Gary Acosta’s Blog

Featuring Gary’s take on the economy, politics, sports and Latino culture

Wealth in Miami

This past week, I was in Miami with my NAHREP familia discussing the recent Hispanic Wealth Project (HWP) Annual Report. The report discusses trends in Hispanic household wealth in America. The financial clout of the Hispanic community is growing, but the metric we hear most frequently is Hispanic buying power not wealth. The fact is, Hispanic…

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John Kelly is wrong about immigrants

John Kelly, the current WH Chief of Staff and former Secretary of Homeland Security made news this week when he said that most Mexican immigrants do not assimilate well into American culture because they are rural, unskilled and do not speak English. For these reasons, Kelly believes they should be kept from entering the country…

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Hispanic Homeownership Spikes in Q1

Despite rising interest rates and tight inventory, Hispanics purchased homes in droves during the first quarter of 2018 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The Hispanic homeownership rate increased from 46.2 percent in Q4 of 2017 to 48.4 percent in Q1 of this year. The increase corresponded with a net gain of more than 250,000…

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LDC in the WSJ

Several weeks ago, I mentioned that I had joined the board of the Latino Donor Collaborative – an organization started by Sol Trujillo that is focused on improving the narrative about Latinos in America. The board of the LDC looks like a “who’s who” of Latino executives and entrepreneurs including Linda Alvarado, the co-owner of…

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Nuevo Latinos

A couple of years ago, I wrote a five-part blog named the “Nuevo Latinos.” The blog described a new generation of Latinos who were proud of their heritage but viewed themselves as part of the mainstream rather than some outlier faction of America. Most of these Latinos were U.S. born, but not all of them,…

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What Is a Constitutional Crisis?

A constitutional crisis occurs either when the constitution does not provide a clear answer for a specific situation, or when a government official or branch of the government willfully defies adherence to the constitution. A constitutional crisis is a big deal, and can sometimes result in impeachment, civil war or collapse of the government itself.…

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Chinese Government Offers the World an Alternative to “America First” Global Policy

While Trump mingles in Davos, the Chinese government released a strongly worded editorial from the state’s news agency, Xinhua. The statement said the world needed to choose between “two fundamentally different outlooks” which included the Chinese President’s shared future and Mr. Trump’s America First policy. Mr. Trump’s “self-centered America First policy has led his country…

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Congressman Cárdenas Goes Big

Besides being an electrifying leader, I personally believe that if Congressman Tony Cárdenas can work his way into the democratic leadership he will work effectively with Latinos on both sides of the aisle. That would be a game changer. At the risk of sounding cynical, the facts are that republicans continue to drift sharply from…

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Dreadful Politicians

Very few politicians care about anything more than themselves. There are few exceptions and it seems as though it’s gotten worse over time. Today’s politicians spend most of their time shamelessly grandstanding, claiming to care about people, while in reality all they want is fame, money, and power. It’s just ego and it’s important to…

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Cristóbal Alex and the Political Ad That the White House Said Went Too Far

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Big Banks Focus on Hispanics

A growing focus on Hispanic homebuyers on the part of large financial institutions will be the topic of an upcoming feature article in a major financial publication. The writer has recognized that a tipping point has occurred with big banks and small independent lenders placing more emphasis on the burgeoning Hispanic homebuyer segment. One question…

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NAHREP Leadership Academy

If there is one deliverable at NAHREP that stands out above the rest, it is leadership development. Knowing that every year NAHREP “graduates” 60+ chapter presidents who have managed a board, organized events, and improved their presentation skills, gives me a great sense of pride. During our short tenure, NAHREP has produced some of the…

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Do Tax Cuts Really Work?

President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress are close to pushing a tax reform package that would be the legislative victory that his presidency has been seeking. Critics of his tax proposal say it favors the rich at the expense of the poor and middle class, and supporters say it will provide an economic stimulus that would benefit everyone.

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Mark Cuban for President?

Mark Cuban has been floating the idea of running for President. Last week, he clarified that if he decided to run, he would do so as a Republican and challenge President Trump in the primary. The fact that Cuban is being taken seriously is an indication of how much things have changed in Presidential politics.…

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Dave Stevens to Step Down from MBA

This week the Mortgage Bankers Association announced that their CEO, David Stevens, would retire effective September of 2018. NAHREP released a statement about Stevens shortly after the announcement was made public. I am a product of the mortgage industry and was on the board of the MBA when they hired Mr. Stevens directly from his post as…

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José Andrés in Puerto Rico

World-renowned Chef José Andrés has spent nearly a month in Puerto Rico coordinating a Herculean effort to feed the victims of Hurricane Maria. Last week, Andrés and his non-profit World Central Kitchen served their one-millionth meal in Puerto Rico in less than thirty days, surpassing the likes of the Red Cross. Andrés was in the…

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Bitcoin

The recent run-up of Bitcoin has a lot of people thinking about investing in the mysterious digital currency. For lay people, Bitcoin is a digital currency that operates on blockchain technology which is essentially a shared digital database of financial transactions which some are even calling a new type of internet. It cuts out the…

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NAR’s New Leader

I had the opportunity to meet with the new CEO of the National Association of Realtors®, Bob Goldberg, last week in their offices in Washington, D.C. NAR is the most politically powerful real estate organization in America and one of the most powerful in any field. Goldberg is a different kind of leader; he’s active…

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LDC to Launch Public Relations Campaign

The Latino Donor Collaborative, the nation’s leading advocacy group for the new mainstream economy, is working on a major PR campaign to insert factual data and information into the national dialogue as it relates to Latinos and the economy. The campaign will highlight data points such as the Latino GDP, homeownership trends and educational attainment.…

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Recovery Efforts are Moving Slowly

As NAHREP prepares to release its formal strategy to provide support for the victims in Mexico City and Puerto Rico, I have received numerous emails and private messages from members expressing their heartache and frustration by the government’s relief efforts. Below is an excerpt from an email I received from one of our members in…

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Zillow Study

Last week, Zillow released a study that examined the wealth of Hispanics and African-Americans as compared to Whites. It took a deeper look at the role homeownership plays in those comparisons and referenced data that was recently released by the Federal Reserve’s Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances. The highlights of the study were not surprising.…

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FBI in College Basketball

Last month I wrote about my son’s experience playing AAU summer basketball. I said that he was fortunate to find a good program where he received great coaching and good competition, but that I could see there was a shady factor with other programs and I thought shoe companies had way too much influence. Last…

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43rd President George W. Bush

I had the opportunity to meet with and interview George W. Bush last week at the 2017 NAHREP National Convention & Latin Music Festival in Dallas. As expected, he was relaxed, charming and engaging. I was also hoping for a discussion that would connect with our audience in a positive and less partisan manner and…

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Colin Kaepernick

I think anyone born in America is blessed beyond words and should never take it for granted. I also understand why some people contend that our flag, anthem, and other American icons should NEVER be used as vehicles for protest. Therefore, it should not be a surprise that I don’t like the sight of wealthy…

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Joe Arpaio is pardoned

Against the advice of his Attorney General, the Speaker of the House and both republican senators from Arizona; President Donald Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio on Friday August 25th. If you have never spent time reading about the atrocities committed at the behest of Joe Arpaio, the former Sheriff of Maricopa County, you should. Arpaio’s jails,…

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Sarah Huckabee Sanders

If you are not a supporter of President Trump, odds are you don’t like his Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She officially replaced the cantankerous, Sean Spicer last month. As White House Press Secretary, she has the responsibility to share information about the administration and answer questions for the press corps – frequently about controversial…

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The Mortgage Collaborative in Nashville

The Mortgage Collaborative, the top co-op for mortgage companies, hosted its biannual conference in Nashville last week with more than 150 companies attending the event. Last year, the leading topic of discussion was the regulatory environment while this year it was all about technology and online security. Blend, Inc. a developer of consumer facing technology…

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Latino consumer spending takes a dive

A Reuters study on consumer spending indicates that Latino spending for non-essential goods and services is in a sharp decline. A recent surge in deportations is causing Latinos, even those who are U.S. citizens, to curtail their shopping out of fear of deportation or harassment. The CEO of Target, Brian Cornell, says that Latinos are staying home…

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What does George W. Bush think?

If you’re like me, you’ve probably wondered what previous Presidents honestly think of today’s political environment. More specifically, what does the most recent Republican President think? On September 11th, I’ll get the chance to ask President George W. Bush many of the questions we have been asking ourselves. The former President will headline the NAHREP…

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The future is here

Last week I attended the 10th annual Housing Renaissance in San Diego. The Housing Renaissance is an off-calendar gathering of about 60 CEOs, government officials, thought leaders, advocates and policy wonks. The event is by invitation only and is co-chaired by former HUD Secretary, Henry Cisneros, and Harvard Professor, Nic Retsinas. NAHREP National President, Leo…

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In the blink of an eye, the Mooch is out

Anthony Scaramucci was relieved of his duties only ten days after assuming the role of White House Communications Director. He was literally walked out of the building. This was a shocking development in a week of internal turmoil for the Trump Administration. It seems likely that Scaramucci’s dismissal was a condition of General John F.…

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Housing Inventory

I spent the last few days with housing experts and found there is a consensus that the biggest current challenge to homeownership is housing inventory. While most of the attention regarding homeownership opportunity is typically focused on identifying demand solutions, housing supply is the primary barrier today. The housing crisis of 2008 crippled the homebuilding…

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Zoë Saldaña launches start-up

Actress Zoë Saldaña (Guardians of the Galaxy) has launched a media company called BeSe. The company will focus on “cultural storytelling” targeting millennial and Gen Z audiences. A lot has been said about the lack of diversity in Hollywood, but I always say people will resist change until not changing affects their livelihood. The emergence of…

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AAU basketball

I spent the last three weeks watching the best high school basketball players in the country compete in tournaments in SoCal and Las Vegas. I also heard a lot of negative things about the growing influence of AAU basketball. The scuttlebutt is that AAU basketball has replaced high school basketball in terms of its relevance…

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SNL fans mourn Spicer resignation

To nobody’s surprise, Sean Spicer resigned last week as WH Press Secretary. The move came on the heels of the appointment of Anthony Scaramucci as WH Communications Director. Spicer was known for his combative temperament and knack for making false, and sometimes outrageous, statements to the press corps. Sean Spicer was not a very good…

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Mark Zuckerberg for President

The more I learn about Mark Zuckerberg, the more I like him. Last Sunday, while I was driving home to San Diego from Los Angeles, I decided to listen to Zuckerberg on Facebook live, filmed in his backyard while he was cooking some BBQ for friends. He was talking about everything from Artificial Intelligence (he…

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Earl Watson at NAHREP

Earl Watson was honored with the Roberto Clemente Award by UnidosUS last month at their annual convention. Watson, whose mother is Mexican, is the head coach of the Phoenix Suns and the first Latino head coach in NBA history. The evening he was honored, I tweeted about him and mentioned that my son plays for…

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Hispanic Homeownership Gap

Freddie Mac recently released a study on Hispanic homeownership titled, “Will the Hispanic Homeownership Gap Persist?”. The study aimed to forecast how Hispanic homeownership rates would fare over time. Currently, about 46 percent of Hispanic households are owner-households as compared to 68 percent for non-Hispanic White households. Freddie Mac looked at age, income, educational data…

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OJ Simpson

OJ Simpson was granted parole last Thursday and will be released from prison as early as October 1st. This is another amazing development in a seminal story that has captivated public interest for more than two decades. OJ was my hero in the seventies. I even wore number 32 for my middle school athletic teams…

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John McCain

The political world was stunned with the revelation that John McCain has brain cancer. McCain’s cancer is the same type that took the life of Senator Ted Kennedy in 2009. Doctors successfully removed the tumor last week, but the prognosis seems harsh with a low survival rate. Regardless of your political preferences, Senator McCain has…

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Donald Trump, Jr.

The news was dominated this past week by the release of emails that showed Donald Trump, Jr. participated in at least one meeting with people alleging to represent the Russian government and who represented themselves as supporters of Trump’s campaign for President. The news does not help the credibility of the Administration that has denied…

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Zillow Instant Offers

After years of denying that they have any intention of displacing real estate agents, some agent groups and attorneys believe, Instant Offers®, is the smoking gun that shows Zillow’s true intent. Instant Offers essentially gives would-be home sellers the opportunity to solicit offers directly from buyers (mostly investors), thus circumventing agents from at least part…

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NCLR Changes their name

The National Council of La Raza announced at their annual convention in Arizona that they will now be known as UnidosUS. NCLR, as they were formerly known, is the nation’s largest civil rights organization for Hispanic Americans. In a press release, the organization’s president, Janet Murguia, said that the new name is designed in part…

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The next Lebron…

Last week I mentioned that this year’s NBA draft is widely considered one of the most talent rich in years however, many basketball experts say if the 6’11” Marvin Bagley III and 6’8″ Zion Williamson, both rising seniors at Sierra Canyon High School in Los Angeles and Spartanburg Day School in South Carolina were eligible…

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NBA Salary Cap

Last week, Steph Curry agreed to a 5 year, $201M contract – the richest in NBA history. Lebron James saluted Curry by stating that the two-time MVP and world champion deserved twice as much. He also criticized the NBA salary cap by pointing out how much the Warriors franchise has increased in value during Curry’s…

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NBA Draft

Last month, the long awaited NBA draft finally took place. Experts say that 2017 is the most talent rich draft in years, and thanks mostly to the entertaining and provocative Lavar Ball, it’s one of most drama-filled as well. As expected the Lakers selected Lonzo Ball. Lonzo’s newly famous dad has been criticized by practically…

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Amazon buys Whole Foods

Amazon stunned the financial world when it announced that it had agreed to purchase Whole Foods, the high-end grocery store. On the day of the announcement, grocery stock took a dive. The convergence of technology, automation, artificial intelligence and buyer expectations is changing the global economy at a rapid pace. Elon Musk says, “If your…

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Self-Driving Cars

I am looking forward to self-driving cars. For one, I don’t really enjoy driving or cars for that matter, and one of my biggest peeves are stoplights. Nothing is more annoying or a bigger waste of time, than sitting at a red signal light when there is no traffic in sight. When self-driving cars become…

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A Latino GDP

My friend, Sol Trujillo started the Latino Donor Collaborative a few years ago. He’s the former CEO of US West and one of most successful corporate executives in the country. Sol, a lifelong Republican, has been working to change the narrative about Latino’s in this country by focusing on data and facts. The LDC recently…

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A-Rod

Shark Tank, the popular show staring Mark Cuban and Daymond Johns where start-up companies looking for investment capital can pitch a panel of celebrity investors on their business, recently announced that Alex Rodriguez would be their newest and first Latino celebrity investor. His girlfriend, J-Lo, proudly boasted about his new gig on Insta and its significance…

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Special Prosecutors

This week Time Magazine had Robert Mueller on its cover, the special prosecutor appointed by the deputy Attorney General of the United States. The word is that President Trump is exploring ways to either remove or neutralize Mueller. Removal would almost certainly send the country into a constitutional crisis, but Trump has reason to be…

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HUD Appointments

Pam Patenaude’s nomination as Deputy Secretary of HUD easily passed committee and now moves to full Senate for approval. She looks like a shoe-in. With Pam and two other strong candidates (and NAHREP supporters) currently being considered for leadership roles at FHA and Ginnie Mae, things are looking more positive at HUD. Wealth in MiamiMay 13,…

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