Economic Perspectives with Hopeton Hay on KAZI 88.7 FM in Austin, TX

Archive for September, 2009

Self Employment Opportunity Summit Focus of September 28 Economic Perspectives

Posted by Hopeton on September 28, 2009

Stacy Dukes-Rhone, Executive Director of BiGAUSTIN, will be the September 28 guest on Economic Perspectives on KAZI 88.7 FM.  She will be discussing BiGAUSTIN’s Self-Employment Opportunity Summit being held October 1, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Palmer Events Center in Austin, Texas.

The Self-Employment Opportunity Summit facilitates an environment to evaluate, examine, gather information and provide assistance to our small business community. It provides of an avenue for training providers, small business services providers, and lending institutions to outreach and effectively impact our community.  The Summit will provide  several session tracks where aspiring and existing entrepreneurs can learn and uncover opportunities. The session tracks are:

  • Exploring Entrepreneurship “Is Entrepreneurship Right for You”, 
  • Funding Opportunities “Need Credit, Need Money, Need Help…”
  • Business Opportunities “What should I do?”
  • Small Business in a Green Economy “What is a Green Economy?”

BiGAUSTIN provides entrepreneurial education, tailored business counseling and flexible loans for small businesses in Central Texas.

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U.S. House Committee Probes Economic Plight of Minorities in Recession

Posted by Hopeton on September 22, 2009

The following was released by the press office of the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee

U.S. Representative Edolphus “Ed” Towns (D-NY), the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, today announced that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is holding a congressional hearing, entitled “The Silent Depression: How are Minorities Faring in the Economic Downturn?” to examine the disparate effects of the current economic downturn on minority populations, with special emphasis on the rise in unemployment and home foreclosures.

Congressman Edolphus Towns

Congressman Edolphus Towns

The hearing, scheduled for Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building, will feature the heads of several leading minority organizations, including the National Urban League, National Council of La Raza, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development, National Congress of American Indians and National Black Chamber of Commerce. Also set to testify are the Honorable Raymond Skinner of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, Chief Operating Officer James Carr of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and Christian Weller, PhD, of the Center for American Progress Action Foundation.

“The inability to find gainful employment has crushed the hopes of achieving the American dream for so many families in minority communities,” said Chairman Towns. “For us to move ahead as a nation, we have to examine why the African-American unemployment rate in several communities more than doubles that of whites. We must also take a look at the high rate of subprime loans and default mortgages within minority communities that are expanding an already enormous debt disparity.”

Although the recession has had devastating consequences for the nation’s economy and a direct effect on nearly every American household, minorities are at least 40 percent more likely to be unemployed than whites, according to a study by the Center for American Progress, with the highest rates of unemployment in the African American population. In states with significant minority populations like New York State, the African American unemployment rate has soared to 15.1 percent, compared to 6.4 percent for whites. In New York City, where minorities make up more than 50% of the population, the rise in unemployment for African-Americans has spiked to four times that of whites, according to a recent New York Times article.

Unscrupulous lending practices may compound the economic crisis, with home foreclosures higher amongst minorities than whites. Since the recession began, home foreclosures increased dramatically, but experts agree that for African-Americans and Hispanics, record foreclosures may be the result of lax enforcement of the Fair Housing Act or reverse redlining, homeownership schemes targeted at minority groups. Wednesday’s Oversight Committee hearing will review these factors.

“The fact of the matter is that the current economic downturn has amplified an already burgeoning economic gap for minorities,” said Chairman Towns. “The role of race in unemployment and other economic trends is something we must analyze because for minorities this is not a recession but is, in fact, a depression that could potentially alter decades of economic progress.”

Posted in African American, Economy, Hispanics | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

“Missing in Action: Black Women in the Boardroom” Focus of September 21 Economic Perspectives

Posted by Hopeton on September 21, 2009

Dr. Wendy Johnson, author of Missing in Action: Black Women in the Boardroom, will be the September 21 guest on Economic Perspectives, 5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. on KAZI 88.7 FM.  Dr. Cornel West, a Professor of Religion and African American Studies at Princeton University, describes Missing in Action as “a powerful intervention into our public discourse about the American business world. It is a courageous-and badly needed-book that lays bare the ways in which the grand talent and genius of Black women remain relatively untapped. Don’t miss this book!”Dr-Wendy-Pic-October2007

Dr. Johnson, originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin has over 20 years of business experience, a BS in Accounting/Economics from Lakeland College, an MBA from LeTourneau University and a PhD in Applied Management and Decision Sciences from Walden University.

She is the President of Emerge Consulting Group, LLC, a management consulting firm and the parent company of Dr. Wendy and Emerge Publishing.  Dr. Johnson is also president of the Houston chapter of the National Black MBA Association.

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Economic Perspectives March 15: Rebroadcast of Interview with Head of U.S. Minority Business Development Agency

Posted by Hopeton on September 10, 2009

David Hinson

David Hinson

For the March 15 edition of Economic Perspectives we will rebroadcast an interview with David Hinson, National Director of the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA).  The interview was originally broadcast live on September 14. Listen live online at kazifm.org.

MBDA’s Mission is to foster the growth and global competitiveness of U.S. businesses that are minority-owned.  MBDA, through its network of 48 minority business centers throughout the country, provides one-on-one workshops and business consulting services for minority businesses to help educate them about federal opportunities, including those related to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It’s strategic goals are to:

  1. Increase the number of businesses that are minority-owned at the $1billion level
  2. Establish MBDA as the agency of choice for businesses that are minority-owned, policymakers, and the private sector
  3. Implement operational efficiencies throughout MBDA

Before his appointment to lead MBDA, Hinson was President and CEO of Wealth Management Network, Inc., a multi-million dollar independent, financial advisory boutique for 7 years. Prior to launching Wealth Management Network, David managed a 10-state sales region as Director of Advisory Services for Envestnet Asset Management, a $70 billion financial advisory firm.

Hinson received an MBA in Finance from The University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, and a bachelor’s degree in Insurance and Finance with honors from Howard University in Washington, D.C. In addition, he completed a fellowship in International Finance with honors from the Stockholm School of Economics and completed graduate-level studies in French with honors at the University of Abidjan, in the Ivory Coast West Africa.

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Congressional Oversight Panel Releases Report on TARP Use for Auto Industry

Posted by Hopeton on September 9, 2009

The following was issued by the press office of the Congressional Oversight Panel.  The Congressional Oversight Panel was created to oversee the expenditure of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds authorized by Congress in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) and to provide recommendations on regulatory reform. 

The Congressional Oversight Panel today released its September oversight report, “The Use of TARP Funds in Support and Reorganization of the Domestic Automotive Industry.” In protecting the interests of taxpayers, the Panel found Treasury negotiated aggressively with all the players in the automotive industry. While Treasury has conceded that it is unlikely to recover the entire amount invested, other goals also influenced Treasury’s overall strategy. 

Even before last year’s financial crisis, the American automotive industry was facing severe strains. In 2008, U.S. automotive sales fell to a 26-year low. By the end of the year, a long-term slump became an acute crisis, with Chrysler and General Motors (GM) unable to secure credit and facing reduced consumer demand. Without new financing, they faced collapse – a potentially crippling blow to the American economy that could eliminate nearly 1.1 million jobs. Facing this prospect, the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was used to provide American automotive companies with short-term financing and additional loans to finance the bankruptcy reorganizations of Chrysler and GM.

Elizabeth Warren, Chair, Congressional Oversight Panel

Elizabeth Warren, Chair, Congressional Oversight Panel

American taxpayers now own 10 percent and 61 percent of the new Chrysler and GM companies respectively. Treasury’s support for the automotive industry differed significantly from its assistance to the banking industry. The bulk of the funds were available only after the companies had filed for bankruptcy, wiping out their old shareholders, cutting their labor costs, reducing their debt obligations and replacing some top management. The government’s role raises serious oversight issues, particularly Treasury’s conflict between competing objectives.

The Panel recommends that, to mitigate the potential conflicts and political issues inherent in owning Chrysler and GM shares, Treasury should take exceptional care to explain its decision making and provide a full, transparent picture of its actions. The Panel also recommends that Treasury consider placing its GM and Chrysler shares in an independent trust that would be insulated from political pressure and government interference.

Given the questions about whether Treasury had the authority to use of TARP funds to aid the ailing domestic automotive industry, Treasury should provide a legal analysis justifying this decision. The Panel found that further questions about the propriety of the bankruptcy proceedings – accusations of illegal behavior and allegations that statutory bankruptcy priorities were overturned – are overblown and inaccurate. The full report can be found at cop.senate.gov.

The Congressional Oversight Panel members are: former Securities and Exchange Commissioner Paul S. Atkins, Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Richard H. Neiman, Superintendent of Banks for the State of New York, Damon Silvers, Associate General Counsel of the AFL-CIO and Elizabeth Warren, Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. 

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African American Unemployment Rate Hits 23 Year High, Healthcare Job Growth Continues

Posted by Hopeton on September 6, 2009

After declining for three straight months, the unemployment rate for African Americans rose from 14.5 percent in July to 15.1 percent in August according to the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The August unemployment rate for African Americans is the highest since November of 1985 when it was 15.6 percent.  Unemployment for whites in August was 8.9 percent and for Hispanics it was 13.0 percent.  Overall unemployment was 9.7 percent.

The latest report also indicated that African American male unemployment rose from 15.8 percent in July to 17.0 percent in August and rose from 11.7 percent in July to 11.9 percent in August for African American females.

Employment Trends By Industry

Employment in health care continued to rise in August (28,000), with gains in ambulatory care and in nursing and residential care. Employment in hospitals was little changed in August; job growth in the industry slowed in early 2009 and employment has been flat since May.  Health care has added 544,000 jobs since the start of the recession. 

In August, construction employment declined by 65,000, in line with the trend since May. Monthly losses had averaged 117,000 over the 6 months ending in April. Employment in the construction industry has contracted by 1.4 million since the onset of the recession. Starting in early 2009, the larger share of monthly job losses shifted from the residential to the nonresidential and heavy construction components.  In mining, employment declined by 9,000 over the month.

In August, manufacturing employment continued to trend downward, with a decline of 63,000. The pace of job loss has slowed throughout manufacturing in recent months. Motor vehicles and parts lost 15,000 jobs in August, partly offsetting a 31,000 employment increase in July.

Financial activities shed 28,000 jobs in August, with declines spread throughout the industry. Job loss in financial activities has slowed since the beginning of the year. Employment in the industry has declined by 537,000 since the start of the recession.

Wholesale trade employment fell by 17,000 in August. Employment in information continued to trend down over the month.

Employment in the retail trade industry was little changed in August.  Employment also was little changed in professional and business services over the month. From May through August, monthly employment declines in the sector averaged 46,000, compared with 138,000 per month from November through April. Job loss in its temporary help services component has slowed markedly over the last 4 months.

Employment was little changed in August both in transportation and warehousing, and in leisure and hospitality.

Posted in African American | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Marketing of Consumer Debt to America Focus of September 7 Economic Perspectives

Posted by Hopeton on September 5, 2009

Geisst_Collateral_DamagedCharles Geisst, author of COLLATERAL DAMAGED: The Marketing of Consumer Debt to America, will be the September 7 guest on Economic Perspectives.  Geisst believes today’s credit crisis  is the result of Wall Street’s orchestrated maneuvers to fuel what he calls “cannibal consumption.” In COLLATERAL DAMAGED Geisst explains how a nation of savers became a nation of consumers and how Wall Street turned Americans addiction to spending into the toxic securities that have crippled the global economy. A thorough and penetrating analysis of how the marketing of consumer debt has radically transformed global economics, COLLATERAL DAMAGED connects the dots from consumer spending, to credit cards, to home equity loans, and beyond.

Geisst is a professor of finance at Manhattan College and author of eighteen books on finance and economics.  His books include Wall Street: A History, Wheels of Fortune: The History of Speculation from Scandal to Respectability, and Undue Influence: How the Wall Street Elite Put the Financial System at Risk.  His books have been on the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, and New York Times best-seller lists.

Posted in Books, Business, Credit, Finance, Interview, Radio | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »