Young adults ‘putting themselves at fraud risk’ by sharing details online

Young adults ‘putting themselves at fraud risk’ by sharing details online

Irish Examinar

Young adults’ willingness to share personal information with others online could be putting them at greater risk of fraud, a report warns.

While older people are often seen as less tech-savvy, potentially putting them at greater risk of fraud, UK bank NatWest found that less cautious behaviour among those aged 18 to 24 years old in particular could be making them vulnerable.

NatWest, which commissioned think tank Policy Network to look into financial fraud trends, found more than 80% of young adults in this age group are willing to share their email address online with their friends, and as many as 29% are willing to share their mother’s maiden name – a commonly used security question.

This contrasts with just 60% of over-55s willing to share their email address, and only 12% willing to share their mother’s maiden name.

The report was launched at a fraud summit being held by NatWest.

David Lowe, NatWest’s head of fraud prevention, said traditionally the view has been that older people are most at risk of financial fraud.

He said: “Whilst fraud is still prevalent in this age category, we are seeing an increasing trend in younger ’digital natives’ falling victim to online fraud.”

Matthew Laza, director at Policy Network, said: “We need to ensure that today’s school children don’t become another ’generation scammed’.

“As more and more of life moves online this is a real danger for the future.”

Research for this report involved a review of available data on fraud and scams, analysis of YouGov survey data, and interviews with fraud experts.

Source: www.irishexaminer.com

 

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(TSX) In short marijuana, the United States and listing on the TSX/TSXV do not mix

Article by Neil Wiener

On October 16, 2017, the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) issued Staff Notice 2017-0009 regarding listed companies engaged in the marijuana business, whether directly or indirectly, in the United States. At the same time, the TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) issued a Notice to Issuers virtually identical to the TSX Staff Notice. It is well-known that recreational cannabis has been legalized in certain American states (in alphabetical order, Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington) yet remains illegal at the federal level in the United States. The TSX Staff Notice and TSXV Notice to Issuers clarify the position of the two Exchanges in light of this legal conundrum. In short, marijuana, the United States and listing on the TSX/TSXV do not mix.

The TSX Staff Notice states the general rule that a TSX-listed company must act in compliance with the rules and regulations of all regulatory bodies having jurisdiction over it. The Staff Notice notes that marijuana remains a Schedule I drug under the United States Controlled Substances Act, such that it is illegal under United States federal law to cultivate, distribute or possess marijuana, and that financial transactions involving proceeds generated by, or intended to promote, marijuana-related business activities in the United States may form the basis for prosecution under applicable U.S. federal money-laundering legislation.

According to the Staff Notice, companies listed on the TSX with ongoing business activities that violate United States federal law regarding marijuana are not in compliance with the requirements of the TSX. These business activities may include, among other things, (i) direct or indirect ownership of, or investment in, businesses engaged in the cultivation, distribution or possession of marijuana in the United States (which the Staff Notice refers to as “Subject Entities“), (ii) other commercial arrangements with Subject Entities (presumably, a joint venture, a “streaming” deal, or other similar contractual arrangement), (iii) providing services or products that are specifically designed for, or targeted at, Subject Entities, or (iv) commercial interests or arrangements with entities (CSA) engaging in the business activities described in (iii).

The Staff Notice sets out that the TSX will contact its listed companies by the end of 2017 for a comprehensive review of their marijuana-related activities (if any) in the United States. If a listed company engages in activities that are contrary to TSX requirements, the TSX has the discretion to delist that company. In short, if a TSX-listed company grows or distributes marijuana in the United States, invests in another business that grows or distributes marijuana in the United States, or provides services or products for businesses that grow or distribute marijuana in the United States, the company faces the prospect of being delisted from the TSX.

However, it’s not all bad news for companies in the marijuana industry. The Staff Notice concludes by stating that the TSX continues to welcome listing applicants in the marijuana sector that operate within Canada and comply with applicable Canadian law. Presumably, the TSX will also welcome listing applicants engaged in the marijuana business in other countries in which such activities are legal, provided that the listing applicant can demonstrate to the TSX that it is in compliance with all applicable laws of those jurisdictions. However, until further notice, companies listed or applying for listing on the TSX or TSXV will have to stay away from either marijuana or the United States.

For those Canadian companies with marijuana activities in the United States (for example, a company listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange), the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) issued CSA Staff Notice 51-352 Issuers with U.S. Marijuana-Related Activities on October 16, 2017. Similar to TSX Staff Notice 2017-0009, the CSA Staff Notice notes the discrepancy between U.S. federal and state law as it relates to the use and sale of marijuana. In short, CSA staff believes that how a company with U.S. marijuana activities ensures compliance with U.S. state-level regulatory frameworks forms an important part of that company’s continuous disclosure record.

The CSA Staff Notice sets out specific disclosure requirements for issuers with marijuana-related activities in the United States, which will apply to continuous disclosure documents such as an annual information form or management’s discussion and analysis (MD&A), and to a prospectus in the event of a public offering. For example, CSA staff expects that an issuer will explain in these documents “whether and how the issuer’s U.S. marijuana-related activities are conducted in a manner consistent with any U.S. federal enforcement priorities”. For those issuers with direct involvement in the cultivation or distribution of marijuana, CSA staff expects in particular that the issuer will outline the applicable regulations of the U.S. states in which the issuer operates and confirm how the issuer complies with applicable licensing requirements and the state regulatory framework. This is more than boilerplate disclosure. Canadian issuers with marijuana-related activities in the United States will have to take cognizance of, and comply with, these specific disclosure requirements. Failure to do so could lead to a request from CSA staff for re-filing of the disclosure document (e.g. annual information form or MD&A) or appropriate enforcement action.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Source: Mondaq

Canadian and American companies clearly want to do more business together

Despite continued geopolitical risks to global trade seemingly at every turn, Canadian export performance has grown at a rate higher than expected – 8 per cent this year over the projected 6 per cent, according to Export Development Canada’s (EDC) latest semi-annual Global Export Forecast released today.

In particular, stronger demand from US companies and consumers for Canadian products and services is playing a big part in that increase, just as NAFTA negotiations reach a critical juncture.

The energy sector’s return to growth is the main reason that Canada’s exports are picking up, as the oil patch rebounds from devastating forest fires and an ongoing lower price environment. The major buyer of that energy? You guessed it: the US. As the US economy perks up and industry begins to churn, energy demands have followed suit.

At the same time, ores and metals will see a big jump as the US and global industrial sectors begin to slowly increase production. That resurgence in production is also driving up Canadian exports of Canadian machinery and equipment in the strengthening U.S. market.

Canada’s export engine is revved up and firing on all cylinders,” says Peter Hall, EDC Vice President and Chief Economist. “Despite the political signals coming out of the U.S., Canadian and US companies are clear: they want to do more business together. We are seeing more Canadian companies making new business investments in the US and we’re already measuring its impact on boosting demand for Canadian exports, specifically machinery and equipment.”

Highlights: 

Sectors posting double-digit growth include:

  • Energy 31%
  • Ores & Metals 14%
  • Industrial Machinery & Equipment 11%
  • Energy exports stand at $77 billion and are forecast to grow by an astounding 31 per cent in 2017. However, the intense growth will be short-lived as gains flat line in 2018.
  • Services, a key driver in the Canadian export story, will post a positive gain of almost 6 per cent this year and maintain that level of momentum in the longer-term outlook.
  • The forestry sector remains in positive territory with gains of 4 per cent, but growth will slow due to the ongoing softwood lumber dispute between Canada and the US.

Overall, Canadian export growth is expected to level out to 4 per cent in 2018 after its 8 per cent gain this year, pushing export growth above the pre-recession high water mark. “We might very well have finally put our feet on the bottom of this long export stagnancy period,” added Hall.

Globally, EDC is projecting world growth to rise from 3.6 per cent this year to 3.8 per cent in 2018, fuelled by robust growth in emerging markets, specifically ChinaIndia and Brazil. However, developed markets have turned a corner with major economies recording stronger performances this year.

Developed markets are also providing growth opportunities in the long-term, particularly in the EU as a result of the new Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The free trade agreement opens up a market of approximately 500 million people worth $20 trillion to Canadian exporters.

“It’s been a long time coming, but global growth is back,” Hall adds. “Canada’s exporters are poised to gain from this growth throughout 2017 and 2018.”

For the full report, visit EDC’s Global Export Forecast: Fall 2017

EDC helps Canadian companies go, grow, and succeed in their international business. As a financial Crown corporation, EDC provides financing, insurance, bonding, trade knowledge, and matchmaking connections to help Canadian companies sell and invest abroad. EDC can also provide financial solutions to foreign buyers to facilitate and grow purchases from Canadian companies.

For more information about how we can help your company, call us at 1-888-434-8508 or visit www.edc.ca.

SOURCE Export Development Canada

If NAFTA dies, old Canada U.S. FTA would live on, right? Not so fast, Canada

By Alexander Panetta

THE CANADIAN PRESS

WASHINGTON _ It’s a refrain frequently heard in Canada: That ending NAFTA wouldn’t change much in economic relations with the United States, because the countries could simply pull their older agreement off the shelf, dust it off, and persist in trade without tariffs.

It’s also wrong, some analysts say.

A few people interviewed this week disputed the idea that the original Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement of 1987 would automatically snap back into place if NAFTA disappears, an increasingly relevant topic as hostilities mount in the trilateral trade talks.

“That’s so naive,” said Sarah Goldfeder, a former U.S. diplomat in Mexico and Canada who is following the trade negotiations at Earnscliffe Strategy Group in Ottawa, on the idea of an automatic snap-back.

“You’d have to re-implement (the original agreement).”

That would raise new challenges, she said. First of all, she said the current American political climate would not make for an easy re-implementation. She said there would be demands for a renegotiation within the U.S., and the parties would soon be back at the table struggling with many of the same sticking points.

“There’s no way this (Trump) administration would do this (re-implementation) without negotiating a new agreement,” she said.

“So you’re still going to have to negotiate all the same irritants.”

The current talks have become bogged down amid huge gaps between the countries and not only in material things like dairy, automobiles, and public works’ Buy American rules, but in basic philosophical differences on the architecture of a trade deal.

The Trump administration’s proposals would make it easy to cancel the agreement within five years, and hard for countries to count on stable long-term access to each other’s markets.

The president says he’ll cancel NAFTA if he can’t get a deal.

Insiders now view termination as a real possibility, raising unprecedented procedural questions _ like what the rules are for cancelling a trade deal and, of particular importance to Canadians, what the rules are for reviving an old one.

The suspension of the old agreement was signalled in diplomatic notes exchanged between the countries. The 1993 notes were brief and vaguely worded. The countries complimented each other on their new deal with Mexico, and confirmed that each would make separate arrangements to suspend the old deal.

The American suspension is laid out in Section 107 of the law implementing NAFTA in that country in 1994. The earlier deal negotiated by Brian Mulroney and Ronald Reagan was to be suspended, and, according to the law, it would remain suspended until such time as that suspension might be “terminated.”

It doesn’t define how you “terminate” a suspension. But a trade consultant who two decades ago advised Canada’s parliamentary committee on NAFTA implementation said it obviously requires someone to do something.

“It’s been suspended. Somebody has to un-suspend it,” Peter Clark said.

That someone could be Congress. And even if Congress does successfully vote to re-introduce the old FTA, its vote would either require the approval of President Donald Trump, or an overwhelming, two-thirds majority vote in Congress to overcome a presidential veto.

A Washington trade expert says lawmakers could also try sneaking bits of trade legislation into larger bills it’s a common practice in American lawmaking to tack on unrelated items to a bill.

But Eric Miller says his own congressional sources have already told him: American lawmakers would expect a vote on any FTA re-implementation. He’s warning Canadians now _ over what he calls a dangerous complacency that there’s some insurance policy if NAFTA dies.

“I think it’s highly questionable that this insurance policy will pay out, and pay out in full, in the case of an accident,” he said.

“I’m highly doubtful the agreement would come back into place and everyone would be fine with it… If Congress believes they’re going to have to vote on it, then they’re going to have to vote on it.”

The U.S. Constitution, after all, gives Congress the power over international commercial agreements. Historically, Congress has merely lent that power to the president, and worked out a compromise set of rules known as fast-track legislation.

Now some analysts suggest the Congress could try wresting back its rightful power, block any Trump effort to cancel NAFTA, and avoid all this uncertainty over the 1993 deal, the 1987 deal, and trade in general.

But a former U.S. trade czar expresses some doubt this will happen.

Barack Obama’s trade representative Michael Froman points to the track record of this current Congress which has failed to pass a single piece of policy legislation of any significance.

“I think it would require a lot of action, a lot of consensus in Congress. And that may emerge,” Froman told the Council on Foreign Relations this week.

“But so far, there haven’t been a lot of profiles in courage.”

The end of free trade in North America would leave new tariffs averaging 3.5 per cent in the U.S., 4.2 in Canada, and 7.1 in Mexico. Some analysts say that would reduce Canada’s GDP by about 2.5 per cent on a long-term basis.

California fires cause $1B in damage, burn 7,000 buildings

By Janie Har And Michael R. Blood

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SAN FRANCISCO _ The wildfires that have devastated Northern California this month caused at least $1 billion in damage to insured property, officials said Thursday, as authorities increased the count of homes and other buildings destroyed to nearly 7,000.

Both numbers were expected to rise as crews continued assessing areas scorched by the blazes that killed 42 people, a total that makes it the deadliest series of fires in state history.

State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said the preliminary dollar valuation of losses came from claims filed with the eight largest insurance companies in the affected areas and did not include uninsured property.

The loss total was expected to climb “probably dramatically so,” Jones told reporters, making it likely the fires also would become the costliest in California’s history.

The initial insurance total covered 4,177 partial residential losses, 5,449 total residential losses, 35 rental and condominium losses, 601 commercial property losses, more than 3,000 vehicle losses, 150 farm or agricultural equipment losses, and 39 boats.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s estimate of homes and structures destroyed was boosted to 6,900 from 5,700 as fire crews returned to hard-hit neighbourhoods and assessed remote and rural areas they could not get to earlier, spokesman Daniel Berlant said.

He said most of the newly counted destroyed buildings burned on Oct. 8 and Oct. 9 _ when the wildfires broke out in wine country north of San Francisco and other nearby areas.

“The estimates are in structures and are mostly homes, but also includes commercial structures and outbuildings like barns and sheds,” Berlant said.

Twenty-two of the 42 deaths in California’s October fires happened in a Sonoma County wildfire, making it the third-deadliest in California history. A 1933 Los Angeles fire that killed 29 people was the deadliest, followed by the 1991 Oakland Hills fire killed 25.

When adjusted for inflation, the Oakland Hills fire is believed the costliest fire in California history at $2.8 billion. It destroyed about half as many homes and other buildings as the current series of fires.

California Gov. Jerry Brown late Wednesday issued an executive order to speed up recovery efforts as fire authorities say they’ve stopped the progress of wildfires.

More than 15,000 people remain evacuated Thursday, down from a high of 100,000 last Saturday.

Brown’s order also allowed disrupted wineries to relocate tasting rooms and suspended state fees for mobile home parks and manufactured homes.

The order extends the state’s prohibition on price gouging during emergencies until April 2018 and expedites hiring of personnel for emergency and recovery operations.

In Los Angeles County, authorities said a charred body was found on Mount Wilson, where crews were trying to surround a smouldering wildfire in steep terrain.

The male body discovered late Wednesday was recovered by the coroner’s office, which will try to identify it, Sheriff’s Sgt. Vincent Plair said.

California firefighters were also battling a blaze that sent smoke billowing into the college beach town of Santa Cruz.

The wildfire in steep and rugged terrain had grown to nearly half a square mile (1.3 square kilometres) and the number of houses threatened by the fire had doubled to 300.

Several firefighters suffered minor injuries.

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