RR Reading http://rrreading.com/ Thu, 21 Oct 2021 14:57:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 http://rrreading.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/rrrreading-icon-70x70.png RR Reading http://rrreading.com/ 32 32 Barbados Governor General Sandra Mason to become the island’s first President http://rrreading.com/barbados-governor-general-sandra-mason-to-become-the-islands-first-president/ http://rrreading.com/barbados-governor-general-sandra-mason-to-become-the-islands-first-president/#respond Thu, 21 Oct 2021 13:44:44 +0000 http://rrreading.com/barbados-governor-general-sandra-mason-to-become-the-islands-first-president/

Barbados lawmakers on Wednesday elected 72-year-old Governor General Dame Sandra Prunella Mason to be the first-ever President as the island prepares to end political relations with Britain and adopt a Republican status on November 30, independence day.

All but one of the lawmakers present at the joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament voted in favor of Dame Sandra, who had been appointed by both Prime Minister Mia Mottley and Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley to replace Queen Elizabeth II in Barbados. ‘ Head of state.

Opposition Senator Caswell Franklyn left the joint session of Parliament held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Center after opposing his appointment. His walkout came after House Speaker Arthur Holder read a letter from Prime Minister Mottley advising him of the joint appointment,

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“I have an objection, Mr. President,” he said, the President replying that “in accordance with the Constitution, I therefore suspend this meeting”.

The two Houses of Parliament then split up to meet in separate rooms to vote by secret ballot on the issue.

However, when voting began in the Senate, Franklyn raised another objection – this time about the ballots.

“This document has no validity. It comes out of nowhere ”, he declared, the President of the Senate, Reginald Farley, answering“ I found it valid ”.

“You cannot take anything that has no constitutional or legislative basis to be valid, sir,” said Franklyn, adding “you will not treat me that way today. I will not stand it. You will have to me. put out.

But the Senate Speaker reminded lawmakers that Parliament sets its own voting rules.

Had there been no objection, Dame Sandra would have been declared the first duly elected President of Barbados, in accordance with article 14 of the Constitution.

Dame Sandra was born January 17, 1949 in East Point, St. Philip, and was educated at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus in Barbados, and Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad, where she obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree (LL.B) in 1973 and Certificate of Legal Education in 1975.

She became the first Barbadian lawyer to graduate from Hugh Wooding Law School and in 998 she took a court administration course at RIPA, London, and an alternative dispute resolution course at the University of Windsor. , Canada and Stitt Field Hendy Houston ADR Ltd. in 2000.

In 2001, she completed a Fellowship at the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute, Canada, and Advanced Courses in Alternative Dispute Resolution at the University of the West Indies and the University of Windsor, Canada.

Dame Sandra began her career as a teacher at Princess Margaret High School. She left teaching and worked at Barclays Bank DCO, Barbados, and was promoted to Trust Administrator for the period 1975-1976. She then transferred to Barclays Bank Jamaica Ltd., then returned to Barbados and continued her banking career with Barclays Finance Corporation.

In 1978, she began working as a magistrate in the juvenile and family court, while teaching family law courses at UWI after a brief stint as a lawyer in private practice. She served on the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child from its inception in 1991 until 1999, as chair and vice-chair.

She was also one of two women appointed to the 13-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Commission to Assess Regional Integration.

She is a member of numerous civic and Commonwealth organizations, including the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitration Tribunal (CSAT) in the United Kingdom; Chairman of the Community Legal Services Commission; Member of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission; Member and former vice-president of the Royal Commonwealth Society.

Dame Sandra was also Ambassador to Venezuela, Chile, Colombia and Brazil for the period 1993-1994. Upon her return to Barbados, she was appointed Chief Justice and later became the Clerk of the Supreme Court.

She continued to serve as the Registrar of the Supreme Court until 2005, when she was appointed to the Domestic Bar of Barbados as Queen’s Counsel. Later that year, she was appointed a High Court judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court where she served until 2008 when she was sworn in as the first female judge of the Court of appeal from the Supreme Court of Barbados.

On January 1, 2014, she became the first Barbadian to be appointed to the Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal (CSAT), based in London, England. In 2017, she became the first female president of this tribunal.

Dame Sandra is also interested in reading, scrabble, cricket and travel. However, her greatest achievement is being the mother of her son Matthew, who is also a lawyer.



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Column: China wants to cool coal prices. Similar moves for metals, crude failed: Russell http://rrreading.com/column-china-wants-to-cool-coal-prices-similar-moves-for-metals-crude-failed-russell/ http://rrreading.com/column-china-wants-to-cool-coal-prices-similar-moves-for-metals-crude-failed-russell/#respond Thu, 21 Oct 2021 08:50:00 +0000 http://rrreading.com/column-china-wants-to-cool-coal-prices-similar-moves-for-metals-crude-failed-russell/ A loader is seen amid a pile of coal at a port in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, China, January 25, 2018. REUTERS / Stringer

LAUNCESTON, Australia, October 21 (Reuters) – China’s latest attempt to lower commodity prices, this time for thermal coal, is expected to follow a familiar pattern of initial success followed by failure.

So far this year, Beijing has acted to cool the prices of metals such as copper, aluminum, zinc and iron ore, and for energy products such as crude oil and now coal.

Each intervention met with some success at first, but over time prices returned to their previous upward trends.

The exception is when the fundamentals of supply and demand actually change, as happened with iron ore, which fell sharply from its all-time high after China effectively cut production of steel, and raw material supplies have recovered after disruptions among major Australian and Brazilian exporters.

Beijing’s latest target is thermal coal, which has reached record levels amid strong growth in electricity demand and slower growth in domestic mining production as part of official measures to deactivate some mines or to expand safety controls, and to limit overall production in order to reduce air pollution.

Coal futures on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange hit a record 1,982 yuan ($ 310.17) per tonne on October 19, but have since fallen nearly 20% to 1,587.4 yuan in trading Thursday morning, following a statement by the Chinese state planner that he is considering ways to intervene in the market. Read more

While this 20% drop seems pretty dramatic, it should be noted that coal futures are still up over 200% so far this year, a massive increase that has ripple effects in the whole economy as the costs of energy-intensive industries rise and electricity is rationed in parts of China, disrupting industrial production.

The physical prices of thermal coal in China have also not kept up with lower futures prices following the threat of government intervention, coal in north central Qinhuangdao, as assessed by Steel consultants. Home, hitting a new record of 2,545 yuan per ton on Wednesday. , up 7.2% from the previous day.

Until the coal crisis became evident from around May, Qinhuangdao’s price had only briefly exceeded 1,000 yuan per ton once, in January of this year during the winter more cold than usual.

It was a long-held slogan in the market that authorities aimed to trade physical thermal coal in a range of around 530 to 580 yuan per tonne, a level believed to keep mines and utilities profitable while providing electricity. electricity at a reasonable price.

Current prices show how far ideal thermal coal has strayed, and while Beijing may manage to cap the rally, it will take a fundamental shift in underlying market dynamics for coal to return to more normal levels. .

Foremost among them is that supply needs to improve, and although national coal miners pledge to do everything possible to increase production, it will take several months for the impact to be felt.

China’s unofficial ban on coal imports from Australia, which was its second-largest supplier after Indonesia, in an ongoing political dispute with Canberra is also not helping, serving to increase shipping prices as traders try to buy alternatives from other suppliers, such as Russia.

It would appear that in the absence of a substantial change in thermal coal supply, or demand, Beijing’s efforts to cool prices will be short-lived, or they will need to be much more dramatic, like price controls.


When China revealed its intention to auction metals such as copper, aluminum and zinc from state reserves in June, again to calm what were seen as excessive price hikes, there had some initial declines in domestic prices.

Shanghai copper futures fell 13.6% from an all-time high of 76,930 yuan per tonne on May 10 to a recent low of 66,470 yuan on August 20.

However, since then they have recovered to close at 73,640 yuan per ton on Wednesday, within an observation distance of the previous record.

With aluminum futures, Beijing auctions only appeared to keep prices stable for a while before the recovery resumed, with the first month’s contract hitting its highest level in 13 years, closing at 24,330 yuan per ton on October 19. It has since fallen slightly, ending at 23,390 yuan on Wednesday.

For crude oil, the announcement of strategic reserve sales in September also did not shake the existing rally in benchmark global Brent futures, despite China’s status as the world’s largest importer.

Brent contracts closed at $ 85.82 a barrel on Wednesday, down from $ 72.92 on September 10, the day Beijing announced crude oil sales.

The overall message is clear, Beijing’s intervention in markets rarely works for more than a short period of time, and it takes a shift in the fundamentals of supply and demand to make a lasting difference.

Editing by Kim Coghill

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Old National accused of discriminatory housing practices | New http://rrreading.com/old-national-accused-of-discriminatory-housing-practices-new/ http://rrreading.com/old-national-accused-of-discriminatory-housing-practices-new/#respond Thu, 21 Oct 2021 00:45:00 +0000 http://rrreading.com/old-national-accused-of-discriminatory-housing-practices-new/

INDIANAPOLIS – The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana has accused Old National Bank of excluding Black Hoosiers from residential mortgages.

FHCCI filed a lawsuit in federal court against Old National on October 7, which came to the attention of State Representative Cherrish Pryor, D-Indianapolis. In a statement, Pryor pledged to end discriminatory housing practices.

“One of the biggest items you will buy in your life is a house,” she said. “So when you don’t allow people to buy a house, or give them a loan to buy a house, you don’t allow them to build their wealth. “

The concept of excluding people, especially members of the black community, from mortgages is often referred to as redlining and was made illegal in 1968 by the Fair Housing Act. The Indiana Historical Society looked at the persistent practice in a series of programs in fall 2020, saying it still defines a big part of where we live or can live in Indianapolis.

In 2019, Old National only made eight loans to blacks across Marion County, according to the FHCCI. The organization claims the bank has also disproportionately closed branches in black Indianapolis neighborhoods.

“During the period under review, Old National Bank has been one of the worst performers in providing mortgages to black housing applicants in central Indiana,” said Amy Nelson, executive director of Fair Housing. Center.

A message left at Old National headquarters in Evansville on Wednesday by The Statehouse File went unanswered. Earlier, Old National rep Kathy Schoettlin denied the red line in an email to The Indianapolis Star.

“Old National strongly and categorically denies the allegations made in this lawsuit. As a community bank, we are committed to fair, responsible and equitable lending practices, ”she said. “It’s just who we are, and it’s one of the reasons we’ve been recognized over the past decade as one of the most ethical companies in the world. “

According to its website, Old National has two branches in Anderson, as well as numerous branches in surrounding counties.

The bank is on track for a $ 2.5 billion merger with First Midwest Bankcorp in Chicago. Despite the possible lawsuit, planning is moving forward, according to National Mortgage News.

Nelson said the United States has never effectively dealt with redlining practices in a way that truly ensures they don’t continue.

“The result is that they [minorities] cannot access equity when they may need it for health concerns, to educate children or plan for retirement, or even to pass generational wealth on to their children, which would allow them to prosper as children. Whites were able to, ”she said.

Pryor says continued redlining contributes to systematic racism and a violation of civil rights.

“Redlining in Indiana systematically deprives black Americans of their opportunities to realize the American dream,” she said. “I will continue to push for legislation that addresses the racial disparities that have deprived Black Hoosiers of life opportunities and our state and country of their contributions.”

Haley pritchett is a journalist for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news site powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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Global Polyphenylene Sulfide Alloy (PPS) Market Development by Key Prominent Players, Research Analysis, Growth and Forecast 2021 to 2027 – EcoChunk http://rrreading.com/global-polyphenylene-sulfide-alloy-pps-market-development-by-key-prominent-players-research-analysis-growth-and-forecast-2021-to-2027-ecochunk/ http://rrreading.com/global-polyphenylene-sulfide-alloy-pps-market-development-by-key-prominent-players-research-analysis-growth-and-forecast-2021-to-2027-ecochunk/#respond Wed, 20 Oct 2021 08:30:49 +0000 http://rrreading.com/global-polyphenylene-sulfide-alloy-pps-market-development-by-key-prominent-players-research-analysis-growth-and-forecast-2021-to-2027-ecochunk/

MarketQuest.biz the studies provide extensive project solutions for strategic decision making aimed at providing maximum industry clarity, including Global Polyphenylene Sulfide Alloy (PPS) Market from 2021 to 2027 analysis with accurate estimates and predictions. The study focuses on the analysis of historical and current market patterns as the basis for assessing the outlook for the industry.

The research is based on an in-depth analysis of a variety of elements, including market dynamics, market size, difficulties, issues, competitive analysis, and the agencies involved. The research examines a wide range of important factors driving the growth of the global Polyphenylene Sulfide Alloy (PPS) market.

The analysis includes information on the competitive landscape of the Polyphenylene Sulfide Alloy (PPS) market. The main market players have been identified and profiled based on their individual business characteristics. The characteristics of the major market competitors highlighted in this report include company overviews, current developments, financial position, and SWOT analysis. Financial factors influence the regional integration of the product, therefore growth trends are based on them. This study also examines the market opportunities for each geographic location in terms of growth rate, macroeconomic factors, consumer buying habits, and market supply and demand conditions.

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Market segmentation according to type:

  • PPS / PPO
  • PPS / PA66
  • PPS / LCP
  • Other

Market segmentation according to applications:

  • Car
  • Mechanical
  • Aerospace
  • Military
  • Other

The following companies are covered in the global market:

  • DIC Company
  • Saudi Arabia Oil Company
  • Kureha Company
  • Lotte Co., Ltd.
  • Toray Industries
  • Solvay
  • China Lumena New Materials
  • Celanese
  • SK Chemicals
  • Tosoh
  • Zhejiang New Harmony Union Society

Geographical territories covered by the market:

  • North America (United States, Canada and Mexico)
  • Europe (Germany, France, United Kingdom, Russia, Italy and rest of Europe)
  • Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, Korea, India, Southeast Asia and Australia)
  • South America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and the rest of South America)
  • Middle East and Africa (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, South Africa and Rest of Middle East and Africa)

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Here are some of the reports on the following key points: high-level overviews, current events, macroeconomic parameters, geographic presence, demand and supply scenario. To determine the market size on the supply side, EXIM, regulatory framework in various countries, inflation, socio-economic parameters, legal, environmental and political factors, as well as other micro-factors such as the cost of raw materials, suppliers of raw materials, etc., have been taken into account.

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Australian Origin Energy expects to benefit from rising commodity prices http://rrreading.com/australian-origin-energy-expects-to-benefit-from-rising-commodity-prices/ http://rrreading.com/australian-origin-energy-expects-to-benefit-from-rising-commodity-prices/#respond Wed, 20 Oct 2021 01:26:38 +0000 http://rrreading.com/australian-origin-energy-expects-to-benefit-from-rising-commodity-prices/

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October 20 (Reuters)Australian electricity retailer and gas producer Origin Energy ORG.AX said on Wednesday that high commodity prices are expected to offset lower profits from its activity in energy markets.

Oil and natural gas prices have skyrocketed globally as activity recovers from lulls from the pandemic, causing disruption in energy-intensive sectors and soaring energy prices for consumers.

Origin’s comments at an annual general meeting came months after reporting a sharp drop in FY2022 profits for its energy markets business, which is suffering from a collapse in wholesale prices. electricity.

He said, however, that with oil prices over $ 80 a barrel, much higher than the figure on which he based his forecast in August, he expected to reap the benefits of higher prices. WHERE

Origin said FY2022 breakeven costs were expected to be between $ 20 and $ 25 per barrel, while it projected cash flow of over A $ 1 billion after hedging with Australian Pacific LNG (APLNG).

“With the price of oil significantly higher than the US $ 68 / bbl on which we based our forecast, today we reiterate the rise of a higher oil price,” Managing Director Frank Calabria said in a statement. speech.

The company left its baseline profit forecast for energy markets for fiscal 2022 unchanged between A $ 450 million and A $ 600 million.

The Sydney-based company said a decline in profits from its energy markets division should be more than offset by a strong performance from its APLNG business.

APLNG is one of the largest natural gas producers in Eastern Australia and is a joint venture between Origin, ConocoPhillips COP.N and Sinopec 600028.SS.

(Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)


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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Bank First reports third quarter 2021 net income http://rrreading.com/bank-first-reports-third-quarter-2021-net-income/ http://rrreading.com/bank-first-reports-third-quarter-2021-net-income/#respond Tue, 19 Oct 2021 20:05:00 +0000 http://rrreading.com/bank-first-reports-third-quarter-2021-net-income/

MANITOWOC, Wisconsin., October 19, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Bank First Corporation (NASDAQ: BFC) (“Bank First” or “Bank”), the holding company of Bank First, NA, reported net income of $ 11.2 million, Where $ 1.46 per share, for the third quarter of 2021, compared to net income of $ 11.0 million, Where $ 1.42 per share, for the third quarter of the previous fiscal year. For the nine months ended September 30, 2021, Bank First just won $ 34.3 million, Where $ 4.45 per share, compared to $ 26.5 million, Where $ 3.57 per share for the same period in 2020.

Operating results
Net interest income (“NII”) during the third quarter of 2021 was $ 22.9 million, up $ 1.1 million of the previous quarter and corresponding to the third quarter of 2020. The NII for the first nine months of 2021 was $ 66.9 million, from $ 62.4 million for the first nine months of 2020.

Over the past 18 months, Bank First has been very active in the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), a Small Business Administration (“SBA”) loan program aimed at supporting small businesses in the turbulent economic environment created. by COVID-19. pandemic (“COVID”). Bank First was born on $ 381.3 million in loans to new and existing customers under this program, $ 62.6 million of which remained unpaid and unpaid at September 30, 2021. The origination fees collected on the origination of PPP loans totaled more than $ 14.6 million. Under accounting rules, the Bank accounts for these charges as an addition to the NII over the contractual life of the related loan, with any remaining commission being fully recognized in the NII if the loan is repaid or canceled before the original maturity date. As is the case for any institution participating in PPP arrangements, this accounting treatment resulted in significant variations in the NII and the Bank’s interest margins from one quarter to another depending on the number of PPP loans. canceled during the period. The unrecognized PPP origination fees totaled $ 2.2 million To September 30, 2021, compared to $ 2.6 million and $ 5.8 million To the 31st of December and September 30, 2020, respectively.

The NII related to purchase ledger entries, resulting from our acquisitions of other institutions in recent years, increased net income (after tax) in the third quarter of 2021 by $ 0.2 million, Where $ 0.03 per share, compared to $ 1.1 million, Where $ 0.15 per share, for the third quarter of 2020. For the first nine months of 2021 and 2020, the impact of these purchase accounting entries increased net income (after tax) by $ 0.9 million, Where $ 0.12 per share, and $ 2.5 million, Where $ 0.34 per share, respectively.

The net interest margin (“NIM”) was 3.47% for the third quarter of 2021, compared to 3.84% for the third quarter of 2020. The aforementioned purchase ledger entries added 0.04% and 0, 26% to NIM for each of these periods, respectively. The NIM is 3.47% for the first nine months of 2021, of which 0.07% impact of the accounting entries of purchases, against 3.77%, of which 0.21% of the impact of accounting entries of ‘purchases, for the first nine months of 2020.

Bank First recorded an allowance for loan losses of $ 0.7 million in the third quarter of 2021, compared to $ 1.4 million during the third quarter of 2020. The provision charge was $ 2.5 million for the first nine months of 2021 compared to $ 5.5 million for the same period in 2020. While provision charges were high in 2020 in response to the uncertainty created by COVID and the company’s response to it, actual measures of asset quality over the three First quarters of 2021, as discussed later in this release, remained strong and enabled a reduction in the provision charge during 2021.

Non-interest income was $ 5.0 million for the third quarter of 2021, compared to $ 5.1 million for the third quarter of 2020. Service fee revenue continues to show strong performance in 2021, showing an increase of more than eleven percent in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the third quarter of 2020 as additional markets of the Bank through three acquisitions over the past four years continue to fully integrate into the branch network. All other components of non-interest income were very comparable in the third quarter year over year. While the gain on secondary market mortgage sales was comparable for the third quarters year over year, we saw our profitability on these loans sold decline from all-time highs for the past three quarters. While origination volume has remained at a high level, the average profit margin on each sale has declined as the industry has become more competitive with pricing.

Non-interest charges were $ 12.5 million in the third quarter of 2021, compared to $ 12.2 million in the previous quarter as well as in the third quarter of 2020. Data processing costs have decreased $ 0.1 million and $ 0.2 million compared to the previous quarter and the third quarter of the previous fiscal year, respectively, mainly due to the reduction in expenses caused by large origins of PPP loans starting in the second quarter of 2020 and ending in the second quarter of 2021. Other non-interest expense increased 23.5% compared to the previous quarter. quarter and 27.3% compared to the third quarter of the previous fiscal year, mainly due to several insignificant insignificant expenditure items which added up to create larger differences.

Balance sheet
Total assets were $ 2.85 billion To September 30, 2021, a $ 128.6 million increase December 31, 2020, and up to $ 207.4 million of September 30, 2020. The total loans were $ 2.21 billion To September 30, 2021, up $ 17.5 million of December 31, 2020, and up to $ 15.7 million of September 30, 2020. Excluding PPP set-ups and repayments or discounts, loans increased by 12.3% over the last twelve months. Annualized loan growth in the third quarter of 2021, also excluding PPP activity, was 8.8%. Total deposits, which almost all remain core deposits, were $ 2.47 billion To September 30, 2021, up $ 151.3 million of December 31, 2020, and up to $ 201.2 million of September 30, 2020. Demand deposits not bearing interest represented 32.1% of the total core deposits of the Bank at September 30, 2021, against 31.2% and 30.4% at the 31st of December and September 30, 2020, respectively. Term deposits, which generally bear the highest interest rates of all deposit products, accounted for 10.5% of the Bank’s total core deposits at September 30, 2021, against 14.8% and 16.8% at the 31st of December and September 30, 2020.

Asset quality
Non-performing assets at September 30, 2021 totaled $ 12.1 million, below $ 14.0 million and $ 20.8 million at the end of the fourth and third quarters of 2020, respectively. Non-performing assets to total assets closed the third quarter of 2021 at 0.42%, up from 0.52% and 0.79% at the end of the fourth and third quarters of 2020, respectively. A majority of non-productive assets September 30, 2021, relate to a commercial real estate loan totaling $ 7.1 million which changed to non-exercise status during june 2020. While payments remained current on this loan, the transition to non-recognition status was deemed prudent by management due to the loss of a significant tenant in the underlying commercial property.

Position of the capital
Equity rises $ 315.3 million To September 30, 2021, an augmentation of $ 20.4 million from the end of 2020 and $ 29.2 million of September 30, 2020. Strong profits were used to increase capital while being offset by dividends totaling $ 7.1 million during the first three quarters of 2021 and $ 8.7 million during the last twelve months. A further reduction in capital was $ 6.1 million used to repurchase 87,319 common shares during the first three quarters of 2021. The tangible book value per share of Bank First common stock has increased by 14.8% over the past twelve months.

Declaration of dividend
Bank First’s board of directors approved a quarterly cash dividend of $ 0.22 per common share, payable on January 5, 2022, to shareholders of record on December 22, 2021.

Bank First Corporation provides financial services through its subsidiary, Bank First, which was incorporated in 1894. The bank is an independent community bank with 21 bank locations in Wisconsin. The bank has grown through acquisitions and the expansion of new branches. The company employs approximately 302 full-time equivalent employees and has assets of approximately $ 2.8 billion. Bank First offers loan, deposit and cash management products in each of its bank offices. Insurance services are available through our link with Ansay & Associates, LLC. Trust, investment advisory and other financial services are offered through the bank’s partnership with Legacy Private Trust, an alliance with Morgan Stanley and an affiliation with McKenzie Financial Services, LLC. The bank is a co-owner of banking technology OEM, UFS, LLC, which provides digital, basic, cybersecurity, managed computing and cloud services. Further information on Bank First Corporation is available by clicking on the Investor Relations tab at www.BankFirstWI.bank.

Forward-Looking Statements: This press release may contain certain “forward-looking statements” that represent Bank First Corporation’s expectations or beliefs regarding future events. These forward-looking statements relate to matters which are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties. Due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in forward-looking statements, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on them, whether included in this press release or made elsewhere from time to time by or on behalf of Bank First Corporation. . Bank First Corporation disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements. Further, statements regarding historical share price performance are not indicative or guarantee future price performance.

For more information, contact:
Kevin M LeMahieu, Chief Financial Officer
Telephone: (920) 652-3200 / klemahieu@bankfirstwi.bank

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Pacific nations have an interest in challenging China’s vast maritime claims – The Diplomat http://rrreading.com/pacific-nations-have-an-interest-in-challenging-chinas-vast-maritime-claims-the-diplomat/ http://rrreading.com/pacific-nations-have-an-interest-in-challenging-chinas-vast-maritime-claims-the-diplomat/#respond Tue, 19 Oct 2021 05:37:04 +0000 http://rrreading.com/pacific-nations-have-an-interest-in-challenging-chinas-vast-maritime-claims-the-diplomat/

There are indications that New Zealand is increasingly concerned about China’s excessive maritime claims. The Royal New Zealand Navy frigate HMNZS Te Kaha recently joined a British carrier strike group to cross the disputed South China Sea en route to joint military exercise Bersama Gold 21 to ensure freedom of navigation in the region.

For a small state heavily commercially dependent on China, worth around $ 33 billion a year, New Zealand’s relevance in South China Sea disputes may seem symbolic and far-fetched. New Zealand, even Australia, would never have faced China if they had had other choices. Therefore, the fact that Wellington feels the need to oppose Beijing’s violation of international law sends a clear signal that China must respond to the world and stop self-interpreting international law.

The South China Sea is not only an arena of strategic competition between China and the United States. Given China’s direct core strategy, the South China Sea is a crucial test of whether the world can reject interpretations of international law with Chinese characteristics. Otherwise, the South China Sea will become an example of a magnificent failure to respect the principle of freedom of navigation, and China’s controversial interpretation of international law will become customary international law.

Small states, especially coastal and archipelagic states that benefit significantly from an international order based on the law and the law of the sea, will be most affected.

So what is a straight baseline and why should it deserve a closer look?

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UNCLOS and straight baselines

Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS), a baseline is the line along a coast from which the maritime limits of the territorial sea of ​​a state and of certain other maritime areas of jurisdiction are measured. A baseline, whether normal or straight (Articles 5 and 7 of UNCLOS, respectively), determines the rights to jurisdiction over maritime and super-adjacent airspace of both the coastal State itself. even and foreign nations. While normal baselines apply to coastal states, straight baselines are exclusive to archipelagic states, which are made up entirely of one or more archipelagos and may include other islands.

Basically, straight baselines grant an archipelagic state special legal rights over the internal waters between its islands, which include the airspace over the territorial sea as well as its bed and subsoil. At the same time, in accordance with Articles 52 and 53 of UNCLOS, ships of all States enjoy the right of innocent passage in archipelagic waters and the rights of archipelagic maritime passage.

An archipelagic State may, without discrimination in form or in fact between foreign vessels, temporarily suspend the innocent passage of foreign vessels in specific areas of its archipelagic waters if such suspension is essential for the protection of its safety. In addition, an archipelagic State may designate sea lanes and air routes suitable for the continuous and rapid passage of foreign ships and aircraft through or over its archipelagic waters and the adjacent territorial sea. UNCLOS does not allow coastal states to use straight baselines to connect islands in an offshore archipelago.

What will happen to international law and the rights of the international community if China, a continental state, successfully obtains archipelago status for its unfounded claims to islands, reefs and other elements in the disputed waters of the South China Sea?

International law with Chinese characteristics

In May 1996, China issued a declaration declaring straight baselines along its coast and promulgated its geographical positions, much of which, according to the United States, “does not meet either of the two geographical conditions of the Convention. on the law of the sea required to apply straight baselines ”. Also in July 2016, China said it would apply the straight baselines method to measure the breadth of its territorial seas, contiguous areas and other claimed sea areas.

China wants the waters between its claimed islands and the features of the South China Sea to be recognized as internal waters. Within the 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) projected from these straight baselines, China wants to control military activity, not just economic activity in accordance with international law. In addition, China wants a territorial sea of ​​12 nautical miles from the baseline of the Paracels Islands and the constructed islands of the Spratly Islands. China wants exclusive access to the resources of its neighbors even if it encroaches on their EEZs. China wants jurisdictional rights over “historic waters” as part of its nine-dash claim, which covers virtually all of the South China Sea islands and their adjacent waters, a claim that was rejected by arbitration South China Sea in 2016. Either way, China is determined to apply straight baselines to the “four shas” it claims: the Dongsha or Pratas, the Xisha or Paracels, the Nansha or Spratlys, and Zhongsha or Macclesfield Bank. Now China wants foreign ships to apply for approval for commercial transit through its “territorial waters.”

China has a vast political toolbox, including militarization, ‘wolf warrior’ diplomacy, debt traps, Mekong dams and laws, with which to turn its basic ambition straight into reality – in other words, to appropriate the South China Sea. If successful, China will first gain, at the cost of significant losses for the international rights community, enormous and unprecedented weight against its neighbors. Second, China’s interpretation of international law will become customary international law, which could prove perilous for other shipping companies in the long run.

Since 2015, the United States has aggressively challenged China’s excessive claims by frequently conducting Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOP) in the South China Sea. More recently, the United States has formed a coalition of allies and partners not only to patrol disputed waters, but also to raise legal issues at the United Nations. However, more such measures will be needed to change the way China interprets international law in its favor.

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This is where the small non-requesting states come in, which benefit most from an international order based on law in general and UNCLOS in particular. If they fail to form a consensus that views the South China Sea disputes and China’s interpretation of the law as a national threat, the repercussions will not end at the water’s edge of current claimants. such as Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia or Brunei. Small coastal and archipelagic states will incur high long-term costs for inaction. Through inaction, small states can effectively pave the way for a future where China interprets the law for them.

The fact that China is breaking the rules in neighboring waters should send a serious warning to the nations of Oceania. In particular, there are important political and security implications for New Zealand.

New Zealand’s regional security and stability

New Zealand plays a leadership role in the neighborhood of the small coastal and archipelagic states of Oceania, and its national security is closely linked to the security and prosperity of the Pacific island nations. When addressing the challenge of balancing the vulnerability of his trade dependence on China and the growing tensions between Canberra and Beijing, the New Zealand Foreign Minister acknowledged that while trade matters, “regional peace and stability are equally important”.

For the small states of Oceania, fishing is life. In the South China Sea, China never allows other countries to enter its claimed EEZs, but reserves the right to enter and overfish others’ waters.

As China gets richer and more powerful, is it possible for China to draw a straight baseline around the claimed islands and features that could threaten New Zealand’s EEZ, one of the largest in the world ? May be. From a regional perspective, who can guarantee that China will never enter the EEZs of the Pacific states that control vast expanses of resource-rich ocean? According to the definition of national security offered by the New Zealand government, China’s direct core strategy and its interpretation of international law and UNCLOS can certainly be interpreted as a threat to the security of the nation.

The unity of the Pacific states is fragile, and China is increasingly using economic tools to achieve strategic goals. Beijing has established itself as an important partner for the Pacific states. From 2000 to 2017, according to a report recently released by AidData, China provided Oceania with $ 2.4 billion in aid for 628 projects and $ 8.7 billion in loans for 95 projects. The ratio of Chinese aid to loan commitments to Oceania was 1: 3.6, which means that Chinese debt dominates Chinese sources of finance in the region. In addition, China has demanded high levels of collateral and has no qualms about its state-owned enterprises seizing the assets of their overseas partners.

However, such debts cannot be compared to the prospects of losing vital fishing grounds due to the future application of “international law with Chinese characteristics”. And this is something the New Zealand and Pacific states cannot afford to wait to delay responding. Once China succeeds in forcing states to accept its interpretation of international law, the costs to small states will only increase.

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Best ETF domains from last week http://rrreading.com/best-etf-domains-from-last-week/ http://rrreading.com/best-etf-domains-from-last-week/#respond Mon, 18 Oct 2021 18:30:06 +0000 http://rrreading.com/best-etf-domains-from-last-week/

Wall Street was bullish last week, with the S&P 500 posting the biggest weekly gain since July as stocks rallied in earnings. The Dow Jones (up 1.58%) and the Nasdaq (up 2.18%) were also notable gainers last week.

Oil prices rebounded last week, with LP United States Petroleum Fund USO adding about 1.8%. Oil prices have crossed the $ 80 per barrel mark amid the current global energy crisis. Retail sales in the United States unexpectedly rose 0.7% sequentially in September 2021, following a revised upward 0.9% increase in August, beating market expectations of a 0% drop. , 2%, a sign of the resilience of consumers.

No wonder stocks remained bullish over the week. The benchmark US Treasury yield started the week at 1.61% while it ended the week at 1.59%. Against this background, below we highlight a few areas of Inverted / Leveraged ETFs that have held up in the last week.


After years of price stagnation, an increase of about 37% in the price of uranium nuclear fuel has helped to re-attract investors to the sector. Funds such as New York-based Ben Melkman’s Light Sky Macro, Anchorage Capital and Tribeca Investment Partners have been positive on the outlook for the commodity as a global energy crisis highlights the role of nuclear power in a transition away from fossil fuels.

ETF Northshore Global Uranium Mining URNM – Up 19.3%

ETF Global X Uranium (URA) – Up 16.6%

Cloud Computing & Cybersecurity

Cloud computing continues to be a hot investment area. It should be noted here that cloud computing and storage have found applications in social networks, messaging applications and streaming services. It has enabled video conferencing, gaming, online shopping, remote project collaboration, online courses, editing, etc. Cloud computing also helps organizations remotely process a lot of information, develop and run key applications and services (read: Cloud Computing ETFs look great: Let’s explore).

Simplifying Volt Cloud and VCLO Cybersecurity Disruption – Up 17.3%


The price of copper has hit an all-time high as soaring electricity prices are likely to reduce supply at a time when stocks on the exchange are at extremely low levels. Copper for December delivery rose sharply for the third consecutive day in the Comex market in New York, reaching $ 4.7810 per pound ($ 10,518 per tonne), the highest since the record reached on May 12, 2021 – scoring a 12% gain for the week.

Global X Copper Miners ETF COPX – Up 12.3%

Clean energy

With the energy crisis taking center stage around the world, the demand for clean energy is expected to be higher in the coming days. In addition, clean energy stocks are relatively undervalued at current levels.

Meanwhile, solar energy stocks have increased over the past two days. The sector has recently experienced a correction due to high commodity prices, especially silicon, which is used in photovoltaic panels. Favorable winds are in the cards thanks to supportive policies and the stabilization of commodity prices, analysts said, as reported on Forbes. Targets for building solar energy infrastructure in China remain optimistic despite soaring raw material costs, the article said.

Solar Invesco ETF TAN – Up 11%

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United States Petroleum ETF (USO): ETF Research Reports

Invesco Solar ETF (TAN): ETF Research Reports

Global X Copper Miners (COPX) ETF: ETF Research Reports

North Shore Global Uranium Mining ETF (URNM): ETF Research Reports

ETF Simplifying Volt Cloud and Cyber ​​Security Disruption (VCLO): ETF Research Reports

To read this article on Zacks.com, click here.

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The Repairer’s Guide to Mortgage Blockchain Disruption http://rrreading.com/the-repairers-guide-to-mortgage-blockchain-disruption/ http://rrreading.com/the-repairers-guide-to-mortgage-blockchain-disruption/#respond Mon, 18 Oct 2021 16:08:49 +0000 http://rrreading.com/the-repairers-guide-to-mortgage-blockchain-disruption/

I understand most repairers see the title of this story and think: is blockchain even a mortgage thing? Short answer: not yet, but it will be. It is not enough to modernize the service of SaaS technology, we also need to put in place new infrastructure to stay ahead of the consumer credit and capital markets. With that, here’s what services need to know about the mortgage blockchain disruption right now.

When will mortgage blockchain go mainstream?
Sagent recently joined forces with the digital payments / loan disruptor Figure in an agreement that adds Figure as a Sagent client and allows us to bring large-scale mortgage assets to Provenance’s public blockchain (developed by the Figure team) to reduce mortgage costs up to 100 basis points, from origination to securitization.

Blockchain for mortgages is not yet mainstream, but it will be soon. Instead of constant QA / CQ and loan re-underwriting / revalidation throughout the loan lifecycle, blockchain can streamline the process, bringing transparency, speed, cost reduction and increased portability of MSRs. .

How the mortgage blockchain works
Simply put, the blockchain is a secure, decentralized database whose history can never be changed. Crypto pros call this never-changing feature “immutability,” which makes a mortgage blockchain like Provenance the ultimate source of truth for all parties throughout the origination-service-securitization lifecycle.

This is how it works
For borrowers, the loan application experience resembles the telephone process they are used to. However, since the loan comes from the blockchain (via an infrastructure invisible to the borrower), the originator does not need to verify / recheck the borrower’s data / documentation with their lenders and investors. warehouse. This results in massive reductions in origination costs.

Fast forward a few years, and a mature mortgage blockchain will replace our industry’s ‘trust, but verify’ approach to mortgages with the truth: Immutable blockchain becomes the single source of true source data on borrowers, loans. and loan pools.

In terms of service, the blockchain will eventually fuel real-time data sharing between services, investors / GSEs, regulators and borrowers. Mortgage agents can track borrower payments, complete required monthly reports to GSEs and other stakeholders, manage non-performing loans through loan mods, and manage potential foreclosure, REO and preservation efforts. property on the chain with immutable record keeping to reduce risk and costs throughout the process.

On the securitization side, a smart contract can be created for each transaction and hosted on the chain to test loans against preferred underwriting standards and flag any loans in a pool that do not meet the criteria.

As Figure founder Mike Cagney explained, “Blockchain can reduce audit quality control expenses [and provide] a means of certainty. In the over-the-counter market, it can take 100 days for a pool of loans to settle. [On blockchain], you can do it in real time.

Blockchain disruption for skeptics
To skeptics, I urge you to carefully consider the benefits before removing mortgage blockchain.

Figure has already proven the cost reduction potential, demonstrating 117 basis points of savings for HELOCs from inception to transaction execution. With their acquisition of Homebridge, they will continue with proof cases of blockchain using billions of senior mortgages in 2022. If the end result looks like Figure’s HELOC cases, we might see real momentum for the mortgage blockchain.

It should also be noted that a large portion of the cost reductions would come from securities transactions, through reductions in personnel costs and commission expenses. A Moody’s report estimates that blockchain securities transactions could reduce these expenses by 10-20%, for annual savings of between $ 840 million and $ 1.7 billion.

Deliver today while building for tomorrow
The pandemic has forced a rapid digital transition from which we cannot – and must not – turn back. As more banks / lenders embrace the technology to prioritize the consumer experience, the next logical step is to streamline the process itself, and mortgage blockchain is the most efficient way to do this. .

Structural disruption is like the proverbial frog in boiling water – it happens slowly, then suddenly. In other words, only the unprepared are disturbed. At Sagent, we’re laser-focused on our vision of modernizing customer service first from a SaaS software perspective, but we’re also building new blockchain plumbing to prepare for the next two decades.

We deliver today to our repairers while building for tomorrow, and that’s what repairers should expect from all their partners.


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The dangers of making a fortune at a tender age http://rrreading.com/the-dangers-of-making-a-fortune-at-a-tender-age/ http://rrreading.com/the-dangers-of-making-a-fortune-at-a-tender-age/#respond Mon, 18 Oct 2021 03:00:13 +0000 http://rrreading.com/the-dangers-of-making-a-fortune-at-a-tender-age/

We all dream of winning the lottery or inheriting a life changing amount of money. But unless sudden wealth is carefully managed, it can quickly disappear, wasted on bad investment decisions or impulsive spending.

Emma Raducanu, the British tennis star who won $ 2.5 million at the age of 18 for winning the US Open last month, is set to earn millions more in promotional offers. She had joked that her first goal at the tournament had been to earn enough to buy a new pair of Apple AirPods for £ 159.

Now she joins a long list of young people who have made a lot of money very quickly in recent years. Footballers, such as Raheem Sterling, are a prime example; he is 26 years old and worth around £ 38million. Pop star and Brit Award winner Harry Styles, still just 27, has an estimated net worth of £ 75million. Tom Holland, best known for playing Spider-Man in the Marvel movies, is 25 years old and has an estimated fortune of £ 6.4million.

It’s not just sports stars, actors and musicians. Kids who make money as influencers, such as American YouTube stars Ryan Kaji, nine, and Evan Moana, 15, have made millions of dollars from videos such as toy unboxes . Young entrepreneur Mikaila Ulmer, 17, became a millionaire from sales of her Me & The Bees lemonade, while Alina Morse, 16, made millions on sugar-free lollipops.

Teenage lemonade millionaire Mikaila Ulmer © Mike Windle / Getty Images

But, for some young people, a windfall can be an emotional and financial disaster. The term “sudden wealth syndrome” was coined in the 1990s during the dot-com bubble, when investors poured speculative money into online start-ups. The term describes the overwhelming pressures of an unexpected fortune. “Just because someone has been successful in track and field or in a business doesn’t mean they now know what to do with a large sum of money,” says Chris Page, Certified Financial Planner and Director of Lewis Brownlee Financial Services in the south of England. . “The larger the amount of money. . . and the younger the person can combine to make it very difficult to manage.

This can be a particular problem for young people from modest backgrounds. Wealth managers say clients often struggle with feelings of elation, fear, guilt and stress after the initial rush has passed. Kevin Swanson, chief executive of California-based wealth manager Potentia, says many are unprepared. “A lot of times people got into sports or social media because they were following their passion, but money can cloud our decisions and create emotional chaos.”

Footballer Raheem Sterling, 26, estimated to be worth £ 38million

Footballer Raheem Sterling, 26, worth an estimated £ 38million © Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

A large number of young people who make money quickly end up losing everything. Argentine footballer Diego Maradona made millions of dollars in his heyday in the 1980s when he was in his twenties, but, in 2009, filed for bankruptcy. He died last year at the age of 60. In 1990, boxer Evander Holyfield became world heavyweight champion at age 28, but lost much of his fortune, in part due to poor investment decisions. “Current incomes can be high and increase, but the future incomes of athletes and artists are inherently uncertain – they must hope for the best but plan for the worst,” said Peter Daniel, head of private wealth management at the firm of lawyers Collyer Bristow in London. “You’re never just an injury or a drop in popularity away from a significant drop in your income. The principle should be to make hay while the sun is shining. Set aside as much money as possible for rainy days when income is high. “

Financial experts recommend dealing with immediate problems. It could be paying off a mortgage or car loan, paying off other debts, and most importantly paying taxes. “You can suddenly go from no tax at all to the highest tax rate,” Daniel explains. “It would be wise to look at options to mitigate income tax, for example through pension contributions or charitable donations.”

Anyone attending or performing around the world should keep in mind that they may have tax obligations in different jurisdictions, in which case an accountant with international expertise is essential. There may also be unusual details to consider, such as how to structure image rights.

Young people often want to express their gratitude to their parents with gifts. “It is not uncommon to hear that young people who find themselves in a financially fortunate situation will offer their supporting parents a house, a car or large sums of money,” said Lilly Whale, private lawyer. at Goodman Derrick in London. She gives the example of YouTuber Adam B who, at 20, surprised his parents by buying them a family home in Northern Ireland. At any age, however, the rules about giving should be considered, depending on the jurisdiction in which you live.

Then there are considerations of the financial wisdom of those who gain great wealth in their younger years. “Sadly, it’s pretty common to hear about celebrities suffering,” says Whale, pointing to American pop star Britney Spears, who struggled with mental health issues in her twenties after reaching fame and wealth. In 2008, she was placed under trusteeship, with her financial and personal affairs being managed by other people. In September, a judge suspended his father as a curator but left in place separate guardianship with an accountant chosen by his legal team. If Spears had planned ahead, she could have chosen who she wanted to run her affairs in case she was deemed unfit to do it on her own. A similar system exists in the UK: people can set up a ‘durable power of attorney’ by deciding in advance who will take charge of their affairs. Those who do not may have someone imposed on them by a court order.

Pop star Britney Spears, pictured at 37 in 2019

Pop star Britney Spears, pictured at 37 in 2019 © Valerie Macon / AFP via Getty Images

There are practical reasons why celebrities and athletes ask others to manage their interests – through, for example, an enduring power of attorney over property and financial affairs. Raducanu, for example, is likely to travel abroad. If she is building large assets, she may need trusted people to make decisions on her behalf when she is overseas or less available to manage her portfolio.

“Rather than being relevant only when you become unable to run your own affairs, it can be helpful to have someone you trust with the authority to make decisions and sign documents on your behalf, especially if you do. around the world, ”explains Daniel.

The investment plans will differ depending on whether someone enters the money at, say, the age of 25 versus 65. “We recommend dividing those [financial] areas into four compartments: one for life events, an emergency fund, working capital and retirement, ”says Swanson. “Each of these compartments feeds the biggest financial goal, whatever it is, in a strategic way. Goals may include buying a home, investing in personal life experiences, or purchasing assets such as art, technology, and property. Other, perhaps more mundane financial areas also need to be addressed, says Natasha Oakshett, London-based private and tax client service partner at the law firm Withers. “Having mechanisms that effectively divert funds to things like pensions, insurance policies, and certain tax-advantaged savings products as regular automatic expenses that you don’t actually have access to, takes those funds out of the way. table and is the easiest way to protect them, ”she said.

Financial advisers in every country have products and structures that save tax. But Oakshett advises caution. “If you don’t understand what the product does and how it does it, but the result sounds too good to be true, you probably do,” she warns. “If you find yourself in an arrangement that is challenged by the tax authorities, not only can it be costly and time consuming to defend, but the damage it can cause to your reputation or brand can be proportionately much greater. “

Mistakes are easier to make when someone is newly wealthy. “Money slips through their fingers in two or three years because they’re not prepared to be good stewards,” says Swanson, who says he often sees young people with a long list of things to spend on. money that rarely includes retirement savings or an emergency fund. Fast cars, boats, planes and even islands are popular, especially with professional footballers.

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about sudden wealth is that the recipient becomes a target for others looking to profit from it. Many celebrities have lost huge sums of money that they gave to people or investment programs they believed to be legitimate. Most infamous was Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, which victimized prominent businessmen, sports stars and celebrities.

“Even friends and family, wonderful as they are, often feel entitled to have a share of the sudden wealth,” says Swanson. “That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t help people, but set aside a fund to help. “

This article is part of FT Wealth, a section offering in-depth coverage of philanthropy, entrepreneurs, family offices, as well as alternative and impact investing

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