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Showing posts from August, 2019

Let Us Put Our Money Together: The Founding of America’s First Black Banks

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We note with interest the publication of yet another book on Black Banks written by non-Black people. The most recent entrant, "Let Us Put Our Money Together: The Founding of America’s First Black Banks" was written by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

What makes this book especially interesting is the lack of support that the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has shown Black banks over the years.

In an article in Black Enterprise, we stated:

"it’s interesting that the Fed would write a book on black banks given their responsibility under federal law from over two decades ago to save minority banks in the face of the current decline...Congress enacted the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) under Section 308," which called "for preserving the number of minority depository institutions and offering technical help to prevent insolvency of institutions. The law also was geared to promote and encourage the cre…

Why Shareholder Value Never Actually Mattered. William Michael Cunningham, Creative Investment Research

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The Business Round Table (BRT), a group of the largest corporations in America, declared recently that "profits for shareholder are no longer the only purpose of a corporation." This profits-first strategy, known as “shareholder wealth maximization,” has been the guiding philosophy for much of American business since 1619.

It was always the wrong goal. Some, mainly those excluded from fully participating in the economy, knew this to be the case. Martin Luther King, in a sermon given on November 4, 1956, warned that "material means have outdistanced spiritual ends, that mentality has outdistanced morality, and that civilization has outdistanced culture." More specifically, King, in a September 1, 1958 essay, wrote that “We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles, rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to humanity.”

Even Robert F. Kennedy, the wealthy scion of an influential family, declared, at the …

The 1619 Project and the Inverted Yield Curve. William Michael Cunningham, Creative Investment Research

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An inverted yield curve reflects a situation in which interest rates on long term bonds are lower than those on short term bonds (bills). Supposedly, this is one of the surest signs that a recession is looming, since, normally, interest rates are higher on long term bonds than they are on short term bonds.

The standard explanation for the normal yield curve relies on something called "liquidity preference", which states that "an investor demands a higher interest rate or premium on securities with long-term maturities that carry greater risk because, all other factors being equal, investors prefer cash or other highly liquid holdings."

On Sunday, August 18th, the New York Times published the print edition of the 1619 Project. The Project documents the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first forced labor brought from Africa to the then-Virginia colony. The paper notes that "in colonial times, when land was not worth much and banks didn’t exist, most lend…

The Economic Impact of the Racial Wealth Gap, Racial Bias in Small Business Lending and Racial Bias in Investment Management

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Suddenly, it looks like Black people have a lot of friends....several articles have just been published that may point to a revision in management's attitudes about how racial bias has affected Black People:

Racial divide exposed in lending to the smallest of small businesses 
Sole proprietors who are African-American or Hispanic are less likely than their white counterparts to have their funding needs met and are more likely to be discouraged from applying for credit, according to a new report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
https://www.americanbanker.com/news/racial-divide-exposed-in-lending-to-the-smallest-of-small-businesses

Study Reveals (Asset) Allocator Bias Against Black Fund Managers:
When evaluating top-performing managers, institutional investors favored teams led by white men, according to new research from Illumen Capital and Stanford SPARQ.
https://www.institutionalinvestor.com/article/b1gpxh3rph9y69/Study-Reveals-Allocator-Bias-Against-Black-Fund-Managers

The e…

The Internet Governance Forum by Sachin Meier, Impact Investing Intern, Georgetown University.

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Last Thursday, the Internet Governance Forum was held at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Sponsors included Facebook, Amazon, Comcast, the Charles Koch Institute, and ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). The conference covered many topics – from blockchain, AI, and 5G to monopoly power and antitrust, privacy, and consumer protection.

Commissioner Christine Wilson of the Federal Trade Commission discussed the myriad problems surrounding Facebook and its "reckless" behavior with respect to user privacy, data collection and targeting. She took a strong stance on the need to directly regulate Facebook and “put a speed bump in front of Mr. Zuckerberg”. She was keen on controlling Zuckerberg’s power within his own company by dictating the composition of Facebook's Board of Directors and regulating other executive powers Zuckerberg holds within the company. She also suggested a more general, industry-wide reform of social media co…

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