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Interview With Cedric Muhammad Regarding Black Electorate Communications Financial Market And Political Economy Analysis (Part Two)

Today as we offer our client services we continue with part two of the why? and what? of Black Electorate Communications Financial Market and Political Economy Analysis. Our interview with Cedric Muhammad continues...

Q: How did you determine the prices for your products?

A: We spent an enormous amount of time determining the price points for our products. We are offering our service at an enormous discount relative to other analytical services. The reason why we have done so is because we recognize that we are offering a product to the general public that traditionally is sold among an exclusive network of high-net worth individuals or institutions. We wanted to bring that same quality analysis and the frequency with which it is delivered and offer it to the traditional client as well as those individuals who may be seeing this type of service for the first time. So, we came up with the two forms of subscription to our service - both monthly and annually. We wanted to make both rates affordable for our Internet audience. So we are actually selling our service at a discount of as much as 50 to 100% for "comparable" products. We use that word comparable loosely because we recognize that the focus and perspective that we offer is really unique. But ultimately our pricing was determined by our desire to make available to the general public the type of consistent analysis that has been the exclusive domain of Fortune 500 companies, international banks, political consultants, economic forecasting firms and journalists. We wanted to make sure that the price tag for the product was not a primary barrier for the majority of our viewing audience and prospective clients. As a result we believe that if our viewers truly want the service they can obtain it without excessive hardship through either the 30-day service or the annual rate offered at an enormous savings (not only when compared to other products but to the monthly-rate over 12 months.)

Q: Is my credit card information secure?

A: Absolutely. Your credit card information and purchase is protected and encrypted by 40-bit and 128-bit Secured Socket Layer Technology. Our transaction procedure is more secure than making a credit card purchase over a cordless phone and more secure than e-mailing your credit card information for entry. You can rest assured that we have taken great measures to guarantee security as well as efficiency.

Q: Will you be reporting news in the service or purely analyzing it?

A: We aim at analysis but recognize that there will be several instances when we are analyzing information that our clients may generally be unfamiliar with. When that is the case we will provide context for our opinions and lay a base for understanding the pertinent facts. But our effort is not to "capture news". We want to pick up where the New York Times, Wall St. Journal, Final Call, Forward, Washington Post, The Financial Times,Black Enterprise and other publications leave off or where they underreport. But we do realize that events happening on the margin or which involve cultural issues and little-known forms of financial analysis will require a bit of explanation. We can offer that while still being primarily concerned with analysis and different forms of forecasting. We believe that satisfies the "news-capturing" needs of our viewers and clients.

Q: What do you think is your product's greatest strength?

A: I would say that we have one of the most unique networks anywhere. I have been blessed with so many varied experiences that I can pick up the phone and call, or get on the keyboard and e-mail a litany of opinion leaders, experts and people close to the pulse of what is happening on the ground or up in an ivory tower somewhere. On the average day, I speak to or am in contact with congressional staffers, international economists, ministers, portfolio managers, grassroots activists, journalists from around the world and several of our web viewers. Our network allows us to be informed of what is happening at the Federal Reserve, Buenos Aires, Kinshasa, Jerusalem as well as 125th Street in Harlem. We are able to get, in terms of research, information and insight what others who are larger and more narrow-minded couldn't obtain even if they attempted to pay for it. We are as comfortable speaking to Imams, Priests and Rabbis as we are with political economists, tax accountants and think tank-analysts. That is because of our background and our network. The result is a well-rounded product that captures more of what influences reality than most analytical services.

Q: Do you see your product as a niche service?

A: In the sense that we cover markets like Africa, the Black electorate in America and the Islamic World that are underserved. To the degree that others ignore these important markets and nations we have a niche, but we recognize that true specialization in these areas requires more attention that what we will be providing in our services. In the future, we will be offering more specialized products that will cover these areas in greater depth. What we are offering right now is consistent coverage of critical and leading events and developments - some above ground and others under the surface - that allow our clients to see the world, locally and internationally, with deeper clarity and insight. As a result we are empowering the client to make professional, financial and "life" decisions with the benefit of a perspective and attention to detail that they are not regularly receiving. We are an important addition to the interpretation paradigm of our clients.

Q: Why do you think that so many professional analysts pay so little attention to the Black electorate, Africa, The Americas, The Middle East and The Islamic World?

A: Some do a decent job in covering one or two areas but most accept that there is a bias against these markets on the grounds that they are not as lucrative as covering the U.S., Europe and Asia. To a degree that is true but I think that one of the main reasons that these areas are underserved is because many analysts don't have the necessary worldview and network essential to covering these markets, governments and people properly. It takes time, effort and a unique background to understand different cultures and to be able to identify who in the civil societies in an economically developing country is moving the streets as well as influencing the political and financial terrain. It takes much in order to determine the impact that religion has in a society. And it takes a degree of honesty and openness to listen to the grievances of segments of a country's citizenry or population that can eventually lead to civil unrest. We "measure" the rate of dissatisfaction in societies, communities and nations as a staple of our service. We pay attention to the intensity of dissent and the militancy of various struggles in order to estimate when and where violent and peaceful change may take place. We also study the ability of the political mechanism in countries to tolerate disequilibrium in civil society. All of these seemingly "cultural' measurements are eminently political and economic, in their implications, in our worldview. To identify these threads requires a genuine interest and a level of access to others that takes time to cultivate. We have cultivated these relationships and have the necessary spirit as well as resources to pick up on what is driving change in the numerous countries that we cover. And we are also humble enough to ask for help and know when to say those three important words, " I don't know." I think people will appreciate that and value and rely on our analysis as a result.

Q: Any final words to the viewers and prospective clients?

A: I just wish to extend our great respect for the opinions and daily lives of our viewers and hope that they will think of how a service like what we provide can empower and enable them to become more successful. We think that the product is broad enough, interesting enough and relevant enough to serve the goals and interests of the vast majority of our viewers, regardless of their profession. We not only aim to satisfy their need to know and understand but also their need to do. Everything that we write as part of our service is the basis of action and decision-making. We are confident that our viewers are best qualified to determine where our product fits into their life strategy and mission(s) and how we can serve them with what we offer. We look forward to becoming "silent partners" in their work.

Wednesday, October 31, 2001

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The views and opinions expressed herein by the author do not necessarily represent the opinions or position of or Black Electorate Communications.

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