Then came Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The war between two of the world’s largest exporters of food and energy led to a big surge in prices, especially for importers like Ghana. Consumer prices have gone up 30 percent for the year through June, according to data from the research firm Moody’s Analytics. For household essentials, annual inflation has reached 60 percent or more this year, the S&P data shows.

To illustrate this, consider the price of a barrel of oil in dollars versus the Ghanaian cedi. At the beginning of October last year, the price of oil stood at $78.52 per barrel, rising to nearly $130 per barrel in March before falling back to $87.96 at the beginning of this month, a one-year increase of 12 percent in dollar terms. Over the same period, the Ghanaian cedi has weakened over 40 percent against the dollar, meaning that the same barrel of oil that cost roughly 475 cedi a year ago now costs over 900 cedi, almost twice as much.

Adding to the problem are large state-funded subsidies, some taken on or increased through the pandemic, that are now weighing on government finances.

Ghana’s president cut fuel taxes in November 2021, losing roughly $22 million in projected revenue for the government — the latest available numbers.

In Egypt, spending on what the government refers to as “supply commodities,” almost all of which is wheat for its long-running bread subsidy, is expected to come in at around 7 percent of all government spending this year, 12 percent higher — or more than half a billion dollars — than the government budgeted.

As costs ballooned throughout the pandemic, governments took on more debt. Ghana’s public debt grew to nearly $60 billion from roughly $40 billion at the end of 2019, or to nearly 80 percent of its gross domestic product from around 63 percent, according to Moody’s.

It’s one of four countries listed by S&P, alongside Pakistan, Nigeria and Sri Lanka, where interest payments alone account for more than half of the government’s revenues.

“We can’t forget that this is happening on the back end of a once-in-a-century pandemic in which governments, to try and support families as best they could, did borrow more,” said Frank Gill, an analyst at S&P. “This is a shock following up on another shock.”

In May, Sri Lanka defaulted on its government debt for the first time in its history. Over the past month, the governments of Egypt, Pakistan and Ghana have all reached out to the International Monetary Fund for a bailout as they struggle to meet their debt financing needs, no longer able to turn to international investors for more money.

“I don’t think there is a lot of appetite to lend money to some of these countries,” said Brian Weinstein, co-head of credit trading at Bank of America. “They are incredibly vulnerable at the moment.”

That vulnerability is already reflected in the bond market.

In 2016, Ghana borrowed $1 billion for 10 years, paying an interest rate of just over 8 percent. As the country’s financial position has worsened and investors have backed away, the yield — indicative of what it would now cost Ghana to borrow money until 2026 — has risen to above 35 percent.

It’s an untenable cost of debt for a country in Ghana’s situation. And Ghana is not alone. For bonds that also mature in 2026, yields for Pakistan have reached almost 40 percent.

“We have concerns where any country has yields that calls into question their ability to refinance in public markets,” said Charles Cohen, deputy division chief of monetary and capital market departments at IMF.

The risk of a sovereign debt crisis in some emerging markets is “very, very high,” said Jesse Rogers, an economist at Moody’s Analytics. Mr. Rogers likened the current situation to the debt crises that crushed Latin America in the 1980s — the last time the Fed sought to quell soaring inflation.

Already this year, more than $80 billion has been withdrawn from mutual funds and exchange-traded funds — two popular types of investment products — that buy emerging market bonds, according to EPFR Global, a data provider. As investors sell, the United States is often the beneficiary, further strengthening the dollar.

“It’s by far the worst year for outflows the market has ever seen,” said Pramol Dhawan, head of emerging markets at Pimco.

Even citizens in some of these countries are trying to exchange their money for dollars, fearful of what’s to come and of further currency depreciation — yet inadvertently also contributing to it.

“For pockets of emerging markets, this is a really challenging backdrop and one of the most challenging backdrops we have faced for many years,” Mr. Dhawan said.

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On Portugal’s ‘Bitcoin Beach,’ Crypto Optimism Still Reigns

LAGOS, Portugal — The Bam Bam Beach Bitcoin bar, on an uncrowded beach in southwestern Portugal, is the meeting place.

To get there, you drive past a boat harbor, oceanside hotels and apartment buildings, then park near a sleepy seafood restaurant and walk down a wooden path that cuts through a sand dune. Yellow Bitcoin flags blow in the wind. The conversations about cryptocurrencies and a decentralized future flow.

“People always doubt when to buy, when to sell,” said Didi Taihuttu, a Dutch investor who moved to town this summer and is one of Bam Bam’s owners. “We solve that by being all in.”

melted down, and crypto companies like the experimental bank Celsius Network declared bankruptcy as fears over the global economy yanked down values of the risky assets. Thousands of investors were hurt by the crash. The price of Bitcoin, which peaked at more than $68,000 last year, remains off by more than 70 percent.

But in this Portuguese seaside idyll, confidence in cryptocurrencies is undimmed. Every Friday, 20 or so visitors from Europe and beyond gather at Bam Bam to share their unwavering faith in digital currencies. Their buoyancy and cheer endure across Portugal and in other crypto hubs around the world, such as Puerto Rico and Cyprus.

Sifted.eu.)

In beach towns like Ericeira and Lagos, shops and restaurants show their acceptance of digital currencies by taking Bitcoin as payment. Lisbon, the capital, has become a hub for crypto-related start-ups such as Utrust, a cryptocurrency payment platform, and Immunefi, a company that identifies security vulnerabilities in decentralized networks.

“Portugal should be the Silicon Valley of Bitcoin,” Mr. Taihuttu said. “It has all the ingredients.”

news outlets covered his family’s story, Mr. Taihuttu’s social media following swelled, turning him into an influencer and a source of investment advice. A documentary film crew has followed him on and off for the past 18 months. This summer, he settled in Portugal and quickly became something of an ambassador for its crypto scene.

He has goals to turn Meia Praia, the beach where Bam Bam is located, into “Bitcoin Beach.” He is shopping for property to create a community nearby for fellow believers.

“You prove that it is possible to run some part of the world, even if it’s just one,” said Mr. Taihuttu, with a Jack Daniel’s and Coke in hand. He has shoulder-length black hair and wore a tank top that showcased his tan and tattoos (including one on his forearm of the Bitcoin symbol).

Ms. Bestandig was among those who Mr. Taihuttu drew to Portugal.

collapse of Mt. Gox, a Tokyo-based virtual currency exchange that declared bankruptcy in 2014 after huge, unexplained losses of Bitcoin.

If cryptocurrency prices do not recover, “a lot of them will have to go back to work again,” Clinton Donnelly, an American tax lawyer specializing in cryptocurrencies, said of some of those gathered at Bam Bam.

Even so, Mr. Donnelly and other bar regulars said their belief in crypto remained unshaken.

Thomas Roessler, wearing a black Bitcoin shirt and drinking a beer “inspired by” the currency, said he had come with his wife and two young children to decide whether to move to Portugal from Germany. He first invested in Bitcoin in 2014 and, more recently, sold a small rental apartment in Germany to invest even more.

Mr. Roessler was concerned about the drop in crypto values but said he was convinced the market would rebound. Moving to Portugal could lower his taxes and give his family the chance to buy affordable property in a warm climate, he said. They had come to the bar to learn from others who had made the move.

“We have not met a lot of people who live this way,” Mr. Roessler said. Then he bought another round of drinks and paid for them with Bitcoin.

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CorpHousing Group Inc. Announces 2022 Second Quarter Financial Results

MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CorpHousing Group Inc. (“CorpHousing,” “CHG”, or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: CHG), which utilizes a long-term lease, asset-light business model to acquire and manage a growing portfolio of short-term rental properties in major metropolitan cities, today announced financial results for the second quarter (“Q2 2022”) and six months ended June 30, 2022.

2022 Second Quarter Financial Overview Compared to 2021 Second Quarter

2022 Six Months Financial Overview Compared to 2021 Six Months

Operational Highlights

“We are excited to announce our Q2 results, which we believe reflect the success of our asset-light business model, the vibrancy of our target markers, and the opportunities inherent in our industry,” said Brian Ferdinand, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CorpHousing Group. “Q2 2022 net rental revenue increased by 144%, gross profit increased 19-fold, net income improved by $1.9 million, and EBITDA for the quarter was $2.1 million. Our available units for rent increased quarter over quarter, occupancy rates improved as the effects of COVID pandemic wane, and we realized certain efficiencies from scale.

“We currently operate hotels under long-term lease agreements in Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, greater Miami, New York City, Washington, DC, and Seattle, and will commence operations in New Orleans in mid-October.

We are in various stages of negotiation with a variety of potential partners that represent thousands of additional hotel units in destination locations across the United States and Europe. We believe that we are creating win-win opportunities by providing property owners the ability to create stable cash flow streams to maximize returns on their properties, which have been significantly impacted by restrictions on travel and leisure activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CHG then markets these units under our customer facing LuxUrbanTM brand to increase occupancy rates and drive operational efficiencies, thus creating the opportunity to generate high margin, recurring and predictable revenue streams. Supported by a strengthened balance sheet and seasoned team of executives, we believe that are well positioned to advance our highly scalable, predictable, and profitable business model and look forward to our future with confidence.”

Q2 2022 Overview

Net rental revenue in Q2 2022 increased 144% to $10.2 million from $4.2 million in the second quarter ended June 30, 2021 (“Q2 2021”), driven primarily by an increase in average units available to rent from 376 in Q2 2021 to 565 at Q2 2022, as well as better occupancy rates and average daily rates (“ADRs”) over this period.

Cost of revenue, which includes rental expenses for available units to rent, rose to $7.3 million in Q2 2022 from $4.0 million in Q2 2021, due primarily to the increase in size of CHG’s rental unit portfolio, as well as related increases in furniture rentals, cleaning costs, cable / WIFI costs and credit card processing fees.

Gross profit improved to $2.9 million, or 28% of net rental revenue, from $0.1 million, or 3.5% of net rental revenue. Higher gross profit and gross margin was primarily attributable to a reduction in the impact of COVID-19 on our operations, higher unit counts and better occupancy rates and ADRs.

Total general and administrative expenses in Q2 2022 increased to $0.9 million, or 9% of net rental revenue, from $0.7 million, or 18% of net rental revenue, in Q2 2021, attributable to an increased number of units in operation.

Income before provision for income taxes improved to $1.5 million from a loss of $(1.1) million, reflecting a significant increase in net rental revenue in Q2 2022 compared to Q2 2021 and the benefits of scale-driven operating efficiencies.

Net income improved to $0.8 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $(1.1) million.

EBITDA rose to $2.1 million, or 21% of net rental revenue, in Q2 2022 compared to negative EBITDA of $(0.6) million.

For a discussion of the financial measures presented herein which are not calculated or presented in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”), see “Note Regarding Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below and the schedules to this press release for additional information and reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures. The company presents non-GAAP measures such as EBITDA to assist in an analysis of its business. These non-GAAP measures should not be considered an alternative to GAAP measures as an indicator of the company’s operating performance.

Conference Call and Webcast

The Company will host a conference call on Tuesday, September 27, 2022 at 9:00 am Eastern Time to discuss the results.

Investors interested in participating in the live call can dial:

A webcast of the event may be accessed via the following link: https://event.choruscall.com/mediaframe/webcast.html?webcastid=ltKz5SSV.

CorpHousing Group Inc.

CorpHousing Group (CHG) utilizes a long-term lease, asset-light business model to acquire and manage a growing portfolio of short-term rental properties in major metropolitan cities. The Company’s future growth focuses primarily on seeking to create “win-win” opportunities for owners of dislocated hotels, including those impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions, while providing CHG favorable operating margins. CHG operates these properties in a cost-effective manner by leveraging technology to identify, acquire, manage, and market them globally to business and vacation travelers through dozens of third-party sales and distribution channels, and the Company’s own online portal. Guests at the Company’s properties are provided Heroic Service™ under CHG’s consumer brands, including LuxUrban. CHG’s Heroic ServiceTM provides guests a hassle-free experience which exceeds their expectations with “Heroes” who respond to any issue in a timely, thoughtful, and thorough manner.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including with respect to the expected closing of noted lease transactions and continued closing on additional leases for properties in the Company’s pipeline, as well the Company’s anticipated ability to commercialize efficiently and profitably the properties it leases and will lease in the future. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those set forth under the caption “Risk Factors” in the prospectus forming part of the Company’s effective Registration Statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-262114). Generally, such forward-looking information or forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or may contain statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will be taken”, “will continue”, “will occur” or “will be achieved”. Forward-looking information may relate to anticipated events or results including, but not limited to business strategy, leasing terms, high-level occupancy rates, and sales and growth plans. The financial projection provided herein are based on certain assumptions and existing and anticipated market, travel and public health conditions, all of which may change. The forward-looking information and forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date of this press release, and the Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking information and/or forward-looking statements that are contained or referenced herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

The Company seeks to achieve profitable, long-term growth by monitoring and analyzing key operating metrics, including EBITDA. The Company defines EBITDA as net income before interest, taxes, and depreciation. The Company’s management uses this non-GAAP financial metric and related computations to evaluate and manage the business and to plan and make near and long-term operating and strategic decisions. The management team believes this non-GAAP financial metric is useful to investors to provide supplemental information in addition to the GAAP financial results. Management reviews the use of its primary key operating metrics from time-to-time. EBITDA is not intended to be a substitute for any GAAP financial measure and as calculated, may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of performance of other companies in other industries or within the same industry. The Company’s management team believes it is useful to provide investors with the same financial information that it uses internally to make comparisons of historical operating results, identify trends in underlying operating results, and evaluate its business.

A reconciliation of net income to EBITDA will be provided in the company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the three and six months ended June 30, 2022 to be filed on September 26, 2022, under the section thereof entitled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Reconciliation of Unaudited Historical Results to EBITDA.”

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheet

(Unaudited)

 

 

 

(unaudited)

 

 

 

 

June 30,

 

December 31,

 

 

2022

 

2021

ASSETS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Assets

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash

 

$

556

 

 

$

6,998

 

Processor retained funds

 

 

4,616,255

 

 

 

56,864

 

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

 

 

512,939

 

 

 

166,667

 

Deferred offering costs

 

 

1,234,500

 

 

 

771,954

 

Security deposits – current

 

 

276,943

 

 

 

276,943

 

Total Current Assets

 

$

6,641,193

 

 

$

1,279,426

 

Other Assets

 

 

 

 

 

 

Furniture and equipment, net

 

 

8,944

 

 

 

11,500

 

Restricted cash

 

 

1,100,000

 

 

 

1,100,000

 

Security deposits – noncurrent

 

 

4,108,010

 

 

 

1,377,010

 

Operating lease right-of-use asset, net

 

 

49,941,971

 

 

 

 

Total Other Assets

 

 

55,158,925

 

 

 

2,488,510

 

Total Assets

 

$

61,800,118

 

 

$

3,767,936

 

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ DEFICIT

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Liabilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accounts payable and accrued expenses

 

$

5,301,053

 

 

$

4,209,366

 

Rents received in advance

 

 

4,071,095

 

 

 

1,819,943

 

Merchant cash advances – net of unamortized costs of $0 and $57,768, respectively

 

 

575,489

 

 

 

1,386,008

 

Loans payable – current portion

 

 

2,780,054

 

 

 

1,267,004

 

Loans payable – SBA – PPP Loan – current portion

 

 

815,183

 

 

 

815,183

 

Convertible loans payable – related parties – current portion

 

 

2,596,865

 

 

 

 

Loans payable – related parties – current portion

 

 

1,071,128

 

 

 

22,221

 

Operating lease liability – current

 

 

7,182,381

 

 

 

 

Income taxes payable

 

 

750,000

 

 

 

 

Total Current Liabilities

 

 

25,143,248

 

 

 

9,519,725

 

Long-Term Liabilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loans payable

 

 

545,789

 

 

 

925,114

 

Loans payable – SBA – EIDL Loan

 

 

800,000

 

 

 

800,000

 

Loans payable – related parties

 

 

 

 

 

496,500

 

Convertible loans payable – related parties

 

 

700,195

 

 

 

2,608,860

 

Line of credit

 

 

94,975

 

 

 

94,975

 

Deferred rent

 

 

 

 

 

536,812

 

Operating lease liability

 

 

43,962,492

 

 

 

 

Total Long-term Liabilities

 

 

46,103,451

 

 

 

5,462,261

 

Total Liabilities

 

 

71,246,699

 

 

 

14,981,986

 

Commitments and Contingencies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stockholders’ Deficit

 

 

 

 

 

 

Members’ Deficit

 

 

 

 

 

(11,214,050

)

Common stock (shares authorized, issued and outstanding – 90,000,000; 21,675,001; 21,675,001; respectively)

 

 

216

 

 

 

 

Accumulated deficit

 

 

(9,446,797

)

 

 

 

Total Stockholders’ Deficit

 

 

(9,446,581

)

 

 

(11,214,050

)

Total Liabilities and Stockholders’ Deficit

 

$

61,800,118

 

 

$

3,767,936

 

Condensed Consolidated Statement of Operations

(Unaudited)

 

 

 

For the Three Months Ended

 

For the Six Months Ended

 

 

June 30, 2022

 

June 30, 2021

 

June 30, 2022

 

June 30, 2021

Rental Revenue

 

$

12,656,540

 

 

$

6,728,686

 

 

$

24,419,439

 

 

$

11,688,873

 

Refunds and Allowances

 

 

2,455,202

 

 

 

2,545,820

 

 

 

5,118,676

 

 

 

4,199,978

 

Net Rental Revenue

 

 

10,201,338

 

 

 

4,182,866

 

 

 

19,300,763

 

 

 

7,488,895

 

Cost of Revenue

 

 

7,344,720

 

 

 

4,035,238

 

 

 

13,930,882

 

 

 

7,920,531

 

Gross Profit (Loss)

 

 

2,856,618

 

 

 

147,628

 

 

 

5,369,881

 

 

 

(431,636

)

General and Administrative Expenses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Administrative and other

 

 

809,121

 

 

 

701,040

 

 

 

1,559,742

 

 

 

1,258,458

 

Professional fees

 

 

76,500

 

 

 

37,390

 

 

 

305,485

 

 

 

90,404

 

Total General and Administrative Expenses

 

 

885,621

 

 

 

738,430

 

 

 

1,865,227

 

 

 

1,348,862

 

Net Income (Loss) Before Other Income (Expense)

 

 

1,970,997

 

 

 

(590,802

)

 

 

3,504,654

 

 

 

(1,780,498

)

Other Income (Expense)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other income

 

 

137,154

 

 

 

434

 

 

 

587,067

 

 

 

467

 

Interest and financing costs

 

 

(595,742

)

 

 

(542,764

)

 

 

(1,159,879

)

 

 

(660,007

)

Total Other Expenses

 

 

(458,588

)

 

 

(542,330

)

 

 

(572,812

)

 

 

(659,540

)

Income (Loss) Before Provision for Income Taxes

 

 

1,512,409

 

 

 

(1,133,132

)

 

 

2,931,842

 

 

 

(2,440,038

)

Provision for Income Taxes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current

 

 

750,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

750,000

 

 

 

 

Net Income (Loss)

 

$

762,409

 

 

$

(1,133,132

)

 

$

2,181,842

 

 

$

(2,440,038

)

Basic and diluted earnings per common share

 

$

0.04

 

 

$

 

 

$

0.10

 

 

$

 

Basic and diluted weighted average number of common shares outstanding

 

 

21,675,001

 

 

 

 

 

 

21,315,747

 

 

 

 

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

To supplement the condensed consolidate financial statements, which are prepared in accordance with GAAP, we use EBITDA as a non-GAAP financial measure.

The following table provides reconciliation of net income (loss) to EBITDA:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Months Ended June 30, (unaudited)

 

Six Months Ended June 30, (unaudited)

 

 

2022

 

2021

 

2022

 

2021

Net Income (loss)

 

$

762,409

 

$

(1,133,132

)

 

$

2,181,842

 

$

(2,440,038

)

Provision for Income Taxes

 

$

750,000

 

$

 

 

$

750,000

 

$

 

Interest and Financing cost

 

$

595,742

 

$

542,764

 

 

$

1,159,879

 

$

660,007

 

Depreciation Expense

 

$

 

$

 

 

$

2,556

 

$

 

EBITDA

 

$

2,108,151

 

$

(590,368

)

 

$

4,094,277

 

$

(1,780,031

)

EBITDA is defined as net income or loss before the impact of interest, taxes and depreciation and amortization. EBITDA is a key measure of our financial performance and measures our efficiency and operating cash flow before financing costs, taxes and working capital needs. We utilize EBITDA because it provides us with an operating metric closely tied to the operations of the business.

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Strong Dollar Is Good for the US but Bad for the World

The Federal Reserve’s determination to crush inflation at home by raising interest rates is inflicting profound pain in other countries — pushing up prices, ballooning the size of debt payments and increasing the risk of a deep recession.

Those interest rate increases are pumping up the value of the dollar — the go-to currency for much of the world’s trade and transactions — and causing economic turmoil in both rich and poor nations. In Britain and across much of the European continent, the dollar’s acceleration is helping feed stinging inflation.

On Monday, the British pound touched a record low against the dollar as investors balked at a government tax cut and spending plan. And China, which tightly controls its currency, fixed the renminbi at its lowest level in two years while taking steps to manage its decline.

Somalia, where the risk of starvation already lurks, the strong dollar is pushing up the price of imported food, fuel and medicine. The strong dollar is nudging debt-ridden Argentina, Egypt and Kenya closer to default and threatening to discourage foreign investment in emerging markets like India and South Korea.

the International Monetary Fund.

Japanese yen has reached a decades-long high. The euro, used by 19 nations across Europe, reached 1-to-1 parity with the dollar in June for the first time since 2002. The dollar is clobbering other currencies as well, including the Brazilian real, the South Korean won and the Tunisian dinar.

the economic outlook in the United States, however cloudy, is still better than in most other regions.

loss of purchasing power over time, meaning your dollar will not go as far tomorrow as it did today. It is typically expressed as the annual change in prices for everyday goods and services such as food, furniture, apparel, transportation and toys.

A fragile currency can sometimes work as “a buffering mechanism,” causing nations to import less and export more, Mr. Prasad said. But today, many “are not seeing the benefits of stronger growth.”

Still, they must pay more for essential imports like oil, wheat or pharmaceuticals as well as for loan bills due from billion-dollar debts.

debt crisis in Latin America in the 1980s.

The situation is particularly fraught because so many countries ran up above-average debts to deal with the fallout from the pandemic. And now they are facing renewed pressure to offer public support as food and energy prices soar.

Indonesia this month, thousands of protesters, angry over a 30 percent price increase on subsidized fuel, clashed with the police. In Tunisia, a shortage of subsidized food items like sugar, coffee, flour and eggs has shuttered cafes and emptied market shelves.

New research on the impact of a strong dollar on emerging nations found that it drags down economic progress across the board.

“You can see these very pronounced negative effects of a stronger dollar,” said Maurice Obstfeld, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and an author of the study.

central banks feel pressure to raise interest rates to bolster their currencies and prevent import prices from skyrocketing. Last week, Argentina, the Philippines, Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Sweden, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Britain and Norway raised interest rates.

World Bank warned this month that simultaneous interest rate increases are pushing the world toward a recession and developing nations toward a string of financial crises that would inflict “lasting harm.”

Clearly, the Fed’s mandate is to look after the American economy, but some economists and foreign policymakers argue it should pay more attention to the fallout its decisions have on the rest of the world.

In 1998, Alan Greenspan, a five-term Fed chair, argued that “it is just not credible that the United States can remain an oasis of prosperity unaffected by a world that is experiencing greatly increased stress.”

The United States is now facing a slowing economy, but the essential dilemma is the same.

“Central banks have purely domestic mandates,” said Mr. Obstfeld, the U.C. Berkeley economist, but financial and trade globalization have made economies more interdependent than they have ever been and so closer cooperation is needed. “I don’t think central banks can have the luxury of not thinking about what’s happening abroad.”

Flávia Milhorance contributed reporting from Rio de Janeiro.

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How a Hospital Chain Used a Poor Neighborhood to Turn Huge Profits

RICHMOND, Va. — In late July, Norman Otey was rushed by ambulance to Richmond Community Hospital. The 63-year-old was doubled over in pain and babbling incoherently. Blood tests suggested septic shock, a grave emergency that required the resources and expertise of an intensive care unit.

But Richmond Community, a struggling hospital in a predominantly Black neighborhood, had closed its I.C.U. in 2017.

It took several hours for Mr. Otey to be transported to another hospital, according to his sister, Linda Jones-Smith. He deteriorated on the way there, and later died of sepsis. Two people who cared for Mr. Otey said the delay had most likely contributed to his death.

the hospital’s financial data.

More than half of all hospitals in the United States are set up as nonprofits, a designation that allows them to make money but avoid paying taxes. Although Bon Secours has taken a financial hit this year like many other hospital systems, the chain made nearly $1 billion in profit last year at its 50 hospitals in the United States and Ireland and was sitting on more than $9 billion in cash reserves. It avoids at least $440 million in federal, state and local taxes every year that it would otherwise have to pay, according to an analysis by the Lown Institute, a nonpartisan think tank.

In exchange for the tax breaks, the Internal Revenue Service requires nonprofit hospitals to provide a benefit to their communities. But an investigation by The New York Times found that many of the country’s largest nonprofit hospital systems have drifted far from their charitable roots. The hospitals operate like for-profit companies, fixating on revenue targets and expansions into affluent suburbs.

borrowing tricks from business consultants, have trained staff to squeeze payments from poor patients who should be eligible for free care.

John M. Starcher Jr., made about $6 million in 2020, according to the most recent tax filings.

“Our mission is clear — to extend the compassionate ministry of Jesus by improving the health and well-being of our communities and bring good help to those in need, especially people who are poor, dying and underserved,” the spokeswoman, Maureen Richmond, said. Bon Secours did not comment on Mr. Otey’s case.

In interviews, doctors, nurses and former executives said the hospital had been given short shrift, and pointed to a decade-old development deal with the city of Richmond as another example.

In 2012, the city agreed to lease land to Bon Secours at far below market value on the condition that the chain expand Richmond Community’s facilities. Instead, Bon Secours focused on building a luxury apartment and office complex. The hospital system waited a decade to build the promised medical offices next to Richmond Community, breaking ground only this year.

founded in 1907 by Black doctors who were not allowed to work at the white hospitals across town. In the 1930s, Dr. Jackson’s grandfather, Dr. Isaiah Jackson, mortgaged his house to help pay for an expansion of the hospital. His father, also a doctor, would take his children to the hospital’s fund-raising telethons.

Cassandra Newby-Alexander at Norfolk State University.

got its first supermarket.

according to research done by Virginia Commonwealth University. The public bus route to St. Mary’s, a large Bon Secours facility in the northwest part of the city, takes more than an hour. There is no public transportation from the East End to Memorial Regional, nine miles away.

“It became impossible for me to send people to the advanced heart valve clinic at St. Mary’s,” said Dr. Michael Kelly, a cardiologist who worked at Richmond Community until Bon Secours scaled back the specialty service in 2019. He said he had driven some patients to the clinic in his own car.

Richmond Community has the feel of an urgent-care clinic, with a small waiting room and a tan brick facade. The contrast with Bon Secours’s nearby hospitals is striking.

At the chain’s St. Francis Medical Center, an Italianate-style compound in a suburb 18 miles from Community, golf carts shuttle patients from the lobby entrance, past a marble fountain, to their cars.

after the section of the federal law that authorized it, allows hospitals to buy drugs from manufacturers at a discount — roughly half the average sales price. The hospitals are then allowed to charge patients’ insurers a much higher price for the same drugs.

The theory behind the law was that nonprofit hospitals would invest the savings in their communities. But the 340B program came with few rules. Hospitals did not have to disclose how much money they made from sales of the discounted drugs. And they were not required to use the revenues to help the underserved patients who qualified them for the program in the first place.

In 2019, more than 2,500 nonprofit and government-owned hospitals participated in the program, or more than half of all hospitals in the country, according to the independent Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.

in wealthier neighborhoods, where patients with generous private insurance could receive expensive drugs, but on paper make the clinics extensions of poor hospitals to take advantage of 340B.

to a price list that hospitals are required to publish. That is nearly $22,000 profit on a single vial. Adults need two vials per treatment course.

work has shown that hospitals participating in the 340B program have increasingly opened clinics in wealthier areas since the mid-2000s.

were unveiling a major economic deal that would bring $40 million to Richmond, add 200 jobs and keep the Washington team — now known as the Commanders — in the state for summer training.

The deal had three main parts. Bon Secours would get naming rights and help the team build a training camp and medical offices on a lot next to Richmond’s science museum.

The city would lease Bon Secours a prime piece of real estate that the chain had long coveted for $5,000 a year. The parcel was on the city’s west side, next to St. Mary’s, where Bon Secours wanted to build medical offices and a nursing school.

Finally, the nonprofit’s executives promised city leaders that they would build a 25,000-square-foot medical office building next to Richmond Community Hospital. Bon Secours also said it would hire 75 local workers and build a fitness center.

“It’s going to be a quick timetable, but I think we can accomplish it,” the mayor at the time, Dwight C. Jones, said at the news conference.

Today, physical therapy and doctors’ offices overlook the football field at the training center.

On the west side of Richmond, Bon Secours dropped its plans to build a nursing school. Instead, it worked with a real estate developer to build luxury apartments on the site, and delayed its plans to build medical offices. Residents at The Crest at Westhampton Commons, part of the $73 million project, can swim in a saltwater pool and work out on communal Peloton bicycles. On the ground floor, an upscale Mexican restaurant serves cucumber jalapeño margaritas and a Drybar offers salon blowouts.

have said they plan to house mental health, hospice and other services there.

a cardiologist and an expert on racial disparities in amputation, said many people in poor, nonwhite communities faced similar delays in getting the procedure. “I am not surprised by what’s transpired with this patient at all,” he said.

Because Ms. Scarborough does not drive, her nephew must take time off work every time she visits the vascular surgeon, whose office is 10 miles from her home. Richmond Community would have been a five-minute walk. Bon Secours did not comment on her case.

“They have good doctors over there,” Ms. Scarborough said of the neighborhood hospital. “But there does need to be more facilities and services over there for our community, for us.”

Susan C. Beachy contributed research.

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They Were Entitled to Free Care. Hospitals Hounded Them to Pay.

In 2018, senior executives at one of the country’s largest nonprofit hospital chains, Providence, were frustrated. They were spending hundreds of millions of dollars providing free health care to patients. It was eating into their bottom line.

The executives, led by Providence’s chief financial officer at the time, devised a solution: a program called Rev-Up.

Rev-Up provided Providence’s employees with a detailed playbook for wringing money out of patients — even those who were supposed to receive free care because of their low incomes, a New York Times investigation found.

nonprofits like Providence. They enjoy lucrative tax exemptions; Providence avoids more than $1 billion a year in taxes. In exchange, the Internal Revenue Service requires them to provide services, such as free care for the poor, that benefit the communities in which they operate.

But in recent decades, many of the hospitals have become virtually indistinguishable from for-profit companies, adopting an unrelenting focus on the bottom line and straying from their traditional charitable missions.

focused on investments in rich communities at the expense of poorer ones.

And, as Providence illustrates, some hospital systems have not only reduced their emphasis on providing free care to the poor but also developed elaborate systems to convert needy patients into sources of revenue. The result, in the case of Providence, is that thousands of poor patients were saddled with debts that they never should have owed, The Times found.

provide. That was below the average of 2 percent for nonprofit hospitals nationwide, according to an analysis of hospital financial records by Ge Bai, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Ten states, however, have adopted their own laws that specify which patients, based on their income and family size, qualify for free or discounted care. Among them is Washington, where Providence is based. All hospitals in the state must provide free care for anyone who makes under 300 percent of the federal poverty level. For a family of four, that threshold is $83,250 a year.

In February, Bob Ferguson, the state’s attorney general, accused Providence of violating state law, in part by using debt collectors to pursue more than 55,000 patient accounts. The suit alleged that Providence wrongly claimed those patients owed a total of more than $73 million.

Providence, which is fighting the lawsuit, has said it will stop using debt collectors to pursue money from low-income patients who should qualify for free care in Washington.

But The Times found that the problems extend beyond Washington. In interviews, patients in California and Oregon who qualified for free care said they had been charged thousands of dollars and then harassed by collection agents. Many saw their credit scores ruined. Others had to cut back on groceries to pay what Providence claimed they owed. In both states, nonprofit hospitals are required by law to provide low-income patients with free or discounted care.

“I felt a little betrayed,” said Bev Kolpin, 57, who had worked as a sonogram technician at a Providence hospital in Oregon. Then she went on unpaid leave to have surgery to remove a cyst. The hospital billed her $8,000 even though she was eligible for discounted care, she said. “I had worked for them and given them so much, and they didn’t give me anything.” (The hospital forgave her debt only after a lawyer contacted Providence on Ms. Kolpin’s behalf.)

was a single room with four beds. The hospital charged patients $1 a day, not including extras like whiskey.

Patients rarely paid in cash, sometimes offering chickens, ducks and blankets in exchange for care.

At the time, hospitals in the United States were set up to do what Providence did — provide inexpensive care to the poor. Wealthier people usually hired doctors to treat them at home.

wrote to the Senate in 2005.

Some hospital executives have embraced the comparison to for-profit companies. Dr. Rod Hochman, Providence’s chief executive, told an industry publication in 2021 that “‘nonprofit health care’ is a misnomer.”

“It is tax-exempt health care,” he said. “It still makes profits.”

Those profits, he added, support the hospital’s mission. “Every dollar we make is going to go right back into Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Alaska and Montana.”

Since Dr. Hochman took over in 2013, Providence has become a financial powerhouse. Last year, it earned $1.2 billion in profits through investments. (So far this year, Providence has lost money.)

Providence also owes some of its wealth to its nonprofit status. In 2019, the latest year available, Providence received roughly $1.2 billion in federal, state and local tax breaks, according to the Lown Institute, a think tank that studies health care.

a speech by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures.”

Ms. Tizon, the spokeswoman for Providence, said the intent of Rev-Up was “not to target or pressure those in financial distress.” Instead, she said, “it aimed to provide patients with greater pricing transparency.”

“We recognize the tone of the training materials developed by McKinsey was not consistent with our values,” she said, adding that Providence modified the materials “to ensure we are communicating with each patient with compassion and respect.”

But employees who were responsible for collecting money from patients said the aggressive tactics went beyond the scripts provided by McKinsey. In some Providence collection departments, wall-mounted charts shaped like oversize thermometers tracked employees’ progress toward hitting their monthly collection goals, the current and former Providence employees said.

On Halloween at one of Providence’s hospitals, an employee dressed up as a wrestler named Rev-Up Ricky, according to the Washington lawsuit. Another costume featured a giant cardboard dollar sign with “How” printed on top of it, referring to the way the staff was supposed to ask patients how, not whether, they would pay. Ms. Tizon said such costumes were “not the culture we strive for.”

financial assistance policy, his low income qualified him for free care.

In early 2021, Mr. Aguirre said, he received a bill from Providence for $4,394.45. He told Providence that he could not afford to pay.

Providence sent his account to Harris & Harris, a debt collection company. Mr. Aguirre said that Harris & Harris employees had called him repeatedly for weeks and that the ordeal made him wary of going to Providence again.

“I try my best not to go to their emergency room even though my daughters have gotten sick, and I got sick,” Mr. Aguirre said, noting that one of his daughters needed a biopsy and that he had trouble breathing when he had Covid. “I have this big fear in me.”

That is the outcome that hospitals like Providence may be hoping for, said Dean A. Zerbe, who investigated nonprofit hospitals when he worked for the Senate Finance Committee under Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa.

“They just want to make sure that they never come back to that hospital and they tell all their friends never to go back to that hospital,” Mr. Zerbe said.

The Everett Daily Herald, Providence forgave her bill and refunded the payments she had made.

In June, she got another letter from Providence. This one asked her to donate money to the hospital: “No gift is too small to make a meaningful impact.”

In 2019, Vanessa Weller, a single mother who is a manager at a Wendy’s restaurant in Anchorage, went to Providence Alaska Medical Center, the state’s largest hospital.

She was 24 weeks pregnant and experiencing severe abdominal pains. “Let this just be cramps,” she recalled telling herself.

Ms. Weller was in labor. She gave birth via cesarean section to a boy who weighed barely a pound. She named him Isaiah. As she was lying in bed, pain radiating across her abdomen, she said, a hospital employee asked how she would like to pay. She replied that she had applied for Medicaid, which she hoped would cover the bill.

After five days in the hospital, Isaiah died.

Then Ms. Weller got caught up in Providence’s new, revenue-boosting policies.

The phone calls began about a month after she left the hospital. Ms. Weller remembers panicking when Providence employees told her what she owed: $125,000, or about four times her annual salary.

She said she had repeatedly told Providence that she was already stretched thin as a single mother with a toddler. Providence’s representatives asked if she could pay half the amount. On later calls, she said, she was offered a payment plan.

“It was like they were following some script,” she said. “Like robots.”

Later that year, a Providence executive questioned why Ms. Weller had a balance, given her low income, according to emails disclosed in Washington’s litigation with Providence. A colleague replied that her debts previously would have been forgiven but that Providence’s new policy meant that “balances after Medicaid are being excluded from presumptive charity process.”

Ms. Weller said she had to change her phone number to make the calls stop. Her credit score plummeted from a decent 650 to a lousy 400. She has not paid any of her bill.

Susan C. Beachy and Beena Raghavendran contributed research.

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