Blink-182 Returns With New Single, Album, And Major Summer Tour Schedule

first_imgBlink-182 may no longer have Tom DeLonge in their lineup, but that hasn’t stopped the post-punk-rock group. Replacing the off-the-wall bassist with Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba, the band has set plans in motion to release their first studio album with the new lineup on July 1st. Titled California, the new album has the iconic drumming of Travis Barker and vocals from Mark Hoppus, but is also a brand new chapter in Blink history.To get fans excited for the new release, the band has released their first single from the new release. Check out the lyric video for “Bored To Death” below:Just three weeks after the album drops, the band will support it with a major summer tour. Hitting shows across the country, Blink-182 will play venues across the country for a 45-date tour that spans from July 22nd through October 1st. A Day to Remember, The All-American Rejects and All Time Low will support on select datesCheck out the schedule below.Blink-182 2016 Tour Dates: 07/22 – San Diego, CA @ Viejas Arena *07/23 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint *07/26 – El Paso, TX @ Don Haskins Center *07/28 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Chesapeake Energy Arena *07/29 – Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavilion *07/30 – San Antonio, TX @ AT&T Center *07/31 – Houston, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion *08/02 – Atlanta, GA @ Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood *08/03 – Greenville, SC @ Bon Secours Arena *08/05 – West Palm Beach, FL @ Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre *08/06 – Tampa, FL @ Midflorida Credit Union Amphitheatre *08/08 – Nashville, TN @ Ascend Amphitheater *08/09 – Cleveland, OH @ Blossom Music Center *08/10 – Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center *08/12 – Camden, NJ @ BB&T Pavilion #08/13 – Wantagh, NY @ Nikon at Jones Beach #08/14 – Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center #08/16 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater #08/19 – Boston, MA @ Xfinity Center #08/21 – Toronto, ON @ Molson Canadian Amphitheatre #08/23 – Syracuse, NY @ Lakeview Amphitheatre #08/24 – Buffalo, NY @ Darien Lake Performing Arts Center #08/25 – Scranton, PA @ The Pavilion at Montage Mountain #08/27 – Hershey, PA @ Hershey Park Pavilion #08/28 – Pittsburgh, PA @ First Niagara Pavilion #08/30 – Detroit, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theater #09/02 – Hartford, CT @ Xfinity Theater #09/03 – Bangor, ME @ Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion #09/04 – Saratoga, NY @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center #09/08 – Minneapolis, MN @ Xcel Energy Center *09/09 – Chicago, IL @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheater *09/10 – Indianapolis, IN @ Klipsch Music Center *09/11 – St. Louis, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheater *09/13 – Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center *09/15 – Boise, ID @ Taco Bell Arena *09/16 – Spokane, WA @ Spokane Arena *09/17 – Seattle, WA @ Key Arena *09/18 – Vancouver, BC @ Abbotsford Centre *09/20 – Portland, OR @ Sunlight Supply Amphitheater *09/22 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Usana Amphitheatre #09/24 – Phoenix, AZ @ Ak-Chin Pavilion #09/25 – Albuquerque, NM @ Isleta Amphitheater #09/28 – San Francisco, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheater #09/29 – Irvine, CA @ Meadows Amphitheater #10/01 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Forum #* = w/ A Day to Remember and The All-American Rejects# = w/ A Day to Remember and All Time Lowlast_img read more

Trey Anastasio Debuts Acoustic “The Connection”, Explains “The Wait” In Oakland [Videos]

first_imgOn Saturday night, Trey Anastasio continued his late-2018 solo acoustic run with a performance at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, CA.The 21-song set favored the Farmhouse album, delivering reliable versions of “Sleep”, “The Inlaw Josie Wales”, “Heavy Things”, “Sand”, “Twist”, and even “Driver”, which had been shelved since February of 2011 at Stage AE. Toward the middle of the extended set, the Phish guitarist pulled out “The Connection” for the first time ever. The Anastasio/Marshall-penned Undermind track has been performed by Phish four times since its debut in 2009.After subtly quoting “The Wait” in “The Connection”, Trey explained the story behind the reference: “I was sitting backstage one night trying to teach the guys ‘It’s Ice’….And what happened was, the songs in that era [early 1990s] were so complex that I would inevitably mess up. And I’m trying to teach these guys, so I’d go…[plays guitar riff, messed up, “oh wait”, starts over]. And I’d say ‘wait’, and they would laugh because I always did that.”Eventually saying “wait” became an inside tradition, and the band found it to be so hilarious that they introduced it at their live shows. The joke apparently didn’t translate to the audience, as it was eventually met with a chanted “Fuck You!” from an audience in Colorado after they’d played “The Wait” for 15 minutes too long at a college party. Someone even threw a beer at Fish! Trey jokingly concluded the story by reminding the audience that “next time you’re like ‘I’ve been to 300 shows man,’ but you haven’t been to ‘the wait.’” The Wait” was twice again quoted during “The Lizards” and “Wilson” for the final two songs of the set.For the encore, Trey returned to his seat on the stage to perform “Waste”, “Driver”, Dog Faced Boy” “All of These Dreams” and “More to close the show. The solo acoustic setting, over time, has provided great opportunity for audiences to get to know Trey and the history of Phish a little better. From Saturday night’s performance, we also learned that Anastasio “hates” kale, what it was like for Phish to tour without cell phones, Trey’s admiration for the video game, goat simulator, and more.Thanks to YouTube user Mitch Dorf, you can watch a compilation of all Trey’s stories from Saturday night in Oakland below:Trey Anastasio – 12/8/18 – Story Montage[Video: Mitch Dorf]“The Inlaw Josie Wales”[Video: Ryan Vandenbroeck]Setlist: Trey Anastasio | Paramount Theatre | Oakland, CA | 12/8/18SET 1: Kill Devil Falls [1], Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan[1], Sleep[1], Frost[1], The Inlaw Josie Wales[1], The Connection [2], Winterqueen[1], Water in the Sky[1], Miss You[1], Heavy Things[1], Sand[1] > The Horse[1] > Silent in the Morning[1] > Backwards Down the Number Line[1] > Blaze On[1], Strange Design[1], Till We Meet Again[1], Limb By Limb[1], Twist[1], The Lizards[1], Wilson[1]ENCORE: Waste[1], Driver[1], Dog Faced Boy[1], All of These Dreams[1], More[1][1] Trey solo acoustic.[2] Trey solo acoustic; first acoustic performance by Trey.This entire show was performed by Trey solo acoustic and featured the first Trey acoustic performance of The Connection. In the banter after The Connection, Trey teased and quoted Wait. Trey also quoted Wait in The Lizards and Wilson.last_img read more

Art as cultural backdrop

first_imgVisiting an art museum usually means confronting a kaleidoscope of works. Paintings, objects, and installations can flash past like meteorites.But a Harvard Art Museum lecture series this year invites art lovers to pause and focus on single works. During the “In-Sight” discussions, an art expert shows the audience how one example can open a window onto the culture, society, and history of an age. (The next lecture is March 3.)The first lecture last fall centered on the left hand of a Japanese Buddha figure. The lacquered wood remnant was an entry point into understanding the sculpture, architecture, and religious traditions of 13th century Japan.The second lecture looked at an Edward Burne-Jones watercolor. Set in context, it revealed the romantic temper of 19th century England, along with the materials, collecting habits, and reproduction techniques that informed art in that age.This semester, audiences at the Arthur M. Sackler Museum lecture hall have been guided so far through two disparate works from the 20th century: one an iconic religious image and the other a photograph that documented a social trend.On Jan. 13, curator and historian Ivan Gaskell led the audience through a nuanced look at “Jesus Christ as the Divine Mercy,” a 1934 oil-on-canvas by Eugeniusz Kazimirowski, an obscure landscape painter and Polish veteran of World War I. That painting today is “among the most widely venerated images in contemporary Roman Catholicism,” and the object of cult-like adoration worldwide, said Gaskell, who is the Margaret S. Winthrop Curator at the Harvard Art Museum.The shimmering, romanticized image — inspired by a nun’s vision — depicts a robed Jesus, right hand raised in blessing. Two rays, one red and one pale, emanate from his breast. Below, in Polish, is the legend: “Jesus, I trust in You.”Though art and religion “have parted ways” in the modern West, Gaskell said, “Divine Mercy” is a fine case study on the power and durability that an image may command despite having limited aesthetic value.In the Feb. 17 lecture, curator Michelle Lamunière used a gelatin silver print from around 1908 to explore how early photography could document social ills. Such pictures had many uses. They were pleas for change, and devices to underscore contrasting middle-class values such as thrift, order, and good hygiene.“Twins When They Began to Take Modified Milk,” by an unidentified photographer, depicts an impoverished mother holding her scrawny babies. Behind her is a cramped, messy room. The picture was taken for the Starr Centre Association, a social reform society in Philadelphia. It was intended to advertise the benefits of pasteurized milk for infants.“Twins” is one of about 4,500 photographs and 1,500 graphical illustrations on deposit at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, remnants of a Harvard Social Museum collection started in 1903. By 1907, it was housed in Emerson Hall as an exhibition arm of the new Department of Social Ethics, which in the 1930s was absorbed into Harvard’s sociology program.The museum’s collection of realistic photographs was the brainchild of Francis Greenwood Peabody (1847-1936), Harvard’s Plummer Professor of Christian Morals from 1886 to 1912. Modeled after the Musée Social in Paris, it was designed to awaken “Harvard students ill-equipped for social challenges of the age,” said Lamunière, the John R. and Barbara Robinson Family Assistant Curator of Photography at the Harvard Art Museum.But the Harvard Social Museum also displayed the “tension between sentimental appeal and science” that marked realistic photographs of that age, she said. Are “Twins” and photographs like it sentimental glimpses into impoverished parallel worlds? Or are they useful social documents, subject to rigorous scientific examination?Both ideas appealed to Peabody, said Lamunière. Peabody kept the photographs in strict order by theme. They were documents, after all, intended to help “solve social problems, not to show social problems,” she said. But sentiment appealed to Peabody too, said Lamunière, since it was “critical to engaging students in issues larger than themselves.”In their lectures, both Gaskell and Lamunière showed that single works of art, examined closely, can become entryways into the past and broader issues of art, politics, history, and culture.For example, Lamunière used her lecture to survey social photography, starting with the stunning portraits of orphans taken for Thomas Barnardo (1845-1905), an Irish philanthropist who, starting in 1874, opened a series of homes for destitute children.She acknowledged Jacob Riis (1849-1914), calling him “the father of reform photography,” who preferred sentiment to science. His traveling “magic lantern” shows shocked audiences with images of the poor and helped his reform efforts.Gaskell showed how modern art slipped away from its old moorings in religious tradition. He identified J.-A.-D. Ingres and Eugène Delacroix as “the last prominent canonical Western artists to have produced devotional works for ecclesiastical use in the normal course of their careers.”It was with Edouard Manet, a contemporary of Delacroix, that modern art was believed to begin, said Gaskell. At that point, a schism opened in the West between religion and art — or at least art as recognized by museums. Religious art soon met with skepticism or open hostility, attitudes that persist to this day, said Gaskell. (He quoted Picasso on the concept of religious art: “It is an absurdity.”)But those who are not “art world artists,” said Gaskell, continued to fulfill the needs of religious authorities, creating traditional images readily understood by the faithful, for instance “Divine Mercy.”The painting is so accessible, Gaskell said, that copies are sold in the gift shop of the U.S. National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass. Copies of derivative paintings also are available there.Even a version of “Divine Mercy” downloaded from the Web is said to have the ostensible power to “grant graces to souls anywhere in the world,” said Gaskell, displaying the image on his laptop. That power has a modern ring, said Gaskell. It’s an image that does not require a physical manifestation, he explained, but like contemporary art “is properly conceptual.”The next “In-Sight” lecture will take place on March 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the Sackler lecture hall, 485 Broadway. Amy Brauer, the Diane Heath Beever Associate Curator of Ancient Art at the Harvard Art Museum, will discuss “Mosaic of Two Figures Seated on a Couch,” A.D. c. 450-525.last_img read more

How Simplicity and Focus Create a Winning Strategy

first_imgIn my 30+ years at Dell, I’ve had an opportunity to see virtually every element of product design, ideation and innovation come together.  I’ve seen some of the best products and concepts…and of course, there’s been a few dogs – but that’s what innovation is all about – taking risks and being bold.  Some of the most amazing inventions are born from big ideas and rolling the dice – you have to be fearless, believe and make it happen.So as I consider what fuels innovation, more often than not, I come back to these five key pillars that, in my experience, deliver world-class products and innovation.Customer-FirstAlways start with the customer – what they need to deliver and meet their requirements and demands. The customer has been at the very core of Dell since its inception and today remains at the heart of our culture.  Innovation is only as amazing as it is useful…features and functionality need to deliver a benefit – whether it’s improving the user experience, driving productivity or achieving better business outcomes.Innovation with the customer in mind – a true purpose – will also ensure you’re only bringing to market the best possible technologies and solutions.  Quality of innovation is critical, and as the saying goes, you only have one chance to make a first impression – it simply has to work and work well.  It has to move the needle for your customer.SimplicityCustomers want simplicity in the products and services they invest in, particularly as their IT universe expands in scope with increasing demands on their infrastructure (Cloud, SaaS, analytics, security – the list is long) and on their resources.  IT is now a part of the very fabric of modern business – so IT solutions have to be easy to purchase, integrate and use.  When there are too many products in a portfolio that overlap – that’s where the confusion lies.We at Dell are working hard to ensure our customers have the BEST set of products across our broad portfolio that all work together, seamlessly integrate and achieve their business objectives.   And when we simplify – everybody wins…there is more time spent on innovation internally, which leads to better, faster products that get to market even faster for our customers.DifferentiationWe ask ourselves everyday “why should a customer buy from Dell Technologies?”  The answer? Well, there are a few.  First – we are focused on driving value through differentiated products that set us apart from the competition – an incredible by-product of simplifying our processes and our portfolio.  We do this across our CSG and ISG businesses, and apply this thinking to our supply chain.Case in point: our end-to-end NVMe in PowerMax with a multi-controller architecture that ensures our customers get the best performance and speed in our new Enterprise storage solution1.  Further, we innovate based on industry-standard, enabling a quicker path to Storage Class Memory, and allows us to leverage the full scale of Dell’s supply chain.And, we do this across our portfolio, ensuring that storage along with our servers, data protection, cloud and networking offerings are NVMe and NVMe-over-fabrics ready for a true holistic Modern Data Center solution.Second – no other company in the world can advance innovation for a holistic end-to-end IT infrastructure the way that we can with the full weight of the Dell Technologies family.  We can take advantage of each other’s strengths to deliver the best solutions the market has to offer – like delivering VxRail on VSAN, and Data Domain on VMware running on AWS for a hybrid-cloud solution.Bold-Yet-Calculated RisksI mentioned earlier that risks are important in innovation – but those risks need to be informed and really solid educated guesses on what’s going to be a success.  And they need to be fostered by the deep belief that it’s OK to break out of mold and think differently to solve a challenge.  In fact, it’s break the mold or die in today’s fast moving industry.We as a leader in hardware have fully-embraced, if not tackled, the software-defined evolution – systems need to be agile, flexible and cloud-like to deliver all the advantages of today’s emerging capabilities born from data, AI and Machine Learning.  And we’re innovating to ensure our customers can manage and analyze data insights in the cloud as a service through CloudIQ.Bold moves also need to be driven by data and insights.  And in a world that is digitally transforming with the massive amounts of data hitting our systems every day, there’s never been a better time for innovation.Get input from customers, analyze data, listen to influencers and industry peers…and because I’m a numbers guy I’ll tell you that numbers don’t lie.  Data is power.  We harness it through our infrastructure solutions to drive better business outcomes for our customers – and we use it to improve our own products and solutions by integrating intelligent automation and machine learning across our portfolio.For example – the PowerMax operating system makes six billion decisions a day2 on where and how to store massive amounts of data – all built on the insights and data we’ve accumulated in our 30+ years of being a leader in storage.  And we’re using AI in our ProSupport Plus3 service offering to predict failures4 and proactively service our products and reduce downtime.  And all of this data leads to new insights and even more innovation – it’s an amazing cycle of feedback that is changing the way we design and deliver products, and even in how we do business.Focus Focus is incredibly important – it’s the foundation for innovation and overall, leadership in your industry.You have to remain focused on customers and what they need to be successful – that’s what we do. There’s a lot of mud-slinging and FUD when it comes to comparing portfolios and strategy.  Some think that’s part of the game…FUDders gonna FUD – but we don’t play that game and it’s not what we do.  We know that a commitment to focus drives great results – and improving growth in our markets just happens to be a great key performance indicator.  Customers are telling us they believe in what we do.Remember when I said the numbers don’t lie? Well a few numbers I’m really excited about right now are those released by IDC demonstrating that in our Storage business, we gained 5.8 percentage points of share year-over-year (YoY) in the first calendar quarter of 2018.  That’s a really big deal.  AND, we’re proud that Dell EMC is the undisputed leader in x86 servers in the world for both revenue and units, according to IDC. Combine that with 21 consecutive quarters of growth in our PC business, our #1 position in CI and HCI solutions, Workstations, Displays5, 6, 7 – and you’ve got a winning end-to-end portfolio that is driven by the aforementioned pillars for innovation success.I am so incredibly proud of what we’ve built here at Dell Technologies – we continue to come from a position of strength, and we’re only getting stronger through a team committed to our customers and committed to innovation.  And with the technology and macro global trends in front of us, it’s never been a better time to seize the innovation opportunity at hand.  And that’s what we’ll go do all day every day.[1] 3x Better Performance Density based on Dell EMC internal analysis comparing maximum I/Os per floor tile of the PowerMax 8000 against the VMAX 950F. Fastest Storage Array based on Dell EMC internal analysis of published bandwidth of the PowerMax 8000 versus competitive mainstream arrays, March 2018. Actual performance will vary.2 Based on Dell EMC internal analysis of a single PowerMax 2000 or 8000 array, March 2018.3 Dell ProSupport Plus availability and terms vary by region.  See dell.com/servicecontracts/global.4 Predictive analysis failure detection is limited to hard drives and batteries.5 IDC WW Quarterly Converged Systems Tracker, Q4 2017, April 2018, Vendor Revenue.6 IDC Worldwide PC Monitor Tracker – 4Q 2017.7IDC WW Quarterly Workstation Tracker, Q4 2017, February 2018last_img read more

Alure’s Sherry Gossett Offers “My 5 Tips For Universal Design”

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Sponsored Content Brought To You By Alure Home ImprovementsAlure Home Improvement’s Kitchen & Bath Designer Sherry Gossett shares her five tips for universal design. She’s got a lot of helpful information for homeowners to consider.Her First Tip is just common sense: Make your design useful for people with diverse abilities.“For example, you could put a seat in the shower,” Gossett says in a recent episode of Alure’s “My Five Tips.” “You could use it to shave your legs, or you might actually have to sit on it.”In other words, this design element is a practical measure that can assist those people who have balance issues and don’t want to worry about falling in the shower. Those who don’t need to worry aren’t inconvenienced by the seat’s presence.Another one of her recommendations is to use roll-out shelves in the kitchen cabinets.“It can be for convenience,” she says, “or so you don’t have to bend so much.”For the kitchen sink, she advises that homeowners get fixtures that can be manipulated easily. She likes lever handles for the faucet.Here’s a question for homeowners: Have you ever taken “the fist test”? Let Gossett explain. It’s easier than you might think.“If you can work the faucet with a closed fist,” Gossett says, “then it is suitable for someone with severe arthritis. This applies to doorknobs, too!”And how about using multiple showerheads in the shower? As Gossett explains, these fixtures can be “for luxury or for necessity.”If the resident has limited mobility, then they can get a good spray from several directions rather than just from an overhead fixture.“All these things will make life easier!” she insists.Here’s her Second Tip: Universal design should allow for low physical effort.“Create a kitchen work triangle to reduce extra steps with heavy trays and dishes,” she suggests. By that, she means to focus on the sink, the stove and the preparation area.Adding an island in the middle of the kitchen can provide additional counter space and storage. But Gossett recommends that you make sure that there is at least 42 inches separating the island from the wall cabinets in order to allow enough room for someone in a wheel-chair to navigate easily around the kitchen.Tip Number Three: Minimize the hazards and remember the details.This solution can be as simple as adding a towel rack close to the shower and using a non-slip surface for the flooring. Inside the shower stall, put a grab bar on the wall to provide much-needed stability.“If you remember the details, you’ll minimize the hazards,” she says.Tip Number Four: Make design bright!“Natural light has psychological benefits for everyone,” Gossett observes. If possible, install a skylight in the bathroom ceiling, a window or even a solar tube.“Keep it bright and light!” she says.Tip Number Five: Consider the placement of your personal items.Your rarely used objects, such as china and crystal, should be stowed away on the upper shelves of your closet or cabinet. Gossett recommends that your most-used items should be stored about 24 inches to a yard above the ground, which for most people is at waist level. These objects would include “your silverware, your coffee, your toothbrush, your towels,” says Gossett. Occasionally used items and heavy items can go under the sink, she suggests.Click here for more information on Alure Home Improvements“These are my five tips for universal design to ensure that you can enjoy your home forever!” Gossett says. “All these tips will make your life easier!”last_img read more

Virus rapid-testing site coming to village of Waverly

first_img“New York has one of the lowest positivity rates in the nation, but cases are rising across the nation. When we put our infection rate in context, we’re doing well – and we’re doing well because we’re aggressive when we see hot spots. Our micro-cluster approach for the fall targets outbreaks sooner, and with a targeted focus. We all hope the winter will be the season of the vaccine, but administering the vaccine will be the largest operational challenge we’ve faced since this began, and we need the federal government to step up. In the meantime, we all need to work to maintain our progress by continuing to wear our masks, wash our hands, remain socially distant and above all, stay New York Tough.” WAVERLY (WBNG) — Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the village of Waverly in Tioga County will receive a COVID-19 rapid-testing site. In a new release, Governor Cuomo said: To set up an appointment, click here. The site is open and free to the public. The testing site will be located at the Village Town Hall on Ithaca Street. On Wednesday, it will be open from noon to 6 p.m. On Thursday and Friday, it will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.last_img read more

Trump threat to ‘decouple’ US and China hits trade, investment reality

first_imgConflicting talk from Trump administration officials about “decoupling” the US economy from China is running into a challenging reality: Chinese imports of US goods are rising, investment by American companies into China continues, and markets are wary of separating the world’s biggest economies.White House trade adviser Peter Navarro gave Asian markets a scare on Monday night by telling Fox News Channel that the US-China trade deal was “over.” US stock futures dropped, the dollar rose, and volatility indices climbed.Navarro quickly backtracked on Monday night, saying he was referring to a lack of trust between the United States and China over the coronavirus outbreak. President Donald Trump also quickly tweeted that the deal was intact. On Tuesday, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow praised Beijing, telling Fox Business Network “they’ve actually picked up their game” when it comes to the trade deal.The damage-control efforts by the Trump administration come after Trump said last week that “a complete decoupling from China” was an option, overruling US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who had told lawmakers that decoupling was not realistic.The Trump re-election campaign has made being “tough on China” a key part of his platform. The White House has blamed Beijing for the spread of the coronavirus that has killed more than 120,000 Americans, more than any other country.But part of that message – that the United States is able and willing to walk away from its largest supplier – is challenged by on-the-ground realities. US-China trade is actually increasing, after the coronavirus caused major drops shortly after the trade deal was signed in January. US exports to China rose to US$8.6 billion in April, up from a 10-year monthly trough of $6.8 billion in February, according to US Census Bureau data. Imports from China shot up to $31.1 billion from $19.8 billion in March, which marked the lowest monthly total in 11 years.US Department of Agriculture data showed soybean exports to China rose to 423,891 metric tons in April, more than doubling the 208,505 tonnes imported in March.US officials, including Lighthizer and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Steven Mnuchin, have recently affirmed China’s commitment to meet terms of the Phase 1 trade deal, which calls for China to boost purchases of US farm and manufactured goods, energy and services by $200 billion over two years.Pompeo, asked by syndicated radio show host Hugh Hewitt about prospects for a new cold war, said on Tuesday the US economy was far more integrated with China’s than with the former Soviet Union.“We have to think about this in a way that reflects that, because the challenges of American economic growth and prosperity are deeply intertwined today with the Chinese economy,” Pompeo said, adding that Trump was determined to protect U.S. interests.Mnuchin, asked about decoupling in a Bloomberg-Invesco forum, said it would occur if US companies were not allowed to compete fairly in the China’s economy.A person familiar with both US and Chinese thinking on the trade deal said Navarro’s comments appeared to be a “slip of the tongue,” reflecting his personal hawkish views on China and not administration policy.The person also said Chinese officials have indicated that June imports from the United States were expected to show a dramatic increase after falls in recent months due to the outbreak.Strong investmentUS companies had announced $2.3 billion in new direct investment projects in the first quarter of 2020, only slightly down from last year’s quarterly average despite the coronavirus, the Rhodium Group said in a recent study – indicating that few US companies are reducing their China footprint.Bill Reinsch, a senior adviser and trade expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said it took over 20 years for the US and Chinese economies to grow together, and decoupling cannot be accomplished easily.Some companies are leaving, not because of Trump, but because of rising Chinese wage rates and Chinese policies that have disadvantaged foreign-owned businesses, he said.“If you’re in China to serve the Chinese market, you’re going to stay because you can’t serve it as well from the outside,” Reinsch said. “The president can’t simply order everybody to come home. Businesses will make rational, economic decisions.”Topics :last_img read more

Singapore says blockchain payments project ready for commercial rollout

first_imgThey said that commercial applications of the prototype include cross-border payments in multiple currencies, foreign currency exchange, and settlement of foreign currency denominated securities as well as other use cases.Blockchain, a digital ledger of transactions, leaped to prominence as the technology that underpins the first digital currency, bitcoin. It has since attracted global attention because it can be used to track, record and transfer assets across all industries.To spur further industry development, MAS and Temasek said it would make some of the technical specifications for the prototype network available to the public.Topics : Singapore has developed a blockchain-based payments network that could enable faster and cheaper international settlements, authorities said on Monday, adding that the next step was a commercial rollout.The final phase of the years-long ‘Project Ubin’ saw the Monetary Authority of Singapore team up with state investor Temasek and JP Morgan to develop the prototype multi-currency payments network.“An international settlement network, modelled after this payments network prototype, could enable faster and cheaper transactions than conventional cross-border payments channels,” MAS and Temasek said in a joint statement.last_img read more

​European Commission’s Lueder sets out strategy for asset management

first_imgHe cited the reporting requirements in the AIFM Directive as one result of that tendency in asset management.“We have seen the peak in that, and that there will be a new focus on the internal market,” he said.“We can see that with the way the European Commission’s structure has been reformed, and the capital markets union was added to Lord Hill’s portfolio for that very reason.”Jonathan Hill was recently named as commissioner for Financial Services Stability, Financials Services and Capital Markets Union, a move broadly welcomed in all sections of the industry, including asset management.Lueder’s main focus was on creating new business outside the EU, and particularly in China.“I don’t think there is any agenda for creating new passporting schemes,” he said.“It’s more credible to start to work on third-country schemes that exploit the structures we have already established in the form of UCITS, ELTIF, AIFM and European venture capital schemes.“UCITS has been a great success that gives us a headstart in places like China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Chile.“We have one of the few pieces of European legislation that has become the global standard, the default model for businesses selling funds in third countries.“UCITS is the model we could build on for capital markets union, for raising capital in multiple jurisdictions – not just throughout the EU, but worldwide.”Lueder offered an insight into his detailed discussions with the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the People’s Bank of China and the Chinese asset management community, following on from initial contact made by commissioner Michel Barnier.The favoured structure would see Chinese investors obtain a domestic investor quota to convert part of their renminbi holdings into the investment currency of a UCITS – the opposite of the QFII arrangements, which involve foreign investors getting a quota for investment in China.In terms of the types of products Chinese investors will look for, Lueder reported a lot of interest in the use of UCITS to liberalise and increase convertibility of the renminbi.He cited the example of foreign-currency denominated investments in import or export businesses with exposure to the renminbi, cases where the conversion back to renminbi on redemption provide potential extra return or a hedge for the investor.He added that the liquidity afforded by UCITS was an advantage for these kinds of investment.“Investors in China want UCITS that are complementary to what they already have access to,” Lueder added.“They don’t want European money market funds. They want smaller, specialised, niche investments in their UCITS – this could be a big opportunity for Europe’s smaller asset managers.”Both messages played well with the NCI members in London.Dominic Johnson, chief executive at emerging market boutique Somerset Capital, and NCI’s co-founder and chairman, said: “It’s terrifically heartening to hear from Tilman Lueder that his part of the European Commission is focused on fostering true European capital markets integration, assisting our members – and firms like them – to compete better globally.” Tilman Lueder, head of the European Commission’s asset management division that oversees EU rules applicable to collective investment schemes (UCITS) and alternative investment fund managers (AIFMs), has set out an industry-friendly strategy that focuses on taking European investment vehicles to Chinese institutional investors.Speaking in London at an event hosted by the insurance brokers JLT after a day spent in dialogue with the New City Initiative, a trade body representing owner-managed financial services firms, Lueder was keen to emphasise a shift in focus for the incoming Commission.“There is a new team of commissioners coming in, and the portfolio set-up has been organised in line with the focus on jobs and growth,” he said.While he emphasised that the asset management division had always been much less focused on crisis-response, macroprudential regulation, such as Solvency II and the banking union project, he conceded that after 2008 there was a tendency to see the internal market as problematic because of the systemic interconnections it creates.last_img read more

​Folksam greens SEK80bn foreign portfolio by halving share count

first_imgKjeller added that Folksam had both the ability and the desire to take further steps to contribute to a more sustainable world.Folksam said that, having previously excluded companies generating more than 30% of sales from coal, it had decided to blacklist companies deriving more than 10% of revenue from oil sands extraction. Oil sands was a high-risk area with a major climate and environmental impact, the provider said.Kjeller said the firm began improving the sustainability of its portfolio by making large investments in green bonds and methodically reducing the energy consumption of its real estate holdings.“In parallel with this, we have been analysing how we can change our equity investments in the same direction without sacrificing the return,” he said.The pensions and insurance group was among a number of pension funds that recently called for EU political leaders to endorse a long-term decarbonisation strategy to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. In an open letter the investors stated that, though pension funds were moving their investments towards this goal, investors could not do it alone. Swedish pension provider Folksam has axed more than half of the holdings in its SEK80bn (€7.4bn) foreign equities portfolio, bringing the number of individual stocks down to 500 in a bid to improve the allocation’s sustainability.The reshuffle – which also affected Folksam’s subsidiary KPA Pension – took place between the end of March and mid-April and was expected to reduce the portfolio’s carbon footprint by 20%, with the energy sector weighting having been halved compared to the reference index.Michael Kjeller, head of asset management and sustainability at Folksam, said: “The change we have made to equity investments is powerful, but we still see it as a first step.“We now have an excellent platform for further strengthening our influence, while our work on the change has built knowledge that we will benefit from greatly in the future.”last_img read more