USA Today

In Syria, go after banks before bombs: Column

As the White House considers taking military action against Syria for its use of chemical weapons against civilians, the president should also consider using an additional tool to force the Syrian regime to change course: stepping up economic warfare against Syrian banks and institutions that do business with them. This type of effort can have measurable impact for a simple reason: the Assad government needs money. Without hard currency and access to the international market, the regime will find it far more difficult to fund its military and its ability to purchase Russian weapons will be limited. Syria is vulnerable to economic warfare, which would hurt the regime where it is weakest: its pocketbook.

SmartyPig creates online savings plan to reach a goal

SmartyPig, a conventional concept to promote savings, which was founded in 2008, has used a combination of social networking and banking to reach its mission: The company encourages people to save for specific goals and, so far, it has helped people reach almost $3 billion in savings goals. In an online account a goal for a specific purchase is set. The money transfer to this account can be completed automatically. After that, through social media such as Facebook and Twitter, friends and family members have the opportunity to make their contribution to the goal. After reaching the amount dedicated retailers offering discounts for those doing savings.


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