Saturday, October 11, 2014

Guest columnist Luis Lobo says Latino community will be an economic boon for United States.

Luis Lobo, Past Chairman of the Board of Advisors and faculty member,  lectures at the American Bankers Association Stonier Graduate School of Banking at The Wharton School of Business, The University of Pennsylvania

The aging baby-boom population, coupled with lower birth rates in white and black households, would normally spell lower productivity and consumption rates in the United States. Enter U.S.-born children of immigrant or second-generation Hispanics. An otherwise declining American population is being undergirded and the growth curve lifted by the largest and younger consuming minority.

The growth in the Latino population will not by itself help the United States overcome economic decline. It will be the belief set of this group that will fuel economic expansion coming out of the Great Recession. Immigrants are motivated people. There is little evidence to suggest that individuals and families uproot themselves to get on welfare rolls in the United States. Not everyone dares to get on a makeshift boat to cross the Florida Straits fleeing communist Cuba, or takes the land route across Central America and Mexico, risking life and limb for a chance at political or economic freedom.

Driven individuals are seeking better outcomes in their families when these are not available in their own countries. Remember the waves of Irish fleeing starvation in the 1840s, Jews fleeing genocide in the 1930s and Vietnamese escaping war in the 1960s; but only a small percentage fled, because only the motivated seek to change the reality of their lives. My father emigrated from Costa Rica in the early 1960s, seeking his own self-actualization and providing an “American” education for his children.
The Great Latino Migration of the 1980s was caused by the devaluation of the Mexican peso, brutal unemployment and by the murderous civil wars in Central and South America. The Migration Policy Institute has noted that net migration across the southern border of the U.S. has been nearly zero in the last five years. Yet 75 percent of the 50 million Latinos are U.S. born. We have witnessed the arrival of our parents, with nothing but their determination and will power, to work and educate their children. My father rose to a leadership position in the textile industry in North Carolina and I have had the privilege of a 30-year career in banking. Our children, born in the U.S., know this story and are proud to cast their impact on this country.
The business community began to make forays into serving this multicultural community after the 2000 U.S. census showed a dramatic rise in the Latino population. My employer, BB&T, has been involved for years, providing multicultural banking centers staffed with individuals who speak Spanish along with Internet and mobile-based solutions for a generation that has grown up with a smart phone in their hands.
What U.S.-born Latinos share is the immigrant story. This is the story of the peoples of the United States. It was once a story of limited government, a respect for individual rights, the story of an America where anyone could achieve their dream because of freedom and their willingness to improve themselves.
There are many who believe that the dream is in decay due to the socialization of our country, run-away government spending and the robbery of the productive by taxes and the redistribution of wealth. The immigrant story causes the shock of assimilation to themselves and their offspring. It forces them to comply with a new way of life. In most cases, failure is not an option, as having left their countries required a one-way ticket with destiny.
The Latino community will lead the nation out of recession by having the highest employment rate, 60 percent of those eligible to work, compared to 58.6 percent of the general population in the United States, per the Pew Hispanic Center. Many work two or more jobs. Their children are now graduating high school at a higher level and entering trade school, colleges and universities. They are “savers,” having learned the discipline for a rainy day. Owning a home is an affirmation of their success in this country. These folks and their children have been driving small-business startups for many years, further creating opportunity for other Americans.
The recent election showed the permanence of the Latino community. Their vote went to the Democrats. However, because of their conservative family values, they are a wild card for future elections. The Latino population will, in time, fold into the fabric of America just like all past immigrants . The utility of the Spanish language will diminish, but not so their culture. This is a culture steeped in productive work, personal accomplishment, the freedom to create in commerce, arts and sciences, and a love for America.
If we were in the sunset years of the American experiment, the great sun of rebirth is now on the horizon.
Luis G. Lobo is an executive vice president and multicultural markets manager for BB&T. The Journal welcomes original submissions for guest columns on local, regional and statewide topics. Essay length should not exceed 750 words. The writer should have some authority for writing about his or her subject. Our e-mail address Essays may also be mailed to: The Readers' Forum, P.O. Box 3159, Winston-Salem, NC 27102. Please include your name and address and a daytime telephone number.

In the final analysis, your attitude determines your effectiveness in everything, every time! LGL www.LuisLobo.Biz

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Banking IS an Ethical Profession!

Banking is an Ethical Profession

Luis Lobo es director de Mercados Multiculturales de BB&T
By: Luis Lobo. Recent economic events and the Great Recession have reduced the confidence that individuals, families and businesses once had in the banking industry. Bankers must now recommit to serving as ethical and involved financial advisors.
You can read volumes on how our economy got to where it is, but at the end of the day, consumers began to make financial decisions without seeking the advice of bankers. Bankers also failed to help individuals understand how to manage their finances. The two trends lead to poor financial decisions, including toxic mortgages. This is partially due to 1. the speed of information available through the Internet, and 2. a perceived devaluation of financial services. (Remember free checking?)
To help clients and communities achieve their financial goals, bankers must have strong character based on honesty and integrity. Such character leads them to routinely make sound decisions and provide financial advice in the best interest of others.
When I began my career in 1983, it was during one of the harshest recessions of the late 20th century. BB&T, my new employer, had come to Belmont Abbey College to recruit for its Leadership Development Program (LDP). On my first day of work, I found my LDP class to be one of the most diverse groups of North Carolinians I had witnessed: five whites (two of them female), three blacks and a Latino (me).
Our first job out of the training program was to collect on past-due loans. My father, an immigrant to this country, gave me great advice: Treat your clients with respect, help them manage their finances better, and they will be loyal for life.
When I joined the faculty of the American Bankers Association Stonier Graduate School of Banking 10 years ago, we had 12,500 banks in the United States. Today there are about 7,800, and the number is shrinking as bank failures and other challenges lead to more mergers and acquisitions. In a free-market economy only the best survive. The key lies in how you define “best.” To me, the best bankers are those who know their success is tied to the financial success of their clients and the communities they serve. Doing what is right for clients in the long-term and helping them understand the discipline needed to achieve their financial goals has been the most rewarding part of my career. It has also been very painful to watch families, businesses and communities hurt by “easy credit,” which caused the housing collapse and harsh economic downturn of the last five years.
Today, the banking industry has a black eye. I understand why. In the last five years, it has become obvious that many — regardless of social or economic status — do not have the knowledge or discipline needed to make wise financial decisions. It is also true that my industry cannot ignore the nearly 20 percent of the American population affected by job losses and other financial hardships of recent days. Bankers must once again get involved in their communities and provide financial training to various groups — from small business capital investment to responsible home ownership and basic personal financial management.
Financial institutions, regulators and industry educational organizations offer a variety of resources. Banks are using their websites to provide learning plans and financial calculators on basic budgeting, education savings and retirement planning. The Federal Reserve and the FDIC, in print and online, offer banks, organizations and individuals courses on life-cycle budgeting and planning. During this upcoming school year, the American Bankers Association Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Pennsylvania will offer middle- and executive-level students a course on how to provide financial education in their home communities throughout the United States.
Clearly, the resources are there. But bankers can no longer expect the public to educate themselves. Involvement requires us to team up with businesses to reach their employees and share this knowledge. To reach into our communities, we must work with faith-based and other trusted organizations to educate established and newer multicultural groups. Banks can use their significant branch networks, throughout our nation, as classrooms and centers of learning.
The public looks to banks to keep their finances secure and be responsible providers of credit. As a result, we are also one of the main job creators and contributors of economic progress. I am proud to be a banker! Luis G. Lobo is an executive vice president and multicultural markets manager for BB&Tand the Chairman of the American Bankers Association Stonier Graduate School of Banking.

In the final analysis, your attitude determines your effectiveness in everything, every time! LGL www.LuisLobo.Biz

Monday, September 15, 2014


Luis Gerardo “Jerry” Lobo
Hijo de Alajuela, vecino del parque del cementerio. Imigrante, primero a Amsterdam, NY en 1963 y despues en los 1970’s funda la gran colonia costarricense y hispana en Lincolnton, Carolina del Norte .  Otorgado el Logro Perenne, postumo, por Latino Diamante Awards en 2003 por sus esfuerzos hacia la comunidad latino-hispana en los Estados Unidos.  Sus padres, los finados Dora Avila y Gonzalo Lobo de Alajuela . Su esposa Marta Sonia Arce de Rio Segundo y sus hijos Luis Gonzalo, Carlos Andres, Jose Roberto, Mark Anthony, y Matha Yadwizia se unen con sus familias y amigos en Costa Rica y los Estados Unidos recordando el valor, el liderismo y el gran ejemplo de su esposo y padre.

In the final analysis, your attitude determines your effectiveness in everything, every time! LGL www.LuisLobo.Biz

Sunday, August 31, 2014


The Dead Sea - 2011

Moral Judgement.

This is what we inevitably must render upon others relative to their actions and pronouncements. Many confuse this conclusion as outside our authority since it is a common belief that only the "law" and "god" are capable of judging any person or group of persons. Yet, every day, we make assessments through observation, through here-say, and through our own biases about others, individuals and groups. Therefore it is disingenuous and possibly hypocritical that we should not, even as we do. However, we can not and must not evade the optical and conclusive evidence of the moral behavior and beliefs of individuals, groups or institutions. We clearly understand that Nazism was inherently evil in the destruction of fellow human beings different from a chosen "higher class" of beings. We know that certain regimes around the world espouse doctrinal and interrelated political and religious beliefs, that when at odds with other forms of societal and religious or non-religious ways, fully disregard these as heretical and propose annihilation of the non-conformist. We are not too far removed in this "post-racial" period of the American experience when individuals of a different race or religious faith or nationality need "not apply" for jobs outside of menial labor; "not in my neighborhood" exclusion from housing and school choices; should worship to the chosen god, but not in my church.

There is a vast difference from bigotry and discrimination without knowledge of the individual in question and the judgement we must levy against others regarding their actions and pronouncements. If Hector is a cheat in his business dealings, then others will find out and avoid doing business with Hector and his economic demise will be certain. If the quality of eduction in a certain school is less than what the norm establishes, then parents will move their children to better schools, and should act to remove the incompetent teachers and administration as just desserts.

Individuals have the need to judge out of self-preservation. If exclusion and oppression is how a group treats certain individuals or others, then it is the responsibility of the oppressed to move away or stand and fight for their moral rights. It is very interesting to see how some people who judged indiscriminately, when faced with the reality of the worth or perseverance of an individual, can choose to evade the reality, but they can not change the reality. Then cognitive dissonance occurs and they must change their beliefs or accept consensual ignorance, which many choose to do so as to remain a member of their "group" for fear of being outcast due to their change in beliefs, which ultimately is becoming a mental slave. Only free people can use reasoning and independent thinking to assess reality, and through induction and deduction, make up their own minds about what is truth and what is not. You can not delegate your thinking, and when you do so, then you cease to be a valid contributor to your society. Things may be what they seem to be, but only you, alone with your own mind and empirical evidence can make that assessment.

Thinking and being are co-dependent and individual actions, the aggregation of such individuals form societies that are either moral or not. You either are or you are not.

In the final analysis, your attitude determines your effectiveness in everything, every time! LGL www.LuisLobo.Biz

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A book review by Luis G. Lobo: The NEXT AMERICA, by Paul Taylor


A book review by Luis G. Lobo

July 14, 2014

This work by Paul Taylor and the Pew Research Center in DC provides a window into the present demographic picture, the here and now. My friends at the Pew Center and I have developed a mutually beneficial relationship over many years through Roberto Suro, previous director of the Pew Hispanic Center and now on faculty at USC – Irvine, and Rakesh Kochhar, senior researcher at Pew.

The Next America discusses the post-Great Recession impact on a hobbled economy during the mid-term of the Baby Boomer’s generation, and career cycle - the last of who will “retire” in the next 10-12 years. The over-supply of now, “can’t retire” Baby Boomers is creating a job lockout  for Millennials, who witnessed the undoing of their parent’s financial stability in 2008. Most significantly, The Next America portrays a permanently altered national fabric, contributed by the surge of U.S.-born children of Latino and Asian immigrants now in their 3rd generation. 

This multicultural block of U.S.-born children of immigrants impacted the 2012 Presidential elections where the majority of Asians, Latinos, and Blacks voted for Obama. Given the continued negative dialogue by the Republican Party against immigrants (i.e., Latinos, Asians,), it is highly probable that this will also impact the 2016 elections. (See Chapter 6, pp 84-86).

The role of women in America has also reached a state of permanent change.   This, along with racial minorities predicted to become the majority by 2030 will continue to significantly change the national fabric.

The Next America should give us pause as to how we must reach and serve clients today. “Tomorrow” is now “Today.” We have learned through multicultural markets, that we must persistently be visible where people exist. It is also imperative that we use social media, and electronic delivery channels to drip financial knowledge on our households, businesses, and personnel, to uncover needs they may have not yet identified as crucial to their future and financial success (insurance, home ownership, investments, etc.).

I believe that we must reflect the communities we serve to be relevant and successful,  giving us ample opportunity to educate and serve their financial needs.

I have noted key areas to read that follow.

Thank You!

The Next America

Chapter 2: “Millenials and Boomers”

Page 24 - “In the early 1980s before most Boomers started raising families, they were called too selfish to have children…too involved in their lives...accused of moral relativism, too politically correct. No one blamed the World War II generation for the Vietnam War, pollution, nor discrimination against black, women, and gays.
Page 28 - “…born in 1984, you were in middle school when the Columbine massacre happened; in high school on 9/11/01…”

Chapter 3: “Generation Gaps”

Page 40 – Millienial’s view of Boomers is not substantially different of older generations and are slightly less critical of business than the views of Baby Boomers.

Chapter 4: “Battle of the Ages”

Page 47 -   Even when multiple generation don’t live in the same home, they look after one another in other ways…Boomers have already inherited $2.4 trillion from the Greatest Generation with another $6 trillion forth coming.
Page 54 – 43% say the government is responsible for a minimum standard living for older people. 40% say individuals and families are mostly responsible. 14% say equally responsible. 

Chapter 5: “Money Troubles”

Page 59 – if a 65-year old married retiree were to convert $120,000 into a standard annuity today, it would yield $575 per month.  $120,000 being the typical balance today for the 60% that have such a program on the cusp of retirement. 75% of those on the cusp of retirement have $30,000 or less in retirement savings.
Page 64 – Figure 5.4 – In 2011, 22% of households age 35 or younger are in poverty.

Chapter 6: “The New Immigrants”

A.        “Immigrants are strivers”: Only the very motivated uproot themselves for economic, religious, or political freedom.  The United States’ 325,000,000 population has 42 million immigrants and 37 million U.S.-born children of immigrants: 24 % (immigrants and U.S.–born children of immigrants).
B.         College entry rates: Asians - 84%, Whites - 69%, Hispanics - 69%, and Blacks - 65% (2000-2012 high school graduates eligible to attend a 4 year college)
C.         Median household income, 2012: U.S. Population - $49,000; Asians - $66,000; Whites - $54,000; Hispanics - $40,000; and Blacks - $33,000.
D.        Read Immigrants and Politics p.84-86.

Chapter 7: “Hapa Nation” (This term means a person that is half of one race or mixed ethnicity).

A.        15% of all U.S. marriages are between spouses of a different race.
B.         Intermarriage trend has risen from 2.4% in 1960 to 15.5% in 2011.
C.         Read “The Hispanic Identity Conundrum” page 97 and “The Blacks in Obama’s America” page 99.

Chapter 8: “Whither Marriage”

Page – 108 …70% of unmarried Millenials say they would like to get married one day. Money is holding them back…they place marriage on a pedestal…and associate marriage with positive economic outcomes.
Page 114 – In 2011, 41% of all births in the U.S. were to unmarried mothers, up from 5% in 1960…mostly to women in their 20s and 30s… 6 in 10 single mothers have live-in boyfriends, when they give birth.

Chapter 9: “Nones on the Rise” – (not religious)  

Page – 126 – Figure 9.1: The Churching of America
Rates of church membership: 1906 – 51%; 2000 – 62%.
Page – 132 – Nor are “nones” uniformly hostile towards organized religion. A majority think that religious institutions can be a force for a good society.

Chapter 10: “Living Digital”

MUST READ – “Natalie was born in 1988 and was 18 in 2006 when her digital life on message boards began.  Natalie is a digital native, now 26. Natalie has always been “connected,” this is her principal method of assembly and awareness.

Chapter 11: “Getting Old”

Page 163 – Figure 11.2 - % saying that a person is old when…has gray hair (13%); Turns 85 (79%).

Chapter 12: “Empty Cradle, Gray World”

Page 171 – Japan’s baby bust is the most acute in the world, but similar dynamics are taking hold on every continent. 
Page 173 – The fertility rate (U.S.) is among the highest in the wealthy world (Just under 2 per woman). The bulk of the global population growth will come in the poor countries of Africa and Asia.

Chapter 13: “The Reckoning”

Page 184 – The young today are paying taxes to support a level of benefits for the old that they themselves have no prospect of receiving when THEY become old.
Page 194 – Going forward, it’s unrealistic to expect families to take on more of the challenges of caring for the elderly; it’s quite possible they will do less.


Includes an excellent array of charts and tables relates to specific chapters.

In the final analysis, your attitude determines your effectiveness in everything, every time! LGL www.LuisLobo.Biz