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Bank lending criticized

Longtime activist Matthew Lee does not favor bank mergers, and he uses the public comment required by regulators to express his views. Lee, leader of Bronx-based Inner City Press/Fair Finance Watch, has opposed every bank merger in the past two decades. His latest target is the M&T purchase of Hudson CityBancorp in New Jersey. Lee says the banks have poor records for lending to minorities. M&T strongly disagrees and points to its top scores on the Community Reinvestment Act exams since 1982.

M&T has a strong record, and the bank's integrity is lauded throughout the industry. But numbers that Lee included in his complaint filed with the Federal Reserve Bank are shocking. Hudson City granted 784 mortgages in 2011, with 97.5% going to whites, 1.7% to hispanics and 0.6% to blacks. In Washington, D.C., M&T granted 40 mortgages with 85% going ot whites and 15% to blacks. Both banks rejected black borrowers about 3 times more than whites.

Anyone who has ever qualified for a mortgage knows it is not easy. Banks are lending their depositors' money, so they want to make darn sure they're going to get it back. And lending standards have gotten much more strict in recent years.

But those numbers are alarming.



TEDxBuffalo inspires

The second TEDxBuffalo event occupied the Montante Center at Canisius College on Tuesday, inspiring the 100 seleted participants. The brainstorming event featured LOCAL tedx KIRKHAM 02 speakers who have done interesting things and, the theory goes, hearing about them and talking about them will inspire others to try new things themselves. Rules required that only 100 people could attend, but videos of the speakers will be posted online soon so the rest of us LOCAL tedx KIRKHAM 04can get onboard.

Buffalo has some truly inspired people so here's hoping that getting a bunch of them in a room can bring out more good stuff.

TEDx events go on all over the world. Glad we have people motivated enough to being the concept here. Here's hoping it continues.


Holiday Valley voted 6th in the East

Holiday Valley has been ranked the 6th best ski resort in the Eastern U.S. Holiday Valley in the annual Ski Magazine survey. It's an amazing recognition considering the quality of eastern skiing, like the front-four at Stowe the expanse of Killington Mountain and the steep of Jay Peak.

But a successful ski resort has to be much more than just 'steep and deep.'  Holiday Valley’s rankings in the survey  include 1st in the East for lifts and 1st for service, 3rd for lodging, 5th for access and après ski, 7th for family programs, 8th for dining and off hill activities, 10th for weather, 11th for grooming and digital presence, 12th for terrain parks, on-mountain food and character, 13th for overall satisfaction and 14th for snow.

Mccoy sportsHoliday Valley has been in the top 10 Eastern ski areas for seven of the past 10 years in the survey.

And it's only 45 minutes from Buffalo. Oooo yeah.






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