September 14, 2017

When I started building financial forecasting models in the early 1990s, Lotus 1-2-3 had just introduced WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get), which transformed the standard DOS command prompt format with a graphical interface. Life was good!

After beginning to work with local government budgets a few years later, I had the pleasure of learning the ins and outs of Quattro Pro, which at the time was a step up from the older versions of Lotus I had first cut my teeth on. My time with Quattro Pro was shor...

December 29, 2016

As we prepare to begin a new year, I’m reminded by retiree friends that the Social Security cost of living increase for 2017 will be an uninspiring 0.3%. Many senior citizens are pointing out that this paltry increase does not cover the expected inflationary cost increase between 2016 and 2017, which is looking to be close to 2.0%. This gap between rising costs and stagnating income could put millions of senior citizens, especially those with limited other retirement income,  in a difficult financial si...

December 9, 2016

There is a small café in Ann Arbor, Michigan, named Big City Small World Bakery. The name has always intrigued me. The business is operated several blocks from the bustling downtown district, in an older brick building with a lot of character. Inside, the shop is very small, with large display cases of freshly baked treats and breads, a nice selection of coffee, and a smattering of quaint offerings to make any home feel cozy.

Entering the shop, you immediately notice its diminutive size, then quickly rea...

October 6, 2016

I recently spent some time in Jinja, Uganda. This small city on the northern shore of Lake Victoria is known as the source of the Nile. The fabled river begins

September 29, 2016

Local governments the world over are searching for ways to keep their finances healthy. While certainly not an exhaustive list, here are 7 strategies that shoul

September 22, 2016

Similar to a prospector sifting through the dirt and mud, many local managers and elected officials are carefully reviewing budgets for any opportunity to save

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