Gran Logia Costa Rica Tue, 30 Nov 2021 04:48:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Gran Logia Costa Rica 32 32 Give the Gift of Duck Donuts® this Holiday Season with a New Digital Gift Experience | Business Mon, 29 Nov 2021 19:20:00 +0000

Offer duck fritters® This holiday season with a new digital gift experience

Company launches digital gift card option, powered by GiftNow

Limited-time holiday assortment with mint frosting flavor and festive holiday sprinkles returns to all locations

MECHANICSBURG, PA (November 29, 2021) – Giving Duck Donuts and giving smiles just got a whole lot easier with the launch of the enhanced Duck Donuts personalized digital gift card program. Through GiftNow, an integrated gift card and product giveaway solution for retailers and merchants, customers can order digital gift cards directly from the Duck Donuts website with ease.

“With our new digital gift experience, we are raising our level of personalized comfort for our customers who wish to sprinkle happiness with the gift of Duck Donuts to their family, friends and colleagues near and far,” said April Hoelscher , Vice President of Duck Donuts Marketing. “Our goal for our new digital gift cards isto provide a seamless customer experience and allow our customers to interact with our brand in the way that best suits their needs.


Available in seasonal, generic, or special occasion designs, digital gift cards can be easily emailed, texted, or printed and hand delivered. Guests can add a personalized written, video, or photo greeting that the recipient will see when opening the animated gift online. Gift card denominations are available in preset values ​​of $ 10, $ 25, $ 50, $ 75, $ 100, or there is an option to customize the amount, and can be redeemed in store or in line.

Gift now, a Synchrony solution (NYSE: SYF), helps transform the process of giving and receiving digital gifts and gift cards. As the premier holistic gift experience management (GXM) platform, GiftNow enables Duck Donuts customers to deliver digital gift cards in seconds with personalized greeting and digital packaging of your choice. the sender.


“Developing personalized customer experiences for gifts is key to delighting customers and meeting customer needs in the moment,” said Pari Raccah, Managing Director of GiftNow at Synchrony. “GiftNow helps make gift cards a memorable experience, so Duck Donuts can build lasting fans of both the giver and the recipient. “

Donut Miss The Holiday Offers

Guests are welcome to start the vacation with a delicious assortment of vacations. Back by popular demand, the Assortment includes fresh and fresh limited-time spearmint frosting. Guests will feel even more festive when their donuts are topped with the Holiday Sprinkles specialty. The fresh, minty flavor of this season can also be enjoyed as mintOREO® milkshake or chocolate mint ice cream sundae.

Gift Card Face - 1.png

As the winter season approaches, Duck Donuts’ is bringing back their Winter Roast coffee. The roast has hints of butterscotch, hazelnut and whiskey that will warm you up, warm you up, and make you want to go no matter the temperature outside. Guests can add a festive touch to your coffee with the Peppermint Mocha drink which is only available until January 3. For all non-caffeine drinkers, try the Peppermint Hot Chocolate!

Duck Donuts specializes in hot, delicious, made-to-order donuts. Customers can create their own combination of donuts by choosing from a variety of coatings, toppings, and drizzle, including traditional favorites such as chocolate chip frosting and more adventurous creations such as chocolate frosting. maple with bacon. Family stores offer an observation area where children and adults can watch their donuts being made. Duck Donuts also sells coffee, tea, donut breakfast sandwiches, and offers online ordering.

To learn more about local promotions or locate the nearest Duck Donuts, visit


Duck Donuts opened its first stores in 2007 at the resorts of Duck and Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, with the intention of creating an oasis where vacationers can enjoy hot, delicious, made-to-order donuts. Based in Mechanicsburg, PA, the company began franchising in 2013 and prides itself on making customers happy with their unique in-store experience, exceptional customer service and donut combinations. As one of the fastest growing donut franchise companies, Duck Donuts has over 100 locally owned and operated stores in 22 states and two international locations in Dubai, UAE and Riyadh, Arabia. Arabia. For more information visit


Synchrony (NYSE: SYF) is a leading consumer financial services company. We offer a wide range of specialized financing programs, as well as innovative banking products for consumers, in key industries such as digital, retail, home, automotive, travel, health and animals. of company. Synchrony allows our partners to increase their sales and retain consumers. We are one of the largest private label credit card issuers in the United States; we also offer co-branded products, installment loans and consumer finance products for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as healthcare providers.

Synchrony is changing what’s possible with our digital capabilities, deep industry expertise, actionable data insights, seamless customer experience, and personalized financing solutions.

For more information visit and Twitter: @Synchrony.

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MOVES-Deutsche Bank appoints Saloshni Pillay as head of South Africa Mon, 29 Nov 2021 11:16:02 +0000

Band Emma Rumney

JOHANNESBURG, November 29 (Reuters)German Bank DBKGn.DE on Monday announced that it has appointed Saloshni Pillay as the bank’s country director for South Africa, where she seeks to become one of the leading traders in government bonds and develop other lines of business.

Pillay, whose appointment is effective February 1, will lead the bank’s efforts to rebuild itself in the country after Deutsche closed several divisions in 2018 as part of a global restructuring aimed at restoring the profitability of the German lender.

She has more than 20 years of banking experience, Deutsche said, most recently with major lender Absa. ABGJ.J where she led the sales and structuring of her global markets unit. Pillay succeeds Muneer Ismail.

“I am confident that his leadership will energize and significantly expand our franchise in the country,” said Esra Turk of Deutsche, Head of Institutional Client Group for Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, in a statement.

Turk added that Deutsche’s operations in South Africa were a key pillar of its global strategy in emerging markets.

In an interview with Reuters in October, Deutsche executives told Reuters the bank wanted to restore its position as South Africa’s top 3 major traders and develop new lending products by more than 100% in the short-lived country. and medium term. , including pensions for financial companies and money market loans for multinationals.

Deutsche also saw an opportunity to expand its advisory and financing services for renewable energy, Johannes Engel, chief operating officer, told Reuters in this interview.

Ismail, Deutsche’s former country chief for South Africa, had been hired as CEO of HSBC HSBA.L South African unity, HSBC said Monday.

Chris Davies, HSBC’s deputy managing director for Continental Europe, said Ismail’s track record and extensive experience in the country would bring great benefits to clients and strengthen HSBC’s position in key market segments.

(Reporting by Emma Rumney; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

((; +27115952832;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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Saudi Arabia’s net foreign assets drop 3.3% in October Sun, 28 Nov 2021 14:20:30 +0000

MADRID: The coronavirus pandemic will cost the global tourism sector $ 2 trillion in lost revenue in 2021, the UN tourism body said on Monday, calling the sector’s recovery “fragile” and “slow “.
Predictions from the Madrid-based World Tourism Organization come as Europe grapples with an increase in infections and a new, highly mutated Covid-19 variant dubbed Omicron spreads across the world .
International tourist arrivals this year will remain 70 to 75% lower than the 1.5 billion arrivals recorded in 2019 before the pandemic, a drop similar to that of 2020, according to the organization.
The global tourism sector has already lost $ 2.0 trillion (€ 1.78 trillion) in revenue last year due to the pandemic, according to the UNWTO, making it one of the most important sectors. hardest hit by the health crisis.
Although the United Nations agency responsible for promoting tourism does not have an estimate of how the sector will perform next year, its medium-term outlook is not encouraging.
“Despite recent improvements, uneven vaccination rates around the world and new strains of Covid-19” such as the Delta variant and Omicron “could impact the already slow and fragile recovery,” he said in a press release.
The introduction of new restrictions and virus lockdowns in several countries in recent weeks shows how “it is a very unpredictable situation,” UNWTO chief Zurab Pololikashvili told AFP.
“This is a historic crisis in the tourism industry, but once again, tourism has the power to recover quite quickly,” he added before the start of the UNWTO’s annual general meeting. in Madrid on Tuesday.
“I really hope 2022 will be a lot better than 2021.”

While international tourism has been affected by the disease outbreak in the past, the coronavirus is unprecedented in its geographic spread.
In addition to travel restrictions linked to the virus, the industry is also grappling with economic pressure from the pandemic, soaring oil prices and disruption of supply chains, UNWTO said.
Pololikashvili urged nations to harmonize their virus protocols and restrictions because tourists “are confused and they don’t know how to travel.”
International tourist arrivals “rebounded” during the summer season in the northern hemisphere thanks to increased confidence in travel, rapid vaccination and the easing of entry restrictions in many countries, UNWTO said.
“Despite the improvement in the third quarter, the pace of the recovery remains uneven across regions of the world due to varying degrees of mobility restrictions, vaccination rates and traveler confidence,” he added.
Arrivals to some islands in the Caribbean and South Asia, as well as some destinations in southern Europe, have approached or even exceeded pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter.
However, other countries saw little sight of tourists, especially in Asia and the Pacific, where arrivals were down 95% from 2019 as many destinations remained closed to non-essential travel.

A total of 46 destinations – 21% of all destinations in the world – currently have their borders completely closed to tourists, according to UNWTO.
Another 55 have their borders partially closed to foreign visitors, while only four countries have lifted all restrictions related to the virus – Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Mexico.
The future of the travel industry will be the focus of attention at the WTO’s annual general meeting, which runs through Friday.
The event – which brings together representatives of 159 member states of the United Nations body – was originally scheduled to be held in Marrakech.
But Morocco decided at the end of October not to host the event due to the increase in Covid-19 cases in many countries.
Before the pandemic, the tourism sector accounted for around 10% of gross domestic product and jobs worldwide.

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Payday Loans Using The Internet At Ca. Providers That Provide Payday Advances Française | Sun, 28 Nov 2021 00:01:31 +0000 Payday Loans Using The Internet At Ca. Providers That Provide Payday Advances Française |

We have removed some companies from your own databases in the past few months.

It offers tough lending rates and many payday finance institutions and liberal loan providers do not support the condition much more. Use our personal paper on California Online Financial Institutions for the best. First and foremost, it is important to get your hands on a company that offers the ultimate rate and the refund consideration! We all anticipate that several companies will provide cash advance payday loans again whenever we move forward to 2021.

MyPaydayLoan: MyPaydayLoan is an example of a long-standing immediate loan provider just starting to provide Internet finance in California. By 2020, they will be offering payday advances of around 1250 for the citizens of Ca. Upon approval, you will get the funds in several hours or less. Different people need to plan for a real financial financial account (no prepaid tracking accounts or benefit seeking). Make sure you provide verifiable month-to-month money.

5kFunds: They have been operating for a long time and have really served thousands of Californians for an online consumer loan of around 500-5,000. 5k also offers payday advance loans and peer-to-peer financial support with ready. The application form type methods give 5-10 hours and you also manage to generate income in a day.

Reliability Pink Loan Products: Azure has come to be a net loan company that offers quick unsecured loans up to 2,500 in California. They already have straightforward online treatments and generally localized financial investments to your levels all at once upon approval. Recommended a verifiable source of quick deposit income and a functioning financial bank account. The unique financial products are simply because within six months and there is no prepayment penalty.

Take a look at the money: You probably watched the ads for girls or were influenced by their many stores during the problem.

The good thing is that they also offer a quick payday loan substitute for users with really bad credit. Look at the revenues have been around for decades and also now great customer service with fast internet processes. CIC offers wage enhancements online with one-day financing available to Ca homebuyers.

Opploans: Opploans is embarking on another internet business that prides itself on delivering sustainable customer service and fasting fundraising events. Opploans has fund interest levels that can be 120% cheaper than what you specifically see with other companies. Today they are announcing installment loans of 2,600 or more with keywords for repayment of one to two years.

Experience generating problems getting a payday loan or release using the following web lenders? Almost all clients can be considered to have more than one or two cash advance loan providers listed on this site, but some might have eligibility issues due to bad credit or cash advance difficulties in pain. If you are a California resident with poor credit that creates internet payday loan eligibility issues, you may want to study LendYou. They work with over 75 major lenders offering payday advance loans in California to authorized individuals regardless of poor credit, Chexsystem report or past use of unsecured guarantor loans.

LoanbyPhone: You can get Internet payday loan from LoanByPhone with your cell phone or desktop and find money in the loan company within one day. People in California can take on profit debts of up to 255 with repayment terms of two to three weeks on average. I wanted a bank account that had been open for about two months with proof of earnings from work or pension.

Less Than Perfect Funding: BadCreditLending connects Californians with online loan providers that offer instant payday loans in the amount of 1000. Terrible credit is nice, but you will most likely identify a significantly less than 1 proposition. 000 with an apr. You must write 1,200 per month and have an immediate deposit as early as possible with a checking account to meet the requirements.

Payment: Take advantage of FLEX capital online for buyers at Ca. With flexible currency, you create a credit card application for a line of debt that matches your own needs. The amount provided today was between 7,000 and 30,000. As soon as you are approved, you can get personal line of credit money when needed. You can choose to pay the balance entirely without a prepayment charge.

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“Our Common Home” – Climate change must be addressed now Sat, 27 Nov 2021 11:10:08 +0000

A MAJOR conflict erupted in 2019 between Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and French leader Emmanuel Macron, as thousands of fires engulfed the Amazon rainforest. Macron angrily accused his Brazilian counterpart of “ecoside” for allowing the looting of the world’s largest forest. He accused Bolsonaro of a heinous crime against the planet.

Needless to say, the Brazilian strongman was enraged and he countered by claiming that Macron “viewed Brazil as a colony or a no man’s land”.

“Our sovereignty is not negotiable,” he exclaimed.

It is the sovereignty that is in question. Is Brazil the keeper or owner of the rainforest? Should the world simply smile and put up with it while Bolsonaro demolishes this indispensable carbon sink and vital repository of plant and animal life?

Most people would agree that the behavior of the Brazilian leader is totally unacceptable, but what about Australia, a highly developed country, which continues to expand its production of coal, most of which is exported .

The Prime Minister of Canberra claims their coal is somehow cleaner than what is produced elsewhere. In reality, coal is by far the dirtiest fossil fuel, and it remains the largest source of climate-warming carbon dioxide in the world.

America, until recently overtaken by China, was the biggest polluter internationally. Even at the COP26 climate meeting in Glasgow, they refused to sign an ambitious anti-coal plan because they did not want to annoy Senator Joe Manchin, a key Senate vote, who represents West Virginia where black stuff is a big driver of economic activity.

India is booming economically with growth driven by fossil fuels. They argue that it is unfair to place restrictions on them as they try to meet the demands of a huge population. They refuse to embrace carbon neutrality, demanding instead that others, led by the United States, with much more responsibility for historic emissions, do more.

Indonesia and some African countries play the same card. They claim that given their underdevelopment and the deprivation of their resources by colonial powers, talking about rigid climate goals does not fit with their legitimate plans for economic progress.

These were debatable questions in the past, but now the future of the planet is at stake. There is a looming danger that, like Nero of old, we will play the violin while Rome burns down. Territorial sovereignty cannot be understood as the authorization to plunder collective resources.

According to the prestigious World Meteorological Organization, the heat accumulated by greenhouse gases “has propelled the planet into uncharted territory with profound repercussions for present and future generations”. Another expert described the crisis using more graphic images like “a deafening, howling smoke alarm going off in the kitchen”.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that the past seven years have been the hottest on record. “From ocean depths to mountain peaks, from melting glaciers to relentless extreme weather events, ecosystems and communities around the world are devastated,” he said.

Every year the world loses an area of ​​rainforest the size of Costa Rica. More than a million plant and animal species are threatened with short-term extinction. It is even difficult to imagine the terrible extent of the destruction taking place.

Scientists are almost unanimous in saying that greenhouse gas emissions must be halved by 2030, but instead of reductions, they actually continue to increase. Limiting the increase to the threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius, a minimum sought by scientists, is no longer a realistic goal. In fact, even if all countries stick to the reductions they have previously committed to, temperatures are still expected to rise 2.7 degrees by the end of the century.

The Republican Party provides another cause for dejection. In 2008, John McCain was the party’s presidential candidate and he offered serious plans to alleviate the climate crisis.

Donald Trump’s time in the White House was a conservation disaster. He pulled America out of the Paris Climate Agreement and stripped the Environmental Protection Agency.

The GOP, a major political party, shamelessly continues in a state of denial that is very difficult to understand. Their depressing message: Our leader says this is all a hoax – and that he will likely be the party’s presidential candidate again in a few years.

Yet humanity will not give in easily as evidenced by the enthusiasm and real progress represented by the 20,000 delegates from nearly 200 countries at the Glasgow summit. They agreed to reduce deforestation by 85 percent by 2035 and adopt a similar but less ambitious program to minimize the use of charcoal.

In addition, they predict a significant 30% reduction in methane gas during this period. The experts showed there convincing charts and professional studies that prove the superior profitability of using wind, wave or solar power compared to coal, oil or gas.

Former Irish President Mary Robinson’s tearful plea in Glasgow to ban fossil fuels in order to save the planet echoed across borders. Young people roamed the city, emphasizing the serious positive impact of a carbon-free atmosphere on human health.

There were sweet celebrations towards the end of the conference when China and the United States, despite the frosty relationship between the two governments, agreed to “heighten their ambition” in the climate field and to find together ways of doing so. ‘go forward.

The capitalist system requires long-term planning as well as the accumulation of annual profits. The crisis is so threatening that recently major banks, pension funds and asset managers pledged as much as $ 130 trillion to finance the development of renewable energy, providing a strong optimistic message that there will be abundant funds to save the planet. Their money is in wind and solar as well as in new technologies.

There is also a great hope that a young generation will activate on this issue across the world. The votes of millennials and the generation that followed were major factors in Biden’s victory in 2020. The climate was a crucial issue for many of those voters.

Think about the inevitability of worsening catastrophic weather events and how their effects will influence legislative and presidential elections. Will the younger generations vote for a political party that completely denies the carbon crisis?

In Europe, the Green parties exert a great influence on policymaking. Democrats will benefit greatly from this issue in the United States.

We are in the early stages of new technologies that suck carbon from the atmosphere. Major new developments are underway in this area with a realistic expectation of positive climate consequences over the next decade.

Finally, we must recognize and make known the central moral dimension of this crisis because leaving a decaying and polluted world for future generations would be an act of crass immorality. The emblematic teaching of Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Si states in the clearest and clearest terms why we must protect what he calls “our common home”.

The deep wisdom of the Pope’s message, supported by a range of other distinguished religious leaders, is being heard more and more from the pulpit, which will have increasing impact. This also gives reason to hope.

(Blogs by Gerry O’Shea at

Yonkers, New York

This article was submitted to the IrishCentral contributor network by a member of the global Irish community. To become an IrishCentral contributor, click here.

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A call to honor Costa Rica’s leading environmentalists: Fri, 26 Nov 2021 22:03:08 +0000

On October 29, one of Costa Rica’s leading environmentalists, Mario Boza passed away after a nearly fifty-year career devoted to nature conservation. Boza was co-founder, along with Alvaro Ugalde, of the country’s National Parks System (SINAC) created in 1970.

He won the J. Paul Getty Award for Conservation from the World Wildlife Fund, was a trusted advisor to presidents and the country’s first National Park Service chief.

In the weeks following Boza’s death, some former colleagues and conservationists are organizing to formally honor his long-standing contributions to Costa Rica.

As co-founders of SINAC, Alvaro Ugalde and Mario Boza laid the foundations for nature conservation across the country and a now thriving ecotourism industry.

In round numbers, a third of Costa Rica is legally protected in the form of national parks, reserves, wildlife, and wildlife corridors. Before the Covid, some attracted 1 million tourists each year and represented around 10% of the national economy.

An alarm was sounded by the SF Chronicle Foreign Service in a December 2000 article, however, Trouble in Paradise / Critics say lack of protection endangers Costa Rica’s famous nature reserves for which Boza was interviewed:

“Mario Boza, who is the co-founder of the national park system and a conservation legend in Costa Rica, says failure to reinvest enough tourism dollars in conservation has also caused the deterioration of many nature reserves. ”

Until his health deteriorated this year, Boza put forward a management plan as a practical solution.

“If the government adopted its management plan, Costa Rica would benefit from a guaranteed visit by nature lovers from all over the world, while preserving its natural wonders for the long-term benefit of Costa Ricans,” said fellow environmentalist John Tresemer, “Mario is the guy who gave Costa Rica its ‘green’ image, which has wonderfully helped tourism, the economy and environmental health.

Tresemer worked alongside Boza and Ugalde to establish what is now Cocos Island National Park in 1978 and later Whale Marine National Park (Parque Marino Ballena) in 1989-90.

Another former Boza colleague who recently retired from MINAE, Miguel Madrigal Hernandez, says Boza and Ugalde should be declared “Benemérito de la Patria” for their working lives.

Madrigal is supporting a National Marine Reserve in honor of Boza and Ugalde surrounding the Osa Peninsula, a project he and Tresemer helped Mario Boza bring to then-MINAE chief Carlos Manuel Rodriguez in 2019. A project bill named in honor of Ugalde was introduced by the National Assembly.

“You only need the support of the leadership of Minae,” to achieve this, said Madrigal.

“[Mario Boza’s] the last major wish was for the government to implement its management plan and create the Marine Protected Area between Ballena Marine National Park and Corcovado National Park, including the Térraba / Sierpe estuary in order to protect the one of the most biologically diverse and prolific marine areas in the world, Tresemer explained.

“I hope the Costa Rican government will be as wise and respectful as Don Mario.”

Chicago high interest loans target black neighborhoods Fri, 26 Nov 2021 11:00:00 +0000

Pointing out that high interest loans are proliferating in Chicago’s non-white neighborhoods is a bit like saying the skies are blue or the grass is green, but a consumer group says he’s proving it for the first time. times with precise numbers.

Using 2019 borrower loan data obtained from state regulators, the nonprofit Woodstock Institute found that the main zip codes for payday loans, except for the loop, were predominantly black, including:

  • 60619 and 60620 on the south side, which include parts of Chatham, Burnside, Avalon Park and Greater Grand Crossing, Auburn Gresham and Washington Heights. These zip codes had over 16 payday loans per 100 people and are both 95.7% black.
  • 60624 on the West Side, which includes parts of West Garfield Park, East Garfield Park and Humboldt Park and had 15.8 payday loans per 100 people. This postal code covers an area 90.7% black.

In contrast, the postal codes with the lowest incidence of payday borrowers were mostly white, such as 60614 in Lincoln Park. This area had 1.1 payday loans per 100 people in an 84% white zip code.

The analysis included zipcode data for borrowers with payday loans and installment loans, which largely disappeared on March 23, when a new interest rate cap took effect in the Illinois. The nonprofit group obtained the data through an application for registration with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Data for 2020 – although an odd year for loans due to the COVID pandemic – was similar, with the two major zip codes 60619 and 60620, followed by 60628, which covers parts of Roseland, Pullman, West Pullman and Riverdale, and that is 93.1% black.

Brent Adams, senior vice president of the Woodstock Institute and director of the IDFPR under former Governor Pat Quinn, called it “statistical significance on steroids.”

“These loans very specifically target black communities,” Adams says, adding that high interest loans perpetuate a status quo “that is riddled with racial and economic inequities.”

Head of Brent Adams, Senior Vice President of the Woodstock Institute.

Brent Adams, Senior Vice President of the Woodstock Institute.

Studies have shown that black Americans have an average net worth of about a tenth that of white Americans, in large part due to past discriminatory practices that have hampered the accumulation of family wealth, including the denial of mortgages.

The industry claims that it provides a necessary service for people who do not have a credit history or collateral to qualify for traditional bank loans.

In Illinois, as of March 23, payday loans, title loans and installment loans must meet a 36% cap on the annual percentage interest rate. The Illinois Predatory Loan Prevention Act also requires vehicle financing to meet the cap.

Tiffany Moore of Forest Park first turned to an installment lender when the coronavirus hit and a tenant in her investment property couldn’t pay rent. His loan, of $ 9,500, had a term of five years and an interest rate of 35.989%.

Even with a rate below 36%, she found that she would pay back more than double what she had borrowed. So Moore paid him off earlier.

“I was like, I have to get rid of this,” she said. “How can you move forward if they charge all this interest?” “

Tiffany Moore is seen in a shoulder-up photo, standing outside near colorful fall foliage.  The Forest Park woman turned to an installment loan with an interest rate of just under 36% during the pandemic.  She says she almost immediately realized it was a bad deal.

Tiffany Moore of Forest Park turned to an installment loan with an interest rate of just under 36% during the pandemic when a tenant in her investment property couldn’t pay rent. She says she almost immediately realized it was a bad deal.
Brian Ernst / Sun-Times

Ed D’Alessio, executive director of INFiN, a business group that includes low dollar lenders, says Woodstock’s analysis is “nothing more than a distracting thought experiment. of the real challenges facing borrowers today ”.

D’Alessio says many borrowers are “underserved, overlooked or left behind by other financial institutions.”

The 36% cap has already caused some payday and low dollar lenders to close their locations in Illinois, he says.

Samantha Carl of Palatine says the storefront lender she used in the suburbs has since closed. She got a loan of $ 700 before the 36% cap which had an APR of 399%. She paid it off in a few months, but it still cost her around $ 1,200, she says.

“It helped me when I needed it, but the interest rate is crazy,” says Carl, who relies on monthly disability checks and has undergone auto repair.

Ed McFadden, spokesman for the American Financial Services Association, which represents installment lenders but does not include payday lenders or auto lenders, said the new law could have unintended consequences.

It points to a 2015 Federal Reserve investigation in which lenders said they could not break even on loans below $ 2,532 at an APR of 36%.

“Rate caps may make policymakers and interest groups feel good about themselves, but it leaves many consumers who are already struggling in a credit desert,” he says.

But Adams says there are alternatives, such as the Capital goods fund, which lends to “unbanked” consumers and charges a average interest rate of 13%.

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The inauguration of the CABEI headquarters in Managua will seal the Mossi-Ortega alliance Thu, 25 Nov 2021 16:00:32 +0000

The upcoming inauguration of the new headquarters of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), in Managua, which is being built in Plaza Cobirsa at a cost of $ 16.5 million, testifies to the magnificent relations existing between the executive president of this institution, Dante Mossi, with the head of the Nicaraguan government, Daniel Ortega.

In response to this close relationship, which made CABEI the main external donor to the Ortega regime, the opposition, the diaspora and Nicaraguan exiles wrote letters to the Bank’s governors and foreign ministers. , who will meet on November 26 and 27 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, denouncing aid to the regime and calling for a boycott of the building’s inauguration in Managua.

After some multilateral financial organizations shut down their sources in Ortega in response to the human rights crisis caused by state repression and the police state since April 2018, CABEI has become the main provider of public resources to the government, to which it has served. approved $ 2.289 billion in new projects, between January 2017 and June 2021.

According to Otton Solis, Costa Rica’s former representative to this bank, one of the reasons the bank decided to build a new headquarters in Managua is that Mossi (of Honduran nationality) has an “obsession with going there. ‘inaugurate and be in the image. It’s disgusting ! », He underlined.

One expert with the ins and outs of multilaterals, and invited to comment anonymously, agreed with Solis that the Honduran is eager to make himself known, so he spent “a lot of money on buildings; buy land in Honduras without bidding; approved branches in Taiwan, Korea, Spain and built this headquarters in Nicaragua, ”added Solis, who recently denounced the system of privileges prevailing in the Bank.

Referring to the inauguration of the headquarters in Managua scheduled for December 15, an economist who dissociated himself from CABEI, declared that it is “an old project approved a few years ago, which is put implemented so far, but the land had been purchased. some time ago, and therefore the design as well as the plans were also drawn up a long time ago.

“Mossi’s visit was publicized when he came to lay the foundation stone (in October 2019), so it’s not something that is being done on purpose“ right now. ”It’s an ongoing project. execution with signed contracts, with construction companies that cannot be stopped without incurring fines or damages to the contracting parties, ”he insisted.

Alberto Cortes, the former Costa Rican director before CABEI between 2015 and 2018 suggested that “although this is a project that goes back a long way, it should take into consideration the current context, in which electoral fraud just happened in Nicaragua, and this inauguration will be used as a form of government legitimation. For this reason, it would be desirable for the Bank not to send representatives to this inauguration ”.

The coveted Nicaraguan vote

Former Rep. Solis remarks another reason for the Honduran’s affinity with Ortega: Mossi’s desire to be re-elected for another five years, as executive chairman of the bank.

The day of the inauguration of the building, the senior officials of the regime will be present, as well as that of the Bank. On that day, we will see them participate, together, as a preamble to what Mossi hopes will happen next, which is to have Nicaragua’s vote to seek re-election.

“When it comes to electing the president of CABEI, he will seek re-election, and of course having Nicaragua’s vote is important to him,” because he knows that if the ruling National Party wins the elections from November 28 in Honduras, he will have this vote; but if Xiomara Castro wins the elections, he will not have the Honduran vote, ”says Solis.

It would not be the first time that Nicaragua has supported Mossi. In 2018, as the Bank sought the replacement of Nick Rischbieth Gloe to chair the Bank for five years, Nicaragua appointed economist Francisco Mayorga “but the board was not very comfortable with his candidacy. “the source said.

Nicaraguan Minister of Finance and Public Credit Iván Acosta with CABEI Executive Chairman Dante Mossi during the laying of the foundation stone for what will be the bank’s new headquarters in Managua. Photo taken from the Bank’s website.

At that time, the strongest candidate was Costa Rican Alejandro Rodríguez (deputy director of Rischbieth), but the lack of support from the Costa Rican board and governor led several countries to lean towards Mossi as a consensus solution.

Mossi was returning from working in Ghana (Africa), as a staff member of the World Bank. His position at the World Bank was not the strongest. When the opportunity to apply for the CABEI board of directors presented itself, he unexpectedly got the job “after several rounds of internal negotiations, with the support of the Nicaraguan vote, which explains his attitude towards Nicaragua. The source explained.

“He commented in various forums when he took office saying it came as a surprise, but not just to himself, but to many beyond the board, as the former director Rischbieth was also originally from Honduras, “he added.

CABEI support

A source also points out that “CABEI has always been a good support for the government of Nicaragua”, regardless of the holder of the presidency of the country, recalling that during the electoral years, the Bank put a line of contingent credit available to the Central Bank of Nicaragua. Nicaragua (BCN) to support commercial banks, in the event of capital flight, for fear of an electoral victory for Daniel Ortega.

Later, when the global financial crisis of 2008 raised concerns about the soundness of local financial institutions, CABEI approved a $ 200 million line of credit which it made available to the NCB. “While the others were saying, ‘let’s see what we can do,’ CABEI was the only one that kept the flow of resources fairly stable, especially to commercial banks, with lines of credit,” the source said.

These funds remain available, henceforth in the form of a “Credit program to support the liquidity management of the central banks of the founding countries of CABEI”.

“The third moment is now,” said the source, recalling that “the Bank needs to place funds, and countries did not need these resources, each for their own reasons, while the strategy of the Nicaragua indicated that it was interested in increasing its loan portfolio to CABEI, where it fell behind: while Nicaragua absorbed nearly 13% of the Bank’s portfolio, the other countries were at 20% or more.

“The Nicaraguan portfolio fell from fourth to second place – coincidentally during the period of greater repression – while Costa Rica, which was the second portfolio, fell to fourth place, but there was no has no logic or comparison ”, despite the fact that the Costa Rican economy is three times the Nicaraguan economy, said the former director of CABEI for Costa Rica, Alberto Cortés.

Opposition in exile urges CABEI governors

Nicaraguan diaspora and exile opposition organizations urged foreign ministers and CABEI governors from Argentina, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Korea, El Salvador, Spain , Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Dominican Republic and Taiwan, all members of the Board of Governors and the Board of Directors of CABEI, not to participate in the inauguration of the new building of CABEI in Managua, scheduled for December 15.

In addition, they demand that they make “any payment” to Nicaragua conditional on respect for human rights, the release of political prisoners, an end to the repression and respect for the resolutions of the Organization of American States ( AEO), which set minimum conditions. for the holding of elections.

In the document sent on Monday, the organizations suggest to the CABEI board of directors to reassess “the reputational and financial risk” which consists in continuing to grant funding to a government considered “illegitimate”.

“CABEI not only maintained but increased its funding to the Ortega-Murillo regime, becoming the main financial support for the dictatorship,” said the communication signed by the Blue and White National Unity (UNAB), the Civic Alliance for justice and democracy. , the Peasant Movement, the Nicaraguan Democratic Force (FDN), the Initiative for Change, the Medical Association of Nicaraguan Exiles (AMEN), the Reflection Group for Former Political Prisoners (GREX) and the Nicaraguan Coalition for Freedom .

The above occurs “despite serious human rights violations, including crimes against humanity, which have been widely documented by international organizations,” the letter adds.

The democratic clause

The Nicaraguan opposition’s request suggests the need for CABEI to include a mandatory democratic clause to approve loans or finance a program.

Ottón Solis assures us that such a discussion did not exist when he represented Costa Rica. “July 18 was my last day at the Bank, and that clause wasn’t there. I believe that now things will change. Now is the right time for the bank to move away from the Nicaraguan elections, ”he said.

“I don’t know if there has to be a specific ‘democracy clause’, but something that goes beyond financial matters. There are already environmental considerations, but there should be something that ensures respect for human rights. It’s not that far, ”said the professional who knows how multilateral organizations work.

Workers are finalizing details of what will be CABEI’s new headquarters in Managua. Photo: Confidential.

In the Berta Caceres murder case, CABEI was the last to speak out. This was after a Dutch bank did it, which was also one of the institutions that financed the loan for the construction of the dam, but “CABEI does not have the capacity to manage this because the countries own it. “, he added.

“What will happen if Central America does not recognize the Ortega government at the start of its new term and Nicaragua then requests a loan?” Will they recognize the Minister of Finance as governor, the director for Nicaragua, appointed by Ortega, and the loans they present? Let us remember that, during the coup d’état against Manuel Zelaya, the CABEI did not recognize the government that followed ”, he recalled.

Former director Alberto Cortés said: “Development is not possible if it is not based on a society that respects fundamental human rights and the democratic state based on the rule of law. This is why it is necessary that the CABEI establish a democratic clause, so that the resources are not channeled towards authoritarian governments and that the pattern from 2018 to 2021 does not repeat itself, when the funding of Nicaragua has been considerably increased, ignoring authoritarian drift and human rights violations. , including the crimes against humanity that were taking place in that country.

This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by Havana Times

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What does the outcome of COP26 mean for the fight against climate change? Thu, 25 Nov 2021 15:35:21 +0000

As he addressed the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, during the final hours of the event, COP26 President Alok Sharma was overcome with emotion. China and India had just proposed a last-minute change to the final text of the agreement, known as the Glasgow Climate Pact, so that the call to “phase out” coal power relentlessly and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies be watered down to “phase out”. “

Delegates from other countries, from Switzerland to Cuba, lamented the move, but ultimately adopted the text in the interests of time, as the conference was more than 24 hours late at the time.

“I apologize for the way this process went and I am deeply sorry,” said Sharma, who earlier in the week told reporters he was sometimes referred to as “No-drama Sharma”. He then added: “I also understand the disappointment, but, as you noted, it is vital that we protect this package,” his voice trembling towards the end of the sentence.

Specific mentions of fossil fuels had escaped previous United Nations climate agreements, and the Glasgow Climate Pact was meant to mark a historic achievement despite two rounds of revisions diluting and complicating the simple phrase ‘phasing out coal and fossil fuel subsidies In the first document of the document. Disorganized. Sharma and the UK government had a clear goal for COP26: to maintain the spirit of 1.5, a reference to the Paris agreement of COP21, which called for global action to prevent temperatures from exceeding 2 degrees Celsius, and preferably 1.5 degrees Celsius, above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. To do this, it is crucial to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, which means that for every amount of greenhouse gas emissions, an equal number is removed from the atmosphere and, to be on the On track to meet that target, scientists believe global emissions should be halved by 2030. Earlier this year, a report by the UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said global temperatures had already risen 1.1 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels.

“We kept 1.5 degrees alive. But his pulse is weak and he will only survive if we keep our promises and translate our commitments into swift action, ”said Sharma. This is a statement that does not hide the disappointment that the conference organizers must have felt as the event which has been dubbed the “most important COP since Paris” simply failed to fully realize its ambition. COP26 was neither a success nor a failure – absolute concepts that do not reflect the complexity of high-level international negotiations – but a mixture of progress on some issues, disappointment on others and a lot of commitments. .

Main agreements and commitments of COP26

The UK Presidency had four key goals summarized as ‘coal, money, cars and trees’, in other words, to end coal-fired power generation (a pledge now endorsed by 46 countries with a deadline of 2040), delivering the long-promised $ 100 billion. annual support for the green transition of developing countries (an objective which was to cover the period 2020-2025 but not materializing before at least 2023, and including the future beyond 2025), support for electric vehicles and phasing out gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2040 and reversing deforestation with the aim of protecting existing nature-based solutions to capture emissions. The bilateral agreement between the United States and China on the fight against climate change, including a reduction in methane emissions, the subject of a multilateral agreement produced at COP26 in which China refused to participate, was also a remarkable development.

Some of these agreements are flawed – the one on deforestation, for example, pledged to “stop and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030”. It appeared to be a success as it involved Brazil, home to the world’s largest rainforest that has lost trees at a record rate this year, but Brazilian senators were quick to make it clear that their commitment would only extend to illegal deforestation. Activists have long indicated that the line between legal and illegal deforestation in the country is often blurred due to amnesties affecting illegally deforested areas.

Others are deprived of key players. A campaign to phase out oil and gas over the next 30 years promoted by Denmark and Costa Rica, for example, has not enjoyed the support of the host country of COP26, the United Kingdom, which is considering the development of a new coal mine and an offshore oil field.

The commitments submitted by countries to reduce their emissions remain insufficient to reach the target of 1.5 degrees Celsius. The most optimistic scenario developed by the International Energy Agency (IEA), in which all nations live up to their commitments, puts the world on track for a 1.8 degree Celsius increase in global temperatures by 2100. The nonprofit group Climate Action Tracker confirmed the IEA’s calculation, but indicated that a more realistic result for these commitments is a temperature increase of 2.4 degrees and 2.7 degrees over. the basis of current policies.

A report released this week by the Paris Reinforce consortium, which includes 18 research institutes, adds nuance to these numbers, finding that current policies put the world on track for 2.3 to 2.9 degrees Celsius warming. by 2100, while climate commitments lead to a warming of 2.2 to 2.7 degrees over the same period.

Some countries are already feeling the impact of rising global temperatures and several developing countries, some of which are already facing rising sea levels that are eating away at their land and extreme weather events that are devastating lives and resources. sustenance, called a 2-degree Celsius rise in global temperatures “the death penalty.” Developing countries and civil society activists have been disappointed by the failure to create a strong mechanism to provide financial assistance for loss and damage in the face of climate change.

Sir David King, chairman of the Climate Crisis Advisory Group (CCAG), an independent group of 15 experts from 11 countries which released its own assessment of the outcome of COP26 this week, called the failure to reach agreement on that front. of “fundamental breach of trust”. . He said in a press release: “What we have at hand is a fundamental breakdown in trust between rich and poor nations, with catastrophic consequences for the world. Without recalibration by developed countries on the way they approach their relations with the poorest countries, changing at the scale and at the pace required to ensure global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is almost impossible. ”

The way to go

On a positive note, delegates were able to finalize a deal on carbon markets that was not reached in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, paving the way for the construction of a pricing system and global carbon trading. COP26 also saw unprecedented commitments from the private sector to meet net zero goals and provide the trillions of dollars needed to finance the transition.

“All the players in the financial sector have mobilized to reorient the standards on the destination of investments. It sends a signal, ”said Johan Rockström, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Forbes during COP26.

Another sign of progress that Rockström witnessed in Glasgow is a global agreement that it is essential to limit emissions in accordance with the goals of the Paris Agreement. “This is the first COP where we are no longer debating the direction in which we are moving, we are debating speed,” he said.

It’s not just about speed, how to achieve these emission reductions remains under discussion. Nuclear power and hydrogen – which can be ‘green’ when produced through renewables, but are dubbed ‘blue’ if derived from fossil fuels – were offered major platforms at COP26 in the form of pavilions and participation in opening speeches and panel sessions, more than solar and wind power producers.

Modes of transport that do not traditionally include the combustion of fuel-powered engines, such as trains or bicycles, were not even considered in the program, which instead focused on electric vehicles, aircraft and maritime transport, sectors which present enormous decarbonization challenges, which should nevertheless be This does not preclude discussing existing low-carbon modes of transport.

Overall, the discussions at COP26 lacked the understanding that achieving net zero emissions requires more than a simple switch from one energy source to another, but a reinvention of current modes of production and generation. consumption. This was noted by Guy Grainger, global head of sustainability services at real estate services company JLL, who would have liked to focus more on the circular economy, at least in his sector. “The circular economy has a huge role to play in the built environment, but [it] in fact, we haven’t talked enough about it yet. I hope that will come ”, he declared. Forbes.

Fashion designer Stella McCartney is one of the few people who responded to the need for more radical change. “Quick mode [brands] must obviously reduce what they produce, ”she said. Forbes. She explained that she too has gone through the process of reducing her product line, adding, “I want to show my industry that you can have a business model by working in a cleaner, more sustainable way.”

COP26 is now over, but the mission of preventing the worst consequences of climate change continues. There is no doubt that the issues which created the disappointment in Glasgow will be discussed with even more urgency next November, during the COP27 in Egypt.

Sri Lanka’s cenbank keeps rates stable; said transitory inflation Thu, 25 Nov 2021 02:33:37 +0000

Band Uditha Jayasinghe and Swati Bhat

COLOMBO / MUMBAI, November 25 (Reuters)that of Sri Lanka the central bank kept interest rates stable for a second consecutive meeting Thursday as it sought to support a nascent economic recovery after raising rates in August to curb inflationary pressures.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) left the permanent deposit facility rate and the permanent lending facility rate unchanged at 5.00% and 6.00%, respectively. He also left his legal reserve report unchanged at 4%.

Five out of 12 economists polled by Reuters planned rates to remain unchanged, while the other seven had seen the CBSL increase between 25 and 50 basis points to cope construction price pressures.

The central bank said that while the economy is gradually recovering, the recent acceleration in inflation was mainly due to shortages due to supply chain disruptions and soaring global commodity prices.

“A further acceleration in headline inflation is possible in the immediate future, although such movements are expected to be transitory,” CBSL said in a statement.

Colombo’s consumer price index hit 7.6% in October from 5.7% in September, well above the central bank’s 4-6% target range.

“The Council (…) reiterated its commitment to keep inflation at target levels in the medium term with appropriate measures, while helping the economy to reach its potential in the coming period,” added the CBSL.

The CBSL also said its recent monetary policy measures would help curb excessive demand pressures and prevent the build-up of unfavorable inflation expectations.

“While real GDP growth is projected at around 5% in 2021, the continued increase in COVID-19 infections both globally and nationally could impact this expectation to some extent,” said CBSL.

(Edited by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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