Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Black CEO Lays Out a New Way to Innovate



To say that Global Consumer Innovation (GCI) ( is just another marketing or research company is an understatement, to say the least. Touted as an innovation company, GCI uses its holistic perspective to create concepts for companies to enhance growth. Under the belief that corporations have, for too many years gone about developing products and services that are fundamentally flawed, GCI operates under the premise of designing products based upon collecting consumer data.

Founded by former Vice-President of Global Consumer Innovation and Global Capability Group for Dell, Fenorris Pearson, the GCI innovation team defines the next big idea that produces consumer products or services that disrupt the competitive landscape and generate revenue through billion dollar concepts. GCI recognizes that the methodology of corporate America is deeply flawed. There is a process that needs to be examined for success with every company, and GCI has perfected that concept.

Companies must take the frustrations of consumers and provide insights. All efforts must be totally consumer driven, without only seeking to reach quarterly goals or meet the bottom line. Major corporations bring in customers to view their products without knowing or understanding their needs. GCI is helping the consumer become involved and creating an innovation culture for best practices.

The GCI philosophy revolves around identifying whether or not a company has an innovation culture, designing the company to be more innovative, and the steps to take to create an environment. Most companies are all about making big investments. Venture capitalists do a wonderful job of understanding financials around what is brought to them. However, they don’t figure out who is going to buy it. Ninety-nine percent of all acquisitions fail because of poor marketing strategy. GCI offers their approach directly to the consumer. Their goal is to ensure that the investment succeeds.

Through strong leadership, innovative enablement, and solid growth practices, GCI is the alternative to the old way of doing business.

Click to Read

Friday, August 21, 2009

Black Money News from AOL – 8/21/09

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dr Boyce Watkins: Is our Economy Turning Around?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

The economic downturn has hurt us all. Black unemployment has been nearly 70% higher than that for white Americans, and the blow is even greater for people of color, since there is less black wealth to fall back on during tough financial times. We must remember, however, that the global recession has literally led to starvation around the world, as there were many citizens who could barely buy food even during the good times.

The IMF's chief economist, Olivier Blanchard, says the global recession had "left deep scars, which will affect both supply and demand for many years to come." Blanchard also makes the additional point that economic models used to understand past recessions cannot be used to understand this one. When attempting to understand the cyclical nature of African American wealth, the models are even sketchier than they are for the rest of the world.

If you want to understand what happened to our economy, imagine you have a friend who appears to have the flu. The standard flu recovery time is going to be just a few days, so you expect to see them back at it within a week. They then go to the doctor, and it turns out that they have a sinus infection, extending the recovery period at least another week. But instead of coming back to work in 1 - 2 weeks, they are sick for an entire month. Well, this warrants another trip to the doctor, where you find out that the person actually has HIV. This changes the entire treatment strategy, since the short-term problems were nothing more than symptomatic triggers of serious long-term health issues. What's worse is that with or without serious intervention, the patient may never be completely healthy again.

Click to read.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Four Ways to get Fired for Lying

Lisa F. shares his pain, but from a managerial perspective. “I know when a woman lies about being sick, just by looking at her hands and toes.” For the senior level new media executive, the giveaway is newly polished nails. “You cannot imagine how many women come in after a sick day with a fresh manicure or pedicure,” she observes.

Every day individuals fib, lie and embellish their way through the work day, not realizing that there are repercussions. The consequences may not always be as severe as termination, but it can be a reduction in bonus, a permanent mark on your record or a poor score on your yearly review, not to mention the damage done to your reputation among fellow colleagues.  What follows are 4 frequent fibs that every single should avoid in the workplace. 
Pulling the Healthy Sick Card

If you call in sick when you’re feeling perfectly fine you better be smart about it. Taking off one too many hangover Fridays, or regularly turning the day before calendared holiday 3 day weekends into your personal 4 day long weekends, will no doubt cause suspicious minds.  So come clean to your supervisor and ask that these  be reported as vacation days, or try to schedule your healthy sick days on less conspicuous days during the week.

Click to read.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Dr Boyce Watkins: Wells Fargo Accused of Predatory Lending….Again

Wells Fargo was recently hit with another discrimination suit in the state of Illinois.This is the second high profile lawsuit alleging that the company has engaged in predatory lending in black and Latino neighborhoods. The suit was filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and presents evidence that black and Latino customers were being guided toward higher cost loans even when they qualified for lower cost loans.

Obviously, these lawsuits are not good PR for a company that is one of the primary sponsors for Tavis Smiley's yearly State of the Black Union event.

"I'm talking of the worst of the worst bad loans that were sold in the run-up to the collapse of the housing market," the attorney general said in a press conference about the suit.

The attorney general should be commended for taking on this lawsuit. Just a few months ago, Wells Fargo was accused of engaging in similar practices in black neighborhoods in the city of Baltimore. Christopher Chestnut, a prominent attorney in the state of Florida who pursues racial bias cases, stated that, "The factual allegations plead in both Illinois and Maryland courts indicate a trend of predatory inequity in lending by Wells Fargo. The alleged behavior is alarming, depressing and unnecessary."

Click to read.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

News: Dr Boyce Watkins explains the meaning of “consumer confidence”

Beyonce has a song about how she loves men with "big egos." This might imply that she likes men with confidence. Confidence matters a great deal in terms of male/female attraction, but believe it or not, it actually impacts our economy. Every month, the University of Michigan measures consumer confidence, to determine if Americans are willing to spend money and how they feel about their current and future economic security.

But you might ask, "Why would I care about confidence, since it's only psychological and imaginary?" Good question. Actually, confidence is a psychological phenomenon which leads to very real impacts on our choices and behavior. A confident man who asks out every girl he meets will probably have more mating opportunities than a good looking guy who doesn't open his mouth. A confident consumer is someone who feels good about his/her economic situation and therefore decides to spend money, which is always good for the economy. Confident companies make investments and hire new employees, but insecure companies put projects on hold and don't hire anyone. Confident banks make loans, but nervous banks hold onto their capital, thus slowing down economic growth for the nation.

Click to read.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Illinois Files Bias suit Against Wells Fargo


CHICAGO (Reuters) -- Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed suit Friday against Wells Fargo & Co., accusing the second-largest mortgage lender of steering blacks and Latinos into high-cost subprime loans.

"As a result of its discriminatory and illegal mortgage lending practices, Wells Fargo transformed our cities' predominantly African-American and Latino neighborhoods into ground zero for subprime lending," Madigan said in a statement.

High foreclosure rates resulted from the illegal sales practices, the state's attorney general said.

click to read more

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Roland Martin, Boyce Watkins Talk Gates

COOPER: Professor Watkins, do you believe this is an issue about race, or do you think this is an issue of two people with -- with big egos or clashing egos?

WATKINS: I think that the answer is that we don't know.

And that is the problem, that we were making bandwagon assumptions based on things we didn't know. Look, either Sergeant Crowley violated procedure or he didn't. If he did violate procedure, he either violated it because Skip Gates was black or for some other reason.

But the truth is that we can't read this man's mind. And, so, the truth -- the reality is that this could have happened to someone of another ethnicity, potentially, particularly when you look throughout Sergeant Crowley's record.

And I assume that he wouldn't be teaching classes on racial sensitivity if he had a record of arresting black men for no reason. Now, I'm not trying to say that this did not happen in this case. I'm not anybody is a liar.

But what I'm saying is that we can't use this case as a -- some sort of poster child for racial-profiling issues across America, because there is real racial profiling that goes on, on places other than Harvard University, because I guarantee you this much.

MARTIN: Anderson...

WATKINS: Skip Gates is a guy who knows he is Skip Gates.

And being a black professor at Harvard, with all the money that Skip has, I guarantee you he has probably got more privilege than most white Americans have anyway.


MARTIN: Anderson, race -- race is involved, because you all -- look, when you step back and say, here, you have an African-American professor in his home. The cop comes there.

The black officer said, I think it may have been -- differently if it was an African-American cop with this actual black male here. What we have to learn here is, what is going through a black man's mind when this kind of thing is happening?

Again, people say, well, it needs to be overt. Well, people all self-perceive things differently. What is implied? What is inferred? And, so, here, he is standing here saying, this is how I am interpreting this.

We cannot dismiss that and say, well, that is not relevant. It is relevant, because it happens every day. People make assumptions. Women make assumptions based upon, well, is this happening to me because I am a woman? Is this happening to me because I am Hispanic? COOPER: But some assumptions are correct and some assumptions are not.

MARTIN: Absolutely. But that's why we can't...

WATKINS: Right. Absolutely.

Click to read more on the Dr Boyce Blog.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Government Raising the Minimum Wage: A Generally Good Idea


by Dr. Boyce Watkins

Syracuse University

I am a curious professor, a compassionate capitalist and the owner of a small business. All of these hats create a complex perspective on whether or not it is a good idea to increase the minimum wage. After all, we are in a recession, and one might be tempted to argue that any sort of pay increase would slow down our nation's economic recovery, eliminate jobs, and significantly reduce corporate profitability.

Sorry to burst those bubbles, but the data don't validate most of the above concerns.
First of all, the minimum wage was introduced during the Great Depression, the mother of all economic downturns. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 was designed to ensure that the most vulnerable Americans were no longer going to be exploited by the power of big business. The Great Depression came to an end shortly thereafter, and there is no evidence that it slowed down the economic recovery in any significant way.

Secondly, the budgetary implications of minimum wage increases are not very large. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 2 percent of all men and 3.6 percent of all women currently earn the minimum wage. But while the impact on our national budget is small, the gains for those affected are tremendous: there are nearly 5 million children in families who earn the minimum wage, and nearly all of these children are going to have better lives in the advent of an increase.


Click to read.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Making Financial Love

Dr. Boyce Watkins of Syracuse University speaks with Free on Power 105.1 about Financial Lovemaking.  Click here to listen to the interview!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Michael’s Kids and Their Financial Plan

by Dr Boyce Watkins

"Stuntin like my daddy" was the first song on the album, "Like Father, Like Son," issued by Lil Wayne and Birdman in 2006. "Stuntin" is a hip hop term synonymous with "flossing," blinging," and "balling." It means that you've engaged in excessive spending to ensure that you have the finest of everything and are even willing to live at the edge of your means in order to present appropriate status symbols to the world. Anyone who follows hip hop knows that you should never take financial advice from a rapper. In light of the recent passing of their father, I sincerely hope that the children of Michael Jackson didn't hear the Lil Wayne song, since their daddy's financial "stuntin" before his death has left the children with a conflicted economic legacy.

On one hand, we shouldn't feel sorry for Michael Jackson's kids, at least not financially. Their father's amazing talent gives them a brand that is literally worth well over a billion dollars in future royalties and licensing fees. Michael Jackson may have died physically. But financially, he is still a viable and overwhelmingly powerful corporate entity.

Click to read.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Dr Boyce Money: Learning from Michael Jackson’s Debt

Michael's $500m debt: lessons we can all learn

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

Doctor talks to police about Jackson's final moments
Let's remember what Michael did for us

Michael Jackson is not dead. No, he's not on a deserted island chilling with Tupac and Elvis (who some believe faked their deaths), but he is certainly alive in corporate and social spirit, impacting millions of people.

Michael will make 1000 times more money in death than most people make when they are alive. But similar to when he was alive, massive amounts of cash will have to be generated in order to counter the enormous debt that Michael created while he was doing his thing.

Reports have stated Michael Jackson's debt to be as high as half a billion dollars, enough to make some major corporations blush. What's worse is that this debt was not created via a series of sound financial investments: it was conceived by building personal amusement parks, buying rare monkey statues, and rocking his way from one expensive store to the other.

Michael's spending became his addiction. Financial needs could have been what led to him agreeing to do 50 concerts in London this year (a tour he was preparing for just before his death), when he may have not been able to handle one. It was starting to get sad watching Michael perform, similar to watching Muhammad Ali after he'd spent 10 years dealing with Don King. While the 50-year old Michael Jackson may have given a great performance, it would probably be something less than what we've come to expect.

Click to read.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dr. Boyce Watkins: Why I support Obama’s Financial Overhaul

Obama's financial regulatory reform risky but necessary

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Finance Professor Syracuse University

I have a friend who broke both of his legs climbing a dangerous mountain in Southeast Asia. This friend has nearly died 8 times, been chased by bears, and has had food poisoning too many times to count. After his latest injury, we presumed that he would understand that taking such risk simply doesn't pay. But he rebuffed our intervention, stating that the risk is what makes his life worth living. My friend seems to believe that pursuing and living the dream might be worth enduring the occasional nightmare.

The current financial crisis is certainly the worst of economic nightmares. Job losses have been enormous and the stock market has shrunk faster than Lindsay Lohan's dress size. A report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics last week reported that in May jobless rates were higher in all 50 states and in the District of Columbiathan they were a year ago.

The Black community has had a double dose of economic drama, as our unemployment rate is nearly double that of White Americans, standing at 14.9% according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Black urban centers such as Detroit have been hit especially hard.

Click to read.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dr Boyce Money: The Great American Retirement Crisis

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Finance Professor at Syracuse University

I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But then again, it must not bother me very much, since I am going to give you a big pile of bad news right now. Given that I earned a Masters Degree in the "morbid science" of statistics, I figured I would start the day by fulfilling my occupational expectation.

The first piece of bad news is that you are going to die. One day, your heart will stop beating and the 2.5 billion breaths you'll take during your lifetime will come to an end. Hopefully, it won't be painful, but I can't guarantee that. The truth is, however, that death might not be the worst part of it all.

The toughest news is that before you die, you are likely going to experience a long, slow period of physical and psychological decline called "old age". In conjunction with this decline, you are going to see your financial resources dwindle as quickly as the muscles in your body. Not only will the scale of your resources decline, but your expenses will likely mount as you go to one doctor's visit after another, all with the hope of delaying the inevitable. That period of life is called "retirement", and most Americans are not financially prepared for it.

Now that you are sufficiently depressed (there's no point in lying to you, I'm not very good at that), I will give you some facts to chew on. I also hope that in light of these realities, you will engage in something that the rest of America is not doing: preparing for retirement. While retirement planning has always been important in the past, it has never been more important than it is for you right now. The Perfect Economic Storm is coming, one in which all the scary clouds merge together into one big ball of fiscal devastation that can only be created by God himself. When your financial meteorologist (me) gives you that information, it's your decision to get your family prepared. Let's break down the components of the storm, shall we?


Click to read more.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ryan Mack Explains How to keep your home

Black finance expert Ryan Mack brings us advice from a place of real heart to help hard-working Americans deal with the mortgage mess. With his warm brand of personal finance advice, Mack's strongest words to the community are: "If you are having problems paying your mortgage DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM YOUR HOME!" In part one of our two-part interview, learn more about how we got into this housing crisis, how it has affected the general economy and what you should do now to protect your home.
How did you become a finance expert? What inspired you to pursue this goal?
When I was on Wall Street making great money I felt empty, because I was not an effective contributor to my community. I knew that finance was my passion, but I also knew that sitting in a cubicle making money only for the sake of self-empowerment was not my purpose.
Like too many families in America, many people in my family were not financially literate. My passion was to change that. In addition, I was always getting asked personal finance questions from peers who knew I was a stock trader. But trading is different from personal finance. To address these questions, I began to study personal finance and started a Yahoo group called MakingMoneyWork, which provided tips and strategies to over 200 members through weekly newsletters.

Click to read more on the African American Money blog.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wells Fargo Getting Sued by City Governments for Discrimination

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

Tavis Smiley needs to have a conversation with one of his primary sponsors, Wells Fargo. This week, it was announced that Wells Fargo is being sued by the city of Baltimore for egregiously racist predatory lending practices in the black community. The company has been accused by some former loan officers of targeting subprime, low quality loans to black neighborhoods, leading to a dramatic economic collapse for the black community of Baltimore.

The statistical evidence is daunting. Half of all the properties foreclosed by Wells Fargo are vacant and 71% of those properties are in black neighborhoods. Wells Fargo's African American borrowers with incomes greater than $68,000 per year were 8 times more likely to hold subprime loans than white borrowers with the same income.

Click to read.

Dr. Christopher Richardson Explains Wells Fargo Alleged Discrimination

Dr. Christopher Richardson

Dr. Christopher Richardson, one of the world’s leading experts on predatory lending and banking, comments on a recent report that Wells Fargo, one of the sponsors of the State of the Black Union event held every year, is being sued by several government agencies due to accusations of financially exploiting and deliberately misleading the Black community.  Dr. Richardson’s comments are below:

Click to read on African American Money.

Great Athlete Transitions to Successful Entrepreneur

Jason Robertson is a man of many gifts. As an young man, he was an All-American baseball player, drafted by the New York Yankees straight out of high school. He was also listed by Essence Magazine as one of the most eligible bachelors in America for his good looks and success. If that were not enough, Jason retired from baseball and re-invented himself as a leading, award-winning entrepeneur.

Besides being a model of success for his 3 sons and celebrating his engagement to fiance Marshawn Evans, Jason is on a mission to teach other young men how to make the transition from successful athlete to outstanding businessman. Black Voices got a chance to catch up with Jason.

1) What do you do for a living?

I own an industrial packaging company. We sell corrugated boxes, bags, films, pallets, and we also provide warehousing and storage.

Click to read.

Monday, June 8, 2009

21 Kids, 11 Mothers: What Gives?

Desmond Hatchett is 29 years old and has 21 children with 11 different women. The Knoxville, TN native also works for minimum wage and can't support all of his kids. The state is only allowed to take 50% of his paycheck, which doesn't amount to very much for each child.

What do we make of Hatchett's decision? This is clearly a question for Financial Lovemaking.

Click to read.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dr Boyce Talks to Free from 106 & Park about Money

Dr Boyce gives advice to DJ Free (formerly on BET's 106 & Park) about financial fitness and how to get your financial life together. How do you change your life when you've made financial mistakes? How do you get rid of toxic people in your life who are draining your financial resources? Dr Boyce and Free discuss how to have good financial health, R. Kelly and how to get your money right.

Click to read.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Black Money: Is the American Dream Dead for Autoworkers?

There was a time, not very long ago, when getting a job on the production line at a big automaker meant an instant ticket to the American dream, even for someone with little formal education. Not anymore.

"The minute you signed the paper, you were instantly vaulted into the middle class," said Mike Smith, director of Wayne State University's Walter P. Reuther Library in Detroit, named for the founder of the United Auto Workers, the union that represents auto workers.

A shrinking paycheck. As the auto industry undergoes a sea change, the government has demanded that Chrysler and General Motors (GM, Fortune 500) bring their labor costs in line with foreign competitors operating non-unionfactories in the U.S.

Today, an entry-level auto-worker will be making $14 an hour, compared to the $28 "base rate" the job had earned before, according to a summary of Chrysler's contract agreement.


Click to read.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Xerox Puts a Black Woman in Charge – a Corporate First

Xerox named Ursula Burns to succeed Chief Executive Anne Mulcahy, in a move that makes Burns one of the most prominent African-Americans to head a Fortune 500 company.

Mulcahy, 56, an economic advisor to Barack Obama during the U.S. presidential transition, will retire as CEO on July 1. She is a 33-year veteran of Xerox, where she became CEO in 2001.

An avid biker, Burns, 50, will join a list about 15 women CEOs of a Fortune 500 company and become one of only a handful of African American CEOs. She joined Xerox in 1980 as an engineering intern, was named president in 2007, and had been groomed as the next CEO by Mulcahy. [ID:nN19438536]

Mulcahy, who has been credited with revitalizing the world's top supplier of digital printers and document management services, and also serves on Citibank's (C.N) board of directors, will remain as the company's chairman.


Click to read.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dr Boyce Money: Do Your Kids Have a Plan for Your Death?

For more financial advice, visit

It may shock you to read this, but you are going to die. Young people don't seem to believe they are ever going to leave the earth and even old folks aren't ready to accept it. Many of us become sole providers for our families under the assumption that we are going to be around forever. Well, there comes a time when we must realize that if we get into our car and head out to work one morning, we may never come back.

What happens to those we leave behind? They are left to clean up the messes that we've left, and you probably know at least one person who has gone to a funeral and watched their daddy's dirty laundry pour itself out all over the front row. The funeral is a day of reckoning, from both a personal and financial standpoint. The point of death is when the Grim Reaper makes us reap what we have sewn throughout our lives.

How do you determine whether or not you have enough life insurance? Let me break it down for you.

Continue reading Do Your Children Have a Plan for your Death? You Might Want to Think Again

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dr Boyce and Tia Talk Love, Money and Gotti’s Way

Hip-hop "mogul" Irv Gotti has gotten tremendous criticism for mistreating his estranged wife, Deb. Let's be real, Irv is mean and appears to be highly inconsiderate. He cheats on Deb openly, disrespects her and doesn't seem to care if she stays or goes.

"Irv Gotti treats his wife worse than an abandoned dog in a pound," says black celebrity gossip columnist, Lady Drama. "Any man who treats his wife like that should walk through hell with gasoline soaked pants."

But while Irv does his thing and does it wherever and with whomever he likes, his wife may not necessarily be an innocent victim. She has the opportunity to leave him and be with another man. She can draw boundaries on the relationship and not deal with his behavior. But she does not. Why is that?

In this episode of Financial Lovemaking with Dr. Boyce, we talk about Gotti and what he and his wife can do to make things right. We also answer some critical and important questions.

Continue reading Financial Lovemaking with Dr. Boyce: Is Irv Gotti's Way the Right Way?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Dr Boyce and Tia Analyze Money and Love

Are wealthy men allowed to cheat and get away with it?  Dr. Boyce and Tia analyze this in the latest episode of Financial Lovemaking.

Click the image to listen!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Financial News: Dr Boyce joins AOL Black Voices

Syracuse, NY – Dr. Boyce Watkins of Syracuse University has recently joined America Online as a financial writer and expert commentator.  He will be the resident Financial Expert for AOL Black Voices, the premier Black news website in America, with over 100,000 readers per day.  Dr. Watkins has been on the faculty at Syracuse University for 8 years and has worked with many major media outlets, including CNN, BET, ESPN and CBS Sports.  He is also the author of “Financial Lovemaking 101: Merging Assets with Your Partner in Ways that Feel Good”.

In his role with AOL Black Voices, Dr. Watkins will provide analysis on the economy, employment issues, celebrity finances, and money management. He will use his unique style of informative, compelling, yet down to earth financial analysis to promote financial literacy within the Black community.  The site will syndicate his popular financial series' "Financial Lovemaking", co-hosted with S. Tia Brown (formerly a Senior Editor with "In Touch Weekly" Magazine) and "Get Your Paper Straight", a radio segment hosted with George Kilpatrick of Power 106.5 and WSYR radio.

Click to read.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Your Black News: New York Pastor Gets $600K Pay Package

Reverend Brad Braxton.

Dr Boyce Watkins

I read today about the financial compensation package of pastor Brad Braxton of the New Riverside Church in Manhattan.  Here is the breakdown of Braxton’s compensation:

  • $250,000 in salary.
  • $11,500 monthly housing allowance.
  • Private school tuition for his child.
  • A full-time maid.
  • Entertainment, travel and "professional development" allowances.
  • Pension and life insurance benefits.
  • An equity allowance for Braxton to save up to buy a home.
  • On top of that, Braxton immediately hired a new second in command at more than $300,000 a year.

    The total value of the package is estimated to be $600,000 per year. 

    All I can say is “wow”.  No disrespect to this man or his congregation, but he would NOT be preaching at my church.  What was most problematic about the church’s decision to give Braxton such a ridiculous compensation package was that they didn’t seem to clear it with the membership, many of whom are filing suit over Braxton’s pay. As a Finance Professor, I must admit that I personally become uncomfortable hearing men and women of God talking about money more than I do.  I must disagree with Rev. TD Jakes, who said that “Jesus is a product”.  Sorry brother, Nikes are a product.  Cheeseburgers are a product.  Jesus is a spirit that should lead us to pursue a good that is greater than our bank accounts.  I am not sure how many pastors agree with that assessment. 

  • Saturday, April 18, 2009

    Dr Boyce in the NY Times: Is The Rushcard a good thing or Predatory?

    In a speech today, the Federal Reserve chairman Ben S. Bernanke talked about the need to “strike the right balance: to strive for the highest standards of consumer protection without eliminating the beneficial effects of responsible innovation on consumer choice and access to credit.”

    Where exactly regulators think that “balance” lies has varied greatly over time. Throughout American history, politicians and their constituents have viewed access to credit as alternatively empowering and exploitative. We can’t seem to decide: Is making credit available to “subprime” borrowers helping them, or taking advantage of their ignorance?

    In the 1970s, efforts to deregulate the financial industry began in earnest. Regulators began repealing or amending laws that restricted banks’ activities (such as the rates of interest they could charge on a loan or pay on a bank deposit). With more freedom to tailor their financial products to the risks potential borrowers presented, banks experimented with new credit terms for different types of customers. This led to much greater access to credit across the board.

    Click to read.

    Friday, April 17, 2009

    Study Finds that Black Male Unemployment is out of control

    A recent study indicates that of the major ethnic groups impacted by unemployment during the current U.S. recession, Black men have experienced the greatest job losses since the crisis officially began in November 2007.

    "What's missing from national media coverage of this recession is plainly a great deal of [honesty] about who's losing their jobs. This is overwhelmingly a blue-collar, retail sales, low-level recession," said Andrew Sum, professor of economics and director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston, Mass., which published the study.

    "The Impacts of the 2007-2009 National Recession on Male Employment in the U.S. through January 2009; The Massive Concentration of Job Losses Among Males Especially Black Men and Blue Collar Workers" tracked employment losses in the recession across gender groups of workers overall, and in the four major ethnicities— Asian, Black, Hispanic and White. Thestudy found that:


    Click to read.

    Thursday, April 16, 2009

    Predatory Lending in the Black Community: Is Russell Simmons a Perpetrator?

    Dr. Boyce Watkins, one of the world’s leading Financial experts and Black Social commentators, spoke with BBC World news about the RushCard, which has been heavily adopted in Black communities.

    Watkins wrote this commentary about the Rushcard and you can click the image below to listen in on the interview.  Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Finance Professor at Syracuse University and Financial Writer for America Online.   He asks whether or not Russell Simmons is a pimp or if he is helping the Black community.

    Sunday, April 12, 2009

    Tax Mistakes You Want to Avoid

    Gentlemen (and ladies), start your engines. Tax Day is less than a week away.

    But as you race toward the finish line, be mindful of common tax-filing errors. Some mistakes could cost you money. Others could raise red flags at the IRS. Tax software will do math and point out tax breaks you might overlook, but these programs are only as good as the information you enter.

    Here are some common last-minute blunders, and how to avoid them:

    Automatically not itemizing.

    A 2002 study by the Government Accountability Office found that more than 2 million taxpayers who claimed the standard deduction could have lowered their tax bills by itemizing.

    Deductible expenses include interest on your mortgage, property taxes, charitable contributions and unreimbursed medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of your adjustable gross income.

    Ordinarily, that threshold puts the medical-expense deduction out of reach for most taxpayers who have employer-provided health care.

    But the economic downturn has led employers to shift more of the cost of health care to their workers in the form of higher deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance. That means more taxpayers could rack up enough unreimbursed expenses to claim the deduction, says Mary Canning, dean of the schools of taxation and accounting at Golden Gate University in San Francisco.

    Automatically itemizing.


    Click to read.