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Showing posts from June, 2009

Another minority bank fails - Mirae Bank, Los Angeles, CA

According to the FDIC, "On Friday, June 26, 2009, Mirae Bank (Asian), Los Angeles, CA was closed by the California Department of Financial Institutions, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was named Receiver. All deposit accounts have been transferred to Wilshire State Bank, Los Angeles, CA ("assuming institution") and will be available immediately. On Monday, June 29, 2009, the former Mirae Bank locations will reopen as branches of Wilshire State Bank."

Black neighborhoods, churches targeted for "ghetto loans."

According to recent news reports,

"One of the nation's largest banks allegedly set up a special sales office to steer risky subprime loans to residents in Prince George's County, Baltimore city and other predominantly black communities..Wells Fargo Bank employees allege in a lawsuit. According to the sworn statements by two former loan officers filed June 1 in U.S. District Court of Maryland as part of a lawsuit being pursued by the City of Baltimore against Wells Fargo alleging discriminatory and predatory lending, bank employees targeted black neighborhoods and churches for the escalating-interest mortgages, which some in the office called 'ghetto loans.'

Many customers with sufficient income, credit and savings to qualify for fixed, lower-interest mortgages were still urged to take subprime loans..because the higher rates meant bigger profits for the bank: 'If a loan officer referred a borrower who should have qualified for a prime loan to a subprime loan, th…

Hearing on the New Markets Tax Credit Program - Jui-Kai Li

On June 18th, the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures of the House Committee on Ways and Means held a hearing on the New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC). Testifying were Donna J. Gambrell - CDFI Fund, Michael Brostek - GAO, Ron Phillips - CEI, Blondel A. Pinnock - Carver Bank, Joseph Haskins, Jr. – Harbor Bank, William Michael Cunningham – CIR, and James R. Klein - Ohio Community Development Finance Fund.

In his opening statement, Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) explained that the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures is beginning its hearing process with the Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology of the Financial Services Committee on issues involving the New Markets Tax Credit program. He pointed to a recent GAO report showing that minority-owned or controlled entities are less successful than non-minority owned or controlled entities in the NMTC application process. He emphasized the importance of the New Markets Tax Credit program as a way to encourage …

Family Office & Private Wealth Management Forum

Two of our favorite conferences are back:
"Opal Financial Group’s annual Family Office/Private Wealth Management Forum will return to the Hyatt Regency in beautiful Newport, Rhode Island in 2009. The family office conference will explore the challenges and opportunities associated with investing in emerging markets, alternative investments, distressed real estate, direct energy and numerous other asset types."
At the same time and place, Opal sponsors the:

"Public Funds Summit East. Opal Financial Group’s annual public funds conference will address issues that are most critical to the investment success of senior public pension fund officers and trustees. The Summit will cover how surplus returns should affect employee benefit plans, the processes for selection and evaluation of investment managers, legal concerns with fund investment and management policies as well as the benefits and pitfalls of a wide variety of investment strategies."
F…

Black Banks Are Feeling the Pinch

Black Banks Are Feeling the Pinch Recession pushes profits to nine-year lows By Jeffrey McKinney - June 08, 2009

Profits at the nation’s black owned banks last year plunged to a nine-year low, newly released data shows. The annual statistics, compiled last month by William Michael Cunningham, senior investment adviser at Creative Investment Research Inc., a Washington D.C. firm specializing in minority banking, illustrated a major decline as some black owned banks suffered big losses tied to securities-related investments.See: http://www.blackenterprise.com/be-100s/be100s-news/2009/06/08/black-banks-feeling-the-pinch

Upcoming Testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee

We expect to testify soon before the Committee on Ways and Means of the US House concerning the NEW MARKETS TAX CREDIT PROGRAM and why "Minority Entities Are Less Successful in Obtaining Awards Than Non-Minority Entities." According to a report issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO),

"From 2005 through 2008, minority-owned CDEs were successful with about 9 percent of the NMTC applications that they submitted to the CDFI Fund and received about $354 million of the $8.7 billion for which they applied, or about 4 percent. By comparison, non-minority CDEs were successful with about 27 percent of their applications and received $13.2 billion of the $89.7 billion for which they applied, or about 15 percent."

We expect that the hearing will be held mid-June, and will note the date and location in a blog post.