Titular de Economía advirtió sobre la falta de normas internacionales que sirvan de ejemplo para que Chile encauce regulación sobre esas plataformas.
El ministro de Economía, José Ramón Valente, también abordó esta mañana la controversia en torno al impuesto del 19% a las plataformas digitales del proyecto de modernización tributaria y que se traducirá en alzas de precios de servicios como Netflix, Spotify y Airbnb, entre otras.
“Tenemos que regularlo. La forma de regularlo tenemos que conversarla, pero todo indica que tener una cancha lo más pareja posible para todos los actores es la mejor forma de regular”, dijo el secretario de Estado en una actividad en la planta de Monarch.
En esa línea, el secretario de Estado advirtió sobre la falta de normas internacionales que sirvan de ejemplo para que Chile encauce esa regulación.
“No hay una norma internacional de la cual Chile pueda apegarse, es algo que todo el mundo está haciendo camino al andar y Chile quiere ser pionero en darle una oportunidad al mundo digital”, afirmó.
En ese contexto, el titular de Economía también se refirió al fallo que prohibió el arriendo de departamentos bajo el uso de la plataforma Airbnb en un edificio de Las Condes.
“Nosotros queremos que el mundo digital sea parte de Chile, no queremos cerrarle las puertas y no queremos prohibir las cosas, al revés, queremos que ocurran en igualdad de condiciones con los otros actores de la economía de tal manera de que no haya una posición favorecida para un servicio versus otro”, explicó.
“Para eso estamos regulando y vamos a regular los servicios de tal manera que se complementen ambas cosas, por un lado, que existan las plataformas y por otro que operen en las mismas condiciones que operan otros proveedores del mismo servicio”, agregó.
Esta fórmula parece muy simple pero en realidad es uno de los principales compromisos del gobierno federal, que ha establecido una estrategia para combatir la corrupción y generar un crecimiento económico del 4 por ciento, algo que sí es posible dicen los banqueros.
Ciudad de México.- El país enfrenta una situación muy complicada derivado del crecimiento exponencial de la violencia y la inseguridad de la mano de mayores índices de corrupción, lo que ha generado que muchos sectores productivos resientan esto y que la actividad económica esté detenida limitando el crecimiento.
Pero un mejor desempeño de la economía nacional no puede ser si antes no se reducen los altos índices de corrupción existentes, en donde México tiene uno de los peores desempeños a nivel mundial.
De acuerdo con el Índice del Estado de Derecho que elabora el World Justice Project, el país tuvo un retroceso en el rubro de “Ausencia de Corrupción” de 12.2 por ciento entre 2015 y 2019, por lo que pasó de la posición 88 a la posición 117 entre 126 naciones.
En ese sentido, el director general de HSBC México, Nuno Matos, aseguró que el combate a la corrupción y a la inseguridad, son claves para lograr el crecimiento económico de 4.0 por ciento tal como lo prometió el presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
El ejecutivo aseguró que un mejor desempeño de la economía se debe basar en “tres pilares centrales”, en donde se ubican los temas de responsabilidad fiscal por parte del gobierno, el combate contra la corrupción y una mayor inclusión social.
Pero “la clave que destacaría por encima de todos sería el combate a la corrupción y la inseguridad, sin un país seguro y con un tipo de prácticas éticas es muy difícil que haya sustentabilidad a largo plazo”, señaló Matos en declaraciones para Notimex.
Además, sin estos elementos también se aleja a las inversiones privadas, que son un elemento fundamental para incrementar las posibilidades de un mayor desarrollo de la economía.
En ese sentido, Nuno Matos aseguró que “México no sólo puede sino tiene la población para crecer al 4.0 por ciento”, sino también la “obligación con las condiciones actuales” de poder alcanzar esa cifra y se tienen que aprovechar estos elementos favorables.
Generar confianza en México
Un eficaz combate en contra de la corrupción y la inseguridad, que no solo reduzca la presencia de estos delitos sino que genere cambios positivos en el entorno, se reflejará invariablemente en los niveles de confianza de los mercados y los inversionistas, lo que tendrá un doble efecto positivo en beneficio del país.
Así lo considera Lorenzo Barrera Segovia, director general de Banco Base, quien ve en las inversiones una base fundamental para crecer.
“Primero que nada es generar confianza en temas de seguridad y que el ambiente económico en México siga siendo de confianza en general”, dice el directivo, con lo cual será más fácil “emprender proyectos de crecimiento junto con el gobierno federal y de esa manera contribuir a la generación de empleos”.
Por lo que agrega: “El ingrediente básico es generar confianza y luego vienen proyectos de crecimiento y de inversión”.
Así, sin inversiones es casi imposible que en las condiciones actuales, el gobierno pueda asumir todos los compromisos y contar con todos los recursos para impulsar proyectos de infraestructura e industriales para apuntalar el crecimiento económico.
Por lo que Enrique Zorrilla, director general de Banco Scotiabank, asegura que se debe aprovechar que el país es “muy atractivo y tiene enormes oportunidades, con un bono demográfico para generar un millón de empleos al año”, para transformar esto en inversiones.
Ya que desde su perspectiva, “para alcanzar la meta de 4.0 por ciento de crecimiento “se requiere de un mayor consenso de los distintos actores productivos, porque no es suficiente la inversión pública”.
Con lo cual califica de “importantísima” a la inversión privada y sugiere trabajar para la “adopción de las medidas que logren esa perspectiva de mediano y largo plazos lo más rápido posible”, ya que las proyecciones de crecimiento siguen a la baja.
Scotiabank prevé una caída de 3.1 por ciento en la inversión este año, “debido a un incremento importante en la incertidumbre, tanto por factores externos como internos”, además de que sus estimaciones sobre la economía nacional indican que este año crecerá apenas un 1.4 por ciento, una cifra muy alejada de ese ideal que no ha prometido el gobierno de AMLO de un 4 por ciento.
De esta manera, parece que todo se resume en que mientras persistan los altos niveles de corrupción habrá menos crecimiento económico, una fórmula que comienza a ser muy costosa en la medida en que se destapan todas las redes que se tejieron durante las administraciones pasadas para hacer un uso desmedido de recursos y favorecer solo a un sector muy reducido de la sociedad.
Abilene Christian and Gardner-Webb are a pair of upstarts making their first appearances in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament this year. Their March Madness stays are likely to be short as a 15 seed and 16 seed respectively and facing powerhouses Kentucky and Virginia in their opening round games.
But another upstart will have a much longer run in the tourney, guaranteed to make it to the National Championship Game on April 8. BodyArmor sports drink takes over from Powerade this year as the official sports drink of the NCAA Tournament. The drink will be on the sidelines and locker rooms for all games, and its logo will adorn all coolers, cups and water bottles. The deal signed in November covers a total of 90 NCAA championships across sports.
The brand will use March Madness to launch its largest marketing campaign, which was created by NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who is the third largest investor in the company. The commercial spot running during the tourney features NBA All-Stars Donovan Mitchell and James Harden using a rotary phone and typewriter, respectively, in a nod to items that were once helpful.
“We are speaking to the outdated messages that have been used in the past,” says Bryant about the campaign. “Those things were all good, but there is a newer way to do things, and that is the tonality of the campaign. Thank you to Gatorade. We appreciate your services. We’ll take it from here.”
Last week’s crash of a Boeing 737 Max aircraft, coming five months after another crash involving the same aircraft, has impacts on multiple fronts. Aviation regulators in many countries, airlines and passengers are now questioning the plane’s safety. China took the lead to ground the 737 Max, and a handful of countries followed suit. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also has temporarily grounded two versions of the plane.
A total of 157 people died in the March 10 crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight, minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa, while 189 people died in a Lion Air crash last October in Indonesia, 12 minutes after takeoff.
Tough questions are being raised regarding the FAA’s safety assessment processes after a Seattle Times investigative report flagged apparent lapses, including allowing Boeing itself to conduct safety certifications for the 737 Max and fast-tracking approvals. Meanwhile, a grand jury in Washington, D.C., has called for documents to scrutinize the development of the plane. Boeing would conceivably need to invest in fresh training for pilots, as well as any fixes in plane design or safety features the regulator may order.
The big uncertainty is how much time any 737 Max fixes would consume, according to John Strong, professor of business administration and area head for economics and finance at the College of William & Mary’s Raymond School of Business. Boeing has nearly 600 deliveries of the plane scheduled for 2019, and most of them would have been pressed into service in the peak summer travel season, noted Strong, who is an expert on airline industry economics and safety issues.
Initial investigations have found “clear similarities” between the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes, according to a Washington Post report, but it is too early for conclusive findings to be available. “We really don’t know what happened with those two crashes yet, and that means Boeing doesn’t have as much information from the crash records to see whether there are common underlying problems,” said Clinton Oster, professor emeritus in the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, whose areas of expertise include transportation policy and safety.
“There is such dependence on aircraft, and there’s such inherent trust that somehow or the other [people are] going to get safely from here to there.”–Robert Meyer
Public memories of airline disasters tend to fade over time, said Robert Meyer, Wharton professor of marketing and co-director of the school’s Risk Management and Decision Processes Center. “The reality is that people have short memories. There is such dependence on aircraft, and there’s such inherent trust that somehow or the other they’re going to get safely from here to there.”
Getting the 737 Max back on its feet might take some time. Boeing is currently on a monthly production schedule of 52 aircraft in the coming year, and that is now likely to be disrupted. At last count, it had nearly 5,000 pending orders for the aircraft. “It represents a big, potential risk in terms of liquidity and carrying cash flow if [Boeing has to] push this out six, nine or 12 months into the future,” Strong said. With uncertainty over the fixes needed for the 737 Max along with software updates, training, operations manuals and so on, “the implementation of any kind of remedy is likely to be longer and be more measured than [just fixing] the mechanical problems.”
In an open letter on Boeing’s website, CEO Dennis Muilenburg wrote that the company intends to release a software update for the aircraft “soon,” along with related pilot training, to address concerns about the plane’s safety. The software fix itself could cost billions, according to a Bloomberg report. The same article cited Canaccord Genuity analyst Ken Herbert as saying that each month the Max 737 remains grounded will cost the company approximately $2 billion in lost cash flow.
Boeing’s stock price shed 13% last week as concerns mounted that the company could take a revenue hit of $1.8 billion in the next quarter. Signs of the collateral financial damage of the 737 Max groundings came last week from Air Canada, when it suspended its 2019 financial forecast. Meanwhile, Boeing is continuing production of the plane even as deliveries are temporarily disallowed by the FAA order.
Boeing, of course, would hope “that this is resolved pretty quickly, and that it’s a very specific type of fix that everyone can understand and move on,” said Meyer. The last time the FAA ordered a major, systematic shutdown was for the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 jumbo jets in 1979, he noted. That action came after concerns over a possible design problem following an American Airlines crash that killed 275 people. “In that case, they could pinpoint it to a very specific maintenance problem, which they were able to remedy. Afterwards, even though there was a short-term hit, the aircraft continued to go on for a long while in service.” The DC-10’s last flight was in December 2017 before it was retired.
Airline travelers in the U.S. may not face major disruptions from the groundings of the 737 Max because it accounts for just one percent of global flights. The 737 Max was commercially launched just two years ago, and 371 of them are currently in service. Some airlines, like Southwest, have a much higher concentration of those planes (about 5% of its fleet); American Airlines and United Airlines are two other strong patrons of the aircraft.
“[The 737 Max crashes] will engender a rethinking about aviation safety oversight and regulation worldwide.”— John Strong
To be sure, some airlines have a better safety record than others, irrespective of which aircraft model they patronize. Southwest Airlines, for example, has claimed that it has flown 40,000 flights with the 737 Max without a problem, Oster noted. For airlines, it is important to maintain a public perception of safety, Meyer said, adding that they wouldn’t want their customers asking, “Am I taking a roll of the dice when I book a flight?” However, that is exactly the question that air travelers in the U.S. have been asking following the Ethiopian Airlines crash, he added.
How Effective Is Training?
If a fix involves training pilots to cope with a flaw that occurs, say, once every 10,000 takeoffs, pilots would find it difficult to practice for that eventuality, Meyer noted. “It is difficult to train [people] for potential disaster situations,” he said.
However experienced a pilot is, their response in a panic situation when a flight is taking off is typically to switch into a mode called auto reflex, Meyer pointed out. “It is very difficult to all of a sudden remember that little clause that was in some manual that you got a while back.”
The 737 Max fixes cannot be done in a hurry. “How to solve the immediate problem of what’s going wrong [with the 737 Max], what remedies are required and how long that will take is becoming a bigger and bigger question,” said Strong. “It’s clear that updates to software systems, changes in pilot displays, changes in operations manuals and additional crew training will take months to roll out across the fleet.” He expected it would take months for simulator programs to be designed and built for different scenarios and rolled out across the training platform worldwide.
Research that Oster and Strong have conducted on air accidents found that safety records vary by the regions where airlines are based. For example, Africa had a safety record that was eight times worse than North America, and Southeast Asia had a safety record that was three-and-a-half times worse, Oster said. “So, there are some other things going on in these places potentially related to pilot training, and potentially related to maintenance issues.”
“[The 737 Max probe] is happening in a perhaps more political environment for aviation safety than has happened in the past.”–Clinton Oster
Focus on Regulators
Civil aviation authorities around the world have typically acted independently, but that may change now, said Strong. He expected “a revisiting of how civil aviation authorities around the world [could] work together to make sure that we’re thinking about safety in a consistent way and in ways that bring everybody on board.” Historically, Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. have taken the lead on matters relating to aviation safety standards, he noted. The 737 Max crashes “will engender a rethinking about aviation safety oversight and regulation worldwide,” he predicted.
Oster noted that while the FAA applies safety standards based on evidence and data, it may face public pressures this time around to raise the bar for airlines. “Once there’s more information on what was really going on [with the 737 Max] and once Boeing makes the [required] changes and fixes, the FAA then has to decide — ‘Is this good enough?’” he said. “The problem [the FAA will] run into is that it may well be good enough from the perspective that they’ve always used in the past. But now, there’s a lot of public pressure. There are a lot of politicians sounding off. It’s happening in a perhaps more political environment for aviation safety than has happened in the past. That will be a challenge for the FAA.”
Fallout continues over a massive college admissions cheating scandal that has involved 50 people, including several well-known executives and two Hollywood actresses.
The case, which U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling called “Operation Varsity Blues,” is the largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice. The case involves several high profile universities, including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and the University of Southern California, among others.
Reaction to the case has been harsh and widespread. Beyond the dark humor and memes skewering actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, who are both charged with felony conspiracy to commit mail fraud and “honest services” fraud, it has also further charged the debate over deeply entrenched wealth and racial disparities in the U.S.
“The case really picks up two themes that I think define public life at the moment: One is a pervasive distrust of elite institutions and the second is a belief, whether people endorse it or not, that money is kind of the universal solvent,” said Wharton legal studies and business ethics professor Julian Jonker. “If you look at the kind of commentary that we’ve seen in the news media and on social media over past day or two, this is really sparking a conversation about whether this is just the tip of the iceberg.”
The parents trying to get their kids into these schools are accused of paying college admissions adviser William Singer around $25 million over seven years starting in 2011. He used some of the money to pay off coaches and standardized-testing officials to rig the process. Singer this week pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges for racketeering and money laundering, as well as obstruction of justice. Several coaches have been fired or put on leave for allegedly taking part in the scams.
Although this mostly involved lower-profile sports such as water polo and crew, the NCAA now says it is also investigating how recruitment was done. Critics are pointing at how wealthy people have for years gamed the system legally to get their kids into elite schools through legacy admissions and large donations.
“There’s a front door through which students come: They show their test scores, they show their ability in other fields of life. There’s a back door through which some wealthy students have been able to come by making a donation to the colleges,” Jonker said, paraphrasing a metaphor used by Singer in his conversations with clients. “Singer was providing a side door for them. The conversation at the moment is really about whether the existence of that side door shows something about the front door.”
“If you look at the kind of commentary that we’ve seen in the news media and on social media over past day or two, this is really sparking a conversation about whether this is just the tip of the iceberg.”–Julian Jonker
Will this case spur changes in the system? Jonker and Shaun Harper, a professor at the University of Southern California’s schools of education and business, who is also executive director of USC’s Race and Equity Center, appeared on the Knowledge@Wharton show on SiriusXM to discuss the intense reactions and potential fallout from the scandal.
Both Jonker and Harper said the scandal is distinctive in that it rolled together so many different legal and ethical violations.
“This particular scandal is really a cocktail of things we have seen happening in other places as perhaps one-offs or we’ve seen one dimension of it — just cheating on tests or gaming the system to admit student-athletes or taking bribes and so on,” said Harper, who is also the co-author of the book Scandals in College Sports. “This one really seems to have brought many of those scandals together in one.”
Jonker added that the case brings up questions about what is the best way for colleges to equitably screen prospective students.
“This raises an interesting conversation about whether standardized test scores are a good heuristic for judging the raw potential of students,” he said. “The pervasive use of tutoring, the ability of wealthy students to take the test repeatedly means they are able to get coached through the system in a way poorer students do not.”
In addition to questions about how to change the admissions process, the case also puts the impacted colleges in the position of figuring out what to do about the students who were admitted on false pretenses, some of whom have since earned their degrees.
“When someone plagiarizes in a thesis or a doctoral dissertation, their degree is rescinded; I think that same standard has to be held for someone who cheated to gain admission,” Harper said. “So for those who have graduated, I feel very strongly their degrees should be rescinded and for those who are currently students, they should be expelled.”
A Crime Against Public Confidence
Both Jonker and Harper felt this was the appropriate action for the universities to take even though it appears that many of the impacted students were unaware of the actions their parents are accused of taking to get them admitted. Officials from two of the affected universities, USC and UCLA, said they plan to review admission decisions in light of the case.
“There’s a certain amount of talk about whether the students are innocent and whether they were complicit in this case, and it does seem for a large number of them, they were simply unknowing,” Jonker said. “This, by the way, might for some people highlight another feature of the more systematic way that the wealthy are able to gain entitlements in the admission process, which is that often students are unaware of the ways in which their background gives them a leg up.”
“There is a way that whiteness becomes systematic in gaming the system like college admissions.”–Shaun Harper
Jonker added that being unaware of how one got into college doesn’t “change the fact that they are undeserving” and that the colleges need to take steps to show that they are admitting students based on their merits – something that is already coming into question as populism grows across the country and in many parts of the world.
“There has been a certain amount of talk about who is the victim of this scam,” he said. “In the first instance, the victims are the students who would have gotten places but for the scam. But really the next victim is public confidence…. What we as people in universities need to do is to really fight for this idea that what we reward is raw talent, perseverance, grit and character, and we do that both at the admissions level and also once the students are here.”
Gaming the System
Another piece to the case that Harper thinks isn’t getting enough attention is that the majority of the key players – both those charged with participating in the scam and those involved generally with the college admissions and athletics recruiting process – are white.
“It is the way that wealth and race co-mingle in America and the disproportionate way in which wealth falls along racial lines. There is a way that whiteness becomes systematic in gaming the system like college admissions,” Harper said. He noted that the problem begins long before children start the college admissions process.
“Our K-12 schools in the U.S. are just about as racially segregated now as they were before the passage of Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, which was supposed to integrate schools,” Harper said. “It’s the way in which, again, race and wealth tend to co-mingle in our country. In other words, wealthy white people get to send their kids to very elite private preparatory schools with lots of resources…. That then becomes a pathway to elite higher education. So it’s a system that continually feeds itself.”
‘Money Will Find a Way’
Harper and Jonker noted that the level of entitlement reflected in the actions of the parents charged in the case – all of whom had the means to put considerable legal resources behind helping their children improve their grades or test scores — sends a damaging message to students struggling to get into college solely on their merits.
“There are thousands of community colleges and thousands of regional state universities that are fairly open access opportunities for folks who want a shot at higher education,” Harper said. “It seems to me that the participating parents didn’t see those as suitable fits for their children; they felt a sense of entitlement to the so-called best institutions. I think there is something about that that is frankly, incredibly racist. I’m not calling the individual people racist, but they do participate in a form of structural racism that is wrapped in white entitlement.”
“Money will find a way. No matter how we set up the system, money will find its way through. How does one begin to prevent that?”–Julian Jonker
Jonker pointed a recent New York Times story that focused on the reactions to the case from a group of students at a predominantly black charter high school in Kansas City, Mo. “You see the sense of despair, given the amount of work and given the obstacles they already face, and seeing people getting a free ride.”
Although the case points to a need for colleges or test prep centers to put certain safeguards in pace, Jonker said it also points to a larger, more systemic problem that’s much harder to tackle.
“Money will find a way. No matter how we set up the system, money will find its way through. How does one begin to prevent that?” Jonker asked. “What we really need is a change in our cultural ethos; as a society we need to see that what’s really important at the end of the day … is that you work for your achievements, and through your achievements show good character.”
Instead, the parents implicated sent the message that “it doesn’t matter what you do, it doesn’t matter how you behave, it doesn’t matter what your goals are. What really matters is what’s in the bank account and we’ll get you whatever you desire,” Jonker said.
Paying the Price
Although the accused also include CEOs and other moguls, Loughlin and Huffman’s acting careers have made them the most public faces of the case. And any attempt at repairing their reputations will take a very long time, noted Wharton marketing professor Americus Reed in a separate interview with Knowledge@Wharton.
“There’s no point in trying to lie or nuance your way out if it,” he said, noting that Singer cooperated with the Justice Department’s investigation and implicated the parents. “They need to validate concerns, show action and control the narrative. Unfortunately, they have probably lawyered up, and the suits are telling them to stay quiet and have their day in court.”
But in this day and age, when consumers are using their smartphones to follow every detail of the case on Twitter, the actresses’ current silence speaks volumes, Reed said.
“You do not have days and weeks to respond to personal brand crises; you have hours,” he said, noting that the actresses could have come out with public apologies, donated the equivalent of the money they are said to have paid out to Singer or presented a concrete plan to right the wrong. “Right now, the media is filling in their silence, and they are being further branded as rich, evil people who carelessly stole from those who didn’t have access to the same resources and privileges.”
“You do not have days and weeks to respond to personal brand crises; you have hours.”–Americus Reed
In an interview following the Sirius XM segment, Jonker said making an effective apology will be tough in this case, in part because it would be difficult — if not impossible — to find and repair the harm done against the students who would have gained admission to the colleges if not for the scam. He noted that it would also be tricky to make amends for the general harm done to the public’s faith in the college admissions system.
“A good apology requires acknowledgment of why exactly the thing one did was wrong and a commitment not to behave in the same way again,” he said. “To be believed, the person making it must be sincere, and that often requires some sort of sacrifice or acceptance of punishment. But the kind of wrongdoing involved here actually makes it difficult to apologize, since it involves insincerity on the part of the wrongdoers.”
Huffman and Loughlin have upcoming TV projects with Netflix and Hallmark Channel, respectively. Huffman had started a parenting website, and Loughlin’s daughter, a social media influencer, had endorsement deals with companies including Amazon, Sephora, Dolce & Gabbana and others, some of which promoted the fact that she was a college student.
“Look for brands to quickly drop these two actresses like hot potatoes,” Reed said. “Because of what I mention above, the two actresses are now radioactive. The brands who drop them will be OK because the news cycle is so fast and currently super chaotic.”
Jonker said the accused parents will need to be at least as convincing in their remorse as former Trump attorney and fixer Michael Cohen, who was recently sentenced to jail time for campaign finance violations, tax fraud, bank fraud and lying to a Senate committee.
“To the extent that people believed his apology, it was because he seemed to undergo a very public conversion and accept the punishment he was receiving,” Jonker said. “So it will be interesting to see what these parents will do to make themselves appear sincere to the watching nation. Unfortunately for them, this time it is not something they can buy.