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Politico Governor’s Summit 2024. Daniel Merritt, Gonzaga University, Intern.

On Thursday, February 22nd, Politico held its annual Governor’s Summit hosting six state governors and reviewing their thoughts on various issues. With a range of political views ranging from those of Republican Governors Association head Brian Lee to liberal New York governor Kathy Hochul, many sides of the partisan spectrum were present. Still, one can’t help but feel as though the governors’ responses were reserved and cryptic given that this is an election year where political transparency is arguably more important than ever. This article summarizes relevant views by the event’s panel of six governors, attempting to provide insight on future policy. Nonetheless, extracting substance from their words is akin to fighting an uphill battle given the governor's ability to dance around questions. First to speak was Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia. He voiced a desire to expand Georgia’s electric car (EV) market, elucidating plans to centralize electric car manufacture in his state as
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Todd M. Harper, Chairman of the National Credit Union Administration at Brookings. Abhey Singh Guram, Beloit College, Intern.

In the world of finance, credit unions, banks and securities firms are constantly navigating choppy waters. During a recent discussion, Todd M. Harper, Chairman of the National Credit Union Administration, shed light on the challenges and opportunities that credit unions face. Held at the Brookings Institution, the event covered the state of credit unions, regulatory efforts, and the unforeseen hurdles that may lie ahead for the financial sector. At the heart of the discussion was the role of credit unions in serving specific communities, with Harper acknowledging and highlighting the unique and diverse nature of credit union membership. These  range from employer-focused credit unions to those with multiple membership common bonds. At the event, a special focus was placed on minority depository institutions (MDIs). These common bond connections (typically based either on employment or community ties) shape the outlook of credit unions. This requires credit unions have flexibility in t

Fed Chair Powell on 60 Minutes. Daniel Merritt, Gonzaga University, Intern.

Creative Investment Research (CIR) has consistently maintained that the present state of the economy is not just adequate but significantly superior to those of the past. This view was corroborated by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell in a 2/4/2024 interview on 60 Minutes , where he addressed and sought to allay concerns related to ongoing inflation at the microeconomic level. Chair Powell pointed out that inflation rates have decreased rapidly and markedly, a trend not observed since the 1980s. He highlighted the current low unemployment rate of 3.7%, which signifies a robust labor market that bolsters an ongoing trend of deflation. Despite rapid changes in key macroeconomic indicators, which might raise concerns, Powell reassured that the inflation rate remains only moderately above the Federal Reserve's target of 2%. This margin allows the Federal Reserve flexibility to adjust policies in response to unforeseen market shifts. Powell also explained the rationale behind the 2%

Unemployment by Race, Ethnicity. January, 2024

Unemployment by Race - Year-over-Year Analysis: - White: The rate increased slightly over a year from 3.0% to 3.4%, indicating a slight uptick in unemployment but relatively stable conditions. - Black or African American: Despite the decrease at the end of 2023, the rate is lower in January 2024 (5.3%) compared to December 2022 (5.7%), suggesting positive long-term improvement. - Asian: With a decrease from 2.4% in December 2022 to 2.9% in January 2024, this group has seen an overall increase in unemployment rate but remains the group with the lowest rate. - Hispanic: There has been an increase in the unemployment rate from December 2022 (4.1%) to January 2024 (5.0%). This represents a nearly full percentage point increase over the year, which could suggest worsening employment conditions for this demographic or could be influenced by broader economic trends. Overall Context: - Racial disparities in unemployment rates are evident, with Black or African American individuals experiencing

Edward Blum and the Fragile State of Affirmative Action: A Young White Man’s Perspective. Daniel Merritt, Gonzaga University, Intern.

          In 1935’s ‘The Black Reconstruction of America’, W.E.B. Du Bois describes the tragic nature of man to revert to what they know even if that knowledge is an atrocity: “The slave went free; stood a brief moment in the sun; then moved back again toward slavery” . Now, in a time of supposed modernization, we witness the Supreme Court behaving just as Du Bois indicates with respect to  Edward Blum’s reckless onslaught against affirmative action. Starting with Harvard and the University of North Carolina (UNC). America moves back towards the history we seek to escape.  In two cases, Blum fought for the supposition that affirmative action actively discriminates against Asian students. As he stated in an interview with Time Magazine, “The mission of Students for Fair Admissions, the sole mission, is to end the use of race and ethnicity in college admissions. What happens after that is a different story.” (Carlisle.) Blum further clarifies that he wants to eliminate admission-discri

Place-Based Growth: Assessing Biden-Harris's Bold Approach to Economic Renewal. Abhey Singh Guram, Beloit College, Intern

(PHOTO: Abhey Singh Guram, Creative Investment Intern, pictured with Dr. Lael Brainard, National Economic Advisor, at The Brookings Institution on January 22nd, 2024.) During a recent event at the Brookings Institution, Dr. Lael Brainard, President Biden's National Economic Advisor, emphasized the importance of place-based growth in revitalizing communities across the United States. The discussion revolved around the administration's commitment to spreading economic prosperity to regions left behind, focusing on sustainable initiatives and connecting communities.  This piece will explore the environmental justice framework, the concept of equitable development, their correlation with the points raised at the Brookings event, and recent initiatives that have come out of the White House. It underscores the importance of sustainable policy-making to build more resilient communities, and the importance of sustainable initiatives, elucidating how all these elements intertwined. Envi

Elon, ESG and DEI

Elon Musk, the entrepreneur behind Tesla and SpaceX, recently made headlines with critical remarks about Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and his stance on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). These comments have ignited a firestorm of debate, raising questions about Musk and the broader implications of his views. At the heart of Musk's success is his work in the environmental sector, particularly with Tesla's electric vehicles, which have significantly contributed to the 'E' in ESG. This makes his dismissal of the entire ESG framework somewhat self serving and paradoxical. While Musk's innovations have propelled the environmental agenda forward, his recent comments suggest a dissonance with the 'Social' and 'Governance' aspects of ESG. Musk's critique of the Social component, implied in his rejection of DEI, hints at a broader discomfort, perhaps due to his background as a child of apartheid, with initiatives aimed at leveling the