Finance Business Partner

Provide Finance analysis support for internal clients/Business Units. Elaborate finance reports on sales and business evolution. Build P and Ls and Finance update presentations for BU´s. Analyze information quality and integrity for budgeting purposes. Track actual progress versus plan and forecast for the for BU and areas assigned, provided meaningful explanations for variations. Obtain/gather, evaluate and present financial and contractual information in order to analyze commercial proposals.

Elaborate and design KPI for the business, generating value added contributions for decision making processes. Working in collaboration with BU teams (Marketing, Medical, Commercial, Access and Supply). Analyze ad-hoc business cases for strategic options, profitability and product launch situations. Look for growth and suggest efficiencies opportunities in BU processes.

Develop and maintain fluid relationship with key people in the organization and within Finance team. Develop and maintain a balance with BU Heads while bringing finance support also controlling the business. Despite not having direct reports, ability to work in teams with other areas and being to obtain the information needed to make the necessary analysis.

Build trust as business partner. Working experience in Pharma companies in controlling and FP and A positions for 3-5 years. Have a degree (or being close to have one) in Business Administration, Economy, Finance or Accounting. Experience with budgeting process and business evolution analysis. Medium to Advance English (speaking and writing) level.

Advance knowledge and expertise with Microsoft Office tools, SAP, HFM and TM1. Employment / Recruitment agents may only submit candidates for vacancies only if they have written authorization to do so from Shire, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Takeda’s Talent Acquisition department. Any agency candidate submission may only be submitted to positions opened to the agency through the specific Agency Portal.

Shire, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Takeda will only pay a fee for candidates submitted or presented where there is a fully executed contract in place between the Employment / Recruitment agents and Shire, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Takeda and only if the candidate is submitted via the Agency Portal. Candidates submitted or presented by Employment / Recruitment Agents without a fully executed contract or submitted through this site shall not be deemed to form part of any Engagement for which the Agency may claim remuneration.

At Takeda, employees are motivated to do their best and bring better health and a brighter future to people worldwide. Therefore, it’s important for us that we work together to create a diverse, inclusive environment where everyone can thrive and shine. And it shows. We are proud to be certified as a Top Global Employer 2020 by the Top Employers Institute — a certificate that recognizes companies with exceptional employee offerings. This recognition is based upon independent research and assessment of our workplace environment.

We’re honored to be selected as the Pharma Company of the Year at the 2019 Scrip Awards. The Scrip Awards recognize accomplishments in all aspects of industry activity from new drug launches, to clinical trials, to innovative deals, outsourcing and fundraising. Each of our 50,000 employees contribute to our success and shared mission to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines to patients worldwide.

The Bachelor Program Full-Time

The Bachelor Program in Civil Engineering is composed of three years of full-time academic study. The first year of the degree program present a broad, practical overview of the field of civil engineering. During this first year, presentation of the course material is primarily delivered at a foundational level with engineering fundamentals stressed and reinforced across the curriculum.

A strong understanding of practical and physical principles is fostered and promoted and an abundance of learning opportunities is provided to apply these fundamentals to the solution of real-world design scenarios that would be encountered by both technologists and engineers. Throughout the program, opportunities are presented to students to strengthen their graphical, written, and oral communication skills. A significant amount of time is directly related to hands-on training in material testing, surveying, manual and computer-aided drafting, and instruction in the use of engineering software tools.

The second and third year are mainly composed of basic engineering courses involving the study and application of the principles of geotechnical engineering (behavior of soils, design of foundations), structural engineering (analysis and design of reinforced concrete and steel structures), hydraulics engineering (flow of water in pipes, open channels, water resources), and the general systems approach to engineering problems. The final two years of the degree program are academically rigorous, with thorough investigation of the theoretical foundations of civil engineering science and design topics.

At the same time, the practical application of civil engineering knowledge is presented and applied through course assignments and project work. Additionally, the student is challenged to view the engineer's role from an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary perspective. The role of the engineer as a manager is also developed. In the final two years of the program, the student's educational experience is enriched through a series of liberal studies courses. To further develop engineering skills for professional practice, the degree concludes with the completion of a summer practice.

Students whose GPA is below 3.0 are obliged to enter the comprehensive exam. The program is open to candidates with a variety of backgrounds and interests. Candidates are eligible to apply, who are proficient in English, and have above average Grade Point Average. International students are encouraged to apply. To learn more about the application procedure, admission requirements, and financial aid, visit Epoka's Registrar menu or Admissions menu.

The students are also exposed to an introduction to construction management and economics which are essential to every practicing engineer. Summer practice at the end of the second and third year, and courses at the last year aim to provide a Civil Engineering perspective to students.

Curriculum of the program includes elective courses, which give an opportunity to students to improve their professional skills according to their interests. Some of them are nontechnical and free elective courses, the remaining are civil engineering electives. The requirements for a Diploma in Civil Engineering include the completion of minimum of 180 ECTS credits of formal course work and 60 days of approved practical training.

In the global industry, there is a strong demand for Civil Engineers particularly those who combine technical skills with good communication skills and team-work ability. Graduates of the department qualify for a responsible position in the civil engineering industry in analysis, design and construction management. Prospective employers include, but are not limited to, construction contractors, consulting firms, industrial firms and various government agencies.

Resources for Financial Services Students

As an undergraduate student at UNA, the University Success Center offers you access to free tutoring in mostly 100/200 level classes. Our goal is to help you achieve the academic success that you want. Tutors can also assist you with a variety of study and learning strategies. Please note that occasionally students request a certain subject for tutoring. This can lead to an additional course or two being offered in any given semester.

Not all courses are guaranteed every semester, although our most popular courses will be offered. If you have questions about a particular class. If you would like to schedule a tutoring session, you can call the University Success Center at 56.765.422. Typical tutoring sessions are 30 minutes and students are encouraged to bring lecture notes and all other materials related to the course.

UNA has also implemented a new system to help you create a class schedule faster and easier. You can customize the Pride Planner to show you classes that fit around your work and extracurricular activities, making registering for classes much faster when the time comes. You can find the link to the Pride Planner under the Registration tab. It is the second purple banner across the top.

Pre-registration is the process by which you meet with your advisor to plan your schedule for the next semester. You must meet with an advisor before you can pre-register for classes. Please review the following information before making an appointment to meet with your advisor:

Review your program of study in the catalog in effect at the time you enrolled in classes at UNA, not necessarily the current catalog. Draft a schedule of classes that includes course numbers, call numbers and section numbers. All of this information can be found in the published schedule of classes on the Registrar's website or under Look Up Classes.

In order to make the most effective use of both your time and your advisor's time, come to your appointment with a draft of your schedule. Prepare questions to ask your advisor about course selection, academic progress, and career opportunities in the field of your major.

Any student who has been suspended for one calendar year or any student who has been suspended for three calendar years and has completed one year of the suspension period may file a written appeal and appear before the Readmissions Committee. The written appeal must be submitted no later than two weeks before the opening date of residence halls as listed in the University Calendar.

This deadline applies for the semester that readmission is sought. The Readmissions Committee usually meets the Monday before classes begin in Summer, Fall and Spring semesters. Once the appeal is filed, the student will appear before the Readmissions Committee for the appeal hearing. Students will be notified via email of the hearing time and place.

If you have, or suspect you may have, a learning, psychological, or physical disability, the staff at the Disability Support Services office may be able to help you receive classroom accommodations to better enable you in your academic pursuits. You may be tempted to avoid asking for assistance; this is a mistake. Everyone needs help at some point in life and you are encouraged to seek the help necessary for academic success. If we are not made aware of your need for help, then we won't be able to help you.

For help with stress and beyond, confidential services are available to all actively enrolled students who have paid the Student Wellness Fee. Outpatient mental health services include: Psychosocial Assessments, Individual and Group counseling, Crisis Intervention, Group Psycho-educational and classroom presentations, Referrals to community resources.

Master of Science

The Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSc) program is intended to serve graduate students who have a Bachelor on Civil Engineering or closely-related undergraduate degree in order to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of civil engineering principles and practices. The program is primarily intended for students who currently are, or intend to become, practicing civil engineers, and thus focuses on the application of these principles and practices to real-world problems encountered by professional civil engineers.

Another purpose of the program is to facilitate applied research on relevant civil engineering topics. Such research should 1) serve societal needs by addressing contemporary issues, 2) contribute to the professional development of both students and faculty and 3) provide preparation for further academic study and research for those students who wish to pursue a Ph.D.

Graduates of this program are able to work professionally in complex and unpredictable environments and to assume leading roles in their organizations, both in the Albania and worldwide. We are closely connected with industry to keep our graduates at the forefront. We work in partnership with many local companies and external organizations who contribute to us with their feedback and offer opportunities to work in collaboration with them.

A knowledge of engineering principles sufficient to understand the bases and applicability of standard analysis, design, and implementation practices within their emphasis area. The ability to conduct engineering analyses and to develop and implement designs and problem solutions that conform to applicable codes and standards of practice.

An understanding of the various technical and non-technical factors that impact the feasibility and implementation of civil engineering projects, including: technical feasibility, multi-party involvement, environmental assessment, financial/economic planning, owner/public works administration, owners’ strategic plans, and socioeconomic/equity issues.

The foundation needed to develop engineering judgment via professional practice, and to effectively identify, consider, and account for multiple and competing objectives. The technical knowledge and skills needed to pursue lifelong learning with the ability to independently extend personal knowledge and understanding of engineering topics and practices by conducting literature searches, consulting with others, and using other similar techniques.

Knowledge and skills necessary to pass specialty license examinations in their respective emphasis areas. Student employment opportunities. The graduates of this program are prepared to work in construction industry, in engineering companies, state institutions, local government, private entrepreneurs, and other firms related. They can be employees as well in the business, management and financial sectors.

The Master of Science in Civil Engineering offers to the students the possibility of specializing into four profiles such as: Structural Engineering, Construction Management, Construction Materials and Water Resources Engineering. It combines a core curriculum with the opportunity to take elective courses tailored to a student's particular areas of interest. These courses typically relate to the student's thesis topic and are selected by the student in consultation with department advisor. To earn the MSc degree, students must complete in total 120 ECTS credits from their coursework and a Master thesis.

The program is taught in English. Therefore, Albanian and international applicants from countries in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. Thesis topics are developed individually by the student in consultation with faculty advisor. To prepare for their thesis research and writing, students must complete a course that offers instruction in research methods and academic writing.

Bachelor In Computer Engineering

The purpose of this study program, Bachelor in Computer Engineering and Information Technology, is to ensure the preparation of specialists in the field of computer engineering based on the most advanced programs of the time. The degree program has a unique course of study that gives students basic engineering concepts and through knowledge of the main features of the processing of the information systems, both in hardware and in the software.

The purpose of this study program, BSc in Computer Engineering and Information Technology, is to ensure the preparation of specialists in the field of computer engineering based on the most advanced programs of the time. The degree program has a unique course of study that gives students basic engineering concepts and through knowledge of the main features of the processing of the information systems, both in hardware and in the software.

In particular, computer literacy covering the basics of architecture of computers and computer systems, issues related to the project and the integration of hardware ans software systems, with in-depth knowledge of operating systems, programming languages, techniques and software engineering methods, principles and technologies for modeling, design and database management.

The Bachelor Program in Finance and Accounting aims at providing students with fundamental knowledge in the core fields of: Finance, Banking, Accounting and Auditing. This program is designed to prepare students to manage money and finance investment opportunities, achieve financial efficiency, leverage assets, and maximize investments. In addition it provides students the opportunity to develop analytical and quantitative capabilities—equipping them to pursue careers in the field of finance or accounting, focusing on investment analysis and management, banking, auditing, consulting and financial management.

Apart from the combination of theoretical and practical disciplines as well as finance and accounting, an additional value of this program of study is providing students with concentrated degrees in finance, banking, accounting and auditing, which makes it possible for a successful career both in finance and banking as well as in the relatedfield of accounting and auditing.

It incorporates computing, telecommunication technologies, and includes consumer electronics and broadcasting as it is getting more and more digitized. Spearheaded by the computer, the decades since the mid-1960s have been characterized by an extreme development. Since the late 1970s, cheap microelectronics have permitted the diffusion of these technologies into almost all aspects of daily life and have furthermore almost inextricably cross-fertilized and intermingled their multiple application branches, which include industry, commerce, administration, education, medicine, scientific and professional work, entertainment, and domestic work.

Nations with advanced IT-industries have realized that developing competence in information technologies including new media is essential, expensive, and difficult; large-scale IT systems are gaining economic feasibility and various national research and education programs for stimulating these developments are underway.

Business Information

Business entities aren’t one-size-fits-all. But, several options benefit and protect SaaS founders and their companies. Whether you need to make Venture Capitalists happy, operate with a board, or avoid paying corporate tax – there’s an option that’ll suit. We aren’t lawyers or accountants, but here are a few of the basics to point you in the right direction.

Each state has different formation rules based on the business entity type. There are various formation fees, dues, tax regulations, etc. in each state. Check out this map to view specific entity information for your state. You don’t necessarily have to form a business in the state you reside in/are headquartered in – although, it may be beneficial in the long run to register within your state.

Most business founders I’ve come across register LLCs (at least in the beginning). Limited Liability Companies **are great because they protect your personal assets. Example: if your company was ever to be sued (heaven forbid) or even go bankrupt, your personal home, credit, and vehicles wouldn’t be on the line.

The best benefit of being a Limited Liability Company is that you avoid corporate tax. With a LLC, your income will pass through the company to your personal tax records. You’ll only pay tax on the net profit of your business, and you’ll only pay tax on that amount the same way (and at the same rate) you pay personal taxes.

Other benefits of a LLC are that you can avoid all the bureaucracy that comes with being a C Corp. You’ll avoid the headaches of writing corporate bylaws, choosing and listening to a board. Instead of wasting time with all the bureaucracy, you can get your company registered and get your product launched.

A Subchapter S Corporation is kind of a mix between a LLC and a Corporation. It’s usually an election, meaning, you first form a LLC, and then you file a S Corp form telling the government that you want to be a S Corp.

As a S Corp, you get all the personal asset protection as with the LLC. You also have the advantage of pass-through taxes like with a Limited Liability Company (paying tax on net profit at the individual level), but you also have stock to give to up to 100 shareholders.

With such stock, a S Corp might allow for investment from an angel investor or two, but VCs will still prefer a corporation. Corporations require corporate bylaws, a board, recorded meeting minutes, etc. And, you’ll pay corporate tax rates since your income won’t pass-through to your personal income as it would under a LLC or S Corp.

C Corps also protect the personal assets of founders and shareholders. Another benefit of a Corporation is that you can grant investors (particularly Venture Capital firms and accelerators/incubators) preferred stock options – which, in addition to a solid valuation, is most likely what they’ll want. Preferred stock is kind of like a hybrid of a stock and a bond – it offers a better prediction of income for holders.

You’ll need to be a C Corp when it comes time to sell or IPO. This is because as a C Corp, you’ll have plenty of stock to give away and won’t be limited to 100 shareholders like a S Corp. Investors like Delaware C Corps as the state is a tax haven with all kinds of sweet tax breaks. A C Corp is also the best way to give your employees stock.

Many a company start as a LLC as it’s quick to get off the ground and requires little extra work like writing bylaws (yuck) – giving you more time to prep for launch. When you find VCs sniffing around or decide you want to sell some stock, then you can always switch your entity from LLC to a corporation. Just make sure you file what’s called a short year tax return for the LLC once it’s dissolved.

Before you make any of these decisions, you should speak with your accountant. If you don’t have an accountant, get one, AT LEAST consult with one about how you’ll be taxed and what formation might be best for you. Before you make any switches (from LLC to C Corp or whatevs) you should absolutely speak with a corporate attorney.

Graduate degrees

This website addresses questions typical of individuals interested in graduate study of economics. The website provides a centralized location for obtaining objective and comprehensive information about graduate training in economics.

The Ph.D. is the most advanced degree in the field of economics and is generally considered a research degree. Earning a Ph.D. typically involves several years of post-baccalaureate study, including advanced courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, quantitative analysis, and econometrics, followed by courses in the student's field of specialization.

The fields of specialization are classified by the Journal of Economic Literature. Offerings and strengths of faculty by field differ by Ph.D. program. Most programs require students to pass one or more examinations (often called preliminary, qualifying, or core examinations) before they are allowed to continue their Ph.D. studies by taking courses in their fields of specialization.

After all coursework is completed, students develop a research plan for a doctoral dissertation. In many Ph.D. programs the proposed research path is the subject of an oral examination before the research path is approved. The Ph.D. is awarded after successful defense of the doctoral dissertation, usually during a final oral examination.

The Master's degree in economics can be viewed as a terminal degree or as additional preparation (beyond the baccalaureate degree) for more advanced study. In some cases a Master's degree is routinely awarded after completion of a designated phase of a Ph.D. program.

Earning a Master's degree in economics typically involves two years of post-baccalaureate study, generally including courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, quantitative analysis, and econometrics. Terminal Master's degree requirements generally include completion of a Master's thesis.

An increasing number of universities offer joint Ph.D. degrees in economics and other fields. The most common of these are joint Ph.D/J.D. degrees and joint Ph.D.s in Economics and Finance. Some schools also offer joint Ph.D. degrees in Economics and Public Policy, in Economics and Statistics, and in Economics and Applied Mathematics. There are also many joint Master's degree programs that combine economics with other disciplines.

Students from a wide variety of backgrounds earn graduate degrees in economics. This includes economics and non-economics majors, those with and without prior graduate training, and those with and without prior economics employment experience.

To decide which program is the best fit, potential students should examine their own qualifications (including their GRE scores, their GPA, and their mathematical preparation) as well as the methodological approach, fields of specialization, predominant ideology, size of program, program culture (cooperative, competitive, etc.), typical time-to-degree, required examinations, financial aid, emphasis on mathematics, job prospects, and location of the programs to which they apply.

For those who wish to pursue academic careers, the availability of training in teaching methods during graduate school may also be a consideration.

Some applicants find it useful to contact students at their target programs to find out about current students' perceptions and experiences. Keep in mind that faculty tend to be fairly mobile throughout their careers, so it may be risky to choose a program out of a desire to work with one specific faculty member.

Economic Information Availability

Promoting the availability of information on the socio-economic aspects of climate change and improving the integration of socio-economic information into impact and vulnerability assessments. For communities all over the world, socio-economic and natural conditions have changed over time, in some cases quite dramatically.

As a result of these changes, vulnerability to climate change and the effectiveness of adaptation to it were affected as well. These shifts in the socio-economic structure of societies continue to pose risks and challenges to a great number of people. For example, increased population growth may place more people and property at risk from increased frequency or intensity of extreme climate events. On the other hand, economic growth and development may increase the wealth and the capacity of a community to withstand and adjust to future changes, thus reducing the measured impact compared to current circumstances.

Activities and deliverables under the second phase (2008-2010) include:

Technical paper reviewing the existing literature on the potential costs and benefits of adaptation options (FCCC/TP/2009/2) Submissions (available in document FCCC/SBSTA/2009/MISC.9/Rev.1) by Parties and organizations on efforts undertaken, including methods used to assess the costs and benefits of adaptation options, as well as their views on lessons learned, good practices, gaps and needs.

Synthesis report on on efforts undertaken, including methods used to assess the costs and benefits of adaptation options based on the above submissions and other relevant sources (requested by the SBSTA before its thirty-second session, June 2010) Technical workshop on costs and benefits of adaptation options (requested by the SBSTA before its thirty-second session, June 2010). Workshop report available in document FCCC/SBSTA/2010/9.

Activities and deliverables under the first phase (up to June 2008) included:

Submissions by Parties and relevant organizations, Expert meeting held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, March 2008, Work in the area of socio-economic information can contribute to efforts by Parties and organizations to undertake stocktaking on what socio-economic information and approaches are available and in use consider what needs to be done to ensure better integration of socio-economic information into impact and vulnerability assessments.

Details of activities and deliverables under the first phase.

The SBSTA invited Parties and relevant organizations to submit to the secretariat, by 21 September 2007, information and views on matters relating to the availability of information on the socio-economic aspects of climate change and improving the integration of socio-economic information into impact and vulnerability assessments, including information on the development of socio-economic scenarios and for understanding adaptive capacity, including:

Existing approaches and available data, Needs, gaps, barriers and constraints.

Ways and means to improve availability and access to relevant information, including information on costs and benefits, as well as its better integration into impact and vulnerability assessments.

Submissions were received from seven Parties (Australia, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Portugal on behalf of the European Community and its Member States, the United States of America and Uzbekistan), two intergovernmental (ISDR and IPCC) and two non-governmental organizations (International Research Institute for Climate and Society and SustainUS). The submissions can be found below.

Submissions from admitted non-governmental organizations.

The SBSTA requested the secretariat to organize, under the guidance of the Chair of SBSTA, an expert meeting, before its twenty-eighth session, on ways and means to improve the integration of socio-economic information into impact and vulnerability assessments, including as they relate to adaptation planning, taking into account the miscellaneous document mentioned above.

The expert meeting on socio-economic information took place in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago from 10 to 12 March 2008. The agenda, presentations and results from the meeting are available on the Trinidad meeting page.


The economic impact of Christmas has grown steadily over the past few centuries in many regions of the world.

The medieval calendar relied on the main religious saints days to provide the festivals and entertainment, in what otherwise was for most people, a dull and structured existence.

Chief among these festivals was that of Christmas, a period given over to both devotion and feasting in equal measure. The surname of Christmas can be either job-descriptive for a person responsible for arranging the annual festivity, or romantically given to one born on Christmas Day.

The first recording (below) would seem to be that of a resident at a monastery, although not a monk, ad they were both celibate and non-surname bearing. To add validity to the job-descriptive background, was Gerard Christmas, who from 1619 to 1632 was the official organiser of the Lord Mayor of London's annual procession and festival.

He was also a noted wood carver, particularly famous for funeral monuments! The early recordings include: Ralph Christemasse, of Suffolk, in 1191; Richard Cristemes, of Cambridge, in 1308; whilst in 1626, Thomas Christmas married Dorothie Leesie by Civil Licence in London.

The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Cristemesse, which was dated 1185, in the "Rotuli Dominus Rolls of Essex", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax.

The celebratory customs associated in various countries with Christmas have a mix of pre-Christian, Christian, and secular themes and origins. Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift giving, completing an Advent calendar or Advent wreath.

Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees, Christmas lights, nativity scenes, garlands, wreaths, mistletoe, and holly.

In addition, several closely related and often interchangeable figures, known as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, and Christkind, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season and have their own body of traditions and lore.

Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity, the holiday has become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers and businesses.

Command Economy Definition

What is a Command Economy?

A command economy is a system where the government, rather than the free market, determines what goods should be produced, how much should be produced, and the price at which the goods are offered for sale. It also determines investments and incomes. The command economy is a key feature of any communist society. Cuba, North Korea, and the former Soviet Union are examples of countries that have command economies, while China maintained a command economy for decades before transitioning to a mixed economy that features both communistic and capitalistic elements.

Understanding Command Economy

Also known as a planned economy, command economies have as their central tenet that government central planners own or control the means of production within a society. Private ownership or land, labor, and capital is either nonexistent or sharply limited to use in support of the central economic plan. In contrast with free market economies, in which the prices of goods and services are set by supply and demand, central plans in a command economy set prices, control production, and limit or entirely prohibit competition within the private sector. In a pure command economy, there is no competition, as the central government owns or controls all business.

Other Characteristics of a Command Economy

In a command economy, government officials set national economic priorities, including how and when to generate economic growth, how to allocate resources to production, and how to distribute the resulting output. Often this takes the form of multi-year plans that span the entire economy.

The government that runs a command economy operates monopoly businesses, or entities that are considered necessary in order to meet the goals of the national economy. In these cases, there is no domestic competition in those industries. Examples include financial institutions, utility companies, and the manufacturing sector.

Finally, all the laws, regulations and other directives are set by the government according to the central plan. All businesses follow that plan and its targets, and cannot respond to any free market forces or influence.

Drawbacks of Command Economies

With economic power consolidated in the hands of government planners and in the near or total absence of markets to communicate prices and coordinate economic activity, command economies face two major problems in efficiently planning the economy. First is the incentive problem, and second is the economic calculation or knowledge problem.

The incentive problem works in a few ways. For one, central planners and other policy makers in a command economy are all too human. Public Choice economists starting with James Buchanan have described the many ways in which state officials making decisions in their own interest can impose social costs and deadweight losses, which are clearly harmful to the national interest. Political interest groups and the power struggles between them over resources will tend to dominate policy making in a command economy even more so than in mixed or mostly capitalist economies because they are not constrained by market-based forms of discipline such as sovereign credit ratings or capital flight, so these harmful effects can be greatly increased.

Problems with incentives in a command economy also extend well beyond the central planners themselves. Because pay and wages are also centrally planned, and profits are attenuated or eliminated entirely from any role in driving economic decisions, the managers and workers of state-run enterprises have little or no incentive to drive efficiency, control costs, or contribute effort beyond the minimum required to avoid official sanction and secure their own place in the centrally planned hierarchy. Essentially, the command economy can dramatically expand principle-agent problems among workers, managers, producers, and consumers. As a result, getting ahead in a command economy means pleasing the party bosses and having the right connections, rather than maximizing shareholder value or meeting consumer demands, so corruption tends to be pervasive.

The incentive problems faced by a command economy also include the well known issue of the tragedy of the commons, but at a larger scale then in capitalist societies. Because all or most productive capital and infrastructure is commonly owned or state owned in a command economy and not owned by specific individuals, they are effectively unowned resources from the users' perspective. So all users have an incentive to extract as much use value as quickly as they can from the tools, physical plants, and infrastructure they use and little or no incentive to invest in preserving them. Things such as housing developments, factories and machinery, and transportation equipment will tend to wear out, break down, and fall apart rapidly in a command economy and not receive the kind of maintenance and reinvestment they require to remain useful.

The problem of economic calculation in a command economy was first described by Austrian economists Ludwig von Mises and F. A. Hayek. Setting aside any problematic incentives, the practical question of the who, what, where, when, and how of economic organization is a monumental task. Central planners must somehow calculate how much of each good and service in the economy to produce and deliver; by who and to whom; where and when to do so; and which technologies, methods, and combinations of specific types of productive factors (land, labor, and capital) to use. Markets solve this problem in a decentralized manner through the interaction of supply and demand based on consumer preferences and the relative scarcity of various goods and productive factors.

In a command economy, without secure property rights or free exchange of economic goods and productive factors, supply and demand can not operate. Central planners are left with no rational method to align the production and distribution of goods and productive factors with consumer preferences and the real scarcity of resources. Shortages and surpluses for consumer goods, as well as productive resources up and down the supply chain, are the common hallmark of this problem. Tragic and paradoxical situations tend to crop up, such as bakery shelves standing empty and people going hungry while grain spoils in warehouses because of plan-mandated regional storage quotas, or vast numbers of trucks being built and then standing idle to rust because not enough trailers are available at the time.

Over time, the incentive and economic calculation problems of a command economy mean that enormous amounts of resources and capital goods are wasted, impoverishing the society.

Arguments in Favor of Command Economies

Command economies retain their supporters. Those who favor this system argue that command economies allocate resources to maximize social welfare, while in free-market economies, this goal is secondary to maximizing private profit. Additionally, proponents allege that command economies have better control of employment levels than free-market economies, as they can create jobs to put people to work when necessary, even in the absence of a legitimate need for such work. Lastly, command economies are widely believed to be superior for taking decisive, coordinated action in the face of national emergencies and crises such as wars and natural disasters. Even mostly market-based societies will often curtail property rights and greatly expand emergency powers of their central governments during such events at least temporarily.

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3 Ways Traders Are Gaining Exposure to Rapid Changes in Technology

Innovative technologies are reshaping the way that we as humans live and work. Companies that specialize in the types of products that are changing the global economy are the focus of long-term investors and active traders alike. As you'll see in the charts below, now could be an ideal time to increase exposure to this in-demand market segment.

SPDR Kensho New Economies Composite ETF (KOMP)

Investors who are most interested in adding exposure to innovative companies are often prudent to examine the top holdings of exchange-traded products such as the SPDR Kensho New Economies Composite ETF (KOMP). For those unaware, the fund's managers seek to utilize artificial intelligence and quantitative weighting to track an index of companies that leverage exponential processing power, robotics, AI, and automation.

As you can see below, the price of the fund has recently surpassed the combined resistance of the 200-day moving average and influential trendlines. These levels will most likely be used by followers of technical analysis as guides for placing buy and stop orders. More specifically, at current levels, the momentum is in clear control of the bulls, and most traders will likely protect against a sudden shift in sentiment by placing stop-loss orders below $33.79.

iRhythm Technologies, Inc. (IRTC)

One method for finding innovative companies that could be leveraged by traders is to explore the top holdings of ETFs such as KOMP. For example, taking a look at the chart of iRhythm Technologies, Inc. (IRTC), you can see that the price of the stock has been trading within a period of consolidation over most of the past 12 months.

However, as of 2020, you can see that the price has started to make a move higher. The upward shift of the moving averages, which was initiated by a bullish crossover in January, is a sign to many traders that a long-term uptrend is in the early stages. From a risk management perspective, stop-loss orders will most likely be placed below $109.91 or $84.08, depending on risk tolerance and investment horizon.

Masimo Corporation (MASI)

For followers of technical analysis, another innovative medical device company and top holding of the KOMP ETF that could be worth a closer look is Masimo Corporation (MASI). As you can see from the chart, the bulls have been in clear control of the momentum since last summer.

Active traders will likely want to note how the selloff in March sent the price toward the long-term support of the 200-day moving average and how it was quickly met by increased buying pressure. The impressive bounce from the long-term support levels was enough confirmation for the bulls to reaffirm the strength of the underlying uptrend. Based on this pattern, bullish traders will most likely look to add to their positions on any short-term retracements such as the recent move toward the support of the 50-day moving average.

The Bottom Line

Innovative companies are reshaping the world that we live in, as shown by the strong performance of funds such as the SPDR Kensho New Economies Composite ETF. It is interesting to note how medical device companies have recently started to move their way into the top holdings, and as shown on the charts discussed above, it appears as though we could be in the early stages of a major move higher.

At the time of writing, Casey Murphy did not own a position in any of the assets mentioned.

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4 problems with Biden’s plan to cancel student debt

If you paid off a student loan recently, maybe you should have waited since incoming President Joe Biden may cancel billions of dollars in outstanding student debt.

After the coronavirus outbreak last April, Biden, then the apparent Democratic presidential nominee, announced a new plan to cancel at least $10,000 in student debt for borrowers below a certain income threshold. That was a nod to liberal Democrats such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who favor more generous student debt forgiveness. Now that Biden has won the White House, education groups and consumer advocates are pressing Biden to honor his promise and up the ante, by canceling up to $50,000 in student debt soon after he becomes president next year.

About 45 million Americans hold a student loan, with student debt in the United States totaling $1.5 trillion. The average loan per student is more than $30,000. Some of those loans are private deals between borrowers and banks, which the government can’t easily change. But nearly 90% of all debt is federally authorized, and some legal experts think the president can cancel those loans by executive order, with no legislation required.

The rationale for canceling student debt is to help struggling borrowers who can’t get ahead because their debt burdens are too high especially those who took out loans but never finished college and don’t have the degree that’s supposed to help them earn more money. Some advocates favor income caps that would exclude borrowers from wealthier families and target the aid to those who need it most.

But student debt forgiveness is controversial, and pushback is forming now that Biden will finally be in a position to cancel some loans. Here are 4 problems with the idea:

It’s expensive. Biden wouldn’t cancel the entire $1.5 trillion in student debt, but if he forgave just one-fifth of that, the total would be $300 billion, which is a big number in federal budget terms. Biden says he’d reverse a tax cut in the CARES Act, passed last March, to help pay for it, but getting Congress to pass a de facto tax hike is likely to be very difficult, especially since Biden’s Democrats will either be the minority party in the Senate or hold a one-seat majority. Passing a tax hike might be easier once the coronavirus recession is long past, but it seems very unlikely within the next year or two. The Biden administration would probably just borrow to cover the cost, pushing up the national debt.

It barely helps the economy. This might be counterintuitive, since an individual freed from $10,000 of debt might experience welcome and newfound financial freedom. But forgiving debt does a lot less for the economy than putting money directly in people’s pockets, since it doesn’t provide new money to spend and the savings typically come over a long period of time. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates that forgiving all $1.5 trillion in debt would only provide a stimulus effect to the economy of $360 billion, at best.

Other forms of stimulus, such as enhanced unemployment benefits or direct aid to cities and states, would have three to four times that effect on the economy, in terms of stimulating new output. Many economists agree that canceling student debt provides poor bang for the buck, including prominent Democrats such as Jason Furman, who served as President Obama’s chief economist.

There’s a fairness problem. Biden would probably couch student aid forgiveness as an emergency response to the coronavirus recession, meant to help people who might otherwise be doing okay if businesses weren’t forced to close or stop hiring. But there’s still an inequity between people with lucky timing who, say, just graduated and would have most or all of their debt forgiven, and others who have paid off some or all of their loans and would benefit less. Biden could try to formulate a plan with some sort of proportionality, but caveats would complicate the program and make it less effective.

The what-next issue. Would Biden forgive a fixed amount of debt at a single point in time and then leave it at that? He could. But forgiving student debt once would create a precedent to do it again, and some advocates, such as Bernie Sanders, want the government to cover the total cost of college for some or most students, forever. If so, all these problems would persist and some future borrowers might take out loans they can’t afford hoping the government will cancel them.

Despite these drawbacks, it seems likely Biden will pursue at least some student debt relief. Democrats can plausibly argue that if Republicans can cut taxes for the wealthy as they did in 2017 then surely it’s fair to give students and young workers a break, as well. It could also be good politics for Biden, since many student borrowers struggling the most are lower-income minorities Democrats want by their side in the 2022 midterm elections and future races beyond that.

Biden will need heads of the Treasury and Education departments willing to implement these plans. Treasury is important because the IRS, part of Treasury, normally treats forgiven debt as income. That would be counterproductive, so student-debt cancellation would have to come with a special provision directing the IRS to waive taxes on the benefit.

Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen Biden’s nominee for Treasury Secretary hasn’t taken a stance on student debt forgiveness. But in a 2014 speech as Fed chair, she did highlight the surge in student debt during the prior decade, and the disproportionate burden the rising cost of college puts on lower-income families. Like Biden, she too may come around to the idea of forgiving student loans.

Bitcoin at $100,000 in 2021? Outrageous to some, a no-brainer for backers

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bitcoin investors, which include top hedge funds and money managers, are betting the virtual currency could more than quintuple to as high as $100,000 in a year.

It's a wager that has drawn eye-rolls from skeptics who believe the volatile cryptocurrency is a speculative asset rather than a store of value like gold.

Since January, bitcoin has gained 160%, bolstered by strong institutional demand as well as scarcity as payment companies such as Square and Paypal buy it on behalf of customers.

Bitcoin is within sight of its all-time peak of just under $20,000 hit in December 2017. It debuted in 2011 at zero and was last trading at $18,415.

Going from $18,000 to $100,000 in one year is not a stretch, Brian Estes, chief investment officer at hedge fund Off the Chain Capital, said.

"I have seen bitcoin go up 10X, 20X, 30X in a year. So going up 5X is not a big deal."

Estes predicts bitcoin could hit between $100,000 and $288,000 by end-2021, based on a model that utilizes the stock-to-flow ratio measuring the scarcity of commodities like gold. That model, he said, has a 94% correlation with the price of bitcoin.

Citi technical analyst Tom Fitzpatrick said in a note last week that bitcoin could climb as high as $318,000 by the end of next year, citing its limited supply, ease of movement across borders, and opaque ownership.

Those numbers though are a head-scratcher for Toronto-based Kevin Muir, an independent proprietary trader.

"Any hedge fund model on bitcoin is rubbish. You can't model a mania," Muir said. "Is it plausible? For sure. It's a mania. But does anyone actually have a clue? Not a chance."

For a graphic on Bitcoin's 2020 rally:



Bitcoin relies on so-called "mining" computers that validate blocks of transactions by competing to solve mathematical puzzles every 10 minutes. The first to solve the puzzle and clear the transaction is rewarded new bitcoins.

Its technology was designed to cut the reward for miners in half every four years, a move meant to curb inflation. In May, bitcoin went through a third "halving," which reduced the rate at which new coins are created, restricting supply.

That halving has kickstarted bitcoin's renewed ascent.

Square's Cash App and PayPal, which recently launched a crypto service to its more than 300 million users, have been scooping up all new bitcoins, hedge fund Pantera Capital said in its letter to investors on Friday. That has caused a bitcoin shortage and has driven the rally in the last few weeks.

For a graphic on Bitcoin: a volatile history:



The so-called whale index, which counts addresses or wallets holding at least 1,000 bitcoins, is at an all-time high, said Phil Bonello, research director at digital asset manager Grayscale. Bonello said more than 2,200 addresses were linked to large bitcoin holders, up 37% from 1,600 in 2018, suggesting that institutional money has stormed in.

Investors like Stanley Druckenmiller, founder of hedge fund Duquesne Capital, and Rick Rieder, BlackRock Inc's chief investment officer of global fixed income, have recently touted bitcoin.

Retail investors though are still mostly sidelined due to the pandemic's effect on the economy. But with the entry of Square and PayPal, Lennard Neo, head of research at crypto index fund provider Stack Funds, expects a deluge of retail demand more intense than in 2017.

Neo forecasts bitcoin to reach $60,000-$80,000 by the end of 2021.

Tempus Inc currency trader Juan Perez was unimpressed, even shocked, with all the lofty forecasts and said a bet on bitcoin at $100,000 next year would be a bet on the collapse of the global financial system.

"Governments around the world won't let that happen. They will not let fiat currencies collapse just like that," Perez said.