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There is 'V shaped' recovery happening in the Latino economy: Hispanic Business leader

Sol Trujillo, Co-Founder, L’ATTITUDE, joins Yahoo Finance with a look at how the growing Latino economy is the U.S. is faring amid COVID-19.

Video Transcript

JULIE HYMAN: It is Hispanic Heritage Month, and there's a conference going on right now that seeks to spotlight the economic impact and contribution that Hispanics make in the United States. Sol Trujillo is joining us now. He's the Co-Founder of that conference, L'ATTITUDE, and he's moderating a panel later today talking about the disconnect perhaps that we talk about frequently between the markets and Main Street.

But Sol, first of all, thank you for being here. Talk to us about--

SOL TRUJILLO: My pleasure.

JULIE HYMAN: --what your survey work has found about this economic impact, and also what the Hispanic community has been experiencing during this pandemic, because we are seen a lot of information to suggest that they have been hit harder than the broader population.

SOL TRUJILLO: Well, it's an interesting phenomenon of what's happening. The report was done by the Latino Donor Collaborative, which I chair, and we hired some economists to come in and look at this notion of gross domestic product. I'm a believer that not just looking at DOW, and NASDAQ, and S&P-- I've been running companies that are listed on many of those exchanges-- but we need to focus on the GDP, which is really about the economy.

And the question is, is in our country today, where is our growth coming from? Well, that's what the report basically focuses on is to say, is it coming from the Latino cohort? And the Latino cohort today's about 60 million people. And the report basically shows that if the Latino cohort were a country in and of itself, it would be the eighth largest economy in the world.

But here's the rest of the story. The rest of the story is that it's growing, and it grew last year in the 2018 census data period, it grew at 8.6%. That means 30% faster than China, 22% faster than India, and it grew 4 and 1/2 times faster than the rest of the economy.

So this is one of our growth engines in this country. It is basically a differentiator for the United States of America versus the aging, large, mature economies. And so we have this unique youthful cohort, where 2/3 of the population of this cohort are native-born, and their average age is 19.

ADAM SHAPIRO: You know, it's interesting to look at the lineup you've got at the conference. Yesterday, Oscar Munoz, who used to be CEO at United, had a panel with Michael Corbat from Citi and Arn Sorenson-- Arne Sorenson from Marriott, and they were talking about inclusion at the corporate level from the C-suite down. And then we get a report from Citi that the cost of racism to the US economy over the last 20 years has been $20 trillion. I bring this up because a colleague of yours, Martin Cabrera, was on with us about a month, two months ago talking about the fact that Wall Street still has not really opened up to the Latino money managers and financial engineers. What do you say about making Wall Street more inclusive?

SOL TRUJILLO: Well, it's imperative. If you want our country to grow, given what's happening with the baby boomer cohort where there's 350,000 per month reaching the age of 65, which normally implies retirement, less income, et cetera, less productivity, that we have to have a replacement cohort. The good news in the United States, this is a unique cohort that's large. It's creating for over the last decade 80% of all net new companies. It's applying 82% of all net new workforce entrants.

We need to flow more capital, because these people are paying into pensions, they're paying into taxes, they're paying into everything where this capital gets aggregated, but it doesn't flow back into the Latino cohort, even though they're doing so well, even though they're resilient, even though they're entrepreneurial. We could catalyze much more growth.

And that was part of the conversation yesterday with a panel of Larry Fink, and Brian Moynihan, and Carlos Minaya-- Jose Minaya-- sorry-- who are all managing trillions of dollars of capital, because that's the big issue, and that's the inclusive capital conversation that we just had on this Wall Street, Main Street with Jim Cramer, and Matt Murray from "The Wall Street Journal," Dan Simkowitz from Morgan Stanley, and obviously the chief economist from Wells Fargo. This is an important conversation in America, and it's not about Hispanic Heritage Month. This is about the survival and growth of our country.

RICK NEWMAN: Hey, Sol. Rick Newman here. Latinos are a crucial voting bloc in some of the swing states that are going to determine the next president, including Florida and Arizona. Hillary Clinton got about 2/3 of the Latino vote in 2016, but that was below Barack Obama's portion in 2012. Do you have a sense for whether Trump is going to get more support from the Latino community this time around? Or could it be the opposite, given what's going on with coronavirus?

SOL TRUJILLO: I think that the coronavirus has had some impact in terms of how people perceive whether he cares or not, and that's an important consideration in voting. Everybody, whether you're Latino or not Latinos, we're seeing in other states. In the case of the election and the Trump effect, one of the things that people need to start understanding is that if one out of every three or four families owns a business, they do care about some of those issues of taxes, regulations, and things like that, whether your name is Smith, Jones, Berg, or Garcia.

And that's the way that we should all think about the Latino cohort is that there are people that are the working-class people, the people that own businesses, and the people that have created lots of wealth. But at the same time, people do care about the kind of disparagement, the kind of anti-immigrant kind of policies, and they do care about that. But at the same time, they are going to care about taxes, and regulations, and things like that.

So I would encourage-- I don't care what side-- on one side I'd say, get rid of all that anti-immigrant stuff and disparagement stuff because it's not going to serve you well. And on the other side I'd say, start paying attention to the fact that it's not just unidimensional the conversation that needs to be held. And I personally am not happy with the growth, the GDP growth that we've had in this country, which has been in a dramatic fade. And we just had a conversation, as I just said, about Wall Street versus Main Street. We've got to grow GDP--

JULIE HYMAN: Well, we can't--

SOL TRUJILLO: --because then we--


SOL TRUJILLO: --let me just finish this.

JULIE HYMAN: --until the coronavirus passes, right, Sol?

SOL TRUJILLO: I'm sorry?

JULIE HYMAN: Well, we can't grow GDP in a more significant fashion until coronavirus goes away.

SOL TRUJILLO: Well, we're-- we're coming back now. We have data. And if you've had a chance to see the Latino GDP report, and I don't know whether you have or you haven't, there's a V shape that's actually occurring with the Latino cohort already, even though they were impacted heavily as front line workers and what I would call the true patriots on the front line fighting that war, the coronavirus war.

At the same time, they're coming back now-- we have data from-- from April and May, coming back into the workforce, creating businesses. And if you look at the home-buying surge, this morning Gary Acosta, our co-- my co-founder of L'ATTITUDE, he showed a report that shows Latinos are buying homes. They're investing in second and third homes as investment properties.

So this cohort is resilient. We led the way out of the 2008 financial crisis, and all the data shows it. And now we're leading the way again. We're the only part of the V shape in our economy. The rest is more like the Nike swoosh.

And so we're needing to catalyze more, is the message out of L'ATTITUDE, to all the business leaders. Whether you're in the financial sector, whether you're a CEO, you need Latinos on the boards. You need Latinos in senior management to start catalyzing even more growth, because I tell them that you're leaving money on the table.