Connect with us

Uncategorized

Incoming GOP Congressman Fears Democrats Will Downplay FTX Scandal, Calls for ‘Thorough’ Investigation

Incoming GOP Congressman Fears Democrats Will Downplay FTX Scandal, Calls for ‘Thorough’ Investigation

Authored by John Ransom via The Epoch…

Published

on

Incoming GOP Congressman Fears Democrats Will Downplay FTX Scandal, Calls for 'Thorough' Investigation

Authored by John Ransom via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

A newly-elected GOP representative from New York said that he worries that Democrats will try to downplay potential campaign finance and securities law violations by former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried using a lame-duck session of Congress before the new Congress is sworn in.

Republican candidate for New York's 3rd Congressional District George Santos campaigns outside a Stop and Shop store, Saturday, in Glen Cove, N.Y., on Nov. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Republican George Santos, 34, who won New York’s 3rd Congressional District flipping the seat red, joined his congressional colleagues by calling for a “thorough investigation” when the new GOP Congress takes over next year.

The spectacular collapse of FTX, a crypto-currency exchange that is headquartered in the Bahamas, which filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11 has left around million customers and other investors facing total losses of billions of dollars. Since then, reports have emerged that Alameda Research, a crypto hedge fund established by Bankman-Fried, was trading billions of dollars from FTX accounts without clients’ knowledge.

Samuel Bankman-Fried, founder and former CEO of FTX, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Feb. 9, 2022. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

The House Financial Services Committee said last week it plans to hold a hearing in December to investigate the FTX collapse. It said it expects to hear from companies and individuals involved, including Bankman-Fried, FTX, and Alameda Research.

Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said in a statement that the United States needs “legislative action to ensure that digital assets entities cannot operate in the shadows outside of robust federal oversight.”

But Santos is not convinced the Democrat-led committee will take robust action.

Waters has signaled that she’s not going to investigate Bankman-Fried and FTX as a class. So I’m a little concerned that the Democrats right now as lame-ducks in Congress, will deflect the issue between now and the start of the new Congress,” Santos, who is attending leadership meetings for the GOP this week, told The Epoch Times.

“That’s something I’m very interested in investigating,” he added.

Santos, who worked as a financial advisor and has asked for a Financial Services Committee assignment, said that “accountability is mandatory and absolutely necessary.”

“Nobody should get away with this with impunity,” he added.

Santos made news last week when he called some planned investigations by the House GOP, such probes of the COVID-19 origins, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s handling of the pandemic, and Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings, “hyperpartisan” issues.

When speaking with the Epoch Times, Santos clarified his remarks, saying he was fine with any investigations, but that as a freshman legislator from New York with a background in financial services, he thought he could leave those decisions in the hands of party leadership.

“I’m not opposed to investigating. I don’t think you’ll find someone more interested in investigating Hunter Biden and Anthony Fauci, than I am” said Santos.

“But I’ll leave that to the senior members of Congress who know how to do those things better than I do,” he added.

Santos said that for him these weren’t his main issues, because he felt better versed in financial and economic matters. The incoming congressman confirmed that he has asked for assignments in both the financial services committee and foreign affairs committee.

“We don’t have the power to just pass legislation, but we also have the power to hold people accountable,” Santos said of the FTX scandal.

Donations to Democrats

The FTX matter has taken on added urgency given that Bankman-Fried was the second-largest Democratic donor for the 2021–22 election cycle, donating over $38 million to various Democrat-aligned PACs with another $990,000 going to individual members of Congress.

Many of the donations came from foreign addresses in Nassau, capital of the Bahamas, and Hong Kong, according to an analysis by the Epoch Times.

According to data by the Federal Election Commission (FEC), of the 182 donations made by Bankman-Fried this election cycle, two donations came with no address, 16 donations came from a Hong Kong address, 68 came from U.S. addresses and 96 came from two addresses in Nassau, Bahamas.

It’s legal for American citizens to donate to campaigns from foreign accounts, said attorney John Zakhem, whose practice areas includes federal election law.

“If he tells you that he’s a U.S. citizen living in the Bahamas, there’s no prohibition against him making a contribution,” Zakem told The Epoch Times, adding that once a campaign checks that box they only worry about the funds clearing the bank.

There is also no prohibition against Bankman-Fried having donated money to those in Congress who regulate the financial services arena.

The Washington Free Beacon reported this week, citing FEC records, that Bankman-Fried and his colleagues at FTX donated $300,351 to nine members of the House Financial Services Committee, with “[s]ome of the largest contributions [made] to Democrats on the committee’s Digital Assets Working Group, which worked on regulation of the crypto industry.”

An Ethics Issue 

It’s this nexus between Bankman-Fried and the committee members that makes Santos concerned that the Democrats might try to downplay the scandal in the upcoming investigation.

Read more here...

Tyler Durden Thu, 11/24/2022 - 13:20

Read More

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Remote work triggers move to DAOs in the post-pandemic world: Survey

A survey from a sample of the general U.S. public suggests that millennials are more likely to join a DAO than any other age group.

Published

on

A survey from a sample of the general U.S. public suggests that millennials are more likely to join a DAO than any other age group.

A survey sample of working Americans suggests that millennial and Generation Z workers are far more in favor of joining decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and working remotely in the post-Covid-19 world.

Over 1,100 Americans took part in a survey conducted by MetisDAO Foundation which explores trends in remote working preferences and the emergence of DAOs in recent years. A key consideration is the effect that Covid-19 has had on worker sentiment and the growth of DAOs in corporate governance.

Citing a research report on DAOs published by the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance, the results of the survey highlight how DAOs saw their treasuries swell from $400 million to $16 billion in 2021.

This coincided with growing participant figures, up from 13,000 to 1.6 million people during the same period. Drawing comparisons to some of the largest multinational corporations, global DAO workforce numbers are equal to one Amazon, 18 Facebooks, seven Microsofts or 11 Google.

Related: Toss in your job and make $300K working for a DAO? Here’s how

The impact of Covid-19 is a primary driver of Metis’ report investigating workers readiness for decentralized employment opportunities. The unexpected, rapid shift to remote working conditions of the pandemic has seemingly driven knowledge and understanding of DAOs and decentralized autonomous companies (DAC), particularly among millennial and generation Z workers.

A major takeaway from the results is that nearly 75% of respondents believe that companies will need to adapt how they run their businesses to offer more remote work options. Millennials working in hybrid or remote settings offered the most positive responses on how DACs offer workers opportunities to help govern a company.

47% of the respondents also indicated that they would be open to working for a DAO or DAC as a contracted employee. The survey also indicates that millennial workers are more willing to work for a DAO or DAC than any other age group.

Meanwhile, Gen Z respondents most accurately defined a DAO compared to respondents from other age groups and a majority of Gen Z participants also defined DAOs as ‘revolutionary movement changing the future of work’.

MetisDAO concludes by highlighting the influence of prolonged remote working conditions driving the desire for more decentralized and autonomous work environments.

“The survey results show that a majority of respondents seek all of the things that DACs provide; remote work opportunities, independence from management, and influence over the organizations they work in.”

MetisDAO’s survey came from a sample of 1112 respondents through SurveyMonkey in November 2022. The DAO forms part of Metis, an Ethereum layer-2 rollup solution.

Read More

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

New technology is now the beating heart of patient care

Patient care and healthcare provision have always appeared among society’s top priorities, but keeping people well came into
The post New technology…

Published

on

Patient care and healthcare provision have always appeared among society’s top priorities, but keeping people well came into sharp focus during the pandemic.

So, too, did the role of pharmaceutical companies – not least how amazing advances in medical science could help the world combat Covid, but also how the sector was remunerated for its efforts.

As we seek to move beyond the difficulties of the past few years, pharma firms now have the chance to make further advances and bring innovation to market and, in the process, gain competitive edge over their rivals.

The race is on

With an abundance of patient data to hand – GDPR compliance permitting – and cutting-edge technology to aid the development and delivery of new products, the race is on to escalate and improve patient care with solutions that can truly make a difference.

Patients aren’t blind to the tech-driven changes going on around them. We’ve been using wearable technology for decades already. Acceleration of this market really kicked in 20 years ago, when devices from Bluetooth headsets to smart watches came on-stream. Ever since, we seem to have been glued to screens to understand more about ourselves, tapping apps that promise to monitor everything from self-care to Circadian rhythms.

Wearables are becoming breakout technology in the pharma space, too. Biospace estimates the market for these types of devices that add to the patient care toolkit will grow from today’s $21.3bn to $196.5bn by 2030.

In effect, the possibilities are endless. We already have access to devices that monitor our heart rate and alert first responders if sensors detect a health crisis like a stroke or heart attack. Similar technology could be rolled out across society, accelerating critical treatment times.

Emergency response is the tip of the iceberg. All of the data produced by wearables – from blood sugar levels to monitoring changes in the menstrual cycle – can automatically be passed to frontline healthcare organisations, enabling professionals to read and appropriately respond.

Such tech is just one example of an area that is ripe with opportunity for pharma businesses. But there are lots of other exciting developments at our fingertips.

Biosimilars get the sector’s blood pumping

During the past few years, interest has been growing in biosimilars. If you’re unaware of these types of drugs, the NHS describes them as: “Biological medicines that have been shown not to have any clinical meaningful differences from the originator medicine in terms of quality, safety, and efficacy.”

Biosimilars are therefore biological medicines that are highly similar to another version already licensed for use, and they are now being recommended all the time. They are, of course, subject to the same NICE guidance as originator medicine it has already approved. NHS leaders believe biosimilars will create up to £300m of annual savings thanks to their speed of development, a timely saving in a challenging market that looks set to come under increasing financial pressure during the next few years.

Clinicians also note that the biosimilars market will rapidly develop and grow in complexity, since more pharma players will introduce their own treatments using these techniques. At the same time – with full patient/carer consent, it should be acknowledged – healthcare providers are beginning to offer patients biosimilar treatments, such that they should become widely recognised and hopefully accepted in short order.

Patients will experience biosimilars in different ways. For example, my own experience of biosimilars has been to help a global pharma company launch a biosimilar autoimmune drug. The really smart part about this development is the wider use of technology it taps into.

An app was developed so that patient symptoms could be monitored – for example, their baseline health indicators checked and logged, and dietary and exercise advice offered – and adjustments to the drug dose made accordingly by their healthcare provider.

Meanwhile, reading patient data and symptoms using this method will become commonplace. For the patient, constant improvements and updates to associated apps will present them with a slick interface to keep tabs on their own condition and ease access to support.

The wide-ranging benefits of tech-driven treatment

Of course, generations of patients have become used to traditional treatment methods. Whenever there is change it often happens slowly and people need to be persuaded about the benefits of such an evolution.

It’s useful to pause and summarise the reasons why different types of technology are now so important to developments in the pharma and healthcare sectors. Expressing its benefits can help win the hearts and minds of millions of patients the world over:

  • Constant ability to monitor symptoms – including emergency alerts
  • New interaction methods for healthcare providers and patients
  • Better control of treatment plans, including long-term care
  • Overall, a promise of quicker and more efficient service delivery

As mentioned, apps will be one of the main interfaces where this new type of professional-patient relationship takes place. According to a survey by NEJM Catalyst, a majority (60%) of clinicians and healthcare industry leaders believe effective patient engagement makes a serious impact on the quality of care, and can substantially decrease the costs in the system.

Anything that can be done to cure this problem must surely be viewed as a positive. A patient engagement app that improves the experience for physicians and patients is a valuable tool.

Digital tools augment the benefits of medical products, such as by the aforementioned remote monitoring features with the ability to collect important patient data. Overall, mobile patient engagement promises better efficiency for pharma firms’ treatments, doctors, clinics, medical associations, and the whole industry in general.

Pharma giants such as Pfizer, Merck & Co., and Novartis are actively equipping their representatives with innovative digital tools to strengthen their credibility and relevance, reconnect with target audiences, and improve the infrastructure around medical products.

The creation and provision of efficient medical apps for professionals contributes to wider efforts to overhaul treatment programmes.

Digital can be a cure-all for lack of awareness or understanding among patients about their conditions and what they can do to alleviate symptoms. It can also drive better communication between doctors and patients by removing red tape from the process, while maintaining compliance with medical regulations. And it can build efficiency into often overwrought systems, particularly the densely populated urban areas and underserved rural communities that are under the most pressure for different reasons.

Simply by providing apps that drive patient engagement and improve their experience of treatment and healthcare provision, user trust grows. Healthcare apps can be built for patients with a deep level of personalisation, with user-friendly and agile design to suit a wide range of demographic groups. And that’s really the heart of the matter.

Why connecting with the end user matters

Mass adoption of new technology-driven medicines, treatments, and healthcare services will only stand if patients – and therefore their healthcare providers – feel comfortable that this new wave will change their outcomes for the better.

Two elements are critical to society feeling comfortable: technology and communication. That means building and using platforms, from patient apps to portals for healthcare professionals that display information and advice from pharma providers.

By connecting the dots between the pharma companies using cutting-edge platforms for innovative drug delivery, their healthcare markets, and the patients who professionals exist to support we can create a virtuous circle.

Patients will play their own part in the healthcare delivery revolution and provide their data in real-time as part of a feedback loop that the pharma industry can use to refine and invent treatment.

Whether you work in pharma or frontline healthcare delivery, there is no doubt that tech innovation can – and must – be the beating heart of patient services and treatment. You only need to consider the advances it has helped other markets make. For example, observe how smarter use of customer data has shaken up the energy market, allowing consumers to take control by switching to a more suitable option in a few short clicks.

Then consider the wider advertising industry, which has evolved from mass TV marketing to one-to-one, personalised messaging, drawing on data and technology as its fuel.

It’s in this context that we should view the future of pharma and healthcare provision. Technology and the data it delivers can drive drug development, but also the use of medicine in ongoing patient care.

Health tech investment is set to swell as the private and public sectors join forces for the benefit of society at large, and patient demand for innovation in diagnosis and treatment increases. There has never been a better time for pharma leaders to consider new ways to deliver smart, efficient treatments – driven by technology that provides a platform for new medicines and user adoption.

About the author

Rachel Grigg, partnership director at LABS (part of Initials CX), has worked in digital technology for the past 25 years and has seen and been involved with the advent of digital transformation first-hand. Her roles have varied from working in large corporate companies designing technical products to being MD and COO helping small digital agencies grow and succeed.

The post New technology is now the beating heart of patient care appeared first on .

Read More

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Remote-Work Revolution Has Wiped Out $453 Billion In Commercial Real Estate Value

Remote-Work Revolution Has Wiped Out $453 Billion In Commercial Real Estate Value

Leading up to the Covid-19 pandemic, roughly 95% of commercial…

Published

on

Remote-Work Revolution Has Wiped Out $453 Billion In Commercial Real Estate Value

Leading up to the Covid-19 pandemic, roughly 95% of commercial office space was occupied across the United States, according to US National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) – a nonprofit, non-government organization. By March 2020, occupancy plummeted to 10%, and has only recovered to 47%, according to a new NBER report which claims $453 billion in office commercial real estate value has been wiped out in an "office real estate apocalypse."

Around the US, that resulted in a 17.5 percent decrease in lease revenue between January 2020, and May 2022, and not only because fewer offices were being occupied, but also because those that are being rented are going for shorter terms, lower prices per month, and a lot less floor space is needed as staff are told they can work from home for most or all the week.

Prior to the pandemic, 253 million square feet were rented per year; as of May 2022, just 59 million square feet had been rented, NBER's data indicates. "This indicates a massive drop in office demand from tenants who are actively making space decisions," NBER said. -The Register

What's more, while vacancy rates have hit a 30-year high, 61.7% of in-force commercial leases haven't come up for renewal since the pandemic - meaning that "rents may not have bottomed out yet."

What this means is that commercial real estate - a popular choice for pension fund managers and investors alike - may not be the best idea for the foreseeable future, given the continuing work-from-home options adopted by corporate America.

A common method used to invest in office real estate is commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), which are managed and traded via commercial mortgage-backed indexes (CMBX) made up of pools of CMBSes. 

According to NBER, more recent CMBXes tend to include a higher percentage of office collateral than earlier vintages. Those newer, office-heavy CMBXes, NBER said, are what's losing the most money. -The Register

NBER says that in 2019, commercial real estate assets topped $4.7 trillion - offices being the largest component.

Read the report below:

Tyler Durden Thu, 12/08/2022 - 19:20

Read More

Continue Reading

Trending