Pretty Lights Washes Away 2016 With Stellar New Year’s Eve Celebration

first_imgDerek Vincent Smith, otherwise known as Pretty Lights illuminated New Orleans in an epic, highly anticipated two-day New Year’s Eve event. Held at the Mardi Gras World Ballroom, Smith was joined by live band mates Chris Karns (turntablist), Borahm Lee (keyboardist), Alvin Ford Jr. (drums), and famed lighting designer Greg Ellis (TheLazerShark). The event also featured acts such as Curren$y & The Soul Rebels, Manic Focus, Emancipator, Maddy O’Neal, and an exclusive Chris Karns set.Pretty Lights has one of the largest followings in the electronic music scene. Fans, who refer to themselves as “The Pretty Lights Family,” or “PLF”, have traveled far and wide to attend Smith’s episodic tour that took place in the late summer and early fall of 2016. The intense passion shared amongst PLF drives fans to great lengths in order to witness the spectacle that is the Pretty Lights Live experience. New Year’s Eve was no exception to this as fans from across the country gathered in NOLA for the event, filling the Mardi Gras Ballroom to the brim. Fans were undoubtedly anticipating a spectacular production, but were awed as their expectations were surpassed by a milestone.The event offered two ticket options, general admission and VIP, referred to as the “PLF” pass. The venue was enough to amaze concert goers, however those with PLF passes were given an experience like no other. PLF passes included access to the so called “Pretty Lights Mansion,” that featured an open bar and exclusive sets. The Mansion was beautifully styled and fit to the New Orleans aesthetic. Upon entering, crowd goers were presented with mirror-decked hallways and white-washed pillars. These vintage style hallways led to an outside area shrouded by a dome cover, designed to mimic the deepest and clearest starry night sky. The heavenly aesthetic of the dome included bubbling ponds with lily pads, trees laced with Spanish moss, cobble stone pathways, and old-style shacks for fans to rest and have a drink. With outgoing staff members, merchandise pick up, and exclusive sets, those with access to the Mansion were given the royal treatment. Although the Mansion was a spectacular addition to the event, everyone in attendance was graced with an unprecedented production entirely unique to the Pretty Lights Live Experience.Ellis, “TheLazerShark”, famous for his unique lighting design and ephemeral touch to stage production, graced The Ballroom with a five-dimensional visual experience. With the integration of advanced physics, the Pretty Lights Team exceeded traditional 3-D visuals through the use of holograms, sublime strobe lights, and crystal induced diffraction, the stage production transcended beyond audio-visual comprehension. PL live events are notoriously equipped with Ellis’s “Lazer Cage”, a series of horizontal laser beams that create a glowing illusion of a cage around the stage. Production took the famed laser cage to new heights with a feature that has yet to be used in any PL event, a waterfall that flowed gracefully in front of the stage. This waterfall expanded to nearly 6 stories and bubbled down in an ephemeral mist adding a multi-dimensional visual experience.The allure of the Pretty Lights live experience is marked by its mystery and the tracks that will be played. Fans debate over upcoming setlists, and requests are posted online in hopes of receiving the gift of a rare song. Many music artists have a rolodex of tracks that get recycled throughout various shows, however Smith has a completely different method. As he insists he is not a DJ, Smith puts his skills to test with the help of his bandmates. With each set being so different, fans rejoice with each song that is played for it is is rare and its renditions can only be heard in a live setting.Night one was fit to tease the crowd, including both tracks that are trademark to a PL set and those that are rarely heard as well. As many tracks surfaced and teased fans, the production induced such visual stimulation to take center stage. PL played many of his trademark tracks such as “Out of Time” and “Done Wrong”, while also teasing rare tracks throughout.New Year’s Eve was charged with the yearn to leave 2016 behind and enter the new year. A new energy was amongst the crowd and the basis of family was evident. As the ballroom was decked with glitter and fluorescent sequins, the crowd came together to fill the air with love. The end of 2016 reared its head as Smith filled the room with energy. Throughout rarely played tracks such as “Country Roads”, and “After Midnight”, Smith took to the mic to proclaim “We are in 2016 about to move into 2017, we are trying to charge you up, charge ourselves up, we are trying to get by.” This proclamation along with the ephemeral rain wall charged the room with a unique energy, this energy was pulsating with static love. On the cusp of midnight, Smith paused a heavy jam of “I Can See It in Your Face” to begin the final countdown into 2017. While the crowd anxiously belted the countdown, the seconds leading into 2017 were gloriously relieving. As the clock struck midnight, balloons fluttered from the sealing while misty cannons blared in rejoice. The Pretty Lights Family shared love to everyone, exchanging hugs and kisses to all those around. PL rang in the new year with a jam of “Future Gospel” led by Lee’s progressive synthesis as the rain wall washed away the negativity of 2016. The set came to a close as “Finally Moving” came on, a PL staple laced with soulful violin. Smith took moments to allow the crowd to belt the famous lyrics and as rain poured down the room was filled with bliss. The set ended with a bolting rendition of “I Know the Truth” and the crowd was wild with excitement.Moments of question passed, and as the crowd grew doubtful, Smith and his bandmates took back the stage for a high energy encore. Tracks such as “My Only Hope” were laid down in addition to rare renditions of Nirvana, “Anytime (Love You Left Behind)”, “Cream State of Mind”, and finally “Yellow Bird.” Ending his finale with “Yellow Bird” set the tone for the rest of the evening; fans were filled with the glowing warmth of love as hugs were exchanged in the midst of delightful sways.As the night came to a close, the crowd exited the venue and into a heavy monsoon. The Mississippi river was boiling as a deep fog began to surface. Crowd goers danced in the rain, while some ran for cover. Regardless of action, Pretty Lights continued to wash away troubles as the sky released its own waterfall.Pretty Lights 12/30/16: New Episodic Jam 1, Out of Time, Easy Way Out, transitioned into Gotta Stay Fly (Jim Jones), Laser Rain Put Me Up, Where I’m Trying to Go, A Million Tomorrows, Hot Like Dimes, Drift Away, Freestlye, Make You Feel, There is a Light, Fly Like an Eagle, More Important Than Michael Jordan (MITMJ), Only Yesterday, We Must Go On, If I Could Feel Again, More Important Than Michael Jordan (tease), Done WrongPretty Lights 12/31/16: One Day They’ll Know (Odesza Remix), Country Roads, Time (Remix), Prelude 3 into Freestyle, Total Fascination, Hot Like Sauce (Rustified Remix), I Can See It in Your Face, Father Stretch My Hands Pt 1., Prelude 4 into Wayfaring Strangers, Ladies of the Canyon Sample, Solar Sailor into I Got 5 On it, After Midnight, Low Orbit, Wisdom of Antiquity, Brain Reaction (Teaser), Color of My Soul (Paul Basic Remix), Solamente, Freestyle into Maybe Tomorrow, King of Rock, Rush Jam, Future Gospel, Understand Me Now, Looking for Love (but not so sure), Prophet & Culprate, Hip Hop Hooray (SuperVision), Finally Moving (Slow), I know the truth (Closer)[Photos by Djivan Schapira] Load remaining imageslast_img read more

The New Mastersounds Announce 2018 New Year’s Eve Show

first_imgWith only two dates on their calendar this fall, the New Mastersounds have announced plans for their 2018 New Year’s Eve. The New Mastersounds will ring in the New Year on December 31st, 2018, at New York City’s Gramercy Theatre. Starting today, there will be an exclusive presale for NOLAFUNK subscribers, with a presale for CEG Presents subscribers on Wednesday, August 22nd, at 12 p.m. (ET). Fans can sign up for the CEG and Nolafunk email list at and for exclusive access to the pre-sale. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, August 24th at 12 p.m. (ET).The New Mastersounds will play two U.K. shows, September 21st at Leeds’ The Domino Club, and September 22nd at London’s Jazz Cafe. The New Mastersounds only other plans as of now is an appearance at moe.’s Tropical Throe.Down in picturesque Runaway Bay, Jamaica.For information on upcoming shows and ticketing information, head to the band’s website.last_img read more

Relix Announces Third-Annual Live Music Conference

first_imgRelix has announced their third annual Live Music Conference, set to take place on Tuesday, May 14th, and Wednesday, May 15th at the Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, New York. The two-day event will bring the leading figures in today’s industry together to shed light on the fast-paced and ever-changing live music business. The Relix Live Music Conference will feature panels and discussions covering subjects related to venues, festivals, publicity and management, and presentations on technology and non-profits. The conference will serve as the coming-together of all the pieces and people that help bring a live show to life, while also providing opportunities for networking, discussion and education. Last year, Relix Live Music Conference speakers and presenters included Rolling Stone’s David Fricke, Blue Note Records head Don Was, The Bowery Presents’ Johnny Beach, YouTube’s Ted Kartzman, Atlantic Records’ Nick Harvey, Live for Live Music’s own Kunj Shah, and many more. Representatives from Live Nation, AEG Presents, Superfly, Red Light Management, Atlantic Records, Ben & Jerry’s, HeadCount, and, of course, Relix were among the 2018 event’s speakers.Tickets for the two-day event go on sale this Friday, January 11th at 11 a.m. (EST) here.last_img read more

A Pharma Payment A Day Keeps Docs’ Finances Okay

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York This story was co-published with NPR’s Shots blog.This story has been updated.Few days went by last year when New Hampshire nephrologist Ana Stankovic didn’t receive a payment from a drug company.What the New ‘Collaborative Media’ Can MeanOur Dollars for Docs Database Search through nearly 15 million records to see if your doctor has received money from a drug or device company. Search for your physician.All told, 29 different pharmaceutical companies paid her $594,363 in 2014, mostly for promotional speaking and consulting, but also for travel expenses and meals, according to data released Tuesday detailing payments by drug and device companies to U.S. doctors and teaching hospitals. (You can search for your doctor on ProPublica’s updated Dollars for Docs interactive database.)Stankovic’s earnings were certainly high, ranking her about 250th among 606,000 doctors who received payments nationwide last year. What was more remarkable, though, was that she received payments on 242 different days — nearly every workday of last year.Reached by telephone Tuesday, Stankovic declined to comment. On her LinkedIn page, Stankovic lists herself as vice chief of staff at Parkland Medical Center HCA Inc. in Derry, New Hampshire, and as medical director of peritoneal dialysis at DaVita Inc., also in Derry.That doctors receive big money from the pharmaceutical industry is no surprise. The new data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows that such interactions are widespread, with not only doctors, but thousands of dentists, optometrists, podiatrists and chiropractors receiving at least one industry payment from August 2013 to December 2014.What is being seen for the first time now is how ingrained pharmaceutical companies and their sales reps are in the lives of those who write prescriptions for their products. A ProPublica analysis found that 768 doctors received payments on more than half of the days in 2014. More than 14,600 doctors received payments on at least 100 days in 2014.Take Juichih Hsu, a Maryland doctor whose specialty is family medicine. She received payments on 286 days of 365, more than anyone else. Sometimes, she received meals from several drug companies on the same day. Hsu’s payments totaled $5,959 in 2014. She declined to comment when reached on Tuesday.“There are physician practices which have very deep relationships with pharmaceutical representatives, where they are a very integral part of the practice,” said Dr. Aaron Kesselheim, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who has written about industry relationships with doctors. “Every day it’s another drug company coming in for a lunch. Sometimes it may be some drug companies are bringing breakfast and some are bringing lunch and it’s just part of the culture of the practice.”Sometimes there may be more at work than that.Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid ServicesGraphic by: Cecilia Reyes/ProPublicaThe doctor with the second-highest number of interactions with drug and device reps, John Fritz, of Jersey City, N.J., logged payments on 256 days last year. His payments totaled $232,003. Fritz was indicted in June for referring patients to a medical imaging company from 2006 to 2013 in exchange for about $500,000 in kickbacks. He was charged with fraud and bribery, according to a release from the state attorney general’s office. A woman who answered the phone at his office on Tuesday said he declined to comment.Kesselheim said that to have such extensive contact with industry reps can indicate that doctors are getting their information about the drugs they prescribe from the companies that make them, and not from impartial sources. “There’s good evidence that that affects prescribing practices and physician behavior.”The drugs for which Stankovic received the most money to promote are costly. One, H.P. Acthar Gel, cost an average of nearly $39,000 a prescription, Medicare data from 2013 shows, and experts say there’s little evidence it works better than less expensive drugs. Another drug, Soliris, for which Stankovic received promotional payments is among the most expensive drugs in the world but is considered highly effective in treating serious kidney disease.ProPublica’s analysis turned up big differences in the number of industry interactions among physicians in different specialties. On average, doctors who received payments interacted with drug and device companies on 14 days last year, receiving an average of $3,325 in total.The nation’s 3,900 rheumatologists in the data averaged 40 days of interactions with drug and device companies, more than doctors in any other large specialty. They were followed closely by endocrinologists, electrophysiologists and interventional cardiologists. On the other end of the spectrum, dentists, chiropractors, neonatologists and pathologists had among the fewest interactions with drug and device makers.Some of the doctors who had the highest number of interactions were those ProPublica has previously identified as having high rates of brand-name prescribing in Medicare’s prescription drug program, known as Part D. Others have been mentioned in previous ProPublica stories about doctors who have received large payments from the drug industry. A number of experts, including Kesselheim, note that payments from industry may influence physicians’ choice of drugs.A spokeswoman for the pharmaceutical industry said in a statement that company interactions with doctors are important.“Collaboration between physicians and biopharmaceutical professionals is critical to improving the health and quality of life of patients,” the statement from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America said. “Clinical trials sponsored by biopharmaceutical companies have led to life-saving breakthroughs for people suffering from cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Physicians also provide real-world insights and valuable feedback to companies about their medicines to improve patient care. Educating the public about the nature of these collaborations helps patients understand in which ways these interactions can improve both their health and medical innovation.”ProPublica has been tracking industry payments to doctors since 2010. Our Dollars for Docs interactive database allowed people to search payments made by 17 companies between 2009 and 2013. Most of those companies were required to report their payments as a condition of legal settlements with the federal government.The data released Tuesday radically expands the amount of data available to patients — and ProPublica has overhauled Dollars for Docs to include these payments. The Physician Payment Sunshine Act, a part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, mandated that all drug and device companies publicly report payments to doctors. The transparency effort is called Open Payments.The government initially released some data last fall, covering the period of August to December 2013, but it was significantly redacted because of data inconsistencies. The data released Tuesday covers the period of August 2013 to December 2014. The data inconsistencies have been resolved.All told, 1,617 companies reported 15.7 million payments valued at $9.9 billion. Nearly all of those payments — 14.9 million — were classified as “general payments,” covering promotional speaking, consulting, meals, travel and royalties. They totaled $3.5 billion over the 17-month period.Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid ServicesGraphic by: Cecilia Reyes/ProPublicaCorrection, July 2, 2015: This graphic included incorrect numbers for “Gift” and “Nonaccredited Training.” They have been corrected.There were far fewer research payments, 826,000, but they were valued at $4.8 billion. The remaining payments related to ownership or investment interests that doctors had in companies. Research and ownership payments are currently not shown in Dollars for Docs.Open Payments does not include money spent on drug samples left at doctors’ offices and doesn’t include the bulk of the money companies spend on independently administered continuing medical education, which they support with unrestricted grants. The government has tightened the rules for reporting such continuing education in the future.From August 2013 to December 2014, Genentech Inc. spent the most on general payments, $387.7 million, mostly royalties for its drugs Rituxan, Avastin and Herceptin to City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California. That was four times more than the second-ranked company, DePuy Synthes Products LLC, which spent $94.7 million, nearly all on royalties. Topera Inc., a small medical device company, came in third, with $93.1 million, almost exclusively acquisition payments to its physician founders from device maker Abbott Laboratories.Among other pharmaceutical companies, AstraZeneca spent the most on general payments ($90.9 million), followed by Pfizer ($82.1 million) and Allergan ($70.7 million). In a statement, AstraZeneca said that it believes “it is important to be open about the way we conduct our business and how we help people through our medicines and programs. We are committed to the highest standards of conduct in all of our operations, including how we partner with physicians and medical institutions.”Royalty fees, though few in number, accounted for $803.5 million in general payment spending in 2014, more than any other category. They were followed by promotional speaking ($632.4 million) and consulting ($369.4 million). Food and beverages accounted for the highest number of payments by far, 9.4 million, but these had a relatively low value of $224.5 million.ProPublica news application developers Mike Tigas and Lena Groeger and senior reporting fellow Annie Waldman contributed to this report.Update, July 8, 2015: Although Stankovic declined to comment for the initial story, she has now provided the following statement: “I am very passionate about clinical research and up to date medical information; and truly enjoy educating medical professionals on various complicated disease states. There is so much new information to be learned every day in medicine, but simply there is no enough time during the day, especially if provider has a busy medical practice. Many of the interactions that doctors have with pharmaceutical industry are needed in order to stay current with newer FDA approved therapies that may cure illnesses or slow progression of the complicated diseases. Patients should be able to appreciate those medical professionals who can thoroughly discuss all available treatment options on the market and warn them about possible side effects and contraindications.”Correction, July 2, 2015: This post has been corrected to change the average amount doctors received in payments in 2014. The graphic has also been corrected.Check Dollars for Docs to see whether your doctor has received payments from drug or medical device companies. Email us at [email protected] and tell us what you find.ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. 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NEWS SCAN: No answers in E coli probe, NIH biodefense grant

first_img Nestle: So far no E coli in dough samplesA Nestle spokeswoman told CIDRAP News today that the multistate outbreak strain of Escherichia coli O157: H7 has not been found so far in any of the company’s refrigerated cookie dough products. Roz O’Hearn, the spokeswoman, said FDA investigators were still at the Danville, Va., plant and that the company is fully cooperating with the probe. She said the company and federal officials have a difficult task defining what products might be contaminated, because the voluntary recall covers so many dough varieties, product sizes, and production dates. Nestle said earlier this week that investigators were also testing the plant’s equipment, water, and air handling systems. The Wall Street Journal reported today that, according to FDA inspection reports, Nestle refused to turn certain records—such as pest-control documents and consumer complaints—over to the agency during routine inspections. In a statement today, Nestle said it gave the FDA all of the information required by law in the September 2006 inspection, which it called a standard industry practice. Nestle also said no food safety issues were identified in that inspection. In other developments, the CDC said yesterday that the E coli outbreak involves 69 cases in 29 states—one fewer case and state than reported on Jun 22. A case from Hawaii is no longer included in the total.[Jun 26 Wall Street Journal report][Jun 26 Nestle statement][Jun 25 CDC outbreak update] Jun 26, 2009 Biodefense consortium receives $37 million NIH grant extensionWashington University in St Louis recently announced that the National Institutes of Health extended funding—a 5-year, $37 million grant—for the Midwest Regional Center for Excellence in Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, headquartered at the institution’s medical school. The center’s areas of study include (1) innate immunity against biological assaults and (2) West Nile virus and poxviruses. The center is a consortium that includes eight other midwestern institutions and collaboration activities in Africa and China.[Jun 24 Washington University press release]last_img read more

Opportunities to buy one of these riverfront homes do not come up very often

first_img77 Macquarie St, TeneriffeViews, the size of the home and its riverfront location were among the features that drew Jon Haseler to buy 77 Macquarie St, Teneriffe, in 2014.“When I saw it come to market, I just didn’t know when the next opportunity would be to buy something of that calibre in that location, being one of only 23 freehold homes within the Catalina series,” he said. “All living areas have a warm, soothing feel to them. The home is impeccably presented, very private and is ready to move into. However, for those who wish to create more spaces, there is ample room to expand living areas and put their signature on the home.” 77 Macquarie St, TeneriffeThe home is about 2km from the Brisbane CBD and is accessed through a private security gate. It has hardwood flooring, fully-ducted, zoned airconditioning throughout and an alarm and intercom system. There is an internal store room and wine storage. 77 Macquarie St, TeneriffeAnd while Mr Haseler loved the home and felt it had been a “phenomenal investment’’ during his ownership, another opportunity has presented itself in the area so he has listed it for auction on September 2.The north-east facing riverfront home is spread across three levels and has panoramic water views. It’s on a 365sq m block and has 488sq m of living space.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor2 hours ago77 Macquarie St, TeneriffeThis is made up of four bedrooms, spread across two floors of the home. There are multiple living areas, including a television room, a library, games room and an outdoor entertainment area.center_img 77 Macquarie St, TeneriffeA bedroom with a walk-in robe, a rumpus room and an outdoor entertainment area are on the ground level. On the first floor is the dining room and kitchen with a walk-in pantry and stainless-steel appliances. Also on this level is a laundry and an office which has its own balcony.The remaining three bedrooms are on the top level of the home, including the main bedroom which has a large walk-in wardrobe and an ensuite with a bath tub. This bedroom has a large deck which fronts the river.The Catalina project was built more than a decade ago, as part of a project to transform what were derelict wharves into an exclusive residential riverfront precinct.Marketing agent Matt Lancashire of Ray White New Farm, said the Catalina development featured cutting-edge design elements.Co-agent Brandon Wortley said the home had been designed to take advantage of river views with features including floor to ceiling glass which gave filtered, natural light throughout.last_img read more

New Danish government shuts down pensions commission

first_imgThe pensions commission set up last year in Denmark to take a holistic look at retirement provision in the Nordic country is now to be shut down, the incoming minority centre-right government has announced.The new government was formed less than a fortnight ago following the June general election as a minority government consisting only of the centre-right Venstre party.Led by new prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, the government takes over from the Social-Democrat coalition government under outgoing prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, which has led the country since October 2011.Løkke Rasmussen’s government has set out plans for a pension reform in the spring of 2016 as part of the overall programme it unveiled a week ago. The main aim of the reform is to reduce the size of the group of people in Denmark who have no retirement savings of their own.Karsten Lauritzen, the incoming minister for taxation, said: “I have great respect for the commission members’ professionalism.“But the fact is the commission was established by the previous government, and we now have a new government with other objectives and a different timescale for its work.”The pensions commission was launched in May 2014 to find solutions for complex rules and high taxation of pensions, with the aim of making the system more transparent and attractive to savers.Lauritzen said he hoped the commission’s members would understand the decision to close it, and thanked them for their efforts.While under the original plan the pensions commission had been working towards presenting its recommendations and final report in the autumn of 2016, the new government wanted the commission to put together a report describing pension conditions among current and future pensioners.The ministry for taxation said it would not have required the commission to contribute any extra analysis or recommendations, and that the new task would have represented a big change in the organisation’s working conditions and tasks.After a discussion between Lauritzen and the commission’s chairman Torben Andersen, the ministry said the two men decided it was best to put an end the commission’s work.Andersen said the commission’s members fully recognised it was the government that set the framework for its future work.“It is our opinion the work that now needs doing with the written report can easily be done by the relevant ministries,” he said.“Now the commission no longer has the task of producing a proposal and looking at the pensions sector in its entirety, ending the commission’s work is a natural consequence.”Industry association Forsikring & Pension (F&P) said it was surprised by the closure of the commission.Carsten Andersen, deputy director at F&P, said the association still thought the statements on pensions contained in the new government’s programme were positive.“We support the view it should pay to save for your own pension,” he said.“For this reason, it is surprising the government obviously has not prioritised analysing the problems of the interplay between public benefits and private pensions.”It is these problems that present the greatest challenges for a large group within the labour market, Carsten Andersen said.“For many, it cannot really pay off to save for a pension in the last few years before retirement because their own savings are offset against public benefits,” he said.He added that the association had been looking forward to the pension commission’s proposal on how these problems could be solved.last_img read more

Swiss 1e pension plan providers see AUM jump to CHF5bn

first_imgThe number of affiliated companies that take part in 1e pension schemes has risen by 298 this year compared to the prior year to a total of 2,229, covering 18,592 insured members.In its report, PwC noted that the market of 1e pension providers in Switzerland remains fragmented, with the largest by asset volume covering 40% of total assets, compared to 45% the previous year. The assets cover only 18% of total members.However, the market share of the three largest industry players is 74% for assets and 71% of total insured members covered.Last year, 1e pension scheme providers surprisingly reduced their exposure to equities to 29.1% compared to 33.6% the year before, despite a good year for equity returns, PwC said.Their bonds exposure fell slightly to 42.3% at the end of last year compared to 43.5% in 2018, while real estate allocations grew to 8.4% in 2019 from 4.8% the previous year. Cash and alternatives exposures stood at 13.3% and 4.1%, respectively.The amount of contributions for 1e plans was high particularly in the form of buy-ins, which topped regular contributions.PwC noted that 1e schemes continue to be attractive vehicles to accrue savings for retirements.The investment strategy of providers of 1e pension products in Switzerland will likely continue to change in the coming years to include new asset classes in portfolios.Investment strategies may steer towards ESG funds, higher share of equities, real estate and passive investments, according to PwC.COVID-19 pandemic may also drive changes on how providers interact with customers.According to the survey, 1e pension providers are increasingly using a digital approach, with nine out of 12 respondents allowing to access information on line, even though clients continue to demand physical meetings.Seven out of nine providers surveyed give clients the possibility to choose their individual investment strategy via online platforms.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here. Assets under management of Swiss providers of second pillar 1e plans grew by 31% year-on-year to reach CHF5bn (€4.6bn) at the beginning of 2020, according to a survey conducted by PwC Switzerland.1e schemes give employees, whose salary is a minimum of CHF126,900 a year, the option to choose among a range of investment strategies for pension contributions.Looking ahead, providers of 1e products expect assets to grow 15% annually to CHF10.1bn in 2025, a smaller growth rate compared to the 20% that a previous PwC survey predicted, estimating assets to reach CHF12.7bn by 2024.This shows that providers are generally less optimistic for the future, but continue to foresee a high rate of growth in terms of assets, PwC said.last_img read more

Is marijuana as safe as we think?

first_imgThe New Yorker 14 January 2019Family First Comment: A must-read book…Berenson used to be an investigative reporter for the New York Times, where he covered, among other things, health care and the pharmaceutical industry. He had the typical layman’s view of cannabis, which is that it is largely benign, but he set out to educate himself. Berenson is constrained by the same problem the National Academy of Medicine faced – that, when it comes to marijuana, we really don’t know very much. But he has a reporter’s tenacity, a novelist’s imagination, and an outsider’s knack for asking intemperate questions. The result is disturbing.Berenson begins his book with an account of a conversation he had with his wife, a psychiatrist who specializes in treating mentally ill criminals. They were discussing one of the many grim cases that cross her desk – “the usual horror story, somebody who’d cut up his grandmother or set fire to his apartment.” Then his wife said something like “Of course, he was high, been smoking pot his whole life.”“Of course?” I said.“Yeah, they all smoke.”“Well … other things too, right?”“Sometimes. But they all smoke.”Berenson used to be an investigative reporter for the New York Times, where he covered, among other things, health care and the pharmaceutical industry. Then he left the paper to write a popular series of thrillers. At the time of his conversation with his wife, he had the typical layman’s view of cannabis, which is that it is largely benign. His wife’s remark alarmed him, and he set out to educate himself. Berenson is constrained by the same problem the National Academy of Medicine faced – that, when it comes to marijuana, we really don’t know very much. But he has a reporter’s tenacity, a novelist’s imagination, and an outsider’s knack for asking intemperate questions. The result is disturbing.The first of Berenson’s questions concerns what has long been the most worrisome point about cannabis: its association with mental illness….In one of the most fascinating sections of Tell Your Children, he sits down with Erik Messamore, a psychiatrist who specializes in neuropharmacology and in the treatment of schizophrenia. Messamore reports that, following the recent rise in marijuana use in the U.S. (it has almost doubled in the past two decades, not necessarily as the result of legal reforms), he has begun to see a new kind of patient: older, and not from the marginalized communities that his patients usually come from. These are otherwise stable middle-class professionals. Berenson writes, “A surprising number of them seemed to have used only cannabis and no other drugs before their breaks. The disease they’d developed looked like schizophrenia, but it had developed later – and their prognosis seemed to be worse. Their delusions and paranoia hardly responded to antipsychotics.” read more