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On Thursday, October 28th, Axios business reporter Hope King and business editor Dan Primack discussed establishing economic security following the pandemic through financial education, featuring Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Operation HOPE founder & CEO John Hope Bryant.

Sen. Gary Peters highlighted progress in improving financial literacy for high school students, the need for financial education in low-income or underserved communities, and the differing roles governments and corporations have taken in providing financial literacy programs.

  • On the importance of financial literacy initiatives: “What we find is that unfortunately, financial illiteracy is very large in this country. Well over half of adults are considered financially illiterate, and that ends up costing them an awful lot of money over the course of their life.”
  • On goals to implement financial education in schools all over the nation: “How do we give as many students as possible, particularly in our low income areas and those areas that are underbanked, the opportunity to get this education? The more students that learn, the better. Let’s not put any artificial barriers in the way of students who could really benefit from this.”

John Hope Bryant illustrated the disparities in financial literacy in America and how a lack of access and education are the main barriers to financial understanding.

  • On how financial literacy improves national economic prosperity: “If you can help folks get out of a poverty mindset or surviving mindset and move to a thriving middle class mindset or a winning building mindset, all boats rise. Everybody wins. I really see this as a business issue for the nation.”
  • On the path forward for financial education: “I think this is about repairing the ladder and unlocking the system and connecting education to aspiration by giving kids a reason to want to go to school and college and graduate, and giving adults a reason to re-educate, reimagine and reskill…”

Axios Co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei hosted a View from the Top segment with OneMain Financial chairman and CEO Doug Shulman, who explained what financial well-being entails in practice.

  • “I think of it as financial health starts with having the money you need for the things you need for your everyday life. But then it moves to how do you manage your money responsibly? How do you get more access to credit, build your credit profile, live within your budget, so you can kind of move up that financial ladder.”

Thank you OneMain Financial for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

What's next for the Fed on climate change

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Getty Images photos: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP and Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket

The Federal Reserve is poised to increase its climate focus even as President Biden's nomination of Chairman Jerome Powell to a second term disappointed advocates of policies to tilt the economy away from fossil fuels.

Catch up fast: Biden on Monday announced Powell's nod and said he's tapping Lael Brainard — a Fed board member who's outspoken on climate — as vice chair.

Meharry Medical College's Thanksgiving surprise

Photo courtesy of Meharry Medical College

Meharry Medical College is using some of its COVID-19 relief funds to give each of its students $10,000 in time for Thanksgiving.

  • College president James Hildreth made the surprise announcement Monday, acknowledging the challenges the school's 956 students had faced during the pandemic.

Storms pummel flood-hit Pacific Northwest as border river overflows

An image of the water-logged Sumas Prairie area taken last Friday. Photo: B.C. Ministry of Transportation/Twitter.

The latest ferocious storm system to hit the Pacific Northwest triggered fresh evacuation orders and at least one mudslide in flood-ravaged British Columbia, Canada, late Sunday.

Threat level: Flood sirens sounded in Washington state as the Nooksack River overflowed. Henry Braun, mayor of Abbotsford, B.C., told reporters the water flow was headed toward the Canadian border city later Sunday. "There's nothing to stop it," he said.