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BlackRock Institutional Company NA – iShares MSCI USA Size Factor ETF (SIZE) Falls 1.98% on Moderate Volume September 28

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BlackRock Institutional Trust Company NA – The iShares MSCI USA Size Factor ETF (NYSE: SIZE) fell to close at $ 131.62 on Tuesday after losing $ 2.6 (1.98%) on volume of 8,770 shares. The stock ranged from a high of $ 130.14 to a low of $ 129.01, while the market cap of the BlackRock Institutional Company NA – iShares MSCI USA Size Factor ETF now stands at $ 587,041,000. .

See the BlackRock Institutional Trust Company Profile NA – iShares MSCI USA Size Factor ETF for more information.

The daily solution

Athletes vying to represent the United States at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing must be vaccinated against COVID-19, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) has said.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wants US airlines to do more to deal with the upsurge in incidents involving unruly or violent passengers.

Beyond Meat Inc’s (Nasdaq: BYND) meatless chicken offerings will be available for purchase in select grocery stores nationwide starting next month, the fake meat company said on Monday.

About the New York Stock Exchange

The New York Stock Exchange is the world’s largest stock exchange in terms of market value with over $ 26 trillion. It’s also the leader in initial public offerings, with $ 82 billion raised in 2020, including six of the seven biggest tech deals. 63% of PSPC proceeds in 2020 were raised on the NYSE, including the six biggest deals.

To get more information on BlackRock Institutional Trust Company NA – iShares MSCI USA Size Factor ETF and keep up with the latest company updates, you can visit the company profile page here: BlackRock Institutional Trust Company NA – iShares MSCI USA Size Factor ETF Profile. For more information on the financial markets, be sure to visit Equities News. Also, don’t forget to sign up for the Daily Fix to get the best stories delivered to your inbox 5 days a week.

Sources: The chart is provided by TradingView based on 15 minute lag prices. All other data is provided by IEX Cloud as of 8:05 p.m. ET on the day of publication.

DISCLOSURE:
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not take the author’s statements as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please visit: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer


Beyond Meat to launch meatless chicken offerings in grocery stores in October


President Biden welcomes leaders of India, Japan and Australia to first “Quad” summit on Friday

Some Chinese Banks Stop Offering New Loans To Real Estate Developers Amid Evergrande Fear

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is running for eighth term

Special House committee assigns four Trump allies in U.S. Capitol riots investigation

CDC approves COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for millions of elderly and vulnerable people

Semiconductor shortage to cost global auto industry $ 210 billion in revenue in 2021

US Olympians to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for Beijing Winter Games



BlackRock says he’s digging his toes in China after rout

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People are seen outside an exhibition hall that hosts BlackRock in Davos, Switzerland on January 22, 2020. REUTERS / Arnd Wiegmann

LONDON, Sept.28 (Reuters) – The world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock Inc (BLK.N), has said it is getting its feet back on Chinese stock markets after their steep falls this year, and betting that Beijing will soon start providing a stimulus again.

Some of China’s biggest stocks are on course for their worst quarter on record following regulatory crackdowns that hit large tech companies and education providers, and unrest now engulfing the real estate giant Evergrande. Read more

“We are dipping a toe into Chinese equities by shifting our tactical view from neutral in the middle of the year to a modest overweight,” BlackRock Investment Institute strategists said in a weekly note first released Monday.

“This call is partly rooted in our expectation of gradual short-term easing through three policy levers – monetary, fiscal and regulatory – with slowing growth likely to a level that policymakers cannot ignore.”

The company added that China’s economic growth rate is expected to drop to around 3% in the last three months of the year, from 18% in the first quarter.

However, the more than 30 percentage point underperformance of Chinese stocks relative to US stocks this year was “exaggerated”, especially with a horizon of six to twelve months.

He also said that the amount of Chinese assets held by clients at present was indeed too low given the growing weight of Chinese financial markets in the world.

“Currently, very small client allocations to Chinese assets would mean China would become essentially non-investable,” BlackRock said, adding that it was also slightly “overweight” in emerging market local currency debt.

Chinese real estate collapses

Reporting by Marc Jones in London Editing by Karin Strohecker and Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


Westwood prepares for vote on new Combined Primary School

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WESTWOOD, MA – The proposal for the new combined Hanlon-Deerfield Elementary primary school and the debt exclusion to help fund it will be presented ahead of the City of Westwood special meeting on Monday, October 18.

The meeting will be held at 5 p.m. at Flahive Field at Westwood High School.

Superintendent Emily Parks explained that the proposal – which has been in the works for three years – is now being presented to City Assembly members as the only item on the agenda. It includes a debt exclusion, which would be paid over 30 years. Members are expected to approve a property tax exemption with a two-thirds margin.

“I want to encourage everyone to go to the town hall and vote,” she said. “When I talk to some parents, they seem to think it’s done because we’ve been talking about it for three years and because it received the support of the school committee. But he must be approved to go to the special election on Tuesday, October 26. “

The last step will be a majority vote in favor of the election to allow the project to move forward.

In April, the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s board of trustees approved a grant of about $ 18 million to help fund the $ 87.8 million project. It is expected to be completed in 2023.

“We applied for a program through the Massachusetts School Building Authority, whereby the state provides partial reimbursement of the cost,” Parks said, noting that funding for the feasibility study was approved when the 2018 town meeting. “The special town meeting needs to approve the balance. From my perspective, this is an incredible opportunity for the community as we are going to receive state funding.”

The idea for the combined elementary school began when the city drew up its master plan and carried out a capital needs study, according to Parks.

“The study identified the Hanlon and Deerfield as in need of replacement,” she said. “They were built between 1948 and 1953. Some of the systems are original buildings.”

The expansion of the current Hanlon building was considered, but after a feasibility study was carried out, this idea was scrapped. There are deficiencies in both school buildings due to their age. These include the need to replace HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems. There are also issues with the Hanlon windows and roof as well as accessibility.

“These schools are past their useful life,” Parks said, noting that the school building committee had been formed to gather feedback from the community. “Classrooms are undersized.

Information and a video are available here.

“We have been very, very committed to getting feedback from the community,” she added, noting that there had been 75 community meetings, including 13 community forums. “We looked at 15 different project options and finally decided to combine the Hanlon and the Deerfield.”

Some of the needs identified included a larger gymnasium and sports fields and improved access to the building.

The proposed site for the new school is to the west of the current Hanlon School building at 790 Gay Street, in the wooded area behind the school. The new facility is designed to accommodate up to 560 students.

The building plans were prepared by Dore + Whittier. His website said the inspiration for the layout came from the woods, and it has been called a “school in the woods.” A palette of earth tones and terracotta will be used for the two-story building. Extended learning spaces will be placed next to the classrooms. The school area is 113,141 square feet and will be net zero ready.

A neighborhood park is included in the design, which will include a multi-purpose sports field and a little league baseball field. The cafeteria has been designed with a stage that can be used by both students and local groups.

“We have been very conscious of trying to design a large building that meets the needs of the community while carefully considering cost and financial responsibility,” Parks said.


Brexit is a factor in fuel crisis, says Transport Secretary

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gHello.

Goldman Sachs has slashed China’s economic growth forecast as the current superpower’s energy crisis hits industrial production and pushes Beijing to turn to foreign imports of coal.

Power shortages caused by China’s lack of coal have triggered plant closures for Apple and Tesla in Jilin province, the industrial heartland of the country, with electricity being rationed in at least 10 other provinces.

Its governor called for more imports of coal while an association of power companies said the supply was being expanded “at all costs”.

It is reported that the lack of electricity has resulted in 3G coverage blackouts, as well as the closure of residential elevators and traffic lights in cities such as Shenyang and Dalian, which are home to more than 13 million people.

Goldman has estimated that up to 44% of China’s industrial activity has been affected by power shortages, which could lead to a one percentage point drop in annualized GDP growth in the third quarter and a decrease of two percentage points from October to December.

He said in a note released on Tuesday that he was lowering his 2021 GDP growth forecast for China to 7.8%, from 8.2% previously.

5 things to start your day

1) Billionaire Wise founder fined The boss of the money transfer provider has been fined hundreds of thousands of pounds by HMRC for deliberately defaulting on his taxes.

2) Recovery enters “hard yards”, Bailey warns The Governor of the Bank of England warns of a “weakening” of the recovery as panic buying threatens to pull the economy back in October.

3) An Oxford academic in Huawei’s video row Pinar Ozcan says she has never agreed to appear in promotional videos for the Chinese telecommunications company.

4) Oil Heads For $ 80 As Energy Crisis Intensifies Brent, which is based on the North Sea industry, could hit $ 90 a barrel by the end of the year, Goldman Sachs analysts say.

5) Electric car maker Polestar valued at $ 20 billion in deal with Spac A high-end electric car company backed by actor Leonardo DiCaprio becomes the latest challenger automaker to go public.

What happened during the night

Asian stocks fell mainly on Tuesday as investors continued to worry about the China Evergrande group’s unresolved debt crisis and considered the potential impact of a growing electricity shortage in China.

The MSCI’s largest Asia-Pacific stock index outside of Japan was down 0.13 pc on Tuesday, after a mixed session on Wall Street.

At the start of trading on Tuesday, the Australian benchmark S & P / ASX200 was down nearly 1pc, while Japan’s Nikkei was down 0.6pc.

China’s blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.1% at the opening, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.44%.

Coming today

  • Business : Ferguson, Smiths Group, close brothers (Annual results); Pennon Group, Moon Pig (Commercial update)
  • Economy: House price index (United Kingdom, United States); consumer confidence (WE); BRC store price index (UK)


How I paid off 5-figure credit card debt in 18 months

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  • In early 2020, I decided to buy a house, but to do so, I had to improve my finances.
  • I took out a personal loan to consolidate my debt, but had no intention of paying it off years earlier.
  • But as I searched for a house in vain, I realized that paying off my debt was what I really needed to do.
  • Read more stories from Personal Finance Insider.

I entered 2020 with five-figure credit card debt. A little less than 18 months later, in mid-June 2021, I paid it off in full.

However, that was not my initial intention when I embarked on the project to improve my financial situation. My goal was, without doubt, to put myself in the best possible position to get even more debt – six figures instead of five: I had decided, in early 2020, to finally buy a house.

By that time, I had lived in Philadelphia for almost nine years and worked in the same location for over seven years; I had a strong community of friends and neighbors around me, I was in a city that I was mostly quite happy with, and I didn’t see myself going anywhere anytime soon.

So it made both monetary and personal sense to start converting my rent payments into mortgage payments. I would be both building tangible roots in Philadelphia and investing in my long term financial future at the same time, and if the time ever came for me and Philadelphia to go our separate ways, I would still have a home. where to go back if I wanted to.

I Consolidated My Credit Card Debt With A Personal Loan

The first thing I knew I needed to do was change the nature of my debt so that I could increase my credit rating and reduce the burden of my credit card payments on my paycheck each month. So I took out a personal loan from my bank for five years to consolidate my debt at a lower interest rate than any of my credit cards.

This converted my debt into a permanent installment loan rather than revolving debt – which was better for my credit score – instantly reduced my debt-to-income ratio to a fraction of what it was before and reduced my monthly debt payments to a low enough level. point that I had a lot more at the end of each month to put in my savings. I also applied for a loan that was slightly more than the amount needed to consolidate my credit card debt so that I could put some money aside for the down payment on my house.

From there I proceeded to stack as much as I could in the bank from as many corners as I could handle. And I did – between the extra writing and teaching work I undertook, the stimulus payments I left untouched, and a possibly embarrassing amount of money saved through the cessation of my usual social and travel activities due to the pandemic shutdown, I have amassed a much larger down payment than I anticipated when I started my home search.

This was “helped”, as such, by the fact that the home search ended up taking a lot longer than expected – almost a year rather than a few months, so long that I ended up taking downright a break from research. , especially since the market started to heat up towards the end of 2020 and more and more homes started to move out of my price bracket quickly.

I realized I could repay my personal loan long before the term expired

My late 2020 break continued through early 2021 and then solidly into the spring. My savings continued to build up at a solid rate, and by mid-spring I realized I was able to pay off my five-year loan and still have the minimum initial down payment I had. expected in early 2020.

I had specifically requested a personal loan product with no prepayment penalty in order to keep this option open at no additional cost – but I did not expect this possibility to arise so soon. Honestly, it upset me a bit, like hitting any goal sooner than I expected: this debt had been a part of my life for so long that I hardly knew how to conceive of my life without it. my neck.

But as the year progressed, as the destabilizing realities of the pandemic continued to erode my understanding of what it meant to even move forward in my life, I realized that I wanted – in fact, I had. need – to successfully erase my credit card debt and be free of that weight for the first time in my adult life. Also, as the housing market continued its rapid rise, I wondered if I really wanted a house right now – or at least a house at the prices and terms currently being presented – and realized that, just now at least I didn’t.

And so, in early June, I went to my online banking portal, nervously grabbed the total loan amount as my next payment, and hit send. The letter informing me of my full debt arrived the day before my birthday. My 2020 self was thrilled that I managed to completely transform my financial life – it happened in a way that I never imagined at the start of this journey, and although I did not achieve the goal initial of a house, I’m happier for it having turned out that way.


Instead of wasting U.S. tax dollars on military boondoggles, let’s invest in U.S. citizens

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F-35. (Photo: BAE Systems)

Dear representatives from Utah,

This week you will vote on the $ 3.5 trillion infrastructure package that, over the next decade, would dramatically increase funding and access to child care, education and health care. health for millions of people in this country while simultaneously creating millions of jobs and preparing our country for the challenges of climate change.

Instead of trying to illustrate to you the benefits of this bill, which has been tried and failed miserably, I would just like to comment on your priorities.

Many of you in Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, are used to supporting exorbitant defense spending with little or no disagreement. Last year, Representatives Stewart and Curtis, alongside Senator Romney, all voted in favor of a $ 731.2 billion credit for the U.S. military for the year 2021. Spanning a decade which is more than twice as expensive as the infrastructure bill you will vote for this week!

Not only is this an absurd amount of money, more than the next ten biggest military budgets combined, but our military also has a terrible track record of financial responsibility with this money, the very reason many of you claim to vote. against the infrastructure package.

Instead of wasting US taxpayer dollars on fantastic fighter jets ($ 1.7 trillion in the F-35 disaster), foreign wars ($ 2.1 trillion in Afghanistan and $ 1.9 trillion in Afghanistan) in Iraq) and non-functioning battleships ($ 24 billion on the Zumwalt class destroyer), let’s invest in what truly makes America great, our citizens.

Dylan Cole, Rockville

Send letter to editor


Carbon offset market at x 50 to achieve net zero targets

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Smoke rises from a coal-fired power plant in Obilic, near Pristina, Kosovo, November 18, 2019.

Ognen Teofilovski | Reuters

The carbon offsetting market could grow up to 50 times if companies are to meet their targets of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

This is indicated by a new report from Bank of America, published Friday and more widely Monday, entitled “Carbon offsetting: volunteer hero for a net zero”.

“Net zero” emissions mean that an entity removes as many emissions as it releases and can be considered “carbon neutral,” according to the World Resources Institute, a global non-profit research organization.

The first step to achieving net zero is to reduce as many emissions as possible. Any remaining emissions that have not been fully eliminated can be accounted for by removing the equivalent amount of emissions from the atmosphere, according to the World Resource Institute. Greenhouse gases can be removed from the atmosphere by means such as forest restoration (trees remove carbon dioxide from the air during photosynthesis) or more technical means, such as technology. direct carbon capture.

Currently, the market for carbon offsets is “still relatively small,” Bank of America says in its report. Offsets issued in 2020 were equivalent to 210 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions removed or avoided, which equates to 0.4% of total global emissions, Bank of America said.

There are four main registers for carbon offsets: Verified Carbon Standard, or Verra; The gold standard; the US Carbon Registry; and the Climate Action Reserve. The market started about 25 years ago with the American Carbon Registry, then called the Environmental Resources Trust, according to the report.

Carbon offsets cost between $ 2 and $ 20 per metric tonne, admittedly a wide range of removed emissions, and “offer a relatively inexpensive way to decarbonize,” according to the Bank of America report.

Governments around the world have set net targets of zero between 2050 and 2060, but they are unlikely to meet those targets, Bank of America said in its research note. “Current policies remain insufficient to adequately incentivize the changes necessary to achieve these lofty goals, whether through carbon pricing or other means,” said the report, which came out of the global office. commodity research.

Many companies voluntarily set their own emissions targets and those stated targets will increase demand for carbon offsets, according to the report.

Achieving net zero energy emissions by 2050 will require about 7.6 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide offsets or removal, Bank of America said. That would be up to 50 times more in the clearing market, Bank of America said. The low end of the growth in demand for carbon offsets would at least quadruple, the bank said.

In the early life of carbon offsetting markets, projects included chemical processing projects and industrial and manufacturing projects. But currently, forestry, land use and renewable energy projects account for around 80% of carbon offset projects, according to the report. This “may be due to growing interest in nature-based solutions,” according to the report, and falling prices for renewables, such as wind and solar.


The US debt ceiling: everything you need to know

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WASHINGTON – As Congress continues to flirt with the idea of ​​not raising or suspending the country’s debt limit, economists and academics are once again questioning whether creative loopholes like a trillion dollar coin or l invocation of the 14th Amendment could help the United States avoid self-inflicted economic calamity.

Republicans and Democrats disagree on the responsibility of raising the country’s borrowing limit. Democrats are insisting this be done on a bipartisan basis, reflecting the fact that both sides have incurred large debts in recent years. Republicans, who voted to suspend the debt ceiling when President Donald J. Trump was in power, now say they don’t need to help because Democrats control all levers of power in Washington and they are preparing to spend trillions of dollars in new spending by themselves.

All of this drama begs the question of what the debt limit really is, how it got here, and why the United States does not completely remove the debt limit and spare the nation its periodic confrontation with a economic time bomb.

The debt limit is a cap on the total amount of money the federal government is allowed to borrow to meet its financial obligations. Because the United States has budget deficits – meaning it spends more than it earns on taxes and other income – it has to borrow huge sums of money to pay its bills. This includes the financing of social protection programs, interest on the national debt and the salaries of troops. While the debt ceiling debate often sparks calls from lawmakers to cut government spending, lifting the debt ceiling doesn’t authorize any new spending and in fact simply allows the United States to fund existing obligations.

Technically, the United States hit its debt limit in late July, after a two-year extension that Congress accepted in 2019. Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen has since used “extraordinary measures” to delay a default . They are essentially tax accounting tools that hold back some government investments to keep bills paid.

The Bipartisan Policy Center estimates that the Treasury will be seriously short of liquidity between October 15 and November 4. However, it is more difficult to project the so-called “date X” due to all the pandemic relief money the government is handing out and the uncertainty surrounding the amount of tax revenue to come this fall.

The national debt now stands at $ 28.43 trillion, according to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s live tracker. Currently, the borrowing limit is set at $ 28.4 trillion, leaving the federal government little room for maneuver.

To give an idea of ​​the size of such a deficit, the total U.S. gross domestic product was $ 20.93 trillion last year.

According to the Constitution, Congress must authorize borrowing. The debt limit was instituted at the start of the 20th century, so the Treasury did not need to ask for permission every time it needed to issue bonds to pay bills. The first debt limit came under the Second Liberty Bond Act of 1917, according to the Congressional Research Service. A general limit on the federal debt was imposed in 1939.

Denmark also has a debt limit, but it is set at such a high level that increasing it is usually not a problem. Most other countries don’t. In Poland, public debt cannot exceed 60% of gross domestic product.

For many years raising the debt ceiling was routine. But as the political environment has become polarized, the escalation of the debt ceiling has intensified. The House used the “Gephart rule,” which required that the debt limit be raised when a budget resolution was passed, but most of it was phased out during the 1990s.

During the debt ceiling battle in 2011, some argued that President Barack Obama had the power to unilaterally lift the debt ceiling. Former President Bill Clinton said at the time that if he was still in office he would invoke the 14th Amendment, which says the validity of US debt should not be questioned, would itself increase the debt ceiling and force the courts to stop it.

Mr. Obama and his lawyers disagreed and opted against this approach. After leaving office, Obama admitted that he and Treasury officials had considered several creative contingency plans, such as minting a $ 1 trillion coin to pay off part of the national debt. In a 2017 interview, he described the idea as “wacky.”

The lack of a replacement is one of the main reasons for maintaining the debt ceiling. The United States could follow Denmark’s model and raise the debt ceiling to a high stratospheric level. Some have also suggested that it might also force the limit to gradually increase with new funding.

Few lawmakers in either party benefit from a debt ceiling vote, and default that would be caused by failure to raise it would lead to economic disaster. With political polarization in the United States showing no signs of slowing down, it often seems that the risk of accidental default outweighs any fiscal responsibility encouraged by the debt ceiling.

However, it would take an act of Congress to remove the debt limit, and finding a deal is never easy.


Business school briefing: in-person events; business school awards

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Business School Updates

I hope you had a nice week-end. The return of in-person meetings and conferences means it’s time to re-evaluate the benefits of professional networking. Hybrid events that blend in-person and online elements provide a way to meet professionally in the post-pandemic world. But do they work? Written and edited by Wai Kwen Chan and Andrew Jack.

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Claim your free FTNextGen student passes
FT NextGen, October 28, brings together the best and brightest of the next generation for a day packed with engaging panels, speeches and audience participation. Sign up today to get your free digital student pass.

Get a chance to win one of our responsible business education awards
The FT invites teachers, researchers and alumni of business schools around the world to participate in its new awards for responsible business education. Registrations are open until 20 october for examples of recent graduate projects, teaching cases and research studies that have had a positive societal and environmental impact.

The hunt is on for the business schools that most contribute to a fairer and greener world © Bloomberg

Andrew Hill’s management challenge

Corporate schmoozing is coming back, judging by my unscientific polls from last week’s Chelsea Flower Show, where negotiators will see and be seen, and the promised return of the World Economic Forum in Davos next year.

But how useful is in-person networking, given all we’ve learned about the benefits of virtual conferencing? For the next one management challengeI would like to see a two or three sentence note to the boss justifying your request to attend a conference or in-person event. If not, step into the shoes of the management and send a short response on why video calls are better. I will watch [email protected] for your entries.

Thanks for the responses to last week’s theatrical challenge, where I asked what show you would put on for managers. Alison Chappell, who works at a large energy company, mischievously suggests that JM Synge The Playboy of the Western World “For our trading team”, while speaker Thomas Roulet sent a detailed synopsis for While waiting for DieuOVID, loosely based on Samuel Beckett’s existential masterpiece Waiting for Godot: “Each organization looks forward to [the end of the pandemic], but no one seems to know when, and more importantly, how it will happen.

In further reading, Ian Cook in Harvard business review offers some therapies for companies rocked by employees joining the “Great Resignation”. “Before you can determine the underlying causes of turnover in your organization, it is essential to quantify both the extent of the problem and its impact,” he writes.

Data line

In FT survey, Masters in Management alumni claim finance is the subject their schools are strongest in teaching, followed by general management and international business, write Leo Cremonezi and Sam Stephens.

Business schools are still not rated well by graduates for technology-related subjects, compared to general management disciplines. Graduates in the US and Canada gave lower scores for finance compared to alumni in other regions – and rated their schools very well for teaching international business. Here are more graphics on the MiM program.

Graph showing MiM subjects for which graduates achieve the highest marks from business schools in 10 (%)

Overview of employment and career

Our main article examines the evolution of the corporate social responsibility professions. While core functions such as finance and marketing remain, soft skills such as collaboration and resilience are becoming just as important.

Pilita Clark talks about Ted Lasso’s leadership lessons, the sweet comedy shows that it pays to be a kind and decent manager.

Jason Sudeikis and Sarah Niles in Emmy-winning comedy

Jason Sudeikis and Sarah Niles in Emmy-winning comedy “Ted Lasso” © Colin Hutton / Apple +

Post-pandemic hybrid trade events have their pitfalls. Viv Groskop explains that producing conferences with both in-person and virtual elements requires expertise – and few organizations have it.

Chris Sheldrick, co-founder of What3words, the localization app, shares his leadership advice on scaling an ambitious startup. He advises: “Have breakfast with a different employee each day to hear what they’re doing and gain insight and feedback. ”

In the shortlist of the FT’s 2021 Business Book of the Year, climate change, opioid addiction and cybercrime are among the themes analyzed in the £ 30,000 prize.

Six books in the running for the FT Business book of the year 2021

The judges praised the high quality of 15 titles, from which six finalists are selected

Finally, what advice would you give to motivate your coworkers if their boss doesn’t care what they’re doing?

What is your knowledge of current events?

Take our quiz of 10 questions.

The best reads from business schools

Evergrande’s deadline shivers down the spine in Asia’s $ 400 billion debt market Traders are worried about the fallout if an indebted Chinese real estate developer starts to miss payments.

Line graph of yield (%) showing the Evergrande crisis triggers a sell-off of riskier Asian dollar bonds

China extends crackdown, declaring all crypto activity “illegal” The country’s central bank is seeking to prevent residents from trading on foreign exchanges.

Workers at a cryptocurrency farm in Dujiangyan, China.  Despite government crackdowns, the country remains a significant global crypto market

Workers at a cryptocurrency farm in Dujiangyan, China. Despite government crackdown, the country remains a major global crypto market © AFP via Getty Images

Beijing releases Canadians after Huawei CFO hits deal with U.S. prosecutors Meng Wanzhou flies to China after resolving fraud charges while Spavor and Kovrig return to Canada.

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou (left) speaks to media at the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Canada © AFP via Getty Images

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China celebrates Meng Wanzhou’s return as victory, even at the expense of global image

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Editor’s Note: (A version of this story appeared in CNN’s Meanwhile in China newsletter, a thrice-weekly update exploring what you need to know about the country’s rise and its impact on the world. Register here.)

Hong Kong (CNN Business) For Beijing, the return of Huawei leader Meng Wanzhou to China after a long extradition struggle with the United States has been celebrated as a resounding victory.

When a government-chartered plane took Meng out of Canada – where the CFO spent nearly three years under house arrest at his multi-million dollar mansion his return trip has become an all-out nationalist propaganda blitz.

A red carpet and crowds waving Chinese people flags awaited him on the tarmac in the southern city of Shenzhen, where tech giant Huawei is headquartered. Patriotic slogans and songs echoed in the arrivals hall of the airport. The downtown skyscrapers lit up with messages welcoming her home.

The event was broadcast live by state media and the internet was buzzing. An online live stream from the public broadcaster CCTV lasted six straight hours, attracting more than 83 million views. It is more than double the 38 million views of the launch of China’s manned mission to send three astronauts into space in June.

“Without a powerful homeland, I wouldn’t have my freedom today,” Meng wrote in a long social media post during his flight, which was shared widely online and read verbatim by a news anchor. state television.

To domestic audiences, Meng’s return has been touted as a story of China’s diplomatic victory and a sign of its growing political weight. According to this account, Meng is an innocent victim of the US “political persecution” to crush China’s high-tech industry.

“The situation has been described [within China] like the Chinese government standing up to the United States to get a citizen back; they resisted the bully and the bully backed off, ”said Jeremy Duan, legal expert at the Paul Tsai China Center at Yale Law School.

State media reports highlighted the fact that Meng pleaded not guilty, but ignored his admission that she misled the banking giant HSBC (HBCYF) on Huawei’s relationship with an Iranian subsidiary. US prosecutors allege which could have exposed the bank to sanctions violations.

“It’s a very biased presentation of the whole story, but it’s not surprising,” said Jean-Pierre Cabestan, an expert on Chinese politics at Hong Kong Baptist University. “[It’s] hiding part of the truth – the part that does not serve China’s interests and the image of its government. “

Beijing’s propaganda victory at home stands in stark contrast to the blow to the country’s reputation abroad. In the eyes of many observers, the ruling Communist Party has given up any pretext for its apparent willingness to take political hostages by releasing two Canadians moments after Meng won his freedom.

Michael Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat, and Michael Spavor, an entrepreneur with commercial ties to North Korea, were arrested for espionage days after Meng’s arrest in Vancouver in December 2018. This decision has been widely interpreted as direct retaliation for Meng. Beijing has repeatedly denied holding the two Canadians as political hostages.

“I must point out that the Meng Wanzhou incident and the cases of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig are entirely different in nature,” a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said earlier this month, accusing Canada of ‘having “caused a sensation” in what he called “isolated cases”. . “

Donald C. Clarke, a Chinese law scholar at George Washington University, said that while he thought it was clear from the start that the couple’s detention was linked to Meng’s case, the scholarly and journalistic communities have were surprised by the proximity of their releases. stopwatch.

“We all thought China would put more than one fig “One way to interpret this is that China plans to engage in hostage-taking in the future and strengthens its negotiating position by showing how reliable it is a negotiator – that if you just give us this whatever we want, we’ll free the hostages right away, no fuss.

“If you don’t trust the kidnapper to take the hostages, you might not give them such a big ransom. “

Initially, Chinese state media were mostly silent on the release of the two Canadians, while discussions of their fate were erased from social media. Then, on Sunday evening, several public media reported that the Canadians had “confessed their guilt for crimes” and had been released on medical bail – although they did not mention Meng’s case.

But these reports barely caused a stir in China, and came long after the nationalist craze celebrating Meng’s return.



Supporters of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou gather at Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport in southern China to welcome his return.

“The intense nationalism that manifested itself in China upon Meng’s return is an indication that Beijing’s strategy has been successful in their own eyes,” said Drew Thompson, visiting senior researcher at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore. .

“We can therefore expect to see the hostage-taking of foreign businessmen as a recurring feature of Chinese diplomacy.

As Beijing celebrates its triumph of nationalist glory, experts say this celebration ignores the potential additional damage to China’s international reputation and its relationship with Canada, a country with which it has traditionally enjoyed strong trade ties.

“I think they’ve really poisoned relations with Canada for quite some time,” Clarke said. “They took a big publicity stunt.”

According to the Pew Research Center, 73% of Canadians polled this year had a negative opinion of China, up from 40% in 2017. Political tensions between Ottawa and Beijing have also become increasingly acute. In February, the Canadian Parliament passed a motion declaring that China has committed genocide against its Uyghur Muslim minority. A month later, Canada joined with the United States and other allies in sanctioning two Chinese officials for “serious human rights violations” against the Uyghurs. China has denied the charges.

Releasing Meng and the two Michaels is also unlikely to help Huawei or Beijing avoid the heavy sanctions Washington has imposed on the country. Jefferies analysts said on Sunday they did not believe that Meng’s release would cause the United States to lift sanctions on Huawei that allow the company access to chipsets that help it make 5G equipment, for example. example.

“[US President Joe] Biden’s deal with China on Meng has already been criticized by Republicans “as a” surrender to China, “analysts wrote in a research note. Huawei has previously acknowledged that its activities had been severely hampered by US sanctions.

In many Western countries, concerns are also growing about China’s “hostage diplomacy”, experts say.

By trumpeting that China is ready to do whatever it takes to achieve its international ambitions, people in countries whose governments have upset Beijing may feel increasingly worried about going there.

“Even if the probability for any person [being detained] is extremely low, if that happens the burden of that is extremely high… If you’re a rational calculator, you’re going to care, ”Clarke said.

But Beijing places more importance on national support than international image, said Cabestan of Hong Kong Baptist University.

“[Internationally,] they care more about hard power than soft power, ”he said.“ For [Chinese President] Xi Jinping, it is better to be feared than to be loved. “


12MP: Development expenditure of RM400 billion, budget balance from -3.5% to -3% of GDP in 2025

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KUALA LUMPUR (September 27): True to expectations of increased public spending to rejuvenate and revitalize the economy after Covid-19, total development spending under Malaysia’s 12th plan (12MP) (2021-2025) is the largest in the country, with 400 billion RM – 54% more than the 260 billion RM initially allocated under the 11MP (2016-2020).

The allocation implies that around 82.95 billion ringgit per year, on average, and 331.8 billion ringgit in total could be allocated as development spending between 2022 and 2025 by the federal government as part of its annual budget. . This is because development spending for 2021 was revised to RM68.2 billion in the pre-budget statement released on August 31, compared to RM69 billion deposited as part of the 2021 budget last November.

This does not necessarily mean that the 2022 budget would see nearly RM15 billion or around 1% of gross domestic product (GDP) year-on-year (year-on-year) in development spending. Citing the country’s budget situation, Prime Minister (Economy) Department Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said The edge last week that “more resources will be made available for development spending from 2023, when Covid-19 is expected to be rampant and the economy will return to normal.”

Yet the 12MP said: “Fiscal policy will be expansionary in the short term to revitalize the economy after the Covid-19 pandemic. Fiscal consolidation will resume once the economy is on a better footing to ensure long-term fiscal sustainability. As such, the budget balance is targeted between -3.5% and -3% of GDP in 2025. “

The budget deficit is expected to be between 6.5% and 7% of GDP this year and the government has announced that it will raise the statutory debt ceiling to 65% of GDP from 60% currently. The ceiling of the Covid-19 Special Fund will also be raised from 65 billion ringgit to 110 billion ringgit, given that 38 billion ringgit were used in 2020 and the remaining 27 billion ringgit is reserved for 2021 (compared to 17 billion ringgit). initially deposited as part of the 2021 budget).

According to the 12MP, the introduction of the Fiscal Responsibility Law will institutionalize the principles of fiscal sustainability and help ensure long-term fiscal sustainability.

There was no specific mention of the reintroduction of the goods and services tax (GST), but the 12MP said federal government revenues “will be improved by exploring new sources, broadening the revenue base. , reviewing tax incentives, strengthening overall tax administration and adopting a medium term income strategy ”.

Putrajaya also plans to introduce a medium-term budgeting and expenditure framework, undertake public expenditure reviews and improve public procurement management to ensure greater efficiency and effectiveness of expenditure.

“The management of medium and long-term debt and liabilities will continue to be improved with the implementation of accrual accounting, the introduction of the medium-term debt strategy, the establishment of the Office debt management as well as strengthening government guarantees. framework.”

Public investment rebound

Public investment, which contracted by 7.9% per year during 11PM (2016-2020), is expected to grow 2.6% per year under 12MP (2021-2025), driven by spending on federal government development and capital expenditures of non- public financial corporations (NFPC).

“The investments will mainly be in infrastructure, transport, utilities as well as the oil and gas industry (O&G),” said the 12MP.

Major public sector projects to be undertaken include the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System and the Pan Borneo Highway.

“Given the constraints in the allocation of development spending, these projects will be implemented in phases to ensure fiscal sustainability. “

Public consumption is expected to increase by 3.7% per year under 12MP (3.2% per year under 11MP) in line with measures taken to reduce the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and stimulate the economy.

50% six-state allocation

Six less developed states – Sabah, Sarawak, Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis – which initially received 46% of total development spending under the 11MP, will continue to be a priority “with at least 50% of total development spending. base “in the development budget allocation for the 12MP.

Allocations under the 11MP for these six states are mainly intended for the implementation of infrastructure projects, including roads, water supply, drainage and irrigation as well as agricultural projects to ensure development. more balanced between states. Access to basic services in rural areas, such as primary health care, education and affordable housing, would be further improved.

Rationalization of state agencies

According to the 12MP, collaboration between the federal government and state governments will be strengthened to promote sustainable and balanced development in the regions in order to accelerate the provision of basic infrastructure and equipment as well as generate more opportunities. in less developed states in order to narrow the development gap.

“State policies, such as the Smart Selangor 2025 action plan, Pelan Induk Terengganu Sejahtera 2030 and the Perlis 2021-2025 digital plan will be aligned with national digital transformation goals,” the 12MP said, adding that the improvement of logistics services initiated by the State, the management of rivers and the development of the aerospace industry will also be mapped with the respective development policies at the federal level.

In addition, the role of key state-level agencies will be streamlined to support more effective development planning and coordination, particularly in the six least developed states. “This will involve streamlining the role of all state economic development corporations (SEDCs), state economic planning units, regional development authorities and regional economic corridor authorities,” it reads. the 12MP.

“The 12MP is expected to rejuvenate and reposition Malaysia in the global economy. It will catalyze growth, secure economic recovery and rebuild the economy to achieve prosperity, inclusiveness and sustainability. Economic growth will be accompanied by a more equitable distribution of wealth to reduce disparities between income groups, ethnicities and geographic regions while ensuring environmental sustainability. “


Morrison’s Tour Of Deception – OpEd – Eurasia Review

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It was surprising and even shocking. Away from the push and cut of domestic politics, not to mention the noisy discord within his government ranks, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison could breathe a nod of relief. Maybe no one in Washington would notice that Australia remains prehistoric in its approach to climate change compared to its counterparts. Being known in his own country as the “Scotty of Marketing”, he may well be successful.

In addition, a security pact with the United States and the United Kingdom had just been cemented, a Canberra promising eight nuclear-powered submarines. That these promised to be incredibly expensive and available in the 2040s, if they ever made it into the water, was a point that wasn’t even worth considering.

In the American press, Morrison was careful to follow the line of the pleading partner. On CBS Confront the nation, we asked him if the United States and its allies were headed for conflict with Beijing. “I don’t think that’s inevitable at all,” he tweeted, saying it was “in everyone’s best interests” that we all coexist. But this “happy coexistence” hinged on keeping China in the box or, as he preferred to say, an engaged role of “free nations like Australia” and others in the Indo-Pacific region to remain vigilant.

On climate change, he was also pressed for not having “given a timetable” to put Australia on the path to net zero emissions. He admitted it was and hesitated. Returning to ad mode, Morrison said “performance matters” for Australia. The goal of net zero was pursued and would be achieved “preferably by 2050”. The usual half-baked assurances followed: Australia’s balance sheet was “strong.” “We have already reduced emissions in Australia by more than 20% since 2005. We are committed to Kyoto. We achieved that goal and beat that goal. As for the Parisian target? No problem: Australia would have a blast.

At this point, Margaret Brennan of CBS could only observe that no country had actually achieved such goals. Hardly a problem, came Morrison’s response to the bubble burst. “See, it’s one thing to have a commitment, but in Australia you aren’t taken seriously unless you have a plan to make the commitment happen. It was delicious from a Prime Minister who does not intend to speak on the issue of climate change. In fact, Morrison’s tenure was marked by the absence of plans on any major political decision. When they were proposed – the deployment of the vaccine being the prime example – they were spectacular failures.

In a press conference Given on September 24, Morrison continued his favorite theme by coloring Australia’s dismal contribution to the global climate debate: technology. Australia is never lagging behind in Morrison’s environmental cosmos. Developing countries, he insisted, should be the priority, which was another way of saying they were the problem. “If we are to tackle climate change, then we have to tackle the change that is needed in developing economies, so that they can grow their economies, build their industries, make the things the world needs. For a difference to be valid, “we must make a difference everywhere.”

Such an oblique view has found its mark. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took a flight of fancy as she thought Morrison was doing something special. In welcoming Australian Prime Minister on Capitol Hill Pelosi found the AUKUS security pact “quite exciting” and thanked Morrison for showing “leadership” on the issue of climate change.

The next day, Pelosi locked on to Morrison’s remarks about the Paris targets at his weekly press conference with all-consuming enthusiasm. Boris Johnson and Morrison from the UK were “so exuberant about the urgency of tackling climate issues”. But it was the Australian who impressed with his slogan “We Meet It and We Beat It”. That was enough for the President: “they are showing the way, and this is what we all have to do” namely “take our responsibility for emissions and our financial responsibility to other countries so that when we leave the country. COP26, after having fulfilled our obligations towards the Paris Agreement, and then go further.

Such blatantly superficial assessments can be attributed to the marching band accompanying visiting dignitaries from the Freedom Land outposts. Morrison was particularly lucky in this regard, winning over his hosts with a shameless slogan that sounded hopelessly electoral and downright untrue.

Which brings us to the next point: Pelosi and company have turned out to be a sort of sounding board for the upcoming Australian federal election. Morrison’s action on climate change will be minimal, but it won’t be relevant in a number of electoral battlegrounds. Have a slogan, writing Sean Kelly, a former adviser to two previous Australian Labor prime ministers, will be acceptable to “a remarkable number of people, as an acceptable substitute for reality – just as it was in America last week”. The Australian Labor Party, still languishing in desperate opposition, has every reason to be concerned.


Covid rapid test pricing: how a law allows labs to charge any price

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At the pharmacy, a quick Covid test usually costs less than $ 20.

Across the country, more than a dozen test sites owned by start-up GS Labs regularly charge $ 380.

There is a reason they can. When Congress tried to make sure Americans didn’t have to pay for coronavirus tests, it forced insurers to pay certain labs regardless of the “spot price” they were listing online for them. tests, no limit on what it could be.

The high prices and growing presence of GS Labs – it has performed half a million rapid tests since the start of the pandemic and still performs thousands a day – show how the government’s long-standing reluctance to play a role in health care prices hampered its attempt to protect consumers. As a result, Americans could ultimately pay part of the cost of expensive coronavirus tests in the form of higher insurance premiums.

Many health insurers have refused to pay GS Labs fees, with some claiming the lab is raising prices during a public health crisis. A Blue Cross plan in Missouri has sued GS Labs over its awards, asking for a ruling that would overturn $ 10.9 million in outstanding claims.

In court last month, the insurer claimed the charges were “disaster profiteers” and violated public order.

Omaha-based GS Labs argues the exact opposite: that it has public policy on its side, highlighting the CARES law passed in 2020. “Insurers are forced to pay the price in cash, unless we get there. at a negotiated rate, ”said Christopher Erickson, a partner at GS Labs.

The requirement that insurers pay the cash price only applies to off-grid labs, that is, those that have not negotiated a price with the insurer. There are signs that other labs may act like GS Labs: A study released this summer by America’s Health Insurance Plans, the trade association that represents insurers, found that the share of coronavirus testing performed at facilities outside network increased from 27% to 21% between April 2020 and March 2021.

He revealed that the average price for a coronavirus test at a network facility was $ 130, a figure that includes both the most widely used and expensive rapid tests and PCR tests. About half of the off-grid providers charge at least $ 50 more than that.

The cash price of $ 380 is posted on the GS Labs website. In legal documents, he said he was paying “around $ 20” for the rapid test himself. Erickson says the high price reflects the “premium service” they provide to patients, as well as the $ 37 million in start-up costs associated with building their lab network in less than a year.

“You can book 15 minutes with us any day and get your results in 15 to 20 minutes,” Erickson said, noting the scarcity of testing at many pharmacies. “We have a nursing hotline where you can have your results interpreted. Our pricing is one of the most expensive in the country because we have the best service in the country. “

Health policy experts who examined GS Labs’ pricing said that, even with the company’s investment in its service, it was difficult to understand why their tests should cost eight times Medicare’s rate of 41. $.

“It’s not like neurosurgery where you might want to pay a premium so that someone has years of experience,” said Sabrina Corlette, a research professor at Georgetown who has studied the prices of coronavirus tests.

Even though she felt it was being priced exceptionally high, Ms Corlette and other experts said GS Labs had strong legal grounds to continue billing it due to the way Congress drafted the CARES Act. “Whatever price the lab puts on its public website, that’s what has to be paid,” she said. “I don’t read a lot of leeway there.”

GS Labs is owned by City + Ventures, a real estate and investment company. It launched its first test site last October and, at its peak, operated 30 sites across the country.

As he started ramping up testing last year, he inquired about the possibility of becoming a network provider, offering what he described as “substantial discounts” in exchange for reliable and prompt payments. The company declined to specify the exact amount of its rebate, but said insurers generally rejected its proposals.

GS Labs said it believes insurers are hostile to its new operation. Some have sent their members explanation of benefits documents, showing that the claim has been denied and the patient may have to pay the full amount.

GS Labs says it is not claiming fees directly from patients, which would violate federal law, and says such mailings were a turnaround tactic clients against his business.

“They’re trying to portray us in a bad light when they’re the ones breaking federal law,” said Kirk Thompson, another GS Labs partner. “Insurers have made the decision to ignore their obligations or to justify non-compliance with the CARES law.

Insurers describe interactions differently. They say they are doing their best, within federal law, to protect patients from unnecessary high fees that will eventually drive up premiums.

The UPMC Pittsburgh Health Plan first took notice of GS Labs when it saw an unusual pattern in its claims: the vast majority included a rapid antigen test alongside a test for Covid antibody. Of all the complaints the health plan has received from any lab with this combination of billing codes, it said 91% were from GS Labs.

“There is very little reason to order these two tests on the same day,” said Stephen Perkins, chief medical officer of the Health Plan. “They serve very different purposes, and they would not routinely be ordered due to suspected exposure to Covid. “

The health plan saw this as proof that GS Labs was playing with the CARES law: insurers are required to fully cover antigen and antibody testing. “The CARES law governs what we can and cannot do, and we cannot refuse to pay for double billing,” he said.

GS Labs says it offers patients a “menu of tests” and the patient chooses which ones they want.

The UPMC health plan has, however, decided to question the pricing of GS Labs by other means. At one point, the plan’s legal staff noticed that the lab had announced a 70% coupon available to patients paying cash, which would reduce the price to $ 114. The coupon has since been removed from the GS Labs website.

“We told GS Labs that we thought it was their cash price, and that’s what we’re paying them now,” said Sheryl Kashuba, legal lead for the plan.

Evan White, general counsel for City + Ventures, said his company is still evaluating “next steps” with the health plan. “We are by no means satisfied with what they have self-imposed as a rate,” he said.

What actually counts as GS Labs’ cash price – and whether insurers will ultimately have to pay it – can be settled by Congress or the courts.

In July, Blue Cross Blue Shield Kansas City argued in a lawsuit against GS Labs that the reduced price sometimes offered to patients who cover the test themselves – the $ 114 fee that the UPMC Health Plan also discovered – is the price. real cash of the business.

“GS Labs knowingly and willfully performed a scheme or contrivance to defraud insurers and plans by posting a fictitious cash prize,” the health plan said in its legal file, “and then requiring that health plans to group and insurers pay these same prices in fictitious cash. . “

GS Labs replied that just because it offered discounts to certain patients, insurers “are only allowed to pay a small fraction of the published spot price.” He counterattacked the Blue Cross plan, saying the plan must pay nearly $ 10 million for 34,621 outstanding claims.

Congress, legislating quickly in the midst of a health crisis in 2020 and stopping on policies that would be easy to deploy, did not use the formula it recently adopted to pass legislation against surprise billing: mandate that insurers and medical providers settle price differences through an external arbitrator.

Senator Tina Smith, a Democrat from Minnesota, proposed a bill in July that would cap reimbursement for coronavirus tests at twice the Medicare reimbursement rate. For quick tests, it would cost around $ 80.

In introducing her bill, Senator Smith cited the Times report on costly testing as evidence of the need for such a change.

“If these laboratories are going to take advantage of this situation and charge what the market will bear, it pushes us to put a limit on the spot price to stop the price increase which is hurting consumers,” she said in an interview. .

It is not clear whether this legislation could be part of the reconciliation agenda being debated by Congress. There may be a reluctance to act: Lawmakers tackle larger healthcare proposals, and they can expect the issue of testing fees to resolve on their own at the end of the trial. pandemic.

“Everyone continues to think we’re almost done, and this provision of the CARES Act only lasts for the time of the public health emergency,” said Loren Adler, associate director of the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy.

GS Labs plans to continue expanding as demand for rapid testing remains robust. He doesn’t view the Biden administration’s plan to make rapid home testing a barrier to his growth. It now operates 16 test sites and plans to open two more soon. When these open, its spot price will remain the same.

“We’re very reasonable people, but our spot price is a real spot price for any insurer that doesn’t want to negotiate,” said Mr. Thompson of GS Labs.


South Jersey Industries (NYSE: SJI) appears to be using a lot of debt

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Charlie Munger-backed external fund manager Li Lu is quick to say “The biggest risk in investing is not price volatility, but the fact that you suffer a permanent loss of capital. “. So it seems like smart money knows that debt – which is usually involved in bankruptcies – is a very important factor, when you assess the level of risk of a business. We note that South Jersey Industries, Inc. (NYSE: SJI) has debt on its balance sheet. But the most important question is: what risk does this debt create?

When is debt dangerous?

Debt is a tool to help businesses grow, but if a business is unable to repay its lenders, then it exists at their mercy. If things really go wrong, lenders can take over the business. However, a more common (but still costly) situation is where a company has to dilute its shareholders at a cheap share price just to get its debt under control. Of course, debt can be an important tool in businesses, especially capital intensive businesses. The first thing to do when considering how much debt a business uses is to look at its cash flow and debt together.

Check out our latest review for South Jersey Industries

What is the net debt of South Jersey Industries?

You can click on the graph below for the historical numbers, but it shows that as of June 2021, South Jersey Industries was in debt of $ 3.30 billion, an increase from $ 3.16 billion, over a year. However, he also had $ 87.9 million in cash, so his net debt is $ 3.21 billion.

NYSE: SJI Debt to Equity History September 26, 2021

A look at the responsibilities of South Jersey Industries

The latest balance sheet data shows South Jersey Industries had liabilities of US $ 589.6 million due within one year, and liabilities of US $ 4.35 billion due thereafter. In compensation for these obligations, he had cash of US $ 87.9 million as well as receivables valued at US $ 249.6 million at 12 months. Thus, its liabilities exceed the sum of its cash and its (short-term) receivables by 4.60 billion dollars.

This deficit casts a shadow over the $ 2.23 billion company, like a colossus towering over mere mortals. So we would be watching its record closely, without a doubt. After all, South Jersey Industries would likely need a major recapitalization if it were to pay its creditors today.

In order to measure a company’s debt relative to its profits, we calculate its net debt divided by its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) and its profit before interest and taxes (EBIT) divided by its interest. debtors (its interest coverage). In this way, we consider both the absolute amount of debt, as well as the interest rates paid on it.

With a net debt to EBITDA ratio of 6.4, it’s fair to say that South Jersey Industries has significant debt. However, its 2.5 interest coverage is reasonably strong, which is a good sign. On the other hand, South Jersey Industries increased its EBIT by 22% last year. If sustained, this growth should cause this debt to evaporate like scarce drinking water during an unusually hot summer. The balance sheet is clearly the area you need to focus on when analyzing debt. But ultimately, the company’s future profitability will decide whether South Jersey Industries can strengthen its balance sheet over time. So if you are focused on the future you can check this out free report showing analysts’ earnings forecasts.

Finally, a business can only pay off its debts with hard cash, not with book profits. We therefore always check how much of this EBIT is converted into free cash flow. Over the past three years, South Jersey Industries has experienced substantial total negative free cash flow. While investors no doubt expect this situation to reverse in due course, it clearly means that its use of debt is riskier.

Our point of view

At first glance, South Jersey Industries’ EBIT conversion to free cash flow left us hesitant about the stock, and its total liability level was no more appealing than the single empty restaurant on the busiest night of the year. But on the positive side, its EBIT growth rate is a good sign and makes us more optimistic. It should also be noted that companies in the gas utility sector like South Jersey Industries generally use debt without a problem. We’re pretty clear that we consider South Jersey Industries to be really rather risky, because of the health of its balance sheet. For this reason, we are quite cautious on the stock, and we believe that shareholders should closely monitor its liquidity. When analyzing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious starting point. But at the end of the day, every business can contain risks that exist off the balance sheet. For example, we discovered 4 warning signs for South Jersey Industries (1 is a little worrying!) That you should know before investing here.

At the end of the day, sometimes it’s easier to focus on businesses that don’t even need to go into debt. Readers can access a list of growth stocks with zero net debt 100% free, at present.

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This Simply Wall St article is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts using only unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell shares and does not take into account your goals or your financial situation. Our aim is to bring you long-term, targeted analysis based on fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not take into account the latest announcements from price sensitive companies or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in the mentioned stocks.
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High logistics costs and import duties on raw materials and machinery are matters of concern, says Pawan Goenka

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“There is a misnomer that because of lower labor costs, Indian manufacturing is very competitive,” Goenka explains.

Industry players largely want to do what is right for India, although there may be some exceptions, says Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Promotion of Value Added and Local Exports (SCALE) , Dr Pawan Goenka. As the committee develops sector-specific policy advice, it also identified “horizontal eases” that India needs to correct in order to become more competitive in all areas, including the cost of doing business. High logistics costs and import duties on raw materials and machinery, as well as excessive regulation are also matters of concern, he said in an interview with The Hindu.

Edited excerpts:

What are the big challenges facing Indian manufacturing?

Our main focus is how to make Indian manufacturing cost competitive. There is a misnomer that due to lower labor costs Indian manufacturing is very competitive. This is a misnomer because there are many factors outweighing this advantage and making our manufacturing uncompetitive in many areas. There are a few general themes that cross almost every industry… We put it under the cost of doing business umbrella. We talk a lot about the ease of doing business, but India’s biggest problem is the lack of scale. Industry needs to come forward and invest on a large scale and government needs to facilitate that with a sustainability gap. But above all, the foot is on the side of the industry to know how to invest on a large scale as China has done. Second, there is the cost of land, which is one of the most expensive industrial land in the world, and electricity, which is the most expensive industrial power in the world, part of which is the cross-subsidy which occurs. But now, in the competitive world, India’s manufacturing industry cannot afford the burden of cross-subsidies it has. Third, the cost of capital. If you leave out the current low cost of capital due to COVID-19 and low interest rates, the cost of capital in India is 20-30% higher than the cost of capital in most other countries. exporters. These are our factor costs. The third area that is well recognized, but that we have not been able to make much progress, is that of logistics costs. India’s average logistics cost according to government data is 13% of revenue while the world average is 8%. India therefore has a 5% disadvantage due to logistics costs. Obviously, this disadvantage cannot be compensated by the industry in terms of labor costs. The fourth area is the productivity and skills of the workforce, which are primarily the responsibility of industry. The fifth axis is to strengthen the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) sector because while the scale will be created by large enterprises, they cannot do everything themselves without a strong MSME sector. The government should always focus on strengthening MSMEs, in collaboration with industry. It’s not about giving some kind of financial advantage… It doesn’t make them strong, but good technology and a good skill base will. Although we have improved the ease of doing business, for manufacturing we still have a lot to do.

How was your interaction with the different ministries?

The personal involvement of Minister of Trade and Industry Piyush Goyal was intense even after he set up the committee. He spent at least two hours with us at over 15 such meetings involving different sectors. I remember a meeting where six or seven ministers attended for over two hours to go through all the details of the recommendations. Mr. Goyal has also personally raised issues with other government departments in order to assert our ideas and build buy-in to the changes in policies and rules. Engaged champions from all sectors have helped immensely in diagnosing and addressing challenges. DPIIT, in fact, does much of the groundwork essential to coordinate with other ministries. The contribution of all members of the SCALE committee who devote significant personal time to this effort on a voluntary basis cannot be ignored either.

India has increased import tariffs in an attempt to deter imports in recent years. Is this the right approach to become independent?

The SCALE panel is not in the spirit of increasing tariffs. Our goal is how to make Indian manufacturing more competitive, so that the need for imports decreases and export opportunities increase, and not through artificial means of raising tariffs or putting non-tariff barriers. This may be necessary in the short term in some cases, but the increase in tariffs essentially results in an increase in consumer prices. We’ve drawn a line that we don’t want to do anything that leads to higher consumer prices. In fact, we have asked for tariff cuts in many areas to make Indian manufacturing more competitive. Moreover, while the need for more favorable Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) comes up repeatedly in the context of exports, we believe it is important that India is not at a disadvantage compared to other developing countries. terms of FTA. And today, with many countries in Europe, Southeast Asia, and Middle East Africa, India is at a disadvantage compared to others with more favorable FTAs. So our request was only to see if something can be done to create a level playing field where India is at a disadvantage, rather than saying “let’s get the lowest tariffs” to export everywhere… This is clearly not practical nor feasible. Tariff reduction is still a two-way street. India cannot apply for entry of Indian exports and continues to apply high tariffs on imports.

Vietnam, one of our major manufacturing competitors, has already concluded FTAs ​​with the UK and the EU …

Prior to the COVID pandemic, India was a $ 2.87 trillion economy with around $ 229 billion in manufacturing exports, with around 43% of its total exports coming from manufacturing. Now, in order for India to see itself as a manufacturing country and achieve a good balance between Industry and Services, it is important that manufacturing exports are higher. Vietnam, for example, is at 80%, Malaysia at 70%, Thailand at 56% in terms of manufacturing exports as a percentage of exports. The second aspect is that even what is exported from India, it is often a low value-added export. India is very poor in high tech, with export contribution coming from high tech sectors at only 10%, which is a very dismal number. Vietnam is 40%. Malaysia is at 52%, Thailand at 23%. So my concern is not so much with overall manufacturing exports as that number will be low due to a very strong service economy. My concern is more that high tech exports are very low and often we end up exporting commodities or raw materials rather than exporting value added products. Over the past decade or so, Vietnam has focused heavily on exports and much of Chinese manufacturing has moved to Vietnam, often owned by Chinese companies, but in any case adding value to the Vietnam. Today, Vietnam’s exports of manufactures are the same as India’s in absolute terms. So even though the Vietnamese economy is 1 / 10th the size of the Indian economy, the exports are the same.

The target of reaching $ 1 trillion in manufacturing exports by around 2027 is very good and India deserves it. But that will not happen with business as usual. Some difficult calls will have to be taken, some priorities have to be given, some other compromises have to be made. Because in order to get something you have to give up something more often than not. Sometimes you can get it all.

Third, for market access through FTAs ​​and preferential trade agreements, what we are looking for is not a disadvantage. Fourth, technology and quality. We know that India’s spending on research and development (R&D) is among the lowest, at only around 1.5% to 1.6%, compared to 3.5 to 4%, which is the global average. . And above all, the industry is not interested enough in R&D, but it must come forward and invest more. Finally, the India brand is not strong overseas for manufacturing. He is known more for his cheap products than for his great products, which is a misconception. And we have to change that.

Given the challenges of aligning factions in industry and convincing government officials, do you have times when you feel – “What did I get myself into”?

No, I personally appreciate it. I discover a whole new world beyond the automobile and tractors. All my life, I have worked in the automotive industry for 41 years including 10 years on tractors, and what I discover is an exciting world outside of cars and tractors. I also have the impression that: yes, of course, all companies want to do well. But overall, while there will be exceptions, companies want to do good for the nation. Okay, and there is that desire – is there a way that without compromising my business requirements, I can add value to the country. AatmaNirbhar Bharat is a very motivating slogan. I really enjoy discovering all of these industries and interacting with the players… The auto industry is respected by most industries as I discovered, because of what it has been doing for the past 25 years. Luckily I’m pretty well known because the auto industry has a big presence on TV and in the print media so I can get my point across a bit and they listen to me. It helps like if someone stranger did this it would be hard to get everyone to line up.


Eviction protections for Washington state tenants extended through October 31

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said the state’s eviction protections will remain in place until the end of October, as counties do not receive enough federal and state COVID-19 relief funds intended for the rental aid before the current moratorium which was due to expire September 30.

Under an eviction moratorium “bridge” announced by Inslee in June, landlords have been barred from evicting tenants for any overdue rent due from February 29, 2020 to July 31, 2021.

As of August 1, tenants must pay the full rent, unless they have negotiated a lesser amount with their landlord or are actively seeking rent assistance. Tenants should also be informed in writing of the services and support available to them, and landlords should offer them a reasonable repayment plan before beginning the eviction process. These protections will now remain in place until October 31 at 11:59 p.m.

As before, evictions are still permitted in cases where the owner intends to sell or move into the property, or if an affidavit states that there are health and safety concerns for the property created by the occupant.

Arrears Affect Oregon Rental Assistance Program

“This brief extension will ensure that no one is evicted while large sums of rent assistance are still available but unused,” said the Democratic governor.

In a hearing before the House Appropriations Committee Thursday morning, Tedd Kelleher, senior director general of housing assistance at the state Department of Commerce, said of the $ 1.1 billion available for assistance on rent through state and federal funds, $ 220 million had been spent until the end. July. Only 10 of 39 counties in the state spent more than 25% of the money awarded, and 13 counties spent less than 10%.

He said the main obstacle was the capacity to process applications, especially in larger counties, resulting in long wait times.

Inslee’s announcement comes days after Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said her moratorium on city evictions would remain in place until January 15, 2022, rather than expire at the end of September.

According to the Census Pulse Survey for the weeks of September 1 to 13, about 57,000 households statewide currently pay no rent, and more than 147,000 have “no confidence” that they could pay rent. next month. The census survey found that more than 49,000 respondents said it was “very likely” or “somewhat likely” that they would have to leave their homes due to an eviction within the next two months.

“The money is out there and it needs to be distributed as soon as possible,” Inslee said. “We encourage local governments to redouble their efforts.

Republican Rep. Michelle Caldier criticized Inslee’s decision to extend the moratorium, saying in a written statement that “the government’s failure to distribute rent assistance in a timely manner should not fall on the backs of housing providers. rental units that have been forced to carry the burden of thousands of tenants who do not pay their rent.

“This is extremely disappointing and will lead to more rental property owners leaving this industry and creating further housing shortages,” she wrote.

Earlier this week, several Democratic members of Congress introduced a bill that would reimpose a moratorium on deportations nationwide. A conservative majority in the United States Supreme Court in late August allowed deportations across the United States to resume, preventing the Biden administration from enforcing a new temporary ban that was put in place earlier this month due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

There have been over 567,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 – over 70,000 “probable” cases – in Washington state, and 7,434 deaths.

As of this week, nearly 76% of people aged 12 and over have started vaccination and around 69% are fully vaccinated.


Mark Ballard: What regulators can do to improve distribution networks | Marc Ballard

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All we know is that someone or a group of people hacked into a Zoom Town Hall to launch explicit scenes of people having sex when members of the Louisiana Public Service Commission attempted to discuss what happened to utility and telecommunications companies during Hurricane Ida and how services were restored.

Whether the prank or protest remains unknown as the PSC’s only comments were that it had happened, the perpetrators were depraved and the media reporting the incident was only interested in online clicks.

The five elected PSC commissioners and the heads of the public services they regulate have recently been the target of harsh lawsuits and criticism. The cause is widespread anger at the catastrophic damage caused by Ida, leaving hundreds of thousands of people in deadly heat without electricity or communications – again.

“I can’t tell you how many people who are Cox customers were basically ready to light brooms on fire and get forks if they could find out where you are,” PSC Commissioner Eric Skrmetta said. , R-Metairie, to Cox Communications executives at the hearing. He and other commissioners said something similar to other utility company executives when it was their turn to report.

Graphic scenes of people having sex interrupted utility regulators at the Louisiana Civil Service Commission meeting on Wednesday, held virtually …

Regulation of utilities is the intersection of complex engineering and high finance discussed in language understandable to around 200 regulators, lawyers, lobbyists and business executives, many of whom are loath to translate what is going on into layman’s terms. . But the language of utilities falls short of residential, commercial and industrial customers paying for restoration after a storm.

Entergy’s preliminary restoration estimates are between $ 2 billion and $ 2.4 billion for Ida, said Phillip May, president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana. Entergy Louisiana and Entergy New Orleans provide electricity to more than half of the state’s homes and businesses.

Catering estimates for May fluctuate, a lot, over the next few years when the amount will finally show up on customers’ monthly bills. The costs for last year’s Hurricane Laura are still being calculated and likely won’t be added to customer invoices for at least six months, maybe a year.

Ida destroyed 212 structures, such as transmission towers, and damaged 296 others, disrupting the flow of high-voltage electricity from power plants to distribution facilities that lower the voltage before sending electricity to customers . Over 36,000 distribution poles and 50,000 spans of wire broke down. The result was 1,098,433 customers who lost power, just behind the 1.3 million customers destroyed by Hurricane Gustav in 2009.

Over the past year, Louisiana and its distribution networks have been hit by four named hurricanes, two of which, Laura and Ida, have landed among the strongest in history.

Undeniably, utility companies, Entergy in particular, have been able to restore power faster than ever. But customers are frustrated with repeated breakdowns.

Power returns to Baton Rouge by Wednesday, surrounding parishes to see it again sooner

The vast majority of the greater Baton Rouge region is expected to be air conditioned and lit again by Wednesday, September 8, the Entergy chief said …

“It’s not practical to rebuild the system every time,” said PSC Commissioner Lambert Boissière III, D-New Orleans. “We need to have a very serious conversation about hardening” the transmission and distribution systems to reduce outages in the future.

As part of the single legal system put in place to manage private companies that operate as monopolies in specific areas, regulators can look at costs to balance what customers pay with what utility companies spend to provide. the service.

Not to take it out on Entergy, but over the past six years the utility has spent around $ 4.2 billion on its transmission system – also paid for by customers.

In April, Entergy officials testified before the PSC that hardening the entire system would be too costly. Thus, the utility has targeted specific parts of its network to “cost-effectively reduce reliability risks”.

The new equipment across the network performed well during Ida, according to a report released last week by McCullough Research. The Oregon-based company that advises power companies and government agencies has reviewed Entergy’s regulatory records and investor reports.

In the Entergy-focused report, McCullough also noted that “many utilities wait for older equipment to be destroyed rather than preventively replacing equipment. There are understandable regulatory reasons for doing so: It’s easier to recoup the cost of storm damage than to advocate for an early retirement of existing assets. “

PSC Chairman Craig Greene, a Republican doctor from Baton Rouge, said a “post mortem” was needed with questions: What weak points has Entergy worked on? And what exactly did the company do?

Regulators can’t order utilities to pay, but commissioners can determine which spending was “prudent.” If careful, customers will pay. Otherwise, these expenses are subtracted from the total amount that customers owe.


Do you consider the number of hours you need to work to buy something? | United Kingdom | New

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The concept stems from the age-old expression “time is money” and the differentiation between wants and needs. A blog by Squirrels explores the number of labor hours it takes to purchase an item. It’s probably something we’ve all considered, but the method is powerful.

In this blog, the example used is a person with an annual salary of $ 25,000 buying a car costing around $ 25,000.

The blogger made this calculation:

$ 25,000 of wages, divided by 250 working days, = $ 100 per day.

$ 100 per day, divided by 8 hours, = $ 12.50 per hour.

$ 12.50 per hour, multiplied by 75 percent – to account for taxes – = $ 9.38 per hour after tax $ 25,000 car, divided by the hourly rate of $ 9.38, = 2,665 hours.

This meant that they had to work 2,665 hours to buy the car, and if you factor in the above calculation assuming 2,000 hours of work per year, that comes to 1.33 years of their life. worked just to pay for a car.

This will allow young people to make an informed judgment on whether the experiences are worth it.

Dr Junaid added, “It also gets students thinking about the ‘opportunity cost’ of any purchase. A £ 9 theatrical release sounds good, but they might consider what else they could do with £ 9? “

Whiz Education has developed a Virtual Maths-Whizz Tutor which is a great way to help kids understand the value of transactions and progress in math at their own pace.

“One of the main features is a virtual ‘store’ where students can spend the credits they have earned while progressing through classes.

“Students can buy things like virtual pets and furniture, and they can even buy clothes to personalize their avatar.”

“It’s our light-hearted way of teaching students the basics of money management, which we believe will be of use to them later in life. “

While there isn’t much emphasis on this aspect of money in school, Junaid believes that “when taught well it can make a dramatic difference to the fortune (literally)”.


Center approves Rs 2,903.80 crore capital spending projects in 8 states

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The Ministry of Finance announced on Saturday that it had approved capital expenditure projects worth Rs 2,903.80 crore in eight states under the program called “Special Assistance to States for Capital Expenditures for 2021-2022 “.

The states named under this program are Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Sikkim and Telangana. The ministry has already released Rs 1,393.83 crore for these states

Bihar received the highest amount at Rs 415.50 crore and Rs 831 crore was approved for the state by the Ministry of Finance. The Punjab was allocated the lowest amount at Rs 45.80 crore. The state had already received Rs 22.90 crore under the program.

The government had launched the program “Special Assistance to States for Capital Expenditures for 2021-2022” taking into account a higher multiplier effect of capital expenditure and to provide much-needed resources to States following the second wave. of the COVID-19 pandemic. The device was launched on April 29, 2021.

Under this program, special assistance is provided to States in the form of a 50-year interest-free loan up to an aggregate amount not to exceed Rs 15,000 crore in the 2021-2022 fiscal year, said an official statement from the Ministry of Finance. The diagram is made up of three parts.

The first part of the program covers eight northeastern states, namely Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura, as well as the mountainous states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. As part of this part, Rs 200 crore has been allocated to each of the 7 northeastern states and Rs 400 crore each has been allocated to the states of Assam, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

The second part concerns all States not included in the first part. An amount of Rs 7,400 crore has been allocated for this part. “This amount was distributed among these States in proportion to their share of central taxes in accordance with the allocation of the 15th Finance Committee for the year 2021-2022”, we can read in the press release.

The third part of the program aims to provide incentives to states for the privatization and divestment of public sector enterprises (SPSE) and the monetization / recycling of assets. Under this part, states will receive additional funds under the scheme in addition to their allocation under the first two parts.

An amount of Rs 5,000 crore has been allocated for this part of the program. For this part, there is no specific allocation to the state and funds will be provided on a “first come, first served” basis.

Read also: Need to integrate green finance: Deputy Governor of the RBI

Also read: Divestment will create more jobs and increase PSU income: MoS Finance


JP Morgan Exchange-Traded Fund – JPMorgan US Quality Factor (JQUA) ETF drops 0.03% to moderate volume on September 24

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JP Morgan Exchange-Traded Fund Trust – The JPMorgan US Quality Factor ETF (NYSE: JQUA) closed at $ 42.44 on Friday after losing $ 0.0132 (0.03%) on a volume of 19,105 shares. The stock ranged from a high of $ 42.49 to a low of $ 42.29, while the market cap of the JP Morgan – JPMorgan US Quality Factor ETF Exchange Traded Fund now stands at $ 392,570,000.

See the JP Morgan Exchange-Traded Fund Trust – JPMorgan US Quality Factor ETF Profile for more information.

The daily solution

Enterprise software provider Freshworks Inc (Nasdaq: FRSH) climbed 32% on its IPO on Wednesday after setting prices above its deposit range.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wants US airlines to do more to deal with the upsurge in incidents involving unruly or violent passengers.

Breakthrough Energy, a non-profit organization started by a billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), co-founder Bill Gates in 2016, raised a treasure trove of seven leading global companies to advance the organization’s mission of achieving a net zero emissions society by 2050.

About the New York Stock Exchange

The New York Stock Exchange is the world’s largest stock exchange in terms of market value with more than $ 26 trillion. It’s also the leader in initial public offerings, with $ 82 billion raised in 2020, including six of the seven biggest tech deals. 63% of PSPC proceeds in 2020 were raised on the NYSE, including the six biggest deals.

To get more information on JP Morgan Exchange-Traded Fund Trust – JPMorgan US Quality Factor ETF and to keep up with the latest company updates, you can visit the company profile page here: JP Morgan Exchange-Traded Fund Trust – JPMorgan US Quality Factor ETF’s Profile. For more information on the financial markets, be sure to visit Equities News. Also, don’t forget to sign up for the Daily Fix to get the best stories delivered to your inbox 5 days a week.

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President Biden welcomes leaders of India, Japan and Australia to first “Quad” summit on Friday


Some Chinese Banks Stop Offering New Loans To Real Estate Developers Amid Evergrande Fear

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is running for eighth term

Special House committee assigns four Trump allies in U.S. Capitol riots investigation

CDC approves COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for millions of elderly and vulnerable people

Semiconductor shortage to cost global auto industry $ 210 billion in revenue in 2021

US Olympians to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for Beijing Winter Games

FAA urges airlines to take stronger action with unruly and disruptive passengers



Petition to Recall Fairfax School Board Members Fails | New

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The effort to recall three members of the Fairfax School District Board of Directors fell short of its goal.

A recall committee has been working since July to collect signatures to recall directors Palmer Moland, Alma Rios and Jose Luis Tapia. But a district assistant who heads the committee, Pamela Padilla, said the group would not be able to collect the required signatures before Sunday’s deadline.

The trio of directors targeted by the recall effort have formed a majority voting bloc in a series of controversial decisions that have sparked outrage at board meetings, considering a grand jury report County and Kern County Superintendent’s Audit of Schools Financial Crisis & Management Analysis Team.

The group had 90 days to collect 1,451 signatures. He hoped to bring them together well before that deadline, which would allow a recall election for the three members to qualify for the special election ballot on November 2.

Padilla estimated that the group had obtained 600 qualified signatures. His goal was always to greatly exceed the number of signatures needed to ensure that in the event that any one was rejected, they had enough to qualify for an election.

MIXED EMOTIONS

There were mixed emotions within the recall committee over what the failure of the petition meant.

Fairfax Junior High teacher Lisa Smith said the recall committee worked block-by-block through triple-figure summer evenings to secure signings. She said it would pay dividends when the seats of Moland and board chairman Rios were voted on in November 2022.

“We are not at all disappointed. We achieved one of our main goals, which was community outreach,” said Smith, a clerk of the recall committee. “We were able to communicate with the general public. They will be voters in the next public cycle.

Smith said she was proud of the work the group of volunteers did in the midst of a wave of COVID, often on days when the mercury approached 110 degrees. Padilla said the recall effort was hampered by relying on such a small group of dedicated volunteers.

REACTIONS FROM THE TRUSTEES

Moland said during the signature-gathering effort he was able to stay in touch with his constituents through platforms such as the NextDoor social media app about the recall.

“My constituents were telling me to stay positive and stay positive,” Moland said. “I wasn’t really nervous about it.”

Rios didn’t have much to say. She said she didn’t mean anything bad about anyone.

“What can I say? I don’t know,” she said.

The next step for the recall committee is unclear. Its members look to outside agencies such as the Kern County Superintendent of Schools and the Kern County Grand Jury to act as watchdogs.

UPCOMING ACTIONS

In June, KCSOS announced that it would conduct a financial audit of the district.

The grand jury released a report in May claiming the Fairfax school district was governed by “a school board in crisis.”

The report presented a series of recommendations with strict deadlines, such as checking the residences of board members and passing the censorship resolution that accuses Moland of creating a hostile working environment for district employees. – an accusation that he categorically denies.

Newly hired Fairfax superintendent Regina Green said the district has responded to the grand jury and continues to respond to its recommendations.

The censorship resolution repeatedly failed, with Rios and Tapia rejecting it. At the last board meeting, Green presented an amended version of the clause-less censure resolution asking the board to “reassess Director Moland’s conduct and commitment to honest and effective governance. at a public meeting ”following a governance training program.

Trustee Victoria Coronel requested that the clause be reinstated and that the board provide a rubric to assess Moland. Green noted that she deleted the clause because it did not contain a heading.

EXPENDITURE CONCERNS

Smith said what worries her most are the board’s decisions on legal spending. She said the board noted her legal expenses more than quadrupled last year, but failed to justify those expenses.

“Fourteen more months of this fiscal responsibility of Rios, Tapia and Moland will redefine the functioning of this district,” she said. “We are no longer going to be that school that will deliver to a marginalized population.”

At its September 14 meeting, Rios, Tapia and Moland blocked a proposal by Green to restore legal services to schools, the district’s longtime legal adviser, for non-council matters. The district owes the company a retainer for the year 2021-22, but the majority of the board has repeatedly signaled that it does not intend to use its services.

Moland said he never voted for some of the services used, such as the company hired to investigate him, which ultimately helped draft the censorship resolution.

You can reach Emma Gallegos at 661-395-7394.


New York Fed researchers develop weather stress test for banks

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A man walks past the New York Federal Reserve building in New York, United States, April 26, 2021. REUTERS / Shannon Stapleton / File Photo

September 24 (Reuters) – Researchers at the New York Federal Reserve have developed an approach to measure banks’ exposure to climate-related risks, a possible first step in assessing whether financial institutions have enough capital to deal.

The publication on Friday of an article describing the new methodology could mark a first step towards a possible “climate stress test” for US banks. It’s an approach already used by other global central banks, but one that has drawn strong criticism from Republican U.S. lawmakers who say monitoring such a risk is beyond the remit of the central bank.

For his part, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said he believes making sure banks are resilient to the threat of climate change is clearly part of the Fed’s mandate.

Friday’s paper, titled simply “Climate Stress Testing,” describes for the first time exactly how the Fed could test the vulnerability of banks and the financial system to shocks as the country strives to limit trapping carbon dioxide emissions. the heat.

“Banks that provide finance to fossil fuel companies are expected to suffer when the risk of default on their loan portfolios increases, as economies shift to a low-carbon environment,” the researchers said. “While banks systematically incur substantial losses as a result of a sharp increase in physical risks or transition risks, climate change poses considerable risk to the financial system.

The researchers developed a metric to assess climate risk and found that for some banks heavily exposed to fossil fuels, it was “economically substantial”.

Using Citigroup as an example, the researchers said the expected amount of capital the bank would have had to raise under the climate stress scenario to restore a prudential capital ratio increased by $ 73 billion in 2020, at one point. where oil prices were falling as the pandemic reduced demand for energy.

A Citigroup spokeswoman declined to comment on the newspaper.

Overall, measures of banking risk for large banks in the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Canada and France tended to rise and fall over time, but at the same time they have found.

The researchers did not take into account the direct effects of climate-related weather events, although they said integrating such risks could be a next step.

U.S. banking regulators, including the Fed, are already set to demand more disclosure of how weather-related risks could affect bank asset values.

Report by Ann Saphir; Editing by Andrea Ricci

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


Newsweek stays on hook for $ 1.1 million in rents back

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Although Newsweek is held in default, the news company says it is not responsible because its name is not on the lease, according to court documents, and their motion to dismiss the charges was dismissed.

Alan Sash, who represents Newsweek, said in court documents that the lawsuit was a “bad faith and unwarranted attempt” to collect commercial rent.

Stawski sued IBT and Newsweek in January, saying they had not received any rent for the offices since September 2020 and the tenant owed more than $ 700,000 in arrears.

Since then, Newsweek’s bank accounts have made several payments to the owner for IBT’s arrears and executives at the spin-off company were in contact with the owner about the sublease and payment plans, according to the complaint. .

In doing so, Newsweek had “ignored and abused the corporate form by dominating and controlling IBT,” Perry wrote in his ruling.

Who will be responsible for paying rent on Whitehall Street is still uncertain, Stawski’s attorney Efrem Fischer said. It could be one or the other or both, he said.

This lawsuit is not the first rent dispute between the landlord and the media company. Stawski Partners sued IBT for over $ 500,000 in rent arrears in 2019, but this case has since been settled.

Representatives for IBT and Newsweek did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


San Antonio company announces $ 20 minimum wage for all employees and hires

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SAN ANTONIO –A large San Antonio company just announced it is raising the minimum wage for its employees from $ 15 to $ 20 as part of a cutting edge initiative.

The Security Service Federal Credit Union (SSFCU) made the announcement Thursday and said the increase would have a direct impact on nearly 400 employees, the largest percentage being representatives from member contact centers.

“This decision is about who and how we enable our best and brightest talents to succeed in work and in life,” said Jim Laffoon, President and CEO. “This action sends a message to our employees that not only do we value them, but that they are a key success factor in achieving the future we want for our company and for our members.”

SSFCU has more than 1,900 employees and locations across Texas, Colorado and Utah.

The salary increase will take effect at the end of September and will be in effect for all new hires going forward, according to SSFCU officials.

A d

“Staying competitive with salaries, a strong benefits package and a 401k plan allows us to retain top talent and deliver the high level of service our members deserve,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Resources Officer human Cindy Moran.

The SSFCU has over 803,000 members and is headquartered in San Antonio.

Visit the careers page for SSFCU here.

Related:

Copyright 2021 by KSAT – All rights reserved.


Calm: only Republicans want to keep the masquerade on the debt limit

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For all of the country’s problems – the resurgence of COVID-19, the extreme weather conditions and the economic consequences of both – one would think that political leaders would not drag us into an easily preventable crisis either. Yet here we are faced with the catastrophic threat of a federal debt default.

It is a recurring political game, favorite of the Republicans. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Congress needed to increase the country’s statutory borrowing limit by mid-October to the end of October to meet the country’s obligations. But with the Democrats nominally in power in Washington, Republicans are refusing to vote for a raise, risking default on the IOUs they helped rack up.

As the right wing blames red ink on President Biden’s spending plans, more than a quarter of the $ 28.5 trillion federal debt is attributable to tax cuts and spending during Donald Trump’s presidency , including the first rounds of pandemic relief. Republicans controlled the Senate for those four years and the House for two. Billions more date back to the administration of George W. Bush, when Republicans also ruled Congress for most of its two terms, and reflect the costs of deep tax cuts, two wars and a new one. right to medicines for Medicare.

Given the bipartisan responsibility for debt, here’s a bipartisan solution to avoiding this debt limit fights: Get rid of it.

That won’t happen, at least not anytime soon. Republicans, led by two of the least constructive and cynical politicians I have covered in many years, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Parliamentary Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, are taking too much advantage of the disappointment of the Democrats because they plan to take control of Congress in the midterm elections of 2022.

But think about why the debt limit needs to go.

It is anachronistic. It is ineffective as an incentive for fiscal correctness. And it is divisive, sparking so-called debates that mislead Americans about what is at stake and further undermine their fragile faith in government. Instead, the nation’s commitment to cover its debts should be clear, if not explicit, in its annual spending laws, without a separate statute.

Few nations have debt ceiling laws; Denmark, the only other democracy to do so, sets its limit so high that it doesn’t matter. International investors watch in awe as the United States, the financial might of the planet, for which the dollar is the world’s reserve currency, repeatedly undermine this status – and the global economy – by wondering if the government will repay its debts. . The heartbreaking crisis of 2011, sparked by Tea Party Republicans in Congress, prompted rating firm Standard & Poor’s to downgrade the country’s AAA + rating.

The debt ceiling, as we know it, dates back to 1917. Until then, Congress had authorized the Treasury Department to borrow for specific purposes. Beginning in World War I, as the United States became a world power, Congress set broader borrowing limits so the Treasury could better manage federal finances. As US bonds rose, so did the frequency of votes to lift the debt limit.

Since 1960, according to the Treasury, Congress has acted 78 times to adjust the cap – 49 times under Republican presidents and 29 times under Democrats. But beginning in the Reagan era, as the polarization of debt and politics increased, lawmakers often militarized debt limit votes to make the ruling party appear lavish and they – even fiscally fair. Five times in the past decade, Congress has flirted with overbudget default. Yet the three times Congress raised the cap under the Trump administration, Democrats have lent their support to making actions bipartisan.

Lifting debt limit not a green light for further spending, despite McConnell’s move repeated complaints that Republicans oppose a raise because of “Democrats'” tax frenzy and reckless spending. ” It simply allows the government to pay off debt it has already incurred through spending laws and tax cuts, including social security and health insurance benefit obligations, contracts defense, veterans health care and more.

The headline of an analysis Tuesday from Moody’s Analytics read it all: “Playing a Dangerous Game with the Debt Limit.”

Voting against a higher debt ceiling is like voting for a balanced budget constitutional amendment, another Republican workhorse: neither is doing anything to resolve the imbalance between revenue and income. federal spending. Such ploys are like political stickers, easier and more popular than proposing spending cuts and tax increases to actually reduce debt.

In the decades that I reported on fiscal policy, starting with Ronald Reagan’s second term, annual federal spending was largely equivalent to about 21% of the country’s gross domestic product, while taxes covered an amount of the order of 18%. This left annual deficits of around 3% of GDP (more in years of economic crisis, less in good times, and with the exception of a few years of surpluses at the end of Bill Clinton’s presidency).

Given this experience from Reagan to Trump – an era of four Republican presidents and two Democrats, when control of Congress shifted from party to party or was split between them – it’s high time to recognize that there is a rough consensus in this country. to accept certain deficit expenses. This simple fact should regulate the way of managing the debt ceiling: either unite to raise it whenever necessary, or abolish it.

The House took the first step on Tuesday by voting to raise the limit enough to fund projected debt until December 2022 – right after the midterm elections. Democrats provided the 220 votes for this act of fiscal responsibility. McConnell irresponsibly reiterated his self-fulfilling vow that Republicans will block action in the Senate.

In these scam crises, Democrats are inevitably at a disadvantage. They believe in making government work. The Republicans, formerly the Small Government Party, have recklessly become the anti-government party. When McConnell and McCarthy signal that they are ready to lead the country to a fiscal cliff, Thelma and Louise style, believe them.

Take the wheel. Avoid the crash. End the debt limit.

@jackiekcalmes



BlackRock Institutional Company NA – BTC iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF (QUAL) gains 1.03% to close at $ 137.21 on September 23

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BlackRock Institutional Trust Company NA – BTC iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF Inc (CBOE: QUAL) stock today gained $ 1.4, an increase of 1.03%. BlackRock Institutional Company NA – BTC iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF opened at $ 136.49 before trading between $ 137.82 and $ 136.35 throughout Thursday’s session. The activity saw the market capitalization of BlackRock Institutional Company NA – BTC iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF reach $ 24,443,961,500 on 1,066,941 stocks – below their 30-day average of 1,372,974.

See the BlackRock Institutional Trust Company Profile NA – BTC iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF for more information.

The daily solution

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wants US airlines to do more to deal with the upsurge in incidents involving unruly or violent passengers.

The Federal Reserve is reviewing ethics policies that govern financial holdings and the activities of its senior officials following recent revelations that two regional Fed chairmen engaged in intensive trade last year.

The DoorDash food delivery service will now support delivery of beer, wine and spirits to 20 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Canada and Australia, a move the company says could allow it to ” reach over 100 million customers.

About CBOE Global Markets

CBOE operates the largest options exchange and the third largest in the United States. volume.

To get more information on BlackRock Institutional Trust Company NA – BTC iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF and keep up with the latest company updates, you can visit the Company Profile page here: BlackRock Institutional Trust Company NA – BTC iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF Profile. For more information on the financial markets, be sure to visit Equities News. Also, don’t forget to sign up for the Daily Fix to get the best stories delivered to your inbox 5 days a week.

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President Biden’s new alliance with Australia and Great Britain Angers France and European Union

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Canadian investment watchdog hopes advertising guidelines will curb ‘bad actors’ in the cryptocurrency wild west

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Tired of those cryptocurrency ads that have all the grace and subtlety of carnival barkers or neon signs on the Vegas Strip? The same goes for securities regulators.

The Canadian Securities Administrators and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) on Thursday announced new advertising, marketing and social media guidelines for cryptocurrency exchanges.

Ontario Securities Commission Chairman Grant Vingoe said the goal of the guidelines is simple: to keep investors safe in a rapidly growing industry with a Wild West atmosphere.

“The main goal is investor protection,” Vingoe said.

Those “fastest one to 500 trades gets a bonus” ads or “click here and invest before the price goes up” tweets? Big no-no. Ditto for those who say that an exchange is the safest, without any proof. Most importantly, any advertisement should mention the volatility and risk inherent in the entire cryptocurrency industry.

“The fact that with one click you can open your account and then have made a speculative investment on the second click is worrying,” Vingoe said. “The use case of cryptocurrencies as payment systems has largely collapsed and they have become speculative investments.”

The amount of money invested worldwide in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin reached $ 2 trillion in April, more than the total value of Canadian mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, pointed out. Vingoe.

“It’s fair to assume that it has grown significantly since then,” Vingoe said.

Along with the advertising guidelines, the CSA (which includes provincial and territorial regulators like the Ontario Securities Commission) and IIROC have warned that cryptocurrency exchanges must keep records of all communications with potential customers, including on social media.

The new guidelines have been applauded by investor rights advocates, lawyers and even some cryptocurrency exchanges who want more regulation to help give more credibility to the rapidly growing investment industry.

“This is to protect retail investors. People who invest in cryptocurrency tend to be younger and tend to be more comfortable communicating on social media, ”said Jean-Paul Bureaud, executive director of FAIR Canada, an advocacy group. investor rights.

While ensuring that particular investments are suitable for a client is something registered stockbrokers must do, it rarely happens in the world of casino-style advertisements and tweets, Bureaud said. This is a key issue that the guidelines are addressing, he added.

“They think things over deeper and get closer to the root of the problem,” Bureaud said.

“This will take out some of the bad players,” said Mitchell Demeter, president of British Columbia-based Netcoins, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges based in Canada. “Investment decisions should be based on education to trust, not emotion or fear of missing out. “

Demeter said introducing more regulations would actually be good for the long-term future of the cryptocurrency boom.

“This will help make investors more confident in the industry, and I think that’s a good thing,” said Demeter, who added that Netcoins is still considering becoming a fully regulated securities broker, under the jurisdiction of the BC Securities Commission.

Matthew Burgoyne, head of cryptocurrency practice at Calgary-based McLeod Law, said the new guidelines are a good attempt to bring some order to the industry.

But he questions whether they will be effective with cryptocurrency exchanges operating thousands of miles from their Canadian clients, just as he questions the effectiveness of the OSC’s ongoing enforcement actions against exchanges. offshore crypto.

“Consumers will go to the apps they prefer, if they have a more enjoyable experience. Regulators are in a difficult situation. They are definitely damned if they do, damned if they don’t, ”said Burgoyne.

Yet having at least a few exchanges by the rules gives consumers a choice. And it’s a choice that securities regulators hope to make clear, Vignoe said.

“When you have good players who have entered the regulatory system, they should really be seen as a separate category. It’s not fair to paint the whole area with the same brush, ”said Vignoe.


America’s debt ceiling is a disaster, though fiscal rules can help

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IONCE again for this bizarre economic spectacle, a debt ceiling showdown in America. In the name of fiscal responsibility, the world’s largest economy flirts with an act of shameless irresponsibility: a sovereign default. The government has almost exhausted its current statutory debt limit of $ 28.5 billion, after which it will struggle to meet its obligations. Janet Yellen, Treasury Secretary, warned the government would likely run out of cash next month.

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Most economists and leaders assume America will come to its senses before that. After all, Congress only needs to raise or suspend the debt ceiling, which it has done almost 80 times since 1960, even if it sometimes leaves it at the last minute. If that happened again – and it almost certainly would – the debt ceiling would disappear until the next clash, serving primarily as evidence of America’s polarized politics (as if it needed it).

America’s ritualistic threats of economic self-harm are unique. But the debt ceiling is an extreme version of what many other countries are doing: They limit government borrowing through fiscal rules. Germany applies a “debt brake”, capping its structural deficit at 0.35% of GDP (although he has ignored this cap since the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic). In Britain, the Conservative government aims to match spending and income over a three-year horizon. Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to unveil even stricter rules in next month’s budget, including a pledge to reduce the debt ratio toGDP report.

The purpose of fiscal rules is to address what economists call a “common network” problem – that the recipients of public spending ignore the costs imposed on taxpayers and on future generations. The fear is that without a hard cap on spending, elected officials will burn money. Taken to extremes, bond and currency markets could sanction lavishness. Better not to test them. Hence the need, supposedly, for clear limits.

Yet the past decade has shown that the borders are a bit wider and blurry than previously thought. In America, federal debt was about a third of GDP In 2000; today it is roughly 100%. Far from precipitating a financial collapse, the growing debt burden has become more, not less, manageable thanks to ultra-low interest rates. In nominal terms, the cost of servicing all debt (the annual interest payments on it) is just over 1% of GDP, almost half of what it was two decades ago. Similar trends have occurred in the rich world. There might not be a free meal, but governments have learned that they can get much larger portions for half the price.

One answer is to soften the boundaries. Take the European Union rule that member states must cap their debt at 60% of GDP– which is widely observed in the breach, with an average EU debt levels now exceed 90% of GDP. Economists such as Zsolt Darvas de Bruegel, a think tank, suggest that this limit should be treated as a long-term anchor rather than a short-term goal.

Such softening would help. But that wouldn’t solve a more fundamental flaw in debt limits – that they are inherently arbitrary. There is little empirical basis for keeping debt at 60% of GDP, much less at exactly $ 28.5 billion in America. The very arbitrariness of these red lines risks creating a Crying Boy Debt Syndrome. As borrowing levels exceed them and the economy continues to perform well, some politicians may conclude that it is best to ignore all calls for fiscal restraint.

A more sophisticated answer is to focus fiscal rules on what really matters to the debt: the cost of servicing it. In a 2020 article, Larry Summers and Jason Furman suggested that governments should aim to prevent their actual interest payments from exceeding 2% of GDP. If they are successful, debt-to-GDP targets would become anything but superfluous. More generally, economists recognize that as long as a country’s growth rate is higher than its interest rates, its path to fiscal sustainability should be easier, as the weight of its existing debt will gradually decrease.

However, these more elegant fiscal rules have their own problems. Why cap debt service charges at 2% of GDP and no, say 3%. In addition, the confidence that economic growth can outpace interest rates stems from the belief that rates will remain subdued in the future as the population ages. But the surge of inflation underway in the United States has shown how uncertain this is. If central banks were to raise interest rates to ease price pressures, debts would skyrocket quickly.

You only give me your funny piece of paper

The total elimination of indefensible lines in the sand is a good alternative. In an article published this year, Peter Orszag, Robert Rubin and Joseph Stiglitz argue for a new tax architecture. An important part would be to index the long term expenses to the underlying drivers. For example, social security benefits could be automatically made less generous to take account of increased life expectancy. This can be seen as a fiscal rule that commits governments to making sound fiscal decisions, rather than specifying debt targets with spurious precision.

In another article published this year, Olivier Blanchard and others proposed general tax standards for the EU, such as requiring governments to ensure that their debts are sustainable, while leaving them to choose their policy mix. Independent fiscal councils could then use detailed debt sustainability criteria to assess their budgets. If this were done methodically, it would be more scientific than the fiscal rules currently observed in America and Europe.

Alas, all of these smart ideas may be nothing in America. The government is unlikely to drop its debt ceiling, because in one dimension it is the most efficient. Republicans have become good at using it as a club to block Democratic presidents’ agendas and portray them as spendthrift. No other fiscal rule can deliver this kind of return. â– 

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This article appeared in the Finance and Economics section of the print edition under the title “Rules of Engagement”


How the media repeated the “missing white woman syndrome” in the Petito case

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“White victims tend to be portrayed as being in very safe environments, so it’s shocking that something like this can happen, while black and Latino victims are portrayed as being in dangerous environments, thus essentially normalizing the victimization, ”she said.

Ms Slakoff added that there were a number of reasons people were interested in Ms Petito’s case. The road trip was documented by Ms Petito on social media, giving insight into her life. People wanted to feel like they were part of the story by helping to solve his disappearance and connecting with others by following what was going on and exchanging information. But the amount of coverage threatened to turn the deal into “entertainment,” she added.

“I don’t think we can ignore the motive for profit and the fact that historically these types of stories have garnered tons of engagement, viewers and clicks,” Ms. Slakoff said. “So I think you could argue that it’s kind of a vicious cycle.”

Stewart Coles, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Communications at the University of Illinois, said public interest in Ms Petito’s case had helped boost media coverage, but had not taken into account the totality of it.

“We have to consider how sometimes the choices about which stories to read and what we know are based on what gatekeepers in the media industry think people want to know,” he said. “And if these people think people are more interested in a missing white woman, they’re going to give us information about the missing white women.”

On Twitter last Thursday, Hakeem Jefferson, assistant professor of political science at Stanford University, criticized a Washington Post article that described Ms Petito as a “blonde, blue-eyed adventurer.” He noted that these details were irrelevant to the story and “needlessly tell about the missing person from the jump.”

“Journalists should be more careful in their coverage of these cases lest they perpetuate an already uneven visibility landscape for victims who do not fit the mold,” Jefferson said in an interview.


Insurance Company Ratings Explained | The bank rate

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When buying an insurance policy, people usually focus on the cost. But insurance isn’t just about the price you pay each quarter. Your insurer’s position in the market, its claims history, customer satisfaction, and industry-wide reputation are some of the often overlooked but necessary details that matter. And the best way to get this information all in one place is to look at insurance company ratings. By taking into account third party ratings, it is possible to determine an insurer’s ability to pay claims on time and provide the coverage you need in the event of a disaster.

What are the ratings of insurance companies?

Consumer analytics companies rate businesses on a variety of factors. Since insurance is usually about money, the most important criterion for rating insurers is financial stability. People depend on insurance companies to bail them out in a disaster. Any policy is written for the sole purpose of being financially covered in the event of a disaster that may occur in your car, home or life, and if an insurer does not have a stable position in the industry, its ability to pay the costs. claims becomes questionable.

While insurance company ratings primarily focus on financial strength, other factors are also taken into consideration. These include overall customer satisfaction, availability, coverage options, discounts, and competitive pricing. Scores are also based on a company’s resilience to national disasters. For example, a home insurance company will be rated for the way it conducts its business during severe weather events such as hurricanes, while a health insurance company will be rated for the coverage it provides to policyholders during severe weather conditions. ‘a major case of widespread disease across the country.

What do insurance scores take into account

Insurance company ratings take a number of factors into account. Besides finances, the general health and ethics of the company are also taken into account before rating the insurer. Some other consideration factors are:

  • Cash in reserve
  • Rate of endettement
  • Ethics and risk management
  • Income stream
  • Quality of policies taken out

Because every analytics company is different and follows different methods of determining scores, ratings may not always be consistent for all insurers. In addition to taking third-party reviews into account, it’s also important that you conduct your own independent research to find the one that’s right for you.

Who rates insurance companies

There are four companies whose scores for insurance providers stand out above all others. These are AM Best, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Demotech.

AM Best

The best-known insurance-specific rating company, the scores provided by AM Best are often considered the benchmark of the industry’s financial strength. The highest rating offered is A ++ (superior) while the lowest is a D (poor). AM Best does not evaluate any type of business other than insurance companies.

Standard & Poor’s

Unlike AM Best, Standard & Poor’s rates companies in all industries, including insurance. They assess the ability and willingness of companies to meet their financial obligations on time and in full. Or, in other words, they assess the likelihood that an insurance company can and will pay your claim in a timely manner. The highest score it offers is AAA (Extremely Strong) while the lowest is a D.

Moody’s

Moody’s Corporation, another cross-sector rating company, analyzes insurers in terms of financial stability, market risk and overall performance. They do this for the purpose of determining, like other rating companies, the likelihood that an insurance company will be able to pay your claim on time. Their highest score is Aaa (highest quality) while C (lowest rated, usually faulty) is lowest.

Demotech

Ohio-based financial analysis firm Demotech rates insurance companies for their survival strength, regardless of market downturns. Its rating scale is a little different, in that the highest score offered is A ”and the lowest an L, with A ‘, A, S, M in the middle.

Why are insurance company ratings important?

An insurance company is different from other businesses because it has a financial obligation to customers. Insurance company ratings are important because they highlight the financial stability of an insurer and help people assess whether the company will be able to provide them with the money they need in the event of an accident or disaster. However, because these ratings are objective and broad enough, they should not be the only factor in determining the effectiveness of the business. Just because an insurance company is financially strong doesn’t mean it should also be seen as a guarantee of excellent customer service.

What if an insurance company doesn’t have a rating?

Sometimes an insurance company may not be rated by one of the major rating agencies. It is not always a negative indicator. In most cases, this just means that the business is new and has not had many years in business yet, or that it only operates in a handful of regions and is not considered to be a national insurer. In the absence of financial ratings, it is better to focus on customer reviews to learn more about the company’s performance.

Other things to consider

While the financial strength of an insurance company is important, it is far from the only factor you should consider when looking for an insurer. In many cases, businesses that are financially healthy may not have the same reputation for providing customer service or resolving claims in a timely manner. Therefore, reviewing customer complaints about an insurance company should be your first consideration.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) maintains an index of complaints against insurance companies, with a median of 1. This index tells you the number of complaints filed against the company by consumers. The higher the score, the greater the number of complaints. You should also check customer reviews of complaints handling, billing, renewal, and sudden price increases in the business. The coverage options and discounts available that help you save a few hundred dollars per year are also necessary factors to consider when looking for an insurance company.

You can also consider researching a company’s JD Power score. JD Power specializes in the collection and analysis of data with the aim of providing an unbiased picture of a particular industry. This is important because if you are looking for customer reviews, many customers will take the time to write a bad review but not focus on the good things about the business. JD Power rates leading companies in the industry on aspects such as complaint handling satisfaction and customer satisfaction. Reviews from this company can give you a good idea of ​​a company’s ability to serve you satisfactorily.


DMRC board meeting likely on Friday, question of amount of arbitration could come up

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The board of directors of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is expected to meet on September 24 and the question of the amount of arbitration to be remitted to the Anil Ambani group company, Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt Ltd (DAMEPL), could appear, have reported sources Wednesday.

On September 9, the Supreme Court upheld the 2017 arbitration award worth over Rs 4,600 crore in favor of the company, enforceable against the DMRC.

Sources from DMRC said its board of directors is expected to meet on Friday and the amount of arbitration is expected to be on the agenda.

On September 9, a bench of the Supreme Court headed by Judge L Nageswara Rao quashed the order of the Delhi High Court which had set aside the arbitration award in favor of DAMEPL, which had withdrawn from operating the line. Airport Express metro station for security reasons.

On the day of the judgment, the DMRC said in a statement: “The judgment is currently being analyzed for a future course of action.”

Reliance Infrastructure will receive Rs 7,100 crore from the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) after the Supreme Court ruling, company chairman Anil Ambani told shareholders last week.

The questions addressed to the DMRC on the contributions to be paid to the company did not elicit any response.

The arbitral tribunal in its award of May 2017 had accepted the allegation of the operator of the airport metro that the operation of the line was not viable for reasons such as structural defects.

In 2008, DAMEPL entered into a contract with DMRC for the operation of the airport metro line until 2038.

As disputes arose between the parties, DAMEPL ceased to operate the metro on the airport line and invoked the arbitration clause against DMRC alleging breach of contract and demanded termination compensation.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Colorado’s economic growth will continue at a slower pace, state forecasts

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For the most part, Colorado’s economy rebounded quickly from the pandemic-induced recession in March 2020. State coffers are expected to continue growing next year, albeit at a slower pace.

On Tuesday, non-partisan staff at the Legislative Council and tax analysts in the governor’s office of state planning and budgeting presented their respective economic forecasts for Colorado to state lawmakers on the Joint Budget Committee.

According to forecasts from Legislative Council staff, general fund revenues for the fiscal year that began July 1 are expected to increase 6.1 percent from last year. Analysts at the State Planning and Budget Office, or OSPB, forecast slightly higher revenue growth of 7.3 percent from the previous year to the current year.

Since their respective June forecast, Legislative Council, or LCS, and OSPB staff have improved their outlook for the current 2021-2022 fiscal year. Both forecasts have also revised their revenue forecasts downwards for fiscal year 2020-2021.

Last year’s general fund income – mainly comprising income and sales taxes – rose 10.7% from the previous year, according to preliminary figures.

“Today’s forecast is promising news for our state, and the progress we have made in rebounding is something we can be proud of, but we cannot let go,” said Senator Dominick Moreno, the Commerce City Democrat who chairs the joint budget committee, said in a statement Tuesday. “Far too many low-income Coloradans and small businesses are still struggling, and it is imperative that we focus our attention on helping them. “

The state ended the last fiscal year with a general fund reserve balance about $ 2.8 billion higher than what the law requires, according to LCS. Based on what is currently budgeted for this year, LCS and OSPB project that the state will have more than $ 1.8 billion in reserve funds more than needed.

LCS and OSPB forecasts predict that this year Colorado will generate more than $ 1 billion in more revenue than is allowed under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, a constitutional amendment approved by voters. and a subsequent voting measure known as the C referendum. The surplus could trigger an income tax cut and a sales tax refund for Coloradans – who are already enjoying an alleged TABOR refund and ‘an income tax cut due to the high revenue last year.

“We could see things get worse than expected, so it’s not certain that we’ll be in a TABOR surplus situation,” Kate Watkins, chief staff economist at the Legislative Council, told lawmakers on Tuesday.

Next year, LCS predicts that Colorado’s income will continue to grow as the economy grows. Based on the current year’s budget, LCS predicts that lawmakers will have an additional $ 3.3 billion to spend or save next year.

LCS predicts that general fund revenues will increase by 5% in the next fiscal year, while OSPB predicts a 3.9% increase in revenues.

The LCS forecast indicates that revenues could be higher than expected for this fiscal year and next year, given that this has happened in the past year and a half. The general state fund rebounded from an economic recession faster than analysts expected due to the uneven effects of the pandemic on different groups of people.

Middle and upper income earners – who pay more income and sales taxes – have generally not been as affected as lower income earners, and have seen their net worth increase several times over the rate of the downs. income.

Between the last quarter of 2019 and the second quarter of 2021, the net worth of those in the lowest 20 percent of earners (represented by the green line) increased by 2.5 percent. Meanwhile, the net worth of middle-income people in the 40th to 60th percentile of the income distribution (blue line) and of high-income people in the 80th to 99th percentile (yellow line) increased by 13.1 and 13.9%, respectively. (Governor’s Office for State Planning and Budgeting)

However, the new wave of COVID-19 infections, driven by the delta variant, could hurt the state’s economy.

“The high number of COVID cases is limiting global supply chains, raising inflation expectations,” OSPB tax analysts noted in their own September report.

The lasting economic damage from the pandemic could also prove to be more severe than expected once the effects of federal economic stimulus wear off, LCS predicts. And despite a fairly optimistic overall outlook, many uncertainties remain as the state’s economic recovery continues.

“Many households and businesses still bear the brunt of persistent distress, while others have come out unscathed or even better off,” the LCS report says. “Spending and employment in sectors related to in-person services are still lagging behind their pre-pandemic levels and remain sensitive to the growth and decline of the virus.”

The economic forecast does not include details of the $ 3.8 billion sent by Congress to Colorado through the American Rescue Plan Act, passed this spring. Lawmakers have chosen to deposit the money into coronavirus recovery funds they created for the purpose of spending the federal money.

Many households and businesses still bear the brunt of persistent distress, while others have come out unscathed or even better off.

– September forecast by Legislative Council staff

But limited information on school funding is included in the LCS forecast. LCS predicts that the state will spend at least $ 154 million more on K-12 education next school year than this year. Based on land values ​​assessed in December of last year, the financial responsibility of local governments for public education is expected to increase by $ 122 million from this year to next year.

However, temporarily reduced assessment rates for certain types of properties – due to legislation designed to provide a buffer in case voters approve a property tax cut in November – could mean that the local share of the funding of schools is a little lower. LCS’s next December economic forecast will contain more comprehensive information on school funding, the September report notes.

LCS also predicts that cash fund revenues will rebound this year, increasing 7.2% from last year, even as disruptions in the crude oil market, reduced travel, and reduced casino capacity. continue to limit the collection of severance pay, transportation income and gaming income. The OSPB forecast calls for a 10.4% larger increase in cash fund income this year.

Meanwhile, things are still not looking good for the state Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, which was hit hard when the pandemic put millions of people out of work. The fund became insolvent last August, when benefits exceeded available funds, and is not expected to return to solvency until 2023, according to LCS. This means that employers will pay higher premiums into the fund next year.

Unemployment, activity rate above average

Colorado’s unemployment rate of 5.9% is higher than the national average of 5.2%, but OSPB says this is in part due to the above-state average labor force participation rate , which means that in Colorado, a higher proportion of people who do not have a job are actively looking for work.

“While the recovery in employment in the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors continues to lag behind other sectors, Colorado has seen a significant recovery in demand for these services,” adds the OSPB report.

Graph showing unemployment rates
Colorado’s unemployment rate is above the US average, as the chart on the left shows. Colorado also has an above average labor market participation rate. (Governor’s Office for State Planning and Budgeting)

Since April, the number of job openings in the United States has exceeded the number of unemployed, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data cited in the OSPB report. However, despite higher unemployment today than before the pandemic, businesses in all states and industries are reporting difficulties finding skilled workers.

One potential explanation, according to the September OSPB report, is “the mismatch in wage and skill expectations between the unemployed and the employers who hire,” as well as “the changing preferences of the unemployed from traditional low-cost jobs. salary towards other alternatives due to concerns about the risks of COVID-19 and the buffer of accumulated savings. “

Lack of access to childcare services may be another contributing factor to hiring problems, notes the OSPB report, given that the labor market participation of women without a university degree who have children is “particularly low ”since the start of the pandemic.


United States continues American Airlines and JetBlue partnership

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WASHINGTON, Sept.21 (Reuters) – The US Department of Justice and six states on Tuesday filed antitrust lawsuits against American Airlines Group Inc (AAL.O) and JetBlue Airways Corp (JBLU.O) seeking to end a partnership that the government says could lead to higher fares at busy airports in the northeastern United States.

The lawsuit called on a federal court in Boston to stop the “Northeast Alliance” partnership, announced in July 2020 and approved by the US Department of Transportation shortly before the end of the Trump administration. He was targeting American Airlines, the world’s largest airline, saying the alliance would cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars.

“Fewer flights. More expensive tickets. Lower quality service,” said California Attorney General Rob Bonta, whose state was one of those who joined the lawsuit. “Plain and simple: American Airlines and JetBlue’s Northeast Alliance are anti-competitive. “

Shares of both airlines closed lower and both pledged to fight the lawsuit, which dealt a serious blow to a deal that could help both companies profit as the pandemic has brought down sales and where the outlook for air travel remains bleak.

JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes argued the alliance had in fact lowered fares for the northeastern United States and said the airlines were competing vigorously elsewhere.

“The DOJ chaired an unprecedented consolidation to create four major airlines,” said Hayes, noting that blowing up the alliance would mean JetBlue would lose access to slots owned by American. If the government wins, “JetBlue is the biggest loser out there and they give all that niche and all that power back to (American).”

The lawsuit also signals the Biden administration’s interest in trying to inject more competition where American and three other airlines control 80 percent of the domestic air market.

The Justice Department said the radical alliance would create a de facto merger in the northeast and combine the operations of the two carriers at four major airports: Boston Logan, John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty.

The deal allows American and JetBlue to sell each other their flights in their New York and Boston area networks and connect frequent flyer programs in a bid to give them more strength to compete with United Airlines (UAL.O ) and Delta Air Lines (DAL .N) in the North East.

American Airlines shares closed down 2.8% at $ 19.76 while JetBlue was down 4.8% at $ 14.76.

States joining the trial include Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia, according to court records.

The Justice Department complaint said the partnership at least partially suppressed JetBlue as a disruptive maverick who would help drive prices down.

“JetBlue’s reputation for lowering fares is so well known in the airline industry that it has earned a name: the ‘JetBlue effect’,” he said.

Elsewhere, the government said American was “not happy with the consolidation that made it the world’s largest airline” and was trying “to co-opt JetBlue.”

According to the complaint, US Managing Director Doug Parker “applauded (…) the successive waves of industry consolidation. When he was not encouraging them, he was leading them. He was CEO of America West during his merger with US Airways CEO of US Airways when it merged with American Internally, American has called Parker a “godfather of consolidation.”

Parker said in a statement that the lawsuit “seeks to deprive consumers of choice and inhibit competition, not to encourage it. This is not a merger: American and JetBlue are – and will remain – companies. independent aerials “.

Reporting by Diane Bartz and David Shepardson in Washington, Jon Stempel in New York; edited by Mark Porter, Steve Orlofsky and David Gregorio

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


“The balance exists today:” City reconsiders changes to MRA and redevelopment program

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Missoula City Council eased off the pedal Monday by pushing for changes to the Missoula Redevelopment Agency and the tax increase held in the city’s urban renewal neighborhoods.

With the caution raised by the local business lobby and Mayor John Engen, among others, council sent its motion for a resolution back to the drawing board, where it will linger in committee while its sponsors work to bring improvements.

“We send him back. It will take several weeks before we see it in committee. Frankly, it takes work, ”said board member Gwen Jones, one of the resolution’s sponsors.

Earlier this month, the council introduced a resolution that would limit the amount of tax increase available in the city’s urban renewal districts. The city council created each district to stimulate economic development and eliminate the scourge, and over the past decades the tool has yielded significant results.

But as property values ​​have increased, the amount of income held in the city’s urban renewal neighborhoods has increased relative to the city’s overall tax base. It currently stands at around 8.7%, up from 5.9% in 2018, which marks the year the state moved to a two-year review cycle.

“We’re no longer getting the value for new construction that we had before,” said city manager Dale Bickell. “This continues to exacerbate the constraints on our general fund.”

In theory, the proposed resolution would strike a balance between the resources available in the city’s urban renewal districts against the income available for tax jurisdictions.

To do this, the sponsors of the resolution proposed a cap of 9% on the combined income held in urban renewable neighborhoods. Anything above this limit would be returned to the tax jurisdictions and their general fund.

But of the city’s six urban renewal districts, only one would fund remittances under the proposed resolution, namely District III, which represents the Brooks Street corridor. The Missoula Midtown Association is working on a master plan for neighborhood improvement as the city, for nearly 20 years, has struggled to position itself to make changes to Brooks Street.

Members of the Midtown Association have voiced opposition to the resolution in its current form, saying it would unfairly cripple the district.

“Midtown has been waiting two decades for the right time to redevelop. We patiently built the increment and laid the foundation to build it so that we can have the quality of life that other areas of Missoula have, ”said Mark Bellon, member of the association’s board of directors. “This resolution in its current form will have lasting effects on the future of Midtown, and now is not the time to deprive this neighborhood of the only economic development tool we have.

While city council members do not disagree with the resolution’s intended outcomes, they express caution before moving forward until the consequences are fully explored. They also defended state law that for years gave municipalities the right to create urban renewal neighborhoods to boost economic development.

Almost all major cities in Montana use the tool.

“We face structural problems in funding municipal operations given the filthy revenue options provided to us by our legislature,” said board member Jordan Hess. “The Missoula Redevelopment Agency and Urban Renewal Districts offer the greatest opportunity to shape the development of our community. “

Mayor John Engen has long championed urban renewal neighborhoods as a redevelopment tool for the public good. The tax increase available in the downtown district alone has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment, including housing and new businesses.

Other districts are also recording positive results.

“A lot of what we really appreciate in the city would be gone without the tool,” Engen said. “As we move forward, if we are ever to be able, which I think we are, to really make significant strides in affordable housing and in the workforce, then the increases in The tax and urban renewal districts and MRA will play a vital role in this regard. “

Engen suggested that the tool as designed works well. He suggested that the resolution may not be necessary at all.

“I believe there is a balance today,” he said. “Right now, the flexibility we have today allows us to take advantage of the money transfer tool when we need it. Often times, we don’t know we need this tool until the time is right. It really is the flexibility inherent in the way we operate today, and we exercise that flexibility with caution.

The reshuffle proposed by the city council of the MRA comes into reality, risks blocking more ambitious goals


7 out of 10 employers in Singapore do not yet have diversity, equality and inclusion policies

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SINGAPORE (BUSINESS HOURS) – Majority of Singaporean companies recognize the positive impact of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DCI), but seven in ten companies have yet to introduce such policies, according to Federation report Singapore Employers’ National (SNEF) and Kincentric.

The survey of 186 Singapore-based employers across 19 industries found that 71 percent of employers recognized the positive impact of DCI on corporate culture and 55 percent recognized its impact on employee engagement.

About six in ten (62%) have taken a step forward in integrating DCI as a hiring and promotion factor.

But a quarter of those polled pointed to the lack of available data in areas such as the gender pay gap, inequality in career progression, age performance and barriers to participation. to work for people with disabilities or family responsibilities as challenges to implement EDI.

Other companies highlighted the inability to embed DCI into organizational values, people management and employee behavior (24%), and sometimes the ineffectiveness of line managers to manage their teams in a non-discriminatory manner ( 22%).

Stand-alone events such as International Women’s Day celebrations are seen as less effective (11%), as most companies have yet to implement DCI policies and do not engage their staff on the job. long term.

Mr. Andrew How, Managing Partner at Kincentric, said: “We have observed that many companies struggle to make employees feel emotionally safe, understood and empowered. Therefore, the first step in remedying the situation is to conduct an honest internal assessment of the current situation using a holistic, evidence-based approach. “

After which, they must adopt new ways of leading, which involves creating active and intentional efforts with coaching, development paths, tools and resources to improve one’s ability to identify and mitigate any unconscious bias, a he declared.

Kincentric added that DCI’s polls and focus groups can help senior leaders track feelings and progress of DCI’s efforts and goals, as there is often a large gap between the perception of diversity and inclusion and reality within the organization.

Employers can take advantage of the OneWorkplace.sg initiative, which is managed by SNEF and supports employers’ efforts to promote workplace integration. Singapore businesses can also apply for the Community Living Fund, which provides co-financing of up to 80% of total eligible costs, capped at $ 100 per person or $ 30,000, whichever is lower.

Companies can also benefit from briefings, workshops and workforce skills qualification courses, conducted by SNEF, to better understand, appreciate and build DCI in the workplace.

SNEF Executive Director Sim Gim Guan said, “By Managing Better (DCI), employers can strengthen workplace relationships, collaboration and innovation.

“By building on fairness in the workplace, employers can develop inclusive workplace policies and practices that will attract and retain top talent.


Claim Kiwis pay for Covid-19 tests before departure get ripped off

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New Zealanders traveling abroad are charged more for their Covid-19 tests before departure than people in other countries, says a personal finance expert.

The government is covering the costs of community Covid tests, making them free to the public. But travelers must test negative for Covid-19 shortly before leaving the country, which they must pay.

The most common test is a nasopharyngeal swab and PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test. Saliva and PCR tests are also used.

In the UK, the Competition Observatory has launched a survey on the price of pre-departure tests. There, tests cost an average of £ 75 (NZ $ 146) per person, but range from £ 20 to over £ 500, according to the BBC.

READ MORE:
* Covid-19: The whole country could see restrictions until Christmas if the virus is not eradicated in Auckland
* United States to lift ban on vaccinated travelers
* Bulle Trans-Tasman: Where to take a Covid-19 pre-departure test in Australia and how much it will cost you

In New Zealand, tests cost around $ 250, with no “extra” costs like late bookings and weekend fees, MoneyHub founder Christopher Walsh said.

“If you’re planning to fly to Australia when things get back to normal, this test you’ll probably need will likely cost more than the ticket. Covid travel tests appear as a way for specialized clinics to enrich themselves, ”he said.

The most common test is a nasopharyngeal swab and a PCR test.

Warwick Smith / Stuff

The most common test is a nasopharyngeal swab and a PCR test.

“The pre-departure tests will probably be with us for a little while, even after reaching maximum immunity. However, I was shocked to see a clinic in the North Shore charging over $ 285 per test. For a family of four visiting Australia, that’s over $ 1,100 in testing costs. “

A reservation on a Friday or weekend costs an additional $ 25 per test, and a late reservation fee adds an additional $ 50.

“This family of four could quickly rack up over $ 1,500 in fees just for leaving New Zealand,” Walsh said.

“As it stands, based on some price sampling and overseas research, New Zealand clinics charge the most for pre-departure Covid testing. “

Some New Zealand clinics were at least $ 100 cheaper than the more expensive ones, but the client also had to arrange and pay for their own test.

Travel abroad was not currently on the agenda for most New Zealanders, but that would likely change after the borders reopened, he said.

“I respect the need for testing – it’s the price that’s crazy, and it’s just not fair. For every full Air New Zealand 787 leaving Auckland Airport, that’s about $ 75,000 in costs. test before departure.

Walsh wanted to see the government regulate a price cap on pre-departure testing before the borders reopened.

“Just as they have done with tightening, credit agreements and other initiatives, the costs of Covid testing are an issue. We cannot be at the mercy of the profit targets of private operators.

New Zealand clinics charge the most for pre-departure Covid testing, says Moneyhub's Christopher Walsh.

Provided

New Zealand clinics charge the most for pre-departure Covid testing, says Moneyhub’s Christopher Walsh.

John Mackay, technical director of the Nature Testing Lab, which did not perform Covid testing prior to departure, said the intensity of competition in major markets could drive prices down overseas.

The private clinics did not do the tests themselves, outsourcing them to a commercial laboratory. However, each PCR lab used a similar process, he said.

Costs included payment for people taking the swabs, shipping the samples, international accreditation of laboratories, and equipment to extract Covid RNA from samples.

The results also had to be interpreted and presented in time to an international standard to allow travel.

The laboratories had taken a business risk, which they weighed against the business opportunity.

“In some places these labs have had to invest significant sums in machinery to do this as well, and though it is most often a private company, they’ve made a decision that the company will be there when the time comes. where they will get the machines. and get them validated, ”Mackay said.

Different companies made the Covid PCR test, which could affect the final cost, but the process was standard.

PCR tests are priced at $ 116 each at London Gatwick Airport.

Gareth Fuller / AP

PCR tests are priced at $ 116 each at London Gatwick Airport.

UK consumer organization Which has found PCR tests priced at £ 60 each, offered at drive-through and walk-in testing centers at London Gatwick Airport. The most expensive test found in London was £ 399, with a 48 hour lead time.

A guide from UK insurer Admiral reported in August that the average cost for a PCR test in the US was £ 118, in the UK it was £ 92 and in France it was £ 42.

Across Tasmania, Healius clinics across Australia have charged A $ 150 (NZ $ 155) for a pre-departure PCR test, with a turnaround time of around 24 hours.


Arresting Arrest & DWI Arrests Top Weekend Booking Report

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SAN ANGELO, Texas – San Angelo LIVE! Make no assumptions or representations about anyone’s guilt or innocence on the booking report. People accused of crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Information on the site should not be used to determine a person’s actual criminal record.

Photos or photos in the booking report are public information and no permission is required for them to appear in the media.

The Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office, the San Angelo Police Department, and the Texas Department of Public Safety have made various arrests, including the following.

  • David Creek was arrested for drunk driving at 10:27 p.m. and released at 9:13 a.m. the next day on $ 1,000.00 bail.
  • Kris Munoz was arrested for PEDESTRIAN – TRAFFIC WALK at 12:05 am and released at 3:28 pm the same day on $ 264.00 bail.
  • Heston Peacock was arrested for MTR * DEL CS / MARIJ TO MINOR at 1:27 p.m. and no bond was issued.

Of the 556 beds available, there are currently 548 occupied by TGCDF detainees as of Monday morning.

* The reservation report uses an unclassified DEA intelligence report titled “Drug Slang Code Words” for terms meaning marijuana. *


Socially responsible investment above all

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James Katz traces his niche of financial counseling back to college when he began reading Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series which explored different levels of hard science and the laws of mass action to solve problems.

“I was really captivated by the idea of ​​using science to save the world,” said Katz, 33, founder and CEO of Humankind Investments.

While Katz, as a thirsty for knowledge college student, never dreamed of running a consultancy firm dedicated to socially responsible investing, he stuck on the academic path to the point of earning a PhD from Stanford University. .

“I wanted to have a big, practical and positive impact on the world,” he said. “But in academia, the fighting is so fierce because the stakes are so low.”

Katz eventually found himself working as a quantitative equity data analyst at The Vanguard Group, where he has fond memories of staying true to his values.

“I was enjoying my time there,” he said. “The focus on reducing costs for clients really touched me. “

But the “eureka moment,” which led Katz to start his own business two years ago, came at a company meeting when he asked about Vanguard’s proxy voting policies.

He recalls the response of the guy, “We have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize long-term shareholder value.”

Katz was already working on his Certified Financial Analyst designation while still at Vanguard, and he believed there was a market to focus on environmental, social and governance investments.

“Two things became clear to me: I thought the space for socially responsible investing was going to grow, and people were still struggling to understand what socially responsible investing meant,” he said. .

If you go back to Katz’s introduction to college that intertwined her values ​​with a lot of math and science, you could argue that Humankind Investments is one of the most deliberate niche counseling practices out there. But, for practical purposes, the two-year-old New York-based registered investment adviser is just getting started.

Even a quick glance at the company’s website sends a clear message that this is a company of highly skilled, quantification-oriented professionals who put socially responsible investing above all else.

The company’s $ 190 million under management is split almost evenly between separately managed accounts and the Humankind US Stock ETF (HKND), which launched in February.

While Katz wouldn’t be in the wealth management business if he didn’t believe in generating positive returns, it’s clear that he also places great importance on the wider impact of his decisions. And this is something that clients should be aware of when entering into a relationship with Humankind Investments.

“We are talking about value for humanity and not just value created for investors,” he said. “There is the economic value that businesses create for their customers, investors and the community. We end up with a dollar value that a business creates for humanity and this is how we weight the businesses in our portfolios.

Katz describes his “performance thesis” as “really long-term,” which should give clients and prospects a clear idea of ​​where he places his priorities.

“If society really moves in a more socially responsible direction, more people will want to use companies that do the right thing, and the government could also regulate non-socially responsible companies,” he said. “No matter how good your ROIs, if you only pay attention to the number at the top of your investment portfolio, you are missing out on other important numbers in your life.”

Katz uses the analogy of making a $ 1,000 profit from an investment in a tobacco company, but ultimately facing $ 10,000 in medical bills for a family member who develops lung cancer from the smoking.

To read other articles in this series, click here

“If everyone got together and invested in a socially responsible way, it could benefit their portfolio, but also other aspects of their life,” he said. “This type of impact exists in all of these areas of social responsibility.”

As one might imagine, Humankind Investments is not rolling out the welcome mat for prospects who are not fully involved in socially responsible investing.

Katz said he could try to convince a potential client to adopt his thinking. But if that effort failed, he wouldn’t be able to put together a portfolio for such a client.

“We are only trying to buy stocks that have positive net worth for humanity,” he said. “It’s our line in the sand.”


How speeding affects your insurance in Kansas

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It is not uncommon for a motorist to have a few speeding tickets on their driving record. But they can potentially have a negative effect on your insurance premiums, as any traffic incident on your record could make you consider a high risk driver. After a speeding in Kansas, the cost of your auto insurance may increase depending on your insurance company and the severity of the ticket. Whether you already have a speeding ticket on your record or are worried about what might happen if you receive one in the future, it is always helpful to be aware of the consequences that could follow a speeding violation. speed in Kansas.

How much does a speeding ticket cost in Kansas?

Exceeding the speed limit in Kansas is considered a moving offense and may result in state or local penalties. The cost of a speeding ticket in Kansas usually depends on exceeding the speed limit that you are traveling. While there is no point system used here, if you have more than three movement violations your license may be suspended and you may also need to appear in court. The cost of appearing in court varies depending on your exact location, but is generally around $ 25. The amount of fines you are billed can vary between $ 25 and $ 300.

The penalty you incur for speeding in Kansas largely depends on your record. If you have never had a previous conviction in your history, your fine may be less than that of a repeat offender. The third and subsequent offenses may revoke your license and require you to appear in court.

How much does a speeding ticket increase your auto insurance in Kansas?

Depending on the type of offense you are convicted of, the average cost of your insurance may increase. It also depends on your insurance company and your gender. Statistically, male drivers are more reckless on the road than female drivers, which means male drivers may see their premiums increase further after a speeding ticket in Kansas. Although underage, Kansas drivers see a slight rate difference by gender for those with a speeding ticket, based on annual premiums reported by Quadrant Information Services.

Age Average annual premium for full coverage before speeding tickets Average annual premium for full coverage after a speeding ticket % to augment
40 year old man $ 1,844 $ 2,185 18%
40 year old woman $ 1,800 $ 2,131 18%

If the premium rate increases after a speeding ticket, the exact amount of the increase will vary depending on your insurer, gender and driving history. Additionally, some insurance companies may forgive the first violation while others may not be so lenient.

How to reduce your auto insurance after speeding in Kansas

Even if you get hit with a speeding ticket, your fares may improve over time, or you may be able to find lower fares. Depending on the specific situation, the following methods can be used to get cheap insurance after speeding in Kansas.

Get quotes from other auto insurance companies

Some companies specialize in high risk insurance for those who are unable to qualify or afford coverage from standard insurance providers. If your current provider’s rates after speeding are too high for you after speeding, finding a better price may give you options. This is evidenced by the price differences between companies, even for the same level of coverage and a speeding ticket taken into account.

Auto insurance company Average annual premium for full coverage before speeding tickets Average annual premium for full coverage after a speeding ticket % to augment
Allstate $ 2,302 $ 2,681 16%
American family $ 1,766 $ 1,964 11%
Car owners $ 1,395 $ 1,574 13%
Electrical insurance company $ 2,909 $ 3,778 30%
Farmers $ 1,931 $ 2,416 25%
Iowa Agricultural Office $ 1,314 $ 1,505 15%
MetLife $ 2,270 $ 2,775 22%
Progressive $ 1,545 $ 1,979 28%
QBE $ 1,415 $ 1,755 24%
Automatic safe $ 2,260 $ 2,924 29%
Sentinel $ 2,836 $ 3,271 15%
Shelter $ 2,213 $ 2,648 20%
State farm $ 1,453 $ 1,688 16%
United States $ 1,176 $ 1,410 20%

* Premiums are the average annual premiums for full coverage for people 40 years of age

In addition to the cost associated with auto insurance companies, it is important to consider factors such as financial stability, claims satisfaction rate, coverage options, and third party ratings when switching providers. While finding better rates can be a priority for high-risk drivers, affordability is only one aspect of a good business to consider.

Increase your deductible

The amount of financial responsibility that you are comfortable with before your insurance payment is considered for a claim is called a deductible. The higher this amount, the lower your premiums will be, as it means your insurer has less financial liability at stake. While this is one way to get cheaper insurance, it is important that you make sure you have enough money to pay the deductible if you need to make a claim.

Reduce endorsements

If your auto insurance premiums are too high, talk to an agent about the coverage and endorsements you need for your financial situation. Keep in mind that while reducing coverage or endorsements may lower your insurance costs, it will also make you vulnerable to certain financial risks.

Other considerations for speeding tickets

A higher insurance cost is just one possible financial consequence of a speeding ticket. If this is your first offense, your pecuniary fines may be low, but if you already have other incidents in your history, you may be subject to a court appearance or be required to do construction work. general interest, in addition to paying a fine. Repeat offenders also risk having their license revoked. Fees must be paid for it to be reinstated.

Apart from these penalties, a speeding violation will also cause you to lose any good driver discounts you had on your insurance. After three years, or however long a ticket is on your record, you may be able to take a driving course and gradually lower your insurance costs with reductions again.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best auto insurance company for drivers with speeding tickets?

The best auto insurance companies are usually the ones that combine excellent customer service, affordable rates and discounts, a variety of coverage options, and favorable third-party ratings. If you can’t find coverage from regular insurance companies, you can also try comparing quotes from insurers that specialize in high-risk insurance. While fares can be higher with fewer endorsements, these companies are sometimes the only option for high-risk drivers.

How to get cheap insurance after speeding?

Switching to a cheaper insurance company, reducing coverage options, increasing your deductible, and consolidating policies are some of the ways you can save on insurance after speeding. After a number of years, when the speeding violation no longer impacts your driving record, you will likely be able to enjoy discounts and lower fares again.

How long will a speeding ticket stay on my file?

In most states, including Kansas, a movement violation remains on your record for three years. After this time, even if it is not permanently deleted from your history, it may stop affecting your insurance costs.

Methodology

Bankrate uses Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all zip codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, DC Rates shown are based on male and female drivers ages 18 and 40 with good records driving, good credit and the following comprehensive coverage limits:

  • $ 100,000 liability for bodily injury per person
  • $ 300,000 in civil liability for bodily injury per accident
  • Civil liability for property damage of $ 50,000 per accident
  • $ 100,000 in bodily injury caused by an uninsured motorist per person
  • $ 300,000 in uninsured bodily injury per accident to a motorist
  • $ 500 collision deductible
  • Global deductible of $ 500

To determine the minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets the requirements of each state. Our basic profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and cover 12,000 miles a year.

Incident: The rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean criminal record (base), responsible accident, single speeding ticket, single conviction for driving while intoxicated and forfeiture of coverage.


“A new wave of migration inevitable if the EU does not keep its promises”

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A new influx of migrants is “inevitable” if the European Union does not keep its promises to Turkey on the issue, Parliament Speaker Mustafa Åžentop said on Sunday before leaving on an official visit to Spain.

Åžentop’s remarks came during an interview with Spanish news agency EFE just before his departure for the three-day visit.

Regarding suggestions from some European politicians that a future wave of Afghan refugees should stay in Turkey, Åžentop called the suggestions “irresponsible, contrary to reason and justice”.

Austrian leader Sebastian Kurz had suggested in July that Turkey was a “better place” for Afghan refugees. His comments were harshly criticized by Turkey.

“Instead of emphasizing joint efforts and cooperation to solve the problem of irregular migration, which affects the whole world and is a problem common to all, the attitude that” migrants should not come here , going elsewhere “is both selfish and unnecessary,” he added. the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

“As long as the EU does not keep its promises and take the necessary humanitarian initiatives, the wave of migration cannot be avoided”, underlined entop. “Turkey cannot accept more migrants. Everyone must shoulder their share of the responsibility.”

He urged the EU to understand that the migration problem “cannot be solved with financial assistance alone” and that the bloc “should accept a sufficient number of migrants with an integration program”.

“But he does not even meet his financial obligations,” he criticized.

Turkey has been a key transit point for irregular migrants trying to cross Europe to start a new life, especially those fleeing war and persecution, such as the Syrian civil war. Thanks to its March 2016 agreement with the EU, Turkey has helped reduce the number of migrants and alleviate the crisis.

Concerns have grown about a possible increase in the number of migrants from Afghanistan, due to the United States’ withdrawal from the country and the wave of Taliban attacks that followed. Turkey has made it clear that it will not bear the burden of the migration crises experienced as a result of the decisions of other countries.

Turkey continues its efforts to strengthen the security of its border with Iran in order to prevent any new wave of migrants in the face of recent developments in Afghanistan. The strengthening of border measures in Turkey, which already hosts nearly 4 million Syrian refugees and is a step for many migrants trying to reach Europe, began when the Taliban began to advance in Afghanistan and took control. from Kabul last month.

Authorities say there are 182,000 registered Afghan migrants in Turkey and up to 120,000 unregistered. ErdoÄŸan urged European countries to take responsibility for any further influx, warning that Turkey does not intend to become “Europe’s migrant storage unit”.

Çavuşoğlu had recently underlined the importance of taking joint action to tackle the migrant crisis, as he urged the European Union to correctly apply the terms of the 2016 agreement and to assume the responsibilities of sharing the charged.

Turkey and Spain to deepen relations

Regarding relations between Spain and Turkey, Åžentop said he believed the two nations should deepen their bilateral ties because “they have a lot in common.”

Emphasizing that the two nations have long-standing ties, he recalled the first Hispano-Ottoman friendship treaty of 1873 and the creation of the Alliance of Civilizations initiative in 2005.

In trade, “the main objective should be to increase the volume of bilateral trade, which was $ 12 billion (TL 104 billion) before the pandemic, to $ 20 billion”.

He suggested that two countries strengthen their defense industry cooperation with Turkish drones in the future.

Åžentop also said that Ankara was counting on Madrid in its efforts to join the EU, assuring that “Spanish support is very important in the face of countries which are prejudiced against Turkey”.

Şentop will meet with Meritxell Batet, president of the Spanish Congress of Deputies. He will also meet André Gil, the president of the Senate.

He is due to meet Susana Sumelzo, president of the joint Congress-Senate committee for the EU, and Pau Mari-Klose, head of the House of Representatives’ foreign relations committee.

Åžentop will travel to Granada and Cordoba on the last day of his visit. His visit is the first in 27 years by a speaker of the Turkish parliament to Spain.


Call for entries: Responsible Business Education Awards 2022

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Business School Updates

The FT invites teachers, researchers and alumni of business schools around the world to participate in its new awards for responsible business education.

Registrations are open until October 20 for examples of recent graduate projects, teaching cases and research studies that have had a positive societal and environmental impact.

The aim is to showcase and encourage innovative approaches in areas such as tackling climate change, increasing sustainability and greater diversity and inclusion.

There are three awards:

  • Best alumni “factors of change” graduated from a business school in the past three years and having personally contributed to redefining “business as usual”, whether as intrapreneurs within organizations or as entrepreneurs managing start-ups ;

  • Best business school teaching cases published over the past three years with sustainability and tackling climate change as key learning objectives;

  • Best academic research in business school published over the past three years that addresses societal challenges, with evidence of a positive impact on policy or practice

The strongest examples will be assessed by a panel of external and internal judges, and highlighted in a special FT report in January 2022.

Click on the links above to access the individual submission forms for all three categories.

Terms and conditions

Eligibility

  1. These terms and conditions include all instructions on how to participate in the Responsible Business Education Awards. By registering, Participants accept these general conditions and acknowledge that failure to comply with them may result in disqualification. No purchase necessary to enter.

  2. The Responsible Business Education Awards are open to business schools, affiliated authors, publishers, and alumni only. Directors, employees and immediate family members of employees of The Financial Times Limited (“FT”) Its associated companies and agencies are not eligible to participate in the Responsible Business Education Awards.

  3. Entries for the Responsible Business Education Awards will be void where prohibited by local laws or regulations, including where, in FT’s reasonable opinion, we cannot accept an entry or offer a prize due to law. on banking sanctions or restrictions. It is the responsibility of the participants to ensure that they are able to participate in the Responsible Business Education Awards in accordance with local laws and regulations. To the fullest extent permitted by law, FT is not liable when an entrant has violated local laws and / or regulations relating to the Responsible Business Education Awards.

Entrances

  1. The Responsible Business Education Awards begin on September 20, 2021 at 4:00 a.m. BST and end on October 20, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. BST.

  2. To submit your nomination for the Responsible Business Education Awards, follow the links above. Entrance will require internet access. FT is not responsible for late or incomplete registrations, or registrations not received. There is no charge to submit your application.

  3. Applications will be evaluated by a jury. The names of the jury will be communicated on request. The jury will judge all valid nominations submitted based on the following criteria to select nominations likely to be recognized in FT’s editorial coverage:

    (i) the best “changemakers” among alumni over the past three years who have personally helped redefine “business as usual” as an intrapreneur within an organization or as an entrepreneur with a start-up -up; Where
    (ii) the best academic research with societal value and evidence of policy / practice impact; Where
    (iii) best educational case around climate / environment change.

  4. Selected entries will be recognized in FT’s editorial coverage. Unless otherwise agreed, participants retain ownership of their participation. By submitting an entry, entrants grant to FT a worldwide, non-exclusive, sublicensable, irrevocable, royalty-free license to use, display, publish, transmit, copy and modify the entry, in whole or in part, of any in any way and in any medium, whether known now or invented in the future.

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Why cybersecurity can no longer be just a hygiene factor

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More than two billion people around the world purchased goods or services online last year, according to Statista. In India, the number was 150 million, an increase of over 11% since 2019. With the number of Indian Internet users expected to increase to 974 million in 2025 from 696 million in 2020, we can expect an increase. phenomenal online transactions.

While the pandemic has played a major role in promoting the digital agenda across all sectors, the government’s policy on building a digital India has further boosted the growth of online infrastructure and business. As digitization becomes ubiquitous, cybersecurity will become a major concern. What was once considered a simple hygiene factor is now a strategic agenda for every business and government entity.

Read also : How to protect your phone from malware and cybercriminals

Moreover, the impact of cybersecurity is not limited to just financial losses. A single incident can cause IT application downtime, resulting in inferior customer experiences. Cyber ​​security breach can result in breach of regulatory mandates resulting in penalties and legal action.

Here are some best practices organizations can follow to protect themselves and be more resilient when it comes to cybersecurity.

Build a strong safety culture: A strong security strategy begins by instilling a culture of security in an organization. This can be managed by placing the Information Security Officer (CISO) and their policies at the center of the organization. It explains the importance of the practice and defines the roles of each entity within the organization, emphasizing that security is not just the responsibility of the IT team.

Make the CISO accountable: By empowering the CISO, an organization ensures that critical security-related changes within the organization can be driven effectively.

Return strategy with the right investments: The estimate of investments in cybersecurity initiatives generally depends on the profile of the company, its customers, the type of data it processes and its sensitivity. A realistic estimate of the risk profile is essential to ensure that investments in people, processes and technology stay ahead of the cyber threat landscape.

Stay one step ahead: Investing in threat intelligence platforms, threat hunting capabilities and other emerging technologies is critical.

Build a strong governance system: The establishment of an information security council in which the management and other teams of the company participate allows effective initiatives to be put in place.

Supply chain management: An organization typically does not have full control over its supplier and partner systems and if a breach were to occur it could ruin the entire supply chain. Therefore, it is important to maintain strong corporate governance of the supply chain.

Vishal Salvi is Information Security Officer and Cybersecurity Practice Manager, Infosys.

Read also : State-sponsored cyberattacks worry businesses


Covid called on to act on food waste crisis in Southeast Asia: experts

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Fruits and vegetables thrown in a trash can

Peter Dazeley | The image bank | Getty Images

SINGAPORE – Covid-19 is a red flag that has highlighted the urgency of tackling the global food waste crisis, experts and industry players told CNBC.

Amid global lockdowns and travel stoppages, the pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities in supply networks as disruptions created bottlenecks in agricultural labor, transportation and logistics and triggered global food shortages and price hikes.

“The pandemic is a very good wake-up call,” said William Chen, director of the food science and technology program at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

“Before Covid-19, people took climate change less seriously because food came easily. But now this problem is starting to surface in people’s minds,” he added. “I don’t see it as a lost cause, but a good opportunity to clean up the current system.”

Food waste remains one of the world’s biggest challenges.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that one-third of all food produced, or 1.3 billion tonnes, is lost or wasted each year. Food waste also accounts for 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to another UN report.

Reducing food waste could generate $ 700 billion in savings, according to the Boston Consulting Group. And businesses in Southeast Asia are getting on the bandwagon and engaging in food waste prevention, as well as redistribution and recycling of surplus food.

A growing appetite to fight food waste

In 2020, Singapore generated 665,000 tonnes of food waste, or about 11% of the total waste generated in Singapore.

Emerging from the pandemic, more and more hotels and airlines are now tackling food waste and putting sustainability “at the top” on their list of priorities, said Rayner Loi, co-founder and CEO of Singapore-based AI food waste management startup Lumites.

This was a radical departure from a few years ago, when food waste was “barely on the radar” and it was “incredibly difficult” to have conversations with industry players. declared Law.

The growing receptivity is due in part to increased education, new government regulations and sustainability that are high on the business agenda, he said.

The company has developed an artificial intelligence-based tracker installed in bins to measure and track all food waste. By learning in real time what and how much food waste has been generated, chefs could take action to reduce the amount produced for certain dishes on the buffet line.

This reduces food waste by up to 40% and food costs by up to 8%, Lumitics found.

From 2024, owners and occupants of commercial and industrial premises in Singapore that generate large amounts of food will be required to separate their food waste for processing, according to new legislation.

Lumitics is a partner of large hotel chains such as Accor, Hyatt, Marina Bay Sands, as well as carriers such as Singapore Airlines and Etihad Airways.

It plans to expand to 1,000 locations over the next five years in Asia Pacific, starting with Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia.

“The whole industry is starting to realize the idea that food waste is one of the biggest untapped cost reduction opportunities for any kitchen,” Law said.

Turning food waste into “surprise boxes”

Another player in the fight against food waste is Yindii, a Thai anti-food waste startup. He launched an app to connect environmentally conscious Bangkokians with bakeries, cafes, supermarkets and restaurants.

These companies fill their unsold inventory in “surprise boxes”, which customers can pick up at prices reduced by 50 to 80% at the end of the day, and have them delivered to their doorstep.

Yindii founder and French entrepreneur Louis-Alban Batard-Dupré described the food waste situation in Bangkok as “catastrophic”, where only 2% of food waste is recycled.

In Thailand, some 17 million tonnes of unused food is thrown away each year, and about 64% of its 27.4 million tonnes of waste is organic waste, which includes food and kitchen waste.

Most of the food companies we met think they don’t waste a lot. When they start to quickly calculate what 6-14% more revenue is, we usually get a reminder.

Louis-Alban Batard-Dupré

founder, Yindii

Industry players themselves have greatly underestimated the problem.

“Most of the food companies we met think they don’t waste a lot. When they start to quickly calculate what 6-14% more revenue means, we usually get a reminder,” he said. .

The mindsets of traders are also changing, as more brands prepare for a sustainable post-Covid tourism future, he said.

At the time, they were “shy to say they generate food waste because it reveals their stores don’t sell out every day or because it’s a dirty word,” Batard-Dupré said. “But telling the world that you are fighting for the planet is so much more powerful than trying to cover up such a systemic problem that every business has.”

Discarded watermelons near the Brahmaputra River, Bangladesh

Andrea Pistolesi | Stone | Getty Images

To date, Yindii has seen over 20,000 surprise boxes purchased. The redistribution of food that would have been thrown away is also helping many people living below the poverty line, he said.

Yindii partners include hotels such as Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok, Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit and JW Marriott. Over the next few months, it is looking to expand to other cities in Thailand and Southeast Asia.

Technology as the way forward

Technology is starting to play a bigger role in the fight against food waste.

Southeast Asia is particularly vulnerable to food waste as it has many small-scale farms that depend on intensive livestock production and cannot afford to invest in more efficient farming technologies, Chen said. from NTU, who is also a consultant for Asian Development. Bank.

The growing middle class of incomes also consumes more.

One of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals aims to halve food waste by 2030 at the retail and consumer level and reduce food loss along production and supply chains, including after harvest.

The slower we are to act on climate change, the more extreme weather conditions we will see and the greater the likelihood of zoonotic diseases, which could therefore increase food waste.

Audrey chia

associate professor, National University of Singapore Business School

More public-private partnerships will be essential, where “enthusiastic small start-ups” can grow with the help of technology and government funding, or work with large multinational companies to fill in the gaps, Chen said.

Another lucrative business is upcycling, which involves taking ingredients that would typically be thrown away and turning them into new, high-quality marketable products.

For example, plant-based seafood company Sophie’s Kitchen uses okara soybean residue as a growing medium for growing microalgae in the fast growing alternative protein market.

Other examples include adding more valuable ingredients like salted eggs to normally discarded fish skin or using black soldier flies to turn food scraps into fertilizer, said associate professor Audrey Chia of the National University of Singapore Business School.

Likewise, predictive technology could also help restaurants and retailers estimate food demand or production.

“Ironically, this is a vicious cycle. The longer we take to tackle climate change, the more extreme weather conditions we will see and the greater the likelihood of zoonotic diseases, which could therefore increase the risk of zoonotic diseases. food waste, ”Chia said.


Long-time downtown Madison retailer stayed dry after 2020 flooding | Local News

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“InterCon is not in a position to take financial responsibility for damages that do not result from our construction activities,” he said.






This photo taken from a showroom in the basement of Rubin’s Contemporary Furniture on July 10, 2020, shows soaked rugs.


RUBIN’S CONTEMPORARY FURNITURE


Chitwood later told the Wisconsin State Journal that he witnessed conditions at Rubin’s after the flooding that suggested the site had already been prone to flooding, and Rubin said the company told him the same. But after consulting with the company’s insurer, Chitwood declined to release photos or any other evidence to support this claim.

“Why would I have a showroom with rugs if I think it’s raining?” Rubin said. “If there had been a lot of leaks, I wouldn’t have (put) so much money in it.”

In an interview and via email, Chitwood suggested that it was up to the insurance companies involved – InterCon and Rubin’s – to fight over who should pay for Rubin’s damages.

“These types of incidents are best handled by professionals and insurance companies,” he said in an email. “Mr Rubin’s water situation, while unfortunate, should be handled by insurance companies,” he said in another.

The problem for Rubin is that he doesn’t have flood insurance because his property is not in a floodplain.

After a frustrating year of trying to cover his losses with InterCon and MGE, Rubin said his daughter advised him to quit.


German elections: is SPD vice-chancellor Olaf Scholz facing a smear campaign? | Germany | In-depth news and reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW

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On Monday morning there will be a closed-door meeting of the Bundestag’s finance committee. This is what is on the agenda of the German parliament for this coming week. On the program: A “conversation” with the Minister of Finance and the Social Democratic candidate (SPD) leading the federal election list, Olaf Scholz.

The committee is due to discuss what is behind the police raid on the SPD-led ministries of finance and justice that took place on September 9.

The opposition parties Free Democrats (FDP), Left and Greens called for the meeting. But the Christian Democrats (CDU) led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, and their sister Bavarian party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), which currently form a grand governing coalition with the SPD, seemed only too happy to ‘accept.

The Ministry of Finance in Berlin was raided on September 9

A raid and its interpretation

It’s a politically explosive story that unfolds on many different levels. Apparently, these are investigations carried out by Osnabrück city prosecutors into the Cologne-based Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), which is responsible for investigating money laundering and terrorist financing. . The FIU has regularly failed in its task because it is poorly positioned in terms of staff and organization. The workload of the FIU has increased considerably in recent years. In 2020, the FIU received 144,000 reports of suspicious financial transactions from banks – it only forwarded 17% to police or prosecutors.

The FIU is a branch of the customs authority, which is part of the Ministry of Finance. As Minister of Finance, Scholz is the legal supervisor of the FIU, which means it is his responsibility to ensure that the FIU operates as the law requires. Operationally, however, the unit acts independently of the ministry.

Osnabrück prosecutors have been investigating FIU employees for obstructing justice since February 2020. The investigation was sparked by a report from a bank in Osnabrück that noticed money transfers to places in Africa totaling 1.7 million euros ($ 2 million) that the bank suspected may be linked to terrorist financing. The bank reported its suspicions to the FIU, but the latter did not forward the case to the relevant investigative authorities.

So far, investigators have been unable to identify specific suspects. The intention of the raid earlier this month was to secure emails between the FIU and the Ministry of Finance, to obtain the names of those responsible for the FIU. This is also stated in the search warrant.

However, during the search, the Osnabrück prosecutor’s office issued a press release giving the impression that Olaf Scholz was also under investigation. According to the press release, the aim of the searches was to further clarify an alleged criminal offense and in particular individual responsibilities, and further: “among other things, it will be examined whether and, if so, to what extent the management , as well as the heads of ministries, as well as higher departments, were involved in the decisions of the FIU. “

Saskia Esken

SPD co-chair Saskia Esken criticized raid on finance ministry in Berlin “inappropriate”

Was the raid politically motivated?

For the SPD, the thing is clear. The party assumes the raid is part of a conspiracy and accuses the CDU of a political smear campaign ahead of the general election, in which opinion polls see Olaf Scholz in front of his conservative rival, Armin Laschet.

They point to the fact that the chief prosecutor of Osnabrück was formerly president of the CDU in a town in Lower Saxony and head of the office of the Ministry of Justice managed by the CDU in Lower Saxony at the time. This person remains active in politics today, as vice-president of the parliament of the Land of Lower Saxony.

To clarify the discrepancy between the search warrant ordered by the judge and the press release, Scholz’s Secretary of State for Finance, Wolfgang Schmidt, posted part of the warrant on Twitter. However, this is not legally permitted and Schmidt is currently under investigation into this matter. His Tweet has been deleted from the platform.

SPD co-chair Saskia Esken defended Schmidt. The publication of the warrant was “necessary because the press release from the public prosecutor was grossly negligent,” she said in a radio interview. The inquiries were not directed against Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, she said and argued that the press release had created a “false impression”.

Esken criticized the raid as “inappropriate”. Several media and legal experts believe that the prosecution’s approach was not proportionate to the case. Prosecutors could also have obtained the information they were looking for over the phone or online, according to critics.

This opinion is also widely shared on social networks. There are heated discussions under the hashtag #CDUgate suggesting that the raid could backfire on the CDU – instead of damaging Scholz and the SPD – if it turns out that the timing of the election was more than a coincidence.

Confrontation in the finance committee?

But that would likely be difficult to prove, and it won’t be an immediate issue at Monday’s finance committee meeting.

Moreover, lawmakers want to hear from Olaf Scholz what he knew about the shortcomings of the FIU. This case has already played a central role in investigations into the Wirecard scandal earlier this year, in which Scholz and Merkel came under scrutiny. Market of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), “inconvenient for someone who wants to become chancellor”.

The questioning that Scholz will face on Monday will be uncomfortable to say the least. He is also interrupting his campaign tour. Scholz first tried to prevent this. He told the committee that he was traveling in southern Germany and therefore could only be available by video conference. But the parliamentarians on the committee were not prepared to accept this.

Scholz could be forced to appear in person if the finance committee summons him on Monday. In that case, the session would be adjourned and Scholz would be forced to travel to Berlin – in all haste.

This article was translated from German.

While you’re here: Every Tuesday, DW’s editors summarize what’s going on in German politics and society, with the aim of understanding this year’s elections and beyond. You can sign up for the weekly Berlin Briefing email newsletter here, to stay abreast of developments as Germany enters the post-Merkel era.


Des Moines almost lost the iconic Travelers umbrella sign; who saved him

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George Milligan will tell you everything you want to know about the Travelers brand in downtown Des Moines except how much his employer’s money he spent to save it.

He suggests that the project has cost more than expected. Much more.

“This is probably one of the worst business deals I’ve ever done,” jokes the real estate manager today, decades later.

The red neon sign with the huge umbrella has been a local institution since it was first lit on November 1, 1963. It shines every night from the top of the 10-story building of the Insurance Exchange at the corner of Fifth Street and Grand Avenue .

The Travelers Insurance sign, a popular feature on the Des Moines skyline, shines brightly on Wednesday, September 8, 2021.

Travelers insurance company, which once had an office in the building, has nothing to do with the 40-foot-high sign. In fact, the national carrier decided in the mid-1990s to have the sign demolished rather than shell out money for the major repairs it needed.

That’s when Milligan stepped in. He is the longtime chairman of The Graham Group, a commercial real estate company that owns and is headquartered in the Insurance Exchange Building.

“Like a lot of people, I guess I had just become attached to this sign,” he said.

He asked the travelers’ insurance folks if the Graham Group could buy the sign. Sure, they said – but it’ll cost you $ 1.

He handed over the dollar, and the deal was done.

Several years later, the Graham Group hired a contractor to repaint the sign and repair its old-fashioned neon lights. The contractor didn’t give Milligan a firm cost estimate until his workers started tackling the unusual project. He accepted the arrangement, because how much could it really cost?

Whoops.

Following:Our Des Moines: The story of an old church now threatened with demolition

The Travelers Insurance sign, a popular feature on the Des Moines skyline, is reflected in a window of an apartment window on Wednesday, September 8, 2021.

When the bills arrived, Milligan confessed to the Graham family, who own the business he runs. They agreed to the expense, but everyone agreed that they would not disclose the amount publicly, he recalls, laughing at the memory.

Today, the Graham Group spends a few thousand dollars a year to maintain the sign. (Don’t worry, the burnt “e” will be fixed soon.)

The building is 100 years old and has been covered in neon lights since at least the 1940s. Old photos show a giant Pegasus sign on the roof, advertising Mobil Oil, before the Travelers sign was erected in its place.

Now that it’s been renovated, the Travelers sign is remarkably strong, Milligan said. “The derecho has passed, and this thing didn’t have a scratch,” he said, referring to the hurricane-force storm in August 2020. He thinks he’ll be up there for years to come. come, unless it is directly hit by a tornado.

I’m glad Milligan didn’t get a firm estimate of the repair bill before committing his company to preserving this original landmark. If you look at old photos of downtown Des Moines, you see a lot of cool things that are gone because no one saw a solid business reason to save them.

After my daughter moved to Cleveland for college a few years ago, she hung a framed poster of the travelers’ sign on her wall, to remind her of her hometown. She even has friends who got tattoos of the familiar red umbrella, for the same reason.

From the archives: LTake a look back at the day the iconic Travelers umbrella sign first lit the Des Moines skyline

The Travelers Insurance sign, a popular feature on the Des Moines skyline, stands high on Wednesday, September 8, 2021.

Following:New skate team in Des Moines metro station helps kids learn to ‘fall and hurt’ and ‘get up’

If George Milligan had not intervened, the sign would have been demolished shortly before its birth.

I told Milligan about my daughter’s fondness for the sign. He smiled, then recounted driving west on Grand Avenue one night when his daughter was a little girl. She rose from the backseat as they approached the insurance exchange building.

“She said, ‘I really like your sign, dad,’” he recalls. “It paid off there.”

Doug Lee of Des Moines, co-owner of Signs Plus, is pictured on August 31, 2005, as he wraps a coat of primer on the end of the Travelers' umbrella atop the Insurance Exchange Building in the center city.  The old neon sign was in poor condition but has been returned to service.

Tony Leys has been a reporter and editor for the Des Moines Register since 1988. He is originally from Wisconsin and helped raise two children in Des Moines, and now lives in the Beaverdale neighborhood. Contact him at [email protected] or 515-284-8449.

Share your ideas for Our Des Moines

Our Des Moines is a weekly article about an interesting person, place, or event in the Des Moines metro, the kind of gems that make central Iowa a special place. An idea for this series? Contact [email protected]


Sun Life’s Chief Sustainability Officer

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Sun Life Financial Inc has appointed Alanna boyd as Chief Sustainability Officer, a first for the company.

Based in Toronto, Canada, the financial services company has sales of C $ 39 billion.

Sun Life to increase focus on sustainable initiatives

In her new role, Ms. Boyd will continue to build on Sun Life’s long-term economic, environmental and social commitments to design and lead greater sustainability performance for Sun Life.

Boyd has expressed interest in sustainability initiatives outside of Sun Life as she is active in:

  • The Board of Directors of Canadian Business for Social Responsibility
  • Toronto International Finance
  • The Public Affairs Council (PAC).

Over the past few years, Sun Life has taken several steps to achieve measurable results in areas where it can have the most positive impact on society and the environment, including:

  • Increase financial security: Since 2018, Sun Life Asia has issued more than 120,000 microinsurance policies that have improved access to affordable insurance for underserved and low-income people
  • Supporting Healthier Lives: During the pandemic, Sun Life helped roll out COVID-19 vaccine by funding mobile clinic in Alberta
  • Advancing Sustainable Investing: A commitment to commit an additional $ 20 billion over five years to sustainable investments that contribute to the transition to a low-carbon and more inclusive economy. These investments are in addition to the existing $ 60 billion the company already has in sustainable investments.
  • Reliable and Responsible Business: To drive initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Sun Life’s business operations around the world will be carbon neutral starting in 2021. Sun Life plans to improve energy efficiency of its offices and to introduce an internal carbon charge for business air travel.

Boyd to Live Up to Sun Life’s Sustainability Achievements

One of the most important campaigns Sun Life supports is the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs aim to end poverty, advance human rights and protect the planet.

“The world is facing an unprecedented series of challenges – from climate change to the COVID-19 pandemic to growing inequalities,” said Alanna boyd. “Sun Life has the responsibility and the opportunity to expand its sustainability agenda to create a more resilient, sustainable and inclusive economy. excited about these opportunities for Sun Life. “

Since 2006, Sun Life has always been recognized by the industry for its leadership in sustainable development. The company has been listed for 15 consecutive years on the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index for its ESG performance and recognized by Corporate Knights as one of the most sustainable companies in the world and one of the 50 best corporate citizens in Canada for 12 and 15 consecutive years. respectively.

“As a global industry leader, Sun Life has the responsibility and the ability to deliver meaningful sustainability results and this is a key strategic priority for us,” said Kevin Souche, President and CEO, Sun Life. “Creating a dedicated Chief Sustainability Officer position is important to me in advancing our priorities and I see this as the next critical step in Sun Life’s commitment to sustainability. Alanna brings deep sustainability experience and expertise to help Sun Life continue to embed sustainable practices across our business operations and help drive other actions that create a cleaner, more inclusive and sustainable future. . “


Donate clothes to teach teens about responsibility

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Q: Two young teens are always asking me to buy clothes. It’s really annoying. After reading a book about teenagers, I decided to stop buying clothes and give them $ 750 a year in clothing allowances. Do you give the full amount all at once or do you give it monthly?

A good idea! But for kids who grow their clothes every six months to a year, I don’t think the annual clothing allowance of $ 750 is a realistic amount. If their sartorial ability is insufficient, the whining will only get worse and your plans may explode all over your face.

Give each of your children a monthly salary sufficient to purchase a certain amount of discretionary clothing. I generally recommend between $ 75 and $ 100. The plan will continue to buy the clothes you need (i.e. to replace items that don’t fit you), but in each case you will be spending a minimum amount of money. For example, if one of them needs a new winter jacket, it’s your responsibility. If she doesn’t like the jacket you want to buy, you give her the same amount in cash and she uses her allowance to make up the price difference. If he just wanted beautiful but unnecessary clothes, that would be entirely his responsibility.

The most efficient way to do this is to create a checking account for each child in the bank. As long as you have good credit, the account doesn’t have overdraft protection, and you’re willing to back it up, most banks are happy with it. You deposit your child’s monthly allowance into his account at the start of the month, from which he manages the account. If the check is returned, the bank and merchant fines, and the amount the merchant must pay, will be outside of the following month’s allocation limit.

This plan teaches teens how to budget money and manage checking accounts. Best of all, it also teaches them to cut down on spending cravings, plan ahead, and save sayings for rainy days. It’s a great way to prepare young people for greater financial responsibility as adults.

Percentage of KRT cup shots: ROSEMON DKRT Photo by DON WILLIAMSON / CHARLOTTEOBSERVER (March 22) John Rosemond writes to Charlotte Observer. (Mvw) 2005

Consider giving each of your children a monthly salary sufficient to purchase a certain amount of discretionary clothing.

Visit the website of family psychologist John Rosemond. www.johnrosemond.comReaders can email him Question @ rosemond.comDue to the large volume of emails, not all questions can be answered.

Donate clothes to teach teens about responsibility

Donate clothes to teach teens about responsibility


Harassed and harangued, tellers now have a new form of defense

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WASHINGTON – Perhaps that is a metaphor for when even the volunteer who put you in the polls in November now has a legal defense committee.

The Election Official Legal Defense Network, which made its public debut on September 7, of course offers to represent more than just election officials. Formed to counter the waves of political pressure and public intimidation that election workers faced over the past year, the organization promises free legal services to everyone involved in the voting process, from secretaries of state to officials. local election officials and volunteers.

The group has already received requests from several election officials, said David J. Becker, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Electoral Research and Innovation, which oversees the project. Without going into details, Mr Becker said their questions were “related to issues such as harassment and bullying”.

The network is the creation of two powers in Republican and Democratic legal circles, Benjamin L. Ginsberg and Bob Bauer. In a Washington Post opinion piece this month, the two – Mr. Ginsberg was a leading GOP attorney for 38 years and Mr. Bauer was both a Democratic Party attorney and a White House attorney. in the Obama administration – wrote that such attacks on people “overseeing the counting and voting on an independent, non-partisan basis are destructive to our democracy.”

“If such attacks are not addressed, our system of self-governance will suffer long-term damage,” they said.

Mr. Ginsberg, who broke with his party and became a scathing critic of former President Donald J. Trump’s misrepresentation, robbed him of the 2020 election, and Mr. Bauer are election experts themselves. The two men together chaired the Presidential Commission on Election Administration created by former President Barack Obama in 2013, which called – with limited success – to modernize electoral procedures and equipment to make voting easier and better. sure.

In an interview, Mr Bauer said that he and Mr Ginsberg are recruiting attorneys for the Legal Defense Network, hoping to create an organization “so in any state where this happens we are able to provide election officials who are under siege with legal support. Dozens of people have already joined the effort, and many more are expected to join soon, Becker said.

The center is non-partisan and offers to represent election workers of all political stripes, whether they work in a red or blue district. But as the announcement of MM. As Ginsburg and Bauer implicitly noted, the problems facing election workers did not explode until after the 2020 general election and are almost entirely attributable to Mr. Trump’s conservative supporters and lawmakers in Republican-controlled states. .

A third of election workers say they don’t feel safe in their jobs, according to a survey released this summer by New York University’s Bipartisan Policy Center and Brennan Center for Justice. In Colorado, Arizona, Michigan, Georgia and other states, staunch supporters of Mr. Trump’s stolen election lies have threatened state and local election officials and their families with violence and even death. Some election workers went into hiding or asked for police protection.

Republican-controlled state legislatures have responded to allegations of fraud by taking control of aspects of election administration and subjecting election workers to fines or even jail time for breaking the rules.

In Iowa, a new law subjects election officials who violate the new voting rules to criminal prosecution. A new Texas law leaves election workers liable to prosecution if they are found to be knowingly obstructing the view of supporters of the poll. In Florida, a new rule fines local election officials up to $ 25,000 if they leave the ballot boxes unattended or allow voters to cast ballots after hours.

Becker of the Center for Innovation and Research called the growing intimidation of election workers unreasonable. “They are civil servants in most cases,” he said. “These aren’t people doing this because they want to get rich and famous. They do this out of a sense of duty.

The legal network is likely to be valuable precisely because most of the people it will serve are, in fact, ordinary citizens, said David Levine, electoral integrity expert at the Washington-based Alliance for Securing Democracy. Mr. Levine has worked as an election official in the District of Columbia and Idaho.

“It’s hard enough to do your job well when you face tremendous stress and work long hours, let alone having to wonder if your decisions could pose threats to your colleagues and family,” a- he declared. “It serves an important purpose to say ‘We stand by you, regardless of the size of your electoral jurisdiction or the wealth of you or your community. “”

Mr. Bauer has mixed feelings about the applause for the new venture.

“It’s hard to say that we are successful because there is a huge demand for this type of support,” he said. “That there is this demand is deeply troubling. “


Brekken joins BankWest as CFO

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Pat Brekken has been appointed Chief Financial Officer of BankWest, a position that oversees the bank’s fiscal responsibility. Prior to joining the BankWest team, Brekken served 11 years as CFO of a credit union and 12 years as CEO of a credit union. Pat will assume the responsibilities of CFO, while current CFO Steve Bumann will take on an investment management role for the organization.

“We are very pleased that Pat is joining the BankWest team,” said Charles H. Burke III, President and CEO of BankWest. “He has extensive experience in the financial services industry, which will make him a valuable asset to the organization. “

Pat grew up in Richfield, Minnesota, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN. He is currently engaged and has four children and two grandchildren. When not working, Pat enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He also enjoys golfing, traveling, and co-owning a women’s clothing line with his fiance.

“I am very happy to start my position here at BankWest,” said Brekken. “I look forward to working for a company that gives back to the communities it serves and helps its clients achieve and maintain their financial success. “


Women taking on caregiving tasks need better financial and emotional support: PM Lee, Singapore News & Top Stories

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SINGAPORE – Women often have additional caregiving responsibilities, whether it is caring for children or elderly parents.

So more needs to be done to support them financially and emotionally, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Saturday (September 18th) during the closing session of the Singapore Women’s Development Conversations.

Such additional responsibility for care is one of the obstacles in women’s work and careers, as caregivers have to make many significant sacrifices, he said.

Minister of State for Education and Social and Family Development Sun Xueling said on Saturday that a survey conducted as part of the initiative found that women in dual-income households were five times more more likely than men to handle household chores and family responsibilities.

Women were also nearly four times more likely to have quit their jobs to care for them than men, she added.

Noting that being a caregiver is both hard work and “heart” work, Premier Lee said, “Their careers are affected. The cost of care can be substantial.

“Caregivers have more difficulty building their own retirement savings. This can make caregivers, especially full-time caregivers, very vulnerable.

Many in the conversations strongly felt it was unfair to caregivers, he added, agreeing that caregivers, whether female or male, deserved more support.

One direct avenue is to provide more financial assistance, Premier Lee said.

To this end, the Ministry of Health (MOH) is exploring how it can improve the Home Care Subsidy Program, in order to provide more assistance to targeted groups.

Prime Minister Lee said, “No amount of money will fully compensate for the sacrifices that caregiving requires, but we know that many caregivers would appreciate more help.”

Another important issue was the well-being of the caregivers themselves, as many said that they often did not have free time and did not know where and how to seek help.

Many found themselves exhausted and exhausted.

PM Lee said the Department of Health is exploring how it can expand respite care options to meet the varied needs of caregivers.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, Parliamentary Secretary for Communications and Information and Health Rahayu Mahzam, who is one of the three co-leaders on the review, said the initiatives would go a long way in delivering better support for the elderly, their caregivers and their families.

She said: “The conversations made it clear that women who reach their full potential will improve all of our lives at home, in schools, in the workplace and in the community.

“But to achieve this, we will need an effort from the whole of society of men and women to change our mindsets and overcome societal stereotypes about gender roles.”

Ms Fannie Lim, executive director of the Daughters of Tomorrow charity, hoped that women who quit working to be home caregivers would benefit from automatic top-ups to their Central Provident Fund accounts.

She said: “I was a stay-at-home mom for six years.

“Of course, when you stop working there are some benefits that are not available to you. So if we can have some kind of recognition for the caregivers, in very practical terms like grants or even some form of income supplement, that would be good.


Giving Teens Clothes To Teach Responsibility | Characteristics

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Question: My two young teenagers are constantly begging me to buy clothes for them. It has become very annoying. After reading your book on teens, I decided to stop buying them clothes and give them each an annual clothing allowance of $ 750. Should I give them the full amount all at once or give it to them monthly?

A: Good idea! However, I don’t think an annual clothing allowance of $ 750 is a realistic amount for kids who get too big for their clothes every six months to a year. If their clothing allowance is insufficient, the whining will only get worse and your plan may explode in your face.

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Karnataka: Insensitive financial management | Herald of the Deccan

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Over the years, Karnataka has been praised for maintaining fiscal discipline, although there have been concerns about indiscipline in budget spending by successive governments, but over the past three years the state failed on both counts. The state has always been proud of the fact that it has always limited its borrowing to less than 3% of the state’s gross domestic product (GSDP), as mandated by the 2002 Karnataka Fiscal Responsibility Law. The law was changed some time ago to allow the state to borrow up to 5% in view of the Covid situation, which is understandable. But such has been the mismanagement of finances in recent years that the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) pointed out in his finance and audit report that the state had in fact borrowed more than its needs in 2019-2020, open market borrowing amounting to 59% of total tax liability. This excess borrowing resulted in an increase in the State treasury of 57% compared to the previous year. In other words, the government resorted to borrowing more than necessary, on which interest must be paid, and then left the money unused, without making use of it. The CAG correctly noted that maintaining an unused cash balance is not prudent financial management and that the government should limit its borrowing in the market to its needs. Debt sustainability analysis also shows that the growth in public debt has exceeded the growth in MSRP.

Also Read: Karnataka Budget Allocations Not Spent: CAG Report

What is even more shocking is that although funds have been available, budget allocations have remained unused year after year for the past three years, indicating the non-achievement of planned financial expenditures. The budgeting exercise, it seems, was so casual that the allocations were made without even taking into account the expenses of previous years. Even though large sums were not spent, the government requested additional grants and credits without justification. Noting that 11% of the total provisions made in 2019-2020 remained unused, the CAG urged the government to be more practical in its budget. It is also a sad commentary on the lack of control of the legislature, which blindly approves the additional grants requested by the government periodically.

The CAG report shamed Karnataka, which until recently boasted of being one of the best-managed states financially. Excessive borrowing, not using available funds and then holding money in hand and getting nothing out of it, is evidence of insensitive bureaucracy and political leadership. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who also holds the finance portfolio, is expected to ensure tight budget control and adherence to established financial practices to save the state from financial disaster.


Erie County GOP leadership candidate seeks to defy the odds

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On his third and final attempt at the Navy SEAL’s Underwater Tying Exam, 18-year-old Brenton Davis, shivering and walking across the water, made a solemn decision: pass the test or die trying.

Diving to the bottom of the pool, housed at the Naval Special Warfare Training Center in Coronado, Calif., Davis carried out three demolition nodes, one at a time, all in one fell swoop.

Announcement:Republican Brenton Davis is the first candidate to announce his candidacy for the Erie County executive

The problems:Erie County executive race: Republican Brenton Davis takes second job

Completing the first two easily, Davis started the third, a clove hitch knot, something he had practiced several times before, but now seemed impossible after nearly two minutes underwater.

Head flickering and eyesight darkening, Davis passed out, still convinced he would only resurface after all three knots were finished.

“Before I knew it, I woke up on the edge of the pool throwing up water,” Davis said. “I had tears running down my face. I knew I was coming home.”

But he wasn’t, however.

A seasoned SEAL instructor, nicknamed “Mad Max,” who knelt down next to the young recruit, appeared more in disbelief than upset.

“You didn’t tie the third knot, but you showed us that you wanted to be here at the point where you literally drowned,” Davis told Mad Max.

It was a matter of spirit, after all. Heart. And for Mad Max, Davis had it in bundles – and got a passing grade to keep training.

It was a familiar episode for the Meadville native.

At 5ft 6in and around 160lbs, Davis, 38, played the classic underdog, the self-proclaimed “runt of the group” who, by force of will, struck over his weight to progress through the athletics, military and business.

Drawn to adversity, Davis became a high school wrestler when he barely broke 100 pounds; signed up to be Navy SEAL without ever seeing the ocean; and earned a master’s degree in economic development when no one in his family went beyond high school.

The odds, he said, were meant to be overcome. And now, as the Republican candidate for the Erie County executive, Davis is looking to prove it again.

“My mother always said ‘dynamite comes in small packages’,” he said.

Brenton David, the Republican candidate for the Erie County executive, shakes hands with Jackson Slater, 4, of Millcreek Township on September 10.

On the campaign trail, Davis has already appealed to his trademark zeal, visiting every municipality in the county – some 20,000 miles since January – and filling his schedule with near-daily get-togethers, lunches, county council meetings and other public appearances. .

As a career management officer in the Army Reserves, supervising more than 4,000 people in three states, and owner of B. Davis Enterprises LLC, a construction company, Davis believes his combination of top leadership level and know-how in business makes him the right candidate at the moment.

“The county executive is about being a manager – it’s about leadership and knowledge,” Davis said. “And as an entrepreneur I look at it differently, I make connections that most people don’t.”

Disappointed by what he sees as the financial mismanagement of a “verified” county executive, Davis seeks a renewal of budget conservatism and a scrub of departmental budgets to eliminate unnecessary spending.

Council adopts ARP funding:Students, first responders and minorities to benefit as county council adopts $ 26 million COVID-19 relief plan

Decline in population:Erie County, city’s population drops again, growing trend, according to 2020 census

Additionally, as Erie County’s population shrinks, Davis is looking to put more emphasis on small business development, flat property taxes, and funneling federal clawback dollars into public infrastructure.

“Fiscal responsibility and financial literacy are the most important aspects of a county executive’s job,” he said.

Erie County executive candidate Brenton Davis, right, speaks during a meetup event Aug. 12 at Foor Gunsmithing in Washington Township.

On November 2, Davis will face Democrat Tyler Titus, state-certified councilor and chairman of the Erie school board, to succeed Democratic incumbent Kathy Dahlkemper, who announced in December that she would not be running for a third term.

While some critics, including Titus, have called Davis an “extremist” or far-right supporter of Trump, Davis insists otherwise, stating that he is more of the “common sense, medium-term” candidate.

Reviews:Erie Voice: I’m the Republican who ran against Brenton Davis, now I support Tyler Titus

Community college:Erie County Community College may need to add courses as the number of applications skyrockets

“I have sworn allegiance to the flag, to the nation, not to a president or a party,” Davis said. “I compare (my position) to sitting in the middle of a canoe, with someone on the left and someone on the right throwing rocks at each other. I’m just like, ‘You stop?’ Because it was I who was hit in the head. “

Davis, who has also been criticized for starting an online petition in 2019 to stop the establishment of Erie County Community College, said he was not opposed to education but rather a college that does has no sustainable source of funding.

Davis said he would give the college a four-year commitment to make sure its program is suitable for high-demand jobs and does not duplicate other programs.

“Community college funding shouldn’t fall on the backs of taxpayers in the form of higher property taxes,” he said.

Approval:Erie Voice: I’m a Democrat and I approve of Brenton Davis

For Davis’s friends, like Sean Silman, a retired Petty Officer who has known Davis for about 20 years, the accusation that Davis is an extremist or a supporter was false.

“Just because he’s running as a Republican doesn’t mean he’s only open to Republican ideas,” Silman said. “Her whole life has been listening to everyone and finding what’s best for everyone to make everyone better.”

“Living on a dirt road”

Davis, who was born “in a trailer park” in Meadville and raised in Guy Mills to an 18-year-old single mother, described her humble beginnings as “living on a dirt road”.

His mother, who delivered newspapers, married a union mechanic when Davis was 6 months old. The couple later became foster parents, surrounding Davis with around 27 foster children entering and leaving the house at different times.

“I grew up with a different perspective on the world, seeing poor children with behavioral problems,” Davis said. “I got to see how lucky I was and learned not to think too much about the little things.”

Brenton Davis of Millcreek Township announces his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the Erie County Executive Jan. 7 outside the vacant Pleasant Ridge Manor East in Millcreek Township.

While excelling in sports at Maplewood High School – namely cross country – Davis was a lackluster student, motivated primarily by dreams of military service, which he called “a calling.”

“As a child, I always looked for every opportunity to test my courage,” Davis said. “I was wondering, ‘What’s the hardest thing I can do? “Because I’m not just going to do it, I’m going to be the best at it.”

“I was able to save lives”

At 18, Davis enlisted in the Navy and immediately sought to join the SEALs, or special operators of the Navy, Air and Land.

About 75% of interns fail the program. And while Davis did too, he kept coming back, dozens of times, over a period of five months. Finally, weighing 115 soaked pounds at the time, Davis said his body gave in, succumbing to hypothermia.

“It was the first time in my life that I felt completely defeated,” said Davis. “But that defeat only fueled my fire. The Navy sent me to search and rescue school and I was able to save lives.”

Davis spent three years overseas as a combat lifeguard. Subsequently, he joined the Naval Reserve and initiated a training program to prepare local recruits interested in becoming SEALs.

Erie County executive candidate Brenton Davis is hosting a welcome meeting Aug. 12 at Foor Gunsmithing in Washington Township.

After leaving active service, Davis joined the US Army Reserves. And in 2006, he started his own business, B. Davis Enterprises LLC, as a way to pay for his education. He received a psychology degree from the University of Edinboro in 2008.

While an army officer, Davis had hoped to qualify for Special Forces, but a serious arm injury during training, as well as a back injury sustained while working off duty, made fail those plans.

Davis took it in stride.

“To be successful in business and in life, you have to adapt,” he said.

“Person more qualified”

In the county leadership race, a job that earns an annual salary of $ 107,118 and oversees 1,200 employees, Davis believes there is “no one more qualified” than him.

Boasting about his business prowess, Davis recalled how he started his business “from the bed of a Chevrolet pickup truck.”

Today, B. Davis Enterprises LLC, performs a variety of jobs ranging from land clearing to dike construction, and has several subcontractors who hire their own workers.

Brenton Davis of Millcreek Township announces his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the Erie County Executive Jan. 7 outside Pleasant Ridge Manor East, vacant in Millcreek Township.

Since losing the Republican nomination to the county executive in 2017, Davis has said he has remained active in regional development policy and goals.

Earlier this year, Davis helped lead the formation of the Lake Erie Council of Governments, a coalition of public and private actors from Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York, who plan to host sessions working group on regional economic objectives.

Davis has also helped create a program that helps businesses tap into local resources and networks that are not readily available through workshops, training sessions and mentoring.

In the fall, Davis will begin teaching military science at the University of Edinboro.

As Silman said, “Brenton is nonstop.”

Davis agreed.

“My mom knew I was still that little runt, and she instilled a lot of confidence in me from a young age,” Davis said. “Because when you are little you are often outdone. So to get out of it you have to think, thwart and thwart maneuvers. “

AJ Rao can be contacted at [email protected]. Follow him on twitter @ETNRao.



Illinois payroll stagnates and unemployment rate is 35% above the US average

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Illinois nonfarm payroll added just 2,500 jobs from mid-July to mid-August. Unemployment was steadily high as the rest of the nation recovered.

Illinois created just 2,500 jobs from mid-July to mid-August, virtually unchanged from the previous month, according to data released by the Illinois Department of Job Security.

August’s slow jobs report follows a strong performance in July, in which revised figures show the state created 38,100 jobs. August was the worst month for jobs in Illinois since April.

At the industry level, the results have been mixed. Five major industries lost jobs, five added and one remained unchanged in August.

Among the industries that created jobs, leisure and hospitality grew the most, with 5,800 (+ 1.2%) salaried jobs. Manufacturing gained 3,900 (+ 0.7%) jobs; the government wage bill increased by 1,900 (+ 0.2%); the information payroll increased by 300 (+ 0.3%); and mining added 100 jobs (+ 1.5%).

In terms of industries that lost jobs, education and health services lost the most jobs at -4,900 (-0.5%) in August. Trade, transport and public services lost 2,300 (-0.2%) jobs; the payroll for other services fell by 1,300 (-0.5%); construction eliminated 700 (-0.3%) jobs; and financial activities lost 300 (-0.1%) jobs last month. Professional and commercial services payrolls remained unchanged in August.

Despite weak payroll growth during the month, Illinois’ unemployment rate fell from 7.1% to 7% in August. However, the state continued to lag behind the national recovery, with the national unemployment rate falling from 5.4% to 5.2%. That means Illinois’ unemployment rate is now 35% higher than the national average.

Making matters worse for the 435,900 Illinois residents still out of work, Illinois lawmakers passed a $ 42.3 billion budget that was out of balance for the 21st year in a row despite taxing $ 655 million tax increases that specifically hurt investment and job creation. These taxes will hamper the Illinois economy as it attempts to recover.

The other threat to jobs is a $ 5.8 billion deficit in the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund. On September 6, the state missed a federal loan payment deadline, meaning a $ 4.2 billion interest-free federal loan used to cover unemployment benefits is now costing taxpayers $ 60 million in interest a year and likely triggers automatic tax hikes and benefit cuts that are expected to further damage Illinois’ weak job market.

Ignoring the impact of public policies, and particularly taxation, on a fragile economic recovery from COVID-19 will only lengthen and deepen Illinois struggles.


Republicans rediscover budget austerity with Biden in White House

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And Congressional Republicans are adamant they won’t vote to raise the national debt limit, which is due to be raised this fall or risk a first default on federal bonds, although many of them join Democrats in lifting or suspending it three times during the Trump administration.

“Republicans will not facilitate another reckless and partisan fiscal and budget frenzy,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted Wednesday, rejecting a personal appeal from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to help raise the debt ceiling .

He pursues a four-decade model of Republican presidents racking up large budget deficits and leaving an economic and fiscal mess that a Democratic president must try to clean up. Think of Bill Clinton after deficits skyrocketed under Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush because of tax cuts and a build-up of defense; Barack Obama after further tax cuts, an expansion of Medicaid, two wars and a financial crisis under the leadership of George W. Bush; and now Biden, after even more tax cuts and a pandemic under Trump.

“Republicans are absolutely guilty of hypocrisy in that they focus on debt under Democratic presidents and then rack up spending under Republican presidents,” said Brian Riedl, former senior economic official for Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio and now a senior member of the Manhattan Institute, a free market think tank.

But he also slammed Democrats for claiming responsibility for deficit cuts that occur when an economic downturn reverses under their watch due to factors beyond their control. Clinton has been the only president in the past 40 years to preside over a fall in the national debt as a percentage of total economic output. Debt increased by about $ 9 trillion under Obama, who inherited a deep recession.

“Yes, Democrats come to power with a bad hand, but they are also quickly capturing much of the natural growth of the business cycle that occurs with or without their policies,” Riedl said. “Both sides run deficits and then blame the other.”

The national debt has tripled since the 2008 financial crisis and continues to climb rapidly due to the pandemic, which triggered billions of dollars in federal bailout spending and lowered tax revenues. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects a budget deficit of $ 3 trillion for this fiscal year, which ends September 30. That would bring debt by the end of this year to 103% of total economic output, or gross domestic product, just behind the record. 106 percent right after the end of World War II. The average debt-to-GDP ratio over the past 50 years has been 44%.

The fiscal position is expected to improve over the next few years as the economy recovers from the pandemic and interest rates remain low, the CBO said. But then the deficits will start to climb again, fueled in large part by increased spending on Social Security and Medicare for the growing number of aging Americans. By 2031, the debt-to-GDP ratio would reach 107 percent, rising to a staggering 200 percent by 2051, according to CBO projections.

Prospects for seriously tackling the debt look bleak, said G. William Hoagland, former Republican Senate adviser on the budget committee.

“Sometimes we create these expectations in the minds of the public, especially during campaign seasons, that we can do it all at no cost and sort of it’s a free lunch,” said Hoagland, vice president of the Bipartisan Policy Center think tank. “Trump was terrible about it. He was going to balance the budget in four or five years. I don’t know where he went to school for his calculation, but what he promised was just absolutely impossible and yet people bought him.

Despite Trump’s promises, debt rose during his presidency – even before the pandemic wreaked havoc on the economy – in part because of the 2017 tax cuts, which the CBO said would cost $ 1.9 trillion. even over 10 years after taking into account additional economic growth.

As Republicans drafted tax reduction legislation in September 2017, 33 GOP senators voted to increase the debt limit. But this week, one of those Senators, Ted Cruz of Texas, said Republicans have no responsibility to help raise the debt ceiling this fall, even though most of the debt has accumulated. since the last hike in 2019 under Trump.

“I certainly agree that Republicans are overspending too,” said Cruz, who voted against increasing the debt ceiling in 2019. “That being said, what we are seeing from Democrats right now is an order of magnitude different. “

Senator Thom Tillis, a Republican from North Carolina, also voted to increase the debt ceiling in 2017. But he was among 46 senators who signed a letter last month vowing to oppose it now. They argued that Democrats have the votes to do it themselves under the $ 3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill, which only requires a simple majority to pass the Senate.

“I think everyone cares about debt, same. . . a lot of Democrats, ”Tillis said. “The issues you are currently experiencing are a big difference in spending priorities. “

Democratic leaders in Congress did not include an increase in the debt limit in the reconciliation bill, arguing that there is a bipartisan obligation to increase it.

“Senators from both parties voted overwhelmingly in favor of the many laws that have contributed to this obligation,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday. “So neither party can wash their hands of the responsibility of paying the bills.”

But Republicans have reverted to the confrontational debt-limit position they took under the Obama administration, when they brought the federal government to the brink of default on two occasions, including a showdown in 2011 that triggered the country’s first-ever AAA rating downgrade.

Harvard economist Jason Furman, who chaired Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, says the size of the national debt is not that big of a deal because interest rates are historically low. This gives Democrats the ability to borrow for parts of the reconciliation bill that are long-term investments, like spending on free preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds and a no-cost community college of schooling.

“Some of the concerns about the debt and the debt trajectory are overstated given the current and likely interest rate situation,” he said. He estimated that Democrats could justify borrowing between $ 1,000 billion and $ 2,000 billion of the total cost of the bill as long as the money is used for investments like education.

Still, Furman is worried about the increase in the national debt and believes the Republicans’ renewed attention to it is less a matter of hypocrisy than a fundamental disagreement over priorities.

“I don’t think it’s pure hypocrisy to say debt is okay for something good and it’s not okay for something bad,” he said. “I am in favor of borrowing for good things and against borrowing for bad things. I just have a very different view of what is good and bad than them.


Jim Puzzanghera can be contacted at jim.puzza[email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @JimPuzzanghera.



X Factor’s Joe McElderry Wants Independent Watch Teams To Help Him On Reality TV Shows

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Joe McElderry won the X Factor in 2009 and said that while he’s adapted to the new lifestyle relatively well, he believes more should be done to help reality show contestants.

Joe McElderry has made a name for himself on the hit reality show X Factor, but calls for such shows to further help their competition.

The singer from Geordie, 30, admitted there needs to be “better protection” for candidates who appear on reality shows and insists it must come from an independent body.

Joe appeared on the 2009 Reality Music Contest series and called it “one hell of a machine and a formula.”

Speaking to Bobby Norris and Stephen Leng on Radio FUBAR ‘s Access All Areas on Thursday, the singer explained that there is no point in simply offering applicants the support of an internal body with links to the show.

He said: “I’ve been saying for many, many years that not only on X Factor, but on any reality TV show where you take someone out of a relatively normal life with nothing to do with show business, he there must be a follow-up that is not part of the TV show itself.








Joe won the X Factor in 2009
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Picture:

Ken McKay)











Joe has had five top 20 albums since winning the reality show
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Picture:

Instagram)




“They have to be separate people who have no interest in the financial benefits of it. If you have a follow-up team that works for the TV show, then their interests are the TV show, not the individual. .

“I really think in all forms of reality TV there needs to be better protection.”

He went on to say, “If you have received this platform from a large corporation or a corporation, in my opinion it is their responsibility to protect you in some way.”





Several of the former X Factor stars, such as Rebecca Ferguson, Cher Lloyd, Jedward and Katie Waissel, have spoken out against the treatment they received on the show.

Joe admits his own experience on the show has been mostly positive, but thanked his circle of support. He said he had “a great family and had adjusted relatively well.”

He also explained that he had to put everything in place internally to allow him to have his own creative control.








The X Factor also created stars such as One Direction.
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Picture:

Ken McKay / Rex Characteristics)




“I’ve said it in the past, I’ve been through my own journey with the show – sort of leaving the first management company and starting almost from scratch about three years after winning the show,” he said. he declared.

“Kind of like setting it all up internally and starting a business, so that I have that creative control.”

He has released five top 20 albums since winning the show 12 years ago and remained a fan of the competition until it was deleted after 17 years.

The Mirror has contacted ITV for comment.

Do you have a story to sell? Contact us at [email protected]initymirror.com or call us directly on 0207 29 33033.


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From Economists to Congress: Make the Improved Child Tax Credit Permanent

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Nearly 450 economists on Thursday signed an open letter urging Congress to pursue a permanent extension of President Biden’s child tax credit program, an economic measure that has sparked intense debate on Capitol Hill.

Economists, from universities and institutions across the country, argue that initial research showed that a permanent child tax credit would “dramatically reduce child poverty” by improving educational outcomes, linked to health and careers of low-income youth. The letter cited a study that concluded that a permanent program would cost 16 cents for every dollar in new economic benefits.

“A permanently enlarged CTC would produce enormous immediate and long-term benefits for children and their families, and is unlikely to significantly reduce employment,” the letter said. “For these reasons, we believe the benefits of an expanded CTC far outweigh the costs.”

Under the current enhanced child tax credit program adopted in Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion “American bailout”, eligible parents can receive up to $ 3,000 per child ages 6 to 17. years and $ 3,600 per child under 6 each year. Half of the money is dispersed monthly in the form of direct cash payments, with the other half applied as a credit on 2022 tax returns.

IRS LIKELY NOT AUDITS YOU THIS YEAR – HERE’S WHY

Republicans and some moderate Democrats have opposed efforts to expand the program, arguing it will cost taxpayers too much and discourage job seekers as the U.S. economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In their open letter, economists argued that gradual reductions in payments for higher-income parents, starting at $ 75,000 for individuals and $ 150,000 for married couples, were an incentive to continue working.

“One design feature that limits these effects is that the expanded CTC amount would not disappear until high income levels; thus, most families would not see their CTC amount decrease if their income increases, ”said economists.

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Economic experts are divided over the potential impact of the increased benefits. The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, called Biden’s program a “bait and switch” that would prevent participation in the workforce.

“Contrary to the rhetoric of the administration, the main objective and the only permanent feature of the family allowance policy would not be tax relief, but the elimination of all work requirements and work incentives from the current program. children’s credit, ”the group said in July. “In pursuing this change, the administration is explicitly seeking to overturn the foundations of welfare reform established during the Clinton presidency.”

The Democrats’ $ 3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill would extend the program until 2025, and Biden and other prominent Democratic lawmakers have called for it to become permanent.

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The debate could be an obstacle to the passage of the bill in the Senate. Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., a key voter, called for the implementation of a work requirement for parents receiving the benefit.


Lack of affordable housing is ‘biggest’ hotel staff shortage in rural Perthshire

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The lack of affordable housing in rural Perthshire is the “biggest driver” of hotel staff shortages, according to a city councilor.

Highland Perthshire has been particularly hard hit, with some businesses having to temporarily shut down or reduce their service.

Both Brexit and COVID have played their part in the staff shortage.

But Mike Williamson, member of the Highland Perthshire SNP, says housing is the main problem.

He told the Perthshire Advertiser he had heard that there were up to 18 vacancies for chefs in Highland Perthshire at one time.

Cllr Williamson believes that due to Brexit there was “less staff to cover these jobs”.

But he also said: “The most important factor is the lack of accommodation to house the staff. Lack of accommodation contributes to what happened before COVID. “

Scotland’s oldest hostel is one of the last hostels to be hit by staff issues.

Management at the Kenmore Hotel – in business since 1572 – announced this month that it will not be serving an evening meal until September 19.

A notice posted on the hotel’s website said, “We are sincerely sorry for the disruption we know these changes may cause, if we are successful in recruiting and training during these times we will add to our operation. We made the decision early on to allow our clients to plan their arrangements locally.

“We are not the only ones facing the challenges we are facing right now, other local restaurants are also suffering and changing their opening days and times in a relatively short period of time, we advise you to book as early as possible to avoid further disappointment. “

The Queen’s View Visitor Center is just another location in Highland Perthshire that has been forced to close several times during the summer due to understaffing.

There are many more.

Trade union adviser Alasdair Bailey also highlighted the need for more affordable housing in rural Perthshire.

Speaking on behalf of the independent and Labor group on the council, he said: “Between us we hear of far too many low-income people having to travel long distances to work because housing close to workplaces is overpriced, especially in popular tourist areas. “

At last week’s housing and communities committee meeting, Cllr Bailey asked for numbers on how many people are on the council’s waiting list.

Perth housing and Kinross council manager Clare Mailer told councilors there were around 3,300 people on the list, but said many have yet to be assessed for needs in housing.

A statement on the PKC website states: “Unfortunately, there is an excess demand for affordable housing in Perth and Kinross. There are around 1,000 vacancies every year in the housing stock of the partners listed above, but there are currently around 3,000 applicants on the waiting list.

“This means that we are not in a position to offer a property to everyone who asks for housing. Those who receive an offer will be people in urgent need of housing, such as homeless people, people with medical needs and families living in overcrowded housing.

The Perthshire North MSP and COVID Recovery Secretary John Swinney have said the UK’s exit from the European Union is to blame.

Mr Swinney told the Perthshire Advertiser: ‘We can clearly see that the pandemic has had a profoundly negative impact on businesses – particularly the service and hospitality sectors. These pressures were amplified by the Tories’ unnecessary and harmful Brexit, which prevented business owners and farmers from recruiting staff due to the end to freedom of movement.


Why Covid shattered parents’ sense of risk

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Dr Slovic came up with a hypothetical situation to illustrate how our feelings don’t always match the onslaught of modern facts: We will probably be very upset if we hear about two cases of Covid at our child’s school, but we don’t. Probably won’t be doubly upset if we hear that there are four cases. As Daniel Kahneman explained in his book “Thinking, Fast and Slow”, “the degree of concern is not sufficiently sensitive to the likelihood of harm”.

Since we have been battling the virus for 18 months, we may no longer react as we usually do when we hear more bad news. In these scenarios, some parents will overestimate the risk to their children, Dr Peters said. But others will experience a phenomenon called “psychic numbness,” which Delia O’Hara of the American Psychological Association described as “the indifference that sets in when we are faced with overwhelming calamity.” Psychic numbness sounds a lot more poetic than “dead inside” and I appreciate that I’m not the only one feeling this, as I no longer trust my emotions to guide me properly.

As parents rush into fall, unsure of when a vaccine might be available for our youngest children, how do we deal with the uncertainty and overcome our numbness? There is no magic bullet that will solve our feeling of unease – we are still in a pandemic, it is normal to feel uncomfortable. But at least having some control over the choices we make is essential, Dr Slovic said. One way to regain that control is “to listen to the experts who you think are really knowledgeable and whom you can trust, whether local or national,” he said. “You should take their advice and hope for the best.” In our case, that means sending our children back to school with their masks on and crossing their fingers.

Another way to regain some control over the risk in your life is to try and think ahead about your values ​​and eliminate the times when multiple values ​​might clash, Dr Peters said. The example she gave was a family reunion: You might deeply appreciate your children seeing extended family members, but you also don’t want your unvaccinated children exposed to Covid. Thinking about those tradeoffs early “may seem more of an emotional and cognitive burden, and it is, but you’ll be more stable in the long run if you think about it ahead of time,” she said.

Something that I personally find soothing is reminding myself that I cannot eliminate danger to my children in all situations. Part of maturing is learning to assess risk, and while it may be painful to see your child venturing into a dangerous world, this is the only way for them to grow.

After some discussion, my husband and I allowed our oldest daughter to go play with this new friend this summer. We felt comfortable with the Covid risk at this point, and our daughter was more than happy to go to her friend’s house. About 10 minutes after the game started, we got a call from the father of the house. The kids had jumped off the top bunk and my daughter cut her head off with a ceiling fan.

Even though she was bleeding profusely, she was finally fine, and she learned the hard way that jumping off the top bunk is such a silly idea. While we cautioned her about the safety of Covid, we didn’t think about talking to her about throwing her body from a great height. She had to live this risk alone.


“5 Reasons Why” GOP Candidates Respond After Guilford School Board Primary

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Candidates Tim Chamberlain, Nick Cusano, Aly Passarelli, Bill Maisano and Danielle Scarpellino claimed victory in what Republican Registrar Gloria Nemchuk called the highest voter turnout in years.

According to Tuesday’s results, 47% of Guilford’s 3,511 Republicans attended. The primary itself has led to an increase in registrations for the Republican Party, with more than 200 registered to vote since the primary was announced in mid-August.

This is a big increase in the number of voters, as 183 participated in the Republican caucus in July, less than the increase in registrations over the last month.

The “5 Reasons Why” contestants garnered over 800 more votes than their challengers, Republicans for Education, a list made up of incumbents Joseph Golino, Ted Sands, Amy Sullivan and newcomers Bill Mulligan and Jim O’Keefe.

Chamberlain, Cusano, Passarelli, Maisano and Scarpellino began their campaign by speaking about critical race theory in Guilford schools, which city officials have denied. The campaign evolved to feature five reasons they were running for the board.

They want to end what they see as the “indoctrination” of students into critical race theory and other so-called divisive initiatives, promote academic excellence using a high quality, rigorous and rich curriculum. in content accessible to all students, exercise financial accountability in reviewing spending, and “stop buying material that teaches hatred, despair and division”, demanding transparency and cultivating student skills, according to their platform.

Chamberlain (1,275 votes), Cusano (1,273), Passarelli (1,273), Maïsano (1,269) and Scarpellino (1,265) obtained the majority of the votes. Sullivan (468), Golino (462), Mulligan (453), O’Keefe (453) and Sands (432), who asked to trigger the primary, were ousted.

O’Keefe said in an email on Wednesday that their opponents now face a more daunting challenge in November. “We were very disappointed with the results of the primary election, however, the Republicans in Guilford have spoken and we accept the result.”

When asked if his list plans to support the main winners, O’Keefe said he will support candidates who align with their vision of what is best for the children of Guilford.

Republicans for education

In a closing post on Republicans for education website, the list asked voters to vote their conscience and choose the candidates most likely to attract swing voters since the Republican Party is the city’s minority party.

“If we do not attract a lot of politically centrist swing voters, we believe it is possible that the three Republican seats will be lost,” the statement said. “The long-term survival of our party is even more important in this primary. It’s not the team that wins on Tuesday that counts. It’s the team that wins in November that counts.

This post differed from the one on the list’s campaign signs outside polling stations on Tuesday, which called their candidates “good Republicans.”

Protect Guilford Schools

The November Democratic Protector Guilford Schools list, made up of two Democrats and three independents, did not return a request for comment on his campaign at the time of publication.

The slate, made up of titular Moira Rader and newcomers Jennifer Baldwin, Arnold Skretta, Kristy Faulkner and Noel Petra, posted on Facebook ask supporters to donate and volunteer as part of their campaign.

They also sent out a press release on Wednesday afternoon with their reactions to what they called the primary victory for “hardline” Republicans.

Rader said in the press release that she had never been in politics and had always had a good working relationship with her fellow Republicans on the board.

“It’s sad, but those days could be over,” Rader said. “Sensible moderates are replaced by dangerous candidates and anti-education fanatics. They want to deny our children a diverse, supportive, and superior education by pushing us back and dismantling our award-winning school district. It is simply unacceptable. We will not let that happen.

Independent newcomer Baldwin said in the statement that claims that the winning candidates are fighting systemic racism while denying its existence are “absurd.”

“I’m not a politician, and it was never an ambition of mine, but as soon as it became clear that extremism was in danger of creeping into our classrooms, I knew I had to stand up for my children and all of our children, ”Baldwin said.

The Protect Guilford list of schools added that “extremism” has no place in Guilford and that they will vigorously oppose it in all its forms.

It’s time to regroup

The winners of Tuesday’s primary will band together and spread their message, Cusano said Tuesday night.

“The next step is to hopefully unify the Republican Party and reach out to the independents,” Chamberlain said during the candidate celebration at the Guilford VFW Post 7666.

Passarelli spoke at length on Tuesday evening about his willingness to focus more on funding socio-emotional learning, special education, STEM and athletics. She said the four percent increase Superintendent Paul Freeman received this year could have been allocated to these programs.

Freeman’s salary for 2020-21 was $ 253,880, according to data collected in a Hearst Connecticut Media Project earlier this year.

Another concern of Passarelli is the support enjoyed by students in general and in special education after being homeschooled during the pandemic. Her sister-in-law is a special education teacher who told Passarelli about her work, only to make her more passionate.

“Do you want to talk about fairness? What are we doing to support special education? What are we doing to support other students with high needs? Passarelli asked during Tuesday’s celebration.

Passarelli also said the foreign languages ​​department needed support as the language will open doors that people don’t yet know, she said.

For now, the group is taking a little break and will most likely meet again next week to regroup, campaign manager Mary Beeman said on Tuesday.

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Howard University appoints Stephen Graham Chief Financial Officer

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WASHINGTON – Howard University today announced the appointment of Stephen graham as the chief financial officer (CFO), effective October 1, 2021. In this role, Graham will oversee the financial operations of the University in accordance with the Howard Forward strategic plan efforts to achieve greater financial sustainability and increase efficiency and effectiveness.

“I am delighted to welcome Stephen Graham to Howard University as Chief Financial Officer,” said Wayne AI President Frederick. “His expertise and leadership in funding higher education will be a tremendous asset to the University in this significant time and as we work to realize our vision of greater financial sustainability.”

Graham joins Howard after serving as CFO at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey for the past 10 years. There, he managed an operating budget of $ 330 million and helped grow the Seton Hall University endowment to over $ 300 million. Graham also facilitated the University’s transition to Responsibility Center Management (CRM) budgeting and helped Seton Hall through the pandemic.

Prior to his decade of service at Seton Hall, Graham was vice president of budget and planning for two years at Pace University in Briarcliff, New York. He joined Pace as assistant vice president for internal audit in 2006. Graham has also worked in the private sector as a senior partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, in Philadelphia and as a director at Siegfried Group, LLP , in Wilmington, Delaware. He was also an internal audit specialist for five years at the University of Pennsylvania. Graham received a Bachelor of Business Administration and an MBA from Drexel University.

“I am honored to join Howard University at this pivotal moment in the history of the University, the higher education industry and the country as a whole,” Graham said. “I look forward to serving this prestigious and important institution under the visionary leadership of President Frederick. “

In his new role at Howard, Graham will report directly to President Frederick and assume responsibility for all aspects of the financial management of the University, including budget planning and resource allocation, financial accounting and reporting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, purchases, and cash management. He will oversee the financial management of Howard University Hospital and oversee investment management for Howard’s endowment and pension, debt management and capital planning.

President Frederick also expressed his sincere appreciation for the dedicated service of Interim CFO Annemieke Martinez, stating: “She has demonstrated a genuine commitment to excellence and service in her role, and we wish her a continued success in her role as Deputy Chief Financial Officer.

###

About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private research university that includes 14 schools and colleges in Washington DC. Students pursue more than 140 degree programs leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Howard University operates with a commitment to excellence in truth and service and has produced one Schwarzman Fellow, three Marshall Fellows, four Rhodes Fellows, 12 Truman Fellows, 25 Pickering Fellows and over 165 Fulbright Fellows. Howard also produces more African American doctorates on campus. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information about Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.


Empty savings, damaged health: for pandemic unemployed, recovery can be a long road

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Garnica has already paid two different consultants to rework his CV and said he would gladly take a lower paying job. But despite all the applications he has submitted, he has only gotten two interviews since the start of the pandemic, none of which have resulted in job offers.

Garnica is among 2 million Californians whose federal unemployment benefits expired over Labor Day weekend. People who still haven’t found a job are now trying to move forward with less support, but research on previous recessions suggests that many may never fully recover.

Make it work

While he was out of work, Garnica tried to change his life to stay afloat. He withdrew money from his 401 (k) account to pay bills, borrowed from friends to cover his mortgage, and rented rooms in his house, where he lives with his girlfriend and eldest son, and the new -born of the couple.

The most stressful time is the end of the month, he said.

Reynaldo “Rey” Garnica worked as a financial data analyst before being fired in April 2020. (Courtesy of Rey Garnica)

“All the bills start to fall due and you’re like, ‘OK, am I going to default on this bill? »Is it more beneficial for me to withdraw money from my 401 (k)? If I take money out of my bank, how does that affect my unemployment… if I’m going to be unemployed? “

Because he was initially confident that he would find another job quickly, Garnica did not immediately purchase health insurance when his work coverage expired. In June 2020, after just over a month without any coverage, he enrolled in Covered California, the state’s health insurance marketplace, with his plan due to go into effect the following month.

Then, at the end of the month, Garnica had a heart attack – the day before her plan began.

“I didn’t go to the hospital right away because my insurance didn’t take effect until midnight. It was kind of like a shitty situation to be in, right? Said Garnica.

Health problems “closely linked” to unemployment

Garnica is only 42 years old and has fortunately recovered. It’s impossible to know the root cause of his heart attack, but long-standing research links unemployment to major health problems, including heart attacks.

“The population health issues that will arise over the next few years could very well be closely linked to the unemployment that we have seen and which has been spurred by the pandemic,” said Jennie Brand, UCLA sociologist and director. from the California Center for Population Research. .

Brand said unemployment can cause stress, depression and even lead to substance abuse. It also often leads people to delay getting health care, as Garnica did.

In addition, in February, researchers at UCSF estimated that more than 30,000 Americans would die in the pandemic’s first year from unemployment-related health problems.

In light of the well-documented links between unemployment and deteriorating health, and the large number of Americans still looking for work, Brand and other researchers are now warning of a potential new health crisis.

Struggling to start over

In addition to health problems, economic difficulties hit those harder who are already more vulnerable, especially older workers and workers of color, said Rebecca Dixon, executive director of the National Employment Law Project.



How to teach kids about finance

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When you think of the financial industry, kids don’t often come to mind. Dependent on others, children, of course, don’t pay the bills or contribute to a household’s finances, and often parents think that children shouldn’t even need to think about money. But maybe the kids should. Instead of letting go in the world of personal finances when they turn 18, what if this process were gradual, based on milestones and lessons learned in a controlled environment? A program in which children can take charge of their finances and be better prepared for their financial future. To see how this can take action, I spoke to two financial app companies that put kids first in their services, Till and Acorns.

When founder Taylor Burton decided to start Up to, a family banking app, he had kids in mind. “I’m from the Midwest and we’re not talking about drugs, sex, or money. These are all taboo subjects, and the end result is a bunch of young people who are under-prepared when they enter the economy. So, by partnering with my team at Till, we’ve worked to close this financial literacy gap, ”says Burton.

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He realized that the children were not responsible for their expenses and that it hurt them in the long run. He wanted to change that. “It started off by looking at what the real problem was and why the kids weren’t having success at launch, and I think a really big reason for that is that they never had enough agency at the start. compared to the money spent on their behalf, “he says.” So when they entered the economy, they weren’t prepared for the realities of the economy. “

It’s best, according to Burton, to have financial conversations as early as possible. “The longer you wait, the more serious the problem,” he says. “We have the impression that it raises the stakes. That’s why we say bring Till in ASAP, so you can start having these conversations gradually over time, and it can be a more organic experience.

Till strives to let kids as young as 8 take control of their finances. Children, says Burton, are a massive and underserved population in the United States

“The big macro banks are heavily focused on an adult consumer, someone over the age of 18 whom they always thought was the most profitable consumer,” he says. “And our thesis was just different from this one: we saw children as real financial and economic actors. Much of the reliance on your parents or guardian is because you just don’t have access to cash so this is what we provide in the form of ‘a digital map.

Peggy Mangot from PayPal companies is an investor for Till and has first-hand experience using the app with her teenage daughter. When Mangot’s daughter started a small business during the lockdown, Mangot put her daughter’s income in a separate savings account and, like many parents, gave her daughter money when needed or needed. lent him a credit card, but found that the method did not work. “Both of these methods – cash and lending my card – were very unwelcome to me,” Mangot says. “She had no idea how much she had, how much she had earned and how much she was going to set aside for expenses.”

When Mangot moved to Till, these issues were resolved. “[My daughter] can see how much she is spending in real time, ”says Mangot. “It just gives her more appreciation for the value of saving and the value of what things cost and what they are worth to her.”

Mangot mentions that with the improvement in financial literacy offered by Till, her daughter’s worldview has changed. “She has a lot more confidence in money than her friends. We have a family where we talk about money, but what we lacked were real world tools, something in her hands, the app where she could see the debit card. So that gave him a lot more financial confidence, ”Mangot said.

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Mangot notes that it is important to help your child learn about finance by actually involving them. “If she’s making mistakes right now,” says Mangot, “that’s fine, she’s 15. But I would hate to keep her waiting, use my cards until she’s 18, and then make those mistakes when the stakes are high. It’s all about education, learning by doing, and the confidence she’s now gaining.

Another fintech company with kids in mind is Tassels, a leading savings and investment application with more than 4 million subscribers. I spoke with Acorns Director of Education Kennedy Reynolds about the importance of investing in your children’s financial education when they are young. The launch of Acorns Early is focused on the best financial interests of “bright futures”. Kennedy says Acorns “really knows the difference that 18 years old makes in a lifetime.”

According to Kennedy, Acorns Early offers parents and loved ones the opportunity to invest in a child’s financial future from birth.

“You talk about tens of thousands of dollars in potential difference,” she continues, “$ 5 per day invested from birth can exceed $ 60,000 by the time a child becomes a young adult. That’s a pretty big missed opportunity when you think about changing the financial lives of ordinary Americans. So, with Acorns Early, you really have the ability to start from birth and give anyone access to an easy investment account that you can open in minutes and start investing in the kids you want. love.

As to why parents should start thinking about their child’s financial future sooner rather than later, Kennedy simply says “kids are expensive.”

“I laugh, but it’s really true,” she said. “Their lives will be expensive. Living is expensive. And the sooner you can prepare them for their future, the better. Imagine that your child finds a job at 17 but cannot get there because he has no transportation. Well now you have this money in this account which is only growing in the background of their life. You contribute $ 10 a week, and there is that money for the car. The earlier you start investing in that kid, the more potential access you give him without even realizing it, because that’s how Early is set up to just run in the background.

Education is also very important for acorns. “I mean access is easier than ever,” says Kennedy. “The tools are everywhere. We’re one of them, and it’s incredibly exciting, the rate at which you can build things and kick things off. But as long as it’s coupled with education. This is very important, especially for young people, it is a very important distinction: with access comes responsibility. And for Acorns, our responsibility is not just to provide access, but to provide educated access. I take this part and my job very seriously because if you just give someone the keys to a car and don’t teach them how to drive it, it’s not going to end well. And it is very similar with your financial life; you can’t just give up access to day trading or whatever and say it’s cheap now and it’s really easy to download this app – go for it. You must accept the responsibility that comes with access and provide the education that enables people to make informed decisions. Every teenager has the right to get rich. It is really our responsibility to provide education so that adolescents can do it effectively. If you were to give someone the roadmap to start their financial life, this is the first step: Educate yourself.

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As children become more aware of the world around them thanks to the internet and recent technologies, it makes sense to encourage children to take control of the way they interact with their world, starting with their finances. With Till, Acorns, and companies like them, kids and parents can start to anticipate and think smarter, taking the lead in the financial future of younger generations.

The post office Money doesn’t grow on trees: how to teach kids about finance appeared first on Value.


Forest fires: smoke encourages people to react quickly | New

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Smoke billowing from a wooded area in Columbia County prompted multiple calls to the area’s 9-1-1 dispatch center.

At 3:09 p.m. on Monday, September 6, Columbia River Fire and Rescue Teams (CRFR) were dispatched to the smoke call area near Anliker Road and Meissner Road on Deer Island.






Fire crews from Columbia River Fire & Rescue and the Oregon Department of Forestry work to put out the wildfire on steep terrain near Deer Island.




After extensive research, teams from CRFR, along with a team from the Oregon Department of Forestry, found and began to extinguish the blaze. The size of the fire was approximately 1 to 2 acres located on steep terrain towards the east end of Meissner Road.

The details and cause of the fire were under investigation at the time of going to press.

Fire officials are urging everyone to remember that the fire danger is still high and no outdoor burning is allowed in Columbia County.

Authorities warn that even throwing out a cigarette or parking your vehicle in tall grass can lead to wildfires that will spread quickly due to extremely dry conditions and afternoon winds. Escaped fires of any kind resulting in property damage or requiring extinguishing efforts by a fire department may result in fines and individual financial liability for the damage caused.


Plant-based foods are on the rise, with hungry consumers more

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In the fall of 2018, Jenny Goldfarb suddenly craved a corned beef and pastrami sandwich.

For Ms. Goldfarb – who grew up in a Jewish deli family in New York City – it was the classic sandwich of her youth. But her desire came with a hitch: she’s now vegan.

So she started working with wheat proteins, adding beets for a “meaty” color and soaking the mixture in different brines and spices. After a few months, she had found a vegan substitute. She took her vegan corned beef from her home in the San Fernando Valley to a grocery store in Los Angeles, which placed an order for 50 pounds. She cried tears of joy in her car.

These days, Ms. Goldfarb is shipping orders of up to 50,000 pounds of Unreal Deli corned beef, turkey and, most recently, sliced ​​steak to grocery stores across the country.

“We just got the green light from Publix,” said Ms. Goldfarb. “They want the retail packaging, but they also want to put it in their delicatessens. “

Riding the waves of success from soy, oats and other milk alternatives, as well as vegan burgers made by Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, a wide variety of plant-based foods appear on restaurant menus. and in the aisles of grocery stores. And now more and more businesses, from small, up-to-date companies to established brands, are looking to join in on the action.

This summer, Panda Express began putting orange chicken made with Beyond Meat’s Beyond Chicken on menus at some of its locations in the United States. Peet’s Coffee sells a vegan Just Egg breakfast sandwich made with mung beans. New York City soft drink store 16 Handles collaborated with popular drink Oatly to create a line of vegan sweets with flavors like chocolate, chai tea, and iced latte. And seafood chain Long John Silver tested plant-based crab cakes and fish fillets at five locations in California and Georgia this summer.

When Eleven Madison Park, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Manhattan, reopened in June after closing over a year ago due to the pandemic, it did so with a new plant-based menu.

“It started with a plant-based burger, but now plant-based options are becoming available in all kinds of categories,” said Marie Molde, dietitian and trend analyst at research firm Datassential. “We think the plant-based chicken is going to really take off.”

Restaurants and grocery stores are responding to the changing demands of consumers who are abandoning meat consumption. Sales of fresh fruit in grocery stores have increased by almost 11% and those of fresh vegetables by 13% since 2019, according to Nielsen IQ. While only a small percentage of Americans are true vegans or vegetarians – in a 2018 Gallup poll, 5% said they were vegetarians – it’s not the audience these new companies and products are looking for.

Rather, they prey on the taste buds of curious vegans or so-called flexitarians, a much larger segment of Americans looking to cut back on the amount of meat they eat. Some shy away from animal cruelty concerns, while others say the environment or perceived health benefits are factors. (Whether plant-based foods, many of which are highly processed, are healthier, is up for debate.)

“It’s not just for vegans – it would be too small a market,” said Mary McGovern, managing director of New Wave Foods, whose seaweed and plant protein shrimp will be on restaurant menus this fall. .

Ms. McGovern sees a much larger audience of millennials, flexitarians and others interested in trying new plant-based foods. “I’ve been in the food industry for 30 years and haven’t seen anything like the tectonic shift we’re seeing in the market right now,” she said.

Just a few years ago, plant-based burgers were a novelty. These days, the Beyond Burger and the Impossible Burger appear on about 5% of all restaurant menus nationwide, and 71% of Americans have tried a plant-based burger or other meaty alternative, said. Mrs. Molde.

In grocery stores, sales of cheese, cow’s milk and fresh meat alternatives have increased at robust double-digit rates for at least two years, according to Nielsen IQ. Almonds, oats and other non-dairy products account for 14 percent of milk sales.

Restaurants jump on the train with both feet. Orders for plant-based products from major food distributors rose 20% in June compared to the same period in 2019, according to the NPD Group.

Still, attracting flexitarians or occasional vegan consumers can be tricky. They know the taste and texture of real shrimp and turkeys, and if the vegan alternatives aren’t tasty, they won’t come back.

Megan Schmitt from Chicago went from vegetarian to vegan about four years ago and recalled her disappointment with vegan cheese on the market.

“The stuff tasted like cardboard or rubber,” she said. “If you hadn’t eaten cheese in years, that would be nice, but it wasn’t going to satisfy anyone’s taste buds who alternated between the real stuff.”

So Ms. Schmitt started fermenting a variety of nut-based concoctions, then switched to soy for her artisanal Cheeze & Thank You cheeses, including Black Garlic Truffle Fontina and Dill Havarti. They will be available at most Whole Foods stores in the Midwest this fall.

“I like to see my cheese as a canvas,” Ms. Schmitt said. “It’s my art form. I want my product to be a treat for the eyes and the mouth.

Reina Montenegro found herself in a similar situation. For six years, she tried to create a vegan version of the spam that she grew up eating. “Spam was the last thing I ate before I went vegan, because I knew it was something I would never eat again,” she said.

Then she heard about OmniPork Luncheon, plant-based oblong pieces that look like spam and are produced by OmniFoods of Hong Kong. For nearly a year, Ms. Montenegro said, she harassed company executives to get the product to the United States. Finally, in April, his restaurant, Chef Reina in Brisbane, California, specializing in Filipino vegan comfort food, became one of twelve restaurants in the United States using OmniPork products.

“Right away, we sold it,” Ms. Montenegro said. “The only thing that differs with the OmniPork product is the sodium level – it’s lower than the real thing. But when it comes to taste and texture, it’s perfect.

OmniFoods said last month that its vegan pork products are now available at Sprouts Farmers Market stores and Whole Foods stores in 16 states have started selling some of its products.

Ms. Goldfarb of Unreal Deli had originally planned to showcase her vegan deli meats in restaurants. At the start of last year, it had made deals to supply a variety of restaurants, stadiums and universities. But when the pandemic hit, she quickly planned to sell in grocery stores instead.

Now Ms Goldfarb is back in talks with a number of restaurant chains, she said.

“Vegans and vegetarians, they will be in your corner. Flexitarian is the one we strive to capture, ”Ms. Goldfarb said. “We’re trying to talk to someone who’s been eating meat their whole life but now wants to have an alternative two or three times a week.”

She also has her next vegan deli target in mind: ham.


Employment in September heralds a tipping point for economic recovery

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September is shaping up to be a critical month for the fate of the US economy as the labor market recovery and the Federal Reserve’s plans to cut and hike rates remain in limbo.

Hiring in the United States slowed sharply last month as a resurgence in COVID-19 infections delayed job gains. The non-farm payroll added 235,000 workers in August, largely missing the 728,000 expected jobs. More than 1.05 million jobs were created in July.

The disappointing reading came just days before the $ 300 per week extra unemployment benefit expired in the 25 states that had yet to end payments. Economists are eager to see the impact of the Child Tax Credit, which pays American families up to $ 3,600 per year per child, on workers re-entering the workforce.

This month’s data will be “fascinating to look at, in terms of the potential transition of these things (end of UI benefits, summer chill, potential drop in hospitalizations, kids returning to school, etc.) and how quickly the momentum toward full employment is picking up again, “said Rick Rieder, who oversees approximately $ 2.4 trillion in assets as director of global fixed income investments. at BlackRock.

HIRING IN THE UNITED STATES SLOWS DOWN A LOT IN AUGUST AS THE DELTA VARIANT INCREASES JOB EARNINGS

Sluggish job growth could cause the Federal Reserve to delay cutting its $ 120 billion a month asset purchases or rate hikes. The Fed, at the onset of the pandemic, lowered interest rates to near zero and pledged to buy unlimited assets to cushion the economy amid the most severe slowdown in the aftermath. Second World War.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, during his speech at the Jackson Hole Symposium last week, said that although inflation had passed the “substantial further progress” test required for the central bank to end its asset purchases, employment growth has not been as robust.

Powell promised that the Fed would carefully assess the incoming data and that a reduction in asset purchases would not be a “direct signal as to when interest rates take off.”

BILL GROSS SAYS BONDS ARE “GARBAGE”

For rate hikes to occur, the economy must exhibit “maximum employment” characteristics and inflation must “moderately exceed 2% for a period of time,” he added.

Some economists are already worried that the United States is experiencing a sharp but temporary slowdown.

“August is the month we think overall activity has slowed the most,” said a team of Morgan Stanley economists led by Ellen Zentner, highlighting a period of recovery from stimulus checks and ongoing disruption in the economy. Supply Chain.

The team cut its third-quarter gross domestic product forecast to 2.9% from 6.5%. They still anticipate 6.7% growth in the last quarter of the year.

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President Biden on Friday called the economic recovery “durable and strong” and urged Congress to adopt his economic program.

Congress must “finish the work of adopting my economic program so that we can maintain the historic momentum that we have built over the past seven months,” Biden said. “It’s about investing in America’s future, not shortterm stimulus. ”


VICOM’s Promising Profits (SGX: WJP) May Rest on Soft Foundations

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VICOM SA (SGX: WJP) reported strong earnings, but the stock was stagnant. We did some research and found some factors of concern in the details.

See our latest analysis for VICOM

SGX: WJP Revenue and Revenue History Aug 23, 2021

Focus on VICOM’s revenues

Many investors have not heard of the cash flow adjustment ratio, but it is actually a useful measure of the extent to which a company’s profit is supported by Free Cash Flow (FCF) over a given period. Simply put, this ratio subtracts FCF from net income and divides that number by the company’s average operating assets over that period. You could think of the accumulation ratio from cash flow as the “non FCF profit ratio”.

This means that a negative accrual ratio is a good thing, because it shows that the company is generating more free cash flow than its profits suggest. While it is not a problem to have a positive accumulation ratio, indicating a certain level of non-cash profits, a high accumulation ratio is arguably a bad thing, as it indicates that paper profits do not match. to cash flow. Notably, some academic evidence suggests that a high accrual ratio is a bad sign for short-term profits, in general.

VICOM has an accruals ratio of 0.22 for the year through June 2021. Therefore, we know that its free cash flow was significantly lower than its statutory profit, which is hardly a good thing. In fact, he had free cash flow of S $ 17 million last year, which was well below his statutory profit of S $ 26.8 million. VICOM’s free cash flow has actually declined over the past year, but it could rebound next year as free cash flow is often more volatile than accounting earnings. A positive point for VICOM shareholders is that its accumulation ratio was significantly better last year, giving reason to believe that it could return to a stronger cash conversion in the future. Shareholders should seek an improvement in cash flow relative to current year earnings, if this is indeed the case.

This might make you wonder what analysts are predicting in terms of future profitability. Fortunately, you can click here to see an interactive graph depicting future profitability, based on their estimates.

Our take on VICOM’s profit performance

VICOM hasn’t converted much of its earnings into free cash flow over the past year, which some investors may consider to be rather sub-optimal. Therefore, it seems possible to us that the true underlying profit power of VICOM is in fact lower than its statutory profit. The good news is that its earnings per share have increased 10% in the past year. Of course, we’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to analyzing his income; one could also consider margins, forecast growth and return on investment, among other factors. So, if you want to delve deeper into this title, it is crucial to consider the risks it faces. To help you, we have discovered 3 warning signs (2 cannot be ignored!) Which you should know before buying VICOM stock.

This memo has considered only one factor that sheds light on the nature of VICOM’s profit. But there are plenty of other ways to tell your opinion about a business. For example, many people see a high return on equity as an indication of a favorable business economy, while others like to “follow the money” and look for stocks that insiders are buying. So you might want to see this free a set of companies with a high return on equity, or that list of stocks that insiders buy.

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This Simply Wall St article is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts using only unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell shares and does not take into account your goals or your financial situation. Our aim is to bring you long-term, targeted analysis based on fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not take into account the latest announcements from price sensitive companies or qualitative documents. Simply Wall St has no position in the mentioned stocks.
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GM’s Chevy Bolt $ 1.8 Billion Recall Shows Why Auto Manufacturers’ Electric Vehicle Deployments Could Be ‘On Fire’

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The Chevrolet Bolt EV recall puns almost spell out for themselves. General Motors’ announcement last week

DG
that it was recalling some 73,000 bolts at a cost of around $ 1 billion due to the possibility that vehicles could catch fire, is both embarrassing for the iconic automaker and a warning that its plans to electrify all the cars it sells by 2035 could, uh, go up in flames.

The recall announced last Friday comes about a month after a previous recall of some 70,000 bolts manufactured between 2017 and 2019. GM put the cost of the recall at around $ 800 million. So repairing all of the recalled bolts could, as Morningstar analyst David Whiston said at the Detroit Free Press, cost GM some $ 1.8 billion. That’s a huge amount for any business, but especially one that went bankrupt in 2009, and said it would spend $ 27 billion on electric and autonomous vehicles over the next few years.

But the significance of the recall by GM, America’s largest automaker, goes far beyond Detroit. The costs of the current electric vehicle push will likely be borne by all U.S. taxpayers and taxpayers, not just electric vehicle buyers. Three weeks ago, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that aims to ensure that half of all new cars sold in the United States in 2030 will be electric. Achieving this, according to the automakers, will require huge sums of taxpayer money in the form of subsidies. According to a recent estimate from AlixPartners, around $ 50 billion will also need to be spent on electric vehicle charging stations. The cost of all these charging stations will likely be passed on to taxpayers in the form of higher electricity bills. These higher rates will impose a regressive tax on low- and middle-income Americans, who likely won’t be able to afford an electric vehicle.

As Reuters reported on August 5, the day Biden signed the executive order, “Detroit 3 automakers have said aggressive electric vehicle sales targets” can only be met with billions of dollars worth of sales. government incentives, including consumer subsidies, electric vehicle charging networks as well as “investments”. in R&D and incentives to expand electric vehicle manufacturing and supply chains in the United States.

Before I go any further, I’ll put my cards on the hood: I’ve been a long-time skeptic of EVs and their potential to conquer the automotive market. Yes, I know the sales of electric vehicles are increasing. And yes, I know almost every major automaker in the world has announced aggressive plans to electrify their fleets. But my skepticism is due to the failure of a century of electric vehicles to gain significant market share among consumers. As Pew Research reported in June, “In each of the past three years, electric vehicles made up about 2% of the US new car market. “There are many reasons electric vehicles don’t pull consumers through the tailpipe, but the main ones are affordability and functionality.

Regardless of their benefits, electric vehicles are still a luxury item that appeals to Benz and Beemer audiences, not low- and middle-income consumers. The average household income for electric vehicle buyers is around $ 140,000. This is about double the American median, which is around $ 63,000.

I saw it myself last month while visiting Costco. Up front was a light blue 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier that was about the size of a Toyota Corolla. The price: $ 46,280. For that much money, an informed consumer could buy two – yes, two! – the all-new Corolla at Toyota of Cedar Park, a dealership located approximately 20 miles north of downtown Austin.

For decades, automakers have claimed that a fully electric car is just around the corner. Some of this hype has come from GM. As I pointed out in my fourth book, Power hungry, (published in 2010) GM claimed in 1979 that it had found “a breakthrough in batteries” that “now makes electric cars commercially practical”. This boast was included in a September 26, 1979 article in the Washington post, titled “GM Unveils Electric Car, New Battery”. The article explained that the new zinc-nickel oxide batteries would provide the “100 mile range General Motors executives deem necessary to successfully sell electric vehicles to the public.”

And yet, here we are, 42 years later, and GM announces that it will “replace the faulty battery modules of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV with new ones.” In that same press release, the company said the process of replacing the 73,000 recalled cars would result in an “additional cost of approximately $ 1 billion.” So, an elementary division shows that GM’s cost to fix each bolt will be around $ 13,700.

To be fair, that number may be too high. Additionally, the company has said it will try to recoup some of the cost of recalls from its battery supplier, LG Chem. But as CNN Business’s Chris Isidore reported on August 5, replacing the Bolt’s batteries will be an incredibly expensive fix for a car that was initially overpriced. Isidore wrote of the previous $ 800 million recall, saying it “cost about $ 11,650 per vehicle, making it one of the costliest recalls on record per car.” Isidore pointed out that Hyundai was spending some $ 874 million to replace the batteries in “its own electric vehicles (also for the risk of fire, although they are different battery modules. This is just under 11 $ 000 per vehicle.), ”Isidore continued, saying that for GM and Hyundai, the costs of recalls“ are staggering – and exponentially higher than the average price of an automotive recall over the past 10 years, which hasn’t was only about $ 500 per vehicle “.

The cost per vehicle of the recall goes to the heart of the bet that is now being made on EVs, which have the annoying habit of catching fire. As Isidore noted, the Bolt, the only electric vehicle GM sells in North America, has been “linked to at least nine fires” since early 2020, and Hyundai vehicles have been involved in around 15 fires. Meanwhile, three Teslas have caught fire in the past four months.

In April, in the Houston area, two people died after their Tesla Model S crashed into a tree and caught fire. According to a newspaper report, the Tesla’s batteries “continued to ignite despite efforts to extinguish the flames.” Firefighters used approximately 23,000 gallons of water to extinguish the blaze.

In June, in the Philadelphia area, a new Tesla S Plaid caught fire while its owner was driving it. Here in Austin, earlier this month, a Tesla Model X crashed into a gas station and caught fire. As reported by local media Australia, the driver, a teenager, “managed to escape the car before it caught fire.” The article quoted Austin Fire Department Chief Thaier Smith as saying, “Normally you can put out a car fire with 500 to 1,000 gallons of water, but Teslas can take up to 30. 000 to 40,000 gallons of water, maybe even more, to shut off the battery once it starts to burn. “

This recent wave of electric vehicle fires, along with the high cost of purchasing an electric vehicle and the enormous cost of attempting to upgrade our electric grid to accommodate them, are prime examples of the This is why attempting to “electrify everything”, and in particular our transport sector, is fraught with risks. Bolt’s recall shows why policymakers should slow the headlong rush to electric vehicles lest we burn tens of billions of dollars on technology that might just go up in smoke.


Woman charged with drunk driving after car crash in Kiski canton


TAKEN TO HOSPITAL AND WE WORK TO LEARN WHAT LEAD TO THIS ACCIDENT. THE KISKI TOWNSHIP POLICE SHARING THIS PHOTO WITH US OF A WILD CRH. AS YOU CAN SEE A CAR ON ITS MOTORCYCLE. IT HAPPENED AT 10:30 AM LAST NIGHT. THE DRIVER WILL LATER BE ARRESTED BY THE POLICE. SHE IS IDENTIFIED AS JAMIE FULT, 39 YEARS OLD

Woman charged with drunk driving after car crash in Kiski canton

A woman faces drunk driving charges after a car crash in Kiski Township on Saturday evening. One year old Jamie Fulton was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. Police said she was traveling at high speed, failed to negotiate a bend in the road, hit an embankment and overturned the car. Fulton has been taken into custody. His blood alcohol level was 0.206%, more than twice the legal limit. Police said Fulton also had a suspended DUI license at the time of the crash, with no insurance or registration of the suspended vehicle. Fulton is charged with DUI, driving with a suspended DUI license, accidents involving unsupervised property, driving a vehicle at a safe speed, financial liability required and driving a vehicle with a suspended license.

A woman faces drunk driving charges after a car crash in Kiski Township on Saturday evening.

Kiski Township Police said they were called in a single vehicle rollover accident along Sugar Hollow Road at around 10:30 p.m.

Police determined that the driver of the vehicle, Jamie Fulton, 39, was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. Police said she was traveling at high speed, failed to negotiate a bend in the road, hit an embankment and overturned the car.

Fulton was taken into custody, when his blood alcohol level was 0.206%, more than double the legal limit.

Police said Fulton also had a suspended DUI license at the time of the crash, as well as no suspended vehicle insurance and registration.

Fulton is charged with impaired driving, driving with a suspended DUI license, accidents involving unsupervised property, driving a vehicle at a safe speed, financial liability required, and operating a vehicle with a suspended license.


Coupang (NYSE: CPNG) can easily afford to drive business growth

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This article first appeared on Simply Wall St New.

Over the past decades, the growth of online retailing has been nothing short of astonishing. While global players like Amazon have become multibillion-dollar juggernauts, regional players have risen to conquer niche markets.

After a launch in 2010, Coupang ( NYSE: CPNG ) has grown into South Korea’s largest online retailer, focusing on speed of delivery. The company claims that 99% of its orders are delivered within 24 hours.

Yet after the IPO debuted in March, the stock has steadily fallen, followed by lackluster earnings reports.

Since the business remains unprofitable, shareholders should pay close attention to its consumption of cash. For this article, we’ll define cash consumption as the amount of cash the business spends each year to finance its growth (also known as negative free cash flow)

Second Quarter Results

  • GAAP EPS: -0.30 US $ (shortfall of 0.16 US $)

  • Returned: $ 4.48 billion (beat $ 50 million)

  • Gross profit: US $ 658 million (+ 50% year-on-year)

The overall outlook remains mixed, with Deutsche Bank joining the bull club and upgrade stock to buy after having it as a holdback – citing revenue growth even through the capacity constraints of the pandemic.

Discover our latest analysis for Coupang

Will Coupang run out of money?

As of June 2021, Coupang had US $ 4.3 billion in cash and debt so minimal that we can ignore it for this analysis. Looking at last year, the company spent US $ 625 million.

Therefore, as of June 2021, he had 6.9 years of cash flow. Notably, however, analysts believe Coupang will break even (at the level of free cash flow) before that date. In this case, he may never reach the end of his cash trail. Shown below, you can see how its cash flow has changed over time.

debt-equity-historical-analysis

How much is Coupang growing?

Coupang has provided a strong boost to investment over the past year, with cash consumption up 75%. Overall, we would say the business is improving over time.

Obviously, however, the crucial factor is whether the company will expand its business in the future. For this reason, it makes perfect sense to take a look at our analyst forecasts for the company.

Can Coupang easily raise funds?

There is no doubt that Coupang appears to be in a good enough position to manage his cash consumption, but even if this is only hypothetical, it is still worth considering how easily he could raise more money for finance its growth. Generally speaking, a listed company can raise new liquidity by issuing shares or going into debt. Many companies end up issuing new shares to fund their future growth. We can compare a company’s cash consumption to its market capitalization to see how many new shares a company would need to issue to fund a year’s operations.

Since it has a market cap of $ 54 billion, Coupang’s $ 625 million in cash consumption is equivalent to about 1.2% of its market value. the issuance of a few shares.

Is Coupang’s cash burn a concern?

Overall, we are relatively comfortable with the way Coupang uses its cash. For example, we believe that its revenue growth suggests that the company is on the right track. this article more than makes up for the weakness of this measure. It is clearly positive to see that analysts are predicting the company will soon reach its breakeven point.

Considering all the factors in this report, we are not at all worried about its consumption of cash, as the business appears well capitalized to spend as needed. A thorough examination of the risks revealed 2 warning signs for Coupang which readers should consider before committing capital to this stock.

Sure, you might find a fantastic investment looking elsewhere. So take a look at this free list of companies that insiders buy, and this list of growth stocks (according to analysts’ forecasts)

Simply Wall St analyst Stjepan Kalinic and Simply Wall St have no positions in any of the companies mentioned. This article is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts using only unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell shares and does not take into account your goals or your financial situation. Our aim is to bring you long-term, targeted analysis based on fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not take into account the latest announcements from price sensitive companies or qualitative documents.

Do you have any feedback on this item? Are you worried about the content? Get in touch with us directly. You can also send an email to [email protected]


Direct Burial Services Offer Simplified and Less Costly Funeral Arrangements for Grieving Families and Friends | Business and Economy

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Earl Wendt, owner of Wendt Funeral Home, said it was important to meet the demand for services that offered “simplicity, transparency” and “stress and debt free”.

The National Funeral Directors Association predicts that 57.5% of Americans who die in 2021 will be cremated.

However, Earl Wendt and DeRoo, owners of DeRoo Funeral Home, wanted to make the newer options more accessible than traditional methods by offering comprehensive online planning.

“Instead of making an appointment and coming to a funeral home, and there maybe a little bit of anxiety that comes with that or someone doesn’t want to come,” DeRoo said, “all the arrangements can be taken with the family’s contribution according to their own schedule.

If clients have difficulty navigating the website, www.mvcremation.com, they can contact the on-call funeral director who is available 24/7.

Pre-planning and immediate planning services are available on the website, along with quotes for either service. There are two options for advance planning services, one where the person will die within six months or the other where the person will die beyond six months.

Once a client has selected their schedule, they will be able to choose other funeral items – like a casket, number of death certificates, and scheduling a private visit – online. Guests do not have to prepay for pre-planned arrangements. The step-by-step process creates increased transparency and allows customers to see and understand all of the options available to them, according to DeRoo.


Melexis NV (EBR: MELE) stock on an uptrend: Could fundamentals be driving momentum?

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Melexis (EBR: MELE) had a strong run in the equity market with its stock rising significantly by 18% over the past three months. Since stock prices are generally aligned with a company’s long-term financial performance, we decided to take a closer look at its financial metrics to see if they had a role to play in the recent price movement. . Specifically, we have decided to study the ROE of Melexis in this article.

Return on equity or ROE is an important factor for a shareholder to consider because it tells them how efficiently their capital is being reinvested. In simpler terms, it measures a company’s profitability relative to equity.

Discover our latest analysis for Melexis

How is the ROE calculated?

The formula for ROE is:

Return on equity = Net income (from continuing operations) ÷ Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE of Melexis is:

27% = 100 million euros ÷ 371 million euros (based on the last twelve months up to June 2021).

The “return” is the amount earned after tax over the past twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for every € 1 of share capital it has, the company has made € 0.27 in profit.

What does ROE have to do with profit growth?

So far, we’ve learned that ROE measures how efficiently a business generates profits. Based on the portion of its profits that the company chooses to reinvest or “keep”, we are then able to assess a company’s future ability to generate profits. Assuming everything else is equal, companies that have both a higher return on equity and higher profit retention are generally those that have a higher growth rate than companies that do not have the same characteristics.

A side-by-side comparison of Melexis’ 27% profit growth and ROE

First of all, we love that Melexis has an impressive ROE. Second, even compared to the industry average of 12%, the company’s ROE is quite impressive. As might be expected, the 8.1% drop in net profit reported by Melexis does not bode well for us. We believe there might be other factors at play here that are preventing the growth of the business. For example, the company may have a high payout ratio or the company may have misallocated capital, for example.

That being said, we compared Melexis’ performance with that of the industry and we were concerned that although the company reduced its profits, the industry increased its profits at a rate of 13% over the period. during the same period.

ENXTBR: MELE Past Profit Growth Aug 22, 2021

Profit growth is a huge factor in the valuation of stocks. It is important for an investor to know whether the market has factored in the expected growth (or decline) in company earnings. This will help them determine whether the future of the stock looks bright or threatening. If you are wondering about the valuation of Melexis, take a look at this gauge of its price / earnings ratio, compared to its sector.

Is Melexis Using Its Profits Effectively?

Melexis’ decline in profits is not surprising given that the company spends most of its profits on paying dividends, judging by its three-year median payout rate of 86% (or a retention rate of 14 %). The company has only a small reserve of capital to reinvest – a vicious cycle that does not benefit the company in the long run.

In addition, Melexis has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years, which means that the management of the company is committed to paying dividends even if it means little or no growth in earnings. After studying the latest consensus data from analysts, we found that the company is expected to continue to pay out around 72% of its profits over the next three years. However, Melexis’ ROE is expected to increase to 37% although there is no expected change in its payout ratio.

Summary

All in all, it seems that Melexis has positive aspects for its business. However, we are disappointed to see a lack of earnings growth despite a high ROE. Keep in mind that the company reinvests a small portion of its profits, which means investors do not reap the benefits of the high rate of return. However, the latest forecast from industry analysts shows that analysts expect a significant improvement in the company’s earnings growth rate. Are the expectations of these analysts based on general industry expectations or on company fundamentals? Click here to go to our business analyst forecasts page.

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This Simply Wall St article is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts using only unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell shares and does not take into account your goals or your financial situation. Our aim is to bring you long-term, targeted analysis based on fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not take into account the latest announcements from price sensitive companies or qualitative documents. Simply Wall St has no position in the mentioned stocks.
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Farmers fear for their land as hazelnuts spill over Italian hills


Giacomo Andreocci, who runs a small organic farm in the hills north of Rome, said he felt like part of a dying breed – thanks to a chocolate spread loved by millions.

The land around which he operates in the municipality of Vignanello was once planted with a diverse mix of olives, vines and hazelnuts.

But lately, spurred on by Ferrero, the Italian company that makes Nutella, many surrounding valleys have been turned into intensive hazelnut trees, with monoculture plantations replacing grassy pastures, small farms and rows of vines.

“The cultivation of hazelnuts has exploded massively, causing such a rapid change in the ecosystem around us that nature is no longer able to sustain it,” said Andreocci, walking along a track at the farm where he cultivates a range of crops.

“Now, hazelnuts are planted everywhere. . . and they suck all the resources of our land.

Ferrero, the maker of Nutella, aims to increase Italian production of hazelnuts by 30% to 90,000 hectares by 2025 © Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg

The changes that dismay Andreocci encompass a multitude of global themes, from food security and international supply chains to growing environmental concerns.

Ferrero’s decision to relocate some of its nut supplies from Turkey, its main supplier and the world’s largest producer, has responded to calls from manufacturers to shorten supply chains, boost local production and strengthen oversight sustainability and labor rights.

“Consumers in general are increasingly aware of how their product is made and where it comes from,” said Ishan Das of Freeworld Trading, a UK nut trader.

But Ferrero’s change has stirred up environmental concerns and divided local communities between those who welcome the chance to maximize their income versus those who believe the resulting monoculture will create an environmental stalemate.

Hazelnuts have been cultivated around Vignanello since the 1960s. But under a 2018 plan dubbed Progetto Nocciola Italia, or Italian nut project, Ferrero has pledged to increase domestic production by 30% to 90,000. hectares by 2025.

Pressure had grown for the world’s largest buyer of hazelnuts to step up local purchases, with Italian politicians criticizing the private group for its reliance on Turkish supplies. Ferrero also faced competition from the Italian food group Barilla, which launched a spread made from “100% Italian hazelnuts”.

Ferrero said his relocation plan focused on areas where hazelnut orchards could be integrated with other crops, adding that he also wanted to prevent the abandonment of uncultivated farmland.

Tree map showing world production of hazelnuts in 2019

But environmental experts point out that this has led local farmers to plant nut trees where they don’t naturally grow, such as near the sea. Intensive agriculture can also deplete underground aquifers and deprive native species of their habitat. .

“The more we pursue this approach, the more we move towards a point of no return,” said Goffredo Filibeck, environmental researcher at the University of Tuscia in Viterbo.

Environmentalists also claim that monocultures help spread plant diseases and insects, resulting in greater use of pesticides and herbicides. However, the Italian government’s national recovery plan includes an agricultural component of 6.8 billion euros, part of which aims to stimulate organic farming, improve biodiversity and reduce the use of chemicals.

“When there is biodiversity. . . you have a perfectly balanced system, ”said Fernando Testa, an agricultural technician who works in Vignanello.

Ferrero strongly rejects claims that his actions are harming the environment.

“The cultivation of hazelnuts does not destroy the Italian countryside; in fact, the country has a long history of growing hazelnuts and is one of the main producing countries, with Italian hazelnuts being used by companies in several sectors, ”he said in a statement to the Financial Times.

The company said it has brought together agricultural and scientific experts to address sustainability challenges and is promoting best practices through its sustainability program. Many Italian farmers have also praised the income from growing nuts.

“This debate is surreal,” said Lorenzo Bazzana of Coldiretti, the Italian farmers’ union. “Monoculture, whether wheat, corn or grapes, is nothing new. . . It is up to each entrepreneur to make his own choices and is responsible for following good agronomic techniques.

Growers protest against Ferrero in Rome in 2018: Monocultures are believed to spread plant and insect diseases, resulting in more pesticides and herbicides © Stefano Montesi / Corbis / Getty Images

The debate in Italy comes as the global nut supply chain comes under increasing scrutiny. While Ferrero monitors sustainability of its supplies, almond growers in California have faced a backlash from their heavy water use, while cashew supply chains from Africa to South Asia have sparked concerns about work practices.

Growing more nuts in Italy helps Ferrero shorten some supply chains and increase its oversight capacity. It currently buys a third of Turkey’s annual crop, which accounts for 65 to 70 percent of global hazelnut production, as well as sources in Chile and Georgia.

But as the Italian hazelnut industry expands, producers are under additional pressure to maintain high-quality supplies.

“The market must be constantly supplied. He wants the perfect hazelnut and he wants it fast, ”said Marcello Lagrimanti, who started growing hazelnuts in Vignanello in 2017.

While surveying the farms around him, Andreocci said he understood his neighbors’ motivations but feared for what it would mean.

“From an economic point of view, at the moment [this] is the best thing ever. When a big business comes along, the local community focuses on a product that pays off. Jobs and wealth are created, ”he said.

“But what are we leaving to future generations? If we continue to plunder the land as we do, there will only be desert left.

Climate capital

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New Minecraft program teaches college kids about money


Norfolk, Virginia – Parents generally try to limit their children’s time on their iPads and video screens, but new computer programs can change that.

It is called Fintropolis, And it teaches kids how to take financial responsibility.

“The history of the actual formation of Fintropolis is ours in 2019. Make a program mogulIt’s an entrepreneurial pitch competition with 50 students from HBCU, ”said Kyle Kouchinsky, director of TM Studios at Ally Bank.

From the competition, four students interned in the company Allies, Was tasked with finding a way to teach money in college.

“They really found a way to teach education in a fun way that the students really love, and they chose Minecraft as the way to teach the game,” Kouchinsky said. “We all know when we were growing up it was hard to learn these concepts, and how quickly we could learn them would make us better.”

In the world of Fintropolis, characters guide players and students through the program.

Kouchinsky described the scenarios the players see in the game. “I work a lot, I walk around the big cities, I go to the town hall and I talk to the mayor. The mayor explains what taxes, personal taxes and income taxes are, then the players disassemble and then you have to make a specific decision based on it. “

The game runs real-world scenarios like saving, budgeting, building up credit, and even protecting identity. According to Kouchinsky, the lessons learned later in the game are endless, allowing you to buy a house, get a mortgage, or participate in the stock market.

Free access to Fintropolis Educational version Therefore, you can use the platform in schools and summer camps.

Erin Miller of WTKR first reported this story.

New Minecraft program teaches college kids about money New Minecraft program teaches college kids about money


Samsung frontman Jay Y. Lee has been granted parole and will leave prison on Friday

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  • Samsung Electronics vice president to be released from prison on Friday
  • Lee still faces two more hardships
  • Decision on the company’s US $ 17 billion investment awaits

SEOUL, Aug. 9 (Reuters) – Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) Vice President Jay Y. Lee, in jail after convictions for bribery, embezzlement and other charges, has qualified for a parole and should be released from prison this Friday, according to the South Korean justice said the ministry.

“The decision to grant parole to Samsung Electronics’ vice president Jay Y. Lee is the result of a careful examination of various factors such as public opinion and good behavior during detention,” said the ministry in a statement Monday.

Convicted of bribing a friend of former President Park Geun-hye, Lee, 53, served 18 months of a revised 30-month sentence. He first served one year of a five-year sentence starting in August 2017, which was later suspended. This court decision was later overturned and although the sentence was shortened, he was returned to prison in January this year.

Support for his parole, both political and public and from the broader business community, had grown amid concerns that key strategic decisions were not being made at the drug giant. South Korean technology.

While the day-to-day operations of the world’s largest memory chip and smartphone maker have not been affected by its absence, company sources say decisions about major investments and proposed M&A plans shouldn’t be. be taken only by Lee. Read more

In particular, a decision on the location of a US $ 17 billion plant to produce advanced logic chips awaits its return at a time when there is a global shortage of chips and competitors like TSMC (2330.TW) and Intel Corp (INTC.O) are making big investments.

The Federation of Korean Industries, a large business lobby, said in a statement that it welcomed the decision to grant Lee parole.

“If the currently stalled investment clock is not liquidated quickly, we could lag behind global companies such as Intel and TSMC and lose the bread and butter of the Korean economy at all. moment.”

Lee still needs the Justice Minister to approve his return to work, as the law prohibits people with certain convictions from working for companies related to those convictions for five years.

Jay Y. Lee of the Samsung Group arrives for a court hearing to consider a detention warrant application against him at the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul, South Korea, June 8, 2020. REUTERS / Kim Hong- Ji / File Photo

Read more

He is likely to achieve this, according to legal experts, due to circumstances such as the deemed embezzled amount having been repaid.

Samsung Electronics declined to comment.

HIGH SUPPORT

The largest South Korean conglomerates are still owned and controlled by their founding families, and there is little precedent for handing over the reins to outsiders, even when an elderly family member has been jailed.

While polls have shown around 70% high public support for Lee’s parole, many civic groups have resisted, accusing President Moon Jae-In’s administration of hypocrisy after he came to power on a wave of anger over corruption in South Korea’s political and business circles. elite.

“If the administration that received it grants preferential parole to a chaebol owner, we must reconsider the very existence of the Moon Jae-in administration,” said Kim Ju-ho, head of the militant group Solidarité populaire for participatory democracy, using the local term to denote large family businesses.

Lee’s legal problems are not limited to the corruption conviction. He is also on trial charged with accounting fraud and stock price manipulation related to the 2015 merger of two Samsung companies.

A South Korean court also ruled in June that he should stand trial in a separate case in which he was charged with illegally using a sedative. Read more

Lee denied the charges in both cases.

Reporting by Joyce Lee, Heekyong Yang and Sangmi Cha; Written and edited by Edwina Gibbs and Kirsten Donovan

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


Here’s why the CEO of Gillanders Arbuthnot and Company Limited (NSE: GILLANDERS) is unlikely to see a pay rise this year

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Gillanders Arbuthnot and Company Limited (NSE: GILLANDERS) has not performed well recently and CEO Manoj Sodhani will likely need to improve his game. Shareholders will be interested in what the board has to say about the performance turnaround at the next general meeting of the August 13, 2021. It will also be an opportunity for them to challenge the board of directors on the direction of the company and to vote on resolutions such as executive compensation. We present the reasons why we believe that CEO compensation is not in line with company performance.

Check out our latest review for Gillanders Arbuthnot

How does Manoj Sodhani’s total compensation compare to other companies in the industry?

At the time of writing, our data shows Gillanders Arbuthnot and Company Limited has a market capitalization of 1.2 billion yen and reported total annual CEO compensation of 7.3 million yen for the year through March. 2021. We note that this is a decrease of 18% compared to last year. Note that the salary portion, which amounts to 6.65 M, constitutes the majority of the total compensation received by the CEO.

Comparing similar sized companies in the industry with market caps below ₹ 15b, we found that the median total CEO compensation was ₹ 9.3m. This suggests that Gillanders Arbuthnot pays its CEO largely in line with the industry average.

Making up 2021 2020 Proportion (2021)
Salary 6.6m ₹ 7.8m 91%
Other ₹ 631k 1.1m 9%
Total compensation 7.3m 8.9m 100%

At the industry level, approximately 71% of total compensation is salary and 29% is other compensation. Gillanders Arbuthnot pays 91% of the compensation in the form of salary, well above the industry average. If the total compensation is oriented towards the salary, this suggests that the variable part – which is generally linked to performance, is lower.

Compensation of the CEO of NSEI: GILLANDERS August 7, 2021

A look at the growth figures of Gillanders Arbuthnot and Company Limited

Over the past three years, Gillanders Arbuthnot and Company Limited has reduced its earnings per share by 56% per year. Last year, its turnover fell by 35%.

The decline in BPA is a bit worrying. This is made worse by the fact that revenues are actually down compared to last year. So given this relatively weak performance, shareholders probably wouldn’t want high CEO compensation. We don’t have analyst forecasts, but you can better understand its growth by looking at this more detailed historical chart of earnings, income and cash flow.

Was Gillanders Arbuthnot and Company Limited a good investment?

Considering the total shareholder loss of 10% over three years, many shareholders of Gillanders Arbuthnot and Company Limited are probably quite dissatisfied, to say the least. Therefore, it could be upsetting for shareholders if the CEO is paid generously.

In summary…

Given that shareholders haven’t seen any positive return on their investment, let alone the lack of earnings growth, this may suggest that few of them would be willing to give the CEO a raise. At the next AGM, management will have the opportunity to explain how they plan to get the company back on track and address investor concerns.

While CEO compensation is an important factor to consider, there are other areas that investors should be aware of as well. This is why we have dug and identified 2 warning signs for Gillanders Arbuthnot that you need to know before you invest.

Important note: Gillanders Arbuthnot is exciting stock, but we understand that investors may be looking for an unencumbered balance sheet and exceptional returns. You might find something better in this list of interesting companies with high ROE and low leverage.

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This Simply Wall St article is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell shares and does not take into account your goals or your financial situation. Our aim is to bring you long-term, targeted analysis based on fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not take into account the latest announcements from price sensitive companies or qualitative documents. Simply Wall St has no position in the mentioned stocks.
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Insurers concerned over COVID-19 discrimination allegations as workers return to office

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  • Compulsory vaccination seen as a matter of contention
  • Jab’s problems so far represent less than 5% of COVID-related legal claims in the United States
  • Insurers transfer more risk to employers
  • Premiums up to 75% in the last 18 months – brokers

LONDON, Aug.6 (Reuters) – Liability insurers on both sides of the Atlantic are cutting coverage they offer to businesses ahead of an expected wave of discrimination complaints as employers recall staff to their desks after 18 months of work from home induced by the pandemic.

There have been approximately 2,950 COVID-19 lawsuits in the United States since the start of the pandemic, ranging from remote work disputes to workplace safety and discrimination, according to law firm Fisher Phillips.

Now, industry sources say companies are starting to trigger policies that protect them against the cost of defending discrimination lawsuits and compensations, known as professional liability insurance (EPLI).

This makes policyholders nervous.

Adrian Cox, managing director of Beazley (BEZG.L), a major Lloyd’s of London insurer, calls it a “high exposure area”, especially in North America.

“How you don’t discriminate, how you handle vaccination and testing – these are all hard things for employers to overcome,” he told Reuters.

Karen Cargill, a management liability specialist at insurance broker Marsh in London, said a fifth of notifications by her insurer clients of possible EPLI claims in Britain were related to COVID in the past six months .

JOBS FOR JOBS

Insurers, employers and lawyers view mandatory vaccinations as a limited but growing point of contention.

Tech giants like Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O) and Facebook Inc (FB.O) are among the companies that have told all U.S. employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 before entering in offices or on campuses to help protect the health and safety of colleagues. Read more

Vaccination-related claims in the United States represent less than 5% of total COVID-19 combinations – or less than 150 – said Kevin Troutman, partner and co-chair of Fisher Phillips’ health industry team . But it should increase.

“The vaccine warrants conundrum is just the next version of the COVID claims that we’re going to see,” said Kelly Thoerig, who oversees Marsh’s US EPLI practice.

According to preliminary results of an ongoing survey of more than 200 U.S. employers launched on July 19 by Mercer consultants, 14% now require staff to be vaccinated to work at a corporate site.

A number of US employers with such policies have already faced court hearings. Workers at a hospital in Texas said the vaccinations were experimental and the staff were being used as “human guinea pigs.”

The case was dismissed in June and some lawyers say this type of case is unlikely to be viable. Read more

But workers could benefit from protection if they can’t get vaccinated for medical or religious reasons – unless it places “undue hardship” on the company, according to the US Insurance Information Institute. United.

Vulnerable workers could also sue employers because the lack of a mandatory vaccination policy puts them at risk.

However, even if the cases are dismissed, the defense costs would fall on employers – and their insurers.

Labor lawyers in Britain have so far seen fewer discrimination lawsuits.

In one case in Scotland, a leader won unfair dismissal after being dismissed without notice after raising concerns about the lack of personal protective equipment and the risk of passing the coronavirus on to his vulnerable father.

On vaccination, lawyers say ‘no jab, no work’ contracts – such as those offered by London-based Pimlico Plumbers – risk discriminating against younger staff, who may not yet have received her second vaccine, or pregnant women, who may prefer to be vaccinated after childbirth.

“If an employee decided to refuse the vaccine by personal choice … it would be possible to exclude him from the premises for health and safety reasons,” said Jo Keddie, lawyer at Winckworth Sherwood.

“(But) if an employee refuses to be vaccinated because of a health problem or religious belief, they could argue that a mandatory vaccination policy is a disability or religious discrimination.”

FIXED PRICE?

Many insurers are reducing their exposure by adding restrictions on new or renewed policies, forcing employers to bear more of the costs and increasing premium rates, according to Jason Binette, EPLI product manager at AmTrust Exec in Windsor, Connecticut. .

Lloyd’s of London (SOLYD.UL) insurers are among those removing EPLI coverage from the broader insurance packages they offer businesses, in order to keep price control. But specialty insurers in Bermuda, for example, still offer such coverage, brokers said.

Business is booming for those still selling EPLI, and premium rates are rising.

AmTrust has seen a 22% increase in requests for coverage since the start of the pandemic, in part thanks to new small business customers.

“I see companies that have been around for 40 years that haven’t had coverage… and want it now,” Binette said, adding that premium rates had jumped 10% to 20%.

Sam Vardy, managing partner of London-based insurance broker Howden, estimates the rate hike at 25-75% over the past 18 months.

Some employers are simply saying that the price of the EPLI is too high to risk bringing staff back to the offices, according to Julia Graham, CEO of the UK Insurance Buyers Association Airmic.

“They can’t get (insurance) for the price they’re willing to pay,” she said.

Additional reporting by Muvija M. in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


North Carolina Income Tax Reform and Proposals

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Eleven states enacted laws to reduce income tax rates this year, in most cases associated with other structurally sound tax reforms. If North Carolina state senators get what they want, their state will be the twelfth – and possibly the largest yet.

On June 10, 2021, the North Carolina Senate passed Bill 334 with its own amendments. As amended, the bill would phase out corporate income tax, reduce the personal income tax rate, increase the standard deduction and the child deduction, and simplify the tax base for deductibles, among other changes. If passed as is, after the changes are fully implemented, North Carolina’s already competitive ranking on the State business climate index– a measure of state tax structure – would drop from 10th to 5th overall, making it the highest ranked among states that levy personal income tax.

Over the past decade, North Carolina’s tax structure has improved dramatically through a series of tax reforms that began in 2013 and were strengthened in subsequent years. To understand the importance of the reforms envisaged this year, it is important to first place them in their historical context.

North Carolina’s corporate tax rate, once the highest in the Southeast, is now the lowest in the country at 2.5%. The corporate tax base, once riddled with exemptions, is now known to be relatively neutral after the reduction in incentives. Personal income tax has been transformed into a competitive flat-rate tax, while franchise tax liability has been reduced and the sales tax base has been modernized to apply to a more wide range of consumer services. As a result, North Carolina experienced the most dramatic improvement in Index ranking that a state has never experienced, dropping from 41st to 12th in just one year.

In the years that followed, North Carolina experienced a noticeable improvement in its economic growth. Previously, North Carolina lagged behind other states, recording only 1.8% real GDP growth in the seven years leading up to reforms, well below the national average of 5.6 % at the time. In the seven years since the reforms, North Carolina’s GDP grew 9.5%, exceeding the national average of 9%.

If further reforms of corporate income tax, personal income tax and franchise tax are implemented, as foreseen in HB 334, the strong economic growth trajectory of the State is expected to continue.

Most notably, phasing out the already lowest corporate tax in the country, as HB 334 would do, would benefit North Carolina employees and consumers. Dollar for dollar, reducing and ultimately eliminating corporate income tax is one of the most growth-friendly tax policy changes North Carolina policymakers could make, not having equal to the repeal of the state’s aggressive franchise tax (capital stock). While the legal impact of corporate income tax weighs on corporations, the economic impact spills over to workers in the form of lower wages, shareholders who see a lower return on investment, and customers confronted at higher prices. The abolition of corporate tax would have the opposite effect.

Under HB 334, the state’s 2.5% corporate tax rate would be reduced by 0.5 percentage points per year, starting in 2024 and phased out by 2028. Over the course of l Fiscal 2019 North Carolina corporation tax generated $ 836 million, or less than 3%. tax revenue from the general state fund. Compared to most other sources of income, corporate tax is not only more damaging economically, but it is also notoriously volatile, which poses challenges for state forecasters to anticipate the revenues that they will expect. ‘it will generate in a given year. Reducing and ultimately eliminating dependence on such a volatile source of revenue would make government tax revenues more stable over time.

However, some House Republicans have proposed prioritizing franchise tax reform over corporate tax reform, which could prove to be even more beneficial as the tax on franchises. deductibles – discussed below – are imposed regardless of ability to pay, and in particular taxes on investments in the state.

In addition to phasing out corporate income tax, HB 334 would reduce the state’s personal income tax rate from 5.25% to 4.99%, effective January 1, 2022. This change would benefit all taxpayers, since North Carolina is one of 9 states that levy a single-rate personal income tax on income from wages and salaries. A single rate structure promotes neutrality by treating every dollar of taxable income equally, which is favorable over graduated rate structures which reduce the gain of working at the margin.

As of January 1, 2021, North Carolina’s personal income tax rate of 5.25% was lower than the highest rates in all but 13 states that levy personal income tax on income wages. However, with 10 states enacting laws this year to reduce their personal income tax rates, the state tax landscape is quickly becoming more competitive. States that do not respond risk falling behind.

In addition to reducing the personal income tax rate, HB 334 would make both the standard deduction and the deduction for children more generous. The standard deduction would increase from $ 10,750 to $ 12,750 for single filers and from $ 21,500 to $ 25,500 for joint filers, while the deduction for children would increase by $ 500 per eligible child, from $ 2,500 to $ 3,000. In addition to making the deduction more generous for those who already receive it, the bill would expand eligibility for the deduction by increasing the income threshold at which taxpayers can claim it (from $ 60,000 to $ 70,000 for tax filers. singles and $ 120,000 to $ 140,000 for married couples joint filing).

While the reduction in the personal income tax rate alone would benefit taxpayers at all income levels, the proposed increases to the standard deduction and the child deduction would remove the additional income from the base entirely. tax, providing additional relief to taxpayers at the bottom of the income scale. spectrum.

Another notable reform of HB 334 is the simplification of the state franchise tax base. Currently, North Carolina is one of 16 states to impose a franchise tax, also known as the capital tax. Unlike corporate income taxes levied on a corporation’s net income, franchise taxes are levied on a company’s wealth, generally defined as equity (with some adjustments). Capital tax is essentially a tax on investment in a state, which makes it more economically damaging than many other types of tax. By taxing companies on their net worth, capital taxes discourage investment in the state and the accumulation of assets, favoring profit taking over investment and business growth. Franchise taxes can be especially onerous for new businesses, capital-intensive businesses, and struggling businesses, as they are payable even when businesses are showing losses or barely breaking even. As a result, many businesses have to tap into their precious cash flow to pay the tax.

Under current law, North Carolina franchise tax is levied on the greater of three bases: (1) the equity of the business allocated to North Carolina; (2) 55 percent of the appraised value of all government movable and immovable property; or (3) the company’s total investment in tangible assets in the state. Under the three bases, tax is collected at a rate of $ 1.50 for every $ 1,000 of the tax base, with a minimum of $ 200 to ensure payment even by low net worth businesses. HB 334 would reduce complexity by eliminating everything except the first basic option. This change would also reduce the franchise tax liability for some businesses that own a significant amount of real and tangible personal property in North Carolina despite having low equity. A tax note for an earlier version of the bill estimates that this change will reduce the collection of franchise taxes from $ 150 million to $ 170 million per year.

In addition to these structural reforms, HB 334 would appropriate up to $ 1 billion in federal aid under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to provide grants to companies that have suffered economic harm due to of the pandemic. Eligible businesses would be eligible for grants of up to $ 18,750.

HB 334 would also allow intermediary companies to choose to be taxed at the entity level in order to circumvent the $ 10,000 federal and local tax (SALT) deduction limit that was adopted under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017. Although intended to reduce taxes on unincorporated businesses, intermediary businesses were never intended to be taxed at the entity level; by definition, their business income was designed to “flow” into the owners’ personal income tax returns. An entity-level tax would introduce additional complexity and non-neutrality into the tax code, undoing some of the progress that has been made in simplifying the tax code and making it more neutral.

Overall, however, the reforms proposed by HB 334 regarding corporate tax, personal income tax, and franchise tax would further strengthen North Carolina’s position as leader. leader of a sound fiscal policy and as a State whose tax code is one of the most conducive to generating long-term economic growth.


Central Banks Killed Children’s Savings Accounts – Can Bitcoin Resuscitate Them?


When I was a teenager, I remember staring in wonder at the savings rates advertised in my local bank window.

“If only I had a million pounds, I could live on interest my whole life,” I often said to myself. And I was not wrong. With the Bank of England base rate never falling below 5% in the 1990s, any millionaire could park their savings on Main Street and withdraw thrice the UK’s average annual salary in completely free and parachuted money.

Better yet, real interest rates – which are corrected for inflation –climbed by around 4% for most of the decade. Thus, savers were not content to delude themselves with high balances of a depreciating currency; they actually increased their wealth in real terms.

Whether it’s so easy for millionaires to sit down and rake in free money is up for debate for another day.

But, for ordinary people, keeping real interest rates in positive territory is an integral part of the unwritten social contract between governments and their citizens. As long as we are given the opportunity to preserve and grow our economies, we are unlikely to rage against the economic model of the day. Better to leave the government in the driver’s seat and walk the winding path to prosperity, however disappointing how far we eventually have to travel.

Nowhere is this felt more than in the area of ​​children’s savings accounts. We all want our kids to have a nest egg, and until the 2007 global financial crisis, savings accounts were generally considered the best tool for the job.

By putting funds into a child’s name and not allowing them to touch it, you ensured that your child would be better off in the long run, not only because neither you nor they could waste the money, but also because the Interest rates on these long term products are invariably among the best in the market.

It is impossible to overstate the virtuous circle that these savings accounts offer to society.

Taking on financial responsibility at a young age has a profound impact on future quality of life and mental and physical well-being. Just as reckless borrowing on credit cards can ruin lives, prudent savings can transform them for the better – by opening the doors to higher education; career freedom; better work-life balance; private health care and much more. And it all starts in childhood, when you learn – or don’t learn – the consequences of choosing to please yourself versus choosing to be frugal.

All of this makes the global trend towards ultra-accommodative monetary policy – in which central banks speed up money printers while cutting interest rates – truly shattering.

Supporters claim that this two-pronged approach has “saved the global economy” by getting consumers and businesses to invest and spend.

Spend it or lose it

In reality, the measures are not goads but lashes. Real interest rates have collapsed -2.4% for the British and -5.15% for Americans (calculated by deducting the latest CPI inflation figures for the two countries from their respective base interest rates). In this manipulated environment, the opportunity cost of holding cash is so high that individuals and institutions have no choice but to throw their money into risky assets – from bad business loans to loans. absurdly cheap mortgages to over-inflated stock markets – all the while begging for a soft landing.

It’s nothing more than a bet that stability will return and covid-19 will fly away before lasting damage is done by lavishness. If the bet is successful, the central bankers will take all the credit. If it explodes, and if a wave of insolvencies engulf the world, devastating economies, they will reject all responsibility.

Instead, they will be individual citizens – people who research to put their money in a savings account, but were forced not to – which are ultimately left in possession of the bag.

No one sums up the myopia of these policies better than Christine Lagarde, the convicted criminal who is currently President of the European Central Bank. It was his attempt to defend negative real interest rates in April:

“I totally appreciate that people who save are not happy… with the consequences of negative rates, but we have to look at it from a global perspective. We cannot look at a particular depositor or a particular category. We need to look at the whole economy.

In other words, in the world according to Lagarde and most central bankers, savers are an isolated group of citizens – “a particular category” – who have chosen to behave in a certain way and who should face the challenges. consequences of their behavior. (Consequences imposed by diktat and without right of appeal.) These people not, in his view, embody the virtue of financial prudence, a positive trait that has been encouraged, in one form or another, since the dawn of money. They do not act responsibly and should have their wealth forfeited if they persist in their obstructive behavior.

In such a demented worldview, perhaps it’s no surprise that little Timmy and his piggy bank are seen as part of the problem. So British children cannot earn more than 1% on balances over £ 3,000 in an easy-to-access savings account, and no more than 2.5% in Junior ISA who is locked up until they are 18.

American children are beaten even more thanks to higher inflation rates and lower savings rates: 0.55% is the market leader for balances over $ 1,000. (Alliant Credit Union describes this product – in which deposits currently lose 4.85% of their purchasing power each year – as the perfect opportunity to “teach kids about money.” Hit!)

The simple truth is that the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve want it to be physically impossible for parents to do the right thing and put money aside for their children. Every penny set aside in a savings account is a penny that is not used to keep the global economy running happily despite its growing difficulties.

That won’t stop a possible market downturn, of course. When a sick person numbs their pain with alcohol and refuses to see a doctor, their illness does not magically go away. It gets worse. They are deteriorating. The road to recovery becomes more difficult.

And if that doesn’t worry you, maybe this table:

This is what happens when central banks arrogantly assume that pumping money into the economy through financial institutions will create a “trickle down” effect for ordinary citizens. Big surprise: no. Since March 2020, when the Federal Reserve put its stimulus on steroids because of covid-19, the richest 1% of Americans have added $ 10 billion to their net worth (green line). Over the same period, the poorest 50% earned only $ 700 billion (pink line). Unfathomable sums have been invested in risky assets inaccessible to most citizens, deepening inequalities and fueling dangerous bubbles in all sectors of the economy. Simple leftovers end up in the pockets of those in need.

The final insult? Earlier this month, six of the largest U.S. banks posted combined profits of $ 42 billion for the second quarter of 2021. That’s 462 million in profits every day. These are the same banks that say they can’t afford to pay you or your children real positive interest.

An alternative path?

At the start of this article, I said that citizens are “unlikely to rage against the economic model of the day” as long as they are “given the ability to preserve and grow their savings ”.

Obviously, Western governments are not giving us this capability.

In the title of this article, I hinted that bitcoin – the decentralized cryptocurrency launched in 2009 in response to central bank excesses during the global financial crisis – might offer a solution. It will surprise some readers that I waited until the end of my article to mention bitcoin again. But that’s because understanding the problem is much more important than subscribing to a single solution.

Bitcoin, in my biased opinion, is the best chance society has of creating a stable and incorruptible currency for the citizens of the world: it is completely free from central bank manipulation; it is deflationary because of its fixed supply, and therefore does not lose purchasing power or need interest rates; and it’s accessible to anyone with a cell phone, whether they’re a millionaire in West London or a farmer in Equatorial Guinea.

Once you understand how and why central banks impoverish your children, it doesn’t take long to start looking for ways to preserve your wealth. As Lagarde herself says: “If there is an escape, that escape will be used.”

I’ll leave it to you to determine if bitcoin is the most attractive escape hatch.

Financial Disclosure: The author has owned bitcoin since 2013.



Why the United States cannot shirk its moral responsibility by leaving Afghanistan


Through Michael blake, Washington University

The majority of the remaining US troops in Afghanistan have recently been withdrawn, with the rest due to leave by the end of August 2021. This withdrawal marks the end of nearly 20 years of US military presence in Afghanistan.

Support for the withdrawal is widespread in the United States, with the majority of Americans – whatever his political affiliation – in favor of the end of American military operations in Afghanistan. The war has been and will continue to be Dear, both in financial terms and in terms of American life.

But the current regime in Afghanistan is unstable, and some experts believe it could collapse during this year. If this were the case, the resulting lack of power would likely be filled by the Taliban, whose human rights history abuses include violence against women and children.

There are significant moral costs associated with staying or withdrawing from Afghanistan. Like a political philosopher whose work focuses on international affairs, I tried to understand how ethical reasoning could be applied to such cases.

The first and most important ethical question might be: is the United States justified in withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan?

A second question could be how the moral wrongs that may emerge in Afghanistan should weigh on the American conscience. Should American political leaders view these wrongs as, in some way, their responsibility?

More broadly, is it sometimes possible that by doing the best we can, we are nevertheless guilty of doing something morally wrong?

Power and moral tragedy

Many philosophers hated the idea that someone could make the best choice available and still be considered to have done moral wrong. Immanuel Kant, on the one hand, believed that this view was fundamentally in conflict with the goals of morality – which is to tell people what to do.

If a moral theory told us that sometimes there is no option available to us that does not involve doing evil, then that theory would sometimes imply that even a perfect moral agent might end up becoming A criminal.

This kind of theory would mean that there might be situations in which we could not avoid doing wrong. If we were unlucky enough to find ourselves in these situations, we would be responsible for wrongdoing because of this bad luck. Kant thought this kind of “moral luckWas simply implausible. For Kant, if we do the best we can, we can consider ourselves to have avoided hurt.

Other philosophers, however, have been more willing to consider the possibility of moral tragedy, which is understood as a state of affairs in which all the options available to us involve serious moral wrongs.

Michel Walzer, political philosopher at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, argues that those who wield power over others can often find themselves unable to do good to some without doing serious harm to others. Instead of believing that the good they do outweighs the evil, Walzer argues, individuals should accept that evil continues to be real evil.

For example, the politician who has to make a deal with a corrupt colleague to help protect vulnerable children is doing evil in the name of greater good. This individual does his best but nonetheless defiles his soul by doing so.

From this point of view, politicians who do wrong by trying to do what is right can do the best thing, but they should also be understood as having done wrong and defiled their conscience by doing so. For Walzer, it is difficult for a person to be both good at politics and really good.

Afghanistan and moral responsibility

If Walzer is right about politicians, his analysis could also help understand the morality of international relations – and the morality of withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Taken in this context, the benefits of withdrawal may be enough to do the right thing. However, the rights violations that are likely to follow in the aftermath of this withdrawal are genuinely reprehensible, and they are rightly blamed on the United States. Women and girls in Afghanistan are likely to face human rights violations, and the people of Afghanistan are likely to face significant violence as the Taliban seek to reassert their power. This should be of concern to politicians who defend withdrawal, and the voters who gave power to these politicians.

This view of international politics is echoed in the advice of former Secretary of State Colin Powell to then-President George W. Bush on the invasion of Iraq – codified as “Pottery barn ruler”After the store’s perceived policy: if you break it, you bought it. That is: if you make yourself rule over others, you are responsible for them, and what happens to them should be on your conscience.

There are at least two things that could follow this moral view. The first is that while withdrawal implies the appropriation of certain moral wrongs, the United States has an obligation to ensure that that wrong is minimized.

It could therefore acquire, for example, the obligation to provide safe haven to persons who have borne particular risks on behalf of the United States, such as the translators who worked on military bases on Afghan territory and were targeted by the Taliban for their work.

The second is, more broadly, that the United States ensure that it does not in the future find itself in such morally tragic situations. If Walzer’s analysis is correct, it might be impossible to avoid situations in which the United States is responsible for serious moral wrong. Having power over others always carries a risk of moral bad luck, and the United States has exceptional power in the global community.

But one might at least expect that the United States, in future conflicts, would take into account what the philosopher Brian Orend calls justice after war and enter into such conflicts only with some clarity on how and when to end them well.

The article has been updated to clarify that Michael Walzer is a researcher at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

Michael blake, professor of philosophy, public policies and governance, Washington University

This article is republished from The conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read it original article.

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