The Recent Debt Crisis, by Stephen Robert

Over the past 25 years, household debt in America has risen significantly. From the 1950s until the 1980s, the ratio of debt to disposable income held steady at between 60 and 65 percent. By 2001, this figure hit 100 percent, and five years later, the amount reached 130 percent. This explosion was due in part to borrowers’ easy access to credit, which added an extra $6 trillion to the collective debt between 2000 and 2008. The collapse of the subprime mortgage industry and resultant epidemic of unemployment made it difficult for people to pay off what they owed. As a result, many defaulted on their loans and other financial obligations.

In addition to personal debt, government debt has also plays a major role in our current economic situation. The country’s percentage of debt to gross domestic product increased from 60 to 100 percent. However, this occurred in less than a decade, and it shows no sign of decreasing. Programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid serve as some of America’s most expensive policies.

Stephen Robert
Stephen Robert and the Source of Hope Foundation continue to research better methods for delivering humanitarian assistance.

About the Author:

The former Chief Executive Officer of the Oppenheimer Fund and of Renaissance Institutional Management, LLC, Stephen Robert understands many facets of the economy. Currently the Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Source of Hope Foundation, Robert has analyzed the recent economic crisis in depth.


Recent Developments with Source of Hope Foundation

Stephen Robert
In addition to his work with the foundation, Mr. Robert serves as a Trustee of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital and a former Board member of the New York Philharmonic and WNET’s THIRTEEN, a leading local television station.

In October 2011, Source of Hope Foundation announced a partnership between itself, Mercy Corps, and The joint project led to the creation of the Arab Developer Network Initiative (ADNI). With start-up capital of nearly $2 million, the ADNI seeks to bolster information and communications technology throughout the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Focusing on Palestinian youth, the ADNI plans to create a network of individuals skilled in information technology, computer science, and related fields. Internet businesses serve as a key area for this body, as it will train its members in multiple programming languages, thus enabling them to create a variety of sites. Moreover, Mercy Corps introduced an Arabic-language version of its MicroMentor platform to further aid in the ADNI’s success.

When interviewed, Stephen Robert, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Source of Hope Foundation, talked about the importance of the endeavor, including how economic growth can encourage better and more peaceful societies. Outside of this initiative, Stephen Robert and Source of Hope Foundation contribute health care, food, water, and other necessities to people in need across the world.

Stephen Robert Develops a Better Way to Give

stephen robert, source of hope foundation
Under the Stephen Roberts’ leadership, the Source of Hope Foundation provides assistance to communities lacking resources such as health care, education, water, food, and micro-financing opportunities.

Stephen Robert, financial expert and public intellectual, has been outspoken in his opposition to quick fixes for deep-seated economic problems. In his articles and essays, Robert has argued that Washington must focus on the underlying economic weaknesses in order to produce a long-lasting improvement in employment and GDP. Unlike many pundits, Stephen Robert does not simply popularize his theories on building a strong economy. He also puts them into practice through Source of Hope Foundation.

Source of Hope Foundation, founded, run, and funded by Stephen Robert and his wife, Pilar Crespi Robert, provides seed money for sustainable solutions to the problems of poverty. With projects throughout the developing world, Source of Hope seeks to alleviate poverty through food, clean water, education, healthcare, and microfinance. The charity prefers to fund programs that will give people the tools they need to break out of their day-to-day struggles and build a strong economic foundation for future growth. One current project focuses on creating jobs and economic growth in the West Bank and Gaza through Palestine’s fledgling information technology sector. By ensuring that people have access to the essential building blocks of prosperity, Source of Hope can promote peace and general well being.

Stephen Robert, Source of Hope Foundation
In addition to sending much-needed resources to struggling communities abroad and in the United States, Source of Hope Foundation also provides relief for those affected by natural disasters.

Improving Health Care Treatment for New Yorkers with Low Income

Stephen Robert
In 1997, Stephen Robert sold the Oppenheimer Group to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

By Stephen Robert

Source of Hope Foundation assists individuals around the world through humanitarian assistance, in the form of health care and education, as well as through the distribution of food and water. The organization has also provided disaster relief following catastrophic natural events. In order to support communities in their long-term economic development, the foundation provides microfinance for local enterprises. Projects support has been directed to countries in Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

Source of Hope Foundation devotes a portion of its resources to projects in the United States. In New York, the foundation has addressed the needs of individuals with low income who often face difficult and frustrating delays in addressing urgent health problems. Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, which operates under New York-Presbyterian Hospital, provides care for a predominantly low-income population, the majority of whom rely on government-funded health coverage or are uninsured. The population often utilizes the emergency room for primary care, waiting an average of nine hours to be seen in this overcrowded setting. To help alleviate this crisis, the Source of Hope Foundation has funded the construction of a rapid evaluation unit that can expedite patient diagnoses and treatment. For more information on Source of Hope Foundation, visit

About the author: Stephen Robert and his wife Pilar founded the Source of Hope Foundation. An expert in the finance industry, Mr. Robert guided The Oppenheimer Fund as its President and later as its CEO/Chairman until 1997. Among his other philanthropic roles, Stephen Robert has served on the governing boards of New York-Presbyterian Hospital and WNET, New York City’s public television station.