Forum a success: Now the work begins

The May 11-12 Capital Access Forum was a success. Participants and speakers agreed that the program was responsive to the needs of minority and small businesses in today's difficult market for capital.

Most sessions focused on ways to be successful. Griping was limited.

The organizers will announce plans for future meetings and events shortly.

Forum Chairman Granger Explains Forum Goals to Rahm Emanuel and Sen. Warner

Michael Granger, chairman of the Capital Access Forum, explained the Forum's goals to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Senator Mark Warner of Virginia in late March.

"We compliment the goals of the White House in expanding the access to capital for small and minority businesses," Granger said in acknowledging the discussions with Emanuel and Warner.

Key Senator and Congressmen invited to address Capital Access Forum

Senator Chris Dodd (Conn.) , chairman of the Banking Committee, has been invited to address the May 11-12 Capital Access Forum in Washington, D.C.

Also invited are House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.), Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel and Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (Mass.).

In addition, speakers from the Commerce and Treasury Departments are expected at the Forum.

David Wilhelm to chair Policy Advisory Council

David Wilhelm, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and campaign manager for President Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign, will head the Policy Advisory Council.

Wilhelm founded and manages a private equity firm.

For information on becoming a member of the PAC, please click the "Sponsors" tab at the Capital Access Forum website.

Banking bailouts may lead to another depression

Martin Weiss, PhD, predicts that America may be headed for a Second great depression.

Dr. Weiss has proposals for change, beginning with a recognition and acceptance of the dire realities of our time. In awhite paper presented at the National Press Club, he covered the following points:

· America’s Second Great Depression: Why today’s crisis could be more severe than past economic crises, including America’s first Great Depression.

· The role of bank triage: Proactively shutting down insolvent institutions, rehabilitating weak institutions and giving better opportunities for strong banks to support a future economic recovery.

· Protection for the ship of state: Steps to safeguard the credit and credibility of the U.S. government even in the worst-case scenario.

· Emergency preparedness: Critical changes that can be made now to protect the American public from the worst impacts of a depression.

· Next casualties: Among the 15 institutions cited as partners of AIG, two are among the five largest players in the U.S. derivatives market, with great vulnerabilities to derivatives losses overall, and one other is likely to also be heavily involved: Bank of America, NA, HSBC Bank USA and JPMorgan Chase.


Martin D. Weiss, Ph.D., along with Weiss analyst Mike Larson, are the only analysts in the U.S. who have specifically named nearly all of the major institutions that have suffered a financial failure in this crisis, whether in the form of a forced buyout, a government bailout or outright bankruptcy. Moreover, Weiss’ failure warnings were issued without ambiguity and with months of advance lead time, giving the public ample time to escape the dangers.

Weiss predicted the demise of Bear Stearns 102 days prior to its failure, Lehman Brothers (182 days prior), Fannie Mae (eight years prior), and Citigroup (110 days prior). Similarly, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that, in the 1990s, Weiss greatly outperformed Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, A.M. Best and D&P (now Fitch) in warning of future insurance company failures. (See

Policy Advisory Council to be formed

The Capital Access Forum will soon announce the formation of a Policy Advisory Council, composed of representatives of major financial institutions, community banks and small and monority businesses.

The Council will meeting quarterly and will advise the U.S. Treasury Department, the Commerce Department, The Pentagon, Department of Energy, Department of Agriculture and the White House on key financing issues. This is the first time such a Council has been created to advise the highest levels of the government.

If you are interested in serving, please email us for information on the qualifications needed to be considered for appointment to the Council.

Why do big business failures take money away from small businesses?

When a larger business becomes delinquent on a loan, a small business may suffer. The bank holding the large business loan may be forced to call in loans or lines of credit to several small or minority businesses to meet loan portfolio standards.

The Capital Access Forum is working with the Commerce Department to try to find a way to resolve this problem, in which smaller businesses become victims even when they are meeting the terms of their credit and loan agreements.

Commerce Department, George Washington University Sponsor May 11-12 Forum

The U.S. Department of Commerce and George Washington University are sponsoring the May 11-12 Capital Access Forum in Washington.

Anyone with an interest in learning where and whether capital is available for small and minority enterprises shouldconsider attending. For details, visit the Forum web site: For information, call 202-842-3232.

On the Fringes of the Economy

Because minority businesses are generally small and operate on the fringes of the American mainstream economy as it is, they have very little margin for error.

Securing corporate and government contracts, a challenge in good times, has become virtually impossible in this recessionary environment. As a result, the recession has caused a precipitous decline in revenues and has rendered many companies unprofitable.

The National Minority Supplier Development Council has worked full time to assist minority companies with gaining access to contracts with the likes of General Motors and Ford. It is rather self-evident that business from the auto companies has all but dried up. In the case of government contracts, a substantial percentage of the contracts have been as sub-contracts with larger government contractors.

With tight budget and spending contraction, minorities face a shrinking opportunity set with large government contractors. The new Administration’s expressed plans to enact an economic stimulus package offers some hope, but the true nature of the revenue opportunities are yet unknown.

The Case for Small and Minority Businesses

In 1929, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, according to The Forgotten Man, had reached a high of 381 and unemployment was at 5%. By 1934, the Dow had plunge more than 75% to 93 and unemployment had risen to a shocking 23%.

In 2009, we are in an economic crisis that has shaken the foundations of the core industries and companies in the U.S. economy. It is not difficult to fathom how it must be affecting minority owned businesses.

To say it has been catastrophic would not be overstating the case. And there are definite and logical reasons why minority businesses are more vulnerable than others in tough economic times.

But in this crisis, the compound effect of the recession and the tight credit market has conspired to put minority businesses as we know them today on a path to extinction, not unlike the well publicized challenges faced by the auto companies and the financial services industry.

Bringing Capital to Small and Minority Business

This recession is hurting many businesses. But small and monority businesses are hurting the most, simply because financing for smaller enterprises dries up first.

Capital Access Forum 2009

The Capital Access Forum, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency, and George Washington University, will present the 2009 Forum on May 11-12, 2009, at the Jack Morton Auditorium on the GWU campus.