European markets fall on Greece jitters ahead of IMF payment deadline

first_img whatsapp European markets fall on Greece jitters ahead of IMF payment deadline whatsapp European markets opened lower this morning after last-minute talks between European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras failed to reach a conclusion ahead of a crucial deadline on Friday. The FTSE 100 was down 0.84 per cent in early morning trading, while Germany’s Dax fell 0.68 per cent and France’s Cac 40 was down more than one per cent. The euro, meanwhile, tumbled 0.31 per cent against the dollar to $1.1240.Last night’s talks had looked encouraging after reports suggested Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande had reached an agreement with Tsipras over one of the crisis’ most crucial sticking points – targets for Greece’s primary budget surplus. Greece desperately needs to agree austerity measures with its lenders to unlock a €7.2bn tranche of bailout money ahead of a deadline for €300m of loan repayments to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday. However, there were no signs Tsipras, Dijsselbloem and Juncker had reached an agreement after a private dinner last night. Earlier in the day, Tsipras had called on Greece’s creditors to show “realism” in negotiations. This morning, Tsipras tweeted: “Our proposal continues to be the only realistic and constructive proposal. The discussions will continue.” Tags: Greek debt crisis IMF Emma Haslett Share Show Comments ▼ Read This Next’A Quiet Place Part II’ Sets Pandemic Record in Debut WeekendFamily ProofHiking Gadgets: Amazon Deals Perfect For Your Next AdventureFamily ProofIndian Spiced Vegetable Nuggets: Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofAmazon roars for MGM’s lion, paying $8.45 billion for studio behind JamesFamily ProofHomemade Tomato Soup: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofCheese Crostini: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofWhat is ‘Ranked-Choice Voting,’ the New System for New York’s MayoralFamily ProofChicken Bao: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofYoga for Beginners: 3 Different Types of Yoga You Should TryFamily Proof Thursday 4 June 2015 3:34 amlast_img read more

Within months of birth, some pathogens are detectable in infants’ guts, new research shows

first_img Bacteria have long been the star of microbiome research. But the human gut is not a monolithic place. The human microbiome includes bacteria, certainly, but also viruses — lots and lots of viruses, many of them benign.And a new paper published Wednesday in Nature shows just how quickly viruses colonize a person’s “virome.” Within months of birth, an infant’s gut has already been colonized by two waves of viruses — some of which are linked to the common cold and noroviruses. Health By Kate Sheridan April 15, 2020 Reprints Unlock this article — and get additional analysis of the technologies disrupting health care — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. About the Author Reprints [email protected] GET STARTED RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP via Getty Imagescenter_img General Assignment Reporter Kate covers biotech startups and the venture capital firms that back them. @sheridan_kate Log In | Learn More Within months of birth, some pathogens are detectable in infants’ guts, new research shows What’s included? What is it? Kate Sheridan Tags microbiomeresearchSTAT+last_img read more

Donoher gearing up for first final while Begley ends 13-year wait

first_img WhatsApp Previous articleArrest likely after almost €10,000 of power tools discovered following robberyNext articlePortlaoise Law student to experience the US Justice system this summer Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016. He also missed a number of years with a serious knee injury but is flying now – kicking two great points in the win over Carlow.He said: “The last few years have been very tough, it’s hard on the group.“It was bad there for a few years but in fairness this year we’ve got our act together, the few wins have brought us confidence everyone is looking forward to every game now, the attitude is spot on now pushing forward.“In fairness I would have to thank the Laois County Board they let me stay on under Justin and Barry Solan when they were here just to rehab which took a long time.“John himself was physio at that time, what he did for me went above and beyond what any physio would need to do and only for him I wouldn’t be in this position.”Niall also said that the excitement in his native Courtwood is growing all the time.He said: “Yeah there absolutely going mad for ball out in Courtwood, the amount of text messages I’m after getting in the last few days and the underage teams want you to get out for a visit.“Flags are starting to fly up, there’s a great aul buzz, I was back in Ballybrittas last Sunday night for an hour and there just all mad for Sunday so there’s a great buzz around the place again.”Stradbally’s Colm Begley is getting ready to play in his first Leinster final since 2005.The defender missed the 2007 defeat to Dublin as he had moved Down Under to play Austrlian Football.He said: “The last Leinster Final I played in was in 2005 before I left and the wonder if I would get back there again for another chance was always on my mind, to get a chance to play in Croke Park in a Leinster final is fantastic.“The energy at the moment in the county is lifted every time and every occasion, even if you take the Leinster Final, the situation we’re in, all the games over the last while it’s just built and built, and we owe a lot to the supporters it’s been fantastic.“The occasion is going to be immense and I’m very much looking forward to it.”Like his manager John Sugrue, Begley says he is devastated that captain Stephen Attride will miss out.He said: “I’m devastated for him; the action itself is one of the bravest I’ve seen on a football field.“His more so hoping to get back to be an effect on the playersFrom the outset, straight away he was mentioning I will be back in training as soon as I can when I spoke to him, it just shows the calibre of the person he is, he will have an effect on us, he will lead from off the line.“Stephen Atride would be well respected with regards to how he plays football, he plays it hard and he plays it fair with regards tackling and also the way he attacks the ball has been present throughout his career.“You can see from the reaction on twitter there is huge respect for him throughout the GAA community which I’m glad to see.”Brought to you in association with Jeremiah Grant, Bar and Eatery, Portlaoise Five Laois monuments to receive almost €200,000 in government funding Community WhatsApp New Arles road opens but disquiet over who was invited to official opening Community Brought to you in association with Jeremiah Grant, Bar and Eatery, PortlaoiseNiall Donoher and Colm Begley are well established as two of the senior members of the Laois senior football team.But for Courtwood’s Niall Donoher, this will be his first ever Leinster Final. The forward was no stranger to finals as a juvenile though.In 2003, he was part of the Laois team that won the All-Ireland Minor Football Championship title for the first time since 1997.In 2004, he was part of the minor team which won the Leinster Minor Football Championship.In 2006 and again in 2007, Niall was part of the Laois team that won the Leinster U-21 Football Championship.However, Niall has found success at senior level limited with just this year’s Division 4 title the only thing to his name. Council Pinterest Home Sport GAA Donoher gearing up for first final while Begley ends 13-year wait SportGAAGaelic FootballLaois Senior Football Team TAGSColm BegleyLaois senior footballersLaois v DublinLeinster SFC 2018Leinster SFC Final 2018Niall Donoher RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter Charlie Flanagan on Electric Picnic: ‘I’d ask organisers to consult with community leaders’ Twitter By Alan Hartnett – 22nd June 2018 Facebook Facebook Donoher gearing up for first final while Begley ends 13-year wait Colm Begley and Niall Donoher Pinterestlast_img read more

NK’s U.N. Deputy Ambassador Urges Suspension of Military Drills

first_img SHARE By Daily NK – 2015.01.14 6:13pm News An Myong Hun, North Korea’s deputy ambassador to the U.N., said that “many things will be possible this year on the Korean Peninsula” if Washington agrees to call off its annual joint military exercises with Seoul in exchange for a suspension of nuclear tests by the North.“If this suggestion is carried out, theKorean Peninsula could resolve many of its issues this year,” An announced this at a UN PressConference on Tuesday while offering more explanation on the recent proposal byNorth Korea.“Creating a cooperative atmosphere withgenuine dialogue and eliminating the threat of war by relaxing tensions isimperative,” he went on. “For this to happen, theabsolute first step is to suspend the ROK-U.S. joint military exercises.” Noting that the proposition holds importantpolitical implications he offered, “We are ready to sit down withthe U.S. and offer a detailed explanation of the proposal and its intentions.” This announcement follows a message targeting the U.S.by North Korea on January 9th, stating, “By temporarilysuspending the joint military exercises in South Korea and the surrounding areathis year, the U.S. can contribute to the easing of strained relations on theKorean Peninsula, and we will respond by calling off nuclear tests, about whichthe U.S. has expressed concern, for the time.”In response, Jen Psaki, spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, referred to the proposal as a “veiled threat,” pointing out that another nuclear test would be a violation of theNorth’s obligations under United Nations SecurityCouncil resolutions and a 2005 agreement related to the six-party talks. There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] Facebook Twittercenter_img NK’s U.N. Deputy Ambassador Urges Suspension of Military Drills News News Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak News North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with Chinalast_img read more

Currency Double Standard Riles Residents

first_img SHARE Currency Double Standard Riles Residents By Kang Mi Jin – 2015.04.02 4:34pm North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) North Korean residents in border regionsare voicing discontent about a policy imposed on them that forbids them fromexchanging foreign currencies, namely US dollars or Chinese yuan [RMB]. Especiallyfrustrating is the fact that while the authorities restrict the residents’ use ofoutside currencies, market management flouts this law by accepting vendor fees in RMB. “These days we aren’t allowed to useChinese money at the markets, but that hasn’t stopped the market managementfrom accepting the vendor fees [the regular payments sellers make to marketmanagement in exchange for renting a stall] in Chinese Yuan,” a source fromYangkang Province reported to DailyNK on April 1st. “There is definitely abacklash from residents over this. They demand to know why they are forbiddenfrom using foreign currency while authorities are seemingly exempt from thisregulation. Some have even directed their complaints to the Ministry ofPeople’s Security [MPS] officials patrolling the markets. North Korean authorities began forbiddingthe use of foreign currency in certain parts of border regions at the end oflast year. This move one among many of the perpetual efforts by the authorities to crackdown on residents’ dependency on foreign currency, which skyrocketed after thedisastrous currency redenomination of 2009.   He added that usage of Chinese yuan, highlypreferred by residents for its value over the North Korean won [KPW: Korean People’s Won, in the marketsis an open practice. “Witnessing this injustice, it’s evident that normalpeople are subjected to strict laws, but market management is not,” he said.By way of example, the source introduced a recent incident at Hyesan Market where two vendors set up a displaymarking the price of clothing in RMB. Suddenly, two MPS officials patrollingthe area repossessed the sellers’ money bag after seeing the display, to whichthe merchants responded by screaming in protest at the guards. “The guards took the bag right off one ofthe vendor’s hip to check to whether it contained any foreign currency. Notcontent to stop there, the guard continued to repossess all their goods as well. At that point the vendors suddenly shouted, ‘You can’t punish usat whim like this; if you’re going to enforce a law, make it consistent!’” hesaid, recounting the episode. “People in the area took notice of the situationand grew upset. Sensing this, the security guard changed his mind and told thevendors they could retrieve their money bag at the security office and then heleft in a rush.”    “If you pay in Chinese currency the vendorfee at Hyesan Market for one day is 1 RMB, but if you pay in KPW the fee is1350 won. It’s easy to pay in RMB because it only takes a single bill, but whenyou pay in KPA it takes a 1000 KPW [0.13 USD] note, a 200 KPW [0.03 USD] note, and a 50 KPW [0.006 USD] bill,” heexplained, adding that this inconvenience gives vendors and market managementone thing to agree on or, more accurately, complain about.“We worked hard to earn and save money butwe were all ruined by the currency reforms in 2009. After an experience likethat, who would want to rely on the KPW? These days, even little kids know thatChosun [North Korean] cash is of no value,” he pointed out. Quick to point out that “the securityofficials who tell the traders not to use foreign currency are usually the oneswith the most foreign cash in their pockets,” the source said while residents have largely become resigned to authorities cracking down on people for crimes that theythemselves are guilty of, foreign currency and its broader implications for residents’ lives are considered another matter altogether–a matter warranting backlash when challenged. “The injustices are stacking up,” he concluded.*The contents of this article were broadcast to the North Korean people via Unification Media Group. News News RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORcenter_img NewsEconomy News Kang Mi JinKang Mi JinKang Mi Jin is a North Korean defector turned journalist who fled North Korea in 2009. She has a degree in economics and writes largely on marketization and economy-related issues for Daily NK. Questions about her articles can be directed to [email protected] US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once again Facebook Twitter Proposal to shift “general markets” to “specialized markets” finds little support among N. Korean leaderslast_img read more

Global speculative-grade default rate rises: Moody’s

first_img With bond yields low and rising, what is the price of safety? Keywords Bond A total of 16 Moody’s-rated corporate debt issuers defaulted in the first quarter of 2015, including two energy firms. Of the 16 defaulters, 10 were from the U.S., three were from Europe, and the others were from Latin America. “The stress in the energy sector has been reflected in a number of Moody’s metrics … but other sectors remain calm and the pace of corporate defaults remains low and steady,” says Albert Metz, managing director of Moody’s Credit Policy Research. “Ample liquidity, together with a recovering U.S. economy, will likely contribute to a low default rate in the near future,” he adds. By region, Moody’s expects the default rate to rise to 2.7% in the U.S. and 2.4% in Europe. The U.S. rate ended the first quarter at 1.9%, unchanged from the previous quarter. Whereas, in Europe, the default rate increased to 2.2% from 1.8%. By sector, it sees the metals and mining sector having the highest default rate in the U.S. in the months ahead, and it says the aerospace and defense sector will be hardest hit in Europe in the next 12 months. Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Related news James Langton center_img When bond ratings slip, investors shrug The default rate for speculative securities ticked up in the first quarter of 2015 amid turmoil in the energy sector, Moody’s Investor Services reports. The rating agency says that its trailing 12-month global speculative-grade default rate finished the first quarter of 2015 at 2.3%, up from 2.1% in the fourth quarter of 2014. Moody’s forecasting model now sees the rate rising to 2.6% by the end of the year, which would still be low by historical standards. Catastrophe bond market gains momentum Share this article and your comments with peers on social medialast_img read more

53% of Canadians live paycheque to paycheque

first_imgThe survey found one-fifth of respondents struggling to get by, with 14% reporting a dire financial situation such as filing for bankruptcy or having something sent to collections.Another survey for Motive Financial shows Canadians are more optimistic about their finances. The poll found 51% are saving regularly for vacations, retirement or increased costs of living.The poll found nine of 10 respondents were optimistic about their personal goals and about saving money this year. Consumer debt driven by new mortgages, but credit card debt at six-year low Many Canadians are not prepared for financial emergencies, a survey from Refresh Financial finds.Almost half (49%) of respondents said they have no savings for an emergency, with 53% relying on their next paycheque. More than one-third (35%) would take out a small loan or use a credit card to deal with an emergency. One in five Canadians will need to liquidate an asset to pay for debt: survey Man holding a credit card, typing on laptop, online shopping maximkostenko/123RF Keywords Credit cards Some banks offer reduced credit card interest rate for clients affected by virus Share this article and your comments with peers on social media IE Staff Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Related newslast_img read more

Reappointment of Chief of Defence Force and Chiefs of Service

first_imgReappointment of Chief of Defence Force and Chiefs of Service Minister of Defence Hon Peeni Henare has today announced the reappointment of the Chief of Defence Force and the three Chiefs of Service.“The reappointment of the Chief of Defence Force and the Chiefs of Service provides continuity and stability of leadership to the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) and its work programme,” Peeni Henare said.Chief of Defence Force Air Marshal Kevin Short has been appointed for a further term of two years and ten months to April 2024. Chief of Air Force Air Vice-Marshal Andrew Clark has been appointed for a further term of two years and nine months to June 2024.Chief of Army Major General John Boswell DSD has been appointed for a further term of two years and nine months to June 2024.Chief of Navy Rear Admiral David Proctor has been appointed for a further term of two years and seven months to June 2024. “This team will allow NZDF to focus on supporting the domestic response to COVID-19, and to continue to progress the range of strategic defence objectives. This includes building a diverse succession pipeline for the NZDF’s most senior leadership roles; and contributing to the Government’s defence policy settings.“I congratulate the Chief of Defence Force and the Chiefs of Service on their reappointments.“Their reappointments will ensure that the NZDF has the governance, leadership and culture to deliver its role in line with the Government’s principles and priorities,” Peeni Henare said. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:air force, army, building, coronavirus, covid-19, culture, Defence, defence force, Force, Government, navy, New Zealand, pipelinelast_img read more

United States Targets Foundations Controlled by Iran’s Supreme Leader

first_imgUnited States Targets Foundations Controlled by Iran’s Supreme Leader Today, the United States is imposing sanctions on two organizations controlled by the Supreme Leader of Iran, the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order (EIKO) and Astan Quds Razavi (AQR). While masquerading as charitable organizations, EIKO and AQR control large portions of the Iranian economy, including assets seized from political dissidents and religious minorities, for the benefit of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, his office, and senior Iranian government officials.These entities are being designated pursuant to Executive Order 13876, which targets the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Iranian Supreme Leader’s Office (SLO), and their affiliates. This action follows the Department of the Treasury’s November 2020 designation of the Bonyad Mostazafan, an immense conglomerate controlled by Khamenei with holdings in key sectors of Iran’s economy. Alongside Bonyad Mostazafan and the previously designated IRGC-owned entity, Khatam al-Anbiya, AQR, and EIKO are estimated to control more than half of the Iranian economy.These institutions enable Iran’s corrupt leaders to exploit a system of ownership over a wide range of sectors of Iran’s economy. The United States will continue to target entities and individuals that enrich themselves while claiming to help the Iranian people. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Department of State, Economy, executive order, Government, Iran, Khamenei, religious, sanctions, United Stateslast_img read more

Fiat Chrysler’s rising star in U.S. swept up in criminal probe

first_img For many dealers around the country, it’s just a given that Bigland, a charismatic speaker with chiseled features and a bodybuilder’s frame, pushes hard for results. For them, he’s the tough but fair leader, at once beloved for his cheerleading yet sometimes feared for his ever-escalating demands for higher sales.“Reid will tell you what he expects and there’s no sleight of hand,” said Tom Leonard, co-owner of Fury Motors in South St. Paul, Minnesota. “He gives us a number, and we have to figure out how to hit it.”Disputed salesAutomakers have been leaning on dealers for decades to move cars off their lots, a pressure that has long been accepted as part of the business. It’s not just consumer purchasing at issue. Investors also weigh monthly sales reports closely for signs of how auto companies are faring. But now the government is questioning whether Fiat Chrysler’s tactics have gone too far.Bigland’s signature is displayed on documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission containing some of the disputed sales figures. The monthly sales reports often contain statements from Bigland touting monthly results and a streak of continually rising sales that he said went back to 2010. The sales streak was also highlighted in other filings, including Fiat Chrysler’s 2015 annual report.Federal investigators are eager to determine whether documents were falsified and, if so, whether company officials may have known what they were signing. The investigations follow lawsuits filed this year that allege company officials offered money to dealers to falsify sales.Criminal investigationThe company and Bigland declined, through a spokeswoman, to comment. But in a press conference near Detroit late last month, Marchionne said, “We continue to collaborate with authorities. We inherited a sales-reporting system that goes back to the 1980s. We now have found a way to do it that has absolute integrity.”In July, after Bloomberg News reported a criminal investigation was underway, the automaker restated its monthly sales numbers, noting that out of 7.7 million reported deliveries, only 4,500 vehicles over a six-year time span were in question. And it pointed out that quarterly revenues, based on deliveries from plants to dealers, were not affected by the restatement.Still, the recalculation shortened the automaker’s previously reported sales-growth streak by three years, ending in 2013 rather than 2016. Fiat Chrysler’s shares fell 4.3 per cent the day after it released the revised numbers and an additional 4.8 per cent the following day.The news was a blow to investors because Fiat Chrysler has impressed over the years with its steadily rising sales. The automaker’s monthly results, with their drum-like beat of incremental increases, evoke an earlier era when many U.S. companies engineered their earnings to surpass expectations by pennies to please Wall Street.Investigators are examining whether Fiat Chrysler improperly adjusted monthly numbers to show growth over the prior year, a person familiar with the matter said. They are looking into allegations the company ordered dealers to create false vehicle purchases, some of which were made in the names of friends and relatives of salespeople, including underage family members, the person said.The allegations get even stranger. Investigators are probing calls from Fiat Chrysler officials to dealers saying its department of “unnatural acts” was open for business, the person familiar said. The question is whether those calls had any relationship to allegations that company officials were urging dealers to falsify sales to meet reporting targets, the person said.The Justice Department declined to comment.Cooperation creditTop-ranking auto executives have rarely, if ever, been personally ensnared in their companies’ scandals. In cases brought against General Motors Co. for ignition problems and Toyota Motor Corp. for uncontrolled acceleration, no high-ranking executives have been charged in the U.S. That may not always be the case. The Fiat Chrysler investigation comes nearly one year after the Justice Department put in place a policy requiring that all corporate cases include a plan to charge individuals — a policy triggered by criticism that they weren’t being held accountable even as the businesses paid billions of dollars in fines.“There’s a focus within the Justice Department with holding people responsible for wrongdoing as opposed to just companies,” said Matthew Schwartz, a former federal prosecutor now at Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP in New York who isn’t involved in the Fiat Chrysler matter. Schwartz added that prosecutors require companies to help with cases against employees if they want to earn cooperation credit. “Virtually every corporate investigation DOJ’s doing nowadays has a hard look at any people involved.”‘Unwinding’ salesThe government criminal probe follows two lawsuits filed against Fiat Chrysler earlier this year. In one of the suits, Ed Napleton, who owns more than 50 dealerships in five states, alleges a Fiat Chrysler district manager in June 2015 offered him $20,000 if one of his dealerships falsely reported 40 vehicles as sold. The money would be credited to the dealership’s account as “cooperative advertising support,” the suit alleged.Fiat Chrysler would then mark those same vehicles as unsold at the beginning of the next month, according to the lawsuit. The practice is known as “unwinding” a sale; unwinding is a normal practice for returned cars either when customers change their minds about their purchases or fail to get financing.Fiat Chrysler denied Napleton’s allegations, issuing a statement in January claiming an internal investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing. But in July, the company said that “unwound” sales had not been subtracted from later reports. The subsequent revision shortened to 40 months Fiat Chrysler’s previously reported 75-month record streak of monthly sales growth.Alleged manipulationThe two lawsuits also allege Fiat Chrysler manipulated sales with incentive programs. Under Bigland’s leadership, these have been among the most expensive in the industry. Maserati of Long Island sued the company in July alleging other dealers were given cash incentives to count cars in their demo fleets as sold, even though there was no retail buyer at the time the sales were counted.Interviews with dealers around the country show how such tactics work. With a few days left in June, Jackson, Michigan, dealer Wes Lutz’s Extreme Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep dealership needed to move 10 more cars to hit headquarters’ goal that month of 78 sales. He was highly motivated by the lure of receiving $900 from the automaker for each sale. But if he missed the target in the so-called stair-step program by even one car, he would forfeit his entire $70,200 payout.$5,500 per carTo avoid that happening, Lutz turned to another Fiat Chrysler program that allows dealers to count loaner cars as sold vehicles. Not only was Lutz able to reach his target, he says he received $5,500 per car for placing 10 in his loaner fleet. Those models were then accounted for as sold; Lutz later sold them as used vehicles.“The incentive deals are just a way to move product,” Lutz said last month. “Other carmakers are also doing this in some way.”Paul Walser, who owns dealerships selling Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and other brands in the Minneapolis area, said Bigland “is very focused and cares infinitely about his professional journey.” But Walser thinks incentives programs have gotten out of hand.“Stair steps are the worst thing that has happened to our industry,” he said. “You create a high-pressure environment where people fear for their jobs and dealers fear for their franchise agreements.”Record of successBigland has a long track record of success. In 2011, Marchionne tapped him to run the automaker’s U.S. sales. By then Bigland had already overseen the growth of Canadian market share, which has since increased 41 per cent since Chrysler’s 2009 bankruptcy, putting the company within striking distance of Ford Motor Co. there. After Marchionne put him in charge of U.S. sales, Bigland went on to show what were believed to be 60 straight months of growth before the company revised the streak down in the wake of the Justice investigation. “He has a record of top-level business performance in every job he’s ever had,” said Tom LaSorda, the now-retired CEO of Chrysler LLC. “Reid does drive people to deliver numbers. You’ll never have 100 per cent of people agreeing with a strategy.” COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTS This should’ve been Reid Bigland’s year.Under his leadership, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles outsold its competitors in Canada for the first time in the carmaker’s history, while enjoying an unprecedented streak of rising sales in the U.S. The success earned Bigland a promotion to head Fiat Chrysler’s Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands, making him one of Chairman Sergio Marchionne’s most trusted deputies.Now, Bigland, the 49-year-old head of U.S. sales and chief executive officer of Fiat Chrysler Canada, is at the centre of U.S. criminal and regulatory investigations into whether the company fraudulently hyped its monthly sales numbers, according to people familiar with the matter. The probe has implications that may go far beyond Fiat Chrysler, potentially upending the U.S. auto industry’s way of reporting sales, long designed to showcase them in the most positive light possible. Buy It! Princess Diana’s humble little 1981 Ford Escort is up for auction An engagement gift from Prince Charles, the car is being sold by a Princess Di “superfan” Trending in Canada The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car ever PlayThe Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car everPlay3 common new car problems (and how to prevent them) | Maintenance Advice | Driving.caPlayFinal 5 Minivan Contenders | Driving.caPlay2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge | Ministry of Interior Affairs | Driving.caPlayThe 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a new take on Canada’s fave truck | Driving.caPlayBuying a used Toyota Tundra? Check these 5 things first | Used Truck Advice | Driving.caPlayCanada’s most efficient trucks in 2021 | Driving.caPlay3 ways to make night driving safer and more comfortable | Advice | Driving.caPlayDriving into the Future: Sustainability and Innovation in tomorrow’s cars | Driving.ca virtual panelPlayThese spy shots get us an early glimpse of some future models | Driving.ca RELATED TAGSNewsAlfa Romeo SpAAutomobile ManufacturingBloomberg LPCanadaChrysler Canada Inc.Chrysler Group LLCCivil TrialsConsumer CyclicalsConsumer Products and ServicesCrime and LawDetroitEd NapletonFlexner LLPFord Motor CompanyGeneral Motors CorporationIndustriesLong IslandManufacturing SectorMaserati SpAMatthew SchwartzMichiganMinneapolisMotor Vehicle ManufacturingNew YorkPaul WalserReid BiglandSergio MarchionneSouth St. PaulTom LaSordaTom LeonardToyota Motor CorporationTrialsU.S. Department of JusticeU.S. Securities and Exchange CommissionUnited StatesWall StreetWes Lutz Trending Videos We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information. advertisement ‹ Previous Next › See More Videos Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2 Reid Bigland, head of Dodge Brand and CEO of Chrysler Canada, speaks with the media following the Chrysler press conference to unveil the new Chrysler Dart, at the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Hall in downtown Detroit, Monday, Jan. 9, 2012. last_img read more