Accounting Book – Tomasz Pietak http://www.tomaszpietak.com/ Fri, 07 Jan 2022 06:18:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://www.tomaszpietak.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Tomasz-Pietak-icon-150x150.jpg Accounting Book – Tomasz Pietak http://www.tomaszpietak.com/ 32 32 Former NITI Aayog vice president Arvind Panagariya’s book on his father is also an insightful account of 20th century Indian history. https://www.tomaszpietak.com/former-niti-aayog-vice-president-arvind-panagariyas-book-on-his-father-is-also-an-insightful-account-of-20th-century-indian-history/ Fri, 07 Jan 2022 04:36:40 +0000 https://www.tomaszpietak.com/former-niti-aayog-vice-president-arvind-panagariyas-book-on-his-father-is-also-an-insightful-account-of-20th-century-indian-history/ My father: the extraordinary life of an ordinary man is an interesting personal story of Baloo Lal Panagariya, spanning the pre- and post-independence period, and spanning most of the 20th century. Although largely biographical, it is also a political and social history of Rajasthan. The author, Arvind Panagariya (former vice president of NITI Aayog), poignantly […]]]>

My father: the extraordinary life of an ordinary man is an interesting personal story of Baloo Lal Panagariya, spanning the pre- and post-independence period, and spanning most of the 20th century. Although largely biographical, it is also a political and social history of Rajasthan.

The author, Arvind Panagariya (former vice president of NITI Aayog), poignantly shows his illiterate, widowed and destitute grandmother’s strange understanding of the benefits of education, and her heroic sacrifices to educate her son, this which radically changes not only the course of his son’s life but also that of the next generation. The author shows how his studious father – the subject of the biography – acquired his education in hardship and extreme setbacks, sometimes bailed out by the patronage and munificence of the local population. rajah, who was impressed with his academic talent.

The story covers the birth, childhood and upbringing of senior Panagariya, his time as a writer / journalist for a magazine and newspapers, and for the newsletter of the praja mandal (a popular movement started by those who lived in princely states), his long stint as a bureaucrat in the government of Rajasthan, and after his retirement his long stint as a scholar, historian and author. Although written by a beloved son, this biography maintains a high level of objectivity and avoids being a hagiography.

Alongside this personal story, one reads the fascinating story of the liberation movement in Rajasthan at the end of the Raj period, through the eyes of Panagariya, who was a young man at the time. It is particularly interesting to read about the various pulls and pressures behind the integration of the princely states of Rajputana into the newly formed state, the position of Congress towards rajahs and maharanas, and their encouragement of praja mandals.

The book also presents the development of the administrative order of India in the post-independence period, through the prism of this unique state, Rajasthan. Passionate about the history of people and places, but unfamiliar with this period in history, this biography was a treat. It was interesting to read the stories about the integrity and effectiveness of Panagariya – preventing 200 acres of land from going to an individual who had no provable title and winning the war against powerful and corrupt liquor barons. , among others. Of particular interest was the section on Panagariya’s challenge to scholars’ opinions on the figure of Maharana Pratap as depicted in the history books. It shows Panagariya as a man of courage and justice, passionate and emotional, very determined to rectify what he considered to be misinterpretations of history, which he defended with reason and logic. I loved that he likes to play bridge (I like that too) and that he follows cricket. An exemplary life of balance, discipline and good values ​​is worthy of admiration.

At a critical point in his life, soon after independence, Panagariya was faced with the choice between continuing as a civil servant in the state government and joining politics. While the latter option carries the prospect of reaching even the highest office of state, he has chosen the former for the sake of his family and the upbringing of children – something I consider exemplary because, for me, it represents the right values. My ambitious and tireless father, who at 34 had become an independent member of the Uttar Pradesh legislature in 1969, left politics in 1975 to join the Bahá’í Faith, and devoted his life to educating children (his own and the others), a decision that he said “saved his soul.”

The legacy of Panagariya and his wife, Mohan Kumari, continues beyond their lives through the distinguished service rendered to the nation and to the world by their three children.

(Geeta Gandhi Kingdon is President of Economics of Education and International Development, University College, London)

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The Master at Work, filmmaker Rahul Rawail presents an intimate account of his guru-Art-and-culture News, Firstpost https://www.tomaszpietak.com/the-master-at-work-filmmaker-rahul-rawail-presents-an-intimate-account-of-his-guru-art-and-culture-news-firstpost/ Wed, 05 Jan 2022 05:06:28 +0000 https://www.tomaszpietak.com/the-master-at-work-filmmaker-rahul-rawail-presents-an-intimate-account-of-his-guru-art-and-culture-news-firstpost/ With his biography on Raj Kapoor, Rahul Rawail does not seek to ruffle feathers or offer thrills on the cheap. He’s clearly in awe of the person he’s writing about, and that subjectivity is at the heart of the book. Did you know that filmmaker Rahul Rawail, who launched the careers of Bollywood actors such […]]]>

With his biography on Raj Kapoor, Rahul Rawail does not seek to ruffle feathers or offer thrills on the cheap. He’s clearly in awe of the person he’s writing about, and that subjectivity is at the heart of the book.

Did you know that filmmaker Rahul Rawail, who launched the careers of Bollywood actors such as Kajol, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sunny Deol, Amrita Singh, Paresh Rawal, Has Kumar Gaurav, and Vijeta Pandit, ever been assistant director to legendary actor-director-producer Raj Kapoor (1924-1988)?

Rawail’s lifetime debt to his guru was beautifully recounted in the book Raj Kapoor: the master at work (2021), his collaboration with Pranika Sharma.

This book is for people fascinated by the magic that unfolds on the big screen and people who are passionate about the technical aspects of filmmaking – focusing on an idea, developing it, casting, finding places, working with it. actors, costumes, cinematography, lighting, musical direction, sound recording, editing and much more. Rawail calls his book a tribute to “the man who taught me everything I learned”. It is his gurudakshina.

Rawail shared his experiences and anecdotes with Sharma on Zoom calls; she absorbed all this exciting raw material and turned it into haunting prose. They seem to have worked very diligently to get the tone just right so that readers have a seamless experience of the text. At no time does this book appear to be the work of two different people. Well done to them for having achieved this remarkable feat.

Rawail joined Raj as an assistant shortly after completing his “stressful ICSE board exams”. He planned to go to Canada and study nuclear physics, but the idea was quickly abandoned after he started working with Raj. Rawail’s childhood buddy, Chintu, aka Rishi Kapoor, was Raj’s son; this is how Rawail landed on the sets and saw the master at work. Rawail’s own father was a filmmaker but he wanted to do his apprenticeship with his friend’s father.

Chintu said to Babbu (Rawail’s nickname): “Papa is turning the circus chapter of Mera Naam Joker at Cross Maidan from today let’s spend the day there. There will be sexy Russian female circus performers. Babbu, 15, had nothing better to do, so he accepted the shady invitation. When he arrived, he was “mesmerized by the aura created by the work of Raj Uncle”. He writes: “It was like watching him conduct a symphony without a score.”

Rawail has one singular purpose – to celebrate the sweat and toil that went into Raj’s cinema. Movies Mera Naam Joker (1970) and Police officer (1973) have been discussed at length, almost as case studies, while other films like Aag (1948) Barsaat (1949), Awaara (1951), and Sangam (1964) find only passing references. Rawail is not a biographer, so it is unrealistic to rack up these expectations on him. He speaks only from personal experience.

If you are curious about Raj’s love stories, this book will not offer you anything. Rawail is close to many people of the Kapoor clan. The book is dedicated to his friend Chintu. It’s not looking to ruffle feathers or provide cheap thrills. He’s clearly in awe of the person he’s writing about, and that subjectivity is at the heart of the book. Only someone who has worked so closely with Raj can put forward the ideas that Rawail has presented here.

Raj kapoor

Apparently Raj loved to go to the Wayside Inn in Mumbai and sit at the central table there. The cooks came out and greeted him. When asked by Rawail why this place was dear to him, Raj said, “This is the place where Dr (BR) Ambedkar sat and wrote the Constitution of India. I am sitting here so that it may inspire me to do constructive work.

Rawail talks warmly about Raj’s eccentricities, which is sure to make you laugh. On editing days, he used to gather the whole unit in the screening room and collect their thoughts on the daily menu – three meals and an evening snack. Many cars were organized to go to restaurants in Mumbai to pick up “hot foods” for everyone to eat.

This book also deals with the legacy of RK Studios, which Raj built with money earned from acting in films made by other producers and with money borrowed using promissory notes. He didn’t like shooting at other studios because the owners expected him to get clearance before executing ideas that involved digging in the ground or making other big changes. He wanted absolute control over his work and didn’t appreciate compromise.

If you think geniuses tend to be tough and temperamental, this book might end up reinforcing that impression.

When Rawail was shooting for Mera Naam Joker in Delhi, his father came to visit him. Raj got angry. He said, “Do you know that almost everyone in my unit has a father and a mother? … What you did was wrong; he works! … Don’t do these things if you want him to grow up and become a responsible and independent human being.

During the shooting of the film Police officer, Raj saw Rawail filling empty champagne bottles with a mixture of Limca and soda to make the liquid resemble champagne. These bottles were going to be used in a birthday scene in the movie. Raj berated him, “What are you doing? Would this be served instead of champagne at Raj Kapoor’s party? If you want to save money, why even spend on Limca? Piss the unit in the bottles! Cheaper !”

This book evokes the image of a filmmaker who was deeply devoted to his work, and who wanted to do nothing in doing so. He once told Rawail: “I totally respect the faith people have in their religion, but for me, the religion that stimulates my faith is cinema.” No wonder Rawail calls RK Studios his “place of worship”.

There is a lot to be gained from reading this book, whether you are making movies or not. Raj’s passion, work ethic and craftsmanship are reminiscent of a time when life was much slower than it is today. There were no OTT platforms, not even the Internet. His creative influences were a varied mix – the epic poem Ramcharitmanas by Goswami, Tulsidas, actor Charlie Chaplin, Archie Comics, filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock and artist René-Xavier Prinet.

Raj’s death was as dramatic as his life, and this book captures the episode quite sensitively. In 1988, when Raj was at Vigyan Bhavan in Delhi to receive the Dadasaheb Phalke Prize from the then President, R Venkataraman, he was unable to get up and go to the podium. He had an asthma attack. His wife Krishna was with him. The president approached Raj, handed him the citation and put the medal around his neck. Rawail writes: “At that precise moment, he (Raj) put his hands together in recognition and slipped into a coma.

He was rushed to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, but he never recovered. Actor Dilip Kumar, with whom Raj shared a special bond as both had their roots in Peshawar before the score, visited him in the intensive care unit. Kumar spoke to Raj in Punjabi and Pashto, desperately hoping his friend would wake up and feel better, but the inevitable happened. Kapoor had said his last goodbye, knowing he would live.

Raj Kapoor: The Master at Work is published by Bloomsbury India.

Chintan Girish Modi is a freelance writer, journalist and book reviewer.

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Pulp non-fiction: the worst business books of 2022 https://www.tomaszpietak.com/pulp-non-fiction-the-worst-business-books-of-2022/ Mon, 03 Jan 2022 05:00:49 +0000 https://www.tomaszpietak.com/pulp-non-fiction-the-worst-business-books-of-2022/ Some 10,000 business books are published each year in the United States, the world’s largest market. Almost all of them are unbeatable, of course, but inevitably only a few big chunks pass through the rigorous filters of the editors. Here are some (entirely imaginary) examples of securities to avoid in 2022. Make yourself comfortable with […]]]>

Some 10,000 business books are published each year in the United States, the world’s largest market. Almost all of them are unbeatable, of course, but inevitably only a few big chunks pass through the rigorous filters of the editors. Here are some (entirely imaginary) examples of securities to avoid in 2022.

Make yourself comfortable with your colleague! An academic and a coach with no hands-on management experience offer just under 300 pages of wishful thinking on how a combination of purpose, empathy, diversity, inclusion and hugs! – will put a smile on the face of your exhausted subordinates and allow you to delay their long-awaited pay rise for a few months.

The ME as a team. The recently retired CEO of a company you’ve never heard of spent a tiny fraction of his multi-million dollar salary to hire a ghostwriter. The result is this muted account of his heroic military service and smooth rise to the top, ignoring embarrassment, lawsuits, profit warnings and repeated rounds of layoffs. History written by the winner.

Square pegs: shape your strategy. Seven partners from a well-known management consulting firm are turning their PowerPoint slides and the confidential information you provided as a client into what ostensibly looks like a whole new way of doing strategy. The good news: Now you know where your costs went. The bad news: You’re about to receive a box of free copies for you and your management team, the heaviest and least welcome business card in the world.

Who stole my fable? A whimsical tale of creatures of the woods, who find a way to end their long-standing feud and embark on a co-creation miracle that increases the forest’s return on investment while battling climate change. Told in words of one or two syllables, interspersed with blank pages and bad cartoons. Aesop, no. $ 30 in hardcover at an airport bookstore near you. Will sell millions.

Kill Them: Leadership Lessons From Tyrants. There is a lot to be said for autocrats and dictators, but in the past this has mostly come in the form of unconvincing praise from hunched-over minions. Now, finally, a slim textbook that enumerates the real business benefits of an iron-fisted, putting the bullets in the head style of management, from Attila the Hun to Stalin.

Rich, richer, richer. Who knew that reaching the hyper-rich was so easy? Incredibly Good-Looking Co-Authors with a Highly Followed Instagram Account Explain Secrets of Crypto and Memes Trading, and Urge You to Stake Your Hard-Earned Retirement Savings on Their Twitter-Led Investment Strategy and Become the Next Warren Buffett or Elon Musk. Hurry, before they go up the ladder and the whole Ponzi scheme collapses.

The bumper book of branding. The text is so 2021. Enjoy this massive picture book, complete with hand-drawn graphics and bespoke glossy photographs, all in an insanely large format that can only be displayed on the coffee tables in the atrium of the marketing agency that funded it. Combined with an online course in reputation management and a global motivational tour (tickets on sale now, if Omicron allows).

The Deepest Dive: The Scandal That Briefly Shook Global Capitalism. Three American newspaper reporters who never really got along at the start were persuaded to turn their award-winning, unreadable series of investigative reports into a very, very long book. Each chapter begins with a limousine that stops in front of a luxury hotel. After that, the writers will quit journalism for public relations and never speak to each other again. Close family members only.

Nudge me when I fall asleep. Well-known social science experiments have been recounted for the thousandth time in the kind of optimistic tone that suggests they contain the secret of life itself. You will learn to be constantly excited about trivial advances! You will understand for the first time how a trainer relaunched an obscure American sports franchise! You will wonder why the authors make more money than the associate professors who did the research in the first place! You’ll never buy another behavioral science book again.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho: The unthinkable future of work. Did you know we spend more time working than sleeping? You did it? Never mind: this book will allow you to spend the time you don’t spend working reading about work and, maybe, if you are lucky, dreaming about it. Concert workers: hide from the idea of ​​a utopia where you have a real job again. Full-time workers: Tremble at the idea of ​​a dystopia where gig workers take your job. Bosses: Remember that reading business books during working hours is a licensed offense.

Andrew Hill helped filter the books for the FT Business Book of the Year Award since 2005, and thankfully has never been short of potential winners.

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Raise the Peace: Pastor Turns Weapons Into Garden Tools https://www.tomaszpietak.com/raise-the-peace-pastor-turns-weapons-into-garden-tools/ Sat, 01 Jan 2022 06:17:31 +0000 https://www.tomaszpietak.com/raise-the-peace-pastor-turns-weapons-into-garden-tools/ MADISON, Wisconsin – When Jeff Wild uses 2,200 degree heat to forge guns into garden tools, he has to be careful when dipping the hot gun into water to cool it. Working with a hollow piece of steel carries a higher risk of injury, he said, as the steam passes through the barrel. But perhaps […]]]>

MADISON, Wisconsin – When Jeff Wild uses 2,200 degree heat to forge guns into garden tools, he has to be careful when dipping the hot gun into water to cool it.

Working with a hollow piece of steel carries a higher risk of injury, he said, as the steam passes through the barrel.

But perhaps it is necessary when he converts what he called a “tool of violence” into an instrument that gives life – a dangerous energy leaves before a complete conversion.

“Fire can be destructive,” said Wild. “But fire can also be transformative.”

Wild, a 67-year-old retired pastor living in western Madison, recently told Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Central Time” that the public demonstrations he has organized are an act of protest against the armed violence.

His views on guns were most deeply shaped by the 10 funerals he presided over for men who committed suicide – six of them through the use of a gun.

“I knew these people. I mourned their deaths and I knew the implications and ramifications it had on their loved ones – spouses, children, extended family,” he said in an interview. “This, for me, really touched me deeply.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counted 47,511 suicide deaths in 2019. About half of them involved guns.

In Wisconsin, guns were the most common method of suicide from 2013 to 2017, accounting for 49% of deaths. Ninety percent of those deaths were male, according to the Suicide in Wisconsin: Impact and Response report shared by the state’s Department of Health Services in September 2020.

Wild said these suicides are “often overlooked”, especially when compared to the attention paid to the killings.

Citing the figure that there are more guns in the United States than people, he said there were “just too many guns.”

To be clear, he said he was not calling on the authorities to go through people’s homes and take their weapons away from them. But he thinks there is room to encourage some to get rid of their guns, so there are fewer “lying around”.

His beliefs about guns were forged from funerals, but his inspiration for forging garden tools came from a book by Michael Martin and Shane Claiborne titled “Beating Guns: Hope for People Who Are Weary of Violence” .

Wild also quoted a Bible verse from the book of Isaiah: “And he shall judge among the nations, and rebuke many people; and they will turn their swords into plowshares, and their spears into plowshares; nation will not lift up sword against nation. , they will no longer learn war. “

Learning how to turn guns into garden tools, Wild said he could also benefit from his previous work experience – a few summers spent working in a foundry near where he grew up in Beaver Dam.

The ironwork fascinated him; how molten iron could be poured into molds to take its new shape. Items that were once firm, strong and strong are still malleable.

About two years ago, Wild bought his forge and took a blacksmithing course in Door County, The Cape Times reported. In the weeks after Thanksgiving this year, he held public forging demonstrations at James Madison Park and Wexford Park in Madison.

He said he decided to go public with his gardening tool gun making after the not guilty verdicts in Kenosha’s Kyle Rittenhouse case.

“I remember being surprised and disappointed with the verdict,” he said. “I understand that the jury decided it was self defense. I have come to the conclusion that self defense is a very subjective type of judgment, in my opinion.”

The gun control debate in the United States has been about as loaded as any other. Wild in interviews has mentioned his own history with guns.

As a child, he received a pellet gun as a gift. Later, upon his father’s death, Wild inherited a .22 caliber rifle and shotgun. Additionally, Wild said about 10 years ago that he ended up with several guns that had belonged to his stepfather.

He had amassed “a whole collection” of unused weapons in his basement, so he chose to give them to a responsible friend, he said.

He was hunting as a high school student and student, and he mentioned a hunter safety program he participated in through the National Rifle Association.

Wild sees the forge as a new angle in the debate. He said he could give others “a new way of thinking, and in some cases even a new way of living.”

“It’s much more effective for me to invite people to a demonstration, and (they can) see me make these changes and transformations,” he said. “And then being able to talk about guns to garden tools and our own transformation of our own hearts and minds.”

He also wants to rely on faith, drawing on his 34 years as a pastor in Racine, Janesville and Madison.

Wild hopes to expand its reach. He wants to help reduce gun deaths, and he’s open to invitations from advocacy groups and faith communities (those interested can email him at jtwildwi@gmail.com).

It is not an easy job, transforming weapons or minds. He is not able to put a weapon in his “little” gasoline forge once and hammer out its essence. It takes time, returning the material to the forge over and over again until it has softened and is ready to change.

But once the steam left the barrel and the shape of the gun changed, Wild said he was “forever amazed” when he held the finished product.

“Turning an instrument that could cause violence into a garden tool that produces food for people, myself, my family, as well as other people, is a very meaningful endeavor,” he said. .

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Is the human urge to tell stories dangerous? https://www.tomaszpietak.com/is-the-human-urge-to-tell-stories-dangerous/ Thu, 30 Dec 2021 19:26:44 +0000 https://www.tomaszpietak.com/is-the-human-urge-to-tell-stories-dangerous/ In the best part of the book, Gottschall cites the work of Jaron Lanier to explain how social media algorithms reinforce our worst trends. While Gottschall is wrong to speak of a “universal grammar” of stories, he is certainly right that social media encourages stories where we feel innocent and find others inhumane. But he […]]]>

In the best part of the book, Gottschall cites the work of Jaron Lanier to explain how social media algorithms reinforce our worst trends. While Gottschall is wrong to speak of a “universal grammar” of stories, he is certainly right that social media encourages stories where we feel innocent and find others inhumane. But he can’t draw the crucial conclusion that a story needs a human storyteller, because he needs all statements from ancient bible verses to digital metavers to be a “story” in the same sense. He accepts that novels make us empathetic (an argument made by historian Lynn Hunt). But he can’t bring himself to say that reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is better than falling into a social media rabbit hole.

Gottschall prefers quantity to quality, relying on surveys of novels rather than reading them himself. He doesn’t quite see that what the Internet creates is a never-ending psychological experience and not a story. By letting himself be guided by the tools of big data and psychology, Gottschall blinds himself to this essential point of our contemporary reading experience. It’s not wrong to say that social media algorithms drag us into thoughtless narcissism. What it lacks is that it is precisely psychology and big data, its own allies, that provide the digital trade and political weapons that trap us in stories where we are always on the safe side. Gottschall warns us against such stories and rightly so. But in his analysis of their multiplication and intensification, he confused the villain with the hero. By confusing human storytelling and automated manipulation, he went over to the machines, without realizing it.

Gottschall ignores the basic difference between believing a story and becoming a storyteller. When he tries his hand at fiction, we see the problem. It gives us a short scene that (at least to many readers) will seem to be about a young woman trying to escape a threatening assailant. “I am the god of his little world,” wrote Gottschall, frighteningly, before assuring us, more frighteningly, that he is a benevolent god. The story will be different if it is not told from a place of complacent omnipotence, for example if it is told from a woman’s point of view. It will also be different if it is told as non-fiction.

Gottschall’s take on our non-fictional world is that “almost everything gets better and few things get worse”. It’s hard to see how he can judge the past against the present, given his rejection of both history and journalism. It draws on Steven Pinker’s “data” on the issue of violence, although it does not exist. Pinker cited others; its particular choices are usefully examined in “The Darkest Angels of Our Nature”. In the fields I know something about, Pinker fervently plucked with red fingers; her best figures on the modern death toll come from a source so blatantly ideological I was ashamed to quote it in a high school debate. Like Gottschall, Pinker is a friend of contradiction. He supported his story of progress in part by pointing to the increase in IQs at a time when IQs were in fact declining. He began his book by noting that modern welfare states are the most peaceful regimes in history, and concluded by embracing a libertarianism that would lead to their dissolution. Pinker was telling us a story; it’s a story Gottschall loves, and so it’s ennobled as ‘data’.

The most important development in American storytelling, ignored by Gottschall, is the collapse of local news. Most of our country is a wasteland of news. It is very difficult for people without the essential facts about their own life to start telling their own stories. Investigative reporting is not, unlike Gottschall, just part of a generic narrative of negativity. It provides people with a basis for their civic existence. Millions of little stories defend against a big story. But the millions of little stories need foundations in institutions. Gottschall has no say in what it would take for Americans to become agents and storytellers of their own. He wants us to listen to each other no matter how absurd our stories can be, but has no idea how to make what we say more reasonable.

Part of Gottschall’s story about himself is that his opinions will offend the powerful. Yet his own worldview does nothing to challenge the status quo. He treats political conflict only as cultural warfare, a sight more than comfortable for those in power. His most feared enemy, he says, are his colleagues on the left; it portrays their thinking as entirely about culture. One might think from reading it that left and right have nothing to do with economic equality and inequality, a subject Gottschall ignores.

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The PA interview: Nikole Hannah-Jones’ warning about democracy https://www.tomaszpietak.com/the-pa-interview-nikole-hannah-jones-warning-about-democracy/ Wed, 29 Dec 2021 02:01:40 +0000 https://www.tomaszpietak.com/the-pa-interview-nikole-hannah-jones-warning-about-democracy/ NEW YORK – After a year of professional milestones from her work on the history of slavery in the United States, Pulitzer Prize-winning black journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones says she has clear eyes on her mission to force an account around the nation’s self-image. The New York Times Magazine writer started this year in a long […]]]>

NEW YORK – After a year of professional milestones from her work on the history of slavery in the United States, Pulitzer Prize-winning black journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones says she has clear eyes on her mission to force an account around the nation’s self-image.

The New York Times Magazine writer started this year in a long battle with her alma mater in North Carolina – the dispute ended when she announced in July that she would bring her talents to a historically black college – and the farm as a national university. bestselling author.

“I went from being a simple journalist to being a kind of symbol for people who love me and my job or curse me and my job,” she said.

Hannah-Jones recently spoke to The Associated Press in an exclusive interview about the ongoing controversy over Project 1619, a groundbreaking collection of race essays that first appeared in a special issue of the New York Times Magazine in 2019. Now in book form, the project has become a touchstone for America’s reckoning on slavery and reverberations for black Americans.

“The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story” and “Born on the Water,” a picture book collaboration with co-writer Renée Watson and illustrator Nikkolas Smith, each spent consecutive weeks at the top of the list. of The Times bestsellers since their release on November 16. . A TV documentary on the work is due out later in 2022.

Yet Hannah-Jones said the backlash for her work is proof that the United States is approaching a critical crossroads for its global standing as a democracy.

“I think we’re in a very scary time,” she said in an interview at AP headquarters in New York City.

“People who are much, much smarter than me, who have studied this much, much longer than I am, are sounding the alarm bells,” Hannah-Jones said. “I think we have to ask ourselves… storytellers, storytellers, reporters: are we sounding the alarm the right way? Are we doing our job to try to maintain our democracy?

The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

AP: If anything, what has this year taught you about the current situation in our country, in terms of racial justice and our consideration of history?

HANNAH-JONES: This year, for me, only reflects what I’ve always understood about this country. And it is that the steps forward, the steps towards racial progress, always meet with an intense backlash. That we are a society that voluntarily does not want to face the anti-darkness that is at the heart of so many of our institutions and really of our society itself.

AP: Can you point out any progress in the way the speech has developed or evolved?

HANNAH-JONES: Certainly the fact that some very powerful people are so concerned with a journalism job called The 1619 Project that they would seek to discredit it, seek to censor it, seek to ban teaching it. , testifies to the fact that there are millions of Americans who want a more honest account of our history, who want to better understand the country we are in, who are open to new stories.

AP: Do you think this country is ready to make progress on issues of racial justice, and in particular around education?

HANNAH-JONES: Many mainstream media got caught up in the Republican propaganda campaign, which attempted to confuse teaching a more accurate history, teaching structural racism, with trying to make so white children feel bad about themselves or guilty. And a lot of the coverage has been motivated by it. … I hope there will be a serious examination of the role that we as the media have played (in) really promoting and legitimizing what was a propaganda campaign.

AP: Project 1619 is now a book. For people who don’t understand, how is this different from what was published in the New York Times Magazine?

HANNAH-JONES: We all know there was a close examination of Project 1619.… I think those who had questions can now go see the source material, see the historiography behind the work. To anyone who comes there with an open mind, this is going to be deeply surprising. They will learn so much about the history of their country, but also the history that shapes much of modern American life.

AP: Some people would say this is all agenda-driven work.

HANNAH-JONES: And they would be right.

AP: Why are they right?

HANNAH-JONES: Because it is. The agenda is to force an account with who we are as a country. The agenda is to enslave black American history, from being an asterisk to being marginal to being central to how we understand our country. When people say that, however, I know they are saying it in a derogatory way. I’m just being honest about the nature of this job. … We have been taught the history of a country that does not exist. We have been taught the story of a country that makes us unable to understand how we get an insurgency in the biggest democracy on January 6th.

AP: What do you think are the issues that will dominate our policy in 2022?

HANNAH-JONES: I try never to predict the future. And I am not a political journalist either. … We as Americans are going to be strained over the next two years to decide, what are we prepared to sacrifice to be the country we believe we are? And what rights do we consider to be fundamental in this country? And are all Americans worthy of having the same rights? I don’t think we know the answer to that. But I think what’s important for us to know is that we decide.

———

AP Race and Ethnicity writer Aaron Morrison is a member, trainer and mentor of the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, which Hannah-Jones co-founded. Follow Morrison on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/aaronlmorrison.

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Autobibliography of Rob Doyle’s Criticism – Charming Provocateur | Autobiography and memory https://www.tomaszpietak.com/autobibliography-of-rob-doyles-criticism-charming-provocateur-autobiography-and-memory/ Mon, 27 Dec 2021 09:00:00 +0000 https://www.tomaszpietak.com/autobibliography-of-rob-doyles-criticism-charming-provocateur-autobiography-and-memory/ In 2019, while living in Berlin, Irish writer Rob Doyle wrote a short weekly column on his favorite books for the Irish time. The series started with The non-female face of war, the oral history of Soviet war widows by Svetlana Alexievich, and ended, 51 books later, with The Colossus of Maroussi, Henry Miller’s 1941 […]]]>

In 2019, while living in Berlin, Irish writer Rob Doyle wrote a short weekly column on his favorite books for the Irish time. The series started with The non-female face of war, the oral history of Soviet war widows by Svetlana Alexievich, and ended, 51 books later, with The Colossus of Maroussi, Henry Miller’s 1941 travel memoir in Greece. In between, well, everything from Virginia Woolf to Virginie Despentes, including Carl Jung, Philip K Dick and Tibetan Book of the Dead, each introducing with unbridled critical acuteness and startling comic hyperbole: “Is it absurd to suggest that Fyodor Dostoevsky prophesied the election of Donald Trump, Brexit and the seething hate pits of social media?”

Readers of Doyle’s autobiographical novel Threshold We will not be surprised that these chronicles, collected in his new book, fall the hardest for writers with mischievous and lugubrious eyes – Michel Houellebecq, let’s say, or the Romanian author EM Cioran. that of Freud Civilization and its discontents gets a boost for his “honest theoretical recognition of the unbridled aggression, depravity and thirst for annihilation which is an individual’s dirtiest secret in society”, while Nietzsche Of the genealogy of manners “Could be one of the greatest horror novels ever written”; by Joris-Karl Huysmans Backwards, “A sort of 19th century American psychopathAbout a sickly aristocrat’s outraged self-help program, which Doyle read while tripping over psychoactive cacti in Bolivia, is simply “evil.”

Between those snippets of high-quality consumer advice are longer and looser written thoughts on Doyle’s return to Ireland in early 2020, a visit that has turned into a long-term stay because of you know what. So, the book turns into a tour of Doyle’s psyche during the Covid era, as he reflects as he’s stuck at home on a wandering youth past in drug-addicted squats and roommates in London and in Paris, rummaging through Asia and Latin America with the money earned sorting supermarket coupons on an industrial area in Dublin.

Most important in her mind is sex, relegated by the pandemic to a memory, except for half-hearted clicks on PornHub (“like a nightmarish wandering through an endless wet market”), to say nothing of a “loving visit” who breaks the lockdown on his girlfriend. Amid wet memories of a threesome at a Berlin nightclub or the Vietnamese lover he followed to San Francisco, we’re told how Doyle didn’t try to be faithful, even in a relationship. serious. In the darker days of 2020, he lost his temper writing a tongue-in-cheek Facebook post that he feared his friends would take seriously, as it actually wasn’t quite light: ‘S’ there is a silver lining in all of this, and that is that the new generation will not be able to take advantage of the freedoms that I have made such a beast to exploit. “

Doyle’s self-guided impulses make him good company on the page. When he imagines writing a book like Thomas Bernhard’s My prices, in which the Austrian writer reviews his experience of accepting various awards (Doyle’s version would be composed of “scathing speeches to mark the literary awards that I made not to win “), the rant that follows on” someone[ning] the latest popularity contest with his “bullshit book” is funny, not just bitter, in part because Doyle admits he’s no stranger. He talks about an ex-lover who is an acclaimed French novelist and says that Geoff Dyer (a strong influence) always texts him about an epic night they once shared; Rachel Kushner told him that, inspired by an idea of ​​a scholar of Houellebecq that he had abandoned after 10,000 words, she was going to make the French writer a character in his next novel.

Contradiction, or multiplicity, is one of the pleasures of this charming provocative enterprise, as you can imagine for the author as much as for us (the catalog of his drug taking, for example, left me stunned that he managed to read so much, let alone write). But if navel-gazing rubs you the wrong way – as Doyle well knows, easily providing a three-page preventative list of objections to his own work – there’s always the Consumer’s Advice: Arthur Koestler’s Debut Novel. , gladiators and that of Marguerite Duras Practical aspects are just two of the books I can’t wait to pick up after reading what he says about them and it’s not the least of Doyle’s paradoxes that this self-proclaimed hater should be such a contagious enthusiast.

Autobibliography by Rob Doyle is published by Swift Press (£ 12.99). To support the Guardian and Observer order your copy at guardianbookshop.com. Delivery charges may apply

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Significant environmental overruns in 2021 https://www.tomaszpietak.com/significant-environmental-overruns-in-2021/ Sat, 25 Dec 2021 10:41:36 +0000 https://www.tomaszpietak.com/significant-environmental-overruns-in-2021/ As we turn the page 2021, let’s look back at the people we lost last year and who left their mark on the planet (for better or for worse). E. Bruce Harrison In 1962 he was a Mad Men-then public relations manager for the Chemical Manufacturers Association, where he led a relentless attack on the […]]]>

As we turn the page 2021, let’s look back at the people we lost last year and who left their mark on the planet (for better or for worse).


E. Bruce Harrison

In 1962 he was a Mad Men-then public relations manager for the Chemical Manufacturers Association, where he led a relentless attack on the book Silent spring and its author, Rachel Carson. The extensive accounting of the book on the consequences of the pesticide DDT makes it arguably the greatest environmental book of all time.

He pursued a lucrative career as the “father of greenwashing” according to the enviros and “the father of green public relations” according to the industry. Harrison died in January at the age of 88

Paul Crutzen

Crutzen was the last survivor of the trio of scientists who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995 for their discoveries linking the stratospheric depletion of the Earth’s ozone layer to the increasing use of chlorofluorocarbon chemicals. He died in January, at the age of 87.

Sandy West

Heir to Pittsburgh Paint & Glass’s fortune, West has spent almost everything to protect Georgia’s Ossabaw Island from development. Comfortable with his eccentric public image, West has angered other environmentalists by working to protect Ossabaw’s voracious feral pig population.

Pigs have eaten or trampled much of Ossabaw’s natural beauty. Sandy protected both good and evil on Ossabaw Island until her death in February at the age of 108.

Rush limbaugh

Say what you want about Limbaugh, he had a profound impact on the feelings of tens of millions of Americans about the environment and “environmental wackos”. Limbaugh was a big climate change deceiver whose best time, IMHO, was in May 2010, when he told his audience that the Deep water horizon the oil spill was internal work, caused by the so-called “wackos” as fundraising. He lost a long battle with lung cancer in February, at the age of 70.

George shultz

Secretary of State to Presidents Nixon and Reagan, Shultz made an end-of-life conversion to clean energy, energy efficiency and climate change action. He died in February at the age of 100.

John W. Warner

The courteous five-term Virginia senator died in May, aged 93. In a way, he was a lousy environmentalist, with a League of Conservation Voters lifetime vote score of 22%. But he co-sponsored the Senate’s first climate change bill with Joe Lieberman, and after leaving the Senate, Warner devoted much of his energy to talking about climate change as a global security issue.

Prince Philippe

Philip was not only the Queen’s winger, he was president of the World Wide Fund for Nature for 15 years. He has advocated for endangered animals and habitats, and his son, Prince Charles, continues to do so. In addition to the high visibility of the Royal Family, it is safe to assume that the Queen Consort and the Crown Prince could be very good fundraisers when called upon. His Highness was 99 when he died in April.

AQ Khan

Of all those on this list, AQ Khan will almost surely have the longest and most profound impact on the human condition. He is also almost certainly the only physicist who presents himself as a national hero in his own country, Pakistan. When rival India detonated its first atomic bomb in 1974, Khan led Pakistan’s efforts to catch up, which they did in 1998. In the meantime, Khan had also become the world’s largest sieve. nuclear secrets.

New nuclear weapons programs in Iran, North Korea and Libya were launched in part thanks to information disclosed by Khan. The Libyan program died when dictator Muammar Gaddafy was overthrown. Potential nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran or North Korea still pose a terrifying global risk.

Khan died of complications from COVID-19 in October, aged 85.

Robert H. Grubbs

Grubbs shared the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his advances in “green chemistry”. He was 79 when he died on December 19.

Environmental activists

And while final figures won’t be available for some time, 2021 is set to be another brutal year for environmental activists in developing countries. The Global Witness group counted 227 deaths last year – most of them unsolved killings.

One of the most notorious murders of the past, however, came closer to justice in 2021. Berta Cáceres led opposition to a hydroelectric dam project in Honduras until her assassination in 2016. Last year, l he former head of the hydroelectric project was arrested and convicted of organizing his assassination.

Peter Dykstra is our editor and weekend columnist and can be reached at pdykstra@ehn.org or @pdykstra.

Its views do not necessarily represent those of Environmental Health News, The Daily Climate, or publisher Environmental Health Sciences.

Banner photo: Sandy West. Credit: ossabawisland.org/)

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Biggest National Security Stories of 2021 https://www.tomaszpietak.com/biggest-national-security-stories-of-2021/ Thu, 23 Dec 2021 15:01:35 +0000 https://www.tomaszpietak.com/biggest-national-security-stories-of-2021/ welcome to Foreign policeis SitRep! We’re back in your inboxes with one of the latest editions of the year. We hope everyone is preparing for a relaxing vacation and enjoying the New Year. One thing we’re really looking forward to this week: the long-awaited launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, a massive project that […]]]>

welcome to Foreign policeis SitRep! We’re back in your inboxes with one of the latest editions of the year. We hope everyone is preparing for a relaxing vacation and enjoying the New Year.

One thing we’re really looking forward to this week: the long-awaited launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, a massive project that has been going on for 20 years.

Okay, let’s come back to more earthly questions. Here’s what to expect for the day: looking back at 2021 hectic and wild year for the world of national security. Plus, keep scrolling down. We have an winter vacation reading list for those crazy about NatSec.

welcome to Foreign policeis SitRep! We’re back in your inboxes with one of the latest editions of the year. We hope everyone is preparing for a relaxing vacation and enjoying the New Year.

One thing we look forward to this week: the long-awaited launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, a colossal project of twenty years.

Okay, let’s come back to more earthly questions. Here’s what to expect for the day: allooking back out of 2021 hectic and wild year for the world of national security. Plus, keep scrolling down. We have an winter vacation reading list for those crazy about NatSec.

If you would like to receive the Situation Report in your inbox every Thursday, please sign up here.


Another year of dangerous life

Well, we did. Another year, and one more eventful year. But the world keeps turning, the sun keeps rising, Defense Department officials keep leaving for comfortable jobs with defense contractors to secure lucrative deals with the Pentagon, and the seasons keep going. change.

At SitRep, we wanted to take a break and look back at some of the biggest national security stories of the year and how those stories will continue to reverberate in Washington and around the world in 2022. Don’t worry, we’re l ‘ve reduced to 12 major NatSec news articles — one per month.

Consider this as your cheat sheet when history teachers ask you about what happened in 2021.

January 6: A violent and pro-Donald Trump crowd storms the Capitol in a deadly riot and attempted insurgency after the outgoing president brandished false claims that the election was stolen from him. The political fallout continues to this day, with a special Congressional committee investigating the crisis and the U.S. military campaigning for uproot extremists of its own ranks.

February 9: Trump’s start of second impeachment trial, focusing on the role of the former president in fomenting the January 6 Capitol riots. (Trump was acquitted days later, after 57 senators voted for impeachment and 43 voted against, failing to reach the required two-thirds majority.)

March 23: The Ever Given container ship becomes stuck in the Suez Canal, exposing how vulnerable the global economy is all about interrupting the supply chain, even at things as simple as a ship straying too far from the side of a canal.

April 14: US President Joe Biden set a final date for the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan by September, presaging an incredibly successful Taliban offensive and culminating in the collapse of the Afghan government and the most searing defeat of US foreign policy in modern history.

May 7: A ransomware attack temporarily destroyed a pipeline system that supplied half of the fuel to the east coast of the United States. Cyber ​​security experts had warned for years of vulnerabilities in America’s energy system. Later this year, the U.S. government is convening a Mountain peak to find out how to go on the offensive against cybercriminals.

June 2: Political coalition in Israel reaches agreement for oust the country’s longest-serving prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Few, if any, foreign leaders have played a more disproportionate role in American politics than Netanyahu, especially during the Trump era.

July 21: Republican Senator Ted Cruz publishes vast and unprecedented hold on on all of Biden’s top State Department candidates after arguing with the president over a controversial Russian gas pipeline project in Europe. Cruz’s decision kept dozens of candidates from being confirmed for much of Biden’s first year in office, hobble until a last-minute deal is reached at the end of December to break the deadlock.

August 15th : Taliban take control of Afghanistan after rapid collapse of Afghan government, erasure nearly two decades of fighting and $ 2 trillion in US taxpayer dollars in building the nation overnight. All US forces would withdraw weeks later amid a chaotic and deadly evacuation that left tens of thousands of Afghan allies abandoned and precipitated a massive humanitarian crisis from which the country is still in shock.

September 15: The leaders of the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia announce a new security agreement, AUKUS, from which Australia receives the technology of American nuclear submarines. AUKUS has triggered a diplomatic crisis with France, which was blinded by the deal, and showcased US efforts to china counter with allies in Asia-Pacific.

October 18: Colin Powell, former US National Security Advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State, dies of COVID-19 at the age of 84. Powell broke through barriers as the first black American in several leadership positions in the U.S. government, but the U.S. national security community is still account on systemic racism and diversity issues.

November, 1st : Western powers are starting to worry more and more about a massive accumulation Russian military forces near its border with Ukraine. Crisis continues, as Biden administration and NATO allies scramble to strengthen support for Kiev and deter Russia from launching a new invasion of Ukraine.

December 2: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has led Europe’s most powerful economy for 16 years and has traversed the European Union through multiple crises, is stepping down, marking the end of an era of European politics. The center-left Social Democrat Olaf Scholz succeeded him shortly after.

See you soon, 2021. Hopefully 2022 will be better and much, much less pandemic.



Volunteers lay wreaths on headstones as part of the 30th annual Wreaths Across America project, which places wreaths on more than 250,000 military headstones at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. On December 18 .Al Drago / Getty Images


What to read during your vacation

Still looking for books to prepare for the New Year? Don’t worry, SitRep has you covered. We’ve curated a small list of some of the best books, old and new, that we’ve read this year and we know our SitRep readers are going to love it. All of them pair well with a long vacation break, a comfy sofa, and spiked eggnog.

Eagle Down: The Last Special Forces Fighting The Eternal War by Jessica Donati. Donati, a veteran the Wall Street newspaper correspondent, writes a gripping and heartbreaking tale of battle-weary Special Forces on the frontlines of war in the final stages of Afghanistan. I couldn’t ask it. –Robbie

The Hardest Place: The US Army adrift in Afghanistan’s Pech Valley by Wesley Morgan. Yes, another book on Afghanistan. But there are few zoomed-in stories of the trials and tribulations of the Pentagon in places like Pech, where US special forces ousted al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden at the start of the war before the mission does not spread, drop by drop, to a sprawling labyrinth. from remote bases across the mountains and valleys of Afghanistan. Morgan documented this over more than a decade of journalistic deployments to Pech, which began when he was an undergraduate student at Princeton University. Full disclosure: He’s a former colleague in the Pentagon correspondent’s pen, and I owe him a beer. –Jack

Leviathan wakes up by James SA Corey. Here’s the first book in an action-packed sci-fi series (which also turned into a great TV show, courtesy of Amazon Prime). There is a lot of rich material in this series for national security jerks, including intricate games of deterrence, detente, alliance building and alliance breaking between Earth, Mars and the “Belters”. . Fair warning: once you get sucked in, it will be hard not to binge on the whole series while on vacation. –Robbie

Ike’s Bluff: President Eisenhower’s Secret Battle to Save the World by Evan Thomas. Was the Eisenhower administration’s nuclear trick like playing a good hand of poker? That’s how longtime foreign policy historian Evan Thomas puts it in this compelling biography of the 34th President of the United States, which pits the famed war-skeptical general against the hawks of his own cabinet (like Secretary of the time, John Foster Dulles) and post-war doves. –Jack

The Chinese Civilian Army: The Inside Story of China’s Quest for Global Power by Pierre Martin. We hear so much in Washington about Chinese President Xi Jinping, the state and size of the Chinese military, but what about the soft power side of things? Martin gives us a fascinating and meticulously researched story inside (or as close as possible as far as China is concerned) of the Chinese diplomatic corps. –Robbie

Tomorrow the World: The Birth of America’s Global Supremacy by Stephen Wertheim. The Trump and Biden administrations have seen a sharp step backwards from the United States’ desire to be the predominant power in the world. But how did he get there in the first place? In great detail, Wertheim draws the battle map of the intellectual warfare that unfolded in World War II between American thinkers who wanted the United States to carry on the tradition of British preeminence and those who did not. not done. –Jack

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Recent SEC Observations from Advisor Fee Calculation Reviews | Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner https://www.tomaszpietak.com/recent-sec-observations-from-advisor-fee-calculation-reviews-bryan-cave-leighton-paisner/ Tue, 21 Dec 2021 18:54:35 +0000 https://www.tomaszpietak.com/recent-sec-observations-from-advisor-fee-calculation-reviews-bryan-cave-leighton-paisner/ Summary Key points to remember: On November 10, 2021, the SEC issued a risk alert that provides observations from recent reviews on the calculation of advisor fees. A copy of this alert can be found HERE. In another grim report, the SEC said “most” of its recent reviews related to this topic have resulted in […]]]>

Summary

Key points to remember:

  • On November 10, 2021, the SEC issued a risk alert that provides observations from recent reviews on the calculation of advisor fees. A copy of this alert can be found HERE.
  • In another grim report, the SEC said “most” of its recent reviews related to this topic have resulted in the issuance of deficiency letters.
  • Violations noted included inadequate compliance programs, inaccurate fee calculations, disclosures that did not align with advisory agreements, and violations of books and records. These issues “often” resulted in financial harm to clients and violated advisers’ fiduciary duties under the Investment Advisors Act.

Below is a summary of the SEC’s observations on breaches of compliance and its suggestions on how investment advisers can improve in this area.

PREVIEW

The SEC’s Examinations Division (the “Division”) recently concluded a national initiative (the “Initiative”) that focused on the effectiveness of advisor compliance programs regarding advisory fees and accuracy. and the adequacy of their expense calculations, disclosures, and books and records. As it becomes more and more common, the SEC noted that “most” of the reviews on this topic have resulted in findings of non-compliance and the issuance of letters of non-compliance.

The topic of advisory fees is not new, as it has appeared in the division’s review priorities every year since 2018. It was also the subject of another risk alert issued by the SEC in April 2018. , which can be found HERE. Given the continuing difficulties for compliance advisers in these areas, as evidenced by the review results below, this topic is highly unlikely to fall out of favor with the SEC anytime soon.

FEATURES COMMON TO ADVISORS

In reporting the Initiative’s results, the SEC observed some common and acceptable characteristics in the billing practices of investment advisers, including:

  1. advisers have standard fee schedules with tiered fees based on assets under management;
  2. advisory fees are assessed quarterly;
  3. advisory fees are taken directly from clients’ accounts;
  4. the advisory fee is calculated based on the value of the account on the start or end date of the billing period;
  5. advisors frequently use third-party software or service providers to calculate fees;
  6. consultancy fees are recorded through written consultancy agreements or contracts; and
  7. the combination of client and family account values ​​helps reduce costs (i.e., household maintenance).

COMMON COMPLIANCE DEFICIENCIES IDENTIFIED BY THE SEC

The SEC noted frequent problems with advisor fee calculations, disclosures, written policies and procedures, and the way advisory fees were reflected in advisers’ own financial statements. Specifically, the SEC found issues with the following:

Consultancy fee calculations:

  • Consulting fees were miscalculated, including:
    • Fees calculated using rates incompatible with contractual agreements;
    • Fees calculated using an incorrect price list; and
    • Fees calculated with obsolete fee schedules, sometimes leading to inconsistencies between client companies.
  • Consulting fees were double billed due to oversight or outdated systems.
  • Breakpoint or milestone billing rates were calculated incorrectly, including instances where milestone rates were not applied correctly or at all.
  • Customer and family accounts were not properly grouped to provide the best rates for customers.
  • The assets have been included for valuation purposes and the disclosure indicated would be excluded.
  • Fees were not properly prorated for accounts opened or closed mid-cycle.
  • Prepaid charges on terminated accounts were only refunded at the customer’s request, or refunds were made years after the fact.

False or misleading disclosures:

The SEC noted that many failed disclosures:

  • To make full and accurate disclosures on ADV Part 2 brochures, including the failure to:
    • Reflect the current fees charged;
    • Indicate whether the fees were negotiable (including certain disclosures incorrectly indicating that the fees were non-negotiable);
    • Describe precisely how the fees were calculated and invoiced; and
    • Be consistent with related customer agreements.
  • Disclose the impact of cash flow, such as large deposits made in the middle of a billing cycle, on advisory fees.
  • Accurately disclose the billing schedule for charges, for example indicating that charges would be calculated and billed in advance, when in reality they were calculated and billed in arrears.
  • To accurately disclose account valuations used for billing purposes, such as disclosing month-end value usage, when in fact a daily average value was used.
  • Accurately disclose the minimum or maximum fees that could be charged to a customer.
  • Some advisors did not document the fee amounts charged to clients at all.

Omitted or inadequate policies:

  • The SEC noted that many advisers have failed to design and implement policies and procedures regarding the billing of advisory fees, including calculating, billing, monitoring and testing fee calculations.
  • The reviewers found that many policies and procedures were silent on how important items of billing would be calculated, including:
    • Valuations of illiquid or difficult to value assets;
    • Expense offsets, such as those offered for 12b-1 fees;
    • Reimbursement of fees for terminated accounts;
    • Pro-rata charge for cash deposited or withdrawn from accounts; and
    • Aggregation of family accounts or application of breakpoints to calculate fees.

Inaccuracies in Advisors’ Own Financial Statements:

Many of the advisors we examined had inaccurate fee entries in their books and records, including:

  • Failure to record prepaid advisory fees as liabilities in the financial statements.
  • Failure to record all advisory fee income, administrative fee income and compensation expense in general ledgers on the financial statements. Fees were missing from the records when advisers accepted goods and services (such as IT services) instead of advisory fees, or when clients paid fees directly to representatives of investment advisers.
  • In practice, advisers used cash accounting and modified cash accounting, but prepared the financial statements on an accrual basis. This discrepancy resulted in advisory fees showing up as accounts receivable in the financial statements when they were not.

SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVING THE SEC

  • Adopt and implement written policies and procedures regarding the calculation of consulting fees and invoicing processes,
  • Adopt and implement written policies and procedures for periodic testing and validation of fee calculations.
  • Centralize the fee invoicing process within the company.
  • Perform periodic testing and validation to ensure fees charged to clients are in accordance with compliance procedures, consulting contracts, and disclosures.
  • Use checklists and other tools when testing and validating expense calculations, to ensure that all staff perform these tasks consistently.
  • Correctly record all advisory fees assessed and received from clients, including those paid directly to advisory staff.

CONCLUSION

The subject of advisory fees remains a hot topic for the SEC and we expect the widespread compliance failures noted here will cause some repetition in this space until the SEC becomes more comfortable with broader compliance. As a result, all firms providing advisory services to clients would be better advised to undertake a comprehensive review of their advisory fee practices, including fee calculations, disclosures, client agreements, policies. , procedures, and books and records to ensure compliance with SEC concerns.

[View source.]

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