Home Authors Posts by Clyde K. Valle

Clyde K. Valle

Clyde is a business graduate interested in writing about latest news in politics and business. He enjoys writing and is about to publish his first book. He’s a pet lover and likes to spend time with family. When the time allows he likes to go fishing waiting for the muse to come.


When an e-commerce business reaches a certain point managing stock and determining which marketing channels are producing results becomes difficult. This is where a Product Information Management (PIM) system really helps.

In this post, we look at how a good PIM system can make your business more agile and productive.

What is a PIM?

Put simply PIM software helps you better manage every aspect of your e-commerce system. From tracking sales and stock accurately to determining which marketing channels are performing well, a good productive information management system will help you see the information you need faster and more accurately.

Access to the information and purchasing approvals can be controlled using a hierarchal system. This provides good management control systems, approval purchase tracking, and security.


PIM systems allow for much better and faster accounting. Seeing your bottom line is easy, seeing your best selling items, successful marketing campaigns, and vice versa are made simple. You can keep track of the sales process from start to finish.  Every aspect of accounting is now visible to you.  This leads to better decisions from a financial view.

Business Intelligence

Once a PIM system is in place and configured correctly making faster and better business decisions become possible. Consider, no more data mining across various spreadsheets. Simply discover the information when needed. The better PIM systems such as Sales Layer can run reports based on your input. The information you need to make the big calls are at your fingertips.

Better Stock Management and Distribution

Stock management and distribution is vital to the success of an e-commerce based business. Aspects such as re-order levels can be set and configured to re-order when needed. No more losing sales because you have run out of stock. Distribution networks can be managed more effectively with stock levels at each of your plants made visible and easily accessible.

All of this adds up to the oh so important better customer service.

Better Marketing

A PIM system ensures that your marketing is brought into the hub. Images, social media updates, can all be brought together and published from the system itself. This makes the update process far easier to keep track off and makes tracking the success of your marketing channels far easier.

PIM Cloud

PIM systems can be cloud-based avoiding hefty infrastructure costs and allowing for better more agile and flexible working. This results in better productivity across your teams. Better productivity and workflow results in better profit and better business.

Having a cloud-based system also means there are less clash and conflicts. Under the older systems, a team can make changes which another team can’t see. This can result in chaos and lost time. Now, everyone works from the same data hub, making changes visible to all departments.

Your teams can now work remotely with PIM cloud and you can use the hierarchal controls to apply security measures to control who can access what.

Final Thoughts

Once a PIM system is in place you can manage your business more effectively, improving workflow and productivity. If you find you’re spending hours looking across spreadsheets to find answers, it is time to invest in a product information management system.

Malaysia has filed criminal charges against Goldman Sachs and two former bankers in connection with a corruption and money laundering investigation at the state-owned investment fund 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Goldman Sachs has been under scrutiny for its role in helping to raise funds for the 1MDB.

The US bank is being investigated in at least six countries.

Goldman Sachs called the charges “misdirected” and said it would “vigorously defend them”.

The bank added: “The firm continues to co-operate with all authorities investigating these matters.”

1MDB Scandal: $4 Billion Stolen from Malaysian State-Owned Fund

Malaysia: Former PM Najib Razak Barred from Leaving the Country

Malaysia filed the charges against Goldman Sachs and its former employees Tim Leissner and Roger Ng.

Tim Leissner served as Goldman’s South East Asia chairman, and left the bank in 2016. Roger Ng was a managing director at Goldman until his departure in May 2014.

Malaysia has also brought charges against former 1MDB employee Jasmine Loo and financier Jho Low.

Malaysia’s attorney general Tommy Thomas said in a statement: “The charges arise from the proceeds of three bonds issued by the subsidiaries of 1MDB, which were arranged and underwritten by Goldman Sachs.”

Last month, Tim Leissner, Roger Ngand and Jho Low were served with criminal charges in the US in relation to 1MDB.

Tim Leissner pleaded guilty in the US to conspiring to launder money and violating anti-bribery laws.

In that case, prosecutors said Tim Leissner and Roger Ng worked with Jho Low to bribe government officials to win 1MDB business for Goldman Sachs.

US authorities said billions of dollars were embezzled from the state fund to buy art, property, a private jet- and even to help finance the Wolf ofWall Street movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

The scandal has prompted investigations around the world and played a role in the election defeat earlier this year of Malaysia’s former PM Najib Razak, who is accused of pocketing $700 million from the fund he set up.

Image Source – Shutterstock

While the darkness of the night may spell great fear for some, it can signal an unmatched amount of fun and excitement to many others. If you’re a lover of bikes, speed and thrill, driving through the night can turn out to be one of your favourite adventures. The freedom of having roads relatively empty to your disposal, the option to speed higher than possible in the day and the enjoyment of the gush of wind along with the adrenalin rush is something that can be experienced only while riding at night.

However, it is going to be so only if you’re completely safe and you manage to complete your journey without fighting any undue troubles or meeting unfortunate injuries. In that regard, if you’re planning to indulge in a night ride with your gang, here are some ways to ensure that your experience is completely safe and nothing short of enthrallment.

  1. Ensure Perfect Lighting for Your Bike

    Image Source – Shutterstock

It’s quite intuitive to understand how vital lights are from a safety standpoint while driving at night. If you’re planning for a night ride, you must see to it that the lights of your bike are in perfect order, so that you always have good visibility of the road and other vehicles.

You can start by checking whether your illumination, especially that of the headlight is bright enough to light up the dark roads. If you have worn out bulbs, you need to replace them with ones having the right wattage before you head on to any night adventure. Additionally, if you desire to amplify your visibility further, you can also consider fitting in some auxiliary headlamps to support you along with the main one.

  1. Increase Your Visibility

    Image Source – Shutterstock

After lights, the next most important thing you need to be cautious about is increasing your visibility to others on the road. This can be made possible with the help of reflective biking gear and clothing. You can invest in reflective clothing that is available with most of the brands that sell biking apparels. Alternately, you can even fix some reflective tape to your riding gear such as helmet, jacket, gloves or pants. For instance, you could wrap some tape around the sleeve of your jacket or the length of your pants to reflect light. Thus, becoming more visible.

In addition to wearing reflective clothing, you can also stick on reflective tape or neon coloured strips to your bike’s parts such as wheel rims and body panels to make yourself and the bike more visible. Doing so can help to increase the chances of your safety by a significant extent.

  1. Choose the Correct Route

    Image Source – Shutterstock

 It’s also helpful to pick a route that you’re familiar with, at least in the beginning. Because even your most acquainted route can appear unfamiliar at night.

Moreover, you should also pick routes that have better roads. Ideally, it is a safer bet that you stick to the trail centres on the road. That’s because the tracks are less likely to have stumps or rocks that could lead to a crash.

  1. Control Your Speed

    Image Source – Shutterstock

You might be a lover of speed and thrill and consider yourself as the most experienced biker with great eyesight. However, it’s crucial that you recognise the importance of practising self-caution and abiding by traffic laws even during the dark hours.

At all times, you must prioritise your safety and ride steadily and defensively. It is quite natural that at night, the degree of visibility is going to reduce. In that situation, you will need to be more careful when you try to overtake a vehicle and take turns. It’s also essential to be aware of the speed limit of the road you’re traversing through.

  1. Ride in A Group

    Image Source – Shutterstock

Riding in a group makes a lot of sense, both from the enjoyment and safety point of view. As the number of people increases with a group, the chances of being attacked by those having wrong objectives reduce significantly. Moreover, in case of any mechanical issue, there is help available instantly. It’s important that you leave and come back together. In case you get separated, it’s good to wait for your group for a few minutes and continue again when together. Besides that, being a part of a club or a group is always a good incentive and motivating factor to head out in the dark.

And Lastly, Make Sure You Have Comprehensive Bike Insurance Policy

Riding bikes at night can be risky to your and your bike’s life. At night due to low visibility, lack of traffic control and rash driving of heavy vehicles, the chances of accidents increase. Therefore, it is crucial to protect yourself and your vehicle of these mishaps.

The best way to do that is to buy a comprehensive 2-wheeler insurance policy. The policy covers you against the damages caused to your vehicle and any other third-party during an accident. As a result, buying 2-wheeler insurance will not only help you stay clear of financial troubles and road mishaps but also avoid any legal skirmishes. Moreover, purchasing long-term third-party liability cover (5 years) for two-wheelers is made mandatory by the Supreme Court from September 1, 2018.

In conclusion, we can say that riding at night is fun, but it is crucial that you be careful and attentive than you usually are in the day. So, follow this checklist and experience the joy of night riding at its best.

Image source Pixabay

President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping have agreed to suspend new trade tariffs for 90 days to allow for talks, the White House announces.

At a post-G20 summit meeting in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, President Trump agreed not to boost tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10% to 25% on January 1.

China will buy a “very substantial” amount of agricultural, industrial and energy products, the US says.

Meanwhile, China says the two sides agreed to open up their markets.

It was the first face-to-face meeting between President Trump and President Xi since a trade war erupted earlier this year.

The dispute broke out after President Trump complained China was doing nothing to cut its large surplus in bilateral trade.

US to Impose New Tariffs on Chinese Handbags, Rice and Textiles

President Trump Threatens $100 Billion More in China Tariffs

China Imposes New Tariffs of Up to 25% on 128 US Imports

At the summit in Buenos Aires on December 1, the G20 leaders agreed a joint declaration that notes divisions over trade but does not criticize protectionism.

Presidents Trump and Xi held a “highly successful meeting”, the White House said in a statement.

The White House says the US tariffs on Chinese goods will remain unchanged for 90 days, but warns: “If at the end of this period of time, the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the 10 percent tariffs will be raised to 25 percent.”

The US says China agreed to “purchase a not yet agreed upon, but very substantial, amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other products from the United States to reduce the trade imbalance between our two countries”.

According to the White House, both sides also pledged to “immediately begin negotiations on structural changes with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft”.

President Trump said earlier this year he wanted to stop the “unfair transfers of American technology and intellectual property to China”.

According to the US, China has also signaled it will allow a tie-up between two major semiconductor manufacturers which Chinese regulators have been blocking.

The White House statement said China was “open to approving the previously unapproved Qualcomm-NXP deal”.

The US also says China agreed to designate Fentanyl as a controlled substance. The opioid – much of it thought to be made in China – is driving a huge rise in drug addiction in the US.

Both sides have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of goods. The US has hit $250 billion of Chinese goods with tariffs since July, and China has retaliated by imposing duties on $110 billion of US products.

President Trump had also said that if talks in Argentina were unsuccessful, he would carry out a threat to hit the remaining $267 billion of annual Chinese exports to the US with tariffs of between 10 and 25%.


Starting a business today is easier than ever, and today is a great time to be an entrepreneur. Perhaps you’ve been researching your market and have a niche product you think will fit in nicely and sell. You’re excited to get going! Once you’ve got a great concept and an initial product/prototype—and have patented your product—it’s time to start looking for a manufacturer to produce it.

However, if you want to avoid the fate that many startups face (a whopping 90% of startups fail), it’s important to choose the right manufacturer. A bad partnership can cost you a lot of money, and potentially end your business. Sourcing products isn’t exactly a walk in the park, and takes research, dedication, and perseverance. On the plus side, it’s much easier to look for a manufacturer today than it was a decade ago. Here’s how you can find the right partnership:

Determine the Type of Manufacturer You Need

There are many types of manufacturers. There are manufacturers who produce your own product idea from scratch; a supplier that purchases and utilizes existing products and parts; and a dropshipper, which supplies and fulfills product orders that are already on the market, in hopes of getting you a profit without you having to do any heavy lifting. These manufacturers and suppliers are all very experienced, and use complex machine tools to get the job done. Think about the type of product you have and what it needs most. What type of manufacturer will cause the least stress, and generate higher revenue?

Image source Wikimedia

Should You Go Overseas?

You’ll also need to decide whether you want an overseas supplier or a domestic supplier. Of course, there are pros and cons to either situation. When you manufacture locally, there tends to be a higher standard of quality, and you can ensure that the employees working on your product adhere to a certain level of labor standards. There’s also the marketing appeal of being locally sourced, as this is something that many consumers care about today. And lastly, you’ll be able to verify reputable manufacturers much more easily, and communicate seamlessly with no language barrier or cultural differences.

Similarly, going overseas has many pros as well. The biggest advantage is that overseas production costs significantly less. This is the biggest appeal of international manufacturers, as sometimes the margins are so high, it’s hard to find a competitive strategy stateside. Additionally, when you start looking into international manufacturers, you’ll find that there’s a much larger selection to choose from.

Where to Begin Your Search

Once you understand what you’re looking for in a manufacturer, the hunt begins. There are several resources and directories you can use as a starting point. Two of the most popular domestic options are Maker’s Row and ThomasNet. Maker’s Row believes in “factory sourcing made easy” and has an aesthetically pleasing and intuitive site with free registration (although you’ll have to pay for advanced features). ThomasNet dubs themselves as the premier “product sourcing and supplier discovery platform,” has more than 5,000 manufacturer listing, which you can sort by company type, quality certifications, and more.

If you’ve decided you want to manufacture your products overseas, there are several directories here, too, including Alibaba, AliExpress, Oberlo, Bambify, and Sourcify.

Request Multiple Quotes

When you’re making a huge business decision, it’s important to gather several quotes and speak to multiple manufacturers. You can request a quote by sending the manufacturer a well-written email that covers all your bases. One of the most crucial questions you’ll want to ask is, “What’s your minimum order quantity (MOQ)?”

Depending on the supplier, this number can vary widely. If you’re just starting out, chances are you want to work with suppliers who can produce lower quantities, which allows you to better test your market. If a manufacturer has an MOQ of 10,000 on your first ever product, chances are you’ll want to go elsewhere.

You’ll also want to ask for sample and production pricing. Sample pricing is when the manufacturer makes a sample product for you to see before the order is placed, to ensure you are satisfied with the initial product. Some suppliers will even produce samples for free.

Production pricing is also important because this is what determines what your product will cost to produce. This number will steer the rest of your efforts as you move forward. You’ll also want to know if they offer discounts on production prices depending on the quantity ordered.

Be sure your initial email is clear and concise. Emails that are lengthy and contain unnecessary information—like the background and history of your company—could possibly be ignored.


Alibaba has set new sales records on November 11 for its biggest shopping day, the annual Singles Day.

The Chinese internet giant hit a record $1 billion in sales in 85 seconds, and then just shy of $10 billion in the first hour of the 24-hour spree.

In total, customers spent $30.8 billion, up 27% on last year, but the lowest annual increase in the history of Singles Day.

Online discounts have been offered on 11.11, Alibaba’s informal holiday for singles, since 2009.

Singles Day 2016: Alibaba Announces Record $18BN Sales

Singles Day 2015: Alibaba Breaks Sales Record

Singles Day 2014: Alibaba sells $2 billion of goods in first hour of world’s biggest online retail sales day

Alibaba Group chief executive Daniel Zhang said the spending bonanza demonstrated “customers’ continued pursuit to upgrade their everyday lifestyles”.

Singles Day was kicked off on November 10 with a gala featuring Mariah Carey, a Japanese Beyoncé impersonator and a shoe-shopping-themed Cirque du Soleil performance.

Alibaba invented the sale event to celebrate the unattached as an antithesis to the romantically involved on Valentine’s Day.

According to Bloomberg, Singles Day is now the world’s biggest online sales event and this year’s total was more than Black Friday and Cyber Monday’s totals combined.

Some 180,000 brands are available in the shopping blitz, including top technology companies Xaomi, Apple and Dyson.

In 2017, Alibaba expanded the event to the Western market, with downloads of its app AliExpress surging in the US and UK.

The shopping frenzy has broken world records in e-commerce sales – surpassing last year’s record at 17:34 Hong Kong Time.

However, observers believe as the event matures, its growth rate will slow down.

This year Alibaba has also faced new challenges, such as new rivals in the market, a slowing economy and its stock dropping 16% thanks to China’s trade war with the US.

The November sale event is expected to be founder Jack Ma’s last at the helm of Alibaba. The current chief executive will take over as chairman in 2019, Alibaba announced in September.


The UK’s autumn Budget 2018 was announced recently, with a series of changes brought in across the board. These changes are set to shape household finances across the country, with projected timeframes for some stretching ahead to 2023.

When it comes to housing and helping first-time buyers in particular, this Budget has implications for those who are planning on making the leap from rental properties to having a mortgage to pay off.

If you are hoping to buy your first home soon, here is all you need to know about what is in store.

Help to Buy Scheme

The Help to Buy First scheme has been extended by two years to March 2023. It was originally due to come to an end in April 2021, so more homeowners-to-be can start planning further into the future, and more people have a chance to save for the deposit. Plus, house builders can plan ahead so that there are more homes available to accommodate buyers.

First introduced in 2013, the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme sees the Government lend buyers between 20% and 40% of the cost of a new house that is worth up to £600,000. By signing up to the scheme, buyers need a smaller deposit. It also means the mortgage is cheaper. Property experts such as those at Andrews can talk you through your options.

Stamp Duty

As well as the extension of Help to Buy, the Budget also saw the announcement of a cut to stamp duty for first-time buyers. This cut in the property tax applies to buyers of shared-ownership homes in England and Northern Ireland that are worth up to £500,000.

This has been backdated, so it will also apply to anyone who bought a property like this since the last Budget, therefore anyone who bought through shared ownership since 22nd November 2017 will receive a refund of the stamp duty that they paid. There are more than 200,000 shared ownership properties in the UK and this type of property opens up more possibilities for first-time buyers.

Lifetime ISA

One change that hasn’t been made in this Budget is to the Lifetime ISA scheme. Despite facing criticism for being complex, and even calls for it to be abolished, the scheme is still in place. The Chancellor has only stated that there is a £20,000 subscription limit for adult ISAs and that the Junior Isa and Child Trust Fund will see increases in the annual subscription limit.

The Lifetime ISA was introduced in April 2017 and offered a 25% government bonus to younger people saving for retirement or first-time buyers saving for their deposit. There are three cash Lifetime ISAs available, although it is mostly available in the form of stocks and shares.

Are you a first-time buyer in the UK? What do you make of the changes announced in the Budget?


Image source Max Pixel

When online business began, several immediate benefits got realised. Both the lending companies and borrowers got the favour including streamlined work. The usage of digital tools makes everything accessible with ease unlike in the past. Due to the scammers in the industry, customers fail to know who is genuine. The following are the reasons you should consider taking a loan with Asteria. Here are the benefits of the newly implemented technologies.

  1. Authorised

Verification of lending companies is vital aspects for every borrower. You must consider the process to know if the operators comply with the regulating bodies regulations. The agency should always offer receipts and invoices after every transaction made. In this manner, you can prove the proper tax mapping, monitoring, and government certification. If the company fails to show such information, one should report straightaway. Working with Asteria reduces your suspicions as all of the details are available.

2. Traceable

Another essential thing you need to know is validity and approvable. Look for company details like email address and contact numbers as at no time will such not suffice. Even though online lenders work from the site, make sure there is also a physical office. You can visit the workplaces easily and securely engage with the support team. With Asteria,  your private information is safe and not compromised.

In the present day, many verification points like social media platforms are existing. With such places, your confidence in the company gets boosted. Trust becomes built on what is openly seen as here people get to express the views. The experiences concerning online lenders will naturally make new borrowers to develop confidence.  Positive reactions without doubts get noticed and attract individuals. Many clients will end up taking notice of the reviews, and the companies can react depending on what gets stated.

3. Professionalism

The right lenders also have wrong spots, and the thing that matters is transparency. The skills used to solve the problems are worth getting into the business. In this way, the way you consult as clients, the response should make you comfortable. Never rush into making deals as some agencies fake and need to get regarded.

Above all else, the reliable lending company, Asteria knows the worth of the customers. The personal authenticity matters to the agencies like theirs. So, proper efforts should be an interest in validating your information as well.

4. Available System

Since the lending process calls for detailed documentation, the validation should exist every time. The responsible lending companies like Asteria will always be here to help you. With this, you stand no risk of falling under the people who take advantage of you. The systems used, however, do not mean you will never become a victim. You must remain up-to-date and opt for partners having the best approaches to secure financial services.

The bottom line is when every borrower understands what is necessary, supporting the authentic agents will be easy. With such caution, the illegal peoples in the trade will get called off due to the breaches.

The best way is to report to the authorities as escaping the trades is not a valid measure. Be aware the offers are tempting, but will never get worth the resulting damage. Opt for the validated traders, Asteria and avoid scams. The company has existed for long and assures healthy business relations and services.


There is no doubt that some families encounter difficulties when trying to make ends meet. This often results in parents being forced to work longer hours and a great deal of strain can eventually be placed upon all members. However, many individuals are also realising the power of online retail sales. These virtual stores can supply much-needed liquidity and they are also associated with a great deal of flexibility. One interesting approach to consider is known as drop shipping. As opposed to dealing with complicated issues such as storing physical inventory and tracking shipments, a third party deals with these logistics. Not only is this an excellent way to enjoy a greater sense of efficiency, but it frees up additional time. Let’s take a look at three reasons why professional dropshippingrepresents the wave of the future. 

Less is More: Taking Control of Your Online Business

The main benefit of drop shipping is that you are no longer forced to spend an inordinate amount of time tackling concerns such as shipping fees and order tracking. This method is associated with two results. First, you can devote more effort towards developing your products and putting together solid online promotional campaigns. Secondly, the time that is saved can be spent with your family as opposed to in front of a computer display.

Physical inventory has likewise been taken out of the equation. Let us imagine for a moment that you have decided to sell custom-made t-shirts. Assuming that your client base is continuing to increase, you will inevitably encounter problems with on-site storage. You may even be forced to rent a separate storage centre in order to stock this inventory before shipping. As a third-party drop shipping service physically holds the products themselves, the previous situation will no longer present a concern.

The final advantage associated with drop shipping revolves around return on investment (sometimes known simply as “ROI”). You will often be provided access to better shipping rates; especially if you are selling items in bulk. Additionally, many items which can be drop shipped are able to be purchased at or below the suggested online retail price. Customers will appreciate the fact that they are saving money, so you are likely to enjoy a higher amount of interest during marketing campaigns. It is also worth mentioning that you are able to offer best-selling products alongside niche items that are intended for a very specific audience. Such a variety will naturally appeal to the online audience.

Putting Your Family First with the Right Software Providers

Now that we have explained the mechanics and benefits associate with drop shipping, how can you get started? You will be pleased to know that the process is much easier than it may appear and no previous experience is needed. The technical platform itself can be quickly integrated into your website as well as any associated sales and marketing campaigns. Of course, some software providers are better than others in terms of responsiveness and agility. This is why a growing number of self-employed individuals are choosing to leverage the advantages offered by Oberlo. This intuitive bundle will provide you with everything required to take your business to the next level.

Such software packages are also useful due to the fact that they offer a centralised means to appreciate which products are the most popular; a very real concern in regards to analytics. By taking so much guesswork out of the equation, you will be able to spend more time with your family while still enjoying a healthy profit margin.

However, keep in mind that success within the online community will take time and patience. It would be unrealistic to believe that you could become independently wealthy overnight. This is why many drop shippers first begin as part-time workers. As their sales volume grows, they can devote more effort towards establishing a rock-solid business. Many of those who began working a few hours every week have now migrated into the realm of full-time digital sales. Of course, the end result is up to you. Whether intended to earn a small side hustle or to offer the family a substantial source of additional income, the possibilities are as endless as the products that can be marketed.

It is always a good idea to research the topic in greater detail, as this article was only a brief overview of what you can expect to encounter when employing drop shipping provider. Many industry analysts feel that such an approach is set to transform the ways in which online transactions are carried out and it will be very interesting to see what 2019 has in store. Either way, the tools are at your immediate disposal. Why not work smart as opposed to hard? The future is very much in your hands.

The Shanghai Composite, one of China’s leading stock indexes, has seen its highest daily spike in more than two years following signs that the government will step in to support battered equity markets.

It closed up 4.1%, its biggest one-day rise since March 2016.

The moves extend a rally that began on October 19 and after investor confidence surged on assurances from Beijing.

Stocks had been falling as China’s economic growth continued to stutter.

On October 19, top Chinese financial officials – including economic adviser Liu He and the heads of the securities and insurance commissions – issued a statement to buoy investor sentiment in bruised markets.

China Economy Grows 6.7% in Q2 amid Trade War with US

President Trump Threatens $100 Billion More in China Tariffs

China Imposes New Tariffs of Up to 25% on 128 US Imports

Over the weekend, the Chinese government published a draft of new rules for personal tax deductions, Reuters reports.

The moves come as China, the world’s second largest economy, faces challenges such as high debt levels and an intensifying trade war with the US.

The October 19 data showed that in Q3 2018, China’s economy grew at the lowest rate since global financial crisis, expanding by 6.5% from a year earlier.

The rate was a drop from the 6.7% pace in the prior quarter, but remains in line with the government’s full-year target of about 6.5%.

For years China has pushed to wean its economy off exports and rely more on domestic consumption for growth.

At the same time, the Chinese government has been fighting to contain ballooning debt driven by a wave of infrastructure development and a housing bubble without hurting growth.

In recent months the government has taken steps to support China’s economy, including cutting capital requirements to boost liquidity and ease the slowdown.


Image source Max Pixel

In a world filled with every convenience one could desire, an increased appetite for unique experiences and a unquenching penchant for credit usage, it takes serious conviction and discipline to live within our means. Unfortunately, most of aren’t succeeding; the average American carries a credit card balance over $6,000.

Unsure if you’re living beyond your means? Here are five signs that’ll spell out your situation.

You’re Paying the Minimum Balance

Most people don’t pay off their credit card balance each month. This group, known as “revolvers” amount to 65 percent of the credit card-carrying U.S. population. These cardholders are spending more than they have or they’re not paying close enough attention and costing themselves additional money. Worse when cardholders carrying a balance fall victim to the hollow appeal of credit limit increases. Per Time Money, a 10 percent increase in credit is followed by a 1.3 percent increase in debt within one quarter, and nearly a 10 percent increase in long-term debt. Add multiple credit cards and interest rates and you have a quick recipe for personal economic ruin.

 Your Debt Is Growing

This sign may go undetected, as it’s very possible you wouldn’t know the specific terms of your debt if you were living beyond your means. However, if you’re making payments on your balance(s), you can at least tell if the bill is going up or down with each new billing statement. If you’re not making headway on your balance based on your current payments, calculate how far behind you’ll be in a few months, six months, a year. Any increase in debt has the potential to quickly spiral out of control should you start missing payments.

You Don’t Have an Emergency Fund

It’s recommended to save 10-20 percent of income, but any amount is better than nothing. If you’re left with no money at the end of each month after paying your bills, thirsting for another direct deposit, you’re clearly living beyond your means. Perhaps because 69 percent of Americans have less than a $1,000 in savings—some of those people our friends, family, coworkers—we’re conditioned to think it’s more OK than it is. How will you afford the next major car repair or sudden medical bill if you have no stashed funds to your name? Saving the money we work for isn’t about depriving ourselves of the finer things in life; it means empowering us to live the life we want because of added financial protection.

You Don’t Keep a Budget

Different types of budgets will work for different types of people, but not having one is financially careless. Budgets guide our financial decisions and keep us on track toward our long-term goals. Freedom Financial Network CEO Andrew Housser regularly emphasizes the importance of budgeting and to ask ourselves where we want to be in one, three and five years. Doing so forces us to consider how our present-day actions are contributing to our goals. This usually results in more committed, purposeful budgeting and better decision-making.

In your budget, focusing on the value you’re getting for your housing, transportation, and food expenses will net you the biggest monthly savings, but it’s also important to forecast for seasonal events that will impact the budget. Attending a destination wedding? Tax bill coming up? Do you have more people to give gifts to this holiday season? Having a static monthly budget is great, but anticipating your actual calendar and financial obligations will ensure you keep pace with your budget goals, even through higher spending periods.

Your Credit Score Is Shot

Checked your credit score lately? Anything under 670 means you’ve had some dings on your financial record and lenders view you as a subprime borrower. While securing credit isn’t the single most important thing in life, it can make several expected life stages difficult, like buying a house, renting an apartment, purchasing a vehicle, or perhaps most limiting, securing a loan to start a business. If you feel like you’re exercising discipline in your financial life, a quick look at your credit score will cut your work out for you.

 Your risky financial behavior is likely showing through in other ways as well, but these five signs will surely spot an iceberg looming if it’s there.


Image source Pixabay

There’s a lot of chatter about how startups are changing the business world. This can be seen across industries. Pretty much anything is vulnerable to disruption by a well-intentioned startup.

In the past, starting a business meant you had a lot of starting capital to put toward building facilities. This is no longer the case in the digital age. While some businesses still require a lot of upfront money, this is no longer necessary or the norm. A startup is basically a business in its incubation period, before it has received large amounts of money and started selling on a large scale.

With lower stakes, it’s possible for entrepreneurs to fine-tune their ideas into something groundbreaking – even if the operations originate in a small studio. Of course, no one wants to stay in their dorm room or parents’ garage forever. Here are five ways to help turn a startup idea into a real business.

Find Mentors

Have you taken a startup idea and turned it into a full-flung business on your own already? Then you probably know a few tricks of the trade. For everyone else, the best thing to do is to find somebody who has undergone the startup experience before. Preferably, this will be someone who has turned their startup into a legitimate brand.

Then again, there are benefits to learning from people who tried and failed to build out their startup. They will likely be able to tell you things that did – and didn’t – work for them along the way.

Have a Scalable Product and Idea

At the end of the day, your startup won’t be able to cut it if your product doesn’t provide something appealing to consumers. One of the most important steps in fleshing out your startup is to have a minimum viable product (MVP).

An MVP allows you to test the product in its most basic form, while receiving input from the people who are most interested in using it. By taking that feedback and incorporating it into later versions of your service or good, you will be able to create something that’s actually desirable to people. You also want to ensure that you’re making something that scalable. Consider this in terms of consumer demand, as well as production costs.

Get a Good Website

A business in today’s world needs to have a solid web presence. You don’t need to spend thousands dollars building your website—especially if you’re a startup. However, you should consider how to build a website for business. It should be easy to navigate, with the most important information or features for prospective customers or investors at the forefront.

The most affordable and flexible option is to leverage website builders catering specifically to small businesses. Services like Yahoo Small Business offer a variety of website themes than can be edited to fit your content and branding.

Be Serious About Social Media

Once you have a live website for your startup, you’ll need to build out your social media presence. Even if you don’t use Facebook or Twitter personally, you should understand that it’s a way for your brand to interact directly with consumers. This is an extremely powerful ability.

In order to really take your startup to the next level, you’ll probably want to hire a dedicated social media expert. They’ll know what’s best in terms of what and when to post. Additionally, you can work with social media influencers to extend your reach to people with interests specifically related to your startup.

Don’t Lose Momentum

It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re just starting out in the business world; especially when money is tight, staff is stressed and operations regrettably go haywire. Even some of the most successful companies find themselves in the midst of a major upheaval from time to time. The key is to not panic when these things do inevitably happen. Keep your eyes on your goals – and figure out what you have to do in order to meet those expectations.

There are few things in life more difficult than starting a business. In fact, about half of businesses fail within the first five years. Don’t let this discourage you, though. There are plenty of opportunities for people willing to put the work into building their startup into a real (and profitable) business.


Data is widely recognized as one of the most important resources in a rapidly evolving digital economy. Understanding how future trends will shape your field in order to efficiently harness the power of data is one of the biggest assets for any professional planning ahead. In this context, the latest Data Discovery Market Report offers valuable insight into the industry.

The State of Play in Data Discovery

Data discovery is a key term for business intelligence professionals and refers to the process of identifying patterns and outliers in sets of data. With data discovery, big datasets can be turned into meaningful information according to the desired objectives. For example, you can take location-based data and use a map maker app to create stunning visualizations in the form of maps.

Data discovery is crucial in the context of data classification, which sees data categorized according to format into structured or unstructured, state, and sensitivity across high, medium and low sensitivity levels. It is also pertinent for big data applications, since every industry is striving to find ways to put immense volumes of information to good use.

Source: Pexels

It is estimated that by 2020 every individual will see roughly 1.7 MB of new data created about them every second, while the total big data volume will reach 44 zettabytes – that is, 44 trillion gigabytes – by that same year, up from just 4.4 zettabytes this year. This figure takes the new internet of things developments into account, as well as the meteoric rise of smartphones and social media: smartphone users will amount to over 6 billion by 2020, and Facebook sees over 31 million messages sent per minute.

The New Data Discovery Market Report

Against this setting, the new Data Discovery Market Report examines and analyzes the market and important players in the field in order to draw conclusions about the current situation. The report also offers an analysis on strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) for top vendors. Factors that are examined vary from leading companies and key processes to metrics like gross margin, business volume and production value. The approach also outlines information on market competition and focuses on potential trends and growth opportunities in the period from 2018 to 2023. The document breaks down the market by geographical segments across North America, Asia-Pacific (APAC), Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Rest of the World (ROW).

Source: Pexels

Interestingly, the report also discusses aspects that are vital yet sometimes overlooked as vague, including strategical activity that ranges across mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships, and product development processes, while examining pertinent dynamics of the market. By offering a wide spectrum of statistics gathered by the research, which combined primary and secondary data along with feedback from industry professionals, the report is able to draw conclusions about the current state and the future of data discovery trends. New projects are also examined according to their feasibility while the report sheds light on manufacturer profiles, including a business overview. The research is structured across many different aspects, ranging from a comprehensive cost analysis to an exploration of market consumption and share by application.
The report, which is available for a fee, offers a nuanced and comprehensive guide to the data discovery market – one that professionals across industries will find informative and useful.

Image source Pixabay

Technological advancement has taken over almost every field in the world, including vehicles. The structure, electronics, and equipment used in cars are uniquely designed by each company and this makes it difficult for a normal repair shop to handle the repairs, services, and maintenance rightly. So to provide the right maintenance & repairing services for car, manufacturing companies have started a chain of certified auto body repair shops around the world. This has made it much more convenient for people who own complex designed cars like Tesla to get the correct kind of repair services while keeping the warranty intact.

What Does Certified Mean?

A car repair shop becomes ‘Certified’ when its team including the manager, engineers, mechanics & painters etc, go through & complete authorized training provided by a specific automobile manufacturing company. This means that they need to follow specific procedures for every vehicle-related job they do. This ensures to keep the warranty intact while not compromising with the quality of services. You can easily find the finest certified shops in Long Island like Keri Coach Works online and get in touch with them.

These shops have been set up all around the globe by automobile manufacturing companies and can be easily found by searching online. You can either visit them or get your car towed away, in case its engine is not starting up. The staff of such firms is really understanding and patient with the customers to ensure full satisfaction.


The training is provided at the authorized centers that have been specially set up in various cities and the car repair firms can get in touch with them to join the training program & get the authorization from them. All the personnel needs to clear the training as only then the certificate will be provided to them.

Services Offered By Certified Auto Repair Shops

Certified shops such as Keri Coach Works have basically been set up to provide a wide range of services including paint jobs, dent removal, cosmetic repairing, servicing, towing services, realignment, towing services, aluminum casting, car rentals, and regular maintenance etc. These shops usually have highly experienced teams to ensure a high quality, hassle free service always. Technologically advanced and uniquely designed cars like Tesla require immense expertise and standard procedures for all kind of vehicular problems and thus a certified shop is the best option for you.

Reasons To Choose CertifiedShops

Choosing a certified shop provides you with a long list of benefits such as:

  • Standard procedures are followed to ensure safe and best services are offered for your vehicle
  • Written documentation is maintained to keep the written records about regular maintenance of your car
  • Warranty remains intact when you get the car repaired or serviced from an authorized center
  • You can get the faster response time from these centers rather than uncertified ones
  • The charges in these centers are quite lesser as standard prices are already set
  • Only manufacturing company equipment & hardware is used to ensure authenticity always
  • There is no compromise with the quality as these represent the automobile firms and any negative feedback can prove too harmful for their status

Finding The Best Certified Shop

You can easily check the online reviews of previous customers about a shop, check their websites for certification detail or you can ask the market experts as they can provide you with a detailed insight about the company. This way you can ensure the best services and repairs for you Tesla car. Mostly, all certified firms ensure to provide the finest quality of services & thus you can visit the nearest one without hesitation.

Image source Wikipedia

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has died aged 65 from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Paul Allen had revealed the disease’s return only two weeks ago, after previously being treated for it in 2009.

His friend and former business partner, Bill Gates, said: “I am heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends… Personal computing would not have existed without him.”

In a statement confirming Paul Allen’s death on October 15, his sister Jody described the businessman as a “remarkable individual on every level”.

The statement said: “Paul’s family and friends were blessed to experience his wit, warmth, his generosity and deep concern. For all the demands on his schedule, there was always time for family and friends.

“At this time of loss and grief for us – and so many others – we are profoundly grateful for the care and concern he demonstrated every day.”

Paul Allen made his fortune alongside school friend Bill Gates, after they co-founded technology giant Microsoft in 1975.

He left the company in 1983 following his first diagnosis of the blood cancer Hodgkin’s disease, but recovered to become a successful venture capitalist with his media and communications investment firm, Vulcan that he set up in 1986.

Steve Ballmer leaves Microsoft after 34 years

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Paul Allen’s investment firm confirmed news of his death on October 15.

Vulcan CEO Bill Hilf said in a statement: “Millions of people were touched by his generosity, his persistence in pursuit of a better world, and his drive to accomplish as much as he could with the time and resources at his disposal.”

Paul Allen is estimated to have donated more than $2 billion to philanthropy throughout his life including science, education and wildlife conservation causes, the Associated Press report.

He was also an avid sports fan, owning both the Portland Trail Blazers basketball team and Seattle Seahawks NFL team, who won the US SuperBowl in 2013.

In 2010, Paul Allen pledged to give the majority of his fortune to charitable causes after his death.


Image source Max Pixel

If you’ve ever looked into the stock exchange, and considered trading in it before, then you might have found yourself asking a lot of complicated questions. Even with things like the latest StockTwits review, and industry articles to help you, learning how to trade can be a lot like learning a different language. The good news is that buying stock isn’t as complicated as you’d think. The truly challenging part is finding companies that you can rely on to deliver a consistent profit. Of course, that’s something that many people struggle with. Fortunately, there are a few tips you can follow to improve your chances of success.

Leave your Emotions Behind

Perhaps the most important thing you can remember about stock trading is that it’s a logical process, not an emotional one. When you enter the investment market, make sure that you check your emotions at the door. While sometimes, your feelings, like gut instinct, can seem like a good thing in the stock market, the truth is that they often lead to bad decisions. Make sure that whether you’re buying or selling, you’re always moving in a way that makes logical sense to your long-term investment strategy. If you’re feeling overly emotional during a trading session, it might be a good idea to take a break and come back to your assets later when you’ve had some time to think about the situation rationally.

Plan for Difficult Times

Another point to keep in mind about stock trading is that it’s never going to be all smooth sailing. We’re all tempted to cut and run with certain stocks sometimes but making decisions in the heat of the moment means that you could end up buying high and selling low. That’s the last thing you want to do.

A good way to make sure that you’re prepared for those difficult times is to create a journal where you write down important information about each stock in your portfolio. Within that journal, write down why you invested in the stock, to begin with, what the right reasons for selling the stock are, and any other details that you think might be important to future decisions. When you’re not sure if you’re making the right choice about a stock, return to the journal and check it for reference.

Avoid Trading Overactivity

Finally, unless you are day trading, there’s no reason to check in on your stocks every five minutes. In fact, taking a look at your portfolio about once a quarter should be more than enough. It’s difficult not to keep an eye on your investments when you’re worried about earning money in your portfolio, but you could end up getting frustrated and impatient – which are two bad things to be in the stock market.

Additionally, make sure that when something does change with your stocks, you find out as much as you can about that change before you make any rash decisions. For instance, if one of your commodities sees a sharp price movement, find out what triggered that event. Sometimes, a change will be a sign that you need to sell fast, and other times it will just be a blip in the road.

Image source Wikipedia

The United States and Canada have reached a new trade deal, along with Mexico, replacing the current North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) gives the US greater access to Canada’s dairy market and allows extra imports of Canadian cars.

The deal has 34 chapters and governs more than $1 trillion in trade.

President Donald Trump, who has long sought to change NAFTA, said the new deal was “wonderful”.

Until recently it looked as if Canada could be excluded from a final trade agreement to replace NAFTA which has been in place since 1994.

The new USMCA is intended to last 16 years and be reviewed every six years.

NAFTA: Mexico Willing to Discuss Trade Deal with President-Elect Donald Trump

Following the agreement, President Trump tweeted: “Late last night, our deadline, we reached a wonderful new Trade Deal with Canada, to be added into the deal already reached with Mexico. The new name will be The United States Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA. It is a great deal for all three countries, solves the many……”

The US has been fighting trade wars on several fronts this year, including placing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Mexico and Canada, as part of Donald Trump’s America First policy. Tariffs on cars are also threatened.

The hundreds of pages of the agreement were released on October 1 and contain updated arrangements for Canada’s dairy industry and measures aimed at shifting lower-paid car jobs from Mexico.

On dairy, US farmers will have access to 3.5% of Canada’s $16 billion-a-year dairy market.

On cars, Canada and Mexico have a quota of 2.6 million cars they can export to the US as a protection for their car industry if the US imposes a 25% global tariff on car imports.

In addition, 40% of car parts of vehicles produced in the USMCA area must be made in areas of North America, paying wages of $16/hour.

On the lumber (or wood) industry, Canada secured protection from US anti-dumping tariffs through the preservation of a dispute-settlement mechanism.

The US made a deal with Mexico in August, but relations with Canada over the trade pact had become increasingly strained in recent weeks.

The Trump administration set September 30 as a deadline for Canada to strike a deal.

A protectionist policy under the Trump administration has seen the US forge ahead with individual trade deals, rejecting bigger multi-lateral trade agreements and posing a challenge to decades of global free trade.

As part of this policy President Trump has also launched a trade war against China, which has already hurt companies and could curb global economic growth.


Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger are both leaving the company.

CEO Kevin Systrom said they were departing to “explore our curiosity and creativity again”.

Instagram was purchased by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion in cash and stock and has more than one billion users.

There had been reports of tension between the pair and Facebook, and the departures add to what has been a troubling year for the parent company.

Kevin Systrom, 34, and Mike Krieger, 32, the chief technical officer, started the image sharing site in 2010, and continued to run the service after it was acquired by Facebook.

They reportedly only told the Facebook leadership on September 24 so the departure appears pretty sudden.

Kevin Systrom said in a blog post: “We’re now ready for our next chapter.

“Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs; that’s what we plan to do.”

Facebook admits teenagers are becoming bored with the social network turning to Snapchat and Instagram

Instagram could sell users’ photos to advertisers without notification

There was no animosity in the blog post. Kevin Systrom said the pair both remained “excited for the future of Instagram and Facebook”.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement that Instagram reflected the founders’ “combined creative talents”.

“I’ve learned a lot working with them for the past six years and have really enjoyed it,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what they build next.”

There have been reports of tension with Facebook’s leadership. Instagram’s popularity has soared in a period where use of the core Facebook product has stagnated.

This has put increased pressure on Facebook to squeeze more and more money from its users by adding new features some felt went against the Instagram app’s original focus on simplicity.

The latest Instagram product, IGTV, which allows posting of longer videos, in part to compete with YouTube, has not had an auspicious start. It was criticized this month after suggestive videos of children were recommended to its users.

Facebook has also been under intense pressure this year over the issues of safeguarding customer data and the misuse of its platforms by those wishing to spread fake news, including for political ends.

This, along with increased pressure from competitor platforms, appears to have led Mark Zuckerberg and his core executives to exert more control.

It ran counter to the business model the pair had become used to. Kevin Systrom had earlier praised the “tremendous freedom” Mark Zuckerberg had allowed since the takeover.

Image source Pixabay

The US is imposing new tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods as it escalates its trade war with Beijing.

The measure will apply to almost 6,000 items, marking the biggest round of US tariffs so far.

Handbags, rice and textiles will be included, but some items expected to be targeted such as smart watches and high chairs have been excluded.

The Chinese commerce ministry responded to the move by saying it had no choice but to retaliate but is yet to detail what action it will take.

The US taxes will take effect from September 24, starting at 10% and increasing to 25% from January 1, 2019, unless the two countries agree a deal.

President Trump Threatens $100 Billion More in China Tariffs

China Imposes New Tariffs of Up to 25% on 128 US Imports

White House to Announce Sanctions against China over Theft and Transfer of Intellectual Property

President Donald Trump said the latest round of tariffs was in response to China’s “unfair trade practices”.

He said: “We have been very clear about the type of changes that need to be made, and we have given China every opportunity to treat us more fairly. But, so far, China has been unwilling to change its practices.”

President Trump also warned that if China retaliated then the US would “immediately pursue phase three” and impose further tariffs on another $267 billion worth of Chinese products.

Such a move would mean almost all of China’s exports to the US would be subject to new duties.

After opening lower, the Shanghai stock market ended the day 1.8% higher, while Tokyo was up 1.4% and Hong Kong gained 0.6%.

In July, the White House increased charges on $34 billion worth of Chinese products. Then last month, the escalating trade war moved up a gear when the US brought in a 25% tax on a second wave of goods worth $16 billion.

The Turkish government is banning the use of foreign currencies in the country’s property market as it looks to stem the dramatic fall of its own currency, the lira.

On September 13, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a decree announcing that contracts for sales, rent and leasing must in future be made in lira.

The president has previously urged people to sell their dollars and euros.

The move came as Turkey’s central bank increased interest rates sharply in an attempt to curb the tumbling lira.

The lira has lost almost a third of its value against the dollar since January.

Today’s decree, which was published in the government’s official gazette, said all current agreements in the property sector made in foreign currencies must be changed within 30 days.

Turkey to Boycott US Electronic Goods Following Punitive Sanctions

Rental and sale agreements in Turkey are often offered in euros and dollars to foreigners living in the country.

However, the property and construction market has become a concern for investors worried that Turkish companies that borrowed heavily to profit from a boom may struggle to repay loans in foreign currencies, as the weakened lira means there is now more to pay back.

In a speech to a traders’ confederation in the capital, Ankara, President Erdogan said on September 13 that nobody should carry out business in foreign currency apart from exporters and importers.

The president also criticized Turkey’s central bank, accusing it of failing to control inflation and urging it to cut interest rates just hours ahead of its announcement that it was raising rates to 24%.

He said: “As of today I have not seen the central bank fix inflation rates as they promised.”

“Interest rates are the cause, inflation is the result. If you say ‘inflation is cause, the rate is the result’, you do not know this business, friend,” the president added.

Turkey’s lira jumped sharply following news of the rate increase.

Last month, Turkey’s weak currency received a small boost after President Erdogan raised tariffs on US imports including cars, alcohol and tobacco.

The US earlier hit Turkey with tariffs on items such as steel and aluminum in an effort to increase pressure on the country to free the detained American pastor Andrew Brunson.

Andrew Brunson has been held for almost two years because of his alleged links to political groups that are outlawed in Turkey, which accuses the US of trying to bring it “to its knees” over the administration’s demands.

The fall in the value of the lira in recent months has pushed up the price of everyday items in Turkey and raised fears the country is sliding into an economic crisis.


Photo Volkswagen

German auto maker Volkswagen has gone on trial in what is the first court case against the company over the diesel scandal.

Investors are pursuing VW for about €9.2 billion in damages, claiming the company should have come clean sooner about falsifying emissions data.

Volkswagen shares crashed after disclosure in 2015 that its diesel technology emitted illegal levels of pollution.

Andreas Tilp, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told the court: “VW should have told the market that they cheated.”

“We believe that VW should have told the market no later than June 2008 that they could not make the technology that they needed in the United States,” he told the Braunschweig higher regional court.

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Dieselgate: VW Sets Emissions Scandal Provisions to €16.2 Billion

Shareholders representing 1,670 claims are seeking compensation for the near 40% slide in VW’s share price triggered by the scandal, which broke in September 2015 and has cost the company €27.4 billion in penalties and fines so far.

The legal action has been brought by the Deka investment fund, which is being used a template for a further 1,600 lawsuits.

The case involves about 50 lawyers, and interest in the hearing is so great that it had to be moved from the court house to a nearby conference centre.

The court case is expected to take at least until 2019 to be fully decided.

Former executives from VW, Porsche and their sister company Audi are under criminal investigation in Germany.

VW has already been fined €1 billion by German prosecutors over its diesel emissions scandal. It has also paid a fine of $4.3billion in the US to resolve criminal and civil penalties.

The auto maker has admitted its responsibility for the diesel crisis.


Image source PxHere

What is time & attendance software?

At the lowest resolution time and attendance software is a system that requires employees to manually clock in and out of shifts.

Businesses use it, so they can optimize the hours their employees work and pay them more accurately.

Is it micromanaging?

It is reasonable to assume requiring workers to manually clock in and out of shifts and breaks can send the message their manager doesn’t trust them enough to report the hours they work accurately.

Some managers are hesitant to use time and attendance software because they fear their employees will resent them.

In industries like hospitality and retail where turnover is especially high managers don’t want to give their employees another reason to leave.

Ironically, it’s in these industries where workers are paid hourly where time and attendance software would prove most useful.

The fact is time and attendance software is so much more than just a system for employees to clock in and out of shifts and the successful implementation of it lies in managers making this clear to employees.

Benefits to managers

Time and attendance software ensures staff only get paid for the time they actually work, by recording when they clock in and out of shifts, thereby eliminating the guesswork and grey areas associated with using manual time sheets.

Additionally managers get real time alerts when staff are late or have not taken required breaks.

The reporting capabilities of time and attendance allow managers to see which of their employees work the most overtime and which of them are routinely late to start their shifts.

Managers also have visibility of early clock-ins and late clock-outs, instances of over & under scheduling, and which employees have taken more than their allocated breaks.

Time and attendance software provides managers with insight they can use to iron out inefficiencies in their business.


Given managers know when their staff clock in and out, time and attendance software like OpenSimSim allows employers to set up compliance rulesets to protect their businesses and themselves from workplace legislation.

Compliance rulesets can be set up to ensure staff don’t work too much overtime, take their legally required breaks and get paid accordingly for working overtime, weekends, and public holidays.

Managers have visibility over their compliance warnings so they can stop them before they happen and stay out of legal trouble.

How employees can get in on the action

The benefits of time and attendance software are certainly not lost on employees.

As the reporting aspect of time and attendance software gives managers full visibility of their labor force in real time, employees that are punctual are more likely to be recognized and rewarded for it.

In this same way time and attendance software also guards against employees being over and under scheduled as employers will be able to see if this is the case and work to fix it.

Another foreseeable benefit to employees is the potential for data collected by time and attendance software to be used to create a resume, especially useful for people moving between jobs which require similar skills.
Time and attendance software offers detailed reports of employee punctuality and experience in a given role down to the minute.

These reports can be used by job seekers to prove their and experience and value to future employers in a concrete, verifiable way instead of relying on the vagueness and inherent unreliability of a resume like others.

Final words

There are a lot of time and attendance solutions out there and picking the right one can be tough but the benefits for employers and employees are clear.

It is however important that employees see it as welcome addition, and this can be achieved by managers taking a little time to explain to them what it is and how it will benefit the business before introducing it.


Image source Wikipedia

President Donald Trump has threatened to pull the US out of the World Trade Organization (WTO), claiming the body treats the US unfairly.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, President Trump said: “If they don’t shape up, I would withdraw from the WTO.”

The WTO was established to provide rules for global trade and resolve disputes between countries.

Donald Trump says the organization too often rules against the US, although he concedes it has won some recent judgments.

The president claimed on Fox News earlier this year that the WTO was set up “to benefit everybody but us”, adding: “We lose the lawsuits, almost all of the lawsuits in the WTO.”

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However, some analysis shows the US wins about 90% when it is the complainant and loses about the same percentage when it is complained against.

President Trump’s warning about a possible US pull-out from the WTO highlights the conflict between his protectionist trade policies and the open trade system that the WTO oversees.

Washington has recently blocked the appointment of new judges to the WTO’s Geneva-based dispute settlement body, which could potentially paralyze its ability to issue judgments.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has also accused the WTO of interfering with US sovereignty.

It comes as President Trump set an August 31 deadline for Canada to sign a new agreement with the US and Mexico. He has threatened to tax Canada’s automotive sector or cut it out entirely.

Donald Trump has been sounding off about unfair trade since even before he became president.

On August 30, he said that the 1994 agreement to establish the WTO “was the single worst trade deal ever made”.

The US has been embroiled in a tit-for-tat trade battle on several fronts in recent months.

The one creating the most interest is with China, as the world’s two largest economies wrangle for global influence.

President Trump has introduced tariffs on a number of goods imported into the US.

A third round of tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods could come as soon as a public-comment period concludes next week, according to a Bloomberg report citing various sources.

Asked to confirm this during the Bloomberg interview, President Trump said that it was “not totally wrong”.

China has responded to US tariffs by imposing retaliatory taxes on the same value of US products and has filed complaints against the tariffs at the WTO.

China’s major ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing has suspended its carpool service after police said a driver raped and killed a female passenger.

A Didi Chuxing statement said the incident showed there were deficiencies in its processes, and so it would suspend its Hitch system for re-evaluation.

According to authorities, the 20-year-old woman hailed the ride on August 24 in the eastern city of Wenzhou.

A similar incident happened just months ago.

In May the company suspended and changed Didi Hitch, which pairs car owners and passengers, after a 31-year-old flight attendant died after using the service in Zhengzhou.

In the most recent incident, police said the woman got into the taxi at 1.00 PM local time and messaged a friend for help an hour later before losing contact.

Authorities detained 27-year-old driver named Zhong early on August 25, who confessed to raping and murdering his passenger, police said.

According to Didi’s statement, the body has been recovered and the investigation is ongoing.

Didi Chuxing said Zhong had no previous criminal record, but admitted there had been a previous complaint made against him.

A previous passenger allegedly said Zhong had taken them to a remote place and followed them after they left the car.

The company also fired the head and vice president of Hitch.

Didi Chuxing is the world’s largest ride-hail company by number of trips, reportedly completing more than one billion journeys in the past three years.

In 2016, Uber agreed to sell its local business to Didi after failing to make a profit.

Image source Wikimedia

Greece has successfully completed a three-year eurozone emergency loan program worth €61.9 billion ($70.8 billion) to tackle its debt crisis.

It was part of the biggest bailout in global financial history, totaling some €289 billion, which will take the country decades to repay.

Deeply unpopular cuts to public spending, a condition of the bailout, are set to continue.

However, for the first time in eight years, Greece can borrow at market rates.

Greece Bailout: Eurozone Ministers Agree to Release Latest Tranche

Greece Bailout: IMF and EU Reach Common Position on How to Proceed

Greece’s economy has grown slowly in recent years and is still 25% smaller than when the crisis began.

The EU’s Commissioner on Economic and Financial Affairs, Pierre Moscovici, said: “From today, Greece will be treated like any other Europe area country.”

Greece’s reforms had, Pierre Moscovici said, “laid the foundation for a sustainable recovery” but he also cautioned that its recovery was “not an event, it is a process”.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), only four countries have shrunk economically more than Greece in the past decade: Yemen, Libya, Venezuela and Equatorial Guinea.