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Showing posts with the label Barack Obama

Why Trump Will Win

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Our initial 2016 Election Fully Adjusted Return Forecast indicates that Donald J. Trump will win the election for the Presidency of the United States. This follows from one  sufficient and one necessary condition.   The sufficient condition: seventeen (17) Republican states have enacted laws restricting access to the voting booth, restrictions so onerous as to defy both common sense and the spirit of democratic governance. These laws guarantee that the people who would vote against Mr. Trump will be blocked from participating in the election. They simply will not be able to vote. For example, to vote in the State of Texas, a gun permit suffices. A college ID does not. So it is in 17 of 50 US States.  The movement to block access to voting has been a long term effort, a reaction to the election of the first African American president, and it is now too late to do anything about this. 
Rather than effectively fighting voter disenfranchisement, Democrats were convinced that this was a Black…

Obama at Howard: Best Speech of his Presidency?

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President Barack Hussein Obama came to Howard University and delivered what many Black people will regard as the best speech of his presidency. (Click here for one absolutely hilarious reaction.) As with Larry Wilmore's White House Correspondents' Dinner Speech, we expect most white people to disagree. Here's why they are wrong on both. In content, reference and tone, both the President and Wilmore were not speaking to white people. They were speaking directly to Black people.  Mr. Obama started by name checking the resident student dormitories at Howard. In doing so, he speaks to the people who either lived in, partied at, heard about or wanted to party at one (or more) of the dorms. This may number 900,000 Black people, give or take...I'm not even kidding. He also name checked the pantheon of Black activists and achievers: Thurgood Marshall, David Dinkins, Zora Neale Hurston, King, of course, but also Fanny Lou Hamer, and James Baldwin, just for starters. This was a…

African American-owned bank get $1M deposit

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Obama Administration releases Diversity Plan

The plan seeks to implement Executive Order 13583 establishing a coordinated, government-wide initiative to promote diversity within the Federal government. The Executive order "directs departments and agencies to develop and implement a more comprehensive focus on diversity." The Plan focuses on:

Workforce Diversity
Workplace Inclusion
Sustainability
Much of the initiative is concerned with metrics, that is, developing and collecting appropriate statistics to measure diversity and how well the Government is meeting it's goal to become more so. Another focal point appears to be outreach. Other key steps include leadership development and mentoring.
These are all tried and true methods. While there is nothing earth shattering in the Report and Plan, we find it a welcome alternative to the eight years that the previous Administration spent talking about diversity without ever once offering a plan for the Federal Government to become more so. See: http://www.opm.gov/diversityand…

Public Private Investment Program (PPIP)

Treasury released details concerning the Public Private Investment Program (PPIP), the Administration's approach to dealing with "legacy assets", or the real estate loans and securities that caused the current financial crisis.

The approach relies, in large part, on the market. Unfortunately, these are the same institutions that created the problem. The issue is this: as the Fact Sheet Treasury released describing the PPIP Program notes,

"the financial system is still working against economic recovery." (No kidding.) As we noted in April, 2008:

"With the development of toxic (derivative and subprime lending) financial products, the relationship between investment banks and the economy has turned parasitic."

Further, the solution outlined by the Administration relies heavily on the assumption that "these assets create uncertainty around the balance sheets of.. financial institutions." This is a false assumption: the behaviour of financial manag…

Plan to restore stability to "our" financial system

Today, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner introduced the Financial Stability Plan. Our comments below:

The main features are the creation of:

a. the Financial Stability Trust
b. the Public-Private Investment Fund
c. the Consumer Lending Initiative
d. the Foreclosure Prevention Plan
e. the Small Business Lending Initiative

The Financial Stability Trust is a "Capital Pool" designed to serve as a buffer to help absorb losses. (Funny, we proposed the same thing for community banks in an application we submitted to Treasury for New Markets Tax Credits. We were not, however, funded. Looks like we need to be, well, non-minority..and to have caused massive damage to the global economy in a thoroughly unethical way. But I digress..) This is a rebranding/repackaging of the current Capital Purchase Program (CPP). In fact, all bank investments made over the past few months will be held in the "Trust".

As part of this "Pool", banks over $100 billion will have to undergo a &…

A People's Guide to the Economic Recovery Advisory Board

We note the Obama Administration named it's Economic Recovery Advisory Board today. While we are hopeful, we are not happy. This board will probably need to be modified before living up to it's potential. Here are it's members:

Chairman - Paul Volcker. Upside - Solid. The best there is. Should have remained Fed Chair. Downside - a little long in the tooth. (This is not age discrimination. Technology has much to do with this recession.)

Staff Director and Chief Economist. Austan Goolsbee - Probably not helpful. Chicago Economist...and they basically sank us into this mess. At least he is at the staff level.

Members - William H. Donaldson, Chairman, SEC (2003-2005). Solid. Called for market reform a long, long time ago. Ran a great firm, DLJ.

Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., President & CEO, TIAA-CREF. Solid. Next to Volcker, the best there is. The guy who saved the economy on September 11, 2001. (See "Bernanke's Fumbles Suggest Deeper Problems," originally posted on th…