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Category Archives: National Vanguard
Vanguard: Auto Features, TDFs Boosted Retirement Readiness in 2020 – National Association of Plan Advisors
Posted: June 18, 2021 at 7:13 am
Plan design features, such as auto-enrollment, auto-escalation and target-date funds, helped DC plan participants stay the course and improve retirement outcomes, according to the mostrecent edition of the firmsHow America Savesstudy.
The adoption of automatic enrollment has more than tripled since year-end 2007, the first year after the Pension Protection Actof 2006 took effect, Vanguard notes in2021 How America Saves, now in its 20thyear. Consequently, automatic enrollment has helped employees save 50% more for retirement than those at companies offering voluntary enrollment.
The research exams retirement plan data from 4.7 million DC plan participants across the firms recordkeeping business, comprised of 1,400 plan sponsors and $1.7 trillion in DC assets under management.
At year-end 2020, 54% of Vanguard plans had adopted automatic enrollment, including 74% of plans with at least 1,000 participants. In 2020, because larger plans were more likely to offer it, 69% of participants were in plans with an automatic enrollment option.
Additionally, the research found that two-thirds of automatic enrollment plans have implemented automatic annual deferral rate increases. Automatic enrollment defaults have also increased over the past decade. According to the report, 57% of plans now default employees at a deferral rate of 4% or higher, compared with 30% of plans in 2011.
Vanguard notes that annual automated deferral increases resulted in participants saving 20-30% more after three years than employees without automatic increases.
Professionally managed allocations have also helped more participants save for retirement and keep their focus on the long term, even in the wake of last years unprecedented market uncertainty.
Nearly all (99%) plans with automatic enrollment defaulted participants into a balanced investment strategy in 2020with 98% choosing a target-date fund as the default. In turn, participants increasing use of TDFs has led to a 75% decrease in extreme equity allocations among participants over the last 15 years.
TDFs have also tamped down frequent trading. Vanguard found that 96% of participants holding a single TDF did not make a trade last year. Not only did most resist dipping into their accounts, but participant saving rates remained stable. Its a testament to plan sponsors growing use of automatic solutions, which leverage inertia for the benefit of the participant, Vanguard says, adding, Of course, the idea of investor inertia is not a new learning, but it has now been battle-tested in a very unusual environment.
High-level metrics of participant saving behavior were steady in 2020, Vanguard notes. The participant-weighted participation rate was 78% in 2020, up from 74% in 2011. However, plans with automatic enrollment had a 92% participation rate, compared with a participation rate of 62% for plans with voluntary enrollment. The report further observes, however, that as more plans adopt automatic enrollment, the remaining pool of plans with voluntary enrollment has seen participation rates deteriorate.
The average deferral rate was 7.2% in 2020, which is up modestly from 6.9% in 2011. The median deferral rate was 6% in 2020, which Vanguard notes is unchanged for as long as it has been tracking this metric.
When including both employee and employer contributions, the average total participant contribution rate in 2020 was 11.1%, and the median was 10.2%. These rates have remained stable for the past 15 years, the report notes. When including nonparticipants, employees hired under automatic enrollment plans saved an average of 10.7%, considering both employee and employer contributions. Yetemployees hired under a voluntary enrollment design saved an average of only 6.8%, due to significantly lower participation.
Insights to Action
Last year, Vanguard Strategic Retirement Consulting (SRC) launchedHow America Saves: Insights to Action,a supplementary report offering effective plan design recommendations that can meaningfully improve participants outcomes.This years report encourages plan sponsors to focus on four key areas:
Retirement savings is just one piece of a participants broader financial picture, and they are increasingly looking to their employer plans for customized advice and solutions that take a more comprehensive approach to financial well-being, emphasizes John James, managing director and head of Vanguard Institutional Investor Group.
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Posted: at 7:13 am
A Vermont dairy farm has won a national award for its environmental practices, which the farmers say should aid the fight against climate change and protect water quality."It's been quite challenging," Chase Goodrich said of the business of dairy farming in recent years. "It's been a fight for survival, for sure."With rising supply costs and consumers increasingly choosing plant-based drinks over cows' milk, many operations have made the tough decision to shut down.However, the Goodrich Family Farm in Salisbury, which sells milk to the Cabot Co-op Creamery for use in its famous cheddar cheese and other products, has a much more optimistic story to tell."Even though times are hard, we are doing good things," said Danielle Goodrich-Gingras, who manages the 900-head herd with her brother, Chase.The Goodriches just won a big national award from the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, an industry group.The U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award was granted in recognition of a new addition to the family's property.The major component of the technology takes cow manure and human food scraps, which emit the nasty greenhouse gas methane, and breaks them down in a system called a digester turning them into renewable natural gas.That renewable natural gas will help nearby Middlebury College reach its goal to power the campus with only renewable energy."To be named the most sustainable dairy farm in America was mind-blowing," said John Hanselman of Vanguard Renewables in Wellesley, Massachusetts, referring to the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award.Video: Closed Vermont dairy farm getting new life as agriculture innovation hubThis year, the award also honors a farm in Ohio and one in Pennsylvania.Vanguard developed, owns, and operates the digester on the Vermont farm, giving the Goodriches lease payments in return helping the business diversify and stay viable.The technology also provides the farmers low-carbon, non-synthetic fertilizer and animal bedding made from waste, the Goodriches noted.Vanguard emphasized that an exciting innovation about the system is it actually removes phosphorus, keeping that element from flowing into Lake Champlain and feeding problems like algae blooms."It's a huge priority to know the next generation my nieces and nephews are always going to have clean places to swim and water to drink," Goodrich-Gingras said."Vermont is showing a model for the rest of the country, from a legislative standpoint and farm practices standpoint, that can be replicated and could really change our whole climate impact from the dairy industry," Hanselman added.Beyond attacking climate change, the partners in the project predict more on-farm digesters across the country will strengthen critical local food systems, by providing new income that can ensure families like the Goodriches can keep doing the jobs they love."Being the best we can be that's kind of what we wake up to do every day," Chase Goodrich said, describing the goal of the Goodrich Family Farm.The recipients of the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award will be celebrated this fall at the meeting of the industrys Dairy Sustainability Alliance, according to New England Dairy.
A Vermont dairy farm has won a national award for its environmental practices, which the farmers say should aid the fight against climate change and protect water quality.
"It's been quite challenging," Chase Goodrich said of the business of dairy farming in recent years. "It's been a fight for survival, for sure."
With rising supply costs and consumers increasingly choosing plant-based drinks over cows' milk, many operations have made the tough decision to shut down.
However, the Goodrich Family Farm in Salisbury, which sells milk to the Cabot Co-op Creamery for use in its famous cheddar cheese and other products, has a much more optimistic story to tell.
"Even though times are hard, we are doing good things," said Danielle Goodrich-Gingras, who manages the 900-head herd with her brother, Chase.
The Goodriches just won a big national award from the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, an industry group.
The U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award was granted in recognition of a new addition to the family's property.
The major component of the technology takes cow manure and human food scraps, which emit the nasty greenhouse gas methane, and breaks them down in a system called a digester turning them into renewable natural gas.
That renewable natural gas will help nearby Middlebury College reach its goal to power the campus with only renewable energy.
"To be named the most sustainable dairy farm in America was mind-blowing," said John Hanselman of Vanguard Renewables in Wellesley, Massachusetts, referring to the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award.
Video: Closed Vermont dairy farm getting new life as agriculture innovation hub
This year, the award also honors a farm in Ohio and one in Pennsylvania.
Vanguard developed, owns, and operates the digester on the Vermont farm, giving the Goodriches lease payments in return helping the business diversify and stay viable.
The technology also provides the farmers low-carbon, non-synthetic fertilizer and animal bedding made from waste, the Goodriches noted.
Vanguard emphasized that an exciting innovation about the system is it actually removes phosphorus, keeping that element from flowing into Lake Champlain and feeding problems like algae blooms.
"It's a huge priority to know the next generation my nieces and nephews are always going to have clean places to swim and water to drink," Goodrich-Gingras said.
"Vermont is showing a model for the rest of the country, from a legislative standpoint and farm practices standpoint, that can be replicated and could really change our whole climate impact from the dairy industry," Hanselman added.
Beyond attacking climate change, the partners in the project predict more on-farm digesters across the country will strengthen critical local food systems, by providing new income that can ensure families like the Goodriches can keep doing the jobs they love.
"Being the best we can be that's kind of what we wake up to do every day," Chase Goodrich said, describing the goal of the Goodrich Family Farm.
The recipients of the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award will be celebrated this fall at the meeting of the industrys Dairy Sustainability Alliance, according to New England Dairy.
See the original post:
Posted: at 7:13 am
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On January 6, I was skimming the live blog on FiveThirtyEight.com while site contributors discussed the impending drama of challenges to the electoral college votes in Congress. Then, abruptly, the news coverage changed.
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As the Capitol riot unfolded, others watched with anxiety and trepidation. I stood apart, feeling only an odd sense of relief. The events on Capitol Hill, to me, represented a national catharsis, an earthquake that exposed the fault lines running through the American social contract not only between citizens and government, but also between citizens and insurrectionists. It represented the true culmination of the looking glass through which I myself had passed two decades ago, in 2001.
In other words, I was not surprised.
I feel sympathy for those who have found the recent national narrative involving our government, legitimacy, power and democracy to be disturbing. But it is a relief to finally know that others are seeing this country as I have since I was 12.
Anju in yukata one summer at age 4 or 5, in Pasadena.
(Courtesy of Anju Kulkarni)
As far as non-white childhoods in America go, I think it's fair to say that mine was quite idyllic. My parents, who are immigrants from India and Japan, met at UC Berkeley, then a common instigator of interracial, international marriages. They put down roots in Pasadena, and I was nurtured by the academic community of Caltech.
My childhood memories consist mostly of sunset summers in the shadow of the Santa Monica pier, family drives to Joshua Tree and Vasquez Rocks, of winter poppy fields, donning yukata in the summer heat, dancing in front of the reliefs at the Venkateswara temple in Calabasas, and falling asleep surrounded by the scent of incense during zazen at the Zen Center in Koreatown.
These early years were a curious time to be a child in Los Angeles. The 1992 riots were still a fresh memory for every adult I knew. Even I was aware that a Black man named Rodney King had been assaulted near what is now the Barack H. Obama Highway. Even I knew Los Angeles had burned, and yet, growing up, I thought little about race. People regularly mistook me for Latina or Filipina or Middle Eastern, but there was no felt meaning attached to any of the labels, so my awareness of what race "meant" was low.
The Pasadena school I attended was a good mix of white, Black, Hispanic and a smattering of everything else. Any overt racism was often resolved through playground justice, and the closest I came to acknowledging race was when a Puerto Rican classmate remarked offhand that we were the only two mixed race students in our class. Huh. So we were.
September 11, 2001 marked the beginning of the crucible through which the true nature of this country would be revealed to me.
A newspaper headline from the day after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
(Aidan Bartos (@bartos) via Unsplash)
In comparison with my first decade, I have no good memories of the Bush years. In the months that followed, numerous experiences made it clear to me that I was no longer welcome, had never been welcome. Nativism began to mount.
A few months after 9/11, a boy followed me and a desi classmate after school, throwing rocks at us as he yelled, Taliban! Taliban! This was also the year white supremacist groups like National Vanguard would regularly leave hate literature on our doorstep.
As I type these words, it seems strange to me that my alienation from America seemed so natural at the time, but perhaps I have my family to blame for that. My parents, a biochemist and an astronomer, were students of world history: unflinching in their depiction of the scars left on the world by oppression in the form of colonization, war and genocide. Among my childhood picture books are stories about the Trail of Tears, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japanese internment, the Nanjing Massacre and the Underground Railroad.
The first Noble Truth in Buddhism is that life is suffering, and I took that lesson at face value. Despite the many slights that marked the years between 2001 and 2008, I had been taught from birth to view extremism as inevitable, fear of the unknown as a typical human instinct, and to expect hatred from those who perceived me as not them.
!or "Endure it!" is a common reproof in Japanese households. My coming of age was an object lesson in learning how to endure the role of outsider.
If narratives of white American versus non-white immigrant (or illegal immigrant/terrorist, as the terms went then, depending on one's flavor of xenophobia) weren't enough to already contend with, one year later I also had the dubious pleasure of encountering the full force of intra-community racism in the greater Los Angeles Asian American community.
Anju at age 8, dressed for a dance performance.
(Courtesy of Anju Kulkarni)
My school district for middle school and high school was majority East Asian, and I vividly recall one classmate saying to me at 13, Everyone here hates you because you are only half Asian.
When I corrected them that I had one Indian parent and one Japanese parent, they corrected themselves, The wrong kind of Asian, then.
If pressed to choose between such a flat rejection and thrown rocks, I will choose rocks every time.
I expected bigotry from white America. I was not prepared for it to come from a completely different field, from people with whom I thought I had much in common. The shootings in Atlanta, and subsequent news coverage on hate crimes against East Asian individuals over the course of the pandemic, have captured the attention of many friends and family. However, looking like I do, it hits me in a different place.
Perhaps what made all of these experiences more distressing was that what seemed obvious to my child self was dismissed as normalcy by the authority figures in whom I was supposed to place my trust.
It wasn't until I was in college that my Japanese mother realized many East Asian and white store clerks in the San Gabriel Valley and West L.A. would speak to her, but never with me. Parents of classmates, most of them East Asian, rarely allowed me over, and often made it clear my presence was unwelcome. The TSA made no pains to hide that my South Asian father and I could expect very different treatment compared with my East Asian-presenting sister and Japanese mother.
Anju, top, and her younger sister Maya.
(Courtesy of Anju Kulkarni)
More seriously, my many well-meaning white teachers, bless their hearts, were not equipped to discuss the state of the country during the "War on Terror" with a student who looked so very like the individuals the politicians and news anchors quickly condemned.
I remember with acute irony the English teacher in whose class I read Elie Wiesels "Night" and "The Diary of Anne Frank." This teacher took great pains to arrange annual field trips to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and yet never once voiced issue with the language of the Patriot Act, the creation and subsequent activities of ICE and DHS, nor the invasive government regulations that I would later find landed some of my Muslim peers on no-fly lists, even as minors.
Speaking for my self-righteous adolescent self, if you want to breed rebelliousness in a teenager, teach them about democratic government and civics and then say nothing when their government exploits the spirit of its own laws. If you want them to oppose war, start a war in which they have no say, but pressure them with military recruitment when they are 18.
If you want them to lose faith in a nation, show them voters who prioritize nativism and racial inequality, and make it clear that everything from their name to their face to their ancestry means that they can expect no better than grudging acceptance, no matter how hard they try to obtain it. By the age of 18, I viewed America as a joke. The only things I learned that mattered were one's race, connections and wealth, and those unfavored were simply out of luck.
To that effect, Obama's election was a godsend to me. Perhaps more crucially, it was my first general election. I have consequently participated in almost every election since. It gave the alienated American within me a respite from what I believed America to be. The relative diversity in the UC system was similarly a blessing.
At UC San Diego, where I majored in international studies, I had the privilege to meet many classmates who had faced their own versions of loss, ostracism and disillusionment.
Being racially profiled by police officers on suspicion of being undocumented, and experiencing regular harassment by white nationalists and evangelists all things I experienced while living in San Diego go down differently when everyone knows that a Black man leads the country, and one has friends with whom to commiserate.
Anju as a student at UC San Diego, circa 2008.
Even during the devastation of the Trump years, my peers and I continued to encourage each other through a combination of grim determination, nihilistic cynicism and sincere empathy.
After all, we were no longer 12, and at least now, we could vote.
I have no illusions about the intractable nature of these American fault lines, embedded in a history of slavery, xenophobia and nativism that many in our country can't acknowledge. I also know I am not the first person to realize they exist.
My coming of age simply precipitated a political awareness that is common knowledge for many people whose family histories are tied to these distinctly American forms of oppression and marginalization.
However, this awareness has left me tired and angry. Im not Latina, but Im treated by most strangers as if I were. Ive been spoken to in Spanish, even asked which part of Latin America I come from. As such, I greatly empathize with the many Latinos who face racism and nativism. My family is both East and South Asian, so I understand the worries and concerns many Asians have about American xenophobia. When it comes to anti-Blackness and white supremacy, I have a working imagination.
After all, the many East Asian views on race and racial purity I myself have experienced are strikingly similar to white supremacy.
The ambiguity of my appearance means that all of these different groups speak freely with me about what they think about each other. Thus, I regularly mourn how people with so much suffering in common are unable to muster the willingness to understand each other.
I don't believe I am special. In fact, I rate my ability to reason as exceedingly average. Thus, I find it infuriating when others don't see the harm in allowing prejudice to flourish, that they tolerate the failures we invite when we cling to structures that bolster marginalization.
My rage is superseded only by a deep, existential loneliness that deters me from making connections with others for fear of rejection. I worry about not clearing the bar for one of the conditional forms of acceptance reluctantly proffered by a world that prioritizes crude notions of "us versus them."
My struggles with race and identity in L.A. stem from similar conflicts and assumptions held by the various groups that claim me and reject me in turn. As a biracial child of two immigrants from different places, it has been hard to bear three countries worth of animosity, with their varied messages of who to hate, who to love, what to wear, what to eat, and how to live.
Anju as a child, front, dancing at the Malibu Hindu Temple.
(Courtesy of Anju Kulkarni)
The many masks and roles I have adopted to cope with disguising each facet of myself as a member of us to avoid being treated as them are stifling.
Either way, for a multiracial individual such as myself, singled out and simultaneously excluded for the identities I hold, theres no room for me in a world where people are concerned with picking sides and protecting their own, regardless of the cost to others.
That said, I already know how many small miracles happen in L.A. that would be unthinkable elsewhere. As a person of Indian Hindu and Japanese heritage, extremists back in my parents home countries would have me think I'm supposed to fear Muslims, despise Christians, hate Koreans and Chinese, and look down on just about everyone else, unless they are white and especially if they are Black.
However, that's not what my life has been.
A Black couple were the only people willing to rent to my Japanese grandparents when they first lived in the U.S. in 1957. The Zen Center established by a Japanese priest, where I learned about Buddhism, sits in L.A.'s Koreatown. My childhood friends regularly invited me to celebrate Hanukkah, Passover, and Christmas. A Black bus driver protected me from bullies every day to and from school for over four years. The godmother who showered my sister with unconditional love is Persian. My Muslim desi friends and I bond over politics and food.
My Indian father supports BLM. My Japanese mother studies Chinese so she can better speak with our neighbors.
For my part, I havent allowed my own adolescent experiences to stop me from engaging with the diverse members of Los Angeles fractured East Asian diaspora. My whole life is proof of the richness to be found in rejecting "us versus them," in reexamining the biases we hold and jettisoning those without substance.
As I sit here in L.A., a city that waits for the next big quake, tracking these American fault lines with my mind, I hear others who seemed astounded last Jan. 6 plaintively ask, "Is this who we are?
My answer is, "This is who we have always been." I first saw the cracks when I was 12, and they have not disappeared or changed in size.
The fissures are now simply at the surface for all of us to acknowledge together.
Where we go from here is not something I can answer, but I know what I will be doing. I've chosen public health as my career because I think we all do better when all of us are given the opportunity to thrive. I believe this is the best way to help create a more just, more interlinked world where our respective roots can better grip the soil to withstand the tremors of the future.
Hindus and Buddhists talk a great deal of dharma, one's duty in life. I am not so virtuous as to believe the worldview I have chosen is a moral obligation. It is simply the only vision of the world I can see in which someone like me will flourish.
Much of what I know of L.A., and California as a whole, suggests that such a future is possible. Where I remain unsure is how many people share my perspective.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Anju Kulkarni is completing her Masters of Public Health for epidemiology at the Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences at University of California, Irvine. She is currently an academic intern at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Born and raised on Tongva land in the San Gabriel Valley, she ponders cooking and cocktails in her spare time.
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Posted: at 7:13 am
Some key findings on discrimination and employment:
Some key findings on discrimination and healthcare:
Some key findings on discrimination and housing:
Some key findings on discrimination and homelessness:
Some key findings on discrimination and public accomodations:
The data analyzed in this report shows that discrimination against Black LGBTQ people is a real and ongoing threat to their lives and livelihoods. The discrimination that Black LGBTQ people face is a function of the stigma, lack of legal protections, erasure of Black LGBTQ identities, bias, rejection and violence the community faces in daily life. These challenges, which are often rooted in inaccurate beliefs and politically-motivated attacks, erect barriers in virtually every facet of Black LGBTQ peoples lives, denying them the equal opportunity to succeed and be accepted for who they are.
State and federal officials have many tools at their disposal to begin addressing systemic racism head on, including reshaping state budgets and creating task forces to promote genuine equity for Black and LGBTQ communities across a range of issues from policing to employment, housing, education and more.
The report also includes a section highlighting effective solutions along with brief guidance on how individuals, organizations and governing bodies can level these recommendations, including:
HRCs analysis uses an intersectional statistical model, a process for analyzing the data in a way that accounts for the multiple identities of Black LGBTQ people in addition to their race, sexual orientation or gender identity. It allows for the analysis to determine the rate of discrimination reported by similar survey respondents based on the product of their specific generation, gender, connection to their local communities and many other factors.
The survey was led by Community Marketing & Insights and the Center for Black Equity in October 2020, and supported by the Human Rights Campaign, AARP, Freddy Mac, Wilson Media and numerous Black LGBTQ media outlets. This report was sponsored by AARP. In addition, this report and HRC Foundations efforts to combat racism is made possible with the support of: Anonymous, Assurant Foundation, Baxter International Foundation, BBVA, Carlson Company and the Carlson Family Foundation, Cisco Systems, Inc., The Coca Cola Company, David Bohnett Foundation, Gilead Sciences, Inc., Google, Gucci America, Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Levi Strauss & Co., MetLife Foundation, The Morningstar Foundation, Norton LifeLock, Inc. (through Silicon Valley Community Foundation), Open Society Foundations, PVH, Rockefeller Foundation, State Farm, The TJX Companies, T-Mobile, Toyota, UPS Foundation, Inc., U. S. Bank, Vanguard Group Foundation, Verizon, ViiV Healthcare and Zendesk.
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Posted: at 7:13 am
It would not be in Oprahs nature to pick an heir. But this is of no matter to Ziwe, the mononymous twenty-nine-year-old Nigerian-American performer who is in the midst of becoming our national inquirers unauthorized spawn. Everything that the pleasantness of The Oprah Winfrey Show made invisiblethe theatrical artifice of the interview structure; the hosts interest in a gendered performance art; the flirtatious conflation of journalismand narcissism; the over-all raging camp of the daytime enterpriseis easy to see when watching the media that Ziwe produces.
I cannot say that Baited with Ziwe, an interview series that dbuted onYouTube, in 2017, is enjoyable to watch, and thats the point. On Baited, Ziwe subjects non-Black people to interviews about race that quickly become inquisitions. It is a fantasy comedy of entrapment in which the Black woman tosses white navet down the hatch while playfully hoarding the lock and key. There is no right answer, say, to Ziwes demand of a white woman guest, a famous cook, to name five Black people off the top of your head, because Ziwe is not asking a question. And yet the guest works hard to answer in good faith, to look racially hip in the face of the ludicrous, because she believes, whether she will admit itor not, that her reputation is hinged on a kind of obeisance.
Last year, Baited moved to Instagram Live. Its new home, where politics are all about appearance, seemed appropriate; Ziwe questioned the legitimacy of the white allys existential crisis during our summer of quote-unquote racial reckoning. What is it that possesses white people to agree to speak to Ziwe? Wanting to look good? The fear of becoming irrelevant? The desire to participate in a phenomenon that they understand to be culturally Black, even at the promise of humiliation? Last years guests were often public figures who had said or done something offensive, something that threatened their social capital. And Ziwe, instead of giving them the stern but loving reprimand that decades of Oprah taught them was their due, used them for her personal project. The asymmetry was there even in the split-screen presentation of the show: the sombre interviewee, hair often pulled back, respectfully distanced from the iPhone camera; Ziwe looking like a glammed-up madam, with pastel eyeliner or full-length gloves, nosing up to the camera so that we are staring down the caverns of her nostrils, her brandished gums.
The Instagram series has been expanded into Ziwe, a carnivalesque variety-style talk show, produced by A24 and airing on Showtime. Vanguard talent such as Cole Escola, Bowen Yang, Patti Harrison, Sydnee Washington, Julio Torres, and Jeremy O. Harris drop in, letting us know that were in the hottest company. Ziwe, dressed in gorgeous high-femme outfits that verge on the parodic, is our demented girl boss, our anchor, which means we are always a bit seasick. The aesthetic is aestheticmost of the set is shaded in pink or its derivatives, including potted plants on the stage. There are framed photographs of Michelle Obama and Oprah on the walls, and gigantic storybooks on the floora wink at the spirit of faux intellectualism. Formally,Ziwe descends from the news-satire model of The Late Show with Stephen ColbertZiwe, an accomplished television writer, once interned for Colbertbut her show aspires to more than being a vaunted challenge to white-male-dominated late-night TV. The dbut seasonsix episodes, full of absurd games, musical skits, and more of those uncomfortable interviewsends up amounting to a creeping self-portrait of its namesake, rendered through flashy critiques of race and the media. The soul of the Ziwe persona was not really accessible via Baited, or through her heavily layered Internet characterpossibly because she is still sorting out the particulars for herself. In the finale of the Showtime series, a repeated visual motif is of Ziwe, baring her teeth, as she grabs at the edges of an old-fashioned television set. Despite all the fun and games, Ziwe is a one-womanshow, a baby-pink ouroboros, an endless loop out of which Ziwe the person is trying to escape.
Ziwe often relies heavily on the prefab obsessions of the liberal intelligentsia. The first episode of the show is called 55%, a reference to both the estimated percentage of white women who voted for Trump and the discourse that has exploded around that fact. The most viral segment of the pilot was Ziwes sitdown with the humorist Fran Lebowitz. There was the sexy juxtaposition, generational and racial, and the clash of egos. Early on, Lebowitz, legs crossed, warns Ziwe that she doesnt play games, a caution that the host summarily ignores. Lebowitz, to prove her progressive bona fides, begins to critique Barack Obama, and a chyron reads White Woman Has Opinion on Obama. (The editors of Ziwe are as much responsible for the queasiness of the interviews as Ziwe is herself.) As Lebowitz speaks, her words are bleeped out. The chyron: We will not be airing this because we want to go to the Roc Nation Brunch.
Here is the profoundly inventive element of Ziwe: the sendup of the Black grifter, the personality who exploits a desire for reconciliation, and ingeniously twists the fetish of Black female moral authority, for her own gain. Anytime a guest dares to question Ziweat one point, Bowen Yang, in on the joke, meekly asks the host about her wealthshe contorts her beautiful face, as if accusing the guest of disrespect. No one gets to come for the mad queen. Curiously, the show, not ready to skewer its host head on, opts to do so through other bits, as in a fake commercial for an Imperial Wives doll named Tina, who uses social-justice language for profit.
Ziwe is trapped in an interminable dance with whiteness, its muse. In a skit called Karens, from the first episode, Ziwe ensnares a focus group of white women in a number of racial faux pas. But because the participants are aware of their own shortcomings, the joke cannot land. The segment also feels dated, strangled by the unimaginative neologism of the fraught summer that preceded it.
We know what Ziwe wants to dismantle. But what does this self-described agent of chaos want to create? In interviews, Ziwe, a maven of self-promotion, claims that she sees her form of caustic satire as the conduit to a confrontational education. And yet Ziwe the show is pessimistic about the American belief in the power of anti-racist enlightenment. Its possible that Ziwe has a gloriously retributive bent, that it is satire that does not serve a higher purpose, that it simply delights in letting the jab sit and sting. The point is to watch people squirm, not to hear them speak. Although the six episodes cover different topicsimmigration, beauty standards, wealth inequalityZiwe returns repeatedly to the hypocrisies of liberal saints and stooges. In one segment, Ziwe visits a plastic-surgery office, and gets an affable white surgeon to suggest that her nose could be more refined. She gets Andrew Yang to embarrass himself more than he already has. She makes Gloria Steinem listen to her recite the lyrics to CardiB and Megan Thee Stallions W.A.P. Its like a kink.
I found myself most interested in Ziwe when the host was in the presence of other Black womenin other words, when the Ziwe persona was put to the test. In a recurring segment called Behind the Writers Studio, Ziwe baits her own writers, deriding them for their participation in the sketches that she herself commissioned. In the finale, she brings out Michelle Davis, who has written, and performed in, a faux-mercial in which Harriet Tubman hawks sports bras. Ziwe tells Davis, I think the lesson here is that you can be Black and anti-Black. This is the shows tricky apotheosis. Davis turns the tables on the host, insisting that she isnt anti-Black, and launches into a rendition of the Black national anthem, Lift Evry Voice and Sing. Ziwe, one-upped at the game of one-upping, can do nothing but giggle and sing along.
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BRP Group, Inc. Announces New Exclusive Collaboration With Nasdaq to Offer D&O Insurance Solutions – Yahoo Finance
Posted: at 7:13 am
TAMPA, Fla., June 17, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BRP Group, Inc. (BRP Group or the Company) (NASDAQ: BRP), a rapidly growing independent insurance distribution firm delivering tailored insurance solutions, today announced an exclusive collaboration with Nasdaq, to offer tailored D&O Liability Insurance programs and solutions for companies listed on Nasdaq through its subsidiary, AHT Insurance.
AHT Insurance provides property and casualty, employee benefits, retirement, personal and international services for clients. They have specialized expertise and experience in providing D&O insurance services. AHT has created innovative and exclusive programs for Nasdaq listed companies, IPOs, and SPACs that incorporate both corporate governance initiatives and unique captive insurance risk transfer solutions.
Were thrilled about our new collaboration with Nasdaq, says Trevor Baldwin, BRP Groups Chief Executive Officer. BRP Group and AHT have deep expertise and experience in providing solutions that can meet the needs of the high-growth companies on The Nasdaq Stock Market.
Mike Tomasulo, AHTs National Management Liability practice leader added, D&O Insurance has become a major budget item for public companies, especially IPOs & SPACs. We understand that companies are looking for new and creative solutions to help them manage these increasing costs while also securing best in class coverage.
ABOUT AHT INSURANCE
AHT is an insurance brokerage and consulting firm offering property and casualty, employee benefits, retirement, personal and international services for clients throughout the United States. We support numerous industries and boast national recognition for practices in areas, such as technology, manufacturing, government contracting and nonprofits. Learn more at http://www.ahtinsurance.com.
ABOUT BRP GROUP
BRP Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: BRP) is an independent insurance distribution firm delivering tailored insurance and risk management insights and solutions that give our clients the peace of mind to pursue their purpose, passion and dreams. We are innovating the industry by taking a holistic and tailored approach to risk management, insurance and employee benefits, and support our clients, Colleagues, Insurance Company Partners and communities through the deployment of vanguard resources and capital to drive our growth. BRP represents over 600,000 clients across the United States and internationally. For more information, please visit http://www.baldwinriskpartners.com.
NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This press release may contain various forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which represent BRP Groups expectations or beliefs concerning future events. Forward-looking statements are statements other than historical facts and may include statements that address future operating, financial or business performance or BRP Groups strategies or expectations. In some cases, you can identify these statements by forward-looking words such as may, might, will, should, expects, plans, anticipates, believes, estimates, predicts, projects, potential, outlook or continue, or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are based on managements current expectations and beliefs and involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, developments and business decisions to differ materially from those contemplated by these statements.
Factors that could cause actual results or performance to differ from the expectations expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, those described under the caption Risk Factors in BRP Groups Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 and in BRP Groups other filings with the SEC, which are available free of charge on the Securities and Exchange Commission's website at: http://www.sec.gov, including those risks and other factors relevant to the business, financial condition and results of operations of BRP Group and factors related to the potential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on BRP Groups business, financial condition and results of operations. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those indicated. All forward-looking statements and all subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to BRP Group or to persons acting on behalf of BRP Group are expressly qualified in their entirety by reference to these risks and uncertainties. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and BRP Group does not undertake any obligation to update them in light of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable law.
Media Contact:Rachel DeAngelo | firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted: at 7:13 am
The DoD Reporters Notebook is a weekly summary of personnel, acquisition, technology and management stories that may have fallen below your radar during the past week, but are nonetheless important. Its compiled and published each Monday by Federal News Network DoD reportersJared SerbuandScott Maucione.
The Defense Department has been dealing with the aftermath of privatizing its military housing, now a government watchdog thinks the Army should step up its oversight of temporary lodging as well.
The Army began privatizing its lodging in 2009 to save money, but a Government Accountability Office report found improvements are taking longer than anticipated, development plans have changed and there is a lack of data to actually determine if the program is achieving its intended objectives.
The Army determined in 2003 that over 80% of its lodging facilities were in need of either replacement or renovation at a cost estimate of over one billion dollars, the authors wrote. In addition, the vast majority of the facilities did not meet Army adequacy standards. Many of the lodging facilities had cinder-block walls, exterior corridors, linoleum floors, and lacked standardized in-room temperature control units, while others had deficiencies in the life-safety systems, such as fire alarms and sprinkler systems.
The Army said it has seen increases in guest satisfaction rates. It also extended its renovation plans out to 2029 years longer than originally intended and changed development plans to be more renovation-centric, as opposed to building new lodging.
The Pentagon has not included information on the Armys revised timeframe or development plans in its reports to Congress, the authors wrote. If DoD were to provide this additional information, Congress and other decision makers would be better able to determine whether the lodging program is achieving its intended objectives.
GAO also suspected that the Armys reported cost savings from the program are overblown.
The Army estimated a cost avoidance of approximately $606 million for official travel lodging costs from fiscal years 2009 through 2019, using a baseline that is higher than what the Defense Travel Management Office uses and what off-base commercial preferred hotels may charge, the GAO analysts wrote. However, the Army has not evaluated whether the calculation it uses or an alternative is the most accurate representation of the cost avoidance achieved.
GAO said DoD is being negligent in the way it collects data on the lodging as well. There are issues with how standardized the data is, leading to compliance reports that are not easily comparable year by year or installation to installation.
The watchdog is making four recommendations. One is that the Army provide key information about the lodging privatization program so that Congress can get a handle on the status of facilities and the timeframe for completing improvements.
GAO also wants DoD to look at how the Army is coming up with its cost avoidance numbers and calculate them against other scenarios.
DoD should create standardized methodologies for the data it collects on lodging and finally it should look into why some service members and civilians are inappropriately using off-base lodging for official travel.
DoD saw that issues with data collection and deferments on improvements ended up being huge issues for military families living in privatized housing.
The Pentagon and the military services repeatedly said they took their eye off the ball when it came to improving old houses with lead paint and to getting maintenance issues fixed for families.
The GAO report has some similarities, particularly in terms of oversight issues, to the 2006 report that warned about future problems with military housing those issues came to a head starting in 2019.
U.S. Transportation Command said it will partner with the Air Force in the services journey to use terrestrial rockets to deliver cargo and possibly humans anywhere in the world in short timeframes.
The combatant command announced last week that it will work with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the Air Force and the Space Force to explore commercial capabilities in the field of space travel for global logistics.
AFRL will be leading the effort and TRANSCOM will provide a supporting role.
DoD has explored space transportation in the past, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Moore, who is managing the partnerships, said. Today, multiple factors are at play and it is the convergence of favorable costs, capacity, speed and access that makes commercial space mobility and logistics increasingly attractive.
The Air Force is relying heavily on private industry to build the capability.
Since industry bears the bulk of development costs, the government is in an opportune position to influence designs and be postured to utilize future capabilities, said Moore. The strategy aligns with the 2020 National Space Policy to develop government systems only when no suitable or cost-effective service is available.
According to Moore, it is similar to how the DoD works with commercial aircraft engineers to ensure compatible defense features such as the 463L pallet system, which is a common size platform for bundling and moving air cargo, and serves as the primary air cargo pallet for the U.S. Air Force, other air forces, and many civilian cargo transport aircraft.
The Air Force announced the vanguard program on June 4.
Rocket cargo is envisioned as a Defense Department interface with commercial capabilities, where we deliver up to 100 tons of cargo anywhere on the planet on tactical timelines, Maj. Gen. Heather Pringle, AFRL commander, said. This newest vanguard has the support of the entire Department of the Air Force, and if successful, will be partnered with the right team to transition this to warfighters.
As the private sector works, AFRL and the Space and Missile Center are planning prototypes and experiments to ensure cargo will be ready for terrestrial rocket travel.
That includes looking at ways to pre-certify cargo and containers to quicken the packing process, finding ways to quicken the logistics of packing and unpacking cargo and even entertaining the possibility of using the rockets to rapidly deploy troops.
The Air Force is working under the assumption that companies will develop landing pads around the world, but the service would also like to look into landing the rockets in austere environments that could deliver capabilities to nearly anywhere on the planet.
People always wonder why are we looking at this idea again. This idea [has] been around since the dawn of spaceflight, its always been an intriguing idea. We look at it about every 10 years and its never really made sense in the past, Greg Spanjers, Rocket Cargo program manager said. What has changed is a major emergence on the commercial side with much higher capability rockets at a much lower cost point than were used to seeing.
At this point, companies are using their own money for reentry systems and DoD does not have to do the initial investment.
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Posted: May 27, 2021 at 8:00 am
The Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA or Ginnie Mae) issues agency bonds backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. GNMA guarantees principal and interest on mortgage-backed securities (MBS) backed by loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs. New GNMAs are issued in $25,000 minimum denominations.
MBS are an investment in a pool of mortgage loans, which are the underlying asset and provide cash flow for the securities. MBS are commonly referred to as "pass-through" securities, as the principal and interest of the underlying mortgage loans "passes through" to the investor. All bondholders receive a monthly pro-rata distribution of principal and interest over the life of the security. MBS are issued with maturities of up to 30 years, though most mature earlier.
Each MBS has an average life, an estimate of the time remaining until the final principal payment. Average life will vary based on changes in principal payments, which are driven by interest rates and the speed by which mortgage holders prepay their loans.
Posted: at 8:00 am
Food Producers, Retailers, Grocers, and Distributors Welcome
Vermont Business Magazine John Tunnicliffe, King Arthur Baking Companys Director will serve as keynote speaker at the Vermont Specialty Food Associations 2021 virtual Spring Annual Meeting on Wednesday, June 9th. VSFA members will convene virtually from 1:00pm to 3:30pm to learn from experts on managing production costs and selling on Instagram stories. This yearly event, typically drawing over 100 participants in person, is part of the association's ongoing effort to harness and develop educational resources for specialty food and beverage producers, retailers, and the small business community.
The virtual Spring Annual Meeting is open to all and is free to VSFA and Vermont Retail & Grocers Association members. Non-members will be charged a $10 registration fee. Those interested can find further information and registration at: bit.ly/vsfaspringmeeting
Each June the VSFA community comes together for a daylong networking and business education event, a valued opportunity for members to connect with each other while learning ways to sustain, grow, and manage their business. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, VSFA has pivoted and moved this years meeting to a virtual event in order to continue strengthening and supporting our community during these challenging times.
This 2.5-hour event will provide ample opportunity for participants to ask questions, share experiences and connect with other businesses within Vermont. Details of the event include: VSFAs annual meeting, a legislative update, and:
Keynote Speaker: Hear from John Tunnicliffe, Director of Camelot, King Arthur Baking Company, on how the company not only navigated a pandemic like the rest of us, but how they also managed a flour shortage, rebranding, and employee well-being.
Session 1: Cost of Food Sold: A conversation around managing your production costs - Have an open conversation with food producers and understand the variability of margins in the food sector, including best practices and what goes into determining product pricing.
Session 2: How to sell on Instagram stories - Learn how to better utilize Instagram stories to connect with your audience, share your brand's story, and convert followers into customers. Gain the tools you need to make creating Instagram stories easier and effective. Instagram has 500 Million users and 1/3 of the most viewed stories are from businesses.
View the full agenda, session descriptions, and speaker biographies here: bit.ly/vsfaspringmeeting
This event would not be possible without the support of our Event Sponsors. Thank you to ImageTek Labels, Rival Brands, and Vanguard Renewables.
To learn more about the work VSFA does, visit their website at http://www.vtspecialtyfoods.org, follow them on Facebook & Instagram, or call their office at (802) 839-1930.
About Vermont Specialty Food Association:
The Vermont Specialty Food Association is the leading information resource for all specialty food and beverage producers, service providers, and industry professionals. VSFA seeks to grow specialty food businesses and the Vermont industry through education, promotion, and statewide and national collaboration. It is the nation's oldest and most highly regarded specialty food association, celebrating over 30 years of service to the industry.
Source:Vermont Specialty Food Association 5.26.2021
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Posted: at 8:00 am
The marine shipping sector consumes around 10 quadrillion British thermal units (Btus) of fuel and emits 1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. Thats more than all of Germanys emissions, more than all of Saudi Arabias emissions and roughly equal to the emissions from all passenger vehicles in the United States. By any reasonable measure the shipping industry is a major global emitter, one of the economic sectors that must be fully decarbonized by midcentury to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Eliminating GHG emissions from marine shipping is an enormous undertaking, but the technological path forward has been reasonably clear for a few years. What has been missing is the requisite will among the shipping industry and regional and international regulators to require and implement the steps that need to be taken.
Greenhouse gas emissions can be eliminated from the marine sector largely by shifting from heavy fuel oil and marine diesel to zero-carbon fuels (ZCF) such as hydrogen and ammonia, as detailed by the Clean Air Task Force (see here and here), other nongovernmental organizations (here and here), academic and government experts (here and here) and financial institutions (here and here).
Ammonia, made by combining hydrogen with nitrogen captured from ambient air, looks like a particularly promising marine fuel, especially for transoceanic voyages provided the hydrogen and the nitrogen are sourced from processes that emit little to no greenhouse gas. It can be used in fuel cells or more conveniently, at least in the near term in retrofitted or purpose-built versions of the massive two- and four-stroke internal combustion engines that propel container ships, tankers and bulk carriers around the world.
Ammonia contains no carbon atoms, so no carbon dioxide is produced when it is converted into energy, regardless whether that conversion happens in a fuel cell or in a reciprocating engine. And, as explained more fully here, production technologies that use carbon capture and storage systems or renewable- or nuclear-derived electricity can make ammonia with little to no associated greenhouse gas emissions. To be clear, ammonia fuel presents real challenges its a toxic substance that requires careful handling, and harmful nitrogen oxide gases can form when ammonia is combusted but the challenges look to be manageable through a combination of time-tested safety protocols and modern emission control systems.
Because most transoceanic shipping occurs outside the claimed jurisdiction of national governments, regulatory authority over the shipping sector is thin and spotty.
The opportunity that ammonia produced with little-to-no lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions affords for shipping decarbonization is apparent to a growing set of innovative companies and institutions, many of which are taking steps toward full-scale commercialization of ammonia-fueled shipping technology. Some recent examples include:
These companies are at the vanguard of what is likely to be a challenging journey. Container ships and bulk carriers consumed 118 million metric tons of heavy fuel oil-equivalent fuel in 2018, per data from the U.N. International Maritime Organization (IMO), accounting for half the sectors total fuel consumption. If those same ships ran on ammonia instead (assuming 1.89 metric tons of ammonia are needed to replace a metric ton of marine fuel, as indicated in this 2020 analysis by Kim et al.), they would have consumed 224 million metric tons of ammonia. Total global ammonia production is about 180 million metric tons per year, and almost all that ammonia is made using technologies that emit significant amounts of carbon dioxide.
Is there a way to make 224 million metric tons of ammonia with technologies that emit little to no CO2? More immediately, is there a way to supply a 5000 TEU container ship with the 33,000 metric tons of zero-carbon ammonia fuel it would consume during a years worth of voyages between, say, the ports of Los Angeles and Shanghai? (The second question is particularly relevant to coZEV, a joint effort by leading retail companies, CATF, the Aspen High Seas Initiative and other organizations to build demand for first-of-a-kind zero-emission container ship routes between major international seaports. The first such route is likely to be served by a 5000 TEU ammonia-fueled container ship.)
It will take about 400 new world-scale clean ammonia production plants to make the 224 million metric tons of zero-carbon ammonia required to decarbonize the global fleet of container ships and bulk carriers. (By world-scale, we mean a facility or complex that makes about 560,000 metric tons of ammonia per year from about 100,000 metric tons of hydrogen.)
That is an undeniably massive undertaking. We have the know-how to do it, though, and we can start making progress one clean ammonia plant and one zero-emissions vessel at a time. If one of the first world-scale clean ammonia plants was near a major port, just 6 percent of its annual output could fuel a 5,000 TEU emissions-free container ship for a year.
Whats needed is the will to push forward the will to develop and implement new policies and new business models aimed at driving down the price of zero-carbon ammonia and pulling it into the marine fuel market.
Because most transoceanic shipping occurs outside the claimed jurisdiction of national governments, regulatory authority over the shipping sector is thin and spotty. The authority that does exist is mostly reposed in the IMO, a conservative and consensus-driven institution headquartered in London.
The IMO has developed important environmental regulatory requirements, such as a 2020 regulation that sharply constrains vessels sulfur dioxide emissions, but its track record is full of environmental initiatives that were delayed, blocked or ineffectual.
Notably, the IMOs 2018 greenhouse gas reduction requirement is literally a half-measure it only requires the sector to reduce GHG emissions by "at least 50 percent by 2050" and the body has failed so far to establish meaningful mid-term milestones that could generate useful momentum. Efforts to strengthen GHG regulations have been frustrated by delegates from economically powerful countries and the shipping industry, which has a large consultative role in IMO proceedings.
It will take about 400 new world-scale clean ammonia production plants to make the 224 million metric tons of zero-carbon ammonia required to decarbonize the global fleet of container ships and bulk carriers.
Over the past year, however, as the global imperative to responsibly tackle climate change has solidified, other stakeholders in the marine space have begun charting a different course for the sector, oneconsistent with a 1.5 degree C limit on warming. A string of recent developments signal to the IMO and industry laggards that change is coming:
The emerging evidence of a will to decarbonize the marine sector among pioneering retail and commodity companies willing to invest in strategies to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the marine portion of their supply chains, among innovative shipbuilders and engine technology developers and, most recently, among key policymakers is just a start. But its a start we can build on.