Analysis: Silicon Valley Bank’s fall widens systemic cracks as cheap money vanishes

NEW YORK: Cracks are appearing in the global financial system as the decade-long era of cheap money ends, with some investors worrying the shock collapse of Silicon Valley Bank signals world markets may be on the cusp of a reckoning.

Over the past year, the US Federal Reserve launched its most aggressive interest rate hiking cycle since the early 1980s and other central banks joined in, leaving global investors to face a gamut of consequences.
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They have seen the longest selloff in technology shares since the dotcom bubble at the turn of the millennium, a collapse in the cryptocurrency industry, a run on US and British real estate funds and an intervention by the Bank of England to prevent a near-collapse of British pension funds.

After the second largest bank failure in US history on Friday (Mar 10), market participants worry more disruptions lay ahead, as climbing interest rates cut off access to cheap money and expose vulnerabilities in the economy.

Big investors including Kyle Bass and Bill Ackman argue the government must take quick action to avoid Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse sparking more widespread withdrawals in the banking system.

So far, the pain has been largely felt by investors and institutions who placed risky bets. It remains to be seen whether the pain spreads to others and a new crisis emerges. That could be determined by how hard the world’s central banks continue to push interest rates higher.

“When you go this aggressively into a hiking manoeuvre after creating so much inflation you’re going to break something,” said Kyle Bass, founder and chief investment officer of Hayman Capital Management.

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What’s the Number 28 Reason You Can’t Find Love?

People say relationships are all about give and take. You even hear about the need to compromise. I assume you compromise by giving in so you can get back later.

The number 28 reason you can’t find love is because you go into a relationship with your hand out and nothing in it. In other words, you are the taker. While taking, you offer as little as possible. In fact, you may tell the person they should just be lucky you are in their life. With that mindset, you believe there is no need for you to offer anything. Your presence alone is enough to make the relationship work.

What’s funny is many women will say that is how they feel in relationships. They say they give, give, give. They pour their heart and souls out into a man and get nothing in return.

Yet, the only reason the relationship exists is because the man made it happen. It was his commitment that made it happen.

On the other hand, many men will say they give, give, give. Men go out and receive hard earned money in exchange for their mental or physical labor. After receiving their money, women expect men invest that money into her. Since money is for investing, what is his return for his investment? In exchange, he gets something she received for free. In most cases, the man’s human needs go unnoticed. How is that possible? How can 2 people claim they are doing all the giving and receiving very little?

Is it possible both are getting back an exact reflection of what they give? Or do people have such fantasies about relationships that their expectations have nothing to do with a relationship? Or is it that they have no clue what they have to give in order to receive the fantasy expectations they have?

Appointments – Manage Your Time Better At Home to Be Effective

What would happen to you if your home life was more organized than it is right now? Can work-life balance be achieved? What are the tools at our disposal? Could scheduling appointments and keeping them at home help us save time and prioritize?

What is the challenge we face? I sometimes find that time spent at home can be the busiest time, especially in the times we live in. Imagine someone working from home, home-schooling children, and sometimes even doing a side hustle. Imagine also the full-time home-based entrepreneur. How do they manage to do all they need to do in a day?. We are living in a time when many entrepreneurs and even company employees have adopted work- at – home culture. This comes with its challenges as the lines become blurred between home and work. These blurred lines and constraints on the limited resource called time result in over-worked, under-rested, burnt-out individuals. Whilst good time management has been encouraged and indeed, embraced in the workplace, I believe more needs to be done in changing the mindset for the elusive work-life balance to be achieved.

What are the tools at our disposal? To manage time effectively at home, there are many interventions one can employ including setting goals for the day, prioritizing wisely, setting a time limit for every task, organizing oneself, and instituting the discipline of appointments. Yes, an appointment at home! We can spend time pontificating on the pros and cons of each intervention, however, I believe we need to focus on appointments and see how this can powerfully change the course of one’s day regardless of whether it’s a workday or weekend. Life is busy as it is without any intrusions. The question is how do you handle the one who announces that they are at the gate. These can be friends, neighbors, a salesman of some product you do not even need. I am not promoting regimentation here but rather a culture of filling your day with what’s important. Everything that we succeed at is because we carefully plan and execute it. I am a firm believer that you cannot manage time if you do not manage yourself thus I implore you to incorporate planning and appointments into your repertoire. I am not talking about something I do not do. I have to achieve many things in a day therefore I set appointments with my work, others, and myself.

Could scheduling appointments and keeping them on the home front help us save time and prioritize? Whereas we have established that it is a normal business practice to set appointments and keep them, we need to abandon the liberal open-door policy of allowing all and sundry to have access to us as and when they please on the home front. Please understand where I am coming from. We each have greatness within us but for us to achieve it we need to culture great habits. Employing the use of appointments at home and seeing only those people you had agreed to see removes non-essential encounters especially during the most productive hours. I know this will vary with culture, geographical region, or even level of affluence, whether you live in a low density or high-density residential area, but doesn’t negate the need to be organized and effective. Controlling access determines how organized you are and how well you will work and rest when the time for scheduled rest comes.

What do we need to do differently? We need to be disciplined and diligent, learn to say no, now is not a good time, let’s make an appointment for next week. What are the benefits of this approach? You are not always fire-fighting to meet deadlines, You are not always tired because you have not taken time out to rest. You have set aside enough time to spend with your loved ones or a loved one. If you are a busy person, I am sure you appreciate what I am saying. Whether it’s time to work uninterrupted, family time, or “me-time”, it takes some kind of order to enjoy it.

I am not saying that those that come unannounced are bad people. No, not at all, they probably are people you enjoy spending time with. Nevertheless, there must be prior communication so that you can attend to your visitor(s) when it is convenient for both you and them. It can be quite disrupting and a whole day can just pass by without achieving anything that you had planned to do.

As we grow older we begin to appreciate that rest and recovery need to be scheduled. The fact that I am relaxing doesn’t mean that I don’t have anything to do. One therefore cannot assume that just because you are at home you are available. Maybe you have scheduled that time to rest. That is important. You need to make an appointment with yourself, spouses need to also set aside time for each other. Parents need to schedule a time to spend with their children. When you have some sort of order in your life you determine who sees you and who you see. It also means that your relationships will be healthy and that makes you a happier person.

In conclusion, I believe that the work-life balance can be achieved. There are many tools at our disposal just like it is in the workplace.I believe we could do more and be happier if we are disciplined enough to make only the commitments we can keep.I am certain that setting appointments and keeping them at home help us save time and prioritize.

Don’t Get Stuck in a Rut – Invest in a New Driveway

The driveway of your house is one of the first things that you or anyone else visiting your home sees. There’s no way of hiding it, and there is no way of getting around the fact that if it is in a state of disrepair, it will make the rest of your property look not care for and untidy.

One reason that many people end up with aging driveways with cracks and potholes in them is that it seems to be a massive and expensive job to put right. That’s why you should always shop around to find the best deal when you are looking to have work carried out on your driveway. Weigh up all the different options and then make a decision based on your particular wants and needs. Whether you are considering tarmac or a paved driveway, you are sure to improve the look of your property immeasurably.

If you’re not personally bothered about the state of your driveway but are looking to sell your property then it makes sense to have it re-laid before putting the house on the market. Potential buyers could be put off buying your home straight away if they take one look at it and see a messy and cracking driveway. It suggests the rest of the house may also be in a state of disrepair, and who wants to buy a home off someone who has not looked after it.

Whatever type of home repair you are looking into, it is always important to make sure that you look around different companies to make sure you are getting the best deal out there and not spending more money than you need to. You can now find companies online that are dedicated to finding quotes for driveways, helping you to get the very best deals available in your local area. Home improvement price comparison websites make sure that you are only put in touch with reliable and reputable companies that you can trust to get the job done for a fair price.

It’s possible to get quotes for everything from new kitchens to double glazing, so when you have a home improvement project on the cards then make sure you look on the internet to find you perfect partner.

Free Grants For Home Improvement Repair Costs

If you would like to fix or repair your house, home improvement grants provide free money to Americans who can use some financial assistance when it comes to covering the cost of home repair. These grants are typically provided by the government. More specifically, your local government has the greatest interest in helping you finance your home improvement projects, as they are the ones to benefit the most.

The home owner, also benefits greatly from these programs. Home improvement grants provide free money that never has to be paid back. As long as these funds are used for the purpose agreed upon in your grant application, the cash is yours to keep.

Once you access the grant database to find the government grant programs that you are eligible to receive, you’ll realize that there are a number of grants to choose from. Some provide money for home repair, others provide free grant money to expand your home, while others offer the cash you need to upgrade your appliances to energy efficient equipment. It all depends on what government programs are specially available in your community and how much funding is left for you to claim.

When you apply for home improvement grants, you do not have to worry about your credit score, collateral or down payment money. Because these are not loans, the government is not interested in this information. What you will need, however, is the details on your project, an estimate as to how much it will increase the value of your property, and a good idea of how much money your project will cost.

The Basics of Acquiring a US Visa

It’s not uncommon to dream of visiting places you see in the movies. Let me guess, most of them are in the United States. To name a few, New York, LA, Miami, Washington and Chicago are some of the common tourist destinations in the US. You have the resources but you harbor this apprehension of being denied.

This should not stop you from making your travel plans a reality. If you have relatives in the US or you would like to travel solo, the key is to know what type of visa you must apply for, the necessary documents you must fill out, and more importantly, the purpose of your visit to the US.

First things first, know the difference between a US Visitor Visa (B-2) and a US Visa Sponsorship.

These two things are not the same.

The visitor visa often known as B-1/B-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa for people wishing to enter United States temporarily for pleasure, medical treatment, and business. In this case, you apply for your US Visa with the US Embassy or Consulate. Whereas, a U.S. visa sponsorship is applied for by the employer or close family member by filing an immigration petition with the U.S. government for getting a residency card (Green card) for their employee or close family member. This is also known as non-immigrant petitions such as work visa (e.g., H, L visa) as well as family visa (e.g., Fiancé or K visa).

What is the purpose of your visit?

You will be asked this question by the US consul who you will meet when you get to the embassy. But before that, determine the purpose of your trip. If the purpose of your trip is to visit USA for a short duration for pleasure, tourism, and visit relatives, family, or friends, then visitor visa known as Tourist visa to USA or B-2 visa is the right visa for you.

However, keep in mind that you if apply for a visitor’s visa, among other things, you must show to the US Consular officer that they have strong ties to the Philippines as you home country and they intend return after their temporary stay in the U.S. You must also show that you have enough money available to take care your expenses for your U.S. trip such as air tickets, visitors insurance, lodging/boarding, transportation expenses, tourism expenses and all other expenses.

What if I don’t have enough resources but my friends and relatives in the US are willing to shoulder my stay there?

Then this is where sponsorship sets in.

Who can sponsor my trip?

Any US-based person can sponsor visa for his/her parents, relatives, and friends. This means that he/she must either be a holder of an I-94 (US Green card) or a US Citizen. Your sponsor should provide an affidavit of support (form I-134). The form is a confirmation that the sponsor is ready to undertake the financial liability of the applicant during the visit.

What documents do I need to submit?

Must have Documents for US Visitor Visa interview:

  1. A valid passport that does not expire prior to 6 months beyond of your intended stay.
  2. Printout of your confirmation page from the form DS-160
  3. Fee receipt US Visa Fees
  4. One photograph
  5. Original/Copy of Visa interview appointment letter

Supporting documents to show your Ties with your home country include:

You must demonstrate strong economic, social, and familial ties with your home country. You must also show that you will not become a burden on US by proving your financial stability to cover the expenses in US. These facts will ensure the interviewing officer that you will return to your home country after the authorized period of stay in USA. The required documents are:
1. Evidence of sufficient funds for the visit to US (Bank statement and passbook, etc.)
2. Evidence to show that you have strong ties to your home country. Documents related to the property you own and your employment are good evidence
a. If you are employed get a verification letter of employment
b. If you are self-employed get a financial and other documentary proof of the ownership
c. If you are a government employee get a Certificate of Employment and an Authority to Travel Certification
d. Tax ID, and recent tax-related documents
e. Original property papers like house, shop or business ownership documents etc. which you own in the Philippines/home country. If no papers available, make a notarized affidavit for the same
f. Documentary evidence of running any business or organization
g. Evidence of family ties like unmarried children, old aged parents and other family responsibilities
h. If person is an employee, other than proof of employment and proof of leave granted from the office, any such document that would show proof that you have reasons to come back

Documents and other proofs aside, the assistance of an immigration counsel/consultant who would facilitate your application and better your chances of getting approved is strongly suggested and highly encouraged.

Posted in Law

Expand Your Brand Using Other People’s Money by Using Franchisor Strategies

Back many years ago, I met a fellow franchisor, he’d built a nice company with 250 franchisees which operated Kiosks in shopping malls – you know those carts in malls that sell various wares. What he did was make each Kiosk its own business, at first as “independent contractors” but later as Franchisees due to the Franchise Law rules. Each franchisee had to sign a two-year franchise agreement with non-automatic renewal, where the Franchisor could merely take over the business, location, as he already had the lease-space agreement with the malls, including the corporations that owned many malls around the country.

After two years, he stopped renewing franchise agreements, took control of all those little businesses, and then sold the whole thing and retired a very wealthy man. Unfortunately, many of the independent contractors, turned into Franchisees were forced out after building up their businesses and providing a substantial amount of goodwill. The franchisor’s concept was built by the blood, sweat and tears of all those individuals, who did make decent money in the meantime, but were then basically terminated when their franchise agreement term ended.

Recently, there is an interesting company in the “Handy Man” sector which has a franchise agreement that states it may unilaterally buy back the franchisee’s business at any time after 2-years of operating. In the Franchisor’s option to purchase there is a mathematical formula for valuation of the Franchisee’s business that negate the value of any “goodwill” and allows the Franchisee to choose if he will see at “Fair Market Value” of assets (used equipment, office furniture) or twice the earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization (EBITA).

Why would a Franchise Buyer buy a franchise like that? I suppose there might be a few situations where it makes sense for instance, the Franchisee just needs a couple of years of income and believes they can build up a good “book” of business, and if it starts to go South, the Franchisor may buy him/her out and they can move on, less risk? But what if the Franchisor chooses not to buy and the business fails? What if the business succeeds wildly and the Franchisee is forced to sell-out a thriving and growing business?

If you think about it, it is a brilliant strategy for a Franchisor, have others build your business, take all the risks, and if they succeed, you terminate their franchise agreement instead of renewal, and if they fail, you simply let them fail, then sell that territory to a new franchisee, until one succeeds and then you just keep winning and building on the backs of others. As a franchisee buyer it may be wise to recognize such strategies and be weary of them, unless it serves your temporary purpose of a short term business and solid temporary cash flow based on your abilities and the Franchisor’s model. Think on this.

Jobs You Can Do From Your Dorm Room

College students are going to head back to school soon and that means many of them will have to leave their summer jobs behind. While many students will try to find jobs on campus, others will try to stretch the money they saved during the summer. For those that want to make money, but don’t want to work on campus, working from a dorm room may be perfect. These telecommuting jobs are flexible to allow you to keep studying top priority while earning money.

Freelance Writing

Business owners want freelance writers to provide content for their websites. You can write for blogs on topics that interest you. All you have to do is find business owners in niches you like that need content for their sites.

You can find work on Elance, oDesk, and Craigslist. You may have to start working for a lower wage than others to gain experience and a reputation, but once you have that, you’ll be able to get higher paying work.

Data Entry

Many companies are outsourcing their data entry now because it keeps costs low. The data you must enter can be delivered to you via email, and then you’ll be granted access to their database. You will need to take the information sent to you and input it into the database. These jobs are paid by project or per hour depending on the company.

You can find jobs like this on Elance and oDesk, but you can also search large job sites such as Monster.com and Indeed.com for them.

Transcription

Transcription involves taking a recording and typing it out. Many doctors, lawyers, and other professionals need this service because they don’t have the time to convert their recordings to text. You’ll receive audio files via email or mail, and then you’ll have to type them. You can send the text file back via email, which makes it perfect for a college student working in a dorm room.

You can find these jobs on large job search sites because that’s where professionals usually post their needs for transcriptions. You can also work for transcription companies such as Aberdeen, AccuTran Global and Capital Typing.

Get Started Today

The best time to start looking for a job is now. The sooner you start looking, the more prepared you’ll be when you get to school. You’ll be able to learn the jobs you receive before you start classes too. Start with the sites mentioned here and then you can start exploring other options if you have the time.

Weight Gain Myths

Gaining weight is a gradual process that requires constant training and high intensity workouts. However, people do have certain myths regarding weight gaining program.

High repetitions burn fat while low repetitions build muscle: This statement is far from being true. In order to lose weight, one needs to decrease average calorie intake. However, for gaining muscle strength, one needs to have a progressive workload with a variable frequency of repetitions.

Vegetarians cannot build muscle: Research has shown that vegetarians can indeed gain muscle with regular training and daily supplementation of soy protein isolates.

Strength training will make you look masculine: This is the most common myth among women. However, building muscle is a steady process that needs proper strength-training regime ably supported by proper diet. Testosterone, which is the male sex hormone, is primarily responsible for muscle gaining in men. The secretion of this hormone is quite low in women, resulting in lesser muscular growth.

Many people believe that they can eat anything if they are doing a regular exercise. However, diet has a major role to play in defining a person’s general health and physique. It is always important to balance the ratio of calorie intake and calories burnt.

Occasional break from a rigorous training schedule is useful as it helps in refreshing the muscles and helps them to recover.

Eating more protein doesn’t necessarily help in gaining weight. Muscle building is primarily dependent on two factors which include a progressive workload and eating good calorie food. Diet derived from carbohydrates would be more useful.

One should always avoid taking steroids for building muscle as they are more harmful than being good.

Reasons for Hiring a General Contractor

When it comes to home remodeling projects general contracting can bring about a lot of changes in running the project. A few common remodeling jobs include kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling and office remodeling. When planning to remodel your kitchen your requirements generally will include setting up new cabinets, creating extra counter space, creating space for appliances etc.

Bathrooms are another area where we would like to see changes every now and then. Changing the tiles, repairing leaking pipes, changing sanitary wares and fixtures are some of the remodeling works that we consider while renovating bathrooms. Whatever the project is hiring a general contractor can make your work a lot easier. You can literally find a huge difference in the total cost on hiring a general contractor for all your remodeling jobs.

If you have very little knowledge on interior and remodeling tasks then a general contractor is the one whom you should contact as they can simplify your task and give you ideas, completing the task for you just as you wanted them, perfectly and flawlessly. You can share your views and ideas with your contractor who will help you execute your ideas and vision into reality.

Expert advice can help you shape your plans flawlessly. Experienced and professional General contractors know exactly how to execute remodeling projects without affecting the structure and safety of the house. They have got better insight on things that will work. They know well what type of material will suite your needs and budget.

Based on the remodeling work you may require different workers to work on the project. Hence once you plan to start the project you will require the service of any one or all of the following workers – electrician, plumber, painters, carpenters etc. If you are entrusting the task to a general contractor then you need not have to deal with all these workers but just one person, the general contractor himself, who will make the necessary arrangements and will deal with the workers without your intervention. All you have to ever bother with is to pay the contracted amount.

The workers will not contact you for payment or for leave but will contact the general contractor who will deal with their issues and payment matters. The work will be managed by the contractor who supervises the work and ensures that the work is completed on time. It will be very difficult for you to manage a remodeling project involving multiple workers. You can make things simpler and less stressful by hiring a general contractor to complete the task for you.