The Finance & Tech Week In Review – 8/12/17

Every Saturday the HBCU Money staff picks ten articles they were intrigued by and think you will enjoy for some weekend reading impacting finance and tech.

Iran has opened possibly the world’s biggest bookstore / WEF

Stocks dominated by short-run fluctuations in volume have returns abnormally higher vs. similar stocks / NBER

How to Help Colleges Teach Financial Literacy / WSJ

Welcome to China’s urban forest / WEF

This is when a robot is going to take your job, according to Oxford University / WEF

Not just a headache: How migraine changes your brain / New Scientist

A look at the infrastructure needs of the nation’s treasured sites / Pew Trusts

Are German Automakers Facing Their iPhone Moment With Tesla? / Clean Technica

How the Infamous Kunlun Fishing Ship Met Its Demise / Pew Trust

A look at Rwanda’s genocide helps explain why ordinary people kill their neighbors / Science News


2016’s Million Dollar Donations Come Roaring Back For PWIs, But For HBCUs Not So Much

After a timid 2015 where colleges and universities only saw 482 donations and pledges over $1 million, this was the first time since 2012 that less than 500 such donations had been made, donors came roaring back in 2016 with the largest amount of $1 million or more donations ever with 567 such donations and pledges according to The Center of Philanthropy. However, a rising tide does not always lift all boats as HBCUs witnessed. After a banner year in 2014 of nine gifts of $1 million or more that totaled $20.5 million, HBCUs only saw four in 2015 for a total of $7 million. The 2016 numbers are a bit better than the prior year, but not by much.

HBCUs in 2016 received five donations of $1 million or more for a total of $10.5 million. The leading donation comes from Calvin and Tina Tyler (pictured above with Morgan president David Wilson), who gave $5 million to Morgan State University to endow a scholarship for incoming freshmen from the Baltimore area. A gift that should help increase Morgan State’s ability to compete and keep the talent in their backyard at home.

The arms race that is fundraising continues to be an uphill battle for HBCUs who are dealing with a significantly smaller alumni base due to desegregation’s impact a generation ago. African America’s abandonment of most of their own institutional ownership has seen a starvation of institutions that were built to serve African America’s interest almost to the point of extinction. Whether or not a new awakening is on the horizon is more hopeful than optimistic.

To note, Morgan State University becomes the first HBCU since we began tracking in 2013 to appear more than once.

1. Calvin & Tina Tyler – $5 Million
Recipient: Morgan State University
Source of Wealth: UPS

2. James & Marilyn Simons – $2.5 Million*
Recipient: Morehouse College
Source of Wealth: Finance

3. Leonard & Louise Riggio – $1 Million                                                        Recipient: Spelman College
Source of Wealth: Retail

4. Sean Combs – $1 Million*                                                                                    Recipient: Howard University
Source of Wealth: Entertainment

5. Joe Jr. & Kathy Sanderson – $1 Million
Recipient: Alcorn State University
Source of Wealth: Food & Beverage


Source: The Center for Philanthropy


Unemployment Rate By HBCU State – June 2017







ALABAMA –  4.6% (4.9%)

ARKANSAS – 3.4% (3.4%)

CALIFORNIA – 4.7% (4.7%)

DELAWARE – 4.7% (4.7%)


FLORIDA – 4.1% (4.3%)

GEORGIA – 4.8% (4.9%)

ILLINOIS – 4.7% (4.6%)

KENTUCKY – 5.1% (5.0%)

LOUISIANA – 5.5% (5.7%)

MARYLAND – 4.1% (4.2%)

MASSACHUSETTS – 4.3% (4.2%)

MICHIGAN – 3.8% (4.2%)

MISSISSIPPI – 5.0% (4.9%)

MISSOURI –  3.8% (3.9%)

NEW YORK – 4.5% (4.4%)

NORTH CAROLINA – 4.2% (4.5%)

OHIO – 5.0% (4.9%)

OKLAHOMA – 4.3% (4.3%)

PENNSYLVANIA – 5.0% (5.0%)

SOUTH CAROLINA – 4.0% (4.1%)

TENNESSEE – 3.6% (4.0%)

TEXAS – 4.6% (4.8%)

VIRGINIA – 3.7% (3.8%)

*Previous month in parentheses.

African America’s July Jobs Report – 7.4%

Overall Unemployment: 4.3% (4.4%)

African America Unemployment: 7.4% (7.1%)

Latino America Unemployment: 5.1% (4.8%)

European America Unemployment: 3.8% (3.8%)

Asian America Unemployment: 3.8% (3.6%)

Previous month in parentheses.

Analysis: Overall unemployment dropped 10 basis points. This returns to matches a 16 year low. African and Latino both saw increases of 30 basis points in their unemployment rates, while Asian and European America’s change was negligible.

African American Male Unemployment: 7.0% (6.3%)

African American Female Unemployment: 6.5% (6.8%)

African American Teenage Unemployment: 23.3% (21.1%)

African American Male Participation: 68.0% (67.5%)

African American Female Participation: 62.5% (62.4%)

African American Teenage Participation: 30.4% (30.8%)

Analysis: African American Females remain a stagnant group in both unemployment and participation rate. African American Males saw quite a rise in their unemployment rate, but with a strong recovery in participation rate after two stagnant months. African American Teenagers saw a step back as their participation rate took a slight hit and unemployment rate rose over 200 basis points. For such a volatile group, this was on the light side.

African American Male-Female Job Gap: 989 000 jobs (945 000 jobs)

CONCLUSION: The overall economy added 209 000 jobs in July. This exceeded many economists expectations and marks 82 straight months of job growth. African America saw a job increase came in at 41 000, a fifth straight month of job gains. This was a significant pickup after a paltry June. The country maybe at full employment, but African America is far from it. It is questionable whether or not African America simply has the infrastructure to spur a massive job growth that would put it in line with the rest of the country. Participation rates for Males recovered, but the overall needle continues to be stagnant. African America’s participation rates trails European American by 40 basis points and Asian America by 170 basis points meaning significant economic stimulus is being lost on a monthly basis. A bigger issue is understanding the wage growth within the group. The BLS does not track earnings by race, but the overall sits at 2.5 percent so likely based on other African America economic trends, African America is bringing up the rear there as well compounding the problem.

African America currently needs 615 000 jobs to match America’s unemployment rate. A increase of 7 000 from June.

HBCU Money™ Business Book Feature – A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature’s Deep Design

Does the universe embody beautiful ideas?
Artists as well as scientists throughout human history have pondered this “beautiful question.” With Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek as your guide, embark on a voyage of related discoveries, from Plato and Pythagoras up to the present. Wilczek’s groundbreaking work in quantum physics was inspired by his intuition to look for a deeper order of beauty in nature. This is the deep logic of the universe—and it is no accident that it is also at the heart of what we find aesthetically pleasing and inspiring.

Wilczek is hardly alone among great scientists in charting his course using beauty as his compass. As he reveals in A Beautiful Question, this has been the heart of scientific pursuit from Pythagoras and the ancient belief in the music of the spheres to Galileo, Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, and into the deep waters of twentieth-century physics. Wilczek brings us right to the edge of knowledge today, where the core insights of even the craziest quantum ideas apply principles we all understand. The equations for atoms and light are almost the same ones that govern musical instruments and sound; the subatomic particles that are responsible for most of our mass are determined by simple geometric symmetries.

Gorgeously illustrated, A Beautiful Question is a mind-shifting book that braids the age-old quest for beauty and the age-old quest for truth into a thrilling synthesis. It is a dazzling and important work from one of our best thinkers, whose humor and infectious sense of wonder animate every page. Yes: The world is a work of art, and its deepest truths are ones we already feel, as if they were somehow written in our souls.

Praise for A Beautiful Question:

“An expertly curated tour across 2,500 years of philosophy and physics . . . [Frank Wilczek] has accomplished a rare feat: Writing a book of profound humanity based on questions aimed directly at the eternal.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Both a brilliant exploration of largely uncharted territories and a refreshingly idiosyncratic guide to developments in particle physics.” —Nature
“Inspiring and remarkably accessible . . . Wilczek’s language is lyrical and almost mystical. . . . Whatever the answer Nature will ultimately give us, we have the pleasure of engaging with an enlightened and humble mind.” —The Chronicle of Higher Education