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

Archive for August, 2010

New CEO of PeopleFund To Discuss Small Business Loan Programs on August 30 Economic Perspectives

Posted by Hopeton on August 28, 2010

Gary Lindner will discuss the lending, economic development and affordable housing programs of Austin, Texas based community development financial institution PeopleFund on the August 30 edition of Economic Perspectives, 5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. on KAZI 88.7 FM.  Since starting in 1994, PeopleFund has invested over $21 million in the Austin area with over 63 percent of its business loans being made to minority-owned businesses.  Listen live online at kazifm.org.

Gary Lindner

Lindner was recently appointed president and CEO of PeopleFund after serving six years as chief operating officer of San Antonio, Texas based microlender AccionTexas.  During his tenure at AccionTexas, he helped to quadruple its loan portfolio to $30 million with 86 percent of the loans going to minority-owned businesses.  Linder also helped establish AccionTexas’  U.S. Small Business Administration 504 loan program.  A retired Air Force colonel, Lindner is a graduate of the Air Force Academy and has a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Auburn University.

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Austin Metro Area Economy Growing But Living Standards Falling Says Economist in Economic Perspectives Interview

Posted by Hopeton on August 24, 2010

“Back in 1999 and 2000, at the height of the go go technology days here in Austin, per capita income, we actually saw it grow to about 110 percent of the U.S. average. And given all the growth that’s happened in the past 10 years in Austin, you know, we make all the best stuff lists, we have one of the best metro area economies in the United States,  you would expect that standards of living would be increasing along with all that economic activity.  That’s not what’s happening.  We’re down to about 91 percent of U.S. per capita income as of 2009 so we’ve actually fallen in terms of living standards despite all the growth,” said Brian Kelsey, principal of Civic Analytics, in an interview on the August 23 edition of Economic Perspectives.  To listen to the entire interview (approximately 17 minutes) click here: Brian Kelsey Interview.

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Emotional Commitment of Managers Focus of Second Segment of Economic Perspectives August 23

Posted by Hopeton on August 23, 2010

Stan Slap, author of Bury My Heart at Conference Room B: The Unbeatable Impact of Truly Committed Managers, will be the second guest on Economic Perspectives August 23, 5:50 p.m. – 6 p.m. on KAZI 88.7 FM.  Listen live online at kazifm.org.

Bury My Heart at Conference Room B is about igniting the power of any manager’s emotional commitment to his or her company-worth more than financial, intellectual and physical commitment combined. Sometimes companies get this from their managers in the early garage days or in times of tremendous gain, but it’s almost unheard of to get it on a sustained, self-reinforced basis.

Slap is the president of the international consulting company called, by a remarkable coincidence, “slap.” He has a history of accomplishments as a CEO with as many as 5,000 employees reporting to him and has served as a director of several companies with their CEOs reporting to him, which he prefers a whole lot more.

Since 1985, Stan has focused his hoodlum neurons on creating success for slap clients. He is credited with revolutionizing performance for some of the world’s biggest, smartest and fastest companies — developing explosive growth strategies and the cultural willingness to implement them. He personally coaches CEOs and the executive teams of many of these companies.

Stan has directed the successful expansion for companies ranging from Patagonia to Pennzoil. He designed the plan that helped Oracle sell their strategic intent to 40,000 employees in 167 countries and developed employee re-engagement plans for HSBC, Europe’s largest bank. He has created winning brand strategies for companies from Deloitte to Black Entertainment Television.

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Economic Development and State of Economy Focus of August 23 Economic Perspectives

Posted by Hopeton on August 22, 2010

“But at some point we will have to recognize that economic development, as measured by new jobs and growth in GDP at least, may not be filtering down to workers in the form of higher wages and incomes. Growth statistics ring hollow for people who don’t see any improvements in living standards. Figuring this out is our next challenge,” writes economist Brian Kelsey in his Civic Analytics blog.

Kelsey will discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the Austin, Texas, and U.S. economy on the August 23 edition of Economic Perspectives on KAZI 88.7 FM, 5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.  He is principal and founder of Civic Analytics, a consulting firm that provides research and strategic planning services for economic and workforce development.  Listen live online at kazifm.org.

Brian Kelsey

In his blog Kelsey writes that “in 1999, at the apex of the go-go technology days, per capita income in the Austin region peaked at 110.4 percent of U.S. per capita income. By 2009, we had fallen to less than 91 percent, which we haven’t seen since 1989.”

Prior to joining the consulting world full-time in May 2010, Kelsey was Director of Economic Development at the Capital Area Council of Governments in Austin, Texas, serving a region of 10 counties, 60 cities, and 1.8 million people.

Previously, he was a research associate with the Council on Competitiveness in Washington, DC, a non-partisan, non-governmental organization of CEOs, university presidents, and labor leaders focused on U.S. economic competitiveness. Working under Randall Kempner, Kelsey co-authored Measuring Regional Innovation, a guidebook on regional economic development funded by the Economic Development Administration.

Kelsey is a frequent speaker on economic development and regional trends. He’s presented for the International Economic Development Council, Texas Economic Development Council, National Association of Development Organizations, and many community and regional groups. Kelsey’s blog at Civic Analytics has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Global Corporate Xpansion, and Economic Development Now.

Kelsey earned a master’s degree in public affairs from The University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s degree in economics and history from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with highest distinction.

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Top 10 SBA Lenders in Travis County, Texas

Posted by Hopeton on August 17, 2010

If you’re looking for a bank that is lending to small businesses in today’s economic environment, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) list of lenders is a good place to start.  Enclosed are the top 10 SBA lenders in Travis County, Texas for October 2009 – May 2010.  The source for this information was the San Antonio District Office of the SBA.

Lender Name Total # of Loans Total Loans Gross Amt
JPMORGAN CHASE BANK NATL ASSOC 27 $  4,278,400.00
SUPERIOR FINANCIAL GROUP, LLC 23 $     210,000.00
HORIZON BANK, SSB 19 $  7,351,500.00
COMPASS BANK 18 $  6,524,000.00
CAPITAL CERT. DEVEL CORP 16 $  8,131,000.00
AMERICAN BANK OF COMMERCE 14 $  3,664,400.00
WELLS FARGO BANK NATL ASSOC 12 $  2,229,800.00
PLAINSCAPITAL BANK 9 $  8,283,000.00
AMER BANK NATL ASSOC 7 $  3,108,000.00
FIRST STATE BANK CENTRAL TEXAS 7 $  2,166,800.00

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Lessons from the Best Sales Books of All Time

Posted by Hopeton on August 15, 2010

Andrew Clancy will discuss his new book, The Sales Gurus: Lessons from the Best Sales Books of All Time, on the second segment of Economic Perspectives on August 16 on KAZI 88.7 FM, 5:50 p.m. – 6 p.m.  Listen live online at kazifm.org.

The Sales Gurus features summaries of eighteen books from some of the best minds in sales.   The authors featured include Zig Ziglar, Tom Hopkins, Chet Holmes, John Maxwell, Marc Miller, and Brian Tracy.

Andrew Clancy is a senior editor at Soundview Executive Book Summaries, a subscription service that summarizes the most popular, relevant, and influential business books.

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New Credit Card Protection for Consumers Focus of November 22 Economic Perspectives

Posted by Hopeton on August 15, 2010

Gail Cunningham, Vice President of the  National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), will discuss  the provisions of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act (CARD Act) that were implemented in August in on the November 22 edition of Economic Perspectives on KAZI 88.7 FM, 5:30 p.m. – 5:50 p.m.  Listen live online at kazifm.org.

This interview was orignally broadcast on August 16.

The new set of regulations includes the following protections:

  • The credit card company cannot assess a late fee of more than $25 unless one of the consumer’s last six payments was late, in which case the fee may go up to $35.  However, if the credit card company can demonstrate that the costs it incurred as a result of the late payments justified a higher fee, they are allowed to impose a higher penalty.
  • The issuer cannot charge a late payment fee that is more than the minimum payment.
  • When a charge exceeds the account’s credit line, an over-the-limit fee of more than the amount charged cannot be assessed.
  • The credit card company cannot charge a consumer an inactivity fee for not using their card.
  • Consumers can no longer be charged multiple penalty fees for the same transaction. For instance, both a late fee and an over-limit fee resulting from the same transaction cannot be charged.
  • The company must explain any increase in the card’s Annual Percentage Rate (APR).
  • If the APR is increased, the credit card company must re-evaluate the increase every six months, and if appropriate, reduce the rate within 45 days after completing the evaluation.

“As a result of the CARD Act, consumers have an added layer of protection related to their credit cards,” said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC.  “In addition to being familiar with these provisions, consumers need to open their credit card statements promptly, and read all inserts that accompany the monthly mailings.  These simple steps are a critical part of creating a financially stable life.”

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Book Review – The Inspiring Leader: Unlocking the Secrets of How Extraordinary Leaders Motivate

Posted by Hopeton on August 14, 2010

By Elizabeth A. Bert

In today’s tough economic environment, organizations are being tasked to do more, at turbo warped speed, with depleted resources and stressed employees.  Combined with the unknown future, how do businesses keep employees focused and working on the right things at their full potential?  Performance thought-leaders John Zenger, Joseph Folkman and Scott Edinger believe they have uncovered the “secret sauce” to achieve business results.

Within the author’s latest book, “The Inspiring Leader: Unlocking the Secrets of How Extraordinary Leaders Motivate”, they have impressively answered the question. Through an extensive study with over 20,000 managers, empirical data revealed that leaders who possessed the  ability to motivate outperformed all others; clearly supporting the correlation between the ability of leaders to be inspiring and business results.

The most powerful teachable moment for readers is the authors’ decision to address the “pink elephant in the room” being ignored or dismissed in most corporations. The notion that if you want to become more inspirational, you have to become more comfortable with emotions, feelings, and moods.  Too often, leaders overlook the “soft” side of business, and their subordinates, departments, and organi­zations suffer because of it.

As more leaders in this disruptive business environment focus on generating results, this book explains how and why leaders should in­spire others to help them achieve those results. This is an informative handbook chock-full of real-world experiences. . It discusses the seven behaviors exhibited by the most successful leaders plus practical advice and specific actions to help leaders develop strategies and concepts used by the world’s greatest leaders to motivate and inspire teams to greatness. To this end, I will add this book to my leadership tool-chest and plan to add it to my recommended reading list for my clients.

Elizabeth A. Bert is a certified professional coach who challenges current thinking and offers new insights to achieve peak productivity, accelerate innovation and boost bottom – line results.

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Federal Reserve Reports Economic Recovery Slowing Down

Posted by Hopeton on August 10, 2010

The following statement was released by the Federal Reserve on August 10

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June indicates that the pace of recovery in output and employment has slowed in recent months. Household spending is increasing gradually, but remains constrained by high unemployment, modest income growth, lower housing wealth, and tight credit. Business spending on equipment and software is rising; however, investment in nonresidential structures continues to be weak and employers remain reluctant to add to payrolls. Housing starts remain at a depressed level. Bank lending has continued to contract. Nonetheless, the Committee anticipates a gradual return to higher levels of resource utilization in a context of price stability, although the pace of economic recovery is likely to be more modest in the near term than had been anticipated.

Measures of underlying inflation have trended lower in recent quarters and, with substantial resource slack continuing to restrain cost pressures and longer-term inflation expectations stable, inflation is likely to be subdued for some time.

The Committee will maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and continues to anticipate that economic conditions, including low rates of resource utilization, subdued inflation trends, and stable inflation expectations, are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period.

To help support the economic recovery in a context of price stability, the Committee will keep constant the Federal Reserve’s holdings of securities at their current level by reinvesting principal payments from agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in longer-term Treasury securities.1 The Committee will continue to roll over the Federal Reserve’s holdings of Treasury securities as they mature.

The Committee will continue to monitor the economic outlook and financial developments and will employ its policy tools as necessary to promote economic recovery and price stability.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; James Bullard; Elizabeth A. Duke; Donald L. Kohn; Sandra Pianalto; Eric S. Rosengren; Daniel K. Tarullo; and Kevin M. Warsh.

Voting against the policy was Thomas M. Hoenig, who judges that the economy is recovering modestly, as projected. Accordingly, he believed that continuing to express the expectation of exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period was no longer warranted and limits the Committee’s ability to adjust policy when needed. In addition, given economic and financial conditions, Mr. Hoenig did not believe that keeping constant the size of the Federal Reserve’s holdings of longer-term securities at their current level was required to support a return to the Committee’s policy objectives.

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Obama Speaks on Jobs and Economy

Posted by Hopeton on August 9, 2010

The following remarks were excerpted  from a speech President Obama gave on the state of the economy and the jobs market after the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the July unemployment numbers on August 6 in Washington D.C. July unemployment was 9.5%.

We know from economic statistics what the stories of America’s families have been telling us for quite some time -– that the recession that we’re still recovering from is the most serious downturn since the Great Depression.  We also know, from studying the lessons of past recessions, that climbing out of any recession, much less a hole as deep as this one, takes some time.  The road to recovery doesn’t follow a straight line.  Some sectors bounce back faster than others.

President Obama

So what we need to do is keep pushing forward.  We can’t go backwards.  This morning, the Department of Labor released its monthly jobs report, showing that July marked the seventh straight month of job creation in the private sector.  So jobs have been growing in the private sector for seven straight months.

July’s jobs numbers reflect, in part, expected losses related to the census winding down.  But the fact is, we’ve now added private sector jobs every month this year, instead of losing them, as we did for the first seven months of last year.  And that’s a good sign.  (Applause.)

Meanwhile, our manufacturing sector that’s been hit hard for as long as folks can remember has actually added 183,000 jobs so far this year.  That’s the most robust seven months of manufacturing growth in over a decade.  (Applause.)

Just this morning, there was a report about the growing trend of manufacturing plants returning to the United States from overseas, instead of the other way around.

Same time, each of the Big Three automakers -– Ford, GM, and Chrysler -– two of which were on the verge of bankruptcy a little over a year ago, a liquidation bankruptcy that would have destroyed those companies –- all three U.S. automakers are now posting a profit for the first time since 2004.  (Applause.)  And since they emerged from bankruptcy, the auto industry as a whole has added 76,000 jobs.  So there’s some good trends out there.

That’s the good news.  But for America’s workers, families, and small businesses, progress needs to come faster.  Our job is to make sure that happens — not only to lay the foundation for private sector job creation, but also to accelerate hiring to fuel the small businesses that are the engines of growth; to speed our recovery so it reaches the people and places who need relief not a year from now, not six months from now, but now — right now…Click here to read the entire speech.

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