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«1. Racial and Ethnic Employment Disparities: How have recent employment and workforce conditions for racial and ethnic minority groups differed from ...»

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 Rural America – Rural communities continue to be an under-resourced area of our country, with little recognition of the challenges, opportunities, and importance to the rest of our country. Branch closings and bank consolidation have had a disparate impact on rural communities. A recent presentation by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis showed that loan approval rates of community banks were 75 percent while the corresponding rates for larger banks was 58 percent, which highlights the lower availability of credit in rural communities as banks close or are acquired. Any additional support, assistance, and emphasis the Federal Reserve can provide would be helpful.

 Educational debt – The costs of post-secondary education continue to skyrocket, putting education out of reach for many and saddling an entire generation of young people with debt.

This ultimately causes a drag on economic growth, as well as on an individual’s ability to save for a home purchase.

 Retail and commercial services in low-income neighborhoods – Analysis of consumer lending often demonstrates that needs for goods and services in low-income communities are not being met within those communities, a phenomenon known as “retail leakage.” It might be worthwhile to discuss measures that can be implemented to foster more retail development in low-income communities.

 Foreclosures – It might be beneficial to have a conversation regarding lessons learned in the wake of the 2008 housing crisis, with respect to both keeping people in their homes and also removing or rehabilitating vacant properties.

 Credit scoring – While there is significant innovation with alternative credit scoring methods, the prevalence of mainstream credit scoring methods in accessing capital, rental housing, and even employment makes it very important to better understand how and when credit scoring is artificially distorting the market by overestimating and generalizing risks for low-income and minority populations.

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