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Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, Or Home Alone?

Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, Or Home Alone? According to the Statista Global Consumer Survey and more than 1,000 U.S. respondents between the ages of 18 and 89, Thanksgiving with the family is still the way to celebrate the holiday this year. Friendsgiving - or celebrating Thanksgiving with friends - was the next popular plan, with 17 percent of Americans saying they would celebrate this way. Friendsgiving was most popular with the 25-34 age group. You will find more infographics at Statista Almost one in eight Americans said they would likely celebrate alone - here older Americans were overrepresented. Only 3 percent said they would not celebrate at all, while 6 percent planned to be out at a restaurant. According to the survey, 64 percent of respondent thought that the meaning of Thanksgiving was to spend time with family, while 61 percent saw it as a time to be thankful. 40 percent said they where out to have a good meal, 18 percent found meaning in watching football and 17 percent liked to remember the history of the celebration. Tyler Durden Thu, 11/24/2022 - 12:45.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 24th, 2022

The 50 fashion, beauty, and lifestyle companies set to take off and become the next great direct-to-consumer brands, according to The Lead

Having a great product and building a community are still crucial to a DTC business. But startups this decade must follow a vastly different playbook. The Lead has released the fifth edition of its "Foremost 50" list.K18 Hair; Manscaped; Caraway; Stix; Athletic Brewing Co; Rachel Mendelson/Insider The Lead has identified 50 of the most promising online DTC brands for 2023. Startups were selected from the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle categories. They were evaluated based on multiple factors, including company efficiency in using raised capital. Today's early-stage direct to consumer brands are being forced to follow a vastly different playbook compared to Casper, Away, and other industry pioneers of the last decade. Sure, having a great product and building a community of loyal fans is still crucial. But in 2023, there isn't an army of investors ready to back consumer brands. CEOs are also spending less cash on Google or Facebook ads for fast growth and are more preoccupied with profitability.The Lead, a research and events company, has released the fifth edition of its "Foremost 50" list, which highlights the DTC fashion, beauty, and lifestyle startups navigating these hurdles and disrupting how legacy brands operate. Most of the companies on the list are funded. But raising capital is not a major factor for making the list like it was in the past, Sonal Gandhi, chief product officer at The Lead, told Insider. "A lot of the brands featured this year have raised no money or have raised very little at the very early years," she said. "And then, somehow, once they hit that profitability number that they were looking for, they've managed to grow without having to raise additional funding." More important is "how efficient they are with the money that they have," Gandhi added. How startups acquire customers outside of Facebook and Instagram, how they configure supply chain networks, and the rate of repeat purchases from customers are other key factors. As examples, Gandhi highlighted Athletic Brewing and jewelry brand Dorsey — both on the list this year. The latter owns its own breweries, which Gandhi says shows a unique way to use capital and attract customers outside of online ads, while Dorsey is catering to better-for-the-environment trends by selling lab-grown diamonds. "Product is an important part of what these brands do, but you cannot just win with a great product," she said. "So we're seeing creative approaches to customer acquisition. We're seeing creative approaches to building communities and then using influencers or other ways to sort of build your brand."While higher borrowing rates and the macroeconomic environment are top of mind for DTC CEOs this year, hiring should be much easier in 2023."Just in terms of  growing your teams and getting the expertise, certainly it's gonna be easier going forward for them," Gandhi said. "They're in that phase where they do need to add more members to their teams to grow faster." Below are the brands on The Lead's "Foremost 50" for 2022, listed in alphabetical order. Funding numbers, where known, are also provided by The Lead.1. Athletic Brewing Co.What it is: non-alcoholic craft beer brewerTotal capital raised: $173.5 million2. BearabyWhat it is: sustainable weighted blanketsTotal capital raised: Undisclosed3. BÉIS TravelWhat it is: luggage and travel accessoriesTotal capital raised: Undisclosed4. BloomChicWhat it is: women's fashion brand in 10-30 sizing Total capital raised: Undisclosed5. BobbieWhat it is: Organic baby formula Total capital raised: $72 million6. Born PrimitiveWhat it is: outdoor and fitness apparel brand started by military veteransTotal capital raised: None7. Boy SmellsWhat it is: genderless candles, fragrances, and intimate wearTotal capital raised: Undisclosed8. Brandon BlackwoodWhat it is: designer bags and accessoriesTotal capital raised: Undisclosed9. Bubble SkincareWhat it is: skincare products for men and womenTotal capital raised: Undisclosed10. CannWhat it is: cannabis infused beverages with both tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiolTotal capital raised: $27 million11. CarawayWhat it is: non-toxic and colorful ceramic-coated home goodsTotal capital raised: $40 million12. Care+WearWhat it is: fashionable medical-focused clothingTotal capital raised: $5 million13. CoterieWhat it is: premium diapers available via subscriptionTotal capital raised: $34.1 million14. DameWhat it is: sexual wellness brand selling sex toys, wipes, and supplements Total capital raised: $13 million15. DorseyWhat it is: jewelry featuring lab-grown diamonds and other minerals Total capital raised: $1 million16. Fig. 1What it is: refillable skincare products for womenTotal capital raised: $11.5 million17. Flag & AnthemWhat it is: casual men's and women's clothing sold at a mid-price pointTotal capital raised: $19.9 million18. Harper WildeWhat it is: affordable bras and loungewear for women Total capital raised: Undisclosed19. Hello CakeWhat it is: sexual wellness brand for couplesTotal capital raised: $18.6 million20. HydrantWhat it is: hydration packets full of vital electrolytesTotal capital raised: $20 million21. HydrowWhat it is: indoor rowing machineTotal capital raised: $255 million22. ipsaWhat it is: fine frozen dinners made to be heated on stove tops or in ovensTotal capital raised: Undisclosed23. ItalicWhat it is: online retailer of luxury goods without the markupsTotal capital raised: $25 million24. K18 HairWhat it is: treatment for damaged hairTotal capital raised: $44 million25. KosterinaWhat it is: extra-virgin olive oil and olive oil infused vinegar, desserts, and skin careTotal capital raised: $6 million26. LaloWhat it is: baby furniture, including high chairs and play tables.Total capital raised: $5.6 million27. MadhappyWhat it is: fashion and lifestyle brand focused on creating conversation around mental healthTotal capital raised: $1.8 million28. ManscapedWhat it is: grooming accessories for menTotal capital raised: $500,00029. MargauxWhat it is: women's shoes handmade in SpainTotal capital raised: Undisclosed30. MonosWhat it is: luggage and travel accessoriesTotal capital raised: $40 million31. MugsyWhat it is: online retailer best known for its jeans Total capital raised: None32 .Oliver CabellWhat it is: luxury footwear minus the markupsTotal capital raised: None33. PangaiaWhat it is: a sustainable streetwear brandTotal capital raised: Undisclosed34. Pattern BrandsWhat it is: holding company with multiple brands selling home goodsTotal capital raised: $99 million35. Petlab Co.What it is: treats, supplements, and chews for dogs and catsTotal capital raised: None36. Public RecWhat it is: apparel retailer focusing on casual and athletic wearTotal capital raised: $500,00037. RowanWhat it is: ear piercings with accessories for purchaseTotal capital raised: $34.3 million38. Splendid SpoonWhat it is: plant-based smoothies, soups, grain bowls, and noodlesTotal capital raised: $20 million39. Spot & TangoWhat it is: dog food delivery serviceTotal capital raised: $57 million40. State & LibertyWhat it is: athletic-fit formal wear for menTotal capital raised: None41. StixWhat it is: fertility, pregnancy, UTI, and yeast-infection productsTotal capital raised: $6.4 million42. StogglesWhat it is: prescription safety glassesTotal capital raised: $40 million43. SupergutWhat it is: shakes that improve metabolic health, mood, sleep, and energyTotal capital raised: $8.2 million44. The Honey Pot CompanyWhat it is: plant-based feminine care productsTotal capital raised: Undisclosed45. The Normal BrandWhat it is: lifestyle brand that sells rugged clothing for men and women inspired by the MidwestTotal capital raised: None46. Three Wishes CerealWhat it is: high-protein, low-sugar cerealTotal capital raised: Undisclosed47. TruewerkWhat it is: professional and trade workwearTotal capital raised: Undisclosed48. Wandering Bear CoffeeWhat it is: boxed cold brewTotal capital raised: Undisclosed49. Win Brands GroupWhat it is: holding company with brands selling outerwear, home goods, and candlesTotal capital raised: $90 million50. Wolf & ShepherdWhat it is: men's dress shoes made with technology found in running sneakersTotal capital raised: UndisclosedRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt4 hr. 3 min. ago

A top UK private school is changing its approach to homework amid the rise of ChatGPT, as educators around the world adapt to AI

Jane Lunnon, the head teacher of the $28,000-a-year Alleyn's School, told Insider: "Everyone is talking about it in education." Alleyn's School in south London, and ChatGPT.Alessandro Abbonizio/AFP via Getty Images; Frank Rumpenhorst/picture alliance via Getty Images A highly-rated private school in London is changing its approach to homework, partly due to ChatGPT. Alleyn's School is moving towards "flipped learning," where students prepare at home and do essays at school. Schools and colleges around the world are worried about the potential for cheating created by AI. A top private school in England is changing its approach to traditional homework amid concerns over the rise of ChatGPT and how it could be used by students.Alleyn's School in south London — which costs upwards of $28,000 per-year to attend, and was ranked as one of the country's top 30 schools in the influential ranking published annually by The Times of London — is transitioning to a new "flipped learning" model, its headteacher said in a blog. Alleyn's counts the likes of singer Florence Welch of "Florence and the Machine," and actor Jude Law as alumni."For us, ChatGPT will involve careful reflection about what we should be asking our pupils to do in school and in class, and what they can do at home," the school's headteacher, Jane Lunnon, said in a blog post first reported by The Times."I suspect we will see more 'flipped learning' in the coming months and years," Lunnon added in the blog, which focused on the rise of technologies like ChatGPT in education."Flipped learning" sees students focus on preparing for lessons rather than doing essays and answering questions traditional homework. "It's a bit like a holy grail," Lunnon told Insider of "flipped learning.""Instead of homework being a mechanism where you look back at what you've practiced, it's about what's coming up. You come to the lesson with your questions.""We're excited about that because it's about requiring even greater agency and engagement from pupils as they walk into the classroom," she said.Lunnon explained that some departments had already stopped using homework for formal assessments, but the school is now looking at a wider rollout as ChatGPT's use spreads. One of her colleagues first shared a link to the software on January 10, about 40 days after its release."A number of us had a play and were like 'this is astonishing'," Lunnon told Insider. The school's head of English then included a ChatGPT essay in a "blind-marking test" for the English Language GCSE – a national assessment taken by all students aged 16. The AI-written essay achieved 85%, giving it the top grade.Florence Welch, of Florence + The Machine, is a former Alleyn's student.Jim Dyson/Getty ImagesChatGPT has been banned in several US school districts, as well as universities in India and France, over concerns about plagiarism and the spread of misinformation. It has prompted the creation of AI-detection software like a Princeton student's GPTZero, but is causing chaos in several industries."AI has been around for a while, so to be totally honest, there has been a quiet revolution happening in the nature and purpose of homework for quite a long time," Lunnon told Insider. "I think what ChatGPT does is it really moves it on super quickly, because of the game-changing nature of the ease of use and the versatility of the software." "We are not the only ones obviously exploring this – anyone who's in education is probably aware of this particular technology," she added. "Everyone is talking about it in education. I imagine the exam boards are looking at it. It's exciting times."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt4 hr. 3 min. ago

Key Events This Extremely Busy Week: "One For The Record Books"

Key Events This Extremely Busy Week: "One For The Record Books" As BofA rates strategist Ralf Preusser writes in his weekly preview, "this week is one for the record book. We have not seen these three major central bank decisions (Fed, BoE, ECB); and key data releases (US ISM, payrolls, and the employment cost index, as well as Euro Area inflation, GDP, and confidence data) in the same week before. Not to mention in combination with month-end flow, which given the incidence of supply in Europe should be sizeable in both EUR and GBP." DB's Jim Reid agrees writing that this week is set to be action packed for scheduled activity: "The main highlight is of course the FOMC conclusion (Wednesday), but the ECB and the BoE (both Thursday) will also likely hike. However, there's plenty of other events on the macro calendar, including the US jobs report on Friday, the flash CPI release from France and Germany (tomorrow), the Euro Area aggregate (Wednesday), regional and Euro Area Q4 GDP (tomorrow), global manufacturing (Wednesday) and services (Friday) PMIs/ISMs, China’s equivalents (tomorrow and Wednesday), US JOLTS (Wednesday), and US ECI (tomorrow)." If that’s not enough, 12% of the S&P 500 by market cap report within a few moments of each other on Thursday night after the bell with Apple, Alphabet and Amazon the highlights in a busy week for earnings. Overall, a whopping 35% of S&P earnings by sector are set to report this week. Going back to central banks, at the time of writing, the Fed is priced to deliver 26 bp, the ECB 50 bp, and the BoE 46 bp. BofA expects both the Fed and the ECB to deliver what is priced in, and sees a 25 bp hike from the BoE – marginally more likely than before after new lows in the PMIs – but risks are clearly skewed towards 50 bp. DB's Reid adds that with a downshift to a 25bps Fed hike already priced in for Wednesday, the meeting will be all about what the Fed tone implies for further meetings. DB still think there'll be two more 25bps hikes after this one partly as the Fed won’t want to see financial conditions ease too much as a result of being too dovish. Assuming central banks deliver on forwards, the key focus for the market will be the accompanying messages. The Fed’s message will likely be strongly influenced by critical data prints between now and Wednesday: PCE, ECI, ISM, JOLTS. And that message in turn risks looking dated already by the end of the week with ISM Services and NFP prints to come, also. Our economists remain hawkish relative to market pricing, expecting a terminal FF target range of 5.00-5.25% and the first cut not until Mar-2024, for which forwards price 100 bp more cuts than our colleagues expect. The last big and very important data point for the Fed before their meeting will be tomorrow’s Q4 ECI release (consensus 1.1% vs. +1.2% previously). Chair Powell is very focused on the relationship between core services ex-shelter inflation and wage pressures, with ECI near the top of their dashboard. JOLTS (Wednesday) is similarly important and may get a reference in the press conference. Staying with labor markets, although Friday's employment report will come after the FOMC, it will as ever be a lightening rod for the market. For the headline, consensus is at +185k vs. +223K last month, and 3.6% for unemployment (DB also at 3.6%, vs. 3.5% last month). All eyes also on average hourly earnings and importantly the work week length which was soft last month hinting at a small crack in the labor market. With regards to the ECB (Thursday), most economists expect another +50bps hike that would take the deposit rate to 2.50%. They also emphasize the importance of communicating expectations for the March meeting since core and underlying inflation remain sticky. The team sees further +50bps and +25bps hikes in March and May, respectively, and a terminal rate of 3.25%. For the BoE decision that same day, DB economists differ with BofA and see another +50bps (vs 25bps) hike that will take the Bank Rate to 4%. That will potentially be the last 'forceful' hike in this tightening cycle. Although their view is that services and wages data warrant such a move, the risks are tilted to the downside. They continue to call for a 4.5% terminal rate as inflation pressures remain resilient. European markets have lots of data to run through ahead of those decisions, with Eurozone Q4 GDP, inflation and labor market data all released early this week. Most of the key data will be out tomorrow, including Q4 GDP data for Germany, France, Italy and the Eurozone as well as CPI reports for Germany and France. Eurozone aggregates for the CPI and unemployment rate are released on Wednesday. DB economists expect Eurozone HICP to decline to 8.4% in January (vs 9.2% yoy in December) and continue falling to c.3.5% in Q4 this year. Core inflation is seen staying in a 5.0-5.5% range throughout first half of this year. Finally, let's not forget about earnings, although that's impossible with a whopping 107 S&P companies reporting, including Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Meta, Ford, AMD, Amgen, Qualcomm, Starbucks and dozens more. Source: Earnings Whispers Courtesy of DB, here is a day-by-day calendar of events Monday January 30 Data: US January Dallas Fed manufacturing activity, UK January Lloyds business barometer, Japan December jobless rate, retail sales, industrial production, Italy December PPI, Eurozone January economic, industrial and services confidence Central banks: ECB's Villeroy speaks Earnings: Sumitomo Mitsui Financial, NXP Semiconductors, Ryanair Other: IMF's world economic outlook update Tuesday January 31 Data: US Q4 employment cost index, January Conference Board consumer confidence, MNI Chicago PMI, Dallas Fed services activity, November FHFA house price index, China January PMIs, December industrial profits, UK December consumer credit, mortgage approvals, M4, Japan January consumer confidence index, December housing starts, Italy Q4 GDP, December unemployment rate, hourly wages, Germany Q4 GDP, January CPI, unemployment change, France Q4 GDP, January CPI, December PPI, consumer spending, Eurozone Q4 GDP, Canada November GDP Central banks: Euro Area bank lending survey Earnings: Samsung Electronics, Exxon Mobil, Pfizer, McDonald's, UPS, Amgen, Caterpillar, AMD, Stryker, Mondelez, UBS, Moody's, GM, MSCI, Electronic Arts, Spotify, Snap Wednesday February 1 Data: US January ISM manufacturing index, total vehicle sales, ADP report, December JOLTS report job openings, construction spending, China Caixin manufacturing PMI, Japan January monetary base, Italy January CPI, manufacturing PMI, new car registrations, budget balance, Eurozone January CPI, December unemployment rate, Canada January manufacturing PMI Central banks: Fed decision Earnings: SK Hynix, Novo Nordisk, Meta, Orsted, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Novartis, T-Mobile, Altria, Boston Scientific, GSK, BBVA, Peloton Thursday February 2 Data: US Q4 unit labor costs, nonfarm productivity, December factory orders, initial jobless claims, Germany December trade balance, France December budget balance, Canada December building permits Central banks: ECB, BoE decision Earnings: Apple, Alphabet, Amazon.com, Sony, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, Mizuho Financial, Eli Lilly, Merck, Roche, Shell, Bristol-Myers Squibb, ConocoPhillips, QUALCOMM, Honeywell, Starbucks, Gilead Sciences, Estee Lauder, JD.com, ICE, Banco Santander, Ford, Ferrari, Infineon Friday February 3 Data: US January jobs report, change in nonfarm payrolls, unemployment rate, labor force participation rate, average hourly earnings, ISM services, China Caixin services PMI, UK January official reserves changes, Italy January services PMI, France December manufacturing and industrial production, Eurozone December PPI Central banks: ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters Earnings: Sanofi, Regeneron, Intesa Sanpaolo * * * Finally, looking at just the US, Goldman writes that the key economic data releases this week are the employment cost index on Tuesday, JOLTS job openings and ISM manufacturing on Wednesday, and the employment situation report on Friday. The February FOMC meeting is on Wednesday. The post-meeting statement will be released at 2:00 PM ET, followed by Chair Powell’s press conference at 2:30 PM. Monday, January 30 10:30 AM Dallas Fed manufacturing index, January (consensus -15.5, last -18.8) Tuesday, January 31 08:30 AM Employment cost index, Q4 (GS +1.1%, consensus +1.1%, prior +1.2%): We estimate that the employment cost index (ECI) rose 1.1% in Q4 (qoq sa), which would boost the year-on-year rate by one tenth to 5.1%. Our forecast reflects sequential slowing in the private wages ex-incentives category following net softer readings of production and nonsupervisory average hourly earnings and the Atlanta Fed wage tracker. However, we expect another strong reading for the benefits category as firms expand health insurance and supplemental pay programs in order to attract and retain talent. 09:00 AM FHFA house price index, November (consensus -0.5%, last flat) 09:00 AM S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, November (GS -0.6%, consensus -0.7%, last -0.5%): We estimate that the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index declined 0.6% in November, following a 0.5% decline in October. 09:45 AM Chicago PMI, January (GS 45.1, consensus 45.3, last 45.1): We estimate that the Chicago PMI was unchanged at 45.1 in January, reflecting weaker industrial activity in the US and a continued drag from the covid wave in China. 10:00 AM Conference Board consumer confidence, January (GS 109.5, consensus 109.0, last 108.3): We estimate that the Conference Board consumer confidence index increased to 109.5 in January. Wednesday, February 1 08:15 AM ADP employment report, January (GS +190k, consensus +170k, last +235k): We estimate a 190k rise in ADP payroll employment in January, reflecting strength in Big Data indicators. 09:45 AM S&P Global US manufacturing PMI, January final (consensus 46.8, last 46.8) 10:00 AM Construction spending, December (GS +0.2%, consensus flat, last +0.2%): We estimate construction spending increased 0.2% in December. 10:00 AM ISM manufacturing index, January (GS 48.0, consensus 48.0, last 48.4): We estimate that the ISM manufacturing index declined 0.4pt to 48.0 in January, reflecting weaker industrial activity in the US and a continued drag from the covid wave in China. Our GS manufacturing tracker declined 1.3pt to 47.0. 10:00 AM JOLTS job openings, December (GS 10,350k, consensus 10,300k, last 10,458k): We estimate that JOLTS job openings declined to 10,350k in December. 02:00 PM FOMC statement, January 31 – February 1 meeting: The key question for the February meeting is what the FOMC will signal about further hikes this year. As discussed on our FOMC preview, we expect two additional 25bp hikes in March and May, but fewer might be needed if weak business confidence depresses hiring and investment, or more might be needed if the economy reaccelerates as the impact of past policy tightening fades. Fed officials appear to also expect about two more hikes and will likely tone down the reference to “ongoing” hikes being appropriate in the FOMC statement. 05:00 PM Lightweight motor vehicle sales, January (GS 15.8mn, consensus 14.4mn, last 13.3mn) Thursday, February 2 08:30 AM Nonfarm productivity, Q4 preliminary (GS +2.5%, consensus +2.4%, last +0.8%); Unit labor costs, Q4 preliminary (GS +1.5%, consensus +1.5%, last +2.4%): We estimate nonfarm productivity growth of +2.5% in Q4 (qoq saar) and unit labor cost—compensation per hour divided by output per hour—growth of +1.5%. 08:30 AM Initial jobless claims, week ended January 28 (GS 190k, consensus 200k, last 186k); Continuing jobless claims, week ended January 21 (consensus 1,684k, last 1,675k): We estimate initial jobless claims increased to 190k in the week ended January 28. 10:00 AM Factory orders, December (GS +2.5%, consensus +2.4%, last -1.8%); Durable goods orders, December final (last +5.6%); Durable goods orders ex-transportation, December final (last -0.8%); Core capital goods orders, December final (last -0.2%); Core capital goods shipments, December final (last -0.4%): We estimate that factory orders increased 2.5% in December following a 1.8% decrease in November. Durable goods orders increased 5.6% in the December advance report, reflecting a $15.5bn increase in nondefense aircraft orders, while core capital goods orders decreased 0.2%. Friday, February 3 08:30 AM Nonfarm payroll employment, January (GS +300k, consensus +185k, last +223k); Private payroll employment, January (GS +250k, consensus +185k, last +220k); Average hourly earnings (mom), January (GS +0.4%, consensus +0.3%, last +0.3%); Average hourly earnings (yoy), January (GS +4.4%, consensus +4.3%, last +4.6%); Unemployment rate, January (GS 3.5%, consensus 3.6%, last 3.5%); Labor force participation rate, January (GS 62.3%, consensus 62.3%, last 62.3%): We estimate nonfarm payrolls rose by 300k in January (mom sa). Our well-above-consensus forecast reflects the elevated level of labor demand, the strong recent payroll trend, a 36k boost from the return of striking education workers, strength in Big Data employment indicators, and a boost from favorable seasonal factors that are spuriously fitting to last winter’s Omicron wave. Jobless claims remain extremely low, and while corporate layoff announcements have increased in recent months, only 15% of California layoff filings since December had been implemented by the January payroll period. We estimate the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.5%, reflecting a rise in household employment offset by flat-to-up labor force participation rate (we estimate unchanged on a rounded basis at 62.3%). We estimate a 0.4% increase in average hourly earnings (mom sa), reflecting a 0.05pp boost from start-of-year wage hikes and neutral calendar effects. 09:45 AM S&P Global US services PMI, January final (consensus n.a., last 46.2) 10:00 AM ISM services index, January (GS 51.0, consensus 50.5, last 49.2): We estimate that the ISM services index rebounded by 1.8pt to 51.0 in January, reflecting the rise in our survey tracker (+1.0pt to 51.1). Source: DB, Goldman, BofA Tyler Durden Mon, 01/30/2023 - 09:35.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nyt5 hr. 35 min. ago

Wharton professor Jeremy Siegel says the Fed risks sparking a disaster if it hikes rates higher than markets are expecting at its upcoming meeting

A rate hike of 50 basis-points at the FOMC meeting this week would be the wrong move, and a move half that size is the right call, Siegel said. Jeremy Siegel, professor of finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.Scott Mlyn/CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images The Fed will spark a disaster if it delivers a bigger rate hike than expected this week, Jeremy Siegel said. The top economist said inflation was falling rapidly, and officials needed to soften policy to avoid a recession.  "We have to get no more than 25 basis-points. 50 would be I think a disaster," Siegel told CNBC. The Federal Reserve risks sparking an economic disaster if it hikes rates higher than markets are expecting at its upcoming meeting this week, according to Wharton Professor Jeremy Siegel.In an interview with CNBC over the weekend, Siegel pointed to the Federal Open Market Committee meeting to take place from January 31-February 1, where Fed officials are expected to announce a 25 basis-point rate increase. Central bankers hiked rates  425-basis-points last year to bring down inflation, but the central bank needs to ease up on those efforts as it risks overdoing it and pushing the economy into a recession, critics say. "We have to get no more than 25-basis-points. 50 would be I think a disaster," Siegel warned.Although headline inflation is still well-above the Fed's 2% target, Siegel previously pointed that that figure may be overstated due to the way certain inputs like home prices lag behind the official statistics. The Fed's rate hikes from last year have also yet to be fully felt in the economy, meaning inflation is likely falling much more rapidly than the Fed is expecting, he said.Others have argued the Fed needs to stay vigilant on high prices to prevent inflation from rebounding, but the shrunken money supply should prevent that, Siegel said. Officials have steadily eased up on more aggressive moves, dropping the latest rate hike down from 75-basis-points to 50-basis-points in December, with expectations of two more rate hikes of 25 basis-points in February and March before pausing. That could potentially jumpstart a major rally in stocks, commentators say, with Fundstrat's Tom Lee predicting at least a 20% gain this year. Siegel has previously predicted a 30% rebound in the S&P 500 in 2023."I've never saw so many people so bearish, and I think as I mentioned, when everyone is on one side of the market, the market is going to do the opposite thing," Siegel said. But, he noted that if central bankers continued to send hawkish signals at the upcoming FOMC meeting, markets likely "won't take those words very well."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nyt6 hr. 3 min. ago

Sam Bankman-Fried says prosecutors "sandbagged" him over demands to tighten FTX founder"s bail

Lawyers said a DOJ request to prevent SBF from using encrypted messaging app Signal was done to portray him in "the worst possible light." Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images) Lawyers for Sam Bankman-Fried accused prosecutors of "sandbagging" him over bail requests. The DOJ asked for the FTX founder to be barred from using Signal and speaking with former employees. The request was linked to SBF's alleged communication with FTX US general counsel Ryne Miller. FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has accused prosecutors of sandbagging him over a request to tighten the conditions of his bail after accusing him of witness tampering.Prosecutors wrote to judge Lewis Kaplan in a Manhattan Federal Court on Friday asking for two new conditions to be added to Bankman-Fried's bail: that he not speak to employees or former employees of FTX or Alameda without the presence of a lawyer, and that he couldn't use encrypted messaging apps for correspondence, notably Signal.The requests were linked to the Department of Justice's allegation that Bankman-Fried's communication with FTX US general counsel Ryne Miller, a witness in the trial, constituted witness tampering. "I would really love to reconnect and see if there's a way for us to have a constructive relationship, use each other as resources when possible, or at least vet things with each other," Bankman-Fried is accused of saying to Miller.In a response filed to Judge Kaplan Saturday, lawyers for Bankman-Fried said the request followed correspondence with prosecutors that suggested they were considering the issue, that the Signal message in question sent by Bankman-Fried hadn't been deleted, and that it was simultaneously sent over email to ensure transparency."But rather than wait for any response from the defense, the Government sandbagged the process, filing this letter at 6:00pm on Friday evening," lawyers wrote."In an apparent effort to portray our client in the worst possible light, the Government's letter makes it appear as if it were prompted by exigent circumstances that required it to file on a Friday night and seek these new bail conditions."Prosecutors highlighted former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison and FTX Cofounder Gary Wang — who both plead guilty to fraud charges — as people Bankman-Fried be barred from contacting. They proposed he could continue speaking with his father Joseph Bankman and his therapist George Lerner without the presence of a lawyer.Bankman-Fried was released on bail in late December set at $250 million, with the FTX founder forced to stay at his parents' home in California. He was charged with multiple counts of fraud over the collapse of the crypto exchange in November.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nyt6 hr. 3 min. ago

People buying homes today are paying $200 a month less for the same home than those with bad timing who purchased at peak rates

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate is down to 6.13% from 7.08% in November, which actually makes a big difference for borrowers. Scott Olson/Getty Images The current average interest rate for a 30-year mortgage is 6.13%, according to Freddie Mac data. This means rates are down roughly a full percentage point from the November peak of 7.08%. One homebuyer told Insider he's excited to get back in the market because of falling rates. How much can one really save on a mortgage that's just 1 percentage point lower? It turns out that it's enough to bring shoppers off the sidelines and back into the market.Rapid home-price growth and soaring mortgage rates led to a dramatic downturn in housing demand throughout the fall and winter months of 2022. But as softer economic data encourages the Federal Reserve to slow the pace of its rate hikes — which were largely responsible for last year's surge in borrowing costs — mortgage rates are trending lower and enticing more buyers to return to the US housing market.A buyer who purchased a home at the national median price of $393,682 in November with a peak mortgage rate of 7.08% would be paying $2,112 each month on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (after putting 20% cash down at closing). But if a buyer purchased a home at the same price with today's average mortgage of 6.13%, they'd be looking at a payment of $1,914. That's a difference of nearly $200 a month.Given today's steep cost of living, that extra cash could go a long way for the typical family. The savings potential — combined with a market where sellers are feeling more demoralized — is a major reason many Americans feel that now is a great time to purchase a home.Jason Wilson, a 32-year-old home shopper, is looking to take advantage of lower interest rates to finally close on that dream home.Wilson and his wife live in a high-rise condo in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. He said they wanted to move into "something closer to the ground" like a townhouse or a single-family home where they could raise children someday."We're really trying to purchase a home so we can take the next step in life," Wilson said. "We want to be in this home for the next five, seven, or maybe even 10 years, and obviously interest rates will change over that time. It's something we're watching very closely."Wilson added that they were looking for homes in the $700,000-to-$800,000 range, which could carry an average mortgage payment of $4,800 to $5,600, according to Bankrate.com's mortgage calculator. If they had bought a similar home just a few months ago when mortgage rates were closer to 7%, their mortgage payments would have been roughly $6,000 a month.Wilson told Insider the couple planned to save the additional funds for expenses such as childcare or doctor's visits once they had children. They might also do some renovation projects like adding a back patio, depending on the home they buy."It's really great timing for us," Wilson said. "We're ready for a bigger home and interest rates are starting to fall. Listings are starting to tick back up, too. It's really exciting."Correction: January 30, 2023 — An earlier version of this story misstated the monthly amounts buyers would owe on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for a $393,682 house after a 20% down payment. They would owe $2,112 a month with a 7.08% mortgage rate or $1,914 a month with a 6.13% rate, not the other way around.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nyt7 hr. 47 min. ago

Nissan has a plan for used Leaf batteries: powering buildings

Nissan might have a new answer to the question of what happens when millions of used electric car batteries aren't useful in EVs anymore. Nissan and startup Relyion just announced a partnership to repurpose old Leaf batteries.Nissan Many wonder what will happen when an electric car battery is no longer useful for the vehicle. Of course, EV batteries can be recycled — but they can also be repurposed for energy storage. Nissan is partnering with startup Relyion Energy to ensure its used Leaf batteries are put to good use. One of the biggest challenges to the auto industry's multi-billion-dollar push to electrify lies in the batteries. What happens when millions of used electric car batteries aren't useful in a vehicle anymore?Nissan's latest move with a budding startup in the battery-repurposing space could be a solution to that looming problem. It might also answer concerns people have about the impact of EVs on the grid.Nissan announced Monday that it will work with Bay Area-based startup Relyion Energy to retire batteries from its well-known Leaf EV.After all, used batteries are chock-full of valuable materials like lithium, nickel, and cobalt. And one estimate suggests that used batteries still have about 80% of their life left even after juicing an EV for several years.But a lot of expense and resources were used to make functioning EV batteries. If it doesn't make sense to tear a battery apart in order to recycle its materials once it can't power an EV anymore, it could still be used in other ways. Through Nissan's 4R business (a division established in the early days of the Leaf that includes recycling, reuse, reselling, and refabricating), Relyion will be charged with taking spent battery packs recovered from Leafs, testing their level of health and state of charge, and putting them in second-life energy storage. Surinder Singh, Relyion Energy CEORelyion EnergyHow used EV battery reuse worksMore simply put, this startup will take your Leaf battery and, if it's still good, use it to power something else, like a house or something utility-scale."A majority of these batteries actually have a very good state of health that is left over once the car is retired, but they're just not suitable," Surinder Singh, Relyion CEO and co-founder, told Insider. "They can be of very good use on the stationary and energy storage side."Why would somebody prematurely kill them rather than utilizing them for a very long period of time?" he added. "These batteries can last for 15 to 20 years in addition to, let's say, the 10 years that they were in operation in the car. It makes a lot more sense to actually utilize them for as long as possible, and then at the end of the day, when they reach their true end of life, then recycle them."Fast-charging the 2022 Nissan Leaf.Tim Levin/InsiderHow it works: Nissan will recover used Leaf batteries and supply them to Relyion. Relyion plans to start putting these batteries in large energy storage systems for businesses in various industries this year. It is targeting full-commercialization with more customers and residential applications in the second half of 2023. It could cut the commercial and industrial sectors' energy bills, in particular, and reduce peak demand charges.That residential point might be especially pertinent. Nissan has upped the capacity of its battery packs over several generations. But even its earliest gen EV batteries could be used to power a home.  "One car battery pack would be suitable for a couple of homes," Singh said — and not just in the event of an emergency. 'It can be used for backup power. It could be used for like public safety power shut offs that are unfortunately quite common in California. They can be used for daily use."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nyt7 hr. 47 min. ago

Ukraine official gloats after drone strike on weapons facility in Russian-allied Iran: "Ukraine did warn you"

Mykhailo Polodyak, a senior aide to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, made the comment after multiple reports of a drone strike on a building in Isfahan. A still from cellphone footage showing what is reported to be a defense manufacturing facility in Isfahan, Iran, on Jan 28, 2023, viewed from across a highway.PressTV Senior aide to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy suggested Ukraine is linked to a drone strike in Iran.  Ukraine has not officially confirmed any connection to Saturday's explosion.  By contrast, US officials suspect Israel is behind the strike, according to The New York Times.  A senior aide to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday gloated over a drone strike on an Iranian weapons facility, hinting that the attack was made in connection with Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Over the weekend, footage circulated online of a large explosion on the roof of a building in Isfahan, western Iran, prompting Mykhailo Polodyak to tweet: "[Ukraine flag] did warn you."A Ukrainian-language version of Polodyak's tweet included a screenshot of his purported "warning," a December 24 tweet in which he called for the destruction of Iranian production facilities. —Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) January 29, 2023There has been no official confirmation from Ukraine that it was involved. Senior defense officials, who were not named, told The New York Times that it was their belief the attack in Isfahan was the work of Mossad, acting out of concern for Israel's security. Polodyak's remarks have caused a diplomatic stir, with Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoning the Ukrainian charge d'affaires in Tehran on Monday in reaction to the comment, according to Iranian news agency Nour News. The attack came around the same time as a large fire at an Iranian oil refinery, which Polodyak also referenced in his Sunday tweet. "Explosive night in Iran," he wrote. Iranian state media called the strike a failure on Sunday, saying that it had shot down one drone and trapped two others in its defense system.Iran's Ministry of Defense said the attack was made on a "defense equipment manufacturing complex."Ukrainian defense outlet Defense Express, meanwhile, shared satellite imagery that suggested the damage was minimal. In his tweet, Polodyak suggested the site was used for "drone and missile production." Insider was unable to immediately confirm this. However, if true, it would make it a site of key concern in Ukraine, which has accused Iran of supplying drones to Russia to attack Ukrainian cities. Iran claims it only sent drones to Russia before Moscow's invasion of Ukraine last year. Russia also denies its military uses Iranian drones in Ukraine.Isfahan is a major defense manufacturing center and home to a large military air base, according to CNBC. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nyt7 hr. 47 min. ago

5 Ways The "Inflation Reduction Act" Is Stealing Your Money

5 Ways The "Inflation Reduction Act" Is Stealing Your Money Authored by Peter Reagan via Birch Gold Group, Much like the Patriot Act had little to do with making life safer in the U.S., the Biden administration’s “Inflation Reduction Act” has very little to do with reducing inflation. Thanks to this “Inflation Reduction Act,” our lives are about to get even more expensive for just about everyone. If you’re saving money for retirement, heating your home or driving a car, well, get ready to start paying higher prices. That’s because of several new taxes that were tucked away in the 274 pages of the Inflation Reduction Act. Those new taxes have become law as of January 1st, 2023. I’d argue this is a clear contradiction of Biden’s campaign promise that he wouldn’t tax Americans who have annual incomes under $400,000. This is open to debate, however – because the new taxes we’re discussing today don’t target the average American household directly. Rather, everyday hard-working families are collateral damage of the Biden administration’s battle against “greedy corporations, evil energy companies” and the like. So let’s go through five new taxes aimed at the “greedy” and “evil” that will ultimately punish everyone. What’s wrong with taxing the greedy and the evil? If we view taxes as punishment (rather than as a method to finance public services), then we can understand why any administration would want to raise taxes on the “greedy” and the “evil.” Honestly, if a company or industry is actually evil, you’d think law enforcement rather than the IRS would get involved? Regardless, it’s easy to feel good about out-of-favor businesses and industries being punished. There’s just one small problem: the punishment doesn’t stop with the corporation paying higher taxes. Simon Black summarized a very useful way to think about tax increases, regardless of who signs them into law and whatever their stated purpose. Taxes that seem to focus on “big businesses” and “unpopular industries” don’t stop there: That’s because taxes, like sh*t, always roll downhill. Think about it – a ‘corporation’ can’t actually absorb the cost of taxes. A corporation is nothing but pieces of paper. It’s not real. The burden of additional taxation falls onto the owners of the business… and onto the consumers who buy its products. Remember when President Biden threatened to tax oil companies for making “excessive profits” a few months back? I concluded that the President either doesn’t understand basic economics, or is willing to pretend not to for political purposes. Because Black is right! Corporations don’t just absorb higher costs – they pass them on to customers. So anytime taxes go up on an industry or a company, who ultimately pays the bill? You do. I do. The American taxpayer does. Here are the new bills we’ll be paying this year… These five new taxes will raise our cost of living A report by Americans for Tax Reform explained how one of the five tax increases will raise your cost of living. The first is a regressive tax on American oil and gas development. The tax will drive up the cost of household energy bills. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the natural gas tax will increase taxes by $6.5 billion. A letter to Congress from the American Gas Association warned that the methane tax would amount to a 17% increase on an average family’s natural gas bill. Democrats have included a tax in the bill despite retail prices for energy surpassing multi-year highs in the United States. (Note: calling a tax “regressive” means that it affects everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. The opposite of a “regressive” tax is a “progressive” tax, which is levied proportionally to income.) Higher prices on natural gas are a big deal! About 40% of our consumption is used to produce electricity, and another 30% for residential heating and cooking. So, by penalizing American energy development, this tax will (indirectly) raise electricity and heating bills for many families. Second: a 16.4 cents-per-barrel tax on crude oil and imported petroleum products that will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher gas prices. Now, remember, this same bill has already penalized oil and gas development here in the U.S. At the same time, the “Inflation Reduction Act” is raising prices on energy imports, too! There’s a pretty clear purpose here: by charging higher taxes on both domestic and imported energy sources, the end result is higher energy prices – guaranteed. But we’re not done yet… Third: the tax rate on coal from subsurface mining would increase from $0.50 per ton to $1.10 per ton while the tax rate on coal from surface mining would increase from $0.25 per ton to $0.55 per ton. JCT estimates that this will raise $1.2 billion in taxes that will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher electricity bills. Listen: I’m not particularly a fan of coal as an energy source. But more than doubling the tax on coal while raising taxes on oil and gas development and importing all at the same time? That’s a deliberate declaration of war on the entire energy industry. What’s the purpose? It doesn’t matter, because regardless of whether or not these three taxes achieve their intended purpose, they will absolutely raise energy prices for everyone. Well, now that we’ve devastated the U.S. energy industry, let’s turn to the more general war on investors concealed in the “Inflation Reduction Act.” These are a little more subtle, and might be a bit harder to understand, but bear with me – it’s worth it. Fourth: a new federal excise tax [on investing income] which will reduce the value of household nest eggs. Raising taxes and restricting stock buybacks harms the retirement savings of any individual with a 401(k), IRA or pension plan. This tax specifically makes it more expensive for corporations to buy back their own stock. Corporate buy-backs have become a popular alternative to dividends. When a company issues a dividend, investors pay up to 20% tax on that dividend income. Companies figured out that they could buy their own shares from investors on the open market – which reduces the number of shares in circulation, and subsequently raises the share price. Investors who own shares of the company benefit from the higher share price without paying taxes on the increase (at least, not until they sell the shares – possibly never if they own those shares in a Roth-type retirement account). Are share buybacks a good idea? I don’t know. Are they more tax efficient for investors than dividends? Yes. Now, everyone who invests in stocks will pay this indirect tax. Finally, a more direct tax on corporations: a 15 percent corporate alternative minimum tax on the financial statement income of American businesses reporting $1 billion in profits for the past three years. The cost of this tax increase will be borne by working families in the form of higher prices, fewer jobs, and lower wages. Once again: raising producer prices doesn’t just punish producers – it punishes everyone who buys their products. To be clear: the “Inflation Reduction Act” won’t lower inflation. (After all, as Dr. Ron Paul reminded us, all inflation comes from just one place. The only way to lower inflation is to stop printing money to finance massive government deficit spending.) The “Inflation Reduction Act” won’t lower prices, either – quite the contrary! As we’ve seen, prices are extremely likely to rise across the board – and virtually guaranteed to rise for gasoline, electricity and natural gas. Our cost of living will go up this year. On top of prices continuing to surge thanks to actual inflation from the massive increases in money supply. In the face of a recession (either already underway or imminent, according to virtually every economist). Rough economic times are ahead. I think it’s a good time to consider ways we can add stability to our financial futures. Creating your own economic stability For now, only two things are absolutely certain (as Ben Franklin famously said): “Death and taxes.” As we’ve seen, it’s virtually guaranteed that we’ll be paying higher prices, thanks to inflation and these misguided tax hikes, for the rest of this year at least. One of the major challenges we face when considering the future, especially our personal financial futures, is uncertainty. That’s really what the Ben Franklin quote is about. In the absence of certainty, we have to guess what we should be doing today that will turn out, in hindsight, to have been a smart move years or decades down the road. To that end, let me share a story from Jefferey Tucker on inheriting his father’s gold and silver coin collection: Gold keeps its value. But more than that, it symbolizes what it means to keep our values, as people, as societies, and as nations. They are physical objects but more than that, they embody a philosophy of living. Think about this. One day your children or grandchildren will be rifling through your stuff and they might come across your collection of gold and silver… In a world of fleeting values and ceaseless and often pointless change, here we have something that we can both believe in and own. It’s real wealth, wealth for the ages, stuff we can carry in our pockets. Here’s the thing: Presidents come and go. Tax laws are revised, refined and amended constantly. The IRS itself might change dramatically over the next decade or two. But you could make a move today that could provide long-term benefits: learn more about physical precious metals and what it means to own “real wealth for the ages.” Would such an option help you and your family navigate the uncertain times ahead? For tens of thousands of people just like you, the answer is yes. With global tensions spiking, thousands of Americans are moving their IRA or 401(k) into an IRA backed by physical gold. Now, thanks to a little-known IRS Tax Law, you can too. Learn how with a free info kit on gold from Birch Gold Group. It reveals how physical precious metals can protect your savings, and how to open a Gold IRA. Click here to get your free Info Kit on Gold. Tyler Durden Mon, 01/30/2023 - 06:30.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nyt9 hr. 19 min. ago

I moved to Florida for cheaper housing and lower taxes, plus I"m avoiding downsides like traffic and crowds

Tony Stanol, a 66-year-old advertising recruiter, said the many newcomers moving to Florida haven't yet spoiled his pocket of paradise. Tony Stanol moved from Sarasota to Calabasas nine years ago and is content with the change of location.Tony Stanol Tony Stanol moved to Sarasota, Florida from California and prefers the East Coast oasis. He now pays $2,400 in rent compared to sky-high property taxes on his $1 million Calabasas home. He said some complaints about Florida's popularity, from traffic to crowds, haven't bothered him. This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Tony Stanol, 66, about his life after moving to Sarasota, Florida from Calabasas, California. Stanol runs a advertising recruiting firm that operates in both California and Florida.After moving his family from Connecticut to California in 2005, Stanol and his wife became empty nesters and decided to move across the country. They sold their 3,500-square-foot home in Calabasas for $1.2 million, according to Stanol, and have been renting a 2,400-square-foot home in Sarasota, Florida for nine years.The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.I'm from New Jersey, worked in New York for most of my career, and raised a family in Connecticut. In 2005, we moved across the country. We sold our house in Connecticut and bought one in Calabasas, California.Once my two daughters had graduated and were out of the house, my wife and I were empty nesters in Calabasas. I went to the office every day and my wife was rattling around in this big five-bedroom house. We thought, 'What are we paying for?' We could live much more cheaply in Florida. Stanol, his wife, and two daughters at an art museum in Sarasota.Tony StanolWe decided that we did like the warm weather in contrast to living in the Northeast, so we weren't heading back to Connecticut anytime soon. Why I chose Sarasota over other spotsI had targeted Florida because I came to a business meeting there a few years earlier in Clearwater and I thought, 'Wow, this is way different than the East Coast of Florida.'We did a scouting mission when we thought we might like the Gulf Coast. We took a week and a half one summer and drove from Sanibel up to Tampa and St. Pete and scoped out all the places along the way.Sanibel has a really nice vacation community, but not much else going on — not much culture on that island. Port Charlotte didn't do it for us. Cape Coral was meh.ShutterstockAs we headed up the coast, we were getting more and more depressed thinking, 'Well, maybe this isn't going to work after all.' But when we arrived in Sarasota, it was like the angels started singing. It was beautiful. We caught it at the right time, as it was sunset over the Gulf. We fell in love with Sarasota in that moment.I've been renting in Florida for nine years We sold our house in Calabasas for $1.2 million. The taxes were over $12,000 annually plus earthquake and fire insurance.  The other tax that really got us was the income tax. There's no state income tax in Florida, so upon moving I gave myself an immediate 12.5% raise.We ended up not buying here. We've been renting for nine years and it's kind of refreshing because if anything breaks down —  and every appliance has in the past nine years —  it's just a quick phone call to the landlady and she replaces everything.Our rent is about $2,400 a month. We settled in this house thinking we'd be in here for a year and then maybe move closer to downtown Sarasota, but we've stayed put. Maybe we'll make a move one of these days, but not with the housing prices being what they are now.There's less congestion on Florida's West Coast I'm not seeing a huge influx of people. I know there were 1,000 coming a day, but they're not all coming to Sarasota. It's a big state. The West Coast of Florida is less congested. My view on the East Coast is that it's full of old cranky former New Yorkers. Whereas the West Coast has attracted a lot of Midwesterners.Sarasota has a much older demographic than Calabasas. However, for the better, we've seen the place get younger. Certainly our community and downtown are thriving with a lot of younger people out and about. Stanol hosting a show at the Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota.Tony StanolI like the influx of younger energy here. It's much nicer and I think it's more compatible with my wife and I and our lifestyles.My wife is an artist and she wants to show her art at galleries and take lessons and be around other artists.I got into improv comedy first in Hollywood and thought I'd have to give it up here. I literally thought I'd be giving up improv and have to take up some other hobby like golf or pickleball — but the improv community here is thriving.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt11 hr. 3 min. ago

Remote work hasn"t actually saved Americans much time — they"re mainly just working more

US workers working from home save just under an hour a day by not having to commute, one of the lowest amounts of time saved among 27 countries. Laci Franz / 500px/Getty Images Not having to commute could mean getting to partake in leisure activities — or more time to get work done. A working paper looked at how people working from home are using their time saved by not commuting. In the US, 23 minutes of this time saved goes to jobs, 19 minutes on leisure, and four minutes on caregiving. US workers who get to work from home are using most of their extra time not commuting to work remotely — as opposed to using most of this time on watching TV and other leisure activities or on caregiving duties like childcare.A working paper from Cevat Giray Aksoy, Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloom, Steven J. Davis, Mathias Dolls, and Pablo Zarate looked at how much time is saved across 27 countries by not having to commute."The average daily time savings when working from home is 72 minutes in our sample," the study stated. "To obtain this figure, we consider the commute times of persons who worked mainly from home at some point during the pandemic and compute the average of country-level means."The new paper includes results for the G7 countries. Looking at just the results for these wealthy democracies, the US stands out for its lack of minutes saved. US workers save 55 minutes a day, 17 minutes fewer than the overall average for the 27 countries. Japan's figure was 28 minutes above the average for the 27 countries.!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt11 hr. 3 min. ago

Bollywood Reigns Supreme On YouTube

Bollywood Reigns Supreme On YouTube Indian Bollywood music channel T-Series is currently the channel with the most followers on YouTube (234 million), ahead of kids content channel Cocomelon (152 million). As Statista's Kathraina Buchholz notes, in 2018, T-Series was involved in a fierce battle over YouTube's top 1 position with the entertainment channel PewDiePie (111 million followers), catapulting the Bollywood channel to new heights. You will find more infographics at Statista PewDiePie, Swede Felix Kjellberg in real life, has since given in to the mass appeal of Indian cinematic soundtracks, falling to rank five behind fellow YouTuber MrBeast and yet another Indian channel, SET India by Sony Entertainment. Previous to 2018, PewDiePie had been the account with the most subscribers on YouTube (save YouTube’s own channels) for five years. When the Indian channel was inching up to steal the number one spot, Kjellberg and fellow YouTuber friends rallied to keep it by publishing novelty diss track Bitch Lasagna about T-Series and buying expensive seats at the 2019 Super Bowl to hold up messages urging people to subscribe. Indian YouTubers jumped the bandwagon and answered with their own tracks asking people to follow the T-Series account instead, a tactic which ultimately suceeded. The ranking of the most-followed Youtube channels was still dominated by music and entertainment offerings until early 2020. Since then, more kids content channels have appeared on the scene - potentially testament to coronavirus-induced demand by parents caring for their children at home during school and daycare closures. Tyler Durden Mon, 01/30/2023 - 02:45.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nyt11 hr. 19 min. ago

"The Deep State Is Real", UK"s Dominic Cummings Admits

"The Deep State Is Real", UK's Dominic Cummings Admits Authored by Lily Zhou via The Epoch Times, “The deep state is real,” according to Dominic Cummings, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ex-chief advisor. In an interview with the “Manifold” podcast last week, Cummings said the so-called deep state, a moniker for the unelected bureaucracy, wields far more power than the elected politicians. But in his view, it’s often “very good, sensible, intelligent,” and experienced officials trying to “stop the idiots who are being elected doing terrible things.” “A lot of the things that were best in COVID was the deep state thwarting [then-Health Secretary] Matt Hancock, the elected politician for the benefit of the country,” Cummings declared. COVID-19 Lockdown Cummings spoke of how Johnson and Hancock were pressured by officials into locking down the country in March 2020, after COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic. “There was an official plan which was herd immunity,” Cummings said, adding that the plan came from the Cabinet Office and the Department of Health and Social Care, which “kept thinking that … this was the only way of handling it.” Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock walk from Downing Street to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Sept. 30, 2020. (Leon Neal/Getty Images) By March 12, 2020, data scientists in the government’s advisory team and “various outsiders” began “shouting” for lockdowns, Cummings said. He described how he and a small team “got Boris in a room” to “talk to him through the reality” with the help of some whiteboards, referring to a projected model by a team led by Neil Ferguson, a professor of mathematical biology at Imperial College London, that suggested up to half a million people could die from COVID-19 without restrictions. Cummings also said that they “explained” to Johnson that Hancock was “pushing the idea that there is only this one way is single-wave herd immunity plan” because he didn’t understand the situation, and that resistance to lockdowns would soon become politically unsustainable. He said advice at the time that said people wouldn’t tolerate restrictions for more than a few weeks “turned out to be complete nonsense.” Johnson announced the first national lockdown on March 23. Cummings’ comments echo an earlier revelation by Ferguson, who was dubbed “professor lockdown” for his modelling that influenced ministers’ decisions. Ferguson told The Times of London that the government initially didn’t think Europe could impose lockdowns like the Chinese communist regime did. “It’s a communist one party state, we said. We couldn’t get away with it in Europe, we thought,” he said, adding, “And then Italy did it. And we realised we could.” Broken Lockdown Rules Johnson, Hancock, Ferguson, and Cummings all got in trouble for breaking lockdown rules during the pandemic. On May 6, 2020, Ferguson quit the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies after he was caught meeting his mistress at home. British Epidemiologist Neil Ferguson is seen during a press conference on May 5, 2020. (Screenshot/Reuters) Less than three weeks later, Cummings sparked outrage after he drove 250 miles to drop his 4-year-old son at his parent’s home before he and his wife, both had COVID-19 symptoms, went into isolation. Johnson stood by Cummings, refusing to fire him at the time. Hancock resigned as the health secretary in June 2021 after CCTV footage emerged showing the married minister kissing an aide whom he hired with taxpayers’ money despite the social distancing guidance. Since December 2021, Johnson was mired in the so-called Partygate scandal for months as media reported on gatherings in Downing Street and Whitehall. Johnson received a fine over one of the gatherings. The scandal ultimately contributed to the collapse of his government. An inquiry is ongoing regarding whether or not he intentionally mislead Parliament. The Deep State Asked “who really runs the UK,” Cummings said he was surprised that donors have “remarkably little influence” and it was the officials that made decisions. “COVID’s a classic example of this.” Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government, Sir Patrick Vallance, arrive for a news conference on COVID-19, in London, UK, on March 3, 2020. (Frank Augstein/Pool via Reuters/File Photo) Cummings said while the media reported disagreements among ministers over COVID-19 policies, “in fact, almost always … these ministers had absolutely nothing to do with anything important, and the decisions were taken almost entirely by officials with almost no ministerial input at all.” He said officials, particularly private secretaries, make 99 percent of the decisions, while the prime minister and chancellor of the exchequer made few but “big” decisions. Asked whether it’s fair to call the officials a “deep state,” Cummings said he believed it is fair in the sense that “they are a kind of deeply entrenched institutions, which actually practically controls huge amounts of what happens with zero to very little democratic insight or even knowledge and understanding.” “That is unarguably the case,”  he said, adding that it doesn’t mean there are conspiracies going on. Cummings believes on the one hand it’s “for the good” that “brilliant 30-year-old women who no one’s heard of and no one elected [are] actually running things” because “the quality of the elected people is so desperately bad now across Western governments.” On the other hand, it means the institutions become “incredibly stale and self reinforcing” to the point “almost nothing can change in any way, including by the deep state itself,” he said. Tyler Durden Mon, 01/30/2023 - 03:30.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nyt11 hr. 19 min. ago

Sands Companies Expands into New Headquarters in Myrtle Beach 

Sands Companies, a full-service, vertically integrated multifamily development and construction firm, expanded into brand-new office space as company continues to rapidly grow.  Sands’ new headquarters is located at 9654 N. Kings Highway, Suite C-2 and totals 10,000 square feet. This office is triple the size of the firm’s previous office... The post Sands Companies Expands into New Headquarters in Myrtle Beach  appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Sands Companies, a full-service, vertically integrated multifamily development and construction firm, expanded into brand-new office space as company continues to rapidly grow.  Sands’ new headquarters is located at 9654 N. Kings Highway, Suite C-2 and totals 10,000 square feet. This office is triple the size of the firm’s previous office space. Currently, 30 employees are based in this location with plans for continued personnel expansion.  Over the past two years, Sands Companies has hired 15 employees at various levels of the South Carolina-based firm to accommodate the multitude of projects currently under construction and the many more planned for the near future.   The firm has more than 2,000 detached, horizontal cottage-style apartment homes under development throughout the Southeast with its latest project breaking ground in Gainesville, Fla. – the firm’s first in the state.  “Our brand-new headquarters represents an exciting new chapter of growth for our firm,” said Sands Companies CEO and co-founder Joe Morrison. “We made sure to design the office with a modern feel and emphasis on collaboration. We look forward to further expanding our Sands family in our home base of Myrtle Beach and in all markets, we operate in.”  The post Sands Companies Expands into New Headquarters in Myrtle Beach  appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweekly13 hr. 47 min. ago

ACRE Announces Closing of $111M Loans for Two Multifamily Properties in Pflugerville, Texas

ACRE, a global real estate private equity firm, today announced it has finalized two loans totaling $111 million with TerraCap Management, LLC (“TerraCap”), to support two multifamily properties in Pflugerville, Texas.  Issued through ACRE’s debt fund ‘ACRE Credit I,’ the loans will aid in TerraCap’s purchase of newly-built properties ‘The... The post ACRE Announces Closing of $111M Loans for Two Multifamily Properties in Pflugerville, Texas appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. ACRE, a global real estate private equity firm, today announced it has finalized two loans totaling $111 million with TerraCap Management, LLC (“TerraCap”), to support two multifamily properties in Pflugerville, Texas.  Issued through ACRE’s debt fund ‘ACRE Credit I,’ the loans will aid in TerraCap’s purchase of newly-built properties ‘The Dalton’ and ‘The Beacon at Pfluger Farm’, comprising 350 and 258 units, respectively. Executed in January, the three-year agreement includes options for two single-year extensions.  Newmark’s Matthew Williams and Kyle Schlitt served as debt brokers for the deal.  “Pflugerville is one of the fastest-growing suburbs in the Austin area and has seen immense demand as residents look to move out of core urban centers while also maintaining a level of proximity for work or leisure,” said Lauren Villano, Vice President, Acquisitions & Originations, at ACRE. “We’re thrilled to announce the closing of these loans, which represent the inaugural partnership between ACRE and TerraCap. We look forward to continuing to invest alongside their firm and other respected industry leaders as we work to meet the demand for quality multifamily development in the U.S.” TerraCap is a commercial real estate investment manager focused on value-add real estate acquisitions in the South Atlantic, West Central South, and West Mountain regions of the U.S. Located at 2209 West Pflugerville Parkway, The Dalton was completed in 2021 and features a range of one-, two-, and three-bedroom rental units. The unit interiors feature tasteful faux wood flooring; stainless steel appliances; farmhouse kitchen sinks; granite countertops; tile backsplashes; contemporary custom cabinetry; custom lighting; and walk-in closets.  The building’s suite of on-property amenities includes a resort-style pool and luxury pool house with grilling stations; and a private dog park and grooming area. Additional amenities available to residents comprise an on-site concierge; on-demand Starbucks coffee bar and Bevi sparkling and flavored water dispenser; self-serve wine membership; electric vehicle (EV) chargers; attached and detached garages; and a gated community entrance.  The Beacon at Pfluger Farm, which was completed in 2022, is located at 1300 Rauscher Drive and offers a selection of rental units ranging from one to three bedrooms. Within each unit, residents will find open-concept floor plans with hardwood-inspired flooring; upscale custom fixtures and cabinetry; stainless steel appliances; granite countertops; dishwashers; and walk-in closets.  Amenities include a resort-style pool; sunning deck with lounge seating; outdoor gathering area with fireplaces and BBQ stations; fitness studio and cycling room; WiFi-enabled coworking club; and a luxe clubhouse with shuffleboard and billiards. The community also offers pet-friendly units and pet-oriented amenities such as a dog park and washing area. In addition to a gated entrance, residents also have access to standard and EV-compatible garage parking options.  Located in the suburbs of Austin, Pflugerville is home to an array of public and private schools, golf courses and country clubs, restaurants, and marinas. With convenient access to State Highways 130 and 45, residents enjoy an easy commute to Downtown Austin.  The post ACRE Announces Closing of $111M Loans for Two Multifamily Properties in Pflugerville, Texas appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweekly13 hr. 47 min. ago

The NRP Group Breaks Ground on 324-Unit Mixed-Income Apartment Community in Dallas-Fort Worth

The NRP Group, a vertically integrated, award-winning developer, builder and manager of multifamily housing, has officially broken ground on ‘Ascent at Mountain Creek’ – a 324-unit mixed-income multifamily community located just 15 minutes outside of downtown Dallas. Fifty percent of the units will be reserved for individuals and families earning... The post The NRP Group Breaks Ground on 324-Unit Mixed-Income Apartment Community in Dallas-Fort Worth appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. The NRP Group, a vertically integrated, award-winning developer, builder and manager of multifamily housing, has officially broken ground on ‘Ascent at Mountain Creek’ – a 324-unit mixed-income multifamily community located just 15 minutes outside of downtown Dallas. Fifty percent of the units will be reserved for individuals and families earning 80% or less than the Area Median Income. Located at 4868 S. Merrifield Road, Ascent at Mountain Creek will comprise 14 three-story, wood-frame residential buildings offering a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. As a result of the increased resident demand for larger units to accommodate growing work-from-home preferences, den floor plans for one- and two-bedroom units will also be available. In-unit features will include quartz countertops, backlit mirrors, stainless steel appliances and walk-in closets. Community amenities will include a resort-style pool, dog park, fitness center and resident lounge that can double as workspace for remote workers.  “There is a crucial need for mixed-income communities like Ascent at Mountain Creek in the City of Dallas where many residents are being priced out of the rapidly growing market,” said Kyle Hines, Assistant Director for the Department of Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization. “Housing demand throughout the region has caused significant price increases in the City and we are actively developing more affordable housing options using all available tools and resources to meet our current and future residents’ needs. We are pleased to see this project move forward and look forward to working closely with The NRP Group to bring this development to fruition.” Located at the intersection of Highway 408 and 1-20, Ascent at Mountain Creek will offer residents easy access to bustling downtown Dallas and is in close proximity to ample retail and dining options. The community is also surrounded by rolling hills, lush forests, and hiking trails, a rarity in the Dallas-Fort Worth market, with Mountain Creek Lake less than 10 miles south. Residents will also be a 10-minute drive from a variety of healthcare, grocery, retail, and recreational offerings, including Methodist Charlton Medical Center, Target, Home Depot, Epic Waters Waterpark, Grand Oaks Golf Club, and more. Within Ascent at Mountain Creek’s immediate vicinity is a host of employment opportunities for working professionals. Mountain Creek Business Park, a 450-acre industrial park, is home to a wide range of reputable companies, including Nestle, Ulta Beauty, and Chewy, among others. The community is also a short distance away from Dallas Baptist University, complete with 4,480 enrolled students and 132 full-time employees.  “Dallas-Fort Worth continues to experience surging population growth, making Texas one of the leading states in the country in terms of net migration. The influx of new residents migrating to the area is causing high demand for a limited supply of apartments in the DFW market. As a result, apartment rents are quickly skyrocketing to rates that are infeasible for most individuals, especially those who are in the ‘missing middle’ income bracket,” said Alena Savera, Vice President of Development at The NRP Group. “We are excited to bring this housing development to the market and work alongside the City of Dallas to provide working-class families and individuals housing, as well as the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of the Mountain Creek region of Dallas.” Early lease-up of the community is expected to occur in October 2023, with a completion date slated for September 2024. The post The NRP Group Breaks Ground on 324-Unit Mixed-Income Apartment Community in Dallas-Fort Worth appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweekly13 hr. 47 min. ago

Mitsui Fudosan America’s 527 Madison Avenue Announces Renewal, Expansions and New Lease

Mitsui Fudosan America, Inc. (MFA) announced it has leased two full floors and a pre-built partial floor at 527 Madison Avenue—its trophy 26-story office tower located at the corner of 54th Street in the Plaza District—with the addition of a new tenant and growing footprints of two financial firms in the... The post Mitsui Fudosan America’s 527 Madison Avenue Announces Renewal, Expansions and New Lease appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Mitsui Fudosan America, Inc. (MFA) announced it has leased two full floors and a pre-built partial floor at 527 Madison Avenue—its trophy 26-story office tower located at the corner of 54th Street in the Plaza District—with the addition of a new tenant and growing footprints of two financial firms in the building. Private equity investment firm Clarion Capital Partners signed a 10-year renewal and expansion, taking the 10th and 11th floors for a total of 17,200 square feet. A private global container terminal operator signed a full-floor, long-term lease for 6,500 square feet on the 25th floor. Fintech firm CAIS added newly prebuilt space spanning 4,484 square feet on the 12th floor, bringing its total to 17,734 square feet. The tenant expansions and new lease bring the approximately 240,000-square-foot boutique building property close to full occupancy, with just the entire 11,600-square-foot 8th floor available. “We are pleased to announce this recent leasing success as we continue our commitment to providing our tenants with amenity-rich environments that inspire productivity and collaboration,” said Slater Traaen, MFA’s senior director of Asset Management and Leasing. “527 Madison’s tour and leasing velocity appears to outpace the broader submarket, which is attributable to the building’s blue-chip tenant roster and ability to provide tenants full-floor identity.” MFA invested in a multi-million-dollar modernization of the distinctive property, which included a modern lobby of polished marble designed by MdeAS that features rotating art exhibitions, as well as upgraded elevators, state-of-the-art security and a 10th floor wi-fi-enabled terrace for tenants’ exclusive use. 527 Madison’s roster includes Australia’s biggest pension fund, and internationally recognized hedge funds and global investment firms. Savills vice chairman Stephen Berliner represented Clarion Capital Partners in its renewal and expansion. The container terminal operator was represented by Todd Abrams, managing director of Prime Manhattan Realty. CAIS was represented by Brad Needleman, an executive managing director with Newmark. A Cushman & Wakefield team led by executive vice chairman Mark Boisi, and executive directors Stephen Bellwood and Bryan Boisi, serve as exclusive leasing agents for 527 Madison Avenue. Hines is the property manager. “These transactions are a reflection of ownership’s impeccable management track record and strong commitment to meeting the needs of tenants seeking high-end space that engages their employees,” said Mark Boisi. “The building’s full-floor offerings, in-house construction program, high-end pre-builts and amenities, coupled with its premier Plaza District location, make it an ideal home for discerning companies. “527 Madison Avenue’s in-building public parking and proximity to numerous public transit options is also a huge draw, as well as its proximity to Central Park and iconic eateries like the Monkey Bar at the Hotel Elysée and Nerai.” The post Mitsui Fudosan America’s 527 Madison Avenue Announces Renewal, Expansions and New Lease appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweekly13 hr. 47 min. ago

Gen Z still can"t make up its mind about working in the office

In a new Dell survey of 15,000 Gen Z, 29% of respondents said remote work is important, but another 29% said they favor 9-to-5 office-based roles. A group of people sitting at the desk at work, brainstorming.Halfpoint Images/Getty Images Gen Z is divided on the question of remote work, according to a new Dell Technologies study. In a survey, 29% of respondents said remote work is important, but another 29% said they favor office-based roles. The company surveyed 15,105 people between the ages of 18 and 26 across 15 countries. Gen Z can't make up its mind about working in the office, according to the results of a Dell Technologies study.For its study, Dell surveyed 15,105 people between the ages of 18 and 26 across 15 countries about how investments in technology can be used to support and improve the economy. The report, released in December, found that opinions on the future of work are divided.While 29% of respondents said flexible and remote working arrangements are important considerations when choosing an employer, another 29% said they are in favor of 9-to-5 office-based roles."As a father of two Gen Zers, I see first-hand how crucial it is that we listen to and seek to understand the voice of this tech-savvy generation. They are the first true digital natives and deserve the chance to shape their own futures," Aongus Hegarty, the president of international markets for Dell, wrote in the study's foreword. Hegarty did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.As Insider's Aki Ito wrote in June, the preference for remote work is largely split by generation, with the oldest workers expressing the strongest preference for permanent remote work and the youngest workers — Gen Z — expressing the least preference.Similarly, a 2022 Hubble study of over 1,000 UK-based employees showed that only 7.4% of Gen Zs want to work remotely every single day. That's compared to 21.4% of Gen X and Baby Boomers — defined as those above 41 years old.However, this is also the same generation that says that being forced to go back to the office is a deal-breaker.Consider this: 71% of the 18 to 24-year-olds surveyed by the ADP Research Institute said they would consider looking for another job if their employers insisted they returned to the office full-time. The study, which was released in April, surveyed over 32,000 workers in 17 countries including the US and India.The generation's split reactions to working from home come against the backdrop of evolving workplace standards. Many companies have been changing their remote work policies as the world continues to adjust after the pandemic.After buying Twitter in October, for example, Elon Musk told employees to return to the office for at least 40 hours a week. Disney CEO Bob Iger told employees to return to the office at least four days a week. Meanwhile, JPMorgan's CEO Jamie Dimon is famously against remote work, and the company has been tracking staff office attendance using employee ID swipes.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt14 hr. 3 min. ago

11 details you may have missed on Sunday"s heartbreaking episode of "The Last of Us"

Sunday's episode of "The Last of Us" makes major changes to Bill's character and story while giving us the origins of the cordyceps outbreak. Bill (Nick Offerman) gets a richer story on HBO's "The Last of Us."Liane Hentscher/HBO Warning: There are spoilers ahead for season one, episode three of "The Last of Us," "Long, Long Time." Insider rounds up game references and small moments you may have overlooked. The show changes Bill's story, gives the infection an origin, and features a truck from the game. Joel, Sarah, and Tommy were almost infected on the series' pilot.Sarah and Joel narrowly missed eating potentially infected food a few times on "The Last of Us" pilot.HBO, composite by Kirsten Acuna/InsiderEarly on Sunday's episode, Ellie asks Joel how the cordyceps infection spread so quickly back in the day. Who was the first person bitten? Joel tells her the "best guess" is that the cordyceps mutated by getting into the food supply and a basic ingredient like flour or sugar."There were certain brands of food that were sold everywhere," Joel tells Ellie. "All across the country, across the world. Bread, cereal, pancake mix. You eat enough of it, it'll get you infected."When Joel mentions pancake mix, it should make you think back to the show's first episode. Sarah originally wanted to make pancakes for Joel's birthday. They were out of mix, so they had eggs instead. If they had pancakes for breakfast, they likely would've been infected.Joel and Sarah avoided possible infection multiple times on the premiere. When they left the house, their neighbor offered them biscuits. The older neighbor eating one later became infected. Sarah also avoided some cookies in the afternoon because she wasn't a fan of the flavor.You can read more on the their near miss here.Bill's Massachusetts town on Sunday's episode is idyllic. The one in the game is gross and rundown.The entrance to Bill's town (and a map of it) in the game versus Bill's pristine town in the show.Naughty Dog, HBOBill's Lincoln, Massachusetts, sanctuary looks like a pristine, well-preserved town that's frozen in time and unmarred by the apocalypse.The one featured in the game isn't the sort of place you'd want to make your home for two decades. It's falling apart, grimy, and looks like a looted town. Joel, Ellie, and Bill still run into the infected in Bill's safe space.Bill lives in a church instead of a house in the game.There's a church seen in Bill's town like the one he lived inside of in the game.Naughty Dog, HBOIn the game, Bill leads Joel and Ellie through a church where he sleeps on a beat-up mattress in a mostly empty room.Bill lives like a king on the show in a house with a white-picket fence. There is a church in Bill's town, likely a nod to the one featured in the game.Bill dies on Sunday's episode, but he's still alive in the game. Frank is never seen alive in the game.Frank and Bill get to play out their lives differently on "TLOU" series.HBOSunday's episode is a complete expansion on Bill and Frank's game characters. The pair's love story on HBO's adaptation is a much richer and respectful adaptation of Bill than the version that's glossed over in the game where his sexuality is merely implied, but never directly stated, and the relationship is depicted in a negative light.In the game, Joel and Ellie seek out Bill, shown as a paranoid loner who speaks to himself, to help them fix a vehicle and carry on their mission. Frank, also Bill's partner in the game, is only seen dead, hanging after committing suicide some time ago after an infected bit him. In the game, we learn the two had a nasty falling out, resulting in Frank's eventual death. As far as we know in the game universe, Bill is still alive. During a Zoom conversation with showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann in December, Insider asked why the show expanded upon Bill's story in a significant way, giving him a happily ever after.Mazin said that after two episodes filled with action and danger, there was an opportunity to take a breath in the story and show survival from a different vantage point."There's this lovely thread that indicated this hint of a relationship between Bill and Frank in the game," Mazin said.He added: "I just suggested to Neil that maybe we pull that thread and we take it in a different direction in terms of the way it was depicted in the game, and use it to show the passage of time and use it to explore some of these themes that are so important to the length of the show, themes about what it means to love somebody, the different kinds of love, including a love that can be very protective and violent and dangerous, and how we could give these two men a win."You can watch our conversation with the showrunners on Sunday's episode here.Joel never knew about Frank in the game.Joel asks Bill about Frank in the game.Naughty Dog, composite by Kirsten Acuna/InsiderOn Sunday's episode, we see Joel and Tess visit with Bill and Frank in the past.In the game, Joel and Tess only know Bill. Frank was his secret partner. When Bill, Joel, and Ellie come across Frank's body, a confused Joel asks Bill about the man.On the show, Frank is supposed to have multiple sclerosis or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) by the episode's end.Near the end of Frank's life, we see him in a wheelchair.HBOTowards the episode's end, Frank is seen on a wheelchair and has limited use of his hands and legs. On HBO's official "TLOU" podcast, host Troy Baker asked the showrunners Frank's diagnosis."We didn't necessarily want to specify it for the audience," Mazin said. "It was either MS or early ALS." On their last day on Earth, Bill makes Frank the same meal they had the first day they met.Bill serves Frank his first and final meals.HBO, composite by Kirsten Acuna/InsiderBill cooks Frank rabbit and serves it with a the Beaujolais wine.The shot of Bill walking out of the kitchen into the dining room is a match of the same scene from earlier in the episode when he serves a hungry Frank food.Joel and Ellie find a hopeful note from Bill on the show. It's in direct contrast to the hate-filled note Joel finds in the game from Frank.The differences between Bill's and Frank's letters in the show versus the game.HBO, Naughty DogBill's letter to Joel provided hope and advice for him to take care of Tess.It read: "...I respect you so I'm gonna tell you something because you're probably the only person who will understand. I used to hate the world and I was happy when everyone died. But I was wrong because there was one person worth saving. That's what I did. I saved him. Then, I protected him. That's why men like you and me are here. We have a job to do and God help any motherfuckers who stand in our way. I leave you all of my weapons and equipment. Use them to keep Tess safe."Since Bill doesn't die in the game, there's no note from him for Joel to find. Instead, players can find a mean-spirited note in the game addressed to Bill from Frank. If you find it, Joel hands it to Bill who reads it and drops it to the ground.In part, Frank's note to Bill read: "I want you to know I hated your guts. I grew tired of this shitty town and of your set-in-your-ways attitude. I wanted more from life than this and you could never get that."Not only did Bill and Frank live in a well-kept town on the show, but Bill did eventually understand what Frank wanted from life. The two built a beautiful life together despite the circumstances of the apocalypse.Joel's demeanor toward Ellie slightly softens by the episode's end.Joel takes Bill's advice to heart on Sunday's episode.HBOBill's letter told Joel he's still here to keep people, like Tess, safe.Druckmann told Insider the lesson Bill learned about "what's important in this life" on Sunday's episode reflects back to Joel and his current mission to get Ellie to the Fireflies. He may not be able to protect Tess, who died on last week's episode, anymore, but he can use his abilities to help a young teenager.Of Bill's letter to Joel, Druckmann said, "He gives him this warning that's too late. Here's what you gotta do for Tess. And then Joel realizes, 'Well, it's too late for Tess. Maybe it's not too late for this kid.'"After making a car battery with Bill's supplies, Joel opens up to Ellie for the first time and tells her about his brother Tommy, who's located in Wyoming and in trouble.The truck Joel and Ellie take at the episode's end is the one they find in the game.The truck in the game versus the show.HBO, composite by Kirsten Acuna/InsiderJoel and Ellie leave Bill and Frank's town in Bill's blue-and-white pick-up truck on the show.Bill leaves Joel the car key on the show. The truck is similar to the one Joel and Ellie eventually drive off with in the game, but it's found in a different way.In the game, Ellie and Joel go on a hunt for a car battery with Bill to patch up a vehicle to continue on their journey west. Instead, the trio come across Frank's body before Ellie finds the car battery they were searching for in a blue-and-white truck. After a fallout with Bill, Frank found Bill's hidden car battery and planned to use the truck to escape the town before he was bitten and infected.The song that plays at the end of the episode was heard earlier in the episode.Ellie finds a cassette tape with Linda Ronstadt's music in Bill's truck.HBOEllie finds a cassette tape in the glove compartment of the truck. It's Linda Ronstadt's "Long Long Time."That's the song Bill and Frank played on the piano the first day they met. Instead of making a meal for Frank and allowing him to hit the road, the two shared an instant attraction, fell in love, and spent their lives together for 16 years.The episode closes with the song playing as the camera pulls into Bill and Frank's open window where they're presumably lying dead in each other's arms as we hear the lyrics: "I think I'm gonna love you for a long, long time."On HBO's official podcast for the series, Mazin said the song was used to bring Bill and Frank together. "We had this idea that Bill and Frank would connect over a song, that would be the thing that would essentially lead Frank to feel differently about Bill, to not just go, 'Oh, I see what's going on with this guy,' but also to want him," Mazin said. Of why this song in particular was selected, Mazin explained, "I'm looking for a song that describes a state of permanent, lonely heartache that can never be soothed. And I'm also looking for a song that isn't overplayed, that didn't feel cliché, or syrupy, or gloppy."Mazin wound up texting his friend Sirius/XM host Seth Rudetsky for a suggestion. He said Rudetsky delivered the Ronstadt suggestion in about four seconds.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nyt15 hr. 3 min. ago

A Tale Of Two Presidents: Biden Vs Trump

A Tale Of Two Presidents: Biden Vs Trump Via The Automatic Earth blog, Highly appreciated Automatic Earth commenter TAE Summary presents another one of his series “A Tale of Two..”, and if only just for the obvious effort he put into it, let’s dig in. How do you feel about what each president has achieved? No wrong answers. TAE Summary: Biden is a Great President and Trump was an Awful President Biden Appointed a diverse cabinet Signed executive orders addressing systemic racism and discrimination Passed the infrastructure bill to repair roads and bridges and improve internet access Reduced the deficit Led NATO in its support of Ukraine and opposition to Vladimir Putin Lowered the child poverty rate by increasing the tax credit for children Launched a program to protect earth from killer asteroids Officially recognized Turkish genocide of Armenians in 1915 Sidelined the court-packing movement of the left Stepped up US support for Taiwan Announced a historic trilateral security agreement with Australia and Britain to counter Chinese hegemony Accelerate Covid vaccine delivery at home an abroad Improved the American economy by championing competition and reining in the power of big business which helped create millions of jobs Gave Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices and made the price of things like insulin and hearing aids cheaper Attacked hunger and fostered better nutrition in the US Funded opioid recovery programs Eliminated the statute of limitations for child sex abuse Tried to reform student loans Issued important cybersecurity regulations Chose humanity over politics when getting Brittney Griner released Trump Colluded with the Russians to get elected in 2016 Appointed unqualified family members to important positions in his administration Tried to ban TikTok Withdrew the US from the Paris Climate Accords Increased the deficit every year of his presidency Approved the Keystone Pipeline through native lands Disallowed transgender students from using the bathroom of their choice Attacked John McCain as a loser Ended curbs on auto emissions Cracked down on legal immigrants Impeded regulation against toxic chemicals Shrank the food safety net so that over 700K Americans lost their access to food stamps Suggested vaccines cause autism Accused Barack Obama of spying on his campaign Cut corporate taxes to the lowest level since 1939 Oversaw the longest government shutdown in US history Acted as a racist and xenophobe when he implemented a travel ban from Muslim countries, blamed the Chinese for Covid, separated families at the US border, tried to build a wall between the US and Mexico and gave racist speeches Tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act which would have left millions without healthcare Inadequately responded to Covid, downplaying the dangers Use his influence as president to try to get Ukraine to provide damaging narratives about his political opponent Challenged the outcome of the 2020 election undermining democratic institutions and the public’s trust in elections which led to the events of January 6th and the deaths of 5 people Trump was a Great President and Biden is an Awful President Trump Negotiated three Arab-Israeli peace accords Fostered a strong economy and stock market by signing into to law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and other policies Started the Space Force Attempted the first Defense Department wide audit Cracked down on unwanted robo-calls Attempted to build a wall on the border with Mexico to stop illegal immigration Helped American farmers with billions of dollars in aid Tried to fix health technology by removing rules blocking the sharing of medical information Rescinded rules for federal contractors that protected them from sexual harassment claims Made it easier to prosecute financial crimes like money laundering Renegotiated trade deals with Mexico, Canada and China which benefitted American workers and businesses Appointed three Supreme Court justices and many other conservative judges to federal courts leading to pro-Constitutional decisions like the overturning of Roe Passed the VA MISSION Act which improved healthcare access and services for veterans Oversaw the defeat of the Islamic State’s territorial caliphate in Syria and Iraq Kept us out of war Signed executive orders and laws combating human trafficking Biden Opened the borders to illegal immigrants Discharged thousands of troops for refusing the Covid vaccine Opposed efforts to stop biological males from competing in women’s sports Lied about border patrol agents whipping migrants Claimed that January 6th rioters were a bigger threat to democracy than Confederates in the Civil War Described terrorism from white supremacy as the most lethal threat to the US Oversaw the disastrous withdrawal of American troops for Afghanistan Mis-handled the response to Covid mandating vaccines and dividing the nation on the basis of vaccination status Supported lockdowns and other pandemic polices which damaged the supply chain and the world economy Supported violent protesters instead of the police during the BLM riots Lied about Hunter’s laptop saying it was Russain disinformation Stated that election reform is the new Jim Crow Suppressed first amendment rights by influencing policies of social media outlets Supported the war in Ukraine and vilified Russia as our enemy Blocked American energy production Illegally attempted to forgive student loans Printed massive amounts of money causing massive inflation I have one comment: I don’t think that “Joe Biden” (in Jim Kunstler language) only “supported the war in Ukraine and vilified Russia as our enemy”, “Joe Biden” did a lot more to poke the bear and instigate and fire up the war. But that’s just me. You can be the judge of that too. Also just me: when Trump left and Biden came, we were at peace. Look at us now. *  *  * We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support. Tyler Durden Sun, 01/29/2023 - 22:30.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nyt15 hr. 47 min. ago