Argentina exceeds 100,000 cases of novel coronavirus

first_imgMauro Grossman, an intensive care doctor at Ezeiza Hospital in Buenos Aires, told Reuters he believed the peak was approaching. “We believe this peak will plateau and not decrease for a while,” he said. “That is the most dangerous thing, being at peak for a long time, that is what is going to make beds fill up much faster and the intensive care beds get quickly occupied.”Some 12.81 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed worldwide, and 565,231 people have died, according to a Reuters count.The United States has the highest number of cases in the world, with 3.26 million and 134,654 deaths. Other countries with high rates of infections include Brazil, India and Russia.The coronavirus has also hit Argentina’s economy hard, when it was already heading into its third year of recession at a time when it seeks to restructure $65 billion in debt. The death toll in Argentina from COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, is 1,845, a far cry from the 71,469 in Brazil by Sunday and the 11,682 in Peru.But confirmed case numbers moved into four figures daily in early June and for the past four days have hit at least 3,000 daily.Carla Vizzotti, deputy health minister, said the lockdowns would be maintained while hospitals continued to fill up.”What we want to do is…decrease virus transmission and buy more time for the health service to be able to respond,” she said. Argentina exceeded 100,000 cases of novel coronavirus infections on Sunday as it struggles to contain spiraling case rates despite a strict quarantine imposed on the capital Buenos Aires and its surroundings.The health ministry said 2,657 new cases confirmed overnight took the total to 100,166.The South American country imposed a strict quarantine in mid-March to stop the pandemic. It relaxed restrictions slightly in May but then reinstated them in late June for Buenos Aires and its surroundings due to a spike in cases.center_img Topics :last_img read more

UK accountants, actuaries welcome amended FRC proposals

first_imgAccountants and actuaries have backed a UK proposal to clarify how defined-benefit plan sponsors account for a minimum funding requirement.The proposals in question are detailed in FRED 55 – draft amendments to FRS 102 – which the UK’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC) published on 20 August.They affect businesses reporting under the new UK GAAP framework of FRS 102, a financial reporting standard that will apply in the UK and the Republic of Ireland from 1 January 2015.Out of 20 comment letters from interested parties, all registered support for the FRC’s actions. However, commentators did warn that FRED 55 failed to address surplus recognition. Aon Hewitt actuary Simon Robinson said: “FRED 55 suggests that the ‘additional liability’ parts of IFRIC 14 do not need to be applied to FRS 102 but is silent on whether to consider the surplus recognition parts of IFRIC 14.“So we are left with the likelihood of diversity in this area. In my view, FRED 55 should address surplus recognition as well.”The publication of FRED 55 is the latest step in a major shake-up of the accounting framework in the United Kingdom and Ireland, which will see the introduction of FRS 102.FRS 102 is a localised version of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for Small- and Medium-sized Entities and replaces existing UK GAAP with a single point of reference.Section 28 of FRS 102 replaces FRS 17, which is a standalone accounting standard. Its new requirements apply from 1 January 2015, along with the rest of FRS 102.FRED 55 deals with circumstances where a DB plan sponsor has booked a DB asset or liability on its balance sheet under FRS 102.The approach proposed in FRED 55 potentially creates divergence in practice between UK GAAP and the application of the International Accounting Standards Board’s asset-ceiling guidance, IFRIC 14.FRED 55 says that where a defined benefit (DB) plan sponsor agrees to pay a schedule of deficit contributions, the sponsor need not look at whether it will build up a surplus in the future and then decide whether any benefit will flow from that surplus.Instead, the sponsor only has to calculate any plan surplus or deficit at the balance sheet date. Put differently, it shortcuts IFRIC 14’s two-step process.And complicating this situation is the move earlier this year by the International Financial Reporting Standards Interpretations Committee to investigate how a scheme trustee’s actions might affect surplus recognition.In particular, the committee, which is responsible for IFRIC 14, explored whether a trustee’s power to increase member benefits, or wind up a plan, would mean sponsors could no-longer book a plan surplus.The committee’s discussions during July led some commentators to fear that it might become all but impossible to report a surplus.Any such move, consultants Aon Hewitt warned in August, would leave FTSE 350 companies to take a £25bn (€31.7bn) balance sheet hit and blow a £1bn hole in net income.Those fears receded in September, however, when the committee’s subsequent discussions suggested that any changes to IFRIC 14 would hit just a small number of plan sponsors – if any.In comment letters on FRED 55, audit giant EY, as well as actuaries JLT and Towers Watson, warned that the proposals failed to deal comprehensively with practice under IFRIC 14.The advisers also said that there remains a real risk of divergence in practice emerging in this area.EY wrote: “We would therefore encourage the FRC to monitor this issue and reconsider at a later date whether it should take any action to clarify how this paragraph should be applied.”JLT argue that the draft amendment was principally concerned with the recognition of additional liabilities in respect of a schedule of contributions – the ‘minimum funding requirement’ aspects of IFRIC 14.“It does not clarify whether or not the remainder of IFRIC 14 should be referred to when deciding on whether a surplus is recognizable.”JLT also claimed that FRS 102 could be more flexible on the issue of surplus recognition than the standard it replaced, FRS 17.
“The key difference between the two standards is the wording  ‘agreed by  the  pension scheme trustees as the balance sheet date’ as, in practice, this means that the possibility of allowing for a refund is not usually available under FRS 17.“The wording of FRS 102 omits this additional detail and so implies that thereis more flexibility to recognise a plan surplus as an asset.”And Towers Watson actuary Charles Rodgers wrote: “Having clarified the non-application of one particular aspect of IFRIC 14, it would also be helpful if the FRC could indicate whether any of the other requirements of IFRIC 14 should be applied to Section 28 of FRS 102.”In addition, on a separate issue, FRED 55 confirms that entities should recognise the effect of restricting the recognition of surplus in a DB plan, where surplus is not recoverable, in other comprehensive income and not in profit and loss.Further action by both the FRC and the IFRS IC is expected in the new year.Separately, on 16 December, the FRC published a revised version of Actuarial Standard Technical Memorandum 1, its pensions communications standard.The FRC said in a statement that the new standard reflected “the implementation of automatic enrolment, legislation on same-sex marriage and to enable pension providers to more effectively take account of the impact of guaranteed annuity terms.”last_img read more

Joseph Mariathasan: Market volatility, and coping with crowded trades

first_imgThe combination of those two things and the fact that they respond quite quickly to market movements means that you can get gaps. As he points out, CTAs can be three-to-five times leveraged and in contrast to risk parity a trend following strategy will be aggressively long an asset and then move to be short an asset. That does suggest risk parity strategies may not be the cause of volatility. They will always have a long exposure to an asset but just trim and manage that exposure to keep it in proportion to other exposures in the portfolio without a wholesale change in direction. But there can also be other big players including banks hedging structured products and derivative exposures which again will respond to short term changes. In contrast, risk parity tends to rebalance monthly or a different frequency depending on the manager.Risk parity approaches are essentially passive and would tend to rebalance monthly without taking a negative or positive view on assets but always trying to maintain a long portfolio across lots of different assets. So even if a risk parity approach has some leverage, it is usually tweaking at the edges to get the desired allocation. Risk parity is an example of a volatility controlled strategy that responds to changes in market volatility by increasing or decreasing leverage, so increasing equity volatility and correlation to other assets would lead to risk parity portfolios reducing equity exposures. In that sense, there is clearly a theoretical problem that when there is a bout of increased equity market volatility, there may be a case of too many elephants trying to squeeze out of the exit door. But risk parity may not be a large enough strategy to be an issue in this case.Bridgewater’s Ray Dallio argued in the wake of August 2015’s turmoil that US funds have allocated around 4% of assets to risk parity strategies, amounting to around $400bn (€360bn) – of which Bridgewater’s own All Weather Fund accounts for $80bn. Dallio estimated that if external managers cut their risk by 25%, it would result in a sale of $20bn spread across global equities, bonds and commodities. Typical equity holdings are 35%, with half being US equities so a 25% reduction would only amount to $4bn, whilst trading volumes in US equities for the period of high volatility was $200bn daily. Relative to overall trading volumes, then the impact of risk parity trading appears to be miniscule.If risk parity is not to blame for increased market volatility, then what is? Other forms of systematic trading could certainly have contributed more than risk volatility. There are certainly an increasing number of other types of trading that are possible culprits such as high frequency trading and model-driven systematic strategies. The actions of non-profit oriented players such as the ECB may also be an issue. There are immense issues being caused by central bank policies driving a lot of flows in the market. The ECB is buying tens of billions of bonds every month and investors are positioning themselves in anticipation of what central banks are going to do and that leads to very crowded one-way sentiment in the market. But for the next few years, how the UK copes with Brexit may provide a structural reason for increased volatility even if the distribution is very far from normal. Trying to model the behaviour of equity markets has become increasingly difficult and, as the Brexit vote has so dramatically illustrated, markets can be thrown completely off-course by unexpected events. It is clear they do not follow a normal, Gaussian distribution. The existence of fat tails seems to be pretty conclusive and hence a higher than expected frequency of ‘black swan’ events of which the Brexit vote is a clear example. The volatility seen post-Brexit vote is understandable, but other periods of extreme volatility are often not.A good example of recent unexplained volatility were occurrences in August 2015, when US stocks went down almost 7%.This was attributed to risk-parity strategies that were forced to sell equities as market volatility rose. A JP Morgan analyst, Marko Kolanovic, quantified the volume of potential selling by risk parity strategies in various market scenarios and came up with the conclusion that selling could have been in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Such comments resulted in a vigorous defence of risk parity by its major proponents, including from Bridgewater and AQR Capital Management.Whilst Brexit-induced volatility may be a good example of a dramatic change in fundamentals, what is also clear is that technical selling can appear at times to overwhelm any fundamental valuations creating large short term movements leading to sharp gapping in prices. The issue for the stability of financial markets is whether this market volatility has been exacerbated by particular types of investment strategies.Volatility targeting, for example, has become an increasingly widespread way of managing assets and that has implications: Adding risk as volatility goes down and reducing risk as volatility goes up can be pro-cyclical, extending a move that has already started. As one manager argued, if the euro starts rallying and the daily volatility is declining, then CTAs will be building up an exposure in a market over the course of a trend as markets that are trending will often exhibit declining volatility. When the trend ends, you see a change in direction and an increase in volatility. CTAs who follow that trend will cut their positions, first because the trend is finished and secondly because they have to reduce their position size because volatility has increased.last_img read more

QLD – Level 1 Selectors Course, Tallebudgera

first_imgContact: Garry Shepherd, SQBD Touch AssociationPhone: (07) 5535 5777Email: [email protected]: http://www.sqbdtouch.comlast_img

Ontario Tories eager to turn the page following weeks of unprecedented tumult

first_imgTORONTO – Ontario’s embattled Progressive Conservatives tried to put on a united front Tuesday, saying the party has turned the page following weeks of unprecedented tumult triggered by its leader’s abrupt resignation — and his short-lived quest to reclaim his job.But questions remained about the party’s ability to restore confidence among the rank and file while holding a leadership contest that could see the Tories walk away from the “People’s Guarantee” — a platform touted by ousted leader Patrick Brown as the path to victory in the spring election.“The last 10 days have been unprecedented in Ontario’s politics,” interim leader Vic Fedeli told a news conference. “No one will question that it has been a difficult time for our party, but we are now ready to turn the page.”Fedeli, however, repeatedly dodged questions about his promise to “root out the rot,” following allegations of corruption, fixed nomination contests, abuse of funds and inflated membership numbers levelled against Brown, who is also being investigated by Ontario’s integrity commissioner.“Our party is bigger than one person,” he said, adding that the Tories have never been in a better position to defeat the Liberals, who have governed the province for over 14 years.“Quite frankly, this has made us a lot stronger,” he said.But turning the page won’t be easy given the media coverage of Brown’s resignation in January amid sexual misconduct allegations and the chaos that ensued, said University of Guelph political science professor Tamara Small.“The party itself and all of the candidates are not going to want to talk about Patrick Brown,” she said. “Their messaging will be about moving on and defeating (Premier) Kathleen Wynne….but it will depend on whether or not the media decides they’re going to let the PCs set the agenda.”Barry Kay, a political science professor at Wilfrid Laurier University, said barring any further revelations involving Brown, the party, or major gaffes by the yet-to-be elected leader, history favours the Tories when it comes to replacing the Liberals.“There is a sense that the Liberals have had more than a fair shot, 15 years,” he said. “That should give the Conservatives, all things being equal, an edge coming into this election.”The four remaining leadership hopefuls — former legislator Christine Elliott, lawyer Caroline Mulroney, former Toronto city councillor Doug Ford and parental rights advocate Tanya Granic Allen — will face each other in a debate Wednesday in Ottawa.Members will start voting for the new leader on March 2, with the winner to be announced on March 10.If elected leader, Mulroney said she would introduce a plan to clean up the party, beef up its sexual harassment policies, modernize its technology and establish rules for “legitimate” expenses.“I’m going to build a party members can trust again,” she said. “A party ready to bring a new generation of leadership to our province.”Elliott said some change is in order for the party, but there was no need for a major internal shakeup.“We do need to make some changes…but I do believe that foundation is strong,” she said. “I don’t think things are in the kind of terrible shape that Caroline seems to think they are, I think things are much more healthy and we’re ready to go.”Doug Ford and Tanya Granic Allen did not respond to requests for comment.Meanwhile, the Liberals seized the opportunity to attack the Tory leadership candidates, who have opposed not only the province’s current cap-and-trade system, but also Brown’s plan to replace it with a carbon tax.The Tories will have to cut services to make up for the billions of dollars the program would bring in, said Deb Matthews, former president of the Treasury Board and Liberal campaign co-chair.“I’m looking to see who’s going to come clean,” she said. “Who is going to say this is what we’re going to cut.”NDP legislator France Gelinas said it’s becoming clear that the Progressive Conservative party is not ready to run the province.“We don’t have to choose between bad and worse,” she said. “We can choose the NDP.”Gelinas added that she won’t be tuning in to watch Thursday’s leadership debate.“I look at the Conservatives a bit like … a dumpster fire,” she said. “You know there are flames coming of that big box but I’m not interested to see what’s in there.”— With files from Paola Loriggio.last_img read more

Ontario releases cannabis regulations for retail stores set to open April 1

first_imgTORONTO — The Ontario government has released regulations that will guide the startup of private cannabis stores on April 1.The stand-alone stores can be open any day between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m., but they must be at least 150 metres away from schools and bar entry to anyone under 19 years old.A market concentration limit of 75 stores per operator has been set.Until April, cannabis can only be legally purchased from the online Ontario Cannabis Store.Applications for licences will begin on Dec. 17 and illegal cannabis retailers who were operating after legalization on Oct. 17 will not be eligible to receive cannabis sales licences.Licences won’t be issued to any person or organization who has an association with organized crime, and applicants must demonstrate their tax compliance status to show they are in good standing with the government.“The purpose of these regulations is to keep kids safe and to ensure all people operating in this tightly-regulated retail system behave with integrity, honesty, and in the public interest,” Attorney General Caroline Mulroney said in a statement.Retail managers and employees must complete approved training in the responsible sale of cannabis.The government says it will provide $40 million over two years to help municipalities with the implementation costs of recreational cannabis legalization.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

OGC releases thirdparty review on induced seismic events in the Kiskatinaw area

first_imgThe review found that the state of stress throughout much of the Kiskatinaw area at depths between the Doig and Belloy is strike-slip and in a near-critical state. This means only small fluid pressure increases are sufficient to cause the most critically oriented fractures and faults to become critically stressed.The full review can be found on the OGC’s website. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The B.C. Oil & Gas Commission released a third-party review of the factors that contributed to induced seismic events in the Kiskatinaw area.According to the OGC, on November 29, 2018, the area experienced a 4.5 magnitude induced seismic earthquake which led to heightened public concern.In the third-party review, conducted by Enlighten Geoscience Limited, it looks at understanding the issues surrounding induced seismicity in the Kiskatinaw Seismic Monitoring and Mitigation Area.last_img read more

Man kills wife and three children

first_imgGhaziabad: A 35-year-old man allegedly killed his wife and three children including two daughters in Nyay Khand 2 in Indirapuram area of Ghaziabad on intervening night of Saturday and Sunday. Police are yet to trace the accused who left his home informing his family members by putting up a video on family’s AhatsApp group of which he told the members that he killed the all of him family and he is going to commit suicide now.According to police, the deceased have been identified as accused’s wife Ashu Balla (32), two daughters- Parmesh (6) and Akriti (8) and only son Aarav (4). “The family lived at a rented accommodation in a builder flat for the last two years,” police said. Shlok Kumar, SP City of Ghaziabad told Millennium Post that the accused has been identified as Sumit Kumar, who works as a software engineer. “Two months ago, he resigned his job in Bangalore and after that he had no job while his wife works as a private teacher in Ghaziabad. The reason behind this killing is not clear yet, but the initial investigation revealed that the accused was under depression due to financial crunch and no job can also be a reason,” Kumar added. “The accused himself posted a video on the family WhatsApp group in which he confessed to have killed his family and he also told the family members that he is going to kill himself as well,” Kumar added. Sandeep Kumar Singh, Station House Officer of Indirapuram police station, said that the incident occurred around 3 am and he posted his video on family group around 6pm on Sunday. After posting the video, the accused called his brother-in-law and informed about the incident. Around 6.15 pm, police received a call from the Ashu’s brother and he informed the police about the incident. When police team reached the accused’s house, police found all dead body on the bedroom floor,” Singh said. Three police team have been formed by SP City to trace the accused live or dead, as soon as possible.last_img read more

After earlyseason loss could OSU sneak its way back into the BCS

The Ohio State football team is the 2009 BCS National Champion.This phrase strikes even the most avid fans as impossible, but it is much more probable than it seems.The BCS rankings are comprised of the USA Today Coaches Poll, The Harris Interactive Poll and a combination of computer rankings that are each worth one-third of the overall rankings. The USA Today and Harris Interactive polls consist of human voters casting ballots every week while the computer rankings crunch numbers, such as strength of schedule and outcomes of games versus shared opponents.The system can be quite confusing and its existence is always a hot topic in college football, but it typically favors teams with fewer losses and teams from big conferences, such as the Big Ten.This was evident during the 2007 season, when the Buckeyes lost to Illinois in Week 12, but still managed to crawl their way into the championship game after only playing one game during the season’s final four weeks.The rankings make the current situation, and peculiar ranking, similar to 2007. The 2007 Buckeyes were ranked No. 7 following their loss to Illinois, and the 2009 team is ranked No. 7 in the polls this week.The 2007 team had one game and four weeks left in the season to make up ground. This year’s team has six games and nine weeks of football to make it to the top of the standings.In 2007, all six teams ranked ahead of OSU in Week 12 lost during the last four weeks of the season. Oklahoma and Oregon both lost in Week 12, Kansas and LSU lost in week 13 and Missouri and West Virginia lost during their conference championships. Compared to 2007, this year’s Buckeyes actually have a better chance of making it to the national championship.No. 6 USC plays two ranked opponents, No. 25 Notre Dame and No. 14 Oregon, and has lost to an unranked conference opponent this season. That loss could hurt the Trojans when the BCS rankings are released on Oct. 18, because the computer rankings consider the quality of the opponents a team loses to.The No. 5 Boise State Broncos will face only two teams in the remaining season with winning records. The computer rankings will hurt the Broncos since their strength of schedule is low. OSU should pass them in the rankings before the season’s end.Virginia Tech, ranked fourth, plays only one currently ranked opponent the rest of the season — No. 20 Georgia Tech, who they face this weekend. The Hokies will play a conference championship game if they win out, but conference championship games took down two teams ahead of OSU in 2007.No. 3 Texas plays the toughest remaining schedule, facing three currently ranked teams in No. 20 Oklahoma, No. 16 Oklahoma State and No. 17 Kansas. This does not include the conference championship they would play if they won the rest of their regular season contests. No. 2 Alabama plays two currently ranked teams, No. 22 South Carolina this weekend and No. 9 LSU in two weeks, and has a conference championship at the end of the year.Top-ranked Florida has an easy schedule to finish the season, playing only two teams with winning records and only one ranked team, but they must play a conference championship.Because OSU is likely to pass USC and Boise State, and the possibility of Texas losing one game in a tough schedule, only three teams would pose major threats to OSU.The other three teams all play a conference championship, likely against ranked opponents, and Alabama and Florida will play each other in the conference championship if they both win their remaining regular season games. That leaves two teams ahead of OSU.The Buckeyes must win every remaining game this year for a hope at the championship.In 2007, the Buckeyes played only one ranked opponent after Week 15 of the season, No. 18 Wisconsin, which left their strength of schedule lower than desired.This season, OSU has a possibility to play two Top 15-ranked teams in Iowa and Penn State. If OSU beats two top 15 teams, they would stay ahead of other one-loss teams in the top 10 because of their quality of wins. read more

Buckeyes have offensive explosion

The first night home game of the baseball season did nothing to deter the sizzling offense of the Ohio State baseball team.Every Buckeye hitter had a base hit in their 12-7 win over the Xavier Musketeers (7-22, 3-3 in the Atlantic 10) Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium.Left fielder Zach Hurley went 2-for-5 with 3 RBI, and first baseman Ryan Dew added a home run and four RBIs for Ohio State (17-8, 2-1).“Tonight, we did some things well, and it was particularly true with our seniors,” said coach Bob Todd. “I mean, Hurley and Dew, and Dew had some big hits, Kovanda’s always been a spark plug for us. And that’s the kind of stuff you’ve got to have.”Hurley hit his sixth home run of the season on the first pitch of the bottom of the fourth to tie the game at 6-6.“I got a good pitch to hit, and I just went with it,” Hurley said.Ohio State grabbed a 7-6 lead on Michael Stephens’ RBI single later in the inning.Hurley delivered again in the bottom of the fifth with a two-out, two-run double to give OSU a 9-6 lead.Second baseman Cory Kovanda’s RBI single, a bases-loaded walk to Dew and a sacrifice fly from shortstop Tyler Engle later in the fifth gave them a 12-6 lead.“We were clicking offensively, and this is what I’ve been waiting for all year out of this team,” Hurley said. “I knew it was just a matter of time before we got everyone in the lineup, all one through nine, clicking.” Starting pitcher Eric Best lasted only two innings for Ohio State, giving up five runs (two earned) on six hits.His counterpart, Xavier’s Zac Richard, went only three innings, allowing five runs and seven hits.Brett McKinney came on in relief of Best and threw four shutout innings, which was key to the Buckeyes seizing the lead.“I was more focused on throwing strikes than anything else, and I felt I did a pretty good job of that,” McKinney said. “You have to take advantage of every inning you get, whether it’s in mid-week or weekend, and especially when you’re a freshman, you don’t know when you’re going to get another shot. So you’ve got to take advantage of them.”McKinney gave up only four hits in four innings, and shut down the Musketeers’ lineup that had scored in all three prior innings.“We were counting on that and we kind of thought that McKinney was a key to us if he could give us some strong innings in the middle,” Todd said.Xavier scored four runs in the second inning, and another in the third, as an error by Engle helped hand the Musketeers a 6-3 lead.Engle made up for his mistake and hit his first home run of the season in the bottom of the second, and designated hitter Matt Streng had an RBI single in the third to cut the deficit to 6-5.After Xavier scored in the top of the first inning, Ohio State took a 3-1 lead in the bottom half of the inning when Dew delivered a two-out, three-run home run, his third of the season.The Buckeyes will have a three-game series in Big Ten play against the Indiana Hoosiers beginning Friday at 6:35 p.m. at Bill Davis Stadium. read more