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Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Case for Marco Rubio

By Ed Lasky

THE AMERICAN THINKER

FEB. 29/16

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What would William F. Buckley do?

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Conservative icon William Buckley promulgated what has become known as the Buckley rule:

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“Nominate the most conservative candidate who is electable.”

Among the current candidates the only one who passes that test is Marco Rubio.

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Donald Trump and some in the media have tried to characterize Marco Rubio as the “establishment” candidate.  How does that square with reality?

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Recall that the election of Rubio was hailed as a Tea Party hero when he knocked off the serial party-shifter and establishment candidate Charlie Crist. Has he retained his conservative credentials since being elected?

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As Jim Geraghty wrote in late December, Marco Rubio is “plenty conservative” and has an indisputably conservative record as a senator :

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This is a man who has a lifetime ACU rating of 98 out of 100. A man who has a perfect rating from the NRA in the U.S. Senate. A man who earned scores of 100 in 2014, 100 in 2013, 71 in 2012, and 100 in 2011 from the Family Research Council. A “Taxpayer Super Hero” with a lifetime rating of 95 from Citizens Against Government Waste. A man Club for Growth president David McIntosh called “a complete pro-growth, free-market, limited-government conservative.”

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Across the board, Rubio’s stances, policy proposals, and rhetoric fall squarely within the bounds of traditional conservatism.

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Rubio’s the guy who earned a 100 from National Right to Life in two straight cycles, and a zero rating from NARAL. He supports an abortion ban after 20 weeks, opposes exceptions for rape and incest (although he’s voted for legislation that includes those exceptions), and opposes embryonic stem-cell research. In the first Republican debate he declared, “Future generations will look back at this history of our country and call us barbarians for murdering millions of babies who we never gave them a chance to live.”

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Rubio opposes gay marriage and has said that “we are at the water’s edge of the argument that mainstream Christian teaching is hate speech. Today we’ve reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage you are labeled a homophobe and a hater.” He recorded robo-calls for the National Organization for Marriage.

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Since 2010, Rubio has proposed freezing government spending for everything but defense and veterans’ care at 2008 levels. He supports a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution and the line-item veto. He voted against funding for the Export-Import Bank, even though Florida receives the second-largest amount of money from the bank.

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His initial tax-reform plan, co-authored with Utah senator Mike Lee, cuts the corporate tax rate to 25 percent and would reduce the current seven brackets to two: a 15 percent rate for individuals and a 35 percent rate for families. (Rubio later adjusted it to create a 25 percent tax bracket for couples making between $150,000 and $300,000.) It creates a new $2,500-per-child tax credit. Conservatives disagree about the best way to simplify the tax code and reduce the tax burden on Americans, but it’s hard to dispute that changes such as these would move the system in the right direction.

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He wants to create a tax credit for companies that donate to nonprofits that give K–12 tuition scholarships to poor students. In 2013, he declared that Common Core “is increasingly being used by the Obama Administration to turn the Department of Education into what is effectively a national school board.” He thinks children should be taught both theistic creation and evolution.

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On Obamacare, Rubio was the one who made the risk-corridor insurer bailout an issue, starting in 2013, which led to Congress’s enacting limits on how much taxpayer money insurers could be given to cover losses related to the newly insured. Insurance companies that spent small fortunes lobbying for the bill and fighting its opponents are now griping that they’re getting a bad deal and the law may eventually become unworkable for them. If Obamacare is eventually replaced, Rubio will have played a big role in making it happen.

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This is just a partial list — believe it or not — of Rubio’s bona fides when it comes to conservatism. Geraghty has a far more comprehensive list that justifies the title of his column (while addressing Rubio’s contentious issue with immigration — that , even in the worst possible light, is more conservative than Trump’s history — see below). People who have a long and sterling record of being conservatives, including Rush Limbaugh (who recently characterized Rubio as a “disciple of Reagan” and a full-throated conservative ), call Rubio a conservative.

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And Donald Trump; where is he on the political spectrum? How is his record?  What is he today? More importantly what has he been for decades?

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Trump the Democrat. Or socialist?

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Actually, let Trump answer that question. In December 2004, he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that “I probably identify more as a Democrat.”  His record since then certainly reflects those views, as his actions and opinions fall squarely within those of a liberal Democrat — that is, until he decided to run as a Republican when he made the shape-shifting superpowers of X-Men look like child’s play.  When journalists ask that silly question regarding what superpowers someone wished they had, Trump’s answer would be a boastful “I already have a superpower: I can shape-shift.”

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Actually he already has answered that very question when he admitted that “I am capable of changing to anything I want to change to.”

Why would any conservative-or American-support such an inauthentic and phony candidate?

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As I wrote, he has compiled a long record indistinguishable from those of a very liberal Democrat. He is pro-gun control, has long provided the financial firepower for the likes of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton  –the latter of whom he has heavily praised in the past (think that praise won’t be recycled should he become the GOP candidate?).  He supports the abuse of eminent domain to reward businessmen; he is and always has been a crony capitalist , and the “ultimate insider” as Kimberly Strassel recently wrote. He has supported amnesty and a pathway for citizenship for illegal immigrants, and has profited by hiring them. He advocates for higher taxes. He won’t touch entitlement reform, perhaps our most serious fiscal threat. He has supported abortion for years. He has supported — and still does on steroids — nationalized health care.  (TrumpCare? He does enjoy pasting his name on everything, including plenty of schlock).  And Trump has a long history of other actions and views that are far more revealing than his own putative (and phony) conversion on the way to becoming the GOP nominee.

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Trump was recently asked a similar question as that posed to him by Blitzer back in 2004 and his answer was again quite revealing, at least to those willing to see through his extreme makeover (that is the television show Trump should star in). MSNBC anchor Mika Brzezinski described a candidate who holds a host of liberal views and Donald was cued to answer which candidate fit that profile? His answer was, of course, Donald Trump. Brzezinski said she had been describing socialist Bernie Sanders. Even Trump can’t tell the differences between himself and a socialist.

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He certainly is not a conservative, as a large list of actual conservatives have attested to in a recent issue of National Review.

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Trump The Con Man

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Is it any wonder that Rubio has recently taken to describing Trump as a con man; he was not the first nor will he be the last. Dear Reader, you may find yourself doing the same, and find it is too late.

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As is true of many con men, Trump victimizes the little guy.  Trump’s history has left thousands of victims who call Trump a con man (google “Trump University” and “lawsuit” or watch this ad of victim testimonials; the Democrats cannot wait to run their own versions). As is true of most con men, Trump has a rap sheet of victims of his various schemes (see my column, “Trump screws everyone but himself). They include senior citizens, John Q public, thousands of employees laid off when he threw the slew of his business ventures into bankruptcy to avoid personal responsibility (by the time Democrats get done with him Mitt Romney will look like Mother Teresa); American workers who would gladly have taken jobs that he filled with illegal immigrants that he could hire on the cheap; business partners screwed by him over the years (a good partial summery is here); buyers of his schlock who got a raw deal when trusting him. Trump, would call them “losers,” no doubt.

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A few years ago, Wayne Barrett wrote a column for The Daily Beast. “Inside Donald Trump’s Empire: Why He Didn’t Run for President in 2012” that will be grist for Democratic operatives should Trump be the nominee. Undoubtedly they have servers filled with research and, like their handmaidens in the mainstream media, are merely holding their firepower for the general election when Trump will be hit with a veritable onslaught of attacks that will be more effective than they were when the same strategy was used against Romney, because they have the virtue of being not only far more numerous but actually being truthful. There are many thousands of aggrieved victims who have trusted Trump — you may very well be meeting them in the months ahead and may will count yourself  amongst them should Trump become the Republican nominee for President.

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Rubio, The Con Man, and Electability

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Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee for President, soundly defeats Donald Trump in every head to head poll  taken since May  of last year. These figures will only worsen for Trump when his true history is revealed and publicized by operatives and Democrats who no doubt are salivating at the prospect of facing him in the general election.  Imagine his own  sound bites about women, minorities, and overweight people (he attacks critics by taunting that they have to return home to 400 pound wives) being gleefully and continually recycled by Democrats in the months ahead. He throws out insults and not ideas.

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Rubio says he is more electable than both Trump and Clinton. Michael Barone agrees, writing two weeks ago (before Jeb Bush dropped out):

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. In the RealClearPolitics average of recent polls, he leads Clinton 48 to 43 percent; Cruz leads Clinton 46 percent to 45 percent; and Jeb Bush and Donald Trump both trail Clinton with 43 percent to her 46 percent.

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In addition, in polls going back to September, Rubio runs perceptibly better than others in most target states — better than Cruz in Florida and better than both Cruz and Trump in Virginia, Colorado, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Iowa. Rubio leads in states that would collectively give him more than 270 electoral votes.

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Donald Trump has the highest unfavorable rating ever recorded among presidential aspirants in American history. Hispanics hold a highly unfavorable view of him and while they may not matter in early primary states their votes can and will swing state elections in the general election (his victory lap after the Nevada primary regarding Hispanic support was wrong). Donald Trump at the top of the ticket will hand Democrats down the ticket victory after victory. Rubio, by contrast, can “sell” conservatism and expand the base in ways that will defeat Democrats for years to come –up and down the ticket .

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There are reasons Marco Rubio has been called the Democrats’ worst nightmare.

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Donald Trump is their dream come true.

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Are primary voters going to make Democrats day for them come November?

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Follow the Buckley rule; follow in Reagan’s giant footsteps.

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http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/02/the_case_for_marco_rubio.html

 

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INTRODUCING THE BREAKTHROUGH ENERGY COALITION

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THE PRINCIPLES

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Technology will help solve our energy issues. The urgency of climate change and the energy needs in the poorest parts of the world require an aggressive global program for zero-emission energy innovation. The new model will be a public-private partnership between governments, research institutions, and investors. Scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs can invent and scale the innovative technologies that will limit the impact of climate change while providing affordable and reliable energy to everyone. The existing system of basic research, clean energy investment, regulatory frameworks, and subsidies fails to sufficiently mobilize investment in truly transformative energy solutions for the future. We can’t wait for the system to change through normal cycles.

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The foundation of this program must be large funding commitments for basic and applied research, and here governments play the key role. Only our governments have the mandate to protect the public interest as well as the resources and mechanisms to do this. We know government investment in research can lead to the creation of industries that advance the common good and are driven by private capital. We have seen big successes before with government-funded research programs in space, defense, technology, and medical research, seeding private creativity which has produced many of the innovations that define our current way of life. The political will is emerging to do this again, through aggressive increases in government funding for basic and applied energy research, which can lead to breakthrough technologies for our energy future. However, current governmental funding levels for clean energy are simply insufficient to meet the challenges before us.

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Bill Gates Note

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“The existing system of basic research, clean energy investment, regulatory frameworks, and subsidies fails to sufficiently mobilize investment in truly transformative energy solutions for the future. We can’t wait for the system to change through normal cycles.”

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Government research, however, is not enough. We must also add the skills and resources of leading investors with experience in driving innovation from the lab to the marketplace. The private sector knows how to build companies, evaluate the potential for success, and take the risks that lead to taking innovative ideas and bringing them to the world. But in the current business environment, the risk-reward balance for early-stage investing in potentially transformative energy systems is unlikely to meet the market tests of traditional angel or VC investors – not until the underlying economics of the energy sector shift further towards clean energy. Experience indicates that even the most promising ideas face daunting commercialization challenges and a nearly impassable Valley of Death between promising concept and viable product, which neither government funding nor conventional private investment can bridge. This collective failure can be addressed, in part, by a dramatically scaled-up public research pipeline, linked to a different kind of private investor with a long term commitment to new technologies who is willing to put truly patient flexible risk capital to work. These investors will certainly be motivated partly by the possibility of making big returns over the long-term, but also by the criticality of an energy transition. Success will provide the economic proof points necessary for the mainstream market-driven clean energy economy required for our planetary future.

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We are committed to doing our part and filling this capital need by coming together in a new coalition. We will form a network of private capital committed to building a structure that will allow informed decisions to help accelerate the change to the advanced energy future our planet needs. Success requires a partnership of increased government research, with a transparent and workable structure to objectively evaluate those projects, and committed private-sector investors willing to support the innovative ideas that come out of the public research pipeline.

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Together we will focus on early stage companies that have the potential of an energy future that produces near zero carbon emissions and provides everyone with affordable, reliable energy. We will invest based on a few core investment principles:

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  • Invest Early

The most transformative ideas are emerging out of research institutions and the great capital gap is in getting these ideas out of the lab and on the path to commercialization. We’ll take a flexible approach to early stage, providing seed, angel and Series A investments, with the expectation that once these investments are de-risked, traditional commercial capital will invest in the later stages.

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  • Invest Broadly

We don’t know where the best ideas will come from to transition the world to a near zero-emissions energy future, so we will invest across a number of sectors:

  • a. Electricity generation and storage

  • b. Transportation

    • c. Industrial use

        • d. Agriculture

          • e. Energy system efficiency. . . Over the next year, we will work together to develop effective and creative mechanisms to analyze potential investments coming out of the research pipeline, create investment vehicles to facilitate those investments, and expand the community of investors who join us in this endeavor.

          • Who We Are

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            • .

              Mukesh Ambani

              Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Limited

              India

              John Arnold

              Co-chair, Laura and John Arnold Foundation

              United States

              Marc Benioff

              Founder, Chairman and CEO, Salesforce.com

              United States

              Jeff Bezos

              Founder and CEO, Amazon

              United States

              HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal

              Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Alwaleed Philanthropies

              Saudi Arabia

              Richard Branson

              Founder, Virgin Group

              United Kingdom

              Ray Dalio

              Founder, Bridgewater Associates

              United States

              Aliko Dangote

              Founder and Chief Executive, Dangote Group

              Nigeria

              John Doerr

              General Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

              United States

              Bill Gates

              Co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

              United States

              Reid Hoffman

              Founder, LinkedIn and Partner, Greylock

              United States

              Chris Hohn

              Founder, The Children’s Investment Fund

              United Kingdom

              Vinod Khosla

              Founder, Khosla Ventures

              United States

              Jack Ma

              Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group

              China

              Patrice Motsepe

              Founder and Executive Chairman, African Rainbow Minerals (ARM)

              South Africa

              Xavier Niel

              Founder, Iliad Group

              France

              Hasso Plattner

              Co-founder and Chairman, SAP

              Germany

              Julian Robertson

              Founder and Chairman, Tiger Management

              United States

              Neil Shen

              Founding Managing Partner, Sequoia Capital China

              China

              Nat Simons and Laura Baxter-Simons

              Co-founders, Prelude Ventures

              United States

              Masayoshi Son

              Founder, Chairman and CEO, SoftBank Group Corp.

              Japan

              George Soros

              Chairman, Soros Fund Management LLC

              United States

              Tom Steyer

              Businessman, Philanthropist, and President, NextGen Climate

              United States

              Ratan Tata

              Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons

              India

              Meg Whitman

              CEO, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

              United States

              Ms. Zhang Xin and Mr. Pan Shiyi

              Co-founder and CEO, SOHO China Chairman, SOHO China

              China

              Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan

              Founder, Chairman and CEO, Facebook  Pediatrician and CEO, The Primary School

              United States

              University of California

              Office of the Chief Investment Officer

              United States

          • Because the foundation of these innovations will likely come through government research pipelines, we will focus our investments on those countries that have committed to increase the size of those pipelines by participating in the international initiative known as Mission Innovation. Those countries are making a serious commitment to using smart government spending to increase the rate of innovation in their domestic innovation sector while helping the world find solutions to the serious problems created by climate change, high costs of power, and energy price volatility.

          • Invest Together

          • One of the challenges to effective financing in this area is a lack of depth in terms of technical review and analysis of underlying science and technology to guide investment decisions. To tackle this, we will work with a coalition of the world’s best minds, in partnership with leading public and private institutions, to guide investment decision-making.

          • Invest Wisely

          • We are looking for outliers both in developing novel technologies AND in innovations which enable current technologies to be dramatically more efficient, scalable, or cheaper. Whether core or enabling technology, the key differentiating factor must be a credible pathway to rapid scaling – providing affordable energy to the greatest number of people without overburdening essential resources including land use.

          • Invest Boldly

          •  

 

                          HELP US SPREAD THE WORD

                                                 http://www.breakthroughenergycoalition.com/en/index.html

Successful leaders drive success because of their people

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THE CASE FOR CULTURE.

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Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco

THE NATIONAL POST

September 3, 2013

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Marty Parker, who founded Waterstone Human Capital in 2003, and the Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures program two years later, is one of the most recognized and respected experts on human capital, leadership and winning cultures. Author of the recently published book, Culture Connection: How Developing a Winning Culture Will Give Your Organization a Competitive Advantage, Mr. Parker recently shared some advice and insights on leadership and organizational culture for small to mid-sized companies with Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco.

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Q We live in times of change, what are the top new HR challenges small to mid-sized companies face as a result and what can business owners do to address them?

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[A] Today, brand is culture and culture is brand. Anyone, whether they are a supplier, customer, a prospective employee or a competitor, can easily find former or current employees and have a discussion with them on social media. So the things that you want to represent on the outside really have to be the same things you want to establish on the inside. Who you really are, to some extent, is going to get out there. That means aligning to your culture and ensuring it is part of your brand communication is critical.

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[Q] Sometimes, business leaders think their company has a certain culture but employees might not agree it reflects reality. How can business leaders close this gap?

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[A] Desiring something and having something are two different things. Your high performers define your culture. Those are the people who are rewarded and recognized. So by mapping the six or eight behaviours of your top performers, that’s what defines your culture.

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Sometimes it’s not always what you want but you can’t say our culture is “x” when it is “y.” The way of defining it is not saying this is what I want our culture to be; it’s by recognizing the behaviours in your culture that drive success. Then your culture becomes real over time.

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Even when former employees are out there speaking and they say it’s a high-performance environment and it wasn’t really for them, well, maybe that’s a message you want out there, if that’s who you really are, and you’ll attract people who are high performers.

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There has to be authenticity, taking the truth serum, defining what those top behaviours are, not just performance outcomes because to be successful, yes, you have to achieve certain things but how you achieve them is more important because the how drives the what.

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[Q] In today’s competitive environment, companies need highly productive workforces but how can they balance between getting the best from their people and not pushing them to burnout?

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[A] The best of your people doesn’t always mean driving or pushing them too hard. In smaller organizations, you need people who are going to push themselves. I have often believed that in smaller organizations you can have a much more productive environment.

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The balance comes in creating an environment where people can say, ‘Know what? I’ve been pushing myself too hard.’ I think in small and mid-sized businesses, the leaders have to have incredibly soft hands to make sure the organization performs well. They have to have really good people skills and be very good with understanding the environment.

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No one wants to work in an entrepreneurial business and be micromanaged. They won’t stay. It’s part of why they go.

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[Q] What else makes a good leader in a small or mid-sized company?

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[A] We do a study every year called the Canadian Corporate Culture. This past year, when we asked participating companies what creates culture, some 80% of respondents said their current or recent past leadership. Then we asked them what drives success. And they said culture. Then we asked them to define what is culture, and they said behaviours. So by extension, if you look at those data points, if leadership drives culture and culture is behaviour and it drive success, it’s leadership that drives success, but leaders do it through other people.

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You can’t teach drive and attitude, but you can say ‘how you did this is so appreciated, this is fantastic.’ One, you are telling them, you are telling others and it’s recognizing them publicly. People don’t get that a behaviour matters, the first time. It’s the second and third time they get it. Good leadership is not intellectually riveting rocket science stuff. It’s just hard to do.

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[Q] How can leaders inspire their people to follow them?

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[A]  Great leaders have great empathy and people want to follow them. And people want to follow positive people who help them. People naturally respond to positive reinforcement. Look, you can be a turnaround coach in sport and come in and yell and scream and it will work for a time because the people are scared for their jobs, but you can’t sustain it and that’s why those coaches last a year or two. In chemical terms, the release of serotonin is highest when people are in a positive state. It is lowest when people are in a negative state. Serotonin opens up the cerebral cortex, which allows you to learn at a higher level. It’s as simple as that.

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It’s the leaders who can draw this out of people who are great. And typically the fantastic leaders are not necessarily the ones with the highest drives themselves. Often, people with the highest drive do not have the highest empathy.

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It’s not about getting another unit of energy out of your people. It’s about increasing their energy and their alignment so they can achieve more. That’s the juice.

 

 

 

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Victor Goldbloom,

public servant,

community leader,

‘MENSCH’

dies at 92

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mensch

[mench] /mɛntʃ/

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noun,

a decent, upright, mature, and responsible person.

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By

Janice Arnold,

Staff Reporter

The Canadian Jewish News

February 16, 2016

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Dr. Victor Goldbloom, the first Jewish Quebec cabinet minister, public servant, interfaith dialogue pioneer and eloquent Jewish community leader, died of a heart attack on Feb. 15 at age 92.

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A physician by profession, Goldbloom was active and in good health until his sudden passing, his family said. Indeed, he intervened vigorously at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada conference a week before his death.

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“The Jewish community of Canada has lost a beacon and one of the most outstanding leaders of our time. It was a privilege and honour to know Victor and to work with him in my role as chair of CIJA. His contribution to the Jewish community both in Quebec and Canada will continue to be remembered well beyond his passing,” said David Cape, national chair of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

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Premier Philippe Couillard called Goldbloom “a great politician.”

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“We have lost a man admired by one and all, and a politician committed to bringing communities closer together,” he stated.

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“Dr. Goldbloom’s inspiring career greatly influenced Quebec, in particular when he became the first environment minister. I would also like to stress the influence that he exercised, and will continue to exercise, on an entire generation of politicians and committed leaders.”

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Born in Montreal on July 31, 1923, Goldbloom was the son of Dr. Alton Goldbloom and Annie Ballon and grew up in the downtown Golden Square Mile. He studied medicine at McGill University and followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming a pediatrician.

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In addition to his choice of career, Goldbloom said he learned from his father that the best way to combat anti-Semitism was to be fully engaged in society.

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After practising medicine for some years, he entered provincial politics in 1966 as the MNA for the newly created riding of D’Arcy McGee in West End Montreal. He was re-elected three times.

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When Robert Bourassa’s Liberals took power in 1970, Goldbloom was named Quebec’s first minister of the environment and was responsible for the province’s first environmental protection act.

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He also served as minister of municipal affairs and oversaw the completion of the facilities for the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.

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He resigned from the National Assembly in 1979 to become president of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews. Goldbloom was one of the first Jewish leaders to reach out to the Catholic Church in Quebec in the 1950s, and his belief in the value of frank dialogue between people of different faiths, languages and cultures never wavered over his long life.

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The memoir he published last year was aptly titled Building Bridges/Les Ponts du Dialogue. His fluency in English and French enabled him to write them both, without a translator.

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His interest in inter-religious understanding extended to the national and international levels.

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In honour of his life’s work, Pope Benedict XVI made him a Knight of the Order of St. Sylvester in 2012, a rare honour for a Jew, or any non-Catholic.

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The ceremony’s venue was also unusual – a Jewish congregation, Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom – and the guest of honour was Goldbloom’s longtime friend and colleague, Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte. At Goldbloom’s initiative, Cardinal Turcotte had years earlier spoken from the temple’s pulpit

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From 1987 to ’90, Goldbloom was president of Quebec’s Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement.

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He also served as Canada’s commissioner of official languages from 1991 to ’99.

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Within the Jewish community, he was notably chair of Canadian Jewish Congress, Quebec region, and for many years headed the committee of Jewish public health and social services institutions.

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“In addition to his innumerable communal accomplishments, Dr. Goldbloom contributed in countless small ways to improving the lives of the individuals and families he touched, from the house calls he made to patients’ families, like mine, in his early days as a pediatrician, to the thoughtful and gentle support that he provided to people of all ranks and backgrounds who sought his wise counsel. He will be deeply missed by all those who had the privilege of knowing him,” said Federation CJA CEO Deborah Corber.

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In “retirement” (a word he loathed), Goldbloom, well into his 80s, became a one-man road show, visiting towns all over the province trying to demystify what it means to be Jewish. During the corrosive debate over the secular values charter a few years ago, he made videos that were posted on social media, appealing to Quebecers’ better natures and tolerance of minorities.

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McGill principal and vice-chancellor Suzanne Fortier said Goldbloom “made many important contributions to our society, as a community leader, as a political figure and a public servant. He worked tirelessly to build bridges between religious groups and between language groups, helping foster greater understanding and tolerance.”

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Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said Goldbloom was, “above all, a unifying force, an extremely talented politician and a great expert on compromise.” He called him a “true-blooded Montrealer for whom our city’s diversity was a great asset… He will remain an exemplary model for anyone who wants to go into politics.”

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David Birnbaum, the current MNA for D’Arcy McGee, said Goldbloom “greatly inspired me in the way I perceive politics. He was a mentor to me and will always be an example to follow.”

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In 1992, McGill bestowed an honorary degree on Goldbloom in recognition of his many years of service.

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Among his many other citations, Goldbloom was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada and an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec.

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At the launch of his memoir at Montreal city hall, Goldbloom reflected on his extraordinary life.

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“The things I have been part of, never in their wildest dreams would my [four Russian immigrant] grandparents have thought imaginable for their grandson, that I would have the privilege to do what I have been able to do.”

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Goldbloom is survived by his wife of 67 years, retired McGill University social work professor Sheila, and their children, Susan (Peter Restler), Michael (Fiona Macleod) and Jonathan (Alice Switocz), four grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and his brother, Dr. Richard Goldbloom.

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FOR MORE ON

VIChttp://www.cjnews.com/?s=victor+goldbloomTOR GOLDBLOOM:

 

 

 

 

Trump Reflects Changes in American Culture

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By Michael Bargo, Jr.Mi

AMERICAN THINKER

February 22, 2016

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Critics of Donald Trump love to state that he is a clown, his campaign speeches are reminiscent of a carnival sideshow, his language is too outrageous, he tends to argue too much, and he fights back when attacked.  He does not practice the sort of calm demeanor, tone, and professionalism we are accustomed to seeing in political candidates who run for the White house.

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But what these critics may not realize is that in the last fifteen years, America’s cultural tone has changed.  Donald Trump’s mannerisms and antics simply reflect changes in American culture.  The change was signaled by the sudden and unexpected popularity of a television program that portrayed people as rude, argumentative, condescending, petty, and engaging in all kinds of treachery and improper behavior in order to become top dog on an island.

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Today, a number, perhaps the majority, of TV commercials and programs are being  produced to reflect this sea change in American TV viewing preferences.  Here are some of the differences.

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In the past, TV programs that focused on home remodeling or household repair were of the “how-to” variety.  The narrator explained how, step by step, to hang a chandelier or replace a faucet.  Now these shows are more likely to feature what goes wrong.  There are arguments between the installers – the person who went to buy the faucet bought the wrong one, and it doesn’t fit.  The chandelier slipped out of somebody hands and broke, denting the family heirloom dining room table.  The couple who own the house don’t like it.  The husband and wife argue over want they wanted to do and over who said what.

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There’s no more calm presentation of an informational nature.  Now it’s all about controversy, missteps, breakage, overly expensive projects, and arguments.  The focus is on interpersonal dynamics of disagreement, conflict, and anger.

Programs that show how gold is mined in the Yukon now spend the majority of program time on breakdowns, arguments over who’s right, and who made the mistake that resulted in the breakage.  These are all things that were ignored in the past.

.

The great dancers in 1930s movies like Fred Astaire used to film their routines 20 or 30 times or more until they were perfect.  Viewers wanted to see what was perfect, what a great achievement it was.

.

Newsreels on Saturday afternoons during WWII never showed young dead Americans, never showed losses or failures.  The body counts during the Vietnam War TV reports were always famously distorted.  Two hundred Vietcong were killed for every twenty Americans who died.  Prior to that, nothing was reported but victory.

.

Now the opposite is shown on TV war reports: buildings blown up, cars twisted into wreckage, children who lose arms and legs.  Only the tragedy, suffering, loss, and angst are featured on the news.

.

Into this new zeitgeist comes Donald Trump.  He is very accomplished in the private world, very competent in the business arena, but very impatient and insulting.   He is intolerant of traditional politicians and calls them incompetent, stupid, political hacks.  No major political figure would speak this way in the past.

But just as TV has changed and viewers no longer need to be reassured that all is right in the best of all possible worlds, TV viewers want to see arguing, anger, failure, loss, and destruction.  They want reality.

.

Those who feel it’s insightful to call Trump a reality TV star are only half right.  He is reflecting reality, but there are two aspects to this portrayal.  One is that politicians always screamed and yelled and called each other names; it just wasn’t shown on TV.  The other issue is that Trump’s critics are behind the times.  Trump is much smarter: he knows that people want to see reality.  He knows that the most successful TV commercials don’t show people with perfect hair and makeup; rather, they show the sweat, blood, and mishaps of real life.

.

This means that Americans may be jaded by traditional TV.  Now there are all kinds of TV shows that depict people trying to make money selling antiques, deciding what to grow in a garden, or digging for gold and fossils.  The down and dirty details of reality are what Americans want to see.

.

But while mired in reality rhetoric, Trump has also triumphed in reality.  He built real estate projects when everyone else failed.  He files for bankruptcy when his companies are no longer profitable.

.

Americans have decided they want a realist in government – a realist who can get things done and avoid the quagmire of the failed federal policies of the past.  Americans want someone who is not connected to federal failures.  They want somebody to kick people out of Washington, fire the incompetents, and not shelter uncaring VA officials in their overpaid jobs.

The move to reality started many years ago.  Trump is the first person to understand it.

.

Most important, since he speaks off the cuff and does not read a lifeless teleprompter as Obama does, reciting the tired rhetoric needed to get elected, voters sense he is the real thing.  He intuitively gives the right answers, has the right perspective.  And even though he is wealthier than any of the candidates, he didn’t have to sell government influence to get high speaking fees like Bill Clinton in order to become a millionaire.

He earned it in the real world, the tough world, the world of arguing, loss, failure, and anger.  Voters are tired of phony success.  This standard doesn’t apply to Trump.

Political pundits have warned for months that Trump is on the edge and that any day now, he will be rejected by voters.  That he is not politically correct, he shouldn’t speak of building a wall with Mexico, he’s asking for trouble if he doesn’t allow Hillary to label him a sexist without fighting back.  That he should never dare to answer the pope.

No one can spontaneously answer politically dangerous questions the right way as does Donald Trump.  Everyone else is so carefully manicured and his words so carefully controlled he is not spontaneous.  Trump is.  These qualities cannot be faked, cannot be set up in controlled interview sessions.

.

Because Trump appeals to how the voters feel, and automatically understands their lives and their need for a real person, many voters are seeing him as the real deal.

.

Trump is popular not because he is manipulating the voters.  He’s popular because the culture has changed.  The voters changed first.

 

.

A PERSONAL NOTE:

It is always about culture.

.

Dan Zwicker

Toronto

 

 

 

 

DAN ZWICKER

`Raising the Bar`

 

ffcg

first financial consulting group

 4261 Highway Seven Suite 238 Markham , Ontario L3R 9W6

Capital Risk Management

Sustainable Lifetime Income

Strategic Wealth Management

 

Specialists in Advanced Life Insurance Applications and Estate Planning Solutions

‘Raising  The Bar’

.

PERSONAL

.

Dan Zwicker

.

Bus: 416-726-2427

Email: danzwicker@rogers.com

.

BUSINESS /PROFESSIONAL

 .

Daniel H. Zwicker, Principal, B.Sc. (Hons.) P.Eng. CFP CLU CH.F.C. CFSB

Professional Engineers Ontario Certified Financial Planner Chartered Life Underwriter Chartered Financial Consultant Chartered Financial Services Broker

  .                                                    

Bus: 416-726-2427

Email: danzwicker@rogers.com

 

.

Daniel H. Zwicker,

Principal, B.Sc. (Hons.) P.Eng. CFP CLU CH.F.C. CFSB

.

First Financial Consulting Group

4261 Highway Seven

Suite 238 Markham , Ontario L3R 9W6

.

Daniel H. Zwicker, CFP Blog: http://www.dzwicker.blogspot.com

FFCG Blog: http://www.dan-zwicker.blogspot.com

Beyond Risk Blog: http://www.beyondrisk.blogspot.com

 

What We Do’

http://beyondrisk.weebly.com/

.

Capital Risk Management Lifetime Sustainable Income Strategic Wealth Management

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Specialists in Advanced Life Insurance Applications and Lifetime Sustainable Retirement Planning Solutions

.

New clients are accepted by referral only

 .

‘Raising The Bar’ – Slightly Out of Reach

.

CONTACT DETAILS:

 .

Bus: 416-726-2427

Email: danzwicker@rogers.com

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/danzwicker

 .

linkedindanzwicker@rogers.com

 .

Daniel H. Zwicker, Principal, B.Sc. (Hons.) P.Eng. CFP CLU CH.F.C. CFSB

Professional Engineers Ontario Certified Financial Planner Chartered Life Underwriter Chartered Financial Consultant Chartered Financial Services Broker

 .                                                     

Bus: 416-726-2427

Email: linkedindanzwicker@rogers.com

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/danzwicker

 

ffcg@rogers.com

 

Daniel H. Zwicker, Principal, B.Sc. (Hons.) P.Eng. CFP CLU CH.F.C. CFSB

Professional Engineers Ontario Certified Financial Planner Chartered Life Underwriter Chartered Financial Consultant Chartered Financial Services Broker

  .                                                    

Bus: 416-726-2427

Email: ffcg@rogers.com

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/danzwicker

 .

First Financial Consulting Group

4261 Highway Seven

Suite 238

Markham , Ontario L3R 9W6

 .

Daniel H. Zwicker,

CFP Blog: http://www.dzwicker.blogspot.com

FFCG Blog: http://www.dan-zwicker.blogspot.com

Beyond Risk Blog: http://www.beyondrisk.blogspot.com

.

What We Do’

http://beyondrisk.weebly.com/

Capital Risk Management Lifetime Sustainable Income Strategic Wealth Management

.

Specialists in Advanced Life Insurance Applications and Lifetime Sustainable Retirement Planning Solutions

.

New clients are accepted by referral onl

 .

       Professional Engineers Ontario

.

Professional Engineers Ontario, PEO, is the self-regulatory body that governs Ontario‘s 73,000 professional engineers, and sets standards for and regulates engineering practice in the province. It has a statutory mandate under the Professional Engineers Act of Ontario to protect the public interest where engineering is concerned.

It was created in 1922[2] and is mandated to educating its members to latest developments and maintaining a Code of Ethics that puts the public interest first. Licensed professional engineers can be identified by the P.Eng. after their names.

PEO consists of 37 chapters,[3] each representing a different geographic area in Ontario.

 .

PEO is governed by a Council of 29 (17 elected by the licence holders and 12 appointed by the provincial government).

.

Financial Practitioner Designations

 .

CFP – Certified Financial Planner

The Certified Financial Planner designation is an internationally recognized standard for financial planning. It is granted by the Financial Planners Standards Council (FPSC). An advisor with a CFP may help you with personal financial planning and offer advice on investment products and strategies.

.

CLU – Chartered Life Underwriter

For more than 80 years, the CLU designation has been widely recognized as a mark of excellence in the industry. The Chartered Life Underwriter is a professional financial advisor specializing in developing effective solutions for individuals, business owners and professionals in the areas of income replacement, risk management, estate planning, and wealth transfer.

 .

CH.F.C. – Chartered Financial Consultant

A Chartered Financial Consultant is a financial advisor with advanced knowledge in wealth accumulation and retirement planning. An advisor with a CH.F.C. is an expert in retirement planning and capital accumulation strategies.

.

CFSB – Chartered Financial Services Broker

 

The CFSB Designation is granted by the Independent Financial Brokers of Canada

.

Code of Ethics of The Independent Financial Brokers of Canada

.

Code of Ethics & Statement of Principles

.

This Code of Ethics applies to all financial transactions, without regard to the product category, the type of intermediary, or the means by which the purchase of a product or service is transacted. If any principle or practice is inconsistent with a provision of an applicable law or regulation, the applicable law or regulation will take precedence.
 

.

  1. Interests of Client

    It is paramount that a broker shall place the interest of his/her client ahead of all other interests. 2. Needs of Client Before giving advice or making recommendations, a broker shall make a diligent effort to learn the client’s needs, objectives and circumstances, and to then offer products or services to fulfill them. A broker must not recommend the replacement of any insurance policy, or any investment or purchase of a financial product unless he/she believes that such a replacement, investment or purchase is in the best interest of the client. 3. Legitimacy of Client and Transaction A broker shall collect enough information about the client and the proposed transaction to reasonably determine the identity of the client and that the transaction is lawful. The broker must not act on behalf of a client when there are reasonable grounds to believe that the transaction is of an unlawful nature. A broker must not knowingly submit information on an application for any financial product or service to a company that is inaccurate or misleading. 4. Professionalism of Broker  A broker should possess an appropriate level of knowledge relating to his/her particular business and meet high standards of professional ethics, including acting with honesty, integrity, fairness, due diligence and skill. Continuing education should be pursued as a means of keeping skill and knowledge levels current and at all times meet any regulatory requirements.  A broker must ensure that his/her financial records are properly maintained and follow sound business practices. A broker must ensure that all financial obligations are met and meet all regulatory requirements for professional liability insurance, trust accounts, deposits, or other fiduciary measures. 5. Disclosure of Broker Information A broker must not misrepresent his/her education, qualifications, or experience, and should inform the client of the business licenses and registrations held, as well as the business name(s) of firm(s) under which he or she is licensed to operate. He/she should ensure that all references to his/her business activities, services, and products are clear, descriptive, and not misleading. 6. Disclosure of Financial Products Information When recommending a transaction to a client, a broker must disclose all relevant facts, considerations, costs and risks necessary for an informed decision which are reasonably available to the broker. This disclosure should be in writing, and a written receipt obtained from the client.  A broker may not be misleading as to the terms, costs, benefits, or risks of any proposed course of action. In addition to clearly describing the product or service for the client, the broker must disclose important assumptions underlying any illustrations or examples that have been provided to the client, as well as the fact that actual results may differ significantly from those shown. The broker should avoid using examples or illustrations which he or she knows, or ought to know, are based on unusual results or a period that generated much better than normally anticipated performance. A broker must deliver all policies, amendments, and other documents, in a timely manner and must advise the client, in writing, if an issued policy or product is materially different from the policy applied for or product purchased. 7. Confidentiality A broker will protect the privacy and confidentiality of client personal information. Client information relating to any insurance policies, products purchased, or investments held, may not be disclosed to any individual or company without express written permission of the client. 8. Conflicts of Interest A broker must disclose to a prospective buyer of financial products all conflicts or potential conflicts of interest associated with any recommendations and transactions, and the client should then be given the opportunity to halt the transaction, to seek additional professional advice, or complete the transaction. 9. Behaviour A broker must act in good faith at all times, and meet high standards of professional ethics, including acting with honesty, integrity, fairness, due diligence, and skill. He/she may not engage in behaviour that is likely to be detrimental to the public professional image of IFB, the financial services industry, or other financial professionals.  A broker must deal directly with all formal and informal complaints or disputes, or refer them to the appropriate person or process, in a timely and forthright manner. Complaints, or incidents which may give rise to a claim, must be reported to the errors and omissions insurer as soon as a broker has knowledge of them. 10. Independence An IFB voting member must maintain his/her independence within IFB membership requirements.  Statement of Principles of Independent Financial Brokers of Canada Independent Financial Brokers of Canada is an Association created to represent licensed professional financial brokers and to provide a forum for them to develop opinions, recommendations and programs, and to preserve choice in the delivery of financial products and services for consumers and brokers within this marketplace. These are our core principles:

  • IFB supports a neutral law controlling differing systems of distribution, excluding none.
  • IFB seeks a regime in which participants of all financial distribution systems are licensed and subject to appropriate regulatory controls.
  • IFB affirms that its members are able to undertake any other occupation, when necessary, within the requirements of the licenses held.
  • Within the limits allowed by law, IFB members are required to maintain an arm’s length relationship with all financial product providers with whom they are contracted.
  • IFB supports ongoing education for all licensees, and in particular, expects its members to be thoroughly proficient, trained and knowledgeable in the financial products and services they provide to consumers.
  • IFB believes that all financial brokers in Canada should be subject to a code of conduct, and in particular, expects its members to adhere to IFB’s Code of Ethics.
  • IFB supports the promotion and preservation of the common and specific interests of Association members as a professional body, with full support for the principle of freedom in their business operations.

.

IFB seeks to foster a co-operative relationship with the public, the federal and provincial authorities and all other organizations associated with the provision of financial products and financial planning, in order to contribute to the successful development and continuation of high professional standards within the financial services industry in Canada, and to further consumer financial literacy and consumer protection.

.

ONLINE REFERENCES:

.

http://www.advocis.ca/ (Advocis),

http://www.iafe.ca/ (The Institute for Advanced Financial Education)

http://www.cfp-ca.org/ (Financial Planners Standards Council)

http://www.ifbc.ca/ (Independent Financial Brokers of Canada) http://www.peo.on.ca/ (Professional Engineers Ontario)

https://beyondrisk.wordpress.com/2013/12/02/684/

.

BLOGS:

.

FFCG BLOG: http://dan-zwicker.blogspot.ca/

CFP BLOG:     http://dzwicker.blogspot.ca/

BEYOND RISK BLOG:   http://beyondrisk.blogspot.ca/

 .

LINKEDIN

http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6197693&trk=hb_tab_pro_top

.

CONTACT DETAILS:

http://dzwicker.blogspot.ca/2011/10/contact.html

 

 

 

 

.

WHAT HAPPENED TO INTEGRITY IN THE MEDICAL PROFESSION?

 

DRUG COMPANIES WINE AND DINE MD’S

 

.

David Bruser and Jesse McLean

Andrew Bailey

Toronto Star

02 16 2016

 

.

A three-course dinner was served to the doctors assembled to hear the presentation in the restaurant’s private dining room. After the plates were cleared, the speaker, a general practitioner with a specialty in chronic pain, wrapped up his lecture and slide show.

 

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While discussing effective drugs for lower back pain that is moderate but persistent, he zeroed in: The best medication for that is Cymbalta, he said.

 

.

Cymbalta is a prescription drug made by Eli Lilly — the company that organized the event, paid for the wine and food and paid the doctor giving the talk.

 

.

A Star investigation has found drug companies routinely host and fund these dinners at upscale restaurants as training events for family doctors. Toronto-area spots include Sassafraz in Yorkville, ORO on Elm St. and, in the case of the back pain event, Italian restaurant Sarpa in Richmond Hill. These events are called continuing medical education.

 

There is growing concern among critics that these dinners — which are sanctioned by a national medical organization — encourage doctors to prescribe the sponsoring companies’ drugs.

 

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Family doctors are most often responsible for choosing what drugs Canadians are prescribed. In Ontario, where there have been more than 500 industry-sponsored events in the past two years, physicians are required to attend “continuing medical education” to keep their licence in good standing.

 

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These medical education events are vetted and approved by the College of Family Physicians of Canada, which represents more than 30,000 physicians.

 

.

A task force created by the college acknowledged that the drug industry’s interests are “not always aligned with the best interests” of family doctors or their patients.

 

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“There have been instances in which marketing messages have been portrayed as education, and health care and pharmaceutical industries have attempted in this way to influence physicians’ behaviour or practices,” said the recently released report.

 

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The report did not specifically deal with drug dinners but looked more broadly on the college’s relationships with the industry.

 

.

A Star investigation into these drug dinners has found drug reps interacting with doctors. In one case, just days after a dinner, a sales rep showed up at one of the attendees’ clinic with drug samples and promotional material.

 

.

The Star found roughly 70 per cent of the events listed on the college’s website were put on by drug companies, sometimes indirectly through hired communication firms.

 

 

“It’s disturbing and disappointing,” said Dr. Sheryl Spithoff, a family physician at Women’s College Hospital and a lecturer at the University of Toronto. “We’ve allowed people to educate us who have other goals.”

 

.

 

Representatives from the drug industry say the events provide important medical information to doctors and follow strict guidelines meant to keep promotional messages out of the presentations.

 

.

 

However, the college’s task force report cited evidence suggesting drug companies can have “significant influence” over doctors who are offered gifts or other support.

 

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The report, finished in 2013 but only released in December 2015 after calls for it to be made public, outlines 20 recommendations on curtailing industry influence and potential conflicts of interests, including developing more educational content without ties to industry.

 

.

 

The college says it will, by summer, require more stringent standards on how scientific information is presented at drug dinners, but the policing of the accredited events will be based only on complaints from the doctors who are being wined and dined.

 

.

 

“We’ve never pretended we have a perfect system. We build the best system that we can,” said Dr. Jamie Meuser, who oversees medical education programming for the college.

 

.

 

Some U.S. organizations, including Oregon’s college of family physicians, have outright banned all industry involvement with medical education out of concern it is biasing doctors and leading to poorer prescribing.

 

.

 

Still, Canada’s family physician college said it has no plans to cut ties with drug companies.

 

.

“The college is just tinkering around the edges,” said Alan Cassels, a drug policy researcher at the University of Victoria. “I would say we need clean, clear health information as urgently as we need clean, clear water. And the college is saying, ‘It’s OK if some of that water is tainted.’ ”

 

.

 

Many educational programs for family physicians are born inside a drug company’s offices, said the college’s Dr. Meuser.

 

.

 

The company, or a hired medical communications firm or consultant, comes up with an idea for a lecture, then pulls together a planning committee made up of experts.

 

.

 

The committee must, according to college rules, include at least one family physician.

 

.

 

The committee puts together the presentation, including a slide show, which then goes to the college for approval.

 

.

The sponsoring drug companies “can’t be involved in the final decision-making on the content,” Dr. Meuser said.

 

.

 

When the college vets a dinner, he said it’s looking for whether the PowerPoint presentation is “scientifically valid and balanced,” as well as free of bias or promotional material. The company’s role in the dinner must be disclosed at the beginning of the presentation.

 

.

 

“If this company is putting out a drug for Type 2 diabetes, we have to make sure in the presentation they talk about all the treatments available for Type 2 diabetes, not just their drug,” Dr. Meuser said.

 

.

 

The college said it recently sent out several notices of violation after it was found presentations deviated from the approved script.

 

.

 

The college also tries to ensure the venue and menu do not outshine the content of the presentation. Sometimes things slip through. At Sassafraz, a high-end restaurant in Yorkville, doctors gathered in 2014 to hear a leading specialist talk about diabetes treatments were given their choice of a Californian red or Italian white.

 

.

For the starter, they had either butternut squash soup, a fried green tomato dish, or arugula salad garnished with cumin cashews, grapefruit, toasted coconut and rhubarb citrus vinaigrette. That was followed by an entrée of Cornish hen, organic B.C. Chinook salmon, pasta, or artisanal beef tenderloin. The meal ended with a pineapple confection or a milk chocolate mousse.

 

.

 

The 2014 dinner, sponsored by drug company Boehringer-Ingelheim, was approved by the college for one of the 250 credits doctors in the college need to accumulate every five years. “I honestly don’t know how that (menu) would have gotten past our ethical review,” Dr. Meuser told the Star.

 

.

 

Ontario’s doctor regulator, the College of Physicians and Surgeons, said enjoying a lavish meal on a drug company’s dime could be professional misconduct. (The regulator — a separate body from the national family physician college that oversees drug dinners — requires that physicians attend medical education events through the national college in order to keep their licence in good standing.)

 

.

 

A Boehringer spokeswoman said the company supports hundreds of medical education events each year — including several at Sassafraz in 2014 — and follows guidelines established by a drug industry association to help ensure the programs are fair and balanced. There is no information suggesting a specific drug was promoted during the presentation at Sassafraz.

.

 

“All elements of the program, including the venue and meal costs, for these events were reviewed and approved” by the college, the spokeswoman said.

 

.

 

The College of Family Physicians has no control over what a presenter will say or recommend during question-and-answer periods.

 

.

 

Dr. André Lalonde, a general practitioner from Laval, Que., presented the drug dinner on treating lower back pain at Richmond Hill’s Sarpa restaurant in 2014.

 

.

 

While discussing back pain that is not extreme but constant, he told the audience that he prefers Cymbalta — the drug made by the company paying him to be there — sometimes combined with other medications, the Star has learned.

 

.

 

In an interview, Dr. Lalonde said he was not marketing for Eli Lilly. He said he shared his medical opinion, based on information he has learned from experience and research.

 

,

Neither Dr. Lalonde nor the company would say how much Eli Lilly paid him for his talk on lower back pain. Dr. Lalonde said the fee was about the same as a day of work in his practice.

 

.

 

Dr. Lalonde added that he does the same presentation whether the event host is a drug company or doctor college. “(The company knows) that I am free and independent and I speak my mind, not theirs . . . I do not sell anything.”

 

.

 

He says that family doctors have very few available resources for the latest news and research on lower back pain and drug company-sponsored events fill that void.

 

.

 

Eli Lilly, which funded the dinner, said the presentation met the college’s standards of fairness, balance and non-promotional content. “Full editorial control of (continuing medical education) initiatives sponsored by Lilly resides with the presenter or the accrediting body,” a company spokeswoman said.

 

.

 

Dr. Rick Ward, a longtime member of planning committees for medical education events, says the events provide a forum for expert doctors to spread their knowledge and make an impact on patients’ lives.

 

.

“Pharma wants their medications to be prescribed responsibly to the right patients. They want physicians to understand disease processes and gaps in care. That’s not dis-aligned with where physicians are,” he said.

 

.

Others think there are better ways to keep doctors up to date on new treatments. Some U.S. hospitals and physician organizations in Oregon, Michigan and elsewhere have banned industry funding of their medical education. Their decisions, said Toronto’s Dr. Spithoff, are supported by research showing industry sponsorship biases content, emphasizing medication — often the company’s own products — while ignoring other treatments like diet and exercise.

 

.

 

The bias can then spread to doctors’ prescribing, with patients getting unnecessary medications or newer, more expensive drugs when older treatments are just as effective, Dr. Spithoff added.

 

.

 

Periodically since 2014, the Star has analyzed the college’s online calendar of approved continuing medical education events. Doctors use the website to sign up for events that, once attended, help them earn the 250 credits they need.

 

.

 

One of the events, held at ORO restaurant in downtown Toronto, was a lecture on managing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and severe constipation. The dinner was sponsored by pharmaceutical company Actavis. Before the college-approved presentation began, the speaker told the crowd about a new and exciting Actavis drug called Constella.

 

.

 

“I agreed to speak because not only was there learning values to the audience, but I had also used the drug with my patients and had seen good results to treat my patients with this condition,” Dr. Louis Liu, who was the speaker, told the Star.

 

.

 

Liu said he discussed other drugs during the presentation and that he has “no part in the marketing” of Constella.

 

.

 

Within a week of the dinner, an Actavis sales rep visited the clinic of one of the doctors who attended.

 

.

 

“Just stopped in to say hi & drop off Constella samples,” the rep wrote in a note.

 

.

A company representative said the event followed ethical guidelines and was developed independently by experts “to ensure integrity of the clinical and scientific content.” He did not answer questions about the sales rep’s visit to the doctor.

 

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The University of Victoria’s Cassels said drug companies may use the list of event attendees as a Rolodex for sales reps, who target the doctors as part of their efforts to boost prescriptions of their brand drugs.

 

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In the future, doctors will have more options for their educational events, said Dr. Meuser of the College of Family Physicians.

 

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The college is creating a fund to develop educational programs free of drug industry involvement. The fund will be bankrolled mainly by doctors’ subscriptions.

 

.

“High-quality learning is expensive to develop and deliver,” Dr. Meuser said. “Right now, many of those costs . . . are being borne by people with a private interest.”

 

.

“We believe, however, there is an appetite, if the quality of learning is high enough, for members to pay something for their own learning.”

 

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The college’s board approved the fund “in principle” at a meeting in late January and, over the coming months, will develop how the fund will operate.

 

.

Dr. Meuser said he hopes it will produce popular courses that make drug dinners “less necessary,” but said the two events could coexist.

 

.

Cutting ties right now with the drug industry would create a “big hole” in education for doctors and could hurt patients, he said.

 

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How big of a hole? The college won’t say. It has conducted a costbenefit analysis on ending industry funding but refuses to release the report publicly.

 

.

“We are not a public organization. . . . Our accountability is to our members,” said the college’s executive director, Dr. Francine Lemire, who said the results may be released to member doctors who ask for it.

 

THE RACE FOR POTUS

TRUMP VS SANDERS

AND

THE WINNER IS…..

.

Stay tuned to the Bernie and Donald show, you’re watching the next American Revolution

Diane francis

COMMENT

FINANCIAL POST

February 12, 2016

.

The current contest for the White House is seismic and takes a leaf out of the Silicon Valley playbook: Disrupt yourself or someone else will.

Disrupt, by the way, is a euphemism for destroy, and that is exactly what Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are doing. They are dismantling the current political architecture of the United States and doing it with the help of technology.

.

Like algorithms, they dis-intermediate, or bypass, existing structures that are, in this case, political parties, donors and traditional media.

.

Both have only joined their respective political parties recently. They are independents that have become party “members of convenience” and thrown their candidacies into the mix, a la American Idol.

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Both are also fed up with corrupt campaign finance laws that have allowed donors and vested interests to hijack Congress and the political agenda. Neither has a SuperPAC or mega-donor support — Trump is financing his own campaign and Sanders is relying on ma-and-pa online donations.

.

‘Barack Obama demonstrated that ‘outliers’ can get the job done’

.

They are both fed up with the conflicts of interest and questionable track records of their rivals and are not afraid to “out” them, one by one.

.

And both have bypassed the legacy media and its biases or conflicts, by concentrating on social media campaigns and public events where the electorate can evaluate them without a filter.

.

By the way, this is not new. This was the template that Barack Obama created eight years ago to win the White House (which is why I forecasted Sanders would rise dramatically back in December.) He not only won but, contrary to the racist and nasty noise surrounding his tenure, he delivered by fixing Wall Street, rolling back the Bush and Reagan tax cuts for the rich, stopping foreign wars and establishing the principal and practice of universal health care. He demonstrated that “outliers” can get the job done.

,

‘This reality show is the most fascinating since Americans are engaged in the next iteration of their nation’

.

It’s also important to note that Sanders and Trump share the same overriding message: the system as well as the economy is rigged, because of Big Parties, Big Donors, Big Corporations.

.

Sanders believes campaign laws have allowed a “billionaire class” to take over the country. Trump blames corrupt campaign laws for allowing “stupid people” to be politicians and run the country into the ground.

.

Both, by the way, oppose open-ended free trade. Sanders believes these deals mostly benefit corporations, not workers, and Trump believes they mostly benefit foreign countries.

.

Both want immigration reform. Trump would build walls and ban Muslims while Sanders supports amnesty for existing illegals through a process, but more restrictions in future.

.

Both are popular because the U.S. public rejects the current political architecture. Campaign laws and costs have created a political elite that is conflicted, corrupted and/or unaligned with the values of the majority of Americans who are slightly left of center. For instance, credible polls show that the majority of Americans want gun controls; abortion; curbs on big business and trade deals; an end to capital punishment and long prison sentences for non-violent crimes; legalized marijuana and affordable, universal healthcare.

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My forecast is that Sanders and Trump will square off in the fall, with Sanders trouncing Trump just because The Donald isn’t “Presidential.”

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This forecast is predicated on my belief that Hillary will lose again. She is scripted, conflicted by Wall Street and Big Donors and as the campaign continues will be dogged by investigations concerning donations to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation while she was a Senator and Secretary of State.

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Add to that the fact that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, another New York billionaire, is considering whether or not to run as an independent, not as a Republican. This would siphon away Trump or Republican votes.

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Whatever happens, this presidential cycle has destroyed the backroom deal, filtered media messaging and politically correct, carefully scripted candidate. It has also replaced the influence of legacy media, owned by Big Business, with social media, YouTube and the Internet. These are the tech tools that discerning voters will use in future to make their own editorial judgments.

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Whatever your leanings, this reality show – the U.S. Presidential race – is the most fascinating since Americans are engaged in the next iteration of their nation. This last earthquake happened a century ago when President Theodore Roosevelt changed the country’s course by taking on the robber barons, helping workers and launching an era of progressive policies.

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History doesn’t exactly repeat, but it certainly rhymes.

 

 Facebook – Endorsement

02 09 2016

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https://www.facebook.com/jzwix/posts/10153614200398557

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I generally don’t post about my company Beyond Sound DJ but once in a while when something is so nice you just have. I know it’s long but it’s worth the read.

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For those who know me know I love to entertain guests at all the different parties we perform at. I have had the pleasure to work with so many amazing vendors but one of my favourite advocates of what we can do is my friend Chuck from Etched Productions. Chuck works all over but is based out of Vancouver Island. I recently asked Chuck for a review and I wanted to share it cause it’s so well written and truly depicts what we do and why we love to do it. So thank you Chuck and if you are looking for an amazing photographer who captures truly spectacular photo’s please look him up!!

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Jordan Zwicker

 

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Review from Chuck…

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As a wedding photographer I have worked with over 100 different DJ’s, but nothing compares to a Beyond Sound wedding and I will tell you why.

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I remember my first Beyond Sound wedding. The dinner music was lovely, but not ‘stereotypical’ wedding dinner music. I am sure he can do that by request, but they play tunes that sets the ambiance without being too predictable. I know they work closely with clients to get to know them and their guests too.

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During this early formal part of the evening Jordan worked as a team with the MC to include exclusive Beyond Sound wedding games. I have seen every wedding game there is under the sun, but not the Beyond Sound games. They kept the evening flowing right along and I loved when they would introduce the game and play it, the music didn’t stop to be followed by the crackling of a mic turning on and someone blowing into it to see if it was working. Instead the music would fade, then a trendy ‘Beyond Sound’ theme song would fade in while the game and instructions took place. Once the game ended, the background beats would naturally fade back to the evenings music. It was like the whole evening was a movie and Jordan and Co. were composing a soundtrack for it.

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As the evening progressed, one of the DJ’s would connect with me, giving me countdowns before something significant happened. They would always make sure I was ready before they announced anything. I remember walking up to them so impressed early on in the evening and saying “You guys are doing a great job!”

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They politely smiled and said “Thanks! The party hasn’t even started yet though.” I couldn’t wait for the evening to progress more.

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Following more great games that provided me with photos, the bride and groom with memories and guests with experiences that they normally wouldn’t have had at a typical wedding, the first dances took place. Jordan made sure to tell me he wouldn’t turn on any of the lights that can ruin these intimate photos. Following the father daughter dance and mother groom dance it was about to get real! The dance off was getting started. I was in for a real treat. Now I don’t want to give away Jordan’s tricks, but let’s just say after experiencing many Beyond Sound weddings literally everyone is on the dance floor for this and they don’t leave. The guests really take this seriously and it is easily one of the highlights of the whole evening.

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After Jordan introduces the dance off, I don’t think I ever get a more entertaining 15 minutes at a wedding. The images I get would never ever happen without Jordan and his team. I smile the whole time at the energy of the guests. Some take this really really serious and none of them knew what was coming before the dancing started. The dance off that kicks off the informal party portion of the evening is worth every penny, but there is still more to look forward to.

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I have seen his team later on hand out goodies to guests that light up the dance floor, appease the most unexpected musical tastes of guests, dance with the craziest of dancers, help young kids feel included, and gently encourage those who need a soft word or two to send them into break-free mode. I am sure many guests go home having enjoyed the evening more than they thought they would solely due to Beyond Sound. As the evening progresses further I have experienced a strategic way of them helping create a great group “camera aware” dance floor shot and a really really cool interactive moment where guests serenade the couple and he helps the bride and groom create a video for social media that they will cherish forever.

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As you can see, I could go on an on forever. I simply think hiring Beyond Sound is a no-brainer. Most of my couples have never ever experienced a Beyond Sound reception. My couples that trust my recommendation and bring them over to Vancouver Island from the Mainland thank me over and over again for the encouragement to book the 2 DJ interactive experience. I usually thank my couples too for trusting me because it gives me so many more moments to capture.

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A PERSONAL NOTE

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OF THE 1,200 BLOGS WHICH I HAVE POSTED OVER MANY YEARS THIS IS THE FIRST ONE THAT IS PERSONAL – POSTED WITH GREAT PRIDE.

IT IS NOT HARD TO UNDERSTAND WHERE THE MOTIVATION AROSE IN NAMING MY BLOG

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Dan Zwicker

Toronto

 

 

Credit default swap

 

cred·it de·fault swap

noun

Finance

plural noun: credit default swaps

a financial contract whereby a buyer of corporate or sovereign debt in the form of bonds attempts to eliminate possible loss arising from default by the issuer of the bonds. This is achieved by the issuer of the bonds insuring the buyer’s potential losses as part of the agreement.

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If the reference bond performs without default, the protection buyer pays quarterly payments to the seller until maturity

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If the reference bond defaults, the protection seller pays par value of the bond to the buyer, and the buyer transfers ownership of the bond to the seller

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A credit default swap (CDS) is a financial swap agreement that the seller of the CDS will compensate the buyer (usually the creditor of the reference loan) in the event of a loan default (by the debtor) or other credit event. This is to say that the seller of the CDS insures the buyer against some reference loan defaulting. The buyer of the CDS makes a series of payments (the CDS “fee” or “spread”) to the seller and, in exchange, receives a payoff if the loan defaults. It was invented by Blythe Masters from JP Morgan in 1994.

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In the event of default the buyer of the CDS receives compensation (usually the face value of the loan), and the seller of the CDS takes possession of the defaulted loan.[1] However, anyone can purchase a CDS, even buyers who do not hold the loan instrument and who have no direct insurable interest in the loan (these are called “naked” CDSs). If there are more CDS contracts outstanding than bonds in existence, a protocol exists to hold a credit event auction; the payment received is usually substantially less than the face value of the loan.[2]

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Credit default swaps have existed since 1994, and increased in use after 2003. By the end of 2007, the outstanding CDS amount was $62.2 trillion,[3] falling to $26.3 trillion by mid-year 2010[4] and reportedly $25.5[5] trillion in early 2012. CDSs are not traded on an exchange and there is no required reporting of transactions to a government agency.[6] During the 2007-2010 financial crisis the lack of transparency in this large market became a concern to regulators as it could pose a systemic risk.[7][8][9][10] In March 2010, the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (see Sources of Market Data) announced it would give regulators greater access to its credit default swaps database.[11]

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CDS data can be used by financial professionals, regulators, and the media to monitor how the market views credit risk of any entity on which a CDS is available, which can be compared to that provided by the Credit Rating Agencies. U.S. Courts may soon be following suit.[1]

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Most CDSs are documented using standard forms drafted by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), although there are many variants.[7] In addition to the basic, single-name swaps, there are basket default swaps (BDSs), index CDSs, funded CDSs (also called credit-linked notes), as well as loan-only credit default swaps (LCDS). In addition to corporations and governments, the reference entity can include a special purpose vehicle issuing asset-backed securities.[12]

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Some claim that derivatives such as CDS are potentially dangerous in that they combine priority in bankruptcy with a lack of transparency.[8] A CDS can be unsecured (without collateral) and be at higher risk for a default.

 

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From Wikipedia

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Credit Default Swap – CDS

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DEFINITION OF ‘CREDIT DEFAULT SWAP – CDS’

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FROM INVESTOPEDIA

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A credit default swap is a particular type of swap designed to transfer the credit exposure of fixed income products between two or more parties. In a credit default swap, the buyer of the swap makes payments to the swap’s seller up until the maturity date of a contract. In return, the seller agrees that, in the event that the debt issuer defaults or experiences another credit event, the seller will pay the buyer the security’s premium as well all interest payments that would have been paid between that time and the security’s maturity date.

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A credit default swap is the most common form of credit derivative and may involve municipal bonds, emerging market bondsmortgage-backed securities or corporate bonds.

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A credit default swap is also often referred to as a credit derivative contract

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BREAKING DOWN ‘Credit Default Swap – CDS’

 

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Many bonds and other securities that are sold have a fair amount of risk associated with them. While institutions that issue these forms of debt may have a relatively high degree of confidence in the security of their position, they have no way of guaranteeing that they will be able to make good on their debt. Because these kinds of debt securities will often have lengthy terms to maturity, like ten years or more, it will often be difficult for the issuer to know with certainty that in ten years time or more, they will be in a sound financial position. If the security in question is not well-rated, a default on the part of the issuer may be more likely.

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Credit Default Swap as Insurance

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A credit default swap is, in effect, insurance against non-payment. Through a CDS, the buyer can mitigate the risk of their investment by shifting all or a portion of that risk onto an insurance company or other CDS seller in exchange for a periodic fee. In this way, the buyer of a credit default swap receives credit protection, whereas the seller of the swap guarantees the credit worthiness of the debt security. For example, the buyer of a credit default swap will be entitled to the par value of the contract by the seller of the swap, should the issuer default on payments.

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If the debt issuer does not default and if all goes well the CDS buyer will end up losing some money, but the buyer stands to lose a much greater proportion of their investment if the issuer defaults and if they have not bought a CDS. As such, the more the holder of a security thinks its issuer is likely to default, the more desirable a CDS is and the more the premium is worth it.

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Credit Default Swap in Context

 

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Any situation involving a credit default swap will have a minimum of three parties. The first party involved is the financial institution that issued the debt security in the first place. These may be bonds or other kinds of securities and are essentially a small loan that the debt issuer takes out from the security buyer. If an institution sells a bond with a $100 premium and a 10-year maturity to a buyer, the institution is agreeing to pay back the $100 to the buyer at the end of the 10-year period as well as regular interest payments over the course of the intervening period. Yet, because the debt issuer cannot guarantee that they will be able repay the premium, the debt buyer has taken on risk.

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The debt buyer in question is the second party in this exchange and will also be the CDS buyer should they agree to enter into a CDS contract. The third party, the CDS seller, is most often an institutional investing organization involved in credit speculation and will guarantee the underlying debt between the issuer of the security and the buyer. If the CDS seller believes that the risk on securities that a particular issuer has sold is lower than many people believe, they will attempt to sell credit default swaps to people who hold those securities in an effort to make a profit. In this sense, CDS sellers profit from the security-holder’s fears that the issuer will default.

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CDS trading is very complex and risk-oriented and, combined with the fact that credit default swaps are traded over-the-counter (meaning they are unregulated), the CDS market is prone to a high degree of speculation. Speculators who think that the issuer of a debt security is likely to default will often choose to purchase those securities and a CDS contract as well. This way, they ensure that they will receive their premium and interest even though they believe the issuing institution will default. On the other hand, speculators who think that the issuer is unlikely to default may offer to sell a CDS contract to a holder of the security in question and be confident that, even though they are taking on risk, their investment is safe.

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Though credit default swaps may often cover the remainder of a debt security’s time to maturity from when the CDS was purchased, they do not necessarily need to cover the entirety of that duration. For example, if, two years into a 10-year security, the security’s owner thinks that the issuer is headed into dangerous waters in terms of its credit, the security owner may choose to buy a credit default swap with a five-year term that would then protect their investment until the seventh year. In fact, CDS contracts can be bought or sold at any point during their lifetime before their expiration date and there is an entire market devoted to the trading of CDS contracts. Because these securities often have long lifetimes, there will often be fluctuations in the security issuer’s credit over time, prompting speculators to think that the issuer is entering a period of high or low risk.

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A PERSONAL NOTE:

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IF AN INDIVIDUAL WITH A TREMINAL ILLNESS TRIED TO FRAUDULENTLY BUY LIFE INSURANCE KNOWING THAT HIS LIFE WOULD BE SHORT LIVED (WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE INSURER) SO THAT HIS BENEFICIARY (IES) WOULD BE PAID THE AMOUNT OF INSURANCE PURCHASED THE CLAIM WOULD BE DENIED.

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DURING THE 2007 – 2010 FINANCIAL CRISIS MORTGAGES WERE SOLD TO FINANCIALLY UNQUALIFIED CONSUMERS.

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THESE MORTGAGE LOANS WERE INSURED USING BOND INSTRUMENTS CALLED CREDIT DEFAULT SWAPS (CDS).

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IF A DEFAULT OCCURRED THE PURCHASER OF A CDS WOULD BE PAID THE VALUE OF THE LOAN.

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PURCHASERS SOUGHT OUT HIGH RISK MORTGAGES KNOWING THAT A DEFAULT WAS LIKELY TO OCCUR.

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WHEN A DEFAULT OCCURED THEY WERE PAID THE VALUE OF THE LOAN ON THE BOND THEY HELD AND RECEIPT OF PAYMENT RETURNED THE BOND TO THE SELLER OF THE BOND.

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THIS IS A PRIME EXAMPLE OF THE “RIGGED” FINANCIAL SYSTEM REFERRED TO BY BERNIE SANDERS IN HIS CANDIDACY FOR POTUS IN 2016.

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Dan Zwicker

Toronto