Loans – Kent Tribune Tue, 24 May 2022 15:01:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Loans – Kent Tribune 32 32 China and 14 Asia-Pacific countries reach historic free trade agreement | International exchange Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:08:07 +0000

The leaders of China and 14 other countries in the Asia-Pacific region have signed one of the largest free trade agreements in history, covering 2.2 billion people and 30% of global economic output.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was signed Sunday via video link after eight years of negotiations.

Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea signed the agreement, alongside members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.

The agreement sets the terms of trade in goods and services, cross-border investment and new rules for increasingly important areas such as e-commerce and intellectual property. The effect on trade in finished goods between Asian countries will be particularly pronounced, analysts say.

In a joint statement, the countries’ leaders said the trade deal would be a crucial part of their plans to recover from the pandemic, which has forced countries around the world to lock down their economies.

The leaders’ statement said the agreement “demonstrates our strong commitment to supporting economic recovery, inclusive development, job creation and strengthening regional supply chains, as well as our support for a trade and open, inclusive and rules-based investment platform”.

The combined GDP of the signatories was $26.2bn (£20bn) in 2019, around 30% of global GDP. The agreement will cover almost 28% of world trade.

It would have covered an additional 1.4 billion people had India not withdrawn from negotiations last year due to concerns it would not be able to protect the national industry as well as its agricultural sector.

However, the declaration of the signatories left the door open to India join the trading bloc, saying it would be “welcome”.

Although it does not offer the same level of integration as the EU or the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement, the agreement has been seen as an important step towards the removal of trade barriers, as well as the expansion of China’s influence.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang called the deal “a victory for multilateralism and free trade”, according to a report Sunday by the official Xinhua news agency.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the deal would “open new doors for Australian farmers, businesses and investors”.

Trade and investment flows in Asia have grown significantly over the past decade, a trend that has accelerated dispute between the United States and Chinain which the two superpowers imposed billions of dollars in punitive tariffs on the other’s exports.

The RCEP agreement is flexible enough to accommodate the disparate needs of member countries as diverse as Australia, Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam.

Unlike the CPTPP – the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership – and the EU, it does not establish unified standards on labor and the environment or commit countries to opening up services and other areas vulnerable in their economies.

The signing of the agreement comes shortly after Joe Biden won the US presidential election. Biden is expected to shift US foreign policy to take more of the lead on global issues.

In 2017, Donald Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement previously envisioned as a way to curb China’s influence.

Virginia Beach organizations pay Kempsville student lunch debt – The Virginian-Pilot Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:08:07 +0000

Some Kempsville students will be getting a fresh start next month on school lunch debt, thanks to a group of local masons and church members.

St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church and Kempsville Masonic Lodge 196 on Princess Anne Road have paid just over $4,600 for lunch debts at three schools in their backyard, Providence Elementary School and Kempsville Meadows and Larkspur Middle.

The debt hasn’t gone away completely, but it was enough to cover about 1,600 lunches, said Scott Bottenfield, who helps run the church’s donation program, Feed Kempsville. The church began fundraising in September and Masons joined the effort in February.

“Hunger doesn’t go away,” organizer Bob Hughes recalled when he pitched the idea to his lodge.

“I actually discovered that Masonry and the church go together,” he said. “We are a brotherhood of men under the fatherhood of God. What we do, we don’t do for recognition. We do for the sake of helping.”

A Virginia Beach Schools spokeswoman said such donations happen once or twice a year. The division is asking people who want to help to donate to a food bank or the Beach bags initiative, which provides healthy meals and snacks to students in the city who might be hungry during weekends or breaks.

The division’s current total debt for breakfast and lunch is $138,731. More than 40% of Virginia Beach students receive a free or reduced lunch, said John Smith, who directs the Office of Food Services. Lunch is $2.85 at Virginia Beach schools; the reduced price for qualifying students is 40 cents.

Feed Kempsville was launched in 2014 in St. Andrews. They launched their lunch money debt relief program three years later.

“We sat down with cafeteria managers and principals from local schools, learned more about it, and learned that we could help a little with that,” Bottenfield said.

The $4,600 donation is their most recent effort. Since 2014, they’ve raised $5,366 for lunch debt relief, Bottenfield said. This is the equivalent of 113,758 meals. Their other efforts include beach bags and donations to the Church of the Ascension pantry.

School lunch debt has been a hot topic in Hampton Roads over the years. In Portsmouth, students racked up $68,000 in cafeteria fees in 2007-08, prompting the school board to start serving students with debts over $4.05. cheese sandwiches, fruit and milk before lunch. Lunch debts in the division fell to $1,603 over the next four years, but board members called it “demeaning” because it singled out children. It was then that then superintendent David Stuckwisch ended the practice.

In Virginia Beach, when students are in debt over $20.75, the cost of five breakfasts and lunches for a week, their lunch is billed to a master account, and the school principal talks to the relative. When this happens, they are given a turkey or ham sandwich with cheese, fruit, vegetables, and milk. It is served in line with all other meals.

“It ticks all the boxes,” Smith said. “They’re not finger-pointing in the line either. We’re leaving it up there as an option so anyone can pick one up.”

The division sends out balance reminders every week, and the debt has gone down by more than $100,000, Smith said.

Bottenfield said he was happy to help so many people. The group could not have done it without their church, Masons and non-members who stepped up to help.

“It’s always heartwarming and sometimes a little surprising to me how well this congregation responds to that need,” he said.

S&P 500 hits record high after second week of gains Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:08:07 +0000
Credit…James Estrin/The New York Times

Federal regulators have raised new complaints against two former top Wells Fargo executives for their role in the bank’s wrongdoings, accusing them of misleading investors about the customer-facing unit’s financial results individual.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said Friday that John G. Stumpf, the bank’s former chief executive, agreed to pay a $2.5 million fine to settle allegations of fraud against him. The regulator also filed a lawsuit against Carrie L. Tolstedt, the former director of Wells Fargo’s community bank, in federal court in San Francisco.

The two executives made false certifications about the bank’s finances, the SEC said, because they knew or should have known that Wells Fargo’s sales numbers were inflated by opening unauthorized or unnecessary customer accounts.

“If executives are talking about a key performance metric to promote their business, they need to do so completely and accurately,” said Stephanie Avakian, the agency’s chief enforcement officer.

Ms Tolstedt “was an honest and conscientious leader”, Enu Mainigi, her lawyer, said in response to the complaint. “It is unfair and unfounded for the SEC to single out Ms. Tolstedt when her statements were not only true but also thoroughly verified by others within Wells Fargo’s policies, procedures and control systems.”

Mr. Stumpf’s attorney declined to comment on the SEC settlement.

Wells Fargo problems burst into public view in 2016 when the bank admitted that its employees had opened what could have been millions of fraudulent accounts on behalf of customers to meet the bank’s aggressive sales targets. The fallout has been significant and brought to light other deceptive acts in Wells Fargo’s mortgage and auto lending operations. The bank paid a succession of regulatory penalties, including a $1 billion fineand purged much of its senior leadership.

The bank paid $500 million in February to settle charges brought by the SEC against the bank for misleading investors. Friday’s charges are the first the agency has brought against individual Wells Fargo executives, although another regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, has loaded multiple frames, including Mr. Stumpf and Mrs. Tolstedt. As part of his settlement with the OCC, Mr. Stumpf had agreed to a lifetime ban from banking.

Wells Fargo still operates under a Federal Reserve restriction this limits its growth until regulators are satisfied that its conduct and internal controls have improved. “The time and resources that the management team devotes to this are extraordinary,” Charles W. Scharf, the bank’s current chief executive, told investors last month.

It also faces a new allegation that it still does not meet its regulatory requirements.

Kelly Halvorson, a Minnesota employee tasked with monitoring the activities of Wells Fargo’s commercial banking group for signs that criminals were trying to use the bank for illicit purposes, said in a lawsuit filed this week that her bosses put her on administrative leave after her presentation. evidence that Wells Fargo was not tracking the owners of some of its business bank accounts. The bank also failed to report certain activities to regulators, she said.

A Wells Fargo spokesperson declined to comment on Ms Halvorson’s claims.

Barely Half of JoCo Legislators Support Strong Public Schools, Says Rep. Holscher Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:08:06 +0000

Each legislative session, we provide an opportunity for Shawnee Mission area legislators to share their thoughts on what is happening in the state capitol. This week, we are due to receive updates from Rep. Cindy Holscher, Rep. Rui Xu, and Senator John Skubal. Rep. Holscher’s column is below.

Each year, upstairs in the house, Kansas Teacher of the Year recipients are recognized for their outstanding work. As a strong public school supporter, I normally take photos of the “ceremony” and post them on social media. But this year, I decided that I was not going to do that. Not because I don’t like and respect our teachers – in fact, quite the contrary because I hold our teachers in very high esteem. (In fact, making sure our schools were adequately funded and teachers were paid fairly was one of the main reasons I ran for office). Here’s the reason I skipped posting the photos this year: Almost every representative who attended the induction ceremony and presentation of these phenomenal teachers worked for DEFUND our public schools. It was as if these particular lawmakers were taking advantage of the situation for photo ops to show their “support” for our schools.

Throughout this legislative session, many of these hardline lawmakers have continued their work of funding public schools. As a local public school advocacy group recently posted, this is “good palooza” in Topeka. With names like “The Kansas Reading Readiness Act” or “The Kansas Student Improvement Act,” these bills (and at least two others in the House) seem harmless or perhaps even helpful to our students. However, they all have the same goal: to divert taxpayers’ money from public schools to the private sector, which is explicitly against our constitution. As our local school districts struggle to balance budgets and meet the needs of students as well as teachers and staff, we have legislators actively working to make things even harder for them.

On weekends, I often attend coffee shops or legislative meetings, even if I don’t participate in them. When talking about school funding, I’m often surprised by how many people have no idea how their state senator/representative votes. Others follow their elected officials more closely and find that sometimes their legislators seem to publicly indicate their support for schools in forums, but then operate differently in Topeka. Recently, a participant told me that she was really impressed with the answers given by her legislator, but that she knew they were only lip service because of the way this particular person votes in the Capitol.

In Johnson County, the area home to some of the best public schools in the nation, you’d expect nearly all of our lawmakers to do what they can to ensure the area’s “economic engine” is funded. adequately. But that’s just not the case. Looking at the endorsements and recommendations from education advocacy groups (Mainstream Coalition, Game On for Kansas Schools, Stand Up Blue Valley, Education First Shawnee Mission) of the most recent election, here’s what you’ll find:

  • There are a total of 9 senators who cover parts of Johnson County; of these 9, only 4 were endorsed or deemed “pro-education” by education advocacy groups in the 2016 election (a senator was just appointed, so there is no data on this individual)
  • There are a total of 25 state representatives who cover parts of Johnson County; of these, 13 were endorsed or deemed “pro-education” by education advocacy groups in the 2018 elections (state representatives serve two-year terms while senators from State have a four-year term)

So barely half are proponents of public education — and that’s in Johnson County — the area that’s deemed pro-public schools. Those of us who vote for our schools and our teachers are fighting a battle in Topeka to get and maintain adequate funding. At a time when there is so much work to do to rebuild our schools and our state, our focus ends up being directed towards stopping those who seem to want to destroy everything.

If you truly value teachers — and care about your children’s future — vote for candidates who support our schools through their Topeka votes, not photo ops. In addition to this, talk to your friends and neighbors about the importance of voting and being informed about the candidates. We’re all busy and don’t have time to research, so luckily much of the hard work is done for us through almost all of the nonpartisan public school advocacy organizations mentioned above. In the meantime, my sincere congratulations to our team of teachers of the year: Tabatha Rospray (Winfield), Kara Belew (Andover), Amy Hellman (Olathe), Shawn Hornung (Wamego), Stefanie Lane (Clay County), Julie Loevenstein (Basehor-Linwood), Lara McDonald (Auburn-Washburn) and Melissa Molteni (Shawnee Mission). As an additional way to honor you, I will continue to vote for our excellent public schools and for YOU and all of our dynamic teachers.

Extend, expand debt relief for poor countries, groups urge G20 | coronavirus pandemic Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:08:06 +0000

The International Chamber of Commerce and others say the coronavirus is dealing a worse than expected blow to the global economy.

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), a global trade union and civil society groups have urged the Group of 20 major economies to extend and expand the freeze on debt service payments to help not only the poorest countries , but also middle-income countries, to overcome the crisis. coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout.

The ICC, the International Trade Union Confederation, and Global Citizen, a group working to end extreme poverty by 2030, have also called on the finance ministers of the G20, who will meet online on July 18, to take additional measures to strengthen the participation of private creditors, who are slow to commit.

In an open letter to be published on Monday, the groups said further action was needed as the global economy faced an even deeper slowdown than expected in April, when the G20 and Paris Club of creditors announced a freezing of debt service payments for the world. 73 poorest countries until the end of the year.

Last week, top global finance officials said debt restructuring may be needed on a country-by-country basis to help heavily indebted countries hit hard by the outbreak.

So far, 41 countries have requested debt service relief under the G20’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), and the Paris Club has signed agreements with 20 countries ranging from Ivory Coast to Ethiopia and Pakistan.

But many countries not eligible for the moratorium are also at risk of debt distress given the shocks caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak, the group said.

They urged major economies to increase their contributions to enable the International Monetary Fund to continue providing debt service relief to its poorest members until April 2022, and to create similar instruments in regional banks of multilateral development.

They also backed a demand from debtor countries, which called for the creation of voluntary central credit facilities that would serve as senior debt instruments. These facilities would recover all interest and principal payments, with equal treatment of creditors in the form of proportional interest in the facility.

Toms Shoes creditors to take over business Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:08:05 +0000

Toms Shoes creditors have agreed to take over the casual shoe maker in exchange for debt restructuring, according to a letter from the company sent Friday to employees and people familiar with the matter.

Rating agencies had warned that Toms, who is known for his charitable donations, would not have been able to repay a $300 million loan due next year without renegotiating it with creditors. The Los Angeles-based company is struggling to keep pace with price-cutting competitors as the novelty of its “One for One” model of giving away a pair of shoes for every sale fades among consumers.

The group of creditors, led by Jefferies Financial Group, Nexus Capital Management and Brookfield Asset Management, will take over ownership of Toms from its founder Blake Mycoskie and private equity firm Bain Capital, according to the letter. In return, creditors will provide debt relief to the company, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss confidential arrangements.

Bain had acquired a 50% stake in Toms five years ago, valuing the company at $625 million, including debt. Mycoskie owned the rest. It is not yet clear whether Mycoskie will continue to play a role in the business given that he will no longer be the owner.

The new owners have agreed to invest $35 million in Toms to show their commitment and support its future growth, according to the letter.

“Combined with an improved capital structure, this funding will allow Toms to further invest in our promising growth areas and continue our commitment to giving, which has been initiated and supported by Bain Capital and Blake over the past five years.” , said Jim Alling, CEO of Toms. written in the letter to employees.

Toms was founded in 2006 by Mycoskie, a former contestant on American reality TV show ‘The Amazing Race’, after visiting a village in Argentina where children were short of shoes. Since then, it has donated nearly 100 million pairs of shoes to children, according to a statement released last month by the company.

Toms has expanded its gifting model beyond its casual shoes, known as alpargatas, to other retail categories. Toms Roasting Co, for example, donates a week’s worth of drinking water to someone in need for every bag of coffee purchased, while Toms Eyewear donates prescription glasses and medical care with every eyeglass purchase.

As the company continues to donate shoes, its charitable model has evolved. He now says he devotes a third of his net profits to a donation fund that finances a wide range of philanthropic and social causes.

Under Bain, Toms streamlined its supply chain and brought in Alling, a former chief operating officer of T-Mobile US, as CEO.

This strategy could reduce credit card payments. Few people use it Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:08:05 +0000

As lawmakers craft the next stimulus package, credit card borrowers in the red might consider another tool at their disposal: debt negotiation.

“If your income has been negatively affected, it’s more likely to take a hit to your credit score,” said Ted Rossman, credit card analyst at “One of the main recommendations is to ask for help.”

Credit card companies may offer borrowers a lifeline in the form of a hardship program – an assistance plan that may result in lower monthly payments, waiver of late fees or lower interest rates. lower interest for a while.

Learn more about personal finance:
Unemployment crisis hits major cities hard
Will there be a second $1,200 stimulus check?
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Yet few people use this aid, according to a recent survey. Only 5% of consumers surveyed by the site have turned to a hardship program offered by their credit card company.

The personal finance site surveyed 1,891 online credit cardholders from July 1 to July 6.

Borrowers have made significant progress on their credit card debt during the pandemic — buoyed by those $1,200 stimulus payments and the additional $600 in federal unemployment, Rossman said.

Revolving credit outstanding, which includes your credit card balances, has been declining on an annualized basis since the pandemic took hold.

Those revolving balances fell nearly 29% year-over-year in March, according to Federal Reserve data. They were down nearly 65% ​​in April and nearly 29% in May.

All of this progress could be reversed unless Congress rolls out another round of relief.

“We haven’t seen these delinquencies and defaults, and I think it’s these stimulus programs that have helped,” Rossman said. “A lot of it has run its course, and that’s the big risk going forward.”

Negociation power

Credit card assistance programs let you work with your lender to get your debt under control.

There are advantages and disadvantages to this.

For example, your card issuer might let yourself abstain and suspend your payments for a few months. The catch is that you will have to catch up on these payments and you may still have to pay interest on the balance.

You can also ask for a temporary drop in your interest rate while you get back on your feet. Remember that ththe rate will go up at the end of the period.

The current average interest rate on credit cards is 16.04%, according to

Ask questions before agreeing to a deal with your issuer, including whether there are any fees and what will happen if your financial situation is still in jeopardy at the end of the support period.

Find out what will happen to your payments once your relief ends: could that mean a big increase in interest? Or an increase in payments to make up for the ones you missed?

As with any other debt relief program, get the details in writing.

“You would think businesses would be less responsive,” Rossman said. “They’d rather get some of your money than nothing.”

A big band does an ‘impromptu’ performance in Washington Square Park Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:08:05 +0000

Eyal Vilner’s Big Band gave an unexpected concert in Washington Square Park. (Photo by Tequila Minsky)