The Shady, Secret History Of OnlyFans’ Billionaire Owner

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In October 2018, Florida-based internet porn baron Leonid Radvinsky, now 39, bought an estimated 75% of a growing but largely unheard-of business called OnlyFans. At the time, London-based OnlyFans was a fledgling video and social site that allowed adult performers to make money from the comfort of their own homes.

“Content creators” – mostly porn stars — set up accounts via the company’s platform and charge a subscription fee to viewers (whom the company calls “fans”) that ranges from $4.99 to $49.99 a month —and the performers keep 80% of whatever they charge.

With all film production – adult or otherwise – shuttered during the pandemic and millions of lonely people stuck at home, OnlyFans’ business has boomed. In the year through November 2020, OnlyFans posted revenues of $400 million, up 540% over the prior year, 80% of which came from American customers.

The number of creators nearly quintupled to 1.6 million, including more mainstream stars like Cardi B, DJ Khaled, Fat Joe, and Rebecca Minkoff. The total number of paying fans rose more than 500% to 82 million. Profits after tax rose to $60 million from $6.6 million. Forbes estimates that Radvinsky’s stake in Fenix International – OnlyFans’ parent company — makes him a new billionaire, worth some $1.8 billion.

Outside of these eye-popping financials, which were published in the U.K., little is known about Radvinsky, who didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment. A representative for OnlyFans also declined to comment. We do know that OnlyFans was founded in 2016 by a British entrepreneur named Timothy Stokely, now 37, alongside his retired banker father, Guy Stokely, and brother Thomas. In U.K. filings, Radvinsky and Guy Stokely are listed as the company’s sole directors. Timothy, Thomas, and Guy Stokely all declined to comment for this story.

What little else is known about Radvinsky is not flattering. Some twenty years ago, before Internet pornography was widely available for free, he ran a small empire of websites that advertised access to “illegal” and “hacked” passwords to porn sites, including ones that were advertised as featuring underage performers. In the late 1990s such link sites were common and were used to market not just pornography but online gambling and other grey market activities.

But Radvinsky was particularly aggressive. Looking through the Wayback Machine’s website archive, Forbes uncovered 11 such sites, all created in the late 1990s and early 2000s by Radvinsky and his Glenview, Illinois-based business, Cybertania. They included Password Universe, which, in 2000, published a link directing web users to a site claiming to offer pedophiles more than 10,000 “illegal pre-teen passwords.”

In 1999, a site called Working Passes had a link for “the hottest underaged hardcore” containing 16-year-olds. Also in 2000, another site, Ultra Passwords, promised a link containing “the best illegal teen passwords” and “the hottest bestiality site on the web.” The legal age for porn actors in the U.S. is 18, while bestiality (the act of having sex with an animal) is illegal in most American states. (The Wayback Machine removed Radvinsky’s old websites from its archive after speaking to Forbes.)

But there’s no evidence that any of Radvinsky’s sites actually linked to child pornography or bestiality. Instead, the sites appear to have been a way for Radvinsky to earn money by charging his partners (actual porn sites) for every click. Forbes, prohibited from accessing such imagery, asked the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), a specialist group engaged in the removal of such content on the web, to look at archived webpages containing links advertising underage pornography. According to the IWF, none linked to illegal material.


It was a scummy business, but it was a profitable one. One of Radvinsky’s sites was bringing in revenues of $5,000 a day in 2002, or $1.8 million for the year.


Instead, the links typically went through to similar sites offering more links to free porn passwords or other adult content. In 2002, a year before Radvinsky graduated from Northwestern University, where he majored in economics, his company Cybertania sued domain name registrar and internet backbone provider Verisign, claiming that Verisign transferred one of its websites to someone else.

In that suit, Radvinsky’s company said that it was in partnership with those same sites from which it had claimed to have “hacked” logins: “Cybertania earned a sum of money for each hyperlink connection or password, used from the respective owner and operators of those referral sites,” Cybertania’s lawyers wrote. In another lawsuit against Radvinsky, the plaintiff stated that Ultra Passwords “presents the deceptive image of providing ‘hacked’ (stolen) passwords to get free services from other pornographic sites, but which is in fact a lucrative affiliate referral site.”

It was a scummy business, but it was a profitable one. In the Cybertania suit against Verisign, Radvinsky’s company said its Ultra Passwords site was bringing in revenues of $5,000 a day in 2002, or $1.8 million for the year.

Radvinsky remained elusive during the nearly 20 years between the start of his sex link farm businesses and his purchase of 75% of OnlyFans. In the early 2000s, he created a handful of sites linking to celebrity sex tapes and MyFreeCams, a site that claims to be the world’s number one porn-via-webcam service. He has also occasionally popped up in lawsuits. In 2003 and 2004, Amazon and Microsoft sued Radvinsky in U.S. district court in Seattle for alleged spam campaigns that used the Amazon name and Microsoft email tools to offer spam recipients “free money from the government” or links to adult websites. Radvinsky denied all allegations.

The cases were settled out of court in 2005, and Radvinsky and his businesses were barred from using Amazon’s name in spam or using any of Microsoft’s email tools. His Cybertania business was sued in 2005 by a model, Sheila Lussier, for using her (clothed) image on one of his porn sites, an allegation the company fought. Lussier says she settled for an undisclosed sum.

OnlyFans has run into its own issues with underage performers. Since the site doesn’t independently verify its sex workers’ ages, it’s fairly easy for people to lie. In late May, a BBC investigation revealed that a 14-year-old girl had been able to register an account as a performer on OnlyFans using her grandmother’s passport.

A senior police officer told the BBC that OnlyFans is “[N]ot doing enough to put in place the safeguards that prevent children exploiting the opportunity to generate money, but also for children to be exploited.” In response, OnlyFans issued a statement that it used “state-of-the-art technology” and “human monitoring” to try to prevent under-18s sharing content on the platform and it took the issue “very seriously.”

Signy Arnason, associate executive director of The Canadian Center for Child Protection, says her group often receives notifications about OnlyFans’ models potentially being underage. She describes OnlyFans’ efforts to protect underage performers as “minimal.” OnlyFans has “a moral and ethical responsibility to be doing better here,” she adds.

I’m associate editor for Forbes, covering security, surveillance and privacy. I’m also the editor of The Wiretap newsletter, which has exclusive stories on real-world surveillance and all the biggest cybersecurity stories of the week. It goes out every Monday and you can sign up here: https://www.forbes.com/newsletter/thewiretap

I’ve been breaking news and writing features on these topics for major publications since 2010. As a freelancer, I worked for The Guardian, Vice, Wired and the BBC, amongst many others.

Tip me on Signal / WhatsApp / whatever you like to use at +447782376697. If you use Threema, you can reach me at my ID: S2XY9B9U.

If you want to tip me with something sensitive? Get in contact on Signal or Threema, and we can use OnionShare. It’s a great way to share documents privately. See here: https://onionshare.org/

I am a wealth reporter at Forbes, based in London covering the business of billionaires, philanthropy, investing, tax, technology and lifestyle. I studied at Goldsmiths, University of London and joined from Spear’s Magazine, where I covered everything from the Westminster bubble to world of wealth management, private banking, divorce law, alternative assets, tax, tech and succession. Notable bylines include an investigation into Switzerland’s bi-lateral bonds to the European Union, and a journey through Bhutan – testing the hunger for democracy, and the love for their King. I joined Forbes in May 2019.

Source: The Shady, Secret History Of OnlyFans’ Billionaire Owner

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Critics:

OnlyFans is a content subscription service based in London, England.[3][4] Content creators can earn money from users who subscribe to their content—the “fans”. It allows content creators to receive funding directly from their fans on a monthly basis as well as one-time tips and the pay-per-view (PPV) feature.

The service is popular with and commonly associated with sex workers but it also hosts the work of other content creators, such as physical fitness experts, musicians and other creators who post regularly online.

OnlyFans was launched in 2016 as a platform for performers to provide clips and photos to followers for a monthly subscription fee. The parent company is Fenix International Limited. Two years later, Leonid Radvinsky, owner of MyFreeCams, acquired 75% ownership of Fenix and became its director.

In 2019, OnlyFans introduced an extra safeguard into the account verification process so that a creator now has to provide a selfie headshot with their ID in the image in order to prove that the ID provided belongs to the account holder. The site has over 24 million registered users and claims to have paid out US$725 million to its 450,000 content creators.

After the site was mentioned by Beyoncé in the song “Savage” in April 2020, CEO Tim Stokely claimed OnlyFans was “seeing about 200,000 new users every 24 hours and 7,000 to 8,000 new creators joining every day.” In the same line, Savage also mentioned Demon Time, a social media show, and shortly after the release of that song, OnlyFans announced a partnership with Demon Time to create a monetized virtual night club using the site’s dual-screen live feature.

In January 2020, 20-year-old American Kaylen Ward raised more than US$1 million in contributions to charity during the wild bushfires in Australia. OnlyFans teamed with her for their first partnership for a charitable cause.This started a trend with some OnlyFans creators who have been raising money through their accounts.

As of June 2021, top OnlyFans creators Jem Wolfie, an Australian fitness model, and Mia Malkova, an American pornographic actress, reportedly earn over $7 million per month in subscription income through the platform.

As pornography is allowed on OnlyFans, the website is mainly used by pornographic models, both amateur and professional, but it also has a market with chefs, fitness enthusiasts, and musicians.Users must be at least 18 years old to register, regardless of the content consumed. In March 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of OnlyFans content creators increased by 40%, and the number of users on the site increased from 7.5 million to 85 million.

See also

References:

“Donate $10 to Australia, Get a Nude Photo”. The New York Times. Retrieved 9 January 2020.

For Small Businesses, Recovery from COVID Could Take Years

Latresa McLawhorn Ryan knows well the havoc that COVID has reaped upon small businesses of color in the Atlanta area and believes the effects of COVID are likely to hang over these businesses for some time. She also knows that small businesses of color can bounce back if they get the right kind of assistance.

“We’ve lost a lot of businesses, some that were really anchors in their community,” said McLawhorn Ryan, executive director of the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative, a nonprofit organization of community investors, advocates, and activists that supports Black-owned firms. She added that the casualties have included yoga studios, restaurants, and other businesses that rely on high traffic and face-to-face interaction. “It will take three to five years, depending on the sector, for businesses to recover from the impact of COVID.”

Because small businesses of color are an important driver of employment and asset building in their communities, the COVID-related business failures send a message throughout the community that perhaps it is more vulnerable to market forces, McLawhorn Ryan added.

The Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Kansas City published a recovery guide in late 2020 to offer strategies that can help small businesses of color bounce back from the COVID crisis. The guide begins by discussing the state of small businesses of color before the COVID-19 pandemic, placing these firms’ challenges into historical context.

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Entrepreneur-In-Residence Scott Shigeoka talks with economic experts and small business owners about overcoming hardships and their message of hope for recovery after COVID-19. Robert Brown, Sr. Director of Business Analytics at GoDaddy, breaks down Venture Forward, a multi-year study looking at the impact of micro and small businesses on the American economy. Resources for Small Businesses: Venture Forward study: https://www.godaddy.com/ventureforward Up-to-date info on COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov

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A second section provides recommendations for communities looking to assist small businesses of color in the areas of credit and capital, education and training, policy, and community support. The final section shares tools for communities to develop an entrepreneurship network focused on small businesses of color.

Atlanta Fed president Raphael Bostic led a January 14 panel discussion with Southeast community leaders discussing ways to support small businesses. The webinar focused on the need to establish networks that can deliver resources and coaching.

Issue number 1 is funding

Janelle Williams, a senior adviser in the Atlanta Fed’s Community and Economic Development group who wrote the recovery guide with two Kansas City Fed advisers, said businesses owned by nonwhites face especially daunting challenges to regain their footing, with access to funding and credit topping the list.

“There are still structural barriers that limit small businesses of color from securing the capitalization needed to sustain and scale their businesses in a valuable way,” she said.

Much of the funds approved by U.S. lawmakers last year under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help businesses preserve employment did not reach the smallest companies and many firms owned by people of color. For example, a Federal Reserve Bank of New York analysis found that PPP loans were given to just 20 percent of eligible companies in states with the highest densities of Black-owned firms. In Fulton County, Georgia—which includes the city of Atlanta—a total of 20.8 percent of businesses received loans from the program. In Florida’s Miami-Dade County, just 15 percent of eligible firms obtained PPP funds.

In mid-January, a third round of PPP loans opened. Small business owners of color are hopeful that more funds will reach them this time. A portion of the $284 billion approved for small businesses in the December 2020 COVID relief legislation was set aside for firms with 10 or fewer employees and lenders that cater to underserved communities, including minority-owned banks and community development financial institutions.

Small businesses of color face barriers that make it harder to gain access to capital. They often lack relationships with traditional banks and access to social networks that could help them learn about and apply for available loans. Most entrepreneurs of color don’t have family wealth that could be used to start a business.

Other factors hinder the success of nonwhite small businesses. Williams noted research showing that in the six southeastern states that are part of the Atlanta Fed’s coverage area, small businesses of color are overrepresented in sectors such as food services and retail that have been particularly vulnerable during the pandemic because of required lockdowns, social distancing guidelines, and lower demand for goods and services.

“There is a need for a broader conversation around addressing barriers to entry for small businesses of color that seek to access higher-growth industries that are moderately insulated from market pressures,” Williams said.

Different approaches to financing

The tougher path to viability that small businesses of color face has been well documented. A 2017 report from Prosperity Now, a public policy nonprofit group, notes that deep and persistent patterns of racial discrimination against business owners of color have resulted in greater loan denials and higher interest rates for loans they do obtain. Those financing outcomes result in lower profit margins and limit the opportunities for businesses of color to build thriving enterprises.

The Reserve Banks’ recovery guide notes that the needs of small businesses of color call for financing methods that are nimbler and more accessible to help level the playing field. Those could include interest-free loans, loans with rates that start low and gradually rise, deferred payments and longer repayment time frames, and flexible underwriting terms. Many community organizations consulted in developing the recovery guide “shared that grants, forgivable loans, and patient equity capital will be needed” to help these businesses spring back, the report states.

Williams said the pandemic has challenged the funders that support small businesses of color to think about the kinds of financial assistance that would be meaningful and to understand that some types of aid may not help. “Small businesses of color already are debt averse, so asking them to incur additional debt is a challenge, especially when many rely on their personal income to stay afloat,” she said.

To address these issues, community stakeholders have begun to embrace alternate financing solutions, Williams said. She noted that philanthropic groups were offering program-related investments that provide capital at lower interest rates, while community development financial institutions were introducing funding products that include opportunities for credit enhancement.

The Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative launched a COVID relief fund last year that has provided money to at least 65 small businesses and 18 nonprofits, mainly located in the northwest, southwest, and southeast parts of metro Atlanta where residents’ health and personal income both suffered acutely. The program offers loans that include flexible terms, a six-month grace period, and 30 months of repayment. Through three rounds of grants and two rounds of loans to date, the nonprofit group has dispersed about $800,000 to Black-owned businesses, McLawhorn Ryan said.

The grants and loans have helped in many ways. One restaurant, for example, used a loan from the nonprofit to acquire a food truck that enabled it to sell in different communities and expand its customer base, she said.

“All of our loans were accompanied by specific technical assistance—it helps to have capital, but it also helps to have access to expertise to help think through how to get to the next stage or how to manage cash flow,” McLawhorn Ryan noted.

McLawhorn Ryan said it’s important for funding partners to keep offering funding and general support that will enable small businesses of color to recover and advance to the next phases of development, and she cautioned against a return to business as usual over the next few years.

“This is a new economy, and therefore it requires a new perspective,” McLawhorn Ryan said. “If we are intentional about creating inclusive products, inclusive opportunities for businesses to thrive and survive during this time, we have to be dedicated to the tools that are needed to create a truly equitable environment.”

Staff writer for Economy Matters

 

Source: For Small Businesses, Recovery from COVID Could Take Years – Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

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Atlanta Fed Research Examines Debt’s Effects on Health

March 7, 2017

Everyone knows that money woes can prey on one’s mind. But what about on one’s health? Economy Matters looks at recent Atlanta Fed research that explores the impact of delinquent debt on mortality.

Travel Blooms in Cuba as U.S. Relations Thaw, but Obstacles Remain

March 2, 2017

Once off limits to U.S. tourists for decades, Cuba is now luring growing numbers of American visitors. But a number of questions loom, and the answers to them will determine if this growth will continue. Economy Matters looks at the perspective of Cuba experts to learn more.

A Conversation about the Health Effects of Delinquent Debt

March 2, 2017

It’s no surprise that carrying unmanageable debt is stressful. But can it also bring adverse health effects? The Economy Matters podcast features an Atlanta Fed economist who looked into the question. podcast

An Eventful Decade: Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart Looks Back at His Tenure

February 3, 2017

After a decade at the helm of the Atlanta Fed, Dennis Lockhart is preparing to step down as president and CEO. In this Economy Matters podcast episode, Lockhart looks back at his time leading the Bank. podcast

To Fail or Not to Fail? A Discussion of Banking’s “Too Big to Fail” Problem

January 5, 2017

The problem of financial institutions whose distress would be large enough to imperil the larger economy has vexed policymakers for decades. The Economy Matters podcast looks at some of the challenges involved in solving too big to fail. podcast

A Healthy Labor Market Still Includes Many Puzzles

December 8, 2016

Today’s labor market poses numerous questions for economists. Economy Matters looks at some of these questions and considers the good news they portend, as well as the not-so-good news.

Immigration, Offshoring, and Their Effects on U.S. Wages

December 1, 2016

When low-skill immigrants arrive in the United States, and middle-skill jobs are offshored, how are wages affected? An episode of the Economy Matters podcast looks at research into the question. podcast

​Examining China’s Economy: A Conversation with Atlanta Fed Researchers

September 22, 2016

The Chinese economy—the world’s second largest—is of broad interest to economists and many others, and efforts to better understand it are numerous. This episode of the Economy Matters podcast talks to Atlanta Fed economists who have worked to provide clearer data about China’s economy.

Trade Dynamics and China, Part 3: How Do the United States and China Compare?

September 20, 2016

This final article in a three-part series in Economy Matters looks at trade flows between China and the rest of the world, comparing them with the trade flows of the United States. How have these patterns changed over time and across what types of goods?

Dinámica Comercial y China, Parte 3: Una comparación entre Estados Unidos y China

September 20, 2016

Este último artículo de una serie de tres partes publicado en Economy Matters aborda el flujo comercial entre China y otros países del resto del mundo, y lo compara con el flujo comercial de Estados Unidos. ¿De qué manera han cambiado estos patrones comerciales a través del tiempo y con respecto a los tipos de bienes?

A Dinâmica Comercial e a China, 3a Parte: Como Comparar os Estados Unidos e a China?

September 20, 2016

Este último artigo de uma série de três da Economy Matters examina os fluxos comerciais entre a China e o resto do mundo comparando-os aos fluxos comerciais dos Estados Unidos. Como esses padrões de comércio mudaram ao longo do tempo e entre quais tipos de mercadorias?

Economistas do FED de Atlanta Investigam os Mistérios da Economia Chinesa

September 8, 2016

A China é a segunda maior economia do mundo, mas ainda é desafiador entender totalmente sua economia. Uma equipe de economistas do FED de Atlanta está trabalhando para abreviar esse desafio. Economy Matters conversou recentemente com a equipe sobre este trabalho.

Atlanta Fed Economists Probe Mysteries of Chinese Economy

September 8, 2016

China’s growing economy has increasing influence on the economy of the United States. Economy Matters talks to some Atlanta Fed economists who are working to better understand China’s economic data.

Economistas de la Fed de Atlanta investigan misterios de la economía de China

September 8, 2016

China es la segunda mayor economía del mundo pero entender su economía es un desafío. Un equipo de economistas de la Fed de Atlanta está trabajando para dilucidar este desafío. Economy Matters conversó recientemente con ellos acerca de su trabajo.

Are Lemons Sold First? A Discussion of the Mortgage Market

August 18, 2016

The housing crisis made clear that not all mortgage bonds are equally good investments. But what can we learn today from how mortgages are offered for sale as investments? The Economy Matters podcast talks to an Atlanta Fed economist to find out.

Coming to Our Census: A Look at the Atlanta Fed’s Research Data Center

July 21, 2016

The Atlanta Fed is home to a Research Data Center (RDC), which gives qualified researchers access to data available in few other places. In this Economy Matters podcast episode, Julie Hotchkiss, director of the Atlanta RDC, discusses how the facility enables research that otherwise would not be possible.

Part Chart, Part Science: The Evolution of Economic Indicators

July 14, 2016

Just as the economy has evolved over many decades, so too have the ways economic activity is measured. What was once perhaps a key metric might now be only a marginally useful vestige in an economist’s toolbox. Economy Matters looks at some newer tools and how they help assess the economy.

Small Businesses Look to Alternative Funding Sources

June 16, 2016

​Many options are available these days for financing a small business, and this story looks at some of them.

Keeping Up with the Gazelles, Part 5: For Gazelle Founders, Hiring Goes beyond the Resume

June 16, 2016

All businesses seek the right hires, but for a small business, having the right employees is arguably even more crucial. The fifth and final installment of Economy Matters‘ Gazelle Project talked to some founders of gazelles—or fast-growing small businesses—about the role of hiring in establishing and building a business.

ECONversations Explores Aging’s Impact on the Economy

May 26, 2016

​The number of Americans 65 and older will increase by 66 percent over the next two decades. This article offers highlights of a recent ECONversations webcast in which two Atlanta Fed research economists discussed the economic and fiscal implications.

Senior Housing Industry Aging Gracefully

May 26, 2016

The surge in the population of older Americans is fueling the growth of “senior living facilities” to house this population. Economy Matters looks at this nascent industry.

Dinámica del Comercio y China, Parte 2: El Mundo – Espanõl

May 2, 2016

¿Cuánto importa y exporta China en los mercados globales y que tipos de bienes intercambia? La segunda entrega de una serie de tres partes de Economy Matters describe el comercio entre China y el resto del mundo en las últimas décadas.

Trade Dynamics and China, Part 2: The World

May 2, 2016

How much does China import and export globally and what types of goods are exchanged? Economy Matters charts China-world trade over the past few decades in the second of a three-part series.

A Dinâmica Comercial e a China, 2ª Parte: O Mundo – Português

May 2, 2016

Quanto a China importa e exporta globalmente, e que tipos de mercadorias são comercializadas? A segunda parte da série de três artigos da Economy Matters faz um mapa da participação chinesa no mercado mundial nas últimas décadas.

German Central Banker Says Euro Economy Gradually Recovering

April 19, 2016

The European Central Bank loosened monetary policy to boost the euro area economy. But that brings economic risk, said a German central banker at a recent luncheon at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Economy Matters offers highlights of his presentation.

Health Care Sector Projected to Expand

April 14, 2016

Medical demands of the increasingly aging population will boost the health care and social assistance sector, contributing substantially to the U.S. labor market. This Economy Matters article investigates where the jobs will be and looks at the balance between aging patients and an aging workforce.

Where Have All the Teen Workers Gone?

April 7, 2016

If you remember the job you held as a teenager, you might be part of a dwindling group. Fewer teens are entering the labor force today, and Economy Matters looks at some of the factors behind the decline.

The State of the States: Uneven Recovery and Tough First Quarters

March 18, 2016

How have states fared since the end of the recession? This Economy Matters article looks at state-level GDP data to find out.

Among Ugly Houses, Ours Is Prettiest

March 17, 2016

​ Soon after the release of Michael Lewis’s book The Big Short, some Fed economists wrote an analysis of the book for the Atlanta Fed’s Real Estate Research blog. Read about them here.

Keeping Up with the Gazelles, Part 4: Social Capital—The Battle Cry of the Gazelle

March 10, 2016

Founders of small businesses always have a vision for what they want to achieve, but they don’t always have all the answers. Economy Matters talked to some founders of gazelles—or fast-growing small businesses—about the role of mentors in establishing and building a business.

A Brighter Picture: Measuring Regional Variation in Labor Utilization

February 23, 2016

By some calculations, labor resource utilization rates across the United States still have not returned to prerecession levels. But according to this story in Economy Matters, the Atlanta Fed’s ZPOP measure paints a brighter picture.

Taking the Temperature of Real Estate

February 18, 2016

Regionally, the real estate sector has been important to the economy and has acted as a bellwether for other sectors, such as employment. In the new episode, two Atlanta Fed experts discuss real estate—and whether we’re in a new bubble.

Ask the Expert: An Interview with Stephen Kay

February 11, 2016

With the U.S. labor force aging and baby boomers moving into retirement, pensions have garnered much attention in recent years. Economy Matters spoke with an Atlanta Fed pension expert about the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Economists’ Views of The Big Short

February 4, 2016

​ Soon after the release of Michael Lewis’s book The Big Short, some Fed economists wrote an analysis of the book for the Atlanta Fed’s Real Estate Research blog. Read about them here.

U.S. and China Trade by the Numbers

February 4, 2016

​ Just as every picture tells a story, numbers can also be quite telling. Economy Matters has selected a few interesting integers about the trade relationship between the United States and China.

A Dinâmica Comercial e a China, 1ª Parte: Os Estados Unidos – Português

January 28, 2016

Quão atrelado ao desempenho econômico da China está o desempenho da economia dos EUA e o desempenho das economias em todo o mundo? Esta primeira parte de uma série de três artigos da Economy Matters lança uma luz sobre essa questão.

Trade Dynamics and China, Part 1: The United States

January 28, 2016

How tied up in China’s economic performance is the performance of the U.S. economy and the performance of economies around the world? This first installment of a three-part series in Economy Matters sheds some light on this issue.

Dinámica del Comercio Internacional y China, Parte 1: Los Estados Unidos – Espanõl

January 28, 2016

Cuál es el grado de asociación de la actividad económica en China y el desempeño de la economía Estados Unidos y del resto del mundo? Esta primera entrega de una serie de tres partes en Economy Matters arroja algo de luz sobre esta cuestión.

Lockhart: Economy Achieving Liftoff Conditions

January 14, 2016

In a recent speech, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart observed a number of improving economic barometers. Can a monetary policymaking move be far behind? Economy Matters summarizes his remarks.

Expecting Solid Growth, Lockhart Focusing on Inflation

January 14, 2016

Setting monetary policy requires an understanding of current conditions, but it also takes into account how policy changes reverberate down the road. Economy Matterslooks at recent remarks by Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart about considerations that go into the policymaking process.

Going Inside GDPNow

January 14, 2016

Since its 2014 debut, the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow tool has compiled an impressive track record in estimating changes in the gross domestic product. In this episode, Atlanta Fed economist Pat Higgins, the creator of GDPNow, discusses the tool, how it works, and some of the challenges involved in measuring the economy.

Keeping Up with the Gazelles, Part 3: Financing the Herd

December 23, 2015

Founders of small businesses face innumerable challenges, chief among them financing. Economy Matters talked to some founders of gazelles–or fast-growing small businesses–about how they financed their endeavors and how financing affected their business strategies.

Of Cars and Capital Flows: Mexican Central Bank Leader Discusses Auto Production, Global Challenges

December 17, 2015

Mexico, one of the largest trading partners of the United States, has been experiencing significant economic changes. A representative of Mexico’s central bank recently visited the Atlanta Fed to discuss some of them, and Economy Matters recaps his remarks.

A Story in Charts: Who Works for Minimum Wage?

November 12, 2015

Most minimum wage workers work part-time. This week, Economy Matters tells a story of minimum wage workers in a series of charts.

Keeping Up with the Gazelles, Part 2: Why Gazelle Founders Set Sail

November 12, 2015

There are as many reasons for founding a business as there are businesses. Economy Matters talked to some founders of gazelles, or fast-growing small businesses, to learn their reasons for setting out on their own.

The Death of a Reserve Currency

November 12, 2015

The Dutch bank florin—the dominant currency in Europe during much of the 17th and 18th centuries—lost its reserve currency status during the period 1781–92. In this Economy Matters podcast, Atlanta Fed economist Will Roberds talks about the rise and fall of the currency and what lessons it holds for today’s central bankers.

Atlanta Fed’s Hotchkiss: Don’t Be Overly Alarmed by Shrinking Labor Force

November 5, 2015

Some economists have been fretting about the declining labor force participation rate. But how big a source of concern should it really be? Economy Matters looks at a recent examination of some trends to draw conclusions.

The Relationship between the Minimum Wage and Rates of Youth Drinking and Driving

October 15, 2015

If a young person gets a raise at work, could the extra money lead to increased reckless behavior such as drinking and driving? A new Economy Matters podcast discusses Atlanta Fed research into the question.

Atlanta Fed President Lockhart’s Economic Narrative Considers the Long View

October 15, 2015

Setting monetary policy requires an understanding of current conditions, but it also takes into account how policy changes reverberate down the road. Economy Matters looks at recent remarks by Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart about considerations that go into the policymaking process.

Tools for the Armchair Economist: Taking the Pulse of GDP

October 1, 2015

Gross domestic product, or GDP, is an important measure of the economy’s health. However, official figures are released with a delay, posing challenges in gauging current conditions. Economy Matters explores the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model, which provides several real-time forecasts each month.

Gender Equality Is Smart Economics, Expert Says

October 1, 2015

Economists often base decisions on efficiency, but does this sort of decision making consider its gender impact? Economy Matters sat in on a recent talk by an academic who discussed the question.

What History Can Teach Us about E-Money

October 1, 2015

Could government-issued and privately issued electronic money coexist? Based on the 1914 to 1934 experience in the United States, the answer is yes, according to an Atlanta Fed working paper. Economy Matters summarizes the paper.

A Story in Five Charts: Who Works Part-Time?

September 24, 2015

More than three-quarters of all part-time workers in the United States choose to work fewer hours. The remaining quarter are involuntary. Economy Matters tells you who the part-timers are and their reasons for working part-time.

Keeping Up with the Gazelles, Part 1: Is the Herd Thinning?

September 17, 2015

Young, high-growth companies—sometimes known as gazelles—have traditionally been an important source of job creation, but the number of U.S. start-ups is in long-term decline. Economy Matters looks at the impact a diminishing herd of gazelles could have on the employment market.

Tools for the Armchair Economist: What’s Your Number?

September 17, 2015

Track your own personalized level of inflation with myCPI, a new calculator from the Atlanta Fed that tailors the U.S. inflation measure to individual circumstances. Economy Matters introduces this tool for the “armchair economist.”

The Government’s Conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

September 17, 2015

When the U.S. housing market swooned in 2008, the housing agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac became distressed and entered into a government conservatorship that was intended to be temporary. In this Economy Matters podcast, Atlanta Fed economist Scott Frame discusses the circumstances leading to the ongoing conservatorship.

How Was Steve Jobs Unlike Mark Twain? A Conversation with Economist David Galenson

September 10, 2015

Conceptually creative people do dramatic things, while experimentally creative people just keep working away, eventually accomplishing great things. Economist David Galenson posits two types of creativity, and argues for more research.

Tools for the Armchair Economist: Atlanta Fed Adds Wage Growth Tracker

September 3, 2015

Healthy wage growth has been an important missing ingredient in an otherwise strengthening economy. But recently, the Wage Growth Tracker, a new tool from the Atlanta Fed, showed a sharp rise in wages. Economy Matters introduces this tool for the “armchair economist.”

Ask the Economist

September 3, 2015

Atlanta Fed research director Dave Altig recently sat down with Economy Matters to discuss productivity, technological innovation, and the reasons he feels optimistic about the future of the U.S. economy.

Getting to the FOMC

August 20, 2015

All eyes have been on the Federal Open Market Committee as the central bank’s main policymaking body considers when to raise the federal funds rate for the first time since 2008.

The ABCs of the FOMC: Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart Discusses the Policymaking Process

August 20, 2015

Not many people get the opportunity to sit in on a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee. But in this debut Economy Matters podcast, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart, a voting member of the FOMC, takes us behind the scenes, describing how participants conduct deliberations, reach consensus, and cast votes on setting national monetary policy.

Wage Growth Is Intertwined with the Fed’s Dual Mandate

August 20, 2015

Wage growth matters to the Fed. Wages and broader labor costs are crucial to both components of the central bank’s dual mandate: price stability and maximum employment.

How Much Can Monetary Policy Do?

August 20, 2015

Through 2014, a range of indicators suggested that the underutilization of labor market resources gradually diminished. But how much labor market slack remains?

The Smallest of Small Firms: How Are They Financed?

August 20, 2015

Every business has to start somewhere, and most start with one employee. New Atlanta Fed research—summarized in this Economy Matters article—looks into how these firms—known as nonemployers—obtain financing.

Warren Buffett Says You Should Practice the 4 Habits That Separate The Best From The Rest

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett.

Warren Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, turns 91 in August. Remarkably, at an age where most people’s cognitive functions have entirely regressed, where many are now at the hands of caretakers, Buffett still captures the world’s attention as the fifth richest person on the planet.

The greatest investor of this generation has amassed a following of millions who’ve learned, like Buffett, that long-term success is achieved by making smart decisions — in investing and in life.

Here are four Buffett lessons that will yield good returns when you choose to act on them.

1. Master the practice of “boundaries”

With all the demands on him every day, Buffett learned a long time ago that the greatest commodity of all is time. He simply mastered the art and practice of setting boundaries for himself. That’s why this Buffett quote remains a powerful life lesson. The mega-mogul said:

The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.

Buffett’s advice is a bull’s-eye to our conscience. We have to know what to shoot for to simplify our lives. It means saying no over and over again to the unimportant things flying in our direction every day and remaining focused on saying yes to the few things that truly matter.

2. Invest in your personal development

What assets should you be investing in the most? In a 2019 interview, Buffett said: “By far the best investment you can make is in yourself.”

As Buffett has repeatedly taught us, it means to never stop acquiring knowledge — the kind of knowledge that betters yourself as a whole person, not just as an investor.

Buffett’s lifelong pursuit of learning, which he shares with his longtime Berkshire Hathaway partner and colleague Charlie Munger, is the secret sauce of his success.

3. Model the leadership behaviors of the best managers

In Buffett’s 2015 letter to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, he summarized how one arrives at leadership greatness in a few words:

Much of what you become in life depends on whom you choose to admire and copy.

The quote was in reference to Tom Murphy, who taught Buffett everything he learned about managing a company. Murphy, who was Buffett’s biggest admirer, gave plenty of lessons on the best management practices that Buffett has adapted for his own companies, including:

  • Give autonomy to workers.
  • Delegate your authority effectively and wisely.
  • Hire for integrity.

4. Build a positive reputation

Buffett’s reputation is founded on his principled and level-headed approach to his personal and professional life. When it comes to building a good reputation, these are some things worth prioritizing:

  • Establishing trust, transparency, and fairness
  • Offering good value and high-quality products and services
  • Treating people with dignity and respect
  • Communicating clearly and promptly
  • Providing a service to the community

You should treat your business practice as a reflection of yourself, and that means being thoughtful and considerate of how your decisions affect others. If you embrace professional opportunities as a chance to add value to your community, your reputation will reflect your own personal growth.

Source: Warren Buffett Says You Should Practice the 4 Habits That Separate the Best From the Rest | Inc.com

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5 Last-Minute Ideas for a Successful Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday that celebrates small businesses and it happens every year on the last Saturday of November. Founded in 2010 by American Express, Small Business Saturday is a great way to promote your small business because unlike other popular shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you don’t have to compete with the big guys. 

So, it’s important that you take advantage of Small Business Saturday this year if you want to attract more shoppers to your business and generate more sales. But, how can you stand out on Small Business Saturday and grab the attention of shoppers?

Check out these 5 ideas for a successful Small Business Saturday. 

1. Put up signage

If you want to have a successful Small Business Saturday this year, first you need to remind your customers of the shopping holiday. So, be sure to put up signage in your small business weeks before the big day to inform shoppers and get them excited about the event. 

American Express even offers customizable free signage and marketing materials like decals and posters you can use to promote Small Business Saturday to your customers.  

If your business doesn’t have a physical location, you can “put up signage” on your website. Make sure to display your Small Business Saturday promotions prominently on your homepage and consider creating a dedicated landing page for Small Business Saturday deals. 

2. Create an email marketing campaign

Email is one of the best ways to stay in touch with your customers—and it’s one of the best ways to promote your Small Business Saturday deals too. With email marketing, you can send your subscribers an invitation to your Small Business Saturday event straight to their inboxes. In the email, tell customers how much they can expect to save, and use words that create urgency like “don’t wait,” “one day only” and “don’t miss it.”

3. Use social media and relevant hashtags

Your audience is on social media. In fact, according to Oberlo, 90.4 percent of Millenials, 77.5 percent of Generation X and 48.2 percent of Baby Boomers are active social media users. So, if you want to have a successful Small Business Saturday you need to be on social media too.

Start creating and sharing Small Business Saturday posts on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To widen your reach, be sure to use relevant hashtags like #SmallBusinessSaturday, #SmallBizSat, #ShopSmall and #ShopLocal. 

4. Run a giveaway

A great way to get shoppers excited about Small Business Saturday is by running a giveaway. Everyone loves winning a prize or getting a free gift so running a giveaway will give shoppers a little extra incentive to shop at your business on the last Saturday of November. 

Your business could hold an online giveaway where users have to share your post in order to enter. This will help get the word out about your Small Business Saturday promotions faster. You could also run a simple raffle at your business or give away a free gift to the first 25 people that make a purchase. A giveaway is a great way to stir up excitement and turn casual shoppers into lifelong fans of your business. 

5. Share the story of your business 

Lastly, because Small Business Saturday is all about supporting local, small businesses, you should share your story. Sharing the story of your business will help you make connections and build meaningful relationships with your customers. 

So, let your customers know how you started your business and why you started it. You can share your story via signage, social media posts, in your email newsletter and so on. Sharing your story will help your customers get to know the person behind the company and show them why they should support your business.  

Make Small Business Saturday your own

Get ready to have the most successful Small Business Saturday yet. With these tips, you can attract plenty of people that are interested in shopping at and supporting small businesses like yours. 

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Black Businesses Receive Tech Industry Push Ahead Of Holiday Shopping Bonanza

The Covid-19 pandemic has dealt Black-owned businesses a tough hand. Stifled by stay-at-home orders, on-again off-again store closures and stricter limits occupancy limits, many businesses are struggling to outlast the seemingly unending virus outbreak.

Although they’ve rebounded slightly in recent months, Black-owned stores have experienced the greatest decline this year, plummeting from 1.1 million businesses in February to 640,000 in April—a 41% drop.

But spurred by a national movement to support Black businesses, which kicked off this summer, a new number of corporations are taking small steps to put the Black in Black Friday.

Black Friday online sales pulled in a record $7.4 billion in 2019— the second largest online shopping day ever and a 19.6% increase over the previous year—while the holiday season overall generated more than $72 billion in online sales, according to Adobe Analytics. Online sales for this Black Friday are projected to generate $10.3 billion.

The surge in digital spending over the holiday season and the heightened visibility that’s been awarded to small businesses through corporate sponsorships could have a considerable impact on Black businesses in particular, sustaining them through the a few more months of the pandemic.

Facebook, for one, launched its #BuyBlackFriday initiative and a corresponding toolkit and gift guide in October as part of a broader three-month campaign to buttress small businesses during the holiday season.

The gift guide features products from Black-owned businesses and was curated alongside the U.S. Black Chambers and several corporate partners. 

“Black-owned businesses have been hit especially hard by the pandemic, closing at twice the rate of other small businesses,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg wrote in a blog post announcing the initiative. She added, “But we know that millions of people want to help.”

The campaign runs through Black Friday on November 27, a symbolic starting gun for the holiday shopping season.

More recently, Google partnered with Grammy-winning musician Wyclef Jean and the U.S. Black Chambers to promote its #BlackOwnedFriday campaign, an effort to make November 27 “Black-owned Friday” and galvanize shoppers to buy Black beyond the Thanksgiving weekend.

The tech giant has also showcased Black-owed businesses on its social platforms since mid-October and now allows users to find nearby stores that identify as Black-owned through its search engine.

“I’ve seen firsthand the strain and struggle that Black-owned businesses face,” Jean said in a statement. “For many of them, this holiday season will be critical to their survival.”

TikTok, the latest viral social media platform, threw its weight behind Black-owned businesses months after facing censorship allegations from Black creatives in June. Earlier this month, the video sharing platform, which has about 200 million monthly active users in the U.S., launched Support Black Businesses, a digital hub to amplify Black entrepreneurs. 

TikTok also announced #ShopBlack, an in-app campaign that allows users to create videos spotlighting their favorite Black-owned businesses or to share their experience as a Black entrepreneur.

As small businesses reel from the pandemic’s economic disruption, many big retailers have had breakaway growth. Amazon’s profits and sales exceeded analysts’ expectations, reporting a 37% sales growth and tripling its third-quarter profits as more shoppers turn to the e-commerce giant during the pandemic. 

But celebrities and influencers alike have started to leverage Amazon’s omnipresence to highlight Black sellers on the platform. Nearly 70% of the products on Oprah Winfrey’s highly anticipated annual list of her favorite things are created by Black-owned or Black-led businesses this year and all are available for purchase on Amazon.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

The billionaire media mogul has partnered with Amazon on the list since 2015 and her yearly picks have provided brands with considerable gains in sales since the list’s 1996 advent.

Black Americans have developed a growing presence among small businesses owners and could stand to gain considerable sales from dedicated shopping holidays like Small Business Saturday, which raked in an estimated $19.6 billion in 2019. And while physical distancing measures will significantly curb foot traffic this year, more than 112 million Americans visited a small business on that day last year, a record high.

As shoppers increasingly reject winding lines that snake around the store, a trend that’s long been in the making but was exacerbated by the pandemic, they’re also looking to support independent local businesses—a potential boon for niche Black businesses with an online presence this holiday season. Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.

Ruth Umoh

 Ruth Umoh

I’m a reporter covering the various aspects of diversity and inclusion in business and society at large. Previously, I was a reporter at CNBC, where I focused on leadership and strategic management. I’ve also dabbled in video journalism, working as a breaking news digital producer for New York Daily News, followed by a yearlong stint as a producer at Rolling Stone. My work has been featured on New York Daily News, Yahoo Finance and Time Out. I’m a proud alumna of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, receiving honors for my investigative thesis on the alarming number of physicians dying by suicide. Tweet me @ruthumohnews or send tips to rumoh@forbes.com.

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MarketWatch

Black business ownership fell more than any demographic group since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. We spoke to some across the nation who are still fighting to survive. See this video on MarketWatch: https://www.marketwatch.com/video/sec… MarketWatch provides the latest stock market, financial and business news. Get stock market quotes, personal finance advice, company news and more: https://www.marketwatch.com/ Follow MarketWatch on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marketwatch Follow MarketWatch on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarketWatch Follow MarketWatch on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marketwatch/ Follow MarketWatch on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/mark…

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