No, this isn't about Congress and the latest efforts to allocate funding to infrastructure. It's a thoughtful whitepaper from October 2020 that I just got around to reading, the product of research by Siegel Family Endowment. "Infrastructure: Building the Future We Deserve" resonates with me because it speaks to themes that reflect how I think [...]
Category: Communitarian economy
Endowments and colonization
When a dear friend asked me to sit on a church organization's investment and endowment committee I balked. This is New York City, the land of Wall Street and astute bankers. What could I possibly add to any discussion, much less decision? Finally, I agreed but it would take many months before I was captivated. [...]
Technology for good
Also sometimes called "public interest technology." If we're serious about re-imagining systems, one possible outcome of the great 2020 pandemic, then we have to examine the whole of technology. First thing it's important to understand: Technology is not neutral and technology that delivers services to those in need, even in the form of humanitarian aid, [...]
Once again, small is less
I write this as we in New York City are beginning to see pandemic numbers trending in an encouraging direction. Of course I scanned that news, but then this headline jumped out at me-- Businesses Say Big Banks Flouted ‘First Come First Served’ for Aid New York Times, April 20, 2020, by Emily Flitter. Yes, [...]
What small business lenders want . . .
I originally wrote this post back in 2013 and update it periodically. The importance of knowing what your prospective lenders look for in a creditworthy small business never seems to fade. With growing global concerns that a frightening virus in China could cause economic damage affecting small businesses, it is time for a reminder: We've [...]
Creditworthiness is like . . .
“Creditworthiness is like virginity. It can be preserved but not restored very easily.” -Warren Buffett
Do we really need loan machines?
I never quite know whether fascination with algorithm-driven lending is a media thing or a Silicon Valley thing. What or whomever fuels fintechs, it's a global phenomenon, a point underscore by recent coverage of Jack Ma’s online lending to small businesses. As with venture-backed fintechs out of Silicon Valley, Ma’s effort, called MYbank, analyzes thousands [...]
Follow the money
My team and I participate in a number of groups trying to devise an ethical framework that guides data-driven applications and algorithms. Participants ask what data? How is it collected? How is it used? Does it drive greater fairness? Does it perpetuate bias? Are the answers all hidden in a black box architecture. I have [...]