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Showing posts from January, 2016

Why #OscarsSoWhite and #OscarsBoycott are a waste of time...

An effort to boycott the Oscars has gained significant traction, even leading to "a history-making announcement by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences about diversifying its membership.." Simple economic analysis reveals why the Academy responded so quickly. It also reveals why the course of action chosen is likely to be less effective than many hope. Finally, it points to a more effective solution. As noted in the charts above and below, both drawn from the  2014 Motion Picture Association of America Stat Book , Asians, African-Americans and Hispanics comprised 46% of movie ticket sales in 2014. You don't need an MBA from the University of Chicago to know policies and practices that disrespect 46% of your customers, while several of your employees make statements that appear to channel Donald Trump's  perspective on diversity , are bad for business. As I wrote in an  MLK Day post , Dr. King stated quite clearly that "If you respect my dol

William Michael Cunningham invited to speak at the Wall Street Project Economic Summit

Jan. 26, 2016  - -- William Michael Cunningham has been invited to serve as a speaker during the Rainbow PUSH Coalition & Citizenship Education Fund 19th Annual Wall Street Project Economic Summit, convening February 16-18, 2016 at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, 811 Seventh Avenue at 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019. The theme of the Summit will be “Wall Street: The New Paradigm – Access to Opportunity.”  Up to 2,500 corporate executives, minority suppliers, and political, community, religious and world leaders are expected to attend. Mr. Cunningham will speak at a panel titled “Access to Capital: Crowdfunding, Alternative Funding Sources and Business Development for MBW/WBES” on Thursday, February 18th (10:45a.m.-12: 00p.m.). He will discuss new techniques to acquire funding to start or grow a business. As the organizers noted, "It seems like every day you hear about a new crowdfunding site or another firm looking to invest in new ventures. Some things sound easy,

Martin Luther King's Philosophy on Investing

Capitalism and Equality  As the civil rights movement expands to include investing and investments, I thought it would be an appropriate time to reflect on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s attitude toward investing. Though it may surprise some, Dr. King was one of capitalism's staunchest proponents. In this respect, his actions were fully consistent with his faith: as he noted in one of his speeches, "Jesus never made a universal indictment against all wealth." What's more, Dr. King's work made capital markets more efficient, as I discuss below.  A Socially Responsible Investor Martin Luther King was more concerned with how wealth was obtained and used. To him, the fact that one owned a Cadillac said nothing about one's faith or about one's character, for that matter. Worshiping the Cadillac, however, did. This certainly made him a socially responsible investor, specifically a values investor. His emphasis on values rested on a concern he expressed ma

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