20 Oct
2020

GOP tax plan all about wishful thinking

first_imgTo secure these small economic gains and that tiny revenue bump, Republicans would cut taxes by well over a trillion dollars, leaving a massive hole in the budget. Over time, the negative consequences of higher federal borrowing would be a serious drag on the economy. The bill Republicans present this week will look somewhat different than the older framework the Tax Policy Center’s experts assessed.But the warning should still shake Republicans who claimed to be deficit hawks when Barack Obama was president. Tax reform could be worthwhile, but only if it is paid for.Republicans such as Portman used to understand as much.The country faces a huge funding squeeze as the Baby Boomers retire, raising pension and health-care costs.The Treasury will need ample revenue merely to maintain investments in everything else – roads, college aid, national parks, scientific research.A tax plan based on hopes, prayers and fiction puts all of that at risk.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? In a sentence, Portman erased much of the credibility he developed while decrying deficits during the Obama years or running the White House Office of Management and Budget during the George W. Bush presidency.Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, one of the few moderate Republicans left in Congress, was hardly more responsible.“If we have just four-tenths of 1 percent increase in our [gross domestic product], which is entirely realistic, it will cover the cost of the tax reform package,” she claimed.In fact, those growth numbers cannot be assumed, and betting the federal budget on hopes of loads of new revenue is highly risky.Just a couple days earlier, an independent report on the Republicans’ most recent tax-reform framework found that the plan would wallop the federal budget, even when effects on economic growth are considered. The Tax Policy Center concluded that cutting the corporate tax rate, encouraging business investment and enhancing incentives to work would each encourage economic expansion – modestly.The extra growth would result in maybe $50 billion in new federal revenue over 10 years. Categories: Editorial, OpinionThe following editorial appeared in The Washington Post:Republicans aim to unveil Wednesday a long-awaited tax plan, premised on the fanciful idea that slashing taxes by $1.5 trillion over 10 years will somehow leave the federal budget better off.And it is not just the GOP’s most blinkered ideologues who have bought into this wishful thinking. “I think at the end of the day this will actually be reducing the deficit because it’s going to finally get this economy moving,”Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said Sunday on “Meet the Press.”last_img read more

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19 Oct
2020

Kresna Graha Investama to conserve cash, expand into new ventures

first_imgPublicly listed holding company PT Kresna Graha Investama has stated that it is working to ensure profitability by looking for businesses with good growth potential and good quality as it ventures into new business sectors.“We’re shying away from a cash burning strategy,” Kresna Graha Investama business analyst and investor relations group head Stanley Tjiandra said during a virtual shareholders’ meeting on Friday. The company, which focuses on finance, investment and technology, has been transitioning into the digital space since 2015. It is now the parent company of payment gateway PT M Cash Integrasi, digital exchange platform PT NFC Indonesia and cloud advertising company PT Digital Mediatama Maxima, among other digital firms.  Kresna Biotech Ventures is also planning to invest funds in San Diego-based biotech company, Samumed, which focuses on research and development for tissue-level regeneration technology.However, PT Kresna Graha Investama saw its net profit slump last year as it expanded its business into new fields.Its net profit in 2019 fell by 57.1 percent to Rp 216.1 billion from the Rp 503.5 billion it had booked in 2018. It reported that its returns from the finance and investment sector saw a notable decline, while it booked growth on the technology and digital front. From the Rp 11.62 trillion the company booked in revenue last year, Rp 11.1 trillion came from the technology and digital front, or about 95.5 percent of the company’s total revenue, higher in than the 88.2 percent contribution in the previous year. Kresna Graha Investama’s share prices, traded on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) under the stock symbol KREN, had jumped almost 26 percent to Rp 97 as of 12:16 p.m. Jakarta time on Wednesday. The stocks have lost more than 83 percent in the last year, Bloomberg data shows.Michael said the company’s share prices were not a reflection of the company’s fundamentals but were rather affected by the ongoing global crisis as well as the Jiwasraya scandal which had sent a ripple through the financial industry. On March 23, the company released a statement that it was going to buy back its shares to “help stabilize the price in volatile market conditions”. The buyback is being held for a period of three months from March 24 to June 24. The company has limited the shares’ purchase price at a cap of Rp 515 per share.Topics : Its shift to new industries has been largely rewarded, as most of its subsidiaries operating in the digital space saw a surge in profit last year.PT NFC Indonesia booked a profit of Rp 36 billion (US$2.53 million) in 2019, 126 percent higher than the year before. PT Digital Mediatama Maxima’s profit increased by 119 percent to Rp 17 billion, and PT Distribusi Voucher Nusantara (DIVA) recorded a 9.5-fold increase in profit to Rp 94 billion.  “We don’t want to join investments where the old economy dominates. We want to enter the new economy,” Kresna Graha Investama founder and president director Michael Steven said during the shareholders’ meeting, explaining the company’s reason for entering Indonesia’s digital economy. Last year, the company announced its plan to enter the life sciences and biotechnology space through its subsidiary, Kresna Biotech Ventures. As of December of last year, it was finalizing an investment plan with RWDC Industries, based in Singapore and the United States, whose mission is to replace single-use plastic with biodegradable materials. last_img read more

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7 Aug
2019

Netflix has set up a new team to work on innovati

first_imgNetflix has set up a new team to work on “innovative approaches” for using data, in a bid to improve the service’s streaming quality of experience (QoE).In a blog post, Netflix said the types of problem it is looking to solve include understanding the impact of QoE on user behaviour, determining what movies and shows to cache on the edge servers based on member viewing behaviour and improving the technical quality of the content in its catalogue using viewing data and member feedback.Netflix said it also aimed to create a personalised streaming experience for each member, looking at algorithms that run in real-time once playback has started to determine what bitrate should be served and what server to download that content from.“User behaviour refers to the way users interact with the Netflix service, and we use our data to both understand and predict behaviour. For example, how would a change to our product affect the number of hours that members watch?” asked Netflix.“We need to determine a mapping function that can quantify and predict how changes in QoE metrics affect user behaviour. Why is this important? Understanding the impact of QoE on user behaviour allows us to tailor the algorithms that determine QoE and improve aspects that have significant impact on our members’ viewing and enjoyment.”last_img read more

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7 Aug
2019

UKbased pay TV company Sky and commercial broadca

first_imgUK-based pay TV company Sky and commercial broadcaster Channel 4 have both bought into Dial Square 86, the parent company of new rights trading platform TRX.The pair have taken an undisclosed minority stake in the Dial Square, which oversees soon-to-launch digital distribution platform. It is the first time Sky and pubcaster Channel 4 have co-invested in a start-up.Channel 4 invested through its Growth Fund, which has to this point only made investments in production companies. Before making this investment just under half of the £20 million (US$26 million) Growth Fund, which was slated for 2014-2017, was left.The new funding round that Sky and Channel 4 have joined is for up to £5.2 million for TRX.Channel chief executive David Abraham said: “In post-Brexit Britain, it’s even more important for the UK’s creative industries to have access to innovative ways of trading across the globe.“We recognise that the new TRX tool is a valuable online resource which will enable indies to connect with the world and export their programmes in a digital marketplace and will help support a buoyant UK indie sector well into the future.”Dial Square is run by former Zodiak and RDF boss David Frank. He said: “We are absolutely delighted that two of the UK’s leading content players with such reputations for innovation and excellence have decided to back what we are doing.“There is real momentum behind TRX now and we’re excited about launching a truly global product that can make programme distribution faster and easier while opening up the TV rights market to previously disenfranchised buyers and delivering extra value to rights holders.”Emma Lloyd, group business development director, Sky said: “This latest investment reflects our ambition to partner with pioneering start-ups that can help transform the TV landscape. We’re delighted to be backing such an innovative UK-based company, with its roots firmly in the creative sector. Together with Channel 4, we can help TRX to grow the TV rights market, which will benefit everyone in the industry.”Dial Square’s chief operation is TRX, which has soft-launched in Asia and will roll out globally soon. Discovery Networks International, PBS Distribution and Turner have all taken part in a beta test of the platform. Distributors including Cineflix Rights and Sky Vision, the sales arm of one of its new investors, are also among the beta testers.It has completed several funding rounds, albeit previously not with such high-profile industry backers, and put together a high-profile advisory board that includes the likes of Stephen Lambert, Nadine Nohr and John McVay.last_img read more

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