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Showing posts from 2013

Hearing on Fossil Fuel Divestment

The video below is of testimony before the DC City Council on the Fossil Fuel Divestment Act of 2013. The bill requires "the divestment, and prohibit(s) the investment, of public funds in the stocks, securities, or other obligations of certain companies which hold the largest fossil fuel reserves and..provide(s) for the identification of companies with the largest fossil fuel reserves." As a recent Forbes  article  noted, investor concerns about fossil fuels are growing. Related articles Yale students vote in favour of fossil fuels divestment Fossil Fuel Divestment Dominos Argument Against Divestment Dutch town first in Europe to plan fossil fuel divestment

Article on Community Lending from today's American Banker

Fintech for Underbanked: The Next M&A Hot Spot? by   Robert Barba NOV 7, 2013 5:06pm ET Think the onset of consumer protections laws stymied M&A for companies who serve the underbanked ? You're wrong. Between July 2012 and June 2013, there were 85 investment banking transactions involving companies in the financial technology and specialty lending realms that focus on consumers with low-to-moderate incomes, according to a study released  Wednesday . The authors are the Center for Financial Services Innovation and Core Innovation Capital, a $50 million venture capital fund that specializes in the underbanked market. The data show the acquisitions, initial public offerings and equity investments had a combined value of $5.2 billion in capital. The study, which was sponsored by Morgan Stanley, was the authors' first on this topic, so it is unclear if the activity in the year leading up to  June 30  rose or fell from past years. That kind of assessment

African American-owned bank get $1M deposit

This article is a direct copy of one I submitted to the Post. It adds some additional quotes, but otherwise is a copy. See my blog posting below. Related articles CBCF makes a $5 million deposit in Black banks Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Makes Historic Deposit In Black-Owned Banks Washington, DC's Last Black-Owned Bank Receives $1 Million Investment from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation

CBCF makes a $5 million deposit in Black banks

According to news reports, "The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF)..(made a) $5 million (deposit) in African-American banking institutions as part of a broader effort to increase the availability of loans for businesses and individuals in African-American communities. In all, five banks will receive $1 million each" in deposits. The Foundation, "established in 1976, is a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy, research and educational institute intended to broaden and elevate the influence of African Americans in the political, legislative and public policy arenas." The banks are: Chicago-based Seaway Bank and Trust Co.  New Orleans-based Liberty Bank and Trust Co.  Washington, DC-based Industrial Bank Newark, NJ-based City National Bank Durham, NC-based M&F Bancorp  This effort was spearheaded by Ron Busby, Sr., CEO, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (pictured right). All in all, a good move. This is modeled on efforts we spearheaded ov

SF 49er Protest this coming Sunday, Sept 8th

If the 49ers knew and this is true…That special legislation was passed  so that the Santa Clara Stadium Authorities could circumvent the  California State laws in regards to contractor selection when using  public funds. If the 49ers knew and this is true…That Turner/Devcon joint venture,  the contractor selected to build the stadium, submitted a list of  “pre-qualified subcontractors” and that list had NO, zero, African  American Contractors on that list. What does that say about our 49ers? That Black Players are good enough  to perform on the field but Black Business people are NOT GOOD ENOUGH  to build a stadium. 1940’s – they said we could not Play the game 1960’s – they said we were not smart enough to Quarterback 1980’s – they said we could not Coach a winning team Now in 2013 – We CAN’T BUILD a stadium ?? Forward & Pass ON, so people know there is a process that “Excludes”  folks and we’re not going to continue to let this happen. We deserve the “ Ameri

'Minority' Bank Designation Has Become Meaningless

We note with interest the designation of Urban Partnership Bank as a Minority Depository Institution. According to Crain’s Chicago Business, “The $1 billion-asset bank based on Chicago's South Side (formerly South Shore Bank) is officially a minority lender despite an ownership dominated by Wall Street giants like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.” ( ) A Minority Depository Institution, as defined by Section 308 of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 ("FIRREA"), used to be a bank in which 51% or more of the common stock was owned by one or more members of the following groups: Black American, Asian American, Hispanic American, or Native American . The threshold now for MDI designation is a bank that meets one or more of the following standards: 1.        51% or

On Black Banks

I saw an article recently on Black banks in the US that was filled with inaccuracies. It was a public relations piece for the banking industry, so I thought I would post something based on my 20 years of research experience in the sector. 1. What is the historical significance of Black banks? They were created at a time when discrimination against Black people   was legal in the US. They served as the only financial service   providers to the community. 2. Do Black banks have the same level of significance to the Black  community today? Why or why not? No. They are too small to serve the community in any meaningful way. For example, they cannot serve as a line of defense against predatory lending . The result: b anks like Wells Fargo are free to target black communities for shoddy loans : business/economy/former-wells- fargo-loan-officer-testifies- in-baltimore-mortgage-lawsuit/ 2012/06/12/gJQA6EGtXV_story. html Some Black banks were trying to help:

An unprecedented move by the FED

In an unprecedented move, the Federal Reserve tied monetary policy to  a specific social metric, an unemployment rate of 6.5%. Given  stubbornly high unemployment levels, this new monetary policy target  is entirely appropriate. Looks like its working. Mr.  Bernanke  appears to be willing to risk his reputation as an  inflation fighter in order to lower the unemployment rate. I think the  Bernanke  Gambit is good news for the unemployed and good news for the  country as a whole. Bernanke  signaled that bondholders would no longer dominate monetary  policy considerations. This is for their own good, since they will  benefit, over the long term, from a fairer and more stable economy. The majority of American citizens are bond sellers, not bondholders.  In a downturn, government spending , required in order to get the  economy out of a recession, is financed through the creation, by fiat,  of new money. The resulting increase in the quantity of money gives  rise to inflation, a

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