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Recap of testimony at the Feb 14 IRS hearing on Opportunity Zones

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On Thursday, February 14, 2019, the IRS held a hearing on Qualified Opportunity Funds. Two hundred (200) experts and interested parties gathered at the IRS auditorium in Washington DC while 200 others waited.

My testimony focused on the general goals, regulations and fairness of the Opportunity Zone (OZ) Program. I started with a review of our performance:

•             On July 3, 1993, I wrote to Mary Schapiro, the former Chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about correspondence dated July 2, 1993 from an “officer” of the Nigerian Ministry of Finance. I requested the SEC immediately warn the public. A timely warning was not issued to the investing public. (In response, the SEC launched retaliatory regulatory actions against Mr. Cunningham.)

•             In 1992, I designed the first mortgage security backed by 1 to 4 family home mortgage loans to low and moderate income persons and originated by Asian, Black, and Hispanic-owned banks.

•             On June 15, 2…

Introduction to Blockchain and Why it Matters by Lanxi He, Research Analyst Intern, Creative Investment. Georgetown University

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On February 4th, the Chamber of Digital Commerce and Members of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus sponsored a lecture titled "Introduction to Blockchain and Why It Matters." The panelists were (left to right) Amy Davine Kim, Chief Policy Officer, Chamber of Digital Commerce and moderator, Jeremie Beaudry, Compliance and Regulatory Affairs Counsel, BitPay, Mark Fisk, Partner, IBM Digital, Public Service Blockchain Leader, IBM. Eamonn Maguire, Global Financial Services Lead, KPMG Blockchain Services, and Randy Bishop, General Manager, Energy Infrastructure, Guardtime.

The panelists reviewed blockchain applications, defined what blockchain is, discussed why it is important and closed by talking about how blockchain impacts business, government and consumers.

A blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that organize data into sections, or "blocks" that are “chained” together chronologically by a cryptographic hash function and confirmed as authentic using a cons…

Open: The Progressive Case for Free Trade. Scott Knewitz, Policy Intern. Graduate student, American University

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On Friday, February 1, 2019, Kimberly Clausing, Thormund Miller and Walter Mintz Professor of Economics at Reed College, sat down with a panel at the Brookings Institute in Washington D.C. to discuss her new book, Open: The Progressive Case for Free Trade and Globalization. 

Clausing and the other panel members (above, from left to right): Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, Soumaya Keynes, U.S. economics editor for The Economist, and Kimberly Elliot, visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development, with David Wessel, discussed the current issues facing Americans of middle and lower incomes.

In the book, to be published on March 4th of this year, Clausing addresses claims from both sides of the political spectrum, which cite globalization as a destructive force, whether for its perceived effect on the most vulnerable and impoverished peoples of the word or that of reducing wages for American workers.  On the contrary, she points to globalization as a f…

Small Business Policy Expo. Scott Knewitz, Policy Intern. Graduate student, American University

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The 2019 Small Business Policy Expo & Ready to Launch Congressional Reception took place on Wednesday, January 30, in Washington D.C.The event brought together leading small business advocates and Congress members, as well as current administration officials to address questions concerning the needs of American small business owners.  Given recent changes on Capitol Hill, the panelists and guest speakers sought to provide insight concerning potential policy proposals that could have an impact on entrepreneurship and small business in the US.
The policy areas receiving the most attention were taxes and healthcare.  On taxes, panelists and guest speakers alike emphasized not only the need to reduce taxes on small business owners, but also to simplify the tax process – citing time as the small business owner’s most valuable asset, an asset too valuable to spend deciphering complex details of the current tax code.This is a clear extension of the political right’s attempt to spur econom…

DC Econ UNPLUGGED Lanxi He, Research Analyst Intern, Creative Investment. Georgetown University

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On January 31st, the Office of The Deputy Mayor For Planning And Economic Development presented DC Econ UNPLUGGED, which connected fashion, arts, entertainment, housing, transportation and others sectors to DC’s economic development. Event attendees shared opinions, thoughts and suggestions, and also enjoyed wonderful food and music.

First, a panel consisting of DC's fashion leaders - Kristopher Johnson-Hoyle, Editor, Chairman of the Mayor's Commission on Fashion, Arts and Events; Deidre Jefferies, Owner/Creative Director of ESPION Atelier, CFAE Commissioner; Mariessa Terrell, Fashion Attorney, Howard Law School IP Law Clinic Supervising Attorney, and CFAE Commissioner; Roquois Clark, Co-Creative Director, District of Fashion Runway Show, DowntownDC BID - talked about the impact fashion entrepreneurs have  on DC’s economy and ecosystem.

A second panel - Ernest Chrappah, Interim Director of DCRA; Shawn Townsend, Director of Nightlife and Culture; Fred Moosally, Director of ABR…

Black-owned businesses took a disproportionate hit amid shutdown

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William Michael Cunningham October 20, 2013

The partial government shutdown did not impact all businesses equally. My research indicates black-owned businesses were hit harder than most.

Many are located in states that receive substantial federal aid, such as Maryland and Virginia, and they tend to be in industries such as health care, administration, transportation, professional services and retail that are sensitive to any decline in federal spending.

As a result, these companies can experience a double hit. I estimate there are roughly 1.9 million black-owned businesses in the United States, and they generated $131 billion in 2012. That suggests the monetary impact of the shutdown on their businesses to be $10 million per day.

We saw the effects. National parks and federally owned museums closed. Tourism, a major industry in the D.C. area, was, as a result, negatively affected. This impact will be felt for some time, since overseas offices that give visas to foreigners seeking to …

Impact Investing Forum - March 31-April 3, 2019

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Impact Investing Forum- Palm Beach County Convention Center, West Palm Beach, FL- March 31-April 3, 2019

www.opalgroup.net/trk/iifb1916.html

15% discount code: CIIF2019

The Impact Investing Forum will look at many of the asset classes that encompass this space. We invite you to join us and meet top influencers, experienced investors, money managers, and service providers that are leading the charge in this ever growing space. Themes of defining impact investing, portfolio construction, asset class opportunities, and the role of the investor are just a few of the stimulating topics to be covered at this event.

Impact Investing