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BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona will have up to 60 million euros to spend on new players in the close season, according to the man in charge of their economic affairs.
"Barca is in a position to buy four players," vice president Javier Faus told Catalunya Radio. "We have between 50 and 60 million euros net for signings."
The club brought in one player last summer, the controversial signing of Neymar that prompted allegations of misappropriation of funds and tax evasion and resulted in the resignation of president Sandro Rosell.
Including a payment of 13.5 million euros to the Spanish treasury after fraud charges were laid against the club, the Brazil forward ended up costing just under 100 million euros, close to the record fee arch rivals Real Madrid paid for Wales winger Gareth Bale last year.
Barca did not sign anyone in the January transfer window, disappointing some fans unhappy with a series of shoddy displays in defence.
At the least, the Spanish champions will need replacements for goalkeeper Victor Valdes and captain and central defender Carles Puyol who have said they are leaving at the end of the season.
There are also question marks over the futures of reserve goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto and full back Martin Montoya because their contracts expire in June.
Borussia Moenchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl hinted in January that Marc-Andre ter Stegen would replace Valdes after the Germany keeper rejected a contract extension with the Bundesliga club.
The 21-year-old has a contract until 2015 but Eberl said he had turned down a new deal and the Bundesliga outfit had decided to allow him to join "a top European side".
Barca may be in the market for a second new centre back as academy graduate Marc Bartra has yet to win the full confidence of coach Gerardo Martino.
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A study last year by the department for business revealed that – finally – more women are taking the plunge and launching their own businesses.
The number is still pretty low – just nineteen per cent of SMEs are female-led, according to the study, but, more encouragingly, a quarter of new businesses – two to three years old – were formed by women.
I was fortunate enough to speak at an all-female business event held by the New Entrepreneurs Foundation last week to drive more women to apply for its new programme, which got me really thinking about how we can encourage more women to choose the enterprise path, like I did.
Something Anne Marie Morris MP mentioned in her speech really brought it home – women-led businesses contribute £70 billion to the UK economy. That is surely too significant a figure to ignore?!
So, here’s my advice to make sure women get in the game and level the playing field:
1. Stop thinking of ‘female’ as a disadvantage.
You’re a woman... so what?! I once heard a young female entrepreneur ask, “I’m pitching to investors and worried that they’ll look at me and think, ‘What if she gets engaged and has babies?’”
2. Choose your girlfriends carefully.
The importance of carefully choosing a guy who will emotionally support both you and your career is obvious. What’s equally crucial is befriending women who reflect what you wish to become.
3. Know your heroes.
To make your ideal scenario happen, you need to know what it looks like. I really look up to Katie Couric, Sheryl Sandberg, and Brene Brown – namely, the way that they’ve had careers and families without making it an ‘issue’ – they’ve just gotten on with it. Mindy Kaling and Connie Britton also inspire me to value the freedom and beauty of being single.
4. Focus on what you can control.
You’re going to come up against people who want you to feel like you don’t deserve something because you’re a woman. Let these people make you, not break you – those who try to bring you down often act that way because they feel like you are above them.
5. Don't judge other women.
Some women choose to focus on career. Some women choose to focus on family. Some women choose both. I don’t feel like it’s my right to comment on any other woman’s choices because I know that there’s always more to her story than what I can see.
6. Really get to know yourself.
Women are often so focused on those around them instead of putting themselves first. Whether it’s through journaling, yoga, therapy, or a retreat – take time out to be with the only person you’re ever going to really know. Getting to know your own mind can keep you grounded when things are rocky.
7. Nurture your male friendships
Male-female friendships don’t have to be weird unless somebody makes it weird. I have a lot of male friends and I value those friendships just as much as I value my female ones.
8. Ignore your mother’s nagging when it comes to your love life
My mother used to be on my back about the ‘lack of effort’ that I apparently put into my love life until I told her what I’ve always believed: it happens when it happens. As you get older and get to know more guys, you learn that truly loving relationships are places where you go to give, not places where you go to take. It can take time to find (and to become ready) for that. Focus on building your business and follow your own timeline, not one projected by magazines and popular culture.
9. Celebrate being a woman
The worlds of femininity and masculinity are colliding and I feel like millennial females are caught in this collective identity crisis. On the one hand, it’s exciting to be a woman in an era where we can vote, become CEO, or run for President.
10. Always have faith in yourself
I’ve met a lot of female entrepreneurs who have faith in their abilities but don’t have faith their worthiness of love, affection, true friendship. When it comes to finding investors or customers, or a boyfriend or a life partner, or great girlfriends… it starts with being able to accept yourself wholeheartedly.
Just before tax season comes the opportunity for college-bound students to apply for monetary assistance via the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The program collects and sends financial data to colleges that use it to award need-based financial aid to students.
Filing a FAFSA was once daunting, according to Pam Rambo, a former college financial aid and admissions professional who now works as a researcher for families and students looking to maximize their financial aid opportunities.
"It's much easier now than it has ever been," she said. "Maybe 30 minutes."
Rambo, who is based in James City County, said the most frequent mistake parents make is waiting until after they have completed their tax returns to submit the form. It's one of those rare occasions when "it's actually better to be on time than accurate," she said.
"I don't mean that you should be inaccurate," Rambo stressed. "You should file early even if you have to estimate (your tax information). Then file your taxes as early as you can, and then make your corrections. That should be easy to do."
Some families don't know they can actually file the FAFSA retroactively, Rambo said. The final deadline each year is June 30 – for the previous academic year. Colleges may have other deadlines, Rambo said, which can range from mid-February to early March. Applying sooner than later is also important because schools only have a finite amount of financial aid available.
"If you apply too late, the money all could be given out," Rambo said.
Ed Irish, director of financial aid at the College of William and Mary, offered important notes for filing correctly:
• Both the student and the parent should sign up through FAFSA's online starting place, fafsa.ed.gov, for a user identification number and password that will allow them to file and sign the form electronically.
• If you are a parent filling out the paperwork on behalf of a student, be sure to use the student's Social Security number. Using the parent's number "will create all sorts of problems, because there will be a mismatch in the system," Irish said. "It can be corrected, it will just slow down the process."
• Know the individual financial aid deadlines for each school to which a student wishes to apply.
• Also know that some colleges – among them William and Mary and the University of Virginia – require an additional financial aid form, the "Profile" form administered by the College Board. According to the College Board website, Feb. 14 is the deadline to submit a Profile form for the 2013-14 school year.
Irish urged students to file a FAFSA even if they suspect they might not be eligible for financial aid.
"You're going to need it as a minimum for student loans," he said. "If there's any chance you're not going to have the resources, complete the FAFSA."
Susan Mickens of West Point, who has one son attending community college and another who will graduate high school in June, described the FAFSA as a user-friendly process that parents should be able to complete on their own. Still, she said, she worked with Rambo because "there's a learning curve, and when you're talking about college, making a mistake is money lost."
"It was very scary going into the process. It's something that we don't do often," Mickens said. "Sometimes we have a preconceived notion of the process being very complicated, when in fact it truly isn't."
Darla Krupski, a Yorktown mother whose son is a sophomore at William and Mary, said "FAFSA has kind of a bad name, but it's not that they don't want to help." It's just that there are so many people applying for financial assistance.
Krupski said she found it helpful to work with a consultant, especially since she and her son have what qualifies as special circumstances. Krupski, who is separated, has been under-employed since she was laid off from her full time job three years ago, and her son has a health condition requiring expensive medications. From Rambo, Krupski learned about the "special circumstances" addendum to the FAFSA.
The holidays were great for Amazon and lousy for UPS. The two are linked and are a good illustration of two problems we’ll face more often as the web meets the real world.
Shipping giant UPS failed millions of customers this holiday season, missing the delivery of “a small percentage of its packages” on the Christmas Eve, according to a statement it released on Tuesday. Meanwhile on the day after the Christmas Day, e-tailing giant Amazon is crowing about signing up more than one million Amazon Prime members last week and that it registered record number of orders. Later Amazon said it would offer shipping refunds on packages affected by the UPS delays. Both events are linked, and here is why.
The reality check
Amazon’s great success doesn’t have to be UPS’ failure, but in this case the culture and expectations of the web met the real world, and the real world experienced what the web kids call a “fail.” There are some obvious reasons for this, such as UPS’ decision to let its workers take Christmas day off or people’s general tendency to wait until the last minute to order a gift online. The physical world is no different, as anyone who hits a mall on Dec. 23 or 24 could see.
Perhaps sometime in the near future, with drone delivery Amazon can solve this problem, but the situation illustrates two big problems we’re going to keep bumping up against as we transact more of our business and lives online. The internet has turned us into slaves of instant gratification. When we want to listen to a song, we click and stream. When we want to read the latest book, there’s another click and it’s on our tablet. However, this is creating an expectation that is challenged by the physicality of the real world.
So the first problem is that the gap between the online expectations where everything moves pretty much instantly (or at least within tens of milliseconds) and the real world, where crossing thousands of miles means actually crossing thousands of miles over increasingly congested and crumbling infrastructure is going to seem ever larger.
Making the real world elastic involves tradeoffs
The second is that you can’t prepare the real world people or infrastructure for peak demand. Most of our roads are literally set in stone. Our workforce is not as fluid as a flexible internet-like network needs to be and it’s not clear if that’s the society we want or should want to build. We are shifting to the web economy faster than the real world can keep up.
Yet, the internet and digital mediums reward and even encourage peak demand — be it a viral video or hundred of thousands of people downloading Beyoncé’s new album overnight. To bridge the gap between real-world limits and internet demands we need to have a more accurate understanding of the real world, perhaps through sensors and data for incredibly accurate predictions.
There will be a need for intelligence — even in the dumbest of machines. Until then, we need businesses and governments to consider how to manage the internet expectations in the real world. For example during last week’s peak demand Amazon cut off some people’s ability to sign up for Prime to avoid crushing the system for its existing members.
On the UPS side, more data and insights about the health of its fleet and workers might have helped it establish its own limits and set a stopping point after which it would have to declare the system overloaded. At that point, its management could make a cost benefit analysis associated with staffing up or buying more trucks to meet the peak. Unfortunately for employees, this sort of elasticity tends to lead to contract work, unless we radically rethink how we employ people.
Also helping “solve” the problem of employees and peak demand will be robots. Amazon’s delivery drones or warehouse robots are an example of how these can help. Unlike UPS employees, robots don’t need Christmas Day off.
The combination of the expectation gap and the conflict between the internet’s encouragement of sudden peak demand and the physical world’s inability to deal with that demand economically will be one of the defining business and technical challenges of the next decade. Robotics, data and the internet of things will help, but we’re going to have to adapt societal institutions to make it work.
Or we can just accept a few late Christmas presents.
Het Internationaal Olympisch Comité (IOC) besluit eerder deze maand om Tokio gastheer van de 2020 Olympische Zomerspelen werd begroet met vuur over Japan, verdiende de natie gelukwensen uit de hele wereld. Voor velen de komende 2020 Games zorgt voor een broodnodige boost voor de economie en het land de moraal, vergelijkbaar met de rol van de 1964 Olympische Spelen Tokio. Raak op deze gevoelens, Premier. Shinzo Abe voorspelde dat als gastheer van de 2020 Olympische Spelen zou een "explosieve agent" voor de nationale economie en zou plaats Tokio in "het centrum van de wereld."
De feestelijke retoriek is begrijpelijk, maar de beloften, met name materiële kosten en baten, vragen om een meer sober toezicht, zelfs als de champagne kurken pop. Met het evenement zelf jaren, er zijn weinig gevolgen voor degenen die beloven de maan nu, bijna tien jaar later, hun garanties blijken te hol. De gevolgen voor de bewoners van de stad kunnen echter aanzienlijk zijn.
Naast zorgen over de Noord-fukushima kerncentrale lekt, er zijn ten minste drie andere uitdagingen Tokio staan zoals bij voorbereidingen beginnen serieus, en die onoverzichtelijke andere steden. Deze overheidsschuld accumulatie, infrastructuurwerken en achteraf gebruik, en ten slotte, zorgen over woonwijk verplaatsing en verdieping ongelijkheid.
steeds meer aandacht voor kosten en baten in de afgelopen jaren is in grote mate te wijten aan de verschuiving naar gunning belangrijke gebeurtenissen in de landen die kampen met armoede en ongelijkheid. India, China en Zuid-afrika hebben beide gebeurtenissen in de afgelopen jaren, en Brazilië zullen snel host zowel de Wereldbeker (2014) en Olympische Spelen (2016). Maar, zoals we zagen in Londen in 2012, de wereldwijde recessie en een draai richting bezuinigingsplannen hebben grote sommen geld op korte termijn evenementen moeilijker te verkopen dan in eerdere jaren, ook in rijke landen. EEN boost in staat alleen is niet langer voldoende rechtvaardiging, en voorstanders - als met het geval van display- en bedieningspaneel (Abe) eerder deze maand - steeds moeten deze gebeurtenissen als de economische kansen die winst genereren en dragen bij tot de ontwikkeling van de stad.
Hoewel deze shift moedigt een welkom bij onderzoek van de economische waarde van grote evenementen, het is inderdaad erg lastig om een zinvolle berekening van totale uitgaven versus totale opbrengsten, met name jaar voordat het evenement plaatsvindt. Pre-event schattingen van kosten, in vele gevallen van rapporten in opdracht van overheidsinstellingen, zijn gevuld met rosy voorspellingen en vaak gelezen als public relations documenten. Jaren van onderzoek, aan de andere kant blijkt hoe vaak deze verslagen enorm onderschat de kosten en corrigeer indien nodig de voordelen van het evenement.
Als Kevin Rafferty meldde onlangs in De Japan Times, initiële ramingen voor de kostprijs van de London Games houdt ongeveer £2,4 miljard euro nog niet in het einde bereikt bijna €9 miljard. Schattingen voor de 2014 olympische winterspelen in Sochi begon op ongeveer $12 miljard, maar nu voorspeld dat hit $50 miljard. Twee recent afgesloten gebeurtenissen laten zien hoe misleidend vroege voorspelling kan worden. Officiële schattingen voor het wk 2010 in Zuid-afrika begon bij $500 miljoen in 2004, maar het kost bijna $5 miljard. En de 2010 World Expo in Shanghai was oorspronkelijk geraamd op $4,2 miljard euro, maar door een aantal post-event berekeningen uiteindelijk meer dan $50 miljard. Op de Olympische Spelen, Rafferty merkt op: "Kosten overschrijdingen voor de Olympische Spelen hebben gemiddeld 179 procent sinds 1960, en de meeste games hebben verliezen of kleine winst."
De kwestie van de ontvangsten is evenzeer belangrijk voor schatting van de kosten versus baten. Die hebben ook de neiging om teleur te stellen. EEN rapport uit 2010 over de onlangs afgesloten America's Cup race in San Francisco, in opdracht van de stad, wat zij herhaaldelijk opgeroepen een voorzichtige schatting dat de race zou leiden tot meer economische activiteit totaal $1,4 miljard. Dit is een conservatieve schatting ten opzichte van de $9,9 miljard uit eerdere verslagen, maar zelfs dan is het onwaarschijnlijk dat het geval iets dicht bij dat bedrag. De huidige officiële word op de Olympische Spelen van Londen van het Organiserend Comité is dat de 2012 games alleen kostendekkend.
Peter Styles, Senior Vice-President, Mergers and Acquisitions, The Corliss Group, is scheduled to attend Hedge Funds World Asia Conference from September 3 to 5, 2013 at the Harbour Hotel, Hong Kong. The conference provides great opportunities for participants to interact with industry colleagues and develop new networks among potential clients to whom they can advance their corporate profile during the entire promotional event.
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THE CORLISS GROUP has built its operations on the underlying foundation of answering the growing need for alternative investments among high net-value and smaller institutional investors in today’s present vibrant markets. In sourcing hedge funds, equities, private equity, fund-of-funds and real estate ventures, the Group’s knowledgeable managers develop offerings that are well fitted to a vast range of qualified investors.
As an independent investment advisory company with several qualified affiliates to support it, THE CORLISS GROUP has a firm foothold on an investment platform that can efficiently develop strategies that through years have proven successful.
THE CORLISS GROUP’s involvement in many successful investment deals designed for institutions and qualified private client-investors is far-reaching. The firm places these offerings through U.S. brokerage firms, private banks, financial planning firms, registered investment advisors and family offices.
At the root of THE CORLISS GROUP’s philosophy is that of efficiently selecting qualified Investment Managers to handle clients’ accounts. The firm’s excellent capability to identify asset management ability in the field of investments has continually confirmed the company’s qualification to function well in this market field. Candidate managers are primarily sourced out through a network of strategic associates, long-standing relationships and referrals from managers, trading desks, service providers and other prospective sources.