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United Aviate Academy graduates first class of new pilots

United Airlines said that nearly 80% of the graduates were women or people of color......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJan 25th, 2023

See inside a flight attendant training center where aspiring crew members learn how to evacuate an airline and provide customer service

Part of the vigorous training includes a large A320 mock cabin that simulates things like fire, smoke, emergency evacuations, and depressurization. Taylor Rains/Insider The airline industry is in need of thousands of flight attendants to keep up with post-COVID demand. Aspiring crew members must go through vigorous training to learn things like slide deployments and medical treatment. Insider toured Air New Zealand's training facility in Auckland to learn more about the specific courses. The airline industry is quickly getting back to pre-pandemic levels, with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicting an industry-wide recovery of 103% by 2024.Empty airline seats.Getty ImagesSource: IATAAs demand grows and carriers continue to add new routes and planes, they will need more flight crews to work them.Airline pilot walking through an airport.Taylor Rains/InsiderA significant labor source for airlines is flight attendants.Flight attendant at Denver International Airport.Robert Alexander/Getty ImagesConsumer and market data company Statista says the North American aviation industry will need 170,000 cabin crew members over the next 20 years to keep up with demand.Tunvarat Pruksachat/Getty ImagesSource: StatistaTo become a flight attendant, new hires must go through a long, intensive training course before working an actual flight.Singapore Airlines' crash simulator and safety training equipment.Marielle Descalsota/InsiderTake a look inside the intensive 4-month program that produces the top flight attendants for one of the world's best airlinesTraining includes everything from emergency procedures and self-defense to customer service and medical treatment.Singapore Airlines water landing simulator.Marielle Descalsota/InsiderTo get a glimpse into the world of flight attendant training, I toured Air New Zealand's Academy of Learning in Auckland — here's what I learned.Taylor Rains/InsiderI flew on the world's new 4th longest flight from New York to Auckland and Air New Zealand's business class made the over 17-hour journey easily bearableArriving at the center, I was impressed by the size of the facility, which had a reception area, classrooms, cabin mockups, and a large lounge area.The lounge area is huge to accommodate the dozens of current and trainee flight attendants going through the center every week.Taylor Rains/InsiderAnne-Maree O'Leary, ANZ's cabin crew training manager, told Insider the site welcomes up to 120 new hires a month, with an average of 20 a week starting every Monday, though some weeks they have 40.Taylor Rains/Insider"We're bringing intakes from off-the-street, so new into the aviation industry or they have worked for other carriers many years ago, but they aren't rehires," she said.An Air New Zealand business class flight attendant.Taylor Rains/InsiderO'Leary explained that the number is significant because pre-COVID they were hiring about 200 crew members per year across all fleets.Taylor Rains/InsiderAspiring crew members must complete four weeks of vigorous training before working a commercial flight, which includes emergency procedures, first aid, security, and customer service.The classroom where current and trainee flight attendants take exams or do computer-based training.Taylor Rains/InsiderWhile new hires go through the facility, current flight attendants will also visit for annual recurrent training to keep their certificates up to date.Current flight attendants going through recurrent customer service training.Taylor Rains/InsiderMoreover, flight attendants who are upgrading to serving business class or becoming a flight lead will need specific training for the role.An Air New Zealand business class flight attendant.Taylor Rains/InsiderGround personnel, mechanics, and some engineers will also use the facility for various purposes.Inside one of the hangars were small aircraft where Air New Zealand apprentices work and learn to hopefully land a role as a mechanic.Taylor Rains/InsiderThe first stop on our tour was in the Cabin Emergency Evacuation Trainer, which employees named Athena.Taylor Rains/InsiderThe mock cabin resembles an Airbus A320 airliner, which is the workhorse of ANZ's narrowbody fleet.Taylor Rains/InsiderA320 aircrew trainer Melissa Gerritsen-Fridh told Insider that the cabin is a hybrid between two A320 variants, meaning the two sides of the cabin are slightly different.Taylor Rains/InsiderANZ also uses the cabin for some widebody training, but the company is soon getting a new, larger mockup that will have two aisles to replace its old widebody training cabins.Taylor Rains/InsiderThe A320's several rows of seats mean the cabin could double as a training classroom to discuss the procedures and expectations.Taylor Rains/InsiderThere was also a galley area in the front and aft of the cabin…Taylor Rains/Insider…a cockpit with two pilot dummies at the controls…Taylor Rains/Insider…a lavatory, complete with one of ANZ's signature wallpaper designs…Taylor Rains/Insider…overhead bins, only two of which could open and hold emergency equipment…Taylor Rains/Insider…TV screens for presentations and warnings…Taylor Rains/Insider…evacuation doors, which trainees must master how to use…Taylor Rains/Insider…a panel to control things like lights, doors, and temperature…Taylor Rains/Insider…and a station to simulate emergencies, like fires, water landings, and depressurization.The station was in the aft right of the mock cabin, which also had a screen that displayed security cameras that were throughout the cabin.Taylor Rains/InsiderThe flight attendant trainers demonstrated a fire evacuation scenario for media, which include smoke and alarms.Fake fire showed on the windows to simulate the emergency event.Taylor Rains/InsiderWhen the alarm sounded, crew members shouted specific commands, like "stay seated," then one opened the door, and, in unison, they all instructed us to evacuate the plane.The flight attendants shouting commands as smoke filled the cabin.Taylor Rains/InsiderWe left through the left-side emergency door towards the aft of the airplane as smoke filled the cabin.The smoke dissipated a few minutes later.Taylor Rains/InsiderOn the floor, ANZ has painted a slide to give a visual reference of what it will look like when deployed as passengers will use this to exit instead of just walking out.We evacuated in a covered room to the left of the A320 mock cabin.Taylor Rains/InsiderAfter we re-entered the mockup, Gerritsen-Fridh dropped the oxygen masks and a loud voice came over the speakers with instructions on how to use the them.Taylor Rains/InsiderUnfortunately for the trainers, the masks do not automatically retract, so they have to manually put them back.Taylor Rains/InsiderTrainers will also simulate anomaly events, like jammed evacuation doors and failed slide deployments to ensure flight attendants are ready for anything.Taylor Rains/InsiderBecause Athena is on the ground, trainees cannot actually deploy the slides, so that is done in a different room with an elevated cabin, which is the current widebody mockup.Taylor Rains/InsiderHere, flight attendants will practice going down the slide, as well as do swim tests and get on a real raft in case of water landings.The slide was sturdy and hard, with pads at the bottom.Taylor Rains/InsiderTrainees will also learn how to operate the doors on widebody planes, including the Boeing 777 and Boeing 787.Taylor Rains/InsiderIn addition to emergency procedures, the A320 mock cabin is used for normal operations, like pre-flight briefings, including passengers with disabilities and unaccompanied minors.Taylor Rains/Insider"Its better to be in this environment because trainees get an idea of how everything feels and moves, so it's good situational awareness," Gerritsen-Fridh told Insider.Trainers demonstrating commands and hand signals.Taylor Rains/InsiderANZ pilots will also receive emergency procedures training in Athena, but there is a separate simulator center for their flight training, O'Leary told Insider.The Air New Zealand pilots who flew the inaugural flight from New York to Auckland in September.Air New ZealandBehind Athena is a fire trainer named Prometheus.Taylor Rains/InsiderThis is where cabin crew and pilots get practical experience putting out fires in things like ovens, overhead bins, and laptops.Taylor Rains/InsiderGerritsen-Fridh demonstrated putting out a laptop fire, which included sounding an alarm and using a fire extinguisher.Taylor Rains/InsiderWhile ANZ will do as much in Athena as possible, customer service training has separate classrooms with different mockups.This mockup had premium economy and business class seats.Taylor Rains/InsiderHere, new and current flight attendants will receive specific training for things like passenger interaction, serving business class, and using galley carts.Taylor Rains/InsiderFlight attendants can upgrade to business after six months of employment and must learn special procedures, like plating, O'Leary said.An Air New Zealand business class flight attendant converting the seat into a bed.Taylor Rains/InsiderDuring our visit, we saw veteran flight attendants in the business class mockup learning about new wine offerings onboard so they can explain to customers.Taylor Rains/InsiderAlso in the room were glass dishes and amenity kits, which are used in premium cabins.Taylor Rains/InsiderO'Leary told Insider that customer service training is not required by law, but ANZ requires it annually to maintain a high standard of service.A diagram of a seat map on the wall of the academy.Taylor Rains/InsiderIn another room was an economy mockup, where new hires learn how to service the cabin, including the Skycouch.Taylor Rains/InsiderI flew on the world's 4th longest flight in a 'Skycouch' — an economy seat that converts into a bed — and it was a lifesaver on the 16-hour journey After seeing the mockups, we learned about one of the most important parts of flight attendant training — medical and first aid.A class of trainees working on their medical course during our tour.Taylor Rains/InsiderWalking to the classroom, I noticed people wearing flight attendant uniforms, which O'Leary told Insider is required starting week three, except during medical and security training.Taylor Rains/InsiderTo be hired as an ANZ flight attendant, applicants must already have their CPR license and must complete a two-day external course with St. John before training begins.Taylor Rains/Insider"What we do here at the facility is the add-on portion of medical training that is specifically in an aviation environment," O'Leary explained.There were desks and a small cabin mockup in the classroom.Taylor Rains/InsiderANZ has three medical trainers that are EMT qualified, meaning they are the best of the best for this highly important course. O'Leary said trainees can ask in-depth questions to give the context of why they perform certain treatments.Aircrew trainer Susan McCapra is one of the specially qualified medical professionals. She can provide detailed explanations on how diabetes, for example, works in the body, which offers more context for trainees rather than just telling them to follow generic instructions.Taylor Rains/InsiderMedical training is two days and future flight attendants learn things like using oxygen tanks, creating an airway, and using epidural pens.Taylor Rains/InsiderAircrew trainer Susan McCapra, who is one of the three people with special medical qualifications, explained that aviation medicine is all hands-on learning: "We take them through all the equipment we have and they go around in groups to practice."Taylor Rains/InsiderOn the day we visited, we saw trainees practicing CPR in groups of three — one doing compressions, one on the resuscitator mask, and one on the defibrillator.Trainees already know how to conduct CPR, but this group training builds on that in an aviation setting.Taylor Rains/InsiderPart of the equipment is a huge medical kit kept onboard, which is color coded and has items that a doctor could use to perform an operation onboard.Taylor Rains/InsiderI noticed the kit is much more comprehensive than ones I've seen in the US, with O'Leary telling Insider that not all items are required, but chosen to be included by ANZ's doctors and medical unit.There is one kit on the narrowbody planes, and two on widebody jets like the Boeing 787.Taylor Rains/InsiderOnce they've gone through the course, McCapra told Insider that trainees must pass a test to officially complete the medical portion of the training.Taylor Rains/Insider“If they fail an exam, they get another chance, but if they fail another one then it’s a conversation with cabin managers, but there is a standard they have to meet,” she explained.An Air New Zealand flight attendant serving the economy cabin on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.Taylor Rains/InsiderThe exam requires a trainee to pick a random card and perform whatever it says, like when and how to use an oxygen tank, for example.McCapra said they not only have to learn how to use the oxygen tanks but also how to properly attach the tanks to the seat to keep the aisle clear during flight.Taylor Rains/InsiderAccording to McCapra, ANZ had about 150 oxygen-related events a week pre-COVID, so it is imperative flight attendants know how to properly use them.Passengers on an Air New Zealand flight.Taylor Rains/InsiderMcCapra also explained that crew members will face sometimes emotionally draining situations onboard, like the death of a passenger, but ANZ has created an employee assistance program to help flight attendants and pilots after major events.Air New Zealand 787.ShutterstockOne of the other important courses flight attendants must go through is security training, which includes things like self-defense, disarming, and de-escalation.Taylor Rains/InsiderDuring our tour, we saw a class using dummies and punching bags to practice, which is led by New Zealand police.Taylor Rains/InsiderWhile it is impossible to learn every detail of a flight attendant's four-week training in just two hours, I was thoroughly impressed by the facility.Taylor Rains/InsiderAs opposed to popular belief, flight attendants are not just glorified customer service agents, but rather they are necessary, and sometimes life-saving, safety professionals.Boeing 787 emergency evacuation door training.Taylor Rains/InsiderIf you're an aspiring flight attendant anywhere in the world, the training will not be easy, so be prepared to commit to vigorous tests and procedures before becoming an airline crew member.The Air New Zealand flight attendants that worked the carrier's inaugural flight from New York to Auckland.Taylor Rains/InsiderRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 23rd, 2022

They Were Told They’d Find Good Tech Jobs. Now They’re Being Hounded for Thousands of Dollars

Tech boot camps dangled the prospect of well-paid jobs in tech, 'debt-free.' Students were left owing thousands instead The very idea that she, a Black person living in Alabama, could make $75,000 a year in the tech industry after just a 10-week boot camp is what drew Aaryn Johnson into Flockjay. The ad for the boot camp specializing in tech sales followed her around social media: “This is the bullet train you don’t want to miss! It’s recession-proof even in the midst of a Global Pandemic.” Even better, according to the company’s promotional material, students didn’t have to pay a cent in tuition to Flockjay until they landed a job that paid at least $40,000 a year. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] It seemed too good to be true. Johnson assumed the scheme was fake until one day she saw on Twitter that Black celebrities like Serena Williams and Will Smith had invested in Flockjay—and that the Walnut, California–based startup pledged to help people from underrepresented backgrounds get into the tech industry. When Johnson started an application and then abandoned it, a Flockjay sales rep called her and made it sound like the program was exclusive, she says, but that she had a good shot at getting in, because she’d worked in sales in the past. “They said, ‘You’re going to kill it; you’re going to make so much money.’ ” When she learned that Flockjay was about to close admissions for the class, Johnson completed her application, signed an enrollment agreement, and began the program in August 2021. Flockjay delivered on little of what it promised, Johnson says. The curriculum was so easy that her 7-year-old nephew could have done it, she says. Students were taught how to make posts on LinkedIn—something most all of them knew—including a homework assignment to post about how much they were enjoying Flockjay’s program. Classes had them act out selling tech products to one another, much in the same way children pretend to sell things at a grocery store, with no simulation as to what it would actually be like in the real world. Within Johnson’s first two weeks of the program, the representative who had urged her to join was laid off, along with half of Flockjay’s staff. The result was that the one-on-one coaching students were promised was effectively removed from the program. Johnson had entered the lawless arena of tech boot camps; These camps are among thousands of unaccredited schools that pitch their services to students through heavy marketing spends and often don’t deliver on the promises made in their advertising pitches. Unaccredited schools have long flourished in the U.S., but this new wave of schools does something different: attracting students by offering a relatively new funding model called an income share agreement (ISA). They pitch these ISAs as a way to access education without taking out a loan, but students like Johnson soon find out that these agreements can leave them owing a lot of money without the good career prospects they were promised. Nor are these students eligible for any of the Biden Administration’s planned federal loan forgiveness programs, because ISAs are offered not by the U.S. government but by private companies. Now, a year after enrolling, Johnson is getting hounded by Meratas, the company responsible for collecting on her Flockjay tuition, despite the fact that Johnson says she did not receive the education Flockjay promised. She finished the course, since the company had pledged to match her with hiring partners once she graduated, but after waiting for weeks to be connected with a company, she hustled and found her own job in sales. She never mentioned Flockjay to her new employer. She doesn’t make anywhere near the $75,000 salary the company mentioned in its promotions. Her sales job, while technically in the technology industry, is basically telemarketing, she says: “This is literally the most soul-sucking job I’ve had in my entire life.” Flockjay was cited in October of 2020 by California’s Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education for operating without approval, Johnson has since learned, and ordered to cease advertising to students and enrolling them. The company has not complied. Blair, the company that gave Johnson the money for her tuition, no longer works with Flockjay; they have turned over her financial debt to Meratas. “Their shtick was that it was about getting Black people into tech—but over the 10 weeks, they didn’t train us for any real-life situation,” says Johnson. “There were so many people who tried to get jobs after and could not.” Boot-camp boom In the turbulent economy of the pandemic era, few industries seem as attractive as the tech sector, where people can earn high salaries, work remotely, and feel with some degree of certainty that they’re in a growing field. But tech can also seem opaque to outsiders. After all, it’s much harder to understand what tech employees do all day than it is to picture what happens in a car factory. Boot camps like Flockjay attract students by promising to demystify tech and get students high-paying jobs without having to take on the debt of attending a four-year college. Business has been booming. Around 100,000 people were enrolled in tech boot camps in 2021, according to the research firm HolonIQ, a fivefold increase since 2015. These businesses generated $1.2 billion in revenue in 2020, six times what they did in 2015. Boot camps like Flockjay have flourished over the last few years in part because they partner with companies that offer ISAs, which give students upfront money for tuition if they agree to repay the money once they’re earning a certain wage. Students can either fork over a certain percentage of their salary or a dedicated lump sum every month until they’ve paid back the amount they’ve borrowed—or more, depending on the agreement. ISAs have been used at accredited schools, like Purdue University, but they’re especially popular for nonaccredited schools like boot camps, which often promote these financing arrangements in their sales pitches, since their students cannot access federal student loan dollars. On the surface, the symbiotic relationship between boot camps and ISA providers seems like a smart way to get people into technology. Boot camps are expensive, with tuition ranging from $3,000 to $15,000, and ISAs enable students to pay that tuition without taking out private student loans, which usually have high interest rates and fees. ISAs often behave as servicers, providing students the money that allow boot camps to operate, and then handling the details of repayment so that schools can focus on education. ISAs have better terms than private loans, but not as much flexibility as federal student loans. If boot camps didn’t exist, ISAs might struggle to find a market. “There was a lot of hope that this new emerging high-tech world would save us.” ISA proponents say the financial product allies students, the school, and the ISA provider, since each has a vested interest in a student graduating and making a good salary. “Because a Flockjay education can be financed via an income share agreement, the incentives of the school and the student are highly aligned—Flockjay is a blueprint for College 2.0,” Romeen Sheth, a Flockjay investor, wrote on Medium in 2019, explaining why he had invested in the company. (Sheth did not respond to a request for comment for this story.) But groups that advocate on behalf of students say ISAs are not the cure-all solution that proponents say they are, even as the companies continue to sell students the promise of a swanky future in the high-flying world of tech. The example of Flockjay, showered with praise and funding by venture capitalists and celebrities, even as students say the company ultimately took their money and delivered little in return, shows the risk of allowing both ISAs and for-profit tech schools to operate without regulation. “There was a lot of hope that this new emerging high-tech world would save us,” says Ben Kaufman, director of research and investigations at the Student Borrower Protection Center, which advocates for students, and which provided support to Flockjay students who had complaints about the company. “But there’s a long history of fly-by-night con men setting up for-profit educational enterprises, and then finding ever more exotic and dangerous forms of credit to facilitate them.” Flockjay isn’t the only company that has produced crops of angry students. Three students sued the coding boot camp Lambda School in 2021, alleging that the school misrepresented its job-placement rates and how its ISA worked. They reached a confidential settlement in July, but a fourth such claim remains in court. A lawsuit filed this summer in Atlanta alleges that an online programming boot camp called Clever Programmer charged students tens of thousands of dollars for services it did not deliver. And Washington State filed a lawsuit against tech sales camp Prehired, saying its ISAs are invalid because the company operated without a license, and that the company misled students about its programs. Prehired has denied the allegations in the complaint. Boot camps and ISAs are arguably creating a new generation of debtors, even as the nation grapples with how to handle its existing student debt crisis. President Biden said last month that he planned to wipe away up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt for some borrowers, and earlier this year, the Department of Education said it would forgive billions worth of loans given to students who attended schools like Corinthian Colleges Inc. that it found had misrepresented borrower’s employment prospects. But these boot camps and the ISAs that enable them may be creating some of the same problems—and debt burdens—that the Biden administration is seeking to solve. There’s not a whole lot that Flockjay alums like Johnson can do about their complaints. Some students filed a notice with California’s Workforce and Development Agency in July, suggesting they would file a lawsuit against Flockjay if the agency does not take action. Many more students are like Johnson—embarrassed that they signed up for Flockjay, and just wanting to move on. “This was a scam, but you feel stupid because you fell for it,” she says. Flockjay did not respond to questions for this story, but the company did provide a statement, attributed to Bryant Lau, its head of demand. “We stand by the success our hundreds of graduates have had and the incredibly hard work of our staff when we ran our sales academy,” it says. Meratas did not respond to a request for comment. Not all boot-camp students have stories like Johnson’s. There are many boot camps that do provide a solid tech-focused education, and that have helped students get high-paying tech jobs. These often teach specific skills, such as programming languages like Python, or computer-science skills like encryption and system architecture. Educational programs that are not accredited can still provide students useful skills that will prepare them for the job market. But research indicates that students with industry-recognized credentials like a certificate and degree—credentials that Flockjay and many other tech sales boot camps don’t offer—are most useful for preparing students for the job market. The lure of ‘debt-free’ college To say there’s a student debt crisis in America is a vast understatement. Income-sharing agreements have sprung up as an alternative to taking on this debt. The pitch: ISAs shift the risks of poor workforce outcomes from students to lenders, since lenders only get repaid if the students find a good-paying job. “This is true ‘debt-free’ college,” former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels wrote in 2015, when pitching ISAs as a solution to the student debt crisis. Daniels launched one of the first and most high-profile ISAs at Purdue University, where he was then president, in 2016. The program, called “Back a Boiler,” gave students a portion of their tuition in exchange for the students’ agreeing to pay back a percentage of their future income for a period of time after they graduated. The program partnered with a startup called Vemo Education, which in 2017 raised $7.4 million from venture-capital firms. (In 2022, Purdue suspended its Back a Boiler program amid complaints that it had misled students about how much money they’d owe after graduating. Daniels also announced in June that he was stepping down as Purdue’s president.) ISAs have long been popular at private universities in Europe and Latin America, and U.S. entrepreneurs began founding ISA companies as early as 2012 to fill the gap between federal student loans and private loans, which often have high interest rates and inflexible payback terms. Many of the earliest ISA companies, including Upstart and Pave, have since switched to offering traditional loans. In 2019, $250 million in income-share agreements were created, and 40 colleges and boot camps either offered or were developing ISA programs, according to Edly, an education lending platform, which estimated before the pandemic began that $500 million would be generated in 2020. Flockjay talked about the potential merits of ISAs as part of its funding pitch to investors. The angle paid off; in 2019, Flockjay received funding from startup accelerator Y Combinator; Dreamers VC, the venture capital fund co-founded by Will Smith; and Serena Williams’ investment firm Serena Ventures, which Williams has recently said she plans to focus on when she retires from professional tennis. (Serena Ventures did not respond to requests for comment. A Dreamers VC representative says that Flockjay was one of the few boot camps proactively engaging in communication with California regulators.) “It’s really smoke and mirrors they use to trap people in expensive debt that lasts longer than they think it will.” Advocates like the Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC) say the way ISAs and boot camps became popular—by marketing themselves as a debt-free alternative to college—was misleading. “THIS IS NOT A LOAN,” a Flockjay deferred-tuition agreement seen by TIME says, and other ISAs clearly state that they are not loans. But ISAs behave very much like loans, with similar terms and fees, and sometimes require borrowers to pay back much more money than they’ve originally borrowed. ISAs often have payment caps that limit the amount a student has to repay, but these can be three times as high as the amount borrowed, according to the SBPC. In some cases, if borrowers want to pay off their ISA early, they have to pay the amount of the payment cap as a penalty, rather than the initial tuition amount—as was the case with a Purdue student who took out an ISA for $15,000 and was told she’d have to pay $37,500 if she wanted to close her contract, according to the Indianapolis Star. “The products have this facial element of seeming really simple and elegant,” says Kaufman, of the SBPC, “but it’s really smoke and mirrors they use to trap people in expensive debt that lasts longer than they think it will.” And while student-borrower advocates agree that ISAs are probably a better alternative than private student loans, they say that any product pitched as a money-making operation to investors won’t be a good deal for students. Federal student loans do not earn the government profits. “The whole premise is that this will generate a profit for somebody, whether it’s an investor or a boot camp,” says Jessica Thompson, a vice president at the Institute for College Access and Success. “Since when does anybody think that students are going to come out on the better end of that deal?” Neither ISAs nor unaccredited boot camps are closely regulated, and that’s created many of the problems students like Johnson have encountered. Students can take out ISAs for schools that don’t offer a good educational product and mislead them about student outcomes—allegations made in numerous lawsuits against boot camps—and then still be required to pay them back. Flockjay, for instance, told students in promotional materials that the average full-time job offer from companies on its platform was $75,000. Yet according to the company’s own 2021 enrollment agreement, out of 114 students who began the program in 2019, only 52 were eligible for graduation, and of those 52, just 22 were in jobs making between $45,000 and $50,000. The rest were making less than $45,000 or didn’t report their salary information. Students like Johnson and Brianna Kirby, a Black woman who started the program in June 2021, say there were many more discrepancies between what Flockjay initially promised and what it delivered. Though these complaints are more focused on the quality of Flockjay’s educational product than the terms of its deferred tuition agreement they signed with Blair (now enforced by Meratas), students say they agreed to the tuition terms because they were told they would make good money after graduation. They say they are now saddled with debt without the benefits they expected. Courtesy Brianna KirbyBrianna Kirby started the Flockjay program in June 2021. Flockjay’s enrollment agreement said the company would give students coaching for interviews and perfecting their résumés, and that its career-services team would act as a liaison between hiring partners and graduates, but after the August 2021 layoffs, most of the career-services team was gone. The enrollment agreement required students to schedule mock interviews with the career-service team, but after the layoff, students would sign in to scheduled mock interviews and no Flockjay staff would ever show up, according to online messages TIME has viewed between Kirby and other students. The enrollment agreement prohibited students from looking for jobs on their own for a set period of time after graduation, so that Flockjay could match them with hiring partners, who paid the company a fee, but when those hiring partners didn’t materialize, students were stuck with no permitted way to find work. The résumé coach assigned to Kirby frequently entered spelling and other errors into her résumé. When students were sent assignments to perfect their résumés, these often weren’t graded on time, Kirby says, even though this significantly slowed down the job -search process. And students were asked to complete a “Capstone Project” to promote Flockjay and recruit new students, even though Flockjay was supposed to be teaching students business-to-business, not business-to-consumer sales; the winning students received an a $100 prize, according to graduates who talked to the Student Borrower Protection Center. After the August layoffs, students in Kirby’s and Johnson’s classes began to discuss the lax student services on Slack, wondering if they could take legal action. “I’ll be honest with you, if I wasn’t financially obligated I could care less about this whole ordeal,” one student wrote in the Slack channel. “However, I am stuck $7k.” After talking with other students about how they felt let down by Flockjay, Kirby and Johnson both closed down the bank accounts to which they had given the company access. (California law says that a note of debt for an educational program is not enforceable if the institution did not have approval to operate when that note was executed; it’s unclear how this would affect the debt of students who live in other states.) Like many other students, Kirby ended up finding a job on her own after graduation, without the help of Flockjay. She does not make anywhere near $75,000. Meratas has been sending her so many emails that she’s started marking them as spam. “Flockjay didn’t make good on their contract with us; they target vulnerable marginalized communities, and left us in the wings with no transparency or communication,” she says. “Now we’re stuck making full payments despite feeling shorted.” One former Flockjay worker says she thinks the company’s focus on increasing its student base is what led to its problems. Lynn Meadors was hired as a Flockjay résumé writer in early 2021. When she began, Flockjay had six classes of graduates, each around 25 students, but each month, the classes got bigger and bigger, she says. By the time she left, in November 2021, the classes were about four times the size they’d been in the beginning. That’s despite the company’s having about half the staff it had before August of that year. Meadors believes Flockjay was trying to add as many students as possible to increase its revenue. “Students were being recruited primarily because they could check a box or fill a seat in the class,” she says, “rather than because they had the potential to be successful.” When students didn’t complete assignments, staff would be encouraged to graduate them anyway. Because Flockjay’s “partner companies” had to pay them a fee whenever the companies hired a student Flockjay had introduced to them, students were told not to seek jobs on their own, so Flockjay could get the commission. “I do think there were a lot of predatory aspects of Flockjay,” Meadors says. “They made it sound like if you went through Flockjay, you were almost guaranteed to find employment, but I know many students who have not found work or who have had to accept jobs in totally different fields and are still now paying Flockjay.” Most of the students were people of color, Meadors says, and Flockjay’s model of getting current students to recruit new ones was successful at making people feel comfortable signing up, even if class quality was declining. Students told her they’d joined because they saw friends or friends of family members posting about their experience, or saw ads from alumni of color that said how successful they’d become in tech. “The thought that any person who entered the program could have a successful tech career is flawed,” Meadors says. “In reality, the majority of people were not successful.” Previous Flockjay students have reported better experiences with the program. Brenna Redpath’s son went through Flockjay in 2020, and she says he flourished in the program. He’s now working in tech sales and makes $80,000, she says, a path that motivated Redpath to enroll in Flockjay in August 2021. Her son’s class was about one-third the size that hers was, she says. Her son had a career coach dedicated to helping him find a job; Redpath says most of the career counselors who were supposed to be available to her had been laid off, with only about two for every 100 students. Redpath, who is 56, had a few interviews after graduating from Flockjay, but she did not find a tech job. She has since found work at a nonprofit that has nothing to do with the tech industry. But since she is making more than $40,000, she and her husband have been anxiously eyeing their bank account, which they did not close down because it’s linked to many of their other monthly payments. She worries Meratas will start collecting soon on her ISA. “I believe in the mission of Flockjay,” says Redpath, “but I watched them not deliver for people who could use it.” Policing a new financial product Since they’re structured differently from loans, ISAs have been difficult for regulators to handle. Regulations often require that lenders disclose the amount of interest a loan has accrued, for example—something ISA providers say would be difficult to calculate. Until the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau entered into a consent order with Better Future Forward, a nonprofit ISA provider, in 2021, some ISA providers weren’t even certain they had to adhere to the Truth in Lending Act, which governs which disclosures student loan borrowers receive. Since the consent order requiring the nonprofit to follow the Truth in Lending Act and the Consumer Financial Protection Act only addresses Better Future Forward and its ISAs, many providers say they still don’t know what federal regulations apply to their own ISAs. Since 2014, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has introduced numerous Congressional bills that would regulate ISAs, but they have never gone anywhere. This year is no exception—in July, Rubio and three colleagues introduced a bipartisan bill they say would help regulate ISAs. The bill would prevent ISA contracts from being longer than 20 years, and would allow students making below a certain income to be exempt from making payments toward their ISA. The bill is endorsed by Better Future Forward’s CEO Kevin James and Purdue’s president, ISA champion Daniels. But SBPC’s Kaufman says it would “enshrine into law all the worst aspects of ISAs,” and allow providers to continue to claim that these agreements aren’t loans. It may be difficult for the industry to grow until policymakers create a system of regulatory oversight that prevents abuse of ISAs, says James, of Better Future Forward. He argues that used correctly, ISAs can be a powerful tool. Better Future Forward, for instance, offers ISAs only to certain students who attend certain handpicked accredited universities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. The company has worked with regulators in an attempt to create new laws that would make sure that ISAs could be discharged in bankruptcy, unlike student loans, and that students don’t have to repay if they make below a certain income. The U.S. higher educational system needs programs that expand access to financial support and that are built around students’ success, James says. Without access to ISAs, students could further become trapped in debt, since the current loans system is broken, he says. The loan-forgiveness programs the Biden Administration is offering “are patches on a broken system—doing little to ensure history won’t repeat itself,” James wrote in a June 2022 paper laying out his preferred regulatory approach. Since there is little meaningful federal regulation, ISA companies have to comply with different regulations from 50 different states, making it even harder for them to operate, according to the CEO of one company that has recently stopped providing ISAs, and which is not authorized to speak on the record because of pending litigation. The startups that offer ISAs don’t have a lot of capital, and can either spend their money on ensuring they comply with every state-level regulation, or they can spend it on its educational product, or on marketing. “Clear rules would have probably been the best thing that could have happened to us,” the CEO says. A lack of regulation has forced many ISA companies to pivot to other business models, which leaves students with few options other than private loans, which have extremely high interest rates. Indeed, many of the companies that have tried to offer ISAs in the past decade have since left the market because of a lack of regulation. Flockjay itself has since pivoted from tech boot camps, and says it is now focused on helping its graduates and other tech sales workers get better at the jobs they already have. The company is now pitching this as a new service to former students, even though students say they were told they’d receive ongoing alumni support for life as part of the program they had already paid for. The example of Flockjay students indicates that the state regulation is not particularly effective. Though California’s Bureau for Private and Postsecondary Education (BPPE) fined Flockjay $15,000 in October of 2020 for operating without state approval, a year later the BPPE lowered the fine to $10,000—roughly equivalent to the tuition of 1.25 students. The BPPE did not take any further regulatory action against Flockjay. The school still does not have approval to operate in the state of California. California’s Department of Consumer Affairs, which oversees the BPPE, said in a statement that Flockjay appealed its citation for operating without approval; when its appeal was denied, the school submitted evidence in November 2021 that it was no longer operating. The regulator does not confirm, discuss, or comment on investigations, the statement said. BPPE refers matters related to financing to the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI.). In a statement, DFPI said: “It is the DFPI’s stance that ISAs issued by schools not licensed or registered with BPPE are unenforceable and cannot be serviced. In August 2021, Meratas, which took over servicing Flockjay’s ISAs in June, entered into a consent order with the DFPI. The consent order states that Meratas will not service any ISAs “that have been determined or declared unenforceable or void by the DFPI or any regulatory agency.” But students including Kirby, Johnson, and Redpath say they are getting emails from Meratas trying to collect on their Flockjay ISAs. They say they’ve also been offered “discounted tuition” offers, in which their debts will be wiped out if they pay $6,000 right away. In August, Redpath emailed Flockjay asking to speak to someone “who can have a conversation about the contractual problem of Flockjay holding teaching for my batch while legally being banned from doing so by the Department of Education.” She noted in the email that many students were unhappy about the lack of career support services, and that their class was three times bigger than previous classes had been. She received an email back the next day. “You can continue to defer your tuition payments until you get a job exceeding $40,000/annually,” a Flockjay customer-success manager wrote. “Per the DTA [deferred tuition agreement] this is only deferred until you get any job.” —With reporting by Simmone Shah.....»»

Category: topSource: timeSep 8th, 2022

I toured United"s new flight school that"s training the next generation amid a pilot shortage — see inside

United Airlines hopes to train 5,000 pilots by 2030 with its new Arizona flight school. Writer Jamie Killin visited and rode with a pilot in training. United Airlines Aviate Academy.United Airlines I went to United Airlines' new flight academy in Arizona. Most of the approximately 120 students are women and people of color.  Students can receive a private pilot's license and other certificates during the 12-month program.  One pilot in training, Tunisia Solomon, even took me along for her first flight of the day.  United Airlines recently opened the Aviate Academy in Goodyear, Arizona — the only flight academy of its kind operated by a major airline in the country. I visited it.Jamie KillinThe school currently has approximately 120 students, and it's adding about 30 students per month.Jamie KillinMarc Champion, United's managing director for flight training, told Insider data showed increased demand for air travel would require more pilots.United AirlinesUnited decided to create the Aviate program as part of its response.Delta Air LinesUnited chose Arizona due to its large number of blue-sky days and great weather for flight training.Jamie KillinThe United Aviate Academy is the first step for an aspiring United Airlines captain.Delta Air LinesInstead of earning several certifications separately from different places, students at the academy can receive their private pilot license and a variety of other certificates during a 12-month program.Delta Air LinesThen they move to "Aviate," a further training program where students build hours with United Airlines Aviate partners — like Go Jet or Air Wisconsin — before ultimately being hired by United Airlines.Jamie KillinWhen I visited the academy, I met with three female student pilots — Abby Awosanya, 31 years old; Tunisia Solomon, 24; Grace Durbin, 21 — and Jill Mills, a United employee for more than 25 years.Jamie KillinMills currently serves as the chief pilot in Washington, where she oversees day-to-day operations and pilots.Jamie KillinI arrived the day after a new class began the program, so Mills was in town to represent the pilot force and answer questions during a panel presentation.Jamie KillinOne goal of the academy is to make flying for a major airline — preferably United — more accessible to women and people of color.United AirlineMills told Insider that at 7%, United has the second highest percentage of female pilots in the world. At the United Aviate Academy, 70% of the pilots in training are women and/or people of color.Delta Air LinesThe women noted that having a group of peers to train with, as well as the ability to learn how to fly with Cirrus planes, attracted them to the program.United AirlinesI was able to go on a quick flight with Solomon before her first official flight of the day.United AirlinesSolomon began flight training in college, when she was studying applied mathematics at the State University of New York. She learned about aviation through a friend and said she's loved it ever since.Jamie KillinWhile I trusted Solomon and her instructor’s expertise, something about crawling into a plane so small that it requires entering by stepping on the wing started to invoke a feeling of terror in me.Jamie KillinGetting the plane off the ground takes a while. I braced myself for our departure probably 10 times before our eventual takeoff.Jamie KillinFortunately, most of the time was spent doing a variety of checks, which made me feel slightly safer.Jamie KillinEventually, we were in the skies and my worries began to melt away as I took in the desert landscape, flight schools and suburban sprawl of the city of Goodyear below us.Jamie KillinAfter a quick lap around the campus, it was time to land. My flight jitters started to kick in again, but Solomon landed expertly with less impact than I’ve come to expect from commercial flights.Jamie KillinSolomon then continued her day of training with another supervised flight, moving one step closer to her dream of becoming a pilot.Jamie KillinUpon finishing the academy, she'll move on to receiving her ATP certification, before flying for one of United's Express Aviate partners and finally becoming one of United Airlines' approximately 12,000 pilots.Jamie KillinThe United Aviate Academy plans to grow its roster of pilots, which are in increasingly high demand, with a goal of training 5,000 by 2030.United AirlinesBy then, the enthusiastic pilots I met today will be well into their careers.United AirlinesRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 30th, 2022

I just became a pilot after spending $80,000 on flight school. Here"s what the intense training program was like.

"I don't regret it at all," a 32-year-old commercial pilot said. "I don't see myself being anything other than a pilot." "I don't see myself being anything other than a pilot," one 32-year-old commercial pilot said (not pictured). Shutterstock.com A 32-year-old commercial pilot (who asked to remain anonymous) shared what training was like. They went through instruction during the pandemic and recently were hired. They say demand is higher than ever for pilots but standards for training remain stringent. This as-told-to essay is based on a transcribed conversation with a 32-year-old commercial pilot from Wayne, NJ, about training to be a pilot during the pandemic. They've asked to remain anonymous, but Insider has verified their identity and employment. The following has been edited for length and clarity.I'm a 32-year-old commercial pilot and recently landed a job as a first officer with a regional airline in the US. Despite the US pilot shortage, the airlines are not skimping when it comes to safety - and my time in training is a testament to that.I started my career in the Marines working with F-18's. That's what really lit the fuse for me. During that time I was not a pilot but helped support the F-18 squadron. Thanks to the Marines GI Bill and some financial aid from my parents, I was able to afford flight school.The first thing you do when determining whether to go to flight school is a discovery flightThey take you up in the plane and show you how it works and to see if you're comfortable in the air and on the controls. If you decide you want to move forward, you pay out of pocket - per flight, or for the whole program. You can go as often or as little as you want - one time a week, four times a week. It depends on how available you are and how quickly you want to graduate from the program.As an aspiring commercial pilot, you need to go through several steps before you're able to take to the skies professionallyYou start as a student pilot, then once you've flown for a minimum of 35 hours, you can take the test to receive your Private Pilot License (PPL). Once you get your Private Pilot License, you're able to fly small aircrafts that are less than 12,500 pounds, and it doesn't require any additional ratings. (Editor's note: 35 hours is the minimum if you go through an FAA Part 141 program, 40 if you go through a Part 61 program.)It's like when you get your driver's license - you can drive a small car, but you can't drive a semi-truck.After that, you need your Instrument Rating (IR), which means you can read the gauges in the plane and fly in the clouds. This rating teaches students how to fly the aircraft solely based off of instruments inside the aircraft while communicating with air-traffic control (ATC).Finally, after 250 hours you're eligible to receive your Commercial Pilot License (CPL). (Editor's note: This can be 190 hours if go through a Part 141 program.)You can get a CPL to fly single-engine or multi-engine planes for pay or hire, but you'll need a multi-engine rating to fly a jet aircraft at one of the major airlines.It took me about a year from the first time I flew to the time I became a flight instructor Working as a flight instructor is typically how most aspiring pilots get their required hours in once they earn their CPL. It took another two years before I had enough hours to be hired by an airline. (Editor's note: Major airlines won't hire pilots that don't have enough hours to qualify for an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATP), which can range from 750 to 1,500 hours.)I was in the middle of my flight instructor training when COVID-19 hit, which caused it to take longer than usual to finish my required flight hours. For me, flight school cost about $80,000It could be less or more depending on how fast you go through the program and the type of program you choose. I went to flight school full time and did not have a job during that time. For context, a pilot for a commercial airline might have a starting salary of around $40,000, but it could range to upwards of $200,000 by the time you retire. I currently work for one of the regional airlines in the US, which means we're contracted for certain routes on major partner airlines you've heard ofMy flight school, Paragon Flight Training, has relationships with the regional airlines. Before the pandemic, these airlines would recruit new graduates from the program. This was halted during COVID-19. Now, aspiring pilots from the flight school can find pilot jobs online and at airshows around the US.Once I completed my hours, I heard back from my current company within a month or two. Although receiving your hours and ratings are the bare minimum to be considered for a job at a commercial airline, when hiring they also look at moral character.They look for someone they can sit in a cockpit or flight deck with, someone they can fly withThey feel safe being with you and can hold a conversation with you. Some of the questions they ask are technical based questions related to aviation, such as flight rules, aeronautical charts, and flight scenarios. A technical question could be, "You are at 15,000 feet and need to be at 8,000 feet in 30 miles going 200 knots: When should you start descending?" Some are human resource questions, such as, "If you and your captain had a disagreement, how would you settle this disagreement?"They also look at your driving record. They want to make sure you aren't a reckless driver, that you don't have any DUI's. They do a background check, looking at previous employers and your credit. Everything is to make sure nothing is going to compromise a flight - that you'll never be unsafe about it.Once you've been hired, company training consists of three months of classes, five days a week I'm at the beginning, so right now it's mostly paperwork. After that it will be simulator training to make sure you know the aircraft properly - this is standard procedure for all airlines. Once in-class and simulator training is done, we'll take our Airline Transport Pilot Exam. This is required to transport passengers and the final step before we take to the skies. I won't get into an actual plane with passengers until JanuaryI'll be flying as a first officer, and my job is to assist the captain and make sure the aircraft flies safely. Once we do start flying, we have to come back once a year to make sure there are no new updates we need to know about - that we still know how to fly this type of plane correctly. You get retrained to make sure you're doing everything safely.Training is very specific - you have to go over each item, and you can't rush through. Pilots working on their licenses can be working on flight maneuvers, cross-country flight planning, learning how to read weather, and learning systems of an aircraft.During the pandemic, airlines temporarily stopped hiringNow they need pilots more than ever. Everyone wants to fly again, so they're looking for all the pilots they can get. But despite the shortage, they still have the same standards. You can't get around that. As a pilot instructor I taught students as young as 13, but my classmates ages range upwards of 50 And they aren't all flight instructors either - there are pilots from other airlines that accepted a new job, and new pilots who recently switched careers. Medical doctors, financial advisors - some people just don't want to work behind a desk. Another classmate worked for a major airline corporate side and wanted to make a change. They can't see themselves in a career like that for long. There's a wide range of people that get into this. As for me, as soon as I worked with the F-18's I knew this was what I wanted to do. I don't regret it at all. I don't see myself being anything other than a pilot. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 28th, 2021

What Will Save Rural Healthcare?

What Will Save Rural Healthcare? By Mariah Muhammad and Laura Dyrda of Becker's Hospital Review Rural hospitals and healthcare facilities face amplified financial challenges amid persisting workforce shortages, rising costs and leveling reimbursement. Reserves are dwindling and without urgent action, hundreds of facilities face closure.  But it's not too late. Mobile health, partnerships, new payment methods and government support can make a big difference to rural hospitals across the U.S. Becker's asked 33 healthcare executives to share their best ideas to save rural healthcare, and here they are. The executives featured in this article are all speaking at the Becker's Healthcare CEO+CFO Roundtable on Nov. 13-16, 2023 in Chicago. Question: What is your best idea to save rural healthcare? President and CEO Johnese Spisso. President of UCLA Health, CEO of UCLA Hospital System and Associate Vice Chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences: While some progress has been made in improving access to primary care in rural areas, access to specialty care remains a challenge. One of the opportunities to increase access is through the use of telemedicine and video visits with highly trained specialists who are available at academic medical centers and other large health systems. One of the ways we have expanded access at UCLA Health is through telemedicine. Additionally, through operating an interfacility transfer center, we serve as a resource to rural hospitals in our region, which rely on us to accept transfers of complex patients that have needs that exceed the level of care that can be provided in the rural facilities. David Lubarsky, MD. CEO and Vice Chancellor of Human Health Sciences at UC Davis Health (Sacramento, Calif.): Around one in five Americans live in rural areas, but only 5 percent of physicians practice in these same areas. UC Davis has made it a priority to help close this gap in rural healthcare by incentivizing medical school graduates to practice in rural communities. We have built a number of clinical and education partnerships to both increase providers in these communities and bring in, via virtual technologies, advanced and specialty practices from regional academic medical centers. We need new models of place-based medical provider recruitment, education and training to include far greater numbers of individuals from rural communities, as they are much more likely to ultimately practice in these communities. Our COMPADRE program is an example of a cross-state effort funded by American Medical Association, UC Davis and Oregon Health & Science University to partner with dozens of graduate medical education programs and tribal communities in Southern Oregon and Northern California to address this crisis. Bill Gassen. President and CEO of Sanford Health (Sioux Falls, S.D.): Protecting rural health care starts with reimagining how we deliver care for the 1.5 million patients we have the privilege of serving at Sanford Health, two-thirds of whom live in rural communities. Sanford’s landmark $350 million virtual care initiative aims to expand access to convenient, high-quality care regardless of zip code, improve the patient experience, advance innovation through new research and attract and train a new generation of clinicians.    The past few years have tested our nation’s health systems as never before. Sanford Health is committed to seeking new ways to provide more affordable, accessible and equitable care, which is why we’re excited about our proposed merger with Fairview Health Services. Together, we will strengthen care for our patients, offer expanded career growth opportunities for our employees and serve as a destination for top clinical talent. By combining our respective strengths and expertise in rural and urban health care, we will expand access to high-quality care for more people across our region, drive innovative care solutions, invest in the well-being and quality of life of our communities and ensure we can continue to deliver world-class care for all those who place their trust in us long into the future Donna Lynne. CEO of Denver Health (Colo.): My best ideas for rural healthcare are partnering with urban hospitals, particularly safety nets, and using telehealth with those hospitals that are truly partners. Lastly, another good idea is to use some form of "gainsharing" when patients are transferred. Brian Peters. CEO of Michigan Health Hospital Association (Okemos): I am a big believer in technology as a game-changer for the future of healthcare delivery. In particular, it can serve as a force multiplier in the realm of healthcare staffing. When combined with the significant traction gained by telehealth since the start of the pandemic, this means that technology — if thoughtfully deployed — can help to stabilize the rural health infrastructure. One imperative: we need regulatory and reimbursement policies that incentivize and support this concept. Jeff Thompson, MD. CEO Emeritus at Gundersen Health System (La Crosse, Wis.): Although more rapidly changing the payment system away from fee-for-service will help, the best hope and most progress is to change the behavior of the large systems and universities to view rural areas not as referral pipelines but as citizens and providers that need real population healthcare partners. Not closing, but re-focusing the work of rural providers and rural hospitals that have already been shifting to outpatient work [will help]. Systems can connect the EHR , provide quality and HR systems improvements, focus on cancer screening and mental health services as well as those other needed procedures that can be done well locally like cataracts, mammograms, and colonoscopies. Those systems that are truly partners will most likely improve referrals, but the connection is built on the value of improving health. Robert Corona. CEO of SUNY Upstate Medical University (Syracuse, N.Y.): It will be solved by technological and process innovations. We serve one-third of the geography of New York State, so rural healthcare is key for us. We have a rural medicine training program for physicians and they need special tools. Rural healthcare is best served through use of advanced computing and communications technology, autonomous machines like drones and robots for supply logistics and other operations. We now have established an autonomous machines division and a mobile medical unit. We have a hospital at home program and an influenza-like illness program that both use body-worn sensors on remotely located patients for vital signs and other parameters. This is all part of the distribution of healthcare services beyond bricks and mortar healthcare facilities. Mark McPherson. President and CEO of Trinity Health At Home (Livonia, Mich.): Enact legislation to pay for telehealth in a home health nursing environment. During the pandemic, telehealth was shown to be highly effective as a way to provide care. It's reimbursable for physicians, but not for nursing care. Reimbursing telehealth in-home care would allow home care agencies to leverage already scarce nursing resources across an unlimited geography, mitigating many of the logistical issues of providing home care in a rural environment. Charles A. Powell, MD. CEO of Mount Sinai-National Jewish Health Respiratory Institute; Medical Director of Mount Sinai Hospital Respiratory Care Services (New York City): In the respiratory disease space, a key point of emphasis on providing access to specialty services in remote or rural regions. We are able to address potential gaps in access by leveraging technology to connect rural clinics and to connect with patients at home. For example, multidisciplinary tumor boards and multidisciplinary interstitial lung disease management programs can provide access to clinicians in practice locations that are distant from the tertiary facility hosting the discussion. We have deployed remote patient monitoring solutions to patients and home sleep study patients by direct shipping that allow us to connect with COPD patients across the continuum of care and to diagnose patients with symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. Helen Johnson. CEO of Sparrow Eaton Hospital (Charlotte, Mich.): The expansion of broadband internet services has helped level the playing field for rural communities. While not yet complete, in those areas where access to high-speed internet is available, those communities are leveraging this basic utility for healthcare, education and economic development. Donald Lloyd, II. President and CEO of St. Claire Healthcare (Morehead, Ky.): In my view, we cannot perpetuate a stable rural health infrastructure until we address three significant issues critical to achieve rural health sustainability. First, we must develop and attract a rural-centric pipeline of talent to meet our clinical and workforce needs. Second, we must realize that it is not economically possible to sustain a full service acute care hospital in every rural community. Such a realization takes great political courage but also clinical creativity to meet the community's needs. Third, CMS and state Medicaid agencies must establish payment methodologies that sustain institutions in low volume and safety-net environments Mark Gridley. President and CEO of FHN Memorial Hospital (Freeport, Ill.): My thought is a deep focus by federal and state legislators that are truly seeking to understand the barriers to healthcare in rural communities. Many of these barriers are driven by inadequate reimbursement methodologies for noncritical access providers, which creates difficulty in staffing and, ultimately, in providing access to care that is sustainable, consistent and close to small communities. This would include innovative technological program funding in addition to stabilizing declining reimbursement amidst increasing costs. Michael Canady, MD. CEO of Holzer Health System (Gallipolis, Ohio): The solution to saving rural healthcare lies in solving the payer mix issue. Rural HCOs have such a high percentage of Medicare/Medicaid/self-pay that it is becoming a challenging revenue issue. Closely related to this is the 20 percent initial denial rate across the board. Fix these two problems and rural healthcare can survive. Thomas Siemers. CEO of Wilbarger General Hospital (Vernon, Texas): Collaboration and diversification are the key strategies for future success. We should look for ways we can collaborate with other organizations and providers to expand and diversify our services. Rural hospitals will have to try new strategies, start new services, adapt to the changing needs of patients. The key is to keep our patients local so they don't have to travel for care. Rural hospitals will have to share revenue and/or pay for the services provided by other organizations/providers. But it's worth it. We've got to grow. Jeremiah Hodshire. President and CEO of Hillsdale (Mich.) Hospital Administration: Ultimately, rural healthcare suffers from the reality that we are often paid less than what it costs us to provide patient care. No other business or industry would be expected to survive under those conditions, and rural hospitals shouldn't have to scramble to find other revenue sources like grants, cash-only services, etc., in order to be financially sustainable. Achieving health equity for rural Americans requires us to sustain rural hospitals so we can continue innovating, investing in technology, pioneering access to care initiatives and more. Payment reform is not just the best way to save rural healthcare long-term — it is the ONLY way. Kenneth Rose. President and CEO of Texas Health Hospital Mansfield: The plight of rural healthcare in our country is one that will not be solved by hospitals and healthcare systems alone. Rural communities would be benefited by the collaboration of community services offered by other not-for-profit organizations along with hospitals. The issues in rural communities many times are more than just acute care related and have other social/societal components, which calls for more than the expertise of community hospitals. An issue as large as this brings the old saying to mind: many hands make light work. Christopher Bjornberg, CEO of Mayers Memorial Healthcare District (Fall River Mills, Calif.): The best way to save rural healthcare is to treat it as rural healthcare. Urban health is not the same as rural health but it is mostly treated the same way. Currently, Medicare is the only payer that has a program specific for rural health that takes a critical access hospital designation while Medicaid and commercial payers like Blue Cross, UnitedHealthcare and the like generally do not. Coupled with the poor reimbursement rates, are the rising administrative costs for providing healthcare. According to an article from CNN in February 2022, “Administrative costs alone make up more than a quarter of U.S. healthcare spending.” If we want to save rural healthcare we have to change the reimbursement across all payers not just one and then ease the administrative burdens that go along with that. Just like it shouldn't be difficult for people to obtain good quality healthcare, it should not be difficult to get paid to provide good quality healthcare. CFO and Strategic Leaders Marty Hutson. CFO of St. Mary's Health Care System (Bayside, N.Y.): The first step to 'save' rural healthcare is to accept that the one-size-fits-none model of Medicare does not work. Rural hospitals face more difficulty in recruiting and retaining staff. Given your location, access to goods and services is also more expensive. CAH based on bed size is not effective when some facilities are too big to be considered critical access but remain just as remote and important as those with that designation. Nate Shinagawa. COO of UCI Health (Orange County, Calif.): One of America's strengths, compared to anywhere in the world, is our recognition that immigrants add value to the culture and success of our country. Nowhere is this more evident than in healthcare, where 25 percent of all physicians are international medical graduates. Many of these physicians came to America through the H1-B visa program, a critical pathway that's provided talented physicians to underserved areas, including much of rural America. For example, in places like North Dakota, H1-B applicants represent almost 5 percent of all physicians. We can turn around the healthcare access problem in rural America with progressive immigration policies. Expand H1-B visas, fast-track the green card process for physicians and nurses, expand the J-1 visa waiver program and make it easier to attain state licensures. In a year, we'd see the impact of these changes to the great benefit of rural America. Cristen Page, MD. Executive Dean of the UNC School of Medicine (Chapel Hill, N.C.): We should address this issue with humility. Our neighbors living in rural areas need to be listened to and supported as they know best what is needed in their communities. I have dedicated much of my career to rural workforce development and creating sustainable programs that introduce future providers to the impacts that they can make and the joys that they can find in rural service. We need more providers in rural service – not just physicians, but nurses, APPs, and others. We need to support the expansion of rural residency and other training programs and to continue building strong networks so that success stories and knowledge can be shared. And we need to leverage technology to support our rural providers as well as new models of care to better serve our rural patients. Arianne Dowdell, JD. Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer of Houston Methodist (Texas): Equitable access to healthcare may not just mean a brick-and-mortar location but also working closely with community partners to support people with chronic health conditions through prevention, education and access. Looking at data to learn more about the communities we serve or those we have the potential to serve and knowing more about incidence rates of certain diseases is helpful when meeting the healthcare needs of patients, particularly those in rural communities. At Houston Methodist, we often talk about meeting people where they are and that includes supporting people with varying education levels, limited knowledge about their own healthcare, or those who have little to no access to technology. We learned a lot during the pandemic about how we can support people who may fall into these areas of their healthcare journey, and we're continuing to use those lessons learned to create quality healthcare experiences for people despite where they live. Nick Stefanizzi. CEO of Northwell Direct (New Hyde Park, N.Y.): 'Saving' rural healthcare will be predicated on solving for the unique challenges experienced by these populations – primarily, addressing access and social determinants of health, which in the context of rural health, are synergistic strategies. To start, given that the National Rural Health Association has described that of the more than 7,200 federally designated health professional shortage areas, 3 out of 5 are in rural regions, access is a clear structural barrier. The fix here can't just be brick and mortar facilities and providers. Rather, solving for this will require a combination of in-person and virtual treatment modalities to expand the pool of providers available for critical services. It will also require an investment in digital tools and resources that enable individuals to better engage and manage their own health. All must be highly integrated and easy to navigate if we expect widespread adoption and utilization. Further, a population health approach to addressing the social determinants of health and the underlying factors that can adversely influence the health of populations living in rural communities will similarly help to address root causes. An individual's zip code often has more impact on health than any other factor, and in order to raise the health of rural populations, the focus needs to expand beyond traditional medical care. Through innovative and proactive interventions, we can enable health professionals and individuals to better engage and manage chronic and other conditions that exacerbate the challenges associated with the lack of access to local care providers. Taken together, addressing access and social determinants will go a long way in solving the rural healthcare crisis. Kerry Mackey. Vice President of Hospital Operations, Women and Children's Services at NYU Langone Health (New York City): Telemedicine/telehealth services can be utilized to expand access to care in rural areas. We learned this from COVID-19 when we had to extend healthcare outside the hospital’s doors/walls. Also, implementing a home hospital service can complement telehealth/telemedicine by bringing that day-to-day nursing care to the applicable patient's home. In addition, utilizing data and outcomes to negotiate reimbursement rates for Medicare services is how we can overcome the challenge around service or provider restrictions. Scott Polenz, CPA, MBA, FACHE. Vice President of Physician and Advanced Practice Clinician Relations of Marshfield Clinic Health System (Wis.): Saving rural healthcare is about as ambitious an undertaking as you can aspire to because of the complex, interwoven challenges that must be addressed. Fixing rural health care requires fixing our national health care system and a societal-level shift with regard to how we view health and health care. On a national level, we have to commit to the systemic changes required to truly move to a value-based system. On a more rural-specific level, we need massive investments to upgrade our overall public health infrastructure. Rural communities lag behind metropolitan counterparts in areas like access to transportation, availability of internet, distance from sites of care, access to healthy food and many other community-based resources. This basic infrastructure is fundamental to accessing quality health care, and it is going to take systemic, sustained investment to equip rural health care with the tools we need. Chad Dilley. COO of IU Health Saxony (Fishers, Ind.): IU Health is proud to serve many rural Indiana communities in places like Tipton, Bedford and Frankfort. There are really two inherent challenges: the geography of small populations spread over large areas, and provider recruitment to live and work away from urban centers and the specialty and subspecialty support that affords. We are continuing to lean into virtual care, virtual consults and telehealth to make care more accessible for patients close to home (or at home), and support our teams with the expertise and collaboration they need to provide excellent care in rural settings. Kira Carter-Robertson. Senior Vice President of Regional Hospitals at Sparrow Health System (Lansing, Mich.): I would love to say there is a magic bullet to save rural healthcare, but I don't think the answer is one-size-fits-all. While rural hospitals may face similar pressures, rural communities are not all the same. In the short-term, rural healthcare providers will have to continue blocking, tackling, and juggling service needs with volume, managing staffing and provider challenges, assessing the right operation models, and exploring partnerships and mergers. Finances are the key driver behind closures and financial challenges for rural hospitals, so the long-term answer is a drastic payment overhaul. In the meantime, the secret sauce for rural healthcare is more complex and several levers will need to be pulled both regulatory and operationally to sustain the future of rural healthcare. Rashid Syed. Managing Partner of North Houston Surgical Hospitals: In my opinion, the best approach towards improving rural healthcare is to segregate the patient care services from one large hospital system to nimbler healthcare facilities, making it more approachable and personable for both, the patients and the providers, by creating urgent care centers, surgery centers, specialty microhospitals for mild to moderate complexity elective and nonelective treatments and keeping larger hospitals for higher complexity, longer complicated treatments. It's about taking healthcare to the patients rather than patients in need seeking healthcare. Clinical Leaders Andy Anderson, MD. Chief Medical and Quality Officer of RWJBarnabas Health (West Orange, N.J.): Rural healthcare is essential to address the health and healthcare needs of patients and families who live in rural communities. My best idea to save rural healthcare is to provide robust virtual access (through telemedicine and remote patient monitoring devices) to triage and address acute care needs, to better manage chronic conditions, and to provide access to the best specialists to diagnose and treat complex medical conditions. William Morice, MD, PhD. President of Mayo Clinic Laboratories and Chair of the Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.): From my perspective, to save rural healthcare, one must tackle one of the greatest challenges facing rural hospitals and healthcare providers, which is maintaining sufficient patient volumes in their facilities while also developing next-generation tools and capabilities. These tools and capabilities, such as at-home testing and digital diagnostics, will allow them to reach their patients in their homes spread across large areas. So, my idea is to invest in rural healthcare's ability to interact with patients remotely while also designing practice and social service models that bring them into facilities for care when needed. Done correctly, this will enable rural healthcare to sustain and grow their services while also increasing their reach and convenience for patients. Phil Schaefer. Senior Vice President, Ambulatory Services and Chief Care Network Development Officer of Southern Illinois Healthcare (Carbondale): For rural hospitals to survive, the economics of reimbursement must change along with the hospitals' approach to their cost structures. With almost all major payers having record profits last year and with declining utilization and reimbursement, the current model of paying hospitals is not sustainable. Given this, it's imperative for rural hospitals to reevaluate their service portfolio and bend their cost curve downward. Steve Lipshultz, MD. Goodyear Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics of University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (Buffalo, N.Y.); Pediatric Chief-of-Service of Kaleida Health (Buffalo, N.Y.); President of UBMD Pediatrics (Buffalo, N.Y.): Improving rural healthcare finances is one of several key elements to sustaining rural healthcare and coming closer to a single standard of US healthcare. Below I list 14 areas where opportunities exist and are needed. Utilizing technology such as: Telehealth; EMRs; 3. ub-and-spoke health system networking and infrastructures to allow most care in the local community but having the backup; Ongoing physician and other healthcare provider and staff training; Recruitment; Retention, addressing; Workforce shortages with pipeline programs and others; QA/QI oversight and feedback as drivers of decisions based on the quality of care in rural places; Enhanced rural public health; Focused patient management on unique needs in rural settings; Other necessary infrastructures to increase both revenues from payments and reimbursements and other efficiencies and outcomes are key; The transition to value-based care will be very sensitive for rural healthcare with reduced reserves and with unique needs and solutions.; Having a national agenda to reduce disparities by states for funders of rural healthcare around the U.S. will help level the playing field. The differences in reimbursements and uncompensated care for the same services around the U.S. widely vary based on local rules and regulations and (both state and federal) often cause essential services in rural communities to no longer be sustained.; and Adequate payments and better payment systems are needed with a level playing field. Anuj Vohra, DO. Chairman and Medical Director of the Department of Emergency Medicine of Charlotte Hungerford Hospital (Torrington, Conn.): My best idea to save rural healthcare is advancing access to care by means of telemedicine, home visits and increasing preventative care. Charles Emerman, MD. Chair, Emergency Medicine and Medical Director, Service Line of MetroHealth Medical Center (Cleveland, Ohio): Smaller rural hospitals would do well to form more robust clinical programs that leverage the resources of the larger urban hospitals. For example, we have trauma surgeons who take calls at two smaller rural hospitals. The local surgeons are happy not to take overnight ED calls. The trauma surgeons operate locally when appropriate and then transfer the more complex patients. It works out well for the patients, the local medical staff, and both systems. Andy Anderson, MD. Chief Medical and Quality Officer of RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group (West Orange, N.J.): Rural healthcare is essential to address the health and healthcare needs of patients and families who live in rural communities. My best idea to save rural healthcare is to provide robust virtual access (through telemedicine and remote patient monitoring devices) to triage and address acute care needs, manage chronic conditions better, and provide access to the best specialists to diagnose and treat complex medical conditions. Nisha Mehta, MD. Founder of Physician Side Gigs: Maintaining the quality of care in rural areas will become increasingly challenging as healthcare personnel shortages continue to amplify. Employers will need to place a real focus on retention and recruitment of clinicians, and systemically, threats to compensation by CMS and other payers need to be addressed. Medicare cuts are short sighted and will only exacerbate existing issues with access to care. Tyler Durden Wed, 01/25/2023 - 22:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 25th, 2023

A ChatGPT bot passed a Wharton business school exam, but a professor says he would"ve only graded the effort a B or B-minus

Wharton professor Christian Terwiesch tested ChatGPT with questions from his final exam in operations management. ChatGPT might be on its way to earning an MBA from Wharton, which has long boasted one of the top MBA programs in the country.David Tran Photo/Shutterstock Wharton professor Christian Terwiesch tested ChatGPT with questions from his final exam. Terwiesch found that ChatGPT could answer basic questions well but sometimes made "surprising mistakes" in simple calculations. Terwiesch concluded that ChatGPT might earn a B or B- on his final exam. If ChatGPT were enrolled in Wharton's MBA program, what kind of student would it be?A B or B- candidate, according to Christian Terwiesch, a Wharton professor who recently tested the technology with questions from his final exam in operations management — once a required class for all MBA students — and published his findings. ChatGPT, an AI chatbot that generates its own text as opposed to responding to existing prompts, has stirred up considerable commotion in the education system since it was released in November 2022. The bot has been used to generate essays, which has lead to growing concerns about plagiarism among teachers.  In January, the New York City Department of Education announced a ban on ChatGPT across its school system. Others argue that ChatGPT can increase the efficiency of teachers and even make education more fair. Safe to say— ChatGPT has raised many questions about the future of the education system. According to Terwiesch, ChatGPT does an "amazing job" answering basic operations questions based on case studies: focused examinations of a person, group, or company, and the holy grail of business school education. For example, Terwiesch proposed the following question to ChatGPT: World-Antique is a new venture under development by two graduates of a New England business school. The value proposition of the venture is simple: purchase antique paintings at yard sales and auctions and then sell them at quadruple the purchase price via a simple eCommerce site (i.e., a painting that is purchased for $100 would be sold at $400).Based on an analysis of similar retailers, the founders expect to turn their inventory 1.5 times per year.To achieve an annual revenue of $3,000,000, how much inventory expressed in $'s should the founders expect their operation to require?To which, ChatGPT answered: "To achieve an annual revenue of $3,000,000, the founders need to sell $3,000,000 / 4 = $750,000 worth of paintings per year.Since they expect to turn their inventory 1.5 times per year, they need to have $750,000 / 1.5 = $500,000 worth of inventory at any given time.Therefore, the founders should expect their operation to require $500,000 worth of inventory."Terwiesch deemed this "short and sweet" and worthy of an A+. In other instances though, ChatGPT made mistakes in calculations that Terwiesch said only required 6th-grade-level math. He noted that it also struggled with more complex questions that required an understanding of how multiple inputs and outputs worked together. But when given a hint to question, ChatGPT quickly and correctly modified its answers. Based on that, Terwiesch noted that having "a 'human in the loop' can be very valuable."Since ChatGPT has become known for generating novel content, Terwiesch also decided to see how well it could do his job — writing its own exam questions. The questions it generated would probably require substantial editing, Terwiesch noted, but he also found them humorous and said he'd rely on ChatGPT for preparing future exams. Amidst all the frenzy on how ChatGPT might impact the way we learn, Terwiesch offers a heartening case for its use as a tool to help humans. He wrote, "We have many reasons to believe that the technology is getting better over time. But, we are still far from an A+ for complex problems and we still need a human in the loop." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJan 23rd, 2023

Southwest Airlines to pay pilots millions in bonuses as "gratitude" for working during meltdown: CNN

CNN estimates the bonus pay could be around $45 million. Southwest employs some 9,400 pilots, who are expected to be paid 50% of their regular pay. Southwest Airlines' CEO Bob Jordan.Brendan McDermid/Reuters Southwest will pay pilots an estimated $45 million in bonuses for working during the service meltdown last year, per CNN. Some 9,400 pilots are expected to be paid 50% of their regular pay, CNN reported. Other employees, including flight attendants, will also be compensated. After it's recent holiday fiasco, Southwest Airlines has reportedly agreed to pay its pilots millions in bonuses, according to a CNN report on Saturday.Southwest employs some 9,400 pilots who are expected to be compensated 50% of their regular pay, CNN reported, citing a message sent by the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association to a member. The equivalent pay will exclude paid holiday, sick pay and vacation time.The news outlet pegs the estimate bonus payments to be around $45 million. These bonuses, or "gratitude pay," are meant to compensate pilots for working through the airline's service meltdown last December, the report states. Some employees, including flight attendants, will also be compensated.Lyn Montgomery, the president of TWU Local 556 — the union representing the airline's flight attendants — said in a statement to CNN that at their behest, "Southwest Airlines agreed to offer flight attendants working during the company's operational failures a small stipend in addition to their pay." Southwest Airlines CEO Bob Jordan took responsibility for the carrier's operational meltdown over the recent holiday season. "I've said it before, but I can't say it enough how sorry I am for the impact these challenges have had on our employees and our customers," he said in a January 5 statement.Southwest cancelled almost 17,000 flights last December amidst a brutal winter storm in central and eastern US, disrupting travel plans across the country. Some passengers drove several days to their destinations, and many said they lost thousands of dollars after being stranded.A group of Southwest shareholders have sued the airline for downplaying or dismissing issues in its scheduling system, Insider previously reported. The class action lawsuit, filed on January 12, alleges the airline has caused "significant losses and damages" because of the drop in the airline's market value.Southwest previously disclosed that the cancelled flights in December could cost the company up to $825 million in lost revenue, passenger compensation, and "gratitude pay" to employees.Southwest and TWU Local 556 did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment, sent outside regular hours.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJan 23rd, 2023

How Russia Is Leveraging Its Arctic Region For Global Influence

How Russia Is Leveraging Its Arctic Region For Global Influence By Rachel Premack of FreightWaves, For the past decade, while the rest of us weren’t looking, Russia has invested seriously in its Arctic region. Now, some 20% of the country’s GDP and 30% of its exports come from these chilly lands. Climate change has softened the landscape where critical oil and gas reserves were stuck underground, while melting ice caps have allowed tanker ships to transport that fuel across Eurasia.  A soldier walks at a radar facility on the Alexandra Land island near Nagurskoye, Russia, Monday, May 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) It’s a fascinating trend that’s set to get more critical in the coming decades. To learn more, we spoke with Malte Humpert, senior fellow and founder of the Arctic Institute. Our interview transcript was lightly condensed and edited for clarity.   FREIGHTWAVES: Just to get started, who or what entities or companies or countries are currently shipping through the Arctic Ocean? HUMPERT: By and large, it’s Russia.  We have to distinguish between the ice-covered Arctic and the non-ice-covered Arctic. There’s always been shipping in the Arctic around the Norwegian coastline, Iceland and some shipping along Greenland in the summer, whenever there is no ice. But what’s really happened in the last 10, 12, 15 years is that we are shipping in an area that was previously just the domain of nuclear icebreakers along the Russian coastline, or through the Canadian Archipelago, along the Northwest Passage. So, that’s really where the big change has been happening over the last 10, 12, 15 years. Whenever they’re talking about Arctic shipping or new trends or routes, it’s really along the Russian coastline, which goes from Murmansk on the western side to Kamchatka in the far east. It is, in theory, a shortcut to connect markets in Europe and in Asia. Arctic shipping routes mostly feature liquefied natural gas and oil tankers. No container ships yet!  In the ’80s and ’90s, and even in the 2000s, it was really just nuclear icebreakers providing supplies to local communities, to supply some military installations. Now, we are seeing a lot of destination shipping. Russia is using the Northern Sea Route to bring oil and gas resources, some coal, some iron ore, but mostly LNG and oil from the Arctic to markets in Europe and in Asia. That’s the big volume, and that’s where Russia has been investing a lot of money into new icebreakers, into new port infrastructures, into new ice-capable tankers, LNG and oil. We are [also] seeing some branded shipping. There have been a couple hundred voyages now. It started really in 2009 with a German company called Beluga, which was the first one to send cargo ships through the Northern Sea Route. From then, we’re seeing anywhere from a few dozen to now 70, 80, 90 voyages a year. This year we didn’t really see any, because of Ukraine and sanctions.  (Source: GAO) A lot of companies that did some trial voyages the last few years decided to not do it anymore. But the biggest one is probably Cosco of China. They’ve probably been the most adventurous. They’re doing the most trial voyages to gain operational experience. And they’ve probably done 60, 70, 80 voyages in the last seven, eight years. They’re sending easily boxed cargo, like large windmill parts, or windmill blades, or some iron ore from Asia to Europe to use those quick shortcuts. [There’s also] Maersk, which did one container ship in 2019. That was a big story, when they had a new ice-capable container ship that needed to go to the Baltics. Instead of going the traditional route through the Suez Canal, they just went through the Arctic. It generated a lot of headlines, but it was a one-off voyage. By and large, it is Russia doing it. Russia is doing it to bring natural resources from the Arctic to Europe and Asia.  The Arctic Ocean will probably never be a major route The question is, long term, if the ice keeps melting and eventually you really have an ice-free summer, will eventually big liner operators be able to go through the Arctic? There’s always two sides to it. There’s those that are saying, “No, it’s just not feasible. It’s not reliable enough. You need schedule reliability. You need that infrastructure, which are 10 to 15 major ports along the route to really make the Arctic container shipping work.” And then others are saying, “Yes, that’s true. We won’t reform, or we won’t revolutionize the main shipping arteries of the world. But the Arctic can serve as a supplemental shipping route.” For now, it’s really just destination shipping from the Russian Arctic to markets in Europe and Asia. And then there’s a little bit of the Canadian Arctic. The Northwest Passage probably sees 10, 15, 20 transits every year. There’s some iron ore that gets exported from the Canadian Arctic to market. But really, Arctic shipping, what everyone is talking about, is the billions of dollars Russia is investing in infrastructure, and getting oil and gas that we previously couldn’t get to, to the markets in Europe and in Asia. Russia has used Arctic routes in 2022 to still move liquefied natural gas into Europe  FREIGHTWAVES: Is there a certain amount of uproar that happens when a Western European shipping company, like Maersk, engages in Arctic shipping? It seems like there’s a difference in the response from the public depending on who ships on the Arctic.  HUMPERT: Anyone can go onto the Northern Sea Route. All you need is to get a permit from the Northern Sea Administration. I mean, that door is wide open. It’s not that hard to do. You need some icebreaker escort. What’s interesting to look at is, how is Europe behaving in terms of sanctions? [2022] saw a record level of Russian Arctic LNG flowing from the Russian Arctic into the EU.  While on one hand, you stopped the import of pipeline gas, now they’re receiving record levels of LNG. That comes from the Arctic and uses Arctic shipping. A crew member attaches a Russian national flag as the ice breaker moves along the frozen Moskva River with the Kremlin in the background during snowfall in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) So, Arctic shipping definitely ties into the geopolitics of what’s going on right now. I think a lot of companies decided that it’s not worth it, the optics or the environmental risk to ship in the Arctic. By and large, it’s Russian LNG and oil. There’s a couple of bulk carriers, just like large items that need to go into the Arctic or come out of the Arctic.  But 99% of Arctic shipping is really there to support Russian oil and gas development, or the export of those resources. It’s not easy to ship in the Arctic, especially when it is dark 24 hours a day in the winter HUMPERT: There’s been very few transit voyages where someone is like, “OK, I need to get something from point A in Europe to point B in Asia.” It will take a few months a year where that voyage into the Arctic might make economic sense. But, at the same time, it requires a lot of logistics. A lot of planning, ice pilots and special certification for the crew. You need to abide by the Polar Code. That brings a host of challenges with it that the crew needs to be certified, and you need to have a special ship, or ice class. You can’t dump your wastewater. Shipping in the Arctic is still, it’s not the Mediterranean. It’s not the Atlantic. It’s still very challenging, especially in the winter, when it’s 24-hour darkness. It is still very specialized shipping. It’s also a very pristine environment. A few hundred ships a year represent a significant challenge, and danger to the Arctic environment. That’s why things like the Polar Code have been put in place to make sure that there are some safety mechanisms; vessels are specifically built and certified for operating in ice and ice-infested waters in the Arctic. The Polar Code is serious business … but it has some loopholes  FREIGHTWAVES: What are some of the specifications of the Polar Code? What are some of the most challenging or maybe surprising factors that comes along with shipping in the Arctic as an ocean carrier? HUMPERT: The Polar Code was established under the International Maritime Organization. And it requires ice pilots on board. You need to have specific crew training, specific survival gear. You need to have ice classes. That’s more based on domestic Russian certification.  For the Northern Sea Route, there are different categories, depending on if the ice conditions are light, medium or heavy. You need to have either a specific ice class for the vessel, or you need to have an icebreaker escort you through ice conditions that you are not allowed to navigate independently. Of course, there’s politics as well. There have been instances in the last few years where vessels that are not supposed to be where they are, in terms of ice conditions, are navigating by themselves, because the Russians turn a blind eye to that. There have been instances now where vessels don’t abide by the Russian rules, and they should have a higher ice classification. The question is, how much of that is because ice conditions are really getting easier and easier because of climate change? Or is it Russians ignoring the rules for economic expediency, and want to push along oil and gas exports? 60% of Russia’s Arctic fuel goes to Europe, and the other chunk goes to Asia  FREIGHTWAVES: And right now, where is Russia shipping on the Northern Sea Route? Are they exporting only to China? Are they still exporting to Europe? What does that look like right now? HUMPERT: We have a number of oil and gas projects in the Arctic. The biggest one is Yamal LNG on the Yamal Peninsula, by the Russian company Novatek. They export about 20 million tons of LNG every year.  Some of that flows to Europe, and some of that flows to Asia. This year it’s probably 60% Europe, 40% Asia. In terms of Asia, most of that goes to China. In previous years, a bit more went to Japan.  In terms of Europe, a lot of it goes to France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, countries that actually previously had not really received any Russian gas. Now they are importing Russian LNG. There is the Novy Port/Arctic Gate by Gazprom Neft. That is also oil that flows to Europe.  Now there’s going to be a big new terminal called Vostok Oil, which was announced a few months ago. It’s on the Gydan Peninsula. The forecasts say that that’ll be 25 million tons by 2025, and then a hundred million tons by 2030. There is a lot of volume of the oil already being transported around the Northern Sea. In the 1980s, ’90s and 2000s, that would be between 2 and 4 million tons of cargo that would flow along the Northern Sea Route. Now we’re around 32, 33 million tons. All that increase has come in the last four or five years. The forecasts are 80 to 100 million tons by the end of the decade. So, we’re still looking at a threefold increase in terms of tonnage between LNG and oil. Arctic oil production is replacing other resources for Russia FREIGHTWAVES: It seems like Arctic shipping has been pretty important for Russia’s energy industry, and really making them even more of an energy exporter than previously. HUMPERT: Probably not more. They have to replace other capacity. There’s a lot of oil and gas resources in other parts of Russia that have been producing for many decades, and they’re running out. A lot of future oil and gas resources lie in the Russian Arctic. If you look at the US Geological Survey study that everyone cites from 2009, which looked at oil and gas resources across the entire Arctic, 80% of those resources are located in the Russian Arctic. [AUTHOR’S NOTE: For those who are not familiar with this particular survey, it’s pretty interesting. It estimates that 30% of the world’s undiscovered gas and 13% of its undiscovered oil is in the Arctic.] For lack of a better term, Russia is the gas station. The future of that gas station definitely lies in the Arctic, and Russia wants to make sure it keeps exporting oil and gas. Previously it couldn’t get to those oil and gas resources, because it was frozen, and building pipelines in the tundra is very technically challenging and expensive. But now they have a shipping route, and they have the technology, and they can get to the oil and gas that previously was inaccessible. That’s where Arctic shipping comes in for Russia being really important. The combination of climate change, oil and gas resources, and the Northern Sea Route opens a whole new logistics chain for Russia. China and Russia are becoming closer than ever, thanks to the Arctic! FREIGHTWAVES: And how does Arctic shipping strengthen the relationship between Russia and China? HUMPERT: Well, China is a big investor in Russian Arctic energy projects. They are the recipient of a lot of LNG that flows into China. This year, China is receiving about 25, 30% of the LNG produced at Yamal LNG. They have a lot of long-term 20-year, 30-year projects. [China is] gobbling up all the LNG being produced anywhere around the world. The Arctic is no exception there. China is really focused on long-term energy security, and receiving all the LNG that they can. That’s the same for the Russian Arctic. A lot of people focus on the Northern Sea as a potential shipping, export, container shipping route for China. That’s really theoretical. There’s still too much ice. It’s not reliable enough. For China, really, the benefit of the Northern Sea Route and its connection with Russia is the receipt of LNG and oil. Russia is now the largest oil provider for China, ahead of Saudi Arabia. It’s a lot closer to go from the Russian Arctic to China than it is to go from Saudi Arabia through the Strait of Malacca and Singapore and the South China Sea. Apparently Western Europeans do not care about the optics of receiving fuel that might endanger the Arctic (even before Russia’s war) FREIGHTWAVES: At what point is it bad optics for, say, Europe to be importing energy that was moved on through Arctic shipping? Even before the Ukraine war. HUMPERT: Well, I mean, I don’t particularly think that sovereign countries really cared about that. Germany clearly didn’t care about being super energy reliant on Russia. I think for some individual companies it probably played a role. I mean, there have been companies that said they would not invest in oil projects in the Arctic. But, by and large, it was a lot of the big majors. I mean, Siemens, Linde, Total, Bakers. All the major companies that work in oil and gas, either construction or servicing, or the production of oil and gas, were all involved to various degrees. Exxon was in the Russian Arctic, because a lot of oil and gas resources are there.  Now with sanctions, most of them or all of them have actually exited those projects. Russia right now is struggling to replace some of the technology and some of the financing that they lost over the last 10 months with new partners. They’ve looked to the Middle East. They’ve looked to the UAE. China has stepped up. They’re trying to build turbines and gas concentrators, and all the high-tech stuff that is required in the liquefaction of natural gas. They are looking to build it domestically.  From an environmental perspective, there were not too many qualms on the part of companies. And now with the sanctions, it’s just a general, “We can’t really do business with Russia anymore.” You’ve got to cut the cord and get out of there, and most companies did.  It is always the interesting facet of this, that previously France and Spain and Portugal and Belgium did not really receive any Russian gas, because there is no pipeline from Russia that goes to France, or from Russia to Spain. It was more Germany and the Eastern European countries.  But now, France and Spain and Portugal and Belgium are importing significant amounts of LNG, which they previously did not.  I now have FOMOOA: Fear Of Missing Out On Arctic FREIGHTWAVES: It’s interesting looking at this Arctic shore as a key part of Russia’s quest for maybe not global dominance, but still being important on the global stage. I feel like I don’t often think of the Arctic shore as part of any country’s coastline. But given the fact that ice caps are melting … HUMPERT: You make a very good point. I mean, the Arctic plays a completely different role in the national identity and the economic importance in the psyche of Russian people. I think maybe the only other country with that is the Scandinavian countries.  But if you ask someone in the U.S. in Alabama about the Arctic, they don’t know what you’re talking about, because Alaska is 500,000 people, and contributes less than 1% to the GDP of the U.S. Oil supply has been declining. You have cheaper oil and gas available in the Lower 48. There is really not that much of a need to build icebreakers. Russia has a fleet of a dozen nuclear icebreakers. The U.S. has one conventional icebreaker, and another half one that’s always broken. An icebreaker in the St. Clair River in Michigan. Brrrr. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) The economic importance is a lot less. I mean, if you take Alaska away tomorrow, the U.S. is going to be fine. Well, you take away the Russian Arctic, Russia’s not going to be fine. It generates 20% of its GDP above the Arctic Circle. And that number is probably going to just increase. Russia isn’t just investing into Arctic shipping. It’s investing into an Arctic military.    HUMPERT: That’s why they’re investing large amounts of resources into revitalizing old military bases, building new ones, building runways, and building large radar installations. We saw the explosions on the Nord Stream pipelines two months ago, three months ago. That’s exactly the kind of thing that Russia wants to not have happen to its own investments in the Arctic. That’s why there is a ring of military bases, and forward-looking radar, and S300 and S400 missiles and aircraft — because they know that the Arctic is hugely important for economic development. On Tuesday, they approved another billion dollars to build two more nuclear icebreakers. That’s just something they do on a Tuesday. While in the U.S., it took 10 years to have the Coast Guard contract one conventional icebreaker that won’t be ready before the end of the decade, because it has to be built domestically, and the U.S. hasn’t built an icebreaker in 35 years. So, it’s totally understandable why Russia is investing that much money and effort and political capital. Putin is there whenever they launch a new nuclear icebreaker or they open a new military base. Putin is there for the photo op. And it caters to an element of Russia, the Russian empire, Soviet Union, the Arctic, the Arctic frontier. In the U.S., you don’t really have that psyche. In Canada, 10, 15 years ago, Prime Minister Harper did that a little bit. He would become a little bit more nationalistic when he would talk about the Arctic, and how the Arctic is part of the Canadian heritage, and the Arctic is Canada, Canada is the Arctic, and so forth. But again, no one cared. Of course I’m exaggerating here, but you don’t have 20% of your GDP being generated above the Arctic Circle. In this handout photo taken from a footage released by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on March 26, 2021, a Russian nuclear submarine breaks through the Arctic ice during military drills at an unspecified location. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP) I mean, purely from a logistical aspect, what Russia has been able to do the last 10 years is really, really impressive. You can be for it, you can be against it. You can say the environmental risk is not worth it. We should stop producing oil and gas, and the geopolitics of it. But just looking at it from the infrastructure in the Arctic, and building the ships needed to get the oil and gas out of there, and doing it all in 24-hour darkness in the Arctic, it’s really, really impressive. It takes a lot of effort, a lot of money. And people were skeptical, but Russia is doing it. And Western Europe and Japan and China are customers of what Russia is producing and exporting in the Arctic. For the US and Europe, the solution is probably not ‘drill, baby, drill’ FREIGHTWAVES: Yeah, it seems like Russia’s competitive advantage. Canada and other countries also have access to these resources, theoretically. But Russia’s really the one that is investing the most into this, and seeing the most benefit from this massive shoreline that it has with the Arctic Circle. So, should the U.S. be taking this more seriously? What do you think would be the approach from the U.S. or Europe that counteracts this, or that takes potential Arctic resources more seriously? HUMPERT: Well, I mean, the question is, should we? Personally, I’m glad we’re not drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic.  I think what the U.S. and Europe should do is just generally be more aware that the Arctic is opening up, that it is becoming a navigable ocean. Within 20 or 30 years, for at least six months out of the year, it’ll be more like a blue-water navy-type environment. There needs to be more forward-looking and long-term planning to see, how can we operate in the Arctic? How can we contain threats in the Arctic? How can we avoid conflict in the Arctic?  A lot of that is being done now. I think the U.S. has been waking up to it. They reorganized the 3rd Fleet. They’ve held exercises above the Arctic Circle. There was the Trident Juncture, which was a big NATO exercise a few years ago. They did an exercise off the coast of Iceland maybe two, three years ago. The Coast Guard is getting its new icebreaker, hopefully plural. Supposedly they’re going to build six of them. But, that’s at least 15 years away. They are doing things, but it’s really hard to find the resources to spend that kind of money when the Arctic is not currently that important to you. When you just finished two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and you have terrorism, and you have whatever else is going on in the world, it’s very hard to think about 2030 or 2050. That’s where Russia and also China are better, because they’re not a democracy. They don’t need to cater to the two-year election cycle and figure out what the immediate priorities are. They’re able to think long term. But, in general, I mean, the Arctic is opening up. For better or worse, there’s going to be economic activity. There’s hopefully not going to be military conflict in the Arctic. But, the way things are evolving with Russia and future discord or conflict with China, you can never exclude that it could become a theater for conflict. Cleaning up oil spills in cold water is really hard, which is one of many reasons why Arctic shipping is not great for polar waters FREIGHTWAVES: Really quickly, or maybe not really quickly, I have one last question. What does Arctic shipping do to its ocean? HUMPERT: Well, I mean, it’s definitely not good.  We already had a bunch of near misses of accidents. We had a couple of cruise ships run aground in the Canadian Archipelago a couple years ago. We had a couple of near misses along the Northern Sea Route, where oil tankers ran into each other, luckily without puncturing the double hull. There was, according to the Russians, no loss of oil or whatever. But the more activity you have, the risk goes up. The question is loss of limb and life. That’s why, under the Arctic Council, we have the search and rescue agreement, because the Arctic is really remote, and we have more and more cruise ships going up there. How do you get 2,000 people off a cruise ship when the entire island that you’re visiting has less people than that? There’s a lot of concern about the risk to people when they venture out in the Arctic. Of course, you can look at the Exxon Valdez accident in Alaska 25, 30 years ago and what that did. Cleaning up oil in the Arctic is a lot more challenging than in more temperate water, because the oil becomes a lot more viscous, a lot more thick, like a heavy paste. So, how are you going to get it off, and where are you going to put it? You’re 10,000 miles away from anywhere. The Arctic environment is obviously very pristine and very untouched in a lot of areas. Because it’s so cold, if there were to be an oil spill, it would be dissolved a lot less quickly, because everything, in colder temperature, everything happens a lot slower than in more temperate water. In an ideal world, you’d say, “Yeah, let’s leave the Arctic the way it is, and let’s not go up there and drill for oil and gas.” But that’s not happening, obviously. What we can do is put the regulations in place to keep it as safe and as pristine as we can. But it’s probably just a matter of time until we will see accidents. The more heavy industrial activity you have, you’ll see an accident. The Arctic is offering a preview of how much our lives could transform thanks to climate change  FREIGHTWAVES: Well, great. Thank you so much again for taking the time to talk with me. Anything else I didn’t ask about, or anything else you think would be important? I mean, I’m sure we could talk about this for a long time. But anything else that comes off the top of your head? HUMPERT: I think we covered it. For me, it’s always important, because I read so many headlines about the new Cold War in the Arctic, or the rush for Arctic resources, or the new super shipping highway — it’s not like that. There is a lot happening in the Arctic, and it’s very, very fascinating.  But we’re not on the route for World War III in the Arctic. We’re not going to replace the Suez Canal. Russia is not going to become the next Saudi Arabia in the Arctic. But it doesn’t need to be, right? The Arctic previously was frozen, and now it’s melting because of climate change. And so, it really is the first region where climate change is altering the economic realities and the landscapes. There’s some positives, and there’s some negatives. It’s never just black and white. Some local, indigenous communities are really struggling. Others may have new economic opportunities because of tourism or shipping or whatever is going on. The Arctic is offering a preview. It’s warming at four times the rate as the rest of the planet. Challenges that are maybe 20 or 30 years away in other parts of the world are already happening in the Arctic today, because the ice is melting. Without climate change, you and I, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now, because the Arctic would still be frozen. It’s this nexus of climate change, economic opportunity and geopolitics. It all comes together in the Arctic, over resources, over shipping, over geopolitics. And it’s the first region where climate change is literally altering the map of the world. You can go through the Arctic now for two, three, four months a year in a normal ship. And 20 years ago, that was not possible. Tyler Durden Sat, 01/21/2023 - 07:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 21st, 2023

The Rise Of The Single Woke (And Young, Democratic) Female

The Rise Of The Single Woke (And Young, Democratic) Female Authored by Joel Kotkin and Samuel J. Abrams via RealClear Wire, Soccer Moms are giving way to Single Woke Females – the new “SWFs” – as one of the most potent voting blocs in American politics.   Unmarried women without children have been moving toward the Democratic Party for several years, but the 2022 midterms may have been their electoral coming-out party as they proved the chief break on the predicted Republican wave. While married men and women as well as unmarried men broke for the GOP, CNN exit polls found that 68% of unmarried women voted for Democrats.  The Supreme Court’s August decision overturning Roe v. Wade was certainly a special factor in the midterms, but longer-term trends show that single, childless women are joining African Americans as the Democrats’ most reliable supporters.    Their power is growing thanks to the demographic winds. The number of never married women has grown from about 20% in 1950 to over 30% in 2022, while the percentage of married women has declined from almost 70% in 1950 to under 50% today. Overall, the percentage of married households with children has declined from 37% in 1976 to 21% today.   The Single Wave  A new Institute for Family Studies analysis  of 2020 Census data found that one in six women do not have children by the time they reach the end of their childbearing years, up from one in ten in 1990. Single adult women now total some 42 million, comparable to the key African American voting bloc (46 million), while vastly larger than key groups like labor union members (14 million) or college students (20 million).   The Pew Research Center notes that since 1960, single-person households in the United States have grown from 13% to 27% (2019). Many, particularly women, are not all that keen on finding a partner. Pew recently found that “men are far more likely than women to be on the dating market: 61% of single men say they are currently looking for a relationship or dates, compared with 38% of single women.”   There’s clearly far less stigma attached to being single and unpartnered. Single women today have many impressive role models of unattached, childless women who have succeeded on their own – like Taylor Swift and much of the U.S. women’s soccer team. This phenomenon is not confined to the United States. Marriage and birthrates have fallen in much of the world, including Europe and Japan. Writing in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, columnist Emma John observed that, “Singleness is no longer to be sneered at. Never marrying or taking a long-term partner is increasingly seen as a valid choice.”   Rise of Identity Politics  The rise of SWFs – a twist on the personal ad abbreviation for single white female – is one of the great untold stories of American politics. Distinct from divorced women or widows, these largely Gen Z and Millennial voters share a sense of collective identity and progressive ideology that sets them apart from older women. More likely to live in urban centers and to support progressive policies, they are a driving force in the Democratic party’s and the nation’s shift to the left. One paradox, however: Democrats depend ever more on women defined in the strict biological sense while much of the party’s progressive wing embraces the blurred and flexible gender boundaries of its identity politics.   Attitudes are what most distinguish single women from other voters. An American Enterprise Institute survey shows that married men and women are far more likely than unmarried females to think women are well-treated or equally treated. As they grow in numbers, these discontented younger single women are developing something of a group consciousness. Nearly two-thirds of women under 30, for example, see what happens to other women as critical to their own lives; among women over 50, this mindset shrinks to less than half.   This perception of linked fate stands in contrast to survey results regarding single men, who report that they are increasingly disconnected from each other while women bond more closely. This is not a temporary phenomenon, and it is much bigger than the bohemian movements of the past. There is even a sense in which women are redefining families, and themselves, by choosing to neither get married nor have offspring. And social observers such as Bella DePaulo, a University of California, Santa Barbara professor and singles advocate, are all in favor. As she told Nautilus magazine:   “[It’s] a tremendously positive thing! Once upon a time, just about everyone in the United States thought that they needed to squeeze themselves into the heterosexual nuclear family box, even if they weren’t heterosexual or weren’t interested in getting married or had no interest in raising kids. Now, people can create the lives and the families that allow them to live their best, most authentic, and most meaningful lives. They can choose to put friends at the center of their lives. Or they can assemble their very own combination of friends and family to be the social convoys that sail beside them as they navigate their lives. They can have kids in their lives without having children of their own.”  The key driver of these attitudes may be universities, where feminist ideology often holds powerful sway. Women now predominate on college campuses. In the late 1960s they were about 39% of college graduates; now they are about 59%.  The percentage of full-time female professors has risen dramatically; at the full professor level the percentage has grown by roughly one-third.   Women now earn more than half of advanced degrees, not only in education but health and medical sciences, and are making great strides in engineering and law. With this growth, a feminist agenda has become increasingly de rigueur in colleges. According to theNational Center for Education Statistics, the number of women’s and gender studies degrees in the United States has increased by more than 300% since 1990, and in 2015, there were more than 2,000 degrees conferred. There are widespread movements to establish women’s centers almost everywhere, even as men are abandoning college and university life in record numbers, and those who remain are hit with messaging about behavior and status from diversity, equity, and inclusion offices along with various student life offices that regularly call them toxic, aggressive, and born misogynists.   More recently, anti-family attitudes have become more pronounced. “Queer studies” often advocate replacing the “nuclear family” with some form of collectivized childrearing. Progressive groups like Black Lives Matter made their opposition to the nuclear family a part of their basic original platform, even though evidence shows family breakdown has hurt African American boys most of all.   The Economics of Singleness  While both married and unmarried women have made impressive gains in the workplace, family status appears to be driving a big cleavage in politics among women. Research shows that having children tends to make one more conservative – critically, divorce does not change this calculus decisively, although it moderates leftism. The AEI 2022 data shows that divorced women – of all age cohorts – tend to be more conservative than liberal. In aggregate, 23% of divorced women are liberal while 31% are conservative – the plurality (38%) are somewhere in the moderate middle. The fault lines, however, run deeper and appear to be generational. The data show that 40% of Millennial women – those born between 1981-1996 – identify as liberal and 20% identify as conservative. For single women of the baby boom generation (born between 1946-1963) the number of liberals drops to 25% and the number of conservative women increases to almost 30%.   We are witnessing, as sociologist Daniel Bell noted a half century ago in “The Coming of the Post-Industrial Society,” a new type of individualism, unmoored from religion and family, something fundamentally transforming the foundations of middle-class culture. This echoes what the popular futurist Alvin Toffler in 1970 described as a growing immersion in work at the expense of family life. He envisioned a revolution in marriage that would result in a “streamlined family,” and, if children are in the picture, relying on professional child-raisers. The ideal of long-term marriage would give way, he expected, to more transient relationships and numerous partners at different stages of life.   There is a clear economic divergence between married and unmarried women, if for no other reason than that two incomes provide more resources and children present different demands. There are plenty of renting couples and home-owning singles, but married people account for 77% of all homeowners, according to the Center for Politics. Married women tend also to do far better professionally and economically, and their rate of marriage has remained constant while those without spouses have declined by 15% over the past four decades, notes the Brookings Institution. Single-parent households, they find, do far worse.  This economic reality impacts political choices. Not part of an economic familial unit, they tend to look to government for help, whether for rent subsidies or direct transfers. The pitch of Democratic presidents as reflected in Barack Obama’s “Life of Julia” and Joe Biden’s “Life of Linda” – narratives that advertised the government’s cradle-to-grave assistance for women – is geared toward women who never marry, with the occasional child-raising addressed not by family resources but government transfers.   Critically, unmarried women also tend to be employed heavily in “helping professions” like medical care and teaching, an expanding field even as many traditional male jobs, particularly in manufacturing, construction, and transportation, have disappeared. Whereas high taxes and regulation pose problems in the general economy, women predominate in fields that actually benefit from more government spending. This now includes the once GOP-leaning medical profession, nurses as well as doctors who now lean Democratic. In contrast, heavily male professions like engineers, masons, and police officers tend toward the GOP.   These differences are also showing up in backlashes against leftwing education policy, epitomized by such programs as Drag Queen Story Hour for K-12 students. Parents have been at the forefront of movements to replace progressive school board members from Virginia to California.  Geography Is Destiny  The divisions between married and unmarried women are reenforced and amplified by the geographic divisions in the country – what some call “the big sort”– as Americans increasingly settle into distinct communities of likeminded individuals. Urban centers, for example, are particularly friendly to singles. In virtually all high-income societies, high density today almost always translates into low fertility rates, led by San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, and Boston. In urban cores like Manhattan, single households constituted nearly 50% of households, according to American Community Survey 2019 data. And with many businesses and cultural opportunities moving away from cities and diffusing and becoming more diverse and family friendly with varied amenities, the polarization between cities and their narrowly left residents and the rest of the nation may increase.   According to the recent AEI data, even married women in the Northeast are conservative. This gap, unsurprisingly, widens in the South and Midwest. But the major divides are in terms of type of community. Married women who live in urban settings are evenly split between conservative and liberal, but among single women, just 18% are conservative with 44% liberal (the rest identify as moderate or refused to say). In the suburbs, the key political battleground, 35% of married women are conservative and 22% liberal. For unmarried women, 23% are conservative and 34% are liberal. In rural areas, 42% of married women are conservative compared to 14% liberal while single women divide evenly.   Unlike the wave of immigrants or rural migrants who flooded the American metropolises of the early 20th century, urbanites today generally avoid raising large families in cramped and exceedingly expensive spaces. According to analysis by demographer Wendell Cox, households in suburbs and exurbs are roughly four times more likely to have children in their household than residents of the urban core.  The lowest birthrates are found in ultra-blue cities and states, magnets largely for singles and the childless. Six years ago the New York Times ran a story headlined “San Francisco Asks: Where Have All the Children Gone?” and stories abound about the Golden Gate City having the fewest children of all major American cities. Many other major cities lost families with children during the pandemic. Between 2020 and 2021, Manhattan saw a whopping 9.5% decline in the number of children under 5 – and many families are not returning.  Some of this reflects policies associated with driving housing prices up more than elsewhere. Like other blue states, California has adopted policies that discourage single family housing favored by married couples with children in favor of dense, usually small urban apartments. Given the political orientation of single women, urban areas can be expected to go further left, while the suburbs, and particularly the exurbs, with their concentrations of married families, will likely shift towards the center and right.   The Great Demographic Race  In the near future, American politics, both national and local, may turn on the degree to which people remain single, and also whether they decide to have children. Right now, the short run demography favors the Democrats. People are getting married at the lowest rate in American history and the birth rate remains depressed. The longer people stay single, and perhaps never marry, the better things will be for the Democrats.  The wild card may be age – specifically whether historic patterns hold and women, like men, tend to become conservative as they get older. This is hard to gauge as the evolution has usually taken in place of the context of marriage and motherhood. Unmarried women, in particular, may hold onto their youthful ideology far longer than those whose lives are transformed by marriage and parenting.  In many places, particularly on the coasts, single women have become a politically rising force. Twelve women were elected governor in 2022, a record. Maura Healey’s election as the nation’s first openly lesbian chief executive shows that in states like Massachusetts, once a Catholic conservative bastion culturally, there is enough support for single women in politics to overcome traditional reluctance to elect childless and non-heterosexual candidates. “It’s thrilling to see Maura break down historical obstacles to both women and LGBTQ candidates to lead Massachusetts,” says Janson Wu, executive director of the Boston-based GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders. “It really shows the progress we’ve made as a society, in understanding that what counts is really the quality of the leader and not who they are.”  Future Policy Conflicts  Public policy may have a strong influence on this dynamic. The single, the unattached, and the unmarried are already demanding state provisions to guarantee “affordable” urban housing, more money for transit, and steps toward a guaranteed income for individuals – all of which will, in turn, provide incentives to remain unattached. In contrast, the demands of family-oriented voters may be more focused on economic growth, safety, improving basic education, and ways to save money for their offspring.   If the policy preferences of singles become more significant, the United States may have to brace for the kind of long-term demographic decline already evident in Japan and parts of Europe. Some suggest that one possible solution, attractive to some on the left, would be to adopt the “Nordic way” which encourages reproduction (if not marriage) by transferring much of the burden of child-raising from families to the state. Other countries have also adopted pro-birth policies – like free or low-cost childcare, or even cash payments. These schemes have been applied in places as dissimilar as Poland and South Korea, as well as Quebec. But according to United Nations data, all of them, including the Scandinavian states, still suffer well below replacement rate fertility rates.  Some women in particular embrace singleness not just as a lifestyle, but a chance to redefine the role of women in society. Author Rebecca Traister, herself married with children, has followed this movement, calling it a “a radical upheaval, a national reckoning with massive social and political implications …  a wholesale revision of what female life might entail.”  “We are living through the invention of independent female adulthood as a norm, not an aberration,” she adds, “and the creation of an entirely new population: adult women who are no longer economically, socially, sexually, or reproductively dependent on or defined by the men they marry.”  The likely best way to overcome the demographic decline may lie instead in boosting the economic prospects of the next generation. This includes steps that could allow for easier purchase of homes or lower cost apartments suitable for families. As Richard Florida, among others, has suggested: Efforts should be made to lower housing prices, which correlates to higher rates of fertility.   Reforms that encourage home-based businesses could spark greater fertility rates, as historian Alan Carlson suggested almost two decades ago. The rise of home-based businesses and work, now taking off, offers a unique opportunity for increased family formation. Indeed a recent study by the Federal Reserve of Kansas City suggests that the current rise in remote work could spark a family friendly housing boom, as people can live further away, and spend more time being parents. For that to occur, however, it would require that such housing can be constructed, which would require loosening of regulations that seek to restrain construction both in cities and suburban areas.   Ultimately the question remains what kind of society Americans want to have. Historically, here in the U.S. and elsewhere, the family perspective has generally been prevalent and tied intimately to the sense of a common polity. But as the country changes and becomes ever more single and female-influenced, the historical pattern is likely to be challenged and significantly modified.   Joel Kotkin is Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and executive director of the Urban Reform Institute. Samuel J. Abrams is a professor of politics at Sarah Lawrence College and a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Tyler Durden Wed, 01/18/2023 - 20:55.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJan 18th, 2023

United Airlines Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year Financial Results: Achieved 9.1% Pre-tax Margin Ahead of Schedule in Q4

Q4 2022 pre-tax margin exceeded 2019 and vaulted United to an industry-leading position The changes United made to increase staffing and resources and invest in technology and infrastructure created strong operations and allowed United to recover quickly after winter storm Elliott Remains confident in hitting its 2023 financial performance targets fueled by United Next progress CHICAGO, Jan. 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines (UAL) today reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2022 financial results. The company exceeded adjusted operating margin1 guidance in the fourth quarter reporting a 11.1% operating margin; 11.2% operating margin on an adjusted basis1. Additionally the company reported a 9.1% pre-tax margin on a GAAP basis and 9.0% on an adjusted basis1, achieving its 2023 target ahead of schedule. The company grew operating revenue by 14% and TRASM (total revenue per available seat mile) by 26%, both versus fourth quarter 2019. The company remains confident in the 2023 United Next adjusted pre-tax margin1 target of about 9%. United was able to recover quickly from significant irregular operations in December as a result of winter storm Elliott. During the key holiday travel days between December 21 and 26, nearly 36% of all United flights were exposed to severe weather. Despite that impact, 90% of United customers made it to their destination within 4 hours of their scheduled arrival time. The company credits significant investment in its people, resources, technology and infrastructure over the past few years with its ability to recover from significant weather events.  "Thank you to the United team that, last month, managed through one of the worst weather events in my career to deliver for so many of our customers and get them home for the holidays," said United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby. "Our dedicated team used our state-of-the-art tools to prepare for the bad weather, take care of our customers and quickly recover once the worst of the weather had passed. Over the last three years, United has made critical investments in tools, infrastructure and our people – all of which are essential investments in our future. That's why we've got a big head start, and we're now poised to accelerate in 2023 as our United Next strategy becomes a reality." Fourth-Quarter Financial Results Net income of $843 million, adjusted net income1 of $811 million. Capacity down 9% compared to fourth-quarter 2019. Total operating revenue of $12.4 billion, up 14% compared to fourth-quarter 2019. TRASM of up 26% compared to fourth-quarter 2019. CASM of up 21%, and CASM-ex1 of up 11%, compared to fourth-quarter 2019. Operating margin of 11.1%, adjusted operating margin1 of 11.2%, both up over 2 pts. compared to fourth-quarter 2019. Pre-tax margin of 9.1%, adjusted pre-tax margin1 of 9.0%, both up and around 1 pt. compared to fourth-quarter 2019. Average fuel price per gallon of $3.54. Full-Year Financial Results Net income of $737 million, adjusted net income1 of $831 million. Operating margin of 5.2%, adjusted operating margin1 of 5.5%. Pre-tax margin of 2.2%, adjusted pre-tax margin1 of 2.5%. Ending available liquidity2 of $18.2 billion. Key Highlights Announced the largest widebody order by a U.S. carrier in commercial aviation history: 100 Boeing 787 Dreamliners with options to purchase 100 more. Also added 100 additional Boeing 737 MAX aircraft by exercising 44 options and adding 56 new firm orders. This historic purchase is the next chapter in the ambitious United Next plan and will bolster the airline's leadership role in global travel for years to come. Officially opened the United Aviate Academy, the only major U.S. airline to own a flight training school, with a historic inaugural pilot class of 80% women or people of color. Launched Calibrate, an in-house apprenticeship program that will help grow and diversify its pipeline of Aircraft Maintenance Technicians. Launched a new, national advertising campaign – "Good Leads The Way" – that tells the story of United's leadership in areas like customer service, diversity and sustainability, and captures the optimism fueling the airline's large ambitions at a time of unprecedented demand in air travel. Announced and began the expansion of its Flight Training Center in Denver, already the largest facility of its kind in the world. Announced a historic commercial agreement with Emirates that will enhance each airline's network and give customers easier access to hundreds of destinations around the world. Also announced a new direct flight between Newark/New York and Dubai beginning in March 2023, subject to government approval. Appointed by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, United Chief Executive Officer Scott Kirby served as the Co-Chair of the Homeland Security Advisory Council and also served on the Board of Directors of the Business Roundtable as the Chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee. Hosted the first Eco-Skies Alliance Summit, bringing together leaders, corporate customers, and senior U.S. government officials for important discussions on sustainable aviation fuel, best practices of how to reduce carbon emissions from flying and how to collaborate on future sustainability solutions. Operational Performance In the fourth quarter, on-time arrival performance (arrival within 14 minutes of schedule) was at 80%, the best quarterly performance of 2022. United finished first among network carriers for on-time departures and completion at its three largest hubs – Denver, O'Hare and Houston – for the fourth-quarter and full-year 2022. In 2022, over 650,000 passenger connections were saved with ConnectionSaver, resulting in United achieving the lowest misconnect rate ever for the fourth quarter and full year (excluding 2020/2021). In the fourth quarter, Inflight Service, Check-In and Club Satisfaction beat their record from last quarter and ended with their highest quarterly performance since the launch of the NPS (Net Promoter Score) survey in 2020.  Customer Experience In 2022, 80% of domestic departures were operated on a dual-cabin aircraft, up from 67% in 2019. Despite the severe operating conditions during winter storm Elliott, 43% of our customer surveys included a compliment for something a United employee did to help them. Debuted free "bag drop shortcut" – a simple way for customers at United's U.S. hubs to skip the line, check their bag in a minute or less on average, and get to their flight. Began offering eligible T-Mobile customers free in-flight Wi-Fi and streaming where available on select domestic and short-haul international flights. United, with Jaguar North America, launched the first gate-to-gate airport transfer service powered by an all-electric fleet in the U.S. at Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Announced the return of kids' meals on board on select United flights where complimentary meals are served. Announced the opening of United Club FlySM, a new club concept for a U.S. airline at Denver International Airport. Opened the new United ClubSM location at Newark Liberty International Airport, a 30,000-square-foot space offering travelers a modern design, enhanced amenities and culinary offerings. Debuted new custom amenity kits for United Polaris® from Away ahead of summer travel. Debuted new plant-based menu items from Impossible Foods as part of United's goal to add more vegan and vegetarian options to its culinary lineup amidst growing demand for plant-based meat. Network Announced the 2023 summer schedule that includes adding new service to three cities – Malaga, Spain; Stockholm, Sweden; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates – United will be the No. 1 airline to Europe, Africa, India and the Middle East next summer with service to 37 cities, more destinations than all other U.S. airlines combined. Launched a new alliance partnership with Virgin Australia, began year-round, nonstop service between San Francisco and Brisbane, Australia and became the largest carrier between the United States and Australia. Began year-round, nonstop service between Washington, D.C., and Cape Town, South Africa and expanded to year-round nonstop service between New York/Newark and Cape Town, South Africa. Expanded the airline's codeshare agreement with Star Alliance member Singapore Airlines, making it easier for customers to travel to more cities in the United States, Southeast Asia and other destinations in the Asia-Pacific region. Announced a joint business agreement with Air Canada for the Canada-U.S. transborder market, building on the companies' long-standing alliance, that will give more flight options and better flight schedules to customers traveling between the two countries. Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) In the fourth quarter, over 7,700 volunteer hours were served by more than 1,000 employee volunteers. In the fourth quarter, nearly 13 million miles were donated to 40 participating nonprofit organizations during United's Giving Tuesday 2022 campaign by over 700 donors, including nearly 2 million miles matched by United. In the fourth quarter, more than 4 million miles and over $111,000 were raised for Hurricane Fiona and Hurricane Ian relief efforts. In 2022, through a combination of cargo-only flights and passenger flights, United transported over 1 billion pounds of cargo, including approximately 121 million pounds of medical shipments and approximately 10,500 pounds of military shipments. United Airlines Ventures announced a strategic investment in NEXT Renewable Fuels (NEXT), which is acquiring a permit for a flagship biofuel refinery in Port Westward, Oregon, with expected production beginning in 2026. Announced a $15 million investment in Eve Air Mobility and a conditional purchase agreement for 200 four-seat electric aircraft with options to purchase 200 more, expecting the first deliveries as early as 2026. Launched United for Business Blueprint™, a new platform that will allow corporate customers to fully customize their business travel program contracts with United. United Airlines Ventures and Oxy Low Carbon Ventures announced a collaboration with Cemvita Factory to commercialize the production of sustainable aviation fuel intended to be developed through a revolutionary new process using carbon dioxide and synthetic microbes. Announced a strategic equity investment in Natron Energy, a battery manufacturer whose sodium-ion batteries have the potential to help United electrify its airport ground equipment like pushback tractors and operations at the gate. U.S. President Joe Biden appointed United President Brett Hart to the Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Along with the PGA TOUR, announced that it will award 51 golf teams at Historically Black Colleges and Universities with more than half a million dollars in grants to fund travel for golf tournaments and recruiting efforts. Announced a new collaboration with OneTen, a coalition committed to upskill, hire and advance Black talent into family-sustaining careers over the next 10 years. United Airlines Ventures announced an investment in and commercial agreement with Dimensional Energy, another step forward to reaching United's pledge to become 100% green by achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, without relying on the use of traditional carbon offsets. Became the first U.S. airline to sign an agreement with Neste to purchase sustainable aviation fuel overseas. Over 42 million miles and more than $400,000 donated to World Central Kitchen, Airlink, American Red Cross, and Americares in support of Ukraine relief efforts by United's customers, with an additional 5 million miles and $100,000 matched by United. Earned a top score of 100% on the 2022 Disability Equality Index for the seventh consecutive year and was recognized as a "Best Place to Work" for Disability Inclusion. Hosted more than 100 volunteer events for United's 2nd Annual September of Service with more than 1,600 United employees volunteering 6,500 hours. Became the first airline to donate flights in support of the White House's Operation Fly Formula and transported Kendamil formula free of charge from Heathrow Airport in London to its Washington Dulles hub. Earnings Call UAL will hold a conference call to discuss fourth-quarter and full-year 2022 financial results, as well as its financial and operational outlook for first quarter 2023 and beyond, on Wednesday, January 18, at 9:30 a.m. CT/10:30 a.m. ET. A live, listen-only webcast of the conference call will be available at ir.united.com. The webcast will be available for replay within 24 hours of the conference call and then archived on the website for three months. Outlook This press release should be read in conjunction with the company's Investor Update issued in connection with this quarterly earnings announcement, which provides additional information on the company's business outlook (including certain financial and operational guidance) and is furnished with this press release with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on a Current Report on Form 8-K. The Investor Update is also available at ir.united.com. Management will also discuss certain business outlook items during the quarterly earnings conference call. The company's business outlook is subject to risks and uncertainties applicable to all forward-looking statements as described elsewhere in this press release. Please see the section entitled "Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements." About United United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." From our U.S. hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., United operates the most comprehensive global route network among North American carriers. United is bringing back our customers' favorite destinations and adding new ones on its way to becoming the world's best airline. For more about how to join the United team, please visit www.united.com/careers and more information about the company is at www.united.com. United Airlines Holdings, Inc., the parent company of United Airlines, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL". Website Information We routinely post important news and information regarding United on our corporate website, www.united.com, and our investor relations website, ir.united.com. We use our investor relations website as a primary channel for disclosing key information to our investors, including the timing of future investor conferences and earnings calls, press releases and other information about financial performance, reports filed or furnished with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, information on corporate governance and details related to our annual meeting of shareholders. We may use our investor relations website as a means of disclosing material, non-public information and for complying with our disclosure obligations under Regulation FD. We may also use social media channels to communicate with our investors and the public about our company and other matters, and those communications could be deemed to be material information. The information contained on, or that may be accessed through, our website or social media channels are not incorporated by reference into, and are not a part of, this document. Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:  This press release and the related attachments and Investor Update (as well as the oral statements made with respect to information contained in this release and the attachments) contain certain "forward-looking statements," within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, relating to, among other things, the potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and other macroeconomic factors and steps the company plans to take in response thereto and goals, plans and projections regarding the company's financial position, results of operations, market position, capacity, fleet, product development, ESG targets and business strategy. Such forward-looking statements are based on historical performance and current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about the company's future financial results, goals, plans, commitments, strategies and objectives and involve inherent risks, assumptions and uncertainties, known or unknown, including internal or external factors that could delay, divert or change any of them, that are difficult to predict, may be beyond the company's control and could cause the company's future financial results, goals, plans, commitments, strategies and objectives to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the statements. Words such as "should," "could," "would," "will," "may," "expects," "plans," "intends," "anticipates," "indicates," "remains," "believes," "estimates," "projects," "forecast," "guidance," "outlook," "goals," "targets," "pledge," "confident," "optimistic," "dedicated," "positioned" and other words and terms of similar meaning and expression are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain such terms. All statements, other than those that relate solely to historical facts, are forward-looking statements. Additionally, forward-looking statements include conditional statements and statements that identify uncertainties or trends, discuss the possible future effects of known trends or uncertainties, or that indicate that the future effects of known trends or uncertainties cannot be predicted, guaranteed or assured. All forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to us on the date of this release. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise, except as required by applicable law or regulation. Our actual results could differ materially from these forward-looking statements due to numerous factors including, without limitation, the following: the adverse impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic on our business, operating results, financial condition and liquidity; execution risks associated with our strategic operating plan; changes in our network strategy or other factors outside our control resulting in less economic aircraft orders, costs related to modification or termination of aircraft orders or entry into less favorable aircraft orders, as well as any inability to accept or integrate new aircraft into our fleet as planned; any failure to effectively manage, and receive anticipated benefits and returns from, acquisitions, divestitures, investments, joint ventures and other portfolio actions; adverse publicity, harm to our brand, reduced travel demand, potential tort liability and voluntary or mandatory operational restrictions as a result of an accident, catastrophe or incident involving us, our regional carriers, our codeshare partners or another airline; the highly competitive nature of the global airline industry and susceptibility of the industry to price discounting and changes in capacity, including as a result of alliances, joint business arrangements or other consolidations; our reliance on a limited number of suppliers to source a majority of our aircraft and certain parts, and the impact of any failure to obtain timely deliveries, additional equipment or support from any of these suppliers; disruptions to our regional network and United Express flights provided by third-party regional carriers; unfavorable economic and political conditions in the United States and globally (including inflationary pressures); reliance on third-party service providers and the impact of any significant failure of these parties to perform as expected, or interruptions in our relationships with these providers or their provision of services; extended interruptions or disruptions in service at major airports where we operate and space, facility and infrastructure constrains at our hubs or other airports; geopolitical conflict, terrorist attacks or security events; any damage to our reputation or brand image; our reliance on technology and automated systems to operate our business and the impact of any significant failure or disruption of, or failure to effectively integrate and implement, the technology or systems; increasing privacy and data security obligations or a significant data breach; increased use of social media platforms by us, our employees and others; the impacts of union disputes, employee strikes or slowdowns, and other labor-related disruptions on our operations; any failure to attract, train or retain skilled personnel, including our senior management team or other key employees; the monetary and operational costs of compliance with extensive government regulation of the airline industry; current or future litigation and regulatory actions, or failure to comply with the terms of any settlement, order or arrangement relating to these actions; costs, liabilities and risks associated with environmental regulation and climate change, including our climate goals; high and/or volatile fuel prices or significant disruptions in the supply of aircraft fuel (including as a result of the Russia-Ukraine military conflict); the impacts of our significant amount of financial leverage from fixed obligations, the possibility we may seek material amounts of additional financial liquidity in the short-term, and the impacts of insufficient liquidity on our financial condition and business; failure to comply with financial and other covenants governing our debt, including our MileagePlus® financing agreements; the impacts of the proposed phaseout of the London interbank offer rate; limitations on our ability to use our net operating loss carryforwards and certain other tax attributes to offset future taxable income for U.S. federal income tax purposes; our failure to realize the full value of our intangible assets or our long-lived assets, causing us to record impairments; fluctuations in the price of our common stock; the impacts of seasonality, weather events, infrastructure and other factors associated with the airline industry; increases in insurance costs or inadequate insurance coverage and other risks and uncertainties set forth in Part I, Item 1A. Risk Factors, of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021, as well as other risks and uncertainties set forth from time to time in the reports we file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The foregoing list sets forth many, but not all, of the factors that could impact our ability to achieve results described in any forward-looking statements. Investors should understand that it is not possible to predict or identify all such factors and should not consider this list to be a complete statement of all potential risks and uncertainties. In addition, certain forward-looking outlook provided in this release relies on assumptions about the duration and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, the timing of the return to a more stable business environment, the volatility of aircraft fuel prices, customer behavior changes and return in demand for air travel, among other things (together, the "Recovery Process"). The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken in response may continue to impact many aspects of our business, operating results, financial condition and liquidity in a number of ways, including labor shortages (including reductions in available staffing and related impacts to the company's flight schedules and reputation), facility closures and related costs and disruptions to the company's and its business partners' operations, reduced travel demand and consumer spending, increased operating costs, supply chain disruptions, logistics constraints, volatility in the price of our securities, our ability to access capital markets and volatility in the global economy and financial markets generally. If the actual Recovery Process differs materially from our assumptions, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business could be worse than expected, and our actual results may be negatively impacted and may vary materially from our expectations and projections. It is routine for our internal projections and expectations to change as the year or each quarter in the year progresses, and therefore it should be clearly understood that the internal projections, beliefs and assumptions upon which we base our expectations may change. For instance, we regularly monitor future demand and booking trends and adjust capacity, as needed. As such, our actual flown capacity may differ materially from currently published flight schedules or current estimations. Non-GAAP Financial Information:  In discussing financial results and guidance, the company refers to financial measures that are not in accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). The non-GAAP financial measures are provided as supplemental information to the financial measures presented in this press release that are calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP and are presented because management believes that they supplement or enhance management's, analysts' and investors' overall understanding of the company's underlying financial performance and trends and facilitate comparisons among current, past and future periods. Non-GAAP financial measures such as adjusted operating margin (which excludes special charges (credits)), CASM-ex (which excludes the impact of fuel expense, profit sharing, special charges and third-party expenses), adjusted pre-tax margin (which is calculated as pre-tax margin excluding operating and nonoperating special charges (credits) and unrealized (gains) losses on investments, net) and adjusted net income typically have exclusions or adjustments that include one or more of the following characteristics, such as being highly variable, difficult to project, unusual in nature, significant to the results of a particular period or not indicative of past or future operating results. These items are excluded because the company believes they neither relate to the ordinary course of the company's business nor reflect the company's underlying business performance. Because the non-GAAP financial measures are not calculated in accordance with GAAP, they should not be considered superior to and are not intended to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for the related GAAP financial measures presented in the press release and may not be the same as or comparable to similarly titled measures presented by other companies due to possible differences in method and in the items being adjusted. We encourage investors to review our financial statements and publicly-filed reports in their entirety and not to rely on any single financial measure. Please refer to the tables accompanying this release for a description of the non-GAAP adjustments and reconciliations of the historical non-GAAP financial measures used to the most comparable GAAP financial measure and related disclosures. -tables attached-  UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS, INC STATEMENTS OF CONSOLIDATED OPERATIONS (UNAUDITED)  Three Months Ended December 31, % Increase/ (Decrease) 2022 vs. 2019 Year Ended December 31, % Increase/ (Decrease) 2022 vs. 2019 (In millions, except per share data) 2022 2021 2019 2022 2021 2019 Operating revenue: Passenger revenue $  11,202 $    6,878 $    9,933 12.8 $ 40,032 $ 20,197 $ 39,625 1.0 Cargo 472 727 316 49.4 2,171 2,349 1,179 84.1 Other operating revenue 726 587 639 13.6 2,752 2,088 2,455 12.1 Total operating revenue 12,400 8,192 10,888 13.9 44,955 24,634 43,259 3.9 Operating expense: Aircraft fuel 3,317 1,962 2,249 47.5 13,113 5,755 8,953 46.5 Salaries and related costs 3,000 2,579 3,078 (2.5) 11,466 9,566 12,071 (5.0) Landing fees and other rent 657 681 650 1.1 2,576 2,416 2,543 1.3 Depreciation and amortization 624 619 606 3.0 2,456 2,485 2,288 7.3 Regional capacity purchase 571 601 725 (21.2) 2,299 2,147 2,849 (19.3) Aircraft maintenance materials and outside repairs 600 399 475 26.3 2,153 1,316 1,794 20.0 Distribution expenses 434 235 417 4.1 1,535 677 1,651 (7.0) Aircraft rent 59 63 67 (11.9) 252 228 288 (12.5) Special charges (credits) 16 56 130 NM 140 (3,367) 246 NM Other operating expenses 1,745 1,405 1,630 7.1 6,628 4,433 6,275 5.6 Total operating expense 11,023 8,600 10,027 9.9 42,618 25,656 38,958 9.4 Operating income (loss) 1,377 (408) 861 59.9 2,337 (1,022) 4,301 (45.7) Nonoperating income (expense): Interest expense (479) (429) (161) 197.5 (1,778) (1,657) (731) 143.2 Interest income 156 6 30 420.0 298 36 133 124.1 Interest capitalized 32 23 20 60.0 105 80 85 23.5 Unrealized gains (losses) on investments, net 32 (125) 81 (60.5) 20 (34) 153 (86.9) Miscellaneous, net 12 88 13 (7.7) 8 40 (27) NM Total nonoperating expense, net (247) (437) (17) NM (1,347) (1,535) (387) 248.1 Income (loss) before income taxes 1,130 (845) 844 33.9 990 (2,557) 3,914 (74.7) Income tax expense (benefit) 287 (199) 203 41.4 253 (593) 905 (72.0) Net income (loss) $      843 $     (646) $      641 31.5 $      737 $ (1,964) $   ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaJan 17th, 2023

Technocratic Dystopia Is Impossible

Technocratic Dystopia Is Impossible Authored by Robert Blumen via The Brownstone Institute, In the coming technocratic dystopia, life will be grim for most of us. For those who survive the preliminary depopulation, a technological control grid run by AI and robots will keep tabs on our every movement. You notice that your pantry cube is running a bit low on freeze-dried bug burgers, fake meat, and cockroach milk.  You time your break to fall outside of your three daily hours of wind-powered internet. Forbidden by the World Economic Forum from owning your own car, you flag down a quick ride share from your leased living quarters in a stacked shipping container on the near side of your 15-minute city. After dropping off the seven other people in your ride share, you arrive at the fake meat distribution point, where you wait in a long queue, hoping to trade in a few of your remaining carbon ration credits for more provisions.  You worry that your transaction might be rejected by the central bank digital currency network. After all, there was that one moment where your wrinkled brow showed slight unhappiness. You wonder if the facial recognition AI picked it up during one of your masked Zoom calls.  But for the elites, things will be better than ever. Private jets, cars, ultra wagyu beef tenderloin (for their dogs), and large estates. Life-extension drugs will make them nearly immortal. They will vacation at 5-star hotels, a short limo trip from the Louvre, but without the crowds.  The WEF – an infinite source of technocratic malapropisms – says that you will “own nothing” and be happy (the happiness perhaps will be a drug-induced state as Yuval Hariri suggests). Many independent researchers who have looked into the WEF’s plans have reported similar findings. For example – see James Corbett, Patrick Wood, Whitney Webb 2, Tessa Lena 2, Jay Dyer, and Catherine Austin Fitts.  Aaron Kheriaty, who says much the same in his book The New Abnormal, calls the oncoming system “communist capitalism.” Jeffrey Tucker calls it “techno-primitivism.” He describes the system as:  a combination of digital technology plus a rollback into previous ages of existence to a time without fossil fuels and meat plus geographical isolation and limited choices for average people. In other words, it’s a step back to feudalism: the lords of the manor are digital titans and the rest of us are peasants toiling in the fields and eating bugs when the food runs out.  The researchers that I have cited have done a deep dive into the GI tract of the beast. While I don’t dispute the truth of their findings, my problem with much of the commentary on the Great Reset is that it takes the Grand Plan at face value. Indeed, a group of elites have a plan. They are open about some parts of it (and most likely, less open about others).  One can imagine something, plan for it, and even try to bring it into being. However, in order to succeed, the laws of reality must be observed. The laws of cause and effect apply to all things. Grand utopian visions always fail in the implementation – if they even get that far. How It Works Or Does Not Work The idea of a totalitarian control grid is familiar to science fiction fans, but imaginative fiction stretches boundaries for artistic purposes. Utopia (including dystopia) is a form of science fiction. There are crucial aspects in the plan for a technocratic dystopia that, as fearful as it is, cannot be realized.  Technocracy imagines a world where elites have all the good things in life for themselves, much as the middle class in the developed world does today. Internal combustion engines, reliable wall power, air travel, consumer electronics, beef, alcohol, dentistry, stable dry and well-insulated buildings, books, and video streaming services are all readily available. At the same time, a much reduced population of dispirited, drugged worker-slaves will own nothing. That is a vision but it is not a possible version of reality.  To be elite in this world means to be wealthy. Wealth is created through the production of goods and services. There are many forms of what could be called “second-order elites” – wealthy people who parasitize off privately created wealth. But their ability to do that depends on true wealth, which is created by production. Once you have enough goods for your own needs, additional wealth is held in the form of assets. Assets can be reduced to a few categories: land, equity, debt, commodities (below ground in the form of deposits and above ground such as inventories of metals). Without going through each asset class in detail, equities and debt derive their value from businesses, which exist only because they have customers. After they have impoverished everyone and confiscated all of our property, their assets will be worth nothing. You will be worth nothing, and you will wonder why. I have seen dystopian predictions for how the rich will get richer by trading futures contracts on our biometrics. Futures contracts are a bet with a zero-sum outcome. The winning side makes a profit and the losing side takes an equal loss. Who will the losers be? And what good is the money unless there are goods and services for sale to spend it on?  Kheriaty cites some elite policy wonk who thinks that “funding to the public sector must increase.” By what? Who will pay the taxes? Even if the public sector had unlimited access to money, who will produce the goods and services that the public sector needs to buy, in order to build their control grid? With what will they pay the workers who operate it?  How will the elites get stuff for their personal use when it is not available to the masses? Modern goods depend on a vast base of accumulated capital. To take one example, consider airplanes and airports. Airports, including the runways, are complex capital goods requiring intensive maintenance by skilled labor. Air traffic control requires a combination of capital goods, skilled labor, and energy to run. This documentary tells of the 30,000 parts that an airport must have on hand to keep the planes from having downtime. At the same airport, the airline runs a separate facility where the jet engines are broken down by skilled mechanics, serviced and rebuilt.  Who Builds the Systems? Is this all going to be done by AI and robots? Computer networks and servers depend on complex supply chains. CPU chips are made mostly in Taiwan, memory chips in South Korea, and hard drives at several places including North America. A single factory to produce semiconductors costs over $1 billion to construct and involves technical expertise from many different fields.  The robotic control grid rests on a base of energy and mining. Robots are made out of metal as are data centers and computers. Energy is extracted from underground deposits of coal, oil, natural gas, and uranium. Once mined metal must be extracted from the rock and formed into bars, pipes, wires or whatever the intended use. Even “green energy” requires enormous amounts of metals. Copper and iron are not so hard to find, but some of the minor metals required for batteries, such as cobalt and niobium are much harder. An operating mine is depleted, and then retired, as minerals are extracted. New deposits must be located and developed. Within the mining industry, there is a division of labor between prospecting for new deposits, building mines, operating mines, and financing them.  Who will operate the control grid? Technology requires skilled labor to operate. AI can only imitate skills that people have already demonstrated. AI models must be trained by operators vetted by humans. Data scientists decide when the training is complete, or, when the model requires retraining. Many decisions are made during this process and it can only be initiated with a goal in mind. Will robots do it all? Who will build them? Where will the metals come from to make them? The power to run them? Who will write the software to control them? The control grid will require a massive amount of skilled labor. People obtain skills by working in the same field – or several different fields – over the course of a career. Most people enter the labor force in their early 20s and many remain for five decades or more. People learn how to do complex things, such as building a semiconductor factory or flying an airplane, by working under more experienced colleagues, and taking on increasingly difficult challenges as they gain experience. Most commercial airline pilots start out with flight training they receive in the military, and from there make the step to short-haul regional carriers with the aspiration of one day sitting in the cockpit of a major airline.  I could go on with my series of examples, but they only illustrate that there is a deeper principle at work here. The wealth that makes technology possible to run the control grid and provide the elites with the good things requires a market economy.  “The economy” – that thing which has an on//off switch, that we could flip for two weeks, and then flip back. Do you remember how, we all dug in, we wore our masks, we socially distanced, we sheltered in place? That curve didn’t know what hit it. We flattened that poor curve’s sorry backside. Then we turned the switch back to the “on” position. Once the economy finished rebooting, we picked up right where we left off. Actually it did not happen that way. In that hallucination, no one lost their business, their home, friends, family relationships, years of their childrens’ education, their careers, or anything else meaningful.  There Is No Switch The production of goods and services is not a machine with a switch. “Economy” is a name for the process by which we all produce things and provide them to others. Not only does this process create cool stuff like mobile phones and air travel, it is what enables us all to stay warm, dry and alive. It is an interconnected network of billions of individual decision-makers, firms, goods in process, capital goods, energy generation, transportation systems, and people who operate them.  The most compelling explanation of the necessity of the market was discovered by the great economist of the Austrian School, Ludwig von Mises. Mises in his 1920 paper examined the problem of central planning. The ownership of all productive capital by the state – socialism – was a popular idea at the time. It was thought by the intellectuals to be inevitable. With ownership comes responsibility. A central planning board would take on the task of planning the entire economy. What should be produced? How much? By whom? To be distributed where?  The starting point is understanding that productive assets are “scarce.” In normal English, scarce means that a good is difficult to find. Economists use the word to mean there are more potential valued uses for the asset than the amount of that asset that currently exists. To use the asset in one way comes at a cost of less of it to use for some other purpose. Any decision that involves using more bricks to build houses means fewer bricks to build walls.  Mises observed that the number of possible uses of all existing capital goods to produce consumer goods and services is unimaginably large. Given the vast numbers of capital goods, skilled workers, known types of consumer goods, and different production processes to create them, the possibilities are almost infinite.  Not only must the choice be made between producing more capital goods and fewer consumer goods, or the opposite, but there is an incalculable variety of choices within each category.  On the capital goods side – do we need more power generation? Should the planner invest in nuclear, coal, natural gas, LNG, or pipelines? Factories? Of what type? Or transportation networks, ports, terminals, or logistics? Do we need more specialized capital goods such as machines that etch circuits into silicon chips, or more general purpose tools like trucks and computers? The planning must look years into the future. The extraction of minerals from the ground and the generation of energy takes years of planning and development so that, when the small business owner needs an iPad, it is available at the local Apple Store.  For consumers, which is better? More shoes and fewer mobile phones? More burgers and better furniture but fewer kitchen sinks and bicycle tires? The number of plans is infinite. There are always entrepreneurs with ideas for goods that do not yet exist, that they would like to bring to market. More production of well known goods means fewer new inventions. Even subsequent generations of the “same product” differ as subtle improvements (or in the case of Microsoft Windows, not-so-subtle retrogressions) are introduced.  Mises asked, how would the central planner decide between alternative uses of productive resources? He startled the economics field with his conclusion: production of goods and services as we know it would be impossible under central planning. In my opinion, Mises’ breakthrough is the greatest and least well known contribution to social sciences in the last century. It sparked a great deal of debate in professional economic circles at the time, but remains to a large extent unknown today outside of scholars.  If central planning is impossible, how is it that we have all the things that we have now? Who decides what to produce? In a market economy – with private ownership of the means of production and a sound monetary system – business firms decide what products they will offer. They are in competition with each other, and they compete with entrepreneurs who would like to enter their markets.  In order to choose between one thing and another, there must be a way to compare alternatives. This is accomplished by what Mises called “economic calculation.” Before starting, expected monetary costs are compared against expected monetary revenues. Profits consist of the differential between realized costs and revenues. Owners in the market economy are looking for profit opportunities. The more profitable opportunities are undertaken, the less profitable or loss-making options are not.  To compare alternatives, profits may be compared to costs using ratios. Financial ratios, such as internal rate of return, or return on equity are dimensionless: they contain monetary units in both the numerator and the denominator. These metrics attempt to capture the economic efficiency of any particular decision. Without a means of comparison, who could say whether society will benefit from more shoes and fewer shirts, or the opposite? Using dimensionless ratios, alternative uses of scarce resources can be compared against each other.  Costs and revenues are always estimated because the full costs of production cannot entirely be known until after production, nor can sales revenues be known until the goods are sold. It may be more (or less) expensive than expected to hire the workers needed, supply chain issues may crop up, a space may open up at a lower than expected rent, demand for the product may be stronger, or weaker. The ability to estimate future costs and prices is a key to success in earning profits.  Awareness, or imagination of what can be produced, how, and with what originates in the diversity of human knowledge, experience, and the way in which all of us are situated differently in the world. Within a business firm there resides an accumulation of knowledge about that industry. That firm may be well positioned to bring new products to market similar to their current product line. The company that makes motorcycles will have a good idea of customer preferences in that market. Someone else may have regional or local knowledge of market conditions. That person notices on his drive to work how far you have to go from his home to a dry cleaner. That local knowledge gives him insight into where a dry cleaner might fill an unmet need.  Prices Must Be Market Prices Market prices are a key to the process. Mises was building on developments in price theory by the Austrian School in the decades prior. It had been discovered a few years before Mises that market prices of capital goods and labor come about because entrepreneurs and business firms are able to place a definite monetary value on each resource that they wish to use in production. Each worker hired, each space rented, each machine or office product purchased, every advertisement purchased, and each gallon of gas used in transport has a specific monetary value to each entrepreneur.  Each business, each entrepreneur must determine the amount they are willing to pay for the labor and assets they plan to use. Their buying prices are based on the way in which the asset contributes to the selling prices they expect. The process of competitive bidding ensures that scarce resources are used by those entrepreneurs and businesses who place the greatest monetary value on their use.  The value of the resource to the business originates in the value that the consumer at the very end of the supply chain places on the final product. Business firms must be able to sell into a consumer market (even if several layers downstream) in order to value their components in the supply chain. At the end, the consumer decides on the trade-offs between more of one thing and less of another through their willingness to buy at a given price. The price system functions as a collaborative system to pool the knowledge, experience and ideas of everyone about how to put available resources to their best use. The price system gives the entrepreneur an idea of how the rest of society values specific economic resources in monetary terms, enabling economic calculation so that production decisions can be made.  Other than the free market economy, sound money, and private property, what alternatives are there for the use of existing finite resources in creating useful things? None. None at all. Mises emphasized that he was not saying that capitalism is a better economic system than socialism. Socialism is not an economic system at all because it does not offer a solution to the problem of how to economize the use of scarce resources. Economic calculation with money prices is the only way that has been discovered to do this.  The elites’ version of the world where Bill and Klaus have nice things with a high tech control grid crushing everyone cannot be built in the form which they imagine. Bill and Klaus cannot possibly make all the stuff they want on their own, even with robots. Their vision does not include economic calculation.  Stuff does not make itself. Making stuff must occur prior to having stuff. Making all the nice things takes a lot of people, and a lot of capital goods. The scale and division of labor required to fill the supply chain for even one complex product, such as a mobile phone, requires economic calculation, which would be abolished as part of their mad plan. To build high tech systems there must be widespread ownership of private property. Private property must be under the control of competing business firms and their investors. Labor must be free to move around, to change jobs, and to acquire skills. And people must be paid competitively determined wages. Wages are prices, which demonstrate the contribution of the worker within the framework of economic calculation. If the dystopian control grid is not possible, what will happen when they try to bring it about? As economist Joseph Salerno wrote, a dedicated attempt at central planning would result in a complete disintegration of human society. We saw the beginnings of this in the massive supply-chain shocks and labor market disruptions in the past two years. We have not seen a full recovery from that brush with disaster. There are pilot shortages, an oncoming food shortage, healthcare worker shortages, and frequent business closures due to staffing issues. Unconstrained Reality Utopian visions wipe the slate of the world clean so that it may be rebuilt perfectly. Grand utopias cannot be realized because, while imagination is unconstrained reality has limits. What is a dystopia other than the role of an NPC in someone else’s utopia? In this case, the utopia is the dream of psychotic elites who imagine that they can have the end products of mass cooperation without the open society that enables it. Much damage can be done in the attempt, but it is only a question of how far it can get before it cancels itself.  Tyler Durden Tue, 01/17/2023 - 16:28.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 17th, 2023

Transcript: Jennifer Grancio, Engine No. 1

       The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Jennifer Grancio, Engine No. 1, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including any podcast extras, on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, YouTube, and Bloomberg. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ ANNOUNCER: This is… Read More The post Transcript: Jennifer Grancio, Engine No. 1 appeared first on The Big Picture.        The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Jennifer Grancio, Engine No. 1, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including any podcast extras, on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, YouTube, and Bloomberg. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ ANNOUNCER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This week on the podcast, I have an extra special guest, Jennifer Grancio was there at Barclays when the beginning of ETFs and passive indexing really took off on an institutional basis. She was one of the founding members when BlackRock bought iShares from Barclays and really helped drive broad adoption of passive and ETFs in the financial community. Today, she is the CEO of Engine No. 1, which focuses on the fascinating transitions that are taking place in broad strokes across the economy. There are numerous opportunities in energy, in climate, in robotics, in automation, and her firm helps invest in those spaces. Not quite an activist investor, but she has worked with a number of companies like Exxon and General Motors and Occidental, where the input of Engine No. 1 drove significant changes at those companies. They’re a longtime investor than a black hat activist where they’re looking to buy stock Forza, an exit of the CEO and sell once the stock pops, really fascinating story. I found it quite fascinating and I think you will as well. So with no further ado, my interview with Engine No. 1’s Jennifer Grancio. Let’s start out talking about the early part of your career. I’m really curious how you ended up in BlackRock. But before that, you’re working as a consultant. JENNIFER GRANCIO, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ENGINE NO. 1: Yes. I think like a lot of people in undergrad, I went to Stanford thinking I was going to do genetics and science — RITHOLTZ: Right. GRANCIO: — did an internship, pivoted, ended up doing international relations. Then as you head towards the end of college, you figured you’re going to save the world, then I’m going to go work for the World Bank. The World Bank wants you to take out more student debt and get a master’s degree. So like so many other bright-eyed graduates, I trooped off to, you know, one of the traditional professional services professions. But what’s kind of interesting for me about consulting was this idea that you almost apprentice with somebody that’s senior, and you run around and try to help companies and problems. So it seems like a good idea at that time. RITHOLTZ: At that time. GRANCIO: And that’s what I went off to do. RITHOLTZ: So how do you go from that? How do you end up at a place like BlackRock? iShares seems to have been almost an accidental business line from them. Am I remembering correctly, that was a post financial crisis Barclays’ purchase, something along those lines? GRANCIO: Yes, exactly. Yeah. So if you go back, so management consulting, moved back to California and decided I was going to be a California person, not a New Yorker, no offense to New York, spent a lot of time here, all those things, right? RITHOLTZ: Better weather. The geography is beautiful. Sure. GRANCIO: And so I went looking for what I thought would be the best asset management business, I focused on asset management within the consulting space. Like, this idea that somehow if you got portfolio construction and savings right, you help people over time. And so I joined what was Barclays at that time. The asset management business of Barclays Bank was this little firm called Barclays Global Investors based in San Francisco. RITHOLTZ: And that was not such a little firm at that time, was it? GRANCIO: No. It was growing very quickly. And that business was an institutional business. So as an institutional business, we did indexing. We thought indexing was cool. And the iShares and the ETF idea came from, we just had a fundamental belief it was a better mousetrap. So there’s something about an ETF and we could go into that another time. There’s something about an ETF that’s a better mousetrap than a mutual fund. And so for Barclays Bank, we pitched here’s a great idea. Let’s build this ETF business in the U.S. And it’s a way for Barclays to build in the United States. And so we launched the business in 2000. So we launched it right into the dot-com crisis. RITHOLTZ: So from the dot-com crisis to the global financial crisis, what were the circumstances surrounding BlackRock saying to Barclays, yeah, we’ll take that little worthless business off your hands for a couple of hours? GRANCIO: Yeah. And the interesting thing about an ETF business is that it takes a long time to build. And so to your question, around that time, you’re going into 2008, Barclays needed cash. And the index business was starting to take off in the form of ETFs, or at least we thought that, but it was still a relatively small business. And so who were the other people that probably looked at that acquisition included other big indexers, big asset managers who weren’t sure, was indexing going to be a thing or not? Because remember, at the time, ETFs and index were synonymous, but Larry, you know, was more forward-looking. RITHOLTZ: Larry being? GRANCIO: Larry Fink of BlackRock. RITHOLTZ: Who arguably, and I know who Larry is, I just want the audience to know, arguably the purchase of iShares by BlackRock from Barclays could be one of the great opportunistic distressed purchases in the middle of a crisis ever in financials. What is iShares up to now? Like $4 trillion, something insanely? GRANCIO: Enormous. RITHOLTZ: Yeah. And they picked it up for a teeny tiny fraction of that. So what was your experience like when BlackRock took over iShares? GRANCIO: Yeah. So we built the iShares business first within Barclays. And we were a, you know, small but mighty team doing ETFs. And the whole idea I remember of ETFs is to go and to challenge mutual funds and challenge active management. So that’s a big thing to take on. And so as BlackRock work through the acquisition of all of the BGI business, including iShares, we spent a couple of years then getting to know BlackRock, as a little iShares team, and talking about ETFs and fee-based advice and portfolio construction, and all these things that we thought were trends we could take advantage of and use to build the business. But then the business really just got from strength to strength after that acquisition. We came out of the financial crisis, few rocky years in the ETF industry overall. Vanguard decided to get into ETFs in a serious way. BlackRock and iShares launched that core series as a competitive business. So kind of responding to what was going on in the market, and the business continued to grow and grow. And then I think from an ETF industry perspective, we did some important work on trying to protect the category of ETFs. So we did a lot of work with the U.S. regulators, European regulators and run the business in Europe for a while as well, talking about the differences between like a passive index fund, for example, an ETF that’s got commodity exposure and ETF that’s leveraged or inverse, in terms of trying to protect the vehicle and protect the category. And really since then, there’s just been continued explosive growth. RITHOLTZ: In your wildest dreams, did you ever imagine back from the sleepy early days of passive and ETF at Barclays that would grow up to be just the dominant intellectual force in investing, and reach the size it’s reached? What is even after this year, BlackRock has something like $8 trillion? $9 trillion? GRANCIO: Yeah. I mean, the numbers are huge. I think we did, but maybe we were naïve. But our view was, it was a trend that was going to happen. And if you could own the trend, and if you could accelerate the trend, this was a better way to invest. A better way to invest is to have a low cost solution at the core of the portfolio, and then hire people that are deeply capable to deliver alpha. So I would say we thought it could be big. But you know, it’s pretty amazing. RITHOLTZ: So you talk about accelerating the trend. What exactly do you do to help accelerate that trend? How do you drive acceptance of both ETFs as a wrapper as opposed to traditional ‘40 Act mutual funds, and passive versus more traditional stock picking market timing, active investment? GRANCIO: Yeah. I think when the industry first started, so going back, you know, 20 years now, the two things were synonymous. But, you know, let’s take those one at a time. So from a passive perspective, the argument we made as an industry selling passive ETFs was you really had to take a look at what the portfolio is doing over time, total cost, total risk exposure. And when you did that, you often found that there was a way to get better long-term performance and cheaper, by having some index in a portfolio. So that was the story on indexing. And then we kind of kept driving that into this idea of models. So now, you know, there’s a model, a huge amount of money, you know, trillions of dollars sit in models in U.S. wealth. What does that mean? It means a big wire house. Your brokerage puts a model together, this much of Europe, this much U.S., this much small cap. And then you can use index products to fill all those allocations. And so that was the kind of the 20-year build of how did passive get so big. And then ETF as a wrapper, it’s just a great way to get the price at the moment if you’re buying into the public markets, number one. And number two, it’s a great way to manage tax, where if you buy something now and you sell it in 20 years, and the markets gone up, guess what, we have to pay tax on that. But the kind of annual capital gains gift you get from a lot of mutual funds, it can be managed very astutely in the ETF wrapper. And that’s great. Like, that’s great for all investors. RITHOLTZ: Meaning if you’re a mutual fund owner who’s not selling, but somebody else sells and generates a capital gain, that gets spread around to the other older (ph) — GRANCIO: Exactly. So even if you’re — RITHOLTZ: — which doesn’t make sense at all. GRANCIO: I mean, as somebody that’s been doing ETFs for a long time, I say it doesn’t make any sense, whatsoever, because there’s another way to do it. And we’re finally seeing that now. We’re finally seeing a lot of the big mutual fund companies start converting into ETFs. RITHOLTZ: The flows even in a down year like 2022, the flows have all been towards passive, towards ETFs, towards low cost. It seems like a much better mousetrap. GRANCIO: I think it is. RITHOLTZ: But I’m not going to get much of an argument from you on that. So you mentioned Vanguard, we’re talking about Black Rock. Let’s talk a little bit about the role of brand on in the industry. How important is that when you’re putting out either a low cost passive ETF at 3 or 4 BPS, or something more active or thematic on the ETF side? GRANCIO: Yeah. I mean, the role of brand is pretty critical. And if you think about in the index business, if you’re managing it well, there’s not a lot of performance. It’s are you tracking the index? Yes or no. And so that power of the brand is massive. And my observation in this space is that the average investor, the average retail person that’s going out and investing or talking to an advisor, they don’t necessarily know one product provider or investor versus another. But they definitely know who they do business with or who they buy from. So that retail brokerage brand, their advisory brand has a huge impact on them. So to your question on Vanguard, like Vanguard is a brokerage firm, so you kind of know Vanguard. Vanguard does your 401(k), you’ve heard of Vanguard. And so for other people that enter the industry, and this is certainly what we did in the iShares business or what we do now at Engine No. 1, is you really have to be clear on who are you and what is your story because that brand matters a lot. RITHOLTZ: So you mentioned brokerage firms, and Vanguard does 401(k) brokerage. They do all sorts of obviously mutual funds and ETFs. How do you see some of the bigger custodians and actual brokers like Schwab and Fidelity in terms of ETF developments? We know it’s BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street at the top. These guys are no slouches either, are they? GRANCIO: No. I mean, I would say if we go back and we look at the history of ETFs and how they’ve developed, we see State Street, Vanguard and BlackRock. BlackRock iShares is very dominant, and they’re going to continue to be dominant in passive, period. They’re there. They’re big. They’re so big now. And we’ll come back to this later. I personally think there’s some problems with how big they are. But from an ease of buying decision-making perspective, they’re big. They’re dominant. The brokerages were late to get in the game. So Fidelity and Schwab got in much later. They don’t charge fees for those products. And so it makes it harder for them as a kind of a corporate organism to, you know, have that be a big part of their business. And then what we’re very excited about it Engine No. 1, and what you’re seeing with the mutual fund conversions, the big ones at DFA, at Franklin Templeton, and the list goes on, there are many, is that we’re now ready to move active funds into the ETF structure. And that I think is very exciting. But that’s new, that’s very new development. RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk a little bit about Engine No. 1. First, how did you get there from Black Rock? What led that transition? GRANCIO: Yeah. So I left BlackRock very large. I wanted to do a little bit more innovation. And I think sometimes the biggest firms are great, but they can’t always lead from an innovation or change perspective. RITHOLTZ: Right. GRANCIO: So I spent a couple of years, I built an advisory firm, and took a couple years to decide on, you know, what was the next move? And I did some great work with a number of large wealth and IRA firms that were going through an M&A or selling themselves process, did some work on impact investing, actually led me to Ethic and joined the MannKind board, but decided I was definitely going to be a builder, that there was this opportunity to do something different than traditional mutual fund and passive ETF. And so I started looking for what would be the thing I wanted to build with partners, and then I met Chris James. RITHOLTZ: And did you launch Engine No. 1, or did you join him when it was already existing? GRANCIO: We launched it together. Going back, you know, before we started the firm, so Chris James is our founder at Engine No. 1. And Chris’ background is hedge fund and private fund investments. And what he’s really known for, he’s known for taking an extremely long view on something and doing the work to let’s say, where is the opportunity as you go through a huge transformation or transition? So Chris was hard at work on this and wanted to reach into the wealth space. So rather than just doing products that were private and you could help institutions invest, what could we do that was broad and into the wealth space? So I joined him to collaborate, given my background on that side of the business. And the idea of Engine No. 1 is just to help people benefit from these huge transitions and transformations that are very much not the backwards-looking. Look, Google and Amazon got great. You know, our portfolios have a lot of growth in tech, great. There’s a lot of money to be made in the energy transition, transportation, agriculture. And so really, the idea of the firm is to be able to look forward, find mispricing, and make money as we go through these huge changes. RITHOLTZ: The firm’s name is intriguing. Where does Engine No. 1 come from? GRANCIO: The first firehouse in San Francisco is actually a couple of blocks from our office. And in talking about what we were trying to do, which is maybe it’s grandiose, but if you think about it like capitalism works. And what we were agitated about is we saw the market, you have ESG over here, very small. We think old school ESG does not work. We have a strong view on that. We’ll come back to that. Indexing, too many shares are locked up in indexes. Index don’t vote their shares. And then maybe most important of all, we’re going to need a General Motors and Ford to actually be able to do this huge transition from internal combustion to battery electric vehicles. And so, you know, actually, the firehouse is the center of the community, right. And if you think about how a community survives, the firehouse is the center of the community. It takes care of itself. A well-run business really should be as simple as sort of taking care of the environment, it’s in being aware of it. And in public markets, that means you also have to be able to adapt and manage their change. RITHOLTZ: So tell us a little bit about the strategies you guys employ. What are your key focuses? How do you deploy capital? GRANCIO: Yeah. As a business, we run an alts business, and then we run the ETF platform. So if you think about it very simply, these huge ideas about transition and transformation and how to make money are very common across what we do. But we have two businesses. And the big ideas are these transitions and transformations, and how do you take advantage. And so when we look at public companies, we look at every single company, and we look at what their path is through time. So I think this is one of the problems with a lot of investment strategies right now is they’re looking to short term. And then we build the impact or externality data, we just build it into the financial model, right? Because the data is out there particularly on governance, particularly on environmental issues. And when we do that, in the sectors that are in transition, let’s take energy, for example. If you’re an oil and gas company, and you don’t account for the emissions that you’re dealing with and you don’t decrease them over time, you’re going to have a problem. And we saw this when we started building the business that a lot of these companies were heading towards zero terminal value. So let’s take Exxon, for example — RITHOLTZ: Okay. GRANCIO: — where if you take Exxon, and Exxon keeps doing long-dated fossil fuel projects, and has no plan to reduce emissions at any point in time, and has no plans to develop a green business. Well, that’s not very good for Exxon stock when we get to 7 or 10 years out. And so we see a lot of these opportunities where like it’s just math. The capitalist system is supposed to have the company govern itself, so that it’s making money through time. It has a longer duration of business, and it has a higher value. And that’s the kind of the way that we work in everything that we do. RITHOLTZ: So you mentioned environmental issues and impact. You mentioned governance. This sounds a lot like two-thirds of ESG. GRANCIO: Yeah. We think the way people use that label is a little bit problematic. So people often use that label looking backwards. RITHOLTZ: Flash that out a little more — GRANCIO: Yeah, yeah. RITHOLTZ: — because when I hear someone mentions ESG, I typically think of an investor and for the most part, as we go through this generational wealth transfer, you do surveys of investors, husband passed away, the wife tends to be much more empathetic with issues of equality and environmental concerns. And the next generation is much more concerned. So it seems like there is a desire to express those beliefs in their portfolios. Why does that not work with ESG? GRANCIO: Yeah. I mean, I guess our view on that would be, you can always express values in a portfolio. But if you’re going to express values in a portfolio, say that I am expressing my values in the portfolio, which is different than the core concept of managing money over time generally, for the person that’s doing the managing is to be a fiduciary — RITHOLTZ: Right. GRANCIO: — and drive good outcomes and strong returns. And in general, for the investor, is to drive returns over time. And so the way we think about it is, really, you can do that. And any business that is going to survive over time has to be sustainable, has to address or basically cover their impacts, right, after the cost of capital so that they can be profitable over time. So instead of thinking ESG means it’s values based, I don’t like the company, they’re bad, I’m going to screen them out of my portfolio. We don’t think that’s a great way to manage your core portfolio over time. We think the better way is you simply have to engage with the companies to make sure that their most material impacts that’s financial data, right? That’s risk data if you don’t manage your emissions as an oil and gas company. And so let’s build that into just investing to make returns as opposed to this special class, which, you know, it devalues base and ESG tends to kind of infer value over performance, right, or divesting from companies that you don’t like. And we don’t think that’s a great way to invest. RITHOLTZ: So let me push back a little bit on the low carbon strategy. It seems like it’s half of the economic equation because people seem to be approaching entities like ExxonMobil and others, the suppliers of the carbon-based fuel. What is that doing if you’re ignoring the other half, the consumers? So every other company that is not a carbon energy producer is likely to be a carbon energy consumer. They’re running factories. They’re shipping goods. They’re having offices. Why focus on one half of the equation and not the other? GRANCIO: Yeah. I mean, I think that’s the right question. And we focus on both. And so let’s take for a minute the energy industry, and then the transportation or auto industry. That’s an example of that kind of handshake or handlock, right? So in the case of the car companies, that’s consumption. So if we’re consumers and we’re driving cars, which we still do and people are planning to do in the future, the car company can switch from encouraging the behavior of driving internal combustion engines, which have very high emissions, or the car company can know that the consumer demand is shifting a little bit and they can build a car that is an awesome battery electric, reasonably priced vehicle. And then they can capture that shift in demand. And that’s really good for the car company. So actually, we a hundred percent believe that this has to primarily be driven on the consumer demand side and on my first piece of that. So if I’m a consumer, I buy a car, you’ve got to start with the car company. However, if you look at global emissions, you know, 34 percent of that today comes from the energy companies. So at the same time in parallel, there’s still an opportunity to work with those companies on, as battery electric comes up, as fossil fuel comes down, how do those companies make a lot of money 9 or 10 years from now as we go through that transition? RITHOLTZ: Explain that 34 percent. Because, again, it’s that someone is a buyer, someone is a seller. They’re not burning 34 percent of the fossil fuels, they’re selling it to consumers — GRANCIO: That’s right. RITHOLTZ: — who were burning it. Like, there are some low carbon ETFs. I just don’t understand. It’s why the war on drugs failed, if you’re only going to interdict the supply but ignore the demands, you’re not going to be successful. GRANCIO: Yeah, that’s right. I mean, and we think from an investment perspective, if you want to solve this problem on how do you take emissions down, we think that problem can be solved and you can make money by owning the people that are going to win. So you asked before, like, what do we do? What strategies do we run in the ETF business? Our active team, it’s effectively hedge fund investors. So they’re very concentrated portfolios. We believe we’re right. There’s a handful of names, like under 30 names today in the portfolio. Ticker is NETZ, Transform Climate (NETZ), and what that portfolio holds is it holds companies that have emissions. But we believe that the companies in the portfolio are the companies that have the right strategy to, if I’m an energy company, I’m producing energy. There’s demand for energy, that’s what I do. But I’ll tell you my emissions, I’ll do methane third-party monitoring. I’ll do all the right things. So that from a social license to operate perspective, I’m at the top of my peer group. And in all cases, they have a strategy whereas fossil fuel demand declines, not today, but in 7, 10 years, they have a strategy to actually make money and still have value. So we’re picking the top best performing energy companies. We’re not saying energy is bad. Energy is essential, and we need that energy in the transition. And the portfolio then also holds the car companies that we think win. RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk about a couple of names. So a couple of energy names from NETZ and a couple of core companies from NETZ. GRANCIO: Yeah. And so one of the names we had in the portfolio, which is actually so highly valued, it goes in and out, depending on if it’s overvalued — RITHOLTZ: Right. GRANCIO: — it’s an active fund, is Occidental (OXY). And that’s an example, they were really the leader in the space. So they had started to develop greener businesses so that as fossil use comes down, they have another business and they’re competitive. That’s great for long-term value of the company. And — RITHOLTZ: What are their green businesses? Things like solar and wind or — GRANCIO: They have a range of things that they do in that space, but think of it as committing early to find ways to make money, having these people on staff, on the board that know how to run green businesses. And then from an emissions perspective, also, they were very early on telling us, being very transparent on Scope 1 and 2, and agreeing to oil, gas, methane partnership emissions with third-party monitoring of emissions, which we think is critical because again, methane emissions leaking, that’s probably the biggest thing. RITHOLTZ: Especially with natural gas. But with pretty any form of car being — GRANCIO: That’s right. RITHOLTZ: — capture, your carbon removal from the ground, that’s a big risk. Methane is even worse than CO2 in the atmosphere, right? GRANCIO: That’s right. And that’s right, and that’s some of the active ownership work we did on that portfolio, where Conoco and Devon are companies that we worked with, to join the methane third-party verification partnership this past summer. And that’s when we talk about Engine No. 1 as active owners, it’s not always, you know, the black hat activist. We actually haven’t done that other than Exxon. But the ability to really understand their business and go in and work with them. And actually, having them methane verified is a big deal, because then people understand what you’re doing in that part of the business. And it gives you license to operate because we need that energy source. RITHOLTZ: What are the car companies that are in NETZ? GRANCIO: General Motors is in NETZ. Ford has been, it goes in and out of the portfolio, based on how they’re doing, managing some of their supply chain constraint issues. And then Tesla is in the portfolio. But GM is at a much larger weight than Tesla. And then Tesla went out of the portfolio for governance reasons. RITHOLTZ: Because? Give me more specific. GRANCIO: Twitter. Because of Twitter. So the way that we manage that portfolio, basically what NETZ is, is you’re holding some of the biggest emitters, and you’re holding this 1.8 metric tons of emissions a year, so not low carbon, high carbon. And then what we expect is that those companies are going to take that number down to less than half within a decade. And so if you care about impact or sustainability, yeah, that’s great. That’s a huge win. You’re holding the companies, watching them. They’re taking emissions down. But if you want to make money, you’re holding the companies that are providing energy, but doing it in a way that they have a social license to operate. And then sort of come back to your Tesla example, all of this starts with governance. And so if a public company is going to make money over years and years, it’s all about governance. And do you understand your markets? Do you understand how things change? And so if you’re running Tesla and you have a huge job to do in terms of scaling that business, but you’re also doing other things at the same time — RITHOLTZ: Assess. GRANCIO: — and saying you don’t have time to run Tesla, well, that’s kind of a governance issue. RITHOLTZ: So when I looked at the acquisition of Twitter which started out as a lark, $44 billion, the market drops, wild overpayment. The bigger issue is if you think about who’s Tesla buyers, they seem to not be the people who Elon is playing to on Twitter. And in fact, as much as there are a lot of fanboys and I think you have to give Elon full credit for moving the entire auto industry to EVs, I think all the legacy-makers looked at him and said, we can’t let Elon do to us what Bezos did to the book industry and the booksellers and a dozen other industries. But it seems like he’s alienating that core middle left, all those liberals we’re going to own on Twitter. He seems to be chasing away a lot of his future buyers of Tesla’s. GRANCIO: He may be. That’s good news for GM NASA. We’re okay. We’re covered on that one. RITHOLTZ: And to say nothing about valuation issues and other assorted things — GRANCIO: Right. RITHOLTZ: — I’m assuming this is in strictly an ESG checklist. You looked at the usual — GRANCIO: Not at all. Yeah, we looked at the usual things and that’s maybe our main point, which is the people get in our industry in particular. They get stuck in old frameworks, right? An ETF is an index fund. An activist is somebody that comes in short term and fires the CEO. So I think we need to be careful of those sort of short ways and shorthand ways of thinking in investments. Our point of view is that there’s a lot of data available now. We have a huge amount of data. Take the climate and environmental-related issues. We have a lot of data on carbon, and we can estimate carbon prices. And so in a basic fundamental financial model, you can start with your old traditional financial model. But you can add in, we do this, we can add in the monetization of those emissions. And then as you build out your financial model, you can look at how the company reduces them over time. And we see those as purely financial metrics, right? That large externality for a company is a risk or financial measure. It’s not some separate ESG dot bubble rating system. It’s just their numbers, it’s math. It should go into the long-term valuation of the business. RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk about the Exxon situation. You accumulated a relatively small number of shares, and then reached out to management. Tell us about the process and how they reacted to your overtures. GRANCIO: Yeah. So from a team perspective, we started by making an economic case. So we did the work on here’s what we would do differently, here’s how we think the value of the business wouldn’t be higher if we did this. And the suggestions on what we would do differently included disclosure of emissions. It included better capital allocation decisions between this sort of short-term energy transition period. And we don’t know when it’s going to be, thanks to, you know, Putin and the Ukraine, longer than we thought a year ago. RITHOLTZ: Right. Right. GRANCIO: But at some point, we’re going to start to really pivot into an energy transition. And so what’s your best thinking, Exxon as a company, on what your business looks like, and your capability at a board level to extend the duration of the business, do things that may be renewable, or whatever they may be. What is it that you can do that’s in that area? And so those were the things that we requested. RITHOLTZ: They were receptive to that? GRANCIO: They were not receptive to that. But those are the things that we requested, which is usually how these things start. RITHOLTZ: So .02 percent of outstanding shares doesn’t exactly put the fear of God into them. Why a toe in the water and not a more substantial stake? GRANCIO: Exxon, going back to when we started the proxy campaign — RITHOLTZ: They were giant, right? GRANCIO: They were giant, but also they were a giant in terms of the big asset managers had not been able to get them to pivot from a governance perspective. So there were known concerns about governance. A lot of the big investors take a slower approach to work with management, not cause too much change, request changes. And there just hadn’t been any progress in this case. So we were able to have conversations. And the team did a huge amount of work with investors and passive investors, and active investors, walking through our economic case. If these things happen, better governance, better economic performance, and that, we think, is what allowed us to rally support. And as we were rallying support, as you see in this situation, I’m sure Exxon was talking to some of those investors as well. And so as we went through the campaign process, we saw some of these changes, changes in capital allocation decisions, and intention to launch a green business. So some of these changes started even before the proxy vote where new directors were elected onto the board. RITHOLTZ: So we talk a lot about specific companies. How do you look at the macro environment and geopolitics? You mentioned Putin’s invasion or the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Arguably, that’s going to accelerate the greening of Europe in particular, and the move to alternative energy sources, not dependent on Russia, which is all carbon. GRANCIO: Yeah. And I think to some extent, you can’t control what is the moment in time where the energy transition happens, right? However — RITHOLTZ: Right now. Right. Aren’t we more or less in the midst of this today? GRANCIO: We are in the transition. Absolutely. But we think that if you wanted to not use fossil or carbon intensive now, it wouldn’t possibly work. RITHOLTZ: Right. GRANCIO: We’re not ready to be transitioned. We are in the transition. And so the way we think about it is we have to be very savvy about where do you have a brown business? Where can that brown business be gray? Where does it start to use green techniques? Natural gas is a great example. We need natural gas. So how do you move natural gas in a way where you’re looking at methane. You don’t have methane leaks. You’re using green energy and electric sources to process the natural gas. There are a lot of things we can do even while we’re using fossil to be cleaner, nd to put the people that are cleaner and doing fossil in a better position to sell versus their competitor, because we are seeing these changes. And we do have a lot of people looking at carbon footprint as they’re buying or investing in companies. RITHOLTZ: So my colleague, Matt Levine mentioned your win. And now says, when they see you coming, you are no longer presenting as a scrappy, small startup. You’re bringing some receipts to the table. Hey, Exxon knuckled down. Now, you and I have a conversation. How has that changed since that win? GRANCIO: Yeah. We started with Exxon effectively. And so I wouldn’t say the next day, it was a sea change in a positive way. I would say it’s complicated, because after you’ve done that, the board and the CEO are a little bit worried about what our intentions are and it takes time to build those relationships. And Chris does a lot of this work directly with the CEOs and the companies that are in the portfolios. And it takes time to build trust. But our relationship with them is basically having modeled their business ourselves and modeled all their competitor businesses, and have gone to kind of up and down the supply chains. And once we get to know each other, we’re giving them what they find is actually some very helpful point of view on if I like your business, I think this, you know, consumer demand is going to flip sooner, you’re going to miss it, or how organized are you on supply chain? What are your bottlenecks? And so it’s become really very constructive with a lot of the companies that we work with. RITHOLTZ: It sounds like your early training in the consultant world wasn’t for naught. This is almost a hybrid between activist investing and consultants. GRANCIO: And just investing, right, high quality investing means you really have to understand what a company strategy is and what are the bottlenecks, what are the places where they may miss. If you understand those, you can make those faster, shorter, better, less risk. Then that’s really positive for being more sure that the company increases in value. RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk a little bit about your toolbox. You mentioned proxy voting, you mentioned modeling. What else does Engine No. 1 bring to the table as ways to get management to see the world from your perspective? GRANCIO: Yeah. And part of it is the data science work that we do around the sizing of emissions, comparative emissions, monetization of emissions, so call that our total value approach to looking at the externalities of these companies. So we bring that. We’ve done the modeling all the fundamental work that we do. And then it’s very active engagement, where we want to stay engaged. That’s part of where the alts business came from. If there’s something in the private markets that could work differently to help a big public company move, can we make connections? Can we help that move along? And then proxy voting is important. So most of what we do is this kind of very intense active engagement. And we’re active owners of the company, not always an activist in a traditional meaning. We also launched an index product. So you know, our view is that you really have to hold these companies if you want to own the winners over time. And if you want to drive change, you also have to hold the companies, you can’t divest. A problem in the dominance of the current index providers is that they’re big and it’s complicated to vote shares, because you have people on different sides of every issue. So while we’re at it, put a new index product out on the market, that ticker is VOTE, which is pretty simple. It’s literally an index. We vote the shares in line with our economic outcomes, and we post them as soon as we vote. So a little option for people that still want to use index instead of active. RITHOLTZ: That’s really interesting. We’ve talked about Exxon so far, and Tesla and Ford. Tell us about your involvement in General Motors, what attracted you to the company, and what sort of positioning do you have with it. GRANCIO: Yeah. And General Motors, it’s going to take some time, right? So General Motors has been in the portfolio since we launched NETZ and still is, and has stayed there. And when we work with General Motors, a lot of our work has been about how do we accelerate the transition to battery electric vehicles for them as a manufacturer, and not for an ideological reason, purely because we think the consumer demand is shifting more quickly. RITHOLTZ: That’s where the market is going. GRANCIO: Right. That’s where the market is going. RITHOLTZ: That’s where the consumer demand is moving. GRANCIO: Again, this is an economic argument for us in working with General Motors, that the faster you get to all battery electric, which means you need to build the battery plants, you need to build them bigger, you need to build them faster, you need supply agreements locked up for the rare metals, and then you need to work on bringing the cost of batteries down. Because as all of that happens, GM makes 8 to 9 million cars a year. And so if those cars are all battery electric vehicles and the battery cost comes down, you know, what’s Tesla’s multiple, right? They have the opportunity to go from where the GM multiple is today, which is very low, very depressed value stock, all the way up to what producing BEVs at scale is going to look like. And that’s a huge value creation opportunity. RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk about what’s going on in the world of ESG and greenwashing and wokeism. There’s so many things happening here and I think people don’t really use these buzzwords appropriately. Let’s start out with greenwashing. Tell us your view of it and why it’s problematic. GRANCIO: Well, I think if you could do everything from scratch, I get this a lot from people that run large asset management companies, they’re like, gosh, I wish I could just start everything from scratch again in this environment. So I think the reality is, if you’re running a strategy and you don’t care, or you don’t have risk metrics on, let’s say, the environment and your strategy, it’s very hard to fit them on top. And I think a lot of people get caught in that from a greenwashing perspective. What we do is we start from scratch. We think about these material impact things as financial data, and it’s just part of our process. And so there’s no greenwashing there. But for people that were investing in something and now want to take advantage of a moment in time, or people that are investing and actually don’t really understand how environmental risk factor into the portfolio, I do think you just have to take a timeout and go back to basics and better articulate what the strategy is and what you’re actually doing to the market. And if it’s not a green strategy, you kind of have to say that. RITHOLTZ: It seems like a lot of this has just been on the hot buzzword of the day. GRANCIO: Well, a lot of our society right now has been on the buzzword of the day. So I think we need to be very careful about that when it comes to investing. RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk about wokeism. You’re describing ESG as sort of a risk management tool to filter out certain potential problems down the road. But if I pick up the Wall Street Journal or the New York Post and flip it to the editorial section, all I hear is woke capitalism and this is what Disney is doing, and this is what Apple is doing, and this is what Nike is doing. Is this really woke capitalism? Tell us what’s happening in that space. GRANCIO: Yeah, I think we have to remember what capitalism is. And then I’m not sure what we mean by woke, which is part of the problem. So your capitalism is meant to be you in public markets kind of, you know, put that in the private markets as well. It’s meant to be you have a set of financial shareholders, you have other stakeholders. You’re making money for the shareholders over time. That’s the definition of capitalism. It’s really hard to make money for shareholders, the financial shareholders over time if you don’t treat your workers well or you destroy the community in which you live. That’s just kind of good business or doing business the right way. I think we sometimes get confused when we talk about values or practices, and you can’t link it directly back to financial returns. So, listen, when it comes to climate, we feel like we can do a pretty good job with the data out there, to link how a company handles climate and environment with how they perform as a stock over time. You know, there’s not enough data on the social side. The research is spotty. I really hope there’s better data. I hope the research gets better. I hope we have causality there. But I think as investors, we have to be careful what we’re talking about. If the company has less emissions, they get credit for trying to do the right thing and the stock price goes up. That’s capitalism. Where from a values-based perspective, we want to ask a company to do something, that’s a little bit different. So I think that distinction is really important. RITHOLTZ: And it’s pretty robust then on governance, if you — GRANCIO: Yes, it did. RITHOLTZ: — elevate women to senior members, if you have people on your board that are diverse. Those companies historically have outperformed the companies that have not. GRANCIO: Yeah. And the board, for a minute, is another one that’s very hard to reduce into one stat. So if you think about all the research that’s been done on boards, in Engine No. 1, we do a lot of work with academics. So we’re always trying to look for these places where we’ve got data and causality, and we can link it to economic outcomes. And when it comes to boards, what a lot of the research would tell us is if a board is deeply non-diverse, that first, if you add one diverse person or thinker, they may actually have worse performance. But if a board starts to have multiple varieties of diversity, and the board listens to the diverse points of view, those are the boards where we get the real outperformance. And then remember, it’s a board. So it’s not just diversity of thought, it has to be diversity of capability. Because as these companies go through change, you know, you need other CEOs that have been successful through change. You know, if you’re an old school media company, you need people on the board that are successful with where the puck is going. So I think we have to look for both of those kinds of diversity. And boards that listen to each other, have diversity and have that important diversity of capability, absolutely, those are going to be the highest performing ones. RITHOLTZ: So we talked about Exxon. We talked about GM, and Ford, and Tesla. What other companies are you looking at as being on the cutting edge of change to take advantage of this transitional moment? GRANCIO: Yeah. I mean, one of the things we’re excited about, I can’t talk about the product because we’re not through the SEC with it yet — RITHOLTZ: Right. GRANCIO: — although it’s in filing. But from a theme perspective, we’re super excited for the U.S., from a U.S. competitiveness perspective. What happened during COVID is supply chains were too global, too fragile, and they broke. RITHOLTZ: Right. GRANCIO: And so what we’re already seeing, and we’re going to see a lot more of this in the next few years, is we’re seeing a huge resurgence of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and it’s going to be great for a lot of these communities. So we see semiconductor plants. We see battery plants, Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky. RITHOLTZ: Arizona is starting a big chip — GRANCIO: — Texas. Exactly. So it’s happening already. There’s a huge increase in manufacturing. And then as that happens, if you build a manufacturing plant, there’s a huge job multiplier. You have people come in to build the plant, and people work in the plant, and people work to move goods in and out of a plant. And we’re going to see a huge growth, we believe, in railroads. So if you’re going to increase manufacturing in the North America, guess what, you don’t need to ship things overseas. You need better, more effective railroad, continuing to strengthen the lines and the movement of goods around the U.S. And then automation, so good and bad is, you know, we have less birthrate and less people coming to the U.S. And we’re going to have a huge number of quality jobs. And so companies like Rockwell Automation, that high quality jobs and brand new factories, with automation to assist in the manufacturing. It’s going to be pretty awesome from an investment team perspective. RITHOLTZ: So Rockwell just isn’t terrifying us with YouTube videos of robots that are coming to kill jobs (ph)? GRANCIO: No. The high quality blue collar, if you will, workers and all these new plants, they’re not going to be enough of them. And they’re going to be happy that robots are there to help them RITHOLTZ: Really quite interesting. So let’s talk a little bit about some of the political pushback to the sort of investing you do. Maybe Florida is the best example, passing laws to punish a specific company, Disney, who objected to Florida’s anti-LGBTQ sort of legislation. Is the environment changing for this sort of proxy voting and criticism and working with companies? Or is Florida just Florida and you know, it’s kind of a one-off? GRANCIO: Listen, I think companies have consumers. And so if I’m a company, if I’m Disney and I have consumers, and I feel like my company needs to stand for something because it allows me to serve my consumers to say my brand has value, that’s something that Disney is going to have to push for. So I think, first of all, when it comes to public companies, some of them have one audience, some of them have another audience, and they may need to behave in ways to make their audience feel good so they can be in business and sell their product. And I think, separately, if we talk about proxy voting, successful proxy votes should be economic. So back to the kind of fiduciary concept we were talking about earlier. So if a proxy vote says, you know, can you please disclose more information about your workforce? That’s helpful to investors. Great. That often makes sense to us. If the proxy vote says, I don’t like this thing you do, please don’t do it. But there’s no economic causality. RITHOLTZ: Right. GRANCIO: I think it’s hard for that to be a proxy voting issue versus a values-based conversation with the company. So our belief is proxy votes matter. We should all use our vote. But proxy voting is a tool to drive kind of long-term economic performance with companies. Sometimes there are just value-based issues that shouldn’t be tackled through proxy votes. RITHOLTZ: I know I only have you for a limited amount of time. So let’s jump to our favorite questions that we ask all of our guests starting with, tell us about your early mentors who helped to shape your career. GRANCIO: Yeah. It’s funny, I don’t have a lot of mentors where it was that one guiding light. I found that I picked up little bits and pieces from different people. So Condi Rice was a provost when I was at Stanford. RITHOLTZ: Really? GRANCIO: And so it was that inspiration that sort of sent me off down the international relations path. There was just a level of smarts and confidence that I really appreciated, that I picked up from her. And then a professor in business school who said women can definitely have it all. But you’re kidding yourself if you think you can have it all at the same time. So, like, pace yourself, Like, go after it, but pace yourself. You can’t literally do it all at the same time, which is good advice. And then I think there are a lot of people for me, where I learned one or two lessons from different people. And now, I do a lot of mentoring of other people. And that is my overarching suggestion on this is you got to ask a lot of questions. And you don’t always have to have a lifetime relationship with everyone, but get any nugget you can get and run with it. RITHOLTZ: I like it. Let’s talk about books. What are some of your favorites and what are you reading currently? GRANCIO: So Maya Angelou is actually a favorite of mine. I find it relaxing and it’s so different than what I do every day, and kind of American and lyrical. Harry Potter, one of our kids is younger, so working our way through Harry Potter. And then the Daniel Kahneman Thinking Fast and Acting Slow, I read that last year. I like that a lot because you got to remember sometimes how our brains work. And the fact that we rush to things and we shortcut, and we group things. And so I find that helpful sometimes and just being calm about how else can we solve a problem, or why is somebody reacting the way that they do. RITHOLTZ: What sort of advice would you give to a recent college graduate who is interested in a career in either impact ESG activist, whatever you want to call it, type investing, or ETF and passive investing? GRANCIO: Well, first, I’d say those are great areas to go into. You should go into it. And definitely learn how to invest, learn how to be an investor. Don’t stick to one fad or one mousetrap. If you can learn how to be an investor, or how investors think, that will serve you so well in our business. And I guess to new graduates, I would say don’t give up hope. It’s going to be a bad job market. So take those internships, be a little bit scrappy, and just learn from whatever that first job is, two years in, because you’ll pick up a phenomenal amount of information. And if it’s not what you love, great, then go do something else after it. But it’s a great place to build a career. RITHOLTZ: Really interesting. And our final question, what do you know about the world of investing today that you wish you knew 30 or so years ago? GRANCIO: I think it’s that the overall portfolio construction matters, right? So as an investor, thinking about when you build, like when we build Engine No. 1, we built products or we put strategies out into the market, the more you can make them balanced and with some duration. So if somebody puts something in the portfolio, they sort of understand what it’s going to do, and what the return stream looks like and what the risk looks like, as we’re investing and then selling to other people. I think that ability to build products that are durable, and it’s clear what they do is really, really important. It lets you build your brand. It lets you build trust with the investors. RITHOLTZ: Really interesting. Thank you, Jennifer, for being so generous with your time. We have been speaking with Jennifer Grancio. She is the CEO of Engine No. 1. If you enjoy this conversation, well, check out any of our previous 450 interviews. You can find those at iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, wherever you get your favorite podcasts. Sign up from my daily reads at ritholtz.com. You can follow me on Twitter @ritholtz. Check out all of the Bloomberg podcast @podcast. I would be remiss if I did not thank our crack team who helps put these conversations together each week. Sarah Livesey is my audio engineer. Atika Valbrun is my project manager. Sean Russo is my head of Research. Paris Wald is my producer. I’m Barry Ritholtz. You’ve been listening to Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio. END ~~~   The post Transcript: Jennifer Grancio, Engine No. 1 appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureJan 17th, 2023

China says it"s sending its junior air force pilots to keep an eye on increasing activity by US spy planes

Chinese state media says an intensive training program is pushing junior pilots to quickly master air-confrontation skills and countermeasures. A Chinese J-16 fighter jet.AP/Taiwan Ministry of Defense Chinese pilots fresh out of training are being deployed to respond to flights by foreign jets. China's military is accelerating battlefield training for new pilots to cope with those flights, experts said. Chinese fighter pilots fresh out of training college have been sent on combat-ready patrol missions along the country's southeast coast as the air force confronts a growing number of close-in spying flights by foreign planes, according to state media.Junior pilots have been sent on the patrols in the East and South China seas to expel foreign jets as little as a month after completing fighter pilot training, state broadcaster CCTV reported on Saturday.Most of the foreign aircraft were American warplanes and the People's Liberation Army was accelerating up battlefield training for the freshly minted pilots to cope with the incursions, Chinese military experts said.The CCTV report said almost all the PLA Air Force's graduates completed a training course to become fighter pilots, learning how to deal with the growing threat of close-in reconnaissance by foreign aircraft.Without giving details about the foreign aircraft, it said the intensive training programme pushed junior pilots to master practical air confrontation skills and countermeasures within a short time.Chinese fighter pilots during combat exercises around Taiwan in August 2022.Wang Xinchao/Xinhua via Getty ImagesSong Zihao, a 24-year-old J-16 fighter-bomber pilot, told CCTV that he was ordered into frontline action just one month after completing the postgraduate training."It was my first combat task, which required me to immediately transition from a training situation to a combat-ready air patrol," Song said, adding he received the order because his jet was the closest to the scene."I received radar warnings from foreign aircraft soon after heading to the scene, meaning my aircraft was targeted [by air-to-air missiles]."He said he was not nervous about the patrol and responded with reciprocal countermeasures, pushing his rival to leave."I remained calm because I had faced similar scenarios on the first day of my training, seeing how senior pilots dealt with intruding foreign warplanes every day," Song said.Li Chao, a senior J-16 pilot, told CCTV that the PLA pilots used a range of measures to stop the intrusions, including turning off all onboard electronic equipment to evade tracking systems and making a full axial rotation to fly behind the rival aircraft.Li said the rotation enabled them to gain a superior position and force the other aircraft to abandon the confrontation.A pilot in the cockpit of a J-10 fighter jet at an air base in Tianjin municipality in April 2010.Reuters/Petar KujundzicZhou Chenming, a researcher from the Beijing-based Yuan Wang military science and technology think tank, said the US warplanes had increased close-in spying flights in the East China Sea and the Yellow Sea since early December."The sustained increase in the number of close-in reconnaissance missions made by the American aircraft has pushed the PLA to produce more pilots capable of dealing with provocative moves made by the US," Zhou said."That's why so many junior pilots have been forced to take missions that are entirely beyond their capacities. But the PLA pilots are very restrained because China doesn't want the confrontation to turn into a military conflict."Pilots from other areas are also being drafted to take part in missions elsewhere, according to CCTV.In another report, the broadcaster said J-16 pilots from the remote Western Theatre Command had been deployed for combat air patrols along the southern coast, while J-20 pilots from the Northern Theatre Command had been sent to the eastern theatre overseeing the Taiwan Strait for night flight training.Last year, the United States sent large aircraft on about 680 sorties to conduct close-in reconnaissance flights in the South China Sea, with 68 occurring in December alone, according to the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative, a Beijing-based think tank.In 2021, large US reconnaissance aircraft conducted around 1,200 close-in spying flights over the South China Sea, the think tank said in a report in March.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJan 17th, 2023

Southwest shareholders are suing the airline, saying it hid the problems that caused its winter meltdown

A class action lawsuit said Southwest had downplayed issues with its scheduling system before they became a factor in its disastrous December chaos. Travelers queue up at the check-in counters for Southwest Airlines in Denver International Airport, December 30, 2022.AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File Southwest shareholders are suing the airline following its mass flight cancellations in December. The lawsuit accuses it of downplaying or not noting previous issues in its scheduling system. The company cancelled almost 17,000 flights in December and said its scheduling system was a factor. A group of Southwest Airlines shareholders are suing the carrier, alleging that the airline hid problems that led to its major meltdown in December, when thousands of flights were cancelled across the country, stranding fliers sometimes overnight in airports as they looked to travel during the holidays.The shareholders filed a class action lawsuit against the airline, its CEO, CFO, and executive chairman on Thursday, in federal court in Houston, alleging that the airline had downplayed or did not note failures in its scheduling system earlier.The lawsuit describes the airline as having a "meltdown over the 2022 holiday season" and said the company had tried to "downplay" previous issues with its scheduling.As such, shareholders "have suffered significant losses and damages" because the company's market value dropped, it said.It's not clear how many shareholders have joined the lawsuit.Southwest canceled almost 17,000 flights in December, and pointed to its scheduling system as a factor.The cancelled flights meant staff and customers were stranded across the US, with some customers making days-long journeys to get to their destinations, some saying they lost thousands of dollars, and with staff sometimes needing to book their own hotel rooms after they got stuck.Southwest cancelled significantly more flights than any other airline during the severe December weather.The vice-president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association, Mike Santoro, told Insider that the company's "outdated" scheduling system made the disruption worse, saying it also meant that the airline could not figure out where its own crew was.Last week the airline's CEO, Bob Jordan, took responsibility in an interview with Reuters, saying that there were a lot of reasons that this happened "but it's on me at the end of the day."He added that "it just can't happen again."The union that represents the airline's pilots has also been scathing in its response.The vice captain of the  Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association accused former Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly, who stepped down in January 2022 but is still the company's executive chairman, of turning the airline "into a headquarters-centric cult."It also said that "our executives continue to apologize and 'accept responsibility' out of one side of their mouths while making banal excuses that deflect from the true cause out of the other side."This new lawsuit adds to its woes.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJan 13th, 2023

Bank earnings are under way. Here are the biggest storylines everyone on Wall Street is focused on.

The six major US banks start reporting Q4 earnings today. Here's the big questions investors and analysts have their eyes on. Wishing you a spooky Friday the 13th! Dan DeFrancesco in NYC, and I'm laughing at how silly corporate America is when it comes to ridiculous C-level titles.Fun-Fact Friday: The iconic green code in 'The Matrix' is actually just sushi recipes.On tap, we've got stories about the newest class of managing directors at a big bank, why there might not be a recession after all, and a big change to the Delta Sky Club.But first, we've got bank earnings.If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. Download Insider's app here.A croupier waits for gamblers at a table inside the Marina Bay Sands casino in Singapore April 27, 2010.Reuters/Pablo Sanchez1. Place your bets. Starting today, the six big US banks (Bank of America, Citi, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo) report their Q4 and year-end earnings. If you're interested in instant feedback on the actual numbers, check our colleagues over on Markets Insider. For me, earnings calls are where the juiciest stuff is. But instead of a boring preview on what to expect, I figured I'd have some fun by setting gambling lines on some of the biggest storylines heading into earnings.  A quick refresher on betting: If the odds of something to occur are +110, that means a $100 bet wins you $110 in profit. On the flip side, if something is -110 that means you need to wager $110 for a $100 profit.So a line set at +500 would be a massive longshot ($100 bet wins you $500 in profit) and a -500 line is a huge favorite ($500 bet only wins you $100).Does that make sense? If not, I'm starting to question how you work in finance.OK, let's get into the biggest storylines and their odds:David Solomon discusses the recent headcount reduction at Goldman Sachs. (-500)Background: Solomon will almost certainly field questions about this week's layoffs, which impacted around 6.5% of the bank's total headcount. What'll be interesting is if he teases even more cuts coming down the line as the bank looks to cut costs.Jamie Dimon addresses JPMorgan's lawsuit against college financial-planning site Frank. (-200)Background: I doubt executives bring this up unprompted, but analysts are probably eager to ask Dimon his thoughts, as acquisitions have been a lightning-rod issue at the bank. Analysts have questioned the value of the deals the bank has made in recent years, while Dimon has insisted he'll spend whatever it takes to compete with fintechs. The CEO detailed those plans during JPMorgan's investor day last May. Now that the $175 million Frank deal has blown up in his face, I'm sure some analysts will be keen to take a victory lap.Charlie Scharf details what's next for Wells Fargo's mortgage business. (-150)Background: The bank got ahead of this one by announcing its plans to step back from mortgages earlier this week. But a lot of questions still remain, and Scharf hasn't shied away from bemoaning the problems he sees in the industry these days. Is there an eventual plan to sunset the entire business? Where will Wells look to pivot to make up that revenue? This seems like a key talking point, but how much color we get remains to be seen.Jane Fraser maps out where she wants to take the bank's wealth business. (+250)Background: Reorganizing Citi's wealth division was one of Fraser's first big moves when she took over as CEO in 2021. But two years later, the group has reportedly fallen behind on growth targets and is in search of a new leader. That type of shakeup is bound to lead analysts to ask questions about the future of the biz, but I doubt she wants to show her hand while Citi is in the midst of finding a new head.James Gorman hints at retirement and a potential succession plan. (+500) Background: The departure of COO Jon Pruzan means that there are three prime candidates to take over for the 64-year-old Gorman: Co-Presidents Ted Pick and Andy Saperstein and Dan Simkowitz, the head of investment management. But will Gorman, who has served as CEO since January 2010 and chairman since January 2012, discuss his succession plans? Executives don't like to acknowledge their mortality, so it seems like a longshot. Brian Moynihan makes a prediction on a potential recession. (-110)Background: Banks with a large consumer footprint are often viewed as an indicator of the wider economy, so Moynihan is likely to get at least some questions about what his bank's performance means for this will-they-won't-they recession. In other news:Miss United States in the 2023 Miss Universe Costume Contest.Benjamin Askinas2. A new class of MDs at Morgan Stanley. The bank announced its latest class of managing directors, with 184 people getting the nod. Here's more info on the newest class, including which division got the most promotions.3. Sift names a new CEO. The $1.7 billion startup that's focused on fraud prevention in payments named Kris Nagel its new CEO. From going public to what sector he's targeting, this is what Nagel's focused on in his new role.4. A 2023 recession? Not so fast, my friend! Inflation slowed in December, which could mean we avert a recession altogether. Here's the case for a recession-free 2023.5. Sam Bankman-Fried just won't stop. The disgraced crypto founder won't stay quiet, this time posting on Substack. Topics included: why FTX International still has plenty of assets; the state of Alameda Research's balance sheet in 2021 and 2022; how Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao's November tweets were a "targeted attack," and how FTX and Alameda were actually raking in billions in 2021. And that concludes your daily SBF update. 6. Starter home? More like stay-at-your-parents' home! If you're planning on buying your first home in 2023, just give up now. The so-called entry-level home is essentially disappearing from the market. More on why we're all destined to be renters forever.7. Stripe's internal valuation takes another dip. The payments-focused fintech saw its internal valuation drop by 11%, according to The Information, the third time since June the startup has made a cut. Click here to read more about what's going on at Stripe.8. Word is spreading about a settlement with a senior female employee at Tiger Global, and it's making it harder for the firm to raise its money for its newest venture fund, Semafor reports. More details on the settlement here.9. Delta Sky Club just got a lot more exclusive. The airline notified their staff they won't be permitted to enter a Sky Club lounge unless they are traveling with a paid ticket in an effort to cut down on long lines and overcrowding. Now pilots and flight attendants flying on standby will be forced to eat stale Auntie Anne's pretzels like the rest of us.10. The many faces of Miss Universe. This competition, which is one of the "Big Four" pageants (who knew that was a thing?), has been around for 71 years. Take a stroll, with good posture of course, down memory lane to see some pics of how the competition has evolved.Curated by Dan DeFrancesco in New York. Feedback or tips? Email ddefrancesco@insider.com, tweet @dandefrancesco, or connect on LinkedIn. Edited by Jeffrey Cane (tweet @jeffrey_cane) in New York and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJan 13th, 2023

25 books management consultants from firms like McKinsey and Bain recommend for anyone who wants to make smarter business decisions

This wide-ranged reading list provides tips for problem solving and persuasion, different management styles, and more. There are some skills management consultants can learn and develop from books.Goodboy Picture Company/Getty Images Management consultants can make six-figure salaries right after college or business school.  Consultants are often expert problem-solvers who have mastered negotiation and soft skills. Insider spoke with consulting experts and business school professors who shared 25 of their go-to reads.  Titles range from a 90s classic, "The McKinsey Way," by Ethan M. Rasiel to "Never Split the Difference" by Chris Voss, a former international hostage negotiator for the FBI who shared tips on how to get through to anyone.  Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Whether you're a consultant hoping to excel at work or a business school student eager to land a six-figure job at a firm, books can serve as a great resource for you to learn the ins and outs of the management consulting industry. Consultants specialize in advising leaders to make smarter money and business decisions. They usually have a knack for diagnosing company strengths and weaknesses on the fly.Apart from the high salaries and prestige, consultants spend their days collaborating with teams, negotiating with high-profile clients, and solving complex problems. Most of their skills are mastered through business school and rigorous training at elite firms. But there are some skills management consultants can learn and develop from books.Leading consulting firms like McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group, and the Big Four account firms (which consists of Deloitte, KPMG, EY, and PwC) are known to be rather tight-lipped about their client work. But there are several books written by former employees and journalists that can offer you more insight to what it's like to work there. Insider has compiled a list of books recommended by MBA graduates, business school professors, and consultants. We also included resourceful reads for job seekers who want to learn more about specific firms. This wide-ranged reading list gives tools for problem solving and persuasion, teaches the impact of different management styles, informs you about effective DEI practices, and tells you what you're expected to know.Here are 25 books related to management consulting you should read. "Quiet" by Susan CainCrown Publishing Group, Random House, Inc."Quiet" is a curriculum requirement in Zoë Chance's lectures at Yale School of Management. Chance, a management professor teaching "Mastering Influence and Persuasion," shared in a Medium post that her students can become better leaders once they figure out how to work well with introverts. In this book, author Susan Cain gives a crash course on how extroverts and introverts think differently. She explained their strengths and weaknesses in problem solving, and she emphasized that introverts can make great (if not better) leaders. Get it here >> "Good to Great: Why Some Companies make the Leap and Others Don't" by Jim CollinsHarperBusinessDavis Nguyen, went to Yale and worked at Bain & Company for two years. He also founded careers company My Consulting Offer. He suggested several books that helped him through job transitions and leadership challenges.  The first is "Good to Great," a leadership book that is applicable to today's changing workplace, and it's also a standard read in business school, Nguyen said.Author Jim Collins previously published "Built to Last," a six-year research project that  provided a blueprint for building long-lasting companies. In his latest book, Collins takes a closer look at what turns the good companies into great ones. "Good to Great" lays out four key management strategies that combine classic business concepts with an entrepreneurial mindset. Get it here >> "The McKinsey Way" by Ethan M. RasielThe McGrawHill Companies, Inc.Landing a job at McKinsey & Company is challenging. One way to prepare for their hiring process is to read about how the "McKinsey-ites" think. Author Ethan M. Rasiel is a former consulting associate at the company. The book title, "The McKinsey Way," is as on the nose as it sounds. Rasiel discusses how McKinsey consultants' approach to every aspect of the job — how they brainstorm, how they build a team, and how they navigate through a high-pressure work environment. Get it here >> "Stories that Stick: How Storytelling can Captivate Customers, Influence Audiences, and Transform Your Business" by Kindra HallHarperCollins LeadershipMorgan Bernstein, director of strategic initiatives at Berkeley's Haas School of Business, recommended Kindra Hall's bestseller for management consultants who want to be more effective in their jobs. Consultants are also storytellers. They compile data, research competitors, propose a plan, and paint a picture for each client through presentations.Hall's "Stories that Stick" classifies four types of stories that appear in business: The value story, the founder story, the purpose story, and the customer story.Hall's book gives concrete examples and templates on how to leverage storytelling as a business skill. Get it here >> "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable" by Patrick LencioniJossey BassNguyen said "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" is one of his favorite leadership books — it's also a standard issue at Bain & Company once you take on a leadership role.  Author Patrick Lencioni offers practical information to build small and large teams. He pinpoints five main dysfunctions that even the best companies struggle with. These dysfunctions are often identifiable and curable, he wrote. The author gives ways to overcome those issues.  Get it here >> "Linchpin: Are you Indispensable?" by Seth GodinPenguin GroupIn this book, bestselling author Seth Godin draws attention to an emerging third team in today's workplace: The linchpins or the people who figure out what to do when there's no rule book. Godin refers to real-world narratives of people who refused to conform, carved their own paths, and succeeded. As one of Harvard's recommended books for aspiring consultants, "Linchpin" guides readers to find their own niche and see work through an entrepreneurial lens. Get it here >> "Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't" by Simon SinekPenguin Random House LLCIn "Leaders Eat Last," bestselling author Simon Sinek puts the spotlight on leadership and management sacrifices. Sinek, who's also career and workplace keynote speaker, travelled around the world and came across a variety of team cultures. He wondered what builds trust in a workplace, and why some leaders fail to establish that same trust with their employees. After an encounter with a US Marine Corps general, the author finally understood a crucial lesson in management — it's that great leaders sacrifice their own comfort for their teams.Get it here >> "HBR's 10 Must Reads: The Essentials" by Harvard Business ReviewHarvard Business School Publishing CorporationHarvard Business Review editors compiled 10 seminal articles by management's most influential experts.Some of the big ideas in "The Essentials" include how to understand customer needs, the importance of soft skills in business, and the eight critical stages in leading change.  Get it here >> "Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World" by Bob GoffThomas Nelson, Inc."Love Does" is written by Bob Goff, a New York Times bestselling author and a former lawyer. His memoir is another book included in the Yale School of Management's curriculum.Chance assigns two particular chapters for her MBA courses.Chapter six, "Go Buy Your Books," is to encourage her students to seize an opportunity when they get one. Chapter 10 in the book, "The Interview," is when Goff finally realized that success is much more about hard work and strategy rather than talent, as he discovered that "ordinary people" can become important. Unlike the more practical reads in this list, "Love Does" documents Goff's journey in overcoming challenges with a positive attitude and how he adapts to life's curveballs. Get it here >> "The Trusted Advisor" by David H. Maister, Charles H. Green, and Robert M. GalfordSimon & Schuster"This book is given to every Bain manager who is on the path to becoming partner," Nguyen wrote in an email to Business Insider. "This is also one of the managing partners of Bain's favorite books. I learned this while working with him." The three authors (who are also former management consultants) give readers the essential tools for consulting, negotiating, and advising. They emphasize perfecting soft skills to build trust with clients. Get it here >> "Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone" by Mark GoulstonAmerican Management AssociationEffective people skills are hard to master. For Mark Goulston, the many aspects of connecting with someone, whether they be a client, friend, or spouse, is an art form. The author draws from his experience as a psychiatrist, business consultant, and coach to identify techniques for persuasion, negotiation, and sales. "I think of this as the modern version of "How to Win Friends" for anyone who loved the classic but want to hear more about how it is applied this decade," Nguyen added. Get it here >> "Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way we Live, Love, Parent and Lead" by Brené BrownRandom HouseBernstein recommends this book for business school students who want to be successful and deliver compelling "stories that inspire an audience to take action," she wrote to Business Insider. Social worker Brené Brown, a New York Times bestselling author, dedicates her career to studying shame and vulnerability. In this book, she leverages grounded theory research and offers advice on how to navigate through failures and discomfort.In business and in life, we often stay away from the unfamiliar, but regaining our footing during hard times make us better, Brown wrote. Get it here >> "Problem Solving 101: A Simple Book for Smart People" by Ken WatanabePenguin Books Ltd."Problem Solving 101" is written by Ken Watanabe, a former McKinsey consultant who later became a school teacher. He originally wrote the book to encourage the Japanese education system to redirect its focus from memorization to critical thinking, and it soon became an international bestseller."He wanted to be able to teach McKinsey's way of thinking creatively and structurally to kids at a younger age," Nguyen told Business Insider. "It's one of my favorite books and a gift I give to a lot of my mentees." Throughout the book, Watanabe uses logic trees, matrices, and illustrations to simplify complicated concepts. It's essentially a guide for consulting beginners disguised as a teen read.Get it here >> "Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success" by Adam GrantPenguin Random HouseAdam Grant, an award-winning organizational psychologist  and a Wharton professor, documents in empirical detail how being a "giver" — that is, someone who seeks to help others — is a strategy for career success, as opposed to only "taking" from other people, which often comes back to haunt would-be high achievers. "In class, we discuss why so many of the least and the most successful people are givers," Chance wrote of the book in a Medium post. Get it here >> "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert B. CialdiniAn essential skill for any consultant is persuasion. Cialdini's bestseller is a must-read book in business school, Chance said. It teaches six universal principles on persuasion that are based off decades of scientific research and experiments. The liking principle, for example, refers to how we're more likely to agree with people we like and how we're also prone to like people who agree with us.  You can use this book as a guide for better negotiations once you understand the behavioral concepts. Get it here >> "Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if your Life Depended on it" by Chris Voss with Tahl RazHarperCollins BooksNguyen recommends "Never Split the Difference" because it teaches readers how to deal with tough conversations. "This happens a lot in consulting where you have multiple stakeholders and you need to decide how to best work with them," he wrote in an email. Author Chris Voss is a former international hostage negotiator for the FBI, and he simplifies negotiating into nine core principles you can use to become more persuasive. For example, the first big tip in the book encourages readers to be better listeners. Making your clients feel heard is the very first step in any negotiation. Some other strategies Voss discusses include mirroring their clients and getting better at saying no. Get it here >> "Financial Intelligence: A Manager's Guide to Knowing What the Numbers Really Mean" by Karen Berman and Joe KnightHarvard Business School Publishing"Financial Intelligence" is the closest reference to a textbook in this list. It's a guide that helps people make sense of the numbers and why it matters. "To be a consultant, you need to be able to read financial statements and be comfortable with numbers," Nguyen said. "This is a primer guide to accounting and understanding what the numbers mean." Get it here >>   "The Hard Thing about Hard Things: Building a Business When There are no Easy Answers" by Ben HorowitzHarperCollins BooksIf anyone knows how hard it is to run a successful business, it's Ben Horowitz.He had previously run Opsware, a software company that was sold for $1.6 billion in 2007. That acquisition led to him cofounding venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. In this book, he reflects on his experience as cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and gets candid about the entrepreneurial challenges that he never learned in business school. The author shares insights on how to maintain a growth mindset, establish sustainable growth, and outperform business competitors.Get it here >> "The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures" by Dan RoamPenguin GroupRecommended by Harvard's Professional Development Center, "The Back of the Napkin" urges consultants to leverage the power of visual thinking to work through client problems. In this book, author Dan Roam draws on more than 20 years of experience in vision science and argues that drawing on a piece of paper can help you communicate your ideas better than any PowerPoint presentation. "There is no more powerful way to prove that we know something well than to draw a simple picture of it," he wrote in the book. "And there is no more powerful way to see hiddens olutions than to pick up a pen and draw out the pieces of our problem." Get it here >>"Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used" by Peter BlockPfeiffer"Flawless Consulting" by Peter Block is known to be a must-read for consultants, and it's been revised and published with three editions to fit the challenges that next-generation consultants might face at work. With over 18 comprehensive chapters, Block guides readers on how to deal with difficult clients, address the challenges of international consulting, and work in a virtual workplace.Harvard's Professional Development center champions the author's emphasis on maintaining authentic relationship and his concise breakdown of the consulting process. Get it here >> "The Firm: The Story of McKinsey and Its Secret Influence on American Business" by Duff McDonaldSimon & Schuster, Inc.Duff MacDonald is one of few business journalists who penetrated the culture at McKinsey, one of the most influential and secretive consulting firms in the world. In this book, the author tells the origin of the firm and how it earned it prestige in the corporate world. MacDonald also narrates McKinsey's involvement in legendary business transformations as well as controversial projects like building the Enron bomb or working with General Motors before its bankruptcy in 2009. Get it here >> "The Pyramid Principle: Logic in Writing, Thinking, and Problem Solving" by Barbara MintoMinto International, Inc.Barbara Minto is a former McKinsey consultant who wrote "The Pyramid Principle" during her time at the firm. She wrote this book to help consultants how to structure their advice for clients, leverage logic and reasoning, and communicate ideas concisely. Through her research and experience, Minto argues that we can arrange information into a pyramidal groupings to save time. This book remains a must-read for employees at McKinsey, Ernst & Young, and boutique firm Booz Allen Hamilton today, according to consulting careers resource company Management Consulted.Get it here >> "The Consultant with Pink Hair" by Cal HarrisonRockbench Publishing CorporationAlex Nuth, a former strategy consultant at Accenture and cofounder of Now or Never Ventures, an innovation consultancy, wrote that "The Consultant with Pink Hair" offers an entertaining glimpse into the lives of consultants. This book is about two partners at a management consulting firm who navigate through a tough client case. Despite it being a novel, author Cal Harrison accurately describes a consultant's lifestyle of working late nights, managing clients, and tackling competition at work, Nuth wrote. Get it here >> "The Waymakers" by Tara Jaye FrankAmplify PublishingTara Jaye Frank's book, "The Waymakers: Clearing the Path to Workplace Equity with Competence and Confidence," explains how leadership can be the key to greater equality in the workplace. She uses case studies to show how leaders can use their authority to make a way for those historically excluded from professional spaces.Fortune 500 consultant Nika White previously recommended this book to Insider for its actionable steps in leadership-capacity building."Any leader needing this kind of support should consider this book and after reading it, read it once again, and then again," White said.Get it here >>"Plantation Theory" by John GrahamMynd Matters PublishingIn his book, "Plantation Theory: The Black Professional's Struggle Between Freedom and Security," DEI and culture consultant John Graham wrote about the realities many Black professionals face in the corporate world. He includes his own experiences to educate leaders and encourages them to do the hard work in ending inequitable workplaces rather than continuing with performative gestures.Netta Jenkins, the founder of Holistic Inclusion Consulting, previously recommended this book to Insider for leaders to form a deeper level of racial justice action and commitment. "Many organizations want to start and continue their DEI journey, but fail at understanding the historical context," Jenkins said. "This gives all a chance to do that."Get it here >>Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJan 12th, 2023

Most armies ignore autistic people. Israel is calling them up.

Insider gained rare access to Ro'im Rachok — the program placing autistic people with valuable skill sets in the Israel Defense Forces. Ro'im Rachok students at Ono Academic College in Kiryat Ono. The IDF blurred some parts of the image, citing the need to obscure classified information.Israel Defense Forces/ InsiderInside the program encouraging autistic volunteers to join the Israel Defense Forces.TEL AVIV, Israel — Each day, Sgt. I. scours the internet to find elusive intelligence that could help Israel fight its enemies.He is a web specialist for an elite unit of the Israel Defense Forces, focused on open-source research that informs high-level decision-making and can even reach the prime minister's desk.He is also autistic. Sgt. I., like some 150 others, isn't in the IDF by chance. He signed up to serve through Ro'im Rachok, a first-of-its-kind program that places autistic people in the military to utilize their valuable skills.Speaking to Insider from inside HaKirya, the sprawling headquarters of the IDF, he said he was able to cope with long, exhausting intelligence work better than many others and that he was most productive when given to-do lists.He couldn't elaborate on the specifics of what he does. The IDF and Ro'im Rachok members spoke on the condition that Insider use initials or only their first names, citing the secrecy of their work.A typical IDF open-source project might involve trawling social media and obscure sites for intel on everything from the effect of sanctions on the Iranian economy to the size of Hezbollah's arsenal.An IDF minder sat in the meeting room throughout, ready to intervene if Sgt. I. accidentally divulged anything classified.On occasion, Sgt. I. said, his daily work routine is interrupted by "stimming" — a behavior often associated with autism that can involve repeating words, sounds, or movements to cope with stress.Sgt. I. tends to flap his hands when he's excited or overwhelmed. "It's an urge, like blinking," he said.He'd always been taught in special-education settings, so he wasn't self-conscious about doing this before he joined the IDF and started working in an office alongside neurotypical soldiers. "So, yes, I've had to adapt," he said. Many autistic teenagers are exempt from military serviceSgt. I. is a graduate of Ro'im Rachok — an innovative Israeli program founded in 2013 to match young adults on the autism spectrum with military professions that need manpower.Unlike most Jewish Israelis who are conscripted to join the army, usually at 18, many autistic teenagers are exempt.Ro'im Rachok, however, allows them to sign up as volunteers. Speaking to Insider from his office at the Ono Academic College in Kiryat Ono, Tal Vardi, a Mossad veteran who helped found the program, said he wanted to make something clear: It's not an act of charity."Nobody wants somebody to do them a favor," Vardi said, describing the program as mutually beneficial for the IDF, people with autism, and their families. Tal Vardi, the cofounder of Ro'im Rachok, in front of a banner for the program.Israel Defense Forces/ InsiderAutistic volunteers are assigned to units where they are deemed to have a comparative advantage — usually military intelligence. Though military intelligence and analysis are vital to every modern army, Israel places a particularly high value on it, Nimrod Goren, a senior fellow for Israeli affairs at the Middle East Institute in Washington, DC, told Insider.Countries like Israel that "feel that they're under existential threat" put a premium on intelligence-gathering, he said, so skilled recruits are highly coveted.In return for volunteering, recruits with autism are offered the skills and connections that could help ease them into an independent future working in civilian professions."The idea is to put together real needs with real capabilities to create this win-win," Vardi said. Military divisions in the UK, the US, and Singapore, as well as civilian industries in Israel, have shown interest in developing the model, he added.So far, more than 300 soldiers have been recruited from the program to the IDF and serve across 27 different units.Unit 9900 is the 'eye of the country'The first unit to recruit from the program was the classified Unit 9900 — a prestigious visual-intelligence outfit.Unit 9900's Maj. R. was approached a decade ago about including graduates of Ro'im Rachok's aerial-photo-analysis course.He said he agreed even though he didn't really know what autism was at the time. His unit, he said, needed strong photo analyzers to support its secretive work.Maj. R. described his unit as "the eye of the country." Unit 9900 collects, analyzes, and interprets visual intelligence and provides it to commanders on the field and other security forces.  These images can come from satellite images, drone footage, and reconnaissance flights over areas like the Gaza Strip and Syria, The Jerusalem Post reported.An IDF spokesperson told Insider that the unit played a part in Operation Breaking Dawn — the Israeli name for the Gaza-Israel clashes in August 2022.During this three-day operation, 49 Palestinians in Gaza were killed, at least 22 of whom were civilians, and around 360 Palestinians injured, per the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Israeli authorities said that 70 Israelis were injured by mortars and rockets launched by Palestinian militants.The IDF spokesperson said Unit 9900 "helped protect civilians" and provided operational support in the clashes. Amnesty International described the operation as unleashing "fresh trauma and destruction" on Palestinians.Smoke billows from an Israeli airstrike in Gaza on August 7, 2022.Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesMaj. R. said he noticed early on that many autistic soldiers seemed to have a natural aptitude for aerial-photo analysis.His neurotypical soldiers easily got distracted, he said, whereas the autistic soldiers seemed able to hyperfocus on the tasks at hand.Research from the Wellcome Trust indicates that many people with autism have a "higher perceptual capacity" and show an increased ability to focus their attention on certain tasks. "Most of them aren't interested in their surroundings. They don't want to talk to their friends, they want to sit and work," Maj. R. said. "They are very focused on what they are doing."Intensive trainingAlthough Ro'im Rachok's first training course was in photo analysis, it now offers courses in data tagging, GIS mapping, and electronics. Each course sets up students to serve in specific IDF units, but at this stage, they participate in the training courses as civilians.Insider was granted rare access to the electronics course of Ro'im Rachok's intensive training program, which lasts up to four months at Ono Academic College.Ro'im Rachok students sit in a circle during a class at Ono Academic College. The IDF blurred some parts of the image, citing the need to obscure classified information.Israel Defense Forces/ InsiderIt's November, and students of the Ro'im Rachok electronics course are approaching the final month of their training.Sitting in a circle, surrounded by computers and maps of Israel, the students are reflecting on why they signed up for the training program, which, if completed successfully, will allow them to become full-fledged members of the IDF. There's unanimous agreement that employability plays a big part. Even though it's technically illegal for an employer to ask directly about military experience, in practice, it does matter."If not for the army, it would be very difficult to make a future, get a job, make rent, buy an apartment," says Natir, an 18-year-old from Holon, as his classmates nod.Roni, a 19-year-old from Rishon LeZion, raises her hand to speak. "I'm joining the IDF to have better chances in the future," she says.It's not only the addition to her résumé that will make her more employable, she adds, but also the skills she and her classmates develop along the way. "It makes a lot of people more confident in what we're doing and more communicative in language," she says.A commander speaks with a Ro'im Rachok student at Ono Academic College. The IDF blurred some parts of the image, citing the need to obscure classified information.Israel Defense Forces/ InsiderRon, an 18-year-old from Givatayim, says the course has helped him work on his "short fuse" and has been vital to his personal development. The skills and unique perspectives that autistic people can bring to the table are advantageous to the army because "we see the world in a different way," he says, "that offers creative solutions."For example, Ron says his intense and highly focused interests, which are common among people with autism, make him a dedicated worker and a quick learner. "I know when I'm fixated on something, when something really gets my interest, it's hard for me to stop thinking about it and enjoying it," he adds.I can't change the army, so I need to face it with them Cmdr. A., Unit 9900The training program can be challenging for students, said Cmdr. A of Unit 9900."At their schools or home, many of them were getting adjustments," he said. "Here, we're not making it easier for them. I can't change the whole army, so I need to face it with them."This could involve bracing them for situations they haven't encountered before, from teaching would-be recruits how to navigate public transportation to preparing them for possible interrogation by enemy forces.Students in the program work with therapists to help them understand and embrace their autism. Some students were diagnosed with autism when they received a military exemption; others have known for most of their life.Roughly 10% of students in each course don't graduate. But the vast majority go on to take part in a four-month-trial period with the IDF before being formally recruited.Usually, for conscripted soldiers, men are expected to serve for a minimum of 32 months, and women are expected to serve for at least 24 months. But because Ro'im Rachok enlistees are volunteers, they can drop out after a year.Cmdr. A. looks at a map in Ono Academic College's classroom.Israel Defense Forces/ InsiderPvt. E., an autistic soldier in Unit 9900, has been in the IDF longer than a year and decided to continue. He said that he finds his work for the IDF enjoyable, and it's easier for him than many of his neurotypical colleagues."I don't want to say I'm slightly superior, because that's condescending, but it sometimes really is annoying when you can clearly see something that others don't," he said. I'm just another soldier Sgt. I.Sgt. I., the web specialist in the open-source-research unit, also said he finds specific tasks easier than his neurotypical colleagues, but that's balanced out by things he struggles with."If the average person has things that they're good at and bad at that, then for a person with autism, it's more extreme," he explained.His strengths, Sgt. I. said, involve following long lists and instructions. "My brain works best when there's this sort of structure and order," he said. "No matter how tiring it can be for someone else, like some of my coworkers, I would have an easier time on average."However, he said he doesn't think his skills are exceptional or that he's a "super genius" — a "dehumanizing" stereotype that "others" autistic people."To be honest, I don't really feel like I have a special skill set that is so incredible that I need to be like some grand asset," he said. "I'm just another soldier."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 12th, 2023

The GOP Is The Unlettered Party, And That’s A Good Thing

The GOP Is The Unlettered Party, And That’s A Good Thing Authored by Karl Zinsmeister via RealClear Wire, Over the coming weeks, a new band of Republicans will announce themselves as candidates in the next presidential race. The frontrunners will be scrappy populists. Today’s most successful center-right politicians are not only champions of the common man but energetic opponents of the idea that our society needs reordering by credentialed authorities. Ron DeSantis grew up in a blue-collar family, worked his way into Yale with his brains and baseball talent, then went home and built a political career on the idea that “people are able to make decisions on their own.” Florida’s navigation of the COVID crisis, says the governor, established “a blueprint for governance” that rebukes “the entrenched elites” who so often dominate modern society. “Florida is proof positive that we, the people, are not powerless in the face of these elites.” South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott was raised in poverty, went to college on a football scholarship while his brother became a sergeant major in the U.S. Army, then entered politics to fend off the idea that ordinary people can only improve their station through the interventions of a federal patriciate. Greg Abbott, who lost his father early in life and then was disabled and confined to a wheelchair, gained national prominence as Texas’ governor battling the notion that problems should be solved by mandates from erudite Feds. Glenn Youngkin, Virginia’s chief executive, left a finance career and dove into politics to defend everyday parents from fouls and interference by officials claiming they know better what children need. The most striking change in modern American politics is a flipping of the class loyalties of the two major parties. For decades, Democrats were seen as defenders of the little guy, and the GOP as home for pillars of the establishment. But country-club Republicans have been displaced by country-music Republicans, while our socio-economic gentry of lawyers, Wall Streeters, professors, Hollywood moguls, tech millionaires, media influencers, and others from the beau monde have flooded into the “D’s” column. It wasn’t just Donald Trump who made the GOP the party of the common man. Political scientist Everett Carll Ladd noted way back in 1976 that the class lines of our political parties were turning “upside down.” John F. Kennedy had been elected by the “regular guy” – among college-educated, high-income voters, he lost 2-1. From that point forward, though, campus-trained and highly compensated elites surged to the Democrat side, while working-class men and women shifted toward Republicans. This political inversion of elite and non-elite Americans reached its tipping point in 2012. That year, for the first time, our richest citizens voted primarily in favor of Democrats. The flow of the nation’s anointed into the Democratic camp, while the hoi polloi gravitated to the GOP, has accelerated since. In the 2022 midterms, among electors lacking a bachelor’s degree, only 39% voted for a Democratic Party congressional candidate. It’s easy to forget that college graduates are still the fortunate few. Among Americans 25 and older, just 38% currently wield a bachelor’s or higher diploma. And Democrats are much further from the mainstream on this than Republicans: Half of the Democrats’ voters hold a bachelor’s degree, and roughly a quarter possess a graduate degree. Rather than exploring political orientation as a function of edu-economic privilege, most contemporary journalists explain party alignment using racial and ethnic markers. This is why they were so surprised when Trump won two-thirds of working-class counties in 2020, and 26% of all non-white votes. They were flabbergasted two months ago when DeSantis attracted an overwhelming majority of blue-collar ballots, along with 58% of all Hispanic votes. Americans of varying complexions and backgrounds are now expressing a bold populism. They complain that in schools, corporations, government agencies, media, and other institutions, entrenched elites are seeking to force-feed them a strange new agenda. Many articles of progressive faith presented by elites as enlightened, non-negotiable truth strike average Americans as patent nonsense – and are being resisted. It is almost exclusively center-right leaders who are supporting these declarations of independence. This populist backlash has been aggressively characterized by the ruling establishment as hate, ignorance, and animus. Many residents of the high-income hipster towns sprinkled from San Francisco to Brooklyn see the typical American Joe as a scary mix of dumb and dangerous. Progressives use their many professional platforms, and the approved press and online salons that project their crotchets across the country with 10-foot-long shadows, to paint every peasant revolt as an insurrection led by fascists or white supremacists. A few traditional economic-minded progressives look at the status of humble Americans and see legitimate beefs. Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich warned after Donald Trump’s election that “what has happened in America should not be seen as a victory of hatefulness over decency.” It “is more accurately seen as a repudiation of … major media … corporations … lobbyists … Wall Street … and their lackeys in Washington,” an outcry from a large mass of workaday citizens “who feel powerless and disenfranchised, and who have been left out of our politics and left behind in our economy.” Data demonstrate starkly that the vast proportion of our nation’s income gains in recent decades have been captured by America’s Brahmin class, with middle- and working-class families clinging to small and shrinking slices. Blue-collar communities are being ravaged by poverty and social breakdown. Meanwhile, telecommuting towns inhabited by our professional, finance, and tech aristocracies glisten. The social and political concerns of average workers have been shoved aside even more flagrantly than their economic interests. Elites don’t just ignore the perspectives of flyover America on topics like family, sex, race, religion, childrearing, patriotism, and culture – they actively delegitimize them. Journalism was once a bastion of local, man-on-the-street perspectives. It has been transformed into a highly paid insider’s profession packed with Ivy Leaguers and centered in D.C. and Manhattan. Reporters, writers, and related interpreters of culture now sit right at the heart of our controlling class, and most of these pundits view “Rule by the Smartest” as a good thing. Their media portraits paint it as both healthy and normal. Historically, however, our country has been the opposite of a land run by edu-economic nobles. From our beginning, America’s gospel creed has been that every person’s judgment is as worthy as the next. No peons. No lords. George Washington noted that the privates in his army overflowed with a proud, self-governing spirit and would not be dictated to, but had to be led. This obstreperousness was leveraged by smart commanders to produce powerful results – as when Col. Isaac Shelby defeated a larger force of regimented soldiers at the Battle of King’s Mountain by telling his men, “When we encounter the enemy, don’t wait for the word of command. Let each of you be your own officer.” The most perspicacious chronicler of America’s emergence, Alexis de Tocqueville, was simultaneously “struck by the innumerable multitude of little undertakings” accomplished by humble people, and the utter lack of great projects directed by any commissariat. He recorded his “daily astonishment at the immense works carried through … by a nation which, one may say, has no rich men.” The European pattern of royal and rustic, cupbearer and kulak, was fiercely rejected on this side of the Atlantic. There were no quiet sheep here willing to be herded by omniscient shepherds. Jefferson captured the American ethos in graphic imagery: “The mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred … to ride them.” Resistance to being overseen by even a highly accomplished upper strata is in many ways the distinguishing characteristic of our national system, the deepest quirk that separates us from other states and people. New Englanders refused early on to let rulers from Old England impose codes upon their independent communities. By 1776 Americans were registering primal screams against “a long train of abuses and usurpations” that decreed, taxed, quartered, and mandated without popular consent. Even the Progressive movement of the 20th century began as a cry against the impositions of haughty monopolies – railroads, political bosses, unresponsive agencies, and corporations. Historically, America has been hostile to any centralized capture of decision-making. Populism is in our blood. So that was the olden days. What about now? Is it smart for a political party to pursue a populist approach, given the present climate of demagoguery and blood-sport politics? Do Republicans really want to cast their loyalties with the great unwashed? There is actually a strong argument to be made that our national success, stability, and virtue have been built much more on popular energy, decency, and wisdom than on the astuteness of American elites. It’s true that a republic centered on the common man will often exhibit a scratchy and brawling political dynamic. Ours always has. Jefferson characterized rule by everyday people as a “boisterous sea” – yet much to be preferred to “the calm of despotism.” We saw that messy dynamic in action on the House floor last week. But while it can at times be indecorous, American populism has never produced anything close to despotism. Quite the opposite. A few decades after Tocqueville commented on the constructive genius of normal citizens in America, perceptive foreign observers like Englishman George Ruxton and Pole Henryk Sienkiewicz likewise wandered our land and discovered deep reserves of insight and fair play among our untutored residents. The unassuming farmers, trappers, soldiers, and traders they interrogated impressed them with their judicious acumen and moral goodness. They were less taken with the residents they met in upper-class salons. Our long national experience with successful populism seems to be invisible to the journalist/techie/lawyer/professor mandarins who currently exhibit such suspicion toward mass opinion. Superior thinkers and would-be culture shapers complain of our lumbering government and the yokels who prevent it from being recast by intellectuals, data-barons, science doyens, and ethical innovators. That attitude inadvertently reveals great ignorance of U.S. history. Our national code was written by founders whose careful study of human autocracy over the ages left them keenly chastened. America’s architects created a prudent, intensely hedged, fail-safe republic that aimed specifically to empower the unexceptional citizenry – not to ease life for the smart and aggressive experts who always swarm halls of power hoping to apply brisk instruments of government to reshape society in their own image. James Madison explained it this way: “The difference between our government and others was happily this: that here the government had an anxious and difficult task … while the people stood at ease – not pressed upon, not driven.” In contrast, he noted, wherever ambitious and willful cliques are able to grab power, “government has an easy time, and the people have to bear and do everything.” Popular governments will sometimes embarrass, but they rarely morph into the most egregious errors or tyrannies. After listing numerous examples from World War II where intellectuals were “more wrong about the progress of the war than the common people,” George Orwell concluded that expert analysis is regularly inferior to popular wisdom. There are many absurd ideas that “one has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe,” he wrote, because “no ordinary man could be such a fool.” Males can become females. … Trillions may be spent by government without causing inflation. … Releasing criminals from lawful sentences won’t affect predation. … Both of his parents are Stanford professors, so that nice cryptocurrency pioneer must be right. The gravest existential dangers to America at present are being fomented by our nobility, not our yahoos: a discarding of rowdy free speech in favor of ecclesia-approved dogma. Rewriting history. Toxic labeling by gatekeepers to signal that an argument or individual should be shunned. Using academic guilds to suppress heterodox research. Blandly invoking “science,” racial appropriation, or “unsafe feelings” to shut down debate. Reducing all opposing arguments to “hate.” Forcing into official discourse and law exotic claims promulgated among elites that have never been embraced by the public. Yes, an extreme rabble can sometimes imperil a society. But the best way to preclude festering among commoners who feel wounded is to listen to them and then treat their afflictions. Ignoring, slighting, or degrading citizens of modest condition is both wrong and impolitic. And arguing that the American Cossacks who periodically gallop their pickup trucks through D.C. and N.Y. are an insurrectionary horde on the brink of seizing the nation’s levers of power is: (a) laughable as social diagnosis; and (b) insulting as political strategy. Far more plausible than a rube ruination of our society is the opposite nightmare: an educated, wealthy, powerful aristocracy – grown self-important, overbearing, and intolerant – losing all sympathy for middle America. In corridors of power right now, concern for working-class “Deplorables” is at a new low. We are allowed to call them rednecks, reactionaries, and racists, because such creatures deserve only to be bullied and lorded over. That scorn is our era’s most unexamined, unchecked, un-American civic breach. It’s not demagogic to champion what H.L. Mencken’s heirs deprecate as the “booboisie.” Nor it is anti-intellectual to be skeptical of expertise, and chary of those claiming political power in its name. From Francis Galton to Friedrich Hayek, one of history’s most time-proven realities is the superiority of plain empirical experience over brilliant theorizing. Ordinary citizens possess forms of knowledge, intuition, and moral sense that make them, as a body, better arbiters of many fundamental issues than any clutch of educated specialists. That’s been called the wisdom of crowds, group intelligence, symbiotic assessment, decentralized problem-solving, dispersed judgment, crowdsourcing – and it is undeniably powerful. “Wisdom is often nearer when we stoop than when we soar,” concluded William Wordsworth. That ancient insight is the secret of American success. Political leaders who defend it today will earn both results and repute. Karl Zinsmeister, author of many works about U.S. civil society, was chief domestic policy adviser in the White House from 2006 to 2009. Tyler Durden Mon, 01/09/2023 - 20:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 9th, 2023

Danaher CEO to Comment on Financial Performance

WASHINGTON, Jan. 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR) (the "Company") announced that its President and Chief Executive Officer, Rainer M. Blair, will comment tomorrow on the Company's fourth quarter 2022 performance in a presentation at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference at 1:30 p.m. PT. For the fourth quarter 2022, estimated revenues are anticipated to increase in the low-single digit percent range year-over-year. The Company expects estimated non-GAAP core revenue growth in the high-single digit percent range, which would be above the Company's previously announced guidance of flat to a low-single digit percent decline. Non-GAAP base business core revenue growth is expected to be in the high-single digit percent range, which is in line with the Company's previously announced guidance. Mr. Blair stated, "Our team successfully navigated a challenging environment to deliver better-than-expected fourth quarter results and a strong finish to 2022. We are very pleased with the continued strength in our base business which had another quarter of high-single digit core revenue growth. We also saw better than expected growth in Cepheid's molecular diagnostics business driven by more than $1 billion in respiratory testing revenue during the quarter." Blair continued, "Our fourth quarter results highlight the resilience and attractive end-market positioning of the businesses that make up Danaher today. Looking ahead, we believe the strength of the portfolio, combined with our outstanding team and the power of the Danaher Business System will enable us to continue delivering sustainable, long-term shareholder value for many years to come." As previously announced, Danaher will hold its quarterly earnings conference call for the fourth quarter and full year 2022 on Tuesday, January 24, 2023 at 8:00 a.m. ET. ABOUT DANAHERDanaher is a global science and technology innovator committed to helping its customers solve complex challenges and improving quality of life around the world. Its family of world class brands has leadership positions in the demanding and attractive health care, environmental and applied end-markets. With more than 20 operating companies, Danaher's globally diverse team of approximately 80,000 associates is united by a common culture and operating system, the Danaher Business System, and its Shared Purpose, Helping Realize Life's Potential. For more information, please visit www.danaher.com. FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTSStatements in this release that are not strictly historical, including the statements regarding the Company's estimated financial performance for the fourth quarter and future prospects, future shareholder value generation and any other statements regarding events or developments that we believe or anticipate will or may occur in the future are "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws.  There are a number of important factors that could cause actual results, developments and business decisions to differ materially from those suggested or indicated by such forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements.  These factors include, among other things, the highly uncertain and unpredictable severity, magnitude and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic (and the related governmental, business and community responses thereto) on our business, results of operations and financial condition, the impact of our ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaJan 9th, 2023

"Effective Altruism" has been touted by tech stars from Sam Bankman-Fried to Elon Musk. Here"s how it started and how it"s going after FTX"s implosion.

Effective altruism has captivated Silicon Valley personalities like Elon Musk and Peter Thiel, but the philosophy's stature has taken a big hit. Sam Bankman-Fried has long been a vocal proponent of EA.Craig Barritt/Getty Images for CARE For Special Children Effective altruism is a social movement that relies on evidence and reasoning to figure out the best ways to help others. Its supporters include major Silicon Valley tech personalities like Elon Musk, Sam Bankman-Fried, and Peter Thiel. Amid the fallout of FTX and Alameda Research, more people are questioning its true value. While he ran FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried lived beneath his billionaire means. He drove a Toyota Corolla, ate vegan food, and lived with several roommates — presumably due to his belief in a social movement called effective altruism. Effective Altruism, or EA for short, stakes its claim in the idea that all lives are equally valuable and those with resources should allocate them to helping as many people as possible. Over the past several years, it has found a strong footing in Silicon Valley, and claims tech tycoons like Elon Musk and Peter Thiel among its followers. While EA also has its share of critics— who railed against its persistent focus on the future or its quiet acceptance of the status quo — the movement seemed to be growing. Over the course of 2021, EA-related foundations donated more than $600 million in publicly listed grants.But then, FTX imploded. One of EA's most visible followers — who had once pledged to donate the majority of his wealth — has now been hit with eight criminal charges including wire fraud, money laundering, and violating campaign finance laws. For many, it's brought the principles of effective altruism into question. Here's a closer look at the ideas behind effective altruism and what philosophers and followers are saying in the aftermath: EA broadly traces its roots to Peter Singer, a philosopher who is known for his radical ideas about morality.Peter Singer is an Australian philosopher and professor at Princeton University.Ulf Andersen / Contributor/ Getty ImagesSinger wrote that “if it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparative moral importance, we ought to morally do it.” Even distance doesn’t matter.Singer argued for people to push the boundaries of their moral compass in radical ways.Madcat Madlove / EyeEm/ Getty ImagesSource: "Famine, Affluence, and Morality." By Singer’s philosophy, if you see a child drowning in a pond you likely don’t think twice before jumping in to save them, but allowing another child to drown miles away is just as harmful.Singer argued that one has a moral obligation to save a child drowning in a pond regardless of location.Jodie Griggs/ Getty ImagesSource: "Famine, Affluence, and Morality" by Peter Singer, 1972. EA also was influenced by Nick Bostrom, an Oxford philosopher who studied "existential risks" — outcomes that might "annihilate Earth-originating intelligent life" or "drastically curtail its potential."Nick Bostrom, a Swedish philosopher and Oxford professor, is considered another early influencer of EA.The Washington Post / Contributor/ Getty ImagesSource: "Analyzing Human Extinction Scenarios and Related Hazards" by Nick Bostrom. According to Bostrom, these include events like moderate global warming, global recessions, or even "stifling cultural or religious eras" like the "dark ages."The stock market could continue to tumble in the face of rising inflation and a recession.sefa ozel/Getty ImagesSource: "Analyzing Human Extinction Scenarios and Related Hazards." Since the 2010s, Scottish philosopher William MacAskill has largely been credited with leading the movement.Screenshot from William MacAskill's personal website.MacAskill is a professor of philosophy at Oxford University and he's also the author of books on effective altruism including 'Doing Good Better' and 'What We Owe The Future.'William MacAskill is a professor at Oxford University.Andrei Nekrassov/ShutterstockSource: William MacAskill's personal website. He co-founded the Center for Effective Altruism at Oxford, and a YCombinator backed nonprofit called 80,000 Hours, that claims to help people make a social impact with their career through research and advice. Since September 2022, both have been grouped under a broader parent organization called Effective Ventures.MacAskill has founded several endeavors with the presumable goal of helping people direct their wealth to helping others.Getty ImagesSource: William MacAskill's personal website and blog post on Giving What We Can. While MacAskill suggests that people should set out to do the most good that they can, he argues their actions should be based on empirical evidence and not subjective definitions. One way of measuring good is through quality-adjusted-life-years, or QALYS. One QALY is equivalent to a single year of life lived at 100% health.QALYS are measured on a scale of 0 to 1 with a score of 1 being a year of perfect health.Anna Fomenko/ Getty ImagesSource: Doing Good Better by William MacAskill and Amia Srinivasan's review of the book, "Stop the Robot Apocalypse" in London Review of Books. MacAskill estimated that contributing to the cause of removing intestinal parasites would be more cost-effective than contributing to a sight-saving eye operation in terms of QALYS.MacAskill estimated that contributing to removing intestinal worms would have more impact in terms of QALYS than a sight-saving operation.BRIAN MITCHELL/ Getty ImagesSource: "The Reluctant Prophet of Effective Altruism," in The New Yorker.EA has also become associated with the idea of "earning to give." The idea is that a college graduate can save more lives by taking a job in finance or consulting and donating their earnings, as opposed to becoming a doctor and trying to help people in a developing country."Earning to give" suggests that it might be better for young graduates to take jobs in finance as opposed to becoming doctors in developing countries.Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty ImagesSource: The New YorkerOne of the more controversial ideas of EA is longtermism, which is the notion that people should be working toward improving the future of humanity. Weak longtermism applies to concerns about the near future, while strong longtermism applies to concerns about the distant future— thousands of years from now.Longtermism prioritizes addressing the issues that will impact the future of humanity.Yuichiro Chino/ Getty ImagesSource: "Effective altruism's most controversial idea" in Vox.In an op-ed in the New York Times from August 2022, William MacAskill outlined longtermist concerns such as fossil fuel depletion, losing control over artificial intelligence systems, or the emergence of virulent, engineered viruses.One of the concerns of longtermism is losing control over artificial intelligence systems.Andriy Onufriyenko/Getty ImagesSource: "The Case for Longtermism" by William MacAskill in The New York Times. There are a growing number of organizations dedicated to combating these threats, sometimes called “existential risks” or “x-risks” in light of Bostrom’s research. These include the Center for the Study of Existential Risk and Bostrom’s own Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford.Alistair Berg/ Getty ImagesThe movement also has birthed nonprofits like GiveDirectly and GiveWell.GiveDirectly is an EA related nonprofit.SOPA Images / Contributor/ Getty ImagesOver the years, EA has racked up its share of followers in Silicon Valley. In August 2022, Elon Musk tweeted in support of MacAskill's new book, 'What We Owe the Future.'—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 2, 2022 Sam Bankman-Fried long positioned himself as a staunch follower of the movement, and even pledged to give away the majority of his wealth one day.Sam Bankman-Fried cofounded FTX in 2019.FTXPeter Thiel gave the keynote address at the Effective Altruism Summit in 2013 and is a known funder of “x-risk” research.Peter Thiel is a known backer of "x-risk" research.John Lamparski/Getty ImagesSource: Vox and YouTubeYet critics have railed against the way EA has developed over the years. In a review of MacAskill's book, 'Doing Good Better,' his colleague at Oxford, philosophy professor Amia Srinivasan wrote, "Effective altruism has so far been a rather homogenous movement of middle-class white men fighting poverty through largely conventional means."Amia Srinivasan, a philosophy professor, critiques MacAskill's Doing Good Better in the London Review of Books.Screenshot from Amia Srinivasan's Twitter profile.In a later section, she wrote, "If effective altruism is simply in the business of getting us to be more effective when we try to help others, then it's hard to object to it. But in that case it's also hard to see what it's offering in the way of fresh moral insight, still less how it could be the last social movement we'll ever need."Source: London Review of BooksAfter Sam Bankman-Fried's crypto empire exploded in November, more and more people began to question the effective altruism movement. MacAskill himself posted a thread on Twitter responding to the controversy. In one tweet he wrote:—William MacAskill (@willmacaskill) November 11, 2022In another tweet, he wrote "As a community, too, we will need to reflect on what has happened, and how we could reduce the chance of anything like this from happening again. Yes, we want to make the world better, and yes, we should be ambitious in the pursuit of that."He added, "But that in no way justifies fraud. If you think that you're the exception, you're duping yourself."Members of the Effective Altruism community— writing on the movement's official website — were concerned and shocked in the immediate aftermath of FTX's demise, according to The New Yorker.More EA followers voiced their opinions on the Effective Altruism Forum.Lisa-Blue/ Getty ImagesIn a post on the Effective Altruism forum from November 2022, Jack Lewars wrote:"FTX's demise is understandably dominating EA discussion at the moment. Like everyone in the community, I'm primarily just really sad about the news. A lot of people have been hurt; and a lot of funding that could have been used to do a staggering amount of good is no longer available."The author proceeded to outline potential reforms to the movement including recruiting more diversifying funding sources taking "optics" more seriously. Sources: The New Yorker and Effective Altruism ForumThen, Sam Bankman-Fried himself spoke about his relationship to ethics at large. Vox's Kelsey Piper asked Bankman-Fried, "the ethic's stuff— mostly a front?" to which Bankman-Fried initially responded, "yeah" followed by "I mean that's not *all* of it" and "but it's a lot."Sam Bankman-Fried is currently awaiting trial for multiple criminal charges.David Dee Delgado/Getty ImagesIn a later section Piper asked, "you were really good at talking about ethics, for someone who kind of saw it all as a game with winners and losers." To which Bankman-Fried initially responded "ya" and "hehe" and "I had to be."Source: Vox In an interview with The Guardian in December 2022, the movement's forefather, Peter Singer, came to the defense of EA, but also acknowledged the harm the FTX controversy brought to the movement. He said, "I think in general, a lot more good has been done by earning-to-give than harm, at least up until the collapse of FTX, which has certainly caused a lot more harm than any other [example]."Peter Singer, often considered the forefather of EA, gave an interview in The Guardian in December.The AGE / Contributor/ Getty ImagesHe also said, "wise, effective altruists and utilitarians know that honesty is the best policy." Source: The GuardianRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJan 8th, 2023