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    Blackstone's earnings more than double on strong asset sales

    (Reuters) -Blackstone Group Inc, the world’s biggest manager of alternative assets such as private equity and real estate, said on Thursday its distributable earnings more than doubled in the third quarter to an all-time high.Blackstone (NYSE:BX) and other private equity firms have capitalized on low interest rates and the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic to sell many of their assets for top dollar.The New York-based firm reported distributable earnings of $1.28 per share, up 112% from a year ago, exceeding the average Wall Street analyst estimate of 91 cents, according to Refinitiv.Blackstone said it cashed out on $21.8 billion worth of assets during the quarter, including the sale of its stake in U.S. supply-chain software firm Blue Yonder to Japanese electronics giant Panasonic (OTC:PCRFY) Corp.Blackstone also said it spent $37.1 billion on new investments, including the $6.7 billion take-private of data center operator QTS Realty (NYSE:QTS) Trust Inc and the acquisition of single-family rental company Home Partners of America in a $6 billion deal.Blackstone said its private equity fund appreciated by 9.9% during the quarter, compared with a 0.23% rise in the S&P 500 index over the same period. Opportunistic and core real estate funds rose 16.2% and 7.6%, respectively.Under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), Blackstone said its net income nearly doubled to $1.4 billion, driven by its investment income. Its net accrued performance revenues, which represents paper profit that is yet to be cashed, reached $8.3 billion.Blackstone’s total assets under management rose to $730.7 billion, up from $648.8 billion three months earlier. It ended the quarter with $127.2 billion of unspent capital and declared a quarterly dividend of $1.09 per share. More

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    Splinterlands Debuts Scalper Protection With New Card Release

    Chaos Legion is the most recent expansion for Splinterlands. A total of 1 million packs, priced at $4 each, were made available for sale. The Chaos Legion pre-sale runs for a full month, and the initial interest already seen during the first 24 hours confirms players’ excitement regarding this expansion. Such high interest in these new cards confirms Splitnerlands’ dominant position in the play-to-earn blockchain gaming segment. Through a unique VOUCHER mechanism, Splinterlands has found a way to combat bots and scalpers. It is essential to provide fair access to Chaos Legion for all players. Rather than selling the packs all at once unrestricted and leaving them to be bought in bulk by a concentrated few, the team introduced a new VOUCHER token. Every card pack purchased will require spending the $4 and one such VOUCHER token. The only way to acquire VOUCHER is by playing the game and staking the SPS currency. This ensures the cards go to the players who actually are involved with the game rather than bots and scalpers.A total of 33,333.33 VOUCHER tokens are created daily throughout the 30-day pre-sale period, resulting in 1 million VOUCHER tokens in total. The Splinterlands team can monitor the purchasing process and ensure everyone has equal and fair access to Chaos Legion packs through this method. Moreover, the VOUCHERS incentivizes community members to stake SPS for the long term, as the asset will be instrumental in sales, promotions, and rewards in the game.Following the Chaos Legion pre-sale, VOUCHER tokens will still be useful for additional in-game benefits. Moreover, users can keep earning these tokens by staking SPS. The team is exploring other options, including liquidity pools and other sources. More information on the future of VOUCHER tokens will be announced through the official Splinterlands social channels. “The VOUCHER system is a fantastic way to provide value to the governance holders and our community. Preventing whales and bots from controlling the market and pricing out the players who actually play and love our game is an essential step forward. Splinterlands raises the bar for fair and equal distribution of NFTs and other digital assets with monetary value. Other blockchain projects, either in the gaming industry or otherwise, may take this example as an invitation to introduce a more fair way of conducting sales in the future.”
    said Dr. Jesse“Agreed”
    Reich, Splinterlands co-founder and CEO. EMAIL NEWSLETTERJoin to get the flipside of cryptoUpgrade your inbox and get our DailyCoin editors’ picks 1x a week delivered straight to your inbox.[contact-form-7]

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    The only way is up: corporate chiefs warn on prices

    (Reuters) – For central bankers wrestling with the question of whether inflationary pressures are transitory, industry chiefs around the world have a clear message: prices are only going higher.Shortages of workers, fuel, cargo ships, semiconductors and building materials as the global economy bounces back after pandemic lockdowns have companies from electric car makers to chocolatiers scrambling to keep a lid on costs.Some of the world’s biggest brands are now passing on higher prices to consumers and are warning any policymakers sitting on the inflationary fence that things are going to get worse.”We expect inflation to be higher next year than this year,” said Graeme Pitkethly, finance chief at Unilever (NYSE:UL), which says its products, from Dove soap to Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to Persil washing powder, are used by 2.5 billion people every day.Earlier this week, the world’s biggest food maker, Nestle, said it would increase the prices of its products, which include Nescafe and Purina pet food, further in 2021 and then again in 2022 as raw material costs carry on climbing.The view from the boardroom contrasts with a more ambivalent tone among finance ministers and central bank governors faced with trying to work out when to start withdrawing monetary and fiscal stimulus without choking off the economic recovery.A draft communique ahead of a gathering of top policymakers in Washington last week called on central banks to be ready to take “decisive actions to maintain price stability”. But by the end of the meeting, the language had been toned down.Instead, The International Monetary Fund’s steering committee (IMFC) urged global policymakers to monitor pricing dynamics closely but “look through” inflationary pressures that will fade as economies normalise.”The key question is to know whether this is a transitory inflation or not. Nobody has a response to that key question,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said after the meeting.STRUCTURAL SCARCITYBank of England Governor Andrew Bailey has said he continues to believe the recent jump in inflation – currently at 3.1% and expected to climb – is temporary but the British central bank is widely expected to be the first major monetary authority to raise interest rates in the post-pandemic cycle.For executives at companies with a finger on the pulse of dozens of commercial sectors, such as global recruitment firm Randstad, some of the problems leading to higher prices are structural, and here to stay.Randstad said on Thursday that it expected labour shortages https://reut.rs/3lYmIKe to persist for years to come with older employees leaving and fewer entering the workforce.”We do think that scarcity is going to be structural,” Randstad’s outgoing Chief Executive Jacques van den Broek said. “Jobs in demand are in healthcare, education, technology and logistics.”Wage disputes have emerged in several countries with one of Germany’s biggest unions calling for an inflation-busting wage increase of 5.3% for nearly 900,000 construction workers.Swiss engineering company ABB, which is grappling with the global semiconductor supply crunch, also said labour shortages, especially in the United States, had hit its deliveries of industrial robots, among other products.The scarcity of chips has already hurt vehicle production around the world, bringing some assembly lines to a halt.Swedish truck maker AB Volvo said on Thursday that while it was facing strong demand, shortages of components such as chips and freight capacity were both driving up costs and disrupting its production. Swiss elevator and escalator manufacturer Schindler said it too was cautious about its outlook due to higher raw materials prices, soaring cost inflation and supply chain bottlenecks that were set to persist.Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller said this week that if inflation keeps rising at its current pace in the coming months rather than subsiding as expected then U.S. policymakers may need to adopt “a more aggressive policy response” next year. Should interest rates start rising, though, banks will benefit from charging more for loans. Jes Staley, chief executive of Britain’s Barclays (LON:BARC), said he was relatively relaxed about rising prices and an annual inflation rate of up to 4% in Britain could be positive for the bank, as long as it was supported by economic growth.But banking staff too will be looking for compensation for the price pressures. In Germany, workers at public sector banks have staged warning strikes to underscore their demands for a 4.5% pay rise. More

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    India's over 11 million govt employees get $1.3 billion inflation relief ahead of festivals

    The federal and state governments usually announce twice a year adjustments in inflation-linked wages on top of an annual increment. The Indian cabinet has approved a 3% increase in the ‘dearness’ allowance – a part of monthly wages and pensions provided to cushion against rises in the cost of living – for 6.9 million employees and 4.7 million pensioners, Anurag Thakur, India’s information and broadcasting minister, told reporters after the cabinet meeting.The hike, effective from July 2021, would cost 94.89 billion rupees ($1.27 billion) annually to the government, he said.The rise in wages could boost consumer spending as it comes ahead of the Diwali festival, which this year falls in early November and marks the country’s busiest shopping season for consumer goods. Both federal and state governments had frozen inflation-linked increases in salaries and pensions last year after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic to generate over $10 billion for spending on pandemic relief. The freeze was lifted in July, when the federal government announced a 11% increase in the dearness allowance. India’s retail inflation eased to a five-month low of 4.35% year-on-year in September, amid softer food prices and demand, while rising petrol, cooking gas and other manufacturing prices have dampened consumer sentiment. However, the majority of workers in small businesses and farm sector – which represents 90% of the country’s total workforce – have faced a fall in wages and job losses since the pandemic began last year. ($1 = 74.8725 Indian rupees) More

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    Balancer and Gnosis Launch Joint Balancer-Gnosis Protocol

    Lead DeFi protocols — Balancer and Gnosis, Balancer Growth’s Head of Growth, Jeremy Musighi, announced today at Liscon, the official launch of Balancer-Gnosis-Protocol (BGP). BGP, to be specific, is a combination of the ‘vault architecture’ of Balancer V2 and the revolutionary price-finding mechanism of Gnosis Protocol.The two collaborators hope to provide more benefits to users such as on-chain liquidity, MEV protection, better trading prices, and optimized gas costs. With this, users will be able to take advantage of BGP, which is now the default when trading on balancer.fi.Balancer Labs CEO & Co-Founder — Fernando Martinelli, comments,In detail, BGP removes the need for an external market maker or liquidity provider. Through this, it will allow users to save on gas costs, slippage tolerance, as well as protocol fees.To note, Miner Extractable Value or MEV refers to the measure of profit that a mincer can make through their ability to include, exclude or reorder transactions within the blocks they produce. In fact, to date, more than &30 million has been extracted from users by bots frontrunning transactions and exploiting the slippage users allow in trade.Moreover, BGP or the Balancer-Gnosis-Protocol leverages batch auctions with uniform clearing prices for all trades in the same batch, to protect users from the aforementioned value extraction, which is already active on the Gnosis CowSwap DEX.Also expressing his delight on the collaboration, Gnosis CEO and Co-founder — Martin Köppelmann, said,Furthermore, the users of Balancer will be introduced to Gnosis’s price-finding mechanism, based on gasless orders and smart order routing. Users will now sign an off-chain message with their intent to trade, instead of sending an executable transaction with a predetermined execution path. More so, the additional third party will execute trades that match against whichever on-chain liquidity offers the best price.Continue reading on CoinQuora More

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    Chinese property firm Kaisa slumps after rival dumps bonds

    Kaisa was the first Chinese developer to ever default back in 2015 and turmoil caused by the China Evergrande crisis has put it back in the firing line.The firm’s most imminent international bond, which is due to be repaid on December 7 fell 10 cents to around 60 cents on the dollar which 40% below face value. Other bonds due to mature around the middle of next year dropped below 35 cents on the dollar while its longest term bonds fell below 30 cents. More

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    DeFi 2.0: A Megatrend for the 2022 Summer

    The New DeFi SummerDeFi brought more financial usability to smart contracts, creating new financial instruments outside the realms of centralized institutions. In fact, it brought blockchain to its intended scope of promoting a decentralized market.DeFi protocols spun off from flagship protocols like Compound, which stamped their place in the DeFi market through “liquidity mining.” The industry-recognized its shortcomings due to their capital inefficiency. DeFi 1.0 attracted users by rewarding them with high yield, yet the financial return mentality of investors did not account for a project’s worth. Rather, users concentrated on flipping capital between protocols to obtain higher APY’s.Scuppytrooples highlighted in a Twitter thread that DeFi 2.0 would kickstart a new market obsession as new projects developed more efficient protocols on top of DeFi 1.0. In essence, DeFi 2.0 will amend network shortcomings, including scalability, liquidity protocol, and governance, which all fall under the umbrella of capital efficiency. What DeFi 2.0 Wants to Be.Trends heavily guide blockchain’s culture mentality. DeFi 2.0 is obsessively used by new protocols to increase demand and draw investor attention. Hackernoon noted in a 2020 article that DeFi 2.0 is the condition to increase “support for real-world economic activities,” but requires an underlying remodeling of functions, including liquidity and scalability. A Messari Research article highlighted that DeFi 2.0 aims to resolve liquidity mining incentives and prevent capital nomads from affecting the sustainability of projects. Sam Kazemian, the founder of Frax Finance, argued that DeFi 2.0 is, in fact, “experimenting with algorithmic & social rules that formalize their capital deployment,” in order to streamline and create a better performing protocol-oriented towards comprehensive decentralization.DeFi 2.0. needs to go beyond the previous bootstrapping mechanisms implemented by early protocols. Admittedly, high liquidity mining APYs are an intelligent customer acquisition process, but ultimately failed in the long-term success of products. Jason Ye argued that native token prices would decrease as token inflation rose.Scupytrooples emphasized that Olympus DAO is taking a different rewards route and showcasing firsthand why DeFi 2.0 can improve the overall perception of decentralized finance. Olympus DAO has implemented a protocol-controlled value that uses a bonding mechanism, which effectively works to prevent “toxic liquidity” from entering the ecosystem.On The FlipsideWhat’s the Novelty?In truth, new protocols that follow the main DeFi scheme failed because of the lack of demand in the network. Quang Phan noted that Capital Efficiency is DeFi’s ultimate goal if it aims to reach mass adoption status. The lack of usability of platform functions, aside from the passive income generated by users, is close to none. Sure, this does not apply to established protocols such as Uniswap, however, it does show how DeFi is used for speculative purposes.DeFi 2.0 thus programs new expectations for protocols to be addressing several issues, including scalability, governance centralization, and liquidity mining. To that end, trusting a protocol that’s governed by a set of network rules increases the decentralization factor, and the balance sheet liquidity attained and stored by protocols decreases the risk factor. In short, DeFi 2.0 holds the prerequisites necessary for abiding by regulatory norms, while still maintaining autonomy.Why You Should Care?High yields generated by farmers through liquidity mining could be a thing of the past. New rules being added to DeFi 2.0 protocols could be the catalyzing agents for improving the perception of DeFi as a safe financial tool.EMAIL NEWSLETTERJoin to get the flipside of cryptoUpgrade your inbox and get our DailyCoin editors’ picks 1x a week delivered straight to your inbox.[contact-form-7]
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    IMF: Lack of vaccines looms over sub-Sahara recovery

    LONDON (Reuters) – A lack of access to vaccines is dampening economic recovery in sub-Saharan Africa and the region will lag behind developed nations for years, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday.Confirming its sub-Saharan Africa growth forecast of 3.7% for this year and 3.8% for 2022 in its regional economic outlook, the fund said rising commodity prices and favourable harvests had benefited some countries, though the overall picture was perilous. “The outlook remains extremely uncertain, and risks are tilted to the downside,” the IMF team led by Shushanik Hakobyan wrote in its report, adding much hinged on the trajectory of the pandemic and vaccinations, but disruptions in global activity and financial markets could also derail recovery. Sub-Saharan Africa’s 2021 projected growth rates mean the region already suffered the “slowest recovery in the world”.South Africa – the continent’s most industrialised nation – is expected to expand by 5.0% this year before growth slows down to 2.2% in 2022. Higher oil prices will help Nigeria expand by 2.6% in 2021 with rates remaining at that level for the foreseeable future, the report predicted. Angola’s economy will contract by 0.7% in 2021, but its six year recession will end next year when it will return to 2.4% growth, though this is slower than previously expected due to falling investments and technical problems in the oil sector. Rising food inflation is set to remain a burning issue, especially for the about 30 million people thrown into extreme poverty by the pandemic, the fund found. Food inflation had steadily increased since 2019 and stood at 10.9% in August across 25 countries where monthly data was available. “The crisis has worsened inequality not only across income groups, but also across subnational geographic regions, which may add to the risk of social tension and political instability,” the authors of the report said. “Without external financial and technical assistance, the divergent recovery paths of sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world may harden into permanent fault lines, jeopardizing decades of hard-won progress.” More