A glimmer of hope for American personal finance

In college, some of my favorite courses weren’t computer science, they were finance courses. There are no minors at Mudd, but if there were, I was pretty close to getting one in economics.

I’ve been following the bull market of the past few years, along with more gloomy details on subprime mortgages, inflation, our national debt, etc. The bit that scares me most is the negative savings rate of the average American – spending more than you have is a recipe for disaster, plain and simple.

So you can imagine my surprise to find a story on hip-hop artists teaching their fans about personal finance. And it’s not a joke – they’re actually trying to learn from their mistakes and make sure that others don’t run in to the same problems they did. For example:

“I took my homeboys to the club, buyin’ bottles, got the rims — you know what I mean,” said Slim Thug, 26, a Houston rapper whose prized possessions include a $460,000 Rolls-Royce Phantom. “Then I couldn’t be paying the rent! Homeboys can’t help you now.”

Maybe it just takes the right teacher…