Increasing Returns to Scale – Louth Online Sat, 19 Jun 2021 02:34:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Increasing Returns to Scale – Louth Online 32 32 Metroid Dread: Trailers, Release Date & Everything We Know So Far Fri, 18 Jun 2021 20:00:02 +0000

Source: Nintendo

It’s been 19 years since the last Metroid 2D and 15 years since we first heard the name Metroid Dread, the long rumored and oft-canceled sequel to Metroid Fusion, and the final chapter in a decades-long history involving the titular alien race and intergalactic bounty hunter, Samus Aran. Announced at Nintendo’s E3 2021 Direct, Metroid Dread is very real and is coming very soon. Whether you’re a fan of the original or curious as to why everyone is so excited about this entry, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything we know so far about Metroid Dread.

what Terror Metroid?

Metroid Dread is the latest installment in the Metroid series, taking the franchise back to its 2D roots. In this new Metroid, Samus investigates a mysterious transmission on the planet ZDR. Upon arrival, she quickly discovers that the planet is overrun with vicious alien life forms and the towering EMMI, the DNA-mining robot chasing Samus.

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Metroid Dread is the 13th installment in the series, picking up where 2002’s Metroid Fusion left off. It’s co-developed by MercurySteam, the developers who remade Metroid: Samus Returns on 3DS, and directed by producer Yoshio Sakamoto, the producer behind Metroid, and many other bizarre Nintendo games like WarioWare, Tomodachi Life, and Famicom Detective Club. – enough a CV!

What is the story?

Metroid Dread BattleSource: Nintendo

Metroid Dread is the last point in Metroid history and is a direct sequel to Metroid Fusion. In this game, Samus is sent to the planet SR388, a planet explored in Metroid: Samus Returns, and is attacked by a parasite known as X, which infects her central nervous system, nearly killing her. Fortunately, the Galactic Federation is able to make a vaccine from the cells taken from the infant Metroid that Samus adopted from Zebes.

Upon recovery, Samus discovers that part of his power suit was too integrated into his body to be removed during the operation, dramatically altering his appearance. The infected parts of Samus’ power suit are then sent to the biological space labs for analysis, but when an explosion shakes the BSL, Samus is sent to investigate.

On the BSL, Samus discovers that parasite X has invaded the station and that a variant of the parasite, known as SA-X, mimics its appearance. Samus walks through the facility, discovering that the Galactic Federation intended to replicate the Metroids, the life-sucking alien life form that Samus exterminated. She also discovers that the base computer is actually the downloaded consciousness of Samus’ deceased mentor, Adam Malkovich. Using the computer, Samus sends the base on a collision course with SR388, destroying both Parasite X and the Metroids once and for all. Samus survives, but his body has been significantly altered, once by the Metroids and again by the X parasite.

I know this all sounds like a lot, but Yoshio Sakamoto has promised that new players will be upgraded quickly through the game’s prologue. We expect Dread to explore Samus’ relationship with the Metroids and even the X parasite. Yoshio Sakamoto said this about the history of the game:

“The series has chronicled the strange relationship between these Metroids and the heroine Samus, but this game will mark the end of that story arc. We hope fans of the series will wonder ‘what’ marks the end. of the story arc “mean?” while they are playing the game. “

What is a Metroidvania?

Terror MetroidSource: Nintendo

Metroid, along with subsequent Castlevania games, is notable for creating the known genre Metroidvania. Metroidvania are a subgenre of action-adventure games that typically feature a large, interconnected world map for the player to explore, although access to certain parts of the world is often limited and can only be passed through once the player has acquired weapons, tools or abilities. While neither Metroid nor Castlevania were the first to attempt this type of game design, specific entries in their catalog, namely Super Metroid and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, popularized the genre.

These days, Metroidvanias is a popular genre of choice in the indie scene and there are plenty of great indie games, like Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Hollow Knight, and Axiom Verge. Many Metroidvanias developers often encourage exploration and provide players with a sense of discovery as they naturally explore the world around them.

What is so special Terror Metroid?

Metroid Dread has had a 15-year development cycle and has even been canceled twice. The first known mention of Metroid Dread was in a June 2005 issue of Game Informer, with further details appearing on the magazine’s online forums. At that time, the game was a 2D side-scroller in development for the Nintendo DS and would follow the events of Metroid Fusion. Later that year, IGN reported the game’s existence, but Nintendo neither confirmed nor denied it.

And it would become the game’s bigfoot for a while, as some insiders claimed it existed, while Nintendo continued to deny it existed. In a development history video released by Nintendo, Yoshio Sakamoto said that they started development on Metroid Dread 15 years ago, but dropped the idea because they felt the technology at the time could not. bring the concept to life. They tried again before giving up again, but after seeing MercurySteam’s work on the Samus Returns remake, Yoshio Sakamoto felt they were the right team to bring their vision of Metroid Dread to life.

What kind of weapons will Samus have?

Metroid Dread ConcealmentSource: Nintendo

Samus has never been as powerful as she is in Metroid Dread, but she will have to use every weapon at her disposal if she is to stay ahead of the EMMI. Samus has the ability to aim freely as well as his melee counter, first introduced in Return of Samus. She also has a new Dash Melee move that can be used to crash into enemies without losing momentum, and a slide to move around tight spaces or under certain enemies. Of course, Samus’ arm cannon and missiles are also making an appearance.

She has a new ability, called Phantom Cloak, which will hide her from EMMI scans, and a new Spider Magnet ability that will allow her to climb walls. Returning from Metroid Prime Hunters, the Omega Cannon, a temporary power-up that supercharges Samus’ arm cannon for a powerful attack and is currently the only thing that can stop EMMI in its tracks. There will definitely be more powers and abilities to be discovered as we get closer to the release.

Is it related to Metroid Prime 4?

Metroid Prime 4Source: Nintendo

No, Metroid Prime 4 and Metroid Dread coexist, although they are not directly connected. The Metroid Prime games exist in the timeline after the original game, but before Metroid: Samus Returns. Metroid Prime games are also played in first person, while these “base” Metroid games are in 2D.

Will there be amiibo?

Metroid Dread AmiiboSource: Nintendo (screenshot)

Yes, Nintendo has also announced two amiibo that will be released alongside Metroid Dread. Amiibos are from Samus in his new potency combination and EMMI in a set of two. Each amiibo also grants special abilities in the game. According to the description of the GameStop amiibo, scanning the Samus amiibo will give you an additional energy reservoir to increase your health by 100, and can be used again to receive health. health once a day. The EMMI amiibo grants Samus a Missile + tank, increasing his missile capacity by 10, and can be used again to replenish certain missiles once per day.

Is Samus a girl?

Dread robot MetroidSource: Nintendo

Yes. Of course!

How Terror Metroid Cost?

Metroid Dread RunningSource: Nintendo

Metroid Dread costs $ 60 and is available for preorder now. While it’s available both digitally and physically, if you’re willing to spend $ 80, you can pick up the special physical edition of the game that comes with a steel library, art cards, and an art book.

When Terror Metroid Release?

Metroid Dread MeterSource: Nintendo

The long, long, long the expected releases of Metroid Dread on October 8, 2021, exclusively on Nintendo Switch. We are sure that it will make a lot of people happy and will probably be one of the best games on Nintendo Switch.

Samus is back

Metroid Dread Box Art

Terror Metroid

A sequel in preparation for years

The long-rumored 2D Metroid is actually real and is coming very, very soon.

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The era of space data center capacity planning is over Thu, 17 Jun 2021 23:26:23 +0000

It has been suggested, in this post and recently elsewhere as well, that data center cooling systems in their current configuration are not really able to adapt to the changing demands of more modern, workload-oriented computing environments. . The danger of implementing a workload-driven approach for a facility with an older cooling system, the suggestion continues, is that workloads can end up being spread over larger floor areas. . This could eventually lead to a blocked ability, as the inability to scale up leads to the need to compensate instead by scaling outside.

The solution, offered by a vendor, is an adaptive cooling system that increases cooling capacity as increased workloads place more demands on computer systems. It would depend to a large extent on strategies for removing heat from the air by more natural means, integrated into existing installations. But is such a solution real and is it realistic?

Data Center Knowledge asked four world-class experts the question. Their responses appear below, verbatim but edited for clarity.

Chris Brown, Technical Director, Uptime Institute

It is true that any data center, even if it supports HPC, is designed with an average of watts per area (square foot or square meter, depending on the region). This does two things: first, it defines the total cooling load expected at the complete build. There must be a set cap, otherwise how do you know how much cooling to put in place? In addition, it defines the cooling strategy.

As the density increases, there is a breaking point where air-based cooling becomes not impossible but impractical. You can keep installing more fans, but at some point it will move so much air and be so loud that it will look like being on the tarmac of an airport with jets passing by. Not very practical. If the air flow is sufficient, the pressure becomes a problem just to open and close the doors. Thus, depending on the density, the design plans will be [entail] different solutions. Some data centers have conducted the exhaust air from the racks directly to the cooling units on 20kW and 30kW racks to solve some problems and increase the cooling efficiency. Others opt for water-based cooling and use rear door heat exchangers, liquid equipment cooling, and even immersion cooling at very high densities.

Now, from a practical operational standpoint, I have never come across a data center designed for 200 watts per square foot and then installed for it. In other words, they will have racks with higher densities and racks with lower densities, as long as they don’t cross the density threshold where a different cooling solution is needed. They are always limited by the cooling capacity and installed power. Then, if they start to exceed that limit, they will install additional power and cooling infrastructure to increase the available power and cooling capacity. At some point, real estate becomes the problem. Adding fans and cooling capacity means more space, and if there is no more space, there can be no capacity expansion.

In summary, data center design has been and will continue to be a balance between space, power and cooling. Different approaches to power and cooling infrastructure are used to increase capacity in a small footprint. But any addition will always require space – it’s just horizontal or vertical space. We agree that any data center design should anticipate future capacity increases to support demand as density increases (we are no longer making space on Earth and therefore will need to increase density), but there is has no way to decouple all three elements of space, power and cooling, as they will always be linked together. But design choices can maximize capacity in any given footprint.

Steve Madara, Vice President Thermal, Data Centers, Vertiv

Steve Madara - Vertiv [400 px].jpgUltimately, the rack density situation is increasing. For example, a data room designed for, say, 6 MW for X the density of the racks (equivalent to the number of racks in the space) determines the total square footage of the data room. If the rack density increases, you need less square footage. The challenge today is that if you build with too high a rack density, you may run out of rack space before you reach design capacity. But also, if you are building for the right rack density today, you might not be using the entire square footage of the data room. Whether or not you fail the cooling capacity depends on how the room has been laid out. As the density increases, you have unused floor space.

To provision higher density racks, you typically need a cooling unit that has more kW of cooling capacity per linear foot of wall space. Are there solutions today with higher kW per linear wall space? Yes. In non-raised floor applications, we see thermal wall / thermal grid designs that have more coil area per linear space / wall because the unit gets taller. For raised floor applications, the increased capacity tends to be larger units that are deeper in a mechanical gallery. Is modular expansion a solution? Not necessarily. It will really depend on whether the additional electrical and mechanical systems can handle this. If you integrate it all from day one, you underutilize the infrastructure until you get there.

Much of the above assumes that we are continuing with air-cooled servers. The additional cooling capacity can be supplemented by rear door cooling with minimal added power. However, today’s world is starting to see the advent of a large number of liquid-cooled servers – fluid-to-the-chip. An existing data room can easily add the capacity to supply fluid to the rack for the additional cooling load, and the remaining air-cooled cooling capacity will match the remaining air-cooling load. The challenge now is that you might run out of power for the extra load in the data room.

Changing the metrics does not change the cooling provisioning methodology. It’s about knowing the future roadmap for air-cooled server capacity and future liquid-cooled cooling capacity requirements, and planning for the transition. There are many customers today who are building this flexibility and these solutions, for the moment of transition. No one can predict when, but the key is a plan for future density.

Steven Carlini, Vice-president, Innovation and Data Center, Schneider Electric

Steven Carlini - Schneider Electric [400 px].jpgMost designs today are based on rack density. The historic method of specifying data center density in watts per square foot provides very little useful guidance in answering the critical questions facing data center operators today. In particular, the historic power density specification does not answer the key question: “What happens when a rack is deployed that exceeds the density specification?” Specifying capacity based on rack density helps ensure compatibility with high-density IT equipment, avoids wasted power, space, or capital expenditure, and provides a means to validate IT deployment plans for the design of cooling and power capacities.

Dr. Moises Levy, PhD., Senior Analyst, Data Center Power and Cooling, Cloud & Data Center Research Practice, Omdia

Power consumption in data centers is a matter of workloads! Workload is the amount of work assigned to IT equipment over a period of time, including IT applications such as data analysis, collaboration, and productivity software. In addition, workloads that do not produce business value contribute to wasted and inefficient energy consumption.

Let’s understand the impact of workloads on data center power consumption and cooling capacity. Workloads can be measured in different ways, as tasks per second or FLOPS (floating point operations per second). Next, we need to measure or estimate the server usage, which is the part of the capacity used to handle the workloads. This is the ratio of the workload processed to the processing rate. We must also measure the server power requirement, or estimate it according to its use (0% to 100%) and considering a scale between inactive power and maximum power. The heat generated must be extracted by the cooling system. The cooling capacity can be estimated by dividing the required server power by the SCOP (Sensible Coefficient of Performance) of the cooling system. Managing the workload is not a simple strategy, and we must plan for a successful result!

Dr Moises Levy - Omdia [400 px].jpgWe cooled the servers by convection, but air cooling hit a limit with higher power densities. Using an air cooling system for power densities greater than 10 or 20 kW per cabinet is already inefficient and the limit is around 40 kW per cabinet. Rack densities have increased in recent years and now we can reach 50kW, 100kW or more per cabinet. A liquid cooled approach is a way to extract heat more efficiently and sustainably.

In summary, in a data center, there is a high coupling between the servers and their physical environment, which usually means that handling a larger workload means higher server utilization and power consumption. higher. This results in an increased need to dissipate the heat generated.

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Reviews | Conservative values ​​support investing in child care as an infrastructure. Here’s why. Thu, 17 Jun 2021 08:30:33 +0000

Yet we have embarked on a historic experiment – an anomaly in the developed world – where the majority of parents work, but there is a lack of policies and standards to support parents who care for their children early in life. life. Policies such as paid parental leave would help; currently, one in four mothers returns to work two weeks after having a baby, and many fathers do not take the time at all. (Research also shows that fathers with access to paid time off end up being more involved in their children’s lives later on). Another policy that would allow parents to spend more time with children includes increasing wages through wage subsidies such as the Working Income Tax Credit and economic growth, which could allow parents to reduce the hours to spend more time at home or even to switch to a single income. . Employers, too, are not off the hook and should create more space for flexible hours and a balance between family priorities.

2. We should maximize child care options for working parents instead of having a one-size-fits-all solution.

During the hours when parents are away, we would all benefit from having children in high quality care, given the critical stage of development that affects their life trajectory. I feel like the Republicans’ main concern about Biden’s plan – perhaps even more than the cost – is that it would push children into full-time institutional and center care by the age of 3. years or earlier, reducing parental choice and worsening children’s outcomes. Republicans, like JD Vance in The Wall Street Journal, have highlighted problems with universal child care and the now infamous Quebec study (co-authored by architect Obamacare Jonathan Gruber), which showed problems on the rise. behavior, especially in young boys. , when full-time center care becomes the norm.

This is why Biden’s proposal for a refundable child care or preschool tax credit is far superior to his universal preschool proposal, and in fact, the former completely negates the need for the latter. Republicans should support the tax credit component, which is essentially a massive school choice program for early childhood care and education. Parents who need care outside the home can choose to send their children to daycare, help pay for a nanny, enroll their children in a local church, bilingual class, or provide a high quality preschool, which could be full-time, part-time, or something in between.

Certainly, some Conservatives will still be uncomfortable with the idea of ​​subsidizing child care, seeing it as downgrading parenting at home. But the vast majority of parents – including Republican parents – need some type of care outside the home at least some of the time, and for many, high-quality care is beyond financial reach.

3. In the face of limited resources, federal support should not be universal but should rather target the most vulnerable.

While we would all appreciate compensation for childcare costs or a child allowance, this is especially important for low-income and disadvantaged families. This is for two reasons. First, childcare costs are a significant barrier to work for low-income households in particular, for which the alternative is often public assistance. Low-income parents who receive child care assistance are more likely to be employed and to have better family financial health. Second, high-quality care is particularly effective in improving outcomes for disadvantaged children. Almost all of the literature on the benefits of high-quality early childhood education and care is directed at disadvantaged children, suggesting that universal child care is a major overshoot; targeting more federal support to the most vulnerable children is a more effective spending.

Even if the Conservatives do not subsidize child-related expenses for everyone, they should still seek to reduce the costs of childcare for everyone and address the issue of caregiving, a policy area particularly under pressure. -developed by the liberals. We should seek to eliminate regulations that do not directly improve care but limit their supply. As it happens, Biden’s plan may inadvertently reduce the number of caregivers, raising standards and imposing higher wages, and curtail home care solutions.

Republicans should lead the charge by increasing the supply and retention of caregivers and providing them with career advancement opportunities that are not entirely dependent on federal support. Here, the Bipartisan Policy Center has paved the way for promoting learning and vocational training for caregivers who could start as early as high school, which could significantly increase the supply of caregivers and reduce costs.

4. We need to invest where economic opportunities improve the most.

Nowadays, our debate about opportunities tends to focus on young adults (free college) and older adults (retraining), not young children. But investing in children early has a significantly higher return than intervening later in life. For Republicans concerned about a future of slower growth and productivity, investing in early childhood may be the best economic investment they can make. Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman sees an annual return on investment of 7-13% from early childhood interventions for disadvantaged children, including better educational and career prospects as well as better reduction in health and criminal spending. He even goes so far as to claim that it would be one of the best ways to reduce the federal deficit and grow the economy, if it is properly structured.

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Alistair Vines Joins Oliver to Design and Build Technology Ecosystems for Global Brands | OLIVE TREE | Open mic Tue, 15 Jun 2021 14:34:58 +0000

Oliver – the only company in the world to exclusively design, build and manage in-house agencies and marketing ecosystems for brands – has rehired Alistair Vines. In response to brands’ growing need for enterprise-level marketing solutions, Vines “returns home” to Oliver after a stint at MediaMonks. He will be responsible for unlocking greater value for brands through data, technology, digital and their internal marketing operations.

Vines laid the foundation for his career at Oliver between 2011 and 2018 as the new Global Sales Director. He returns to the leading internal solutions provider as senior vice president of group solutions after two years at MediaMonks, where he served as vice president of growth and was responsible for securing major new accounts spanning corporate consumer goods, automotive, luxury retail and entertainment. .

In his new role at Oliver, Vines will combine data, technology and creative expertise from across Oliver’s network ~ including Dare, Adjust Your Set and Aylesworth Fleming (The Inside Ideas Group) as well as the parent company of Oliver. ‘Oliver, You & Mr Jones, the first Brandtech ™ group. His team will help accelerate brands’ marketing capacity by combining people, processes and technology and creating dedicated and tailor-made internal ecosystems.

Vines will report to Matt Baldwin, Oliver’s Managing Director for the EMEA region. Baldwin said: “Alistair is a rare breed. He is an expert in customizing integrated marketing solutions for the complex business challenges of today and tomorrow, while bringing back control, reducing overall spend and increasing the efficiency of brand marketing production. This is exactly what brands come to Oliver for. We are very happy to welcome him to our home and wish him good luck in this exciting role.

Vines said: “I have proudly watched Oliver grow, prosper and silence naysayers over the past decade. I think our proposal is the only viable way for global brands to increase their efficiency at scale today. By combining brandtech with Oliver’s pioneering in-house agency model, we create deep partnerships that deliver lasting and ongoing benefits to clients. It goes without saying that I am happy to be back.

Oliver has contributed to the growth, brand awareness and purpose of over 250 clients in 46 countries. Recently, it was ranked # 1 in Adweek’s Fastest Growing List (US), # 40 in Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For (UK) and named Digital Network. of the Year (EMEA) from Campaign.

Vines’ role begins with immediate effect.

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Impact investing grows to address issues raised by pandemic Mon, 14 Jun 2021 04:00:00 +0000

As ESG investing becomes the norm for owners and asset managers, “some develop their impact investing from it,” said Jane Bieneman, senior advisor at Tideline Advisors LLC, investment consultant at impact in New York.

Ms. Bieneman became involved in impact investing in 2007 as momentum gathered momentum before being derailed by the global financial crisis. “It’s really different for me this time around, with the (investment) infrastructure being built. And there’s a real sense of urgency around environmental and social issues that weren’t there before,” he said. she declared.

The Global Impact Investing Network’s 2020 Annual Investor Survey, the most recent data available, recorded the highest number of respondents in the report’s 10-year history – 294 global impact investors with a total of 404 billion dollars in impact investment assets under management. The estimated total size of the global impact investing market of $ 715 billion is based on GIIN’s database of over 1,700 impact investors.

These investors – 54% in developed markets and 30% in North America, indicated that the global impact investing market is maturing, with increased sophistication in impact measurement and management practices. contributing to growth. The main sectors for their capital allocations were energy and financial services, excluding microfinance.

Then there are investors who may not have a specific impact investment compartment but who share the objectives. “It looks different in language,” said GIIN co-founder and CEO Amit Bouri in New York. Some will use it to contribute to specific SDGs or to target priorities such as climate solutions, but it’s all done from a risk mitigation perspective. “There is a migration path that investors go through, to think about risks and solutions,” he said.

“Pension fund managers see the writing on the wall. They are the long-term stewards of capital. We are seeing a much greater interest in how they can use capital to drive change, ”Mr. Bouri said.

For the $ 299.8 billion California State Teachers Retirement System in West Sacramento, the goal of impact investing is to secure the future of its retirement beneficiaries. .

“We believe there is an opportunity to do this with a positive impact,” said Nicholas Abel, chief investment officer, who co-manages the sustainable investment and management strategies of CalSTRS, where the investment policy adopted in March authorizes up to 5% of pension funds. assets to invest in public and private portfolios.

“Our success is tied to global economic growth and prosperity,” said Mr. Abel. “We recognize that the world around us is changing. We believe this creates an opportunity. We’re very excited. “His team’s goal is to place a first billion dollars and, over the next few years, a total of nearly $ 2 billion in impact-related investments, such as affordable housing. and low carbon approaches.

Turner Impact Capital LLC CEO Bobby Turner, whose Santa Monica, California-based company has $ 1.4 billion in committed capital to invest in educational institutions, multi-family housing and healthcare facilities , said that “the pandemic has been a blessing and a curse. . The blessing is that he absolutely highlighted the limitations of government in solving these problems. ”

The downside is that “now it’s very fashionable to be an impact investor. I think there is still a lot of confusion on how to define it, ”he said. “The foundations are often lighter; pension funds tend to be the last, but they also have the most money. I think they will come to the table eventually, but they will need (proof), ”said Mr. Turner.

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The Government Forum brings together mortgage and government opinion leaders Wed, 09 Jun 2021 22:46:17 +0000

On Wednesday, the Five Star Institute presented the Government Forum 2021: a virtual event, bringing together mortgage service industry leaders and government officials for a day filled with impactful conversations on the industry’s most pressing issues.

Ed Delgado, Global President of Five Star, kicked off the day and welcomed attendees to the virtual event and introduced Representative Steve Bartlett, Senior Treliant Advisory Board Member; President and CEO of the Roundtable on Financial Services from 1999 to 2012; and representative to the United States Congress from 1991 to 1993. While in Congress, Bartlett was a member of the House Banking Committee, where he successfully led the campaign to let the market fix interest rates on mortgages. government insured. He has served as deputy whip and sponsor or co-sponsor of nearly 20 major pieces of legislation, including the Enhanced Secondary Mortgage Market Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act reforms, the FHA deregulation, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. .

Among the discussion topics Delgado brought up was the fact that the industry is heading towards a “housing crisis 2.0”.

“There are too many similarities to what the industry went through in 2008,” Delgado said of the current state of the market. “This crisis was not born out of subprime loans or irresponsible credit, but rather the long-term and ultimate effects of a prolonged forbearance plan.”

Bartlett noted some concerns the industry must address to avoid a potential housing crisis.

“We have issues that the industry is facing,” Bartlett said. “This is nothing like the mess we found ourselves in during the last crisis. The industry is strong, and I have never seen such a good and solid use of technology in any industry that I can remember. They are increasing the use of AI to serve all types of customers. Second, the industry is first and foremost about serving its customers… finding a mortgage that works and people can pay off.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) recently reported that about 2.1 million homeowners are at some stage of forbearance, and that according to Bartlett this is a challenge.

“With the clients we work with at Treliant, the last thing we want to do is seize someone, except in the extreme circumstances where someone has given up ownership,” Bartlett said. “The last thing a designer or a repairman should do is foreclosure because, as we say in Texas, ‘hell is going to break loose’ if we start doing it! It’s a different mindset than we’ve had historically with mortgages, but it’s the mindset we need to embrace now.

The “Economic Precipice” panel discussion followed, in which moderator Stanley C. Middleman, Founder and CEO of Freedom Mortgage Corporation led a discussion on the fallout from the pandemic and took a closer look at when the economy America will rebound accordingly.

Panelists who joined Middleman included Edward Golding of the MIT Golub Center for Finance and Policy and head of the FHA from 2015 to 2017; Tobias Peter, research director for the Housing Center at the American Enterprise Institute, and Jesse Roth, executive vice president of business development for

“We are emerging from a pandemic, which I have absolutely no previous experience in managing,” Middleman said. “We have seen significant events in our lives – hurricanes, earthquakes, disasters – but certainly nothing of this magnitude. We have seen a major response from the government, ordering private companies to go and do the work of supporting people in this country. From my perspective, we have done an incredible job protecting people and their homes, helping them to continue with such close to normal lives. “

As Middleman noted, the government and the maintenance industry have worked in unison to keep more Americans in their homes as the country grapples with the pandemic crisis over the past year.

“I think it’s important that we take on this social responsibility of taking care of the owners… I call it ‘Capitalism with a conscience’, but it’s better when the private meets the public,” Middleman said. “When the government can do the right thing to help homeownership, I think that’s a really positive thing. “

Goulding noted a number of steps the government can take to not only ease the volume of abstentions, but also to level the playing field and make affordability a possibility for everyone.

“We know a lot of groups have been left behind,” Gouding said. “We need a way, and homeownership, along with education, is a way to build wealth in communities that didn’t have access to wealth.”

And as the presidential regime made the transition in January, it made a number of new appointments to key housing industry regulators. With new leadership within the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the “Setting the Priorities” panel reviewed the direction of these new leaders and what they can do to facilitate a smooth transition for those coming out of forbearance.

Led by Moderator Alex McGillis, Senior Director, Product Development, The Answer for Quicken Loans, the Priority Setting panel included Leslie Meaux Pordzik, Senior Vice President of Issuer Office and Portfolio Management at Ginnie Mae; Chad Mosley, President of Mortgage Contracting Services (MCS); Prasant Sar, Surveillance Policy Analyst for the FHFA; and John Vella, Chief Revenue Officer of Altisource.

Innovation and adaptation of new technologies was a topic of the panel, as more and more in the service space use AI-based solutions to help borrowers through their forbearance plans. In turn, government agencies are also adapting these technology solutions as evidenced by Ginnie Mae’s recent announcement that their Office of Enterprise Risk (OER) has launched a series of machine learning and AI model pilots. An AI algorithm deployed by Ginnie Mae will reduce the likelihood of false negatives and false positives when identifying issuers that may pose increased risk, but may fall through the cracks of traditional risk identification methods.

“We are currently migrating our entire platform to the cloud,” said Pordzik. “In doing so, it will open a lot of doors for Ginnie Mae in terms of agility and speed to modernize our platform.”

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), a $ 2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by Congress and enacted by the President last March in response to the economic fallout from the pandemic has had an impact on the maintenance industry. The Government Forum featured the ‘Caring for Homeowners’ panel which explored how this sweeping legislation has affected maintenance services. By Steve Meyer, AVP, High Risk and Investor Compliance for Safeguard Properties, panel members included Marissa M. Yaker, Managing Attorney of Foreclosure for the Padgett Law Group; Kristin Wong, financial analyst for CFPB; and Jack V. Konyk, executive director of government affairs for Weiner Brodsky Kider, PC.

“The industry has done a great job of identifying serious delinquent people and forcing them to abstain,” Wong said. “Among borrowers who became seriously delinquent due to COVID, only 2% of them did not take advantage of the forbearance. Ideally, this number should be 0%, but a real effort has been made by the industry to reach out and help these distressed borrowers. “

And as GSEs prepare for what has been determined as their “ultimate exit from trusteeship,” the “Planning for the Future of GSEs” session discussed the challenges that still exist for this plan, and whether the events of the year. last year slowed down the momentum of the GSEs.

Moderator Tim Rood, Industry Relations Manager for SitusAMC, led the GSE discussion which brought together panelists Marcel Bryar, Founder and CEO of Mortgage Policy Advisors, LLC; Ron Haynie, senior vice president of mortgage finance policy for Independent Community Bankers of America; and Edward J. Pinto, resident / director of the American Enterprise Institute Housing Center.

Fannie Mae SVP and Chief Economist Doug Duncan followed the GSE discussion by offering his expert perspective on housing finance, the mortgage sector and the broader US economy, providing insight into buyer attitudes and sellers with regard to homeownership in his presentation “Where Housing is Headed”.

“Our expectations for economic activity in 2021 are that we will see a continued decline in unemployment, down to something in the order of 5%,” Duncan said. “At the same time, we will see economic growth continue to accelerate and, for the year as a whole, reach around 6.8%, which will be the highest annual growth rate we have seen since. the very beginning of the 1980s. “

The government forum closed with the “Eye on the Horizon” session in which industry leaders discussed the day’s key takeaways and presented their perspectives on the future of the automotive market. housing.

Michael Waldron, general counsel and compliance officer at Community Loan Servicing, LLC led the discussion, with panelists John Bell III, deputy director of the US Department of Veterans Affairs; Maria Fernandez, Senior Associate Director, Office of Housing Policy and Regulation, FHFA; and Brian D. Montgomery, President and Founding Partner of Gate House Strategies, LLC and Former Assistant Secretary of HUD (2019-2021).

“During the pandemic, web and mobile technologies have really helped borrowers stay connected and engaged,” Fernandez said. “Frankly, it also helped maintain mortgage credit. “

And while the pandemic has touched every pocket across the country, Montgomery noted that the industry had braced for such a widespread crisis on a smaller scale as it battled events such as hurricanes and other natural disasters. .

“We had all had warm-ups for COVID-19, and we didn’t know it at the time, but we would have regional natural disasters, sometimes in large urban areas like Hurricane Harvey, but never had anything with the reach of COVID-19 where every city has been affected, ”Montgomery said. “Collaboration between government agencies was very important, we spoke almost every day, especially with the FHFA. We didn’t want companies to go in one direction. We looked at the situation from a homebuyer’s perspective and what would be the best situation to stay in their home. Communication was important not only with government agencies, but also to find the public. “

The Five Star Institute would like to thank the companies that have supported the Government Forum 2021 as sponsors, including Host Sponsor; Co-Host Sponsor Altisource; and sponsor partners Insight One Solutions, Mortgage Contracting Services, Padgett Law Group and Safeguard Properties.

Coming in September, the Five Star Conference and Exhibit returns with an in-person event at the landmark Dallas Reunion Tower, Hyatt Regency Dallas, from September 19-21. Click here for more information or to register for this event.

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International investors look for assets denominated in RMB Tue, 08 Jun 2021 01:57:45 +0000


Experts encourage greater openness of financial markets

With RMB-denominated financial assets more attractive than ever to global investors, experts believe China should continue to gradually open up its financial markets.

Most of the world’s economies are still crippled by the coronavirus pandemic, and commodity prices recently hit record highs.

Financial assets such as those denominated in RMB, which can provide stable returns, are sought after by investors around the world, but inflation has become a major factor in earnings dilution.

In April, holdings of RMB bonds of foreign institutions increased by 64.86 billion yuan ($ 10.16 billion) month on month.

These institutions favor Treasury bills issued by central authorities in China. In April, their holdings of these bonds increased by 51.74 billion yuan month-on-month, according to China Central Depository and Clearing Co.

Financial conditions continued to improve in the United States, the euro area and the United Kingdom, according to a study by Moody’s Investors Service, while these conditions in emerging markets returned to their historical average. Political support and progress in the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines has spurred these conditions.

In addition to the attractiveness of financial assets, foreign capital inflows into Chinese financial markets were triggered by the widening gap between the yields of Chinese treasury bills and those issued in the United States.

The Chinese currency has gained more than 10% against the US dollar over the past year, driven by the economic rebound from the pandemic and capital inflows from abroad. It recently hit highs last seen in May 2018, but this rapid appreciation is expected to be short-lived as market forces will cause the exchange rate to move back and forth.

According to experts, the increased participation of foreign capital in Chinese financial markets will not change in the short to medium term.

Zhong Hong, vice president of the Bank of China research institute, said foreign investors will continue to buy RMB-denominated assets this year, while there may still be uncertainties and fluctuations over the world market.

These investors are drawn to China’s strong economy and relatively stable interest and exchange rates, compared to those elsewhere in the world, Zhong said.

Quota option

Fang Xinghai, vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said Chinese regulators will take measures to keep the capital market stable while the opening up continues and prevent large-scale fluctuations, which may be caused by cross-border capital flows.

He added that one option is to apply quotas to control daily trade to the south and north through the Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong inventory connection programs.

“If foreign capital inflows causing large fluctuations in the stock market, we can temporarily stop trading,” Fang said at a panel discussion at the Boao Forum for Asia in April.

“We also have measures to prevent the market from being affected by significant fluctuations, which may result from significant inflows and outflows of foreign capital,” he added.

At the end of March, foreign capital represented about 5% of the Chinese stock market, he said, adding that by comparison, the proportion of Chinese stocks in the world’s major indexes remains very low.

As more and more foreign capital flows into the domestic stock market, it plays a greater role in pricing stocks. The fact that this capital is mostly held by institutional investors means that it can contribute to market stability, Fang said.

He added that financial regulators are planning to further increase the proportion of Chinese stocks in major global markets and expand the scale of inclusion to attract more foreign capital.

Xuan Changneng, deputy head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, or SAFE, said moderate net inflows of cross-border investments in securities, mainly stocks and bonds, have been maintained so far this year, in accordance with to the generally stable situation on foreign trade.

John Waldron, chairman and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, said pilot projects offering increased free foreign currency convertibility were recently launched in Beijing and Shenzhen, in Guangdong province.

He said that these plans point the right direction for financial openness and that opening up capital services is good news for many foreign-invested enterprises entering China.

On May 6, as part of the latest initiative to facilitate the opening up of China’s financial sector, the People’s Bank of China (the central bank) released detailed new rules for the cross-border wealth management project in the region of China. the Grande Baie. The rules include quotas for GBA residents to make certain financial investments.

Wealth Management Connect is a pilot program to help residents of the GBA, which includes nine cities in Guangdong, as well as Hong Kong and Macao, to make cross-border investments in wealth management products, or WMPs, offered by banks. of the GBA.

Particularly noteworthy is the proposed overall quota of 150 billion yuan and a limit of 1 million yuan per person for WMP’s cross-border investments in the GBA.

Sonny Hsu, vice president and senior credit manager at Moody’s Investors Service, said the proposed rules are good news for the asset management units of banks in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. .

“However, the potential income of banks from the program will be limited, as investments to the north and south are initially capped at 150 billion yuan,” Hsu added.

Analysts said the Connect program, if implemented, would mark another step towards convertibility of the renminbi into the capital account.

A pilot zone has also been established in the southern province of Hainan. On April 9, SAFE and other financial regulatory departments jointly released a set of new policies aimed at further stimulating the opening of the financial sector at the Hainan Free Trade Port.

These rules allow certain institutional investors to freely send funds, inward and outward, by adopting the required methods, and to make investments within the framework of designated quotas. At the same time, currency registration procedures have been simplified.

Joe Yizhou He, chief executive of Australian Capital Equity, has witnessed China’s accelerated financial openness since regulators announced a series of policies in 2018.

These measures included the lifting of the foreign ownership cap for banks and asset management companies, the equal treatment of domestic and foreign capital and the simultaneous authorization of certain financial institutions to establish branches and subsidiaries.

“To date, the implementation of the policy has been effective,” said He, who is working on establishing a renminbi investment entity at the Hainan Free Trade Port through the corporation program. in qualified foreign limited partnership.

“Hainan’s special policies can facilitate foreign investment in China, as the application process and market access requirements have been simplified, and a greater level of flexibility is offered compared to other regions of China,” he said. he declared.

China’s capital markets, in particular, have seen deeper reform and greater openness.

“With the Chinese stock markets becoming more welcoming to the light-asset new economy sector, I have seen more and more entrepreneurs in this sector choose the A-share market as their IPO destination ( initial public offering), ”he said.

Political support

Although foreign capital was introduced to the A-share market almost two decades ago, there has been an acceleration in recent years following the launch of the Shanghai-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect program. The acceleration was reinforced when the MSCI indices, which measure stock market performance in a particular area, incorporated Chinese equities in 2018.

In the private equity market, many foreign investors, wait-and-see, are expected to make more direct investments denominated in RMB due to the arrival of policies of greater opening of the financial market.

“In my experience, the exchange rate policies so far support the free conversion of a certain amount of profit that we have earned in China, and there is basically no obstacle to doing so,” he said. -he declares.

As China quickly brought the pandemic under control, foreign investors have shown increased confidence and optimism in the country’s markets.

In addition to secondary stock and bond markets, they are paying more attention to equity investments, especially in innovative and high-tech companies, according to experts.

Australian Capital Equity seeks investment opportunities in advanced areas such as the digital economy, new lifestyles and technological innovation.

On April 20, President Xi Jinping said in a keynote address via video link at the opening ceremony of the annual Boao Forum for Asia conference that China will continue to develop the free trade port of Hainan and new systems for a higher level open economy.

“China will actively participate in multilateral trade and investment cooperation, fully implement the Foreign Investment Law and its related rules and regulations, further reduce the negative list of foreign investment, continue to develop the port of Hainan Free Trade and will develop new systems. for a better open economy, ”he said.

“All are invited to share the vast opportunities of the Chinese market,” said the president.

Waldron, of Goldman Sachs, said that if China continues to improve financial sector laws and regulations in line with international standards and ensures unrestricted access to foreign investment, the country can expect to attract more investors and international institutions.

The measures taken will further boost the confidence of global investors in the Chinese market, he said.

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Despite the coronavirus, investments in health continue to grow Mon, 07 Jun 2021 10:20:57 +0000

The last few years have seen a dramatic shift in investment in the sector. Asoko’s Africa Transactions Database has recorded more than 100 transactions in the sector since 2015, covering both goods and services. Data from the Africa Venture Capital Association, meanwhile, shows that sector taking a growing share of the overall value of transactions on the continent, from 4% in 2018 to 12% in 2019 and 24% in the first half of 2020, the biggest share of the private equity (PE) pie over this period. The next decade is expected to see continued growth in healthcare investment, as increasing demand generates high returns.

Even before the pandemic, healthcare attracted African private equity investors because of its favorable rates of return and exit opportunities. Considering Africa’s 1.3 billion people and growing middle class consumer base, consumer-oriented sectors are more broadly key areas for investment.

Consumer-focused industries offer the highest internal rate of return, according to the IFC, with healthcare coming in fourth at 9.6% behind telecommunications, IT and consumer staples.

The effect of Covid-19

Covid-19 has drawn more attention to these industries, which have been the most resilient in the aftermath of the crisis. Speaking to Asoko earlier this year, Abiola Ojo Osagie, senior partner at AfricInvest, one of the continent’s most active private equity firms, explained the shift in focus necessitated by the pandemic: “We have had to rethink the way we deploy capital because it was no longer “as usual”. Some sectors have been hit hard, but others have benefited. Consumer-oriented industries have been resilient and defensive. Even though consumer spending has fallen, some of those with large markets are still doing well. “

This may partly explain why several large-scale healthcare investments were made in 2020 while deals in other sectors were delayed or canceled.

Notable deals included the participation of SPE Capital Partners in the pharmaceutical activities of the Saham group in Morocco, the investment of Rand Merchant Investment and Endeavor in the health technology platform Guidepost in South Africa, and the exit of AfricInvest from Polymedic in Morocco for the benefit of NBK Capital Partners and Foursan Capital Partners. Mediterrania Capital, Zoscales Partners and Oasis Capital also health agreements inked in 2020 covering North, East and West Africa.

North Africa has been a hot spot for healthcare deals, both in the pharmaceutical space where the more developed industrial base of the sub-region offers more opportunities, and in the service segment where the large consumer segments of the middle and upper classes offer a market ready for the provision of care. In sub-Saharan Africa, healthcare arrangements have been relatively widespread, including notable investments in Central Africa and concentrations in major markets, in line with general investment trends.

The exit potential in the health sector is also reasonably strong, especially given the illiquidity of African markets. Asoko has recorded eight outings in the sector since 2015. North Africa dominated this activity, with three quarters of exits in the sub-region, including the IPO of Unimed in Tunisia in 2016.

At the end of the line

Expanding access to quality health services and increasing national pharmaceutical manufacturing capacities will continue to dominate the health sector development agenda in Africa, and investments should follow to support these goals. .

Traditional investments in bricks and mortar are needed on both fronts, but a growing niche of innovative and technological services will play an increasingly important role in the way health care is delivered in Africa and thus attract a growing share of investment. Approximately 10% of transactions recorded by Asoko in the first quarter of 2015-2021 were in the health technology arena, and we expect these innovations to continue to enjoy the support of the investment community as they develop. that these companies mature and develop.

Rob Withagen is Co-Founder and CEO of Asoko Insight, Africa’s leading data and business engagement platform, providing global investors, multinationals and development institutions with the most effective route to discover, shortlist and engage their target universe of African companies. Learn more at

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Recreate, re-imagine, restore! United Nations Decade for Ecosystem Restoration Begins – India Education | Latest Education News | Global education news Sun, 06 Jun 2021 13:24:38 +0000

Rome: Leaders of global politics, science, communities, religion and culture joined together today to officially launch the United Nations Decade for Ecosystem Restoration – a rallying call for protection and the revival of millions of hectares of ecosystems around the world for the benefit of people and nature.

Led by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Decade for Restoration – which runs from 2021 to 2030 – has been proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in a 2019 resolution.

The launch took the form of a high-level virtual gala with the participation, alongside the heads of UNEP and FAO and UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, which hosts World Environment Day on June 5. year; Pope Francis; Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo and President of the African Union; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; and the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley. Among the global figures who spoke were United Nations Messenger of Peace Jane Goodall and other goodwill ambassadors, advocates, youth representatives, scientists and CEOs.

“By restoring ecosystems, we can drive a transformation that will help achieve all of the Sustainable Development Goals. The task is monumental. We need to replant and protect our forests. We need to clean up our rivers and seas. And we need to green our cities, ”the UN secretary general said in his message. “Accomplishing these things will not only protect the planet’s resources. It will create millions of new jobs by 2030, generate more than $ 7 trillion in income each year and help eradicate poverty and hunger.

FAO Director-General QU Dongyu, noting that increasing pressure on the world’s natural resources is affecting the well-being of 40 percent of the world’s population, called for a change in mindset.

“Business as usual is not an option! »He stressed. “We must prevent, stop and reverse the degradation of ecosystems around the world, including our farmlands and forests; our rivers and oceans. More efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems can help restore ecosystems and safeguard sustainable food production, leaving no one behind, ”he added.

“We must use this moment in history to launch a massive global movement to save our terrestrial and marine ecosystems even as we continue to decarbonise ourselves. Everyone has something to do here, ”said UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen. “Governments must ensure that COVID-19 stimulus packages contribute to a sustainable and equitable recovery from the pandemic. Businesses and the financial sector must reform financial operations and flows so that they restore the natural world. And as individuals and consumers, it’s time to rethink choices, demand deforestation-free products, and vote for sustainability in voting booths.

“Restoring the nature that we have damaged means, in the first place, restoring ourselves,” Pope Francis said in a video message relayed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State. “We welcome this United Nations Decade for Ecosystem Restoration, be compassionate, creative and courageous. May we take our rightful place as the “generation of the restoration”. “

The Decade aims to inspire and support governments, multilateral organizations, civil society, private sector businesses, youth, women’s groups, indigenous peoples, farmers, local communities and individuals around the world, to collaborate, develop and catalyze restoration initiatives around the world. The effort will involve a series of activities. They range from reorienting tax incentives and financial flows to promote restoration to conducting research on the restoration of terrestrial and marine environments, building the technical capacity of restoration practitioners globally and monitoring progress. worldwide in catering.

The Decade aims to mobilize hundreds of millions of people to restore nature and foster a global culture of restoration in which restoration initiatives are intensified across the planet.

“The world has no choice but to embark on a positive path for nature which will not only stimulate the economy but also protect the environment,” said Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, whose country embarked on an ambitious 10 billion euros plantation plan in 2019. trees.

Welcoming the launch of the United Nations Decade, Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo and President of the African Union, noted that the African continent had made multiple commitments through several regional declarations, commitments, calls to action and pilot activities. , but it was necessary to mobilize the necessary resources and expertise to carry out large-scale implementation.

“The restoration of terrestrial, marine and freshwater ecosystems must be undertaken in such a way as to avoid creating land conflicts or conflicts of use,” he added. “It must therefore be part of visionary spatial planning processes that take into account intersectoral compromises, respecting the land and land rights of local communities and other vulnerable social groups.

In her message, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “We must do more to protect and restore natural habitats – and we must do it now, not in the future. “

“We must now ensure that the forests, which we especially need to regulate our climate, are protected and restored,” she added.

The Chancellor also announced that Germany would be the first country to provide funding – € 14 million – to the Multi-Partner Trust Fund for the Decade for Ecosystem Restoration.

The launch of the Decade for Ecosystem Restoration leads today to World Environment Day, June 5, the flagship day of the United Nations to promote global environmental awareness and action. Organized under the theme of ecosystem restoration, this year’s World Environment Day is hosted by Pakistan, which will mark the day and start of the United Nations Decade with an event to be held in Islamabad and chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan with the participation of a host of dignitaries from around the world including UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen and senior officials from FAO, UN-Habitat and UNDP, as well as senior officials from countries like Germany and Saudi Arabia.

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Stimulus Check Live Fourth Update: Is It Coming In June? Monthly child tax credit, tax refund dates Fri, 04 Jun 2021 04:35:46 +0000

What is the impact of direct payments on housing?

To prevent a massive wave of evictions during the pandemic, policymakers have provided millions of dollars in rent assistance, passed laws banning evictions, and even enacted mortgage forbearance programs. Additionally, Improved UI benefits and stimulus checks boosted household incomes, making it easier to pay rent or mortgage.

In December, before a stimulus bill was passed, the rates of those who reported difficulty making payments for housing peaked at ten percent (15 percent for those with children). Data showed a slight increase before the US bailout was passed, but overall rates fell to seven percent in April (ten percent for those with children).

However, the May results show that these numbers are increasing rapidly. Twenty percent of homeowners reported to the Census Bureau that the foreclosure was “vvery or fairly likely.

On the rental market, one in four households, reported that eviction is likely within the next two months. In addition, with the rate of people reporting that they are behind on the mortgage, eleven percent, or the rent, fourteen percent, payments have risen beyond their April average of ten percent.

Read our full coverage for more details on the impact of controls on food safety and mental health.

Based on US Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey data

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