It certainly isn't in the same league as pushing your romantic rival off a cliff only to learn that she was your long-lost twin, her face altered by plastic surgery after the mine explosion caused by the villainous patriarch of the town's leading family. But with current events in the financial crisis looking more and more like a soap opera, one government official thinks it's time to add financial storylines to daytime television.
I was a bit embarrassed when I realized recently that I didn't know who our U.S. treasurer is. She's Anna Escobedo Cabral, and the little I've read about her has impressed me. It seems that last year, she was in talks with the Spanish-language television network Telemundo to have financial story lines added to Spanish soap operas to educate viewers. What a great idea!
Most people need more financial education. It's clear that we're not making all the right fiscal decisions. (Indeed, my Foolish colleagues have pointed out that financial illiteracy was a big factor in our recent credit crisis.) Cabral realizes this, and is even being Foolish in her desire to disseminate information in a painless, creative way. After all, that's what we've tried to do here for years -- offer financial guidance with a dose of humor.
She offered her thoughts last year at a conference co-sponsored by Ariel Mutual Funds and Charles Schwab
But back to financial education. Cabral's idea is an excellent one. It's a shame to limit it to Spanish soap opera viewers, though. Imagine if the scientists on CSI were investigating the death of someone who was deep in debt due to living beyond his means. Imagine if Dwight on The Office lost thousands by investing in penny stocks. Imagine if the retirement of Erica Kane on All My Children was threatened because of investing that was too aggressive or too conservative?
We'd be glued to our sets, as usual, but we'd learn a little, too. Heck, even the NFL could be enhanced with some financial lessons. What if fans were updated on model stock portfolios for each team, drawn from companies in each home state? It would be a chance for people to see how stocks move over time.
The value of financial literacy isn't lost on us at The Motley Fool. That's why this year, in our annual Foolanthropy campaign, we're supporting DonorsChoose. Duke Energy
Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. Markel is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Charles Schwab and Royal Caribbean Cruises are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. JPMorgan Chase and Duke Energy are Motley Fool Income Investor picks. The Fool owns shares of Markel. Try our investing newsletters free for 30 days. The Motley Fool is Fools writing for Fools.