Gran Logia Costa Rica Wed, 21 Sep 2022 23:41:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Gran Logia Costa Rica 32 32 How climate change is catalyzing more migration in Central America Wed, 21 Sep 2022 16:57:48 +0000

The northern part of Central America – Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – is the other major source of migrants seeking opportunity and safety in the United States. Like Mexicans, they have long sought employment in the United States, although over the past decade an increasing number of people are traveling as families, and not just as single working-age men. The impending catastrophe of climate change is now exacerbating the region’s chronic struggles with poverty and insecurity.

USIP’s Mary Speck spoke with Sarah Bermeo, Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University, about how natural disasters interact with and intensify other root causes of migration in Central America.

Speck: How does climate change increase the pressure to emigrate from Central America? And which communities are most impacted?

Bermeo: Climate change is affecting migration from Central America in two main ways: increased storm intensity and changes in precipitation patterns that have negatively affected agricultural production. Two Category 4 hurricanes, Eta and Iota – among the strongest storms to ever hit the region – made landfall in November 2020, a year the International Red Cross estimates disasters displaced at least 1.5 million of Central Americans. Many houses and crops have been destroyed and food insecurity has increased sharply. Almost two years later, many families have not been able to return to normal. Climate change is leading to warming oceans, which means high-intensity storms are likely to become more frequent.

Central American farmers have experienced multiple droughts since 2014, causing crop losses of 70% or more in some harvests and often affecting consecutive growing seasons. There were also occasional periods of intense rains which inflicted severe crop damage. When crops fail, subsistence farmers cannot grow the food they need to feed their families, and those who farm for a living lose their livelihoods. Changes in precipitation patterns, including prolonged dry spells and periods of intense rainfall, will continue as the impacts of climate change intensify.

Storms and crop failures pushed already poor families even further into poverty. Droughts were likely a key factor in the sharp increase in family migration from Honduras and Guatemala to the United States in 2018 and 2019. Many of those who arrived in the United States during this period came from rural areas, including the highlands of Guatemala where indigenous communities make up a large part of the population. They left their farms because they could no longer feed their families if they stayed.

Dot: you have written that “the negative impacts of climate and violence are mutually reinforcing, increasing external migration”. Can you explain the relationship between rural food insecurity, urban violence and external migration?

Bermeo: Globally, most climate-related migration occurs within countries: people who can no longer support themselves at home migrate to a new home in their own country. In northern Central America, that’s not what we see. People displaced by climate change, often facing severe food insecurity, are resettling in southern Costa Rica or northern Mexico, Canada and the United States.

This appears to result from the lack of viable internal migration options. Gangs control many urban neighborhoods, making it difficult for people to move around. Homicide, gang recruitment, and extortion rates are high in urban areas, and criminals generally operate with impunity. When farmers are displaced by storms or can no longer produce enough to meet their basic needs, they must find new places to live. If they do not find suitable places internally, they will migrate abroad. Climate change forces people to leave their homes, then high levels of violence force them to leave their countries. These migrants then mingle with other migrants – those fleeing violence or seeking better economic opportunities – to create flows of migrants who leave for a variety of reasons that are not easy to disentangle.

Speck: Some studies show that households with more resources are more likely to leave, given the high cost of emigration. According to a investigation published by MIT academics in 2021 Central Americans spend $2.2 billion a year trying to migrate and hiring a smuggler to enter the US costs about $7,500, more than double the average per capita income in northern Central America. Is foreign aid likely to increase incomes and thus further stimulate emigration?

Bermeo: To understand the link between income and migration in a given situation, it is important to examine the underlying drivers of migration. When households or individuals save to migrate, it is likely that increasing their income (including through foreign aid) could help them achieve this result more quickly.

Those who migrate because of climate-related impacts are not in this situation. They migrate because their incomes and assets are diminishing. In some cases, families affected by climate change may decide to sell their few assets to finance migration rather than selling them to buy agricultural inputs or to meet their immediate needs. They are at a tipping point: migrate today or perhaps lose the financial ability to afford the migration. In many of these cases, people would prefer to stay, but they no longer have the option.

Foreign aid can reduce migration if it improves Central Americans’ expectations that they can support themselves without leaving their homes. At some point, there were people who could afford to migrate but chose not to. Climate-related shocks may cause them to reconsider this decision and leave. The sheer scale of the migration suggests that foreign aid is unlikely to make it worse: more than seven percent of the total population in some departments of Honduras and Guatemala have come to the US border traveling in family units in recent years. The total number of emigrants is even higher, as some do not arrive in the United States. These families travel with children in extremely harsh and dangerous conditions. Many would choose to avoid this trip if they had any hope of lasting results at home.

Speck: Central America suffers not only from poverty and violence, but also from weak governance. Surveys show that support for democratic institutions has declined over the past decade while perceptions of corruption are high. Given weak government institutions, how and where should the United States channel aid to increase the region’s resilience to climate change?

Bermeo: El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras score poorly on measures of corruption; in recent years it seems to be going in the wrong direction, with governments refusing to cooperate with international bodies that had been set up to help fight corruption. My strong recommendation would be that aid agencies consider channeling more of their aid directly to local groups, bypassing both country governments and international for-profit organizations.

Working directly with local groups achieves several goals. Local people understand both the needs of their communities and the challenges of implementation. The elimination of for-profit “intermediary” organizations allows a greater proportion of funding to be used directly for programming.

There is another consideration that is rarely discussed by foreign aid decision-makers: working directly with local communities helps build government capacity from scratch. In countries where corruption is high, governments are likely to view foreign aid “governance” programs with skepticism. When local people come together to make decisions and implement programs, they build community and leaders emerge even without programs that specifically target governance.

Speck: Are there any encouraging trends in the region? Or examples of local adaptations to climate change that show signs of providing the kind of hope for the future that might lessen the pressure to migrate?

Bermeo: There are promising opportunities for climate adaptation in the region, particularly in the area of ​​agriculture and smallholder farmers. The Water Smart Agriculture project that Catholic Relief Services piloted in the region is showing impressive initial results. Farmers receive information about soil quality and farming techniques so they can make decisions about their own farms that make them more resilient to climate change. The project encourages farmers to participate in all stages of the program and train other farmers.

Other promising techniques include early warning systems that allow farmers to adapt their crops or farming techniques to changing weather conditions. We have the data, but communicating it broadly and in real time remains a challenge. Building resilience to storms and improving disaster response capacity are also essential, but more challenging given the need for competent governance to implement them at scale.

Even with adaptations, climate change is likely to render some areas unviable. Displaced people will always need safer destinations within the country and legal pathways for external migration. Destination communities will need resources to manage the increased demand for services such as health care and education, and to alleviate short-term pressures on housing and infrastructure. Research shows that migrants become productive members of their new communities, contributing to the economy and paying taxes that help support government provision of infrastructure and services. Over time, these benefits are significant, but in the short term the adjustment costs are real and can be daunting for destinations receiving large numbers of migrants over a short period.

Central America’s relatively young population can make important economic contributions at home and abroad, but they need help to overcome the devastating effects of climate change. This will require a multi-pronged approach in the United States and Central America: locally-led adaptation, investment in resilient infrastructure, safer Central American cities to welcome migrants into the country, and access to legal migration pathways abroad. ‘foreign.

The Ministry of Agriculture will create seed banks Wed, 21 Sep 2022 05:15:36 +0000

Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Pearnel Charles Jr (left) answers questions from reporters during Monday’s Jamaica Observer exchange at the newspaper’s corporate headquarters on Beechwood Avenue in the corporate area, while as the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Chief Technical Director Orville Powell is watching on. (Photo Naphtali Junior)

With With the cost of imported farm inputs contributing to concerns over Jamaica’s food security, safety and sustainability, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Pearnel Charles Jr revealed plans are in place to set up banks seed and develop local fertilizer and animal feed assets.

Charles Jr, who was addressing editors and reporters at the Jamaica Observers Monday Exchange at the newspaper’s Beechwood Avenue headquarters this week, made the revelation while outlining his department’s “Eat Smart, Grow Smart” strategy, which aims to mitigate the impacts of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Russian-Ukrainian war and climate change on agricultural value and supply chains.

“To grow smart, you have to focus on research and development. So we’re talking about soil fertility, we’re looking at balancing the pH of water, we’re looking at exploring clean seeds, we’re looking for a seed bank – not just seed storage [but] seed bank, which is a whole different discussion,” he pointed out.

“We’re talking about an area where you have consistent modern mechanized vaults to protect your seed, and we’re looking to be that hub for the Caribbean,” the minister continued.

Charles Jr said the ministry is also exploring germplasm as part of its drive to integrate the science and technology needed for agriculture, “so we’re not just talking about climate-smart agriculture, innovation and technology, but that we are able to represent it as a country and establish it in our results.”

Given Jamaica’s vulnerability to climate change as a small island developing state, he said there was a need to build a resilient sector by introducing new methods and reintroducing traditional ones.

The agriculture minister had shared similar plans in his contribution to the 2022 sectoral presentations to Parliament in May. At the time, he pointed out that the development of the country’s germplasm and seed banks provides short, medium and long-term solutions and can improve Jamaica’s local production capacity.

The development of a seed bank also aligns with the strategies outlined in Jamaica’s Agriculture Sector Plan for Vision 2030.

Charles Jr, however, noted that the move comes against the backdrop that one of the highest costs of agricultural production is agricultural inputs.

Recently, during a Jamaica Observer Business ForumJamaica Chamber of Commerce President Ian Neita questioned the country’s ability to achieve food security when inputs including seeds, fertilizers and animal feed are imported.

Commenting on the cost of inputs, Charles noted, “I want you to understand how important it is [that] the highest costs in terms of final cost transfer to consumers are feed and fertilizer. So when food and fertilizer increase, you feel it the most.

“That’s why we are very deliberately focusing our research efforts on defining ways to add more local actives to our fertilizers and feeds,” the Minister added.

An example of increasing the country’s local feed asset is having the right grass to feed ruminants, which can increase the quality and quantity of animal by-products.

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Chief Technical Director Orville Powell noted that for a long time animal protein was one of the most expensive in the region due to the cost of feed. To rectify this, he said the ministry, through Bodles Agricultural Research Station, has identified and is now deploying new species of grasses for ruminants.

“So if you can produce this material more cheaply, that means your end product for consumers will be lower. So we’re using Mombasa grass as a way to reduce the cost of protein for our consumers going through ruminants.” , he explained, adding that by next weekend, the ministry will have completed the cultivation of 75 acres of Mombasa and Pangola grass.

Along the same lines, Minister Charles pointed out that research at Earth University in San Jose, Costa Rica has reaffirmed the approach taken by the Bodles Agricultural Research Station to determine the best grass and how to grow it in Jamaica.

“It’s about improving efficiency. The simple difference in grass texture and digestibility can make a huge difference in the growth of your goat or cow. So all of those things are the intricate details that surround you.

A seed bank.

Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Pearl Charles Jr announced plans to develop local fertilizer assets.

Exclusive US Treasury official criticizes China’s ‘unconventional’ debt practices Tue, 20 Sep 2022 13:08:04 +0000

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top adviser to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will warn on Tuesday that China’s slowdown in debt relief could weigh on dozens of low- and middle-income countries with years of debt service problems, weaker growth and underinvestment.

Yellen adviser Brent Neiman plans to criticize China’s ‘unconventional’ debt practices and failure to move forward with debt relief at an event at the Peterson Institute for International Economics , according to a text of his prepared remarks obtained by Reuters.

“China’s enormous scale as a lender means its participation is essential,” Neiman said in his speech, citing estimates that China has $500 billion to $1 trillion in official loans outstanding, mostly to low- and middle-income countries.

Many of these countries are facing debt distress after borrowing heavily to combat COVID-19 and its economic fallout. Today, Russia’s war in Ukraine has pushed up food and energy prices, while rising interest rates in advanced economies have triggered the largest net capital outflows from emerging markets. since the global financial crisis, Neiman said.

He said a systemic debt crisis had not materialized, but economic tensions and national vulnerabilities were growing and could worsen.

China has a unique responsibility on debt issues as it is the world’s largest bilateral creditor, with claims exceeding those of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and all official Paris Club creditors combined, said China. Neiman said.

Neiman’s criticism of China’s debt practices marks the latest salvo from Western officials and World Bank and International Monetary Fund leaders, who have grown weary of delays and broken promises from China and private lenders .

As many as 44 countries each owed debt equivalent to more than 10% of their gross domestic product to Chinese lenders, but Beijing consistently failed to write off debts when countries needed help, Neiman said.

Instead, China chose to lengthen maturities or grace periods, and in some cases, like Congo’s in 2018, even ended up increasing the net worth of its loans.

Neiman said China’s lack of transparency and frequent use of non-disclosure agreements complicated coordinated debt restructuring efforts and meant that debts to China were “systematically excluded” from multilateral surveillance.

Beijing signed the Common Framework for Debt Treatment agreed by the Group of 20 major economies and the Paris Club at the end of 2020, but it delayed the formation of creditors’ committees for Chad and Ethiopia, two of the three countries who had requested assistance under the framework.

In July, he said he and other official creditors would provide debt treatment for the third, Zambia, but delays have prolonged uncertainty and could discourage other countries from seeking help, he said. Neiman.

All three cases need to be resolved quickly, he said, adding that some middle-income countries like Sri Lanka also needed urgent debt restructuring.

Neiman warned that IMF financing should not be used by countries to repay certain creditors, and called for more transparent reporting and tracking of financing assurances.

He noted that China had engaged in “unconventional” practices that had allowed the IMF to move forward without obtaining the standard funding assurances.

He cited China’s past actions on Ecuador’s debt in 2020 and its refusal to restructure its debt servicing of Argentina, even though Paris Club creditors were likely to do so.

“In many of these cases, China is not the only creditor impeding the rapid and effective implementation of the typical playbook (debt restructuring). But in the international lending landscape, the lack of participation from China to coordinated debt relief is the most common and the most consequential.”

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

Bank of Hawaii Co. (NYSE:BOH) Interest Update Mon, 19 Sep 2022 21:46:54 +0000

Bank of Hawaii Co. (NYSE: BOH – Get a rating) was the target of strong short-term interest growth in August. As of August 31, there was short interest totaling 2,050,000 shares, a growth of 10.8% from the total of 1,850,000 shares as of August 15. Based on an average daily trading volume of 168,000 shares, the short interest ratio is currently 12.2 days. Currently, 5.2% of the stock’s shares are sold short.

Insiders place their bets

In related news, CEO Peter S.Ho sold 5,500 shares of Bank of Hawaii in a trade dated Wednesday, August 10. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.67, for a total transaction of $449,185.00. Following completion of the transaction, the CEO now directly owns 239,181 shares of the company, valued at approximately $19,533,912.27. The transaction was disclosed in an SEC filing, which is available via the SEC website. Company insiders hold 2.06% of the company’s shares.

Institutional entries and exits

Major investors have recently changed their stake in the company. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its position in Bank of Hawaii by 39.8% during the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,167,240 shares of the bank worth $161,242,000 after purchasing an additional 617,432 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in Bank of Hawaii shares by 10.9% in the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,777,119 shares of the bank valued at $149,136,000 after acquiring an additional 174,889 shares in the last quarter. Grandeur Peak Global Advisors LLC increased its stake in Bank of Hawaii shares by 175.2% in Q1. Grandeur Peak Global Advisors LLC now owns 191,968 shares of the bank valued at $16,110,000 after acquiring an additional 122,215 shares in the last quarter. Country Club Bank GFN bought a new stake in shares of Bank of Hawaii in Q1 worth $10,039,000. Finally, Northern Trust Corp increased its stake in Bank of Hawaii shares by 25.8% in the 1st quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 447,658 shares of the bank valued at $37,568,000 after acquiring 91,791 additional shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors hold 74.84% of the company’s shares.

Bank of Hawaii trades up 1.4%

BOH traded $1.13 on Monday, reaching $80.50. 143,208 shares of the company were traded, against an average volume of 188,264. Bank of Hawaii has a one-year low of $70.89 and a one-year high of $92.38. The company has a fifty-day simple moving average of $79.07 and a two-hundred-day simple moving average of $78.71. The company has a market capitalization of $3.23 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.95, a price-to-earnings growth ratio of 1.76 and a beta of 1.10. The company has a quick ratio of 0.64, a current ratio of 0.64 and a debt ratio of 0.01.

Bank of Hawaii (NYSE: BOH – Get a rating) last reported quarterly earnings data on Monday, July 25. The bank reported earnings per share of $1.38 for the quarter, beating consensus analyst estimates of $1.35 by $0.03. Bank of Hawaii had a net margin of 33.63% and a return on equity of 17.98%. In the same quarter last year, the company posted earnings per share of $1.68. As a group, equity research analysts expect Bank of Hawaii to post earnings per share of 5.64 for the current year.

Bank of Hawaii announces dividend

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15. Shareholders of record on Wednesday August 31 received a dividend of $0.70. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, August 30. This represents an annualized dividend of $2.80 and a dividend yield of 3.48%. Bank of Hawaii’s dividend payout ratio is currently 48.53%.

Analyst upgrades and downgrades

A number of stock analysts have recently commented on the stock. Jefferies Financial Group lowered its price target on Bank of Hawaii shares from $87.00 to $79.00 in a Monday, July 11 research note. downgraded Bank of Hawaii shares from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 13.

Bank of Hawaii Corporate Profile

(Get a rating)

Bank of Hawaii Corporation operates as a bank holding company for Bank of Hawaii which provides various financial products and services in Hawaii, Guam and other Pacific Islands. It operates in three segments: Consumer Banking, Commercial Banking and Treasury and Others. The Consumer Banking segment offers checking, savings and term deposit accounts; residential mortgages, home equity lines of credit, auto loans and leases, personal lines of credit, installment loans, small business loans and leases, and credit cards; banking, investment, credit and trust services to individuals and families, and high net worth individuals; investment management; institutional investment advisory services to corporations, government entities and foundations; and brokerage offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, life insurance and annuity products.

See also

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Ecuador joins the World Economic Forum in the fight against plastic pollution Mon, 19 Sep 2022 17:53:00 +0000


  • Ecuador joins the World Economic Forum’s Global Plastics Action Partnership to propose national solutions for a circular plastics economy
  • Ecuador is the first Latin American country to join the partnership

Impact Meetings Ecuador has announced its decision to join a committed group of partner countries of the Global Plastic Action Partnership. The GPAP is a multi-stakeholder platform dedicated to translating commitments to reduce pollution and plastic waste into concrete actions. It aims to shape a more sustainable and inclusive world through the eradication of plastic pollution.

Ecuador’s association comes at a crucial time, just before the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) begins work in November to assess countries’ ambitions for a plastic pollution treaty. The 11 representatives of the INC office, including Ecuador’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Luis Vayas, will meet in Uruguay to begin negotiating a legally binding treaty.

“The Galapagos Islands remind us of a universal responsibility towards biodiversity and nature. We are delighted to see Ecuador’s leadership and look forward to our collaboration as we tackle this key global issue together,” said Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum.

“The Global Partnership for Plastics Action is pleased to support cross-government efforts and multi-stakeholder action in Ecuador at a pivotal time for the global plastic pollution agenda. With the amount of plastic waste produced globally poised to nearly triple by 2060, countries are taking increasingly action-oriented steps to tackle the problem,” said Kristin Hughes, director of the Global Plastics Action Partnership.

In line with its environmental leadership and cross-cutting policy of ecological transition, Ecuador will work with GPAP and other strategic allies to launch a national partnership to strengthen the country’s efforts to combat plastic waste pollution.

“We are aware of the triple environmental crisis facing the planet and we are committed to promoting actions to mitigate its effects. For the government of President Guillermo Lasso, taking care of the oceans and all ecosystems is essential, which is why we have expanded the “Hermandad” (Brotherhood) Marine Reserve of the Galápagos Islands,” said the Ecuadorian Minister of Foreign Affairs and of Human Mobility, Juan Carlos Holguín. “In addition, together with Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama, we have committed to the sustainable management of resources and have created the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor (CMAR). The association of Ecuador with the GPAP is an immediate response and it will federate the efforts of different actors to propose solutions to plastic pollution.

The Minister of the Environment, Gustavo Manrique, highlighted Ecuador’s ecological transition policy and highlighted the decisive measures the country has already taken, including the law on single-use plastics, municipal directives, the law on the circular economy, refundable taxes on plastic bottles and programs such as “Zero Waste Galapagos”.

Additionally, together with Germany, Viet Nam and Ghana, Ecuador led the Ministerial Conference on Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution in Geneva, Switzerland in September 2021, after which the INC was established.

GPAP will support Ecuador, one of the most biodiverse countries in the world and home to the Galapagos Islands, in building its technical capacities, accessing global networks of knowledge and practices, and its efforts to convene the multi-stakeholder platforms needed to advance national and international goals. Nations currently implementing such partnerships include Ghana, Pakistan, Indonesia, Viet Nam and Nigeria, as well as local partnerships with the state of Maharashtra in India and Mexico City.

The goal of GPAP is to enable a circular economy framework for plastics, designed and implemented between public and business leaders, civil society, and the scientific and academic community, to reduce plastic pollution. It also includes strategic opportunities for funding, innovation and measurement.

The meetings bring together communities of purpose, which include business leaders, policy makers, international and civil society organizations, innovators and entrepreneurs. These stakeholders will use the meetings to advance their work, make concrete progress on the Sustainable Development Goals and build momentum towards key milestones in the months ahead, including COP27 and the 2023 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in January. .

/WEF release. This material from the original organization/authors may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author or authors. See in full here.

Things you didn’t know you could do with a personal loan Sun, 18 Sep 2022 05:13:18 +0000

Personal loans are installment loans with fixed monthly payments. Although they generally require you to have a good credit score to qualify, they can be a great choice for consumers who need some flexibility in how they spend their money.

Personal loans also tend to have lower annual percentage rates, or APRs, than traditional credit cards. According to The latest data from the Federal Reservein May 2022, the average interest rate for a 24-month personal loan was 8.73% while the average APR for interest-bearing credit cards (for cardholders who carried a balance) was 16, 65%.

If you’re considering taking out a personal loan to cover medical bills, home repairs, or other expenses, Select provides a more detailed look below at what you can and cannot use to pay for a personal loan.

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A few caveats about personal loans

What can personal loans be used for

Beginner personal loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

  • Purpose of the loan

    Debt consolidation, credit card refinancing, marriage, moving or medical

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

    FICO or Vantage score of 600 (but will accept applicants whose credit history is so poor that they have no credit score)

  • Assembly costs

    0% to 8% of target amount

  • Prepayment penalty

  • Late charge

    Greater of 5% of monthly amount past due or $15

LightStream Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    3.99% to 19.99%* when you sign up for autopay

  • Purpose of the loan

    Debt consolidation, renovation, car financing, medical expenses, marriage and more

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

  • Assembly costs

  • Prepayment penalty

  • Late charge

Fees to know

There are several fees associated with personal loans that you should be aware of. For starters, you might encounter late fees if you don’t make your payment on time or prepayment penalty fees, intended to discourage borrowers from prepaying their loan, if you manage to repay your loan before the term of the loan term. ends.

Finally, there may be a an origination fee, or fee for making the loan, which is usually represented as a percentage of the loan and deducted from the original loan amount. Origination fees can vary from 1% to 5% and many lenders do not charge any origination fees, such as Marcus by Goldman Sachs Personal Loans and LightStreammentioned above.

Also select rated PenFed Personal Loans and Discover personal loans among the best personal lenders based on several factors, including no origination fees, no prepayment penalty fees, and the length of the approval process.

PenFed Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

  • Purpose of the loan

    Debt consolidation, home improvement, medical bills, car financing and more

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

  • Assembly costs

  • Prepayment penalty

  • Late charge

Discover personal loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

  • Purpose of the loan

    Debt consolidation, home improvement, wedding or vacation

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

    36, 48, 60, 72 and 84 months

  • Credit needed

  • Assembly costs

  • Prepayment penalty

  • Late charge

At the end of the line

There are very few things personal loans can’t pay for. However, it’s still important to check the fine print and terms of your loan, as using it for prohibited expenses could force you to pay it back immediately.

Check out Select’s in-depth coverage at personal finance, technology and tools, The well-being and more, and follow us on Facebook, instagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

Editorial note: Any opinions, analyses, criticisms or recommendations expressed in this article are those of Select’s editorial staff alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

The sale of the BCR requires 38 votes Sat, 17 Sep 2022 23:41:53 +0000

QCOSTARICA – The Technical Services Department of the Legislative Assembly has confirmed that the bill authorizing the sale of the Bank of Costa Rica (BCR) requires a “qualified majority”, that is, the vote of approval of 38 of the 55 legislators who make up Congress.

This is contrary to what President Rodrigo Chaves said earlier this week, saying the bill, currently before the Legislative Assembly, would require a simple majority vote of 29 votes to approve the sale.

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This opened a debate between the legislative factions.

A report by the Department of Technical Services indicates that “in the case of public banks, a supermajority is required in the event of assignment of the sale of the shares to private persons who would become owners”.

The leader of the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana (PUSC) legislative faction, María Marta Carballo, explained that the Technical Services explained that if the sale was made to another state commercial bank, it would be a different matter.

And, where are the resources that the State gains in the event of the sale of the managed bank? Carballo added that the bill, if approved, would become law, could specify where the resources, i.e. the money from the sale, could be directed and/or spent.

Technical services

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WAPO: ‘Rodrigo Chaves is following in Trump’s footsteps in Costa Rica’ Sat, 17 Sep 2022 12:56:35 +0000

QCOSTARICA – Ronny Rojas, a Costa Rican journalist, who works for Noticias Telemundo and is a professor at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Journalism, published an opinion piece on the Washington Post on the President of Costa Rica Rodrigo Chaves , titled “Rodrigo Chaves sigue los pasos de Trump au Costa Rica” (Rodrigo Chaves follows in Trump’s footsteps in Costa Rica).

Costa Rican President Rodrigo Chaves. (Moises Castillo/AP)

Here is a translation and adaptation of the article.

The aroma of Donald Trump Costa Rica’s Casa Presidencial (Presidential House) is hard to hide. Since President Rodrigo Chaves came to power in the small Central American country in May, his character and style of government have been compared to that of the former US president.

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Perhaps the most obvious similarity is Chaves’ public confrontation with the Costa Rican press, particularly with the media who exposed him during the presidential campaign by revealing the accusations of sexual harassment Chaves faced while working. at the World Bank, which cost him his demotion. of his management position and a three-year salary freeze.

Before winning the election, Chaves had already announced that, like a “tsunami”, he would destroy two of the main media in the country: Canal 7 (Teletica Channel 7 television) and the newspaper La Nación.

In Costa Rica, they say there’s a long way between words and deeds, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with Chaves. Barely a month after assuming the presidency, his administration ordered the closure of Parque Viva, an event center of Grupo Nación, which brings significant revenue to the journalistic business.

Costa Rican journalists see in this attitude an attempt by the president to settle accounts with the media which publicly showed his failures.

He also called the media “rats” and personally points the finger at reporters in the gallery where he spends more than an hour every Wednesday in colorful press conferences broadcast live on the internet, a practice reminiscent of live trials. between Trump and the American press at the White House.

He asked the Ticos with a smile not to believe the press, “not to buy the smoke”, assuring that the only thing journalists want is to sow confusion. But he also assures that his government will defend press freedom “at all costs” and rejects criticism that there is no closed media in the country.

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Rodrigo Chaves doesn’t want Costa Ricans to believe the press and that may be because in recent weeks the press has reported how the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) – one of the strongest electoral institutions on the continent – has found evidence to presume that the Progress Party The Social Democratic Party (PPSD), which brought Chaves to power, used a “dark funding scheme”.

In June, the TSE sent a detailed report to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which is investigating the case, in which it details that the campaign allegedly received money from companies, individuals and even foreign citizens without reporting its origin and far from public scrutiny.

Costa Rica is one of the strongest democracies in Latin America and one of the 10 countries with the greatest press freedom in the world. However, Chaves’ threats and confrontational style have already meant that the country is seen abroad on the same populist course and with an authoritarian course as other Central American nations like Nicaragua – where the newspaper’s headquarters La Prensa was taken over by the government of Daniel Ortega and dozens of journalists had to go into exile—or Guatemala, where the founder of the newspaper elPeriódico, José Rubén Zamora, has been under arrest since July, accused of money laundering. money and other charges, after the media reported the Attorney General for allegedly allying himself with President Alejandro Giammattei “to attack judges and lawyers involved in anti-corruption cases”.

And not to mention El Salvador, where President Nayib Bukele accuses El Faro, one of his main critics, of money laundering without proof.

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The press isn’t the only stone troubling Chaves. One of his first actions as president was to sign an executive order to remove the mandatory nature of COVID-19 vaccines, contrary to medical recommendations, although it was later shown not to be. had no power.

Along with his Minister of Health, he attacked the scientists of the National Vaccination Commission for refusing to withdraw the order to vaccinate children, adolescents, public and private employees, accusing them of “liking things abnormal”.

At the beginning of August, one of these specialists, Hugo Marín Piva, was expelled from the commission. Marín accused the government of being allied with anti-vaccine groups and pressuring the commission to comply with its orders without “the proper technical basis”.

Very similar to when Trump threatened to remove expert Anthony Fauci.

The problem is that, although the journalists are crying to the skies, it seems Costa Ricans love Chaves’ confrontational style and are embracing him in front of the critical press. Nearly eight out of 10 Costa Ricans consider his work to have been “good or very good”, a record figure, according to a survey by the University of Costa Rica, one of the most credible.

At least until July, a majority backed the style with which Chaves handled the media and viewed him as a firm president with leadership.

In this case, it could be that the effects of the pandemic on the Costa Rican economy, which recorded the highest unemployment rate in Central America in 2021, or the recent corruption scandals in public works contracts, which led to the arrest of six mayors, dozens of civil servants and the owners of the largest construction companies in the country fed up with the Ticos and fertilized the land where Chaves sowed his seed. These were his campaign promises: “Restore hope” to the unemployed and entrepreneurs and fight against corruption.

The obvious question is what will happen from now on. The president’s popularity will depend on what he can actually do to keep his promises. His party has barely reached 10 seats in Congress and, like it or not, that is where any structural change is handled, so he is at the mercy of what he can negotiate with the majority of the opposition.

The cost of living and the economy are the main concern of the people and despite a polarizing political campaign, the citizens continue to strongly support the democratic system that sustains the country.

Scholars say Chaves’ high popularity is not a “blank check” or a “citizen’s mandate” for his government to fail to meet democratic standards. Just as they support its president, at least for now, the Ticos also believe he should obey the law.

And although the show and the confrontation with the press did not end and complicated things for Chaves – on September 2 he dismissed his Minister of Communication without giving reasons, who then assured that the attacks on the press were a personal decision of the president and correspond to “open wounds” during the campaign; they can also generate a loyal fan base.

But it is to be expected that an authoritarian one-upmanship on his part will not be welcome in a vain country, which likes to be recognized in the world as a little corner of “pura vida”.

You can read the original, in Spanish, at

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China’s real estate woes deepen in August as prices, sales and investment tumble Fri, 16 Sep 2022 01:56:00 +0000

By Liangping Gao and Ryan Woo

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s housing market woes deepened in August, with official data showing house prices, sales and investment all tumbled in August amid a mortgage boycott and financial strains from developers have further damaged confidence in the sector.

New home prices resumed their month-on-month decline in August, down 0.3%, according to Reuters calculations based on data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), dragged down by weakness demand in small towns amid continued slow deliveries by heavily indebted developers. Prices remained unchanged in June and July.

More importantly, prices extended their year-over-year contraction for the fourth month of August, with prices falling 1.3% last month, the fastest annual pace in seven years, and suggesting longer-term homebuyer aversion.

Worsening housing problems are weighing on the outlook for the world’s second-largest economy, which narrowly escaped a contraction in the second quarter. The sector, once a key driver of economic growth, has gone from crisis to crisis since 2020 after regulators stepped in to reduce developers’ excess debt.

“The sector is still finding its bottom, although it is getting closer, even though policies have been relaxed in all areas,” said Zhang Dawei, chief analyst at real estate agency Centaline.

Authorities have taken steps to support the sector this year, including easing on home purchases, lower down payments, cuts in mortgage interest rates and a deeper reduction in the sale price of homes.

Zhang said he expected Chinese authorities to roll out more measures in Tier 1 cities such as Beijing and Shanghai and Tier 2 cities to stabilize the market and restore buyer confidence in the short term.

Confidence in the sector has been shaken by a mortgage boycott across the country since late June as developers stopped building pre-sold housing projects due to tight cash and strict COVID restrictions.

On Friday, separate data from the statistics office showed home sales fell for a 13th straight month in August, which did little to boost sentiment.

Property sales by floor area fell 22.58% year-on-year, according to Reuters calculations based on NBS data, the sixth month in a row they have suffered double-digit falls. Sales fell 23.0% year-on-year in the January-August period.

After the data was released, the CSI Real Estate index on mainland stock markets fell 1.73%. The Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index in Hong Kong fell 0.73%.

Month-to-month price declines spread to more cities in August as unfinished projects across China increasingly weighed on long-term sentiment.

Of the 70 cities surveyed by the NBS, 50 reported price drops in August, compared to 40 cities in July.

Home prices fell 0.2% and 0.4% in Tier Two and Tier Three cities respectively, according to official data.

“It will take some time for the pool of unfinished real estate construction projects to be completed with local government support for developers, and in turn, for Chinese households to consider large-scale real estate investment again. “, said Robert Carnell, regional head of research at ING.

“Therefore, these numbers are likely to remain a blot on the economic landscape for quite some time.”

Real estate investment and new construction starts by developers also fell in August, suggesting that many property companies were still focused on paying down debt instead of launching new projects.

Investment fell 13.8% year-on-year in August after falling 12.3% in July. It lost 7.4% over the January-August period.

New construction starts as measured by floor area plunged 45.7% year-on-year — its biggest drop in nearly a decade — after falling 45.4% in July.

The Chinese yuan, also known as the renminbi, falling below 7 to the dollar on Friday would only add to the woes for developers.

Chinese real estate companies are the country’s largest issuers of dollar bonds, and the depreciation of the yuan would only make it more expensive for them to refinance their debt.

(Reporting by Liangping Gao and Ryan Woo; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

Banks and consumer advocates urge CFPB to rein in non-bank personal lenders Thu, 15 Sep 2022 22:24:00 +0000

Two rare allies — a consumer group and a banking trade association — are urging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to begin regulating large fintech lenders that provide installment and other types of personal loans.

Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Rohit Chopra


The Center for Responsible Lending and the Consumer Bankers Association on Thursday asked CFPB Director Rohit Chopra to draft a rule that would expand the agency’s jurisdiction to include such lenders, which the groups say should be subject to to the same rules as the big banks and credit. unions.

“While our views on consumer financial regulatory issues often diverge, CRL and CBA share a common belief that the lack of a rule defining large participants in the personal loan market has created an uneven playing field. and a significant risk to consumers that the Bureau can and should resolve through broader participant regulation,” the letter states.

The CFPB had previously considered expanding its scope in 2017, when the agency said in its agenda that it was “currently working on a proposed rule that would define ‘large participants.’ non-banks in the personal loan market, including consumer installment loans and vehicle title loans.” In 2018, however, the agency under the Trump administration categorized the rulemaking as ” inactive”.

The groups have called on the CFPB to re-examine regulations as the number of fintech firms targeting subprime customers grows. Banks have long complained that non-fintech banks aren’t subject to the same kind of strict oversight as they are.

“The current regulatory regime creates both a level playing field and a significant risk that consumer protection issues affecting vulnerable consumers will go undetected,” according to the letter. “Banks with assets exceeding $10 billion are, of course, subject to CFPB oversight, while non-custodians offering the same products – or risky products – are not subject to oversight. This means that the Bureau does not have the same window into the practices of these non-custodians as it has with respect to custodians.”

The groups also call the buy now/pay later market, which they say is confusing because it is sometimes unclear whether BNPL companies offer closed-end loans. Chopra pledged to apply consumer protection laws to BNPL businesses at a press conference held earlier this week.

“We recommend that the Bureau cover both closed installment loans and open lines of credit,” the groups said. “In truth, the boundary between these two products is often indistinct: lenders who offer what, in form, are closed-end loans, generally encourage consumers, when repaying their loan, to re-borrow at least until up to the amount of the original loan, such as an open-ended line of credit, while open-ended loans can be structured so that each drawdown is repayable in fixed installments over a fixed term, thus closely resembling a loan to undetermined duration.”