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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Mag je halverwege een boek stoppen met lezen?

‘Je mag best boeken of andere projecten in de steek te laten - maar je moet ze wel echt los laten, en niet vage intenties hebben om ze ooit nog af te maken.’ Het seizoen van boeken lezen aan het strand is weer aangebroken, met de daarbij behorende top 10’s in boekenhandels, en dus ook het seizoen voor de brandende vraag of het ooit oké is om halverwege een boek te stoppen met lezen. ‘Dit is vast en zeker een raar advies’, zegt Dr Johnson in antwoord op de notie dat je een boek altijd helemaal uit moet lezen. Veel mensen behandelen het weglopen van een roman als het in de steek laten van een lover of vriend. ‘Persoonlijk ben ik immuun tegen het psychodrama dat zich rondom het niet uitlezen van een boek begeeft, mogelijk omdat ik zo veel boeken moet lezen met titels als: May ause Miracles: A 40-Day Guidebook Of Subtle Shifts May For Radical Change And Unlimited Happiness. Maar het ongemak…

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Friday financial focus

Today’s Markets: European shares set for worst month in a year Overnight Markets: China shows solid gains, lifting Hong Kong Trends: Investors continue to pull money from emerging market funds Forecasts: Developed equity markets’ performance revised upwards Global: BIS says it is time for governments to do more UK: Mid-market companies close to matching German counterparts China: Central bank to use tools to stabilise money markets Japan: Economic strength will soon be seen in share prices, minister says Hong Kong: Moody’s downgrades outlook for banking system Focus On: Opportunities in the ASEAN region    

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How to tame the in-box

  E-mail is the worst. Between alerts from Facebook, newsletters from Groupon, reply-all e-mail chains, work brainstorming sessions and social coordinating, the in-box becomes a daunting pit of quicksand. At a certain point, even the most dogged among us give up. I certainly did. I began avoiding my in-box, figuring any important messages would be re-sent until I noticed them, or delivered by a more efficient route, like a text message or, in the case of something grave or urgent, a call. But obviously, that doesn’t work. I missed crucial notes from colleagues and an offer of free tickets to see the Brooklyn Nets take on the Chicago Bulls. Enough was enough. I combed through tech help sites, polled friends and tried to figure out how to make my life more efficient and productive. There’s no quick fix. But set aside a few hours one afternoon, brew a pot of coffee, get a tasty snack, put on your favorite playlist and roll up your sleeves.…

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Allianz’s stab at high street microinsurance

On Monday, June 17th, Martin Hintz of Allianz, the insurance giant, gave a talk about their microinsurance programme for the Microfinance UK Club at a Morgan Stanley office in London. Martin’s interactive approach to his presentation showed that in his role as the group leader in microinsurance he is accustomed to answering questions and doubts raised from all angles and is ready to be put on the spot. Allianz's microinsurance programme targets those who earn from $1.25 to $4 a day, which worldwide encompasses about 2.6 billion people. Considering that the extreme poor are considered to be those who earn less than $1.25 a day, Allianz is not approaching them but what the firm does claim is that they focus on the bottom 60% of the low income households, which in my view does not mean much. That said, Allianz has now gathered an impressive customer base of 17.1 million people concentrated in South East Asian and recently Latin American countries. For now Allianz is…

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Breaking news

Police unit monitors 9,000 'extremists'. 'Cuddle hormone' could help depression sufferers to seek support. Edward Snowden is in Moscow airport, says Vladimir Putin. Husband who bludgeoned wife to death with ornamental elephant jailed for at least 16 years. Welsh government-backed website offers SEX industry job advice. BBC1's new controller Charlotte Moore to be appointed within days. Germany blasts Britain over GCHQ's secret cable trawl. Silvio Berlusconi supporters stage 'we are all whores' protest over conviction. Shamed NHS boss, Sir David Nicholson, criticises public and press over portrayal of NHS care scandals. Carnival cruise line chief Micky Arison to step down after 34 years following accidents. Consumer Minister Jo Swinson summons payday lenders to a showdown. Tevez off to Juve for £10m. U.S. BANCORP U.S. Bank Wealth Management appointed Scott Wiley as senior private banking officer for the private client reserve of U.S. Bank. Wiley joins from Wells Fargo Private Bank where he worked as vice president of senior private banking. STEPHENS INC The Chicago-based equity…

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Are you allowed to give up on a book?

    "It's fine to abandon books or other projects – but you've got to really abandon them, not let them fade amid vague intentions to finish them some day.” It's the season of "beach reads" and Best Summer Books lists – and thus, also, the season for the re-emergence of the perennial question of when, if ever, it's OK to give up on a book halfway through. "This is surely a strange advice," scoffed Dr Johnson in response to the notion that you should finish every book you start. "You may as well resolve that whatever men you happen to get acquainted with, you are to keep them for life." A good analogy, since many people treat abandoning a novel like a milder version of abandoning a lover or friend. "Choosing to terminate a relationship with a book prematurely remains strangely agonising, a decision fraught with guilt," one WSJ writer argued the other day, adding a newish twist: the hunch that, thanks to Kindles and…

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Breaking news

Nadal loses in first round at Wimbledon. Berlusconi found guilty in prostitution case: seven years jail. Brazil’s president offers referendum. Fallon director Jennifer Black departs for Fabula.   MERCER The financial consulting company appointed Tom Geraghty as chief executive officer in Ireland and country corporate officer of Mercer's parent company, Marsh & McLennan Companies, in Ireland, with effect from July 1. Prior to this, Geraghty was head of the company's investments businessin Europe. The company appointed Andrew Kirton as head of Mercer's investmentsbusiness in Europe. Kirton most recently worked as Mercer's global chief investment officer. Mercer appointed Jeff Schutes as head of its investments business in the growth markets and Akhil Sethi as head of its retirement business in the growth markets, both newly created positions. AXA GROUP The French investment firm said it had appointed Andrea Rossi as chief executive officer of AXA Investment Managers, replacing Dominique Carrel-Billiard who has decided to leave the group. Rossi most recently served as chief executive officer of…

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Financial focus

EU: Banking talks break down without agreement Russia: New bank boss to stand firm UK: Consumer confidence highest for two years UK: Suspected tax evasion at five-year low UK: Firms struggle to make defined benefit schemes sustainable China: Shadow banks blamed for cash-crunch Israel: New bank chief named USA: Bernanke’s successor committed to strategy Currencies: Dollar rises to 2 week high versus yen Energy: WTI trades near two-week low on China worries Commodities: Gold bets slump as $54bn erased from funds    

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Één op de vijf kampt met depressie.

Bijna eenvijfde van alle volwassenen in het Verenigd Koninkrijk kampt met angst of depressie, volgens recente officiële cijfers. Het Britse bureau voor statistiek (ONS) liet weten dat meer vrouwen dan mannen te maken hebben met depressies, waarbij de hoogste index ligt in de leeftijdsgroep 50-54. Er was ook bewijs voor angst of depressie onder 19% van de jongeren in de leeftijd 16+. Mensen die gescheiden of uit elkaar gaan, zijn waarschijnlijker om symptomen van mentale stoornissen te tonen. 27% van deze groep vertoont psychologische symptomen, vergelijken met 20% van de groep singles, samenwonenden en 16% van de groep getrouwden. Hogere niveau’s werden ook gemeten onder werklozen - 23% verklaarde last te hebben van mentale stoornissen, vergeleken met maar 15% onder de groep die wel werk heeft. Het ONS onthulde ook dat 38% van de mensen die aangaven relatief ongelukkig te zijn met hun gezondheid, last had van mentale problemen, vergeleken met 11% onder mensen die zichzelf gezond voelden. De studie is onderdeel van een nationaal…

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Depression affects one in five UK adults

Nearly a fifth of adults in the UK experience anxiety or depression, according to the latest official figures. The Office for National Statistics (ONS,) said a higher proportion of women than men reported that they suffered from the conditions, with the highest indication of anxiety or depression occurring in the 50-54 age group. There was evidence of anxiety or depression in 19% of people aged 16 or over, with 21% of women reporting the symptoms and 16% of men. People who were divorced or separated were more likely to have symptoms of mild to moderate mental ill health, with 27% showing signs of the conditions compared with 20% of those who were single, cohabiting or widowed and 16% of those who were married or in a civil partnership. Higher levels were also recorded by those who were not in paid work – 23% reported they were experiencing mental health issues, compared with 15% of those in paid work. The ONS also revealed that 38% of those…

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