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Showing posts from April, 2012

United Bank of Philadelphia in the news again

A recent article on United Bank in Philadelphia appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer today. While the article accurately quotes some of our research, it carefully ignored other points. Here is what we submitted to the paper:

Consider something as small as the House dress code being applied differently to the Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. And there is the more important fact that "redistricting could mean the CBC’s four most senior – and oldest – members will soon be gone." This is an unprecedented level of anti black hostility and threatens to turn the Congressional  racial clock back to pre-reconstruction days. And finally, five of the eight cases before the House House Ethics Committee involve blacks. While I might not agree with their alleged behavior, I know that Black congressmen are not committing 62% of the ethical violations on Capitol Hill. That much is certain. I believe many of these investigations are racially motivated.

From an economic perspective…

Goldman..to Disclose NYC Workers’ Race, Gender Data

From the New York Times,"At the behest of New York City’s public pension funds, two of the biggest financial companies with headquarters in the city, Goldman Sachs and MetLife, have agreed to publicly disclose information about the racial and gender breakdowns of their staffs."

Also see: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/16/nyregion/goldman-sachs-and-metlife-to-disclose-staff-diversity-data.html

Also see: http://www.americanbanker.com/bankthink/goldman-has-some-gall-seeking-profit-in-housing-1048229-1.html

Goldman and the Housing Market

I recently wrote an opinion piece for the American Banker Newspaper website. The article is on Goldman's new housing fund.

It was Goldman's mark to market on the Bear Housing Fund that triggered the liquidity part of the housing crisis. They then went into the Fed to become a bank. Subsequently, they got $2 trillion in funding. Now, they are playing the upside, this after denying any meaningful role in the financial crisis (God's work) and after multiple severe securities market violations. My point is that, given this track record, they are lucky to be around, much less raising money for a mega housing fund.

One would be justified in being concerned that their actions with respect to the new Fund, despite what they might say, will not help the market and country work it's way out of the housing crisis, just when we are beginning to recover.

It's like letting someone with the flu in your house just after you got over pneumonia. Not a good idea.

The point is to a…

Minority Business Contracting at the Fed

The BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM released its Report to the Congress on the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion. March 2012.

We note that "During 2011, the Board’s procurement contracts for goods and services totaled $125,070,569. Of this total, $15,414,147, or 12.3 percent, was awarded to minority-owned or women-owned businesses.

Specific awards by contractor classification are as follows
• minority-owned businesses (excludes women owned businesses) = $9,028,526 (7.2 percent of total);
• women-owned businesses (excludes minority women) = $4,237,038 (3.4 percent of total); and
• minority women-owned businesses = $2,148,583 (1.7 percent of total)."

http://federalreserve.gov/publications/other-reports/files/omwi-report-20120402.pdf

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City First to release OMWI Report to Congress

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City released their Office of Women and Minority Inclusion (OMWI) Report to Congress today. (See: http://www.kc.frb.org/publicat/aboutus/2011-omwi-congress-report.pdf)

They are the first OMWI Office to do so.

Under the terms of the statute (Dodd/Frank Section 342) all OMWI offices will have to release a report to Congress on their initial activities.

The 21 page Report covers employment diversity, business inclusion and outreach in a pretty standard way. Their track record in this area is solid.

Of course, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City is the only one with a woman CEO. This appears to have helped. (In the interst of full disclosure, let me note that I spoke at a Bank Symposium on Minority-owned banks. This was, however, some time ago....)