I am a supporter of financial literacy. I am a constructive critic of financial literacy. Both are legitimate and essential in an honestdialogue. As HOPE Global Spokesman Ambassador Andrew Young said, "John, be skeptical, but don't be cynical. To be cynical is to be without hope."
Operation HOPE pioneered financial literacy as policy within the U.S. federal government in 2008, when we inspired then President George W. Bush to sign an Executive Order establishing financial literacy as new federal government policy, and with it the creation of the first ever U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. I was honored to serve as vice chairman for this first council, with Charles Schwab as chairman, and to serve as chairman of the Council Committee on the Under Served.
President Barack Obama took this vision to another level; bringing to life his own Executive Order during his Presidency, and thereafter establishing the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability (on which I am proud to serve), and then the Federal Consumer Protection Bureau.
President Obama named smart people to head both, with Ariel Capital Management's extremely smart founder John Rogers chairing the Council, and my friend Professor Elizabeth Warren spearheading the foundation of and for the Bureau. I recall one conversation in particular with Professor Warren, where I asked her what she would think if I said, "financial literacy was the new civil rights issue?" Not only did she agree with me, but she went on to say that she thought that "done right," while regulatory review and policy making might consume the formative years of the Bureau, its legacy should be a new foundation of financial literacy in America. Professor Warren and I agree 100%.
Read the complete article here on the Huffington Post.