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Ninety-nine Years Of Fiscal (cliff) Policy

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Senate spent an intense and grueling 3 whole minutes pouring over the American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012 before voting and passing the bill, 89-8. Our Senators are truly amazing as they must have read one page per second and still spent 26 seconds discussing it. Congratulations are certainly in order as both parties came together in a collegial spirit of compromise and goodwill to do the work of the people. Now we can all expect tremendous financial recovery since our politicians have saved us all from the ‘fiscal cliff’…a dreadful combination of porkless spending cuts and tax increases. The proverbial can has been kicked merrily into the distant future. We can all breathe easy and forget about it until March. No doubt, by that time, our servant-leaders in Washington D.C. will then spell out specific cuts and increases, agree on a new debt ceiling and good times will be here again. Historians will be writing about the miraculous recovery implemented by the most brilliant and responsible economic geniuses to grace humanity in 6,000 years.

Specific numbers are coming out and the spin doctors are now explaining to us who the winners and losers are from the bill. But we only need look at two numbers and compare them to know we have all lost again. The annual tax increase is projected to be $62 billion. Last year’s budget deficit was $1.1 trillion (or $1,100 billion). This leaves our politicians with only two choices. Government can take a massive pay-cut, essentially bankrupting itself. Or it can arbitrarily raise the debt ceiling one more time.

The truth is, America has been on this losing streak for a century. Ninety-nine years ago, the powers that be created the fiscal cliff. In December of 1913, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill that gave away control of America’s money supply to the largest privately owned banks in the world. We call it the Federal Reserve System but there is nothing federal or reservist about it. Created to eliminate recessions and depressions, the exact opposite has occurred over and over again. Instead, the Federal Reserve marked the beginning of fiscal cliff policy—the monetization of debt.

This is how fiscal cliff monetary policy works. When the government needs more money (and when does it not?) it must raise taxes. But raising taxes is usually not politically expedient. So instead, the government goes to the Federal Reserve, hat in hand. In the hat are treasury debt certificates, or T-bills. The Federal Reserve purchases these notes of indebtedness. They create money out of nothing, pass it on to the government, and then proceeds to charge the government interest on this money that does not exist. The government uses the counterfeit dollars to buy votes. This counterfeit money makes its way into the money supply and the government’s back-door tax increases begin to take effect. We call it inflation. The American people get higher prices, higher interest rates, higher unemployment, economic slow-down—a recession. This creates a boom-bust cycle that intensifies in pain on a regular cycle or is delayed by more debt purchasing. This cannot go on forever. The real cliff will eventually be reached and Biblical laws of cause and effect that exist in the realm of finance MUST push us over.

Our fiscal cliff monetary policy violates biblical principles concerning debt, just weights and measures, stealing, coveting, partiality, rules on collateral, multiple indebtedness and the insanity of fractional reserve banking to name a few. All of these will be dealt with in more detail in future articles. Needless to say, it will take massive national repentance from the top down to avoid our coming fiscal cliff. I’m talking the kind we read about in the book of Jonah. But I don’t see our president sitting in sack-cloth and ashes and that goes for your neighbors too.

I can’t help but be reminded from a scene in the movie, Dumb and Dumber every time I think or write about debt monetization. Lloyd and Harry recover a million dollars that was supposed to be used as ransom money to recover a kidnapped man. While working their way to the rightful owner of the money, they decide it would be okay to spend some of the money along the way. When the kidnapper finally catches up with Lloyd and Harry, pistol in hand, he demands they open the case. What falls out of the case are dozens of slips of paper. The kidnapper is furious but Lloyd confidently assures him that, ‘the slips of paper are better than cash…they are IOU’s.’ Needless to say, the guy with the gun wasn’t buying it.

Professional Liability Insurance Costs for New Architectural Firms

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A ubiquitous concern among architects who wish to start their own practice is "How much will my professional liability insurance cost?" Coverage costs vary by:

· State in which the practice is located,

· The limits of coverage purchased,

· Project types being designed, and

· The experience loss history of the Architect applying for coverage.

The cost of insurance also varies annually as the insurance market hardens or softens.

What should an architect expect upon applying for PLI (professional liability insurance) for the first time? Professional liability insurance protects firms against claims and/or allegations of negligence, errors or omissions in delivery of professional services. In order for an insurance company to evaluate and price their risk in insuring a firm, they require completion of an application. The application captures information about business locale, annual revenue, the discipline and project mix of the firm, and the risk management protocols implemented to help minimize exposure to claims. They will also inquire regarding claims history.

When in the process of starting a new firm, the underwriter will expect estimates of anticipated business. A solid business plan goes a long way in terms of providing underwriters comfort, so submitting a brief narrative stating goals and direction for the new firm is crucial. Previous project experience will also be highly relevant. In order to qualify for Architects Professional Liability insurance, you must hold a registered and/or licensed architectural license.

To get a quote, one must submit:

· A complete application. Be judicious, as submissions compiled hastily tend to be priced higher or declined by underwriters.

· A resume showing representative projects, education and any Society/Association affiliations held. Associations convey professional commitment to the insurer. Engagement in continuing education has a similar effect.

· A mission statement including the direction intended for the business goals for growth.

Once committed to purchasing a policy, annual renewal will be necessary to maintain coverage on work performed under the new firm. Professional liability insurance is written on a "claims-made" basis. This means a policy must be in force at the time a claim is made in order for coverage to apply. Also all policies contain a "retroactive date", which is the inception date of the initial professional liability insurance policy.

It is not possible to get coverage for work that you performed before applying for professional liability insurance. In essence, the key to covering architectural professional liability is to purchase from a trustworthy provider, and to do so immediately upon inception of a practice.

Professional Indemnity Insurance - Why Is It Necessary for Professional Service Providers?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance is associated with providing protection for professionals who sell their skill or knowledge. At times, in course of professional work, errors are prone to occur which attract a liability. PI insurance is meant to protect you against such liabilities.

Professionals like architects, chartered accountants, software consultants and the like are at risk. Some of the causes which can lead to liability are inadvertent disclosure/loss of data, malfeasance, infringement of copy rights and professional negligence. Howsoever expert you are in the area of specialization, you are at risk because of the reasons just stated. It is for this reason that you, as a professional, should buy PI insurance of appropriate cover.

Things covered under the policy
• Professional negligence: PI insurance offers you protection against law suits because of your professional negligence which entails some loss to your client. It covers problems arising from accidental mistakes, which are not within the purview of your personal control; say, your employee inadvertently deletes data from the database while in course of work, which leads to the loss of crucial data. The insurance provides the needed financial indemnity that ensues in the event of a legal liability.

• Circumstances unforeseen: Many of the faults that take place are not done by the professional intentionally. They are very much unexpected, but may lead to huge financial loss. As one is not prepared to face this unforeseen financial burden, having professional indemnity insurance can be of great help.

Apart from the financial compensation that you have to pay in case of litigation, professional indemnity insurance will also take care of precautionary advice which you, as a professional, deserve. These differ widely across professions. It will point to the remotest possible error on your part that may cause you to suffer a lawsuit.

• Lawsuits with malicious intent: At times, businesses or people with a malicious intent might drop you in trouble by suing you. In such cases, you can neither ignore the severity of the case, nor do you have the competency given the manoeuvring tactics at court of law. PI insurance would play the role of a lifebuoy at such predicament.

Who needs PI insurance?
PI insurance is meant for professionals who offer their knowledge, experience or skills as a paid service. Architects, engineers, brokers, solicitor, financial advisers, accountants are a few professionals who can take advantage of PI insurance. Above all, self-employed professionals should buy it at any cost, as they are solely responsible for their profession.

The clients can sue you because of your professional negligence of any sort.

Other benefits offered by the policy
Note that the law suits raised because of negligence on your part are difficult to handle in terms of time, resources and professional expertise. Sometimes, these legal claims might be too big to pay yourself, unless you have enough financial strength. Further, it may go to the extent to bring disrepute to you as also to your profession.

PI insurance is hence advisable for you, as it covers all the accidental mistakes which are potential enough to give rise to legal suits and claims for compensation. It avoids financial crippling in case of claims, saves reputation and enables smooth run of business.

Professional indemnity insurance may prevent you from having needless strain and your business from having a debilitating effect. Buying this insurance might cost a little, but the benefits thereof are manifold which you take into account.

5 Things To Ask Yourself Before You Buy Professional Indemnity Insurance

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Professional Indemnity Insurance is designed to protect you when a problem arises with any professional work you have done. In today's litigation culture, this form of insurance is becoming increasingly relevant for a range of professions. Are you thinking about Professional Indemnity Insurance? Before you buy, it pays to consider the crucial 5 questions:

What exactly is Professional Indemnity Insurance?

Professional Indemnity (PI) Insurance is designed to protect you in the case of professional error. In the course of your working life an instance may occur where unfortunately, the professional skill you exhibit is deemed inadequate. In this situation, a dissatisfied client may seek some form of compensation, resulting in financial implications for you and your business. This is where PI Insurance comes in: it provides financial support for defense costs, withheld fees and any compensation which may be awarded against you. In simple terms, Professional Indemnity Insurance is financial protection against professional error.

Why do I require PI Insurance?

This type of insurance is typically relevant for professionals who regularly give advice to their customers, and/or who are responsible for customers' data and other intellectual property. It can loosely be regarded as protection against non-physical but nonetheless detectable damages. PI Insurance can be voluntary, but it is mandatory for some professions, such as Architecture, Accountancy and some IT Consultancy.

How does PI Insurance benefit me?

If you are at all liable to be challenged in the competency of your work, or there is scope for your services failing to meet the expectations of your client, then PI Insurance will certainly benefit you. PI Insurance will provide you with financial support if you are accused of professional negligence, misuse of intellectual property, loss of data, dishonesty and defamation incurred by your business. Despite best intentions, no one is immune to mistakes or accusations of mistakes - PI Insurance tackles the consequences of these errors.

When does the cover come into action?

Most forms of PI Insurance work on a claims-made basis. This means that the insurance only covers the claims made during the policy period. If an incident occurs whilst you hold the policy, but the claim is made after you have discontinued the insurance, then the claim will not be covered. On the flip-side, if an incident occurred before the time of holding the policy, but the claim is made once you have the insurance, then you can be protected. Each claim is treated individually - as the policyholder, you can usually select your own limit of indemnity.

Where are there exemptions and conditions?

To ensure the most comprehensive insurance, it is advisable to thoroughly research the policy options available. Many providers of PI Insurance offer industry-specific policies. Requirements are different for each sector: for some, cover is restricted to business carried out within the EU, for example. The policyholder will usually be required to pay an excess for each claim, and the amount varies according to policy. Suitability of Professional Indemnity Insurance can be achieved by the varying levels of cover available. This suitability can be further tightened by bespoke policies which can be continually amended.

It is important to tailor Professional Indemnity Insurance to the requirements of your individual business. The insurance is ultimately designed to protect you in the case of professional mistakes - choosing the right Professional Indemnity policy is the first step towards annulling these errors.

Exchange staff back off eroding essential health benefits

Friday, December 21, 2012

At yesterday’s CT Health Insurance Exchange meeting we learned about an attempt by Exchange staff and the Insurance Dept. to reduce the Essential Health Benefit Package that had been agreed to earlier this year in a contentious but inclusive and public process. Like the last process that rejected active purchasing, this process happened in evening conference calls not open to the public in a very short time frame. This time, however, providers and advocates on the committees voted down the benefit package erosion (active purchasing was not part of the reconsideration) and the staff finally agreed to pull the proposal from the Board committee agenda yesterday. However at the meeting, staff stated that they plan to lobby the fed.s to let them re-consider, and lower, the agreed-upon essential benefit package. The issue is CT mandates for coverage in state law – whether they cost or save money in premiums and how much. A public commenter noted that affordability is very important, but eroding mandates may not work to keep costs down. Active purchasing is proven to reduce costs, but the Board and staff have rejected that proven tool and have indicated no interest in re-visiting that decision. Other news included a strong theme of affordability in the Healthy Chat public events. Staff noted that many people were new faces to health care, not traditional activists. They also noted that people had “done their homework” and were very sophisticated in their understanding of active purchasing and its potential for affordability. The staff is still working on the details of the health plan benefit standards and benefit design, how plans will be rated for innovation and plans for quality monitoring. Advocates will be watching this process carefully for further standards that erode consumer protections, if there is any transparency or opportunities for meaningful public input.

How Trading Binary Options With Traderxp Rebates Or Bbinary Rebates Works

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

In today’s world, more and more people are finding that they are dissatisfied with their single income stream and are constantly seeking ways to augment their income with secondary income streams. One of the best ways of doing this is through trading and among the increasingly popular financial products to trade are binary options. In order to trade binary options, you need the services of a broker, and almost all brokers charge a fee for the use of their services. With Traderxp rebates and Bbinary rebates, however, you can reduce the overall amount that you pay for the services of a broker because you get rebates when you sign up for their services.

Binary Options

The origin of options actually comes from producers who wanted to achieve greater financial certainty so that they could better plan their activities throughout the financial year. In order to do this, they had to fix the prices of the materials that they required for production. A manufacturer that required iron, for example, might estimate the amount of iron necessary for production over the entire year and the times at which that iron would have to be purchased. Based on market predictions, it would then estimate what the cost of iron should be at those times. The manufacturer would then enter into an agreement with an iron supplier to buy iron from them at that particular price on a particular date. This agreement came to be known as an options contract.

Binary options, however, function in a different manner from simpler options mentioned above. Instead of being an option to purchase a particular product, binary options have two outcomes. The first outcome is a win for the trader, and involves a payout of a certain percentage of the value of an underlying asset. The second outcome is a lose for the trader and simply means that he or she gets nothing back. Some brokers offer a certain percentage of your money back on losing trades, but that is a feature of the particular broker rather than of the binary options themselves.

Getting Money Back

As with most online service providers, brokers require that you sign up for an account and pay a fee in order to trade in binary options. With the sheer number of binary options brokers operating online, however, some brokers have had to market their services aggressively in order to attract customers. One way that they have done so is through partnerships with broker databases that offer rebates for sign-ups. This way, the brokers are able to attract more customers while customers feel greater satisfaction at having gotten some of their sign-up fee back.

It was common practice for database websites to receive a commission in return for each sign-up that they successfully referred to a broker. As more database websites were created, the databases themselves encountered heavy competition. Some of the better databases then started to share their commissions with their customers in order to attract more customers. When you sign up with Traderxp or Bbinary through the right database website, you will get your brokerage membership and enjoy Traderxp rebates or Bbinary rebates at the same time.

Debt Consolidation Loans For Bad Credit Management: What To Consider

Monday, December 17, 2012

Many Americans have suffered the same fate in recent years. After almost a decade of easy credit card and loan approval, the economic crises hit hard leaving honest borrowers with a mountain of debt before them. And for many Americans, the ideal solution is getting a debt consolidation loan for bad credit management.

It has been no secret that this solution is one of the most popular, but it is worth noting too that it is not a matter of erasing all debts – as some people think. Rather, it is a matter of clearing debts quickly by buying out the balances with a more affordable loan at a more flexible repayment structure.

What this means is that the crippling debt is replaced by a single debt consolidation loan, which must be repaid. This in turn means that applicants need to prepare their applications properly, so there are some issues that should be considered before submission.

When Clearing Credit Cards

One of the chief debts cleared through consolidation is credit card debt. But getting a debt consolidation loan for bad credit management means all debts can be cleared at the same time. This means a wide variety of interest rate structures need to be considered.

For example, a credit card may charge 22% APR on their balance, with the result that very quickly the sum owed becomes significant. When 4 or 5 cards are involved, then the debt can become huge. But it is important to consider the other debts too before agreeing consolidation terms, so when clearing debts quickly, everything can be managed effectively from the start.

What makes a debt consolidation loan so effective is that the whole financial mess can be wiped clean in favor of a more manageable situation. And it can only remove the financial headache if the monthly repayments are less than the combined repayments already being made.

Compare With Other Fast Loans

There are other options out there that might be considered too. Admittedly, it is hard to find any that offer the same kind of breaks, so getting a debt consolidation loan for bad credit repair is arguably the one everyone prefers to turn to.

But what is the main alternative? A payday loan is the key one, and is almost certain to be approved if the applicant has a large enough monthly income. The loan is granted on the back of an upcoming paycheck, and can be approved and deposited into an account in a matter of hours. So, it is ideal when clearing debts quickly is a must.

But it only suits small debt sums, with most payday loans maxing at $1,500. Anything more than that will need a more detailed loan agreement, with repayments over 90 days or so. Interest is also huge, as much as 500% APR, so a debt consolidation loan is clearly more affordable.

What Out For Unnecessary Charges

A third key point is the fee that debt consolidation companies charge. While it is always possible to get a debt consolidation loan for bad credit management independently, when the debt is very high, a professional service might be needed.

As service providers, the consolidation company will charge a fee, but remember that nothing should ever be paid in advance. If a company suggests that this be done, then it is best to walk away. The correct process is for the company to deduct the fee from the sum borrowed as it is deposited into your account.

Clearing debts quickly is always desirable, but remember there is always the risk of unscrupulous operators. So, check out the background of any prospective company before agreeing any debt consolidation loan with them. The Better Business Bureau website is the best option.

Starting Over With The Help Of Declaring Bankruptcy In Cleveland

Saturday, December 15, 2012

It will be very hard to find anybody who purposely wants to go through a bankruptcy, the fact of the matter is that sometimes folks try their best and find themselves needing to declare bankruptcy when there is no way to remedy their financial situation. If you are falling so behind on your bills that you have got collection agency after collection agency calling and you are in danger of foreclosure or wage garnishments, Cleveland bankruptcy will help.

Personal bankruptcy can help you if you are mired in debt as a result of medical bills and credit cards. Once your bankruptcy is complete, your credit report will show a zero balance on all of your unsecured debt accounts. This is usually a huge relief to know you will no longer have to worry about how you are going to make those payments. You do not have to fear bankruptcy. While it may have some stigma connected with it, the truth is that it's nothing that you need to be ashamed about. Aside from helping you to get out of debt, experiencing a bankruptcy has other benefits, too.

As soon as you start your bankruptcy proceedings, credit collectors can no longer harass you. This is often a welcome relief for someone who has been dealing with creditors and collection agencies for an extended time. You'll get to start over and have a brand-new chance at building good credit. Of course it's true that Cleveland bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for several years, but in the meantime, you can get yourself back on track to becoming more responsible and wise about how you spend your money. You can start building your credit back again more quickly thanks to the elimination of all the debt that you tried to pay on, but couldn't keep up with. You won't need to struggle to purchase the basic things you truly need in order to get by in life, thanks to not having debt hanging over your head that kept you from affording even basic necessities.

If you've been thinking about a bankruptcy filing, it's essential that you speak with a knowledgeable attorney who will walk you through all of the steps needed and enable you to understand which type of bankruptcy fits your specific situation. Filing for bankruptcy is not a simple thing to do by yourself, and there are many steps that have to be taken to get the filing done correctly. That is why having someone who is experienced in filing for Cleveland bankruptcy help you start the process is a good idea. The legal representation you have will be in command over organizing the only hearing you will need to attend if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and that is called the "meeting of creditors." This hearing will typically be a speedy one. Creditors may show up at and ask you questions.

A bankruptcy case often takes anywhere from four to six months to finalize but with the assistance of a legal professional, you may be able to have it done quicker than that. It's important to find legal representation that you feel safe working with. They should be professional, friendly and definitely happy to help you. There really isn't any reason to work with an attorney who passes negative judgment or is rude to you. A good attorney will understand that bankruptcy is not a simple thing and that it can affect people in a big way emotionally. As soon as you hire one who knows this, it will make the process easier.

As soon as your bankruptcy has been filed, it might be wise to get credit counseling so that you can learn to make new and better financial choices. If you're searching for a fresh new start to controlling your finances, Cleveland bankruptcy may be the answer. Be sure to perform a little research to make sure you know it is right for you. An attorney or legal professional can discuss your options with you and assist you to understand more about filing for bankruptcy.

Insurance Agent Marketing - Quick Follow-up Essential to Write More Policies

Friday, December 14, 2012

Every successful insurance agent knows writing more policies is the key to ongoing financial health for their career. More policies mean more leads need to flow in. And once those leads are gushing in, then your agency must take a series of constructive actions to follow-up those leads...or else--no more policies. Follow-ups might be as simple as: Returning a phone call. Getting a quote out. Writing a quick thank-you. Sitting down at the kitchen table with a family. Whatever the follow-up action, it is vitally important for any insurance agent to be prompt in carrying it out. Every prospect that's waiting for a quote or for paperwork to be sent over should be on your "endangered species" list. They occupy a fragile environment until you've got a check in hand. Today's consumer seeks out an agent because they want the re-assurance of the local touch. Insurance marketing at the national level, based on a direct-sales model, is very popular. Just look at how much advertising money the big players pump into their TV spots. And yet insurance agents continue to thrive. Why? Because people need the one-to-one reassurance that only a local agent supplies. But, even though consumers need you, it doesn't mean they'll wait patiently for you. They are well-trained by the instant service they are trained to expect during internet and catalog shopping. But you offer personalized service, right? You take the time to visit the customer, to find out the family's needs. Doesn't that put you head and shoulders above the 1-800 crowd. Well, it certainly gives you a head start. Yet successful insurance agencies simply must train all staff to promptly follow-up. There is one unbreakable rule: Let the client know what your next step is and when you'll do it. If you are going to call back with a quote and it'll be twenty minutes, tell the client that's the timeline to expect. If you're running late to an appointment--even just ten minutes--phone and let your client know. One of the biggest mistakes salespeople make is not communicating to the client the next step in the process. Sure it's a mistake to be late, but it is a forgiveable mistake. What is intolerable is to hide when an error is made. The signals you send at the beginning of the relationship will set the tone for the months to come. Why start out by digging yourself a hole by telling the customer (ever-so-subtly) that they aren't worth your time to call? See, it's not just enough to be fast; you have to be trustworthy, too. Otherwise in one moment of customer misperception you'll throw away all the great insurance marketing and lead generation that you are working so hard to achieve.

Consolidating Private Student Loans: The Key To College Debt Recovery

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Graduation is supposed to be a reason to celebrate, but instead many students see it as the end of their repayment deferment period and the start of their financial woes. In fact, the size of their college debt can be debilitating, but consolidating private student loans is a very viable route to financial recovery.

The reality is that even a decade after graduation many people are still repaying their college loans, so the ability to take control the debt is a huge attraction to students. Getting onto a loan consolidation program, even while at college, is seen as a practical way to accomplish this.

Of course, getting the best terms possible is very important, with a range of benefits to be enjoyed if the right deal can be found. But the aim is to pay off the student loans once and for all. A consolidation program offers the chance to clear them in one fell swoop, then repay a single loan on more affordable terms.

Key Advantages: Recent Graduates

Graduates should take a look at the options available before consolidating private student loans. In fact, there are two forms of graduates: recent graduates and long-term graduates. Recent graduates have the maximum debt before them, but because they have not yet had a chance to build a career and are still low earners, it remains difficult to make repayments.

The best option for them is to agree a long-term consolidation deal, extending the repayment term to perhaps 20 or even 25 years. With fixed interest rates, they are easy to budget for, and over such a long length of time, payments on the loan consolidation program are very small.

It is not considered advisable to choose a variable interest rate because the repayments can fluctuate, making them more difficult to manage. In order to consolidate student loans effectively, it is necessary to have a reliable repayment structure.

Key Advantages: Long-Term Graduates

Long-term graduates are those who have been out of college for at least 5 years, though some might still be repaying college debts after 10. They differ from the alternative category in that they usually have a larger income and are on a definite career path. But they look to consolidating private student loans to allow them to finally control of the debt.

The structure of the loan consolidation program may be short or long, and since these graduates have a larger available income, accepting a variable rate may be a good choice. Although rates will fluctuate, they may go down and, over a number of decades, that could lead to significant savings.

Of course, even if the interest increases and the repayments along with it, a full-time employed graduate should be able to shoulder the rise. It is a useful option when the student loan balances are still quite high, and the available income is not so big.

Find the Best Program

Effectively consolidating private student loans is as much about finding the best deal as getting the best loan is. With the wrong terms, the program can turn out to be quite expensive. With the development of comparison websites, the task of finding the best program is made easier.

Online lenders tend to offer the best deals in almost every category of financing, but sifting through the hundreds of deal, offering specific terms and conditions, to find the one that matches the needs of the applicant, is simplified too.

Remember, a loan consolidation program should make repaying debts much easier, so before choosing a program know your current debt, calculate the affordable monthly repayments, and ensure the repayments of the new loan beat the old ones hands down. Then student loans can be gotten rid of in confidence.

HHS approves CT insurance exchange plan

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Along with six other states, CT’s health insurance exchange received approval yesterday from the federal agency providing funding. CT was among the first six states to apply to HHS for approval – 14 states have applied to date. No state’s application has been denied. CT’s exchange has been criticized for their plan to accept any willing plan and refusing to negotiate with insurers to control costs and reduce consumer premiums. CT’s exchange also voted not to conduct a secret shopper survey to monitor whether people who purchase their insurance plans can find a provider. The exchange has also been criticized for having no independent consumer Board members, having Board members with close ties to the insurance industry and for members with insurance company investments.

Have You Sorted Out You Cass Resolution Pack? The October Deadline Is Nearly Here

Monday, December 10, 2012

The FSA’s regulations for CASS resolution packs becomes active on the 1st October 2012. The main objective of the CASS resolution pack is to clearly provide signposts to a company’s insolvency practitioner to help swiftly resolve any returning of client money and assets to clients.

The new legislation requires firms to be able to find the information described in the resolution pack as soon as possible and in any event within the period of 48 hours. To sum up what is required the pack must include the following:

• the place where copies of executed agreements can be found.
• details of any third party that have been used to perform CASS operational functions as well as a document which provides specific instructions about how to access relevant information that is held by a third party.
• the means to process a transfer of any client money or assets;
• copies of the organisation’s processes for the management, recording and transfer of the client money and safe custody assets that it holds.

Find out more specific information about the exact credentials that are required under the new FSA regulations by referring to the article that we published back in May.

The FSA has selected CASS compliance as of its core regulatory risks in its 2012/13 Business Plan. The requirement for each company to prepare and maintain a resolution pack means that it will be much easier for the FSA to carry out inspections and assess a firm’s compliance with these regulations.

Firms should be aware that there will be a higher frequency of thematic reviews that will specifically focus on the existence and usability of these resolution packs. Firms that do not prepare or maintain them will be in breach of the new regulations.

If you are affected by this new FSA legislation, IMS has put together a navigation pack that clearly states all the requirements and provides a basis for collecting the information required by the new rules in a transparent and consistent manner.

Market Makers & The Going Public Transaction

Friday, December 7, 2012

The last step in going public transactions is most often obtaining a stock trading or ticker symbol from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”). For a company to obtain a ticker, a market maker must submit a Form 211 on the issuer’s behalf to the Finance Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”).

Only a Market Maker can submit a Form 211 to obtain a ticker symbol assignment. An issuer cannot submit the form itself. As such, the sponsoring market maker plays an important role in the going public process.

What is a Market Maker?
A market maker is a FINRA registered broker-dealer firm that accepts the risk of holding a certain number of shares of a particular security in order to facilitate trading in that security. Broker-dealers must register with FINRA to act as a market maker of a security.

Market Maker Regulation
Market Maker activities are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) as well as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”). FINRA oversees registration, education and testing of market makers, broker-dealers and registered representatives. FINRA rules governing market makers in going public transactions involve a variety of criteria.

Market Maker Compliance with SEC Rule 15c2-11 in Going Public Transactions
SEC Rule 15c2-11 requires that current public information be made available to investors. This information is initially provided in going public transaction by the market maker when it submits a Form 211 and 15c2-11 application with FINRA for a ticker symbol assignment. FINRA and SEC Rule 15c2-11 require that the market maker has a reasonable basis for believing that the information provided by the company in its Form 211 is accurate and from reliable sources.

FINRA Comment Process in Going Public Transactions
SEC Rule 15c2-11 l Form 211 Application
In a going public transaction, a market maker must submit a Form 211 application to FINRA to apply for the company’s trading symbol. FINRA may render comments to the application which the sponsoring market maker and company must respond to. Once FINRA is satisfied that the disclosures satisfy the requirements of SEC Rule 15c2-11, a trading symbol is assigned and the Market Maker can quote the company’s securities. Once this occurs, the securities of the private company going public can be quoted by the OTCMarkets on the OTCPink Sheets and investors can purchase the company’s securities through their broker.

Form 211 Exclusivity Period for Sponsoring Market Maker
For the first 30 days after a ticker symbol assignment in a going public transaction, only the sponsoring market maker filing the Form 211 can publish quotes of the company’s securities. After the sponsoring market maker has published quotations for the security for at least 30 days, then other market makers can publish quotations.

Market Maker Fees For 211 Filings
Market Makers generally earn money by buying stock at a lower price than the price at which they sell it, or selling the stock at a higher price than they purchase it back. FINRA prohibits market makers from charging issuers fees for filing a Form 211 including in going public transactions. Despite the foregoing, unscrupulous market makers frequently find ways to circumvent FINRA’s requirements including by funneling fees for 211 filings through transfer agents they control or sham consulting agreements. Engaging in such activities compromise the entire going public transaction and place the company as well as the sponsoring market maker at risk for enforcement action.

FINRA l Market Maker l Shareholder Requirements
The private company seeking to go public must have enough shareholders to demonstrate an active trading market can be established. This means that prior to filing a Form 211 the company should have at least 30 or more non-affiliate shareholders that paid cash consideration for their shares, and have owned those shares for at least 12 months. The private company seeking to go public should have at least 1 million shares outstanding, of which at least 250,000 are free trading shares.

How Verified Liability Insurance Attracts Contractors

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

If you are a small information technology (IT) business and finding it hard to get contractors to work with your company, maybe you are overlooking the importance of verified liability insurance. Having business insurance can really add a level of professionalism and ease tension when getting work from outside contractors.

Let Them Know You Trust Their Abilities

Let's face it, no one wants to work for a small IT company if they don't respect their workers and offer coverage in dangerous or risky situations. Professional liability insurance makes contractors more comfortable because their skills are backed up by your company's coverage. You basically instill confidence in contractors when you offer professional liability insurance.

Have Control of Any Detrimental Situation

In addition, if you hire a contractor, you both want to make sure things run smoothly. If something goes wrong, though, you want things to be under control. If the contractor looses client information or data, doesn't show up, or there's a system failure, your professional liability insurance will put all three parties (you, the contractor, and the client) at ease. It's the perfect solution.

Verified Liability Insurance Eases Contractors By:

o Instilling confidence in their work

o Protecting them and you from injury or unsatisfactory service/product

o Adding comfort for all parties involved

o Building stronger trust between you and the contractor

o Ensuring the project will run smoothly

o Proving that your business is professional

Overview of General Liability Insurance

Most companies will find a general liability insurance package that lines up with their business operations. If you are a small IT business without many risky scenarios, general liability insurance is probably a great money-saving option. It will cover most accidents and, most importantly, cover destruction or theft to your computer's software and hardware. General liability insurance covers almost everything related to bodily injury, property damage, products-completed operations, fire or explosion damage, and legal defense costs. There are also a ton of other options that usually come with general liability insurance.

Add Professional Liability Insurance to the Mix

While general liability insurance covers mostly physical damage or injury, professional liability insurance will cover you if a client claims financial loss due to your service or product. This is extremely important for your business if you are contracting work out. You never know when a little slip up will cause a catastrophe for your client. Get assistance from a professional broker to find a good insurance rate for your specific business. There are a wide range of options, so invest your time and money in finding the appropriate professional liability insurance to suit your specific needs.

Show Off Your Business's Professionalism

A sense of professionalism really adds trust and will make your relationship with the contractor much stronger. Business insurance really proves that you are an honest business owner. If you can prove to contractors that you mean business and want to make sure all parties are covered in messy situations, they will be much more willing to work with you.

Make Negotiations Run Smoothly

Negotiations will also move along much quicker without conflict. There's nothing worse than getting close to an agreement and then it falling through at the last minute, leaving you without a contractor. With liability insurance backing you up, it's much more likely that you will reach an easy agreement with the contractor.

So start building your contractor relationships today and find insurance that will suit you and your company.

Getting Urgent Financial Help Is As Easy As 1-2-3

Monday, December 3, 2012

Life does not always feel as nice walk aside seashore on a good sunny day. It occasionally challenges us with thunderstorms, such as family emergencies, health issues, to name a few. Most of us are usually unprepared for unforeseen events like this, both morally and financially. In most cases, such emergencies require some cash, while some people may not have it handy. In an urgent need for funds, it may seem as there is no immediate financial solution. In fact, there is a good one: cash advance loans. While they have higher rates and shorter terms, compared to traditional lending products, they offer an unparallel advantage of getting cash fast and easy.

Why Go With Cash Advance Loan

Cash advance loans are a perfect solution for immediate financial needs. They are very simple to find, since most lenders offer them online. They are extremely easy to obtain, since they feature no credit check and easy approval with minimum documents needed, if any. They boast fast funding: the funds are available either immediately or within 24 hours. They are as close as an ATM machine, since, once approved, funds are typically wired to your bank account. No matter what your situation is, they are for you to help. Cash advance loans are especially helpful to people with bad credit, when traditional lenders are within no reach.

Getting a Cash Advance Loan Has Never Been Easier

You can say good-bye to your local check cashing vendors and pawn shops. There is no need to get from the couch, put your coat on, and step out the door. Internet technology has made it simple to apply and obtain a cash advance loan. In fact, the money is only few clicks away. Application process is done entirely online, at any hour of the day. Approvals are usually lightning fast and hassle-free. Once approved, however, there may be some verification needed. You will have to have documented proof of identity, income, and banking information.

Therefore, make sure to get your ID, paystubs, and checkbook ready. Once all the paperwork is in place, the loan proceeds are typically wired to the borrower’s bank account. Some lenders also offer alternative funds delivery options, such as money transfers and local cash pickups. Paying loan back is also worry-free, since the loan payments are usually withdrawn from the borrower’s checking or savings account.

Cash Advance Loans Are Great When Used Right

While lenders usually do not ask borrowers what the loan proceeds are going to be used for, it is important to understand that cash advance loans are designed for emergency uses, when no other financial help is available, or when it is within a long reach. They are an excellent tool to help with late bills, medical issues, and bank overdrafts. They are not designed, though, for purchasing a car, funding a wedding, or remodeling a house. Due to higher rates and shorter terms, cash advance loans are not suitable for long-term borrowing needs. Should such need arise, alternative financing options should be researched, such as personal loans, home improvement loans, or car loans.

Outreach recommendations for reform

Small grants, engaging an army of trusted community messengers, ubiquitous marketing, and robust monitoring will be critical to enrolling the estimated 130,000 newly eligible CT Medicaid members in January 2014, according to a report by the CT Health Policy Project. Best opportunities for outreach include small businesses, providers, current HUSKY members, faith-based communities, connecting with employers and other state programs, targeting life transitions, improving application and enrollment processes, and thanking outreach partners. It will require strong, concerted efforts to overcome the program’s stigma and other barriers to enrollment. The report draws on the experience of community organizers, consumer advocates who worked on HUSKY outreach, providers that care for CT’s uninsured patients, and lessons from other states. While aimed at Medicaid, many of the report’s findings also apply to the new CT Health Insurance Exchange. Report
 
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