Event Planer http://eventplaner.net/ Sat, 22 Jan 2022 09:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://eventplaner.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/cropped-favicon-32x32.jpg Event Planer http://eventplaner.net/ 32 32 Commentary: Holiday gift returns are stifling retailers and landfills https://eventplaner.net/commentary-holiday-gift-returns-are-stifling-retailers-and-landfills/ Sat, 22 Jan 2022 09:00:00 +0000 https://eventplaner.net/commentary-holiday-gift-returns-are-stifling-retailers-and-landfills/

As the heat of the holiday season wanes, Americans are taking a cold look at their Christmas gifts. Many don’t like what they see.

One in 4 Americans expect to return at least one holiday gift by this weekend, according to a UPS report. That’s at least 60 million packages in a single return season for the world’s only package shipper, and a 10% increase over 2020 holiday returns. these returns are increasing, retailers and consumers face an expensive and unsustainable shopping future.

For generations, savvy retailers have embraced lenient return policies as a way to project reliability and build customer loyalty. They were well aware that unscrupulous customers could exploit no-questions-asked or receipt-optional refund policies. But the success of retailers like Nordstrom and Target, both of which have permissive brand awareness to return to Strategies and loyal customers, highlighted the compensating benefits. In one recent survey apparel companies, 86% of respondents agreed that returns are a “necessary evil”.

Online retailers recognized the need early on, adopting lenient return policies and free return shipping to build trust and loyalty among consumers new to e-commerce. Perhaps the most aggressive promoter was Zappos, the online shoe retailer now owned by Amazon. At first the company encouraged customers to order shoes in multiple sizes, then return the ones that don’t fit and pay the shipping costs. As early as 2010, Zappos was happy story journalists that its best customers were those who returned the most products.

It’s an expensive way to gain market share. In 2020, American consumers returned around $428.6 billion in merchandise, 10.6% of total retail sales. Now online retailers, rocked by difficult COVID-era consumers, are facing return rates between 15 percent and 30 percent.

Refunds are just the beginning of a retailer’s costs. According to a recent analysis of companies involved in the returns industry, it costs retailers $33 to process a $50 return item in 2021, a 59% increase from the previous year.

There are several familiar factors behind this rising cost in the age of COVID-19, especially for e-commerce retailers. Rising transport costs have made it more expensive to transport returned goods to specialized processing centers and then to their final destinations. Rising labor costs have prompted retailers to seek employees to open, assess and route returned products.

But the largest costs, by far, are related to write-downs and the liquidation of returns (on average, between $6.50 and $35.25 per $50 product). Few returned products are redirected to a retailer’s inventory. The flood of returns is so heavy (and growing) that it’s simply impossible for retailers to assess whether every pair of jeans, porch furniture combo or Lego set is in resalable condition.

To manage the volume, retailers rely on a byzantine network of brokers, dealers, liquidators and – sometimes – themselves to extract value from returns. For example, Home Depot Inc. hosts online clearance auctions returned products with lot descriptions such as “Full truck (18 pallets) of outdoor motorized equipment, vanities and more.” The winners sort and – hopefully – resell the products. But there’s no guarantee that everything will work (it’s a return, after all), and so the dealer bears the burden of disposal as well.

It can be a heavy burden. In 2020, retail returns generated nearly 6 billion pounds of waste. Part of that is the packaging. But much of it is returned products that cannot be resold. In these cases, resellers and retailers, faced with an uncontrollable flood of returns, have been known to incinerate returned the inventory or throw it in dumps. Retailers who fail to address the issue are not only responsible for waste, but also risk alienating customers.

The financial charges are just as important. Last month, British online fashion retailer boohoo Group PLC reduced its sales forecast in part because of a ruinous 12.5% ​​increase in yields from December 2020.

They are not alone. In recent years, venerable retailers, including Nordström, have tightened their once-liberal return policies in the face of rising costs. So-called “free” returns are reduced and consumers are encouraged to deliver unwanted products to physical stores.

Solutions that avoid alienating consumers accustomed to free returns remain rare. For example, many online clothing retailers have invested in virtual fitting rooms to help online shoppers buy well-fitting clothes. So far, the dressing rooms don’t seem to have had much of an impact on returns.

A better approach might be a retail industry campaign that outlines the environmental and financial costs associated with product returns. At a time when consumers and retailers want to bolster their sustainability credentials, an honest acknowledgment of what happens when consumers buy more than they need (or want) could benefit everyone. .

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Large chunk of iceberg spills billions of tons of water into the ocean https://eventplaner.net/large-chunk-of-iceberg-spills-billions-of-tons-of-water-into-the-ocean/ Fri, 21 Jan 2022 22:34:21 +0000 https://eventplaner.net/large-chunk-of-iceberg-spills-billions-of-tons-of-water-into-the-ocean/

In 2017, one of the largest icebergs in the world – iceberg A-68 in Antarctica – followed the path of all the boy bands and broke up. The solo career of one of the pieces of this huge block of ice, A-68a, was heartbreaking. The ancient piece of pack ice, which once spanned 2,240 square miles and 761 feet thick, drifted dangerously close to South Georgia Island – threatening to scrape the seabed in the process – before finally turn off. But, while the main crisis was averted when the iceberg missed South Georgia and managed to avoid getting stuck, the impact of this massive displaced block of ice is only just beginning to be understood.

On Thursday, the European Space Agency revealed that the A-68a had flooded the ocean. As the iceberg melts from the warmer waters it currently rests in, it released 168 billion tons of fresh water. According to the University of Leeds, that’s about 20 times the amount of water that fills Loch Ness, more than it would take to fill 61 million Olympic swimming pools. It’s a lot.

It’s also not great for the surrounding ecosystems in South Georgia. While the melt, which was identified by the Center for Polar Observation and Modeling (CPOM) and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) via satellite measurements, was likely necessary to prevent the iceberg from scraping the seabed and causing irreparable damage is also causing new problems. Packed in all that fresh water is a whole bunch of ocean nutrients that aren’t native to the sensitive ecosystem surrounding South Georgia.

The small island is surprisingly dense with endangered and endangered species. It is home to seals, penguins and birds and serves as a feeding ground for migrating whales. The sudden influx of lots and lots of water containing unknown nutrients is going to have an impact on these creatures and their surroundings – although researchers aren’t sure whether it will be a net positive or potentially destructive. Some experts have suggested that the dust in the ice could help fertilize plankton and improve food availability in the region. The ESA noted that the water discharge “[influence] local ocean circulation,” and which scientists will need to continue monitoring to track the effects.

What ultimately happens with the A-68a matters, as it likely won’t be the last rogue iceberg to smash its way into uncharted territory. The researchers noted that the path the ancient ice shelf block ended up taking could also be the path that future iceberg shards will follow, and these will similarly affect the oceans in which they occur. meet up. With A-68a, we are essentially living a scientific experiment. Hopefully it will have positive effects.

DoorDash: Why the stock is plummeting (NYSE: DASH) https://eventplaner.net/doordash-why-the-stock-is-plummeting-nyse-dash/ Fri, 21 Jan 2022 07:26:00 +0000 https://eventplaner.net/doordash-why-the-stock-is-plummeting-nyse-dash/

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images News

In my last article about DoorDash (DASH) and its acquisition of Wolt, I warned that this acquisition could be a red flag:

“I think this acquisition may indicate that the risk/reward ratio of DoorDash’s stock is less favorable than before, and therefore management believes this is a good time to diversify the business.”

Since that statement, DoorDash shares have started to fall at a pace that I personally didn’t even expect.

DoorDash isn’t just a food delivery platform, it’s a platform to deliver everything, especially food, groceries, and other necessities. Generally known as the last mile delivery market. But as it enters this market, DoorDash is beginning to rival the big winners of the past few decades.

3 years from Challenger to Dominance

(Source: SecondMeasure)

Second measure

This is the graph that beautifully shows how DoorDash in a relatively short time has gained a leading position in the food delivery industry. However, this graph does not show the underlying market shares by region which differ enormously.

Also, it doesn’t reflect the reality that DoorDash’s biggest competitors aren’t Uber. (NYSE: UBER) and Grubhub (NASDAQ: GRUB) but walmart (NYSE: WMT) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). As DoorDash has gone into the business of delivering virtually everything from merchants to your doorstep in say 1 hour; the competitive landscape is also changing. And it is far but certain that DoorDash will become the market leader in last mile delivery. As DoorDash begins to compete with Amazon and Walmart, an entry for these two into food delivery isn’t out of the question.

The competition

(Source: Yipitdata)

(Source: Yipitdata)

Contrary to popular belief, DoorDash has not won food delivery in the all WE. Take Manhattan: In Manhattan, DoorDash operates a 15% market share, which doesn’t strike me as a profitable share. As food delivery is a business with local network effects; people living in Manhattan will likely download the Grubhub app because it has the largest selection of restaurants in the area. Cool that DoorDash has the best deal in California, but that’s further than Bermuda – 4 times further in fact. Another example, according to Yipitdata, Uber Eats has the most gross market value in Florida and New York. What I mean: America is very diverse, and DoorDash’s dominance in some areas doesn’t guarantee dominance in others. Reality: Uber Eats and Grubhub are strong competitors in most major cities outside of California. DoorDash may dominate food delivery in the suburbs of the US and California, but the suburbs are also the area with the most quick service restaurants. I note that Walmart is also a relatively well-known grocery chain with a 26% market share in groceries – which is mostly focused on the suburbs.

(Source: JustEatTakeaway.com)

(Source: JustEatTakeaway.com)

DoorDash doesn’t dominate the same-day delivery market either. With an expected GOV of $40 billion for DoorDash by 2021, competitors like Instacart (ICART) are nearly as big (estimated at $30 billion). Instacart is a same-day grocery delivery platform, but since DoorDash is entering this market, it’s fair to consider Instacart as a competitor.

(Source: SecondMeasure)

(Source: SecondMeasure)

Also not unimportant, Amazon has a 40% market share in e-commerce and its vision is to be the online place to buy everything. As explained in my Amazon article, Amazon’s supposed entry into the same-day (grocery) delivery market is a huge long-term risk for same-day delivery companies like DoorDash. My point is clear, there is a lot of competition.

The interesting fact is that the logistics of the same delivery market and the food delivery market overlap. It’s clear that competition in the same-day delivery market is strong and growing, so it makes sense for these platforms to venture into food delivery to provide a competitive deal to customers.


In the short term, what worries me the most about DoorDash’s prospects is the fact that Just Eat Takeaway is practically putting Grubhub up for sale through a “partnership”, whatever a partnership might entail. More recently, there has also been speculation about a potential sale of Grubhub. I’ve written extensively about Just Eat Takeaway but the potential consequences can be detrimental to DoorDash.

Just Eat Takeaway Grubhub CEO Jitse Groen said at the end of the Q4 2021 partnership call that “there could be some really big consumer brands interested,” I think the meaning of those words is clear. With Walmart (and eventually Amazon) moving into the same-day grocery delivery market, adding serious food delivery to the offering can be extremely valuable. If Amazon legitimately gets into food delivery, DoorDash’s stock may drop much further.

DoorDash’s vision

DoorDash aims to be the logistics hub for delivering a wide range of goods, but for now, obviously, it’s mostly food. Some readers ask me: what is the gap here? I think the fluke is valuable network effects that users experience as the supply of available merchants, consumers, and drivers increases. Think about features like short shipping times, lowest shipping costs, best possible product selection, and other small features like ratings. Consumers want the best experience; I imagine that only a few platforms can potentially cost-effectively provide adequate customer experience in the same-day delivery market. Finally, the large pool of drivers provides customers with their goods with consistently short delivery times, while the large pool of consumers offers drivers a high occupancy rate. In other words, when drivers switch to another platform, they may end up idling, which is an obvious waste of time, and consumers have to wait longer for their goods on the other platform. . In my opinion, this is a gap.

That’s why I suspect that DoorDash over time – if it runs successfully – can earn high returns on invested capital. With a 9 EV/sales ratio, forward revenue growth rate of 90% and gross profit margin of 50% – DoorDash is actually quite cheap compared to other publicly traded platforms like Airbnb (NASDAQ: ABNB) or Snap (NYSE:SNAP). Because DoorDash operates a logistics platform and does not employ drivers, they can earn long-term gross profit margins similar to Airbnb and Snap. I conclude that DoorDash with higher revenue growth rate but lower multiples is riskier by the market.

If we assume profit margins of 30% and a CAGR of 35% for 2026, we are looking at profits of $6.1 billion. With a P/E ratio of 50, that would value the company at $300 billion. The upside is clear, but the question is whether DoorDash will ever turn a profit.

To take with

The market is rightly starting to wonder about the prospects of this company. If management achieves its goals, this stock is a potential 10 baggers. But with the Amazon juggernaut snooping around the same-day delivery market, I seriously wonder if the company will ever achieve its goals.

Many BC ranchers affected by wildfires and floods have yet to receive financial assistance https://eventplaner.net/many-bc-ranchers-affected-by-wildfires-and-floods-have-yet-to-receive-financial-assistance/ Thu, 20 Jan 2022 02:02:00 +0000 https://eventplaner.net/many-bc-ranchers-affected-by-wildfires-and-floods-have-yet-to-receive-financial-assistance/

Merritt, B.C. farmer Rhonda MacDonald was hit by a double whammy of wildfires and floods last year but has yet to receive promised financial aid from federal governments and provincial.

MacDonald, owner of the Bar FX Ranch located between Highway 8 and the Nicola River, was one of the ranchers struggling to save cattle during the evacuation of his home as fires raged in the interior of the British Columbia last summer.

To make matters worse, most of his possessions – like dozens of other farms and homes along the highway – were washed away by river flooding in November.

“It’s been chaotic, to say the least,” MacDonald told host Shelley Joyce on CBC. Sunrise Kamloops. “We ended up losing 20 per cent of our cattle herd and spent six weeks preparing for the fire and trying to round up our cattle, and went from there into the deluge.”

“There was nothing we could do about the flooding, and within 12 hours we saw a lifetime of work floating down the river.”

MacDonald says she would need $450,000 from the AgriRecovery program to repair the ranch’s fence that was washed away by the floods. (Submitted by Rhonda MacDonald)

MacDonald says she lives in limbo and would need about $450,000 to fix the ranch’s fence and $300,000 to fix the ranch’s irrigation system, but she hasn’t heard from the British Columbia government after applying for its AgriRecovery fund.

Last August, the provincial and federal governments announced increased support for the agricultural sector, including an increase of more than $100 million to the joint AgriRecovery program, support for livestock displaced by wildfires and a forest fire emergency supply to provide two weeks of support for commercial enterprises. livestock enterprises without animal feed.

The British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture told CBC in a written statement that requests for AgriRecovery wildfire-related relief will be accepted from operators of reporting farms until January 31. Meanwhile, more than 130 farmers have received a total of $5.2 million. from the program.

The ministry also says the AgriRecovery program will be open for applications for flood-related financial assistance later this month.

But the province is asking farmers to pay upfront for the supports they need, then submit their claims with receipts and photos as proof.

“What needs to happen is we need government support behind us and we need it now,” MacDonald said. “We don’t need it in 60 more days.”

In a letter to British Columbia Agriculture Minister Lana Popham, the Saskatoon-based National Farmers Union of Canada echoes the urgency for ranchers affected by the wildfires and floods to receive funding from the AgriRecovery program.

“Pastoralists who managed to survive summer droughts and fires saw their hay supplies washed away or destroyed by flooding,” President Katie Ward wrote.

“With the widespread drought in Western Canada, animal feed is becoming increasingly scarce, and already high hay prices are rising as availability decreases.”

Ward says it’s difficult for many farmers to prepay for infrastructure repairs and Alberta hay after all hay was lost to fires and floods in British Columbia

“I hope Minister Popham and Minister [Marie-Claude] At the federal level, Bibeau can propose a program that will take care of farmers at all economic levels, because there will be many people in the current situation who cannot afford the enormous costs of food and expedition, but they still have to feed their animals.”

National Farmers Union President Katie Ward says many BC farmers affected by wildfires and flooding cannot afford to pay up front for infrastructure and hay. (Submitted by Katie Ward)

MacDonald says she lost 300 tonnes of hay and was lucky to receive hay donated by farmers in northern British Columbia, but she hopes governments can act quickly to support farmers who are in urgent need.

“The government really needs to step in and make sure their farmers and herders get help, so they can keep producing,” she said.

LISTEN | Rhonda MacDonald is asking for immediate help from the provincial and federal governments:

Sunrise Kamloops7:08Merritt-area rancher still waiting for provincial help

Some ranchers along Highway 8 were devastated by flooding last fall and the province has promised to help. This money has still not appeared. We registered with a local breeder. 7:08

]]> production “abroad” is a threat to the market https://eventplaner.net/production-abroad-is-a-threat-to-the-market/ Wed, 19 Jan 2022 13:50:47 +0000 https://eventplaner.net/production-abroad-is-a-threat-to-the-market/

A recession in the semiconductor market is coming in the fourth quarter of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023, says Malcolm Penn, leading industry analyst, Future Horizons.

Penn was speaking at an online conference where he provided his forecast for the global chip market in 2022. His analysis is that market momentum is at a turning point with a collapse likely to occur in 4Q22, possibly be masked by the normally seasonal slowdown. Penn’s average estimate is for 10% annual growth in 2022, with the fourth quarter hit hard.

Penn’s mid-range forecast is just below IC Insights’ forecast of 10.8% growth, but ahead of the 8.8% growth figure given by semi-global trade statistics. drivers at the end of 2021. Other analysts have also predicted overcapacity in 2023, with the shift to construction plants. in the United States and Europe, what is called onshoring, as the biggest risk.

These plans to build capacity in multiple regions – US, Japan, Europe – are likely to be concentrated behind the peak and result in overcapacity in 2023 and 2024 and possibly further into the future, Penn warned. .

Penn observed that the increase in initial capital expenditures in 2H21 was 75% higher than the long-term average as a percentage of sales, which is likely to lead to overcapacity as demand stabilizes. Current demand includes double orders and inflated markets from rising average selling prices, Penn said. When companies start burning inventory, orders will dry up and ASPs will decline, he added.

Penn pointed out that the main foundry, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd., remains committed to Taiwan and only installs capabilities overseas that will remain state-of-the-art when they go live. Penn said he sees TSMC as an exemplary player in the chip market, but others are piling in and may not succeed, and at the same time China is building its own capacity to cut chip imports.

Next: Create a preassigned capacity

Sonata Software – Q3 FY21-22 Consolidated EBIDTA at Rs. 147 Crores, 8% Quarterly Growth and 45% Annual Growth | APN News https://eventplaner.net/sonata-software-q3-fy21-22-consolidated-ebidta-at-rs-147-crores-8-quarterly-growth-and-45-annual-growth-apn-news/ Wed, 19 Jan 2022 07:34:57 +0000 https://eventplaner.net/sonata-software-q3-fy21-22-consolidated-ebidta-at-rs-147-crores-8-quarterly-growth-and-45-annual-growth-apn-news/
Previous story:

Opening of the IPO of Precision Metaliks Limited on January 19, 2022

Sonata Software – FY21-22 Third Quarter Consolidated EBIDTA at Rs. 147 Crores, 8% QoQ Growth and 45% YoY Growth

Posted on January 19, 2022

Sonata Software, a global IT services and technology solutions company, today released its unaudited financial results for its third quarter and nine months ended December 31, 2021.

Srikar Reddy, Managing Director and CEO of Sonata Software noted-
“The results confirm that we continue to deliver well on our goal of being a strategic partner for our clients in building world-class digital businesses through our unique ‘platform’ methodology.
Developing world-class skills in digital services such as platform engineering, cloud transformation, data analytics, and the Microsoft Digital Platform and aligning them with the platform helped us win and execute enterprise-class digital engagements.
We are seeing a continued uptick in the demand situation for digital services with growth in both existing accounts and our pipeline of new contracts. Given the very high demand for digital talent, we continue to execute a comprehensive talent plan, including a series of initiatives to improve employee engagement and retention, build up-front capabilities, focus more on training and development and expand our delivery centers with nearly onshore delivery centers for the United States and Europe.
Our business in India continued to show robust growth with the shift to cloud and digital infrastructure.

With clear and continued visibility and business opportunities, we will continue to invest for growth, in talent acquisition and transformation, intellectual property creation, skills, capability development, and sales and marketing.

Performance highlights for the quarter:

  • Consolidated:
  • Revenues at Rs 1,858 Crores, 93% QoQ growth.
  • EBITDA at Rs 146.9 Crores, 8% QoQ growth
  • Net profit at Rs 97.6 Crores, 7% QoQ growth
  • Cash and cash equivalents (net of borrowings) of approximately Rs 637 Crores.
  • International IT Services:
  • Revenues at Rs 395.2 crores; 10% QoQ growth;
  • Revenue in USD of 53.4 million, QoQ revenue growth of 8.1% in USD and constant currency growth of 8.6%.
  • Growth in all geographical areas (United States 11%, Europe 2.5%, Rest of the world 2.3%).
  • EBITDA at Rs 110.5 Crores: 7% QoQ growth;
  • Net Profit (PAT) at Rs 71.2 Crores, QoQ growth of 6%
  • Added 11 new customers during the quarter.
  • The overall strategy of building digital businesses by building a platform through our unique platform methodology delivers results.
  • Strong growth in digital-enabled skills such as managed cloud services and digital platform services (Microsoft and Open source) and targeted verticals such as ISV, Retail (Essential) and Commodity Business & Service Industry.
  • Strong cash and liquidity positions maintained. The DSO is 43 days.
  • Our pipeline continues to be healthy and strong with multiple new digital wins from existing and new customers.
  • National products and services:
  • Revenues at Rs 1,464.2 crore: 142% QoQ growth;
  • Domestic commercial revenue generated through multi-year, cloud-based annuity contracts. 78% of revenue comes from cloud-based offerings. Sustained growth ensured through strong customer retention, 83% gross margin from customers with turnover (customer revenue) above 1,000 crores and over 80% gross margin from repeat customers with more than 5 years of association.
  • Domestic activity measured on absolute gross margin. Gross margin for the quarter at Rs 45.1 crores vs. Rs 39.9 Crores
  • EBITDA at Rs 36.9 Crores: 10% QoQ growth;
  • Net profit (PAT) at Rs 26.4 crores QoQ growth of 11%
  • DSO at 33 days.
Eurogroup seeks path between high inflation and slower growth https://eventplaner.net/eurogroup-seeks-path-between-high-inflation-and-slower-growth/ Mon, 17 Jan 2022 20:03:45 +0000 https://eventplaner.net/eurogroup-seeks-path-between-high-inflation-and-slower-growth/ BRUSSELS (AP) — Euro finance chiefs ventured into an exercise in political balancing act driven by conflicting economic forces on Monday: weaker growth prospects and higher inflation.

Finance ministers from the 19 countries that share the euro currency have pledged to continue the fiscal stimulus of the European economy amid headwinds caused by the highly transmissible variant of the omicron. At the same time, they sought to reassure voters by vowing to remain vigilant in the face of steep price increases.

“Am I worried about inflation? Obviously yes,” Dutch Finance Minister Sigrid Kaag told reporters in Brussels, where she was attending a meeting with her eurozone counterparts. “The purchasing power of individual citizens will be affected.”

The euro zone faces slowing economic growth this year after a strong recovery in 2021 from a severe coronavirus-induced recession two years ago. But soaring inflation, which hit a record 5% in December and is linked to a squeeze in the energy market, has complicated the situation for policymakers and voters alike.

Ioanna Orfanou, a small-scale olive and pomegranate grower along the eastern coast of Greece, said the prices she paid for fertilizers and insecticides rose to alarming levels in the second half of the year. last year.

“This trend is very worrying,” Orfanou told The Associated Press. “It’s getting harder for small farmers to stay in business because we have limited flexibility to pass cost increases on to average consumers.”

Such sentiments have helped raise questions about the European Central Bank’s policy of keeping the euro zone’s money supply loose to fuel economic activity.

The Frankfurt-based ECB has offered support in two main ways: keeping interest rates at or below zero and helping to keep other market borrowing costs low by buying hundreds of billions of euros in assets in the financial markets.

Daniel Gros, a member of the board of the CEPS think tank in Brussels, said the ECB should now act in a nuanced way by ending pandemic-induced asset purchases while keeping interest rates at levels. current ultra-low.

“The economic emergency caused by the coronavirus is over and there is a danger, although probably small, that inflation in the euro zone will remain too high for longer,” Gros said by telephone.

The European Commission forecasts the euro region’s gross domestic product to grow by 4.3% in 2022 after an estimated 5% growth last year and a contraction of 6.4% in 2020.

Still, forecast growth is ahead of projections of a maximum GDP expansion of 4% this year in the United States, where the central bank warned of economic threats of inflation and signaled an impending tightening of monetary policy. .

By contrast, ECB officials, including President Christine Lagarde, signaled they were in no rush to raise interest rates, saying eurozone inflation would return to the 2% target. from the bank in due time.

The Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, has predicted a further slowdown in eurozone economic growth in 2023 to 2.4%.

“We remain very aware of the risks and challenges ahead,” Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, who chairs the group of eurozone finance ministers, told a news conference after Monday’s meeting. .

As growth prospects dim, national governments in Europe are pushing ahead with plans to spend hundreds of billions of euros in unprecedented European funds raised to help overcome the crisis caused by the pandemic.

At the same time, some countries, including France, are pushing for looser European limits on national debt to allow more room for growth-boosting public investment. This will require concessions from Germany, a traditional advocate of fiscal austerity.

“More prosperity is needed for Europe,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told reporters. “More growth is needed.”

In this context, employment trends in Europe could play a key role for policymakers in the coming months, as a tighter labor market can lead to wage increases and, by extension, higher inflation.

So far, the European Commission has cited the continued slowdown in European labor markets and predicts that the unemployment rate in the euro zone will fall to 7.5% in 2022, from 7.9% in each of the two years. previous.

But Greek farmer Orfanou has issued a potential warning on this front, saying she has faced demands for higher wages from seasonal workers.

“They cited rising inflation and took advantage of a sudden shortage in the supply of these workers in Greece,” Orfanou said.

Lords watchdog launches inquiry into Michelle Mone over ‘VIP lane’ contract | Conservatives https://eventplaner.net/lords-watchdog-launches-inquiry-into-michelle-mone-over-vip-lane-contract-conservatives/ Mon, 17 Jan 2022 17:22:00 +0000 https://eventplaner.net/lords-watchdog-launches-inquiry-into-michelle-mone-over-vip-lane-contract-conservatives/

The House of Lords standards commissioner has launched an inquiry into Tory colleague Michelle Mone, over the PPE firm which secured £203m government contracts via the ‘VIP route’ after referring her to the Cabinet Office in May 2020.

The investigation follows a complaint by Labor peer George Foulkes on January 6, after the Guardian reported that leaked files appeared to suggest that Lady Mone and her husband, Isle of Man-based financier Douglas Barrowman, were secretly involved with the company, PPE Medpro.

Foulkes asked the commissioners to investigate whether Mone may have breached the Lords’ code of conduct by failing to declare an interest in the business and pressuring her for government contracts.

The commissioner confirmed that the investigation would focus on “alleged involvement in securing contracts for Medpro PPE, resulting in potential breaches” of three provisions of the Lords Code, which cover the requirement that peers publicly record “all relevant interests”, and prohibit them from lobbying for a business or person in which a peer “has a financial interest”.

The commissioner also said Mone would be investigated under the more general provisions of paragraph 9 of the code, which states that peers “must always act on their personal honour”; must never accept “any financial inducement as an inducement or reward for exercising parliamentary influence”; and “shall not seek to profit from membership in the chamber by accepting or agreeing to accept payment or other inducement or reward in exchange for the provision of parliamentary advice or services”.

Mone, named a Conservative peer by David Cameron in 2015 after selling an 80% stake in her lingerie company Ultimo, has always denied any “role or function” in the business, and her lawyers have said she is not “not related to PPE Medpro in any capacity”.

The possible penalties for a peer found guilty of breaching the Code of Conduct, which are determined by the Conduct Committee, range from simply having to correct a breach to the most serious penalty of expulsion from the Lords.

PPE Medpro won an £80.85m contract in May 2020 to supply face masks, followed by an £122m contract in June 2020 to supply 25m surgical gowns. Barrowman also denied being an investor, and his attorneys said he “was not personally involved in work for PPEM in connection with any PPE contracts.”

In December 2020, lawyers for Barrowman and the company also told the Guardian that: “Neither [Barrowman] nor has anyone involved in PPEM approached MPs, peers, government officials, ministers, NHS staff or other healthcare professionals as part of the government’s approach to offer to provide EAR.

The sole registered owner of the company registered in the UK is Anthony Page, who works for Barrowman’s family office at his Isle of Man financial services firm, Knox Group.

In November 2021, following a freedom of information request pursued by the Good Law Project, the government revealed that Mone had initially referred PPE Medpro to the Cabinet Office, contacting the office of Minister Theodore Agnew, his colleague curator who was in charge of purchases during the Covid pandemic. More recently, the government confirmed that Mone made this referral on May 7, 2020, five days before EPI Medpro was even set up.

Do you have any information about this story? Email david.conn@theguardian.com or (using a non-work phone) use Signal or WhatsApp to message +44 7584 640566

The Guardian reported on January 6 that leaked files appear to suggest Mone and Barrowman were involved in PPE Medpro business. A person closely involved with PPE Medpro claimed Barrowman was “part of the financial consortium that backed” the company and was even involved in initial conversations with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

The leaked files appear to suggest the UK company is actually a subsidiary of another company named PPE Medpro Ltd, registered in the Isle of Man a day earlier. Barrowman appears to have been personally involved in setting up deals for the Isle of Man company with a London import company, Loudwater Trade and Finance, who would source and supply the PPE.

In one of the deals, PPE Medpro (Isle of Man) said it would use its “extensive network to seek order contracts with the NHS and other government bodies in the British Isles”.

From the two contracts, to supply millions of face masks and surgical gowns, the Guardian understands that PPE Medpro may have made more than £40m in gross profit. The company declined to say whether that figure was accurate.

Representatives for Mone have said she has no interest in PPE Medpro and have denied any wrongdoing.

“The reason no interest in PPE Medpro appears in Baroness Mone’s register of interests is that no such interest exists,” her lawyer said in December 2020.

Barrowman’s lawyers said the Guardian’s reporting amounted to “sticking together” and was “largely incorrect”.

Mone’s lawyers said the Guardian reporting was “entirely based on supposition and speculation and not accuracy”, adding: “She is under no obligation to tell you anything.”

Representatives for Mone did not respond to requests for comment on the commissioner’s investigation.

Foulkes told the Guardian: ‘I welcome the commissioner’s decision to investigate what appear to be breaches of the code of conduct by Baroness Mone under three provisions dealing with non-registration of interests and paid lobbying.’

Escalating US-NATO conflict with Russia leads to war https://eventplaner.net/escalating-us-nato-conflict-with-russia-leads-to-war/ Mon, 17 Jan 2022 07:46:15 +0000 https://eventplaner.net/escalating-us-nato-conflict-with-russia-leads-to-war/

The United States and its European allies, using Ukraine as a pretext, are deliberately and recklessly stepping up their confrontation with Russia. Everything they say and do leads to the conclusion that war, declared or not, is their goal.

A Russian T-72B3 tank fires as troops take part in exercises at the Kadamovskiy firing range in Rostov region, southern Russia, January 12, 2022. (AP Photo)

All the talk of impending war emanates from Washington, European capitals and the filthy pro-imperialist media on both sides of the Atlantic. Claims that Russia is about to invade are complemented by dire warnings, for which absolutely no evidence is presented, that Moscow plans to stage a ‘false flag’ operation, which it will then use to justify an invasion.

Under the current circumstances, it is obvious that this claim is being trumpeted as a cover for such an operation by Ukrainian special forces, trained by US military advisers working inside the country.

As it has done in every war launched by the United States over the past three decades, the media presents unverified allegations and transparent lies as facts. Again, the New York Times and Washington Post carry out the disinformation campaign whose aim is to confuse and pollute public opinion.

As in 2003 when they promoted the lies about Saddam Hussein’s “aluminum tubes” and weapons of mass destruction, Time and the To post cite as “evidence” satellite and video images originally posted on social media TikTok and Twitter by unknown persons in Russia which purport to show the movement of military equipment out of the country’s Far East heading west.

Other “evidence” of an impending Russian invasion are meaningless images of 1) tire tracks allegedly created in the snow by the weight of military vehicles loaded for transport near Lake Baikal; 2) an “Iskander-M launch vehicles covered with a tarpaulin at an unspecified location;” and 3) A train allegedly parked near a station in Primorskiy Krai “fully loaded with what appear to be military vehicles”. All this is worth nothing.

Turning reality upside down, the Washington Post declared in an editorial published yesterday (January 16): “This whole crisis was fabricated by Mr. Putin… It has nothing to do with the enlargement of NATO, whose founding treaty only allows defensive military action.

Even if it were true that Russia is about to invade Ukraine, how can anyone seriously assert that such military action would have “nothing to do with NATO expansion”, which has extended its borders 800 miles to the east since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991? How could Russia not be concerned about NATO’s obvious intention to integrate Ukraine into its military alliance? And, if the Ukraine issue is just a pretext used by Putin to cover up his megalomania, why do the US and NATO insist that they will not rule out future incorporation? from Ukraine?

Regarding the To postAfter the pious assurance that “NATO’s founding treaty allows only defensive military action”, its editorial writers seem to have forgotten that NATO has been at the center of aggressive imperialist operations over the past 30 years. These include participation in the invasion of Iraq in 1990-1991, the intervention in Bosnia in 1992, the bombing of Serbia in 1999, the 2001 war against Afghanistan, the Operation Ocean Shield in Somalia in 2009 and the overthrow of the Libyan government in 2011.

The above list is only a partial account of the bloody violations of the national sovereignty of other countries by the United States and NATO. Nevertheless, the Post hypocritically states: “Russia’s stance toward Ukraine amounts to conduct prohibited under Article 2 of the United Nations Charter, which specifically prohibits ‘threat or use of force against territorial integrity or political independence of any State”.