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Showing posts from August, 2015

Black People and Venture Capital

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I recently gave a talk at the 2015 National Black MBA Association Washington DC Chapter (NBMBAA-DC) Entrepreneurship Expo. My talk, titled “Black People and Venture Capital” available below. I started with a discussion of the key financial institution in the country, the Federal Reserve, which controls the allocation of capital via monetary policy, the tools used to control the supply of money. The Fed is located at 20th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W. and I encouraged DC entrepreneurs to visit the institution, since the Fed directly impacts the ability of small businesses to get capital. I also encouraged Black businesses in DC to use the recently established Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion as a powerful potential source of capital and contracts. Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act contains a provision creating an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) responsible for monitoring diversity efforts at the agencies, regulated …

Financial Conflicts of Interest

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We define a financial conflict of interest as a situation in which a person, institution or organization has more than one financial  interest in a particular investment vehicle or asset. The problem occurs when parties whose interests are singular, and thus not compromised, depend upon a conflicted individual or institution for primary advice concerning the purchase, sale or retention of the conflicted financial asset. The conflict "corrupts the motivation of the individual or organization" providing advice.  According to the White House's Council of Economic Advisers, "conflicted retirement investment advice costs investors $17 billion each year," The US Department of Labor recently held a hearing on conflicts of interest in the provision of retirement investment advice. The goal of the hearing was to gather testimony on the Employee Benefits Security Administration's (EBSA) proposal to reduce conflicts of interest in the retirement advice marketplace. A…

Declining Black/White unemployment differential

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Our Fully Adjusted Return (tm) model predicted Black Unemployment would fall from 9.5% in June to 9.1% in July. 
The forecast was confirmed this morning by the US Department of Labor - Bureau of Labor Statistics. 
The difference between Black and White unemployment now stands at 4.5%. We note this is the second lowest differential of the Obama Presidency, surpassed only by a 4.0% differential in February, 2008. Our Fully Adjusted Return model shows that the difference is poised, assuming the Fed does not raise rates, to fall further. See: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t02.htm

Your Freedom will not be brought to you by Comcast, Sprite or Google...

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We are delighted that an idea and initiative we suggested has begun to get traction, as evidenced by an effort launched in July called “Venture DC 2015”. Sponsored by Comcast and supported by DC’s Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD), the well funded Venture DC initiative claims to seek to “empower emerging entrepreneurs who are addressing and solving some of DC's most pressing challenges related to health care, education, housing, economic security and access to financial services, specifically in Wards 7 and 8.”
Perhaps a little background is in order. On January 19, 2015, Martin Luther King's Birthday, we convened several DC-based Black Tech firms, policy analysts and others at a meeting in Washington, DC to discuss social innovation and technology. For more, see: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/martin-marion-tech-william-michael-cunningham-am-mba
“We focused on the role technology might play in addressing Black Male safety and security issues. The meet…

Obama's Climate Plan

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The Obama Administration released an ambitious, forward looking climate plan today. This is a big deal: the Administration's Clean Power Plan seeks to "reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030."

Several have characterized the Plan as "the strongest action ever on climate change by a US president." We agree and note that "hundreds of businesses including eBay, Nestle and General Mills have issued their support for..(the) plan.."

The picture above shows Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy speaking in early July at Georgetown University in Washington, DC with a Community Environmental Activist. (The Administration is reaching out...broadly.)

According to the White House, the Plan will:
"..reduce premature deaths from power plant emissions by nearly 90 percent in 2030 compared to 2005 and decrease the pollutants that contribute to the soot and smog and can lead to more asthma attacks in ki…