Financial – Web Eclair Thu, 30 Sep 2021 21:03:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Financial – Web Eclair 32 32 U.S. pauses collections from 1.14M student loans default Mon, 17 May 2021 15:44:47 +0000


The World Economy Is Suddenly Running Low on Everything

(Bloomberg) — A year ago, as the pandemic ravaged country after country and economies shuddered, consumers were the ones panic-buying. Today, go on the rebound, it’s companies furiously trying to stock up. Mattress producers to car manufacturers to aluminum foil makers are buying more material than they need to survive the breakneck speed at which demand for goods is recovering and assuage that primal fear of running out. The frenzy is pushing supply chains to the brink of seizing up.

Shortages, transportation bottlenecks and price spikes are nearing the highest levels in recent memory, raising concern that a supercharged global economy will stoke inflation. Copper, iron ore and steel. Corn, coffee, wheat and soybeans. Lumber, semiconductors, plastic and cardboard for packaging. The world is seemingly low on all of it. “You name it, and we have a shortage on it,” Tom Linebarger, chairman and chief executive of engine and generator manufacturer Cummins Inc., said on a call this month. Clients are “trying to get everything they can because they see high demand,” Jennifer Rumsey, the Columbus, Indiana-based company’s president, said. “They think it’s going to extend into next year. ”The difference between the big crunch of 2021 and past supply disruptions is the sheer magnitude of it, and the fact that there is — as far as anyone can tell — no clear end in sight. Big or small, few businesses are spared. Europe’s largest fleet of trucks, Girteka Logistics, says there’s been a struggle to find enough capacity. Monster Beverage Corp. of Corona, California, is dealing with an aluminum can scarcity. Hong Kong’s MOMAX Technology Ltd. is delaying production of a new product because of a dearth of semiconductors. Read More: How the World’s Companies Wound Up in a Deepening Supply Chain Nightmare Further exacerbating the situation is an unusually long and growing list of calamities that have rocked commodities in recent months.

A freak accident in the Suez Canal backed up global shipping in March. Drought has wreaked havoc upon agricultural crops. A deep freeze and mass blackout wiped out energy and petrochemicals operations across the central U.S. in February. Less than two weeks ago, hackers brought down the largest fuel pipeline in the U.S., driving gasoline prices above $3 a gallon for the first time since 2014. Now India’s massive Covid-19 outbreak is threatening its biggest ports. For anyone who thinks it’s all going to end in a few months, consider the somewhat obscure U.S. economic indicator known as the Logistics Managers’ Index. The gauge is built on a monthly survey of corporate supply chiefs that asks where they see inventory, transportation and warehouse expenses — the three key components of managing supply chains — now and in 12 months. The current index is at its second-highest level in records dating back to 2016, and the future gauge shows little respite a year from now. The index has proven unnervingly accurate in the past, matching up with actual costs about 90% of the time. To Zac Rogers, who helps compile the index as an assistant professor at Colorado State University’s College of Business, it’s a paradigm shift. In the past, those three areas were optimized for low costs and reliability.

Today, with e-commerce demand soaring, warehouses have moved from the cheap outskirts of urban areas to prime parking garages downtown or vacant department-store space where deliveries can be made quickly, albeit with pricier real estate, labor and utilities. Once viewed as liabilities before the pandemic, fatter inventories are in vogue. Transport costs, more volatile than the other two, won’t lighten up until demand does. “Essentially what people are telling us to expect is that it’s going to be hard to get supply up to a place where it matches demand,” Rogers said, “and because of that, we’re going to continue to see some price increases over the next 12 months. ”More well-known barometers are starting to reflect the higher costs for households and companies. An index of U.S. consumer prices that excludes food and fuel jumped in April from a month earlier by the most since 1982. At the factory gate, the increase in prices charged by American producers was twice as large as economists expected. Unless companies pass that cost along to consumers and boost productivity, it’ll eat into their profit margins. A growing chorus of observers are warning that inflation is bound to quicken. The threat has been enough to send tremors through world capitals, central banks, factories and supermarkets.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is facing new questions about when it will hike rates to stave off inflation — and the perceived political risk already threatens to upset President Joe Biden’s spending plans. “You bring all of these factors in, and it’s an environment that’s ripe for significant inflation, with limited levers” for monetary authorities to pull, said David Landau, chief product officer at BluJay Solutions, a U.K.-based logistics software and services provider. Policy makers, however, have laid out a number of reasons why they don’t expect inflationary pressures to get out of hand. Fed Governor Lael Brainard said recently that officials should be “patient through the transitory surge.” Among the reasons for calm: The big surges lately are partly blamed on skewed comparisons to the steep drops of a year ago, and many companies that have held the line on price hikes for years remain reticent about them now. What’s more, U.S. retail sales stalled in April after a sharp rise in the month earlier, and commodities prices have recently retreated from multi-year highs. Read More: Fed Officials Have Six Reasons to Bet Inflation Spike Will Pass Caught in the crosscurrents is Dennis Wolkin, whose family has run a business making crib mattresses for three generations.

Economic expansions are usually good for baby bed sales. But the extra demand means little without the key ingredient: foam padding. There has been a run on the kind of polyurethane foam Wolkin uses — in part because of the deep freeze across the U.S. South in February, and because of “companies over-ordering and trying to hoard what they can. “It’s gotten out of control, especially in the past month,” said Wolkin, vice president of operations at Atlanta-based Colgate Mattress, a 35-employee company that sells products at Target stores and independent retailers. “We’ve never seen anything like this. ”Though polyurethane foam is 50% more expensive than it was before the Covid-19 pandemic, Wolkin would buy twice the amount he needs and look for warehouse space rather than reject orders from new customers. “Every company like us is going to overbuy,” he said. Even multinational companies with digital supply-management systems and teams of people monitoring them are just trying to cope. Whirlpool Corp.

CEO Marc Bitzer told Bloomberg Television this month its supply chain is “pretty much upside down” and the appliance maker is phasing in price increases. Usually Whirlpool and other large manufacturers produce goods based on incoming orders and forecasts for those sales. Now it’s producing based on what parts are available. “It is anything but efficient or normal, but that is how you have to run it right now,” Bitzer said. “I know there’s talk of a temporary blip, but we do see this elevated for a sustained period. ”The strains stretch all the way back to global output of raw materials and may persist because the capacity to produce more of what’s scarce — with either additional capital or labor — is slow and expensive to ramp up. The price of lumber, copper, iron ore and steel have all surged in recent months as supplies constrict in the face of stronger demand from the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest economies.

Crude oil is also on the rise, as are the prices of industrial materials from plastics to rubber and chemicals. Some of the increases are already making their ways to the store shelf. Reynolds Consumer Products Inc., the maker of the namesake aluminum foil and Hefty trash bags, is planning another round of price increases — its third in 2021 alone. Food costs are climbing, too. The world’s most consumed edible oil, processed from the fruit of oil palm trees, has jumped by more than 135% in the past year to a record. Soybeans topped $16 a bushel for the first time since 2012. Corn futures hit an eight-year high while wheat futures rose to the highest since 2013.A United Nations gauge of world food costs climbed for an 11th month in April, extending its gain to the highest in seven years. Prices are in their longest advance in more than a decade amid weather worries and a crop-buying spree in China that’s tightening supplies, threatening faster inflation.

Earlier this month, the Bloomberg Commodity Spot Index touched the highest level since 2011. A big reason for the rally is a U.S. economy that’s recovering faster than most. The evidence of that is floating off the coast of California, where dozens of container ships are waiting to offload at ports from Oakland to Los Angeles. Most goods are flooding in from China, where government figures last week showed producer prices climbed by the most since 2017 in April, adding to evidence that cost pressures for that nation’s factories pose another risk if those are passed on to retailers and other customers abroad. Across the world’s manufacturing hub of East Asia, the blockages are especially acute. The dearth of semiconductors has already spread from the automotive sector to Asia’s highly complex supply chains for smartphones. Read More: World Is Short of Computer Chips. Here’s Why: Quick Take John Cheng runs a consumer electronics manufacturer that makes everything from wireless magnetic smartphone chargers to smart home air purifiers. The supply choke has complicated his efforts to develop new products and enter new markets, according to Cheng, the CEO of Hong Kong-based MOMAX, which has about two-thirds of its 300 employees working in a Shenzhen factory. One example: Production of a new power bank for Apple products such as the iPhone, Airpods, iPad and Apple watch has been delayed because of the chip shortage.

Instead of proving to be a short-lived disruption, the semiconductor crunch is threatening the broader electronics sector and may start to squeeze Asia’s high-performing export economies, according to Vincent Tsui of Gavekal Research. It’s “not simply the result of a few temporary glitches,” Tsui wrote in a note. “They are more structural in nature, and they affect a whole range of industries, not just automobile production.”In an indication of just how serious the chips crunch is, South Korea plans to spend roughly $450 billion to build the world’s biggest chipmaking base over the next decade. Meanwhile, running full tilt between factories and consumers are the ships, trucks and trains that move parts along a global production process and finished goods to market. Container vessels are running at capacity, pushing ocean cargo rates to record highs and clogging up ports. So much so that Columbia Sportswear Co.’s merchandise shipments were delayed for three weeks and the retailer expects its fall product lineup will arrive late as well. Executives at A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, the world’s No. 1 container carrier, say they see only a gradual decline in seaborne freight rates for the rest of the year. And even then, they don’t expect a return to the ultra-cheap ocean cargo service of the past decade. More capacity is coming in the form of new ships on order, but they take two or three years to build. HSBC trade economist Shanella Rajanayagam estimates that the surge in container rates over the past year could raise producer prices in the euro zone by as much as 2 percent. Rail and trucking rates are elevated, too.

The Cass Freight Index measure of expenditures reached a record in April — its fourth in five months. Spot prices for truckload service are on track to rise 70% in the second quarter from a year earlier, and are set to be up about 30% this year compared with 2020, Todd Fowler, a KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst, said in a May 10 note. “We expect pricing to remain elevated given lean inventories, seasonal demand and improving economic activity, all of which is underpinned by capacity constraints from truck production limitations and driver availability challenges,” Fowler said. What Bloomberg Intelligence Says: “Most modes of freight transportation have pricing power. Supply-demand imbalances should help keep rates high, albeit they should moderate for current unsustainable levels as supply chains improve. This is stressing networks, creating bottlenecks in the supply chains and capacity constraints.”–Lee Klaskow, senior analyst For London-based packaging company DS Smith Plc, challenges are coming from multiple sides. During the pandemic, customers rushed to online purchases, raising demand for its ePack boxes and other shipping materials by 700%. Then came the doubling of its supply costs to 200 euros ($243) a ton for the recycled fiber it uses to make its products. “That’s a significant cost” for a company that buys 4 to 5 million tons of used fiber annually, said Miles Roberts, DS Smith’s group chief executive, who doesn’t see the lockdown-inspired web purchasing as a temporary trend. “The e-commerce that has increased is here to stay. ”At Colgate Mattress, Wolkin used to be able to order foam on Mondays and have it delivered on Thursdays. Now, his suppliers can’t promise anything. What’s clear is he can’t sustain the higher input costs forever and still maintain quality. “This is kind of a long-term issue,” Wolkin said. “Inflation is coming — at some point, you’ve got to pass this along.”For more articles like this, please visit us at Subscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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Baby or work? Tough choice for migrant workers in Taiwan Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:35 +0000

TAIPEI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – “Do you want a child or do you want a job?”

As the ultimatums grew, it was tough – but migrant workers say such life-changing dilemmas are on the rise in Taiwan as thousands of domestic workers are drawn to the country by the promise of work, sometimes with only a veil of rights.

“Far from being fair, equal or fair” – this is how Lennon Ying-dah Wong of the local NGO Serve the People Association (SPA) describes the plight of migrant workers in Taiwan.

He said workers regularly face discrimination, threats, financial exploitation and debt bondage, and some have been victims of human trafficking and forced labor.

The government says migrant workers are not prohibited from getting pregnant and is setting up a hotline for foreign workers to report any ill-treatment.

Jasmine – not her real name – was halfway through a contract as a caregiver when she found out she was pregnant.

If she wanted to keep the baby, her employer said Jasmine would have to quit her job, pay a termination fee, and return to the Philippines.

After consulting with her brokerage agency and a government labor office, Jasmine faced an ultimatum: an abortion or an expensive return ticket.

She regrets the choice she made.


Jasmine is one of more than 700,000 workers, mostly from Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam, who come to Taiwan in search of work. Advocates say some then fall prey to powerful job brokers who charge them high fees to earn them work, but often fail to inform women that they have rights under Taiwanese law.

“They bought me a ticket, but I didn’t want to go,” she said. Her employer also demanded that she return a hongbao, a traditional Lunar New Year gift in cash in a red envelope.

Jasmine and her husband, who also worked in Taiwan, had borrowed money for placement fees charged by a recruiter.

“I had to repay the credit,” she said. “We had loans here. We had loans in the Philippines.

Pregnancy cost her dear – Jasmine’s broker said she had to pay a contract termination fee of NT $ 17,000 ($ 562) and purchase her own return ticket.

“They don’t want you to stay here for that reason,” the broker told Jasmine, gesturing towards her stomach and telling the 32-year-old that this situation was all her fault.

Yet Taiwanese law prohibits employers from expelling migrant workers or terminating their contracts if they become pregnant. It also bans pregnancy tests by employers or recruiters and provides maternity benefits to pregnant migrant workers.

The app, however, is inconsistent at best.

Foreign women who get pregnant often say that they feel pressured to quit their jobs and are not informed of their rights. Many flee, fearing reprisals, thus becoming illegal migrants.

The government’s manual for foreign workers in Taiwan states that employers are prohibited from unilaterally terminating contracts due to pregnancy, but could do so if workers cannot perform their jobs.

He also discourages workers from getting pregnant and urges them to use contraceptives, saying “your body will undergo changes and there are no family and friends to help you.”

The labor ministry said in an email that the ministry “does not prohibit female migrant workers from getting pregnant” and that the workers have been notified of a hotline to report any abuse.

Since 2016, 287 foreign workers have filed complaints of pregnancy-related discrimination via the dedicated hotline, he said.

Nine foreign workers have opened formal proceedings against employers for violating the law on gender equality, he added.

Jasmine said a labor official told her that her case did not violate Taiwan’s gender equality laws. The Ministry of Labor has approved two months of financial assistance for her to be housed at Serve the People Association (SPA), a local NGO.

After that, she was alone.

“The message was indirect but clear,” said Wong, the director of the shelter. “Do you want a child or do you want a job?”


Pregnant migrant workers are among the most vulnerable in Taiwan’s third-party brokerage system.

Brokerage firms, which handle nearly every aspect of a foreign worker’s life in Taiwan, are routinely accused of charging exorbitant fees, which the US State Department says makes workers “vulnerable to bondage. for debts ”.

Brokers typically align with employers in disputes, creating an imbalance of power and leaving workers with no one to turn to.

Analyn, a factory worker from the Philippines, found out she was pregnant just weeks after being fired.

Analyn says the Department of Labor has repeatedly asked her to return to the Philippines and that she provided monthly medical certificates showing that her pregnancy prevented her from traveling.

The final certificate was requested after more than eight months. “Maybe I’ll give birth on the plane,” she said.

Jasmine and Analyn say they were only made aware of their rights after seeking help from NGOs.

Very few migrant workers in Taiwan know their rights when they get pregnant, said Nicole Young of Harmony Home, a non-profit organization that helps around 10 foreign women give birth each month. Many others choose to run.

“If you are a runaway, you can be transferred wherever you want,” said 23-year-old Indonesian Putri, who fled her last employer because she was afraid to disclose her pregnancy.


Filipino workers Maria and Rianne said their broker locked them in an apartment for three days after they chose to quit their jobs due to mistreatment.

The workers – all interviewees are identified by pseudonyms for fear of reprisal – were put in contact with the Thomson Reuters Foundation by SPA and Harmony Home.

They said they slept on cardboard boxes and only received one cookie each day.

Maria and Rianne were rescued by authorities after calling the Taiwan migrant worker hotline when their foreign passports and residence certificates were taken.

Chuang Kuo-liang, from the cross-border workforce management division of the Ministry of Labor, said 242 brokers were fined and seven lost their licenses in 2018 for labor law violations. .

Jasmine eventually decided to have an abortion, which, as a devout Catholic, went against her beliefs.

“Every night I prayed,” she said. “I always said ‘sorry because I need to do this.’ I had to pay off all that credit.

If she did it again, Jasmine said she would keep her baby.

“I’ve always wanted to have a baby boy,” she says. “I don’t know if God cursed me.

Reporting by Nick Aspinwall, editing by Lyndsay Griffiths, Tom Finn and Chris Michaud. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, which covers humanitarian news, women’s and LGBT + rights, human trafficking, property rights and climate change. Visit

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Springfield Public Schools to Pilot Evening Meal Service Program Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:20 +0000

SPRINGFIELD – A pilot program offering evening hours for free lunch sites at schools across the city will begin on July 30.

Since the schools closed in March, Springfield Public Schools and Sodexo have teamed up to provide free meals to children throughout the year and now during the summer months.

“From day one of the school’s closure, Sodexo has been a committed partner in making sure our families don’t go without during this time,” said school principal Daniel Warwick.

As of June, the program had served 1 million meals in 17 schools.

Now the school and its food service provider are launching a trial program at Chestnut, Milton Bradley, Rebecca Johnson and Talmadge schools that will offer meals at the traditional 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and at a new time. 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. insert. The change is in response to comments from working families who were unable to access meal sites during the previous period.

“We hope this program will add a layer of convenience to families that will help them alleviate any burdens they may face,” Warwick said.

No ID is required to receive meals, and children do not need to be from Springfield, live in Springfield, or attend Springfield schools to participate. Adults can pick up meals on behalf of a child. Meals provided include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a multi-day snack. Thursday distributions include meals on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Monday distributions will include meals on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

For more information on free meals during school closings, send “Springfield” to 82257.

Free meal service menus are available on

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State aid: Commission clears € 400m Dutch loan scheme to support companies offering package tours and related travel services in the context of the coronavirus outbreak – The European Sting – Critical News & Insights on European Politics, Economy, Foreign Affairs, Business & Technology Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:02 +0000
(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is presented to you in association with the European Commission.

The European Commission has approved a € 400 million Dutch loan program to support companies offering package travel and related travel services in the context of the coronavirus outbreak (known as “Voucherfonds”). The scheme was approved as state aid Temporary frame.

Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “Many consumers have had their package travel canceled and received vouchers in return, which could not be redeemed given the protracted coronavirus crisis. This € 400 million Dutch loan program will enable companies offering package travel and related travel services in the Netherlands to reimburse consumers for the value of these vouchers in cash. We continue to work closely with Member States to find viable solutions to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, in line with EU rules. “

The Dutch support measure

The Netherlands has notified the Commission under the Temporary Framework of a EUR 400 million loan scheme to support companies offering package travel and related travel services in the Netherlands.

Since the outbreak began in March 2020, companies offering package travel and related travel services in the Netherlands and other Member States have issued vouchers (called ‘corona vouchers’) to consumers whose package tours had to be canceled due to coronavirus outbreak. Due to the long-term effects of the outbreak on the travel market, many of these corona vouchers could not be redeemed for a new travel package at a later date.

The loan program aims to enable beneficiaries to provide consumers with a cash refund equal to the value of the corona voucher, if they so request.

The scheme, which will apply to the entire territory of the Netherlands and will be open to companies of all sizes, will be managed by Stichting Garantiefonds Reisgelden (SGR).

Under the program, beneficiaries will be eligible for a loan covering a maximum of 80% of their corona checks in circulation and, in any event, not exceeding EUR 50 million per beneficiary.

The loans can only be used for the redemption of corona vouchers from consumers. In this regard, other liquidity needs that beneficiaries may face in the context of the coronavirus outbreak cannot be met under this loan program.

The Commission found that the Dutch loan scheme complied with the conditions set out in the temporary framework. In particular, (i) the loan contracts will be signed no later than December 31, 2021, (ii) the annual flat-rate interest rates for the loans, which will increase as the loan matures, respect the levels minimum set in the temporary framework, and (iii) the loan cannot be granted to medium and large companies which were already in difficulty on December 31, 2019.

The Commission has concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in accordance with Article 107 (3) (b) TFEU and with the conditions set out in temporary supervision.

On this basis, the Commission authorized the aid measure under EU state aid rules.


The Commission adopted a Temporary frame allow Member States to use all the flexibility provided by state aid rules to support the economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The temporary framework, as amended on April 3, May 8, June 29, October 13 2020 and January 28, 2021, provides for the following types of aid, which may be granted by Member States:

(I) Direct grants, equity injections, selective tax advantages and advance payments up to € 225,000 to a company active in the primary agricultural sector, € 270,000 to a company active in the fishing and aquaculture sector and € 1.8 million to a company active in all others sectors to meet its urgent liquidity needs. Member States may also grant zero-interest loans or loan guarantees covering 100% of the risk, up to the nominal value of EUR 1.8 million per enterprise, except in the primary agricultural sector and in the fishing and aquaculture sector, where the limits of € 225,000 and € 270,000 per company respectively apply.

(ii) State guarantees for loans taken out by companies to ensure that banks continue to provide loans to customers who need them. These state guarantees can cover up to 90% of the risk on loans to help businesses meet their immediate working capital and investment needs.

(iii) Public subsidized loans to companies (senior and subordinated debt) with advantageous interest rates for companies. These loans can help businesses meet their immediate working capital and investment needs.

(iv) Guarantees for banks channeling state aid to the real economy that such aid is seen as direct aid to the customers of banks, and not to the banks themselves, and provides guidance on how to ensure minimal distortion of competition between banks.

(v) Short-term public export credit insurance for all countries, without it being necessary for the Member State in question to demonstrate that the country concerned is temporarily “not marketable”.

(v) Support for research and development (R&D) related to the coronavirus to face the current health crisis in the form of direct subsidies, reimbursable advances or tax advantages. A premium may be granted for cross-border cooperation projects between Member States.

(vii) Support in building and scaling test facilities to develop and test products (including vaccines, ventilators and protective clothing) useful in fighting the coronavirus epidemic, until the first industrial deployment. This can take the form of direct grants, tax breaks, repayable advances and lossless guarantees. Companies can benefit from a bonus when their investment is supported by more than one Member State and when the investment is concluded within two months of the granting of the aid.

(viii) Support for the production of relevant products to fight the coronavirus epidemic in the form of direct grants, tax breaks, repayable advances and lossless guarantees. Companies can benefit from a bonus when their investment is supported by more than one Member State and when the investment is concluded within two months of the granting of the aid.

(ix) Targeted support in the form of deferred payment of taxes and / or suspensions social security contributions for the sectors, regions or types of businesses most affected by the epidemic.

(X) Targeted support in the form of wage subsidies for employees for companies in sectors or regions that have suffered the most from the coronavirus epidemic and would otherwise have had to lay off staff.

(xi) Targeted recapitalization assistance non-financial corporations, if no other suitable solution is available. Safeguards are in place to avoid undue distortions of competition in the single market: conditions of necessity, opportunity and size of the intervention; conditions of entry of the State into the capital of companies and remuneration; the conditions for the exit from the State of the capital of the companies concerned; the conditions of governance, including the prohibition of dividends and the ceilings of remuneration for senior management; the prohibition of cross-subsidies and the prohibition of acquisitions and additional measures to limit distortions of competition; transparency and reporting requirements.

(xii) Coverage of uncovered fixed costs for companies facing a decrease in turnover during the eligible period of at least 30% compared to the same period of 2019 in the context of the coronavirus epidemic. The aid will contribute to part of the fixed costs of beneficiaries who are not covered by their income, up to a maximum amount of 10 million euros per company.

The Commission will also allow Member States to convert until 31 December 2022 repayable instruments (e.g. guarantees, loans, repayable advances) granted under the Temporary Framework into other forms of aid, such as direct grants, provided that the conditions for temporary supervision are met.

The temporary framework allows Member States to combine all support measures with each other, with the exception of loans and guarantees for the same loan and exceeding the thresholds provided for by the temporary framework. It also allows Member States to combine all the support measures granted under the temporary framework with the existing possibilities of granting a de minimis amount to a company of up to € 25,000 over three financial years for companies active in the sector. primary agricultural sector, 30,000 euros over three years for companies active in the fishing and aquaculture sector and 200,000 € over three years for companies active in all other sectors. At the same time, Member States must undertake to avoid the undue accumulation of support measures for the same companies in order to limit the support to their real needs.

In addition, the Temporary Framework complements the many other possibilities that Member States already have to mitigate the socio-economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, in line with EU state aid rules. On March 13, 2020, the Commission adopted a Communication on a coordinated economic response to the COVID-19 epidemic expose these possibilities. For example, Member States can make changes of general application in favor of businesses (for example, deferring taxes or subsidizing part-time work in all sectors), which are not covered by the rules on employment. state aid. They can also grant compensation to companies for damage suffered as a result of and directly caused by the coronavirus epidemic.

The temporary framework will be in place until the end of December 2021. In order to ensure legal certainty, the Commission will assess before this date whether it should be extended.

The non-confidential version of the decision will be available under file number SA.62271 in the State aid register on the Commission competetion website once privacy issues are resolved. New publications of State aid decisions on the Internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the Weekly electronic news from the competition.

More information on the temporary framework and the other measures the Commission has taken to deal with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here.

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Las Vegas Design Center webinar discusses profit maximization for designers Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:37:44 +0000

International Market Centers (IMC) has announced that the November component of the Las Vegas Design Center monthly “First Friday” program will focus on maximizing end-of-year profits for designers. Additionally, select LVDC showrooms and other World Market Center Las Vegas showrooms will participate in the Fall Sample Sale, November 11-13, 2020.

“The topic of the first Friday in November is particularly relevant this year given the financial impact COVID has had,” LVDC CEO Cain Brodie said. “Interior designers and concerned professionals will receive excellent advice on many programs available to small businesses, including the benefits of Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, loan cancellation from the Check Protection Program. payroll (PPP), economic disaster loans (EIDL) and more. . “

The November webinar, titled Say goodbye to 2020 and close your books for maximum profits, is presented by Lisa Jones of Campbell Jones Cohen CPA. The topic will deal with the business side of design, delving into best practices, programs, and other opportunities to maximize write-offs and deductions as designers look to the end of the tax year. The session will take place from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (PT) on Friday, November 6, and participants in this free session will receive 0.1 CEU credits. For more information and to register, visit

The next “first Friday” session will take place on Friday December 4th.

Additionally, select LVDC and Las Vegas Market showrooms will be among the more than 50 home furnishings and gift exhibitors participating in the Fall Sample Sale, which runs from Wednesday November 11 through Friday the 13th. November. The World Market Center Las Vegas showrooms are open. Daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the Las Vegas Design Center showrooms, located on the first and second floors of Building A, are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Fall Sample Sale is open to the public and a list of participating exhibitors is available at

“LVDC is the premier resource for designers in Southern Nevada and the Southwest,” said Scott Eckman, chief revenue officer of IMC. “The fall sample sale is a great last-ditch opportunity for retailers looking to fill their pre-holiday needs. “

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Famous car designer Dilip Chhabria released on bail but remains in jail: here’s why Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:37:21 +0000

Dilip Chhabria secures bail in multi-crore car financing and counterfeiting scam. Esplanade Magistrates’ Court granted bail after more than three months of arrest by Mumbai criminal police. The estimated counterfeit made by Chhabria is around Rs 40 crore. Even though the court granted him bail, he remains in jail due to another case filed against him by comedian Kapil Sharma.

Kapil Sharma has filed a formal complaint against Dilip Chhabria for failing to deliver a custom vanity van. Kapil said he paid the car designer more than 5.7 crore rupees for the same. However, Chhabria demanded more money from Kapil and also asked him to pay the parking fees for his vanity van.

Chhabria and her sister have filed a plea with the Bombay High Court requesting an independent investigation into the “illegal seizure” of her property by the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) of the Mumbai Crime Branch. Chhabria is also asking the court for help in sealing his property in Pune.

Attorney Akhilesh Dubey, who represents Chhabria, argued before Judge SS Shinder and Judge Manish Pitale that Chhabria had a huge workshop in Pune. This workshop was illegally seized by SDI. The lawyer said the real estate cannot be seized.

Famous car designer Dilip Chhabria released on bail but remains in jail: here's why

How did the cops find out about the scam?

The scam was discovered after Mumbai police reportedly received a clue that a DC Avanti with a fake registration number was parked outside the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai. The cops set a trap to intercept the vehicle and managed to do so. During the interception, the cops discovered that the vehicle was registered in Tamil Nadu while the chassis and VIN were registered in Haryana RTO under a different registration number.

The owner of the car, from Tamil Nadu, did not explain the same to the police. Oddly enough, the police also discovered that the address in Haryana belonged to Dilip Chhabria’s company. The cops then seized the vehicle and asked the owner of the vehicle to become the complainant in the case. Cops also suspect that the Chhabria company released cars with the same VIN and chassis numbers to trick financial organizations.

The arrest of Dilip Chabria

Famous car designer Dilip Chhabria released on bail but remains in jail: here's why

Dilip Chhabria was first arrested on December 29 of last year in connection with auto financing and dual registration trafficking. He was sent to Taloja prison on January 7. He was arrested again by the cops after Kapil Sharma filed an FIR against Dilip Chhabria. The CIU only got custody of Chhabria a few days before he was returned to judicial detention.

Currently, there are three cases against the famous car designer. There are two cases against him by CIU and one by the Economic Crimes Wing of the Mumbai Police. Along with Chhabria, his sister and an employee, Nihal Bajaj was arrested by the CIU. Dilip remains in custody while the other two are on bail. Chhabria’s new bail plea has yet to be heard

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Standard Bank of S. Africa reports 43% drop in half-year profits as bad loans skyrocket Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:36:58 +0000

Sstandard bank bad debts almost tripled

This helps reduce profits by 43%

Lender says it remains resilient

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JOHANNESBURG, August 20 (Reuters)Standard Bank of South Africa SBKJ.J announced a 43% drop in half-year profits on Thursday, in the middle of its forecast range,as bad loans have skyrocketed due to the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Africa’s largest bank by assets is the first of South Africa’s major lenders to release results and give an accurate picture of the severity of the pandemic that has hit already heavily indebted consumers and businesses troubled country.

Bad debts nearly tripled to R11.3 billion ($ 654.2 million) in the first six months of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, the bank said.

That brought earnings per share (HEPS) down to 473.8 cents ($ 0.2742), from 837.4 cents reported a year earlier, and in the middle of a forecast range of 418.7 to 586, 2 cents. HEPS is the primary measure of profit in South Africa.

The lender said its results “mirrored those of a resilient and well-diversified underlying franchise negatively impacted in a very challenging environment.”

In addition to the increase in bad debts, the coronavirus has also led to rapid cuts in interest rates and lower domestic commission income for South African banks, already generating very weak profit growth after the economy entered recession at the end of 2019.

Standard Bank’s personal and corporate banking sector was the most affected, with a 60% decrease in profit in the first six months of the year compared to the same period in 2019, although its corporate and investment bank also recorded a 7% drop in profits.

Insurer Liberty Holdings LBHJ.J, in which Standard Bank has a stake of more than 50%, also suffered a loss.

Standard Bank has warned that more bad debt provisions may be needed, but said its capital position remains strong. Its Common Equity Tier 1 ratio – a key measure of banks’ financial strength – was 12.6% as of June 30, down from 12.9% in April and still above regulatory minimums.

The bank said it could not yet provide new medium-term targets, which it said it would revise amid the crisis.

(Reporting by Emma Rumney; Editing by Alexander Winning and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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Manchester United must recall two loaned players in the summer transfer window Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:44 +0000

A changing of the guard at Manchester United this summer wouldn’t come out of the blue.

While last summer was quiet on entry and exit for a multitude of reasons, many of which related to the Covid-19 pandemic, 2019 has been busy as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has started its ‘cultural reboot’. This focused on unloading some players who were approaching or past the age of 30. Chris Smalling, Matteo Darmian and Alexis Sanchez were at the top of the release list.

Every now and then some sort of liquidation tends to take place at Old Trafford, with 2018 being a fallow year and summers such as 2014 and 2016 – when new managers put their feet under the table – seeing a lot of action.

Solskjaer will hardly feel the need to change too much at United if they get a second place and win the Europa League, but there are a few eye-catchers in his squad, many of whom are aging and in key positions.

Juan Mata is an obvious candidate for dismissal, given that his contract expires this summer when he turns 33. Injuries have taken their toll on the Spaniard this season, although many believe he still has enough to offer.

Eric Bailly will soon be 27, but it looks like United have to replace him and 32-year-old Nemanja Matic this summer as well.

The Ivorian defender is approaching the last year of his contract and, although United have started talks on a renewal, they could look to sell the former Villareal man, while gradually eliminating Matic.

There are a number of marginal players to the club which will surely not be taken into account when Solskjaer considers who to promote from above. Not all positions can get the attention they need in the transfer window and there is always a need for blood for young people.

Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe along with others on loan like Diogo Dalot, Andreas Pereira and Tahith Chong are probably in the reserve category for good now, but United arguably have two more exciting prospects to call.

James garner and Teden Mengi are both on league loans at the moment and could easily step into fringe roles in United’s squad next season.

Garner, 20, quickly made himself a fan favorite at Nottingham Forest, picking up consistent playing time – and establishing a talent for scoring – which accelerated his development. Mengi is still just 18 and has played fewer games for Derby, but Solskjaer believed when the center-back’s loan was concluded in January that he would take giant strides.

Solskjaer said: “When you get to that age sometimes it’s not hard enough, it doesn’t prepare him enough for that physical striker, for example, that they might meet in the first team.

“Playing in the championship is a big challenge for Teden.

“It’ll do him good.” Wayne has been a top striker and I’m sure he’ll go out there and show him a few things himself.

An even more experienced boss than Solskjaer raves about Garner, with Chris Hughton de Forest reaping the rewards of United’s quick decision to change the midfielder’s loan club in January.

“We are very grateful to Manchester United for their services and we have a good relationship with them,” said Hughton.

“It’s hard to talk about next season because he’s not our player. The only thing I can say is we’re really happy with him. Not just because of his contribution, but because of the way he settled in. It can be difficult for a young boy.

It might just be a minor change of guard for Solskjaer to reintroduce Garner and Mengi – who both had samples of senior action – to the team’s first photo, but as local talents for complete the team, they don’t improve much.

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Chipotle is testing new protein option in select cities ahead of possible national launch Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:42 +0000

Do you like breast burritos, but live outside of Cincinnati or Sacramento? Pity!

Chipotle announced this week that restaurants in the Cincinnati and Sacramento areas are part of the current test market for its new protein: smoked beef brisket.

“We are thrilled to offer a new, responsibly sourced beef brisket that tastes delicious and meets our leading standards for eating with integrity,” said a Chipotle executive. (Chipotle)

“We are delighted to offer a new, responsibly sourced beef brisket that tastes delicious and meets our industry leading standards for eating with integrity,” noted Chris Brandt, Chipotle Marketing Director. “The richness of our true smoked brisket recipe offers an irresistible new flavor to our guests as we continue to innovate our menu.”


Chipotle’s beef brisket is said to be made with a ‘special’ spice blend before being seared on the grill and finished with a pepper-based sauce, although, again, only Cincinnati customers and Sacramento can taste this breast for now. But come on, isn’t it enough that they already enjoy world-class Cincinnati-style chili and the famous Merlino’s Orange Freezes, respectively?

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However, all hope is not lost for beef brisket lovers nationwide. Chipotle acknowledged that similar tests, namely those of its carne asada and its queso blanco, had been introduced in smaller markets, as part of a similar “step process” before proceeding to their national launch. .


Meanwhile, the chest option is currently available to Cincinnatians and Sacramentians in 64 locations in these markets.

Chipotle acknowledged that similar tests, namely those of its carne asada and its queso blanco, had been introduced in smaller markets, as part of a similar “step process” before proceeding to their national launch. . (iStock)

Chipotle is also developing his idea of “digital only” restaurants – designed for offsite orders or pickup – to the most favorable markets, following the growth in digital sales before and in the midst of the pandemic.

“We absolutely plan to open more digital kitchens and are carefully evaluating the best shopping areas for Chipotle in which to expand this test,” Tabassum Zalotrawala, director of global development for Chipotle, said in a statement to FOX Business. “Future locations will be areas where Chipotle has higher sales volume through digital commerce. “

Chipotle opened its first digital-only restaurant in Highland Falls, NY, in November.


Sumner Park of Fox Business contributed to this report.

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To buy a house? View Mortgage Rates Today, April 3-4 Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:39 +0000

The latest average rate offered for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is 3.6%. That’s up from a week ago, although rates have remained in a relatively narrow range throughout the week.

diagram: Rate-Mortgage-002

© Silver; Getty Images

Most of the other types of loans are also available for the week. However, rates are historically low.

Even borrowers with the highest credit scores and large down payments rarely saw rates below 4% until recent years. So if you are looking to buy a house with a mortgage Where refinance an existing loan it might still be a good time.

  • The last rate on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage is 3.6%.
  • The last rate for a 15 year fixed rate mortgage is 2.637%.
  • The latest rate on a Jumbo ARM 5/1 is 2.968%.
  • The latest rate on a 7/1 compliant ARM is 4.474%.
  • The latest rate on a 10/1 compliant ARM is 4.724%.

Current 30-year fixed mortgage rates

  • The 30-year rate is 3.6%.
  • It’s a day offold by 0.017 percentage point.
  • It’s a month to augment by 0.264 percentage point.

The interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage and the required monthly payment will not change during the term of the loan. If paid as required, the loan will be paid off in 360 months, unless you refinance or sell the house. You can also pay off the loan in a lump sum at any time or pay extra each month.

A 30 year loan will have a higher interest rate than a shorter term loan like a 15 year loan. The monthly payments will be lower because the balance is spread over a longer period of time. However, you will pay more interest on a 30-year mortgage because you will be paying a higher rate for longer.

Lower monthly payments make the 30-year loan the most popular category in the mortgage market.

Current 15-year fixed mortgage rates

  • The 15-year rate is 2.637%.
  • It’s a day offold by 0.014 percentage point.
  • It’s a month infold by 0.146 percentage points.

With a 15-year fixed rate mortgage, your interest rate and monthly payments will not change for the duration of the loan. By paying only the required amount each month, the mortgage will be paid off in 180 months. You can repay the loan before the end of the term by making a lump sum payment or paying an additional fee each month.

Compared to a 30-year loan, the interest rate for a 15-year mortgage will be lower but the monthly payment will be higher because you repay it in half the time. However, you’ll save on overall interest because you’re paying a lower rate more than half the time.

Borrowers who can afford higher monthly payments can opt for a 15-year loan to pay off debt faster or save on interest.

Current 5/1 Jumbo Variable Rate Mortgage Rates

  • The ARM 5/1 rate is 2.968%.
  • It’s a day decrease by 0.002 percentage point.
  • It’s a month offold by 0.045 percentage point.

The interest rate on a variable rate mortgage will be set for an initial period. Once this period is set, the rate may increase or decrease depending on market conditions. Therefore, the monthly payment will not change during the fixed rate period but may change if the rate changes.

As an example, a 5/1 variable rate mortgage will have a fixed rate for the first five years and then the rate will reset once a year. Other common variable rate loan terms include a 7/1 and a 10/1. All ARMs will be repaid in 360 months.

The low initial rate can make a 5/1 ARM popular among borrowers who do not plan to hold the home beyond the fixed rate period. However, if they decide to stay in the house, they should be aware that the interest rate could increase at some point in the future.

Current rates for VA, FHA and jumbo loans

The average rates for FHA, VA and jumbo loans are:

  • The rate on a 30-year FHA mortgage is 3.367%.
  • The rate for a 30-year VA mortgage is 3.452%.
  • The rate for a 30-year jumbo mortgage is 3.73%.

Current mortgage refinancing rates

The average rates for 30-year, 15-year and 5/1 jumbo ARM loans are:

  • The refinance rate on a 30 year fixed rate refinance is 3.886%.
  • The refinance rate on a 15 year fixed rate refinance is 2.94%.
  • The refinancing rate on a Jumbo ARM 5/1 is 3.407%.
  • The refinancing rate on a 7/1 compliant ARM is 4.777%.
  • The refinancing rate on a 10/1 compliant ARM is 5.022%.

Where Are Mortgage Rates Going This Year?

Mortgage rates fell through 2020. Millions of homeowners responded to low mortgage rates by refinancing existing loans and taking out new ones. Many people have bought homes that they might not have been able to afford if the rates were higher.


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In January 2021, rates briefly fell to all-time low levels, but tended to rise throughout the month and into February.

Looking ahead, experts believe that interest rates will rise further in 2021, but modestly. Factors that could influence the rates include how quickly COVID-19 vaccines are distributed and when lawmakers can agree on another cost-effective relief package. More vaccinations and government stimulus could lead to improved economic conditions, which would increase rates.

Although mortgage rates are likely to rise this year, experts say the increase will not happen overnight and it will not be a dramatic jump. Rates are expected to stay near their historically low levels throughout the first half of the year, rising slightly later in the year. Even with rates rising, this will still be a good time to finance a new home or refinance.

Factors that influence mortgage rates include:

  • The Federal Reserve. The Fed took swift action when the pandemic hit the United States in March 2020. The Fed announced its intention to move money through the economy by lowering the Federal Fund’s short-term interest rate between 0% and 0.25%, which is as low as they go. The central bank has also committed to buying mortgage-backed securities and treasury bills, thereby supporting the housing finance market. The Fed has reaffirmed its commitment to these policies for the foreseeable future on several occasions, most recently at a policy meeting in late January.
  • The 10-year Treasury note. Mortgage rates move at the same pace as the yields on 10-year government treasury bills. Yields fell below 1% for the first time in March and have slowly risen since then. Currently, yields have hovered above 1% year-to-date, pushing interest rates up slightly. On average, there is typically a 1.8 point “spread” between Treasury yields and benchmark mortgage rates.
  • The economy in the broad sense. Unemployment rates and changes in gross domestic product are important indicators of the overall health of the economy. When employment and GDP growth are low, it means the economy is weak, which can lower interest rates. Thanks to the pandemic, unemployment levels hit historic highs early last year and have yet to recover. GDP has also been affected, and although it has rebounded somewhat, there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Tips for getting the lowest mortgage rate possible

There is no universal mortgage rate that all borrowers receive. Qualifying for the lowest mortgage rates takes a bit of work and will depend on both personal financial factors and market conditions.

Check your credit score and your credit report. Mistakes or other red flags that can lower your credit score. The borrowers with the highest credit scores will get the best rates, so it’s essential to check your credit report before you begin the home search process. Taking action to correct mistakes will help increase your score. If you have high credit card balances, paying them off can also give you a quick boost.

Save money for a large down payment. This will lower your loan-to-value ratio, which means how much of the home’s price the lender has to finance. A lower LTV usually results in a lower mortgage rate. Lenders also like to see money that has been saved in an account for at least 60 days. It tells the lender that you have the money to finance the purchase of the house.

Shop around for the best rate. Don’t settle for the first interest rate a lender offers you. Check with at least three different lenders to see who is offering the lowest interest rate. Also consider the different types of lenders, such as credit unions and online lenders, in addition to traditional banks.

Also take the time to learn about the different types of loans. While the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is the most common type of mortgage, consider a shorter-term loan such as a 15-year loan or an adjustable rate mortgage. These types of loans often have a lower rate than a conventional 30-year mortgage. Compare everyone’s costs to see which one best suits your needs and your financial situation. Government loans – such as those backed by the Federal Housing Authority, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Agriculture – may be more affordable options for those who qualify.

Finally, lock in your rate. Locking in your rate once you’ve found the right rate, the right loan product, and the lender will help ensure that your mortgage rate doesn’t increase until the loan closes.

Our mortgage rate methodology

Money’s Daily Mortgage Rates show the average rate offered by over 8,000 lenders in the United States for which the most recent rates are available. Today we are posting the rates for Thursday April 1. Our rates reflect what a typical borrower with a credit score of 700 can expect to pay on a home loan right now. These rates were offered to people contributing 20% ​​and include discount points.

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