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Apple, the first ever U.S. company to be valued at $1 trillion, is no longer worth $1 trillion.

News of Apple’s demotion — now once again slumming it as one of the companies worth only hundreds of billions of dollars — came as the result of a domino effect of negative press for the company. Already feeling market pressure after announcing a change to how the company was going to report quarterly sales, a new report delivering bad news related to the latest iPhone has extended those woes.

SEE ALSO: Seriously, would you wear these nose warmers?

After a report in Nikkei Asian Review, a large financial publication out of Japan, claimed demand for the new iPhone XR was lower than expected, Apple’s suppliers in Asia have taken a hit in the stock market as well. The stock prices of Foxconn, Pegatron, Largan Precision, Flexium Interconnect, and AAC Technologies all declined in the wake of the news, which said Apple has supposedly halted additional production lines of its latest iPhone model. Read more...

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          Here's How Progressives Can Win — No Matter What Happens on Election Day      Cache   Translate Page      
Race, class and justice: After the midterms, a new way forward for Democrats

This week's midterm elections are likely the most important in recent American history, a referendum on the present and future of the country’s multiracial democracy. On one side there is Donald Trump and a Republican Party which has fully embraced white backlash politics and the lie that white Americans are under siege in “their own country.” Trump and his movement represent an emerging American form of fascism and a full-on assault on democracy. On the other side is the Democratic Party and its multiracial coalition of mostly younger, more educated and cosmopolitan voters who correctly see in Donald Trump and his movement an existential threat to their human rights, safety, dignity and prosperity.

Running through both sides of this fractious political divide – what feels like a domestic cold war about to turn hot — are old and unresolved questions about the relationship between race and class in America.

Donald Trump bellows about the “forgotten” (white) American and taking the “country back” for the (white) “working class.” This is fake populism and classic Herrenvolk right-wing "producerism." Or to put things more simply, white identity politics repackaged as something else.

In response, the Democratic Party have struggled to create a unifying narrative. Too many of its most vocal spokespeople – especially on the left – have suggested that “identity” politics and too much focus on issues of race and gender allowed Donald Trump to steal the presidency from Hillary Clinton and the Democrats in 2016.

López’s new research project suggests that Democrats need to embrace a more sophisticated way of talking about race, class and human rights as being inseparable from one another. Ultimately, it is plutocrats like Donald Trump, Republican donors and funders, and other members of the 1 percent who are using racism -- as they have done throughout American history -- to divide and conquer, leaving the large majority of people less prosperous, less secure and less free.

How do racial “dog-whistle” politics play into this right-wing strategy? What does white racial identity mean for white Americans at present? In what ways has Trump-style white identity politics actually hurt white people? How can a smarter and more nuanced discussion of race and class unite voters in support of the Democratic Party specifically, and liberal and progressive policies more broadly? How have right-wing libertarians and other conservatives combined racism with a narrative about “big government” to destroy the social safety net, make the rich even richer and more powerful, and hurt the American people as a whole?

My conversation with Ian Haney López has been edited for clarity and length.

How was Donald Trump able to win the White House? What do we know about that now that we didn't know two years ago?

I would say that Trump’s path was eased by a half-century-long process in which the Republican Party purposefully remade itself as the white men’s party. They did this by harnessing racial demagoguery as a weapon. But the fact of the matter is that racial demagoguery is not a weapon which can be controlled. Every Republican politician who gets elected as a racial demagogue is vulnerable to being bested on the right by someone who’s even more extreme in terms of racial demagoguery.

The big advantage Donald Trump had was that he didn’t actually believe he was going to become president. Therefore he didn’t care about the fate of the Republican Party. This meant Trump had few if any constraints – beyond what worked strategically to his advantage – on his use of racial demagoguery. Because Trump was willing to go much further in terms of his racist innuendo, he ran the field on the Republicans. He took them all out.

You look at these folks: Mitt Romney had his own track record with racial demagoguery, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush started talking about deporting people. All of them were racial demagogues themselves, but they were constrained by the sense of what it might take to actually get elected, by the sense that Republicans needed a bigger base and a concern with their own integrity and public reputation. Trump was unburdened by any of that. Essentially what Donald Trump did was walk into a game that the Republicans had set up, one which had a few nominal constraints. He broke the rules and won the game.

There is a more or less straight line from John McCain and Sarah Palin to this moment with Donald Trump.

There is this deeper fear of actually naming what’s been happening in our country over the last 50 years. You have a lot of people who want to treat Trump like an anomaly and say, “Wow! That guy is out of control. If only we could back to 2016.” Here are the facts. In 2016 we were in a deep crisis as a country, a slow-moving crisis which has been on the march since the civil rights movement. Which direction are we going to go as a society? Will we proceed in the direction of multiracial democracy, or will we instead proceed away from democracy and towards rule by the rich? That question has been front and center in this country for the last 50 years. Trump didn’t raise that question. He only drew the dynamics into view.

Similarly, McCain brought Sarah Palin in and also engaged in significant racial demagoguery himself. He understood it was immoral. He understood it was racist. When McCain felt that his own election was jeopardized, he started talking about building a wall on the Mexico-U.S. border. McCain was more than happy to campaign with Donald Trump and with [former Phoenix sheriff] Joe Arpaio, and this is somebody that we know understood that those were racial demagogues. Shame on him! I think it’s a mistake to say, “Well, McCain was this wonderful centrist. If only we had more people like him.” No, McCain was very much a part of the problem.

Frankly, the people who refused to see McCain as part of the problem are part of the problem too, because they’re blinding themselves to the actual challenges we face as a country. Do we move self-confidently and purposefully towards multiracial democracy, or do we follow a set of leaders who are intentionally and strategically dividing us by race, moving us away from democracy and toward rule by the rich?

I have a standard warning I give when writing about Trump and this moment, or giving talks about it. I point out that America’s multiracial democracy is contingent and in many ways an outlier in the country’s history. White backlash under Trump and the Republican Party is a threat to post-civil rights America, a country too many people – especially younger Americans – have taken to be a norm and a given for all time. Are my worries and cautions misplaced? 

Not at all. If I were to push back at all, I’d say it’s not clear to me that we have yet achieved a multiracial democracy that we might be in the process of losing. We moved dramatically in that direction in the 1960s, but then, very quickly, progress was cut off. Definitions are important. When I use the term “multiracial democracy,” I mean a democracy in which all people are fully enfranchised and people are not disenfranchised in a way that significantly parallels the country’s racial hierarchy. When have we had that in the United States?

Since the mid-1970s, we’ve been moving back quite aggressively from that ideal. If you look at what’s been happening with the Republican Party, essentially from 1980 onward, they came to understand that their election depended upon disenfranchising people of color. They have been aggressively pursuing the disenfranchisement of people of color through such policies as felony disenfranchisement laws, gerrymandering and now this whole narrative about almost nonexistent “voter fraud.”

Meanwhile, of course, these are the same Republicans who will not lift a finger to ensure that our voting systems are protected against hacking by Russia. There is a profoundly antidemocratic impulse at work on the American right wing, and it’s embodied institutionally in the Republican Party. It has forestalled any actual move towards multiracial democracy.

This hostility towards multiracial democracy is part of a hostility by Republicans and conservatives to democracy more generally. For example, the rule of law, freedom of the press and what is happening with America’s courts from the appellate to the federal system also show how the conservative movement is hostile to democracy. Trump is just more obvious about it.

The right-wing assault on the judicial branch is also a clear example of how conservatism and racism are one and the same thing in America at present.

Yes, although I would not go that far. I would say that the Federalist Society for example takes a view of race relations which they claim is “anti-racist.” Yet it’s a view that tends to ensure the continuation of white dominance. But this is not just Trump. Conservatives have been engaged in a purposeful remaking of the courts that has two complementary parts. This is pure “dog-whistle” politics.

One part is to attack the courts for their recent role in promoting racial integration and gender equality and to say, “Well, the courts are full of activist judges.” In this logic, the courts do not deserve legitimacy because they are promoting this illegitimate liberal agenda of integration and gender equality: “We have to get rid of activist judges.” What that means in practice is that we have to install court justices who are hostile to the basic idea that human rights should exist for everybody in society.

The other half of this logic and strategy is that conservatives are going to take the opportunity to put on the court justices and judges who are friendly to the business community. This is part of one big strategy.

The more we shut down human rights as a society, the more we create space to open up for a pro-business orientation. What we have in the Supreme Court as it exists now – and where Brett Kavanaugh will only make this worse – is an institution that is historically one of the most hostile to civil rights and one of the friendliest to big business. That is a product of dog-whistle politics.

How does this work? Right-wing politicians say to voters, “Hey! People of color are a threat. You know who else is a threat? Government and in particular, the courts, because the courts keep forcing you to have to deal with these people. Let’s remake the courts so that you’re protected from these activist judges.”

In the process of remaking the courts, they install business-friendly judges who are busy making life difficult for unions, making life difficult for people who want to sue corporations, making life wonderful for big money in politics, making life wonderful for polluters.

These are the wages of dog-whistle politics: The promise that you’re going to be protected from people of color and activist judges and government that protects them, when in reality what you’re really going to get is a judicial system and a government that helps rig the rules for the new plutocrats.

Here is an obvious and common objection by conservatives – especially College Republican types who still have Ayn Rand in their back pocket – to your observation. “We have to free business and get rid of regulations because capitalism and the market are antithetical to racism. Those are market inefficiencies. If we just free business, then racism will go away.” 

Anybody who says that is not paying attention to what’s actually happening in the economy. The whole idea of unfettered competition, that’s just theoretical libertarian nonsense. One would have to be crazy to believe that stuff.

What you really have is not deregulation, but re-regulation on the part of the corporations and the family dynasties and the lobbyists themselves. This is the rich writing the rules for themselves, and they write the rules in ways that protect them from market competition and liability when in the course of making billions they do damage to regular people.

The whole sort of college libertarian thinking is so much self-induced blindness about what’s lurking behind these arguments. It wouldn’t take but 15 or 20 minutes of serious reading to discover that very few people are actually serious about a deregulated marketplace. It wouldn’t take that much more to discover that many of the big libertarians, including Rand Paul and his father, are people who came to libertarianism as a way of opposing civil rights.

It doesn’t take that much reflection to recognize that libertarianism as a political ideology is most attractive to young (white) men of great means who can, because of their age and gender, imagine themselves as dominant and heroic and self-sufficient. And also because of their privilege and means, these same libertarians don’t worry about how they are going to pay for education, how they are going to pay for health care, how they are going to pay for shelter, how they are going to pay for food. They have not experienced the hardships of life or its sudden reversals.

Ultimately, there is a type of political and psychological immaturity to libertarianism. There is also a disregard for human rights, through libertarianism, for many different people in our society.

What are some examples of how racism actually hurts white people? Of course, there is what the historian and sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois famously described as the “psychological wages of whiteness.” But there is a huge material component to whiteness as well.

I think you’ve hit on a really critical point. What is the relationship between most white people today, in 2018, and whiteness as an identity? Being considered “white” is a type of social identity. But in this moment with Trump we have an opportunity to show white folks that seeking meaning in being white is actually very dangerous to their welfare and the welfare of their children. In a remarkable way, given the politics of this crisis, we’re in a different position in 2018 than we were in 1968 -- let alone than we were in the 1600s -- to make this point.

For centuries the radical idea has been cross-racial solidarity between working people. But the reality has also been that the psychological and material benefits of whiteness have been enormous and thus sufficient to win over the loyalty of many whites. Whiteness has granted certainty about one’s place in society, one’s own inherent goodness, one’s own rationality, one’s human capacity, one’s ability to engage in self-governance.

Whiteness also provided jobs, neighborhoods, houses, the clubs, the churches, etc. These are tremendous benefits. How do they compare to the one percent, or the one-tenth of one percent, in terms of class and money? Relatively speaking, they're crumbs. But these wages of whiteness are still significant.

What has happened in 2018, by comparison? Two different things. On the one hand, if we think about the psychological wages of whiteness, for many whites those wages have been going down because of the civil rights movement, and going down in a way that I think many whites would actually describe as positive. That is, many whites have internalized the idea that foregrounding your sense of self in race pride is racist, immoral and ugly.

That has diminished the value of thinking of yourself as white. I can’t really be proud of being white: That’s morally wrong. That reduces the psychological wages of whiteness. Now, to be absolutely clear, many whites are fighting to reaffirm the wages of whiteness. This is the real meaning of Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

On the other hand, what’s happened to the material wages of whiteness? Those have been going down as American society racially integrated. But even more profoundly, white racial fear has been weaponized by the rich over the last 50 years through dog-whistle politics. This is the basis upon which many whites have been convinced to support a siphoning of wealth from themselves and their families skywards, up into the economic stratosphere for the plutocrats.

With Donald Trump, progressives have a chance to make two critical points to whites. Critical point No. 1: Think about the psychological wages of whiteness in terms of Trump. Trump exemplifies what it means to build your identity around being proud of being white. It means to be a liar. It means to be cruel. It means to dehumanize others. It means to steal from others. It means to be a bully and a cheat. That’s what it means if you want to build your identity around white pride.

Second, look at Trump and ask yourself: Is whiteness helping regular white folks, or is whiteness just a weapon that billionaires can use against everybody? Trump gives us the opportunity to say to many whites that the biggest financial threat in your life comes from other whites voting their racial fears and handing the country over to greedy billionaires who only really care about themselves.

These two dynamics, I think, put us in a remarkable place in 2018 where we can say this old dream of cross-racial solidarity that has always foundered on the shoals of the value of whiteness to whites might finally be possible now -- if we can convince enough whites that seeking to be white as a source of identity is a moral disaster and a financial disaster as well.

How would you explain “dog-whistle” politics – the term is increasingly common in American political discourse but rarely properly defined? What examples would you offer of how dog-whistle politics hurt Americans on both sides of the color line?

Donald Trump went to the American people and said, “You need to worry about illegal aliens. You need to worry about Mexico sending rapists. You need to worry about Muslim terrorists.” He also said, “Crime in the black communities is awful. People can’t go outside without getting shot. We can fix that. We can ban Muslims. We can get tougher on crime in black neighborhoods. We can build a wall on the border.”

How are these examples of dog-whistle politics? On their surface, they do not mention race. They do not use a racial epithet. They do not come across as white supremacy, and yet just below the surface, that’s the narrative. It’s a narrative of racial fear.

Yes, Trump says “Muslims.” Yes, he says “Mexicans.” But his defense is that “Mexican” is a nationality or “Mexico” is a country. “Muslims” are a religion. That’s today’s dog-whistle. You have people engaging in a classic form of race-baiting that understands race as both ancestry and culture, but who then turn around and say, “These Mexicans are rapists.” That has nothing to do with race, right? That’s the dog-whistle: To use a racial provocation and to know that you’re doing such a thing. That’s the political speech.

What outcomes has this all enabled? The reality of what people are getting with Donald Trump and his Republican Party is a cabinet full of billionaires, rampant corruption, a $1.5 trillion tax cut for the very rich, a Department of Education that wants to make it easier for predatory companies to rip off people who are taking loans for a chance at a better life, an EPA that only cares about making sure polluters can make more money. This is all dog-whistle politics personified. One could not have a more powerful example of the way in which racially charged language is consistently used and where race is combined with rule by the rich.

What do we know empirically about white racial identity and public opinion in this moment of Trumpism?

The data is really compelling and very disturbing. We know that racial resentment, measured under what social scientists call the “modern racism” scale, is the No. 1 driver of support for Donald Trump. But there is an even better and more powerful means of measuring white antipathy towards people of color and government.

Since the early 1970s, what the American right-wing has been doing is conjoining race and government in the economy. Their basic message has been to fear and dislike people of color. There is another component to this as well:  Hate “big government” because it coddles “those people” with welfare and refuses to control them through criminal law. Turn away from government, trust the marketplace.

These three ideas, race, government and economy, are all linked. If you really want to understand how race is working in the United States, you really need to think about new racial frames that combine not only dislike for people of color, but also distrust in government and support for individual efforts in the marketplace.  When you look at that combination we see the correlation between those three values and support for Trump. The relationship is even more powerful than racial resentment.

There is a second component: What does race mean to whites? Race is a social construction. How is it evolving? How is it shifting? How is it responding to politics?

New research asked self-identified white people: "How important is being 'white' to you?" About 60 percent said anywhere from moderately to extremely important, and right around half said they felt that it was important for them to work together with other whites to protect the interests of whites as a group. Those are remarkable findings because what they’re telling us is there is a public etiquette of colorblindness. Whites routinely assert this set of rules when they’re trying to get people of color to stop talking about race.

Post-civil rights era racial colorblindness demands, “Hey, it’s wrong to foreground race. It’s wrong to notice it. It’s wrong to talk about it. It’s wrong to think about yourself and racial identity.” That might be the public rhetoric, but it’s not the reality, because at present somewhere upwards of half of whites are self-consciously thinking of themselves as white.

You are involved in an exciting new project which explores how we can think more strategically about the relationship between race and class in America.   

In this new research we asked a set of questions about race, class and government. We used the answers to sort the American public into three groups. We call them “base,” “persuadables” in the middle and “opposition.”

The “base” are people who basically said, “People of color are beset by structural problems. People are poor for structural reasons. Government has an important role to play.”

People who are the “opposition” took the opposite points of view. They said consistently that people of color are poor because there’s something wrong with them. Poor people are poor because there’s something wrong with them, and government is the problem. Base, we’re looking at about one-quarter of the population, 23 percent. Opposition, you’re looking at 18 percent. Let’s be crystal clear about that 18 percent. We will never get them. Their views are consistently hostile to progressive views on race, on what it means to be poor and the economy and the role of government.

But, that leaves about 60 percent of the people in the middle. This “persuadable” category constitutes three out of five Americans. With such a large group, it includes a lot of people of color. It includes a lot of Democrats. It includes a lot of union members. It also includes some Republicans, and maybe a few Trump voters, It’s a very broad group. When we look at this group, especially on race and the economy, what we found was that they held reactionary views. They would say things such as “Poverty among people of color is explained by a lack of effort.”

At the same time, they also held racially progressive views. They would toggle between the two perspectives. This was tremendously important because I think a lot of us have thought, “Wow! There’s a lot of racism out there, how are we going to overcome that?” Yes, there is a lot of racism out there, but it turns out there’s also a lot of racially progressive views. That creates the possibility of actually connecting with and activating those racially progressive views.

A common criticism of Hillary Clinton in the last campaign was that she talked too much about race and that this type of “identity politics" made her vulnerable to Trump’s right-wing “populist” message about class. How would you respond?

I think Hillary Clinton talked too much race in the wrong way. It was not the amount of time she dedicated to talking about race, but rather the way she talked about it. If we talk about race as white racism against people of color, that’s a frame which has negative effects both for whites and for people of color. What we found is that if we talk about racism that way, then white audiences feel implicated and they’re turned off. This is not at all surprising.

More surprising, we found that when we talked to communities of color and we offered a political analysis which said, “The main problem is politicians who are racists and racist voters who vote for them,” people of color were demobilized by that narrative. That story seemed to invoke 300 years of history. It made things seem insurmountable. People went very quickly from a sense of what’s politically possible to a narrative of what they could control as individuals. Whenever you see people shifting to stories of individual responsibility and what they can control, this reaffirms the right-wing framework that says, “You’re on your own. Take care of yourself. If you fail, it’s your own fault.”

Now let’s try a different frame: “Racism is a weapon of the rich that’s being used against all of us.” In our focus groups  we talked about racism as a weapon of the rich and explained that this is a "divide and distract" tactic that they are using against whites, against blacks, against brown folks, against Native Americans and Asian-Americans and immigrants. This is a weapon of the rich. This allowed whites to see how they are also targeted by the racial manipulation by the rich.

This narrative framework also allowed people of color to say, “We know that we need to fight racism, but now there’s a chance that white people might be in this fight with us too --maybe not with the same stakes, but still in this fight.”

There’s power to creating a sense of cross-racial solidarity, not alone on a moral ground because fighting racism is the right thing to do, but centered more firmly in the idea that fighting racism is the only way that white and black and brown folks are going to be able to thrive in this society. Cross-racial solidarity can defeat racism as a “divide and distract” weapon. It can get the government back on the side of people and have it create economic prosperity and racial justice for all people.

What are some narratives that you would suggest the Democrats use to defeat the Republican Party and Donald Trump?

Our research shows that there is a core narrative which progressives need to adopt.

Part one: Defeat, “divide and distract” as a tactic by insisting on cross-racial solidarity that includes whites and other communities of color.

Part two: Identify cross-racial solidarity as the way to take government back for working people and away from big business and the very rich.

Part three: Through government, build shared prosperity and promote racial justice.

Those are the three steps and it is applicable to many issues. Welfare reform, education, mass incarceration, mass deportation -- whatever policy you want to start with. The basic story is, “You know why we have mass deportation? Because politicians are running around trying to scare white people by saying that people of color are threatening. Well, they’re not. The real agenda is to distract us because we’re not paying attention to the way the rich and plutocrats are picking our collective pockets."

It doesn’t matter what issue you focus on. You can focus on the ones that are highly race-identified, like mass deportation or mass incarceration, public education and welfare. Or you can focus on issues like the environment, Wall Street regulation, and what’s happening in terms of higher education, free college, things that don’t seem directly connected to race. They’re all connected through the way in which government has been demonized.

Let’s reject distraction based on race or based on what we look like or where we come from or the gods we worship or the foods we eat, our gender, our sexual preference. Reject all of those distractions. Come together as working people to take this country back to elect the types of leaders we need -- and through these leaders demand human rights for all and a shared prosperity for all. That’s the basic narrative.

Good government, shared prosperity, human rights and shared prosperity creates a greater possibility of cross-racial solidarity. That is the message the Democrats really need to carry. If you think about 2016, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton both eventually came to the position that we need to do economic justice and racial justice. Unfortunately, neither of them had a story about how they were connected.

We need to start focusing on the way in which the rich are ripping off all the rest of us while trying to distract us with fear-mongering about undocumented immigrants or Muslims. If we can recognize and defeat that ploy then we can come together across racial lines and take this country back.

 

 

I would say that Trump’s path was eased by a half-century-long process in which the Republican Party purposefully remade itself as the white men’s party. They did this by harnessing racial demagoguery as a weapon. But the fact of the matter is that racial demagoguery is not a weapon which can be controlled. Every Republican politician who gets elected as a racial demagogue is vulnerable to being bested on the right by someone who’s even more extreme in terms of racial demagoguery.

The big advantage Donald Trump had was that he didn’t actually believe he was going to become president. Therefore he didn’t care about the fate of the Republican Party. This meant Trump had few if any constraints – beyond what worked strategically to his advantage – on his use of racial demagoguery. Because Trump was willing to go much further in terms of his racist innuendo, he ran the field on the Republicans. He took them all out.

You look at these folks: Mitt Romney had his own track record with racial demagoguery, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush started talking about deporting people. All of them were racial demagogues themselves, but they were constrained by the sense of what it might take to actually get elected, by the sense that Republicans needed a bigger base and a concern with their own integrity and public reputation. Trump was unburdened by any of that. Essentially what Donald Trump did was walk into a game that the Republicans had set up, one which had a few nominal constraints. He broke the rules and won the game.

There is a more or less straight line from John McCain and Sarah Palin to this moment with Donald Trump.

There is this deeper fear of actually naming what’s been happening in our country over the last 50 years. You have a lot of people who want to treat Trump like an anomaly and say, “Wow! That guy is out of control. If only we could back to 2016.” Here are the facts. In 2016 we were in a deep crisis as a country, a slow-moving crisis which has been on the march since the civil rights movement. Which direction are we going to go as a society? Will we proceed in the direction of multiracial democracy, or will we instead proceed away from democracy and towards rule by the rich? That question has been front and center in this country for the last 50 years. Trump didn’t raise that question. He only drew the dynamics into view.

Similarly, McCain brought Sarah Palin in and also engaged in significant racial demagoguery himself. He understood it was immoral. He understood it was racist. When McCain felt that his own election was jeopardized, he started talking about building a wall on the Mexico-U.S. border. McCain was more than happy to campaign with Donald Trump and with [former Phoenix sheriff] Joe Arpaio, and this is somebody that we know understood that those were racial demagogues. Shame on him! I think it’s a mistake to say, “Well, McCain was this wonderful centrist. If only we had more people like him.” No, McCain was very much a part of the problem.

Frankly, the people who refused to see McCain as part of the problem are part of the problem too, because they’re blinding themselves to the actual challenges we face as a country. Do we move self-confidently and purposefully towards multiracial democracy, or do we follow a set of leaders who are intentionally and strategically dividing us by race, moving us away from democracy and toward rule by the rich?

I have a standard warning I give when writing about Trump and this moment, or giving talks about it. I point out that America’s multiracial democracy is contingent and in many ways an outlier in the country’s history. White backlash under Trump and the Republican Party is a threat to post-civil rights America, a country too many people – especially younger Americans – have taken to be a norm and a given for all time. Are my worries and cautions misplaced? 

Not at all. If I were to push back at all, I’d say it’s not clear to me that we have yet achieved a multiracial democracy that we might be in the process of losing. We moved dramatically in that direction in the 1960s, but then, very quickly, progress was cut off. Definitions are important. When I use the term “multiracial democracy,” I mean a democracy in which all people are fully enfranchised and people are not disenfranchised in a way that significantly parallels the country’s racial hierarchy. When have we had that in the United States?

Since the mid-1970s, we’ve been moving back quite aggressively from that ideal. If you look at what’s been happening with the Republican Party, essentially from 1980 onward, they came to understand that their election depended upon disenfranchising people of color. They have been aggressively pursuing the disenfranchisement of people of color through such policies as felony disenfranchisement laws, gerrymandering and now this whole narrative about almost nonexistent “voter fraud.”

Meanwhile, of course, these are the same Republicans who will not lift a finger to ensure that our voting systems are protected against hacking by Russia. There is a profoundly antidemocratic impulse at work on the American right wing, and it’s embodied institutionally in the Republican Party. It has forestalled any actual move towards multiracial democracy.

This hostility towards multiracial democracy is part of a hostility by Republicans and conservatives to democracy more generally. For example, the rule of law, freedom of the press and what is happening with America’s courts from the appellate to the federal system also show how the conservative movement is hostile to democracy. Trump is just more obvious about it.

The right-wing assault on the judicial branch is also a clear example of how conservatism and racism are one and the same thing in America at present.

Yes, although I would not go that far. I would say that the Federalist Society for example takes a view of race relations which they claim is “anti-racist.” Yet it’s a view that tends to ensure the continuation of white dominance. But this is not just Trump. Conservatives have been engaged in a purposeful remaking of the courts that has two complementary parts. This is pure “dog-whistle” politics.

One part is to attack the courts for their recent role in promoting racial integration and gender equality and to say, “Well, the courts are full of activist judges.” In this logic, the courts do not deserve legitimacy because they are promoting this illegitimate liberal agenda of integration and gender equality: “We have to get rid of activist judges.” What that means in practice is that we have to install court justices who are hostile to the basic idea that human rights should exist for everybody in society.

The other half of this logic and strategy is that conservatives are going to take the opportunity to put on the court justices and judges who are friendly to the business community. This is part of one big strategy.

The more we shut down human rights as a society, the more we create space to open up for a pro-business orientation. What we have in the Supreme Court as it exists now – and where Brett Kavanaugh will only make this worse – is an institution that is historically one of the most hostile to civil rights and one of the friendliest to big business. That is a product of dog-whistle politics.

How does this work? Right-wing politicians say to voters, “Hey! People of color are a threat. You know who else is a threat? Government and in particular, the courts, because the courts keep forcing you to have to deal with these people. Let’s remake the courts so that you’re protected from these activist judges.”

In the process of remaking the courts, they install business-friendly judges who are busy making life difficult for unions, making life difficult for people who want to sue corporations, making life wonderful for big money in politics, making life wonderful for polluters.

These are the wages of dog-whistle politics: The promise that you’re going to be protected from people of color and activist judges and government that protects them, when in reality what you’re really going to get is a judicial system and a government that helps rig the rules for the new plutocrats.

Here is an obvious and common objection by conservatives – especially College Republican types who still have Ayn Rand in their back pocket – to your observation. “We have to free business and get rid of regulations because capitalism and the market are antithetical to racism. Those are market inefficiencies. If we just free business, then racism will go away.” 

Anybody who says that is not paying attention to what’s actually happening in the economy. The whole idea of unfettered competition, that’s just theoretical libertarian nonsense. One would have to be crazy to believe that stuff.

What you really have is not deregulation, but re-regulation on the part of the corporations and the family dynasties and the lobbyists themselves. This is the rich writing the rules for themselves, and they write the rules in ways that protect them from market competition and liability when in the course of making billions they do damage to regular people.

The whole sort of college libertarian thinking is so much self-induced blindness about what’s lurking behind these arguments. It wouldn’t take but 15 or 20 minutes of serious reading to discover that very few people are actually serious about a deregulated marketplace. It wouldn’t take that much more to discover that many of the big libertarians, including Rand Paul and his father, are people who came to libertarianism as a way of opposing civil rights.

It doesn’t take that much reflection to recognize that libertarianism as a political ideology is most attractive to young (white) men of great means who can, because of their age and gender, imagine themselves as dominant and heroic and self-sufficient. And also because of their privilege and means, these same libertarians don’t worry about how they are going to pay for education, how they are going to pay for health care, how they are going to pay for shelter, how they are going to pay for food. They have not experienced the hardships of life or its sudden reversals.

Ultimately, there is a type of political and psychological immaturity to libertarianism. There is also a disregard for human rights, through libertarianism, for many different people in our society.

What are some examples of how racism actually hurts white people? Of course, there is what the historian and sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois famously described as the “psychological wages of whiteness.” But there is a huge material component to whiteness as well.

I think you’ve hit on a really critical point. What is the relationship between most white people today, in 2018, and whiteness as an identity? Being considered “white” is a type of social identity. But in this moment with Trump we have an opportunity to show white folks that seeking meaning in being white is actually very dangerous to their welfare and the welfare of their children. In a remarkable way, given the politics of this crisis, we’re in a different position in 2018 than we were in 1968 -- let alone than we were in the 1600s -- to make this point.

For centuries the radical idea has been cross-racial solidarity between working people. But the reality has also been that the psychological and material benefits of whiteness have been enormous and thus sufficient to win over the loyalty of many whites. Whiteness has granted certainty about one’s place in society, one’s own inherent goodness, one’s own rationality, one’s human capacity, one’s ability to engage in self-governance.

Whiteness also provided jobs, neighborhoods, houses, the clubs, the churches, etc. These are tremendous benefits. How do they compare to the one percent, or the one-tenth of one percent, in terms of class and money? Relatively speaking, they're crumbs. But these wages of whiteness are still significant.

What has happened in 2018, by comparison? Two different things. On the one hand, if we think about the psychological wages of whiteness, for many whites those wages have been going down because of the civil rights movement, and going down in a way that I think many whites would actually describe as positive. That is, many whites have internalized the idea that foregrounding your sense of self in race pride is racist, immoral and ugly.

That has diminished the value of thinking of yourself as white. I can’t really be proud of being white: That’s morally wrong. That reduces the psychological wages of whiteness. Now, to be absolutely clear, many whites are fighting to reaffirm the wages of whiteness. This is the real meaning of Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

On the other hand, what’s happened to the material wages of whiteness? Those have been going down as American society racially integrated. But even more profoundly, white racial fear has been weaponized by the rich over the last 50 years through dog-whistle politics. This is the basis upon which many whites have been convinced to support a siphoning of wealth from themselves and their families skywards, up into the economic stratosphere for the plutocrats.

With Donald Trump, progressives have a chance to make two critical points to whites. Critical point No. 1: Think about the psychological wages of whiteness in terms of Trump. Trump exemplifies what it means to build your identity around being proud of being white. It means to be a liar. It means to be cruel. It means to dehumanize others. It means to steal from others. It means to be a bully and a cheat. That’s what it means if you want to build your identity around white pride.

Second, look at Trump and ask yourself: Is whiteness helping regular white folks, or is whiteness just a weapon that billionaires can use against everybody? Trump gives us the opportunity to say to many whites that the biggest financial threat in your life comes from other whites voting their racial fears and handing the country over to greedy billionaires who only really care about themselves.

These two dynamics, I think, put us in a remarkable place in 2018 where we can say this old dream of cross-racial solidarity that has always foundered on the shoals of the value of whiteness to whites might finally be possible now -- if we can convince enough whites that seeking to be white as a source of identity is a moral disaster and a financial disaster as well.

How would you explain “dog-whistle” politics – the term is increasingly common in American political discourse but rarely properly defined? What examples would you offer of how dog-whistle politics hurt Americans on both sides of the color line?

Donald Trump went to the American people and said, “You need to worry about illegal aliens. You need to worry about Mexico sending rapists. You need to worry about Muslim terrorists.” He also said, “Crime in the black communities is awful. People can’t go outside without getting shot. We can fix that. We can ban Muslims. We can get tougher on crime in black neighborhoods. We can build a wall on the border.”

How are these examples of dog-whistle politics? On their surface, they do not mention race. They do not use a racial epithet. They do not come across as white supremacy, and yet just below the surface, that’s the narrative. It’s a narrative of racial fear.

Yes, Trump says “Muslims.” Yes, he says “Mexicans.” But his defense is that “Mexican” is a nationality or “Mexico” is a country. “Muslims” are a religion. That’s today’s dog-whistle. You have people engaging in a classic form of race-baiting that understands race as both ancestry and culture, but who then turn around and say, “These Mexicans are rapists.” That has nothing to do with race, right? That’s the dog-whistle: To use a racial provocation and to know that you’re doing such a thing. That’s the political speech.

What outcomes has this all enabled? The reality of what people are getting with Donald Trump and his Republican Party is a cabinet full of billionaires, rampant corruption, a $1.5 trillion tax cut for the very rich, a Department of Education that wants to make it easier for predatory companies to rip off people who are taking loans for a chance at a better life, an EPA that only cares about making sure polluters can make more money. This is all dog-whistle politics personified. One could not have a more powerful example of the way in which racially charged language is consistently used and where race is combined with rule by the rich.

What do we know empirically about white racial identity and public opinion in this moment of Trumpism?

The data is really compelling and very disturbing. We know that racial resentment, measured under what social scientists call the “modern racism” scale, is the No. 1 driver of support for Donald Trump. But there is an even better and more powerful means of measuring white antipathy towards people of color and government.

Since the early 1970s, what the American right-wing has been doing is conjoining race and government in the economy. Their basic message has been to fear and dislike people of color. There is another component to this as well:  Hate “big government” because it coddles “those people” with welfare and refuses to control them through criminal law. Turn away from government, trust the marketplace.

These three ideas, race, government and economy, are all linked. If you really want to understand how race is working in the United States, you really need to think about new racial frames that combine not only dislike for people of color, but also distrust in government and support for individual efforts in the marketplace.  When you look at that combination we see the correlation between those three values and support for Trump. The relationship is even more powerful than racial resentment.

There is a second component: What does race mean to whites? Race is a social construction. How is it evolving? How is it shifting? How is it responding to politics?

New research asked self-identified white people: "How important is being 'white' to you?" About 60 percent said anywhere from moderately to extremely important, and right around half said they felt that it was important for them to work together with other whites to protect the interests of whites as a group. Those are remarkable findings because what they’re telling us is there is a public etiquette of colorblindness. Whites routinely assert this set of rules when they’re trying to get people of color to stop talking about race.

Post-civil rights era racial colorblindness demands, “Hey, it’s wrong to foreground race. It’s wrong to notice it. It’s wrong to talk about it. It’s wrong to think about yourself and racial identity.” That might be the public rhetoric, but it’s not the reality, because at present somewhere upwards of half of whites are self-consciously thinking of themselves as white.

You are involved in an exciting new project which explores how we can think more strategically about the relationship between race and class in America.   

In this new research we asked a set of questions about race, class and government. We used the answers to sort the American public into three groups. We call them “base,” “persuadables” in the middle and “opposition.”

The “base” are people who basically said, “People of color are beset by structural problems. People are poor for structural reasons. Government has an important role to play.”

People who are the “opposition” took the opposite points of view. They said consistently that people of color are poor because there’s something wrong with them. Poor people are poor because there’s something wrong with them, and government is the problem. Base, we’re looking at about one-quarter of the population, 23 percent. Opposition, you’re looking at 18 percent. Let’s be crystal clear about that 18 percent. We will never get them. Their views are consistently hostile to progressive views on race, on what it means to be poor and the economy and the role of government.

But, that leaves about 60 percent of the people in the middle. This “persuadable” category constitutes three out of five Americans. With such a large group, it includes a lot of people of color. It includes a lot of Democrats. It includes a lot of union members. It also includes some Republicans, and maybe a few Trump voters, It’s a very broad group. When we look at this group, especially on race and the economy, what we found was that they held reactionary views. They would say things such as “Poverty among people of color is explained by a lack of effort.”

At the same time, they also held racially progressive views. They would toggle between the two perspectives. This was tremendously important because I think a lot of us have thought, “Wow! There’s a lot of racism out there, how are we going to overcome that?” Yes, there is a lot of racism out there, but it turns out there’s also a lot of racially progressive views. That creates the possibility of actually connecting with and activating those racially progressive views.

A common criticism of Hillary Clinton in the last campaign was that she talked too much about race and that this type of “identity politics" made her vulnerable to Trump’s right-wing “populist” message about class. How would you respond?

I think Hillary Clinton talked too much race in the wrong way. It was not the amount of time she dedicated to talking about race, but rather the way she talked about it. If we talk about race as white racism against people of color, that’s a frame which has negative effects both for whites and for people of color. What we found is that if we talk about racism that way, then white audiences feel implicated and they’re turned off. This is not at all surprising.

More surprising, we found that when we talked to communities of color and we offered a political analysis which said, “The main problem is politicians who are racists and racist voters who vote for them,” people of color were demobilized by that narrative. That story seemed to invoke 300 years of history. It made things seem insurmountable. People went very quickly from a sense of what’s politically possible to a narrative of what they could control as individuals. Whenever you see people shifting to stories of individual responsibility and what they can control, this reaffirms the right-wing framework that says, “You’re on your own. Take care of yourself. If you fail, it’s your own fault.”

Now let’s try a different frame: “Racism is a weapon of the rich that’s being used against all of us.” In our focus groups  we talked about racism as a weapon of the rich and explained that this is a "divide and distract" tactic that they are using against whites, against blacks, against brown folks, against Native Americans and Asian-Americans and immigrants. This is a weapon of the rich. This allowed whites to see how they are also targeted by the racial manipulation by the rich.

This narrative framework also allowed people of color to say, “We know that we need to fight racism, but now there’s a chance that white people might be in this fight with us too --maybe not with the same stakes, but still in this fight.”

There’s power to creating a sense of cross-racial solidarity, not alone on a moral ground because fighting racism is the right thing to do, but centered more firmly in the idea that fighting racism is the only way that white and black and brown folks are going to be able to thrive in this society. Cross-racial solidarity can defeat racism as a “divide and distract” weapon. It can get the government back on the side of people and have it create economic prosperity and racial justice for all people.

What are some narratives that you would suggest the Democrats use to defeat the Republican Party and Donald Trump?

Our research shows that there is a core narrative which progressives need to adopt.

Part one: Defeat, “divide and distract” as a tactic by insisting on cross-racial solidarity that includes whites and other communities of color.

Part two: Identify cross-racial solidarity as the way to take government back for working people and away from big business and the very rich.

Part three: Through government, build shared prosperity and promote racial justice.

Those are the three steps and it is applicable to many issues. Welfare reform, education, mass incarceration, mass deportation -- whatever policy you want to start with. The basic story is, “You know why we have mass deportation? Because politicians are running around trying to scare white people by saying that people of color are threatening. Well, they’re not. The real agenda is to distract us because we’re not paying attention to the way the rich and plutocrats are picking our collective pockets."

It doesn’t matter what issue you focus on. You can focus on the ones that are highly race-identified, like mass deportation or mass incarceration, public education and welfare. Or you can focus on issues like the environment, Wall Street regulation, and what’s happening in terms of higher education, free college, things that don’t seem directly connected to race. They’re all connected through the way in which government has been demonized.

Let’s reject distraction based on race or based on what we look like or where we come from or the gods we worship or the foods we eat, our gender, our sexual preference. Reject all of those distractions. Come together as working people to take this country back to elect the types of leaders we need -- and through these leaders demand human rights for all and a shared prosperity for all. That’s the basic narrative.

Good government, shared prosperity, human rights and shared prosperity creates a greater possibility of cross-racial solidarity. That is the message the Democrats really need to carry. If you think about 2016, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton both eventually came to the position that we need to do economic justice and racial justice. Unfortunately, neither of them had a story about how they were connected.

We need to start focusing on the way in which the rich are ripping off all the rest of us while trying to distract us with fear-mongering about undocumented immigrants or Muslims. If we can recognize and defeat that ploy then we can come together across racial lines and take this country back.

 


          Apple is no longer a trillion-dollar company      Cache   Translate Page      
Apple, the world’s most valuable public company, is back to slumming it as a multi-hundred-billion-dollar company. The company’s stock price closed at $201.59 today (Nov.…
          CIB – Sales and Marketing – Corporate Sales (FX and derivatives) – VP/ ED | J.P. Morgan      Cache   Translate Page      
Tokyo, Japan, About J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The firm is a leader in
          Some State Officials Want to Adopt Bernie-Style Health Care. Here’s What It Would Cos      Cache   Translate Page      
On 11.04.18 01:41 PM posted by Nina Owcharenko Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has not let up in his push for single-payer health care—and some state legislators are matching his proposal. Earlier this year, Sanders introduced a big and comprehensive “Medicare for All” proposal that would create a government-controlled health care system at the national level. The plan has gained momentum among Senate Democrats, but has also slammed into a fiscal reality check. Three independent estimates from a diverse range of health care economists and policy analysts have highlighted the enormous additional cost of Sanders’ proposal. The liberal Urban Institute estimated that the 10-year costs would amount to a stunning $32 trillion (https://www.urban.org/research/publication/sanders-single-payer-health-care-plan-effect-national-health-expenditures-and-federal-and-private-spending), while the conservative Mercatus Center at George Mason University put the cost at $32.6 trillion...
          The Stock Market Lost More Than $2 Trillion In October      Cache   Translate Page      
WEB Notes: Come on folks, this has to be the best line of the year. The money just vanished right? I mean that money was there and then it was gone. I tell you what, someone has your money don’t they, but you sure don’t… Imagine if...

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          Tipsheet: Christmas +$1T | Saks Social Stars | Rona Pays Price      Cache   Translate Page      
  US Christmas sales predicted to surpass $1 trillion for the first time this year at CNBC. Read more   Marvin Ellison has chopped 150 stores since taking the reigns at Lowe’s at MarketPlace. “Lowe’s announcement that it would shutter 51 “underperforming” stores…is the second set of closures in Marvin Ellison’s short tenure as CEO, […]
          State-run banks need Rs 1.2 trillion in urgent capital: report      Cache   Translate Page      
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          11/4/2018: Focus: Apple market cap falls below €1 trillion over iPhone fears      Cache   Translate Page      

APPLE’S disappointing earnings report sent the company’s market value tumbling below $1 trillion. Shares of the world’s most valuable public company fell 7.1pc on Friday after revealing stagnant iPhone sales and forecasting revenue for the holiday...
          Another piece of negative news for the euro      Cache   Translate Page      

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The purchasing managers' index in October fell to a two-year low, as growing tensions in trade relations and new tariffs, along with growing political uncertainty, had a negative effect on exports and business optimism.

At the same time, the European Central Bank was hoping for good news, as it plans to stop its asset purchase program with a budget of 2.6 trillion euros by the end of the year, disabling one of the main instruments to stimulate the eurozone economy. The index of purchasing managers from IHS Markit, which is the most accurate indicator of economic health in general, fell to 53.1 points in October from 54.1 points in September, which is the lowest figure since September 2016.

In general, the block economy grew by 0.2 percent in the third quarter and, according to analysts, in the current quarter the growth will reach 0.4 percent.

Among the negative factors for the euro, Brexit remains in the first place, the ongoing trade war between the United States and China, as well as the end of Angela Merkel's political career, all this has a negative effect on business sentiment.

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          US shoppers will spend over $1 trillion this holiday season for the first time ever      Cache   Translate Page      
US consumers could spend more than $1 trillion this holiday season, a market research firm estimates, which would mark the first time sales pass that…
          Not too late for Murphy to overhaul Pinelands Commission      Cache   Translate Page      

Yesterday, the Times of Trenton Editorial Board wrote: 


The million-plus acres of pinelands sprawling across 56 communities and seven Garden State counties represent one of the most highly protected environments in the country. And for good reason.
Rare species of plants and animals flourish in its leafy expanses, trillions of gallons of water flow under its sandy soil.
But many of the state's environmental activists are rightfully concerned - if not downright angry - that the men and women charged with the stewardship of this precious jewel have bungled the job.
They're calling on Gov. Phil Murphy to overhaul the New Jersey Pinelands Commission, the 15-member panel charged with preserving, protecting and enhancing the natural and cultural resources of the vast parcel of land that more than 40 years ago became the country's first National Reserve.
At a fiery rally in front of the annex of the State Capitol last month, speaker after speaker urged Murphy to undo damage inflicted by his immediate predecessor, whose appointments to the commission often seemed driven less by protection than by politics. 
What's your take on this? What would you like to see the governor do? Share your thoughts on our Facebook Page
Seven of the members are appointed by the governor. Seven others are named by freeholders from the counties within the Pinelands - Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Ocean - while one is appointed by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior.
Under the watch of former Gov. Chris Christie, the panel has repeatedly approved gas pipeline measures, such as the New Jersey Natural Gas Southern Reliability Link Pipeline, and has fallen short on protecting the supply of fresh water that lies beneath the Pinelands. 
Moreover, rally speakers pointed out, individuals and environmental organizations have been repeatedly shut out of the decision-making process, leaving the commission without a full understanding of the facts before members make critical decisions.
Doug O'Malley, director of the watchdog organization Environment New Jersey, took aim at Christie's appointments, individuals he charged were part of a "clear attempt to undermine the Pinelands."
And he decried the firing of several long-term commissioners, among them Bob Jackson, the only African-American on the panel, whose only "crime" was to stand up for the ideals of preservation and the future of the Pines.
"Gov. Christie played Bridgegate-like politics with the Pinelands, and with Pinelands commissioners," O'Malley charged.
All seven of the commissioners chosen by the Republican governor are now serving under expired terms. They include its chairman, Sean W. Earlen, the mayor of Lumberton and a vice president of a Pennsylvania construction firm.
We're not sure why Murphy, with all his progressive zeal, has failed to put his own stamp on the commission 10 months into his tenure. But it's not too late.
The coalition that rallied in Trenton last month was so right. It's time for new leadership to assure that this remarkable gem within our borders remains an ecological wonder, and not a developers' playground.
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          Comment on Mercury, the other geologically persistent planetary poison by Mr. Know It All      Cache   Translate Page      
17 - SteveP If you're worried about lead poisoning, don't worry about firearms - worry about poisoning from occupational exposure: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6247a6.htm Firearms aren't a problem. With 600 million firearms and 24 trillion rounds of ammo owned by US citizens, if firearms were a problem, you'd KNOW it! ;) https://bearingarms.com/jenn-j/2017/06/27/more-than-600-million-firearms-in-america/ Indoor shooting ranges are becoming more aware of the need for better ventilation, etc to keep lead levels down. And non-lead ammo is available including with non-lead primers: http://huntingwithnonlead.org/ https://www.livescience.com/42117-green-bullets-hunting-non-lead-ammo.html
          China gave foreign countries and journalists seminars on how to restrict online speech and unflattering news reports      Cache   Translate Page      

xi jinpingReuters/Jason Lee

  • China has been hosting seminars for foreign countries and journalists on how to clamp down on online speech and writing positive news about China's economic policies, Freedom House reported.
  • They include courses on President Xi Jinping's views on patriotism and tours of companies that monitor negative public opinion in the country.
  • Many of them catered to countries that are part of China's Belt and Road Initiative, a massive infrastructure project that aims to link 70 countries around the world.
  • Those courses appeared to work on some of the countries, who issued laws clamping down on online speech after attending the seminars.
  • China has a long record of muzzling free speech in the country.
  • It wields a lot of soft power over its economic allies, largely because of its financial investments around the world.

China has been holding seminars for foreign countries and journalists on how to restrict online speech and write positive news about it, according to a Freedom House report published this week.

The programs — which appear tailored to specific countries and regions — included courses like "socialist journalism with Chinese characteristics" and a class on "the Chinese Dream," Freedom House said.

Those two slogans were popularized under President Xi Jinping, and lay out his view of patriotism and innovation as long as it does not defy the Chinese Communist Party.

The programs appeared to be marketed to countries involved in China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a massive infrastructure project launched in 2013 that aims to link China to more than 70 countries across Asia, Europe, and Africa.

It is one of President Xi Jinping's pet projects, and Beijing has invested between $1 trillion and $8 trillion in those projects since 2013, according to the Center for Strategic and International StudiesMultiple BRI partners have racked up billions of dollars in debt because they couldn't afford to repay China's loans on infrastructure projects.

Read more: Inside 'Belt and Road,' China's mega-project that is linking 70 countries across Asia, Europe, and Africa

Security China 2018Reuters/Thomas Peter

Here are some of the seminars China hosted over the past year, according to Freedom House.

  • November 2017: A two-week "Seminar on Cyberspace Management for Officials of Countries along the Belt and Road Initiative," where officials toured a company — unnamed in in the report — that monitored, using big data, negative public opinion, and created a "positive energy public-opinion guidance system."
  • May 2018: Prominent journalists and media officials from the Philippines visited China for two weeks to learn about "new media development." What this means exactly is not clear.
  • A similar conference for media staff in Thailand taught attendees about the "Chinese Dream" and how media outlets can report domestic and international affairs, including China's economic development. The date of this conference is not clear.
  • Representatives from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates also attended a three-week "Seminar for Senior Media Staff in Arab Countries" at an unspecified date.

Details about what actually happens during those seminars are scant. But pictures published by the Chinese ministry of commerce of a seminar on the "promotion of international cooperation," held last August for 43 officials from BRI countries, showed delegates attending a lecture by Chinese officials and receiving a "graduation certificate" at the end.

one belt one road land sea routesReuters

China flexes its soft power

Those seminars appeared to work on the foreign countries.

After Vietnamese officials attended China's seminar on media management in April 2017, it introduced a cybersecurity law that ordered global tech companies — such as Google and Facebook — to store personal data of users in Vietnam in the country.

Uganda and Tanzania also introduced similar laws clamping down on online media dissemination after their officials attended China's seminars over the past year, Freedom House said.

It echoed existing cybersecurity laws in China, which order tech companies to store personal and financial data collected in the country within its borders.

Chinese authorities have previously demanded domestic tech companies to hand over user data and the contents of private conversations.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Public Security announced that law-enforcement officers could obtain and use private conversations on popular messaging app WeChat in legal proceedings.

Read more: Barging into your home, threatening your family, or making you disappear: Here's what China does to people who speak out against them

xi jinpingFred Dufour/Getty

Beijing has repeatedly proven the strength of its soft power, much of which stems from its immense economic power around the world.

Taiwan also claims that China uses economic partnerships to pressure countries to cut off diplomatic ties with it. Beijing insists that Taiwan is part of China, while Taipei recognizes itself as an independent nation.

Australia's former foreign minister, Julie Bishop, also revealed earlier this week that Australia did not strike a trade deal with Taiwan because her counterpart Wang Yi simply told her not to. China is Australia's largest trading partner, top export market, and biggest import source.

China also clamps down on online speech and thought within the country. Law-enforcement authorities have muzzled free speech in the past by censoring posts and forcefully disappearing people seen to speak out against the regime.

It also ranks citizens' behavior on a social credit system, which doles out punishments and rewards depending on the individual's score.

NOW WATCH: This top economist has a radical plan to change the way Americans vote

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          UPDATE 4-China's Xi promises to raise imports amid trade row with U.S.      Cache   Translate Page      
In a speech that largely echoed previous promises, Xi said China would accelerate opening of the education, telecommunications and cultural sectors, while protecting foreign companies' interests and punishing violations of intellectual property rights. He also said he expects China to import $30 trillion worth of goods and $10 trillion worth of services...
          UPDATE 3-China's Xi promises to raise imports amid trade row with U.S.      Cache   Translate Page      
In a speech that largely echoed previous promises, Xi said China would accelerate opening of the education, telecommunications and cultural sectors, while protecting foreign companies' interests and punishing violations of intellectual property rights. He also said he expects China to import $30 trillion worth of goods and $10 trillion worth of services...
          Holiday Retail Sales Expected To Hit $1 Trillion      Cache   Translate Page      

U-S holiday retail sales are expected to top one-trillion dollars for the first time this year.


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Which mistake was Obama’s worst? Was it causing people to lose their doctors? Was it raising their health care premiums by thousands? Doubling the national debt from 10 to 20 trillion dollars? Those mistakes can all be reversed. But what about Iran, the largest sponsor of terrorism in the world? Obama ended sanctions on Iran, … Continue reading Trump re-imposes sanctions on Iran, leading sponsor of Islamic terrorism
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          US Christmas sales predicted to surpass $1 trillion for the first time this year      Cache   Translate Page      
Total retail sales in the U.S will hit $1.002 trillion during the Christmas holiday period, marking the "strongest growth since 2011," according to eMarketer.
          Is This "The Most Important Election Of Our Lives" Or Just Another Distraction?      Cache   Translate Page      

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

The problem isn't polarization; the problem is neither flavor of the status quo is actually solving any of the nation's most pressing system problems.

As I write this at 5 pm (Left Coast) November 6, the election results are unknown. While various media are trumpeting this as "the most important election of our lives," the less eyeball-catching, emotion-triggering reality is this election is nothing but another distraction. No matter who "wins," none of our systemic problems will be addressed, much less solved.

Does either party have the will or coherent grasp of what's broken to fix America's healthcare mess? No. The Democrats' "solution" is to take the bloated, ineffective Medicare system that incentivizes blatant fraud, overbilling and profiteering and increase the sickcare cartels' power and profits via "Medicare for All."

This is akin to giving defense contractors the power to set the Pentagon budget. Oh, wait, they already have that power.

In the exact same fashion, Medicare's soaring budget is set by profiteering' cartels. Nothing will change in "Medicare for All" except taxes will go up and the cartels will skim additional billions in rentier profits.

The Republican solution is to call quasi-monopolies and cartels "markets."Since turning everything into a market solves all problems, that's the "market-based "solution." But since healthcare is run by cartels, which fix the "market" to their own benefit, there really is no "market" in healthcare, and nobody's interested in establishing one because that would crater cartel profits.

As I've noted many times, our dysfunctional healthcare will bankrupt the nation all by itself. Sickcare Will Bankrupt the Nation--And Soon (2011)

U.S. Healthcare Isn't Broken--It's Fixed (May 16, 2018)

How about a systemic solution for opioid addiction? If you believe either party has a solution," you need to reduce your Ibogaine intake. Opioids and other addictions (like social media and mobile phones) are immensely profitable and so the cartels and monopolies profiting from addictions fund politicos in both parties to insure their profits aren't reduced.

How about a dysfunctional weapons procurement system? Both parties love trillion-dollar weapons programs as long as the money sluices into enough Congressional districts. So what if the weapon system is defective, already outdated, poorly designed, the wrong system for the challenges ahead or simply not cost-effective-- as long as the campaign contributions are gushing into D.C. and politicos can brag about "jobs" created by building failed weaponry, nothing will change. The Pentagon can beg Congress to stop building the darn thing and the Pentagon will be ignored: there's simply too much money at stake to care whether it actually serves military needs.

How about soaring debt loads on every sector of the economy? Money that goes to pay interest can't be invested or spent elsewhere, and that starves the economy of productive investment. The super-wealthy own much of the debt and receive much of the interest income. This is a systemic problem that isn't viewed as a problem because the super-wealthy own the political process.

The "solution" to crushing student loan debt ($1.4 trillion and counting) is to transfer the entire debt to the taxpayers, meaning the federal government issues another $1.4 trillion in debt to pay the super-wealthy who own all the student loans. Nice for the super-wealthy and politicos, not so nice for future taxpayers burdened with trillions more in debt.

Neither party can accept that higher education is a failed, dysfunctional system. And so the "solution" is borrow another couple trillion and pay interest to the super-wealthy who own the debt, all for an "education" that often has little value in either the economy or the debt-serf students' lives.

The problem isn't polarization; the problem is neither flavor of the status quo is actually solving any of the nation's most pressing system problems. This is why we're coming apart at the seams: problems are being left unaddressed and so they only become more entrenched and destructive.

*  *  *

My new mystery The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake is a ridiculously affordable $1.29 (Kindle) or $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF) My book Money and Work Unchained is now $6.95 for the Kindle ebook and $15 for the print edition. Read the first section for free in PDF format. If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.


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Australia is forecast to be a global leader in a battery storage technology boom.
          America is in the Midst of a Rural Housing Crisis      Cache   Translate Page      

For decades, the United States has been in the midst of a housing crisis. Every day, individuals from each and every state struggle to find clean, safe homes and apartments that cost less than 30 percent of their total gross annual income.


The narrative is typically framed in terms of big urban areas, where housing and living costs are rising rapidly, and gentrification pushes long-time residents out of homes and neighborhoods they've lived in for decades. The same is true for suburban areas, who have experienced a tremendous growth in poverty. What few realize, however, is that affordable housing crisis also affects rural America.


A report published this month by the Urban Institute, a Washington D.C. think tank, highlights the problem by ranking the affordable housing needs of rural communities across the United States. The study, entitled Rental Housing for a 21st Century Rural America, analyzed 152 rural counties that have the most-severe affordable housing needs.


There were very specific areas that exhibited a particular need including the southern border from Texas to California, the Southern Mississippi Delta, and the southeast including Florida, Alabama, and Georgia.


Rural counties, which have been defined by the Urban Institute as those that qualify for U.S. Department of Agriculture housing programs, were ranked by seven factors. Those factors included high rates of population growth, high rates of poverty, low vacancy rates and high unemployment rates. Counties who exh ibitedfour or more of these factors were considered to be in severe need of affordable housing.


"It was surprising to see so many rural communities that are struggling with just having very few vacant rental units available, and to see so many rural communities with very few federally subsidized rental units," Corianne Scally, the author of the report and a senior research associate at the Urban Institute told the Huffington Post.


In comparing rural areas to more urban environments, you might expect the reasons for the housing crisis to be vastly different. However, some of the problems are by and large the same.


Today's tenants and aspiring homeowners have a laundry list of issues that can prevent them from finding affordable housing, including an increased cost of living, stagnating household incomes, and gentrification. Many wonder whether it's worth it to rent, or if it's in their best interest to buy. Others wonder if they're ready to purchase homes, given the state of the housing market. They also have to consider situations in which they could lose their housing, including government acquisition of property, eviction, and the threat of foreclosure when faced with financial hardship.


While there are some similarities, there are also significant differences between urban and rural problems with affordable housing.


"Housing issues in rural communities can get overlooked as living and housing costs tend to be lower there than in the cities," writes Huffington Post contributor Laura Paddison. "However, incomes in many of these areas tends to be lower too, especially in areas that used to rely on the coal industry or that otherwise have limited job opportunities."


It's not just stagnated wages that are an issue. Though America has had a recent economic boom and relatively low unemployment for years now, this hasn't translated into a house-building boom. In fact, rates of construction are at record lows even though the demand for affordable housing is high. In rural areas in particular, there are specific obstacles preventing developers from starting construction.


"Developers find it difficult to get financing there," David Dangler said in the same Huffington Post piece. Dangler is the director of rural initiatives at the nonprofit NeighborWorks America. He went on to say "The already limited number of firms specializing in affordable rental housing is even smaller when it comes to rural markets. Rural rental housing developments tend to be significantly smaller than their urban counterparts, and financing is complex."


Additionally, developers note that in rural areas, things like water system infrastructure, electricity, garbage, sewage, and other utilities may not be available in the same capacity that they are in urban environments.


One solution to making housing more affordable in these rural areas is through government assistance. Scally, of the Urban Institute, is calling on lawmakers to allocate more money into building affordable rental housing in these areas.


"We found almost 700 counties with rural communities that had equal to or less than 5 percent of federally subsidized units, so again there just hasn't been much investment in these communities even through standard federal programs," she said.


Another solution, the report suggests, is that incentives be given to developers who operate in these underserved markets, whether that be through technical assistance or financial rewards, since many of these developers work in areas devoid of adequate construction material and labor.


Should Democrats succeed in the midterm elections, there are a number of proposed bills that seek to rectify the affordable housing issue. A number of bills were introduced earlier this year by introduced by Democratic Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris.


The most recent bill was introduced in September 2018 by Senator Elizabeth Warren. The American Housing and Economic Mobility Act calls for a half-trillion dollar investment in affordable housing to be allocated over the next decade. This bill would create up to 3.2 million new units for low-and middle-income families. The bill also expands protections of legislation to reduce discrimination in banking, housing, and aims to desegregate neighborhoods.


Warren's bill, for example, would make it illegal for landlords to discriminate against renters with federal housing vouchers and would also impose new regulations on credit unions and nonbank mortgage lenders like Quicken Loans. The bill also aims to incentivize states to rectify any racist and discriminatory zoning restrictions; hopes to ease the path for low-income families to move into more affluent communities; and provides federal assistance to first-time homebuyers from formerly segregated areas and those who saw their wealth decline during and after the 2008 financial crisis.


"Much of the housing discussion has been about affordability, production, and tenant protections, which are all really important issues," Philip Tegeler, the executive director of the Poverty and Race Research Action Council tells The Intercept. "What's so powerful about Warren's bill is that it aims to tackle all those things, and it also looks at how are we going to structure our society going forward. Fair housing is really embedded in the legislation, and that's why I find it so creative."


These bills are all highly dependent on Democrats doing well in midterm elections, or at the very least bipartisan support. Regardless, amidst America's housing crisis, it's going to be important for governments, whether federal, state, or local to intervene.



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Australia is forecast to be a global leader in a battery storage technology boom.
          Battery boom is expected to attract $1.2 trillion in investment by 2040      Cache   Translate Page      

The battery boom is coming to China, California and basically everywhere else — and it will be even bigger than previously thought.

The global energy-storage market will surge to a cumulative 942 gigawatts by 2040, according to a new forecast from Bloomberg NEF published Tuesday, and that growth...


          [TobagoJack] Am pondering whether trade battles, econo conflicts, and cold wars are less cost...      Cache   Translate Page      
Am pondering whether trade battles, econo conflicts, and cold wars are less costly or easier to lose than hot wars

And what would the casualties look like, how, where and when

Should not have to wait 18 years to know the answers, and suspect far more costly than a trillion

bloomberg.com

Trump Faced Iran Sanctions Rebellion From Allies on the Right
Nick WadhamsNovember 6, 2018, 10:23 PM GMT+8
Further cuts in imports of Iranian oil will be harder: analyst

As the U.S. prepared to impose new sanctions against Iran’s energy and banking sectors, senior Trump administration officials faced an internal rebellion from conservatives who accused them of being too weak toward the Islamic Republic.

That 11th-hour rupture sent officials at the departments of State and Treasury rushing last week to reassure normally steadfast political allies and harden their messaging on the sanctions announced Monday against 700 banks, individuals and other entities, according to three people familiar with the discussions.

Opposition to Trump’s sanctions strategy -- particularly the decisions to issue temporary oil waivers to eight countries and how aggressively to target Iranian ties to global financial networks -- arose most prominently from a handful of Republican senators and National Security Adviser John Bolton, according to the people.

Trump justified the decision to issue waivers, telling reporters Monday that “we want to go a little bit slower because I don’t want to drive the oil prices in the world up. It would cause a shock to the market.”

Read More: U.S. Vows Pain to Companies Found Evading Iran Sanctions

That approach worked, with crude prices declining over the past several weeks as reports of waivers leaked into the energy market. But the last-minute pressure and the administration’s response could have lasting ramifications.

For one thing, the administration will be hard-pressed to justify extensions to the waivers when they come up for review in another 180 days. Recipients are supposed to use the waiver period to make significant progress cutting Iranian oil imports, which have already been reduced by about one million barrels per day since May.

“You take a million barrels out of the market, that’s a lot,” said Kevin Book, managing director of Washington-based consultancy ClearView Energy Partners. “But the next million, million and a half, may not be easy and it could be impossible.”

A National Security Council spokesman declined to comment on internal deliberations.

There were two major points of contention as the clock ticked toward Nov. 5, the day that the sanctions would snap back. One was how many countries should get so-called Special Reduction Exemptions to keep importing Iranian oil. The other was how hard to pressure Swift, the Brussels-based financial messaging service that’s crucial to the global movement of money, to cut off Iranian banks. Hardliners argued for a complete break, while others within the administration wanted a looser approach.

Read a QuickTake on how the U.S. can force the world to pressure Iran

One person familiar with the deliberations said the concern among some officials at Treasury was that kicking all Iranian banks off the messaging service would only further alienate European allies -- who wanted to sustain ties with Iran -- and shut the door on financial transactions related to food and medicine.

All through the process, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and his team had to address competing interests. If they offered too many loopholes they’d be accused of being weak on Iran. If they clamped down so hard that oil prices spiked and gas prices in the U.S. jumped, they’d infuriate the president and possibly hand a campaign talking point to Democrats on the eve of the congressional midterms.

The State Department had to fend off a last-minute challenge to its planning process last week when Dan Brouillette, the deputy energy secretary, sent a memo to the department objecting to the decision to grant waivers and saying the administration should take a tougher line against Iran, one of the people said.

Officials at the Energy and State departments didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment about the internal deliberations. A Treasury spokesman declined to comment.

Waivers DebateMore significantly, displeasure over the measures reached into the White House. According to the three people familiar with the matter, National Security Adviser Bolton felt that the oil waivers especially were too lenient. The waivers also prompted conservative U.S. critics of the administration’s approach -- including Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz -- to say the White House was caving in on its tough line and to vow legislation to close what they consider loopholes.

“Sanctions waivers being given to key purchasers of Iranian oil, most alarmingly China, give Iran a financial reprieve, and should be eliminated as soon as possible,” Rubio said in a press release on Friday. Cruz said it was important that “final policy imposes maximum pressure” on Tehran.

The criticism was more blunt from United Against Nuclear Iran, an outside group chaired by former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman that has advocated a tough stance.

‘They Caved’“Widespread waivers granted under Iran sanctions. Whatever happened to maximum pressure? They caved. Big time,” read a Nov. 2 tweet from UANI.

The criticism put Pompeo on the defensive in an interview on Fox News Sunday, when he was asked repeatedly to explain the decision to issue waivers.

“I’ve been at this a long time,” Pompeo said. “No one’s going to argue that Secretary Pompeo isn’t tough on Iran, and no one is going to argue that President Trump isn’t doing the same.”

When Mnuchin spoke to reporters on Nov. 2, he was explicit that Swift risked being punished unless it disconnected any Iranian banks designated for sanctions.

At the same time, the State Department has declined to say how much it will require countries to reduce oil exports to keep getting waivers. It’s also refused to say how much they’ll be allowed to import. One of the people familiar with the discussions said the administration would demand more than the 20 percent reductions the Obama administration required for new waivers.

“I believe the Trump administration would not be satisfied with 20 percent more over the next six months,” said Mark Dubowitz, chief executive of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based nonpartisan policy institute. “They still want to get to zero.”

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By the end, the shift to a more aggressive strategy from Pompeo and Mnuchin seemed to work -- at least for the time being.

Stepping away from its earlier criticism, Lieberman’s group praised the sanctions. Even Bolton, who had been silent on the matter since late last week, did a media appearance on Fox News on Monday to underscore the seriousness of his intent to strangle Iran’s economy.

“I think we’ve said for a long time that zero should mean zero,” Bolton said. “We’re going to do everything we can to squeeze Iran hard -- as the British say, to squeeze them until the pips squeak.”

          [TobagoJack] admittedly from suspect bloomberg, but good enough for triangulation purpose, at...      Cache   Translate Page      
admittedly from suspect bloomberg, but good enough for triangulation purpose, at least a point to mull over

and if of veracity whether deliberate or accidental, then should be put on watch & brief

at some juncture there may be congressional hearings on "who lost [ ]?" w/ [ ] to be filled in with either russia and / or china.

it is like the folks in charge never played that which jack is good enough in, "risk"

bloomberg.com

Trump’s Trade War Is Making Russia and China Comrades Again

Facing U.S. sanctions and tariffs, Moscow and Beijing are finding lots of common ground.
More stories by Marc ChampionNovember 6, 2018, 5:00 AM GMT+8



Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin toast with vodka during a signing ceremony on May 21, 2014, in Shanghai. Russia and China signed a 30-year contract for supply of gas.
Photographer: Sasha Mordovets/Getty ImagesFu Ying recalls vividly how, as a young woman, she’d get woken by sirens in the middle of the night for drills to practice for a Soviet invasion. It was the time of China’s traumatic Cultural Revolution and, although the farm she’d been sent to was more than 200 miles from the border, the threat seemed imminent—strong enough, it turned out, to throw Maoist China into the arms of its capitalist nemesis, the U.S.

Today’s world could hardly look more different. The U.S.-China realignment that began with President Richard Nixon’s 1972 visit to Beijing has been reversed in the most consequential geopolitical shift since the fall of the Berlin Wall. China and Russia are now as close as at any time in their 400 years of shared history. The U.S., meanwhile, has targeted both countries with sanctions and China with a trade war.

“There is no sense of threat from Russia. We feel comfortable back-to-back,” says Fu, now chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of China’s National People’s Congress, over drinks in a hotel bar near the Black Sea resort of Sochi, where she’s attending a conference. The two countries have settled the border dispute that produced a brief war in 1969.

She’s less sure about the U.S. In a speech last month, Vice President Mike Pence said the U.S. was responding to “Chinese aggression” with military spending and trade tariffs. Beijing, he said, was expanding at the expense of others and trying to drive the U.S. from the western Pacific. That kind of talk won’t be easy to forget, even if Trump and Xi agree to a trade truce at a scheduled meeting at the end of November. “I just hope that if some people in the U.S. insist on dragging us down the hill into Thucydides’ trap, China will be smart enough not to follow,” Fu says, referring to the ancient historian’s observation that rising and established powers tend to end up at war.

Even without bloodshed, this reconfiguration of the nuclear and economic superpowers is significant. Chinese investment and energy purchases make it easier for Russia to resist economic pressure over Ukraine; Russian sales of oil, missile defense systems, and jets are changing U.S. calculations in the Pacific by raising the potential cost of any future showdown with China.

Coordination in the United Nations Security Council allows the two Eurasian powers to frustrate U.S. goals and support each other’s. Nor is the U.S. the only one affected. India, which for decades relied on Russia to help balance China and Pakistan, is deeply concerned that Moscow is falling under Beijing’s sway. Russia already supplies the engines for Chinese-Pakistani fighter jets. “India needs a reconciliation between the West and Russia” to squeeze China’s strategic space, says C. Raja Mohan, director of the Institute of South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore.

Western analysts and leaders for a long time dismissed the Sino-Russian rapprochement and its trappings—such as the NATO-lite Shanghai Cooperation Organization—as a “marriage of convenience,” doomed to fail by geography, history, and a growing disparity in strength. And the economic relationship still lags far behind the political rhetoric.

But complacency has given way to alarm. A recent study by the National Bureau of Asian Research, a Seattle-based think tank, debated whether U.S. policy was at fault for driving Russia and China together and asked if the U.S. should correct course by accommodating one Eurasian giant to isolate the other. Some among the 100-plus participants called for Washington to prepare for the worst-case scenario the realignment implies: a two-front war.

Robert Sutter, the study’s principal investigator, said at an October panel to discuss the findings that he’s had a big change of heart since he wrote in a U.S. government National Intelligence Estimate that the Russia-China relationship was an axis of convenience. “The situation is pretty bleak for the United States,” Sutter said. “And there is no easy way to fix it.”

The bromance between Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping is certainly hard to miss. They meet with each other more than with any other world leaders, have awarded each other medals, and even cooked blinis and noodles together for their respective state TV channels. Joint military exercises are routine. This year, China took delivery of Russia’s most advanced S-400 air-defense system and Sukhoi SU-35 fighter aircraft, a level of trust that’s likely to thwart U.S. national security adviser John Bolton’s recent attempt to convince Moscow it faces a security threat from the East.

China has become Russia’s biggest single trade partner, even if it remains far behind the European Union as a bloc. Russia displaced Saudi Arabia as China’s top supplier of crude oil in 2015. A new pipeline, Power of Siberia, is due to start delivering as much as 38 billion cubic meters (1.3 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas per year to northern China in December 2019. Chinese entities own 30 percent of Russia’s new Yamal liquefied natural gas project in the Arctic. Russia and China have nonconflicting security concerns—in the Pacific for China and in the former Soviet bloc and Middle East for Russia. At the same time they perceive a common threat (the U.S.) and a shared goal of changing what both see as an American-dominated global order.

Their economies also are complementary: China is the world’s biggest manufacturer, and Russia is among the largest exporters of energy and raw materials. China has a shortage of arable land, and Russia a surfeit. Even their demography offers opportunities. China has a majority of men, whereas Russia has the opposite. “I could see that there are many more men in China, and people started to ask me if I could help them to find women,” says Pavel Stepanets, who started a Beijing-based matchmaking service, Meilishka, six months ago. The company website claims to have 244 “Slav girls looking for a Chinese husband.”

Russian analysts and officials say they aren’t pivoting east as much as they’re diversifying their economic and security relationships. Europe and China “are two independent destinations and two independent routes” for gas and oil, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an October interview. “We do not see any need to redirect volumes.”

What the new eastbound pipelines will do, according to Vasily Kashin, a senior research fellow at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, is to make Russia about 60 percent—down from 90 percent—dependent on European markets. They’ll also make China less vulnerable to a potential U.S. sea blockade should there be conflict over Taiwan. “Every pipeline project is negotiated for a decade and then built for a decade,” Kashin says. “But once it’s completed, you have an irreversible geopolitical change.”

The new geopolitical infrastructure is slowly falling into place. In January, Russia doubled its capacity to pipe crude oil to China, to about 600,000 barrels per day. In addition to the Power of Siberia project, negotiations to build two other natural gas pipelines connecting China to Siberian fields are advancing well, Novak says.

The reconciliation began with the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev. Even so, U.S. and Western policies since 2014 have done a lot to accelerate the Russian-Chinese rapprochement, according to Angela Stent, director of Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian & East European Studies. Take natural gas. South Stream, a pipeline project to carry 63 billion cubic meters per year from Russia to Austria, was under construction when the European Parliament voted to block it in April 2014, a month after Russia annexed Crimea. One month after that, Russia broke the deadlock in its decade-long negotiation with China to build Power of Siberia, part of a gas purchase deal valued at about $400 billion. “It would behoove the U.S. to consider how much further to go with sanctions on Russia and how far with a China trade war,” Stent says at the same conference near Sochi as Fu.

The courtship hasn’t been easy. There was deep disappointment within Russia when China didn’t immediately flood the country with investment after 2014. Instead, it appeared to take advantage of Moscow’s weak position to get cheaper gas. Nor have the reasons for skepticism about the strength and durability of the partnership disappeared. Chinese nationalists still talk about the 230,000 square miles Russia took in the 19th century under what Beijing considers unequal treaties. And Russia was at first wary of China’s “ Belt and Road” initiative, which seemed to compete with its plans for a Eurasian Economic Union. Putin and Xi have parked both issues (they agreed in 2015 to coordinate their Central Asian strategies), but competition could reemerge.

Even when the two countries were allies, in the 1950s, it was an unhappy—because unequal—partnership. When Mao Zedong came to Moscow in December 1949, Stalin kept the leader of newly communist China waiting 17 days for a second meeting, to make clear who was boss. “I came here to do more than eat and shit,” Mao complained bitterly.

Today the imbalance between the two powers has been reversed. China’s economy is six to eight times the size of Russia’s, depending on how it’s measured. “I don’t think a lot is happening” in terms of Chinese business investment, says Bruno Maçães, a senior fellow at Beijing’s Renmin University, who last year spent six months crisscrossing the region’s borders for a new book, The Dawn of Eurasia. In Southeast Asia, small Chinese businesses are highly visible as well as the big state companies, but not in Russia, Maçães says. More Chinese tourists are coming to Moscow, but it’s nothing like the throngs in Paris or New York. Visiting an island in the Amur River, which the governments have touted as a tourism zone, he found “a world from 40 years ago. To visit, I had to go through eight hours of security interviews.”

Russia’s Foreign Investment Advisory Council—chief executive officers from the 50 biggest foreign companies invested in Russia, who meet annually with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev—still has no member from China, says Alexander Ivlev, Ernst & Young LLP’s managing partner for Russia, who coordinates the event. Still, he rattles off a list of projects Putin and Xi have signed and sees his business’s future increasingly tied to China.

Measuring the true scope of Chinese investment in Russia isn’t easy. According to Russia’s central bank, the total as of December 2017 was only $4.5 billion, a misleading figure. (Cyprus, an offshore conduit for investment from around the world, had invested $175 billion.) In a February search of an Interfax database, Kashin found 5,868 companies with Chinese equity operating in Russia, registered everywhere from Moscow to Vladivostok. That’s a higher number than for German companies (although those tend to be bigger and better established).

It may be that the Chinese are coming but are held back by the same adverse conditions deterring other investors: a sluggish economy, a weak currency, sanctions risk, and tight monetary policies that have dried up credit. That was the experience of Yema Group Co., a trading company in Xinjiang province. It set up operations in Russia in 2012 to break into the market for heavy construction machinery, dominated by more expensive European suppliers. Initially, Yema sold about 500 excavators, trucks, and other pieces a year, says Du Xuemei, a spokeswoman. “We withdrew most of our operations team in 2016, because of an economic downturn and the depreciation of the ruble,” says Du, adding that the company wants to return.

Back in Sochi, Fu draws a series of triangles on a piece of paper to show how the relationship between Russia, China, and the U.S. has changed. “This one is going to be shorter and shorter,” she says, running her pen over the line connecting Russia to China. It’s a friendship that wasn’t caused by the U.S., isn’t aimed at it, and won’t end if the U.S. alters its policies, she says. Then the Chinese legislator marks the ever more distant locations for the triangle’s American apex. “The U.S. can be here, here, or here,” she says. “It’s your choice.”With Peter Martin, Dandan Li, and Annmarie Hordern

          Kogan enters $2.7 trillion super industry      Cache   Translate Page      
Online retailer Kogan.com is branching out again by targeting a slice of Australia's $2.7 trillion superannuation industry with its own-brand fund.
          How to Get Management Buy-In on Tech Upgrades      Cache   Translate Page      
How to Get Management Buy-In on Tech Upgrades juliet.vanwage… Tue, 11/06/2018 - 11:20

We’re living in heady days when it comes to business investment in IT. Corporate leaders understand better than ever that having the right technology in place is essential to achieving their business objectives, and that the need for technology upgrades, especially around security and digital transformation projects, has never been greater.

That’s why IT spending will hit $3.7 trillion worldwide this year, an increase of 6.2 percent, and will keep growing next year, according to Gartner. In fact, “The Digital Transformation Insight Report” by CDW found that 86 percent of organizations have initiated or piloted technology changes to support digital transformations.

Yet surveys of IT leaders continue to indicate that they’d be doing even more were it not for budget limitations. In a recent survey by Tech Pro Research, for example, 54 percent of IT leaders identified budget constraints to be a top digital transformation ­challenge, while 47 ­percent also cited ­difficulties in getting management buy-in for projects.

VIDEO: See how businesses are meeting changing user demands!

Prepare for Common IT Questions in Advance

Most IT leaders know that making their case in business (rather than technical) terms gives them the best chance of ­getting their projects approved. But how can they get there?

When proposing a new project, the IT leader will likely face most or all of the following questions, so have answers for them in advance:

  • Will the project help the company make more money? How?
  • Will it help the company spend less money — at least over time?
  • Will it help the business improve the customer experience? In what way?
  • Will it change the way the business’s employees work?
  • How will the upgrade help the company reduce or manage risk?

Once the opportunity is clear, it’s important to map it back to the company’s objectives. A business that’s satisfied with its work environment, for example, may not be ready for an ambitious digital workspace solution. But if the need is to upgrade customer experiences and mine more and better data about those customers, now might be the time to make the case for software-defined networking.


          Report: US consumers are going to spend $1 trillion this Christmas for the first time      Cache   Translate Page      
It might seem like the US is in something of a retail slump at the moment, at least when it comes to legacy brands and traditional brick-and-mortar shops. They are dealing with sales declines and even closing their doors in the face of competition from more nimble e-commerce players. It's everywhere you look, from Sears to Lowe's to Barnes and Noble. The truth of the matter, though, is that the retail sector might seem to be having tons of problems lately, but consumers aren't. Indeed, a new report out from market research firm eMarketer estimates that this Christmas season, for the first time ever, US retail sales will top $1 trillion. That's thanks in part to -- big surprise -- e-commerce growth. The research firm estimates that online retail sales this year will rise almost 17 percent over 2017 to $123.73 billion. Also, e-commerce will grow its share of the total retail sales pie to 12.3 percent this year. Amazon is certainly doing its part to help that trend along. On Monday, the e-commerce giant announced an unprecedented benefit it's offering shoppers this holiday season -- removing the minimum purchase requirement needed to qualify for free shipping, meaning all customers will qualify for that benefit for a limited time. It's not just online shopping that will dominate this year's Christmas season though. Surprisingly, the eMarketer figures show that in-store sales are actually going to see a 4.4 percent pickup this year, rising to $878.38 billion. The report goes so far as to say that brick-and-mortar retail will be a "bright spot" for the industry during this Christmas season. "While e-commerce will continue to see strong double-digit gains, brick-and-mortar retail should be a particular bright spot this holiday season," eMarketer principal analyst Andrew Lipsman said in a statement Tuesday. "Not every brick-and-mortar retailer is thriving, and several have shut their doors this year, but others are really capitalizing on the strong consumer economy. Retailers are luring in shoppers with remodeled stores, streamlined checkout and options to buy online, pick up in-store." Indeed, traditional retailers like Target and Walmart are trying to do more to bridge the online and offline worlds, offering perks and benefits like arranging pickups for online purchases. eMarketer forecasting analyst Cindy Liu said this kind of thing is going to keep ramping up, with "more promotions and perks like free and fast shipping, as retailers compete against Amazon."
          Blue Sapphire Earrings, 14K Gold Filled, Kashmire Quartz Dangle Earrings, September Birthstone Jewelry by MoonlightDesigns2      Cache   Translate Page      

52.00 USD

Blue sapphire earrings 14K gold filled wire wrapped handmade earrings and are September's birthstone.

These gorgeous Kashmire Sapphire quartz briolettes are a deep blue sapphire color and come to a point in the back, a trillion cut. I carefully hand wire wrapped each stone with 14 K Gold Filled wire and placed them on handmade 14 K Gold Filled French style ear wires or you may choose locking lever back ear wires at check out. The earring drop is about 1 inch from the bottom of the ear wires and they are stunning!

Kashmire Sapphire Briolette=10 mm x 15 mm

Arrives in an earring gift box securely packaged for shipping.

For more 14 k gold filled earrings in my shop;
http://www.etsy.com/shop/MoonlightDesigns2?section_id=10669909

Please check here for important shipping and return policy information; http://www.etsy.com/shop/MoonlightDesigns2/policy

Thank you for visiting my shop and supporting handmade!
**Enter my shop here**: moonlightdesigns2.etsy.com


          Blue Sapphire Pendant, AAA Kashmir Quartz, Oxidized Sterling Silver, Blue Stone Necklace, September Birthstone Jewelry by MoonlightDesigns2      Cache   Translate Page      

50.00 USD

Blue sapphire pendant, aaa Kashmire quartz necklace, wire wrapped in oxidized sterling silver.

This is a gorgeous cut 14 mm kashmire quartz stone in a deep blue saapphire color with a trillion cut which means it comes to a point in the back. I hand wire wrapped this briolette with sterling silver wire forming a self ring which suspends from a petite sterling silver chain finished with a sterling lobster clasp. The pendant measures just under 1 inch from the bottom of the ring.

Choose your chain length at check out.

All sterling silver has been hand oxidized, lightly sanded and polished to a silvery gray which enhances the beautiful blue of this stone.

Arrives in a gift box securely packaged for shipping.

For more sterling silver necklaces in my shop;
http://www.etsy.com/shop/MoonlightDesigns2?section_id=6710032

Please check here for important shipping and return policy information; http://www.etsy.com/shop/MoonlightDesigns2/policy

Thank you for visiting my shop and supporting handmade!
**Enter My Shop Here**: moonlightdesigns2.etsy.com


          Comment on [11.5] Pentagon Audit Soon! (Missing Trillions) & Navy’s Role in Space Force (Secret Space Programs) [VIDEO] by Anonymous      Cache   Translate Page      
5
          China, Tourism and a Foothold in Antarctica      Cache   Translate Page      

There are two news stories from China that describe how much that country is changing not only global economies but world politics. From Xinhuanet.com comes some startling statistics on how much impact China’s outbound travel tourism industry has globally.

Many hotels  now offer service in Mandarin, free wifi  (a feature that has been offered free for years in hotels in China) and hot water pots.

For the entire world travel industry, Chinese tourists leaving that country add 16.7 percent of the added value and create 25 percent of all the jobs globally related to tourism.

Not only did Chinese tourism boost international tourism by ten percent, 130  million trips were made by Chinese citizens last year. This figure is increasing annually by 7 per  cent, with tourism from China accounting for 20 percent of global travel revenue. It is a very big group of people travelling with a lot of spending power.

And it is not just in tourism that China is having a profound global impact. The Duke of Data Simon Fraser University’s Andy Yan sends this article from the Bloomberg press indicating that China is not only creating a “Polar Silk Road” through the Arctic for moving oil and goods but also looking at tourism and exploration of Antarctica. Below an ice sheet that is 2.6 kilometers thick,China has prepared a report that over 100 billion barrels of oil and 5 trillion cubic meters of natural gas are present. You can be sure that was not surveyed simply for inventory purposes.

That Antarctic report concludes that China must be more active in setting up regulations for deep-sea, polar regions, outer space ~and strangely in the same sentence~the internet. To accomplish a hold in the Antarctic, China must strengthen their research presence and build more tourism infrastructure to be seen as influential enough to participate in the multinational governing of this sensitive region.

With Chinese tourists already forming the second largest sightseeing group visiting Antarctica, a new exploration camp has been established for further Chinese research and tourism on the ice cap, while trying to establish their claim for governance. You can have a look at this initiative in the YouTube video below.

Image: China.org

Read more »
          Alibaba commits to importing $200bn      Cache   Translate Page      
Alibaba Group announced yesterday its commitment to help import US$200 billion (6.59 trillion baht) worth of goods from more than 120 countries over the next five years, underscoring the company's long-term commitment to globalisation and boosting its efforts to meet the rising demand of Chinese consumers for high-quality international products.
          Investment Analyst at Lidya Nigeria      Cache   Translate Page      
Lidya is a financial services platform to improve access to credit and finance across frontier and emerging markets starting with Nigeria. Launched in November 2016, with a mission to close that yawning credit gap, both in Nigeria and across emerging markets where there is a $2.6 Trillion SME credit gap worldwide.
          Holiday Shopping Season Spending Forecast: $1 Trillion      Cache   Translate Page      
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          This is the platform that launched Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 29-year-old democratic socialist, to become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress      Cache   Translate Page      

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29, won a shocking victory against longtime Rep. Joe Crowley in the New York Democratic Party congressional primary earlier this year.
  • She officially became the youngest woman elected to Congress in US history on Tuesday.
  • Less than a year ago she was still working as a bartender. 
  • Speaking on her victory on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" in June, Ocasio-Cortez said it was speaking with constituents about issues, instead of focusing on President Donald Trump, that helped her win.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29, won a shocking victory against Rep. Joe Crowley in the New York Democratic congressional primary in June.

On Tuesday night, she officially became the youngest woman elected to Congress in US history with an easy victory in her historically Democratic district in the 2018 midterm elections. 

With a progressive platform and message aimed at the working class, Ocasio-Cortez defeated Crowley, who's represented New York's 14th district since 1999, in a landslide. She won 57.5% of the vote, while Crowley had just 42.5%.

Ocasio-Cortez is a Bronx native, member of the Democratic Socialists of America, and former campaign organizer for Sen. Bernie Sanders.

This was her first time running for office. Less than a year ago she was still working as a bartender. 

Speaking on her victory on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" in June, Ocasio-Cortez said it was speaking with constituents about issues, instead of focusing on President Donald Trump, that helped her win.

"We have to stick to the message: What are we proposing to the American people? Not, 'What are we fighting against?'" Ocasio-Cortez said. "We understand that we're under an antagonistic administration, but what is the vision that is going to earn and deserve the support of working-class Americans? And we need to be explicit in that vision and legislation, not just 'better,' but what exactly is our plan?"

Here's the platform that helped launch Ocasio-Cortez to the biggest political upset of 2018 so far via an unconventional campaign she started out of a Trader Joe's bag.

Medicare for all 

Ocasio-Cortez wants a single payer health care system that would cover medicine, vision, dental, and mental health care.

"Almost every other developed nation in the world has universal healthcare," Ocasio-Cortez's website says. "It’s time the United States catch up to the rest of the world in ensuring all people have real healthcare coverage that doesn’t break the bank."

Fully funded public schools and universities

Ocasio-Cortez, who is still paying off student loans, wants to establish tuition-free public college and trade school.

She also wants to cancel all student debt. 

Universal jobs guarantee

Ocasio-Cortez believes there should be a Federal Jobs Guarantee, creating a "baseline quality for employments that guarantees a minimum $15 wage (pegged to inflation), full healthcare, and paid child and sick leave for all," according to her website. 

Housing as a human right

Ocasio-Cortez believes housing is a right and "that Congress must tip the balance away from housing as a gambling chip for Wall Street banks and fight for accessible housing that’s actually within working families’ reach," her website says. 

She says she wants to extend tax benefits to working- and middle-class homeowners, expand the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, provide housing for the homeless, and permanently fund the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

Justice-system reform

Ocasio-Cortez calls for ending the war on drugs, demilitarizing police departments, and abolishing for-profit prisons.

She also supports legalizing marijuana at the federal level, releasing individuals sentenced for nonviolent drug offenses, ending cash bail, and "automatic, independent" investigations when people are killed by law enforcement officials. 

"Mass incarceration is the latest iteration of a long line of policies (Jim Crow, redlining, etc) rooted in the marginalization of African Americans and people of color," her website says. "Comprehensive criminal justice reform is part of the work that must be done to heal our past and pursue racial justice in the United States." 

Immigration reform

Ocasio-Cortez wants to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and believes there should be a "clear" path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants. 

"As overseen by the Trump administration, ICE operates with virtually no accountability, ripping apart families and holding our friends and neighbors indefinitely in inhumane detention centers scattered across the United States," Ocasio-Cortez said on her website. 

She also wants more protections for young unauthorized immigrants known as "Dreamers" and immigrants who have temporary protections from deportation.

"New Green Deal" to combat climate change

Ocasio-Cortez wants the US to implement a carbon-free, 100% renewable energy system and a fully modernized electrical grid in the US by 2035 in an effort to combat climate change.

She says climate change is the "single biggest national security threat for the United States and the single biggest threat to worldwide industrialized civilization," according to her website. 

She's pushing for a "New Green Deal," a federal plan to thwart climate change via investing trillions in infrastructure.

"The Green New Deal we are proposing will be similar in scale to the mobilization efforts seen in World War II or the Marshall Plan," she recently told HuffPost. "We must again invest in the development, manufacturing, deployment, and distribution of energy, but this time green energy."

Campaign-finance reform

Ocasio-Cortez ran a low-budget campaign, raising around $200,000 and refusing to accept donations from lobbyists. 

She says changing the way elections are funded is the "only way for real reform to happen in Washington," according to her website.

To bring about campaign finance reform, Ocasio-Cortez calls for overturning the Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United via a constitutional amendment. She also wants to push for legislation that would require wealthy people and corporations who make large campaign contributions to disclose where their money is going.

Here's the full platform in condensed form:

Ocasio Cortez platform

SEE ALSO: Meet Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the millennial, socialist political novice who beat her establishment Democratic rival in a huge electoral upset

DON'T MISS: Kellyanne Conway and other Trump allies are trying to make 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the 'new face of the Democratic Party'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This top economist has a radical plan to change the way Americans vote


          U.S. Holiday Sales to Pass $1 Trillion Milestone      Cache   Translate Page      
U.S. shoppers are expected to pass a milestone this holiday season by spending more than $1 trillion for the first
          Freddie Mac New Student Loan Guidelines      Cache   Translate Page      

Let’s face it, it simply costs a lot to attend college. So much so that students and parents alike turn to borrowing for part of their college costs. From basic tuition to numerous additional fees to books to housing, well, it adds up. Today, student loan debt reaches around $1.48 trillion. That’s trillion with a […]

The post Freddie Mac New Student Loan Guidelines appeared first on Five Stars Mortgage Loan.


          Some Saudis want to boycott Amazon in response to The Washington Post's coverage of Jamal Khashoggi's murder      Cache   Translate Page      

Jeff Bezos

  • Saudis are calling for a boycott of Amazon and its regional subsidiary, Souq.com, in response to The Washington Post's coverage of journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder.
  • Thousands of people on Twitter in Saudi Arabia echoed those calls for a boycott in order to jab Jeff Bezos, who owns The Post and is the founder and biggest shareholder in Amazon.
  • People were apparently angry about The Post's ongoing coverage of Khashoggi's murder, viewing it as an attack on the kingdom.

Saudis are calling for a boycott of Amazon and its regional subsidiary, Souq.com, in response to The Washington Post's coverage of journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder.

Thousands of people on Twitter in Saudi Arabia echoed those calls for a boycott in order to jab Jeff Bezos, who owns The Post and is the founder and biggest shareholder in Amazon.

Khashoggi, who was murdered in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, last month, was a columnist at The Post.

"Boycott Amazon" was the top trending hashtag on Twitter in Saudi Arabia for several hours Sunday, according to Bloomberg.

Users appeared to be angry at The Post's ongoing coverage of Khashoggi's murder, viewing it as an attack on their kingdom's policies.

Many were notably upset by a recent op-ed from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who blasted Saudi officials for trying to "cover up" Khashoggi's killing.

Read more: Jamal Khashoggi's sons gave an emotional plea for the return of their father's remains in their first interview since his death

The Post's editorial board has repeatedly called for transparency in the investigations surrounding Khashoggi's October death and has published gruesome details about the murder citing information from Turkish officials.

While Saudi Arabia’s description of what happened to the 59-year-old has shifted several times, Turkish authorities said he was strangled shortly after he entered the consulate and his body was dismembered. The Post previously reported that Turkish officials were pursuing a theory that Khashoggi’s remains were dissolved in acid in the consulate or at the nearby consul general’s home.

His remains have not been recovered.

Saudi users shared videos and photos of themselves deleting the Amazon and Souq applications from their phones.

Some also posted about canceling their Amazon or Souq accounts. Influential users referred to Western media coverage of Khashoggi's case as a "media war," Bloomberg reported, while other tweets appeared to be automated or copied and pasted.

Some users mocked the boycott campaign against Amazon, which recently became the second US company to achieve a $1 trillion market cap.

The Post cited an anonymous Turkish official as saying authorities found biological evidence in the consulate garden that supported the theory.

“Khashoggi’s body was not in need of burying,” the official said, according to The Post.

Earlier theories floated that Khashoggi’s body was wrapped up in some kind of fabric and given to a local Turkish coconspirator.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Inside a stepwell, an architectural marvel in Jaipur, India


          This is the platform that launched Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 29-year-old democratic socialist, to become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress      Cache   Translate Page      

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29, won a shocking victory against longtime Rep. Joe Crowley in the New York Democratic Party congressional primary earlier this year.
  • She officially became the youngest woman elected to Congress in US history on Tuesday.
  • Less than a year ago she was still working as a bartender. 
  • Speaking on her victory on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" in June, Ocasio-Cortez said it was speaking with constituents about issues, instead of focusing on President Donald Trump, that helped her win.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29, won a shocking victory against Rep. Joe Crowley in the New York Democratic congressional primary in June.

On Tuesday night, she officially became the youngest woman elected to Congress in US history with an easy victory in her historically Democratic district in the 2018 midterm elections. 

With a progressive platform and message aimed at the working class, Ocasio-Cortez defeated Crowley, who's represented New York's 14th district since 1999, in a landslide. She won 57.5% of the vote, while Crowley had just 42.5%.

Ocasio-Cortez is a Bronx native, member of the Democratic Socialists of America, and former campaign organizer for Sen. Bernie Sanders.

This was her first time running for office. Less than a year ago she was still working as a bartender. 

Speaking on her victory on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" in June, Ocasio-Cortez said it was speaking with constituents about issues, instead of focusing on President Donald Trump, that helped her win.

"We have to stick to the message: What are we proposing to the American people? Not, 'What are we fighting against?'" Ocasio-Cortez said. "We understand that we're under an antagonistic administration, but what is the vision that is going to earn and deserve the support of working-class Americans? And we need to be explicit in that vision and legislation, not just 'better,' but what exactly is our plan?"

Here's the platform that helped launch Ocasio-Cortez to the biggest political upset of 2018 so far via an unconventional campaign she started out of a Trader Joe's bag.

Medicare for all 

Ocasio-Cortez wants a single payer health care system that would cover medicine, vision, dental, and mental health care.

"Almost every other developed nation in the world has universal healthcare," Ocasio-Cortez's website says. "It’s time the United States catch up to the rest of the world in ensuring all people have real healthcare coverage that doesn’t break the bank."

Fully funded public schools and universities

Ocasio-Cortez, who is still paying off student loans, wants to establish tuition-free public college and trade school.

She also wants to cancel all student debt. 

Universal jobs guarantee

Ocasio-Cortez believes there should be a Federal Jobs Guarantee, creating a "baseline quality for employments that guarantees a minimum $15 wage (pegged to inflation), full healthcare, and paid child and sick leave for all," according to her website. 

Housing as a human right

Ocasio-Cortez believes housing is a right and "that Congress must tip the balance away from housing as a gambling chip for Wall Street banks and fight for accessible housing that’s actually within working families’ reach," her website says. 

She says she wants to extend tax benefits to working- and middle-class homeowners, expand the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, provide housing for the homeless, and permanently fund the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

Justice-system reform

Ocasio-Cortez calls for ending the war on drugs, demilitarizing police departments, and abolishing for-profit prisons.

She also supports legalizing marijuana at the federal level, releasing individuals sentenced for nonviolent drug offenses, ending cash bail, and "automatic, independent" investigations when people are killed by law enforcement officials. 

"Mass incarceration is the latest iteration of a long line of policies (Jim Crow, redlining, etc) rooted in the marginalization of African Americans and people of color," her website says. "Comprehensive criminal justice reform is part of the work that must be done to heal our past and pursue racial justice in the United States." 

Immigration reform

Ocasio-Cortez wants to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and believes there should be a "clear" path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants. 

"As overseen by the Trump administration, ICE operates with virtually no accountability, ripping apart families and holding our friends and neighbors indefinitely in inhumane detention centers scattered across the United States," Ocasio-Cortez said on her website. 

She also wants more protections for young unauthorized immigrants known as "Dreamers" and immigrants who have temporary protections from deportation.

"New Green Deal" to combat climate change

Ocasio-Cortez wants the US to implement a carbon-free, 100% renewable energy system and a fully modernized electrical grid in the US by 2035 in an effort to combat climate change.

She says climate change is the "single biggest national security threat for the United States and the single biggest threat to worldwide industrialized civilization," according to her website. 

She's pushing for a "New Green Deal," a federal plan to thwart climate change via investing trillions in infrastructure.

"The Green New Deal we are proposing will be similar in scale to the mobilization efforts seen in World War II or the Marshall Plan," she recently told HuffPost. "We must again invest in the development, manufacturing, deployment, and distribution of energy, but this time green energy."

Campaign-finance reform

Ocasio-Cortez ran a low-budget campaign, raising around $200,000 and refusing to accept donations from lobbyists. 

She says changing the way elections are funded is the "only way for real reform to happen in Washington," according to her website.

To bring about campaign finance reform, Ocasio-Cortez calls for overturning the Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United via a constitutional amendment. She also wants to push for legislation that would require wealthy people and corporations who make large campaign contributions to disclose where their money is going.

Here's the full platform in condensed form:

Ocasio Cortez platform

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A Persian restaurant in LA serves thousands of diners a day


          Zimbabwe: Independent Report Puts Muzarabani Gas At 680 Million Barrels      Cache   Translate Page      
[263Chat] The Australia-listed Invictus Energy company which is prospecting for oil in Muzarabani says the project has a potential to produce 3.9 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas and 181 million barrels of conventional gas.
          Uganda: SGR Cost Cut By U.S.$120 Million      Cache   Translate Page      
[Monitor] Kampala -The government and the Chinese contractor, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), for the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) have reduced the project cost from Shs8.5 trillion ($2.3b) to Shs8.1 trillion ($2.17b).
          Zimbabwe: Muzarabani Oil - More Details Released      Cache   Translate Page      
[The Herald] The Muzarabani oil project has high potential to produce 3,9 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas and 181 million barrels of conventional gas, Australia-listed company, Invictus Energy, has confirmed.
          Re: Exceed Treasury Direct purchase limit? Answer inside!      Cache   Translate Page      
jacoavlu wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:17 pm

lol I thought I was coming in to read about someone purchasing like a trillion dollars in T bills


The actual limit for non-competitive bids for T bills and the like is a mere five million dollars. Thought it was that limit being exceeded as well, lol.
          A New Accelerator Model Tackles Fashion Industry's Supply Chains      Cache   Translate Page      
“I hate to say it, but the bar is low. The $3 trillion fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries on the planet and accounts for countless humanitarian issues, including modern-day slavery and child labor," says Shannon Lohr, founder of two platforms aimed at slow fashion startups.
          This startup wants employers to stop giving its workers lavish perks and start helping them pay their student loans      Cache   Translate Page      

goodly_.JPG

  • This April, a San Francisco-based startup called Goodly launched as a part of Y Combinator's summer batch.
  • Goodly aims to help companies help their employees pay off their student loans, by making regular matching contributions — kind of like a 401(k).
  • Greg Poulin, co-founder and CEO, was motivated to start Goodly because of his own experiences in paying off $80,000 in student debt.
  • Poulin believes that the budget for common company perks such as gym memberships and massage chairs can be better used for helping employees pay off student loans.

While Greg Poulin, co-founder and CEO of Goodly, was attending Dartmouth, his father passed away unexpectedly. On top of the emotional toll, he also ended up having to borrow $80,000 in student loans to pay his tuition.

Poulin has since moved to San Francisco, the thriving-but-pricey hub of the startup world, and he’s still chipping away at his loans with a monthly payment of about $900 a month. Frustrated by his experiences, he founded Goodly, a platform for companies to offer employees assistance with their student loans as a benefit.

Goodly allows companies to make a monthly contribution to their employees’ student loans, similar to how companies often match 401(k) contributions. Based in San Francisco, Goodly was founded just this April, launched with a $120,000 seed investment as a part of the summer batch from famed startup program Y Combinator.

“Most employers don’t know that student loan benefits exist. It’s both a challenge and an opportunity for us,” Poulin told Business Insider. “It’s helped us completely define a new category of benefits.”

Companies often offer perks like gym memberships, massage chairs and snacks, but the money can be better allocated to helping employees pay student loans, Poulin says. That way, student loan repayment won’t be a large expense for companies. This benefit, he says, could help with both recruiting and retention.

“The problem is those employees are saddled with crippling student loan debt,” Poulin said. “Gym memberships aren’t going to cut it when it comes to recruiting employees.”

Hemant Verma, co-founder and CTO of Goodly, also had to pay off debts from his own education in India.

“This is a massive problem for people,” Verma told Business Insider. “It’s the biggest problem our generation is facing...This was a mission we were energized with.”

The scale of the problem

Today, 70% of college students graduate with debt, and over 44 million Americans collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student debt. An American Student Assistance survey reported that 76% of respondents said student loan repayment benefit would be a deciding or contributing factor to accepting a job offer.

The average college graduate has $37,172 in student loans, by some estimates, up $20,000 from 13 years ago. It makes sense that the demand for student loan benefits is rising.

“For millennials, they bear the grunt of student loans,” Poulin said. “It’s an issue where we see people of all backgrounds.”

This could potentially impact diversity and inclusion at companies as well, as student loans disproportionately affect women and people of color. For example, research shows that women carry two-thirds of the nation’s student debt load, and that African American students are four times more likely to default on their student loans than their white peers.

Poulin has seen Goodly’s customers make contributions of $25 to $300 a month to repaying their employees’ student loans. On average, employers contribute $100 a month.

“We’ve had companies of all sizes reach out to us,” Poulin said. “We’ve been really blown away by the interest of companies we’ve seen. It’s not surprising when so many are leaving the company in debt. This is a problem they’ve struggled with. It’s exciting to see companies that are working to proactively help their employees solve this challenge.”

Get started early

For Poulin, one thing that has helped him was making bi-weekly payments instead of monthly payments.

“Over the course of the year, you’ll make an additional payment,” Poulin said. “It could shave off two years over the repayment period.”

Still, student loan repayments can impede employees from making future investments such as graduate school, buying a house, marriage and retirement. Poulin sees investing in retirement as his biggest challenge, especially when he first started working after graduation.

“I was contributing very little, if at all,” Poulin said. “Student loan debt is a major barrier. When you delay contributing to the 401(k), there’s a large compounding effect.”

Having faced the issue of paying off student debt themselves, Poulin and Verma hope Goodly can help people slash the amount of time it takes to pay off loans.

“We want to make student loans obsolete,” Verma said. “Student loans get a bad rep for most people. In terms of investments, it’s still a good thing basically. You’re able to upgrade your life. Our goal is not to get rid of it completely, but make sure you can pay it off as fast as possible.”

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This mind-melting thought experiment of Einstein's reveals how to manipulate time


          Free Coin (FREE) Appears with 950% Two-Day Spike; Fuelled by 10 Trillion Supply      Cache   Translate Page      

Free Coin (FREE) is an ERC-20 token which launched during the second quarter of 2018, and for the most part languished down in the lower depths of the market cap rankings. However, a Mercatox exchange listing in October saw the token’s fortunes start to turn around, and ultimately led to a 950% surge which began […]

The post Free Coin (FREE) Appears with 950% Two-Day Spike; Fuelled by 10 Trillion Supply appeared first on Hacked: Hacking Finance.


          Israel and the Trillion-Dollar 2005-2018 US Intelligence Budget      Cache   Translate Page      

The American public and think tank analysts are not supposed to know precisely how billions in taxpayer dollars flowing into the intelligence community are spent. Even the best plead ignorance. Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy commenting on huge budget increases told the Washington Examiner, "What exactly that signifies, … Continue reading "Israel and the Trillion-Dollar 2005-2018 US Intelligence Budget"

The post Israel and the Trillion-Dollar 2005-2018 US Intelligence Budget appeared first on Antiwar.com Original.


          SoftBank CEO decries journalist's death, defends Saudi fund      Cache   Translate Page      

TOKYO — SoftBank Group Corp. Chief Executive Masayoshi Son denounced Monday the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but defended the Japanese technology giant's investment fund, which includes Saudi money, as work that needs to be finished.

Speaking at an earnings news conference, Son called the death an attack on "a precious life but also on journalism and the freedom of speech."

Son is partnering with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and about half of his $100 billion Vision Fund, established in 2016, comes from the kingdom. The fund has been investing in various companies, solar projects and artificial intelligence.

Khashoggi, a 59-year-old columnist for The Washington Post, was killed at the Saudi Consulate in Turkey on Oct. 2, although details are still unclear.

"It is a reality a horrible act has happened. But we cannot just turn our backs on our work," Son said. He said the investment in his fund came from the Saudi "people."

Khashoggi vanished after entering the consulate in Istanbul to pick up paperwork he needed to get married. His Turkish fiancee was waiting for him outside. A critic of the Saudi crown prince, Khashoggi had been living in exile in the United States.

Son said he met with the prince and other Saudi officials during a recent visit and urged a thorough investigation. He said he prince had expressed concern about the killing.

The Japanese tycoon said nothing has been decided about a planned second phase for the Vision Fund, pending the results of the investigation.

"It is too early to say and we need to approach this cautiously," he said.

SoftBank reported July-September profit of 542.6 billion yen ($4.8 billion), up almost five-fold from the previous year, helped by better results at U.S. wireless Sprint and British IoT company ARM.

Quarterly sales rose 7 percent to 2.38 trillion yen ($21.1 billion).

SoftBank's sprawling empire of technology investments encompasses telecommunications, financial-technology, solar energy, ride-booking services and the Pepper companion robot.

It also has stakes in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and in Uber.

Son had not commented earlier on Khashoggi's death. He started his news conference by addressing the killing, appearing more somber than usual.

But after the first few minutes, he switched the subject to the Japan Series win by the company's professional baseball team, the SoftBank Hawks.

"I want to express my gratitude, especially to the fans," he said.

___

Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

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SoftBank Group Corp. Chief Executive Masayoshi Son speaks during a press conference in Tokyo Monday, Nov. 5, 2018. Son denounced the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but defended the Japanese technology giant’s investment fund, which includes Saudi money, as work that needs to be finished. (Daiki Katagiri/Kyodo News via AP)
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          Storage to become $1.7 trillion market, super-charged by networks and consumers      Cache   Translate Page      

BloombergNEF says networks and consumers set to drive global energy storage boom worth $A1.7 trillion, as cost of batteries tumbles by 52%.

The post Storage to become $1.7 trillion market, super-charged by networks and consumers appeared first on RenewEconomy.


          Holiday retail sales to cross a major threshold      Cache   Translate Page      

Total retail sales in the United States will increase by 5.8% to $1.002 trillion, and brick-and-mortar sales for the holiday season will jump by 4.4% to $878.38 billion, according to eMarketer.

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          Astroboffins spot one of the oldest, coolest stars in the universe lurking in the Milky Way      Cache   Translate Page      

Ancient light source may last trillions of years before dying

Astronomers claim to have found the oldest star yet discovered – a 13.5-billion-year-old sun hovering on the edges of our Milky Way, according to a new study.…


          Private credit assets projected to top $1 trillion by 2020      Cache   Translate Page      
Private credit is set to grow to more than $1 trillion of assets under management by 2020.
          Comment on In India, Initially Who Implemented Traffic System? by Anonymous      Cache   Translate Page      
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          Here ’s the Truth About the Bizarre ‘Alien Spacecraft’ That Buzzed Our Solar System      Cache   Translate Page      
You surely know the joke: Guy asks a friend, “What do you think the odds are that Angelina Jolie would go out for a drink with me?” Friend answers: “Maybe a trillion to one.” Guy responds: “So you’re saying there’s a chance!” That’s the best way to think about the newly released draft paper by two astronomers from Harvard (Yes, I said Harvard) that Oumuamua, the mysterious, cigar-shaped object that whizzed through the solar system last year and was spotted by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii, might actually be an alien probe from interstellar space. The authors of the paper, Schmuel Bialy, a post-doctoral researcher, and Avi Loeb, chair of the astronomy department, are right. It might be. But that doesn’t mean the guy in the j...
          GetHealthyDeals.com the fast growing startup is offering investors an opportunity to invest in the Healthcare Sector.      Cache   Translate Page      
GetHealthyDeals.com the fast growing startup disrupting the $5 trillion Healthcare Industry is offering investors an opportunity to invest in the Healthcare Sector.
          Comment on Tesla’s Bag Of Halloween Tricks by Alex S. Gabor      Cache   Translate Page      
I guess the trillionaire already knew this but you put it into words precisely. Found your story on LinkedIn. Are you short Tesla shares? If so how many more do you want to short? I will lend as many as you need. Just have to find someone to borrow them from these days. Keep up the great analysis. You might just be influencing a trillionaire. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/trillionaire-terminates-tender-offers-tesla-alex-s-gabor/
          Wyprzedaż gier od Idea Factory w Fanatical      Cache   Translate Page      

-75% – Megadimension Neptunia VII – 6.24 € (26,86 zł) – Steam -90% – Trillion: God of Destruction – 1.67 € (7,19 zł) – Steam -81% – Dark Rose Valkyrie – 4.74 € (20,40 zł) – Steam -90% – Monster Monpiece – 1.99 € (8,56 zł) – Steam -80% – Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 – 4.19 € (18,04 zł) …

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          Comment on Why is China Selling U.S. Treasury’s at an Alarming Rate?? by Not Disclosed      Cache   Translate Page      
My social security is not an entitlement. I paid for it through deducuctions from every paycheck that I ever earned in 30 years of working fo this country and private industry. Now I am disabled. But as a white person I am told that I don't qualify for foodstamps because I own my home (no bank involved) and have a two cars (2007 minivan and a 2008 chevy (NO BANKS INVOLVED). Now its even harder since my 16 year old son, who lives with me took a part time job at a fast food joint. I'm expected to spend his money, too! Social security said I automatically qualify for $100 i foodstamps which the dept of welfare refuses to give to me for the reasons I mentioned). MY POINT IS THAT MY SOCIAL SECURITY WAS PAID FOR BY MYSELF!!! It isn't an entilement! As for welfare, if our .gov would stop giving away trillions of borrowed dollars to foreign countries (which hate us) then we might be able to afford welfare programs for those who are legitimately qualified AND still pave our streets in gold. If our elected representitives could stop borrowing from our social security it would be solvent! Stop with the greed and averice! You never saw people starving to death in the streets of the USA (think the 1930's and the great depression). So you have no idea of the suffering our welfare programs have prevented. To be certain those programs are very much abused but its laziness that enables the abuse. Welfare fraud and abuse is easily preventable! There are people who legitimately need the help! A person who makes 50,000$ a year pays 42$ towards welfare programs! Don't be a jerk. You should be truly pissed off because we all had to pay for corporate bailouts that are almost incalculable. And what of the trillions missing from the defense budgets?! It isn't my intention to stick up for lazy, able bodied free-loaders here, but you need to get your perspective in order and stop acting like the jerk you are. Stop USAID and corporate welfare before you start banging on the disabled and unemployed. It shows your sociopathy/psychopathy and besides you might lose your cushy job someday and need welfare benefits to survive after the bank takes your fancy home! NOT EVERYONE WHO RECIEVES WELFARE BENEFITS ARE BUMS! AND MANY OF US PAID INTO IT! BUT IF YOU'RE WHITE AND NOT A "RECOVERING DRUG ADDICT" OR ON DRUGS YOU'LL NEVER SEE ANY OF IT! (And you can't get wealthy on welfare! It isn't steak and lobster for dinner, EVER!) CHILL OUT!!!
          UN / FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION      Cache   Translate Page      
The Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), David Beasley, said that while 15 trillion dollars of the world’s GDP are wasted on the impact of war” and 1.7 trillion dollars are spent per year on military, “we are struggling just to get a few more billion dollars to make sure that no child in the world goes to bed hungry.” UNIFEED
          Comment on World News (October 31, 2018 Edition): Trump Bumps Border Troop Estimate To 15,000 As Migrant Caravan Advances – Russia Eyeing Military Base In Cuba As US Prepares To Leave Nuclear Missile Deal – Arctic & Antarctic Sea Ice Now At Historic HIGH Levels – WE ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE. MATT DRUDGE WAS RIGHT. WE CAN’T SHARE LINKS ANYMORE. – Shocktober Is Over: Global Stocks Lose $8 Trillion, Most Since Lehman – “Organized Busing Operation” Exposed, Moving Migrants Closer To US      Cache   Translate Page      
https://www.news.com.au/world/middle-east/an-indonesian-maid-has-been-executed-in-saudi-arabia-for-killing-her-employer-during-a-rape-attack/news-story/8d5ee3f6d75ff93223d90e34df4f99d1
          OSS and Sharing Leftovers      Cache   Translate Page      
  • Mapillary launches an open-source Software Development Kit

    Mapillary, the street-level imagery platform that uses computer vision to improve maps for the likes of HERE, the World Bank, and automotive companies, launched an open-source Software Development Kit (SDK) to allow developers integrate the company’s image capture functionality into their own apps. The release makes it easier than ever for developers everywhere to incorporate a street-level capture component in their own apps with custom features, spearheading efforts to update maps and make them more detailed.

  • Open Source Machine Learning Tool Could Help Choose Cancer Drugs

    The selection of a first-line chemotherapy drug to treat many types of cancer is often a clear-cut decision governed by standard-of-care protocols, but what drug should be used next if the first one fails?

    That’s where Georgia Institute of Technology researchers believe their new open source decision support tool could come in. Using machine learning to analyze RNA expression tied to information about patient outcomes with specific drugs, the open source tool could help clinicians chose the chemotherapy drug most likely to attack the disease in individual patients.

    In a study using RNA analysis data from 152 patient records, the system predicted the chemotherapy drug that had provided the best outcome 80 percent of the time. The researchers believe the system’s accuracy could further improve with inclusion of additional patient records along with information such as family history and demographics.

  • Open source the secret sauce in secure, affordable voting tech

    The fastest, most cost-effective way to secure direct-record electronic voting machines in the United States, according to cybersecurity experts, is to stop using them. Switch to paper ballots and apply risk-limiting audits to ensure that vote tallies are conducted properly. And over the long term, consider switching to the cheaper—and more advanced and secure—voting technology that cybersecurity expert Ben Adida is dedicating his next career move to developing.

    Adida’s new company, which he publicly announced at the Context Conversations event here Monday evening, which The Parallax co-sponsored, is the nonprofit VotingWorks. The company, which currently is hosted by another nonprofit Adida declined to name in a conversation after the event that eventually will become its own 501(c)3, has one goal: to build a secure, affordable, open-source voting machine for use in general, public elections.

  • The Incorporation of Open Source
  • ADAF – an Open Source Digital Standards Repository for Africa – Launches in Kenya

    Digital assets provide an easy and more secure way of doing business and Africa is quickly benefiting from these new economies of trade.

    With over 1 billion people and a combined GDP of over $3.4 trillion, Africa has some of the fastest growing economies in the world.

    The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) which was signed by 44 African countries earlier this year is expected to boost intra-Africa trade tool by driving industrialisation, economic diversification and development across the African continent.

  • Infosys Launches Open Source DevOps Project

    Ravi Kumar, president and deputy COO for Infosys, said the global systems integrator has spent the last several years turning each element of its DevOps platform into a set of microservices based on containers that can now be deployed almost anywhere. That decision made it more practical for Infosys to then offer the up the entire DevOps framework it relies on to drive thousands of projects employing more than 200,000 developers as a single open source project, he said. That framework relies on an instance of the open source Jenkins continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) framework at its core.

  • Real World Data App: FDA Releases Open Source Code

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday released computer code and a technical roadmap to allow researchers and app developers to use the agency’s newly created app that helps link real world data with electronic health data supporting clinical trials or registries.

    FDA said the app and patient data storage system can be reconfigured by organizations conducting clinical research and can be rebranded by researchers and developers who would like to customize and rebrand it.

    Among the features of the app is a secure data storage environment that supports auditing necessary for compliance with 21 CFR Part 11 and the Federal Information Security Management Act, so it can be used for trials under Investigational New Drug oversight.

  • Texas State should switch to open source textbooks
  • Big Boost For Open Access As Wellcome And Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Back EU's 'Plan S'

    Although a more subtle change, it's an important one. It establishes unequivocally that anyone, including companies, may build on research financed by Wellcome. In particular, it explicitly allows anyone to carry out text and data mining (TDM), and to use papers and their data for training machine-learning systems. That's particularly important in the light of the EU's stupid decision to prevent companies in Europe from carrying out either TDM or training machine-learning systems on material to which they do not have legal access to unless they pay an additional licensing fee to publishers. This pretty much guarantees that the EU will become a backwater for AI compared to the US and China, where no such obstacles are placed in the way of companies.

  • Jono Bacon: Video: 10 Avoidable Career Mistakes (and How to Conquer Them)
  • 10 avoidable career mistakes (and how to conquer them)

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          Custom iPhone XS salutes Apple’s humble start. In gold!      Cache   Translate Page      

It’s hard comprehending the road Apple took to create the iPhone XS. What started in a garage 42 years ago grew into a trillion dollar company. Now, you can own an iPhone XS that honors the tech giant’s spartan beginnings. Legend, the Finnish company gold-plating and embellishing iPhones for a wealthier clientele, this week introduced […]

(via Cult of Mac - Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


          Apple temporarily loses its $1 trillion market cap      Cache   Translate Page      

There was a lot to be enthusiastic about from yesterday’s Apple earnings, but some investors are rattled by weaker-than-expected iPhone sales. As a result, Apple’s valuation dipped below the $1 trillion mark for the first time since the company hit that milestone earlier this year. The slide could well continue in the early part of […]

(via Cult of Mac - Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


          Toyota logs record sales in first half      Cache   Translate Page      

Officials say sales totaled 14.6 trillion yen, or almost 130 billion dollars. That’s up 3.4 percent from the same period last year. Toyota posted operating profit of slightly more than 11 billion dollars, up 15.1 percent in yen terms. The carmaker raised its net profit forecast for the full fiscal year to slightly more than […]

The post Toyota logs record sales in first half appeared first on Times of News Japan.


          FAO warns of impact of price and currency trends on smallholder incomes      Cache   Translate Page      
Declining international agricultural commodity prices should ease the bill the worlds poorest countries pay for food imports, although the strengthening US dollar poses serious concerns, a new United Nations report says.Worldwide food imports are likely to reach 1.467 trillion dollars in 2018, 3.0 per cent above the previous years level but slightly down from the July forecast, according to the Food Outlook, a semiannual publication by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Declining prices for coffee, tea, cocoa and sugar are easing global import costs, although the rising freight charges are expected to offset that effect. For Least-Developed Countries (LDC) and Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDC), sharp drops in the international price of sugar are offsetting rising costs for imported vegetables and cereals.Broadly speaking, the outlook for global food supplies in the coming year remains in line with earlier assessments, with robust production prospects and inventory levels taming prices. However, erratic weather, trade policies and currency exchange rates all pose mounting uncertainties, FAO says.Food Outlook analyses trends and developments in the markets for cereals, the oilseeds complex, sugar, meat, dairy and fish products. The November edition also offers a detailed analysis of the cassava markets and the protracted decline in international coffee prices. An additional feature article analyses the recent conditions in the global markets for bananas and major tropical fruits, where world trade is foreseen to surge by 18 per cent from last year.The Food Outlook review of the trends in the main food commodities, including cereals - wheat, maize and rice - points to generally tightening conditions, compared to a robust baseline for supply and stocks.The focus of this report is on markets for cassava, an important crop for food security with highly regionalised nature. Worldwide production in 2018 is projected by FAO to rise to 277 million tonnes, a 0.5 per cent annual increase after two decades of much more rapid expansion. Trade volumes, meanwhile, are forecast to decline by 36 per cent.That slowdown mostly reflects uncertainty in Southeast Asia, where cassava is widely grown by smallholders for export to China. China, which typically accounts for two-thirds of world cassava imports, is auctioning off large stockpiles of maize, the crops main rival for energy, feed and industrial use, in a process that could last several years. The prospects for an international cassava market expanding beyond Asia remain largely elusive, says FAO.More UNI RSA JW0905
          Investment Analyst at Lidya Nigeria      Cache   Translate Page      
Lidya is a financial services platform to improve access to credit and finance across frontier and emerging markets starting with Nigeria. Launched in November 2016, with a mission to close that yawning credit gap, both in Nigeria and across emerging markets where there is a $2.6 Trillion SME credit gap worldwide.We are recruiting to fill the position below:Job Title: Investment AnalystLocation: LagosJob DescriptionThe Investment Analyst position is responsible for acquiring & managing clients and assessment of the creditworthiness of potential customers, with the goal of optimizing the mix of company sales and bad debt losses.You will work closely with the Senior Management team and be fully responsible for:Customer Acquisition: Qualification, education, closing and launching relationships with clients across relevant sectors including but not limited to Companies in the eCommerce, Consumer Goods, Healthcare and Financial Services industries.Loan Portfolio Growth.Support the evaluation, authorization and approval of loans given to customers including, ensuring that credit appraisals and documentations are completed properly.Key Tasks and ResponsibilitiesManaging existing client engagements. Managing and closing current deals with clients, corporate partners, funding partners, and acquiring new business for Lidya, in particular with Enterprise clients.Authentication of documentation presented for all credit applications and ensuring they meet KYC, loan assessment and any other documentation as required by the Lidya and by the regulators.Appraisal of customer loan applications and approval or rejection of applications within agreed timelines and loan limits.Design and implement process for recollection of disbursed loans including recovery of items pledged as security on delinquent loans.Managing and assisting in the preparation of financial models and client marketing presentations.

Apply at https://ngcareers.com/job/2018-11/investment-analyst-at-lidya-nigeria-345/


          Comment on How Apple News is gearing up to cover Tuesday’s U.S. midterm elections by Mike      Cache   Translate Page      
but you believe Trump tweets? Fox and Friends? Hannity? Limbaugh? Drudge? Breitridge Analytica? KGB Times? The Washington Post has tracked the lies coming from the White House, and they are unprecedented. Tricky Dick was more honest than Trump. As noted above, Trump discredits everyone because that way he can get away with anything. Hats off for full employment -- let's give Trump credit for that even though the trend is absolutely linear extending back to 2010 and the fact that actual job growth and wage growth lag significantly behind his outlandish campaign promises. On the other hand, the list of misdeeds and whiffed opportunities by Trump and his lieutenants is long. -once Trump bragged about stocks continuing to grow on his watch. Not anymore, the expensive sugar high is already wearing off. After spending $1.5 trillion of taxpayer money to corporations, their stock buybacks and executive bonuses have done nothing to maintain the rate of growth seen from 2009 through January 2018 - GDP growth, a crude macroeconomic measure if ever there was one, i also cited by Trumpanzees as being great. Never mind that growth under Trump's predecessor was consistently positive from 2010 on, with GDP growth peaks that exceeded Trump's in both 2011 and 2015. - Trump campaigned on balancing the budget then signed the biggest deficit budget in history - Trump whined incessantly about trade imbalance on the campaign trail -- and despite all the trade disruption, the trade deficit has actually grown 0.25% since Trump took office. - Trump commanded the ripping apart of immigrant families and detained children without supervision in tent camps but interestingly, the actual number of arrests and deportations has declined. Basically, Trump has driven illegal immigrants further underground, where law enforcement doesn't have the time or resources to unroot them. Instead Trump makes a big production of border harassment. - Trump has offered no immigration reform plan other than taller walls, undoing reasonable bills like DACA that allowed background-checked registered children to finish their educations in the USA - The revolving door of aides spins so fast that not even special agent Ivanka can keep up. - Trump has the audacity to meet Putin behind closed doors with no US aides present - Trump pulls out of international agreements left and right, putting international trade in turmoil and American farmers out of work - Trump erects unilateral tariffs then offers special exemptions for his hand picked favorites, skewing commodity markets and spurring price inflation that hurts American manufacturers and consumers - scandals like Pruitt's corruption, Price and Carson's huge expenses, and so forth are unending - cabinet officials with zero ability are put in charge of departments that need the most reform. end result is that idiots like deVos flounder attempting to push religion instead of recognizing the necessity of division between church and state. - hurricane damage comes again; Trump pretends Puerto Rico isn't part of the US - "Fire and Fury" leads to publicity photos with Trump liking the fat autocrat and .... nothing else happens - After much trade turmoil, NAFTA is rebranded with nothing but minor tinkering that, in a sane environment under a reasonable president, could have been implemented in a month quietly by competent trade negotiators - Syria remains a gaping wound on the planet, Trump avoids discussing it - military budgets continue to be bloated, Trump sent an additional 6162 troops into Afghanistan. American taxpayers maintain troops all over the middle east, Nigeria, holding a few lonely misguided guilty-until-proven-innocent muslims in Cuba, and sabre rattling elsewhere - Trump directly contradicts his staff repeatedly. - climate accords and TTP are proceeding without the USA involved to make meaningful amendments for the benefit of future Americans, essentially putting America at a disadvantage for future deals in these blocs - Trump has gone out of his way to insult former allies and piss all over the accomplishments of multinational organizations including NATO, the UN, and others. - Trump kissed the hem of Saudi dictator's robes, and being an oil addict, Trump has done nothing whatsoever to aid justice in response to what appears to be an international murder at the hands of Saudi officials - while tech giants play whack a mole with russian sponsored trolls, Mueller works to root out illegal behavior linked to the White House. Trumpanzees cover their eyes and yell, "nothing to see! nothing to see here!" while Trump does everything possible short of firing Mueller directly to derail the "witchhunt" that keeps finding witches. - with no plan for increasing inexpensive preventative healthcare for all Americans, the US is flooded with opiods, with death from cheap synthetic crap like Chinese fentanol pushing up death rates 27% in the last year. Trump does nothing. - Trump undermines American business with continued rhetoric based in isolationism. https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2018/11/06/tracking-america-in-the-age-of-trump Of course dumbocrats have no answers to the ills that plague the nation, but when the current president spends all of 2018 tweeting, TV watching, and campaigning rather than solving problems, then he should be graded on those results. Like Apple, America is coasting on past accomplishments. It is time for both entities to chart a better direction and take on the hard work of improving how we do things. I fail to see how Trump or Cook have been up to the tasks.
          Comment on How Apple News is gearing up to cover Tuesday’s U.S. midterm elections by Mike      Cache   Translate Page      
False equivalence. Trump's instinct to mobilize troops when the USA already has a border and immigration service and procedures (slow bureaucratic awkward procedures, but immigration procedures nonetheless) reeks of authoritarian bluster and waste of taxpayer resources. This week's Economist magazine gets it right: "Toxic federal politics is America’s great weakness. It prevents action on pressing real issues, from immigration to welfare; it erodes Americans’ faith in their government and its institutions; and it dims the beacon of American democracy abroad. The mid-term elections are a chance to begin stopping the rot—and even to start the arduous task of putting it right. Mr Trump did not begin this abasement. But he has embraced it as enthusiastically as anyone and carried it to new depths of his own devising. All politicians stretch the truth. Mr Trump lies with abandon—over 5,000 times since he was inaugurated, according to the Washington Post. His deceit is so brazen and effective that many of his supporters take his word above any of his critics’, especially those in the media, and seemingly in the face of all the evidence. That suits Mr Trump because, once nobody is believed, he cannot be held to account. But it is disastrous for America. Once reasoned debate loses its power to win arguments, democracy cannot function." It would be wise for both parties to back away from the toxic brinksmanship and start working on fixing issues again. Partisan stalemate is the surest way to America's stagnation and quick irrelevance -- that will be Trump's greatest legacy. After all the turmoil, there just isn't much to this administration that moves the Greatness needle up. Unless $1.5 trillion transfer from taxpayers to undemocratic corporations and total gridlock everywhere else is your idea of great.
          Holiday shopping could top $1 trillion for the first time this year - CNET      Cache   Translate Page      
eMarketer says online shoppers should expect promotions and perks as retailers compete for holiday dollars.
          Program Manager - Agile      Cache   Translate Page      
NC-Durham, Our client is a Boston-based financial investment firm that serves over twenty million customers. They employ tens of thousands of individuals and manage trillions of dollars in assets. With almost a century of experience, this financial services company is an industry leader, both nationally and globally. Our client is known for being a great place to work, and they are looking for a Program Mana
          THANKS, JERRY!:      Cache   Translate Page      
Trump Models U.S. Economy on Kansas. That's a Mistake: The better choice is one of his favorite whipping boys, California, which has a balanced budget, rapid growth and industries of the future.   (Barry Ritholtz, October 19, 2018, Bloomberg)

Kansas has been a disaster, with giant budget shortfalls, service cuts, slashed education budgets and a brain drain with young people leaving the state. The economy has failed to keep up with growth in the rest of the country and is much weaker in terms of job gains, wage increases and gross domestic product growth than neighboring states with similar economies. In 2015, for example, Kansas had one of the worst job growth rates in the country, at 0.8 percent, adding just 10,900 nonfarm jobs.

In the five years before Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, no state economy performed worse than Kansas. Things became so bad that Kansas decided to simply stop updating the public about state economic news. There's no reason to do this other than to obscure the obvious: Kansas's wounds were self-inflicted.

Compare that record with California's robust economy, increased tax base, balanced budget and job growth that exceeds the national average. The president may criticize the politics of the state, but there is little to find fault with its economy. If California were its own country, its $2.75 trillion economy and would be the world's fifth largest, after the U.S., China, Japan and Germany.

Governor Moonbeam should have been the 2016 presidential nominee.



          Program Manager - Agile      Cache   Translate Page      
NC-Durham, Our client is a Boston-based financial investment firm that serves over twenty million customers. They employ tens of thousands of individuals and manage trillions of dollars in assets. With almost a century of experience, this financial services company is an industry leader, both nationally and globally. Our client is known for being a great place to work, and they are looking for a Program Mana
          LCQ1: Problems in economic development of Hong Kong      Cache   Translate Page      
     Following is a question by the Hon Paul Tse and a written reply by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, in the Legislative Council today (November 7):

Question:
 
     Recently, several think tanks and economists have coincidentally pointed out that with dark clouds of a trade war between China and the United States (US) hovering, there are concerns about the way forward for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) in the context of national development strategies and international politics.  In the event that the US authorities take any targeted measures, Hong Kong may lose the tariff exemption arrangement for its exports to US.  They are also worried that the reclamation works for the construction of artificial islands under the "Lantau Tomorrow Vision" announced in this year's Policy Address may cost hundreds of billions, or even trillions, of dollars (i.e. the bulk of the fiscal reserves), which may undermine the confidence of foreign investors in, and cause depreciation in the value of, the Hong Kong dollar and induce attacks on the Linked Exchange Rate (LER) System by foreign exchange speculators.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
 
(1) whether it has studied how Hong Kong should position itself while it is caught in the long-standing political arm-wrestling and trade war between China and US, so as to align itself with the national strategic initiatives on the one hand and strive for the continuation of the various types of preferential treatments on tariffs, visas, etc. that Hong Kong has been enjoying for many years on the other;
 
(2) of the mechanisms put in place, and the officials and policy bureaux tasked, by the SAR Government to study matters relating to the positioning of Hong Kong's development; the corresponding policy bureaux, officials or mechanisms in the SAR Government to conduct appropriate discussion and consultation with the various think tanks and academics regarding the findings of their studies and their recommendations on the positioning of Hong Kong's development in the context of national policies and international politics;
 
(3) given that the detention of a former Hong Kong senior official by the US authorities for an alleged offence of brokering arms transactions, the inclusion of five locally registered companies in the sanctions list by the US authorities for their alleged role in aiding North Korea in evading international embargoes, and the SAR Government's refusal to renew the work visa of a journalist of the Financial Times, have aroused international concerns, whether the Government has assessed how the ongoing development of those incidents will affect Hong Kong's economy, including whether such incidents will trigger the US authorities to take targeted measures by imposing punitive tariffs on SAR's exports, and made a truthful report of the assessment results to the Central Authorities as soon as possible; and
 
(4) whether it has studied if spending a substantial amount of the fiscal reserves on implementing the "Lantau Tomorrow Vision" will undermine the confidence of foreign investors in, and cause depreciation in the value of, the Hong Kong dollar and induce attacks on the LER System by foreign exchange speculators, as well as the corresponding countermeasures?
 
Reply:
 
President,

     Having consulted the Development Bureau and the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau, our consolidated reply for the four parts of the question is as follows:
 
     Hong Kong enjoys unique status and advantages under the Basic Law and "one country, two systems".  According to Article 116 of the Basic Law, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is a separate customs territory.  Article 151 of the Basic Law provides that Hong Kong may participate in international organisations, including participation in the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a separate member and maintaining economic and trade relationships with the other 163 members of the WTO. 
      
     We have been promoting Hong Kong's unique advantages to the world and promoting bilateral and multilateral ties through various channels, such as overseas visits of government officials and overseas Economic and Trade Offices (ETOs).  Since taking office in July last year, the Chief Executive has attended a number of international conferences and paid visits to more than ten countries.  Similarly, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development has also actively participated in international conferences and paid visits to a number of countries, including his visit to Washington DC, the United States (US), in September 2018, during which he met with government officials, members of the Congress, think tanks as well as the business community, and explained clearly Hong Kong's unique status under the Basic Law.
      
     Hong Kong's unique status under the Basic Law is well recognised and respected by the international community.  Building on this foundation, Hong Kong's trading partners around the world have been conducting trade, commerce and investment with us.  This is evident from the setting up of regional headquarters by international companies in Hong Kong. We provide a level playing field for all companies.  Together with our competitive and the most free and open business environment, Hong Kong has always been commended by the international community.
      
     As for the Hong Kong-US economic and trade relation, since Hong Kong's return to the Motherland, the US has continued to maintain and expand economic and trade ties with Hong Kong based on our unique status.  The US side also reiterated earlier that the US continues to have deep economic and cultural interests in Hong Kong.  Counting on the basis of individual economies, the US is Hong Kong's 2nd largest merchandise trading partner in the world, while Hong Kong is the US' 9th largest export market. According to US statistics, the total merchandise and services trade between the US and Hong Kong in 2017 reached US$69 billion.  The US has been enjoying the highest trade surplus with Hong Kong among its global trading partners, valued at US$34.5 billion in 2017, of which US$32.5 billion was surplus in merchandise trade.  In addition, Hong Kong and the US maintain close investment relations.  In 2016, the US was the 6th major source of inward direct investment into Hong Kong while the US was the 8th major destination of outward direct investment from Hong Kong.  It is in the US and Hong Kong's mutual interest to maintain and promote our bilateral relations.  The Government will continue to enhance Hong Kong's economic and trade ties with the US.
      
     Nevertheless, since the beginning of this year, the US has initiated conflicts in international trade, trade protectionism has risen, and the trade conflict between China and the US has been escalating.  Apart from the direct impact on trade in goods, the impact on Hong Kong as a whole and on the global economy has begun to emerge.  The uncertainties of the external environment have increased markedly, and the global economy as well as trade and investment sentiment have also deteriorated.  Although the current economic data are still good, the outlook is not optimistic.  Many institutions have lowered their forecasts for global economic growth next year and Hong Kong economy cannot stay immune.
      
     The Government has been closely monitoring developments of the China-US trade conflict and their impact on Hong Kong economy, maintaining close communication and exchanging information with the trade, and responding promptly to their needs.  In the short to medium term, the Government has announced and implemented a number of targeted measures in response to the trade's needs, including strengthening various SME funding schemes to assist the trade in market promotion and development of the Mainland and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) markets; enhancing the special concessionary measures of the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme operated by the HKMC Insurance Limited to further alleviate the financing burden of local enterprises; strengthening protection of Hong Kong exporters affected by the US tariff measures through the Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation; and assisting the trade to develop markets and transfer production base through the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.
      
     In the medium to long term, as pointed out by the Chief Executive in her Policy Address, leveraging on our unique strength under "one country, two systems", we will continue to respect economic principles, uphold operation of the market and promote free trade.  We will also strive to develop new areas of economic growth.  The National 13th Five-Year Plan pledges support for Hong Kong to reinforce and enhance its status as an international financial, transportation and trade centre; develop its innovation and technology industry; and establish itself as a centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region.  The Belt and Road Initiative of our country as well as the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development have brought enormous opportunities for the economic development of Hong Kong.  The Government will do its best as a "facilitator" and "promotor", seizing opportunities to capitalise on Hong Kong's strengths to serve the country's needs, and seeking active liaison with the world to explore more business opportunities.
      
     At the international level, the Government will continue to actively forge free trade agreements (FTAs) and investment agreements with our trading partners.  We have already signed FTAs with ASEAN and Georgia respectively and have concluded negotiations with the Maldives. Our bilateral negotiations with Australia are ongoing, and we will explore FTAs with the United Kingdom and the Pacific Alliance and seek accession to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.  We will also expand our network of ETOs, and we expect to set up the ETO in Bangkok early next year and the ETO in Dubai as soon as possible.  We will continue our discussion with the respective governments on setting up the ETOs in Moscow, Mumbai and Seoul.
      
     Regarding the "Lantau Tomorrow Vision" promulgated by the Government, the major consideration is the long-term development need of Hong Kong.  The Government does not have an estimate of the relevant project cost at this stage.  Since the proposed projects will be implemented in phases, the project cost will be spread over many years.  In formulating the implementation strategy for the "Lantau Tomorrow Vision", the Government will take into account relevant factors like the fiscal sustainability and conduct detailed financial assessment to ensure that the project expenditure is fiscally affordable by the Government.

     As for the Linked Exchange Rate System (LERS), it has served as a strong anchor for Hong Kong's monetary and financial stability.  It has proved to be highly resilient in a series of regional and global financial crises.  We will continue to uphold our firm commitment to ensuring the effective operation of the LERS in maintaining monetary and financial stability of Hong Kong.
          LCQ4: Promotion of green finance      Cache   Translate Page      
     Following is a question by the Hon Chan Chun-ying and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr James Lau, in the Legislative Council today (November 7):

Question:

     It is learnt that there were 16 cases of local green bond issuance in the first half of this year, raising funds of US$6.8 billion in total, which was three times the amount for the whole of last year. Some analyses have pointed out that the green industries on the Mainland will have a capital demand of about RMB3 trillion to RMB4 trillion per year during the period covered by the country's 13th Five-Year Plan for the National Economic and Social Development, and the infrastructure projects in the countries along the Belt and Road will have a capital demand of US$1.5 trillion per year between 2016 and 2030, as estimated by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Such situations have presented opportunities for Hong Kong to develop green finance. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) as there are views that there is a need for the Government to set up a green financial system framework comprising clear green standards, specific development guidelines and comprehensive regulations, and at present some 20 countries and regions across the globe have rolled out a green finance development roadmap, whether the Government has considered developing (i) a green financial system framework, and (ii) a green finance development roadmap; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(2) as some analyses have pointed out that private capital participation is crucial to the development of green finance, whether the Government has considered, by making reference to the approach of the United Kingdom (UK), financing the establishment of an independent green investment bank to mobilise private capital to invest in green projects; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

(3) whether it has considered, by making reference to the experience of countries such as the UK and Germany, boosting the development of green finance through fiscal policies, such as introducing tax concessions, offering profit tax exemption to funds investing in green finance products, as well as granting interest subsidies to green lending products; if so, of the details; if not, the reason for that?

Reply:

President,

     Our replies to the three parts of the question are as follow:

(1) and (3) Green finance is a new but rapidly expanding area of financial activities that seeks to bring a positive impact on the environment through emphasis on social responsibility and sustainable development. Riding on the increasing global demand for green financial products, Hong Kong, as an international financial centre and the global Renminbi business hub, is well-equipped to develop green finance, in particular serving as a premier financing platform for international and Mainland green enterprises/projects in raising funds through issuing bonds and initial public offerings.

     The Government is making progress on various fronts to develop and firmly establish Hong Kong as a leading hub for green finance in the region, with focus on the Mainland of China and economies along the Belt and Road. The Government would facilitate and provide the necessary infrastructure and catalyst for jump-starting market developments. We will at the same time build up our international profile on green finance with increased international visibility and proactive promotion targeting audience overseas.

     On promoting local certification for green finance products, the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency (HKQAA) established a Green Finance Certification Scheme (GFCS) early this year to provide third-party conformity assessments for issuers on their green financial instruments by making reference to a number of international and national standards. Representatives of the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau and the Environment Bureau attended meetings of the HKQAA's Technical Committee as observers upon their deliberation on the technical details of GFCS. We will continue to support GFCS's implementation and encourage local, Mainland and overseas enterprises to make use of the Scheme and our capital markets for financing their green projects.

     Many local, Mainland and international organisations, such as the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and the European Investment Bank, have made use of Hong Kong to issue green bonds. This attests to the strengths of our competitive capital markets. To attract more green bond issuance and promote market development in Hong Kong, the Government has launched the Green Bond Grant Scheme to subsidise eligible green bond issuers in obtaining certification under the GFCS, as well as the Pilot Bond Grant Scheme to provide grant to eligible enterprises issuing bonds (including green bonds) in Hong Kong for the first time. We have also enhanced the Qualifying Debt Instrument Scheme to provide tax concession for bond investment in Hong Kong. We hope that the Legislative Council would authorise the Government to implement the Government Green Bond Programme as soon as possible by making the proposed resolution under the Loans Ordinance to facilitate the inaugural government green bond issuance, with a view to setting a good example for the green finance market in Hong Kong and attracting more local, Mainland and international investors and financiers to participate therein. Moreover, we are reviewing the tax arrangements applicable to funds and we plan to introduce a legislation by the end of the year, so that different types of both onshore and offshore funds operated in Hong Kong, subject to certain eligibility requirements, can enjoy profits tax exemption for transactions in qualifying assets including securities, futures and shares of private companies, etc. This tax arrangement would be applicable for funds investing in green finance products which can be classified as such qualifying assets.

     We would strengthen efforts to publicise Hong Kong's competitive capital markets, highlight our edge in developing green financial products and raise green finance awareness at regional and international forums including the Asian Financial Forum organised in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority hosted the International Capital Markets Association's Green and Social Bond Principles Annual General Meeting and Conference and a seminar with the People's Bank of China on Mainland-Hong Kong green finance opportunities this June, which altogether attracted some 1 300 market participants.

     Furthermore, the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) became a Partner of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative this June, committing to further promotion of sustainable and transparent capital markets. The Securities and Futures Commission published its Strategic Framework for Green Finance this September and looks forward to fostering cross-agency and public-private collaboration to develop green finance, on which it has started discussions with the HKEX, other financial authorities, key stakeholders along the investment chain and the wider financial community.

(2) Most of the large-scale green infrastructure projects in Hong Kong, such as sewage treatment, waste management and district cooling systems, etc., are carried out by the Government. Investors who are interested in financing green projects of the Government can participate in our Government Green Bond Programme. In addition, private organisations can make use of our capital markets to issue green financial instruments. Thus, the market effect of and actual demand for a green investment bank in Hong Kong are limited at the moment.

     Moreover, the Government has various initiatives in place to support local environmental and recycling industries and attract private capital to invest in different green projects. For instance, the $1 billion Recycling Fund was launched in October 2015 to provide funding support for the local recycling industry in general or in specific sectors in enhancing their operational standards and productivity. On promoting the development of renewable energy (RE), the Government and the two power companies have introduced Feed-in Tariff Scheme under the post-2018 Scheme of Control Agreements to provide economic incentives for individuals and non-government bodies to invest in RE.
          NTT to invest ¥3 trillion on research and 5G mobile network systems      Cache   Translate Page      
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. said Tuesday it will invest ¥3 trillion ($26 billion) over the next five years on advanced research activities and next-generation ...
          This startup wants employers to stop giving its workers lavish perks and start helping them pay their student loans      Cache   Translate Page      

goodly_.JPG

  • This April, a San Francisco-based startup called Goodly launched as a part of Y Combinator's summer batch.
  • Goodly aims to help companies help their employees pay off their student loans, by making regular matching contributions — kind of like a 401(k).
  • Greg Poulin, co-founder and CEO, was motivated to start Goodly because of his own experiences in paying off $80,000 in student debt.
  • Poulin believes that the budget for common company perks such as gym memberships and massage chairs can be better used for helping employees pay off student loans.

While Greg Poulin, co-founder and CEO of Goodly, was attending Dartmouth, his father passed away unexpectedly. On top of the emotional toll, he also ended up having to borrow $80,000 in student loans to pay his tuition.

Poulin has since moved to San Francisco, the thriving-but-pricey hub of the startup world, and he’s still chipping away at his loans with a monthly payment of about $900 a month. Frustrated by his experiences, he founded Goodly, a platform for companies to offer employees assistance with their student loans as a benefit.

Goodly allows companies to make a monthly contribution to their employees’ student loans, similar to how companies often match 401(k) contributions. Based in San Francisco, Goodly was founded just this April, launched with a $120,000 seed investment as a part of the summer batch from famed startup program Y Combinator.

“Most employers don’t know that student loan benefits exist. It’s both a challenge and an opportunity for us,” Poulin told Business Insider. “It’s helped us completely define a new category of benefits.”

Companies often offer perks like gym memberships, massage chairs and snacks, but the money can be better allocated to helping employees pay student loans, Poulin says. That way, student loan repayment won’t be a large expense for companies. This benefit, he says, could help with both recruiting and retention.

“The problem is those employees are saddled with crippling student loan debt,” Poulin said. “Gym memberships aren’t going to cut it when it comes to recruiting employees.”

Hemant Verma, co-founder and CTO of Goodly, also had to pay off debts from his own education in India.

“This is a massive problem for people,” Verma told Business Insider. “It’s the biggest problem our generation is facing...This was a mission we were energized with.”

The scale of the problem

Today, 70% of college students graduate with debt, and over 44 million Americans collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student debt. An American Student Assistance survey reported that 76% of respondents said student loan repayment benefit would be a deciding or contributing factor to accepting a job offer.

The average college graduate has $37,172 in student loans, by some estimates, up $20,000 from 13 years ago. It makes sense that the demand for student loan benefits is rising.

“For millennials, they bear the grunt of student loans,” Poulin said. “It’s an issue where we see people of all backgrounds.”

This could potentially impact diversity and inclusion at companies as well, as student loans disproportionately affect women and people of color. For example, research shows that women carry two-thirds of the nation’s student debt load, and that African American students are four times more likely to default on their student loans than their white peers.

Poulin has seen Goodly’s customers make contributions of $25 to $300 a month to repaying their employees’ student loans. On average, employers contribute $100 a month.

“We’ve had companies of all sizes reach out to us,” Poulin said. “We’ve been really blown away by the interest of companies we’ve seen. It’s not surprising when so many are leaving the company in debt. This is a problem they’ve struggled with. It’s exciting to see companies that are working to proactively help their employees solve this challenge.”

Get started early

For Poulin, one thing that has helped him was making bi-weekly payments instead of monthly payments.

“Over the course of the year, you’ll make an additional payment,” Poulin said. “It could shave off two years over the repayment period.”

Still, student loan repayments can impede employees from making future investments such as graduate school, buying a house, marriage and retirement. Poulin sees investing in retirement as his biggest challenge, especially when he first started working after graduation.

“I was contributing very little, if at all,” Poulin said. “Student loan debt is a major barrier. When you delay contributing to the 401(k), there’s a large compounding effect.”

Having faced the issue of paying off student debt themselves, Poulin and Verma hope Goodly can help people slash the amount of time it takes to pay off loans.

“We want to make student loans obsolete,” Verma said. “Student loans get a bad rep for most people. In terms of investments, it’s still a good thing basically. You’re able to upgrade your life. Our goal is not to get rid of it completely, but make sure you can pay it off as fast as possible.”

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The first woman in space almost didn't make it back to Earth and she had to keep it a secret for 30 years


          Apple's market cap fell below $1 trillion and its iPhone XR woes just clobbered stocks of its China suppliers      Cache   Translate Page      
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           Parliament Approves Le7.3 Trillion Budget      Cache   Translate Page      
[Concord] Members of Parliament last Friday (2 November) approved the 2019 Appropriation Budget, estimated at the tune of Le7.3 trillion, thus authorising public expenditure from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
          'Four More Years!' Trump Rallygoers As Stupid As Trump      Cache   Translate Page      


Donald Trump wrapped up his reelection campaign Monday night with yet another big crazypants rally, this time in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Before you put on your fedora and correct us that Trump was campaigning for the midterm elections, and ostensibly in support of Republican US Senate candidate Josh Hawley, you'd better have a chat with Trump's crowd, who kept chanting "Four more years! Four more years!" We don't know what happens to him in '22, but then, neither do they.

In addition to Hawley -- who was mostly an afterthought, as are most beneficiaries of Trump's campaign appearances -- the rally featured Lee Greenwood performing a medley of his patriotic hit, Rush Limbaugh spouting lies, Sean Hannity onstage campaigning for Trump less than 12 hours after saying he'd do no such thing, and White House employees Ivanka Trump, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Kellyanne Conway illegally at a campaign appearance, because what is the Hatch Act anyway?

Well, yes, Trump HAD promised that morning that anyone violating federal election law would be "subject to the Maximum Criminal Penalties," but he meant illegal immigrants voting, not his own staff.


The rally was the usual weird bullshit, but turned up to 11 because crunch time. Before the rally, Sean Hannity "interviewed" Trump by asking him a bunch of tough questions about how Trump manages to be so awesome. Trump bragged that he'd now turned the southern border of the USA into a land of beautiful barbed wire, and who knows, maybe a recreation of World War I trench warfare: "We have a barbed wire wall, you see that, what they're doing, highest level [...] a lot of digging going on, a lot of trenching, and people aren't going to come into our country without the legal process."

Once the rally actually got going, Rush Limbaugh came onstage and explained the REAL collusion in 2016 was by Hillary Clinton, as you'd expect, because if she weren't a criminal, why would people chant "Lock her up," huh?

"Hillary Clinton colluded with Russia. Hillary Clinton rigged that election," insisted Limbaugh, which makes all sorts of sense because clearly she rigged it so she'd lose and then secretly undermine Trump from the Deep State. Talk about nefarious!

Trump also acted very surprised that Lee Greenwood had casually dropped by for the rally, although the appearance had been announced Sunday. Then Trump called Sean Hannity to the stage -- he was another guest the campaign had announced in advance, but Monday morning, Hannity had indignantly insisted he would simply be doing his normal work of covering Trump like the hardworking journamalist he is:

Gee, that was a quick turnaround!

After getting on stage to campaign with the "president," the most trusted man in rightwing news pointed at the back of the auditorium and said, "By the way, all those people in the back are fake news." And again, despite denying the campaign's announcement he'd be joining Trump, he also said he was surprised Trump had called him up on stage. That's a weird little dance, and we're frankly not sure why any of these idiots even try to pretend they're not lying, since the Trump/Fox crowd is perfectly fine with being lied to anyway.

Trump finally got the attention back on himself, at which point he explained that actually, everyone who voted for Trump is much smarter, better-educated, and in fact has far better stuff than any of the "elites," who are actually kind of trashy tacky people. Why does anyone pay attention to "the elites" when the REAL elites are Ivanka and all of you in your MAGA hats and "Life's a bitch, don't vote for one" t-shirts.

I know all of the elites. They're not very smart in many cases. They have a lot of hatred in their hearts. I don't know about you, but many of you went to better schools than they did...we have better houses, homes, boats. We do better than they do, we work harder than they do, we make more money than they do [...] We are the super-elites. We are the super-elites!

In fact, you might even wonder why the Trump Super-Elites even let the rest of us losers continue to live here. Probably because they're so nice. The rally continued on for a while with the usual string of lies, punctuated by some concerned silence when an audience member needed medical attention -- perhaps to grant succor to the person who'd fainted, someone in the crowd shouted "CNN SUCCCKS!!" and the crowd cheered, which almost certainly helped.

Trump, a little punchy, even got mixed up about what those evil Democrats want to destroy and what the brave GOP will protect, at least until today's votes are counted:

[If] Democrats gain power on Tuesday, one of their very first projects will be a socialist takeover of health care... The Democrat plan would obliterate Obamacare.

Now, of course he meant Medicare, because Medicare for All would destroy Medicare, you know, that's just a fact. (Except that it would actually save trillions over all US healthcare spending.) But because Donald Trump is incapable of admitting he's wrong, the Great Man didn't bother with a hasty "err, Medicare." Instead, he explained the Dems WOULD destroy Obamacare and that would be good, but even once Obamacare was destroyed the Dems would "leave the bad parts behind."

Trump then closed with a familiar line about how he avoided all the phone calls from foreign leaders who tried to tell him not to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, he said he'd call back in a week, after he'd very ingeniously already signed the order! SMART! But this time, the story had an interesting variation:

So when I called them back, I said, "Mr. King, Mr. Queen, Mr. Whatever," I said, listen, Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister [...] I wish you'd gotten to me sooner! [huge laugh at how clever this was!!]

So don't you go saying Donald Trump isn't all that bright, because he knows ALL the titles for world leaders.

And that was the last Trump midterms rally until probably next week when he decides he really likes doing them more than anything else. FOUR MORE YEARS!

[WaPo / Politico / Guardian / Daniel Dale on Twitter / Aaron Rupar on Twitter]

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations! Send us money, or we'll cover more Trump rallies, even if we have to make them up. Why not? HE does.

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          Sea cucumbers lead China’s logistics blockchain charge      Cache   Translate Page      
Blockchain can not only make the source of goods more transparent, it has the potential to save trillions of dollars by fixing problems inside supply chains The article Sea cucumbers lead China’s logistics blockchain charge was written by Masha Borak for Technode. With their leathery skin and tiny feet like tentacles, sea cucumbers seem an […]
          Program Manager - Agile      Cache   Translate Page      
NC-Durham, Our client is a Boston-based financial investment firm that serves over twenty million customers. They employ tens of thousands of individuals and manage trillions of dollars in assets. With almost a century of experience, this financial services company is an industry leader, both nationally and globally. Our client is known for being a great place to work, and they are looking for a Program Mana
          Bill Gates Brings Human Poop At Speech In China Reinvented Toilet Expo      Cache   Translate Page      

Bill Gates speaking speaks at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in China.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates brought with him a jar of human waste when he kicked off the Reinvented Toilet expo in China on Tuesday.

According to CBS News, the philanthropist placed the jar on a pedestal next to him as he made a plea for the safe disposal of human waste during his keynote speech at the event in Beijing.

“You might guess what’s in this beaker — and you’d be right. Human feces,” Gates said.

“This small amount of feces could contain as many as 200 trillion rotavirus cells, 20 billion Shigella bacteria, and 100,000 parasitic worm eggs.”

Gates went on to say that the pathogens in the fecal matter is known to cause diseases that kill nearly 500,000 children below 5-years-old every year.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which was founded by Gates and his wife, has been working to address the world’s sanitation problems. Since 2011, the foundation has spent more than $200 million to improve research and development of safe sanitation technologies.

Click here to continue and read more...


          Sources: SoftBank Group plans to raise up to $26.5B in an IPO of its Japanese mobile telecom unit, the details of which may be announced as early as next week (Takahiko Hyuga/Bloomberg)      Cache   Translate Page      

Takahiko Hyuga / Bloomberg:
Sources: SoftBank Group plans to raise up to $26.5B in an IPO of its Japanese mobile telecom unit, the details of which may be announced as early as next week  —  SoftBank Group Corp. is seeking to raise a record 2 trillion yen ($18 billion) from Japanese individuals in the initial public offering …


          Las acciones de Apple se desploman por debajo de los 200 euros: éstas son las razones       Cache   Translate Page      

Las acciones de Apple se desploman por debajo de los 200 euros: éstas son las razones #source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000

Si eres accionista de Apple puede que te hayas llevado las manos a la cabeza después de que los mercados hayan abierto hoy en los Estados Unidos: en pocos días, el valor de las acciones de Apple ha pasado de ser de unos 222 dólares a 198 dólares, provocando que la valoración bursátil baje del billón de dólares que alcanzó hace unas semanas. Todo se ha precipitado después de la rueda de prensa de resultados financieros del pasado jueves.

¿Qué ha ocurrido? Pues varias cosas: en primer lugar, como ya dijimos al cubrir esa rueda de prensa, Apple ha confirmado que dejará de concretar cuántas unidades se han vendido de los iPhone, iPad y Mac. Eso no hizo mucha gracia a los inversores, ya que sin esas cifras no puedes determinar correctamente el rendimiento de cada división de Apple. Sólo puedes guiarte por los ingresos y los beneficios de cada sector, con lo que pasas a depender más de las estimaciones que hagan compañías de terceros. Se acabó el poder determinar fácilmente el precio medio de venta (ASP) de los iPhone.

Nikkei "la lía parda"... pero no es una sorpresa

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La guinda que ha provocado la caída de hoy ha sido un informe de Nikkei, que sugiere que Apple ha comunicado a sus proveedores que reduzcan la producción de los iPhone XR ya que la demanda no ha sido la esperada. Y si la demanda ha sido más baja de lo esperado es que las ventas no han sido las esperadas, lo que significa menos ingresos y una bajada del valor de las acciones.

El informe sigue afirmando que más personas de lo esperado están optando por comprar el iPhone 8 o el iPhone 8 Plus, ahorrando algo de dinero y esperando a que el nuevo formato de los iPhone evolucione algo más. Pero hay expertos como Philip Elmer-DeWitt que afirman que esos datos siempre acaban desmintiéndose, argumentando que cada año Nikkei siempre peca de derrotista.

Como siempre, eso se verá con el tiempo. Si Apple sigue creciendo en ingresos y beneficios, el valor de las acciones se corregirá. Y por cierto, ahora alcanzar el billón de dólares de valoración de mercado va a ser más difícil, ya que la compañía ha estado recomprando sus propias acciones. Pero al fin y al cabo, eso no son más que cifras simbólicas.

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La noticia Las acciones de Apple se desploman por debajo de los 200 euros: éstas son las razones fue publicada originalmente en Applesfera por Miguel López .


          Another piece of negative news for the euro      Cache   Translate Page      

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The purchasing managers' index in October fell to a two-year low, as growing tensions in trade relations and new tariffs, along with growing political uncertainty, had a negative effect on exports and business optimism.

At the same time, the European Central Bank was hoping for good news, as it plans to stop its asset purchase program with a budget of 2.6 trillion euros by the end of the year, disabling one of the main instruments to stimulate the eurozone economy. The index of purchasing managers from IHS Markit, which is the most accurate indicator of economic health in general, fell to 53.1 points in October from 54.1 points in September, which is the lowest figure since September 2016.

In general, the block economy grew by 0.2 percent in the third quarter and, according to analysts, in the current quarter the growth will reach 0.4 percent.

Among the negative factors for the euro, Brexit remains in the first place, the ongoing trade war between the United States and China, as well as the end of Angela Merkel's political career, all this has a negative effect on business sentiment.

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          Private credit assets projected to top $1 trillion by 2020      Cache   Translate Page      
Private credit is set to grow to more than $1 trillion of assets under management by 2020.
          Comment on Global Renewable Energy Market to Grow 4.9% by 2025 by The Pentagon’s Plan To Dominate The Economy | TurealTV      Cache   Translate Page      
[…] jobs via exports, developing technologies to tap the huge future market in renewables, which one study suggests could hit $2.1 trillion by 2025, would leave weapons systems in the dust. After all, […]
          Comment on Global Renewable Energy Market to Grow 4.9% by 2025 by Militarizing The Economy In The Name Of Defense | PopularResistance.Org      Cache   Translate Page      
[…] jobs via exports, developing technologies to tap the huge future market in renewables, which one study suggests could hit $2.1 trillion by 2025, would leave weapons systems in the dust. After all, […]
           Comment on Here’s who owns a record $21.21 trillion of U.S. debt by Vince       Cache   Translate Page      
If you owe the bank $100,000, the bank owns you. If you owe the bank $100,000,000, you own the bank.
           Comment on Here’s who owns a record $21.21 trillion of U.S. debt by Melas the Hellene       Cache   Translate Page      
And they are borrowing more & more to pay off debt! I heard an economist compare it to a Ponzi Scheme. That's what it always comes to in decaying, rotten empires.
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OH-Columbus, job summary: CLIENT OVERVIEW: A leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. Randstad is partnering with this industry leader to help them find a Recruiter / Talent Acquisition Special in the fast growing market of Columbus, OH! The Recruiter will recruit high volume non-exempt and junior-level professional positions. They will evalu
          Democrats appear close to taking back control of the House      Cache   Translate Page      

WASHINGTON — The Democrats picked up at least two dozen House seats Tuesday and appeared on track to retake control of the chamber, a victory that could put a check on President Donald Trump's agenda over the next two years and trigger a multitude of investigations into his business dealings and administration.

As one of the most volatile midterm elections in U.S. history wound down, the Democrats drew ever closer to the 218 seats needed for a majority, with dozens of races still undecided. A Democratic victory would break the Republicans' eight-year hold on the House that began with the tea party revolt of 2010.

While the Republican Party retained control of the Senate, a win for the Democrats in the House would end the GOP monopoly on power in Washington and open a new era of divided government.

"Tomorrow will be a new day in America," Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said at a victory party in Washington.

The campaign unfolded against a backdrop of ugly rhetoric and angry debates on immigration, health care and the role of Congress in overseeing the president.

With the Democratic Party needing a net gain of 23 to take back the House, its candidates flipped seats in several suburban districts outside Washington, Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago and Denver that were considered prime targets for turnover because they were won by Hillary Clinton in 2016. The Democrats also made inroads in Trump country, where they tried to win back white working-class voters.

Midterm elections are typically difficult for the party in power, but the GOP's hold on power was further weakened by an unusually large number of retirements as well as infighting between conservatives and centrists over their allegiance to Trump.

The Democrats, in turn, benefited from extraordinary voter enthusiasm, robust fundraising and unusually fresh candidates. More women than ever were running, along with veterans and minorities, many of them motivated by revulsion over Trump.

As the returns came in, the House was on track to break the record of 84 female members of one party or the other.

In trying to stem Republican losses, Trump made only passing reference to his $1.5 trillion tax cut — the GOP Congress' signature achievement — and instead barnstormed through mostly white regions of the country, interjecting dark and foreboding warnings. He predicted an "invasion" from the migrant caravan making its way toward the U.S. and decried the "radical" agenda of speaker-in-waiting Pelosi.

Trump also took little responsibility for the House, saying his focus was on saving the Senate.

On Tuesday night, he called to congratulate Pelosi and acknowledged her plea for bipartisanship, the leader's spokesman said.

Health care and immigration were high on voters' minds as they cast ballots, according to a ranging survey of the American electorate conducted by The Associated Press. AP VoteCast also showed a majority of voters considered Trump a factor in their votes.

The Democratic candidates tried to stick to an economic message of lowering health care costs and investing in infrastructure to create jobs.

They also promised to clean up government. With control of the House, Democrats will chair powerful committees and have subpoena power to seek Trump's tax returns and more aggressively investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether there was any collusion by the president's campaign.

In the Miami area, former Clinton administration Cabinet member Donna Shalala won an open seat, while GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo lost his bid for a third term in another district.

In the suburbs outside the nation's capital, Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock — among the most endangered GOP incumbents, branded Barbara "Trumpstock" by Democrats — lost to Jennifer Wexton, a prosecutor and state legislator.

And outside Richmond, Virginia, one-time tea party favorite Rep. Dave Brat lost to Democrat Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA operative motivated to run for office after the GOP vote to gut the Affordable Care Act. Like other Democrats across the country, Spanberger emphasized protecting people with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage or charged more by insurers.

Pennsylvania was particularly daunting for Republicans after court-imposed redistricting and a rash of retirements put several seats in play. Democratic favorite Conor Lamb, who stunned Washington by winning a special election in the state, beat Republican Rep. Keith Rothfus in a new district. At least three other red districts flipped to blue.

In Kansas, Democrat Sharice Davids beat a GOP incumbent to become one of two Native American women, with Deb Haaland of New Mexico, elected to the House. Davids is also openly gay.

Democrats welcomed other firsts, including two Muslim-American women, Rhasida Tlaib of Michigan and Minnesota's Ilhan Oman, who is also the first Somali-American elected to Congress. The Republican side of the aisle elected mostly white men.

But in Kentucky, one of the top Democratic recruits, retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath, lost her bid to oust to three-term Rep. Andy Barr in the Lexington-area district.

Republicans had expected the GOP tax plan would be the cornerstone of their election agenda this year, but it became a potential liability in key states along the East and West coasts where residents could face higher tax bills because of limits on property and sales tax deductions.

The tax law was particularly problematic for Republicans in New Jersey, where at least three GOP-held seats flipped. The winners included Democrat Mikie Sherrill, a former Navy pilot and federal prosecutor who ran for a suburban Newark seat.

The GOP campaign committee distanced itself from eight-term Rep. Steve King of Iowa after he was accused of racism and anti-Semitism, but he won anyway.

In California, four GOP seats in the one-time Republican stronghold of Orange County were in play, along with three other seats to the north beyond Los Angeles and into the Central Valley.

"We always knew these races are going to be close," said Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, co-chair of House Democrats' recruitment efforts. "It's just a very robust class of candidates that really reflects who we are as a country."

___

For AP's complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: http://apne.ws/APPolitics . Follow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/lisamascaro and at https://twitter.com/AP_Politics .

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Haley Stevens, candidate for Michigan's 11th Congressional District, gives a thumbs up as exits her polling place Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Rochester Hills, Mich. Stevens is running against Lena Epstein. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

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New York Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, center, signs a register before voting, Tuesday Nov. 6, 2018, in the Parkchester community in the Bronx, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

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Democratic congressional candidate Amy McGrath stands in line with her family while waiting to vote on Election Day in Georgetown, Ky., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

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Candidate for Pennsylvania's 1st Congressional District Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., waits in line to vote in Langhorne, Pa., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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Andy Kim, the Democratic candidate in New Jersey's third Congressional District, holds his son as he stands with his wife Kammy Lai and their son as they prepare to vote Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Bordentown, N.J. Kim is facing Tom MacArthur, the Republican incumbent candidate in New Jersey's third Congressional District. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

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Maryland's 6th Congressional District candidate Amie Hoeber greets voters in front of a voting location Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Potomac, Md. David Trone, a Democrat and co-owner of a national wine store chain, is running against Hoeber, a Republican and national security consultant. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via AP)

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Anthony Brindisi, right, the Democratic candidate for New York's 22nd Congressional District, chats with Habiba Mberwa, left, after casting his vote at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, N.Y., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. Brindisi, a Democratic Assemblyman, is hoping to defeat Republican Congresswoman Claudia Tenney in New York's 22nd Congressional District race. (AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)
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          (USA-NY-New York City) Sr. Full Stack Engineer      Cache   Translate Page      
Sr. Full Stack Engineer Sr. Full Stack Engineer - Skills Required - Java, Scala, C#, REACT, D3, SQL, SPARK, SQL Server As the technological hub between lenders and capital markets, my client provides all market participants with unprecedented data transparency, insight, and analytics. To date, my client has offered investors insight into over $15 billion of securitizations and more than $64 billion of consumer, small business, real estate, auto, and student loans from the largest online lenders, including LendingClub, Prosper, and SoFi. But that's just the beginning. The work doesn't stop until we've built a comprehensive end-to-end solution that facilitates investment across capital markets and asset classes. That's at least $13 trillion of data to bring into our data pipeline and make dynamic for our users. Join us if you're ready for the challenge. **What You Will Be Doing** As a Senior Full Stack Engineer, you'll have +5 years of experience with Java, Scala or C# and a strong understanding of functional programing to build out products as part of a unified platform for advanced quantitative analytics and reporting that will help prevent the next crisis in these assets. -You will work with our modern open source stack -Develop experiencing complex products and architecture -Interact with a diverse team -Gain knowledge of consumer lending markets **What You Need for this Position** More Than 5 Years of experience and knowledge of: -Java, Scala or C# -Functional programming -React -D3 -SQL Server -Spark **What's In It for You** - Vacation/PTO - Medical - Dental - Vision - Bonus - 401k So, if you are a Sr. Full Stack Engineer with experience, please apply today! Applicants must be authorized to work in the U.S. **CyberCoders, Inc is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer** All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. **Your Right to Work** – In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification document form upon hire. *Sr. Full Stack Engineer* *NY-New York City* *AM11-1492944*
          National Veterans’ Small Business Week      Cache   Translate Page      

Did you know that, according to SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration) estimates, approximately one out of every ten businesses is owned by veterans? This contributes approximately $1.4 trillion to the country’s total receipts/sales every year. With this in mind, veterans are valuable to the nation not only for their time spent serving, but also for their positive impact on the economy. However, not every veteran comes home equipped to start a business.

 

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As Steve Strauss highlighted in yesterday’s article for veteran small business owners, there are many resources designed to help veterans start and grow their businesses, from training and mentorship opportunities to federal contracting opportunities and loan programs. This article will dive deeper to explore additional resources to help broaden the scope of services available to veterans. Perhaps no areas are as important to the establishment and successful management of a business that training and funding.

 

Training

 

OVBD (Office of Veterans Business Development) facilitates support to service-disabled veterans, SBA programs by veterans, active-duty service members, transitioning service members, veterans’ dependents or survivors, and reservists. OVBD is an SBA faction devoted to promoting veterans entrepreneurship via funding and training.

 

Training is an integral part of any startup. Many mistakes that kill new businesses are avoidable. SBA is armed with a network of resource partners with extensive experience offering training and counseling, equipping business-minded veterans for the market and lenders. Commercial supply chains and federal procurement play a significant role in the veterans business.

 

The SBA’s “Veteran Business Outreach Center” is a one-stop-shop that provides interactive learning opportunities and hands-on experience to transitioning veterans. Opportunities are available for all veterans and their spouses.

 

Veterans Business Outreach Center seeks to:

 

  1. Boost the veteran awareness of entrepreneurial development services
  2. Increase the access of the veterans to entrepreneurial development services
  3. Help veterans fully utilize the entrepreneurial development services for the growth of the economy.

 

Visit their site to find a center near you: https://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/vboc

 

Funding

 

Investors are sometimes weary to invest in startups due to the high risks of failure. Many studies have shown that nine out of every ten businesses fail in the first year of operation. As a result, investors and lenders need assurance that the money they give will come back to them.

 

Through varied programs, SBA offers business loans to veterans for much needed capital to grow their businesses. The Veteran Advantage program under SBA guarantees approved loans to business that are at least 51 percent owned by a veteran or military spouse.

 

Of note, the MREIDL (Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan) program provides veteran-owned small businesses with a monetary lifeline in the event the business is struggling to meet the necessary operating and cashflow needs. This can sometimes happen after a crucial employee is recalled to military active duty.

 

All the services available to the veterans through these institutions are done to appreciate the veterans’ valued sacrifice and service to the nation. What can you do? Support veteran-run businesses, as they not only stimulate the economy but provide opportunities to give back to those who have given much for us.

 

Learn more about the Bank of America $20 Million Lending Program for U.S. Military Veteran Entrepreneurs

 

For more information about great business resources for veteran entrepreneurs, check out these podcast episodes:

 

 

Read next:

 

 

About Ebong Eka

 

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Ebong Eka is no stranger to the world of personal finance. As a certified public accountant and former professional basketball player he offers a fresh perspective to small business planning and executing. With over fifteen years of accounting, tax & small business experience with firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte & Touche and CohnReznick, Ebong provides practical money solutions tailored to the everyday person, the aspiring entrepreneur or the small business owner.

 

Ebong is the founder of EKAnomics, a sales, pricing and leadership firm. He is also the founder of Ericorp Consulting, Inc., a tax and management consulting firm. Ebong is the author of “Start Me Up! The-No-Business-Plan, Business Plan.

 

Ebong is also the founder of The $250 Tax Pro, which provides tax preparation and consulting services in the Washington, DC area.

 

Web: www.ebongeka.com or Twitter: @EbongEka.

You can read more articles from Ebong Eka by clicking here

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Ebong Eka to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Ebong Eka is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Ebong Eka. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

 

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          Marijuana companies are using a 'backdoor' strategy to tap the public markets — and it's fueling an M&A boom      Cache   Translate Page      

Adam Bierman/ MedMen

  • Many US-based cannabis companies are going public on the Canadian Securities Exchange in a nontraditional way — a so-called reverse takeover.
  • Reverse takeovers are when a private company buys a shell company that's already publicly-traded.
  • It's a strategy to become a public company quickly, particularly in an industry that's federally illegal in the US. 
  • Going public means these companies can roll up competitors using their stock as the cannabis industry enters a wave of consolidation. But there are drawbacks to the strategy, according to lawyers.  

The legal cannabis industry is booming, and US-based startups are looking towards their northern neighbor to capitalize on the frenzy around the emerging sector.

Because cannabis companies with operations in the US aren't able to list on US-based exchanges — marijuana is federally illegal, after all — these companies have pursued a little-known strategy for quickly going public in Canada: the reverse merger.

While reverse mergers have a mixed reputation because of their link to a series of accounting scandals in 2011 involving Chinese firms that gained access to U.S. markets through these transactions, they're now becoming increasingly popular with cannabis companies. 

According to data from Dealogic, the number of US companies pursuing reverse mergers in Canada has nearly doubled in the last five years.  

What's a reverse merger?

A reverse merger, or reverse takeover (RTO), is when a private company acquires a public company that's already trading on a public exchange. 

The public company is what's known as a shell, with no real revenue or executive team, though both retail investors and big funds are able to buy and sell shares as with any other publicly-traded firm. 

"Historically, reverse mergers in the US were kind of viewed as a 'backdoor' way of going public," said Charles Alovisetti, a corporate lawyer Denver, Colorado-based firm Vicente Sederberg. But "there's nothing necessarily nefarious about it." 

Read more: A competitor is emerging to challenge the marijuana retail chain dominating the industry, and it just closed a $640 million acquisition

In a traditional IPO, companies have to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (or in Canada the Canadian Securities Administrators) and are rigorously vetted by major investment banks, whose analysts and bankers ask a ton of detailed questions about the company's finances.

The IPO process also involves a months-long "road show" where the company and the investment bankers handling the transaction pitch the company to potential investors. 

Companies choosing the RTO route are able to skip much of that process — though smaller banks do underwrite these types of deals — and step into a public listing immediately after the acquisition closes. 

This can be useful if the company is planning to use its stock to go on a buying spree, said Samuel Dibble, a San Francisco-based partner at law firm Baker Botts.

"The one circumstance where I would say, okay, this makes sense is look: we have a really viable company. We're confident we could raise money, but we don't want to wait because we think there's a real opportunity right now to consolidate within the industry," Dibble said.

MedMen

It's deal mania for US-based cannabis retailers 

Companies that go public via RTO are triggering a deal boom. 

There have been nine cannabis M&A deals so far in 2018, up from just one in 2017, according to data from Viridian Capital Advisors, a cannabis-focused financial advisory firm. The average size of the deals has also increased more than five times in the last year, from $6.5 million to $32.9 million.  

MedMen, which operates a number of upscale cannabis dispensaries in California, Nevada, and New York, among other states, went public at the end of May after buying the British Columbia-based Ladera Ventures (formerly T.M.T. Resources), a shell company which previously operated oil-and-gas extraction sites in Alberta.

Acquisitions followed: in October, MedMen acquired the medical-marijuana dispensary chain PharmaCann in a $682 million all-stock transaction, nearly doubling the combined firm's footprint overnight.

iAnthus, one of MedMen's retail competitors, went public via RTO in 2016 after acquiring Genarca Holdings. In October, iAnthus scooped up the Toronto-based MPX Bioceutical in a $640 million all-stock transaction, among many other smaller transactions.

'Two buckets' of cannabis companies 

RTOs don't make sense for every cannabis company.

There are companies like marijuana cultivator Tilray, which, though majority-controlled by a US firm, predominately operate in Canada and don't violate federal law — and are therefore able to list on US-based exchanges like the NYSE.

And then there are others like MedMen that have opted to go public via a reverse merger on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE). The CSE is a secondary exchange based in Toronto — the more mainstream Toronto Stock Exchange won't list companies that distribute or sell cannabis directly. 

Canada has federal laws legalizing marijuana on the books, meaning Canadian institutions are able to invest in the industry, and that companies dealing with the plant directly are able to access banking services, list on public exchanges, and deduct the regular costs of doing business from their taxes.

In the US, it's a different story: while recreational marijuana is legal in 9 states and medically legal in 31, it's still considered a Schedule I drug by the US federal government.

Read more: The CEO of the biggest cannabis company in the US reveals what's next following a $682 million acquisition

US-based exchanges won't list cannabis companies with any US operations, no matter what the states say. And most institutions won't invest, fearing a crackdown from federal regulators.

That leaves them few options to raise money, other than tapping into Canadian public markets.

"The CSE has become the exchange of choice for US operators," said Vincent Lusardi, the CEO of Curaleaf, a Massachusetts-based cannabis retail company that owns dispensary licenses in a number of states. "It's where investment capital is meeting the opportunity of the moment." 

Curaleaf went public via an RTO in October.

marijuana

Criticisms abound about reverse takeovers 

There are a number of drawbacks to reverse takeovers for both investors and the companies themselves. 

For investors, the process of an RTO is "a lot less transparent" than a traditional IPO, said Anna Pinedo, a partner at law firm Mayer Brown.

"Oftentimes it leads to some degree of concern by the institutional investor community," Pinedo said. Companies that go public through an RTO may not have been vetted in the same rigorous way as IPOs, leading to a dearth of solid information about the company's financials, she said.

For the company itself, it may not know exactly who owns their shares since they are acquiring a shell — and the shareholders may be in it for a short-term profit, Dibble said.

"It doesn't guarantee that there's any consistent trading market or that they're truly investors out there who are interested in owning your stock," Dibble said. "There's a lot of nefarious trading activity that goes on in any thinly-traded stock." 

That can lead to short-term volatility, as in Curaleaf's example, which dropped precipitously on the day it started trading (though it has since mostly recovered). 

Dibble said he always advises cannabis companies that there are easier ways to raise money than through an RTO. 

If you can get the money from a private investor, it's cheaper and faster than an RTO — and you can control who owns shares in your company, Dibble said.

"You won't lose your strategic advantage," he added. 

See also:

SEE ALSO: BlackRock's president says the $6.4 trillion asset manager wants to invest in cannabis stocks, but there's one key problem

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          Weed stocks are surging as 2 states vote on legalizing marijuana (CRON, APHA, ACB, TLRY, CGC)      Cache   Translate Page      

marijuana cannabis

  • Americans went to the polls Tuesday, with two states voting on legalizing recreational marijuana and another two more deciding the fate of medical marijuana.
  • Weed stocks are gaining around on Tuesday.
  • So far in the US, 10 states allow recreational marijuana and 32 states allow medical marijuana, but marijuana is not allowed at a federal level.
  • In October, Canada became the second country after Uruguay to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

Weed stocks were surging Tuesday as Americans in four states will determine the fate of marijuana use at a state level.

Voters in Michigan and North Dakota are considering the full recreational use of marijuana for individuals over the age of 21. Meanwhile, citizens in Missouri and Utah are voting for medical use of marijuana.

As a result, weed stocks were rising across the board. Here's the scoreboard at 10:32 a.m. ET:

  • Cronos Group (CRON): +8.10%
  • Canopy Growth (CGC): +6.15%
  • Tilray (TLRY): +4.58%
  • Aphria (APHA): +4.48%
  • Aurora Cannabis (ACB): +3.27%

High-flying cannabis stocks have caught the attention of both Main Street and Wall Street this year. In October, Canada became the second country after Uruguay to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

At the time, Jon Trauben, managing partner at the cannabis-focused Altitude Investment Management, said"We believe that the legalization in Canada offers a road map to invest in the companies that will form the basis of the legal cannabis industry in the coming years." 

In the two months before Canada's recreational legalization, the biggest cannabis stocks all more than doubled in value. But after the legalization, they've been hard hit.

While marijuana is not allowed at the federal level in the US, some states have already opened the door for the market. This year, Vermont became the 10th state to allow the sale and full use of marijuana. Medical marijuana is allowed in 32 states so far. 

Read more stories on weed stocks:

 

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          10 things you need to know before the opening bell (SPY, SPX, QQQ, DIA, JD, AAPL, AMZN)      Cache   Translate Page      

Trump rally

Here is what you need to know.

America goes to the polls.The Democrats are projected to wrestle away control of the House of Representatives, according to most polls, which could set the stage for two years of gridlock.

The most likely election outcome has been terrible news for stocks.A Republican president seeingDemocrats take control of the House but not the Senate during a midterm election has happened only twice, and both time the Dow Jones Industrial Average was lower over the next year.

A new Brexit poll says 'remain' would win big.A new poll of 20,000 Brits conducted by the British broadcaster Channel 4 found that the UK would stay in the European Union by 54% to 46% in a new Brexit referendum.

The market's 'Red October' put the nail in the coffin on one of the most trusted trading strategies of the bull market.The "buy the dip" strategy that has worked throughout the bull market is coming to an end, and Morgan Stanley says there are urgent implications.

Amazon reportedly plans to set up 2 different locations for its HQ2.Amazon is said to be close to selecting Long Island City in Queens, New York, and the Crystal City area of Arlington, Virginia, as the homes of its second headquarters, dubbed HQ2, The New York Times reports.

The details of the rape allegations against JD.com's billionaire CEO are public.JD.com's founder and CEO, Liu Qiangdong, is accused of serving a 21-year-old student alcohol, going home with her in his private car, and having a violent encounter that ended with nonconsensual sex, according to a detailed account of the allegations that was published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Liu has denied any wrongdoing.

iPhone suppliers took a hit after a report highlighted XR production woes. Shares of iPhone suppliers fell as much as 6.6% on Tuesday after a Nikkei report, citing sources, said Apple would halt additionally production lines for its new smartphone.

The software startup Qualtrics files to go public. Qualtrics, which sells software to analyze, manage, and improve software user experience, plans to raise as much as $495 million by selling 23.6 million shares at a price of $18 to $21 apiece, a filing out Monday showed.

Earnings reporting is heavy.CVS, Eli Lilly, and Ralph Lauren report ahead of the opening bell, while Match Group and Papa John's are set to release their quarterly results after markets close.

US economic data trickles out.Jolts Job Openings will be released at 10 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is down 1 basis point at 3.19%.

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NOW WATCH: The first woman in space almost didn't make it back to Earth and she had to keep it a secret for 30 years


          The market's 'Red October' nailed the coffin on one of the most trusted trading strategies of the bull market — and Morgan Stanley warns it could send stocks tumbling      Cache   Translate Page      

traders black monday

  • A trading strategy that has rescued stocks and generated big profits for investors throughout this bull market is no longer working.
  • Strategists at Morgan Stanley outline why we're witnessing the end of "buy the dip" and the urgent implications this development has for stock market investors.

The longest bull run in the stock market's history is showing more signs of its age.

The market action around last month's sell-off — dubbed "Red October," as it was the worst drawdown in seven years — demonstrated that stocks were not recovering from such downfalls as briskly as they used to.

Months before the market registered its historic bull streak earlier in 2018, Bank of America Merrill Lynch strategists flagged that the strategy known as buying the dip was not working the way it used to.

The October sell-off corroborated this assertion, according to strategists at Morgan Stanley.

"October was not just a technical sell-off like the one in February," Michael Wilson, the firm's chief US equity strategist, said in a client note.

"We now have fundamental drivers: higher interest rates, slowing economic growth next year, margin risk, and tighter financial conditions," he said. "They all add up to investors holding less risk and, without incremental money flows, this new primary downtrend will likely take time to reverse."

In other words, there are now serious downside catalysts that make it harder for investors to pour their cash back into stocks after downturns, leaving the market more vulnerable in such moments. Chief among these stimuli in October was the persistent rise in interest rates, which, according to Wilson, put stocks in overvalued territory for the first time since January.

Read more: BlackRock's $1.9 trillion bond chief explains how everyone is misunderstanding the cause of market turmoil

To prove the demise of dip buying, Morgan Stanley ran the numbers on the S&P 500's average daily performance if the prior week's return had been negative. The ideal scenario for a trader who buys at the low of a weekly decline is a subsequent rally.

But this outcome has not been the case in 2018. As this chart shows, based on these parameters, buying the dip has experienced its worst track record since the early 2000s.

11 6 18 buying the dip COTD

Wilson is not forecasting that investors will no longer buy dips, nor is he recommending that they stop the practice. After all, buying stocks consistently without regard for their price is a smart way for long-term investors to lower their cost of trading over time — a practice referred to as dollar-cost averaging.

He is saying, however, that investors should henceforth brace for more volatility as stocks attempt to recover from their losses.

Wilson saw the October slump as a manifestation of the rolling-bear-market thesis he had espoused for more than a year prior. The rolling bear market is now morphing into a "chopping" bear market, he said, characterized by wilder swings and smaller rallies. Besides higher interest rates, investors are worrying about rising labor costs and how this might eat into corporate profits next year, and the shrinking balance sheets of the world's biggest central banks.

"For the rest of the year, we think US equity markets are likely to remain very choppy but in a narrower range," Wilson said.

"In terms of the S&P 500, we think the wider range of 2400-3000 we posited at the beginning of the year has likely narrowed to something like 2650-2800 — but with bigger intraday swings and hard-to-anticipate price action."

SEE ALSO: Here's how Wall Street says investors can profit from every possible midterm election outcome

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NOW WATCH: Trump once won a lawsuit against the NFL — but the result was an embarrassment


          European stocks could be surprise winner if Democrats end up winning the House      Cache   Translate Page      

Ryder Cup Fans

  • Tuesday's midterm elections could see the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives.
  • That could, according to some analysts, be a major boost for Europe's automakers and miners, vicitims of Trump's China trade policies. 
  • That's because a Democratic house might stifle some of President Trump's more extreme policies, particularly those on trade.
  • "With the Democrats favorites to take control of the House and the Republicans the Senate, the next couple of years may be far more difficult for Trump," Stephen Innes of OANDA said.

Tuesday's midterm elections in the US are likely — however they go — to mark a seismic moment in US politics.

While the outcome is difficult to predict, the results could be a particular boon for European stocks. If the Democrats win control of the House of Representatives, as many pundits expect, it might make it far more difficult for the Trump administration to continue along its current policy agenda, and could lead to a possible roll-back of some of the president's more aggressive trade policies.

"Immigration and trade reforms are seen as market unfriendly policies and these measures would be less likely to be implemented if the Democrats took the House of Representatives," Roger Jones, head of equities at London & Capital told Bloomberg on Tuesday. "The European market would be happy with more political balance."

Read more: BAML: 2 different $3 trillion risks are hanging over markets, but only one should really scare investors

The sectors that would likely benefit to the largest degree are those most directly impacted by the trade war in particular. This could mean a surge in share prices for automakers.

Automakers in Europe have been the second worst performing of all stock market sectors in 2018, as fears about Trump hitting autos from the continent with a 25% tariff, and a worrying fall in demand from China and other rapidly growing Asian economies, stunted sales.

"With the Democrats favourites to take control of the House and the Republicans the Senate, the next couple of years may be far more difficult for Trump," Stephen Innes of OANDA noted in an email on Tuesday morning.

Other sectors, including miners, would also likely see a boost from a gridlocked election.

A similar increase could be seen in certain sectors of the Chinese stock market in the event of a flipping of the House to Democrats. Chinese stocks have taken a pounding this year, in part down to the rising spectre of the trade war. In the event that Trump is forced to dial down his trade rhetoric, it would likely be a positive for Chinese stocks.

However, some analysts believe the reverse could be true.

"I think that if Democrats win next week, the president is likely to pivot back to his core issues and China trade pessimism could return just as quickly as it abated," Compass Point's Isaac Boltansky told Bloomberg last week.

Could Trump lash out?

There is, however, the possibility that a defeat could push Trump to be more belligerent, and lash out against his rivals further by doubling down on his commitment to change international trade.

It is also possible that markets will see a Democratic win in the House as a material negative, given the huge gains seen in stocks since Trump entered the White House.

"When you consider how markets have done since his election victory – granted, primarily on the back of tax reforms – it’s easy to see why this may not be the most investor-friendly result," OANDA's Innes wrote.

SEE ALSO: A star investor of 'The Big Short' is shorting UK stocks with bets on a no-deal Brexit

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NOW WATCH: Trump once won a lawsuit against the NFL — but the result was an embarrassment


          Amazon's got its eyes set on yet another market — and one high-flying upstart should be worried (AMZN, ROKU)      Cache   Translate Page      

Jeff Bezos

  • In the broader streaming-video market, Amazon is emerging as the chief rival to Roku.
  • The two companies have emerged as the leading makers of digital video players, and the leading third-party providers of smart-TV software platforms.
  • Advertising has emerged as an important business for both companies, and Amazon is reportedly developing its an ad-supported video service that could rival the Roku Channel.
  • The threat from Amazon could crimp Roku's growth prospects, Morgan Stanley said in a new report.

You can add another company to the list of those whose business is being threatened by Amazon: Roku.

Those two companies are now the two leading players in the broadly defined streaming-television market, Morgan Stanley research analysts Benjamin Swinburne and Brian Nowak said in a report released Monday. Amazon is gaining steam in the industry, and its growth threatens to crimp Roku's own, they said.

"Amazon is directly in competition with Roku," Swinburne and Nowak said in the report. They continued: "Amazon has seen meaningful share gains ... and is likely catching up to Roku."

That's likely to strike some fear into the hearts of investors and possibly Roku's management. Amazon, after all, is a notoriously cutthroat competitor, especially in its core retail business, where it's already helped kill off a slew of formerly prominent rivals.

Swinburne, who covers Roku for Morgan Stanley, is concerned enough about the threat from Amazon and other companies that he has an "equal weight" rating — essentially a "hold" — on Roku's stock and a target price of $50, which is nearly $7 a share below where it's currently trading.

Amazon and Roku are increasingly butting heads

Roku CEO Anthony Wood at the company's IPO in 2017In looking at Amazon's budding rivalry with Roku, Swinburne and Nowak take a broad view of the streaming-television market.

It includes digital-media players such as Roku's Ultra; software platforms such as Amazon's Fire OS that underlie those devices and certain smart TVs and distribute apps and channels to them; and video services such as the Roku channel that are distributed over those devices and others.

Companies in the market generate revenue by selling devices, licensing their operating systems to other manufacturers, offering subscriptions to their video services or those they distribute, and selling advertising on the video channels they own or distribute.

Both Roku and Amazon compete in the three major portions of the streaming video market, as do Apple, Comcast, Google, and others. But in the device area, Roku and Amazon are increasingly the dominant players, according to Morgan Stanley's research. While Roku's first-place share has stayed steady, Amazon has steadily grabbed share from Google and smaller players.

Market share of installed base of digital media players, according to Morgan Stanley

The platform battle is more of a mixed bag. But Roku has established itself as a leading player in smart TVs, primarily by licensing its software to TCL, which has become one of the leading brands in North America.

Amazon has been setting itself up as the primary alternative to Roku, at least among manufacturers that don't have their own television operating system and app store. Earlier this year, Amazon signed a deal to have its Fire TV software installed on Insignia TVs, the house brand at Best Buy.

Advertising has become key to Roku's business

But the biggest area of competition could be in the content area.

The fastest-growing part of Roku's business of late has been in advertising sales. The company sells advertisements on the main screens of the user interface of its software platform, but also sells video ads that run on its Roku Channel and on some of the channels it offers in its app store.

Read this: A gold mine is buried 'under the weeds' at Amazon — here's why it could take the company beyond the $1 trillion mark

Roku has been so successful selling ads, that its "platform" business segment — which largely consists of advertising sales — is now bringing in more revenue than sales of its devices.

But there again, Roku could face some stiff competition from Amazon. Like Roku, Amazon has become a distributor of streaming channels. Like Roku, advertising happens to be the fastest-growing piece of its business. And it reportedly has in the works an ad-supported channel that would be built around its IMDB service that would be essentially Amazon's version of the Roku Channel.

The as with any advertising-based business, Roku's has grown by offering marketers a large and growing audience and persuading that audience to spend more time with its services. The danger with for Roku is that rivals, particularly Amazon, might slow the growth of its advertising business, whether by stealing market share from its devices and software or by diverting the attention of Roku users to alternate video services.

"Competition by the likes of Amazon and others is real and intensifying," Swinburne and Nowak said in the report.

Roku's shares closed regular trading on Monday off $1.04, or about 2%, to $56.85. Amazon's ended the day down $37.73, or 2%, to $1,627.80.

Now read:

SEE ALSO: Amazon has quietly taken a big and fast-growing stake in a $7 trillion market

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          SWF: Norway's Sovereign Wealth Fund returns 2.1% in Q3      Cache   Translate Page      
From CIO: Buoyed by strong US equities, Norway's Government Pension Fund Global returned 2.1%, or 174 billion kroner ($20.84 billion), during the third quarter to raise its total market value to 8.478 trillion kroner, or nearly $1.02 trillion, despite falling short of its benchmark index by two-tent...
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          New supercomputers to research effects of climate change      Cache   Translate Page      
Three new supercomputers capable of processing more than 2000 trillion calculations per second will enable scientists to carry out more research into the effects of climate change.
          German prosecutors search BlackRock in dividend-stripping inquiry -source      Cache   Translate Page      
Prosecutors searched the Munich offices of BlackRock on Tuesday, a person with knowledge of the matter said, as part of the country's largest post-war fraud investigation. The practice being investigated, known as cum-ex, typically involved trading company shares rapidly around a syndicate of banks, investors and hedge funds to create the impression of numerous owners, each of whom was entitled to a tax rebate. A BlackRock spokesman said the world's biggest fund manager was "fully cooperating with an ongoing investigation relating to cum ex transactions in the period 2007-2011". BlackRock's inclusion is significant because it oversees more than $6.4 trillion in assets, including company shares which it lends to banks as part of its business. State prosecutors in Cologne declined to comment on the search of BlackRock, which came as Germany's finance minister, Olaf Scholz, urged Europe to tighten cooperation against abusive tax schemes, after Reuters and other media revealed
          Comment on China Confronts Something Far Worse Than A Recession – Bank of America by Emma Muhleman, CFA, CPA      Cache   Translate Page      
Perhaps ValueWalk should fire BofA or require they impose some stronger diligence and review processes before publishing utter nonsense - you are making what was once a reputable website look like a third-rate blog for retail investors who might have read a clip from the Wall Street Journal or the Economist once or twice, but didn't have the attention or care to read the actual article. For now I'll take it easy on him as I simply don't have time to address the masses of inaccuracies he's made throughout this entire piece. So we'll start with the first obvious misstatement of fact: "Remember, modern-day China grew up and prospered in the western liberal order the administration appears to be bent on dismantling. Prior to the administration, America’s approach to China was grounded in the belief that as China prospered and flourished, as millions more people achieved middle-class status, China would become more like the U.S.—or more liberal and pluralistic." WAKE-UP, SLICK: modern-day China grew up under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, not Xi Jinping or Li Keqiang (the "modern day" KGB). Deng Xiaoping led with a strategy and pursued it well; his motto was to build things better than others and continue to surpass the rest of the world, but to do so quietly. Suppose Monsanto were to (pre-Bayer) have gone and stolen all the R&D and IPR behind competitors Dow & DuPont's genomics and biotech seed traits. How wise would it be if Monsanto went back to the headquarters with the new, stolen technologies and announced to the world it would soon become the preeminent leader in agriculture biotech for decades to follow. Not so wise, is it? That's what Xi Jinping has done, and it has alerted his trading partners and rivals and "friends" alike across the globe, from Australia to Taiwan to Malaysia to Pakistan, the United States, Mexico, Germany and Western Europe and many others. THIS IS THE CHINA THAT PROSPERED IN THE "WESTERN LIBERAL ORDER" - VERY DIFFERENT from the authoritarian regime that currently rules at the expense of its citizens, and occasionally shows up at Davos to spew some "globalization" bull isht before rushing back to Beijing to ensure the capital controls are still on tight - after all, any more money makes its way out and everyone will learn: THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES. Mr. Joe Quinlan, who works as the Head of Market Strategy for BofA's Global Wealth and Investment Management team either is utterly clueless and writes as a parrot after reading a few articles from a select few websites or he does not have you, the investor, in his best interest. Perhaps he seeks to aid the team at BofA on the banking side, after all, in the first half of this year China reported a current account DEFICIT. This is at a time when the nation's foreign exchange reserves are on the brink of violating IMF minimum reserve adequacy requirements according to Article IV. They say, "a bad debt is never a bad debt as long as you're still rolling it over." Unfortunately for China, the first negative current account (reported in the first half of this year) in over two decades or so puts the Communist Party in a perilous position. In spite of a desperate need for U.S. dollars to inject into the banks to cover up the unprecedented ponzi that's been carried out over the last decade, preventing the holes from showing and cracks from breaking, the current account has and will continue to grow deeper into the deficit territory -- that is, until the Communists ratchet back all citizens rights to travel or spend abroad, period. Long story short, Beijing no longer has the ability to hide a banking system that's built on sand (it's literally and I kid you not a complete sham). With recorded liabilities of US$50 trillion, not in RMB, but USD terms, bank liabilities inside China alone equal over 62.5% of total WORLD GDP. We worry about the United States with debts at 105% of its own GDP. Well check this: China's bank liabilities are over 400% of the country's GDP (and it's GDP is inflated to boot). Back to the Author's foolish claims: The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), led by dictator and authoritarian Xi Jinping and fellow gangster Li Keqian, are nothing short of terrorist thieves exploiting a country of almost 1.4 billion hardworking citizens. Under Xi and Li, the CCP has implemented a countrywide surveillance system to enable the imposition of social credit scores assigned to each citizen. Do as much as litter and risk being cut-off from the nation's railway systems. The social credit score dictates every facet of a citizen's life, including whether they're granted the right to travel or leave the country; whether they can utilize the nation's banking system (which robs them blind, they just don't know the extent of it yet); whether their children can access the schooling system. If you want freedom in China, the closest you will get it complete censorship and brainwashing, you certainly cannot exercise free speech, but you can stay alive and out of jail - away from the "internment camps" where you are likely to "vanish" in true CCP fashion - but you musn't express any religious leanings (think about the more Tibetans) whatsoever and must always speak highly of and kowtow to the leader, the leader of the world, the Sun, Xi Jinping. Outward expression of religious freedom is strictly condemned and the Communists handle those who dare to show their cultural background are swiftly handled: Xi has made the CCP's position on this clear as day after arresting over 1 million Uighurs and holding them against their will in what Beijing likes to call "Internment" (ahem) Concentration Camps, where they're starved for days and beaten repeatedly, forced to hail Xi Jinping and denounce any other religious power. Most, unfortunately, never make it back from these camps to see the light of day. Since when did it become acceptable to do business with nations that do renditions on state enemies all across Asia, yet one incident in Saudi Arabia makes headline news for days. How is it that all these innocent people can simply be ignored??? Their families fear speaking to the issue, as the Communists have made it clear they too will be killed. allow China to do renditions on state enemies across the Pacific and continue to do any business with the nation. He is completely clueless as to the evolution of the relationship between the United States and China, let alone the relationship between China and Western Europe, in addition to the many emerging nations China has attempted to envelope under the guise of open arms and outreach (seeking to build ports in places known to have significant gold and other critical resources under the ground and others with direct access to major global waterways central to international trade and naval operation/defense) Africa, Pakistan, Malaysia, Taiwan, the list continues), acting as though the goal was to help these nations develop, similar to the way China has (i.e. in a terribly corrupt, utterly reckless way) thus to write an article with so many false statements and other inclinations that reveal just how clueless he isfor that matter Western Europe as well relative to China over the past several decades, and haven't a clue what is going on. First, he quotes:
          Buhari sends 2019-2021 expenditure framework to n’assembly      Cache   Translate Page      


President Muhammadu Buhari has sent the 2019-2021 medium term expenditure framework (MTEF) and fiscal strategy paper (FSP) to the national assembly for consideration.

In a letter attached to the document, Buhari said the MTEF and FSP were prepared against the background of “a generally uncertain economic environment as well as fiscal challenges in the domestic economy”.

The president said the preparation towards the submission of the 2019 budget to the national assembly “is progressing well”.

“I write to submit the 2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework  (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) to the distinguished senate pursuant to provisions of the fiscal responsibility act 2007,” he said.


“The preparation towards the submission of the 2019 budget to the national assembly is progressing well, the MTEF and FSP were prepared against the background of a generally uncertain economic environment as well as fiscal challenges in the domestic economy to ensure the [development of] sustainable levels and is consistent with overall government developmental and inclusive growth.

“I hereby forward the 2019-2021 MTEF/FSP to this senate and trust that it will be considered in order to bring the 2019 budget process to timely closure.”

On October 24, the federal executive council (FEC) approved a budgetary proposal of N8.73 trillion for 2019 fiscal year. The proposal is N400 billion less than the 2018 budget.

Key assumptions being proposed for 2019 budget include oil price benchmark of $60 dollars per barrel, oil production of 2.3 million barrels per day, an exchange rate of N305/$1, and GDP growth rate of 3.01 percent.


          Radio Free HPC Podcast: A Look at the Spaceborne Supercomputer One Year Later      Cache   Translate Page      
In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team sits down with Mark Fernandez from HPE to discuss the Spaceborne Supercomputer that it currently orbiting the planet in the International Space Station.

Last week, HPE announced it is opening high-performance computing capabilities to astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) as part of its continued experiments on the Spaceborne Computer project.

Spaceborne Computer is the first commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) supercomputer that HPE and NASA launched into space for a one-year experiment to test resiliency and performance, achieving one teraFLOP (a trillion floating point operations per second) and successfully operating on the International Space Station (ISS).  After completing its one-year mission proving it can withstand harsh conditions of space – such as zero gravity, unscheduled power outages, and unpredictable levels of radiation – Spaceborne Computer will now, for the first time ever, open its supercomputing capabilities for use aboard the ISS. These “above-the-cloud” services will allow space explorers and experimenters to run analyses directly in space instead of transmitting data to and from Earth for insight.

After that, we do our Catch of the Week.

Download the MP3 * Subscribe on iTunes * RSS Feed

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          Recruiter / Talent Acquisition      Cache   Translate Page      
OH-Columbus, job summary: CLIENT OVERVIEW: A leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. Randstad is partnering with this industry leader to help them find a Recruiter / Talent Acquisition Special in the fast growing market of Columbus, OH! The Recruiter will recruit high volume non-exempt and junior-level professional positions. They will evalu
           Comment on UBS/PwC Billionaires report 2018: Total billionaire wealth grows 19% to a record USD 8.9 trillion in 2017 by seeker401       Cache   Translate Page      
:)
           Comment on UBS/PwC Billionaires report 2018: Total billionaire wealth grows 19% to a record USD 8.9 trillion in 2017 by isabel       Cache   Translate Page      
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRPS4xBBexU
          PICK OF THE DAY – {11-07-2018}      Cache   Translate Page      
Above Majestic NEW RELEASE AMAZONAMAZON SMILE Deal availability may change without notice! DESCRIPTION: A provocative look at what it takes to hide a multi-trillion dollar Secret Space Program from the public and the implications this has for humanity. Featuring David Wilcock, Corey Goode, John Desouza, Niara Isley, Jordan Sather, and more.
          Re: Re: 33 Trillion Reasons Why NYT Wrong on "Russiagate"      Cache   Translate Page      
none
          Reviewed: New Name, Logo, and Identity for Pay.UK by SomeOne      Cache   Translate Page      

“Above my Pay Grade”

New Name, Logo, and Identity for Pay.UK by SomeOne

Established in 2017 as New Payment System Operator ("NPSO"), the newly renamed Pay.UK is the UK's leading retail payments service provider that allows individuals and businesses to, among other things, get their salaries, pay their bills, and make online and mobile banking payments. In 2017, £6.7 trillion moved through their system, enabling £17.5 billion in payments every single day. Pay.UK is sort of the new parent brand of pre-existing payment services like Bacs Direct Credit, Direct Debit, Faster Payments, cheques and Paym. This past October, Pay.UK introduced its new identity, designed by London, UK-based SomeOne, who also conceived the name.

The feedback we got from stakeholder research was that a new name had to be 'short and snappy', and 'literally describe what we do'.With this in mind we renamed the organisation Pay.UK in recognition of its essential national service and digital future.

SomeOne project page

New Name, Logo, and Identity for Pay.UK by SomeOne
Logo, static.
The identity itself had not only to be solid and simple, but also be contemporary enough to attract new fintechs entering the UK market. We wanted to get across the idea that Pay.UK was constantly 'in motion' and not rigid as an institution.

To go with the new name, SomeOne created a continuously moving brand mark representing the organisation's 'gears in motion' and desire to be the 'beating heart' of UK payments. When seen statically, the mark should never be the same, reflecting the unique payment patterns of every UK individual.

For this to be truly dynamic, the digital team at SomeOne developed a generative logo creator - an application where anyone could create their own version of the Pay.UK symbol.

SomeOne project page

Logo, animated.
Icon animation.
Logo generator.

The old name sounded more like a category than an organization's name -- "New Payment System Operator" sounded more like "Telecommunications Service Provider" than "AT&T". Pay.UK is so unbelievably simple it's a surprise they were able to take it. To a certain degree it almost sounds like a government agency and I don't know if that's a little misleading in giving the organization more apparent power than it has or than it should have. Anyway: good name, yo. The old logo didn't help the name much, looking like a Nutrition Fact line item. The new logo is... different. As I'm trying to write this paragraph, I find myself starting and stopping on trying to assess the icon. One part of me appreciates how different it is -- in either static or animated form -- and trying to create almost a new category of icon. Another part of me finds it, particularly in motion, pretty disturbing. It's like the inside of the mouth of a villain's robot mascot that eats things. The individual shapes of the icon are not pleasant either. It's really weird. I'm very much looking forward to reading the comments because I'm so unsure on this one.

The wordmark is actually nice, especially given that it's a font straight out of the box. In its simplicity it helps ground the icon and the size relationship in the lock-up makes the name the most visible element.

The word mark and brand's typography all use Source Sans, Adobe's first open source typeface family, primarily designed for user interfaces. As part of the brand world, this sits alongside a no-nonsense black and white colour palette and colour photography depicting the 'real life' end users - people across the UK benefitting from fast, secure payments.

SomeOne project page

New Name, Logo, and Identity for Pay.UK by SomeOne
Business cards.
New Name, Logo, and Identity for Pay.UK by SomeOne
New Name, Logo, and Identity for Pay.UK by SomeOne
Booklet covers and spreads.

The booklet covers achieve a very interesting, almost United-Nations-like look, that makes the identity feel very authoritative but, as paired with the customer photography, also accessible.

New Name, Logo, and Identity for Pay.UK by SomeOne
Brand pattern.
New Name, Logo, and Identity for Pay.UK by SomeOne
Lanyards.
New Name, Logo, and Identity for Pay.UK by SomeOne
Website.
New Name, Logo, and Identity for Pay.UK by SomeOne
Lobby.
New Name, Logo, and Identity for Pay.UK by SomeOne
Conference room. Spoiler: Icon does not work in single color.
New Name, Logo, and Identity for Pay.UK by SomeOne
Mug.

Overall, there is a confusing sense of what the exact positioning of this is: is it a government agency? A business-to-business corporate brand? A direct-to-consumer retail brand? Am I supposed to fear it like the IRS or embrace it like Shopify? Sorry, more questions than answers today.


          Apple Loses Trillion Dollar Status      Cache   Translate Page      

Apple has lost its trillion dollar status after announcing some disappointing financial forecasts for the next quarter. We've taken a look at what that means for the company, why it's happened, and what it can do to put it right.

The post Apple Loses Trillion Dollar Status appeared first on TechCo.


          Salesforce Engineer (m/f) – Berlin // Spotcap Global Services GmbH      Cache   Translate Page      

Company Description Spotcap is a leading global fintech company operating in the trillion dollar online lending space. We are driven by the mission to empower SMEs with tailored finance, allowing them to focus on what really matters – their business. Spotcap operates in five countries and is headquartered in Berlin, Germany, with a local presence...

Check out all open positions at http://BerlinStartupJobs.com


          Gas in Mozambique and Tanzania: explorers hit the jackpot in sub-Saharan Africa      Cache   Translate Page      
In the past ten years, explorers in sub-Saharan Africa have turned up more giant discoveries than in any other region. These 500 million barrel-plus finds are dominated by multi-trillion cubic feet gas fields in the tropical waters of Mozambique and Tanzania, play openers in the Atlantic Margin of....
          State-run banks need urgent capital of Rs 1.2 trillion due to weak market valuations: Crisil      Cache   Translate Page      
If the government decides to meet this need, this will put further pressure on the fiscal maths, thus its ability to meet the 3.3 per cent fiscal deficit target for the current fiscal year.
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That's one way to put it, I suppose. Another would be: To insist that there was no impact on the part of what Russians were doing is to (over)state a case despite the evidence. We can debate how much of an impact, but the sinew-straining efforts to deny it altogether smacks of a conclusion reached in advance, with facts either ignored or intentionally downplayed so as to fit the conclusion. That conclusion, of course, is that "it's all Hillary's fault", and it's used by Democrats who abstained or voted Stein to evade accountability for their contribution to the 2016 result, or who simply might be nowhere near as progressive as they believe.
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CO-Denver, *This is a fully REMOTE opportunity* If you are a Senior DevOps Engineer with 4+ years of industry experience (two of which in a DevOps capacity), please read on! Located wherever you can find a WiFi connection, we are a top-rated technology company looking to change the way we buy groceries in San Francisco, CA! We are in a trillion dollar industry with huge growth potential since more of our sho
          比尔·盖茨发文:我在中国与一罐屎同台亮相      Cache   Translate Page      

IT之家11月7日消息 微软联合创始人、前CEO、比尔及梅琳达·盖茨基金会联席主席比尔盖茨今天发布《我在中国与一罐屎同台亮相》文章。比尔盖茨参加了在北京举行的新世代厕所博览会,在会上比尔盖茨用一罐粪便作为自己的演讲道具,其举动是为了吸引人们关注一个每年导致50多万人死亡的严重问题:恶劣的卫生条件。

比尔盖茨表示,“全世界一半以上人口使用着不安全的卫生设施。他们粪便里的病原体进入当地的水源,使人们生病。创新曾是中国经济转型背后的关键推动力,我乐观地相信,它在改善卫生条件上也能发挥相同的作用。正如我在昨天的文章中写到的,新一代无下水道厕所有能力彻底改变数百万人的生活。”

下面是比尔盖茨演讲全文:

早上好!谢谢田女士的介绍。我要感谢陈洲先生,感谢中国国际贸易促进委员会和中国国际商会与我们共同举办本次活动。

很高兴再次来到中国。大家共聚在新世代厕所博览会,堪称恰逢其时。几十年来,中国在提高数亿人民的健康和卫生水平方面,取得了巨大成就。开展厕所革命,体现了中国加快安全卫生建设的决心。中国正面临推广创新的分散式卫生产品、惠及全球亿万民众的契机。

虽然在座各位背景各异,来自企业、开发银行、学界、慈善等各个领域,但我们都为了一个共同的原因相聚在这里——全球还有一半以上的人用不上安全的厕所,因而无法过上健康而富有成效的生活。

如果你来自于政府,你一定希望找到如何更好地处理人类粪便这个日益严峻的大问题,尤其是在城市里。

如果你来自于企业,想必你已经意识到,随着技术的不断进步,如何满足45亿人安全用厕蕴含着巨大的商机。这么大的商机并不常有。

你可能在想,这个烧杯里装的是什么?没错,是人的粪便。但这么点儿粪便就能携带两百万亿个轮状病毒、两百亿个贺氏菌和十万个寄生虫卵。

在没有安全卫生设施的地方,环境中的病毒病菌则要多得多。正是这样或那样的病原体引发了腹泻、霍乱、伤寒等疾病,每年导致近五十万名五岁以下儿童死亡。

不安全的卫生条件让本来承受能力就弱的国家背上了更加沉重的经济负担。根据估算,全球每年由于医疗成本增加、生产力降低和收入减少造成的经济损失高达2230亿美元。

如果我们不就此采取行动,问题会更加严重。在未来几十年,人口增加、城镇化和水资源短缺等诸多因素,会导致非洲和亚洲那些卫生系统本已不堪重负的城市承受更大压力,由于卫生条件恶劣造成的贫病交加的恶性循环也将越来越难被打破。

十年前,我决定停止在微软的全职工作,开始和梅琳达更加频繁地访问贫困国家,我从那时开始关注卫生问题。

在我们到访的一些地方,孩子们在粪污遍地的路上玩耍,粪坑需要手工清掏,公共厕所臭到没人愿意使用,当地家庭饮用的水也受到粪便污染。

这等贫困,我们见所未见,也鞭策着我们为此做些什么。一方面,人们不应该为了如厕这样基本又自然的需求每天忍受痛苦;另一方面,如果不能保障人人安全如厕,那么梅琳达和我所追求的挽救生命和改善生活的目标就无法实现。

我们同时也意识到,想要在全球范围消除贫困这个顽疾,我们要用全新的方式来审视并最终解决全球卫生危机。

2009年,我向一些科学家和工程师提出了这样一个问题:如何才能超越长期公认的厕所“黄金标准”,即水冲厕所、排水管道和污水处理厂这一套体系?

我们能否采用更加经济的方法消灭病原体,满足城市快速发展的需求,又无需连接下水道,还能节省已经短缺的水资源和电力?

有些人怀疑这行不通。我可以理解。如果某些方法已经根深蒂固,的确很难想象把它推倒重来,因为大家都有一种惯性本能。

在我创业之初,大家觉得计算机只能是大公司和政府才能买得起的大型机,这是大家对计算机的认知惯性。但当时我们有一部分人并不这样认为。我们梦想着开发人人都能使用的个人电脑。很多人说我们疯了,但我们对此坚信不移,并找到更多志同道合之士。现在大家已经无法想象大型机时代的世界是什么样子。

我相信在厕所领域也能实现同样的转变。正因如此,我们在过去七年投入了两亿多美元,与合作伙伴共同开发新一代无下水道连接的厕所技术。

我们必须要攻克两大挑战。首先是让整个卫生服务链条上的粪便管理变得更容易,成本更低。

数据能显示出这一问题的规模之大。在全球发展中国家,有62%的粪便没有得到安全管理。在有些城市里,情况要糟糕得多。以南非的一座城市为例,有97%的人类粪便未经处理。还有很多国家,这一比例甚至无法统计。

有些未经处理的粪便在没有下水道连接的粪坑里长期存放,对居住地周围的地下水造成污染。有些被人工或抽粪车运走,还是被倾倒进附近的田地或水体中。还有一些虽然被收集到下水道系统中,却没有得到安全处理。联合国在2015年制定了可持续发展目标,希望人人都能用上安全管理的厕所,可我们还差得很远。

为了解决这一问题,我们和合作伙伴一起开发了一个小型处理厂,能够处理从坑厕、化粪池和下水管道中收集的粪便和有机污泥。我们把它叫做万能处理器,它不仅能产生足够的电力支持自身运转,还可以放置到任何一个地方。它不仅能将人类粪便中的有害病原体杀死,还能将剩下的物质转化成有经济价值的产品,包括清洁的水、电力和肥料。

第二个挑战是发明一种自成一体的新型厕所——能够杀死病原体,而且具有内置的微型处理设备。我们称之为“新世代厕所”。这种厕所综合采用了多种创新技术,实现人类粪便降解灭菌,产出清洁的水和固态物质。这些固态物质可用作肥料,或无须再做处理就可以在户外安全排放。

对新世代厕所有需求的首先是学校、公寓楼和社区公共厕所等。

随着这种支撑多户使用的新世代厕所日益普及,成本不断下降,还会产生适合单户家庭使用的新世代厕所。除了资源有限的发展中国家,发达国家也有民众想要或者需要这种离网式的家用厕所。

我给大家展示一个适合家用的新世代厕所,它由瑞典工程技术公司赫博翎(Helbling)集团设计。

此外,我们的合作伙伴们还开发了能控制臭味、分离尿液和固体、保护经期健康、处理液态物质等方面的突破性技术。

不得不说,十年前,我无法想象自己会如此了解粪便。也绝对没有想到,我已经对在餐桌前畅谈厕所和粪污习以为常,以至于需要梅琳达来打断我。

短短七年中取得的成就让我倍感兴奋。本次博览会首次展示了经过试点测试的全新厕所,它能够有效地收集、管理和处理人类粪便。各位在这里看到的技术是近二百年来厕所领域最大的进步。

多亏了来自各地的大量工程师、科学家、企业和大学院校的全球协作,才让重新发明卫生系统成为可能。

而且,我们在保证安全如厕的同时,还创造了数十亿美元的新商机。

盖茨基金会从中发挥的作用是投资早期研发,为企业开辟道路,帮助其进行技术和产品的商业化,这反过来也在帮助实现我们的目标,可以说是实实在在的互利双赢。

我们预计到2030年,仅仅是第一代的新世代厕所,每年就能在全球范围创造出60亿美元的商机。如果再算上万能处理器及相关产品和服务,分散式厕所的市场潜力会更大。

正如所有的颠覆性技术一样,下一步要做的就是携手在座各位,合作推广技术。

今天,我很高兴地告诉大家,已经有越来越多的企业下单购买新世代厕所和万能处理器。克莱尔、艾科森、SCG石化和Eram Scientific等公司已经推出了他们的首批新世代厕所产品,中国中车、Sedron Technologies和Ankur Scientific也推出了他们的万能处理器产品。

其他商业合作企业也会推出相应的配套技术产品,这些在芬美意公司的创新臭味控制产品基础上开发而来。

目前共有20多家企业的创新型无下水道连接的卫生产品,已可供商业化。我们的新合作伙伴骊住集团之后会分享是他们是如何参与到这一行业中来的。这只是第一波新型卫生技术解决方案,未来会涌现出更多。

然而,仅有企业制造和销售新产品的热情是不够的。我们还需要中央和地方政府创造有利环境,出台政策法规,鼓励创新卫生服务模式,推动政府与私营部门合作。

让我备受鼓舞的是,在印度、南非、塞内加尔、孟加拉、尼泊尔等越来越多的国家,领导层开始重视用创新的方式实现厕所安全。

中国开展了厕所革命,并且正在加速推进安全厕所建设,使其具备了率先启动无下水道厕所市场的潜力。值得注意的是,今天在博览会上发布产品的克莱尔、艾科森和中国中车这三个合作伙伴都是中国企业。这显示出中国有推进离网式厕所产业化的兴趣,而且不仅可以满足中国国内需求,还可以满足国际市场的需求。

我们期待着中国尽快采纳无下水道卫生行业的最高标准——ISO30500,这有助于中国更快地树立在新一代厕所产业中的领导地位。

全球金融和发展机构也对此作出了积极的响应。世界银行、亚洲开发银行和非洲开发银行宣布了新的承诺,有望为城市全覆盖卫生项目(Citywide Inclusive Sanitation) 提供高达25亿美元的资金支持。

这些承诺可以帮助生活在城市每一个角落——包括最贫困的社区的人们,获得安全管理的卫生服务,而且可以加快离网式卫生解决方案——正如我们今天在这里所展示的——在中低收入国家的普及。

此外,联合国儿童基金会和法国国际开发署今天也宣布了新的战略和承诺,加快创新解决方案的落实。这些消息都很振奋人心。

我们一直谨慎地思考慈善的作用,其中一项更适合我们去做的就是,帮助私营部门和政府部门降低采纳新技术的门槛和风险,这样就更具规模化地解决社会问题。

我们在卫生领域也是本着同样的原则,投资于早期研发,这样其他人就能进一步开发、试点、推广和销售这些新的解决方案。盖茨基金会承诺再投资2亿美元用于持续研发,从而为贫困人口降低新型卫生产品的成本,并在新型无下水道卫生产品最能带来广泛影响的地区支持市场培育。

我们目前正处在全球厕所革命的拐点。问题已经不是我们能否发明新一代的技术,而是我们能否尽快普及这类新型离网式解决方案。虽然我们无法准确预测需要多久,但我希望是分秒必争。

谢谢大家!

I shared the stage with a beaker of poop in China

It’s not often you stand on a stage next to a sample of human feces.

Yesterday, I used a beaker of poop as a prop during my speech at the Reinvented Toilet Expo in Beijing. It caused some giggles in the crowd—but I brought it out to draw attention to a serious issue that kills more than 500,000 people every year: poor sanitation.

More than half of the world’s population uses unsafe sanitation facilities. The pathogens from their waste find their way into the local water supply and make people sick. Innovation was a key driving force behind China’s economic transformation, and I believe it can do the same for improving sanitation. As I wrote on TGN yesterday next-generation, sewer-less toilets have the potential to transform the lives of millions of people.

I spoke about the potential and promise of these toilets during my speech. Here is the full text of my prepared remarks:

Remarks as prepared

Reinvented Toilet Expo

November 6, 2018

Beijing, China

Good morning, and thank you, Ms. Tian, for that kind introduction. I’d like to thank Mr. Chen Zhou, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, and the China Chamber of International Commerce for co-hosting this event.

It’s great to be in China again, and it’s fitting that we are meeting here for the Reinvented Toilet Expo. In recent decades, China has made great progress improving health and sanitation for hundreds of millions of people. President Xi’s Toilet Revolution underscores China’s commitment to accelerating progress on safe sanitation. And China has an opportunity to help launch a new category of innovative, decentralized sanitation solutions that will benefit millions of people worldwide.

Although the people in this room come from varied backgrounds—government, the private sector, development banks, academia, and philanthropy—we are all here for one reason: because more than half the world’s population doesn’t have the safe sanitation they need to lead healthy and productive lives.

Those of you in government are here because you want to find a way to solve the large and growing problem of what to do about human waste, especially in urban areas.

Those of you in the private sector are here because—with new advances in technology—you see a market opportunity to meet the needs of 4.5 billion people worldwide. Opportunities of that scale don’t come along very often.

You might guess what’s in this beaker—and you’d be right. Human feces. This small amount of feces could contain as many as 200 trillion rotavirus cells, 20 billion Shigella bacteria, and 100,000 parasitic worm eggs.

In places without safe sanitation, there is much more than one small beaker’s worth in the environment. These and other pathogens cause diseases like diarrhea, cholera, and typhoid that kill nearly 500,000 children under the age of five every year.

Unsafe sanitation also puts a huge economic burden on countries that can least afford it. Globally, it costs an estimated $223 billion a year in the form of higher health costs and lost productivity and wages.

And the problem will get worse if we don’t do something about it. Population growth, urbanization, and water scarcity over the next few decades will make it even more difficult for cities in Africa and Asia—cities that are already struggling with inadequate sanitation systems—to break the cycle of disease and poverty associated with unsafe sanitation.

I became interested in sanitation about a decade ago when I stopped working full time at Microsoft, and Melinda and I began traveling more frequently to poor countries.

We visited communities where children were playing in lanes filled with human waste, where pit latrines were emptied by hand, where the stench of community toilets was so bad that people didn’t want to use them, and where families drank water contaminated with human waste.

This was a dimension of poverty we hadn’t seen before, and it motivated us to try to do something about it. It wasn’t just the degradation and suffering that people face every day doing something that’s essential and natural for all human beings. It was also because so much of what Melinda and I seek to achieve in saving and improving lives can’t be accomplished unless people everywhere have safe sanitation.

It became clear to us that if the world was going to continue making progress against the diseases of poverty, we’d have to create a new way of looking at—and eventually solving—the global sanitation crisis.

In 2009, I posed a question to a group of scientists and engineers: was it possible to leapfrog the long-accepted“gold standard”of sanitation: flush toilets, sewers, and treatment plants?

Could we come up with a more affordable approach that could kill pathogens and keep pace with the needs of fast-growing urban areas—without requiring sewer infrastructure or reliance on scarce water resources or continuous electricity to operate?

Some people were skeptical that this was achievable. I get it. it’s hard to envision a totally different way of doing something that is so deeply rooted; that just feels like“the way things are.”

Early in my own life and career, there was a time when“the way things were”in computing  was a big mainframe computer that only large corporations and governments could afford. Some of us had another idea. We dreamed about personal computers that anyone could use. A lot of people told us we were crazy. But we believed in it and found other people who shared our vision. Now, people can’t imagine the world the way it was back in the day of the mainframe.

I believe it is possible to achieve something like this in sanitation, and that’s why we have invested more than $200 million over the last seven years working with partners to develop a new generation of non-sewered sanitation technologies.

There were two main things we knew we had to accomplish. The first was to make it easier and cheaper to effectively manage fecal sludge across the sanitation service chain.

This diagram shows the scale of this problem. In the Global South, 62% of fecal sludge is not safely managed. In some cities, the problem is much worse. In one city in South Asia, 97% of human waste is untreated. And many countries are not yet even reporting how much of their waste is getting treated.

Some of the untreated human waste is in unlined pit latrines that contaminates groundwater around people’s homes. Some is collected manually, or by trucks, and is dumped into nearby fields or bodies of water. And some is collected in sewers but never gets treated. The point is that we are far from the goal the world set in 2015 of everyone using a safely-managed toilet.

To help address this problem, we worked with partners to develop a small-scale treatment plant to process fecal sludge and biosolids from pit latrines, septic tanks, and sewers. The self-powered technology—which can be located almost anywhere—is called the Omni-Processor. It takes in human waste, kills dangerous pathogens, and converts the resulting materials into products with potential commercial value—like clean water, electricity, and fertilizer.

The second challenge was to invent a pathogen-killing toilet that is also self-contained—with a tiny treatment plant built in. We call this the Reinvented Toilet, which is actually a collection of innovative technologies that use different approaches to break down human waste and destroy germs—leaving behind clean water and solids that can be used as fertilizer...or that can be disposed of safely outdoors without further treatment.

The initial demand for the Reinvented Toilet will be in places like schools, apartment buildings, and community toilet facilities.

As adoption of these multi-unit toilets increases—and the cost continues to drop—a new category of reinvented toilets will become available for use in people’s homes—in developing countries where people have limited resources and in developed countries for people who want or need an off-grid household toilet.

Let me show you one example of what the reinvented toilet could look like for household use—designed by the Swiss engineering firm, Helbling.

In addition, partners have made great progress developing other breakthrough technologies to control malodors, separate urine from solids, manage menstrual hygiene, and treat liquids.

I have to say, a decade ago I never imagined that I’d know so much about poop. And I definitely never thought that Melinda would have to tell me to stop talking about toilets and fecal sludge at the dinner table.

But I’m quite enthusiastic about what has been accomplished in just seven years. This expo showcases, for the first time, radically new and pilot-tested approaches to sanitation that will provide effective alternatives for collecting, managing, and treating human waste. The technologies you’ll see here are the most significant advances in sanitation in nearly 200 years.

None of this would have been possible without an exceptional worldwide team of engineers, scientists, companies, and universities committed to reinventing the urban sanitation system.

It’s exciting that solving the problem of unsafe sanitation will also create a new multi-billion-dollar business opportunity.

One of the things we’re able to do as a foundation is invest in the early stage R&D needed to create a path forward for the private sector to commercialize technologies and products that also help us achieve our goals. It’s a real win-win.

Consider just the new generation of reinvented toilets. We estimate that by 2030, this will be a $6 billion a year global business opportunity. If you add the Omni-Processor and related products and services, the market potential for decentralized sanitation solutions is likely much larger.

Like all transformative technologies, the next step is to scale these advances in collaboration with all of you.

Today, I’m pleased to say that a growing number of companies are ready to take orders for Reinvented Toilets and for the Omni-Processor. Companies like Clear, Eco-San, SCG Chemicals, and Eram Scientific Solutions are announcing their first reinvented toilet products. And CRRC, Sedron Technologies, Ankur Scientific, and Tide Technocrats are announcing their Omni-Processors.

Other commercial partners will be announcing the availability of products based on Firmenich’s innovative solution for malodor control.

In total, more than 20 companies are business-ready with innovative, non-sewered sanitation products. And I understand that Lixil, a new partner, will be telling us more about their involvement later this morning. This is the first wave of new sanitation solutions and technologies—with more to come.

But it’s not enough for companies to be interested in making and selling new products. It’s also important for national and local governments to create an enabling environment with policies and regulations that encourage innovative sanitation service models, including with the private sector.

I’m encouraged by the leadership of a growing number of countries that are embracing a smart approach to safe sanitation, such as India, South Africa, Senegal, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

China’s Toilet Revolution and its action plan for accelerating progress on safe sanitation underscores its potential as a launch market for non-sewered sanitation solutions. It’s notable that three of the partners making announcements here—Clear, Ecosan, and CRRC–  are based in China. This highlights China’s interest in commercialization of off-grid sanitation solutions to meet not only the demands of China’s domestic market but also the needs of a global market ready for change.

We look forward to China adopting a high-level standard [ISO30500] for the non-sewered sanitation industry, which will further accelerate its leadership of a new commercial sanitation sector.

There is also positive momentum among finance and development institutions. The World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the African Development Bank are announcingcommitments with the potential to unlock $2.5 billion in financing for City-Wide Inclusive Sanitation projects.

These commitments will help provide people in all parts of a city—including the poorest neighborhoods—with safely-managed sanitation services. And the banks’pledges could help accelerate adoption of off-grid sanitation solutions—like the ones exhibited here—in low- and middle-income countries.

In addition, UNICEF and the French Development Agency will announce new strategies and commitments to accelerate deployment of innovative sanitation solutions. This is all great news.

We try to be thoughtful about the role of philanthropy—and one of the things we’re best placed to do is lower barriers and risk for the private sector and for governments to adopt new solutions to solve big problems.

That’s what we’ve tried to do with our investment so far in sanitation—so others can further develop, pilot, market, and sell these new solutions. We’re committed to supporting these efforts with an additional $200 million for continued R&D to help bring down the costs of new products for the poor, and to support market development in regions where new, non-sewered sanitation solutions can have the greatest impact.

Today, we are on the cusp of a sanitation revolution. It’s no longer a question of if we can do it. It’s a question of how quickly this new category of off-grid solutions will scale. We don’t know exactly how long that will take, but we do know it can’t happen fast enough.

Thank you.


          How Tamarac grew from fintech startup to $1.2 trillion behemoth       Cache   Translate Page      
Early days at Tamarac were a far cry from the business Envestnet bought in 2012.
          Nader Deconstructs Apple      Cache   Translate Page      
Apple are going to buy back $1 billion of its shares. Ralph Nader says they have so much money they don't know what to do when it. Under Steve Jobs Apple did but own one cent, but dunce he has gone they have borrowed $1.5 billion. Nader says why didn't they pay fair share of taxes, or pay its workers a decent wage, or invest in its company, or spend some money ensuring that discarded i Phones don't harm the environment?

US companies have bought back $7 trillion of stock over the years. The Republicans are saying socialism is destroying the country, but it isn't socialism, says Nader, it's crony capitalism that's doing it.







          These 29 countries have the safest banks in the world      Cache   Translate Page      

Norway

Most of us in developed countries take for granted that our money is safe. Put it in a bank, and in theory at least, it doesn't going anywhere. But that's not necessarily true everywhere.

So Business Insider took a look into the countries with the safest banks, using the World Economic Forum's recently-released Global Competitiveness Survey, which offers a bundle of indicators to show the health of a country's institutions.

One of those is the perceived safeness of banks.

WEF used its executive opinion survey to ask: "In general, how do you perceive the soundness of banks?"

So the measure isn't based on any objective economic or accounting measure, but rather by the perceptions of the population. The countries are ranked from 1 (banks need more money) to 7 (banks are generally sound).

Check out the countries with the safest banks below.

SEE ALSO: These are the 28 biggest banks in the world — each with more than $1 trillion of assets

T22. Jamaica — 5.7



T22. Saudi Arabia — 5.7



T22. France —5.7



See the rest of the story at Business Insider
          Equities and Bonds Jump While the Dollar Slumps      Cache   Translate Page      

Overview: The dollar has fallen against nearly every currency.  It had been moving lower at the start of the week, but what seems like a correction broadened and deepened following the US midterm election.  The outcome was largely in line with expectations for the Republicans to hold the Senate and the Democrats to take a majority of the House for the first time since 2010.  Bonds and stocks have rallied.  Asia-Pacific equities were mixed.  While equities in Japan, China, and Korea were lower, the rest of the region posted modest gains.  European markets are more decisively moving higher and the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is up near 1.2% in late morning turnover, in which all the major industry groups are higher.  US shares are posting gains,   The S&P 500 may gap above the 200-day moving average at the open.  Most gaps are closed rather quickly, though gap on October 31 remains on filled, and if it is a measuring gap as we have suggested, it points to a test on 2800. 

Asia-Pacific

China's reserves fell by about $34 bln in October to $3.053 trillion.  It is the third consecutive decline.  China's reserves have fallen by around $87 bln since the end of last year.  The fall in reserves reflects official purchases of yuan to either smooth or resist the downward pressure.  Among the best predictors of foreign central bank demand for Treasuries is the direction of reserve holdings.  China's decline in reserves likely means that reduced its holdings of Treasuries.  With the obvious market pressure on the yuan (at the start of the year, China paid a premium of around 170 bp over US 10-year Treasuries, and it is now near  35 bp), the neoliberal argument has changed from China should let market forces determine exchange rates to China should do more strengthen the yuan.  

New Zealand's central bank will make its rate announcement later today.  Although the strong employment report is unlikely to prompt a rate hike, the RBNZ prepare investors for a move next year.  The employment data could hardly have been better.  The unemployment rate fell to 3.9% from a revised 4.4% in Q2 (initially 4.5%), and the decline was all the more impressive given the rise in the participation rate (71.1% vs. 70.9%).  Average hourly earnings rose 1.4% after a miserly 0.2% increase in Q2.  Separately, the two-year inflation outlook was essentially flat a hair above 2.0%.  The New Zealand dollar is up about 0.66% near $0.6785, a three-month high.   While the $0.6800 area may be psychologically important, chart resistance is seen nearer $0.6835, and the 200-day moving average $0.6900 beckons.  

The dollar is posting a potential key reversal against the yen.  The greenback first traded higher to record a new high for the move (~JPY113.80) before turning lower and pushing through yesterday's low (~JPY113.30).  The near-term risk extends toward JPY112.50-60.   As North American dealers return to their posts, the dollar is straddling JPY113.00, where a nearly $640 mln option that expires today is struck.  It appears the decline in yields today is more important for the yen than the rally in equities.

Europe
  
The euro had edged higher on Monday and Tuesday, but the advance is accelerating today and knocking on $1.15, and level not seen for nearly three weeks.  There is a 2.1 bln euro struck there that expires today.   It is also a retracement objective of the euro's decline since late-September.   The next immediate target would be in the $1.1550-60 area, which houses another retracement objective and the 50-day moving average.  Sterling is extending the recovery that saw it trade below $1.27 at the end of October.  It is now near $1.3170, its best level since October 17.   This is also the third consecutive advance, the longest streak in a month.  Resistance is seen in the $1.3200-30 band.  

Following the upward revision in the PMI, back-to-back gains in factory orders, it was hardly surprising that German industrial output rose 0.2% in September, and the decline in August was revised away (from -0.3% to +0,1%). The Bundesbank warned that the stagnation in Q3 was a temporary problem stemming from changes in the auto sector. 

Spain's Supreme Court overturned a lower court decision and ruled that the banks are not responsible for mortgage stamp duty.  The duty varies by region, but it averages around 1%.  Borrowers typically pay it, but a lower court had ruled that the banks should be responsible and the risk of a legacy burden weighed on the banks  Today's ruling has seen Spanish banks lead the local stock market higher.  Like many countries in Europe, Spanish politics seem to be in flux and today's court decision may reinvigorate the reform-oriented Podemos.  

Italian stocks (including bank shares) and bonds are higher today.  However, the news stream is poor.  Following yesterday's news that Italy's composite PMI fell below the 50 boom/bust level, today Italy reported a drop in September retail sales four-times larger than the median Bloomberg forecast (-0.8% vs. -0.2%), and adding insult to injury, the August series was revised lower (0.6% vs. 0.7%).  Meanwhile, the media is reporting that Italy may have a confidence vote on today on a measure that would restrict the rights of asylum seekers.   There is little chance that it will fail.  Reports indicate that there are a few Senators from the Five Star Movement are balking.  The government coalition has a 14 seat majority in the Senate,  which does not seem to be at risk.  Moreover, if it were, other center-right parties that would likely prevent a defeat of the bill.  Still, it is important because it is seen as needed to keep the coalition, which is not natural (the League and M5S are not ideologically compatible, and some strains are already evident).

A short word on Brexit.  Press coverage makes it seem as if Prime Minister May is near and EU agreement that can be presented to the cabinet.  The press seems more confident that EU negotiators.  There is talk of another cabinet meeting over the coming weekend, which keeps alive speculation about a special November summit to ostensibly to strike a deal that then the challenging approval process can begin.  The market is short sterling, and the prospect of an agreement is encouraging the position squaring.  

North America

The data stream light outside of Canada's IVEY survey and US consumer credit, which comes out late in the session.  The post-mortem of the election is the main talking point today ahead of tomorrow's FOMC meeting.  The knee-jerk response is that of course, the Democrats control of the House of Representatives changes everything.  However, this is a partisan position, not an analytic one. While there are many important issues, the impact on the investment climate may not be so great.  The trajectory of monetary policy will not change.  Three rate hikes between now and the middle of next year still seem to be the most likely scenario.  The Democrats may push for an infrastructure program and may find it hard to resist making the income tax cuts permanent or rejecting a new tax cut for the middle class.  

The EIA oil inventory figures will be watched today following the API estimate of a 7.8 mln barrel crude build.  The combination of all higher output by the largest producers and US exemptions (six-months) to Iran's largest oil customers have driven oil prices to seven-month lows after reaching four-year highs last month. The EIA boosted its estimate for US output yesterday to 12.06 mln barrels per day in 2019 up from 11.76 mln barrels previously.  This year's output was lifted to 10.9 mln bpd up from 9.35 mln bpd last year.   The decline in the dollar may be helping oil prices stabilize today.  






Disclaimer

          Growing Application of Power Tools Market Illuminated by New Report      Cache   Translate Page      

Demand for power tools is projected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 5% to US$ 36.2 Bn in 2020 and US$ 46.5 Bn in 2025.

Valley Cottage, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/07/2018 -- Global power tools market revenues are expected to surpass US$ 30 Bn in 2017, on account of resurgence in construction activity and all-pervasive DIY trend. Rising housing investment, steady growth of automotive sales, and demand from semiconductor industry will continue to fuel the growth of the global power tools market during the forecast period 2015-2025. Recovery in North America's housing sector and automotive growth in China and India will contribute to the growing demand for power tools. In contrast, intense pricing competition and availability of cheap, unbranded power tools can pose challenges to overall growth.

For Requesting a Sample Copy of This Report, Please Visit @ https://www.futuremarketinsights.com/reports/sample/rep-gb-760

Power tools will continue to outsell hand tools, as need for faster completion of projects will influence buying decisions. Demand for power tools will also be supported by their applications in house renovations and other DIY tasks. By 2025, global construction volume is projected to reach US$ 15 trillion, with nearly 60% of revenues expected to remain concentrated in China, India, and the U.S. Leading power tools manufacturers are focusing on China, India, and the U.S. to leverage on the projected demand for power tools in these markets. Other major trends anticipated to shape up the market include a steady shift from corded to cordless and preference for Lithium-ion batteries vis-a-vis Ni-Cd batteries.

Segment Analysis 

On the basis of end-use sector, FMI's report has segmented the power tools market into industrial and household. Demand for power tools is higher from the industrial segment vis-a-vis household, and the trend is expected to continue during the forecast period. Of the US$ 27.58 billion worth of power tools sold in 2015, the industrial segment accounted for US$ 15.64 billion.

Inquire more or share questions if any before the purchase on this report @ https://www.futuremarketinsights.com/ask-the-analyst/rep-gb-760

By mode of operation, the power tools market has been segmented into electric, pneumatic, and others. Among these three sub-segments, demand for electric power tools is the highest. However, pneumatic power tools segment is expected to witness the highest growth rate during the forecast period. On account of surging demand, the revenue share of pneumatic power tools segment is expected to increase by nearly 1.5% to reach 29% by 2025.

Region-wise Insights on Power Tools Market

The U.S., China, and India remain key for the growth of the power tools market. These three markets are collectively anticipated to grow at a robust pace during the forecast period and account for a significant share by 2025. In terms of revenues, North America is anticipated to remain the largest market, followed by Western Europe and Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ). The power tools market in Middle East & Africa (MEA) and Latin America are at a nascent stage, owing to which they are projected to increase at a high CAGR during the forecast period.

Vendor Insights 

FMI's report on the global power tools market offers detailed analysis on key players operating in this market. The leading manufacturers in power tools market include Stanley Black & Decker Inc., Robert Bosch Gmbh, Techtronic Industries Company Limited, Actuant Corporation, Atlas Copco AB, Snap-on Incorporated, Danaher Corporation, SKF, Hitachi Koki Co. Ltd. The leading distributors and DIY players covered in the report include Apex Tool Group LLC, DeWalt Industrial Tools, Channellock Inc., Allied Trade Group (ATG) Stores, Alltrade Tools LLC, Del City Wire, and Porter-Cable.

Have Any Query? Ask Our Experts @ https://www.futuremarketinsights.com/ask-the-analyst/rep-gb-760

For more information on this press release visit: http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/growing-application-of-power-tools-market-illuminated-by-new-report-1081231.htm

Media Relations Contact

Abhishek B.
Manager
Future Market Insights
Telephone: 1-347-918-3531
Email: Click to Email Abhishek B.
Web: https://www.futuremarketinsights.com

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          Re: Is there any real reasonable rationale as to why the Stock Market “Collapses? when…      Cache   Translate Page      
There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a market in a crash.



I don't think there's any reasonable rationale as to why the stock market collapses when it does. It's like any number of other situations in which one sees growing instability. The situation for which the word "precarious" was invented. At that you have reached a point where the system has positive feedback, and a change with enough energy in it will grow exponentially. Children's tower-building games, like Jenga or "Don't Break the Ice" are examples. So are earthquakes--energy is building up in the San Andreas fault and sooner or later there will be an earthquake, but nobody knows when and there's no "cause" explaining why an earthquake happened on 4/18/1906 rather than some other day.



I don't think Mrs. O'Leary's cow caused the Chicago fire, either.



Human situations involving crowd behavior are even less explainable. A common 1950s science fiction trope riffed on the kinetic gas theory, and speculated that although individuals are unpredictable, individuals in the mass might be. I don't know if this was a personal idea of the influential editor John W. Campbell Jr. or whether it was because of the popularity of historian Arnold J. Toynbee who had claimed to see regular repetitive patterns in history.



At any rate, conflicting ideas in the mind of populations build up like tension in the San Andreas Fault, and then some little thing sets it off. Is there any reasonable rationale as to why World War I happened? Was the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand an "explanation?" I think the judgement of historians is that World War I was an accidental war, nobody wanted it, it was not rational in any sensible way. If forty million people can be killed with no rationale, then why can't $12 trillion be lost in a market crash with no rationale? The "war or skirmish" (what war or skirmish happened in 2008?) is just the straw that broke the camel's back.



At some point a crash really does become its own valid rationale, because it impairs the ability of businesses to function, reducing their rational value.



If anyone is suggesting that market crashes really are caused by shadowy cabals of high-ranking members of the Venerable & Virtuous Phalanstery of International Quarrymen, then, first, I really don't think that's true; second, even if it were true, believing it gets you exactly nowhere unless you personally are part of the inner circle and have your hands on the levers yourself.
          BOOM: Holiday sales predicted to surpass $1 Trillion for first time      Cache   Translate Page      
Total retail sales in the U.S will hit $1.002 trillion during the Christmas holiday period, marking the “strongest growth since 2011,” according to eMarketer. In-store sales are forecast to rise ... Read more
          These 29 countries have the safest banks in the world      Cache   Translate Page      

Norway

Most of us in developed countries take for granted that our money is safe. Put it in a bank, and in theory at least, it doesn't going anywhere. But that's not necessarily true everywhere.

So Business Insider took a look into the countries with the safest banks, using the World Economic Forum's recently-released Global Competitiveness Survey, which offers a bundle of indicators to show the health of a country's institutions.

One of those is the perceived safeness of banks.

WEF used its executive opinion survey to ask: "In general, how do you perceive the soundness of banks?"

So the measure isn't based on any objective economic or accounting measure, but rather by the perceptions of the population. The countries are ranked from 1 (banks need more money) to 7 (banks are generally sound).

Check out the countries with the safest banks below.

SEE ALSO: These are the 28 biggest banks in the world — each with more than $1 trillion of assets

T22. Jamaica — 5.7



T22. Saudi Arabia — 5.7



T22. France —5.7



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

          Republicans governed like their base was all that mattered—it cost them the House      Cache   Translate Page      

After a thin slice of some 80,000 votes in several Rust Belt states tipped the presidency toward Donald Trump in 2016, Republicans decided to govern as if they had a bullet-proof mandate.

Instead of formulating bills on major issues that might draw some Democratic buy in, they entirely shut out Democrats from the legislating process and chose to go it alone on major issues like health care and taxes. When House Republicans just barely passed the first Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal bill 217-213, not a single Democrat voted for it. When the same bill stalled in the Senate, 49-51, not a single Democrat voted for it there either. The same was true for the GOP's $1.5 trillion tax giveaway to rich Americans and corporations—not a single Democrat voted for it in the House or Senate.

Both pieces of legislation lacked the popular support of the electorate. Just 17 percent of Americans backed the GOP's health care bill when Republicans were trying to jam it through. Support for the tax bill was similarly underwhelming, with only 28 percent of Americans favoring its passage. Democrats listened to those warning signs; Republicans simply ignored them.

Instead, Trump and GOP leadership governed in a bubble—pounding out their bills behind closed doors hermetically sealed from public opinion. Nearly all GOP lawmakers followed suit. Even House Republicans in swing districts, such as Colorado's Rep. Mike Coffman, hewed to Trump's party line, snubbing Democratic and independent voters in their districts. Coffman, for instance, voted with Trump nearly 96 percent of the time, although he did vote against the health care bill after facing raucous constituent opposition to repealing the ACA. The same was true for Virginia’s Barbara Comstock—she voted with Trump nearly 98 percent of time with one of her only defections coming on health care, which many of her constituents also vehemently opposed.

Republicans also ran their midterm campaigns in a similar way, pounding home a GOP-only strategy that emphasized immigration—a top Republican issue—over all else as if the rest of the electorate didn’t exist. Comstock, for instance, ran an ad attacking her Democratic opponent Jennifer Wexton featuring images of the Latino gang MS-13. It was right out of Trump’s playbook.

In the end, Trump’s appallingly racist rhetoric on immigration backfired in the House, particularly in suburban districts like those of Comstock and Coffman, both of whom lost their seats, as did governing as if some two-thirds of electorate didn’t exist. Now Democrats will get the chance to do what they were elected to do—legislate like the rest of America matters.


          The Consumer Goods Forum and Fair Labor Association Call for Greater Collaboration to Tackle Forced Labour Issues in Palm Oil Industry      Cache   Translate Page      

Malaysia and Indonesia are leading producers of palm oil, together accounting for 86 percent of global production and employing nearly 3.5 million workers, largely migrants from poorer neighbouring regions and countries.

A new report from the Fair Labor Association (FLA), commissioned by The Consumer Goods Forum’s (CGF) Palm Oil Working Group, seeks to understand the forced labour risks across the sector in both countries and examine the role that consumer goods companies can play in bringing an end to the issue.

Indicators of forced labour

New research from the Fair Labor Association and the CGF finds that the palm oil sector in Indonesia and Malaysia each show several indicators of forced labour, such as coercive practices including threats; violence and lack of clarity of employment terms and conditions; dependency on the employer; lack of protection by state/police; debt bondage; high recruitment fees; and involuntary overtime. The highest risk of forced labour was determined to be among harvest and maintenance workers, including those who apply pesticides and fertilisers, a job that carries higher health and safety risks as well. 

Peter Freedman, Managing Director of The Consumer Goods Forum, said, “Three years ago, the CGF, as the global platform for driving positive change across the consumer industry, established a programme of work to help eradicate forced labour from value chains around the world – the first of its kind. We welcome the FLA report which gives us new insights and practical recommendations that will help us accelerate our work. Forced labour is an endemic global problem, and the only solution is to work together alongside palm oil companies, recruitment agencies, business and governments”.

Sharon Waxman, FLA President and CEO, said: “The Fair Labor Association’s review of the palm oil sector in Malaysia and Indonesia confirms that forced labour is a systemic and enormously complex challenge that must be addressed expeditiously. We hope our report drives meaningful conversation and concerted action to tackle the root causes behind forced labour in palm oil production. The FLA commits to work alongside The Consumer Goods Forum, CGF members, and like-minded stakeholders to identify and implement solutions that will bring an end to forced labour and protect workers around the globe”.

Mitigating forced labour risks

This report highlights the critical role companies can play in mitigating forced labour risks in the production of palm oil by leveraging its industry leadership to spur the collective action of its members. Key areas of opportunity include:

  • Advocacy to the Indonesian and Malaysian governments, companies and suppliers.

  • Fostering multi-stakeholder, sectoral dialogue and regional collaboration.

  • Research and knowledge sharing among CGF members, supply chain actors, and others. 

  • Improvement of existing assessment methodologies.

  • Improvement of existing certification schemes, mechanisms, and forced labour standards.

  • Ensuring commitment to address forced labour from CGF members and their suppliers.

To take action, and mitigate these risks, the CGF has also developed an action plan based upon the recommendations in the FLA report, demonstrating and reconfirming its resolve to work collaboratively to address forced labour issues in the sector.

Olaf Koch, CEO of METRO AG, and Co-Chair of the CGF Board of Directors, said, "In the world of sustainability, the environmental issues related to palm oil have long overshadowed the human rights concerns. Thanks to the latest report commissioned by the CGF, no one can now deny that this problem exists. With the support of the FLA and our fellow members of the CGF, it’s time to start driving positive change on this issue and begin implementing the Priority Industry Principles on Forced Labour and following the newly-published action plan. We must act today”.

Marc Engel, Chief Supply Chain Officer at Unilever, said, “As CGF members, we are convinced that businesses must work collaboratively. When it comes to the eradication of forced labour there is no time to waste and it is paramount we remain vigilant to tackle the root causes. Collectively, we wanted an independent, comprehensive review of the continuing social challenges in the palm industry in Indonesia and Malaysia. As Unilever is one of the leading buyers of palm oil, the findings of the FLA report are highly valuable and will help strengthen our efforts to end forced labour globally. We will continue to work alongside fellow CGF members and other stakeholders to drive implementation of the CGF’s Priority Industry Principles and drive positive change”. 

To learn more about the CGF’s work on eradicating forced labour, visit www.tcgfsocial.com

-- Ends -- 

About The Consumer Goods Forum

The Consumer Goods Forum (“CGF”) is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serves the consumer goods industry worldwide. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and it reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Its member companies have combined sales of EUR 3.5 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. It is governed by its Board of Directors, which comprises more than 50 manufacturer and retailer CEOs. For more information, please visit: www.theconsumergoodsforum.com.

About the Fair Labor Association

The Fair Labor Association promotes and protects workers’ rights and improves workplace conditions by facilitating collaboration among businesses, civil society organizations, and colleges and universities. The FLA conducts transparent and independent monitoring to ensure that rigorous labor standards are upheld wherever FLA affiliates source their products, identifies root causes of non-compliances and proposes solutions to workplace problems. For more information, visit www.fairlabor.org.

For further information, please contact:

Nadia Bunce
Social Sustainability Manager
The Consumer Goods Forum
social@theconsumergoodsforum.com

Louise Chester
Communications Officer
The Consumer Goods Forum
l.chester@theconsumergoodsforum.com

Tony Franquiz
West End Strategy Team
Office: +1 (202) 776-7704
FLA@westendstrategy.com


          Graph of the week      Cache   Translate Page      
From Axios The wealth of the world’s billionaires rose by $1.4 trillion in 2017, the largest annual increase ever. The details: Nearly all of that increase was driven by the Asia-Pacific region, and specifically China, where billionaire wealth rose 39%. The graph is not well designed for illustrating the claim about billionaires: in a stacked bar chart like […]
          China: Foreign reserves show no outflow panic – ING      Cache   Translate Page      

Iris Pang, Economist at ING, notes that China’s foreign exchange reserves fell to $3.053 trillion from $3.087 trillion in October.

Key Quotes

“This implies that there is no capital outflow panic in China even as USD/CNY approached 7.0, and depreciated 1.56% in the month. The yuan's weakest closing level against the dollar was 6.9757 on 31 October.”

“The data confirms our view that the USD/CNY 7.0 handle is a mere round number, not a psychological barrier, as the currency pair has approached this level a number of times.”

“We expect that USD/CNY and USD/CNH will cross 7.0 anytime between now and the end of 2018.”

“We expect USD/CNY and USD/CNH to reach 7.3 by the end of 2019.”


          China's Oct FX reserves fall to $3.053 trln, 1-1/2 year low      Cache   Translate Page      
BEIJING, Nov 7- China's foreign exchange reserves fell more than expected in October amid mounting U.S. trade pressure, suggesting authorities may be stepping up intervention to prevent the yuan from breaking through the key support level of 7 per dollar. Reserves fell by $33.93 billion in October to $3.053 trillion, central bank data showed on Wednesday.
          Comment on 33 Trillion More Reasons Why The New York Times Gets it Wrong on Russia-gate by Sea Clearly      Cache   Translate Page      
Yes, the Glenn Greenwald article is from 2010 – and, he emphatically referenced/brought to needed light Sunstein’s ominous (2008) written proposal: “In 2008, while at Harvard Law School, Sunstein co-wrote a truly pernicious paper proposing that the U.S. Government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-‘independent’ advocates to 'cognitively infiltrate’ online groups and websites – as well as other activist groups – which advocate views that Sunstein deems ‘false conspiracy theories’ about the Government. This would be designed to increase citizens' faith in government officials and undermine the credibility of conspiracists.” As far as the update/repeal of the Smith–Mundt Act of 1948 through the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012, which freed any remaining facades of restraints from Domestic Propaganda being aimed at American Citizens, it may as well have been called the Modernization Acts of “1984" for 2012 Purposes.
          No way to run the world       Cache   Translate Page      

 A decade after the financial crash, an epic repeat is on course.

United States President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain meet in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, February 20, 1985. Arnie Sachs/ Press Association. All rights reserved.

Two reports by Swiss banks, published within a week of each other, offer further revealing evidence on the growth of a wealthy transnational overclass. Credit Suisse finds that the fortunes of the very wealthiest people in the United Kingdom (those owning over $50 million) have been growing at a much faster rate than the general population.

These ultra-high-net wealth individuals (UHNWI) number 4,670, an increase of 8.5% over the year. In the United States, the number is 70,540, with over 6,000 joining that group, making it the largest such category in the world; the next is in China at 16,510. In global terms the richest 1% own just under half of total assets (see Gráinne Gilmore, "The world's super rich populations are growing but where is growth strongest?”, KnightFrank, October 2018).

In parallel, a joint UBC-PwC report focuses less on UHNWIs overall than on the seriously super-rich, the world’s dollar billionaires. They now number 2,158 and collectively increased their wealth by $1.4 trillion in the past year. Much of the growth in wealth is taking place in the United States and western Europe, but a huge change in recent years is the increasingly transnational spread of the extremely wealthy, China again being a prime example. Twelve years ago, there were just 16 billionaires in the PRC; today there are 373.

Perhaps most significant is the rate of increase in wealth. In the UK in 2017, the richest 1,000 people increased their wealth collectively by £66 billion ($85bn), meaning the average individual rise in wealth was £66 million. Moreover, that figure was not exceptionally high – the previous annual jump had been even higher.

The British government has long insisted that the financial crisis of 2008 and subsequent years meant that there was no alternative to its austerity policies, although the impact of that crisis had at worst a temporary and limited impact on the super-rich. Now, prime minister Theresa May says that austerity is over, but few believe her.  The mood is more one of “there never was any austerity for the wealthy, only for the rest, where that is still the order of the day”.

Just one canard of British politics, which in this case took root after the financial crash, was that it was all the Labour government’s fault. That version of events was consolidated in the three months following the general election of 2010, when Labour was preoccupied with electing a new leader after its loss of power. Where Labour really had been in error, especially in the early years of its governance from 1997, was the vacuum where effective financial regulation of the City of London should have been – although any such attempt would have met huge resistance from the City and the Conservative opposition.

The age of casino capitalism

The origins of the 2008 crisis actually lie nearly four decades earlier, when the election of Ronald Reagan as United States president in 1980 ushered in the era of neo-liberal economics. An important measure of the Reagan administration was the Garn-St Germain Depository Institutions Act (1982), which opened to a far laxer era of financial regulation. Among its effects was the partial dismantling of the Franklin Roosevelt-era Glass-Steagall Act (1933), whose separation of commercial from investment banking had in turn been prompted by the Great Crash of 1929.

As the US pushed through more deregulation in the 1980s, the Margaret Thatcher government in Britain followed a similar path, especially with the “big bang” bonfire of regulations in 1986. It was this pattern that Labour failed to alter, thus permitting a culture of light-touch treatment of the City to become embedded. 

The neo-liberal system came to dominate economic analysis, and was given an immense boost by the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the cold war in 1989-91. At the end of the 1990s, the international-relations scholar Susan Strange pinpointed the dangers lurking beneath the surface. In her last book Mad Money: When Markets Outgrow Governments (1998) - published only two weeks before her death, coincidentally in the very midst of the financial panic - she identified five key issues: money dominates politics; state control of economies has lessened; taxes are not effectively collected; inequality is rising; greed rules.

Strange had earlier published Casino Capitalism (1986), a prescient study of how the financial markets’ escape from democratic accountability prefigured major problems. It is sad that she did not live to see what she had so assiduously warned against. (Her LSE colleague Fred Halliday recalled “a person of indomitable optimism, humour and mordant tongue” whose “favourite slogan was: ‘Always attack the economists!’” [see "The revenge of ideas: Karl Polanyi and Susan Strange”, 24 September 2008]). Even without the benefit of her analysis it should not have been hard to read the signs in the early 2000s at latest, but most analysts contrived to miss them.

The origins of the 2008 crisis lay specifically in the hugely risky toxic loans made to low-income house-owners, especially in the United States, and the manner in which they were bundled into credit-default swaps (CDSs) and traded as investments, as well as being further bundled into collateralised debt obligations (CDOs). By the time that Lehman Brothers failed in September 2008, the domino effect of unsustainable mortgages was unstoppable.

Despite the many warning signs of crisis, as far back as the collapse of Baring Brothers in 1995, the whole system was unprepared. The explanation lies partly with the five factors listed by Strange, but to these must be added two more. First, the detailed quantitative analyses of risk that were key parts of the system, but not fully understood by senior management; second, and perhaps most important of all, the sheer arrogance and hubris that permeated the entire, inadequately regulated system.

Ten years later, there are many claims that lessons have been learned. To a certain extent that is true of the mortgage industry, yet the overall hubris persists. Those two Swiss bank reports are evidence enough that this remains an exceedingly good time to be part of the high-end overclass.

Once more, the signs of a gathering storm are being ignored. In several areas of the world, managerial arrogance continues to exceed any kind of good sense. CDOs, for example, may now be traded more cautiously, but that is far less true for collateralised loan obligations (CLOs): invested bundles of loans to a wide range of businesses, many of them as shaky as the toxic mortgage loans of a decade ago.

The core problem, as Susan Strange wrote twenty years ago, is that no one is in control of financial markets: neither governments nor major intergovernmental organisations such as the International Monetary Fund and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). The risk now is of a repetition of 2008, quite possibly on an even larger scale. Both past experience and current evidence suggest that the super-rich will come out of it even richer – not a good way to run the world.

Sideboxes
'Read On' Sidebox: 

Department of peace studies, Bradford University

Paul Rogers, Irregular War: ISIS and the New Threat from the Margins (IB Tauris, 2016)

Susan Strange, Mad Money: When Markets Outgrow Governments (University of Michigan Press, 1998)

Heather Boushey et al eds., After Piketty The Agenda for Economics and Inequality (Harvard University Press, 2019)

Ann Pettifor, The Production of Money How to Break the Power of Bankers (Verso, 2018)

Federal Reserve History

Susan Strange, Casino Capitalism (1986; Manchester University Press, 2015)

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          NTT Corp H1 net income slips 0.8%, but operating revenues inch up; plans JPY3tn investment in 5G      Cache   Translate Page      
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp (NTT Corp) has published its consolidated financial results for the six months ended 30 September 2018, highlighting that net profit fell 0.8% to JPY559.726 billion (USD3.779 billion), down from JPY564.079 in the corresponding year-ago period, as operating revenues rose 1.8% to JPY5.793 trillion from JPY5.691 trillion and operating profit climbed 3.1% to JPY1.071 trillion from JPY1.038 trillion. EBITDA for the six-month period improved to JPY1.752 trillion from JPY1.733 trillion; EBITDA margin was 30.2%, down 0.2% y-o-y compared to 30.4% previously. The carrier said it had made ‘steady progress toward’ achieving its annual plan, noting that ‘both operating revenues and operating income increased to highest-ever 2Q levels’. Looking ahead, for the full year NTT Corp expects attributable net income of JPY880 billion, unchanged from its initial forecast. However, it has revised upwards its full year operating revenue which is now expected to be JPY11.900 trillion, up from JPY11.830 trillion previously, while its forecast for operating income is unchanged at JPY1.690 trillion. Operationally speaking, NTT Corp closed out September 2018 with a total of 21.541 million high speed broadband subscribers, up from 21.235 million at September 2017, broken down as 690,000 FLET’S ADSL connections (down from 849,000), 20.851 million FLET’S Hikari fibre-optic broadband subscriptions (compared to 20.386 million) and 18.154 million IP telephony Hikari Denwa accounts (17.924 million). The group’s mobile arm NTT DOCOMO reported 77.050 million 3G and 4G mobile subscribers at the same date – up from 75.361 million a year earlier – of which 52.502 million are Xi-branded LTE users and the remainder using its FOMA (3G) service. In terms of its future investment plans, the group plan to invest JPY3 trillion over the next five years on advanced research activities and next generation 5G mobile communications networks at mobile arm NTT DOCOMO. Under its medium-term business strategy, unveiled 6 November, the telecoms behemoth will also seek to strengthen its overseas businesses through the reorganisation of group units and cut JPY800 billion in costs over the next five years. TeleGeography notes that earlier this month DOCOMO president and CEO, Kazuhiro Yoshizawa, was quoted as saying that the Japanese carrier aims to launch a pre-commercial 5G service in September 2019. In a conference call with investors and analysts, Yoshizawa also said that the operator plans to deploy full-blown commercial 5G services across Japan by mid-2020, with customers able to experience 5G services during the Rugby World Cup 2019. DOCOMO has already signed up some 1,800 partners to its 5G Open partner programme, through which it aims to create 5G-based solutions, and expects to have boosted this to 5,000 by the end of 2021.
          Re: Exceed Treasury Direct purchase limit? Answer inside!      Cache   Translate Page      
ThrustVectoring wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:44 pm

jacoavlu wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:17 pm

lol I thought I was coming in to read about someone purchasing like a trillion dollars in T bills


The actual limit for non-competitive bids for T bills and the like is a mere five million dollars. Thought it was that limit being exceeded as well, lol.

^ Boglehead problems
          THEY SUPPORT HIS WORST IDEAS BUT OPPOSE THE ACTUALLY EVIL ONES:      Cache   Translate Page      
Three Cheers for the Return of Divided Government (Eric Boehm, Nov. 7, 2018, reason)

As election results go, that's about the best possible outcome. Not only that, but it's an outcome that allows, for one night at least, the faintest hope that the crazy train of American politics over the past two years may be slowing to a more sensible pace.


Conservatives now wonder if transactional Trump might leave them in the cold (Robert Costa, November 6 , 2018, Washington Post)

Trump, meanwhile, could ignore budget hawks and the federal deficit and rally behind a more than $1 trillion infrastructure bill next year.

"He's able to move a bit because he is set with the conservatives for the next 10 years because he picked Pence and put two justices on the court," said John Brabender, a Republican consultant who works with Vice President Pence's team.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday on PBS's "NewsHour" that infrastructure "has always been nonpartisan. Hopefully we can work together to advance that agenda." Pelosi, however, could face leadership challenges of her own in the coming weeks amid Democratic unrest.

"Can we get along? Maybe," Trump said last month on "Fox & Friends," when asked about how he would handle a Democratic-controlled House.

Trump could also work with Democrats to lower the cost of prescription drugs. That is a prospect that Pelosi acknowledged to PBS, saying it's possible "if the president is serious."

A year ago, Trump worked with Democrats on a spending agreement that alarmed conservatives -- and reminded them that the former real estate investor and ex-Democrat could abandon their cause.

"The deal is a warning to Republicans -- primarily to the party establishment, which has fought Trump at every turn, but also to conservative Republicans, who have long worried about Trump shifting leftwards," Breitbart editor Joel B. Pollak wrote at the time on the hard-line conservative website.

Another ominous prospect for GOP leaders is Trump raging at his party and using them as a target as much as the Democrats, should he lash out over coming struggles and stalled items on his to-do list.



          Here's How Progressives Can Win — No Matter What Happens on Election Day      Cache   Translate Page      
Race, class and justice: After the midterms, a new way forward for Democrats

This week's midterm elections are likely the most important in recent American history, a referendum on the present and future of the country’s multiracial democracy. On one side there is Donald Trump and a Republican Party which has fully embraced white backlash politics and the lie that white Americans are under siege in “their own country.” Trump and his movement represent an emerging American form of fascism and a full-on assault on democracy. On the other side is the Democratic Party and its multiracial coalition of mostly younger, more educated and cosmopolitan voters who correctly see in Donald Trump and his movement an existential threat to their human rights, safety, dignity and prosperity.

Running through both sides of this fractious political divide – what feels like a domestic cold war about to turn hot — are old and unresolved questions about the relationship between race and class in America.

Donald Trump bellows about the “forgotten” (white) American and taking the “country back” for the (white) “working class.” This is fake populism and classic Herrenvolk right-wing "producerism." Or to put things more simply, white identity politics repackaged as something else.

In response, the Democratic Party have struggled to create a unifying narrative. Too many of its most vocal spokespeople – especially on the left – have suggested that “identity” politics and too much focus on issues of race and gender allowed Donald Trump to steal the presidency from Hillary Clinton and the Democrats in 2016.

López’s new research project suggests that Democrats need to embrace a more sophisticated way of talking about race, class and human rights as being inseparable from one another. Ultimately, it is plutocrats like Donald Trump, Republican donors and funders, and other members of the 1 percent who are using racism -- as they have done throughout American history -- to divide and conquer, leaving the large majority of people less prosperous, less secure and less free.

How do racial “dog-whistle” politics play into this right-wing strategy? What does white racial identity mean for white Americans at present? In what ways has Trump-style white identity politics actually hurt white people? How can a smarter and more nuanced discussion of race and class unite voters in support of the Democratic Party specifically, and liberal and progressive policies more broadly? How have right-wing libertarians and other conservatives combined racism with a narrative about “big government” to destroy the social safety net, make the rich even richer and more powerful, and hurt the American people as a whole?

My conversation with Ian Haney López has been edited for clarity and length.

How was Donald Trump able to win the White House? What do we know about that now that we didn't know two years ago?

I would say that Trump’s path was eased by a half-century-long process in which the Republican Party purposefully remade itself as the white men’s party. They did this by harnessing racial demagoguery as a weapon. But the fact of the matter is that racial demagoguery is not a weapon which can be controlled. Every Republican politician who gets elected as a racial demagogue is vulnerable to being bested on the right by someone who’s even more extreme in terms of racial demagoguery.

The big advantage Donald Trump had was that he didn’t actually believe he was going to become president. Therefore he didn’t care about the fate of the Republican Party. This meant Trump had few if any constraints – beyond what worked strategically to his advantage – on his use of racial demagoguery. Because Trump was willing to go much further in terms of his racist innuendo, he ran the field on the Republicans. He took them all out.

You look at these folks: Mitt Romney had his own track record with racial demagoguery, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush started talking about deporting people. All of them were racial demagogues themselves, but they were constrained by the sense of what it might take to actually get elected, by the sense that Republicans needed a bigger base and a concern with their own integrity and public reputation. Trump was unburdened by any of that. Essentially what Donald Trump did was walk into a game that the Republicans had set up, one which had a few nominal constraints. He broke the rules and won the game.

There is a more or less straight line from John McCain and Sarah Palin to this moment with Donald Trump.

There is this deeper fear of actually naming what’s been happening in our country over the last 50 years. You have a lot of people who want to treat Trump like an anomaly and say, “Wow! That guy is out of control. If only we could back to 2016.” Here are the facts. In 2016 we were in a deep crisis as a country, a slow-moving crisis which has been on the march since the civil rights movement. Which direction are we going to go as a society? Will we proceed in the direction of multiracial democracy, or will we instead proceed away from democracy and towards rule by the rich? That question has been front and center in this country for the last 50 years. Trump didn’t raise that question. He only drew the dynamics into view.

Similarly, McCain brought Sarah Palin in and also engaged in significant racial demagoguery himself. He understood it was immoral. He understood it was racist. When McCain felt that his own election was jeopardized, he started talking about building a wall on the Mexico-U.S. border. McCain was more than happy to campaign with Donald Trump and with [former Phoenix sheriff] Joe Arpaio, and this is somebody that we know understood that those were racial demagogues. Shame on him! I think it’s a mistake to say, “Well, McCain was this wonderful centrist. If only we had more people like him.” No, McCain was very much a part of the problem.

Frankly, the people who refused to see McCain as part of the problem are part of the problem too, because they’re blinding themselves to the actual challenges we face as a country. Do we move self-confidently and purposefully towards multiracial democracy, or do we follow a set of leaders who are intentionally and strategically dividing us by race, moving us away from democracy and toward rule by the rich?

I have a standard warning I give when writing about Trump and this moment, or giving talks about it. I point out that America’s multiracial democracy is contingent and in many ways an outlier in the country’s history. White backlash under Trump and the Republican Party is a threat to post-civil rights America, a country too many people – especially younger Americans – have taken to be a norm and a given for all time. Are my worries and cautions misplaced? 

Not at all. If I were to push back at all, I’d say it’s not clear to me that we have yet achieved a multiracial democracy that we might be in the process of losing. We moved dramatically in that direction in the 1960s, but then, very quickly, progress was cut off. Definitions are important. When I use the term “multiracial democracy,” I mean a democracy in which all people are fully enfranchised and people are not disenfranchised in a way that significantly parallels the country’s racial hierarchy. When have we had that in the United States?

Since the mid-1970s, we’ve been moving back quite aggressively from that ideal. If you look at what’s been happening with the Republican Party, essentially from 1980 onward, they came to understand that their election depended upon disenfranchising people of color. They have been aggressively pursuing the disenfranchisement of people of color through such policies as felony disenfranchisement laws, gerrymandering and now this whole narrative about almost nonexistent “voter fraud.”

Meanwhile, of course, these are the same Republicans who will not lift a finger to ensure that our voting systems are protected against hacking by Russia. There is a profoundly antidemocratic impulse at work on the American right wing, and it’s embodied institutionally in the Republican Party. It has forestalled any actual move towards multiracial democracy.

This hostility towards multiracial democracy is part of a hostility by Republicans and conservatives to democracy more generally. For example, the rule of law, freedom of the press and what is happening with America’s courts from the appellate to the federal system also show how the conservative movement is hostile to democracy. Trump is just more obvious about it.

The right-wing assault on the judicial branch is also a clear example of how conservatism and racism are one and the same thing in America at present.

Yes, although I would not go that far. I would say that the Federalist Society for example takes a view of race relations which they claim is “anti-racist.” Yet it’s a view that tends to ensure the continuation of white dominance. But this is not just Trump. Conservatives have been engaged in a purposeful remaking of the courts that has two complementary parts. This is pure “dog-whistle” politics.

One part is to attack the courts for their recent role in promoting racial integration and gender equality and to say, “Well, the courts are full of activist judges.” In this logic, the courts do not deserve legitimacy because they are promoting this illegitimate liberal agenda of integration and gender equality: “We have to get rid of activist judges.” What that means in practice is that we have to install court justices who are hostile to the basic idea that human rights should exist for everybody in society.

The other half of this logic and strategy is that conservatives are going to take the opportunity to put on the court justices and judges who are friendly to the business community. This is part of one big strategy.

The more we shut down human rights as a society, the more we create space to open up for a pro-business orientation. What we have in the Supreme Court as it exists now – and where Brett Kavanaugh will only make this worse – is an institution that is historically one of the most hostile to civil rights and one of the friendliest to big business. That is a product of dog-whistle politics.

How does this work? Right-wing politicians say to voters, “Hey! People of color are a threat. You know who else is a threat? Government and in particular, the courts, because the courts keep forcing you to have to deal with these people. Let’s remake the courts so that you’re protected from these activist judges.”

In the process of remaking the courts, they install business-friendly judges who are busy making life difficult for unions, making life difficult for people who want to sue corporations, making life wonderful for big money in politics, making life wonderful for polluters.

These are the wages of dog-whistle politics: The promise that you’re going to be protected from people of color and activist judges and government that protects them, when in reality what you’re really going to get is a judicial system and a government that helps rig the rules for the new plutocrats.

Here is an obvious and common objection by conservatives – especially College Republican types who still have Ayn Rand in their back pocket – to your observation. “We have to free business and get rid of regulations because capitalism and the market are antithetical to racism. Those are market inefficiencies. If we just free business, then racism will go away.” 

Anybody who says that is not paying attention to what’s actually happening in the economy. The whole idea of unfettered competition, that’s just theoretical libertarian nonsense. One would have to be crazy to believe that stuff.

What you really have is not deregulation, but re-regulation on the part of the corporations and the family dynasties and the lobbyists themselves. This is the rich writing the rules for themselves, and they write the rules in ways that protect them from market competition and liability when in the course of making billions they do damage to regular people.

The whole sort of college libertarian thinking is so much self-induced blindness about what’s lurking behind these arguments. It wouldn’t take but 15 or 20 minutes of serious reading to discover that very few people are actually serious about a deregulated marketplace. It wouldn’t take that much more to discover that many of the big libertarians, including Rand Paul and his father, are people who came to libertarianism as a way of opposing civil rights.

It doesn’t take that much reflection to recognize that libertarianism as a political ideology is most attractive to young (white) men of great means who can, because of their age and gender, imagine themselves as dominant and heroic and self-sufficient. And also because of their privilege and means, these same libertarians don’t worry about how they are going to pay for education, how they are going to pay for health care, how they are going to pay for shelter, how they are going to pay for food. They have not experienced the hardships of life or its sudden reversals.

Ultimately, there is a type of political and psychological immaturity to libertarianism. There is also a disregard for human rights, through libertarianism, for many different people in our society.

What are some examples of how racism actually hurts white people? Of course, there is what the historian and sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois famously described as the “psychological wages of whiteness.” But there is a huge material component to whiteness as well.

I think you’ve hit on a really critical point. What is the relationship between most white people today, in 2018, and whiteness as an identity? Being considered “white” is a type of social identity. But in this moment with Trump we have an opportunity to show white folks that seeking meaning in being white is actually very dangerous to their welfare and the welfare of their children. In a remarkable way, given the politics of this crisis, we’re in a different position in 2018 than we were in 1968 -- let alone than we were in the 1600s -- to make this point.

For centuries the radical idea has been cross-racial solidarity between working people. But the reality has also been that the psychological and material benefits of whiteness have been enormous and thus sufficient to win over the loyalty of many whites. Whiteness has granted certainty about one’s place in society, one’s own inherent goodness, one’s own rationality, one’s human capacity, one’s ability to engage in self-governance.

Whiteness also provided jobs, neighborhoods, houses, the clubs, the churches, etc. These are tremendous benefits. How do they compare to the one percent, or the one-tenth of one percent, in terms of class and money? Relatively speaking, they're crumbs. But these wages of whiteness are still significant.

What has happened in 2018, by comparison? Two different things. On the one hand, if we think about the psychological wages of whiteness, for many whites those wages have been going down because of the civil rights movement, and going down in a way that I think many whites would actually describe as positive. That is, many whites have internalized the idea that foregrounding your sense of self in race pride is racist, immoral and ugly.

That has diminished the value of thinking of yourself as white. I can’t really be proud of being white: That’s morally wrong. That reduces the psychological wages of whiteness. Now, to be absolutely clear, many whites are fighting to reaffirm the wages of whiteness. This is the real meaning of Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

On the other hand, what’s happened to the material wages of whiteness? Those have been going down as American society racially integrated. But even more profoundly, white racial fear has been weaponized by the rich over the last 50 years through dog-whistle politics. This is the basis upon which many whites have been convinced to support a siphoning of wealth from themselves and their families skywards, up into the economic stratosphere for the plutocrats.

With Donald Trump, progressives have a chance to make two critical points to whites. Critical point No. 1: Think about the psychological wages of whiteness in terms of Trump. Trump exemplifies what it means to build your identity around being proud of being white. It means to be a liar. It means to be cruel. It means to dehumanize others. It means to steal from others. It means to be a bully and a cheat. That’s what it means if you want to build your identity around white pride.

Second, look at Trump and ask yourself: Is whiteness helping regular white folks, or is whiteness just a weapon that billionaires can use against everybody? Trump gives us the opportunity to say to many whites that the biggest financial threat in your life comes from other whites voting their racial fears and handing the country over to greedy billionaires who only really care about themselves.

These two dynamics, I think, put us in a remarkable place in 2018 where we can say this old dream of cross-racial solidarity that has always foundered on the shoals of the value of whiteness to whites might finally be possible now -- if we can convince enough whites that seeking to be white as a source of identity is a moral disaster and a financial disaster as well.

How would you explain “dog-whistle” politics – the term is increasingly common in American political discourse but rarely properly defined? What examples would you offer of how dog-whistle politics hurt Americans on both sides of the color line?

Donald Trump went to the American people and said, “You need to worry about illegal aliens. You need to worry about Mexico sending rapists. You need to worry about Muslim terrorists.” He also said, “Crime in the black communities is awful. People can’t go outside without getting shot. We can fix that. We can ban Muslims. We can get tougher on crime in black neighborhoods. We can build a wall on the border.”

How are these examples of dog-whistle politics? On their surface, they do not mention race. They do not use a racial epithet. They do not come across as white supremacy, and yet just below the surface, that’s the narrative. It’s a narrative of racial fear.

Yes, Trump says “Muslims.” Yes, he says “Mexicans.” But his defense is that “Mexican” is a nationality or “Mexico” is a country. “Muslims” are a religion. That’s today’s dog-whistle. You have people engaging in a classic form of race-baiting that understands race as both ancestry and culture, but who then turn around and say, “These Mexicans are rapists.” That has nothing to do with race, right? That’s the dog-whistle: To use a racial provocation and to know that you’re doing such a thing. That’s the political speech.

What outcomes has this all enabled? The reality of what people are getting with Donald Trump and his Republican Party is a cabinet full of billionaires, rampant corruption, a $1.5 trillion tax cut for the very rich, a Department of Education that wants to make it easier for predatory companies to rip off people who are taking loans for a chance at a better life, an EPA that only cares about making sure polluters can make more money. This is all dog-whistle politics personified. One could not have a more powerful example of the way in which racially charged language is consistently used and where race is combined with rule by the rich.

What do we know empirically about white racial identity and public opinion in this moment of Trumpism?

The data is really compelling and very disturbing. We know that racial resentment, measured under what social scientists call the “modern racism” scale, is the No. 1 driver of support for Donald Trump. But there is an even better and more powerful means of measuring white antipathy towards people of color and government.

Since the early 1970s, what the American right-wing has been doing is conjoining race and government in the economy. Their basic message has been to fear and dislike people of color. There is another component to this as well:  Hate “big government” because it coddles “those people” with welfare and refuses to control them through criminal law. Turn away from government, trust the marketplace.

These three ideas, race, government and economy, are all linked. If you really want to understand how race is working in the United States, you really need to think about new racial frames that combine not only dislike for people of color, but also distrust in government and support for individual efforts in the marketplace.  When you look at that combination we see the correlation between those three values and support for Trump. The relationship is even more powerful than racial resentment.

There is a second component: What does race mean to whites? Race is a social construction. How is it evolving? How is it shifting? How is it responding to politics?

New research asked self-identified white people: "How important is being 'white' to you?" About 60 percent said anywhere from moderately to extremely important, and right around half said they felt that it was important for them to work together with other whites to protect the interests of whites as a group. Those are remarkable findings because what they’re telling us is there is a public etiquette of colorblindness. Whites routinely assert this set of rules when they’re trying to get people of color to stop talking about race.

Post-civil rights era racial colorblindness demands, “Hey, it’s wrong to foreground race. It’s wrong to notice it. It’s wrong to talk about it. It’s wrong to think about yourself and racial identity.” That might be the public rhetoric, but it’s not the reality, because at present somewhere upwards of half of whites are self-consciously thinking of themselves as white.

You are involved in an exciting new project which explores how we can think more strategically about the relationship between race and class in America.   

In this new research we asked a set of questions about race, class and government. We used the answers to sort the American public into three groups. We call them “base,” “persuadables” in the middle and “opposition.”

The “base” are people who basically said, “People of color are beset by structural problems. People are poor for structural reasons. Government has an important role to play.”

People who are the “opposition” took the opposite points of view. They said consistently that people of color are poor because there’s something wrong with them. Poor people are poor because there’s something wrong with them, and government is the problem. Base, we’re looking at about one-quarter of the population, 23 percent. Opposition, you’re looking at 18 percent. Let’s be crystal clear about that 18 percent. We will never get them. Their views are consistently hostile to progressive views on race, on what it means to be poor and the economy and the role of government.

But, that leaves about 60 percent of the people in the middle. This “persuadable” category constitutes three out of five Americans. With such a large group, it includes a lot of people of color. It includes a lot of Democrats. It includes a lot of union members. It also includes some Republicans, and maybe a few Trump voters, It’s a very broad group. When we look at this group, especially on race and the economy, what we found was that they held reactionary views. They would say things such as “Poverty among people of color is explained by a lack of effort.”

At the same time, they also held racially progressive views. They would toggle between the two perspectives. This was tremendously important because I think a lot of us have thought, “Wow! There’s a lot of racism out there, how are we going to overcome that?” Yes, there is a lot of racism out there, but it turns out there’s also a lot of racially progressive views. That creates the possibility of actually connecting with and activating those racially progressive views.

A common criticism of Hillary Clinton in the last campaign was that she talked too much about race and that this type of “identity politics" made her vulnerable to Trump’s right-wing “populist” message about class. How would you respond?

I think Hillary Clinton talked too much race in the wrong way. It was not the amount of time she dedicated to talking about race, but rather the way she talked about it. If we talk about race as white racism against people of color, that’s a frame which has negative effects both for whites and for people of color. What we found is that if we talk about racism that way, then white audiences feel implicated and they’re turned off. This is not at all surprising.

More surprising, we found that when we talked to communities of color and we offered a political analysis which said, “The main problem is politicians who are racists and racist voters who vote for them,” people of color were demobilized by that narrative. That story seemed to invoke 300 years of history. It made things seem insurmountable. People went very quickly from a sense of what’s politically possible to a narrative of what they could control as individuals. Whenever you see people shifting to stories of individual responsibility and what they can control, this reaffirms the right-wing framework that says, “You’re on your own. Take care of yourself. If you fail, it’s your own fault.”

Now let’s try a different frame: “Racism is a weapon of the rich that’s being used against all of us.” In our focus groups  we talked about racism as a weapon of the rich and explained that this is a "divide and distract" tactic that they are using against whites, against blacks, against brown folks, against Native Americans and Asian-Americans and immigrants. This is a weapon of the rich. This allowed whites to see how they are also targeted by the racial manipulation by the rich.

This narrative framework also allowed people of color to say, “We know that we need to fight racism, but now there’s a chance that white people might be in this fight with us too --maybe not with the same stakes, but still in this fight.”

There’s power to creating a sense of cross-racial solidarity, not alone on a moral ground because fighting racism is the right thing to do, but centered more firmly in the idea that fighting racism is the only way that white and black and brown folks are going to be able to thrive in this society. Cross-racial solidarity can defeat racism as a “divide and distract” weapon. It can get the government back on the side of people and have it create economic prosperity and racial justice for all people.

What are some narratives that you would suggest the Democrats use to defeat the Republican Party and Donald Trump?

Our research shows that there is a core narrative which progressives need to adopt.

Part one: Defeat, “divide and distract” as a tactic by insisting on cross-racial solidarity that includes whites and other communities of color.

Part two: Identify cross-racial solidarity as the way to take government back for working people and away from big business and the very rich.

Part three: Through government, build shared prosperity and promote racial justice.

Those are the three steps and it is applicable to many issues. Welfare reform, education, mass incarceration, mass deportation -- whatever policy you want to start with. The basic story is, “You know why we have mass deportation? Because politicians are running around trying to scare white people by saying that people of color are threatening. Well, they’re not. The real agenda is to distract us because we’re not paying attention to the way the rich and plutocrats are picking our collective pockets."

It doesn’t matter what issue you focus on. You can focus on the ones that are highly race-identified, like mass deportation or mass incarceration, public education and welfare. Or you can focus on issues like the environment, Wall Street regulation, and what’s happening in terms of higher education, free college, things that don’t seem directly connected to race. They’re all connected through the way in which government has been demonized.

Let’s reject distraction based on race or based on what we look like or where we come from or the gods we worship or the foods we eat, our gender, our sexual preference. Reject all of those distractions. Come together as working people to take this country back to elect the types of leaders we need -- and through these leaders demand human rights for all and a shared prosperity for all. That’s the basic narrative.

Good government, shared prosperity, human rights and shared prosperity creates a greater possibility of cross-racial solidarity. That is the message the Democrats really need to carry. If you think about 2016, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton both eventually came to the position that we need to do economic justice and racial justice. Unfortunately, neither of them had a story about how they were connected.

We need to start focusing on the way in which the rich are ripping off all the rest of us while trying to distract us with fear-mongering about undocumented immigrants or Muslims. If we can recognize and defeat that ploy then we can come together across racial lines and take this country back.

 

 

I would say that Trump’s path was eased by a half-century-long process in which the Republican Party purposefully remade itself as the white men’s party. They did this by harnessing racial demagoguery as a weapon. But the fact of the matter is that racial demagoguery is not a weapon which can be controlled. Every Republican politician who gets elected as a racial demagogue is vulnerable to being bested on the right by someone who’s even more extreme in terms of racial demagoguery.

The big advantage Donald Trump had was that he didn’t actually believe he was going to become president. Therefore he didn’t care about the fate of the Republican Party. This meant Trump had few if any constraints – beyond what worked strategically to his advantage – on his use of racial demagoguery. Because Trump was willing to go much further in terms of his racist innuendo, he ran the field on the Republicans. He took them all out.

You look at these folks: Mitt Romney had his own track record with racial demagoguery, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush started talking about deporting people. All of them were racial demagogues themselves, but they were constrained by the sense of what it might take to actually get elected, by the sense that Republicans needed a bigger base and a concern with their own integrity and public reputation. Trump was unburdened by any of that. Essentially what Donald Trump did was walk into a game that the Republicans had set up, one which had a few nominal constraints. He broke the rules and won the game.

There is a more or less straight line from John McCain and Sarah Palin to this moment with Donald Trump.

There is this deeper fear of actually naming what’s been happening in our country over the last 50 years. You have a lot of people who want to treat Trump like an anomaly and say, “Wow! That guy is out of control. If only we could back to 2016.” Here are the facts. In 2016 we were in a deep crisis as a country, a slow-moving crisis which has been on the march since the civil rights movement. Which direction are we going to go as a society? Will we proceed in the direction of multiracial democracy, or will we instead proceed away from democracy and towards rule by the rich? That question has been front and center in this country for the last 50 years. Trump didn’t raise that question. He only drew the dynamics into view.

Similarly, McCain brought Sarah Palin in and also engaged in significant racial demagoguery himself. He understood it was immoral. He understood it was racist. When McCain felt that his own election was jeopardized, he started talking about building a wall on the Mexico-U.S. border. McCain was more than happy to campaign with Donald Trump and with [former Phoenix sheriff] Joe Arpaio, and this is somebody that we know understood that those were racial demagogues. Shame on him! I think it’s a mistake to say, “Well, McCain was this wonderful centrist. If only we had more people like him.” No, McCain was very much a part of the problem.

Frankly, the people who refused to see McCain as part of the problem are part of the problem too, because they’re blinding themselves to the actual challenges we face as a country. Do we move self-confidently and purposefully towards multiracial democracy, or do we follow a set of leaders who are intentionally and strategically dividing us by race, moving us away from democracy and toward rule by the rich?

I have a standard warning I give when writing about Trump and this moment, or giving talks about it. I point out that America’s multiracial democracy is contingent and in many ways an outlier in the country’s history. White backlash under Trump and the Republican Party is a threat to post-civil rights America, a country too many people – especially younger Americans – have taken to be a norm and a given for all time. Are my worries and cautions misplaced? 

Not at all. If I were to push back at all, I’d say it’s not clear to me that we have yet achieved a multiracial democracy that we might be in the process of losing. We moved dramatically in that direction in the 1960s, but then, very quickly, progress was cut off. Definitions are important. When I use the term “multiracial democracy,” I mean a democracy in which all people are fully enfranchised and people are not disenfranchised in a way that significantly parallels the country’s racial hierarchy. When have we had that in the United States?

Since the mid-1970s, we’ve been moving back quite aggressively from that ideal. If you look at what’s been happening with the Republican Party, essentially from 1980 onward, they came to understand that their election depended upon disenfranchising people of color. They have been aggressively pursuing the disenfranchisement of people of color through such policies as felony disenfranchisement laws, gerrymandering and now this whole narrative about almost nonexistent “voter fraud.”

Meanwhile, of course, these are the same Republicans who will not lift a finger to ensure that our voting systems are protected against hacking by Russia. There is a profoundly antidemocratic impulse at work on the American right wing, and it’s embodied institutionally in the Republican Party. It has forestalled any actual move towards multiracial democracy.

This hostility towards multiracial democracy is part of a hostility by Republicans and conservatives to democracy more generally. For example, the rule of law, freedom of the press and what is happening with America’s courts from the appellate to the federal system also show how the conservative movement is hostile to democracy. Trump is just more obvious about it.

The right-wing assault on the judicial branch is also a clear example of how conservatism and racism are one and the same thing in America at present.

Yes, although I would not go that far. I would say that the Federalist Society for example takes a view of race relations which they claim is “anti-racist.” Yet it’s a view that tends to ensure the continuation of white dominance. But this is not just Trump. Conservatives have been engaged in a purposeful remaking of the courts that has two complementary parts. This is pure “dog-whistle” politics.

One part is to attack the courts for their recent role in promoting racial integration and gender equality and to say, “Well, the courts are full of activist judges.” In this logic, the courts do not deserve legitimacy because they are promoting this illegitimate liberal agenda of integration and gender equality: “We have to get rid of activist judges.” What that means in practice is that we have to install court justices who are hostile to the basic idea that human rights should exist for everybody in society.

The other half of this logic and strategy is that conservatives are going to take the opportunity to put on the court justices and judges who are friendly to the business community. This is part of one big strategy.

The more we shut down human rights as a society, the more we create space to open up for a pro-business orientation. What we have in the Supreme Court as it exists now – and where Brett Kavanaugh will only make this worse – is an institution that is historically one of the most hostile to civil rights and one of the friendliest to big business. That is a product of dog-whistle politics.

How does this work? Right-wing politicians say to voters, “Hey! People of color are a threat. You know who else is a threat? Government and in particular, the courts, because the courts keep forcing you to have to deal with these people. Let’s remake the courts so that you’re protected from these activist judges.”

In the process of remaking the courts, they install business-friendly judges who are busy making life difficult for unions, making life difficult for people who want to sue corporations, making life wonderful for big money in politics, making life wonderful for polluters.

These are the wages of dog-whistle politics: The promise that you’re going to be protected from people of color and activist judges and government that protects them, when in reality what you’re really going to get is a judicial system and a government that helps rig the rules for the new plutocrats.

Here is an obvious and common objection by conservatives – especially College Republican types who still have Ayn Rand in their back pocket – to your observation. “We have to free business and get rid of regulations because capitalism and the market are antithetical to racism. Those are market inefficiencies. If we just free business, then racism will go away.” 

Anybody who says that is not paying attention to what’s actually happening in the economy. The whole idea of unfettered competition, that’s just theoretical libertarian nonsense. One would have to be crazy to believe that stuff.

What you really have is not deregulation, but re-regulation on the part of the corporations and the family dynasties and the lobbyists themselves. This is the rich writing the rules for themselves, and they write the rules in ways that protect them from market competition and liability when in the course of making billions they do damage to regular people.

The whole sort of college libertarian thinking is so much self-induced blindness about what’s lurking behind these arguments. It wouldn’t take but 15 or 20 minutes of serious reading to discover that very few people are actually serious about a deregulated marketplace. It wouldn’t take that much more to discover that many of the big libertarians, including Rand Paul and his father, are people who came to libertarianism as a way of opposing civil rights.

It doesn’t take that much reflection to recognize that libertarianism as a political ideology is most attractive to young (white) men of great means who can, because of their age and gender, imagine themselves as dominant and heroic and self-sufficient. And also because of their privilege and means, these same libertarians don’t worry about how they are going to pay for education, how they are going to pay for health care, how they are going to pay for shelter, how they are going to pay for food. They have not experienced the hardships of life or its sudden reversals.

Ultimately, there is a type of political and psychological immaturity to libertarianism. There is also a disregard for human rights, through libertarianism, for many different people in our society.

What are some examples of how racism actually hurts white people? Of course, there is what the historian and sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois famously described as the “psychological wages of whiteness.” But there is a huge material component to whiteness as well.

I think you’ve hit on a really critical point. What is the relationship between most white people today, in 2018, and whiteness as an identity? Being considered “white” is a type of social identity. But in this moment with Trump we have an opportunity to show white folks that seeking meaning in being white is actually very dangerous to their welfare and the welfare of their children. In a remarkable way, given the politics of this crisis, we’re in a different position in 2018 than we were in 1968 -- let alone than we were in the 1600s -- to make this point.

For centuries the radical idea has been cross-racial solidarity between working people. But the reality has also been that the psychological and material benefits of whiteness have been enormous and thus sufficient to win over the loyalty of many whites. Whiteness has granted certainty about one’s place in society, one’s own inherent goodness, one’s own rationality, one’s human capacity, one’s ability to engage in self-governance.

Whiteness also provided jobs, neighborhoods, houses, the clubs, the churches, etc. These are tremendous benefits. How do they compare to the one percent, or the one-tenth of one percent, in terms of class and money? Relatively speaking, they're crumbs. But these wages of whiteness are still significant.

What has happened in 2018, by comparison? Two different things. On the one hand, if we think about the psychological wages of whiteness, for many whites those wages have been going down because of the civil rights movement, and going down in a way that I think many whites would actually describe as positive. That is, many whites have internalized the idea that foregrounding your sense of self in race pride is racist, immoral and ugly.

That has diminished the value of thinking of yourself as white. I can’t really be proud of being white: That’s morally wrong. That reduces the psychological wages of whiteness. Now, to be absolutely clear, many whites are fighting to reaffirm the wages of whiteness. This is the real meaning of Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

On the other hand, what’s happened to the material wages of whiteness? Those have been going down as American society racially integrated. But even more profoundly, white racial fear has been weaponized by the rich over the last 50 years through dog-whistle politics. This is the basis upon which many whites have been convinced to support a siphoning of wealth from themselves and their families skywards, up into the economic stratosphere for the plutocrats.

With Donald Trump, progressives have a chance to make two critical points to whites. Critical point No. 1: Think about the psychological wages of whiteness in terms of Trump. Trump exemplifies what it means to build your identity around being proud of being white. It means to be a liar. It means to be cruel. It means to dehumanize others. It means to steal from others. It means to be a bully and a cheat. That’s what it means if you want to build your identity around white pride.

Second, look at Trump and ask yourself: Is whiteness helping regular white folks, or is whiteness just a weapon that billionaires can use against everybody? Trump gives us the opportunity to say to many whites that the biggest financial threat in your life comes from other whites voting their racial fears and handing the country over to greedy billionaires who only really care about themselves.

These two dynamics, I think, put us in a remarkable place in 2018 where we can say this old dream of cross-racial solidarity that has always foundered on the shoals of the value of whiteness to whites might finally be possible now -- if we can convince enough whites that seeking to be white as a source of identity is a moral disaster and a financial disaster as well.

How would you explain “dog-whistle” politics – the term is increasingly common in American political discourse but rarely properly defined? What examples would you offer of how dog-whistle politics hurt Americans on both sides of the color line?

Donald Trump went to the American people and said, “You need to worry about illegal aliens. You need to worry about Mexico sending rapists. You need to worry about Muslim terrorists.” He also said, “Crime in the black communities is awful. People can’t go outside without getting shot. We can fix that. We can ban Muslims. We can get tougher on crime in black neighborhoods. We can build a wall on the border.”

How are these examples of dog-whistle politics? On their surface, they do not mention race. They do not use a racial epithet. They do not come across as white supremacy, and yet just below the surface, that’s the narrative. It’s a narrative of racial fear.

Yes, Trump says “Muslims.” Yes, he says “Mexicans.” But his defense is that “Mexican” is a nationality or “Mexico” is a country. “Muslims” are a religion. That’s today’s dog-whistle. You have people engaging in a classic form of race-baiting that understands race as both ancestry and culture, but who then turn around and say, “These Mexicans are rapists.” That has nothing to do with race, right? That’s the dog-whistle: To use a racial provocation and to know that you’re doing such a thing. That’s the political speech.

What outcomes has this all enabled? The reality of what people are getting with Donald Trump and his Republican Party is a cabinet full of billionaires, rampant corruption, a $1.5 trillion tax cut for the very rich, a Department of Education that wants to make it easier for predatory companies to rip off people who are taking loans for a chance at a better life, an EPA that only cares about making sure polluters can make more money. This is all dog-whistle politics personified. One could not have a more powerful example of the way in which racially charged language is consistently used and where race is combined with rule by the rich.

What do we know empirically about white racial identity and public opinion in this moment of Trumpism?

The data is really compelling and very disturbing. We know that racial resentment, measured under what social scientists call the “modern racism” scale, is the No. 1 driver of support for Donald Trump. But there is an even better and more powerful means of measuring white antipathy towards people of color and government.

Since the early 1970s, what the American right-wing has been doing is conjoining race and government in the economy. Their basic message has been to fear and dislike people of color. There is another component to this as well:  Hate “big government” because it coddles “those people” with welfare and refuses to control them through criminal law. Turn away from government, trust the marketplace.

These three ideas, race, government and economy, are all linked. If you really want to understand how race is working in the United States, you really need to think about new racial frames that combine not only dislike for people of color, but also distrust in government and support for individual efforts in the marketplace.  When you look at that combination we see the correlation between those three values and support for Trump. The relationship is even more powerful than racial resentment.

There is a second component: What does race mean to whites? Race is a social construction. How is it evolving? How is it shifting? How is it responding to politics?

New research asked self-identified white people: "How important is being 'white' to you?" About 60 percent said anywhere from moderately to extremely important, and right around half said they felt that it was important for them to work together with other whites to protect the interests of whites as a group. Those are remarkable findings because what they’re telling us is there is a public etiquette of colorblindness. Whites routinely assert this set of rules when they’re trying to get people of color to stop talking about race.

Post-civil rights era racial colorblindness demands, “Hey, it’s wrong to foreground race. It’s wrong to notice it. It’s wrong to talk about it. It’s wrong to think about yourself and racial identity.” That might be the public rhetoric, but it’s not the reality, because at present somewhere upwards of half of whites are self-consciously thinking of themselves as white.

You are involved in an exciting new project which explores how we can think more strategically about the relationship between race and class in America.   

In this new research we asked a set of questions about race, class and government. We used the answers to sort the American public into three groups. We call them “base,” “persuadables” in the middle and “opposition.”

The “base” are people who basically said, “People of color are beset by structural problems. People are poor for structural reasons. Government has an important role to play.”

People who are the “opposition” took the opposite points of view. They said consistently that people of color are poor because there’s something wrong with them. Poor people are poor because there’s something wrong with them, and government is the problem. Base, we’re looking at about one-quarter of the population, 23 percent. Opposition, you’re looking at 18 percent. Let’s be crystal clear about that 18 percent. We will never get them. Their views are consistently hostile to progressive views on race, on what it means to be poor and the economy and the role of government.

But, that leaves about 60 percent of the people in the middle. This “persuadable” category constitutes three out of five Americans. With such a large group, it includes a lot of people of color. It includes a lot of Democrats. It includes a lot of union members. It also includes some Republicans, and maybe a few Trump voters, It’s a very broad group. When we look at this group, especially on race and the economy, what we found was that they held reactionary views. They would say things such as “Poverty among people of color is explained by a lack of effort.”

At the same time, they also held racially progressive views. They would toggle between the two perspectives. This was tremendously important because I think a lot of us have thought, “Wow! There’s a lot of racism out there, how are we going to overcome that?” Yes, there is a lot of racism out there, but it turns out there’s also a lot of racially progressive views. That creates the possibility of actually connecting with and activating those racially progressive views.

A common criticism of Hillary Clinton in the last campaign was that she talked too much about race and that this type of “identity politics" made her vulnerable to Trump’s right-wing “populist” message about class. How would you respond?

I think Hillary Clinton talked too much race in the wrong way. It was not the amount of time she dedicated to talking about race, but rather the way she talked about it. If we talk about race as white racism against people of color, that’s a frame which has negative effects both for whites and for people of color. What we found is that if we talk about racism that way, then white audiences feel implicated and they’re turned off. This is not at all surprising.

More surprising, we found that when we talked to communities of color and we offered a political analysis which said, “The main problem is politicians who are racists and racist voters who vote for them,” people of color were demobilized by that narrative. That story seemed to invoke 300 years of history. It made things seem insurmountable. People went very quickly from a sense of what’s politically possible to a narrative of what they could control as individuals. Whenever you see people shifting to stories of individual responsibility and what they can control, this reaffirms the right-wing framework that says, “You’re on your own. Take care of yourself. If you fail, it’s your own fault.”

Now let’s try a different frame: “Racism is a weapon of the rich that’s being used against all of us.” In our focus groups  we talked about racism as a weapon of the rich and explained that this is a "divide and distract" tactic that they are using against whites, against blacks, against brown folks, against Native Americans and Asian-Americans and immigrants. This is a weapon of the rich. This allowed whites to see how they are also targeted by the racial manipulation by the rich.

This narrative framework also allowed people of color to say, “We know that we need to fight racism, but now there’s a chance that white people might be in this fight with us too --maybe not with the same stakes, but still in this fight.”

There’s power to creating a sense of cross-racial solidarity, not alone on a moral ground because fighting racism is the right thing to do, but centered more firmly in the idea that fighting racism is the only way that white and black and brown folks are going to be able to thrive in this society. Cross-racial solidarity can defeat racism as a “divide and distract” weapon. It can get the government back on the side of people and have it create economic prosperity and racial justice for all people.

What are some narratives that you would suggest the Democrats use to defeat the Republican Party and Donald Trump?

Our research shows that there is a core narrative which progressives need to adopt.

Part one: Defeat, “divide and distract” as a tactic by insisting on cross-racial solidarity that includes whites and other communities of color.

Part two: Identify cross-racial solidarity as the way to take government back for working people and away from big business and the very rich.

Part three: Through government, build shared prosperity and promote racial justice.

Those are the three steps and it is applicable to many issues. Welfare reform, education, mass incarceration, mass deportation -- whatever policy you want to start with. The basic story is, “You know why we have mass deportation? Because politicians are running around trying to scare white people by saying that people of color are threatening. Well, they’re not. The real agenda is to distract us because we’re not paying attention to the way the rich and plutocrats are picking our collective pockets."

It doesn’t matter what issue you focus on. You can focus on the ones that are highly race-identified, like mass deportation or mass incarceration, public education and welfare. Or you can focus on issues like the environment, Wall Street regulation, and what’s happening in terms of higher education, free college, things that don’t seem directly connected to race. They’re all connected through the way in which government has been demonized.

Let’s reject distraction based on race or based on what we look like or where we come from or the gods we worship or the foods we eat, our gender, our sexual preference. Reject all of those distractions. Come together as working people to take this country back to elect the types of leaders we need -- and through these leaders demand human rights for all and a shared prosperity for all. That’s the basic narrative.

Good government, shared prosperity, human rights and shared prosperity creates a greater possibility of cross-racial solidarity. That is the message the Democrats really need to carry. If you think about 2016, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton both eventually came to the position that we need to do economic justice and racial justice. Unfortunately, neither of them had a story about how they were connected.

We need to start focusing on the way in which the rich are ripping off all the rest of us while trying to distract us with fear-mongering about undocumented immigrants or Muslims. If we can recognize and defeat that ploy then we can come together across racial lines and take this country back.

 


          Trump Rattles His Saber at the Caravan While His Treasury Secretary Splashes $1.3338 Trillion in Debt      Cache   Translate Page      
Trump’s treasury just broke the trillion dollar debt mark and we are busy watching him bark at the southern border

In the final days of the midterm campaign President Donald Trump's camo clown car has all eyes on the southern border as 15,000 American troops are assembled to prepare for the onslaught of a ragtag caravan of refugees.He’s been visualizing a kind of Gaza-like scenario where American troops will get to fire on rock throwing migrants.

We look where he points no matter what. We can’t help it. He’s the ‘entertainer-in-chief’. His skilled misdirection has the effect of obscuring his disastrous misrule. You have to always ask what are the things he’s not attending to, or leaving on automatic pilot, that could come crashing down on his watch or somebody else’s later on down the line.

So, we should not be surprised that there was scant attention paid last week when the U.S. Treasury Department disclosed that it was going to issue $425 billion in new debt for this quarter, bringing our grand total for 2018 to an eye popping $1.3 trillion in debt. As the Fiscal Times pointed out, that reflects “a 145 percent increase from the $546 billion issued in 2017.” That’s the biggest annual issuance of federal public debt since 2010 when Uncle Sam issued $1.586 trillion in debt.

Back then the Obama Administration at least had the rationale that they were grappling with a real crisis brought on by the Great Recession and close to nine million Americans losing their jobs.

Does Trump’s presidency, in and of itself, meet the “crisis” standard? Perhaps.

Of course, this latest explosion in debt is linked to the GOP’s $1.5 trillion tax cut, skewed for the corporations and individuals that have already been doing so well, as the levels of wealth concentration and inequality hit historic highs. Working at the behest of their wealthy friends, Trump and the GOP reduced the amount of tax revenue coming into the government and gifted that flow to their already wealthy donors, leaving future generations to deal with the mountain of public debt left behind.

By 2028, the Congressional Budget Office predicts the amount of the government’s debt  will be equal to the size of the U.S. economy, swelling to 96 percent of the GDP, blowing past the post-World War II record set in 1946, when it was equal to 104 percent of the GDP. 

Similarly, back in September there were no reporters present when President Trump signed a $854 billion-dollar spending bill that included an obscene $674 billion defense budget. 

The Pentagon budget included Lockheed Martin Corporation’s troubled F-35 which Popular Mechanics  described as a “trillion-dollar” albatross.  “For over two decades, the F-35 has been the symbol of everything that's wrong with mammoth defense contracts: behind schedule, over budget, and initially, over-sold,” reported the magazine. 

“In development for nearly 17 years and seven years behind schedule, total acquisition costs now exceed $406 billion, nearly double the initial estimate of $233 billion,” according to a report from Citizens Against Government Waste, a non-profit government accountability group.  “An April 2015 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report noted that the lifetime operation and maintenance costs of the most expensive weapon system in history will total approximately $1 trillion.”

And also under reported was that just a few weeks after the President doubled down on funding the F-35, the U.S. military grounded all the F-35s on the planet, after one crashed near Beaufort, S.C. The aviation press reported "suspect fuel tubes.” 

A week after that in Afghanistan, where there are people still shooting at American troops, U.S. Army General Austin Scott Miller, the 17th commander to lead U.S. forces in Afghanistan, barely escaped an attack that left Kandahar’s police and intelligence chiefs dead. The deadly attack came in the run-up to parliamentary elections that were marred by violence. 

The spectacular attack underscored the reality that conditions on the ground continue to deteriorate. As the Special Inspector general for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) reported last month “the Afghan government control or influence of its districts reached the lowest level (55.5%) since SIGAR began tracking district control in November 2015.”

Over those four years “Afghan government control and influence over its districts has declined by about 16 percentage points; contested districts have increased by about 11 points; and insurgent control or influence has risen by 5.5 points,” according to the latest SIGAR report to Congress.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan  reported 649 civilian casualties (313 deaths and 336 injuries) “due to aerial operations by pro-government forces from January 1 to September 30, 2018, a 39% increase in from the same period in 2017 and a record number of civilian casualties caused by air strikes since UNAMA began recording civilian-casualty data in 2009.”

SIGAR reports that Afghanistan’s Attorney General continues to resist cooperation with U.S. anti-corruption efforts “by pursuing a number of low-level, rather than high-level, corruption cases.” 

And as the Afghan government’s control on the ground continues to slip, its defense force is struggling to maintain troop strength now hitting its “lowest level recorded in the third quarter of the year since 2012…. decreased by 1,914 personnel since last quarter and by 8,827 personnel since the same period last year.”  That leaves the ANDSF roughly 40,000 soldiers short of their 352,000 troop target.

But have no fear, POTUS has us covered with a surge bearing down on Mexico.


          Battery boom is expected to attract $1.2 trillion in investment by 2040      Cache   Translate Page      

The battery boom is coming to China, California and basically everywhere else — and it will be even bigger than previously thought.

The global energy-storage market will surge to a cumulative 942 gigawatts by 2040, according to a new forecast from Bloomberg NEF published Tuesday, and that growth...


          Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA) plans to help global businesses sell $200 billion in goods      Cache   Translate Page      

Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA) plans to help global businesses sell $200 billion in goods E-commerce giant Alibaba announced Tuesday it plans to help global businesses sell $200 billion in goods to China in the next five years. A day earlier, Chinese President Xi Jinping said his country will import $30 trillion in goods and […]

The post Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA) plans to help global businesses sell $200 billion in goods appeared first on Live Trading News.


          Comment on Oceania Is at War with Fascism, by C.J. Hopkins      Cache   Translate Page      
The Zionists control the U.S. government and with this control have had America in wars ever since the passage of the Zionist banking cabals privately owned FED and IRS which they have used to keep America at war starting with WWI and down through the wars in the Mideast, all of which were fought for the Zionists banking cabal and their Zionist NWO. The zionists attacked the WTC and killed some 3000 Americans to get the excuse to attack the mideast and Afghanistan to benefit the satanic zionists and their zionist NWO and have kept America at war for 17 years and counting at a cost of millions of lives lost and trillions in cost , all for the zionist banking cabal and the zionist NWO. America is Oceania , thanks to our zionist overlords who control America, lock stock and gun barrel.
          The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – A Trillion Dollar Business      Cache   Translate Page      
One of the hottest technology topics today is the Internet of Things (IoT). Mike Trojecki, Vice President of Internet of Things (IoT) and Analytics at Logicalis US, examines the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) The IoT has three inherent qualities: Things – Any connected device that is capable of generating data, whether it is a sensor, […]
          No way to run the world       Cache   Translate Page      

 A decade after the financial crash, an epic repeat is on course.

lead United States President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain meet in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, February 20, 1985. Arnie Sachs/ Press Association. All rights reserved.

Two reports by Swiss banks, published within a week of each other, offer further revealing evidence on the growth of a wealthy transnational overclass. Credit Suisse finds that the fortunes of the very wealthiest people in the United Kingdom (those owning over $50 million) have been growing at a much faster rate than the general population.

These ultra-high-net wealth individuals (UHNWI) number 4,670, an increase of 8.5% over the year. In the United States, the number is 70,540, with over 6,000 joining that group, making it the largest such category in the world; the next is in China at 16,510. In global terms the richest 1% own just under half of total assets (see Gráinne Gilmore, "The world's super rich populations are growing but where is growth strongest?”, KnightFrank, October 2018).

In parallel, a joint UBC-PwC report focuses less on UHNWIs overall than on the seriously super-rich, the world’s dollar billionaires. They now number 2,158 and collectively increased their wealth by $1.4 trillion in the past year. Much of the growth in wealth is taking place in the United States and western Europe, but a huge change in recent years is the increasingly transnational spread of the extremely wealthy, China again being a prime example. Twelve years ago, there were just 16 billionaires in the PRC; today there are 373.

Perhaps most significant is the rate of increase in wealth. In the UK in 2017, the richest 1,000 people increased their wealth collectively by £66 billion ($85bn), meaning the average individual rise in wealth was £66 million. Moreover, that figure was not exceptionally high – the previous annual jump had been even higher.

The British government has long insisted that the financial crisis of 2008 and subsequent years meant that there was no alternative to its austerity policies, although the impact of that crisis had at worst a temporary and limited impact on the super-rich. Now, prime minister Theresa May says that austerity is over, but few believe her.  The mood is more one of “there never was any austerity for the wealthy, only for the rest, where that is still the order of the day”.

Just one canard of British politics, which in this case took root after the financial crash, was that it was all the Labour government’s fault. That version of events was consolidated in the three months following the general election of 2010, when Labour was preoccupied with electing a new leader after its loss of power. Where Labour really had been in error, especially in the early years of its governance from 1997, was the vacuum where effective financial regulation of the City of London should have been – although any such attempt would have met huge resistance from the City and the Conservative opposition.

The age of casino capitalism

The origins of the 2008 crisis actually lie nearly four decades earlier, when the election of Ronald Reagan as United States president in 1980 ushered in the era of neo-liberal economics. An important measure of the Reagan administration was the Garn-St Germain Depository Institutions Act (1982), which opened to a far laxer era of financial regulation. Among its effects was the partial dismantling of the Franklin Roosevelt-era Glass-Steagall Act (1933), whose separation of commercial from investment banking had in turn been prompted by the Great Crash of 1929.

As the US pushed through more deregulation in the 1980s, the Margaret Thatcher Government in Britain followed a similar path, especially with the “big bang” bonfire of regulations in 1986. It was this pattern that Labour failed to alter, thus permitting a culture of light-touch treatment of the City to become embedded. 

The neo-liberal system came to dominate economic analysis, and was given an immense boost by the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the cold war in 1989-91. At the end of the 1990s, the international-relations scholar Susan Strange pinpointed the dangers lurking beneath the surface. In her last book Mad Money: When Markets Outgrow Governments (1998) - published only two weeks before her death, coincidentally in the very midst of the financial panic - she identified five key issues: money dominates politics; state control of economies has lessened; taxes are not effectively collected; inequality is rising; greed rules.

Strange had earlier published Casino Capitalism (1986), a prescient study of how the financial markets’ escape from democratic accountability prefigured major problems. It is sad that she did not live to see what she had so assiduously warned against. (Her LSE colleague Fred Halliday recalled “a person of indomitable optimism, humour and mordant tongue” whose “favourite slogan was: ‘Always attack the economists!’” [see "The revenge of ideas: Karl Polanyi and Susan Strange”, 24 September 2008]). Even without the benefit of her analysis it should not have been hard to read the signs in the early 2000s at latest, but most analysts contrived to miss them.

The origins of the 2008 crisis lay specifically in the hugely risky toxic loans made to low-income house-owners, especially in the United States, and the manner in which they were bundled into credit-default swaps (CDSs) and traded as investments, as well as being further bundled into collateralised debt obligations (CDOs). By the time that Lehman Brothers failed in September 2008, the domino effect of unsustainable mortgages was unstoppable.

Despite the many warning signs of crisis, as far back as the collapse of Baring Brothers in 1995, the whole system was unprepared. The explanation lies partly with the five factors listed by Strange, but to these must be added two more. First, the detailed quantitative analyses of risk that were key parts of the system, but not fully understood by senior management; second, and perhaps most important of all, the sheer arrogance and hubris that permeated the entire, inadequately regulated system.

Ten years later, there are many claims that lessons have been learned. To a certain extent that is true of the mortgage industry, yet the overall hubris persists. Those two Swiss bank reports are evidence enough that this remains an exceedingly good time to be part of the high-end overclass.

Once more, the signs of a gathering storm are being ignored. In several areas of the world, managerial arrogance continues to exceed any kind of good sense. CDOs, for example, may now be traded more cautiously, but that is far less true for collateralised loan obligations (CLOs): invested bundles of loans to a wide range of businesses, many of them as shaky as the toxic mortgage loans of a decade ago.

The core problem, as Susan Strange wrote twenty years ago, is that no one is in control of financial markets: neither governments nor major intergovernmental organisations such as the International Monetary Fund and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). The risk now is of a repetition of 2008, quite possibly on an even larger scale. Both past experience and current evidence suggest that the super-rich will come out of it even richer – not a good way to run the world.

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Department of peace studies, Bradford University

Paul Rogers, Irregular War: ISIS and the New Threat from the Margins (IB Tauris, 2016)

Susan Strange, Mad Money: When Markets Outgrow Governments (University of Michigan Press, 1998)

Heather Boushey et al eds., After Piketty The Agenda for Economics and Inequality (Harvard University Press, 2019)

Ann Pettifor, The Production of Money How to Break the Power of Bankers (Verso, 2018)

Federal Reserve History

Susan Strange, Casino Capitalism (1986; Manchester University Press, 2015)

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          These 29 countries have the safest banks in the world      Cache   Translate Page      

NorwayReuters/Kacper Pempel

Most of us in developed countries take for granted that our money is safe. Put it in a bank, and in theory at least, it doesn't going anywhere. But that's not necessarily true everywhere.

So Business Insider took a look into the countries with the safest banks, using the World Economic Forum's recently-released Global Competitiveness Survey, which offers a bundle of indicators to show the health of a country's institutions.

One of those is the perceived safeness of banks.

WEF used its executive opinion survey to ask: "In general, how do you perceive the soundness of banks?"

So the measure isn't based on any objective economic or accounting measure, but rather by the perceptions of the population. The countries are ranked from 1 (banks need more money) to 7 (banks are generally sound).

Check out the countries with the safest banks below.

T22. Jamaica — 5.7

Shutterstock

T22. Saudi Arabia — 5.7

Jamal Saidi/Reuters

T22. France —5.7

REUTERS/Charles Platiau


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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SEE ALSO: These are the 28 biggest banks in the world — each with more than $1 trillion of assets


          Comment on Powered by Trump Turnout and ‘Hamilton’ Tickets, DeSantis Defies Polls and Edges Out Gillum by BMW      Cache   Translate Page      
We live in very difficult times where the media fuels division, doubting the credibility of a woman's allegation means you are anti-woman and questioning the qualifications of a candidate labels one as racist. Personally, I take the casting of my vote very seriously and make every attempt to keep emotions from cluttering my thought process. Mr. Gillum has an undergraduate degree in Political Science, has been an elected politician since the age of 23, has limited free market work experience and in my opinion not qualified to take the helm of a $1 Trillion dollar economy. For me, the choice was just that simple. Instead of continuing to drown in the cesspool of bi-partisian rhetoric, can we take the time to congratulate Ms. Nunez for becoming Florida's first Latina Lieutenant Governor? That's an achievement we should all be able to stand behind.
          Comment on Seven ways to talk to anti-vaxxers (that might actually change their minds) by Bionicmama      Cache   Translate Page      
Recent article announced: “Polio-like illness is on the rise with 87 possible cases Formal case counts can take days or weeks as doctors double-check symptoms against CDC guidelines.” “The patients’ symptoms have been most similar to complications of infection with certain viruses, including poliovirus, non-polio enteroviruses, adenoviruses, and West Nile virus,” the CDC says”. What are the symptoms of polio? Surprisingly, 95% of all individuals infected with polio have no apparent symptoms. Another 4%–8% of infected individuals have symp- toms of a minor, non-specific nature, such as sore throat and fever, nausea, vomiting, and other com- mon symptoms of any viral illness. About 1%–2% of infected individuals develop non- paralytic aseptic (viral) meningitis, with temporary stiffness of the neck, back, and/or legs. Less than 1% of all polio infections result in the classic “flaccid paralysis,” where the patient is left with permanent weakness or paralysis of legs, arms, or both.“Although most cases of polio are mild, the 1% of cases resulting in flaccid paralysis has made polio a feared disease for hundreds of years. Of people with paralytic polio, about 2%–5% of children die and up to 15%–30% of adults die.”. Also... accordind to “immunize.org” , Why was the U.S. polio immunization recom- mendation changed from OPV to IPV? “The change to an all-IPV schedule in the United States occurred because the few cases of polio that were occurring (8–10 per year) were caused by the OPV vaccine itself and not the wild virus. “ Based on these facts from the CDC and other credible sources, the majority of the population is to give up our rights to not get vacinnated due to less than 1% of the cases “reported” coming down with a more serious disease and out of that 1% only 2% to 5% of children die from it. The same goes for all the other diseases! So in order for that 2% to 5% of the 1%” that has contracted a more serious form of polio virus, the majority of the population have to put their health at risk (ADHD, mental health disorders, autism spectrum,cancers.......etc.)? And I’m not limiting this to the polio virus either. Do some extensive , credible, research on all the other diseases. Other than the pharmaceutical companies and their investors making trillions of dollars off of our “fear” for our health, it makes absolutely no sense. In that case, we should literally “force” everyone to eat healthy organic foods, exercise daily, eliminate the use of all toxins, cigarettes, unnessesary over the counter medicines known to cause kidney and liver problems, alcohol, eliminate automobiles, guns, knives, etc.... in order to altogether eliminate all unnecessary deaths. If governments were truly interested in an individuals health and not money , then there would be a lot of things “ eliminated” from our lives, not “added”. The more vaccines they make and force upon us, the richer they get. It is the huge companies that make billions/trillions of dollars that control every aspect of our government and almost every aspect of our lives. I’m not saying that a vaccine would never be needed. There is a time and place for everything. But if it never ends, our children, and soon adults, will be forced to be injected on a regular basis with 100’s of these toxic vaccinations. Chicken pox vaccine? Flu vaccine? What’s next? Common Cold vaccine? Pink eye vaccine? And for those who say very few have been harmed by vaccinations, open up your eyes! How many times have you brought your child into the doctors office when they were experiencing an illness or siesures etc. and the doctor asked you about the child’s vacinnations? It would probably be safe to say, “Never”.
          U.S. natural gas end-of-season storage forecasts      Cache   Translate Page      
U.S. natural gas storage is expected to end the November-March withdrawal season at a below-normal 1.483 trillion cubic feet (tcf) around March 31, 2019, according to analysts. That compares with 1.391 tcf at the end of the withdrawal season in 2018 and a five-year (2014-2018) of 1.654 tcf. The 383 active storage fields in the [Read more]
          Holiday spending expected to top $1 trillion      Cache   Translate Page      
High consumer confidence, low unemployment, and a favorable calendar could push holiday spending past the $1 trillion mark for the first time this year. According to eMarketer, a company that tracks trends related to digital marketing, media and commerce, total retail sales in the United States will increase 5.8 percent to $1.002 trillion this holiday season.   Retail sales between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 will get a boost from Thanksgiving coming comparatively early in the month of November, meaning…

          Governments, electric vehicles and solar power are fuelling a boom in demand for battery      Cache   Translate Page      
A dramatic rise in demand for electric cars and solar power could see a peak in demand for battery storage that will cost over a trillion dollars globally within 22 years, new figures suggest.
          This will be a $1 trillion Christmas, thanks to e-commerce      Cache   Translate Page      
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          Holiday Sales to Pass $1 Trillion for the First Time, Says EMarketer      Cache   Translate Page      
Sales for the holiday season from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31 will exceed $1 trillion for the first time ever this year, according to a report from eMarketer Retail. The report cites “low unemployment, strong income growth, and high consumer confidence” as the factors behind the spend increase, as well as the 32-day period between […]
          Can India Become the Next $10 Trillion Economy? That Depends…      Cache   Translate Page      
The U.S. and India could become stronger partners if they find a way to deal with threats of sanctions, says Marshall Bouton of the Center for the Advanced Study of India. Source: Knowledge @ Wharton Can India Become the Next Trillion Economy? That Depends…
          Today, Nov. 6, Vote Blue to Save Medicare & Social Security      Cache   Translate Page      

Mitch McConnell has promised to pay for the $2.6 trillion in tax cuts GOP elite gave to their billionaire buddies, with out Medicare and Social Security Fund. There is only one way to stop them. Vote Blue today, Nov 6, … Continue reading

The post Today, Nov. 6, Vote Blue to Save Medicare & Social Security appeared first on SeniorInfo4U.


          11/4/2018: Financial: Apple music and apps ‘will hit $870bn’      Cache   Translate Page      
APPLE’S fast-growing services division, which includes Apple Music and App Store, could be worth a staggering $870 billion alone by 2022, analysts have predicted. America’s $1 trillion tech giant spooked investors last week by revealing it would no...
          Retail markets in India: Opportunities in a dynamic world      Cache   Translate Page      

As the retail industry story unfolds in India, new strategies come to the fore. Recent news of Amazon acquiring a stake in Future Retail is an indication that the strategy will be differentiated given the nature of the market and consumption trends.

Amazon's acquisition of a stake in Future Retail is in addition to the stake it took in Shoppers Stop, and the earlier Aditya Birla-backed "More" chain. These acquisitions are an indication that large retail players think that, to gain a greater market share, the online strategy will have to be complemented with an offline route as well.

Online retail sales as a percentage of total sales have shown a tremendous rise, going from 0.8 percent in 2014 to 3.6 percent of total retail sales in 2017. While the growth has been enormous and will continue to be fast, the fact that 95 percent of the market is still with the offline sector drives home a few important points. Access to offline stores provides a vast distribution network and brand accessibility, especially beyond the Tier 1 cities. Therefore, for a player interested in a higher market share, an offline presence is non-negotiable.

Additionally, besides the offline versus online demarcation, it is essential to understand that 90 percent of all retail in India is in the unorganised sector. The unorganised sector – primarily, physical stores -- thrives due to an extensive last-mile distribution network and long-term relationships. The key for new players is not necessarily the disruption of the unorganised sector but having access to retail stores that provide organised players with the same distribution networks and concomitant advantages.

Quite often discussions focus on the market share of online versus offline retail. While it is a relevant topic, the more pertinent discussion is the overall retail market growth rate. The retail market in India is expected to cross $1 trillion in the next three years. The greatest value generation for retail businesses is in capturing market growth as greater cash is generated by retail consumption.

A 2007 analysis by McKinsey titled "The Granularity of Growth" had some interesting lessons. A study of 200 large companies around the world showed that almost 80 percent of growth for the companies was driven by growth in the industry segments and successful mergers and acquisition strategies while only 20 percent was through gaining market share. The key learning for Indian retail players is that while market share matters, being a direct beneficiary of rising incomes in India is a lot more advantageous.

Given the industry dynamics in the last decade, retail e-commerce has dominated headlines. While e-commerce will continue to be a significant sector, the question is: What other exciting opportunities exist in Indian retail?

The creation of niche, sector-focused "digital first" businesses backed by consolidated research-driven manufacturing and distribution platforms hold potential. In the West, businesses such as "Seed Beauty" and "Hatch Beauty" are redefining the retail landscape. Given the creation of "digital first" brands driven especially by social media influencers, businesses such as Seed and Hatch have been able to speed up product research, development and fulfillment.

The division between manufacturing and branding businesses is what Poornima Vardhan, CEO of 335th, a luxury-focused platform, describes as the "delineation of product development and manufacturing from the branding and marketing". In common parlance, separation of the R&D and product development from branding creates the potential for business opportunities through specialisation. Such focused businesses hold promise in the Indian retail landscape.

The next decades might also herald the creation of retail platform businesses that "corporatise" a portfolio of Indian brands. The likes of Kering, Richemont and LVMH are examples of hugely successful global retail platforms that have delivered value. While Indian beauty products, jewellery and fragrances have been marketed to some extent, now is the time to create large scalable platforms that can combine front-to-back retail operations with global scalability for Indian brands. The ability to match Indian entrepreneurship with global capital and distribution will be the vital driver to create sustainable retail platforms.

There are many "markets" that offer opportunities in the Indian retail space. Therefore, while online mass retailers will look to create an offline presence, online "digital first" niche brands, backed by specialised manufacturing businesses, also hold value. It is vital to realise that given the diverse customer segments, different pockets of opportunities will require an agile approach.

In India, access to the online world has happened synonymously with rising incomes while the developed countries had significantly higher income levels when they got access to the internet. Therefore, a business strategy that deals with local dynamics and trends will determine the eventual winners.

(Taponeel Mukherjee heads Development Tracks, an infrastructure advisory firm. Views expressed are personal. He can be contacted at taponeel.mukherjee@development-tracks.com or @Taponeel on Twitter)


          Voters give House Democrats a check on Trump      Cache   Translate Page      

WASHINGTON — The Democrats took back the House with a surge of fresh new candidates and an outpouring of voter enthusiasm Tuesday, breaking the GOP's monopoly on power in Washington and setting the stage for a multitude of investigations of President Donald Trump that could engulf his administration over the next two years.

Ending eight years of Republican control that began with the tea party revolt of 2010, Democrats picked off more than two dozen GOP-held districts in suburbs across the nation on the way to securing the 218 seats needed for a majority.

As of early Wednesday, Democrats had won 219 races and the Republicans 193, with winners undetermined in 23 races. Democrats lead in nine of those, Republicans in 14. The final count is likely to leave Democrats with a narrow majority that could be difficult to manage and preserve.

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who is seeking to reclaim the gavel as House speaker, called it a "new day in America."

She saluted "those dynamic, diverse and incredible candidates who have taken back the House for the American people."

With the Republicans keeping control of the Senate, the outcome in the House could mean gridlock for Trump's agenda on Capitol Hill — or, conversely, it could open a new era of deal-making.

As the majority party, the Democrats will chair important committees and will have expansive powers to investigate the president, his business dealings and the inner workings of his administration, including whether anyone from the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election.

They will have authority to request Trump's tax returns and subpoena power to obtain documents, emails and testimony.

However, any attempt to impeach Trump is likely to run headlong into resistance in the GOP-controlled Senate.

Pelosi, meanwhile, is likely to face a challenge for the speakership from newer or younger members later this month. And the Democrats could see a struggle inside the party over how aggressively to confront the Trump administration.

During the campaign, Pelosi urged candidates to focus on lowering health care costs and creating jobs with infrastructure investment, and she tamped down calls for impeachment.

The campaign unfolded against a backdrop of ugly rhetoric and angry debates on immigration, health care and the role of Congress in overseeing the president.

In locking down a majority, Democratic candidates flipped seats in several suburban districts outside Washington, Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago, Denver and Dallas that were considered prime targets for turnover because they were won by Hillary Clinton in 2016. The Democrats made only slight inroads in Trump country, where they tried to win back white working-class voters.

Midterm elections are typically difficult for the party in power, but the GOP's hold on power was further weakened by an unusually large number of retirements as well as infighting between conservatives and centrists over their allegiance to Trump.

The Democrats, in turn, benefited from extraordinary voter enthusiasm, robust fundraising and unusually fresh candidates. More women than ever were running, along with veterans and minorities, many of them motivated by revulsion over Trump.

As the returns came in, voters were on track to send at least 99 women to the House, shattering the record of 84 now. Perhaps the biggest new political star among them is New York's 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a liberal firebrand from the Bronx.

Also among them are the first two Native American women elected to the House — Democrats Sharice Davids of Kansas and Deb Haaland of New Mexico — and the first two Muslim-American women, Rhasida Tlaib of Michigan and Minnesota's Ilhan Oman.

The Republican side of the aisle elected mostly white men.

In trying to stem Republican losses, Trump made only passing reference to his $1.5 trillion tax cut — the GOP Congress' signature achievement — and instead barnstormed through mostly white regions of the country, interjecting dark and foreboding warnings. He predicted an "invasion" from the migrant caravan making its way toward the U.S. and decried the "radical" agenda of speaker-in-waiting Pelosi.

On Tuesday night, he called to congratulate Pelosi and acknowledged her plea for bipartisanship, the leader's spokesman said.

Health care and immigration were high on voters' minds as they cast ballots, according to a survey of the American electorate by The Associated Press. AP VoteCast also showed a majority of voters considered Trump a factor in their votes.

In the Miami area, former Clinton administration Cabinet member Donna Shalala won an open seat, while GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo lost his bid for a third term in a nearby district.

In the suburbs outside the nation's capital, Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock — among the most endangered GOP incumbents, branded Barbara "Trumpstock" by Democrats — lost to Jennifer Wexton, a prosecutor and state legislator.

And outside Richmond, Virginia, one-time tea party favorite Rep. Dave Brat lost to Democrat Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA operative motivated to run for office after the GOP vote to gut the Affordable Care Act. Like other Democrats across the country, Spanberger emphasized protecting people with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage or charged more by insurers.

Pennsylvania was particularly daunting for Republicans after court-imposed redistricting and a rash of retirements put several seats in play. Democratic favorite Conor Lamb, who stunned Washington by winning a special election in the state, beat Republican Rep. Keith Rothfus in a new district. At least three other red districts flipped to blue.

In Kentucky, the heart of Trump country, one of the top Democratic recruits, retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath, lost her bid to oust to three-term Rep. Andy Barr in the Lexington-area district.

Republicans had expected the GOP tax plan would be the cornerstone of their election agenda this year, but it became a potential liability in key states along the East and West coasts where residents could face higher tax bills because of limits on property and sales tax deductions.

The tax law was particularly problematic for Republicans in high-tax New Jersey, where at least three GOP-held seats flipped. The winners included Democrat Mikie Sherrill, a former Navy pilot and federal prosecutor who ran for a suburban Newark seat.

The GOP campaign committee distanced itself from eight-term Rep. Steve King of Iowa after he was accused of racism and anti-Semitism, but he won anyway.

In California, four GOP seats in the one-time Republican stronghold of Orange County were in play, along with three other seats to the north beyond Los Angeles and into the Central Valley.

"We always knew these races are going to be close," said Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, co-chair of House Democrats' recruitment efforts. "It's just a very robust class of candidates that really reflects who we are as a country."

___

For AP's complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: http://apne.ws/APPolitics . Follow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/lisamascaro and at https://twitter.com/AP_Politics .

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Haley Stevens, candidate for Michigan's 11th Congressional District, gives a thumbs up as exits her polling place Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Rochester Hills, Mich. Stevens is running against Lena Epstein. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

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New York Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, center, signs a register before voting, Tuesday Nov. 6, 2018, in the Parkchester community in the Bronx, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

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Democratic congressional candidate Amy McGrath stands in line with her family while waiting to vote on Election Day in Georgetown, Ky., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

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Candidate for Pennsylvania's 1st Congressional District Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., waits in line to vote in Langhorne, Pa., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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Andy Kim, the Democratic candidate in New Jersey's third Congressional District, holds his son as he stands with his wife Kammy Lai and their son as they prepare to vote Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Bordentown, N.J. Kim is facing Tom MacArthur, the Republican incumbent candidate in New Jersey's third Congressional District. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

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Maryland's 6th Congressional District candidate Amie Hoeber greets voters in front of a voting location Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Potomac, Md. David Trone, a Democrat and co-owner of a national wine store chain, is running against Hoeber, a Republican and national security consultant. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via AP)

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Anthony Brindisi, right, the Democratic candidate for New York's 22nd Congressional District, chats with Habiba Mberwa, left, after casting his vote at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, N.Y., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. Brindisi, a Democratic Assemblyman, is hoping to defeat Republican Congresswoman Claudia Tenney in New York's 22nd Congressional District race. (AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)
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          The Mind-Gut Connection: Are you listening?      Cache   Translate Page      

There is much information coming forth regarding the microbiome (our gut) and its intimate relationship with the brain. We now understand that there are at least 10 Trillion microbes that live with us. Some doctors are starting to more fully understand the communication that happens between the brain and gut, although many doctors still do … continue reading …

The post The Mind-Gut Connection: Are you listening? appeared first on Food Integrity Now.


          Bill Gates Unveils Futuristic Toilet That Turns Human Waste To Fertilizer      Cache   Translate Page      
Bill Gates Unveils Futuristic Toilet That Turns Human Waste To Fertilizer
Bill Gates speaks at the Reinvented Toilet Expo in Beijing, China, on Tuesday (Photo: Thomas Peter / Reuters)
 
U.S. billionaire philanthropist, Bill Gates, on Tuesday, unveiled a futuristic toilet in Beijing, that doesn’t need water or sewers and uses chemicals to turn human waste into fertilizer.
 
The Microsoft Corp co-founder, who a day earlier was one of the high profile guests at a major trade event in Shanghai, also lauded the globalized and free trade systems that made the toilet technology possible.
 
“I honestly believe trade allows every country to do what it’s best at,” he told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.
 
“So when I talk about components of this toilet being made in China, others in Thailand, others in the United States - you really want to be bringing together all of that IQ so that you’re getting that combination.”
 
Bill Gates Unveils Futuristic Toilet That Turns Human Waste To Fertilizer
A man looks at a toilet design by Cranfield University at the Reinvented Toilet Expo showcasing sewerless sanitation technology in Beijing, China November 6, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Thomas Peter.)
 
The toilet, which Gates said was ready for sale after years of development, is the brainchild of research projects funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s biggest private philanthropy organization. There are multiple designs of the toilet but all work by separating liquid and solid waste.
 
“The current toilet simply sends the waste away in the water, whereas these toilets don’t have the sewer. They take both the liquids and solids and do chemical work on it, including burning it in most cases,” Gates told Reuters.
 
He compared the change from traditional toilets to waterless models as similar to development in computing around the time he founded Microsoft in the mid-1970s.
 
Bill Gates Unveils Futuristic Toilet That Turns Human Waste To Fertilizer
 
“In the way that a personal computer is sort of self contained, not a gigantic thing, we can do this chemical processing at the household level,” he said.
 
KICKING TIRES
 
Poor sanitation kills half a million children under the age of five annually and costs the globe over $200 billion a year in healthcare costs and lost income, according to the foundation.
 
Gates’ foundation has committed roughly $200 million to the toilet project and expects to spend the same amount again before the toilets are viable for wide-scale distribution.
 
Bill Gates Unveils Futuristic Toilet That Turns Human Waste To Fertilizer
 
“This year the volume of toilets will literally be in the 100s while people are still kicking tires (testing them),” Gates said.
 
During a speech at the Beijing event, Gates held up a clear jar of human faeces to illustrate the importance of improving sanitation.
 
“It’s a good reminder that in (the jar) there could be 200 trillion rotavirus cells, 20 billion Shigella bacteria, and 100,000 parasitic worm eggs.”
 
It is the first time Gates’ foundation has addressed an event in China, where President Xi Jinping is promoting a three-year “toilet revolution” to build or upgrade 64,000 public toilets by 2020 to help boost tourism and economic growth.
 
Gates said the next step for the project is to pitch the concept to manufacturers, saying he expects the market for the toilets to be over $6 billion by 2030.
 
Source: Reuters.

          See The Newly Invented Toilet That Transforms Human Poo Into Fertiliser Made By Bill Gate      Cache   Translate Page      

U.S. billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates unveiled on Tuesday in Beijing a futuristic toilet that doesn't need water or sewers and uses chemicals to turn human waste into fertilizer.

The Microsoft Corp co-founder, who a day earlier was one of the high profile guests at a major trade event in Shanghai, also lauded the globalised and free trade systems that made the toilet technology possible.

"I honestly believe trade allows every country to do what it's best at," he told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.

"So when I talk about components of this toilet being made in China, others in Thailand, others in the United States - you really want to be bringing together all of that IQ so that you're getting that combination."

Gates' trip comes amid trade tension between China and the United States, the world's two largest economies, which have slapped tit-for-tat tariffs on goods worth billions of dollars.

The toilet, which Gates said was ready for sale after years of development, is the brainchild of research projects funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's biggest private philanthropy organisation.

There are multiple designs of the toilet but all work by separating liquid and solid waste.

"The current toilet simply sends the waste away in the water, whereas these toilets don't have the sewer. They take both the liquids and solids and do chemical work on it, including burning it in most cases," Gates told Reuters.

He compared the change from traditional toilets to waterless models as similar to development in computing around the time he founded Microsoft in the mid-1970s.

"In the way that a personal computer is sort of self contained, not a gigantic thing, we can do this chemical processing at the household level," he said.

Poor sanitation kills half a million children under the age of five annually and costs the globe over $200 billion a year in healthcare costs and lost income, according to the foundation.

Gates' foundation has committed roughly $200 million to the toilet project and expects to spend the same amount again before the toilets are viable for wide-scale distribution.

"This year the volume of toilets will literally be in the 100s while people are still kicking tyres (testing them)," Gates said.

During a speech at the Beijing event, Gates held up a clear jar of human faeces to illustrate the importance of improving sanitation.

"It's a good reminder that in (the jar) there could be 200 trillion rotavirus cells, 20 billion Shigella bacteria, and 100,000 parasitic worm eggs."

It is the first time Gates' foundation has addressed an event in China, where President Xi Jinping is promoting a three-year "toilet revolution" to build or upgrade 64,000 public toilets by 2020 to help boost tourism and economic growth.

Gates said the next step for the project is to pitch the concept to manufacturers, saying he expects the market for the toilets to be over $6 billion by 2030.
 

 


          Re: The Reference Frame: TRF midterms: a poll      Cache   Translate Page      

I find the record levels of illegal immigration to be far scarier than any of Trump’s playful tweets. If anything, the best parts of his agenda (the wall, pulling out of NATO) have been stymied by the establishment.

You honestly think putting folks like Ocasio-Cortez, who wants open-borders + a $40 trillion dollar expansion in the welfare state, will fix things?

C’mon man


          Paying Taxes Makes You a More Conscious Citizen      Cache   Translate Page      
On 11.06.18 09:01 PM posted by Walter E. Williams In describing the GOP tax cuts, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said that they and bonuses American workers were getting were “crumbs.” They were “tax cuts for the rich.” Some argued that the tax cuts would reduce revenues. Pelosi predicted, “This thing will explode the deficit.” How about some tax facts? The argument that tax cuts reduce federal revenues can be disposed of quite easily. According to the Congressional Budget Office, revenues from federal income taxes were $76 billion higher in the first half of this year than they were in the first half of 2017. The Treasury Department says it expects that federal revenues will continue to exceed last year’s for the rest of 2018. Despite record federal revenues, 2018 will see a massive deficit, perhaps topping $1 trillion.
          The Least Important Election Of Our Lifetimes      Cache   Translate Page      
... was yesterday.

Important stuff


The only thing of significance that was at stake was the restoration of democracy through the continued remaking of the Federal court system. President Trump has done an outstanding job nominating judges who will interpret the law rather than make it. The high profile cases of gay marriage and abortion took the issue out of the hands of the people and handed it to 5 Ivy League creeps in black robes which is the opposite of democracy. We won yesterday. Hooray for us!

Not on the table


The big issues of marriage, debt and sovereignty weren't going to be determined by yesterday's elections because neither side cares about them at all.

The Democrats have become Nazis without ambition. They're fixated on identity groups, particularly racial. For all that, blacks remain an idea to them, not real people with real problems. And the real problem there remains what it has been for decades - the destruction of marriage. No one, black or white, red or blue, was talking about it. We talked a lot about race, but we didn't talk about reality.

We have full employment and peace and we're still blowing through over a trillion dollars of borrowing a year. That's not just unsustainable, that's insane. Republican or Democrat, it doesn't matter. There are no adults in the room when it comes to money so it hardly mattered which way things went.

The Republicans had the legislature for two years and couldn't bring themselves to build the wall. Instead, we got children being separated from their parents, caravans of light infantry heading for the border and a whole lot of hoo-hah about ICE and sanctuary cities. No one really cares to allow Americans to define what it means to be an American, that's a job the legislature wants foreigners to do by migrating at will.

End result


So in terms of significant changes for the nation, the only big deal was the courts and we won that one, handily. We'll have another two years of good Federal judges being confirmed. If Ruth Bader Ginsburg goes to that Big Abortion Mill in the Ground Sky, the two squishy (R) chicks - Murkowski and Collins - can do whatever it is they do instead of standing up for normal Americans during the resultant Supreme Court nomination cage match and it won't matter. I'll take that, considering it's all that was offered.

For now, fiscal responsibility at the Federal level is as dead as this yellowjacket.

          A $2 trillion strategist warns that a trap has formed in the biggest tech stocks — and pinpoints where you should put your money instead      Cache   Translate Page      

Screen Shot 2018 11 06 at 4.43.32 PM

  • The returns that investors have come to enjoy from large-cap tech stocks during this bull market are not going to continue, according to Alicia Levine, the chief market strategist at BNY Mellon Investment Management.
  • In an exclusive interview with Business Insider, she explained why the sector has become a trap for investors seeking to replicate their prior success. 
  • She also outlined areas of the market where investors should rotate into instead. 

Past performance is not indicative of future results. 

The principle is true across all markets, but investors in stocks would be wise to apply it to the large technology companies that have raked in huge returns during the historic bull run.

Companies like Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Netflix earned their own acronym (FAANG) because of the outsized contribution their sector has made to investor returns during the more than nine-year rally. Their leadership was showcased prominently last year as the S&P 500 maintained a record streak of daily gains without a 5% drop.

But disappointing news from the past two earnings seasons has challenged their leadership status, from Facebook's miss on active users in Q2 to Apple's soft guidance for the all-important holiday quarter.

Now, as markets settle down after a tumultuous October, investors who've taken profits on tech stocks should look to invest them elsewhere, according to Alicia Levine, the chief market strategist at BNY Mellon Investment Management, which oversees $1.9 trillion in assets. 

"I just don't see large-cap tech regaining its former leadership role, and it's sort of a trap now," Levine told Business Insider. 

Levine is further advising investors to curb their enthusiasm about marketwide gains heading into the new year. 2019, she says, is going to be a more typical year in which expectations for earnings growth peak early and decline in the following months. While she's bullish on market returns for the next six to nine months, Levine warns that painful losses may also lie ahead for investors.

She recommends healthcare stocks including health maintenance organisations, or HMOs, which provide insurance for a fixed monthly fee. 

This pick was informed by the widely expected outcome of the midterm elections: Democrats recaptured the House and Republicans maintained their Senate majority. The implication of this result is that a repeal of the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — or big cuts to Medicaid are unlikely. 

On Tuesday, voters in Idaho and Nebraska opted to expand access to their Medicaid programs to more low-income earners, in line with similar decisions taken by 34 other states and Washington, DC under the Affordable Care Act. Pharmaceutical stocks will benefit as Obamacare becomes more institutionalized, Levine said.

The sector, along with biotech, has been battered in recent months. Their sell-offs should limit their downside if lawmakers ramp up efforts to regulate drug pricing, Levine said.  

These sector rotations that Levine recommends could be daunting for people who have profited from the boom of tech companies during this bull market. They include investors in the several growth mutual funds that own these stocks, and the cohorts of workers who buy on autopilot through their retirement plans.

"People don't know what they own, Levine said. "And when the selling starts, it's indiscriminate." 

These popular tech stocks have recently been plagued by data and privacy scandals, from Cambridge Analytica's use of Facebook to the Google+ data breach. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have taken notice, and they pose another risk to the sector's unbridled growth.

"There's a sense that winter is coming, that there will be regulation, and there's an appetite both on the right and the left for this," Levine said. "You could see this being something that both a Democratic House and the administration would have an interest in."

SEE ALSO: The market's 'Red October' nailed the coffin on one of the most trusted trading strategies of the bull market — and Morgan Stanley warns it could send stocks tumbling

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Valedictorians rarely become rich and famous — here's why the average millionaire's college GPA is 2.9


          Vivid - Blue Topaz gemstone ring by ArtWearbyCaron      Cache   Translate Page      

109.00 USD

Guess how this ring got its name. You just can't miss that vivid blue color of this Topaz ring. It isn't a sweet baby blue, it's a full on in your face bright blue like the Caribbean Ocean. It makes you want to dive right in! This wonderful gemstone is 8x8mm cut into a trillion shape. A trillion cut is about the same as a triangle but the sides are rounded like a shield. At 2.20 carats, this stone is sure to get noticed on your finger.

The Sterling Sliver band is handmade. It's a big stone so I wanted a substantial band to compliment it. The band is almost as wide as the gemstone and then tapers down to about 2mm on the palm side. It is split in the center and six silver balls run down each side. I've kept the stone as low to the band as possible because you will want to wear this one everyday. Life is too short to wear ordinary jewelry!

This ring is a size 6.5

My rings come in a lovely ring box tied with a ribbon. It will be beautifully packaged and will arrive by insured mail within the US. For my international customers, I use First class mail with a custom's tracking number. Some countries charge tax or duty which will be the responsibility of the buyer.


          Gut microbes' role in mammals' evolution starts to become clearer      Cache   Translate Page      
An international collaboration led by scientists has made a key advance toward understanding which of the trillions of gut microbes may play important roles in how humans and other mammals evolve.
          These 29 countries have the safest banks in the world      Cache   Translate Page      

NorwayReuters/Kacper Pempel

Most of us in developed countries take for granted that our money is safe. Put it in a bank, and in theory at least, it doesn't going anywhere. But that's not necessarily true everywhere.

So Business Insider took a look into the countries with the safest banks, using the World Economic Forum's recently-released Global Competitiveness Survey, which offers a bundle of indicators to show the health of a country's institutions.

One of those is the perceived safeness of banks.

WEF used its executive opinion survey to ask: "In general, how do you perceive the soundness of banks?"

So the measure isn't based on any objective economic or accounting measure, but rather by the perceptions of the population. The countries are ranked from 1 (banks need more money) to 7 (banks are generally sound).

Check out the countries with the safest banks below.

T22. Jamaica — 5.7

Shutterstock

T22. Saudi Arabia — 5.7

Jamal Saidi/Reuters

T22. France —5.7

REUTERS/Charles Platiau


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

See Also:

SEE ALSO: These are the 28 biggest banks in the world — each with more than $1 trillion of assets


          Republicans governed like their base was all that mattered—it cost them the House      Cache   Translate Page      

After a thin slice of some 80,000 votes in several Rust Belt states tipped the presidency toward Donald Trump in 2016, Republicans decided to govern as if they had a bulletproof mandate. Instead of formulating bills on major issues that might draw some Democratic buy in, they entirely shut out Democrats from the legislating process and chose to go it alone on major issues like health care and taxes. When House Republicans just barely passed the first Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal bill 217-213, not a single Democrat voted for it. When the same bill stalled in the Senate, 49-51, not a single Democrat voted for it there either. The same was true for the GOP's $1.5 trillion tax giveaway to rich Americans and corporations—not a single Democrat voted for it in the House or Senate.

Both pieces of legislation lacked the popular support of the electorate. Just 17 percent of Americans backed the GOP's healthcare bill when Republicans were trying to jam it through. Support for the tax bill was similarly underwhelming, with only 28 percent of Americans favoring its passage. Democrats listened to those warning signs; Republicans simply ignored them.

Instead, Trump and GOP leadership governed in a bubble—pounding out their bills behind closed doors hermetically sealed from public opinion. Nearly all GOP lawmakers followed suit. Even House Republicans in swing districts, such as Colorado's Rep. Mike Coffman, hewed to Trump's party line, snubbing Democratic and independent voters in their districts. Coffman, for instance, voted with Trump nearly 96 percent of the time, although he did vote against the health care bill after facing raucous constituent opposition to repealing the ACA. The same was true for Virginia’s Barbara Comstock—she voted with Trump nearly 98 percent of time with one of her only defections coming on health care, which many of her constituents also vehemently opposed.

Republicans also ran their midterm campaigns in a similar way, pounding home a GOP-only strategy that emphasized immigration—a top Republican issue—over all else as if the rest of the electorate didn’t exist. Comstock, for instance, ran an ad attacking her Democratic opponent Jennifer Wexton featuring images of the Latino gang MS-13. It was right out of Trump’s playbook.

In the end, Trump’s appallingly racist rhetoric on immigration backfired in the House, particularly in suburban districts like those of Comstock and Coffman, both of whom lost their seats, as did governing as if some two-thirds of electorate didn’t exist. Now Democrats will get the chance to do what they were elected to do—legislate like the rest of America matters.


          Re: Exceed Treasury Direct purchase limit? Answer inside!      Cache   Translate Page      
JoMoney wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:56 am

ThrustVectoring wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:44 pm

jacoavlu wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:17 pm

lol I thought I was coming in to read about someone purchasing like a trillion dollars in T bills


The actual limit for non-competitive bids for T bills and the like is a mere five million dollars. Thought it was that limit being exceeded as well, lol.

^ Boglehead problems




This is not really a big problem (though I understand this might not be well known, how many people really take advantage of the following fact??). See 31 CFR § 356.12:


31 CFR § 356.12 - SALE AND ISSUE OF MARKETABLE BOOK-ENTRY TREASURY BILLS, NOTES, AND BONDS wrote: What are the different types of bids and do they have specific requirements or restrictions

...

(b)

Noncompetitive bids —(1) Maximum bid. You may not bid noncompetitively for more than $5 million. The maximum bid limitation does not apply if you are bidding solely through either a TreasuryDirect® or a Legacy Treasury Direct® reinvestment request. A request for reinvestment of securities maturing in either TreasuryDirect or Legacy Treasury Direct is a noncompetitive bid.


That is, reinvestment at Treasury Direct is always noncompetitive, no matter the size of your order.



So the limitation is only for new purchases. It's not clear to me what the rules are for aggregating noncompetitive bids per customer across institutions (and then you can transfer into TD of course...) as a way to exceed the $5 million bid but I wouldn't want to cross Treasury on this.
          Exploring the Future of Women      Cache   Translate Page      
A look at how business and society can adjust to ensure a more positive future for women, focusing on critical agenda issues.

In the last 12 months, the issue of ensuring a truly equal future for women in society has risen up the agenda of global challenges—while at the same time indicators suggest the actual gap is growing globally. From harassment and #metoo to #timesup and the rights to equal pay and equal access in education, the workplace, and the boardroom, women have been succeeding in spotlighting the issues and arguing for their rights. So as we look to the future, some fundamental questions arise:

  • What is the future of women?
  • Are women’s futures different from men’s futures?
  • How do we proceed in the coming years to embed a gender equality mindset while accounting for the unique challenges women face?

This article draws on insights from our recent book, “The Future Reinvented—Reimagining, Life, Society and Business,” to explore how business and society can adjust to ensure a more positive future for women, focusing on what we consider to be critical agenda issues.

Areas that Could Benefit from the Increased Participation of Women

As we look to the forces shaping our world, it is clear that society as a whole could benefit significantly from the increased participation of women in the future of technology development, elected governmental roles, and higher education. For example, we need to better understand that an algorithm can be racist or sexist before integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into our social systems and institutions. The book by Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble, “Algorithms of Oppression,” is a great example of the kind of critical thinking about its broader social implications that the technology sector needs.

Increased participation of women in technology development could contribute significantly to the creation of more female-oriented products. For example, Natural Cycles, created by a woman, is an effective contraceptive app that gives women a natural choice over family planning, without the hormonal side effects of the pill. Many other clever technological solutions could be developed with an increased participation of women in technology.

If automated systems, including those powered by AI, are representations of those who created them, then maybe those systems need to represent the gender split we see in society. More women in fields such as programming machine learning could help to create a gender balance within our intelligent technologies.

The Evolving Role of Women in the Workplace

One view on the evolving role of women in the workplace is that men’s role also is evolving. Work in general is changing because of the different economic and technological drivers in place, for example, remote and gig working. The evolution of work has cross-gender impacts. Nations should look to follow Iceland’s fair pay example and eliminate the idea that women and men at work deserve different treatment in the first place.

In some domains and countries, the evolving role of women in the workplace is engendering a more confident and empowering attitude. Women are taking control of their own workplace situations and actively tackling inequalities. A variety of studies suggest that women’s confidence when asking for a raise or a promotion is growing year by year. Women are realizing that the first step to change starts from within, and these small changes can have a major impact on their work environment.

The future, as currently envisaged by many, depicts a world where much of the work that goes into creating products and services will be automated. Thus, what we offer our customers and clients could become increasingly commoditized, so our new propositions will need to focus on something different. Being more human and focusing on the relationship between businesses and customers could become a critical differentiator. So the focus might shift to building propositions on a foundation of competencies and values that are typically thought of as feminine—such as collaboration, relationship development, and empathy. Such an approach could help firms create the competitive advantage they need in the future. The role of women across business could become increasingly crucial in leading the culture change required to underpin the development of new propositions.

Significant Challenges Facing Women Professionals in the Years to Come

Women professionals face the continuing challenge of leading a household and maintaining a career. Societal pressure to “have it all,” however, may be taking a new shape. Women from the Millennial generation have not married or reproduced at the same levels as their predecessors. As such, a woman’s versatile balancing act across various personal and professional roles in the future may not necessarily be due to motherhood but rather a choice made for personal fulfillment.

Women professionals face the challenge of establishing a new relationship with the men in their lives. Men, as working colleagues or as relationship partners, are used to the stereotypical idea of providing higher economic support and assuming leadership roles. The challenge now is to create new ways of relating to each other based on an authentic mutual partnership.

Cultural norms vary significantly across the world, but evidence on the rise of women in business and more prominent in society is clear in Asia, for example. And yet, even in the developed world, we still see institutional discrimination. The cultural and deep-rooted context for discrimination is likely to take some time to clear and is only likely to change through a combination of active campaigning, legislative change, behavioral modification, and generational trends.

Will the Man-Woman Divide Persist in the Next Decade?

The gap is a big one. In November 2017, The World Economic forum estimated that, at current rates, it will take 217 years to close the gap on pay and employment opportunities. Sadly, this estimate has risen by 47 years over the figure calculated a year earlier. They also estimate that the broader gender gap—which takes into account factors such as health care, education, and participation in politics—has risen from 83 to 100 years over that same period.

If we define “the man-woman divide” as sexual dimorphism, e.g., that our differences extend beyond just our physical organs, then it seems likely this will continue. The man-woman divide probably will persist, although there is though some concern that male fertility in the West could be threatened by hormonal disruptions in the food chain and our natural ecosystems. However, the roles of each of the genders might become more similar. There could be fewer men- or women-oriented services, products, or roles. This might be the beginning of the next era where, in 20 years from now, the man-woman divide might become much less perceptible.

As with many norms that become unacceptable as our collective sense of right and wrong evolves, from one perspective, a gradual erosion of alpha male domination looks set to take place. Society through the empowerment of women, supported by increasing enlightenment among men, could help to accelerate the agenda for equality, aided by the power of technologies such as social media as platforms for campaigning and “outing unacceptable practices.” At another level, the dominance of strong male leaders of major economies suggests that traditional male hierarchies may be hard to dislodge.

Women’s Ability to Manage Risks and Challenges

Is society responsible for preparing women for the risks and challenges of the future? How should we help them respond to economic shocks, the failure of social institutions, and the challenge of adapting to the automation of work—potentially displacing many jobs? Perhaps the best way to do this is to increase women’s participation in and completion of post-secondary education worldwide.

It has been thought that men are more prone to taking risks and overcoming challenges than women. Psychological research has debunked this myth, and now we know that these differences depend on the type of risky behaviors we include in the research questionnaires. It is not that one gender is more prone to risk taking than the other. Rather, we are all capable of developing these capacities depending on the experiences we have had and the situations we face.

Are there innate abilities women have that can be nurtured through education, in work training, and coaching? Could these help raise women’s awareness of their own capabilities, while also allowing them to demonstrate competence in managing risks and challenges in leadership positions?

Advice to Women on Tackling the Future

In a world increasingly dominated by the hype and reality of technology, women need to adjust their expectations of this growing force in society. Even though we encounter abundant conventional wisdom that says humans will be replaced by technology, this is a line pushed by the technoprogressives with a vested interest, and women, in particular, shouldn’t fall for it. The future, especially one highly imbued with AI, needs humanity, and especially women, more than ever.

The future is waiting for women to take on any leadership role where they feel they can contribute to society. The world as we know it is changing, and now is the time to evolve a new generation with higher expectations of what women can do. The critical challenge here is for women to believe in themselves and encourage other women to do so, as well.

The key here is for women to focus on maximizing their potential as women. This means celebrating their natural skills and sense of the importance of relationships, empathy, collaboration, and caring. Ultimately, these are the traits that could make the difference between a dystopian technology-enabled world and a very human future.

 Achievements in the Progress of Women on the Planet We Hope to Be Talking About in Five Years’ Time

In five years, we hope to see better legislation to protect women’s health and access to education. Hopefully, more countries will adopt gender-blind wage policies like Iceland. Also, we hope to see greater priority placed on bringing maternal and infant mortality rates down to near zero globally within five years, using strategies that empower women and make best use of local knowledge.

In five years, we truly hope we finally will have zero tolerance of female genital mutilation globally. We hope all women in the world have full access to education. And we hope women participate in at least half of the leadership roles in the corporate and political sectors.

Across the next set of electoral cycles, it would be a pleasant surprise if half of all the developed world’s major democracies were led by a woman and if the supporting legislatures were gender balanced.

The authors are futurists with Fast Future—a professional foresight firm specializing in delivering keynote speeches, executive education, research, and consulting on the emerging future and the impacts of change for global clients. Fast Future publishes books from leading future thinkers around the world, exploring how developments such as AI, robotics, exponential technologies, and disruptivethinkingcould impactindividuals, societies, businesses,and governments and create the trillion-dollar sectors of the future. Fast Future has a particular focus on ensuring these advances are harnessed to unleash individual potential and enable a very human future. For more information, visit: http://www.fastfuture.com. The authors are also co-editors and/or contributors for the recently published “The Future Leader’s Handbook—A Guide to Leading With Foresight,” “Beyond Genuine Stupidity—Ensuring AI Serves Humanity,” and “The Future Reinvented—Reimagining Life, Society, and Business,” and two forthcoming books: “Unleashing Human Potential—The Future of AI in Business,” and “50:50—Scenarios for the Next 50 Years.”

Rohit Talwar is a global futurist, keynote speaker, author, and the CEO of Fast Future. His prime focus is on helping clients understand the emerging future and shape strategic responses that put people at the center of the agenda. Talwar is the co-author of “Designing Your Future,” lead editor and a contributing author for “The Future of Business,” and editor of “Technology vs. Humanity.”

Steve Wells is an experienced strategist, keynote speaker, futures analyst, partnership working practitioner, and the COO of Fast Future. He has a particular interest in helping clients anticipate and respond to the disruptive bursts of technological possibility that are shaping the emerging future.

Alexandra Whittington is a futurist, writer, Foresight director of Fast Future, and a faculty member on the Futures program at the University of Houston. She has a particular expertise in future visioning and scenario planning.

April Koury is a futurist, writer, Foresight director of Fast Future, and a faculty member on the Futures program at the University of Houston. She has worked on a range of foresight initiatives, including society and media in 2020; emerging economies; and the future of travel, tourism, and transportation.

Helena Calle is a researcher at Fast Future. She is a recent graduate from the MSc. program in Educational Neuroscience at Birkbeck, University of London, and has eight years of international experience as a teacher, teacher trainer, pedagogic coordinator, and education consultant. Calle coordinates Fast Futures’ growing research on the future of learning.

 


          THEY SUPPORT HIS WORST IDEAS BUT OPPOSE THE ACTUALLY EVIL ONES:      Cache   Translate Page      
Three Cheers for the Return of Divided Government (Eric Boehm, Nov. 7, 2018, reason)

As election results go, that's about the best possible outcome. Not only that, but it's an outcome that allows, for one night at least, the faintest hope that the crazy train of American politics over the past two years may be slowing to a more sensible pace.


Conservatives now wonder if transactional Trump might leave them in the cold (Robert Costa, November 6 , 2018, Washington Post)

Trump, meanwhile, could ignore budget hawks and the federal deficit and rally behind a more than $1 trillion infrastructure bill next year.

"He's able to move a bit because he is set with the conservatives for the next 10 years because he picked Pence and put two justices on the court," said John Brabender, a Republican consultant who works with Vice President Pence's team.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday on PBS's "NewsHour" that infrastructure "has always been nonpartisan. Hopefully we can work together to advance that agenda." Pelosi, however, could face leadership challenges of her own in the coming weeks amid Democratic unrest.

"Can we get along? Maybe," Trump said last month on "Fox & Friends," when asked about how he would handle a Democratic-controlled House.

Trump could also work with Democrats to lower the cost of prescription drugs. That is a prospect that Pelosi acknowledged to PBS, saying it's possible "if the president is serious."

A year ago, Trump worked with Democrats on a spending agreement that alarmed conservatives -- and reminded them that the former real estate investor and ex-Democrat could abandon their cause.

"The deal is a warning to Republicans -- primarily to the party establishment, which has fought Trump at every turn, but also to conservative Republicans, who have long worried about Trump shifting leftwards," Breitbart editor Joel B. Pollak wrote at the time on the hard-line conservative website.

Another ominous prospect for GOP leaders is Trump raging at his party and using them as a target as much as the Democrats, should he lash out over coming struggles and stalled items on his to-do list.



          MediXserve Builds Unified Medical Records System via Blockchain      Cache   Translate Page      

Wazzup Pilipinas!

MediXserve, a healthtech startup, is rolling out a unified blockchain-based electronic medical record (EMR) system to make patients’ medical histories trackable “from womb to tomb.”

The system, which MediXserve said is a first for the Philippines, will be a centralized database of medical records accessible — upon the patient’s approval — to anyone and anywhere.

“The technology will allow you to access all your medical records from all the doctors that you’ve been to, to all the hospitals you were confined since the day you were born,” Jorge C. Azurin, founder and CEO of MediXserve said.

“Now, people will say technology is already available. Actually, hindi (no)… it’s really difficult because you have one hospital using a different system, another hospital using a different system, so the inter-operability is difficult, so blockchain fixes it,” Mr. Azurin explained.

The Philippine-based health care services company has acquired several existing businesses with existing revenues and branded products, namely ShineOS+, Medixhome Care, Lifedata Systems Inc., and MyCareBuddy. Combined sales of these products has reached $5 million,

MediXserve said. The price of its software ranges from just $50,000 to $1.1 million.
“We take patient medical history and we provide permanent, trackable, streamlined framework for the storage of that data. We provide it in a centralized manner, so it becomes more cost effective because…it becomes a paperless transaction. On the network, it becomes faster and more efficient as well as accurate in aid of decision support and diagnostic,” said Oliver V. Chato, MediXserve head for Blockchain Applications and System Integration.

The company said an offline version will be provided for areas where internet connection is limited. Users will input the data even with no internet connection, save it in a flash drive and upload it later when there is a connection.

Mr. Azurin said the data in the platform will be secure since blockchain is “unhackable,” with any attempt to change data in the system likely to be detected and rejected immediately as they are stored in chronologically — and linearly-connected blocks.

The company mainly targets developing countries, with health care expenditures in these economies seen to rise to $4 trillion by 2020. In the Philippines, health spending is seen growing to P1.2 trillion by 2022.

“Ang target market namin (Our target market) is the Philippines and selected countries like Nigeria, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Egypt, even Europe… We already have team members operating there. It is a Philippine company that’s going for global operations,” Mr. Azurin said.

He said the company is raising up to $20 million from foreign investors to boost its operations.

“Most of the investors are in Southeast Asia, a lot are based in Singapore mostly in the health and blockchain industry.”
          Comment on New Twitter Account by formwiz      Cache   Translate Page      
Bear up, dude. FANG (FB, Amazon, Netflix, Gargoyle) lost half a trillion bucks in the last quarter. Let them screw up some more and the Conservatives pick up the pieces.
          Norway wealth fund will not yet blacklist greenhouse gas emitters      Cache   Translate Page      
Norway's $1 trillion wealth fund, the world's largest, will not yet blacklist firms for producing too much greenhouse gases, as mandated by parliament, because further clarification is needed, the board of the Norwegian central bank said on Wednesday.

          Italy's Enria wins race to head ECB banking watchdog      Cache   Translate Page      
Italian Andrea Enria was picked on Wednesday to head the European Central Bank's supervisory arm, overseeing a bloated, 21 trillion euro banking sector still troubled by a legacy of bad debt from the euro zone's financial crisis.

          [Infographic] Here is Apple’s journey to becoming a one trillion dollar company      Cache   Translate Page      

Their first product was the Apple I, a personal computer designed and hand-built by Wozniak.

The post [Infographic] Here is Apple’s journey to becoming a one trillion dollar company appeared first on Techaeris.


          China’s Tencent Signals Driverless Cars Race Entry With U.S. Recruitment Drive      Cache   Translate Page      
The nascent driverless car market, the value of which is forecast by UBS analysts to reach a whopping $2.8 trillion by 2030, is becoming ever more crowded as Chinese tech giant Tencent enters the race. The company behind the WeChat messenger app, hugely popular on Chinese-speaking markets, has started advertising for Machine Learning and autonomous […]
          SpaceX is launching more than 70 satellites at once — and a few will hunt down smugglers, pirates, and other 'dark ships'      Cache   Translate Page      

pathfinder micro satellite cluster radio frequency rf emissions orbiting earth illustration hawkeye 360

  • The next rocket mission for SpaceX, called SSO-A, will launch 71 small satellites into orbit at once.
  • Three satellites belong to HawkEye 360, a startup that aims to "see" radio-wave emissions all over Earth.
  • HawkEye 360's software will identify each unique radio signal and use it to track "dark vessels" that may be trying to hide illegal activities.
  • The company hopes its system will help curb $3 trillion' worth of illegal fishing, smuggling, drug trafficking, and piracy each year.

SpaceX hopes to fire off its next Falcon 9 rocket mission on November 19. If the launch goes well, Elon Musk's aerospace company may not only break spaceflight records, but also help fight nefarious behavior on the open ocean.

The goal of SpaceX's upcoming mission, called SSO-A, is to put 71 satellites into orbit all at once. A company called Spaceflight Industries organized the mission, and it claims this is the largest-ever rideshare mission in US history, as spacecraft from 35 different companies and organizations will fly aboard the rocket.

However, three microwave-oven-size spacecraft on the mission — a cluster called Pathfinder — are particularly worth noting.

sso a spacex cubesat micro satellite deployment orbit earth spaceflight industriesThe trio of spacecraft belong to a startup called HawkEye 360, and they're designed to "see" radio signals from space. The company's software will take unique radio signals coming from ships to "fingerprint" vessels, track them over time, and even forecast future movements.

If Pathfinder works, authorities around the world could gain a major leg-up in hunting "dark ships": vessels that turn off GPS location transponders, often to hide their whereabouts and engage in illicit activity.

Such activity includes illegal fishing, smuggling, drug trafficking, and piracy, and it amounts to roughly $3 trillion each year, says John Serafini, the CEO of HawkEye 360.

"We care about the folks that are not doing the right thing. We care about the vessels that don't want to be found," Serafini told Business Insider. "We're focused on detecting those and stopping them."

Hunting 'dark ships' with radio waves

hawkeye 360 errant radio frequency rf emissions earth one month 2018 hawkeye 360

HawkEye 360 claims it's unique not only for its radio-signal-detecting technology, but also artificial-intelligence-powered software the startup has developed to process data.

"You couldn't have started this company 10 years ago," Serafini said. "The costs were too high and the technology wasn't there."

He added that HawkEye 360 exists today because of the increasing miniaturization of electronics, SpaceX's lower-cost rocket launches, and advancements in machine learning.

Pathfinder, like the other satellites SpaceX is launching, will sweep around Earth from pole-to-pole in what's called a sun-synchronous orbit — hence the "SSO" in the mission's name. (The "A" signifies that it's the first of multiple rideshare missions.) This orbit keeps sunlight drenching a spacecraft's solar panels while allowing it to fly over every square inch of the planet.

The antennas of Pathfinder can detect a wide range of radio signals above about 1 watt in power. ("Cell phones are well below a watt in power," Serafini said. "We don't have the ability or the focus to do that.")

This means the cluster can triangulate normally hard-to-pinpoint signals from satellite phones, push-to-talk radios, and marine radar. Ships need these and other radio-emitting tools to navigate the seas, the thinking goes.

This is especially true for "dark ships," since those vessels turn off a mandatory device called an automatic identification system, or AIS. The AIS broadcasts a ship's GPS location to avoid collisions, but turning it off is a common trick vessels use if they're slipping into unapproved fishing zones or trafficking illegal drugs, wares, or people.

Serafini said that may soon cease to be an effective way to avoid getting noticed.

"If you're turning on and off the AIS, we're going to track your other emitters. If you try to turn them all off, you're effectively negating your operation. You need to use them to navigate and communicate," Serafini said. "If you do that, we've won. You can't be effective."

How Pathfinder works

pathfinder micro satellite cluster radio frequency rf emissions hardware hawkeye 360

The Pathfinder system relies on the fact that every radio transponder on Earth is built differently, even if it's made by the same person in the same factory. Minor variations in parts and assembly lead to subtle differences in radio emissions that HawkEye 360 says it can detect and exploit.

More importantly, by tracking a mix of radio emissions on a ship and pairing those with AIS signals (when the devices are turned on), the company can "fingerprint" every ocean vessel on Earth. That way, even if a ship is "spoofing" its AIS data, the company says it will know; AIS data will report one location, but the vessel's radio fingerprint will reveal its true location.

HawkEye 360 says it has already proved that its system works by equipping three Cessna jet airplanes with Pathfinder technology, flying them over the Chesapeake Bay, and detecting ships that were spoofing their AIS data.

"We were able to not only detect the AIS spoofing but also geolocate the ships using their other radio signals," Chris DeMay, the founder and CTO of HawkEye 360, told Business Insider. "We were able to map where the ship actually was and compare that to where the ship said it was."

hawkeye 360 radio frequency rf emissions airplane test esri visualization

In addition to fingerprinting such vessels, HawkEye 360's machine-learning algorithms will also be able to determine typical activity patterns for a ship and flag any unusual deviation.

Over time, the company says, it could even forecast the future locations of individual vessels based on their past behavior.

"Because we'll be the first ones to do this, we'll be the first ones to bring it to the commercial market," Serafini said.

The future of tracking radio signals from above

North Yellow Sea: 16 acts of piracy

The Pathfinder satellite cluster will give HawkEye 360 a global view of certain radio transmissions on Earth once every four to six hours. But DeMay and Serafini say that's just the beginning.

According to them, HawkEye 360 is backed by about $30 million in funding (enough to operate for 18 months), has 31 employees, and has secured $100 million in contracts. In the future, they aim to launch six more three-satellite clusters, which will create a constellation that can map Earth's radio signals once every 30 to 40 minutes.

Launching larger and more capable satellite will also improve the company's ability to detect weaker signals.

"Trucks use radio emitters that we could detect and track," Serafini said. "If a truck is known to have a history of illegal border crossing, we might want to track that particular object."

The company expects the US military to be increasingly interested in the technology, especially considering that HawkEye 360 can deploy its sensors on airplanes and high-altitude balloons (in addition to satellites). That feature could allow for real-time tracking of drones and weak signals on a battlefield.

mobile cell tower radio wave frequencies data 1s 0s hawkeye 360

Another planned use of Pathfinder is more down-to-Earth: the technology could detect improper use of the radio-frequency spectrum, including interference between cell-phone towers. Such interference can cause data loss between mobile devices and towers, leading to slow and unreliable internet, among other problems.

Ground crews with trucks typically drive around towers to search for and identify such problems, but such teams and equipment can expensive to deploy, especially on a nationwide scale.

"It's like that Verizon 'Can you hear me now?' guy, but in space," DeMay said — and possibly a lot cheaper and more effective.

SEE ALSO: Where SpaceX's most important locations are located and what they do

DON'T MISS: A Russian rocket failed with 2 people on board, and the moment was recorded on video. Here's what it shows.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic plan on taking you to space


          Reviewed: New Name, Logo, and Identity for Pay.UK by SomeOne      Cache   Translate Page      

“Above my Pay Grade”

New Name, Logo, and Identity for Pay.UK by SomeOne

Established in 2017 as New Payment System Operator ("NPSO"), the newly renamed Pay.UK is the UK's leading retail payments service provider that allows individuals and businesses to, among other things, get their salaries, pay their bills, and make online and mobile banking payments. In 2017, £6.7 trillion moved through their system, enabling £17.5 billion in payments every single day. Pay.UK is sort of the new parent brand of pre-existing payment services like Bacs Direct Credit, Direct Debit, Faster Payments, cheques and Paym. This past October, Pay.UK introduced its new identity, designed by London, UK-based SomeOne, who also conceived the name.

The feedback we got from stakeholder research was that a new name had to be 'short and snappy', and 'literally describe what we do'.With this in mind we renamed the organisation Pay.UK in recognition of its essential national service and digital future.

SomeOne project page

New Name, Logo, and Identity for Pay.UK by SomeOne
Logo, static.
The identity itself had not only to be solid and simple, but also be contemporary enough to attract new fintechs entering the UK market. We wanted to get across the idea that Pay.UK was constantly 'in motion' and not rigid as an institution.

To go with the new name, SomeOne created a continuously moving brand mark representing the organisation's 'gears in motion' and desire to be the 'beating heart' of UK payments. When seen statically, the mark should never be the same, reflecting the unique payment patterns of every UK individual.

For this to be truly dynamic, the digital team at SomeOne developed a generative logo creator - an application where anyone could create their own version of the Pay.UK symbol.

SomeOne project page

Logo, animated.
Icon animation.
Logo generator.

The old name sounded more like a category than an organization's name -- "New Payment System Operator" sounded more like "Telecommunications Service Provider" than "AT&T". Pay.UK is so unbelievably simple it's a surprise they were able to take it. To a certain degree it almost sounds like a government agency and I don't know if that's a little misleading in giving the organization more apparent power than it has or than it should have. Anyway: good name, yo. The old logo didn't help the name much, looking like a Nutrition Fact line item. The new logo is... different. As I'm trying to write this paragraph, I find myself starting and stopping on trying to assess the icon. One part of me appreciates how different it is -- in either static or animated form -- and trying to create almost a new category of icon. Another part of me finds it, particularly in motion, pretty disturbing. It's like the inside of the mouth of a villain's robot mascot that eats things. The individual shapes of the icon are not pleasant either. It's really weird. I'm very much looking forward to reading the comments because I'm so unsure on this one.

The wordmark is actually nice, especially given that it's a font straight out of the box. In its simplicity it helps ground the icon and the size relationship in the lock-up makes the name the most visible element.

The word mark and brand's typography all use Source Sans, Adobe's first open source typeface family, primarily designed for user interfaces. As part of the brand world, this sits alongside a no-nonsense black and white colour palette and colour photography depicting the 'real life' end users - people across the UK benefitting from fast, secure payments.

SomeOne project page

New Name, Logo, and Identity for Pay.UK by SomeOne
Business cards.
New Name, Logo, and Identity for Pay.UK by SomeOne
New Name, Logo, and Identity for Pay.UK by SomeOne
Booklet covers and spreads.

The booklet covers achieve a very interesting, almost United-Nations-like look, that makes the identity feel very authoritative but, as paired with the customer photography, also accessible.

New Name, Logo, and Identity for Pay.UK by SomeOne
Brand pattern.
New Name, Logo, and Identity for Pay.UK by SomeOne
Lanyards.
New Name, Logo, and Identity for Pay.UK by SomeOne
Website.
New Name, Logo, and Identity for Pay.UK by SomeOne
Lobby.
New Name, Logo, and Identity for Pay.UK by SomeOne
Conference room. Spoiler: Icon does not work in single color.
New Name, Logo, and Identity for Pay.UK by SomeOne
Mug.

Overall, there is a confusing sense of what the exact positioning of this is: is it a government agency? A business-to-business corporate brand? A direct-to-consumer retail brand? Am I supposed to fear it like the IRS or embrace it like Shopify? Sorry, more questions than answers today.


          How to select the right eCommerce platform: Shopify, Magento, or WooCommerce?      Cache   Translate Page      
    $4.5 trillion – that’s the prediction for eCommerce sales by 2021.   If you’re not already on the train, it’s time to buy a ticket. You may already know this, but it’s not always as obvious where to begin the journey.   Whether you’re looking for a new eCommerce platform for an existing […]
          Governments, electric vehicles and solar power are fuelling a boom in demand for battery      Cache   Translate Page      
A dramatic rise in demand for electric cars and solar power could see a peak in demand for battery storage that will cost over a trillion dollars globally within 22 years, new figures suggest.
          ROGUE MORNINGS: Rush To Secure Gold, Mueller Scare & 30 Trillion Pledge!      Cache   Translate Page      
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          Initiative Q doesn't exist. But its marketing is genius.      Cache   Translate Page      
TwitterFacebook

Viral marketing campaigns on the internet are nothing new, but Initiative Q is something else. 

The project that calls itself "tomorrow's payment network" has people buzzing, signing up, and sharing invites. For their troubles, users who successfully invite more users are promised a "future currency" called Q, with potential value that supposedly goes into tens of thousands of dollars. The project claims the value of all Qs might reach "several trillion dollars." No wonder everyone's jumping on board — on Oct. 30, the project boasted 2 million users. 

And yet, there's no product here, nor is any being developed. At least, not yet.  Read more...

More about Money, Initiative Q, Tech, and Cryptocurrency Blockchain
          Wells Fargo’s Wealth Chief to Retire – ThinkAdvisor      Cache   Translate Page      
ThinkAdvisor Wells Fargo’s Wealth Chief to RetireThinkAdvisorTotal assets under management for Wells Fargo’s Wealth & Investment Management (WIM) unit stand at $1.9 trillion, a gain of 2% from a year earlier thanks to the strong financial markets. But this improvement was “partially offset by net outflows,” the …Why is Wells Fargo’s Wealth Management Division Boss […]
          Baru Bian take a swipe at GPS leaders      Cache   Translate Page      
KUCHING: Federal Works Minister Baru Bian today took a swipe at the state leaders and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) assemblymen.

"It is heartening to know that after 55 years, the leaders in the State government have finally realised and acknowledged the real situation of Sarawak and Sarawakians.

"It is not too late to admit that we are left far behind. However, the irony of this situation is that the GPS politicians conveniently overlook the fact that this is the legacy created by their own former best friends – UMNO/BN, of which GPS had been a part of for 55 years," said Baru in his debate speech on the Sarawak Budget 2019 at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly sitting here today

Baru, who is state assemblyman for Ba'kelalan and Member of Parliament for Selangau, pointed out to the members of the August House that schools in Sarawak did not become dilapidated overnight, nor did the roads linking the town with rural villages in the State suddenly become inadequate since Pakatan Harapan (PH) won the elections, but they had been neglected over the past 55 years.

"If only the GPS leaders had woken up earlier and had been wise and bold enough to speak up to their UMNO/BN masters, Sarawak would perhaps not be in such dire straits," Baru said.

He commented that in the chief minister's budget speech and in the comments by other GPS leaders after the federal budget was tabled, a common theme was the lamentation that Sarawak has not been given enough allocations by the PH Federal government.

"These commentators do not want to concede that the new government is only six months old and have had to grapple with crippling debts incurred by the man hailed by the same GPS leaders only a year ago as the 'best ever' Prime Minister for Sarawak," he said.

He said the Finance Minister had said in his budget speech that the real figure of Malaysia's national debt is 1.065 trillion, which is RM350 billion more than what the previous government admitted to.

He added that the government had to repay income tax refunds of RM37 billion that were never repaid by the previous government.

"As a partner that accepted this shocking grand-theft by the BN government, the now renamed GPS should not be so ready to shoot their new found bullets at the new government that is cleaning up the humiliating mess that has featured in major news networks around the world," said Baru.

On the 5% sales tax on all petroleum products, Baru said he welcomed the move as long as it is done in a proper manner, but it is a case of better late than never. — Bernama
          LG Announces Third-Quarter 2018 Financial Results      Cache   Translate Page      
Demand for Premium Products Continue to Grow Despite Slower Demand in Major Markets, International Trade Challenges LG Electronics Inc. (LG) reported consolidated sales of KRW 15.43 trillion (USD 13.76 billion) and operating profit of KRW 748.8 billion (USD 667.7 million) for the third quarter of 2018. Revenues were the highest among the three quarters this […]
          BNEF forecasts huge increase in power storage investment through 2040      Cache   Translate Page      
Bloomberg: The battery boom is coming to China, California and basically everywhere else—and it will be even bigger than previously thought. The global energy-storage market will surge to a cumulative 942 gigawatts by 2040, according to a new forecast from Bloomberg NEF published Tuesday, and that growth will necessitate $1.2 trillion in investment. Sharply falling battery […]
          Report: “Tumbling” Cost of Batteries Will Spur $1.2 Trillion in Energy Storage Investment      Cache   Translate Page      

  The tumbling cost of batteries is set to drive a boom in the installation of energy storage systems around the world from now to 2040, according to the latest annual forecast from research company Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). The global energy storage market ... Read more...

The post Report: “Tumbling” Cost of Batteries Will Spur $1.2 Trillion in Energy Storage Investment appeared first on Energy Manager Today.


          UPDATE 2-Italy's Enria wins race to head ECB banking watchdog      Cache   Translate Page      
FRANKFURT, Nov 7- Italian Andrea Enria was picked on Wednesday to head the European Central Bank's supervisory arm, overseeing a bloated, 21 trillion euro banking sector still troubled by a legacy of bad debt from the euro zone's financial crisis. Enria, who has chaired the London- based European Banking Authority since 2011, has played a major role in shaping the...
          UPDATE 2-Italy's Enria wins race to head ECB banking watchdog      Cache   Translate Page      
Italian Andrea Enria was picked on Wednesday to head the European Central Bank's supervisory arm, overseeing a bloated, 21 trillion euro banking sector still troubled by a legacy of bad debt from the euro zone's financial crisis.

          The US$6 trillion barrier holding electric cars back      Cache   Translate Page      
Wouldn't it be great if we could all drive without dirtying the air we breathe? Alas, not everyone can afford an electric car.
          Christmas forecast: Surpass $1 trillion 1st time      Cache   Translate Page      
(CNBC) — Christmas holiday retail sales in the U.S. are expected to climb above the $1 trillion mark for the first time this year, on the back of low unemployment, solid income growth and higher consumer confidence, according to a study released Tuesday. Total retail sales in the U.S. will hit $1.002 trillion during the […]
          Christmas forecast: Surpass $1 trillion 1st time      Cache   Translate Page      
(CNBC) — Christmas holiday retail sales in the U.S. are expected to climb above the $1 trillion mark for the first time this year, on the back of low unemployment, solid income growth and higher consumer confidence, according to a study released Tuesday. Total retail sales in the U.S. will hit $1.002 trillion during the […]
          U.S. money market fund assets post biggest rise in five months: iMoneynet      Cache   Translate Page      
U.S. money market fund assets increased by $27.84 billion in the week ended Nov. 6 to $2.874 trillion, marking their largest weekly rise in five months, the Money Fund Report said on Wednesday.

          Senate Republicans ride the Trump train to an expanded majority, even as House GOP falls      Cache   Translate Page      
 Image result for https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/campaigns/senate-republicans-ride-the-trump-train-to-an-expanded-majority-even-as-house-gop-falls

The Republican Party expanded its majority in the U.S. Senate in Tuesday’s divisive midterm elections, riding a Trump train fueled by red-state enthusiasm right through the rough political headwinds that knocked the GOP from power in the House of Representatives.

At odds last year after the Obamacare repeal effort collapsed, President Trump and Republicans in the Senate made amends, coalesced around a historic $1.3 trillion tax overhaul, and united for the 2018 fight. The race unfolded amid a toxic environment Republicans hadn’t experienced since 2006, when a blue wave sank their congressional majorities, leaving them anxious that an electoral map dominated by ruby red battlegrounds wouldn’t save them.

More @ Washington Examiner

          Comment on [UPDATE 11:13 p.m.] Election Returns Rolling In by Divide by Zero      Cache   Translate Page      
And a trillion plus in debt. You forgot that little fact.
          Buhari’s integrity genuine – APC spokesman      Cache   Translate Page      


The National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Lanre Issa-Onilu, has said President Muhammadu Buhari’s integrity has remained without stain because he has not diverted public funds into private pockets since assuming office in 2015.

Issa Onilu stated this on Tuesday in a brief chat with reporters in his office at the APC secretariat, Abuja.

He said the fact that the only seeming scandal the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, could associate with President Buhari after his three and half years in office had to do with the now rested issue of WAEC certificate, was proof of his strong moral principles.

His words: “If after President Buhari’s three and half years in office and his signing of over N20 trillion as national budget within the period, but the only thing the PDP or any other person had to talk about was his certificate, it means this man (Buhari) is truly a man of integrity.


“I expect them to have nailed a more important issue or put a finger on something that tells on his integrity or an issue that has made this country prostrate under PDP; that is, corruption at all levels whereby public money is diverted to private pockets.”

Recall that the PDP through its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, had in statement accused the Presidency of displaying corruption and decadence by involving in manipulations, forgery and lies in an attempt to hoodwink Nigerians with bogus claims over Buhari’s WAEC certificate.


          John Guandolo, Understanding The Threat: Economic Warfare, Sharia Compliant Finance & the U.S. Response      Cache   Translate Page      
https://www.understandingthethreat.com/economic-warfare/

October 23, 2018