April was national financial literacy month, promoted heavily by major banks and other debt-producing institutions who want you to believe that poverty, the financial crisis, and mounting student debt are the result of ordinary people’s ignorant refusal to discipline themselves and budget properly. Via the Guardian, Helaine Olen writes:
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Companies and colleges say that if we all understand our finances, financial crises won’t happen. This is simply untrue.
April is National Financial Capability Month. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke says: “Among the lessons of the recent financial crisis is the need for virtually everyone – both young and old – to acquire a basic knowledge of finance and economics.” Sounds great.
But it promotes the false equivalence that the victims of the financial shenanigans of the past several years are as responsible for the financial crisis as the financial services sector, the ultimate creator of all those financial products of mass destruction.