Investment-Grade Intermediate-Term Municipal Bond Etfs

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Municipal bonds are issued by local city and county governments to raise money. They may fund libraries, schools, highway improvements, or sports stadiums.

Some municipal bonds are general obligation (GO) bonds. This means that the issuing government is free to use the money as it sees fit, whether to buy a new police cars or pay janitors at the county hospital.

Other municipal bonds can be used only for a specific purpose. For instance a county could use the funds to build a toll road. The tolls collected from motorists is used to repay bond owners.

Some consider GO bonds safer because the government can pay the required interest out of any money collected, whether taxes or speeding ticket fines. Some consider the other bonds safer. That’s because a municipality’s toll booth may continue to make money even as its property tax base goes downhill.

Historically, municipal bonds have low rates of default. The few cases of prominent muni bond defaults made big news. But the 1983 Washington Public Power Supply System default on bonds used to finance nuclear power plants and the 1994 Orange County California bankruptcy remain exceptions.

The big appeal of municipal bonds is that their interest is tax-free at the federal level. However, because of this feature municipal bonds pay interest rates that on average are lower than corporate bonds.

Therefore many wealthy investors with a high marginal tax rate put all their money into muni bonds to reduce their federal tax burden. Municipal bonds are not as advantageous for investors in lower tax brackets.

They also are not the best investment for tax-sheltered accounts such as conventional or Roth IRAs. That’s because accumulating tax-free income inside a retirement account is a waste of its tax-shelter status.

Interest income from municipal bonds is taxable by cities and states.

There are many thousands of muni bonds to choose from, and they are not easy or convenient to buy even for the wealthy. Bond brokers generally service institutions with millions of dollars to spend.

However, investors can buy shares of the iShares S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Fund: MUB and SPDR Barclay’s Capital Municipal Bond ETF: TFI.

MUB tracks the S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Index.

TFI tracks the Barclay’s Capital Municipal Managed Money Index (ticker: LMMITR).

(AMT stands for Alternative Minimum Tax. So the income from both these ETFs is not taxable by the IRS.)

MUB’s expense ratio is 0.25%. TFI’s is 0.30%.

MUB’s total holdings is 592. TFI’s is 282.

MUB’s average credit rating is AA-. TFI’s is AA2.

Both funds pay dividends monthly.

MUB’s average maturity is 7.93 years. TFI’s is 7.70.

TFI has a slightly higher expense ratio. It also has just half as many holdings, so it’s not as diversified as MUB. Otherwise they have similar characteristics, so it’s not necessary to buy both.

Investors in the highest tax brackets who want to diversify their municipal bond portfolios while receiving monthly checks should consider investing in either MUB or TFI.…

Drug Abuse in South African Crime Statistics

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South African crime statistics have shown that alcoholism and numerous drug abuse have been affiliated the alarming charge of crime and violence in South Africa.

There are numerous predictors of sexual assault. Socio-demographic features, anti-social and suicidal behaviors, substance abuse and psychosocial aspects are a single of the several. There has nonetheless been no distinct homework that regarding many victimization in a neighborhood sample of adolescents in South Africa.

Numerous vital variables truly need to be targeted when assessing the brings about of violence. A single of the most widespread predictors of adolescent violence is their engagement in delinquent and anti-social behaviors. Another characteristic is the impact of close friends who are delinquent and antisocial and starting to be uncovered to these a group boosts the danger of an adolescent finding victimized. A motivated offender is existing and there is an absence of impressive safety of the prospective victim.

Adolescents who spend a wonderful deal of time with delinquent buddies have a higher chance of at the moment currently being victimized than their pals with out possessing this type of close close friends taking into consideration that they will extra frequently be in nearer proximity to motivated perpetrators, with out the powerful guardianship by mom and dad and pals. Moms and fathers who are far more emotionally involved and involved with their young children are inclined to maintain their kids as substantially away from “terrible influences” and possible aggressor and supervise their children’s actions at the identical time lowering their magnetism as targets of violent attacks.

A questionnaire-based mostly investigation by Morojele and Brook (2005) examined the association amongst drug use, peer, parental and environmental parts in predicting numerous violence attacks amongst adolescents in South Africa. Variables assessed had been self, peer and parental drug use self and peer delinquent behaviors parent-boy or lady connection and neighborhood drug availability and violence publicity as a outcome of television. A greater price of victimization was learned in people who generally smoked tobacco and marijuana and consumed alcohol considerably much more generally as in contrast to their non-alcoholic, non-smoking counterparts. Parental cigarette cigarette smoking, alcohol use and parental policies and mom or father-child rapport have been sizeable predictors of many victimizations, with the association in among parental marijuana use and assault approaching South African crime statistics value.

The last south african crime statistics were released in september 2010.

The study’s findings advance the recent state of awareness relating to substance abuse amongst adolescents in South Africa. The use of medicines by men and women in an adolescents’ environment as nicely as the heightened availability of medications also look to be related with an enhanced likelihood of adolescents’ experiences of victimization. Final results of the analyze have implications for prevention strategies addressing violence and victimization in between adolescents in South Africa. Possibly profitable interventions for adolescent victimization should be meant to address certain, loved ones, peer and environmental danger components. Wellness remedy policies and approaches ought to concentrate on minimizing substance use in regular. …

Life in the New World Order – Soul Mates or Cell Mates?

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“The drive of the Rockefellers and their allies is to create a one-world government …. all under their control…. Do I mean conspiracy? Yes I do. I am convinced there is such a plot, international in scope, generations old in planning, and incredibly evil in intent.” – Congressman Larry P. McDonald, 1976

“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!”

Our lives are being directed according to a business plan. The agenda has been laid out over decades and centuries, we are just led to believe it’s happening in real time. There are some very significant dates coming up within the next few short years. Hard to imagine that we are smack dab in the middle of an end-game scenario, with plans coming to fruition that have been laid out and documented since at least the 1920’s and 30’s. Even more incredible, you can literally go back hundreds of years to find out it’s the same basic cast of characters through elite bloodlines responsible for secret societies and shadow governments. Members of this group are said to include such prominent families as the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Morgans, Duponts, as well as presidents, prime ministers and European monarchs.

Using their influence through international organizations such as the World Bank, the IMF, the CFR, the United Nations and NATO, the objective of the internationalists is nothing less than the subjugation of everyone on the planet to a one world government. How long has all this been going on? Without stretching the limits of your indulgence regarding quotations (I’ll do that later), consider these, which, if you disregard the names and dates, could easily have been uttered this morning:

“The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.” – Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli of England 1844

“From the days of Sparticus, Wieskhopf, Karl Marx, Trotsky, Rosa Luxemberg, and Emma Goldman, this world conspiracy has been steadily growing. This conspiracy played a definite recognizable role in the tragedy of the French revolution. It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the 19th century. And now at last this band of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their head and have become the undisputed masters of that enormous empire.”- Winston Churchill London Press l922

” If the people only understood the rank injustice of our money and banking system, there would be a revolution before morning.” – President Andrew Jackson 1829-1837

“The real menace of our republic is this invisible government which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy length over city, state and nation. Like the octopus of real life, it operates under cover of a self created screen….At the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller Standard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as international bankers. The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United …

Role Of Identity In The Australian Criminal Justice System

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Introduction

The are certain linkages that one can make with regard to the criminal justice system and the role identity plays within this system (where age, gender, sexual orientation or social class denote identity). The first link is that one’s identity has a direct effect on the access to resources of power. Also, it is plausible to assume that identity determines one’s punishments and rewards in the criminal justice system. The second aspect about identity is that it highly affects the nature of crime control dispatched upon various groups. Thirdly, these differences in crime control have an overall effect of changing the way of life of respective identities both within and without the criminal justice system. Lastly, it can be assumed that the nature of crime control can reinforce some of the inherent inequalities within society. (Andersen and Patricia, 1998)

The Australian criminal justice systems has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decades. This is because certain blatant cases of discrimination such as discrimination against gender and race have reduced dramatically. However, some institutionalised systems of discrimination still form part of the Australian criminal justice system. Specific social classes, races, sexual orientation receive fairer treatments than others. The essay shall examine the complexities of these identities with regard to the criminal justice system.

How sexual orientation is handled within the Australian criminal justice system

The criminal justice system is perhaps one of the most prominent areas of the Australian society that depicts negative sentiments to gays or lesbians. Statistics conducted on

how social class affects administration of justice by the Gay Men and Lesbians Against Discrimination (GLAD) in Victoria found that approximately eighteen percent of the male  respondents had ever experienced some form of harassment from law enforcement officers. It also found that police had harassed twelve percent of the female participants. Therefore, police officers had harassed thirty percent of the one thousand participants at one time in their lives. This is an alarming rate especially considering the fact that incidences of police harassment among the general public are at a much lower rate. (Baired et al, 1994)

The nature of response to gay related crimes also depicts discrimination. In the year 1999, a survey conducted by the Gay Men Community Action in South Australia found that a whooping forty four percent of gay/lesbian victims never contacted the police when they had been victims of hate crime. The same research also found that forty nine percent of the respondents would not report their cases to the police if the crime under consideration involved sexual issues. The same survey also found that seventy nine percent of the participants (who were all gay/lesbians) felt that police officers had a negative attitude towards homosexuals. These perceptions were not just founded on baseless allegations; it was found that twenty three percent of the homosexuals who had reported their cases to the police received homophobic reactions from them. As if that was not enough, these victims asserted that the same homophobic behaviour was …

The New Dark Ages

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By Delwyn Lounsbury – THE DEFLATION GURU

The real cause of the coming NEW DARK AGES is linked directly to fractional reserve banking causing fiat money inflation and the massive credit inflation of the past 70+ years. The only cure for credit inflation like we have had is a big credit deflation (See <a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link/5405666’);” href=”<a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link/5405666’);” href=”http://www.deflationeconomy.com/austrian-economics.html”>Austrian”>http://www.deflationeconomy.com/austrian-economics.html”>Austrian Economics</a>. Thanks to government protection and encouragement banks were able to lend with only small cash holdings in reserve. In the last decade our government in cahoots with the Federal Reserve Bank required no reserves backing your deposits. None!

One world government coming soon! Not a good thing as it may bring on the NEW DARK AGES. Unfortunately, the Federal Reserve Bank and the other some 110 central banks of the world may be owned by a few impossibly rich families that want you to be their pawns, their serfs. The Anglo financial elite along with their military industrial complex, their crony capitalists and religious (and other) enablers want a “DIRECTED HISTORY” toward Maxism and they have the money to do it. These totalitarian globalist elite plan a socialist Marxist future for the world with themselves as rulers. Their collectivist conspiracy is the biggest story in the whole wide world. It is not being told because the elite own the mainstream press and if it is on the mainstream press it is a smokescreen aimed at taking your freedom and liberty. Remember This!

The Anglo financial power elite (The 1,100 mega rich families that control all the world’s central banks – the BANKSTERS) want a one world government. The elite have been orchestrating a weakening of free market capitalism for possibly the last 300 years to scare and grind the middle class into submission and global governance. The coming economic collapse symptoms started with the dot com mania 2000 peak and will offer one-worldism as the solution.

The GREATER DEPRESSION will last into 2016-2018 and result in a 90 percent drop in most asset prices. Gold may drop in half. Unemployment will probably exceed 35 percent.
This global deflationary depression will be twice as big and twice as long as their 1930’s depression that brought socialist and fascist Franklin Roosevelt into power. Every government regulation and law is a price fix that transfers wealth away from actual producers and Roosevelt was the king of new regulations. Roosevelt’s misguided thinking made that depression last seven years longer than it should have and led America down the road to Keynesian socialism in which most everyone now believes government can micro-manage the economy. It can’t in the long run. When government pays to create jobs, where is the job when the project is done? It is better to let free enterprise create jobs that will last. Isn’t it?

Welcome to an Orwellian “Big Brother” society with the leftists like President Barack Hussein Obama doing the elites wet work. Why do you think Obama, the socialist communist Marxist fascist Nazi, …

Reducing Poverty Through Communication

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It has long been a major principle in developmental terms that social and economic transformation involves the free flow of information as well as ideas to spur economic and innovative thoughts and exchange among peoples in the State.

The free flow and access to information can also create an accountable and transparent society, thereby laying the groundwork for a less corrupt and prosperous society. In Sierra Leone the much-heralded poverty reduction strategy paper [PRSP] has still not got the blessings of the Paris Club.

Though various reasons have been advanced for the failure of the Sierra Leone government to win the approval of 1.7 billion US dollars to sponsor the PRSP – It is widely believe that the issue of corruption and lack of an information Act to ensure accountability may be among the raison d’etre for the refusal of the world’s richest club of donor Nations to sponsor this all important enterprise of reducing poverty in one of the world’s poorest countries.

At present however, a fresh book published by the International Department for International Development, (DFID) United Kingdom, has thrown very important light on the using of; strategic communication to fight poverty through PRS paper with the support of multitudes. In this work, undertaken by both the World Bank and department for international development DFID. Countries such as Ghana et al are singled out and used as a classical example on how communication can be used to fight poverty in third world countries.

Although just five years old the PRSP approach is now established as the country level framework for the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s), set by the United Nations. This World Bank communications experts believe can only be achieved through strategic communications. The authors start by referring to strategic communications as much more than merely informing citizens, rather they say it is the active seeking of the perspectives and contributions of citizens so that they can help to shape policy. They added that it is also a means of ensuring that mechanisms are in place for a two-way flow of information and ideas between the government and the citizenry as well as a Nation’s deliberate effort to build consensus amongst stakeholders about the development strategy the Nation wishes to pursue.

The experts also pointed out in the book that done properly, strategic communications can contribute to PRSP in the following ways: It creates open and inclusive national discourse on policy option, which leads to greater and increased participation in policy making by significant segment of the population. The result is increased support and commitment for the agreed strategy. Secondly, on the other hand it whips up expectation, giving the people a serious sense of what policy options can realistically deliver. It helps to promote transparency and accountability, by full airing and presentation of the facts, citizens can hold the government accountable. Fourthly, it also establishes and maintains momentum because of the engagement of multitudes. Fifthly, it creates or reopens a public culture of citizen …

Tamil Nadu – A Big Contender for Attracting Investment in India

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Tamil Nadu is an Indian state that lies in the southern part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by Pondicherry, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.  It’s the fifth largest contributor to India’s GDP and the most urbanized state in the country with the highest number of Business enterprises, pegged at 10.56%, compared to the overall population share of 6%.

With Chennai as its capital, Tamil Nadu is the seventh most populous state in India and has the fifth largest economy and the third highest Human Development Index out of 29 Indian states. The state’s economic growth was slowed by the Fiscal crisis that peaked in 1999/2000 forcing its government to implement wide ranging financial and structural reforms. The reform program impacted the economy with a good fiscal adjustment. The five policy notes from the government span fiscal reform and sustainability, improving investment environment, agricultural development, governance challenges and the state’s poverty profile.

The Tamil Nadu Industrial Investment Corporation (TIIC) has proposed to advance nearly Rs.13, 000 million for promotion of industries in the state in the fiscal year 2010/2011. Out of this, about Rs. 1000 million is earmarked for advancing loans for the existing industries and for starting new ventures.  The TIIC earned a profit of about Rs.400 million after a gap of several years for the year 2009/2010 fiscal calendar. The organization has been providing financial assistance at competitive interest rates for the setting up of new industrial units, expansion, modernization and the diversification of existing industries. The State plans to announce a new mining policy, in line with the national policy, this year.

The state’s GDP at 2007 stood at Rs. 2,750,000 million in current prices, a corresponding GDP growth rate of 12.1% for that period. The economy is split into: the services industry, contributing 45% of its economic activities; manufacturing, comprising 34%, and the agricultural sector taking 21%. However, the state’s government has been the major investor in the state with a total of 51% total investments followed by private investors at 29.9% and foreign investments at 14.9%. The city has about 110 industrial parks and efficient infrastructure that has been behind recent major economic successes. The Tamil Nadu Investors Association aims at educating small investors, protecting their interests and promoting investments and entrepreneurship in the state.

Major industrial successes in the state include multinationals and big Indian firms located in the region. They include BMW, Ford, Renault-Nissan, Caterpillar, Hyundai, Mitsubishi Motors, Ashok Leyland, Hindustan, TVS Motors, and Royal Enfield etc in the automobile industry while telecommunication giants include Nokia, Flextronics, Motorola, Sony-Ericsson, Foxconn, Samsung, Cisco, Dell and Moser Baer.…

Kendall Myers: Life in Prison for Cuban Spy

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A judge of the U.S. District Court handed down sentences for Kendall and Gwendolyn Myers, a married American couple that were spy’s for Cuba. Kendall Myers is the son of a heart surgeon, grandson of the National Geographic Society’s President and great grandson of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. Myers was born into a family of great riches and opportunity, went to college at Brown University and earned a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University.

In 1978 Kendall visited Cuba for two weeks and was soon recruited by a Cuban intelligence agent. He spied for 30 years from his jobs inside the State Department. He first worked at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute and later at the department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research. In 1985, he received a “top secret” security clearance giving him a right of entry to confidential information every day. U.S. investigators were made aware of the existence of a Cuban spy in 2006. The FBI tracked down Myers, then launched a sting operation that brought the couple down.

The two were arrested in June 2009 after meeting several times with an undercover FBI agent to whom they disclosed their actions for Cuba. Those meetings were caught on audio and video tape. Myers told the undercover FBI agent he usually took information from the State Department by committing to memory or writing down observations, and in some circumstances he actually took classified documents home. Gwendolyn Myers said she would process the information to be delivered to their Cuban spy intelligence handlers.

Last November Kendall Myers, 73, and his wife Gwendolyn Myers, 72, pleaded guilty to spying for Cuba. Myers was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole, his wife got a sentence of more than six and a half years minus the 14 months she already has served. As part of their sentence the couple also agreed to pay back to the government more than $1.7 million, which was Myer’s estimated salary over the years while working for the U.S. government.…

"Espionage Management" Part 2. Mikhail Kryzhanovsky, KGB and CIA

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Special tools

3.1 Surveillance

  Actual espionage is not what you see in the movies and you have absolutely no chance of evasion if a real professional surveillance crew is following you. Why? Because they use multiple methods and mixed methods.

I. Physical surveillance.

3.1.1 Methods

1. “One line” – officers follow the object forming a line behind him and passing him one by one.
2. “Two lines” – officers form two lines on both sides of the street.
3. “Circle” – officers block the area and start searching (used in case they lose the object).
4. “Fork” – one officer (a car) moves in front of the object, another one — behind, other officers (cars) move along parallel streets.
5. “Box” – used when the object enters supermarket, hotel, restaurant. One or two officers follow the object, the others wait for him at the exits.
6. “Demonstration” – officers demonstrate their presence to press the object and lower his activity.
7. “Provocation” – officers attack the object, beat him, steal (secret) documents. Often used to lower his activity if he’s trying to play James Bond.
8. “Outstrip” – officers do not follow the object because they know exactly where he’s going.
9. “Football” – officers pass the object to each other (car — a group — bicyclist — car…)
10. “Movie” – the crew watches the object in stages: first day — to the subway only, second day — from subway to his office, etc. (used abroad). The crew has to have a female member if they are watching a woman (she could use the ladies room for a secret meeting) and members of various ethnicities (white, black, Latino) because the object could go to a specific ethnic area.

3.1.2 If you’re the object and you’ve noticed surveillance:

Don’t rush, move at the same speed.
Relax at the nearest bar (and relax the crew).
Don’t show how professional you are by trying to disappear, otherwise they could intensify surveillance or even neutralize you (smash your car, beat you up).
Postpone the operation you were engaged in .
Use a “draught” if you need to see your agent no matter what. Change lanes (if you are driving), stop the car and then drive left or right.

If you don’t see surveillance, that means either there’s no surveillance or you’ve failed in counter-surveillance. Discreetly watch the agent who’s coming to meet you and try to detect any possible surveillance; or you may have been “outstripped.”

3.1.3 Surveillance crew mistakes:

The same crew follows the object all day long.
The object “rules” the crew and calculates it (he moves faster — the crew moves faster).
A crew member is too noticeable (unusual dress, haircut, disabled parts of the body, too fat or too skinny, too ugly or too pretty).
The crew starts to search possible hiding places for espionage evidence right after the object leaves (and he may be watching).
The crew leaves traces after a secret search of the object’s house (office). …

Roundtable Debate: UK Public Sector Shared Services – Where Now and Where Next?

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Sharing services has risen up the agendas of the UK’s national and local governments in recent years, propelled by political and financial trends as well as by more concrete factors such as Sir Peter Gershon’s 2004-5 Efficiency Review and Sir David Varney’s report on transformational government. In an attempt to throw some light on recent developments and to examine where shared services may be headed in future, SSON convened a roundtable debate involving a group of practitioners and advisors at local and national level, chaired by SSON’s online editor Jamie Liddell. The results were, indeed, illuminating…

Attending were:

Tony Isaacs Programme Manager Warwickshire Direct Partnership The Warwickshire Direct Partnership is an alliance comprising all six local authorities in the county of Warwickshire: North Warwickshire Borough Council; Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council; Rugby Borough Council; Stratford District Council; Warwick District Council; Warwickshire County Council; and three private-sector partners in Steria, MacFarlane Telesystems and Northgate Information Systems. The partnership includes a shared services programme relating to its CRM [citizen-relationship management] system. For more information see www.thewdp.org.uk

Dominic Swift Head of Shared Services Browne Jacobson Browne Jacobson is one of the largest law firms in the Midlands with offices in Nottingham, Birmingham and London. The firm acts for over 100 local authorities, either directly or through their insurers. It recently published its Shared Services Survey ’08, one of the most comprehensive surveys ever carried out into shared services in the UK. For more information see www.brownejacobson.com

Peter Telford Chief Executive Officer Research Councils UK Shared Services Centre Research Councils UK (RCUK) is a strategic partnership between the seven UK Research Councils. RCUK was established in 2002 to enable the Councils to work together more effectively to enhance the overall impact and effectiveness of their research, training and innovation activities, contributing to the delivery of the Government’s objectives for science and innovation. For more information on the RCUK Shared Services Centre see http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/aboutrcuk/efficiency/sharedservices

Ray Tomkinson Local Government Improvement Specialist and Shared Services Author Ray Tomkinson is the author of Shared Services in Local Government: Improving Service Delivery (Gower, 2007). Ray managed the Welland Partnership shared services project and currently operates as a consultant.

SSON: Peter, you’re at the head of one of the more prominent national shared services centres [SSCs]. Can you explain a little about the drivers behind the move in your organisation?

Peter Telford: Behind the Research Council’s business case are benefits focusing on what are seen as financial gains which will be passed back to research and the research community, but probably more importantly in the early stages is the feeling that we can secure better effectiveness in business support to that research community by aggregating the seven Research Councils’ services onto one common platform, and transforming them. The business case started with an outline about two years ago. There was a lot of work done on certain parts of the shared service model even before that, but the activity’s really come together in the last two years. The full business …