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Blacks in Banking: Where Do We Stand?

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California congresswoman Maxine Waters is raising eyebrows in political circles once again. She shocked top banking regulators late last year when she help set up a meeting with the chief executive of a bank with financial ties to her family and asked them for up to $50 million in special bailout funds, according to The New York Times. Waters, a Democrat of California, requested the meeting on behalf of executives at OneUnited, one of the nation's largest Black-owned banks. Now, critics of OneUnited, which has branches in poor neighborhoods of Los Angeles and Miami, say the episode shows how special access arranged through a lawmaker with financial ties to the bank has compromised the integrity of the federal bailout effort. While OneUnited didn't get the $50 million it requested, the bank did become among the first minority-owned institutions to receive a cash infusion - $12 million through the Treasury's bank bailout effort. -BB

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