Demographic Destiny for Community Banks?

In their best-selling mid-20th century books of U.S. electoral politics, analysts Richard Scammon and Ben Wattenberg were fond of saying that “demography is destiny.” The same is true in the community banking sector.

As populations age in rural areas and shift from suburbia and the country to big cities—and as the baby boomers give way in the workforce to millennials—demographic changes will be felt keenly by community bankers. During a recent roundtable discussion with four top community bank executives, strategies for navigating these changes came to the fore. Continue reading “Demographic Destiny for Community Banks?”

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Chasing the American Dream with $25

How’s this for a crazy idea: a guy moves to a randomly selected city with $25 and plans to have a place to live, a car, and $2,500 in the bank—all within one year. Adam Shepard performed this exact feat and then wrote a book about it, titled Scratch Beginnings. According to Shepard, his experience proves that the American dream can come true.

In college, Shepard read Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed, which argues that only government intervention can rescue the working poor from what Ehrenreich portrays as a desperate plight. Shepard doubted her thesis and wanted to test it. So after graduating, he went to Charleston, South Carolina, with a sleeping bag, a change of clothes, $25, and a made-up tale of woe. He spent the first two months in a homeless shelter while he worked as a day laborer. He later found a permanent position with a moving company, which gave him a stable income. This allowed Shepard to buy a (very) used pickup truck, rent and furnish an apartment with a coworker, and start saving.

Continue reading “Chasing the American Dream with $25”