Noonan fears further pain for taxpayers’

first_img Previous articleThreat to future of St Paul’s Nursing HomeNext articleWillie in Wonderland admin House prices could lose half their value, says Goodbody’s THE Government has forced NAMA to use out-of-date, inaccurate information to  overvalue bank loans, according to Fine Gael’s Michael Noonan. Goodbody’s prediction that house prices will end up falling by 50% before levelling  out, he said, spells yet more  trouble  for  NAMA and further pain for taxpayers,  “The  prediction that house prices will lose half their value is desperate news for struggling homeowners.  This  outcome would send thousands more tumbling into negative equity.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “The  consequences for  NAMA and the taxpayer are equally worrying. NAMA’s so-called  ‘business  plan’ is based on the assumption that property prices will  rise  from  the  levels  of  last November – the reference period for determining  the  current market values of the banks’ toxic developer loans that  NAMA  is  buying.“ But  according  to  Goodbody’s,  house prices have continued to plummet since then and are set to fall by a further 16% in the immediate future”.It was bad enough, continued deputy Noonan, that the taxpayer was being forced to pay far more than current  market  values  for  toxic  developer loans in a tumbling property market on the basis of their ‘long-term economic value.“But making matters even worse is the fact that NAMA is forced by the Government legislation to estimate  this  long-term value using outdated and inaccurate information.“Only last week  the  ESRI  predicted  that  the  Irish  labour force and population would  shrink  in the coming years because of recession-related emigration. This will mean lower demand for property. But in estimating the long-term value  of the property-related assets that it is buying, NAMA is prevented from using economic and demographic projections from beyond last January.  At  that  time, the CSO was still predicting a growing population for Ireland in the coming years”.There were, he continued, certain accountancy rules which require banks to  state  their  asset  value  on the date of audit, and prevent them from predicting a declining market, but that no such constraints applied to NAMA. “The  chances  of NAMA recovering taxpayers’ money, he concluded, seemed slimmer by the day. Advertisement WhatsApp Linkedin Emailcenter_img Twitter NewsLocal NewsNoonan fears further pain for taxpayers’By admin – July 22, 2010 507 Print Facebooklast_img read more

Are credit union hot sites dead!?

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Kirk Drake Kirk Drake is founder and CEO of Ongoing Operations, LLC, a rapidly growing CUSO that provides complete business continuity and technology solutions. With its recent acquisition of Cloudworks, Ongoing Operations … Web: www.ongoingoperations.com Details When Ongoing Operations got started, we were a collaborative project by 7 Washington DC area credit unions to establish a better hot site location with guaranteed recovery options.  Very quickly that evolved to needing to provide early Data Vaulting options, quick connectivity failover options and Business Continuity Plans.   However, fast forward 8 years and hundreds of recoveries later and I would argue the traditional credit union hot site is dead!Ultimately, it has been a slow death.  Each year, the technology has improved and the options for virtual recoveries increased. Today, it seems silly that anyone would purchase an entire second set of infrastructure.   There are three main technologies that have created this transition.  The first is virtualization, the second is BGP routing, and the third is software based replication tools.  Collectively they are enabling credit unions large and small to achieve super-fast recovery times without the traditional headaches.VMWare was created in 1998 and quickly has come to dominate the virtualization world. In the old days, you had to have two of each system so that when you restored your systems they would boot up correctly.  Virtualization changed all of this and is now so ubiquitous that other than one or two credit unions (and they aren’t OGO Clients), every credit union is using VMWare or Microsoft’s Virtualization software.  This software allows you to A) decouple of the physical hardware dependency, B) run multiple servers on the same piece of hardware, C) enabled cloud computing – eventually leading to not needing to have a dedicated hot site.The second technology is the creation of BGP routing protocol – the most current version came about in 2006 but earlier versions date back to the early internet days in 1994.   BGP routing enables your network to be setup to auto failover between several options. BGP is key element as over the past 10 years credit unions have moved from legacy T1 lines and Frame Relay circuits to VPN connections for Credit Card, Debit Card, ATM and Online Banking processing.  The ability to leverage the internet, BGP, and VPNs mean it is now possible to reroute all of your third party connections in seconds and without manual intervention.  This creates high-uptime at your production site and enables you to failover to your cloud backup site quickly.Lastly, there are three main tools out that leverage Virtualization for recovery purposes.  These include: 1) VM Wares SRM, or site recovery manager 2) A software product called Veeam, and 3) A company called Zerto which is the main technology behind Ongoing Operations Replicator.   There are probably another hundred but in our experience those are the best day in day out.   Our preference is for Zerto as it provides a security framework that enables the service provider (OGO in this case) to not add to the credit union’s IT Security Risk.Put all of these together and mix in some virtual desktop and VoIP based phones and not only can you recover your data quickly, efficiently, securely and offsite but you can also provide work from home tools that support your credit union employees.  Ultimately, we think Hot Sites still have a little life yet, especially for bigger, more complex environments and most importantly the folks that want to control every aspect themselves and not rely on anyone.  For those guys – credit union hot sites aren’t going anywhere!last_img read more

Make member statements great again

first_img 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Callie Cady Callie Cady is the Communications & Marketing Manager at Lanvera, a world-class provider of end-to-end outsourcing solutions for transactional documents. At Lanvera, cutting edge technology solutions are coupled with industry … Web: www.lanvera.com Details Like presidential candidates, statements are often viewed as a necessary evil. As a result, many banks dump data straight from their cores onto paper without much regard for the layout, and then mail them to the intended recipients. Yes, by doing this, you have checked the compliance box. But consider this: You may be throwing away valuable engagement opportunities, spending extended time with members who don’t understand their statements and in turn, BURNING TIME AND MONEY.According to a recent creditcards.com survey, 62% of respondents say they review their monthly statements via mail, online or both. I think this warrants a large flashing neon sign saying “OPPORTUNITY” with an arrow pointing to print mail and electronic design and delivery of statements.Before we get into what can be done to MAKE MEMBER STATEMENTS GREAT AGAIN, let’s talk about what’s holding them back from greatness. You may need to re-evaluate your statement design and delivery if your statements are:1. Stagnant with no clear calls to action2. Only black and white3. Filled with unnecessary white space4. Not giving members the option to receive digital delivery5. Occupied with pre-printed inserts6. Lacking personalized messagingNow that we’ve established the signs of needing a statement facelift, let’s address some of the remedies:Communicate clear calls to action. Whether you want members to pay a balance or update their billing address, a strong and prominently displayed call to action (CTA) is critical. A successful CTA includes eye-catching design, compelling copy, and a clear value proposition.Incorporate color. A study conducted by the secretariat of the Seoul International Color Expo determined that 92.6% of those surveyed stressed the importance of visuals when making a purchase, and 84.7% believe that color accounts for more than half of the various factors important to consumers during the purchasing cycle. A well-placed message in a colorful graphic will catch your members’ eyes. Pair this with a strong CTA and watch your speed-to-pay improve and sales numbers increase.Take advantage of the space you have. Too often we have seen bank statements lined with unnecessary pages and white space. This results in wasted materials, marketing opportunities and postage. If you’re going to send member-critical communications, why not look for ways to minimize the number of pages in each envelope and utilize open space for cross-selling/upselling or affiliate advertising?Offer digital access and delivery. In today’s society, members expect to be given the right to choose delivery methods. We understand that there are some documents that require USPS mailing. However, with statements, a best practice is to give customers the option to receive and access them digitally by email, ePresentment and SMS. Some may request both the paper and digital delivery and access, but others who are more environmentally friendly will opt out of paper statements altogether.Utilize inline inserts. Inline inserts are statement stuffers which are printed in-line, in full color with the rest of your documents. They can save you a tremendous amount of time and money by eliminating lead time of production and giving you the option to personalize messaging, which brings us to our last point…Personalize messaging. We harp on this subject quite often, but it’s one worth mentioning over and over again. According to Aberdeen, personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%. Simply addressing the member by name can make all the difference in your eStatement viewings.While there are other ways to make member statements great again in conjunction with what we have discussed, this is a great start for banks in re-evaluating their business-critical document solutions. To learn more, click here.last_img read more

Consumers’ surprising views on the future of banking

first_imgThe usual view of the future of banking comes from industry observers and key players within the industry, who represent important viewpoints, to be sure. Yet consumers deal with banking issues frequently, if not daily. Banking is an essential and integral part of their lives.What do consumers think about the future of the industry?Rapidly changing consumer habits are one of the main forces behind the sweeping upheaval of the status quo in banking. MX, the digital transformation platform, conducted two consumer surveys in late 2019, each one generating just over 1,000 responses. These were distilled into two reports: The Ultimate Guide to Digital Transformation and The Ultimate Guide to the Future of Banking. The latter in particular offers much data on how consumers see banking changing, along with how they currently conduct their banking activities. The firm also offers some practical advice for digital transformation, summarized later in this article.As MX states, “two deep currents” are driving changes within the banking industry: More choice and less friction. Both are inseparably intertwined. Any consumer with access to the internet can search for “home loan rates” or “high-interest savings.” They can have hundreds of options available instantly — not only to peruse passively, but to actively engage with, in many cases, from their digital device. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Florida man uses dating site to lure woman to park before raping her

first_imgPolice in Miami-Dade have arrested a 21-year-old man who reportedly used a dating site to lure and a woman to a park and rape her.According to the report, Joanka Ortiz and the victim reportedly became acquainted through the dating app in January and decided to meet up.The two met at Black Point Park & Marina and sometime during the encounter, Ortiz reportedly bent the victim over a table under a park pavilion and forced her to have sex with him.According the police, the victim then pushed Ortiz off of her and asked to go home.When authorities contacted Ortiz about the incident he confessed to the crime.He has since been arrested and is facing a sexual battery charge. A judge has set his bond at $5,000 and has requested that he be placed on house arrest after his release.Officials also say Ortiz was arrested in March after was caught using his phone to video tape up a woman’s skirt when he worked at a Pet Supermarket.last_img read more

Barcelona to battle Arsenal for this promising Brazilian defender?

first_imgFC Barcelona are still no closer to signing their first new centre back of the summer, and reports in the Catalan capital claim the club could be looking as far away as Brazil for defenders. Sao Paulo’s Rodrigo Caio is being tracked by the Blaugrana, with Arsenal also said to be interested. talkSPORT’s Transfer Spotlight has more on the 20-year-old…Name: Rodrigo Caio Coquette RussoDate of birth: 17 August, 1993Birthplace: Dracena, BrazilPosition: Centre back / defensive midfielderClub: Sao PauloInternational appearances: 5 (Brazil U21)Honours: Copa Sudamericana (2012)What’s the latest?Catalan daily L’Esportiu note that Caio excelled at this summer’s Toulon tournament alongside fellow Barcelona target and Brazil U20 defender Marquinhos. The Blaugrana have sent technical secretary Albert Valentin out to Brazil to watch Caio with his club side, and so far the official has observed him in a 2-0 win over Bahia and a 1-0 loss against Chapecoense. Caio is expected to cost around €20m. Mundo Deportivo, meanwhile, claim Arsenal are also interested.Did you know?1) Caio has been at Sao Paulo since he was 11 years old. At youth level he played alongside the likes of Casemiro (currently at Porto on loan from Real Madrid) and Paris Saint-Germain’s Lucas Moura.2) The defender made his professional debut as a 17-year-old in 2011, though it wasn’t a game to remember, as Sao Paulo were hammered 5-0 by rivals Corinthians.3) In 2012 the youngster showed his versatility by regularly playing at right back. Though naturally a central defender, along with his spells on the flanks he can also play as a holding midfielder.4) The defender has a strong pedigree as a youth international, and was part of the Brazil U20 side that won the 2014 Toulon Tournament this summer, playing in every game including their 5-2 final victory over France. He scored two goals at the tournament.They say“Caio played a key role in Brazil’s Toulon tournament side. Sao Paolo’s president Carlos Miguel Aidar believes he’s worth €20m.” L’Esportiu on the defender.Video evidenceWhat do you think of Rodrigo Caio? Let us know below… Arsenal and Barcelona are being linked with Rodrigo Caio 1last_img read more

MOTORBIKERS FUNDRAISE FOR NEO-NATAL AND SPECIAL BABY-CARE UNITS – STARTING IN LETTERKENNY!

first_imgIn what has become an annual event, a group of motorbike enthusiasts will take to the roads on Thursday, 25th April to raise funds for life-saving equipment for Neo-Natal Intensive Care Units and Special Care Baby Units in hospitals from Letterkenny to Limerick.The four-day ‘Ride Out For Prems Motor Bike Road Trip Challenge’ will take place between 25th and 28th April to help raise funding for vital equipment such as incubators, heart monitors, ventilators and apnoea monitors. The equipment will help babies who have been born premature and may have developed complications or need extra support in the early stages of their lives.Over the four day road trip in the West, the motorbike fund-raisers will visit Neo-Natal Intensive Care Units in Letterkenny General Hospital, Sligo General Hospital, Mayo General Hospital, University Hospital Galway and St. Munchin’s Unit, Limerick.This will give them a unique insight and opportunity to see firsthand what a difference their fundraising efforts are making. The bikers will also be able to meet with the parents and medical staff that they are helping through their fund-raising motorcycle ride.Irene Dowling of the Irish Premature Babies Association says; “We are delighted that the motorcyclists are going to “ride out” for vital life-saving equipment for babies in the neo-natal and special care units. Every rider had to raise €1,000 to go on this trip, so it was a huge commitment by these people to help out, many of whom had no ties to prematurity or the charity. “The bikers were so emotionally touched from last year they signed up straight away and are striving to make a huge difference to babies and families this year. Members of the IPB team have worked tirelessly in this fundraising event, which has accumulated in up to 30 bikers participating in the road trip and visiting nine Neo-natal units around the country.”On Thursday, 25th April, the saddle-bound fundraisers are expected to arrive at Letterkenny General Hospital at 5pm and will spend some time in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit there.On Friday, 26th April, they will head to Sligo General Hospital, arriving at around 10.15 am, and then on to Mayo General Hospital, arriving at 1.45pm. They will then journey towards Galway City, and are expected to visit the Neo Natal Unit at University Hospital Galway at around 4.30 pm on Friday afternoon. On Saturday, 27th April, the fund-raisers will continue on towards Limerick and are due to visit St. Munchin’s Regional Maternity Hospital at around 10 am.To find out more or to learn how to join, please log on to the website www.irishprematurebabies.com and register in the events page or email [email protected] If you wish to donate to the Irish Premature Babies Association, you can text prem to 57802. MOTORBIKERS FUNDRAISE FOR NEO-NATAL AND SPECIAL BABY-CARE UNITS – STARTING IN LETTERKENNY! was last modified: April 19th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:letterkennymotorbikersNeo Natal unitslast_img read more

Durant, frustrated by lack of credit, agreed to play with Kyrie before last season: report

first_imgIt appears Kevin Durant got everything he wanted from his Warriors’ experience — and less.Writing for Bleacher Report, Sean Highkin reports everything we surmised about Durant’s state of mind as he headed for a collision course between his time at Golden State and the 2019 free agent sweepstakes.Highkin writes that Durant began to become disenchanted after his first season with the Dubs — which ended with a … Click here if you’re unable to view the photo gallery on your mobile device.last_img

South Africa to Brics: we’re ready for you

first_imgRay Maota A group of journalists from other Brics countries are learning more about South Africa’s investment prospects and competitive advantages. (Image: Ray Maota) MEDIA CONTACTS • Brand South Africa  + 27 11 483 0122 RELATED ARTICLES • BRICS a boost to Brand South Africa • New slogan for Brand South Africa • South Africa is Africa’s top nation brand • Gallery: Brand South Africa in DavosSouth Africa is ready to establish itself as a competitive market for investment within the Brics network, while embarking on efforts to make its economy greener and harnessing a successful energy sector.These goals were revealed to a group of visiting journalists from the country’s Brics compatriots, namely Brazil, Russia, India and China by speakers from the departments of trade and industry (DTI) and environmental affairs, as well as business leaders, on 14 August in Pretoria.“Africa is now the second fastest growing region in the world economy after Asia,” said DTI director-general Lionel October.“The continent’s full potential will remain unfulfilled unless we address the challenges of inadequate infrastructure, the limitations imposed by small and fragmented markets, and inadequate diversification of industrial output, all of which are responsible for the low levels of intra-African trade.”South Africa’s competitive edgeAccording to its authors, who are key policy directors within the DTI, the 2012 Industrial Policy Action Plan shows how successful an industry policy can be if its design, resources and communication standards are kept in mind. It is the flagship project of the department for the next two years, defining its direction to attract foreign investments.“Our trade and competition policy is now more strategically aligned with industrial policy objectives,” explained October.He added that tariff-setting standards have improved in favour of better trading operations between South Africa and its trade partners, and campaigns against customs fraud and illegal imports are being scaled up.Not only is South Africa actively involved in the integration of the Southern African Development Community, but that is also the case in the East African Community, which includes countries like Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi. The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa is another platform where the country participates.“Our efforts in Africa, particularly in Southern Africa, to combine market integration, cross-border infrastructure development and policy coordination to advance regional industrial value chains, have met with some success,” said October.He further mentioned that South Africa’s involvement in the Brics alliance is a key element to the country’s global economic strategy, saying this can best be illustrated by explaining the three pillars on which its engagement strategy is based.These are the member countries’ policies on giving developing countries a greater voice in the global business landscape, strengthening intra-Brics cooperation, and South Africa’s intent to extend Brics’ cooperation in support of Africa’s development agenda.Greening South Africa’s economyGodfrey Nyakhulalini, deputy director for national greening at the Department of Environmental Affairs, spoke on the country’s aims with regard to establishing a green economy.“Our aim towards a green economy cannot be achieved by government alone so the private sector and civil society must play a fundamental role,” he said.Nyakhulalini said the National Treasury has allocated R800-million (US$97-million) over the next two years to South Africa’s Green Fund, which aims to provide finance for high-quality, high-impact, job-creating green economy projects around the country.Investment in South AfricaCandice Holland, associate director at auditing firm Deloitte South Africa, discussed the country’s readiness to draw investment to its shores.“South Africa aims to promote itself as a gateway to Africa, and so its taxation system follows a global best practice,” she said. “It also has a corporate tax rate of 28% which is slightly lower than other African countries.”She added that the country has, over the past couple of years, passed legislation that is protective of consumers and employees.Holland highlighted several acts in South Africa’s regulatory landscape which have been passed to encourage foreign investment, among them the Companies Act, Labour Relations Act, Broad-based Black Empowerment Act, Consumer Protection Act and the Competitions Act.“The Companies Act provides for more self-regulation and codifies South Africa’s constitution to make it easier to do business here,” said Holland.last_img read more

Under 40HP tractors still the bright spot in U.S. tractor and combine sales

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It was more of the same in May for U.S. retail sales of ag tractors and combines, with under 40HP tractors leading the way and sales of larger tractors and combines continuing to lag, according to data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the leading trade organization for off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers.U.S retail sales of farm tractors under 40HP were up 9.4 percent in May 2016 compared to the same time period last year, and up 15.5 percent January through May. For 2WD tractors 40-100HP, sales were up slightly for May compared to last year – plus 1.4 percent,  and year-to-date are tracking at minus 2.1 percent.May sales of 2WD 100+HP tractors in the U.S. declined 3.5 percent, with year-to-date sales down 24.3 percent, while 4WD tractors dropped 26.1 percent year-over-year and dipped 30.6 percent year-to-date.Combine sales declined 40.2 percent year-over-year for May but for January through May dropped 28.8 percent compared to 2015 year-to-date sales.“The May retail sales numbers, taken together, are higher than the 5-year average, mostly driven by the smaller under 40HP machines, which remain an area of growth compared to the negative numbers for production equipment. However, farm tractors 40-100HP continued their stable trend, and the 2WD tractors 100+HP experienced a lower decline than earlier this year,” said Charlie O’Brien, AEM senior vice president.“Farm incomes are expected to be more stable this year and we are seeing some growth in crop receipts in certain areas of the country, but we will most likely have to wait until later this year or 2017 to see an appreciable impact on equipment sales.”last_img read more