In light of recent focus on the Latino vote as the 2014 midterm elections approach, Notre Dame hosted a panel discussion Wednesday evening in McKenna Hall entitled, “American Politics in the 21st Century: The Latino Vote and the 2014 Elections.”Christina Wolbrecht, associate professor of political science at Notre Dame, moderated the three-person panel. Panelists included professor of American politics Ricardo Ramirez, professor Michael Jones-Correa of government from Cornell University and professor of political science Sophia Wallace from Rutgers University.Ramirez spoke first, asking why the Latino vote is suddenly receiving so much attention.In response to his own questions, he said, “We have to look at the dramatic increase. In the period between 1991 and 2011 more than a third of the new 13 million U.S. citizens were Latinos, you had a dramatic increase in the number of 18-24 year old Latinos between 1991-2006.“There’s almost as many Latino voters… to potential Latino voters.”Jones-Correa said the Latino vote matters because these new voters have the possibility of swaying an outcome of an election.“When you have new residents moving into the states will they maintain their own political orientation or create a shift?” he said.There are three ideas around this question, Jones-Correa said. One, because Latinos tend to vote liberally, they will sway the states they move to. Two, Latinos will move to states that match their ideology, and three, Latinos will be influenced by the people around them and may even be swayed themselves to vote conservatively, he said.Jones-Correa said many first generation Latinos likely to claim no party affiliation and be more influenced by their neighbors because they want to integrate into American society or because they do not understand the mission of each party.Wallace continued this thought and asked what the most important issues are for the Latino voter.“[Immigration] has become increasingly an extremely important issue in the Latino community, but it’s also affecting turn out and affecting vote choice and that is both mobilizing Latino voters for democratic candidates as well as mobilizing them against Republicans in specific places,” Wallace said.Wallace said the Latino vote is more important than many American citizens make it out to be. The U.S. should care about the Latino vote, Wallace said, because it has the potential to increase the number of Latino elected officials, mobilize politicians to respond to Latino issues, and moderate campaign ads for immigration.Wallace also said we observe a two-to-one ratio in favor of Democrats.“Both parties are trying to craft specific campaign strategies to mobilize Latinos, but a lot of this hinges on the handling of immigration as an issue.”Wallace said the GOP runs the risk of alienating Latino voters with very conservative viewpoints.Tags: Latino politics, McKenna Hall
24SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Has the past month in the global economy brought to mind memories of the financial crisis? Today we tend to ‘sign-post’ things in terms of the great recession. There is news in consumer credit along those lines, according to Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO): The average FICO credit score is now 695 – the highest that average has been in a decade.Credit unions have a unique mission, educating their members in addition to providing them with financial services. That would be in contrast to taking advantage of unsuspecting customers, but I digress. Credit union member education begins something like this – basic money management (or how not to be broke):Pay your bills on time.Pay down that credit card debt.Seriously, do you really need those $200.00 jeans?Everyone has heard it all at this point, but interestingly people have actually began to do these things. For one reason, it’s a lot easier now for consumers to know what is going on with their credit. The Consumer Financial Credit Bureau, for instance has been pushing banks and creditors to give credit scores away for free. American Express has recently made FICO scores available to their card holders. Could this trend be helping consumers raise their credit scores? Maybe. continue reading »
Investment bank BNP Paribas has predicted a round of full-blown quantitative easing (QE) by the European Central Bank (ECB), starting at the beginning of the third quarter.Laurence Mutkin, London-based global head of G10 rates strategy at the French bank, told IPE he was consequently bullish on the 3-7 year part of the European supranational bond curve.He also indicated that it would affect the relative performance of interest rate swaps against bonds.Disinflation pressures will leave the central bank with no choice but to pursue the unconventional monetary policy already at work in the US, the UK and Japan. The ECB did purchase government bonds in 2011 as part of its Securities Markets Programme (SMP), but these purchases were sterilised with deposit auctions.“The ECB will have to move to full QE because we just don’t think that other measures are going to be particularly effective,” Mutkin said.The central bank could push its deposit rate below zero, lower its refinancing rate or offer another round of long-term refinancing operations (LTRO).While the ECB has been “operationally ready” to introduce a negative deposit rate for some time, Mutkin said, the lack of excess liquidity in the monetary system – now that so much of the original LTRO has been repaid – would make such a move “almost entirely symbolic”.When there is a lot of excess liquidity in markets, the overnight interest rate paid between commercial banks disconnects from the ECB’s refinancing rate and falls towards its deposit rate.But as excess liquidity dries up – and especially as it falls below about €150bn, as it has recently – those market interest rates begin to re-connect with the refinancing rate.“The deposit rate is becoming less influential on the market level of interest rates, which makes taking it negative easier to do, but less effective,” Mutkin explained.The ECB did cut its refinancing rate to 0.25% in November 2013, apparently in anticipation of this automatic rise in overnight rates back towards that benchmark.“The ECB could cut the refi rate to 15 or 10 basis points, but does 10 or 15 basis points off of the potential peak overnight rate really change the monetary environment?” Mutkin asked.A new round of LTRO could provide the liquidity conditions in which a negative deposit rate would have renewed effectiveness, but he thinks the ECB is reluctant to provide funding for banks to expand their balance sheets by buying zero risk-weighted assets.“[Ewald] Nowotny has suggested that there might be some conditional long-term lending, perhaps along the lines of the UK’s Funding For Lending scheme, but unconditional long-term refinancing no longer seems to be on the agenda,” he said.The ongoing threat of disinflation will spur government bond purchases, he concluded, probably weighted according to the ECB’s ‘capital key’.The biggest providers of capital to the ECB are Germany, France and Italy, but Germany’s outstanding government debt as a proportion of its GDP is much lower than that of Italy or France.The ECB would therefore buy German government bonds in disproportionate amounts, Mutkin suggested.To balance that out, it will likely follow the precedent of the European Stability Mechanism’s investment policy and buy supranational and agency bonds as well as sovereign bonds, he added, and focus on the 0-3 year part of the curve to appease the more orthodox policymakers who harbour long-term worries about inflation.“Because of the desired portfolio re-balancing effect, those who have their three-year paper bought by the central bank will have to go and buy four-year paper from other investors, and so on,” he added.“For that reason, investors should probably think that supranationals will outperform, and that the best part of the curve to be sitting in would be the 3-7 years.”Mutkin does not think QE will necessarily push core euro-zone government bond yields down.He points to evidence that QE in the US and the UK, once underway, actually pushed yields up – thanks to the third factor of market expectations for economic recovery and rate hikes having a greater impact than the supply-and-demand balance.However, he does expect relative outperformance against interest rate swaps, where rates would be set to rise.“What we are talking about is outperformance of spread products and government bonds against the true risk-free rate, which is represented by swaps, which reflect market expectations of where the EONIA rate is going,” Mutkin told IPE.Because the notional principal of many swaps is discounted using EONIA, a rising EONIA rate would result in rising swap rates.That could present an opportunity to move liability-hedging portfolios out of swaps and into cash-market bonds, especially in those parts of the curve identified by Mutkin as most likely to respond to QE purchases.John Stopford, co-head of fixed income and currency at Investec Asset Management, also raised the prospect of QE at his firm’s 2014 Outlook press conference in London on 21 January, while discussing prospects for US dollar strength.“The latest surveys suggest that only about 8% of the market puts a high level of probability on QE from the ECB,” he said. “It is more like a one-in-four probability.”A Reuters poll of economists in November found only 20% entertaining the possibility the ECB would stop sterilising its bond purchases.
Vevay, IN—The Switzerland County Sheriff’s Office says Travis Conley, of Carrollton, KY and Andrew Cunningham, of Bethlehem, KY were extradited to Indiana Thursday. The warrants had been issued following investigations by the sheriff’s office.They each made initial appearances in Switzerland County court on Friday. A judge ordered both of them held on $5,000 bonds at the Switzerland County Jail.Conley is charged with Child Solicitation (level 5 felony) and Dissemination of Matter Harmful to a Minor (level 6 felony).Cunningham is only charged with Child Solicitation (level 5 felony).