Monthly Archives: November 2016

Policy+Politics in Trump’s World

Governing is an elusive balance of policy and politics. The possibility that the next Congress would enact a policy that would eliminate Medicare, likely increasing health costs for senior citizens, seems to run counter to President-elect Trump’s political base. Yet it is one of Speaker Paul Ryan’s priorities along with ending the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). […]


The possibility that President-elect Trump might name Dr. Ben Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development is alarming on many fronts. It may be nothing more than a trial balloon… or not. The notion that he would name someone who has no background HUD programs or areas of responsibility and who has declared himself unqualified to […]

@Treasury: CDFIs+Hensarling

With news that Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) seems to be a finalist for the Secretary of the Treasury job, CDFI advocates need to consider which would be worse: Hensarling @ Treasury or Hensarling remaining as Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. Either way, Hensarling is one of the most vocal critics of The CDFI […]

@Treasury: CRA Complaints Target Steve Mnuchin

UPDATE: Reports this afternoon (11/29/2016) indicate that President-elect Trump will select Steve Mnuchin as his Secretary of the Treasury. President-elect Trump’s transition team has not said much about who might be the next Secretary of the Department of the Treasury, but Steve Mnuchin has been on top of most of the media’s speculative short lists. Finance Chairman of the […]

In Transitions

In Washington, DC, the Presidential Transition anxiety seems particularly high. At a reception last night, the comments from advocates, lobbyists, and journalists centered on the “unknown” more than anything else. Two memories about the politics surrounding CDFIs are on my mind this morning: The first is that sequence of good luck that the CDFI industry […]

Did Purpose Trump Money?

Warren Buffett famously said that when the tide goes out you find out who is wearing a bathing suit–in other words, who is prepared and who is not. We are in the ebb tide of the 2016 elections, and we are about to find out whether we will have a conventional, mainstream Republican ebb tide or a yuge […]

“Trump Shock”

Jeremy Nowak has written a sharp, insightful reaction piece to the 2016 election cycle in The Philadelphia Citizen. I recommend it. He identifies eight takeaways that point to abrupt changes in the politics and policy of the near-future, if not the long-term.

CDFIs+Trump: Now What?

Since Tuesday, I have heard from CDFI leaders sorting through what the election of President Trump along with a Republican Congress will mean for the CDFI Fund and CDFIs in general. Many people–including me–start with a general concern about federal policy broadly. I do not know any more than everyone else so I have been […]

CDFIs+Policy: Just in Time for the Elections

A new monograph takes the deepest, most insightful look yet at the role of CDFIs in policy and the political economy. Jim Greer and Oscar Gonzales–a political scientist and an economist, respectively–take a thorough look at the market conditions that make CDFIs matter and how policy has evolved as a result of them. Community Economic […]

The CDFI Fund has a New Strategy (Read it! It Affects You)

On October 27th, CDFI Fund Director Annie Donovan unveiled the Fund’s five-year strategy for 2017-2022. The 12-page document is required reading from every perspective in and around the CDFI Fund world–CDFIs, CDEs, investors, funders, trainers, consultants… It suggests the future of the the Fund is largely more of the same done better (in this decade, at least, that […]