Biden’s first budget proposal embraces bigger government | Vox


There’s a consistent theme in President Joe Biden’s first budget proposal, released Friday morning: The federal government can help solve big problems. But to do that, the country needs to reinvest in areas it’s neglected for decades.

The $1.5 trillion discretionary funding request is only a proposal — and not even a complete budget proposal, with a more comprehensive version including mandatory spending and tax changes coming this spring. But it’s an important window into the new administration’s priorities, calling for a boost in domestic spending on issues ranging from education in poor communities to the opioid epidemic to climate change to pandemic preparedness.

Source: Biden’s first budget proposal embraces bigger government – Vox

The COVID-19 crisis and banking system resilience | OECD

This paper outlines the findings of a simulation analysis that assesses the extent of the potential rise in bank NPLs, taking into consideration assumptions under extensive monetary and fiscal support versus a scenario without continued support measures in keeping with conditions that prevailed in the 2008-2009 Global Financial Crisis. The paper also investigates the subsequent implications for bank capital and discusses whether policy responses may be needed to clean balance sheets.

Source: The COVID-19 crisis and banking system resilience – OECD

How Can Financial Institutions Prepare for AI Risks? | Knowledge@Wharton


Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies hold big promise for the financial services industry, but they also bring risks that must be addressed with the right governance approaches, according to a white paper by a group of academics and executives from the financial services and technology industries, published by Wharton AI for Business.

Wharton is the academic partner of the group, which calls itself Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Risk & Security, or AIRS. Based in New York City, the AIRS working group was formed in 2019, and includes about 40 academics and industry practitioners.

The white paper details the opportunities and challenges of implementing AI strategies by financial firms and how they could identify, categorize, and mitigate potential risks by designing appropriate governance frameworks.

Source: How Can Financial Institutions Prepare for AI Risks? – Knowledge@Wharton

Want to Make Retail Customers Happy? Give Them a ‘Wow’ Experience | Knowledge@Wharton


Retailers must create “wow” shopping experiences if they want to satisfy customers and keep them coming back, according to a recent study from Wharton’s Baker Retailing Center and The Verde Group, a global customer experience consultancy.

The survey-based study found that retailers can increase shopper repurchase intent by nearly 60% by consistently delivering a great experience, whether in-store or online. What defines a “wow” depends on the shopper and type of store, but hassle-free customer support is at the top of the list.

Source: Want to Make Retail Customers Happy? Give Them a ‘Wow’ Experience – Knowledge@Wharton

Why Older Americans Are Taking on More Debt | Knowledge@Wharton


Older Americans are accumulating more debt as they near retirement, according to recent research that reveals a troubling trend in personal finance among people in their 50s and early 60s.

Just when they should be reaching the peak of their retirement savings, this group is still paying off mortgages and grappling with credit card debt, medical bills, and student loans. The burden is leaving them stressed, harassed by bill collectors, and worried about their financial future as the clock ticks down on their income-earning years.

Source: Why Older Americans Are Taking on More Debt – Knowledge@Wharton

Biden’s Infrastructure Plan: Who Are the Winners and Losers? | Knowledge@Wharton


The American Jobs Plan (AJP) proposed by President Biden on March 31 would spend $2.7 trillion and raise $2.1 trillion dollars over the 10-year budget window of 2022–2031, according to the Penn Wharton Budget Model (PWBM), a nonpartisan initiative that analyzes the economic impact of public policy proposals.

The AJP’s tax and spending provisions would increase government debt by 1.7% and reduce GDP by a quarter percentage point by 2031, the study projected. By 2050, however, government debt would fall by 6.4% and GDP would decrease by 0.8%, according to its estimates.

Source: Biden’s Infrastructure Plan: Who Are the Winners and Losers? – Knowledge@Wharton

‘Fighting for Survival.’ Mongolia’s China Problem | Time


Back in August of 2014, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj had Xi Jinping over for lunch.

Mongolia’s then president had been coached by Chinese officials about the pomp expected when entertaining their head of state—but it was a tall order. “In Mongolia, we don’t have many rooms for dancing,” Elbegdorj laughs.

He decided instead on a more low-key approach. Elbegdorj, Xi and their wives enjoyed a meal of Mongolian staples—grilled meat, cheese, dumplings—at the president’s residence in a southern part of the capital Ulaanbaatar. In these quiet surroundings, Elbegdorj says the two leaders broached several sensitive issues. They discussed the potential for ethnic Mongolians to freely travel between Mongolia and the Chinese territory of Inner Mongolia. They also spoke of nationalist Chinese calls for Mongolia to be absorbed into the People’s Republic, and even discussed Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who is venerated by Mongolian Buddhists yet reviled by Beijing as a dangerous seditionary.

Source: ‘Fighting for Survival.’ Mongolia’s China Problem | Time

New Celebrity Memoirs Prioritize Honesty Over Hollywood | Time


Sharon Stone wants you to know that she’s a survivor. And it would be easy to assume that her new memoir, The Beauty of Living Twice, draws its title from its opening passage—which describes her 2001 hospitalization after suffering a brain hemorrhage and stroke that left her with a 1% chance of survival. But the book contains an entire lifetime marked by beating the odds.

Stone details miraculously surviving near-decapitation, being struck by lightning and walking away from her totaled car after skidding on black ice. The most compelling passages, however, are the clear-eyed, and at times brutally honest, recollections of how she’s persevered in the wake of trauma inflicted not by nature or accident but by other people, ranging from the physical and sexual abuse she experienced as a child to the many ways her consent has been undermined at work and beyond.

Source: New Celebrity Memoirs Prioritize Honesty Over Hollywood | Time

COVID-19: Experts Say India Worst Hit Country in World | Time


India became the country with the world’s second highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday, surpassing Brazil, and now second only to the United States. But experts say that low testing in the country suggests the real total is far higher than both.

India now has 13.5 million confirmed cases, compared to the U.S.’s 31.1 million. The country is currently in the midst of a second wave of the virus, with confirmed daily infections reaching an all-time high of 168,912 on Monday.

But the official numbers only tell part of the story, according to multiple studies.

Source: COVID-19: Experts Say India Worst Hit Country in World | Time

IBM’s Independent Managed Infrastructure Services Business to be Named Kyndryl

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Kyndryl will be the name of the new, independent company that will be created following the separation of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, which is expected to occur by the end of 2021.

“Kyndryl evokes the spirit of true partnership and growth,” said Martin Schroeter, Chief Executive Officer of Kyndryl. “Customers around the world will come to know Kyndryl as a brand that runs the vital systems at the heart of progress, and an independent company with the best global talent in the industry.”

Source: IBM’s Independent Managed Infrastructure Services Business to be Named Kyndryl