Personal Finance: Sacramentan went from math nerd to Fed president
News from Sacramento Bee:

SAN FRANCISCO – He’s not a household name like Ben Bernanke. And he’d easily pass down a city street unrecognized.

But as an economist, John C. Williams holds one of the most prestigious and powerful jobs in the country.

Brainy, amiable and relatively young, Williams presides as president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the biggest and perhaps busiest of the Fed’s 12 regional banks.

From his 12th-floor corner office on Market Street, he’s got a sweeping view of the Bay Bridge – along with a sweeping perspective of the nation’s and the world’s economies.

And he’s well aware of the direct impact that the Fed’s decisions on economic policies have on all of us.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a Wall Street titan or working a regular job,” said the 50-year-old economist. “Even though we’re four years past the worst part of the recession, there’s still a lot of worry and concern. And it affects us all.”

In a recent interview over Peet’s coffee in his paneled office, Williams touched on everything from global economics to his Sacramento boyhood. For someone who works in a world of billions and trillions (“You’ll never hear the word millions from me,” he jokes) and within a heavily fortified building guarded by armed federal officers, he’s refreshingly down-to-earth.

Describing his childhood i…………… continues on Sacramento Bee

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Book Review: Personal finance industry gets drubbing
News from TCPalm:

This book cover image released by Portfolio/Penguin shows “Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry,” by Helaine Olen. (AP Photo/Portfolio/Penguin)

“Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry” by Helaine Olen

After the financial crisis began in 2008, it suddenly became OK, even desirable, to talk about the illogic of ballooning borrowing and runaway stocks — and the inevitability that bubbles pop. For years, financial journalists had been required to “balance” their realization that lending had come loose from its moorings with industry assertions that things simply worked differently now. In 2008, we finally could say the emperor — the overavailability of all types of debt, the expectation that markets would heal all ills — had no clothes. We no longer had to wait for his side of the story.

That was a good thing. It made possible a whole new genre of nonfiction — highly readable deconstructions of how regulatory and moral gaps spawn financial excess and contributed to the collapse. There are even subgenres, inc…………… continues on TCPalm

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