Goldman Sachs forecasts global credit losses stemming from the current market turmoil will reach $1.2 trillion, with Wall Street accounting for nearly 40 percent of the losses. U.S. leveraged institutions — banks, brokers-dealers, hedge funds and government-sponsored enterprises — will suffer roughly $460 billion in credit losses after loan loss provisions, Goldman Sachs economists say. Of the cumulative losses expected by these leveraged players, bad residential home loans will represent about half, poor-performing commercial mortgages will represent 15 percent to 20 percent and the rest of the losses will come from credit-card loans, car loans, commercial and industrial lending and nonfinancial corporate bonds, the economists say.
Radio One Sale
Radio One Inc. is selling KRBV-FM, its radio station in Los Angeles, to Bonneville International, the Salt Lake City broadcast and communications company, for approximately $137.5 million. The sale, expected to close during the second quarter of 2008, frees-up capital and management resources that can be redeployed to long-term strategy, Radio One says. Radio One’s board of directors also authorized a stock repurchase program for up to $150 million of its Class A and Class D common stock through Dec. 31, 2009. The repurchase program does not obligate Radio One to buy back any of its common stock and may be discontinued or suspended at any time.
Post Civil-Rights Campaign
Bishop Charles E. Blake, presiding prelate of the six-million-plus-member Church of God in Christ, the world’s largest African-American Pentecostal and fourth-largest Protestant denomination, launched a post civil-rights campaign in Memphis, Tenn., to reclaim poor Black children in U.S. inner cities and in Africa. Bishop Blake hailed the campaign as an interracial and ecumenical movement to rebuild Black civil society with interventions and programs that measurably reduce Black fatherlessness and Black-on-Black violence. He challenged Black churches and 2008 presidential candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain to work together on relevant domestic and international policy initiatives. Blake also is the CEO of Save Africa’s Children, which assists grassroots and faith-based projects in sub-Saharan Africa.
U.S. District Judge G. Patrick Murphy signed off on Walgreen Co.’s plan to pay $24 million to settle a federal lawsuit alleging racial bias at the nation’s largest drugstore chain. Roughly 10,000 past and present Black Walgreen workers will split $20 million under the approved consent decree. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the lawsuit in March 2007, accusing the retailer of discriminating against thousands of Black workers in hiring and assignment decisions. The decree also requires Walgreen to hire outside consultants to review and make recommendations about their employment practices, including standardized, nondiscriminatory promotion and store assignments, procedures and promotional benchmarks.
Driving While Black
A settlement was reached in the 1998 federal lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the Maryland NAACP and several individual plaintiffs charging that Maryland State Police troopers engaged in racial profiling on Interstate 95. The settlement includes a $300,000 payment by the state of Maryland for damages and legal costs; a commitment by the MSP to pay up to $100,000 to retain an independent police-practices consultant to perform an assessment of how the MSP has implemented policy and practices changes to address concerns about racial profiling; a joint statement from the plaintiffs, defendant troopers and the MSP condemning racial profiling and commending the plaintiffs on their fight for justice.
New Diabetes Stats
Nearly 3 million African-Americans are estimated to be diabetic, representing 17 percent of all diabetes patients in the United States, GfK Market Measures’ Roper Global Diabetes Group says. The Group’s “2007 U.S. Diabetes Patient Market Study” shows 14 percent of African-American diabetes patients were diagnosed within the past 12 months compared to 8 percent of other patients; the proportion of African-American patients diagnosed in the past 12 months increased from 8 percent in 2004 to 14 percent in 2007; 73 percent of the African-American diabetes population is under age 65 against 57 percent under 65 for other patients; 83 percent of African-American diabetes patients reported cardiovascular problems compared to 76 percent of other patients; 69 percent reported high blood pressure against 54 percent of other patients; 83 percent reported more microvascular complications compared to 78 percent of other patients; and 64 percent were described as obese or morbidly obese compared with 58 percent of other patients.
United Auto Workers union membership has fallen below 500,000 for the first time since World War II. The union reported in a filing with the Labor Department that it had 464,910 members by the end of 2007, down from 538,448 at the end of 2006. UAW membership peaked in 1979 at 1.5 million but has been dropping ever since. The last time the UAW had fewer than 500,000 members was in 1941, but by 1945 membership had surpassed one million. General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., Chrysler L.L.C. and their suppliers have cut tens of thousands of U.S. manufacturing jobs in the past few years as foreign competition and a weak economy slowed U.S. auto sales. The Big Three are currently offering buyouts to their UAW-represented hourly workers.
GLOBAL NEWS - New Jersey’s Exports
New Jersey, the country’s ninth largest exporting state, shipped $30.5 billion in goods overseas last year, up $3.5 billion from 2006. New Jersey’s exports grew 12.8 percent between 2006 and 2007, exceeding national growth of 12.1 percent in this sector. The greatest gains came from increased commerce with several nations: exports to Israel rose 195 percent last year, to South Africa 60 percent and to India 51 percent. Garden State exports to Italy, Japan and Singapore also increased more than 25 percent in 2007. New Jersey’s statistics mirror growth at the Port Authority facilities, where cargo shipping increased by 4 percent last year against growth rates of less than 1 percent at all other U.S. ports. Exports alone support more than 366,000 jobs in New Jersey.
GLOBAL NEWS - Made-in-Africa Light Bulbs
Philips Electronics NV said it is entering a joint venture with the government of South Africa and Karebo Systems Ltd., a private South African distributor of lighting products, to build a plant in Lesotho that will produce 15 million compact fluorescent lamps annually once fully operational. Philips will have a 40 percent stake and its partners 30 percent each. Lesotho has said it wants to replace 80 percent of incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs within eight years to save energy and cut carbon dioxide emissions. Philips expects to reduce this time frame to about three years with the Lesotho facility. It hopes to begin production in September and later expand the facility to recycle used bulbs and produce other lighting components.