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Gio Simeones wants to avoid nepotism in Argentina

first_imgGio Simeone is still going to work hard in order to become an Atletico Madrid player someday, but he wants to avoid nepotism in Argentina.The sentiment that awakens Atletico Madrid in some players is simply inevitable sometimes, Argentina international Gio Simeone is the best example of this because he doesn’t care that his father doesn’t want to coach him there for now.Any professional football player who has the characteristic fighting spirit that any Atletico Madrid player historically has, would have the dream of someday playing for the Colchoneros regardless of the circumstances.The oldest of Diego Simeone’s sons heard what his father had to say about the possibility of coaching him someday in the Spanish club, but he doesn’t seem to care about the response.Giovanni Simeone has the dream of playing for Atletico Madrid in the future because he is a true fan of the institution, he doesn’t care if his father is still the manager of the squad when he reaches a level that is good enough for the club to pursue him.The trades that this striker has are very similar to what the club has always wanted in their best players, which makes the possibility even greater for him in the near future.All Gio has to do is keep working hard, and hope that he can get that call soon.”ME ENCANTARÍA VER A MI PAPÁ ACÁ””SIEMPRE ME DICE QUE NO ES EL MOMENTO”#CentralFOX | Giovanni Simeone opinó sobre la situación de su padre como posible entrenador de la Selección Argentina. pic.twitter.com/90fIWMnYzm— FOX Sports Argentina (@FOXSportsArg) October 14, 2018The eldest of Simeone’s kids granted an interview with Fox Sports, where he discussed his father again and the upcoming friendly match between Argentina and Brazil on Tuesday.“Atletico Madrid is something that has been practically taught to us, it’s inside me and my dad, but I never had the chance of being coached by him.”“My old man has never talked to me about this possibility. The fact that people keep talking about this means that I’m still growing.”“Playing for Atletico Madrid someday would be truly amazing for me, an incredible achievement. As an Argentina player, I would love to see my dad as the manager here, but he keeps saying that it’s not the right time yet.”Gerard Pique, Neymar, BarcelonaLa Liga Betting: Match-day 4 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Despite it being very early into La Liga season, both Barcelona and Real Madrid have had unprecedented starts to their campaigns. With this in…“Every single person from Argentina would like having him here because he is a great manager, one of the best in the world,” said Gio during the interview.Gran partido de todo el equipo! #VamosArgentina 🇦🇷👊🏼⚽️ pic.twitter.com/gAmMBkBE4Z— Giovanni Simeone (@simeonegiovanni) October 11, 2018Giovanni is getting ready to represent his country on his very first Classic match between Argentina and Brazil, he didn’t play much against Saudi Arabia last week but he could get more minutes for this match and he hopes he can live up to the family name.Getting a great participation in matches like this one, are what can assure him a permanent spot in the squad, something that he aims for before his father gets the job as the manager.Gio Simeone is very aware of nepotism, which is something that both he and his father are always trying to avoid.“If I keep getting called-up and I keep having minutes with this group, the possibility of us crossing paths here becomes greater. Things would be obviously different if I was never called-up and he calls me right after he gets the job,” he added.“What I aim for is to win a spot here before he gets the position, so I’m fighting against the clock. I’ve been preparing for this possibility this year, but I honestly didn’t expect a call-up this soon.”“My grandfather gave me a very useful advice. He told me that one minute in the national team is the equivalent of sixty minutes in a club. This means that I will give my very best in every minute I get a chance to play for Argentina.”“I’ve been in Europe for only two years, so if I already had this chance, is because I can still give a lot more than even I expected,” he concluded.Preparando el partido de mañana 💪🏼⚽️🇦🇷 #VamosArgentina pic.twitter.com/t8qKVDtbUC— Giovanni Simeone (@simeonegiovanni) October 10, 2018How well do you think Giovanni Simeone would do with his father as the manager? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.last_img read more

Ancelotti on PSG and Group C standings

first_imgCarlo Ancelotti shared his thoughts about the 1-1 draw with Paris Saint-Germain and the group standings after going top of the table.Napoli secured a draw thanks to Lorenzo Insigne who converted from the spot to cancel Juan Bernat’s first-half goal.“I tried to modify the approach, which was a little too prudent in the first half and we allowed them to control the tempo too much. We put more pressure on their midfielders and things went better,” he told Football Italia.“We played at a very high level for 20 minutes, then paid for the effort later on, as we tried to control at the end rather than attack.”Sacchi explains Sarri, Conte, and Ancelotti Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Arrigo Sacchi talked about how Sarri has a tougher time at Juventus than Conte at Inter; while Ancelotti’s “blood is boiling” at Napoli.Arrigo Sacchi…Napoli were held 2-2 at Parc des Princes too, but Liverpool lost 2-0 at Red Star Belgrade today.That means the Italians are ahead of Liverpool on their head-to-head record, with six points each, Paris Saint-Germain are on five and Red Star four.“The two draws with Paris Saint-Germain are positive, because we have a slight advantage if we do finish level with them. To be honest, we didn’t expect Liverpool to lose in Belgrade today, so now Red Star are getting involved too and the group cannot be more balanced.“It was really unexpected, especially for the result that saw them lose 6-1 in Paris. It’ll be tight to the end.”last_img read more

Letter to the Editor

first_img Related Items:damian wilson, leadership, tci patriots Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 28 Jan 2016LIFE – Leadership, Integrity, Fraternity, and EducationHOPE – Help Our People ExcelPOWER – Possessing Our Wealth, Economy and ResourcesWhat is leadership?What is leadership?The above question sounds simple enough, and when answering many will tell you that leadership is simply being in charge or in command, being the one to make the decisions. While this is absolutely true, we must understand that leadership is so much more than that. While the word ‘leadership’ holds simple conations for most, it means much more than simply being in charge or making decisions. We must understand that there are effective leaders and there are those in a position of leadership; they are not necessarily the same thing. You see, the difference here is position versus purpose. What do I mean by this?Often times many persons are given a position where they are in charge of others. However, there hearts have no desire for progress or change, so they keep doing the same things that have always been done. It’s not that they’re not capable but they have not developed a desire for purpose in that role. They may have a lot going on but their actions doesn’t give inspiration to those around them, and therefore, they struggle to gain momentum in their leadership.What we must understand is that leadership isn’t just about the leader, but also about the people they lead. As a leader you will develop a purpose for your leadership by having a heart for the people that you lead. Real effective leadership isn’t about getting people to confirm to your way but about transforming people’s faith in their own abilities through your vision. Successful people identify what they do well; but successful leaders identify what others do well.Aside from the above, I firmly believe that there are a few more key characteristics that any leader should have. Some of these key characteristics are:1. Innovation: Leadership is about introducing something new or different that hasn’t been seen before or taking something already existing or established and transforming it into something new or different. Good leadership is creative and transformative. Innovation in leadership is a process which takes time.2. Decisiveness: A leader must not be afraid to make decisions. Sometimes those decisions will be very hard choices but a leader must have the ability to make good decisions quickly and effectively. Often times, those closest to you may not agree with your choice but being decisive may be the difference between life and death.3. Problem Solving: A leader must have the ability to solve a problem, whether that problem is in the conception of ideas, in the operation of the organization or even with individuals. They must try to see clearly and be objective. When problems are ignored or not resolve they can grow and become even more dangerous later on.4. Compassion: A good leader not only cares about achieving their vision but is also empathetic to the needs and concerns of others, especially of those that follow you. A simple compassionate act can motivate even the most disheartened follower to continue on or persuade the hardest enemy to see differently. Leaders must show that they care!As you may see, these few characteristics are not actually about the leader but how the leader related to others in their role as leader. Successful people position themselves well; successful leaders position others well. Not through favouritism or elitism but through vision. Because the greatest legacy of any leadership is producing more leaders not devoted followers.END.Damian WilsonTCI Patriot National Leadership Conference announced, Youth to get training Recommended for you Natl Leadership Conference begins today; Registration still on Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Vote Your Voice says they did not collect any forms during drivelast_img read more

Councilmember Chris Wards budget priorities for District 3 and the City of

first_img Posted: April 30, 2018 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSan Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has released his proposed budget for the 2019 fiscal year. The budgetary process will begin in just a couple days.Councilmember Chris Ward was in studio to outline some of his priorities for the City of San Diego and for District 3. KUSI Newsroom, Carlos Amezcua, April 30, 2018 KUSI Newsroom, Carlos Amezcua Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News Tags: Chris Ward FacebookTwitter Councilmember Chris Ward’s budget priorities for District 3 and the City of San Diegolast_img read more

This black hole spits out jet beams like a weird spinning top

first_img Tags “This is one of the most extraordinary black hole systems I’ve ever come across,” explained Associate Professor James Miller-Jones, lead author of a study recently published in Nature.”Like many black holes, it’s feeding on a nearby star, pulling gas away from the star and forming a disk of material that encircles the black hole and spirals towards it under gravity.”What’s different in V404 Cygni is that we think the disk of material and the black hole are misaligned.”This appears to be causing the inner part of the disk to wobble like a spinning top and fire jets out in different directions as it changes orientation.” Think of the black hole in V404 Cygni as a gigantic, light consuming Beyblade that’s starting to run out of juice. It’s no longer spinning straight, it’s wobbling all over the place.You can read more about the ground breaking discovery here, at ICRAR’s official website. Post a comment 14 genius Stephen Hawking quotes that will make you question your place in the universe (pictures) Trippy. ICRAR The year 2019 has been a big one for black holes. To begin with, we saw one for the first time. We also discovered 83 of them at the edge of our universe. No big deal.Now recent research is uncovering more about the insanely dense, spacetime bending bad boys of the universe. Get this: while most black holes are thought to “spin” (thanks to the space dust and gas in orbital motion around the black hole) scientists have discovered a black hole that does things a little differently.V404 Cygni is a binary system in the constellation of Cygnus. At its center is a black hole that is currently in the process of absorbing a low mass nearby star. Astronomers from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research in Perth, Western Australia noticed that the black hole in V404 Cygni was spitting out bright jet beams of matter into space. That’s relatively normal, what wasn’t normal was the direction the matter was being sprayed. As a result of the way black holes normally spin, the matter tends to spray out in the same direction. This time it was being sprayed out at different angles. The jets appear to be rapidly rotating.You can see this visualized in the below animation. The conclusion: this black hole is spinning a little differently than the rest. 0 Share your voice 14 Photos Sci-Techlast_img read more

Brad Pitt responds to dating Jennifer Aniston after Angelina Jolie

first_imgBrad Pitt and Jennifer AnistonGetty ImagesBrad Pitt attended Jennifer Aniston’s 50th birthday party and made everyone think that after parting ways with Angelina Jolie, the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star is back with his first wife. Brad Pitt was recently asked to comment on his alleged relationship with Jennifer Aniston and his cryptic response has left everyone to ask more questions.Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston have called off their marriage 14 years ago, but there are hundreds and thousands of fans who are still rooting for them to get back together. When Angelina Jolie announced her separation from Brad Pitt in September 2016, and Jennifer Aniston announced her divorce with Justin Theroux in February 2017, fans assumed that Brad and Jennifer will reconcile their differences.Earlier this year, Jennifer Aniston celebrated her 50th birthday with her close family and friends. To grace the event, Brad Pitt decided to attend it. Following which, a lot has been said and published about their alleged romance. There were bogus claims that Brad and Jennifer are going to get married in Paris or Brad bought a $56 million mansion house as a gift for Jennifer. However, for the very first time, Brad has directly responded to these rumors.As per Entertainment Tonight, the 55-year-old Brad Pitt was spotted walking to his car in Los Angeles and was caught a little off guard when a paparazzi asked him to comment on his alleged relationship with Jennifer Aniston. The cameraman inquired, “I gotta ask you, everyone wants to understand, are you and Jen getting back?” Jennifer Aniston forgives Brad Pitt for treating her badly and leaving her for Angelina JolieGetty ImagesBrad Pitt casually laughed off the question and responded simply, “Oh, my God.” He then said “All right, have a good one,” to the cameraman before driving off in his SUV car.Brad Pitt’s response has made many to question what exactly is going on between these two. The actor did laugh at the question but does it mean that he is actually back together with Jennifer Aniston but is not disclosing anything since his divorce is not yet finalized with Angelina Jolie?Well, their representatives have stated in the past that there is nothing going on between Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. Brad did attend Jen’s 50th birthday party but it was a one-time thing and does not indicate that they are going to get back together in a romantic way.last_img read more

UN rights chief slams Bangladesh drug war

first_imgUN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra`ad Al HusseinThe UN rights chief on Wednesday condemned the recent killing of more than 100 alleged drug dealers in Bangladesh, insisting that extra-judicial killings cannot be justified in the fight against narcotics.Some 130 people have reportedly been shot dead by Bangladeshi security forces since 15 May and another 15,000 arrested in the Philippines-style crackdown aimed to halt the spread of methamphetamine and other illegal drugs.”I am gravely concerned that such a large number of people have been killed,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in a statement.He also voiced concern about government reaction, which “has been to assure the public that none of these individuals were ‘innocent’.”Such statements are dangerous and indicative of a total disregard for the rule of law,” he said.”People do not lose their human rights because they use or sell drugs.”Bangladesh has been struggling to contain a surging drug trade.Police have vowed to stamp out “yaba”, a very popular street pill made of caffeine and methamphetamine.Authorities last year seized a record 40 million yaba tablets, but said an estimated 250-300 million others entered the market, due in part to large quantities coming across the border from major producer Myanmar.Nine million yaba tablets were seized in less than three months earlier this year, including nearly two million in a single haul.The rights commissioner stressed that “the presumption of innocence and the right to due process must be at the forefront of any efforts to tackle crime.””Given the large number of people arrested, there is a high likelihood that many people may have been arbitrarily detained, without due regard for their rights.”Urging Bangladesh to investigate reports of extra-judicial killings and hold the perpetrators to account, he also voiced concern that already vulnerable slum communities were particular targets and that the crackdown appeared to be hampering drug users from accessing health services.The alleged dealers killed in Bangladesh mainly died in what authorities described as shootouts, but parallels have been drawn to the Philippines where police have been accused of executing suspects.”There is no doubt that the trafficking and sale of illegal narcotics leads to tremendous suffering,” the rights chief added.”But extra-judicial killings, arbitrary arrests and the stigmatisation of people who use drugs cannot be the answer.”last_img

Fresh DUCSU polls not possible DU VC

first_imgvice-chancellor AkhtaruzzamanDhaka University vice-chancellor Akhtaruzzaman on Wednesday said the demand of students to go for fresh polls to Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (DUCSU) is not possible as there is no rule to this end, reports UNB.”Students came to my office with their demand. I listened to it But it’s not possible to meet their demand as there’s no rule or system in university regulations for fresh polls,” he said.The DU vice-chancellor was responding to queries from reporters in front of his office.On the election day, instant actions were taken in case of any irregularity, he said referring to the Kuwait Maitree Hall incident where stamped ballot papers were recovered before the voting started on 11 March.Earlier in the day, newly elected DUCSU vice president Nurul Haq Nur demanded fresh election by 31 March.Besides, members of various panels, who boycotted Monday’s DUCSU elections, have given the authorities three days to announce fresh polls schedule and submitted a memorandum to the VC office in this regard.last_img read more

Surge in rapes in Khulna as 132 fall victim in 2 years

first_imgProthom Alo illustrationAs rape has become a common crime in the country, 132 women and children have fallen victim to rapists in Khulna district over the last two years, reports news agency UNB.Police say 75 of the incidents were reported in the city alone and the rest from different upazilas between May 2017 and April this year.The victims include school children.According to the district’s Law-and-order Committee report, charges have been pressed in court in most of the cases.It also highlighted another disturbing development. As many as 50 lawsuits have been filed under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act in the district in the last three months alone.The latest victim was a 10th grader. She was gang-raped by three stalkers on 29 January. Police have arrested three suspects.Khulna Mahila Parishad secretary Rasu Akhter blamed the rapes on moral degradation, pointing out to such incidents being reported from madrasas and temples.However, Anisur Rahman, additional superintendent of Khulna Metropolitan Police, claimed that the rate of rape incidents is declining in the district.Public prosecutor Jesmin Parveen of Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal-2 said there are three courts in the district to deal with torture and rape-related incidents.Currently, the tribunals are handling about 3,000 cases. About eight to 10 cases get verdict on a regular basis.The pace of rape case settlement is good, she said.last_img read more

Music for the soul

first_imgThe national Capital hosted a musical evening in association with Unicef to raise funds for Nepal quake victims on May 24.Bands like Beatitudes, Ghetto Children, Noida School of Rock, Techtronics, Project Rigden and others performed at the event which was held at Dzukou Tribal Kitchen, Hauz Khas Village.“Nepal has always been close to my heart and many other Nepalese like me. The only purpose of this charity is to help rebuild Nepal and support its people, who need more help with each passing day,” said event organiser Shweta Pradhan, a Nepali migrant, who now lives in India, to media persons. Pradhan, like other Nepalese living in India, was moved by the pain and suffering of her people after multiple tremors and aftershocks shook the Himalayan nation, killing over 8,000 people and leaving over 10,000 injured. The amount collected was sent to the UNICEF.last_img read more

This Is the Year of the Machine Learning Revolution

first_img Register Now » In San Francisco, self-driving cars roaming around and people having conversations with Siri have become common sights. Just yesterday, Alexa told me that the meaning of life is 42. As machines become even more woven into our daily lives, we’re witness to a new revolution that’s taking over the world.The AI revolution has clearly arrived, and it’s here to stay. Just like past revolutions, the entrepreneurs who go all in will become tomorrow’s giants. Henry Ford of the Industrial Revolution and Jeff Bezos of the Internet Revolution grew their companies because they envisioned a future that was very different from their present. They lived in the future.Related: Has Artificial Intelligence Arrived At The Sales Function Yet?Machine learning became mainstream in 2016. For the first time in history, machine learning is not only available to big companies like Google, Amazon or Apple. Startups have started building products and services using machine learning.So, what is machine learning? Machine learning is learning from data. To predict the future, we look at the data we have about the past. Statistics and predictive analysis have been around for a long time. What’s different today is that we now have the tools to use them for practically everything. For example, we have new specialized machine learning programming languages that can enable a junior programmer to build amazing things. We can now easily use machine learning for things like speech and facial recognition, language translation, data classification and object detection. Many tasks that previously could only be done manually, can be automated today using machine learning.  When Bezos started Amazon in 1994, he wasn’t an expert on everything internet. He left a well-paying job on Wall Street, and he bet on the internet — what he considered to be the future. He was a businessman, not a technical person. However, he took great efforts to understand the internet, and he used his business knowledge to find ways to take advantage of it.Related: Tech Moguls Such as Musk and Bezos Declare Era of Artificial IntelligenceIn the same way, you don’t need to be a computer science expert to build your own machine learning startup. In fact, it is probably better to be knowledgeable in another industry and then solve problems in your industry by utilizing machine learning. You are more likely to be very familiar with the biggest problems in your industry that could benefit from machine learning in a major way.Startups building on machine learning.Companies are taking advantage of machine learning to create more powerful experiences. There are hundreds of them but let’s take a look at some concrete examples.Forkable uses machine learning to figure out what you want for lunch before you know it — automatically delivers it.Dark Trace listens to your company’s network traffic and uses machine learning to detect emergent security threats.  Nova uses machine learning to write personalized sales emails. It knows which emails performed better and suggests changes to your sales emails.Blue River Technology creates equipment for farmers that uses machine learning and computer vision to diagnose and treat each plant individually.  Sift detects online fraud and prevents chargebacks using machine learning.Machine learning as a competitive advantage.Machine learning can also be a competitive advantage for your company. Let me give you an example from my own company. We are in the online forms industry. Our industry is in deep trouble with phishers. These criminals attempt to use our product to create phishing forms to trick people into entering their credentials for other websites. Our machine learning-based tools allow us to detect who should be banned and who should have access to our product. As a result, we‘re able to continue to serve our legitimate users while our competitors embarrassingly block their websites to entire countries. Using machine learning to detect possible phishing activity allows us to continue to provide our free service all over the world, while keeping the bad guys out.Another area where we use machine learning is marketing. We classify our users by looking at individual words and phrases used on their forms. Using this classification process, our marketing team sends customized email campaigns to different segments of users who haven’t personally provided us with demographic information. Related: 4 AI Technologies Impacting Business Operations Right NowThe revolution.Look carefully at each thing that is currently being done manually in your industry. Every one of those tasks will be done tomorrow using machines. Entrepreneurs who disrupt their industries with machine learning will be the big winners of tomorrow. The machine learning revolution is here to stay. Join the revolution. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. January 12, 2017 4 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globallast_img read more

Gritters out in force in anticipation of White Christmas as snow predicted

first_imgGet the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailThe ‘white Christmas’ we’ve been dreaming of could be coming early as weather forecasters predict snow for the region tomorrow morning. Earlier today the Met Office issued a Yellow weather warning for ice between 5pm tonight at 10am tomorrow. We haven’t seen any snowfall here in Stoke-on-Trent yet, but that hasn’t stopped people getting excited – and council gritters coming out in force – ready for the anticipated snowfall tomorrow. Read MoreStoke-on-Trent kebab shops given a food hygiene rating in the last six months The latest forecast for North Staffordshire tonight, courtesy of the Met Office, said: “Some wintry showers will move in from the northwest. Under the clear skies a widespread frost will develop, with icy patches forming where any showers have fallen.” Forecasters predict temperatures will reach a minimum of -3 °C, so you’ll want to cuddle that hot water bottle extra tight tonight. Speaking about the weather on Saturday, a Met Office statement said: “It will be cold, bright and breezy with some showers, mainly in the north and east. These will fall as sleet or snow on high ground, but mainly as rain at lower levels. The maximum temperature will be 7 °C.” The first snowfall in our region is likely to hit Flash, which is the highest village in the Peak District. Earlier this week there was also a Yellow weather warning for wind. So whatever happens, it’s going to clearly be pretty chilly. Drivers have also been warned to take extra care. Read MoreTraffic chaos across city as A500 Northbound reopens after almost 12 hours Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet support member for highways and transport Helen Fisher said: “We’re now experiencing a cold snap with the potential of some sleet or snow over the weekend so would urge people to take extra care on the roads. “While conditions shouldn’t be too treacherous, people need to be aware that they may be more difficult at times and particularly in the north of the county. “Our gritting teams will be heading out later this evening across the Staffordshire road network. We’d just like to remind people that even on gritted roads they should drive more slowly.” Read More29-year-old arrested after armed police called to city street Stoke-on-Trent City Council also confirmed its gritters would be out from 6pm this evening. A spokesman added: “Temperatures are dipping below zero in the early hours of tomorrow morning with ice potentially forming.”last_img read more

Rep Brann votes to lower car insurance rates for Michigan drivers

first_img Categories: Brann News 09May Rep. Brann votes to lower car insurance rates for Michigan drivers State Rep. Tommy Brann today voted to approve a landmark plan to fix Michigan’s broken car insurance system and reduce rates for drivers all across the state.Brann said the plan offers drivers personal injury coverage options, reins in medical costs and fights fraud – reforms designed to end Michigan’s long-standing tenure as the state with the highest car insurance rates in the nation.Michigan is the only state to mandate unlimited lifetime health care coverage through car insurance. The plan approved today allows people currently using the coverage to keep it, and those who want it in the future to continue buying it – while providing more affordable options.“This is one of the issues I hear about most from people in our community,” Brann, of Wyoming, said after the vote. “I’m glad we were able to deliver a solution that lowers rates. I fought hard to keep the option to continue purchasing coverage that provides unlimited lifetime health care if they are injured in a car crash. This was not in the Senate bill and is important to me. This is the option my wife and I will be selecting – and I hope others will seriously consider it as well – but people deserve to weigh their options.”The plan:Guarantees lower personal injury protection rates for all Michigan drivers;Gives drivers a choice on car insurance policies;Stops potential price gouging on medical services for car accident victims;Combats fraudulent claims to help lower costs.The sweeping legislation now advances to the Senate for consideration.###last_img read more

I have a secret to share For the last 43 years I

first_imgI have a secret to share. For the last 43 years, I have been an educator—first traveling all over the world conducting training classes and now through the written word. You’ve probably heard the adage: when the student is ready to learn, the teacher shall appear. The counterpoint to that line of thinking is that you can teach all day long, but it makes little difference if the other person does not want to learn. I agree for the most part, but that doesn’t mean educators should sit around waiting for a magic teaching moment. A good educator knows it is his job to grab people’s attention. So here I sit at my computer, trying to find the magic words to motivate our readers to explore a subject that might be a little scary, but it’s also the best avenue I know of to prevent our life savings from being wiped out in either a high inflationary or a deflationary market. OK, here goes: regular people like you and me should consider internationalizing some of our assets. I hope folks don’t stop reading at the last sentence, thinking this does not apply to them. There is something about the subject of internationalization that turns off a lot of people. I hear comments like: “I’m not leaving this country. My family is here.” Or “That’s for ultra-rich people, drug dealers, and Tina Turner.” Or the one I find really frightening, “I’m keeping my money right here where it is safe and protected by the government.”The Most Powerful Thug I have quizzed many investors who have internationalized a portion of their financial assets, and there is one common line of thought among them. As a government grows, it needs to confiscate a larger portion of private wealth to support its bureaucracies. It also needs to reallocate private wealth to bribe voters and stay in power. It finds ways to “enhance revenue,” as opposed to shrinking its bloated bureaucracy. Hell, our government probably spends a few million tax dollars on a politically connected public relations firm to come up with euphemistic terms like that. Governments are parasites; they must siphon wealth from the producers to survive. For a government to siphon off wealth efficiently, it must know where the wealth is, set up ways to take it, and have a strong enough police force to make sure citizens comply. The intention is to make it easier to pay up than go to jail. Even people with modest nest eggs are constantly looking for ways to legally protect their wealth. Lawyers love it, since it means citizens need a variety of trusts and complicated legal avenues for minimizing taxes. That’s part of the game. As governments press on, the stakes escalate, taxes increase, and we have to escalate our efforts to protect ourselves. Look to New Jersey or France—which recently passed “millionaire taxes” to facilitate going after the super-wealthy. A year later both governments found that the tax revenue they received from the ultra-wealthy had dropped even though they taxed at a much higher percentage of their earnings. What happened? The wealthy moved and took their money with them. Frankly, I’m amazed that the political class seemed so surprised. Instead of more tax dollars coming in, they ended up with fewer. The next move—look for additional ways to “enhance revenue.”Thugs Steal Land Have you heard of the term “eminent domain?” It means that the government has the legal right to confiscate your property for public use. For generations, it meant that if the government was building an airport or school, it could force a property owner to sell needed land to the government. Here in the United States, the Fifth Amendment limits the federal government’s ability to exercise that right. Americans put up with eminent domain because most of us have never had to deal with it. In 2005, the Supreme Court vastly expanded when eminent domain could be used. The Kelo decision allowed a Connecticut city to take private property and transfer it to another private owner as part of the city’s comprehensive economic redevelopment plan. In short, the definition of “public use” is running wild. Just look to the suburban towns in Cook County, Illinois, where private citizens were forced to sell their old Archie Bunker-type houses to the government. Then the government re-sold them to a politically connected developer who built a large condominium complex. Why did they do that? If 20 houses are torn down and 100 condominiums are built in their place, the government increases its tax base and increases “revenue enhancement” by 400% or more. Is this really a public use, or government use?Thugs Steal Gold Additionally, the government has targeted specific assets to confiscate. President Roosevelt confiscated gold by executive order in 1933. When he issued the order, gold was $20/oz. in round numbers. He made it a criminal offense to own gold to “encourage” citizens to comply with the law and redeem their gold for paper money. The price of gold from the Treasury was then raised to $35/oz. Those people holding fresh cash from the government took a huge hit to their wealth virtually overnight. In effect, the US government legally stole wealth from the private sector with the stroke of Roosevelt’s pen. It would be foolhardy to think something like that couldn’t happen again. A recent Casey Research special report on Obamacare makes it clear that seniors may be forced to go offshore for health care that we may be denied in the US. Should my wife Jo or I need a hip replacement or a heart procedure, I don’t want any delays because I have to find a way to move money offshore to pay for the care. Better safe than sorry. We can protect our nest egg by making it more difficult for a confiscatory government to steal it. The government makes more rules, and prudent investors have to look for ways to legally work around them and protect themselves. Offshore investing offers one of the best means to do just that. Of course, the US government doesn’t make it easy. Under the guise of the Patriot Act and the war on drugs, our government has instituted a series of forms demanding that US citizens report all of their foreign assets on a regular basis. In addition, it is escalating its demands on foreign banks to share data with it even though doing so may be in violation of the laws in the local country. Because of the hassle, a lot of foreign banks are getting rid of US clients. Bingo! That’s exactly what our government wants them to do to us. The federal government is frantically escalating its efforts to identify and locate all assets belonging to US citizens all over the world. If you don’t supply the information, there are criminal penalties. It is watching—as Edward Snowden recently pointed out. And it also owns the police force—as Mr. Snowden quickly found out. Prudent people who understand the game will take steps while they still can to legally move some of their assets out of their home country, just like the people of New Jersey and France have done. The government likes to label those who do so as “selfish tax evaders” and “cheats” to discourage us from protecting ourselves. Always comply with the law. Report and pay taxes on your income, but use every legal avenue to protect your nest egg, or you could lose it.Added Benefits to Internationalization Not all of the reasons for going international are defensive. Offshore investments not only offer good investment choices that are not available in the US, they can also provide a tremendous advantage for protecting against inflation. When the dollar inflates, its buying power drops in relation to other currencies. Inside my offshore Roth IRA, I have investments denominated in eight different foreign currencies. As the value of the dollar decreases—which it has for the last 100 years—owning assets denominated in a currency that is increasing in value can offset those effects. I bought a stock on a foreign exchange that could have been bought here in the US. When I sold it for a nice gain, I realized that not only did I take a gain on the stock, I also had an additional profit due to the foreign currency increasing in value against the USD. My goal today is to help our readers understand why a lot of investors, even with smaller portfolios, are looking outside the US to protect themselves and their nest eggs. Internationalizing some of our assets is a darn good insurance policy. How many get-togethers have we had where friends expressed concern about the government and the direction the country is going? The next step in the government chess game will be instituting capital controls, like Argentina has already done. That means the amount of money citizens can take out of the country will be tightly controlled by the government. If we wait until that happens, it will be too late. While Jo and I have no plans to move out of the country—after all, our grandchildren are here—we think it’s plain old common sense to hold some of our investments internationally. In addition to good investment opportunities, we just feel safer because we are better protected from inflation, deflation, or outright confiscation. —- I decided to write this article after reading a new Casey Research special report, Going Global 2013, and quickly realizing that it applied to my readers and myself. I liked that the report covers how small investors can easily get started and discusses investments we can make even if we want to keep our money closer to home. The report also shows us how we can find and open accounts—including an IRA—all around the world, and details more sophisticated foreign trusts and legal ways for larger investors to pass their wealth down to future generations. It even offers steps we can take from our own home to store physical gold in safe jurisdictions like Singapore and Switzerland. Unlike most of the material I read on internationalization, which is written for ultra-wealthy investors (by someone who is trying to garner their business), this report is written for you and me. While most of us will never progress beyond Chapter 8, we can progress to our personal level of comfort and protect our nest egg accordingly. I’ve worked out an arrangement with the authors so you can purchase Going Global 2013and get a free three-month subscription to Money Forever. During your free three months, you’ll receive three issues, have access to all the research on the investments in our portfolio, and access to all of our special reports, like the popular monthly income plan, Money Every Month. Click here for more about Going Global 2013 and this special offer. If this sounds right up your alley, plan to check out the August issue of Money Forever—we have a terrific interview with Nick Giambruno, senior editor of International Man, lined up. Nick’s perspective only amplifies why folks like you and me should take advantage of international investing, and he answers some of the questions that may have popped into your mind as you read this article. Money Forever subscribers should look for the issue in their inboxes on Tuesday, August 20.On the Lighter Side The NFL season will soon arrive. It held its annual Hall of Fame game last week, and this weekend we have a full slate of preseason games. If you are a football fan, I urge you to add a trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio to your bucket list. I spent a good bit of time walking around the museum, relating childhood memories to Jo. At one time, I had Bears season tickets. It always griped me that the franchise made season ticket holders pay full price for two preseason games or they lost the right to buy the tickets for the regular games. Football, like most professional sports, may receive a rude awakening if our economy does not improve. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were Super Bowl champions a decade ago and bragged that they had 57,000 people on their season-ticket waiting list. Now they have a hard time filling their stadium, and many of their home games are blacked out locally as a result. On a happier note, I am still receiving colorful emails from our readers about their career encores. Thank you to everyone who took the time to write in. If you have ideas to share and you have not yet dropped me a line, please send your story my way. I plan to share some of your ideas in Money Weekly towards the end of the month. And finally… As long as we are focusing on the government, here are some clever political quotations provided by Courtenay W. We hang petty thieves and appoint the great thieves to public office.—Aesop, Greek slave & fable author. Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich by promising to protect each from the other.—Oscar Ameringer, “the Mark Twain of American Socialism.” Until next week…last_img read more

Platinums high came shortly after 8 am in Hong

first_img Platinum’s high came shortly after 8 a.m. in Hong Kong on their Wednesday morning—and it chopped ten bucks lower from there until the real selling began shortly before 2 p.m. Zurich time—and the same time as gold and silver got hit in London.  The HFT boyz peeled another ten bucks off the price going into the COMEX close—and it  traded ruler flat from here.  Platinum closed at $1,129 spot, down 19 bucks from Tuesday’s close. It was just about as bad for the silver equities.  They opened down as well—and crashed to their low ticks minutes after 10:30 a.m. EDT.  They barely moved off their lows after that, as Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 3.06 percent. Here’s the 5-minute gold tick chart courtesy of Brad Robertson.  Midnight EDT/noon in Hong Kong is the vertical gray line at the 22:00 MDT mark.  You can see that the price/volume action that really mattered occurred between 6:30 and 9:00 a.m. Mountain Daylight time on this chart, with the big volume spike happening once the London p.m. fix was in and the HFT boyz spun their algorithms.  The rest really doesn’t matter.  Don’t forget to add two hours for EDT—and the ‘click to enlarge’ feature is a must. The dollar index closed late on Tuesday afternoon in New York at 97.99—and made it as high as 98.10 in the early going in Far East trading on their Wednesday morning.  It began to slide from there, with the 97.43 low coming just after 10:15 a.m. BST in London.  The subsequent rally made it back to within a basis point or two of unchanged by 11:00 a.m. EDT—and it chopped sideways from there into the close.  The index finished the day at 98.06—up 7 basis points. As you can tell, there was absolute no correlation between the what the currencies were doing and what was going on in the precious metal market. Ditto for palladium, except the selling in that metal was pretty much done by 1 p.m. EDT—and it traded flat in the 5:15 p.m. close of electronic trading as well.  Palladium got smoked for 23 dollars—and closed at $753 spot. With only one exception, the silver chart was a carbon copy of the gold chart—and the HFT boyz really smacked silver at the gold fix.  The low in silver came minutes before 10:30 a.m. in New York.  Gold’s low came about thirty minutes later. The high and low were reported as $16.075 and $15.655 in the May contract. Silver finished the Wednesday trading session at $15.67 spot, down another 22 cents.  Net volume wasn’t overly heavy, which I found surprising, as it was only  26,000 contracts, a thousand contracts more than on Tuesday. The gold stocks opened down a bit—and kept right on going, with the lows coming just before 2 p.m. EDT.  After that they didn’t do much.  The HUI got hit for 3.63 percent. The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold and 1 lonely silver contract was posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Friday. The CME Preliminary Report for the Wednesday trading session showed that gold open interest in April declined by 54 contracts—and that leaves 471 contracts still open.  Not surprisingly, the silver o.i. fell by the 150 contracts posted for delivery yesterday—and that will be delivered today.  There are 23 contracts still open in April. There were no reported changes in GLD—and as of 9:32 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV, either. Over at Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank for the week ending Friday, April 17—they reported increases in both their gold and silver ETFs for a change.  In gold they added 15,832 troy ounces—and in silver it was 68,360 troy ounces. There was another sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday.  They sold 3,500 troy ounces of gold eagles—1,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes—and 30,000 silver eagles. It was another very busy day in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on Tuesday, as 141,031 troy ounces were reported received—and only 100 troy ounces were shipped out.  Most of the gold deposited disappeared into the vaults of HSBC USA.  The link to that activity is here. Silver activity was also very decent, as 631,802 troy ounces were received—and 555,071 were shipped out.  A bit over half the silver that was shipped out came out of JPMorgan’s vault.  The link to that action is here. Over at the COMEX-approved gold depositories in Hong Kong on Tuesday, Brink’s, Inc. reported receiving 8,319 kilobars, but they also shipped out a chunky 14,759 kilobars.  That’s big movement, dear reader.  The link to that activity in troy ounces is here. I have the usual number of stories for a weekday column—and I’ll happily leave the final edit up to you. [Last] Wednesday, I commented that the COMEX is artificially setting the price of silver and gold by means of a purely private betting game (aka bucket shop) comprised exclusively of speculators with no real producer or consumer participation. I attempted to prove this by pointing out that the Managed Money category accounts for 90% of contract position change on both price declines and increases. Since Managed Money traders are defined by the CFTC and the exchange as being pure speculators (as opposed to legitimate hedgers) there can be little doubt that they are just that – speculators. And the same can be said of the financial institutions trading against the managed money traders; since no legitimate producers (miners) or users are involved in the game, the commercial traders are also nothing more than speculators. I hope you recognize that the 90% figure of all positioning is a very conservative estimate on my part, when it comes to typical managed money participation. In fact, the percentage is, at times, much greater than 100%. In recapping last week’s COT Report and compared to their commercial counterparties, the Managed Money traders in gold accounted for 160% of commercial positioning (7,600 contracts vs. 4,700 commercial contracts) and in silver, the managed money traders accounted for 130% of commercial positioning (8,600 contracts vs. 6,600 commercial net contracts). I’d like to see someone from the CFTC or the CME Group try to explain how this wasn’t proof of manipulation on its face, but neither appear to be forthcoming on any serious market matter. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 18 April 2015 Another day—and more salami slicing—the same old, same old. Taking another look at the gold and silver charts, it’s easy to see that we still have 40 dollars or so to go in gold—and about 50 cents in silver at the most to get back to where we were about five weeks ago. Of course, it’s never the price that matters.  As Ted Butler continually points out, it’s the number of long contracts that JPMorgan et al can get the technical funds in the Managed Money category to sell—and then how much they can get them loaded up on the short side on top of that.  When those two numbers are reached in both gold and silver, the bottom will be in—and we’re not there yet. Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals, updated with yesterday’s damage. Another day—and more salami slicing—the same old, same old Despite the fact that the dollar index got smoked in Far East trading for most of their Wednesday session, the gold price didn’t react much to that fact, or wasn’t allowed to—you pick.  The gold price continued to chop a few dollars around either side of unchanged until shortly before 1 p.m. in London trading.  The HFT boyz showed up ten minutes after the COMEX open—and then finished the job once the London p.m. gold “fix” was in, with the low coming just minutes before the London close, which was 11:00 a.m. EDT.  The subsequent rally didn’t get far—and after the 1:30 p.m. COMEX close, it traded flat for the remainder of the Wednesday session. The high and low ticks were reported by the CME Group as $1,204.40 and $1,185.00 in the June contract. Gold finished the Wednesday trading day at $1,186.80 spot, down and even 15 dollars from Tuesday’s close.  Net volume was pretty decent at 139,000 contracts. Of course outside circumstance may intervene at some point—and we could get rallies regardless, but at the moment one must assume that nothing has changed in the short to medium term—and that “da boyz” and their algorithms are still the masters  of the precious metal market. And as I type this paragraph, the London open is about ten minutes away.  Gold hit a new low for this move down shortly before 10 a.m. Hong Kong time on their Thursday morning.  The metal rallied above unchanged for a while, but has begun to head lower in the last hour of trading.  The silver price hasn’t done much at all during Thursday trading in the Far East—and is basically unchanged from it’s Wednesday close in New York.   Platinum and palladium have been chopping around unchanged as well. Gold’s net volume is getting very close to the 20,000 contract mark—and 99.9 percent of it is in the current front month, so it’s all of the HFT variety.  Silver’s net volume is at the 2,400 contract mark, with very decent roll-over volume.  The dollar index is chopping higher—and is currently up 13 basis points. It’s unfortunate that yesterday’s trading volume won’t be included in tomorrow’s Commitment of Traders Report as there certainly was improvement in the Commercial net short positions in both silver and gold.  This would be especially true in gold, as JPMorgan et al closed it well below its 50-day moving average—and back below $1,200 spot. And as I send today’s effort out the door at 5:20 a.m. EDT, I see that gold and silver aren’t doing much, or aren’t being allowed to do much, although silver is up about a dime at the moment.  Both platinum and palladium set minor new lows for this move down—and are trading about unchanged. Gold’s net volume is at 29,500 contracts, which is pretty heavy for such tiny moves in the gold price, so it appears that whatever rally attempts are being made, the price is not being allowed to get far.  Silver’s net volume is around 4,500 contracts—and a decent amount is roll-overs out of the May contract.  The dollar index, which had been up earlier, is now down a hair. I’m done for another day.  It remains to be seen how the rest of the Thursday trading session turns out.  It appears that despite what the dollar index is doing, the precious metal prices are being totally controlled by JPMorgan et al in the COMEX futures market—and unless something comes out of left field, I expect that the current trend will continue. See you tomorrow, Integra’s Lamaque South Gold Project and Sigma-Lamaque Milling Complex and Mines are located directly east from the city of Val-d’Or along the prolific Abitibi Greenstone belt in the Province of Québec, Canada, approximately 550 km northwest of Montréal. Québec is rated one of the best mining jurisdictions in the world. Infrastructure, human resources and mining expertise are readily available. The Company’s primary focus is on production planning for its high-grade Lamaque South project. The Lamaque South property is divided into three clusters, the North, South and West cluster. The primary targets are the high-grade Parallel Zone in the North Cluster and the Triangle Zone in the South Cluster. The acquired Sigma Mill, located 1 kilometer from the Parallel Zone and 3 kilometers from the Triangle Zone, is a fully-permitted, 2,200 ton per day mill and tailings facility. The Sigma-Lamaque Mill and Mining Complex include the historic Sigma and Lamaque Mines which operated for 75 and 52 years respectively and produced more than 9 million ounces of gold in total. Please visit our website for more information.last_img read more

Its a problem that has come seemingly out of nowh

first_imgIt’s a problem that has come seemingly out of nowhere. Over the last five years a worrisome number of low-income countries have racked up so much debt they are now at high risk of being unable to pay it back — with potentially devastating consequences not just for their economies but for their citizens, many of whom are already living in extreme poverty.That’s the sobering finding of a report by the IMF. And it’s got some prominent experts calling for urgent action. Among them is Masood Ahmed. Twenty years ago, as a top official at the International Monetary Fund, he spearheaded a historic agreement to wipe the slate clean for 36 poor countries that were being crushed by their loan interest and repayment bills. NPR spoke with Ahmed — who is now president of the Washington, D.C., think tank Center for Global Development — to find out how this latest debt debacle was set in motion, why it has him so alarmed, and what can be done to avert it. (This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.)Just how far and how fast has this problem spread?To get a sense, says Ahmed, consider that of the 59 countries the IMF classifies as “low-income developing countries,” 24 are now either in a debt crisis or at high risk of tipping into one. “That’s 40 percent of poor countries,” says Ahmed, “and it’s nearly double the number five years ago.”Those in most trouble include two countries that have already defaulted on some of their loans: the Republic of Congo and Mozambique. Ahmed notes that these are not loans taken out by individual citizens. “This is money borrowed by governments,” he says. “So the definition of a debt crisis is that they are not able to meet their obligations. They are already unable to pay the interest on their debt or to keep to the repayment schedule they had agreed to.”Four more countries are also already considered in “debt distress” because even though they haven’t outright defaulted they’ve reached a point where they are making only intermittent loan payments or cutting deep into their operations budget to pay off their debt. These are Chad, Eritrea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Zimbabwe. The remaining 16 are considered at high risk of falling into debt distress soon based on the IMF’s analysis of the amount of debt they’ve taken on compared with how much income their economies can actually be expected to generate in the near future. These too are mostly countries in sub-Saharan Africa such as Ghana, Zambia and the Central African Republic. But the list also includes seven nations from other regions, such as Afghanistan, Haiti, Tajikistan and Yemen.What happens when a country can’t pay its debt? What are the consequences for ordinary citizens?Ahmed notes that even extremely poor countries offer all sorts of services to their citizens — keeping public order, maintaining health clinics and schools, providing food to people at risk of famine, investing in new infrastructure that can help grow the economy and so on. And even before reaching the point of actual default, governments with unsustainable levels of debt must begin diverting ever more of their budget away from such services so they can meet their debt payments.The most vulnerable citizens are often the first to suffer. “For instance, people who show up to their local [public] health clinic that is already only open once a week may now find that it also doesn’t have medicines,” says Ahmed. “Or that school that was going to open this year to meet the needs of a particular neighborhood, it gets postponed.”So this is very much an on-the-ground crisis. “It’s easy for us to think of these as abstract financial numbers. But it’s very important to recognize that behind these numbers are the lives of people who are already living in very difficult circumstances.”And what if a government does default?It gets far worse because the entire economy can be thrown into paralysis. When a government can’t meet its existing debt obligations, explains Ahmed, “that makes it very hard to access new money.” Lenders that provide this type of financing aren’t going to want to throw good money after bad. And to keep up daily operations, governments need continual access to credit. Ahmed adds that these operations often include not just the provision of services to citizens but business activities that generate much of a government’s income — extracting and exporting natural resources like copper or oil, for instance. These kinds of operations can become impossible without day-to-day credit. “Just like for a small business, you need to be able to borrow on a day-to-day basis for your cash flow,” he says.And as the day-to-day turns into year-to-year?The consequences can be just as debilitating, says Ahmed. Once a country has defaulted it can forget about taking out loans or floating bonds to fund investments in infrastructure or other measures that would help grow its economy long term. Pretty much every type of lender that poor countries rely on is going to balk. This includes even international financial organizations, such as the World Bank, whose mission is to provide poor countries with low-interest loans or outright grants to help them develop. The thinking of officials at the World Bank, says Ahmed, is going to be, “I don’t want the money to just go to another creditor.”And so a kind of deadly feedback loop could be created: The country’s debts would prevent its economy from creating the growth needed to pay off those very debts.What about that massive debt forgiveness for 36 countries that you helped broker back in the 1990s — the “debt relief” campaign made so famous by celebrities like the rock star Bono. Wasn’t that agreement supposed to end debt crises like these once and for all?Yes, says Ahmed. And for about 10 years the agreement was, in fact, remarkably successful. All sides had recognized their sins — the governments of the borrowing countries that had taken on the excessive debt and also the lenders that had pushed what had been in many cases clearly unsustainable loans — including governments of rich countries like the U.S., commercial banks from those countries and even the IMF and World Bank. In exchange for writing off the debt everyone vowed to be more responsible.”But after a decade, memories start to get cloudy,” says Ahmed. “And these commitments are, of course, not binding. If a country wants to go out and borrow money, they’re going to go out and borrow.”And in recent years a whole new class of lenders emerged to offer up easy credit — most notably the government of China and various associated Chinese banks and development agencies. “You had Chinese financial institutions and China as a country really expanding its presence and its financial role in developing countries,” says Ahmed. “I find really striking [that] between 2013 and 2016 China’s share of the debt of poor countries increased by more than the share of all these traditional lenders [who had made the loans back in the 1990s] put together.”Another factor: In the years since the 2008 financial crisis, interest rates in wealthier countries have been stuck at very low levels. “So people who have assets and want to invest their money all wanted to look for opportunities.” These include managers of investments funds, pension funds and the like from wealthy countries. They had not historically been major sources of financing for poor countries. But in recent years they started snapping up bonds issued by African countries — whose economies at the time seemed to be growing at a healthy rate. These bonds offered much higher rates of return than bonds from wealthy nations.Surely the borrowing nations also face some responsibility?”Some countries quite frankly just took advantage of the availability of money,” says Ahmed. He points to cases of outright fraud and corruption in Mozambique, Moldova and Gambia — in which government officials borrowed money on behalf of their nations, then apparently pocketed it for themselves.Then there are cases of countries that derive most of their income from exporting a few commodities — for instance, Zambia, which relies on copper. In recent years, the prices for many commodities fell sharply and stayed flat — depressing their national income.”Suddenly you find that what you thought was a level of debt you could manage is harder to maintain,” Ahmed says. Adding to the problem, instead of cutting their national budgets to account for the lost revenue, these countries turned to borrowing to make up the difference.And then there were the cases of simply less-than-ideal management. “I’m thinking of countries like Ghana and Ethiopia,” says Ahmed, “where they just felt, you know, people are willing to give us the money, let’s do it.” And then they failed to use the money for productive investments. “In many of these countries about half the increase in borrowing was not associated with an increase in investment. It was just used to spend more on current spending, things like salaries.”So is there a fix?Ahmed says it’s clear some kind of debt restructuring and forgiveness is going to be needed. It will require getting all the creditors to the table to agree on the terms. “And that is not an easy thing to do.”Back in the 1990s it took years of grinding negotiations. This time around the process is likely to be even more complicated because so many of the creditors are new to the game. “The IMF is still a very good place from which to have this conversation,” he says. But it is essential to bring in China and let it play a leadership role.Given the challenges, this effort needs to start now, he says. Yet there seems to be a lack of urgency among world leaders. While IMF officials will be discussing the debt issue in Washington this Saturday as part of their annual spring meetings, it’s just one of a host of topics on the agenda.What’s more, while the amount of debt involved may be crippling to poor countries, it’s just a drop in the bucket of the global economy. This debt crisis is not going to cause a worldwide financial meltdown. So unlike the classic debtors in financial crises who benefit from being too big to fail, these nations could find themselves too poor to warrant a bailout. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

For the Perfect SocialImpact Investment Look No Further Than Cannabis

first_img For many investors, making a positive social impact is becoming increasingly important. For some, doing good has become as essential as doing well. This goal is at the heart of impact investing, which the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) defines as investing “with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside financial return.”The pursuit of this so-called double-bottom-line is the Holy Grail for the impact investing industry. However, the challenge still facing many investors is how to make a significant impact without sacrificing returns. This is especially true of institutional investors, who often need to write eight- or nine-figure checks in order to justify an allocation.Cannabis is one of the few industries that satisfies all of the above conditions, making it the perfect impact investment. First, let’s discuss financial return: Analysts at Cowen & Co. estimate that the U.S. market for cannabis will reach more than $50 billion by 2026, up from about $9 billion today. Although cannabis is still a nascent market, global consumer demand is well-established. According to recent polls, approximately 1 in 8 U.S. adults consider themselves regular consumers. Despite the many risks unique to cannabis investment, investors who get in early may be able to enjoy hyper growth returns reminiscent of the dot-com boom.Related: Getting Healthy, Not High: Using Cannabis to Fight CancerSecond, let’s discuss social impact. I asked Emily Paxhia, founding partner of Poseidon Asset Management, a prominent cannabis investment fund, for her take on the matter. “Investing in cannabis is rewarding not only for the returns we see, but also for the social and environmental benefits. While it might not seem like impact investing at first glance, there are additional positive outcomes to capitalizing the cannabis industry. We have seen communities benefit from job creation, reduced opiate addiction and advances in criminal justice reform.”Here are examples of how cannabis can generate significant positive social impact:Public HealthThe medical benefits of cannabis are well-documented, and millions of patients have now embraced cannabis as a cheaper, safer and more effective option to help treat severe illnesses such as cancer, epilepsy and PTSD.With proper R&D and regulation, cannabis will regain its place as a mainstay in the medicine cabinets of every American household –a status the plant enjoyed prior to prohibition. Medical marijuana also represents one of the only viable, scalable solutions to the opiate epidemic, which experts estimate is costing the U.S. more than $500 billion in economic productivity each year (to say nothing of tens of thousands of overdoes deaths).Related: Minnesota Study Adds to Growing Evidence Medical Marijuana Reduces Opioid UseCriminal Justice ReformThe war on drugs has really been mostly a war on young people of color. Even though cannabis consumption rates are nearly uniform across races, black and brown Americans are anywhere from four to 10 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana use or possession, depending on geography. There are today more than half a million Americans serving sentences in federal prison for possession of marijuana. The mass incarceration and criminalization of drug users may be great for the prison industry, but for the rest of society it fuels systemic racial and economic inequality which is destructive to our nation’s values and well-being.As legalization advances and prohibition eventually ends on the federal level, the millions of lives damaged by the war on drugs will be able to receive some healing, support and perhaps participation in the now booming industry. Furthermore, the policy shift around cannabis represents an opportunity to institute a more compassionate, harm-reduction approach toward drug users. Imagine if instead of criminalizing, punishing and dehumanizing people who suffer from substance abuse problems, our institutions provided counseling, mindful care and rehabilitative treatment.Related: What Every Cannabis Entrepreneur Needs to Understand About the Cole MemoAgriculture & SustainabilityHemp was farmed in most parts of the country from earliest colonial time right up until the onset of cannabis prohibition in the early 1900s. Hemp is easier and cheaper to grow than cotton or corn, is far less harmful to the surrounding environment and much more versatile for a wide range of textiles. Hemp is used to make products as varied as footwear, luggage, clothing, rope, paper and plastic.Compared to cotton, hemp requires about two-thirds as much water to grow and one quarter as much water to process. One acre of hemp will produce as much fiber as two to three acres of cotton. Hemp fiber is also stronger than cotton and lasts twice as long. Industrial hemp has the potential to revive entire agricultural communities.Hemp can even be used to remove toxic chemicals from the ground or surrounding streams. A joint effort in 1998 to decontaminate the area around Chernobyl found that hemp plants can absorb large amounts of radiation through its roots, effectively removing many of the contaminants in the water and soil. Hemp has also been proven to absorb heavy metals from soil, making it a potentially cost-effective solution to cleaning up the thousands of contaminated sites scattered around the country. Currently, America is the world’s leading importer of hemp.Related: Hemp Is the Multibillion-Dollar Cannabis Opportunity Few Have Heard AboutFood & NutritionHemp is also a superfood. Hemp seeds are high in fiber, iron, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, zinc, vitamin E and magnesium. The plant contains all 20 amino acids, including nine of the essential amino acids our bodies can’t produce. Compared to other popular sources of nutrition such as chia seeds, quinoa and flax seeds, hemp seeds provide as much as 75 percent more protein. It’s no surprise, then, that hemp seeds are often used in protein powers and health foods such as energy bars. Hemp seeds can also be used by farmers as animal feed for horses, cows and chickens — likely a healthier choice than what they’re fed today.Many investment firms have already taken steps toward growing the cannabis industry. By viewing cannabis through the lens of both its financial and social potential, investors have an opportunity to make a positive and long-lasting impact. To view cannabis as anything other than an impact investment is to be missing the bigger picture. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Listen Now Cannabis Perhaps the final unhappy irony of cannabis prohibition is that the plant is a benign substitute for many problematic products and raw materials. May 21, 2018 Michael Zaytsev Image credit: Norman Posselt | Getty Images For the Perfect Social-Impact Investment, Look No Further Than Cannabis 6 min read Green Entrepreneur Podcast Business Coach and Cannabis Author Next Article Guest Writer Each week hear inspiring stories of business owners who have taken the cannabis challenge and are now navigating the exciting but unpredictable Green Rush. –shares Add to Queuelast_img read more

Obamacares Very Small Business Exchange Enrollment

first_img Obamacare’s Very Small Business Exchange Enrollment Next Article Image credit: txking | Shutterstock.com Obamacare 5 min read November 14, 2014 Add to Queue This story originally appeared on CNBCcenter_img The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Dan Mangan Apply Now » 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Remember those “other” new Obamacare exchanges—the ones that small businesses were supposed to use to sign up workers for health insurance?Yeah, well, apparently a whole bunch of small businesses forgot about them, too.A new Government Accountability Office report finds that a stunningly low number of workers have enrolled in insurance plans sold on small-business health exchanges run by federal and state governments.The report suggests that the Small Business Health Options Program exchanges will fall well short of the 2 million people that had been projected to sign up by January.As of last summer, only about 76,000 people working for about 12,000 employers had enrolled in insurance plans sold by 18 state-run SHOP exchanges, according to the GAO report released Thursday.While the other 33 SHOP exchanges run by the federal government didn’t have enrollment data available for the GAO, officials in charge of them “do not expect major differences in enrollment trends between” the state-run SHOP exchanges and their federally run counterparts, the report noted. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service was still compiling enrollment data from insurers and did not expect complete numbers until early 2015, the GAO said.Mississippi’s solo enrolleeThe SHOP exchanges are supposed to help small employees provide group health coverage to their workers. But most such employers clearly haven’t bothered to take the exchanges up on that offer, or aren’t aware that it’s available, raising questions about whether these exchanges can get close to the 4 million enrollees that had been projected by 2017. One state-run SHOP—Mississippi’s—had just one person enrolled, the GAO report said. The agency notes that Mississippi’s SHOP had only been open for one month at the time the data were collected for the report. The state’s insurance department pointed out Thursday that there are now 23 people enrolled through Mississippi’s SHOP.Washington state had the second-lowest enrollment with 42 people.Two population-heavy states, California and New York, had just 9,563 and 10,023 people enrolled, respectively, in their SHOP exchanges during their first year of operation.Vermont, the second-least populous state, had by far, the highest enrollments in a state-run SHOP: 33,696 people. That represents 44 percent of all enrollees on the state-run SHOPs. But that eye-popping number likely is due in no small part to the fact that Vermont had required that all small group health insurance plans in the state be offered only through the SHOP.The GAO report said stakeholders in SHOPs blamed the dismal enrollment tallies on “multiple, evolving factors.” Those included the possibility that a small business tax credit designed to spur companies to use the exchanges “may be be too small” and “administratively complex to motivate many employers to enroll.” The tax credit, available to companies with fewer than 25 full-time employees who make an average of $50,000 or less per year, can be worth up to 50 percent of what employers contribute to their employees’ health premiums.”Other factors identified that may have hindered current enrollment include the ability of employers to renew plans that existed before the SHOPs … and employer misconceptions about SHOP availability,” the report said.SHOP wishlistThe GAO also noted that federal SHOP exchanges were not able to enroll people online, and that those exchanges gave enrollees only a single health plan as an option, as opposed to multiple plans. While 15 states launched in October 2013, three significantly delayed their starts until spring 2014.The stakeholders interviewed by the GAO, including CMS officials and state exchange executives, identified several factors that could spark enrollment, GAO said. These ideas included the phase-out of health plans that were in existence before the SHOP exchanges launched last year, more choice among health plans for workers on the exchanges and increased marketing to small businesses.”CMS is currently preparing to implement online enrollment for all [federally run] SHOPs and employee choice for many of [those] SHOPs in 2015,” the report noted. But the two-year limit on the small-business tax credit and the likelihood that SHOP premiums will not be lower than those of non-SHOP plans “may hinder future enrollment growth,” the report noted in its summary. When asked for comment, CMS officials referred to that summary.Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., chairman of the House Small Business Committee that requested the GAO report, said “Obamacare’s SHOPs have been fraught with errors and high costs from the very beginning.”Graves also said, “The lack of specific federal SHOP enrollment data confirms that [the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] initially created no mechanism to monitor or measure its performance after enrollment began.””It is apparent that the Obama administration didn’t prioritize the SHOP exchange in the law. Small businesses and taxpayers deserve better,” he said.The SHOP exchanges’ poor performance contrasts sharply with the enrollment seen in individual health plans sold on the federal HealthCare.gov exchange and the 15 other exchanges run by individual states and the District of Columbia. About 7.1 million people are currently enrolled in insurance sold through those markets.Open enrollment in SHOP and individual Obamacare plans starts Saturday. –shareslast_img read more

Philip Morris Wins Missouri Class Action Trial Over Light Cigarettes

first_img Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business –shares Add to Queue A jury in St. Louis, Mo., on Thursday rejected a request for about $1.8 billion in damages against Philip Morris USA in a class-action lawsuit that claimed the company misled smokers about the health risks of “light” cigarettes.The lawsuit was filed in 2000 after plaintiffs alleged the Altria Group Inc. unit violated Missouri’s Merchandising Practices Act in marketing Marlboro Lights.”The jury correctly rejected plaintiffs’ allegations of misrepresentation and damages,” Murray Garnick said on behalf of Philip Morris USA in a statement.The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibits the use of “lights” and certain other descriptions unless the manufacturer receives permission to use them.In November, the Illinois Supreme Court also threw out a $10.1 billion verdict against Philip Morris USA in a long-running lawsuit accusing the company of misleading smokers about the health risks of “light” cigarettes.(Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Hay)        This story originally appeared on Reuters Image credit: Shutterstock Philip Morris Wins Missouri Class Action Trial Over ‘Light’ Cigarettes Next Article center_img Tobacco April 8, 2016 1 min read Reuters Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Register Now »last_img read more