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The conflict in Ukraine has raised awareness of cyber-threats

cyber threats
cyber threats

Following the imposition of sanctions on Russia, the US has urged American businesses to be extra cautious.
National security agencies in the West are warning corporations to be on the alert for revenge via cyberattacks as a result of US sanctions imposed in reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

To defend key infrastructure throughout the nation, the Biden administration pushed its “Shields Up” initiative. The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) advises corporations, corporate executives, and people to be “mindful of the possibility for Russia’s disruptive acts,” and offers advice and recommendations.

“At the end of the day, enterprises and local governments should be hyperaware and cautious,” says Paul Tucker, BOK Financial’s chief information security officer.

According to the CISA campaign website, “the present situation compels us all to be laser-focused on resilience.” “This must include an emphasis on assuring readiness and a timely, coordinated reaction to limit the effect of such disruptions on our national security, economic prosperity, or public health and safety,” says the report.

Russian state-sponsored cyber attackers use the following methods and approaches, according to Tucker:

Phishing attacks that steal credentials.

2. Making use of web-based apps.

3. Compromise in the supply chain

“Moreover, while we are concentrating on Russia, other nations that have previously attracted major attention—China, Iran, and North Korea—will likely zoom in on the chance to execute cyberattacks while attention is diverted elsewhere,” Tucker added.

Be proactive in your approach.

The increased awareness also serves as a reminder of appropriate cybersecurity measures. The CISA checklist for enterprises of all sizes offers advice on how to be prepared, identify intrusions, and respond if one happens.

“The greatest protection against assaults is prevention,” said Tucker. “It’s more critical than ever for businesses and workers to work together to avoid cyber events via training and good user behavior.”

He estimates that we each get roughly 120 emails every day on average.

“In today’s fast-paced world, it’s vital for organizations and their workers to be prepared to protect themselves and their staff against cyberattacks. So take your time and read your emails thoroughly. If something doesn’t seem right, it usually is. “It just takes one bad click to bring your whole corporation down,” Tucker warned.

But keep in mind that it’s about more than simply email surveillance. Among the preventative strategies are:

• Be well-prepared. Ensure that you have an incident response and business continuity strategy in place, and that you test it on a regular basis, so that you are prepared in the case of ransomware.

• Keep your assault surface as small as possible. Multi-factor authentication should be used for remote access, and known vulnerabilities should be patched (use CISA free tools if needed).

• Employee awareness is important. Cybersecurity awareness training is essential for avoiding all types of intrusions. Employees should be tested using phishing simulators to maintain their cyber skills up to date.

• Examine your supplier chain’s security. Actors got early access to target companies by exploiting third-party software that was trusted.

• Keep an eye on the CISA guidelines. The Shields Up website has rules for businesses of various sizes, as well as specific suggestions for CEOs.

“Having a cybersecurity playbook and comprehensive programs, as well as investing in teaching staff about the significance of cybersecurity safety, will go a long way in safeguarding your organization and customers,” Tucker added.


The impact of the SWIFT sanctions on Russia might last for years

SWIFT sanction on Russia
SWIFT sanction on Russia

The decision to prohibit seven Russian banks and their subsidiaries from the SWIFT financial messaging system has had a significant effect on the ruble, but it isn’t the only one. And the repercussions will almost certainly endure.

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications system, popularly known as SWIFT, will be shut down on March 12 for seven large banks, including VTB Bank PJSC and Bank Rossiya. It’s a risky step for Western leaders; French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire described the potential of completely isolating Russia as a “financial nuclear bomb.”

To mitigate the possible impact on the global economy, particularly energy markets, Western leaders chose to isolate just seven Russian banks, allowing crucial companies like Sberbank PJSC to continue using SWIFT due to their role in collecting payments for Russian oil and gas.

Even before the sanctions take effect, Russia, the European Union, and, to a lesser degree, the United States are already feeling the effects.

What exactly is SWIFT?

According to experts, the SWIFT system is a critical part of worldwide financial operations since it is the primary distributor of secure financial messaging.

“It enables banks all around the world to safely and swiftly communicate about cross-border payments,” said Andy Krider, BOK Financial’s manager of international operations.

SWIFT connects over 11,000 banks in over 200 countries and territories. According to him, 42 million texts were exchanged every day on average in 2021.

SWIFT is used for more than simply payments, according to Krider. Trade-related transactions, letters of credit, collection items, and securities confirmations are among the secure financial communications, he noted.

The messages are in template-based forms, so even if individuals are in various countries and speak different languages, they will understand what each field represents.

Russia has been hammered severely by sanctions.

The announcement that the EU will prohibit seven Russian banks from using SWIFT, which was announced on March 2, sent shockwaves throughout the world. Of course, Russia bore the brunt of the short-term consequences: Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Russia’s credit rating to “junk” level. In the meanwhile, the ruble fell to a new low versus the dollar.

Although Russia prepared for possible sanctions by shifting as much of its currency reserves out of the US dollar and euro as possible, even the partial exclusion from SWIFT makes it impossible to obtain cash, according to David Maher, BOK Financial’s manager of international sales and trading.

For one thing, it depreciated the currency, limiting Russia’s capacity to trade on global markets, he said. Russia has $630 billion in foreign currency reserves, which it keeps on hand in case the ruble devalues rapidly. He continued, “Basically, the SWIFT penalty stopped their access to those assets to safeguard the currency, and it depreciated more than 50%.” “It also locks up their funds and hinders their capacity to fund the fight.”

Outside of Russia, the EU, which relies on Russia for products, notably energy, is feeling the brunt of the bad effects, according to Maher. Although the United States has less direct commerce with Russia than the European Union, he claims that it is nonetheless having inflationary consequences in an already high-inflationary age.

The long-term consequences are yet unknown.

According to Maher and Krider, the most immediate consequence for the US may not be the SWIFT suspension itself, but rather how rapidly Western leaders were able to prevent Russia from accessing most of its currency reserves.

Following WWII, nations began pegging their currency exchange rates to the US dollar, establishing the dollar as the official reserve currency. The latest economic sanctions on Russia have virtually prevented the Central Bank of Russia from performing any transactions in dollars or accessing any of its reserves kept in dollars or in the United States.

“It’s fairly astounding to be able to achieve that—to isolate and isolate a country from the rest of the world in such a short period of time. It demonstrates that the dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency has a lot of sway “Maher said.

As a consequence, other countries, particularly those that are not US allies, are likely to reconsider their reliance on the dollar and the euro, he said. China, which owns $1 trillion in US Treasury bonds, will be an important role in the future. Given how quickly the US was able to paralyze Russian central bank assets held in the US, China may be concerned that the US may place a lock on its Treasury assets in the future, according to Maher.

China and other countries may consider storing the bulk of their central bank reserves in gold or “stablecoin,” a cryptocurrency backed by a reserve asset, rather than the US dollar. “However,” Maher continued, “these are things that will take years to happen.”

More immediately, he believes that Russia’s recent economic penalties are sending a message to other countries contemplating conduct similar to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He speculated, “Perhaps they will think twice before attempting anything like this.”

5 common mistakes when the market is in recession


Investors make various blunders that might cost them in the long run, whether it’s panic selling, sheltering in cash, or trading hastily during tumultuous markets. Learn to recognize and prevent the most prevalent harmful habits.
As distressing as market sell-offs might be, one aspect always strikes me as familiar: the attempt to persuade investors to avoid the significant financial blunders that can result from short-term thinking during a sell-off.
Here are some of the most common investing blunders, along with my recommendations on what to do instead:

1. They sell in a panic. Seeing your investment portfolio or 401(k) plan, which you’ve been building for years, take a rapid tumble may be heartbreaking. The desire to stop the bleeding—to save what you can and wait for the dust to settle—may be overpowering. Surprisingly, this might be the most harmful thing an investor can do.

Selling into a declining market ensures that your losses are locked in. You may never be able to get back in if you wait years. Consider this: Someone who invested from 1980 through the end of February would have earned a 12 percent annual return, compared to someone who joined at the same time but sold between downturns and remained out until two years of positive returns, earning a 10 percent annual return.

Although this may not seem like a significant difference, if each investor contributed $5,000 each year, the buy-and-hold investor would now have $2.6 million, while the waffler would have $1.4 million.

Instead, consider the big picture. If you don’t want cash right immediately and have a well-diversified, well-researched portfolio, remember that downturns are only transitory. The market may seem to be heading for zero at times, but market history demonstrates that recoveries can bring many portfolios back into the black in a matter of years.

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2. They go to the bank and remain there for a long time. This blunder adds to the harm caused by panic selling. The sharp rise in stock prices that often follows a market collapse should serve as a reminder of how much bailing out might cost you when the market turns around. Returning to our hypothetical example, even after investing $5,000 a year for 40 years, an investor who sold after a 30% market loss and remained in cash would have just $412,000 at the end of 40 years.

Instead, investors who have more capital than their long-term plan requires, whether because they sold during the market downturn or for any other reason, should aim to reduce the gap and get back into the market. Dollar-cost averaging, a strategy of gradually re-entering the market by purchasing specified quantities of stock at regular intervals (say, monthly), may be an excellent approach to get there. Dollar-cost averaging decreases your portfolio’s susceptibility to luck of timing, making it simpler for scared investors to exit cash since they won’t have to worry about placing a large quantity of money into the market just to see the sell-off restart. And, if the market recovers, they’ll be pleased that they put part of their money to work rather than leaving it completely on the sidelines.

3. They are self-assured and make terrible decisions. Many individuals overestimate their ability to determine whether or not a stock is a good buy at a given price. An example of this is “anchoring” a beaten-down company’s value by the much higher price it used to trade at while it still has a long way to go. Market insiders refer to this technique as “trying to catch a falling knife,” and it has a dreadful track record.

Overconfident investors believe they know more about the markets than even experienced investors and can make all the necessary actions to prevent losses and lock in bargains. They may easily get distracted, resulting in a jumbled portfolio and even greater losses. In actuality, profiting from short-term trading is far more difficult than it seems.

Instead, try this: You don’t have to figure out what to do next on your own in times of market volatility. Find a Financial Advisor you can trust to go through your portfolio with you and advise you on the best course of action depending on your time horizon and risk tolerance.

4. They dig a deeper hole to compensate for losses or poor decisions. The thought of selling an investment at a loss or below the high water mark is frowned upon by many investors. This may lead people to hold on to losers for too long in the hope that they will rise again, and sell winners too soon in the hope that they would decline—a phenomenon called in behavioral finance as the “disposition effect.” Investors are often better off selling equities that are underperforming the market and sticking onto stocks that are outperforming the market because they are better positioned for the present environment.

Rather, try this: Take advantage of existing possibilities before they pass you by, which may go against your inclinations. If losses occur in a taxable investment account, for example, “harvesting” those losses by selling such holdings may help with long-term tax planning. In addition, many investors would benefit from converting at least portion of their regular IRA holdings to a Roth IRA. Because there are tax implications, converting when stock prices are low may be a wise decision. Again, a Financial Advisor can assist you with this.

5. They overlook the need of rebalancing. During a big market downturn, a portfolio’s asset allocation to equities tends to plummet as stocks fall and bonds rise. Investors may be so taken aback by the move that they fail to rebalance their portfolios back into stocks, extending the time it takes for the portfolio to recover from market decline.

Instead, do the following: If you’ve made a decision to rebalance your portfolio, stick to it. Rebalancing has been demonstrated to boost risk-adjusted returns over time, as long as it does not result in excessive tax and transaction costs, by lowering portfolio sensitivity to market timing. It also fits with the natural propensity of markets to return to the mean.

The need to sell stocks after a strong bull market raises such allocations considerably higher is a consequence of purchasing equities to rebalance after a selloff. This tends to impose a methodical, rather than speculative, buy-low, sell-high discipline on your assets.

Losses in investments are unpleasant, but if investors can keep focused on their objectives rather than worrying on monthly account statements, they will likely feel better and be better off in the long term. Working with a Financial Advisor may help you navigate through the ups and downs of life and stay on track with your goals.

Today’s CRE Industry: Eight Must-Reads


The Commercial Observer takes a look at the situation of commercial real estate in Manhattan, where the vacancy rate is almost 20%. According to The Wall Street Journal, home wealth in the United States has skewed more towards the wealthy during the last decade. These are some of the most important articles in the commercial real estate business today.

1. Has COVID-19 Made a Permanent Change in the Office? We’ll find out soon enough. “According to brokerage CBRE, approximately one out of every five square feet of Manhattan office space is available for lease, or was at the end of January.” There has never been a time when the number has been greater. Is there any reason to assume that figure will reduce much anytime soon, given all the discussion about hybrid work and people becoming less attached to their workplaces?” (Creative+++++++++++++++++++

2. Housing Wealth in the United States Has Become Even More Affluent Over the Last Decade “Over the last decade, the housing-value difference between families earning more than 200 percent of the median income in their region and other homeowners has increased dramatically. In 2010, high-income homeowners owned 28% of total housing wealth in the United States. By 2020, that percentage has risen to 42.6 percent.” (According to The Wall Street Journal)

3. Kohl’s has declared that it is no longer a department store. “Consumers were dumping conventional office clothing for denim and sneakers even before the epidemic struck, and Kohl’s had been growing its offering of athletic and casual brands in response.” During the epidemic, remote work accelerated this fashion trend. Kohl’s feels it has a chance to reposition itself as a market leader, and it wants to expand its fitness, athleisure, and denim offerings.” (Source: CNN Business)

4. Deals involving a Bay Area real estate enterprise have had both successes and losses. “Silicon Sage’s properties have been placed under receivership by a federal court. The court-appointed receiver is on a mission to find purchasers for the properties in order to salvage value from the collapsing and insolvent real estate enterprise. This allows investors to regain at least a portion of their losses.” (Source: The Mercury News)

5. Goodbye, Londongrad: Russian Oligarchs Put Pressure on the Property Market in the United Kingdom “The Russian government has enacted a slew of measures aimed against the Russian aristocracy. It has blocked all assets linked to various Russian billionaires who own villas in the city, and some politicians have demanded that the government take and sell those properties. It has ended a visa scheme that provided affluent foreigners with a fast track to citizenship and is enacting measures that make it more difficult for property purchasers to remain anonymous, a characteristic that had previously been a draw to London.” (According to The Wall Street Journal)

6. ‘Gone Are The Tchotchkes’: Covid Has Forever Changed The Office Desk “Desk designers say there’s been a split in the market, with larger, unassigned desks, adaptable, mobile desks that can accommodate people working in different positions in different locations, and desks in spaces designed for when they need to put their heads down and complete solo work,” according to manufacturers and dealers. (Bisnow)

7. According to Macy’s CFO, the American consumer is currently in good shape, but lower-income buyers may be forced to cut down shortly. “Macy’s predicts that lower-income households, who spend a larger share of their monthly wages on necessities like food, would be hit harder than others,” Mitchell added. As a consequence, the firm is already considering how to convey value to those clients differently than a luxury customer with higher spending power, according to Mitchell.” (CNBC)

8. Why do long-term SFR investors have a lower risk profile? “There is danger in SFR since it is now a hyper-mature sector.” We’re nearing the end of the current cycle, and with so much money chasing opportunity, some have turned SFR into a financial alchemy game. In a market where cap rates and prices are under tremendous upward pressure, many are betting on unsustainable rent increases.” (News from the Multi-Housing Sector)

Is it true that all SPACs are based on wild speculation?


By focusing on their fixed income nature rather than their high-flying risk-reward characteristics, pre-merger SPACs may be one of the safest assets in a portfolio.

SPACs (special purpose acquisition companies) have a reputation for being high-risk, get-rich-quick schemes that never seem to pay off for investors. It’s not wholly unwarranted, though.

While some post-merger SPACs, which are nothing more than speculative small/mid-cap corporations resulting from a SPAC merger, may meet that description, it’s only half of the tale.

Pre-merger SPACs get much less attention, but they, in my view, provide the most appealing and asymmetric risk-reward opportunity in today’s fixed income market by enabling investors to profit from SPACs’ fixed income nature rather than their high-flying risk-reward characteristics. Given the risks and consequences of increasing rates, as well as high valuations and narrow spreads, advisers should welcome rather than dread pre-merger SPACs as they prepare their clients’ portfolios for 2022.

To begin, a SPAC is a corporation with no commercial activities that was founded expressly to earn money via an IPO in order to buy or combine with a private firm and take it public.

To do so, a group of sponsors seeks to generate funds by selling “units” to investors, which are typically worth $10 apiece. One common stock plus a part of a warrant and/or right are included in each unit. The money earned in the initial public offering is retained in a trust account and is usually invested in US Treasury bonds until the trust funds are required to support the corporate merger.

Sponsors typically have 12 to 24 months from the moment they IPO to discover and purchase their target business. If no firm is found in that period, the SPAC is liquidated, and the trust account profits are dispersed to SPAC common stock stockholders. If the sponsors identify and approve a transaction, shareholders may participate by getting stock in the new firm (a post-merger SPAC), or they can opt to redeem their shares in cash from the trust account if they aren’t so pleased about the deal or simply want their money back.

When examining the lifetime of a SPAC, there are two components to consider: SPACs are divided into two types: pre-merger fixed income instruments and post-merger 100% stocks. Because they have a defined liquidation date (similar to a bond’s maturity date), pre-merger SPACs should be considered fixed income instruments. Shareholders are either fully or overcollateralized by a trust account that is typically invested in Treasuries, and like some bonds, pre-merger SPACs shareholders have the right to redeem and put their shares back to the sponsor for cash from the trust account.

To profit from the pre-merger SPAC opportunity, a customer invests only in pre-merger SPACs trading at trust value or a discount to trust value (equivalent to a bond’s par value), with no intention of proceeding with the transaction. Rather of speculating on the future of the newly merged firm, an investor redeems their shares for cash in the trust account when a SPAC announces a merger, regardless of how appealing the SPAC’s plan may seem. In addition, if the market responds positively to an announced agreement and the SPAC’s price increases, the investor may always sell on the open market to realize their profit.

Because SPAC shareholders have a full redemption right to their part of the trust account, which is generally invested in U.S. Treasuries, pre-merger SPACs have much lower downside risks and provide possible equity upside to shareholders.

SPACs might be a high-risk, high-reward investment, but they don’t have to be. When managed properly, pre-merger SPACs may be one of the safest assets in a client’s portfolio. Where else in today’s fixed income environment can clients invest in a security with low sensitivity to interest rates or credit risk, is backed by a trust account, offers investors a put feature/full redemption right for their share of trust account cash, and allows them to participate in potential equity upside?

CrossingBridge Advisors, an investment management business focusing in ultra-short and low-duration strategies, including special purpose acquisition firms, employs John Conner as the director of strategic alliances.

SEC, DOL Divergence or Convergence in Cybersecurity Regulations?


‘The quality of cybersecurity risk for registered investment advisers, whether they are in the DOL sector or not, is increasing.’
The Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States decided in February to propose two new cybersecurity rules: rule 206(4)-9 under the Advisers Act and rule 38a-2 under the Investment Company Act. On a high level, the present version of the proposed regulation for advisers will require:

• Policies and processes for managing cybersecurity risk, including yearly evaluations, written reports, and other record-keeping;

• The SEC will receive reports of severe cybersecurity events on a new Form ADV-C; and

• Amendments to Form ADV Part 2A to disclose cybersecurity risks and events.

The SEC’s 206(4)-9 recommendation follows the Department of Labor’s cybersecurity guidelines announced in April 2021 for registered investment advisers dealing with retirement plans. When taken as a whole, it’s evident that regulators are concerned about cybersecurity, which begs the issue of whether the two agencies’ efforts will coincide or divide. Plan advisers who work with both agencies would benefit from convergence; divergence might mean additional effort to comply with numerous regulations and proposals.

The methodologies of the two agencies are very different. The SEC is pursuing a proper rule-making process that includes a public comment period that will last through April 11, 2022 at the earliest. According to David Porteous, a partner at Faegre Drinker, the timetable for publishing a final rule and its contents is uncertain, and will be determined by the number of comments the proposal gets. “You may get four comments or 4,000,” Porteous pointed out. “Given the seriousness of this problem, I wouldn’t be shocked if you get a lot of comments that the SEC needs to at least consider.”

In three different publications directed at plan fiduciaries, service providers, and participants, the DOL provided guidelines, suggestions, and recommended best practices. With these publications, the agency did not follow a formal pre-publication rule-making procedure. The DOL’s past use of an informal procedure with the fiduciary rule, as articulated in PTE 2020-02, has been challenged in two cases, according to David Levine, partner and co-chair, plan sponsor practice at Groom Law Group. According to Levine, the result of these litigation might have an influence on the DOL’s cybersecurity guidelines.

According to Porteous, the DOL is placing the onus on plans to ask the appropriate cybersecurity questions in the first place. RIAs and funds, on the other hand, will be obliged to establish a “risk framework to deal with cybersecurity and make disclosures and undertake tests of its sufficiency,” according to Porteous. “So, whether you’re in the DOL area or not, I’d say that the temperature is increasing on the quality of cybersecurity risk for a registered investment adviser.”

While there isn’t necessarily a contradiction between the agencies’ recommendations and proposed regulations, Christopher DiTata, vice president and general counsel at RIA in a Box, said the SEC plan seems to go into deeper detail, especially with regard to disclosure. The SEC plan requires advisers to not only create internal rules and processes, but also to report any cybersecurity problems to the SEC. According to him, both the DOL and the SEC require financial institutions to notify investors of significant cybersecurity breaches

Mauling McCullough


The interval of a year-and-a-half that elapsed between the spring of 1786 and the late summer season of 1787 was as consequential as any in American historical past. Close to its finish, the Northwest Ordinance was enacted by the Confederation Congress in New York Metropolis even because the Constitutional Conference was in Philadelphia writing a plan to interchange that Congress. Close to its starting, a band of New England land speculators fashioned the Ohio Firm.

It’s this March 1786 occasion that units the stage for David McCullough’s newest e book, for it performed practically as essential a task in what would change into america. 

Emphasised by McCullough, the Pulitzer Prize-winner and dean of U.S. widespread historians, is that the speculators hoping to settle the Ohio Nation west of the Alleghenies have been from New England somewhat than Virginia. Puritan values, somewhat than pro-slavery ones, would information improvement of the brand new land. 

He celebrates the distinction. And now he’s in bother.

Answering One-Sidedness With . . . Extra One-Sidedness

Surveying the Twitter feeds and e book evaluations of historians and “woke” journalists commenting on The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Introduced the American Excellent West, you would possibly assume there was no distinction in any respect between the antislavery New Englanders who made settling the Previous Northwest their mission and the Southerners who would lead the nation towards civil conflict.

This uncharitable—and ahistorical—outlook makes one marvel if these reviewers have given any thought to how completely different U.S. historical past would have been had Virginians been the guiding power of settlement.

In a sequence of tweets, writer William Hogeland, who has written his personal wonderful historical past of the opening of the Northwest, objected to the “good man” model of historical past he sees in The Pioneers. Then, too, the “new era of historians, students and activists,” because the Related Press put it, “took to social media to accuse McCullough of romanticizing white settlement and downplaying the ache inflicted on Native People.”

The e book does neither of these items. What it does is inform the settlers’ story from the settlers’ perspective. Each e book of historical past has a perspective. There aren’t any impartial observers of historical past. 

For a very long time, writing from the settler’s perspective was routine. Then for fairly some time it wasn’t. Now, apparently, it’s verboten.

That is precisely the fallacious approach to consider historical past. Nothing is to be gained from merely flipping the narrative.

If the story was one-sided on behalf of the settlers, for the final half-century that has been reversed. Too lots of McCullough’s critics should not looking for stability. It’s not that they object to solely a part of the story’s being instructed. It’s that they need the model they don’t prefer to be silenced.

Harvard’s Joyce E. Chaplin, reviewing the e book within the New York Occasions, even took exception to McCullough’s description of the Ohio Territory as “unsettled,” as a result of it had individuals in it. Properly, sure, it did. However, till the arrival of white European People, it didn’t have any settlers; thus, it was “unsettled.” To counsel that McCullough is implying in any other case, or that he one way or the other signifies that the individuals who have been already there don’t depend, just isn’t defensible. However when you’re searching for methods to be outraged, you’ll discover them.

For these sorts of critics, it’s not sufficient to dominate the academy and have a digital monopoly on indoctrinating college students. All dissenting voices should be condemned as unworthy of consideration and hectored till they fall silent. 

McCullough, who is taken into account a nationwide treasure whereas his critics should not, has up to now remained silent as oracles are inclined to do—though not out of any concern of being hectored. At 86, he has nothing to achieve by participating in a public spat with individuals who have resented his success for many years.

The Story of the “First West”

The story of what we might name the primary West, the land past the Appalachians and Ohio River, just isn’t as well-known as that of the Previous West that options cowboys and Indians, prairie schooners, and mountain males. As McCullough exhibits, it’s extra an extension of the Revolutionary Battle interval than a precursor to the mass migration of the 19th century. It’s a bridge between the 2.

That bridge was constructed by veterans of the Continental Military similar to Basic Rufus Putnam and ethical reformers similar to Manasseh Cutler, a New England Puritan minister, physician, lawyer, and educator. These males helped lead settlers and speculators throughout the Ohio River within the wake of the Northwest Ordinance, which organized the brand new territory and established a template at no cost labor, the free train of faith, and (much less efficiently) justice for these already inhabiting the land.

One respectable criticism registered by a reviewer (Andrew C. Isenberg writing within the Washington Submit) is that “casting the Ohio Firm as a automobile of upper beliefs is a feat too tough even for a author as expert as McCullough.” 

It’s true that generally McCullough can’t separate the well-intentioned people he holds up as paragons of Puritan advantage from the inherent corruption of their joint endeavor. It’s additionally true that noble intentions and overweening self-interest usually stroll hand in hand. As reviewer Danny Heitman wrote within the Christian Science Monitor, McCullough’s “refusal to embrace cynicism as a type of sophistication, one gathers, is a part of his widespread enchantment.”

No matter unsavoriness lurks on the coronary heart of the enterprise is way outweighed by the saving grace of the mission: that it produced the Northwest Ordinance, a much-overlooked Founding doc that, McCullough rightly says, “stands alongside the Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independence as a daring assertion of the rights of the person.”

The Ordinance’s “utmost good religion” clause was extra aspirational than sensible, contemplating the hundreds of settlers speeding in. This clause assured that Indian “lands and property shall by no means be taken from them with out their consent; and, of their property, rights, and liberty, they shall by no means be invaded or disturbed, until in simply and lawful wars licensed by Congress.” 

It didn’t prove that approach, and over the primary twenty years of the 19th century, Ohio and different lands within the Northwest Territory can be the scene of bloody confrontations between European and Native People. 

Remarkably, even because the tragedies proliferated on the banks of the Wabash and at Fallen Timbers, the settlers saved at bay the observe of chattel slavery. On this they have been led by Ephraim Cutler, son of the Massachusetts clergyman, U.S. Consultant, explorer, and Ohio Firm official Manasseh Cutler. Ephraim moved past his father’s Marietta settlement on the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers to change into a pacesetter within the territory’s army, authorized, and political life. When proslavery parts tried to overturn the Northwest Ordinance’s prohibition of slavery in the course of the 1802 debate on statehood, an unwell Ephraim Cutler made a dramatic entrance onto the ground of the constitutional conference to solid his vote in protection of liberty. The movement to incorporate a ban on slavery in Ohio’s structure prevailed by a single vote.

It’s a riveting story. However Isenberg calls McCullough’s therapy of the slavery debate “blinkered” as a result of Ohio went on to impose draconian restrictions on free black residents. Maybe. However the failure to acknowledge the distinction between an Ohio settled by Virginians and one settled by New Englanders, primarily treating all alleged 19th century malefactors as indistinguishable, is really blinkered.

Their Failings and Their Accomplishments

Historians in the present day might lump collectively all pioneers, however these alive nearer to their time didn’t. “We are able to hardly predict what the results would have been,” Cutler’s eulogist declared when he died in 1853, “had there not been just a few males similar to Choose Cutler to withstand the insidious aggressions of the monstrous evil of slavery.” One consequence, in fact, would have been slavery in Ohio, and sure throughout a lot of what we now name the Midwest.

Isenberg’s central criticism is that The Pioneerspresents American historical past as a grand civics lesson, wherein the accomplishments of our principled forebears function inspirations.” He appears to not understand it is a characteristic, not a bug, and that the inspiration is all of the extra outstanding given the all-too-human failings of the pioneers. Isenberg needs to inform one story; McCullough needs to inform one other. Could each write for a few years, and let readers benefit from the cornucopia.

To be clear, reviewers should not citing errors of truth; they simply don’t like McCullough’s presuppositions. They don’t like his phrase selections—simply take a look at the e book’s subtitle, with its speak of a “heroic story” and of spreading “the American splendid” to new lands.” Slate’s reviewer confessed to being triggered by them. Such characterizations are anathema to those that view the settlement West as an unrelieved litany of horrors. 

Actually, the horrors have been all too actual, and they’re a part of the story. However they don’t seem to be all the story. Just like the 1619 Venture over on the New York Occasions, it’s a monochrome principle wherein the whole lot that ever occurred is seen by means of a single lens. What’s the proper stability? I don’t know. However neither do these claiming that they do. 

Scholarly Revisions and Layers

From Frederick Jackson Turner to William H. Goetzmann, from Elliott West to Vine Deloria Jr., Amy Greenberg, Patricia Limerick, and numerous others throughout the many years, the story of westward enlargement has been framed and reframed. The present era would possibly suppose it has the ultimate body in place, but it surely doesn’t.

If all this revisionism has taught us something, it’s that in historical past there are details, however there is no such thing as a ultimate fact. What Deloria and Goetzmann wrote 50 years in the past stays related in the present day, if solely their heirs would listen. It’s additionally price remembering that Deloria’s Custer Died for Your Sins (1969) and Dee Brown’s Bury My Coronary heart at Wounded Knee (1970), to quote simply two of many examples, should not new books. The notion that approaching historic research of the West from the Native American’s viewpoint is one way or the other a 21st century enchancment is just fallacious. This method has been taken for longer than lots of these complaining about McCullough have been alive.

Scholarship revises and layers; developments change; tutorial fads come and go. Tales stay. How these are interpreted evolves over time, as extra data turns into obtainable and completely different views are thought-about and reconsidered. Every new age tries to place its spin on the occasions of the previous. I hate to interrupt this to the wokest of in the present day’s “woke” McCullough critics, however a century from now, your captiousness about The Pioneers will appear as quaint to the students of 2119 as Frederick Jackson Turner’s 1893 evaluation of the frontier appears to you.

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Life Brings Storms: Private Umbrella Coverage has Safety


Many private insurance coverage insurance policies present legal responsibility protection to guard you in case you are sued because of an damage for which you might be accountable, whether or not it’s bodily damage or private damage. Everyone knows that lawsuits can stem from absolutely anything. The significance of legal responsibility protection is mentioned in earlier weblog posts, however what occurs when the legal responsibility in your auto, boat, or residence insurance coverage coverage isn’t sufficient to meet a judgment in opposition to you?

If you happen to carry a Private Umbrella coverage, you probably have protection for the quantity of the judgment above your regular limits that might in any other case come out of your individual pocket.

A Private Umbrella coverage is an extra legal responsibility coverage above and past your private insurance coverage insurance policies. Like an “umbrella,” to guard you from the proverbial wet day, this coverage is particularly designed to offer further legal responsibility protection for these cases the place the protection in your main insurance policies (auto, residence, boat, dwelling hearth, and so on.) is solely not sufficient to fulfill a judgment in opposition to you.

Let’s say you might be at fault in an auto accident and have Bodily Damage Protection with a restrict of $250,000 per particular person/$500,000 per accident. You’re sued by the injured get together, and the judgment is $1,000,000. Your auto coverage will cowl $250,000 of the judgment. The remaining $750,000 will likely be paid via different means similar to a lien on your private home (if you happen to personal one), wage garnishment, and so on., until you’ve got a Private Umbrella coverage. When you have a Private Umbrella coverage with a restrict of $1,000,000, then this coverage will kick in after your auto coverage is exhausted and canopy the remaining $750,000.

There are particular necessities you will need to meet to buy a Private Umbrella coverage. The most important of those necessities is the minimal legal responsibility protection you might be required to hold on all your underlying insurance policies. Many carriers would require that you simply carry a minimum of $250,000 per particular person/$500,000 per accident on all auto insurance policies. House insurance policies are sometimes required to have not less than $300,000 in legal responsibility protection. Boats and leisure automobiles are required to be insured and also will have to hold comparable limits on the insurance policies to these of the auto and residential insurance policies. One other requirement is sweet driving. Insurance coverage carriers will take a look at the driving expertise and driving document of these being coated on the coverage and might improve their charges or outright deny protection based mostly on these components.

Private Umbrella insurance policies could be bought in increments of $1,000,000 and are comparatively cheap. Costs will differ based mostly on the variety of dangers being coated. The extra properties, autos, boats, and leisure automobiles you personal, the upper the premium will likely be.

You must contact your impartial insurance coverage agent to acquire extra info on Private Umbrella insurance policies to see if you happen to qualify for one. Anybody could be sued, and being with out sufficient legal responsibility protection could be financially devastating!

The coverages listed here are described in essentially the most common phrases and are topic to the precise coverage circumstances and exclusions. For precise protection wording, circumstances, and exclusions confer with the coverage or contact your agent.

Copyright © 2019 Central Mutual Insurance coverage Firm. All rights reserved.

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Smoking Can Ship Life Insurance coverage Premiums Ablaze


By Mike Brown

Lend EDU

Though naturally grim in its circumstance, life insurance coverage might be an vital security web for a policyholder’s family members.

However having life insurance coverage comes at a value, so shoppers should weigh the professionals of paying for a coverage in opposition to the potential penalties of not having one.

That price depends upon the coverage and the particular person. Issues like age, medical historical past, present well being, and smoking habits can alter an individual’s annual life insurance coverage premium.

For instance, as a result of smoking is detrimental to an individual’s well being, insurance policies for people who smoke are dearer to account for the elevated chance of mortality throughout the coverage time period.

Simply how a lot can smoking improve a life insurance coverage policyholder’s premium?

To reply this, LendEDU teamed with BestLifeRates, an unbiased life insurance coverage market. Utilizing unique knowledge from about 35,000 life insurance coverage coverage quotes supplied by BestLifeRates, LendEDU analyzed the greenback distinction in life insurance coverage coverage quotes between people who smoke and non-smokers.

How Smoking Impacts Life Insurance coverage Prices

The information featured on this report was anonymized and supplied completely to LendEDU from BestLifeRates. Customers can go to BestLifeRates.org, enter their private data, and obtain life insurance coverage quotes based mostly on their circumstances, together with whether or not they’re a smoker.

BestLifeRates works with NinjaQuoter to collect the information and supply quotes to customers.

On Common, People who smoke Will Pay Almost Double the Life Insurance coverage Premiums of Non-People who smoke

Because the above graphic illustrates, the information reveals people who smoke, on common, can pay almost double for all times insurance coverage premiums what non-smokers can pay.

The typical annual life insurance coverage premium BestLifeRates quoted for people who smoke was $three,977, whereas this determine was $2,052 for non-smokers. These figures point out that smoking may improve life insurance coverage premium prices by 94%.

The typical annual life insurance coverage premium quote for all the dataset, together with each people who smoke and non-smokers, was $2,241.

The above figures don’t account for issues like age, sort of coverage, or protection quantity. We’ll have a look at these under.

The graphic above represents all shoppers who requested a quote for a 10-year time period life insurance coverage coverage with $250,000 in protection. This breakdown reveals how smoking can impression annual life insurance coverage premium quotes for shoppers who had been all on the lookout for the identical life insurance coverage product.

With almost all ages group, except the youngest and oldest, people who smoke bought life insurance coverage quotes with annual premiums that had been greater than double these non-smokers obtained.

When age was not factored in, people who smoke on this subsection collectively bought quotes for his or her premiums that had been 109% greater than what non-smokers bought.

Eradicating smoking from the equation, the graph additionally depicts how age vastly impacts what individuals might pay for all times insurance coverage insurance policies. For instance, whereas the typical annual premium quoted for these of their 20s was $155, it was $four,793 for these of their 70s.

It’s because, as a shopper will get older, their well being dangers usually improve, making them riskier for all times insurance coverage firms.


All knowledge discovered on this report was anonymized and supplied completely to LendEDU by BestLifeRates, an unbiased life insurance coverage market. The dataset options over 35,000 distinctive life insurance coverage quotes that had been supplied to guests of BestLifeRates.org who had been on the lookout for a life insurance coverage coverage quote based mostly on their distinctive circumstances.

BestLifeRates works with NinjaQuoter to gather and analyze the consumer knowledge to supply life insurance coverage coverage quotes.

The information that was included on this report has been collected over an prolonged time period, beginning in October of 2016 and ending in September of 2019. The information contains issues pertinent to offering a life insurance coverage coverage quote, like smoking habits, age, location, protection quantity sought, and whether or not the patron was on the lookout for a complete life or time period life coverage.

The annual premium quantities that had been quoted for every shopper are projections made by BestLifeRates and NinjaQuoter and should not precisely mirror the phrases that the patron ended up receiving. Moreover, particular kinds of smoking habits that will alter the life insurance coverage coverage charge weren’t specified, together with whether or not the patron was vaping, smoking cigars or cigarettes, or smoking marijuana.

Mercer UK well being chief named a high LGBT exec for second 12 months


Tony Wooden, UK well being chief at Mercer Marsh Advantages,
been named within the OUTstanding 100 LGBT+ Executives Listing for the second
consecutive 12 months. 

Wooden is listed at quantity 58 on this 12 months’s
rating compiled by INvolve, a not-for-profit skilled community for
LGBT executives and their allies, in collaboration with Yahoo Finance

The rating recognises the actions of executives working
to make the office extra welcoming for LGBT people.

Wooden was nominated by colleagues in Mercer’s LGBTA
worker community for his dedication to motion and advocacy round range and

Wooden stated it’s extra essential than ever for
organisations to embrace range and perceive the constructive enterprise influence
an inclusive and engaged workforce can have.

“At Mercer, we delight ourselves in having an inclusive
tradition, the place totally different views – skilled and private – are
revered and welcomed. We imagine that various groups can obtain higher outcomes
and so is nice for enterprise,” he added.

As govt sponsor of Mercer’s LGBT+ Delight group within the
UK, Wooden has led initiatives together with revising HR insurance policies to help trans
staff, lobbying Mercer and Marsh Well being Trusts to incorporate trans healthcare
advantages, and driving the event of a information for Mercer staff on the
points related to expatriate assignments for LGBT+ colleagues.

He has additionally organised IDAHOT (Worldwide Day In opposition to
Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia) days throughout Mercer places of work nationally.

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