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29 januari 2015

Ondanks dat buurtcentrum Corrosia op de Markt in Almere Haven op dit moment flink wordt…

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Dutch Eerste Divisie, Almere City FC vs Telstar, Friday, January 30, 2015 2:00 pm ET

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THE HAGUE, January 29, 2015 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ –
THE HAGUE, January 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ –

The Board of Royal Dutch Shell plc (“RDS”)

RDS.A, -3.87%

RDS.B, -3.91%

today announced an interim dividend in respect of the fourth quarter of 2014 of US$0.47 per A ordinary share (“A Share”) and B ordinary share (“B Share”), an increase of US$0.02 on the equivalent US dollar dividend for the same quarter last year.

The Board expects that the first quarter 2015 interim dividend will be US$0.47, equal to the US dollar dividend for the same quarter in the previous year. The first quarter 2015 interim dividend is scheduled to be announced on April 30, 2015.

Details relating to the fourth quarter 2014 interim dividend 

It is expected that cash dividends on the B Shares will be paid via the Dividend Access Mechanism from UK-sourced income of the Shell Group.

    Per ordinary share  Q4 2014
    RDS A Shares (US$)  0.47
    RDS B Shares (US$)  0.47

Cash dividends on A Shares will be paid, by default, in euro, although holders of A Shares will be able to elect to receive dividends in pounds sterling.

Cash dividends on B Shares will be paid, by default, in pounds sterling, although holders of B Shares will be able to elect to receive dividends in euro.

The pounds sterling and euro equivalent dividend payments will be announced on March 6, 2015.

    Per ADS             Q4 2014
    RDS A ADSs (US$)    0.94
    RDS B ADSs (US$)    0.94

Cash dividends on American Depository Shares (“ADSs”) will be paid in US dollars.

ADS stands for an American Depositary Share. ADR stands for an American Depositary Receipt. An ADR is a certificate that evidences ADSs. ADSs are listed on the NYSE under the symbols RDS.A and RDS.B. Each ADS represents two ordinary shares, two A Shares in the case of RDS.A or two B Shares in the case of RDS.B. In many cases the terms ADR and ADS are used interchangeably.

Dividend timetable for the fourth quarter 2014 interim dividend 

Announcement date                                        January 29,    2015
Ex-dividend date RDS A ADSs and RDS B ADSs (Note 1)      February 11,   2015
Ex-dividend date RDS A and RDS B shares (Note 1)         February 12,   2015
Record date                                              February 13,   2015
Closing of currency election (Note 2)                    February 27,   2015
Pounds sterling and euro equivalents announcement date   March 6,       2015
Payment date                                             March 20,      2015

Note 1

The London Stock Exchange and Euronext Amsterdam, with effect from October 6, 2014 reduced the standard settlement cycle in accordance with the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on improving securities settlement in the European Union and on central securities depositories (CSDs) and amending Directive 98/26/EC (the “CSD Regulation”). This CSD Regulation aims to harmonise EU securities settlement cycles towards a T + 2 cycle. As a result, RDS A shares and RDS B shares traded on these markets will now settle one day quicker than the RDS A ADSs and RDS B ADSs traded in the United States. Record dates will not change. The timings of these are detailed above.

Note 2

A different currency election date may apply to shareholders holding shares in a securities account with a bank or financial institution ultimately holding through Euroclear Nederland.  Please contact your broker, financial intermediary, bank or financial institution where you hold your securities account for the election deadline that applies.

Taxation cash dividends 

Cash dividends on A Shares will be subject to the deduction of Netherlands dividend withholding tax at the rate of 15%, which may be reduced in certain circumstances. Provided certain conditions are met, shareholders in receipt of A Share cash dividends may also be entitled to a non-payable dividend tax credit in the United Kingdom.

Shareholders resident in the United Kingdom, receiving cash dividends on B Shares through the Dividend Access Mechanism, are entitled to a tax credit. This tax credit is not repayable. Non-residents may also be entitled to a tax credit, if double tax arrangements between the United Kingdom and their country of residence so provide, or if they are eligible for relief given to non-residents with certain special connections with the United Kingdom or to nationals of states in the European Economic Area.

The amount of tax credit is 10/90ths of the cash dividend, the tax credit referable to the fourth quarter 2014 interim dividend of US$0.47 is US$0.05 per ordinary share and the dividend and tax credit together amount to US$0.52. The pounds sterling and euro equivalents will be announced on March 6, 2015.

Dividend reinvestment plan 

Equiniti and ABN AMRO Bank N.V. each have established a dividend reinvestment facility which enables RDS shareholders to elect to have their dividend payments used to purchase RDS shares of the same class as those already held by them. The dividend reinvestment plans (the “DRIPs”) are provided by ABN AMRO Bank N.V. in respect of shares held through Euroclear Nederland and by Equiniti in respect of all other shares (but not ADSs). DRIPs for the ADSs (both Class A ADSs and Class B ADSs) traded on the NYSE are available through The Bank of New York Mellon.

Enquiries about the DRIPs, including how to elect to participate and information about the reinvestment mechanisms under the respective plans should, in the case of shareholders holding through Euroclear Nederland, be directed to their bank or broker and in the case of all other shareholders (other than holders of ADSs) to Equiniti. Enquiries relating to the DRIPs for ADSs (both Class A ADSs and Class B ADSs) should be made to The Bank of New York Mellon.


The companies in which Royal Dutch Shell plc directly and indirectly owns investments are separate entities. In this release “Shell”, “Shell group” and “Royal Dutch Shell” are sometimes used for convenience where references are made to Royal Dutch Shell plc and its subsidiaries in general. Likewise, the words “we”, “us” and “our” are also used to refer to subsidiaries in general or to those who work for them. These expressions are also used where no useful purpose is served by identifying the particular company or companies. “Subsidiaries”, “Shell subsidiaries” and “Shell companies” as used in this release refer to companies over which Royal Dutch Shell plc  either directly or indirectly has control. Companies over which Shell has joint control are generally referred to “joint ventures” and companies over which Shell has significant influence but neither control nor joint control are referred to as “associates”. In this release, joint ventures and associates may also be referred to as “equity-accounted investments”. The term “Shell interest” is used for convenience to indicate the direct and/or indirect ownership interest held by Shell in a venture, partnership or company, after exclusion of all third-party interest.

This release contains forward-looking statements concerning the financial condition, results of operations and businesses of Royal Dutch Shell. All statements other than statements of historical fact are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements of future expectations that are based on management’s current expectations and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. Forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements concerning the potential exposure of Royal Dutch Shell to market risks and statements expressing management’s expectations, beliefs, estimates, forecasts, projections and assumptions. These forward-looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “could”, “estimate”, “expect”, “goals”, “intend”, “may”, “objectives”, “outlook”, “plan”, “probably”, “project”, “risks”, “schedule”, “seek”, “should”, “target”, “will” and similar terms and phrases. There are a number of factors that could affect the future operations of Royal Dutch Shell and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements included in this release, including (without limitation): (a) price fluctuations in crude oil and natural gas; (b) changes in demand for Shell’s products; (c) currency fluctuations; (d) drilling and production results; (e) reserves estimates; (f) loss of market share and industry competition; (g) environmental and physical risks; (h) risks associated with the identification of suitable potential acquisition properties and targets, and successful negotiation and completion of such transactions; (i) the risk of doing business in developing countries and countries subject to international sanctions; (j) legislative, fiscal and regulatory developments including regulatory measures addressing climate change; (k) economic and financial market conditions in various countries and regions; (l) political risks, including the risks of expropriation and renegotiation of the terms of contracts with governmental entities, delays or advancements in the approval of projects and delays in the reimbursement for shared costs; and (m) changes in trading conditions. All forward-looking statements contained in this release are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Additional risk factors that may affect future results are contained in Royal Dutch Shell’s 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2013 (available at and ). These risk factors also expressly qualify all forward looking statements contained in this release and should be considered by the reader.  Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of this release, January 29, 2015. Neither Royal Dutch Shell plc nor any of its subsidiaries undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or other information. In light of these risks, results could differ materially from those stated, implied or inferred from the forward-looking statements contained in this release.

We may have used certain terms, such as resources, in this release that United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) strictly prohibits us from including in our filings with the SEC.  U.S. Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in our Form 20-F, File No 1-32575, available on the SEC website . You can also obtain these forms from the SEC by calling 1-800-SEC-0330.


Investor Relations: International +31(0)70-377-4540; North America +1-832-337-2034

Media:International +44(0)207-934-5550; USA +1-713-241-4544

SOURCE Royal Dutch Shell plc

Copyright (C) 2015 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

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There’s no hotel in Raleigh’s Five Points neighborhood, but visitors can rent a spacious room with a bathroom, a double bed and a private entrance in Greg Stebben’s house across the street from Lilly’s Pizza for $80 a night on Airbnb.

Across town, Doris Jurkiewicz, owner of Raleigh’s Oakwood Inn, where the nightly rate is $139–$189, estimates she’s lost 35 to 40 percent of her business over the last two years. She blames that decrease on the emergence of short-term online rental companies like Airbnb.

“It’s becoming very hard for me to survive against the WalMart of bed and breakfasts,” Jurkiewicz says of Airbnb, which globally, offers more rooms for rent than even the biggest hotel chains, such as the Hilton. Many of Jurkiewicz’s neighbors are using the service to rent rooms in their homes.

Like many cities, Raleigh is grappling with how to regulate Airbnb and companies like it. Unlike hotels and traditional bed and breakfasts, Airbnb is unregulated in most places. In Raleigh, Airbnb hosts don’t collect or pay state or local sales tax, or the local hotel occupancy tax, which in Wake County is set at 6 percent. Airbnb rentals aren’t required to get a business license or special-use permit. Nor do they have to submit to health and safety inspections. Hosts don’t even have to tell their neighbors that they’re renting rooms, though the information is publicly available on Airbnb’s website.

With hundreds of rooms for rent in Raleigh, Airbnb, valued at $10 billion, is becoming a major competitor with hotels and traditional lodging services, appealing to tourists and the business community alike. Locally, hotels have not been affected by the rental interloper.

But the service has also met with resistance. A new national group, Neighbors for Overnight Oversight, which has a local chapter in Raleigh, formed last summer. NOO lists no names of neighbors nor organizers on its website, but it is represented by the Results Company, a Raleigh public relations firm. A partner in the firm, Jonathan Felts, formerly served as McCrory’s federal liaison to Congress and as a deputy assistant to President George W. Bush.

Neither NOO nor Felts returned multiple calls and emails from the INDY.

“If the city doesn’t do something about Airbnb, I really don’t know if I can survive,” says Jurkiewicz, who invited Felts to a recent Oakwood neighborhood meeting on NOO’s behalf. (Jurkiewicz says she is not a member of NOO.) “Airbnb way undercuts my price. I am losing my business, my livelihood, my retirement.”

Airbnb’s clash with the city began with Stebben, who owns a house in the Five Points neighborhood. Stebben, a tech journalist, and his wife, Jo Ann, began renting out a spare room on Airbnb this summer, following discussions with the city’s zoning department. “The city said, ‘we don’t know if (Airbnb) is legal or not,’” Stebben says. “And the next thing they said was, ‘We’re not going to go on the website and hunt people down and give them a citation.’”

Stebben says the room has been rented nearly every weekend since he listed it on Airbnb. But in October, the city received an anonymous complaint about the Stebbens using their property to host Airbnb guests. A Raleigh zoning inspector told City Council that local zoning ordinances don’t address the issue of short-term rentals. City Council, realizing it needed more time to evaluate the situation, issued a violation notice to Stebben, but said it wouldn’t levy fines on him until after Jan. 31. City Council granted Stebben an indefinite stay last week, after members unanimously voted to send the issue to the Law and Safety Committee for further study.

Dennis Edwards, President and CEO of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, says the effect of short-term online rental companies on hotels is uncertain. In fact, the numbers don’t reflect any significant negative effect at all.

“The good news is, in 2014 our hotels actually had an incredible year,” Edwards says.

Wake County’s overall hotel occupancy rate of 68 percent is higher than the 2013 national average of 62 percent, according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association. (The national average occupancy rate for 2014 is not yet available).

Wake County hotel occupancy was up 6.7 percent over 2013; occupancy tax collection increased 15.2 percent over the same time period. (In Wake County, a portion of the occupancy tax is used to market Wake County to increase tourism; the rest of it goes into an inter-local fund to pay for projects like the PNC arena, the Convention Center, various sports stadiums and parks and expansions at the Natural Science Museum and the North Carolina Museum of Art.) And the Average Daily Rate—the 2014 average rental income per paid occupied room—was up 5.5 percent

Edwards calls the 2014 numbers “exceptional,” and says they were driven by business and leisure travel, convention meetings and sporting events. However, he says it’s not surprising that the Oakwood Inn, with its limited number of rooms, “saw an impact because it is most similar to what Airbnb would offer.”

Edwards says Airbnb does divert some customers from Raleigh hotels, because customers using the service would otherwise likely stay in them. However, he says he also recognizes the benefits of Airbnb. And, as Raleigh City Council member John Odom noted at a January town hall meeting on the topic, only 900 hotel rooms are available in downtown Raleigh; the Convention Center alone can cater to thousands of people at a time, forcing visitors to stay farther away, in Garner, Cary or Morrisville.

It’s unclear how much of the opposition is real or bluster. Airbnb has been operating since 2011, but only four complaints, one unsubstantiated, have been filed with the city, according to assistant city zoning administrator Robert Pearce.

The outrage is coming primarily from the local chapter of Neighbors for Overnight Oversight—”a coalition of concerned neighbors working to ensure short-term online rental companies operate with proper oversight to keep homes and communities safe,” according to the group’s website. With Felts as its representative, NOO has been attending neighborhood and community meetings, including one in Oakwood.

It’s not clear if NOO is paying The Results Company to advocate against Airbnb, although Jurkiewicz says the two parties had a contract. Nor is it clear who is funding NOO, and how much money it has received.

There is also little to be gleaned from the NOO’s website, though it encourages site visitors to contact the group online if they’ve been “negatively impacted” by short-term online companies. On its blog, the NOO posts news stories and bad publicity about Airbnb from across the country, a similar technique used by critics of the controversial digital taxi services Uber and Lyft.

  • Airbnb host Gregg Stebben in the guest quarters of his home in Raleigh.

City Council’s Law and Public Safety Committee could recommend several options to make Airbnb more palatable to critics.

“I’m very excited to be able to take this into committee and to deal with a very complex problem that I think we can really resolve,” said Mary-Ann Baldwin, the City Council member who oversees the committee. She said has been a proponent of looking at the issue “from a lot of different perspectives.”

For starters, hosts could be required to collect and remit Wake County’s occupancy tax, which Stebben calls a “no brainer.”

Airbnb already has a mechanism in place to collect and remit local taxes, as well as offering insurance protection for hosts. Airbnb guests in Portland and San Francisco currently pay an occupancy tax as part of their reservation fee. Starting in February, Airbnb guests in Amsterdam will pay a tourist tax, and they’ll pay an occupancy tax in San Jose, California.

The committee could also devise an identification system for hosts and guarantee liability coverage for neighbors.

Stebben says he is confident the city will resolve the matter in a way that will allow him to keep hosting guests on Airbnb. “Instead of looking at this as a problem, the city should look at it as an opportunity,” he says. “We could encourage Airbnb to do things that are not just good for Raleigh, but good for all cities.” Stebben says he would have no problem charging a sales or occupancy tax in his room fee, obtaining a special permit or license, submitting to health and safety inspections and compromising with neighbors to keep operating.

“We have the opportunity to keep our branding intact as being a 21st century city of innovation,” says Jeff Tippett, an Airbnb advocate and the founder of Targeted Persuasion, a Raleigh advertising firm. “We can show that we are continuing to look at ways of keeping innovation and entrepreneurship at the forefront. We should be asking, what is the minimum amount of regulation we need right now, because we can always address new issues as they creep up.”

Lynn Minges, CEO of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, which represents 1,700 lodging properties, says the group doesn’t fear competition from short-term online rental companies. Nor does it seek to ban them outright. At a minimum though, she says, hosts should identify themselves and collect sales and occupancy taxes.

“There is a law on the books in North Carolina that requires any entity renting rooms without going through a licensed real estate broker to pay sales and occupancy taxes,” Minges says. “Airbnb isn’t doing that and it’s against the law. I think Airbnb is receptive to (being regulated), we just have to require it.”

It’s likely that in the upcoming legislative session, the General Assembly will pass a law regulating short-term online rental services.

Last November, Minges of the restaurant and lodging association and Jurkiewicz spoke to the joint legislative Revenue Laws and Study Committee, which is reviewing the “sharing economy,” including Uber and Lyft.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Dennis Edwards says there is a movement within the General Assembly to draft a bill to address short-term rentals on the state level, and to instruct cities about their power to regulate them.

“I understand the economic importance to homeowners to rent rooms,” Edwards says. I think we all just want a fair playing field.”


By Franny Badger

If you’re looking for the anonymity of a hotel experience, then an AirBnB could be too invasive for your comfort level. For example, before booking rooms or listing your home as a host, Airbnb customers must register and create a personal profile. That includes taking a picture of your driver’s license and connecting your profile with Gmail or Facebook.

Some hosts ask for information, such as the reason for your visit—understandable since you’ll be sleeping in their home. (Hotels and bed and breakfasts usually don’t require these details.) However, AirBnBs can be a cheaper, cozy alternative. Watch out for minimum stays—some hosts require at least two days—and if you’re concerned about safety, go to the online crime mapper RAIDS ( Plug in the AirBnB address and calculate the chances your car will be where you left it in the morning.

I was a first-time user of AirBnB, and took two of them for a test drive. Here are the results.

Night No. 1: The Lovely Host

For my first stay, I searched for a room that wasn’t too expensive, but not something so cheap that the thought of staying there would make me uncomfortable. I came across a room for roughly $70 in a house relatively close to downtown Raleigh, which was comforting, in case I needed to escape form my stay.

I booked the room a week in advance, and the host who accepted my booking was extremely friendly, which erased some of my concerns about sleeping in a stranger’s house. Throughout the week the host sent me text messages verifying or reminding me of my stay. On the day of my reservation, she let me know she would be out for a few hours and she told me where to find a key so I could check in.

Her spotless house was fairly small, with a living room big enough for just a couch and a coffee table. The kitchen had a fully functioning microwave, refrigerator, and sink, which I had full access to. My room looked exactly as it did online, with a vanity-style dresser and a full-size bed, which was softer than my own. Postcards hung on the wall, serving as a sort of headboard. The hardwood floors were well kept, free of scratches and gouges. Flowers and books had been neatly placed on a desk.

The host arrived. She was very sweet and welcoming, offering me food from her kitchen and fresh linen because I had forgot to bring my own. She even offered to tell her neighbors, who were having a small party, to keep it down if I thought they were getting too loud. I woke up the next day well rested, with all of my belongings where I had left them.

Night No. 2: The Big Bust

The following night I was booked to stay at another house within walking distance of my campus. This house was slightly more expensive than the first, in the $90 range. I also booked this stay a week in advance, and confirmed it with my host.

Yet, unlike my first host, I never received any other communication from my second one. The night of my second stay, I waited on campus for a text from the host. I waited some more. I kept waiting. I texted her and received no immediate reply. Eventually, after three hours of waiting and an hour after I texted her to verify my stay, I received a response letting me know she was home and I could check in.

At this point, I was already in my own bed ready to sleep. I let her know I had found another place to stay, because, well, she took entirely too long to confirm the reservation. She apologized for the miscommunication, which was nice, but if I had been visiting from out of town, it could have been extremely inconvenient.

A senior at William Peace University, Franny Badger is an INDY intern.

This article appeared in print with the headline “Get a room”

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Gris: Time to toot our kazoo

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    Morning Hot Dish: ‘The Power Broker,’ the budget and the never-ending campaign

    Posted by: J. Patrick Coolican

    Updated: January 28, 2015 – 8:57 AM

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    Somehow I got this far in life, a decent portion of it covering politics, without having read “The Power Broker.” Until last night, and the tale of Robert Moses is thus far riveting. This isn’t midcentury New York City, so clearly there’s no Minnesota equivalent, but I’m looking.

    Ricardo Lopez and Pat Condon report on the governor’s $42 billion budget, which mostly goes to schools, pre-K and programs for families but drew immediate criticism from Republicans as throwing more money at the same problems.

    The budget, which sets Dayton’s main priorities for the next two years, would, if approved by the Legislature, amount to a nearly 20 percent increase in total state spending since he took office.

    When coupled with Monday’s proposed gas tax increase and new transportation funding, it’s an ambitious program, making Dayton one of the most unabashedly progressive Democratic governors in the country.

    Among the losers: The Minneapolis Parks Board took a beating for what Dayton explicitly called its obstruction of the Southwest light-rail line to Eden Prairie. And the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities was down on the budget for lack of local government aid.

    Read the whole thing for details and budget docs.

    Abby Simons reports there’s money for the sex offender program.

    Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith will meet with GOP legislative leaders this morning. Closed press. (Really?) Dayton then meets with Xcel Energy CEO Ben Fowke. Later, meetings of the GOP House and Senate caucuses, and DFL House and Senate caucuses. In the evening, Dayton will attend a retirement party honoring Pioneer Press reporter Bill Salisbury. (Congrats, Bill.)

    Smith has a similar day except also at 3:45, she will swear in Adam Duininck as chair of Met Council (390 Robert Street North, Saint Paul).

    Legislative committees start to take up the governor’s budget, and House Commerce will address some interesting gambling bills. Full schedule

    School choice debate: Tim Keller, Institute for Justice, and Steve Kelley, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Wednesday, January 28, 12:15 – 1:15 p.m.; FREE LUNCH. (Alternate debate: Resolved, there is such thing as a free lunch.) University of Minnesota Law School; 229 19th Ave. S., Rm. 50; Minneapolis.

    Tea Party coronary alert: Found: drinks coaster at Amsterdam bar, downtown St. Paul, advertising MNsure. Stick figure and his drink are on fire, with ad copy: “It’s good to have health insurance.” You could argue it’s fiscally prudent because they’re trying to reach younger consumers, who would improve the risk pool and drive down costs. On the other hand, it’s a bar coaster. While we’re talking MNsure, more money for MNsure, Chris Snowbeck reports.

    Sen. Tomassoni in the clear? My blog post on the draft opinion of the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, which says a job isn’t a conflict of interest.

    Star Trib blogger Michael Brodkorb has been blogging about this subject. Check it out. Same with Aaron Brown. (Note to readers: As with events, I’ll sometimes share relevant opinion pieces, but they should be viewed like retweets; they are not endorsements.)

    The Permanent Campaign

    (Occasional reporting on how legislative politics and electoral politics bleed together this year.)

    By most accounts, the Republicans have a livelier ongoing campaign operation than in the past, via the Minnesota Jobs Coalition, the business backed, Republican-aligned group from which Ben Golnik was plucked to head the new House Republican majority caucus. It’s the same group that spent hundreds of thousands last year to flip the House.

    The emails come a few times per week from MJC’s Executive Director John Rouleau, this time Monday about the Dayton transpo plan: “Back To The Drawing Board: Dayton Plan DOA.”

    Here is part of the unsolicited response of DFLer Zach Rodvold, “Who is calling the shots at the (House Republican Campaign Committee?) Asked rhetorically, because I think it’s obvious.” The implication is that the Jobs Coalition is calling the shots.

    This back-and-forth will only get more intense now that the governor’s budget has dropped.

    Crystal ball

    Been meaning to post this: Rep. Joe Atkins, DFL-Inver Grove Heights, a savvy veteran legislator, made some predictions about this session in his newsletter to constituents. Edited for length. Let’s remember to check back in the Spring to see how he did.

    Bipartisanship.  I’m not kidding. College tuition freeze. Transportation funding.  Some, not all. Met Council takes a pounding.  Child care tax credit for middle-income families. E-12 funding increase. Nursing home and caregiver funding increase.  These folks are severely underpaid. Property tax caps. Income tax cut.  Sex offender relocation. Relocating some low-level offenders, but not enough to fully satisfy the federal judge.

    Back to me: What’s missing here? Nothing on Sunday liquor sales.

    Proposal would prohibit permanent deer stands on state lands

    The North

    Our new name, “The North” instead of “Midwest,” made the Wall Street Journal (h/t Ricardo Lopez.)

    Then Chicago and its Tribune turned around and laughed at us about it. Can’t find it, but years ago the New Yorker had a long story about South Dakota’s perennial attempt to become merely, “Dakota.” I like “The North” because it sounds like a David Lynch movie, but generally speaking, there’s something a little weird about someone changing his name, a sign of either corporate machinations (Altria?) or identity crisis (“Flynn” in “Breaking Bad.”)

    Washington and beyond

    Rep. John Kline on the radio, talking K12 education reform.

    Sen. Al Franken pushing Uber again on privacy, Allison Sherry reports.

    Rep. Collin Peterson is running for re-election, Sherry reports.

    AP: Swift backlash and the White House backs off plan to end college savings plans.

    Wis. Gov. Scott Walker is headed to Israel for a trade mission next month, reports the Milwaukee Business Journal. A trade mission.

    Why did Michele Bachmann spend so much in December raising money?

    Interesting Brendan Nyhan analysis matching up 2016 candidates with those who came before. 

    In Politico, an anonymous writer with a letter to the new Saudi King.

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    Article source:

    William “Bill” Ackman, founder and chief executive officer of Pershing Square Capital Management LP.
    Bloomberg News

    Hedge fund activist Bill Ackman is used to calling the shots at the listed companies he frequently targets.

    So there is a certain irony in the fact that it is other hedge funds, he says, who are responsible for driving down the price of shares in his $5.8 billion listed firm, Pershing Square Holdings — a situation he calls a “disappointment.”

    Mr. Ackman, known for among other bets a long-running short position on Herbalife, and holdings in stocks such as Allergan Inc. and Zoetis Inc., raised $2.7 billion from new investors via a listing of the investment vehicle on the Euronext Stock Exchange in Amsterdam last year.

    However, Pershing Square Holdings currently trades at around $24.39 per share. That is some way below its net asset value per share of $26.43 as of Jan. 20. Net asset value per share is a measure of a fund’s assets divided by the number of shares.

    The 8% discount, according to Mr. Ackman, is due to selling by event-driven hedge funds who bought in at the float.

    He says 27% of capital sold at the flotation went to such hedge funds. Their original aim, he says, was to make a quick profit as the shares moved to a premium – i.e. trading above net asset value.

    But wider events took over.

    Having priced the fund’s initial public offering on Sept. 30, he points to the collapse in pharmaceutical giant AbbVie Inc’s deal to buy Shire PLC soon after, which hit the event-driven hedge fund sector hard. Some investors in these funds began asking for their money back.

    “(The) Shire (deal) blew up,” he says, adding that “the market went down 6%, and event-driven investments had a horrible year. And so with big redemptions they’ve been selling a lot of things.”

    He points to €800 million ($904 million) of selling of Pershing Square Holdings’ shares, “almost all of it coming from hedge funds.”

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mr. Ackman, who this week joined LCH Investments NV’s list of the greatest hedge fund managers with net gains of $11.6 billion from his fund since inception, is optimistic the discount won’t last. He predicts that the hedge fund sellers will be picked up by long only funds.

    “Ultimately I expect it to trade at a premium.”

    Article source: