BIZweek n°291 22 mai 2020
BIZweek n°291 22 mai 2020
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  • Parution : n°291 de 22 mai 2020

  • Périodicité : hebdomadaire

  • Editeur : Capital Publications Ltd

  • Format : (260 x 370) mm

  • Nombre de pages : 8

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VENDREDI 22 MAI 2020 BIZWEEK ÉDITION 291 Through the centuries, the decennial count progressed from in-person collections of handwritten answers to mass mailings of paper questionnaires in 1970. Among other changes along the way  : creation of an electrical punch card tabulator for the 1890 Census and the first use by a government agency of the world’s first modern computer – IBM’s UNIVAC 1 – for the 1950 Census. The Census Bureau has been a leader in using, adapting and developing new technologies but the 2020 Census will be the most sophisticated and high tech yet. America Counts spoke with Robert Colosi, a mathematical statistician in the Census Bureau’s Decennial Statistics Studies Division, about ways technology is revolutionizing the census. He shared four specific changes that have had a major impact on how the Census Bureau counts everyone once, only once, and in the right place. Innovation 1  : Using Satellite Imagery to Check Addresses Before the Census Bureau can count every person in the country, it must first collect addresses for every housing unit. One way the Census Bureau uses this address list is to mail census materials, including invitations to respond online, by phone or by mail. Census Bureau employees used to « canvass » neighborhoods in person, jotting down new addresses and correcting old ones on paper. This long-running operation, known as Address Canvassing, is one of the ways the Census Bureauupdates its Master Address File or MAF. The Census Bureau also works with the United States Postal Service (USPS) to confirmalready existing addresses on file. Address canvassing was costly and time-consuming. Employees traveled a total of 137 million miles toupdate the MAF before the 2010 Census. « The number of miles we traveled was astronomical, » Colosi said. « We’re not going to do that for the 2020 Census. » In 2015, the Census Bureau began using aerial images from a network of satellites. The Census Bureau developed computer software that allows employees in offices to compare satellite images from 2010 to new ones taken in real time. This helps them identify new houses, apartment buildings and other units to verify in the traditional Address Canvassing operation. Thanks to the new In-Office Address Canvassing system, census workers reviewed 100% of alladdresses in the United States for the 2020 Census and validated 65% in the office, removing them from the in-field workload. That means workers needed to canvas fewer neighborhoods in person, saving time and money. Address listers or canvassers hit the streets in August 2019 and completed the operation two months later, on track for the 2020 Census. Innovation 2  : Introducing Online Self- Response The 2020 Census is the first time everyone has the option to respond to the census online as wellas by phone or mail. The Census Bureau has an Internet Self-Response tool designed to make it easy to complete the questionnaire online and keep responses secure. Directions for responding online will be included in letters, postcards and other mailings sent to most homes beginning in mid-March. Every response submitted on the internet is encrypted. That means data are changed into a code that only Census Bureau data analysts can read. Responses travel through a secure cloud computer network and the Census Bureau locks them in a « digital vault ». The Internet Self-Response instrument, the website for completing the census online, is available in English and 12 other languages. Census Bureau employees, called census response representatives willalso provide computers and tablets for access to the Internet Self-Response tool at places like libraries, community centers, health care centers and places of worship. This is particularly helpful in rural and other areas with limited or no internet access. Innovation 3  : Introducing Mobile Devices to Enumeration From collecting census responses and job applications to storing questionnaires, the ACTA PUBLICA UNITED STATES Four Ways New Technology is Revolutionizing the 2020 Census The census began in 1790 with collected information handwritten by U.S. Marshals visiting outposts in every corner of the new nation. Every decade since, the ways the U.S. Census Bureau has tried to meet its goal of counting every person living in the United States have undergone changes as dramatic as the growth of the nation itself Census Bureau has used millions of pieces of paper to gather and file information. Now it relies much more on technology – and much less on paper. In 2020, census takers who go door-to-door to help people respond will collect information on smartphones using a custom application created by the Census Bureau. « The Systems Engineering and Integration Team created 52 systems in our ‘system of systems,’ » Colosi said. « There’s a whole group of systems related to that one contract of enumeration and operations control. All of it was built by Census Bureau staff and contractors. » To protect privacy, we encrypt all data and devices require two-factor authentication to be unlocked. When a device connects to the internet, encrypted data immediately transmits to the Census Bureau’s digital vault – and is no longer on the device. Encrypted data are only stored on the devices until they connect to the internet. Software in the smartphones also provides specific routes for census takers to follow to visit homes. Optimizing routes in this way helps census takers do their jobs more efficiently. If a device is lost or stolen, the Census Bureau will remotely wipe it clean of allapplications and information. Innovation 4  : New Ways to Protect Data The Census Bureau is the leading source of quality data about the nation’s people and economy in its many surveys and programs, including the 2020 Census. Opportunities to share and protect its data continue to grow with technology and innovation, particularly through data mashups. Data mashups are algorithms that combine different data sources to expand graphical understanding of the data but can also find the origin of a particular set of data. To protect against that, the Census Bureau has developed processes to protect its data from people who might try to make such mashups. Its Disclosure Avoidance System helps prevent improper disclosure of data. This addition is one of several advances the Census Bureau has made to safeguard an individual’s data. « When we produced products in the old days, we didn’t have super high-tech and savvy users, » Colosi said. « The idea of computing data mashups to try and combine different data sources to find individual responses was not common. Now it is. » All responses to the 2020 Census are confidential and protected by law. Title 13 of the Federal Code prohibits the Census Bureau from publishing or disclosing any private information, including names, addresses and telephone numbers. « Our cybersecurity meets the latest, highest standards for protecting your information, » Census Bureau Chief Information Officer Kevin Smith said. « We work with industry experts to continually review and refine our approach to make sure we are staying ahead of threats and ensuring quick response. From the moment we collect your responses, our goal — and legal obligation — is to keep them safe. » Census Bureau employees take an oath to keep your answers confidential. Violators faceup to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines. [Source  : United States Census Bureau - 19 May 2020] 4
VENDREDI 22 MAI 2020 BIZWEEK ÉDITION 291 The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System made public its ‘Financial Stability Report’wherein the Federal Reserve Board provides a current assessment of the resilience of the United States’financial system. The course of the pandemic and the size and duration of the resulting economic fallout remain, according to the report, the most significant risks to the economy and financial system. The realization of these risks depends largely on the success of public health measures and other government actions to contain the spread of COVID-19. In addition, the steps households and businesses take to resume economic activity, supported by government efforts and policy actions, may ameliorate the most adverse potential outcomes. Other sets of risks are also inherent. The pandemic could persist for a prolonged period or re-emerge, further delaying the recovery of U.S. economic activity and leading to strains on the financial system that worsen the downturn... Most forecasters expect a sharp contraction in economic output in the United States, for at least the first half of 2020, and a global recession. The expected slowdown could affect the financial system by further weakening the balance sheets of businesses and households, especially those that are already vulnerable. Furthermore, monetary and fiscal policy tools have limited ability to moderate some dimensions of what is fundamentally a public health shock. If the outbreak persists or if there is a second wave of the pandemic, downward pressure on the U.S economy would be sustained, as businesses would remain shuttered and workers that have been laid off would be without normal income for a longer period. A number of the vulnerabilities identified in this report could grow, making them more likely to further amplify negative shocks to the economy. Investor risk appetite and asset prices have declined, as would be expected with such an extreme shock. With a protracted pandemic, risk aversion could increase further. Disturbances from COV- ID-19 have substantially weakened the outlook for profits of nonfinancial businesses. Given the generally high level of leverage in the nonfinancial business sector, financial stress and defaults could become more widespread in a more sustained economic downturn. In addition, a prolonged slowdown could further deteriorate the finances of even high-credit-score households, which could lead to defaults and place financial pressure on banks and other lenders. Broader solvency issues could impair the ability of some financial institutions to lend or induce more selling of assets and redemptions of withdrawable liabilities and financial institutions are at greater risk for adverse operational events in the meantime The pandemic has had significant effects on the operations of a variety of financial firms, leading to an increase in operational risk in the financial system. Financial institutions have been operating based on their business continuity plans while often intermediating very high transaction volumes. Banks’relative success thus far demonstrates the benefits of both having those plans and actively testing them. Nonetheless, banks have been following these plans for longer than anticipated and should continue developing new longer-termplans. Many operational challenges make it harder to operate efficiently or effectively. Absenteeism has increased because of ACTA PUBLICA UNITED STATES OF AMERICA The Federal Reserve Board explains the near-termrisks to its financial system The following analysis of the Federal Reserve Board of the United States of America considers possible interactions of existing vulnerabilities with three broad categories of risk that were raised in discussions with domestic and international policy-makers, academics, community groups, and others  : a prolonged slowdown in U.S economic growth, risksemanating from Europe, and risks originating in China and other Emerging Market Economies (EMEs) Monetary and fiscal policy tools have limited ability to moderate some dimensions of what is fundamentally a public health shock social distancing or illness and also because of competing responsibilities such as childcare. Some large banks have selectively closed branches or opted to alternate branch operating times. Smaller banks and those that operate in rural markets may have less flexibility and could be significantly impaired if a staff member were infected. Many financial infrastructures have switched to operating completely remotely at a time when transaction volumes have often been extremely high. During periods when financial institutions operate remotely or with limited staff, the possibility of operational miscues or other mistakes may increase. For example, remote arrangements have slowed decision-making or approval channels which can result in processing delays and create backlogs due to employees who experience difficulties with internet or other infrastructure issues at home. And financial firms are also more vulnerable to security risks, as more employees work from home. Stressesemanating from Europe pose risks to the United States because of strong transmission channels... European banks play an important role in global financial intermediation and have notable financial and economic linkages with the United States. Over the past few months, many countries in Europe forced nationwide lockdowns to mitigate COVID-19’s spread ; many businesses were ordered to shut down, and residents were required to stay at home for prolonged periods, damping economic activity, which could lead to sizable loan losses in the banking system. In response to these developments, European governments have implemented fiscal policies that have resulted in increased government spending and tax relief. These fiscal policy actions will likely reduce financial stability risks, on balance, in the short run. However, further expansionary policies, possibly due to large-scale reinfections of COVID-19, could have the potential to result in a sizable increase in government debt and a further increase in sovereign risk in the long run. In Italy, for example, additional fiscal measures could have implications for the sustainability of Italian sovereign debt, which is already elevated as a share of output. If debt sustainability were to materially worsen in Italy and in other highly indebted countries, it also could stress European financial institutions and lead to political tensions within the euro area. Such a development could, in turn, affect the U.S economy and the financial system through dollar funding markets, credit exposures, a further deterioration in risk appetite, and trade channels. In addition to the COVID-19-related risks, a no-trade-deal Brexit still poses risks to the European and U.S financial systems. Although the United Kingdom formally left the European Union (EU) in January, it remains under the EU’s trade rules until the end of this year. The failure to reach a final trade agreement could lead to supply chain disruptions in Europe and also could result in losses for European financial institutions. Accordingly, although financial institutions will have had ample time to prepare for Brexit, an unsuccessful trade agreement could lead to strains in global financial markets, resulting in a tightening of U.S financial conditionsand adverse developments in China and other emerging market economies with vulnerable financial systems and strained public finances could also spill over to the United States Because of the size of the economy, prolonged or recurrent periods of markedly depressed economic activity in China due to reinfections of COVID-19 could spill over to U.S and global markets through disruptions in supply chains, a further reduction of risk appetite, more U.S dollar appreciation, and additional declines in commodity prices. In China, the spread of the virus has slowed significantly and, therefore, restrictions on domestic travel and economic activity have in large part been lifted. That said, a sluggish recovery of Chinese domestic demand, a deeper slump in demand from abroad, or renewed efforts to curtail another virus outbreak could put additional pressure on Chinese firms, which are already highly indebted, and could put stress on the vulnerable financial sector. This situation could further strain global financial markets and disrupt regional value chains and exports to China, which could ultimately affect the U.S financial system. Broader stresses in EMEs, in which health-care systems, political institutions, and financial infrastructures are more fragile, could also have repercussions for the United States. In particular, Latin American economies, which have had persistent current account deficits, have already seen significant capital outflows due to a drop in global risk appetite. If the spread of COVID-19 is not mitigated in these countries and authorities find they have limited fiscal capacity to deal with the macroeconomic shock and the health crisis, further deterioration in credit risk or risk appetite could lead to balance of payment crises. For oil exporters, these dynamics could be exacerbated if oil prices remain depressed or fall even further because ofeither weak demand or a resumption of disputes within OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries). Further dollar appreciation due to widespread stresses in EMEs could potentially put additional strains on U.S firms that rely on exports and supply chains for their business operations. Some U.S financial institutions may be directly affected by their exposures to these U.S firms, in addition to the stressed EME firms and sovereigns themselves. 5

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