‘Fiscal cliff’ would have serious consequences, says Wrighton

Washington University in St. Louis Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton has written the Missouri congressional delegation to express continued concerns about the serious negative impact that sequestration, expiring tax provisions, and other elements of the “fiscal cliff” could have on the mission of higher education and the nation as a whole.

Age, race, debt linked to docs’ board certification

New research shows that the likelihood of a medical school graduate becoming board certified is linked to age at graduation, race and ethnicity, and level of debt. The study, by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, was published this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Subprime problems signal trouble ahead, research shows

Mortgage woes could get worse thanks to easy credit.If it seems as though sub-prime mortgage loans stirred up trouble in the financial markets, just wait until debt problems spill over onto household spending. America’s love affair with spending could trigger the most severe downturn in economic activity seen since at least the 1980s — and possibly since the Great Depression.

How people trick themselves into overspending

It’s tax-time. For many people that means handing some hard-earned money over to Uncle Sam. But for others tax time is refund time. Theoretically, that refund is money you’ve earned as a part of your salary, and should be accounted for and spent like regular income. However, most people view it as “found money” and generally find a way to justify spending it on something they didn’t necessarily need. According to a professor of marketing at the Olin School of Business, people mentally credit their refunds to specific budgetary accounts to justify spending it on desirable luxuries. The result is people end up spending too much, making it harder to pay other, more essential accounts.