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In this newsletter:
Benchtest 08.2017, regulation hindering the ease of doing business, regulators putting established service providers’ business in jeopardy and more...

Important notes and reminders

Tax arrears incentive programme extended

The second incentive programme to recover outstanding tax debt commences on 11 September and will run until 11 March 2018. Take note that the Bank of Namibia account number is different from the normal tax account number.

Download the press release from Ministry of Finance, here...


Bank of Namibia VAT account number changes

Take note that the account number for VAT payments was changed as per notice by Bank of Namibia to the Bankers Association of 15 August 2017. It is now 165060.

Download the letter, here...


Is your service provider properly insured?

Service providers to retirement funds should take out sufficient professional indemnity and fidelity insurance cover for the sake of good governance. Trustees are well advised to ascertain that their service provider do in fact have adequate professional indemnity and fidelity insurance cover.

For your convenience find feedback from the service providers we have approached on behalf of our clients, here....


Newsletter


Dear reader

In this newsletter we look at more examples where government policy militates against its own objective of promoting economic development through ever increasing regulation, regulator working across purposes and the ease of doing business as the result declining continuously; we question the reasons for NAMFISA seemingly being on a mission to interfere with the free market system – as it seems the Competition Commission is too, at the same time; we caution trustees to not become too comfortable on our reporting; we suggest that it is high time for the Income Tax Act to be amended with regard to contributions not allowed as a tax deduction; we provide feedback on the annual RFIN conference that took place at Swakopmund in September, we present eye-opening reader’s letters  and in our Benchmark Monthly Performance Review of 31 August 2017 we contemplate on the impact on our financial markets and pension investments of the Fed’s recent announcement of its view on interest rates and bond issues.

The topical articles from various media should not be overlooked – they are carefully selected for the value they add to the management of pension funds and the financial well-being of individuals...

...and make a point of reading what our clients say about us in the ‘Compliments’ section. It should give you a good appreciation of who and what we are!


As always, your comment is welcome, so open a new mail and drop us a note!

Regards

Tilman Friedrich


Tilman Friedrich's Industry Forum

Monthly Review of Portfolio Performance
to 31 August 2017


In August the average prudential balanced portfolio returned 0.85% (July: 3.55%). Top performer is Stanlib (1.50%); while Allan Gray (0.23%) takes the bottom spot. For the 3 month period, EMH takes top spot, outperforming the ‘average’ by roughly 1.10%. On the other end of the scale Allan Gray underperformed the ‘average’ by 0.93%.

Interest rates are on the way up – tighten your belt and reduce your return expectations!

Since the US Fed out the way forward we expect volatility in global financial markets to decline and we expect low real returns on pension portfolios over the next couple of years. We see no opportunity to leverage returns for a better outcome. What is left to us to do, is to reduce one’s return expectations, reduce one’s draw-down rate if one is already in that phase of one’s life and tighten one’s belt.

Read part 6 of the Monthly Review of Portfolio Performance to 31 August 2017 to find out what our investment views are. Download it here...


If government was serious about promoting economic development

If government was serious about promoting economic development in Namibia it should make every effort to reduce bureaucracy and streamline regulation throughout the government agency web. Unfortunately we are currently moving into the opposite direction where more and more regulators are created and where each regulator seems to be intent on establishing its authority through the tightening of bureaucracy. For the purpose of this column we consider retirement funds to be part of the business infrastructure of the country. The following points in case reflect a regulatory development that undermines the desire to improve the ease of doing business in Namibia.

At the recent client functions RFS and the Benchmark Retirement Fund hosted, Glenn Silverman made reference to this very concern of ours that it becomes ever more difficult to do business in Namibia, with an overwhelming proliferation of regulation, to my mind inappropriate for a developing country. In a contribution published in local media, where he suggests “…Unemployment, and its related cousin poverty, are two areas that must be given the highest priority by the governments of SA, and Namibia. All other priorities should be subservient to these, with creative measures from all sources sought to deal with both.

'Talk is cheap' but action is now needed. A collaborative, well-thought out, inclusive and well-communicated strategy is required. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the case at present in either country, with more focus seemingly being placed on the past than on the future.

Size matters. As a small country, Namibia needs a strategy to position itself relative to SA, and others in Africa. The lesson of tiny Mauritius provides some useful lessons and guidance. Competitive advantage can be created in the ease of investment and doing business, in lower taxes, in less, less complex and more supportive legislation, along with a supportive and consistent policy environment. Utilizing a country’s geography to best advantage, is sensible too….”   

Namibia wants to become an industrialised nation. Mauritius did not need to go that route and prides itself with a per capita GDP of nearly twice ours. Do we have what it needs to become an industrialised nation or are we going to destroy the greatest asset we have in the process – our nature and wide open spaces?

If you missed Glenn Silverman’s report, download it here...


Competition Commission to investigate retirement funds industry

It seems that the Namibian Competition Commission has resolved to join forces with NAMFISA in promoting more competition in the retirement funds industry. Interestingly though, it chose to  bracket out two-thirds of the retirement funds industry comprised of retirement annuity funds and surprise, surprise... the GIPF! In this endeavour, RFS and the only other larger player in the private funds market segment, and RFS and three other larger players in the umbrella fund market segment,  were served with a notice of an investigation by the Namibian Competition Commission into alleged uncompetitive practices in the pension fund service provider industry. It appears that the Competition Commission took its clue for such an investigation from an article in the American Journal of Marketing Research which comments on “The Nature of Commercial Practices in the Namibian Pension Fund Administration Market”. The article is the result of a dissertation by a Namibian in cooperation with the Maastricht School of Management. The study claims that “…the Namibian pension fund administration landscape is highly concentrated with 3 administrative firms controlling 80% of the market...”

If the Namibian retirement fund service provider industry were to be investigated, it is incomprehensible that the investigation will not cover retirement annuity funds and the GIPF who cover two-thirds of the market, with the GIPF of course being by far the largest player in the Namibian retirement funds market. By our estimates retirement annuity funds and the GIPF together control 71% of total assets and 61% of total active membership (excluding pensioners) of the retirement funds industry. RFS in contrast, controls a mere 11% of total assets and 12% of total membership (excluding pensioners) of the retirement funds industry!

Although GIPF may argue that it is administering the government staff in the fund, it is in fact also offering its services to the wider pension funds market and is competing with private pension fund administration companies, particularly in the parastatal pension fund market and it competes with other private funds that offer membership to quasi government employers.

Against this background I would argue that the conclusions reached in this study are factually incorrect since the study excludes the retirement annuity funds, and the GIPF as largest administrator by far. In fact the GIPF’s  disproportionately size in the Namibian financial sector should ring alarm bells at our regulators, as it presents a major systemic risk to the Namibian economy in general and the Namibian financial market specifically. There is no competitor in Namibia that has the resources to meaningfully compete against a GIPF that has the added advantage of employing taxpayers’ moneys to fund its activities.

Considering that the Namibian employer based pension fund market only covers some 200,000 employees, of which roughly one-half is the exclusive domain of the GIPF, the remaining 100,000 employees are covered by 5 administration companies. Considering further that an administration company needs to administer at least 20,000 employees to be viable, Namibia would have 5 administration companies that are all on the border line of not being viable if the total remaining market were to be shared equally between the 5 administrators. This is substantiated by the fact that since Namibia’s independence every time more than 3 administration companies were active in the non-GIPF market, one of them closed down its administration operations sooner or later.


NAMFISA out to promote competition in the retirement funds industry

As commented in the preceding article it is not only the Namibia Competition Commission that has taken up the cause of competition in the retirement funds market, but so has NAMFISA it seems, and established service providers have become the proverbial ‘sausage in the bread roll’. Being a sausage in a bread roll of course is never a good place to be in. The likelihood is that you will be eaten. So instead of just minding your business of being a sausage peacefully, you are now squeezed from two sides that want to ensure that you can and will be eaten and will not be a sausage in due course anymore.
 
In this endeavour, NAMFISA recently issued offsite inspection reports to a number of retirement funds. Besides a few factual findings that funds need to attend to, the common thread in these reports is that service providers have been serving the fund for very long periods. It is alleged that this fact poses a ‘familiarity’ risk to funds and the relevant funds are directed to explain their risk management policy in this regard.

I certainly never heard of ‘familiarity’ as posing a risk to the operational activities of a retirement fund. In fact, we have always been very proud of our long association with most of our clients and believe that our understanding of the business of the participating employer and the fund, our familiarity with the business, has actually mitigated operational risks. First and foremost, our experience and our qualifications have contributed largely to us and our clients appreciating the operational risks of pension fund administration and we make a point of managing these risks based on our familiarity of the risk, and assisting our clients to be appraised of how these risks are managed. Since RFS commenced business, fund structures have become exponentially more complex. The risks this complexity presents to a fund every time it changes its service providers are enormous and probably much greater than the perceived risk of trustees having become familiar with their service providers on a personal level. It appears that this is how NAMFISA interprets ‘familiarity’ – i.e. the trustees know their service providers on a personal level and hence they are less inclined to objectively assess the service provided by the service provider, or am I missing the true risk that NAMFISA has identified?

Familiarity on a personal, rather than operational level is typically dealt with in trustees’ code of conduct. To remain objective and avoid having their objectivity fettered as the result of personal or family relationships, most codes of conduct require a trustee to recognise such relationship and to avoid this fettering his or her decisions. Up to now, this was the thrust of codes of conduct and the general understanding of a fiduciary’s independence. In fact I am not aware of any official pronouncement by NAMFISA or any other pensions regulator that aims to encourage service provider rotation for the sake of avoiding too close personal relationships developing over time. The closest pronouncement by NAMFISA is draft General Statement 9.8  to be issued under the FIM Act once this become law. This statement however, deals with ‘independence’ and mainly applies to trustees and statutory appointments by pension funds such as auditors and actuaries. These appointments have a statutory purpose that goes beyond the requirements of the client fund that requires independence of the party they are reporting on. However, even as far as statutory appointments go, it has only quite recently become  a topical issue in the audit profession whether or not there should be compulsory rotation of firms that provide such statutory service.


Of course the typical layman trustee will be intimidated by NAMFISA’s directive to review the manner in which this new version of ‘familiarity risk’ is managed and mitigated, and may just take the easy way out by firing their long standing service providers for the sake of being able to tell NAMFISA – “yes we fired the service providers as you required!” – without due consideration of the genuine risks of doing so!

Is this what NAMFISA wants to achieve? I do not believe so but, this will be the reality and NAMFISA will not take the blame for any ill-considered decision that may prove to have been very costly to the fund and its members!


So trustees be cautioned. Before you take a decision on the basis of the recent NAMFISA off-site inspection feedback, make sure that you obtain professional and independent advice by someone who is not in the industry but understands the industry! Personally I am not sure there is someone like this around because the moment you are out of our industry you lose insight and expertise very, very rapidly! And, trustees please take note – I do not have a hidden agenda, I do have a very personal interest in this matter!

Ever heard of the ‘comfort in a service provider’ risk?

Never heard of this risk? Read on and I will explain!

Talking about ‘familiarity risk’ in the foregoing commentary - from our own experience I believe there is another risk that trustees need to consider seriously – call it ‘familiarity risk’ for the lack of a better description and for reason of its close relationship with the ‘familiarity risk’ now launched by NAMFISA, but do keep on reading because it is close to my heart and it does concern me!

As a new kid on the block in 1999 when RFS was founded, most funds we took on were actually taken over from another administrator. At the time, many trustees were sick and tired of poor service, poor turnaround times, poor data quality, etc. and were anxious to get out of the claws of their administrator. The fact that we have been so successful undeniably speaks for a reputation we developed in the market. Key to our success I believe has been our expertise and experience, our focus on fund administration and our reporting. In many instances it took us years to sort out the mess we inherited, but we did. Our reporting was designed to support our efforts of implementing and maintaining due risk management and governance for our funds and for boards of trustees who were mostly comprised of layman trustees with very little exposure to and knowledge of the requirements of risk management and governance.

With many funds having come from a frustrating era with poor or no reporting before appointing RFS, trustees initially keenly followed our reports, questioned, probed and actioned where required. Over the years of our tenure however, we find that trustees in many cases have become so acquainted with our reports and so comfortable that ‘things are running smoothly’ that we are often not provided an opportunity to present our reports anymore! Of course our reports are extensive because they cover everything that is happening in the ‘engine room’ of the fund. Where the oil level is low, the report would point this out. Where a gear is worn of the report would say so. The meters are all there – it is left to the board to take the readings and make sure they are comfortable with the readings or take corrective action! Much more time it often spent on investments. But which fund takes active investment decisions? None I know of other than perhaps GIPF so, trustees award full discretion and cannot and do not want to intervene. The only active decision is the decision to hire and fire, but how often can you do this and how often can you do this meaningfully and with conviction?

So here is a true risk! Trustees get all information they need but choose to take the information as a given having developed a high level of comfort with their service provider. Shall we coin a new risk – the ‘comfort in a service provider risk’? If this is what NAMFISA had in mind when coining the new ‘familiarity risk’ I would be fully on its side! Who wants to live with this risk – any takers?


The Income Tax Act – time to change

For many years now (since the 2012 tax year) the maximum tax deductible contribution by an employee towards a retirement fund has stagnated at N$ 40,000 per annum, and ever since Act 24 of 1981 was promulgated, no allowance was granted for contributions above foresaid tax deductible limit or for additional voluntary contributions! To make things worse from the taxpayer’s point of view, the increase in the maximum tax deductible contribution by an employee has been adjusted only infrequently since 1981 and has never kept up with inflation.

If it were possible to determine, which it is not, it would certainly be interesting to establish how much of the capital in retirement funds today actually represents member contributions that were never allowed as a tax deduction. My guess is that it will be around 25%. This would mean that one-quarter of all tax deducted by government would in that case be deducted irregularly. From the fund average member point of view, he/she is paying away in unnecessary tax around 5% of retirement capital assuming all one-third of all retirement capital is commuted tax free and further assuming an average rate of tax on the unfairly taxed two-thirds balance at an average rate of tax of 30%.

This can certainly not be considered to be fair towards the taxpayer where fairness is towards the taxpayer is internationally accepted as a key expectation of any tax regime. Despite this fact, government believes that for the tax concessions the Income Tax Act affords, justifies that it considers  ‘captive retirement capital’ as a source of cheap debt funding and for the advancement of its socio-economic development objectives.

It is high time that government recognises its obligation towards the taxpayers from a fairness point of view. It is also high time to adjust the maximum tax deductible contribution the taxpayer may make to a retirement fund. Perhaps NAMFISA as custodian and protector of pension fund members should pursue this leakage of retirement capital to... Government!
 

Pension fund governance - a toolbox for trustees

The following documents can be further adapted with the assistance of RFS.

  • Download the privacy policy here...
  • Download a draft rule dealing with the appointment of the board of trustees here...
  • Download the code of ethics policy here...
  • Download the generic communication policy here...
  • Download the generic risk management policy here...
  • Download the generic service provider self-assessment here...
  • Download the generic conflict-of-interest policy here...
  • Download the generic trustee performance appraisal form here…
  • Download the generic investment policy here...
  • Download the generic trustee code of conduct here...
  • Download the unclaimed benefits policy here...
  • Download the list of fund service providers duly registered by NAMFISA here...
Tilman FriedrichTilman Friedrich is a qualified chartered accountant and a Namibian Certified Financial Planner ® practitioner, specialising in the pensions field. Tilman is co-founder, shareholder and managing director of RFS, retired chairperson, now trustee, of the Benchmark Retirement Fund.
 
Compliment from a principal officer

“Thanks I.. for the great service always. It is highly appreciated that the service we get from RFS is excellent not to mention the turnaround times. It really means a lot to us as a client. Please keep up the good work.”

Read more comments from our clients, here...

The RFIN Conference at the Dome in Swakopmund
A summary by Marthinuz Fabianus


The Social Security Commission (SSC) at last broke its silence on the long oncoming NPF.

The Executive Officer of SSC Ms Milka Mungunda shared some off-the-cuff information on the latest developments regarding the NPF at a well-attended RFIN conference held in Swakopmund recently. Her public comments where followed by a panel discussion on the practical implications of the NPF which again included herself, Mr Marthinuz Fabianus – Deputy MD at Retirement Fund Solutions and also a SSC Board Member representing employers and Ms Sophia Amoo-Chimunda a legal practitioner with vast knowledge of the Namibian pension fund industry. The panel discussion was facilitated by Mr Loth Angula of Riscura.

In her public comments Ms Mungunda indicated that the long oncoming NPF has finally dawned on us. She intimated that a policy document that guides the basis of NPF has been approved by the SSC board and will be submitted to the Ministry of Labour. A team of experts driving the establishment of the NPF is for a change dominated by Namibians with appropriate skills in actuarial science, law and investments. She did not provide any detail of what is to be expected, however there were some intimations that were telling and could be summarised as follows:

  •  SSC is looking at a defined contribution pension fund scheme
  • There are talks of at least two contribution pillars
    • One pillar underpinning contributions towards retirement benefits
    • A second pillar underpinning contributions towards social benefits (death and disability) as well as fund management expenses
    • A possible third pillar which underpins contributions towards a re-distributive element of the NPF
  •  It would seem there is a strong position on exempting existing pension fund arrangements from contributing to the first pillar on retirement funding
  • However, it was also clear that there would be some compulsory contributions most obviously towards the second pillar and the third pillars of the NPF.

From the panel discussion, Ms Mungunda intimated that the NPF is now imminent and may come into operation as soon as 2018. Although this sounded a bit optimistic considering that the process of crafting new legislation can be awfully long, it did provide an indication that the NPF may come into operation possibly in the next 2 years.

It also came out from the panel discussion that SSC will be mandated with the administration of the NPF. It is impossible to speculate on the administrative readiness of SSC to take on the animal the NPF is expected to be. Mr Fabianus raised the point that any employer and employee that would be required to contribute towards retirement savings for the first time would find it very painful. He suggested that consideration be given to phasing in the contributions over a certain period (say 3-5) years to avoid adverse social and financial challenges for employees and employers respectively. Mr Fabianus also pointed out that for too long public institutions like SSC and NAMFISA have not optimally harnessed the information at their respective disposal into meaningful statistics to inform decisions on national projects like the NPF. NAMFISA for example will doubtfully provide any information on contribution and benefit levels of all occupational funds under their regulatory ambit. This would have aided the prognosis of the appropriate level of contributions and benefits a NPF should look at and its eventual viability.  Thankfully, there now seems to be an acceptance that pension fund models dictated by first world bodies like the World Bank and International Labour Organisation (ILO) have no pragmatic place in developing nations like Namibia. Ms Mungunda gave her assurance that there will be wide consultations and input requested from all stakeholders and one can only hope that she did not merely pay lip service to this important factor.

In the final analysis, there is no argument that the introduction of an NPF if crafted on a win-win basis can have positive socio-economic benefits. It remains to be seen however if the reasons that have dogged the failure of previous attempts to introduce the NPF will be successfully overcome this time around.

Marthinuz Fabianus is Deputy Managing Director of Retirement Fund Solutions. He graduated from Namibian University of Science & Technology with a Diploma in Commerce and Bachelors in Business Management. He completed a senior management development programme from University of Stellenbosch and various short courses including a macro-economic policy course which he completed at the International Training Centre of the ILO in Turin, Italy. Marthinuz has 23 years' industry experience.

News from RFS

New appointments

Ashley Thlabanello joined out team during March from Lady Pohamba Hospital and has already endeared himself with his super friendly demeanour to all his colleagues and not doubt to those of our clients he has visited. Ashley is our friendly interface with the outside world in his capacity as company driver responsible for the timely and smooth transition of documents and information between our clients and other stakeholders and the company. We extend a hearty welcome to Ashley and look forward to enjoy his warm-heartedness and effectiveness for many years to come!

Bonita Uris joined us from Old Mutual in April, where she served  in various pensions related positions since 2006. She obtained a B Admin degree from UNAM in 2004 and now takes care of a portfolio of free-standing funds. Her friendliness will undoubtedly serve her well with her clients and take her a long way in her career. We welcome Bonita and look forward to her making her mark in the pensions industry with RFS!

Andrea van Wyk joined us in April as a trainee administrator in the Benchmark department. After she had temped for RFS for a short while, we realised that she had just the right personality and demeanour to fit perfectly into our team and to make in-roads in pension fund administration. We welcome Andrea and wish her well in her future career with RFS.


RFS visits Oude Rus

RFS recently visited Oude Rus Old Age Home in Windhoek to distribute gifts to the elderly.


Above, two elderly residents receive gift packages.


Nobody was excluded. Above, RFS Director Frieda Venter had a chat with staff of the home.


Above, the RFS team on the visit to the home. The visit is an annual highlight on the RFS social responsibility calendar.


Letters from our readers

Where is the pension funds industry heading?

In the previous newsletter I expressed my personal reservations about the future of retirement savings in the light of government increasing the minimum local investment and the impact of this on future investment returns. Here is a letter in a similar vein from a principal officer of a retirement fund that ‘the powers that be’ should not simply ignore.

“I’m also very much concerned regarding the future of pension funds in Namibia, and regulation is not making it easier or perhaps I’m paranoid but the fact that everybody wants something out of the Funds is scary and more than ever should we unite and stand our ground. The bigger part of the annual conference just focused on how the government and entities can get pension fund money for every project that they want, I’m scared, worried to the extent that I even want to quit my current position because I will not be able to tell the members, “your money is gone”, there is nothing!.”

Thank you to the principal officer for raising your concerns through this letter! We would also like to encourage all readers to voice their opinions on pension fund matters so that we can use this newsletter to give at least some publicity to well-founded concern.


Reader’s comment on the Benchtest 07.2017 newsletter

“This newsletter, once again, packed with valuable information. It is a paradise for a trustee and Principal Officer who has no choice but to share this information with colleagues, even with friends. Hence, why I usually make use of Benchtest when compiling member communiques because the information shared with us by RFS is just too valuable not to be shared. Kindly note the feedback regarding NAMFISA’s last meeting held on 28 July 2017 on the proposed amendments to Regulation 29 under the Pension Funds Act (PFA).  Unfortunately, I was not one of the only 3 or 4 pension fund representatives.  Thank you Marthinuz for giving us detailed feedback. Take a kit-kat break and start reading...”

Thank you principal officer for your feedback – always good to read how readers receive our newsletters.


Media snippets
(for stakeholders of the retirement funds industry)

Why is it so difficult to pick a winning fund manager?

“Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future success, or so the disclaimer warns. And yet, it arguably remains by far the most important factor many investors consider when they choose a fund manager. Research conducted by Fundhouse shows that of those South African General Equity Funds that managed to outperform over a ten-year period, only one in five (21%) were able to do so over the following five-year period. Twenty-four percent outperformed during the following ten years. The main reason for that (when you go and dig behind it) is change – that the manager or the business or the circumstance that led to this ten-year of out-performance is no longer there. Stats lie. Don’t use past performance alone to select funds…”

Read the full article by Ingé Lamprecht in Moneyweb of 1 August 2017, here...


Your tolerance for investment risk is probably not what you think

“Anybody who has ever been to a financial adviser knows the drill. The adviser begins by asking you to fill out a questionnaire, aimed at getting at a key measure: your appetite for risk. By knowing how much risk you’re able to tolerate, the adviser knows how much you’re willing to lose to get where you want to go. The adviser can then construct a portfolio that reflects your risk tolerance. Pretty simple, no? If only….”

Read the full article by Meir Statman in Wall Street Journal of 10 September 2017, here...


Media snippets
(for investors and business)

The secret dangers of sitting at your desk all day

“Keith Diaz, an assistant professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, and colleagues at five other institutions, somehow managed to convince 7,985 people aged 45 and older to wear an Actical accelerometer which measures physical movement and energy expenditure—on their right hips for more than 10 hours a day over a stretch of at least four days.

After a median four years of post-study follow-up, those in the least sedentary quartile (sitting a mean 649 minutes a day in typically 6.5-minute bouts) had a dramatically lower rate of death from all causes than those in the most sedentary group (835 minutes at rest, in periods of relative motionless averaging just under 20 minutes each).

Not surprisingly, those who were more active also tended to be younger, have less body mass, and have fewer health issues (diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease) in general…”

Read the full article by Clifton Leaf in Fortune of 12 September 2017, here...


JP Morgan slams Bitcoin as a fraud

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said he would fire any employee trading Bitcoin for being “stupid.” The crypto currency “won’t end well,” he told an investor conference in New York on Tuesday, predicting it will eventually blow up. “It’s a fraud” and “worse than tulip bulbs.” If a JPMorgan trader began trading in Bitcoin, he said, “I’d fire them in a second. For two reasons: It’s against our rules, and they’re stupid. And both are dangerous.”

Read the  article by Hugh Son, Hannah Levitt and Brian Louis, in Bloomberg on 13 September 2017, here...


And finally...

Something to smile about

This is from a book called 'Disorder in the American Courts' and are things people actually said in Court, word for word, taken down and now published by Court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place.

ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
WITNESS: Yes.
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget.
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?
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