Pigeons Playing Ping Pong Announces 2019 New Year’s Run, Adds Washington, D.C. Dates

first_imgBaltimore-based funk quartet Pigeons Playing Ping Pong has revealed their 2019 New Year’s plans and added a two-night Washington, D.C. run to their touring itinerary.The band—comprised of Jeremy Schon (guitar), Greg Ormont (guitar), Ben Carrey (bass), and Alex Petropulos (drums)—will offer up a performance at Washington, D.C.’s 9:30 Club on December 6th, which will feature support from lespecial. The following night, December 7th, Pigeons will head to The Anthem for a performance with Here Come The Mummies.Later in the month, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong will head to Asheville, NC for a two-night New Year’s run. Pigeons Playing Ping Pong with open things up with a special “evening with” performance at The Orange Peel on December 30th. On New Year’s Eve, the four-piece will move over to ExploreAsheville.Com Arena for a celebratory show that will feature support from TAUK.Fans should keep an eye on Pigeons’ Facebook and website for ticketing information on the newly announced tour dates.For a full list of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong’s upcoming tour dates, ticketing, and more information, head to the band’s website.last_img read more

Tiny stages, grand creativity

first_img 2A close-up of the model for “Scream,” 1978. 9A stage model depicting a haunted wood. Date and production unknown. 3A 19th-century toy theater stage set of “Whittington and His Cat,” made by Benjamin Pollock of London, circa 1880. 1A miniature stage set for “Scream,” 1978, at the Alley Theatre, Houston. 5A detail from a model stage set for “The Magic Flute,” a Lowell House Opera done in both 1975 and 1992. Date of model unknown. 4Another view of the Pollock set of “Whittington and His Cat.” Toy theaters were popular home entertainment in 19th-century Europe. 13Another view of “Artist Descending a Staircase,” a murder mystery involving an artist’s fatal tumble down a staircase. 11A model for “Sensations,” a 1970 off-Broadway rock ‘n’ roll version of “Romeo and Juliet” starring John Savage and Judy Gibson. 15From a stage set titled “The Promised Land,” designed by Kenneth Dresser. Venue and date unknown. 8Detail, “Timbuktu!” stage set. 6Detail, model for a Lowell House Opera production of “The Magic Flute.” 10A model by Joan Ferenchak for “Figaro,” a 1978 student production on the Loeb Drama Center’s mainstage. 12A half-inch-scale model for “Artist Descending a Staircase,” a 1972 Tom Stoppard radio play first adapted for the stage in 1989. The Harvard Theatre Collection is among the oldest and largest of its kind in the world. Within the climate-controlled subterranean reaches of Houghton Library are shelves, drawers, and boxes full of theater, dance, movie, and music items.By one estimate, the 113-year-old collection’s 22,000 linear feet of holdings, if stacked vertically, would be 3 miles high. There are 4 million playbills and programs, along with countless: libretti, sheet music, tickets, posters, rare books, scores, photographs (about 1.2 million), oil portraits, figurines, and sculptures (about 600). There are even eight boxes of Javanese metal puppets.The collection’s “realia,” or personal effects, include a piece of 100-year-old wedding cake and a tin of decades-old butter cookies. “They look way too good,” said acting curator Susan Pyzynski.Among the riches, perched on file cabinets, are a few dozen model stage sets, mockups made of paper, metal, plastic, and wood that in many cases are from long-ago Harvard student productions. Some look fresh, including the tiny figures and bright sun umbrellas that modeled the musical “Timbuktu!” a few decades ago.Some are fragile. “They’re not exactly made to last,” offered Pyzynski. Still others hold time in a bottle. The set of “Sensation!,” a rock ’n’ roll remake of “Romeo and Juliet” from 1970, features a tiny longhaired figure wearing a vest and bell bottoms. Tempus fugit.There are miniatures sets of stage classics (“The Magic Flute,” “Evita”). Some are mysteries awaiting explication by theater scholars, like the unlabeled, intricate model of deep haunted woods, right out of a fairy tale. Still other models call back the earliest days of theater. For one, the collection has several scaled-down renderings of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. Said Pyzynski, “You can never have too many of those.” 7A half-inch-scale model of the marketplace scene from “Timbuktu!” Venue and date unknown. 14From the model for “Artist Descending a Staircase,” a title inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s 1912 painting “Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2.” 16Detail from “The Promised Land.” 17A model stage set for Otto Nicolai’s 1849 opera “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” produced in 1988 by the Lowell House Opera and inspired by the 1602 comedy by William Shakespeare. 18A detail from Lowell House Opera’s 1988 “The Merry Wives of Windsor.” 19Detail from a model of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (1599-1613), constructed in 1953 by John Ronayne and John Mills and based on a design by English artist C. Walter Hodges. 20A detail from the 1953 model of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, later realized as a full-scale modern reconstruction completed in 1997.last_img read more

Biden: ‘We can’t wait any longer’ to address climate crisis

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden says “we can’t wait any longer″ to address the climate crisis, and that’s driving his ambitious effort to stave off the worst effects of global warming. Biden has issued executive orders to cut oil, gas and coal emissions and double energy production from offshore wind turbines. The orders target federal subsidies for oil and other fossil fuels and halt new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters. But there’s political risk for Biden and Democrats as oil- and coal-producing states face job losses from moves to sharply increase U.S. reliance on clean energy.last_img

Outdoor Updates: World-famous Victoria Falls dries to a trickle

first_imgKuprienko was shocked to learn that the man he freed had been buried upside down in the snow for nearly an hour. Experts say that the avalanche fell in large blocks, trapping air pockets within the avalanche debris, which allowed the hiker to breathe. “Obviously this is a miracle that he was able to breathe for that long,” Kuprienko said.  Martin said the band’s dream is to have shows that do not produce single-use plastics and are largely solar powered. “We would be disappointed if it’s not carbon neutral,” Martin said. “The hardest thing is the flying side of things,” Martin added. Coldplay last toured in 2016 and 2017, playing 122 shows around the world. A hiker’s rescue from Alaskan avalanche called a “miracle” World-famous Victoria Falls dries to a trickle Coldplay won’t tour again until their concerts are carbon-neutral Alex Kuprienko of Anchorage was out for a hike on Flattop Mountain on Saturday when he noticed feet kicking in avalanche debris 100 feet ahead of him on the trail. Kuprienko ran up to the buried person and used his hands to dig around him, freeing the trapped hiker in about five minutes.  Water flow in the Zambezi River, which tumbles over a mass of stone to create Victoria Falls, is at its lowest since 1995. The Zambian president, Edgar Lungu, has said that the current state of the falls are “a stark reminder of what climate change is doing to our environment.”  The band Coldplay has announced that they will not tour for their new album, Everyday Life, until they can figure out how to make their concerts carbon-neutral. “We’re taking time over the next year or two to work out how our tour can not only be sustainable but how it can be actively beneficial,” front man Chris Martin told BBC News.  One of Zimbabwe’s most iconic natural features, 355-foot Victoria Falls, has slowed to a trickle following the country’s worst drought in a century. While the waterfall does typically slow in the dry season, The Guardian has described this year’s lack of water as “unprecedented.” last_img read more

Peru Armed Forces Celebrate Military Valor Day by Recalling Operation Chavín de Huantar

first_imgBoth Col. Juan Valer Sandoval and Capt. Raúl Jiménez Chávez, who were killed during the operation, were promoted posthumously to those ranks, and are regarded as heroes in Peru. The Military rescued all of the hostages except for one: Carlos Giusti Acuña, a member of the Supreme Court, who died. Training for a bold operation Intelligence and spy efforts were key reasons for the success of the operation, said retired Army General Leonel Cabrera, who was in charge of one of the assault teams that freed the hostages. Intelligence and spy efforts were key reasons for the success of the operation, said retired Army General Leonel Cabrera, who was in charge of one of the assault teams that freed the hostages. That incident began on December 17, 1996, when 14 MRTA terrorists, led by Néstor Cerpa Cartolini, held hostage hundreds of people attending a birthday party for Emperor Akihito at the embassy. “After the explosions, the Commandos appeared and proceeded to place their small explosives in the walls along the perimeter, the explosives went off, opening a gap, and all the Commandos were able to enter the residence,” Gen. Zapata said. Military Victory Day, which takes place every April 22nd, is an homage to the 1997 Armed Forces effort that led to the rescue of 72 captives from the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, which had held them for 126 days in the Japanese ambassador’s residence. The heroic mission is a lesson to the entire world, said Army General César Astudillo, because “140 service members of Peru’s Armed Forces put the performance of their duty before any other responsibility.” “Using these organizations, we put together the intervention force building on groups for command, assault, support, security and sharpshooters,” said Gen. Zapata. The success of the operation relied on secrecy, surprise, and speed. Microphones are hidden in pillows The Military rescued all of the hostages except for one: Carlos Giusti Acuña, a member of the Supreme Court, who died. “We inserted microphones into the produce and pillows for the hostages. We put together a psychological profile of the captors and we learned their routines,” said retired Army General Leonel Cabrera. “We knew what time they played soccer in the hall. That was their mistake: That was the time we could enter and surprise them.” Commandos get the order to raid home Their rescue required a great amount of Military preparation. Their rescue required a great amount of Military preparation. Army Commander Lieutenant Colonel Luis Marca Silva was the first to enter. He recalled his mission clearly: “We had to blow up the main door, enter the second floor, and rescue the hostages who were in the rooms along the front of the building…At the time, I didn’t even think about running into a terrorist and having a shoot-out with him. We had trained for everything in this operation and everything was ready.” The personnel selected for this operation, he recalled, included the best Commandos teamed together in groups. The best shooters were assigned to sharpshooting, the best explosive handlers managed that task, and those best-suited to enter the residence made up another group. “All of them were part of the intervention force.” Peru recently celebrated what is widely regarded as one of the most successful military operations in the country’s history. Armed with AKM rifles, RPG launchers, explosives and dynamite, they took captive diplomats, government and Military officials, and business executives, demanding from the government millions of dollars and the release of imprisoned group members. MRTA had begun its criminal activities in 1984 with targeted killings of police officers, Military service members and civilians, car bomb attacks, and kidnappings. On this occasion they gradually released most of the hostages, but detained 72 for more than four months. To carry out the mission, the Military rented housing around the residence to observe what was going on, while simultaneously, a replica of the home was built for use in training the service members to execute the rescue in the shortest time possible. Both Col. Juan Valer Sandoval and Capt. Raúl Jiménez Chávez, who were killed during the operation, were promoted posthumously to those ranks, and are regarded as heroes in Peru. Military Victory Day, which takes place every April 22nd, is an homage to the 1997 Armed Forces effort that led to the rescue of 72 captives from the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, which had held them for 126 days in the Japanese ambassador’s residence. The heroic mission is a lesson to the entire world, said Army General César Astudillo, because “140 service members of Peru’s Armed Forces put the performance of their duty before any other responsibility.” By Dialogo June 03, 2015 “After the explosions, the Commandos appeared and proceeded to place their small explosives in the walls along the perimeter, the explosives went off, opening a gap, and all the Commandos were able to enter the residence,” Gen. Zapata said. The Commandos learned they would put their preparation and re-training to use on April 27, 1997, when Gen. Zapata received the order to raid the residence from then-president Alberto Fujimori. The following day, during the operation, Soldiers detonated explosive charges under the residence floors in tunnels that had been constructed over several months by a group of miners, allowing the Military to use the element of surprise for the operation. Operation Chavín de Huántar was named in reference to a Peruvian archaeological site famous for its underground passageways. Astudillo, a participant in the mission who is now chief of the VRAEM Special Command, recalled his comrades-in-arms who died in the effort. Army Colonel Juan Valer Sandoval and Captain Raúl Jiménez Chávez lost their lives, he said, but set an example in patriotism that can be summed up in one phrase: “We did it for Peru.” Training for a bold operation The Commandos learned they would put their preparation and re-training to use on April 27, 1997, when Gen. Zapata received the order to raid the residence from then-president Alberto Fujimori. The following day, during the operation, Soldiers detonated explosive charges under the residence floors in tunnels that had been constructed over several months by a group of miners, allowing the Military to use the element of surprise for the operation. Operation Chavín de Huántar was named in reference to a Peruvian archaeological site famous for its underground passageways. That incident began on December 17, 1996, when 14 MRTA terrorists, led by Néstor Cerpa Cartolini, held hostage hundreds of people attending a birthday party for Emperor Akihito at the embassy. “Using these organizations, we put together the intervention force building on groups for command, assault, support, security and sharpshooters,” said Gen. Zapata. The success of the operation relied on secrecy, surprise, and speed. “The operation needed to take place in the space of four minutes, but in real life it took over 40,” Gen. Cabrera said. “On the second floor, a group of terrorists had set up a defense from one of the rooms with explosives and they responded to our military incursion.” “Re-training was the key to success in the Chavín de Huántar Military operation,” said retired General José Williams Zapata, the officer in charge of the intervention. “What we did was re-train ourselves; we had all received training already. More than anything else, it was done to develop good teamwork. We are not talking about first-time training, but about specialized Troops who must train to take action depending on the scenario.” Peru recently celebrated what is widely regarded as one of the most successful military operations in the country’s history. To carry out the mission, the Military rented housing around the residence to observe what was going on, while simultaneously, a replica of the home was built for use in training the service members to execute the rescue in the shortest time possible. Army Commander Lieutenant Colonel Luis Marca Silva was the first to enter. He recalled his mission clearly: “We had to blow up the main door, enter the second floor, and rescue the hostages who were in the rooms along the front of the building…At the time, I didn’t even think about running into a terrorist and having a shoot-out with him. We had trained for everything in this operation and everything was ready.” “Re-training was the key to success in the Chavín de Huántar Military operation,” said retired General José Williams Zapata, the officer in charge of the intervention. “What we did was re-train ourselves; we had all received training already. More than anything else, it was done to develop good teamwork. We are not talking about first-time training, but about specialized Troops who must train to take action depending on the scenario.” Armed with AKM rifles, RPG launchers, explosives and dynamite, they took captive diplomats, government and Military officials, and business executives, demanding from the government millions of dollars and the release of imprisoned group members. MRTA had begun its criminal activities in 1984 with targeted killings of police officers, Military service members and civilians, car bomb attacks, and kidnappings. On this occasion they gradually released most of the hostages, but detained 72 for more than four months. Commandos get the order to raid home Microphones are hidden in pillows Military authorities chose about 140 service members for the mission, including both Officers and NCOs, from the Special Forces Brigade and the Army Commando School, joined by Navy Officers. “We inserted microphones into the produce and pillows for the hostages. We put together a psychological profile of the captors and we learned their routines,” said retired Army General Leonel Cabrera. “We knew what time they played soccer in the hall. That was their mistake: That was the time we could enter and surprise them.” Military authorities chose about 140 service members for the mission, including both Officers and NCOs, from the Special Forces Brigade and the Army Commando School, joined by Navy Officers. Astudillo, a participant in the mission who is now chief of the VRAEM Special Command, recalled his comrades-in-arms who died in the effort. Army Colonel Juan Valer Sandoval and Captain Raúl Jiménez Chávez lost their lives, he said, but set an example in patriotism that can be summed up in one phrase: “We did it for Peru.” The personnel selected for this operation, he recalled, included the best Commandos teamed together in groups. The best shooters were assigned to sharpshooting, the best explosive handlers managed that task, and those best-suited to enter the residence made up another group. “All of them were part of the intervention force.” “The operation needed to take place in the space of four minutes, but in real life it took over 40,” Gen. Cabrera said. “On the second floor, a group of terrorists had set up a defense from one of the rooms with explosives and they responded to our military incursion.” last_img read more

Awareness initiative to raise CUs’ profile

first_img 23SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Attendees of the America’s Credit Union Conference received an update on the progress of the Credit Union Awareness Initiative Tuesday.Launched last year by the CUNA Board, the Awareness Initiative aims to raise broad-based consumer awareness of credit unions by establishing a new, national brand platform for the industry.“The credit union industry is truly at a crossroads,” says Teresa Freeborn, chair of the Creating Awareness Advisory Group, the committee appointed by the CUNA Board to lead the initiative. “For four decades we’ve hung on to 6-7% market share with little upward movement.“In this day of fintech and near-daily new entrants into the market, credit unions have to work so much harder to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.”To create that greater awareness, the Advisory Group decided to create a brand platform for the industry based on extensive national consumer research, the first round of which it conducted earlier this year. continue reading »last_img read more

Canadian Credit Union boosts growth by starting a national bank

first_img continue reading » Meridian Credit Union has set—and achieved—ambitious membership growth goals, expanding membership by 8.9 percent in 2018. But even the largest credit union in the province of Ontario has had a hard time connecting with consumers who aren’t won over by the cooperative model of financial services, so it is now pursuing a novel strategy—launching a full-service digital bank with a national market.Set to open this spring as a fully owned subsidiary of the Toronto-based credit union, motusbank will offer the full suite of financial products and services, including an end-to-end digital mortgage origination and fulfillment platform, already available to Meridian CU members.“Our primary strategic intent has been to bring the Meridian value proposition to Canadians outside of Ontario,” says Bill Maurin, president/CEO of the $20.6 billion credit union serving 339,000 members. But motusbank is also developing a “softer” marketing plan targeting consumers in Meridian CU’s home province, where 43 percent of nonmembers say they would not consider joining a credit union and only 20 percent say they would. Those rates are, respectively, the highest and lowest in comparison to other provinces in a survey conducted by the Canadian Credit Union Association. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Remote work must find a place in financial services

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jill Nowacki Jill Nowacki started her career with credit unions in 2001. She has taken on leadership roles at credit unions and state and national trade associations. Now, she uses her experience … Web: www.humanidei.com Details It’s almost 2 p.m. and I’m still in the running clothes I threw on first thing this morning. I haven’t run, nor have I showered and “gotten ready for the day.” Being in a different time zone means that colleagues and clients on the west coast of the United States were responding to pending project requests while I slept. By 6 a.m. local time, new opportunities awaited me and I was ready to jump in. Eight hours later, I hadn’t gotten around to my usual morning routine, but had accomplished a lot.I never dabbled in the world of “location independence” with a few days of working from home to see how it would go. I made summer plans before finalizing my new business partnership, and it happened that I launched a U.S.-based consulting firm while living in Spain. By the end of the second week, I had secured about a dozen clients, published two articles, and been interviewed by two industry media outlets. I had also taught my 8-year-old how to find his way around Europe’s oldest city, adjusted him to an entirely new daily schedule, and learned a few Spanish words and traditions. It was a balancing act that did not match the glamour I had imagined of wifi-enabled, seaside cafes with endless cups of coffee. It was not even the work-from-home scenario that I anticipated would allow me to do loads of laundry between conference calls.Familiarity with the term, “location independence,” and the style of work have both grown significantly since Lea Woodward founded a remote work consulting firm and coined the term in 2007. Just over a decade later, this lifestyle is trending, with Instagram accounts filled with pics of poolside laptops and hashtags about #digitalnomads and #workfromanywhere. It hasn’t swept financial services, though. After all, how can transactions be completed when the tellers are all in Fiji? The traditional (and current) delivery of mainstream, retail financial services does not support an environment flexible enough to allow for location independence. In most cases outside of senior positions, it is even difficult to offer customized hours that allow scheduling flexibility for team members who care for aging parents or dependent children.As the world considers a response to the threat of a pandemic spread of the Coronavirus, though, the discussion around remote work has risen to heightened relevance across many industries, including credit unions. When forced to consider it for the sustainability of the organization in a time of crisis, it seems that financial institutions can find ways to make remote work a possibility, after all. The reality is this, though: Financial institutions have been in a talent crisis for far longer than COVID-19 has threatened us and this crisis also merits an urgent response. Last summer, a PWC study “Preparing for Tomorrow’s Workforce, Today,” showed that financial services has fallen behind most other industries in responding to the demands of a changing workforce. This is especially prominent in the industry’s (lack of) priorities involving the people experience desired by today’s top performers. The financial services industry is not known for cultivating an intentional focus on work-life balance, for providing employees the opportunity to feel the positive impact of their work, or for actively working to develop and foster diverse and inclusive teams. As financial institutions strive to stay relevant, highly skilled workers will bring the innovative ideas, creativity, and strategies that move the organization to a place of heightened relevance in a crowded marketplace. In order to compete in the war for this level of talent, tremendous effort must be put forward for credit unions to become desirable places of employment. For many, this will mean significant philosophical and strategic shifts in talent acquisition, performance management, and even structure of the work day. Institutions that do not meet the new workforce’s expectations must be prepared to lose talent. Today’s workforce will handle their dissatisfaction with the action of walking away. They have seen- or experienced- a lack of loyalty from companies or the effects of burnout. In an always-on world, people use their scarce (and highly demanded) time differently. They hack their days to enable them to be at the most important events; responding to emails from soccer games, taking conference calls in the parking lot before walking into the meeting to discuss in-home care for aging parents, hitting Orange Theory in the middle of the day and wrapping up details for a new project launch from home after. Technology has enabled the extension of the work day, as well as the ability to flex it further, and people are happy to use this to their advantage. Is your credit union willing to give them that opportunity?As a relatively new remote worker and manager of a remote workforce, and a recruiter who has placed candidates in remote workforces, I have learned a great deal over the past nine months. Members of my team and my clients span the United States. This past year, I have worked from nine different countries and in every U.S. time zone. My experience has enlightened me. I see the value of remote work in talent attraction, and how critical it is to build deep trust with a remote workforce; how I can use it to be more present in all areas of my life, and how intentional I must be to separate work and home; how much obligation sits with employees to communicate effectively, and how much an employer must work to cultivate culture in this environment. There are many paradoxes in the world of remote work that require a high degree of intentionality and effort to navigate, but the need for remote and flexible work options is clear. What are you willing to do to introduce these options in your organization as a talent attraction tool and not just a business continuity plan? If you are unwilling or unable to build a workplace that meets the demands of today’s changing workforce, the threat to your relevance may be greater than you imagine.last_img read more

Fintech loan disbursement slows amid pandemic

first_imgHe explained that the loan process was now tougher for new applications and that it was an inevitable consequence of an industry that targeted underserved and unbanked users, or the so-called “bottom of the pyramid”, whose loans would inevitably incur more risks.Financial Services Authority (OJK) data show that loan disbursement from fintech P2P lending has slowed in recent months.The growth of loan disbursement was only 3.12 percent year-on-year (yoy) in May to a total of Rp 109.18 trillion (US$7.59 billion) from Rp 106.06 trillion as of April. During the same period last year, loan channeling grew 10.87 percent annually to Rp 41.03 trillion. At the same time, bank loan disbursement grew just 3.04 percent yoy in May, much slower than 5.73 percent in April, as the coronavirus battered the real sector. Topics : Indonesian financial technology (fintech) peer-to-peer (P2P) lending companies have recorded slowing growth in loan disbursement as the economic impact of the pandemic pushes start-ups to be more careful in channeling their credit.Indonesian Fintech Lenders Association (AFPI) deputy chairman Sunu Widyatmoko acknowledged that several customers faced difficulty in accessing loans as the coronavirus outbreak unfolded.“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused several platforms to decrease new loan disbursement,” he said during a webinar held by the AFPI on Monday.center_img The pandemic has disrupted business activity as social restrictions implemented to curb the virus spread have forced offices, shops and factories to close. The government now expects the economy to grow just 1 percent this year or even contract 0.4 percent from a growth of 5.02 percent recorded in 2019.However, Sunu said, not every lender was hitting the brakes when it came to lending, as different lenders had their own risk preferences.  Despite the slowdown in overall loan disbursement growth, the AFPI reported a positive gain among loan channeling to productive sectors, especially health sectors, with small and medium enterprises offering medical supplies and equipment benefiting from the trend. Sectors related to food distribution, agriculture products, packaged meals, as well as the telecommunications sector are projected to continue to grow, AFPI managing director Kuseryansyah said in a written statement published following the webinar. Amid the growth trend, the OJK warns customers of illegal P2P lending platforms that mushroom during the pandemic.The authority’s investment alert task force has blocked 694 illegal platforms so far this year, bringing the total number of such platforms blocked to 2,591 between 2018 and 2020. In June alone, 105 illegal platforms were identified by the task force.“Borrow from a fintech P2P lending firm that has already been registered with the OJK,” the task force’s chairman Tongam Lumban Tobing said during the webinar. As of June 11, as many as 160 fintech P2P lending platforms were registered with the OJK, 33 of which already have business permits while the rest have been certified as legal fintech platforms. The public was at risk if they borrowed from the illegal platforms, as they normally exploited users’ private data, requiring users to give access to unnecessary databases, he added. They often give unclear interest rates and loan tenure while not providing a traceable office address and have a questionable management framework. “We actively carry out a cyber patrol with the Communications and Information Ministry on a daily basis,” OJK fintech regulation, licensing and supervision director Munawar Kasan said.The authority also collaborates with the central bank, banks and tech giant Google to suppress the spread of unaccountable lending platforms.The AFPI, on the other hand, has established a Fintech Data Center (FDC) in an effort to minimize fraud within the industry. Aside from that, its members are bound to a code of conduct and code of ethics to prevent abuse in handling consumers’ data, with those breaching the codes of conduct subject to sanctions.last_img read more

ICYMI: S&P: Pennsylvania’s Fiscal Challenges Remain Following Line-Item Veto Of Budget Bill

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Budget News,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Yesterday, S&P issued a warning that Pennsylvania’s fiscal challenges remain and the Republican legislature must act responsibly to balance Pennsylvania’s budget. In their release, S&P said:“Despite six months of deliberations, Pennsylvania’s budget deliberations continue, leaving it uncertain whether legislators will act to close the state’s budget gap… The $30.3 billion budget passed by both the house and senate is, in our view, structurally unbalanced and does not include pension reforms negotiated in the previously agreed-upon budget framework. As proposed, the budget had a $500 million budget gap for fiscal 2016 and left a $2 billion budget gap for fiscal 2017… As the state’s longest running budget impasse persists, the question of lawmakers’ political willingness to address fiscal challenges remains.”You can read S&P’s full release below:Bulletin: Pennsylvania’s Fiscal Challenges Remain Following Line-Item Veto Of Budget BillCHICAGO (Standard & Poor’s) Dec. 29, 2015 — Despite six months of deliberations, Pennsylvania’s budget deliberations continue, leaving it uncertain whether legislators will act to close the state’s budget gap or address its long-term pension liabilities. Our AA-/Stable general obligation (GO) rating on the Pennsylvania is still unchanged despite the political gridlock because of the state’s demonstrated willingness to honor its debt obligations. We are also waiting to see how further deliberations play out as legislators have still to determine a revenue package for fiscal 2016.On Dec. 29, 2015, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that he would line-item veto the legislature’s budget while providing emergency funding to public schools and social service providers. The $30.3 billion budget passed by both the house and senate is, in our view, structurally unbalanced and does not include pension reforms negotiated in the previously agreed-upon budget framework. As proposed, the budget had a $500 million budget gap for fiscal 2016 and left a $2 billion budget gap for fiscal 2017. While we have previously stated that we could consider a negative rating action or outlook if the state fails to address its budgetary imbalance or reverses course on addressing its pension liabilities, we are waiting for further developments on a corresponding revenue package and to better understand whether a pension reform will be part of a final budget.The release of emergency aid to schools will help relieve Pennsylvania schools’ cash flow pressures, but we have not reinstated our rating on the Pennsylvania state credit enhancement program because we still consider state aid payments to be unreliable given the state’s chronic failure to pass an on-time budget (see “Standard & Poor’s Analysis Of Credit Enhancement Programs Is More Than A Mechanical Exercise,” published Dec. 14, 2015). We previously viewed the hold-up of state funding as motivation for lawmakers to pass a budget. The emergency school funding measures gives more time for the budget deliberations to continue.As the state’s longest running budget impasse persists, the question of lawmakers’ political willingness to address fiscal challenges remains. Past protracted debates have not always resulted in balanced budgets. A lack of reforms in the current budget year could add to the growing revenue and expenditure misalignment and increased pension funding pressures in fiscal 2017. For the next fiscal year, the governor has discussed a personal income tax increase, coupled with a new severance tax, which were rejected by legislators this fall. It is possible that future revenue enhancements and pension reforms could face politically contentious negotiations yet again given that both sides were far apart on the issues not addressed in the current budget. While we have not changed our rating based on the state’s political gridlock, continued structural imbalance or lack of progress in funding its pensions could result in a rating action. We have determined, based solely on the developments described herein, that no rating actions are currently warranted. Only a rating committee may determine a rating action and, as these developments were not viewed as material to the ratings, neither they nor this report were reviewed by a rating committee.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf December 30, 2015center_img ICYMI: S&P: Pennsylvania’s Fiscal Challenges Remain Following Line-Item Veto Of Budget Billlast_img read more