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

Archive for November, 2010

Building Perfect Credit, Young Entrepreneurs Focus of November 29 Economic Perspectives

Posted by Hopeton on November 29, 2010

Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, author of Perfect Credit: 7 Steps to a Great Credit Rating, is the guest of the first segment of the November 29 edition of Economic Perspectives.  Young entrepreneurs Ashton and Kamilah Powell will discuss how they got started in business at the respective ages of 22 and 19 on the second segment.  Listen to the interviews 5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. on KAZI 88.7 FM, or live online at kazifm.org.

Perfect Credit is a roadmap for anyone hoping to establish picture-perfect credit, make improvements to have stellar credit, or simply maintain a fantastic credit standing. Right now, roughly 220 million Americans have credit files maintained by the “Big Three” credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Of those individuals, about 40 million Americans (roughly 1 out of 5), have very poor credit, or “deep subprime scores,” according to Experian. Another 50 million adults in the U.S. have no credit files – either because they’ve never used traditional forms of credit, or because their credit files are “too thin” to generate a credit score. Perfect Credit offers all these consumers an easy-to-follow blueprint on how to get superb credit – and how to sidestep numerous credit traps and pitfalls along the way.

Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach, is a personal finance expert, television and radio personality and the author of numerous books, including the New York Times bestseller Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom. Lynnette has appeared on such national TV programs as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Phil, The Tyra Banks Show, The Today Show and Good Morning America. Lynnette, an award-winning financial news journalist and former Wall Street Journal reporter for CNBC, has also been featured in top newspapers including the Washington Post, USA Today, and the New York Times, as well as magazines ranging from Ebony and Redbook to Black Enterprise and Smart Money.

Kamilah and Ashton Powell

Ashton and Kamilah Powell, who are married, got started in business in 2006 as the operators of an Avis Rent A Car location in downtown Austin.  Avis initially balked at allowing them the business opportunity because of their youth, but they were able to convince them of their abilities through the interview process.  Family members provided them the seed capital to help them get started.  The Powells have recently started an insurance agency In the interview, the Powells share the keys to their success as young entrepreneurs and some of the mistakes they made.

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The November 28 guest on KAZI Book Review

Posted by Hopeton on November 28, 2010

The November 28 guest on KAZI Book Review is Jeffrey Pfeffer, author of Power: Why Some People Have It and Some People Don’t. Listen live online at kazifm.org, 12:30-1pm CST. More info available at http://kazibookreview.wordpress.com/.

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Book Review – Looking Up at the Bottom Line: The Struggle for the Living Wage

Posted by Hopeton on November 17, 2010

Part memoir, part call to action, Looking Up at the Bottom Line: The Struggle for the Living Wage provides a compelling case on how we as a nation could attempt to end homelessness as we know it today…Read more at http://kazibookreview.wordpress.com/2010/11/16/review-of-looking-up-at-the-bottom-line-the-struggle-for-the-living-wage/.

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Congressional Oversight Panel Examines Mortgage Irregularities

Posted by Hopeton on November 16, 2010

The following was released by the press office of the Congressional Oversight Panel.

The Congressional Oversight Panel today released its November oversight report, “Examining the Consequences of Mortgage Irregularities for Financial Stability and Foreclosure Mitigation.” The Panel reviewed allegations that companies servicing $6.4 trillion in American mortgages may in some cases have bypassed legally required steps to foreclose on a home. The implications of these irregularities remain unclear, but it is possible that “robo-signing” may have concealed deeper problems in the mortgage market that could potentially threaten financial stability and undermine foreclosure prevention efforts.

In the best-case scenario, concerns about mortgage documentation irregularities may prove overblown. In this view, which has been embraced by the financial industry, a handful of employees failed to follow procedures in signing foreclosure-related affidavits, but the facts underlying the affidavits are demonstrably accurate. Foreclosures could proceed as soon as the invalid affidavits are replaced with properly executed paperwork.

The worst-case scenario is considerably grimmer. In this view, which has been articulated by academics and homeowner advocates, the “robo-signing” of affidavits served to cover up the fact that loan servicers cannot demonstrate the facts required to conduct a lawful foreclosure. The risk stems from the possibility that the rapid growth of mortgage securitization in recent years may have outpaced the ability of the legal and financial system to track mortgage loan ownership. In essence, banks may be unable to prove that they own the mortgage loans they claim to own.

If documentation problems prove to be pervasive and throw into doubt the ownership of pooled mortgages, the consequences could be severe. Borrowers may be unable to determine whether they are sending their monthly payments to the right people. Judges may block any effort to foreclose, even in cases where borrowers have failed to make regular payments. Multiple banks may attempt to foreclose upon the same property. Borrowers who have already suffered foreclosure may seek to regain title to their homes and force any new owners to move out. Would-be buyers and sellers could find themselves in limbo, unable to know with any certainty whether they can safely buy or sell a home.

Further wide-scale disruptions in the housing market, if they arose, could cause significant harm to financial institutions. For example, if a Wall Street bank were to discover that, due to shoddily executed paperwork, it still owns millions of defaulted mortgages that it thought it sold off years ago, it could face billions of dollars in unexpected losses. To put in perspective the potential problem, the mortgage-backed securities market totals approximately $7.6 trillion, so irregularities that affect even a small percentage of this market could have dramatic effects on bank balance sheets – potentially posing risks to the very financial stability that the Troubled Asset Relief Program was designed to protect. The Panel urges Treasury and bank regulators to undertake new “stress tests” to gauge the ability of major financial institutions to cope with a potential documentation-related crisis.

Documentation irregularities could also disrupt Treasury’s foreclosure prevention efforts. Some servicers dealing with Treasury may not be able to document a legal right to initiate foreclosures, which may call into question their ability to grant modifications or to demand payments from homeowners. The servicers’ use of “robo-signing” may also have affected determinations about individual loans; servicers may have been more willing to foreclose if they were not bearing the full costs of a properly executed foreclosure. The Panel recommends that Treasury immediately undertake more active efforts to monitor the impact of documentation irregularities on its foreclosure mitigation programs.

Documentation irregularities could compound other threats to the mortgage market. In particular, allegations have surfaced that banks may have misrepresented the quality of many loans sold for securitization. Banks found to have provided misrepresentations could be required to repurchase any affected mortgages. Because millions of these mortgages are in default or foreclosure, the result could be extensive capital losses if such repurchase risk is not adequately reserved.

The Panel emphasizes that mortgage lenders and securitization servicers should not undertake to foreclose on any homeowner unless they are able to do so in full compliance with applicable laws and their contractual agreements with the homeowner.

The full report is available at www.cop.senate.gov.

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Business Growth Strategies, Coping with Job Loss Focus of November 15 Economic Perspectives

Posted by Hopeton on November 15, 2010

Rick Kash, co-author of How Companies Win: Profiting from Demand-Driven Business Models No Matter What Business You’re In, is the guest on the first segment of the November 15 edition of Economic Perspectives, 5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. on KAZI 88.7 FM.  Lester Taylor, author of Coping with Job Loss: A Survival Manual, is the guest for the second segment.  Listen live online at kazifm.org.

In How Companies Win, Kash writes that there has been a “fundamental shift…from a supply driven economy to a demand driven economy.”  He argues that companies need a new set of strategies and tools that focus on the most profitable customers and consumers.  Some of these strategies include:

  • Building a delivery network around the web
  • Building an intelligent system that knows where to hunt for the next profit opportunity
  • Shortening the time it takes to bring good product, service, and marketing ideas to the marketplace
  • Developing more timely and precise measurements of the impact of your advertising on TV, the Web, and phone

Rick Kash is the founder and CEO of The Cambridge Group, a growth strategy consulting firm.  He is also the author of The New Law of Demand and Supply, which was named as one of the 10 best business books of 2002 by Amazon.com.

In Coping with Job Loss, Taylor eschews the traditional “focus on the technical mechanics for finding a job.”  Instead he provides guidance on how to deal with the emotional impact of job loss.  Taylor, who shares his experience about losing a job at the age of 54,  personalizes his advice often adding witty anecdotes that supplement the action steps he recommends.

Lester Taylor is a partner in the S.P.I. Group, specializing in recruiting, flexible staffing and human resource training and management. He is also the owner of Effective Marketing Specialists, a promotional products firm with special emphasis on company branding, increasing client loyalty and rewarding employee excellence.

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Listen to Interview: Funding Opportunities For Entrepreneurs & Innovative Digital News Ideas

Posted by Hopeton on November 10, 2010

On the November 1 edition of Economic Perspectives, a wealth of information was provided on sources of funding for entrepreneurs and innovative thinkers in digital news media.  Guest Irene Mwathi discussed the agenda of the National Black MBA Association Annual Entrepreneurial Conference which will feature venture capitalists and community development financial institutions on November 12, 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the UT Austin AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center.  Mwathi, who is chairman of the Entrepreneurial Conference, also discussed how she was able to successfully raise equity for her technology firm.

The show also featured John Bracken discussing Knight News Challenge, an initiative which awards competitive grants from the Knight Foundation for innovative ideas for using digital media to deliver news and information to geographically defined communities.  Bracken is Director of Digital Media for the Knight Foundation.

To listen to the interview click here: Irene Mwathi & John Bracken Interview.

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Richard Troxell, author of Looking Up at

Posted by Hopeton on November 6, 2010

Richard Troxell, author of Looking Up at the Bottom Line: The Struggle for a Living Wage, will be the November 7 guest on KAZI Book Review, 12:30 p.m.-1 p.m. on KAZI 88.7 FM. Listen live online at http://www.kazifm.org. For more info on book go to http://www.housethehomeless.org/.

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Shifting Values Impact on Consumer Behavior Focus on 2nd Segment of November 8 Economic perspctives

Posted by Hopeton on November 6, 2010

John Gerzema, co-author of Spend Shift: How the Post-Crisis Values Revolution is Changing the Way We Buy, Sell, and Live will be featured on the second segment of of the November 8 edition of Economic Perspectives.

Gerzema’s book is based in part on findings from Young & Rubicam’s database of consumer attitudes (the world’s largest), which has surveyed 17,000 consumers quarterly for the past seventeen years.  The survey reveals that since 2007—even before the crisis—all data pointed to a revolution in the making. Americans were becoming uneasy with debt and excess spending, distrustful of leaders and skeptical of materialist values.

These new “Spend Shifters”—55% of Americans—are not defeated by the downturn but instead are proudly returning to bedrock American virtues—thrift, faith, creativity, community, hard work and more—in order to build new lives of purpose and connection.  They still buy, but they’ve shifted from mindless to mindful consumption, from acquisitive to inquisitive, and from dependent customers to self-reliant do it yourselfers. Their every purchase is less about materialism and more about voting for their values with their dollars.

John Gerzema is Chief Insights Officer of Young & Rubicam and author of a previous book, The Brand Bubble, which was named a best business book of the year by Amazon.com and strategy+business.  He has spent his career creating and guiding the brand strategies of many household names: McDonald’s, BMW, Coca-Cola, United Airlines, Holiday Inn and more.

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Austin State Farm Insurance Agent Committed to the Community

Posted by Hopeton on November 2, 2010

I recently interviewed long time Austin, Texas State Farm Insurance Agent Richard Glasco about his experience in the industry, his commitment to the community, and his customer service philosophy.  To listen to this very short excerpt click here: Richard Glasco Interview.

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Forum on Impact of Technology, Buying Habits, and Regionalism on Central Texas Economy Focus of November 8 Economic Perspectives

Posted by Hopeton on November 2, 2010

Heather McKissick will discuss Leadership Austin’s 2nd Annual fastforward Issues Forum – Rising from Recession: Central Texas Strong and Sustainable on the first segment of the November 8 edition of Economic Perspectives on KAZI 88.7 FM, 5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.  Listen live online at kazifm.org.  McKissick is the president of Leadership Austin.

Heather McKissick

The forum will feature policy makers, influencers, grass-roots activators, and Leadership Austin friends and alumni exploring the future of the Central Texas region in the following contexts:

  • Emerging Technologies and the Local Economy
  • Buying Habits and Their Impact: What’s the Next Big Thing?
  • The New Regionalism: Are we the next “Megaregion?”

Richard Florida, author of The Great Reset and The Rise of the Creative Class will be the keynote speaker.  To listen to an excerpt of an interview with Richard Florida about his book, The Great Reset, conducted on KAZI Book Review, click here: Richard Florida Interview Excerpt – 6 minutes, 44 seconds.

Leadership Austin is a non-profit organization where people of diverse backgrounds and experience come together to learn about civic leadership, engage in meaningful dialogue about important public issues, and collaborate to make a difference in Central Texas. Since 1979, thousands of individuals have graduated from the Leadership Austin Essential Class or enhanced their leadership capacities through its open enrollment programs.

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