Joseph Mariathasan: The wealth of nations and its ESG underpinnings

first_imgHuman capital in terms of the total earnings over a person’s lifetime is, as the World Bank states, clearly the most important component of wealth globally. The World Bank analysis finds that human wealth on a per capita basis is typically increasing in low and middle-income countries. But in some upper-middle and high income countries, stagnant wages are reducing the share of human capital. This has hollowed out middle classes and lies behind the rise of populist parties in Europe and Trump’s rise to power in the US.Women, meanwhile, account for less than 40% of human capital wealth, according to the report, because of lower earnings, lower labour force participation and fewer average hours of work.Whilst the report states that achieving higher gender parity in earnings could generate an 18 per cent increase in human capital wealth, such a statement is misrepresentative. It assumes firstly that women who choose to stay at home to raise families have no value, and secondly that increasing their participation in the labour force would not be at the expense of reducing male participation.The report concludes that growth is about more efficient use of natural capital and through investing the earnings from it into infrastructure and educationBoth assumptions probably merit further thought. For example, a simple thought experiment would consist of two mothers who each employ the other to look after their children. If they pay each other the same amount, there would be no net change in the economic circumstances of each family. However, the World Bank analysis would suggest that each has now accumulated human capital that they otherwise would not have had! This thought experiment suggests that work that contributes to society that is unpaid should still be regarded as contributing to human capital.For low income countries, natural capital accounts for the largest component of wealth. But the World Bank argues that getting rich is not about liquidating natural capital to build other assets – natural capital per person in OECD countries was three times that in low income countries even though the share of natural capital for OECD countries was only 3%.Understanding the drivers of wealthThe report concludes that growth is about more efficient use of natural capital and through investing the earnings from it into infrastructure and education.Sustainably managed, renewable resources in the form of agriculture or forestry can produce benefits in perpetuity. In contrast, non-renewables such as fossil fuels and minerals can offer a one-off opportunity to finance development. But, as the report points out, nearly two thirds of countries that have remained in the low income category since 1995 are resource rich, or fragile and conflict states or both.What is clear is that resources alone cannot guarantee development – strong institutions and governance are needed. Clearly the private sector can play a critical role, particularly if a strong stance is taken on ESG issues.Assessing the value of natural resources raises many philosophical challenges, but the debate needs to be had. By doing so the methodology can only improve, while losing biodiversity and the services it underpins is irreversible. Moreover, Europe faces the challenge of coping with refugees and migrants dying in their thousands attempting to gain entry to its shores.Understanding and encouraging the drivers of wealth outside its borders is a matter of self-interest as well as morality. No single metric is ever ideal for assessing progress.For countries, it is very clear that GDP is a poor metric to use for determining long term policies. GDP is a measure of activity rather than wealth creation. That means that it can give very misleading signals about the health of an economy. An obvious case is where natural resources are depleted which may give rise to a boost to GDP but could result in a long-term degradation of wealth and hence future income for that country.Incorporating the value of natural resources as well as human capital is a key requirement for assessing the health of a nation. At the end of January the World Bank released a fascinating analysis of the changing wealth of nations. Promoting an analysis of changing wealth both in absolute terms and on a per capita basis, as the World Bank argues for, provides a forward-looking analysis of the health of nations. It also emphasises the need for sustainability in the exploitation of natural resources. For investors, it is worth noting that environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues underpin many of the conclusions.How the wealth of a nation should be assessed is both controversial and subject to many assumptions. But just because measurement is difficult does not mean that it should not be attempted. The World Bank’s approach measures wealth in the form of four types of assets: Produced capital and urban land : machinery, buildings, equipment and urban land, measured at market prices;Natural capital : natural resources of all types including energy, minerals, agricultural land and forests;Human capital : measured as the discounted value of earnings over a person’s lifetime; andNet foreign assets : the sum of a country’s external assets and liabilitiesThe key findings are perhaps as would be expected, although the value is very much in the detailed figures for each country.Global wealth grew significantly between 1995 and 2014. Rapid growth in Asia that has enabled middle-income countries to catch up, but inequality persists.Per capita wealth changes show a significantly different picture. Low income countries showed a deterioration primarily driven by population growth outstripping investment, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.last_img read more

Assam Table Tennis Association named announced in National Table Tennis Championship

first_imgOur Sports ReporterGUWAHATI: Assam Table Tennis Association (ATTA) announced its team for the 80th Cadet and Sub Junior National Table Tennis Championship which would be held at Chandigarh from December 18.The squad: Cadet Girls: Bhumika Kaushik, Bhavna Kashyap, Parnika Chakraborty, Prachi Majumdar. Cadet Boys: Divyaj Roy, Aiyan Aziz, Kiyanu Gogoi and Parasmoni Dutta. Sub Junior Girls: Harsita Das, Akansha Deka, Chaya Nath and Kashyapi Dutta. Sub Junior Boys: Aryamaan Das, Ankit Saharia, Hriday J Sarma and Adhiraja Hazarika.Coach:Biman Bhagaboti, Dipanjali Bhuyan. Manager: Subhajit Sinha. Also Read: Scientific training brings the change in Indian sports: legendary table tennis player Monalisalast_img read more

How can the Lakers add LeBron James and Paul George? What you need to know about free agency

first_imgThis summer, just like 2010 and 2014, much of the NBA’s major free agent movement hinges on where LeBron James decides to take his talents.The Lakers and Cavaliers have sufficient salary-cap space to sign James as a free agent. Those are probably the most attractive landing spots for James, who has been spotted checking out schools for his children in Southern California and calls Northeast Ohio home.The Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers and San Antonio Spurs also could sign James if, as expected, he decides to opt out of his contract for next season with the Cavaliers and becomes a free agent. But there are so many moving parts it would seem unlikely their bids could succeed.Accepting his option for next season opens many more scenarios via sign-and-trade deals. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersHow’s that for a bottom line?After so much speculation about his future, after all the chatter, James’ franchise-altering decision is nearly at hand. The first step would be the four-time league MVP, who is vacationing in the Carribean, declining his $35.6-million option with the Cavaliers before Friday’s deadline at 8:59 p.m. PT and becoming an unrestricted free agent Saturday at 9:01 p.m. PTQuestions about his destination could hinge on whether James would go to the Lakers if, and only if, they could add other top-tier free agents such as Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder and whether they could acquire Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs in a trade.Or perhaps James would be content to come to the Lakers and play with a core group of young players that includes Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma. Maybe then the Lakers could also re-sign Julius Randle, who will be a restricted free agent.Plus, the Lakers have roughly $60 million in cap space, making it easier to sign two players to max deals. They wouldn’t need to alter their roster significantly in order to sign James (about $35 million for next season) and George ($30 million) to max deals. The Cavaliers have an advantage over the Lakers, Rockets, 76ers and Spurs because they maintain James’ so-called Bird rights and can sign him for a max deal of $207.4 million over five years and they’re allowed to go over the salary cap.However, if the Cavaliers re-sign James, they’ll be hard-pressed to upgrade their roster through free agency. They have only the standard $5.3-million salary-cap exception plus a $5.8-million trade exception to work with in free agency. Cleveland would have to add players through trades, but the Cavaliers don’t have a lot of young assets.Sign up for Home Turf and get 3 exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.Houston, Philadelphia and San Antonio would have to clear salary-cap space in order to sign James, and it could get complicated for each team. For the Rockets, it would mean they could not re-sign free agents Chris Paul, Trevor Ariza and Clint Capela without asking them to take pay cuts they would be unlikely to accept, for instance.Here’s more of what we do know as free agency nears:KEY DATES/TIMESFriday: Players have until 8:59 p.m. PT to decide to opt in or opt out of next year’s contracts. James, George, the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan, the New York Knicks’ Enes Kanter and others with player options for their 2018-19 contracts must make their decisions known by this deadline.Saturday: This is the last day for teams to extend qualifying offers to restricted free agents. The Lakers have already made a $5.6-million qualifying offer to Randle, making him a restricted free agent.The free-agent negotiating period begins at 9:01 p.m. PT Teams and free agents can begin talks officially. Players can announce where they intend to sign or where they have been traded, but contracts cannot be made official until the moratorium ends later next week.Wednesday: James’ unofficial deadline to have his status resolved.July 6: Moratorium ends at 9 a.m. PT, with free agents able to sign contracts and trades to be completed. Once a restricted free agent such as Randle signs an offer sheet with another team, the Lakers will have 48 hours to decide whether to match it and retain him.Aug. 31: This is the last day to waive players and apply the stretch provision to their contracts. For instance, the Lakers could waive Luol Deng and stretch his contract, creating more cap flexibility. Deng is owed $36.8 million over the next two seasons, starting at $18 million in 2018-19. The Lakers can stretch him out to $7.4 million over five years, which would open $9.8 million in additional cap space immediately.TEAMS WITH SPACEThe Lakers ($60 million-plus) have the most space of all 30 teams, the only one capable of signing James to a max deal without needing to clear additional room. In fact, the Lakers could sign James and George to max deals with only a minimum of movement.Indiana ($33 million), Philadelphia ($30 million), Chicago ($27 million), Dallas ($26 million) and Utah ($24 million) are the only other teams that can come close to having the same cap space as the Lakers – and they would have to make moves to clear additional room to sign James.The Clippers don’t have sufficient cap space this summer, but are targeting 2019, when they’re expected to have roughly $50 million available and will use it for a free-agent spending spree on a class that’s projected to be deeper and more talented than this one, with the exception of James, of course.MONEY MATTERSStaying put has its advantages in terms of more money and more years for players who re-sign with their old clubs. James, George (five years, $176 million) and Leonard (five years, $219 million) can get longer, more lucrative contracts if they re-sign instead of making deals elsewhere.For example, the Lakers cannot offer George a deal richer than four years and $130 million. If he wants to come home to Southern California, he’d have to leave a lot of guaranteed money on the table. Of course, George could elect to sign a “one-plus one” deal this summer and return to free agency next summer to recoup some of that.Leonard has one year and $20 million left on his current contract with the Spurs as well as a $21 million player option for the 2019-20 season, one he is unlikely to take no matter where he is playing. Leonard can only get the $219 million “super max” offer from the Spurs, who can offer him that contract any time after July 1. He can’t get that deal with any other team, no matter if he’s traded or decides to sign elsewhere in free agency next summer.If Leonard is traded this summer and re-signs in 2019, he would be eligible for a five-year, $188 million deal. If he stays in San Antonio this year then leaves next summer, he’d be eligible for a four-year, $139 million contract.THE BIG THREE SCENARIOTiming is the biggest challenge to the Lakers ending up with LeBron, Leonard and George this summer. Any trade they make for a high-paid veteran like Leonard needs to be done before they sign free agents because otherwise they’d already have stretched and waived Deng and be unable to include him as matching salary in a trade.Assuming the cap comes in as projected at $101 million and both James and George sign for the full max, any realistic trade for Leonard (imagine surrendering two of three from Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma plus Deng) would leave the Lakers with just seven players under contract: their new big three, the remaining player from the Ball-Ingram-Kuzma trio, Josh Hart and this year’s draft picks (Moe Wagner and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk).The Lakers would then have to fill out their roster with only the room mid-level exception (projected at $4.4 million) to offer free agents more than the veterans’ minimum.BUCKLE UPIn their best-case scenario, the one Lakersland has been dreaming about for weeks, months and years, that Big Three scenario comes to fruition and the Lakers return to their status as an elite team. In the worst-case scenario, the Lakers add no one of significance and they lose Randle, too.In their best-case scenario, the Clippers’ management team of Jerry West and Lawrence Frank makes magic happen with stunning deals that land them James and Leonard and they return to elite status. In the worst-case scenario, well, there really isn’t one. The Clippers are focused on 2019.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more