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Showing posts from March, 2021

Black Banking Startup Raises $40 Million

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According to a press release, "Greenwood, the digital banking platform for Black and Latino individuals and business owners, today announced it has closed $40 million of Series A funding from six of the seven largest U.S. banks and the top two payment technology companies: Truist, Bank of America, PNC, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo (Its still time to Clean House at Wells ) , Mastercard, and Visa." The investor group also includes the largest Hispanic bank in the US, Banco Popular. (Looks like the crisis has finally forced the realization that, as MLK noted , "we must 'live together as brothers or perish together as fools." ) FIS, TTV Capital, SoftBank Opportunity Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners and All-Pro NFL running back Alvin Kamara were also listed as investors. For a startup to receive funding from six of the seven largest firms in its industry is significant. The key question is why and what will they do with this funding? Greenwood started out of the Bank

An Impact Analysis of Goldman's "One Million Black Women" Initiative

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Goldman Sachs announced the launch of One Million Black Women, a $10 billion investing initiative focused on narrowing opportunity gaps for one million Black women. In reviewing the program, we focus on potential program effectiveness. We also review possible social impact.  Goldman Sachs, a banking organization headquartered in New York, has a reputation for political savvy. Many economic policymakers in the Trump, Obama, Bush and Clinton Administrations, from Treasury Secretary to National Economic Committee chairs have been former Goldman employees. (While the Biden Administrations seems to have limited the number of ex-Goldman employees on staff, they are still present - SEC nominee Gary Gensler, for example.) The bank is also known for rushing to change from investment to commercial banking registration days before the financial crisis of 2008 took root. One Million Black Women The firm has pledged to invest $10 billion in Black women led companies and initiatives over the next te

Big Banks Violate BLM Pledges

On February 22, the Biden-Harris administration announced reforms to the $284 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). These changes directed funding “to the smallest businesses and those that have been left behind in previous relief efforts.” Among the reforms, the administration established a 14-day exclusive PPP loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees, including sole proprietors. (Recent data shows that 96 percent of Black-owned businesses operate as sole owner-operator firms.) The main program administrator, the Small Business Administration, was tasked with eliminating other PPP program impediments. These barriers, including those due to student loan defaults or due to a non-fraud-related criminal record, stopped many businesses from applying for these loans. In the most potentially impactful reform, PPP loans were directed to one-person (sole proprietor) firms.  Unfortunately, major financial institutions have formally stated that they