Cleveland looking for to award $2M to financially troubled NEON Well being Providers utilizing pandemic aid cash: Stimulus Watch

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland City Council could pass bill Monday to allocate $ 2 million from the city’s pandemic funds to a nonprofit agency that is providing its CEO with more than $ 500,000 despite pre-pandemic financial difficulties pays.

Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services (NEON) are seeking funding from the American Rescue Plan to strengthen their health services in some of Cleveland’s poorest minority neighborhoods.

Proponents argue that the money could go far in supporting major health programs. but Tax returns from NEON reveal a precarious financial situation – and a CEO who received a $ 100,000 raise in a year the agency was caring for fewer patients and was in the red.

NEON’s plan to spend the $ 2 million American Rescue Plan Act will use the lion’s share – $ 1.4 million – on several new and existing programs, including mental health services, lead prevention and intervention, food distribution, Education about healthy eating, chronic disease control and health literacy. However, this funding pool also includes items such as “NEON Administration” and “NEON Direct Costs – Transportation”, with no US dollar amounts specified for any program.

Another $ 360,000 would work with LegalWorks, Inc. to fund a detox clinic, and $ 200,000 would be used to repair damage to the NEON Hough Health Center, which caught fire in May.

The Hough Center is temporarily closed, and NEON’s other centers are bringing health services to other areas where Clevelander suffer disproportionately from negative health outcomes, including Miles-Broadway, Norwood, St. Clair-Superior, and the Southeast Side.

NEON is a state-qualified health center and, according to IRS filings, brings in primarily cash from contributions – about $ 13 million in 2019 – and program services like Medicaid reimbursements totaling about $ 11 million in 2019. Funding is received through the administration for health resources and services. This agency said cleveland.com that NEON receives funding until the end of the year and has been approved for a 3-year funding from 01/01/2022 to 12/31/2024. The agency spokesman was not yet able to announce the total amount of the funding at the time of going to press.

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, NEON Caring for fewer patients each year, down about a third over the past five years – from 31,804 in 2016 to 21,605 in 2020. From 2017 to 2018 – the year that board member granted CEO Willie Austin a $ 100,000 raise – NEON served 2,740 fewer employees.

Although NEON serves fewer Clevelanders, NEON’s tax returns are in deficit in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 – the last available year when net income was nearly $ 1 million in the red.

In 2020, NEON received more than $ 5 million in pandemic-related funding – a $ 3.6 million forgivable loan from the CARES Paycheck Protection Program and $ 1.6 million in additional Health Center Grants and $ 216,000 in Relief Funds.

Cleveland.com contacted NEON and Austin for this story.

Some of NEON’s financial difficulties are related to a payout of more than $ 1.3 million due to a Unlawful termination lawsuit. In this case, employee James O’Donnell was fired after raising concerns about a financial audit involving the questionable activities of Arthur Fayne, a NEON board member and head of the consulting firm hired to lead the New Eastside Market project, showed that the developer was responsible for the NEON.

In December 2020, Fayne has been charged with embezzling $ 855,000 from the Eastside Market project. The case is pending.

NEON was selected to develop the New Eastside Market in 2015 and rented the property on St. Clair Avenue from the city for $ 1 a year. The city has also deposited over $ 350,000 as well a 75 percent tax reduction for 15 years on improvements to the property, including new plumbing, electrical and roofing. When the project went over budget in 2018, the city approved an additional $ 500,000 grant. Cuyahoga County and the State of Ohio also awarded grants of $ 750,000 each.

New Eastside Market opened in 2019 with a vision to operate a full-service grocery store in what is otherwise considered a “food wasteland,” as well as providing health and wellness services. But NEON has yet to deliver on some of his promises for the location, like opening a health clinic or a demonstration kitchen for nutritious cooking classes.

Alderman Basheer Jones, whose ward includes NEON’s Hough Clinic, was the council’s strongest supporter of raising $ 2 million in stimulus funds to NEON. Jones, who has given up his council seat because of an unsuccessful mayoral candidacy, has made the NEON proposal his final legislative proposal.

Speaking at a committee meeting on November 16, Jones said he saw NEON’s latest funding proposal as a step toward holistic health. Jones said when NEON was founded in 1967 it was one of the few health care providers that the city’s black community felt welcome.

“Well, I’m sure there have been a lot of mistakes along the way,” Jones continued. “Unfortunately we live in a country where some make mistakes and others can’t make mistakes… Why can some organizations as a city make mistakes and then get the resources and still be able to make mistakes? Do business and there are some who are excluded? “

The city council is expected to deliberate on the law at its final session of the year on Monday before a new council and mayor take office in January.

Stimulus Watch is a public service journalism project run by cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer to track federal funding reaching Northeast Ohio through the US rescue plan. Read more undercleveland.com/stimulus-watch.

Firefighter bikes coast to coast to boost cash for psychological well being providers

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – This one-of-a-kind team, a man, a dog, and his bike, travel 3,700 miles across the country to raise funds and raise awareness about mental health issues.

You will traverse a total of eight states on a route known as the “Southern Tier” that begins in San Diego, California and ends in St. Augustine, Florida.

Kevin Conley Jr. and his dog Rocky made their way to El Paso as they begin the long stretch of the Lone Star State.

The goal was to improve yourself and for a greater purpose.

“My original goal was to get my mind free to clear all the pain and suffering my mind was going through, and I wanted to give back for a bigger cause,” said Conley Jr.

That purpose is to raise money for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, a foundation that focuses on helping families of firefighters killed on duty and helping injured firefighters and their families.

Conley Jr. is a wilderness firefighter who has his own struggles, and Rocky loves to help and join.

“He’s always there for me, this is my best friend here,” said Conley Jr.

He says that although his mental health motivated him to start, he wants to get it not about him: “It’s about children who never speak to their father again and women who never speak to their best friend again become … I just want to raise money for the Wildlife Firefighter Foundation so that we can give something back to this world. “

To donate to Kevin’s and Rocky’s fundraiser, click here Donation to Kevin’s and Rocky’s Southern Tier, 3,700 Mile Drive for the Mental Health of Wildland Firefighters – Wildland Firefighter Foundation (givecloud.co)

For local and breaking news, sports, weather alerts, videos, and more, download the FREE KTSM 9 news app from the. down Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Bent Paddle Serving to Increase Cash, Consciousness of Psychological Well being Providers with New Beer Launch Thursday

$ 1 for every pint and $ 5 for every growler or crowler of the new Pay It Forward Pale Ale purchased goes back to Amberwing.

DULUTH, Minn .– Experts Say Mental Health Problems in Children and Adolescents are On the Rise. So an organization and a brewery are working together to promote a new beer that is raising money for mental health resources.

Bell Bank’s Pay-It-Forward Launch Party at Bent Paddle Brewing this Thursday is raising funds for Amberwing, a Duluth-based center for the wellbeing of youth and families.

In a survey sent by the organization, the results showed that the prevalence of depression in the Duluth area has increased by 25% among those under 35 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Experts there said it is important to spot signs that your child is suffering from depression and anxiety, such as: For example, staying home from school more, isolating yourself, or feeling more sad or anxious in general.

“The earlier the intervention, the more effectively the children can learn the skills that we teach at Amberwing and apply them in everyday life,” says Becky Hoversten-Mellem, Clinical Supervisor.

They say one of the barriers was that it was embarrassing to seek help, and even 18% reported the cost of treatment or didn’t know where to go.

Organizers say everyone should know about the mental health resources in the city and reach out to them when needed.

“It’s important for the community to know that it’s okay to ask for help,” said Hoversten-Mellem. “Don’t hold back when you’re having trouble, let an adult know you need help.”

Bent Paddle’s new Pay It Forward Pale Ale will be unveiled at Thursday’s event. $ 1 for every pint and $ 5 for every Growler or Crowler purchased goes back to Amberwing for approximately the next month.

“We’re always looking for ways to bring people together and solve problems, and for many, many, many eons a lot of this has been done over a pint,” said Pepin Young, director of the taproom and retail operations.

The event runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Walgreens shares surge on plans to spice up give attention to well being providers

Walgreens Boots Alliance‘s new CEO Roz Brewer said Thursday the drugstore chain will sharpen its focus on healthcare and make it the company’s “new growth engine”.

Speaking at a virtual investor’s day, she said the company’s nearly 9,000 stores in the United States will become places where customers can go to a doctor’s appointment, take medical tests, and seek advice from a nurse or pharmacist. These services will be under a new division of the company called Walgreens Health.

“This new Walgreens Health will make a difference and move us away from retail and just dispense drugs,” she said in an interview with CNBC’s Bertha Coombs. “It will be about the life we ​​lead and the life we ​​touch and the life we ​​can convey to doctors and clinicians in our buildings, both physically and digitally.”

Investors seemed receptive to Walgreens’ plan. Shares closed 7.4% on Thursday at $ 50.77. This year, stocks are up more than 29% so far.

Brian Tanquilut, a stock research analyst at Jefferies, said Walgreens achieved what many investors wanted Thursday by setting out how it will become a proactive player in healthcare.

“Right now people are saying, ‘This is a solid strategy and we’re giving you some credit for it,'” he said.

Walgreens plan is to open hundreds of primary care clinics, shake up the choice of in-store goods, and get stakes in multiple healthcare companies.

The company expects this strategy to pay off in the years to come. For the next year, adjusted earnings per share on a constant currency basis is expected to show flat growth, it said. However, growth will accelerate, so adjusted earnings per share will grow about 4% annually for the next three years. Beyond fiscal 2024, the company’s growth algorithm will result in adjusted earnings per share growth of between 11% and 13%.

Brewer referred to the companies Fourth Quarter Results as proof that Walgreens is built on solid foundations.

Tanquilut said the new vision for Walgreens is a notable linchpin.

“They’re turning the pharmacy into a health center,” he said. “Instead of relying on retail, the value driver is no longer controlling scripts [prescriptions] from the pharmacy. It actually provides care and makes the patient loyal to business. “

Expansion of the health system

It recently decided Invest another $ 5.2 billion in VillageMD, a primary care company that will operate clinics in Walgreens stores and is on track to go public in 2022. It also acquired a controlling interest in home health company CareCentrix and specialty pharmacy company Shields Health Solutions.

In addition to expanding health services, Walgreens will increase its cost savings target to $ 3.3 billion by 2024. The company decided to increase that target after saving $ 2 billion in costs, CFO James Kehoe said.

brewer took over the top management role from Walgreens in mid-March after serving as Chief Operating Officer of Starbucks and CEO of Walmart– owned by Sam’s Club.

She said the health care mission was personal to her. At the company’s Investor Day, she recalled the last months of her mother’s life as her family juggled medical bills, numerous doctors, and kidney dialysis appointments. The experience, she said, was “incredibly confusing and unwieldy and stressful”.

She said that distracted her family from what should have been the focus: enjoying the remaining time with her mother.

For so many Americans, this is the same experience – and one that Walgreens wants to solve by integrating primary care with pharmacies and freeing up more staff time to help patients.

A new look and feel in the stores

For the next several years, Walgreens leaders say consumers will see and feel the difference when they walk into neighborhood stores.

Walgreens said it will have 85 primary care clinics in stores by the end of the year. They will operate under the name Village Medical at Walgreens. By 2025, there should be at least 600 doctor’s offices in more than 30 U.S. markets, and 1,000 by 2027. More than half of them are in medically underserved parts of the country.

Walgreens Health Corners are being added in some stores and online. The retail space is occupied by medical professionals such as nurses and pharmacists who can advise patients and help them with the treatment of chronic diseases.

So far, Walgreens has opened 40 of them. By the end of this financial year there should be more than 100 and finally more than 3,000 in its branches.

Customers will be able to get other types of medical tests, such as pneumonia, strep, HIV, and sexually transmitted infections, said Walgreens President John Standley. He said the company already has pilots in place, including a test pilot for HIV in two states that expects sales of $ 26 million by fiscal 2024.

To give pharmacists time to answer customer questions, get vaccinations and other medical tests, Walgreens is opening centralized centers that fill out prescriptions and ship them to stores and homes, Standley said. It has already opened two centers in Dallas and Phoenix and plans to open an additional nine by the end of fiscal 2022, bringing the number of pharmacies served to around 3,900.

Before the store, the company’s merchandise will be “more healthy for you,” Brewer said in a CNBC interview. She said Walgreens had already seen consumers self-drawn to diet supplements and beauty products with a wellness outlook. She said more private label products will also be added.

She said Walgreens will take a close look at tobacco sales. It continued to sell cigarettes even after rival CVS Health discontinued the products in 2014.

Walgreens’ strategy is similar to that of Rivals CVS health – but with one big caveat. CVS is also an insurance provider. It Acquired Aetna in 2018 in a $ 69 billion merger. It also owns one of the largest pharmacy service managers, Caremark.

CVS has expanded its health offering in drugstores by opening emergency centers called MinuteClinics. It is turning hundreds of its stores into HealthHubs, where people can meet with a therapist, take a yoga class, or get help managing their diabetes.

According to Jefferies’ Tanquilut, CVS is pursuing a more holistic health strategy with Caremark, Aetna and their businesses. This creates natural synergies, he said, such as encouraging Aetna members to go to MinuteClinic for flu shots or urgent treatment. In addition, CVS has a “first mover advantage” by converting businesses into health goals.

He has a hold rating on Walgreens stock with a target price of $ 53, about 5% above current stock price. He has a buy rating on CVS stock with a target price of $ 95, about 12% higher than where the stock is currently trading.

On Thursday, Kehoe said that Walgreens lack of an insurance company can work to its advantage. He said the company is non-cash and focused solely on improving health outcomes. He also said Walgreens will have full-fledged primary care clinics, not the more limited services that MinuteClinic offers.

So far, Walgreens has signed agreements with Clover health, an insurance start-up from Medicare, and Blue Shield of California to provide health care services to more than 2 million members.

AJ Rice, a health services equity research analyst at Credit Suisse, said Walgreens hopes insurers will see them as “Switzerland” as their “partner of choice”.

He said CVS and Walgreens both have a great opportunity to turn retail pharmacies into collaborative healthcare touchpoints. However, he said companies need to prove they can attract people with clinical backgrounds and make the cultural shift.

It has a neutral rating on Walgreens stock with a price target of $ 48, including where the stock is currently trading, and an outperformance rating on CVS, with a price target of $ 100 above where the stock is currently trading traded.

Walgreens will look for growth in other areas as well. In the UK, boots stores are known for their wide range of premium makeup and beauty brands. Kehoe said retail traffic picked up again when the country lifted pandemic restrictions, making people more comfortable browsing the aisles and socializing.

Some of Walgreen’s beauty brands, No. 7, and Soap & Glory, are now sold by major US retailers, including target, Ulta beauty and Walmart. These brands are currently in a $ 750 million business and are expected to grow to $ 1 billion, Kehoe said.

Credit Suisse’s Rice said Walgreens executives have also hinted at reassessing some of the companies the company owns. He said investors would be watching to see if Walgreens will sell assets – like some of its international businesses – to fund some of its growth in healthcare in the US

More vaccine demand is still ahead

Covid-19 vaccines are expected to further boost business in the coming year. Walgreens administered 34.6 million vaccines for the fiscal year ended August 31. 13.5 million vaccines were administered in the fourth quarter, accounting for 21% of the total vaccines administered.

Walgreens estimates there will be 25 million Covid vaccines in the coming fiscal year as some people receive booster vaccinations and younger children are expected to qualify for the vaccinations.

But the company will also face a list of challenges retailers are currently facing. These include an increase in shoplifting, labor shortages and pandemic-induced supply chain confusion.

Walgreens is one example Closure of five additional locations in San Francisco for organized retail theft. It recently announced plans to raise the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour until November 22nd to keep up with other retailers who have raised wages or given perks.

Kehoe said the company was preoccupying the company’s health care business at a time when there was “a war for talent.” However, he said Walgreens has an easier time hiring healthcare professionals who know more about the company and “believe in the vision”.

Why retailers are embracing purchase now, pay later financing companies

Supply chains are jumbled and production is limited. For weeks, headlines have been telegraphing a clear message to buyers: This Christmas season shop early.

In recent years, early risers may have made holiday gift plans to reserve Christmas gifts and pay for their purchases over time. But many retailers – including the largest in the country, Walmart – have abolished or reduced these programs. One reason for this is that there are new tools available to buyers to distribute payments.

A popular option for consumers is to buy now, pay later. Dealers are big fans too. The point of sale loans are easy for retailers to manage, and research shows that these options translate into bigger shopping carts and greater customer loyalty. RBC Capital Markets estimates that a BNPL option increases retail conversion rates by 20% to 30% and increases the average ticket size between 30% and 50%.

Add incremental sales

“It’s about incrementality,” said Russell Isaacson, director of retail and automotive lending at Ally Lending, “to reach that incremental sale or incremental consumer.”

Installment payments offer consumers options and convenience when it comes to managing budgets and shopping, according to Hemal Nagarsheth, associate partner in Kearney’s Financial Services Practice. He said the option also builds trust between retailers and consumers, resulting in “incremental sales, higher average purchase sizes and higher frequency of purchases.”

Buy Now, Pay Later Payment plans offered by companies like Confirm, based in Australia additional payment and Klarna from Sweden, are particularly attractive to younger buyers, such as the coveted Generation Z and millennial consumers. While every plan has differences – from the number of payments to the specific terms and conditions – the most important thing they have in common is the promise of a handful of equal payments over a relatively short period of time with no hidden fees. Often the plans are interest-free.

Installment payments are more popular with consumers who either do not have access to credit or who do not want to shop with credit cards for various reasons. According to Hans Zandhuis, President of Ally Lending, the option also makes a lot of sense for buyers who don’t have the money to cover the entire purchase but who can survive the next paychecks.

The average transaction value is around $ 200 for a purchase that is paid for later, Zandhuis said. Often times, if the option to pay later had not been available, the checkout value for the retailer would have been around $ 100, he said. This allows the same consumer to spend $ 175 to $ 200, with 4 monthly payments of $ 50. Payments should match the paycheck cycles.

Take the clothing retailer Rue21, for example. The most important target group is an 18 to 25 year old shopper who often does not use credit cards. With lots of cheap items on the website and decreasing traffic in the malls, increasing the average order volume is a top priority.

When the pandemic closed stores, Rue21 had to figure out how to sell to its buyers online with no credit. Since Rue21 added Klarna as a payment option in-store and online, the average order volume is 73% higher than other payment methods published a case study by Klarna. Rue21 shoppers doing business with Klarna have the highest sales per customer with a 6% higher purchase frequency. In May, Klarna purchases made up more than a quarter of rue21’s e-commerce sales.

A logo sign outside of a retail store on rue21 in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania on January 25, 2019.

Kristoffer Tripplaar | Sipa over AP pictures

Affirm boasts that its merchant customers report an 85% increase in average order value when consumers choose to use its BNPL plan over other payment methods. Affirm approves installment payments for purchases up to $ 17,500, which has been proven to be very important to Pelotons expensive exercise equipment and services. FT Partners, an investment bank focused on the fintech space, estimated that 30% of Affirm’s revenue in the first quarter of 2021 came from sales on the Peloton website.

Klarna’s merchant base reports a 45% increase in average order value when a buyer pays more than four payments. Buyers can also choose to pay interest-free within 30 days or, for larger purchases, get financing with monthly payments of 6 to 36 months with an APR between 0% and 29.9%.

New customers

Attracting a customer whom a retailer might otherwise not have influenced is another benefit of offering a buy-it-now option.

Earlier this year Macys CEO Jeff Gennette told investors that his partnership with Klarna will help attract new customers.

“We launched Klarna on the Macy’s website in October [2020] and since then we have scaled it to Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury both online and in stores, “he said.” With Klarna we continue to see higher spend per visit and increased acquisition of new younger customers, 45% are under 40 years old. Our goal is to turn all of these new customers into loyal Macy’s customers who will come back for future purchases. “

Around 93% of Afterpay’s gross goods value in the last financial year came from repeat users of the installment payment service, with the longest-serving consumer making 30 additional transactions per year.

Higher conversion

Installment payments allow the retailer to “a [consumer’s] Desire into a sale, “said Chris Ventry, vice president of global advisory group SS&A.” It removes the payment block, “said Ventry through BNPL is enticing, ultimately enticing enough to drive conversion, which is the primary goal of all digital commerce websites . “

An analysis by Similarweb of the top 100 US fashion and retail websites compared 50 retailers who offer a buy-it-now option at checkout and 50 who don’t. On average, sites with a BNPL option had a conversion rate of 6% compared to 4% for those who didn’t.

Afterpay said it increases a retailer’s conversion rate and additional sales by 20 to 30% more than other payment options.

The incremental sales and increased conversion also make the additional transaction costs that the retailer pays to the fintech companies worthwhile. Zandhuis said that while the retailer pays the BNPL company an additional 2% higher transaction fees compared to the transaction fees charged by a traditional credit card company, “the math speaks for itself. The additional revenue is greater than the cost.”

Afterpay and Klarna charge merchants a 3% to 5% transaction fee, Affirm declined to disclose its transaction fees.

The programs also have advantages over the traditional layaway, which requires retailers to store items purchased locally while customers make installment payments over time. More and more retailers are using stores as mini-fulfillment centers to service online orders. With this model, the storage space is scarce.

Growth opportunity

Buy now, pay later, according to FIS Worldpay, is the fastest growing e-commerce payment method in the world, followed by the growth of digital wallets. In 2019, the $ 60 billion BNPL market accounted for 2.6% of global e-commerce, excluding China.

Worldpay estimates that use of the option could grow to $ 166 billion by 2023, with an average annual growth rate of 28%. At this rate, it would account for around 5% of global e-commerce outside of China.

According to FIS WorldPay, BNPL currently accounts for less than 2% of North American sales.

Coresight Senior Analyst John Harmon recognizes the opportunity for retailers but does not see it as a panacea.

“I don’t see BNPL as a magical solution, despite its booming adoption, as it’s just a different kind of loan,” Harmon said.

Downward Stress on Cash-Market Charges Continues; Delta Variant Hits China Companies Sector

Good day. The Federal Reserve’s primary tool for controlling economic dynamism is ticking down again, increasing the possibility that officials may need to take technical measures to get it going again. Meanwhile, China’s service sector suffered an unexpectedly severe blow in August when a wave of coronavirus infections across the country triggered new lockdowns and sent an official measure of non-manufacturing activity to a contraction area.

Now for today’s news and analysis.

Top news

Covid-19 Delta variant beats up China’s service sector

China’s official non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index, which tracks activity in construction and services, slumped to 47.5 in August from 53.3 in the previous month, according to data released Tuesday by the National Bureau of Statistics. The value of 47.5 – which fell far short of what economists had forecast for a value comfortably above 50 – marks the measure’s first break into contracting territory since February 2020, at the height of the initial coronavirus explosion that led to the lockdown Hubei Province.

Derby’s Take: Funds rate is softening, adding to the specter of technical rate boosts

By Michael S. Derby

The effective key interest rate has been slipping since around mid-August after it was raised by the Fed at the beginning of summer following a technical rate hike. The key interest rate, which had been around 0.10% for most of the summer, fell to 0.9% on August 18 and again to 0.8% on Monday. If the key rate stays soft or softens and this shift proves to be sustained, the Fed may have to react by revoking the settings of its interest rate control toolkit. Continue reading.

Important developments around the world

Oil industry investigates damage after Hurricane Ida slam in Louisiana

Energy companies assessed the condition of refineries, pipelines, petrochemicals and offshore oil rigs along the central Gulf of Mexico on Monday, the day after Ida hit Louisiana as a powerful Category 4 hurricane.

Unfinished tractors and pickup trucks pile up as components become scarce

Manufacturers stack unfinished goods on factory floors and park incomplete vehicles in airport parking lots while waiting for missing parts, made scarce by supply chain problems that disrupt multiple industries.

New life and work choices enliven exurbs and bring new strains with them

Extra-urban areas have grown nearly twice as fast as domestic over the past decade, and there are signs that growth is accelerating as Americans prepare for a landscape where increased work from home means the need to commute decreased.

EU recommends stopping non-essential travel from the USA

The European Union recommended stopping non-essential travel from the US due to the increase in Covid-19 cases, diplomats said on Monday, ending a summer vacation break for American tourists.

Summary of the Financial Regulation

SEC chair warns against payment for order flow

Robinhood Markets Inc.’s shares plunged Monday after the chief of the Securities and Exchange Commission signaled he was ready to ban payments on the order flow, which makes up most of the online brokerage’s revenue.

Members Exchange urges regulators to fix stock prices for half a penny

Investors could see shares of Apple Inc. and Bank of America Corp. for $ 152.005 or $ 42.115 per share if regulators sign a proposal presented this week. Members Exchange, a startup exchange backed by major Wall Street firms, said in a proposal that the Securities and Exchange Commission should allow some heavily traded stocks to be valued in half-cent increments.

So far, direct listings have paid off for investors

Eyewear maker Warby Parker Inc. is the latest to file with the SEC for direct listing, demonstrating the persistence of the alternative path to public markets for companies that don’t need to raise money.

Foresight

Wednesday (all times ET)

9:30 p.m .: Bank of Japan’s Wakatabe speaks at a meeting with local leaders in Hiroshima

Thursday

8:30 a.m .: US Department of Commerce releases international trade data for July

research

Goldman Sachs says evictions threaten

Around 750,000 American households are now threatened with eviction from rental apartments in the wake of the latest political changes that protect the financially needy, Goldman Sachs said in a message to customers. The investment bank estimates that between 2.5 million and 3.5 million households are behind on rents and owe landlords up to $ 17 billion, while state aid to tenants is slow. “The strength of the housing and rental market suggests that landlords will try to evict tenants who are behind on rent unless they receive government support,” the note said. According to analysts at Goldman Sachs, this should not have a very negative impact on the economy. They say in the note that “Our literature research shows that an eviction episode of this magnitude is a small burden on consumption and employment growth.”

– Michael S. Derby

Basis points

Asking rents for homes rose nearly 13% year-to-date through July, the highest annual increase in five years, according to real estate data company Yardi Matrix.

US pending home sales declined for the second straight month in July, according to the National Association of Realtors, whose index of pending home sales fell 1.8% from June to 110.7. Pending home sales declined 8.5% year over year in July. (DJN)

Manufacturing output in Texas slowed in August, with the Dallas Fed’s Manufacturing Outlook Survey manufacturing index falling to 20.8 from July 31. The general business activity index, which rates general terms and conditions in the industry, fell from 27.3 to 9. (Dow Jones Newswires)

Aluminum forwards on the London Metal Exchange are up a third this year and prices are around 80% above their low in May 2020 when the pandemic restricted sales to the aerospace and transportation industries.

German inflation in August was 3.9% year-on-year, compared to 3.8% in July. (Dow Jones Newswires)

Business and household confidence in the euro zone fell slightly in August after hitting an all-time high in July, the European Commission said, noting that the economic sentiment indicator fell from 119.0 in July to 117.5. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal expected an index of 118.0. (DJN)

Canada’s quarterly current account surplus rose to $ 3.58 billion or the equivalent of $ 2.84 billion in the second quarter as goods exports soared, Statistics Canada said. The data for the first quarter has been revised, Statistics Canada said, adding that the current account surplus for the first three months of the year was $ 1.82 billion, compared to an earlier estimate of $ 1.18 billion. (DJN)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

Aug 31, 2021 9:35 AM ET (1:35 PM GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

New Anti Anti-Cash Laundering Providers for Crooks – Krebs on Safety

A new dark web service is being marketed to cyber criminals curious how their various cryptocurrency holdings and transactions can be linked to known criminal activity. Synchronized “Anti-analysis “, The service is intended to provide insight into how law enforcement agencies and private companies might flag their own payment activities trying to link suspicious cryptocurrency transactions to real people.

Sample provided by Anti-Analysis.

“Concerned about dirty funds in your BTC address? Take a look at Antinalysis, the new address risk analyzer, ”says the service’s announcement, referring to a link that is only accessible via ToR. “This service is aimed at people who need complete privacy on the blockchain and offers an adversary perspective so the user can understand the possibility that their money is being flagged under autocratic illegal charges. ”

The display continues:

Some people may ask why go into all of this? Simply withdraw in XMR and you’re done. The problem is that paying out in Monero raises eyebrows at exchanges and mailing it in cash is sometimes risky too. If you use the BTC-> XMR-> BTC method, you will still be flagged by our services which are flagged as high risk exchanges (not to mention LE and exchanges). Our service offers you a look from the perspective of LE / exchange (with similar accuracy, but completely different approach), which gives you a basic understanding of how “clean” your address is. “

Tom Robinson, Co-founder of the blockchain intelligence company Elliptical, Antinalysis said to help crypto-money launderers test whether their funds are being identified by regulated financial exchanges as the proceeds of crime.

“Cryptoassets have become an important tool for cyber criminals,” Robinson said wrote. “Ransomware and darknet markets depend on payments in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. However, washing and paying out this income is a great challenge. “

Cryptocurrency exchanges use blockchain analytics tools to screen customer deposits for links to illegal activity. By tracking a transaction through the blockchain, these tools can determine if the funds came from a wallet that is linked to ransomware or other criminal activity.

“The launderer therefore risks being identified as a criminal and reported to law enforcement agencies if he sends money to a company using such a tool,” said Robinson. “Antinalysis wants to help crypto-launderers avoid this by giving them a preview of what a blockchain analysis tool will do with their Bitcoin wallet and the funds it contains.”

Each Antinalysis lookup costs approximately $ 3 with a minimum purchase of $ 30. Other plans go up to $ 6,000 for 5,000 requests.

Robinson says the creator of Antinalysis is also one of the developers of Incognito Market, a darknet marketplace that specializes in the sale of narcotics.

“Incognito was launched in late 2020 and accepts payments in Bitcoin and currency, a crypto asset that offers increased anonymity, ”he wrote. “The introduction of Antinalysis likely reflects the difficulties that the market and its providers are facing in cashing out their Bitcoin proceeds.”

Elliptic wasn’t impressed with the quality of the information Antinalysis provided and said it did poorly at detecting links to major darknet markets and other criminal entities. But with countless criminals now making millions on ransomware, there is certainly a huge, untapped market for services that can help these people improve their operational security.

“It is also important because it is the first time it makes blockchain analytics available to the public,” wrote Robinson. “So far, this type of analysis has mainly been used by regulated financial service providers.”

That may not be entirely true. Nick Bax is an independent expert in tracking cryptocurrency transactions, and he said that Antinalysis appears to be little more than a clone of AMLBot, an anti-money laundering intelligence agency that first went online in 2019. AMLBot’s first advertisement was in Russian, while Antinalysis first appeared in an English-speaking darknet market.

The AMLBot user interface.

“It looks almost identical to the cheap version of AMLBot,” Bax told KrebsOnSecurity. “My guess is they’re just doing this white labeling.”

Bax said a look on AMLBot at the virtual currency address used in the sample provided by Antinalysis shows a nearly identical result. Here is the result from AMLBot for the same cryptanalysis performed by Antinalysis in the screenshot above in this story:

Response from AMLBot for the same cryptocurrency address provided as an example by Antinalysis.

“If you look at the breakdown, the percentages are all almost identical,” said Bax. “I use ALBot on occasion for good and righteous purposes. And it could also be useful for people who only sell things online to make sure they don’t get any tainted funds. “

Update, 1:42 p.m. ET: The story has been corrected to state that AMLBot has existed since 2019.

OSN upgrades providers to energy the subsequent decade of leisure

After a successful year Streaming in the region, OSN announced today that its services have undergone a major upgrade. The update adds new algorithms to the system to better serve premium content to its users on a variety of platforms.

When developing the new platform, the company took a hybrid, modular approach and used innovative technologies to promote agility and adaptability. New features that were introduced included multiple profiles for friends and family, a new dedicated profile area for children with parental controls and improved search and recognition.

The new distributed approach will allow OSN to easily add additional functionality to its platform and scale in any direction the streaming industry is headed. Peter Riz, CTO, OSN said, “We were challenged to deliver and create a future-proof platform that would meet the gold standard of viewing experience for our viewers, supported by new features and designs. Today we achieved this in record time and without major interruptions. We look forward to evolving and innovating the capabilities of our technology as we support our ever-growing audience base across the region and stay one step ahead in this ever-evolving landscape. “

Patrick Tillieux, CEO, OSN pointed out exciting new options at work, including gaming. He also mentioned trying to create the best experience for his users and partners (like Disney and HBO) as he understands that the best way to move forward is to create a platform where all partners can share Recognize the value of OSN. He added, “We are committed to curating and creating the best content that resonates with our audiences and delivering it in the most seamless manner using the latest technology and an intuitive user interface anywhere and through any connected device.”

OSN’s preferred partner for working with the user experience on its new platform is a company called Supercharge based in Europe. CTO David Kovacs commented, “In an unprecedented 4 month period, we have successfully developed robust software with a fully scalable algorithm from the ground up to support OSN’s future expansion plans and the energetic innovations in the pipeline. As the designer and developer of the CXB, we look forward to supporting OSN’s promise of delivering the best viewing experience on any device, anywhere. “

The new app continues to be improved for a better user experience. This includes various touchpoints from content, findability, recommendation engines, consumer journeys, payment methods, the user interface and user experience (UI / UX) as well as technical integrations. The new updates were introduced with minimal disruption to users and ensure that upcoming features and improvements can be implemented just as seamlessly.

OSN Streaming can be accessed online and through iOS and Android apps. The service costs USD 9.5 / – per month and includes a 7-day free trial.

Revolution Leisure Providers Pronounces New Manufacturing Budgeting Platform, TrueBudget

THE ANGEL–() – Revolution Entertainment Services (“Revolution”) today announced TrueBudget, a new platform for production budgeting. TrueBudget is an easy-to-use budgeting and updating platform specially designed for short-form productions. Commercials, promos, music videos and offers producers a new way to increase the productivity of entire teams.

“TrueBudget will be a game changer for the commercial industry,” said Charlie Steiner, Revolution chief executive officer. “The current budgeting programs are out of date and have not kept pace with market demands. We look forward to changing this narrative. ”

TrueBudget features and benefits include:

  • Budget – Create a budget for your project in the industry standard AICP format

  • Update – Easily track production costs with simple logs

  • Design – Create your order template according to your wishes.

TrueBudget is now available. For more information on TrueBudget, see truebudget.io.

Revolution Entertainment Services is an entertainment production management and payroll services provider offering the ProTools software suite, which includes an end-to-end Digital Start and HTG payroll platform, production accounting, production calendar, budgeting and data analysis. With fantastic in-house resources to count on with your manufacturing incentives, labor and union contracts, Affordable Care Act, Residuals, and Entertainment Payroll, our office locations support U.S. manufacturing centers: Burbank, New Mexico, Georgia, Louisiana, New York, as and Canada.

Will Apple Arcade’s large additions broaden gaming providers’ enchantment? [analysis] | Leisure

Apple Arcade has significantly expanded its offering. The evolving service added more than 30 games in early April, and the offerings feature strong gamers that will be sure to grab core gamers’ attention.

It’s a remarkable mix of mobile classics like Monument Valley and established blockbusters like NBA 2K21 Arcade Edition. The company even added titles based on timeless pastimes like chess and crossword puzzles. The diverse portfolio caters to a wide audience and makes the subscription service a tempting offer for $ 4.99 per month. It also begs the question: if Apple builds it, will players come?

A wide range

The new additions are a sign that Apple is providing a wider network for the service. An older generation may like the idea of ​​the Timeless Classics category. Think of it as the service version of Nintendo’s surprisingly great Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics. Virtual versions of backgammon, crossword puzzles and solitaire are created.

The versions of these games are made by third-party developers, but some offerings have some twists on the classics. For example, Zach Gage’s Really Bad Chess turns the concept of towers, knights and queens on its head by creating an imbalance.

“People are fascinated by chess, but the impeccable fairness turns people off,” said Gage. “It’s the idea of ​​fairness. We want the rules of the game to be fair. “

But what makes the drama of the game is injustice. He mentioned the idea of ​​outsiders and David and Goliath.

“We like it better when there is injustice,” said Gage.

To create more interesting scenarios in Really Bad Chess, Gage creates boards on which you have four queens and four knights and your opponent has a number of pawns. He mixes up the pieces. At first, players have an overpowering hand, but as players improve in the game, it becomes more difficult when the board leans against them.

“It’s sacrilegious but feels like playing it,” he said.

Old favorites are returning

A second group of people the service applies to may have grown up watching mobile games or becoming gaming fans since the App Store opened in 2008. These are people who love “Angry Birds” or “Crossy Road”. For this audience, Apple Arcade created another category called App Store Greats.

The offers here have a distinct feeling. These are games designed for cell phones that take advantage of iPhone and iPad touch screens. That means they’re easy to learn and play, while they’re great for bite-sized fun. Players don’t have to block an afternoon to play them. The levels are short and the experience is good enough to make your way home on the train quick.

The App Store sizes include “Threes!” The original number slider game is addicting and the type of puzzle game that players can master for hours. Meanwhile, Fruit Ninja Classic was one of the games that demonstrated the potential of the touchscreen interface of the iPhone and made a game easy to learn by slicing melons with your finger like a ninja.

Although these games were hits, Monument Valley is the instantly recognizable title and one of the defining projects on the platform. It’s been downloaded 73 million times and comes with all the bells and whistles on Apple Arcade.

This is one of the advantages of subscription services. There are no ads or additional charges. What the players get is a complete experience with no other conditions. For Monument Valley, this means that it has content that can be downloaded from Apple Arcade, such as Ida’s Dream and Forgotten Shores.

This approach to gaming is almost a throwback to the old console days. Before titles could be patched if something was wrong with them, they were released in full on disc and tapes. Players didn’t have to worry about purchasing expansion packs to play with their friends or continue the story. The game came in a box, it worked, and players enjoyed a finished experience.

Shoutout to the core games

This type of approach will appeal to core and long-term gamers that Apple Arcade is touting with its Apple Originals. It’s not a new category in the service per se, but it does reload with a number of titles that will appeal to that crowd.

Platinum Games, the makers of hits like “Bayonetta” and “NieR: Automata”, released “World of Demons”. It looks like the cult favorite “Okami” and that shouldn’t come as a surprise given that the game’s director Hideki Kamiya was a co-founder of the studio. “Demons” has a console feel with its fast twitch button-mashing sword fight, but has mobile elements like the bite-sized confrontations and levels. Best of all, it works with a controller to make the console feel to be on mobile devices.

For older players, “The Oregon Trail” can be a good afternoon break. The graphics and some game mechanics have been redesigned, but it’s essentially the same game fans played on the Apple II computer. Gamers will appreciate the beautiful graphics that are light years ahead of the green and black images they saw in childhood.

Final Fantasy fans should check out Mistwalker’s Fantasian. It’s an RPG that reunites series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi and composer Nobuo Uematsu. The special thing about this role-playing game is that the scenery is created using real dioramas over which the characters are placed. It’s an unusual mix of practical and computer-generated effects that together tell a fascinating story with combat mechanics.

While all of these games will spark the interest of core gamers, NBA 2K21 Arcade Edition is the game that may find the largest audience. Either way, this is a full version of the core game. It has all the NBA teams, multiplayer and MyCareer. It works with a controller or touchscreen controls.

Parts of the game like MyCareer are a bit reduced. It still has the feel of a basketball RPG, but the story is told through voice narration instead of cutscenes.

It is noteworthy that as an Apple Arcade game, there are no microtransactions. That’s something that the console versions are packed with. This makes the Apple Arcade game feel like a purer version of the experience. Players simply tap the game’s icon and play without worrying about extra cash. VC is still in the game, but it is awarded like normal points that help improve a character. Players no longer pay money to power up their avatar. Instead, it does this through normal campaign play.

Regarding the online modes, Tyler Nation, Vice President and Head of Mobile at 2K, said Visual Concepts tried to make matchmaking fair by playing players on controllers versus players on controllers and players on Macs versus players on Macs. Online play is a major attraction of the franchise.

All of these additions provide Apple Arcade with a list of 180+ games. It’s a catalog that is more attractive than before and is part of a bigger trend. Gaming companies like Microsoft are investing in their own subscription services, buying studios and making offers for this content. It’s part of a process that will make the gaming scene look more like Netflix in five years.