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Startup Spotlight: Penn Medicine spinout CareAlign aims to help health systems across the nation

PHL Inno's weekly "Startup Spotlight" feature highlights founders and new businesses cropping up in the region. The startup: CareAlign is a HIPAA-compliant project management software for clinicians.  Founded: The Penn Medicine spinout was created in 2014 after the health system couldn’t find a software that specifically handled health care coordination, CareAlign Chief Operating Officer James Green said. It was spun out from the health system in 2019. “It was so popular — I think Penn….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsOct 13th, 2021

Is Fintech Turning Green?

Fintech is one of the fastest-growing tech sectors. Sustainability is one of the most urgent challenges of modern times. Are the two related? Should they be? Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more BX3 recently spoke with Pete Blackshaw, CEO of Cintrifuse, about how Fintech will be shaped by climate change. Cintrifuse, a startup […] Fintech is one of the fastest-growing tech sectors. Sustainability is one of the most urgent challenges of modern times. Are the two related? Should they be? .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Ray Dalio Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more BX3 recently spoke with Pete Blackshaw, CEO of Cintrifuse, about how Fintech will be shaped by climate change. Cintrifuse, a startup hub with more than $90 million in venture capital invested and more than 600 startups in its pipeline aims to make Greater Cincinnati the top tech startup hub in the midwest and among the most attractive innovation hubs in the nation. For Blackshaw, the question of Fintech’s role in mitigating climate change has been top of mind for him recently especially as next month Cintrifuse is hosting a FinTech pitch competition featuring over $75,000 in prizes to showcase the most innovative FinTech startups of tomorrow, including those focused on environmental impact. He has come to the conclusion that the greening of Fintech will be among one of the most important transitions the industry will face over the next decade. Companies are prioritizing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) more than ever before. Consider the data: Bank of America reports ESG assets swelled to a record $329 billion in July, more than doubling year over year. Bloomberg Intelligence predicts Global ESG assets will exceed $53 trillion by 2025. And recently, financial services leader Mastercard announced the launch of a Sustainability Innovation Lab, which will spearhead the further development of the company’s portfolio of environmentally conscious digital products and solutions. “Fostering innovative solutions with practical applications is urgently needed to achieve global climate change goals,” said Kristina Kloberdanz, Chief Sustainability Officer, Mastercard, in a press release. The Lab will focus on ways to empower businesses and consumers to transform how they produce, distribute and purchase products and services, ensuring both people and the planet can thrive as the global economy rapidly digitizes. Other major banks like Barclays are setting bold “net zero” ambitions, putting aside over $100 billion of financing for green activity that supports low-carbon transition, including for renewables, energy efficiency and sustainable transport. “Amidst this global urgency to address climate change, what bold territory might FinTech entrepreneurs tackle with so-called “Green Fintech” — the intersection of climate, finance, and digital technology?” asked Blackshaw. Green Fintech is a huge tent in which to drive solutions in both B2B and B2C environments. The possibilities are manifold, and exciting to think about; including: Consumer-facing shopper apps that measure the carbon footprint of products Blockchain applications in sustainability to drive radical transparency Gamification of transactions, green incentives, and green habits B2B carbon measurements and analytics Green digital wallets and mobile payments Carbon credits for sustainable behavior Home energy bills translated into habit-shifting behavior Insurance products that reward or decrease premiums based on personal carbon footprints A wave of “Green Trust marks for online shopping” Sustainable eCommerce Transactions and Connections Blockchain - The Mother of All Green Tech We can’t talk about Green Fintech without also mentioning the mother of all green fintech technologies: blockchain. “I received my first exposure to this while at Nestle when we used blockchain to vet supply chain sustainability standards,” says Blackshaw. Blockchain is a vital enabler in tracking the connected world of carbon emissions and energy consumption and overall supply chain. One interesting example of a blockchain-based company in the ESG space is YvesBlue, which has created a platform for investors that pulls together the disparate and growing number of ESG data sources, and presents a consolidated view of the impact characteristics of the companies in a portfolio. The company's platform offers sector-specific metrics, streamlined onboarding, consolidated dashboard, tailored reporting, carbon budget insights, and news-based analysis, providing investment companies and institutions with a clear picture of their portfolio health and associated risks. Another, Topl.co, which is part of the Cintrifuse Fund Network, helps businesses prove their ethical and sustainable practices, billing itself as ‘The World's First Blockchain Built to be a Global Impact Monetization Engine’. The company's technology offers a novel blockchain that empowers businesses to prove and monetize ethical and sustainable practices, enabling businesses to transform the impact into an asset. Measurements & Reporting 2020 is also a historic year both for the energy transition and for the flow of capital which finances decarbonization. Nossa Data, an alumnus of the 2021 New York Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars is streamlining the ESG world for corporations, simplifying all parts of their long and complex reporting journey. Nossa Data provides companies with a platform with simple ESG reporting templates, data collection, workflow optimization, and robust peer and investor analytics. Patch is using the smart application of APIs to help digital banks calculate carbon footprints and identify offset projects to programmatically remove carbon from their operations. Growing Momentum for Green FinTech While the upcoming Cintrifuse Pitch competition is looking for Green Fintech ideas (among many other Fintech topics such as Data & Privacy, Supply Chain, and Increasing Access) other events are 100 percent dedicated to the issue. Just recently, New Energy Nexus announced a Climate Fintech: Cards & Payments Challenge (C&P Challenge) to catalyze innovation across the financial sector to address climate change. The program is supported by Barclays US Consumer Bank; Rise, created by Barclays; Mastercard; Doconomy; and Patch. The evidence is clear: the financial technology sector has an opportunity to enable radical changes in business and society at large that can immediately make an impact on carbon emissions and contribute to the health of our planet. The movement is underway, and we’ll only continue to see the greening of Fintech, as the sector grows more and more focused on ESG. “Tackling climate change is an essential component of the global sustainability agenda and one in which financial services can make an important contribution,” says Blackshaw. Additional Resources and Articles: What is Climate Tech by New Energy Nexus Climate FinTech by Barclay's Rise Doconomy Impact Calculator by Doconomy Updated on Oct 1, 2021, 1:11 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkOct 1st, 2021

Money and medicine: Here are the hospitals and health systems with the best-paid executives in the country

Anyone who’s paid a medical bill can tell you there are bundles of money in health care, especially for the men and women overseeing patient care at the nation's diverse mix of hospitals and health systems. A Business Journals analysis of thous.....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsNov 12th, 2018

Money and medicine: St. Louis health care executives rank among the nation"s best-paid

Anyone who’s paid a medical bill can tell you there are bundles of money in health care, especially for the men and women overseeing patient care at the nation's diverse mix of hospitals and health systems. A Business Journals analysis of thous.....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsNov 12th, 2018

Money & medicine: 68 healthcare executives in Ohio make $1M a year, including 11 in Columbus

Anyone who’s paid a medical bill can tell you there are bundles of money in healthcare, especially for the men and women overseeing patient care at the nation's diverse mix of hospitals and health systems. A Business Journals analysis of thousand.....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsNov 17th, 2018

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

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

Category: topSource: timeOct 15th, 2021

Sensata (ST) Pursues Inorganic Growth to Expand Portfolio

The buyouts will enable Sensata (ST) to gain additional mileage within the fast-growing end markets for clean energy solutions and offer a comprehensive bouquet of products to customers. In order to unlock new business opportunities and generate a steady revenue stream, Sensata Technologies Holding plc ST is actively pursuing an inorganic growth strategy. The buyouts will enable the company to gain additional mileage within the fast-growing end markets for clean energy solutions and offer a comprehensive bouquet of products for electrification and replacement of combustible applications. The acquisitions are also likely to help realize synergistic benefits in various industrial applications.The company recently inked an agreement to acquire Spear Power Systems. Based in Grandview, MO, Spear Power Systems has made a name for itself with market-leading lithium ion battery storage systems for land, sea, and air applications since its inception in 2013. These cell-agnostic storage solutions offered proprietary battery management and monitoring capabilities along with innovative features like reliability, high energy density, and modular architecture.The buyout of this lithium ion battery storage systems manufacturer will enable Sensata to expand on the market leverage gained through the earlier acquisition of Denmark-based startup Lithium Balance and widen its scope of work in the electrification and battery management systems market.Earlier this year, Sensata completed the acquisition of Xirgo Technologies Intermediate Holdings, LLC — a leading telematics and data insight provider — for $400 million. Since 2006, Xirgo has provided innovative wireless IoT communication devices for a wide range of applications across multiple markets. Its annual revenues are expected to exceed $100 million in 2021, with estimated revenue growth of more than 20% over the next several years.The buyout of Xirgo’s high-growth business significantly accelerates Sensata’s Smart & Connected initiative. It reinforces Sensata’s position as a data insight provider across transportation and logistics end markets. The acquisition brings complementary capabilities and boosts its strategy to expand beyond original equipment manufacturers and address the broader fleet ecosystem. Sensata’s total addressable market for its Smart & Connected product offerings is expected to more than double to $15 billion by 2030.Known as the pioneer in mission-critical solutions, Sensata has a diversified portfolio of personalized and unique sensor-rich applications from automotive braking systems to aircraft flight controls that are utilized ubiquitously. These sensors are specifically designed to address complex engineering and operating performance requirements that help customers solve significant challenges in industrial, heavy vehicle, off-road, and aerospace industries.Sensata also has a rich portfolio of high-voltage protection and battery management systems. The joint venture with Churod Electronics has further expanded its electrical protection capabilities for mass-market applications. Sensata’s sensing solutions business has a strong product portfolio and greater scale to capitalize on attractive opportunities in the multi-billion global automotive sensor market. Moreover, the company believes that its evolving portfolio and accretive customer base serve as the cornerstone for its long-term growth across a diverse set of markets.  Being a leading provider of mission-critical solutions, Sensata benefits from cost-effective operations. The company offers a streamlined set of products, which helps in eliminating redundant costs and gives greater pricing flexibility. It invests in cutting-edge technology that enables the hybrid and electric vehicles to be more efficient, cost effective, robust, and safe. The company is expanding its electrification ecosystem to facilitate the seamless transition to electric vehicles as it aims to be a leading provider of mission-critical sensor-rich hardware and software solutions.Such opportune acquisitions are likely to help Sensata better compete with other industry players such as Allied Motion Technologies, Inc. AMOT, Transcat, Inc. TRNS, and Watts Water Technologies, Inc. WTS. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Sensata Technologies Holding N.V. (ST): Free Stock Analysis Report Watts Water Technologies, Inc. (WTS): Free Stock Analysis Report Transcat, Inc. (TRNS): Free Stock Analysis Report Allied Motion Technologies, Inc. (AMOT): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 15th, 2021

Truist reports third quarter 2021 results

GAAP earnings of $1.6 billion, or $1.20 per diluted share Adjusted earnings of $1.9 billion, or $1.42 per diluted share Results reflect diverse business mix, strong fee income, and solid core loan and deposit growth Excellent credit quality and improving economic conditions drive provision benefit Successful conversion of heritage BB&T clients CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Truist Financial Corporation (NYSE:TFC) today reported earnings for the third quarter of 2021. Net income available to common shareholders was $1.6 billion, up 51%, compared to the third quarter last year. Earnings per diluted common share were $1.20, an increase of 52% compared with the same period last year. Results for the third quarter produced an annualized return on average assets (ROA) of 1.28%, an annualized return on average common shareholders' equity (ROCE) of 10.2%, and an annualized return on tangible common shareholders' equity (ROTCE) of 19.3%. Adjusted net income available to common shareholders was $1.9 billion, or $1.42 per diluted share, excluding merger-related and restructuring charges of $172 million ($132 million after-tax), incremental operating expenses related to the merger of $191 million ($147 million after-tax), and a one-time professional fee expense of $30 million ($23 million after-tax). Adjusted results produced an annualized ROA of 1.51%, an annualized ROCE of 12.1%, and an annualized ROTCE of 22.6%. Adjusted earnings per diluted share were up 46% compared to the prior year. "Truist produced solid results in the third quarter, driven by strong fee income from our diverse business mix - including wealth, insurance brokerage, investment banking, and positive trends in a number of other businesses given improving economic conditions," said Chief Executive Officer William H. Rogers Jr. "We also continue to deliver exceptional credit performance with net charge-offs at 19 basis points. The health of our clients remains strong and we delivered average loan growth of 2% annualized compared to the prior quarter, excluding PPP loans. "We continue to make great progress and carefully guide our clients through conversion milestones, including completing our retail mortgage origination conversion and accelerating the roll-out of our Truist digital app. In addition, after months of intense preparation, we migrated approximately 7 million clients to the new Truist technology ecosystem - our most significant milestone to date and the result of the expertise and purposeful commitment from thousands of dedicated teammates. We are excited about these successful milestones in the integration process and are one step closer to the finish line of the merger. "Truist continued fulfilling our purpose—to inspire and build better lives and communities—in the third quarter through a number of unique and creative initiatives. Purpose drove our decision to remain open this past Saturday to ensure a smooth and successful systems conversion. This quarter, we expanded our partnership with EVERFI bringing literacy tools to elementary schools across the nation. We showed leadership as the first top 10 bank to join Blackrock's philanthropic Emergency Savings Initiative, and 64% of our early career hiring in 2021 has been filled by diverse candidates. Our teammates and I are very proud of all the ways we live our purpose at Truist." Third Quarter 2021 Performance Highlights Earnings per diluted common share were $1.20 Adjusted diluted earnings per share were $1.42 up $0.45 per share, or 46%, compared to third quarter 2020 ROA was 1.28%; adjusted ROA was 1.51% ROCE was 10.2%; adjusted ROCE was 12.1% ROTCE was 19.3%; adjusted ROTCE was 22.6% Taxable-equivalent revenue was $5.6 billion Adjusted taxable-equivalent revenue (excluding securities gains) was down 0.9% compared to second quarter 2021 and up 2.3% compared to third quarter 2020 Noninterest income, excluding securities gains, was down 1.7% compared to second quarter 2021 and up 12% compared to third quarter 2020 Strong results from wealth, insurance, investment banking, and residential mortgage banking; traditional fee streams increased from higher economic activity (card, payments, and service charges on deposit accounts) Fee income ratio was 42.2%, compared to 42.6% for second quarter 2021 Net interest income was down 0.4% compared to second quarter 2021 and 3.8% compared to third quarter 2020 Net interest margin was 2.81%, down seven basis points from second quarter 2021 Core net interest margin was 2.58%, down two basis points from second quarter 2021 Noninterest expense was $3.8 billion Adjusted noninterest expense was $3.3 billion, up 2.4% compared to second quarter 2021 and 3.5% compared to third quarter 2020 GAAP efficiency ratio was 67.8%, compared to 71.0% for second quarter 2021 Adjusted efficiency ratio was 57.9%, compared to 56.1% for second quarter 2021 Asset quality remains excellent, reflecting our prudent risk culture, diverse portfolio, improving economic conditions, and the ongoing effects of government stimulus Nonperforming assets were 0.23% of total assets, relatively stable from second quarter 2021 Net charge-offs were 0.19% of average loans and leases, down one basis point compared to second quarter 2021 The ALLL ratio was 1.65% compared to 1.79% for second quarter 2021 Provision for credit losses was a benefit of $324 million for third quarter 2021, primarily reflecting an improving economic outlook The ALLL coverage ratio was 4.35X nonperforming loans and leases held for investment, versus 4.83X in second quarter 2021 Capital and liquidity levels remained strong; deployed capital through increased dividend and acquisitions Common equity tier 1 to risk-weighted assets was 10.1% Consolidated average LCR ratio was 114% Increased common dividend 7% in third quarter 2021 Completed acquisition of Constellation Affiliated Partners Announced acquisition of Service Finance, LLC to expand point-of-sale lending capabilities   EARNINGS HIGHLIGHTS Change 3Q21 vs. (dollars in millions, except per share data) 3Q21 2Q21 3Q20 2Q21 3Q20 Net income available to common shareholders $ 1,616 $ 1,559 $ 1,068 $ 57 $ 548 Diluted earnings per common share 1.20 1.16 0.79 0.04 0.41 Net interest income - taxable equivalent $ 3,261 $ 3,273 $ 3,391 $ (12) $ (130) Noninterest income 2,365 2,405 2,210 (40) 155 Total taxable-equivalent revenue $ 5,626 $ 5,678 $ 5,601 $ (52) $ 25 Less taxable-equivalent adjustment 28 28 29 Total revenue $ 5,598 $ 5,650 $ 5,572 Return on average assets 1.28 % 1.28 % 0.91 % — % 0.37 % Return on average risk-weighted assets (current quarter is preliminary) 1.77 1.76 1.19 0.01 0.58 Return on average common shareholders' equity 10.2 10.1 6.9 0.1 3.3 Return on average tangible common shareholders' equity (1) 19.3 18.9 13.3 0.4 6.0 Net interest margin - taxable equivalent 2.81 2.88 3.10 (0.07) (0.29) (1) Excludes certain items as detailed in the non-GAAP reconciliations in the Quarterly Performance Summary. Third Quarter 2021 compared to Second Quarter 2021 Total taxable-equivalent revenue was $5.6 billion for the third quarter of 2021, a decrease of $52 million, or 0.9%, compared to the prior quarter. Net interest income for the third quarter of 2021 was down $12 million, or 0.4%, compared to the prior quarter due primarily to lower purchase accounting accretion and lower fees from Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, partially offset by growth in the securities portfolio. Average earning assets increased $6.5 billion, or 1.4%, compared to the prior quarter. Average securities available for sale increased $10.6 billion, or 7.8%, while average total loans decreased $2.6 billion, or 0.9%, and average other earning assets (primarily cash at the Federal Reserve) decreased $2.3 billion, or 10.5%. The growth in average earning assets is a result of an increase in investment securities driven by strong deposit growth. Average deposits increased $6.5 billion, or 1.6%, primarily due to the ongoing impacts of fiscal and monetary stimulus. The net interest margin was 2.81% for the third quarter, down seven basis points compared to the prior quarter. The decline in the net interest margin was primarily due to lower purchase accounting accretion. The yield on the total loan portfolio for the third quarter was 3.90%, down 11 basis points compared to the prior quarter primarily due to lower purchase accounting accretion and loan mix changes. The yield on the average securities portfolio for the third quarter was 1.50%, up three basis points compared to the prior quarter. Core net interest margin was 2.58% for the third quarter, down two basis points compared to the prior quarter driven by higher levels of liquidity and lower PPP revenue. The average cost of total deposits was 0.03%, down one basis point compared to the prior quarter. The average rate on long-term debt was 1.61%, up one basis point compared to the prior quarter. The provision for credit losses was a benefit of $324 million and net charge-offs were $135 million for the third quarter, compared to a benefit of $434 million and $142 million, respectively, for the prior quarter. The net charge-off rate for the current quarter of 0.19% was down one basis point compared to second quarter 2021. Noninterest income was $2.4 billion, a decrease of $40 million, or 1.7%, compared to the prior quarter. Commercial real-estate related income decreased $60 million primarily due to client-related structured real estate transactions in the prior quarter. Insurance income decreased $45 million primarily due to seasonality, partially offset by $41 million of revenue from the Constellation Affiliated Partners acquisition. Residential mortgage income increased $62 million primarily due to higher servicing income (due to lower prepayment rates and a bulk purchase of servicing assets). Noninterest expense was $3.8 billion for the third quarter, down $216 million, or 5.4%, compared to the prior quarter. Merger-related and restructuring charges decreased $125 million primarily due to costs in connection with a voluntary separation and retirement program in the prior quarter. Incremental operating expenses related to the merger were relatively flat compared to second quarter 2021. The current quarter also includes a $30 million professional fee to develop an ongoing program to identify, prioritize, and roadmap teammate generated revenue growth and expense savings opportunities beyond the merger. The prior quarter included $200 million of expense associated with charitable contributions to the Truist Foundation and the Truist Charitable Fund. Excluding the aforementioned items and changes in amortization of intangibles, adjusted noninterest expense was up $75 million, or 2.4%, compared to the prior quarter. Equipment expense increased $32 million primarily due to a higher volume of laptop purchases, partially as a result of delays due to supply chain issues. Marketing and customer development expense increased $28 million due to planned advertising campaigns to expand Truist brand awareness. Personnel expense decreased $20 million compared to second quarter 2021 due to lower incentive expenses, partially offset by higher medical insurance claims and personnel costs related to the Constellation Affiliated Partners acquisition. The provision for income taxes was $423 million for the third quarter of 2021, compared to $415 million for the prior quarter. The effective tax rate for the third quarter of 2021 was 19.9%, compared to 20.0% for the prior quarter. Third Quarter 2021 compared to Third Quarter 2020 Total taxable-equivalent revenues were $5.6 billion for the third quarter of 2021, an increase of $25 million, or 0.4%, compared to the earlier quarter. Excluding securities gains of $104 million from the third quarter of 2020, adjusted taxable equivalent revenues increased $129 million, or 2.3%, compared to the earlier quarter. Net interest income for the third quarter of 2021 was down $130 million, or 3.8%, compared to the earlier quarter due to lower purchase accounting accretion, lower rates on earning assets, and a decrease in loans. These decreases were partially offset by growth in the securities portfolio, lower funding costs, higher fees on Payroll Protection Program loans, and fewer interest deferrals on COVID-19 loan accommodations. Average earning assets increased $26.4 billion, or 6.1%, compared to the earlier quarter. The increase in average earning assets reflects a $66.4 billion, or 83%, increase in average securities, while average total loans and leases decreased $25.4 billion, or 8.0%, and average other earning assets decreased $16.5 billion, or 46%. The growth in average earning assets is a result of an increase in investment securities driven by strong deposit growth resulting from fiscal and monetary stimulus. Average deposits increased $30.5 billion, or 8.2%, compared to the earlier quarter, while average long-term debt and short-term borrowings decreased $3.6 billion, or 8.8%, and $849 million, or 14%, respectively. Net interest margin was 2.81%, down 29 basis points compared to the earlier quarter. The yield on the total loan portfolio for the third quarter of 2021 was 3.90%, down 14 basis points compared to the earlier quarter, reflecting the impact of lower purchase accounting accretion and a lower rate environment. The yield on the average securities portfolio was 1.50%, down 47 basis points compared to the earlier quarter primarily due to lower yields on new purchases. The average cost of total deposits was 0.03%, down seven basis points compared to the earlier quarter. The average rate on short-term borrowings was 0.68%, down 17 basis points compared to the earlier quarter. The average rate on long-term debt was 1.61%, up 13 basis points compared to the earlier quarter. The lower rates on deposits and short-term borrowings reflect the lower rate environment. The higher rates on long-term debt was due to the runoff of lower rate FHLB advances. The provision for credit losses was a benefit of $324 million, compared to a cost of $421 million for the earlier quarter. The earlier quarter reflected significant uncertainty related to the economic impacts resulting from the pandemic, whereas the current quarter includes a reserve release due to the improving economic outlook. Net charge-offs for the third quarter of 2021 totaled $135 million compared to $326 million in the earlier quarter. The third quarter of 2020 included $97 million of charge-offs related to the implementation of CECL, which required a gross up of loan carrying values in connection with the establishment of an allowance on PCD loans. The net charge-off ratio for the current quarter of 0.19% was down 23 basis points compared to the third quarter 2020, due primarily to the additional losses on PCD loans taken in the earlier quarter and lower actual net losses in the commercial portfolio. Noninterest income for the third quarter of 2021 increased $155 million, or 7.0%, compared to the earlier quarter. Noninterest income for the third quarter of 2020 included $104 million of securities gains on available-for-sale securities. Excluding securities gains, noninterest income increased $259 million, or 12%, compared to the earlier quarter. Insurance income increased $127 million due to acquisitions, as well as organic growth. Investment banking and trading income increased $57 million due to strong merger and acquisition activity and loan syndications. Wealth management income increased $32 million due to higher valuations of assets under management. Service charges on deposit accounts and card and payment related fees increased $29 million and $25 million, respectively, due to increased economic activity. Residential mortgage banking income ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaOct 15th, 2021

NATO"s Plans To Hack Your Brain

NATO's Plans To Hack Your Brain Authored by Ben Norton via TheGrayZone.com, Western governments in the NATO military alliance are developing tactics of “cognitive warfare,” using the supposed threats of China and Russia to justify waging a “battle for your brain” in the “human domain,” to “make everyone a weapon.” NATO is developing new forms of warfare to wage a “battle for the brain,” as the military alliance put it. The US-led NATO military cartel has tested novel modes of hybrid warfare against its self-declared adversaries, including economic warfare, cyber warfare, information warfare, and psychological warfare. Now, NATO is spinning out an entirely new kind of combat it has branded cognitive warfare. Described as the “weaponization of brain sciences,” the new method involves “hacking the individual” by exploiting “the vulnerabilities of the human brain” in order to implement more sophisticated “social engineering.” Until recently, NATO had divided war into five different operational domains: air, land, sea, space, and cyber. But with its development of cognitive warfare strategies, the military alliance is discussing a new, sixth level: the “human domain.” A 2020 NATO-sponsored study of this new form of warfare clearly explained, “While actions taken in the five domains are executed in order to have an effect on the human domain, cognitive warfare’s objective is to make everyone a weapon.” “The brain will be the battlefield of the 21st century,” the report stressed. “Humans are the contested domain,” and “future conflicts will likely occur amongst the people digitally first and physically thereafter in proximity to hubs of political and economic power.” The 2020 NATO-sponsored study on cognitive warfare While the NATO-backed study insisted that much of its research on cognitive warfare is designed for defensive purposes, it also conceded that the military alliance is developing offensive tactics, stating, “The human is very often the main vulnerability and it should be acknowledged in order to protect NATO’s human capital but also to be able to benefit from our adversaries’s vulnerabilities.” In a chilling disclosure, the report said explicitly that “the objective of Cognitive Warfare is to harm societies and not only the military.” With entire civilian populations in NATO’s crosshairs, the report emphasized that Western militaries must work more closely with academia to weaponize social sciences and human sciences and help the alliance develop its cognitive warfare capacities. The study described this phenomenon as “the militarization of brain science.” But it appears clear that NATO’s development of cognitive warfare will lead to a militarization of all aspects of human society and psychology, from the most intimate of social relationships to the mind itself. Such all-encompassing militarization of society is reflected in the paranoid tone of the NATO-sponsored report, which warned of “an embedded fifth column, where everyone, unbeknownst to him or her, is behaving according to the plans of one of our competitors.” The study makes it clear that those “competitors” purportedly exploiting the consciousness of Western dissidents are China and Russia. In other words, this document shows that figures in the NATO military cartel increasingly see their own domestic population as a threat, fearing civilians to be potential Chinese or Russian sleeper cells, dastardly “fifth columns” that challenge the stability of “Western liberal democracies.” NATO’s development of novel forms of hybrid warfare come at a time when member states’ military campaigns are targeting domestic populations on an unprecedented level. The Ottawa Citizen reported this September that the Canadian military’s Joint Operations Command took advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to wage an information war against its own domestic population, testing out propaganda tactics on Canadian civilians. Internal NATO-sponsored reports suggest that this disclosure is just scratching the surface of a wave of new unconventional warfare techniques that Western militaries are employing around the world. Canada hosts ‘NATO Innovation Challenge’ on cognitive warfare Twice each year, NATO holds a “pitch-style event” that it brand as an “Innovation Challenge.” These campaigns – one hosted in the Spring and the other in the Fall, by alternating member states – call on private companies, organizations, and researchers to help develop new tactics and technologies for the military alliance. The shark tank-like challenges reflect the predominant influence of neoliberal ideology within NATO, as participants mobilize the free market, public-private partnerships, and the promise of cash prizes to advance the agenda of the military-industrial complex. NATO’s Fall 2021 Innovation Challenge is hosted by Canada, and is titled “The invisible threat: Tools for countering cognitive warfare.” “Cognitive warfare seeks to change not only what people think, but also how they act,” the Canadian government wrote in its official statement on the challenge. “Attacks against the cognitive domain involve the integration of cyber, disinformation/misinformation, psychological, and social-engineering capabilities.” Ottawa’s press release continued: “Cognitive warfare positions the mind as a battle space and contested domain. Its objective is to sow dissonance, instigate conflicting narratives, polarize opinion, and radicalize groups. Cognitive warfare can motivate people to act in ways that can disrupt or fragment an otherwise cohesive society.” NATO-backed Canadian military officials discuss cognitive warfare in panel event An advocacy group called the NATO Association of Canada has mobilized to support this Innovation Challenge, working closely with military contractors to attract the private sector to invest in further research on behalf of NATO – and its own bottom line. While the NATO Association of Canada (NAOC) is technically an independent NGO, its mission is to promote NATO, and the organization boasts on its website, “The NAOC has strong ties with the Government of Canada including Global Affairs Canada and the Department of National Defence.” As part of its efforts to promote Canada’s NATO Innovation Challenge, the NAOC held a panel discussion on cognitive warfare on October 5. The researcher who wrote the definitive 2020 NATO-sponsored study on cognitive warfare, François du Cluzel, participated in the event, alongside NATO-backed Canadian military officers. The October 5 panel on cognitive warfare, hosted by the NATO Association of Canada The panel was overseen by Robert Baines, president of the NATO Association of Canada. It was moderated by Garrick Ngai, a marketing executive in the weapons industry who serves as an adviser to the Canadian Department of National Defense and vice president and director of the NAOC. Baines opened the event noting that participants would discuss “cognitive warfare and new domain of competition, where state and non-state actors aim to influence what people think and how they act.” The NAOC president also happily noted the lucrative “opportunities for Canadian companies” that this NATO Innovation Challenge promised. NATO researcher describes cognitive warfare as ‘ways of harming the brain’ The October 5 panel kicked off with François du Cluzel, a former French military officer who in 2013 helped to create the NATO Innovation Hub (iHub), which he has since then managed from its base in Norfolk, Virginia. Although the iHub insists on its website, for legal reasons, that the “opinions expressed on this platform don’t constitute NATO or any other organization points of view,” the organization is sponsored by the Allied Command Transformation (ACT), described as “one of two Strategic Commands at the head of NATO’s military command structure.” The Innovation Hub, therefore, acts as a kind of in-house NATO research center or think tank. Its research is not necessarily official NATO policy, but it is directly supported and overseen by NATO. In 2020, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) tasked du Cluzel, as manager of the iHub, to conduct a six-month study on cognitive warfare. Du Cluzel summarized his research in the panel this October. He initiated his remarks noting that cognitive warfare “right now is one of the hottest topics for NATO,” and “has become a recurring term in military terminology in recent years.” Although French, Du Cluzel emphasized that cognitive warfare strategy “is being currently developed by my command here in Norfolk, USA.” The NATO Innovation Hub manager spoke with a PowerPoint presentation, and opened with a provocative slide that described cognitive warfare as “A Battle for the Brain.” “Cognitive warfare is a new concept that starts in the information sphere, that is a kind of hybrid warfare,” du Cluzel said. “It starts with hyper-connectivity. Everyone has a cell phone,” he continued. “It starts with information because information is, if I may say, the fuel of cognitive warfare. But it goes way beyond solely information, which is a standalone operation – information warfare is a standalone operation.” Cognitive warfare overlaps with Big Tech corporations and mass surveillance, because “it’s all about leveraging the big data,” du Cluzel explained. “We produce data everywhere we go. Every minute, every second we go, we go online. And this is extremely easy to leverage those data in order to better know you and use that knowledge to change the way you think.” Naturally, the NATO researcher claimed foreign “adversaries” are the supposed aggressors employing cognitive warfare. But at the same time, he made it clear that the Western military alliance is developing its own tactics. Du Cluzel defined cognitive warfare as the “art of using technologies to alter the cognition of human targets.” Those technologies, he noted, incorporate the fields of NBIC – nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive science. All together, “it makes a kind of very dangerous cocktail that can further manipulate the brain,” he said. Du Cluzel went on to explain that the exotic new method of attack “goes well beyond” information warfare or psychological operations (psyops). “Cognitive warfare is not only a fight against what we think, but it’s rather a fight against the way we think, if we can change the way people think,” he said. “It’s much more powerful and it goes way beyond the information [warfare] and psyops.” De Cluzel continued: “It’s crucial to understand that it’s a game on our cognition, on the way our brain processes information and turns it into knowledge, rather than solely a game on information or on psychological aspects of our brains. It’s not only an action against what we think, but also an action against the way we think, the way we process information and turn it into knowledge.” “In other words, cognitive warfare is not just another word, another name for information warfare. It is a war on our individual processor, our brain.” The NATO researcher stressed that “this is extremely important for us in the military,” because “it has the potential, by developing new weapons and ways of harming the brain, it has the potential to engage neuroscience and technology in many, many different approaches to influence human ecology… because you all know that it’s very easy to turn a civilian technology into a military one.” As for who the targets of cognitive warfare could be, du Cluzel revealed that anyone and everyone is on the table. “Cognitive warfare has universal reach, from starting with the individual to states and multinational organizations,” he said. “Its field of action is global and aim to seize control of the human being, civilian as well as military.” And the private sector has a financial interest in advancing cognitive warfare research, he noted: “The massive worldwide investments made in neurosciences suggests that the cognitive domain will probably one of the battlefields of the future.” The development of cognitive warfare totally transforms military conflict as we know it, du Cluzel said, adding “a third major combat dimension to the modern battlefield: to the physical and informational dimension is now added a cognitive dimension.” This “creates a new space of competition beyond what is called the five domains of operations – or land, sea, air, cyber, and space domains. Warfare in the cognitive arena mobilizes a wider range of battle spaces than solely the physical and information dimensions can do.” In short, humans themselves are the new contested domain in this novel mode of hybrid warfare, alongside land, sea, air, cyber, and outer space. NATO’s cognitive warfare study warns of “embedded fifth column” The study that NATO Innovation Hub manager François du Cluzel conducted, from June to November 2020, was sponsored by the military cartel’s Allied Command Transformation, and published as a 45-page report in January 2021 (PDF). The chilling document shows how contemporary warfare has reached a kind of dystopian stage, once imaginable only in science fiction. “The nature of warfare has changed,” the report emphasized. “The majority of current conflicts remain below the threshold of the traditionally accepted definition of warfare, but new forms of warfare have emerged such as Cognitive Warfare (CW), while the human mind is now being considered as a new domain of war.” For NATO, research on cognitive warfare is not just defensive; it is very much offensive as well. “Developing capabilities to harm the cognitive abilities of opponents will be a necessity,” du Cluzel’s report stated clearly. “In other words, NATO will need to get the ability to safeguard her decision making process and disrupt the adversary’s one.” And anyone could be a target of these cognitive warfare operations: “Any user of modern information technologies is a potential target. It targets the whole of a nation’s human capital,” the report ominously added. “As well as the potential execution of a cognitive war to complement to a military conflict, it can also be conducted alone, without any link to an engagement of the armed forces,” the study went on. “Moreover, cognitive warfare is potentially endless since there can be no peace treaty or surrender for this type of conflict.” Just as this new mode of battle has no geographic borders, it also has no time limit: “This battlefield is global via the internet. With no beginning and no end, this conquest knows no respite, punctuated by notifications from our smartphones, anywhere, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” The NATO-sponsored study noted that “some NATO Nations have already acknowledged that neuroscientific techniques and technologies have high potential for operational use in a variety of security, defense and intelligence enterprises.” It spoke of breakthroughs in “neuroscientific methods and technologies” (neuroS/T), and said “uses of research findings and products to directly facilitate the performance of combatants, the integration of human machine interfaces to optimise combat capabilities of semi autonomous vehicles (e.g., drones), and development of biological and chemical weapons (i.e., neuroweapons).” The Pentagon is among the primary institutions advancing this novel research, as the report highlighted: “Although a number of nations have pursued, and are currently pursuing neuroscientific research and development for military purposes, perhaps the most proactive efforts in this regard have been conducted by the United States Department of Defense; with most notable and rapidly maturing research and development conducted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA).” Military uses of neuroS/T research, the study indicated, include intelligence gathering, training, “optimising performance and resilience in combat and military support personnel,” and of course “direct weaponisation of neuroscience and neurotechnology.” This weaponization of neuroS/T can and will be fatal, the NATO-sponsored study was clear to point out. The research can “be utilised to mitigate aggression and foster cognitions and emotions of affiliation or passivity; induce morbidity, disability or suffering; and ‘neutralise’ potential opponents or incur mortality” – in other words, to maim and kill people. The 2020 NATO-sponsored study on cognitive warfare The report quoted US Major General Robert H. Scales, who summarized NATO’s new combat philosophy: “Victory will be defined more in terms of capturing the psycho-cultural rather than the geographical high ground.” And as NATO develops tactics of cognitive warfare to “capture the psycho-cultural,” it is also increasingly weaponizing various scientific fields. The study spoke of “the crucible of data sciences and human sciences,” and stressed that “the combination of Social Sciences and System Engineering will be key in helping military analysts to improve the production of intelligence.” “If kinetic power cannot defeat the enemy,” it said, “psychology and related behavioural and social sciences stand to fill the void.” “Leveraging social sciences will be central to the development of the Human Domain Plan of Operations,” the report went on. “It will support the combat operations by providing potential courses of action for the whole surrounding Human Environment including enemy forces, but also determining key human elements such as the Cognitive center of gravity, the desired behaviour as the end state.” All academic disciplines will be implicated in cognitive warfare, not just the hard sciences. “Within the military, expertise on anthropology, ethnography, history, psychology among other areas will be more than ever required to cooperate with the military,” the NATO-sponsored study stated. The report nears its conclusion with an eerie quote: “Today’s progresses in nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science (NBIC), boosted by the seemingly unstoppable march of a triumphant troika made of Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and civilisational ‘digital addiction’ have created a much more ominous prospect: an embedded fifth column, where everyone, unbeknownst to him or her, is behaving according to the plans of one of our competitors.” “The modern concept of war is not about weapons but about influence,” it posited. “Victory in the long run will remain solely dependent on the ability to influence, affect, change or impact the cognitive domain.” The NATO-sponsored study then closed with a final paragraph that makes it clear beyond doubt that the Western military alliance’s ultimate goal is not only physical control of the planet, but also control over people’s minds: “Cognitive warfare may well be the missing element that allows the transition from military victory on the battlefield to lasting political success. The human domain might well be the decisive domain, wherein multi-domain operations achieve the commander’s effect. The five first domains can give tactical and operational victories; only the human domain can achieve the final and full victory.” Canadian Special Operations officer emphasizes importance of cognitive warfare When François du Cluzel, the NATO researcher who conducted the study on cognitive warfare, concluded his remarks in the October 5 NATO Association of Canada panel, he was followed by Andy Bonvie, a commanding officer at the Canadian Special Operations Training Centre. With more than 30 years of experience with the Canadian Armed Forces, Bonvie spoke of how Western militaries are making use of research by du Cluzel and others, and incorporating novel cognitive warfare techniques into their combat activities. “Cognitive warfare is a new type of hybrid warfare for us,” Bonvie said. “And it means that we need to look at the traditional thresholds of conflict and how the things that are being done are really below those thresholds of conflict, cognitive attacks, and non-kinetic forms and non-combative threats to us. We need to understand these attacks better and adjust their actions and our training accordingly to be able to operate in these different environments.” Although he portrayed NATO’s actions as “defensive,” claiming “adversaries” were using cognitive warfare against them, Bonvie was unambiguous about the fact that Western militaries are developing these tecniques themselves, to maintain a “tactical advantage.” “We cannot lose the tactical advantage for our troops that we’re placing forward as it spans not only tactically, but strategically,” he said. “Some of those different capabilities that we have that we enjoy all of a sudden could be pivoted to be used against us. So we have to better understand how quickly our adversaries adapt to things, and then be able to predict where they’re going in the future, to help us be and maintain the tactical advantage for our troops moving forward.” ‘Cognitive warfare is the most advanced form of manipulation seen to date’ Marie-Pierre Raymond, a retired Canadian lieutenant colonel who currently serves as a “defence scientist and innovation portfolio manager” for the Canadian Armed Forces’ Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security Program, also joined the October 5 panel. “Long gone are the days when war was fought to acquire more land,” Raymond said. “Now the new objective is to change the adversaries’ ideologies, which makes the brain the center of gravity of the human. And it makes the human the contested domain, and the mind becomes the battlefield.” “When we speak about hybrid threats, cognitive warfare is the most advanced form of manipulation seen to date,” she added, noting that it aims to influence individuals’ decision-making and “to influence a group of a group of individuals on their behavior, with the aim of gaining a tactical or strategic advantage.” Raymond noted that cognitive warfare also heavily overlaps with artificial intelligence, big data, and social media, and reflects “the rapid evolution of neurosciences as a tool of war.” Raymond is helping to oversee the NATO Fall 2021 Innovation Challenge on behalf of Canada’s Department of National Defence, which delegated management responsibilities to the military’s Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) Program, where she works. In highly technical jargon, Raymond indicated that the cognitive warfare program is not solely defensive, but also offensive: “This challenge is calling for a solution that will support NATO’s nascent human domain and jump-start the development of a cognition ecosystem within the alliance, and that will support the development of new applications, new systems, new tools and concepts leading to concrete action in the cognitive domain.” She emphasized that this “will require sustained cooperation between allies, innovators, and researchers to enable our troops to fight and win in the cognitive domain. This is what we are hoping to emerge from this call to innovators and researchers.” To inspire corporate interest in the NATO Innovation Challenge, Raymond enticed, “Applicants will receive national and international exposure and cash prizes for the best solution.” She then added tantalizingly, “This could also benefit the applicants by potentially providing them access to a market of 30 nations.” Canadian military officer calls on corporations to invest in NATO’s cognitive warfare research The other institution that is managing the Fall 2021 NATO Innovation Challenge on behalf of Canada’s Department of National Defense is the Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM). A Canadian military officer who works with CANSOFCOM, Shekhar Gothi, was the final panelist in the October 5 NATO Association of Canada event. Gothi serves as CANSOFCOM’s “innovation officer” for Southern Ontario. He concluded the event appealing for corporate investment in NATO’s cognitive warfare research. The bi-annual Innovation Challenge is “part of the NATO battle rhythm,” Gothi declared enthusiastically. He noted that, in the spring of 2021, Portugal held a NATO Innovation Challenge focused on warfare in outer space. In spring 2020, the Netherlands hosted a NATO Innovation Challenge focused on Covid-19. Gothi reassured corporate investors that NATO will bend over backward to defend their bottom lines: “I can assure everyone that the NATO innovation challenge indicates that all innovators will maintain complete control of their intellectual property. So NATO won’t take control of that. Neither will Canada. Innovators will maintain their control over their IP.” The comment was a fitting conclusion to the panel, affirming that NATO and its allies in the military-industrial complex not only seek to dominate the world and the humans that inhabit it with unsettling cognitive warfare techniques, but to also ensure that corporations and their shareholders continue to profit from these imperial endeavors. Tyler Durden Fri, 10/15/2021 - 03:30.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 15th, 2021

The 5 best thermometers in 2021

A reliable thermometer can accurately tell if you or your child are running a fever. We rigorously tested 10 of the top brands; here are the 5 best. Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky Every household should have an accurate digital thermometer and know how and when to use it. The CDC recommends checking your temperature before heading to work, school, or other public places. Our top pick, iProven's DMT-489, reads accurately in 1 second and can be used in-ear or on forehead. This article was medically reviewed by Benjamin Hoffman, MD, professor of pediatrics at Oregon Health and Science University. Having an accurate thermometer on hand can help tell you how severely the body is in distress - whether it's confirming that you or your baby is ill enough to need a doctor or the hospital, or if your systems are safe after being exposed to dangerous weather.A fever also one of the key symptoms of COVID-19, and many businesses, school, gyms, and other public places as you to confirm you don't have one before entering. (It's worth noting that influenza usually produces higher fevers than common colds, and not everyone with COVID19 even spikes a fever.) Luckily, getting a quick temperature reading is remarkably easy and safe these days. But the biggest variable among thermometers you can buy is really just: Is it accurate? That's why I tested 10 leading thermometers, in addition to speaking with many experts and parents on which type of home thermometer is best and other FAQs on therometers and fevers.Here are the best thermometers to check for a fever:Best thermometer overall: iProven Forehead and Ear Thermometer DMT-489Best thermometer on a budget: Vicks Comfort Flex ThermometerBest infrared non-contact thermometer: iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer PT3Best thermometer for daily testing: Kinsa Quick Care Smart ThermometerBest thermometer for kids: Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer with Smart Glow How we tested thermometers Molly Hebda/Insider I reached out to a number of pediatricians for their expert opinion on thermometers and read journal articles, "Consumer Reports," customer reviews, and even spoke with 20 parents about their temperature-taking experiences.I narrowed it down to the top 10 thermometers and tested each myself nine times over the course of three days on myself and my two kids, as well as a handful of times on my sister and two of my nieces, one of whom is an infant. I also handed off two of the infrared thermometers to Cindy Mrotek, owner of A.C.E Behavior Solutions, an essential business screening adults and children with special health care needs upon entry, for testing over the course of one week.I looked at each product's speed, size of display, mute options, memory recall, batteries, warranty options, and storage containers. I also looked hard look at:Accuracy, precision, and readability of thermometer instructions: You have to use a thermometer correctly for an accurate reading, so I evaluated the information on each product's box and inside its user manual from a health literacy perspective, including how helpful and easy to read the instructions were. Models varied, with some having a quick guide with pictures (great), information in Spanish (big bonus), or a QR code for video instructions, while others had print so tiny you need a magnifying glass to read it.  Cost and availability: Since thermometers are an essential part of an at-home health kit, they need to be affordable. Some on our list are the price of two cups of coffee, while others are upwards of $30, but we also layout how you can save money on a thermometer by using your health savings account or flex spending account.  Best thermometer overall Molly Hebda/Business Insider The iProven Forehead and Ear Thermometer DMT-489 is highly impressive with an accurate instant read in just one second, versatile use, and comprehensive instructions on quality packaging. Pros: User friendly, easy to read, nice storage pouch, precise, can be used either contactless or in-earCons: Cap to change methods difficult to snap on, no probe covers The iProven DMT-489 infrared therometer is two-in-one, as it allows you to switch from reading via an in-ear probe or a forehead setting, the latter of which is safer for infants under 3 months old.It was highly accurate in my tests, reading within 0.5-1.0 degrees again and again for forehead readings and within 0.5-0.8 degrees for ear mode. It also displays the temperature within one second.There are separate buttons for "head" and "ear," and to change from one to the other, you need to snap on or off the top cap of the thermometer, which I found a little difficult but still doable.To get an accurate ear temperature,  you have to insert and place the probe top correctly, so be sure to read the instructions thoroughly. It took me a couple of tries to feel confident taking my own temperature this way.I liked that it has a fever alarm and color temperature indication to take the guesswork out of interpreting the readings. The manual also includes a very comprehensive comparison table on how to interpret measurements based on age and method. The thermometer can also store up to 20 past readings for easy comparison. The devices comes with two AA batteries, a soft pouch for storage (great for travel and diaper bags), and cleaning instructions. It also comes with a two-year limited warranty and the option of an extended year warranty for free. Best budget thermometer Molly Hebda/Business Insider The Vicks Comfort Flex Thermometer was the most affordable of the thermometers tested, easy to use, and has a large digital screen with color-coded readings to indicate fever.Pros: Affordable, multiuse, precise, large digital display, comes with probe coversCons: Very loud beep, must turn off and on between readings, colored fever alerts misleading, coin cell battery is more annoying to replace The Vicks Comfort Flex Thermometer is easy to use right out the box: There's only one button and you have the option to use the device orally, rectally, or under the arm. Its runs on an included coin cell button battery.I found the large digital display to be the easiest to read of all the thermometers I tested. It also beeps the loudest of the group, which is especially helpful for seniors with visual and hearing impairments, but also could be a nuisance for some considering the beeping lasts a full eight seconds.The LCD screen uses a color temperature indication alongside displaying the actual number, which is generally helpful but fever isn't the same for everyone so this could be alarmist if you run hot.The precision and repeatability of the thermometer was quite good in my tests and only varied by about 0.5 degrees. Although the box says the Vicks Comfort Flex Thermometer takes 10-12 seconds to read your temperature, I found it was actually much quicker with a response time of 5 to 6 seconds orally and 6 to 7 seconds rectally. It is a little annoying that you have to turn it off and back on to take a second reading, and it is  only able to recall the last reading you took. But I did like that this model comes with 100 disposable probe covers and a protective holder, along with a one-year limited warranty and instructions in English and Spanish. Best infrared non-contact thermometer Molly Hebda/Business Insider The iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer PT3 reads in just one second and makes it easy to accurately take anyone's temperature while being socially distant. Pros: Fast reading, precise, no beeping, helpful content in user manual  Cons: Vibration may be missed, prone to user error, doesn't work well for kids that won't sit stillPrior to testing the iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer PT3 myself, I'd already seen it in action for pre-screening at both my dentist's office and my daughter's daycare. It seemed like a good product that offered quick readings.When I tested it myself, I found that first impression held up. Instead of a beeping alarm, the device vibrates once it has a reading, which also lights up the LED display. This is nice if you don't want a loud noise, and upon testing, I found the precision and repeatability varied only by 0.5 degrees. I also had Cindy Mrotek, whose business A.C.E Behavior Solutions screens people upon entry, try it out and she said the iHealth was a faster read compared to other infrared thermometers. However, she added it was a bit difficult to use on kids that can't sit still. I myself found the device woudn't read if it was too far away from the skin.The iHealth comes with a user manual in English and Spanish, a quick guide with pictures, two AAA batteries, and cleaning instructions. It also has a one-year limited warranty.  Best thermometer for daily testing Molly Hebda/Business Insider If you're tech-savvy and looking for a great smart thermometer, the Kinsa Quick Care Smart Thermometer can be used three ways and even allows you to contribute to public health research. Pros: Diverse way to read temps, can support multiple family members and keep temperature records separate, has great app features, contributes to public health research  Cons: Needs app to work, does not include probe covers,Every morning, I have to self-certify that my kids are free of COVID-19 symptoms before sending them off to school. A smart thermometer like the Kinsa — which stores all the readings for each individual family member on my phone and helps me monitor their baseline temperature — makes that daily routine much easier to manage.The Kinsa Quick Care Smart Thermometer connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and uses an app, which I found easy to set up. I then created profiles for each member of my family, which includes inputting their birthdays to help the app's algorithm provide appropriate care instructions person to person. You can also add notes, symptoms, and track medication doses within the app.After each reading, the thermometer displays not only the temperature but a happy, neutral, or sad-face emoji corresponding with fever status.You can check the temperature orally, under the armpit, or rectally (they also make a separate model specific for in-ear use). Although the box says the response time is 8 seconds, I found it to read a temperature between 2 to 3 seconds when used orally. The precision varies between 0.8 and 0.5 degrees.Kinsa sits in a really unique space for both thermometers and smart equipment contributing to public health: As Hilary Brueck, Insider's Senior Health and Science reporter, has laid out, the smart thermometer has helped forecast outbreaks of both the coronavirus and the flu, including detecting fever spikes weeks before hospitals and clinics start to see an influx of patients. It's an added bonus that using this stellar, versatile, and accurate thermometer can help contribute to predicting COVID hotspots. Best thermometer for kids Molly Hebda/Business Insider The Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer with Smart Glow was the most accurate and consistent out of all the thermometers I tested and has over 80 peer-reviewed clinical studies to back up its use on children. Pros: Most precise tested, suitable for all ages older than three monthsCons: Unintuitive, dim display, plastic cap to protect the sensor easy to lose Next to rectal thermometers, temporal artery thermometers are the most reliable way to get an accurate reading on children and babies over 3 months of age. (Use a rectal thermometer on infants under 3 months.) With the Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer, a gentle stroke across a child's forehead captures the naturally emitted heat waves coming from the skin over the temporal artery to give a reading in 2 to 3 seconds. It can store up to eight readings. When tested repeatedly, the Exergen thermometer delivered the most consistent and precise results of any model tested on myself and my kids — within 0.3 degrees.However, unlike other models with backlight displays, the Exergen has a relatively small LCD display screen with a dim readout. It may be hard to see if you are in a dark room. However, unlike others, this thermometer wasn't as intuitive to use, despite having instructions printed directly on the back of the device, I wasn't sure if I was correctly stroking the top of the unit across the forehead. But the instruction manual had a QR code which led to videos demonstrating how to use it, which was helpful. The model comes with a 9V battery already installed, cleaning instructions, and a five-year limited product warranty.Read our guide to the best thermometers for babies and children for additional options. What else we considered Molly Hebda/Business Insider What we recommendBraun Thermoscan 7 Ear Thermometer ($38): This is a fantastic in-ear thermometer with much peer-reviewed research to back it up, and not only do we recommend it but many parents I spoke with already own it. The downsides are it takes 10 seconds to read a temp, and it's the most expensive option I tested — especially when you factor in the disposable lens filters that need replacing for accuracy and hygiene.Dr. Talbot's Infrared Forehead Thermometer, Non-Contact ($19.89): This device has comparable precision and speed to the iHealth and is designed for contactless reading of infants over 3 months, including adults. I liked this device and it was easy to operate, but it's more expensive than the iHealth and was difficult to change the settings using only the trigger. Kinsa Smart Ear Thermometer ($39.99): The Kinsa is super sleek and easy to use on yourself, which can be tricky for the ear. I also found the app to be tremendous in terms of content with very helpful instructions. Even though the readings only took a second, the precision tended to vary by 1.5 degrees.What we don't recommendCVS Health Flexible Tip Digital Thermometer ($18.49): This unit was disqualified because did not function at all. Vicks SpeedRead Digital Thermometer with Fever InSight ($9.72): Despite being called "SpeedRead," this device took 8 seconds to deliver a reading — slower than its cousin, the Vicks Comfort Flex, our best budget thermometer. Plus, I found the SpeedRead to have a metallic taste. What we're looking forward to tryingExergen Temporal Artery Thermometer Original ($42.99): We were unable to test this due to an inventory shortage at the time we were evaluating thermometers for this guide. Which type of at-home thermometer is best? Your basic digital thermometer options to choose from are: Single-use stick thermometer (marketed for rectal only) Multiuse stick thermometer (rectum, mouth, or armpit)  Tympanic thermometer (ear) Temporal artery thermometer (forehead)Tympanic and temporal thermometer (ear and forehead) Infrared non-contact thermometer (forehead)  Though there's plenty of apprehension about no-contact thermometers, a column in Ask a Pediatrician by Dr. Elizabeth Murray, an official spokesperson for the AAP, addresses those concerns directly. Murray says that "the claims about their danger are false … It is the infrared energy coming from the person that is being gathered by the thermometer, not infrared light being projected to the person."All thermometers sold in the United States must meet federal standards and are already calibrated for home use at the time of purchase. FAQs Which type of thermometer is the most accurate?Dr. John Vann, a pediatrician in Omaha, told Insider that only a rectal temperature offers a true outpatient reading. "Everything else is an estimate," he said."Luckily, the exact number is not usually as important as how the patient looks," he adds. Which is to say, there are other indicators of how severe someone's illness or condition is other than an optimally-accurate temperature reading. There are also reliable methods for checking your temperature even if you don't have access to a thermometer.No matter if you opt for an infrared thermometer or a strictly ear-based model, it's important to know fever isn't the same for everyone and that it varies by age, gender, and time of day, among other variables. Using a thermometer at various times of the day when you're feeling well gives you an idea of what's normal for you, or your baseline temperature. Which is the best thermometer for home use?Among at-home thermometers, medical research hasn't determined an exact correlation between oral, rectal, ear, armpit, and forehead temperature measurements. But Kaiser Permanente notes that an ear (tympanic) temperature is 0.5 to 1 degree higher than an oral temperature and a forehead (temporal) scanner is usually 0.5 to 1 degree lower than an oral temperature. What is the best thermometer to use for COVID?The best thermometer for COVID is really just one that is accurate and reliable. That means any of the thermometers on our list are great for checking for COVID symptoms. That being said, if you're using the thermometer on more than one person, it's best to use a contactless reader to not cross-contaminate. In that case, we highly recommend the iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer PT3 or the Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer with Smart Glow, both of which proved to be accurate and reliable in my tests.Can I use my HSA/FSA funds to buy a thermometer?If you have an HSA or an FSA account, know that over-the-counter digital thermometers are eligible for reimbursement without a prescription. Here's how it works: If you pay with cash or credit card in a store or online, you can request a reimbursement from your HSA/FSA account. Different plans have different requirements on what's needed for reimbursement but usually, a copy of your thermometer receipt will be enough.There are HSA and FSA-specific retailers, like the HSA Store and the FSA Store that make shopping for items that qualify for reimbursement really simple. According to both websites, when shoppers use an HSA or FSA card to pay, they typically don't have to submit receipts; purchases on these websites automatically substantiate. It is worth noting, however, that the thermometer options available on these websites are limited and cost more than other retailers. What counts as a fever?Many Americans think anything over 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit is a problem, but what constitutes a fever is actually different person to person.Rik Heller, a biomedical engineer and thermographic expert, tells Insider, "Age, gender, and even time of day impact normal body temperatures." Some children's temperatures especially run higher than others, points out Dr. Jesse Hackell, a practicing pediatrician with New York-based Pomona Pediatrics. Any reading of 100.4 F or higher in a baby younger than 3 months is reason to call the pediatrician. "Another reason to call is if the fever persists for more than 24 hours in children younger than two and more than three days in a child 2 years of age or older," he said.Meanwhile, older adults tend to have lower baseline temperatures than younger adults; sometimes fevers in the elderly are completely absent.To figure out what's a fever for you, you want to find your baseline temperature (i.e., what's normal for you) by checking your temperature at various times of the day when you are feeling well. At the end of the day, how you or your child is acting and feeling is the best indicator of a fever over the number on a thermometer, multiple of our doctors say. Our expert sources Jesse Hackell MD, FAAP, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Practice and Ambulatory Medicine and a practicing pediatrician with New York-based Pomona Pediatrics, a division of Boston Children's Health PhysiciansJohn Vann, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician at Omaha Children's Clinic in Omaha, NebraskaDr. Jenifer Johnson, a family medicine physician and internist at Westmed Medical Group in Westchester, NYRik Heller, a biomedical engineer and thermographic expert who founded the clinical-grade thermometer company, WelloCindy Mrotek, business owner of ACE Behavior SolutionsAP News. Infrared thermometers used for COVID-19 testing do not pose risk to pineal gland. July 28, 2020Consumer Reports. Thermometer Buying Guide. September 23, 2016NASA. Ingestible Thermometer Pill Helps Athletes Beat the Heat. January 8, 2007EPA. Mercury Thermometers. June 26, 2018CDC. How COVID19 Spreads. October 5, 2020Business Insider. Coronavirus temperature scans are nothing more than pandemic security theater. In some cases, they're dangerous.Mayo Clinic. Thermometers: Understand the options. September 15, 2018HealthyChildren.org. When to Call the Pediatrician: Fever. November 21, 2015HealthyChildren.org. How to Take Your Child's Temperature. October 12, 2020HealthyChildren.org. Are Infrared Thermometers Safe? October 15, 2020New York Times. Can Smart Thermometers Track the Spread of the Coronavirus? March 18, 2020Kaiser Permanente. Fever Temperatures: Accuracy and Comparison. June 26, 2019HSA Store websiteFSA Store website Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 14th, 2021

The 5 Best Thermometers in 2021

A reliable thermometer can accurately tell if you or your child are running a fever. We rigorously tested 10 of the top brands; here are the 5 best. Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky Every household should have an accurate digital thermometer and know how and when to use it. The CDC recommends checking your temperature before heading to work, school, or other public places. Our top pick, iProven's DMT-511, reads accurately in 1 second and can be used in-ear or on forehead. This article was medically reviewed by Benjamin Hoffman, MD, professor of pediatrics at Oregon Health and Science University. Having an accurate thermometer on hand can help tell you how severely the body is in distress - whether it's confirming that you or your baby is ill enough to need a doctor or the hospital, or if your systems are safe after being exposed to dangerous weather.A fever also one of the key symptoms of COVID-19, and many businesses, school, gyms, and other public places as you to confirm you don't have one before entering. (It's worth noting that influenza usually produces higher fevers than common colds, and not everyone with COVID19 even spikes a fever.) Luckily, getting a quick temperature reading is remarkably easy and safe these days. But the biggest variable among thermometers you can buy is really just: Is it accurate? That's why I tested 10 leading thermometers, in addition to speaking with many experts and parents on which type of home thermometer is best and other FAQs on therometers and fevers.Here are the best thermometers to check for a fever:Best thermometer overall: iProven Forehead and Ear Thermometer DMT-511Best thermometer on a budget: Vicks Comfort Flex ThermometerBest infrared non-contact thermometer: iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer PT3Best thermometer for daily testing: Kinsa Quick Care Smart ThermometerBest thermometer for kids: Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer with Smart Glow How we tested thermometers Molly Hebda/Insider I reached out to a number of pediatricians for their expert opinion on thermometers and read journal articles, "Consumer Reports," customer reviews, and even spoke with 20 parents about their temperature-taking experiences.I narrowed it down to the top 10 thermometers and tested each myself nine times over the course of three days on myself and my two kids, as well as a handful of times on my sister and two of my nieces, one of whom is an infant. I also handed off two of the infrared thermometers to Cindy Mrotek, owner of A.C.E Behavior Solutions, an essential business screening adults and children with special health care needs upon entry, for testing over the course of one week.I looked at each product's speed, size of display, mute options, memory recall, batteries, warranty options, and storage containers. I also looked hard look at:Accuracy, precision, and readability of thermometer instructions: You have to use a thermometer correctly for an accurate reading, so I evaluated the information on each product's box and inside its user manual from a health literacy perspective, including how helpful and easy to read the instructions were. Models varied, with some having a quick guide with pictures (great), information in Spanish (big bonus), or a QR code for video instructions, while others had print so tiny you need a magnifying glass to read it.  Cost and availability: Since thermometers are an essential part of an at-home health kit, they need to be affordable. Some on our list are the price of two cups of coffee, while others are upwards of $30, but we also layout how you can save money on a thermometer by using your health savings account or flex spending account.  Best thermometer overall Molly Hebda/Business Insider The iProven Forehead and Ear Thermometer DMT-511 is highly impressive with an accurate instant read in just one second, versatile use, and comprehensive instructions on quality packaging. Pros: User friendly, easy to read, nice storage pouch, precise, can be used either contactless or in-earCons: Cap to change methods difficult to snap on, no probe covers The iProven DMT-511 infrared therometer is two-in-one, as it allows you to switch from reading via an in-ear probe or a forehead setting, the latter of which is safer for infants under 3 months old.It was highly accurate in my tests, reading within 0.5-1.0 degrees again and again for forehead readings and within 0.5-0.8 degrees for ear mode. It also displays the temperature within one second.There are separate buttons for "head" and "ear," and to change from one to the other, you need to snap on or off the top cap of the thermometer, which I found a little difficult but still doable.To get an accurate ear temperature,  you have to insert and place the probe top correctly, so be sure to read the instructions thoroughly. It took me a couple of tries to feel confident taking my own temperature this way.I liked that it has a fever alarm and color temperature indication to take the guesswork out of interpreting the readings. The manual also includes a very comprehensive comparison table on how to interpret measurements based on age and method. The thermometer can also store up to 20 past readings for easy comparison. The devices comes with two AA batteries, a soft pouch for storage (great for travel and diaper bags), and cleaning instructions. It also comes with a two-year limited warranty and the option of an extended year warranty for free. Best budget thermometer Molly Hebda/Business Insider The Vicks Comfort Flex Thermometer was the most affordable of the thermometers tested, easy to use, and has a large digital screen with color-coded readings to indicate fever.Pros: Affordable, multiuse, precise, large digital display, comes with probe coversCons: Very loud beep, must turn off and on between readings, colored fever alerts misleading, coin cell battery is more annoying to replace The Vicks Comfort Flex Thermometer is easy to use right out the box: There's only one button and you have the option to use the device orally, rectally, or under the arm. Its runs on an included coin cell button battery.I found the large digital display to be the easiest to read of all the thermometers I tested. It also beeps the loudest of the group, which is especially helpful for seniors with visual and hearing impairments, but also could be a nuisance for some considering the beeping lasts a full eight seconds.The LCD screen uses a color temperature indication alongside displaying the actual number, which is generally helpful but fever isn't the same for everyone so this could be alarmist if you run hot.The precision and repeatability of the thermometer was quite good in my tests and only varied by about 0.5 degrees. Although the box says the Vicks Comfort Flex Thermometer takes 10-12 seconds to read your temperature, I found it was actually much quicker with a response time of 5 to 6 seconds orally and 6 to 7 seconds rectally. It is a little annoying that you have to turn it off and back on to take a second reading, and it is  only able to recall the last reading you took. But I did like that this model comes with 100 disposable probe covers and a protective holder, along with a one-year limited warranty and instructions in English and Spanish. Best infrared non-contact thermometer Molly Hebda/Business Insider The iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer PT3 reads in just one second and makes it easy to accurately take anyone's temperature while being socially distant. Pros: Fast reading, precise, no beeping, helpful content in user manual  Cons: Vibration may be missed, prone to user error, doesn't work well for kids that won't sit stillPrior to testing the iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer PT3 myself, I'd already seen it in action for pre-screening at both my dentist's office and my daughter's daycare. It seemed like a good product that offered quick readings.When I tested it myself, I found that first impression held up. Instead of a beeping alarm, the device vibrates once it has a reading, which also lights up the LED display. This is nice if you don't want a loud noise, and upon testing, I found the precision and repeatability varied only by 0.5 degrees. I also had Cindy Mrotek, whose business A.C.E Behavior Solutions screens people upon entry, try it out and she said the iHealth was a faster read compared to other infrared thermometers. However, she added it was a bit difficult to use on kids that can't sit still. I myself found the device woudn't read if it was too far away from the skin.The iHealth comes with a user manual in English and Spanish, a quick guide with pictures, two AAA batteries, and cleaning instructions. It also has a one-year limited warranty.  Best thermometer for daily testing Molly Hebda/Business Insider If you're tech-savvy and looking for a great smart thermometer, the Kinsa Quick Care Smart Thermometer can be used three ways and even allows you to contribute to public health research. Pros: Diverse way to read temps, can support multiple family members and keep temperature records separate, has great app features, contributes to public health research  Cons: Needs app to work, does not include probe covers,Every morning, I have to self-certify that my kids are free of COVID-19 symptoms before sending them off to school. A smart thermometer like the Kinsa — which stores all the readings for each individual family member on my phone and helps me monitor their baseline temperature — makes that daily routine much easier to manage.The Kinsa Quick Care Smart Thermometer connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and uses an app, which I found easy to set up. I then created profiles for each member of my family, which includes inputting their birthdays to help the app's algorithm provide appropriate care instructions person to person. You can also add notes, symptoms, and track medication doses within the app.After each reading, the thermometer displays not only the temperature but a happy, neutral, or sad-face emoji corresponding with fever status.You can check the temperature orally, under the armpit, or rectally (they also make a separate model specific for in-ear use). Although the box says the response time is 8 seconds, I found it to read a temperature between 2 to 3 seconds when used orally. The precision varies between 0.8 and 0.5 degrees.Kinsa sits in a really unique space for both thermometers and smart equipment contributing to public health: As Hilary Brueck, Insider's Senior Health and Science reporter, has laid out, the smart thermometer has helped forecast outbreaks of both the coronavirus and the flu, including detecting fever spikes weeks before hospitals and clinics start to see an influx of patients. It's an added bonus that using this stellar, versatile, and accurate thermometer can help contribute to predicting COVID hotspots. Best thermometer for kids Molly Hebda/Business Insider The Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer with Smart Glow was the most accurate and consistent out of all the thermometers I tested and has over 80 peer-reviewed clinical studies to back up its use on children. Pros: Most precise tested, suitable for all ages older than three monthsCons: Unintuitive, dim display, plastic cap to protect the sensor easy to lose Next to rectal thermometers, temporal artery thermometers are the most reliable way to get an accurate reading on children and babies over 3 months of age. (Use a rectal thermometer on infants under 3 months.) With the Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer, a gentle stroke across a child's forehead captures the naturally emitted heat waves coming from the skin over the temporal artery to give a reading in 2 to 3 seconds. It can store up to eight readings. When tested repeatedly, the Exergen thermometer delivered the most consistent and precise results of any model tested on myself and my kids — within 0.3 degrees.However, unlike other models with backlight displays, the Exergen has a relatively small LCD display screen with a dim readout. It may be hard to see if you are in a dark room. However, unlike others, this thermometer wasn't as intuitive to use, despite having instructions printed directly on the back of the device, I wasn't sure if I was correctly stroking the top of the unit across the forehead. But the instruction manual had a QR code which led to videos demonstrating how to use it, which was helpful. The model comes with a 9V battery already installed, cleaning instructions, and a five-year limited product warranty.Read our guide to the best thermometers for babies and children for additional options. What else we considered Molly Hebda/Business Insider What we recommendBraun Thermoscan 7 Ear Thermometer ($60): This is a fantastic in-ear thermometer with much peer-reviewed research to back it up, and not only do we recommend it but many parents I spoke with already own it. The downsides are it takes 10 seconds to read a temp, and it's the most expensive option I tested — especially when you factor in the disposable lens filters that need replacing for accuracy and hygiene.Dr. Talbot's Infrared Forehead Thermometer, Non-Contact ($20): This device has comparable precision and speed to the iHealth and is designed for contactless reading of infants over 3 months, including adults. I liked this device and it was easy to operate, but it's more expensive than the iHealth and was difficult to change the settings using only the trigger. Kinsa Smart Ear Thermometer ($40): The Kinsa is super sleek and easy to use on yourself, which can be tricky for the ear. I also found the app to be tremendous in terms of content with very helpful instructions. Even though the readings only took a second, the precision tended to vary by 1.5 degrees.What we don't recommendCVS Health Flexible Tip Digital Thermometer ($18.50): This unit was disqualified because did not function at all. Vicks SpeedRead Digital Thermometer with Fever InSight ($10): Despite being called "SpeedRead," this device took 8 seconds to deliver a reading — slower than its cousin, the Vicks Comfort Flex, our best budget thermometer. Plus, I found the SpeedRead to have a metallic taste. What we're looking forward to tryingExergen Temporal Artery Thermometer Original ($35): We were unable to test this due to an inventory shortage at the time we were evaluating thermometers for this guide. Which type of at-home thermometer is best? Your basic digital thermometer options to choose from are: Single-use stick thermometer (marketed for rectal only) Multiuse stick thermometer (rectum, mouth, or armpit)  Tympanic thermometer (ear) Temporal artery thermometer (forehead)Tympanic and temporal thermometer (ear and forehead) Infrared non-contact thermometer (forehead)  Though there's plenty of apprehension about no-contact thermometers, a column in Ask a Pediatrician by Dr. Elizabeth Murray, an official spokesperson for the AAP, addresses those concerns directly. Murray says that "the claims about their danger are false … It is the infrared energy coming from the person that is being gathered by the thermometer, not infrared light being projected to the person."All thermometers sold in the United States must meet federal standards and are already calibrated for home use at the time of purchase.  FAQs Which type of thermometer is the most accurate?Dr. John Vann, a pediatrician in Omaha, told Insider that only a rectal temperature offers a true outpatient reading. "Everything else is an estimate," he said."Luckily, the exact number is not usually as important as how the patient looks," he adds. Which is to say, there are other indicators of how severe someone's illness or condition is other than an optimally-accurate temperature reading. There are also reliable methods for checking your temperature even if you don't have access to a thermometer.No matter if you opt for an infrared thermometer or a strictly ear-based model, it's important to know fever isn't the same for everyone and that it varies by age, gender, and time of day, among other variables. Using a thermometer at various times of the day when you're feeling well gives you an idea of what's normal for you, or your baseline temperature. Which is the best thermometer for home use?Among at-home thermometers, medical research hasn't determined an exact correlation between oral, rectal, ear, armpit, and forehead temperature measurements. But Kaiser Permanente notes that an ear (tympanic) temperature is 0.5 to 1 degree higher than an oral temperature and a forehead (temporal) scanner is usually 0.5 to 1 degree lower than an oral temperature. What is the best thermometer to use for COVID?The best thermometer for COVID is really just one that is accurate and reliable. That means any of the thermometers on our list are great for checking for COVID symptoms. That being said, if you're using the thermometer on more than one person, it's best to use a contactless reader to not cross-contaminate. In that case, we highly recommend the iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer PT3 or the Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer with Smart Glow, both of which proved to be accurate and reliable in my tests.Can I use my HSA/FSA funds to buy a thermometer?If you have an HSA or an FSA account, know that over-the-counter digital thermometers are eligible for reimbursement without a prescription. Here's how it works: If you pay with cash or credit card in a store or online, you can request a reimbursement from your HSA/FSA account. Different plans have different requirements on what's needed for reimbursement but usually, a copy of your thermometer receipt will be enough.There are HSA and FSA-specific retailers, like the HSA Store and the FSA Store that make shopping for items that qualify for reimbursement really simple. According to both websites, when shoppers use an HSA or FSA card to pay, they typically don't have to submit receipts; purchases on these websites automatically substantiate. It is worth noting, however, that the thermometer options available on these websites are limited and cost more than other retailers. What counts as a fever?Many Americans think anything over 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit is a problem, but what constitutes a fever is actually different person to person.Rik Heller, a biomedical engineer and thermographic expert, tells Insider, "Age, gender, and even time of day impact normal body temperatures." Some children's temperatures especially run higher than others, points out Dr. Jesse Hackell, a practicing pediatrician with New York-based Pomona Pediatrics. Any reading of 100.4 F or higher in a baby younger than 3 months is reason to call the pediatrician. "Another reason to call is if the fever persists for more than 24 hours in children younger than two and more than three days in a child 2 years of age or older," he said.Meanwhile, older adults tend to have lower baseline temperatures than younger adults; sometimes fevers in the elderly are completely absent.To figure out what's a fever for you, you want to find your baseline temperature (i.e., what's normal for you) by checking your temperature at various times of the day when you are feeling well. At the end of the day, how you or your child is acting and feeling is the best indicator of a fever over the number on a thermometer, multiple of our doctors say. Our expert sources Jesse Hackell MD, FAAP, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Practice and Ambulatory Medicine and a practicing pediatrician with New York-based Pomona Pediatrics, a division of Boston Children's Health PhysiciansJohn Vann, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician at Omaha Children's Clinic in Omaha, NebraskaDr. Jenifer Johnson, a family medicine physician and internist at Westmed Medical Group in Westchester, NYRik Heller, a biomedical engineer and thermographic expert who founded the clinical-grade thermometer company, WelloCindy Mrotek, business owner of ACE Behavior SolutionsAP News. Infrared thermometers used for COVID-19 testing do not pose risk to pineal gland. July 28, 2020Consumer Reports. Thermometer Buying Guide. September 23, 2016NASA. Ingestible Thermometer Pill Helps Athletes Beat the Heat. January 8, 2007EPA. Mercury Thermometers. June 26, 2018CDC. How COVID19 Spreads. October 5, 2020Business Insider. Coronavirus temperature scans are nothing more than pandemic security theater. In some cases, they're dangerous.Mayo Clinic. Thermometers: Understand the options. September 15, 2018HealthyChildren.org. When to Call the Pediatrician: Fever. November 21, 2015HealthyChildren.org. How to Take Your Child's Temperature. October 12, 2020HealthyChildren.org. Are Infrared Thermometers Safe? October 15, 2020New York Times. Can Smart Thermometers Track the Spread of the Coronavirus? March 18, 2020Kaiser Permanente. Fever Temperatures: Accuracy and Comparison. June 26, 2019HSA Store websiteFSA Store website Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 14th, 2021

Meet NTX Inno"s 2021 Fire Award Blazer winners

With mentors, accelerators, angel investors, venture capital, and seemingly no shortage of brilliant founders, North Texas earns its title as a growing hub for tech and innovation. Each year, Inno aims to shine a spotlight on and honor some of the region’s startup and tech companies that have been on a tear in recent months with our Fire Awards. Some have secured large funding rounds and others have emerged from stealth with big plans and lots of traction, while a number have been on a growth….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsOct 14th, 2021

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

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

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 14th, 2021

33 startup companies that are currently hiring remote workers

From meal delivery service Daily Harvest to video-sharing platform Cameo, more companies are offering positions with remote work flexibility. In amidst of The Great Resignation, 33 companies are rising as the top startups to work for remotely Jessie Casson/Getty Images More people are looking for jobs with flexibility to work from home amid the 'Great Resignation.' LinkedIn recently released its 2021 Top Startups list featuring businesses that are hiring remotely. From Daily Harvet to Cameo, here are 33 companies hiring with remote work availability. Looking for a new gig? You're not alone. 55% of us are planning to find a new job this year, according to a recent Bankrate survey, and the phenomenon even has a name: The Great Resignation. One big reason why many employees are looking to make a change is the need for flexibility - both in terms of hours and working location. Remote jobs typically offer both in spades, and who doesn't love being able to put on a load of laundry between conference calls? LinkedIn just released its 2021 Top Startups list, ranking companies that are providing the benefits and perks employees want most now."In addition to remote and hybrid models, many of the companies are supporting their workers with WFH stipends, increased mental health benefits, virtual trainings, and upskilling opportunities to help people succeed in this new normal," said LinkedIn Senior Editor at Large Jessi Hempel. The majority of the startups listed are embracing remote and hybrid roles. Of the 50 startups, 33 are actively hiring remote roles, and some companies have quite a few jobs available. One of them is Gemini, a next-generation cryptocurrency platform currently hiring more than 325 remote roles. "We see hiring remote employees as an opportunity not only to expand our talent pool but also to expand diversity of background in the crypto industry as a whole," said Gemini's Director of Talent Acquisition Jonathan Tamblyn. "By hiring for skills, knowledge, and potential first rather than geography, we are able to hire employees that represent the populations we want to empower through crypto - particularly women and minorities - who have traditionally been underrepresented in the industry."Another company is Gong, a revenue intelligence platform based in Palo Alto, California, that has more than 425 remote roles open now. "Hiring remotely has enabled our team composition to reflect the diversity of our customers and hire in communities where talented residents want more opportunities to shine professionally," said Sandi Kochhar, chief people officer at Gong. Here's a look at all of the companies from the recent LinkedIn Top Startups list that are hiring remote positions. Good luck! You got this! BetterBetter is a fintech company located in New York City aiming to improve the home buying and financing process. Remote jobs available include mortgage underwriter, senior UX writer, and creative designer.GlossierGlossier is a makeup and skincare company based in New York City that was started by beauty editors and is primarily direct-to-consumer but has a growing physical footprint. Remote jobs include lead front end engineer and creative operations project manager.BrexBrex is aiming to be the "all-in-one" finance option for businesses - offering high-limit credit cards, business accounts, a rewards program, expense tracking, and more. Small office hubs are located in San Francisco, New York City, Salt Lake City, and Vancouver, B.C. Remote jobs include art director and manager of social and community support.AttentiveAttentive is a personalized text messaging platform built for innovative e-commerce brands based in New York City. Remote jobs include mid-market sales manager and web marketing manager.OutreachOutreach is an integrated business-to-business platform helping companies drive sales based in Seattle. Remote jobs include corporate counsel, and product and senior email deliverability specialists. GongGong is a revenue intelligence platform based in Palo Alto, with more than 425 active remote roles. Remote jobs include senior user researcher and in-house counsel. MikMakBased in New York City, MikMak is a digital platform for consumer product companies that enables multi-retailer checkout by shoppers and insights solutions to help brands better understand customer behavior. Remote jobs include VP of sales operations and director of product marketing.GravyLocated in Alpharetta, Georgia, Gravy is a "virtual retention" startup helping subscription-based businesses retain their customers through remedying failed payments. Remote jobs include account manager and sales development representative. Daily HarvestDaily Harvest is a plant-based meal delivery service providing a range of smoothies, flatbreads, desserts, snacks, and more through a subscription-based model. (You may have seen their mouthwatering ads on Instagram recently!) The company is based in New York City. Remote jobs include software engineering manager and senior strategic analytics associate. CameoBased in Chicago, Cameo is a video-sharing platform where celebrities and public figures send personalized video messages to fans. Remote jobs include QA automation engineer and lifecycle marketing lead. TherabodyA tech wellness company in Los Angeles, Therabody is best known for the "Theragun," a popular massage-therapy device intended to reduce muscle tension and accelerate recovery. Remote jobs include a quality manager and a copywriter. RampRamp is a corporate credit card company based in New York City that helps business owners save money via expense management, savings opportunities, receipt matching, and other services. Remote jobs include demand generation lead and product and regulatory counsel. GitLabGitLab, a DevOps platform, helps companies deliver software faster and more efficiently from its headquarters in San Francisco. Remote jobs include backend engineering manager, pipeline execution, and senior technical content editor. MedableBased in Palo Alto, Medable is a global platform aiming to get effective therapies to patients quickly, minimizing the need for in-person clinical visits. Remote jobs include HR systems manager and android developer.Guild Education Based out of Denver, Colorado, Guild Education works with employers to help them provide strategic education and upskilling programs for employees. Remote jobs include vice president of operations and technical marketing operations manager. DriftDrift is a conversational marketing platform based in Boston that is designed to enhance the digital buying experience, including features like an AI-powered chatbot and customizable live chat widgets. Remote jobs include onboarding manager and manager of conversation design.RoHeadquartered in New York City, Ro is a health care company that provides virtual primary care services by connecting telehealth, diagnostics, and pharmacy delivery. Remote jobs include associate director of member experience, systems and platforms, and associate manager of offline marketing.BlockFi BlockFi is a financial services company where clients can buy, sell and earn cryptocurrency, based in Jersey City, New Jersey. Remote jobs include manager of retention and loyalty marketing and director of program management. Scale AIScale Al, which is based in San Francisco, is a platform that helps machine learning teams process their data faster and accurately and helps companies supercharge their artificial intelligence efforts. Remote jobs include an IT operations manager.Hawke MediaHawke Media is a marketing consultancy working to grow brands of all sizes, industries, and business models in Santa Monica, California. Remote jobs include content editor, social media, and influencer marketing manager. Boom SupersonicBased in Denver, Boom Supersonic is developing a high-speed airliner built to transport passengers at twice the speed of traditional planes. Remote jobs include senior creative director and recruiter. DutchieFrom Bend, Oregon, dutchie is a technology platform that enables cannabis dispensaries to set up e-commerce operations. Remote jobs include strategic finance associate and manager of database reliability.Lyra HealthLyra Health is an online mental health counseling platform based out of Burlingame, California, that provides therapy and mental health services. Remote jobs include event marketing coordinator and product design manager.GetawayGetaway is a hospitality company in Brooklyn that offers modern cabin rentals that are two hours from major urban centers. Remote jobs include reservations manager and head of growth. Catalyst SoftwareBased out of New York City, Catalyst Software helps sales and customer teams connect the various tools they use into a centralized data-driven view of how a client is doing. Remote jobs include engineering manager on the customer success intelligence team and sales development representative. RubrikRubrik is a cloud-based platform based in Palo Alto that helps companies with data management. Remote jobs include professional services consultants. GeminiGemini is a cryptocurrency exchange in New York City, that enables users to buy, sell and store digital assets. The more than 325 remote jobs available include engineering manager for credit cards, associate director of technical accounting, and senior software engineer. ClickUpClickUp's app combines task management, goal setting, calendars, to-do lists, and an inbox so that teams can be more productive. Headquartered in San Diego, remote jobs include program coaches and professional services consultants. SUPERHUMANSuperhuman, out of San Francisco, wants you to have a better, faster email experience, and they are "re-imagining the inbox" to make it more efficient. Remote jobs include senior mobile engineer and product marketing manager.InnovaccerBased in San Francisco, Innovaccer curates the world's health care information to make it more accessible and useful for providers and organizations. Remote jobs include platform data architect and senior director of healthcare AI.FlowcodeFlowcode allows users to create customized, advanced Quick Response (QR) codes that never expire, making it easier for companies to directly connect their customers to digital resources. Based in New York City, the company is hiring for a remote product analyst.JerryBased in Palo Alto, Jerry helps car owners save money on vehicle insurance. Remote jobs include associate editor and writer/editor.OneTrustHeadquartered in Atlanta and London, OneTrust helps companies manage privacy, security, and governance requirements through its compliance software. Remote jobs include UI architects.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 14th, 2021

The Great New Normal Purge

The Great New Normal Purge Authored by CJ Hopkins via The Consent Factory, So, the Great New Normal Purge has begun … right on cue, right by the numbers. As we “paranoid conspiracy theorists” have been warning would happen for the past 18 months, people who refuse to convert to the new official ideology are now being segregated, stripped of their jobs, banned from attending schools, denied medical treatment, and otherwise persecuted. Relentless official propaganda demonizing “the Unvaccinated” is being pumped out by the corporate and state media, government leaders, health officials, and shrieking fanatics on social media. “The Unvaccinated” are the new official “Untermenschen,” an underclass of subhuman “others” the New Normal masses are being conditioned to hate. You can see the hatred in the New Normals’ eyes … But it isn’t just a purge of “the Unvaccinated.” Anyone deviating from the official ideology is being systematically demonized and persecuted. In Germany, Australia, and other New Normal countries, protesting the New Normal is officially outlawed. The New Normal Gestapo is going around to people’s homes to interrogate them about their anti-New Normal Facebook posts. Corporations are openly censoring content that contradicts the official narrative. New Normal goon squads roam the streets, checking people’s “vaccination” papers. And it’s not just governments and corporations carrying out the New Normal Purge. Friends are purging friends. Wives are purging husbands. Fathers are purging children. Children are purging parents. New Normals are purging old normal thoughts. Global “health authorities” are revising definitions to make them conform to New Normal “science.” And so on … a new official “reality” is being manufactured, right before our eyes. Anything and anyone that doesn’t conform to it is being purged, unpersoned, memory-holed, erased. None of which should come as a surprise. Every nascent totalitarian system, at some stage of its takeover of society, launches a purge of political opponents, ideological dissidents, and other “anti-social deviants.” Such purges can be brief or open-ended, and they can take any number of outward forms, depending on the type of totalitarian system, but you cannot have totalitarianism without them. The essence of totalitarianism — regardless of which costumes and ideology it wears — is a desire to completely control society, every aspect of society, every individual behavior and thought. Every totalitarian system, whether an entire nation, a tiny cult, or any other form of social body, evolves toward this unachievable goal … the total ideological transformation and control of every single element of society (or whatever type of social body it comprises). This fanatical pursuit of total control, absolute ideological uniformity, and the elimination of all dissent, is what makes totalitarianism totalitarianism. Thus, each new totalitarian system, at some point in its evolution, needs to launch a purge of those who refuse to conform to its official ideology. It needs to do this for two basic reasons: (1) to segregate or otherwise eliminate actual political opponents and dissidents who pose a threat to the new regime; and (2) and more importantly, to establish the ideological territory within which the masses must now confine themselves in order to avoid being segregated, or eliminated. The purge must be conducted openly, brutally, so that the masses understand that the rules of society have changed, forever, that their former rights and freedoms are gone, and that from now on any type of resistance or deviation from official ideology will not be tolerated, and will be ruthlessly punished. The purge is usually launched during a “state of emergency,” under imminent threat from some official “enemy” (e.g., “communist infiltrators,” “counter-revolutionaries,” or … you know, a “devastating pandemic”), such that the normal rules of society can be indefinitely suspended “for the sake of survival.” The more terrified the masses can be made, the more willing they will be to surrender their freedom and follow orders, no matter how insane. The lifeblood of totalitarianism is fear … fear of both the system’s official enemy (which is constantly stoked with propaganda) and of the totalitarian system itself. That the brutality of the system is rationalized by the threat posed by the official enemy doesn’t make it any less brutal or terrifying. Under totalitarian systems (of any type or scale) fear is a constant and there is no escape from it. The masses’ fear is then channeled into hatred … hatred of the official “Untermenschen,” whom the system encourages the masses to scapegoat. Thus, the purge is also a means of allowing the masses to purge themselves of their fear, to transform it into self-righteous hatred and unleash it on the “Untermenschen” instead of the totalitarian system, which, obviously, would be suicidal. Every totalitarian system — both the individuals running it and the system, structurally — instinctively understands how all this works. New Normal totalitarianism is no exception. Just reflect on what has happened over the last 18 months. Day after day, month after month, the masses have been subjected to the most destructive psychological-terror campaign in the history of psychological terror. Sadly, many of them have been reduced to paranoid, anus-puckering invalids, afraid of the outdoors, of human contact, afraid of their own children, afraid of the air, morbidly obsessed with disease and death … and consumed with hatred of “the Unvaccinated.” Their hatred, of course, is utterly irrational, the product of fear and propaganda, as hatred of “the Untermenschen” always is. It has absolutely nothing to do with a virus, which even the New Normal authorities admit. “The Unvaccinated” are no more of a threat to anyone than any other human being … except insofar as they threaten the New Normals’ belief in their delusional ideology. No, we are way past rationality at this point. We are witnessing the birth of a new form of totalitarianism. Not “communism.” Not “fascism.” Global-capitalist totalitarianism. Pseudo-medical totalitarianism. Pathologized totalitarianism. A form of totalitarianism without a dictator, without a definable ideology. A totalitarianism based on “science,” on “fact,” on “reality,” which it creates itself. I don’t know about you, but, so far, it has certainly made quite an impression on me. So much so that I have mostly set aside my satirical schtick to try to understand it … what it actually is, why it is happening, why it is happening now, where it is going, and how to oppose it, or at least disrupt it. The way I see it, the next six months will determine how successful the initial stages of the roll-out of this new totalitarianism will be. By April of 2022, either we’ll all be showing our “papers” to the New Normal Gestapo to be able to earn a living, attend a school, dine at a restaurant, travel, and otherwise live our lives, or we will have thrown a monkey wrench into the machinery. I do not expect GloboCap to abandon the roll-out of the New Normal over the longer term — they are clearly committed to implementing it — but we have the power to ruin their opening act (which they’ve been planning and rehearsing for quite some time). So, let’s go ahead and do that, shall we? Before we get purged, or unpersoned, or whatever. I’m not sure, as I haven’t seen a “fact-check” yet, but I believe there are some commercial airline pilots in the USA who are showing us the way. Tyler Durden Thu, 10/14/2021 - 00:05.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 14th, 2021

Check out 21 pitch decks that fintechs looking to disrupt trading, banking, and lending used to raise millions

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

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 13th, 2021

Allscripts (MDRX), CareMetx Tie Up for Better Patient Care

Allscripts' (MDRX) Veradigm enters collaboration with CareMetx to streamline specialty medication management for medical clinics and practices across the nation. Veradigm, a renowned healthcare data and technology solutions provider, and a business unit of Allscripts Healthcare Solutions MDRX, recently entered into a collaboration with CareMetx. Per the terms of the new agreement, CareMetx is expected to combine its solutions and services directly into the Veradigm AccelRx specialty medication platform.For investors’ note, CareMetx is a technology-enabled hub services company committed toward improving patients’ access to specialty medications. The AccelRx platform simplifies the specialty enrollment process for users of Veradigm and other electronic health record (“EHR”) software vendors.With the latest partnership, Allscripts aims to solidify its foothold in the global EHR solutions business. The EHR business is a part of the broader Core Clinical and Financial Solutions reportable segment of the company.Rationale Behind the PartnershipCurrently, patients’ prescriptions have to pass via a broad cross-section of healthcare industry stakeholders before they receive their specialty medication. Per a 2020 survey data on prescribers from Veradigm, it was found that the majority of physicians believe that patient medication adherence would improve if specialty medication prescriptions could be filled more easily and delivered to patients quicker.The agreement is likely to make Veradigm’s AccelRx automated solutions for specialty medication enrollment, among others, available directly to CareMetx clients. This, in turn, is expected to allow users of Veradigm and Allscripts’ EHRs to access CareMetx specialty medication patient access hub services via AccelRx. This combination is expected to lower the time-to-therapy for patients, drive increased adherence to their prescribed care plan and reduce administrative burden on medical practices.Per Veradigm’s management, working with hub services providers like CareMetx can lead to improvements in the specialty medication fulfillment process, and also reduces patient wait times, thereby aiding them to begin their prescribed therapies sooner.Industry ProspectsPer a report by Grand View Research, the global medication management system market was valued at $1.20 billion in 2016 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 20.5% between 2018 and 2025. Factors like growing investments by hospitals to improve workflow, global adoption of IT in the healthcare sector and an increase in focus on reducing medication errors are likely to drive the market.Given the market potential, the latest partnership is expected to significantly boost Allscripts’ business on a global scale.Notable DevelopmentsOf late, Allscripts has witnessed a few notable developments across its businesses.In September, the company partnered with Eastern Health to advance health-care services and programs while maximizing health system efficiencies and general economic development in Newfoundland and Labrador.Allscripts, in August, announced robust second-quarter 2021 results, wherein it registered year-over-year uptick in both the top and bottom lines, along with a surge in total bookings.In June, the company’s Veradigm unit entered into a partnership with PRA Health, now a part of ICON plc ICLR, to create a vast EHR-based clinical research network that covers more than 25,000 physicians and 40 million patients across the United States.Comparison With PeersIn September, Allscripts’ peer NextGen Healthcare, Inc. NXGN announced that its Revenue Cycle Management (“RCM”) Services has been successfully optimized by Coastal Orthopedics (Coastal) for its billing and reporting purposes. The RCM Services is an extension of NextGen’s use of the NextGen Enterprise EHR and NextGen Practice Management solutions.Another renowned name in the healthcare technology space is Change Healthcare Inc. CHNG. The company, in August, introduced its Stratus Imaging PACS — a new comprehensive cloud software-as-a-service solution for radiology practices. Currently, the solution is in beta testing, with the company having plans to extend the same to hospitals in the future. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it's poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks' Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. (MDRX): Free Stock Analysis Report ICON PLC (ICLR): Free Stock Analysis Report NEXTGEN HEALTHCARE, INC (NXGN): Free Stock Analysis Report Change Healthcare Inc. (CHNG): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 13th, 2021

Syneos Health"s (SYNH) New Pact Boosts Tech-Driven Solutions

Syneos Health's (SYNH) recent acquisition boosts the company's ability to deliver strategic insights and technology-enabled solutions that address the customers' most complex data challenges. Syneos Health, Inc. SYNH recently announced the acquisition of RxDataScience – a healthcare-focused data analytics, data management and artificial intelligence (AI) company. The acquisition brings AI and data engineering expertise, enterprise analytics and technology-enabled solutions to Syneos Health’s portfolio. This is expected to boost customer performance.RxDataScience will become part of the Syneos Health Dynamic Assembly network — an open ecosystem of best-quality data and technology collaborators intended to strategically tackle the nuances of unique customer engagements.The recent development is expected to fortify Syneos Health’s Clinical Solutions arm.Few Words on RxDataScienceRxDataScience develops AI and advanced analytics solutions that allow biopharma companies to transform vast volumes of data into strategic, actionable insights. RxDataScience’s product lifecycle solutions comprise scientific computing for R&D, patient journey, decentralized trials, RWE, predictive analytics and commercial market research.RxDataScience is complementary to Kinetic — Syneos Health’s modern customer engagement capability built to tackle business challenges with better precision, efficiency and effectiveness by combining behavioral science, analytics and the newest technologies to provide fully-integrated omnichannel solutions.Strategic ImplicationsPer Syneos Health’s management, the acquisition boosts the company’s ability to deliver strategic insights and technology-enabled solutions that address customers’ most complex data challenges. Combining the company’s end-to-end services and deep behavioral and therapeutic expertise with RxDataScience’s AI and data-science capabilities will generate customer strategies to boost product development.Syneos Health and RxDataScience will jointly provide biopharma customers technology-enabled, insights-powered solutions with the aim of accelerating performance across the product lifecycle from lab to life.RxDataScience acquisition further scales Syneos Health’s data science abilities by adding new capabilities and deep knowledge in data engineering and management that boost the time to commercialization for products and customer performance, with the potential to considerably shorten clinical trials and update medical affairs and commercial programs.Industry ProspectsPer Reports and Data, the global AI in healthcare market was $3.39 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $61.59 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 43.6%. The increase in the inflow of patient-health-related digital data, growing pressure for cutting down healthcare spending, and rising demand for personalized medicine are the factors driving the market.Considering the huge market opportunities, Syneos Health’s efforts to accelerate technology-enabled solutions is well-timed.Syneos Health Developments in Technology-Driven SolutionsIn September 2021, Syneos Health announced the buyout of a leading technology-enabled clinical trial recruitment and retention company – StudyKIK.  The acquisition enhances Syneos Health’s ability to offer technology and insight-driven solutions.During the same month, Syneos Health entered into a new strategic collaboration with Ride Health to provide non-emergency medical transportation to clinical trial participants. The collaboration strengthens Syneos Health’s commitment to offer patient-centric, technology-enabled solutions that enhance the overall experience of clinical trials for sponsors, sites and patients.Developments by Other CompaniesAt present, Syneos Health is facing tough competition in the field of technology-driven solutions from companies like Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. MDRX, Veeva Systems Inc. VEEV and Teladoc Health, Inc. TDOC.In October 2021, Veradigm — a business unit of Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, along with CareMetx, entered into a new agreement to simplify and boost specialty approval medication process. The agreement will empower users of Veradigm and Allscripts electronic health records to access CareMetx’s specialty medication patient access hub services via AccelRx.In September 2021, Veeva Systems entered into a strategic technology partnership with LEO Pharma to enable scalable digital trials that are patient-centric and paperless. Per Veeva Systems’ management, the partnership is intended to help move the industry forward with a scalable digital trials platform that significantly enhances the clinical trial process for patients, sites, and sponsors.In July 2021, Teladoc Health entered into a collaboration with Microsoft, wherein Teladoc Health’s Solo platform for hospitals and health systems were integrated into the Microsoft Teams environment to strengthen physician and patient access to best-quality virtual healthcare. The collaboration will offer a more seamless, unified experience for clinicians and patients that makes healthcare better by leveraging leading data, artificial intelligence and machine-learning expertise. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it's poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks' Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. (MDRX): Free Stock Analysis Report Veeva Systems Inc. (VEEV): Free Stock Analysis Report Teladoc Health, Inc. (TDOC): Free Stock Analysis Report Syneos Health, Inc. (SYNH): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 13th, 2021

6 analog astronauts are camping out in the Israeli desert for a month to simulate life on Mars

The experiment in Israel is meant to help scientists learn how to avoid mistakes that could endanger astronauts during a Mars mission. Analog astronauts from a European and Israeli team walk in spacesuits during a training mission at the Ramon Crater in Israel's southern Negev desert on October 10, 2021. Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images In Israel, six analog astronauts are living and working in a small structure to simulate life on Mars. The month-long mission aims to help scientists learn how to avoid mistakes that would endanger real astronauts. Scientists are monitoring the group for signs of poor mental and physical health. Mars poses all sorts of danger to humans: radiation exposure, below-freezing temperatures, and a thin atmosphere with only traces of oxygen. If astronauts eventually visit the planet, any mistakes in the mission plan could be fatal.So scientists are conducting simulations on Earth to better anticipate what could go wrong.For nearly all of October, six analog astronauts - the term for people who help simulate life on other planets - are living in a small base camp and carrying out experiments in Israel's Negev Desert. The red dirt and rocky terrain closely resemble the Martian landscape, but temperatures are far more palatable: around 25 to 30 degrees Celsius (77 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit). That's compared to -81 degrees Fahrenheit, on average, on the red planet.The group's living quarters, a 1,300-square-foot, solar-powered structure, also serve as their laboratory. Inside, the analog astronauts sleep in bunk beds and have access to a small kitchen. If they venture out, they must wear mock spacesuits.The project, called AMADEE-20, is a joint effort between the Austrian Space Forum, Israel Space Agency, and local Israeli research center D-MARS. It was originally scheduled to take place in 2020 but got postponed due to the pandemic.The analog astronauts, along with a team of engineers and scientists, will conduct more than 20 experiments in total. Since no human has ever been to the specific site they're studying, the team will observe whether bacteria from their bodies and equipment contaminates local microbes - a sign that it might do the same to potential life forms on Mars. They'll also test new technology like self-navigating drones and wind- and solar-powered vehicles that map the desert terrain. An analog astronaut in a spacesuit holds a quadcopter drone on October 10, 2021. Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images "We have the motto of fail fast, fail cheap, and have a steep learning curve," Gernot Groemer, director of the Austrian Space Forum, told Reuters. "Because for every mistake we make here on Earth, we hope we don't repeat it on Mars."Scientists are monitoring how the astronauts live and work in close quartersThe six analog astronauts (five men and one woman) hail from different countries: Austria, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. Their mission began on October 4 and lasts until October 31. An aerial view of a habitat where astronauts are participating in a Mars training mission in Israel's Negev desert. Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images The participants all had to pass tests that proved their mental and physical fitness to be chosen for the simulation. But that doesn't mean the experiment will be easy. Just the equipment they wear outside weighs around 110 pounds. The suits are equipped with cameras, microphones, and individual breathing systems.What's more, a key part of the mission is to observe how the astronauts handle living and working together in cramped conditions. A scientist works at the AMADEE-20 facility near Mitzpe Ramon, Israel, on October 10, 2021. Amir Cohen/Reuters Scientists are watching the analog astronauts on camera to see how they assess risks, address stress, and collaborate as a team. They're also monitoring the astronauts' vital signs and bowel movements for indicators of poor health. In addition, the astronauts are asked to fill out weekly questionnaires that gauge their levels of anxiety and depression."The group's cohesion and their ability to work together are crucial for surviving on Mars," Groemer told Agence France-Presse. "It's like a marriage, except in a marriage you can leave, but on Mars you can't." Scientists stand together at the AMADEE-20 facility on October 10, 2021. Amir Cohen/Reuters NASA hopes to send humans to Mars in the 2030sAMADEE-20 isn't the first attempt to mimic a human mission to Mars on Earth. NASA has been conducting studies in its own simulated Mars habitat in Hawaii, the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, since 2013. The Austrian Space Forum has also led 12 other Mars simulations in locations including Morocco, Spain, Oman, and Utah. "I believe the very first human to walk on Mars is already born and we are the ship-builders to enable this journey," Groemer told AFP. The base camp at the AMADEE-20 Martian simulation. OeWF/Florian Voggeneder NASA hopes to launch its first human mission to Mars in the 2030s.Earlier this year, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk suggested that his company could get there sooner, landing a crewed spaceship on Mars as early as 2026. But many scientists have questioned whether that timeline is realistic.At the moment, the most advanced mission to Mars is that of NASA's Perseverance rover, which is scouring the red planet for signs of ancient alien life. Analog astronauts walk across the Negev desert. OeWF/FlorianVoggeneder Perseverance is also testing out samples of spacesuit material to see how they hold up against Mars' radiation and dust.Additionally, the rover is equipped with an experimental device that takes in carbon dioxide, splits the molecules into oxygen and carbon monoxide, then spits out breathable oxygen. In April, it successfully produced oxygen from the Martian atmosphere - though only enough to help an astronaut breathe for 10 minutes (about 5 grams). A full year on Mars would likely require about 1 metric ton of oxygen (2,200 pounds) to sustain four astronauts, according to NASA.Of course, even if humans could survive on the Martian surface, transporting them there and back would be an immense challenge. The one-way journey takes about seven months, since Earth and Mars are roughly 300 million miles apart. The farthest humans have traveled in space is nearly 249,000 miles more than five decades ago.Plus, no robot we've ever sent to Mars has returned to Earth. Scientists are still working to develop technology that could make that feat possible.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 13th, 2021

Futures Rebound From Overnight Slide As Oil Keeps Rising

Futures Rebound From Overnight Slide As Oil Keeps Rising US equity-index futures erased earlier declines, rebounding from a loss of as much as 0.8% helped by the start of the European session and easing mounting concerns about stagflation from rising energy prices, signs of widening regulatory scrutiny by China, and the upcoming third-quarter earnings which is expected to post a sharply slower pace of growth and beats than recent record quarters. At 730am ET, Dow e-minis were up 5 points, or 0.1%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 7.25 points, or 0.16%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 46.75points, or 0.31%. Oiil rose 0.3% to $83.86/bbl while the dollar dipped and 10Y yield drifted back under 1.60%. Gains in tech stocks kept Nasdaq futures afloat on Tuesday, while energy names rose as Brent resumed gains, trading around $84/bbl on expectations that a power crisis from Asia to Europe will lift demand and tighten global balances. Higher oil prices and supply chain disruptions have set off alarm bells for businesses and consumers ahead of the third-quarter reporting season that kicks off on Wednesday with JPMorgan results.  "We believe that market participants could stay concerned over high energy prices translating into further acceleration in inflation, and thereby faster tightening by major central banks," said Charalambos Pissouros, head of research at JFD Group. In the pre-market, Tesla rose 0.7% after data showed the electric vehicle maker sold 56,006 China-made vehicles in September, the highest since it started production in Shanghai about two years ago. Oil firms including Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp gained 0.1% and 0.3%, respectively, as Brent crude hit a near-three year high on energy crunch fears. Here are the notable movers: China’s Internet sector is one of the “most undervalued” in Morningstar’s coverage, says Ivan Su, an analyst, adding that Tencent (TCEHY US) and Netease (NTES US) are top picks MGM Resorts (MGM US) rises 2% in U.S. premarket trading after stock was upgraded to outperform from neutral and price target more than doubled to a Street-high $68 at Credit Suisse Quanterix (QTRX US) jumped 20% in Monday postmarket trading after the digital-health company announced that its Simoa phospho-Tau 181 blood test has been granted breakthrough device designation by the U.S. FDA as an aid in diagnostic evaluation of Alzheimer’s disease Relay Therapeutics (RLAY US) fell 7% in Monday postmarket trading after launching a $350 million share sale via Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Cowen, Guggenheim Securities Westwater Resources (WWR US) rose as much as 26% in Monday postmarket trading after its board of directors approved construction of the first phase of a production facility in Alabama for battery ready graphite products TechnipFMC (FTI US) in focus after co. was awarded a substantial long-term charter and services contract by Petrobras for the pipelay support vessel Coral do Atlântico Fastenal, which was one of the first companies to report Q3 earnings, saw its shares fall 2.4% in premarket trading on Tuesday, after the industrial distributor said the Covid-related boost was fading. The company said growth in the quarter was slightly limited by either slower expansion or contraction in sales of certain products related to the pandemic, when compared to the previous year quarter. While there was an uptick in sales of certain Covid-related supplies, the unit price of many products was down significantly, the company said in a statement.  Third-quarter sales and profit were in line with the average analyst estimate "While investors want to believe the narrative that stock markets can continue to move higher, this belief is bumping up against the reality of how the continued rise in energy prices, as well as supply-chain pressures, are likely to impact company profit margins,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in London. In Europe, losses led by basic resources companies and carmakers outweighed gains for utilities and tech stocks, pulling the Stoxx Europe 600 Index down 0.1%. Metals miner Rio Tinto was among the worst performers, dropping 2.7%. European equities climbed off the lows having lost over 1% in early trade. Euro Stoxx 600 was down -0.35% after dropping as much as 1.3% initially, led by basic resources companies and carmakers outweighed gains for utilities and tech stocks. The DAX is off 0.3%, FTSE 100 underperforms in a quiet morning for news flow. Miners, banks and autos are the weakest sectors after China reported a sharp drop in auto sales; utilities, tech and real estate post modest gains. European tech stocks slide, with the Stoxx Tech Index dropping as much as 1.4% in third straight decline, as another broker downgrades TeamViewer, while Prosus and chip stocks come under pressure. TeamViewer shares fall as much as 5.1% after Deutsche Bank downgrades the remote software maker to hold from buy following recent guidance cut. Asian stocks fell, halting a three-day rally as uncertainty over earnings deepened amid elevated inflation, higher bond yields and the risk of a widening Chinese crackdown on private industry. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid as much as 1.2%, led by technology and communication shares. Alibaba plunged 3.9% following a rally over the past week, while Samsung Electronics tumbled to a 10-month low after at least five brokers slashed their price targets, as China’s power crisis is seen worsening supply-chain disruptions. “Given the run-up in tech so far, it’s not difficult for investors to harvest profits first before figuring out if techs can maintain their growth when yields rise,” said Justin Tang, head of Asian research at United First Partners. Shares in Hong Kong and the mainland were among the worst performers after Chinese authorities kicked off an inspection of the nation’s financial regulators and biggest state-run banks in an effort to root out corruption. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index is down 12% from a February peak, with a global energy crunch lifting input prices and the debt crisis at China Evergrande Group weighing on the financial sector. Investors are waiting to see how this impacts earnings, according to Jun Rong Yeap, a market strategist at IG Asia.  “Increasing concerns on inflation potentially being more persistent have started to show up,” he said. “This comes along with the global risk-off mood overnight, as investors look for greater clarity from the earnings season on how margins are holding up, along with the corporate economic outlook.” Japan’s Topix index also fell, halting a two-day rally, amid concerns about a global energy crunch and the possibility of a widening Chinese crackdown on private industry. The Topix fell 0.7% to 1,982.68 at the 3 p.m. close in Tokyo, while the Nikkei 225 declined 0.9% to 28,230.61. SoftBank Group Corp. contributed the most to the Topix’s drop, decreasing 2.4%. Out of 2,181 shares in the index, 373 rose and 1,743 fell, while 65 were unchanged. “Market conditions were improving yesterday, but pushing for higher prices got tough when the Nikkei 225 approached its key moving averages,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.  The Nikkei’s 75-day moving average is about 28,500 and the 200-day moving average is about 28,700, so some investors were taking profits, he said. Japan’s spot power price increased to the highest level in nine months, as the global energy crisis intensifies competition for generation fuel before the winter heating season. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index reversed an overnight gain as the greenback slipped against all of its Group-of-10 peers. Risk sensitive Scandinavian currencies led gains, followed by the New Zealand and Australian dollars. The pound was little changed while speculators ramped up wagers on sterling’s decline at the fastest rate in more than two years, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show, further breaking the link between anticipated rate increases and currency gains. The yen steadied after three days of declines. The Turkish lira extended its slide to a record low after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hinted at a possible military offensive into neighboring Syria. Fixed-income was quiet by recent standards: Treasury futures were off lows of the day, improving as S&P 500 futures pare losses during European morning, and as cash trading resumed after Monday’s holiday. The 10Y yield dipped from 1.61% to 1.59% after hitting 1.65% based on futures pricing on Monday, but the big mover was on the front end, where 2-year yields climbed as much as 4bps to 0.35% the highest level since March 2020 reflecting increased expectations for Fed rate hikes, as Treasury cash trading resumed globally. Two coupon auctions during U.S. session -- of 3-and 10-year notes -- may weigh on Treasuries however.  Treasury and gilt curves bull-flatten with gilts outperforming at the back end. Bunds have a bull-steepening bias but ranges are narrow. Peripheral spreads tighten a touch with long-end Italy outperforming peers. In commodities, Crude futures drift higher in muted trade. WTI is up 0.25% near $80.70, Brent trades just shy of a $84-handle. Spot gold remains range-bound near $1,760/oz. Base metals are mixed with LME lead and nickel holding small gains, copper and aluminum in the red. Looking at the day ahead, central bank speakers include the Fed’s Vice Chair Clarida,Bostic and Barkin, as well as theECB’s President Lagarde, Makhlouf, Knot, Villeroy, Lane and Elderson. Data highlights from the US include the JOLTS job openings for August, and the NFIB’s small business optimism index for September which came in at 99.1, below last month's 100.1. The IMF will be releasing their latest World Economic Outlook. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 4,351.50 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.6% to 454.90 MXAP down 0.9% to 194.41 MXAPJ down 1.0% to 635.42 Nikkei down 0.9% to 28,230.61 Topix down 0.7% to 1,982.68 Hang Seng Index down 1.4% to 24,962.59 Shanghai Composite down 1.2% to 3,546.94 Sensex little changed at 60,149.85 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.3% to 7,280.73 Kospi down 1.4% to 2,916.38 German 10Y yield fell 6 bps to -0.113% Euro up 0.1% to $1.1565 Brent Futures up 0.4% to $84.01/bbl Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,757.84 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 94.29 Top Overnight Headlines from Bloomberg The EU drew record demand for its debut green bond, in the sector’s biggest-ever offering. The bloc registered more than 135 billion euros ($156 billion) in orders Tuesday for a sale of 12 billion euros of securities maturing in 2037 Investors are dumping negative-yielding debt at the fastest pace since February as concerns about inflation and reduced central bank stimulus propel global interest rates higher French President Emmanuel Macron unveiled a 30-billion-euro ($35 billion) plan to create the high-tech champions of the future and reverse years of industrial decline in the euro area’s second-largest economy British companies pushed the number of workers on payrolls above pre-coronavirus levels last month, an indication of strength in the labor market that may embolden the Bank of England to raise interest rates. As the Biden administration and governments around the world celebrate another advance toward an historic global tax accord, an obscure legal question in the U.S. threatens to tear it apart Chinese property developers are suffering credit rating downgrades at the fastest pace in five years, as a recent slump in new-home sales adds to concerns about the sector’s debt woes German investor confidence declined for a fifth month in October, adding to evidence that global supply bottlenecks and a surge in inflation are weighing on the recovery in Europe’s largest economy Social Democrat Olaf Scholz’s bid to succeed Angela Merkel as German chancellor is running into its first test as tensions emerge in talks to bridge policy differences with the Greens and pro-business Free Democrats A more detailed breakdown of global markets from Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded mostly lower following the indecisive mood stateside where the major indices gave back initial gains to finish negative amid lingering inflation and global slowdown concerns, with sentiment overnight also hampered by tighter Beijing scrutiny and with US equity futures extending on losses in which the Emini S&P retreated beneath its 100DMA. ASX 200 (-0.3%) was subdued as weakness in energy, tech and financials led the declines in Australia and with participants also digesting mixed NAB business survey data. Nikkei 225 (-0.9%) was on the backfoot after the Japan Center for Economic Research noted that GDP contracted 0.9% M/M in August and with retailers pressured after soft September sales updates from Lawson and Seven & I Holdings, while the KOSPI (-1.4%) was the laggard on return from holiday with chipmakers Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix subdued as they face new international taxation rules following the recent global minimum tax deal. Hang Seng (-1.4%) and Shanghai Comp. (-1.3%) adhered to the downbeat picture following a continued liquidity drain by the PBoC and with Beijing scrutinising Chinese financial institutions’ ties with private firms, while default concerns lingered after Evergrande missed yesterday’s payments and with Modern Land China seeking a debt extension on a USD 250mln bond to avoid any potential default. Finally, 10yr JGBs eked minimal gains amid the weakness in stocks but with demand for bonds limited after the recent subdued trade in T-note futures owing to yesterday’s cash bond market closure and following softer results across all metrics in the 30yr JGB auction. Top Asian News Alibaba Stock Revival Halted on Concerns of Rising Bond Yields Iron Ore Rally Pauses as China Steel Curbs Cloud Demand Outlook China’s Star Board Sees Rough Start to Fourth Quarter: ECM Watch Citi Lists Top Global Stock Picks for ‘Disruptive Innovations’ European bourses kicked the day off choppy but have since drifted higher (Euro Stoxx 50 -0.4%; Stoxx 600 Unch) as the region remains on standby for the next catalyst, and as US earnings season officially kicks off tomorrow – not to mention the US and Chinese inflation metrics and FOMC minutes. US equity futures have also nursed earlier losses and reside in relatively flat territory at the time of writing, with broad-based performance seen in the ES (Unch), NQ (+0.2%), RTY (-0.2%), YM (Unch). From a technical standpoint, some of the Dec contracts are now hovering around their respective 100 DMAs at 4,346 for the ES, 14,744 for the NQ, whilst the RTY sees its 200 DMA at 2,215, and the YM topped its 21 DMA at 34,321. Back to Europe, cash markets see broad-based downside with the SMI (-0.1%) slightly more cushioned amid gains in heavyweight Nestle (+0.6%). Sectors kicked off the day with a defensive bias but have since seen a slight reconfiguration, with Real Estate now the top performer alongside Food & Beverages, Tech and Healthcare. On the flip side, Basic Resources holds its position as the laggard following yesterday's marked outperformance and despite base metals (ex-iron) holding onto yesterday's gains. Autos also reside at the bottom of the bunch despite constructive commentary from China's Auto Industry Body CAAM, who suggested the chip supply shortage eased in China in September and expected Q4 to improve, whilst sources suggested Toyota aims to make up some lost production as supplies rebound. In terms of individual movers, GSK (+2.3%) shares spiked higher amid reports that its USD 54bln consumer unit has reportedly attracted buyout interest, according to sources, in turn lifting the FTSE 100 Dec future by 14 points in the immediacy. Elsewhere, easyJet (-1.9%) gave up its earlier gains after refraining on guidance, and despite an overall constructive trading update whereby the Co. sees positive momentum carried into FY22, with H1 bookings double those in the same period last year. Co. expects to fly up to 70% of FY19 planned capacity in FY22. In terms of commentary, the session saw the Germany ZEW release, which saw sentiment among experts deteriorate, citing the persisting supply bottlenecks for raw materials and intermediate products. The release also noted that 49.1% of expects still expect inflation to rise further in the next six months. Heading into earnings season, experts also expect profits to go down, particularly in export-tilted sectors such a car making, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. State-side, sources suggested that EU antitrust regulators are reportedly likely to open an investigation into Nvidia's (+0.6% Pre-Mkt) USD 54bln bid from Arm as concessions were not deemed sufficient. Top European News Soybeans Near 10-Month Low as Supply Outlook Expected to Improve EasyJet Boosts Capacity as Travel Rebound Gathers Pace Currency Traders Are Betting the BOE Is About to Make a Mistake Citi Lists Top Global Stock Picks for ‘Disruptive Innovations’ In FX, the Buck has reclaimed a bit more lost ground in consolidatory trade rather than any real sign of a change in fundamentals following Monday’s semi US market holiday for Columbus Day and ahead of another fairly light data slate comprising NFIB business optimism and JOLTS. However, supply awaits the return of cash Treasuries in the form of Usd 58 bn 3 year and Usd 38 bn 10 year notes and Fed commentary picks up pace on the eve of FOMC minutes with no less than five officials scheduled to speak. Meanwhile, broad risk sentiment has taken a knock in wake of a late swoon on Wall Street to give the Greenback and underlying bid and nudge the index up to fresh post-NFP highs within a 94.226-433 band. NZD/AUD - A slight change in fortunes down under as the Kiwi derives some comfort from the fact that the Aud/Nzd has not breached 1.0600 to the upside and Nzd/Usd maintaining 0.6950+ status irrespective of mixed NZ electric card sales data, while the Aussie takes on board contrasting NAB business conditions and confidence readings in advance of consumer sentiment, with Aud/Usd rotating either side of 0.7350. EUR/CAD/GBP/CHF/JPY - All rangy and marginally mixed against their US counterpart, as the Euro straddles 1.1560, the Loonie meanders between 1.2499-62 with less fuel from flat-lining crude and the Pound tries to keep sight of 1.3600 amidst corrective moves in Eur/Gbp following a rebound through 0.8500 after somewhat inconclusive UK labour and earnings data, but hardly a wince from the single currency even though Germany’s ZEW survey missed consensus and the institute delivered a downbeat assessment of the outlook for the coming 6 months. Elsewhere, the Franc continues to hold within rough 0.9250-90 extremes and the Yen is striving to nurse outsize losses between 113.00-50 parameters, with some attention to 1 bn option expiries from 113.20-25 for the NY cut. Note also, decent expiry interest in Eur/Usd and Usd/Cad today, but not as close to current spot levels (at the 1.1615 strike in 1.4 bn and between 1.2490-1.2505 in 1.1 bn respectively). SCANDI/EM - The Nok and Sek have bounced from lows vs the Eur, and the latter perhaps taking heed of a decline in Sweden’s registered jobless rate, but the Cnh and Cny remain off recent highs against the backdrop of more Chinese regulatory rigour, this time targeting state banks and financial institutions with connections to big private sector entities and the Try has thrown in the towel in terms of its fight to fend off approaches towards 9.0000 vs the Usd. The final straw for the Lira appeared to be geopolitical, as Turkish President Erdogan said they will take the necessary steps in Syria and are determined to eliminate threats, adding that Turkey has lost its patience on the attacks coming from Syrian Kurdish YPG controlled areas. Furthermore, he stated there is a Tal Rifaat pocket controlled by YPG below Afrin and that an operation could target that area which is under Russian protection. However, Usd/Try is off a new ATH circa 9.0370 as oil comes off the boil and ip came in above forecast. In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures are choppy and trade on either side of the flat mark in what is seemingly some consolidation and amid a distinct lack of catalysts to firmly dictate price action. The complex saw downticks heading into the European cash open in tandem with the overall market sentiment at the time, albeit the crude complex has since recovered off worst levels. News flow for the complex has also remained minimal as eyes now turn to any potential intervention by major economies in a bid to stem the pass-through of energy prices to consumers heading into winter. On that note, UK nat gas futures have been stable on the day but still north of GBP 2/Thm. Looking ahead, the weekly Private Inventory data has been pushed back to tomorrow on account of yesterday's Columbus Day holiday. Tomorrow will also see the release of the OPEC MOMR and EIA STEO. Focus on the former will be on any updates to its demand forecast, whilst commentary surrounding US shale could be interesting as it'll give an insight into OPEC's thinking on the threat of Shale under President Biden's "build back better" plan. Brent Dec trades on either side of USD 84/bbl (vs prev. 83.13-84.14 range) whilst WTI trades just under USD 81/bbl after earlier testing USD 80/bbl to the downside (USD 80-80.91/bbl range). Over to metals, spot gold and silver hold onto modest gains with not much to in the way of interesting price action, with the former within its overnight range above USD 1,750/oz and the latter still north of USD 22.50/oz after failing to breach the level to the downside in European hours thus far. In terms of base metals, LME copper is holding onto most of yesterday's gains, but the USD 9,500/t mark seems to be formidable resistance. Finally, Dalian and Singapore iron ore futures retreated after a four-day rally, with traders citing China's steel production regaining focus. US Event Calendar 6am: Sept. SMALL BUSINESS OPTIMISM 99.1,  est. 99.5, prior 100.1 10am: Aug. JOLTs Job Openings, est. 11m, prior 10.9m 11:15am: Fed’s Clarida Speaks at IIF Annual Meeting 12:30pm: Fed’s Bostic Speaks on Inflation at Peterson Institute 6pm: Fed’s Barkin Interviewed for an NPR Podcast DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap It’s my wife’s birthday today and the big treat is James Bond tomorrow night. However, I was really struggling to work out what to buy her. After 11.5 years together, I ran out of original ideas at about year three and have then scrambled round every year in an attempt to be innovative. Previous innovations have seen mixed success with the best example being the nearly-to-scale oil portrait I got commissioned of both of us from our wedding day. She had no idea and hated it at the closed eyes big reveal. It now hangs proudly in our entrance hall though. Today I’ve bought her a lower key gamble. Some of you might know that there is a US website called Cameo that you can pay famous people to record a video message for someone for a hefty fee. Well, all her childhood heroes on it were seemingly too expensive or not there. Then I saw that the most famous gymnast of all time, Nadia Comăneci, was available for a reasonable price. My wife idolised her as a kid (I think). So after this goes to press, I’m going to wake my wife up with a personalised video message from Nadia wishing her a happy birthday, saying she’s my perfect ten, and praising her for encouraging our three children to do gymnastics and telling her to keep strong while I try to get them to play golf instead. I’m not sure if this is a totally naff gift or inspired. When I purchased it I thought the latter but now I’m worried it’s the former! My guess is she says it’s naff, appreciates the gesture, but calls me out for the lack of chocolates. Maybe in this day and age a barrel of oil or a tank of petrol would have been the most valuable birthday present. With investor anticipation continuing to build ahead of tomorrow’s CPI release from the US, yesterday saw yet another round of commodity price rises that’s making it increasingly difficult for central banks to argue that inflation is in fact proving transitory. You don’t have to be too old to remember that back in the summer, those making the transitory argument cited goods like lumber as an example of how prices would begin to fall back again as the economy reopened. But not only have commodity aggregates continued to hit fresh highs since then, but lumber (+5.49%) itself followed up last week’s gains to hit its highest level in 3 months. Looking at those moves yesterday, it was a pretty broad-based advance across the commodity sphere, with big rises among energy and metals prices in particular. Oil saw fresh advances, with WTI (+1.47%) closing above $80/bbl for the first time since 2014, whilst Brent Crude (+1.53%) closed above $83/bbl for the first time since 2018. Meanwhile, Chinese coal futures (+8.00%) hit a record after the flooding in Shanxi province that we mentioned in yesterday’s edition, which has closed 60 of the 682 mines there, and this morning they’re already up another +6.41%. So far this year, the region has produced 30% of China’s coal supply, which gives you an idea as to its importance. And when it came to metals, aluminium prices (+3.30%) on the London Metal Exchange rose to their highest level since the global financial crisis, whilst Iron Ore futures in Singapore jumped +7.01% on Monday, and copper was also up +2.13%. The one respite on the inflation front was a further decline in natural gas prices, however, with the benchmark European future down -2.73%; thus bringing its declines to over -47% since the intraday high that was hit only last Wednesday. With commodity prices seeing another spike and inflation concerns resurfacing, this proved bad news for sovereign bonds as investors moved to price in a more hawkish central bank reaction. Yields in Europe rose across the continent, with those on 10yr bunds up +3.0bps to 0.12%, their highest level since May. The rise was driven by both higher inflation breakevens and real rates, and leaves bund yields just shy of their recent post-pandemic closing peak of -0.10% from mid-May. If they manage to surpass that point, that’ll leave them closer to positive territory than at any point since Q2 2019 when they last turned negative again. It was a similar story elsewhere, with 10yr yields on OATs (+2.6bps), BTPs (+3.9bps) and gilts (+3.1bps) likewise reaching their highest level in months. The sell-off occurred as money markets moved to price in further rate hikes from central banks, with investors now expecting a full 25 basis point hike from the Fed by the end of Q3 2022. It seems like another era, but at the start of this year before the Georgia Senate race, investors weren’t even pricing in a full hike by the end of 2023, whereas they’re now pricing in almost 4. So we’ve come a long way over 2021, though pre-Georgia the consensus CPI forecast on Bloomberg was just 2.0%, whereas it now stands at 4.3%, so it does fit with the story of much stronger-than-expected inflation inducing a hawkish response. Yesterday’s repricing came alongside a pretty minimal -0.15% move in the Euro versus the dollar, but that was because Europe was also seeing a similar rates repricing. Meanwhile, the UK saw its own ramping up of rate hike expectations, with investors pricing in at least an initial 15bps hike to 0.25% happening by the December meeting in just two months’ time. Overnight in Asia, stocks are trading in the red with the KOSPI (-1.46%), Shanghai Composite (-1.21%), Hang Seng (-1.20%), the Nikkei (-0.93%) and CSI (-0.82%) all trading lower on inflation concerns due to high energy costs and aggravated by a Wall Street Journal story that Chinese President Xi Jinping is increasing scrutiny of state-run banks and big financial institutions with inspections. Furthermore, there were signs of a worsening in the Evergrande debt situation, with the firm missing coupon payments on a 9.5% note due in 2022 and a 10% bond due in 2023. And there were fresh indications of a worsening situation more broadly, with Sinic Holdings Group Co. saying it doesn’t expect to pay the principal or interest on a $250m bond due on October 18. Separately in Japan, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday that he will raise pay for public workers and boost tax breaks to firms that boost wages to try and improve the country’s wealth distribution. Back to yesterday, and the commodity rally similarly weighed on thin-volume equity markets, though it took some time as the S&P 500 had initially climbed around +0.5% before paring back those gains to close down -0.69%. Before the late US sell-off, European indices were subdued, but the STOXX 600 still rose +0.05%, thanks to an outperformance from the energy sector (+1.49%), and the STOXX Banks Index (+0.13%) hit a fresh two-year high as the sector was supported by a further rise in yields. On the central bank theme, we heard from the ECB’s chief economist, Philip Lane, at a conference yesterday, where he said that “a one-off shift in the level of wages as part of the adjustment to a transitory unexpected increase in the price level does not imply a trend shift in the path of underlying inflation.” So clearly making a distinction between a more persistent pattern of wage inflation, which comes as the ECB’s recent forward guidance commits them to not hiking rates “until it sees inflation reaching two per cent well ahead of the end of its projection horizon and durably for the rest of the projection horizon”, as well as having confidence that “realised progress in underlying inflation is sufficiently advanced to be consistent with inflation stabilising at two per cent over the medium term”. Turning to the political scene, Brexit is likely to be in the headlines again today as the UK’s Brexit negotiator David Frost gives a speech in Lisbon where he’s expected to warn that the EU’s proposals on the Northern Ireland Protocol are insufficient. That comes ahead of a new set of proposals that are set to come from the EU tomorrow, with the two sides disagreeing on the extent of border controls required on trade from Northern Ireland with the rest of the UK. Those controls were put in place as part of the Brexit deal to prevent a hard border being put up between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, whilst also preserving the integrity of the EU’s single market. But the UK’s demands for adjustments have been met with opposition by the EU, and speculation has risen that the UK could trigger Article 16, which allows either side to take unilateral safeguard measures, if the protocol’s application “leads to serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties that are liable to persist, or to diversion of trade”. On the data front, there wasn’t much data to speak of with the US holiday, but Italy’s industrial production contracted by -0.2% in August, in line with expectations. To the day ahead now, andcentral bank speakers include the Fed’s Vice Chair Clarida,Bostic and Barkin, as well as theECB’s President Lagarde, Makhlouf, Knot, Villeroy, Lane and Elderson. Data highlights from the US include the JOLTS job openings for August, and the NFIB’s small business optimism index for September. In Europe, there’s also UK unemployment for August and the German ZEW Survey for October. Lastly, the IMF will be releasing their latest World Economic Outlook.     Tyler Durden Tue, 10/12/2021 - 07:56.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 12th, 2021

Live Free Or Die: Why Medical Autonomy Matters

Live Free Or Die: Why Medical Autonomy Matters Authored by Frank Miele via RealClearPolitics.com, Because I have not been vaccinated against COVID-19, I have been labeled everything from an anti-science Luddite to a domestic terrorist. If I lived in almost any other state than Montana, I might be denied basic human services such as health care, refused employment, or told I can’t shop at a store for such fundamental necessities as food. The powers that be in government, media and medicine have decreed me to be an undesirable and they want to force me and millions like me to be vaccinated against our will. They say that I am a danger to society, never for a minute realizing that they represent a much greater threat to society — the threat of totalitarianism, the state against the individual. George Orwell might just as well have never written “Nineteen Eighty-Four.” The Greatest Generation might as well have never defeated the Nazis. Ronald Reagan may as well have never defeated the Evil Empire of Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. What’s the point if I have to surrender my dignity and willpower to the bureaucrats and technocrats and let them stick a needle in my arm to mark me just as a rancher would brand his cattle: owned. Oh, wait — I’m supposed to surrender for the greater good. I’m supposed to give up my ability to govern my own body because the people who are already vaccinated are still terrified of the virus that the vaccination supposedly protects them against. Something doesn’t add up, and until I feel comfortable with taking the vaccine, you can count me out. No, I’m not an anti-vaxxer. I’ve never had any problem with vaccines before. From the time I was a child growing up in the early 1960s, I understood that vaccines were to protect me — and society — from deadly illnesses. That’s not an exaggeration. Smallpox was fatal in up to 30% of cases, and even if you survived, you paid a price. One of my teachers bore the awful scars of smallpox on his face, and no one wanted to suffer as he had. Every kid in school also knew that if you had a run-in with a rusty nail, you ran the risk of being infected with tetanus, which went by the even scarier name of lockjaw. Then there were German measles, diphtheria and whooping cough. We kids may not have known much about those, but our parents sure did, and they could tell stories about cousins, siblings or friends who had perished from them. I never got measles because I was vaccinated at a young age, but it was a common problem in lower-income families such as mine, and was something you definitely didn’t joke about. I think vaccines have done the world a world of good. I remember getting my smallpox vaccine and waiting eagerly to get the scar on my arm that my mother’s arm showed off like a badge of courage, but it never appeared for me. Then when the oral polio vaccine was developed, I remember lining up in the gym at North Garnerville Elementary School in New York to get my first dose on a sugar cube. Yum. So yes, I’m pro-vaccine. I also generally get the flu vaccine every year. I even got a shot last year, although for some peculiar reason, influenza vanished last winter while COVID was enjoying its greatest reign of terror. And naturally, my three children have all been vaccinated against the usual childhood diseases and taken whatever was recommended to keep them safe. But one thing I never thought of doing was forcing my neighbors to get vaccinated against the flu. Did you know that influenza kills as many as 50,000 Americans a year? That’s approaching the number of U.S. soldiers killed in the entire length of the Vietnam War. On average, flu kills as many Americans every year as car crashes. Yet did anyone — even St. Anthony Fauci — ever dare to suggest that vaccination for flu should be mandatory because it would save lives? Hell, no, and even though many vaccinations are required of school children for good reasons, we also have allowed religious and medical exemptions for families that needed them. Because we aren’t supposed to be a nation of slaves, but a nation of citizens. If someone had a personal reason why they rejected vaccines, we didn’t put them through an inquisition or try to burn them at the stake of public opinion. This was America — land of the free. I also never thought of celebrating when a person who opted not to get the flu vaccine died of influenza. But vaccine mandate supporters seem to get giddy when a vaccine refusenik falls ill from COVID and dies on a ventilator or worse. This isn’t science; it’s scientific imperialism — and the CDC centurions are ruthless in their application of power to the masses. Obey or die. So why might a reasonable person decide not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in such a hysterical climate? Maybe because it’s an experimental and untested drug using a technology (mRNA) that has the power to tamper with the very genetic makeup of the cells in my body. Maybe because I’m more worried about herd instinct than herd immunity. Maybe because I’ve heard wonky scientists gloating about the power they wield over everyday Americans. Maybe because Big Pharma’s getting rich by inventing reasons why you just might need to get a new shot every year. Maybe because I want to decide for myself what’s best for me. Think of it this way. You are afraid of dying of COVID-19. So am I. But that doesn’t mean I am going to die from COVID. In fact, there is what I would characterize as an acceptably small chance I will die of COVID, and I’m 66 years old, right smack in the realm of the supposedly at-risk elderly population. According to data from the CDC reported at RationalGround.com, from Jan. 1, 2020 until Sept. 11, 2021, there were 12,702 U.S. deaths from COVID for my age cohort out of an estimated population of 3,618,069. That’s a death rate of 0.365%. Meanwhile, 100,449 people my age died during the same period of all causes, suggesting I have about a 12% chance of dying of something this year, a much scarier possibility than dying of COVID-19. Think of it! If I’m going to die this year, I’m 33 times more likely to die of anything else besides COVID. Based on the propaganda we are inundated with every day about the virus, I should be terrified! There are way worse things out there trying to kill me than COVID. But I’m not terrified, not even slightly, because life is always a risk. I can temper my risks by avoiding downhill skiing, ATVs, booze, surfing, and motorsports. Those are my choices, but heaven forbid I should dictate that you have to avoid those activities because they are not 100% safe. Your behavior is none of my business. I make my choices, and you make yours. Except with COVID. Then Joe Biden makes my choices, trying to protect me from myself. But here’s the thing. There’s no guarantee I’ll ever actually be exposed to the coronavirus, and if I do, there’s something like a 99% chance that I — as a generally healthy man with no co-morbidities — will recover. Now consider the risk of some kind of debilitating side effect from receiving one of the experimental vaccines being pushed by the government. It is much harder to come up with an actual percentage of adverse effects, because there are so many potential side effects and not all of them may be linked with the vaccine yet, especially when they show up weeks or months after the jab. We do, however, have a number of vaccine-related deaths officially reported by the CDC, using data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System: “More than 396 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, through October 4, 2021. During this time, VAERS received 8,390 reports of death (0.0021%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine.” Of course, this means the likelihood of dying from the vaccine is considerably lower than dying from COVID; in fact, if you do the math, it’s about 175 times less likely. That’s a pretty significant difference, even if you throw in the possibility that getting the jab will inflict you with one of the other known possible side effects such as Guillain-Barre syndrome, anaphylaxis, myocarditis, pericarditis, heart failure, thrombosis, brain damage, paralysis, menstrual disorders, and a variety of unexplained pain phenomena. All told, investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson says there were more than 400,000 adverse effects recorded by VAERS through July 19 of this year. That number is closing in on 600,000 by now. But reasonable people can’t ignore the adverse effects of the vaccine, and in a reasonable world, they wouldn’t. Just last week, for instance, Sweden and Denmark halted Moderna vaccinations for those under 30 years of age. Finland did the same for men under 30. According to Reuters, “The Swedish health agency said it would pause using the shot for people born in 1991 and later as data pointed to an increase of myocarditis and pericarditis among youths and young adults that had been vaccinated. Those conditions involve an inflammation of the heart or its lining. ‘The connection is especially clear when it comes to Moderna's vaccine Spikevax, especially after the second dose,’ the health agency said, adding the risk of being affected was very small.” Small or not, the risk is real. The question is why you would want to leave the decision up to a health agency whether you should put something in your body that may harm or even kill you. Why not become informed and then make your own decision. Defenders of Big Pharma like PolitiFact say there is no evidence that the vaccines have killed anyone, but to believe that you would have to ignore the evidence of not just the VAERS data set, but also the numerous human stories told in news reports and obituaries of perfectly healthy men and women who died suddenly and often horribly after taking one of the vaccines. Now here’s the point. Knowing all that, if you or anyone else wants to take the COVID vaccine, God bless you, and may all turn out well. But don’t make that decision for me, and don’t turn me into a criminal for making my own decision. I have a conscience, I have a brain, and I have a God. They will inform my decision, along with the science, but the decision should be mine alone. I learned long ago in Psychology 101 that the individual is formed when the infant first cries, “NO,” and for now, that’s what I’m saying to any and all vaccine mandates. I refuse. I’m an individual citizen, not a vassal subject to the whims of my noble superior. Yes, there is a chance that I will contract COVID and suffer as a result. But there’s no certainty about whether I will ever be exposed to the virus while it is in a dangerous form. If I am, I may get very sick or only slightly sick or have no symptoms at all. Compare that to the absolute certainty that if I am vaccinated, I am putting myself intentionally at risk of known side effects by putting a vaccine into my arm that I don’t trust. Only a madman would do that, or someone who puts a much higher value on going along with the crowd than I do. I don’t want to die, but that’s not the worst thing that can happen. Being forced to turn my most personal medical decisions over to Joe Biden or Anthony Fauci is an insult to me and to the Founding Fathers who fought to free us from tyranny. “Live free or die” was their creed, if not yet a formal motto in 1776. Nearly 250 years later, it seems more appropriate than ever. Tyler Durden Mon, 10/11/2021 - 23:40.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 11th, 2021