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Editorial Results (free)

1. Events -

WKNO will host March on Washington online chats Wednesday, Aug. 28, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the WKNO Digital Media Center, 7151 Cherry Farms Road. The event will include screenings of the PBS documentary “The March” as well as online chats and hosted discussions about the civil rights movement. Participants can watch from home or from noon to 6 p.m. at the Poplar-White Station, North or Whitehaven branch libraries. Visit wkno.org or call 729-8735 for details.

2. Events -

Memphis Rotary Club will meet Tuesday, Aug. 27, at noon at the University Club of Memphis, 1346 Central Ave. Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper will speak. Cost for nonmembers is $18. RSVP to Taylor Hughes at taylor@memphisrotary.org.

3. Events -

Duncan-Williams Inc. Investment Bankers will hold a small-business succession planning luncheon Tuesday, Aug. 27, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Duncan-Williams, 6750 Poplar Ave., suite 300. Topics include federal estate tax laws, choosing a successor, calculating the fair market value of your business, and more. Cost is free; space is limited. RSVP to roland.cole@duncanwilliams.com or 435-4277.

4. Events -

BlackGirlsCODE will host a mobile-app development workshop for girls ages 13 to 17 Saturday, Aug. 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar Ave. The event will also feature tech chats with women mobile developers. Cost is $35. Visit blackgirlscode.com.

5. Events -

Kiwanis Club of Memphis will meet Wednesday, June 12, from noon to 1 p.m. at The University Club of Memphis, 1346 Central Ave. U.S. District Judge John Fowlkes will speak. Cost is $18 for nonmembers.

6. Events -

The National Association of Women Business Owners, Memphis chapter will meet Tuesday, June 11, at 11:15 a.m. at Chickasaw Country Club, 3395 Galloway Ave. Shelley Baur, owner of One Source Associates, will speak, and the 2013-2014 officers and board will be installed. Tickets in advance are $25 for members and $30 for nonmembers; tickets at the door are $35. Visit nawbomemphis.org.

7. Events -

The Daily News will present Literatini, benefiting Literacy Mid-South, Thursday, June 13, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Booksellers at Laurelwood, 387 Perkins Road Extended. The event will include martinis and food, an auction, live music and a wine pull. Tickets are $50 per person or $75 per couple. Visit literacymidsouth.org.

8. Events -

The University of Memphis Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will host a business boot camp information meeting for active and retired military personnel Monday, June 10, at 5 p.m. at the Family & Support Service Center on the Naval Support Activity Mid-South base, 5722 Integrity Drive. The boot camp kicks off with skills-building classes Saturday, June 22, at The University of Memphis. For details, email kcnklnpn@memphis.edu or call 678-5266.

9. Haslam's Cabinet Makes Fewer Out-of-State Trips -

Gov. Bill Haslam’s Cabinet members have taken fewer out-of-state trips this year than their predecessors did in their last six months of Gov. Phil Bredesen’s administration.

Haslam’s Cabinet members have made 18 trips outside the state between Jan. 20 and July 1, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel, which compared reports posted on the Department of Finance and Administration’s website. The reporting of reimbursements for the trips online was a practice begun under the Bredesen administration that has been continued by Haslam.

10. Shadows of Doubt -

As the housing market continues to improve, a significant backlog of foreclosed and distressed properties that have not been put on the market could bring the recovery to a screeching halt.

Many lenders across the nation – mostly banks – are struggling to keep up with the overwhelming number of borrowers who have stopped making their mortgage payments. And with the fledgling recovery in housing still weak, banks, institutional investors and even some homeowners who want to sell their homes are waiting until the market shows marked improvement.

11. Corker To Lead Housing Discussion -

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., will lead a housing discussion Wednesday on the path to a strong real estate market this Wednesday for local industry professionals, real estate experts and economists.

12. New Revelations Could Alter Foreclosure Suit -

Widespread disruptions in the foreclosure assembly line around the country may impact a lawsuit against one particular lender filed on behalf of Memphis and Shelby County governments.

The city-county predatory lending lawsuit against Wells Fargo filed in late 2009 is still at an early stage. But one of the attorneys said he can foresee an expansion of its focus to include questions that have dogged other lenders around the country, some of which were letting their foreclosure efforts outpace their back office paperwork operations.

13. Profitability Could be Ahead For Paragon -

Paragon National Bank president and CEO Robert Shaw won’t be drafting his presentation for another year, but he already knows one of the themes he hopes to be able to tout at the bank’s 2011 annual meeting.

14. Area Banks Repay $70M In TARP Funds -

The U.S. Treasury has collected more than $70 million from Memphis-area banks that participated in the federal government’s dramatic rescue of the financial system in 2008, the latest figures show.

15. Tenn. Banking Commissioner Addresses Rotary Club -

Greg Gonzales, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions, was in Memphis Wednesday to speak to the Rotary Club of Memphis East.

16. Tenn. Banking Commissioner At Rotary East -

Greg Gonzales, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions, was in Memphis Wednesday to speak to the Rotary Club of Memphis East.

17. State, National Economies Take Different Paths to Healing -

Poet Robert Frost could appreciate one of the themes emerging as the U.S. economy shakes off the effects of a painful recession.

18. Fed Reserve’s Bullard Calls for Preserving Authority -

In a speech to Tennessee bankers Wednesday, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis president James Bullard called for preserving the central bank’s authority amid a financial reform debate in Washington that could change how the Fed operates.

19. Bullard to Tennessee Bankers: Fed Should Keep its Authority -

In a speech to Tennessee bankers Wednesday, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis president James Bullard called for preserving the central bank’s authority amid a financial reform debate in Washington that could change how the Fed operates.

20. Financial Industry Weighs Impact of New Budget - What’s around the next corner for the banking industry is about to come into view.

The budget plan unveiled by President Barack Obama’s administration Thursday sheds some light on the future of the government’s controversial and seemingly opaque rescue effort for the financial system. To get an idea of the scope of the price tag thus far, the U.S. Treasury Department through the end of last week has spent more than $1.1 billion buying stock in 11 Tennessee banks from one corner of the state to the other.

That money was doled out as part of a $700 billion rescue effort that’s straddled two presidential administrations and which the Obama administration has signaled may have to be enlarged. The budget blueprint Obama officials released last week calls for setting aside a reserve of $250 billion on top of the $700 billion already allocated by Congress to the financial rescue.

“The existence of this reserve in the budget does not represent a specific request,” the budget plan said. “Rather as events warrant, the administration will work with the Congress to determine the appropriate size and shape of such efforts, and as more information becomes available the administration will define an estimate of potential costs.”

Figuring out the landscape

Local players in the banking industry are wondering what that means for them, as well as how rules for a new round of federal capital infusions into banks will affect them. The Obama administration also announced last week that it would begin “stress tests” of the nation’s largest banks to see how a prolonged economic slump will affect them and if they’ll need more capital to survive.

“Shortly before this Report was filed, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve Board, the (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.) and the (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) announced the initiation of a new Capital Assistance Program (CAP),” reads a regulatory filing made by Memphis-based First Horizon National Corp. Thursday. “Under the CAP, the capital needs of the major U.S. banking institutions are to be evaluated under a more challenging economic environment.

“If that assessment indicates a need for additional capital, the affected institution will be allowed to seek additional private capital and, failing that, may be required to issue mandatory convertible preferred shares to a government agency. … At this time it is not known whether the CAP applies to the Bank or the Corporation nor, if so, whether additional capital will be required or the terms upon which such additional capital may be issued.”

Meanwhile, the first part of the $700 billion shock treatment to the economy first set in motion by the Bush administration still has not run its full course. Cobbled together late last year at a time of broader upheaval in the housing market and the collapse of giant financial firms such as Lehman Brothers, the $700 billion effort was designed in part to spur banks to keep making loans to prevent a collapse of the economy.

To shore up bank balance sheets enough to do that, the government began buying preferred shares of stock in banks to give them immediate access to fresh capital. Of the $700 billion Congress approved for that effort, $250 billion was determined to be enough to cover all the money the government would send out to banks throughout the country that needed the money or could use it.

As of earlier last month, the government has finalized almost $196 billion worth of those transactions, meaning more banks have yet to get their capital boost.

More to come?

Greg Gonzales, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions, told a panel of state lawmakers last month that 40 banks in Tennessee to date have applied for the federal aid, with fewer than a dozen of those applications having been accepted so far.

Tennessee’s commercial banks, which shed almost 3,000 full-time equivalent employees in 2008, collectively lost $260 million in net income last year, according to the FDIC. One Memphis-area banker said he was at a recent social function where Citigroup chief financial officer Gary Crittenden told him the economy was likely to remain in a broad slump through the end of this year, with unemployment numbers, among other things, continuing to rise.

The banking industry as a whole is thus in the process of trying to wrap its arms around new rules purportedly designed to help it regain its footing. Jackie Prester, a shareholder in the Memphis law office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC, said that’s one of the biggest concerns she’s hearing right now.

“And a lot of my clients are asking me, ‘Even if we can get our arms around these new rules – and that’s tough – what assurance do we have they won’t change the rules completely next week?’” Prester said. “The biggest wildcard (I’m hearing) is, ‘What else is Congress going to legislate that makes it difficult for me as a bank to conduct business the way I normally conduct it?’”


21. Bankers, Politicians Discuss State Of Industry -

By the end of this month, small groups of bankers, homebuilders and Realtors will have taken turns trekking to Legislative Plaza in Nashville. They all will have faced a legislative committee whose chairman, Germantown resident Paul Stanley, wanted to hear them answer a basic question, each in their own way:

22. Events -

The University of Memphis will host an invitation-only economic forum today from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at The Zone at the FedEx Institute of Technology, 365 Innovation Drive. The forum, titled “A National Perspective on Economic Issues: The Intersection of Wall Street, Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue,” will feature U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.; Greg Gonzales, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions; and Dr. Shirley Raines, president of the University of Memphis.

23. Governor's Cabinet Spends $35,060 in Travel So Far This Year -
NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Phil Bredesen's Cabinet has spent $35,060 on out-of-state travel for the first six months of this year, according to disclosure reports.

A state ethics law enacted by the Legislature last year requires that out-of-state travels by Cabinet level officials be available on the Internet.

24. Consumers Eligible for $2.7MIn Predatory Lending Suit -      Hundreds of Tennessee consumers are eligible for a share of $2.7 million in restitution from Ameriquest Mortgage Co. and its affiliates as part of a national settlement of a predatory lending lawsuit against the companie

25. Auto Title Lending ForumOn Tap for Friday -      A public forum on auto title lending, sponsored by the Memphis-Shelby County Anti-Predatory Lending Coalition, will be held Friday at noon at the National Civil Rights Museum, 450 Mulberry St.