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DEEP GREEN WASTE & RECYCLING, INC. MANAGEMENT REPORT AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL POSITION AND OPERATING RESULTS. (Form 10-Q)

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Insight



Deep Green Waste & Recycling, Inc. (f/k/a Critic Clothing, Inc.) ("Deep Green",
the "Company", "we", "us", or "our") is a publicly quoted company seeking to
create value for its shareholders by seeking to acquire other operating entities
for growth in return for shares of our common stock.



The Company was organized as a Nevada Corporation on August 24, 1995 under the
name of Evader, Inc. On May 25, 2012, the Company filed its Foreign Profit
Corporation Articles of Domestication to change the domicile of the Company from
Nevada to Wyoming. On November 4, 2015, the Company filed an Amendment to its
Articles of Incorporation to change the name of the Company to Critical
Clothing, Inc. and on August 28, 2017 an Amendment was filed to change the
Company name to Deep Green Waste & Recycling, Inc.



On August 24, 2017, the Company entered into an Agreement of Conveyance,
Transfer and Assignment of Assets and Assumption of Obligations (the
"Agreement") with St. James Capital Management, LLC. Under the terms of the
Agreement, St. James Capital Management, LLC transferred and assigned all of the
assets of the Company related to its extreme sports apparel design and
manufacturing business in exchange for the assumption of certain liabilities and
cancellation of 3,000,000 shares (as adjusted for the September 27, 2017 reverse
stock split of 1 share for 1000 shares) of common stock of the Company.



On August 24, 2017, the Company acquired all the membership units of Deep Green
Waste and Recycling, LLC ("DGWR LLC"), a Georgia limited liability company
engaged in the waste broker business since 2011, in exchange for 85,000,000
shares (as adjusted for the September 27, 2017 reverse stock split of 1 share
for 1000 shares) of the Company's common stock. The transaction was accounted
for as a "reverse merger" where DGWR LLC was considered the accounting acquiror
and the Company was considered the accounting acquiree.



Effective October 1, 2017, Deep Green acquired Compaction and Recycling
Equipment, Inc. (CARE), a Portland, Oregon based company that sells and services
waste and recycling equipment. Deep Green purchased 100% of the common stock for
$902,700. $586,890 was paid in cash at closing and a promissory note was
executed in the amount of $315,810.



Effective October 1, 2017, Deep Green acquired Columbia Financial Services, Inc,
(CFSI), a Portland, Oregon based company that finances the purchases of waste
and recycling equipment. Deep Green purchased 100% of the common stock for
$597,300. $418,110 was paid in cash at closing and a promissory note was
executed in the amount of $179,190.



On August 7, 2018, the Company entered into an Agreement of Conveyance, Transfer
and Assignment of Subsidiaries and Assumption of Obligations (the "Agreement")
with Mirabile Corporate Holdings, Inc. Under the terms of the Agreement, the
Company transferred all capital stock of its two wholly owned subsidiaries,
Compaction and Recycling Equipment, Inc. and Columbia Financial Services, Inc.,
to Mirabile Corporate Holdings, Inc. in exchange for the assumption and
cancellation of certain liabilities. Deep Green's Chief Executive Officer owned
a 7.5% equity interest in Mirabile Corporate Holdings, Inc.



On August 7, 2018the Company ceased its activity as a waste broker.

The Company re-launched its waste and recycling services operation and has begun
to re-engage with customers, waste haulers and recycling centers, which are
critical elements of its historically successful business model: designing and
managing waste programs for commercial and institutional properties for cost
savings, ease of operation, and minimal administrative stress for its clients.



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Asset Purchase Agreement



On February 8, 2021, the Company, through its wholly owned subsidiary DG
Research, Inc. (the "Buyer"), entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement (the
"Agreement") with Amwaste, Inc. (the "Seller"). Under the terms of the
Agreement, the Buyer agreed to purchase from the Seller certain assets (the
"Assets") utilized in the Seller's waste management business located in Glynn
County, Georgia. In consideration for the purchase of the Assets, the Buyer paid
the seller $150,000 and issued the Seller 2,000,000 shares of the Company's
restricted common stock. The Buyer remitted $50,000 at Closing and issued the
Seller a Promissory Note (the "Note") in the amount of $110,000. The Note
principal shall be reduced by $10,000 if the Note is paid in full on or before
March 8, 2021. The Note is secured by the Assets purchased through the
Agreement. The transaction closed on February 11, 2021.



In order to further develop its business, the Company plans to:

? expand its service offerings to provide more sustainable waste

management solutions that further minimize costs based on volume and content

waste streams and disposal methods, including landfills, transfer

recycling stations and centers;

? Acquire profitable waste management and recycling service businesses with

compatible and synergistic business models, which can help the Company achieve

these objectives;

? Offer innovative recycling services that significantly reduce the disposal of

    hazardous wastes, food wastes, plastics and electronic wastes in the
    commercial and residential property collective;

  ? Establish partnerships with innovative companies, municipalities and
    institutions; and

? Attract investment funds that will actively work with the Company to achieve

these goals and help the Company become a leader in waste and recycling

    services supplier in North America.




Some potential merger/acquisition candidates have been identified and
discussions initiated. These candidates are within the Company's core business
model, serving commercial properties, accretive to cash flow, and geographically
favorable. While seeking to identify acquisition candidates, the Company seeks
to identify target entities with a similar core business model or a model which
naturally integrates with its own, and which are situated in opportunistic
geographic locations.



We have unlimited discretion to seek and participate in a business opportunity, subject to the availability of such opportunities, economic conditions and other factors.

The selection of a business opportunity in which to participate is complex and
risky. Additionally, we have only limited resources and may find it difficult to
locate good opportunities. There can be no assurance that we will be able to
identify and acquire any business opportunity which will ultimately prove to be
beneficial to us and our shareholders. We will select any potential business
opportunity based on our management's best business judgment.



Our activities are subject to several significant risks, which arise primarily
as a result of the fact that we have no specific business and may acquire or
participate in a business opportunity based on the decision of management, which
potentially could act without the consent, vote, or approval of our
shareholders. The risks faced by us are further increased as a result of its
lack of resources and our inability to provide a prospective business
opportunity with significant capital.



Critical Accounting Policies and Significant Judgments and Estimates



Our management's discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results
of operations are based on our consolidated financial statements, which have
been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the
United States of America, or GAAP. The preparation of these consolidated
financial statements requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect
the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and the disclosure of contingent
assets and liabilities as of the date of the consolidated financial statements
as well as the reported expenses during the reporting periods. The accounting
estimates that require our most significant, difficult and subjective judgments
have an impact on revenue recognition, the determination of share-based
compensation and financial instruments. We evaluate our estimates and judgments
on an ongoing basis. Actual results may differ materially from these estimates
under different assumptions or conditions.



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Our significant accounting policies are further described in NOTE B – SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.



Discussion for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and March 31, 2021
(Unaudited):



Results of Operations:



                                                  March 31, 2022       March 31, 2021       $ Change
Gross revenue                                    $        219,741     $         24,837     $  194,904
Operating expenses                                        612,213              149,525        450,785
Loss from Operations                                     (392,472 )           (131,709 )     (248,862 )
Other Income (Expense)                                   (104,934 )           (196,429 )      117,810
Net Income (Loss)                                        (497,406 )           (328,138 )     (131,052 )
Net loss per share - basic and diluted           $          (0.00 )   $    
     (0.00 )   $        -




Revenues


For the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2011 we generated $219,741 and
$24,837 income, respectively.


Operating Expenses


Our operating expenses were $612,213 and $149,525 for the three months ended
March 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively.

We expect our cost of revenue to increase in 2022 and for the foreseeable future as we continue to develop our waste management services and identify acquisition opportunities in the waste and recycling industry.

We engaged $147,525 and $45,790 in payroll and similar expenses for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021.

We engaged $145,259 and $24,790 stock-based compensation for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021.


Loss from Operations


The Company’s operating loss was $497,406 for the three months ended March 31, 2022 from $328,138 in 2021, an increase of $131,052.


Other Income (Expense)



Other expense decreased to $104,934 for the three months ended March 31, 2022
and included interest expense of $656,739 and derivative liability gain of
$697,777. Other expense was $196,429 for the three months ended March 31, 2021
and included interest expense of $38,493 and derivative liability expense of
$157,936.



Net Loss



For the three months ended March 31, 2022, our net loss increased to $497,406,
as compared to a net loss of $328,138 for three months ended March 31, 2021, an
increase of $169,268. The increase in net loss was largely attributable to the
Company's derivative liability expense.



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Cash and capital resources



At March 31, 2022, we had current assets of $228,264 and current liabilities of
$5,528,868 resulting in negative working capital of $5,300,604, of which
$3,095,020 was accounts payable and $118,405 was included in accrued interest.
At March 31, 2022, we had total assets of $1,605,606 and total liabilities of
$5,528,868 resulting in stockholders' deficit of $3,896,247.



At December 31, 2021, we had current assets of $231,280 and current liabilities
of $5,992,412 resulting in negative working capital of $5,761,132, of which
$3,098,770 was accounts payable and $93,661 was included in deferred
compensation. At December 31, 2021, we had total assets of $1,686,833 and total
liabilities of $5,992,412 resulting in stockholders' deficit of $4,305,579.

Accounts Payable



At March 31, 2022, the Company had accounts payable of $3,095,020 that consisted
of $487,615 in default judgments due to prior vendors, $2,387,099 due to vendors
for materials and services and $220,306 due for credit card obligations.



To December 31, 2021the Company had accounts payable of $2,948,964 which consisted of $487,615 in default judgments due to prior sellers, $2,373,492 due to suppliers of materials and services and $220,306 due for credit card obligations.


Debt



At March 31, 2022, the Company had outstanding debt of $1,271,603 that consisted
of $398,691 of convertible debt, $392,000 in a short term note $49,179 remaining
for Lyell Purchase, $5,574 due under a short-term capital lease and $119,876 in
loans payable to officers and directors. Please see NOTE F - DEBT for further
information.



At December 31, 2021, the Company had outstanding debt of $730,532 that
consisted of$267,111 of net convertible notes, $189,179 for remaining balance of
Lyell Purchase agreement, $119,877 of debt due to officers and directors, $5,574
due under a short-term capital lease. Please see NOTE F - DEBT for further
information.



Capital Raising



For the three months ended March 31, 2022 and the twelve months ended December
31, 2021, the Company raised $304,000 and $1,848,910 through the issuance of
Convertible Promissory Notes or loans from officers, respectively.



Cash on Hand


Our cash at March 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021 been $5,269 and
$46,350respectively.

Satisfaction of unpaid debts



As of March 31, 2022, the Company has a liability of $487,615 as a result of
three (3) default judgments. The Company intends to negotiate settlements and
establish payment plans with each creditor that will satisfy these judgements.
Nonetheless, some or all of the creditors may elect to bring further litigation
to protect their claims or perfect their judgments.



The Company accrued customer deposits in the form of advance payments for waste
management services that could not be delivered when the Company suspended
operations in August 2018. The Company intends to either resume waste management
services with those customers or refund the advance payments through a repayment
plan.



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There can be no assurance that sufficient funds required during the next year or
thereafter will be generated from operations or that funds will be available
from external sources such as debt or equity financings or other potential
sources to satisfy these outstanding liabilities. The lack of additional capital
resulting from the inability to generate cash flow from operations or to raise
capital from external sources would force the Company to substantially curtail
or cease operations and would, therefore, have a material adverse effect on
its
business.



We currently have no external sources of liquidity such as arrangements with
credit institutions or off-balance sheet arrangements that will have or are
reasonably likely to have a current or future effect on our financial condition
or immediate access to capital.



We are dependent on the sale of our securities to fund our operations and will
remain so until we generate sufficient revenues to pay for our operating costs.
Our officers and directors have made no written commitments with respect to
providing a source of liquidity in the form of cash advances, loans and/or
financial guarantees.



If we are unable to raise the funds, we will seek alternative financing through
means such as borrowings from institutions or private individuals. There can be
no assurance that we will be able to raise the capital we need for our
operations from the sale of our securities. We have not located any sources for
these funds and may not be able to do so in the future. We expect that we will
seek additional financing in the future. However, we may not be able to obtain
additional capital or generate sufficient revenues to fund our operations. If we
are unsuccessful at raising sufficient funds, for whatever reason, to fund our
operations, we may be forced to cease operations. If we fail to raise funds, we
expect that we will be required to seek protection from creditors under
applicable bankruptcy laws.



Our independent registered public accounting firm has expressed substantial
doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern and believes that our
ability is dependent on our ability to implement our business plan, raise
capital and generate revenues. Please see NOTE L - GOING CONCERN UNCERTAINTY for
further information.



Debt



Our Debt was $1,257,353 and $1,047,506 at March 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021,
respectively. Included within the Debt was the following at March 31, 2022: (i)
$387,535 due under Factor agreement with AEC Yield Capital, LLC and Notice of
Default; and (ii) $49,179 due to Seller of Lyell Environmental; and (iii) $5,574
due under a short-term capital lease; and (iv) $124,373 as loans payable to
officers; and (v) Unsecured Convertible Promissory Note payable to BHP Capital
NY Inc.: Issue date October 14, 2021 - net of unamortized debt discount of
$238,919 and $526,028 at March 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021, respectively and
(vi) Unsecured Convertible Promissory Note payable to Quick Capital, LLC: Issue
date October 14, 2021 - net of unamortized debt discount of $226,087 and
$465,532 at March 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021, respectively (ii) $8,325 other
debt. Please see NOTE F - DEBT for further information.



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Convertible Notes
(iii) On October 14, 2021, the Company (the "Borrower") entered into a Note
Purchase Agreement ("NPA") with each of BHP Capital NY Inc. and Quick Capital,
LLC (together, the "Investors") and issued each of the Investors a Secured
Convertible Promissory Note (the "Note") in the amount of Six Hundred Sixty-Six
Thousand Six Hundred Sixty-Seven and NO/100 Dollars ($666,667). The Note is
convertible, in whole or in part, at any time and from time to time before
maturity (October 14, 2022) at the option of the holder at the Fixed Conversion
Price that shall be the lesser of: (a) $0.01 or (b) 70% multiplied by the Market
Price (as defined herein) (representing a discount rate of 30%) (the "Fixed
Conversion Price"). "Market Price" means the average of the two lowest Closing
Prices (as defined below) for the Common Stock during the twenty (20) Trading
Day period ending on the latest complete Trading Day prior to the Conversion
Date "Trading Day" shall mean any day on which the Common Stock is tradable for
any period on the OTCBB, OTCQB or on the principal securities exchange or other
securities market on which the Common Stock is then being quoted or traded. To
the extent the Conversion Price of the Borrower's Common Stock closes below the
par value per share, the Borrower will take all steps necessary to solicit the
consent of the stockholders to reduce the par value of the Common Stock to the
lowest value possible under law. The Borrower agrees to honor all conversions
submitted pending this adjustment. If the shares of the Borrower's Common Stock
have not been delivered within three (3) business days to the Holder, the Notice
of Conversion may be rescinded by the Holder. If the Trading Price cannot be
calculated for such security on such date in the manner provided above, the
Trading Price shall be the fair market value as mutually determined by the
Borrower and the Holder for which the calculation of the Trading Price is
required in order to determine the Conversion Price of such Notes. If at any
time the Conversion Price as determined hereunder for any conversion would be
less than the par value of the Common Stock, then at the sole discretion of the
Holder, the Conversion Price hereunder may equal such par value for such
conversion and the Conversion Amount for such conversion may be increased to
include Additional Principal, where "Additional Principal" means such additional
amount to be added to the Conversion Amount to the extent necessary to cause the
number of conversion shares issuable upon such conversion to equal the same
number of conversion shares as would have been issued had the Conversion Price
not been adjusted by the Holder to the par value price. The Note has a term of
one (1) year and bears interest at 10% annually. As part and parcel of the
foregoing transaction, each of the Investors was issued 2,298,852 shares of
common stock as Commitment shares and a warrant (the "Warrant") granting the
holder the right to purchase up to 66,666,667 shares of the Company's common
stock at an exercise price of $0.015 for a term of 5-years. The transaction
closed on October 19, 2021. As of December 31, 2021, $592,004 principal plus $0
interest were due on the Quick Capital Note.

On March 2, 2021, the Company issued GPL Ventures, LLC ("GPL") a Convertible
Promissory Note (the "Note") in the amount of Fifty Thousand and NO/100 Dollars
($50,000). The Note is convertible, in whole or in part, at any time and from
time to time before maturity (March 2, 2022) at the option of the holder at the
Conversion Price that shall equal the lesser of: a) $0.01 or b) Sixty Percent
(60%) of the lowest Trading Price (defined below) during the Valuation Period
(defined below), and the Conversion Amount shall be the amount of principal or
interest electively converted in the Conversion Notice. The total number of
shares due under any conversion notice ("Notice Shares") will be equal to the
Conversion Amount divided by the Conversion Price. "Trading Price" means, for
any security as of any date, any trading price on the OTC Markets, or other
applicable trading market (the "OTCBB") as reported by a reliable reporting
service ("Reporting Service") mutually acceptable to Maker and Holder (i.e.
Bloomberg) or, if the OTCBB is not the principal trading market for such
security, the price of such security on the principal securities exchange or
trading market where such security is listed or traded. The "Valuation Period"
shall mean twenty (20) Trading Days, commencing on the first Trading Day
following delivery and clearing of the Notice Shares in Holder's brokerage
account, as reported by Holder ("Valuation Start Date"). The Note has a term of
one (1) year and bears interest at 10% annually. The Company and GPL also
entered into a Registration Rights Agreement ("RRA") that provided for the
Company to file a Registration Statement with the SEC covering the resale of up
to 10,000,000 shares underlying the Note and to have filed such Registration
Statement within 30 days of the RRA. In the event that the Company doesn't
maintain the registration requirements provided for in the RRA, the Company is
obligated to pay GPL certain payments for such failures. The transaction closed
on March 9, 2021. Please see NOTE G - CONVERTIBLE NOTES PAYABLE for further
information.

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On February 5, 2021, the Company issued GPL Ventures, LLC ("GPL") a Convertible
Promissory Note (the "Note") in the amount of Seventy-Five Thousand and NO/100
Dollars ($75,000). The Note is convertible, in whole or in part, at any time and
from time to time before maturity (February 5, 2022) at the option of the holder
at the Conversion Price that shall equal the lesser of: a) $0.01 or b) Sixty
Percent (60%) of the lowest Trading Price (defined below) during the Valuation
Period (defined below), and the Conversion Amount shall be the amount of
principal or interest electively converted in the Conversion Notice. The total
number of shares due under any conversion notice ("Notice Shares") will be equal
to the Conversion Amount divided by the Conversion Price. "Trading Price" means,
for any security as of any date, any trading price on the OTC Markets, or other
applicable trading market (the "OTCBB") as reported by a reliable reporting
service ("Reporting Service") mutually acceptable to Maker and Holder (i.e.
Bloomberg) or, if the OTCBB is not the principal trading market for such
security, the price of such security on the principal securities exchange or
trading market where such security is listed or traded. The "Valuation Period"
shall mean twenty (20) Trading Days, commencing on the first Trading Day
following delivery and clearing of the Notice Shares in Holder's brokerage
account, as reported by Holder ("Valuation Start Date"). The Note has a term of
one (1) year and bears interest at 10% annually. The Company and GPL also
entered into a Registration Rights Agreement ("RRA") that provided for the
Company to file a Registration Statement with the SEC covering the resale of up
to 10,000,000 shares underlying the Note and to have filed such Registration
Statement within 30 days of the RRA. In the event that the Company doesn't
maintain the registration requirements provided for in the RRA, the Company is
obligated to pay GPL certain payments for such failures. Please see NOTE G -
CONVERTIBLE NOTES PAYABLE for further information.

On February 5, 2021, the Company issued Quick Capital, LLC ("Quick") a
Convertible Promissory Note (the "Note") in the amount of Twenty-Five Thousand
and NO/100 Dollars ($25,000). The Note is convertible, in whole or in part, at
any time and from time to time before maturity (February 5, 2022) at the option
of the holder at the Conversion Price that shall equal the lesser of a) $0.01 or
b) Sixty Percent (60%) of the lowest Trading Price (defined below) during the
Valuation Period (defined below), and the Conversion Amount shall be the amount
of principal or interest electively converted in the Conversion Notice. The
total number of shares due under any conversion notice ("Notice Shares") will be
equal to the Conversion Amount divided by the Conversion Price. "Trading Price"
means, for any security as of any date, any trading price on the OTC Markets, or
other applicable trading market (the "OTCBB") as reported by a reliable
reporting service ("Reporting Service") mutually acceptable to Maker and Holder
(i.e. Bloomberg) or, if the OTCBB is not the principal trading market for such
security, the price of such security on the principal securities exchange or
trading market where such security is listed or traded. The "Valuation Period"
shall mean twenty (20) Trading Days, commencing on the first Trading Day
following delivery and clearing of the Notice Shares in Holder's brokerage
account, as reported by Holder ("Valuation Start Date"). The Note has a term of
one (1) year and bears interest at 10% annually. The Company and Quick also
entered into a Registration Rights Agreement ("RRA") that provided for the
Company to file a Registration Statement with the SEC covering the resale of up
to 10,000,000 shares underlying the Note and to have filed such Registration
Statement within 30 days of the RRA. In the event that the Company doesn't
maintain the registration requirements provided for in the RRA, the Company is
obligated to pay Quick certain payments for such failures. The transaction
closed on February 12, 2021. Please see NOTE G - CONVERTIBLE NOTES PAYABLE for
further information.

On June 23, 2020, the Company issued GPL Ventures LLC ("GPL") a Convertible
Promissory Note (the "Note") in the amount of One Hundred Thousand and NO/100
Dollars ($100,000). The Note is convertible, in whole or in part, at any time
and from time to time before maturity (June 23, 2021) at the option of the
holder at the Conversion Price that shall equal the lesser of a) $0.01 or b)
Sixty Percent (60%) of the lowest Trading Price (defined below) during the
Valuation Period (defined below), and the Conversion Amount shall be the amount
of principal or interest electively converted in the Conversion Notice. The
total number of shares due under any conversion notice ("Notice Shares") will be
equal to the Conversion Amount divided by the Conversion Price. "Trading Price"
means, for any security as of any date, any trading price on the OTC Markets, or
other applicable trading market (the "OTCBB") as reported by a reliable
reporting service ("Reporting Service") mutually acceptable to Maker and Holder
(i.e. Bloomberg) or, if the OTCBB is not the principal trading market for such
security, the price of such security on the principal securities exchange or
trading market where such security is listed or traded. The "Valuation Period"
shall mean twenty (20) Trading Days, commencing on the first Trading Day
following delivery and clearing of the Notice Shares in Holder's brokerage
account, as reported by Holder ("Valuation Start Date"). The Note has a term of
one (1) year and bears interest at 10% annually. The Company and GPL also
entered into a Registration Rights Agreement ("RRA") that provided for the
Company to file a Registration Statement with the SEC covering the resale of
shares underlying the Note and the warrant and to have declared effective such
Registration Statement (which occurred on July 13, 2020). In the event that the
Company doesn't maintain the registration requirements provided for in the RRA,
the Company is obligated to pay GPL certain payments for such failures. In the
twelve months ended December 31, 2021, a total of $84,000 (of the $100,000 Note)
was converted into shares of the Company's common stock. Please see NOTE G -
CONVERTIBLE NOTES PAYABLE for further information.

Cash flow

We had net cash provided by (used) in operating activities for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021 from ($432,695) and ($493,003), respectively.

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We had free cash flow used in investing activities for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021 from $0 and $50,000respectively.

We had free cash flow from financing activities for the three months ended
March 31, 2022 and 2021 from $381,202 and $155,330respectively.

Capital required over the next twelve months

We expect to incur losses from operations for the near future. We believe we
will have to raise an additional $2,500,000 to expand our operations over the
next twelve months, including roughly $50,000 to remain current in our filings
with the SEC. The additional funds will be utilized for hiring ancillary staff
and key personnel, corporate website and SEO development, acquisition(s) in the
waste and recycling management sector and day to day operations.

Future financing may include the issuance of equity or debt securities,
obtaining credit facilities, or other financing mechanisms. Even if we are able
to raise the funds required, it is possible that we could incur unexpected costs
and expenses or experience unexpected cash requirements that would force us to
seek alternative financing. Furthermore, if we issue additional equity or debt
securities, existing holders of our securities may experience additional
dilution or the new equity securities may have rights, preferences or privileges
senior to those of existing holders of our securities.

If additional financing is not available or is not available on acceptable terms, we may be required to delay or modify our business plan depending on the available financing.

Significant Accounting Policies and Estimates

The SEC issued Financial Reporting Release No. 60, "Cautionary Advice Regarding
Disclosure About Critical Accounting Policies" suggesting that companies provide
additional disclosure and commentary on their most critical accounting policies.
In Financial Reporting Release No. 60, the SEC has defined the most critical
accounting policies as the ones that are most important to the portrayal of a
company's financial condition and operating results and require management to
make its most difficult and subjective judgments, often as a result of the need
to make estimates of matters that are inherently uncertain. Based on this
definition, we have identified the following significant policies as critical to
the understanding of our financial statements. The preparation of financial
statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles requires
management to make a variety of estimates and assumptions that affect (i) the
reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets
and liabilities as of the date of the financial statements and (ii) the reported
amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting periods covered by the
financial statements. Our management expects to make judgments and estimates
about the effect of matters that are inherently uncertain. As the number of
variables and assumptions affecting the future resolution of the uncertainties
increase, these judgments become even more subjective and complex. Although we
believe that our estimates and assumptions are reasonable, actual results may
differ significantly from these estimates. Changes in estimates and assumptions
based upon actual results may have a material impact on our results.

Off-balance sheet arrangements

We did not have, during the periods presented, and we do not currently have, any
relationships with any organizations or financial partnerships, such as
structured finance or special purpose entities, that would have been established
for the purpose of facilitating off-balance sheet arrangements or other
contractually narrow or limited purposes.

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South Korea makes consecutive interest rate hikes to fight inflation

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SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s central bank raised interest rates for a second consecutive meeting on Thursday to reduce consumer price inflation from its highest level in 13 years, and again raised its price inflation forecast to its highest level since 2008.

In his first rate review after taking office in April, Governor Rhee Chang-yong and his monetary policy council voted to raise interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point to 1.75%, the highest since mid-2019. All but one of 28 analysts polled by Reuters expected a rise.

The back-to-back interest rate hikes by the Bank of Korea follow more than 100 cumulative basis points of hikes since August 2021 in one of the bank’s strongest ever tightening campaigns.

The BOK raised its inflation outlook for this year to 4.5% from 3.1% previously.

Consumer inflation at its highest level in 13 years threatens to take hold, as a key gauge of inflation expectations among South Koreans rose in May to its highest level in nearly a decade.

Most analysts expect the BOK to raise rates to 2.25% by the end of the year, after which many say it will then have to consider how quickly to apply the brakes in a context of slowing economic growth in China, its main trading partner, and high household indebtedness.

The US Federal Reserve is expected to raise the key interest rate to 2.50-2.75% by the end of the year, the effects of which will be closely watched globally, while in China, the authorities should ease their policy to cushion a slowdown in the world’s second largest economy. .

“Inflation concerns have become more pronounced, with headline CPI growth hitting record highs and unemployment still at an all-time high,” said Societe Generale analyst Oh Suk-tae, who sees the rate base to peak at 2.50% by the end of the year. end of this year.

“It would be difficult for policymakers to extend the rate hike cycle into 2023, as we expect inflation to peak in the second quarter of this year.”

Governor Rhee said last week that the bank could consider significant increases in interest rates in the coming months, such as hikes of 50 basis points, depending on data that will become available around July and August.

The BOK expects the economy to grow 2.7% this year, down from its previous forecast of 3.0% and slowing from an estimated 4.0% for 2021.

(Additional reporting by Choonsik Yoo, Jihoon Lee; Editing by Sam Holmes and Shri Navaratnam)

High Court weighs end of $300 weekly unemployment benefit

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — In June 2021, Governor Mike DeWine ended Ohio’s participation in a federal pandemic unemployment assistance program ahead of the government’s deadline for stopping payments .

Lawyers for the Republican governor argue he had the legal authority to do so. People who lost extra benefits say DeWine didn’t and should have continued them.

The Ohio Supreme Court heard arguments from both sides on Wednesday. A decision is not expected for weeks.

At issue in court is a weekly federal payment of $300 for Ohioans to offset the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The federal government ended this program on September 6, but DeWine stopped the payments on June 26, 2021, saying the need for the payments was over.


DeWine has followed the stance of business groups who have said the payments make it difficult to recruit employees, and he was not alone. More than two dozen other states, all with Republican governors and legislatures, began blocking payments around the same time.

Several courts have also supported early termination of payments. In August 2021, an Indiana court upheld Gov. Eric Holcomb’s decision to opt out of the program, saying federal pandemic unemployment programs were intended to be temporary and differed from the already existing unemployment benefits system. existing. However, payments continued because the decision was too close to the September 6 deadline to give recipients the required notice.

In October 2021, the South Carolina Supreme Court also dismissed a lawsuit against Governor Henry McMaster for his early exit from federal pandemic unemployment programs.

Critics of the end of payments in Ohio and elsewhere said workers had reasons why they might not return to work.

The program’s premature termination halted about $900 million in payments in Ohio. The two sides disagree on whether that money could still be paid out, should the court rule against DeWine.

The governor acted after hearing from companies that said they were unable to fill thousands of positions, Michael Hendershot, Ohio’s chief assistant attorney, told the judges on Wednesday.

“He thought overall, for the macro economy of the state, for the future of these companies, that was a decision he had to make,” Hendershot said.

Just because the government funneled pandemic dollars through Ohio doesn’t necessarily mean they’re available, he added.

The lawyer representing Ohio’s unemployed workers seeking the benefits disagreed, saying the governor was required under state law to get ‘all available benefits’ related to unemployment compensation. Attorney Marc Dann said this requirement makes Ohio’s situation different from other states where the termination has been confirmed.

DeWine was empowered to accept the benefits, “but he was not empowered to make the political decision to take them away,” said Dann, a former Democratic attorney general from Ohio.

Judge Patrick Fischer questioned whether the issue was moot so many months later, noting the governor didn’t have the money, and it’s unclear whether the US Department of Labor did either. .

Dann agreed that the governor didn’t have the money, but was obligated to provide it anyway.

“He acted without the constitutional and statutory authority to deny these funds,” Dann said. “As a result, these workers’ right to this money remains whether the federal government funds it or not.”

GOP Judge Patrick DeWine, the governor’s son, recused himself to avoid the appearance of impropriety “that may result from my father’s public involvement in this matter.”

In an unrelated pandemic issue, judges heard arguments on Wednesday in the case of season pass holders at amusement parks operated by Sandusky-based Cedar Fair, who say they must be refunded after closing parks in early 2020 due to the coronavirus.

What the current market means for first-time home buyers

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Mortgage interest rates have nearly doubled in the past 15 months, sending a snowball to first-time buyers trying to weather soaring home prices and hoping they can achieve the American dream of home ownership. property.

First-time buyers accounted for 34% of all homebuyers, according to the “2022 Generational Home Buyer and Seller Trends Reportby the National Association of Realtors. The majority of first-time buyers are millennials.

As of this writing, mortgage interest rates have fallen slightly. According to Freddie Mac Core Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.25% for the week ending May 19, averaging 0.9 points. (One point is 1% of the loan amount.) The 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.43% with 0.9 points, and a five-year ARM averaged 4.08% with an average of 0.2 points.

Here’s something most first-time home buyers don’t realize: if you have a lower credit score, the interest rate on your loan will be higher. For someone with a 700-719 credit score with 20% to deposit, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage on May 19 was 5.833%, according to Bankrate. For someone with a credit score of 660 to 679, the average interest rate was 6.66%. But for people with a credit score of 800 or above, they could have gotten an interest rate of around 5.5%.

These numbers are slightly different from Freddie Mac Poll, as this survey also quotes the average number of points paid to secure these interest rates. The more points a borrower pays, the lower the interest rate. Bankrate figures do not quote interest rates with points, so average rates appear higher.

More questions: the reader offers an overview of the fees paid to the lender to show the final gain

You can also compare rates in your area for jumbo loans versus conventional loans before choosing a loan product. In some markets, the interest rate may be lower on one type of loan than on another. (A jumbo loan, in many markets, is a loan of $647,200 or less for a single-family home. It can be as high as $970,800 in high-cost areas.)

Some lenders offer better interest rates for loans with a lower loan-to-value ratio. They also charge a higher interest rate for loans with a net worth of less than 20%. So it pays to shop around and ask as many questions as possible to get the best mortgage program for the home you’re buying.

This difference is why it’s essential to ask potential lenders about interest rates, points, fees, special loan programs, and any other costs associated with getting your loan approved.

Although interest rates have jumped faster than most economists expected, house prices have also risen, adding to the financial pressure first-time buyers are feeling.

According to Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the median selling price of homes sold in the United States hit $428,700 in the first quarter of 2022, up from $369,800 a year earlier. That’s a jump of 15.9%.

And while home price appreciation has slowed somewhat from the blistering pace at the end of 2021, home values ​​have been rising at a healthy pace since the end of the Great Recession.

Some of our readers have wondered if rising interest rates will cause home values ​​to fall, as they did in 2008 and 2009. During those years, the median home price fell by just over 10% per year. (Home prices have fallen much more in some places than others.)

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Unfortunately, for first-time buyers struggling to find a home to buy, Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, doesn’t think we’re going to see a drop in house prices. Why? Because demand far exceeded supply and the quality of borrowers remained high.

“Underwriting standards are so stringent throughout the process that massive forced sales are unlikely. Additionally, inventory levels are at historic lows. means a drop from 20 multiple offers to one or two offers after 30 days on the market,” Yun said, noting that this level of competition is much more “normal and consistent with a house price appreciation of around 5 %. .”

But he also acknowledges that if the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, even more aggressively than the planned seven hikes, some housing markets could experience minor price declines; however, he thinks buyers will be rushing for a “second chance” at homeownership.

“In places like Phoenix, where home prices have soared more than 30% in a single year, a price drop of 5% or 10%, if it were to occur, would not create financial stress. Just like a stock price that goes up 30% and then gives up some [of the gain] does not cause any financial stress,” Yun said. “Only large and sustained price declines would be problematic, as happened from 2008 to 2012 with the mortgage implosion and foreclosure crisis.”

Of course, if you stretch to buy a house, only to watch its value goes down while you’re living there, you’re going to be upset. Instead, try to think of your home as a long-term purchase. This is where you will live, put down roots and enjoy your life.

Hopefully, by the time you’re ready to sell, your home’s value will have at least kept pace with inflation.

Ilyce Glink is the author of “100 questions every first-time home buyer should ask(Fourth Edition). She is also CEO of Best Money Moves, an app that employers provide employees to measure and reduce financial stress. Samuel J. Tamkin is a Chicago-based real estate attorney. Contact them through his website, bestmoneymoves.com.

Thousands of Amigo Loan customers move closer to compensation

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THOUSANDS of Amigo Loan customers are about to get their money back.

Amigo has been accused of providing unaffordable loans, which customers could not repay – but they are now closing in on the compensation they are owed.

1

Amigo customers are about to get their money backCredit: Getty

Hearings were held on May 23 to approve the new business program that Amigo had planned to reimburse its customers.

Commenting on the outcome of the hearing, Gary Jennison, Chief Executive Officer of Amigo, said: “We are delighted that the Court has decided to give creditors the opportunity to maximize their Amigo relief payments.

“The Court’s decision is good news for creditors, customers and employees, and it brings us closer to compensation and allows us to put an end to the mistakes of the past.”

We asked debt expert Sara Williams, who runs consumer advice blog Debt Camel, what that means next.

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She said: “Now that the court has approved the Amigo program, the next step is for Amigo to announce the start of the program and set up a page where customers, borrowers and guarantors can enter a claim.”

If a borrower is successful at that time, they will receive a portion of the interest they paid, which can be as high as 41%.

But most complaints will be about affordability, Sara explained.

She said: “An Amigo loan is only affordable to the borrower if, at the time the loan was made, the borrower was likely to be able to make all necessary repayments while being able to pay his other debts, bills and living expenses, without having to borrow my more.

“Many people will have been desperate to protect their guarantor, perhaps they got payday loans, increased their credit cards, or fell behind with bills to pay Amigo.

“So even if the Amigo loan was repaid on time, it may still be unaffordable.”

Amigo warned last year that it could collapse under the weight of customer demands for refunds.

The lending company was founded in 2005, offering loans of up to £10,000 over 12 to 60 months at an interest rate of 49.9% to borrowers typically turned away from traditional lenders.

It would also provide loans to those with bad credit history as long as a friend or family member agrees to repay if they cannot.

But in March 2020, the company’s founder claimed customers had received “irresponsible” loans.

That’s what started the wave of claims en route to thousands of customers after this latest update.

But even if the program has been approved, customers will still have to wait for Amigo to set up a complaints page.

Once it goes live, they may only have six months to act according to Debt Camel.

You can still claim, even if you have repaid the loan, if you had trouble making the payment at that time.

If you always pay your debts, you can always complain if you have trouble paying the bundle of money.

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To file a complaint with Amigo, you should contact us as soon as possible.

Send a short email to [email protected] with COMPLAINT in the subject.

We pay for your stories!

Do you have a story for The Sun Online Money team?

Hdfc Bank raises interest rates on recurring deposits from 27 to 120 months

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HDFC Bank, a private sector lender, raised interest rates on recurring deposits (RD). The announcement was made on May 17, 2022, and the bank raised interest rates on recurring deposits from 27 to 120 months following the change. The bank will continue to offer an interest rate of 3.50% on 6-month DRs. HDFC Bank will continue to offer an interest rate of 4.40% on recurring deposits of 9 months and an interest rate of 5.10% on deposits of 12 months to 24 months. The bank previously offered an interest rate of 5.20% on RDs maturing between 27 months and 36 months, but now the applicable rate is 5.40%, an increase of 20 basis points.

Previously, the interest rate on recurring deposits maturing in 39 to 60 months was 5.45%, but will now be 5.60%, an increase of 15 basis points. The interest rate for 90-120 month recurring deposits was previously 5.60%, but has now been increased by 15 basis points to 5.75%.

Seniors will continue to receive an additional 0.50% premium on recurring deposits of 6-60 months. On RDs with seniority greater than 5 (five) to 10 years, seniors will benefit from an additional bonus of 0.25% in addition to the regular bonus of 0.50%, during a special deposit valid until as of September 30, 2022. HDFC Bank mentioned on its website that “an additional premium of 0.25% (on top of the existing premium of 0.50%) will be given to seniors who wish to reserve the fixed deposit less than 5 crores for a term of 5 (five) years One day to 10 years, during the special deposit offer from May 18, 2020 to September 30, 2022. This special offer will be applicable to new Fixed Fixed Deposits reserved as well as Renewals , by Seniors during the above period. This offer does not apply to non-resident Indians.”

As a result, older residents will benefit from an interest rate of 6.50% on recurring deposits of 90 to 120 months, which is 0.75% more than the usual rate.

HDFC bank RD rate 2022

Period Interest rate (per year) Senior rates (per year) From
6 months 3.50% 4.00% August 25, 2020
9 months 4.40% 4.90% August 25, 2020
12 months 5.10% 5.60% April 6, 2022
15 months 5.10% 5.60% April 6, 2022
24months 5.10% 5.60% April 6, 2022
27 months 5.40% 5.90% May 17, 2022
36 months 5.40% 5.90% May 17, 2022
39 months 5.60% 6.10% May 17, 2022
48 months 5.60% 6.10% May 17, 2022
60 months 5.60% 6.10% May 17, 2022
90 months 5.75% 6.50% May 17, 2022
120 months 5.75% 6.50% May 17, 2022

Source: Bank website

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Davos jumps into the Metaverse; Bankers are blowing up crypto

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The first live meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in two years kicked off on Sunday, May 22, and the cryptocurrency industry is in full force.

The annual gathering of world leaders, central bankers, business titans and cultural influencers is an important event for the crypto industry, in large part because the WEF was one of the first to take the crypto industry seriously. world of digital assets and to give it access to, and a hearing in front of, an influential global audience.

It worked both ways, and Davos, Switzerland is now a place where the crypto world is taken very seriously.

Which is a big part of why the WEF unveiled a new partnership with Microsoft and Accenture to build a “Global Collaboration Village” in the metaverse.

Monday (May 23) announcement by WEF Founder and CEO Klaus Schwab that the organization “is embarking on an ambitious new journey to harness the potential of the metaverse as a platform for collaborative, inclusive and effective international action”, certainly has greatness radical that true believers tend to use when extolling its virtues as the future of social media, socializing, and even marketing and commerce. Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta, for example, recently predicted that the immersive virtual world we are promised will be a $3 trillion internet reboot.

See also: What is a metaverse and why do we organize a fashion show?

And while the 3D metaverse is still in its infancy, Accenture CEO Julie Sweet said it still has the potential to redefine the way people work. And for its part, Schwab is betting it will “provide immersive spaces where stakeholders can come together, create, and act on the world’s most pressing challenges.” And expand the WEF’s influence footprint, of course.

Then there’s the WEF’s new Defining and Building the Metaverse initiative, which aims to create governance and policy rules for metaverses to “create a fair, interoperable, and secure digital environment from the start.”

Which is certainly a business for a barely existing technology that can best be described as a social media platform on steroids, especially when many developers want to see it made as open and uncensored as possible.

See also: Meta is opening its Metaverse platform to payments, and it’s not cheap

However, they are not the only blockchain dreamers in Davos. Lockheed Martin has announced a partnership with the Filecoin Foundation to build a network of open-source, seriously decentralized blockchain nodes in space.

Read more: PYMNTS Crypto Basics Series: What is a consensus mechanism and why is it destroying the planet?

The Filecoin Foundation is the originator of the protocol upon which the metaverse-believer set also believe the next-generation decentralized internet, Web3, will be built.

See more : Web3: Is there a “there” over there? And if so, where is it?

just say no

Back on dry land, central bankers and financial executives in Davos are not so impressed. The Governor of the Banque de France, François Villeroy de Galhau, said that “cryptocurrencies are not a reliable means of payment”. It requires someone to be responsible for the value, and it needs to be universally accepted as a medium of exchange, he said, adding that crypto has neither, CNN reported.

Bank of Thailand Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput voiced what is becoming an increasingly common refrain from government officials from Indonesia to Turkey to India that “we don’t want the see as a means of payment”.

Speaking at the same WEF panel, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva criticized Bitcoin as an unstable store of value that “can be called a coin, but it’s not money”.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg News reported, she also said, “I beg you not to withdraw from the importance of this world. It gives us all faster service, much lower costs and greater inclusion. »

That said, she also mentioned in passing the $45 billion collapse of stablecoin TerraUSD the week of May 9, arguing that good projects need to be separated and regulatory safeguards put in place to protect against bad ones.

——————————

NEW PYMNTS DATA: THE TRUTH ABOUT BNPL AND STORED CARDS – APRIL 2022

On: Shoppers who have store cards use them for 87% of all eligible purchases – but that doesn’t mean retailers should start buy now, pay later (BNPL) options at checkout. The Truth About BNPL and Store Cards, a collaboration between PYMNTS and PayPal, surveys 2,161 consumers to find out why providing both BNPL and Store Cards is key to helping merchants maximize conversion.

The 9 best index funds for 2022

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An index fund is a type of mutual fund that buys all or a representative sample of the securities of a specific index, such as the S&P500. Instead of being actively managed by fund managers, index funds are passively managed. This style of management helps reduce fees and expenses.

Like all mutual funds, index funds can add diversification to your portfolio because they invest in many different stocks, often across a wide range of industries.

What are the best index funds for 2022?

Hundreds of index funds are available to investors these days, from several different brokerage firms. Here are nine of the best funds to consider and what you need to know to start investing in the best ones. index funds. The ranking is based on the minimum investment required, five-year returns and fees – both the net expense ratio and management fees, which are part of the expense ratio.

1. Vanguard 500 Index Fund Admiral Shares (VFIAX)

The objective of the Vanguard 500 Index Fund is to track the performance of the S&P 500 Index, which includes stocks with high market caps. As such, it invests most of its assets in stocks that are included in the index.

  • Minimum investment: $2,500
  • Spend rate: 0.04%
  • Management fees: 0.04%
  • Five-year average return: 13.62%

2. Nasdaq Fidelity Composite Index Fund (FNCMX)

This fund tracks the performance of the Nasdaq Composite Index and includes large positions in several technology stocks. It carries above average risk, but has generated strong returns over the years.

  • Minimum investment: $0
  • Spend rate: 0.29%
  • Management fees: 0.24%
  • Five-year average return: 16.21%

3. Fidelity 500 Index Fund (FXAIX)

loyalty can be an ideal choice for those looking for the best index funds for beginners, thanks to the resources it provides for clients, including tools that offer investment advice and research. Founded in 1988, its 500 Index fund is a balanced fund that invests at least 80% of its assets in S&P500 shares.

  • Minimum investment: $0
  • Spend rate: 0.015%
  • Management fees: 0.02%
  • Five-year average return: 13.65%

4. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Admiral Shares (VTSAX)

The objective of Vanguard’s Total Stock Market Index Fund is to provide investors with exposure to all US equities, including small-, mid-, and large-cap growth and value stocks. This is a great fund if you want a diversified investment across a wide range of businesses and markets.

  • Minimum investment: $2,500
  • Spend rate: 0.04%
  • Management fees: 0.04%
  • Five-year average return: 12.96%

5. Schwab S&P 500 Index Fund (SWPX)

Designed to directly compete with Vanguard and Fidelity index funds, the Schwab S&P 500 Index is a low-cost fund with no minimum investment. It invests in 500 of the major US companies and is exposed to approximately 80% of US market capitalization.

  • Minimum investment: $2,500
  • Spend rate: 0.02%
  • Management fees: 0.02%
  • Five-year average return: 13.63%

6. Schwab Total Stock Market Index Fund (SWTSX)

the Schwab The Total Stock Market Index fund tracks the total return of the US stock market based on the Dow Jones US Total Stock Market Index. It is a balanced fund comprised of large, mid and small capitalization US stocks.

  • Minimum investment: $2,500
  • Spend rate: 0.03%
  • Management fees: 0.03%
  • Five-year average return: 12.88%

7. Schwab Fundamental US Large Company Index Fund (SFLNX)

Schwab’s Fundamental US Large Company Index Fund aims to achieve results that track the Russell RAFI US Large Company Index. It is a high yield fund with low expenses and a slightly above average level of risk.

  • Minimum investment: $2,500
  • Spend rate: 0.25%
  • Management fees: 0.25%
  • Five-year average return: 12.85%

8. Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Fund (VIMAX) Admiral Shares

the original Avant-garde Mid-Cap Index is closed to new investors, but an Admiral Shares mutual funds and ETFs are available. The fund tracks stocks with more volatility than larger companies, making it better suited to already diversified portfolios.

  • Minimum investment: $2,500
  • Spend rate: 0.05%
  • Management fees: 0.05%
  • Five-year average return: 10.86%

9. Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)

Fidelity’s Total Bond Fund is a diversified fund that uses the Bloomberg Barclays US Universal Bond Index as a guide. Its assets are invested in high-yielding classes and emerging markets, which increases both risk and potential return.

  • Minimum investment: $0
  • Spend rate: 0.45%
  • Management fees: 0.30%
  • Five-year average return: 2.06%

Can you get rich with index funds?

For most people, index funds are a good long term investment choice. Investing in index funds is less risky than investing in individual stocks because index funds are designed to track the broader market. As long as the market goes up, so does the index fund. And because the stock market generally rises over time, so do most index funds.

Index funds tend to be balanced so that if one stock in the fund performs poorly, the rest of the stocks can cushion the loss. The downside is that less risk also means less growth potential. You might miss dips in the value of an individual stock, but you also miss dramatic increases. So it’s hard to get rich with index funds unless you put a lot of money into them.

How to invest in index funds

When you are ready to invest, you will need to open a brokerage account. Here’s how.

Choose a brokerage

Most investors now buy index funds online from brokerages like Charles Schwab, Loyalty and avant-garde, although there are still a few traditional brokerages and financial firms that might require an in-person visit. Look for a company with a proven track record and a positive reputation. Also consider the types of tools available to provide advice and resources for managing your portfolio.

Compare index funds

There are hundreds of index funds that track different indices and sectors. As you browse through the funds available, choose the ones that interest you and compare them.

Here are some metrics to consider when comparing funds:

  • Asset allocation
  • Average returns
  • Spending rate
  • Hint
  • Minimum investment
  • Management fees
  • Risk level

Look for funds that match your financial goals. Index funds are generally less risky than individual stocks, but they are not without risk. Make sure you understand the risk level of the funds before buying them.

Check costs and fees

It costs money to invest in index funds. The expense ratio indicates how much you will pay to hold the fund. The higher the expense ratio, the higher the cost in terms of management and other fees. You may also have to pay a separate service fee.

But cost should not be the only factor to consider. It is also important to research the fund’s performance history and tax efficiency. Note how closely the fund mirrors the index it is supposed to track. Consider pre-tax and after-tax returns.

Is it a good time to buy index funds?

Now is a good time to buy index funds if they match your financial goals. Since they track specific market indices, they are affected by stock market volatility.

Most investors choose the best index funds for long-term growth. A Financial Advisor can help you define your financial goals and decide if index funds are right for you.

Daria Uhlig contributed to the reporting of this article.

Data is accurate as of May 19, 2022 and is subject to change. Five-year rolling returns are calculated from the last day of the previous month.

This article has been updated with additional reports since its original publication.

This article originally appeared on
GOBankingRates.com:
The 9 best index funds for 2022

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Citrus North explained the different types of loans offered by Canada

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The subject of interest rates can be an extremely difficult subject to grasp, especially for people unfamiliar with the regulations and rules that govern lending in Canada. Understanding the concept of interest rates is not something you can master on your own. Here is a brief description of the different types of loans.

1. Payday Loans

The payday loan can be between two weeks and two weeks to a month. You can withdraw up to $1,500, but the balance owing is due when your next paycheck is due, so you’ll need to pay on time. In the event that a loan to pay a breakdown cannot be repaid, the borrower has the option of taking out another one or placing it in overdraft on his account until his next payday.

If you are looking for particular areas, you can search for “payday loans in Kamloops” and review the regulations that apply to the specific area. These loans are characterized by high interest rates, usually around $25 per $100 borrowed.

There are, however, cheaper options to use. Some loans offer reduced interest rates when you make a direct deposit or a pre-authorized transfer to the credit card. Payday loan companies that offer the service online, such as CitrusNorth: Instant Approval.

2. Line of credit loans

Unsecured line of credit also called credit loan is a form of overdraft that can be used to pay specific fees. For example, in the event that, for example, you are traveling and have additional expenses associated with your travel plans, they can be paid for through lines of credit or lines of credit.

This is also known as credit loans. The procedure is simple. You can withdraw the amount you want and pay interest until the credit is fully repaid.

If you are looking to get more money, it is possible. There is no limit to the amount you can spend. However, there are some limitations. Some people are not eligible to receive these loans because they are credit loans.

If the credit score is not excellent, chances are you will be refused. Lines of credit are generally not as expensive as payday loans, but they are still dependent on credit rating.

3. Student loans

If you have just graduated or, in certain circumstances, are attending a college, university or university, student loans may be the right choice to consider. They differ from other types of loans in that, instead of requiring collateral for a loan, applicants are required to prove that they are currently enrolled in the institution or have completed a course in the institution. ‘establishment.

They allow you to withdraw the amount you need based on your financial situation and the tuition fees you are currently paying. Also, there are no fees as they do not rely on any type of credit score as a method of determination.

Many students do not realize the obligation to repay loans immediately with withdrawals from their accounts or through the financial aid office of the university or college they attend and paying for the service of financial aid.

4. Citizenship Loans

Citizenship loans are available to people who have recently obtained recognition of their citizenship in Canada. This type of loan is generally offered to people who need cash to settle their file or to cover travel expenses.

It’s usually small amounts of money that have a return. There are no fees as this is a short term loan and you will need to pay it back quickly. It could take just a week for the loan to be credited to your credit card, assuming everything goes as planned.

To qualify for the loan, you are not required to demonstrate that you have a good credit history, but in certain situations when it is your first time applying for the loan after being approved for the loan, they will look at the details of your credit report.

5. Unsecured Loans

Loans that are unsecured do not require collateral and are generally given to those who are able to show a good credit history and low interest rates. People eligible to receive these types of loans are usually those who need funds to cover unexpected expenses or to pay for a longer period.

For example, you may qualify for an unsecured loan if you need money to renovate your home or pay for an essential procedure.

What you are eligible to receive generally depends on the conditions of your work and your income. However, there are other types of credit that are secured, such as movable mortgages, which allow you to obtain more than traditional loans, since they offer a certain proportion in the loan amount in the event that the security is used due to inability to pay.

6. Secured Loans

Secured loans are generally granted to those who have a bad credit history. Because these are people who have bad credit, these loans usually have a higher interest rate, which means you will have to pay higher interest rates for the loan.

Due to higher interest rates and poor credit ratings, this type of credit is usually secured by collateral. That’s why you can get up to $25,000, depending on the type of warranty you decide to test.

If you are seeking a secured loan, you must be at least 18 years old, but there is no age limit if you can prove that you are able to meet the financial obligation. The type of loan must be repaid within a specific time frame, as specified by your lender.

What are the benefits of loans?

They are vital for many reasons. They allow you to achieve your goal of having your own home, even if you are unable to put enough money into your account. Another reason for loans is that they allow those with bad credit to still get money and can possibly help improve their credit situation.

You can obtain credit that is unprotected and not subject to a higher interest rate. Another reason for the need for loans could be that they allow businesses to grow and grow as most businesses need money to start their business or to increase the scale of their business.

Torben A. Carlsen of Citrus North says loans are an effective instrument that can be used in a variety of ways. The other benefit of loans is the fact that they help individuals become financially self-sufficient by helping them start their own business or buy a house or cover medical expenses that might not be feasible otherwise.

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Cathie Wood sees this technology accelerating GDP growth by 50% per year

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Renowned fund manager and Ark Invest founder Cathy Wood Saturday suggested artificial general intelligence (AGI) is likely to provide a big boost to economic growth.

The fund manager believes that a breakthrough in AGI will lead to the acceleration of GDP in the next six to 12 years. The analyst estimates that GDP growth will increase from the current 3-5% annual rate to 30-50% per year. “The new DNA will win,” she added.

Related link: Why Cathie Wood says record stocks could drive prices down

Wood’s opinions came in the form of a quote tweet from the Ark Invest analyst Bret Winton, who shared a graph showing that the estimated time for AGI has dropped by 60-70% over the past two months.

“You can reasonably conclude that these revisions to the estimated time for AI imply a change in the net present value of real GDP of about 100x (at a 10% discount rate),” Winton said.

The results of the research paper show that the introduction of AGI would cause GDP to double in about two years, notably faster than the 16 times without it, he added.

3 risk-free debt instruments with returns above 8% against inflation in 2022

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Generally, whenever the equity market experiences volatility and requires time to correct the underlying prices, debt securities gain popularity. In a turbulent stock market, playing it safe by diversifying your portfolio with risk-free debt securities reduces the risk of potential profitability. To keep consumer price index (CPI) inflation, which hit an 8-year high of 7.79% in April, in check, the central bank is expected to announce another key rate hike in June. , which will lead to a further rise in interest rates. Although banks have started raising interest rates, it is still difficult to generate returns that beat inflation compared to the current scenario. With that in mind, we’ve selected four risk-free debt investments that can provide you with stable, inflation-proof returns of over 8%.

Shriram Transport Finance Recurrent Deposit (RD)

Shriram Transport Finance Company (STFC) offers Recurring Deposit (RD) with a yield of up to 8.50% for debt investors seeking inflation-beating returns. In response to the question “Is it safe to invest in Shriram Transport Finance Recurring Deposits?” Investors should be aware that STFC RD has been rated “FAAA/Stable” by CRISIL, indicating the highest level of deposit security, and “MAA+ with stable outlook” by ICRA, which gives a clear view of the level of credit. . STFC offers an interest rate of 7.03% on recurring deposits with 12-month maturity, 7.12% on RD with 24-month maturity, 8.18% on deposits with 36-month maturity , 8.34% on deposits with a maturity of 48 months and 8.50%. percent on deposits maturing in 60 months, beginning August 1, 2021. This deposit plan is open to resident individuals and HUFs with a minimum deposit of 500 per slice.

Tamil Nadu Power Finance and Infrastructure Development Corporation (TNPFC) DF

The Tamil Nadu Power Finance and Infrastructure Development Corporation (TNPFC) is a public enterprise in Tamil Nadu. Therefore, a discussion of the risks is not necessary at this stage. This government-backed organization offers a fixed deposit system with cumulative and non-cumulative options.

The non-cumulative fixed deposit has a maturity of 2 to 5 years and, as the name suggests, the interest rate, which varies from 7.25% to 8%, is paid monthly, quarterly or annually, and the amount of the deposit is credited to the investor at maturity. Non-cumulative term deposits maturing in 24 months will earn an interest rate of 7.25%, deposits maturing in 36 months will earn an interest rate of 7.75%, deposits maturing in Maturing in 48 months will earn an interest rate of 7.75%, and deposits maturing in 60 months will earn an interest rate of 8%, which is a return above inflation for regular customers.

Senior citizens will benefit from an additional rate of 0.5%. The cumulative FD has a term of 1 to 5 years with an interest rate of 7.25% to 8%. Interest would be compounded quarterly and paid at maturity, as the name suggests. Deposits maturing in 12 months will earn an interest rate of 7%, deposits maturing in 24 months will earn an interest rate of 7.25%, deposits maturing in 36-48 months will earn a interest rate of 7.75%, deposits maturing in 60 months will earn an interest rate of 8%, and seniors will earn an additional 0.50% interest rate on their deposits.

Tamil Nadu Transport Development Finance Corporation Ltd (TDFC) DF

Tamil Nadu Transport Development Finance Corporation Ltd (TDFC) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Government of Tamil Nadu which offers a fixed deposit system for bond investors with two options: Periodic Interest Payment System (PIPS) and Multiplier System monetary (MMS) (MMS). The minimum deposit amount allowed under the MMS is Rs 50,000, and interest is compounded quarterly at the applicable interest rate and paid at maturity with the principal amount.

The MMS plan has deposit terms ranging from 12 to 60 months, with the company offering a standard rate of 7% and 7.25% for seniors on deposits maturing in 12 months. On MMS FD plans maturing in 24 months, TDFC offers a regular rate of 7.25% and 7.50% for seniors; on MMS FD plans maturing in 36-48 months, TDFC offers a regular rate of 7.75% and 8.25% for seniors. TDFC offers a regular anti-inflation rate of 8.00% and 8.50% to seniors on MMS FD plans maturing in 60 months.

The minimum deposit allowed under the PIPS program is Rs.50,000/-, and interest is paid monthly, quarterly or annually. Regular customers will benefit from a monthly interest rate of 7.75% on PIPS FD with maturities of 36 to 48 months and an interest rate of 8.00% on PIPS FD with maturities of 60 months . Under the PIPS program, regular customers will benefit from a quarterly interest rate of 7.25% on 24-month deposits, 7.75% on 36-48 month deposits and 8.00% on 60 month deposits. Under the PIPS plan, regular customers will receive an annual rate of 7.98% on deposits of 36 to 48 months and an annual rate of 8.24% on deposits of 60 months.

Senior citizens will benefit from a monthly interest rate of 8.25% on deposits of 36 to 48 months and an interest rate of 8.50% on deposits of 60 months. They will benefit from a quarterly rate of 7.50% on 24-month deposits, 8.25% on 36-48 month deposits and 8.50% on 60-month deposits. Under the PIPS scheme, senior residents will benefit from an annual rate of 8.51% on deposits of 36 to 48 months and an annual rate of 8.77% on deposits of 60 months.

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Montenegro’s billion-dollar highway faces uncertain future after years of delay

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PODGORICA – Eight years after the contract was signed, the first section of a controversial highway project in Montenegro funded by a massive $1 billion Chinese loan is nearing completion – but it still faces questions persistent about its future.

Once hailed by China as a landmark deal under the Belt and Road Initiative – its global infrastructure project – the expressway has since become a cautionary tale that has fused the dangers of a Chinese-built shoddy and superficial lending practices with endemic locals. corruption problems in this Balkan country.

Montenegro originally borrowed nearly $1 billion from the Export-Import Bank of China in 2014 to finance the first part of a 163-kilometre highway linking the port city of Bar to neighboring Serbia as part of promise to boost economic activity in the Balkan country, but Podgorica was instead saddled with debts to China that totaled more than a third of the government’s annual budget.

This long chapter looks set to be over, with Montenegrin Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic announcing in May that the first 41-kilometre section of the highway would open this summer.

Ervin Ibrahimovic, Montenegrin Minister of Capital Investments, mentioned during remarks broadcast on state television on May 16 that it could be unveiled in July, without however specifying what remained to be completed.

But the story of the controversial highway is far from over, with the future of the remaining 122 kilometers of the originally planned route still unbuilt. At present, the initial stretch of road fades into the middle of a large forested area and no funds are currently available to continue building the remaining portion.

This has led to growing scrutiny and speculation from local activists and international donors about Beijing’s goals in Montenegro and the Balkans, as well as the motives of the previous government that first gave the go-ahead. to the highway.

“Any further delay in the opening of the highway is a direct loss for the state and the citizens,” Dejan Milovac of the watchdog organization The Network for Affirmation of the Non Governmental Sector (MANS) told RFE. /RL.

The original deadline for the highway’s completion was November 2019, which has since been repeatedly pushed back by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), the state-owned construction company, citing the pandemic of COVID-19 as the source of the delays.

MANS said the project’s multiple postponements resulted in a loss of revenue from the potential toll road, with Milovac saying that four successive governments not knowing when the highway will be completed indicate “how well the state has approached the project. frivolously”. “

The long road to Montenegro

Despite the failure of several feasibility studies, the project was signed by the government of then Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, who took on the huge Chinese loan to fund the highway and shrouded it in a cloud of secrecy.

In addition to the feasibility studies, the questions of profitability and necessity of the motorway have followed it since its creation. Djukanovic’s government also received construction bids from several foreign companies, including US engineering and construction giant Bechtel, which proposed a smaller, lower-cost project that ultimately lost to the CRBC.

The 2014 loan agreement with the Export-Import Bank of China has been made public, but almost all other documents relating to the Montenegrin highway have been classified by Podgorica.

Amid delays and mounting debt, the engineering project found itself at the center of a heated debate over Chinese influence in Europe when Podgorica raised concerns about its inability to meet its payments. to the Export-Import Bank, a state lender, in 2021.

The small Balkan country of just 620,000 people finally struck a deal with a French bank and two US banks to restructure the $1 billion Chinese loan and has since made its first debt repayment.

The highway, which according to a study could be the most expensive road in the world at around $23.8 million per kilometer, has also encountered quality problems, with former Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic visiting the project in December 2021 and criticizing what he said was poor construction.

Krivokapic was ousted in a no-confidence vote in late February and replaced in April by Abazovic, who is a longtime highway critic and first sounded the alarm over debt concerns over the loan during a a trip in March 2021 to Brussels.

Abazovic’s government has signaled a tougher line than its predecessors in pushing back against CRBC and construction delays. Miroslav Masic, director general of national roads at Montenegro’s Ministry of Investments, told RFE/RL that apart from an initial extension until November 2020 due to the pandemic, the government believes the reasons for the delays in the CRBC are unfounded. “Everything after that [November 2020] the deadline is [CRBC]is our responsibility,” he said.

Next, Montenegro’s Deputy Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic (left) meets with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in Brussels on March 17, 2021.

CRBC did not respond to RFE/RL’s requests for comment on the delays.

Limit the damage

Masic says the government has already started proceedings to recover the costs from the CRBC due to the multiple delays in the form of penalties. “Certainly, by the end of the project, these penalties can be issued and an overview of the costs incurred due to delays can be made,” he said.

MANS’ Milovac says the current government is right to seek compensation from the Chinese construction company, but adds that CRBC is not solely responsible for the controversy and problems associated with the troubled highway project.

Only after all documents and contracts related to the highway are fully released, he says, will it be clear who is responsible. “On several occasions we have had delays that were approved by previous ministries without the public being fully aware of the exact reasons,” Milovac said. “As soon as it was approved, we can assume that the blame was also on [the Montenegrin] Chinese side and not just the Chinese side.

Written by Reid Standish based on reporting by Predrag Tomovic of RFE/RL’s Balkan service in Podgorica

The Retired Investor: Interest-only mortgages are risky in a rising rate environment. / iBerkshires.com

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By Bill SchmickChronicler of the iBerkshires

Over the past decade, as interest rates have fallen, some homebuyers have turned to interest-only loans. However, times are changing and borrowers should be careful when considering this type of mortgage.

Over the past two years, many financial lenders have tightened credit standards for most types of loans. The combination of the coronavirus pandemic, supply shortages, inflation and the impact of war in Ukraine has dampened the US economy. A slowing economy increases lending risk, so tougher standards emerge.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-sponsored companies that back most mortgages, exclude interest-only mortgages. And while standards have been raised since the 2007 subprime meltdown for these types of loans, it feels like the standards may be more lax than conventional loans. Lenders, for the most part, keep these mortgages in their own portfolio or sell them to institutional investors.

An interest-only mortgage is a mortgage in which you initially pay only loan interest for a set period of time, usually five, seven or ten years. Therefore, your monthly payments are cheaper since you do not repay the principal (the total amount borrowed). However, after this initial period is over, you will still owe the same amount on the mortgages that you originally borrowed. Typically, these loans charge higher interest rates than conventional mortgages.

Interest-only loans are popular right now in this booming real estate market. It would be a mistake to take out such a loan just to be entitled to a house that you could not otherwise afford. Others think they can afford bigger homes with higher asking prices because their monthly payments could be several hundred dollars lower per month.

Another mistake is to discount future risk by arguing that by the time the interest-only period expires, interest rates will have fallen further, or they will earn enough income to pay future payments, whatever they may be. be. It would be best to take a worst-case scenario and see if you can live with it.

Let’s say you had a 30-year fixed rate mortgage that you took out in 2012. Your initial interest-only period was ten years. This time is now up. What happens? You still have the full principal to repay, only now you only have 20 years to do so. This means that your monthly payments will simply increase because of the calculations. How much exactly should also be of concern.

Payment terms for the remainder of the loan may vary, but your new interest rate is usually determined by the rate in effect at that time. Some loans are capped, so the new interest rate you will be charged cannot be increased by more than 2%. Other loans may not have a ceiling. In an environment of rising rates which can be catastrophic for borrowers.

Also, remember that your monthly payments now include principal repayments, plus a higher interest rate and a shorter time period to pay off the entire mortgage. That can mean your new monthly payment could cost you 2 to 3 times what you paid in the first ten years of your loan, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Ask yourself what would happen if mortgage interest rates, which hit a 30-year low last year, continued to rise over the next decade? There is a real risk that rates will rise to such an extent that additional costs for borrowers pose a risk of default.

Certainly, if the payments become so expensive, there is always a chance that the loan will be refinanced or the term of the loan extended, but at what cost? My advice is to take the time and effort to analyze whether an interest-only mortgage is right for you or if it’s just a tempting alternative that doesn’t make economic sense in the long run.


Bill Schmick is the founding partner of Onota Partners, Inc., in the Berkshires. His forecasts and opinions are purely his own and do not necessarily represent the views of Onota Partners Inc. (OPI). None of his comments are or should be considered investment advice. Direct inquiries to Bill at 1-413-347-2401 or email him at [email protected]


Anyone wishing to obtain personalized investment advice should contact a qualified investment adviser. None of the information presented in this article is intended to be and should not be construed as an endorsement by OPI, Inc. or a solicitation to become a customer of OPI. The reader should not assume that the specific strategies or investments discussed are employed, purchased, sold or owned by OPI. Investments in securities are not insured, protected or guaranteed and may result in loss of income and/or capital. This communication may include opinions and forward-looking statements, and we cannot guarantee that these beliefs and expectations will prove to be accurate. Investments in securities are not insured, protected or guaranteed and may result in loss of income and/or capital. This communication may include opinions and forward-looking statements, and we cannot guarantee that these beliefs and expectations will prove to be accurate.

PREVIEW: IHG Japan 35% Off Flash Sale For Stays June 1 – December 29, 2022

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IHG-affiliated hotels in Japan are about to launch their flash sale for stays from June 1 through December 29, 2022.

IHG One Rewards members save 35%, while the discount for non-members is capped at 25%. You must book this offer from May 24th to May 30th.

You can access this offer on the IHG website here.

READ MORE: IHG One Rewards Rates and Bonus Points Offers

You can cancel the stay free of charge up to 7 days before check-in. If you cancel later or if you do not show up, you will be charged a penalty of one night.

There may be variations to this policy by individual properties, so check the cancellation rules carefully.

Participating hotels:

Conclusion

This Japan flash sale really should be 35% off, because there’s no “until” verbiage on the page.

It’s worth checking the rates when it goes live on Wednesday if you plan to visit Japan later this year, when it has hopefully reopened to international visitors.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

Japan May 2022 Flash Sale (the “Promotion”) is valid only for selected bookings made from 12:00 p.m. (JST) on May 24, 2022 until 12:00 p.m. (JST) on May 30, 2022 (both dates inclusive) (the “Booking Dates”) for stays at participating IHG® branded hotels in Japan between June 1, 2022 and December 29, 2022 (the “Stay Dates”) using the “Advance Saver” and “Advance Saver” rates – IHG One Rewards Member Rate” during the Reservation Dates.

The promotion offers a 25% discount on the hotel’s best flexible rate, which is a variable, unrestricted, non-qualified, non-discounted rate. IHG One Rewards members will be eligible to receive up to an additional 10% off bookings made directly through IHG channels under this Promotion. Rates are per room, per night single/double occupancy and are subject to availability during stay dates. Minimum stay of 1 night required.

Advance Saver and Advance Saver – IHG One Rewards Member reservations must be made between at least three (3) and thirty (30) days prior to arrival. A cancellation and no-show policy applies and reservations can generally be canceled up to seven (7) days (6:00 PM JST) prior to your arrival date without charge, although this may vary by subject to the individual cancellation policies of participating hotels. No shows or cancellations made less than seven (7) days (6:00 PM JST) prior to your arrival date will result in a one night stay charge. Some participating hotels may have a different cancellation policy and will allow cancellation free of charge up to three (3) days prior to arrival, check each hotel’s policy when making your reservation.

Detailed terms and conditions for each participating hotel

Promotion is valid in Japan at participating Kimpton, InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express & Holiday Inn Express & IHG ANA hotels and resorts. See our websites for details of participating hotels. Certain room types may be excluded from the Promotion and certain participating hotels may include certain premium room categories in the Promotion. So check that you are booking the type of room you chose when making your reservation. The policy of each participating hotel may vary regarding the minimum length of stay required and the number of people allowed per room in this promotion. At the Holiday Inn, children 12 and under stay free in their parents’ room in existing bedding and eat free at the all-day restaurant with a paying adult accompanying them.

Reservations made through IHG brand websites, the IHG app, the CRO or directly at the hotel are eligible for IHG One Rewards points. IHG One Rewards Terms and Conditions apply. Visit ihgonerewards.com for more details. IHG reserves the right to remove a member’s points or cancel a member’s account if fraudulent use of the Promotion is detected.

Taxes, service charges and credit card surcharges are not included. All other in-room dining purchases, minibar purchases and private dining are excluded from this promotion. A credit card guarantee is required to make a reservation. The promotion does not apply to group bookings. Unused components have no cash value and are non-refundable. Not applicable or combinable with other discounted promotions, offers or discounts. Rates and rooms are subject to availability. Blackout dates (days when promotion or offers are not available) may apply at some participating hotels. The final invoice will be denominated in the hotel’s local currency. Hotel-specific early departure fees may apply.

IHG reserves the right to withdraw, suspend or modify this Promotion or modify these terms and conditions without notice at any time with or without notice and without liability. To the extent permitted by applicable law, IHG reserves the right of final interpretation of this Promotion.

As interest rates rise, WA prepares state-run student loan scheme

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Governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1736 in March, establishing a low-interest student loan program to make higher education more manageable for students in Washington. State Rep. Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, who sponsored the legislation, has pushed this idea in the past.

“One of the biggest frustrations I heard from parents was the cost of college,” Sullivan said in an interview with Crosscut, “and from students as well.”

The legislator has advocated a 1% cap on interest rates to make it easier for students as they move on to their next projects. HB 1736 passed both houses on almost a party-line vote.

The Washington program comes at a time when Democratic lawmakers at the federal level are pushing President Joe Biden 一 who has suspended student loan repayments for more than 44 million Americans 一 to reduce borrowers’ student loan debt by 50,000 $, a figure much higher than Biden has indicated he would forgive. According to the text of HB 1736, the Evergreen State has about 800,000 people in debt, with an average debt of about $33,500.

The promise of a low-interest program in Washington may be particularly enticing as federal student loan interest rates rise for the 2022-23 academic year. Interest rates on federal loans have fluctuated over recent academic years: for example, undergraduate student loans had a rate of 5.05% in the 2018-19 academic year and 2. 75% in the 2020-21 academic year.

“At 17, I thought student loans were an investment,” said Carla De Lira, who testified for HB 1736 on Jan. 31. [dollars in] loans. »

How Washington’s New Loan Works

Washington joins a host of other states that offer their own student loans.

In Massachusetts, for example, residents can access zero-interest student loans that must be repaid within ten years, according to a roundup of state programs provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Georgian students enrolled in the state university and technical college systems, as well as those in private schools, can take out loans at a fixed interest rate of 1%.

“We’ve heard stories time and time again about how debt is plaguing students, and it’s time to do something about it,” Rep. Sullivan said in a statement. “While the state cannot cancel federal student loan debt, we can provide hope for students to be able to access a college education without incurring crippling high-interest debt that puts things like property out of reach after graduation.

Residents of Washington, which has one of the lowest homeownership rates in the country, have seen the median home price rise from $223,900 in 2011 to $452,400 in 2020.

Washington lawmakers plan to pay for the program with a one-time deposit of $150 million (earlier versions of the legislation targeted a larger investment of $300 million to $500 million). The Washington Student Achievement Council will need to contract with an actuary to analyze the plan, including whether the program can be self-sufficient on loans repaid at 1% interest.

“It makes sense to me that you have a guaranteed rate of 1%, that’s all,” Sullivan said. “You are not at the mercy of anything [federal government] offer at the time.

The council is also responsible for ensuring that institutions prioritize these new state loans for specific groups, including first-generation students and those considered to be on the lowest incomes.

Borrowers aged 18 to 39 and identified as first-generation college students were more likely than their counterparts to fall behind on loan repayments, according to data from the Federal Reserve, which also identified black and Hispanic borrowers (aged 18 to 39) as “disproportionately likely to be behind on their debt.”

Washington Republicans vote

Most, but not all, Republican state officials rejected the legislation.

The bill was heard in the House College and Workforce Development Committee, as well as in the House Appropriations Committee. Rep. Kelly Chambers, R-Puyallup, who sits on both, voted against the proposal, preferring to back measures that put money in people’s pockets so they can run their homes.

“Right now, with inflation, with supply chain issues, with affordability in Washington, we just see the strain on typical working families in Washington,” she said in an interview. with Crosscut.

Chambers noted that the state has made recent investments in higher education. In 2019, lawmakers passed the Workforce Education Investment Act, a bill aimed at making college more affordable for low-income students.

Two GOP lawmakers, Rep. Skyler Rude, R-Walla Walla and Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, parted ways with their colleagues to vote yes on the bill. Rude saw interest as a significant obstacle in people’s efforts to repay their loans – a problem he personally understands as someone in debt.

“It’s not 1%, I can tell you that,” said Rude, who hopes to see a shift to interest-free or low-interest loans.

The representative also got involved in the crafting of the bill, when he introduced an amendment ensuring that the program also covers students attending independent colleges in the state.

Rep. Kirsten Harris-Talley, D-Seattle, and Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch, voted against the legislation.

What’s left to understand

Elements of the program were pending when HB 1736 passed, including its final interest rate, loan limits, and split between undergraduate and graduate students.

Undergraduate students who meet program requirements are eligible, while graduate students must pursue “a specialized field of study” that is experiencing a labor shortage or high demand.

“At first, I didn’t even consider graduate students,” Sullivan said. “I really focused on the undergraduate.”

That changed when he heard graduate students describe how the main financial aid they receive comes in the form of loans, which will soon have higher interest rates: whereas undergraduates can s Expect to see their rates go up to 4.99% for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans, graduate students will see the rate for unsubsidized loans go up to 6.54%.

Reanne Chilton, a graduate student pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology at Washington State University, testified in favor of HB 1736 on February 17. Chilton, the first in her family to graduate from college, described having to rely on state and federal assistance. pay for his studies because his family could not support his studies financially.

“I always knew that I would have to work harder than others to get an education,” she said.

In her testimony, Chilton described turning down an offer to pursue a graduate degree in teaching, believing she could not afford it. She eventually decided to continue her education, which meant relying on student loans throughout her college career to pay for expenses such as textbooks.

“In a perfect world, all students could go to school debt-free,” Sullivan said. “Student loans are part of our system. This is reality, and if so, let’s at least make it more practical.

The Washington Student Achievement Council is required to report to Governor Inslee and the Legislature by December 1 on details of the program, including its design, sustainability, and implementation.

COPYRIGHT 2022 BY KXLY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED.

Gov. Tim Walz signs settlement abuse law

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Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday signed legislation that should reduce abuse by accident victims who depend on structured settlements to pay their bills.

The measure passed the Senate unanimously last week and received final House approval on Monday in a 126-5 vote. The law takes effect August 1.

The legislation was prompted by a Star Tribune investigation that showed how a largely unregulated part of the financial services industry is preying on people who have suffered catastrophic injuries and received legal settlements aimed at providing them with a safety net. financial security.

Walz was among the first to call for reforms even before the series finished running last fall.

“I am grateful to the Legislative Assembly for addressing the complex but horrific issue of predatory settlement practices,” he said in a statement.

“This bipartisan and comprehensive solution will protect our most vulnerable citizens, making Minnesota a national leader in ensuring everyone is protected from exploitation within our criminal justice system.”

Each year, settlement buying companies persuade American accident victims to sell about $1 billion in future payments. On average, companies keep 60% of the money, according to a Star Tribune analysis of more than 2,400 transactions from seven states between 2000 and 2020. In some cases, people sold future payments for just pennies on the dollar .

Judges are required to review such settlements to see if they are in the best interests of accident victims, but courts routinely approve such settlements after short hearings in which no one questions the merits, according to records.

In Minnesota, one in eight transactions involved a seller with documented mental health issues, including people who were institutionalized when they agreed to sell their payments or who entered into agreements shortly after their release.

Under the new law, Minnesota will become the only state in the nation to require the appointment of an outside attorney to advise judges on whether to approve the sale of structured settlement payments for anyone who appears to be in trouble. mental or cognitive.

“I think it’s a really good idea,” said Stanley Turner, a car accident victim who suffered permanent brain damage in a car accident at the age of 5.

In 2019, Turner was persuaded to sell over $500,000 in future payments for just $12,001, even though he didn’t understand what he was giving up in the deal.

“I’m still fighting,” Turner said. “My life is in shambles.”

No other state routinely requires the appointment of an independent advisor to protect a seller’s interests. Minnesota judges will also be able to appoint an independent adviser on any case if they want an outside opinion on the sale. These advisers will be paid by the factoring companies, with costs capped at $2,000 per case.

“It gives judges the tools to assess whether something is really a good decision,” said Margaret Marrinan, the former Ramsey County District Judge who handled at least 16 sales proposals before retiring in 2017. .

“You don’t want to be a big brother, constantly looking over people’s shoulders,” Marrinan said. “On the other hand, there are so many people who really have no idea what they’re doing.”

The new law requires judges to consider a wide range of factors to determine whether a transaction is truly in the seller’s best interest, including their age, level of maturity and overall financial situation.

Companies will be prevented from engaging in the kind of relentless marketing tactics that have enraged many settlement recipients, who say they have been woken up by telemarketers at all hours with offers to buy their payouts.

“We’ve gone from one of the loosest systems in the country to one of the tightest,” Marrinan said. “There’s a real sense of satisfaction among the judges that the legislature did this to protect people.”

Under the new law, companies will be prohibited from contacting any beneficiary of the settlement who opts out of the solicitations. For those who agree to take business calls, companies will not be able to contact them before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. Companies also won’t be able to offer advances, gifts or other “inducements” to make a deal, or use solicitations that look like checks – all common tactics.

“I still get several mailings every week from businesses, and every time you get one of these checks it makes you think about selling,” said Laura Dalluhn, who was confined to a mental institution when she convinced to sell more than $60,000 in the future. payments under $25,000 in 2019. “It would be nice to get rid of that.”

Are I bonds a good investment?

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Inflation is up, the stock market is down, and I bonds have suddenly become fashionable due to an all-time low interest rate of 9.62%. But while I bonds can help protect your savings against inflationthat does not mean that they are suitable for everyone.

What are bonds?

I Bonds, also known as Series I Savings Bonds, are a form of obligation which earns interest from a variable six-monthly inflation rate based on changes in the consumer price index for all urban consumers, or CPI-U. The rate of a bond I combines two different rates: a fixed rate and an inflation rate. The fixed interest rate remains the same throughout the life of the bond. Its inflation rate is announced by the Tax Services Office and may change twice a year, in May and November.

The combination of a bond’s fixed rate and inflation rate I creates its composite rate. This is the interest rate that a bond I will actually earn. Currently, I bonds offer a composite rate of 9.62%.

As its name suggests, the inflation rate of an I bond is strongly impacted by inflation. As inflation changes, the inflation rate adjusts to compensate for those changes. This can help protect the purchasing power of your money.

And while that 9.62% bond rate is making headlines, it could change in six months when the new inflation rate is set. You must also hold your bond for at least one year before you can cash it, and there are interest rate penalties for cashing before five years.

How much money can you make with I bonds?

Suppose you purchased $10,000 worth of e-I bonds in May 2022 (the maximum amount of e-bonds you can buy in one year). Your fixed rate would be 0% and your inflation rate would be 4.81%. Your composite rate would be calculated as follows:

[Fixed rate + (2x inflation rate) + (fixed rate x inflation rate)] = compound rate

Or, in real numbers:

[0 + (2 x 0.0481) + (0 x 0.0481)] = 0.09620

This composite rate of 9.62%, applied to $10,000 in I bonds, would earn guaranteed interest of $481 over the next six months, but you can’t cash in your bond until you’ve held it for a year. So why even mention taking six months? Because your rate is only guaranteed for six months. After that, the rate can go up or down.

Assuming interest rates remain the same as they are now, and after adding your first six months of interest ($481) to your principal of $10,000, you could earn $985 in interest. altogether after one year. But if you cash in your bond before you’ve held it for five years, you’ll lose the last three months of interest you’ve earned. If the rate stays the same, that would mean you would subtract $252 from your interest and exit the bond agreement with your $10,000 principal and $733 interest for a total of $10,733 minus any tax due.

But bonds are meant to be held for the long term and rates will likely change over time. If you kept your $10,000 bond for 30 years, you wouldn’t lose any interest due to penalties, but there’s no guarantee your rate would stay the same. This can make it difficult to know exactly how much you can earn investing in I bonds over a long period of time – although this is true for most investments.

I bind considerations

I-bonds aren’t just free-for-all — they’re government-backed bonds. Here are some of the important things to keep in mind:

Types of bonds I

There are two types of I bonds, paper and electronic.

Paper I bonds can only be purchased by mail when filing a federal tax return. This alone can make it difficult to buy them. They have a minimum purchase amount of $50 and a maximum of $5,000 per calendar year. You can buy them in increments of $50, $100, $200, $500, and $1,000.

Electronic I Bonds can be purchased online. They have a minimum purchase amount of $25 and a maximum of $10,000 per calendar year. You can buy them for up to $10,000.

If you purchase the maximum amount of paper and electronic I Bonds, you can purchase up to $15,000 of I Bonds each year.

How long to keep my bonds

“Most bondholders hold the bond for at least 12 months. If they sell the bond before the 12 months, they don’t receive any interest,” said Clark Kendall, Certified Financial Planner and Founder of Kendall Capital. in Rockville, Maryland in an email interview “If they sell a bond after holding it for less than 5 years, they lose 3 months interest on the bond.”

If you hold the bond for five years or more, you won’t lose any interest. I bonds can earn interest for 30 years unless you redeem them first.

I obligations and taxes

Interest you earn on I Bonds is subject to federal income tax but not state or local income tax.

An education tax exclusion can help you exclude some or all of your I Bond interest from your gross income if you meet several conditions, including paying qualified college expenses in the same tax year.

Should you buy bonds?

I bonds are all over the news right now, but does that mean they’re worth it?

“I bonds are a good place to park the money you’ll need for the medium term (one to five years). For example, putting money into I bonds that you’ll use for a down payment in a few years makes a lot of sense,” Kenneth Chavis, certified financial planner and senior wealth manager at LourdMurray in Los Angeles, said in an interview by E-mail. .

If you’re investing for a long time – for example, for retirement – you may want the bulk of your portfolio to be allocated to equities instead. You can think of plunging the stock markets as a sell. Keeping money invested in a volatile market is generally a good strategy – historically speaking, there’s a good chance your investments will bounce back.

“There’s a lot of talk about I bonds because of the current six-month rate, but ultimately these investments should only be a small part of a stronger investment portfolio,” Kendall said.

Disclosure: The author held no position in the above investments at the time of initial publication.

The decline of TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TJX) seems unjustified

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It’s no secret that inflation puts a lot of pressure on the pocket of the average American consumer. So, it’s surprising to see a discount retailer like The companies TJX, Inc. (NYSE: TJX) has fallen more than the broader market since the start of the year.

At the moment, the stock is trading at a reasonable valuation, and it has just increased its dividend by 13%.

Check out our latest analysis for TJX companies

Company profile

The TJX Companies, Inc is a low-cost home fashion and apparel retailer operating in the United States and around the world. Its off-price model is based on discounting prices by purchasing large volumes of branded products directly from manufacturers.

The Company operates through 4 segments: Marmaxx, HomeGoods, TJX Canada and TJX International. He is based in Framingham, Massachusetts.

First quarter results

  • Non-GAAP EPS: $0.68 (beat $0.08)
  • Revenue: $11.41 billion ($170 million shortfall)
  • Revenue growth: +13.1%

Other Highlights

  • Q2 guidance is now -1% to -3%, and diluted EPS in the $0.65 to $0.69 range.
  • For fiscal 2023, same store sales guidance is +1% to +2%.
  • The company increased its dividend by 13% in the first quarter, and it now pays US$0.29, or approx. 2.1% at current price.

Estimated Intrinsic Value of TJX

We generally believe that the value of a business is the present value of all the cash it will generate in the future. In our calculation, we will use a discounted cash flow (DCF) model. Anyone interested in learning a little more about intrinsic value should read the Simply Wall St.

We will use a two-stage DCF model which, as the name suggests, considers two stages of growth. The first stage is usually a period of higher growth which stabilizes towards the terminal value, captured in the second period of “sustained growth”.

In the first step, we need to estimate the company’s cash flow over the next ten years. Wherever possible, we use analysts’ estimates, but where these are not available, we extrapolate the previous free cash flow (FCF) from the latest estimate or reported value. We assume that companies with decreasing free cash flow will slow their rate of contraction and companies with increasing free cash flow will see their growth rate slow during this period.

A DCF is based on the idea that a dollar in the future is worth less than a dollar today, we therefore discount the value of these future cash flows to their estimated value in today’s dollars:

Estimated free cash flow (FCF) over 10 years

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Leveraged FCF ($, millions) US$3,000,000,000 $2.90 billion $3.47 billion $3.82 billion $4.30 billion $4.96 billion US$5.41 billion $5.78 billion US$6.09 billion US$6.35 billion
Growth rate estimate Source Analyst x10 Analyst x6 Analyst x8 Analyst x4 Analyst x4 Analyst x3 Is 8.98% Is at 6.86% Is at 5.38% Is at 4.34%
Present value (in millions of dollars) discounted at 6.5% $2.8,000 $2,600 $2,900 $3,000 $3,100 $3,400 $3.5,000 $3.5,000 $3,400 $3,400

(“East” = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
10-year discounted cash flow (PVCF) = $32 billion

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all future cash flows after this ten-year period. For some reasons, a very conservative growth rate is used which cannot exceed that of a country’s GDP growth. In this case, we used the 5-year average of the 10-year government bond yield (1.9%) to estimate future growth. Similarly, as with the 10-year “growth” period, we discount future cash flows to present value, using a cost of equity of 6.5%.

Terminal value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = $6.4 billion × (1 + 1.9%) ÷ (6.5%–1.9%) = $141 billion

Present value of terminal value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)ten= $141 billion ÷ (1 + 6.5%)ten= $75 billion

The total value, or equity value, is then the sum of the present value of the future cash flows, which in this case is US$106 billion. To get the intrinsic value per share, we divide it by the total number of shares outstanding.

Compared to the current share price of US$56.2, the company seems pretty good value for money at a 38% discount to the current share price. Remember, however, that this is only a rough estimate.

NYSE: TJX Discounted Cash Flow May 18, 2022

The hypotheses

We emphasize that the most important inputs to a discounted cash flow are the discount rate and, of course, the actual cash flows. The DCF does not take into account the possible cyclicality of an industry or its future capital needs, so it does not give a complete picture of a company’s potential performance.

Since we consider TJX companies as potential shareholders, the cost of equity is used as the discount rate rather than the cost of capital (or weighted average cost of capital, WACC), which takes debt into account. We used 6.5% in this calculation, which is based on a leveraged beta of 1.085. Beta is a measure of a stock’s volatility relative to the market.

Conclusion

So far, TJX stock has fallen more than expected in this market, as it operates in a niche for price-sensitive clients. Still, it’s a solid company that pays a reasonable dividend and has an excellent balance sheet. It is therefore not surprising that institutional analysts are pricing it as a buy with an average price target of US$77.35 – below our intrinsic level, but still offering considerable upside.

The DCF model is not a perfect tool for stock valuation. Thus, we have to explore other angles when analyzing companies.

For TJX companies, we’ve put together three Additional elements you should explore:

  1. Risks: For example, we found 3 warning signs for TJX companies (1 cannot be ignored!) that you should consider before investing here.
  2. Management: Did insiders increase their shares to take advantage of market sentiment about TJX’s future prospects? View our management and board analysis with insights into CEO compensation and governance factors.
  3. Other strong companies: Low debt, high returns on equity and good past performance are essential to a strong business. Why not explore our interactive list of stocks with strong trading fundamentals to see if there are any other companies you may not have considered!

PS. Simply Wall St updates its DCF calculation daily for every US stock, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock, all you have to do is search here.

Simply Wall St analyst Stjepan Kalinic and Simply Wall St have no position at any of the companies mentioned. This article is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It is not a recommendation to buy or sell stocks and does not take into account your objectives or financial situation. Our goal is to bring you targeted long-term analysis based on fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not take into account the latest announcements from price-sensitive companies or qualitative materials.

this is definitely an open world game

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JThe first thing we are shown is an overview of the new Saints Row‘s Santo Ileso, “a dense open world that rewards exploration”, divided into nine districts. The gangs lift tire weights on street corners and party around inflated cars, and a Ferris wheel is tilted on the outskirts. The Saints don’t exist when the game opens, we’re told, they’re roommates from rival factions, brought together by a need to make rent. Connect, millennials! Why aren’t you in a relationship!

We cut to two of the Saints, Eli and the customizable protagonist, Protag if you will, leading to the Others meeting. Eli listens to a self-help podcast. Protag reproaches him for having listened to him. They all reunite, pull out their guns, and take a cool walk to the payday loan company they’re planning to rob. “Walk away,” said one, holding the security guard at gunpoint, “or the phrase ‘dead end job’ becomes literal.” I won’t quote all the dialogue, but it’s a pretty good indicator of the tone going forward. Draw your own conclusions.

Robbery done, it’s time for a car chase. The New Mexico-inspired city streets are colorful, though vacant and lifeless. A train cuts our car on the way to the switch vehicle, and we wait for it to pass, a meme about obeying the rules of the road in GTA inexplicably transformed into decor. After the train passes, police cars appear and we are introduced to the “side swipe”, a defensive driving maneuver that violently drives away pursuers. The vehicular combat seems to have neat physics, with police cars colliding, crashing, and eventually exploding with satisfying force.

Saints Row. Credit: Deep Silver Volition

Shaking off the cops, Protag arrives at the lot housing their getaway car, only to find it has been claimed by gang members from Los Panteros. Our protag pulls out a gun and the fight begins. If enemies are level limited to the recent Assassin’s Creed games is unclear, but some of these enemies take multiple clean headshots to go down, which is monumentally unsatisfying to watch. Crouching for cover and a defensive roll complete a wheel of weapons currently filled with reliable oldies. Next, we’re shown “The Pineapple Express,” as our protag sticks a grenade through an enemy’s back and throws it towards a truck, which then explodes with more of those satisfying physics. We are shown a few scrum finishers; creative and elaborate, but a little too long to feel like a natural part of the combat flow, before our protag escapes on a dirtbike over the desert dunes.

Next, we’re shown customization and emotes, including a truly hilarious guitar strut that wows a crowd of nearby pedestrians. Customization is extensive, allowing for all the body, voice, and clothing changes that someone who isn’t quite sure what type of game they want to play, but knows they like to be lightly entertained by fun hats, might want. Then our protag throws explosives at an armored truck – one of the ambient activities – and retrieves piles of cash from the ground, before getting into another shootout with cops. There’s a weirdly psychotic and dissociative vibe to all of this when paired with all the colorful, weird dancing emoticons, like looking at a TikTok category for snuff movies.

A “side hustle” ensues. The open world uses the familiar formula of main, side, and ambient missions, with vehicle shenanigans and other creative traversal options tying them together. We ride a shotgun for a bored housewife who pulls off a robbery for funsies, fending off pursuers from the passenger seat. You also have the option of climbing on top of the car, for increased vulnerability but a wider arc of fire. There are apparently plenty of opportunities to spend the money you get from these side missions, but we’re mostly shown clothing purchases, as well as hideout and car customization options. These play into the traversal aspects, with ejection seats, wingsuits, and the like.

Saints Row
Saints Row. Credit: Deep Silver Volition

Next, we’re shown a mission where Protag (now a beefy cowboy thanks to power customization) has joined fellow countryman Saint Neenah in destroying a rival gang’s vehicle forge. They steal an incredibly well-armed helicopter, take it to the forge, shoot cars, and then enter. We are shown active skills and passive perks, which you can integrate and remove depending on the mission. We follow the Saints through a warehouse, blowing up cars and exchanging gunfire with gang members. There’s a sniper rifle at one point and, let’s praise it, it shoots headshots, just as God intended. Forge blown up, the pair escape, then enjoy a few completion rewards: money, XP, a new car, and a helipad for HQ.

Saints HQ is an abandoned church that doesn’t start with cash, but gets more lavish as you progress through the game. You can customize cars, guns, your crew , your clothes and everything else from here. You can also manage your empire from the new War Table, a management minigame-like offering that lets you buy properties to unlock activities like district takeovers, chopshop, and cheat to insurance. Then these lovable, trouble-free millennials start selling weapons, which unlocks Mayhem gameplay. “Everyone and their grandmother is using guns these days. We need a killer pitch! “.

It’s here that we’re shown the “in, out, untethered co-op,” as one of the devs in a helicopter hauls the other into a car via a magnetic winch, then dumps them near from the start of the mission. A completely natural, unscripted pattern ensues, and the mission kicks off: classic open-world style destruction for score multipliers. It all sounds suitably cathartic, if a bit lifeless.

Saints Row
Saints Row. Credit: Deep Silver Volition

Finally, we are shown a story mission. Saint Kevin is kidnapped by a gang called the Idols – anarchists dressed in neon pink – so it’s time to rescue. We follow Kevin’s trail to a saloon, where a fight with the idols ensues. We’re shown a few additional abilities, like a shield that electrocutes enemies that hit you and a charged flaming fist. Melee combat follows the trend of looking colorful and chaotic, with some interesting abilities, but too loose and flabby to feel truly satisfying. Well-hit idols, the protag looks for someone to interrogate on Kev’s whereabouts, finds some unlucky guy in a portaloo and drags him around via his car for a bit, knocking over tents at an enemy camp. This continues until a meter fills up and the restroom friend abandons Kev’s location.

We scale a tower, disarm bombs and shoot idols, and untie Kev from a chair at the top, before wingsuiting down a resort for revenge. Here we’re shown some of the game’s most interesting weapons and abilities. The “Thrustbuster” is a throwable sticky grenade that launches enemies into the air, and the “Quantum Aperture” not only lets you see at through walls, but also to shoot through them. There’s a ‘Piñata’ launcher, which is basically a grenade launcher with added confetti and foam hand guns. We shoot some more, save Kev, and the demo ends. So far the best thing to say about Saints Row is that it feels like a solidly crafted open-world game with some creative twists and a very specific tone. Maybe that tone is for you, and maybe they’ll sort out the headshots in time for the game’s full release in August.

Saints Row will be released on August 23 this year on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.

SBI vs HDFC Bank vs Axis vs PNB vs ICICI vs Kotak: Interest Rates on Fixed Deposits for Rs 2-5 Crore Compared

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Interest rates on fixed deposits by the best banks: Following the surprise announcement of a repo rate hike by the Reserve Bank of India recently, several banks announced a change in their fixed deposit rates. Most banks have raised rates by a few points especially for term deposits of short durations.

Banks like SBI have raised fixed deposit rates for certain tenors on deposits above Rs 2 crore. With repo rate hikes expected in upcoming policy meetings, banks are expected to announce an increase in FD rates.

Here is an overview of interest rates on fixed deposits offered by SBI, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Punjab National Bank on deposits above Rs 2-5 crores.

Deposit rates set by banks

National Bank of India

SBI offers 3.75% interest on a deposit of Rs 2-5 crore for up to 1 year. The highest interest rate offered by this bank for such large deposits is 4.5% on terms of 5 and 10 years.

HDFC Bank

HDFC Bank offers 4% interest on deposit of Rs 2-5 crore for up to 1 year. The highest interest rate offered by this bank for such large deposits is 4.8% on terms of 5 and 10 years.

Kotak Mahindra Bank

Kotak Mahindra Bank offers 4.75% interest on a deposit of Rs 2-5 crore for up to 1 year. The highest interest rate offered by this bank for such large deposits is 5.75% on terms of 5 and 10 years.

READ ALSO | Interest charge on Rs 35 lakh loan rises by 6.5% after 0.4% rate hike – Check the math

Axis Bank

Axis Bank offers 4.5% interest on a deposit of Rs 2-5 crore for up to 1 year. The highest interest rate offered by this bank for such large deposits is 5.25% on terms of 2, 3, 5 and 10 years.

National Bank of Punjab

PNB offers 4% interest on deposit of Rs 2-5 crore for up to 1 year. The highest interest rate offered by this bank for such large deposits is 4% over 1, 2, 3, 5, 10 years.

Live US Finance and Payments Updates: Bitcoin Drops, $400 Monthly Check Car Owners, 2022 Child Tax Credit, SS Disability…

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Ben Bernanke Talks The Future Of Cryptocurrency As Prices Crash

Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke sat down with CNBC to discuss the crash in the cryptocurrency market. One of the issues the crypto industry has faced is identifying a long-term use case for their product. At one time, many believed that cryptos and digital wallets could be used for those sending funds to families or friends in other countries. However, many of these recipients require cash, not value or money stored in a digital wallet.

The high number of competitors has led many to speculate who will survive this crisis. At this point nobody knows and represents a situation very similar to the dotcom bubble of the early 2000s. He doesn’t see Bitcoin as the future of money and thinks it’s too unreliable to replace the currencies that we currently use. Another problem for the currency, for Bernanke, is the fact that one of the main places Bitcoin is used is on the dark web or as a ransom payment mechanism.

Bernanke also talked about what the Federal Reserve will have to do to bring prices down. By raising rates, demand will slow, but he believes with current Presidents Powell who believe the economy is strong enough to withstand such drops in demand. Bernanke sees the economy stalling or slowing down this year, but does not currently believe a recession is imminent.

Home Equity Loan Requirements and Borrowing Limits – Forbes Advisor

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Editorial Note: We earn a commission on partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect the opinions or ratings of our editors.

Home equity loans are fixed rate loans whose amount is based on the equity accumulated in your home. They are given to you as a lump sum by the lender, and once disbursed, you pay interest on the loan amount until it is fully repaid.

Home equity loans are often referred to as second mortgages because they are another loan payment to be made on top of your primary mortgage debt, if you have any. But you can still get a home loan even if your house is paid off. Here’s what you need to know about qualifying for a home equity loan.

How a home equity loan works

Home equity loans are a convenient way for you to get money out of your home by borrowing against the equity in your home, which is the amount left over after you deduct your current mortgage balance from the value of your home. You will be charged a fixed interest rate that does not change for the term of the loan. And you’re expected to pay interest on the entire loan balance, even if you don’t use all of it.

Keep in mind that a home equity loan is secured by your home, which means the lender could foreclose on your home if you default.

Although some lenders may waive some loan fees, most charge fees and closing costs. So take the time to compare more than your monthly payment when shopping.

Related: Best home equity lenders

Home equity loan requirements

The interest rate you get on a home equity loan is based on several factors:

  • Revenue
  • Job
  • Credit score
  • How much equity do you have in your home
  • Debt-to-income ratio (DTI)

Credit score

The higher your credit score, the more favorable your loan terms will be. Lenders generally require a minimum credit score of 660, and this requirement may be higher depending on the amount of the loan.

But don’t worry: if you fall below this threshold, there are steps you can take to improve your credit.

DTI

Your DTI ratio shows how much of your monthly income is used to cover your existing debts. This helps lenders determine if you can afford to take on more debt. To qualify for a home equity loan, your DTI generally cannot exceed 43%.

However, if you have bad credit, you will likely need a much lower DTI to qualify.

Verification of employment and income

Your lender will want to verify your employment and income by reviewing your last two W-2 forms as well as your most recent pay stubs.

If you are self-employed, you will need to provide your federal income tax returns for the past two years. If you are receiving retirement income, the lender will want to see a retirement allocation letter or 401(k) distribution letter.

Borrowing limits on home equity

The amount of home equity loan you qualify for also depends on your credit score. But on top of that, the lender will consider the value of your home and the equity you have accumulated.

Find out how much your home is worth with an appraisal

A property appraisal is an analysis of your property by a licensed or licensed appraiser engaged by the lender during the home equity loan process to determine its value. The lender needs an accurate appraisal of the property to help determine your loan amount.

In addition to scheduling an appraisal, lenders can also assess your property’s current market value using an Automated Valuation Model (AVM).

Ideally, the lender wants to see an appraised value equal to or greater than the home equity loan amount. Smart home upgrades can help increase your home’s appraisal value.

Calculate the equity in your home

You must have at least 20% equity in your home to qualify for a home equity loan, although some lenders are more flexible on this ratio. To increase your equity, you must either increase the assessed value of your home or decrease the amount you still owe on your mortgage.

Lenders calculate your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio to determine how much equity you have. In this case, it would be the size of the home equity loan you applied for and the balance of your current mortgage compared to the value of your home. This is called a combined loan-to-value ratio (CLTV). CLTV is calculated by taking your existing mortgage balance(s) plus your desired loan amount, divided by the value of your home.

Most lenders require your CLTV to be 85% or less for a home equity loan. If your CLTV is too high, you can either pay off your current loan amount or wait for the value of your home to appreciate.

Some lenders might be willing to tolerate a CLTV close to 90%, but this will depend on your loan amount and credit score.

Alternatives to a home equity loan

Some lenders may not offer home equity loans. If you can’t find one that works for you, here are some other options to consider.

Refinancing by collection

With a cash refinance, you will take out a loan for more than your current mortgage balance. Once you’ve used the funds to pay for that, you’ll have the rest, less closing costs, to use as you see fit.

You can usually qualify for a refinance with a credit score of 660 or slightly lower, but a score of at least 700 or will guarantee lower interest rates. Also remember that your monthly payments will increase because you are paying off your old mortgage with a larger loan.

Personal loan

Money from a personal loan can be used for any personal expense, including improving your home or consolidating your debts. Most personal loans are unsecured, which means you don’t have to worry about providing collateral.

But due to the increased risk for the lender, these usually have higher interest rates than a home equity loan. Also, depending on the lender, the personal loan amount you can get may not be enough to fully cover the cost of a new home or even a down payment.

Related: Personal Loan Vs. Home Equity Loan

Weigh your options

Before taking out a home equity loan, always compare options from multiple lenders to make sure you’re getting the right deal for your situation. You can also talk to a qualified credit counselor to help you make the right decision.

Beware of payday advance promises

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High energy and food prices are particularly bad for people who live from payday to payday. Around 22% of adults in the UK have less than £100 in savings, according to a government-backed survey. In the United States, about 20% of households say they could only cover their expenses for two weeks or less if they lost their income, according to the consumer protection regulator.

In this context, many employers want to do something to help their staff become more “financially resilient”. An increasingly popular idea is to partner with companies that offer “earned wage access” or “early wage advance plan” products. These companies connect to an employer’s payroll to allow employees to pre-debit a portion of their upcoming salary.

Companies generally charge a fee per transaction (usually between £1 and £2 in the UK) which is paid by the employee or employer. The products are largely unregulated as they are not considered loans. They are proliferating in the UK, US and a number of Asian countries like Singapore and Indonesia.

Revolut, the UK-based banking app, has also hit the market, telling employers it’s a way to “boost the financial wellbeing of employees, at no cost to you”. Data is sparse, but research firm Aite-Novarica estimates $9.5 billion in early paychecks in the United States in 2020, up from $3.2 billion in 2018.

In a world where many employers no longer offer one-time employee advances, these products can help staff deal with unexpected financial emergencies without having to resort to expensive payday loans. Some of the apps like UK-based Wagestream, whose funders include charities, combine it with a suite of other services like financial coaching and savings. There is also value in the clear information that some of these apps provide to workers about their earnings, especially for shift workers.

But for businesses that don’t offer these broader services, the question arises as to whether payday advances actually promote financial resilience. If you deduct from the next paycheck, you may miss again the following month.

Data from the Financial Conduct Authority, a UK regulator, suggests users take advances between one and three times a month on average. While data shared by Wagestream shows that 62% of its users do not use the payday advance option at all, 20% use it once or twice a month, 9% use it four to six times. and 9% tap it seven or more times.

In addition to the risk of being trapped in a cycle, if you pay a flat fee per transaction, the cost can quickly add up. The FCA has warned that there is a “risk that employees may not appreciate the true cost” over interest rate credit products.

On the other hand, Wagestream told me that frequent users were not necessarily in financial difficulty. Some users are part-time shift workers who just want to be paid after each shift, for example. Others seem to want to create a weekly pay cycle for themselves.

Wagestream users on average transfer lower amounts less often after a year. The company’s “end goal” is for all costs to be covered by employers rather than workers. Some employers already do this; others are considering doing so as the cost of living rises.

Regulators have noticed the market but have yet to get involved. In the UK, the FCA’s Woolard study last year “identified a number of risks of harm associated with the use of these products”, but found no evidence of “crystallization or widespread harm for consumers”. In the United States, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should reconsider whether any of these products should be treated as a loan.

A good starting point for regulators would be to collect better data on the scale of the market and how people are using it.

Employers, on the other hand, should be wary of the idea that they can offer “financial well-being” on the cheap. Companies that believe in the value of these products should cover the costs and keep tabs on how staff are using them. They might also offer payroll savings plans to help people build a financial cushion for the future. Nest, the UK state-backed pension fund, has just concluded an encouraging trial of an opt-out approach to employee savings funds.

If employers don’t want to go down this road, there is a very valid alternative: pay staff a living wage and let them do it.

[email protected]

MEDICINE MAN TECHNOLOGIES, INC. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (Form 10-Q)

0
The following discussion should be read in conjunction with our unaudited
consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included herein and with our
audited consolidated financial statements included in our Annual Report on Form
10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, as filed with the SEC. In addition to
our historical unaudited condensed consolidated financial information, the
following discussion contains forward-looking statements that reflect our plans,
estimates, and beliefs. Our actual results could differ materially from those
discussed in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or
contribute to these differences include those discussed below and elsewhere in
this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, particularly in Part II, Item 1A, "Risk
Factors." See also, "NOTE ABOUT FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION."



Overview of the Company


Founded in 2014 and based in Denver, Colorado, Medicine Man Technologies, Inc., a cannabis consumer packaged product company and retailer. The company’s goal is to create the first vertically integrated cannabis company by bringing operating systems to other states where it can develop a differentiated leadership position. The company is rooted in a high performance culture that combines customer-centric thinking and data science to test, measure and drive decisions and outcomes.

Results of Operations – Consolidated



The following table sets forth the Company's selected consolidated financial
results for the periods, and as of the dates, indicated. The (i) consolidated
statements of operations for the quarterly and year-to-date periods ended March
31, 2022 and March 31, 2021 and (ii) consolidated balance sheet as of March 31,
2022 and March 31, 2021 have been derived from and should be read in conjunction
with the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes presented
in
this report.



The Company's consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance
with GAAP and on a going-concern basis that contemplates continuity of
operations and realization of assets and liquidation of liabilities in ordinary
course of business.



                                        For the Periods Ended March 31,                2022 vs 2021
                                            2022                  2021               $               %
Total revenue                         $      31,777,554       $ 19,340,115     $  12,437,439            64%
Total cost of goods and services             20,840,051         12,087,111 
      (8,752,940 )         -72%
Gross profit                                 10,937,503          7,253,004         3,684,499            51%
Total operating expenses                     15,728,043          8,737,910        (6,973,589 )         -80%
Income (loss) from operations                (4,790,540 )       (1,484,906 )      (3,289,090 )         222%
Total other income (expense)                (20,728,268 )       (1,707,987 )     (19,020,281 )        1114%
Provision for income taxes
(benefit)                                     1,259,894            456,614          (803,280 )        -176%
Net income (loss)                     $     (26,778,702 )     $ (3,649,507 )   $ (23,112,651 )         633%
Earnings (loss) per share
attributable to common shareholders
- basic                               $           (0.77 )     $      (0.09 )   $       (0.68 )         794%
Earnings (loss) per share
attributable to common shareholders
- diluted                             $           (0.77 )     $      (0.09 )   $       (0.68 )         794%
Weighted average number of shares
outstanding - basic                          46,841,971         42,616,309
Weighted average number of shares
outstanding - diluted                        46,841,971         42,616,309




                         March 31, 2022       December 31, 2021
Total Assets            $    318,006,636     $       285,030,792
Long-Term Liabilities        131,946,159             151,461,127






  31






Revenue segments


The Company has consolidated financial statements for all of its operating activities with retail, wholesale and other operating segments.


Quarter Ended  March 31, 2022 Compared to the Quarter Ended March 31, 2021



Revenue



Revenues for the quarter ended March 31, 2022, totaled $31,777,554 including (i)
retail sales of $26,525,716 (ii) wholesale sales of $5,207,388 and (iii) other
operating revenues of $44,450, compared to revenues of $11,816,200 including (i)
retail sales of $11,816,200, (ii) wholesale of $7,446,265, and (iii) other
operating revenues of $77,650 during the quarter ended March 31, 2021
representing an increase of $12,437,439 or 64%. This increase was due to
increased sale of our products as well as growth through acquisition. In 2022,
we acquired thirteen new retail dispensaries. The decrease in wholesale and
other operating revenue in 2022 was largely due to wholesale distillate pricing
pressure and over-supply in the state of Colorado.



Cost of Goods and Services



Cost of goods and services for the quarter ended March 31, 2022, totaled
$20,840,051 compared to cost of services of $12,087,111 during the quarter ended
March 31, 2021, representing an increase of $8,752,940 or 72%. This increase was
due to increased sales of our products as well as growth through acquisition.
The cost of goods and services increased at a slightly higher rate than revenue
due to purchase accounting on retail acquisitions requiring revaluation of
inventory to retail value, therefore reducing margins which were made in the
first quarter.



Operating Expenses



Operating expenses for the quarter ended March 31, 2022, totaled $15,728,043,
compared to operating expenses of $8,737,910 during the quarter ended March 31,
2021, representing an increase of $6,990,133 or 80%. This increase was due to
increased selling, general and administrative expenses, professional service
fees, salaries, benefits and related employment costs related to growth from
acquisitions and non-cash stock-based compensation.



Other Income (Expense), Net



Other expense, net for the quarter ended March 31, 2022, totaled $20,728,268,
compared to $1,707,987 during the quarter ended March 31, 2021, representing an
increase of $19,020,281 or 1,114%. The increase in other expense, net was due to
increase in interest payments due to various indebtedness and by the loss on
derivative liability related to the Investor Notes.



Net Income (Loss)


Due to the factors mentioned above, we generated a net loss for the quarter ended March 31, 2022 of $26,778,702compared to the net loss of $3,649,507
during the quarter ended March 31, 2021.

Operating revenue by segment


                  For the Periods Ended March 31,             2022 vs 2021
                      2022                 2021               $             %
Retail          $     26,525,716       $  11,816,200     $ 14,709,516       124%
Wholesale              5,207,388           7,446,265       (2,238,877 )     -30%
Other                     44,450              77,650          (33,200 )     -43%
Total revenue   $     31,777,554       $  19,340,115     $ 12,437,439        64%






  32





Drivers of operating results


Revenue



The Company derives its revenue from three revenue streams: Retail which sells
finished goods sourced internally and externally to the end consumer in retail
stores; Wholesale which is the cultivation of flower and biomass sold internally
and externally and the manufacturing of biomass into distillate for integration
into externally developed products, such as edibles and internally developed
products such as vapes and cartridges under the Purplebee's brand; Other which
includes other income and expenses, such as, licensing and consulting services,
facility design services, facility management services, the Company's Three A
Light™ publication, and corporate operations.



Gross Profit



Gross profit is revenue less cost of goods sold. Cost of goods sold includes
costs directly attributable to product sales and includes amounts paid for
finished goods such as flower, edibles, and concentrates, as well as
manufacturing and cultivation labor, packaging, supplies and overhead such as
rent, utilities and other related costs. Cannabis costs are affected by market
supply. Gross margin measures our gross profit as a percentage of revenue.

Total Operating Expenses



Total operating expenses other than the costs of goods sold consists of selling
costs to support customer relations, marketing and branding activities. It also
includes an investment in the corporate infrastructure required to support
the
Company's ongoing business.


Cash and capital resources



As of March 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021, the Company had total current
liabilities of $70,277,925 and $45,263,179, respectively. The increase in
current liabilities is driven by the derivative liability associated with the
Investor Notes as well as from general growth of the Company. As of March 31,
2022 and December 31, 2021, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of
$47,688,094 and $106,400,216, respectively to meet its current obligations. The
Company had working capital of $1,103,293 as of March 31, 2022, a decrease of
$77,545,783 as compared to December 31, 2021. The reduction in working capital
is primarily driven by an increase in derivative liability from the Investor
Notes issued on December 7, 2021.



The Company is an early-stage growth company, generating cash from revenues and
capital raise. Cash is being reserved primarily for capital expenditures,
facility improvements and strategic investment opportunities. The Company
anticipates overall revenue to increase in 2022 due to acquisitions and
adult-use becoming legalized in New Mexico on April 1, 2022. It is possible the
Company will seek additional external financing to meet capital needs. The
Company relies on internal capital that is generated through revenue and any
other internal sources of liquidity. The Company utilizes various forms of
external financing, including loan arrangements, capital raises, and cash from
the Investor Notes. The Company maintains the unused portion of the funds
received from the Investor Notes for future acquisitions and execution of growth
strategies.





  33






Due to our participation in the cannabis industry and the regulatory framework
governing cannabis in the United States, our debt and loan arrangements are
sometimes subject to higher interest rates than are market for other industries,
which has an unfavorable impact on our liquidity and capital resources.



Cash Flows


Cash used in operating, investing and financing activities

Net cash provided by (used in) operating, investing and financing activities for the quarters ended March 31, 2022 and 2021 were as follows:


                                                         For the Periods Ended March 31,
                                                             2022                 2021

Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities $5,831,074

   $   1,698,519
Net cash provided by (used in) Investing Activities          (92,924,719 )      (65,600,473 )
Net cash provided by used in Financing Activities             28,381,522   
     85,631,039




The Company's cash provided by operating activities is driven by increase in
sales from acquisitions. Our use of cash from investing activities is driven by
acquisition of businesses and property, plant and equipment for existing
entities. Our cash provided by financing activities is mainly from proceeds from
our credit facility, the Investor Notes and the issuance of shares of Preferred
Stock.


CONTRACTUAL CASH OBLIGATIONS AND OTHER COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES



The following table quantifies the Company's future contractual obligation as of
March 31, 2022:



                              Total             2022             2023             2024             2025             2026          Thereafter
Notes Payable (a)         $ 155,453,333     $          -     $  2,250,000  

$3,000,000 $40,651,759 $109,551,574 $ – Interest due on notes payable

                      75,878,422       16,833,160       16,559,990       16,504,822       15,542,869        10,437,581               -

Right of use assets 24,706,524 3,325,483 3,843,353

     3,949,553        3,989,432         2,971,217       6,627,486
Total                     $ 256,038,279     $ 20,158,643     $ 22,653,343     $ 23,454,375     $ 60,184,060     $ 122,960,372     $ 6,627,486



(a) – This amount excludes $46,721,616 the discount on unamortized debt and
$7,868,231 unamortized debt issuance costs. See Note 10 – Debt

The Company expects to use funds from operations and, if necessary, we may seek additional external financing to support contractual cash obligations.

Off-balance sheet arrangements



As of March 31, 2022 and March 31, 2021, we were not party to any off-balance
sheet arrangement that had or was reasonably likely to have a material current
or future effect on our financial condition, changes in financial condition,
revenues or expenses, results of operations, liquidity, cash requirements or
capital resources.





  34





Critical Accounting Estimates and Recent Accounting Pronouncements



The discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations
are based upon our financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance
with GAAP. The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make
estimates and judgments that affect the amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues
and expenses, and related disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities. On an
on-going basis, we evaluate our estimates based on historical experience and on
various other assumptions that are believed to be reasonable under the
circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about
the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from
other sources. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different
assumptions or conditions. The Company believes that of its significant
accounting policies (see Note 2 to Financial Statements), the ones that may
involve a higher degree of uncertainty, judgment and complexity are revenue
recognition, stock based compensation, derivative instruments, income taxes,
goodwill and commitments and contingencies are the most important to the
portrayal of our financial condition and results of operations and that require
management's most difficult, subjective or complex judgments, often as a result
of the need to make estimates about the effects of matters that are inherently
uncertain.


Revenue recognition and related allowances

Our revenue recognition policy is significant because the amount and timing of
revenue is a key component of our results of operations. Certain criteria are
required to be met in order to recognize revenue. If these criteria are not met,
then the associated revenue is deferred until is the criteria are met. A
contract liability is recorded when consideration is received in advance of the
delivery of goods or services. We identify revenue contracts upon acceptance
from the customer when such contract represents a single performance obligation
to sell our products.


We have three primary sources of revenue: (i) retail sales, (ii) wholesale sales, and (iii) other revenue from consultancy, licensing, and other miscellaneous sources.



The Company's retail and wholesale sales are recorded at the time that control
of the products is transferred to customers. In evaluating the timing of the
transfer of control of products to customers, we consider several indicators,
including significant risks and rewards of products, our right to payment, and
the legal title of the products. Based on the assessment of control indicators,
our sales are generally recognized when products are delivered to customers.



The Company's other revenue, typically from licensing and consulting services,
is recognized when our obligations to our client are fulfilled which is
determined when milestones in the contract are achieved. The Company's revenue
from seminar fees is related to one-day seminars and is recognized as earned
upon the completion of the seminar. We also recognize expense reimbursement from
clients as revenue for expenses incurred during certain jobs.



Stock Based Compensation


We account for share-based payments in accordance with Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) subject 718, Stock Compensation and accordingly we record compensation expense for share-based awards on the basis of a measurement of the grant date fair value of shares and restricted stock. awards using the Black-Scholes option pricing model.



Our stock compensation expense for stock options is recognized over the vesting
period of the award or expensed immediately under ASC 718 when stock or options
are awarded for previous or current service without further recourse.



Income Taxes


ASC 740, Income Taxes requires the use of the asset and liability method of
accounting for income taxes. Under the asset and liability method of ASC 740,
the Company's deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the future
tax consequences attributable to temporary differences between the financial
statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their
respective tax bases. Our deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using
enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which
those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled.





  35





Good will and intangible assets



Goodwill represents the future economic benefit arising from other assets
acquired that could not be individually identified and separately recognized.
The goodwill arising from our acquisitions is attributable to the value of the
potential expanded market opportunity with new customers. Intangible assets have
either an identifiable or indefinite useful life. Intangible assets with
identifiable useful lives are amortized on a straight-line basis over their
economic or legal life, whichever is shorter. We amortizable intangible assets
consist of licensing agreements, product licenses and registrations, and
intellectual property or trade secrets. Their estimated useful lives range
from
3 to 15 years.



Goodwill and indefinite-lived assets are not amortized but are subject to annual
impairment testing unless circumstances dictate more frequent assessments. We
perform an annual impairment assessment for goodwill during the fourth quarter
of each year and more frequently whenever events or changes in circumstances
indicate that the fair value of the asset may be less than the carrying amount.
Goodwill impairment testing is a two-step process performed at the reporting
unit level. Step one compares the fair value of the reporting unit to its
carrying amount. The fair value of the reporting unit is determined by
considering both the income approach and market approaches. The fair values
calculated under the income approach and market approaches are weighted based on
circumstances surrounding the reporting unit. Under the income approach, we
determine fair value based on estimated future cash flows of the reporting unit,
which are discounted to the present value using discount factors that consider
the timing and risk of cash flows. For the discount rate, we rely on the capital
asset pricing model approach, which includes an assessment of the risk-free
interest rate, the rate of return from publicly traded stocks, our risk relative
to the overall market, our size and industry and other risks specific to us.
Other significant assumptions used in the income approach include the terminal
value, growth rates, future capital expenditures and changes in future working
capital requirements. The market approaches use key multiples from guideline
businesses that are comparable and are traded on a public market. If the fair
value of the reporting unit is greater than its carrying amount, there is no
impairment. If the reporting unit's carrying amount exceeds its fair value, then
the second step must be completed to measure the amount of impairment, if any.
Step two calculates the implied fair value of goodwill by deducting the fair
value of all tangible and intangible net assets of the reporting unit from the
fair value of the reporting unit as calculated in step one. In this step, the
fair value of the reporting unit is allocated to all of the reporting unit's
assets and liabilities in a hypothetical purchase price allocation as if the
reporting unit had been acquired on that date. If the carrying amount of
goodwill exceeds the implied fair value of goodwill, an impairment loss is
recognized in an amount equal to the excess.



Determining the fair value of a reporting unit is judgmental in nature and
requires the use of significant estimates and assumptions, including revenue
growth rates, strategic plans, and future market conditions, among others. There
can be no assurance that our estimates and assumptions made for purposes of the
goodwill impairment testing will prove to be accurate predictions of the future.
Changes in assumptions and estimates could cause us to perform an impairment
test prior to scheduled annual impairment tests.



We performed our annual assessment of the fair value of our subsidiaries with significant goodwill and intangible assets on their respective balance sheets at
December 31, 2021, and determined that no impairment exists. No additional factors or circumstances existed at the March 31, 2022this would indicate a deficiency.

© Edgar Online, source Previews

Wall Street points down after a sixth consecutive weekly decline | Economic news

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NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street reported modest declines at the open of Monday as investors continue to weigh soaring energy costs and prospects for U.S. interest rate hikes.

Dow Jones futures fell 0.1% and the same for the S&P 500 lost 0.3%. Global equities were mixed and oil prices fell.

Last week, U.S. benchmarks recorded their sixth straight weekly decline, the longest such streak since 2011.

Some analysts worry that if the US Federal Reserve raises interest rates too quickly or too much, it could trigger a recession. A slowdown in the US would almost certainly hurt the Asian region, which exports and manufactures goods for the US economy.

The Fed said it would continue raising interest rates to temper rising inflation. The benchmark short-term interest rate was at an all-time high near zero for much of the coronavirus pandemic.

political cartoons

“Many others had spotted recession risk in 2024, but we were aggressive early on in our forecast of a possible US recession this year,” said Clifford Bennett, chief economist at ACY Securities.

In Europe, the French CAC 40 fell 0.4% at noon, while the German DAX lost 0.7%. Britain’s FTSE 100 was essentially flat.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.5% to end at 26,547.05.

A Bank of Japan report said wholesale inflation rose 10% in April from a year earlier, the highest since comparable records began in 1981. Consumer prices in Japan n haven’t grown at such a rapid pace in recent months. April’s consumer price data is expected to be released later this week.

In other regional trade, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.3% to 7,093.00. The South Korean Kospi fell 0.3% to 2,596.58. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng recouped its morning losses to rise 0.3% to 19,950.21, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.3% to 3,073.75.

Even though concerns about interest rate hikes have eased somewhat, investors are still watching closely what Fed Chairman Jerome Powell might say next, said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management. .

“That doesn’t mean the bear market is over, especially with the recession on everyone’s mind,” Innes said.

The next set of corporate results could provide some insight into how inflation affects businesses and consumers. Several major US retailers are reporting results later this week, including Walmart, Target and Home Depot.

Markets have slumped since late March as traders fear the Fed will fail in its delicate mission to slow the economy to tame the highest inflation in four decades without triggering a recession.

Shares of Spirit Airlines jumped 13% in premarket trading after news that JetBlue was turning hostile in its bid for the low-cost airline. JetBlue will go directly to Spirit shareholders asking them to reject a proposed $2.9 billion acquisition by Frontier Airlines. Spirit twice rejected JetBlue’s $3.6 billion offer.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.16 to $109.33 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It jumped from $4.36 to $110.49 on Friday. Brent, the international standard, fell $1.30 to $110.25 a barrel.

In currency trading, the US dollar rose slightly to 129.46 Japanese yen from 129.28 yen. The Euro traded at $1.0422, down from $1.0402 previously.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

RBI launches a boost to bond investors

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With the repo rate rising, investors can expect a better deal as the Reserve Bank reversed the trend of interest rate lows

With the repo rate rising, investors can expect a better deal as the Reserve Bank reversed the trend of interest rate lows

The Reserve Bank of India’s decision last week to call a surprise Monetary Policy Committee meeting and raise its repo rate from 4% to 4.4% sparked turmoil in equity markets. But this is good news for bond investors.

It shows that RBI and the MPC are finally willing to reverse their three-year policy of keeping interest rates at low levels to help businesses and borrowers survive the pandemic. Savers and investors can expect a better deal on their fixed income products in the coming year.

While the bull cycle has only just begun, interest rates in India may still have a long way to go. Before falling to a multi-decade low of 4%, India’s repo rate was 6% in 2018. It even reached 8% in 2014-2015. Right now, with the RBI walking a tightrope between inflation and growth, market experts believe that repo rates could rise another 75 to 100 basis points (bps) over the course of the next year to reach 5.15 to 5.4%. Although it is the official policy rate, the repo rate itself is of little importance to savers or investors. It is simply the rate at which banks borrow money short-term from RBI whenever they need cash.

So, if you’re a fixed income investor, it’s more useful to know what’s happened and what’s likely to happen to the interest rates of the investment options you use regularly, so you can make the appropriate choices. Here is:

bank FDs

Although movements in RBI repo rates are supposed to send signals to banks, fixed bank deposit (FD) rates are generally quite slow to react to RBI movements, especially when there is an upward trend. .

So despite all the interest rate action in the market over the past year, the SBI’s FD rate for one to two years, for example, has barely risen from 5% in January 2021 to 5.1% now. (last revised February 2022). The FD rates for 2-3 year terms increased from 5.1% to 5.2% and those for 3-5 year terms from 5.3% to 5.45%. Private sector banks such as IndusInd offer a slightly better offer on rates at 6-6.5% for terms of 1-5 years and smaller financial banks such as Equitas offer 6.1-6.75% for similar durations.

But FD bank rates today compare quite poorly to market interest rates and are likely to be revised upwards over the next year. If you’re an FD bank investor, it makes sense to stick to the lowest possible terms at the moment, say six months to a year. This can help you move to much better rates when banks decide to catch up with the RBI and the markets.

Postal regimes

The interest rates for postal schemes such as Post Office Term Deposits, Monthly Income Account, National Savings Certificates (NSC), Old People’s Savings Scheme (SCSS) and PPF are reset quarterly by the government.

For the current quarter April-June 2022, postal term deposits offer 5.5% for 1 to 3 years and 6.7% for 5 years. The Monthly Income Account offers 6.6% and the NSC offers 6.8%. SCSS offers 7.4% while PPF is at 7.1%.

All of these rates are better than comparable bank DF rates. Rates on postal instruments are assumed to be linked to market yields on government securities of different maturities.

Therefore, given that government bond market yields have risen sharply over the past six months, post office plan rates are overdue for an upward revision.

But to protect savers from the sharp drop in market interest rates, the government had not lowered the rates for these devices for two years. When post office plan rates are increased, it increases the government’s borrowing costs because the proceeds from these plans are used by the Centre.

Therefore, you can expect postal system interest rates to rise over the next year, if the bullish rate cycle continues. However, increases may not materialize immediately. If you are looking to invest in postal systems, avoid long-term systems that lock in your money for five years and more, such as Monthly Income Account, NSC, SCSS, etc. it’s best to postpone your investment for a quarter or two until better rates come into effect.

If you are looking to invest in retirement or annuity plans, it would be best to postpone investing until better rates are available.

Government bonds

With the RBI recently allowing investors to open RBI Retail Direct Gilt accounts, ordinary investors have the opportunity to participate directly in government bond auctions. The good news for retail investors is that government bond market yields tend to react very quickly to inflation and other market signals. In fact, over the past year, yields on these bonds have risen well ahead of those on FD banks and postal systems. The attached chart shows that after rising 130 to 200 basis points, current yields on 1-year government securities (gilt) at 5.77%, 3-year gilts at 6.92%, 5-year securities at 7.27% and 10-year securities at 7.47%. These are very attractive rates for the safest bonds on the market, which are centrally guaranteed. Regular income seekers can invest in these auctions if they are willing to lock in their money until these bonds mature. Again, it would be safer to invest in 1-5 year bonds to start with, then move to longer term bonds as rates rise.

Mutual fund

Mutual funds, unlike the above instruments, generate returns both from interest received on the bonds they hold and from gains on bond prices. Most debt funds outperform other options when rates fall. But as interest rates rise, falling bond prices lead to NAV losses in mutual funds. The longer the duration of the bonds held by the debt fund, the lower the net asset value.

Therefore, mutual fund investors today would be better off sticking to debt funds that invest in very short-term bonds less than a year old. Ultra-short duration funds, low duration funds and floating rate funds are the best options.

22 Arizona Vacation Deals for 2022

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Are you already sweating for the Arizona summer months? While June through August invites some of the highest temperatures in our state, prices for stays are – thankfully – generally lower. If you’re looking forward to rest and relaxation closer to home, the resorts and hotels in the valley have some pretty great deals. Get ready to pack your bathing suit, sandals, and staycation vibes and head to one of the following top destinations. Here are 22 Arizona vacation deals for 2022.


READ ALSO: 10 Arizona Beach Resorts Reveal Tips for Creating the Perfect Vacation


Amara Resort and Spa

Stay offer: Amara Resort and Spa in Sedona is offering up to 25% off the best available rate exclusively for regional residents (Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico). Valid ID required at check-in.

How to book: amararesort.com

Arizona Grand Resort & Spa

Stay offer: Rates start from $119 midweek and $149 on weekends with a two-night minimum stay. Book by June 30, 2022 for dates through September 7, 2022. Blackout dates may apply.

How to book: Online at arizonagrandresort.com using promo code AZBIGMEDIA.

Boulders Resort & Spa Scottsdale.

Boulders Resort & Spa Scottsdale

Stay offer: Boulders’ “ReTreat Yourself” package includes a luxurious private Casita, $50 per night dining credit and unlimited fitness classes at the legendary spa for $364 per night.

How to book: theboulders.com

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Hotel

Stay offer: Get 50% off the best available rate for stays between May 25 and September 6, 2022, with our Early Bird Rate. Bookable between April 1 and April 30. Just go to scottsdaleprincess.com and you can find it under the special offers tab.

How to book: scottsdaleprincess.com

The Hermosa Inn

Stay offer: “Summer in Paradise” getaway, with 15% off the best available room rate, plus $25 daily food and beverage credit, two welcome cocktails and poolside treats. Rates start at $289, excluding taxes and resort fees, valid May 9 through September 9. 1, 2022.

How to book: Available exclusively online at hermosainn.com

Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock

Stay offer: The red rocks are calling you! This summer, escape to Sedona and enjoy the fresh air, cool specials and a full schedule of adventures and activities at the Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock. From live music and stargazing to games on the lawn and refreshing poolside specials, the Hilton Sedona is the perfect headquarters for friends and families looking to enjoy the wonderland of Sedona.

How to book: hiltonsedonaresort.com

Hotel Valley Ho.

Hotel Valley Ho

Stay offer: For a limited time, May 20-23, guests receive discounts of up to 33% off published room rates. Book online to receive additional inclusions such as complimentary drinks upon arrival, upgraded room types (if available), and welcome amenities.

How to book: hotelvalleyho.com

Hyatt Place Page/Lake Powell

Stay offer: Land and Air Package (rates from $497/night), and new this season, the Adventure Stay Package encourages adventurers to cross a few items off their bucket lists with a one-of-a-kind excursion of American aviation that s towers 500- feet above Horseshoe Bend, Glen Canyon Dam, Lees Ferry, Paria Canyon and the coveted and difficult to access The Wave (Coyote Buttes North).

How to book: Available through May 31, 2022, online at hyatt.com or by calling 928-212-2200.

JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Stay offer: Embark on the perfect desert getaway with the resort’s Splash Into Summer package, offering a $50 credit good for food and beverage, spa, golf, pool, or pickleball, plus resort fee waived ( value of $198). Dive into the five sparkling pools, paddle down the adult-friendly lazy river, dive down the 89-foot serpentine waterslide, or lounge in a private poolside cabana.

How to book: jwdesertridge.com

JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa

Stay offer: As the summer heats up, cool off with the resort’s Casitas and Ritas package, including overnight accommodations in a resort casita – complete with a private garden patio or balcony to recharge your batteries under. Desert Sun – two craft margaritas per night and a $50 credit per night to be used toward restaurants, spa, golf, tennis, and resort shopping.

How to book: marriott.com

Mountain station of shadows.

Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale

Stay offer: For a limited time, May 20-23, guests receive discounts of up to 33% off published room rates. Book online to receive additional inclusions such as complimentary drinks upon arrival, upgraded room types (if available), and welcome amenities.

How to book: mountainshadows.com

Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa in Montelucia

Stay offer: Save up to 20% this summer with the “Stay more, play more” stay offer, available from May 20 to September 10, 2022. The longer you stay, the more you save; one night, 10% discount, two nights, 15% discount and three nights and more, 20% discount on the best available rate.

How to book: omnimontelucia.com

Rise Uptown Hotel

Stay offer: From May 20-23, guests enjoy discounts of up to 33% off published room rates. Book online to receive additional inclusions such as complimentary drinks upon arrival, upgraded room types (if available), and welcome amenities.

How to book: riseuptownhotel.com

The Phoenician

Stay offer: Enrich your summer with sun-drenched pools, enticing dining options, a five-star spa, exceptional golf, and countless signature activities for all ages with our best rates of the year, complete with a $50 resort credit. $ per night.

How to book: Call 480-941-8200 and quote promo code: SUM, or visit thephoenician.com

The Scott Resort & Spa

Stay offer: Rates start from $119 midweek and $149 on weekends with a two-night minimum stay. Book by June 30, 2022 for dates through September 5, 2022. Blackout dates may apply.

How to book: Online at thescottresort.com using promo code AZBIGMEDIA.

Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass

Stay offer: Rest, relax and enjoy a luxury getaway in one of our newly renovated guest rooms or suites and enjoy up to $100 daily resort credit, free parking and free parking. a late departure.

How to book: marriott.com

Talking Stick Resort

Stay offers: Talking Stick Resort’s hugely popular Playcation package returns for the summer. From May 8 to September 11, the package includes rates starting $139 Sunday-Thursday and $159 Friday-Saturday plus a $25 food and beverage credit. Service charge is waived with Arizona ID. In addition to the special rates, you will receive a discount at nearby entertainment venues in the Talking Stick Entertainment District. Some of the offers include discounts at Octane Raceway, Butterfly Wonderland, Velocity VR, Medieval Times, Ripley’s Believe It or Not. and more. Rest, relax and enjoy a luxury getaway in one of our newly renovated guest rooms or suites and enjoy up to $100 daily resort credit, free parking and free parking. a late departure.

How to book: talkstickresort.com

W Scottsdale

Stay offer: W Scottsdale designed “Sips & Sunshine” so locals don’t have to travel far to complete their luxury vacation. Loads of perks like breakfast in bed, free room upgrades, welcome cocktail kits, spa discounts, late checkouts and more. Hotel guests also receive free admission to W Pool events. The offer is available from $349 per night. Our spa also offers 25% off for AZ residents.

How to book: Book online at marriott.com or call 1-888-627-8347 and ask for the ZJL rate plan.

We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort

Stay offer: Enjoy state-of-the-art gaming, luxurious accommodations, fine dining and spa treatments with a $25 food and beverage credit per night; $20 free casino gaming voucher/stay for new Fortune Club members; waived the resort fee of $29 per night; 20% off spa treatments and 10% off gift shop purchases.

How to book: wekopacasinoresort.com or call 480-789-4957. Use promo code J-WCRSUM1 (Sunday-Thursday stays from $129/night) or promo code J-WCRSUM2 (Friday-Saturday stays from $159/night).

The Westin Tempe

Stay offer: “Arizonan” rate that includes 15% off best available room rates, plus a $15 food and beverage credit for use during stay at one of the hotel’s two dining concepts, Terra Tempe Kitchen & Spirits and Skysill Rooftop Lounge.

How to book: marriott.com

The stage is set for another interest rate hike by the Reserve Bank of India: The Tribune India

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Tribune press service

New Delhi, May 14

Despite Central and State borrowing becoming more expensive, the stage is set for an interest rate hike by RBI next month as three crucial indicators remained stubborn to change.

In addition to inflation remaining above the RBI’s upper 6% tolerance band since January this year, latest figures showed that India’s foreign exchange (forex) reserves continued to decline for nine consecutive weeks. They are now at $595.95 billion, the lowest in 12 months.

Another set of figures showed that despite the 0.40 basis point hike on May 4 in the repo rate – at which the RBI lends to banks – foreign financial institutions (FIIs) remained net sellers. This month, until May 13, FII sold shares and securities worth Rs 1 lakh crore and bought 63,000 crore worth of shares, thus remaining net sellers of around Rs 37,000 crore. FIIs are attracted to rising interest rates in developed countries, especially the United States, to contain domestic inflation.

As of May 13, foreign exchange reserves fell by 1.77 billion dollars against a drop of 2.695 billion dollars. The main reason was a decline in foreign currency holdings of $1.97 billion and a marginal decline in India’s reserve position at the IMF. Increases in gold reserves of $135 million and special drawing rights (SDRs) of $70 million were not enough to cover the drop in foreign currency holdings.

UK mulls how to tackle trend of social media influencers promoting counterfeit products | Morgan Lewis – Technology and Procurement

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Following the success of the previous blog post “A brief overview of the Metaverse and the legal challenges it will present,“We are introducing a new feature for the Technology and Procurement blog: “Future Watch”. Our Future Watch posts will focus on the most current areas of the tech industry and explore associated legal challenges and potential future developments.

In this first Future Watch article, we look at the world of social media influencers and counterfeit products, and how the UK is potentially looking to address this issue.

The problem

UK intellectual property laws provide rights holders with important protections, which encourage creativity and stimulate the market economy. However, changing attitudes towards counterfeits, the growth of the digital economy and the continued influence of social media have resulted in ever-increasing violations of these rights, potentially leading to direct market harm, a stalled development and harm to public welfare. . More recently, influencers have come under scrutiny for facilitating the trade in counterfeit products.

Pilot study

Late last year, the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) published a report on the results of a pilot study she commissioned to study the impact of influencers on the consumption of counterfeit products. The research was conducted by the University of Portsmouth and involved an anonymous online survey of 1,000 participants in the UK. The focus on female participants responds to existing data suggesting that influencer marketing of counterfeit products was “very gendered” and dominated by female influencers and consumers.

The study used the following definition of “counterfeit products” to guide participants: “Counterfeits are items that appear identical to a genuine product with or without the official brand/logo, but are not manufactured by the and may be of lower quality, for example. example, a handbag identical in design to a “Chanel” with or without the Chanel logo.

The study also asked participants “if they had purchased counterfeit products in the past year as a result of influencer endorsements.” Some of the key findings are:

  • 13.3% of participants said they bought counterfeits deliberately or by mistake following recommendations from influencers.
  • 17% of participants knowingly purchased a counterfeit.
  • 70% of those who knowingly bought a counterfeit are between 16 and 33 years old.
  • 20% of knowledgeable buyers are repeat buyers.
  • Fashion, accessories, jewelry and beauty products are the most popular counterfeit product categories.

The study identified the following four factors among participants, which, when combined, “are a noxious mix” that increases the likelihood of counterfeit purchases:

  • Susceptibility to influence from other trusted people
  • Reduced likelihood of perceiving the risks associated with buying counterfeits
  • A higher appetite for risk
  • Construction of rationalizations that justify purchasing behavior

Conclusions and recommendations of the study

The report concludes that influencers have a profound impact on the purchase intentions of some consumers and that influencers tap into the low-risk perceptions and high-risk appetites of predominantly younger consumers by neutralizing any residual concerns they might have regarding product quality and safety.

The report’s recommendations include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Introduce policies to reduce demand for counterfeit products
  • Adopt an educational approach (considering the above four factors that influence the prospect of buying counterfeit products) with a particular focus on young consumers regarding the health and safety risks of counterfeit products
  • Engage the influencer marketing industry to spread deterrent and constructive narratives to consumers, given the position of trust they occupy
  • Have regulators, as a priority, engage with online marketplaces and social media platforms to highlight the problem and work together to develop countermeasures

Current influencer requirements

This is not the first time the UK has sought to resolve issues with influencers. Previous efforts by the UK Competition and Markets Authority requiring influencers to report and be transparent about any payments or compensation they receive in exchange for endorsements are well documented and arguably have not been particularly successful. .

The future

Although the UKIPO report sets out some interesting recommendations, it is not yet clear whether these will be implemented by the UK government, or whether the policy recommendations and influencer engagement would in fact put a significant dent in the complicit activities of influencers, especially as the trade in counterfeit products is worth billions.

In the meantime, taking a more proactive approach via civil and criminal lawsuits may prove more effective in deterring complicit influencers. For example, while knowingly buying counterfeit goods for personal use is not a crime in the UK, offering or exposing counterfeit goods for sale with the intent to make a profit is a criminal offense under of the Trade Marks Act 1994 and is liable to imprisonment for up to 10 years. In addition, influencers may also be subject to civil action if the harm caused to a consumer (as a result of mistakenly buying and using counterfeit products) is attributable to the endorsement of that product by influencers.

When it comes to companies that give influencers their access to consumers, online marketplace and social media platforms are required to follow certain rules related to tackling illegal content online; the majority of them are currently volunteers, although this has slowly changed. The UK Government’s Online Safety Bill and the EU’s Digital Services Act are expected to introduce a range of obligations on online marketplaces and social media platforms, including the removal of illegal content. Morgan Lewis previously post on the EU Digital Services Act.

Trainee lawyer Chidi Ogbuagu contributed to this post.

[View source.]

Alternative investments: five key themes

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Risk Considerations

Alternative investments can be either traditional alternative investment vehicles, such as hedge funds, funds of hedge funds, private equity, private real estate and managed futures, or non-traditional products such as mutual funds investment and exchange-traded funds that also seek alternative-type exposure but have significant differences from traditional alternative investments. Alternative investments are often speculative and involve a high degree of risk. Investors could lose all or a substantial part of their investment. Alternative investments are only suitable for eligible long-term investors who are willing to forgo liquidity and put their capital at risk for an indefinite period. They may be highly illiquid and may employ leverage and other speculative practices which may increase volatility and risk of loss. Alternative investments generally have higher fees than traditional investments. Investors should carefully consider and consider potential risks before investing. Some of these risks may include, but are not limited to: loss of all or a substantial part of the investment due to leverage, short selling or other speculative practices; Lack of liquidity in the sense that there may not be a secondary market for a fund; Volatility of returns; Restrictions on transfer of interests in a fund; Potential lack of diversification and resulting higher risk due to concentration of trading authority when a single adviser is used; Lack of information regarding ratings and prices; Complex tax structures and delays in tax declarations; Less regulation and higher fees than mutual funds; and Risks associated with the manager’s operations, people and processes. In addition, opinions regarding alternative investments expressed herein may differ from opinions expressed by Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and/or other Morgan Stanley Wealth Management companies/affiliates.

Certain information contained in this document may constitute forward-looking statements. Due to various risks and uncertainties, actual events, results or performance of a fund may differ materially from those reflected or contemplated in such forward-looking statements. Clients should carefully consider a fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing.

Alternative investments involve complex tax structures, tax-inefficient investments, and delays in the disclosure of material tax information. Individual funds have specific risks associated with their investment programs which vary from fund to fund. Clients should consult their own tax and legal advisors as Morgan Stanley Wealth Management does not provide tax or legal advice.

Interests in alternative investment products are offered pursuant to the terms of the applicable offering memorandum, are distributed by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC and certain of its affiliates, and (1) are not FDIC insured, (2 ) are not deposits or other obligations of Morgan Stanley or any of its affiliates, (3) are not guaranteed by Morgan Stanley and its affiliates, and (4) involve investment risks, including a possible loss of capital. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC is a registered broker and not a bank.

Hedge funds may involve a high degree of risk, often engage in leverage and other speculative investment practices which may increase the risk of investment loss, may be highly illiquid, are not required to provide periodic pricing or valuation information to investors, may involve complex tax structures and delays in releasing important tax information, are not subject to the same regulatory requirements as mutual funds, often charge fees high fees that can offset any trading profit and in many cases the underlying investments are not transparent and only known to the investment manager.

REITs invest the risks are similar to those associated with direct investments in real estate: fluctuations in property values, lack of liquidity, limited diversification and sensitivity to economic factors such as changes in interest rates and market downturns.

Options are not suitable for all investors. This commercial documentation must be accompanied or preceded by a copy of the brochure “Characteristics and risks of standardized options” (ODD). Investors should not enter into options transactions until they have read and understood the ODD. Before engaging in the purchase or sale of options, investors should understand the nature and extent of their rights and obligations and be aware of the risks involved, including, without limitation, the risks associated the business and financial condition of the issuer of the underlying security or instrument. Investing in options, like other forms of investing, involves tax considerations, transaction costs, and margin requirements that can significantly affect the profit and loss from buying and selling options. Options investment transaction costs consist primarily of commissions (which are imposed on opening, closing, exercising and disposing of transactions), but may also include margin and interest costs in transactions. particular. Transaction costs are particularly important in options strategies that require multiple purchases and sales of options, such as multi-legged strategies, including spreads, straddles, and collars. A link to the ODD is provided below: http://www.optionsclearing.com/about/publications/character-risks.jsp

Equity securities may fluctuate in response to news about companies, industries, market conditions and the general economic environment.

Obligations are subject to interest rate risk. When interest rates rise, bond prices fall; generally, the longer the maturity of a bond, the more sensitive it is to this risk. Bonds may also be subject to purchase risk, ie the risk that the issuer will repay the debt at its option, in whole or in part, before the scheduled maturity date. The market value of debt securities may fluctuate and the proceeds from sales prior to maturity may be more or less than the amount originally invested or the value at maturity due to changes in market conditions or the quality of issuer credit. Bonds are subject to the credit risk of the issuer. This is the risk that the issuer may not be able to make timely payments of interest and/or principal. Bonds are also subject to reinvestment risk, which is the risk that principal and/or interest payments on a given investment will be reinvested at a lower rate of interest.

Bonds rated below investment grade may have speculative characteristics and present significant risks beyond those of other securities, including higher credit risk and secondary market price volatility. Before investing in high yield bonds, investors should be sure to consider these risks alongside their personal circumstances, objectives and risk tolerance. High yield bonds should only represent a limited part of a balanced portfolio.

The initial interest rate on a floating rate note may be lower than that of a fixed rate security of the same maturity because investors expect to receive additional income from future increases in the floating security’s underlying benchmark rate. The reference rate can be an index or an interest rate. However, there can be no assurance that the Reference Rate will increase. Certain floating rate securities may be subject to redemption risk. Many floating rate securities specify minimum (floors) and maximum (caps) rates. Floats are not protected against interest rate risk. In an environment of falling interest rates, floats will not appreciate as much as fixed rate bonds. A decline in the applicable reference rate will result in a decline in the interest payment, which will negatively affect the regular float income stream.

Yields are subject to change with economic conditions. Yield is just one of the factors to consider when making an investment decision.

Duration, the most commonly used measure of bond risk, quantifies the effect of changes in interest rates on the price of a bond or bond portfolio. The longer the duration, the more sensitive the bond or portfolio will be to changes in interest rates. Generally, if interest rates rise, bond prices fall and vice versa. Longer-term bonds have a longer or higher duration than shorter-term bonds; as such, they would be affected by the change in interest rates for a longer period if interest rates were to rise. Therefore, the price of a long-term bond would drop significantly relative to the price of a short-term bond.

Due to their narrow focus, sector investments tend to be more volatile than investments that diversify across many industries and companies. Risks applicable to companies in the energy and natural resources include commodity price risk, supply and demand risk, depletion risk and exploration risk. Health Sector Actions are subject to government regulation, as well as government approval of products and services, which can have a significant impact on price and availability, and which can also be significantly affected by rapid obsolescence and expiration patents.

Asset allocation and diversification do not assure a profit or protect against losses in declining financial markets.

Rebalancing does not protect against a loss in the event of a decline in the financial markets. There may be potential tax implications with a rebalancing strategy. Investors should consult their tax advisor before implementing such a strategy.

© 2022 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, Member SIPC.

CRC#4727655 (05/2022)

Common Reasons Borrowers Depend On Payday Loans

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Payday loans are a useful source of credit, but come with a negative media narrative. Fortunately, the purpose of the mayhem was the high interest rate, which was eliminated several years ago with the introduction of regulation. Payday loan borrowers enjoy legal protection and for this reason it has gained popularity over traditional short term bank loans.

LoanPig.co.uk offers good opportunities and short term loans for everyone to get a loan easily and quickly. The APR will be high, but you will pay it very soon. Even the amount of fees involved will be less than traditional bank loan processing. Moreover, if the repayment is made on time, it is an excellent option that gives you a space of 5 to 6 months to restructure your finances.

Common reasons why borrowers depend on the type of payday loan

There are several reasons why borrowers choose to choose payday loans. It’s a magic way to get cash flow to your bank account fast.

During unemployment

Source: forbes.com

Unemployment is a phase that hits a person emotionally and financially. This is a point that no one wants to experience, but which can suddenly put you in a financial situation where it becomes difficult to manage your basic needs. A personal loan is an attractive option because –

  • You have access to instant cash
  • You persist in your lifestyle before you find yourself unemployed
  • You think unemployment isn’t a big deal
  • You are breathing deeply and feeling motivated to look for another job opportunity

It is wise not to choose payday loans but to try other means. You can get jobseeker’s allowance. Also, reduce spending of your savings as much as possible. Accept any type of job until you land your dream job.

To merge other debts

Many borrowers apply for payday loans to pay off other debt. It could be credit card debt or a loan from another lender. It’s a wise move when the advertised interest on the loan is less than the debtor already owes.

Usually, the change can be bad because there are other bills, which can add up to a huge amount. Borrowers can choose the debt consolidation feature. It bundles all loans together making it easy to repay and less risky than using the payday option.

Avoid humiliation

Source: incomepassifmd.com

You can borrow small loans from friends and family, which is less risky than choosing a professional loan service. In addition, there are virtually no worries about interest payments.

Unfortunately, there are stories that borrowing from friends or family caused friction, which damaged their relationship. Therefore, many people prefer to go to a lender and pay interest. You can avoid the embarrassment and humiliation of taking out a loan from someone you know personally.

Holiday loans

At Christmas, parents look forward to giving their children objects or things they want. Payday loans seem to be the best answer. They receive the necessary funds for the holiday period, which are reimbursed with the New Year’s salary.

Parents may be tempted to borrow large sums to buy everything their children dream of, but overlook the cycle of debt. It is difficult for parents to explain to their children that the requested gifts are unaffordable, especially when Santa Claus is supposed to bring them. Be sure to consider your financial capacity before applying for a payday loan.

Support during bad credit ratings

Source: upgradedpoints.com

Payday loans have a bad reputation, so many people borrow from banks or other lending institutions. Here, if your credit score is not good, your loan applications are denied. Alternatively, payday loan services approve loans for bad credit. Approval is based on other criteria like affordability. However, rather than applying for a payday loan, it is better to work on improving your credit score by paying bills and debts on time consistently for more than 6 months. A high credit score will give you access to easy loans in the future.

Pay the bills

Payday loans are an attractive option to pay the high utility bill. Nevertheless, it is wise to look for ways to reduce your utility costs. Find ways to control energy use, such as better home insulation instead of wasting money on gas. Thick curtains can keep the heat inside and are not an expensive switch. Never leave the shower running for hours, have time limits to reduce wasted hot water.

For urgent medical treatment

Source: vitalrecord.tamhsc.edu

Medical bills must be paid or they will accumulate like any other type of debt. Urgent medical treatment or surgery is one of the main reasons people depend on short term loans. However, to circumvent personal loans, it is best to have adequate health insurance coverage, as a medical crisis can be expensive.

To pay mortgage payments

People debate that missing a mortgage payment is worse than getting a payday loan. This is because the mortgage provider begins to assume that you cannot afford the house. If you persist on late payments, they take action against you. You should discuss an appropriate repayment plan with the mortgage lender or downsize your home instead of applying for a payday loan.

Pay an overdraft

The unregulated overdraft is scary. You get penalized, and with payday loans, people avoid that. Steps should also be taken to ensure that you are not overdrawn.

Pay an unexpected debt

Source: experian.com

Everyone wants to stay miles away from debt, but it can happen unexpectedly. For example, your father died and you inherited his debt. You will need to erase it as soon as possible. You will use the payday loan to escape from this situation.

Things to know

As another type of loan is hard to come by, payday loans have become popular for raising capital quickly rather than waiting and missing opportunities or in times of emergency. People who are in desperate need of money and don’t have time to go through the traditional loan approval process, which takes time, gets rejected and repeats it with another lending institution, find an option fast payday loan to pursue.

Bank loans are open to investigation, while a direct payday lender does not prioritize where the borrower will use their money. Disclosure to the payday lender about your loan is for statistical purposes only. You can use the amount to treat yourself or go on an excursion or pay a deferred installment, the determining aspect of the approval will be your ability to repay the borrowed amount.




impact on inflation: Inflation reaches its highest level in 8 years! Here’s what that means for the economy, stocks and bonds

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NEW DELHI: For those wondering why the Reserve Bank of India showed the degree of urgency it did when it raised interest rates in an unanticipated move last week, the latest data on inflation provide a clear answer.

Headline retail inflation in India soared to an 8-year high of 7.79% in April, according to data released yesterday by the National Statistics Office.

While announcing the rate hike after an unscheduled meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee last week, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das warned that April inflation would be high, but the extent to which the indicator for consumer prices rose last month exceeded expectations.



A Reuters poll had put consumer price index inflation at an 18-month high of 7.50% the previous month.

As things stand, it is now pretty much a given that the RBI will follow last week’s rate action with another rate hike in June. The question, however, is by how much?

Das had said last week that the prolonged accommodation reversal process at the start of the COVID-19 crisis began with the 40 basis point hike on May 4, which took the repo rate to 4, 40%.

Given that the repo rate was cut from 5.15% to a record high of 4% in 2020, interest rates would need to be raised another 75 basis points to reverse the rate cuts from the pandemic era.

But, given the scale of soaring inflation and tightening global commodity prices that keep upside risks to inflation elevated, markets are abuzz with speculation that the central bank may have to raise rates by well over 75 basis points in the future.

said in a note last week that he expects the repo rate to be raised by 60 basis points in June, followed by 50 basis points each in August and October and 25 basis points at each meeting thereafter until June 2023, eventually raising the repo rate to 7%.

Although this prediction is one of the most aggressive, analysts are more or less united that the repo rate will rise almost 100 basis points from current levels.

What does this mean for the economy?
Finance Secretary TV Somanathan told CNBC

India’s economic growth rate is likely to slow if the central bank raises interest rates.

It should be noted that the statement from the Ministry of Finance comes at a time when the RBI is just beginning the process of raising rates.

While Das himself acknowledged last week that rate hikes would impact output, the central bank chief also said an unanchoring of inflation expectations would negatively affect economic growth.

There is no doubt that the erosion of purchasing power has begun to weigh on economic growth as individuals realign their spending habits in the face of rising prices for a wide range of consumer goods.

Higher interest rates and therefore tighter financial conditions are impacting aggregate demand in the economy, but the central bank may have no choice but to tackle the bull of the inflation through the horns.

On Wednesday, Morgan Stanley cut its forecast for Indian GDP growth to 7.6% from 7.9% for the current fiscal year and to 6.7% from 7% for the next fiscal year.

“The main channels of impact are likely to be higher inflation, weaker consumer demand, tighter financial conditions, the negative impact on the business climate and a delay in the recovery of investment,” the company said. world.

This follows recent cuts to India’s growth forecasts by several other organizations, including the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and foreign bank UBS.

How would stocks react?
The prospect of further sharp interest rate hikes and further steps to remove excess liquidity from the banking system does not bode well for domestic stock markets, which since last week have been reeling from a hawkish turn without ambiguous national and foreign central banks.

The RBI is almost certain to accompany rate hikes with more increases in maintaining the cash reserve ratio for banks, which would suck excess funds from the banking system.

The RBI’s huge pandemic-era liquidity injections into a historically low interest rate regime was a key factor in pushing Indian equity markets to all-time highs in 2021.

As markets now grapple with the dreaded combination of rate hikes and slowing growth, analysts have questioned Indian equity valuations as FIIs continue to sell domestic equities at an all-time high in a context of sharp rate hikes in the United States.

The Nifty and Sensex have both fallen around 4% since last week and technical indicators suggest more pain ahead.

The recent spike in government bond yields will make matters worse by posing a clear threat to equity valuations, analysts said.

“The general rule is that the higher the risk-free rate of return (government bond yields), the higher the discount rate modeled in the DCF – the discounted cash flow model on which the fair value of all action is determined,” independent market analyst Ajay Bodke said earlier this week.

The market analyst warned that leveraged companies and those with large cash flows far away could be disproportionately affected.

Consequently, so-called growth stocks, whose valuations include long-term cash flows, could suffer.

No respite for obligations
The government bond market, which represents borrowing costs across the economy, has recently seen a bloodbath as the RBI’s urgency to catch the inflation curve took the market by surprise.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond has jumped 79 basis points so far in 2022 and analysts are expecting a much bigger upside. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

While reports quoting sources said the government was unhappy with the recent surge in gilt yields, the fact remains that the RBI has very little room to manage bond yields as it has these past few years. last two years.

As the government announced a massive and unprecedented gross borrowing program for the current year, bond traders lamented a severe mismatch between demand and supply for sovereign paper.

At a time when it is raising interest rates and actively draining excess liquidity, the RBI cannot step in as a major bond buyer and maintain a cap on yields because such acquisitions by the central bank lead to adding sustainable liquidity to the banking system. .

“We expect the 10-year yield to be around 7.40% by the end of the month, the trajectory for yields will be up,”

Naveen Singh, Head of Trading at Master Dealer, told ETMarkets.

“Thanks to the non-policy rate cut, the RBI has signaled its intention to act quickly on inflation, so I think there will be a 50bps rate hike in June. 75 bps might be overkill and 25 bps would be a stray bullet, so 50 bps is the expectation.

The obvious result is an increase in borrowing costs across the economy – from companies tapping into the bond market to individuals whose loan pricing is tied to sovereign debt products.

Powell: It would have been better if the Fed had raised interest rates “a little earlier”

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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Thursday he agrees with what many economists are saying – that the US central bank is overdue to pivot policy and start raising its interest rate. reference interest.

“I said, and I’ll say it again, you know, if you had perfect hindsight, you would come back and it probably would have been better for us to raise the rates a little earlier,” Powell said, in an interview. with Marketplace which airs tonight.

“I don’t know what difference it would have made, but we have to make decisions in real time, based on what we know then, and we did our best,” he added.

The Fed only raised rates in March. Some economists, including former Fed Governor Randal Quarles, think the first move should have come last September.

On Thursday, the Senate confirmed Powell for a second four-year term as Fed chairman, ending in 2026.

Economists say Powell gets an ‘incomplete’ in his first term, at least until it’s clear whether the Fed can bring inflation down by an annual rate above 8% without causing a severe contraction .

Asked for five words to describe his thinking, Powell said he was “in control of inflation”.

Powell said it was possible for the Fed to cool inflation without causing a severe recession. This is called a “soft landing”,

In the Marketplace interview, the Fed Chairman said the central bank’s plans for achieving a soft landing are not entirely in his hands.

“So whether we can execute a soft landing or not, it may actually depend on factors that we don’t control,” Powell said.

What the Fed can control is demand in the economy, and it will raise rates to try to “moderate demand in a way that allows the labor market to rebalance and help inflation to back to 2%,” he said.

At its policy meeting last week, the Fed raised its benchmark interest rate by half a percentage point, the biggest hike in more than 20 years.

At the meeting, Powell said the Fed believes “if the economy behaves roughly as expected, it would be appropriate for there to be additional 50 basis point increases at the next two meetings.”

Asked about the possibility of an even bigger rate hike — a 75 basis point move that’s only been made once — Powell dithered.

He quibbled with the suggestion that he had taken such a big “off the table” move.

“I said we weren’t actively considering that,” Powell said.

“But I would just say we have a set of expectations about the economy. If things go better than expected, we’re ready to do less. If they’re worse than expected, we’re ready to do more.

Asked if “ready to do more” meant a 75 basis point hike, Powell said it was clear central bankers would “adapt to incoming data and changing outlooks.”

Financial markets have been destabilized since the May 4 Fed meeting. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
-0.33%
fell for six consecutive trading sessions, while the S&P 500 SPX index,
-0.13%
flirted with bear market territory. The yield of the 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y,
2.915%
remained just below 3%.

Finnish electrician Fortum leaves Russia

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The sign of Finnish energy company Fortum is seen at its headquarters in Espoo, Finland July 17, 2018. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

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  • Fortum seeks buyer for Russian assets
  • Decision comes as Finland seeks to join NATO
  • Utilities post operating loss in first quarter

COPENHAGEN, May 12 (Reuters) – Finland’s Fortum (FORTUM.HE) will leave Russia and is seeking a buyer for its assets there, the utility said on Thursday, as the country applied to join NATO in a decision that drew an angry reaction from the Kremlin.

Fortum, which is majority state-owned, said in March it would continue existing operations in Russia but freeze new investments.

On Thursday he said he had now decided to “pursue a controlled exit” from the country – joining a long list of Western companies to pull out after the invasion of Ukraine.

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“We will try to find a buyer,” chief executive Markus Rauramo told Reuters after the company posted a first-quarter operating loss, driven by weakness at German subsidiary Uniper. Read more

Shares of Fortum, already down around 30% since the start of the Russian invasion, fell another 6% at 1205 GMT.

“We expect few potential buyers and an expensive exit option,” Credit Suisse analysts said in a note to clients.

Rauramo said the assets have attracted interest over the years, but declined to comment on any current interest. Read more

When asked if Finland’s announcement of NATO has complicated matters, he added: “I don’t know if it will have an impact or not, but…generally speaking, the he current operating environment is more tense and unstable and we are better prepared.”

Fortum’s Russian unit operates seven thermal power plants for district heating. Uniper (UN01.DE), of which Fortum owns 78%, also has five factories across Russia through its subsidiary Unipro (UPRO.MM).

GAS PURCHASES ‘COMPLIANT WITH SANCTIONS’

Besides its operations in Russia, where it made a fifth of its operating profit last year, Fortum has exposure to Russia through Uniper, which buys large quantities of Russian gas through long-term supply contracts.

Rauramo said the company was in close dialogue with the German government and Russian gas giant Gazprom on how to implement Moscow’s request to pay for gas in rubles.

European gas buyers fear that accessing this request, under which they must open accounts at Gazprombank for future payments, could violate sanctions imposed on Russia.

Rauramo said Uniper would continue to pay for Russian gas in euros. “Whatever the solution for this to happen in compliance with the sanctions, it must be worked out between the parties,” he added.

Fortum has previously said it will record a pre-tax impairment of 2.1 billion euros of its Russian operations in the first quarter, after which the company has net assets worth 3.3 billion euros. in the country.

It posted a first-quarter operating loss of 438 million euros ($460 million), down from a profit of 1.2 billion euros a year earlier and in line with the loss of 436 million euros expected by analysts in a survey provided by the company.

Finland said on Thursday it would apply to join NATO “without delay”, with Sweden expected to follow. The Kremlin called Helsinki’s announcement a direct threat to Russia and threatened an unspecified response. Read more

($1 = 0.9520 euros)

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Reporting by Stine Jacobsen Editing by Mark Potter and John Stonestreet

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Shopify, Square among companies hoping to ease e-commerce slowdown by lending money to merchants

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Désirée Kretschmar, owner of the Plant Goals store in Peterborough, Ont., took part in a beta test of the Square Loans program in the fall to purchase new inventory.Ash Nayler/The Globe and Mail

E-commerce companies, facing a sudden downturn, are hoping that one of their new lines of business can help pick up the slack: lending money.

Tech companies that provide online sales and transaction services to retailers and small businesses are also increasingly offering loans and cash advances to these customers in an effort to keep them connected to their service platforms.

They do this for a fee and a share of future sales, providing small businesses with an immediate source of cash in the blink of an eye, with these loans now worth billions of dollars.

It’s often a mutually beneficial deal, but like any credit program, it comes with risks, especially if the recent slump in e-commerce spending turns into a prolonged recession.

E-commerce companies such as Shopify Inc. SHOP-T, Amazon.com Inc. AMZN-Q and several others recently reported below-expected financial results, sending their stock prices plummeting amid signs that growth rapid online traffic during the pandemic is no longer sustainable. Soaring inflation is also raising fears that consumers will cut back on discretionary spending.

Shopify, for example, revealed in its earnings report last week that it wrote off $46 million in bad credit in the last quarter alone, with nearly half a billion dollars in advances still outstanding. .

Block Inc. SQ-N, the owner of Square Inc., is the latest to offer credit to Canadian merchants with the launch of Square Loans last month. It follows similar programs launched during the pandemic by competitors Shopify and Lightspeed Commerce LSPD-T.

Luke Voiles, managing director of Square Banking, says offering loans can be a way to see merchants through a tough time.

“If they’re going through a tough time and we’re able to keep them going over time, we’re able to help them survive,” he said. “It feels really good.”

“We try to resolve pain points as much as possible to make sure they stay with us.”

Dan Romanoff, Chicago-based principal e-commerce and software company analyst at Morningstar Inc., says offering credit is becoming increasingly necessary for these businesses — an attractive incentive for merchants to continue working with e-commerce platforms.

“It’s something where once you start using this software and earn capital, it’s very hard to stop,” Romanoff said. “The ability of Shopify or any of its peers, quite honestly, to offer some sort of capital assistance is just that they’re more of a one-stop-shop.”

The programs provide a certain amount of money in exchange for an initial fee. The money is refunded by deducting a small amount from the merchant’s daily sales.

In an example provided by Square, a merchant who wants to borrow $10,000 might be charged a fee of $1,300, so a total of $11,300 would be deducted in installments from their sales over 18 months. Square estimates that most fees would be around 10-13% of the loan. A cash advance on a credit card would carry a higher interest rate, while most bank loans would have lower rates.

Both Square and Shopify use algorithms to set the terms of their loans, while Lightspeed says its terms are decided by a mix of algorithms and human analysis.

In all cases, however, credit offers are based on the merchant’s sales records and, unlike a traditional bank loan, do not involve a credit check.

Shopify says its automated process helps merchants avoid filling out lengthy loan applications or writing business plans.

Désirée Kretschmar, owner of the Plant Goals store in Peterborough, Ont., took part in a beta test of the Square Loans program in the fall to purchase new inventory. She said she found the experience much easier and faster than applying for a loan from a bank.

“It took about as long as it takes to drink a cup of coffee,” she said.

But not doing a credit check adds an element of risk.

David Lewis, insolvency trustee at BDO Canada, said the choice not to run credit checks means e-commerce platforms have no idea if merchants have other loans they might have. hard to repay. It could also offer struggling companies a way to take on more debt.

“Without any credit checks or any collateral, I might just see someone go out and apply for these little loans to help cover what they need in the short term,” Mr Lewis said. “Kind of like what people do with payday loans.”

He added, however, that e-commerce businesses have the advantage of being able to deduct money directly from a merchant’s earnings, a power that most creditors do not have.

The amount of money provided through these credit programs varies widely by platform.

Shopify says it has provided more than US$3 billion to merchants in the United States, Britain and Canada through Shopify Capital since 2016. In company results released Thursday, it said it had provided US$347 million. US dollars in cash and loans in the first quarter of 2022, up 12% from the first quarter of last year. The company’s latest quarterly filings show it had $487 million in outstanding merchant credit as of March 31 after writing off $46 million in bad loans and advances.

Square says it has made $9 billion in loans in the United States, Australia and Canada. The company did not specify the amount reimbursed. Documents filed by the companies for the 2021 financial year show that, on average, merchants took nine months to repay the loans.

Lightspeed Capital, however, hasn’t been used as often. Documents filed by the companies show the program had $5.3 million in outstanding loans as of December 31, 2021. An analysis by Credit Suisse researchers last month estimated that fewer than 300 merchants would use the program by December 31, 2021. fiscal year 2024.

Still, Mr. Romanoff said he expects other companies to expand their credit offerings. He pointed to Amazon’s efforts to provide advances to third-party sellers on Amazon Marketplace.

“It’s something that is real and benefits users,” Romanoff said. “I think it’s valuable and I don’t think it’s a money loser by any means.”

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Amcor Stock: Poised to Create All-Time High in Today’s Bear Market (NYSE:AMCR)

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jetcityimage/iStock Editorial via Getty Images

With or without a recession, the world will continue to move towards a sustainable planet. Ahead of World Environment Day, where individuals around the world come together and take action to protect the environment, having skin in the paper packaging industry is one way to support and raise awareness of this year’s theme, “Only One Earth”.

Amcor plc (New York Stock Exchange: AMCR) is a global leader in the design and manufacture of high quality, innovative packaging solutions used by leading medical and consumer brands. AMCR primarily operates in the United States and Europe, where most of its revenue is derived from these regions and employs approximately 46,000 employees worldwide.

AMCR continues to invest heavily in new technologies to improve its operational efficiency and reduce its environmental footprint. The company has entered into a partnership with ExxonMobil Corporation (XOM) to provide them with advanced recycling technology to expand their portfolio serving the health and food industry.

AMCR has strong profitability where its revenue is expected to increase by $14.32 billion according to analysts, it maintains a liquid balance sheet and has a strong catalyst for total shareholder return; this stock is a buy on its potential decline.

Amcor Commitment 2025

Amcor has a strong track record of sustainable packaging innovations. In fact, the company recently launched AMFiber, its latest paper-based packaging product. This shows their strong commitment to having 100% of their product portfolio be recyclable or reusable by 2025. As consumers become more aware of climate change, demand for AMCR’s products will increase as they continue become part of consumers’ daily lives, whether for food or medicine.

AMCR: Total Revenue Estimates by Annual Consensus

AMCR: Annual Consensus Total Revenue Estimates (Source: SeekingAlpha.com)

It is evident to see that the majority of analysts covering the AMCR have a positive view of its future potential, as seen in the image above.

A sustainable AMCR

AMCR: more growth to unlock

AMCR: More Growth to Unlock (Source: Amcor Third Quarter 2022 Investor Presentation)

In addition to its innovations, AMCR boasted of improved capacity in its global operations, resulting in 15.62% year-on-year growth in Q3 2022, amounting to $3,708 million , compared to $3,207 million in the same quarter last year. In addition, management reassures that it does not see any shortages related to its organic growth and will continue to invest in improving its overall capacity.

… We have increased CapEx by approximately 15% per year, including in the current fiscal year 2022, as Michael mentioned and we expect this to bring our CapEx to sales ratio up from the historical range of 3 % to 4% to 4% to 5% on a continuous basis. We have a number of projects already underway or nearing completion which will generate attractive returns and drive organic growth in the future. This slide shows some examples.

In Brazil and the UK, we are adding multi-layer film production capacity to meet growth in priority healthcare and meat segments.

In Ireland, we are adding new state-of-the-art thermoforming capabilities to strengthen our leadership position in medical packaging.

…in Italy, we are increasing the production capacity of one of our global AmLite Heatflex product platforms. And since launching this ready-to-recycle pouch for autoclavable applications, we have seen significant interest from a long list of customers and the majority of this new capacity has already sold out. Source: Q3 2022 Earnings Call Transcript

Margin controlled

AMCR continues to release catalysts of added value with its improving margin, thanks to its effective hedging strategy and its synergies. In fiscal 2022, management expects its 2019 Bemis integration plan to begin delivering more than $180 million in pre-tax savings, better than it expected in fiscal 2022. the 2019 financial year.

AMCR: Growth in Commodity Futures

AMCR: Growth in commodity futures (Source: Q3 2022)

Additionally, the company managed to hedge its two main raw materials, reducing some of its capacity and increasing input cost risk. I think it’s reassuring and relevant in these uncertain times.

Still basically intact

AMCR: Business Valuation

AMCR: Company Valuation (Source: Prepared by InvestOhTrader)

Another value-added catalyst for AMCR is that it has strong cash flow potential and is well positioned to shine in today’s bear market. The company is undervalued at its P/E ratio of 20.34x versus its 5-year average of 24.76x. Although it looks overvalued compared to its industry’s median P/E ratio of 14.42x, AMCR is delivering faster revenue growth (5 years) at 8.85%, better than international paper company (PI) with 0.50% and WestRock Company (WRK) with 7.18%. I think it’s still cheap at today’s price, especially considering its intrinsic value of $17 derived from my DCF and its simple relative valuation.

CDMA: DCF model

AMCR: DCF Model (Source: Data from Seeking Alpha and Yahoo! Finance. Prepared by InvestOhTrader)

I completed my DCF model using expert projections and continue to project a conservative rate of 2.2% for fiscal 2025 and 2026. Despite its bullish operating margin outlook, I started a number in down 10.8% from its 11.2% in FY2021 and I projected a conservative growing number in line with its improved synergies. I also assumed a higher CAPEX investment and a higher discount rate of 5.5% compared to its calculated WACC of 4.5%. To sum up, with all the other assumptions outlined in the image above, I arrived at a conservative intrinsic value of around $17.

Third quarter 2022 key financial performance

  • AMCR’s total revenue was $3,708 million this quarter, compared to $3,207 million in the year-ago quarter. On a 12-month basis, the company generated $14,089 million higher than the $12,861 million recorded in fiscal 2021 and its $12,468 million in fiscal 2020.

  • In today’s challenging environment, it’s surprising to see a company post positive gross profit growth. AMCR posted higher gross profit of $731 million, up from the same quarter last year. However, as a percentage, the company’s gross margin fell from 21.27% in Q3 2021 to 19.71% in Q3 2022. This is due to its inflated cost of revenue; however, I think its hedging materials will help control its margins if the worst gets worse.

  • On top of that it snowballed its operating profit where we are seeing positive dollar growth from $350 million in Q3 2021 to $404 million this quarter but also led to lower operating margin of 10.90% this quarter, down to 10.91% in the same quarter last year. If you will notice, the drop is not that big compared to its gross margin and this is due to its efficiency on its selling and general expenses. Additionally, with over $180 million in cost synergies, we can assume a growing or at least controlled margin in its future financial reports.

  • Looking at AMCR’s net profit, it rose to $269 million from $267 million in the same quarter last year. In addition to its high P/E multiple, which may seem unattractive to some value-oriented investors, its decelerating margin poses a significant risk this quarter. In fact, AMCR also produced a slowing net margin of 7.25%, down to 8.35% in the same quarter last year.

  • Finally, due to growing net income in dollars, AMCR generated growing earnings per share (EPS) of $0.18 this quarter, compared to $0.17 recorded in the same quarter of 2021. From another perspective, the The company’s EPS is already at $0.62, which is higher than the $0.6 recorded last fiscal year and $0.38 in fiscal 2020.

An all-time high in today’s bear market?

AMCR: weekly chart

AMCR: Weekly Chart (Source: TradingView.com)

Recently, AMCR managed to create a new 52-week high at around $13.18 following the release of its positive Q3 2022 results. However, despite its strong quarter, it was rejected and is trading lower at the moment. to write these lines. What does this mean for AMCR investors? With a dividend yield of 3.75%, any decline, especially after 10%, not only improves the company’s dividend yield, but also provides investors with a better entry point to average down. The price remains above its simple moving average, indicating bullish price action. This is the confluence with its MACD which is trading above the zero line, expressing the same sentiment with its moving average indicator.

Final takeaways

AMCR is benefiting from a good outlook from management, which sees its adjusted EPS increase from 9.5% to 11% in fiscal 2022. If you take a look at the quoted executive transcript here Below, you’ll notice how the war between Russia and Ukraine can affect AMCR’s operations in both its income statement and balance sheet.

As a reminder, the four sites in Ukraine and Russia together represent around 2 to 3% of Amcor’s annual sales, around 4 to 5% of annual EBIT and around 200 to 300 million dollars on the balance sheet. Source: Q3 2022 Earnings Call Transcript

Despite this, management provided a powerful catalyst that the market ignored on top of this double-digit EPS growth. According to them, these figures already exclude income from its operations in Ukraine.

It’s also important to note that our full-year 2022 guidance assumes no further earnings from activity in Ukraine last quarter and takes into account a range of possible outcomes in Russia. Source: Q3 2022 Earnings Call Transcript

AMCR has a strong buyout catalyst where $423 million of shares were bought back and were canceled during the buyout. Additionally, management expects a total of $600 million for fiscal 2022 on top of its growing quarterly dividend of $0.12, up from $0.1175 last year.

Even though AMCR remains liquid and has a sustainable dividend, its growing total debt of $7,762 million affects its D/E ratio of 1.72x, compared to 1.52x in Q3 2021, and its debt/EBITDA ratio of 3 .60x, which is unfavorable compared to 3.49x in the third quarter of 2021. Despite the increase in interest payments, the company’s interest coverage ratio set a new record high of 9.92x.

Its growing EPS, strong cash flow generation, sustainable dividend and large buybacks in addition to its hedged commodities, which can potentially support another year of business operations, are stronger than its margin in slowdown and negative sentiment of a broad bearish macro-environment exacerbated by the war between Russia and Ukraine. At today’s weakness, Amcor is a buy.

Thanks for reading and good luck to all of us!

Indiana housing nonprofits brace for additional demand after interest rate hike

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INDIANAPOLIS — As the Federal Reserve issues its biggest interest rate hike in more than 20 years, Indiana’s housing nonprofits are bracing for a call for more help.

Housing prices have already risen. A report by real estate firm FC Tucker shows that last month the average selling price of a home in central Indiana rose 10.5% since April 2021.

“You see more people who can no longer afford in the market,” said Jim Morris, president and CEO of Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity.

The organization has already received calls from Hoosiers about the new interest rate hike, Morris said.

Housing applications have increased by at least a third since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and at the same time Habitat construction costs have doubled, Morris said.

“We were able to absorb it and keep producing, but it took the resilience of the partnerships to do that,” he said.

Experts say when it comes to mortgages, Hoosiers looking for a new home will be hit the hardest, along with homeowners whose monthly payments aren’t fixed-rate.

“That could absolutely factor into people’s decisions on how much house they want to buy, given that they’ll have a bit higher interest payment associated with those monthly payments,” Andrew Butters said. , assistant professor at the IU Kelley School of Business. .

Butters points out that the interest rate hike is aimed at bringing inflation back to normal rates. As people spend less money, he said, Hoosiers could start to see some prices stop rising at a faster rate.

There could be a noticeable difference by the end of the year, he added.

“It certainly affects businesses as well,” Butters said. “Hopefully, as this trickles down to the wider economy, we will see inflation slowing down.”

Habitat for Humanity is not changing the 0% interest rate on mortgages for the families it serves, Morris said. The organization is working with its community partners to ensure enough funds are available to try to meet any increase in demand, he added.

If you would like to donate or get housing assistance through Habitat for Humanity, click here.

Today in B2B: More Treasurers Are Embracing Automation

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Today, in B2B payments, OwlTing and Nium are launching a cross-border B2B payments initiative, while Versapay and American Express are teaming up to streamline the accounts receivable process. Additionally, alliances and relationships are more important than ever amid supply chain disruptions, and Deluxe and Codat are collaborating to improve accountability.

Amex and Versapay team to improve AR process

American Express is partnering with collaborative Accounts Receivable (AR) provider Versapay to help customers improve the AR process, giving vendors who use American Express virtual cards access to Versapay’s AR network of buyers and vendors to a fully automated opt-in experience.

The program also includes access to its electronic payment delivery service (ePDS), which eliminates email payment delivery and automates the processing and reconciliation of virtual card payments, according to a press release from Versapay.

PYMNTS worked with Versapay on “The Strategic Role of the CFO,” a report that looked at Accounts Payable (AP) and AR modernization. Nearly 93% of U.S. companies with revenue of at least $25 million said they were integrating digital technologies into their accounting operations.

Treasurers turn to automation to meet the demands of global commerce

As new e-commerce ecosystems emerge, new business models – such as manufacturer-led and direct-to-consumer (D2C) digital storefronts – have highlighted the need for a B2B and business-to-consumer payments ecosystem ( B2C) consistent and in real time. .

According to “Mapping the Global Commerce Future,” a collaboration between PYMNTS and Citi, D2C business models require flexible payment mechanisms that allow brands to provide instant refunds to consumers. This helps ensure smooth user experiences and prompt payments to suppliers and contractors, limiting supply chain disruptions.

Shahmir Khaliq, global head of treasury and commerce solutions at Citi, told PYMNTS that the massive shift from consumer payments to online conduits has created expectations that interactions between buyers and suppliers should be just as smooth and intuitive.

Deluxe, Codat joins forces to improve accounting

Deluxe, a payments technology company, has formed a partnership with small business data application programming interface (API) provider Codat.

The companies will work together to allow customers who use Deluxe’s ​​payroll and human resources solutions to automatically reconcile their accounting data in their accounting software. The collaboration will mean that business owners will only need to log into the Deluxe platform once.

Ongoing synchronization is handled transparently in the background using Codat technology. The companies said that by automating this manual process, business owners would save time, reduce errors and ensure payroll data accuracy.

The data point: real-time payments are the norm at nearly 9 out of 10 large companies

In the study “Real-Time Payments: The Fast Track to the Future of Business Payments,” a collaboration between PYMNTS and The Clearing House, we surveyed 100 executives of companies generating between $50 million and $1 billion per year to find out what benefits early adopters are getting from using RTP – and what the remaining hurdles are for instant payments.

The majority of businesses said they were now sending and receiving payments in real time, with almost nine out of ten large businesses at the bottom of the corporate ladder showing the greatest adoption. For companies with revenues between $250 million and $500 million, usage drops to 27%.

As the study notes, “companies using real-time payments are more evenly distributed when sorted by industry, not size,” with 19% of financial companies, 18% of mobile phone companies and approximately 11% of utilities and distribution companies now using real payments. -payments on time.

Supply chain disruptions underscore the value of alliances and the need to strengthen payment relationships

Over the past three years, supply chain disruptions have underscored the importance of improving collaboration with customers and suppliers – including mutual support around payments – for businesses in the B2B space. .

Jean-Michel Bérard, CEO of Esker, told PYMNTS that with the increasing globalization of the economy, B2B companies have realized how much they depend on their partners to survive and thrive. This has led some companies to adopt new supply chain risk management practices, such as diversification to reduce reliance on China.

Companies have also shifted their focus to innovation and restructured to build resilience and flexibility, and companies have found that they need to build and maintain strong relationships and alliances with their suppliers to reduce their vulnerability.

Blockchain company OwlTing and Nium launch X-Border B2B payments

Digital payments startup Nium and blockchain services company OwlTing have joined forces to power OwlPay, OwlTing’s real-time cross-border payments service.

The new service covers automatic reconciliation, online currency exchanges and cross-border payment services for the e-commerce and travel sectors in Southeast Asia. The companies said that Nium’s exchange rate, settlement network and currency support give businesses an added advantage when sending international remittances in real time.

OwlPay said it will initially focus on Southeast Asia, hoping to capitalize on the region’s expected growth in the internet economy, which could reach $363 billion in gross merchandise volume. by 2025.

——————————

NEW PYMNTS DATA: THE TRUTH ABOUT BNPL AND STORED CARDS – APRIL 2022

On: Shoppers who have store cards use them for 87% of all eligible purchases – but that doesn’t mean retailers should start buy now, pay later (BNPL) options at checkout. The Truth About BNPL and Store Cards, a collaboration between PYMNTS and PayPal, surveys 2,161 consumers to find out why providing both BNPL and Store Cards is key to helping merchants maximize conversion.

United Wholesale Mortgage Profits Fall as Interest Rates Rise

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Pontiac-based United Wholesale Mortgage did less business in the first quarter as mortgage rates rose, though it still posted a profit of $453 million, according to the company’s first-quarter results. published Tuesday morning.

Mortgage business volume fell 26% to $38.8 billion for UWM from the same period a year ago, and mortgage refinance activity fell to 51% of overall UWM activity. the company against 75%.

After:Mortgage layoffs and takeovers escalate in Metro Detroit

Net income, or profit, for UWM was $453 million for the quarter, down from $860 million a year earlier. The company’s profit margins were 0.99%, down from 2.19% in the first quarter of 2021.

The mortgage industry as a whole is experiencing a slowdown, with interest rates rising in recent months, resulting in buyouts and layoffs from many lenders, including nationally ranked local lenders Rocket Mortgage and Flagstar Bank.

The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit nearly 5.2% last week, the highest level since 2010, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

“This quarter, we have demonstrated that our business can continue to be profitable in very different market conditions than we have experienced over the past two years,” UWM CEO Mat Ishbia said in a statement. Press. “We have earned this position by building a business over the past 36 years that can take advantage of what the market offers.”

Ishbia, who was due to have an earnings call with Wall Street analysts later Tuesday morning, said UWM did not have to lay off. However, the number of employees fell to 7,830 as of Dec. 31, according to company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For the year, U.S. mortgages are expected to fall 36% from 2021 levels to $2.5 trillion, the association says, with refinances falling to 28% of the market by the end of the year, compared to almost 60% for the whole of last year. .

The impact of rising mortgage rates on UWM’s business may be more acute in the current quarter. The company says it expects lower mortgage volume and even tighter profit margins.

The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit 5.27% last week, according to government-backed Freddie Mac, the highest in a decade.

Dan Gilbert’s Detroit-based Rocket Companies was due to report first-quarter results later Tuesday.

ContactJC Reindl to313-222-6631 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jcreindl. Learn more about companies and sign up for our business newsletter.

CVS Health: Stock buybacks and a dividend catalyst (NYSE: CVS)

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peterschreiber.media/iStock via Getty Images

SVC Health (NYSE:New York Stock Exchange: CVS) published a better balance sheet in their Q1 2022 report compared to my first review of them where I discussed their FY2021 report. A few weeks later he published a 7% gain better than the broader bear market, before it was rejected and it is currently trading above its important support zone at around $96. CVS is always a buy and a potential drop makes this stock more attractive, with a rising dividend yield and an expanded margin of safety.

Company Update

CVS remains committed to its mission to change the future of American healthcare with the goal of providing more cost-effective care and improving the consumer experience through their technology and digital enhancement. In fact, despite current headwinds like the rising cost of everything and a potential recession this year, management reassured its investors during the first quarter 2022 earnings call that they were still looking to spend to improve their digital operation with their capital expenditure of $2.8 billion to $3.0 billion. budget this financial year 2022.

They are producing a higher margin, which I will discuss in more detail later, thanks to their strong cost reduction initiative, which is focused on digitization and some divestments. According to management, they are divesting healthcare facilities from their Thailand operations, which are currently contributing negatively to CVS’s net income of $41 million.

CVS is currently diversifying its portfolio into home healthcare, which experts predict is expected to grow globally at an impressive CAGR of 10%, and on top of that, another value-added catalyst is how the company finances its expansion; they tend to sell their non-performing business instead of financing it with debt.

Here are some advantages highlighted by management for the proposed plan:

…Partnering in technology and home care will allow us to reduce readmissions and improve care for our clients at this critical stage of their recovery. As we expand our capabilities to create new sources of value, we continually assess our portfolio for non-strategic assets. Source: Q1 2022 Earnings Call Transcript

Despite headwinds from the looming Covid-19 catalyst, CVS managed to deliver 11.42% year-over-year growth in operating revenue ($76,658 million, vs. $68,800 million in the first quarter of 2021).

Good operating segment performance, but

CVS: Segment Performance Growth

CVS: Segment Performance Growth (Source: First Quarter 2022 Company Filings)

As you can see from the image above, all of its operating segments generated overall growth. Regarding its healthcare benefits segment, despite its strong annual revenue growth of 12.8%, it produced a slower adjusted operating profit this first quarter of 2022 amounting to 1,751 million, compared to $1,782 million recorded in the same quarter last year.

CVS: increase in the total number of members

CVS: increase in the total number of members (Source: First Quarter 2022 Company Filings)

I thought there was an inefficiency because their medical benefit ratio (MBR) had gone up to 83.5% this quarter from 83.2% in the same quarter last year. However, further investigation reveals that its corresponding GAAP figure on this segment produced a higher figure this quarter, amounting to $1,409 million, compared to $1,380 million recorded in the first quarter of 2021. In fact, CVS has seen a marked increase in its total number of members, which has boosted its turnover. upper. In addition to this, management provided a positive outlook for its healthcare benefits segment, where its total revenue is expected to increase by approximately $89.3 billion to $90.8 billion, from $82,186 million recorded last fiscal year. Additionally, management expects to maintain its MBR level at approximately 83.5% to 84.5% in fiscal 2022, higher than its 80.9% in the prior fiscal year and 84.2% recorded. in fiscal 2019, and management expects this segment to provide additional growth of $180 million to generate an adjusted operating profit estimate of $5.94 billion to $6.04 billion. dollars. This is an increase from $5.012 billion recorded in the previous fiscal year.

Additionally, management provided a neutral perspective on the impact of the second Covid-19 recall on the business, contrary to what I had previously expected, that it could help further increase its revenue. .

Our updated guidelines now reflect the assumption that a fourth COVID-19 booster will be given to adults ages 50 and older and certain immunocompromised individuals according to guidelines established by the CDC. The administration of a fourth recall is expected to be net neutral to our business. This represents an additional cost to our healthcare benefits segment, but helps maintain our full-year outlook for our retail segment by offsetting the previously mentioned Q1 2022 spending pressures. Source: Q1 2022 Earnings Call Transcript

Still Provides Huge Benefits

CVS: Business Valuation

CVS: Business Valuation (Source: Prepared by InvestOhTrader)

The company still offers huge upside potential at today’s price, despite numerous revenue downgrades and a growing yield environment. CVS is still cheap with current earnings of 16.75x, especially when compared to its industry median of 27.18x and forward earnings of 14.40x. Additionally, looking at CVS Health’s EV/EBITDA ratio of 10.53x alongside its industry median of 15.84x and its leading EV/EBITDA of 10.06x, we can safely assume that it is undervalued at today’s prices. I updated the model to today’s increasing return and used a higher discount rate of 7%. This caused the average fair price to drop by $134. However, using its current WACC of 5.77% as the discount rate, the model can offer a 46% upside with an average fair price of $146.

CVS: DCF Model

CVS: DCF Model (Source: Data from SeekingAlpha and Yahoo!Finance. Prepared by InvestOhTrader)

I completed my 5-year DCF model using analyst projections. I maintained an increasing projection on its operating income, as shown in the image above, and still in line with CVS’s financial performance in the first quarter. However, it should be noted that this year’s potential recession triggered by today’s war between Russia and Ukraine can significantly affect a consumer’s daily budget, which I believe can affect demand total company.

Q1 2022 key financial performance

  • In addition to its strong quarterly performance, when considering its total revenue of $298,770 million, we can see a strong growth performance surpassing the challenging $290,912 million figures recorded during the year. prior year, and higher than the $267,908 million recorded in fiscal 2020.

  • As for its operating profit, $3,806 million this quarter was up from $3,321 million in the prior quarter. This translated into an increase in operating margin to 4.96% from 4.83% in the same quarter last year.

  • Additionally, the company’s net income increased to $2,312.00 million from $2,223.00 million in the previous quarter. However, looking at its net margin, it has gone from 3.02% this quarter to 3.23% in the first quarter of 2021. Despite the slowdown in its net margin, it is still impressive as CVS has already accrued litigation costs of 484 million payable over 18 years related to opioid claims by Florida in this quarter.

  • This snowballed to a growing EPS of $1.76 in the first quarter of 2022 from $1.69 in the same quarter a year earlier. Additionally, CVS EPS totaled $6.07, compared to $6.0 last fiscal year and $5.48 for fiscal 2020. However, comparing management’s outlook for its adjusted EPS for the fiscal 2022, which must be between $8.20 and $8.40 per share, to its past performance of $8.40 in fiscal 2021 and $7.50 in fiscal 2020, we We can see some sluggishness that investors and traders should watch out for.

  • According to management, this is in line with its deleveraging strategy in which it expects lower interest payment and lower amortization expense due to continued divestment plans.

Now trade on a logical support

CVS: weekly chart

CVS: weekly chart (Source: TradingView.com)

It took 60 trading days for CVS to get back to the desired level, which is around $95 per share, and I think any price up to $90 is still a good pullback opportunity. CVS is currently trading below its 20-day simple moving average (SMA) and above its 50-day SMA, and a further breakdown of its 50-day SMA could signal significant downward movement.

Key points and concluding thoughts

Looking at its cash balances, CVS generated a declining figure of $8,442 million, compared to $9,408 million recorded in the prior year. This is due to its strong share buyback activity, cited below by management as its all-time high since 2017.

We repurchased approximately 19.1 million common shares in the 3 months ended March 31, 2022, marking the first time the company has repurchased common stock since 2017. Source: Q1 Earnings Call Transcript 2022

In that quarter, management bought $2 billion worth of stock, leaving them with a “only” $8 billion buyback program.

Finally, the improvement in its debt/EBITDA ratio of 4.06x and its debt/equity ratio of 1.03x results from the decrease in its total debt of $75,915.00 million, compared to $85,042 million. for fiscal year 2021 and $75,999 million for fiscal year 2020.

CVS Health’s effort to deleverage, generate meaningful share buybacks, while maintaining a growing dividend with a strong track record of cash flow generation, makes it a buy at current weakness.

Thanks for reading and good luck!

Wall Street joins global swoon on rate, China worries

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Wall Street tumbled to its lowest point in more than a year on Monday as renewed worries about China’s economy piled on top of markets already battered by rising interest rates.

The S&P 500 was down 2.2% in morning trade after posting its fifth straight losing streak, its longest such streak in more than a decade. He joined a global swoon for markets on Monday. Not only have stocks fallen across Europe and much of Asia, but everything from old-economy crude oil to new-economy bitcoin.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 487 points, or 1.5%, at 32,412 as of 10:30 a.m. EST, and the Nasdaq composite was down 3.1%. Monday’s sharp decline leaves the S&P 500, Wall Street’s main measure of health, down nearly 16% from its record high set earlier this year.

Most of the damage this year is the result of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive decision not to do everything in its power to support financial markets and the economy. The central bank has already pulled its main short-term interest rate from its all-time high of zero, where it has sat for most of the pandemic. Last week, he signaled additional increases of double the usual amount that could be achieved in the coming months, in hopes of stamping out the high inflation sweeping the economy.

Deliberate measures will slow the economy by making borrowing more expensive. The risk is that the Fed could cause a recession if it goes too far or too quickly. In the meantime, higher rates discourage investors from paying very high prices for investments, as investors can get more than before by holding ultra-safe Treasuries instead.

This has helped cause bitcoin to fall almost 28% since the start of April, for example. It fell 3.4% on Monday.

Concerns about the world’s second-largest economy added to the gloom on Monday. Analysts cited comments over the weekend from a Chinese official warning of a dire jobs situation as the country hopes to halt the spread of COVID-19.

Shanghai authorities have tightened restrictions again, with at least one citizen saying it seemed endless, just as the city emerged from a month-long strict lockdown after an outbreak.

The fear is that China’s tough anti-COVID policies will further disrupt global trade and global supply chains, while dampening its economy, which for years has been a key driver of global growth.

In the past, Wall Street has been able to hold steady despite similar pressures due to the strong earnings growth companies have been producing.

But this past season of earnings releases from major US corporations has generated less enthusiasm. Overall, companies are reporting stronger-than-expected earnings for the last quarter, as is usually the case. But the discouraging signs for future growth have been many.

The number of companies citing “weak demand” in their conference calls following earnings reports reached its highest level since the second quarter of 2020, strategist Savita Subramanian wrote in a BofA Global Research report. Tech profits are also lagging behind, she said.

The technology sector is the largest in the S&P 500 by market value, giving it additional leverage for market moves. Many tech-focused companies have seen their profits soar during the pandemic as people seek new ways to work and play while cooped up at home. But their slowing earnings growth makes their shares vulnerable after their prices soared so high on expectations of continued gains.

The higher interest rates put in place by the Fed are also hitting their stock prices hard, as they are considered to be among the most expensive in the market. The Nasdaq composite’s loss of around 24% for 2022 so far is much stronger than that of other indices.

The 10-year Treasury yield hit its highest level since 2018 as inflation and expectations for Fed action rose. It moderated a little on Monday, falling to 3.11% from 3.12% on Friday evening.

In Asian stock markets, the Japanese Nikkei 225 fell 2.5% and the South Korean Kospi lost 1.3%. Shares in Shanghai edged up 0.1%.

In Europe, the French CAC 40 fell by 1.7% and the German DAX by 1.2%. London’s FTSE 100 fell 1.5%.

In addition to concerns about inflation and coronavirus restrictions, the war in Ukraine remains a major cause of uncertainty. More than 60 people are believed to have been killed after a Russian bomb razed a school used as a shelter, Ukrainian officials said. Moscow forces pushed their attack on the defenders inside the Mariupol steelworks in an apparent race to capture the city ahead of Russia’s Victory Day holiday on Monday.

Even the energy sector, star of recent weeks, was under pressure on Monday. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 4.1% to $105.28 a barrel, although it is still up more than 40% this year. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 3.6% to $108.40 a barrel.

___

AP Business Writer Yuri Kageyama contributed.

Mashreq invests $10 million in UAE fintech startup Cashew

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Mashreq, the Al Ghurair family-controlled Dubai lender, has invested $10 million in UAE-based fintech startup Cashew, becoming the latest to tap into a booming “buy now, pay later” sector ( BNPL).

Founded in 2020, Cashew offers its services in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia – the largest economies in the Arab world – through an app and a web-based platform.

As part of the investment, Cashew’s payment platform will be optionally integrated into the acquiring network of Neopay, the payment subsidiary of the Mashreq. The lender will also support the start-up to be launched in Egypt – the most populous economy in the Arab world – in the last quarter of this year.

In March, Mashreq integrated its payments arm into its new Neopay division, aiming to help businesses manage credit and debit card payments amid a pandemic-fueled e-commerce boom.

“Our partnership with Cashew will pave the way for the future of financial services in the region,” said Mashreq Group Managing Director Ahmed Abdelaal.

“We will leverage the entire network of merchants and consumers in the Mashreq to provide our ecosystem with the most ubiquitous and flexible BNPL options on the market,” Mr. Abdelaal said.

Mashreq’s investment is part of a larger funding round that also involves other investors, Cashew said, without disclosing further details. Since its creation, the FinTech start-up has raised nearly $10 million.

BNPL platforms allow consumers to make purchases without paying the full amount upfront, thus avoiding the use of credit cards and high interest charges. Merchants are still protected by credit risk checks, late fees and holds on defaulting customers.

Consumers can choose to split payments into installments or simply delay them for weeks to months with no hidden fees, while merchants get paid in full up front.

The BNPL concept is gaining traction around the world and is disrupting the payments industry, boosted by the fragility of consumers’ personal finances amid pandemic-induced economic headwinds.

By 2025, the industry is expected to grow 10 to 15 times its current volume, exceeding $1 trillion in annual gross merchandise volume by some estimates, according to a report by New York-based data research consultancy CB Insights.

Nearly $4 billion was invested in BNPL companies last year, up from $1.7 billion in 2020, according to Crunchbase.

In the Middle East, platforms such as Dubai-based BNPL start-up Tabby raised $50 million last year, while Saudi Arabia’s Tamara raised a record $110 million in a Series A round.

In September, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, the emirate’s largest sharia-compliant lender, teamed up with Dubai-based digital payments provider Spotii to launch a virtual BNPL prepaid card in the UAE.

“Mashreq is one of the most respected banking brands in the region, so it will bring many benefits to our customers as we continue to develop our service offerings…this partnership will provide consumers with the largest network of merchants to do their shopping. purchases, larger ticket sizes and the ability to pay on longer terms,” said Cashew Co-Founder and Managing Director Ammar Afif.

“We can only achieve these goals for our clients by partnering with respected financial institutions like Mashreq who understand and want to be part of BNPL’s growing segment,” he added.

Under the partnership, Cashew and Mashreq will bring new products to market, including longer BNPL and higher ticket size options for consumers, the companies said in a joint statement.

They also plan to introduce point-of-sale lending options to the region later this year. This will allow consumers to opt for BNPL but with longer terms such as six or 12 months.

Smiling man at coffee break paying by credit card

BNPL’s volumes in the UAE are expected to jump 71% on an annual basis this year, said Fernando Morillo, senior executive vice president and group head of Mashreq retail banking.

“This is another great example of the partnerships we can forge with innovative FinTech operators, who share our mission to provide a safe and seamless payment experience for our customers.

“We look forward to the rollout of new services as we continue to offer our customers more choice and convenience in the UAE and, in the future, throughout Egypt,” Mr. Morillo said.

Founded in 1967, Mashreq, like its peers in the Middle East, is turning to digital banking and reducing the number of physical branches to meet the needs of a young, tech-savvy population that typically chooses to transact online .

Updated: May 09, 2022, 05:00

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Westpac Australia’s first-half cash profit drops 12% as competition bites

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A woman walks out of the ground floor of an office building with the Westpac logo amid the easing of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions in the central business district of Sydney, Australia, on 3 June 2020. Picture taken June 3, 2020. REUTERS/ Loren Elliott

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May 9 (Reuters) – Australia’s Westpac Banking Corp reported a more than 12% drop in first-half cash profits on Monday as margins continued to be squeezed by fierce industry competition mortgage loans in an environment of historically low interest rates and certain impairment charges.

Australia’s “big four” banks have seen a housing loan boom, helped by low rates and a pandemic-fueled shift to remote working that has boosted property markets. But their margins have suffered from competition and the shift of borrowers to fixed rate loans.

Westpac, which is also emerging from a costly turnaround to fix outdated software and convoluted procedures, said net interest margin – a key indicator of profitability – fell 15 basis points to 1.91% in the first semester. Read more

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It recorded an impairment charge of A$139 million as the bank made provisions for bad debt due to weather-related risks in Australia as well as wider global uncertainties.

The country’s third-biggest bank reported cash profits of 3.10 billion Australian dollars ($2.19 billion) for the six months to March 31, up from 3.54 billion Australian dollars last year, but exceeded the Visible Alpha consensus forecast of A$2.83 billion.

Last week, peers National Australian Bank (NAB.AX) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ.AX) forecast their margins would benefit after the country’s central bank hiked rates and signaled more to come . Read more

Westpac declared a dividend of 61 Australian cents per share, up from 58 Australian cents last year.

($1 = 1.4154 Australian dollars)

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Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bangalore; Editing by Leslie Adler and Diane Craft

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Mother awaiting heart transplant shares her story

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After giving birth to her second child, Zuleyma Santos was diagnosed with a rare form of heart failure and placed on the waiting list for a heart transplant. Photograph courtesy of Padilla Co

Mother of two, Zuleyma Santos, works with the American Heart Association to raise awareness of the dangers of heart disease in young adults.

On paper, you’d think that now 37-year-old Zuleyma Santos had it all.

Two new children born in as many years. A retail career she loved. A devoted and loving husband who, despite cancer, was always there for her and a huge, close and supportive family.

This should have been the time of his life.

But within those events came a blockbuster: Santos developed a rare and often fatal heart condition caused by the pregnancy.

That’s why today, she smiles as she adjusts the still-there backpack on her shoulder that holds 10 pounds of batteries, constantly working to keep the device that keeps her heart going while she waits for a heart transplant.

Although there were signs – and a diagnosis – after the birth of her second child in 2019, no one understood the gravity of the situation, and Santos, immersed in the beginning of his life as a parent and concentrating on her husband’s cancer treatments, did not push.

“I think there were symptoms that went unaddressed,” she told Healthline. “I have always been a strong person. You will never hear me say “oh it hurts”. It is not me.

This “go for it” attitude could have proved fatal with the birth of her second child.

But it also launched her into a space she never thought she would be in – spokesperson for the American Heart Association.

“I felt I needed a way to reach people. To help them know how to speak for themselves.

“I never thought I would have heart failure or my partner would have cancer, at least not when our kids are babies with dirty nappies lying between my hospital bed. But I’m here. And if I can be the voice they hear – knowing there are resources out there – then so be it.

Santos was holding her then two-day-old baby in the hospital when suddenly she could barely breathe.

“I called the nurse and said ‘hold baby, something’s wrong with me!” she remembered. “I couldn’t breathe and thought I was losing my life.”

She was examined, tested, and then diagnosed. It was peripartum cardiomyopathy, they told her, a form of heart failure that occurs in the last month of pregnancy or the first few months after giving birth.

The baby went home, but Santos remained in the hospital for four more days. She was stabilized and told to rest and see a follow-up cardiologist once home.

She did, but as at every cardiology visit she was told that she had passed all the exams and that she had been given medication that stabilized her, she made a decision.

“It was time to get back to normal life,” she said. “I was like ‘I feel fine. Why are you telling me I have this? So I went back to my life: working, taking care of the kids and taking care of my husband.

No one blinked or tried to steer her in another direction, she said.

In March, the pandemic shutdown hit, a “blessing”, she said, because although it was hard to lose her job, it was great to be “home and s ‘taking care of the children’ while her husband returned to the hospital to fight his cancer. As stressful as it may seem, she said, she felt good at home and confident in her health.

Then summer came. In July, she was struggling,

“I felt tired, exhausted and couldn’t eat well,” she said.

But the postpartum heart diagnosis didn’t cross her mind.

“I didn’t really think it was my body,” she said. “I thought it was the summer heat. And you know, taking care of two babies and a husband battling cancer. It’s wreaking havoc. »

Then it got worse. “I couldn’t even lift my daughter’s legs to change a diaper,” she recalls.

She went to the emergency room – in the middle of the pandemic – with swollen legs, nausea and exhaustion. Although she was told of the earlier diagnosis, she says, they sent her home and told her to try eating differently.

Worried, she tried to get in touch with a cardiologist, but the pandemic shutdown also made that difficult. She got an appointment for the end of October and was hoping for the best.

Five days after that ER visit, she suddenly plummeted and realized she was in trouble.

“I told my husband to call an ambulance,” she said.

The last thing she remembers is being intubated. She woke up on November 3 and was told she had stage four heart failure and needed a heart transplant.

“It was very hard to hear,” she said. “I didn’t understand how I, at my age, got to this.”

It’s not an uncommon way for someone his age to think.

“It underscores the importance of recognizing this disease and heart disease in general,” Dr. Eugene DePasquale, a cardiologist at USC’s Keck Medicine, who treats Santos, told Healthline.

“The leading cause of death in the United States [based on data gathered pre-COVID-19] is heart disease,” he said. But when people look [based on their symptoms] they search for ‘cancer,’” he said.

He said the data suggests that less than three per cent of people looking for symptoms search online for heart disease.

The media, he said, reports on suicide, terrorist deaths and cancer, but not so much on heart disease.

Also, he said, younger heart patients tend to have different symptoms that are more focused on the gastrointestinal tract.

“Younger patients, in particular, can be missed,” he said of the cardiac diagnosis. “Not only by the patient but by the [medical experts] as well.

That’s why he and his team are thrilled to have her share her story while working on a heart transplant.

“She’s a special woman,” he said. “We are very grateful to him. She’s been through a lot, but she still does things like that. She is part of our family and vice versa.

Santos went home with this backpack charging her HeartMate pump, which will do the work of a heart until she receives a transplant.

DePasquale said because Santos developed antibodies during that second pregnancy that spurred heart disease, making her pool of donor hearts very small. The Friday before Mother’s Day, they were supposed to start working on getting those antibodies out of her.

She came home hopeful about it and grateful to be alive, as well as ready to take over from her ailing husband, who had taken care of the children with the help of his family during his recovery. to the hospital.

“I could feel he was waiting for me – clinging to his health to take care of things until I could,” she said.

She was right. She arrived home on December 29. On January 16, they threw a happy third birthday party for their son.

A week later, her husband went to the hospital. On February 27, he was at home in hospice care where he died shortly after.

Still, Santos is grateful and positive.

‘He gave me the strength to do it,’ she said of raising two children as a widow, battling heart disease while waiting for a transplant and being a doorway. -word of heart health.

“He did it for me, and now it’s my turn to do it for him. I’m going to support this family, keep these children happy.

She works hard with her doctors to get the heart transplant and speaks out.

Says DePasquale, she makes a difference in more ways than she realizes.

“We are very grateful to him,” he said. “She helps put this into perspective and encourages others to be proactive and fight for the symptoms to be recognized.”

It also, he said, gave visibility into how heart pumps work. The HeartMate pump has been used by people as well-known as former Vice President Dick Cheney, he said, but the powerful image of an ordinary woman living with someone could help many.

“It’s not as scary as some people think,” he said. “She can help people to accept that better.”

Santos looks to the future and a new heart with hope.

Doctors told her she probably had signs of heart disease after the birth of her first child. And while that might have meant avoiding some of the extreme illnesses, it would have changed something else as well.

“They would have told me not to have any more children,” she said. “I might not have had my daughter. And you know, I wouldn’t change that for the world.

Trip Deals of the Week: The Magical Retreat with a Cliffside Bathtub

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Secluded Pipinui Point Retreat is a magical place to get away during the colder months. A wood-burning stove waits to be fueled in the living room, and the clifftop hot tub fills to the perfect temperature at the touch of a button. You can also benefit from a reduced rate when booking between May and August.

Read on to find out more.

Are you a tourist operator with an interesting offer? Email [email protected] and tell us all about it. We’ll feature our favorites on Stuff.

Two nights in wine country

The Martinborough Hotel is right on the doorstep of South Wairarapa.

Provided

The Martinborough Hotel is right on the doorstep of South Wairarapa.

Book two nights at the iconic Martinborough Hotel in a Garden or Heritage Suite and receive a $50 breakfast credit at the on-site Union Square restaurant, plus a bottle of wine upon arrival from Stonecutter Vineyard. Starting at $495 for two people. Available until September 29, 2022.

To book: martinboroughhotel.co.nz

A family stay

Connecting rooms at the Novotel Wellington are suitable for families.

Provided

Connecting rooms at the Novotel Wellington are suitable for families.

The Novotel Wellington is a comfortable option for families in the heart of Wellington CBD. Adjoining rooms can be booked to create more space and by using the promotional code “#FMLY” guests unlock a 50% discount on the second room. Includes free breakfast for kids at the Caucus Bar and Restaurant.

To book: all.accor.com

Sweet ax throw

Sweet Ax Throwing Co has experiences in Auckland and Wellington.

RICKY WILSON/Stuff

Sweet Ax Throwing Co has experiences in Auckland and Wellington.

Located in the center of Wellington CBD, Sweet Ax Throwing Co invites customers to unleash their inner lumberjack by throwing bladed weapons down specially designed throwing lanes. Save 10% on a private lane for up to six people using promo code ‘PURENZA’.

To book: sweetaxethrow.com

Luxury isolated

The views at Pipinui Point are spectacular.

Brook Sabin / Stuff

The views at Pipinui Point are spectacular.

Just 30 minutes from Wellington, Pipinui Point is a luxury getaway perched 250m above the Tasman Sea. Book the two-bedroom retreat in low season (May-August) and pay just $595. Includes access to the clifftop hot tub and continental breakfast. Use until April 30, 2023.

To book: travel-booking.stuff.co.nz

Stay safe: New Zealand is currently under Covid-19 restrictions. Follow the instructions on covid19.govt.nz.

As interest rates rise, startups and VCs are playing a new game – TechCrunch

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The era of free the money is now officially behind us: the US Federal Reserve raised its benchmark policy rate by 0.50%, or 50 basis points, this week.

Startups have long basked in the sun of zero-cost money. Following a historic period of low rates, the comparative attractiveness of investing in bonds and other safer and even lower-yielding assets was reduced, meaning investors around the world were looking a place to park funds and have a chance to earn material income.

Tech has done well over the period, with tech startups taking an even bigger hit in the arm. The mechanism is simple to understand: low rates have led to an influx of capital into more exotic investments, such as venture capital funds. These funds then grew in size and number. The result of this influx of cash to investors has been an explosion of funds for startups.

More capital pools with more funds have led to competition for access to deals, putting founders in the driver’s seat when it comes to valuations and terms. Another factor at play was the COVID-19 pandemic which boosted the value of public tech companies, while many other concerns took a hit due to travel restrictions and other related economic changes.

Crossover funds piled up in public and private tech companies, with the latter leading to a flurry of funding events that stretched valuation multiples to the moon.

Now we see the rubber band going back. As interest rates rise, the funding available to venture capitalists shrinks, and crossover capital has already left the scene to lick its wounds. Meanwhile, other investments – think bonds – are simply more lucrative than they used to be.

More so, pandemic-era tech trading has faded, leaving public prices for startups far from their peak valuations. It creates a unique shitty moment in which startups struggle with what must look like a capital drought at the same time as investors become more conservative. and releases are limited due to depressed prices in the public market.

It’s a mess for startups that have only known summer. Winter does not come; it’s here.

The risk reaction

Venture capitalists are speaking publicly about climate change, a change from earlier this year, when such comments were scarce. Whether it’s due to more short-term pain in the market or VCs simply finding their voice, the comments are now strident and regular.

Idaho student borrowers with Navient loans could see relief under settlement

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According to a press release from the office of Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, eligible Idaho borrowers will receive nearly $4 million in student loan debt relief through a settlement with Navient, the one of the largest student loan servicers in the country.

The $3,972,316 in student debt relief comes from a settlement filed Friday in Ada County District Court, where it is pending court approval.

“More than 170 Idaho borrowers will receive debt relief as a result of this settlement,” Wasden said in the statement. “Furthermore, the settlement corrects Navient’s past actions and includes safeguards to help ensure the company does not take advantage of student borrowers in the future. I thank Navient for being willing to resolve this matter out of court.” for Idaho borrowers.

Borrowers receiving private loan debt relief under the settlement will receive written notice from Navient in the coming months and will not need to take any action to receive the benefit, according to the statement. The settlement came after concerns that Navient directed borrowers struggling with payments into high-interest forbearance options that added significant amounts of additional long-term debt, the statement said. He is part of a multi-state settlement announced in January.

According to the press release, the settlement also requires Navient to:

  • Continue to explain the benefits of income-based repayment plans and offer to estimate income-based payment amounts before placing borrowers in optional forbearances;
  • Maintain customer service practices that support borrower success, such as processing payments quickly and accurately, making payment histories available to borrowers, directing additional payments to rate loans interest rates and the possibility for borrowers to provide standing instructions for the allocation of additional payments; and
  • Train specialists who will advise borrowers in difficulty on alternative repayment options.

The loans in question are private education loans issued largely between 2002 and 2010 that are in default.

The Office of the Attorney General has prepared a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help borrowers better understand the eligibility requirements of the settlement for loan release. If a question is not covered in the FAQ, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by email at [email protected] or by phone at 208-334-2424.

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Alternative fixed income ETF strategies for tough market conditions

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EInvestors in xchange-traded funds can turn to the alternative income category to help them find the best risk/return trade-off to meet their income needs.

During the recent webcast, Enhance Your Fixed Income Portfolio with Rising Rate Strategies: Senior Loans and Debt Securities, George Goudelias, Head of Leveraged Finance, Senior Portfolio Manager, Seix Investment Advisors; Nicodemus Rinaldi, Senior Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, Securitized Products, Newfleet Asset Management; and James Jessup, Chief Product Officer, Virtus Investment Partners, argued that while markets may move quickly, investors’ need for stable income has not changed. Therefore, to maintain comfortable returns in an environment of rising interest rates and inflation, investors should consider out-of-the-box fixed income ideas such as Senior Loans or Securitized Debt.

More specifically, active management Virtus Seix Senior Loan ETF (NYSEArca:SEIX) offers discerning leveraged loan investors continuous fundamental credit risk management and increased liquidity in a transparent and cost-effective vehicle.

Senior Loans are typically used for corporate recapitalizations, acquisitions, leveraged buyouts and refinancing. Leveraged loans have offered the potential for higher income and lower correlations with other fixed income asset classes, and while they can potentially provide a hedge against rising interest rates, they have historically performed well during periods of stable interest rates.

The ETF is sub-advised by Seix Investment Advisors LLC, which will manage the investments in the portfolio. Seix seeks to generate competitive absolute and relative risk-adjusted returns over the entire market cycle through a conscious bottom-up and bottom-up process. Seix uses multidimensional approaches based on a strict portfolio construction methodology, sell disciplines and trading strategies with prudent risk management as a cornerstone. Their leveraged loan investment philosophy emphasizes BB and B rated loans, seeking to invest in the healthiest and most undervalued credits in the non-investment grade space.

“We believe the time is right to increase loan allocations due to improving market prices, interest rate tailwinds and seniority in the capital structure. loans continues to offer a yield premium (24 basis points on April 11, 2022) to the high yield market and should benefit from a rising rate environment. It is important to note that the loans are mainly secured credits relative to the predominantly unsecured high yield market. We believe that security provides a critical level of protection that makes the loan market particularly attractive in this phase of the investment cycle,” according to Virtus Funds and Seix Investment Advisors.

Moreover, the Virtus Newfleet ABS/MBS ETF (NYSE: VABS) can complement a traditional bond portfolio. The ABS (car loans, equipment leasing, credit card receivables, student loans, etc.) and MBS (mortgage, residential and commercial, agency and non-agency loan pools) sectors offer a broader set of investment opportunities and essential diversification from traditional fixed income securities. With a focus on off-benchmark niches in the securitized credit markets, Newfleet’s securitized credit specialists use their signature relative value approach, exploiting inefficiencies by continuously evaluating the market, sectors and securities.

VABS focuses on lower duration with attractive return opportunities. Targeting a duration of between one and three years, the duration of the ETF strategy is significantly shorter than traditional core bond strategies while focusing on investment-grade securitized credit, which has historically offered a yield advantage over traditional corporate bonds of similar rating.

“Given the safeguarding of rates, we can now reinvest short-term principal repayments at higher yields and wider spreads. Our efforts are focused on the new issue markets, which at the time of writing these lines, continue to see strong demand for investment-grade assets Given the massive movement in the beginning of the curve, we expect rates to stabilize in a range unless inflation gauges rise above expectations,” according to Virtus Funds and Newfleet Asset Management.

Financial advisors who want to learn more about fixed income strategies can watch the webcast here on demand

Learn more at ETFtrends.com.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Governor Hochul Signs Legislation Strengthening Consumer Protections and Addressing Inequities in the Financial Services System

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Governor Kathy Hochul today signed legislation that strengthens consumer protections and addresses inequities in the state’s financial services system. The legislation (S.1684/A.8293) directs the Department of Financial Services to conduct a study of underbanked communities and households in New York City and make recommendations to improve their access to financial services. The legislation (S.4894/A.1693) protects consumers from potentially dangerous banking products by prohibiting the issuance of unsolicited postal loan checks.

“This legislation is the first step in addressing the lack of safe and accessible banking services that contribute to inequities in our state’s financial system,” Governor Hochul said. “Dangerous postal loan checks and banking deserts prevent already underserved New Yorkers from safely accessing the services they need to build wealth and pursue economic prosperity. I am proud to sign this legislation that will strengthen consumer protections for New Yorkers and explore ways to bring these much-needed resources to consumers.”

“Protecting consumers and implementing data-driven policies to help build a fairer and more resilient financial sector in New York is a top priority for DFS,” said Superintendent of Financial Services Adrienne A. Harris. “We look forward to engaging with all stakeholders to shed light on the current state of financial services in underserved areas and to offer collaborative recommendations to increase access to financial services for the benefit of all New -Yorkers.”

The legislation (S.1684/A.8293) directs the Department of Financial Services to conduct a study of underbanked communities and households in New York City and make recommendations to improve their access to financial services. Access to safe and affordable financial services is necessary to achieve financial stability, but far too many New Yorkers are either unbanked, without access to a checking or savings account, or underbanked, with access to some banking services but also need to use alternatives and riskier financial services like payday loans. This bill will update the number of unbanked and underbanked households and analyze the data to develop an assessment for the New York State Department of Financial Services to more effectively assist these communities.

Assembly Member Patricia Fahy said: “Far too many communities in New York State do not have equitable access to our financial system and our banking services. Often it is our underresourced communities and communities of color, while a lack of banking services contributes to the financial instability that keeps New Yorkers from building I thank Governor Hochul for signing my legislation that will require the Department of Financial Services to update its list of underbanked and unbanked households in New York, to further help these New Yorkers achieve financial stability and reach their full economic potential.

The legislation (S.4894/A.1693) protects consumers from potentially dangerous banking products by prohibiting banking institutions from issuing unsolicited postal loan checks. A postal loan check is an unsolicited loan offer that is sent through the mail that, when cashed or deposited, binds the recipient to the terms of the loan, which may include high interest rates for several years. The practice of mailing unsolicited loan checks can be confusing and dangerous to consumers and this legislation will protect New Yorkers from the associated risk.

State Senator James Sanders Jr. said: “Safe and affordable financial services are necessary to establish financial stability, but banks see low-income families as a burden. Many of these people live check to check and find it difficult to leave the minimum amount over accounts, forcing banks to charge an unreasonable overdraft S.1684/A.8293 will help ensure that communities with significantly more unbanked and underbanked households get the assistance they need on the In addition, S.4894/A.1693 protects consumers from unsafe banking products by prohibiting banking organizations from issuing mail-order loan checks without a request or request. unsolicited money received in the mail can be cashed by an unknown recipient causing the recipient to repay the loan.This bill would avoid this problem.

Assemblyman Gary Pretlow said: “I am pleased to be one of the sponsors of this legislation correcting this dangerous banking practice of sending unsolicited loan checks through the mail. This has caused unnecessary hardship for consumers when checks were in cash in their name. without any knowledge of those transactions. This bill will negate that issue before.”

Sunnova now offers a fixed discount on local utility rates

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The “solarcoaster” has been in full swing lately, with controversial net metering decisions looming and federal incentive extensions perpetually suspended. To protect against this volatility, Sunnova Energy International is launching an energy plan with a fixed percentage discount off prevailing utility prices and a 25-year market-based tariff.

The idea is to offer price confidence to consumers regardless of energy cost volatility. The market-based tariff will be a new solar tariff option under Sunnova’s Easy Plan Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Unlike traditional solar plans, the market-based solar tariff will scale with the market. Sunnova will monitor utility prices (which include taxes and other charges) and proactively adjust prices for its customers on an annual basis to the discount percentage rate targeted for that year.

“For the first time, homeowners will be able to take advantage of a fixed discount on their local utility electricity rates and charges for 25 years,” said Michael Grasso, executive vice president, chief marketing and growth.

Although the percentage discount varies by market and utility, Sunnova customers who choose this plan will receive the same percentage discount from their local utility prices during the term of the contract. Customers can ensure they are paying a lower price than the utility and avoid market volatility.

Have you checked out our YouTube page?

We have a ton of video interviews and additional content on our YouTube page. Recently we debuted Power forward! — a collaboration with BayWa re to discuss high-level industry topics as well as best practices/trends for running a solar business today.

Our longer side project is Field — in which we have awkward talks with solar manufacturers and suppliers about their new technologies and ideas so you don’t have to. We’ve discussed everything from trackless residential bridge fixing and home solar financing to large-scale energy storage value stacking and new utility-driven solar and home storage microgrids.

We also publish our project announcements for the year! Interviews with this year’s winners will begin the week of November 8. Go ahead and subscribe today to stay up to date with all that extra stuff.

Fed raises rates to try to control inflation: live economic updates

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The Federal Reserve stepped up its attack on rapid inflation on Wednesday, approving its biggest interest rate hike since 2000, detailing a plan to reduce its huge bond holdings and signaling that it will continue to work to cool the economy as that it is trying to curb the fastest rising prices in four decades.

Yet investors have found a reason to relieve themselves. As the Fed raised interest rates by half a percentage point and its chairman, Jerome H. Powell, said similar increases would be “on the table” at future Fed meetings, he dismissed the idea that policymakers were considering an even bigger move, as some investors had feared.

This insurance has helped push stock market indices higher. The S&P 500 rose 3%, the biggest jump since May 2020.

Many on Wall Street are watching the Fed’s path nervously as it tries to bring inflation down, fearing authorities will slow demand so much that the economy could tip into a painful recession. As the Fed withdraws its monetary aid at the fastest rate in decades, Mr. Powell’s comments showed that the central bank was trying to chart a quick, but not drastic, course.

“The markets took it like this: the Fed isn’t overdoing it,” said Priya Misra, head of global rates strategy at TD Securities.

Still, the Fed’s series of policy changes underscored that the central bank is serious about the cooling economy and labor market. Officials are increasingly concerned that the price increases, which have lasted longer than many economists had expected, could become more permanent. By raising rates and cutting its nearly $9 trillion in bonds, the Fed will raise borrowing costs across the economy, measures aimed at slowing demand.

“Inflation is far too high and we understand the difficulties it is causing, and we are moving quickly to bring it down,” Powell said at a press conference on Wednesday. “We have both the tools we need and the determination it will take to restore price stability.”

Policymakers have spent most of 2021 hoping inflation would abate on its own as supply shortages ease and the economy stabilizes after the early disruptions of the pandemic. But normality has not yet returned and inflation has only accelerated. Today, new pandemic-related lockdowns in China and war in Ukraine are driving up the prices of goods, food and fuel even further. At the same time, workers are scarce and wages are rising rapidly in the United States, fueling higher prices for services as consumer demand remains strong.

Mr. Powell noted that developments in China and Ukraine could have a significant impact on inflation.

“They are both capable of preventing further progress in healing supply chains, or even temporarily worsening supply chains,” Powell said. Although he noted that the Fed’s tools operate on demand, not supply, he said that “there is work to be done on demand.”

Fed officials decided they no longer had the luxury of waiting for inflation to moderate on its own. Prices have climbed 6.6% in the year to March, according to the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, more than three times the average annual increases of 2% that the Fed is targeting.

Authorities began raising interest rates in March and recently signaled that they would raise borrowing costs to the point where they would begin to dampen the economy. Powell said once that target is met, officials would assess the economy’s performance and continue to raise rates if necessary. The Fed’s key rate is now set in a range of 0.75 to 1%.

“We must do everything we can to restore stable prices,” he said. “Everyone will be better off if we can get this job done – the sooner the better.”

Still, Powell indicated that, at least for now, the Fed was trying to contain prices in a way that didn’t sink the economy. Some Fed officials had signaled that a 0.75 percentage point move could be possible – but Powell said on Wednesday that such a large increase is “not something the committee is actively considering”.

That comment helped appease investors, who have spent weeks worrying that the Fed might decide to overcorrect after moving too slowly away from policies aimed at fueling growth.

“The market was really spooked” by the potential for a three-quarter point upside, TD’s Ms Misra said. “President Powell tried to market this as a soft-landing hike, and he succeeded.”

Deciding how quickly to remove political support is a difficult exercise. Central bankers are hoping to act decisively enough to stop soaring prices without curbing growth so aggressively that they tip the economy into a deep slowdown.

Mr Powell nodded at this balancing act, saying: ‘I expect it to be very difficult – it won’t be easy.’ But he said the economy had a good chance “of having a soft landing, or rather a soft landing”.

He later explained that it might be possible to “restore price stability without a recession, a severe downturn and significantly higher unemployment.”

The balance sheet plan released by the Fed on Wednesday was in line with what analysts had expected, which likely also contributed to the market’s sense of calm. The Fed will begin to reduce its assets by nearly $9 trillion in June by allowing Treasury and mortgage-backed debt to mature without reinvestment. He will eventually let up to $60 billion in Treasury debt expire each month, as well as $35 billion in mortgage-backed debt, and the plan will be fully implemented from September.

By reducing its bond holdings, the Fed is likely to slow financial markets – bond prices will fall, pushing yields higher, and riskier investments like stocks will become less attractive. It could also help cool the housing market by pushing up longer-term borrowing costs, which track bond yields, reinforcing the effect of central bank interest rate hikes.

In fact, mortgage rates have already started to climb, climbing almost two percentage points since the start of the year. The rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.1% for the week ending last Thursday, according to Freddie Mac, touching its highest level in more than a decade.

The Fed’s decisions “will quickly make it harder to finance expensive purchases.” Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at Cox Automotive, wrote in a research note after the meeting. “That’s exactly what the Fed wants to see. As demand for homes, cars and other durable goods declines in response to declining affordability, the rate of price increases should also slow.

This slowdown in inflation would occur as fewer purchases and higher financing costs translate into slower business expansion. As companies hire less and the demand for workers declines, wage growth will slow, further slowing demand and helping to depress prices.

“You can see the labor market is out of balance: you can see there’s a labor shortage,” Powell said. “We need to get back to price stability so we can have a labor market where people’s wages aren’t eaten away by inflation, and where we can also have a long expansion.”

Opening of Caesar’s Virginia delayed until 2024 | News

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The sluggish economy, the stubborn supply problems and the many century-old concrete postpone the opening date of the Danville casino.

Caesar’s Virginia’s Robert Livingston gave Danville City Council an update on his half-billion-dollar casino and resort on the former Schoolfield site on Tuesday. “We’ve seen supply chain issues and other market forces continue to wreak havoc on prices,” Livingston said. “But none of this has dented our commitment to Danville, which remains as strong as ever.”

In addition to the economy, he says there are challenges in transforming the old mill complex into a state-of-the-art resort and casino complex. “Apparently at the time, if there was something that needed to be plugged, they would say, ‘Let’s just pour concrete in the hole.’ So we dig a lot of concrete on this site.

Initial plans were for an opening before the end of 2023. Livingston says that won’t happen. “We remain confident that this project will open in 2024. And we will share a revised opening goal as soon as we feel confident enough to make that decision,” Livingston said.

Caesar’s made the city an upfront payment of $20 million shortly after Danville voters approved the casino referendum in November 2020. And Livingston says future payments to the city will continue as planned. “Beginning in September 2023, Caesar’s will be obligated to make a minimum annual payment of five million dollars, on a pro rata basis, even if the casino has not yet opened. These payments will be made in quarterly installments.

In the meantime, Livingston says crews will spend the rest of the summer dismantling the old finishing plant, while preparing to lay the foundation for the station. “Demolition at the finishing plant, which began in March, will continue through the summer. I guess back then they built it to last,” Livingston said. “The good news is that Whiting-Turner (the general contractor) will be able to prepare new construction while demolition continues.”

Caesar’s has already begun local outreach efforts before the first brick was laid at the casino complex. Last week, they paid for a $1.6 million fully equipped ladder truck that will be owned by the Danville Fire Department. This was part of the service agreement between the city and Caesar’s. They have also entered into discussions with the Danville rescue team regarding the purchase of a new EMS vehicle. It will cost several hundred thousand dollars. Caesar’s also supports Averett University in the development of a hotel management program.

Livingston says Caesar’s has already launched workforce development efforts. Last month, they took a group from Danville to a Caesar-owned casino and resort in Cherokee, North Carolina. This included representatives from Averett, Danville Community College, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, the City of Danville, and Danville Public Schools.

Staffing of the complex with approximately 1,300 workers will begin once construction is well advanced. Livingston said those efforts will resume a few months before the casino’s scheduled opening. He also renewed Caesar’s commitment to hire as many local workers as possible.

“There is a misconception that we are going to hire all the dealers from our other stations across the country. That’s not how it’s gonna work. We’re going to hire people here and train them to become dealers. The vast majority of positions will be filled by people from Danville,” Livingston said. “We are going to look for optimistic and positive people; and we will train them on how to work in a casino.

They hope to hold an official inauguration in about a month.

Don’t sleep on this fixed-income ETF that pays billions

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Aadvisors looking to liquidate their fixed income positions should think twice, at least as far as WisdomTree Floating Rate Cash Fund (USFR)which generated $1.12 billion in net inflows in April alone and over $2 billion in total inflows in 2022.

Many of the more traditional allocations within fixed income securities have proven problematic in the current environment of high inflation and rising rates. Kevin Flanagan, head of fixed income strategy at WisdomTree, explains on a call with ETF Trends that TIPs are problematic because they are CPI-adjusted and therefore linked to inflation, while short duration, which tends to rely heavily on credit, suffers when spreads widen.

“When you’re talking to your client as an advisor, the last thing they want is to have a conversation about why that rate-hedged product you sold me is producing negative returns,” says Flanagan. .

For advisors and investors looking for a fund that can potentially provide rate hedging for portfolios, the WisdomTree Floating Rate Cash Fund (USFR) is a popular choice in today’s market environment. The fund capitalizes on the use of floating rate notes by the US Treasury and can be an excellent option for investors looking to limit the amount of credit risk, while capturing higher return potentials in rate environments. rising.

The advantages of floating rate Treasury bills

WisdomTree believes that floating rate debt is an important bridge between long-term, fixed-rate treasury bills and short-term treasury bills. By investing in floating rate treasury bills, holders are paid quarterly and the amount paid is based on a rate that resets daily with reference to a weekly rate. This can be a good option if treasury bond yields rise, as it offers the possibility of better compensation compared to a fixed rate bond.

Another advantage of the variable rate is that price volatility can be somewhat mitigated by daily resets compared to fixed income bonds. Floating rate treasury bills are a good option when the yield curve is flat or inverted.

“What we’re seeing, we’ve seen in the last rate hike cycle and we’re also seeing now: three-month Treasuries tend to get ahead of the Fed meeting, so he’s not waiting for the Fed will raise rates by 50 basis points,” says Flanagan. “If you actually look at the USFR yield right now, I think it’s around 80-85 basis points. The upper end of the federal funds rate is 50 basis points; you are already 30 to 35 basis points ahead and the Fed has done nothing.

USFR seeks to track the Bloomberg US Treasury Floating Rate Bond Index, which measures the performance of US Treasury Floating Rate Bonds and contains floating rate bonds with two-year maturities and a minimum outstanding amount of $1 billion. dollars. The index uses a rules-based strategy and is weighted by market capitalization. The index excludes fixed rate securities, Treasury inflation-protected securities, convertible bonds and bonds with survivor put options.

USFR has an expense ratio of 0.15%.

For more news, insights and strategy visit the Modern Alpha Channel.

Learn more at ETFtrends.com.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

COVID woes prompt more states to require financial literacy classes

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COVID woes prompt more states to require financial literacy classes

Elaine S. Povitch

Stateline

Studies have long shown that high school students are woefully misinformed about personal finances and how to manage them. But the COVID-19 pandemic, which has revealed how many American adults are living on the financial edge, has spurred ongoing efforts to make financial literacy classes a school requirement.

Seven states now require a stand-alone financial literacy course as a high school graduation requirement, and five more state requirements come into effect within the next year or two. About 25 warrants at least some financial training, sometimes as part of an existing course. This year, about 20 other states have considered establishing or expanding similar rules.

Opponents of state mandates say the requirements, while laudable, may encroach on the limited time available for other high school electives and would impose costly demands on teacher training or hiring.

Nevertheless, financial literacy courses are gaining ground.

“I think there’s a lot of momentum now; many more states have legislation pending,” said Carly Urban, an economics professor at Montana State University who has studied financial literacy. In seven states — Alabama, Iowa, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia — “almost all schools require it,” she said, though some graduation prerequisites don’t come into play. force only in 2023.

Over the past two years, Nebraska, Ohio, Rhode Island, and most recently Florida have passed laws making financial literacy a staple in high schools within a year or two. In North Carolina, graduation requirements take effect in 2023.

Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia introduced bills addressing financial literacy in the 2021-22 legislative sessions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Of these, about 20 focus on secondary schools.

The Kentucky and District of Columbia bills appear to take into account that student-athletes are now allowed to earn money for the use of their name, image or likeness. None of the measures require secondary schools to teach financial literacy. But the Kentucky bill, which the governor signed into law, requires colleges to set up financial literacy workshops for student-athletes. The DC bill would encourage colleges with student-athletes to teach financial literacy.

Last month, Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill calling for students entering high school in the 2023-24 school year to take a financial literacy course as a condition of graduation. . The new law provides a half-credit course on personal money management, including how to open and use a bank account, the meaning of credit and credit scores, types of savings and investments and how to get a loan.

At a signing ceremony, DeSantis touted the law as something that “will help improve the ability of students in financial management, when they find themselves in the real world.”

Financial literacy is an issue that is remarkably bipartisan. Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee, a Democrat, sounded a lot like DeSantis when he signed Rhode Island’s requirement for financial education in high schools last year.

“Financial literacy is key to a young person’s future success,” McKee said. “This legislation paves the way for our public high schools to provide young people with the skills they need to achieve their financial goals.”

Urban, from Montana, said state policies that require stand-alone financial literacy courses help students the most, especially if states set standards on what topics should be included in the curriculum. . Most courses last one semester.

Some states use materials provided by the nonprofit Next Gen Personal Finance, which offers a free study guide and classroom materials for teaching financial literacy, to help set the standards, while others have expanded units already included in economics, math, or social studies courses.

Next Gen’s free courses include tutorials for teachers, plus in-class study guides on topics like managing credit, opening checking and savings accounts, budgeting, paying for school academics, investing, paying taxes and developing consumer skills.

In a 2018 study, only a third of adults could answer at least four out of five financial literacy questions on concepts such as mortgages, interest rates, inflation and risk, according to the Foundation for Financial Literacy. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education. Financial literacy was lower among people of color and youth.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, about 16% of 15-year-old American students surveyed in 2018 did not meet the basic level of financial literacy skills.

But with a little education, those numbers can improve, according to Urban studies.

“The results are striking,” she said in a phone interview. “Credit scores go up and delinquency rates go down. If you’re a student borrower, you go from low to high interest, you don’t accumulate credit card debt, and you don’t use private loans, which are more expensive. Additionally, his research found that young people who have taken financial literacy courses are less likely to use expensive payday loans.

Even the teachers who run the classes tend to see an increase in their savings.

“If access remains limited – especially for students who have the most to gain from education – state policy may be the only option to ensure all students have access to personal finance before becoming financially independent,” Urban wrote in a 2022 study of high school personal finance courses.

The California Assembly Committee on Education unanimously approved a high school financial literacy bill last week. Committee chairman Patrick O’Donnell, a Democrat and former high school economics teacher, said financial concepts like individual retirement accounts, Roth IRAs, loan terms and other things are “difficult to understand… in their head”.

Educators need resources to teach these concepts, he said, noting that when he was a teacher he wrote his own course materials for teaching financial literacy.

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored how few Americans are prepared for financial emergencies, giving new impetus to financial literacy requirements, according to John Pelletier, director of the Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College in Vermont. “COVID woke people up,” he said in a phone interview.

He cited a 2020 Federal Reserve study that showed many Americans couldn’t come up with $2,000 in an emergency, and “it really hit home when people were forced off work. and collect a paycheck. If policymakers haven’t found a way to get money from people, we’re dealing with more than just paying the rent; we face hunger and homelessness.

Pelletier estimates that about 30% of public school children now have access to financial literacy classes.

But not all financial literacy bills made it through the legislative process. A bill in Wisconsin this year died after objections from the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.

Ben Niehaus, director of member services for the association, said his group agreed with the intent, but was concerned about the rapid one-year timeline and the possibility of “compromising elective choices”.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican State Rep. Alex Dallman, said in a phone interview that he hopes to reintroduce the bill next session, possibly with only a half-credit course. .

“In our current economy, we’re taking out massive loans, not paying them back, and we have to be smarter about how we handle money,” he said. He added that technical schools across the state like the idea of ​​teaching finance because it could lead more students to conclude that they should forgo an expensive college education for a lucrative career in the trades.

But Niehaus said a financial literacy requirement could take time out of vocational electives, such as manufacturing courses, that many Wisconsin high schools have started offering.

“We try to add these experiences to meet the needs of the labor market with more than a high school diploma and less than a four-year diploma. There are only so many hours in a day,” Niehaus said.

“Yes, it’s important, but career and technology education is also important, and we think local school boards should decide.”

Stateline is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts that provides daily reports and analysis on trends in state politics.

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Smith & Wesson stock: too much discontinuity (NASDAQ:SWBI)

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Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images News

Investment thesis

Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ: SWBI) in its long history has proven not to be a good long-term investment. Its price per share has historically fluctuated widely and today the company trades at the same prices as in 2007. The reasons for this discontinuity are mainly due to the profitability of Smith & Wesson’s core business, which is often affected by exogenous elements that can have a positive or negative effect on the result. I consider buying this company a good choice only for good short-term profits when bought at a heavily discounted price, such as in mid-2019. Favoring long-term investments, I cannot rate this company as a buy, but considering that its intrinsic value calculated via a DCF turns out to be higher than its current value, my rating is a hold.

Company prospects and profitability

Smith & Wesson Brands is a well-known American company that has been manufacturing and marketing guns in the United States and internationally for 169 years. In order to best understand the growth and profitability margins of this business, one must first understand the profitability and growth of its industry. The sector in which this company operates offers few opportunities because it is already saturated and subject to many regulations: the sale of arms, although legal, is still a difficult business to manage. The growth rates of this sector are rather limited since not everyone has the will to buy weapons. Buying weapons for self-defense or hunting, for example, may be suitable for a number of people, but it is unlikely that in the future many people will change their minds and suddenly start buying weapons . Smith & Wesson itself has stated in its annual report that growth rates are generally low and that a sharp increase in demand may only be possible in the short term due to exogenous events. However, the growth triggered by exogenous events is short-lived, so it returns to the same levels as before the growth.

The Small Arms Market was worth $8.39 Billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $13.75 Billion by 2030 (CAGR 5.4%). However, given that 97-98% of Smith & Wesson’s revenue comes from sales in the United States, it is best to look at the growth of the small arms market in the United States rather than internationally. In 2020, this market was worth $3.33 billion and is expected to reach $5.81 billion by 2030 (CAGR 6%). A growth rate of 6% would not be that low, but you have to consider that these are only estimates and that there may be several changes governing the possession of small arms within eight years. . Overall, I consider that the demand for Smith & Wesson products is solid but fragile at the same time: solid because the brand is now established and there is a guarantee on the quality of its products, but fragile because it there could be external regulations or laws that could adversely affect this business. As long as the situation remains the same, there should be no problems, but we must always consider that we can never expect high demand growth rates, even in the best of times.

Regarding the profitability of this activity, we can certainly say that it is variable. Smith & Wesson’s net profit margin (excluding extraordinary items) was 24.6% in LTM, but the average for the past 10 years is 12.55%. There are years when the margins are well above average and others when it is the opposite. But what does it depend on?

Although Smith & Wesson manufactures its guns at its facilities, the company depends on third parties to purchase materials such as steel, wood, lead, brass and plastic. The cost of these materials varies from year to year, so the cost of goods sold follows an oscillating pattern. When the cost of these materials is high, profit margins decrease and vice versa. In the current inflationary environment, the high cost of these materials could increase the cost of goods sold and reduce profit margins. So, personally, I don’t think this business can be considered resilient in the current macroeconomic scenario.

What has been the turnover of Smith & Wesson over the last decade?

Income statement from 2012 to 2021

Income statement from 2012 to 2021 (TIKR Terminal)

As explained above, Smith & Wesson’s revenues are highly variable from year to year. There is however a slight improvement if we consider a very long time horizon but by comparing a given year with the next it is not possible to find a correlation. Commodity prices are constantly changing, which makes gross profit too discontinuous. For the first time in 169 years, the company was able to make a net profit of over $1 billion, but I suspect that this milestone will probably not be repeated in the next annual report after the recent increase in inflation.

Overall, I find the profitability of this business to be low as it is too influenced by commodity changes and exogenous events. Additionally, demand for these products is not expected to grow significantly over the long term, so growth margins are also an additional weakness. All of these weaknesses make Smith & Wesson an unsuitable investment for a long-term horizon; in fact, the current price per share is the same as in 2007.

What is Smith & Wesson worth?

Smith & Wesson’s valuation will be done through a discounted cash flow, in order to give a present value to future cash flows. This model will be composed as follows:

  • WACC represents Smith & Wesson’s weighted average cost of capital, our discount rate.
  • The free cash flow entered in 2022 represents the average free cash flow over the last 4 years. As a business with highly variable profitability, using an average will make the result more reliable.
  • The growth rate from 2022 to 2031 is only 1.5% because I don’t think this company will see a big increase in demand in the future. Although 1.5% may seem low, the average free cash flow over the past 10 years is $87.2 million, while the expected values ​​are all over $110 million. If we did not consider last year, which was the most profitable in the history of Smith & Wesson, the average considered would be even lower. Therefore, I don’t consider the values ​​entered to be too conservative.
  • Net debt and outstanding shares belong to TIKR Terminal.

Discounted cash flow

Discounted cash flow (Sources already cited)

According to this model, Smith & Wesson has a fair value significantly higher than its current price. The fair value is $36.01 while it is currently trading at $14.19. Even applying a 30% safety margin, the company continues to be considered discounted.

If the discounted cash flow is favorable to Smith & Wesson, it should nevertheless be noted that this model does not take into account the numerous exogenous risks with which the company may be confronted. In this case, my opinion is paramount: I would not buy the company because of the risky nature of its activity, but if I already had it in my portfolio, I would not sell it because it has a much higher intrinsic value. at its current value.

‘bad news’ for the Coalition, says Uhlmann

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The coalition government could suffer at the polls from today’s interest rate hike, says Nine’s political editor Chris Uhlman.
the RBA raised the country’s official exchange rate for the first time in more than 11 years, rising 25 basis points from 0.10% to 0.35%.

“This is bad news for the coalition in an election,” he said.

The RBA raised the country’s official exchange rate during an election. (9News)

Uhlmann said the only other time interest rates had risen during an election campaign was in 2007, when incumbent Prime Minister John Howard lost to Labour’s Kevin Rudd.

“John Howard always promised that interest rates would be lower under the government he led,” Uhlmann said.

“But at this point we were going from 6.5% to 6.75%.

“It’s a very different interest rate story from then and now.”

An average homeowner with $500,000 in debt and 25 years remaining on their mortgage will now see their repayments increase by $39.

Three million Australians have mortgages, so today’s decision by the RBA has far-reaching financial consequences.

Nine political editor Chris Uhlmann. (A current affair)

With the election just weeks away, there could be political ramifications, with the prime minister today distancing himself from the RBA’s decision.

Uhlmann said today’s rise is a “recipe for inflation.”

Nine political editor Chris Uhlmann said he was fascinated by Prime Minister Scott Morrison wandering around lettuce and pumpkins today.
Nine political editor Chris Uhlmann said he was fascinated by Prime Minister Scott Morrison wandering around lettuce and pumpkins today. (9News)

“When you have a near-zero cash rate, you have almost complete unemployment, that is going to fuel the prices you see.

“We’re getting out of emergency levels.”

Uhlmann said the Prime Minister would be even more concerned about the price of a mortgage.

“Is he being punished for this?”

“Do people hold him responsible for things that are really beyond his control?

“Certainly the Labor Party holds him responsible.”

Fiserv, TCH team on access to real-time payments

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The Clearinghouse and Fiserv will partner to find a new way to simplify and strengthen real-time payments for consumers and businesses, businesses announcement Monday (May 2).

Customers of Fiserv’s financial institutions will be able to access The Clearing House’s RTP network, gaining a broad level of support for payment services through Fiserv’s NOW gateway. The NOW gateway would be a way for financial institutions to lock into one access point to support real-time payment options in a changing marketplace.

Financial institutions will be able to integrate with NOW Gateway to offer a range of various real-time payment services, including Zelle peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, payments for gig economy work or insurance claims, interbank account transfers and real-time bill payments.

The statement noted that the implementation could help build better trust and unity with customers, especially when sending and receiving money for various life situations. Matthew Wilcox, president of digital payments and data aggregation at Fiserv, said the huge demand for real-time payments made it necessary to act.

Wilcox said the company has seen double-digit year-over-year growth for these types of payments, so the company is “committed to making real-time implementation easier for any financial institution.” .

Russ Waterhouse, executive vice president of product and strategy at The Clearing House, said the partnership would be successful as the companies could “provide financial institutions with an accessible real-time payment offering that will bring significant benefits to their customers. and will give them a competitive advantage.”

Fiserv also recently launched AppMarket, which gives financial institutions access to a curated set of FinTech solutions to help reach customers and accelerate speed of operation.

Read more: Fiserv launches AppMarket Open Finance, FI/FinTech collaboration tool

As PYMNTS wrote last week, the solutions include open funding strategies around cryptocurrency, gig economy banking, small and medium business lending and more. These solutions can also be useful in attracting younger customers, the company said.

——————————

NEW PYMNTS DATA: THE TRUTH ABOUT BNPL AND STORED CARDS – APRIL 2022

On: Shoppers who have store cards use them for 87% of all eligible purchases – but that doesn’t mean retailers should start buy now, pay later (BNPL) options at checkout. The Truth About BNPL and Store Cards, a collaboration between PYMNTS and PayPal, surveys 2,161 consumers to find out why providing both BNPL and Store Cards is key to helping merchants maximize conversion.

Should you ever take out a payday loan? Here’s what Dave Ramsey thinks

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Image source: Getty Images

Could a payday loan cause you financial problems?


Key points

  • Payday loans are a type of short-term loan.
  • Payday loans usually have very high interest rates.
  • Finance guru Dave Ramsey has provided some advice on payday loans.

If you’re struggling to find cash to cover an unexpected expense, payday loans may seem like a viable solution. These loans are often available immediately and are accessible even if you don’t have perfect credit. They have short payment terms, and you’re usually expected to pay them back with your next paycheck, plus fees on top of what you borrowed.

Although payday loans are easily accessible, they have serious drawbacks, including the fact that they are very expensive.

Therefore, you will want to think carefully about whether this is the best method of borrowing before you go ahead. If you’re trying to decide, a few tips from financial expert Dave Ramsey might help.

Here’s what Dave Ramsey thinks about payday loans

Ramsey is well known for his opposition to all forms of debt, so it’s probably no surprise that he advises against taking out payday loans.

In fact, on the Ramsey Solutions blog, payday loans are referred to as “a slippery slope to a cycle of debt that is not easy to escape.”

As Ramsey explains, many payday lenders charge high fees and give you little time to repay the borrowed money. Because the fees are so high, people who take out payday loans often end up having to borrow money again to pay it back.

Borrowers have generally been required to write post-dated checks or provide access to their bank accounts, so they have no choice but to make the initial payment when it is due. But they end up having to take out another payday loan right away because the original loan plus fees are so expensive that they can’t cover the loan and pay their other bills.

The result is that you end up incurring so many fees because you keep borrowing, you end up paying an extremely high interest rate – which can be as high as 900%.

Because payday loans usually end up being so expensive and leaving you trapped, Ramsey’s blog states that “payday lenders are the gangsters of the financial industry.”

Is Ramsey right?

Ramsey’s concern about certain types of borrowing, such as mortgages, is not well justified. But when it comes to payday loans, the finance guru is absolutely right.

These loans are one of the most expensive ways to borrow, and payday lenders are often predatory and target people who can least afford to pay high rates. Hence, it is best to avoid these loans at all costs.

Ideally, you’ll have an emergency fund, which Ramsey recommends, so you don’t have to borrow to cover unexpected expenses. But if you don’t have the money yet and a surprise expense has arisen that you need to pay, you should consider other options.

Same-day loans from personal loan providers can be a good alternative, and even using a credit card can be better than a payday loan. Although the cards have high interest rates, they’re lower than payday loan rates – and a credit card offering a 0% introductory APR on purchases can allow you to fund your expenses over time without interest charges.

Of course, sometimes payday loans absolutely cannot be avoided. In this case, you should aim to pay them back as soon as possible and not borrow again so that you don’t find yourself in a debt trap that is difficult to get out of.

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Chennai Ca tricked out of ₹43l with gold discount trap | Ahmedabad News

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Ahmedabad: A chartered accountant from Chennai filed a complaint with Sola Police on Saturday alleging that three men from Ahmedabad tricked him out of Rs 43 lakh on the pretext of selling him gold at discounted rates.
Kirankumar Kondavalasa, 38, a resident of Kubernagar society in Velachery South Chennai, said his wife Bharthi watched a YouTube video on November 7, 2021 where a man named Siddharth Mehta promised to sell gold to discounted rates and he had put his cell phone number at the end of the video, FIR said. He said Bharthi called Siddharth Mehta who told him that he and his boss Rajesh Mehta were selling gold bullion at cheaper rates and they could supply him with the gold at a 10% to 15% discount. . Later, Bharthi called Rajesh who told him that they got the gold directly from the refineries and sold it at discounted rates. He also told her that they will give her the gold if she comes to Ahmedabad after checking the gold bars in an authentic lab.
Convinced of this, Kirankumar and Bharthi came to Ahmedabad on February 27, stayed at a hotel on the Bopal-Ambli road, and then approached Rajesh to buy the gold bars. Rajesh called them at Ognaj Circle on SP Ring Road where he gave them a gold bar weighing 100 grams for which he demanded Rs 4.70 lakh.
Rajesh’s assistant went with the Chennai couple to a lab on CG Road where the gold was checked, and they found real 24 karat gold. Kirankumar and Bharthi went back to Chennai and they sold the gold bar for Rs 4.90 lakh to someone. Convinced by the gold deal, they then decided to buy about 1 kg of gold for which they again contacted Rajesh and first sent Rs 42 lakh through an angadia company. Kirankumar and Bharthi reached Ahmedabad on the morning of March 12 and met Rajesh again at Ognaj Circle.
This time, Rajesh told them that they would have to pay Rs 43.37 lakh for 1 kg of gold which then had the market rate at Rs 54.22 lakh. To check the gold, Rajesh sent a man named Aslam and told the couple to follow him. Although Kirankumar and Bharthi tried to follow him, he disappeared somewhere with the gold bars. After some time, Rajesh and Siddharth also stopped receiving Kirankumar’s phone. Kirankumar eventually approached the police and filed a cheating, breach of trust and criminal association complaint against Rajesh, Siddharth and Aslam.

How to invest when interest rates rise

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The Federal Reserve is finally acknowledging how entrenched inflation has become and looks like it can take some serious steps to at least begin to address it. One of the main measures is to raise interest rates.

Interest rates have been on a downward trend for about 40 years – since the last time inflation peaked this high – making rising rates something many investors haven’t experienced. . The investment roadmap is a little different when interest rates rise, so knowing how to invest when interest rates rise is a skill that makes sense to learn. These five strategies can help you navigate what might otherwise be a difficult area in the market.

Image source: Getty Images.

No. 1: Keep your own balance sheet under control

Rising interest rates mean that the cost of debt will increase. If you have variable rate debt or debt that you will need to borrow more to pay off when it comes due, now is a great time to figure out how to pay it off or lock in fixed rates for it. The higher rates rise, the more expensive variable-rate debt will become, and the more expensive it will also be to take out new fixed-rate debt.

By paying down or refinancing your debt while rates are still low enough, you can keep more of your income and cash flow under control. This is an important element to be able to ensure that you have money available to invest in the first place.

No. 2: Keep the duration of your bond fairly short

If your financial allocation plan requires you to hold bonds, then in a rising rate environment you will want to ensure that the bonds you hold are of fairly short duration. Indeed, the longer the duration of a bond, the more it will fall when interest rates rise.

If your intention is to hold your bonds to maturity, the cash flows from your bonds will not change just because interest rates rise. If you’re using your bonds as ballast in your portfolio or plan to sell them before maturity, be aware, however, that low-coupon, long-to-maturity bonds can drop quite far as rates rise. These are the types of bonds that generally have longer durations and are therefore more affected by rising interest rates.

No. 3: Monitor the balance sheets of your actions

The same risks that affect your ability to repay your debts when interest rates rise also affect the companies in which you invest. As rates rise, their variable rate debt immediately becomes more expensive and their fixed rate debt becomes more expensive if they have to refinance it. as it matures.

It’s important to recognize this because a lot of corporate debt is structured as bonds where the company only pays interest until it is required to pay the full principal when the debt matures. Therefore, you’ll want to pay attention to both their debt level and their debt schedules – which are often noted in a company’s annual reports.

You’ll want to make sure the business still appears to be able to service its debt from its cash flow, even if those debts roll over at higher rates, requiring higher interest payments. If the debt market fears that a company can’t making these higher payments could force a business into bankruptcy by preventing it from borrowing new money. This kind of action could cause his stock to drop to $0.

#4: Look for companies with pricing power

As rates rise, leveraged businesses will typically see their margins squeezed by these higher debt service charges. Those who have the ability to pass these higher costs on to their customers via higher prices are more likely to survive than those who do not.

Given recent inflation, you might be able to get a sense of the strength of a company’s pricing power by listening to its earnings conference calls. If you hear comments such as “volumes have remained high even though we have priced to recover from commodity pressures”, that’s a pretty good sign that the company has at least some pricing power. .

#5: Focus on the value of the businesses you own

Investors generally want to get the best possible risk-adjusted returns for the money they are putting at risk in the market. As interest rates rise, the potential future returns they can earn on lower-risk investments like bonds improve, making higher-risk investments like stocks much less attractive. This is one of the main reasons the market has fallen recently as the Federal Reserve talks about the likelihood of a more aggressive interest rate hike.

In this framework, companies that already seem quite cheaply valued relative to their legitimate cash-generating potential could have far fewer drops as rates rise. After all, the lower the value of a company, the more its market price depends on its already proven results rather than his potential for rapid future growth. This makes it easier for investors to see a fast track to operations-driven returns, which can help support the stock prices of these companies.

Start now

With the Federal Reserve expected to raise interest rates by 50 basis points later this month to help fight inflation, the era of higher interest rates is very likely. This may well be your last and best opportunity right now to put your personal financial and investment plan in place to manage a higher rate environment. So start now and give yourself a decent chance of successfully crossing those rising rates.

First Trust TCW Opportunistic Fixed Income ETF (NASDAQ:FIXD) Short interest down 47.4% in April

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TCW First Trust Opportunistic Fixed Income ETF (NASDAQ: FIXDGet a rating) was the target of a sharp fall in short-term interest rates in April. As of April 15, there was short interest totaling 6,000 shares, down 47.4% from the March 31 total of 11,400 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 818,900 shares, the short-term interest rate ratio is currently 0.0 day.

First Trust TCW Opportunistic Fixed Income ETF traded down $0.27 during Friday trading hours, hitting $47.57. The company had a trading volume of 352,290 shares, compared to an average volume of 798,413. The First Trust TCW Opportunistic Fixed Income ETF has a 12-month low of $47.44 and a 12-month high of 54, $42. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $49.50 and a 200-day moving average price of $51.63.

The company also recently announced a monthly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 29. Shareholders of record on Friday, April 22 received a dividend of $0.075 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, April 21. This is a boost from First Trust TCW’s opportunistic fixed income ETF’s previous $0.07 monthly dividend. This represents an annualized dividend of $0.90 and a dividend yield of 1.89%.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently been buying and selling shares of the company. MTM Investment Management LLC purchased a new equity position in First Trust’s TCW Fixed Income Opportunistic ETF during the fourth quarter, worth approximately $49,000. During the fourth quarter, Confluence Wealth Services Inc. purchased a new equity position in the opportunistic fixed income ETF TCW First Trust, valued at approximately $70,000. During the fourth quarter, Tyler Stone Wealth Management purchased a new stake in shares of the First Trust TCW Opportunistic Fixed Income ETF worth approximately $80,000. Lloyd Advisory Services LLC. increased its position in the shares of the First Trust TCW Opportunistic Fixed Income ETF by 13.2% during the fourth quarter. Lloyd Advisory Services LLC. now owns 3,417 shares of the company valued at $182,000 after purchasing 398 additional shares last quarter. Finally, Rise Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of First Trust TCW Opportunistic Fixed Income ETF during the fourth quarter at a value of approximately $197,000.

Further reading



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COVID woes prompt more states to require financial literacy courses | Education

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Studies have long shown that high school students are woefully misinformed about personal finances and how to manage them. But the COVID-19 pandemic, which has revealed how many American adults are living on the financial edge, has spurred ongoing efforts to make financial literacy classes a school requirement.

Seven states now require a stand-alone financial literacy course as a high school graduation requirement, and five more state requirements come into effect within the next year or two. About 25 warrants at least some financial training, sometimes as part of an existing course. This year, about 20 other states have considered establishing or expanding similar rules.

Opponents of state mandates say the requirements, while laudable, may encroach on the limited time available for other high school electives and would impose costly demands on teacher training or hiring.

Nevertheless, financial literacy courses are gaining ground.

“I think there’s a lot of momentum now; many more states have legislation pending,” said Carly Urban, an economics professor at Montana State University who has studied financial literacy. In seven states — Alabama, Iowa, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia — “almost all schools require it,” she said, though some graduation prerequisites don’t come into play. force only in 2023.

Over the past two years, Nebraska, Ohio, Rhode Island, and most recently Florida have passed laws making financial literacy a staple in high schools within a year or two. In North Carolina, graduation requirements take effect in 2023.

Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia introduced bills addressing financial literacy in the 2021-22 legislative sessions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Of these, about 20 focus on secondary schools.

The Kentucky and District of Columbia bills appear to take into account that student-athletes are now allowed to earn money for the use of their name, image or likeness. None of the measures require secondary schools to teach financial literacy. But the Kentucky bill, which the governor signed into law, requires colleges to set up financial literacy workshops for student-athletes. The DC bill would encourage colleges with student-athletes to teach financial literacy.

Last month, Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill calling for students entering high school in the 2023-24 school year to take a financial literacy course as a condition of graduation. . The new law provides a half-credit course on personal money management, including how to open and use a bank account, the meaning of credit and credit scores, types of savings and investments and how to get a loan.

At a signing ceremony, DeSantis touted the law as something that “will help improve the ability of students in financial management, when they find themselves in the real world.”

Financial literacy is an issue that is remarkably bipartisan. Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee, a Democrat, sounded a lot like DeSantis when he signed Rhode Island’s requirement for financial education in high schools last year.

“Financial literacy is key to a young person’s future success,” McKee said. “This legislation paves the way for our public high schools to provide young people with the skills they need to achieve their financial goals.”

Montana State’s Urban said state policies that require stand-alone financial literacy courses help students the most, especially if states set standards on what topics should be included in the curriculum. Most courses last one semester.

Some states are using materials provided by the nonprofit Next Gen Personal Finance — which offers a free study guide and educational materials for teaching financial literacy — to help set the standards, while d Others have expanded units already included in economics, math, or social studies courses.

Next Gen’s free courses include tutorials for teachers, plus in-class study guides on topics like managing credit, opening checking and savings accounts, budgeting, paying for school academics, investing, paying taxes and developing consumer skills.

In a 2018 study, only a third of adults could answer at least four of five financial literacy questions on concepts such as mortgages, interest rates, inflation and risk, according to the Foundation for Financial Literacy. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education. Financial literacy was lower among people of color and youth.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, about 16% of 15-year-old American students surveyed in 2018 did not meet the basic level of financial literacy skills.

But with a little education, those numbers can improve, according to Urban studies.

“The results are striking,” she said in a phone interview. “Credit scores go up and delinquency rates go down. If you’re a student borrower, you go from low to high interest, you don’t accumulate credit card debt, and you don’t use private loans, which are more expensive. Additionally, his research found that young people who have taken financial literacy courses are less likely to use expensive payday loans.

Even the teachers who run the classes tend to see an increase in their savings.

“If access remains limited – especially for students who have the most to gain from education – state policy may be the only option to ensure all students have access to personal finance before becoming financially independent,” Urban wrote in a 2022 study of the high school personal finance course.

The California Assembly Committee on Education unanimously approved a high school financial literacy bill last week. Committee chairman Patrick O’Donnell, a Democrat and former high school economics teacher, said financial concepts like individual retirement accounts, Roth IRAs, loan terms and other things are “difficult to understand… in their head”.

Educators need resources to teach these concepts, he said, noting that when he was a teacher he wrote his own course materials for teaching financial literacy.

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored how few Americans are prepared for financial emergencies, giving new impetus to financial literacy requirements, according to John Pelletier, director of the Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College in Vermont. “COVID woke people up,” he said in a phone interview.

He cited a 2020 Federal Reserve study that showed many Americans couldn’t come up with $2,000 in an emergency, and “it really hit home when people were forced off work. and collect a paycheck. If policymakers haven’t found a way to get money from people, we’re dealing with more than just paying the rent; we face hunger and homelessness.

Pelletier estimates that about 30% of public school children now have access to financial literacy classes.

But not all financial literacy bills made it through the legislative process. A bill in Wisconsin this year died after objections from the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.

Ben Niehaus, director of member services for the association, said his group agreed with the intent, but was concerned about the rapid one-year timeline and the possibility of “compromising elective choices”.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican State Rep. Alex Dallman, said in a phone interview that he hopes to reintroduce the bill next session, possibly with only a half-credit course. .

“In our current economy, we’re taking out massive loans, not paying them back, and we have to be smarter about how we handle money,” he said. He said technical schools around the state like the idea of ​​teaching finance because it could lead more students to conclude that they should forgo an expensive college education for a lucrative career in the trades.

But Niehaus said a financial literacy requirement could take time out of vocational electives, such as manufacturing courses, that many Wisconsin high schools have started offering.

“We try to add these experiences to meet the needs of the labor market with more than a high school diploma and less than a four-year diploma. There are only so many hours in a day,” Niehaus said.

“Yes, it’s important, but career and technology education is also important, and we think local school boards should decide.”

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

NatWest profits hit £1.2bn as bank benefits from rising interest rates

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NatWest has doubled its profits over the past three months, helped by rising interest rates and improving economic conditions, the bank said.

Bosses revealed pre-tax operating profits of £1.2bn for the first three months of 2022, up from £573m in the last three months of last year – beating analysts’ expectations of £755 million.

In the same period a year ago, pre-tax operating profit was £894m.

NatWest boss Alison Rose said earnings were strong but the cost of living crisis is a concern (Nick Ansell/PA)

(PA Archive)

But chief executive Alison Rose said the rest of the year is shaping up to be tough as customers and businesses grapple with the cost of living crisis.

She added that despite the rising cost of living, the bank has not seen an increase in the number of customers needing help or additional credit.

Ms Rose said: ‘We are not seeing any signs of distress or an increase in customer calls to the financial assistance team, no increase in forbearance, and credit card and overdraft limits remain below 2019 levels.

“Having said that, many families have never had to operate in an inflationary environment before, so there is a degree of anxiety.”

NatWest has referred 2,100 customers to charity partner Citizens Advice over the past year to support people in vulnerable situations.

Inflation hit 7% in March and the war in Ukraine has pushed up energy costs for many cash-strapped households.

But Ms Rose said many families have built up cash reserves as they have saved more during the pandemic and a large proportion of customers are tied to fixed-rate mortgages and therefore do not face immediate pressures from the rise in interest rates.

She also made no indication of further bank branch closures, but said decisions will continue to be guided by customer behavior regarding an acceleration in the use of online and mobile banking.

The government owns 48% of the lender (David Davies/PA)

(PA Archive)

Ms Rose added that the past three months had been a key period for the bank as it finally saw the UK government hand over majority control of the institution for the first time since the financial crisis.

Ministers sold the taxpayers’ stake in the bank to 48% earlier this year.

NatWest revealed total revenue for the three months to the end of March reached £3bn – up 16.8% – driven by strong growth in its mortgage division and favorable movements in the bond market.

Retail banking also improved as consumer spending levels recovered after Covid restrictions ended, and transactional bank fee levels rose.

Mortgages were up 1.5% from the last three months of the year to £2.7bn and customer deposits were up £800m from the three months to end December .

The bank also announced it would release £38m of cash held back during the Covid crisis, although this compares to the £98m previously released out of the £3.2bn held back at the start of the pandemic. .

NatWest says its earnings boost was driven by base rate hikes that translated into higher lending revenue for the bank, and increased economic activity after pandemic restrictions ended. also increased income.

UK banks have benefited from the economic rebound and the Bank of England raised the base rate to 0.75% last month from year-ago lows, prompting banks to raise their own interest rates. ‘interest.

Real-Time Payments Market Size 2022: SWOT Analysis, Upcoming Trends and Forecast to 2028

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The report on Real-time payments Market provides a comprehensive analysis of the manufacturing cost structure, marketing strategies, and major products of the industry. The report provides regional and country-level analysis of the Real-Time Payments market including market size and market share trends. The report is an invaluable resource for industry executives, marketers, analysts and consultants. The report provides a comprehensive perspective of the market, focusing on growth rates, market segmentation, market size, future trends and regional outlook. The report presents a detailed overview of the competition between the companies in the same industry.

Get Sample Real-Time Payments Market Report @ https://www.intelligencemarketreport.com/report-sample/573296

The report also provides company profile of key players operating in the market and comparative analysis, whereby we have analyzed market offerings, regional presence, business strategies, recent developments, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, partnerships and collaborations, and SWOT. analysis.

The key players included in this report are:

  • Worldline
  • wirecard
  • Visa
  • Temenos
  • AIS
  • Ripple
  • REFUND
  • Pelican
  • PayPal
  • Obopay
  • Nets
  • Montreal
  • MasterCard
  • SMART PAYMENTS
  • IntegraPay
  • Icon Solutions
  • Global Payments
  • SFS
  • Fiserv
  • FIS
  • Finastra
  • Capegemini
  • Apple
  • Alipay (Financial Ant)
  • ACI in the world

Market dynamics

The report provides detailed analysis of the market along with information on various aspects including drivers, restraints, opportunities and threats. This information helps stakeholders from different segments such as manufacturers, developers, and researchers to make the most informed decisions.

This section of the report provides an analysis of the various factors driving the markets. The report covers trends, restraints, and impulses that alter the market in a positive or negative direction. It also discusses various segments and applications that are likely to affect the future market. This section includes a comprehensive assessment of boundary conditions that compares factors and provides strategic planning.

Major Segments and Sub-segments of the Real-Time Payments Market Listed Below:

Real-Time Payments Market Segmentation, By Type

  • Person to person (P2P)
  • Person to business (P2B)
  • Business to person (B2P)

Real-Time Payments Market Segmentation, By Application

  • BFSI
  • IT and Telecommunications
  • Retail and e-commerce
  • Government
  • Energy and Utilities
  • Others

The years considered for the study are as follows:

  • Historical year – 2019, 2020
  • Reference year – 2021
  • Forecast Period – 2022 to 2028

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Analysis of the impact and recovery of Covid-19

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Live U.S. finance and payment updates: monthly check for $2,753, 2022 tax due, gas stimulus check…

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Food and fuel price shocks from war in Ukraine will last at least 3 years, World Bank says

Global food and fuel price shocks related to the Russian-Ukrainian war are expected to last at least until the end of 2024 and increase the risk of stagflation, the World Bank said in its latest commodity market outlook report.

In his first comprehensive analysis of the impact of war on commodity markets, the bank, which provides loans and grants to low- and middle-income countries, said the world was facing the biggest commodity price shock since the 1970s.

It is compounded, he said, by trade restrictions in food, fuel and fertilizers which are exacerbating already high inflationary pressures around the world.

“Policymakers should seize every opportunity to increase economic growth at home and avoid actions that harm the global economy,” said Indermit Gill, World Bank Vice President for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions.

Russia is the world’s largest exporter of natural gas and fertilizers and the second largest exporter of crude oil. Together with Ukraine, it represents almost a third of world wheat exports, 19% of corn exports and 80% of sunflower oil exports.

Production and exports of these and other products have been disrupted since Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

As a result, the World Bank expects energy prices to rise more than 50% in 2022 before falling in 2023 and 2024, while non-energy prices, including agriculture and metals, are expected to climb almost 20% in 2022 before moderating.

The data speak volumes in support of the monthly child tax credit

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Last year’s pandemic relief package, America’s Bailout, may have held the key to a long-term strategy to end child poverty in America. Studies over the past year have found significant evidence that one policy extension effectively reduces hardship, boosts families’ financial security and supports mothers in the workplace: the Monthly Child Tax Credit .

In a recently published study, my colleagues and I surveyed some 1,200 parents who received the Child Tax Credit in monthly installments from July to December 2021. We also surveyed a control group of Americans with income levels similar in order to draw conclusions about the benefits that receiving a monthly tax cut could bring to a wide range of areas, including work, health, and financial stability.

We found that families were more financially secure, more likely to work, and better equipped to make healthy choices thanks to monthly child tax credit payments. The wide range of observed benefits for families, coupled with the policy’s established cost-effectiveness, make it a prime candidate for long-term use to strengthen American households.

Our study found that families used the Monthly Child Tax Credit to cover routine expenses that families would be expected to face regularly on a monthly basis. Groceries, paying rent, and clothing were among the most common uses. In addition to covering these expenses, families receiving the CTC were less likely to be evicted from their homes. They were also able to pay off credit card debt, save for emergency funds, and forgo other sources of income like selling blood plasma and payday loans.

As observed by the Census Bureau, hunger in households receiving the Monthly Child Tax Credit was reduced by 24% after the first payment in July 2021. Our own observations reveal that not only were fewer families suffering from hunger, but that families were also equipped to prepare healthier foods. choices. Recipient households were more likely to increase their consumption of fruit, as well as meat and protein intake, and more likely to report an increased ability to afford balanced meals compared to households not receiving the credit.

Over the long term, reducing household hunger would likely bring measurable improvements in child development. A 2015 Center for American Progress article found that infants and toddlers in food-insecure households are two-thirds more likely than their food-secure peers to be at risk for developmental delays. , which has serious repercussions on their long-term studies. and social development. Reducing hunger through policies such as the CTC would lift millions of children out of situations in which their level of income would have a negative effect on their education and development.

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 14: A view of the KU Kids Deanwood Childcare Center Kids Complete Mural to celebrate the launch of the Child Tax Credit on July 14, 2021 at the KU Kids Deanwood Childcare Center in Washington, DC.
Countess Jemal/Getty Images

The monthly CTC is important to me both as a researcher and as a mother. I spent the first few months of the pandemic bouncing a baby, quasi-joining Zoom meetings, homeschooling my preschooler, and doing real work after bedtime. . My patience was thin, my productivity nearly non-existent, and my functional ability rapidly diminishing in all areas of life. In a way, I was still one of the privileged few to go through the past two years with my family’s physical and financial health more or less intact.

Millions of mothers have left the workforce, either because they worked in sectors more vulnerable to layoffs (such as the service sector) or because of increased care responsibilities (ill family members, closure daycare, distance learning, etc.). The mental health of parents and children has declined and domestic violence has increased. For those struggling during the pandemic, the monthly child tax credit support was a lifeline.

Ninety-four percent of parents receiving monthly Child Tax Credit payments reported working the same amount or more because of the credit. More than half of those who said they worked less were parents of infants or toddlers. After the credit expired, 1.4 million households experienced a decline in employment in one way or another. Contrary to the predictions of its detractors, the monthly child tax credit has been enable work, without providing an incentive to avoid earning a paycheck.

Nearly two-thirds of parents in our survey expressed a preference for monthly payments over CTC’s flat-rate annual iteration, and it’s not hard to see why. The costs on which parents used the credit demonstrate that the payments are much more useful to households as regular monthly support. Families don’t budget on a yearly basis – they budget according to the timelines set by their usual work income and the costs they need to cover to meet their basic needs.

As one father in Arizona explained, “We didn’t have to figure out how to stretch our tax return all year. Warning.”

While some families, like mine, are slowly regaining some sense of normalcy after two years of the pandemic, for many others the end of credit means a return to economic insecurity and having to choose between paying bills and to buy food. In just the first six months of the credit, child poverty fell by 30%, but rose again by 41% immediately after the last monthly payment in December. This policy has proven to be an effective means of reducing family difficulties and poverty. We have the tools to correct course. The only question that remains is whether we have the political will to do so.

Leah Hamilton is an associate professor at Appalachian State University and an affiliate professor at the Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.

Australia’s inflation shock will have Morrison considering an interest rate hike – and his political future

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The last time interest rates rose during an election campaign was in 2007. Inflation had reached 3% and the Reserve Bank feared it could climb higher.

His decision to raise rates just two and a half weeks before Election Day was not well received by the Howard government, to say the least.

Howard, already facing likely election defeat and with nothing to lose, issued an immediate apology to the mortgage holders:

“I don’t like it and would say to Australian borrowers who are affected by this change that I am sorry about it, and I regret the additional burden that will be placed on them as a result.”

By the end of the month, he had lost the election and his own seat.

Scott Morrison must now consider how he will react if he suffers his own mid-term interest rate blow next week. Don’t hold your breath to apologize.

John Howard concedes defeat to Kevin Rudd in the November 2007 federal election.(ABCTV)

Wednesday’s inflation data came as a shock to both the government and the Reserve Bank. They were expecting a number with a 4 in front. The 5.1% result was another blow to the Coalition’s campaign. It confirmed what everyone was feeling at checkout: prices hadn’t gone up like this in decades.

Aware that inflation news was unlikely to be good, the prime minister spoke to the media two hours before the figures were released to set the stage. He acknowledged the pressure facing Australian families, reminded them of the cost of living supports announced in the budget and pleaded with them to look overseas where the problem is much worse.

Morrison even produced a graph to show how much higher inflation is in other countries compared to “what the markets estimate at 4.5% in Australia”. It’s unclear if anyone pulled out the sharpie to correct their chart when the real numbers came out.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg speaks at a lectern covered in microphones in front of Australian and Indigenous flags
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said housing, food and transportation costs are the main drivers of the inflation numbers.(PA: Joel Carrett)

Global comparisons will be of little comfort

Even at 5.1%, Morrison is right that inflation is worse elsewhere. And the treasurer is right to blame the war in Ukraine and the COVID supply constraints.

But international comparisons are likely to provide little comfort to those struggling to pay more for meat and seafood (up 6.2%), fruits and vegetables (up 6.8 %), housing (up 6.7%) and fuel (up 35%). ). Especially when wages are way behind (up just 2.3 percent over the past year).

The next few days will now be consumed by speculation on how the Reserve Bank will react. It’s no longer just a question of whether rates will go up. It is now also a question of how much.

After the precedent of 2007 – raising rates when inflation was 3% – leaving them as they are now that inflation has climbed to 5.1% risks being seen as a political decision.

Around 3 million Australians have a mortgage. Some of them took out tempting loans and never saw a rate hike.

The work is already preparing for the imminent decision of the RBA. Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers said a rate hike, coupled with slow wage growth and a spike in the cost of living, would represent the “triple whammy” of failing economic management.

The government’s best hope is to convince voters to stick to what they know in these uncertain times – managing the economy is complicated, now is not the time to risk change. Some activists argue that the Coalition is winning as long as it continues to hammer home this message and the focus is on its turf: the economy.

Albanese’s absence from COVID does not cause serious damage

However, this does not seem to work on the Coalition’s other favorite terrain: national security. As we approach the halfway point of this campaign, there has been little movement in published polls, despite the intense focus on China’s security pact with the Solomon Islands.

The daily warnings from the Prime Minister and others about the threat to Australia and the danger posed by putting Anthony Albanese, Richard Marles and co in charge don’t seem to be changing the needle.

Morrison’s personal numbers have improved slightly and some who know the Coalition’s internal polls say there is still a narrow path to victory, but they know they are still behind. Those familiar with Labor polls, on the other hand, seem much more confident.

It turns out that Albanese’s absence from COVID has so far caused no serious damage to the Labor campaign.

A man in glasses and a suit with a stern expression on his face
Labor leader Anthony Albanese has isolated himself at home after testing positive for COVID.(ABC News: Adam Kennedy)

A sharper focus over the next week on the cost of living and interest rates should force a closer look at economic and fiscal plans. On Wednesday, Labor pledged $5 billion in fiscal repairs by cutting contractors and hitting multinationals. In reality, a $5 billion improvement is a small beer when predicting accumulated deficits of nearly $225 billion over the next four years.

Labor has promised a “waste audit” of public spending if it wins on May 21, but is unwilling to identify a specific cut ahead of the election. Neither side is serious about controlling spending. Instead, they are both relying on economic growth to fill the structural deficit slowly and painlessly, at some point in the very distant future. No one can say when.

Which brings us to the other impact of rising rates – servicing the country’s ever-growing debt. Interest payments are already expected to hit $22 billion a year by 2025-26, a figure that could rise if rates climb faster and higher than expected.

At least that’s a problem John Howard didn’t face in 2007. Back then, there was no debt.

David Speers is the host of Insiders, which airs on ABC TV at 9 a.m. Sundays or on iview, and co-anchor of Q&A.

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How climate change politics could influence the next election

Community First Credit Union Launches Green Auto Loan

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The credit union’s offer includes an interest rate of 3.99% per annum (comparative rate of 4.76% per annum*) for fixed and variable loan options.

With an appetite for electric and hybrid vehicles showing no signs of slowing down, the credit union took the wheel, joining a number of lenders offering green auto loans for low-emission vehicles.

Community First Fixed and Variable Green Auto Loans are secured personal loans that include:

  • Loan term up to seven years
  • Minimum loan amount of $10,000
  • $195 application fee
  • $5 monthly costs
  • $100 PPSR fee (securities registry)

Community First’s Green Car Variable Loan offers the flexibility of having no prepayment penalty.

Fixed and variable loan options also allow funds to be withdrawn in advance for a fee of $15 online or $30 by staff assisted at Community First’s 14 NSW branches.

John Tancevski, CEO of Community First Credit Union, said the introduction of green car loans with a competitive rate of 3.99% per annum aims to provide affordable financing for motorists to take advantage of electric and hybrid vehicles.

“Electric vehicles are not only cheaper to operate and quieter on our roads, but will reduce carbon emissions and air pollution, which will improve community health,” Tancevski said.

“Each eligible motorist will pay our competitive interest rate of 3.99% per annum.”

To be eligible for a Community First green car loan, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Are over the age of 18
  • Have a regular income
  • Are not or have not been bankrupt
  • Are an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Haven’t defaulted on loans, credit cards, interest-free credits, or store cards in the past five years
  • Have held your current job for more than six months
  • Have an acceptable credit risk profile

Looking for a new car? The chart below shows green car loans with some of the lowest interest rates on the market for low-emission vehicles.


Basic criteria: fixed and guaranteed car loans for “low-emission” cars. Data accurate as of September 1, 2020. Rates based on a $30,000 loan for a five-year loan term. Products sorted by advertised price. Refunds are calculated based on advertised rates. *The comparison rate is based on a loan of $30,000 over 5 years. Please note: this comparison rate is only true for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts may result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of April 27, 2022. See disclaimer.


Image by Pixabay via Pexels

The CFPB announces its intention to supervise more non-banking establishments; Ballard Spahr will host a webinar on May 11 on Director Chopra’s first six months in office

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The CFPB has announced that it plans to invoke its “sleeping authority” to oversee non-banks engaging in risky consumer behavior. Along with this announcement, the CFPB issued a rule of procedure regarding the confidentiality of proceedings in which the CFPB invokes such authority. These steps by the CFPB are noteworthy for two reasons. First, they are consistent with the agency’s stated intention to increase scrutiny of fintech companies, as this could allow the CFPB to conduct in-depth reviews of fintech companies over which it currently has no clear oversight jurisdiction. Second, they will allow the CFPB to make public the Director’s decision to extend its supervisory jurisdiction to a non-bank engaged in behavior that “poses risk” to consumers – and thus send signals to the industry on his vision of certain practices.

The Consumer Financial Protection Act authorizes the CFPB to supervise any non-bank covered person, regardless of size, who the CFPB has reasonable cause to determine “is engaging or has engaged in conduct that poses risks to consumers in relation to the offer or supply”. consumer financial products or services. A risk-based determination must be made by issuance of an order by the CFPB after notifying the non-bank and giving it a reasonable opportunity to respond.

Although the CFPB adopted a final rule in July 2013 (12 CFR Part 1091) setting out its procedures for monitoring non-banks engaging in risky consumer behavior, it has not yet invoked those procedures. According to Director Chopra, the CFPB will now invoke these procedures to deal with “the rapid growth of consumer offerings by non-banks”. He stated that “[t]its authority gives us critical agility to act as quickly as the market, enabling us to conduct reviews of financial companies posing risks to consumers and stop the damage before it spreads. The CFPB suggests that using its supervisory authority may be preferable to using its enforcement authority, as it may avoid the need for “adversarial litigation”.

This risk-based supervisory authority is in addition to the CFPB’s authority under the CFPA to supervise a non-bank that is one of the following:

  • Regardless of size, a provider of residential mortgages or certain related services, payday loans or private education loans;
  • A provider considered to be “a larger participant in a market for other consumer financial products or services”; and
  • Regardless of its size, a service provider to another entity subject to the supervision of the CFPB.

To date, the CFPB has used its most participatory authority to issue rules regarding consumer reporting, consumer debt collection, student loan servicing and international money transfers.

The CFPB’s procedural rule for invoking its risk-based supervisory authority requires that the CFPB send the non-bank target a “reasonable cause notice” outlining the basis for the CFPB’s assertion that it may have reasonable cause to determine that the non-bank is a covered person who is engaging or has engaged in conduct that poses risks to consumers. The opinion must include “a summary of the documents, records or other matters on which the originating agent relied in issuing an opinion”. A “reasonable cause notice” must be based on consumer complaints that the CFPB receives through its complaints system or on “information from other sources”.

The procedures allow a non-banking company to consent at any time to the supervision of the CFPB. Unless the non-bank institution consents to the supervision, the Associate Director of the Lending Supervision, Enforcement and Equity Division should make a recommended decision after the conclusion of the procedure to determine whether there is a reasonable basis for the CFPB to determine that the Non-Bank Institution is a Covered Institution. a person who engages or has engaged in behavior that poses risks to consumers. The director will then render a decision on whether the non-bank institution should be subject to the supervisory authority of the CFPB.

As originally enacted, the procedural rule made confidential all aspects of a proceeding, including all documents submitted by a non-bank, all documents prepared by, or on behalf of, or at the use of the CFPB, and any communication between the CFPB and a non-bank. The new rule of procedure amends the existing rule to add a new provision that provides an exception to confidentiality for the Director’s final decisions and orders, such as a decision in which the Director determines that a non-bank should be subject to the supervisory authority of the CFPB. The non-bank will have seven days after service of the decision or order to make a submission and the Director will then decide whether the decision or order will be published on the CFPB website, in whole or in part.

The rule of procedure appears to provide a separate procedure for each entity that the CFPB seeks to supervise. However, by making decisions and orders in these proceedings public, the amendment will allow the CFPB to send a strong signal to all market participants about certain practices or products that it believes pose a risk to consumers. and may be subject to further monitoring or enforcement activities. .

On May 11, 2022, Ballard Spahr will host a webinar, “CFPB Director Rohit Chopra: Do His Words Speak Louder Than His Actions?” The webinar will discuss the CFPB’s announcement regarding the supervision of non-banks as well as other measures taken under the leadership of Director Chopra. For more information and to register, click here.

The CFPB’s plan to supervise more nonbanks could also have implications for state control over nonbanks. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a number of states adopt mini-CFPBs to fill the “regulatory void” that many feared under the Trump administration, including California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. When these laws were enacted, these states expressed concern about the deregulation of consumer loan providers, including those engaged as non-bank partners in banking partnerships and non-bank providers of alternative credit products. With increased surveillance of non-banks by the CFPB, one would expect to see increased scrutiny of non-banks by the state mini-CFPBs, at least. In addition to inquiries from regulators such as the Maine inquiry earlier this year sent to non-banks in banking partnerships, non-banks engaged in these business activities may see increased scrutiny from prosecutors. state generals, additional and more substantial state exams, and new licenses and regulations for an old “unregulated” trade.

CII Chief TV Narendran: ‘Industry cannot have unfair expectations on interest rate cycle’

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Industry cannot have ‘unfair expectations’ on interest rate cycle as central banks around the world are tightening monetary policies, says CII Chairman and CEO of Tata Steel and MD TV Narendran . In an interview with Pranav Mukul and Aanchal Magazine, talking about the impact of the pandemic on the MSME sector, he urged that “one size fits all” might not work to get some sectors back on track. Edited excerpts:

The interest rate cycle is taking a turn and with rising inflation and pressure on input prices, how do you see all of this impacting the investment scenario?

The feeling is still quite positive when we talk to our members. Rising interest rates were somewhat inevitable given inflationary pressures and we believe the RBI has been very dovish over the past few quarters. So we can’t have unfair expectations, central banks around the world are responding to these calls. In terms of input cost pressures, some margin pressures are causing concern as demand remains strong. But if margins will be impacted, how much of the input cost impact can be passed on to customers without hurting demand – these are some of the questions our members are grappling with. But overall, when we spoke to them, the sentiment was positive, with people expecting to continue spending more capex than they had in previous years. So there are obviously concerns about the turbulence but nothing has gone off the rails so far.

CII’s surveys have shown that most businesses are operating at close to 70-80% capacity. Would that translate into capital expenditure for businesses, and can interest rate hikes potentially impact that?

One of the biggest areas where private sector investment is announced is metals, and then mining. There, the motivation to invest is all the stronger as the demand is strong, the profitability is strong, the balance sheets have been deleveraged, so we can grow without going into too much debt. So I don’t see any change there. In fact, if people try to accelerate investments and grow faster. Because there is also an export opportunity for Indian metal producers. The second area that was strong was Chemicals and Specialty Chemicals which again had a good year of exports, again there are opportunities and we see that should be strong as well. The third area is governed by the PLI program and the potential demand in India is electronics manufacturing. We will continue to see investment coming in there and in fact India can go from being a big electronics importer to a big exporter. The fourth area where we’ve seen the private sector come in strong is in supply chains, warehousing, etc., and that’s also very strong because of the growth of the e-commerce sector and the Money continues to be invested in this sector and everyone is developing beyond the big cities in the interior of the country. Overall, with private sector investment flowing in because of government investment in infrastructure, I think the narrative continues.

While tight monetary policy can have an impact on inflation, there appear to be more structural issues. Do you think an interest rate hike alone would be enough?

The inflationary impact is multiple reasons. Much of this has to do with the fact that post-pandemic recovery globally is faster than most people thought and supply chains are unprepared for it. So you had shortages of semiconductors, containers, multiple bottlenecks, that were exposed, which led to higher costs. Likewise, geopolitical events also had an impact if you look at China and Australia had a problem before that. Now, with the Ukraine problem, for example, coking coal prices are very dependent on geopolitical issues. So it was up or down depending on that. This is a big entry cost for the steel sector. Some of them are structural but not necessarily permanent. They are structural but will go away as things get better and the RBI took a stand and that’s why they didn’t raise the interest rates because they felt that some of them had less to do with local problems and more with temporary global problems. . But having said that, as inflation has risen and India is also highly vulnerable to oil prices, the RBI is taking a stand and like all central banks cannot sit idly by if inflation is higher that she is comfortable. So that’s a step they’ll take.

Many sectors have been more affected than others. The MSME sector is one, but even within MSMEs it is not everyone. If you really look at India’s strong exports, a lot of exports go through MSMEs. Many MSMEs have also done well, but many have struggled. So you need to have a sectoral approach rather than an MSME approach in general, because not all of them are doing badly. Our own admission to the government is that for some of these areas you have a very targeted approach. Some things like the ECLGS have helped, but even beyond that we need to see how we can help some of these sectors, which are more affected, and get them back on track. So it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Monetary policy is important, they have to do what they have to do, but not all of the inflation is because on the supply side, it’s been disrupted and a lot of people have exited. The supply side impact is more geopolitical and global than local and the MSME sector will certainly need some support.

You mentioned thermal power, coking coal prices are affected due to geopolitical conflicts. The focus is now more on renewable energies, where the capital intensity is lower. How do you think this will be impacted?

While renewables will continue to grow, they won’t completely solve the problem, at least for a while. While a 400 GW target for 2030 is very aggressive and ambitious to pursue and achieve, India’s energy needs will be much more than that. The second problem that renewable energy does not solve is storage, because many industries, the process industry, have to operate 24/7. So renewable energy plus storage is what a lot of processing industries will seek. Alternatively, renewables can be part of the mix, but they cannot replace the continuous supply you need. We are a few years away from all that. Although we can reduce our dependence on coal, it will continue to be an important part of our economy in the future, whether it is coking coal or thermal coal. Coking coal is an even more complex challenge that is required in steelmaking and can only be replaced when you have plenty of hydrogen available in abundance and at low cost. Otherwise, we will continue to import coking coal and that is where the trade agreement with Australia was important, for example. Thus, the cost of transporting coking coal to India will have decreased thanks to the trade agreement. But once again, it’s at least 15-20 years away from the solution, which is hydrogen for example. This is why these sectors will continue to play an important role and for the world and for India, the transition to a greener future is a very complex transition. We can plan it well so that we don’t do it in a way that disrupts society and the industry and do it smoothly.

What investment opportunities do you see emerging from the FTA with Australia and also from the pacts being negotiated with the EU/UK?

Australia and India complement each other in many ways, we don’t compete with each other…specifically for India there are a lot of opportunities, firstly Australia imports pretty much all of its pharmaceuticals and India is only a very small part of it, so there’s a great opportunity to develop that. Indian leather and textile exporters were disadvantaged by the fact that competing countries had a trade deal with Australia and had lower tariffs etc. which creates a very level playing field. India is already the second largest steel producer and continues to grow and Australia is a big supplier of coking coal. So it’s an opportunity from Australia to India. There have also been discussions about medical tourism…the other area where links are growing is education. There are several areas where trade can grow. The EU, UK and USA already account for 40% of our exports. A question is therefore how to increase this share. But on a broader basis, beyond these markets, we should also consider new markets and Australia is a good example of this. We should also look at Africa, Latin America, Asia and even China to see how we can build our market.

Contactless mobile parking payments begin in downtown Jacksonville

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JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – The City of Jacksonville on Monday launched a contactless payment option for on-street parking in downtown Jacksonville through ParkMobile.

ParcMobile allows users to pay and monitor parking sessions on the go.

The new payment option went live Monday and will be available in metered parking spaces where ParkMobile decals have been rolled out, according to a statement. The Office of Public Parking will continue to install decals throughout the week and once completed ParkMobile will be available for all 1,420 metered parking spaces in the city centre.

“As we continue to see unprecedented growth and development in downtown Jacksonville, there is a noticeable need for convenient parking,” said Mayor Lenny Curry. “We are excited about our partnership with ParkMobile as it will make it easier for residents and visitors to frequent this part of our city. »

A d

To pay for parking using the mobile or web app, a user enters the zone number displayed on the parking meter, selects the time required, and presses the “Start Parking” button to begin the session. The user will receive an e-mail or an SMS confirming his payment.

“Although the meter may not show receipt of payment, parking enforcement personnel will instantly know that payment has been made,” the statement said.

The user can also monitor their transaction and remotely extend the duration of the parking session if necessary.

“Not only is the timing of this partnership near perfect, but having a national leader in smart parking, with nearly 35 million users, expand its services to downtown Jacksonville is a testament to our growth and development. “said Lori Boyer, CEO. of the Downtown Investment Authority. “ParkMobile will help ease the stress of downtown parking and allow citizens to focus on what our incredible downtown has to offer. »

A d

All existing forms of payment (credit and debit cards, coins) are still valid for meter use.

Click here to learn more.

ParcMobile

Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax – All Rights Reserved.

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Senior officials from 12 ministries will meet on April 29 to share the roadmap for monetizing the assets of their departments.

Government to accelerate asset monetization as divestment plan flounders




name Price Switch % changes
Nhpc 33.90 -1.65 -4.64
Sbi 494.75 -5.85 -1.17
ntpc 156.10 -4.35 -2.71
Indiabulls Hsg 152.85 -6.35 -3.99

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Rainbow Child View profile Initial Public Offering 516 1595.59 27 27-04 29-04
Shashwat Furnis View profile initial public offering of an SME 45 2.51 3000 20-04 25-04
Global Longlife See profile initial public offering of an SME 140 49 1000 21-04 25-04
Equity Issue price Registration date Ad open close ad Listing Earnings % CPM Current Earnings %
eighty jeweler 41 13-04 42.00 44.10 7.56 48.35 17.93
Hariom pipe 153 13-04 214.00 224.70 46.86 207.40 35.56
Tile of Dhyani 51 12-04 57.50 54.80 7.45 51.00 0.00
Veranda Learn 137 11-04 171.00 160.40 17.08 198.55 44.93
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Balwant Jain
Balwant Jain

Tax and investment expert,

April 28 – 2:00 p.m.

Everything you wanted to know about HRA benefits



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Balwant Jain
Balwant Jain

Tax and investment expert

April 28 – 2:00 p.m.

Everything you wanted to know about HRA benefits

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Rent a storage unit? Here are 7 important questions you should ask the establishment

0

Do you need to declutter your home soon? Are you perhaps planning your big move to another city? Or maybe you have renovations coming up and can’t afford your valuables to be damaged during construction?

In these scenarios and many more, renting a storage unit would be the best solution. possible solution for your storage needs.

But choosing a storage unit also means choosing one of the best storage units, which means that you will ask yourself questions!

Why these questions are important

Not all storage facilities are equal. They all vary in terms of types of storage units available, covered locations, rental prices, level of security and a range of other aspects.

That’s why it pays to compare and contrast the offerings and services of different storage providers in your area. A search on self storage in Sacramento California with Self Storage Finders can be a good place to start if you are looking for a facility in the Golden State capital.

But that’s not all!

To get the most out of the storage unit you rent, here are six critical questions you should ask the facility first.

1. What sizes of storage units do you have?

Depending on your storage needs, you should ask the facility for a list of the different sizes of storage units available. This will allow you to choose a storage location which is best suited to your needs. Remember that the price you pay for the storage unit will largely depend on the size you choose.

2. Do the prices include insurance?

A good facility will include insurance for its storage units, which will help you protect the items stored there. This is why you should also inquire about insurance and whether you can get a discount rate for the insurance plan.

For what it’s worth, you’ll likely get a lower price for insurance if you pay a monthly fee for the storage facility instead of a one-time fee.

3. What is the level of security?

When you rent a storage unit, you want to be sure that your belongings will be safe there. The last thing you want is to receive a call where the person on the other end of the line tells you that your storage unit has been broken into.

Although storage insurance can protect you in such cases, some items are too expensive to lose, if at all, they can be replaced!

Aim for a facility with a 24/7 security guard presence, and ask the facility if it has a reliable surveillance system.

4. How long will you need to keep your items?

You can also ask the establishment how long you need to keep your items. This will help you determine how much you should pay.

Some storage facilities have monthly fees, while others charge per day. It is best to find out from the storage facility you are using, their policy on storage durations as well as their prices and length of contracts.

5. Do you have specific access times?

It can be quite intimidating to have access to your belongings blocked when you need them most, right? For this reason, it is worth asking questions about accessibility.

Find out if the warehouse is closed on certain weekends and holidays. Most facilities have a policy against storing on holidays or weekends.

6. Are there any additional costs apart from the rent?

While the the cost of renting a storage room can vary widely, storage facilities charge additional fees for a number of other services.

In addition to the monthly rental fee, they may charge for any additional storage space required or for the delivery of items to the facility.

They may also charge annual rent, a deposit, or a security deposit. Be on the lookout for hidden fees, which can range from storage unit maintenance to monthly utility costs!

7. Do you currently have any discounts or special offers?

You should also inquire about the establishment’s ongoing discounts and specials. For example, some storage facilities may offer a short-term discount for items stored for more than a month.

In addition, storage facilities run marketing campaigns from time to time, which usually come with certain discounts on storage fees depending on factors such as:

  • Storage unit size
  • The duration of the lease
  • The number of storage units you rent

Conclusion

At this point, you should have a clear idea of ​​what to look for when renting a space or unit in storage facilities. Having these key considerations in mind can help you rent the best unit for your needs from a reputable and reliable storage facility.

Single mum in £10,000 debt despite working her whole life as cost of living soars

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A single mother has racked up £10,000 in debt due to the cost of living crisis affecting families across the UK.

June Butterworth, 44, had to go from her job as a caregiver, a job she had had all her working life, to a housekeeper working reduced hours in a care home to look after her sick elderly mother .

June, from Lancashire, has racked up massive debt and taken out payday loans for necessities as her bills soar, Lancs Live reports.

Her debt for gas and electricity soared to over £1,000, which meant she had to cancel a direct debit from the company and use payment as you go.

For a mother of two, the sudden rise in the cost of living was like a bombshell.

“When I heard the news that the cost of living was going up, I was shocked,” June said.

“It’s a nightmare to master. How are people supposed to survive? I can’t stop crying because you work your whole life…it’s hard.

“The future looks like bankruptcy and I didn’t think it could happen to me. Even if you go to a debt company, you can still end up bankrupt. It can happen to anyone.”

Most of June’s debt is council tax and as a result she has been threatened with legal costs, and credentials litter her house.

After breaking up with her partner, she had to take time off from work to care for her two young sons, now 26 and 22. Her family helped her look after her children to prevent her debts from piling up.

June works a 32.5 hour week and earns £1,250 before tax each month, and receives a £100 Universal Credit allowance, but after tax and funding necessities she finds she has run out of change spare.

She pays £445 a month in rent and more than £100 a week in groceries to feed herself and her sons – plus gas, electricity and water bills. Even when she worked over 40 hours a week, she still struggled to pay her bills on time.

Her youngest son works part-time, but her eldest has been unemployed since his workplace told him the company could no longer afford to keep employees under the government’s Kickstart program because the minimum wage had increased.

She was forced to make sacrifices in her social life to cope with mounting debts and cut back on sharing taxis and buying clothes.

Every month she pays £195 to Christians Against Poverty (CAP), a debt center she has worked with for a year, to pay off her debts and says they told her it would take around two and a half years to to erase.

However, since his salaries do not match the recent rise in the cost of living, it will take him at least three years to pay them back.

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Rossendale Debt Center offers a free home debt counseling service for people with unmanageable debt in the BB4 and OL13 postcodes. To contact CAP call 0800 328 0006.

Don’t miss the latest news from across Scotland and beyond – sign up for our daily newsletter here.

The Fed wants to raise rates quickly, but may not know where to stop

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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is accelerating monetary tightening. Its objective seems simple: bring interest rates to a “neutral” level, a parameter that does not stimulate or slow down growth.

But there is a catch: even in normal times, no one knows where this theoretical level is. And these are not normal times. There are good reasons to believe that the ground under the central bank’s feet is changing and that, after taking into account high inflation, neutrality could be higher than officials’ recent estimates.

At their meeting next month, officials are expected to approve plans to reduce their asset portfolio by $9 trillion and raise their benchmark rate by half a percentage point. They are set to follow with another half point in June.

“We’re going to raise rates and quickly get to more neutral levels, and then it will actually tighten policy if it’s appropriate, once we get there,” Powell said at a roundtable last week. . .

Key to this strategy will be estimating the neutral interest rate, a monetary nirvana that balances supply and demand when unemployment is low, the economy is growing steadily, and inflation is stable around the Fed’s 2% target.

“The Fed only knows where neutrality is in hindsight,” said Steven Blitz, chief U.S. economist at research firm TS Lombard.

The nominal neutral rate is obtained by adding inflation to the inflation-adjusted neutral rate or real neutral rate. It is real, not nominal, rates that matter for monetary policy. Since inflation reduces the burden of debt repayment, a positive real rate is needed to create an incentive to save and a disincentive to borrow, such as for a home or business, thereby slowing economic growth and easing pressure inflationary.

Prior to the 2008 financial crisis, the nominal neutral rate was widely believed to be close to 4%, or a real neutral rate of 2% plus inflation of 2%. Over the next decade, Fed officials lowered their neutral estimate to between 2% and 3% because they believed the real neutral rate needed to keep growth and inflation steady had fallen.

Officials still think the real neutral rate is low; the question is whether inflation will eventually rise above 2%, which would mean a higher nominal neutral rate. If inflation stabilizes closer to 3%, for example, the nominal neutral rate would be closer to 3.5% than 2.5%, and the Fed might need to raise rates to 4% to really slow down. the economy.

One source of uncertainty is where the neutral actually is. It depends on where inflation sets in, based in part on factors beyond the Fed’s control.


Photo:

Frédéric J. Brown/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

This confronts Fed officials with several questions: how quickly to get to neutral; should rates go above neutral; and where is the neutral?

Right now, most think neutrality is around 2.25% or 2.5% and rates should get there this year, at which point they can see how the economy responds. Some want to go faster, pushing rates into restrictive territory this year. Others are open to this possibility in 2023.

“I’m optimistic that we can break ground, look around, and see that we’re not necessarily that far from where we need to go,” Chicago Fed President Charles said. Evans, April 7. Last week, however, he was a little more circumspect: “We’re probably going beyond neutrality – that’s what I expected.”

A major source of uncertainty in these scenarios centers on the actual neutral position. It depends on where inflation sets in, which is partly based on factors beyond the central bank’s control, such as supply chain disruptions from the war in Ukraine and lockdowns. of Covid in China.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell indicated on Thursday that the central bank would likely raise interest rates by half a percentage point at its May meeting. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Blitz said the Fed could find itself today in a situation similar to 1978, when it raised rates aggressively but failed to raise real rates enough to slow the economy.

“They kept thinking, ‘Enough is enough. That’s enough.’ It turned out that was not enough,” he said. Today, “the Fed has a lot of catching up to do to tighten financial conditions if the world doesn’t come to its rescue.”

In projections released in March, most Fed officials painted a happy scenario in which they raised rates to a roughly neutral rate of around 2.75% by next year. They project that growth over the next three years will remain above its long-term rate of 1.8%, while unemployment will remain below the 4% rate, which is consistent with stable prices.

But these projections assume that inflation, now above 5% based on the Fed’s preferred index, will return to an underlying long-term trend rate of 2% without rising unemployment, which has always been rare.

“The odds of doing what they predicted in March are low, maybe 25%,” said Donald Kohn, a former Fed vice chairman.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

What steps do you think the Fed will take this year to fight inflation? Join the conversation below.

John Roberts, a former Fed economist who retired last year, presented two other scenarios in a recent analysis. Under the first, the Fed is raising rates to nearly 2.5% this year and 4.25% next year, bringing inflation down to 2.5% by 2025. the unemployment rate on a scale that has only occurred during recessions.

In the other, high inflation through 2022 changes underlying consumer psychology, driving core inflation higher, and the Fed fails to raise rates enough to counter that, leaving the inflation consistently above 3% for the rest of the decade.

The bond market has faced a sharp selloff over the past two months, pushing yields higher as the Fed promises tougher policy. It could be another blow if central bank officials publicly conclude that interest rates must be even higher than currently expected in 2023.

Write to Nick Timiraos at [email protected]

Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Opinion: It’s going to be a year for stock traders — here are 12 companies to look out for, says 40-year investing veteran Bob Doll

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If you’re relatively new to investing and think 2022 has been a hellish year, imagine you’ve been in the stock market for over 40 years.

It would have taken you through the Great Financial Crisis in 2008-2009, the dot-com crash of 2000, the crash of 1987, and the savings and loans debacle of the 1980s – in addition to the pandemic bear.

If you are humble enough to learn from tough times, you have a lot of wisdom to share. This is the case of Bob Doll, an investment strategist with whom I have enjoyed talking for years. His impressive resume includes stints as chief investment officer at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers and OppenheimerFunds, and chief equity strategist at BlackRock BLK,
-2.72%.

So, it’s worth checking out with this seasoned market veteran – now retired to work with Crossmark Global Investments – on what to think about the many crossroads facing the economy and investors today.

High-level takeaways: Stocks will be trapped in a trading range this year. It is a traders market. Take it to your advantage. We won’t go into a recession this year, but the odds increase to 50% by the end of 2023. Favor value, energy, finance, and old-school tech. (See names below.) Bonds will continue in a bear market as yields continue to rise, medium term, and be careful with utilities.

Now for more details.

The here and now

The earnings season takes over as the driving force. So far, so good. By this he means that the big banks like JPMorgan Chase JPM,
-2.87%,
Bank of America BAC,
-3.47%
and Morgan Stanley MS,
-4.69%
reported decent results.

“These companies are making money in an environment that’s not the easiest in the world,” Doll says. This suggests that other companies could achieve this as well.

Meanwhile, sentiment is gloomy enough to warrant an uptick right now.

“I would buy here, but not too high,” he said on April 19, when the S&P 500 SPX,
-2.77%
was around 4,210.

Granted, we don’t see the surprises that we were “spoiled” with for many quarters once the pandemic began to abate. (As of the morning of April 19, with 40 S&P 500 companies reporting, 77% exceeded earnings estimates with average earnings growth of 6.1%.) “But it’s still very respectable, and if it continues, stocks will do well.”

The next 12 months

We are looking at a traders market over the next year. Why? There is a big showdown between investors.

“Pulling hard at one end of the rope is reasonable, albeit slowing, economic growth and reasonable earnings growth. Inflation and higher interest rates are pulling the other way,” says Doll.

The tussle will frustrate both bulls and bears.

“It’s a market that will confuse a lot of us because it’s relatively trendless,” he says.

What to do: Consider negotiating. Use yourself as your own sentiment indicator.

“When your stomach doesn’t feel good because we’ve had a few bad days in a row, it’s a good time to buy stocks. Conversely, when you’ve had a few good days, it’s time to prune. I want to be sensitive to stock prices.

To put some numbers on this, it could well be that the high of the year was an S&P 500 at 4,800 in early January, and the low of the year was when the comp was just below 4,200 at the start of the Ukrainian War. Doll’s year-end price target on the S&P 500 is 4,550. Trading can theoretically be safe, as we likely won’t see a bear market until mid-2023. (More on that below.)

Inflation

Inflation is on track to peak over the next few months and will be 4% by the end of the year. Part of the logic here is that supply chain issues are getting better.

Otherwise, Doll explains that with wages growing by 6% and productivity gains of around 2%, the result will be inflation of 4%. When companies get more product from the same number of hours worked (the definition of increased productivity), they don’t feel compelled to pass on 100% of the wage gains to protect their profits.

Recession

There will be no recession this year, Doll said. Why not? The economy is still responding to all of the stimulus from last year. Interest rates are still negative in real terms (below inflation), which is encouraging. Consumers have $2.5 trillion in excess cash because they cut spending during the pandemic.

“I don’t think it’s because the Fed starts raising rates that we need to raise the recession flag,” he says.

But if inflation falls to 4% by the end of the year, the Fed will have to keep raising interest rates and tightening monetary policy to tame it, while doing so carefully to fine-tune a soft landing. It is a difficult challenge.

“The Fed is between a rock and a hard place. They have to fight inflation and they are behind schedule,” Doll says.

The result: The probability of a recession increases to 50% for 2023. It will most likely occur in the second half of the year. This suggests the start of a bear market in the next 12-15 months. The stock market often price in the future six months ahead.

Sectors and values ​​to favor

* Value stocks: They have outperformed growth this year, which usually happens in a rising rate environment. But value is still a buy, since only about half of the value advantage over growth has been realized. “I still lean towards value, but I don’t beat the table as much,” he says.

* Energy: Doll still likes the band, but in the short term it’s worth cutting it because it seems overbought. “I think I have another chance,” he said. If you don’t have one, consider starting positions now. Favorite energy names include Marathon Petroleum MPC,
-1.87%
and ConocoPhilips COP,
-2.70%.

* finance Doll continues to favor this group. One of the reasons is that they are cheap compared to the market. Price-to-earnings ratios for financials are in the low double-digit range relative to the high teens in the market. In other words, financials are trading at around two-thirds of market value, whereas historically they are trading at 80% to 90% of market valuation.

Banks benefit from an upward sloping yield curve as they borrow short and lend long. Insurers benefit from rising rates because they invest a large part of their fleet in bonds. As their bond portfolios turn over, they shift funds to higher-yielding bonds. Here, he favors Bank of America, Visa V,
-3.83%,
and Mastercard MA,
-3.64%,
and MetLife MET,
-2.82%
and AFLAC AFL,
-3.25%
in insurance.

* Technology: Doll divides the world of technology into three parts.

1. First, he likes old-school tech trading at relatively cheap valuations. Think Intel INTC,
-2.02%,
Cisco CSCO,
-2.69%
and Applied Materials AMAT,
-2.50%.
Borrowing a phrase from the world of bonds, Doll describes them as “short duration” tech companies. This means that much of their long-term income is coming in here and now, or in the very near-term future. This makes them less sensitive to rising interest rates, as are low duration bonds. “Not the brightest lights of the next decade, but stocks are cheap.”

2. Next, Doll favors established mega-cap technologies like Microsoft MSFT,
-2.41%
and AppleAAPL,
-2.78%
on NetflixNFLX,
-1.24%,
Amazon.com AMZN,
-2.66%
and parent Facebook Meta Platforms FB,
-2.11%.

3. It avoids “long life” technology. This means emerging tech companies that are making little to no money now. The lion’s share of their income is in the distant future. Like long-dated bonds, these suffer the most in a rising rate environment like the one we find ourselves in.

What else to avoid

Besides long-running technology, Doll is underweight utilities and communication services companies. Fixed income is also an area to avoid, as we haven’t seen high bond yields for the cycle. (Bond yields rise as bond prices fall.) With inflation at 8%, even a 10-year yield of 2.9% doesn’t make sense. He says the 10-year bond yield will be well within the 3% range.

In the short term, bonds could rebound as they appear oversold.

“We could be in for a fixed income riot,” he says. “It’s hard to find someone bullish on bonds. When everyone’s on one side of the trade, you never know where it’s going.

Michael Brush is a columnist for MarketWatch. At the time of publication, he owned MSFT, APPL, NFLX, AMZN and FB. Brush suggested BLK, JPM, BAC, MS, MPC, MA, MET, AFL, INTC, MSFT, APPL, NFLX, AMZN and FB in his newsletter, Review actions. Follow him on Twitter @mbrushstocks.

CNM Process for CIPR Assessment — CNM

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The CIPR process described below is current as of February 2022. The CIPR process has been described in the official CNM Way process format, and the CIPR team must follow this process for an academic program to be considered for the development, growth, revision, transition or sunset.

Process Name: Integrated College-Wide Program Review

Goal

In keeping with the College’s vision of “Changing Lives, Building Community,” the College-wide Integrated NJC Program Review process provides a unique opportunity to:

  • Reflect on our work and continually improve our program offerings
  • Engage in dialogue with colleagues regarding a program’s goals, strengths, challenges and opportunities
  • Assess program effectiveness and quality using academic standards
  • Evaluate the economics of the program in terms of costs, revenues and margins
  • Ensure that all programs lead to completion, transfer and/or positive employment outcomes
  • Align program offerings with the College’s mission and strategic directions

Beginning of the process

The Office of Data Strategy (ODS) prepares program review data reports and creates the college-wide integrated program review summary spreadsheet.

End of process

The College-wide Integrated Program Review Summary is fully completed and updated with the Office of Data Strategy.

Related documents and forms

Process and timeline

Data reports

Generation and distribution

End of October

1. Gray Associates is updating the Program Evaluation System (PES) dashboard with the most recent data from ODS.

2. ODS originated the Summary of the Integrated College-Wide Program Review (ICPR) spreadsheet and sends the SharePoint link to Academic Affairs (AA).

College exam period

November to At the beginning of February

All credited and non-credited programs will perform a review based on the identified target metrics.

1. University schools fulfill theICRP Summary.
Timeline: November, December and January

2. Once University Schools have completed their initial review, other divisions (Workforce and Community Success, Finance and Operations, Enrollment Management and Student Success, MCO and Ingenuity) will provide comments on theICRP Summary.
Timeline: February

Academic AffairsRecommendations

Early March

Once the divisions have completed their review and comments, AA will review the ICRP Summary and make final recommendations (Fix, Grow, Sunset, Transition, Sustain) to the CIPR team.

CIPR Team and Leadership Team Review

Half-March

1. The IPRC team reviews the AA recommendations and makes a final recommendation to the leadership team.

2. The CIPR team forwards the recommendations to the management team for approval. The CIPR team informs AA of the final result approved by the executive team.

Board level review

End of March

1. AA will identify credit programs that need to be brought to the board for further consideration, especially programs that have been identified for sunset.

2. Academic schools will prepare action plans (if necessary) for the identified programs and present them to the planning committee. All credit programs listed as Sunset must be submitted to the planning committee and the full board.

Full ICRP report to the Board

April

1. The CIPR team reviews the results of the annual program review for both credited and non-credited programs.

2. The Workforce and Community Success Division compiles a comprehensive report and presents it to the Planning Committee and then to the full Governing Board.

Archiving of reports and compilation of recommendations

End of April

1. ODS compiles and maintains theICRP Summaryfrom all academic schools and Ingenuity.

2. The ICRP Summary is completely finished. This marks the end of the program’s annual review process.

Development of the program support plan

April to June

1. All programs identified for extinction, transition, correction, or growth will have a small team responsible for developing a program support plan from the CIPR action plan and suggestions provided by the program.

2. Program support plans will consider personnel, equipment, facilities, marketing, recruitment, schedules, terms, program redesign, and employer and industry engagement .

Data used for program review

The following data is intended to provide quarterly program data over 3 years, as well as additional data collected on an annual basis. Each term is defined as summer, fall, spring.

  • Registration
  • Achievements
  • Declared Majors
  • Student demographics (internal data, census, Bureau of Labor Statistics data)
  • Markets (student demand, employment, competitive intensity)
  • Margins (gross income, state appropriation, rebate, net income, teaching cost, contribution per student credit hour)
  • Average class size
  • Class fill rate
  • Sections taught by FT instructors
  • success rate C
  • Withdrawal rate
  • DL Sections & Non-DL Courses
  • Average Course Satisfaction Rating
  • Number of graduates
  • Transfer to 4-year-old school (Data from the National Student Clearinghouse)
  • Employee in New Mexico
  • Employee in the field
  • Average earnings (Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Department of Workforce Solutions)
  • Unfinished Results

Target measures

Target metrics are minimum thresholds that each credit program must meet to be considered a healthy program. When a target metric is not achieved, an explanation is needed from the program.

Target Metrics for Credit Programs

Assignment

Annual graduate placement is over 75% (for CTE programs)

Market

The market evaluation is rated satisfactory or better (market score out of 70andpercentile or more)

The annual number of graduate scholarships is more than 10

Transfer to a 4-year school (for AA and AS degrees) is 25% or higher

Note: Programs will need to provide an explanation for each of these three situations:

– Transfer rate drops below 25%

– The transfer rate continuously drops over 3 years (even if it is still above 25%)

– The transfer rate is experiencing a significant drop (even if it is still above 25%)

Employed in the field (for career education programs) is at 25% or higher

Note: Programs will need to provide an explanation for each of these three situations:

– Employment in the field falls below 25%

– Employment in the field continuously decreases over 3 years (even if it is still above 25%)

– Employment in the field is experiencing a significant decline (even if it is still above 25%)

Money

The margin assessment is deemed satisfactory or better (Contribution in 50andpercentile or more)

The class fill rate is 60% or more

The number of students enrolled / the number of declared majors enrolled (for degrees and stand-alone certificates) is 30 or more

Note: For integrated certificates, refer to the number of majors reported for the associate degrees in which the certificates are integrated.

Academics

The average annual retention rate for the discipline is 70% or more (SAGE 65%)

C-Pass annual rate for courses is 60% or more

Activity tracked/results

All program review activities and results are tracked in the College-Wide Integrated Program Review Summary, a comprehensive Excel document managed by the Office of Data Strategy.

Latest revision and improvements made

This process was first written in September 2021 and revised in February 2022.

Mortgage stress: How to know if you’re at risk when interest rates rise

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Homeowners face their first rate hike in 11 years, but there are warnings they need to act quickly to avoid falling into mortgage stress.

A shocking number of Australians are already estimated to be experiencing mortgage stress – meaning they are struggling to repay – even before interest rates can be raised to 2% by the end of the year.

Interest rates sit at a record low of 0.1%, but the Reserve Bank of Australia gave its biggest hint that a hike is imminent, with experts pegging June for the first hike.

But according to Roy Morgan, around 584,000 mortgage holders were already at risk of mortgage stress at the end of 2021, said Bill Tsouvalas, Savvy’s chief executive and home finance expert.

“This is after many government interventions such as extended payment holidays, JobKeeper/JobSeeker, Covid disaster payments etc,” Mr Tsouvalas added.

A person is considered to be in mortgage trouble if more than 30% of their income is spent on their loan.

Whether more people fall into mortgage stress could depend on whether wage increases keep up with inflation, which has not been the case so far in Australia.

While Australians’ pay rose 2.3% per annum overall last year, it was well below inflation which sits at 3.5%, meaning the cost of goods is absorbing any additional pay.

If a two-person household with a combined average income of $135,720 got a 2.3% wage increase, that would be $3,121 more per year.

A 1% rate hike on a $500,000 loan with a fixed variable rate of 2.7% would boost repayments by an additional $3,156 per year for the household.

That means they would have to come up with $35 a year to cover the mortgage, which would “barely register as a blow to the family budget and could be absorbed with little effort,” Mr Tsouvalas said.

“However, if this family doesn’t get any pay raises, they should find… $3156 more on the mortgage per year. This is easier said than done for many Australians,” he said.

“If the same family loses a significant number of working hours or suddenly finds itself on one income due to a shock job loss, that would immediately put them in mortgage stress.”

With record levels of public debt, even if wages do not keep up with the cost of living, whoever will be elected in May would still be “reluctant to bail out owners in order to create even more inflation”, added Mr. Tsuvalas.

“If you’re a landlord and you haven’t set your rates, now is the time to act,” he said.

“Refinancing at a lower rate is also best to start as soon as possible because with all the indicators pointing to rising inflation, rates will definitely start to rise.”

The last time interest rates rose was 11 years ago in November 2010, meaning more than a million homeowners could be facing their first rate hike.

Andrew Walker, chief executive and founder of digital lender Nano, said $400 billion in fixed-rate mortgages from major banks would switch to a variable interest rate over the next two years.

He said he expected many Australians to seek refinance.

“We are sitting on the edge of the fixed rate rollover cliff. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia alone is expected to have a whopping $53 billion in fixed rate mortgages converted to variable rates in the second half of 2023,” Mr Walker said.

“Assuming the other major banks mirror the same structure as the CBA, we could expect to see $400 billion of fixed rate mortgages move to a variable interest rate over the next two years.

“If market expectations for rate hikes are correct, they will be significantly higher, resulting in a sharp increase in repayments.”

KB Securities Selects ICE Index for KB Leverage FANG Plus ETN(H)

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ATLANTA, NEW YORK AND HONG KONG–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading global provider of market data, technology and infrastructure, today announced that KB Securities has selected the NYSE FANG+® 2x daily leverage index (interest rate adjusted total return) for its KB Leverage FANG Plus ETN(H).

The NYSE FANG+ The Daily 2x Leveraged Index (Interest Rate Adjusted TR) offers a daily return approximately twice that of the NYSE FANG+ Index (Total Return) with the application of an overnight interest rate to take account of leverage. The NYSE FANG+ Index (TR) is an equal dollar-weighted index designed to track the performance of highly traded growth stocks of technology and technology-focused companies in the technology, media and technology sectors. communications and consumer discretionary. The KB Leverage FANG Plus ETN(H) started trading on April 19, 2022.

KB Securities, a wholly owned subsidiary of KB Financial Group, is a leading investment bank in Korea that provides asset management services to individuals as well as finance and investment advisory services to corporates. KB Securities is committed to providing investment products tailored to the demands of its clients in different asset classes.

“This new ETN will allow Korean market players to access key FAANG stocks, such as Facebook (Meta Platforms), Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google (Alphabet), via a single instrument,” said Magnus Cattan. , Head of ICE Fixed Income. & Data Services, Asia-Pacific. “We are delighted to have worked with one of Korea’s largest investment banks to launch the first ETN that tracks an ICE index in the country.

“The KB Leverage FANG Plus ETN(H) will provide our investors with access to some of the world’s most recognized companies,” said Ho Young Kim, Head of Equity Trading at KB Securities. “We believe this product offers Korean market participants a unique tool to capture the performance of US-listed technology and technology companies.

ICE’s global family of indices serves as the performance benchmark for $1.5 trillion in fund assets managed by investors around the world. For more information on ICE indices, please visit: https://www.theice.com/market-data/indices.

About intercontinental exchange

Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE) is a Fortune 500 company that designs, builds and operates digital networks to connect people to opportunity. We provide financial technology and data services across major asset classes that provide our clients with access to critical workflow tools that increase transparency and operational efficiency. We operate Exchangesincluding the New York Stock Exchangeand clearing houses that help people invest, raise capital and manage risk across multiple asset classes. Our comprehensive fixed income securities data services and execution capabilities provide insights, analytics and platforms that help our clients take advantage of opportunities and operate more effectively. To ICE Mortgage Technology, we are transforming and digitizing the residential mortgage process in the United States, from consumer engagement to loan registration. Together, we transform, streamline and automate industries to connect our customers to opportunity.

All product names, logos, brands and other trademarks or images mentioned in this press release are the property of their respective owners.

Trademarks of ICE and/or its affiliates include Intercontinental Exchange, ICE, ICE block design, NYSE and New York Stock Exchange. Information regarding additional trademarks and intellectual property rights of Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. and/or its affiliates can be found here. Key information documents for certain products covered by the EU Regulation on packaged retail and insurance-based investment products can be found on the website of the relevant exchange under the heading “Documents of Key Information”. key information (KIDS)”.

Safe Harbor Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 — Statements in this press release regarding ICE’s business that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of additional risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see ICE’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including, but not Limit thereto, the risk factors in the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021, as filed with the SEC on February 3, 2022.

Apple® is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook, Inc. Meta™ is a trademark of Facebook, Inc. Amazon® is a registered trademark of Amazon Technologies, Inc. Netflix® is a trademark of Netflix, Inc. Google® is a trademark of Google, Inc. Alphabet® is a trademark of Alphabet, Inc. Alibaba® is a trademark of Alibaba Group Holding Limited. Baidu® is a registered trademark of Baidu, Inc. NVIDIA® is a registered trademark of Nvidia Corporation. Tesla® is a registered trademark of Tesla, Inc. Microsoft® is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. None of the foregoing entities is affiliated with, endorsed or sponsored by Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates. The inclusion of entity names in this press release does not evidence a relationship with any of these entities in relation to the NYSE® FANG+® Index nor does it constitute an endorsement or sponsorship by any of these entities. NYSE® FANG+® Index or this press release.

SOURCE: Intercontinental Exchange

ICE CORP

Convicted payday loan tycoon Scott Tucker’s Leawood mansion is up for auction

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Federal authorities are holding an auction this Thursday, April 21, of the Leawood home of convicted payday loan tycoon Scott Tucker.

Why is it important: It’s the latest attempt by federal authorities to claw back a fraction of the ill-gotten gains Tucker has amassed running various online payday loan businesses.

Tucker was sentenced in 2018 to 16 years in prison. His modernist Leawood mansion was featured in the Netflix documentary “Dirty Money,” which featured Tucker’s story in an episode of its first season.

The background: Tucker was found guilty of 14 counts, including wire fraud and money laundering, for his involvement in a $3.5 billion online payday loan scheme.

According to the US Department of Justice, from 1997 to 2013, Tucker made small, short-term, high-interest, unsecured loans, commonly known as “payday loans,” via the Internet.

His companies have charged up to 4.5 million people with predatory loans with illegally high interest rates of 700% and more.

The details: This week’s auction will take place online from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday.

A Department of Justice flyer says the starting bid has been set at $420,000 and a deposit of $100,000 will be required.

Located at 2405 W. 114th St. in Leawood, the home is in the Hallbrook Farms subdivision overlooking the golf course.

The property: Built in 2003 on 42,000 square feet of land, the 4,500 square foot mansion features 4 bedrooms, 4.2 bathrooms, kitchen with breakfast nook, great room and office, two fireplaces, patio, a second-floor loft and a four-car garage, according to the flyer.

There is also a 4,200 square foot basement that includes a media room, office, exercise room, game room with a bar, patio, and an additional four-car garage.

A season one episode of Netflix’s “Dirty Money” featured views of the property as Tucker sat down for an interview inside the house.

Netflix teased the episode as a look “behind … Scott Tucker’s lavish lifestyle” and his “secret lending empire built on tribal perks and poor patron profits”.

Capture : The Internal Revenue Service seized Tucker’s property in March 2019 in a bid to recover some of the billions of dollars customers were defrauded by his payday loan business.

In June 2019, more than 1,000 people visited the Leawood home to purchase Tucker’s possession for $85,626 at an estate sale.

Estimating the Embedded Value of Qatar QPSC Industries (DSM:IQCD)

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Does the April share price for Qatar Industries QPSC (DSM:IQCD) reflect what it is really worth? Today we are going to estimate the intrinsic value of the stock by estimating the future cash flows of the company and discounting them to their present value. On this occasion, we will use the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. Before you think you can’t figure it out, just read on! It’s actually a lot less complex than you might imagine.

Remember though that there are many ways to estimate the value of a business and a DCF is just one method. Anyone interested in learning a little more about intrinsic value should read the Simply Wall St.

Check out our latest analysis for Qatar QPSC Industries

Step by step in the calculation

We use the 2-stage growth model, which simply means that we consider two stages of business growth. In the initial period, the company may have a higher growth rate, and the second stage is generally assumed to have a stable growth rate. To start, we need to estimate the cash flows for the next ten years. Wherever possible, we use analysts’ estimates, but where these are not available, we extrapolate the previous free cash flow (FCF) from the latest estimate or reported value. We assume that companies with decreasing free cash flow will slow their rate of contraction and companies with increasing free cash flow will see their growth rate slow during this period. We do this to reflect the fact that growth tends to slow more in early years than in later years.

Generally, we assume that a dollar today is worth more than a dollar in the future, so we need to discount the sum of these future cash flows to arrive at an estimate of present value:

Estimated free cash flow (FCF) over 10 years

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Leveraged FCF (QAR, Millions) ر.ق8.38b ر.ق7.39b ر.ق6.98b ر.ق6.92b ر.ق7.06b ر.ق7.35b ر.ق7.76b ر.ق8.27b ر.ق8.87b ر.ق9.57b
Growth rate estimate Source Analyst x4 Analyst x3 Analyst x2 Is @ -0.93% Is at 2.04% Is at 4.12% Is at 5.57% Is at 6.59% Is at 7.3% Is at 7.8%
Present value (QAR, millions) discounted at 13% ر.ق7.4k ر.ق5.7k ر.ق4.8k ر.ق4.2k ر.ق3.8k ر.ق3.5k ر.ق3.2k ر.ق3.0k ر.ق2.9k ر.ق2.7k

(“East” = FCF growth rate estimated by Simply Wall St)
10-year discounted cash flow (PVCF) = ر.ق41b

After calculating the present value of future cash flows over the initial 10-year period, we need to calculate the terminal value, which takes into account all future cash flows beyond the first stage. For a number of reasons, a very conservative growth rate is used which cannot exceed that of a country’s GDP growth. In this case, we used the 5-year average of the 10-year government bond yield (9.0%) to estimate future growth. Similar to the 10-year “growth” period, we discount future cash flows to present value, using a cost of equity of 13%.

Terminal value (TV)= FCF2031 × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = ر.Þ9.6b × (1 + 9.0%) ÷ (13%– 9.0%) = ر.Þ235b

Present value of terminal value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)ten= ر.Þ235b÷ ( 1 + 13%)ten= ر.ق67b

The total value is the sum of the cash flows for the next ten years plus the present terminal value, which gives the total equity value, which in this case is ر.ق108b. The final step is to divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of ر.ق20.0, the company appears around fair value at the time of writing. Ratings are imprecise instruments, however, much like a telescope – move a few degrees and end up in a different galaxy. Keep that in mind.

DSM: IQCD Discounted Cash Flow April 20, 2022

The hypotheses

The above calculation is highly dependent on two assumptions. One is the discount rate and the other is the cash flows. You don’t have to agree with these entries, I recommend you redo the calculations yourself and play around with them. The DCF also does not take into account the possible cyclicality of an industry or the future capital needs of a company, so it does not give a complete picture of a company’s potential performance. Since we consider QPSC Qatar Industries as potential shareholders, the cost of equity is used as the discount rate, rather than the cost of capital (or weighted average cost of capital, WACC) which takes debt into account. In this calculation, we used 13%, which is based on a leveraged beta of 0.915. Beta is a measure of a stock’s volatility relative to the market as a whole. We derive our beta from the average industry beta of broadly comparable companies, with an imposed limit between 0.8 and 2.0, which is a reasonable range for a stable company.

Next steps:

Valuation is only one side of the coin in terms of crafting your investment thesis, and it shouldn’t be the only metric you look at when researching a company. The DCF model is not a perfect stock valuation tool. Rather, it should be seen as a guide to “what assumptions must be true for this stock to be under/overvalued?” For example, if the terminal value growth rate is adjusted slightly, it can significantly change the overall result. For Qatar Industries QPSC, there are three fundamental elements you need to assess:

  1. Risks: For example, we spotted 2 warning signs for Qatar QPSC Industries you should be aware of, and 1 of them is significant.
  2. Future earnings: How does IQCD’s growth rate compare to its peers and the market in general? Dive deeper into the analyst consensus figure for the coming years by interacting with our free analyst growth forecast chart.
  3. Other high-quality alternatives: Do you like a good all-rounder? Explore our interactive list of high-quality actions to get an idea of ​​what you might be missing!

PS. Simply Wall St updates its DCF calculation daily for every Qatari stock, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any other stock, just search here.

This Simply Wall St article is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It is not a recommendation to buy or sell stocks and does not take into account your objectives or financial situation. Our goal is to bring you targeted long-term analysis based on fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not take into account the latest announcements from price-sensitive companies or qualitative materials. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

Updated interest rate forecasts from the BOE and the ECB

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Overview of central bank supervision:

  • The Bank of England and the European Central Bank are slow to fight against strong inflationary pressures.
  • Rates markets are pricing in a 25 basis point rate hike by the BOE in May, while the ECB is expected to raise rates by 10 basis points in July.
  • retail trader positioning suggests EUR/USD rates have a bearish bias, while GBP/USD rates have a mixed outlook.

Balancing growth and inflation

In this edition of Central Bank Watch, we will discuss the two major European central banks: the Bank of England and the European Central Bank. Both central banks continue to monitor the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on financial market liquidity (thanks to sanctions) and, in turn, have slowed their approach to deal with decades-long spikes in pressures. inflationary pressures in the euro area and the UK. Neither central bank seems to have much “teeth” behind their respective policies at present, leaving both the pound and the euro at a disadvantage.

For more information on central banks, please see the DailyFX central bank release schedule.

BOE Touring Ratings Remain Relatively Low

Among developed economies, the UK is perhaps the worst placed to deal with the twin threats of high inflation and low growth, in effect stagflation. The lack of aggressive forward guidance from the Bank of England exacerbates the problem, as markets have little confidence that the BOE will do what is needed to rein in the strong price pressures, which are at their highest level since 30 years. Of course, this perception comes downstream from comments made by the BOE’s chief economist, Huw Pill, in February, when he said he wanted to avoid “taking unusually large policy actions can validate a market narrative that Bank policy is either foot on the gas or foot on the brake.

Bank of England interest rate expectations (April 19, 2022) (Table 1)

As a result, rates markets don’t seem to buy into the idea that the BOE will act aggressively on inflation anytime soon – leaving the pound at a relative disadvantage when so many other major central banks have jumped in and signaled that they would rapidly raise rates in the coming months. UK Overnight Index Swaps (OIS) discount a 129% chance of a 25bps rate hike in May (a 100% chance of a 25bps hike and a chance 29% of a 50 basis point increase). Rates markets are still pricing in a 25 basis point rate hike at each meeting for the remainder of 2022; while seems aggressive, it’s actually a slower pace than where prices were back in February, before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

IG Customer Confidence Index: GBP/USD Rate Forecast (April 19, 2022) (Chart 1)

Central Bank Watch: BOE & ECB Interest Rate Expectations Update

GBP/USD: Retail trader data shows 75.25% of traders are net long with a ratio of long to short traders of 3.04 to 1. The number of net long traders is 7.23% higher than yesterday’s and 3.99% lower than last week, while the number of net-short traders is 0.92% lower than yesterday and 3.42% lower than this week last.

We generally take a contrarian view of crowd sentiment, and the fact that traders are net buyers suggests that GBP/USD prices may continue lower.

Positioning is longer than yesterday but shorter since last week. The combination of current sentiment and recent changes gives us another GBP/USD mixed trading bias.

The disconnect persists between the ECB and market ratings

As the European Central Bank pointed out last week, an end to stimulus efforts in Q3 22 remains the most likely course of action, putting the euro at a disadvantage in the near term: while other major central banks raise their rates in an attempt to curb price pressures, the ECB will not. Rates markets continue to price in July for the ECB’s first rate hike, but that should disappointgiven that the ECB does not want to raise rates before ending asset purchases.

EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK INTEREST RATE EXPECTATIONS (April 19, 2022) (TABLE 2)

Central Bank Watch: BOE & ECB Interest Rate Expectations Update

Eurozone OIS are pricing in a 10bps rate hike in July (115% chance), which seems too high. €STR, which replaced EONIA, is priced for 60 basis point hikes through the end of 2022 – again, way too high. If the ECB does not raise rates before ending asset purchases – what it has suggested is the course of action – the juxtaposition between the ECB and other major central banks will continue to grow, weighing on the economy. ‘euro.

IG Customer Confidence Index: EUR/USD Rate Forecast (April 19, 2022) (Chart 2)

Central Bank Watch: BOE & ECB Interest Rate Expectations Update

EUR/USD: Retail trader data shows that 72.85% of traders are net long with a ratio of long to short traders of 2.68 to 1. The number of net long traders is 1.32% higher than yesterday and 0.55% lower than last week, while net-short trader counts are 0.09% lower than yesterday and 3.12% lower than this week last.

We generally take a contrarian view of crowd sentiment, and the fact that traders are net long suggests that EUR/USD prices may continue to decline.

Traders are sharper than yesterday and last week, and the combination of current sentiment and recent shifts gives us a stronger contrarian EUR/USD-bearish trading bias.

— Written by Christopher Vecchio, CFA, Senior Strategist

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IT News Online – Singapore-Based FinTechs TechCreate and Diginius to Merge and Consolidate into Integrated Fintech Company, TechCreate Group; Focus on powering the future of payments in Asia

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ACN Newswire
2022-04-19

Singapore, April 19, 2022 – (ACN Newswire) – TechCreate Solutions Private Limited (“TechCreate”), a Singapore-based technology services group specializing in innovative digital payment and digitization solutions, and Diginius Pte. (“Diginius”), a provider of IT security and infrastructure solutions, is pleased to announce a merger between the two companies via a share exchange transaction that will add value to the expanded fintech company, TechCreate Group, at $30 million, based on a valuation that was recently completed by one of the Big 4 accounting firms.

From left to right: Mr. Lim Heng Hai, (CEO of TechCreate Group) and Mr. Ronald Vong, (Managing Partner of TechCreate Group)

As a trusted leader in digital solutions, TechCreate has been at the forefront of technological innovation and since its inception has developed its own Real-Time Payment Engine (RTE) that can further enhance the payment capabilities of financial and banking institutions. Leveraging its technology expertise, legal experience, and extensive operational experience, TechCreate has successfully implemented end-to-end digital solutions (such as payment gateways, API gateways, and blockchain solutions, among others) for several banking and financial institutions in Asia.

Leveraging Diginius’ strengths in intelligence and security for actionable cyber resilience, Diginius has earned a growing reputation with a focus on providing technology solutions related to cybersecurity, hyperconverged IT infrastructure and secure application services. Diginius also works with some of the industry’s indisputable experts in cybersecurity and secure infrastructure services, coupled with cutting-edge technologies to provide a springboard for the next phase of digital transformation.

Current CEO of TechCreate, Mr. Lim Heng Hai, will be appointed CEO of TechCreate Group, while current CEO of Diginius, Mr. Ronald Vong, will be appointed Managing Partner of TechCreate Group.

Strategic Rationale – Powering the Future of Payments in Asia

According to a Mckinsey report released in November 2020, Asia has outpaced all other regions in payments revenue growth over the past few years. The region is also the largest contributor to global payments revenue, generating more than US$900 billion in 2019, nearly half of the global total. The payments industry in Asia is expected to return to mid to high single digit growth rates and by 2022 or 2023 generate over $1 trillion in annual revenue.

Notably, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated payment megatrends in Asia and chief among them was the growing number of digitally connected and active consumers, with the rise of e-commerce markets reinforcing the need for solutions. digital. The competitive landscape was simultaneously heating up, with the entry of formidable new players – including telcos, fintechs, “big techs” and other conglomerates – prompting incumbents to step up their own innovation efforts.

Meanwhile, regulators have sought to standardize infrastructure while encouraging competition, pushing the introduction of real-time payments, digital know-your-customer (KYC) and various local payment systems.

With a focus on powering the future of payments in Asia, TechCreate Group aims to provide cutting-edge innovation and technology capability to enhance value creation for its customers as follows:

– Expanded Business Scale with Integrated Solutions: Having the capabilities to provide more comprehensive and integrated technology solutions related to payment and digitization platforms to serve new and existing customers across Asia.

– Strong potential to create new customer value propositions: ability to expand reach and serve diverse customer segments with differentiated requirements and objectives, creating the opportunity and potential to develop proprietary insights and aligned innovative solutions on new trends in payments and digitization in Asia.

Commenting on the merger, Mr. Lim Heng Hai, CEO of TechCreate Group, said, “This is a transformational transaction for both companies, creating an expanded company with end-to-end digital payment offerings in markets high growth verticals as economies in Asia. accelerate their digitization roadmap.

Through our combined capabilities, this amplifies our mission to be a leading provider of innovative, customer-centric and environmentally friendly technology solutions in Asia.”

Mr. Ronald Vong, Managing Partner of TechCreate Group, added, “We are confident that the strengths of the combined company will enable significant growth for stakeholders, delivering new value and insights to better serve our markets and customers.

At the same time, it can accelerate our growth and capitalize more effectively on our pipeline and broader market opportunities within the banking and financial sectors in Asia. »

For more information on the TechCreate Group, please visit: http://www.techcreate.com.sg/

Published on behalf of TechCreate Group by 8PR Asia Pte Ltd.

Media Contact:
Mr. Alex TAN
Mobile: +65 9451 5252
Email: [email protected]

Copyright 2022 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. www.acnnewswire.com

 

Today’s mortgage refinance rates continue to climb | April 18, 2022

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Our goal at Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, hereafter referred to as “Credible”, is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we promote the products of our partner lenders who pay us for our services, all opinions are our own.

See mortgage refinance rates for April 18, 2022, up from last Thursday. (Credible)

Based on data compiled by Credible, mortgage refinance rate increased across all mandates since last Thursday.

Rates last updated on April 18, 2022. These rates are based on the assumptions presented here. Actual rates may vary.

If you’re considering doing a cash refinance or refinancing your home loan to lower your interest rate, consider using Credible. Credible’s free online tool will allow you to compare the rates of several mortgage lenders. You can see pre-qualified rates in as little as three minutes.

What does that mean: Although refinance rates continue to rise, homeowners looking to borrow to finance a major purchase, project, or expense will still find the lowest interest costs with a cash refinance. Refinance rates remain significantly lower than other common financing options like personal loans and credit cards.

WHAT IS CASH-OUT REFINANCING AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

How mortgage rates have changed over time

Current mortgage interest rates are well below the highest average annual rate recorded by Freddie Mac – 16.63% in 1981. A year before the COVID-19 pandemic upended economies around the world, the mortgage rate he average interest on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage for 2019 was 3.94%. The average rate for 2021 was 2.96%, the lowest annual average for 30 years.

The historic decline in interest rates means that homeowners with mortgages from 2019 could potentially realize significant interest savings by refinancing with one of today’s lowest interest rates.

If you’re ready to take advantage of today’s mortgage refinance rates that are below average historical lows, you can use Credible to check rates from multiple lenders.

How to get your lowest mortgage refinance rate

If you’re interested in refinancing your mortgage, improving your credit score, and paying off any other debt, you could guarantee you a lower rate. It’s also a good idea to compare rates from different lenders if you’re hoping to refinance so you can find the best rate for your situation.

According to a study by Freddie Mac.

Be sure to shop around and compare current mortgage rates from several mortgage lenders if you decide to refinance your mortgage. You can do it easily with Credible’s free online tool and view your pre-qualified rates in just three minutes.

How does Credible calculate refinance rates?

Changing economic conditions, central bank policy decisions, investor sentiment, and other factors influence how mortgage refinance rates move. Credible’s average mortgage refinance rates reported in this article are calculated based on information provided by partner lenders who pay compensation to Credible.

The rates assume a borrower has a 740 credit score and is borrowing a conventional loan for a single-family home that will be their primary residence. Rates also assume no (or very low) discount points and a 20% deposit.

The credible mortgage refinance rates listed here will only give you an idea of ​​today’s average rates. The rate you receive may vary depending on a number of factors.

Think now might be a good time to refinance? Be sure to shop around and compare rates with multiple mortgage lenders. You can do it easily with Credible and view your pre-qualified rates in just three minutes.

Are refinance rates higher than purchase rates?

Refinance rates are generally higher than rates for new mortgages to buy a home. Here are some factors that influence the higher rates:

  • Risk – A borrower who refinances on a shorter term to get a lower interest rate and pay off their loan sooner may end up with a higher monthly payment. This higher payment could translate into an increased risk of default. Similarly, in cash refinances, the borrower’s debt-to-equity ratio increases – and possibly their risk of default.
  • Revenue – A lender may be able to make more money with a purchase loan than with a refinance. Many homebuyers choose longer terms for purchase mortgages, which come with higher interest rates. Refinancing at a shorter term and/or lower interest rate reduces the amount of interest the lender earns over the life of a loan.
  • Costs – Refinancing a mortgage comes with many of the same closing costs you’ll face when taking out a new mortgage, such as an appraisal, attorney’s fees and more. Closing a refinance also has costs for the lender. But while the lower interest rate and shorter term you get with a refinance benefits you financially, the lender will earn less interest over the term of the refinanced loan.
  • Your credit — Hopefully your credit continues to improve once you become a homeowner. But that’s not always the case for everyone. A homeowner whose credit rating has actually dropped since the original home purchase may seem like a bigger risk to lenders, who may charge a higher interest rate to offset the perceived risk.

Do you have a financial question, but you don’t know who to contact? Email The Credible Money Expert at [email protected] and your question may be answered by Credible in our Money Expert section.

As a credible authority on mortgages and personal finance, Chris Jennings has covered topics like mortgages, mortgage refinance, and more. He was a publisher and editorial assistant in the online personal finance space for four years. His work has been featured by MSN, AOL, Yahoo Finance, etc.

Faulty toll project; action needed against roadside debris; The Truxtun bathroom must be supervised; no tax increase

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Governor Larry Hogan is advancing a plan to build a massive public/private toll project in Maryland – the Capital Beltway (I-495) and I-270 expansion. The Maryland Department of Transportation has already solicited bids from developers and is in the process of offering a contract to the Board of Public Works before a final environmental analysis is completed.

The supplemental draft environmental impact statement garnered 183 pages of technical and legal commentary by the November 30 period close. The statement is the latest in a flawed National Environmental Policy Act process that fails to assess reasonable alternatives, ignores environmental and human health. and limits the ability of the public to make meaningful comments on the proposed toll lane expansion project, including modifying versions of the summary section of the SDEIS without notice less than 13 days prior to the comment deadline.

To cite just one example, the plan would negatively affect six national park sites and dozens of local parks, 1,500 acres of forest cover, 30 miles of waterways and 50 acres of wetlands.

Before retiring, I worked in Oregon for the US Forest Service and it was my sole responsibility to write and edit a document on the National Environmental Policy Act. So, I know how important it is – especially the audience comment part.

Here are the highlights of the comments on the SDEIS:

· The Maryland Department of Transportation failed to disclose hidden costs to ratepayers, cumulative impacts, and impacts to specific sites of cultural significance.

Information presented in the SDEIS shows that the Governor’s expansion plans will create new and greater traffic and safety issues at major interchanges and merge areas, and permanently harm the irreplaceable natural, historic and environmental resources of the Maryland.

· The SDEIS does not look closely at environmental justice issues and ignores the harms environmental justice communities would suffer during the construction and operation of the proposed expansion.

· The SDEIS contains no discussion of human health and environmental effects of increased greenhouse gases and other air emissions, in direct violation of NEPA.

Janet K. Schlosser, Odenton

The only way for the public to reach the Governor’s office on matters requiring the assistance of its staff is to leave a message. This is a voice mail only system in which Governor Hogan’s recording states a promise that “one of my staff will contact you as soon as possible”. I left two messages in March with no response from staff. I think this lack of courtesy/attention to the voting/paying public deserves Capital Gazette review and reporting.

The issue our community needs Governor (staff) help with is the unresponsive and dysfunctional SHA customer service management system that for a long period of time ignored dozens of requests to clean up debris and curbside trash drive along SHA roads in our area. Pictures of dirty, dirty public roads in northern Anne Arundel County would say a lot, if I could pick them up and send them.

Attempts to achieve results since January have failed. We need the weight of the Governor’s office to try to get results. Yet the governor’s non-response is that we don’t matter. The Baltimore Sun printed a letter to the editor on this issue, but it came to nothing. I think these issues are worth pointing out. I am ready to share details.

Laura Graham, Linthicum

In just a few months, we will mark the anniversary of the renovation of Truxtun Park. I frequent Truxtun and it is evident that there is robust use of this refurbished facility.

Given the increased use of courts, there is also an increased demand for sanitary facilities. Currently there is a port-a-potty that often needs cleaning/sanitizing and is frankly disgusting. With the hot summer months fast approaching, the City of Annapolis should arrange for additional facilities that are cleaned 3-4 times per week to meet demand.

Joy Goldberg, Annapolis

It’s been almost a month since the freighter Ever Forward has been stuck in the Chesapeake Bay. Since then, efforts have been made to dredge the vessel and the expected removal date is estimated to be mid-April. Although the ship is not in the channel and therefore not blocking other ships, it could cause several environmental problems.

I am a resident of southern Anne Arundel County, where many neighborhoods (such as Fairview, Deale, Selby-by-the-Bay, Cape St Claire, etc.) reside on the waters of the many Chesapeake rivers. If oil from the ship leaks or cargo falls, it could potentially pollute nearby water bodies. This is a viable threat to the boating community, whose income depends on the bay’s ecosystem.

Now anyone would know that the pride of Maryland is its glorious blue crab, eaten with oysters and rockfish. It is for this reason that I implore you, Ever Forward, to move forward slowly in your withdrawal from our waters. To dear readers, I ask to take the Chesapeake with great care. Buy local, leave water spaces better than you found them, and follow environmental guidelines.

Kyrie Plaster, Tracys Landing

The so-called “bridge study” is a scam out of Maryland taxpayers’ money. The bottom line is to get started as soon as possible on a multi-bay bridge solution along the Chesapeake Bay with politics to hell. Otherwise, in 2030 we will continue to be stuck in eastbound or westbound traffic on the bridge.

Harold Eugene Jarboe, Severna Park

Tax Day, the IRS filing deadline, is always greeted with concern by taxpayers. But it’s especially scary this year. We are no longer in prosperous times; The Anne Arundel closures have hurt the economic well-being of employees and business owners, and record inflation is tearing family budgets apart.

Unfortunately, our local leaders don’t seem to feel our pain. County Executive Steuart Pittman has in the past introduced a budget that increases spending and raises property taxes. According to an article in this newspaper, Pittman’s first budget “raised income tax from 2.5% to 2.81% and property tax rates from 90.2 cents per $100 of property assessment. at 93.5 cents”. Pittman also lobbied the state legislature to pass a bill allowing local governments to tax at rates above the current state limit of 3.2%.

While we taxpayers write checks to the IRS and the Comptroller of Maryland, it would ease our anxiety if elected leaders forgo tax increases and allow us to keep more of our hard-earned money.

Steve Slattery, shady side

As Americans file their taxes, it’s important to remember how important the expanded Child Tax Credit has been for children and families.

Changes to the tax credit in 2021, including sending it as a monthly payment, have had a profound impact, according to new research from the Brookings Institution. Child poverty has fallen by 40%. CTC recipients led healthier lives, invested more in their children’s education, and were less likely to rely on payday loans. Families spent their CTC payments on rent, food and clothing for their children – the same costs are rising for all of us now.

But some lawmakers have halted an extension of CTC payments. As a result, 3.7 million children fell below the poverty line in January. And 1.4 million CLC households quit their jobs because they can no longer afford childcare costs.

Economists say expanding the CTC is key to helping families facing rising costs from inflation. How much more evidence do lawmakers need before they do the right thing?

I call on our members of Congress to extend CTC with a permanent full refund and resume monthly payments immediately.

Kathy Bartolomeo, Greenbelt

As our world faces the greatest threats of modern times in the form of war and disease, it is more important than ever that the world’s most vulnerable populations receive the support they desperately need. As evidenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, global emergencies are hitting low-income and poorest communities the hardest. Extreme poverty is a shockingly widespread problem that prevents the global community from responding with resilience to such crises.

Thus, each of us must do our part to convince our representatives in the House and in the Senate that international aid must be a priority in this increasingly interconnected world. As a student at the University of Maryland, I called, emailed, and wrote Representative Steny Hoyer, as well as Sens Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen Jr. to ask for their support on legislative texts. keys.

One example is the MINDS Act, a bill in Congress that would provide crucial investments in mental health programs around the world, particularly focused on the well-being of children.

I urge other members of our community to do the same; contacting your representatives is quick, easy and can have a massive positive impact on the lives of so many. Many of the people who make up the various communities across the state of Maryland are immigrants or have ties to the very nations that desperately need our support at this time. Through our collective voices, we can influence change.

Shawn Edelstein, College Park

I write to honor public servants for the invaluable, often unnoticed, service they provide to the public every day.

Public servants are the heart of every community, and their work is felt at the local, state, and federal levels in a variety of ways. They are scientists who develop lifesaving vaccines and medicines, homeland security officers who protect our borders, postal workers who ensure the timely delivery of essential goods to households and businesses, and first responders who fight the crime and put out fires.

Military officers protect our freedom and our democracy. Sadly, many have sacrificed their lives to protect ours. These are just a few of the many occupations within the public service that many Americans dedicate to their careers.

Americans should express our thanks for these hard-working public servants who prove America’s resilience, especially in the face of a global threat like the COVID-19 pandemic. They make every extraordinary day possible.

Marsha Padilla-Goad, Alexandria, Virginia

Interest rate hikes could impact India Inc’s FY23 earnings

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High commodity prices are already hurting India Inc. To top it off, the Reserve Bank of India has signaled that interest rate hikes are coming.

Economists expect the first hike in June. Unsurprisingly, analysts polled on Bloomberg lowered their June 23 fiscal quarter earnings per share (EPS) estimates for the Nifty 50 companies by 8.9%.

Can India Inc double down on its troubles? Not enough.

An analysis of the Nifty 500 universe indicates that nearly 52% of companies, or 218 out of 415 (excluding banks and financial services), have seen their interest coverage ratio deteriorate over the past four years. i.e. from the highest rates of 2018 to the lowest on record. 4.5% which prevailed in March 2020.

The deterioration in interest coverage was particularly high in sectors such as autos, consumer discretionary, hotels, chemicals and real estate, while it improved in sectors such as cement , steel, tires, energy and fertilizers.

In the case of companies such as Tata Motors, Aditya Birla Fashion and Indian Hotels, for example, the interest coverage ratio fell into the negative zone during the December 2022 quarter (Q3 FY22).

To put this into context, the interest coverage ratio is an indicator of a company’s ability to pay interest on loans. A higher ratio means that the company is in good financial health to service the debt.

If the number is gradually decreasing, it suggests pain in finances. A negative ratio means that a company is not generating enough operating profit to meet its financial obligations.

Risk to FY23 Earnings

The improvement in earnings in FY21 was largely due to cost cutting, particularly low interest rates.

For Nifty 500 shares, despite revenue declining 7% YoY, net profit increased 56% YoY in FY21, driven by numerous cost reduction measures taken by India Inc and to the strong support of RBI. in the form of a low repo rate.

As banks passed the cost-benefit on to borrowers, companies used it to reduce their debt.

In FY22, even as operating expenses rose 40%, lower interest charges and robust revenue growth post-Covid crisis drove net profit growth for Nifty Businesses 500 for the nine months ending December 2021.

In fact, the gearing ratio – which is a measure of leverage – has been reduced to 0.55x for the six months ended September 2021, from around 1x in FY18.

Despite these tailwinds, at least half of Nifty 500 companies have seen their interest coverage ratio decline since fiscal 2018.

Things are changing once again, with input costs rising faster than expected due to the conflict in Ukraine.

Despite the 8.9% decline in EPS in the June quarter of FY23, Nifty 50’s full-year earnings estimates – at around ₹823 per share – remain almost intact, and that could be in the hope of a faster recovery than expected. -up in revenue growth.

However, if interest costs play the role of the waste, a hit to profits across the board may be unavoidable.

Published on

April 16, 2022

Canadian Payments Forecast Market 2022: How New Technologies, Business Models and FinTech are Helping to Shape the Future

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Dublin, April 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The “Canadian Payments Forecast, 2022” report has been added to from ResearchAndMarkets.com offer.

Two years of the COVID-19 pandemic have seen drastic changes in the performance of the Canadian economy and dramatic shifts in consumer spending and payment habits. The war in Ukraine is also expected to have a significant impact on the global economy, with ripple effects rippling through Canada and likely to be felt for years. What was expected to be a promising year with the easing of pandemic restrictions now looks fraught with additional pitfalls economically, which could have a substantial impact on the payments industry in Canada.

The “Canadian Payments Forecast 2022” provides detailed information on how developments in the Canadian economy caused by responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have affected and are likely to affect payments from consumers in Canada, and how this should play out in the years to come in the context of new technologies, business models and fintechs that are helping to shape that future.

Based on surveys of over 2,000 Canadian consumers, Canadian Payments Forecast, 2022 is an essential strategic resource for payments professionals, providing essential in-depth information and forecasts on all consumer payment methods to facilitate effective strategic planning and product development in the wake of the pandemic and the likely impact of geopolitical conflict.

The report provides in-depth analysis of each of the major consumer payment segments in the Canadian market. Detailed five-year forecasts are presented on consumer payments and related acceptance infrastructure.

Payment types included in the report:

  • Species
  • Online payments
  • Gift cards
  • Checks
  • Mobile payments
  • P2P payments
  • Debit cards
  • Bill payments and transfers
  • International remittances
  • Credit card
  • Prepaid cards
  • Mobile payments
  • Contactless payments
  • Virtual currencies

Included in this year’s full report update:

  • In-depth analysis of the outlook for the Canadian economy, personal consumption spending and the retail sector as Canada emerges from a pandemic-dominated environment
  • Analysis and forecasts for each major consumer payment segment as the Canadian economy evolves
  • An in-depth assessment of the penetration and acceptance of emerging payment technologies and how they will shape the future of payments
  • Tables of key indicators for all major payment methods

Main topics covered:

  • The Canadian Economy
  • Outlook for Consumer Payments in Canada
    • Species
    • Checks
    • Debit cards
    • Credit card
    • Contactless payments
    • Mobile payments
    • Online payments
    • Mobile payments
    • Bill payments and transfers
    • Prepaid cards
    • Gift cards
    • P2P payments
    • International remittances
    • Virtual currencies
  • Consumer payments in perspective

For more information on this report, visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/nudflv

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Twin Cities home buyers jostle as mortgage rates rise and supply remains tight

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Rapidly rising interest rates are injecting new urgency into the Twin Cities’ housing market, which is already skewed by a lack of listings and an abundance of eager — but often frustrated — buyers.

“There is uncertainty and even a bit of fear,” said Isaac Teplinsky, a Twin Cities real estate agent. “It’s been tough for buyers before. So now that we’re seeing rates go up, the stress is a bit higher.”

Mortgage rates have risen rapidly since the start of the year as lenders preempt the Federal Reserve’s planned interest rate hikes that began last month. Nationally, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit 5% this week for the first time since 2011, Freddie Mac said Thursday.

And on Friday, Minneapolis-area realtors reported home purchases in the Twin Cities fell 9.2% in March to 5,252 purchase agreements signed. Closures, a reflection of agreements signed earlier this year, were also down from last year.

These declines reflect a shortage of enrollment rather than weak demand. During the month of March, there were 6,416 new listings in the metropolitan area, a slight increase from the previous month, but 4.8% less than last year.

And since the start of the year, inventory levels have remained near record lows with less than 5,000 listings available. During the summer months of 2020, there were over 10,000 listings available.

House prices are still rising. In March, the median price of all closures hit a record high of $353,000, a 7.5% increase from a year ago. For someone buying the house at the median price with a 10% down payment, going from a 4% mortgage rate to 5% increased their monthly payment by almost $190.

Twin Cities real estate agents say the rate hike comes at a particularly difficult time for buyers, many of whom are battle-weary after months of hunting.

Grant Chelstrom began shopping for a house in the western suburbs in early December. Fresh out of college, he was living at home and had saved enough to put down a down payment on a house that was priced up to $450,000.

He wanted to spend between $375,000 and $400,000, but soon learned that homes were selling for more than sellers were asking. The first home he bid on was listed at $375,000. He offered $425,000, but the seller chose another offer.

When Chelstrom first started looking for a home, rates were around 3% and then rose steadily to nearly 4%. “The biggest pressure was the interest rate calendar,” he said.

It took him another four tries before he got an accepted offer. One seller received 18 offers, another received more than 20. In most cases, he said, buyers paid at least $50,000 more than the asking price.

When he and his agent, Teplinsky, realized that many of the winning bidders made their bids more competitive by telling sellers they would pay cash, Chelstrom decided to do the same.

And because many homes in his sub-$400,000 price range needed at least some repairs but were still selling for well over asking price, Teplinsky began showing Chelstrom homes that were priced higher. at $400,000 – one prize. which seemed to eliminate a lot of competition.

The strategy worked. He paid $480,000 for a 3,162 square foot home with four bedrooms and three bathrooms in Maple Grove.

“It’s more than I need,” he said. “But not too much.”

Although homes are still selling faster than last year and sellers are often getting more than their list price, there are subtle indications that higher interest rates are having an impact on buyers. A national Redfin survey showed that price cuts are on the rise.

The online brokerage said an average of 3.2% of homes for sale each week had a price drop, including 13% in the past four weeks. That’s up 10% a month earlier and 9% a year ago.

The share of listings with price drops is growing faster during this time of year than it has since at least 2015. Typically, at this time of year, the share of homes with price declines decreases slightly from month to month.

Applications for new mortgages have also fallen in recent weeks, as have applications for refinancing.

In the Twin Cities, market developments have yet to produce significant benefits for buyers. During the month of March, only 3.7% of all listings received a price reduction. That’s on par with last year, according to a report from Realtor.com

“It’s still competitive, but I see it easing a bit as summer approaches,” Teplinksy said. “There are still a lot of buyers who search daily and bid every weekend.”

Comment: Wealth creation will not work as long as wealth extraction continues

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By Jeremiah Greer

Comedy is often the lens through which we wrestle with uncomfortable truths. Chris Rock is one of many comedians who have used his comedy to honestly portray the deep political and economic oppression that black people face. In his routine, “Never Scared,” Rock dives headfirst into the ever-widening racial wealth gap, proclaiming that “there are no rich black or brown people in America. We have no wealth (expletive) Shaq is rich, the white man who signs his check is rich.

Unfortunately, he’s right, and his joke is backed up by volumes of research documenting that the racial wealth gap has grown exponentially over time. If nothing is done, people of color will be permanently excluded from the middle class. According to a report by the Institute for Policy Studies: “If the average wealth of black families continues to grow at the same rate as over the past three decades, it would take 228 years for black families to accumulate the same amount of wealth as white families have today. . That’s just 17 years less than the span of 245 years of slavery in this country.

In recent years, it has become increasingly popular to bridge the racial wealth gap. Everyone from policy advocates and government officials to nonprofits and corporate accountability officers claims to have the answers. Although many act in good faith, most of the proposed solutions are rooted in wealth creation initiatives, primarily focused on increasing homeownership, business ownership and personal savings of Black.

During his campaign and throughout his tenure thus far, President Joe Biden has pledged to address “the issue of racial equity,” incorporating many of these same ideas of wealth creation for close the racial wealth gap. Even big corporations, including JPMorganChase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, have pledged millions of dollars to close the racial wealth gap.

While these wealth creation initiatives are laudable, most of them will fail because they fail to address the root cause of the racial wealth gap: wealth extraction.

The racial wealth gap is a systemic problem and not the product of the personal choices of black people. And no matter how many wealth-creating opportunities we create for black people and other people of color, those efforts will never be effective if we leave the processes of wealth stripping intact.

Unfortunately, racism is profitable. We live in what my organization has called an “economy of oppression,” in which white-led policymakers, busi