Longtime CEO of PlainsCapital Bank to retire

Jerry Schaffner is retiring next spring after more than 35 years working at PlainsCapital Bank, including 14 as president and CEO. During his tenure, PlainsCapital has grown to become the sixth-largest bank based in Texas with more than $13 billion in assets. Click through to read more about his career and the transition in the leadership ranks......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsNov 21st, 2023

China Critics Ramp Up Push To Limit Lobbying

China Critics Ramp Up Push To Limit Lobbying Authored by Susan Crabtree via RealClear Wire, After Russia invaded Ukraine early last year, the Biden administration decided to hit Moscow where it hurts the most — in the pocketbook. The U.S. Treasury imposed sweeping sanctions on nearly 80% of all banking assets in Russia, a move designed to have a “deep and long-lasting effect on the Russian economy and financial system.” Though the sanctions haven’t prevented Russian President Vladimir Putin from financing the war, they have tightened the screws on Russia’s financial transactions and disrupted supply chains throughout the global economy, reverberating even on Washington’s K Street with its lucrative foreign lobbying contracts. Former Sen. David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, and his team at Mercury Public Affairs, a big D.C. lobbying firm, were forced to terminate a contract with Russian bank Sovcombank to comply with the new U.S. sanctions. Vitter had begun working for Sovcombank just the month before, and the bank had agreed to pay Mercury $90,000 a month for its services, according to required Foreign Agent Registration Act, or FARA, disclosures filed with the Justice Department. In his role as co-chairman of Mercury, Vitter since 2018 has maintained another far more lucrative FARA contract with Hikvision, the U.S.-sanctioned Chinese surveillance tech firm. Over the last several years, the United States has found Hikvision responsible for assisting the Chinese government’s genocide against the Uyghur Muslims through the Chinese Communist Party’s broad use of its cameras to track and surveil Uyghur populations and monitor an estimated 1 million Uyghurs forced into detention camps. The United States also has deemed Hikvision a national security risk and imposed wide-ranging restrictions on using, buying and selling Hikvision video surveillance products in the U.S. Yet Hikvision and other Chinese companies under U.S. sanctions can still lawfully hire D.C. lobbyists and lawyers – at least for now, though there’s a growing movement to impose new restrictions on the practice. Vitter and former Rep. Toby Moffett, a Democrat who represented Connecticut in the House for eight years from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s, both lobby their former Capitol Hill colleagues on behalf of Hikvision. The Chinese-controlled camera and surveillance company has paid Mercury a total of $6.35 million for the service since 2018, according to an analysis of required Justice Department filings by IPVM, a U.S. security and surveillance research group. Mercury is just one of five lobbying firms representing Hikvision’s interests in Washington. Since 2018, Hikvision has spent a combined $25.23 million on D.C. lobbying, more than double that of Huawei, China’s biggest telecommunications firm, in the same period, IPVM found. Huawei faces nearly identical U.S. sanctions as Hikvision. “These former members and top staffers are all being highly paid -- it’s a second career for them,” said Donald Maye, head of operations for IPVM.  “It’s just confounding to me that people who speak so highly of their public service are helping a Chinese company navigate sanctions designed to limit exposure of this spying technology on the American people, and the U.S. government is allowing it,” he added. Vitter and Moffett are hardly alone. China has vastly expanded its U.S. lobbying efforts in recent years, hiring bipartisan teams of former members of Congress and key Capitol Hill and administrative staff even as Washington has increasingly grown far more critical of China, its stepped-up military power, and growing financial influence around the world. Former members of Congress who have lobbied for Chinese businesses include Senate Republican leader Trent Lott, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley, and Rep. Jeff Denham, a California Republican and former U.S. Air Force veteran, to name just a few. Since 2016, China has spent nearly $334 million on its lobbying efforts and propaganda outlets in the United States, more than any other nation and twice as much as Russia, according to an analysis of lobbying registration and disclosure reports. Those figures, however, don’t tell the whole story. Some Chinese businesses, such as TikTok, have U.S. operations and are only required to file lobbying disclosure forms with the U.S. Senate, not the more stringent FARA disclosure required by Justice Department. Human rights advocates and national security experts urging a tougher line on China are outraged by the revolving door of former members willing to cash in on their public service to help a U.S. adversary. During the height of the Cold War, they argue, no reputable Washington law or lobbying firm would have taken on a Soviet client. “It’s unconscionable that any government official would shop their connections and expertise to a foreign adversary, let alone the Chinese Communist Party,” Rep. Mike Gallagher, who chairs the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, told RealClearPolitics in an emailed statement. “If you’ve had the privilege of serving the American people at the highest levels of government, you should not be able to sell out the country when you retire.” Gallagher, a Wisconsin Republican, and Rep. Jared Golden, a Maine Democrat, plan to re-introduce a bill they co-authored in 2021 that would prevent members of Congress and high-ranking government officials from lobbying on behalf of U.S. adversaries. In 2021, the measure died after being referred to a House Judiciary subcommittee. Gallagher and other proponents of stricter foreign lobbying laws believe there is far greater momentum for it now with growing concern over Beijing’s greater military power and spying threats, as well as increased worldwide recognition of China’s human rights abuses. Gallagher released his first set of policy recommendations earlier this week following the select committee’s three hearings laying out the threat posed by China and detailing the ongoing abuses against Uyghur Muslims. One report calls on Congress to pass additional sanctions to hold China accountable for its crimes against the minority group. Another report stresses the need to enhance U.S. military capabilities to help deter a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. Other critics of China lobbying want to ban the practice altogether. For the first time, the U.S. Commission on Religious Freedom, a bipartisan federal agency that monitors religious freedom violations around the world, officially called for a federal prohibition of all lobbying groups and law firms representing the Chinese government and Chinese entities. The commissioners in early May called on Congress to reintroduce the Stop Helping Adversaries Manipulate Everything, or SHAME Act. The bill, which would prohibit any U.S. individual from accepting compensation for serving as an agent of or a lobbyist for a foreign adversary, is sponsored by GOP Reps. Joe Wilson, Jim Banks, Chris Smith, and Democrats Elissa Slotkin and Steve Cohen. “Untold profits are being raked in by lobbyists willing to whitewash the record and aims of the Chinese Community Party and government,” all nine USCIRF commissioners wrote in a statement in its annual report. “It’s time to make this activity illegal.” “As the commission’s report documents, the Chinese government is an equal opportunity persecutor of people of faith — Christians, Tibetan Buddhists, Uyghur Muslims, and Falun Gong practitioners,” the commissioners added. Frank Wolf, a USCIRF commissioner and a longtime human rights champion who served 3½ decades in Congress, argues that nothing but a total ban will prevent the Chinese influence operation funds from seeping into Washington. “If you believe in the Reagan Doctrine, no one should represent China in the U.S. today,” he said in an interview. Placing piecemeal restrictions on lobbying for China won’t be effective, Wolf argued, because the big firms with foreign clients, such as Squire Patton Boggs and Mercury Public Affairs, will still hold fundraisers for members of Congress and get the access they need even if they abide by some new restrictions. In 1998, then-Rep. Wolf authored the International Religious Freedom Act, which made faith-based liberty a greater priority in U.S. foreign policy. While serving in Congress, Vitter also was known for standing up to China on human rights. In 2015, the Louisiana Republican co-sponsored an amendment requiring the Obama administration to consider countries’ religious freedom when negotiating trade agreements. Those bills didn’t prevent Congress from continuing permanent normal trade relations status for China, as it has done since 2000 after a years-long push by free traders and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Advocates for granting China easy access to U.S. markets and vice versa argued that it would help democratize China as its citizens gained more access to U.S. goods and technology. “They kept saying this will change China, and they will become just like us, but that has not worked out,” Wolf recalled. The Virginia Republican cited the genocide against the Uyghurs, a crackdown in Hong Kong, and a series of repressive CCP campaigns against Christians and Catholic churches and their leaders, Tibetans, Falun Gong practitioners, and dissidents of any kind. So far, at least, lawmakers have shown little shame over their lucrative contracts with Chinese entities, and the harsher Washington rhetoric and actions against Beijing have only increased the flow of Chinese money to the nation’s capital. Over the past two years, tensions have repeatedly flared between Washington and Beijing over China’s lack of transparency about the COVID pandemic’s origins, its new ties to Russia after the Ukraine invasion, its aggression against Taiwan, and conflict over a visit to the U.S. by Taiwan’s president. In February, Secretary of State Antony Blinken canceled a planned trip after a Chinese surveillance balloon traversed the United States. As the G-7 summit in Japan came to a close last week, President Biden said he predicted a coming “thaw” with China even though the meeting between top U.S. allies took several steps to tackle Beijing’s economic intimidation tactics. Afterward, China retaliated by announcing that it had warned its telecommunications companies and state-owned banks against purchasing products from Micron Technology, a U.S. semiconductor manufacturer that China said poses national security risks, a charge the Biden administration vehemently disputes.   Denham and Crowley, who was the No. 4 House Democrat before losing a 2018 primary election challenge from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are lobbying on behalf of TikTok as lawmakers weigh banning the popular social media platform. Other former lawmakers and prominent U.S. dignitaries, including former Sen. Max Baucus, who served as Obama’s ambassador to China, and former Speaker John Boehner, aren’t required to register as lobbyists but still can accept lucrative contracts advising Chinese entities in Washington. Even before Obama tapped him to be the chief U.S. diplomat in Beijing, Baucus had advised the U.S.-China Policy Foundation, which was funded by U.S. branches of Chinese banks and Huawei. The rules governing disclosure are loose, with obvious loopholes. For instance, individuals advising a company that is technically not considered subsidized or controlled by a foreign government, such as TikTok, don’t have to register as lobbyists if their lobbying activities constitute less than 20% of their services for that client over a three-month period. The law allows the lobbyists themselves to determine the 20% filing threshold. In addition to TikTok, Hikvision has hired several former members of Congress and top U.S. officials to help it fight increasingly severe U.S. sanctions.  In 2018, Congress banned the use of Hikvision and Dahua (another Chinese video-surveillance company) products throughout the U.S. government and for U.S.-funded contracts. The following year, the two companies were two of 28 entities added to a sanctioned blacklist of firms implicated in human rights violations and abuses in implementing China’s campaign of repression against the Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minority groups in China’s Xinjiang region. The Federal Communications Commission has layered on more sanctions over the last two years, while U.S. intelligence agencies have warned of Hikvision’s attempts to circumvent the ban on sales to the U.S. government by disguising it as the source of the products. In early March, Mike McCaul and Gregory Meeks, the top Republican and Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, respectively, called on the Biden administration to impose harsher human rights sanctions on Hikvision. A warning about Hikvision’s deceptive U.S. sales practices, which cited a Defense Intelligence Agency finding, also was part of last month’s massive trove of classified documents leaked by 21-year-old National Guardsman Jack Teixeira. In addition to Vitter and Moffett, Mercury hired Peter Kucik, a former senior sanctions policy adviser at the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions, and added him to the Hikvision account. Kucik’s 2021 hiring was announced just days after the Wall Street Journal reported on new research on Hikvision’s ties to the Chinese military. More recently, Hikvision added Pierre-Richard Prosper, an attorney for ArentFox Schiff, a D.C. law and lobbying firm, to its U.S. advocacy and legal team, although he has not registered as a lobbyist for Hikvision and may not have to according to complicated disclosure rules. Prosper served as the U.S. State Department’s ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues in the mid-2000s and previously as a war crimes prosecutor at the United Nations in the late 1990s. At least one former lawmaker-turned-Hikvision lobbyist cut ties to the company after a public intra-party backlash. Sen. Barbara Boxer signed on with Mercury and registered as a foreign agent for Hikvision in early 2021 but quickly de-registered after Biden’s Inauguration Committee returned her donation of $500, citing her work for the massive Chinese tech company. Vitter and Moffett, however, have continued their lobbying roles, with Vitter proclaiming himself as a “proud member of the Hikvision team” and disparaging Sen. Marco Rubio as “anti-China” in an audio recording of a Hikvision USA employee conference call, obtained by IPVM in 2019.  Vitter’s political donations also have continued to flow to several GOP members, including now-Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who has made investigating China a top priority of his House leadership this year. Vitter sent a $1,500 check to McCarthy’s re-election committee in 2022 and another $2,500 in 2020. After RCP asked about the Vitter donations, a McCarthy campaign spokesman said it plans to donate the funds to charity at the end of the quarter, a sign of the growing unease about foreign influence-peddling especially by sanctioned Chinese companies. After becoming speaker earlier this year, McCarthy created several select committees to investigate the threat China poses to the U.S. and called the CCP “the greatest geopolitical threat of our lifetime.” "We need a whole-of-government approach that will build on the efforts of the Republican-led China Task Force and ensure America is prepared to tackle the economic and security challenges posed by the CCP,” he said, previewing his plans in late December. Aside from national security concerns, Wolf and others also say China’s egregious human rights abuses should be enough to stop the revolving door from Capitol Hill to K Street.  Wolf points to new well-documented evidence of CCP-directed organ harvesting from detained Uyghurs and other prisoners of conscience while they remained alive or before they were declared brain-dead, a severe violation of international ethical norms. Louisa Greve, the director of global advocacy for the Uyghur Human Rights Project, said every U.S. law and lobbying firm faces a clear choice on whether to help support companies involved or directly implicated in egregious human rights violations. “It is un-American and unconscionable for anyone — and certainly public servants who in their time promised their voters they would serve the public good and who retain the title of honorable after they serve — to immediately go and help a genocidal regime,” she said in an interview. In the case of Russia, it took the Ukraine invasion to force U.S. lobbyists to end their lucrative contracts and comply with the sweeping new laws. Does Greve think only an invasion of Taiwan will force similar U.S. prohibitions on China lobbying? “The red line should be genocide,” she said, “and a recognition of our strategic interest to preserve the basic framework of freedom for ourselves and our allies and anyone else who wants to join a world governed by the rule of law and peaceful trade.” Tyler Durden Tue, 05/30/2023 - 23:40.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMay 31st, 2023

Fights over political lines have fueled the aging of America"s government. But that may be changing.

Older members of Congress have long held the upper hand when redistricting pits them against a colleague. But partisanship is changing the game. Marianne Ayala/Insider Redistricting and fights over political lines have fueled the aging of America's government.   More often than not, older members of Congress win in primaries between two incumbents. But polarization and partisanship are enabling younger members to knock out their elders. Read more from Insider's "Red, White, and Gray" series. Every 10 years, a new US Census forces states to redraw their political maps through redistricting. Whenever a state loses a House seat in the process, incumbent members of Congress are forced to run against each other — and younger, less experienced incumbents often end up on the chopping block. An Insider analysis, based on data compiled by Bloomberg's Greg Giroux, found that in 20 incumbent-on-incumbent contests since 1992 where there was an age difference of at least two years between the candidates, 12 were won by the older member and eight by the younger member. The dynamics of member-on-member contests have favored older incumbents and reinforced the gerontocracy in American politics as we know it. Since the 1990s, the age of Congress has significantly increased compared to the baseline growth seen over the 20th century — and redistricting has only hastened that trend. "It doesn't surprise me that age would make a difference on the margins," Jamie Carson, a political scientist at the University of Georgia who studies congressional elections, told Insider of member-on-member races. "It brings a bit more experience, better fundraising prowess, and maybe they know the district better." The 2012 cycle, where the more senior representative won eight of 11 such contests following redistricting, was particularly brutal for younger incumbents. In New Jersey, then 75-year-old Bill Pascrell easily dispatched 59-year-old Democratic Rep. Steven Rothman by 22 points when the two ran in the same district in 2012. Fifty-year-old Rep. David Schweikert narrowly ousted the one-term 35-year-old Ben Quayle, the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, in the Phoenix suburbs. Sixty-nine-year-old John Mica, who had served in Congress for nearly 20 years, knocked out 55-year-old Sandy Adams, who served one term, in suburban Central Florida. And 60-year-old Janice Hahn defeated fellow Democrat Laura Richardson, 50, in the general election for California's 44th District by a resounding 20 points.GOP Rep. Alex Mooney, left, and Rep. David McKinley, right, are facing off in a member-on-member primary in West Virginia.AP Photo/Chris Tilley, File, AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, FileYouth movement — fueled by partisanship?But that trend is changing. Accelerating partisanship and polarization, in particular, are shaking up the game — and increasingly empowering younger lawmakers to knock out their more senior rivals. In 2022, the 75-year-old, five-term Rep. David McKinley, a West Virginia Republican, had some key advantages on his side when reapportionment put him in the same district as 50-year-old Rep. Alex Mooney. McKinley, endorsed by both Virginia's Republican governor and its powerful Democratic senator, Joe Manchin, was able to tout his role in the passage of a landmark bipartisan infrastructure bill that provided much-needed funds for his state. But an endorsement from President Donald Trump and hundreds of thousands in outside spending from conservative groups boosted Mooney to win the day. Younger candidates have won four out of six member-on-member primaries of the 2022 cycle, though in one case, Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, who's 75, was younger by just a few months than Democratic rival, Rep. Carolyn Maloney. And in the cases of the two older incumbents who came out on top in their races, age and tenure in Congress weren't the deciding factors.Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois outside a January 6 committee hearing on June 13, 2022.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesState lawmakers have expertly wielded their redistricting pens to kneecap their opponents — and hurt younger candidates Over the decades, intentional partisan gerrymandering — and the inevitable reshuffling that comes along with states losing districts and redrawing their lines — have dashed many congressional careers and aspirations.Partisan gerrymandering and internal party struggle over district lines can also prevent young candidates or candidates from diverse backgrounds from getting elected to Congress in the first place. "Wisconsin's 7th District is very gerrymandered, so that was already a challenge that, going in, I knew," Tricia Zunker, who ran as a Democrat in a special election in a rural, Republican-leaning north-central Wisconsin district in spring 2020, told Insider in an interview.Partisan gerrymandering, the redrawing of political district lines to favor one political party over the other, has gotten increasingly tactical. State lawmakers, in addition to utilizing the process to kneecap the opposing party, also make strategic choices about which members of Congress to sacrifice. In 2002, Republican state lawmakers in Michigan, who then controlled the redistricting process, drew two Democrats into the same blue district to make the surrounding districts safer for their party, a gerrymandering tactic known as packing.The new map put then 45-year-old Rep. Lynn Rivers in the same district as Rep. John Dingell, a scion of Michigan politics who still holds the mantle of the longest-serving member of Congress in history.Rivers mounted a competitive challenge — but still lost the race by 18 points. And she's not the only one who saw her time in Congress come to an end after partisan gerrymandering pitted her against a colleague. After the 2020 Census, Republican lawmakers in Georgia took the opportunity to force out one of the two Democratic women who had won seats in the blue-trending Atlanta suburbs, pushing Reps. Lucy McBath and Carolyn Bourdeaux into the same safely Democratic district. In Illinois, which lost one House seat after 2020, a map drawn by Democrats in the state legislature pitted two sets of Republican incumbents against each other in northern and central Illinois. Rep. Rodney Davis lost to freshman Rep. Mary Miller in one of those races. In the other, Rep. Adam Kinzinger decided to retire rather than run against Rep. Darin LaHood. "Through a strategic lens, it's a chance to knock out an incumbent and make that seat more vulnerable," Carson, the political scientist, said of gerrymandering.The game of political musical chairs set off by a state losing a seat in Congress can also box out young, upstart candidates hoping to break in. Lourin Hubbard, a 33-year-old water-quality-control manager in California's Central Valley, ran as a Democrat in a June 2022 special election after a top GOP representative, Devin Nunes, left Congress early to run the Trump Media & Technology Group, the company behind the former president's Truth Social platform.Hubbard, who lost to the 71-year-old Republican Connie Conway, considered running for a full term in Congress. But California's new commission-drawn congressional map, which will fully take effect come January 2023, dissolves Nunes' old district and splits it up into four new ones — including one held by Democratic Rep. Jim Costa. Hubbard told Insider that local county Democrats discouraged him from running for a full term in Congress against Costa, who now holds a safely Democratic Fresno-based seat.     The new map "created some tension and conflict" within the county Democratic Party. "And to avoid that conflict altogether, I was like, 'I'll just run in the special,'" he said. Democratic Rep. Andy Levin of Michigan at a press conference on Capitol Hill on February 9, 2022.Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty ImagesPartisanship and parochial factors are shaking up member-on-member primariesIncumbency is the best predictor of whether a candidate wins an election. Challengers, Carson noted, have the best shot at unseating incumbents if they have prior political experience, money, or are up against an incumbent with particular weaknesses or a scandal."Even if you don't like the incumbent, that's not enough," Ryan Williamson, a resident fellow for governance at the R Street Institute, a Washington DC-based policy think tank, told Insider. "You have to actively dislike the incumbent and mobilize around unseating them, which is a much higher burden."But the rare contests where incumbents are pitted against each other are "idiosyncratic," Carson said, and don't follow predictable patterns — especially in the 2022 cycle.        Two decades after the Dingell-Rivers race, another primary fight between two Michigan Democrats shows how partisanship and money can eclipse age, experience — and even membership in a political dynasty — in member-on-member races. Rep. Haley Stevens, 39, could have had an uphill battle against Rep. Andy Levin, 61, when he decided to run against her in her suburban Detroit district, which became more safely Democratic under new lines drawn by a citizen-led commission. Like Dingell in 1955, Levin took over the House seat held for decades by his father, Sander Levin, in the 2018 midterm elections, following both his father and his uncle, former Sen. Carl Levin, to Washington. But Levin took a risk by choosing to run in the safely blue 11th District instead of the more Republican 10th District where he lived, planting himself on largely unfamiliar turf where he represented just a quarter of the electorate. The explosion in outside campaign spending since 2002 has shaken up the dynamics of all House primaries and heavily factored into the 11th District contest. A slew of pro-Israel, women's, and progressive organizations poured over $9 million, $7.45 million of which benefited Stevens, into the race. Stevens ended up beating Levin by 20 points in August — overcoming both his seniority in age and the potency of his family name. Like in all House elections, money plays a significant role in member-on-member races. Older incumbents often have more money in the bank and more established fundraising networks from their years campaigning for elected office and, in some cases, greater personal wealth, candidates and experts told Insider. The candidate who spent the most money won four out of six member-on-member contests in 2022 and nine out of 11 contests in the 2012 cycle, according to an Insider analysis of campaign-finance records. "Every new midterm breaks the previous record, and a bulk of that money is going to flow to the most competitive primaries and general elections," Carson said, noting that "money is a necessary but not sufficient condition," particularly in member-on-member contests. State lawmakers have drawn incumbents together for political gain for decades, but the post-2020 redistricting cycle also saw many maps drawn by courts or independent commissions. Many of those commissions prioritized drawing competitive districts over protecting longtime incumbents, which blunted the advantage that some more tenured incumbents enjoyed. New York's court-drawn congressional map, resulting from a messy and protracted legal battle, pitted two longtime House Democrats and committee chairs, Nadler and Maloney, against each other in upper Manhattan.That race, a clash of two septuagenarian titans of New York politics, was driven more by parochial forces than national ones, with The New York Times editorial board and the powerful Sen. Chuck Schumer throwing their support behind Nadler in the final stretch. As the Stevens-Levin race showed, the member of Congress representing most of the new district's constituents is generally favored in a matchup between two incumbents in the same seat. But in other races, like the Hahn-Richardson contest, a candidate who represented very little of their new territory came out on top.  And four out of six member-on-member contests that have taken place so far in 2022 saw the member who represented less of their new district winning their race, according to Daily Kos Elections. In Georgia, for example, McBath won despite representing just 12% of her new district, while her opponent represented over 57% of it.    Partisanship and ideology are now playing a more prominent role than age and seniority in shaping House primaries, especially on the Republican side. The winners of the two 2022 primaries where Republican incumbents faced each other, Miller and Mooney had firmly aligned with Trump's wing of the Republican Party, earned Trump's endorsement, and also enjoyed outside spending on their behalf by groups like the Club for Growth and the political arm of the House Freedom Caucus. In Illinois, Miller defeated Davis by 14 points despite raising and spending less money than Davis, serving in Congress for less time, and only representing slightly more of the new district. Mooney, who also served less time and represented just a third of the redrawn district, defeated McKinley by an even wider margin of 18 points. Knocking out an incumbent with years of lawmaking experience is still difficult, and older candidates' structural advantages aren't disappearing. But the forces of partisanship are making it easier for challengers. House Republicans who fought the Trumpian takeover of the party, like Reps. Liz Cheney, Tom Rice, Peter Meijer, and Jaime Herrera Beutler, all lost to Trump-backed primary challengers. And others, like Kinzinger and Reps. Anthony Gonzalez, John Katko, and Fred Upton, chose to forgo running altogether. In all, 14 House incumbents lost renomination in 2022, the highest number in a single cycle since 1992. The forces of partisanship and polarization, Carson said, would have pushed that number even higher if not for dozens of members heading for the exits."For the longest time, it was hard to beat incumbents because people of the opposite party would be willing to cross party lines," Carson said. "That has changed. If you're a Democrat in a Republican district, your days are probably numbered."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 25th, 2022

These are the 12 most powerful people in China you"ve probably never heard of

In the chess game of Chinese politics, it's not always clear who pulls the strings. Here are the 12 most influential people who hold the fate — and might — of a country of 1.4 billion people in their hands. From Left to Right: Pony Ma, Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Huning, Wang Yang, Han Zheng, Xi Jinping, Colin Huang Zheng, Wang Qishan, Zhao Leji, Zhang Yiming, Zhong Shanshan, Zeng YuqunVCG/Getty; Ding Lin/Xinhua/Getty; Yan Yan/Xinhua/Getty; Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty; Rao Aimin/Xinhua/Getty; Ding Haitao/Xinhua/Getty; Ju Peng/Xinhua/Getty; Pang Xinglei/Xinhua/Getty; Ding Haitao/Xinhua/Getty; Rebecca Zisser/InsiderIn the chess game of Chinese politics, it's not always clear who pulls the strings. Here are the 12 most influential people who hold the fate — and might — of a country of 1.4 billion people in their hands.You may not have heard the name Li Keqiang before — but you likely soon will. That's because when the Chinese premier steps down from power in March 2023, a decision he confirmed in March, it will trigger a significant reshuffle in the upper echelons of the Chinese government. In a country where the succession of power has happened both slowly and deliberately, Li's retirement could kick off a fundamental shift in roles among China's most powerful government body  — the Politburo Standing Committee — and lead to further consolidation of power under Chinese leader Xi Jinping. The nexus of China's elite is often obscured by what appears to be the overwhelming control and centralization of power in Xi's hands. Having removed constitutional term limits on his role, Xi has positioned himself as the most powerful leader since Mao Zedong. He may now rule for life and continue regulating the country of 1.4 billion people with a tight grip on military reform, cybersecurity, and internet censorship. Xi, the 68-year-old twice-married supreme leader, served as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and Chair of the Central Military Commission before becoming president in 2013. Xi is among China's famed "princelings" — the descendants of prominent Communist Party officials who represent a powerful government faction. But while his princeling status — being the son of revolutionary Communist veteran Xi Zhongxun — may have helped get him to power, Xi has maintained his leadership role only by closely monitoring his inner circle and regularly shaking up the status quo. That tendency has proven dangerous for lifelong Chinese bureaucrats who get too comfortable in the bosom of the autocracy. Take former security chief Zhou Yongkang, prominent politician Bo Xilai, and Chongqing communist party chief Sun Zhengcai, for instance, all of whom were purged from the upper ranks of the Party during Xi's reign.China's impenetrable black box of power Chinese President Xi Jinping sits securely at the nexus of power in China. But the men who surround him also wield immense political clout.Xie Huanchi/Xinhua via Getty ImagesGiven the heavy censorship and control over state-linked media outlets in the country — it's nearly impossible to know what's really happening in China's halls of power. Observers have intently watched China's displays of strength at its military parades; looked into the tea leaves to predict China's line of succession post-Xi; and scrutinized seating charts to suss out government officials' proximity to the pinnacle of power. "What people really think is opaque beneath the chess game that they play. And the chess game itself goes on inside a highly impenetrable black box," Perry Link, an emeritus professor of East Asian studies at Princeton University, told CNN.Experts told Insider the Politburo — the highest decision-making body of the Chinese Communist Party — and its top members are the ones who are really in control in the country, despite the clout that high-profile Chinese billionaires seem to hold."The government campaigns over the last year — whether focused on celebrities or education tutoring companies — demonstrate the Chinese Party-state is the final arbiter of power. Companies or individuals who seemingly rise too high and supersede the power and/or authority of the Party-state will be subjected to some form of punishment," Jennifer Hsu, a researcher of public opinion and foreign policy at the Lowy Institute, told Insider. Perhaps no one knows that better than Jack Ma.Ma, the founder of e-commerce and tech company Alibaba, enjoyed a charmed life of high-profile appearances and an overflowing bank account — Ma was reportedly worth $62 billion in 2020 at the height of his power, making him the richest man in China. But in October 2020, he criticized China's financial regulatory system, suggesting that Chinese banks were crawling along behind the times, continuing to follow global rules that are part of "an old people's club."  Then Ma disappeared. Some believed he'd been spirited away by the Chinese government to a detention camp. Others assumed he was deliberately lying low. When Ma finally surfaced — much-chastened — in early 2021. China had opened an antitrust investigation into Alibaba and shut down Ma's plans for an Ant Group IPO. It was a potent reminder that while it's possible to reap huge financial rewards as a business leader in China, the CCP still wields the ultimate power. "Of course, they have huge resources and 'soft power' that comes from being admired as business executives. But in the end, the Party can influence them to do what they want — it doesn't really work the other way round," Rana Mitter, a professor of history and modern Chinese politics at Oxford, told Insider.We took a peek into Xi's inner circle and narrowed down the list of the top 12 most influential people surrounding Xi Jinping. We spoke to experts who told us more about the inner workings of the Communist Party, what true power means in China, and who wields it. Xi's inner circle — the Politburo Standing Committee and his vice president, Wang Qishan — call all the shots Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) arrives with Premier Li Keqiang (L) and members of the Politburo Standing Committee for a reception at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on the eve of China's National Day on September 30, 2021.Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images)The CCP formed the first Politburo Standing Committee in July 1928. It comprised the top members of the Chinese government — including the future Chairman Mao, who became the Chinese leader in 1949. The contemporary Politburo is now thought to be handpicked by outgoing Standing Committee members in consultation with retired top leaders and previous standing committee members. The Communist Party's central committee holds closed-door meetings to choose its 25-member Politburo — and within that number is the exclusive Politburo Standing Committee. It comprises Xi and six others who meet and operate largely in secrecy. The latest reshuffle of the Politburo Standing Committee occurred in 2017 when five new members— Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji, and Han Zheng — were promoted to the committee. But given that these men are all 65 and older and either close to or long past the retirement age of 67, there appears to be no clear succession plan for Xi, who has all but paved the way to break with tradition and grant himself a third term. Xi is also flanked by his vice president, Wang Qishan, who has known the premier since the two were teens. While Wang is not part of the PSC, he also wields a fair amount of power due to his proximity to Xi. Whether there will be further changes to the political landscape, and whether Xi will elect more members of allegiant factions, will be decided in the fall of 2022, when the 20th Party Congress commences. In the meantime, political power under Xi remains consolidated among the following men: Wang Qishan serves as vice president under Xi and is considered one of China's most potent 'princelings'Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan is one of Xi's key allies, and met the Chinese leader when they were teens.Pang Xinglei/Xinhua via Getty ImagesChina's Vice President Wang Qishan, 73, is Xi's right-hand man. Before Xi came to power, Wang was known as a princeling politician by marriage, rising in prominence in the CCP partly because of his marriage to the daughter of former executive vice-premier Yao Yilin.Ties to Xi: The son of an engineering professor, Wang met and befriended the then 15-year-old Xi when the pair were assigned manual labor roles in a farming community near Yan'an, Shaanxi province, during the Cultural Revolution. Wang later joined the CCP in 1983 and rose to become a ranking member of the Politburo in 2007, helping to front China's trade talks with the US. Wang also helped helm Xi's pet project, an anti-corruption purge of tens of thousands of prominent Chinese officials that kicked off in 2013. Wang, a long-standing ally of Xi's, reportedly helped the Chinese leader purge their rivals, using the anti-corruption campaign as a tool.Perhaps unsurprisingly, Wang is a big fan of the Netflix series "House of Cards."Victor Shih, an expert in China and Pacific relations and associate professor of political science at the University of California San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy, told Insider he thinks there might be a power shift where Wang is concerned after the fall of 2022. "Wang likely will fully retire, as will many of the technocrats he nurtured in the past," Shih said. "With his own full retirement, as well as the retirement of his followers, Wang's influence will also be much diminished."Li Keqiang was once expected to be the successor to former President Hu Jintao but was sidelined in favor of XiLi, 66, is currently the premier of the People's Republic of China — but he's now slated to step down this fall.Ding Lin/Xinhua via Getty ImagesLi, 66, is currently the premier of the People's Republic of China and the Party secretary of the State Council of the People's Republic of China.Li's humble beginnings in Anhui, eastern China, and his career in China's Communist Youth League, helped him climb the Party's ranks. During his tenure, he focused primarily on managing China's economy, which led to the country's economic performance rating system being dubbed the "Keqiang Index." Li has managed several important portfolios — he handled aspects of the Chinese economy and infrastructural growth, and was charged with drafting China's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ties to Xi: Li is a known ally of Xi's predecessor, former President Hu Jintao, and his closeness to Hu led some to speculate that he was being groomed to succeed Hu. But after much hype, Li was sidelined for the top job in favor of Xi. Li was named premier in 2013, but Xi's decision to expand his control of the economy encroached on Li's turf, weakening Li's power to some extent. Li also saw his influence erode after China's 2015 stock market meltdown, for which he was blamed. "Li Keqiang has been a weak premier, mostly because Xi Jinping has relied on Liu He and the Central Commission for the Comprehensive Deepening of Reform, which Xi heads," said Joseph Fewsmith, professor of international relations and political science and director of the Boston University Center for the Study of Asia. "I would expect Li to exercise little influence after his retirement. The interesting question is who will replace him as premier," Fewsmith added, noting that Hu Chunhua, a prominent Politburo politician, might be next in line. Li Zhanshu was relegated to far-flung posts in rural China before staking his claim in the PolitburoPolitburo Standing Committee member Li Zhanshu is one of Xi's closest allies in the top echelons of China's power players.Yan Yan/Xinhua via Getty ImagesLi, 71, is a ranking member of the Politburo Standing Committee and the current chairman of the standing committee of China's National People's Congress. He's considered the third most powerful man in China. Li saw a minor setback in his climb to the top when in 2003, he was sent off to Heilongjiang, a far-north province, and put in charge of revitalizing China's "rust belt." He composed a poem about the experience:"A real man has no fear of dangerous tasks, Mountains are rich in beauty and peaks are ever breathtaking.The mighty autumn wind only bullies the weak, Still the falcon spreads its wings and soars toward heaven." As governor of Heilongjiang, Li revitalized the province's irrigation project and boosted its agricultural output. But this did little to elevate Li's status. In 2010, he was sent to Guizhou, China's poorest province, and was tasked with improving the province's infrastructure and economy.It wasn't until 2012 that fortune finally smiled upon Li. Having bided his time for close to a decade, Xi — an old friend of Li's —  promoted him to the general office of the Chinese Communist Party, a role equivalent to the "gatekeeper" or Chief of Staff in Xi's government. He is known to abide by three "nos" — no messing around with people, no playing games, and no slacking off on the job. Ties to Xi: Li is thought to be one of the senior members of Xi's personal "clique." Li's ties to Xi go back to the 1980s during their early days in the CCP, when Li served as party secretary one county over from Zhengding County, where Xi was CCP chief. Fewsmith, the Boston University professor, said Li Zhanshu and his colleague, Zhao Leji, were "already very prominent" in the Standing Committee. However, Shih believes that if Xi were to abide by the old rules that committee members must retire at 67, and not make an exception for Li and Zhao, they both might have to step down. "However, these two have managed to cultivate and promote sizable networks in the upper echelons of the party, so they will have considerable post-retirement influence," Shih said. Wang Yang has a reputation as a 'reformer' and an advocate of the free marketWang is also one of the known liberals and "reformers" in the Communist Party.Rao Aimin/ Xinhua via Getty ImagesWang, 67, is a member of the Politburo standing committee and the Party secretary of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.Wang spent his early years involved in politics in his hometown of Anhui, climbing up through the lower ranks of local government to eventually become the party committee secretary of Chongqing. Wang is also one of the known liberals and "reformers" in the CCP, advocating for free markets and governing with a softer, ground-up approach."There's no particularly helpful way to rank (the members of the Politburo Standing Committee), but it's worth noting that Wang Yang is being tipped as a possible premier, which is intriguing as he has encouraged freer markets in the past as a provincial party secretary, and that Wang Huning is widely regarded as the ideological thinker who has influenced Xi the most," Mitter, the Oxford professor, said.  Ties to Xi: Wang criticized the rise of "princeling" power in the early 2010s. That made him an unpopular choice for a seat on the Politburo Standing Committee back in 2012 when Hu Jintao was in control. But he was later elected to the 19th Politburo Standing Committee in 2017 and, in 2018, began spearheading the Chinese government's policies in the highly contested Uyghur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang. Like Li Keqiang, Wang is thought to be within the Hu faction, with Li Zhanshu and Zhao Leji being part of the Xi clique. According to think tank Brookings, being part of the Hu faction, backed by former President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, meant being part of a "populist coalition." This was as opposed to being part of Xi's "elite coalition," currently the most powerful government faction.Wang Huning, described as a workaholic and insomniac, is considered the mastermind behind Xi's massive Belt and Road initiativeWang is known to be the ideological powerhouse of the Chinese leadership, and the brains behind Xi's philosophy — "Xi Jinping Thought."Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty ImagesWang, 66, is the secretary of the Central Secretariat of the CCP. He was an academic at the prestigious Shanghai Fudan University before quitting to pursue politics in 1984. Wang has been described as a shadowy figure, a workaholic, and an insomniac.He is credited with being the intellectual and ideological mastermind behind Xi's "China Dream," an aspiration for China to become the world's dominant power. He is also the architect of "Xi Jinping Thought," a 14-point policy plan to establish socialism with Chinese characteristics.Wang is seen as the Kissinger-style strategist behind Xi's Belt and Road Initiative, an aggressive foreign policy and development strategy that seeks to expand China's influence across Asia and beyond. Ties to Xi: Widely thought to be the most intelligent of all the Politburo Standing Committee Members, Wang has accompanied Xi on many overseas trips. He was also a longtime adviser in the Chinese government, serving under two of Xi's predecessors, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao. "Wang is the ultimate survivor, and three general secretaries have relied on his advice. He will also be 67, thus eligible for another term, if the old rules apply," Fewsmith said. "Xi may want him to hang around, but if Xi needs an extra seat (on the Standing Committee) for a valued friend, Wang may be sacrificed." Zhao Leji has helmed Xi's anti-corruption push and is responsible for arresting thousands of party officialsZhao spearheaded Xi's anti-corruption drive to purge officials accused of improper behavior.Ding Haitao/Xinhua via Getty ImagesZhao, 65, is a member of the Standing Committee and the chief of Xi's anti-corruption campaign.He was heavily involved in Xi's crackdown on "tigers and flies" — including the arrest of thousands of high and low-ranking officials alike — and has been at the helm of Xi's top anti-corruption body since October 2017. Zhao's family consisted of senior communist party officials, and he was able to enroll at the prestigious Peking University ahead of the end of the Cultural Revolution — an indication of his family's clout and influence within the CCP. Ties to Xi: Like Li Zhanshu, Zhao is known to be a member of the Xi clique. He served as party chief in Shaanxi province — Xi's ancestral home. Zhao is known to have close personal links to Xi's family and benefits from a long-standing friendship between his father and Xi's. He has also proved fiercely loyal to Xi and has helped the Chinese president reinforce an iron grip on full and strict Party governance. Han Zheng has ties to several past PSC membersHan Zheng worked as Xi's deputy in Shanghai, and earned a Politburo seat himself when Xi became the CCP's general secretary in 2012.Ding Haitao/Xinhua via Getty ImagesHan Zheng, 67, is the Deputy Party Secretary of the State and the first vice-premier of China. He was a career politician in Shanghai and became the city's youngest mayor at 48. He is considered to be one of the top economic shot-callers and a seasoned technocrat. Ties to Xi: Han was mentored by Huang Ju, Wu Bangguo, Zhu Rongji, Zeng Qinghong, and Yu Zhengsheng — five of his patrons who all later served on the Politburo Standing Committee. Han later worked as Xi's deputy in Shanghai in 2007, before Xi became a member of the Politburo Standing Committee. Han then earned a Politburo seat himself when Xi became the CCP's general secretary in 2012. Interestingly, both professors Fewsmith and Shih both expect Han to step down this fall, having passed the retirement age. "He will retire and it will be an open question whether the Shanghai-line (of power), which started with Jiang Zemin, will continue to produce top-level officials," Shih told Insider. The outer circle. China's billionaire businessmen have plenty of clout, but they still lack access to XiJack Ma used to be one of China's most influential men — and while he still is a billionaire, his clout in China's elite has been significant reduced. With Ma having been made an example of, other Chinese billionaires have no choice but to toe the line.Elaine Thompson-Pool/Getty ImagesChina's rich list comprises individuals who have gained clout by building tech empires and pharmaceutical businesses worth billions. However, China's billionaires operate by different rules, particularly after the fall of Jack Ma. Xi's push toward "common prosperity" — the idea that the wealthy must share their good fortune with the poor — has changed the ways that China's richest operate. Xi vowed in 2021 to "adjust the excessive incomes" of China's crazy-rich and redistribute their wealth in a push for high-income enterprises to "return more to society" in the spirit of "social fairness."Gone are the days of outspoken billionaires rocking out on stage in flamboyant outfits as Ma did back in 2019. These days, the ultra-rich toe the line and stay under the radar amid intense tech crackdowns, eager to not test Xi's patience and lose it all.China's richest man, Nongfu Spring Water's Zhong Shanshan, is nicknamed 'Lone Wolf'Nongfu Spring Water and pharmaceutical billionaire Zhong ShanshanVCG/Getty ImagesZhong, 67, is the chairman of Nongfu Spring Water and the owner of Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise. He also currently holds the title of China's richest man, with an estimated net worth of $66.2 billion. Zhong is known as the "Lone Wolf," and lives a low-key lifestyle, rarely making media appearances. Influence: Zhong is responsible for establishing the idea within China that bottled water — like what he sells — helps to improve one's health. He also managed to tap into China's demand for COVID-19 tests, fulfilling that need with Wantai's resources. ByteDance's Zhang Yiming has been accused of being an 'American apologist'ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming.Shannon Stapleton/ReutersBillionaire Zhang Yiming built his fortune when he co-founded Bytedance, the tech giant behind TikTok and its Chinese version, Douyin. With a net worth of $44.5 billion, Zhang is the second-richest man in China, even after stepping down from his role as CEO of Bytedance in May 2021. Influence: With 600 million daily active users, Zhang's Douyin is undoubtedly one of the most influential technology apps in China. However, Zhang ran into some trouble in 2020; critics in China called him an "American apologist" when rumors brewed of a possible Microsoft acquisition of TikTok. Zhang's tenure as CEO of Bytedance also included tussles with then-President Donald Trump, who he once said was trying to kill the app. Bytedance currently faces an investigation from a bipartisan group of state attorneys-general, who want to investigate TikTok's influence on young people.Robin Zeng Yuqun's Contemporary Amperex Technology Company supplies lithium-ion batteries to companies including Tesla, Daimler, and BMWChinese battery maker CATL CEO Robin Zeng attends a news conference in Berlin, Germany July 9, 2018.REUTERS/Hannibal HanschkeZeng, 53, is the founder of Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), which makes batteries for electric vehicles. A self-made man, Zeng began his career in shipbuilding, then transitioned into building a lithium-ion battery empire. With a net worth of $43.1 billion, Zeng is the third-richest person in China. Influence: Zeng's influence goes beyond China —CATL supplies components to Tesla and other international car companies like Daimler and BMW. CATL also became China's second-biggest stock by market value in November 2021, behind the Chinese liquor maker Kweichow Moutai Co., and has dominated the market for electric car batteries. Tencent's Pony Ma Huateng has a net worth of nearly $50 billionPony Ma is chief executive of TencentVisual China Group via Getty ImagesMa, 50, is the founder and CEO of internet company Tencent, China's biggest internet portal. Tencent also governs a gaming empire and is responsible for WeChat, the Chinese super-app on which people can message their friends, make payments, and call cabs. With a net worth of over $49.1 billion, Ma is the fourth-richest person in China. Influence: Tencent remains the most influential tech company in the country, but like other billionaires, Ma has had to pivot to promoting the social media giant in a positive and patriotic light. In line with Xi's crackdown on tech companies, Ma said that Tencent would be a "good aide"  to the Chinese government, adding that the company knew its place and would not shirk its duty to serve the country. However, this did not spare Tencent from feeling the effects of Xi's crackdown. Ma lost $14 billion of his net worth from December 2020 to August 2021.Colin Huang Zheng founded the e-commerce platform Pinduoduo, a gamified online marketplacePinduoduo's Colin Huang ZhengVCG/Getty ImagesHuang began his career at Google as a software engineer in 2004 but resigned in 2007 to start his own e-commerce and gaming ventures. He founded the e-commerce giant Pinduoduo in 2015. Huang has a net worth of $33.1 billion and is the sixth-richest person in China. Pinduoduo is a gamified online marketplace that involves letting users buy items at sale prices by playing games. One of the app's functions allows people to "group-buy" things with friends. Pinduoduo makes money by charging sellers a commission to promote items on the app. Influence: Wealth and riches could well be a form of power in themselves, but Huang appeared to be shying from the limelight when he quit his roles as CEO and chairman of the e-commerce giant he helped build. In a statement in March 2021, Pinduoduo said Huang was stepping down to "pursue research in the food and life sciences, disciplines where breakthroughs could drive the future of China's largest agriculture platform."While no overt moves were made to force Huang's hand, he appeared to be joining other tech billionaires in a coincidental move toward giving hundreds of millions in donations to charity amid the Chinese government's crackdown on tech tycoons.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytApr 11th, 2022

New York AG Tish James is running for governor on her record of taking on Trump. But her role in the criminal probe of his company remains hazy.

What James has contributed to the Trump Organization criminal investigation is less clear than her record challenging the former president's policies. New York Attorney General and governor candidate Letitia James and former President Donald Trump. David Dee Delgado/Getty Images; Paul Hennessy/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images New York AG Letitia James has joined forces with the Manhattan DA for the Trump Organization investigation. She's also running for governor and touting her record of going after former President Donald Trump. Her office has scored wins against Trump on the policy front, but her exact role in the criminal investigation is unclear. When New York Attorney General Letitia James announced her run for the governor's mansion in October, she highlighted some of her biggest cases. And she put 76 of them in one category."I've sued the Trump administration 76 times," she said. "But who's counting?"James' challenges to former President Donald Trump fall into two categories, one of which went unmentioned in her announcement video.There are the cases she brought against the Trump administration, including lawsuits trying to halt policies that she alleged protected predatory lenders, relaxed environmental rules, and discriminated against LGBTQ people."Defending the rights and wellbeing of New Yorkers and fighting for the powerless have always been my top priorities as attorney general," James told Insider in a statement, once again touting her office's 76 lawsuits. "For two years, my office stood up and fought the Trump Administration every time it tried to trample on the rights of New Yorkers and Americans across the country."James also brought cases against Trump personally, including an investigation into the Trump Organization, which so far has produced a criminal indictment against the former president's company and its CFO, Allen Weisselberg.Two prosecutors from James' office were cross-designated to work with the Manhattan District Attorney's office, which is leading the Trump Organization probe. Since the investigation is ongoing - prosecutors impaneled a second grand jury for the case earlier this month - there's limited public information about the machinations behind the probe, including what work each office has contributed thus far.While James can't talk about the details because the investigation is ongoing, Daniel R. Alonso, a former top deputy for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., pointed out the information James' office gathered for its civil cases against Trump could be a major asset."My best guess is that what the attorney general's office brought to the table is a hell of a lot of knowledge about the Trump Organization," Alonso told Insider. James has called out Trump from her perch as New York AGJames has approached her cases against the Trump administration with a special zeal. When he was in office, she used her position to get federal courts to halt policies she said trampled on civil rights issues."We filed 76 lawsuits against an administration that was hostile towards women, immigrants, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, workers, and countless others; and we won over and over again," she told Insider. "Now, under the Biden-Harris Administration, we've seen decisive leadership that has protected young Dreamers, women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and millions of others across New York and the rest of the United States."James also scored a big win with her office's investigation into the Trump Foundation, which was forced to dissolve in 2019, though the civil lawsuit began under the tenure of her predecessor, Barbara Underwood. Trump admitted to illegally using the nonprofit's money for personal profit and to advance his political career. Donald Trump attends the National Prayer Breakfast at a hotel in Washington, DC on February 8, 2018. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images In an interview with ABC's "The View" in December 2020, when asked about Trump calling her investigations against him "harassment," James basically launched into a campaign speech.​​"With respect to the rant of the President of the United States since I've been in office these past two years - yes, my office has either led or joined 68 lawsuits against this administration. Protecting our environment, protecting immigrants, protecting the rights of women, protecting dreamers, protecting the Affordable Care Act, protecting the Postal Service and the list goes on," she said, adding: "It's important that the president of the United States understand that no one is above the law."The law came for the former president's business after Michael Cohen, the former Trump Organization executive and personal lawyer for Trump, testified before Congress in February 2019. He alleged the company kept two sets of books: one to receive favorable bank loan and insurance rates, the other to pay little in taxes.Both the Manhattan DA's office and the New York Attorney General's office were listening. The offices then opened investigations, on parallel tracks, to examine the company's finances. Court filings and public announcements suggested they were each looking at whether the Trump Organization broke state laws by making hush-money payments to people who said they had affairs with Trump, by misrepresenting its finances, and by offering untaxed benefits to top employees.James and the Manhattan DA joined forcesAs recently as fall 2020, both prosecutors' offices had separate teams working what appeared to be the same leads. In an interview with Insider , Jennifer Weisselberg, a cooperating witness for both investigations, said that investigators from each office asked her about the same issues in separate interviews.James' office distinguished itself in the following months with a series of announcements about the inquiries into the valuations of several Trump Organization properties as part of a civil investigation. Among them is 40 Wall Street, located just across the street from James' office in Manhattan. The Trump Organization's Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, center, arrives for a courtroom appearance in New York, Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) The properties also include the Seven Springs estate in upstate New York, which the Trump Organization said in tax filings was used as a nature conservatory. Eric and Donald Trump Jr. said in media interviews that they used the estate as a summer home, however, and James' office successfully forced Eric Trump, now a Trump Organization executive, to sit for an interview.Meanwhile, Vance's office put enormous resources into the case. It went to the Supreme Court twice to enforce a subpoena for the Trump Organization and obtain reams of tax documents. Solomon Shinerock - the prosecutor in the DA's office who has been doing almost all the talking at the two public court hearings so far - said in September that the office had about 6 million pages of evidence for the charges against Weisselberg and the company.Under state statute, the New York Attorney General's office has the ability to bring criminal cases under only a few areas of law. Otherwise, it needs a referral from the governor's office or state legislature to pursue a wide-ranging criminal investigation.The office can also "cross-designate" its attorneys with a district attorney's office, which is what happened for the Trump Organization investigation. Earlier this year, two prosecutors on James' team were basically loaned out to the Manhattan DA's office. The team-up saves work for everyone, Alonso said."If somebody's already gathered evidence, and they've already cataloged that they've already interviewed witnesses related to it - there's a value in accelerating that part of the investigation," Alonso said. "So it makes sense to team up." Cyrus Roberts Vance Jr. District Attorney of New York County and New York State Attorney General Letitia James arrive in court for the hearing of Allen Weisselberg in New York on July 1, 2021. Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images The DA and AG offices jointly led a criminal investigation, while the AG's office has also continued its civil probe. In July, the prosecutors on the criminal case filed a 15-count indictment against the Trump Organization and Weisselberg, accusing the executive of evading taxes on income and benefits like a free apartment. Vance and James walked side-by-side that day into court, where the company and Weisselberg pleaded not guilty to the charges."My office remains committed to enforcing the law and holding accountable those who abuse their authority - no matter how powerful," James said in the statement to Insider.Vance will retire on December 31 after three terms as DA, and on January 1, Alvin Bragg will take over. Bragg is a former top official in the New York State Attorney General's office himself, leaving two weeks before James took office. He's widely expected to keep the same tack as Vance."My approach to this case will be the same as mine to every case: follow the facts and deliver justice for New Yorkers," Bragg told Insider in June. "That's what we did in the Attorney General's office where I led the team that sued Trump and his administration more than 100 times, including successfully suing the Trump Foundation, removing the citizenship question from the census, and challenging the travel bans and other unlawful policies."Running for governor as a sitting AG is a tradition in New York politicsIn Albany, James has earned a reputation as a shrewd operator and a rising star in the Democratic Party. As the state's attorney general, she's in the process of suing the National Rifle Association into oblivion, and her office's investigations and litigation has shut down consumer scams and led to hundreds of gun buybacks. Nearly every day, her office issues a press release about cases against predatory lenders and opioid deaths.Now that the gubernatorial primary is open, lawmakers are weighing whom to support, or whether to stay out of the race altogether as Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul implements her agenda while trying to secure a full term.For Assemblyman Phil Steck, an Upstate Democrat from Schenectady who has yet to endorse a candidate, James' record on antitrust enforcement and opioids carries more weight than her challenges to Trump."I'm a fan of the attorney general for two reasons," Steck, who endorsed James' rival, Zephyr Teachout, in the 2018 AG primary, told Insider. In that primary, disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo endorsed James. Attorney General of New York Letitia James and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) take part in ceremonies before the Veteran's Day Parade in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 11, 2021. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri "First, since she's been attorney general, I think the office has done a lot of outstanding work in many areas that protect the public interest," Steck continued. "Two, she has a long history of progressive politics. So in comparison - while I know the current governor very well and like her - the reality is that the new administration is surrounding itself with a very similar aura to that which existed when Andrew Cuomo was governor."Changing how business is done in Albany could be a very powerful message for the James campaign following nearly three full terms of the Cuomo administration, Steck said. But he added that the AG's Trump investigations could play well in a primary atmosphere."I think from a strategic standpoint, what Tish James is doing is trying to show to Democrats that she was someone who was willing to take on Donald Trump," the assemblyman said.But did James's lawsuits against the Trump administration - often filed in concert with other Democratic state AGs - result in substantial change? One Democratic operative told Insider they didn't think so."Clearly Tish used Trump to raise her profile, and you see that in the announcement video," a longtime Democratic New York political operative, who plans on sitting out the 2022 gubernatorial primary campaign, told Insider."You know who's counting? The people who have seen zero results out of this," the operative continued. "To voters in New York and Democrats and donors across the country who were resting their hopes on Tish James, she's delivered bupkis." New York Attorney General Letitia James (L) and Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz take a look at some guns after a gun buyback event organized by the NYPD on June 12, 2021. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz Given that attorney general has been a well-trodden springboard for Empire State gubernatorial hopefuls - Cuomo ran on a "Clean Up Albany" slogan when he secured the top job - James' ability to showcase her record could make or break her campaign, according to the longtime state political operative."New York attorney general is one of the best perches for a push to run for office," the operative said. "Ask Elliot Spitzer. Ask Andrew Cuomo. Right? Elliot Spitzer, sheriff of Wall Street, took down titans in the financial industry - what did Tish do? She filed a few lawsuits against Donald Trump?"From the perspective of rival campaigns, the operative argued, there's an opening to to turn the primary electorate's anti-Trump fervor against James in a "boomerang" fashion."I do believe that you are going to see her Democratic opponents saying, 'Tish, where's the beef?'" the operative said, referencing the 1980s ad campaign from Wendy's. "So yeah, I think it's going to be a problem."Yet for a potential key Upstate endorsement like Steck, that decision won't hinge on James' Trump investigations."I'm just stressing the point that for me, when my decision as to who I might support for governor is announced, it's not going to be based on Donald Trump," Steck said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 12th, 2021

Clarence credit union"s new CEO comes from a local bank

A longtime Bank of Akron employee is now the CEO of Clarence Community & Schools Federal Credit Union. Rebecca Smith replaces former CEO Marsha Brauer, who plans to retire July 31. Smith started the job on July 9. The announcement comes more than.....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJul 25th, 2018

Citigroup CFO Gerspach to retire, be replaced by Mason: memo

Citigroup Inc's longtime Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach will retire in March, to be replaced by Mark Mason, CFO of the institutional clients group, the third-largest U.S. bank told employees on Tuesday......»»

Category: topSource: reutersSep 4th, 2018

Northwest Bank chairman sets retirement date

The longtime leader of Northwest Bank will retire Oct. 5 from the company he has helped grow and shape since 1984. William Wagner announced in June that he would leave the bank and its parent company, Northwest Bancshares Inc., (NASDAQ: NWBI) dur.....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsSep 26th, 2018

Nonprofit Leader of the Year: George Jones

The longtime CEO helped the nonprofit's food bank return to its pre-pandemic service levels......»»

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The Signature Sandwich of Every State

Sandwiches are incredibly popular and according to the Wall Street Journal, about half of all adults in the United States consume one per day. There are many different types of bread found throughout the world, of which most if not all, pair very well with various ingredients, from fish and meat to the iconic peanut […] The post The Signature Sandwich of Every State appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.. Sandwiches are incredibly popular and according to the Wall Street Journal, about half of all adults in the United States consume one per day. There are many different types of bread found throughout the world, of which most if not all, pair very well with various ingredients, from fish and meat to the iconic peanut butter and jelly. Sandwiches are generally very easy to make and are usually very satisfying. They can serve as a full meal, a work lunch, or a fast breakfast on the go. (Here’s a list of the best breakfast sandwich in every state.) Although the most popular sandwich in the entire country is grilled cheese, with 79% of Americans declaring their liking for the toasty cheese between two slices, each state has its own favorite iconic sandwich. If you visit San Francisco or Buffalo, you have to try their signature sandwiches, Original Joe or a beef on weck – to get the full experience. To compile a list of each state’s most iconic sandwich, 24/7 Tempo consulted listings in Eater, Zagat, Thrillist, and Insider, as well as numerous state-specific sites. The majority of sandwiches feature meat as the main ingredient, although other proteins are stars in some states – like smoked salmon in Washington, pimento cheese in Georgia, and a vegan plant-based patty in Oregon. There may be some debate over whether burgers and hot dogs count as sandwiches, but they are included here due to their status as state icons. Whether you agree or not, you might want to make note of the best burger joint in every state. Here is each state’s most iconic sandwich Alabama Sandwich: Chicken with Alabama white sauce Where to try it: Miss Myra’s Pit Bar-B-Q, Birmingham Similar in texture to pulled pork, this Southern favorite is made with roasted, shredded chicken. Piled on a bun, the chicken is slathered with Alabama white sauce, a mixture of mayonnaise, vinegar, horseradish, salt, pepper, sugar, and cayenne. Alaska Sandwich: Reindeer sausage Where to try it: Reindeer Redhots, Sitka Reindeer were brought to Alaska from Siberia in the late 19th century to diversify the state’s food industry. Although reindeer never became the main source of meat for Alaskans, reindeer sausages are often consumed for breakfast or on a bun. To make the sausages, the reindeer meat is typically mixed with equal parts pork and beef. Arizona Sandwich: Sonoran hot dog Where to try it: El Güero Canelo, Tucson If you travel to Phoenix, Tucson, or anywhere in southern Arizona, you’ll see carts lining the streets selling Sonoran hot dogs. Wrapped in bacon and grilled, the hot dog is then placed into a bolillo-style bun (a savory bread bun similar to a baguette) and smothered with pinto beans, onions, tomatoes, and condiments including mayonnaise, mustard, and jalapeño salsa. Arkansas Sandwich: Deep-fried catfish Where to try it: Nick’s Bar-B-Que & Catfish, Carlisle Fried catfish, typically served with coleslaw and hush puppies, reigns as an Arkansas tradition. It’s easy to see why: The fish are abundant in the state – some caught in its streams, lakes, and rivers, and a lot of it brought over from Mississippi next door, where it is farmed in huge quantities. The catfish filets are first marinated in a mixture of buttermilk, water, salt, and pepper, then dredged in flour, cornmeal, and seafood seasonings. A quick fry of three minutes and the catfish is ready for the bun. California Sandwich: French dip Where to try it: Philippe the Original, Los Angeles Philippe’s and Cole’s Pacific Electric Buffet are two longtime downtown Los Angeles restaurants that claim to have invented the French dip sometime in the early 1900s. Wherever it was first made (possibly by mistake when a bun dropped into a pan of meat drippings), the French dip is a mouthwatering combination of tender slices of beef nestled in a jus-soaked French bun. Colorado Sandwich: Fool’s Gold Loaf Where to try it: Colorado Mine Company, Denver On a visit to Denver in 1976, Elvis Presley reportedly loved the Fool’s Gold Loaf served at the Colorado Mining Company. And why not? The “sandwich” is made from a hollowed-out loaf of bread stuffed with peanut butter, grape jam, and bacon strips, all baked for 15 minutes to give it a golden brown hue. Connecticut Sandwich: Hot lobster roll Where to try it: Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough, Noank (seasonal) There are two different versions of lobster rolls, one in Connecticut and one in Maine. Connecticut’s version of the lobster roll features warm lobster meat instead of the cold meat served elsewhere in New England. The warm lobster is tossed with butter and then stuffed into a toasted, buttered hot dog or hamburger bun. Delaware Sandwich: Soft shell crab Where to try it: Mickey’s Family Crab House, Bethany Beach The peak season for crab pots in Delaware is between March 1 to Nov. 30, although crabbing can be done year-round, with soft shells usually fading away in September. In the state, the soft shell crab is typically fried and then served on a bun with a variety of toppings from tartar sauce to bacon as well as lettuce and tomato. Florida Sandwich: Cuban Where to try it: The Floridian, Tampa When Cubans migrated to Southern Florida, they brought along their favorite sandwich, appropriately named the Cuban. Today, the sandwich has become a source of a friendly rivalry between Miami and Tampa. Whoever created the sandwich, the Cuban is a pork lover’s delight. Made with pork, ham, swiss cheese, mustard, and pickles, the sandwich is toasted in a plancha, a press similar to a panini press but without the grooves. Georgia Sandwich: Pimento cheese Where to try it: Fox Bros. BBQ, Atlanta Georgia’s pimento cheese sandwich is one of the few meatless sandwiches on this list and has earned a special spot at the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta. Served on white bread, the sandwich is filled with what has been called the pâté of the South – a spread made of cheddar or processed American cheese with pimentos and mayo. Hawaii Sandwich: Kālua pork Where to try it: Kono’s Northshore, various locations Kālua refers to the traditional Hawaiian method of cooking pork in an underground oven, or imu, and is a standard luau dish. As a popular Hawaiian sandwich filling, it’s more likely to be slow-roasted in an oven with liquid smoke, then pulled or shredded. Idaho Sandwich: Basque lamb Where to try it: Bar Gernika, Boise Home to one of the largest Basque populations in the country, Idaho is known for its Basque lamb sandwich, which has risen to iconic status there. It’s similar to a sub but made with sliced roast lamb, melted cheese, caramelized onions, and jalapeños. Illinois Sandwich: Italian beef Where to try it: Al’s #1 Italian Beef, Chicago Illinois’s famous Italian beef sandwich dates back to the 1930s if not earlier, when Italian immigrants worked for Chicago’s Union Stock Yards. The sandwich now rivals deep-dish pizza as a Chicago favorite. It’s made of seasoned slices of roast beef served on a long French roll. Toppings include giardiniera or sautéed green Italian sweet peppers. Indiana Sandwich: Pork tenderloin Where to try it: Aristocrat Pub & Restaurant, Indianapolis Indiana’s pork tenderloin sandwich is a crispy delight that consists of a breaded and fried piece of pork loin on a bun. The sandwich was born at Nick’s Kitchen in Huntington, which opened in 1908. The recipe is similar to that for Wienerschnitzel, except that the pork is deep-fried, not pan-fried. With Indiana fifth in the country for pork production, it’s not hard to find a pork tenderloin sandwich anywhere in the Hoosier State. Iowa Sandwich: Loose meat Where to try it: Maid-Rite, various locations Iowa’s iconic loose meat sandwich resembles a sloppy Joe, but there is a main difference. Iowa’s version is less saucy. Loose ground beef and chopped onions top a hamburger bun with dill pickles and yellow mustard as the final flourish. Kansas Sandwich: Burnt ends Where to try it: Roscoe’s BBQ, Edwardsville Burnt ends are the pieces of meat cut from the “point” half of a smoked brisket and are considered a delicacy. Because of the high-fat content in the brisket point, cooking time is long and slow. Popularized in Kansas City, the flavorful burnt ends are often served alone, but also make a great filling for sandwiches. Kentucky Sandwich: Hot Brown Where to try it: Brown Hotel, Louisville The hot brown was created during the Roaring 20s when it was first served at the Brown Hotel in Louisville to satisfy famished guests. It’s basically an open-faced sandwich made with thin slices of roasted turkey and tomato, sometimes with ham and/or bacon added, all topped with a cheesy mornay sauce. Best to use thick slices of Texas toast when making a sandwich this substantial. Louisiana Sandwich: Oyster po’boy Where to try it: Olde Tyme Grocery, Lafayette Louisiana’s staple is the oyster po’boy. Although the po’ boy may also be stuffed with other meats, including roast beef, shrimp, or crab, Louisiana French bread is what holds it all together. With its fluffy center and crisp crust, the bread is the perfect pocket for the po’boy. One theory as to the origin of the name is that it was first made and served at a New Orleans restaurant that fed striking streetcar workers for free. Maine Sandwich: Lobster roll Where to try it: Red’s Eats, Wiscasset Maine’s traditional lobster roll, which is different from Connecticut’s warm lobster roll, is made with chunks of fresh cold lobster meat tossed with mayonnaise and sometimes celery for a bit of crunch. The mixture is then stuffed into a buttered and toasted split-top hot dog roll. Maryland Sandwich: Pit beef Where to try it: Chaps Pit Beef, Baltimore The East Baltimore area has been known for its pit beef since the 1970s. It is basically, sliced roast beef cooked over charcoal and served with a horseradish-mustard sauce and sliced raw onion – but the sandwich gained real popularity after Chaps Pit Beef began serving the barbecue favorite in 1987. Massachusetts Sandwich: Fluffernutter Where to try it: The Big E (Eastern States Exposition, Sept. 16-Oct. 2, 2022), Springfield The fluffernutter is a favorite lunch sandwich for Massachusetts schoolchildren. This is a sweet and salty concoction of peanut butter and Marshmallow Fluff spread on white bread. The marshmallow confection, originally called Marshmallow Creme, was invented in the early 20th century, but the fluffernutter name was coined by an advertising agency only in 1960. Today, the fluffernutter is a mainstay in kid’s lunch boxes across New England. It’s rare to find it in a restaurant, but it’s a staple at Springfield’s annual Eastern States Exposition. Michigan Sandwich: Boogaloo Where to try it: Chef Gret’s Soul-in-the-Wall, Detroit Another version of the Sloppy Joe originated in Detroit in the 1960s. This relative of the sloppy Joe starts with loose ground beef topped with sautéed onions and American cheese on a grilled submarine bun. What sets this sandwich apart is the addition of a slightly sweet, herb-flavored barbecue sauce originally called Jean’s Sauce of the Island. Minnesota Sandwich: Walleye Where to try it: Tavern on Grand, Minneapolis Minnesota’s state fish is the walleye or walleye pike. Once the walleye filet is breaded and fried, it’s put on a soft bun and topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, and sometimes a dash of tangy sauce. Mississippi Sandwich: Slugburger/Doughburger Where to try it: Johnnie’s Drive-In Bar-B-Q, Tupelo The Slugburger or Doughburger was introduced to Northeast Mississippi in 1917 when Chicagoan John Weeks took his hamburger recipe with him to Corinth. Weeks asked local butchers to grind his burger meat with potato flakes and flour. Today, the classic Slugburgher is a pork-and-beef patty mixed with a meat extender (typically soybeans). Deep-fried, the burger is served on a bun with pickles, mustard, and onion. Missouri Sandwich: The St. Paul Where to try it: Bo Fung Chinese Restaurant, St. Louis Missouri’s St. Paul sandwich pays homage to the state’s Asian immigrants. The sandwich takes the classic egg foo Chinese-American dish and makes it into a patty. The hot patty is then nestled between slices of white bread and topped with pickles, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. Think of it as a Chinese-American version of an egg sandwich. Montana Sandwich: Elk burger Where to try it: The Corral, Gardiner Montana’s spin on the classic hamburger is the elk burger, except the meat used is elk, not beef. Compared to beef, elk has more protein and less fat, which means it can dry out easily when cooked, so when ordering, ask for it medium-rare. Nebraska Sandwich: Reuben Where to try it: The Committee Chophouse, Omaha Many people might think the Reuben originated in New York City. However, even though some reports claim the overstuffed sandwich was first served at Reuben’s Restaurant and Deli in Manhattan in 1914, Nebraskans counter it was first created at the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha in the 1920s. Whoever had it first, the Reuben is a savory mixture of salty corned beef, sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing on rye bread. Nevada Sandwich: Pastrami Where to try it: Greenberg & Son’s Delicatessen, Las Vegas Pastrami descends from cured, seasoned meat originally from Romania and possibly Turkey. It was brought to New York by a Lithuanian immigrant in the late 19th century and quickly became a deli essential. Just why it should be so popular in Las Vegas isn’t certain – other than the fact that the city boasts many great delis, in casinos and otherwise – but many sources name it as Nevada’s most popular sandwich meat. New Hampshire Sandwich: Moe’s Original Italian Where to try it: Moe’s, various locations Moe’s Original Italian actually refers to the shop where the sandwich got its name in 1959. Owner Phil “Moe” Pagano sold only one type of sandwich – a sub made with mild salami, provolone, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and olives with a splash of olive oil. But New Englanders couldn’t get enough of the salty savory treat and today Moe’s Italian sandwiches are sold throughout the region. New Jersey Sandwich: Pork roll/Taylor ham Where to try it: Slater’s Deli, Leonardo Although some historians say Taylor ham originated during the Revolutionary War, the more likely scenario dates back to 1856 when John Taylor sold his special pork roll in Trenton. New Jerseyans continue to argue over whether to call the salty processed meat (think of it as a relative of Spam) Taylor ham or pork roll – it depends on what part of the state you’re from – yet they all agree it is a perfect accompaniment to an egg and cheese on a bun. New Mexico Sandwich: Green chile cheeseburger Where to try it: Santa Fe Bite, Santa Fe The green chile cheeseburger was first served at restaurants along Route 66 in New Mexico during the 1920s and 1930s. Today, the sandwich is simply a classic American hamburger of cooked ground beef topped with melted cheese and green chiles. New York Sandwich: Breakfast sandwich Where to try it: New York City, New York New York is a state that can claim many different sandwiches as its most iconic, from the kebab-like spiedie of upstate Binghamton to the beef on weck of Buffalo to the inevitable bagel with lox and a schmear. Somehow, though, none of these seem as definitive as the classic New York breakfast sandwich: a combo of eggs, cheese, and sometimes bacon, ham, or sausage on a bagel, roll, or English muffin. North Carolina Sandwich: Pulled pork Where to try it: Smokey’s BBQ Shack, Morrisville North Carolina has its own style of barbecue, and pulled pork is a prime example. Considered the oldest form of barbecue in the U.S., the pork is rubbed with a spice mixture before it’s smoked atop oak or hickory wood. During smoking, the meat is slathered with a spice and vinegar liquid. The meat is then pulled, chopped, or shredded and heaped on a bun or between slices of white bread. North Dakota Sandwich: Slush burger/sloppy Joe Where to try it: The Fabulous Kegs Drive-In, Grand Forks (seasonal) North Dakotans call their version of a sloppy Joe a slush burger. The story goes that sloppy Joes were invented in Iowa when a cook named Joe mixed loosely fried ground beef with tomato sauce and slapped it on a bun. (Of note, Key West, Florida, also lays claim to the sandwich.) Today, Sloppy Joes are a staple of Midwestern cuisine. Ohio Sandwich: Goetta Where to try it: Eckerlin Meats, Cincinnati If you go to Cincinnati, you’re sure to see goetta on the menu in restaurants. Brought to the city by German immigrants, it’s a meat-and-grain sausage, usually made with ground pork, oatmeal, and spices. Similar to scrapple and livermush, it was originally developed to extend meat over several meals, but fried crisp has become a sandwich favorite. Oklahoma Sandwich: Chicken-fried steak Where to try it: Kendall’s Restaurant, Noble Chicken fried steak is so beloved in Oklahoma that in 1988 the state legislature placed the dish on the official Oklahoma state meal list. Similar to German schnitzel, chicken fried steak begins with a piece of round steak, cut thin and tenderized by pounding. The meat is dipped in a milk-and-egg mixture and then dredged in flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. The breaded meat is then fried to a golden, crisp brown, and served either on a plate (typically with gravy and mashed potatoes) or overflowing from a bun. Oregon Sandwich: Vegan burger Where to try it: Tin Thistle Café, North Bend The concept of a burger made with plant-based ingredients rather than meat may have originated in London when restaurateur Gregory Sams made his VegeBurger in the early 1980s. Around the same time, however, Paul Wenner, a restaurant owner in Gresham, Oregon, mixed leftover vegetables with rice pilaf and molded them into a loaf for what he called the Garden Loaf Sandwich, and today Oregon claims the vegan burger as its own. Pennsylvania Sandwich: Cheesesteak Where to try it: Pat’s King of Steaks, Philadelphia Philadelphians are fiercely proud of their signature sandwich – the cheesesteak. How the classic got invented is under debate, but some give credit to Philadelphians Pat and Harry Olivieri who started serving chopped steak on an Italian roll in the early 1930s at their hot dog stand. Today, you can go to many establishments in the city and order the treat made with thin slices of beefsteak “wit” or “witout” melted cheese. Rhode Island Sandwich: New York System wiener Where to try it: Olneyville New York System, Providence The curious name of Rhode Island’s New York System wiener is a reference to the popularity of hot dogs in New York’s Coney Island. The Ocean State’s version, developed in the 1940s in Providence’s Greek community – where short order cooks prepared the dish “on the arm,” or by lining an outstretched arm with buns and then adding the wieners and other ingredients with the other hand – is traditionally a four-inch pork, beef, and veal sausage in a steamed bun, topped with yellow mustard, onions, celery salt, and ground beef sauce – never ketchup. South Carolina Sandwich: Fried bologna Where to try it: Mom & Pop’s, Batesburg-Leesville The fried bologna sandwich is the epitome of Southern comfort food. Simple lunch meat is warmed up on a griddle and served on white bread with a smattering of mustard or mayo and yellow cheese. Although bologna originated in Italy, German immigrants are said to have brought it to America, where it gained popularity as a cheap meat during the Depression. South Dakota Sandwich: Pheasant salad Where to try it: Pheasant Restaurant & Lounge, Brookings South Dakota is famous for two things: Mount Rushmore and pheasants. During World War II, soldiers passing through the state were handed free pheasant salad sandwiches at a canteen in Aberdeen. The salad was a mixture of pheasant, carrots, onions, celery, relish, hardboiled eggs, and mayonnaise. Tennessee Sandwich: Hot chicken Where to try it: Prince’s Hot Chicken, Nashville The hot chicken sandwich is a hot-and-spicy delight that debuted at Prince’s Hot Chicken in Nashville. The chicken is breaded and fried, but what makes it special is the sweet and hot sauce that coats the meat. Today, Nashville holds city-wide competitions for the best hot chicken sandwich. Texas Sandwich: BBQ brisket Where to try it: Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que, Llano Jewish immigrants to Texas began selling smoked brisket at delis in the early 1900s. From there, BBQ brisket has become a Lone Star State tradition. Toppings may vary, but the real star of the sandwich is the slow-smoked slab of beef either sliced or chopped and put on a roll and slathered in hot sauce. Utah Sandwich: Pastrami burger Where to try it: Crown Burgers, Salt Lake City Call the pastrami burger the ultimate fusion food – thin strips of pastrami cover a cheeseburger on a sesame seed bun. Toppings include sliced tomatoes, lettuce, onions, and Thousand Island-like dressing. Although the pastrami burger has origins in California, Utahans have taken it as their own. Vermont Sandwich: The Vermonter Where to try it: Klinger’s Bread Company, South Burlington In the 1990s, Jason Maroney, a cook and waiter at Sweetwater’s in Burlington, reportedly created the Vermonter. Although the sandwich has many variations, its original form is made with roast turkey, cheddar, and apples on cranberry bread. Virginia Sandwich: Country ham Where to try it: Padow’s Hams & Deli, various locations Virginia’s country ham is different from other hams in how the meat is processed – cured and then smoked over apple and hickory wood fires. The ham is then aged in a smokehouse to give it its distinctive sweetness. Sliced thin and piled on a biscuit, it’s hard to beat. Washington Sandwich: Smoked salmon Where to try it: Larry’s Smokehouse, Snohomish Smoked salmon in Washington is a Pacific Northwest food staple. It is typically dry-brined in a solution of sugar and salt. sometimes with dill or pepper, then hot-smoked. Sliced, the fish is often served on toast or dark bread with cream cheese or a layer of ricotta (or garlic mayo in some versions), often with sliced raw onion added. Some Washingtonians also add it to a BLT. West Virginia Sandwich: Pepperoni roll Where to try it: The Donut Shop, Buckhannon You can argue as to whether or not a pepperoni roll is a sandwich, but it’s meat inside bread, so we’d say it qualifies. It has its origins in the early 20th century when Italian immigrants toiled in West Virginia’s coal mines. In 1927, a Calabrian immigrant named Giuseppe Argiro had the idea of rolling the thin-sliced spicy sausage in bread dough at his bakery in Fairmont. Easy to carry and satisfying, it became a favorite miners’ food not just in its home state but throughout the Appalachians. Wisconsin Sandwich: Bratwurst Where to try it: Charcoal Inn (North or South), Sheboygan Wisconsin isn’t just famous for its cheese. It is also well-known for its “brats” or bratwurst, a German-style pork (usually) sausage made with pork – perfect on a long roll with sauerkraut and mustard. The sausage was popularized in the state beginning in the 19th century when German immigrants made their way to the Badger State. Wyoming Sandwich: Bison burger Where to try it: Senator’s Steakhouse and Brass Buffalo Saloon, Cheyenne Bison burgers are made with the meat of bison, not cows. Less fatty than beef, bison has a similar protein content. In 1985, Wyoming designated bison as its state mammal. Sponsored: Want to Retire Early? Here’s a Great First Step Want retirement to come a few years earlier than you’d planned? Or are you ready to retire now, but want an extra set of eyes on your finances? Now you can speak with up to 3 financial experts in your area for FREE. By simply clicking here you can begin to match with financial professionals who can help you build your plan to retire early. And the best part? The first conversation with them is free. Click here to match with up to 3 financial pros who would be excited to help you make financial decisions. 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Category: blogSource: 247wallst18 hr. 12 min. ago

30 of the Most Famous Spies in History

A former American diplomat, who once held the position of U.S. ambassador to Bolivia, was arrested last Friday. Identified as Manuel Rocha, he is facing allegations of covertly operating as an agent for the Cuban government. The arrest transpired as part of an extensive FBI counterintelligence investigation. Spies have always lived among us. By their […] The post 30 of the Most Famous Spies in History appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.. A former American diplomat, who once held the position of U.S. ambassador to Bolivia, was arrested last Friday. Identified as Manuel Rocha, he is facing allegations of covertly operating as an agent for the Cuban government. The arrest transpired as part of an extensive FBI counterintelligence investigation. Spies have always lived among us. By their very nature, they possess the skill to operate discreetly, acting as conduits for confidential information between adversarial nations. While countless covert agents may have carried their identities to their final resting places, not all have been as fortunate. To compile a list of the most famous spies in history, 24/7 Tempo consulted sources including Britannica, Biography, and History, as well as various news sites. Those on our list may not always have been the most successful spies in history, yet they have become famous – largely for being caught, either through their own errors or as a result of betrayal by a former colleague. (The most famous spy of all, of course, is fictional. Here’s a look at every James Bond movie ranked worst to best.) Some notorious spies have contributed to the extension of armed conflicts, divulged battle strategies or nuclear weapons blueprints, or betrayed numerous peers solely for financial gain. Among them were double-agents who provided misleading information to one government while supplying credible intelligence to another. Some spies, on the other hand, become renowned heroes after their wartime exploits came to light. Many agents who worked undercover during the Civil War or World War II, for instance, received medals and other honors for their bravery upon the war’s end. (Here are 50 of the most decorated war heroes in American History.) Here are the most famous spies in history Sir Francis Walsingham (1532-1590) Principal secretary to Queen Elizabeth I, Francis Walsingham made it his mission to sniff out Catholics during the era of the newly formed English Protestand Church. Using a team of cryptographers, forgers, and informers, this spymaster helped send many Catholics to their deaths including Mary, Queen of Scots. Nathan Hale (1755-1776) A soldier during the American Revolutionary War, Nathan Hale traveled behind enemy lines disguised as a Dutch schoolmaster to gather intelligence on British troop movements. While attempting to return to American-controlled soil, he was captured with incriminating documents and subsequently executed by the British. ALSO READ: 30 Best Spy Films of All Time Rose O’Neal Greenhow (1813-1864) A powerful socialite in Washington, D.C., Rose O’Neal Greenhow became a spymaster for the Confederates during the Civil War, leading a ring of pro-South intelligence operatives in Union territory. Her work is credited with helping the Confederate Army win the Battle of Bull Run. Elizabeth Van Lew (1818-1900) Born in Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederacy, Elizabeth Van Lew was the granddaughter of prominent abolitionist Hilary Baker, and an abolitionist herself. Upon the start of the Civil War, Van Lew began caring for wounded Union soldiers at a Confederate prison. Her position allowed her to gather intelligence from the prisoners to pass along to Union commanders, and to assist in prison escapes. She eventually became the leader of an indispensable spy ring called the “Richmond Underground.” James Armistead Lafayette (1748?-1830?) An enslaved man during the American Revolution, James Armisted Lafayette – who served in the Continental Army under the Marquis de Lafayette, and took his name in tribute – aided the colonies by pretending to be a runaway slave and crossing enemy lines to gather intelligence on the British Army, while also feeding the British false information. His reports led to the Continental Army’s decisive victory at the Battle of Yorktown. Alfred Redl (1864-1913) As an Austrian military officer, Alfred Redl was the chief of a counterintelligence corps, and a leading figure in advancing espionage tactics prior to WWI. Eventually Redl’s successor discovered that Redl himself was also a spy, acting as a well-paid informant for the Russian Imperial Army; Redl committed suicide upon being exposed. Although his reasons for double-crossing his country will never be understood, historians believe his intel may have been responsible for Austria-Hungary’s massive losses during WWI. Sidney Reilly (1873-1925) More than a double-agent, British Intelligence officer Sidney Reilly – also known as the “Ace of Spies” – is purported to have spied for at least four countries: Germany, England, Japan, and the Soviet Union. Active during WWI and the Russo-Japanese war, Reilly – who was apparently born Sigmund Rosenblum in Odessa – was uncovered during a failed assassination attempt on Vladimir Lenin. He was eventually captured, tortured and executed by the Soviets. ALSO READ: The Most Famous Poisonings in History Mata Hari (1876-1917) Margaretha Geertruida MacLeod was a Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan living in Paris during WWI. She agreed to spy for France in German-occupied Belgium, but was later accused of being a double agent for the Germans. Although her role as a spy is contested and historical documents suggest that she never gave any information of consequence to the Germans, the French tried and executed her by firing squad. Fritz Joubert Duquesne (1877-1956) A South African Boer and big game hunter, Fritz Duquesne acted as a secret agent and spymaster for Germany during both World Wars. His feats include infiltrating the British Army and becoming an officer, escaping enemy prisons four times, and planting bombs on British ships while disguised as a scientist. The FBI uncovered Duquesne’s infamous spy ring in 1941 and convicted 33 of its members. Richard Sorge (1895-1944) Born in Imperial Russia but raised in Germany, Richard Sorge was a prominent Soviet spy prior to and during WWII, and is widely considered one of the greatest spies of all time. He worked undercover as a journalist in Germany and Japan, and alerted the Soviets of Hitler’s plan to attack the Soviet Union. He was eventually arrested in Japan, where he was tortured and executed by hanging. William Stephenson (1897-1989) A Canadian fighter pilot and spymaster, William Stephenson served as a British agent in New York City during WWII under the codename “Intrepid.” Stephenson organized the relay of classified information between the U.S. and England and is credited with having influenced American public opinion toward joining the war. He is among several spies who are said to be the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s fictional character James Bond. William Sebold (1899-1970) A German-born U.S. citizen, William Sebold was visiting family in Germany when he was coerced into becoming a spy by several Nazi officials. He instead became the first double agent for the FBI, sending the Germans fake intelligence while receiving legitimate information from them. His work was instrumental in taking down the famous Duquesne spy ring. 24/7 Wall St. This Is Every James Bond Movie Ranked Worst To Best Rudolph Abel (1903-1971) Born William August Fisher in England, Rudolph Abel moved to the Soviet Union in 1921 and joined the KGB in 1948. He was sent to work in a New York City spy ring, posing as a photographer, where he utilized short wave radio and hollowed out coins containing microphotographs of intelligence cyphers. Although he was eventually arrested by the FBI, he was later returned to the Soviet Union in exchange for downed U-2 pilot Gary Powers, where he received a hero’s welcome. His story is partially told in the 2015 film “Bridge of Spies.” Lise de Baissac (1905-2004) A British operative during WWII, Lise de Baissac parachuted into Nazi-occupied France where she helped arm and organize French Resistance fighters while pretending to be an amateur archaeologist. She bicycled around France collecting information and weapons, organizing on behalf of the Allies, and assisting other operatives in returning to England. Despite numerous run-ins with German soldiers, she was never caught. Virginia Hall (1906-1982) Working for the U.S. and the U.K., Virginia Hall lived undercover in Vichy France and organized resistance movements during WWII. She helped other agents access money and weapons, and also secured safehouses, medical treatment, and escape routes for downed pilots. The Germans considered her the most dangerous of all Allied spies and called her “The Limping Lady,” as she was missing part of a leg and wore a prosthetic. Klaus Fuchs (1911-1988) A German nuclear physicist with communist sentiments, Klaus Fuchs fled Germany in 1933 and eventually found work in Britain’s “Tube Alloy” atomic project and the Manhattan Project. As part of a spy ring for the KGB, he organized with other famous spies including Morris and Lona Cohen to pass atomic secrets to the Soviet Union. Fuchs confessed to spying in 1950 and served nine years in a British prison before returning to East Berlin to a hero’s welcome. Yisrael Bar (1912-1966) An Austrian-born Israeli citizen, Yisrael Bar was an Israeli military expert whose broad knowledge gained him a high position in Israel’s Ministry of Defense. In reality, Bar was a Soviet spy, and not even Jewish, who had infiltrated the Israeli government under the assumed identity of a man who had been dead for years. The extent of the information he passed on to the KGB will never be known, as Bar kept his lips sealed throughout imprisonment and died in prison. 24/7 Wall St. 26 of History’s Most Notorious Serial Killers Harold “Kim” Philby (1912-1988) A communist at Cambridge during the Cold War, Kim Philby became the head of a counterespionage section of the British Secret Intelligence Services. He was later revealed to be the most successful member of the Cambridge Five spy ring that passed British secrets to the Soviets from the 1930s to the 1950s. Philby defected to the Soviet Union before he was found out, and was never prosecuted. Melita Norwood (1912-2005) An assistant to the director of a British atomic research center, Melita Norwood passed atomic secrets to the Soviets for 37 years before finally being exposed at age 87, well into her retirement. Born to communist-sympathizing parents and a devout communist herself, Norwood asserted that her work helped avert World War III. She was never prosecuted. Julius Rosenberg (1918-1953) and Ethel Rosenberg (1915-1953) The first American citizens ever to be executed for espionage, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of spying for the Soviet Union in the ’40s as part a group that leaked atomic bomb diagrams. While Ethel and her brother were likely responsible for recruiting Julius, who served as a courier, Ethel’s role as a spy remains unclear. Prosecutors later admitted to pushing the death penalty on Ethel to coerce her husband into confessing his crimes. Larry Wu-Tai Chin (1922-1986) A Chinese-born naturalized American citizen who worked as a translator for the U.S. government for 37 years, Larry Wu-Tai Chin was one of China’s most valuable foreign agents during the Cold War. He handed over profiles on CIA agents as well as information about foreign policy initiatives including Nixon’s plans to open relations with China. It is believed that Chin – who committed suicide upon being convicted of espionage – made over $1 million spying for China. Adolf Tolkachev (1927-1986) A Soviet citizen and electronics engineer who distrusted his government, Adolf Tolkachev sought out U.S. intelligence agents repeatedly before finally being hired as an agent. He passed along valuable information regarding Soviet aircraft and weapons technology while the CIA saw to it that he received medical checkups and was sent banned rock music for his children. He was eventually compromised by a former American agent and was arrested and executed. ALSO READ: 50 of the Most Decorated War Heroes in American History John Anthony Walker, Jr. (1937-2014) From 1967 to 1985, John Anthony Walker, a Navy officer and communications specialist leaked documents to the Soviet Union including key information allowing the Soviets to solve ciphers and locate U.S. submarines at any time. His actions were the largest Naval security breach in history. Walker was convicted, given three life sentences, and died in prison in 2014. Shi Pei Pu (1938-2009) A Chinese opera singer who performed in drag, Shi Pei Pu worked in Beijing and developed a 20-year sexual relationship with a French embassy clerk named Bernard Boursicot, whom Pei Pu pressured into handing over classified documents. Boursicot eventually brought his lover to France, where they were both arrested and convicted of espionage. Oleg Gordievsky (1938- ) A KGB officer who became disillusioned with Soviet politics and served as a double agent for British secret services from 1974 to 1985, Oleg Gordievsky was one of the highest ranking KGB officers to ever supply secrets to western intelligence. After his position was compromised, he was snuck out of the Soviet Union with the help of the British, and was sentenced to death in absentia for treason. Aldrich Ames (1941- ) One of the most infamous and damaging CIA moles in history, counterintelligence officer Aldrich “Rick” Ames used his position as an analyst to cripple U.S. investigations in the Soviet Union and made over $2 million in exchange. He also named and compromised dozens of CIA assets in the Soviet Union, leading to many imprisonments and executions. He was eventually caught in 1994 and is serving a life sentence without parole. Robert Hanssen (1944- ) In exchange for over $1.4 million in diamonds, bank funds, and cash, FBI agent Robert Hanssen provided classified information to the KGB from 1979 until he was caught in 2001. He gave up the identities of U.S. operatives, details on nuclear operations, and the existence of an eavesdropping tunnel under the Soviet Embassy in D.C. Hanssen is considered the most damaging spy in FBI history and is currently serving a life sentence without parole. 24/7 Wall St. 30 Best Spy Films of All Time Noshir Gowadia (1944- ) An Indian-born engineer who was one of the designers of the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, Noshir Gowadia was arrested in 2005 on espionage charges, including selling defense information to China and other countries and designing stealth equipment Chinese use. He was convicted in 2010 and sentenced to 32 years in prison. Sergei Skripal (1951- ) A Russian military intelligence officer, Sergei Skripal acted as a double agent for the U.K. in the ’90s and early 2000s, before being convicted of treason by the Russians in 2004. He was released as part of a spy swap in 2010, and settled in England. On March 4, 2018, he and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent in an alleged attempted murder, but both survived the attack. The Russian agents under suspicion of carrying out the attack are presumed to be residing in Russia. Ana Montes (1957- ) An intelligence analyst at the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, Ana Montes served as a spy for Cuba for 17 years starting in the mid ’80s. She exposed four U.S. spies in Cuba and compromised highly classified programs including a clandestine U.S. Army camp in El Salvador. She was arrested in 2001 and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Sponsored: Want to Retire Early? Here’s a Great First Step Want retirement to come a few years earlier than you’d planned? Or are you ready to retire now, but want an extra set of eyes on your finances? Now you can speak with up to 3 financial experts in your area for FREE. By simply clicking here you can begin to match with financial professionals who can help you build your plan to retire early. And the best part? The first conversation with them is free. Click here to match with up to 3 financial pros who would be excited to help you make financial decisions. The post 30 of the Most Famous Spies in History appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.......»»

Category: blogSource: 247wallstDec 5th, 2023

The Bank of Nova Scotia (NYSE:BNS) Q4 2023 Earnings Call Transcript

The Bank of Nova Scotia (NYSE:BNS) Q4 2023 Earnings Call Transcript November 28, 2023 The Bank of Nova Scotia misses on earnings expectations. Reported EPS is $0.93 EPS, expectations were $1.19. John McCartney: Good morning, and welcome to Scotiabank’s 2023 Fourth Quarter Results Presentation. My name is John McCartney, and I am Head of Investor […] The Bank of Nova Scotia (NYSE:BNS) Q4 2023 Earnings Call Transcript November 28, 2023 The Bank of Nova Scotia misses on earnings expectations. Reported EPS is $0.93 EPS, expectations were $1.19. John McCartney: Good morning, and welcome to Scotiabank’s 2023 Fourth Quarter Results Presentation. My name is John McCartney, and I am Head of Investor Relations here at Scotiabank. Presenting to you this morning are Scott Thomson, Scotiabank’s President and Chief Executive Officer; Raj Viswanathan, our Chief Financial Officer; and Phil Thomas, our Chief Risk Officer. Following our comments, we will be glad to take your questions. Also present to take questions are the following Scotiabank Executives: Aris Bogdaneris from Canadian Banking; Glen Gowland from Global Wealth Management; Francisco Aristeguieta from International Banking; and Jake Lawrence from Global Banking and Markets. Before we start, and on behalf of those speaking today, I’ll refer you to Slide 2 of our presentation, which contains Scotiabank’s caution regarding forward-looking statements. With that, I will turn the call over to Scott. Scott Thomson: Thank you, John, and good morning, everyone. This month marks the completion of my first year in this role as President. I’m pleased to have had the opportunity to spend the year listening to and learning from our shareholders, clients and employees. I have seen personally the passion and commitment that Scotiabankers across the footprint have to making us a better bank. Our results for the year reflect a period of decelerating industry loan growth as well as our own deliberate actions to focus on balanced growth, and a thoughtful approach to improving the profitability of our businesses and client relationships. We’ve made significant progress on key initiatives that are fundamental to strengthening our balance sheet and improving our business mix. Both will be important as we embark on our next phase of growth. The Bank reported adjusted earnings of $8.4 billion or $6.54 per share in fiscal 2023. Our return on equity was 11.7%. We believe our improved balance sheet strength and liquidity positions us to manage through potentially a more difficult economic scenario that could materialize. We took actions to strengthen our capital position to meet my January 2023 commitment to a CET1 ratio of greater than 12%, up from a 11.5% at this time last year. Raj will explain in more detail the impact of the regulatory capital changes, which began in Q2 and will continue to impact us in the future. We also bolstered liquidity over the course of the year, meaningfully improving the liquidity coverage ratio to 136%, up from 119%, and the net stable funding ratio from 111% to 116%. Importantly, we made progress focusing the organization on deposits. Deposits across the Bank increased 9% year-over-year. The all bank loan-to-deposit ratio improved to 110% from 116%, resulting in the wholesale funding ratio dropping 100 basis points year-over-year to 20.6%. 2023 reflects early success in our enterprise-wide focus on thoughtfully growing both sides of the balance sheet. In keeping with our commitment to ensure the Bank is well positioned to manage through periods of slow growth and uncertain macroeconomic times, we have significantly increased the allowances for credit losses throughout the year across all portfolios by approximately $1.1 billion, mostly in performing allowances. As previously announced, in conjunction with our strategy review process, we made adjustments to our global workforce in the fourth quarter. This productivity effort reflects a continuation of the Bank’s long-term commitment to achieving positive operating leverage, while ensuring the appropriate resource allocation in support of our future growth initiatives. Turning to our economic outlook, our base case assumption is that economic growth will continue to moderate in the near-term in North America. Higher interest rates are having central bank’s desired economic impact which we are seeing through moderating inflation and our own clients’ behavior. Recognizing that rates could remain elevated for the foreseeable future, we do expect some interest rate easing in North America later next year, which will be a tailwind to our profitability. Our international banking markets experienced more notable impacts of higher rates given an earlier and more rapid tightening response to inflationary cycle. Chile and Peru are currently in the midst of modest economic contractions, and have seen central bank easing this past quarter. Economic growth is expected to rebound in the region later next year. Mexico has consistently seen GDP growth beyond expectations, currently forecast to deliver 3.5% growth this year and 3%-plus growth again next year, significantly outpacing the sub-1% growth expected for Canada and the U.S. We expect consumer spending to moderate as this higher rate environment persists, leading to the very modest growth in our Canadian economic forecast. Our current balance sheet strength, structural interest rate positioning and deliberate approach to loan growth reflect our cautious near-term outlook. We look forward to sharing detailed business line strategic plans with you at our upcoming Investor Day, so I’ll be brief today with a few updates on each business. In Canadian Banking, the performing ACL build materially impacted our profitability in Q4. However, I was encouraged by progress in certain key operating performance metrics. Deposits, up 10% year-over-year in Q4, outpaced loan growth in the Canadian bank for the fourth consecutive quarter, resulting in notable early progress on reducing our loan-to-deposit ratio, which moved from 138% to 125% over the course of the year. Solid net interest margin expansion of 21 basis points benefiting from higher deposit growth, loans repricing at higher rates, and business mix changes driven by more balanced loan growth across products. In retail, growth in the Scene+ loyalty program continues to outpace expectations, surpassing 14 million members this quarter. The program continues to accelerate as a strong customer growth engine responsible for over half our new to bank customers in the recent quarter. New day-to-day account acquisition is up 6% year-over-year, aligned to our commitment to grow everyday banking relationships. Tangerine delivered another year of strong earnings, a result of its strong deposit position and continues to widen its lead as J.D. Power’s number one ranked bank in its class for retail banking client satisfaction for the 12th year in a row. Global Wealth results this quarter reflect the impact of more challenged market performance in recent months, and the resulting impact on investment industry fund flows, which have been negative throughout 2023. We continue to broaden what is already a very robust product offering with the announcement last month of a new alternative asset partnership with Sun Life to bring a more complete offering of private credit, real estate and infrastructure products to our high-net-worth clients. We have a differentiated wealth offering in Canada through our total wealth advice model and a unique international opportunity that our team is delivering on. Our international wealth management business delivered double-digit earnings growth again this year. Our Global Banking and Markets business has delivered resilient results in a challenging year for capital markets businesses while continuing to add product capabilities and sectorial advisory expertise. Loan growth has moderated considerably in recent quarters as our GBM team continues to take a more targeted approach to client selection with a focus on industries and geographies where we can deliver higher returns and more multi-product value-add to our clients. We continue to target deeper client relationships and leverage our footprint to grow our business. International Banking had a solid 2023. Results were negatively impacted by higher PCLs and moderating capital markets activity, offset somewhat by encouraging margin expansion and continued momentum in our deposit-strong Caribbean franchise. Deposit growth in Q4 continued, up 3% quarter-over-quarter and 9% year-over-year. This, combined with a more disciplined approach to loan growth, has seen our loan-to-deposit ratio improve from 140% to 129%. Despite inflationary pressures, International Banking held expense growth to a modest 3% on a constant dollar basis for the year, as a result of continuous efforts to rationalize our operations and further digitize the Bank. International Banking continued to deliver positive operating leverage. Our 2023 financial results reflect a year of transition; economic transition in the markets in which we operate and transition within the Bank as we prepare for our next phase of growth. We are seeing early signs of progress across the Bank on the strategic priorities previously outlined that will lead us to more consistent earnings growth over time, more specifically: client primacy, earning a greater share of the client wallet with a focus beyond the balance sheet; disciplined capital allocation, managing resources with a view to value over volume; and operational excellence, a continuous focus on productivity, process simplification and a relentless effort to build a culture that will give us competitive advantage better, faster, and at a lower cost. All underpinned by a strong balance sheet, ample liquidity and appropriate allowances for credit losses. I’m encouraged by the franchise strength across our businesses. We are recognized again this year by The Banker magazine with both the Bank of the Year in Canada Award, and the Global Award for Banking in the Community, recognizing our ScotiaRISE Program and the positive impact it is having in our communities. The Bank is also a recognized leader for our commitment to fostering a more sustainable and inclusive future for our stakeholders. We were recognized by Global Finance with five awards for Leadership in Sustainable Finance, including Global Leadership in Sustainability Transparency and Best Bank for Sustainable Finance in Canada. And, we continue to build on our position as an employer of choice. This year, we were recognized as one of the best workplaces in Canada by Great Places to Work, and we are once again included in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for a sixth consecutive year. Going forward, as we focus on execution of our strategy and a cohesive enterprise-wide mindset to meeting the needs of our clients, we’ve also made important senior leadership additions to the Bank. I’m confident in the strengthened leadership team as we focus on the future and our plans to deliver sustainable, profitable growth for our shareholders. I would like to sincerely thank Glen Gowland for his contribution since joining the Bank over 20 years ago. I am delighted that we will continue to benefit from his expertise as he transitions to the role of Vice Chair, reporting directly to me. As previously announced, Jacqui Allard will assume the role of Group Head, Global Wealth Management on December 1st this year. I realize 2023 has been a difficult year financially, but the actions taken have been decisive, deliberate and necessary. A strong balance sheet, a relentless focus on becoming more efficient and appropriate allowances will set the Bank up for success going forward. As I look to 2024, I’m confident earnings will increase, driven by benefits from the productivity initiatives and a more stable rate environment. We look forward to sharing our new strategy at our Investor Day on December 13. With that, I will turn the call over to Raj for a detailed financial review of our results. Raj Viswanathan: Thank you, Scott, and good morning, everyone. This quarter’s net income was impacted by adjusting items of $289 million after-tax or $0.24 of earnings per share, and about 6 basis points on the common equity Tier 1 ratio, all of which were recorded in the Other segment. This consisted of a $258 million restructuring charge relating to workforce reductions, a $63 million charge related to the exit of certain real estate and service contracts, a $159 million impairment charge to the Bank’s investment in Bank of Xi’an, a $114 million impairment of certain software. These were partly offset by a $319 million gain from the sale of the Bank’s 20% equity interest in Canadian Tire Financial Services. The full year results were also impacted by the $579 million Canada Recovery Dividend recorded in Q1 2023. All my comments that follow will be after adjusting for these items, and the usual acquisition-related costs on a year-over-year basis, unless specified otherwise. Starting on Slide 5 on fiscal 2023 performance. The Bank ended the year with adjusted diluted earnings per share of $6.54, and a return on equity of 11.7%. Revenue was up 1%, and expenses increased 9%, resulting in negative operating leverage of 8.3% for the year. Provision for credit losses were $3.4 billion in 2023, approximately $2 billion higher, of which over $1 billion was performing allowance build. Phil will speak to this later. Canadian Banking earnings were $4 billion, down $757 million or 16%, primarily due to higher provision for credit losses that increased by $1.2 billion, while revenues grew a strong 7%. International Banking earnings were $2.5 billion, down 4% on a constant dollar basis. Revenues were up $710 million or a strong 7%, while provision for credit losses increased $638 million. Global Wealth Management earnings of $1.5 billion were down $126 million or 8%, as a result of the very challenging market environment. Canadian wealth was down 12%, impacted by lower fee income, while international wealth earnings grew 19%. Global Banking and Markets reported earnings of $1.8 billion, down $143 million or 7%. Even in a slow capital markets environment, revenues grew 7%, but expenses were up 15% to support business growth initiatives. The provision for credit losses were higher by $167 million compared to the prior year. The Other segment reported a net loss of $1.4 billion, compared to a loss of $229 million in 2022. The higher loss of approximately $1.2 billion was due to lower revenues driven by higher funding costs and lower investment gains that were partly offset by higher income from liquid assets. The segment had some offsetting benefits from a lower provision for taxes and lower non-interest expenses. The Bank’s earnings in 2024 are expected to benefit from strong net interest income growth while non-interest revenues are expected to grow modestly. Loan growth is expected to be modest; however, we expect the benefits of repricing to support net interest margin expansion. Expense growth is expected to moderate largely in-line with inflation, as strategic investments are mostly offset by efficiency savings. The Bank expects to generate positive operating leverage in 2024. The Bank’s earnings are expected to improve marginally this year despite higher PCLs and a higher tax rate with first half profitability improving from the current quarter and the second half of the year being stronger than the first. Moving to Slide 6 for a review of the fourth quarter results. The Bank reported quarterly adjusted earnings of $1.7 billion and diluted earnings per share of $1.26. The return on equity was 8.9%. Net interest income was $4.7 billion, up 1% year-over-year and 2% quarter-over-quarter from a 6 basis point margin expansion from higher lending margins and business mix changes, including deposit growth across all business lines. Deposit growth outpaced loan growth again this quarter, resulting in a loan-to-deposit ratio of 110% compared to 116% in the prior year. Non-interest income was $3.3 billion, down 3% year-over-year, mainly due to lower trading revenues and investment gains, offset by higher fee and commission and wealth management revenues. The provision for credit losses increased $437 million or 53% from the last quarter, driven by higher-performing loan provisions which were $454 million this quarter. The PCL ratio was 65 basis points this quarter, of which 23 basis points were performing PCLs. Quarter-over-quarter expenses were up 4%, mainly from higher technology costs, performance-based compensation and professional fees. Expenses increased 10% year-over-year or 7% excluding the unfavorable impact of foreign currency translation, reflecting higher staffing-related costs, technology costs and performance, and share-based compensation. The productivity ratio is 59.5% this quarter, an increase of 340 basis points quarter-over-quarter. The effective tax rate was 14.7% this quarter compared to 17.6% a year ago, driven by higher tax exempt income and higher income from lower tax jurisdictions, partly offsetting an increase in the Bank’s statutory tax rate and lower inflationary adjustments. Moving to Slide 7, the Bank reported a common equity Tier 1 ratio of 13%, an increase of approximately 30 basis points this quarter. Net internal capital generation was 19 basis points. The sale of our 20% equity interest in Canadian Tire Financial Services contributed 16 basis points, and the dividend reinvestment plan contributed 11 basis points. This is partly offset by 10 basis points impact from the restructuring and one-time items, and the negative 8 basis points from the fair value impact of available for sale securities. Risk weighted assets were $440 billion, flat quarter-over quarter as the decline in book size was offset by the impact of foreign exchange. The estimated impact from the adoption of the Basel III reforms is approximately 75 basis points in Q1 2024. The 2.5% increase of the capital floor to 67.5% is approximately 40 — 45 basis points, and the implementation of the fundamental review of the trading book is approximately 30 basis points. In addition, the Bank’s liquidity coverage ratio improved to 136%, and was significantly up from 119% last year. The net stable funding ratio also improved at 116% from 111% in the prior year. The capital and liquidity ratios are expected to remain strong in 2024 with our plan to manage our common equity Tier 1 ratio in the 12.5% range. Turning now to the Q4 business line results beginning on Slide 8. Canadian Banking reported earnings of $810 million, a decrease of 31% year-over-year due to higher provision for credit losses and higher non-interest expenses. Year-over-year revenues grew 6%, while expense growth was 9%. Average loans and acceptances were in-line with prior year and down 1% from the prior quarter, while the mix changed. We saw continued growth in our higher-yielding portfolios as business loans grew 11%, personal loans grew 3%, and credit cards increased 18%. This was offset by a decline of 4% in residential mortgage businesses. We continue to see deposit growth, primarily in term products with average deposits up 2% quarter-over-quarter. Year-over-year deposits grew 10%, and the loan-to-deposit ratio improved to 125 basis points — sorry 125% from 138% last year. Net interest income increased 8% year-over-year as deposits grew a strong 10%. Quarter-over-quarter margin expanded by 12 basis points, benefiting from asset repricing and intentional changes in business mix. Non-interest income was in-line with last year due to lower banking fees, mostly offset by higher insurance revenue. Expenses increased 9% year-over-year primarily due to higher personnel costs and inflationary adjustments. Quarter-over-quarter expenses were up 4%. The PCL ratio was 63 basis points, an increase of 36 basis points quarter-over-quarter from significantly higher performing loan provisions. Looking forward to 2024, deposit and loan growth is expected to moderate from 2023 levels. This, along with the improving net interest margins, is expected to drive revenue growth. Solid revenue growth in retail, including Tangerine is expected to continue, while business banking revenues are expected to moderate. The segment will grow expenses in-line with revenue growth while balancing strategic growth investments. Turning now to Global Wealth Management on Slide 9. Earnings of $333 million declined 10% year-over-year as strong 8% growth within international wealth was offset by Canadian wealth results declining 12%, largely due to lower average assets under management. Revenues grew 3% year-over-year due primarily to higher brokerage revenues in Canada and private banking revenues within our international business. Expenses were up 11% year-over-year, driven by higher volume-related expenses and technology costs. Spot assets under management increased 2% year-over-year to $317 billion as market appreciation was mostly offset by net redemptions. Assets under administration increased 5% over the same period to $610 billion from higher net sales and market appreciation. Investment fund sales in Canada continued to be under pressure with approximately $60 billion in net redemptions over the last year. Under this backdrop, Scotia Global Asset Management investment results continue to perform well against their benchmarks. International wealth management generated earnings of $52 million, driven by higher revenues from business volume growth. AUA and AUM grew 12% and 16%, respectively, year-over-year. Global Wealth Management expects to deliver revenue growth in 2024, driven by retail mutual fund volume growth, solid growth across our Canadian advisory businesses, and continued expansion across key international markets. Earnings are expected to grow in-line with recovering market conditions and strong new business volume growth. Turning to Slide 10. Global Banking and Markets generated earnings of $414 million, down 14% year-over-year. Capital markets revenue was up 9% year-over-year as global equities grew 25%. However, business banking revenues declined 5% as loans were flat year-over-year. Net interest income was down 19% year-over-year as a result of higher trading-related funding costs and lower corporate lending margins. Non-interest income grew $95 million, or 11% year-over-year, primarily due to higher fee and commission revenue, partly offset by lower trading-related revenue. Expenses were up a modest 3% quarter-over-quarter, mainly from higher technology costs, and the negative impact of foreign exchange. On a year-over-year basis, expenses were up 12%, due mainly to higher personnel costs and technology investments related to business growth. The provision for credit losses increased 13 basis points quarter-over-quarter to $39 million, mostly on performing loans. The U.S. business generated strong earnings of $228 million. GBM Latin America, which is reported as part of the International Banking segment, reported earnings of $251 million, down $63 million from a record third quarter with lower earnings in Chile, Peru and Mexico due to lower capital markets activities. In 2024, in capital markets, revenue growth will be led by FICC, while business banking is expected to grow fee-based revenues. Expense growth will be focused on key investments in priority segments and markets. Earnings in GBM LatAm are expected to moderate in 2024 to more normal levels from the elevated earnings in 2023, and the impact of reduced capital allocation. Moving to Slide 11 for a review of International Banking. My comments that follow are on an adjusted and constant dollar basis. The segment reported net income of $570 million, down 12% or $75 million quarter-over-quarter, primarily from lower earnings from GBM LatAm of $63 million. Revenue was up 3% year-over-year, driven by higher net interest margins. Year-over-year loan growth moderated to 2%. Mortgages were up 7%, while business banking decreased 1%. Deposits grew a strong 9% year-over-year and 3% quarter-over-quarter. The loan-to-deposit ratio improved by over 1,000 basis points year-over-year to 129%. Net interest margin expanded 8 basis points quarter-over-quarter from asset margin expansion and business mix changes. The provision for credit losses was 119 basis points, or $512 million, up a modest 1 basis point quarter-over-quarter. Expenses were up 3% year-over-year due to inflationary pressure, partly offset by the benefits of cost reduction initiatives. Expenses were up 2% quarter-over-quarter driven by technology expense. Operating leverage was positive for the year. Looking ahead to 2024, revenues in International Banking are expected to benefit from loan growth and net interest margin expansion. Expenses are expected to grow at a lower rate than revenue, reflecting expense saving initiatives. Earnings are expected to be impacted by higher provision for credit losses and a higher tax rate. Turning to Slide 12. The Other segment reported an adjusted net loss attributable to equity holders of $487 million, that was higher by $188 million compared to the prior quarter. Revenue was lower than last quarter by $222 million. Higher interest from liquid assets was more than offset by increase in funding costs. Also contributing was further improvement in our liquidity levels which comes at a net cost. Revenue was also impacted by minimal investment gains and lower income from associated corporations and unrealized gains on non-trading derivatives. This was partly offset by lower taxes and non-interest expenses. In 2024, the Other segment loss is expected to remain elevated as funding costs are expected to remain at these levels for most of the year with significantly lower investment gains. We will see improvements in this segment as rates decline towards the second half of 2024. I will now turn the call over to Phil to discuss risk. Phil Thomas: Thank you, Raj. Good morning, everyone. We continue to strengthen our balance sheet by increasing our ACL ratio from 71 basis points to 85 basis points this year. With this, we have now increased our allowances for credit losses by $1.1 billion in 2023 with $780 million of this increase from performing allowances. Given the macroeconomic backdrop of higher unemployment levels, higher for longer interest rates and upcoming renewals of fixed rate mortgages in Canada, we have focused on strengthening the balance sheet, including: a further increase in performing allowances this quarter of $440 million leveraging expert credit judgment for Canadian banking and global banking and markets; higher quality originations with a focus on affluence in international, and higher credit quality in business banking; shifting business mix to a more secured across our footprint; and finally, a continued focus on building performance allowances in international, resulting in an approximate $200 million increase over the past six quarters. This improved ACL coverage provides us with a solid foundation to manage through periods of slow growth and an uncertain macroeconomic environment. It is important to note that while delinquencies are still within historical norms, consumer health in Canada continues to weaken, and we expect households may continue to experience financial pressure through 2024 with the build in ACL addressing this. In business banking, we are not seeing increased defaults due to high quality of our portfolios. However, we are increasing our coverage ratio given the expectation of continued elevated interest rates and the potential impact on client performance. Moving to Slide 15. The quarter-over-quarter PCL increase was primarily driven by the performing allowance build which was 23 basis points. This compares to 4 basis points last quarter. The build was primarily in Canadian banking. As a result of the increased ACL, our total PCLs in Q4 were $1.26 billion, including $454 million of performing PCLs. Total PCLs were up $437 million quarter-over-quarter. This translates to a PCL ratio of 65 basis points. Impaired PCLs trended higher at 42 basis points compared to 38 basis points in Q3. Canadian banking total PCLs were 63 basis points. Quarter-over-quarter, total PCLs increased by $393 million, resulting in a total PCL of $700 million. $414 million or 37 basis points of the PCLs were related to performing allowance build, of which $240 million was for Canadian retail and $174 million was for business banking. Retail customers in Canada continue to spend less on discretionary goods and more on essential items year-over-year. Overall, spending has continued to slow as total debit and credit card spend fell 3% quarter-over-quarter and remained flat year-over-year, despite inflation. Variable rate mortgage customers continue to spend less than their fixed rate counterparts with total spend down 11% year-over-year, while spending for fixed rate customers is only down 5%. Additionally, delinquencies continue to trend up across all products in Canada. 90-day delinquency levels were 3 basis points quarter-over-quarter to 25 basis points, and were up 10 basis points year-over-year. Quarter-over-quarter, we saw a deterioration in HELOCs and auto, increasing 9 basis points and 6 basis points, respectively. In Canadian business banking, we are cognizant of uncertain macroeconomic conditions. Included in our ACL coverage is an additional build for our real estate portfolio, which includes impacts to collateral values. Our exposure to U.S. real estate is largely to investment grade borrowers, and as disclosed in the investor presentation, our U.S. office exposure is immaterial. Global Banking and Markets provisions for credit losses were $39 million or 11 basis points this quarter and included a performing allowance build of $30 million. Total PCLs in International Banking were $512 million or 119 basis points, up 1 basis point from the prior quarter. Total retail PCLs decreased $17 million quarter-over-quarter to bring the PCL ratio to 211 basis points, driven by lower allowances and increases in Colombia and Chile. Performance in these markets have started to stabilize with improving macroeconomic outlook. Central banks have paused interest rate hikes in Colombia and in Chile. They have started reducing rates. Mexico continues to perform within expectations, supported by resilient underlying economic fundamentals. Headwinds persist in Peru, with delinquencies remaining elevated and GDP contracted. Peru entered a recession and will likely be further impacted by the upcoming El Nino. Contingency plans and loss mitigation tools are ready, and have been deployed where needed. Looking to fiscal 2024, we expect a challenging environment will persist for consumers and businesses. Canadian GDP growth is expected to remain muted and inflationary pressures on households is expected to persist with the outlook for rate cuts uncertain. We expect PCLs in 2024 to be in the 45 basis point to 55 basis point range, assuming no significant changes to our expected economic scenarios. With that, I’ll pass the call back to John. John McCartney: Great. Thanks, Phil. Operator, could you open the lines for questions? See also 20 States With Highest Migrant Workers in the US and 25 Most Affordable Places to Retire in the World. Q&A Session Follow Bank Of Nova Scotia (NYSE:BNS) Follow Bank Of Nova Scotia (NYSE:BNS) We may use your email to send marketing emails about our services. Click here to read our privacy policy. Operator: Thank you. [Operator Instructions] Our first question is from Ebrahim Poonawala from Bank of America. Please go ahead. Ebrahim Poonawala: Hey, good morning. So, I guess maybe, Raj, you went through a lot in terms of the outlook for next year. I just want to make sure we heard you right. It sounds like you’re guiding for PTPP to be up either year-over-year and from fourth quarter levels given revenue growth should exceed expense growth and revenue growth driven by NIM expansion. So, if you don’t mind, just quantify the level of margin expansion you expect at the all bank level if we don’t see any action from Bank of Canada from here on? And what is the expense growth that we should think about would be the right way for ’24, either year-over-year or relative to fourth quarter expense run rate? Thank you. Raj Viswanathan: Thanks, Ebrahim. I’ll start. Margin expansion should continue for the whole bank in 2024, Ebrahim. Couple of reasons. One is repricing of our loans has already commenced, as you saw this quarter. Frankly, you saw it in last couple of quarters across our portfolios, and that should continue in 2024. We know our deposit margin contribution to 2023 will be muted in ’24, because there’s been lots of deposit growth. And I said in my prepared remarks that deposit growth is expected to be lower than what we saw in 2023. The net of it is, you should see pretty decent margin expansion from where we finished Q4 2023, both in the business lines as well as across the Bank. Like you pointed out, with the Bank of Canada and the U.S. Fed expected to stop rate increases. Obviously, if they do increase, it’ll be a headwind to this Bank. So, I think margins will be a good news story. That’s where we expect net interest income to grow next quarter, in my prepared remarks what I talked about. Expenses is, Q4 tends to be seasonally higher. I think it’s not unusual for us. Like Q1, next year will be higher because we have what we call eligible to retire costs that comes through our business lines, which gets recorded in Q1 across our employee base. But for the whole year, like I mentioned, we expect to generate positive operating leverage for the Bank, i.e., revenue growth exceeding expense growth by some margin. We know that the Canadian bank has to invest, so there we think our revenue growth will be strong and offset the expense growth that is expected as we look forward. International bank will continue to generate positive operating leverage, as it did this year. And the Wealth and GBM businesses, it depends a bit on the markets. But I think for the whole bank, we expect to generate positive operating leverage. Expense growth will be significantly lower than what you saw this year. Adjusted for FX, like I said, it was about 7% for the whole year. And next year, we’re going to benefit from the productivity initiatives that we took as well, part of it is expected to come through in ’24, and the full year benefit should come through in ’25. So, all that points to an expense growth, I would call, in the low-end of the mid-single-digit range is what we expect next year. Ebrahim Poonawala: That was helpful. Thank you. And just on a separate question, Raj, you laid out the 75 basis point impact to CET1 from the Basel FRTB-CVA changes and the floor factor in 1Q. So, as we get to [12.25%] (ph), remind us where you want to be on CET1 as we think about the DRIP? And are there any actions that you can take to materially optimize the balance sheet to reduce that drag either on the market risk side or on floor factor? Thanks. Raj Viswanathan: Thank you, Ebrahim. I think as far as capital ratio goes, we’d like to run around the 12.5% range for the rest of 2024, and the DRIP is a contributor to that without any doubt. Lot of the actions that you referred to on muting loan growth, you’ve already seen it. You’ve seen our — we’ve been targeted about where we want to deploy our capital, and we’ve been pulling back capital from certain parts of the business where it has not been providing the appropriate returns in a capital constrained environment with higher cost of capital coming at us. So, 12.50% is what we expect to run for 2024. Obviously, it also depends on what OSFI will do and some of the other regulatory changes that can come across starting December 8. We want to be prudent. We want to run at 12.5%, and we’ll revisit all the actions that we need to take or not as we see how the regulatory environment evolves through 2024. Beyond that, we’ll talk about it at Investor Day to see what is the right capital levels that this Bank should be running at. But for ’24, that’s what you should expect from us. Ebrahim Poonawala: Thank you. Raj Viswanathan: Thanks. Operator: Thank you. The following question is from Gabriel Dechaine from National Bank Financial. Please go ahead. Gabriel Dechaine: Hi. Good morning. I just want to put a fine tune on the outlook commentary there, and I heard a few things from Scott and then in the MD&A, of course. You’re suggesting that earnings growth will be marginal in 2024. That’s off of the full year adjusted base from 2023, I assume. And if we’re looking at it from an earnings per share standpoint, you got marginal earnings growth, then you’ve got the DRIP, which might be ongoing for the full year, we’re probably going to see lower than marginal EPS growth. Is that a reasonable interpretation? Raj Viswanathan: No, I think — Gabe, I’ll start and Scott might have a comment or two on that. I think on an EPS basis, you should see growth, like marginal growth, right, from the $6.54 that we reported this year......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyDec 1st, 2023

Domo, Inc. (NASDAQ:DOMO) Q3 2024 Earnings Call Transcript

Domo, Inc. (NASDAQ:DOMO) Q3 2024 Earnings Call Transcript November 30, 2023 Operator: Good day, everyone, and welcome to the Domo Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2024 Earnings Call. Today’s call is being recorded. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers’ remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. [Operator […] Domo, Inc. (NASDAQ:DOMO) Q3 2024 Earnings Call Transcript November 30, 2023 Operator: Good day, everyone, and welcome to the Domo Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2024 Earnings Call. Today’s call is being recorded. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers’ remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. [Operator Instructions] I would now like to turn the call over to Peter Lowry, Vice President, Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir. Peter Lowry: Good afternoon, and welcome. On the call today, we have Josh James, our Founder and CEO, and David Jolley, our Chief Financial Officer. I’ll lead off with our safe harbor statement and then on to the call. Our press release was issued after the market close and is posted on the Investor Relations section of our website, where this call is also being webcast. Statements made on this call include forward-looking statements related to our business under federal securities laws. These statements are subject to a variety of risks, uncertainties, and assumptions. These include, but are not limited to, statements about future and prospects or financial projections and cash position; statements regarding the potential of our consumption-based pricing; statements about our sales team and technology, our expectations for new business opportunities, transactions and initiatives; statements regarding our channel of communications and upcoming events; statements regarding the potential of artificial intelligence and its impact on our business; and statements regarding the impact of macroeconomic and other conditions on our business. For discussion of these risks and uncertainties, please refer to documents we file with the SEC, in particular, today’s press release, our most recently filed annual report on Form 10-K and our most recently filed quarterly report on Form 10-Q. These documents contain and identify important risk factors and other information that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those contained in our forward-looking statements. In addition, during today’s call, we will discuss non-GAAP financial measures, which we believe are useful as supplemental measures of Domo’s performance. Other than revenue, unless otherwise stated, we will be discussing our results of operations on a non-GAAP basis. These non-GAAP measures should be considered in addition to and not as a substitute for or in isolation from our GAAP results. Please refer to the tables in our earnings press release for a reconciliation of our non-GAAP financial measures to their most directly comparable GAAP measure, which we have posted to the Investor Relations section of our website at With that, I’ll turn it over to Josh. Josh? Josh James: Thank you, Pete, and thank you everyone for joining the call today. In Q3, we were able to exceed guidance for our key top-line metrics, including revenue, subscription revenue, and billings. A highlight in the quarter is that we had our highest operating income in history of $5 million, and our highest operating margin in history of 6%. Over the past few years, and especially the last few quarters, we have been incubating critical pivots that are finally coming together. They are clear and powerful priorities that are removing friction and strengthening our ability to deliver unmatched value to the market. Specifically, several years ago, we decided to test an idea: “What would customers do if they had unlimited access to features for an unlimited number of users and all visualization for free?” It was a simple value prop to customers. Pay for the value you are realizing. Well, after positive feedback we decided to run an even broader pilot last year, and the pilot proved to be a smash hit. We now feel like we’ve reached critical mass with over 20% of our ARR on the consumption model. As we continue to look at the results from this very large sample size, we feel very confident in making the decision and saying we’re going all in on consumption. By the end of next year, we expect to have the vast majority of our revenue on the consumption model. Again, we now have over 400 customers on consumption contracts, representing over 15% of our customer base and over 20% of our ARR. When customers move to consumption, we are seeing user counts growing at almost 3 times the speed of seat-based customers. And we are seeing 3 times the adoption rate on premium features like data science. We’ve also rolled out reporting so our customers can see in real time what their consumption patterns are. So far, even with the highest usage our customers are seeing, the feedback has been incredibly positive because customers recognize the value of that usage. As an example, it took us eight years at a fast food chain to get an ARR of about $200,000. Now that they’ve converted to consumption, this company has committed to an ARR of over $550,000 over the next three years by expanding the use of Domo across the organization. One fun story to relate that has happened to me on multiple occasions over the last few months is watching how our customers react to the new model. I’ve seen the epiphanies go off in their eyes as they recognize and then look at people internally in the room and tell them conclusively that because they now have unlimited users, they can start looking at sunsetting all of their other BI technologies and legacy reporting tools and use Domo instead. Well, I couldn’t have said it better myself. In support of our consumption strategy and to pave a completely open path to adoption, we’ve also launched a new freemium model. Freemium was impossible before our consumption model and gives everyone a risk-free opportunity to get in and try Domo with no obligations and no restrictions. Domo customers have access to all the Domo features with unlimited users and they can tackle any use case they want. And when they want to go bigger, they can click from within Domo to buy consumption credits and have an unlimited highway to multiply their impact on their business. This approach seamlessly aligns with our core philosophy of delivering value before requiring payment, reinforcing our commitment to providing accessible and valuable solutions to our users. We rolled out our free offering last month and will be rapidly iterating on it over the next quarter to focus on user experience and easy onboarding. We think that long term, this alters our ability to attract new customers and give them a friction-free path to move through the pipeline from free to paid usage to sharing with more users to broad use case adoption. Of course, this naturally leads to expanding credits and being ready for a long-term relationship with our sales and support organization. This new flow evolves us from having to work with cold leads to being able to talk with happy customers who already see the value of the platform and are ready to lean in more. To demonstrate the power of having a freemium model, let me share a story from two weeks ago. Our sales team had been calling a CTO prospect for over a year with no luck. One of our salespeople called the CTO on a Friday afternoon and left a message about freemium and the free credits it comes with. The CTO proceeded to sign up for a free instance, and over the weekend, multiple users connected to disparate data sources and built data flows powering over 40 reports. By Monday, the CTO was in love with the product and signed up for a three-year deal with a total contract value well into the six figures. And that was a three-day sales cycle. Our freemium product also completely changes the conversation with potential partners who have wanted to leverage our Domo Everywhere product to deliver data experiences through Domo for their own customers. In the past, if we had a customer with, say, 20,000 external end users, it would have required a major upfront investment, which often led our customer to reduce the use case to maybe just the top 5% of external customers. With freemium, however, we can give all 20,000 of those users a free instance of Domo immediately at no cost. This creates a very meaningful introduction to Domo for those end users with an obvious upgrade experience because they can experience the value and immediately expand and put more of their own data in our platform. In a consumption world, focusing on adoption through product-led growth and support programs is the critical path to success for both customers and for Domo. Increased adoption leads to happier and more successful customers, and the corollary is, of course, increased revenue. As we roll out features and training that support adoption, we’ve seen our customers rapidly expand their usage of our platform compared to when they were under seat-based pricing. For example, one of our largest customers had been a customer for six years. In those first six years, they had grown to 3,500 active users and 17 departments. Then, they converted to our consumption model. The growth was rapid. In just one additional year, they added 2,300 more active users and more than doubled the number of departments and use cases. This has dramatically increased the return for the customer and, of course, has strengthened our relationship in the account. In support of our shift to the consumption model, focusing on our customers’ adoption of our platform brings complete alignment between us and our customers around multiplying value. It’s all about opening up unlimited use cases to address a completely expanding list of customer needs. And it helps us learn more about what drives customer success. For example, which product features and functionality in our products really drive expanded usage? What of our support behaviors drive additional adoption of our products? It shifts the dynamic from trying to sell the customer more products to helping them find more ways to receive value. Now, the progress we’ve made with our consumption model and with our launch of freemium has dramatically altered our ability to be successful within the ecosystem and our partners. Only recently, we’ve changed our architecture to allow Domo to drive consumption for partners like Snowflake, AWS, and Microsoft. Before now, we’ve had conflict in the channel, where we sometimes drove consumption or compute away from our vendors. With the architecture changes, we now allow customers to choose to keep the data and the associated querying and processing of data with our partners. It was a substantial investment on our part, but we are very excited that this has all been reconciled. Because of these changes, we’ll be making some announcements soon, describing partnerships where customers are able to retire spend by purchasing Domo through various app stores and marketplaces from major tech players. As it relates to AI, this is another area where consumption allows our customers to get in and start seeing the value of AI in their business without an upfront commitment or investment. As mentioned earlier, we’ve seen dramatically higher uptake in our data science offerings among our consumption customers compared to our seat-based customers, and we expect to see similar levels of adoption as we continue to expand our AI service layer and other AI offerings. The consumption model will expose many more customers to AI because they don’t have to sign a contract before they start using it. This in turn, of course, drives consumption. We have several AI-related product launches lined up for the coming months that will help our customers build reports and interact with their data in a ChatGPT-like fashion. Now, to illustrate the impact of this new model that has already penetrated over 20% of our ARR, please let me share some real-life examples from some of our customers. So first, a significant new logo win with a Canadian retailer that was using competing BI solutions was having issues with silo data and with connecting to data in disparate systems. The company chose Domo for our consumption model, which made it easy for them to sunset legacy seat-based tools when they weren’t sure they were getting the value that they needed. We are starting to see more and more of these cases, and it’s certainly good to be the consolidator. A healthcare software company was using our Domo Everywhere solution to provide data to their medical customers. The company was adding new Domo Everywhere customers at a faster rate than expected and it was challenging under a seat-based model where they had to commit to their investment before receiving the value. Since transferring over to consumption now, our customer has tripled their contract size with us, and yes, that math works. An educational software company was debating which vendor to use for their ETL needs. They entered into an upsell contract with Domo, not only because of our ETL features, but because our consumption contract structure allowed them to predict their cost with a high level of confidence. Additionally, the company had been considering using Domo Everywhere to provide embedded analytics to thousands of their end users. Moving to a consumption model, opened the door for them to test out our Domo Everywhere experience in a very cost-effective manner. And then, because of the value they’ve seen in the Domo platform, this customer has committed to dramatically alter the scale of their investment and agreed to a two-year six-figure ARR contract in Q3 with a significant upsell built into the second year. Is consumption driving adoption? It certainly looks like it. Another example is a financial services company that purchased Domo to consolidate data from multiple loan origination systems. The consumption model was key to their decision to go with Domo because it unlocked our data science and sandbox features, which were critical to their use case and would have been outside their budget under our seat-based model. Does access to all of Domo help customers unlock the value of the entire platform and become more committed to the entirety of our platform? I think so. A digital customer engagement platform company has been a Domo customer for a decade. The initial use case was for sales and marketing analytics. However, about a year ago, the company was considering a cancellation because they felt like they were paying too much per seat for about 350 users. What saved the account was a move to consumption with unlimited users. Using our product, they created an app, and because they have unlimited users, they were able to deploy the app company-wide, and now have over a thousand users on Domo’s platform. Not only did we save an account that was going to cancel, several months after they converted to consumption, they actually committed to an increased level of consumption and upped their spend with us. Now, would we have been able to save this customer without consumption? No. And now we have an upsell. Looking outside of Q3, here’s a few more examples of how consumption is changing the game for us. A healthcare analytics company, which is using several of our larger competitors, is looking to replace some business objects and other legacy providers. Consumption is allowing the company to replace the other vendors and expand Domo without the friction of a new contract discussion. Can Domo benefit from vendor consolidation? Yes, we can. Another small highlight is a digital asset company that was about to cancel because they thought we were too expensive for the number of users they had in the account on seat-based pricing. They moved to a consumption contract with unlimited users. Additionally, they agreed to triple their contract size, and then, just last week, agreed to triple it again. So, they are now close to 10x their original size, as opposed to just recently being on the brink of canceling. Do I wish that all my customers were on consumption contracts? Yes, I do. Lastly, an insurance company that was paying us $200,000 a year moved to consumption because our seat-based model didn’t allow them to expand as rapidly as they wanted to. With the initial move to consumption, they increased their contract with us by over $100,000. 15 months later, after they had been able to fully realize the value Domo can provide due to having unlimited users and functionality, they added another $200,000 annually to their contract to replace their spend with Cognos. So, in totality, I think these are some great examples of multiple customers that highlight the progress we are making as a company. Now, while we are marching toward improving the prospects of the company, we are also optimizing our costs so we can operate as efficiently as possible. To that end, we’ve made changes that impacts approximately 7% of our workforce, as well as reductions in contractors, marketing programs, and other expenses. We are cognizant of the effect this has on people and would like to take a moment to express our gratitude to everyone for their contributions. Now, as we look to the future, I’m sure you can feel my energy around these pivots we’re making and the signals we’re seeing from customers and partners that resoundingly convince us that they’re the right moves. Even when we were growing 30% quarter-over-quarter — year-over-year, I wasn’t this optimistic about our future and our stability as I am now. We’re quickly migrating to the consumption model. In Q4, we’ll have the vast majority of our new logo customers on consumption and we will continue to encourage our existing customers to switch to consumption, resulting in the vast majority of our ARR transition to the consumption model within the next year. Freemium, our adoption programs, and our AI investments will continue to bolster our efforts in moving to consumption where customers are able to experience value and see the vision of what Domo can mean to their company before having to pay and commit to everything. All of these changes will also lead to a dramatic shift in our approach and success with partners and the broader ecosystem over the next 12 months, which should meaningfully impact our ability to generate leads efficiently. Domo is becoming a much more interesting company with prospects that excite our broader team. And with that, I’ll now turn it over to David. David Jolley: Thanks, Josh. I love those examples. Like you, I’m excited about our key areas of focus and believe we’re really well positioned to execute on the opportunities in front of us. Now, while we aspire to higher growth rates than we’re currently experiencing, I’m pleased that we were able to exceed the billings guidance that we provided at the beginning of the quarter. We delivered Q3 billings of $74.8 million, a year-over-year increase of 1%. Total revenue was $79.7 million, also a year-over-year increase of 1%. Subscription revenue represented 89% of our total revenue and grew… [Technical Difficulty] Operator: One moment, everyone, while we reconnect the speaker line. Please stand by, and do not disconnect. Once again, everyone, please stand by. Once again, everyone, we are reconnecting the speaker line. Please stand by. David Jolley: All right, are we back live again? Operator: You are live. Please go ahead. David Jolley: All right, very good. Sorry for the short delay. But thanks, Josh. I appreciate that and appreciate those great examples. Like you, I’m excited about our key areas of focus and believe we’re well positioned to execute on the opportunities in front of us. Now, while we aspire to higher growth rates than we’re currently experiencing, I’m pleased that we were able to exceed the billings guidance that we provided at the beginning of the quarter. We delivered Q3 billings of $74.8 million, a year-over-year increase of 1%. Total revenue was $79.7 million, also a year-over-year increase of 1%. Subscription revenue represented 89% of our total revenue and grew 3% year-over-year. And our ARR grew roughly in-line with subscription revenue growth. In reviewing the metrics that will impact the remainder of the year, our current RPO was $230.8 million, consistent with last year. And our total RPO grew 4% to $367.2 million as of October 31. On a dollar-weighted measure, we continue to have approximately two-thirds of our customers in our multi-year contracts. Our gross retention was above 85%, and net retention was about 95%. Last quarter, we identified potential renewal challenges with several large customers. And while we and some of our customers continue to face challenging IT spending environment, in Q3, these renewals discussions played out somewhat better than expected, which did help our results. In regards to the large renewal risks that we had identified last quarter, we have saved a few of them and have not identified any beyond those that we had identified in last quarter for the fourth quarter. Moving on to margins and profitability. Our subscription gross margin was 84.8%, up 0.2 percentage points from Q3 of last year. And non-GAAP operating margin was a record high 6.3%, up 5.4 percentage points from a year ago. Our net loss was very close to breakeven at $24,000, which is our best result to date, and a big improvement from a net loss of $4.4 million a year ago. Net loss per share was $0, based on 36.3 million weighted average shares outstanding, basic and diluted. In Q3, cash used in operations was approximately $4.3 million. We capitalized approximately $2 million of software costs, resulting in a decline of our cash balance of $6.5 million from last quarter to $57.4 million. Cash flow from operations in Q3 was negatively impacted by the timing of collections on some receivables. However, we’re still on track to generate positive operating cash flow for FY ’24, and therefore, expect our Q4 cash flow from operations to be in the range of $3 million to $4 million. Looking forward to next year, we’re committed to not only being operating cash flow positive, but we are targeting free cash flow positive for FY ’25. In order to bring our cost structure in alignment with this target, we recently reduced our headcount-related expense by approximately 7% and also optimize a handful of other costs. For Q4 top-line metrics, we’re guiding to a billing range of $102 million to $103 million, and expect GAAP revenue to be in the range of $79 million to $80 million. For the full year of fiscal ’24, we expect billings to be in the range of $317.7 million to $318.7 million, and we expect GAAP revenue to be in the range of $317.8 million to $318.8 million, representing year-over-year growth of approximately 3%. We expect non-GAAP net loss per share, basic and diluted, of $0.05 to $0.09 for Q4. This assumes a 36.8 million weighted average shares outstanding, basic and diluted. For the full year, we expect non-GAAP net loss per share, basic and diluted, of $0.24 to $0.28. This assumes 36.1 million weighted average shares outstanding, basic and diluted. Additionally of note is the fact that we’ve engaged an investment bank to assist us with refinancing and extending the maturity of our outstanding debt. And at this point in the process, we have a significant level of interest from potential lenders. In conclusion, we posted better-than-expected top-line results with record profitability and believe we’re making the right moves to drive long-term profitable growth. With that, we’ll open the call for questions. Operator? See also 16 States With the Most Expensive Cigarettes in the US and 25 Cities With Highest Young Population In The US. Q&A Session Follow Domo Inc. (NASDAQ:DOMO) Follow Domo Inc. (NASDAQ:DOMO) We may use your email to send marketing emails about our services. Click here to read our privacy policy. Operator: Thank you. [Operator Instructions] We’ll take our first question from Eric Martinuzzi with Lake Street Capital Markets. Please go ahead. Eric Martinuzzi: Yeah, congrats on the good numbers for the quarter, and I appreciate the examples regarding the capacity-based pricing impacts. I wanted to understand a little bit more on the risk of non-renewals. I think last quarter, you talked about four or five enterprise accounts that were in danger and that was part of the reset to the outlook for FY ’24. Can you give us a little better color? Have we reached resolution on those four or five at-risk enterprise accounts? Josh James: Yes, we’ve reached resolution. Good news, we were actually able to keep a couple of them just with down sales, but we still kept them as customers. So that was a little bit of a bright spot when it came to the bad news. And this quarter, we’ve — given the guidance, we’re obviously not — we’re not on a toward pace here, but we, at the same time, feel pretty good about looking out over the next three, four quarters in terms of the pacing of where customers are that are at risk. It feels like we hit the bottom of that, and we’re recovering from that. And like we mentioned, many of the examples with the consumption pricing, we actually end up on the consolidation, being the consolidator side of the equation versus having just being impacted by others. So, the move to consumption definitely changed the relationship with a lot of our customers and has helped us save a bunch of accounts. And we think especially as that plays out over the future, like we talked about, there’s so many upsells that we’re getting from these accounts. If you look at the cohort of customers that have been through renewal, we haven’t lost any customers that have signed up to consumption. And it’s a smaller sample size, 30 to 40, but as that number gets bigger, we’ll keep watching that. But it certainly is extremely encouraging looking at the 20% of our business that’s purely consumption and knowing that we can get that number to a vast majority just over the next 12 months. Eric Martinuzzi: Okay. The other comment that you made last quarter was regarding the pipeline. And you characterized the pipeline back then as soft in all stages. I’m wondering if you could update that view on the pipeline. Josh James: Yeah, it feels — as we look at the numbers, it seems like we’ve started to turn. There’s seven, eight, nine numbers that all feel like they’ve barely started to turn, but it’s barely. But all of our checks, it looks like things are — hit the bottom last quarter and just are starting to slightly improve. So hopefully that’s how things play out. But we’re feeling like we have our arms wrapped around the situation much better and we feel like we’re in a much better position in terms of the relationship that we have with our customers and our ability to sell consumption, our ability to get our customers over to consumption, training up the reps, training up the client services folks, focusing on adoption and helping people find these additional use cases. So, we feel like we’re much better positioned and feel like we’ve got much better visibility into the customers and the contracts at this stage. Eric Martinuzzi: Understand. Good luck in Q4. Josh James: Thank you very much. Operator: [Operator Instructions] We’ll take our next question from Oliver Crookenden with JMP Securities. Pat Walravens: Actually, it’s Pat, but — Pat Walravens with JMP Securities. Thank you. So, Josh, I do love the shift to consumption, and we’ve seen a lot of other people do it, but I was wondering if you could balance it out a little bit. I mean, there are some negatives to the consumption model, too, right? So, what do you give up when you make this shift? Josh James: Yeah, we — I think if you went around the room and e-staff and tried to figure out what the negatives are, I don’t — we’re not seeing any negatives. The one difference in the model is you’re not going to sign up any seven-figure new logo deals, right? When you go start to use AWS, you don’t walk in and be like, “Hey, give me a couple of million bucks worth.” You try it out and you start spending it and if you like it, you decide that you want to commit to get lower rates, and we’re seeing that same thing. So, brand new seven-figure buildings walking in the door, we’re not going to have as many of those. They’ll happen, but they’ll happen as those customers grow. So, we’re seeing those relationships. We have some really big customers that are signing up right now that on the old seat model, we’d be signing up for $3 million, $4 million, but — annually. But in the consumption model, you sign them up for $400,000 and then another $500,000, and then you get to a couple of million bucks. And you still get to the same spot. You get there more efficiently, more effectively. There’s not as many — not as much hemming and hawing. You’re not going through as many use cases and approvals internally, but at the same time, you also don’t have the big billings hits until they’ve had time to bake. So, we’ll have to wait for some of those things to bake a little bit. Pat Walravens: Okay, great. David Jolley: I think, Pat, another — just another comment was that I think early on there was a concern, well, geez, if we’re giving them whole platform, is there going to be anything to sell them later on? And there was some concern about that. But the way that’s working is when we provide the whole platform and open up all the seats, it’s then just about helping the customer identify how to solve more of their data issues and more use cases. And as they do that, that’s the upsell. It happens very naturally. Pat Walravens: Okay. So, there’s not a near-term hit on cash flow, like you don’t get less cash upfront when you go to a consumption model? I mean, maybe not… David Jolley: No. I mean still AIA… Josh James: subscription. David Jolley: Yeah, subscription AIA. So… Pat Walravens: Okay. Perfect. And then, my second question is, Josh, if you could go a little deeper — actually, I’m able to tell you my other two question, I’ll put them up out front. So, for Josh, if you could go a little deeper on the architectural change and help us understand the history of that, what was it before and what is it now and how does it work? And then, maybe if you guys could address the debt in a little more detail, just sort of what’s the current rate, when’s the current — when’s the maturity and what’s your options look like? Both of those things would be really helpful. Thank you......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyDec 1st, 2023

US Futures Rise As November Surge Closes Strong, Oil Jump Ahead Of Fresh OPEC+ Output Cut

US Futures Rise As November Surge Closes Strong, Oil Jump Ahead Of Fresh OPEC+ Output Cut US equity futures, European bourses and Asian markets all advanced, and Treasuries steadied at the end of a blistering November run after more dovish comments from hawkish Fed officials this week, and as investors waited for a key US inflation metric for further evidence that price pressure are cooling.  As of 7:55am ET, S&P futures rose 0.3% while US 10-year yields climb 3bp to 4.29%. Treasuries paused their strongest monthly gain since 2008, with yields on 10-year paper up four basis points at 4.30%. The dollar bounced 0.4% at the end of its worst month in a year, sending all major developed- and emerging-market currencies lower. The euro traded down 0.5% versus the greenback as the pace of price growth in the region cooled. Today’s macro focus will be the PCE, Personal Income/Spending and Initial Jobless Claims. The PCE release today will provide us with more details on the disinflation trend in Q4: Consensus sees core PCE printing 3.5% YoY vs. 3.68% prior. Eyes will also be on OPEC+ today as the group may consider a production cut at today’s meeting: RTRS sources said OPEC+ ministers agreed for a preliminary cut for over 1mn bpd. In premarket trading, megacap tech are leading gains morning, with TSLA +65bp and GOOGL + 29bp. Salesforce jumped about 9% after the application software company’s third-quarter results and profit forecasts beat estimates. Here are some other notable premarket movers: HP Enterprise shares are up about 3% and are set to extend gains for a second session as Morgan Stanley raised its recommendation following results. ImmunoGen shares are halted after AbbVie (ABBV) agreed to buy the company. Stock is set to resume trading at 8 a.m. Nutanix gains about 9% as strong demand fueled a quarterly sales beat. Okta Inc. is down about 2% after a pair of analysts issued downgrades following the company’s breach disclosures. Pure Storage slumps 17% after the technology company’s outlook disappointed. Snowflake climbs about 7% after the US cloud-software company posted 3Q results that beat expectations and the firm gave an outlook that is seen as strong. Synopsys shares are up 2% after the maker of electronic design automation software reported fourth-quarter results that beat expectations. Easing inflation and signs of a milder-than-expected slowdown in the US economy have sent Treasuries, agency and mortgage debt to their best month since the 1980s, triggering a November surge that pulled along assets from stocks to credit to emerging markets. Oil gained following a Reuters reports that OPEC+ has reached a preliminary agreement on an additional output cut of more than 1mb/d. Details of how the cut will be distributed are yet to be finalised, but it is important that Saudi Arabia appears to have been able to maintain the unified stance from OPEC+ -- at least long enough to move through the seasonally low demand period of 1Q24. Front-month Brent crude is up is up 2% at $84.69 a barrel. Data due Thursday is forecast to show the Fed’s preferred inflation metric — the personal consumption expenditures price index — decelerated in October to the slowest annual rate since early 2021. “Momentum on the other side of the pond is likely to remain bullish rates,” wrote Evelyne Gomez-Liechti, a multi-asset strategist at Mizuho International Plc in London. “The PCE inflation data for October is most likely going to echo what we already saw in the October CPI and PPI reports and add to the soft-landing narrative.” Now, traders are looking to a speech by Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Friday. “Upcoming Fed communication could continue to stress the need hold rates steady for some time,” said Hauke Siemssen, rates strategist at Commerzbank AG. “We expect the air to be getting thinner for further bond market performance ahead of the usual supply wave early next year.” European stocks are in the green with the Stoxx 600 rising 0.4%, set for their best month since January. Energy, financial and insurance shares are leading gains; oil stocks are the top performers on Europe’s Stoxx 600 index, as OPEC+ producers prepare to discuss additional output cuts of about one million barrels a day.  The euro sank after weak French economic data and a Euro-zone inflation print that came in lower than the estimates of all economists in a Bloomberg poll. Traders are now fully pricing in a rate cut from the ECB by April after data showed euro-area inflation slowed more than expected in November.  Here are some of the biggest movers on Thursday: VAT Group shares climb as much as 5.6%, to the highest level since January 2022 after the Swiss chipmaker announced it will end its short-time work scheme in the country’s production sites. Leonardo shares rise as much as 4.8%, the most intraday since Oct. 9, as JPMorgan reinstates full coverage of the aerospace and defense company with an overweight rating. A recovery in end markets and “self-help” can drive the shares higher in coming years, according to the analysts. ABB shares climb as much as 1.9%, touching the highest level since August, as the Swiss industrial conglomerate’s new revenue and margin targets came in ahead of estimates. The update will trigger low to mid-single digit percentage upgrades to 2025 consensus expectations, according to Citigroup. ASR Nederland and NN Group both soar by as much as 15% as ASR’s settlement of a long-standing miss-selling case removes a major overhang for the company and provides optimism of a resolution for its Dutch peer NN. Outokumpu shares surge as much as 14%, the most in almost 13 months, after the Finnish steelmaker announces an extension to its partnership with AM/NS within the Americas region, which Morgan Stanley says removes a key overhang. ASML shares drop as much as 1.8% after the Dutch chip-equipment maker said Christophe Fouquet will become CEO when Peter Wennink retires next year. Chief Technology Officer Martin van den Brink, who worked at the firm since its foundation in 1984, will also retire. Dr Martens shares plummet as much as 27%, dropping to the lowest intraday level on record, after the bootmaker’s first-half revenue missed estimates. The company also said that improvement in the US business will probably take longer than expected. Analysts viewed the results as weak overall, with Morgan Stanley attributing the miss mainly to industry-wide destocking across the Americas wholesale channel. OCI falls as much as 9.3% after being downgraded to hold from buy at Jefferies, which said that natural gas supply is becoming ample, potentially hurting profits from company’s planned investments. Future plc drops as much as 8.5% after Canaccord Genuity downgrades the media company to sell from hold, saying there is material risk of downgrades to consensus. It is the stock’s only negative analyst rating. Elekta shares fall as much as 7.1%, the most intraday in six months, after the Swedish medical equipment firm reported second-quarter results, with analysts noting some weakness in the company’s outlook comments and a strong share-price performance ahead of the release. Siltronic shares fall as much as 5.7% after the German silicon wafer manufacturer says chip inventories will remain high for at least the first half of 2024. The company also set mid-term sales growth targets that Jefferies said were slightly below consensus expectations. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks gained, with investors in Chinese shares shrugging off a weak set of economic data on expectations that Beijing will ramp up support for the flagging economy. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose as much as 0.2%, buoyed by Chinese tech giants such as Tencent, with the gauge headed toward its best month since January. Japanese shares fell for a fourth day as the yen strengthened, while Korean stocks advanced after the Bank of Korea held its key interest rate. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rebounded from the lowest level in a year after activity in China’s manufacturing and services sectors shrank in November, adding to expectations of further government support for the economy. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first visit to Shanghai in three years was also seen as a positive for the tech sector. The relief rally in Chinese stocks could extend into early 2024 on “easing US-China tensions, China’s easing deflation, revenue growth pickup and further cost and interest expense cuts by enterprises lending support to non-financial margins,” JPMorgan & Chase Co. strategists including Wendy Liu wrote in a note. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were indecisive with only brief pressure seen after the PMI data showed a steeper contraction in China’s factory activity which raises the prospects for further supportive measures. Japan's Nikkei 225 swung between gains and losses amid recent currency strength and with better-than-expected Industrial Production offset by softer Retail Sales. Korea's Kospi was just about kept afloat following the unsurprising decision by the BoK to keep rates unchanged and noted that it will maintain a restrictive policy stance for a sufficiently long period of time. Australia's ASX 200 was choppy after mixed data in which Building Approvals topped forecast and Private Capital Expenditure missed estimates. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose as much as 0.4%; but for the month it is poised to fall around 3%, its worst month in a year. The euro fell 0.5% as German yields slid as markets pulled forward expectations for ECB rate cuts, now fully pricing in the first rate cut by April 2024. Investors have become confident that the Fed has ended its monetary tightening campaign, and have turned their focus on rate cuts for next year, which has weighed on the dollar and boosted Treasuries. “A medium-term US dollar weakening trend is already underway,” Wells Fargo strategists including Aroop Chatterjee wrote in a research note. “The US dollar owes its recent strength to the high levels of US real rates — above 2% across much of the curve. We expect these to head toward more normal levels as the economy slows and disinflation continues” In rates, treasuries were slightly cheaper across the curve with losses led by long-end, extending Wednesday’s steepening move. US 10-year yields around 4.295%, cheaper by 4bp on the day with bunds outperforming by 3bp in the sector; continued long-end underperformance steepens 2s10s spread by 2.5bp while 5s30s is only slightly wider vs Wednesday close. 10-year touched 4.246% during Asia session, lowest level since September, extending retreat from October’s multiyear high near 5.02% that has fueled the market’s biggest monthly advance since 2008 (3.9% through Nov. 29). Core European rates outperform after French November inflation slowed more than expected. In commodities, crude futures advance as the OPEC meeting gets underway, with WTI rising 1% to trade near $78.70. Spot gold falls 0.3%. To the day ahead now, and the main data highlight will be the flash CPI release for the Euro Area in November, which printed below the lowest estimate as European inflation slides, along with the unemployment rate for October. In the US, we’ll get the weekly initial jobless claims, PCE inflation, and personal income and spending for October. Central bank speakers include ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s Panetta and Nagel, the Fed’s Williams, and the BoE’s Greene. Otherwise, the COP28 summit begins today, and there’s also the OPEC+ meeting taking place. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.1% to 4,565.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.2% to 459.86 MXAP up 0.4% to 162.25 MXAPJ up 0.3% to 505.27 Nikkei up 0.5% to 33,486.89 Topix up 0.4% to 2,374.93 Hang Seng Index up 0.3% to 17,042.88 Shanghai Composite up 0.3% to 3,029.67 Sensex little changed at 66,932.47 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.7% to 7,087.33 Kospi up 0.6% to 2,535.29 German 10Y yield little changed at 2.41% Euro down 0.3% to $1.0936 Brent Futures up 0.8% to $83.80/bbl Gold spot down 0.1% to $2,041.77 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.34% to 103.11 Top Overnight News Occidental Petroleum is in talks to buy CrownRock, a major energy producer in the west Texas area of the Permian basin, continuing a frenzy of deal making in the oil patch. A deal for the closely held company, which could be valued well above $10 billion including debt, could come together soon assuming the talks don’t fall apart or another suitor doesn’t prevail, according to people familiar with the matter. WSJ Elon Musk told advertisers who have halted spending on X due to his endorsement of an antisemitic post to “go F” themselves, deepening a rift between the billionaire and the companies that generate most of the social media platform’s revenue. FT China’s NBS PMIs for Nov fall short of expectations, with manufacturing coming in at 49.4 (down from 49.5 in Oct and below the Street’s 49.8 forecast) and services sliding to 50.2 (down from 50.6 in Oct and below the Street’s 50.9 forecast). FT WMT shipped 25% of all its US imports from India between Jan and Aug of '23 vs. just 2% in '18 as the firm moves its supply chain away from China (imports from China went from 80% to 60% of the total). RTRS China Evergrande seeks to avoid liquidation with a last-minute debt restructuring plan, but creditors are unlikely to accept the new proposal. RTRS France’s CPI falls by more than expected in Nov, coming in at +3.8% (down from +4.5% in Oct and below the Street’s +4.1% forecast). RTRS Eurozone CPI sinks by more than anticipated in Nov, with headline coming in at +2.4% (down from +2.9% in Oct and below the Street’s +2.7% forecast) and core +3.6% (down from +4.2% in Oct and below the Street’s +3.9% forecast). BBG Israel and Hamas agreed to extend their truce for at least another day in an announcement just minutes before it was set to expire. Antony Blinken will discuss the path forward with the Israeli government today. BBG Henry Kissinger, the former US secretary of state, died at the age of 100. He defined American foreign policy in the 1970s with his strategies to end the Vietnam War, and remained China’s preferred go-between with Washington until his death. BBG A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk APAC stocks were mixed and indecisively capped off this month’s notable gains as the Israel-Hamas truce hung in the balance before the announcement of a last-minute one-day extension, while participants also digested a slew of key data releases including disappointing Chinese official PMI figures. ASX 200 was choppy after mixed data in which Building Approvals topped forecast and Private Capital Expenditure missed estimates. Nikkei 225 swung between gains and losses amid recent currency strength and with better-than-expected Industrial Production offset by softer Retail Sales. KOSPI was just about kept afloat following the unsurprising decision by the BoK to keep rates unchanged and noted that it will maintain a restrictive policy stance for a sufficiently long period of time. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were indecisive with only brief pressure seen after the PMI data showed a steeper contraction in China’s factory activity which raises the prospects for further supportive measures. Top Asian News Taiwan is closely monitoring China's respiratory illnesses outbreak and will adjust epidemic prevention measures when needed. BoK kept its base rate unchanged at 3.50%, as expected, with the decision unanimous and four out of the seven board members said the door to a rate hike should remain open. BoK said uncertainties to the growth path are high with the economy facing heightened geopolitical risks and restrictive monetary policies abroad, while it will maintain a restrictive policy stance for a "sufficiently long period" of time (prev. "considerable time") until the board is confident inflation will converge to the target level. Furthermore. Governor Rhee said the current policy rate is sufficiently restrictive and that restrictive monetary policy could stay for longer than six months. Hong Kong Exchange consultation paper on severe weather: severe conditions will no longer have automatic consequential impact on the continuity of trading European bourses currently post modest gains, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.2%, despite spending the majority of the morning in the red; with the FTSE 100 outperforming, +0.6%, boosted by broader Crude price action pre-OPEC+; DAX 40 is lifted by SAP, +1.1%, as a read-over from Salesforce earnings. European sectors are mixed, though with a positive tilt; Energy significantly outperforms whilst Autos lag. Stateside futures, NQ & ES +0.2%, tilt higher in-fitting with the European bias as markets await US PCE data. Top European News German Finance Minister Lindner said Germany faces a EUR 17bln gap in the 2024 budget. Dutch NSC party said it is not ready to negotiate on joining the Cabinet with far-right leader Wilders, according to ANP. ECB to, as usual, temporarily pause PEPP purchases (reinvestments) in anticipation of significantly lower market liquidity towards the end of this year. The last trading day before 19th December 2023, and purchases will resume on 2nd January 2024. BoE Monthly Decision Maker Panel (3rd-17th Nov): One-year ahead CPI inflation expectations decreased to 4.4% in November, down from 4.6% in October, expected year-ahead wage growth remained unchanged at 5.1%. The three-month moving average fell by 0.2 percentage points to 4.6% in the three months to November. Three-year ahead CPI inflation expectations increased 0.1 percentage point to 3.2% in November. ECB will discuss QT in December, via Econostream citing an ECB insider; some preference for coming to a QT decision next year as it means less once in 2024. Lagarde will not try to delay the discussion indefinitely. Will not take many meetings to come to a decision on PEPP, given broad agreement currently. PEPP change is expected, liquidity is high; unworried by how markets will take the change. ECB’s Panetta says ECB needs to avoid "useless damage" to the economy and financial stability that would end up also putting price stability at risk; ECB may be able to ease monetary conditions if persistently weak output accelerates decline in inflation; Monetary tightening has not yet had full impact, it will continue to dampen demand in the future FX Dollar resumes recovery rally with a firm fillip from the Euro post-EZ inflation data and pre-US PCE/IJC. DXY towards top of 103.35-102.71 range and EUR/USD hovering near bottom of 1.0910-84 band. Pound and Yen suffer contagion, with Cable sub-1.2650 and USD/JPY above 147.50 compared to 1.2700+ and 146.85 at one stage. Loonie underpinned between 1.3568-1.3616 parameters as oil rebounds in advance of Canadian GDP metrics. PBoC set USD/CNY mid-point at 7.1018 vs exp. 7.1273 (prev. 7.1031). Banxico Governor Rodriguez said they do not see a rate cut in the December decision but it is possible they could begin a discussion of rate cuts in meetings early next year. Fixed Income Debt futures wane after short squeeze fizzles out. Bunds hit brakes just ahead of 133.00 as cool EZ inflation data pre-empted. Gilts undermined by extra DMO issuance and probing 97.00 to downside. T-note near base of 110-05+/14 range awaiting US PCE and IJC. UK DMO Gilt Auction Calendar: December 2023-March 2024. Two Gilts (2053 & 2034) to be sold at the additional auctions on 13th & 19th December; The gilts to be issued at auctions on 5, 6 and 12 December 2023 were previously announced on 31 August 2023. The auctions on 13 and 19 December 2023 were added to the calendar at the remit revision published on 22 November 2023 Commodities WTI and Brent, +1.9%, extend gains following reports that OPEC+ has a preliminary agreement for additional oil output cuts in excess of 1mln BPD, according to Reuters; reminder the JMMC commences at 08:30EST and the OPEC+ gathering at 09:30EST. Spot Gold is marginally lower, owing to the firmer Dollar, though with overall trade rangebound ahead of US PCE, base metals are mixed/flat following on from weaker Chinese PMI data and the FX influence. OPEC "proposal is around Saudi Arabia extending the voluntary cuts of 1 million bpd and then on top of that other states may add additional cuts", via Energy Intel's Bakr OPEC+ has a preliminary agreement for additional oil output cuts in excess of 1mln BPD, via Reuters citing a delegate; Talks around an OPEC cut of more than 1mln BPD will depend on how much could be contributed by members states, Energy Intel reports; adds almost all member states appear to be aligned that a deeper cut is needed Updated OPEC Timings for today: OPEC meeting at 10:00GMT/05:00EST, JMMC meeting at 13:30GMT/08:30EST, OPEC+ meeting at 14:30GMT/09:30EST, according to EnergyIntel's Bakr OPEC/OPEC+ meetings expected to occur as scheduled on Thursday, via Reuters citing sources; OPEC+ continues to discuss additional oil output cut for early-2024 OPEC+ additional output cut discussions range from 1-2mln BPD, according to Reuters sources OPEC+ reportedly mulls new oil production cuts amid the Middle East conflict with Saudi Arabia favouring a curb of up to 1mln BPD, while other members oppose downgrading quotas with Nigeria and Angola resisting a downgrade of their individual quotas and the UAE is also reluctant to cut output. Furthermore, it was stated that a rollover of most existing output curbs is the most likely scenario but talks are continuing, according to WSJ citing delegates. Kazakhstan Energy Ministry said oil output was down 34% at Karachaganak oilfield on November 29th due to the Black Sea storm. Oil loadings from Novorossiysk and CPC terminals remained shut on Wednesday amid a storm with the November plan for Novorossiysk delayed by over 1mln tons, according to Reuters sources. First Quantum (FM CA) announced the suspension of 7,000 contract employees due to force majeure at its Panama mine. Geopolitics: Israel-Hamas Israeli military said the truce will continue in light of mediators' efforts to release more hostages and Hamas also confirmed that it agreed to extend the truce for a seventh day, according to Reuters. Sources in Israel's war council earlier noted that Hamas's list of the new batch of hostages to be released did not meet the agreed criteria and Israel officials warned fighting will resume if Hamas does not present a new list by 07:00 local time (05:00GMT/00:00EST), while Hamas confirmed Israel rejected its proposed hostage release and it told its fighters to be ready for renewed battles if the truce with Israel was not extended, according to Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya and Reuters. Israeli prison service announced it released 30 Palestinians in the sixth round of Gaza truce swaps on Wednesday. UK Defence Minister Shapps is sending a warship to the Gulf region amid fears of a ramp up in Iranian missile attacks. The warship will protect against drone threats and ensure safe flow of trade, according to the Telegraph. China issued a position paper on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which stated that the UN Security Council should respond to the general call of the international community for a comprehensive ceasefire to be put in place to stop the fighting. Furthermore, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said a spillover of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the entire Middle East region should be avoided by urging countries that have an impact on the parties to play an active role, while he added that China is to send another batch of emergency humanitarian supplies to Gaza to alleviate the humanitarian situation. "Sirens in the Upper Galilee in northern Israel after a march crept in from southern Lebanon", according to Al Arabiya United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon says Israel retaliated to cross-border fire from Lebanon "Estimates in Israel indicate that tomorrow is the last day of the truce in Gaza", according to Al Arabiya citing Israeli Press Yedioth Ahronoth Geopolitics: North Korea North Korean leader Kim inspected satellite photos of a US naval base in San Diego and Kadena air base in Japan, while North Korea said it will never sit face-to-face with the US for negotiations, according to KCNA. US Event Calendar 08:30: Nov. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 218,000, prior 209,000 Nov. Continuing Claims, est. 1.87m, prior 1.84m 08:30: Oct. Personal Income, est. 0.2%, prior 0.3% Oct. Personal Spending, est. 0.2%, prior 0.7% Oct. Real Personal Spending, est. 0.1%, prior 0.4% 08:30: Oct. PCE Deflator MoM, est. 0.1%, prior 0.4% Oct. PCE Core Deflator YoY, est. 3.5%, prior 3.7% Oct. PCE Core Deflator MoM, est. 0.2%, prior 0.3% Oct. PCE Deflator YoY, est. 3.0%, prior 3.4% 09:45: Nov. MNI Chicago PMI, est. 46.0, prior 44.0 10:00: Oct. Pending Home Sales YoY, est. -8.8%, prior -13.1% Oct. Pending Home Sales (MoM), est. -2.0%, prior 1.1% Central Bank speakers 09:15: Fed’s Williams Speaks on Innovations in Central Banking DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Morning from Zurich where it is currently snowing. I know that as the hotel gym is 200 meters away from the hotel and I've finished this off on an exercise bike here this morning. That was a long 200 meters dressed in just gym kits! For markets the sun has shined almost every day this month and as we arrive at the last day, bonds have continued their extraordinary performance over November, driven by growing hopes for a soft landing and a dovish central bank pivot. That excitement meant that we saw another strong rally yesterday, with the 2yr Treasury yield (-8.8bps) falling to its lowest level since July, at 4.65%, whilst other records were being set across the board. For instance, Bloomberg’s global bond aggregate is currently on course for its best month since December 2008, and the US bond aggregate is on course for its best month since May 1985. That said, equities struggled to gain much traction yesterday after an equally dizzying run, with the S&P 500 paring back its initial gains to close down -0.09%. The main catalyst for this rally was another round of downside surprises on inflation. In particular, the preliminary German CPI reading for November fell to just +2.3% on the EU-harmonised measure (vs. +2.5% expected), which is the lowest it’s been since June 2021. Earlier in the day, we also had a downside surprise from Spain, where CPI fell to +3.2% (vs. +3.7% expected). So all that has set us up nicely for the Euro Area-wide release this morning. That good news narrative was then supported by some robust data from the US, which saw the strong Q3 GDP performance revised up even higher. The latest estimate showed annualised growth at a +5.2% rate (vs. +4.9% before), and it also included downward revisions to PCE and core PCE inflation, which is the measure the Fed officially targets. Specifically, the Q3 PCE number was revised down a tenth to +2.8%, and core PCE was also revised down a tenth to +2.3%. So all other things being equal the revisions were in a soft landing direction. Today’s PCE and personal spending data for October will give us more colour on where in Q3 these revisions came and the read through for Q4. This data meant that investors grew even more excited about near-term rate cuts, with futures pricing in the most dovish path in months. For instance, a March rate cut by the Fed was seen as a 50% chance at the close, and a cut is now fully priced in by the May meeting. It’s a similar story at the ECB as well, with a cut now fully priced by April. So when it comes to market pricing, a Q1 rate cut has gone from being a complete out-of-consensus view only a month ago, to a serious proposition now. It will be fascinating to see what Mr Powell makes of all this tomorrow. This rally all started at the last FOMC meeting on 1 November with him repeatedly noting that financial conditions had tightened "significantly". This shifted the market’s attention from a slight chance of hikes to cuts. Since then this trade has taken a life of its own. With bonds and equities performing so strongly over the past month, it will be very interesting if Powell endorses or pushes back on it. With rate cuts seemingly coming closer, sovereign bonds rallied very strongly on both sides of the Atlantic, particularly at the front end. For instance, yields on 2yr Treasuries (-8.8bps) fell to their lowest level since July, at 4.65%, and those on 10yr Treasuries (-6.6bps) were at their lowest since September, at 4.26%. In Europe, there was a similar rally, with yields on 10yr bunds (-6.4bps), OATs (-6.4bps) and BTPs (-8.2bps) all seeing a considerable decline. In fact for 10yr bunds, that left them at 2.43%, which is the lowest they’ve been since July . Whilst hopes were growing about a soft landing, risk assets struggled to gain much traction despite a strong performance at the open. Some of that weakness followed comments from Richmond Fed President Barkin, who struck a more hawkish tone than recent Fed speakers. He pointed out that “if inflation is going to flare back up, I think you want to have the option of doing more on rates. That said, other Fed speakers avoided such hawkish signals. Atlanta Fed President Bostic expressed confidence that the “the downward trajectory of inflation will likely continue”, while Cleveland Fed President Mester said that “monetary policy is in a good place”. Back in Europe, we heard from Greek central bank Governor Stournaras that the first rate cut could come in mid-2024 but that pricing of an April ECB cut seemed a bit optimistic. So some pushback against increased market pricing of cuts coming from one of the more dovish ECB voices. Equities started the day on the front foot but then lost ground, with the S&P 500 falling back from a gain of +0.72% to close -0.09% lower. The Dow Jones (+0.04%) and the NASDAQ (-0.16%) were also near-flat on the day, with one outperformer being the small-cap Russell 2000, which rose +0.61%. Bank stocks were also a notable outperformer, with the S&P 500 banks index (+1.46%) rising to its highest level since mid-August . European risk assets outperformed their US counterparts yesterday, with the STOXX 600 advancing +0.45%, whilst the DAX was up +1.09% to its highest level since early August. That was echoed in the credit space too, where the iTraxx Crossover (-10.2bps) moved to its tightest since April 2022, at 367bps. The moves came as we also got some better-than-expected sentiment data, with the European Commission’s economic sentiment indicator ticking up for a second month running to 93.8 (vs. 93.6 expected), having previously been on a run of five consecutive declines. In the commodities space, oil prices gained ahead of today’s OPEC+ meeting, with Brent crude up +1.74% to $83.10/bbl and WTI up +1.90% to $77.86/bbl. Today’s OPEC+ meeting had previously been scheduled for last weekend but was delayed amid negotiation difficulties over potential new output cuts. The WSJ reported yesterday that the alliance was considering new production cuts of as much as 1mmb/day. In our 2024 World Outlook mentioned at the start, our oil analyst noted that, with subdued oil demand growth and rising non-OPEC production, the global oil market would move into an oversupplied position in early 2024 if there were no further OPEC+ output cuts . Moving on to Asia, equity markets are trading in a tight range this morning even with the downbeat China PMIs highlighting the sustained softness in the world’s second biggest economy. In terms of specific moves, the Hang Seng (+0.18%), the CSI (+0.24%) and the Shanghai Composite (+0.16%) are trading slightly higher on the hopes for more policy support. Elsewhere, the Nikkei (+0.03%) is reversing its opening losses while the KOSPI (+0.04%) is also fairly flat following the Bank of Korea’s decision to keep its interest rate unchanged at 3.5%. S&P 500 (+0.13%) and NASDAQ 100 (+0.20%) futures are looking to wrap up a stella month in style . Coming back to China, the official factory activity measure shrank for the second consecutive month in November, slipping to 49.4 (v/s 49.8 expected) from 49.5 in October, dragged down by insufficient demand. Additionally, the official non-manufacturing PMI dropped to 50.2 in November (v/s 50.9 expected) from 50.6 in October, recording its weakest level since December 2022. Elsewhere, retail sales in Japan rose at its slowest pace so far this year, increasing +4.2% y/y in October (v/s +6.0% expected) compared to a revised +6.2% gain in September. Meanwhile, industrial output rebounded +0.9% y/y in October, exceeding market forecasts for a +0.4% increase and after a -4.4% drop in the previous month. Staying with data, there was some more positive data from the UK yesterday, where mortgage approvals rose to 47.4k in October (vs. 45.3k expected), ending a run of three consecutive declines. That was above every economist’s estimate in Bloomberg’s survey, and it adds to the theme of better-than-expected UK data over the last week, including the flash PMIs and the GfK’s consumer confidence reading. To the day ahead now, and the main data highlight will be the flash CPI release for the Euro Area in November, along with the unemployment rate for October. In the US, we’ll get the weekly initial jobless claims, PCE inflation, and personal income and spending for October. Central bank speakers include ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s Panetta and Nagel, the Fed’s Williams, and the BoE’s Greene. Otherwise, the COP28 summit begins today, and there’s also the OPEC+ meeting taking place. Tyler Durden Thu, 11/30/2023 - 08:14.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 30th, 2023

25 Best Cities where You can Retire on $4000 a Month

This article takes a look at the 25 best cities where you can retire on $4000 a month. If you wish to skip our detailed analysis on retirement struggles, behaviors, and costs, you may go to 5 Best Cities Where You Can Retire on $4000 A Month. Retirement Realities: Struggles, Behaviors, and Costs Caught in a […] This article takes a look at the 25 best cities where you can retire on $4000 a month. If you wish to skip our detailed analysis on retirement struggles, behaviors, and costs, you may go to 5 Best Cities Where You Can Retire on $4000 A Month. Retirement Realities: Struggles, Behaviors, and Costs Caught in a financial vortex, many individuals find it hard to save for their retirement years. A Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC) confirms this notion, stating that more and more Americans have been tapping into their 401(k) accounts because of troubling times. The number of individuals taking hardship withdrawals in the first three months of 2023 has witnessed a surge to 15,950, rising by 36% from the second quarter of 2022. Fidelity Investments notes that the primary reason these people are tapping into their savings is to cover housing and medical costs. At the same time, Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC) has also reported that 401(k) balances have increased by 9.6% to $7,250 in 2023. These statistics are rather conflicting, implying that individuals understand the need to save, yet struggle with it. “The data from our report tells two stories — one of balance growth, optimism from younger employees, and maintaining contributions, contrasted with a trend of increased plan withdrawals. This year, more employees are understandably prioritizing short-term expenses over long-term saving.” – Lorna Sabbia, head of retirement and personal wealth solutions at Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC). Fortunately, inflation appears to be moderating, which means individuals may not need to take hardship withdrawals as much as they needed to this year. Moreover, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has also announced new 2024 limits for employer-sponsored 401(k) accounts. According to the IRS, individuals can now save up to $23,000, up from $22,500, in their retirement accounts. For individuals who have been having trouble saving for retirement, a new study by The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) suggests that your behavioral traits might be to blame. According to The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS), a leading global investment bank, only 10% of workers have the “optimal” characteristics that help them save up for retirement. Their previous study has highlighted inflation and competing life priorities to be responsible for reducing retirement savings by 37%, but the new one suggests behavioral characteristics may also be playing a part. These four traits include over-optimism, future orientation, financial literacy, and risk-vs-reward-based attitude. The study states that an overly optimistic individual is comfortable enough to take the steps needed to save and invest for their future. Those who are oriented towards the future are likely to spend smartly and save for tomorrow. Meanwhile, someone who is financially literate knows their way around investing and financial planning, helping them make sound financial decisions. Lastly, a risk vs reward mentality helps focus on either aggressively achieving goals or focusing on security and protection. “We know that people struggle with saving, we know that people have day-to-day financial issues. We still wanted to know more about the why.” -Chris Ceder, Senior retirement strategist at The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS). For retirees, the importance of having a stable and substantial income is critical, especially considering the rising costs of living and healthcare. The conflicting statistics, where 401(k) balances have increased while withdrawals have surged, indicate a complex financial landscape. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, even though Americans generally tend to have less than $100,000 saved in retirement, they still spend an average of $3,800 per month. This brings us to the question — can a retired person live on $4,000 a month? The answer is yes, almost 1 in 3 retirees today are spending between $2,000 and $3,999 per month, implying that $4,000 is a good monthly income for a retiree. Arina P Habich / Methodology To compile the list of best cities where you can retire on $4,000 a month, we have used several sources such as CNBC, Travel & Leisure, and Kiplinger, to name a few. We also used forums such as Reddit and Quora to gather information on the most recommended places. Next, we conducted a comprehensive evaluation of each location, assigning scores based on average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment, climate, and median home prices. These figures have been sources from Redfin, Zumper, amongst others. The individual scores were then averaged to generate a distinctive Insider Monkey Score for each place. The final rankings were determined by arranging the locations in ascending order, from the lowest to the highest scores. In cases where places had identical scores, livability scores were used as tiebreakers, ensuring that locations with higher livability scores secured a higher position on our list. Here is the list of 25 Best Cities Where You Can Retire on $4000 a Month: 25. Denver, Colorado Insider Monkey Score: 4 Livability Score: 71 Average Monthly Rent: $2,000 Median Home Price: $599,900 Nestled at the base of the majestic Rocky Mountains, Denver serves as an ideal haven for active living, offering enthusiasts the perfect opportunity to indulge in skiing, biking, hiking, and similar outdoor pursuits. As much as it is outdoorsy, the city also provides retirees with all the modern amenities they need to live a life of convenience. 24. Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Insider Monkey Score: 5 Livability Score: 82 Average Monthly Rent: $1,895 Median Home Price: $639,900 Coeur d’Alene, a beautiful city on Lake Coeur d’Alene, is one of the best cities where you can retire on $4,000 a month. It is revered for its serene lakeside setting, excellent healthcare, and close-knit community. 23. Sarasota, Florida Insider Monkey Score: 6 Livability Score: 79 Average Monthly Rent: $1,905 Median Home Price: $550,000 Sarasota, one of the best cities to retire in Florida, is home to beautiful beaches, pleasant weather, and plentiful recreational and cultural amenities. Florida itself is a tax-friendly state, attracting seniors from all over the country. 22. Cape Coral, Florida Insider Monkey Score: 9 Livability Score: 77 Average Monthly Rent: $2,090 Median Home Price: $480,000 Cape Coral earns top marks for its sunny climate and sun-soaked allure. The city appeals to seniors with its extensive canal system, while offering them a waterfront lifestyle. It also extends them a tranquil retreat, surrounded by its sunny, sandy beaches and a wealth of entertainment opportunities. 21. Beaufort, South Carolina Insider Monkey Score: 15 Livability Score: 70 Average Monthly Rent: $1,669 Median Home Price: $499,000 Ranking high in livability, climate, and historic charm, Beaufort is one of the best cities where you can retire on $4,000 a month. The cost of living is 4.3% higher than the US average, with modest rent and housing costs. 20. San Marcos, Texas Insider Monkey Score: 17 Livability Score: 78 Average Monthly Rent: $1,730 Median Home Price: $432,000 Known as a beautiful country retirement town, San Marcos scores high for its riverfront locale, friendly community, and educational opportunities. Beautiful landscape views offer the perfect backdrop, while fun activities keep seniors busy. 19. Williamsburg, Virginia Insider Monkey Score: 18 Livability Score: 75 Average Monthly Rent: $1,670 Median Home Price: $452,000 Embraced by lush greenery, Williamsburg is appreciated for its small-town vibe, friendly residents, and access to quality healthcare. Community events keep retirees busy, and there are plenty of retirement communities and independent living options to choose from. 18. Charleston, South Carolina Insider Monkey Score: 21 Livability Score: 75 Average Monthly Rent: $1,700 Median Home Price: $347,300 Charleston in South Carolina is the perfect destination to retire to in terms of taxes, affordability, and climate. The allure of its waterfront lifestyle, accompanied by refreshing ocean breezes, is captivating. Plus, the availability of modern amenities serves as the cherry on top. 17. Port Charlotte, Florida Insider Monkey Score: 23 Livability Score: 62 Average Monthly Rent: $1,862 Median Home Price: $315,000 Home to a mature demographic, Port Charlotte boasts a waterfront lifestyle amidst a warm climate. The city also features affordable housing options, and it is fairly easy to retire on $4,000 a month. 16. Panama City Beach, Florida Insider Monkey Score: 24 Livability Score: 69 Average Monthly Rent: $1,475 Median Home Price: $495,000 Famous for its beaches and coastal lifestyle, Panama City Beach is a visually stunning retirement destination in the USA. Retirees have ample access to healthcare here. They also have abundant recreational opportunities to participate in, such as water sports, fishing, and golfing. Moreover, the city is appreciated by retirees for its reasonable cost of living, compared to places like Naples and Miami. 15. Charlotte, North Carolina Insider Monkey Score: 24 Livability Score: 79 Average Monthly Rent: $1,574 Median Home Price: $420,000 Revered for its mild climate, friendly community, and high-quality healthcare, Charlotte is a nice place for retirees to call home. The cost of living in the city is only 2.5% higher than the national average. 14. Atlanta, Georgia Insider Monkey Score: 24 Livability Score: 81 Average Monthly Rent: $1,581 Median Home Price: $418,000 Seniors can enjoy a great quality of life for $4,000 a month in Atlanta, Georgia. Apart from being a cultural hub, the city features world-class healthcare facilities, diverse neighborhoods, and a well-founded transportation infrastructure. Atlanta is also particularly known for its Southern Hospitality. 13. Traverse City, Michigan Insider Monkey Score: 24 Livability Score: 89 Average Monthly Rent: $1,500 Median Home Price: $485,000 From its scenic lakeside setting to excellent medical facilities and abundant recreation, Traverse City is an ideal retirement destination to live on for $4,000 a month. A significant 40% of the population is aged 45 or older, offering an inviting environment for retirees who appreciate socializing and connecting. 12. Eugene, Oregon Insider Monkey Score: 25 Livability Score: 78 Average Monthly Rent: $1,344 Median Home Price: $525,000 One of the best places to retire in Oregon is Eugene. From its lush-green city landscape to its laid-back atmosphere and ample outdoor opportunities, the city is no less than a heavenly abode for retirees. It is located in proximity to Portland, Central Oregon, the White Mountains, as well as the Willamette river. 11. Ann Arbor, Michigan Insider Monkey Score: 26 Livability Score: 88 Average Monthly Rent: $1,515 Median Home Price: $433,000 The college town of Ann Arbor is one of the best places to retire in Michigan, known for its safe neighborhoods, cultural amenities, and beautiful parks. The university town ambiance and intellectual vibrancy make it particularly appealing to learned retirees. It is also revered for its excellent healthcare and plentiful recreational opportunities. 10. Wilmington, Delaware Insider Monkey Score: 27 Livability Score: 60 Average Monthly Rent: $1,700 Median Home Price: $305,000 Located along the Delaware River, Wilmington is an ideal retirement destination known for its historical sites, a wide array of amenities, and historic waterfront. There are many parks and gardens in the city, reputable healthcare facilities, as well as educational opportunities for lifelong learning. 9. Palm Bay, Florida Insider Monkey Score: 31 Livability Score: 71 Average Monthly Rent: $1,540 Median Home Price: $329,000 Palm Bay is not only an affordable retirement destination but is also a nice place to enjoy a sunny climate and a relaxed pace of life. Fishing and boating are some of the most popular pastimes for seniors. Nature lovers can spend time exploring the several hiking trails and nature reserves here. The cultural scene is equally vibrant, as it is in proximity to several museums, art galleries, and theaters. 8. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Insider Monkey Score: 32 Livability Score: 63 Average Monthly Rent: $1,556 Median Home Price: $310,000 One of the most popular places to retire in the USA is Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. This city is an all-rounder when it comes to climate, recreation, and amenities. Experiencing mild temperatures year-round, Myrtle Beach boasts a coastal lifestyle with plenty of entertainment opportunities. Golf enthusiasts would be thrilled to learn that it has some of the best golf courses in the world. 7. Knoxville, Tennessee Insider Monkey Score: 34 Livability Score: 72 Average Monthly Rent: $1,370 Median Home Price: $339,691 Knoxville is considered an all-rounder in terms of affordability, climate, air quality, and healthcare. Many sources such as Forbes cite it as one of America’s best cities, celebrated for its abundant natural beauty and a plethora of outdoor activities. Seniors love to explore the city’s thriving arts scene, such as museums, galleries, and theaters. There are excellent hospitals and medical centers in the city as well. 6. Lancaster, Pennsylvania Insider Monkey Score: 36 Livability Score: 80 Average Monthly Rent: $1,549 Median Home Price: $275,000 Lancaster, Pennsylvania is one of the best places to retire because it boasts all four seasons, high-quality medical care, as well as proximity to major cities. Steeped in history, the city also features charming architecture and cobblestone streets for retirees to explore. Click to continue reading and see the 5 Best Cities Where You Can Retire On $4000 A Month. Suggested Articles: AARP’s Most Affordable Places to Retire in Recent Years Retirement Stock Portfolio: 12 Safe Dividend Stocks To Consider 20 Countries with Best Retirement Systems Disclosure: none. 25 Best Cities Where You Can Retire On $4000 A Month is originally published on Insider Monkey......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyNov 30th, 2023

In death, Charlie Munger is loved by China

Charlie Munger, who died at 99 on Tuesday, was revered in thousands of tributes on Weibo lauding his wealth, large family, and age. Charlie Munger gives a thumbs-up with BYD founder Wang Chuanfu in 2010.Visual China Group via Getty ImagesChinese social media is treating Charlie Munger, who died at 99 on Tuesday, with great reverence.Weibo, which is often filled with anti-US messages, was flooded with tributes to Munger.Even state media published a list of Munger's one-liners, and many posts lauded him for his old age.As Wall Street mourns the death of investing legend Charlie Munger, Chinese social media is tipping its hat to the man.A collective sense of awe toward the longtime Berkshire Hathaway lieutenant has accumulated on Weibo — China's version of Twitter — for both his age and knack for growing wealth.Though Munger, who died on Tuesday, has in recent years applauded some of China's policies and crackdowns, it was his wisdom and maxims that took center stage on Weibo.Praise for American figures and notaries amid rising US-China tensions is becoming rare on Weibo, which is heavily moderated and often aligns with the central government's views.The Paper, a state-owned media outlet, published a list of Munger's "top 10 investment principles," which were more akin to guidelines for life. Sina Finance, a news arm of one of China's largest tech firms, posted a similar list.Comments and posts about Munger hit 290 million views just hours after the announcement of his death, and the count is rising rapidly, per data seen by Business Insider.Most hailed Munger as a centenarian and a man who oversaw a large, multigenerational family. He died one month before what would have been his 100th birthday."He was a hundred years old, wise and wealthy, a master of investment, children and grandchildren aplenty, and passed away peacefully," wrote financial blogger "Investing Logically." "A real winner in life, I'll pay tribute to his wisdom.""Live long, be rich, have children and grandchildren, what a perfect life," wrote another user under a news report about his death."The wise man has passed away. Thank you, Munger, for your selfless sharing of life's wisdom," another wrote with a crying emoji.Munger, who amassed a net worth of around $2.3 billion, had a reputation for witty one-liners on life, geopolitics, business, and governance.He is known for being Warren Buffet's right-hand man, and for helping to grow Berkshire Hathaway from a Nebraska textile company into a nearly $800 billion empire.Munger drew attention in the last few years for praising China and its economic boom, saying in 2021 that Beijing's communist party had been "smarter about handling booms than capitalist America."And when Chinese leader Xi Jinping punished Alibaba mogul Jack Ma over his criticism of the government, Munger said the "Communists did the right thing" because Ma had overstepped."I certainly would like to have the financial part of it in my own country," Munger said, when asked if he wanted any of China's system replicated in the US.Munger, who was outspoken against cryptocurrencies, also lauded China's main bank for banning crypto in 2021.He lamented souring US-China relations in May, saying both Washington and Beijing were "equally guilty of being stupid" by antagonizing each other.One of Berkshire Hathaway's most prominent Chinese investments is BYD, the EV maker rivaling Elon Musk's Tesla.But it has repeatedly reduced its shares in the Shenzhen-based firm, slashing its stake from 25% in 2008 to less than 8% in October.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 29th, 2023

Milei And Wilders Elected: Is The Libertarian Moment Finally Here?

Milei And Wilders Elected: Is The Libertarian Moment Finally Here? Authored by Roger Simon via The Epoch Times, It used to be said that conservative guys just called themselves “libertarian” so girls would talk to them at cocktail parties. At least one well-known conservative talk show host called them “losertarians” since they didn’t always toe the line and vote Republican. Nevertheless, many of us are still convinced Henry David Thoreau, sounding very libertarian, was correct when he wrote in his 1849 book “Civil Disobedience” that “the best government is that which governs least.” Thomas Jefferson and John Locke earlier had said much the same and now, after a couple of hundred years, that libertarian view seems to be growing globally. Much of this is a reaction to the obvious: Marxism or quasi-Marxism does not work economically and, worse, it has engendered horrendous totalitarian oppression with a massive death count in China, Russia, North Korea, and Cambodia, among others. Libertarianism has started to look a lot better, especially—and ironically—in the eyes of Karl Marx’s beloved proletariat, unlike the so-called “elites,” who are a protected class. Here, in the United States, the MAGA movement that now dominates the Republican Party tilts libertarian. Its leader, 2024 presidential candidate Donald Trump, has also done so in most of his recent pronouncements. Meanwhile, in South America and Europe, even more overtly libertarian candidates have won their country’s elections. First it was economist, professor, and sometime rock musician Javier Milei in Argentina, who in reaction to the catastrophic 134 percent inflation and a concomitant rise in poverty in his country, has become the new president-elect. Then in the Netherlands, longtime political libertarian and strongly anti-immigration gadfly Geert Wilders out-paced all predictions in their elections and will attempt to form a government. Mr. Wilders success is partly due to the Dutch farmers who were fed up with new “climate change” regulations that would make it impossible for them to make a living—and therefore for many of their countrymen to eat. The corporate media and their political allies in the European Union and the United States immediately branded Mr. Milei and Mr. Wilders with their now-favorite designation “far-right,” though these men are no more far-right than Jefferson, Locke, and Thoreau, the very figures these so-called liberals and progressives—though they prefer to ignore or “forget”—once considered their intellectual heroes. What is transpiring now globally is a fight between these rising libertarians of various stripes and the incumbent statists. In recent years, despite the Trump interregnum, the statists have seemed to be in the ascendancy. The Davos/globalist set, Klaus Schwab et al., was almost assumed to have already taken power under the mantra “You’ll own nothing, and you will be happy,” a phrase that originated in a 2016 video from the World Economic Forum. It was a new supposedly benign form of communism, though oddly reminiscent of the “three rounds and a sound” (bicycle, watch, and sewing machine plus a radio) deemed sufficient for life in the Communist China of the 1950s. Meanwhile, those advocating this mantra, the aforementioned globalist set, flew in and out of that glamorous Davos resort on private jets to deliver speeches on global warming while their desired constituents, who rarely had a chance to fly business and felt lucky when they were admitted to an over-crowded airport lounge, looked on via television and internet with increasing skepticism. Globalism was a shell game taking place before their eyes. Bill Gates would never be happy “owning nothing.” He was buying up all the farms in America (that weren’t already bought by the Chinese). He and his cronies had found a new way get rich (or richer) and stay rich. Globalism was just a mask for oligarchic power, with that oligarchy extending into a one world-wide state. Why think small? National borders are so 20th Century. So a battle has been joined between these mega-statists and the libertarians (again of various stripes, often nationalist), but for the first time the latter seem to be ascendant. Mr. Wilders and Mr. Meili are not far-right or “hard-right,” to use the term adopted by The Economist, which called the Dutch leader a “headache for Europe.” (Actually men like Mr. Wilders will be Europe’s salvation, if allowed.) They are not Nazis, as they are sometimes called, or nearly so. The Nazis were socialists—the National Socialist Party—it is always worth reminding ourselves. Mr. Milei and Mr. Wilders are not far-anything. They are a return to the values enshrined in the United States’ “Declaration of Independence,” the importance of the freedom of the individual. We are seeing this new ascendancy domestically in the renewed popularity of President Trump as his poll numbers continue to rise. But is the MAGA movement truly libertarian? In the largest sense, yes, because, after all, "libertarian," like most political terminology these days, is rather vague. To some, a libertarian is a self-indulgent, pot-lover. (I’m not. I despise pot, though I used to smoke it. There are a number of things about some libertarians I don’t like.) But MAGA stands firmly against the Deep State, and nothing is more libertarian than that. Cut the bureaucracy, cut the regulations, deep six as many government agencies as possible. If fact, deep six the Deep State in its entirety. That sounds pretty libertarian to me. And while we’re at it, keep the government out of our cars, our refrigerators and stoves, our bank accounts, our medical care, our security systems, our reading material, our cable connections, our emails and text messages, internet, social media, cellphones, or anything to do with our private lives. It’s a safe bet Mr. Milei and Mr. Wilders would agree. Tyler Durden Sun, 11/26/2023 - 22:10.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 26th, 2023

20 Countries with Best Retirement Systems

This article takes a look at the 20 countries with the best retirement systems. If you wish to skip our detailed analysis of the challenges in global retirement and how to navigate them, you may go to 5 Countries with the Best Retirement Systems. Demographic Shifts and the Old-Age Dependency Challenge in Global Retirement The […] This article takes a look at the 20 countries with the best retirement systems. If you wish to skip our detailed analysis of the challenges in global retirement and how to navigate them, you may go to 5 Countries with the Best Retirement Systems. Demographic Shifts and the Old-Age Dependency Challenge in Global Retirement The global retirement landscape is facing unprecedented challenges. One primary stressor challenging retirement systems across the world today is the profound demographic shift. Japan, for instance, is already grappling with a significant demographic imbalance. Per BBC reports, more than 1 in 10 people in Japan are 80 or older, comprising 29.1% of the population. Europe is closely following suit, with more than one-fifth (22.1%) of the population aged 65 or above. Moreover, the number of people aged 65 or older are expected to reach 1.6 billion in 2050, as reported by the World Economic Forum. Declining birth rates are further adding to the complexity of demographic alterations, with overall birth rates declining from an average of 5 births per woman in 1950 to a mere 2.3 births in 2021. These shifts have been having far-reaching consequences, especially for pay-as-you-go pension systems that are heavily reliant on the contributions made by the working population. Given the global demographic situation, the rising old-age dependency ratio across countries is only poised to intensify, further challenging the retirement funding systems of many countries across the globe. “Retirement income systems around the world are under pressure like never before.” -David Knox, Senior Partner at Mercer International Inc. (NASDAQ:MERC) Besides the demographic situation, viability of retirement systems across the world is also at stake due to inflation. Known as the “wild card” in retirement planning, inflation has been known to threaten the financial security of individuals no matter how good their plans may be. 62% of retirees consider it as the number one threat to their investments, notes the GRI Index 2023. Even though inflation has been easing in many parts of the world, many individuals are still worried about the impact it has on their retirement plans. Despite being worried, a Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC) report reveals that only 31% of employees are prioritizing retirement savings over their short-term financial needs today, compared to 45% in 2022. On Navigating Global Retirement Challenges To address these retirement system challenges, many countries have started taking stringent measures. For instance, the Netherlands has been adjusting its retirement age and stressing employer-paid defined contribution plans over defined benefit pensions. In effect since July 2023, the reform addresses challenges posed by low interest rates, an aging population, and evolving employment patterns, and seeks to align the pension system with the dynamic needs of both employers and employees. However, some countries, like France, are facing backlash and protests for similar measures such as changing the retirement age. In addition, Italy has approved a “Pact for the Third Age”, highlighting health and social reforms for seniors. While other countries are actively reforming their pension systems, the USA has received a C+ for its retirement structure in a ranking out of 47 countries, conducted by Mercer International Inc. (NASDAQ:MERC). The grade signifies that the United States of America has a retirement system with “good features”. However, it also possesses some major risks that need to be addressed to ensure its sustainability. It is no secret that the Social Security system of the US is uncertain, as highlighted in their 2023 Annual Report. According to the report, the system will be able to pay funds in full only until the year 2033. Therefore, retirees in the USA must not solely rely on these funds for their retirement years. Instead, they should actively focus on building their retirement savings. You may explore our articles on topics such as ‘I am 50 and have no retirement savings,’ ‘Best places to retire on social security,’ and ‘Places to retire on $1,000 a month‘ to kick-start your journey towards a comfortable yet affordable retirement. For those looking to keep their retirement income safe, some of the safest places to put your retirement funds are savings options with guaranteed growth. Low-risk investments are a good option as well. Individuals can keep their money in a savings account that is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), stash money in a fixed annuity, explore US treasury securities, or even take advantage of employer-sponsored plans. Embarking on savings today and prioritizing maximum contributions towards retirement is a recipe for earning an A-grade in your retirement plan. Pixabay/Public Domain Methodology To analyze which countries have the best retirement systems, we have used the Natixis Global Retirement Index 2023 and the Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index 2023 by Mercer International Inc. (NASDAQ:MERC). The Global Retirement Index (GRI) is a multi-dimensional index developed by Natixis Investment Managers and CoreData Research to examine the factors driving retirement security. Retirement security is pivotal for the effectiveness of retirement systems as it directly influences the well-being and financial stability of retirees. Meanwhile, The MCGPI benchmarks retirement income systems around the world. A C+ grade is awarded to a retirement system whose index value is between 60-65, B is awarded to systems with an index value between 65-75, B+ to 75-80, and A to systems whose index value is more than 80. Adopting a consensus methodology, we identified countries that consistently ranked high in both indices and calculated their average rankings based on their rankings on these indices. The resulting list is organized in descending order, with countries ranked based on their average rankings. These averaged rankings provide an aggregated representation of performance across various factors (health, material well-being, quality of life, finances; as well as adequacy, sustainability, and integrity of retirement systems) crucial for assessing the quality of its retirement system. Here are the top countries with the best retirement systems: 20. Japan Average Ranking: 27 Natixis Global Retirement Index Rank: 24th  Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index Rank: 30th Japan’s retirement system comprises a flat-rate basic pension scheme and an earnings-related plan, alongside voluntary private pension plan options. Scoring an index value of 56.3, Mercer ranks the retirement system as a “C”, having some good aspects in the system, as well as major risks that need to be resolved. A combination of a public pension system, voluntary private plans, and a cultural emphasis on financial discipline, will help improve the country’s retirement system. Meanwhile, the GRI Index has revealed that the country has slipped by two places to 24th, owing to its poor performance in the Finances sub-index. Japan has the largest number of adults over the age of 65, making up almost 30% of the population. Since there are more elderly people and fewer working people to support them, it’s hampering the retirement security of its pension system. 19. Austria Average Ranking: 25.5 Natixis Global Retirement Index Rank: 11th Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index Rank: 40th Austria ranks 40th in the Mercer Index, scoring an index value of 52.5 in 2023. Its retirement income system comprises a Defined Benefit (DB) public pension scheme which is complemented by an income-tested top-up designed for low-income pensioners, along with voluntary private pension plans. Similar to Japan, its retirement system is ranked a “C”.  Nevertheless, Austria is one country with the best retirement system because it is claimed that their pensions are some of the most “generous” in the world. With regard to the GRI Index, Austria has an improved position, jumping from 71% in 2022 to 75% in 2023. The country has improved in its Material Well-being sub-index from 69% to 72%, marked by a downward trend in unemployment of working-age people and those above 50. The score improvement can also be attributed to a slight gain in the quality of life index, thanks to improvements in air quality, and biodiversity. 18. France Average Ranking: 24 Natixis Global Retirement Index Rank: 23rd   Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index Rank: 25th According to the Mercer Index, France has an overall index value of 61.7 in 2023, dropping from 62 in 2022. Its retirement system rank is C+, implying that the system has some good features but also major risks/shortcomings that need to be addressed. The retirement system of the country comprises of earnings-related public pension with a minimum pension and a supplementary retirement pension scheme for private-sector workers (known as AGIRC-ARRCO) and also includes occupational plans. The country boasts one of the lowest qualifying ages for a state pension in European countries and spends heavily on its retirement system. Some improvements that the country’s retirement system needs are increasing labor force participation at older ages and increasing regulatory requirements for the private pension system. Meanwhile, France jumped up one spot to 23rd in the GRI Index rank due to a strong performance in its health sub-index. 17. United States of America Average Ranking: 21 Natixis Global Retirement Index Rank: 20th Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index Rank: 22nd The United States of America ranks 22nd out of 47 countries in the Mercer Global Pension Index Rank with an index value of 63. Its retirement system has been graded as a “C+,” indicating that the system has some plus points but also comes with its fair share of flaws. Some improvements that the system needs include raising the minimum pension for low-income pensioners, reducing pre-retirement leakage, and improving the vesting of benefits for all plan members. Meanwhile, the USA has slipped two places in the GRI index to the 20th spot, owing to a deteriorating performance in the health, quality of life, material well-being, and old-age dependency sub-indices. Life expectancy in the country has also taken a hit, inflation and government debt have worsened, and happiness scores also decreased slightly; adversely impacting retirement security. 16. Belgium Average Ranking: 27.5 Natixis Global Retirement Index Rank: 19th Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index Rank: 16th Belgium is one of the countries with the best retirement systems, with a “B” ranking allotted to it by the Mercer Index. The retirement income system of the country includes public, occupational, and private pension schemes. A “B” ranking signifies that the retirement system of the country has a sound structure, but there are some areas of improvement. In Belgium’s case, the improvements that can be made include increasing labor force participation at older ages, and greater flexibility in terms of pension design, to name a few. The Natixis GRI rank has seen Belgium jump up by one spot to 19th rank, performing well in almost all sub-indices except Health. 15. Singapore Average Ranking: 16.5 Natixis Global Retirement Index Rank: 26th Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index Rank: 7th Singapore’s retirement system is ranked a “B+”, coming at 7th with an index value of 76.3 in the Mercer Index. The improvement in the system can be attributed to its increased level of pension coverage, making it one of the best retirement systems in Asia. The foundation of Singapore’s retirement income system lies in the Central Provident Fund (CPF), a scheme that includes all employed residents of Singapore. Within the CPF framework, certain benefits are accessible for withdrawal at any time, such as for designated housing and medical expenses, while other benefits are set aside to ensure financial security during retirement. Moreover, Singapore ranks 26th in the Natixis GRI Index. The country has experienced a drop in the finance sub-index due to a decrease in old-age dependency, bank nonperforming loans, inflation, and interest rates. 14. Germany Average Ranking: 14 Natixis Global Retirement Index Rank: 9th Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index Rank: 19th Germany’s retirement income structure comprises an earnings-related pay-as-you-go system, relying on the accumulation of pension points throughout an individual’s career. Additionally, there is a means-tested safety net designed to support low-income pensioners, and many prominent employers offer supplementary pension plans as part of the overall system. Mercer CFA Global Pension Index Rank classified its retirement system as a “B”, signifying some areas of improvement such as increasing the level of funded contributions in private pension plans, increasing coverage of employees, and increasing minimum pension for low-income pensioners. The GRI Index notes the country moving up two spots to the 9th rank, showing improvements in inflation, interest rates, and overall economy. It has also been spending heavily on health expenditure, thereby improving retirement security. 13. United Kingdom Average Ranking: 13 Natixis Global Retirement Index Rank: 16th Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index Rank: 10th The United Kingdom retirement system comprises three main pension types, namely: state pension, workplace pensions, and personal pensions. Mercer Index ranks the UK at 10th position, with an index value of 63. Some improvements needed in its retirement system include raising the minimum pension for low-income pensioners, reducing pre-retirement leakage, and improving the vesting of benefits for plan members. Meanwhile, the GRI index notes the country climbing up three spots to 16th rank, primarily due to a strong performance of the Finances in Retirement sub-index. 12. New Zealand Average Ranking: 12.5 Natixis Global Retirement Index Rank: 8th Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index Rank: 17th New Zealand ranks as one of the countries with the best retirement systems, largely because its system is highly effective in preventing elderly poverty. The retirement income system comprises a universal public pension, the KiwiSaver DC retirement scheme, and alternative occupational schemes. The NZ Super is paid from age 65, and individuals don’t have to stop working to receive it. Mercer Pension Index ranks it 17th with an index value of 68.3, while the Natixis GRI Index notes an improvement in all sub-indices, ranking it at 8th position. 11. Canada Average Ranking: 12 Natixis Global Retirement Index Rank: 12th Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index Rank: 12th Canada is known to have one of the best pension systems in the world owing to its diversification of income sources. The retirement income system comprises good basic national benefits (OAS), means-tested income supplement (GIS), and public pension plans (CPP and QPP), all adjusted for inflation. Noteworthy enhancements encompass reducing government debt as a percentage of GDP and implementing a universal minimum access age for pension products. According to the GRI Index, the country stands in 12th position with improvements in quality of life, material well-being, and finances in retirement sub-indices. 10. Sweden Average Ranking: 11.5 Natixis Global Retirement Index Rank: 14th Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index Rank: 9th Another country that has one of the best retirement systems is Sweden, owing to its strong economic foundation and multi-pillar pension system. This system comprises a national public pension from the state, an occupational pension from employer, and any savings or assets that you may have; providing retirees with a combination of benefits. According to Mercer, essential improvements entail raising the state pension age and reintroducing tax incentives for individual contributions, among other measures. 9. Israel Average Ranking: 10.5 Natixis Global Retirement Index Rank: 17th Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index Rank: 4th Israel’s pension system ranks 4th in the world as per the Mercer Index, with an index value of 80.8. The system includes a universal state pension with an income-tested supplement and private pensions with compulsory employer and employee contributions. The GRI index notes the country slipping by one spot to 17th rank, with a slip in the health sub-index. 8. Finland Average Ranking: 9.5 Natixis Global Retirement Index Rank: 13th Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index Rank: 6th Finland’s retirement system is deemed to be one of the most transparent and reliable in the world. Its system consists of a basic state pension, which is income-tested, and a range of statutory earnings-related schemes. Mercer ranks it at the 6th spot with an index value of 76.6. Meanwhile, the country has either held its place or improved in all four sub-indices (health, material well-being, finances in retirement, and quality of life) measured in the GRI index. 7. Ireland Average Ranking: 8.5 Natixis Global Retirement Index Rank: 4th Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index Rank: 13th Ireland’s retirement system has received a B grade from Mercer, ranking it at 13th position with an index value of 70.2. Ireland is a European country with one of the best retirement systems. Their pension system comprises a pay-as-you-go program and is based on both public and private pension programs. The GRI Index ranks it at 4th position, experiencing gains in material well-being and finances in retirement sub-indices. 6. Denmark Average Ranking: 6.5 Natixis Global Retirement Index Rank: 10th Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index Rank: 3rd Owing to its comprehensive welfare programs and emphasis on equality, Denmark is deemed to have one of the best social security systems in the world. Their retirement income system is close to the one recommended by the World Bank. It consists of a public basic pension scheme and a means-tested supplementary pension benefit. It also comprises a fully funded DC (Defined contributions) scheme providing lifelong pensions and a mandatory occupational DC scheme. Mercer Index ranks it at the 3rd spot with an index value of 81.3. Meanwhile, the Natixis Retirement Index ranks it at 10th place, staying in the top 10 countries in their index. Improvement in interest rates and governance has improved its Finance sub-index, and there have been improvements in Quality of Life as well. Click to continue reading and see the 5 Countries with Best Retirement Systems. Suggested Articles: 18 Best Places to Retire in North Carolina 12 European Countries with the Best Quality of Life 20 Countries With the Most American Expats Disclosure: none. 20 Countries with Best Retirement Systems is originally published on Insider Monkey......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyNov 26th, 2023

Billionaire Leon Cooperman’s Long-Term Stock Picks

In this piece, we will take a look at Leon Cooperman’s long term stock picks. If you want to skip our introduction to the billionaire hedge fund investor and the latest stock market news, then take a look at Billionaire Leon Cooperman’s Long-Term Stock Picks: Top 5 Stocks. Leon Cooperman is one of the most […] In this piece, we will take a look at Leon Cooperman’s long term stock picks. If you want to skip our introduction to the billionaire hedge fund investor and the latest stock market news, then take a look at Billionaire Leon Cooperman’s Long-Term Stock Picks: Top 5 Stocks. Leon Cooperman is one of the most seasoned hands on Wall Street. Mr. Cooperman graduated from the Columbia Business School in 1967. Immediately after graduating, he would work for the famed Goldman Sachs investment bank and spend 22 years there and go on to head Goldman’s lucrative Asset Management business division. Leon Cooperman set up his hedge fund Omega Advisors in 1991. He would spend the next 17 years of his life managing capital for outside investors and then retire and convert the fund into a family office. Mr. Cooperman’s time in the industry has yielded handsome dividends, making him one of the richest people in the world with a net worth that is currently estimated to sit at $2.8 billion according to Forbes Magazine. Shifting gears to focus on his fund, Omega Advisors had a portfolio worth $1.9 billion as of Q3 2023 end. This marked a small $67 million increase over the past quarter, and on an annual basis, the portfolio has grown by roughly $500 million. His investment approach is quite a popular one on Wall Street and has been followed by seasoned financial bosses such as Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway and Seth Klarman of Baupost Group. If you haven’t guessed it by now, Leon Cooperman is another hedge fund billionaire who has relied on a time tested approach of value investing. Value investing, for those out of the loop, involves picking out the right stocks and then patiently waiting for their value to appreciate over a long time period. The key to successful value investing is to determine the fair value of a stock, often based on its ability to generate future cash flows that will be available to investors. Then, a margin of safety is determined, which measures the current share price against the fair value price to measure the potential of losses in case the bet goes haywire. Like Buffett and Klarman, Mr. Cooperman’s hedge fund has also outperformed the S&P 500 through careful stock selection by delivering 12.5% in annual returns between 1991 and 2018. On the personal front, Mr. Cooperman actually planned to become a dentist before switching careers. He also had 16 job offers laid out for him in 1966 – something that most fresh graduates would be envious of these days. Additionally, Cooperman actually turned down Goldman Sachs the first time around despite being offered a job. He would later go on and accept a position after the possibilities of compensation growth became clear. Value investing also sits at the heart of his strategies, with the investment guru unable to see the point of paying high multiples for firms, especially during today’s fast paced product cycles. Safe to say, Leon Cooperman has had a remarkable and memorable time on the stock market through a career that has allowed him to beat markets when most people were making losses. Naturally, it pays to listen to him, and when it comes to the future, Mr. Cooperman shared his thoughts during CNBC’s Financial Advisor Summit in October 2023 when he outlined: Yeah, I’m not making a seven year forecast. I’m not making a 10 year forecast. But what I’m saying is, you know, I don’t think the markets got much upside in the near term. Things change. You know, we have a lot to worry about. What happened in Middle East is a concern. It’s despicable what the Hamas did. And it’s hard not to imagine a strong response by Israel and that can become broader in nature. So you know, you gotta be very careful. You know, it’s not an easy call. And I think people on your program are not spending enough time talking about our fiscal situation. They’re all focused on inflation. But I think inflation is just one part of the issue. I think that focusing on our fiscal deficit would make a lot of sense. And I don’t know how we cure it. I really don’t. The numbers are so large. I’ve advocated for several years on your program, that as a nation, we have to coalesce around the question, what should the maximum tax rate be on wealthy people? Because that will define the revenue yield to the government and the government has to size themselves to that revenue yield. So, as Mr. Cooperman remains cautionary about the market’s upside, it pays to see which stocks he’s refusing to sell. We took a look today, and some notable names are The AES Corporation (NYSE:AES), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C). Leon Cooperman of Omega Advisors Our Methodology To compile our list of Leon Cooperman’s long term stock picks, we sifted through Omega Advisors’ Q3 2023 SEC filings and picked out the stocks in which the firm has invested for the longest time periods......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyNov 23rd, 2023

Why You Should Put $10,000 Into a 1-Year CD Now

If you’re looking for a secure way to keep your money growing, a CD, or certificate of deposit, might just be the perfect way to do it. Interest rates are soaring, causing people to look for different accounts to put their money in to keep up. These accounts are a great way to fight back […] The post Why You Should Put $10,000 Into a 1-Year CD Now appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.. If you’re looking for a secure way to keep your money growing, a CD, or certificate of deposit, might just be the perfect way to do it. Interest rates are soaring, causing people to look for different accounts to put their money in to keep up. These accounts are a great way to fight back against interest rates and inflation. However, there are a few stipulations to putting your $10,000 into one of them. This is all you need to know about certificates of deposits, how to invest in them, and the math broken down for you.  What Exactly is a CD? Before you invest in a certificate of deposit, it’s important to understand what it is. At its core, a certificate of deposit account is a place where you put your money that earns a fixed amount of interest. The catch is you must keep your money in this account for however long the agreed time is given the interest you’re receiving. If you try to take the money out early, you will be hit with fees or even lose all the interest. This way, you won’t be tempted to spend it or withdraw it early.  The key is to allow your money to be set aside and come back to it once the time has passed. Another great thing about a CD is it’s Federally insured. Unlike other types of investments, your money is backed by the government. You won’t lose it if the bank you put it in fails, which has become a slightly more normal thing ever since crypto. If you’re looking for something you know will return a certain amount of money, a CD is perfect. But just how much do CDs return to you? How Much Do CDs Return? If you were to put $10,000 in a CD that’s fixed for one year, you’re going to get a return of 5.1% on average. This means after the year is up, you’ll have $10,510 without doing anything but letting your money sit still. Compared to the average savings account interest rate of 0.23%, you’re making a killing. It’s also important to note the average interest rate has gone up 5.1%, so you’re keeping up with the economy at this rate. CDs are a very common form of investment for those who don’t want to take on the risk of the stock market. How exactly do you invest in a CD, though? Where Can You Invest in a CD? You can apply to invest in a CD at almost any financial institution. You need to shop around and find the institution with the highest return rates, that way you’re making the most possible money. Once you find the institution with the highest rates, all you need to do is apply online or in person, whichever you’re more comfortable with. It’s also important to find the time frame that works best for you. Remember, you’re going to essentially say goodbye to this money for however long you agree to. The normal amount of time you will agree to is one year.  What’s the Minimum You Can Invest in a CD? If you’re reading this and want to invest in a CD but don’t have $10,000, you’re still in luck. While the exact minimum deposit varies based on whatever financial institution you pick, most offer plans for as little as $500. If you set aside just $500 for the year with no intention of touching it, you’d have $525.50 after the year is up. This number is based on the average 5.1% return you can expect from a CD. This might not seem like a huge win after one year. However, the results continue to stack up as time progresses. More often than not, investing takes time to build up. You’re not going to become a millionaire overnight with most investments. And once you’re comfortable seeing the extra money in your account, it’ll motivate you to continue investing in your future.    Investing money is one of the ways you can ensure your future isn’t going to be reliant on someone else. At the end of the day, you get so much more peace of mind knowing you control your future. You don’t have to sit back and hope retirement checks continue to come. It’s also never too late to start investing money in a CD. Tons of people don’t know about these different investment tools until later in life. So get out there, figure out just how much you’re comfortable with setting aside, and make some extra money.    Sponsored: Want to Retire Early? Here’s a Great First Step Want retirement to come a few years earlier than you’d planned? Or are you ready to retire now, but want an extra set of eyes on your finances? Now you can speak with up to 3 financial experts in your area for FREE. By simply clicking here you can begin to match with financial professionals who can help you build your plan to retire early. And the best part? The first conversation with them is free. Click here to match with up to 3 financial pros who would be excited to help you make financial decisions. The post Why You Should Put $10,000 Into a 1-Year CD Now appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.......»»

Category: blogSource: 247wallstNov 23rd, 2023

Female Trailblazers on Global Currency

The decision to feature prominent female leaders on a country’s currency offers unique insight into how those nations view and celebrate outstanding women. Numerous countries across every inhabitable continent have paid tribute to both their contemporary and historic trailblazing women by engraving their visual likenesses onto circulating banknotes and coins. To compile a list of […] The post Female Trailblazers on Global Currency appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.. The decision to feature prominent female leaders on a country’s currency offers unique insight into how those nations view and celebrate outstanding women. Numerous countries across every inhabitable continent have paid tribute to both their contemporary and historic trailblazing women by engraving their visual likenesses onto circulating banknotes and coins. To compile a list of women who have appeared on currency around the world, 24/7 Tempo has gleaned information from sources such as Banknote World, Visual Capitalist, and the National Museum of American History, as well as several encyclopedia sites. The list is limited to paper currency and may include women who appeared on bank notes that are no longer in circulation. Given the expansive influence of the British Commonwealth, the late Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, was featured on the paper money of 19 different nations—a testament to her symbolic power. With her passing, the U.K. and other countries are undergoing a two-year process to replace her image with that of the new king. Beyond Queen Elizabeth, other female leaders have been featured on currency, commemorating their bravery, wisdom, or skill in governance. (These are the most famous female leaders in history.) Here is a list of women whose image has been on money around the world Agnes of Bohemia (1211-1282) > Known as: Bohemian princess > Country: Czech Republic > Denomination: 50 koruna Agnes of Bohemia, daughter of King Ottokar, chose a life of piety and dedication to the poor over luxury and comfort. She was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1989. Astrid Lindgren (1907-2002) > Known as: Author of “Pippi Longstocking” > Country: Sweden > Denomination: 20 kronor The “Pippi Longstocking” author is one of the most-read women writers ever, with her other books including “Emil in Lönneberga,” “The Brothers Lionheart,” “The Children of Noisy Village,” and “Ronja the Robber’s Daughter.” 24/7 Wall St. The Most Famous Female Rulers in History Birgit Nilsson (1918-2005) > Known as: Opera singer > Country: Sweden > Denomination: 500 kronor Birgit Nilsson was a 20th-century Swedish soprano, especially famous for performing the works of Wagner and Strauss. Božena Němcová (1820-1862) > Known as: Author > Country: Czech Republic > Denomination: 500 koruna Božena Němcová was a Czech writer born in Vienna, known for compiling Czech and Slovak folk tales and customs. Carmen Lyra (1888-1949) > Known as: Author and educator > Country: Costa Rica > Denomination: 20,000 colones Carmen Lyra was the pseudonym of María Isabel Carvajal Quesada, founder of Costa Rica’s first Montessori school, and a co-founder of that nation’s Communist Party. Catherine Flon (Unknown) > Known as: Creator of the Haitian flag > Country: Haiti > Denomination: 10 gourdes Catherine Flon Arcahaie is considered to be the “Betsy Ross” of Haiti and famed for sewing the first flag of the independent Republic of Haiti in 1803. Cesária Évora (1941-2011) > Known as: Singer-songwriter > Country: Cape Verde > Denomination: 2,000 escudos A native of the island nation of Cape Verde, Grammy-winner Cesária Évor was known as the country’s most famous exponent of morna, a Cape Verdean music-and-dance genre that combines elements of West African, Portuguese, and Brazilian music. ALSO READ: Greatest Women Innovators and Inventors Clara Schumann (1819-1896) > Known as: Pianist and composer > Country: Germany > Denomination: 100 Deutsche Mark Clara Schumann, born Clara Wieck, was a pianist and composer who established a reputation as a prodigy. She married composer Robert Schumann in 1840. Corazon C. Aquino (1933-2009) > Known as: First female president of the Philippines > Country: The Philippines > Denomination: 500 pesos After the assassination of her husband, a critic of the famously corrupt dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Corazon C. Aquino became prominent in the opposition People Power Revolution and unseated the strongman to be elected as the first female president of the Philippines in 1986. Dido > Known as: Queen and founder of Carthage > Country: Tunisia > Denomination: 10 dinars Dido was the possibly mythological founder and first queen of the once-powerful city-state of Carthage, in what is now Tunisia. Edith Cowan (1861-1932) > Known as: Suffragette > Country: Australia > Denomination: 50 dollars Social worker and suffragette Edith Cowan was the first Australian woman elected to that country’s Parliament in 1921, one year after women were first allowed to run for that office. Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845) > Known as: Prison reformer > Country: United Kingdom > Denomination: 5 pounds Elizabeth Fry, born to a middle-class Quaker family in England, championed prison reform, receiving the support of Queen Victoria and Florence Nightingale. 24/7 Wall St. 25 Women Lawmakers You Should Know Emmy Destinn (1878-1930) > Known as: Opera singer > Country: Czech Republic > Denomination: 2,000 koruna Czech opera singer Emmy Destinn was known for her interpretations of “Aida,” “Tosca,” and “Salome.” She was admired by Enrico Caruso and Arturo Toscanini, and in the early 1900s was the highest-paid female singer at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Eva Perón (1919-1952) > Known as: First lady of Argentina > Country: Argentina > Denomination: 100 pesos The charismatic Eva Perón – subject of the hit Broadway musical “Evita” – used her influence as wife of President Juan Perón to gain the vote for women in Argentina. Fatma Aliye Topuz (1862-1936) > Known as: First female novelist in the Muslim world > Country: Turkey > Denomination: 50 lire Fatma Aliye Topuz is considered to be the first female Muslim novelist in the Muslim world in general and in Turkish literature specifically. She addressed women’s issues in many of her works and spoke out against polygamy. Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) > Known as: Nurse, medical reformer > Country: United Kingdom > Denomination: 10 pounds The famed “Lady with the Lamp,” Florence Nightingale improved sanitary conditions in British military hospitals during the Crimean War. She also was among the first people to apply data to the medical profession. Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) > Known as: Artist, Communist Party militant > Country: Mexico > Denomination: 500 pesos Iconoclastic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, married twice to famed muralist Diego Rivera, was known for her self-portraits, her focus on Mexican and indigenous culture, and, by feminists, for her depictions of the female experience. ALSO READ: 36 Black Women Who Changed American History Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957) > Known as: Nobel Prize-winning author > Country: Chile > Denomination: 5,000 pesos Chilean author and educator Gabriela Mistral became the first Latin American author to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. She’s renowned for advocating for the rights of women, children, and the poor. Golda Meir (1898-1978) > Known as: Prime minister > Country: Israel > Denomination: 10 shekels Golda Meir, who was born in Kyiv but grew up and worked as a schoolteacher in Milwaukee, became as Israel’s first – and thus far only – female prime minister in 1969, after serving in the Knesset, or Israeli parliament, for 25 years. Greta Garbo (1905-1990) > Known as: Actress > Country: Sweden > Denomination: 100 kronor Aloof and enigmatic Swedish movie actress Greta Garbo was nominated for four Academy Awards and was a major box-office star before she chose to retire from films after a contract dispute in 1941. Higuchi Ichiyō (1872-1896) > Known as: Author and poet > Country: Japan > Denomination: 5,000 yen Japanese writer and poet Higuchi Ichiyō is one of the influential voices of late 19th-century Japan. She wrote about how traditional society dealt with the changes brought on by industrialization. Jane Austen (1775-1817) > Known as: Author > Country: United Kingdom > Denomination: 10 pounds Novelist Jane Austen is known for her works such as “Sense & Sensibility” and “Pride & Prejudice,” detailing the lives of the English aristocracy. 24/7 Wall St. The Greatest Female Athletes in History Jenny Lind (1820-1887) > Known as: Opera singer > Country: Sweden > Denomination: 50 kronor Nicknamed the “Swedish Nightingale,” Lind was an operatic and oratorio soprano known for her wide vocal range. P.T. Barnum hired her to perform to drum up interest in his circus in 1850. Josefa Llanes Escoda (1898-1945) > Known as: Founder, Philippines Girl Scouts > Country: Philippines > Denomination: 1,000 pesos Josefa Madamba Llanes Escoda was a Filipina civic leader, social worker, suffragette, and World War II heroine who ultimately paid with her life for her support of the resistance against the Japanese. Juana de Ibarbourou (1892-1979) > Known as: Poet > Country: Uruguay > Denomination: 1,000 pesos Juana Fernández Morales de Ibarbourou was an Uruguayan poet who wrote about love and nature. She was nominated four times for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Kate Sheppard (1847-1934) > Known as: Suffragette > Country: New Zealand > Denomination: 10 dollars Born in Liverpool, England, Kate Sheppard became the most prominent suffragist in New Zealand. In 1893, because of Sheppard’s leadership, New Zealand was the first country to grant the right to vote for women after several suffrage bills had failed to pass Parliament. Kirsten Flagstad (1895-1962) > Known as: Opera singer > Country: Norway > Denomination: 100 kroner Kirsten Flagstad was a Norwegian opera singer and Wagnerian soprano. Over her 46-year career, she was considered to be one of the greatest sopranos of her era, with some opera critics hailing her as “the voice of the century.” ALSO READ: The Most Famous Female Rulers in History Kurmanjan Datka (1811-1907) > Known as: Stateswoman > Country: Kyrgyzstan > Denomination: 50 som Known as the “Queen of the Mountains,” Kurmanjan Datka was a 19th-century leader known for uniting the Krygyz tribes and negotiating peace with the Russian Empire that ended conflict and saved lives. Ladi Kwali (1925-1984) > Known as: Ceramicist > Country: Nigeria > Denomination: 20 naira Nigerian ceramicist Ladi Kwali created a pottery creating style that fused traditional African and Western studio techniques, bringing her her fame. She exhibited in England, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and the United States. Lesya Ukrainka (1871-1913) > Known as: Poet and author > Country: Ukraine > Denomination: 200 hryvni The daughter of intellectuals, Lesya Ukrainka was a poet, short-story writer, essayist, and critic and a prominent figure in Ukrainian literature. Luisa Cáceres de Arismendi (1799-1866) > Known as: Heroine of War of Independence > Country: Venezuela > Denomination: 20 bolívares Luisa Cáceres de Arismendi was the first Venezuelan woman to appear on her nation’s currency. She supported her husband, military leader Juan Bautista Arismendi, during Venezuela’s war for independence. Maria Montessori (1870-1952) > Known as: Educator > Country: Italy > Denomination: 1,000 lire Maria Montessori was an Italian physician – one of that nation’s first female doctors – who became best-known as an educator and innovator, known for her educational method that built on children’s natural desire to learn. There are now thousands of Montessori schools worldwide. 24/7 Wall St. Greatest Women Innovators and Inventors Marie Curie (1867-1934) > Known as: Nobel Prize-winning chemist > Country: Poland > Denomination: 20 zlote Marie Curie is the only woman to ever win two Nobel Prizes. The Polish-born physicist and chemist who worked in France won for her work in both physics and chemistry. Martha Washington (1731-1802) > Known as: Wife of George Washington > Country: United States > Denomination: 1 dollar Martha Washington, wife of the nation’s first president, was the first woman whose image appeared on U.S. currency with the $1 silver certificate, first printed in 1886. Mary Gilmore (1865-1962) > Known as: Poet and journalist > Country: Australia > Denomination: 10 dollars Mary Gilmore, a poet and journalist from Australia, journeyed to Paraguay with other Australians in 1886 to set up a utopian socialist colony. That experiment failed, but back in Australia, she fought for the rights of the disadvantaged, including Aboriginal people and child workers. Mary Slessor (1848-1915) > Known as: Missionary and activist > Country: Scotland > Denomination: 50 pounds Inspired by explorer David Livingstone, Scottish missionary Mary Slessor went to Calabar, Nigeria, a region no European had visited. She overcame bouts of illness and learned the native language, eventually being names the first female magistrate in the British Empire when southern Nigeria became a British Protectorate. The Mirabal sisters (1924,1925,1926-1960) > Known as: Opponents of the dictatorship > Country: Dominican Republic > Denomination: 200 pesos The three Mirabal sisters – Patria, Minerva, and María Teresa – were born into wealth in the Dominican Republic but developed a social conscience that put them at odds with the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. The sisters were assassinated in 1960 and have since been lionized as martyrs and feminist icons. 24/7 Wall St. 25 Women Lawmakers You Should Know Nadežda Petrović (1873-1915) > Known as: Painter > Country: Serbia > Denomination: 200 dinars Nadežda Petrović was an influential Serbian expressionist and abstract painter who served in three wars and advocated for unity among the peoples in the emerging Yugoslav nation. Nanny of the Maroons (c. 1686-c. 1733) > Known as: National heroine of Jamaica > Country: Jamaica > Denomination: 500 dollars Nanny is a national heroine of Jamaica for leading the Windward Maroons, former slaves living in the Jamaican interior, against the British during the colonial era. Nellie Melba (1861-1931) > Known as: Opera singer > Country: Australia > Denomination: 100 dollars Nellie Melba was a celebrated Australian opera singer who toured Europe and the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The French chef Auguste Escoffier named melba toast and the dessert called peach melba in her honor. Pocahontas (c. 1596-1617) > Known as: Native American said to have saved John Smith’s life > Country: United States > Denomination: 20 dollars Pocahontas, born Amonute, was the daughter of the Powhatan chief whose people lived in what is now the area around Jamestown, Virginia, and in 1907 became the first Native American honored on a U.S. postage stamp. Legend has it that she saved the life of English settler John Smith, though this has been widely disputed. Policarpa Salavarrieta (1795-1817) > Known as: Seamstress and spy > Country: Colombia > Denomination: 10,000 pesos Policarpa Salavarrieta, a seamstress nicknamed La Pola, was famous for spying for the Colombian revolutionaries against the Spanish during the Spanish Reconquista of the Viceroyalty of New Granada. She was captured by the Spanish and executed for high treason. 24/7 Wall St. 36 Black Women Who Changed American History Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022) > Known as: Head of state of the U.K. and queen of the Commonwealth nations > Countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, New Zealand, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines, St. Helena, United Kingdom > Denomination: Various Queen Elizabeth II reigned over Great Britain between 1952 and 2022 and is the longest-serving sovereign in British history. Her image has appeared on bank notes in 19 different nations or regions that are members of the Commonwealth of Nations. She first appeared on currency in 1935 at age 8 on the Canadian dollar. Queen Tamar (?-1213) > Known as: Queen regnant of Georgia > Country: Georgia > Denomination: 50 lari Tamar was the queen of Georgia from 1184 to 1213. She was Georgia’s first female queen and oversaw the nation’s largest territorial expansion. Queen Teuta (Unknown) > Known as: Queen of Illyria > Country: Albania > Denomination: 100 lekë Queen Teuta led the Illyrian tribe located in what is today Albania. They were a threat to Roman trade routes in the eastern Mediterranean. Only repeated incursions by Roman legions in Illyria stopped the queen’s aggression. Ragnheiður Jónsdóttir (1646-1715) > Known as: Seamstress > Country: Iceland > Denomination: 5,000 krónur Ragnheiður Jónsdóttir was the well-educated daughter of a Lutheran priest and poet. She was a skilled seamstress who taught women embroidery skills. Rose Lomathinda Chibambo (1928–2016) > Known as: Politician and leader of the Nyasaland African Congress > Country: Malawi > Denomination: 200 kwacha Rose Lomathinda Chibambo was an influential politician in the British Protectorate of Nyasaland in the years before it gained its independence as the nation of Malawi in 1964. Chibambo also was an important organizer of Malawian women in their quest for independence. 24/7 Wall St. The Greatest Female Athletes in History Rose of Lima (1586-1617) > Known as: First Catholic saint of the Americas > Country: Peru > Denomination: 200 soles Rose of Lima, born Isabel de Flores, is the patron saint of Peru and the Philippines, and also of gardening and embroidery. She helped the destitute and elderly and was canonized in 1671, becoming the first saint born in the Americas. Salomé Ureña (1850-1897) > Known as: Poet and pedagogist > Country: Dominican Republic > Denomination: 500 pesos Salomé Ureña is prominent in the rich Latin American tradition of female poets such as Juana de Ibarbourou and the Chilean Nobel laureate Gabriela Mistral. She became one of the greatest writers ever produced by the Dominican Republic. Shin Saimdang (1504-1551) > Known as: Artist and poet > Country: South Korea > Denomination: 50,000 wones Shin Saimdang was known as an influential Korean painter and calligraphist, She also was the mother of seven children who cared for her elderly parents. Sigrid Undset (1882-1949) > Known as: Nobel Prize-winning author > Country: Norway > Denomination: 500 kroner Danish-born Sigrid Undset won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928 for her vivid depictions of life in the Scandinavian regions during the Middle Ages. Much of her work was inspired by her father, who was an archeologist. Sophie Taeuber-Arp (1889-1943) > Known as: Artist > Country: Switzerland > Denomination: 50 francs As a painter and sculptor, Sophie Taeuber-Arp spent her life challenging the boundaries of art as a designer of textiles, beadwork, costumes, furniture, and interiors in pre-World War II Europe. 24/7 Wall St. The Most Famous Female Rulers in History Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695) > Known as: Nun, scholar, poet > Country: Mexico > Denomination: 200 pesos Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz has been called the first great Latin American poet and one of the most important Hispanic literary figures. She created beloved sonnets in the Spanish language, and also excelled as a dramatist. De la Cruz was persecuted for being an intellectual, a woman, and a nun. Viola Desmond (1914-1965) > Known as: Civil rights leader > Country: Canada > Denomination: 10 dollars Nine years before Rosa Parks defied whites-only accommodations in Alabama in 1955, Viola Desmond, who was Black, challenged racial bias in Canada when she refused to leave the segregated whites-only section in a theater in Nova Scotia. She was arrested and jailed, and wasn’t pardoned until 2010, 45 years after her death. Zenobia (Unknown) > Known as: Queen of the Palmyrene Empire > Country: Syria > Denomination: 500 pounds Zenobia was the queen of the Palmyrene Empire, which spanned parts of Syria, Egypt, Saudia Arabia, and Asia Minor. She challenged Roman authority during the third century A.D. until the Romans defeated her. She claimed ancestry from Dido of Carthage and Cleopatra of Egypt. Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now. The post Female Trailblazers on Global Currency appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.......»»

Category: blogSource: 247wallstNov 23rd, 2023