Giving thanks for proportional regulations

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » It is difficult to write a column for a global audience and make an analogy that can be understood by all audiences around the world. In the United States, we are about to celebrate Thanksgiving. I considered making a reference to it here, but with some research, I quickly realized not all countries celebrate this holiday and the reference will probably get lost in translation. Australia, Brazil, Grenada, Liberia, Netherlands (one city), Philippines and St. Lucia have similar celebrations, but not necessarily on the same day. Other countries have “harvest” festivals that are similar, also with differing origins and times. So, making a reference to Thanksgiving really does not work for the entire audience of this newsletter.It really reminds me of financial institution regulations. Not all of them work for all types of financial institutions. This is why WOCCU regularly emphasizes including “proportionality” in almost all international standards, so that regulations can be tailored to the size, risk and complexity of a credit union.To that end, I urge you to watch our recent webinar put on by WOCCU’s COVID-19 Response Committee where representatives from the Financial Action Task Force discussed anti-money laundering (AML) risks. There is a good discussion on how AML/CFT regulations at the international level include flexibility within the framework so that these requirements can be tailored for credit unions. Also, look at the recent amendments from FATF on proliferation financing (story below). It includes direction from FATF to apply measures proportionate to the risk of the relevant institutions as well as financial inclusion guidance.Here’s to a happy holiday season for all of us—and more streamlined regulations in 2021.last_img read more

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Swiss corporate pension funds slash conversion rates, study shows

first_imgHeadquarters of the SIX Swiss stock exchangeThe expected pension of an employee who was currently 25 years old would be around 3.1 times higher than the prescribed legal minimum if he or she was contributing to the best plan. If the employee worked at the company with the worst plan, the pension would be only 1.3 times higher than the legal minimum, according to Willis Towers Watson. This discrepancy grew with age, income and the amount of vested benefits when joining a pension fund.The technical interest rates used by corporate pension funds varied from 1.75% to 3%, and were noticeably lower than in the consultancy’s 2015 study.The technical interest rate (technischer Zins or taux téchnique) determines the return on capital for pensioners. The conversion rate, another key parameter in Swiss pensions (Umwandlungssatz, taux de conversion), determines the pension a member is entitled to upon retirement. All else being equal, a lower conversion rate means a smaller pension.“In reality, there is a redistribution from active members to pensioners.”Eileen Long, senior consultant at WTWEileen Long, senior consultant at Willis Towers Watson, said it was interesting to compare the technical interest rate with the return credited to active members’ capital. “Ideally they would be identical,” she said. “In reality the former tends to be higher, which means there is a redistribution from active members to pensioners.”However, many pension funds last year were able to provide active members with a return above the legal minimum – 1.69% as opposed to 1.25%. This was due to generally good returns and a stable financial situation. However, a wide spectrum – ranging between 0.75% and 2.75% – showed how different the individual pension solutions were in practice, the consultancy saidThe conversion rates for the non-mandatory portion of active members’ accumulated assets had also fallen, Willis Towers Watson said.  They ranged between 4.7% and 6.4%. Such large spans were in evidence from previous studies, but the minimum and maximum values had fallen sharply, according to the consultancy. This was also the case for the average conversion rate upon retirement at the age of 65, which had continuously dropped over the past few years. Only 17.4% of all companies in the SLI still used a conversion rate of more than 6%.“There are different approaches to tackling declining investment returns and higher life expectancy,” said Daniel Blatter, consultant at Willis Towers Watson. “However, the trend towards falling conversion rates is in evidence [at all corporate schemes] and leads to lower retirement benefits.” A 25-year old in Switzerland today would be set for a corporate workplace pension five percentage points lower than that of a compatriot only a few years older, according to a study by Willis Towers Watson.It found that retirement benefit levels were falling although contributions were, on average, increasing.The consultancy’s Swiss arm regularly carries out a benchmarking study of the pension plans of companies making up the Swiss Leaders Index (SLI). This comprises the issuers of the 30 largest and most liquid securities in the Swiss equity market. Companies such as ABB, Julius Baer and Nestlé are currently in the index.Willis Towers Watson’s 2017 study covered 23 of the 30 companies in the SLI. According to the consultancy’s study, there were significant differences between individual corporate pension funds and their sponsors in relation to various factors. This led to significant performance differences, so that the retirement benefits of one corporate pension fund could be worth only half those of another.last_img read more

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CRICKET: Cheema blasts Canada to opening day victory over Uganda

Canada captain Nitish Kuma and Uganda cricket captain Karashani hold the trophy pre-event. PHOTO ICCWorld Cricket League Division 3Canada 234/8 in 42 overs( Rizwan Cheema 91(44), Nitish Kumar 43(43), DN Pathirana 35(72), Henry Senyondo 1/48 in 9 overs, Charles Waiswa 2/42 in 7 overs) beat Uganda 168/10 in 38.2 overs (Mohammed Irfan 31(23), Deus Muhumuza 30(54), Cecil Pervez 4/44 n 8 overs, N. Dutta 2/14 in 6 overs) by 66 runsLugogo, Uganda | UGCRICKETcom| Uganda had set up a very strong display of bowling and fielding led by left arm spinner Henry Ssenyondo and a brilliant run out by Charles Waiswa but a costly drop of Canada’s Cheema reminded the hosts that no mistake goes unpunished at this level.Rizwan Cheema smashed 10 sixes to take the game away from Uganda after hosts had Canada in trouble on Day One of the World Cricket League Division 3 at Lugogo.Cheema was eventually caught at deep sqaure leg by Ukani Shehzad diving forward and the Canada innings ended for 234 in their allotted overs.Uganda’s run chase was dented early on by the swing of Cecil Pervez who picked openers Arthur Kyobe and Hamu Kayondo. Uganda eventually fell short by 66 runs. Share on: WhatsApp Uganda takes on Singapore in Entebbe today hoping for better luck.The eight-day tournament ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division 3  involves Canada, Malaysia, Oman, Singapore, Uganda and USA. These are six of the 26 teams who still remain from the 83 Members on the road to the 2019 Cricket World Cup.Source: UGcricket.comREAD FULL STORY HERE (click) read more

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City of Olympia Reports Structure Fire on Fones Road

first_imgFacebook1Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by City of OlympiaAt 12:35 this morning, the Olympia Fire Department responded to a commercial structure fire in a large apartment complex at 1400 Fones Rd SE. 911 Dispatch received multiple calls reporting a fire from one side of a 10 unit building in the complex. Olympia Firefighters arrived 4 minutes later and found fire in the back of the building, extending up the outside wall to the attic spaces and roof. All the residents of the building had evacuated.Initial arriving crews reported heavy fire and smoke from the interior of 2 apartments, the back wall of the structure, the attic and the roof. Firefighters attacked the fire from both sides of the building while ladder companies work on the roof above the fire.  A second alarm was called for additional resources.  Fire spread throughout the attic.  The center 4 apartments of the 10 unit building received significant structural damage from the fire.  The remainder of the apartments received smoke or water damage at a minimum.  The building had fire alarms but not fire sprinklers.  Neighboring buildings in the complex, although close to the fire, were not damaged.This fire response included four Olympia Engine Companies, one Ladder Company, two Medic Units, and a Command Unit.  Lacey Fire District 3 sent one engine and a ladder truck on the initial assignment.  The second alarm brought additional units from Lacey, units from Tumwater and Fire District 6.  There were no injuries to firefighters.  One resident was treated for minor smoke inhalation and transported to the hospital.  Residents were able to evacuate multiple cats, one cat has found by firefighters and reunited with its owner, 2 other cats died in the blaze.Units remain on scene to complete overhaul and begin the fire investigation to determine the cause of the fire. Property and contents loss is estimated at over $1,000,000.  Management at the complex and the American Red Cross were working to care for the displaced residents.  The owners will work with the City of Olympia to rebuild the approximately 20 year old building.  New construction will require fire alarms and fire sprinklers.  Fire sprinklers could have significantly reduced the amount of fire damage in this event.For further information contact Olympia Fire Department 360-753-8348.last_img read more

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Bombers tip off high school hoop season with a victory over Rockers

first_imgThe contest allowed the Bombers to get a taste of action on the eve of the first tournament of the season, beginning Friday at the Hangar and gymnasium at Mount Sentinel.LVR is part of the 12-team boy’s tournament hosted by Mount Sentinel Wildcats.Round robin action begins Friday at both gyms with the finals set for Mount Sentinel Saturday.In the late game, the LVR Junior Bombers defeated the Rockers 35-32. The L.V. Rogers Bombers started off the 2014-15 B.C. High School Boy’s Basketball season with a home court win Tuesday afternoon at the Hangar.The Bombers dumped Stanley Humphries Rockers 57-27 in a West Kootenay Boy’s exhibition contest.The game was the first of the season for both teams.last_img

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CALIFORNIA CUP DERBY QUOTES

first_imgKENNY BLACK (ASSISTANT TO DONALD WARREN), ACCEPTANCE, FOURTH: “He’s been training all right, but for whatever reason . . . we’ll probably find out tomorrow when we get back . . . hopefully he’s fine. He just hung it up for some reason. I’m sure we’ll find out tomorrow. Right now I’m a little bit mystified, because he had everything his own way. He got a little hot going to the gate today, so that’s a little concerning. He was working good and doing everything right; he just didn’t have it today, I guess.” -30- JOCKEY QUOTES BOB HESS JR., MISCHIEF CLEM, WINNER: “A wonderful job by Kent (Desormeaux). The horse has a ton of heart. I questioned his ability to go this far. I think he came through today, and I think more than anything, this is his home track. He loves it here. We were able to train him here, school him here; I didn’t do that last time, and it showed today.“Last time he lost the race in the paddock–before the race. The two horse (Acceptance) is a wonderful horse. He didn’t run his best race today, but he’s a wonderful horse, so no disrespect to him at all. But our horse ran his A-plus race today.“The one (Tough Sunday) kind of got in trouble out of the gate and that kind of changed the complexion of the race. I thought the one would go to the front, the two would lay second, I thought we’d be third. When the one broke slowly and got blocked, then it became more of a jockeys’ race, if you will.”Asked what might be next: “If we think open company, it would be on the synthetic in March at Turfway ($550,000 Spiral, Grade III at 1 1/8 miles on March 21). Until then, we’ll figure out a plan of attack.” KENT DESORMEAUX, MISCHIEF CLEM, WINNER: “This was all Bob (trainer, Hess, Jr.) . . . We were pretty disappointed in his last effort; we’ve always been real high on him. Bob has been entering him in these head-hunting spots because we thought he was ‘all that.’ Every race we always seemed to have a quirk.“The races just didn’t go well, none of them did. He’d either miss a start, hop a start, get stuck inside or last time, he was just too aggressive. In a nutshell, today he was finally able to put everything together and I was able to ride him off my finger tips and he was just the consummate professional and he a got a picture taken.” DRAYDEN VAN DYKE, PULMARACK, SECOND: “He never switched to his right lead and I think that cost him. I think that was about it. I would rather have been where Kluszewski was (in front of us) but I was behind them so I had to go a little wide the whole way.“I think his staying on the left lead mattered and he did hang a little with that other horse. I made a small move turning for home, then I held him again and I tried to let him run again but he just never responded. He did this at Los Al, too, in the King Glorious. I just think he’s still a little green. If he switches leads, he would win the race.”TRAINER QUOTES NOTES: The winning owners are Craig and Lorie Griffin of Phoenix, AZ.last_img read more

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“We Need to Review Our Economic Strategy”

first_imgCBL Acting Governor, Nathaniel Patray-CBL Executive Governor-Designate Tells SenateThe Executive Governor-designate of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) has emphasized the need to review the country’s current economic strategy in terms of reducing reliance on the enclave sector and move onwards towards the agriculture manufacturing sector.Mr. Nathaniel Patray made the statement over the weekend when he appeared for confirmation before the Senate Committee on Ways, Means and Finance at the Capitol Building.“If we should achieve a sustainable growth and ensure a sustainable improvement and development of our economy, we will need to review our current economic strategy in terms of reducing our reliance on the enclave sector, and move onward towards the agriculture manufacturing sector,” Patray, an economist and banker, told the committee.He added that in order to create more jobs for our people, “this I know is cardinal to the national development plan, which will be launched by President George Weah shortly.”Mr. Patray said the anticipated recovery in growth remains far lower than the country’s pre-crisis economic growth rate of 7.5 percent and slightly lower than both sub-Saharan Africa and global growth rate of 3.4 percent and 3.9 percent.At the end of May this year, Mr. Patray recalled that headlines in inflation stood at 21.3 percent, compared to 13.2 percent a year ago, as the Liberian dollar recorded 4.1 percent depreciation against the United States dollar during the same period, which he said has culminated in welfare loss, reduction in the purchasing power of most Liberians, especially the poor.“Therefore, when confirmed, we at the CBL will embark on the use of a mix of available monetary policy instruments to first and foremost ensure broad exchange rate stability, low and stable inflation in the Liberian economy,” Patray, who is expected to be confirmed Tuesday, assured.“While it is true that the prevailing economic fundamentals are unfavorable, I believe a combination of various policy measures and tools from both the fiscal and monetary sides can help reverse the growing exchange rate depreciation and inflationary pressure, and put our economy back on the path of growth and stable inflation,” Mr. Patray maintained.This is why, he said, the technical economic management team (TEMT) was recently constituted by President Weah, to examine prevailing micro-economic issues, challenges and come out with policy options for economic recovery.He said the TEMT team has been working for weeks on major short-term measures to help resuscitate the economy with the following key issues: the sustained decline of the Liberian dollar, which has continued for years through double digit rates of depreciation; and high level inflation, which persists and remains in sight largely on the back of continued depreciation of the Liberian dollar.The policy objective of the TEMT is to take immediate action, to ensure broad exchange rate stability and price stability (meaning low and stable inflation). Under the proposed policy measure, Mr. Patray said the economic team will meet and agree on a number of monetary and fiscal policy measures to be implemented in July, 2018.Mr. Patray added that the policy options, which are two-fold, include the short-term to resuscitate the economy, and medium term measures to revamp and sustain economic recovery.Under the short-term measures for 2018, he said that the economic team has directed the CBL to issue directives to commercial banks to stop the payment of all Liberian dollars legacy note; the old notes to the public to help withdraw the legacy notes; reduce the volume of legacy notes in circulation and control counterfeiting; that the CBL carries out foreign exchange auction exercise in the amount of US$25 million to help meet the demands of the foreign exchange market; minimize the high level of volatility in the foreign exchange market and ensure broad stability in the exchange rate.Also, he disclosed that the CBL has been directed to issue a regulation on currency holding, to help reduce currency outside banks, ensure greater control of the currency in the economy and encourage broad exchange rate stability; that CBL in collaboration with the relevant stakeholders, the Liberia National Police (LNP), Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) and Paynesville City Corporation (PCC), heighten and sustain its enforcement and monitoring exercises to help weed out unlicensed operators, minimize speculations, and control or eradicate quotation of rates and bring order and sanity in the foreign exchange market.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Fair to get arena funds

first_imgLANCASTER – City officials have promised the Antelope Valley Fair $200,000 to help fund the construction of a livestock show arena. With the city’s contribution, the fair now has lined up $600,000 of the arena’s estimated $700,000 price tag. The fair has not yet determined where it will get the remaining $100,000. “I’m confident we’ll come up with the money,” said Dan Jacobs, the fair’s general manager. Fair officials are hoping to have the new arena in place for the 2006 Antelope Valley Fair and Alfalfa Festival in August. The City Council agreed Tuesday night to provide $200,000 of the $300,000 the fair board had requested for the project. City Manager Bob LaSala was directed to put funding for the project in the city’s midyear budget update, said Mayor Frank Roberts. The 12,000-square-foot arena will be half-again bigger than the Jaqua Arena at the old downtown fairgrounds from which the fair relocated two years ago. The new arena will be connected to the clock tower and similar in appearance to the red-and-white livestock barns on each side. The arena will host one of the fair’s signature events, the junior livestock auction. For the past two fairs, the event has been held inside a tent. “It’s going to make life so much nicer for the exhibitors,” Jacobs said. The new arena will be named after attorney R. Rex Parris, whose law firm donated $200,000. The donation is the largest single monetary contribution in the fair’s history. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Age, Gender, Location: The Demographics of the Blogosphere

first_imgGenderThe blogosphere represents a very balanced gender distribution, with women accounting for about 51% of all posts and men accounting for 49%. LocationThe vast majority of bloggers still reside in the U.S. (29.2%), followed by Great Britain (6.75%), Japan (4.88%) and Brazil (4.19%). In the U.S., California plays host to the largest number of bloggers (14.1%), followed by New York (7.16%) and Colorado (5.25%).These numbers, of course, are skewed, as they don’t take the relative size of these countries and states into account. It would be interesting see these numbers on a blogger-per-capita scale. frederic lardinois Tags:#Blogging#Statistics#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts Ten years ago, most people were not aware of blogs and blogging. Today, however, blogging is a mainstream phenomenon. While it doesn’t get the same hype as Twitter and Facebook today, there are still millions of blogs and bloggers out there. Looking at almost 100 million blog posts in its database, social media monitoring and analytics firm Sysomos created a mini-census of today’s blogosphere. Specifically, Sysomos looked at the age, gender and location information attached to these posts.AgeThe average blogger today falls into the 21- to 35-year-old demographic. Indeed, this group accounts for a little bit more than half of all blog posts in the company’s database. Bloggers under the age of 20 account for about 20% of all posts, and bloggers between 36 and 50 account for another 20%. Bloggers over 51 only account for 7.1% of all posts. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

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Solar Energy Can Make the Grid More Resilient

first_imgIn my blog last week, I reported on The Navy Yard in Philadelphia, a remarkable 1,200-acre business campus with 300 companies employing 10,000 people — with as many as 35,000 employees projected eventually. What had attracted me to the facility while I was in town for a conference, was an innovative demonstration that’s been launched showing how solar-electric (photovoltaic) systems with battery back-up and smart controls can help to create a more resilient power grid.This week, I’ll dig a little more deeply into this system, which has been developed by the company Solar Grid Storage, LLC. How a small amount of electricity storage can boost grid resilienceOur electricity grid is a complex and hard-to-manage system. The amount of power (electricity) being generated has to be closely balanced with the amount of power being consumed (demand). Fluctuations in demand occur all the time. In the morning hours between 6 and 8 a.m., for example, a lot of people get up, turn on lights, shower, operate their coffee makers, and turn up the heat (or air conditioning); electricity demand rises significantly.One of the big challenges in managing this fluctuating demand is that most generators can’t be turned on and off quickly. You can’t just throw a switch and expect a several-hundred-megawatt generator start cranking out electricity.With renewable energy power-generation systems — particularly wind and solar — fluctuations in output provide another complication. When the wind stops blowing the output from a wind farm ceases, and when clouds obscure the sun the output of PV systems drops dramatically.Battery storage in a power grid allows electricity to be stored when more is being generated than consumed, and it allows electricity to be pulled out of storage when demand exceeds supply. The same battery bank can allow a critical loads in microgrid to remain powered when the regional grid goes down. This role of batteries in managing the output from wind and solar systems is important and will grow in significance as the percentage of our electricity supplied by renewables grows. Innovation is just beginningThe Solar Grid Storage installations are cutting-edge examples of what we can expect in the years ahead as efforts to effectively integrate renewable energy into the utility grid move forward. “Adding storage to solar projects makes them even more valuable to customers and also provides new benefits to the grid — and all ratepayers,” Solar Grid Storage CEO Tom Leyden told me. “We are proud to be part of what we believe will help usher in the grid of the future.”I believe that such innovations will demonstrate very effective synergies between solar energy (and other renewables), the goals of resilience, and the efficient operation of the power grid. It should be fun to watch! The Philadelphia Navy Yard is Repurposed Getting Power From Solar Equipment When the Grid is DownMaking the Case for Resilient DesignIt Takes a Village to Be ResilientMaking Houses Resilient to Power OutagesResilient Communities Designing Homes and Communities That Can Survive a Disaster The emergence of microgridsWith more intense storms, wildfires, terrorist actions, and other events causing widespread power outages — and likely to cause increasingly common outages in the future, according to many experts — there is growing demand for creating islandable “microgrids.”Microgrids are small to moderate-size power grids, often serving university or medical campuses, that have the capability to be isolated from the regional power grid in the event of a widespread outage. Such systems must have their own generation capacity along with sophisticated electricity management systems. More than fifty military bases have created, or are in the process of creating, microgrids. Military facilities have to maintain operability, even if widespread outages occur, so they are a natural for microgrids. Some universities and hospital complexes have also created microgrids, and the State of Connecticut, heavily hit by Superstorm Sandy, Tropical Storm Irene, and a freak October snowstorm in 2011, has passed legislation to create demonstration microgrids in eight cities.Another advantage of microgrids is that the small-scale power generation needed for such systems takes place close to where the power is being used, so if there is waste heat created in the generation process (as occurs with generators that use steam turbines or fuel cells), that heat can be captured and productively used — an approach referred to as cogeneration or combined heat and power (CHP). Solar Grid StorageBased in Philadelphia, with a few other offices spread around the Northeast, Solar Grid Storage offers a modular system for managing the output of PV arrays and storing power to better balance the output and power availability from large, grid-connected PV systems.Advanced lithium-ion batteries are used in this system. This technology avoids the use of heavy metals like lead and cadmium that are used in other batteries. The technology also allows deep discharge without wearing out the batteries and very rapid recharging — though cost is an issue.The business model for Solar Grid Storage is that the owner of a large PV array would own just the actual array, and Solar Grid Storage would own the inverter, battery system, and other equipment needed to manage the system. These components come packaged in a 20-foot container, which the company (confusingly) trademarked as PowerFactor (at least it’s confusing to those of us who have been trying for years to fully understand what power factor means).The battery bank and controls allow the system to take over instantaneously in the event of a regional power outage.One of the first four of these systems has been installed at The Navy Yard, and my colleagues and I got a chance to tour this facility. This PowerFactor250 system includes a 250-kW inverter and has 125 kWh of battery storage. Being modular, it is shipped directly to the site and can be hooked up quickly.Another, larger PowerFactor system was installed in October, 2013 in Laurel, Maryland for the real estate developer Konterra. That PowerFactor500 system manages power from a 402-kW solar array that is integrated with parking lot canopies, and it includes 300 kWh of battery storage (though 250 kWh would be more typical with the 500 kW inverter). It includes critical loads power that can provide 50 kW of electricity for just over four hours — or more when the sun is shining and generating power. RELATED ARTICLES Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News. In 2012 he founded the Resilient Design Institute. To keep up with Alex’s latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed.last_img read more

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