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An inside look at the debate around pandemic bonds, which have $425 million hinging on how deadly the coronavirus ends up being | Markets Insider
"The two tranches of pandemic bonds represent different risks of contagion. The World Bank offered $225 million worth of Class A debt, which pay out 6.9% annually. The bonds default if pandemic-related deaths reach 2,500 in a single nation with an additional 20 or more deaths confirmed in an overseas country, according to the bank's prospectus.

The Class B bonds have a lower bar for the debt to trigger and accordingly boast a higher interest rate, since holders are assuming more risk. The bonds pay 11.5% annually, but reach default after 250 deaths. The bonds' payout rate scales with the number of additional countries that experience than 20 confirmed deaths. The World Bank issued $95 million worth of the Class B assets."
finance  death  disease  assholes  money  worldbank  ugh 
5 weeks ago by conner
For Trump, a Risky Decision on Suleimani Is One Other Presidents Had Avoided - The New York Times
"Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama never did. Mr. Bush’s administration made a conscious decision not to kill General Suleimani when he was in the cross hairs, and Mr. Obama’s administration evidently never made an effort to pursue him. Both reasoned that killing the most powerful general in Iran would only risk a wider war with the country, alienating American allies in Europe and the Middle East and undermining the United States in a region that had already cost plenty of lives and treasure in the past two decades."
assassination  death  iran  iraq  america  war  GOP  ugh 
12 weeks ago by conner
Many Native Americans Can't Get Clean Water, Report Finds : NPR
"So McGraw commissioned experts from around the U.S. to piece together the data they did have and come up with the water gap report. What he found was that race is the strongest predictor of water and sanitation access."
natives  america  water  policy  death  ugh  government 
november 2019 by conner
Pedestrian in self-driving Uber crash probably would have lived if braking feature hadn’t been shut off, NTSB documents show - The Washington Post
"Despite having enough time to stop before hitting 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg — nearly 6 seconds — the system repeatedly failed to accurately classify her as a pedestrian or to understand she was pushing her bike across lanes of traffic on the Tempe, Ariz., street shortly before 10 p.m.

Uber’s automated driving system “never classified her as a pedestrian — or predicted correctly her goal as a jaywalking pedestrian or a cyclist” — because she was crossing in an area with no crosswalk, NTSB investigators found. “The system design did not include a consideration for jaywalking pedestrians.”"
cars  technology  failure  ugh 
november 2019 by conner
The Millennial Lifestyle Is About to Get More Expensive - The Atlantic
"But as their promises soared, their profits didn’t. It’s easy to spend all day riding unicorns whose most magical property is their ability to combine high valuations with persistently negative earnings—something I’ve pointed out before. If you wake up on a Casper mattress, work out with a Peloton before breakfast, Uber to your desk at a WeWork, order DoorDash for lunch, take a Lyft home, and get dinner through Postmates, you’ve interacted with seven companies that will collectively lose nearly $14 billion this year. If you use Lime scooters to bop around the city, download Wag to walk your dog, and sign up for Blue Apron to make a meal, that’s three more brands that have never record a dime in earnings, or have seen their valuations fall by more than 50 percent."
capitalism  america  business  economics  ugh  wow 
october 2019 by conner
Opinion | The Rich Really Do Pay Lower Taxes Than You - The New York Times
"But the second half of the 20th century was mostly a victory for the low-tax side. Companies found ways to take more deductions and dodge taxes. Politicians cut every tax that fell heavily on the wealthy: high-end income taxes, investment taxes, the estate tax and the corporate tax. The justification for doing so was usually that the economy as a whole would benefit.

The justification turned out to be wrong. The wealthy, and only the wealthy, have done fantastically well over the last several decades. G.D.P. growth has been disappointing, and middle-class income growth even worse. "
capitalism  economics  politics  taxes  america  government  GOP  IRS  ugh 
october 2019 by conner
Asim Umar: Al-Qaeda's South Asia chief 'killed in Afghanistan' - BBC News
At least 40 civilians were reported to have been killed in the same operation.
afghanistan  war  warcrimes  ugh 
october 2019 by conner
Not just Amazon: 60 big companies paid $0 under Trump tax law
In 2017, the effective corporate tax rate was 13.6%. In 2018, corporations paid just 7% of their profits as federal taxes, according to data provided to Yahoo Finance by research firm Oxford Economics.

That’s the lowest effective tax rate since at least 1947.
taxes  amazon  business  corruption  government  GOP  policy  ugh 
october 2019 by conner
The New American Homeless | The New Republic
Nationwide, the hourly earnings of high-wage workers rose 41 percent between 1979 and 2013; those of middle-wage workers grew only 6 percent. The pay for low-wage workers, meanwhile, decreased by 5 percent. Contrast these figures to the 138 percent annual wage growth among the top 1 percent of earners.
economics  poverty  homelessness  america  capitalism  policy  ugh  cities  georgia 
august 2019 by conner
In Bolsonaro’s Brazil, a Showdown Over Amazon Rainforest
In the last half-century, about one-fifth of this forest, or some 300,000 square miles, has been cut and burned in Brazil, whose borders contain almost two-thirds of the Amazon basin. This is an area larger than Texas, the U.S. state that Brazil’s denuded lands most resemble, with their post-forest landscapes of silent sunbaked pasture, bean fields, and evangelical churches. This epochal deforestation — matched by harder to quantify but similar levels of forest degradation and fragmentation — has caused measurable disruptions to regional climates and rainfall. It has set loose so much stored carbon that it has negated the forest’s benefit as a carbon sink, the world’s largest after the oceans. Scientists warn that losing another fifth of Brazil’s rainforest will trigger the feedback loop known as dieback, in which the forest begins to dry out and burn in a cascading system collapse, beyond the reach of any subsequent human intervention or regret. This would release a doomsday bomb of stored carbon, disappear the cloud vapor that consumes the sun’s radiation before it can be absorbed as heat, and shrivel the rivers in the basin and in the sky.
amazon  rainforest  longread  climatechange  climate  agriculture  capitalism  policy  ugh  anthropocene 
august 2019 by conner
Top Pentagon officials pledge to fix military family housing, propose tenant bill of rights - The Washington Post
"The pledges from the top officials come in response to an outcry over poor housing for military families on certain installations where the Pentagon has contracted management out to an array of private companies."

[...]

"More than 55 percent of 16,779 individuals surveyed in a recent study by the Military Family Advisory Network reported a negative or very negative experience with such privatized military housing, citing issues including black mold, lead paint, faulty wiring, poor water quality, pesticides, vermin and insects in their homes."
capitalism  military  ugh  DOD  policy 
march 2019 by conner
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