Posts tagged with "economy"

Vaughn lowery illustrated by Allison Christensen for hair article

Know the Five Factors for Selecting a Forex Broker

When you get down to the business of choosing a forex broker, there’s a lot to think about. In fact, of the dozens of factors to consider, five stand out. They can make or break an informed person’s decision about what platform to choose for daily trading. Here are more details about each of the five criteria.

Reliability and Reputation

It’s true when you choose any product or service provider that the company’s reputation means a lot. So does its reliability, but reputation should come first on your research list. How do you learn about a forex brokerage’s reputation? Check out several of the top review sites and see what current and former customers think. You have to be a bit careful here because some of the sites are bogus. If you’re like most people, you already know of a few trusted places you can go for honest reviews. While reading through people’s comments, see what they have to say about reliability, namely the broker’s ability to execute trades on time and for the correct amount. Try to see what customers say about overall reliability and about specific topics like response to customer inquiries, resolution of problems that come up, and the amount of website downtime that occurs, if any.

Trading Conditions

The list of trading conditions that forex enthusiasts should look for include low or no minimum balances, comfortable trading leverage, low fees on transactions, and a lack of add-on charges and expenses. Why do you want and need these conditions? Because they allow you to do what you do without having to fork over a substantial sum of money. For instance, if transaction commissions are large, you’ll find yourself constantly struggling to make highly profitable trades just to eke out a minuscule profit. Unless you’re wildly successful, commissions can eat up your bottom line rather quickly. Minimum balances are not as bad, but who wants to sign on with a brokerage firm that requires a $1,000 account balance before you can begin buying and selling currency pairs? The answer is no one. 

Likewise, the best forex platforms will offer you a significant amount of leverage. That means your $50 investment might be able to control 20 or more times that amount on a given trade. Leverage is the most potent tool you have for making large profits on small investments. Before you sign on with a broker, make certain that you clearly understand how much leverage you’ll have from day one. And if the website isn’t upfront about the issue, email or call to find out.

Selection of Instruments

The term instruments in the world of investing refers to things like stocks, bonds, foreign exchange currency pairs, precious metals, options, futures, and more. Our focus is forex, so what we’ll be looking for is someone who allows us to choose from as many pairs as possible. At a minimum, you’ll want access to the majors, namely the following pairs: EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, AUD/USD, USD/CHF, NZD/USD, and USD/CAD. The vast majority of daily volume takes place in the majors. Plus, from an individual’s point of view, these pairs are ideal instruments because they’re very easy to research, are often in the news, and have the highest liquidity of all.

Trading Platforms

Find out what platforms will be available to you. Some of the newer forex brokers only offer one, and that’s an in-house version that might not be suitable for your style of doing business. The good news is that many have versatile offerings that include the classic, best-known platforms. This is a key consideration because without an adaptable, versatile way to buy and sell, you might find yourself stuck in a rut. It’s usually simple enough to investigate this point just by visiting the main website.

Resources for Traders

Look for a provider who has extensive research, charting, news, and other resources. This point is especially vital for newcomers. Earning a profit in the markets is all about being informed and having the freshest information possible. Foreign exchange, more than any other trading instrument, is highly dependent on world news and current economic trends. If your information source is delayed even by an hour, your chance for profiting on a deal will decrease considerably.

Other resources include things like simulators, on which you can practice with fictitious money as you learn all the ins and outs of the order-placement systems. It’s also wise to check into whether you’ll have access to educational webinars and tutorials on important topics. Some providers offer extensive training for newcomers in addition to use of a simulator.

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, Woman at Computer

What happens to the home and economy when women leave the workforce?

The pandemic-induced recession forced many women to drop out of the workforce, with research showing they were much more likely than men to give up jobs so they could take care of children when schools went online.

The consequences of these decisions may go beyond each individual, though. 

“They could have large repercussions for the economy, the home, and society as a whole, says Andi Simon (www.andisimon.com), a corporate anthropologist, founder of Simon Associates Management Consultants, and author of the upcoming book Rethink: Smashing the Myths of Women in Business.

Some ramifications of this 2020 exodus from the workforce for women could include:

  • A drop in consumer spending. When one spouse loses a job, whatever the reason might be, it means an immediate and sudden drop in income for that household. “The impact on household earnings will lead to reduced spending,” Simon says. “That will have ripple effects throughout the economy.”
  • An impact on women’s careers and advancement. Eventually, many of these women will no doubt go back to work, but how well they will be able to just pick up their careers where they left off could be another matter, Simon says. “Will they have lost ground in the line for promotions to men who didn’t take any time away from work?” she asks. “Also, depending on how slow the recovery is, rejoining the workforce might not be that quick and easy.”
  • A reduction in demand for family-related industries. When both spouses work outside the home, couples often need to make use of services that developed or grew because one adult – usually the woman – wasn’t around to take care of certain household duties. For households where a mother is now back in the home, that has changed. “They no longer need to pay someone for childcare services,” Simon says. “In addition, the need for house-cleaning services is likely to drop.”
  • Changes to retail markets. A woman who stays home with the kids has different needs than a woman who commutes to an office each day, and those differences could be reflected in the world of retail, Simon says. Just as an example, there could be a drop in demand for makeup. Sales of business attire for women may plummet – or at least take a hit as more casual, comfortable clothes become more important wardrobe necessities. Restaurants could continue to struggle as people eat out less and cook at home more.
  • Entrepreneurial urges could shift to home businesses. Some women could still keep their career mindsets and try to establish their own businesses run from their homes, Simons says. But she cautions that there are questions about just what those businesses might be since some potential areas – such as marketing, consulting, and business coaching – have seen a downshift in demand for their services. “That leaves you to wonder just how viable setting up a home business might be,” Simon says.

Despite all those concerns, some good can come out of this period as well for women who want a better life both personally and professionally, Simon says.

“If you’ve not been satisfied with your career and your life, this could be an opportunity to rethink and rewrite your personal story,” she says. “You need to imagine what you want to become, focus on how to make that possible, and then begin to take steps to make it happen.”

About Andi Simon

Andi Simon, Ph.D. (www.andisimon.com), author of the upcoming book Rethink: Smashing the Myths of Women in Business, is a corporate anthropologist and founder of Simon Associates Management Consultants (www.simonassociates.net). A trained practitioner in Blue Ocean Strategy®, Simon has conducted several hundred workshops and speeches on the topic as well as consulted with a wide range of clients across the globe. She also is the author of the award-winning book On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights. Simon has a successful podcast, On the Brink with Andi Simon, that has more than 125,000 monthly listeners, and is ranked among the top 20 Futurist podcasts and top 200 business podcasts. In addition, Global Advisory Experts named Simons’ firm the Corporate Anthropology Consultancy Firm of the Year in New York – 2020. She has been on Good Morning, America and Bloomberg, and is widely published in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Forbes, Business Week, Becker’s, and American Banker, among others. She has been a guest blogger for Forbes.com, Huffington Post, and Fierce Health.

Ethereum Accounted for 96% DeFi Transactions in Q3 2020

Ethereum Accounted for 96% DeFi Transactions in Q3 2020 as ETH Miner Fees Double Bitcoin’s

According to the research data analyzed and published by StockApps.com, Ethereum’s transaction volume soared to $119.5 billion in Q3 2020. In comparison to the $10.2 billion volume posted in Q2 2020, that was a 1,200% increase.

Based on Coinmetrics’ data, Ethereum fees shot up during the same period, eclipsing Bitcoin’s fees for the first time on August 13, 2020. As of September 2020, ETH fees stood at $276 million, nearly double Bitcoin’s $146 million.

Ethereum Miners Made $113 Million from Fees in August, 38x Increase from April

The surge in transaction volume and fees on the Ethereum blockchain was linked to the recent Decentralized Finance (DeFi) hype. DApp Radar reveals that during the period, DeFi apps accounted for 99% of all transactions on the network.

The total DApp transaction volumes on all platforms in Q3 2020 reached $125 billion. There was an increase of $113 billion quarter-over-quarter (QoQ). Most of the activities took place on Ethereum, TRON and EOS. From the total value created, Ethereum accounted for 96%. With 1,956 apps, it was the top DApp blockchain during the period.

Coinmetrics’ data reveals that Ethereum transaction fees surged from $21.98 million on June 1, 2020 to $77.77 million on July 31, 2020. In August, Ethereum miners made $113 million from transaction fees according to Glassnode. That marked a 38x increase from the $3 million recorded in April and a 1.8x increase from the January 2018 all-time high. In September, miners for the first time earned more from fees ($172M) than they did from block rewards ($150M).

According to Glassnode, Ethereum miners made a record on September 1, earning $500,000 in one hour. Daily earnings on that day doubled to $16.5 million from $8.1 million the previous day. On September 2, they made a new record with the average hourly revenue surging to $800,000. They broke this record on September 17, reaching $938,000.

The full story, statistics and information can be found here.

Global AI Spending to surge by 120% and hit $110bn by 2024

By Jastra Kranjec

Recent years have witnessed a swell in the adoption of artificial intelligence solutions, revolutionizing industries, and helping businesses boost growth. The rising volume and complexity of business data are set to continue driving AI adoption in the following years, causing a surge in global AI spending.

According to data presented by BuyShares.co.nz, global artificial intelligence spending is expected to surge by 120% and hit $110bn by 2024.

Global AI Spending Jumped 33% YoY, Despite COVID-19 Crisis

Businesses across the world use AI technology to be innovative and scalable. Using automation, deep learning, and natural language processing can improve their decision-making, efficiency, speed, and help predict trends.

In 2015, companies and organizations worldwide spent $5bn on implementing AI systems in their business, revealed the IDC 2020 Worldwide Artificial Intelligence Systems Spending Guide. In the next three years, this figure jumped five times to $25bn. Statistics show that 2019 witnessed a $37.5bn worth of investments into AI business solutions, a 650% jump in four years.

Increased investments in AI technology continued in 2020, with organizations expected to invest $50.1bn in AI systems, despite the COVID-19 crisis. The following years are set to witness remarkable growth in global AI spending, with the figure surging by almost 120% to $110bn by 2023. 

Automated customer service, sales process automation, automated threat intelligence and prevention, and IT automation were the leading use cases for AI in 2020, accounting for nearly a third of total AI spending this year. However, the IDC data show that automated human resources, IT automation and pharmaceutical research and discovery are the fastest-growing use cases.

Life Sciences and Retail Lead in Adoption of AI

The IDC data indicate the retail industry and the banking sector are expected to spend the most on AI solutions in 2020. The retail companies primarily focused their AI investments on improving customer experience via chatbots and recommendation engines. Banks are expected to keep investing in AI-driven fraud prevention and program advisors. Discrete manufacturing, process manufacturing, and healthcare round out the top five industries for AI spending this year.

The life sciences sector, including biotech, pharma and biomedical companies, has the most significant share of organizations that have adopted AI, revealed the Capgemini`s AI-Powered Enterprise survey.

Statistics show that 67% of organizations operating in this market adopted AI at scale, while another 33% launched AI pilots that are still undeployed in production. The retail industry ranked second, with 51% of companies utilizing artificial intelligence technology. The consumer products sector follows with a 44% share.

The Capgemini data show the automotive industry represents the fourth-leading sector, with 17% of companies successfully using AI in production. Another 49% of automotive companies have deployed a few use cases in production on a limited scale. The telecom industry follows, with a 14% and 57% share, respectively.

The full story can be read here: https://buyshares.co.nz/2020/10/20/global-artificial-intelligence-spending-to-surge-by-120-and-hit-110bn-by-2024/

Kaelen Felix illustrates Japanese flag for 360 Magazine

Japan’s Political Future Increasingly Murky

By Elle Grant

In a surprising turn of events, Japan’s current era of politics has come to an end following the sudden resignation of Shinzo Abe, the country’s longest serving prime minister. Abe attributes his step-down due to serious health issues related to colitis, a chronic intestinal disease

His departure leaves the highest-ranking political position in the third-largest economy in the world with an open seat. The scramble for who will replace Shinzo Abe has begun, and its importance cannot be understated.

The next prime minister of Japan inherits a host of serious issues including coronavirus relief response, a decreasing economy, an aging population, an increasingly aggressive China, the confusion of the Olympics, female rights, the complexities of potentially reintroducing militarization, a changing United States dynamic, and more. “It makes me wonder why anybody would want to be prime minister,” said Jeffrey Hornung, an analyst at the RAND Corporation.

In considering relations with the United States, Mr. Abe aspired towards a more independent Japan. His term can be considered a success in some regards, but whether that is attributed to Mr. Abe or to a United States shrinking from international engagement under President Trump is up for debate. Either way, Japan in recent years has worked to assert itself in Eastern politics, especially in comparison to potential rivals in South Kora and especially China. These efforts will become increasingly important as Japan navigates the highest public debt amongst advanced industrial economies at a staggering 251.91%

Despite all these issues, there is a host of men clamoring for the job. They include Fumio Kishida, a former foreign minister; Toshimitsu Motegi, the current foreign minister; Taro Kono, the current defense minister; Shigeru Ishiba and Tomomi Inada, both former defense ministers; and Seiko Noda, a member of the lower house of Parliament. Ms. Inada and Ms. Noda, both women, are the only female candidates attempting to throw their hat into the ring. However, Japanese politics remains male dominated and the likelihood of a female prime minister remains slim. Odds are in favor of Abe’s top aide, Yoshihide Suga replacing him.

Shinzo Abe’s successor will be voted on September 14th with a Liberal Democratic Party election, with the Diet (Japan’s national parliament) formally electing the winner two days later. The winner will the serve the rest of Abe’s term until September 2021 and after may choose to run for prime minister for their own term.

Cash and wallet illustration for 360 Magazine

The Business Comeback After COVID-19

Business Turnaround Expert Cites Keys to a COVID-19 Comeback

By Merilee Kern, MBA ‘The Luxe List’ Executive Editor

The September 11th attacks. The Great Recession. The COVID-19 pandemic.

All three of these seismic and tragic events have resulted in heartbreak to humanity, including loss of life and our emotional well-being – both individually and collectively. Of course, accompanying these global crises were monetary meltdowns reminiscent of the Great Depression that commenced in 1929 and lingered until the late 1930s.

After a “relatively” calm 70 years, the United States economy has suffered three devastating developments inside the last two decades, alone. There have been wars fought throughout the world and inflation escalations along the way, to be sure, but the start to the 21st century has suffered escalating and unusually concentrated economic calamities – some that have profoundly altered the very fabric of our lives, both personally and professionally.

Indeed, on the business front, such periods have been among the most – perhaps the unequivocal most – trying of times. Amid current circumstances as the coronavirus rages on around the globe, I recently connected with internationally-renowned business restructuring executive James “Jim” Martin, founder of ACM Capital Partners with offices in Charlotte, Denver and Miami. Having spent the last three decades leading international middle-market companies through periods of distress and transition to actualize stability and growth, Martin is uniquely well-positioned to share insights on how business can rally to best assure a “COVID comeback.” Here’s what he had to say.

MK: First, before addressing the current coronavirus situation, what can you tell us about how you’ve helped companies navigate previous “rough waters?”

JM: Relative to the September 11th attacks back in 2001, I’ll share a representative example of a strategic pivot that didn’t just help a company survive, but actually drove profit. After that horrendous event, I stepped in to assist a large aviation maintenance repair-and-overhaul facility whose revenue had been cut fully in half immediately following the attacks – the result of many carriers permanently parking older aircraft (including the 727 fleet). The sizable challenge presented was to maintain a 1000-person labor force while allowing the industry the necessary time to recover. To do so, we created a captive subcontracting company to which we transferred one-third of our labor force. During our troughs, we contracted this labor to our competitors and, during peak periods, we utilized this labor for ourselves. Thus, not only were we able to retain our skilled, well-oriented labor force during the recovery, but that very staff actually provided additional, supplemental profit. The end result was that we sold the business for $138 million, which provided our new investors with a 33 percent internal rate of return (IRR).

Less than a decade after 9/11, amid The Great Recession in 2008, I entered another industry that proved to be among the most brutalized by a global economic downturn: automotive supply. My client was a key supplier to the “Big 3” U.S. auto manufacturers.

At the start of 2008, the industry forecast was the production of 18 million vehicles in North America. Come summer, however, it was clear the automakers would not come near reaching that forecast due to the financial crisis. This did not come as a complete surprise to us, though, because – amid our firm’s protocols – we had had already fully immersed ourselves in our client’s industry and employed forecasting tools alerting us of trends … this one in the wrong direction. So, we were privy to the situation well before management and others within the industry. By late June 2008, we instituted cost-cutting maneuvers and furloughs that enabled the company to withstand the industry’s brutal second half of ’08 that would result in two of the “Big 3” automakers filing for Chapter 11. Despite the industry producing less than half – as much as eight million – of its original vehicle-production forecast, our client not only survived, but ultimately grew and prospered.

MK: Turning attentions to COVID-19, what do you feel is integral for businesses to survive and recover?

JM: For businesses to recover from the coronavirus shutdown, it’s going to take a two-pronged approach: both financial and human capital. Starting with the financial, it will be a “loan-ly” world for those not well-versed in the intricacies of SBA, PPP and other “economic disaster” lending. Consider how expeditiously those programs were rolled out. Then consider how even more quickly they were scooped up. Did anyone really read those loan documents in full, or even halfway through, initially – or even to this day?

My guess is at least half of the companies receiving COVID-related loans took a very “CliffsNotes” approach to these agreements. The result is there’s a solid chance funds were used incorrectly, which is going to make a lot of the loans, shall we say, less “forgivable.” For example, if your company’s payroll roster is shorter today than it was pre-virus, the portion of the loans forgiven is likely to be less.

And while your mind may rush to claiming ignorance and throwing yourself upon the mercy of the government to which you already pay taxes, realize that third-party capital is likely to participate in this market through securitization. This means that thousands of SBA loans could be bought, then packaged to be sold to the secondary market, at a discounted rate, no less. If this happens, understand that the purchasers will have the full intention of holding their borrowers (i.e. small business owners) to paying back 100 cents on the dollar.

So, those companies who received loans and are required, but unable, to pay them back in full may be exposed to either foreclosure or, worse, a “loan to own” scenario. In other words, much like the agreement that comes with your big-tech user agreements, like those prompting users to “click agree,” the fine print matters.

What this means to recovery is that, once again, cash is king: gather it, preserve it, cease lines of credit, liquidate what you can, negotiate costs down with suppliers. If you’re struggling to pay you suppliers, you can look into purchase order financing options in order to improve your cash flow. And if your company had a healthy bottom line pre-COVID, than a professional familiar with these trenches can help you look to refinance or bring in equity.

With all of that said, the key to a COVID-19 recovery is going to be adhering to the rules of a lender’s road, as well as the ability to navigate the red tape when you veer off that road. If you have read all the fine print and properly managed your loan, congratulations! You’ve acquired some really cheap capital. For those who didn’t do their research, however, this road to recovery likely will need some paving.

MK: What about the human capital you mentioned?

JM: Yes, and then we arrive at the human capital. Lots of companies today are excessively top-heavy. Remember the part about removing emotions from this process? Companies that quickly recognize cuts need to be made will be better positioned to recover than those who dawdle. Again, compiling and preserving cash is going to best position a business for recovery.

This is an instance where it’s especially beneficial to know when to pull triggers (best if earlier than others) and to make decisions that are not based on emotions—a tall order for many CEOs, which is why many turn to turnaround experts. However it’s undertaken, what’s certain is that reducing human capital is painful, but it is also often necessary and almost always beneficial.

The upside is that, when the virus no longer exits, businesses can already be well-positioned for a fairly quick recovery. Maybe not v-shaped sans a vaccine, but quick relatively speaking due to the downturn having been so specific to one singular causing factor.

MK: Tell us a bit about your role as – and general value of – a turnaround expert when turmoil strikes a business.

JM: During times of difficulty, owners and executives can greatly benefit from specialized knowledge that’ll help them best navigate those unchartered waters that are often entangled in a lot of red tape. So, turnaround experts bring to the table a litany of tried-and-true “been there, weathered that” experience and expertise. There’s simply no substitute for engaging with a partner whose entire mandate is ensuring your company’s survival and success during some of the most grim and challenging times it might experience – those professionals who are willing to spend sleepless nights figuring out how to ensure the company meets payroll; who’ll work around the clock to keep the company’s doors open; and who can tackle challenges without being hindered by emotions that understandably weigh on a business owner or manager. It takes this kind of specialized expertise, experience and grit to lead companies through periods of distress and transition, to stability and growth.

No stranger to corporate chaos, during Martin’s own three decades as a globally-regarded turnaround expert, he has reportedly created and restored nearly $1.5 billion in value to lower middle-market companies; raised an additional $1 billion in capital; and managed mergers and acquisitions in excess of $500 million – all collectively representing his company restructuring portfolio valuation in excess of $3 billion.

Today, as the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on business operations far and wide, take heed that there are various key strategic and creative tactics that can help businesses not only weather the storm, but even emerge stronger and more financially secure on the other side.

About Merilee Kern:

Forbes Business Council Member Merilee Kern, MBA is an internationally-regarded brand analyst, strategist and futurist who reports on noteworthy industry change makers, movers, shakers and innovators across all categories, both B2C and B2B. This includes field experts and thought leaders, brands, products, services, destinations and events. Merilee is Founder, Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List” as well as Host of the nationally-syndicated “Savvy Living” TV show. As a prolific consumer and business trends, lifestyle and leisure industry voice of authority and tastemaker, she keeps her finger on the pulse of the marketplace in search of new and innovative must-haves and exemplary experiences at all price points, from the affordable to the extreme. Her work reaches multi-millions worldwide via broadcast TV (her own shows and copious others on which she appears) as well as a myriad of print and online publications. You can connect with Merilee at www.TheLuxeList.com and www.SavvyLiving.tv

Follow Merilee Kern:  Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIN

Dentistry illustration for 360 MAGAZINE by Rita Azar

Doug Disraeli, D.D.S. Engages Local Economy

With the dental industry accounting for roughly two million jobs and contributing over $200 billion to the national economy annually, Doug Disraeli D.D.S. has proudly kept all seven staff members as part of the team throughout 2020, without interruption, while also complying with all new local, county, state, and federal guidelines.

As part of the Hillcrest, San Diego community for over 35 years, “Dr. D.,” as his patients affectionately call him, is among the practicing dentists estimated by the Journal of American Dental Association to positively impact his local economy.

Says Disraeli, “Our community is everything. I am deeply committed to San Diego where I’ve lived my whole life. I know that our community engagement is even more important now and I’m honored to be a small business that supports our local economy and community members.”

Since 2020 began, in addition to employing seven local team members, the office of Doug Disraeli D.D.S. regularly supports and collaborates with local businesses and contributed to four local Hillcrest, San Diego nonprofits related to LGBTQIA+, homelessness, COVID response and veterans.

ABOUT DR. DOUG DISRAELI: Dr. Disraeli is a general and cosmetic dentist with a degree from the University of Southern California, one of the top dental schools in the world. In practice for over 35 years, he participates throughout the United States in continuing education dentistry courses and is a member of the American Dental Association, the California Dental Association, the San Diego County Dental Society, the Academy of General Dentistry, the Pacific Academy of Aesthetic Dentistry and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentists. Since 2008 and every year since, Dr. Disraeli has been awarded, “Top San Diego Dentist”, as voted by other dental professionals in San Diego County.

FOLLOW DR. DISRAELI: News

ABOUT DOUG DISRAELI, D.D.S. DENTAL PRACTICE: Offering cosmetic dentistry, implant, restorative and general dentistry throughout San Diego, Doug Disraeli, D.D.S. is committed to providing its patients with comfortable, efficient and comprehensive dental care. Procedures offered include teeth whitening, bonding, veneers, cosmetic fillings, removable partial dentures, extractions, periodontics. Doug Disraeli, D.D.S. is located in the Uptown San Diego, Hillcrest community at 3645 Fourth Avenue.

FOLLOW DR. DISRAELI, D.D.S. DENTAL PRACTICE: Website | Facebook | Instagram

Graph illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Economic Devastation From Uncoordinated Reopenings

New, peer-reviewed research published today by the Social Analytics Lab at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows the devastating cost of the current chaotic and uncoordinated reopening of states and cities across the US. The study, which used data from mobile phones, network connections through social media and census data, estimates that total welfare is reduced dramatically when reopening is not coordinated among states and regions.

The study showed, for example, that the contact patterns of people in a given region are significantly influenced by the policies and behaviors of people in other, sometimes distant regions. In one finding, it showed that when just one third of a state’s social and geographic peer states adopt shelter in place policies, it creates a reduction in mobility equal to the state’s own policy decisions. When states fail to coordinate in the presence of spillovers as large as those detected in the analyses, total welfare is reduced by almost 70 percent. 

As federal, state and local governments continue opening businesses and relaxing shelter-in-place orders nationwide, policymakers are doing so without quantitative evidence on how policies in one region affect mobility and social distancing in other regions. And while some states are coordinating on COVID policy at the level of “mega regions,” most, unfortunately are not. This lack of coordination will have devastating effects on efforts to control COVID-19, according to the study.

“There have been many calls for a coordinated national pandemic response in the U.S. and around the world, but little hard evidence has quantified this need,” said Sinan Aral, Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy and a corresponding author of the study. “When we analyzed the data, we were shocked by the degree to which state policies affected outcomes in other states, sometimes at great distances. Travel and social influence over digital media make this pandemic much more interdependent than we originally thought.” “Our results suggest an immediate need for a nationally coordinated policy across states, regions and nations around the world,” he added.

Governors from all states and territories will convene virtually for the Summer meeting of The National Governor’s Association on August 5. The MIT study not only assesses the impact of an uncoordinated reopening, but also gives governors a map with which to coordinate in the absence of national guidance. The research shows for all fifty states, which states affect each other the most and thus maps the states that should be coordinating. These maps are sometimes surprising because, as a result of digital social media, each state’s success with social distancing is impacted by the policy decisions not just of geographically proximate states, but also of socially connected, but geographically distant states. For instance, Florida’s social distancing was most affected by New York implementing a shelter-in-place policy due to social media influence and travel between the states, despite their physical distance. New Hampshire had a strong influence on adjacent Massachusetts, despite being a small state.

As the Governor’s Association convenes, this research highlights the need for states across the country to coordinate, even if they are not near one another and the results suggest which states should be coordinating with which other states based on the strength of the spillovers between them.

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Basketball illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Projected NBA Revenue 

Data gathered by Safe Betting Sites shows that the NBA sponsorship revenue over the past decade amounts to about $9.24 billion. According to the data, the revenue is projected to grow by 159.33% between 2010 and 2020. 

Sponsorship revenue to peak during 2019/20 season. The revenue will be highest during the current 2019/20 season at $1.39 billion while during the 2009/10 season the revenue stood at $536 million. 

The revenue surpassed the one billion mark during the 2017/18 season when it stood at $1.12 billion and later grew by 15.89% to 1.29 billion in the 2018/19 season. 

From the data, the biggest growth was between the 2016/17 and 2017/18 season with a percentage increase of 30.08%. 

The coronavirus pandemic might impact the current season’s sponsorship revenue. According to our research report: “It is important to note that the NBA’s unprecedented move to suspend its season early this year due to the coronavirus had an immense cost as the league’s clubs collectively lost millions in game-day revenue for games canceled. This move might significantly impact the 2020 figures. However, the league is expected to resume later this month.”

Our research also overviewed sports sponsorship spending in the United States from 2014 to 2024. By 2024, the spending will grow to $19.8 billion, an increase of 27.74% from the estimated 2020’s figure of $15.5 billion.

By next year, the spending will stand at about $16.4 billion, which will later increase by  6.09% to $17.4 billion by 2022. In 2023, the spending is projected to stand at $18.5 billion.  Between 2014 and this year, the sponsorship has grown by 28.09%. From the data, the lowest spending was registered six years ago at $12.1 billion.

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Syria illustration

Lebanese Crisis: How it Happened

By Rita Azar

Lebanon today can be summed up to bread lines, a devalued currency, no clear system for clean water, and a garbage crisis. To understand how the country that was called “Paris of the East” for nearly 40 years in the 20th century has now became widely known as a failed state, one must understand how post-civil war Lebanon was built.

During the 1990’s through the early 2000’s the countries leaders notably Rafic el Hariri stared privatizing previously government owned facilities for his own companies. These leaders did this by creating systems that were made to fail by being a burden on the state. Where this proved successful for politicians was when Rafic el Hariri privatized Lebanon’s internet department. In other words, Hariri made the internet department his own company, free of the state, named “Ogero.” With “Ogero,” politicians would be able to buy failed government facilities for cheap and benefit financially whilst the country only would soon after claim debt.

Of course, not all of these government facilities were privatized and stolen. Due to opposition forces that came after the Syrian withdrawal of 2005, the states had some protection to protect their assets from being stolen. These facilities include: the electricity sector, which only provides 8 hours of electricity daily and costs the government billions of dollars in yearly debt, and the Ministry of Water and Environment, which, despite also costing the government billions in debt, is unable to supple citizens with clean water. Despite all of these characteristics of a failed state, Lebanon has been able to survive with generous amounts of foreign aid. But now, due to the more recent politicians, Lebanon has been stripped of its American and Saudi financial aid. Some of these politicians include the new prime minister, Hassan Diab, and leader of the largest political bloc fpm, Gebran Bassil, and the president, Michel Aoun. All this has led to complete economic collapse.

This economic collapse caused the currency being inflated and around half of Lebanese citizens being under the poverty line. This collapse hasn’t been unfelt by the Lebanese people. Senior citizens have seen their savings destroyed. Young adults, adults, and older adults have all came up with one solution, the solution being emigration.

An important fact to consider is that more than 15 million Lebanese that live outside and only 5 million inside the country, so immigration is nothing new, but the fact that millions of young Lebanese people will leave their country, their home, their families and their friends is not being celebrated or ignored. As the economy crumbles in the once celebrated city, Lebanon’s fate is more blurry than ever.

More sources about the Lebanon Crisis:

NC state University- “Why Did They Leave”

Al Jazeera- “Plotting Our Escape”

Al Jazeera- Who is the One to blame for Lebanon’s crisis

Annahar- Lebanon crisis brings mixed legacy for central bank governor

BBC- Lebanon protests escalate as currency dives

CNN- Michele Aoun’s presidency ends 29-month leadership vacuum in
Lebanon