A Whistleblower is defined as a person, usually an employee in a government agency or private enterprise, who exposes to the public or to those in authority, or to management, information or situations of egregious mismanagement, corruption, illegality, or some other wrongdoing within the organization.

Left to Right: Richard M. Bowen III, Michael G. Winston, PhD, William K. Black, PhD

While the public value of whistle-blowing has been increasingly recognized, even encouraged by the Department of Justice, the reality is very different. Whistleblowers are often retaliated against, losing their job, incurring financial hardships and even blackballed from working in their professions ever again.

The 2008 financial crisis, the fraud and corruption on Wall Street, the greed of the Too Big to Fail banks, and the courage of individuals who took the right and ethical action and became whistleblowers is the subject of this program.

Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, are:

Richard M. Bowen III: The Citigroup whistleblower who as a Business Chief Underwriter for Citigroup during the housing bubble financial crisis meltdown, saw fraud firsthand inside the organization as the company certified poor mortgages as quality mortgages and sold them to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other investors.

Richard subsequently testified before the Securities and Exchange Commission and gave them 1,000 pages of evidence of fraudulent activities, with the bank bailouts occurring three months later.

Michael G. Winston, PhD: The Countrywide Financial whistleblower who has both been celebrated as a hero for exposing fraud at Countrywide Financial and sued and penalized to an extraordinary degree. Michael learned Countrywide’s policy was to fund loans, regardless of income, assets or even their having employment to anyone who could fog a mirror. Asked to misrepresent information about the company to Moody’s, he refused. The retaliation was especially virulent.

William (Bill) K. Black, PhD: Author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One, is a former bank regulator who played a central role in prosecuting the corruption responsible for the S&L crisis of the late 1980s. A serial whistleblower, he helped bring down Charles Keating, of Lincoln Savings and the former Jim Wright, Speaker of the House. Bill examines how financial fraud is the most damaging type of fraud and also the hardest to prosecute.

The group, along with a colleague who could not join us, Gary J. Aguirre, whistleblower, attorney , and former investigator with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, fired for pursuing an investigation of suspected insider trading involving Pequot Capital Management, have formed Bank Whistleblowers United, an organization of financial sector whistleblowers dedicated to holding the financial leaders who led the fraud epidemics and the last financial crisis personally accountable.

Each of our guests has suffered immensely as a result of their whistleblowing. We applaud their moral courage to stand up in the face of bureaucratic theft and fraud and do the right thing.

Join us as we talk about things that matter… with people who care. And please don’t forget that for the last 25 years it is you, our viewer, who keeps us on the air.

TED is taking over the world!

TED, which stands for, Technology, Entertainment and Design has changed how we view the world. TED talks are watched globally – with an average of 17 new

Left to Right: Dennis McCuistion, Jeremy Gregg, Heather Hankamer, Niki McCuistion and Jim Young

page views per minute. In the fall of 2012 TED celebrated its one billionth video views. Today over 1,700 talks are available online. TED has become so popular that more and more, presenters are emulating and using the TED model in their own presentations.

Started in 1984, as the idea of Richard Saul Wurman, the topics revolve around technology, entertainment and design. The concept didn’t work as planned and it was some six years later before its founders resurrected it. This time, people were ready and the then invitation-only event attracted influential and curious audiences. Today TED is no longer just an invitation-only event; it’s become for many a key intellectual and emotional highlight of the year. TED has grown to include TEDActive, TED-Ed, the TED Radio Hour, and TEDx.

Joining McCuistion are seasoned TED folks:

Jim Young: TEDxSMU Steering Committee. We first heard of TED Talks from Jim Young, a seasoned TEDSTER

Jim is passionate about TED and the stories and ideas it inspires. He gives us the inside story of how TED, Technology, Entertainment and Design started in 1984 as a fantasy dinner party centered on these 3 areas, with some friends talking and some listening. It grew from a simple, local concept to a global, complex one. From its initial start, 6 years later attendees paid $475 to attend. Today TED attendees eagerly pay 20 times that amount.

Heather Hankamer: Director of TEDxSMU and TEDxSMU Kids

Heather talks about TEDxSMU and the TEDx phenomenon, “a radical opening up of the TED format to local, independently organized events”.

On any given day there are 7-8 TEDx events somewhere in the world. Heather is particularly passionate about TEDx Kids which is gaining in popularity. Kids get to hear from adult TED speakers who value the audience and do not dumb down the content.
Jeremy Gregg: Chief Development Officer, Prison Entrepreneurship Program.
Jeremy’s 2012, thought provoking TEDxSMU (Southern Methodist University) raised the interest in the more than 7 million people incarcerated in our jails. He stated that a child who has a parent in prison increases their own odds of going to prison by 70%. Financially the burden costs us $74 billion in corrections. It got participants attention.


If video doesn’t play correctly, open it here.

Tune in and learn more about how TED has influenced how we view the world and our fellow global citizens.

Thanks for watching as we talk about things that matter- with people like you- who really care.

Niki Nicastro McCuistion
Executive Producer/Producer

Aligning Purpose, Performance and People
Corporate Culture Change Consultant and Problem Solver
Google+ Profile
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2303 – 04.03.2016

Our experts give various views on diversity and how the U.S.companies measure against their European counterparts. In the U.S. board recruitment is often based on board members reaching out to people they already know and are comfortable with; often individuals with views and experiences similar to their own. Recruitment may also not take into consideration other values not reflected on the current board.

Left to Right: Renee Hornbaker, Niki McCuistion, Richard Leblanc, PhD, Dennis McCuistion & James Waters, J

Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, to talk about this issue and solutions are key experts in the area of corporate governance:

 


Our experts agree. Whether it be a for-profit or nonprofit board, both require good governance, experienced board members and diverse perspectives. The diversity issue is one that needs to be challenged.

For the entire write-up on the show and it’s highlights, visit the blog post from the original air date by following this link: The Board Diversity Challenge

Talking about things that matter… with people who care.

Niki

 

Niki N. McCuistion
Executive Producer/Producer
Consultant and speaker:
On Engaging Employees, Organizational Culture, Governance and Strategic Planning
nikin@nikimccuistion.com
214-750-5157

***

2208 – 12.28.2014

The re-air of this program on free press focuses on this first amendment right and explores the question of whether or not free press is at risk. Free press is an American right based on the First Amendment.

Elizabeth speaking with audience members after the taping.

What is the Freedom of Information Act‘s (FOIA), role in keeping government honest? Is there a risk to our free press if FOIA is not fulfilling its mandate? FOIA “allows” journalists to access critical information. Many investigations by the Press would not be possible without FOIA.

Freedom of Information Act is a law that gives citizens the right to access information from the federal government. It is often described as a law that keeps citizens in the know about their federal government.

The premise of FOIA is that people have the right to know about the affairs of government without government determination on what they think expedient for citizens to know or not know. It allows for oversight over the activities of government and serves to reduce government corruption. The Freedom of Information Act empowers citizen control over their government.

Any individual can exercise his/her right to access information by filing a Freedom of Information Act request for the specific data needed. If a request is denied, the individual requesting the data can appeal and sue to enforce the request.

Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, are the following panelists:

  • Miles Moffeit: Dallas Morning News‘ Investigative reporter
  • Elizabeth O. Colton, PhD: CEO, Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations, Emmy Award winning journalist
  • Paul Watler: Attorney, Jackson Walker LLC, Board Member, Freedom of Information Foundation

The Texas Public Information Act works in the same way, giving Citizen’s the right to know what their governors are doing in their name, and oversight over the instruments of government. With these critical Acts citizen’s can find out about fraud, arrests, and obtain information that state open records acts do not allow for. Yet both FOIA and TPIA have frustrating delays and challenges.

What difference does the Freedom of Information Act make to a working democracy? How does it help (or hurt) a free press get what they need to tell the public “the truth”?

Tune in to hear what the experts, who are involved in these issues on a day-to-day basis, have to say…

As always we continue talking about things that matter… with people who care.

Niki N. McCuistion
Executive Producer/Producer
Aligning Purpose, Performance and People
Corporate Culture Change Consultant and Problem Solver
214-750-5157
nikin@nikimccuistion.com
Google+ Profile

***
Originally Aired: 04.20.14 – 2121

 

On June 17 the Dallas Morning News had two excellent op-eds on financial reform. Congressman Jeb Hensarling wrote of his forthcoming Financial Choice Act to change provisions of the onerous, some say unconstitutional Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. Reverend Gerald Britt argued against reform. Due to space considerations, many facts had to be left out.

Most Americans aren’t familiar with Dodd-Frank, but are affected by it due to its effect on community banks, business startups and regulatory burden. Oil executive and philanthropist Cary Maguire approached the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) on whose board I sit in December of 2014. His concerns were that the causes of the 2008 financial crisis were not understood, that Dodd-Frank did nothing to solve the problem, and that he was concerned as to whether a future crisis could be prevented. Over the last 18 months, NCPA under my leadership has brought together 11 experts for conferences here in Dallas and in DC. In the next few weeks, KERA Channel 13 will air six episodes of the McCuistion program on this subject.

Here are the facts on the crisis and the response that was Dodd-Frank:

  • The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) was established in May 2009 to determine the causes of the problem. It made its reports in early 2011.
  • Dodd-Frank, a 2319 page law, was passed in July 2010 to solve the problem. Reverend Britt says most Republicans supported this bill. The facts are that only three Republican Senators and three Republican Congressmen voted for it. Does this remind one of the Affordable Care Act? Only in DC could a law be passed to solve a problem six months before the causes of the problem were revealed.
  • The irony of this sequence is that the FCIC got the causes wrong. Fortunately, one of the FCIC commissioners issued a minority report that got the causes right—it wasn’t lack of regulation or derivatives that caused the problem, it was the government’s own housing policies under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush that pushed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into buying millions of subprime loans. That commissioner was Peter Wallison, author of Hidden in Plain Sight: What Really Caused the World’s Worst Financial Crisis and Why It Could Happen Again, and he was here and in DC for NCPA’s conferences.
  • Dodd-Frank didn’t end too big to fail, but it did cause tens of thousands of pages of regulations to be written that have helped cause over 1000 community banks to sell or merge in the last six years. These are the banks that lend to small businesses. According to Gallup, for the first time in 35 years, more businesses close each year than are created. That’s why real economic growth is lacking. The annual regulatory cost to America today is $1.88 trillion according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
  • And, speaking of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, they called me in 2013 to help them locate a community bank with the guts to sue the federal government over the constitutionality of Dodd-Frank. I introduced them to a courageous banker, Jim Purcell of the State National Bank of Big Spring. The suit over the constitutionality of Dodd-Frank and in particular the CFPB is pending in federal court today.
  • Many believe the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to be unconstitutional due to its structure as it has, by design, no Congressional authority over its budget or regulations. One person, not a bipartisan commission, leads it. It’s housed inside the Federal Reserve with automatic budget increases and a cadre of lawyers who have the power to act as prosecutor, jury and executioner. Extortion is the word I most often hear when the CFPB is mentioned. The reader will remember that liberal Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts midwifed CFPB– the same Senator who has hated banks since childhood and who famously declared that entrepreneurs didn’t create their businesses….the government’s role made it possible.
  • Reverend Britt rails against payday lending, and I’m no fan of it either. However, there are people who need small, short term loans. Yes, the costs are high, and yes, some borrowers get stuck just rolling over their loans, but what’s the alternative? Thanks to the regulatory burden, some banks and credit unions have had to stop making these small loans as they are not profitable. Perhaps Reverend Britt and many community organizations would be more effective by either educating those who need this product or making the loans themselves.

The good thing is that Hensarling and Britt did agree on one thing that our experts also recommended– that banks maintain more capital against their asset base. That would not only prevent some banks from failing, it would prevent you and me as taxpayers from having to bail them out again. One last thought: Dodd-Frank, like virtually every law passed in DC, fits the definition of the only law in DC that works—–the Law of Unintended Consequences!

—-

Dennis McCuistion is a “recovering community banker”, a director of the National Center for Policy Analysis, the host of the McCuistion television program seen Sundays on Channel 13, and a Clinical Professor of Corporate Governance at UT Dallas. Reach him at mccuistion@mccuistion.com.

The New York Times recently posted an article stating that when more women on are boards, executive pay is higher. The article presented interesting facts regarding this topic. It begins by saying:

Appointing more women to corporate boards has long been viewed as a good thing for a company’s performance and for society as a whole.

But gender diversity among directors carries another benefit, 2015 proxy filings show: a bigger paycheck for the company’s chief executive.

To view the entire article, follow this link: Where More Women Are on Boards, Executive Pay Is Higher

For more on boards from past McCuistion TV episodes, visit these links:

Terry Jones: Author of On Innovation, Founder, former CEO of Travelocity and Founding Chairman of kayak.com, joins McCuistion for a rousing discussion on what innovation is and how to create it in your own organization.

Follow this link to view the original write-up on Innovation and Creativity in the Workplace and view the full episode below.

Talking about things that matter… with people who care.

Niki N. McCuistion
Executive Producer/Producer
Organizational Culture, Governance and Strategic Planning,
Consultant and Problem Solver
214-750-5157
nikin@nikimccuistion.com
Google+ Profile

This program addresses a huge question regarding immigration policy: what is the one thing we should do today to solve the immigration issue? As you might expect there is no one or simple answer and each of our panelists have diverse solutions.

Host, Dennis McCuistion, is joined by:

  • Rick Gump: Lawyer/ Owner, Richard A. Gump, Jr. PC
  • Professor Neil Foley, PhD: Southern Methodist University, Robert H. and Nancy Dedman Chair in History, Author: Mexicans and the Making of America
  • Pia Orrenius, PhD: V.P and Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Adjunct Professor, Hankamer School of Business, Baylor University, Author of Beside the Golden Door: U.S. Immigration Reform in a New Era of Globalization

If video doesn’t play correctly, open it here.

You may agree or not with our guests and the solutions offered but the lively discussion invites introspection. What is the solution? Join us and let us know what you think.

And as always thanks for joining us in our 25th year as we continue talking about things that matter with people who care.

Niki N. McCuistion: Trailblazer
Executive Producer/Producer
Aligning Purpose, Performance and People
Corporate Culture Change Consultant and Problem Solver
214-750-5157
nikin@nikimccuistion.com
Google+ Profile

Immigration is part of the founding myth of the United States which has gone through several immigration waves in its short history. Its first; the founding colonial wave, which was largely English. Since, we’ve had the primarily German/Irish wave of 1820-1870 with German immigration the largest to date, comprising 15% of all our immigration. The third wave took place from the 19th century to World War I. Today we’re in our fourth wave.

To view the original and complete write-up on this topic and this episode follow this link to Immigration Policy from 1990-2015.

If video doesn’t play correctly, open it here.

It’s a lively discussion on immigration policy and we go back several years with excerpts from previous programs on immigration, which include comments from: Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation, James F. Hollifield, PhD, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Tower Center of Political Studies at SMU and “Tom” Tancredo, former congressman, Colorado, (R).

Thanks for joining us in our 25th year of talking about things that matter with people who really care.

Niki N. McCuistion: Trailblazer
Executive Producer/Producer
Aligning Purpose, Performance and People
Corporate Culture Change Consultant and Problem Solver
214-750-5157
nikin@nikimccuistion.com
Google+ Profile

Millions of Middle East refugees are fleeing or have fled Middle Eastern countries because of wars, ISIS and terrorism and economic crisis. The countries they’ve turned to are torn between compassion and fear that some of the refuges may in fact be undercover terrorists. And so the borders are closing.

Left to Right: Hind Jarrah, PhD, Dennis McCuistion, Donna Duvin, Niki McCuistion, and A.J. Irwin

The outcome: Middle East refugees are having a difficult time whether they are in refugee camps in Turkey, Jordan or elsewhere. Their sheer numbers have caused some European leaders to limit the number of Middle East refugees who enter their countries. In some cases doors have completely shut. While the refugee problem is not as acute in America, the refugee situation nevertheless raises concerns about national security, terrorism, health issues, disease, finances and assimilation. Concerns over fraud and welfare costs and terrorism are also very real.

Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, to discuss Middle East refugees are:

Left to Right: Ambassador Robert Jordan and Gerald J. Reihsen, Guest

This is a particularly difficult issue as most Americans are by nature compassionate towards their fellow man and woman regardless of their country of origin or other unique characteristics. On this program we attempt to weigh humanitarian concerns against those of terrorism.

Join us as we talk about things that matter… with people who care. And please don’t forget that for the last 25 years it is you, our viewer, who keeps us on the air.

The McCuistion Program, a 501 ( C ) ( 3 ) tax exempt organization does not receive any KERA pledge dollars, PBS funds or government grants, so thank you for your continued support.

Thanks for joining us,

Niki McCuistion
Co-Founder, Executive Producer, Producer
Business Consultant / Executive Coach, specializing in Organizational Culture Change, Governance and Strategic Planning
214-750-5157
www.nikimccuistion.com
nikin@nikimccuistion.com