Category Archives: Economy

NYC ATM Fees

Fees seem to be disproportionately high for New York’s ATM users.  Indeed, New Yorkers are encountering the second highest average out-of-network fees in a recent Bankrate.com survey conducted among 25 major metropolitan regions.  In 2016 they ranked number 6; and now it has worsened, given that per transaction the fee has elevated to an average of $5.14 (from $4.86).

One explanation of this came from CEO and President of the Cooperate Credit Union Association, Paul Gentile who said:

“No offense, but the big banks dominate the New York City footprint — and they have some of the biggest fees. New York is also one of the most expensive cities in the country, so some people are more willing to pay ATM fees there, compared to other locations, like the Midwest.”

New York is not alone in over-exorbitant ATM machine fees though.  The same survey found that they have increased over 50% in the last decade, nationwide.  The average has increased $3.03 per transaction since 2007.

New York Tax News

According to the Treasury Secretary, should the proposed tax overhaul come to fruition, it will be most helpful to businesses and the middle class.  The idea, according to Steven Mnuchin, is to: “create a middle-income tax cut, [making] businesses competitive and creat[ing] jobs,”

Trump emphasized this sentiment calling it the “largest tax cut in the history of our country.”  He added that this tax overhaul is his main goal right now, rather than focusing on a repeal of Obamacare.  It has been a work in progress over the last few months.  while nothing is yet set in stone, Trump is “hopeful” that there will be a 15% reduction in top corporate tax rate (from its current 35%) and the individual rate to drop to between 10-12%, with the hope of “bringing back jobs,” and aiding middle class and businesses.

Meanwhile, a $9.4 million tax-break package was just approved by New York City’s industrial development agency for Aetna Inc.  This is at the time that the US-managed 3rd largest health company is moving its headquarters away from Connecticut to New York (Manhttan).  As a tax incentive, the package Aetna is receiving from NYC is up to $5 million in sales tax benefits,  $3.6 million in property tax abatements over 10 years and $782,000 in energy bill discounts.

 

Silverfern Group & Its Unique Platform

The Silverfern Group’s unique platform was recently discussed in the German institutional investment-magazine Portfolio Institutionell. With founders and co-Manager Partners Clive Holmes and Reeta Holmes, the company utilizes collaboration to set their strategies in motion. They bring together families from across the globe to create a network of locals and their on-the-ground insights into international markets and trends.

What started out as a small group of 20 investors has flourished to become a leading asset manager for alternative assets in countries including New York, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Sydney, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

Explore how a family office became a global trend in this insightful article from Portfolio Institutionell.

In Brief: What the US Dollar is Up To

The dollar jumped against a slew of currencies that measure its broader strength earlier this month.  A four month peak was reached against the yen on the back of the numbers at the beginning of the month’s 25 basis-point rise in 10 year US government bond yields.  According to co-head of Millennium Global, Richard Benson: “The real story at the moment is the rise in U.S. real yields.  That does look like being the theme for the moment. Dollar yen is properly supported, and I don’t think there is even that much participation yet (in that trade).”

It has also been speculated that the US dollar could advance against the pound, following the Fed’s Labour Market Conditions Report, expecting to indicate an enhancement of market conditions that may spark some appreciation in the US dollar.

Other impacts on markets at the moment are central bank events, with anticipated raised interest rates imposed from the Bank of Canada and data indicates the economy in Britain looks gloomy suggesting an interest rate hike there later this year.

NY: Federal Reserve News

Herewith some of the latest news blurbs connected to New York’s Federal Reserve.

  1. A recent report from the NY Federal Reserve indicated that expectations of consumer inflation had actually gone down. For the numbers for 2020, the expectations hit their lowest point since January 2016.
  2. On June 19, William Dudley, President of the NY Federal Reserve Bank, participated in a roundtable breakfast meeting in Plattsburgh with local business leaders.
  3. Dudley also met with military installation leaders and Watertown Chamber of Commerce members.
  4. Meanwhile, Charles Evans, Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President, addressed the Money Marketeers of New York University about economic conditions and monetary policy.

Meanwhile, in some good news for the economy it was reported by government that unemployment hit its lowest figure in 16 years, dropping to 4.3 percent.

Clive Holmes Silverfern: Latest Investment

The Silverfern Group, with Co-Managing Partner Clive Holmes has made a recent investment, which is their fifth portfolio follow-up investment in the last 18 months.

They have completed a follow-up into the Silverfern portfolio company Broad River Power Holdings. Broad River Power Holdings is a 5×0 Simple Cycle Generating Facility that produces electricity as part of its long-term tolling agreement with Gaffney, South Carolina. The units are able to be on the grid and they can help to supply power within 15 minutes during peak times or during emergencies.

As Silverfern’s Clive Holmes explained, “The opportunity to expand our investment in Broad River in partnership with Arroyo further demonstrates that by partnering with lead investors with deep industry and local knowledge, we can identify and access value where other investors may not be able to do so. Capturing this value on investment allows Silverfern to potentially deliver a higher return to our investors than might otherwise be commensurate with the risk underwritten in an infrastructure investment such as Broad River.”

When describing Broad River, Silverfern Managing Director Brooks Klimley said, “Broad River is a modern, efficient facility that is playing an increasingly important role in the provision of clean, reliable electricity to consumers in North and South Carolina.”

Family-Owned NY Businesses

According to Westfair Communications correspondent Peter Katz, “family-owned businesses form the foundation of the U.S. economy.” Statistically this means that around 64 percent of America’s GDP comes from these businesses with 36 percent of all employees working in the family businesses.  In addition, for the economy, 40 to 46 percent of all annual sales come from family-owned businesses.

But how successful are these family-run businesses?  According to recent data from the Cambridge Family Enterprise Group, only 16 percent of businesses are successfully transmitted from a founder to the next generation.  The numbers continue to diminish through each generation, reaching a mere 2 percent by the fourth generation.

But there is some good news for New Yorkers, as was seen at the 2017 award ceremony for Westchester and Fairfield counties’ family businesses.  According to Dee DelBello, Westfair Communications Publisher, these counties comprise “the most diverse, successful and community-minded family businesses…Family-owned businesses are the backbone of our country and its economy, and that’s just as true for Westchester and Fairfield counties.”

One of the award winners was Mamaroneck’s Walter’s Hot Dog Stand.  Recipient Christine Warrington accepted the award together with her children.  She is a third generation family member to run the company which was launched in 1919 by her grandparents.  Today, her three children aged 39, 31 and 27 are all working to “continue the legacy of Walter’s.”

if so much of America’s economy is dependent on family-run businesses, wouldn’t it make sense for more people to at least give it a try?

Bolstering NYC Businesses

Businesses in New York are getting boosts from a few different industries.  Two which are of particular note are the NYC Love Your Local and the NYC Tech Talent Pipeline.

A new approach has been put in place by the Department of Small Business Services with its establishment of the NYC Love Your Local. Created in order to “celebrate and promote small businesses throughout the five boroughs,” New Yorkers are being encouraged to share their favorite businesses (independent and non-franchised). Thereafter these will be included in an online interactive map.  As Gregg Bishop, commissioner for the Department of Small Business services pointed out, “

“Independent, small businesses are the backbone of our neighborhoods, and the ‘NYC Love Your Local’ initiative recognizes and supports their vital role in the fabric of New York City. New York City is full of unique neighborhoods that are given character by local merchants and entrepreneurs. New Yorkers should share their favorite neighborhood business and be sure to share their love.”

It is hoped that this initiative will creatively encourage people to make purchases in local stores, which in turn will provide more access to capital for these businesses and improve their services.

Mayor de Blasio’s NYC Tech Talent Pipeline is meanwhile seeing an investment of $1 million into the program that brings together students and tech jobs.  While de Blasio set this up three years ago (and has over that time brought together educational institutes with NYC’s booming technology industry), now new tech

apprenticeships and internships  are being offered at top level firms such as Accenture, IBM and Verizon.

Castle Harlan Has Case Dismissed

In recent news, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division just dismissed a seven-count complaint that was brought by the Russian-owned companies Norcast S.ár.l and Pala Investments Ltd. against Castle Harlan Inc. In 2011, Castle Harlan purchased a Canadian mining products company, Norcast Wear Solutions, and the plaintiffs claimed that Castle Harlan purchased it from them for $190 million in a private sale and sold in four hours later for a higher price. Castle Harlan was cleared of all wrong doing, as the Appellate Division, First Department explained that there was not a no-flip clause in the share purchase agreement and that no actionable wrongdoing could be proven.

New York Economy: Give Thanks to Thanksgiving Shopping

Thanksgiving used to just be about the food and the football.  In recent years that has expanded to the shopping.  And the trend just keeps getting stronger.  According to Adobe, online shoppers racked up a staggering $3.34 billion on Black Friday; this was 21.6 percent more than Black Friday 2015. Mobile devices were used for more of the deals than in past years.  It seemed like people were getting a head start of Cyber Monday, since, according to Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst and director at Adobe Digital Insights, the increased access to mobile devices was likely a significant contributing factor to shoppers using the Internet so early on in the festive season.  One major item that was significantly reduced in price was tablets, which gave shoppers the option of purchasing for an average 25.4 percent less.

Thanksgiving Day, as well as Wednesday 23rd were also times of high spending for New Yorkers and other shoppers throughout the nation.  In New York, security along Fifth Avenue was particularly tight, given the hordes of people expected to come for the sales.  While some salespeople had been complaining that sales had plummeted since the election, the Black Friday weekend sales have now turned this around. Indeed, America’s Research Group President, Britt Beemer, said: “I’m calling it the ‘Trump Effect,’” as he noted how many Americans were suddenly in the ‘spending mood.’  He further explained that: “Americans don’t feel any better about their job situation, they’re not better off, but the perception is that tomorrow things will get better.”

However, it seems that due to the huge discounts that were being offered over the holiday period, the economy fared less well.  Shoppers did their part – picking up lots of great new gadgets, etc. – but the spending per person was less due to the discounts they’ve come to expect. Indeed, according to a National Retail Federation survey, when all was said and done, year-on-year over the four day holiday period the average spending per person was 3.5 percent less than 2015 (coming in at $289.19).  This, despite the fact that there were more customers shopping than a year ago (around three million more).