One thing the American Left never seems to understand is that productive Americans, who make America work, don’t want their lives interrupted with protests, riots or autonomous zones. The fake news media is telling us that “racist” police are “murdering Black men.” This has been the spark that lit the power keg of demonstrations, riots,… A proposed rule would keep plans from increasing risk or decreasing returns in pursuit of “a social or political end,” Secretary Eugene Scalia says. But others say existing law achieves that end. Oakland County military veterans who are financially struggling because of the pandemic can apply for up to $2,500 in emergency aid, Solar wafer and cell maker Sino-American Silicon Products (SAS) has scored points in non-operating investment as reflected from subsidiaries’ business performance. 25 June 2020 Alliance Trust PLC TRANSACTION IN OWN SHARES The Board of Alliance Trust PLC (“the Company”) announces that on 24 June 2020 the Company…
One thing the American Left never seems to understand is that productive Americans, who make America work, don’t want their lives interrupted with protests, riots or autonomous zones.
The fake news media is telling us that “racist” police are “murdering Black men.” This has been the spark that lit the power keg of demonstrations, riots, looting, violence and arson. Just how true are the liberal accusations?
In the Aumaud Arbery case, a Black man, who repeatedly appeared on surveillance footage trespassing in a home under construction attacked a White man, who together with his father, who was a former police detective, was trying to do a citizen’s arrest.
In the George Floyd case, the liberal media has doubled down on its outrage and most Republicans have unfortunately surrendered the field. For one thing, that case is not exactly a “White supremacist” killing considering that the officer involved Derek Chauvin was married to a Cambodian woman. George Floyd had both meth and fentanyl in his system. Steven Crowder seems to be the only one brave enough to question the liberal media narrative on that case as noted here.
The liberal media wants a summer of race riots, which is their latest effort to try to destabilize America in the hope of overthrowing Trump.
Ordinary Americans however just want to go to work and avoid all this nonsense, and the departure of a 1.58 billion dollar company fleeing the insanity of Seattle should be a wake up call.
An article from MyNorthWest.com reports “Coronavirus pandemic or not, an investment advisory company is leaving the cultural unrest in Seattle and moving its headquarters to Phoenix’s Camelback Corridor.”
“‘… The unrest that has taken place in the city of Seattle … there is really is not a downtown business community today,’ Smead Capital Management. President and CEO Cole Smead told KTAR News 92.3 FM.”
“Smead said that although taxes in Seattle are lower, candidate recruitment is harder and the cost of living within the city is more expensive than Phoenix.”
“’We’re hearing rumors of 40-story buildings that will be only 20-percent occupied by October,’ Smead said.”
“’My biggest concern for Seattle was what the business community is going to come back to, and what kind of businesses are going to come back for customers.’”
“He found that metro Phoenix offers a better quality of life…”
“As of May 31, the firm managed approximately $1.58 billion.”
Labor Dept. Seeks to Restrict Social Goals in Retirement Investing
Business|Labor Dept. Seeks to Restrict Social Goals in Retirement Investing
A proposed rule would keep plans from increasing risk or decreasing returns in pursuit of “a social or political end,” Secretary Eugene Scalia says. But others say existing law achieves that end.
The Labor Department is seeking a new federal regulation that could discourage retirement funds from making investments based on environmental, social and governance considerations.
The department said in a news release Tuesday evening that it was taking the action to “provide clear regulatory guideposts.” Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, in an opinion article Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal, said the move “reminds plan providers that it is unlawful to sacrifice returns, or accept additional risk, through investments intended to promote a social or political end.”
Investments based on social goals can consider, for example, a company’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint or to promote racial and gender diversity among its directors and executives.
Such investments have grown immensely in recent years, to roughly one of every four dollars under management, according to the US SIF Foundation, a nonprofit focused on the category. While little of that was in workplace retirement plans, some experts think 401(k) plans will play an increasing role in such investing.
But experts said the proposed rule would not meaningfully change employers’ obligations. And Morningstar has found that funds based on environmental, social and governance goals — known as E.S.G. factors — outperformed conventional offerings during the first quarter of this year and going back several years as well.
Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, known as ERISA, administrators overseeing employee retirement plans — usually an employer’s financial or human resources officials — are required to act in the strict financial interests of workers. That typically means they can add a mutual fund option that emphasizes social and environmental goals only if they expect it to perform at least as well as an option that does not focus on those factors while taking similar risk.
“The Department of Labor has always taken the position that plans can take into account other factors, such as social and environmental, as long as they don’t increase risk or sacrifice return for the plan,” said Olena Lacy, who served as assistant labor secretary in charge of the agency overseeing employee benefits during the Clinton administration.
Ms. Lacy said Democratic and Republican administrations had simply differed over the years in framing the obligations of employee plan administrators.
“Democrats say the standard is that it’s OK for you do to this as long as it comes out the same,” she said, referring to risk and returns. “Republicans say it’s illegal for you to do this unless it comes out the same.”
Jon Hale, the head of sustainability research at Morningstar, said the practical effect of the new framing could be to deter plan administrators from adding E.S.G. options to 401(k) plans for fear of violating the law.
Even if the proposal does not come to pass, he said, employers might decide to avoid E.S.G. investments because they see them as a potential political minefield.
The proposed rule says that environmental, social and governance concerns can be taken into account independent of factors like risk and return only if they act as a kind of tiebreaker when investments are otherwise financially indistinguishable. In that case, the rule would require plan administrators to document the investment analysis that led to the conclusion.
The department acknowledged that the provision might create additional burdens for employers, but said in a background document that it “does not expect this requirement to impose a significant cost as these situations are rare.”
In the Labor Department release, Mr. Scalia said the proposed rule was meant to ensure that social goals would not come at the expense of returns to participants in retirement plans, and the release says employers cannot invest in E.S.G.-focused funds that seek to “subordinate return or increase risk for the purpose of nonfinancial objectives.”
The department did not respond to a request seeking examples of employers that have pursued such strategies.
Jerome Schlichter, a lawyer who has successfully pursued numerous employers on behalf of workers over excessive fees in their 401(k) plans, said he was not aware of employers who had sought to pursue E.S.G. goals at the expense of financial returns.
“That has not been something that we’ve seen,” Mr. Schlichter said. “It hasn’t been done by fiduciaries in any broad way, in part due to concerns about exposure for litigation.”
Other lawyers said that while the growth in E.S.G. investment options and their rising popularity among workers could require additional regulation and enforcement, such action would typically be better aimed at investment companies marketing such funds, rather than employers and their plan administrators.
George Sepsakos, a lawyer who advises employer plans about their legal responsibilities, said the Securities and Exchange Commission had been reviewing disclosure from E.S.G. funds to make sure their marketing accurately reflected their investing strategies. “Right now the definition can mean different things to different people,” Mr. Sepsakos said.
He said that if an investment company had misrepresented potential returns or fees from an E.S.G.-focused fund, the investment company rather than the employer would typically be liable. “The plan fiduciary can only make investment decisions based on what they know or should have known at the time,” he said.
A 2015 academic paper examining decades of research and over 2,000 other studies found that about 90 percent of the work showed no negative connection between E.S.G. principles and corporate financial performance. A large majority showed positive findings.
As a result, said Mr. Hale of Morningstar, the proposed rule could end up being counterproductive. “Not only could investments that focus on the long-term sustainability of companies lead to truly long-term outperformance because you’re picking better quality companies,” he said. “But there is also the systems argument, that you’re helping to create a financial system and economy that will be more successful.”
Author: Ron Lieber
Oakland County veterans impacted by pandemic can receive financial aid
Oakland County is ready to offer some relief for the county’s 60,000 military veterans and their 100,000 dependents if they are struggling financially because of the pandemic.
The veterans and their dependents are eligible to apply for up to $2,500 in emergency aid, Oakland County Executive David Coulter said in a news release.
The $2,500 is to be used for daily necessities such as vehicle or home repairs, utility bills, child care if the veteran is deemed an essential worker, lodging/housing assistance, medical expenses and food/personal care assistance. The relief is not to be used for simple inconveniences or wants.
More: Report: Michigan hospitals shorted $130K per COVID-19 patient in federal aid
More: Detroit Tigers player, staff member tests positive for COVID-19
While any given veteran or dependent may be eligible for up to $2,500, only $500 is to be used for food and requested in increments of $150.
“These veterans have served this country honorably,” Coulter said. “At a time when some of them have been adversely affected by the coronavirus and could use some assistance, it is our responsibility to support them where we can.”
This relief is made possible by the $1 million Oakland County Veteran Service Fund created by the county Board of Commissioners to help veterans hurt by the pandemic. It is one of several programs to combat the financial hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic, including one that targets businesses.
Eligible veterans and family members can begin applying for grants at https://www.oakgov.com/covid/grants/Pages/veterans.aspx.
Applicants must be a resident of Oakland County and have received honorable or general under honorable conditions discharge from the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Air Force, National Guard, Reserves or women’s auxiliaries, or be a dependent of the veteran.
People with questions about the program should contact Oakland County Veterans’ Services at 248-858-0785 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kaleb A. Brown is a reporter for the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at email@example.com.
Read or Share this story: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/oakland/2020/06/24/oakland-county-veterans-coronavirus-financial-aid/3245273001/
Author: Kaleb A. Brown, Detroit Free Press
SAS sees fruition of non-operating investment
SAS sees fruition of non-operating investment
Wednesday 24 June 2020
Solar wafer and cell maker Sino-American Silicon Products (SAS) has scored points in non-operating investment as reflected from subsidiaries’ business performance.
GlobalWafers, in which SAS holds a 51.17% stake, has become the globally third largest semiconductor silicon wafer maker and recorded net EPS of NT$31.35 (US$1.05) for 2019 and NT$6.62 for first-quarter 2020.
Diselane and triselane maker Taiwan Specialty Chemicals, in which SAS holds a 30.93% stake, has been recognized by TSMC as an excellent material supplier and swung to monthly profits beginning April 2020, SAS president Doris Hsu said, adding that the company considers establishing a warehouse in the US for local supply.
Because Chinese PV module makers’ production was severely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak in first-quarter 2020, European makers’ combined share of the Europe market has sharply risen, Hsu noted. This has benefited Aleo Solar, SAS’ Germany-based wholly-owned subsidiary maker of PV modules, since March, Hsu said.
Since Korean Hanwha Q Cells has won a lawsuit against China-based Jinko Solar, REC Solar and LONGi Solar for infringing its patents concerning PERC solar cells in Germany, the Chinese makers’ European clients are likely to shift orders to other makers including Aleo.
Automotive diode maker Actron Technology, in which SAS holds a 19.21% stake, has developed ultra-high-efficiency models which are expected to be in large potential demand along with increasingly strict control on carbon emission, Hsu indicated.
SAS president Doris Hsu
Photo: Digitimes file
Author: Nuying Huang, Taipei; Adam Hwang, DIGITIMES
Alliance Trust PLC – Transaction in Own Shares
25 June 2020
Alliance Trust PLC
TRANSACTION IN OWN SHARES
The Board of Alliance Trust PLC (“the Company”) announces that on 24 June 2020 the Company purchased for cancellation 100,000 ordinary shares of 2.5p each at a price of 782.00p per share.
Therefore, the total number of voting rights in the Company is now 326,963,733.
The above figure (326,963,733) may be used by shareholders as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in, the Company under the FCA’s Disclosure and Transparency Rules.
Alliance Trust PLC
Telephone: 01382 938320
Author: Alliance Trust Plc
This gold rally could take prices as high as $3,000 an ounce – Edison
(Kitco News) With the Federal Reserve’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, gold prices are likely to near $1,900 with the potential to go up as high as $3,000 an ounce, according to Edison’s latest gold report.
This outlook is based on the projections that the coronavirus crisis is a protracted one and the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet either stabilizes or continues to increase, Edison’s Investment Research director Charles Gibson said.
“With the total U.S. monetary base now at US$5.1tn (and given the close historical correlation between the two), the gold price could very reasonably be expected to rise to US$1,892/oz and potentially as high as US$3,000/oz,” Gibson wrote in the investment research company’s gold report.
Supporting gold at the moment is a combination of factors, including money printing, aggressive bond buying, COVID-19 lockdowns and economic crisis.
The report makes a comparison between the current negative interest rates in the U.S. to similar volatility in interest rates between September 1979 and October 1980, the time to which Edison refers to as gold’s “first great bull run in the period of flat money”.
The Fed’s actions in response to the coronavirus crisis are the key that could take gold above $3,000 an ounce, according to Gibson.
“After cutting interest rates to (effectively) zero and initially saying it would buy US$700bn in bonds, on 23 March it took off all the brakes and made the programme open-ended saying it will ‘purchase Treasury securities and agency mortgage-backed securities in the amounts needed to support smooth market functioning and effective transmission of monetary policy to broader financial conditions and the economy’,” he wrote.
To make its price predictions, the report uses the historical gold price correlation with total U.S. monetary base, noting that the latter has expanded 58% in eight months.
“The reason this is significant is because, since 1967, the price of gold has shown an extremely strong (0.909) correlation with the total U.S. monetary base,” Gibson said. “The more dollars that either are, or could be, in circulation, the higher the expected gold price.”
“Applying the strict mathematical historical relationship between the two, a total U.S. monetary base of US$3,260bn at the end of July 2019 implied a gold price of US$1,291/oz. Given the extent to which the gold price has diverged from its strict empirical relationship in the past, it could have been expected to reach as high as US$1,543/oz (in a bullish gold environment),” he continued. “In the event, reality reflected the theory extremely well with the gold price rising from US$1,270/oz in May 2019 to US$1,540/oz in August 2019.”
At the current level of $5.1 trillion, the gold price should be around $1,892, with the potential to rise to as much as US$3,067, Gibson noted.
“But with unlimited bond buying, the sky is the limit … Anecdotally, there is some evidence to suggest the Fed has already spent close to US$2tn buying bonds to date, which, all other things being equal, should take the total U.S. monetary base to a record US$5.5tn and the gold price to over US$2,000/oz and potentially as high as US$3,281/oz,” Gibson added.