal stimulus package may hold some help for his agency, but it will apply almost exclusively to rental projects.



The timeline for completing Burbank Housing's current projects, including Sequoia Village (seen nearing the end of construction  at left), is being directly affected by the present credit limits, which Lowry says will affect future developments even more.

You can find more information about co-housing in Northern California here.