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Order, order: The race is on to replace John Bercow

first_imgParties will have to calculate carefully whether losing a seat is worth it to take over the chair. That the position alternates between the two main parties is a newish innovation, broken more often than it is honoured. Do not expect it hold this time round.  Order, order: The race is on to replace John Bercow The new speaker will not only have to make these decisions, but also set the tone for how they are made – deciding whether the role is further politicised or is returned to the esteemed neutrality it once had.  The speaker resigns from their party on appointment, and can, as has already been noted, only vote in tie-breaks. This means that it is effectively one seat off your majority – fine in times when elections were won by big margins, but a problem in an age of coalitions and pacts.  whatsapp LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 24: House of Commons John Bercow speaks to the media following the Supreme Court ruling that the current suspension of parliament is unlawful one on September 24, 2019 in London, England. The court’s unanimous decision said that Prime Minister Boris Johnson acted unlawfully when he sought the current five-week prorogation, or suspension, of parliament. “The decision to advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament was unlawful because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification,” said Baroness Brenda Hale, the president of the court. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images) It is easy to overlook the role of the speaker, but his or her influence over the Commons is vast. The speaker controls who speaks in debates, what amendments can be tabled, and has the casting vote in ties. Each of these is a hugely influential power, and whoever inherits them now will be far less fettered than previous speakers, thanks in part to the behaviour of the outgoing office-holder.  The candidates know, no doubt, that whoever the Commons selects will have vital powers at a crucial point in our political history. It is perhaps the most significant speaker’s election in centuries.  John OxleyJohn Oxley is a Conservative commentator Yesterday, nine hopefuls vied with each other for the honour of replacing him, answering journalists’ questions on everything from the impartiality of the role, to Westminster’s alleged drug problem, to the rules on breast-feeding in the chamber. Even the merits of the speaker’s traditional dress (including a wig and knee breeches) were up for discussion. Opinion While Bercow has seen it differently, it is worth remembering that the speakership used to be a noble sacrifice, putting aside any ministerial ambitions for a role that was high on responsibility and low on glory.  On top of their formal role, the speaker sits as sole judge of parliamentary procedure.  Main image credit: Getty In following Bercow, the new speaker will also have some control over how the role itself is seen.  Though they reflect precedent, they are not bound by it and are free to create it. Many of the “rules” of parliament have been inventions of the speaker, from Denison’s rule that their crucial deciding vote should be used to maintain the status quo, to the prohibition on bringing the same vote multiple times. A radical speaker can rewrite the rule book as opportunity arises.   Should the next speaker recoil from this, it would mark Bercow as an aberration. Should they embrace it, the partisanship of the speaker would be hard to row back from.  Thursday 10 October 2019 4:34 amcenter_img Share As we move through and beyond Brexit, there are likely to be more closely-fought votes, battles over amendments, and difficult calls over parliamentary procedure.  There is little formal oversight of the speaker, but normally pressure from inside the Commons acts as a check. Indeed, Bercow’s own opportunity came when Michael Martin resigned in 2009 rather than face being the first speaker since 1695 to lose a vote of no confidence.  As for the election itself, the parties in the Commons will face a difficult choice in deciding if they want a friend or a foe in the chair.  The departure of John Bercow from the speakership of the House of Commons will create a vacancy of huge importance.  There is no denying that Bercow has been an activist speaker, arguably to the point of being partisan. Certainly, his rulings on Brexit results have shown a cavalier (or perhaps more strictly, Roundhead) approach to convention, repeatedly ruling in favour of Remainers when it came to procedural margin calls.  City A.M.’s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M. The new speaker will have to decide on how to confront the ugliest parts of Bercow’s legacy: the failure to deal with bullying and sexual harassment within the parliamentary estate. This will appeal more to some of the candidates than making their name over contentious political issues.   There is evidently no shortage of volunteers this time around, so parliament must think carefully about who they choose, and what that choice will do to the role. As recently as 1971, a speaker could be nominated against their own wishes from the floor of the House.  It was once the case that speakers had to be dragged to the chair, so poisoned was the chalice of mediating between the Commons and the Crown. In 1449, an Agincourt veteran knighted on the field of battle refused to become speaker, not wanting to deal with the aftermath of England’s retreat from Normandy. by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeDaily FunnyFemale Athlete Fails You Can’t Look Away FromDaily FunnyNoteableyJulia Robert’s Daughter Turns 16 And Looks Just Like Her MomNoteableyFinanceChatterViewers Had To Look Away When This Happened On Live TVFinanceChatterPast Factory4 Sisters Take The Same Picture For 40 Years. Don’t Cry When You See The Last One!Past Factorybonvoyaged.comThese Celebs Are Complete Jerks In Real Life.bonvoyaged.comMisterStoryWoman files for divorce after seeing this photoMisterStoryYourDailyLamaHe Used To Be Handsome In 80s Now It’s Hard To Look At HimYourDailyLamazenherald.comDolly Finally Took Off Her Wig, Fans Gaspedzenherald.comJournalistateTeacher Wears Dress Everyday, Mom Sets Up CamJournalistate whatsapp Yet with no clear majority for anyone in the Commons, the chance of censuring the new speaker for anything short of flagrant transgressions will be slight. They will preside free of the usual pressures.  More From Our Partners Florida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgWhy people are finding dryer sheets in their mailboxesnypost.comlast_img read more

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Cathie Wood says Bitcoin has trillions in market cap potential

first_imgThursday 25 February 2021 7:18 pm Cathie Wood says Bitcoin has trillions in market cap potential even as its price fell by 12 per cent yesterday after negative comments from Janet Yellen and Elon Musk. (Photo Illustration by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) Also Read: Cathie Wood: Low rates and quantitative easing drive interest in Bitcoin The price of Bitcoin slid by 12.57 per cent on Tuesday, breaking a record run, after US treasury secretary Janet Yellen warned that the “highly speculative” unit could be used for “illicit” purposes and was “an extremely inefficient way of conduction transactions”. Show Comments ▼ Cathie Wood: Low rates and quantitative easing drive interest in Bitcoin by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeThe Legacy ReportMan Who Predicted 2020 Crash 45 Days Early Issues Next Major WarningThe Legacy ReportBrake For ItSay Goodbye: These Cars Will Be Discontinued In 2021Brake For ItMoneyWise.com20 Places Where $150K Is More Than Enough To Retire MoneyWise.comDaily Funny40 Brilliant Life Hacks Nobody Told You AboutDaily FunnyFactableAluminum Foil Uses You’ll Want to KnowFactableFungus EliminatorIf You Have Toenail Fungus Try This TonightFungus EliminatorIkaria BeautyYou Need To Do This If You Have Sunken Jowls (Just Once A Day – It’s Genius)Ikaria BeautyMoney PopThe Most Overpriced Vehicles On the Market Right NowMoney PopGundry MDDo Your Joints Squeak? Try This For Smoother JointsGundry MD Wood has been a historic backer of bitcoin. Last year, appearing in an investment seminar arranged by Barron’s, she told the audience that the huge increase in the price of Bitcoin was only the beginning. “The dollar is down which is normally a positive cue for gold, but gold is down at the same time, Bitcoin is up,” Wood said during a panel at today’s Bloomberg Crypto Summit. Tags: Bitcoin and blockchain Janet Yellen During the summit she discussed the future possibility of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund being approved in the US, which largely hinges on whether Gary Gensler is confirmed as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. If institutional investors allocated small percentages of Bitcoin it could take the price range of a bitcoin up to $500,000, she said. One Bitcoin is currently worth just below $50,000.center_img Cathie Wood, the well-known U.S. investor and founder of Ark Investment Management, said today that Bitcoin is in its “early days” given its diverse use cases. Cathie Wood says Bitcoin has trillions in market cap potential even as its price fell by 12 per cent yesterday after negative comments from Janet Yellen and Elon Musk. (Photo Illustration by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) Cathie Wood says Bitcoin has trillions in market cap potential even as its price fell by 12 per cent yesterday after negative comments from Janet Yellen and Elon Musk. (Photo Illustration by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) Also Read: Cathie Wood: Low rates and quantitative easing drive interest in Bitcoin However, Wood emphasised Bitcoin’s potential as a hedge in a global economy of low rates and quantitative easing. Tom Saunders Share whatsapp whatsapplast_img read more

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Fear of BA collapse drives 40-somethings from their DB pension scheme

first_img Show Comments ▼ The financial advice giant said all recommendations to transfer are checked by qualified pension transfer specialists that operate independently of its advisers, known as ‘partners’ at the firm. Also Read: BA looks set to recover from pandemic, so why are its 40-something pilots giving up their gold-plated pensions? whatsapp In turbulent times, when the future of a company is being called into question, it is not uncommon for staff to transfer out of their employer’s defined benefit (DB) pension scheme, if they have one. Although seen as “gold-plated”, some DB scheme members worry about their scheme falling to the pension lifeboat fund, and that they will lose money as a result. SJP has a long-term working relationship with BA, including holding seminars for BA pilots that cover a range of pension and tax-related subjects, including DB transfers. “I was concerned about having the golden egg, and that someone might shoot the golden goose,” Hannah Godfrey Despite the regulator’s crackdown, and insistence that DB transfers are not for the majority of people, asset managers are still making a fortune each year from those transferring out of their gold-plated pensions. Just last month the Financial Conduct Authority issued yet another update on the DB space, again pointing out that some firms are still “struggling to give consistent, suitable advice”, and that too much of the advice it assessed was unsuitable. But leaving a DB scheme is considered a risky move, and in recent years the City regulator has taken a hard line on the subject, making it clear that almost all employees should stick with the increasingly rare DB schemes, rather than transfering out of it. One pilot who spoke to City A.M. admitted his decision to leave the scheme had been driven by emotion, and in fear that British Airways would collapse: “I was concerned about having the golden egg, and that someone might shoot the golden goose,” he said. Financial advisers targeted the steelworkers and capitalised on fears that their DB pension would fall to the Pension Protection Fund. Many of the advisers involved were ultimately banned by the FCA from carrying out regulated activity, and their companies – all small, local firms – buckled under the weight of compensation claims when it became clear they had given poor advice to line their own pockets. It can also be an extremely expensive endeavour. Management fees on large sums of money transferred from a DB scheme can be eye-watering, cutting chunks from money earmarked for retirement. “For the vast majority of completed transfers, the clients will be aged 55 or over and at retirement. However, there will be still be occasions where a transfer is in the client’s best interests even though they are further from retirement. For example, a partial transfer, which is now permitted under the BA scheme,” SJP said. One pilot said around 80 per cent of pilots who are in the now-closed-to-accrual NAPS are considering transferring out, or have already done so. “I can’t think of the last time I went to work when someone was sure they were staying in the scheme,” he added. AJ Bell, SJP and Royal London increased their overall share of the DB pension transfer market dramatically in 2020, with more than a third (37.5 per cent) of all transferred amounts going to them, according to research by consultancy LCP. Another pilot said he understood that, from a regulatory point of view, staying in the DB scheme was the safest option, “but from a personal point of view, with education, and a capacity for loss, it’s a shame that some of the bad actors have basically shut the door on what could be a good situation for people.” Advisers still operating in the market include giant St James’s Place (SJP), which City A.M. understands has worked with BA pilots, some of whom are still in their 40s, to transfer out of the scheme. The pilot, however, who transferred before contingent charging rules were put in place, believes he is being charged roughly 1.5-2.1 per cent on his pension each year. With a pension pot running into the millions, a conservative estimate would mean he is paying £30,000 per year in fees, and being in his 40s, he has a while to go – and plenty of fees to pay – before he can access his pension. Pilots are acutely aware of the regulatory hurdles they face trying to access their cash, and have come up with ways to game the system to ensure they get the go-ahead for the transfer.  Al Rush, a financial adviser who has campaigned about DB transfers in the past, said many of the stories he had heard from pilots who transferred from their DB pension centred on “the mistrust of the employer and the trustees and the schemes”. SJP also charges an initial product charge of 1.5 per cent on top of the 4.5 per cent and an annual product management charge of one per cent, which is waived in the first six years, plus any additional charges for managing the underlying investments. The City regulator stepped up its work in the DB transfer sector after hundreds of steelworkers were mis-advised to transfer out of their DB pensions a few years ago. This has been the case at British Airways in recent months. Pilots in particular have been transferring out of the scheme for a number of years and for a variety of reasons, however in the last year, when the coronavirus hit airlines particularly hard, the viability of the company became another factor for those considering transferring away from the pension. “The decision to transfer out of a DB scheme is a complex one and we remain of the view that for most people a transfer out of a DB scheme is unlikely to be suitable. “Most of the advisers who are still in the market, hopefully, are on the right page,” he said. “[But] there tends to be overemphasis on flexibility, death benefits and having excess capital [as a reason to transfer]. It’s a big temptation for customers and advisers, especially advisers who then manage the money [after the transfer],” he added. “I’ve been through the justification process of a transfer,” said one. “You just have to say the right thing and have the right attitude to risk. The mid-career pilot said most of his colleagues who had transferred had done so via SJP. St James’s Placecenter_img whatsapp As for its charges, SJP said the maximum initial advice charge for DB transfer advice is 4.5 per cent – a non-contingent charge that, as per changes made by the FCA, is payable whether the person receives advice to transfer or not – which also covers the cost of all advice on the transfer, including advice on establishing the pension plan and the investment strategy used. SJP then charges a maximum ongoing fee of 0.5 per cent per annum. Members of the schemes include pilots and officers, often with DB pots running into the millions of pounds, cabin crew and general staff. Most of the 85,000 scheme beneficiaries are in BA’s New Airways Pension Scheme (NAPS). “The reason for that, simply put, is that it is so much harder to see into the future and identify future events and circumstances which could conspire to hinder and jeopardise an otherwise happy retirement,” he said. Rush said that a client in their 40s should generally only transfer if they have a terminal illness, or if they have significant other financial holdings. “The longer a timeline is, the thinner and weaker it has to be, so from an advisory perspective, the more years that the client is from retirement, the far more cautiously you must proceed.” One mid-career who transferred his whole pension with SJP had only good things to say about the wealth manager, though he acknowledged: “Most companies won’t touch you under 50.” Share Million pound pensions “We’ve been aggressive buyers. I understood that if you didn’t have a high tolerance for risk, they couldn’t approve it. It’s almost like taking an exam.” DB transfers are no doubt risky business, but they are appropriate for some people in the right circumstances, and have “very possibly” been overly vilified, according to Rory Percival, an ex-technical specialist at the FCA turned consultant. St James’s Place said it maintained a “cautious” approach to DB transfers, and started from the position that for most people retaining the benefits of a DB scheme would likely be in their best interests. Pay day for asset managers Those who choose to transfer from a gold-plated scheme are giving up a guaranteed income for life in favour of the flexibility of a private pension, meaning the money is at the mercy of stock market ups and downs, poor investment choices, or poor money management. Also Read: BA looks set to recover from pandemic, so why are its 40-something pilots giving up their gold-plated pensions? BA Pensions has been approached for comment. Due to the FCA’s activity in the area, there are now fewer financial advisers offering the transfer service, meaning the market is populated largely with a number of big firms that are able to pay the costs of ever-rising professional indemnity premiums in the area, leaving consumers with fewer choices about who to go to if they want to transfer their pension. The British Airways Pension Schemes have seen a steady stream of members transferring out in recent years, though when contacted by City A.M., BA pensions refused to give any precise figures on the number of members transferring. Transferring out of the pension scheme has been something pilots in particular have talked about and acted upon now for a number of years. But recently, and despite the general advice from the regulator, pilots have been weighing up leaving the scheme for fear the flag carrier or its overall owner IAG goes bust, after the coronavirus pandemic grounded planes and left airlines losing billions.   “The stories that I’ve heard [from pilots] is very similar to the stories surrounding the British Steel pension scheme, Rush continued. “Much of the advice centred on so-called flexibility, death benefits and erroneously played on mistrust of the employer and the trustees and the scheme itself.” Rush, who helped obtain compensation for the mis-sold steelworkers, said the further away an individual is from retirement, the it is harder to justify a transfer. SJP in particular increased its market share last year. For every £6 transferred out of a DB pension scheme administered by LCP, £1 went to SJP, and more than a quarter (26 per cent) of all transfers were carried out by the wealth manager. Also Read: BA looks set to recover from pandemic, so why are its 40-something pilots giving up their gold-plated pensions? “However, the number of consumers receiving a recommendation to leave their DB scheme has been consistently too high,” it wrote on its website. BA looks set to recover from pandemic, so why are its 40-something pilots giving up their gold-plated pensions? However, British Airways has fared better than its rivals, some of which have looked in danger of collapse or have asked the government for bailout loans. BA also recently bolstered its finances with a £2bn loan deal. “They’re not for everyone,” he continued, “and some of the guys went to Hargreaves Lansdown and Delta Financial. I think SJP were really good.” Tuesday 20 April 2021 9:40 am by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeDaily Funny40 Brilliant Life Hacks Nobody Told You AboutDaily FunnyBleacherBreaker41 Old Toys That Are Worth More Than Your HouseBleacherBreakerFactableAluminum Foil Uses You’ll Want to KnowFactableAll Things Auto | Search AdsNew Cadillac’s Finally On SaleAll Things Auto | Search AdsBrake For It40 New Features In The 2021 Ford BroncoBrake For ItLivestlyPlugs Have These Two Holes At The End, Here’s WhyLivestlyPast Factory”Waltons” Actress Says Magazine Ended Her CareerPast FactoryThe Legacy ReportMan Who Predicted 2020 Crash 45 Days Early Issues Next Major WarningThe Legacy ReportDrivepedia30+ Funny Photos Of Car Owners Having A Rough DayDrivepedia Tags: Coronavirus Pensionslast_img read more

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For truly affordable health care, we need to pay for outcomes, not services

first_img @nashpophealth [email protected] By Rita E. Numerof and David B. Nash March 29, 2017 Reprints That’s exactly what we saw in the second annual State of Population Health Survey, published by Numerof & Associates. It showed that fewer than 1 in 5 health care executives are confident that their institutions are ready to assume financial risk for cost and quality. The majority of providers surveyed said that under 10 percent of their revenue comes from risk-based reimbursements, which is virtually unchanged from the prior year.Executives are also dialing back their expectations for how fast this percentage will grow. In this year’s survey, respondents projected that just 20 to 40 percent of their revenue will flow through alternative models within two years, down from 40 to 60 percent the year before. That’s worrisome, as changes in payment models are essential to achieving better health outcomes at a sustainable cost.If left to choose between the new path of assuming accountability for the total cost of care and outcomes or the current one of being paid for every service performed, most providers will choose the status quo. Recent government pilots demonstrated that phenomenon. In the Medicare Shared Savings Program, for example, only 1 percent of participants chose the track that exposed them to shared losses, while 99 percent chose shared savings only, steering clear of downside financial risk.But incentives can change behavior. As the largest purchaser of health care in the United States, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is in a unique position to influence delivery organizations. One provision in the embattled Affordable Care Act sought to promote progress toward changing how we pay for health care by directing CMS to test new payment mechanisms that hold providers accountable for costs and outcomes. Some of these mechanisms, like bundled payments, use financial risk to focus providers on the value of their care and lay the groundwork for population health.While some of these pilots have shown promise in moderating the spiraling cost of care, they’re not moving the industry fast enough toward new models of care delivery and payment. And the progress they’ve made has been accompanied by reams of regulations for providers to navigate, encouraging consolidation to deal with burdensome administrative requirements and taking the focus off providing the best possible care. President Trump and the Republican Party have been clear about their intention to replace the ACA with a more market-driven system. Less certain is the administration’s commitment to the idea of value-based care and the pace at which it will push for changes; the AHCA has little to say on the issue. It will be important to differentiate between the baby (payment reform and greater emphasis on prevention) and the bathwater (onerous regulations and reporting requirements) if we’re ever going to get to true value in health care.If the transition from fee-for-service to value-based accountable care is allowed to happen at a pace that makes health care delivery organizations comfortable, it will be decades before we see meaningful change. By that time, the confluence of the boomer age wave and inflation that is almost certainly in the near future promises to swamp the federal budget in a torrent of health care costs.To have any chance of success, real health care reform needs to dramatically change how we pay for what we get. Payers (public and private) need to rapidly increase provider participation in payment models with meaningful risk, while at the same time moving faster to put the old model and its perverse incentives to rest. We also need industry and policymakers to establish the transparency in cost and outcomes essential for enabling patient choice and keeping providers accountable for value.Until we reward population health, we won’t get it.Rita E. Numerof, PhD, is president of Numerof & Associates. David B. Nash, MD, is dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health. Many of today’s value-based care efforts aren’t transforming the way health care is paid for and delivered. They tend to make only minor modifications to the fee-for-service model, starting with existing fee schedules and adding incentive payments for reporting certain data, meeting cost benchmarks, and the like. But these efforts largely don’t make providers responsible for the total cost of caring for their patients or for the health outcomes achieved. First OpinionFor truly affordable health care, we need to pay for outcomes, not services Tags insurancephysicians Related: Broad implementation of population health would challenge providers to assume greater financial risk for their patients’ outcomes and so take a different approach to delivering and coordinating care. Since most organizations are entrenched in today’s fee-for-service model, it’s no surprise to find resistance to this shift.advertisement About the Authors Reprints Health insurers and hospitals have talked a lot about their successful forays into value-based care. But the broader shift from volume to value needs to accelerate if we are to finally tame the increases in health care costs that threaten long-term economic growth in the United States.Fee for service, the dominant payment model in health care today, relies on an elaborate fee schedule for every identifiable procedure. Unfortunately, it has created incentives for doing more tests and surgeries than may be necessary.The concept of population health stands in contrast to the fee-for-service model. It focuses on managing the health of a population by providing the right interventions for patients at the least costly point in the care continuum — from preventive care programs to post-acute services. Population health management means paying providers or health systems on a per-patient, per-month basis rather than sticking with the fee-for-service system of paying for each service rendered. With quality reporting and guarantees built in, this change provides incentives to keep people healthy — not just treat them when they are injured or sick.advertisement [email protected] David B. Nash @RitaNumerof Rita E. Numerof APStock True value-based care is a trillion-dollar unicorn for the health care industry last_img read more

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Renewed economic ‘self-reliance’ goals in N. Korea insufficient to overcome sanctions,…

first_imgAnalysis & Opinion Kim Jong Un gives ‘field guidance’ at a backpack manufacturing company in Pyongyang on January 5, 2017. Image: Yonhap News Agency Renewed economic ‘self-reliance’ goals in N. Korea insufficient to overcome sanctions, say experts Domestically-manufactured products continue to gain market share over their Chinese counterparts in North Korea’s local markets as the authorities ramp up their emphasis on self-reliance. However, whether or not the policy to shift economic responsibility to domestic industry is sustainable under ongoing international sanctions remains to be seen. “In markets all over the country like in Hyesan and Sinuiju, domestically-manufactured products have become more popular than the Chinese-made ones because the quality is better and the prices are lower,” a source in North Pyongan Province told Daily NK on March 21.A source in Ryanggang Province added, “It used to be that people preferred the higher-quality Chinese products, but recently the authorities have supported domestic light industry through their self-reliance policy, leading to improvements in quality.”Domestic products that have gained in popularity are said to include snack foods, bread, shoes, socks, clothing, backpacks, school supplies, toys, and cosmetics. However, North Korean consumers still seem to prefer foreign-made electronic items like cell phones over the domestic alternatives, which are considered to be outdated in terms of features and quality.  The North’s efforts to improve light industry manufacturing began in 2015, after Kim Jong Un stated during the annual New Year’s address that “all factories and businesses must energetically shed the disease of importation and realize a change to domestic production of raw materials and resources.” Kim first mentioned the “self-reliance-first” policy by name in his 2016 New Year’s address, stressing the need to ‘improve the lives of the people and the country’s economic development.’ Analysts believed that Kim was signalling a desire to move the country away from its economic overdependence on China.In his 2017 address, Kim boasted that domestic production of light-industry raw materials will lead to better quality products and a more diverse array of goods available in the markets. Kim then proclaimed in his 2018 address that the country’s “numerous light-industry factories in sectors including textiles, footwear, knitwear and foodstuff industries … made proactive efforts to propel the modernization of several production lines by means of our own technology and our own equipment.” Experts believe that Kim Jong Un’s shifting attention towards “self-reliance-first” is evidence of the North’s belief that domestic manufacturing can sufficiently compensate for the country’s losses incurred by international sanctions.  “The North Korean authorities are taking action towards (improving) distribution of domestic goods before the economy gets worse,” said Lee Geun Young, Professor at the Yanbian University Department of Political and Public Administration. “They want to create better products that people are willing to spend money on as alternatives to the Chinese options.”Lee believes that the authorities see it as a win-win, where “the government profits directly from the sale of the goods and public opinion of the regime improves due to the lower prices.” Lee also said that this “perhaps lends to Kim Jong Un’s confidence in his policy of self reliance.”However, many analysts do not believe these sorts of policies alone are enough to completely make up for the foreign supplies of goods cut off by sanctions. “Their policy of self-reliance may have some limited positive effects, but it cannot address the most fundamental problems with their economy,” said Cho Bong Hyun, a senior researcher at the IBK Economic Research Institute. “They may improve their manufacturing capabilities, but they can never achieve 100% independence in terms of raw material and base machinery production,” Cho added. “They will eventually have to turn back to foreign imports, but this will be difficult under continued international sanctions.” AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Twitter Is Nuclear Peace with North Korea Possible? By Daily NK – 2018.03.23 4:39pm Analysis & Opinion Analysis & Opinion SHARE Analysis & Opinion Tracking the “unidentified yellow substance” being dried out near the Yongbyon Nuclear Center Pence Cartoon: “KOR-US Karaoke”last_img read more

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Commodities weigh on TSX

first_img Toronto stock market dips on weakness in the energy and financials sectors Keywords Marketwatch David Hodges S&P/TSX composite hits highest close since March on strength of financials sector Canada’s main stock index racked up its third straight day of losses on Wednesday as oil and gold prices lost ground, while U.S. markets finished mixed. The S&P/TSX composite index was down 61.92 points to 15,967.72, with the technology sector leading decliners. Shares of Shopify Inc. tumbled $10.09, or 7.03%, to $133.40 at the closing of markets. The materials and metals sectors also finished in the red, as the February gold contract declined US$13.00 to US$1,286.20 an ounce and the March copper contract gave back US3¢ to US$3.07 a pound. Surprisingly, the energy sector was one of few advancers on the commodity-heavy TSX, despite a sharp drop in oil prices as the January crude contract fell 69¢ to US$57.30 per barrel. “It is perplexing if crude prices are down and energy stocks are up,” said Candice Bangsund, a vice-president and portfolio manager at Fiera Capital in Montreal. “It happens sometimes perhaps when the sell-off in energy prices has been overdone, and obviously people maybe look at that as a buying opportunity in the energy space which is maybe unfairly depressed.” Bangsund said crude prices “are really in defence mode” ahead of OPEC’s meeting in Vienna on Thursday. “You’re just seeing some lingering uncertainty about whether OPEC and Russia are going to be able to reach that agreement on extending productions cuts next year,” she said. It was reported last week that the 14 nations of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia have agreed to extend their latest cuts in oil production until the end of 2018. OPEC and a group of other important oil producers will meet in Austria’s capital on Thursday to discuss cuts they announced one year ago and implemented at the start of 2017. Weakness in gold, said Bangsund, can be attributed to encouraging developments in the United States. The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that the U.S. economy grew at an annual pace of 3.3% from July through September, the fastest rate in three years. U.S. investors were also encouraged by news Tuesday that a Senate committee has cleared the way for a tax reform bill to go before the full Senate. “When taken together that’s setting the stage for higher interest rates in the U.S. and of course that’s negative for gold,” Bangsund said. A steep drop in technology companies south of the border also pulled major U.S. stock indexes mostly lower on Wednesday, offsetting gains in other sectors. Amazon, Facebook, Google parent Alphabet and other big technology companies were giving up some of their recent gains. “In the technology space we’re seeing some profit taking today, no specific news just some pretty broad-based selling,” Bangsund noted. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average advanced 103.97 points to 23,940.68, a record high, while the S&P 500 index edged down 0.97 of a point to 2,626.07 and the Nasdaq composite index fell 87.97 points to 6,824.39. In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at an average value of US77.80¢, down 0.28 of a U.S. cent against a strengthening greenback. Elsewhere in commodities, the January natural gas contract was up US5¢ at US$3.18 per mmBTU. With a file from The Associated Presscenter_img Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Related news Share this article and your comments with peers on social media TSX gets lift from financials, U.S. markets rise to highest since Marchlast_img read more

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Canadian workforce facing demographic shift, StatsCan predicts

first_img James Langton Related news Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Leadership corporate hierarchy recruiter team leader employee selection new job jirsak/123RF RBC report says immigration slowdown threatens Canadian economy Immigration likely to miss targets again in 2021: RBC Keywords Immigrants In turn, this will have “important consequences for the Canadian economy,” the report says. “With more people leaving and fewer people entering the labour market, some sectors face the prospect of labour shortages. A lower overall participation rate will likely put pressure on fiscal revenues, which fund essential social and economic services and programs.”These pressures would likely be even more significant if not for immigration, and people staying employed longer than they did in the past — both factors that are bolstering the workforce.For instance, StatsCan said the participation rate among men approaching retirement age (aged 60 to 64) rose from 43% in 1995 to 61% in 2017, and for older women, the rate has more than doubled, from 23% to 49% over the same period.Looking ahead, StatsCan’s report suggests that these trends will continue. It notes that immigrants represented about 25% of the Canadian workforce in 2016, and that this could grow to more than 33% by 2036.Similarly, older workers (aged over 55) accounted for 21% of the workforce in 2017, and this is projected to rise to 25% by 2036. Back in 1976, only 11% of the workforce was over age 55, the report noted.“There are multiple factors associated with the increase in the labour market participation of seniors, including better health and longer life expectancy, higher levels of education and their financial situation,” the report says.StatsCan also says that there will likely be regional differences to these effects. For instance, it projects that immigrants will make up an even bigger share of the workforce in major cities, such as Toronto and Vancouver, which are popular destinations for new Canadians. In Toronto, immigrants are forecast to represent 57% of the workforce by 2036.“In these large urban areas, high immigration as well as the migration of young adults from other regions of Canada would partially offset the effects of population aging,” the report says. Immigrants, not reckless lending, are driving Canada’s housing boom: NBF The demographic makeup of the Canadian labour force is set to evolve in the years ahead, according to a new study from Statistics Canada, which forecasts that the workforce will be getting older, more reliant on immigrants and increasingly prone to shortages in certain sectors.StatsCan published a study on Wednesday that provides its projections for the Canadian job market of 2036. With the Baby Boomer generation entering their retirement years, the national statistical agency reports that the labour force participation rate had already declined from 68% in 2008 to 66% in 2017 — and it predicts that it will fall to between 61% and 63% by 2036. last_img read more

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‘Natural capital’ debuts as an asset class

first_imgSolar farm on a rural hillside LEOPATRIZI/ISTOCKPHOTO How do you measure the impact of an impact investment? Related news Keywords Climate change,  Responsible investing,  ESG Group of large oilsands operators commit to become net zero emitters by 2050 Share this article and your comments with peers on social media The new venture will manage private funds offering institutional investors exposure to “global natural capital themes in both emerging and developed markets” aimed at preserving, protecting and enhancing nature over the long term.“Clients are increasingly focused on environmental matters and this initiative is designed to help them achieve a financial return, while at the same time creating a positive impact on the world’s biodiversity, which will be felt for generations to come,” Nicolas Moreau, global CEO of HSBC GAM, said in a statement.Funds will invest in projects including sustainable forestry, sustainable agriculture, water supply, bio fuels and “blue carbon” — coastal ecosystems that sequester carbon emissions.Pending regulatory approval, HSBC Pollination Climate Asset Management plans to launch two funds next year — one looking to raise US$1 billion; the other, US$2 billion. HSBC intends to become a cornerstone investor in the first fund, according to the release.“Investing in the resilience of nature is investing in the resilience of the economy,” Martijn Wilder, co-founding partner of Pollination, said in a statement. “Nature is the most fertile investment we have.” Climate metrics are imperfect, but advisors still need to start using them A new joint venture between HSBC Global Asset Management Ltd. and Pollination Group Holdings Ltd. is billing itself as “the first large-scale venture to mainstream natural capital as an asset class.”On Monday, the two London-based firms announced they had joined forces to create HSBC Pollination Climate Asset Management, “the world’s largest natural capital [asset] manager,” according to a release. IE Staff Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

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Consumers might not return to old product choices once finances improve

first_imgConsumers might not return to old product choices once finances improve — When faced with job losses, a sudden drop in income, or other stormy economic conditions, consumers will likely need to shift their purchasing priorities and preferences. Those changed preferences outlast the contraction and shape choices even after income recovers.In a series of studies, Penn State Smeal College of Business-led researchers say that consumers may not return to their original spending patterns even after those gloomy economic clouds finally clear up. The findings suggest that, despite their own tight budgets, businesses should continue to reach customers during uncertain economic times, or face negative consequences that stretch beyond the contraction.The studies build on work seeking to understand how consumers behave in uncertain economic conditions, said Gretchen Ross, a former Penn State Smeal doctoral student in marketing and currently an assistant marketing professor at Texas Christian University.“There’s this idea that when we have an expanding budget trajectory, we tend to add more categories to the budget, then when we have a decreasing budget trajectory,” said Ross, who was the first author of the paper. “In other words, we spend on more categories on the upward, than the downward. So, we started thinking what happens when you experience a contraction in your budget, but then are able to go back to your original state? For example, what would happen if you lost your job and needed to cut some budget categories, but then you find a new job and go back to previous income levels. Would we go back to spending our income on the same categories?”According to Ross, consumers typically shift their priorities and preferences during the contraction and those shifts persist after resources are restored. Further, these shifted preferences may be more stable than initially thought.“As an example, if your income increases, you might start buying fine wine instead of boxed wine,” said Margaret Meloy, professor of marketing and Calvin E. and Pamala T. Zimmerman Fellow, who also serves as the Marketing Department chair. “However, when your budget constricts, going back to boxed wine may feel so aversive that it makes more sense to stop buying wine entirely. In other words, consumers might cut out entire categories of consumption during contractions. When economic resources return, consumers may continue to skip the wine because they have discovered they weren’t enjoying it that much in the first place,” she added.Judicious marketingThe researchers, who published their findings in a recent issue of the Journal of Consumer Research, one of the top journals in its field, suggest that companies need to watch marketing budgets closely during these contractions.“You have to prevent your brand from ending up on the cutting room floor when budgets contract,” said Meloy. “If your brand disappears during the contraction, there’s a lower probability that it will return as budgets re-expand. During an economic downturn, it may not be a time to cut your marketing budget; you may want to spend it judiciously on those most likely to cut your brand during the contraction.”Ross said that companies should also look for ways to help customers manage times of economic struggles.“There may be ways that companies could help customers during this time,” said Ross. “For example, let’s say I’m experiencing a financial contraction, it’s not that I don’t want to go to Starbucks for a coffee, I just can’t afford it. Perhaps Starbucks could help me by giving me coupons, that might help me stick with the company.”The researchers conducted several experiments to show that the effect stretched across other domains including time, space and money.To test a loss and return of resources of time, the researchers recruited 119 people to test how their responses to how they would budget time in a travel scenario. They were asked to allocate time for an original itinerary and then later asked how that itinerary would change if it was shortened and then restored.Similarly, the researchers recruited 123 participants to explore a loss and restoration of space resources. In this scenario the participants were asked which vegetables they would plant in a garden of 21 rows and then which they would plant it if the space was contracted to seven rows. They were then asked about their plan when the garden was eventually restored to its original dimensions. Did individuals decide to leave some of the vegetables in the initial allocation out of the final allocation across the 21 rows?To test financial resources, the researchers recruited 223 participants to manage a $300 budget that was cut to $100 and then eventually restored back to $300.“In every domain that you can show a robust effect, it indicates there’s something fundamental to the way you’re forming preferences,” said Meloy.The team recruited 178 participants for a follow-up study, referred to as a consequential choice study, that tested the preference-forming effect with real resources — in this case, candy.Finally, the researchers investigated the preference selection of people who faced a real-world example of contraction during the 2018-19 government shutdown.The researchers said future work may look at how resource contractions affect the saving patterns of consumers once resources are restored. Do people save more after experiencing a contraction? Another area of research might be to investigate whether preference refinement affects choice satisfaction. For example, researchers could examine how budget contractions during the COVID-19 pandemic may alter satisfaction with a simpler lifestyle that lasts after the pandemic ends. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Christian, covid-19, Effect, Government, job loss, pandemic, participants, Pennsylvania State University, Professor, research, resources, Ross, spending, Student, Texas, university, vegetableslast_img read more

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Australian first keeps waterways clean

first_imgAustralian first keeps waterways clean A new species of shark is lurking in the waters near Cockle Bay Wharf, feasting on a diet of plastics, metal and floating debris.Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes today introduced the WasteShark to Australian waters for the first time, a 1.5 metre aquadrone that will clean litter from the sea.“Everyone wants a safe and sparkling harbour and I’m delighted to welcome the latest weapon in the war on waste,” Mr Stokes said.“The WasteShark can devour up to 160 kgs in one sitting – including plastics, vegetation, floating debris, chemicals, marine fuels and oils that shouldn’t be in our waterways.“Along with cleaning our waters, the WasteShark will collect and store valuable data on water quality.“This is an environmentally-friendly solution to cleaning our waterways, powered by battery and emitting zero emissions.”Placemaking NSW Chief Executive Anita Mitchell said the WasteShark was developed in the Netherlands and would begin devouring prey from this week.“Swimming through enclosed waters autonomously or under remote control, it can remove rubbish while scanning and monitoring the health of the marine environment, sending data on water conditions back to a central command via the cloud,” Ms Mitchell said.“It gathers air and water quality data, filters chemicals such as oil, arsenic, and heavy metals and scans the seabed to read its depth and contours.“We’re excited to see the WasteShark set sail as an innovative, safe and efficient way to continue to keep Cockle Bay clean.” /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:arsenic, Australia, Australian, battery, environment, Government, Minister, Mitchell, Netherlands, New South Wales, NSW, planning, quality, species, Water, water quality, Weapon, zero-emissionlast_img read more

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