Breakingviews – Money-laundering fight starts with transparency

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General view of the Canary Wharf financial district, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, London, Britain, April 6, 2020.

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) – Big banks want you to know that reports they processed hundreds of billions of dollars of potentially dodgy funds are old and not necessarily relevant to the current money-laundering fight. That’s only partly true. The leaking of details of thousands of suspicious transactions reveal that financial institutions and authorities could do a lot more to combat the financing of terrorism, corruption and other global ills.

Shares in large lenders like HSBC, Barclays and Deutsche Bank slumped on Monday following reports that many had moved allegedly illicit cash around despite finding red flags. BuzzFeed News got hold of about 2,100 suspicious activity reports (SARs) filed to the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) and shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and

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As China Ages, a Push to Add Elevators Offers a New Kind of Economic Relief

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GUANGZHOU, China — When China faced previous economic slowdowns, it favored pharaonic, multibillion-dollar construction projects to quickly pump money into the economy. A bullet train network that now connects 700 cities. Ultramodern expressways longer than America’s interstate highways. And 81 of the world’s 100 highest bridges.

Now, a top Chinese official has a new idea to rev up growth during the coronavirus pandemic: elevators.

China’s premier, Li Keqiang, and his allies in the government want to retrofit as many as three million older, walk-up apartment buildings, projects that usually cost less than $100,000.

The downsized ambitions reflect the evolution of China, from a youthful but impoverished country to a graying but increasingly middle-class one.

Although China still likes grandiose infrastructure projects, they no longer have the same economic effect. High-speed rail lines and superhighways already link every large city, so new ones connect smaller and smaller communities in China’s mountainous

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Oakland County loses 25% of small businesses to pandemic

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Oakland County Executive David Coulter gives an update on COVID-19 cases and response, March 21, 2020 at the L. Brooks Patterson Building Conference Center in Waterford. (Photo: Junfu Han, Detroit Free Press)

The COVID-19 pandemic hit Oakland County early and hard, an economist said Monday, and while consumer spending has largely recovered, the number of small businesses open is about 25% below where it was before the coronavirus outbreak.

An annual economic report estimates Oakland County lost about 156,000 jobs in the second quarter of this year, which was nearly the same amount as the county’s job losses over the entire decade of the 2000s.

“We share County Executive (David) Coulter’s assessment that the economy cannot recover completely until the public health situation improves and workers and consumers can go about their daily lives safely,” said Gabriel Ehrlich, director of the University of Michigan Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics

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Patriot Growth Insurance Services Enters Las Vegas Insurance Market with Addition of Capstone Brokerage

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FORT WASHINGTON, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Patriot Growth Insurance Services, LLC (“Patriot”), one of the country’s largest and fastest-growing national insurance agencies, today announced the addition of Capstone Brokerage (“Capstone”) to the Patriot platform. The partnership with Capstone enhances Patriot’s existing risk management and employee benefits capabilities and expands the company’s services into a new geography.

Based in Las Vegas, NV, Capstone is a rapidly growing, independent agency that provides various property & casualty and employee benefits insurance products. President Mary Thompson, an active member in the insurance community with more than 30 years of industry experience, leads a highly motivated team of professionals who are committed to understanding the unique culture and strategic long-term goals of their clients. Capstone’s seasoned employees take great pride in their work, a characteristic which permeates the company’s culture and ultimately each of its client relationships.

Capstone has consistently received accolades for its collaborative culture

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Mountain College earns national rankings from U.S. News and World Report

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PIPPA PASSES, Ky. (WYMT) – A mountain college received rankings in seven categories from a national publication.

Alice Lloyd College earned rankings from the 2021 U.S. News and World Report of Best Colleges. Nationally, among all colleges and universities, Alice Lloyd College was ranked 4th for selectivity with an acceptance rate of seven percent and 4th for alumni giving rate.

The report also ranked Alice Lloyd College 1st among all Regional Colleges and Universities for alumni giving rate, 4th for Best Value Schools among Southern Regional Colleges, 26th overall among Best Regional Colleges South and first among all Regional Colleges and Universities for Selectively with an acceptance rate of seven percent. The college was also in the top 15 in the South for Social Mobility.

U.S. News and World Report evaluates institutions based on several standards including academic quality and financial statistics.

“About 25 percent of that ranking is based

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Bullwhip Effect Could Boost U.S. Economy

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Businesses that ran down their inventories when the Covid-19 crisis struck are now trying to build them back up. That is creating a powerful boost that, while temporary in nature, investors shouldn’t ignore.

The sapping of demand that hit during the first half of the year dealt a heavy blow to the economy, but what happened to inventories only made it worse. In the earlier stages of the pandemic, disruptions to global supply chains emanating from China led to shortages of the parts and materials manufacturers needed. Then, as Covid-19 gripped the U.S., factories and their suppliers sharply curtailed, and in many cases halted, production, further reducing inventories. Finally, as they were able to come back on line, many were leery of ramping up production, worrying that any rebound in demand as the economy reopened might be meager.

When inventories get run down, gross domestic product gets depressed. That is

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Insurance Advisory Organization’s Pandemic Endorsement Approved by 6 States

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AAIS (the American Association of Insurance Services) has received approval from six state insurance departments for its health-emergency policy endorsement, clarifying coverage and cancellation provisions in the wake of COVID-19. To date, the endorsement has been approved in Arkansas, Arizona, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, as AAIS said it continues to respond to regulator concerns across the country.

AAIS has developed several sample policyholder notices and a model suspension of cancellation endorsement. The endorsement provides a temporary suspension for a specific timeframe during which a policy would not be cancelled due solely to the policyholder’s nonpayment of premium. The sample notices also address suspension of cancellation due to nonpayment of premium, the anticipated submission of pandemic-related claims, and good faith extensions of claim communication requirements and conditions.

According to AAIS General Counsel Robin Westcott, the endorsements and policyholder notices were developed in collaboration with state regulators “to respond to

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Aigenpulse launches data analysis suite to automate flow cytometry

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Life science and data technology innovator, Aigenpulse, is launching its CytoML Experiment Suite – an automated, end-to-end, machine learning solution specifically aimed at streamlining and automating cytometry analysis at scale and replacing manual gating processes. With it, users will benefit from a single point-of-truth about all cytometry data across any organisation.

Image Credit: Aigenpulse

CytoML automates every stage of the flow cytometry data lifecycle, from data acquisition to insight generation. It can help increase throughput of data processing and analytics by as much as 600%, simultaneously increasing the accuracy, reproducibility, and quality of flow cytometry data.

The Experiment Suite makes it possible to leverage machine learning to scale-up and automate gating using both unsupervised and guided population identification, clearly visualising populations and having full control over gating parameters in the Decision Space. All algorithm parameters are retained for fully transparent and reproducible cytometry gating.

CytoML has been

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Wildfires intensify economic pain in the West

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(AP) — The fires consuming the forests of California and Oregon and darkening the skies over San Francisco and Portland are also damaging a regional economy already singed by the coronavirus outbreak.

Wildfires are destroying property, running up huge losses for property insurers and putting a strain on economic activity along the West Coast that could linger for a year or more.

The credit rating agency A.M. Best estimates that insured losses from the blazes in California could top the unprecedented $13 billion recorded in 2017 when the state was hit by three of the five costliest fires in U.S. history.

“We know that the damage is widespread, but we don’t really know how many homes, how many structures have been destroyed,” said Adam Kamins, an economist who tracks natural disasters for Moody’s Analytics. “I imagine the number is going to be an unbearably high one.’’

The fires are unlikely

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