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Long Voting Lines. How Americans Are Settling in for a Wait

first_img“The whole thing is just a gigantic nightmare,” said Robin Helmericks, a scientist who stood in line to vote early with her 19-year-old daughter in Charleston, S.C., on Monday.Or, as Ian Dunt, a British political journalist, said on Twitter on Monday: “There’s not enough booze in all the world for sitting through the American election results tomorrow night.”If the election generates that sort of response in someone 3,000 miles away, how are actual Americans, marinating in a sea of collective angst, meant to get through the day? Even more than that: If there’s no result by Tuesday night, which is likely to be the case, how will we hang on until there is?- Advertisement – “We expect long lines at the polls,” he went on, and also delays because of social distancing related to the pandemic. “After the polls close, and in the ensuing days, we will continue to need your patience. Never in the history of this city have so many people voted by mail. By law, staffers are not allowed to start opening and counting these ballots until Election Day itself.”Mr. Kenney noted that the results in Pennsylvania — and, by extension, the rest of the country — might not be known for a while. That’s the message election officials everywhere have been trying to emphasize, as they cope with the pandemic reality of a record number of mail-in ballots.- Advertisement – “In meditation, you can’t force the mind to stop thinking,” Mr. Miller said. “If you think, ‘Don’t think about the election, don’t think about the election, don’t think about the election’ then the election has become your mantra, and that’s not going to do you any good.” “Quite a lot of research suggests that the worst is yet to come as far as anxiety,” said Professor Sweeny, who specializes in the psychology of waiting.Part of the problem is the natural inclination to brace for the worst, in order to fortify yourself against potential disappointment, she said. “That tendency ramps up and moves more to the front of the mind as you get closer and closer to an outcome. Even people who are general optimists show a decline in optimism as the moment of truth draws nearer.”Of course, part of the difficulty this time around is that no one knows when this nirvanic (or hellish, depending) “moment of truth” might actually arrive. Having to wait longer also means fretting longer about possible scenarios and obsessing even more about the darkest contingencies.But people should avoid indulging in “speculative mode” and instead focus on what is in front of them, said Michael Miller, director and co-founder of the New York Meditation Center.“This whole season has been focused on speculating about what is going to happen,” he said. “But getting caught up in the moment-by-moment question of what results are coming in — that has never been good practice.”While it would be great to have some clarity, he said, it is unclear when that will come. “It’s about how can you make a plan to engage in self-care that would keep you in the present moment,” he said.Think small, he counseled. Clean your oven, rake some leaves, go for a walk, take off your shoes, feel the carpet on your feet. Breathe. “Patience,” exhorted the mayor of Philadelphia, Jim Kenney, in an open letter urging the residents of his city to remain calm through Tuesday and beyond.center_img Hurray, it’s Election Day!Not that it feels like much consolation.- Advertisement – “This has been the slow-moving election from hell with all the early voting,” Drew McKissick, the chairman of South Carolina’s Republican Party, said on Monday, eagerly anticipating its end. “It’s been draining.”The overriding prediction going into Election Day 2020 indeed take patience, the sort that feels in short supply right now. (How long is a piece of string? That is how long the election seems to have taken already.)Unfortunately, said Kate Sweeny, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, studies show that anticipatory dread only increases as waiting drags on. Nobody would advise anyone to spend Election Day stationed next to their liquor cabinets and enslaved to their social media feeds, though good luck with that. Either people are focusing disproportionately on alarming snippets of information that automatically make them feel bad — a swing against their candidate in a new poll, say, or a video of some helpless voters apparently being intimidated at a polling place — or they’re scrolling obsessively in search of some chimeric nugget of definitively good news to quiet their unease.“What is the German word for ‘feeling physically nauseous from anxiety at the news but also morbidly unable to look away and stop scrolling?” the novelist Celeste Ng wrote on Twitter.Mac Stipanovich, a Republican strategist and lobbyist in Florida who was intimately involved in the slow-burn nightmare of the 2000 election (his candidate won, but still) said that in many ways, it’s easier to be a campaign operative or a volunteer during stressful elections. Even if the tide is going against you, you’re too busy doing your job to indulge in your distress.last_img read more

German media scheme piles up reserves to invest in infra, alternatives

first_imgVersorgungswerk der Presse, the provider of pension provisions for employees in the German communications and media industry, has piled up “enough reserves” to invest in asset classes with attractive risk-return profiles such as infrastructure or other alternatives, chief executive officer Manfred Hoffmann told IPE.The scheme has invested in fixed income with a focus on a very accurate asset-liability management approach, he said, adding that it currently turns to illiquids to generate returns.Hoffmann said: “Low interest rates and volatility are here to stay. We will continue to minimize downside risks and focus on diversification while taking advantage of market opportunities.”The scheme’s investment portfolio is broadly diversified in more than 50 asset classes and invested in various countries, regions and currencies, according to its latest financial statement. Its portfolio includes government bonds in developed countries (24%), corporate bonds (21%), government bonds in emerging markets (14%), equities (11%), mortgage lending (10%), real estate (8%), secured loans (7%), and infrastructure, renewable energy and convertible bonds making up 5% of the portfolio.The scheme holds 77% of capital investment in nominal values, and 94% have an investment grade rating.Besides nominal values, 23% of the capital investment is deployed in value assets, including equities, real estate renewable energies and infrastructure.The net return was 4.1% last year compared to 3.8% in 2018. The book value of security assets rose year-on-year by 2.9% to €6.7 bn at the end of 2019.The valuation reserves grew from €1.1bn to €1.9bn based on a broad increase in value in almost all asset classes. This corresponds to 28.9% of the book value at the end of 2019, the statement disclosed.“The Presse-Versorgung has had an excellent new business growth of more than 30% last year,” Hoffmann said.It recorded an increase in new businesses of 36.1% to 6,640 members. The sum insured rose by 34.1% to €285.8m. Contributions were also up by € 7.1m to €334.7m.“Our customers enjoy a profit participation of up to 3.7% in 2020,” Hoffamn said.The scheme will, however, stop taking on new businesses for its Pensionskasse product from 1 October 1.“It was a formality – we have never had our own Pensionskasse but implemented this form of corporate pension as part of the Allianz-Pensionkasse when deferred compensation (Entgeltumwandlung) was introduced by law in Germany in 2002,” Hoffmann explained.The demand for the Pensionskasse product was non-existent for a number of years, and closing it for new businesses reduces complexity and costs.The fund has always focused on direct insurance (Direktversicherung), Hoffmann said.“When the law changed in 2005 and deferred compensation opened up for direct insurance, most of our customers moved away from the Pensionskasse,” he said.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.last_img read more

SBC Bookies’ Corner –  Increasing the betting value of international football

first_img Submit Share In an effort to eradicate mundane friendlies from international football, UEFA has announced that it plans on introducing a new international tournament called the Nations League. Should the tournament, which will run alongside Euro 2020 qualifiers elevate the levels of fan interest in international breaks as intended, it could also serve to heighten the value of international breaks as a betting product. SBC’s Bookies’ Corner investigates whether this is is the case.______________________SBC: From a betting perspective, can the introduction of the UEFA Nations League tournament increase the popularity of international breaks?Katie Baylis-( Head of PR – Betfair): Introducing a more competitive element to turn international ‘friendlies’ into more meaningful encounters seems a good move. However, as with the introduction of any new format or tournament, it will probably take time to build that tradition and fan interest. That will probably be the case from a betting perspective as well and we may not see an increase in punters betting more regularly or staking larger sums than they would normally on friendlies for a few years. There will, of course, be an opportunity for people to bet on more markets that will become available with a format like this, such as overall winner and goalscorer markets and promotion/relegation, so it will be really interesting to see the impact from a betting perspective when it kicks off next year.SBC: Alongside tournament expansions, can the Nations League tournament increase the interest in international football from countries that aren’t necessarily renowned for having overly successful national sides?Lee Price – (Head of PR Paddy Power): I think the Nations League is bound to increase interest in international football, at the very least from the intrigue of it being something new. It also means another trophy for England to fail to challenge for. A lot will depend on how seriously the big teams – Spain, Germany, Italy – take the Nations League.If they’re going hell for leather to win the thing, then maybe it’ll feel like a legitimately interesting tournament, of the ilk of an international Champions League. But then you’d have to worry about the point of future European Championships if that were the case.And for the tourist boards of places like Dubai – who will no longer see the influx of superstar footballers, what with an international tournament taking place every summer.Alan Alger, BetwaySBC: The new international tournament, The Nations League will lead to ante-post markets such as outright winner and top league goalscorer for international breaks, can this make out of tournament international football more attractive as a betting product?Alan Alger – (Head of Communications Betway): We tried to look into how the Nations League will work a few weeks back, but the info we got from UEFA site sort of contradicted itself. It does look it will add a bit of competitiveness to the lower teams, but not sure the bigger teams will – or need to – take it seriously.All will hopefully become clearer when the rankings are confirmed after the World Cup Playoff Fixtures.  There seems to be some sort of draw also on the 24 January._________________ Share StumbleUponlast_img read more