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Showing posts from July, 2024

Data, Impact, and Accountability: Lessons from the 2024 Aid Transparency Index. Luke Newton and Eric J. Gordon, Creative Investment Research

  Data, Impact, and Accountability: Lessons from the 2024 Aid Transparency Index On July 16th, the Center for Sustainable Development at Brookings hosted “ Aid data, impact, and the Sustainable Development Goals ” to spotlight the 2024 Aid Transparency Index launch. The event featured presentations by Gary Forester , Publish What You Find CEO, and Laurel Patterson , Director for SDG Integration at the United Nations Development Programme, Global Policy Network. Brookings Senior Fellow George Ingram then moderated a panel discussion consisting of Christophe Tocco , Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator at USAID, Zacharey Carmichael , Senior Economist for Agriculture & Food Global Practice at the World Bank, and Samuel Kobina Annim , Professor of Economics and Head of the Ghana Statistical Service. Forester’s presentation focused primarily on what was revealed in the 2024 Aid Transparency Index , which surveyed over 166,000 independent aid projects. The index achieved its hig

Insights from Semafor’s “Banking on the Future: The Next Era of Fintech” Conference. Eric J. Gordon, Creative Investment Research

Luke Nelson (left) and Eric Gordon (right) at the Semafor Fintech Conference Insights from Semafor’s “Banking on the Future: The Next Era of Fintech” Conference Last week, the global news organization Semafor hosted a conference featuring prominent fintech leaders discussing the industry's future amid recent technological, political, and legal developments. Fintech is fundamentally reshaping financial systems, influencing consumers' daily lives worldwide, often without their explicit recognition. At the conference, I was particularly captivated by discussions on the scale of Fintech’s adoption, the impact of Section 1033, and the implications of advancements in artificial intelligence. Witnessing industry leaders discuss their excitement about the future revealed the collaborative efforts driving technological and regulatory innovation in the Fintech sector. Fintech is here to stay: Nearly 9 out of 10 people today utilize Fintech applications, and the average person uses 3 to 4

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell at the Senate Banking Committee. Luke Newton, Washington and Lee University (W&L), Creative Investment Research.

The semi-annual Senate Banking Committee hearing was held on July 9 with the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, as witness. While the hearing may not have been particularly eventful, it served as a lesson on the link between American monetary policy and politics. It also provided insight on what's in store for the US economy.  The United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs is chaired by Senator Sherrod Brown (D - OH) with Tim Scott (R - SC) serving as the ranking member. Both began the hearing by thoroughly dressing down Chairman Powell for the state of the economy over the last few years. Their opening statements served as a strong display of political grandstanding with little sincerity behind their words. Chairman Brown blamed the increase in price levels and inflation on corporate greed and constantly referred to 'the good citizens of Ohio' that he represented, while Tim Scott spent his time attacking Bidenomics and fear mongering


According to a new report from Oxfam America, "a much larger percentage of Black Americans, particularly women in that group, now make less money than their peers nationwide. While 23% of all U.S. workers are bagging low wages as defined in a report under $17 an hour, the proportions are much higher when broken down by race and gender. Some 32% of Black workers earn less than $17 an hour, versus 21% of white workers, based on a fresh analysis by Oxfam, which describes itself a global organization fighting inequality to end poverty and injustice. And 35% of Black women earn low wages, compared to 29% of Black men, 25.9% of white women, and 17.4% of white men." William Michael Cunningham, (CEO, Creative Investment Research), declared that the lack of federal action on increasing the minimum wage and reducing income inequality led to wider gaps and more significant hardships for the communities. He voiced Black women are often doubly disadvantaged due to both racial and gender d

June 2024 Producer Price Index (PPI) Up 0.2 percent: Impact on Minority Businesses

The Producer Price Index (PPI) for final demand increased 0.2 percent in June, following a period of stability in May and a 0.5 percent rise in April, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the past 12 months, the index for final demand rose by 2.6 percent, well below the 11.7% increase in March, 2022. Breakdown of June's PPI Changes: Impact on Minority-Owned Firms Minority-owned firms, which often operate in sectors such as retail, transportation, and warehousing, can be significantly affected by fluctuations in the PPI: 1. Retail Sector: The rise in margins for trade services and retailing, including automobiles, fuels, and lubricants, could lead to higher costs for minority-owned retail businesses. This could squeeze profit margins unless these costs can be passed on to consumers. 2. Wholesale Trade: Minority firms involved in machinery, vehicle, and professional equipment wholesaling might benefit from higher margins. However, those dealing in machinery and eq

June 2024 Consumer Price Index (CPI) Down 0.1 percent: Impact on Minority Businesses

Chart of the Consumer Price Index, June 2024 . The June, 2024 Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined by 0.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, following no change in May. Annually, the all items index saw a 3.0 percent rise before seasonal adjustment. Key Changes in CPI Components: - Gasoline: Prices fell by 3.8 percent in June, building on a 3.6 percent decline in May, contributing significantly to the overall decrease in the index. - Energy: Overall energy costs declined by 2.0 percent for two consecutive months. - Food: There was a modest increase of 0.2 percent in June, with food away from home rising by 0.4 percent and food at home by 0.1 percent. - Other Items (Excluding Food and Energy): This category saw a 0.1 percent rise in June, down from a 0.2 percent increase in May. Increases were noted in shelter, motor vehicle insurance, household furnishings and operations, medical care, and personal care. Conversely, there were decreases in airline fares, u

Unemployment by Race, Ethnicity for June, 2024.

The graphic above shows unemployment rates across different racial and ethnic groups from April 2023 to June 2024. The picture reviews unemployment rates for White, Black, Asian, and Hispanic or Latino populations. The data indicates fluctuations in unemployment rates between and among these groups, with disparities that warrant further examination. Trends and Observations 1. White Population: The unemployment rate for Whites has shown minor fluctuations, generally staying between 3.10% and 3.50%. The lowest recorded rate was in April 2023 (3.10%), and the highest was observed in October and December 2023, and June 2024 (3.50%). This demographic shows the least variation in unemployment rates compared to others. 2. Black Population: Blacks traditionally experience the highest volatility in unemployment rates, with a 0.2% increase in June 2024.  The rate increased from 4.80% in April 2023 to a peak of 6.40% in March 2024, before decreasing to 5.6% in April 2024. From April to June 2024,

The Cloud Computing-Industrial Complex? Eric Gordon, Creative Investment Research

Just five miles from downtown Washington D.C. is Amazon HQ2. Its location symbolizes the tech giant's expanding footprint in government circles, as Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to secure public sector contracts with substantial implications for national security, data privacy, and the concentration of new technological power. AWS's role as the primary cloud service provider for the US government will increasingly shape policies, operational infrastructure, and public services, bearing great significance for the country given its dominant position in the emerging Cloud Computing-Industrial Complex . When Amazon began its search for a headquarters expansion location in September 2017, 238 cities submitted incentive proposals that included competitive tax breaks and cash grant offers, anticipating 50,000 new jobs and a local economic boost . By January 2018, only 20 finalists remained, and in November of that year, Amazon announced Long Island City in Queens, New York, an

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