As the year ends, many people make their annual contributions to their favorite charities. The average American donates $298 in cash each year to charities, according to Esri, world’s leader in geographic information systems (GIS). Types of charities include animal welfare, disease cures and post-disaster assistance. Educational charities receive $100, on average, from Americans who donate. Religious charities benefit the most, receiving $915 annually, on average. What types of Americans are most likely to contribute to each charity type? Who are these Americans, and where do they live?

Charitable cash contributions

Charitable contributions are received from all over the country and from all types of Americans. Esri provides Consumer Spending data that details, by geography, the likely average amount spent on a product or service per adult or household. As noted above, Esri estimates that an average American gives $298 per year in cash to a charity.

The people that give the most live along the Eastern Seaboard and in and around large cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Denver. (read more…)

These days, planning for retirement is a concern for most Americans. In the past, many Americans relied on Social Security and company pensions to fund their retirement. Today, Social Security does not pay enough for some people to be comfortable in their retirement, and most companies have eliminated pensions (if they had them to begin with). Therefore, making 401(k) and IRA contributions are critical to people’s retirement to ensure that they have enough money once they stop working.

The average American contributes $1,325 to retirement accounts per year, according to Esri, world’s leader in geographic information systems (GIS). What types of Americans are most likely to contribute? Who contributes to 401(k) accounts? What about IRA accounts? Where do these Americans live?

401(k) contribution

401(k) retirement accounts allow Americans to contribute to their retirement directly from their regular paychecks. The contributions are pre-tax and are often matched by employers to encourage savings. (read more…)

Simon Lewis

Simon Lewis was appointed chief executive officer of GFMA in January and chief executive of AFME in October 2010. Previously, he was director of communications and the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman at 10 Downing Street. He has held a number of senior corporate roles, including director of corporate affairs at Vodafone, Centrica and NatWest. He was appointed as the first Communications Secretary to the Queen in 1998.

How has the financial reform programme affected Europe’s capital markets during 2012?

It has been another challenging year for the international capital markets, featuring protracted negotiations about an ambitious regulatory agenda in Europe and corresponding uncertainty about the business environment for our industry.

We have also witnessed further uncertainty around the eurozone crisis, until the European Central Bank promised to do “whatever it takes” to ensure the euro’s survival.

Since the summer, this has contributed to a more positive mood in the markets, bolstered by the encouraging progress eurozone governments have made towards establishing a European Banking Union. (read more…)

Online shopping grows larger and larger each year. Forrester Research predicts that 167 million consumers in the U.S. will spend $226 billion online in 2012. Consumers shopped online in full force on Black Friday in 2012. ComScore reports that Americans spent $1.04 billion to kick off their holiday shopping. What type of consumer is most likely to shop online and where do they live?

The online shopper

Buying everything from books to computers to even groceries from online retail stores has become more and more common since the ability emerged in the 1990s. While people from all sorts of backgrounds from across the country will shop online, some people are much more likely than others to buy online.

Esri, the world’s leader in geographic information systems, provides Market Potential data that includes a Market Potential Index. The index measures the probability that adults or households in a specific area will exhibit certain consumer behaviors compared to the U.S. (read more…)

Resolving G-SIFIs: A question-and-answer session with Simon Lewis, chief executive of the Global Financial Markets Association, on a joint paper released this week by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Bank of England.

Can you outline what proposals have been issued by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Bank of England paper?

The U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Bank of England issued a joint paper entitled “Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important Financial Institutions,” which discusses how U.K. and U.S. regulators plan to deal with global systemically important financial institutions — or G-SIFIs — that fail across the two jurisdictions.

The paper focuses on “top-down” resolution strategies that involve a single resolution authority applying its powers to the top of a financial group — that is, at the parent holding company level — while keeping bank, securities and other operating subsidiaries out of resolution, insolvency or administration.

These strategies are designed to solve the “too big to fail” problem by providing an alternative to the toxic choice between taxpayer-funded bailouts and liquidations that can destabilize the financial system. (read more…)