Insight News

Aug 01st


Commissioner Rothman enlists CPAs to stop financial abuse of seniors this tax season

Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman issued a letter to more than 9,000 licensed CPAs in Minnesota today, enlisting tax professionals in the fight against elder fraud and financial abuse. Under Commissioner Rothman’s leadership, the Minnesota Department of Commerce has stepped up its efforts to protect elderly and vulnerable consumers from fraud and financial scams. Providing Minnesota CPAs the tools and resources to spot fraud in their older clients is one important part of that effort.


BBB advice on refund anticipation loans

BBB advice on refund anticipation loans


Some tax preparers offer Refund Anticipation Loans (R.A.L.’s) to allow people to receive their tax refunds immediately. However, the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) is reminding people that R.A.L.’s are not an actual refund from the IRS, but rather a short-term loan from the company. According to the Consumer Federation of America, the interest rate and administration fees on R.A.L.’s can translate to an annual percentage rate of 149 percent for a 10-day term.


Super Bowl, Super Dollars


Being that I’m not a football fan, it stands to reason that the Super Bowl isn’t normally high on my priority list. But I felt I had a vested interest in tracking the results of Super Bowl XLVI this year for a few reasons.  First of all, I’m from Fort Wayne, Indiana (don’t hate) and since the big game was being held in Indianapolis this year I wanted to be sure my state delivered a quality product of which I could be proud. Secondly, I was interested in seeing if this year’s Super Bowl XLVI could deliver more viewers than last’s record setting game (including African-American viewers). And lastly, I love creativity and wanted to see how much was apparent in the commercials that usually debut during the game. So of course I did not actually watch the game. But hey, I work for a research company, so I know exactly what happened!


Nominations for International Trade Awards

Each year, Minnesota's governor honors a select group of Minnesota companies that have shown exceptional progress and success in international trade by conferring the Governor's International Trade Award. In addition to honoring individual recipients, the award recognizes the tremendous positive effect that exports and trade have on the state's economy.


Nice work at the job fair

Nice work at the job fair


Last week’s job fair was packed.  Hundreds of ambitious, well-dressed, earnest people of all ages and abilities met with a few dozen employers for extreme speed dating, the Hire Me version.  Competition for jobs is tough, but the people at this job fair were up to the task. 

What impressed this employer was the level of professionalism of every candidate.  For instance, Dinyar had a sturdy handshake.  Some men think they have to be placid or just shake the fingertips of a female.  Dinyar took my hand in his, palm to palm, gave it an appropriate squeeze and let go.  This seems a small point, but a handshake can communicate confidence.  Practice.

Right-to-Work may be on 2012 ballot

Minnesota Free Market Institute at Center of the American Experiment last week released a new study proposing Minnesota residents would have a higher income and standard of living if the state had a Right-to-Work provision that allowed workers the freedom to join, or not to join, a labor union. 

Minnesota legislators are considering such a provision as a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would be placed on this November's general election ballot.


Dayton Administration tackles financial literacy

Ten state agencies collaborate on financial literacy efforts

Following through on the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s Financial Literacy Action Plan released last October, Commissioner Mike Rothman invited the heads of nine state agencies to the Department for a first of its kind Interagency Work Group on Financial Literacy Monday January 30. Agencies invited to participate in the work group have existing programs, outreach efforts, or other interests in financial literacy. 

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