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first_img Instant repo settlement: a problem the blockchain may solve The Bank of Canada is collaborating with five Toronto-based Canadian banks, among other partners, to explore the possible development of a payment system using distributed ledger technology (DLT), the technology behind the digital currency, Bitcoin. Carolyn Wilkins, senior deputy governor, referred to the initiative in a speech made at a payments conference in Calgary on Friday. Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Royal Bank of Canada, the Bank of Nova Scotia and Toronto-Dominion Bank are currently partners in the project. Ottawa-based Payments Canada and R3, a New York-based consortium of financial institutions dedicated to the design and delivery of DLT systems, are also involved. The experimental project is part of an “ambitious research agenda” on the part of the central bank that will be an opportunity to deepen its understanding of DLT’s mechanics, limits, risks and possibilities, according to Wilkins. Upgrades to the core payment systems that the Bank of Canada oversees are currently a priority for the institution, says Wilkins: “Now is the time to make our core systems more efficient and competitive.” Wilkins also spoke of the need for key participants in the financial system to work together to understand the benefits of financial technology, or fintech. However, they also need to guard against potential hazards, such as operational and financial risks. “By working together, we can unlock the full promise of fintech to ensure a smooth evolution to tomorrow’s financial system—safe, sound and serving the people who rely on it,” Wilkins said. Authorities should assess these new technological developments in light of their impact on consumer protection, financial inclusion, market integrity, competition policy and financial stability, she added. “Authorities should support innovation, but the bar will be high, especially for core financial services, and appropriately so,” she added. Wilkins also predicted that fintech would lead to an evolution in the financial services industry, as opposed to the more dramatic revolution that others are forecasting. Change is being motivated by customer demand, the entrance of large non-financial players and the inefficiency of some financial services, which is opening the door to competition, she said. However, incumbent financial institutions will adapt, new players will enter the industry and those with strong business models will survive, Wilkins said. Photo copyright: Bloomberg Related news IHS Markit to launch global online ledger for carbon credits Tessie Sanci center_img Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Swiss National Bank tests digital currency Keywords BlockchainCompanies Bank of Canada Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

first_imgDouglas Durst (Getty)Douglas Durst, chair of the Durst Organization, was nominated to be the next chair of the Real Estate Board of New York, the industry’s most influential trade group announced today.“It is hard to imagine a more appropriate leader to navigate our industry through these extraordinarily challenging times,” Bill Rudin, current chair of REBNY, said in a statement on REBNY’s website.In his statement, Durst cited the Durst Organization’s century-plus history in New York and its ability to navigate some of the city’s greatest challenges — including the fiscal crisis of the 1970s and the 9/11 terrorist attacks — as experience that would help him in his new position.“This is not even our first pandemic,” he said. “We survived the influenza pandemic of 1918.”Jim Whelan, REBNY president, said in a statement that he looks forward to “leveraging” Durst’s “experience and perspective on smart and sustainable economic recovery.”Durst is taking the helm at a time when REBNY has been facing a drop in revenue due to a decline in membership dues and a loss of income from events. In June, the trade group announced a 15 percent cut in expenses through layoffs and executive pay cuts.The trade group collected $9.7 million in dues in 2018, tax filings show.Durst would also be taking on this role following one of New York’s most significant legislative battles. Last June, the state legislature approved extensive changes to New York’s rent stabilization laws. Durst was one of the industry titans who reportedly made a last minute appeal to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, asking that he veto the legislation. The attempt failed, underscoring that real estate executives could no longer bank on the governor tempering progressive policies opposed by the industry.At the city level, Durst would deal with a new mayor during his term, as well as four new borough presidents and an almost entirely new City Council. When asked about the change in city leadership, Durst told The Real Deal that he’s an optimist.“I’m hoping that we’ll have more realistic politicians who don’t simply bash real estate and development as their platform,” he said. This content is for subscribers only.Subscribe Nowlast_img read more

first_imgThe US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today said that 13 people from eight states have been sickened in a Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak linked to dried coconut and that products from a second company have been implicated in the event and have been recalled.Earlier reports had said the source of the outbreak was Natural Grocers Coconut Smiles Organic dried coconut, which is sold at Natural Grocers stores. Today’s announcement from the CDC said International Harvest, Inc., has recalled bags of Organic Go Smile! Raw Coconut and bulk packages of Go Smiles Dried Coconut Raw.The CDC is urging people who bought the products to throw them away or return them to the place of purchase, even if some it was eaten and no one got sick.Three of 13 patients hospitalizedThe 13 people infected in the outbreak are from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Missouri, Oregon, Texas, and Utah. Whole-genome sequencing on bacteria isolated from sick patients shows that the Salmonella samples are closely related. Illness onsets range from Sep 2, 2017, to Feb 26. Ages range from 1 to 73 years, and two thirds of the patients are female.Three people have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.Of 11 samples from patients, only 1 isolate contained resistance genes for ampicillin and azithromycin. Susceptibility testing by the CDC National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) found 2 isolates with no resistance, but 1 with resistance to streptomycin, which isn’t likely to affect antibiotic choice to treat most people, though some infections might require a different antibiotic.Second company recalls productsThe first International Harvest product that is subject to the recall was sold online and in stores in 9-ounce bags with sell-by dates from Jan 1, 2018, through Mar 1, 2019. The recalled bulk product was sold in 25-pound cases labeled with batch/lot numbers OCSM-0010, OCSM-0011, and OCSM-0014.In its Mar 16 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recall notice, the company said the recall was prompted by FDA lab tests that identified Salmonella in the product. The recall involves 14,620 pounds of bulk and 24,270 bags of its products. The products were directly distributed to 14 states: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Colorado, Oklahoma, Georgia, Vermont, Illinois, Florida, Maine, Washington, New Hampshire, and Utah.International Harvest said it was working with the FDA to find the root cause of the problem, and it urged retailers who sold the bulk coconut to clean and sanitize the containers used to hold the product.Outbreak strain in coconut samplesToday’s CDC report also provided new details on epidemiologic and lab investigations. Interviews with 8 sick people found that 7 had eaten dried coconut from grocery stores, and of those, 4 had bought the products at different Natural Grocers stores. Interviews with patients is ongoing.FDA and state health departments have been testing leftover dried coconut from patients’ homes, Natural Grocers stores, and a Natural Grocers’ distribution center. FDA tests turned up the outbreak strain in unopened samples of Natural Grocers Coconut Smiles Organic collected from a store. Also, the outbreak strain was found in an opened leftover sample from a sick patient’s home.The FDA’s tests on packaged and bulk coconut from International Harvest also found the outbreak strain.See also:Mar 21 CDC outbreak announcementMar 16 FDA recall notice on International harvest bulk and bag coconutMar 20 CIDRAP News story “Packaged coconut recalled amid multistate Salmonella outbreak”last_img read more