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Showing posts from December, 2009

Mystery Star Over Bethlehem

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Astronomers Baffled. Does this indicate an unusual occurrence on Earth?

SEC Approves Enhanced Disclosure About Risk, Compensation and Corporate Governance

On December 16, 2009, the Securities and Exchange Commission "approved rules to enhance the information provided to shareholders so they are better able to evaluate the leadership of public companies.

Additional Materials

Final Rule: Proxy Disclosure Enhancements

Beginning in the upcoming annual reporting and proxy season, the new rules will improve corporate disclosure regarding risk, compensation and corporate governance matters when voting decisions are made.

In particular, the new rules require disclosures in proxy and information statements about:

The relationship of a company's compensation policies and practices to risk management.

The background and qualifications of directors and nominees.

Legal actions involving a company's executive officers, directors and nominees.

The consideration of diversity in the process by which candidates for director are considered for nomination.

Board leadership structure and the board's role in risk oversight.

Stock and option awards to …

Minority Banks Struggle To Offer Loans

"President Obama met with the nation's top bankers yesterday at the White House. The President urged the CEO's to bolster lending to consumers and small businesses to help jumpstart the economy. Largely absent from the meeting were community-based minority banks, which have struggled to stay afloat in recent years. Bill Cunningham, CEO of Creative Investment Research, discusses the historic role of minority lending and..its role in the current economic landscape."

Online at: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=121458912&ft=1&f=46

21% of Black Households do not have banking accounts

According to the FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households, released on December 2, 2009, 21.7% of Black households, 19.3% of Hispanic households and 15.6% of Native American households are underbanked.."at least 25.6 percent of U.S. households, close to 30 million households with about 60 million adults, are unbanked or underbanked," a very large potential market.

Competition is supposed to fill a market need, in this case defined as an underserved customer, so not only are these statistics surprising, but they raise questions about the justification for and very existence of an underserved market. They also raise questions concerning the efficiency of the FDIC's Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion. "Freakonomics" style economic analysis will quickly be offered to explain this gap, but will miss the true reason behind the statistics. While we applaud the release of the data, it clearly shows the Committee is ineffective, to say the least.