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Portuguese Daniela Braga of Biden’s Task Force on Artificial Intelligence – Technology

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Portuguese Daniela Braga of Biden's Task Force on Artificial Intelligence - Technology

The Biden administration’s “task force”, created to develop a strategy around artificial intelligence, consists of twelve elements. And among these twelve elements is the Portuguese Daniela Braga, the founder of DefinedCrowd, a startup specializing in the collection, processing and structuring of training data for artificial intelligence.

Thus, the Portuguese will become part of a group whose mission is to advise the federal government of the United States of America, as well as to develop guidelines for the establishment of a national center for artificial intelligence research, a platform for the exchange of research results that provide artificial resources. access for students and researchers to computing tools, data, educational tools, and user support.

“Target group”, according to the statement, will give recommendations on how to create and maintain this platform. He will also need to send two reports to Congress with guidance on the development and implementation plan for this tool. An interim report will be submitted in May 2022 and a final report in November of the same year.

Or a group combines:

Erwin Janchandani, NSF (Co-Chair);

Lynn Parker, OSTP (Co-Chair);
Daniela Braga, DefinedCrowd;
Mark Dean, retired (formerly IBM and University of Tennessee, Knoxville);
Oren Etzioni, Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence;
Julia Lane, New York University;
Fei Fei Li, Stanford University;
Andrew Moore, Google;
Michael Norman, University of California, San Diego;
Dan Stanzione, University of Texas at Austin;
Frederic Streitz, Department of Energy;
Elham Tabassi, National Institute of Standards and Technology

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Economy

TAP pilots, crew and technicians join unprecedented protest

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TAP pilots, crew and technicians join unprecedented protest

The three aviation sector unions called for a “silent march” to “continue to bring everyone’s attention” to the situation, which is “unfortunately currently happening at TAP Air Portugal”.

On Friday, the leaders of the National Union of Civil Aviation Pilots (SNPVAC), the Union of Civil Aviation Pilots (SPAC) and the Union of Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (SITEMA) announced a protest that unites “for the first time in the history of national aviation.” , pilots, cabin crew and maintenance technicians.”

“August 16, at 8:30 a.m., from departure from Campo Pequeno and arrival at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housingwe will once again waive holidays, vacations and weekends, thereby ensuring that no passenger is harmed by our protest,” the joint statement said.

The goal, they say, is “continuously improving the quality of the service it provides to its customers and the sustainability of the company itself while maintaining the high operational safety standards for which we have always been recognized.”

“Workers and passengers are together when they travel and together in this fight to align between management options and what the country needs from TAP,” the three unions say, also stating that “aircraft [da TAP] they don’t fly without pilots, without flight attendants and without good service, and they don’t even take off from the ground.”

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Last week, Sitema expressed concern about TAP’s “course”, rejecting and “deeply” regretting the administration’s decision to turn to external suppliers employing technicians fired by the operator.

SPAC also accused TAP management of “wasting” summer revenues due to “millions of mistakes” during the year when outsourcing services.

In a statement, SPAC management reiterated warnings of “millions of errors” in TAP’s management, “which is wasting revenue generated this summer as a result of high operating performance, which jeopardizes the recovery and future of the Company, as well as the efforts of the Portuguese taxpayers.”

Last week, SNPVAC announced to the government a request for an emergency meeting after TAP was awarded a contract to provide new external services (ACMI), according to a memo sent to employees.

In a message that Lusa then had access to, SNPVAC said it was told that “TAP has resorted to another external service provider from another company called ACMI” and that “it seems to have become fashionable.”

Meanwhile, TAP told Lusa on Saturday that it has spent less on all-inclusive plane rentals to date than it did in 2018 and 2019, contradicting the union’s allegations.

“From the beginning of the year to the present, TAP has been spending on ACMI [aluguer de aviões com tudo incluído – Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance e Insurance – avião, pessoal, manutenção e seguros] only 45% of what was spent in 2018 and 70% of what was spent in 2019 over the same period,” a TAP source told Lusa.

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Economy

5 Solutions to Lower Your Mortgage Loan – ECO

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Amortization, term extensions, renegotiation of insurance and other banking products, and mortgage transfers are some of the ways you can minimize the impact of higher interest rates.

Euribor rates have been rising since the end of last year, and no one knows how far they can go. For families with mortgages, this is an excruciating headache, resulting in a significant increase in mortgage payments.

A year ago, for example, a mortgage loan of 100 thousand euros for 30 years, indexed to the 6-month Euribor rate (at the time of trading at -0.53%) and with a spread of 1.5%, gave a monthly payment of 320 euros. Today, when the 12-month Euribor is 0.67%, the payment on a mortgage loan reaches 378 euros. This is an increase of 50 euros per month, which is equivalent to more than two old payments per year, which must be paid into the family budget over the next 12 months until the rate is revised again. And the worst thing is that bad news should not stop there.

The period of low and negative interest rates that we have been living through for so long does not promise to return. On the other hand. The growth of Euribor rates in the coming years is no longer something unknown.

Currently forward rate agreements (financial contracts traded on the secondary market that allow you to set an interest rate in the future and are used by professionals to predict interest rate fluctuations in the long term) on the 6-month Euribor indicates that in November the rate exceeds the 1% line, could reach 1.5 % by 2026 and in less than 10 years will be trading above 2%.

The next few years will come with a lot of stress for the portfolio of Portuguese families. Especially for those who have not taken precautions against rising interest rates. However, this is not the end of the world. There are several solutions to reduce the burden of mortgage loans on the family budget.

1. Amortize the loan

There are several ways to reduce your mortgage, but none is more effective than reducing your bank debt.

For example, if your mortgage is indexed to the 6-month Euribor (currently at 0.67%), it has a spread of 1.5%, it will only repay over 20 years, and the amount you still owe bank, is up to 100,000 euros, the depreciation of 30,000 euros immediately increases the installment from 514 euros to 360 euros.

However, it is important to consider the cost of this operation. Since this is a variable rate indexed mortgage, it requires a prepayment fee which can range from 0.5% (in the case of variable rate contracts) to 2% (in the case of fixed rate contracts). on depreciated capital.

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Mortgage amortization is thus the best investment families can make at any time. Especially when rates are preparing for further growth: in addition to the ability to immediately reduce the installment plan and the amount of interest payable during the term of the contract, it immediately unloads the monthly budget in the same proportion as debt cancellation. The only downside is that for this you need to have liquidity to repay the debt.

In the case of more organized and “savvy” families, this should not be a serious problem, given that for more than a decade Euribor rates (for all maturities) have been falling sharply, and since February 2016 have even gone into negative territory. which allows you to increase your savings.

In case the piggy bank is empty, the solution that needs to be considered to mitigate the impact of the interest rate hike is to extend the term of the loan.

2. Extend term

It is true that postponing a problem until later is not a good practice. However, in the case of a home loan, by extending the term of the contract, families are currently gaining slack in their budget.

For example, if you have 20 years to pay your mortgage and currently have a balance of €100,000, the monthly payment is €514, assuming it is indexed to the 6-month Euribor rate (0.67% ). and a spread of 1.5%. When extending the term of the contract for another 10 years, the installment plan goes up to 378 euros, that is, it decreases by 26.5%.

The disadvantage of extending the term of the contract is that in this case the final balance of interest payable will be higher. This means that as the number of years of the loan increases, despite creating more savings now, in the long run the total cost of the loan ends up increasing as the period over which interest is charged increases.

The mortgage renewal process also depends on the age of the loan holder. Currently, most banks require the contract to expire before the holder is 75 years old. However, there are people who admit that they live up to 80 years.

3. Trade new spread

Banks remain very competitive in the home loan market. According to the Bank of Portugal, from July last year to June this year (latest available data), the volume of mortgage loans issued by banks grew by an average of 4.5% per month on an annualized basis. It has been more than 10 years since such massive growth occurred.

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The firm commitment of banks to providing home loans is also felt in the spreads they charge on contracts. Based on the prices of ten major banking institutions (accounting for over 95% of the home loan market in Portugal), the average minimum spread applied for new floating rate contracts is currently below 1%. According to the Bank of Portugal, this is three times lower than the average spread of new Euribor-indexed contracts for 3, 6 and 12 months spent in 2012.

If your home loan agreement has a spread above 1% (if you bought a house between 2011 and 2018, it is highly likely that this is the case for you as well), it is worth listening to what the market has to offer. One tenth less on a mortgage loan of 100,000 euros for 30 years results in a difference of 60 euros per year.

Don’t get too convinced about the first offer you get. Try to use this offer to your advantage by first putting pressure on your bank to lower the spread and then on other banks to offer you an even more competitive solution.

Among the price lists collected through the website of ten major banks, Bankinter stands out the most as it has the lowest minimum spread on the market: 0.9%. However, if you are already thinking about chasing this offer, remember that what is more important than signing up for the offer with the lowest spread is the APR (global effective annual payment rate) that you should pay attention to, because that it is on it that the total cost of the loan lies (including installments, bank commissions and insurance).

In addition, in the case of transferring a loan to another financial institution, it is necessary to understand whether this change entails any costs for you. Some banks bear all the costs of transferring a mortgage loan, but not all. Pay attention to some of these costs: the fee for early repayment, the opening of the process, the valuation of the property, the execution of a new contract, the new deed and all related taxes (stamp duty on the transaction and on the loan, and the Board on onerous transfer of property). (BMI).

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Next minimum spread 1%

Strong competition from banks in the provision of mortgages is visible due to the close proximity of the offer of minimum spreads, with a focus on Bankinter, Banco CTT and Montepio, which already practice rates below 1%.

Source: Unreliable banks have been operating since August 3rd.

4. Change insurer

The cost of a mortgage loan is much more than a mortgage payment. It also aggregates the costs of life insurance (protects credit holders in the event of death or disability), multi-risk insurance (protects property from possible damage it may suffer) and other costs associated with products that have been subscribed to receive a bonus. . distribution.

Thus, renegotiating insurance conditions can be a way to significantly reduce the cost of a home loan. However, it is necessary to coordinate the change of the policy with the bank to ensure that the change of the life and/or multi-risk policy does not lead to an increase in the spread.

Life insurance is usually what has a higher cost at the end of the month. In addition, it becomes more expensive as credit holders age. So, start by discussing your life insurance policy. Find an insurance intermediary to help you find the most cost-effective solution, or request a simulation of your case directly from insurers. It will not be difficult to get a 30% savings when you renegotiate life insurance terms.

5. Rethink financial products

Last year alone, more than 35 thousand mortgage lending agreements were renegotiated, which is 17% more than in 2019 and 36% more than in 2021. According to the Bank of Portugal, “out of the revised terms carried out in 2021, 29.6% changed only the grace period for capital and 11.5% changed the spread and other terms at the same time with a financial effect.”

Data Bank of Portugal also show that 18.9% of the revised terms changed more than two financial terms, and 18.6% had the sole purpose of changing other contract terms with a financial effect (other than spread, term, capital grace periods or interest rate type), which may include, for example, changing an index or setting a lower fee for a limited period of time or reducing the cost associated with certain products such as debit cards and credit and account maintenance fees.

Everything can be negotiated when reviewing a home loan. There are only two situations in which this does not apply: you will always need to have a payroll account linked to a mortgage loan agreement and register some direct debits.

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Economy

China Cuts Interest Rates Amid Dismal Economic Results – Markets

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China Cuts Interest Rates Amid Dismal Economic Results - Markets

China’s central bank cut interest rates on Monday benchmark for loans, a sudden move that surprised international markets. Beijing is trying to cheer up the economy, which slowed down in July as industrial and retail production was hit by a “zero cases” policy in the fight against covid-19, as well as a crisis in the real estate market.

The central bank cut medium-term rates, which allow one-year loans, by 10 basis points to 2.75%, the first cut since January. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expected rates to remain unchanged.
Industrial production rose 3.8% year-on-year in July, below the 3.9% recorded in June and the 4.6% growth expected by analysts, Reuters reported.

Retail sales, which only resumed growth in June, rose 2.7% compared to 2021, a far cry from the forecasted 5% and 3.1% recorded in June.

Youth unemployment also rose to 19.9%, a record high.

Despite Beijing’s plans for a billion-dollar stimulus package, the Chinese economy narrowly escaped contraction in the second quarter.

“Data for July suggests that the post-lockdown recovery has run its course as one-off impulses from reopening have abated and mortgage boycotts have triggered a new deterioration in the housing sector,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics. Reuters.

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