Why Aren’t Ports Accepting a Ship After the Captain Died at Sea?

Why Aren’t Ports Accepting a Ship After the Captain Died at Sea?

Do you know the flying Dutchman in the 21st century? Hello, this is Reinhard von Hennigs. Force majeure was declared on the container ship, Intel Liberia the other day when the ship is driving or flying over the oceans with no Harbor willing to accept them. This reminds me of the opera, the flying Dutchman.

However, the story is quite different. And now as a result of that, force majeure was declared concerning goods and items shipped on that vessel. The captain died. The ship is subject to Coronavirus infection on many of the crew members. And it's expected that the captain died of Corona, even though the official results are still out. Multiple harbors in the Asian world are not taking this ship in, and now the ship made the decision to go to Italy, to repatriate the dead body of the captain, and then to continue to ship it back over to Asia, hoping to let go of some of their cargo. What does it mean if you're waiting for cargo on that ship? Well, force majeure was declared and as part of that, no Asian ports are accepting the vessel.

So items that are on that ship can not be put into commerce. Therefore, if you're waiting for goods on that ship, you are out of luck. In practical terms, it serves again as one of those many reminders. And also it is a continuation of a couple of other morning musings I had that force majeure clauses are relevant.

They're relevant today. Maybe they're relevant today, more than ever, because what used to be unforeseeable is now a reality. Who would have thought that a ship's captain would die and many, many ports will not allow the ship to enter? Check your force majeure clauses, and make sure that you are covered in transactions like that.

#431, June 2021, force majeure, cargo ship, COVID, contracts, port.

What Does German Purity Laws Dictate Beer Should Consist of?

What Does German Purity Laws Dictate Beer Should Consist of?

What's in a beer? Hello, this is Reinhard von Hennigs. Based on the Bavarian purity law from the year 1487, which was then later adopted in the year 1516, the beer named in the kingdom of Bavaria should only consist of water, barley and hops. So this purity law did not talk about yeast. Probably because the yeast was all over in existence, but nobody even knew said yeast was there.

So therefore we can surely add yeast to the equation, but beer is vegan by definition. I recall a couple of years ago a discussion that certain breweries would add substances from animals to avoid the foaming process and the food watcher knew as the Food Babe, put out a big story that certain animal parts were used in beer and I believe this matter was solved by now.

So the good story is beer is just vegan beer by default. Whether or not you follow the Bavarian rules or not is a different story. In Germany, for example, you cannot use anything else inside and still call it beer. When I was in China, I was full of excitement to taste the beer brewed by a local brewery, which was made after the German rules only to realize that they do both German purity law, as well as a rice-based beer. Interesting taste, I would say, not as bad as expected, but in the end, beer is a vegan product. Why I'm Musing about this today is because I seem to have heard something on the TV the other day, that there's a discussion about vegan beer and whether we can be as rather unusual or not usual, but from my European beer, understanding from the German understanding of the be a purity law, beer should be vegan. And that is the case. Cheers.

#396, April 2021, beer, Germany, Bavaria, China.

Chicago Employers Must Allow Employees Time Off to Get the Vaccine

Chicago Employers Must Allow Employees Time Off to Get the Vaccine 

Do you want to get vaccinated and cannot take time off work? Hello, this is Reinhard von Hennigs. And if you are in the city of Chicago, you may be in luck because the city of Chicago, enacted a Corona vaccine city ordinance, which prohibits companies and individuals from discriminating based on the fact that somebody would like to have a Corona vaccination. This ordinance imposes significant penalties for employers who somewhere block or prevent their teams, their staff to go and get vaccinated.

By the same token, it boils down to what can you, as a company do to make sure that you are not subject to any employment issues related to the vaccine. And here are my quick takeaways. Number one, if there is an opportunity for you to get your team vaccinated, why not get them vaccinated if it gives your organization the ability to operate? Because we may be soon at a time where the fact that somebody is vaccinated would allow or prevent somebody from entering a plane, traveling, doing sales promotion, or whatever it is. Second, New York is a state where there is a four-hour mandatory vacation for our mandatory paid time off for Corona vaccines.

Third of all, there are some side effects discussed as well, and certain companies are implementing rules that if you have side effects related to the COVID vaccine, you may get paid time off as well. So my summary story is to figure out if you are running a company, what other special rules in your jurisdiction?

And just because you are not aware of it yesterday, it does not mean that they may not be in place tomorrow because we all know the law can change fast. And finally, good common sense makes a lot of sense. So if somebody wants to get a vaccine to harass that person is certainly not a good idea. You would not stop somebody from getting the flu shot. Or would you?

#397, April 2021, COVID vaccine, Chicago, time off, New York.

What is the Paris Agreement that President Biden Rejoined on His First Day in Office?

Biden Brings America Back into the Paris Agreement

What was the third executive order president Biden signed yesterday? The third executive order was the exit from the exit. So to say the return to the Paris treaty as indicated by the exit from the Paris treaty in the previous executive order. Now the exit from the exit, does it mean the United States are now immediately part of the Paris accord again? No, it means only that this order authorizes the United States to send a letter to the United nations. After the receipt of the letter, 30 days later, the USA will be back to the Paris treaty of climate change. So in other words, towards the end of February, things are back to where they should be.

That leads to the question. What is the Paris treaty? The Paris treaty is a United nations initiated document. Where all nations, 192 signatory countries of which 189 arrive now, binding members agree to limit the carbon emission in a way that the temperature should not be higher than 2% of pre-industrial levels.

Maybe even trying to cut it down to 1.5%, but most important, the treaty does not tell each nation what to do. It only requires a nation to attempt nationally to follow the principles and to reduce the climate changing emission. What will happen next is really the question in the United States. What laws would be implemented to stick within the 2%, but for now we will see what the other orders have in for us.

#337, January 2021, Joe Biden, Paris Treaty, executive order, carbon emission.

Why Did 700,000 People Leave London in 2020?

Brexit Effect on the Labor Market

Big Ben, the symbol of the United Kingdom! If Big Ben rang every time someone leaves London, then it wouldn’t stop ringing at all. A recent study published shows that in 2020, nearly 700,000 inhabitants of London have left the city. Many of them also left the country. Right now, the current statistic is that about 1.3 million people left the United Kingdom in the wake of Brexit. It is not clear to me how many of these folks leave London and the UK because of Brexit? It is also possible that they could have lost their job because of the coronavirus, or maybe they just feel like other opportunities outside of the UK are more relevant for them.

The downside now is that the labor market in London and the United Kingdom is very complicated.Work is tight and it’s very difficult for employers to find qualified labor. A discussion point I picked up the other day is that there is a serious discussion to reduce the rights of the workers in light of the shortage of workers. I feel like it should be the other way around however. With a shortage of workers, their negotiation power should go up to claim some more benefits. Whether it be Brexit, COVID-19, or whatever else it is, the situation in London and the UK in general is complicated. For you as business people, I’m sure a big question for you is if London is a good place to invest or operate your business. If you see a shortage of labor and a labor market that doesn’t give you enough qualified choices, I’d say for now to stay out of the United Kingdom.

#334, January 2021, London, UK, Brexit, employment, labor market.

The FAAs New Zero Tolerance Policy for Flyers

The FAAs New Zero Tolerance Policy for Flyers

Do you want to pay $35,000? If you fly frequently and you don’t want to pay $35,000 then you better behave. The FAA issued a warning the other day that they are now taking a zero tolerance stance. It makes me wonder what kind tolerance that they had before. The Federal Aviation Administration stated that anyone who interferes with, physically assaults, or threatens to physically assault aircraft crew or anyone else on an aircraft. This is good news for you as a passenger. In other words, if someone else misbehaves, there’s a higher likelihood of them calming down if they’re facing a $35,000 fine.

Interestingly, the FAA stated that this rule will only apply until March 31st, 2021. This makes me wonder if this goes hand and hand with the Presidential inauguration next week. The rule was announced this week and has become effective. Another interesting point is that unruly behavior includes not wearing a mask when directed by the staff. In other words, if you don’t want to wear a mask and don’t want to pay $35,000, do not fly. This is not a do not fly list, it is just a practical approach. If you want to fly, behave and wear a mask, you won’t have to pay a fine.

#333, January 2021, FAA, air travel, masks, fines, Presidential inauguration.

Why Did Deutsche Bank Settle for $125 Million

Why Did Deutsche Bank Settle for $125 Million

Who agreed to settle for $125 million? Deutsche Bank just agreed in a settlement between the Department of Justice as well as the SEC to pay $125 million for irregularities in trading transactions. Because it ended in a settlement, the Depart of Justice will not criminally prosecute key executives. The statement from Deutsche Bank states that while they are not commenting on anything, there were some events that happened between 2008 and 2017 that are now subject to internal scrutiny.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act comes to my mind in regards to this situation. This is also the act that was raised by the US authorities while looking into Deutsche Bank. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act means that activities which are related to bribery can be enforced inside the United States, even if the alleged activity happened outside of the US. My takeaway for businesses is short and sweet. Make sure that your foreign entities which could potentially be doing briberies, are no longer doing briberies. If they are, your US entity could be paying a high price for that. US enforcement of US laws all over the world, is done through the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

#332, January 2021, Deutsche Bank, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, settlement, SEC, Department of Justice.

Distilleries Fined for Making Hand Sanitizer

Distilleries Fined for Making Hand Sanitizer

Would you like to pay a $14,060 fine? Probably now, but a $14,060 fine is being imposed on many distilleries who are creating spirits, not for consumption, but for sanitation purposes. Because of the pandemic, many companies have switched their business model to make products that are more needed during a pandemic. This is partially to stay in business, and partially to do something good for their communities, but also, partially because they had the knowhow. How difficult would it be for a distillery to make hand sanitizer? At least that’s what they thought. Now hundreds, if not thousands of United States based distilleries are being subject to a failure to file certain paperwork with the FDA.

Hand sanitizer is considered to be something that is regulated, therefore they need the proper governmental approval. Many distillery operators didn’t know this and are facing FDA fines. The bad news is that many of those distilleries gave their hand sanitizer away for free as their way to help the community, and now they are being fined for it. To me, punishing them now doesn’t seem fair. I will keep you posted if I see more information on this topic. My takeaway from this is that if you are changing your business model for any reason, make sure that you don’t need any regulatory approval or subject to certain processing applications, or whatever else comes with switching your business model.

#331, January 2021, hand sanitizer, distillery, fine, regulations, business model.

World Bank’s Projection of the 2021 Global Economy

World Bank’s Projection of the 2021 Global Economy

How much will the global economy grow in 2021? The World Bank released its growth estimate of a 4.3% increase for 2021. However, due to the coronavirus, it may be a little lower than this, the world bank indicated. They stated that it could be as low as 1.6%. But ever 1.6% could still be very good comparing where we are right now to where we were last year. I do believe that the number will be positive, especially with the vaccine on the horizon. If the vaccine can offset some of the impacts of the pandemic, we may be in the 1%, 2%, or even 4% range. 

On a side note, there is just too much of an unknown to accurately predict how the economy will turn out. The world bank acknowledges this as well. With personal experience, when I have seen the economy being on hold and the public's fear is high, humans still want to interact, conduct business, and spend money. I still don’t know how effective the vaccine is and how long it’ll take for most people to get it, but once people do start getting the vaccine, the likelihood of people spending more money and conducting more business after is high which will be a boost for the economy for the year to come. What are your projections for the upcoming year? Let me know, I would love to hear from you.

#329, January 2021, World Bank, economy, COVID, business, vaccine.