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"Star Trek"s" William Shatner ventures to space, in real life

At 90, William Shatner set the record for the oldest person to go to space after 10-minute flight aboard Blue Origin. "I am overwhelmed," he said upon return.At 90, William Shatner set the record for the oldest person to go to space after 10-minute flight aboard Blue Origin. "I am overwhelmed," he said upon return......»»

Category: topSource: latimesOct 13th, 2021

"Star Trek"s" William Shatner ventures to space, in real life

At 90, William Shatner set the record for the oldest person to go to space after 10-minute flight aboard Blue Origin. "I am overwhelmed," he said upon return.At 90, William Shatner set the record for the oldest person to go to space after 10-minute flight aboard Blue Origin. "I am overwhelmed," he said upon return......»»

Category: topSource: latimesOct 13th, 2021

Watch live as Jeff Bezos" rocket company launches TV star William Shatner to the edge of space today

Shatner explored the fictional galaxy as Star Trek's Captain James T. Kirk. Now Blue Origin is sending him on an 11-minute jaunt to the edge of space. William Shatner (left) purchased a seat on Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket (right). Blue Origin "Star Trek" actor William Shatner is to fly to the edge of space on a Blue Origin rocket. The Jeff-Bezos-founded company is due to launch Shatner and three others at 9 a.m. CDT (10 a.m. ET) Wednesday. Watch Blue Origin's livestream of the 11-minute spaceflight below. Five decades after debuting as the cosmos-exploring commander Captain James T. Kirk in "Star Trek," actor William Shatner is about to fly to space in real life.Blue Origin, the rocket company Jeff Bezos founded in 2000, is preparing to rocket Shatner and three others to the edge of space aboard its New Shepard launch system at 9 a.m. CDT (10 a.m. ET) Wednesday morning.The entire flight lasts just 11 minutes, with passengers reaching an altitude of 62 miles. They'll get about three minutes of weightlessness.This is the company's second flight with passengers; its first carried Bezos and three others above the planet in July."I'm thrilled and anxious and a little nervous and a little frightened about this whole new adventure," Shatner told the "Today" show last week.At age 90, Shatner will become the oldest person to reach the boundary of space, breaking the record set by 82-year-old aviator Wally Funk on Bezos' July flight.He will share the spaceship with former NASA engineer Chris Boshuizen, healthcare entrepreneur Glen de Vries, and Blue Origin's vice president of mission and flight operations, Audrey Powers. The flight is automated, so no pilot will be on board. Left to right: Chris Boshuizen, William Shatner, Audrey Powers, and Glen de Vries in their Blue Origin flight jumpsuits. Blue Origin The launch was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but poor weather caused a delay.Blue Origin hopes this will be the beginning of an ongoing operation flying high-paying customers to the edge of space. Neither the company nor Shatner have disclosed how much the seats cost. A spot on the flight with Bezos sold at auction for $28 million, but regular flights cost much less. Competitor Virgin Galactic sells its own suborbital flights for $450,000 per seat.Watch live as Blue Origin flies William Shatner to spaceBlue Origin says it will broadcast the flight, in the video embedded below, starting 90 minutes before liftoff.As the rocket screams through the skies above Texas, the force of its climb and the pull of Earth's gravity will press the passengers into their seats. Then 2 minutes and 45 seconds after liftoff, the rocket should release the passenger capsule, letting it drift up to the boundary of space - an imaginary border 62 miles above sea level called the Kármán Line.Shatner and his companions will be able to see the curvature of the Earth and its thin atmosphere against the blackness of space. A screengrab from video recorded inside the New Shepard capsule in July shows (left to right) Oliver Daemen, Jeff Bezos, Mark Bezos, and Wally Funk in microgravity. Blue Origin For about three minutes, they'll be allowed to unbuckle, flip around weightless, and enjoy the views. Then the passengers must strap back into their seats for the high-speed plunge to Earth. They'll plummet through the atmosphere and feel a jolt as the capsule releases three parachutes to slow its fall and land back in Texas.Blue Origin employees have questioned New Shepard's safety The New Shepard crew capsule parachutes to a landing at Blue Origin's Launch Site One in Texas, January 14, 2021. Blue Origin Shatner's flight comes amid fallout from a recent open letter from current and former Blue Origin employees, which called New Shepard's safety into question."In the opinion of an engineer who has signed on to this essay, 'Blue Origin has been lucky that nothing has happened so far,'" the letter said. "Many of this essay's authors say they would not fly on a Blue Origin vehicle."Alexandra Abrams, who used to head Blue Origin's employee communications, published the letter on the website Lioness in September. Abrams was the only named author, but she said 20 other current and former employees cowrote it. CBS News spoke with five of them. Jeff Bezos descends from Blue Origin's New Shepard capsule after his flight on July 20, 2021. Blue Origin / New Shepard First Human Flight "Competing with other billionaires - and 'making progress for Jeff' - seemed to take precedence over safety concerns that would have slowed down the schedule," the letter said.It continued: "Some of us felt that with the resources and staff available, leadership's race to launch at such a breakneck speed was seriously compromising flight safety."In a statement to Insider, Blue Origin said: "We stand by our safety record and believe that New Shepard is the safest space vehicle ever designed or built." Jeff Bezos inspects a New Shepard rocket booster after it landed from a test flight. Blue Origin The company's statement added that Abrams "was dismissed for cause two years ago after repeated warnings for issues involving federal export control regulations." Abrams denied receiving such warnings.New Shepard has flown 16 times - a strong record. It also has an emergency-escape system that should jettison the passenger capsule away if the rocket malfunctions. Blue Origin has tested the escape system on the launchpad, in midair, and in space.Still, no federal agency regulates the safety of passengers on private commercial spaceflights. For now, the Federal Aviation Administration just ensures that these rocket launches don't pose a threat to other aircraft or to people on the ground.About 1% of US human spaceflights have resulted in a fatal accident, according to an analysis published earlier this year. That's about 10,000 times higher than the rate on commercial airplanes.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 13th, 2021

Watch live as Jeff Bezos" rocket company launches TV star William Shatner to the edge of space on Wednesday

Shatner explored the fictional galaxy as Star Trek's Captain James T. Kirk. Now Blue Origin is sending him on an 11-minute jaunt to the edge of space. William Shatner (left) purchased a seat on Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket (right). Blue Origin "Star Trek" actor William Shatner is about to fly to the edge of space on a Blue Origin rocket. The company, founded by Jeff Bezos, is scheduled to launch Shatner and three other passengers on Wednesday. Watch Blue Origin's livestream of the 11-minute spaceflight below. Three decades after starring as the cosmos-exploring commander Captain James T. Kirk in "Star Trek," actor William Shatner is about to fly to space in real life.Blue Origin, the rocket company Jeff Bezos founded in 2000, is preparing to rocket Shatner and three others to the edge of space aboard its New Shepard launch system on Wednesday morning. The entire flight lasts just 11 minutes, with passengers reaching an altitude of 62 miles. They'll get about three minutes of weightlessness.This is the company's second flight with passengers; its first carried Bezos and three others above the planet in July."I'm thrilled and anxious and a little nervous and a little frightened about this whole new adventure," Shatner told the "Today" show last week.At age 90, Shatner will become the oldest person to reach the boundary of space, breaking the record set by 82-year-old aviator Wally Funk on Bezos' July flight. He will share the spaceship with former NASA engineer Chris Boshuizen, healthcare entrepreneur Glen de Vries, and Blue Origin's vice president of mission and flight operations, Audrey Powers. The flight is automated, so no pilot will be on board. Left to right: Chris Boshuizen, William Shatner, Audrey Powers, and Glen de Vries in their Blue Origin flight jumpsuits. Blue Origin After the passengers climb aboard the gumdrop-shaped space capsule atop the rocket, they're scheduled to blast off from Blue Origin's Texas launchpad on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. ET. The launch was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but poor weather caused a delay.Blue Origin hopes this will be the beginning of an ongoing operation flying high-paying customers to the edge of space. Neither the company nor Shatner have disclosed how much the seats cost. A spot on the flight with Bezos sold at auction for $28 million, but regular flights cost much less. Competitor Virgin Galactic sells its own suborbital flights for $450,000 per seat.Watch live as Blue Origin flies William Shatner to spaceBlue Origin says it will broadcast the flight on its Youtube channel starting 90 minutes before liftoff. Insider will embed that video here once it's available.As the rocket screams through the skies above Texas, the force of its climb and the pull of Earth's gravity will press the passengers into their seats. Then 2 minutes and 45 seconds after liftoff, the rocket should release the passenger capsule, letting it drift up to the boundary of space - an imaginary border 62 miles above sea level called the Kármán Line.Shatner and his companions will be able to see the curvature of the Earth and its thin atmosphere against the blackness of space. A screengrab from video recorded inside the New Shepard capsule in July shows (left to right) Oliver Daemen, Jeff Bezos, Mark Bezos, and Wally Funk in microgravity. Blue Origin For about three minutes, they'll be allowed to unbuckle, flip around weightless, and enjoy the views. Then the passengers must strap back into their seats for the high-speed plunge to Earth. They'll plummet through the atmosphere and feel a jolt as the capsule releases three parachutes to slow its fall and land back in Texas.Blue Origin employees have questioned New Shepard's safety The New Shepard crew capsule parachutes to a landing at Blue Origin's Launch Site One in Texas, January 14, 2021. Blue Origin Shatner's flight comes amid fallout from a recent open letter from current and former Blue Origin employees, which called New Shepard's safety into question."In the opinion of an engineer who has signed on to this essay, 'Blue Origin has been lucky that nothing has happened so far,'" the letter said. "Many of this essay's authors say they would not fly on a Blue Origin vehicle."Alexandra Abrams, who used to head Blue Origin's employee communications, published the letter on the website Lioness in September. Abrams was the only named author, but she said 20 other current and former employees cowrote it. CBS News spoke with five of them. Jeff Bezos descends from Blue Origin's New Shepard capsule after his flight on July 20, 2021. Blue Origin / New Shepard First Human Flight "Competing with other billionaires - and 'making progress for Jeff' - seemed to take precedence over safety concerns that would have slowed down the schedule," the letter said.It continued: "Some of us felt that with the resources and staff available, leadership's race to launch at such a breakneck speed was seriously compromising flight safety."In a statement to Insider, Blue Origin said, "We stand by our safety record and believe that New Shepard is the safest space vehicle ever designed or built." Jeff Bezos inspects a New Shepard rocket booster after it landed from a test flight. Blue Origin The company's statement added that Abrams "was dismissed for cause two years ago after repeated warnings for issues involving federal export control regulations." Abrams denied receiving such warnings.New Shepard has flown 16 times - a strong record. It also has an emergency-escape system that should jettison the passenger capsule away if the rocket malfunctions. Blue Origin has tested the escape system on the launchpad, in midair, and in space.Still, no federal agency regulates the safety of passengers on private commercial spaceflights. For now, the Federal Aviation Administration just ensures that these rocket launches don't pose a threat to other aircraft or to people on the ground.About 1% of US human spaceflights have resulted in a fatal accident, according to an analysis published earlier this year. That's about 10,000 times higher than the rate on commercial airplanes.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 12th, 2021

25 Secret Santa gifts under $25 they"ll actually want to keep

If you're doing Secret Santa, do it right. Check out our list of Secret Santa gifts that won't get regifted, all under $25. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Uncommon Goods You don't have to spend a lot on Secret Santa gifts to find something that's still special. We rounded up 25 fun gifts under $25 that they'll actually really like. Check out all of our gift guides for even more inspiration, including White Elephant gift ideas. Sign up for Insider Reviews' weekly newsletter for more buying advice and great deals In theory, Secret Santa is a great idea. In practice, it can be a little underwhelming. You could end up with that cozy scarf your best friend knew you wanted - or, you could end up with lackluster socks from your neighbor that will definitely end up in your re-gift pile.Whether you're responsible for getting a gift for someone you know really well or someone you barely do, get them a gift they won't relegate to the storage closet. If you're spending money, make it count with something they'll actually want. Don't worry, we already did the grunge work and found 25 gifts that your secret Santa recipient will love. We've got everything from the more generically-appealing, like chocolate for your sweet coworker, to the more personal, like a portable cheese melter for your cheese-obsessed friend. Plus, they're all $25 or less, so scroll with abandon.Most of these items are available with expedited shipping, and some should arrive within a few days' time, so don't stress too hard if you've left it to the last minute - just remember that the sooner you order, the better your chances of a timely arrival.Keep reading for all 25 Secret Santa gifts under $25: A LED ring light for video calls and pictures Amazon UBeezie 10" LED Ring Light with Tripod, available at Amazon, $21.99Secure the best lighting for your friend that always needs to be camera-ready. This luminous ring light is the perfect solution for getting the best angles whether it's video calls or content creation posts. The ten-inch ring light comes with a desk tripod stand, 360 degrees of adjustable phone angles, and three lighting modes with 11 brightness levels. A healthy popcorn maker Best Buy Bella 12-Cup Hot Air Popcorn Maker, available at Best Buy, $14.99This popcorn maker makes movie night at home much more easier and enjoyable as they never have to leave their spot. This must-have item pops 12 tasty cups of healthy, homemade popcorn with no oil required. A reusable bag that's cute and sustainable Baggu Standard Baggu, available at Baggu, $12If they hate single-use plastic, they'll love this cute, reusable bag. It comes in a variety of fun colors and patterns and the simple style makes it a go-to choice for bringing to the gym, grocery shopping, or even to use like a purse. Lip balm inspired by "Schitt's Creek" Beekman 1802 Rose Apothecary Tinted Lip Balm, available at Beekman 1802, $8Any fan of "Schitt's Creek" will love getting to feel like they shopped at David's chic general store, Rose Apothecary. Part of a limited edition collection, this tinted lip balm is made from natural goat milk and botanicals, and fittingly scented with the signature Beekman 1802  fragrance, Heirloom Rose.  A portable cheese melter Amazon Boska Holland Partyclette Melting Pan, available at Amazon, $16.99Melted cheese can make pretty much every meal better. If you don't believe us, check out this video to see the gooey goodness in action.  A small speaker they can fit in their pocket Amazon Rokono Bass + Mini Speaker, available at Amazon, $19.22 This speaker isn't the best in the world audio-wise (for that you'll have to spend a bit more), but for less than $20 it's a great choice. Give it the friend that values convenience, since this thing is so small they fit it in their pocket and can literally take it anywhere.  A healing Himalayan salt lamp Amazon Mineralamp Glow Salt Lamp, available at Amazon, $19.97Himalayan salt lamps have recently become a big trend in home decor, but they're also said to have healing properties that can potentially help purify the air around them. Whether they believe in the health benefits or not, anyone can enjoy the warm glow and aesthetic appeal of this hand-carved, 100% pure Himalayan salt lamp. A set of reusable straws Crate & Barrel Stainless Steel Drinking Straws, available at Sur la Table, $14.95 (set of 6)For those trying to make a positive impact on the planet, give them these reusable straws so they never have to rely on the wasteful plastic ones again. Use these for cocktails, lemonade, frozen coffee drinks, smoothies, and more. A carry-on cocktail kit to make flights a little more bearable Uncommon Goods Old Fashioned Carry-On Cocktail Kit, available at W&P, $24This kit fits right in their carry-on bag and has all of the fixings for two Old Fashioned cocktails. All they need to do is add whiskey or rye. This cocktail kit can be enjoyed at any altitude, but it will most definitely make for a fun flight activity, and help inspire future travels when the time is right.  A five-year journal that asks the big questions - and little ones, too Urban Outfitters One Question a Day Journal, available at Amazon, $14.59A gift for your ambitious friend who's always asking where you see yourself in five years. Help them answer this question for themselves, with a daily journal that poses a new question each day for five years. A letter board they can leave fun messages on Amazon Felt Letter Board, available at Amazon, $20.99This is a fun message board and a great piece of home decor all in one. They'll love using this to display mantras, messages for roommates, or just to show off some random thoughts. It comes in plenty of colors, so you're sure to find one that fits their space and aesthetic.  A french press coffee maker for their morning brew Amazon OXO Good Grips Shatterproof French Press, available at Amazon, $20.99A French press makes it easy to enjoy delicious, rich coffee every morning. It's not as quick as a Keurig (you have to let the grounds steep for a few minutes), but the results are worth the wait. Plus, they'll love that they can fill it with their favorite beans.  A face mask that calms red and irritated skin Nordstrom Mario Badescu Azulene Calming Mask, available at Amazon, $18This light, refreshing face mask is made with botanical ingredients that calm irritated skin. It's delicate on skin and will leave it looking more hydrated, even, and refreshed.  A spice set for rescuing bland pizzas Uncommon Goods Pizza Rescue Kit, available at Etsy, $15All pizza is not created equal. That's why the pizza aficionado in your life deserves this pizza rescue kit. With three flavorful spices, this set will transform even the most "meh" slices to something delicious. If you're not sold, it was made by New Yorkers — and they know good pizza.  A best-selling book for foodies Amazon "Salt Fat Acid Heat," available at Amazon, $16.67Home cooks will love honing in on their craft with this book. Don't expect just a recipe book, though. The vivid illustrations in this one help explain how to master cooking techniques by looking at those four important elements that are in everything we cook and eat.  A diary for sports, music, or movie lovers Uncommon Goods Ticket Stub Diary, available at Uncommon Goods, $14A great gift for anyone who is constantly attending shows, concerts, or sports games — and never throws away their tickets. Instead of keeping them hidden in a shoe box or desk drawer, they can use this diary, which has plastic sleeves to fit all different kinds of tickets as well as open margins on the sides where they can scribble notes to remind them of each event.  A tracker for keys, wallets, bags or any other important items they’re prone to lose Amazon Tile Mate, available at Tile, from $24.99Your forgetful friends and family will be so thankful for this gift. They can place this tracker in their wallet, purse, or phone case to make sure they never lose their things, because if they do, the Tile app makes it easy to retrace.  A cute set of planters Amazon Mkono Modern Succulent Planters, available at Amazon, $21.99 for threeHelp them add some greenery to their space with these cool concrete planters. Add some small plants if you want to complete the gift.  A mini, portable pinball machine Urban Outfitters Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, available at Amazon, $21.99This pint-sized pinball machine brings all of the fun and nostalgia of their favorite retro arcade game. It even comes with a keychain, so they can take it with them wherever they go. A cozy beanie for impending chilly days Urban Outfitters Loose Knit Beanie, available at Urban Oufitters, $15It's that time of year when everyone needs a cozy hat. With a classic cable knit, this one is as cool as it is comfortable. A cheese-making kit for chefs and foodies Thrive Market Mozzarella and Ricotta Cheese Making Kit, available at Thrive Market, $24.99The only thing better than cheese is cheese that you made with your own two hands. Cheese fiends will love the chance to make their own favorite Italian cheeses. Plus, once they learn they'll be armed with cheese-making knowledge to last a lifetime — now that's a gift that keeps on giving. A mini waffle maker for the cutest breakfast ever Urban Outfitters Dash Mini Waffle Maker, available at Target, $12.99This miniature waffle maker is adorably small and will look super cute in their kitchen. Plus, it makes for a delicious, easy breakfast. A unique hot sauce blend for an adventurous eater Uncommon Goods Gochujang Sriracha, available at Sur La Table, $9.95Give them a gift to take their hot-sauce habit to the next level. The blend of Thai sriracha and Korean gochujang is sweet, spicy, and unlike anything they've ever tasted before. A shower beer holder for mid-rinse brews Uncommon Goods Shower Beer Holder, available at Uncommon Goods, $15Shower time might not seem like the most opportune moment to crack open a cold one — that is, until now. This silicone beer holder sticks to tile (or any other glossy surface), so they can always have their favorite brew by their side, whatever time it is.  A catch-all inspired by their favorite animal West Elm Llama Trinket Dish, available at West Elm, $23.40Everyone could use a catch-all to collect the small odds and ends around the house. Llama lovers will love using this cute trinket dish modeled after their favorite animal. A set of cool coasters that's worthy of Instagram Society6 Blue Aqua Agate Coaster, $12.79 (set of 4), available at Society6Let's be real — nobody wants water stains and rings on their nice tables, but admittedly, telling guests to put down coasters first isn't the coolest move. These agate-style coasters are practical, but also add a nice aesthetic, so you'll actually want to leave them out to be used. A history lesson with their cup of tea Uncommon Goods Tea Leaf Reading Set, $23, available at Uncommon GoodsGive tea lovers the chance to try something new every day with this tea leaf reading kit. It comes with a mug, loose leaf tea, and of course a lesson that explains how to read different symbols. A convenient phone grip for texting on the go Amazon PopSockets Grip, starting at $9.97, available at AmazonThey might seem unnecessary at first, but PopSocket Grips are extremely useful. They can use them as a kickstand to prop up their tablet and to comfortably hold their phone while reading on the subway. It's a very useful way to spend $10 (or less.) An adult card game that will make parties a lot more interesting Amazon Cards Against Humanity, $25, available at AmazonIf they don't already own Cards Against Humanity, you owe it to them. It's a fun party game that always leaves everyone cackling, and I'm not the only one that thinks this — the game has over 29,000 5-star reviews on Amazon. A cute mug that lets them track their travels Uncommon Goods Color Map Mugs, $25, available at Uncommon GoodsNo matter what they're sipping on, they'll love doing so in this mug that they can completely customize. With the included markers they can color in the destinations they've been to or want to go to, for a map of the world that's unique to them.  A scratch-off bucket list to spur their next adventure Uncommon Goods 100 Things To Do Scratch Off Poster, $15, available at Uncommon GoodsThis bucket list suggests 100 unique activities to look forward to once they're safe again — from little things like "take a cooking class" to big ones like "see the Northern Lights." They can scratch each box off after they complete it to reveal a colorful image. It's a cool poster to have hanging and a definite conversation starter. A faux plant desk organizer for much needed greenery and tidiness Amazon Kikkerland Potted Pen Phone Stand, $12, available at AmazonIf they're stuck inside an office all day, they could benefit from the sight of something green. This plastic plant isn't as good as the real deal, but it adds some much-needed color and works as desk decor, plus it functions as a phone stand and organizational tool. A stylish cheese and pastry board Amazon mDesign Modern Marble Round Pastry Board, $21.99, available at AmazonFor the entertainer, this elegant marble cheese or pastry serving board will make for a great addition the next time they host a wine and cheese night. To complement the board, you can also pick up a matching wine bottle chiller. A hilarious coffee table book Uncommon Goods "F in Exams," from $7.93, available at Uncommon Goods or AmazonThis is a great gift for the person who can laugh at the little things in life, or for anyone who works as a teacher. It's a collection of hilarious wrong test answers that is sure to keep them laughing. A bestselling body moisturizer Nordstrom Kiehl's Creme de Corps, 2.5-ounce, from $11.90, available at NordstromHelp them treat their skin right with Kiehl's beloved, and super-hydrating Creme de Corps, another one of our favorite remedies for dryness. A sweet snack they'll enjoy eating Uncommon Goods Decadent Chocolate Fondue, $24, available at Uncommon GoodsSweeten up their holiday season with this incredibly easy-to-make chocolate fondue. All they have to do is heat up the stoneware containers (which are pre-filled with chocolate) and find some fruit for dipping. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 11th, 2021

Vale (VALE) Halts Operations at Onca Puma Mine in Brazil

Vale S.A (VALE) is halting operations at its Onca Puma nickel mine after a state agency suspended its operating license due to alleged non-compliance with local regulations. Vale S.A VALE recently announced that it has halted all activities at Onça Puma mine, Brazil, following the suspension of its operation license by a State Agency on allegations that the company has failed to comply with conditions for licensing. Following the news, Vale’s shares have dipped 2% on Oct 4.  Vale is currently evaluating the direct impact of the shutdown on total production. Onca Puma accounted for 7.5% of the company's total nickel production in 2020. The shutdown is likely to lead to probable losses incurred by those that are part of its value chain, such as suppliers, contractors, clients, and employees, in addition to the Federal government, the State of Pará and the municipalities reached by the operations.The company is in contact with the Environmental and Sustainability office of the Pará State to understand the technical and legal grounds for the suspension of the license. It is also taking appropriate measures to reverse the order to suspend mine operations.Vale had to shut down the Onca Puma mine earlier in September 2017 owing to allegations of negative impact on the health of communities near the mine. In June 2019, the company suspended its nickel processing activities at the Onça Puma plant. Subsequently, in September 2019, the Federal Supreme Court decided to suspend the injunctions and allowed the resumption of operations at Onça Puma.The company produced a total of 214.7 kt of nickel in 2020, which was up 3% year over year, driven by improved performance from Onça Puma and increased source ore from Indonesia, partly negated by the COVID-19 impact. Onca Puma’s output for the year was 16,000 tons. Excluding Vale New Caledonia (“VNC”), nickel production was 183.7 kt in 2020, in line with 2019.Vale’s Base Metals business, which includes exploration efforts related to nickel, copper, cobalt, PGMs and gold and silver, has gone through a broad safety review of the operational process, resulting in comprehensive overhaul of maintenance standards, procedures, training and oversight. It anticipates improvements from maintenance activities to materialize throughout the business this year. The company is working toward transforming its base metals business and believes it will attain 500 ktpy (kilo tons per year) with projects already in pipeline — Salobo III, Alemao and Cristalino.In June 2021, Vale announced first ore production on its Reid Brook deposit at the Voisey’s Bay Mine Expansion Project in Northern Labrador. Home to one of the largest nickel deposits in the world, Voisey’s Bay has been producing nickel from an open-pit operation since 2005. The transition to underground involves the development of two underground mines — Reid Brook and Eastern Deeps, thus extending the life of Vale’s Labrador operations and achieving production of 40,000 tons of nickel in concentrate at a peak annual production rate of 2.6 million tons by 2025, with about 20,000 tons copper and 2,600 tons of cobalt as byproducts. The project is 66% completed, with executed capital expenditures of $1,323 million and Eastern Deeps expected to start operations in 2022.The ore produced at Voisey’s Bay is processed at Vale’s Long Harbour — one of the world’s lowest emission nickel processing plants. The sustainably-produced, responsibly sourced nickel, copper and cobalt products will help meet future customer demand in the electric vehicle and clean energy space as the industry focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lowering carbon footprints.So far this year, shares of Vale have fallen 17.2%, compared with the industry’s decline of 15.2%.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThis can primarily be attributed to the recent plunge in iron ore prices due to weak demand in China on account of its intensified curbs on steel production and slowdown across its property sector. In the third quarter of 2021, iron ore plummeted 49% — the first quarterly loss since the first quarter of 2020. Copper prices have plunged amid a stronger dollar and growing concerns about the Chinese real estate market. Meanwhile, inflated input and freight costs will weigh on its margins.Zacks Rank & Key PicksVale currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).Some better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space include Veritiv Corporation VRTV, Nucor Corporation NUE and Teck Resources Ltd. TECK. All of these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Veritiv has a projected earnings growth rate of 214.9% for the current year. The company’s shares have skyrocketed 359% year to date.Nucor has a projected earnings growth rate of roughly 534.4% for the current year. The company’s shares have rallied 82% so far this year.Teck Resources has a projected earnings growth rate of 305.3% for the current year. Year-to-date, the company’s shares have gained 42% in a year. Zacks' Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence In 2021, this world-changing technology is projected to generate $327.5 billion in revenue. Now Shark Tank star and billionaire investor Mark Cuban says AI will create "the world's first trillionaires." Zacks' urgent special report reveals 3 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 3 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report VALE S.A. (VALE): Free Stock Analysis Report Nucor Corporation (NUE): Free Stock Analysis Report Veritiv Corporation (VRTV): Free Stock Analysis Report Teck Resources Ltd (TECK): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 6th, 2021

Veeva Systems" (VEEV) New Offering to Optimize Lab Operations

Veeva Systems' (VEEV) Vault LIMS is expected to help manufacturers optimize lab management and significantly simplify their systems landscape via a unified suite of quality and lab applications. Veeva Systems Inc. VEEV recently announced a new cloud application — Veeva Vault LIMS — with the aim of modernizing quality control lab operations. Vault LIMS, which is expected to be available in the second half of 2022, is a part of the Vault Quality Suite, which includes Vault QMS, Vault QualityDocs and Vault Training.For investors’ note, Vault Quality Suite allows manufacturers to smoothly manage quality and lab operations in one unified solution. It also provides the power and scalability required across the life sciences value chain.The latest addition to Veeva Systems’ portfolio is expected to strengthen its position in the global cloud application space.Significance of the LaunchVault LIMS’ addition to Veeva Vault Quality Suite is expected to aid manufacturing organizations to effortlessly connect their lab operations with the broader quality ecosystem. This, in turn, is likely to simplify sample management, test execution and lab investigation processes for faster batch release and reduced inventory carrying costs. Vault LIMS is expected to allow easy information sharing between lab users and partners, and deliver real-time data for better decision-making.Per a renowned customer of Veeva Systems, the availability of Vault LIMS is expected to provide a powerful and modern cloud solution, including quality operations, thereby propelling greater efficiency and effectiveness across quality.Per Veeva Systems’ management, Vault LIMS is likely to combine lab and quality applications to enhance productivity as well as advance time to market.Industry ProspectsPer a report by Emergen Research, the global healthcare cloud computing market was estimated to be $25.90 billion in 2019 and is anticipated to reach $90.46 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 17.9%. Factors like rising demand for cloud technology in healthcare facilities, increasing demand for cost-effective healthcare services and a shift toward value-based payments are expected to drive the market.Given the market potential, Veeva Systems’ latest offering is expected to provide a significant boost to its global business.Recent DevelopmentsOf late, Veeva Systems has witnessed a few notable developments across its business.This month, the company announced that the global medical products company, ConvaTec, has adopted Veeva Vault CDMS to provide electronic data capture, coding and data cleaning for their upcoming study on the detection of wound infections.Also in September, Veeva Systems announced that Emmes is standardizing on Veeva Development Cloud applications across functional areas to enable greater speed and compliance. The company will use applications in Vault Clinical, Vault Quality, and Vault Safety suites to establish a technology foundation for delivering clinical research and pharmacovigilance services to its global customers.Further this month, the company announced a new application — Veeva Vault Validation Management — which will enable more efficient and cost-effective validation lifecycle management.Price PerformanceShares of Veeva Systems have gained 1.4% in the past year compared with the industry’s 9.2% growth and the S&P 500's 34.1% rise.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchZacks Rank & Key PicksCurrently, Veeva Systems carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).Some better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are Henry Schein, Inc. HSIC, IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. IDXX and West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. WST.Henry Schein’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 13.9%. The company presently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.IDEXX’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 19.9%. It currently has a Zacks Rank #2.West Pharmaceutical’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 27.3%. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2. Zacks' Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence In 2021, this world-changing technology is projected to generate $327.5 billion in revenue. Now Shark Tank star and billionaire investor Mark Cuban says AI will create "the world's first trillionaires." Zacks' urgent special report reveals 3 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 3 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Henry Schein, Inc. (HSIC): Free Stock Analysis Report IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (IDXX): Free Stock Analysis Report West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (WST): Free Stock Analysis Report Veeva Systems Inc. (VEEV): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 29th, 2021

Brookfield officially opens Manhattan West

Brookfield Properties today announced the opening of Manhattan West, its mixed-use destination spanning eight-acres of dining, hospitality, entertainment, luxury residences, modern office space and experiential retail. With Skidmore, Owings & Merrill serving as the master architect, the complex is centered around a 2.5-acre urban pedestrian plaza with gardens and public... The post Brookfield officially opens Manhattan West appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Brookfield Properties today announced the opening of Manhattan West, its mixed-use destination spanning eight-acres of dining, hospitality, entertainment, luxury residences, modern office space and experiential retail. With Skidmore, Owings & Merrill serving as the master architect, the complex is centered around a 2.5-acre urban pedestrian plaza with gardens and public seating. The plaza will be enlivened year-round with free, public arts and events curated by Arts Brookfield, Brookfield’s cultural programming department. Creative retail experiences focused on health, wellness and emerging brands and more than 25 culinary concepts will line the plaza, offering visitors an enticing open-air shopping and dining experience.  Manhattan West connects to Moynihan Train Hall “Manhattan West is New York City’s newest destination for innovative culinary and cultural experiences,” said Ben Brown, Managing Partner, Brookfield’s real estate group. “More than three decades in the making, Manhattan West combines exceptional dining, entertainment and retail – opening today –  with state-of-the art office space, luxury residences and a stunning boutique hotel, all surrounding a 2.5-acre landscaped public plaza. “We are incredibly proud that Manhattan West will contribute to the energy and dynamism of New York City as the city continues to come back to life. We would like to thank our first-class partners and teams for helping us to realize this large-scale, long-planned and monumental vision.”   Manhattan West’s new restaurant concepts bring together a selection of powerhouse names in the culinary industry. Opening early fall, Ci Siamo is the newest restaurant from Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group and Chef Hillary Sterling that centers around live-fire cooking and an Italian-inflected menu. Serving as an all-day neighborhood kitchen, Meyer also brings his Daily Provisions concept to Manhattan West.  Arriving next month, Citizens New York will bring an elevated quick service culinary market with hotspots including Umami Burger, Krispy Rice, Sam’s Crispy Chicken, Sa’Moto, El Pollo Verde, Plant Nation and more to the neighborhood along with two restaurant concepts from parent company sbe, the famed west-coast staple Katsuya by Chef Katsuya Uechi and Casa Dani by three-star Michelin Chef Dani Garcia. Located inside of Pendry Manhattan West, Zou Zou’s by Quality Branded is helmed by Chefs Madeline Sperling and Juliana Latif and offers an Eastern Mediterranean menu to the district. Midnight Theater presents a lively riff on Asian classics with its restaurant Hidden Leaf this October, rounding out the signature culinary experiences at Manhattan West.  Pendry Manhattan West Recently opened, Pendry Manhattan West is the latest property in the Pendry Hotels & Resorts portfolio and the brand’s first hotel in New York City. In collaboration with Brookfield Properties, the hotel is designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and features 164 luxury guest rooms, including 30 suites, each with interiors by Gachot Studios and lighting by L’Observatoire International. The hotel has an undulating glass and granite façade, giving the 23-story building an outsize visual impact and creating contemporary, unique bay windows in each room  In addition to Zou Zou’s, opening soon, the hotel is home to its signature Bar Pendry lobby bar, day-to-night space Garden Room, dedicated meeting and event spaces, and a 24/7, 1,700 s/f fitness center featuring Technogym equipment and Peloton bikes. Pendry Manhattan West will also provide guests access to Midnight Theatre, a variety theatre in the heart of Manhattan West, featuring talent from the worlds of magic, music, comedy, Broadway, and more.  Citrovia is an interactive art exhibit Manhattan West’s 2.5-acre public plaza designed by James Corner Field Operation has hundreds of movable chairs, tables, benches and planters. Visitors are welcomed by Citrovia, an interactive, outdoor art exhibit that debuted this summer and boasts thousands of whimsical, hand-painted lemons and groves.  Arts Brookfield has further activated Manhattan West’s public spaces with year-round, free, public programming, including interactive cultural events like Theatre For One’s ‘Here Is Future’, an experience that brought together one actor and one audience member for an intimate experience, and STREB EXTREME ACTION by Elizabeth Streb, a series of stunning choreographed feats of physicality, scientifically planned chaos, strength, risk, and elegance. Upcoming art commissions include the Plaza Media Wall in October and a rotating series of public art installations in early 2022. Visitors to the neighborhood can also enjoy scheduled outdoor fitness classes, ping pong tournaments and seasonal activations.  The main plaza. All images by Jakob Dahlin To round out the entertainment experience at Manhattan West, guests will soon be welcome to Midnight Theater. Arriving in October, this contemporary variety theater will serve as a portal to unique stories and experiences featuring talent from the worlds of magic, music, comedy, Broadway, and more.  The neighborhood’s 2.5-acre public plaza is lined with wellness and lifestyle brands creating an indoor-outdoor shopping and dining experience. Tenants include:  Black Fox Coffee, specialty coffee shop and cafeCity National Bank, flagship financial center of America’s premier private and business bankLife Wine & Spirits, wine and spirits shop from C3Midnight Theatre, intimate variety theater with seats for 160 guestsNew Stand, reimagined traditional newsstand that appeals to the modern consumerThe NHL Shop, state-of-the-art retail flagship store that will also act as an event and entertainment space to celebrate the game of hockey, with activations and public events in the plaza including a seasonal ice rinkPeachy, popular skincare and anti-wrinkle treatment studioPeloton Store, retail location for stationary bikes, tread and apparel Peloton Studios, flagship multi-studio location for Peloton digital and in-person group classesPublic Rec, men’s and women’s fashion retailer known for athleisureOPR Eyewear Flagship, hand-crafted eyewear brand from Sorrento, ItalyReset by Therabody, inaugural Manhattan location offering wellness experiences and immersive bodywork and treatmentsRothmans, family-owned and operated men’s clothing storeStarbucks, signature coffee shop with bespoke storefront and to-go windowWhole Foods, eco-minded neighborhood grocer with organic and natural products  Manhattan West is situated at the doorstep to New York’s newest transit hub, Moynihan Train Hall, and one block from the 7-train.  Manhattan West has nearly six-million square-feet of office space occupied by tenants such as the NHL, Earnest & Young, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, JPMorgan Chase and Amazon. Fully leased, luxury residences at The Eugene contribute to the live, work and play environment in the complex.  The post Brookfield officially opens Manhattan West appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklySep 28th, 2021

Investors" reactions to my pregnancy made me feel I should be ashamed to be having a baby. VCs have got to change their attitudes.

Heka cofounder Steph Hind was pregnant when she and her partner were pitching for VC investment. She describes how put off some investors were. Steph Hind with her daughter. Courtesy of Steph Hind Steph Hind hid her pregnancy while seeking investment for the startup she runs with her partner. A group of investors began addressing her cofounder after she revealed they were having a baby. "Alex is perceived as able to manage being a parent and a founder, while I'm expected to choose one over the other." See more stories on Insider's business page. It shouldn't be remarkable that I'm both a mother and founder. I hear that from people in the startup community all the time.But my experience of feeling like I have to hide who I am while seeking investment shows we may talk the talk but don't walk the walk.Just 2.3% of venture capital funding went to female-led companies in 2020, according to the Harvard Business Review.Of those deals, the average investment was less than half of that given to male-founded ventures. It's clear that women are in no way integrated into the VC ecosystem, and that startup culture has a problem with mothers.So, why do women-led ventures carry such onerous connotations, and how do we move past this to put more mothers in the boardroom permanently?I'm exceptionally lucky to be backed by a team of family-orientated, future-looking investors, but it hasn't always been plain sailing.As the only woman in the room, I've previously been treated like a PA in my own investor meetings and dismissed as "too busy" with my daughter to guarantee a return on an investment.My partner Alex and I have loved building our company. We share the founder title, we share the workload, we share our daughter, yet Alex is perceived as being able to manage being both a parent and a founder, while, as a mother, I'm expected to choose one over the other.In January 2021, early on in our bid to seek VC investment, we disclosed my pregnancy to some new investors over Zoom to mixed reactions.I remember one potential investor then only directed questions to Alex after stating I'd "have my hands full" with the baby, with others dismissing my future role with the company - the general sentiment being I'd be out of the picture soon. VCs may publicly encourage women-founded companies but these ones had baulked at learning a female founder was about to be a mother. We took our business elsewhere, successfully over-raising our round.While VCs hold female founder hours to get more women through the door, no space exists for women to compare experiences of being both mothers and founders post-investment.Ultimately, they need to completely overhaul how they define female-focused support.At times, I hid my pregnancy when meeting with new investors over video. In part this was to compare their reactions, but also to seem like a more typical founder - a safer bet to investors.I even went as far to agree with another potential investor when they said I'd be back in the office "a few weeks" after giving birth, knowing full well I'd still be healing, and (with any luck by then) breastfeeding.At that moment, my impending motherhood felt like something to be ashamed of. It's an outmoded attitude to be perpetuating. It ostracizes mothers in an environment that doesn't acknowledge this huge part of their lives.As working online or interacting over video become a bigger and bigger part of our lives, I struggle to see how startup culture can continue this toxic relationship with parenthood. Agile working makes running a company and parenting easier, whether that means working when the baby is asleep or managing people around morning sickness.Heka has 21 investors who are parents. With flexible working common in startups today, it's time VCs caught up with the companies they are investing in to recognize these changes and normalize parenthood. To foster real change, the startup community needs more women angel investors. Crucially, the kind of support VCs and accelerators provide needs to be flexible and sustainable enough to take women-led companies to completion and keep women in the boardroom.An injection of cash isn't enough in the current climate, parents who are founders need to feel that parenthood is in some way factored into their business plans, not something they have to hide the way I did.From personal experience, we currently lack the resources and information needed for women to see themselves as both successful founders and mothers. Our chairman, Michael Whitfield, has been hugely supportive of Alex and myself, and introduced me to the only other founder I know who is also a mother, giving us both the opportunity to compare experiences and breathe a sigh of relief.There is so much more the VC ecosystem could be doing - simply asking the right questions about family life and work-life balance and speaking openly and honestly about parenthood post-investment would go a long way. Championing founder mother voices such as Bumble's Whitney Wolfe is also important, and creating the spaces for women founders to come together to compare experiences opens up the discussion in making motherhood work for them.Ultimately, the sign of any good founder is the ability to create an amazing team. Parenthood has nothing to do with that.One day, female investors will have frank conversations with female founders about their needs as parents. For now, it's time the VC ecosystem wakes up to the shifts in attitude happening in many of the innovative companies they invest in.Steph Hind is cofounder of employee benefits startup Heka.This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 22nd, 2021

Improve Your Video Tours With These 6 Tips

Understanding and leveraging the basics of shooting video tours are excellent foundational skills for every real estate professional, but is that really enough in today’s market? As virtual tours grow in popularity among real estate professionals, it’s critical to find different ways to make your listing stand out. Here are six tips to improve your […] The post Improve Your Video Tours With These 6 Tips appeared first on RISMedia. Understanding and leveraging the basics of shooting video tours are excellent foundational skills for every real estate professional, but is that really enough in today’s market? As virtual tours grow in popularity among real estate professionals, it’s critical to find different ways to make your listing stand out. Here are six tips to improve your virtual tour’s quality and appeal to prospective buyers. 1. Make It Personable It’s critical to maintain the human element in your videos. If the home is the star of the film, think of yourself as the supporting actor that helps bring it to life. Even though it’s a video, be as authentic and genuine as possible when you’re speaking into the camera. Treat it as if you are doing an in-person showing, and try to make every viewer feel like they are actually there with you in person. 2. Show Them What’s Special It should be a given to highlight the best qualities of a listing in your video, but there are ways to really make those features pop. It can be as simple as devoting a little extra time talking about the amenity or feature, or as grandiose as adding post-production effects to get viewers excited about what the home has to offer. How you stage and talk about the features can also go a long way. If the home has a spacious renovated basement or backyard, paint a picture of possibilities for the designated space—think home offices and gyms, man-cave or a “she-shed.” 3. Embrace New Tech Software and other tech are constantly changing to offer new features and capabilities. Apps like Zoom and FaceTime are great for one-on-one showings with a client. At the same time, social media platforms such as Facebook, TikTok and Instagram offer an array of in-app features that can improve a live stream or pre-recorded video production value. Don’t be afraid to dabble in a bit of everything and find what works best for your listing. 4. Let There Be Light Dark rooms don’t inspire excitement in a home. Ensure all lights are on and blinds are open to having a nice mix of natural and artificial lighting throughout the entire video. If there is an area of the house that you’d like to pop in the video, it may be worth considering added lighting equipment. 5. Post-Production Magic Who doesn’t love some background music and effects? Post-production can take a video tour to a new level if done correctly. While agents can outsource to a professional video editor, popular apps like TikTok and Instagram provide several in-app editing features that can spruce up any video if you’re on a budget. 6. Welcome to the Neighborhood Virtual tours typically focus on the listing, but buyers aren’t just looking for a house. They want a home, and the neighborhood is part of that equation. Showcasing some of the community and what it offers could help put people at ease and get them excited about living in the area. Sure, it may add a little time to your production, but it will be time well spent if it generates leads. Jordan Grice is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email him your real estate news ideas to jgrice@rismedia.com. The post Improve Your Video Tours With These 6 Tips appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaSep 21st, 2021

Morgan Freeman Spurns "Defunding Police"; Says "Most Of Them Are Guys That Are Doing Their Job"

Morgan Freeman Spurns "Defunding Police"; Says "Most Of Them Are Guys That Are Doing Their Job" Authored by Louise Bevan via The Epoch Times, Legendary American actor Morgan Freeman, while talking about his upcoming movie “The Killing Of Kenneth Chamberlain,” took the opportunity to express that he rejects the notion of “defunding the police.” While talking to Black Enterprise magazine’s Selena Hill in early October, the 84-year-old actor clarified, “I’m not the least bit for defunding the police. Police work is, aside from all the negativity around it, it is very necessary for us to have them, and most of them are guys that are doing their job. “They’re going about their day-to-day jobs,” he said. “I know some policemen who would never even pull their guns, except on a range.” Morgan Freeman speaks at the 26th Annual Critics Choice Awards on March 07, 2021. (Getty Images) Freeman’s latest film, “The Killing Of Kenneth Chamberlain,” is about the real fatal police shooting of an elderly black Marine vet with bipolar disorder in his home in White Plains, New York. Co-star Frankie Faison, playing Chamberlain, aligned with Freeman’s stance on police defunding while pointing out a discrepancy. “We as entertainment, people in the arts, we’re treated a little differently by law enforcement than people who are just ordinary walks of life,” he told Hill. “I would like for that to stop; I want us all to be treated equally.” In an Instagram post, Hill stated her contrary position as an “avid supporter of defunding the police,” but concurred with the actors that violence against African-Americans at the hand of police should end. While rejecting defunding, Freeman put his money where his mouth is to promote police reform, a movement he supports. In June, alongside University of Mississippi criminal justice professor Linda Keena, the actor donated $1 million to the university’s School of Applied Sciences for a research and specialized training center: the Center for Evidence-Based Policing and Reform. Freeman and Linda Keena attend the 2017 Breakthrough Prize at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, on Dec. 4, 2016. (Kimberly White/Getty Images) “Look at the past year in our country, that sums it up,” Freeman said. “It’s time we are equipping police officers with training, and ensuring ‘law enforcement’ is not defined only as a gun and a stick. “I often talk to police officers when I see them out and ask how they would do their work if they didn’t have guns,” he added. “Support of this center is about finding ways to help officers, and arrive at solutions.” Keena agreed, “The goal should be to give officers as many tools as possible to do their jobs more effectively.” Tyler Durden Sat, 10/16/2021 - 18:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge10 hr. 3 min. ago

I"m in prison and I just had my first contact visit in 500 days. To reduce recidivism, prisons need to prioritize human contact.

The Washington DOC's slogan is "Working Together to Make Communities Safer.'' Now it's time for them to prove it. A visitation requests box in a max-security prison in Louisiana. Getty I'm incarcerated in Washington, and I just had my first contact visit in over 500 days. Studies show that a prisoner's human contact with loved ones makes it easier to reenter society. If correctional departments truly want to avoid recidivism, they should prioritize prison visits. Christopher Blackwell is a writer who is incarcerated at the Washington State Reformatory in Monroe, Washington. This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author. Nervously, I paced, waiting to be called. I wasn't the only one. All of us waiting to be called were anxiously trying to keep ourselves busy, excited to experience what we'd been deprived of for far too long.It had been over 18 months since any of us had contact visits with our loved ones. I was about to see my wife - heart racing, beating fast with anticipation at the thought of finally having her in my arms again. Today, finally, reality was taking over, and seeing her wasn't just a fantasy in my mind anymore. It had been 531 days since our last embrace.How had we gone so long without a single hug or kiss? "What's taking so long? When are they gonna call us?" I thought to myself. The minutes felt like hours, each one harder to sit through than the last. My thoughts were broken by the crack of the intercom speaker. "Powell, Blackwell, Jenson, and James report to the booth for visit," bellowed the distorted speaker. I froze for a second. This was real, I was really about to have Chelsea in my arms again. Reality hit, and I quickly walked towards the door.The walk to the visit room seemed like it would never end. I had to keep reminding myself to just place one foot in front of the other. There were other prisoners walking with me - talking and laughing - but I couldn't make out the majority of what they were saying. I was consumed with the thought of holding her, smelling her scent, and feeling her warm skin pressed tightly against mine after all this time.Still anxious, as if a guard would come out of the building, stop us on the walkway, and tell us visits were cancelled, I continued to walk, speeding up my pace. I needed to get there before our time was taken away again. We've waited for this for so long. We got married at the height of the pandemic in a no-contact prison ceremony. Countless days during the void since we'd last seen each other were spent shedding tears, struggling to maintain our connection, but refusing to drift apart.It was a long and extremely painful struggle - one that's not completely over - and often felt to be too much at times. Over the traumatic period, we continuously reminded each other of all we had to be thankful for, spent hours on the phone, sometimes in silence just to know we were close and in the same "space." Nothing could tear us apart, and we made sure to always remind ourselves of that.Following the other prisoners walking towards the visit room, I approached the door. A guard greeted us. He was respectful, and even tried to crack some jokes. I guess he was trying to lighten the mood. I didn't really hear anything he said, giving a fake laugh and nod, but I was only able to focus on getting through the door to my wife.After being searched by the guard, I was granted access to the room where my wife now sat waiting, just as anxious as I was.There she was. She was beautiful in her summer dress. Little sparkling strawberries that decorated the dress shimmered in the fluorescent lights. She was always the more stylish one. Her green eyes pulled me in and the wait was over. All the time we had been forced to be apart faded away like it'd never even happened. We were lost, encircled by each other's arms, holding on tight.I'd honestly forgotten what it felt like to be held, to feel her loving heart pressed against mine - at that moment they must have been beating in rhythm, because everything around me faded away. For a moment, I wasn't in prison. I was lost in our own little world, a world where nothing mattered but us. I had longed for this every day since our last embrace. Holding my wife, I was reminded of just how important another human's touch can be, just how much we had missed over the time spent apart.Looking around the room it was clear everyone felt the same. Kids were climbing on their dads, eyes bright and full of smiles. Parents were laughing as they hugged their sons. The atmosphere was different - this was the first time in a year and a half I'd seen a whole room full of people genuinely happy.Chelsea and I sat down, consumed with each other's presence. We must have said, "I love you" a thousand times. Before long, we were deep in conversation, enjoying the company we'd so dearly missed. Our hands continued to run over the other's, never pulling apart, greedy for any contact we could receive from the other. It quickly felt like the past 18 months had been nothing more than a distant nightmare, our attention only able to feel the moment we were now so thankful to have.The three hours we were given evaporated in what seemed like minutes, and before we knew it, the intercoms were telling everyone, "visits are now closed, please exit the visit room."Sad and struggling to realize we'd be forced to spend another month apart, we stood and held each other. All I wanted to do was follow her out the door, and leave the prison - and all the pain that comes with it - behind. It wasn't easy. Kids were running back to their dads for one last hug, probably confused on why they were forced to part again, but having no choice.Nevertheless, the visit restored a sense of hope. It reaffirmed the spark in us, and reminded us of the feeling we have when we're in each other's company, a connection that's impossible to obtain over the phone or in letters. There's no replacement for human contact. It's essential.And not only is it good for our souls, but in prison, it helps to maintain and lay the foundation necessary to remain positive and on a path to a productive reintegration back into the free world. In a 1997 study, JD Wooldredge found that there are reduced infractions and "diminished perceptions of overcrowding" when prisoners receive visitors.Additionally, studies have found that prisoners who receive visitors are able to better reintegrate into society after incarceration, and are therefore less likely to recidivate."Making the connections we have with our loved ones are not only of extreme value to us, the incarcerated, but to society as a whole. Because of this, it's important to facilitate the development of positive connections between prisoners and their loved ones. Visits in prison shouldn't be a privilege, but a right, and a top goal of Departments of Correction.The Washington DOC can often be heard using the slogan, "Working Together to Make Communities Safer,'' It's time they prove it. The moments I'm able to spend with my loved ones continue to remind me that I'm somebody that's loved and cared for - that my life has meaning and purpose - and knowing that allows me to strive for more: To be the best I can for not only those I love but also myself and my community.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nyt20 hr. 3 min. ago

Inside the World of Black Bitcoin, Where Crypto Is About Making More Than Just Money

“We can operate on an even playing field in the digital world” At the Black Blockchain Summit, there is almost no conversation about making money that does not carry with it the possibility of liberation. This is not simply a gathering for those who would like to ride whatever bumps and shocks, gains and losses come with cryptocurrency. It is a space for discussing the relationship between money and man, the powers that be and what they have done with power. Online and in person, on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C., an estimated 1,500 mostly Black people have gathered to talk about crypto—decentralized digital money backed not by governments but by blockchain technology, a secure means of recording transactions—as a way to make money while disrupting centuries-long patterns of oppression. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] “What we really need to be doing is to now utilize the technology behind blockchain to enhance the quality of life for our people,” says Christopher Mapondera, a Zimbabwean American and the first official speaker. As a white-haired engineer with the air of a lecturing statesman, Mapondera’s conviction feels very on-brand at a conference themed “Reparations and Revolutions.” Along with summit organizer Sinclair Skinner, Mapondera co-founded BillMari, a service that aims to make it easier to transmit cryptocurrency to wherever the sons and daughters of Africa have been scattered. So, not exactly your stereotypical “Bitcoin bro.” Contrary to the image associated with cryptocurrency since it entered mainstream awareness, almost no one at the summit is a fleece-vest-wearing finance guy or an Elon Musk type with a grudge against regulators. What they are is a cross section of the world of Black crypto traders, educators, marketers and market makers—a world that seemingly mushroomed during the pandemic, rallying around the idea that this is the boon that Black America needs. In fact, surveys indicate that people of color are investing in cryptocurrency in ways that outpace or equal other groups—something that can’t be said about most financial products. About 44% of those who own crypto are people of color, according to a June survey by the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center. In April, a Harris Poll reported that while just 16% of U.S. adults overall own cryptocurrency, 18% of Black Americans have gotten in on it. (For Latino Americans, the figure is 20%.) The actor Hill Harper of The Good Doctor, a Harvard Law School friend of former President Barack Obama, is a pitchman for Black Wall Street, a digital wallet and crypto trading service developed with Najah Roberts, a Black crypto expert. And this summer, when the popular money-transfer service Cash App added the option to purchase Bitcoin, its choice to explain the move was the MC Megan Thee Stallion. “With my knowledge and your hustle, you’ll have your own empire in no time,” she says in an ad titled “Bitcoin for Hotties.” Read more: Americans Have Learned to Talk About Racial Inequality. But They’ve Done Little to Solve It But, as even Megan Thee Stallion acknowledges in that ad, pinning one’s economic hopes on crypto is inherently risky. Many economic experts have described crypto as little better than a bubble, mere fool’s gold. The rapid pace of innovation—it’s been little more than a decade since Bitcoin was created by the enigmatic, pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto—has left consumers with few protections. Whether the potential is worth those risks is the stuff of constant, and some would say, infernal debate. Jared Soares for TIMECleve Mesidor, who founded the National Policy Network of Women of Color in Blockchain What looms in the backdrop is clear. In the U.S., the median white family’s wealth—reflecting not just assets minus debt, but also the ability to weather a financial setback—sat around $188,200, per the Federal Reserve’s most recent measure in 2019. That’s about eight times the median wealth of Black families. (For Latino families, it’s five times greater; the wealth of Asian, Pacific Island and other families sits between that of white and Latino families, according to the report.) Other estimates paint an even grimmer picture. If trends continue, the median Black household will have zero wealth by 2053. The summit attendees seem certain that crypto represents keys to a car bound for somewhere better. “Our digital selves are more important in some ways than our real-world selves,” Tony Perkins, a Black MIT-trained computer scientist, says during a summit session on “Enabling Black Land and Asset Ownership Using Blockchain.” The possibilities he rattles off—including fractional ownership of space stations—will, to many, sound fantastical. To others, they sound like hope. “We can operate on an even playing field in the digital world,” he says. The next night, when in-person attendees gather at Barcode, a Black-owned downtown D.C. establishment, for drinks and conversation, there’s a small rush on black T-shirts with white lettering: SATOSHI, they proclaim, IS BLACK. That’s an intriguing idea when your ancestors’ bodies form much of the foundation of U.S. prosperity. At the nation’s beginnings, land theft from Native Americans seeded the agricultural operations where enslaved Africans would labor and die, making others rich. By 1860, the cotton-friendly ground of Mississippi was so productive that it was home to more millionaires than anywhere else in the country. Government-supported pathways to wealth, from homesteading to homeownership, have been reliably accessible to white Americans only. So Black Bitcoiners’ embrace of decentralized currencies—and a degree of doubt about government regulators, as well as those who have done well in the traditional system—makes sense. Skinner, the conference organizer, believes there’s racial subtext in the caution from the financial mainstream regarding Bitcoin—a pervasive idea that Black people just don’t understand finance. “I’m skeptical of all of those [warnings], based on the history,” Skinner, who is Black American, says. Even a drop in the value of Bitcoin this year, which later went back up, has not made him reticent. “They have petrol shortages in England right now. They’ll blame the weather or Brexit, but they’ll never have to say they’re dumb. Something don’t work in Detroit or some city with a Black mayor, we get a collective shame on us.” Read more: America’s Interstate Slave Trade Once Trafficked Nearly 30,000 People a Year—And Reshaped the Country’s Economy The first time I speak to Skinner, the summit is still two weeks away. I’d asked him to talk through some of the logistics, but our conversation ranges from what gives money value to the impact of ride-share services on cabbies refusing Black passengers. Tech often promises to solve social problems, he says. The Internet was supposed to democratize all sorts of things. In many cases, it defaulted to old patterns. (As Black crypto policy expert Cleve Mesidor put it to me, “The Internet was supposed to be decentralized, and today it’s owned by four white men.”) But with the right people involved from the start of the next wave of change—crypto—the possibilities are endless, Skinner says. Skinner, a Howard grad and engineer by training, first turned to crypto when he and Mapondera were trying to find ways to do ethanol business in Zimbabwe. Traditional international transactions were slow or came with exorbitant fees. In Africa, consumers pay some of the world’s highest remittance, cell phone and Internet data fees in the world, a damaging continuation of centuries-long wealth transfers off the continent to others, Skinner says. Hearing about cryptocurrency, he was intrigued—particularly having seen, during the recession, the same banking industry that had profited from slavery getting bailed out as hundreds of thousands of people of color lost their homes. So in 2013, he invested “probably less than $3,000,” mostly in Bitcoin. Encouraged by his friend Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, one of the largest platforms for trading crypto, he grew his stake. In 2014, when Skinner went to a crypto conference in Amsterdam, only about eight Black people were there, five of them caterers, but he felt he had come home ideologically. He saw he didn’t need a Rockefeller inheritance to change the world. “I don’t have to build a bank where they literally used my ancestors to build the capital,” says Skinner, who today runs a site called I Love Black People, which operates like a global anti-racist Yelp. “I can unseat that thing by not trying to be like them.” Eventually, he and Mapondera founded BillMari and became the first crypto company to partner with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to lower fees on remittances, the flow of money from immigrants overseas back home to less-developed nations—an economy valued by the World Bank and its offshoot KNOMAD at $702 billion in 2020. (Some of the duo’s business plans later evaporated, after Zimbabwe’s central bank revoked approval for some cryptocurrency activities.) Skinner’s feelings about the economic overlords make it a bit surprising that he can attract people like Charlene Fadirepo, a banker by trade and former government regulator, to speak at the summit. On the first day, she offers attendees a report on why 2021 was a “breakout year for Bitcoin,” pointing out that major banks have begun helping high-net-worth clients invest in it, and that some corporations have bought crypto with their cash on hand, holding it as an asset. Fadirepo, who worked in the Fed’s inspector general’s office monitoring Federal Reserve banks and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is not a person who hates central banks or regulation. A Black American, she believes strongly in both, and in their importance for protecting investors and improving the economic position of Black people. Today she operates Guidefi, a financial education and advising company geared toward helping Black women connect with traditional financial advisers. It just launched, for a fee, direct education in cryptocurrency. Crypto is a relatively new part of Fadirepo’s life. She and her Nigerian-American doctor husband earn good salaries and follow all the responsible middle-class financial advice. But the pandemic showed her they still didn’t have what some of his white colleagues did: the freedom to walk away from high-risk work. As the stock market shuddered and storefronts shuttered, she decided a sea change was coming. A family member had mentioned Bitcoin at a funeral in 2017, but it sounded risky. Now, her research kept bringing her back to it. Last year, she and her husband bought $6,000 worth. No investment has ever generated the kinds of returns for them that Bitcoin has. “It has transformed people’s relationship with money,” she says. “Folks are just more intentional … and honestly feeling like they had access to a world that was previously walled off.” Read more: El Salvador Is Betting on Bitcoin to Rebrand the Country — and Strengthen the President’s Grip She knows frauds exists. In May, a federal watchdog revealed that since October 2020, nearly 7,000 people have reported losses of more than $80 million on crypto scams—12 times more scam reports than the same period the previous year. The median individual loss: $1,900. For Fadirepo, it’s worrying. That’s part of why she helps moderate recurring free learning and discussion options like the Black Bitcoin Billionaires chat room on Clubhouse, which has grown from about 2,000 to 130,000 club members this year. Jared Soares for TIMECharlene Fadirepo, a banker and former government regulator, near the National Museum of African American History and Culture There’s a reason Black investors might prefer their own spaces for that kind of education. Fadirepo says it’s not unheard-of in general crypto spaces—theoretically open to all, but not so much in practice—to hear that relying on the U.S. dollar is slavery. “To me, a descendant of enslaved people in America, that was painful,” she says. “There’s a lot of talk about sovereignty, freedom from the U.S. dollar, freedom from inflation, inflation is slavery, blah blah blah. The historical context has been sucked out of these conversations about traditional financial systems. I don’t know how I can talk about banking without also talking about history.” Back in January, I found myself in a convenience store in a low-income and predominantly Black neighborhood in Dallas, an area still living the impact of segregation decades after its official end. I was there to report on efforts to register Black residents for COVID-19 shots after an Internet-only sign-up system—and wealthier people gaming the system—created an early racial disparity in vaccinations. I stepped away to buy a bottle of water. Inside the store, a Black man wondered aloud where the lottery machine had gone. He’d come to spend his usual $2 on tickets and had found a Bitcoin machine sitting in its place. A second Black man standing nearby, surveying chip options, explained that Bitcoin was a form of money, an investment right there for the same $2. After just a few questions, the first man put his money in the machine and walked away with a receipt describing the fraction of one bitcoin he now owned. Read more: When a Texas County Tried to Ensure Racial Equity in COVID-19 Vaccinations, It Didn’t Go as Planned I was both worried and intrigued. What kind of arrangement had prompted the store’s owner to replace the lottery machine? That month, a single bitcoin reached the $40,000 mark. “That’s very revealing, if someone chooses to put a cryptocurrency machine in the same place where a lottery [machine] was,” says Jeffrey Frankel, a Harvard economist, when I tell him that story. Frankel has described cryptocurrencies as similar to gambling, more often than not attracting those who can least afford to lose, whether they are in El Salvador or Texas. Frankel ranks among the economists who have been critical of El Salvador’s decision to begin recognizing Bitcoin last month as an official currency, in part because of the reality that few in the county have access to the internet, as well as the cryptocurrency’s price instability and its lack of backing by hard assets, he says. At the same time that critics have pointed to the shambolic Bitcoin rollout in El Salvador, Bitcoin has become a major economic force in Nigeria, one of the world’s larger players in cryptocurrency trading. In fact, some have argued that it has helped people in that country weather food inflation. But, to Frankel, crypto does not contain promise for lasting economic transformation. To him, disdain for experts drives interest in cryptocurrency in much the same way it can fuel vaccine hesitancy. Frankel can see the potential to reduce remittance costs, and he does not doubt that some people have made money. Still, he’s concerned that the low cost and click-here ease of buying crypto may draw people to far riskier crypto assets, he says. Then he tells me he’d put the word assets here in a hard set of air quotes. And Frankel, who is white, is not alone. Darrick Hamilton, an economist at the New School who is Black, says Bitcoin should be seen in the same framework as other low-cost, high-risk, big-payoff options. “In the end, it’s a casino,” he says. To people with less wealth, it can feel like one of the few moneymaking methods open to them, but it’s not a source of group uplift. “Like any speculation, those that can arbitrage the market will be fine,” he says. “There’s a whole lot of people that benefited right before the Great Recession, but if they didn’t get out soon enough, they lost their shirts too.” To buyers like Jiri Sampson, a Black cryptocurrency investor who works in real estate and lives outside Washington, D.C., that perspective doesn’t register as quite right. The U.S.-born son of Guyanese immigrants wasn’t thinking about exploitation when he invested his first $20 in cryptocurrency in 2017. But the groundwork was there. Sampson homeschools his kids, due in part to his lack of faith that public schools equip Black children with the skills to determine their own fates. He is drawn to the capacity of this technology to create greater agency for Black people worldwide. The blockchain, for example, could be a way to establish ownership for people who don’t hold standard documents—an important issue in Guyana and many other parts of the world, where individuals who have lived on the land for generations are vulnerable to having their property co-opted if they lack formal deeds. Sampson even pitched a project using the blockchain and GPS technology to establish digital ownership records to the Guyanese government, which did not bite. “I don’t want to downplay the volatility of Bitcoin,” Sampson says. But that’s only a significant concern, he believes, if one intends to sell quickly. To him, Bitcoin represents a “harder” asset than the dollar, which he compares to a ship with a hole in it. Bitcoin has a limited supply, while the Fed can decide to print more dollars anytime. That, to Sampson, makes some cryptocurrencies, namely Bitcoin, good to buy and hold, to pass along wealth from one generation to another. Economists and crypto buyers aren’t the only ones paying attention. Congress, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Federal Reserve have indicated that they will move toward official assessments or regulation soon. At least 10 federal agencies are interested in or already regulating crypto in some way, and there’s now a Congressional Blockchain Caucus. Representatives from the Federal Reserve and the SEC declined to comment, but SEC Chairman Gary Gensler assured a Senate subcommittee in September that his agency is working to develop regulation that will apply to cryptocurrency markets and trading activity. Enter Cleve Mesidor, of the quip about the Internet being owned by four white men. When we meet during the summit, she introduces herself: “Cleve Mesidor, I’m in crypto.” She’s the first person I’ve ever heard describe herself that way, but not that long ago, “influencer” wasn’t a career either. A former Obama appointee who worked inside the Commerce Department on issues related to entrepreneurship and economic development, Mesidor learned about cryptocurrency during that time. But she didn’t get involved in it personally until 2013, when she purchased $200 in Bitcoin. After leaving government, she founded the National Policy Network of Women of Color in Blockchain, and is now the public policy adviser for the industry group the Blockchain Association. There are more men than women in Black crypto spaces, she tells me, but the gender imbalance tends to be less pronounced than in white-dominated crypto communities. Mesidor, who immigrated to the U.S. from Haiti and uses her crypto investments to fund her professional “wanderlust,” has also lived crypto’s downsides. She’s been hacked and the victim of an attempted ransomware attack. But she still believes cryptocurrency and related technology can solve real-world problems, and she’s trying, she says, to make sure that necessary consumer protections are not structured in a way that chokes the life out of small businesses or investors. “D.C. is like Vegas; the house always wins,” says Mesidor, whose independently published book is called The Clevolution: My Quest for Justice in Politics & Crypto. “The crypto community doesn’t get that.” Passion, she says, is not enough. The community needs to be involved in the regulatory discussions that first intensified after the price of a bitcoin went to $20,000 in 2017. A few days after the summit, when Mesidor and I spoke by phone, Bitcoin had climbed to nearly $60,000. At Barcode, the Washington lounge, Isaiah Jackson is holding court. A man with a toothpaste-commercial smile, he’s the author of the independently published Bitcoin & Black America, has appeared on CNBC and is half of the streaming show The Gentleman of Crypto, which bills itself as the one of the longest-running cryptocurrency shows on the Internet. When he was building websites as a sideline, he convinced a large black church in Charlotte, N.C., to, for a time, accept Bitcoin donations. He helped establish Black Bitcoin Billionaires on Clubhouse and, like Fadirepo, helps moderate some of its rooms and events. He’s also a former teacher, descended from a line of teachers, and is using those skills to develop (for a fee) online education for those who want to become crypto investors. Now, there’s a small group standing near him, talking, but mostly listening. Jackson was living in North Carolina when one of his roommates, a white man who worked for a money-management firm, told him he had just heard a presentation about crypto and thought he might want to suggest it to his wealthy parents. The concept blew Jackson’s mind. He soon started his own research. “Being in the Black community and seeing the actions of banks, with redlining and other things, it just appealed to me,” Jackson tells me. “You free the money, you free everything else.” Read more: Beyond Tulsa: The Historic Legacies and Overlooked Stories of America’s ‘Black Wall Streets’ He took his $400 savings and bought two bitcoins in October 2013. That December, the price of a single bitcoin topped $1,100. He started thinking about what kind of new car he’d buy. And he stuck with it, even seeing prices fluctuate and scams proliferate. When the Gentlemen of Bitcoin started putting together seminars, one of the early venues was at a college fair connected to an annual HBCU basketball tournament attended by thousands of mostly Black people. Bitcoin eventually became more than an investment. He believed there was great value in spreading the word. But that was then. “I’m done convincing people. There’s no point battling going back and forth,” he says. “Even if they don’t realize it, what [investors] are doing if they are keeping their bitcoin long term, they are moving money out of the current system into another one. And that is basically the best form of peaceful protest.”   —With reporting by Leslie Dickstein and Simmone Shah.....»»

Category: topSource: timeOct 15th, 2021

As the NFT Market Explodes Again, Artists Fend Off Old Art-World Power Structures

NFT sales exploded in August, hitting twice the levels of the first wave back in the spring On Sept. 13, Monica Rizzolli sat in her room in São Paulo and watched her net worth grow by $5.4 million in 48 minutes. Rizzolli is not a day trader or a gambler. She’s an artist whose work consists of sun-kissed petals and wind-whipped blizzards, all created digitally. That day, she was selling a 1,024-piece collection in an auction on the NFT art platform Art Blocks. And despite her relative lack of renown outside of Brazil, the response was emphatic, with collectors shelling out thousands while feverishly discussing color and pattern on the social-messaging app Discord. “Haven’t seen any where the colors don’t blend perfectly,” wrote one. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Rizzolli’s success in that September auction is just one of many examples that disprove the epitaphs written for the NFT market after it receded from its dizzying peak this spring. In March, the artist Beeple sold an NFT collection for $69 million at an auction at Christie’s, provoking astonishment from the outside world. Many were quick to write it off as a blip when the market shrank in May, dropping 90% from its peak. “Who could have seen this coming other than basically anyone?” the website Gizmodo taunted. But the death of NFTs was greatly exaggerated. After lying dormant for a couple of months, NFT sales exploded in August, hitting twice the levels of the first NFT mania back in the spring. Legacy institutions like Visa, Marvel and Major League Baseball jumped into the game, bestowing legitimacy; celebrities like Tom Brady and Doja Cat hypercharged excitement with their own ventures. None of this came as a surprise to those who have been involved in the cryptocurrency space for years. The market, like many others, is inherently choppy, with vicious boom-and-bust cycles that have investors hanging on for dear life, even in boom times. As the NFT art world grows in fits and starts, entrepreneurs, technologists and artists like Rizzolli are taking on the messy work of building a different kind of space: one that prioritizes artists, technological and aesthetic breakthroughs, more resilient systems and community building. NFTs have already spurred the popularity and growth of a fascinating digital art form—generative art—and shifted the discussion around artists’ rights and royalties. This time around, we have an opportunity to flip things around and bring more balance into the systemRead More: Digital NFT Art Is Booming—But at What Cost? But while there has been astonishing innovation, other entrenched frameworks have proved harder to disrupt, with wealth still pooling in the hands of a few, and women and artists of color struggling to find their footing. “White men have the advantage from the very start in crypto; it’s obvious that they’re the first to build up the space,” the Panamanian artist Itzel Yard says. “This time around, we have an opportunity to flip things around and bring more balance into the system.” This fight for balance—between those focused on wealth and those focused on radical change—will continue as the technology hurtles toward mainstream adoption. Courtesy Liam VriesVintage Mozart’s The Children With No Name: Eden sold for about $900 in July At its base level, an NFT, or nonfungible token, is simply a file type. But unlike a traditional PDF or JPEG, NFTs are “minted” on the blockchain—a tamper-resistant, decentralized digital public ledger that also supports cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Dogecoin. And each NFT is unique, with a bit of code that proves its authenticity, making it easier than ever to put a value on digital goods. Over the past year, NFTs have been made out of basketball trading cards (NBA Top Shot has raked in $720 million), music (Kings of Leon made $2 million from NFT sales on an album) and a tweet (Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s first, for $2.9 million). TIME also recently launched an NFT initiative, selling works by selected artists. This spring, art lay at the center of the NFT boom. But much of that art was, frankly, bad: shrines to cryptocurrency champion Elon Musk, 3-D emojis, mimicry of brand signifiers like Gucci or Marvel, conceptual gimmicks like a $1.3 million single pixel. “There are a lot of people for whom the only context they have for NFTs are vulgar displays of wealth,” the technologist Mat Dryhurst said in March. There are still plenty of crude art projects and buyers in it purely for the money. Dozens of cartoonish collectible series, for instance, have been created with the hopes of replicating the fervor surrounding -CryptoPunks, an immensely popular set of pixelated collectible characters. But many others are flocking toward a more ambitious medium: generative art, created by artists who tweak complex bits of code to create dozens or hundreds of works that riff on a theme. Artists use code to create psychedelic patterns, spastic glitchy videos, industrial landscapes and projection mapping. Hundreds of those artists have found a home on Art Blocks. When Erick Calderon launched the platform late last year, he hoped to make crypto-art more financially accessible, showcase artists whose work would match the complexity of anything in the physical modern art world and cater to the cryptocommunity’s desire for scarcity and unpredictability. “I thought people would like the idea of performing part of the art process—and being presented with a tiny piece of the artist’s brain,” he says. There’s a lot of collectors that think about this as a business—and they see white men as the more secure investmentRead More: Teen Artists Are Making Millions on NFTs. How Are They Doing It? Art Blocks has thrived: the platform raked in $243 million in sales in September, making it the most popular NFT art platform and the second most popular NFT platform overall during that time span, according to Crypto-Slam. Ironically, Art Blocks’ runaway success has made its curated auctions way too expensive for most aspiring collectors. But the community has still filled up with rabid devotees who aren’t buying up the art to simply flip it later. One of them, Meredith Schipper, is an interior designer based in Houston with a lively side hustle as an NFT collector and trader with at least 90 artworks to her name. Schipper minted one of Rizzolli’s works for 3.5 ethereum—or roughly $11,900 at the time of auction and far above the auction’s price floor—because she says she loved the artwork and was sick of missing out in the past. “In previous auctions, entire collections have been minted in under two minutes,” she says. Of her experience in the NFT space, Schipper says, “It’s probably the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me. Everyone’s so positive; it makes me feel special and awesome.” Nearly 5,000 miles away in her São Paulo home studio, Rizzolli didn’t even realize she was about to make a fortune. “I’m laughing to myself,” she said a couple hours later. “I hope I will be able to dedicate myself much more: to have good equipment and tranquility. I also want to develop something in the educational field here in Brazil—to return some of this to the community.” With increasingly impressive artwork emerging from the NFT space, gallerists and curators have scrambled to create new spaces to display them. Some of them are in the physical world: an early NFT gallery popped up in downtown Manhattan in April, and Art Blocks just staged its first physical open house in Marfa, Texas. Courtesy Meredith SchipperA screenshot of the collector Meredith Schipper’s virtual gallery Others are attempting to coax curious outsiders into their virtual spaces. Schipper recently set up a virtual gallery, and has delighted in meeting other gallery owners on her pixelated block. Another hub for artists, NFT Oasis, can be accessed for free via an app or through a VR headset, and includes art walks through serene pixelated galleries and concerts from artists like Imogen Heap. Across the board, NFT practitioners say that community is an essential draw of the technology: “It’s like a huge neighborhood where we all kind of know each other,” says Yard, who just a couple of years ago was walking dogs to make ends meet; she has since made $216,000 in sales on the platform Foundation. NFT artists like Yard connect on Discord and Clubhouse, and they have flocked to create decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), a relatively new type of organizational structure that many believe will be the Internet age’s answer to the LLC or the corporation. But while some NFT enthusiasts see a vast, unlimited future, others—women and people of color in particular—have already hit familiar walls. Yard’s rise is a rare success story in an upper echelon dominated overwhelmingly by white men. “There’s a lot of collectors that think about this as a business—and they see white men as the more secure investment,” she says. There isn’t ample data documenting race in the NFT art world, but one study indicates the space has failed to live up to the egalitarian economic promise inherent in crypto’s decentralized nature. For the past couple of years, the artist Sparrow Read and the data scientist Massimo Franceschet have been collecting data from the popular NFT platform SuperRare, and found that revenue generated on the platform has flowed toward a very small group of wealthy artists and collectors. As of June 15, 80% of the platform’s sale volume was dominated by 15% of the richest sellers. “Everyone believes that everyone’s intentions were to create more equality, more opportunity for artists,” Read says. “It feels like nobody wants to say that we are not achieving that.” Read More: NFTs Are Shaking Up the Art World—But They Could Change So Much More While the larger NFT world skews very white and male, women and artists of color are forming their own communities to fight bias and create more opportunities. One of Yard’s friends and protégés, 17-year-old Diana Sinclair, co-founded the herstoryDAO in April for Black female crypto artists. For Juneteenth, they partnered with the NFT platform Foundation to put on an exhibit called “Digital Diaspora,” featuring artwork from prominent artists like Yard and Blacksneakers, with a portion of the proceeds going to charity. But the auction failed to garner even half of what herstoryDAO had projected based on the previous value of the artists’ works. “It was really shocking: there was so much support on social media, but collectors weren’t keen to support us financially,” Sinclair says. When the “Digital Diaspora” auction took place, the NFT market was close to its nadir: NFT art sales for that week were under $4 million, according to Nonfungible. Since then, however, that figure has increased steadily, hitting $84 million the week of Oct. 5. Virtually every other metric tracked by Nonfungible has also increased, including the number of unique buyers active at one time and the number of primary and secondary sales. A second-quarter study from DappRadar in September showed that mass adoption of NFTs is under way, lessening the reliance on deep-pocketed whales; gaming NFTs and collections like the Bored Ape Yacht Club have particularly thrived. Sinclair believes that while the space has agonizing flaws, its communal nature and collaborative spirit could allow for positive change that might have been impossible in the traditional art and finance worlds. Concerns about the immense amount of energy it requires to mint an NFT, for example, have led to the creation of more energy-efficient platforms like Tezos and Palm, which are gaining in popularity. (Ethereum, too, has made its long-awaited conversion to a more energy-efficient system.) Groups that have formed in the past year—like the Mint Fund, Friends With Benefits and the African NFT Community—are using their collective power to create tools and grant funds for underresourced artists. Sinclair is in the NFT world for the long haul, and hopes to learn more about investing so she can have more power in a world that up to now looks a lot like the old one. “The space is too new for anything to be solidified,” she says. “We have more ideas, more plans and a lot more work to do.” —With reporting by Julia Zorthian.....»»

Category: topSource: timeOct 15th, 2021

Soho gets a taste of what could be with new Vision Plan

Soho residents are getting a chance to see how their neighborhood could look if a new “Vision Plan” aimed at turning some of its congested streets into pedestrian plazas and reclaiming Broome Street from Holland Tunnel traffic gets the green light. Every Saturday throughout October, the local BID, the SoHo... The post Soho gets a taste of what could be with new Vision Plan appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Soho residents are getting a chance to see how their neighborhood could look if a new “Vision Plan” aimed at turning some of its congested streets into pedestrian plazas and reclaiming Broome Street from Holland Tunnel traffic gets the green light. Every Saturday throughout October, the local BID, the SoHo Broadway Initiative (SBI), is holding a temporary public demonstration along Prince Street showcasing the new ideas for improving the area through a Public Realm Framework + Vision Plan. Nicknamed “Little Prince Plaza,” the street will be closed to vehicular traffic between Broadway and Mercer Street, opening up space for people to stroll and sit at park benches and tables. The aim is to see how people use the space, learn what works well and what can be improved, and collect feedback for the Public Realm Framework + Vision Plan. “We are excited to partner with residents, business owners, and other local stakeholders to advocate for a more pedestrian-friendly SoHo,” said Mark Dicus, executive director of the SoHo Broadway Initiative. “In addition to increasing space for people, reducing traffic, and improving business operations, these changes will help strengthen SoHo’s position as one of New York’s most iconic and inclusive neighborhoods that welcomes local residents as well as people from around the city and the world.” Ariel view of how Broadway could look if the Vision Plan moves forward The demo comes as a controversial rezoning of a 56-block stretch of SoHo and NoHo stalls amid local concerns about overbuilding and commercialization. Rejected by the local Community Board, the rezoning seeks to add thousands of new apartments to the neighborhood while righting decades of special permit approvals that allowed a patchwork of retail and residential uses while sidelining any type of infrastructure or service delivery upgrades. Last month, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer asked city planners to tweak their current rezoning proposal before she’ll give it any support. But she has given her wholehearted support to the Vision Plan, which has been on the BID docket since well-before the rezoning. Calling it a “bold and impressive plan for how to better manage our shared public space in SoHo,” Brewer said, “The Four Key Moves that this draft plan proposes for Broadway, Prince Street, Mercer and Crosby Streets, and Broome Street that prioritize pedestrians, bus riders, cyclists, and importantly deliveries are exactly the kind of forward-thinking designs that the SoHo Broadway neighborhood has always needed, but are especially important as we begin our recovery from the pandemic.” Those Four Key Moves are: Create more space for people on Broadway: Broadway will be transformed into a curbless bus and pedestrian priority street from Houston Street to Canal Street, seamlessly linking the east and west sides of the street. By diverting all non-local vehicular traffic from Broadway to the perimeter of the SoHo ‘superblock’ (defined by Houston Street, the Bowery, Varick Street, and Canal Street) and improving and streamlining bus, emergency, freight, service, and for-hire vehicle operations, sidewalks can be expanded to improve pedestrian flow and create more comfortable spaces that include amenities such as greenery, seating, and public art. Share Crosby Street and Mercer Street: Mercer Street and Crosby Street will become beautifully restored, pedestrian-friendly curbless streets that effectively incorporate and streamline the District’s curbside operational activity. These low-traffic streets remain quiet, providing a green and comfortable respite from the bustle of Broadway. Mercer Street also provides a much-needed southbound bikeway connection through SoHo. Pedestrianize Prince Street and Howard Street: Prince and Howard Streets adjacent to Broadway will become public plazas featuring seating, greenery, a cafe kiosk, and  neighborhood-appropriate programming. These plazas will increase the District’s supply of usable public space and enhance pedestrian comfort and safety, while improving access and relieving congestion around subway entrances. Reclaim Broome as a local street: Broome Street will no longer operate as a tunnel on-ramp, and instead offer expanded, usable public space, greenery, and cycling facilities that serve the needs of SoHo residents, workers, and visitors. This will be achieved through diverting all tunnel-bound traffic to the perimeter of the SoHo ‘superblock;’ reducing vehicular travel lanes from two to one, adding a dedicated westbound bikeway linking Chrystie Street and Hudson Street; and allocating remaining space for public realm amenities. Rendering of pedestrianized Prince Street Adelaide Polsinelli, a vice chairman at the real estate brokerage Compass who specializes in the sale of commercial retail property around the city, said the Vision Plan offers a constructive solution to a longtime problem in the neighborhood. “In many ways, Soho has become a victim of its own success as a retail hot spot,” said Polsinelli. “Its eclectic mix of stores, boutiques, bars and restaurants have drawn ever more visitors while the number of businesses operating there has mushroomed. All of this has happened during a distinct lack of improvements to the streetscape and the type of small-scale improvements offered in the Vision Plan would go a long way to improving quality of life for everyone.” Local resident Anders Host agrees. “I think this vision is a giant leap forward in terms of quality of life for those of us who live in and visit SoHo,” said Holst. “SoHo is such a great neighborhood, with cool restaurants, bars, and stores and charming cobblestones and cast-iron architecture, but there are some important issues that we need to fix. “The Broome Street Symphony, which is performed every afternoon with cars honking, bumper to bumper, is not only dangerous but also detrimental to our health. I am glad we are taking a bold stance on these issues to create a greener and more human environment for future generations.” The popular Museum of Ice Cream at 558 Broadway is another supporter. Cofounder Manish Vora said she believes the future of NYC is a return to a carless, pedestrian- and bike-friendly city. Commercial property owner Greg Kraut said the plan would allow people to “move more efficiently enabling an improved operational and aesthetic experience.” Mercer Street be southbound bikeway connection through SoHo. With no official mandate to actually implement the Vision Plan, the SoHo Broadway Initiative said that, for now, they’ll be looking for community feedback from the October demonstrations and conducting traffic and parking studies. They are also looking to engage with local elected officials, City agencies and community stakeholders to figure out how much support there is for the plan overall and where the money to implement it would come from. The post Soho gets a taste of what could be with new Vision Plan appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyOct 14th, 2021

The best cookbooks to gift or buy for yourself in 2021

A cookbook can be a thoughtful gift for the home cook in your life. We rounded up the 32 best cookbooks, old and new, to buy this year. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Amazon; Gilbert Espinoza/Insider A great cookbook makes a thoughtful and sentimental gift that evokes past travels, memories, and shared meals. Here are some of our favorite cookbooks this year, including "The Korean Vegan," "New World Sourdough," and "Xi'an Famous Foods." Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. To me, there's no better gift to give or receive than a great cookbook. A cookbook with beautiful photos, thoughtful narratives, and foolproof recipes can feed the imagination, transport your giftee to another city or country, and inspire them to get creative in the kitchen. There are cookbooks out there to suit every type of cook, whether novice or expert, and feed all interests - from TV show cookbooks to comprehensive tomes on the science of cooking. Every year, hundreds of new cookbooks make their way onto bookstore shelves. Here are our favorite cookbooks, new and old, to gift this year.Here are 32 of the best cookbooks gifts for every type of cook: For the locavore Amazon "New Native Kitchen" by Freddie Bitsoie and James O. Fraioli, available for pre-order at Amazon, $40  Before other cultures and their cuisines came to North America, indigenous people were cooking meals with accessible ingredients. In the "New Native Kitchen," to be released in November of 2021, Freddie Bitsoie and James O. Fraioli explore American Indian recipes from coast to coast, like Chocolate Bison Chili and Prickly Pear Sweet Pork Chops. Bitsoie was the executive chef of Mitsitam Native Foods Café at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian and is a member of the Navajo nation, and Chef James O. Fraioli is a James Beard Award winner. For the the vegan Amazon "The Korean Vegan Cookbook" by Joanne Lee Molinaro, available on Amazon, $24.77Becoming vegan was a big change for Joanne Lee Molinaro, having grown up with meat-based Korean food. However, it didn't stop her from collecting recipes and recreating the dishes that were so connected to her family history. For Molinaro, the stories of her family's immigration from North Korea to the United States are just as important as the recipes. Molinaro recreates childhood memories, like Jjajangmyeon, Korean-Chinese black bean noodles, and writes new recipes, like the Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake, in honor of the foods that saved her mother's life.   For the no-fuss foodie Amazon "Cooking at Home: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Recipes (And Love My Microwave)" by David Chang and Priya Krishna, available for pre-order at Amazon, $25You won't find frozen vegetables in Momfuko, but that doesn't mean David Chang has anything against them. In this new book, available on October 26, Chang and co-author, Priya Krishna, explain how they use fine dining principles to make fast, easy, and unpretentious meals at home. For the home cook, it seems like the professional chef can take any ingredients and produce a full, delicious meal. In "Cooking at Home," Chang and Krishna teach you how to do just that.    For the traveler interested in culture and cuisine Amazon "Cook Real Hawai'i" by Sheldon Simeon, available at Amazon, $24.95A finalist in two different seasons of "Top Chef," Sheldon Simeon co-authored a cookbook with Garrett Snyder, transporting readers to the tropical islands of Hawaii. The book dives into stories of Simeon's family, as well as the state's history and cultural traditions. With 100 recipes throughout the book, this personalized guide to Hawaiian cooking has something for beginners and advanced cooks. For the friend who cooks with the seasons Amazon "My Shanghai" by Betty Liu, available on Amazon, $31.79This debut cookbook from Betty Liu (who somehow found the time to author it amid her general surgery residency) is an homage to seasonal cooking and her family's roots in the Chinese regions of Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang. I picked up this cookbook up in my local bookstore and couldn't put it down (and ended up bringing it home with me). The chapters are organized by season and explain the influence the weather, holidays, and traditions have on the recipes prepared throughout the year. I love the stories Liu relates about the inspirations behind her recipes, like climbing a mountain to eat Double-Mushroom Noodle Soup at a temple, foraging spring bamboo shoots for Oil-Braised Spring Bamboo, and the bowls of breakfast noodles her father would make her before test days. I've already made the Shanghai Stir-Fried Rice Cakes four or five times, and I can't wait to dive into more of the recipes as the seasons progress.  For the cook who wants to master their grill Amazon "Rodney Scott's World of Barbecue" by Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Elie, available on Amazon, $17.77My best friend (and fellow cookbook collector) recently texted me raving about this cookbook and the genius of Rodney Scott's Loaded Pork Skin "Nachos," Pit-Smoked Turkey, and whole-hog approach to Carolina barbecue. Scott's positivity and passion shine throughout the book, and you'll learn lots about southern foodways and the history of Carolina barbecue along the way.   For the parent planning their next trip Amazon "Dishoom" by Shamil Thakrar, available on Amazon, $17.29Whether it's London or Bombay that is your giftee's next destination, "Dishoom" is required reading before they jet off. The popular Dishoom restaurants in London are inspired by the Irani cafes of Bombay and serve "tipples," snacks, and mains like Mango Kulfi, Pav Bhaji, and Roomali Roti. In "Dishoom," you'll learn to cook the restaurant's entire menu, and be taken on a tour of Bombay's cafes (complete with a map) along the way.  For the coworker who has *opinions* on babka Amazon "Jew-ish" by Jake Cohen, available at Amazon, $15.79At Insider Reviews we have lots of opinions, especially about food, and a recent debate centered around the merits of cinnamon versus chocolate fillings for babka. I like Jake Cohen's philosophy in "Jew-ish," which is that babka is delicious no matter what you fill it with. "Jew-ish" is a thoughtful collection of recipes centered around Cohen's Ashkenazi heritage, his own self-discovery in the kitchen, and the Persian-Iraqi traditions of his husband. Cohen celebrates the origins of Jewish dishes, while also putting his own twist on the classics. You'll see this in action in his recipes for Cacio e Pepe Rugelach, Black and White Chocolate Chip Cookies, and yes, You Can Go Your Own Way: Babka Edition. For the family member intimidated by their new Instant Pot Amazon "The Step-by-Step Instant Pot Cookbook" by Jeffrey Eisner, available at Amazon, $10.78Insider Reviews reporter, James Brains, is currently testing Instant Pots and other multicookers for an update to our guide to the best electric pressure cookers. He's been using recipes from this cookbook and reports that they're easy to follow, have plenty of photos, and are delicious to boot. The book features more than 750 photos detailing step-by-step how to make the 100+ recipes, and makes a great gift for anyone who is curious about Instant Pots but hasn't taken the plunge yet. For the history buff Amazon "Jubilee" by Toni Tipton-Martin, available on Amazon, $20.07Toni Tipton-Martin's personal collection of African-American cookbooks spans more than 400 titles and her knowledge of American food history is on full display in "Jubilee." Through recipes and stories, she relates the history of Black folks who shaped American cuisine into what it is today, from those who cooked under the confines of brutal enslavement to the chefs who ran White House kitchens. "Jubilee" is a masterful work of American history, as told through food. For the person who loves pie but fears making it Amazon "Pie Academy" by Ken Haedrich, available on Amazon, $17.99A compendium of 255 pie recipes, "Pie Academy" is likely the last pie cookbook you'll ever need. It has nearly a dozen recipes for different types of pie crust, a troubleshooting section for when things don't go as expected, and chapters organized by seasonality and filling type. It's guaranteed to be a hit with the pie lover in your life, especially one who is interested in making pies but has always found them a bit daunting.  For the home cook that also loves to read Amazon "Black, White, and The Grey" by Mashama Bailey and John O. Morisano, available on Amazon, $15.69While not a cookbook, "Black, White, and The Grey," tells the story of one of the most celebrated restaurants in America: The Grey in Savannah, Georgia. Mashama Bailey, who is Black, and John O. Morisano, who is white, relate the story of how they turned a dilapidated formerly segregated Greyhound bus station into an award-winning restaurant. The dual memoir touches on race, community, and friendship, with some delicious food anecdotes along the way. For the friend who wants to master the essentials Amazon "My Korea" by Hooni Kim, available on Amazon, $21.99Michelin-starred chef Hooni Kim's debut cookbook is a crash course in the essentials of Korean cuisine. The book's tagline is "traditional flavors, modern recipes," and that is an accurate summation of what you can expect to find in this cookbook — from Dolsot Bibimbap to Budae Jjigae to Hanjan's Spicy Rice Cakes. When I first laid my hands on this cookbook, I wanted to make (and eat) every single recipe. If you're looking for some solid foundation recipes, "My Korea" delivers. For the friend who knows all the words to "Lady Marmalade" Simon and Schuster "LaBelle Cuisine: Recipes to Sing About" by Patti LaBelle, available at Amazon, $20.99Patti LaBelle is not only the Godmother of Soul and a musical icon, but she is also a New York Times bestselling author for her cookbooks. Her newest cookbook, "Labelle Cuisine: Recipes to Sing About," has recipes centered around LaBelle's family's Southern roots. With comfort-food favorites like potato salad and peach cobbler, she showcases a variety of her recipes that are full of personal touches.  For the person with quarantine cooking fatigue Amazon "Indian-ish" by Priya Krishna, available on Amazon, $18.29In her debut cookbook, Priya Krishna (contributor to Bon Appetit, New York Times, and others) offers up beloved favorite recipes from her Indian-American family, including Tomato Rice with Crispy Cheddar, Malaysian Ramen, and what her dad calls Indian Gatorade (Shikanji). The recipes are largely vegetarian, creative, fun, comforting, and guaranteed to inspire anyone who feels stuck in a rut with their cooking in 2021.  For the cook always on the go Amazon 'The Full Plate" by Ayesha Curry, available on Amazon, $15Ayesha Curry and her husband, basketball star Stephen Curry, have three children and busy schedules. She created her newest cookbook with her energetic household in mind, and it features 100 recipes that take under an hour to make. "The Full Plate" is perfect for anyone who wants to spend less time cooking while still ending up with delicious meals.   For the person who can't get enough of Disney Amazon "The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook" by Ashley Craft, available on Amazon, $11.99Technically unofficial, this cookbook will transport you directly into Disneyland. You can replicate a variety of food found in Disney theme parks. It features 100 recipes of iconic Disneyland treats and snacks, including the famous Dole whip, beignets, and more.  For the person who spent 2020 mastering sourdough Amazon "New World Sourdough" by Bryan Ford, available on Amazon, $14.77This was the year of the sourdough starter, and few people are as well-versed in fermented breads as Bryan Ford, blogger and baker. We're not just talking about your classic sourdough boule; Ford is well-known for demonstrating the breadth of what you can do with a sourdough starter: from Sourdough Pan de Coco to Sourdough Discard Battered Fried Chicken. For the cousin who's just learning to cook Amazon "Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat" by Samin Nosrat, available on Amazon, $16.67In this beautifully illustrated cookbook, chef and New York Times columnist Samin Nosrat outlines the foundations of cooking, from when to salt your chicken to how to make the perfect focaccia. All the information is presented in a fun, engaging way alongside original illustrations you'll want to frame and hang in your kitchen. For your family member who loves "Emily in Paris" Amazon "La Buvette" by Camille Fourmont and Kate Leahy, available on Amazon, $14.25"La Buvette" is part cookbook, part guide to French living. Interspersed with recipes from the cookbook's namesake cafe are beautiful pictures of Paris, tips about shopping in France's vintage markets, and instructions on how to dry flowers. The cookbook is a lovely escape into Parisian living, perfect for any Francophile dreaming of a visit to the City of Lights.  For your friend who knows all the best restaurants Amazon "Xi'an Famous Foods" by Jason Wang, available on Amazon, $22.51Xi'an Famous Foods started as a small family-owned market stall in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens. Its hand-pulled cumin lamb noodles have become so loved that there are now 14 locations all around New York City. In this cookbook, the son of the family and CEO of the business Jason Wang divulges some of the recipes that made his family business famous, as well as other classic dishes from Xi'an in western China. For the fan of the 'Great British Baking Show' Amazon "Baking with Kim-Joy" by Kim-Joy, available on Amazon, $14.89Contestants of the Great British Baking Show have come out with several cookbooks, including series nine runner-up Kim-Joy. She is best known for her adorable and creative bakes, like her giant chocolate planet filled with "space turtles," or her "Silke the vegetarian mermaid" pie. Kim-Joy brings the same color and fun to her bakes in her debut cookbook, which includes Pigfiteroles in Mud, Tazhong Cat Buns, and a version of her Space Turtle Cake.  For the person experimenting with a plant-based lifestyle this year Amazon "Vegetable Kingdom" by Bryant Terry, available on Amazon, $17.39James Beard Award-winning chef and food activist Bryant Terry offers 150 vegan recipes in his most recent cookbook. Instead of trying to imitate meaty dishes, Terry's book celebrates the vegetable and all its parts: skin, husk, flowers, roots, and all. You'll find recipes for Pea Shoot and Peanut Salad, Grilled Spring Onions with Lemon-Thyme Oil, Cornmeal-Fried Oyster Mushroom Po'Boys, and more. A special hallmark of Terry's books is that they often contain a playlist to listen to while you're cooking, and "Vegetable Kingdom" is no different, featuring recommended tracks by Duke Ellington, Santana, Björk, and more. For the friend who likes to Instagram all their food Amazon "Ottolenghi Flavor" by Yotam Ottolenghi, available on Amazon, $23.39Yotam Ottolenghi is owner and chef of some of London's most beloved cafes and restaurants. His recipes are some of the most colorful and beautiful out there, and his latest cookbook is no exception. "Flavor" is filled with mostly vegetarian recipes that not only pack a punch visually but flavor-wise, too. Ottolenghi and his co-authors expound the building blocks of flavor in three sections: process, pairing, and produce. The result is more than 100 'gram-worthy recipes from Spicy Mushroom Lasagna to Iceberg Wedges with Smoky Eggplant Cream. For the hummus lover Amazon "Falastin" by Sami Tamimi, available on Amazon, $31.50Longtime Ottolenghi collaborator (and co-author of "Jerusalem," another of our cookbook picks), Sam Tamimi, crafted his latest cookbook as an homage to Palestinian food. The book is rich in recipes, from multiple variations of shakshuka and hummus, to verdant salads, and colorful dips. Along the way, Tamimi tells the culinary history of Palestinian food — from the home cooks feeding their neighbors in refugee camps to the restaurateurs cooking for tourists in Bethlehem. For the person who recently moved Amazon "Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from An Unlikely Life on a Farm" by Molly Yeh, available on Amazon, $24.25Molly Yeh is the star of Food Network's "Girl Meets Farm" and winner of the Judges' Choice IACP Cookbook Award. "Molly on the Range" explores home, family, her Jewish and Chinese heritage, and Yeh's Midwestern farm life. You'll find recipes for Sufganiyot, Chicken Potstickers, Challah Waffles, and more. For the pint-sized cook in your life Amazon "The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs" by America's Test Kitchen, available on Amazon, $11.49I worked for America's Test Kitchen (ATK) for seven years and was privy to the care its team puts into each and every one of its cookbooks. ATK's series of cookbooks for kids is the epitome of that detail and care; every one of the recipes in this volume was tested by pro chefs and kid cooks. The recipes are specifically designed with kids in mind, outlining when to get an adult for help with handling hot ingredients or sharp tools. This is the book I wish was available to me when I was a child, and I've gifted it and the kid's baking book to every kid I know. I love getting reports from their parents about a new recipe they cooked or discovered. For the person always posting pictures of their cheese board Amazon "Platters and Boards: Beautiful, Casual Spreads for Every Occasion" by Shelley Westerhausen, available on Amazon, $15.38In her best-selling cookbook, author and food blogger Shelley Westerhausen shares 40 casual yet chic spreads (complete with meat and drink pairings) that anyone can make and enjoy. It's also a visual cornucopia that's just as satisfying to flip through as to use when hosting get-togethers when it's safe to do so. And if you're looking for a board of your own, we recommend any of these five options.  For the self-described dessert person Amazon "Dessert Person" by Claire Saffitz, available on Amazon, $22.24Claire Saffitz may be known for her wildly popular Gourmet Makes series on YouTube, but she's a pastry chef at heart and her affinity for baked goods is out in full force with her new cookbook "Dessert Person." In this cookbook, you can find creative recipes for Babkallah (a babka-Challah mashup), Apple and Concord Grape Crumble Pie, Strawberry-Cornmeal Layer Cake, and Malted Forever Brownies. It's sure to please the dessert lover in your life. For the person who had to cancel their vacation last year Amazon "Pasta Grannies" by Vicky Bennison, available on Amazon, $18.99Each episode of the "Pasta Grannies" YouTube series is an escape to a different region of Italy, where local grannies (or nonne) teach the audience to prepare and cook a regional dish — from classics like Spaghetti alla Carbonara to a pasta shape from Sardinia only three women know how to make. This cookbook takes some of the most popular videos from the series and turns them into tangible recipes you can cook at home. Between watching the video and cooking from the book, you can transport yourself to a little corner of Italy without leaving your home. For the person homesick for their grandma's cooking Amazon "In Bibi's Kitchen" by Hawa Hassan, available on Amazon, $18.69This cookbook centers around grandmothers (or bibis) from eight south and east African countries. Throughout the book, we get to know the women whose recipes are featured and learn about their personal history and the history of their country. Along the way, you'll find recipes for Eritrean Doro Wat, Tanzanian Date Bread, Kenyan Kachumbari, and more. It's the kind of cookbook that makes think about your grandmother. For the person who lives by a cookie-a-day philosophy Amazon "100 Cookies" by Sarah Keiffer, available on Amazon, $20.76A good ol' chocolate chip cookie never goes out of style, but if you have a cookie lover in your life, consider gifting them this homage to baked goods. You'll find recipes for the classics (including four different variations of chocolate chip cookies) as well cookies you've probably never had before, like Banana-Espresso-Cacao Nib cookies. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 14th, 2021

Hot Locations: The 30 Most Popular Second Home Buying Destinations in the Americas

When it started almost two years ago, the pandemic upended people’s lives. Hobbies were forgotten, all activities that were not hand washing and mask buying were set aside, and all plans were put on hold. Travel plans were chief among them, as planes and trains and ships all ground to a halt in the weeks […] When it started almost two years ago, the pandemic upended people’s lives. Hobbies were forgotten, all activities that were not hand washing and mask buying were set aside, and all plans were put on hold. Travel plans were chief among them, as planes and trains and ships all ground to a halt in the weeks and months that followed the first lockdown. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get Our Activist Investing Case Study! Get the entire 10-part series on our in-depth study on activist investing in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or print it out to read anywhere! Sign up below! (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Travelers and those interested in moving abroad were hit especially hard by the new restrictions. However, the temporary clamp down only seemed to make Americans more eager and more determined to try and find a better home, a bigger property or a sunnier backyard somewhere south or north of the border. With much more time on their hands and with precious else left to occupy their imagination, many Americans took to travel planning and house hunting in the virtual space. And as the analysis of search patterns by real estate platform Point2 revealed, some countries and places in the Americas take precedence when it comes to Americans’ preferences for second home locations. Compared to 2015 and 2018, some countries have retained their privileged position at the top, while others were dethroned by newly minted, second home and vacation home heavens. So, which are the most desirable destinations for second home buying? Mexico and Canada remain the most popular destinations in which to buy a second home in the Americas. Puerto Rico — the third-most sought-after location in 2018 — dropped to number four, switching places with Costa Rica. Newcomer Honduras kicked Jamaica out of the top 10 most-wanted locations. New countries to enter top 30 include: El Salvador, Grenada, Anguilla, and Peru. Mexico’s Fabulous Beaches & Enchanting Lifestyle Continue to Attract American Homebuyers No other country was able to surpass Mexico so, in 2021, it remains the most popular destination for Americans looking to buy a home abroad. Gathering more than 80,000 monthly searches, Mexico is the obvious vacation choice given its wide array of activities, leisure opportunities, and spectacular gastronomic options. Also, with beaches for miles, relaxing waves and colorful wildlife, looking for homes for sale in Puerto Vallarta or San Miguel de Allende makes sense for many of the people who feel trapped inside crammed city apartments. Puerto Vallarta is the most-searched destination, followed by San Miguel de Allende and Cabo San Lucas. Boasting the most Google searches of all of the real estate markets in the country, these superlative resort-style cities have all the sand and sea, captivating architecture and entertainment options that anyone could wish for. San Miguel de Allende is a hidden gem that’s sure to make repeaters of all of its first-time visitors and, moreover, turn many visitors into permanent residents. Proof of the city’s incredible magnetism, as well as its acceptance and harmonious living are the 63 different nationalities living together and calling San Miguel home. The third most-researched Mexican destination is Cabo San Lucas. Americans who want to move here are mostly fascinated by the pristine beaches and spectacular water vistas, as well as the city’s busy night life, abundant food and dining options, and vibrant art scene. Canada Retains Its Appeal for American Second-Home Buyers Jumping from the 7th place in 2015 straight to #2 in 2018, Canada has managed to retain its place on the podium in 2021 as well. The U.S. neighbor to the north has become a mainstay, in large part due to its proximity and ease of access but also to Canadians’ famed deference and politeness and to the country’s amazing ski resorts, endless hiking trails and breathtaking northern lights spectacle. Vancouver, BC and Toronto, ON are the most popular locations for Americans looking to buy a second home. Coming in at #3 — but definitely trailing behind the first two markets in terms of number of searches — is Hamilton, ON. But for those who are more interested in the best cities for young people, more specifically Canada’s top millennial hot spots, the cities that are the most attractive are Québec City, QC; Ottawa, ON; and Kingston, ON. Tropical Paradise Costa Rica Earns Spot as In-Demand Second-Home Location Costa Rica has something for everyone: Those who simply want to relax in the sun all day can take advantage of the country’s endless beaches while the adventurous types can spend as much time as possible surfing, white-water rafting, visiting the hot springs of Arenal or watching wildlife. And what are the top three most-desirable locations for Americans? Tamarindo, Jaco and Santa Ana. If Tamarindo and Jaco are known for their beaches, great surfing, water sports and activities and amazing national parks, Santa Ana is famous for its professional 18-hole golf course, a bustling downtown area with plenty of shopping venues and restaurants. No matter the place they choose, with a bit of luck, American second home buyers are sure to find their own home away from home in these countries. Garnering tens of thousands of searches, tropical havens and oases of adventure or tranquility such as Mexico, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, or Canada might be the perfect places to escape and unwind. Updated on Oct 14, 2021, 4:13 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkOct 14th, 2021

Millennials are creating housing communes with friends because it"s too expensive to buy a home as a single person

Homes today are expensive. So is being single. It's left some millennials combining their savings with friends to buy a house together. Housing has become so expensive that millennials are buying homes with friends. Marko Geber/Getty Images Millennials are buying houses with their friends to become homeowners, the WSJ reports. The housing crisis has pushed home prices to record highs, boxing some millennials out of the market. Also - it's just really expensive to be single. First-time homebuying millennials are finding a loophole in today's housing crisis: buying a home with their friends.Some members of the generation are turning to co-buying as a way to overcome economic and cultural hurdles that stand in the way of homeownership, The Wall Street Journal's Alex Janin reported. It's a pre-pandemic trend, she wrote, largely accelerated by the desire for remote work and an expensive real estate market.The number of buyers purchasing as an unmarried couple during April to June 2020 increased to 11% from 9% during the same time frame in 2019, per data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR)."During the pandemic, people have been renting and they may have wanted more space, and so they looked at, perhaps, their roommate and decided, 'Let's go buy a home together,'" Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), told Janin. Pre-pandemic, it was already a tough world for aspiring millennial homebuyers, who struggled to save for a down payment as they dealt with the financial fallout of the Great Recession, staggering student-loan debt, and soaring living costs. As they aged into their peak homebuying years in 2020, they led a housing boom that soon morphed into a historic inventory crisis that was already forming over the past dozen years as contractors underbuilt homes.Home prices shot up, reaching a record high of $386,888 in June. The biggest victim of this housing shortfall was the starter home, which was already nearing its demise even before the pandemic. While the housing market has since begun to cool and contractors have begun to build more homes, these homes are in the higher end of the market, NAR's director of housing and commercial research, Gay Cororaton, told Insider.These affordability issues have boxed many millennials out of the housing market, forcing them to get resourceful in finding ways to fast-track their path to homeownership. For some, that's moving out to the exurbs or buying fixer-uppers. For others, it's inventing their own commune.The single life is an expensive oneMillennials' lifestyle choices are also shaping their co-buying decisions. The generation has established a new normal, in which getting married and having kids comes later in life, after going to college and becoming financially settled. It's contributing to a decline in marriage rates and birth rates.Millennials "have a lot more options and they don't have to settle down quite as early as people in previous generations were expected to do," Clare Mehta, an associate professor of psychology at Emmanuel College, previously told Insider.Homeownership is the one milestone that remains important to the generation. To nearly three-fourths of millennials surveyed in a Bank of America Research study, it's more significant than getting married and having children. It partly explains why more millennial couples are buying houses together before tying the knot. But buying a house when you don't have a partner isn't quite as feasible. As Insider's Juliana Kaplan recently reported on recent Pew data, nearly 40% of young adults who aren't in couples make less money than their peers.It's especially troublesome for women, who typically make less than men regardless of relationship status thanks to the wage gap. Recent research from Freddie Mac found that the majority of single women head of household renters (60%) think they won't ever be able to afford the home. Most said they don't have enough savings for a down payment or think a mortgage would be too expensive.Teaming up with a friend or roommate cuts the individual price of a home in half, enabling millennials to buy a home with less money saved. While there are complicated factors involved, such as deciding how to share equity and what to do in the case of a fallout, millennials are ultimately seeing the move as a win-win situation: they get a stake in an appreciating real estate market and get to fulfill their desire for communal living.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 14th, 2021

James Gorman: We’re Seeing Fruits Of Long-Term Strategy

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) Chairman & CEO James Gorman on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET) today, Thursday, October 14th. Following is a link to video on CNBC.com: Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Morgan Stanley CEO Gorman: We’re Seeing Fruits Of […] Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) Chairman & CEO James Gorman on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET) today, Thursday, October 14th. Following is a link to video on CNBC.com: if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Morgan Stanley CEO Gorman: We’re Seeing Fruits Of Long-Term Strategy JIM CRAMER: Chairman and CEO James Gorman. Welcome to “Squawk on the Street,” thank you for, for coming in to talk about how well your, your bank is doing. JAMES GORMAN: Happy to do it as long as you don't ask me to go on Jeopardy, Jim. CRAMER: No, we're gonna hold off on that. That's a different, different subject. But, you know what, you deserve to be on because, you know, what is the best wealth management business in the world. 300 billion in new money this year, what is happening that people can bring in 300 billion in wealth management? GORMAN: Yes, it's amazing. I mean the team's done an unbelievable job. The reality is we're managing, you know, over four trillion, nearly four and a half trillion and with success comes success. We have a lot of clients who feel very comfortable with the brand, the platform. The technology we've invested in through E*TRADE. I mean it's just, it's all come together. This has sort of been our dream for over a decade and finally we're seeing the fruits but I mean, 12 years ago or so, I think our assets were about 500 billion. So, they've gone up, eight, nine times in that period and as you know, this is very sticky money. It's a great business so we're thrilled. CRAMER: Well that's what we're going to talk about. At one point, Morgan Stanley before you came in, had what I regarded as episodic earnings. They’d be good, and then bad and good and bad and therefore it's very hard to give a price earnings multiple. The business that you're bringing in, including by the way E*TRADE, is really sticky and steadily growth, growth, secular growth. And I'm wondering what you when you sit around your board meetings, doesn't someone say, you know what, how come we're still at 12 times earnings because this is a secular growth story, it's not cyclical, I'm trying to understand why you're not given a greater price. GORMAN: Yeah, well it's getting there. I mean to be fair we were, you know, we were sub 10 and I thought that was just nuts. We’re now managing if you put wealth and asset management together, which gives us the balance, that's about six and a half trillion on that we're generating revenues of over 30 billion. Just that, and that's very sticky but on the other hand the investment bank and what it's done the resurgence of fixed income after it was restructured dramatically in 2015. You know, equities is number one, the investment bank itself and M&A is on fire, the equity underwriting. So, Jim, it’s this balance and speed concept that I've talked about, and, you know, we're starting to get the multiple. I mean we're getting the recognition, you look at some of the other pure wealth players in the marketplace, they're trading at, you know, 20, 30 times earnings, you know, we'd love a piece of that and I think our investors are starting to understand that so it's getting there. CRAMER: Well I think it is. I mean if you added buy now, pay later, I guess we get 30 times earnings. I’m always struggling about the love of Robinhood and how important it is and I want to stack that up against you and I want you to include a company that you bought at the time was called Solium but it's a company that you've made into Shareworks, who is a younger investment base and whose base is larger? GORMAN: Well first I have a lot of respect for Robinhood. I mean what they do introducing a lot of young investors to the marketplaces. I know you've said this and I believe that that's a good thing and as long as they’re prudently investing they understand the markets go up but they also go down then, you know, we're, they've got ,they've got a real winner so a lot of respect for what those guys have done. But, you know, we've sort of done the same thing but we've done it within the Morgan Stanley platform and brands so maybe it doesn't get that kind of recognition solely as a technology company. I mean that's basically 300 programmers they gave us an opportunity to get into the workplace space between Solium and E*TRADE and our existing business, we're touching over 30 million households and they’re wealthy households, right. There's significant money and by the way they want to borrow and they want to park their cash there, they're taking out mortgages, so it's got multiple verticals so if we can, we can go after to help these people find financial stability and that's what I'm really excited about. It's the combination of the traditional advisor model, the E*TRADE direct model and the solely Morgan Stanley workplace model. We're getting people at work, you're getting them online and you're getting them through an advisor and that to me is the magic mousetrap. DAVID FABER: James, it’s David. You know, I’m looking at your stock price which is not doing much of anything right now and I'm wondering, is it the perhaps because people think when it comes to capital markets, this thing just can't keep going at this rate. You pointed it out, of course, whether it's fixed income or now equities, you know, the outperformance of expectations, the percentage gains, year over year or from ’19. I don't know if you've ever seen anything like this in your career but can it continue at this rate? GORMAN: Oh, sure, sure it can and listen the market, you know, I don't have a problem when I see the market if our stock is at $100 I don’t know I haven't, I can’t look at the screen right now because I'm looking at your camera but we’re at that or about that, you know, we were $50 a year ago, the stock was up 34% I think in 2020 during COVID. We’re up 40 plus percent this year already. I mean it's, it's, you know, the market cap is over 180 billion it's had a phenomenal run, but there's a whole lot more to go. I mean if you, if you take that thread that Jim was pulling on about the mobile expansion and you take the fact that we built these enormous businesses that have huge scale advantages and, and to operate on a global basis, as you know, David in M&A and capital markets across borders, that's not an easy lift. You don't just turn up one day and say that's the business I want to be in. You got to build that over decades. So, I think they're incredibly resilient, the share gains that we've done through the institutional side, you know, have worked out great and I think it's gonna keep going. I'm really positive on the story— FABER: You do I mean because— GORMAN: We brought a market environment so— FABER: Right but we watch it no I mean, we're here at the New York Stock Exchange. We see the listings happen for a long time it was Chinese companies then it was SPACs then it was now it's just straight IPOs. That's one part of capital markets activity but you really expect that you're always, I mean that you're going to maintain these kinds of growth rates when it comes to equities under a fixed income for the next year or two? GORMAN: You know, yeah, we're not going to compound at this level but look at some of the other things going on, I mean you've got global GDP growth in pretty much every major economy in the world is going through global GDP growth. We've got enormous fiscal stimulus. We've got record low interest rates, people want to transact, you've got the, you know, the move from commercial lending to capital markets across all of Europe is still in the very early days so, you know, I'm not uncomfortable in saying we've got we clearly have a growth platform out there, whether it will be at the level we're seeing right now in M&A, obviously not. That's our pipeline suggests that's with us for a while to come, but that's not going to be, you know, over the next five years. We're not going to maintain that kind of growth, but the resilience of the model, the scale advantages, we've got the efficiency ratio now under 70%. I mean all these things are real, then when you double the dividend which we did, you're giving investors, you know, a 2.8% yield at 100 bucks. I mean that's not for nothing, right, and you're buying back about 3% of stocks so investors are getting a return of 7% before we get any of that through. CARL QUINTANILLA: James, one of the headlines from the call was about crypto where you said it's not a huge part of the business demand from our clients. Is that because it's early days, do you expect that to change? GORMAN: You know, Carl, you know, I’ve said this before I think crypto, you know, it's not a fad. It's not going away and obviously the blockchain technology supporting it is a real innovation. We're not seeing among very wealthy clients they might put, you know, I talked to people maybe 1% of their portfolio in it. Nobody's putting 10% of their portfolio into it. So, it's an interesting thing I mean a lot of people want to participate, they don't know how crypto is all really going to play out. I see, you know, Bitcoin this morning I think it's trading. I don't know 55,000, 60,000. So, a lot of people made a lot of money on it but it's not, it's not a core part of their diversification strategy. It's an option that they're playing out and with very wealthy people. Now with some of the younger folks, it's it's different. They, they're using, they've got less money at risk and frankly they're at a stage in life they can take more risks so you're seeing more, more interest at that level. E*TRADE had much more interest than the traditional Morgan Stanley client base. CRAMER: That makes sense. James, you have drawn a line in the sand with people coming to work, people showing up, being able to judge someone as a first-year associate, second year, third, very traditional and I've always felt very right. Pushback? People think that you're wrong, people not wanting to go to Morgan Stanley versus other places, what is the culture right now on this issue? GORMAN: Yeah, I don't think there's been a decision I've made that I haven't had some pushback it's, I tell people you don't get just the good bits of being a leader, you get the good and bad bits and some of it is people don't like it when you make decisions. And by the way that counts for everything from what you put in programming on the show to, you know, what's going on in politics. So that's okay, I can deal with that and, you know, fundamentally what I said was and, you know, the quote I use which got a lot of attention was, “If you can go to a restaurant, you can go to the office.” What I didn't say Jim was and you've got to be in the office five days a week forever. Clearly, we've moved to a more flexible work environment but we'd like to see people in and around their colleagues at least several days a week. I mean, let's that's how we do our best work, that's where our best innovation happens from bringing people together and training and developing them. I mean it's okay for me working from home. I've, I'm at the tail end of my career. For the kids who are 25, they want to be in and around and learn from the seniors so again we'll be flexible and we are being flexible, but we still want to see you in the office some of the time job dependent, etc. We've had some folks as you would imagine on the trading floor they’ve been in five days a week from the get go and that's what their job demanded. Client facing people have to do what the clients want, so we'll be flexible, but we're certainly intentional. I think it's very important to share your learning and development skills with the young kids. FABER: Yeah, I think there's no doubt. I do sense frustration from some of your peers, James, though in terms of people not showing up on Fridays and yet knowing at this point as you say flexibility is part of the allure for other employers and seems to be something that you simply have to provide regardless of whether you want to. Do you agree? GORMAN: I don't know. I mean, David, you know, it's interesting some of the early companies that came out and said, you can absolutely do whatever you like in terms of working, they've retracted from that. I mean it's not every employee gets to choose exactly how they work in the same way they don't choose how they get paid or when they get promoted. Now there's got to be a balance in this so you're not going to please everybody on this topic. What I've said is between now and the end of the year, we're still in the category of what can we do from a health and safety. In New York City, for example, we require you to be vaccinated to come into the buildings. Guess what? 96% of our employees are vaccinated and they showed us their attestation cards. Other parts of the world, they're not even open. Now, you know, Australia, where I grew up, I mean they've barely opened the economy up yet they're still, you know, in lockdown phases in different parts of the country. By 2022, ‘23, then we'll really see what the right model is by business group and then by individual. CRAMER: Well, I've got to tell you James, the stock is down which is a rare opportunity because this was a great quarter. My charitable trust owns it. We talk about it a lot when it comes to the CNBC Investing Club and I just can't thank you enough for coming on and explaining why your bank is different and positive and I think much better than almost everybody else in the industry. James Gorman, CEO of Morgan Stanley. GORMAN: Thanks, thanks guys and by the way, the stock being down it's not all bad news. We are in the middle of a big buyback program so I’m okay— FABER: There you go. Alright. Updated on Oct 14, 2021, 12:20 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkOct 14th, 2021

Report paints bright picture for construction spending, even better if Biden infrastructure bill passes

Following the steep drops in building activity across New York City in 2020, the next three years are expected to see a resurgence in spending and job creation as the industry continues to advocate for increased public investment. The New York Building Congress’ New York City Construction Outlook 2021-2023 released today forecasts spending... The post Report paints bright picture for construction spending, even better if Biden infrastructure bill passes appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Following the steep drops in building activity across New York City in 2020, the next three years are expected to see a resurgence in spending and job creation as the industry continues to advocate for increased public investment. The New York Building Congress’ New York City Construction Outlook 2021-2023 released today forecasts spending to increase to $60.6 billion in 2021, up 26 percent from 2020, when non-essential construction was shut down for 11 weeks. The report was released today at the annual Building Congress Construction Industry Breakfast, at which Governor Hochul delivered the keynote address. GOV. CATHY HOCHUL “Each year I travel to every county in New York State, and I see how infrastructure is not just an abstract concept but an integral part of every New Yorker’s life,” said Governor Hochul. “As Governor, I will pursue an ambitious agenda that brings our infrastructure into the 21st century – because it’s in our DNA as New Yorkers to dream big and tackle the impossible. We can’t get that done without strong public-private sector partnerships like with the New York Building Congress, and I look forward to continue working together to build New York’s future.” “Despite the economic impact that COVID-19 has had on New York City since the start of the pandemic, the building industry proves its strength time and time again, as spending and job creation continue on an upward trend from 2020,” said Carlo A. Scissura, President & CEO of the New York Building Congress. “With a long road to economic recovery ahead, the ever-present threats of climate change and infrastructure that’s crumbling, we need meaningful, immediate support from Washington. Investments in the infrastructure are investments in a stable and vibrant city, state and nation.” “Over the last year and a half, the building industry once again demonstrated its dedication to New York City and the amazing people who live here,” said Elizabeth Velez, Chair of the New York Building Congress and President of Velez Organization. “The Construction Outlook report released by the New York Building Congress today shows our industry is ready to lead the way out of the economic crisis brought about by this awful pandemic. In the process, I know we will continue to diversify our own ranks, innovate to meet 21st-Century demands and realities and build a fairer city that works for everyone.” CHERYL McKISSACK DANIEL “No matter what you throw at New York City, we are able to withstand it and come back stronger,” said Cheryl McKissack Daniel, Chair of the New York Building Foundation and President & CEO of McKissack & McKissack. “The New York City Construction Outlook 2021-2023 report is further proof of the building industry’s strength in times of crisis. This should underscore why we need more investment in our infrastructure, as it is one of the best ways to improve our society.” “The essential role of the construction industry to the health and vitality of our communities could not be more clear than in this Construction Outlook report,” said the City of New York’s Senior Advisor for Recovery Lorraine Grillo. “The anticipated robust growth and trajectory for investments in construction jobs, new construction, and our public infrastructure reaffirm the importance of the work by resilient New Yorkers represented by the New York Building Congress in realizing a recovery for all of us.” “It’s clear that confidence in New York City’s construction and real estate industries remains high, and for good reason,” said Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. “Time and again, it’s been major infrastructure and public works projects that have stimulated economic activity that leads to recovery, and as always, our members are ready to get to work to build back New York stronger and more resilient than ever. It’s critical that we sustain this upward trend in construction activity with the successful passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, which will invest in New York’s future and create tens of thousands of middle-class careers with benefits in the process.” “Real estate and construction represent 10 percent of the city’s GDP and is the fastest way of creating the jobs to rebuild the city’s economy,” said Louis J. Coletti, President and CEO of the Building Trades Employers Association. “As New York builds and rebuilds over the coming years, AIA New York will work with its partners in the building industry to advocate for higher standards of design excellence for public and private projects,” said Benjamin Prosky, Executive Director American Institute of Architects New York (AIANY) Center For Architecture. ”From ambitious designs that enhance public infrastructure to increasing quality affordable housing, modernizing schools, and fostering advancements in energy efficient technology, architects recognize that this is a pivotal  moment for the design, construction, and development community to shape an NYC that is beautiful, efficient and equitable for all.” The data and projections in this report were generated without the once-in-a-generation federal infrastructure bill that is being discussed in the House of Representatives, which would have a massive economic impact on New York City and the entire country. If the $1.2 trillion plan was to pass, it would expedite construction of the Gateway Program– a long-delayed but nationally crucial infrastructure project that could potentially generate $19 billion in economic activity. The Construction Outlook report provides a three-year analysis and forecast of construction spending and employment in New York, while also providing deeper insight into the factors that could shape the industry and the city’s economy in the coming years. The New York Building Congress for the first time also adjusted its projections for inflation, giving a fuller picture of how spending compares historically. The latest report forecasts the second-highest spending period in real dollars, and the fourth highest when adjusted for inflation. Key insights from the report include: ●      Construction Employment to Increase: The industry will likely add 135,000 new jobs to the economy in 2021, but employment will remain at the lowest point since 2014. Employment will likely continue on an upward trend in the coming years, with 140,200 jobs in 2022 and 157,100 jobs in 2023. ●      Overall Spending: Construction spending is expected to total $174.1 billion between 2021 and 2023. Compared to the pre-COVID-19 period of 2017 to 2019, when building was at a high point, spending is forecasted to decrease by just $1.5 billion. When adjusted for inflation, however, the drop is a significantly higher $38.2 billion.   ●      Government Spending: Government spending is up from 2020 – when $21.3 billion was invested by New York City, New York State and major agencies – but will decline in the forecasted period from $23.1 billion in 2021 to $22.2 billion in 2022 and then to $21.1 billion in 2023. While government spending is expected to be higher over this period when compared to 2017 to 2019, public investments is lower now than during the height of the Great Recession when adjusted for inflation. This decline is especially significant given the need for government spending to spur economic recovery. ●      Residential Construction Spending: The Building Congress forecasts $13.6 billion in residential construction spending this year, up 21 percent from 2020. Over three years, spending is expected to total $36.6 billion, which is down 33 percent from 2017 to 2019.   ●      Non-Residential Construction Spending: Non-residential construction spending, which includes office space, education, healthcare, public buildings, sports & entertainment venues and hotels, is projected to total $23.7 billion in 2021, dip to $22.2 billion in 2022 and rise to $25 billion in 2023. ●      Public Transit Spending: The MTA will spend 33 percent more on construction projects over the next three years than the pre-COVID period from 2017 to 2019. When adjusted for inflation, however, this is a more modest increase of 7 percent. The post Report paints bright picture for construction spending, even better if Biden infrastructure bill passes appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyOct 14th, 2021

Check out 22 pitch decks that fintechs looking to disrupt trading, banking, and lending used to raise millions

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision. Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech VC funding hit a fresh quarterly record of $22.8 billion in the first three months of 2021, according to CB Insights data. While mega-rounds helped propel overall funding, new cash was spread across 614 deals. Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. Quantum computing made easy QC Ware CEO Matt Johnson. QC Ware Even though banks and hedge funds are still several years out from adding quantum computing to their tech arsenals, that hasn't stopped Wall Street giants from investing time and money into the emerging technology class. And momentum for QC Ware, a startup looking to cut the time and resources it takes to use quantum computing, is accelerating. The fintech secured a $25 million Series B on September 29 co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro with participation from D.E. Shaw, Citi, and Samsung Ventures.QC Ware, founded in 2014, builds quantum algorithms for the likes of Goldman Sachs (which led the fintech's Series A), Airbus, and BMW Group. The algorithms, which are effectively code bases that include quantum processing elements, can run on any of the four main public-cloud providers.Quantum computing allows companies to do complex calculations faster than traditional computers by using a form of physics that runs on quantum bits as opposed to the traditional 1s and 0s that computers use. This is especially helpful in banking for risk analytics or algorithmic trading, where executing calculations milliseconds faster than the competition can give firms a leg up. Here's the 20-page deck QC Ware, a fintech making quantum computing more accessible, used to raised its $25 million Series BSimplifying quant models Kirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders. Beacon A fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOInvoice financing for SMBs Stacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now cofounders. Now About a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain - but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system. "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionInsurance goes digital Jamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of Ladder. Ladder Fintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionEmbedded payments for SMBs The Highnote team. Highnote Branded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingAn alternative auto lender Daniel Chu, CEO and founder of Tricolor. Tricolor An alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investorsA new way to access credit The TomoCredit team. TomoCredit Kristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AAn IRA for alternatives Henry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar. Rocket Dollar Fintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionConnecting startups and investors Hum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair Silverberg. Hum Capital Blair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Payments infrastructure for fintechs Qolo CEO and co-founder Patricia Montesi. Qolo Three years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders - who together had more than a century of combined industry experience - to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ASoftware for managing freelancers Worksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen. Worksome The way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPersonal finance is only a text away Yinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert. Albert The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalGRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of Relief Relief For lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process. Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundBlockchain for private-markets investing Carlos Domingo is cofounder and CEO of Securitize. Securitize Securitize, founded in 2017 by the tech industry veterans Carlos Domingo and Jamie Finn, is bringing blockchain technology to private-markets investing. The company raised $48 million in Series B funding on June 21 from investors including Morgan Stanley and Blockchain Capital.Securitize helps companies crowdfund capital from individual and institutional investors by issuing their shares in the form of blockchain tokens that allow for more efficient settlement, record keeping, and compliance processes. Morgan Stanley's Tactical Value fund, which invests in private companies, made its first blockchain-technology investment when it coled the Series B, Securitize CEO Carlos Domingo told Insider.Here's the 11-page pitch deck a blockchain startup looking to revolutionize private-markets investing used to nab $48 million from investors like Morgan StanleyE-commerce focused business banking Michael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo. Kristelle Boulos Photography Business banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series ABlockchain-based credit score tech John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs. Spring Labs A blockchain-based fintech startup that is aiming to disrupt the traditional model of evaluating peoples' creditworthiness recently raised $30 million in a Series B funding led by credit reporting giant TransUnion.Four-year-old Spring Labs aims to create a private, secure data-sharing model to help credit agencies better predict the creditworthiness of people who are not in the traditional credit bureau system. The founding team of three fintech veterans met as early employees of lending startup Avant.Existing investors GreatPoint Ventures and August Capital also joined in on the most recent round. So far Spring Labs has raised $53 million from institutional rounds.TransUnion, a publicly-traded company with a $20 billion-plus market cap, is one of the three largest consumer credit agencies in the US. After 18 months of dialogue and six months of due diligence, TransAmerica and Spring Labs inked a deal, Spring Labs CEO and cofounder Adam Jiwan told Insider.Here's the 10-page pitch deck blockchain-based fintech Spring Labs used to snag $30 million from investors including credit reporting giant TransUnionDigital banking for freelancers JGalione/Getty Images Lance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysDigital tools for independent financial advisors Jason Wenk, founder and CEO of Altruist Altruist Jason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon. HoneyBook While countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalFraud prevention for lenders and insurers Fiordaliso/Getty Images Onboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews Saoud Khalifah, founder and CEO of Fakespot. Fakespot Marketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series ANew twists on digital banking Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley HMBradley Consumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series ARead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 14th, 2021