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Showing posts from 2022

Jan 6th Report Summary...

1.  Trump knew he was likely to lose and planned to declare victory. 2.  Trump knew he lost but declared victory anyway.  3.  Trump publicized claims of electoral fraud knowing they were false.   4.  Trump promoted people to publicly lie for him. 5.  Trump made several efforts to overturn the election results. 6.  Trump pressured state officials to alter the election outcome. 7.  Trump tried to use the Dept of Justice to intimidate state election officials. 8.  Trump oversaw a scheme to create fake Electoral College representatives.  9.  Trump pressured the vice-president not to count the electoral votes. 10.  The person who devised the VP plan knew it was illegal. 11.  Trump encouraged armed supporters to stop the certification procedure. 12.  Trump's call to violence was successful. 13.  The vice-president and his security detail feared for their lives. 14.  After the failed coup attempt, Republican legislators sought pardons. 15.  The coup attempt is

Wells Fargo Consent Decree Average Penalty: $336 Per Account

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Wells Fargo Bank (WFB) "incorrectly applied loan payments, erroneously imposed certain fees and charges, incorrectly repossessed customers' vehicles, and failed to refund certain unearned fees on debt cancellation products; (ii) with respect to home mortgage servicing, incorrectly denied mortgage loan modifications to certain qualified borrowers; and (iii) with respect to consumer deposit accounts, improperly froze or closed customer accounts, improperly charged certain overdraft fees, and did not always waive monthly account service fees consistent with its disclosures." While CFPB claims to have fined WFB $3.7 billion, a review of the consent order released by the Agency reveals several discrepancies. The average penalty per account totaled $252.35 excluding penalties for mortgage servicing errors. These mortgage errors, while substantially higher, applied to fewer than 3.500 accounts. According to the CFPB,

Gen Z Discussion at the Italian Embassy. Jeongmin Yoon, ESG Intern, American University.

On November 29, the Italian Embassy held a live broadcast on Gen Z's Habits and Tech Tools. (Gen Z begins around 1997 and ends around 2010, so as of 2020, the Generation Z age range is roughly between 10 and 23 years old. Many of the oldest members of Gen Z now make up a significant portion of the workforce. Generation Z is the largest generation in American history and constitutes 27 percent of the country's population.) During the broadcast, a speaker discussed Gen Z's SMS (texting) and consumption habits. (SMS stands for Short Message/Messaging Service, a text messaging service component of most modern cell phones.) The speaker said that she uses SMS with the personality of a prosumer. While Gen Z is emerging as a consumer in various fields, members are actively engaged in professional activities by proudly stating their needs to companies and directly participating in product planning beyond simply consuming what they term "good products." The term "Prosu

COP27: Compensation for developing countries due to climate change damage. Jeongmin Yoon, ESG Intern, American University.

    Sameh Shoukry, president of the COP27 climate summit, receives a standing ovation following a speech during the closing plenary session at the U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong) At the 27th General Assembly of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ( COP27 ), the creation of a fund to compensate developing countries for "loss and damage" due to climate change was approved. COP27 closed on the 20th of November (local time) after adopting the final agreement, the " Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan ," two days after the original closing date. The general meeting was held in Egypt on the African continent, which has been severely damaged by global warming (extreme drought), factors like "adaptation" and "loss and damage" were discussed as the biggest issues between developed and developing countries. At the general meeting, developing countries de

Stop Calling Me "Gen Z". Jeongmin Yoon, ESG Intern, American University.

         As a designated member of the "Gen Z" generation, I recently attended an event put on by The Hill Newspaper focused on my age group - "Gen Z: Writing Their Own Rules" in Washington, D.C. The event focused on young people of the New Millennium and their activities. Among the speakers, there was actually a woman who belonged to Gen Z and she led the discussion quite realistically and honestly. The speaker indicated that "Gen Z is more passionate than any other generation. That's why Gen. Z is interested in politics, economics, and culture, and that's why young people's voices have grown. As an example, the number of political demonstrations has also increased." In contrast, the Gen Z discussant said he was the most sensitive to the way others see him. There is more exposure to social media than any other generation. Perhaps that's why Gen Z said he thought his own space and time should be cherished and protected.   Society has his

House Financial Services Committee After The Election

Given the current status of the midterm election, it appears likely, but not certain, that Republicans will control the House. If so, this means Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., currently ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, will  become chairman. Overall, this change will be negative for the country. Regulatory agencies most at risk include the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), given Sen. Elizabeth Warren's role in creating the agency and in light of the fact that an appeals court ruled the CFPB’s funding mechanism  unconstitutional: "A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the design of the CFPB violated the Constitution because it receives funding through the Federal Reserve, rather than appropriations legislation passed by Congress." As a matter of turf, McHenry is likely to support bringing the agency under congressional funding procedures, as broken as these are. We also expect the Securities and Exchange

Climate Change: Young vs Old. Gregory Savioz-Buck, ESG/Impact Investing Intern

It's easy to see that right now, whether it's in politics or in the environment, there is a gap between the visions of the youth and older people. This is not a new phenomenon: these groups have always had different ideas and seen the world differently. However, with all that is going on in our time (climate change and political polarization), these two sets of vision generale some problems. Take climate change for example. There is a clear disconnection between what young people and old people think. Let me explain: young people tend to see the consequences of climate change. This is normal, since they are the ones who will live with these consequences. On the other hand, older people see global warming as less of a problem and tend to be more concerned with a problem closer to them, the economy. They overestimate the importance of the economy to the point of making it a more important than the environment and climate change. This is curious, because usually it is young people

White House Faith Economic Briefing. Matthew Weinstock, ESG Intern, American University

  At 3:30 p.m. on Friday, November 4th, the Biden administration bookended a long week of public briefings with their White House Faith Economic Briefing. Since this hearing was meant to appeal to a demographic that tends to gravitate towards the other end of the political spectrum, it is unsurprising that the briefing garnered a smaller crowd than some of the others.  As for the briefing itself, it appears that Biden's press team has taken steps in the right direction in terms of using technology. The transitions between speakers became smoother as the week went on, and that trend continued with this event. There were far fewer mishaps, no speaker seemed unqualified, and the content was solid. The problem with that solid content, however, is that it was largely recycled from earlier briefings. The talking points were identical to those from prior conferences. Briefings earlier in the week touched on specific accomplishments, highlighting progress they’ve made in climate change

White House Community Briefings Amidst Midterm Early Voting: Improving With Time - Matthew Weinstock, ESG Intern, American University

In recent days, the White House has been very busy with press briefings, likely due in part to a desire to increase Democratic turnout before midterm voting concludes on November 8th. On November 2nd, following the White House Women's Economic Briefing (which Creative Investment Research has summarized, somewhat more critically here ) , the White House held the Youth Economic Briefing. Later that same day, at 3:30, the White House African American Community Economic Briefing took place. Creative Investment Research has been critical of the way these events have been carried out, but it must be noted that recent briefings have seen significant improvement. The Youth Economic Briefing was certainly a step up from events directly preceding it, and the African American Community Economic Briefing saw another step up in quality. In this conference, there were calls to action and the briefing, although still quite self-congratulatory, was more informative than past events. Th

Seoul Crowd Disaster: I Have Walked That Street. Here's What Needs to be Done. Jeongmin Yoon, ESG Intern, American University.

      A crowd surge accident occurred at a Halloween celebration around 10 p.m. on Saturday, October 29 in South Korea. The Itaewon disaster is believed to have been caused by increasing crowd pressure as people could not stop walking while being driven downhill (in terms of the local terrain). Most of the victims were in their 10s and 20s, with 155 deaths and 156 injuries.  Yongsan Police Station requested support from Seoul City Hall but did not receive a reply, this despite 112 reports that came in starting at 4 p.m. on the same day. Many of these were detailed reports: "It is on the verge of crushing, requesting control, and one-way traffic,". But the police did not respond quickly. Media reports suggesting the deployment of 200 police officers in Itaewon were disprove, and corrected to report only 136 police officers deployed, and they were sent to crack down on drug use.  When asked about reports that 136 people who were at the scene asked for support, the police depa

Summary - White House Women’s Economic Briefing: Alarmingly High Black Maternal Mortality Rates Still Not Worth a Mention - Matthew Weinstock, ESG Intern, American University

On November 1, 2022 , at 12:30 pm EST, the White House hosted the “Women’s Economic Briefing.” This served as an information session regarding the Biden Administration's approach to issues pertaining to women. As is always the case with White House Briefings, the agenda consisted of several speakers, each honing in on their area of expertise. They touched on different issues, with the only real tie being the focus on issues that primarily affect women. Compared to recent White House briefings, this event was slightly less self-congratulatory, but not necessarily more informative. While it got better as it went on, with more competent speakers in the second half, the event also had speakers who simply did not belong in a White House event. The meeting also lacked a clear call to action, (aside from the unspoken urging of attendees to vote blue in the midterms) and was not thematically consistent despite a clearly laid out agenda. No meeting in the Biden Administration would be compl

Our ESG Agenda for Fall 2022/Winter 2023

1. We are working on an initiative linking ongoing student efforts to environmental issues . Given financial institution financing of fossil fuels and regulatory support for this, we think the young should decide. Should we stop? How? What should we do instead?  2. Food. Creating an impactful effort. Actually finance stores. See/link food activists and Foodbuy. 3. Housing. We have outlined a demonstration project linking tiny housing in DC to investment banks and money managers. (Doesn't Musk have a company in this field ?) Suggest HUD buy a bunch of these, set them up somewhere in DC, but avoid just creating a tiny ghetto.....  4. Strategic approach to BLM/Minority Bank investments. What's the social return on investment?  5. Black Maternal Mortality. and

BrightTALK: Tackling Economic Inequality With ESG By Matt Weinstock, ESG Intern, American University

       On October 5th, 2022, San Francisco based media company BrightTALK hosted a panel on the importance of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance investing), and to discuss the importance of not viewing Eastern economies through a Western lens. The all-female panel included the host, Georgina Mitchell from WellHouse Consulting, panelist Delilah Rothenberg, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Predistribution Initiative, and panelist Teboho Makhabane, ESG and Impact Implementation Specialist from Sanlam Investments. The discussion touched upon many important topics, and provided insights into many aspects of the global economy. One of these concerned economic inequality. The panelists, Ms. Rothenberg in particular, expressed her belief that there are many reasons aside from morality that a large corporation might be incentivized to promote economic equality. She implied that a healthy lower and middle class is beneficial to any economy, which, in turn, is beneficial for any

바이든의 chip4 동맹의 제안 : 한국의 입장은?

      한국 정부는 Chip 4 동맹 때문에 곤경에 처해 있습니다 . 바이든 미국 대통령은 Chip4 동맹에 2,800 억 달러 규모의 법안에 서명했고 , 이제 본격적으로 반도체를 밀어붙이겠다는 입장입니다 . 미국은 중국을 견제하기 위해 Chip4 동맹을 만들 것입니다 . 대한민국도 Chip4 가입을 제안했지만 , 대한민국은 Chip4 동맹 예비회의에 참석하겠다고 밝혔지만 , 한편으로는 대한민국이 Chip4 가입을 결정한 것은 아니다며 선을 그었습니다 . 미국은 진퇴양난에 빠진 한국을 말합니다 . 당신은 Chip4 에 가입하기를 원하나요 , 원하지 않나요 ? 그럼 Chip4 동맹이 무엇인지 , 그리고 대한민국이 어떻게 미국과 중국 사이에 갈등을 빚을 수밖에 없는지 , 그리고 한국이 이 두 나라 사이에서 어떤 태도를 취해야 하는지 짚어보겠습니다 . Chip4 는 미국이 구상하고 있는 사실상의 기술 동맹입니다 . 여기서 Chip 은 반도체 , 4 는 미국 , 한국 , 대만 , 일본을 의미하며 , 동맹에 참여할 4 개국입니다 . 요약하자면 , Chip4 는 미국이 제안한 4 개국 반도체 공급 동맹입니다 . 그렇다면 왜 4 개의 나라가 있을까요 ? Chip4 를 가장 먼저 선도한 미국은 반도체 설계 기술 결함이 강점이면서 수많은 특허를 보유하고 있습니다 . 원천기술은 대부분 미국 소유인데 미국은 반도체 팹리스 설계에서 상당한 강자인 반면 반도체 파운드리 생산에서는 매우 약하다는 게 약점입니다 . 한국과 대만에서 주조 공장은 단단히 고정되어 있습니다 . 대조적으로 , 미국은 12% 에 불과합니다 . 메모리 반도체와 비메모리 반도체를 모두 생산하는 파운드리에서는 한국과 대만의 강점이 매우 큽니다 . 한국은 삼성전자 , SK 하이닉스 , 대만에서 tsmc 가 파운드리 산업의 큰 비중을 차지하고 있습니다 . 마지막으로 , 일본은 Chip4 국가이며 , 일본은 반도체 핵심 소재 장비 분야에서 특별한 강점을 가지고 있습니다 . Chip4 동맹은 4 대 반도체

Biden's Chip4 Alliance: What is South Korea's position? Jeongmin Yoon, ESG Intern, American University

     The Korean government is in trouble because of the Chip4 alliance. President Biden of the United States signed a $280 billion bill for the alliance and is now determined to push semiconductors in earnest. The creating the alliance to keep China in check. The Republic of Korea proposed joining Chip4, and initially said it would attend the preliminary meeting, but they later drew a line, saying that the Republic of Korea has not decided to join. The U.S. says “Korea, do you want to join Chip4 or not? So let's talk about what the Chip4 alliance is and how the Republic of Korea has no choice but to join or have a conflict between the United States and China. What position should Korea take between these two countries? The answer is obvious.” Chip4, the de facto technology alliance that the United States is envisioning, stands for semiconductor, and 4 stands for the United States, South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan , the countries the US hopes will join the alliance So, to sum

THE FLIGHT OF BANKS By Sari Lesk, Milwaukee Business Journal. Comments and summary by Creative Investment Research

NOTE: We spoke with this reporter on Nov 30, 2021, This article was published almost a year later, on Oct. 21, 2022. A related article* published in the New York Times on the same day, 10/21/22, seemed to reflect our comments and research.   Morgan Phelps  faced a business conundrum in the summer of 2020. Phelps is the founder of Colorful Connections, a Milwaukee firm that helps businesses attract and retain diverse employees. She formed her business model in 2017 while working in the communications industry. After completing accelerator programs, such as through BizStarts and gener8tor, Phelps took Colorful Connections live in fall 2019. Although demand slowed at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Colorful Connections faced a new problem after the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. That event energized calls for racial justice and equity across the country. Phelps suddenly had a rush of clients, but the cash flow from that work wouldn’t come until later – s

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