Belmont University will play a foundational role in new Financial Empowerment Centers to help low-income Nashvillians reduce debt and build assets through free, individual counseling. The Office of Mayor Karl Dean and United Way of Metropolitan Nashville have received a $2 million grant funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and Living Cities’ Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. The University will train six United Way financial counselors to staff the centers.
Belmont Associate Professor and Nashville Poverty Council Chair Kristine LaLonde is coordinating the educational partnership and has worked with College of Business Administration Dean J. Patrick Raines, Finance Professor Greg Faulk and Adjunct Instructor Paul McCullough to implement the program.
As Belmont welcomes its largest incoming class ever, so are we in the Undergraduate School of Business. We have a very impressive group joining us from 26 states and several countries. This freshmen class is made up of student government leaders, Girls/Boys State delegates, athletes, worship leaders, musicians, community servers, mission trip workers, valedictorians, etc. We are proud to have them with us and look forward to getting to know them better during their time at Belmont!
In addition to new students, we have four accomplished faculty joining us this fall — Colin Cannonier, Assistant Professor of Economics, Dennis Chen, Assistant Professor of Management in International Business, Lora Harding, Assistant Professor of Marketing, and Mark Phillips, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship.
As we continue to innovate and look for the best ways to engage students and equip them for the future, we have added a few new special opportunities for learning. For example, our financial information center, the first educational financial trading classroom in the State of Tennessee, now has four touch screen monitors, enabling students to access a variety of data instantaneously.
In addition, our Center for Entrepreneurship will have two new campus-based businesses up and running this fall — BLVD Music Shop, which just recently opened on Belmont Blvd, and Belmont Apps Development Agency, which is launching in collaboration with alumni who started the app firm Aloompa.
We encourage students to get involved in at least one of our various student organizations this year and take advantage of the excellent internship and service opportunities they have access to. Now is the time to utilize all of the great resources Belmont has to offer!
We wish all of our students, faculty and staff the best as we begin this new academic year together!
TryXBRL is a new information resource with XBRL-tagged financial statements for over 12,000 publicly traded corporations. The purpose is to educate financial statement preparers and users on new capabilities for analyzing financial data with reduced cost, time, and complexity. So what is XBRL or eXtensible Business Reporting Language and why should you care?
XBRL is revolutionizing business reporting through electronic communication of business and financial data. The old days of accountants issuing static reports which require laborious and costly processes of manual re-entry and comparison to work with the data are coming to an end. Computers can treat XBRL data "intelligently": they can recognize the information in a XBRL document, select it, analyze it, store it, exchange it with other computers and present it automatically in a variety of ways for users. XBRL greatly increases the speed of handling of financial data, reduces the chance of error and permits automatic checking of information. (ref: http://www.xbrl.org/Home/)
Next time you're in the market for a personal loan, you may find that the lender with the best financing terms isn't your friendly neighborhood bank. It may instead just be your friendly neighbor...period. That's right. More U.S. consumers are taking advantage of an old, but new again, concept of borrowing from other consumers through a personal loan clearinghouse such as Prosper (http://www.prosper.com). It's all part of a new trend in personal finance called "social lending.'
Picture Prosper as what would happen if Ebay went into banking. Would-be borrowers go on-line and enter information about how much money they need, what interest rate they are seeking, and how long they need to pay the money back. What allows this process to work are the investors out there, dissatisfied with their current rates of return, who now have the option to review these potential borrower profiles on-line and bid on the ones they like best. Lenders have the potential to earn significantly higher returns on their funds than they would through typical investment channels (an overall average of 9.28%). What does Prosper get out of all this? They charge a modest fee for both the borrowers and lenders in exchange for their services.
Social lending is growing in popularity at a very fast rate, rising from $27 million in 2006 to in excess of $100 million projected for 2007. With the Web as a catalyst, the practice is projected to hit $1 billion in loan volume by 2010. Many of us have lived next door to a neighbor who was a banker. Soon, our neighbor may be the bank itself.