Provenance: Baron Corneille Osy de Zegwart (1757–1831); and by descent to Jean Osy de Zegwart (1792– 1866). And by descent to Baron Edouard Osy de Zegwart (1832–1900), governor of Antwerp. And by descent to Baroness Osy de Zegwart and by descent in her family until 2014.
Note: Theodoor Rombouts was the primary exponent of Flemish Caravaggism, a brief but important artistic phenomenon that peaked in the 1620s. Born in Antwerp in 1597, the history and genre painter is best known for his large-scale secular works depicting merry companies, music scenes and card-playing characters in compact compositions. His half-length figures, firmly modelled and always lively, wear theatrical costumes and are set in chiaroscuro lighting typical of the Flemish Caravaggisti, also known as the Antwerp Tenebrosi. The artist began as a pupil of François van Lanckvelt in 1608 and then studied under Abraham Janssens (c.1575–1632), whose influence is evident throughout his career. Sometime after drafting his last will and testament in 1616 Rombouts left for Rome where he quickly embraced the style of Caravaggio (1571–1610) and Bartolomeo Manfredi (1582–1622). There is little known about his time in Italy but the documentation that does exist places the artist in the Roman parish of Sant'Andrea delle Fratte in 1620, which means that Dirck van Baburen (c.1592/93–1624), David de Haen (1585–1622) and Manfredi were living nearby. Enticed by the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Rombouts also probably worked in Florence. Rombouts returned to his native city in 1625; he became a master in the painters' guild and a dean of the guild from 1629 to 1630. In 1627 he married Anna van Thielen, the sister of one of his pupils, flower painter Jan Philip van Thielen (1618–1667). The couple welcomed the birth of their daughter, Anna Maria, the following year. The successful artist painted mostly for private clients and for the open market but he also executed some altarpieces, with most commissions coming from Ghent. Though best known for his work in the Caravaggesque idiom, Rombouts's artistic development after returning to Antwerp followed popular taste. As the fashionable interest in Caravaggism began to wane after 1630, the savvy artist moved in the direction of Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) and Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641), towards greater refinement in his palette and surfaces. According to Leonard J. Slatkes, Rombouts's works were always only superficially Caravaggesque and were more profoundly shaped by the influences of his many Flemish baroque contemporaries.1 Little is known of his Antwerp workshop but his pupils included Nicolaas van Eyck (1617–1679), Jan Philip van Thielen and Paulus Robyns. Near the end of his life he attempted to replicate a house and studio in imitation of Rubens. The costly endeavour apparently incurred heavy debts, which he never had the opportunity to resolve due to his untimely death in 1637. The present work, Card Players in an Interior, belongs among the finest and most representative works of Rombouts's Caravaggesque genre scenes. Recalling Manfredi's merry company pictures, there is a marked sense of monumentality to the five figures that are arranged around a carpeted table, engaged in a game of cards. The individuals are realistic and expressive; the scene appears convincingly spontaneous and natural. Rombouts introduces repoussoir figures that confront the viewer and direct attention to the central bearded figure who stares down at his hand of cards, presumably a self-portrait. Rombouts also included a portrait of his wife, Anna, in the hatted figure seated beside him. The inclusion of self-portraits and portraits of family members was not unusual in Dutch and Flemish genre painting, despite the potentially negative associations of moralising subjects. Card playing was perceived as a time-waster at best and, at worst, was associated with any number of disreputable behaviours. Though no alcohol is depicted, coins are strewn about the table: a reference to the ‘unwholesome' activity of gambling. Portraits of Rombouts, his wife and even his young daughter can be seen in another of his works, The Backgammon Players, at the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh (fig. 1), in which the lavishly dressed soldier bears the artist's likeness. This comparison not only confirms the identities of the Theodoor and Anna in our picture but also helps to date it. The Backgammon Players, painted in 1634, demonstrates Rombouts's move away from Caravaggism towards the prevailing baroque style as it evolved in Antwerp. Unlike our picture, the Raleigh composition is set in a deeper space with vaguely classicising figures. The palette is brighter, the lighting more diffuse and the costumes more sophisticated. The luxurious shimmering fabrics speak of the direct influence of Rubens and Van Dyck. Our Card Players was certainly produced earlier when Rombouts was still painting under the influence of Roman Caravaggism, adeptly applying chiaroscuro and local colour to his rustically expressive scenes.
Note: Matthias Stomer ranks among the most important and prolific Netherlandish masters of the seventeenth century who were active in Italy. This talented painter was among the last of the famed Dutch Caravaggisti. Although Stomer's birthplace cannot be documented with any certainty, the name Stom is of Southern Netherlandish (Flemish) derivation and it is possible that he emigrated from this region, like so many of his countrymen, to the Dutch Republic. Here he might have received his artistic training in Utrecht or possibly Amersfoort. The influence of Dutch painters from both those towns in terms of style and subject matter is readily detectable in his earliest work, in particular the influence of the prominent Utrecht painter, Gerrit van Honthorst, as well as that of Hendrick ter Brugghen, Joachim Wtewael or the venerable Abraham Bloemaert. In 1630 Stomer travelled to Rome and stayed there until around 1635. Our picture, The Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew, was painted during this Roman period and is an important picture within his overall oeuvre. Saint Bartholomew is traditionally identified as one of Christ's original twelve apostles. After the Resurrection, Bartholomew is believed to have preached the gospel in India and Armenia. In the latter region, he was flayed alive and then hung upside down for refusing to worship idols. In Stomer's dramatic canvas, the doomed saint is posed frontally in half-length. He is stripped to his loincloth and one of the executioners has already begun his grisly task. Stomer has added the remarkable motif of a figure in a striking terracotta-coloured robe at the far left, perhaps a pagan priest, who holds a golden statuette of Minerva before the elderly saint, thereby contextualising the immediate cause of his martyrdom. Stomer was probably familiar with a picture of the saint's martyrdom painted in Rome by the French Caravaggist Valentin de Boulogne, datable to c.1616.
Thos. Agnew & Sons was established in 1817 and has since held a preeminent position in the world of Old Master paintings. One of London's leading art dealerships, the new Agnews, celebrating its 200th year under a new and dynamic ownership, are active participants in all areas of the market, from the 15th to the 20th century. Our selection appeals to a cross-section of buyers, with a broad range of genres, subjects, price ranges, and periods. We work with established collectors and curators to refine existing collections, while simultaneously introducing a new audience to the pleasures and satisfaction of collecting.
The US fertility rate has edged down to a record low, as young Americans choose to postpone or not have children. The US has seen a steady decline in fertility since the 2007 economic recession. Read Full Article at RT.com
Someone done goofed. PlayStation UK’s support account on Twitter has been flooded with complaints after a PayPal issue has resulted in mass account bans. Speaking to Kotaku, an internal source at PayPal divulged that “thousands” of accounts have been affected in the UK. The error has caused PSN user accounts to go into debt, and […]
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Congress will need to raise the nation's debt limit and avoid defaulting on loan payments by "early to mid-October," the Congressional Budget Office said in a report on Thursday.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has encouraged Congress to raise the limit before the legislative body leaves for their August recess. But it remains unclear if a bipartisan agreement has been struck to allow the limit to be raised, as both chambers continue to be weighed down by health care and tax reform and trying to find an agreement to fund the government after the September 30 deadline.
(Reporting by Ginger Gibson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
(Cross posted on Medium) Technical debt is a term used by programmers. Referring to the ever rising cost to projects when short term fixes get applied over time to writing code. Over time, these quick fixes make the overall design inefficient. We can all see how this applies to many projects outside programming. It’s like […]
To the Orphans Court of the County of Adams and State of Pennsylvania
The petition of Annie E. BROWN, a resident of the Township of Oxford, County of Adams, Pennsylvania, respectfully represents.
That your petitioner is the owner in fee of a tract of land situate in Oxford Township, Adams County, adjoining lands of Jonas RINEHART, the New Chester Road, widow WOLF, Conewago Creek and Aaron BROWN containing twenty six (26) acres and one hundred and nineteen (119) Perches more or less, with improvements.
That your petitioner acquired the title to said premises by deed from Anna M. BROWN dated April 7th 1915, which said deed was duly recorded in the office for Recording Deeds in and for the County of Adams in Deed Book 75, page 276.
The the said Anna M. BROWN acquired the title to this premises by deed dated April 1, 1891 from Wm. Arch. McCLEAN, Assignee of Solomon BROWN and wife and said deed being made in pursuance of an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Adams County, which said deed was duly recorded in the office of Recording Deeds in and for the County of Adams in Deed Book YY page 331.
That the said Wm. Arch. McCLEAN, assignee of Solomon BROWN and wife acquired title to said premises by deed of assignment from Solomon BROWN and wife dated May 26, 1890, which said deed is recorded in the office for Recording Deeds in and for the County of Adams in deed Book QQ pages 287 and 288.
That the said Solomon BROWN acquired the title to said premises by deed dated April 2, 1874 from Josiah SHUTT and Lydia his wife, which said deed was duly recorded in the office for Recording Deeds in and for the County of Adams in Deed Book DD page 240.
That the said Josiah SHUTT acquired the title to said premises by deed dated April 2, 1874, from Solomon BROWN and Silas MILLER, agents for the Widow and heirs of Christian ZINN, which said deed was duly recorded in the office for Recording Deeds in and for the County of Adams in Deed Book DD page 85.
That said Solomon BROWN and Silas MILLER were given letters of attorney to convey real estate by the widow and all the heirs of Christian ZINN dated July 26, 1873 and recorded in the office for Recording Deeds in and for the County of Adams in Deed Book HH page 297. And said letter of attorney provides that "one third of the purchase money of said real estate after expenses of sale to remain in the tract of land in Oxford Township aforesaid, during the life of Lucy ZINN, the widow aforesaid, the interest of said one third to be paid to her annually and the principal sum at her death to the parties then legally entitled to receive the same."
That the said deed from Solomon BROWN and Silas MILLER to Josiah SHUTT and the said deed from Josiah SHUTT and wife to Solomon BROWN contained a dower charge in the following language "Subject however to the payment of forty four Dollars and fifty five cents ($44.55) yearly to Lucy ZINN widow said Christian ZINN deceased, during her natural life, the first payment to be made on the first day of April A. D. 1875. It being the interest on seven hundred and forty two Dollars and forty nine cents ($742.49) and at her death the principal sum of Seven Hundred and forty two Dollars and forty nine cents to be paid to the legal heirs and representatives of said Christian ZINN, deceased, the said sum of money to be and remain a lien on the herein granted premises until paid.
That Christian ZINN died in the month of Dec. 1872 or January 1873, letters in his estate being issued Jan. 3, 1873 and your petitioner is informed and believes that Lucy ZINN died nearly fifty years ago in and about 1879 or 1880, that the dower was $742.49 Solomon BROWN and wife borrowed on a mortgage from HOLTZ April 3, 1880 $275 which amount was sufficient to pay all the heirs except his wife and it is believed that the principal was paid as of about that date and dower was released in some way not of record. All the heirs were alive at that date except my mother Elizabeth MILLER and she left two children David MILLER and myself and I know that a guardian received the share of the dower of my brother and myself and upon arriving of age we received our shares from the guardian. At the time of the assignment of Solomon BROWN the mortgage of HOLTZ was called the first lien. That none of the deeds since that date contain any reference to said dower charge and no reference made to it in the assignment proceedings of any such indebtedness, none is presented or paid. Thus for fully forty years your petitioner believes that no demand has ever been made for the payment of interest on said dower charge by Lucy ZINN or for the principal thereof by the heirs entitle to some and no such demand has ever been made to your petitioner during her possession of the premises. That it was not until a recent proposition to buy was made to your petitioner that the discovery was made that there was no satisfaction of the said dower on record.
That the names of the heirs of Christian ZINN deceased entitled to the payment of the principal after the death of Lucy ZINN were Coletta ZINN BROWN, married to James BROWN, Elizabeth ZINN MILLER married to Silas MILLER, Maria ZINN MYERS, married to Conrad MYERS, Anna ZINN BROWN married to Solomon BROWN and Lucy ZINN HAWK, married to Edward HAWK and after dilligent search your petitioner is informed and believes that these heirs outlived their mother Lucy. ZINN and after her death were paid their shares of said dower charge and that all of them have been dead for a number of years.
That the period of twenty one years has elapsed and many more years since the principal of said dower charge became due and payable and that no payment of either principal or interest has been made within said period and no satisfaction of release of said dower charge appears of record.
Therefore your petitioner prays your Honorable Court to order and direct the Sheriff of Adams County to serve the petition on the known holders of the said dower charge, if to be found in the said county and whose residence or residences are known and in case the parties can not be found in said County then the said Sheriff shall give public notice in one newspaper published in said county once a week for four weeks successively prior to the next term after the petition as aforesaid shall have been presented, requiring said parties to appear at said Court and answer the petition to show cause why the court should not enter a decree to satisfy, extinguish and discharge the said dower charge.
And she will ever pray, etc.
signed Annie E. Brown.
NOTE...To satisfy the above legal requirement to publish this information, notice was published in the Gettysburg Times on Dec. 2, 9, 16, and 23. Since no one came forward the Court signed off on this matter on January 27th 1930.
We can drive a car at 16, vote at 18, drink at 21, but until recently, we couldn’t rent a car until 25. Fortunately for the 25-and-under crowd, those rules have changed … slightly. Most car-rental agencies now rent to anyone 21-and-older, but there’s a catch, or rather a surcharge. They hit us with a […]
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Bad credit is a burden to many people. Bad credit is caused by financial debt. Bad credit prevents people from being able to make purchases, acquire loans, and sometimes even get jobs. If you have bad credit, you should repair it immediately. The information in this article will …
There was a time in the country when having a credit card was as common as having a pair of shoes. This ultimately resulted in millions of people dealing with debt and now it looms over the heads of its victims like a black cloud for the rest of their lives, or until they take th …
Many of the millions of people with bad credit today, were actually very responsible and always repaid their money on time. It's the creditors who decided to exercise their annual percentage hikes to the maximum number allowed by law. This greed caused many to fall into debt, and …
Bankrupt natural gas storage company Ryckman Creek Resources received court approval Thursday in Delaware for a $2.5 million executive bonus plan that hinges on the eventual sale price of the debtor's assets. ...read more...(read more)
SEATTLE – Although the outspoken chairman and CEO of coffee giant Starbucks has dabbled in big issues before—his well-intentioned but quickly abandoned “Race Together” initiative had baristas writing racial harmony messages on cups—Howard Schultz is not running for president.
“Despite the encouragement of others, I have no intention of entering the presidential fray,” the chairman and CEO of coffee giant Starbucks said in an op-ed in The New York Times. “I’m not done serving at Starbucks. Although we have built an iconic brand while providing even part-time employees with access to health care, free college education and stock options, there is more we can do as a public company to demonstrate responsible leadership.”
But the fact that Schultz is not running … yet … doesn’t mean he has no opinion on what’s wrong with Washington and how a great leader should operate.
“We cannot afford more false promises, slogans, theatrics and fool’s gold,” he wrote. “Our nation has been profoundly damaged by a lack of civility and courage in Washington, where leaders of both parties have abdicated their responsibility to forge reasonable compromises to expand the economy, rebuild our infrastructure, improve schools, transform entitlement programs and so much more. We have become too desensitized to the horrendous metrics that define today’s America, from student-loan debt to food-stamp dependency to the size of our prison population.”
He continued, “The values of servant leadership—putting others first and leading from the heart—need to emerge from every corner of American life, including the business community.
“While Americans have diverse views in what they want from Washington, I reject the notion that our divided and dysfunctional government is merely a reflection of what the political class calls the red-blue divide. Too many of our political leaders are putting party before country, power before principle and cynicism before civility. The common purpose that created this great nation, which has united us in difficult moments, has gone missing.
“Our country is in desperate need of servant leaders, of men and women willing to kneel and embrace those who are not like them. Everyone seeking the presidency professes great love for our nation. But I ask myself, how can you be a genuine public servant if you belittle your fellow citizens and freeze out people who hold differing views?”
He concluded with a provocative challenge: “Our country deserves a candidate courageous enough to select a member of the other party as a running mate. Our country deserves a president humble enough to see leadership not as an entitlement but as a privilege."
Click here to read the complete New York Times op-ed.
And following on Shultz’s lead, as we head into the next presidential election cycle, what insights can politicians glean from the convenience-store, retail and restaurant industries? Send your ideas and comments to Greg Lindenberg, editor of CSP Daily News, at email@example.com.
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New research suggests pre-retirees are having to work for longer to service higher levels of housing debt, with people aged 55-64 years 18 per cent more likely to continue working for every $100,000 increase in their mortgage debt.
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This week Bryan shares stories from his sister Caroline's visit, while Erin ventured into some casual Veganism. Also, according to a recent study women hold 2/3 of all student loan debt and because of the gender pay gap and Betsy DeVos it’s going to become even harder to pay them off. Plus, at the 43rd G7 summit the world leaders spouses took a group photo and Luxembourg's First Gentleman was failed to be acknowledged in the White Houses Facebook page. The Throwing Shade Live tour documentary is coming to Vimeo next Thursday, June 8th! Pre-order here! https://vimeo.com/ondemand/throwingshade
Many years ago, I translated chapter 1 from the 1960 book. You don't HAVE TO read it to follow this chapter, but it is recommended. Unlike my other translations which were done from audio files of PuLa narrating his work, this one has been done from the actual book. So even Marathis who've never read the book will find something new here. To set the stage a little, in this chapter, PuLa describes the experience of his first ever international flight. Based on the references to the Suez Crisis, I'm guessing it happened in 1956 or 1957. So almost 60 years ago! I was surprised to learn of the sheer number of stopovers flights had to make in those days. It is indeed a different era. But so much of what he writes resonated with me in terms of my experiences with international flights. Which is why I chose to translate this although it isn't as ROFLMAO funny as the previous chapter. Usual caveats - Much of PuLa's humor comes from how he played with the Marathi language, and it can get lost in translation. But his observations and descriptions stay relevant even 55 years later.
Our flight to London from Santa Cruz airport was scheduled for 11 PM on August 20th. It wasn't my first time flying, but it was the first time I was flying to another country, that too on a huge airplane. I had been told to reach the airport about an hour before the flight. Even if I hadn't been told this, I would've gone there two hours before. Because even when I am taking an M.S.M. train (or as you kids today call it, Southern Railway), I go to the station an hour early. Even if I have a reserved seat.
I find it convenient to allow that buffer for unforeseen but predictable events like getting on the wrong train, not being able to find my compartment, taxi to the station breaking down, heavy rain causing waterlogging, forgetting some important stuff at home and realizing it halfway to the station, forgetting to fill the water bottle, and of course, panicking every few minutes thinking that I have either forgotten the ticket at home or lost it.
And of course, Indian Railways regularly contributes with unforeseen but predictable events of its own. Just as you've spread out a sheet on your berth and laid down, a railways employee comes and says the compartment has some problems, so we need to shift to another one. It takes about 45 minutes to find a porter, find the replacement compartment, and move all the luggage. It turns out that if you turn the lights on, the fan stops working, and if you turn the fan on, the lights stop working. Finally both are fixed, and when you go to the bathroom, there is no water in the compartment. So you have to stay awake till Lonand to find a guard and complain about it. If you're lucky, it'll get fixed by the time the train reaches Nira. Or then wait till Miraj at 5 AM so you can use the bathroom on the station.
So even if you go very early to the station, there's no guarantee that your rail journey will be pleasant. I wonder if we are destined to ever get railways that take the responsibility of passenger comfort seriously. Until then, there are only two ways to travel without any problems - on foot like Vinoba Bhave or by air.
Or so I thought.
When I bought my tickets at the Air India office, the lady behind the counter had told me to reach the airport at 9 PM. And then, flashing me a disarming smile, suggested that I call the airline before leaving to make sure the plane wasn't delayed. So just as we were about to leave, I remembered that smile and mentioned this to the huge contingent of friends, family, and neighbors gathered at our house to bid us farewell.
"Haha, don't be an idiot! It's a plane, not an ST bus to be delayed. Airlines operate with second-by-second precision!"
A friend, who had never traveled an inch north of Malad or south of Kala Ghoda, said making me feel like an idiot in front of everyone. This guy has always had this publicly dismissive attitude towards me. I don't know why I am still friends with him. When I told him I was being sent to England by Doordarshan, his first reaction was,
"You??? Why??? Looks like the government has too much money to waste!"
When I first wore the suit mentioned in the previous chapter, he laughed and said I looked like a trumpeter from one of the Dhobi Talao wedding bands. Totally unnecessary snark. But he can't help it. So even though he had no first hand experience on the matter, he stayed true to his nature and ridiculed me for wondering if I should call the airline to check the flight status.
My wife called the airline office anyway. And we came to know that because the incoming plane from Tokyo hadn't reached yet, our flight was delayed by two hours.
I winced. The idea of sitting in Mumbai's humidity for two more hours wearing a three piece suit, that noose-like tie, those damned expensive Chinese shoes, the nylon socks bought after the Middle East cooled down, and a thick coat meant for England's cold weather, was unbearable. I was tempted to take off all my clothes (except for one) and cal the whole thing off.
"So....will the plane depart exactly two hours later than scheduled?"
Someone from the annoyingly large farewell contingent asked, and that question suddenly made our house explode into a pointless deliberation that made it resemble a legislative body debating a useless resolution.
"Will the plane leave two hours later or do you go to the airport two hours later?"
"But does two hours really mean two hours?"
"But what does a plane coming from Tokyo have to do with an Air India flight going to London?"
"Let's say the plane reaches earlier than estimated......will it still leave two hours late or earlier than that?"
"Let's say that Tokyo flight is delayed by four hours instead, will your flight leave two hours late or four hours late?"
"Someone told me that last week a flight scheduled for midnight eventually departed after dawn. Is that true?"
"Are you sure it's a plane from Tokyo? Maybe it's Kyoto."
"I just called a friend of mine who works in a restaurant at the airport. He says there is some mechanical problem in this plane, and the Tokyo plane thing is just an excuse."
"So the flight might get cancelled?"
"Do they have a replacement plane? How many planes does All India Radio have anyway?"
"It's Air India, not All India Radio."
"Yeah, same difference."
"Mechanical problems......that's scary!"
"You both have life insurance, right?"
"Remember the plane that crashed at Cairo five years ago? My boss' nephew was on it. His wife got two million as compensation!"
"I've heard you can buy life insurance at the airport."
All this nonsense from people who had nothing to do with our travel whatsoever. I prayed to god to rescue me from this plane chaos by sending the plane he sent for Sant Tukaram.
"I'm telling you guys. Instead of spending the two hours sitting at home, spend them sitting at the airport. Let's say they repair the plane early and it leaves before time. What are you going to do? It's not like you can catch it on the way. It's not the Barshi-Pandharpur passenger train. Hehehehe!"
So finally, following the over-cautious traditions of my train journeys, we reached the airport at 9:30 PM for a plane that was scheduled to depart at 1:30 AM. Some of my other friends and colleagues were at the airport already to see me off. They either didn't know that the plane was delayed, or even if they knew, they were aware of my over-cautious traditions.
All my friends at the airport made me feel very awkward and also emotional by showering me with so many garlands and bouquets, that the airport officials thought I was a politician. And I had an epiphany at that moment - the greatest wealth in my life is my friends. If wealth were to be measured in friendships, I am probably richer than Tata-Birla combined. I have so many dear friends in so many walks of life! And so many of them had come late at night and out of the way to the airport to see me off.
I felt touched but also embarrassed. Firstly, I still wasn't sure I could pull off the suit-boot look. Having such a huge audience for it felt weird. And then there were these garlands and bouquets. I was overwhelmed. I have gotten used to getting such attention at functions and award shows and suchlike. But on this occasion, I was feeling like I had an emotional debt to pay off. Just popping by to say goodbye is one thing, but these guys had come all the way to the airport!
My embarrassment was compounded by the fact that I hadn't really done or achieved anything to deserve all the attention that night. When I get such attention after a successful theater performance, it's okay. At least I gave them some happiness, and they are appreciating it. But that night, my wife and I were just flying to England like thousands of people do everyday. And yet my mob of friends at the airport had made me feel like I was doing something special. With a luggage full of such love and good wishes, I started feeling confident that even if all the engines of the plane failed, I could fly anywhere I wanted.
The crowd of friends and all the flowers being heaped on me made the press photographers hanging around think that I was some big deal. They suddenly started snapping our pictures like paparazzi. In all this chaos, one of my friends went to the airport officials and convinced them to open a "VIP Lounge" for me. A sturdy fellow in a crisp uniform politely asked us to follow him to the VIP lounge.
At that moment, my wife looked at me happily with an expression that said - "all these years that I have put up with you are finally paying off!"
As we were led into the imposingly plush VIP lounge, I started feeling even more awkward. Given our colonial history, I know that "England returned" has a certain halo attached to it. But I had no idea that the halo starts appearing even before you leave India. I started feeling worried about the possibility of a real VIP showing up and frowning at how our raucous farewell contingent had made the VIP lounge resemble Khandke's chawl.
Even in all that chaos, I overheard one of the uniformed guys whispering to the other,
"Nowadays, any random person can become a VIP."
His colleague responded,
"Hoga koi Minister ka baccha nahi toh jamai!"
and walked away.
So I tried to appear and act as VIP-ish as possible. I went around folding my hands and solemnly thanking all the people who had come to see me off. Then I started giving away the garlands and bouquets to kids and being unnecessarily nice to them. Basically, emulating every aspect of VIP behavior that I could remember.
A few of the professional photographers kept taking pictures of all this, and then offered to send them to me. They helpfully quoted a "professional" rate for it that was ten times what it would cost to get a photo taken in my neighborhood studio. But I was pretending to be a VIP and had to play the part. Once I parted with all the advance payments for the photos, the expression on my face finally came to resemble something that actually deserved to be photographs. I have no idea where those expensive photos are now, by the way.
Eventually there was an announcement that the customs check process had started, and we finally prepared to leave that VIP cell....I mean lounge. While leaving, I handed a generous tip to the uniformed guys standing at the door. The astounded expressions on their faces made me realize that real VIPs probably never hand out any tips. They hand out only two things - promises or threats.
We left the lounge and walked straight to the weighing scales near the customs area. I put our bags on it one by one and felt relieved when each of them were a pound or so less than the 44 pound limit. My wife on the other hand seemed a little disappointed and said,
"Hmpf, I guess we could have taken a few more papads then."
I ignored her and walked to the customs booth, standing in front of the officer with an appropriately guilty expression on my face.
This was the second time in my life that I had faced a customs officer. A few years ago, when returning from Goa (then a Portuguese territory) I stood in front of a customs officer for the first time. Everyone in front of me had been questioned extensively and had their bags checked thoroughly. So I was already terrified. Even though there was no reason to be terrified. In the entire crowd there, we were probably the only ones returning from Goa without as much as a tiny piece of chocolate. But customs booths are one of those weirdly imposing places where I feel nervous by default.
Some people are scared of a dentist's chair. Not me. I have been to dentists many times. One dentist actually turned my simple complaint of an aching tooth into an imperative to extract it with the glee of a professional sadist. It hurt so much, I think I actually saw a few angels waiting to welcome me into heaven. But even then, the next time I went to a (different, obviously) dentist, I went with the ease with which I go to Kulkarni's restaurant to eat bhajiyas. No fear or worries. But put me in front of a custom's officer and my heart starts racing.
There are many random entries in my list of "people I am irrationally scared of". For some reason, I am terrified of every liftman. Not afraid of the actual lift, mind you. It's not like I am scared that the lift will plummet to the basement or anything. I am just scared of the liftmen, at least in Mumbai, where almost all of them seem to have a cold blank expression on their face. I am also terrified of waiters in fancy restaurants. If one is standing next to me, I feel so nervous that I invariably spill something. I was never scared of male teachers, but female teachers always petrified me. And I can slap a doctor on his back and sing songs with him even when he is in the middle of surgery, but when it comes to nurses, my hands start trembling even if I am handing them a note. I have no idea why I carry these bizarre fears in my heart.
That customs officer I encountered when returning from Goa had insulted me rather painfully! I still shudder and shed a tear when I think about it.
When it was my turn, he asked me my name, address, and profession. Those days, I earned my living in a college fostering deep hatred for literature among the students. As soon as I told the officer that I was a Professor, and that too of Marathi, he just looked straight into my eyes, and with an expression conveying immense pity, said,
"You can go."
He didn't ask to search my luggage, didn't ask me if I was carrying any contraband, didn't even ask me if I had anything to declare. With utter conviction that I lacked the ability or the means to smuggle in alcohol, gold, cigarettes, or anything like that, he sent me on my way. I have never felt more humiliated. I would've preferred it if he had instead put me through a two hour long interrogation under a bright lamp.
So that day in Mumbai airport, I was wondering if the customs officer in charge of examining departing passengers would be more respectful. He looked at my bags, then glanced at my face, and then wordlessly made some chalk markings on the bags and waved me through. Rude, isn't it?
Next my wife and I went to Passport Control. Our passports had been issued two years ago and were valid for three more years. But one of my friends in the farewell party had authoritatively said,
"Ohhhh.....just three years validity left? That might create problems. Good luck!"
I nervously handed over the passports to the officer. He glanced at them for a nanosecond and returned them to me. I was less worried about the validity and more worried about the passport photo. But the officer had evidently discovered some similarity between my passport photo and the way I actually look. Once we were done with that, a health officer quickly made sure we had taken the necessary vaccinations and we were done.
Once we got the "worthy of traveling abroad" certification from Pandit Nehru's people, all we could do was wait for the plane to leave. It was past midnight. The departure area at Santa Cruz is decorated and furnished in a very modern way. There are lots of comfortable couches and chairs for passengers to relax in. But my wife and I were sitting there uncomfortably, feeling out of place.
There was a European couple sitting in front of us. They seemed confused by Indian currency. These were the days when paisa coins co-existed with anna coins and the poor visitors had no idea if the many coins they had were worth five rupees or five annas. Hoping to give them a happy memory of Indian hospitality, I jumped in to offer unsolicited advice and ended up compounding their confusion even more. Finally my better half stepped in, sorted the whole thing out, and informed them that Indian women have a much better understanding of money than Indian men.
The European couple left for their flight and I started looking around at other fellow-passengers. With a parochial mindset, I went around to see if there were other Marathi folk there, and soon met a man named Patil and a student named Joshi. I was there representing the Deshpande name. All we were missing was a Kulkarni. If we had found one, we would have had Patil-Joshi-Deshpande-Kulkarni, the four pillars of the ancient Marathi administrative set-up. Sadly there was no Kulkarni on that flight, but it did end up having a pilot named Nadkarni. Nadkarni is essentially the South Kannada version of Kulkarni, so I guess we ended up with the full set eventually.
Around 1 AM, the plane's wings must have fluttered because suddenly, there was a lot of activity around us. The crowd started walking in one direction, and we went along. I looked at the glass barrier at the customs desk and saw our contingent was still patiently waiting. The elders had tears in their eyes and the younger lot looked like they were cracking stale jokes at our expense and passing them off as new.
When we eventually reached the gate, I confirmed three times that it was the right plane. Or else we'd wake up the next morning in Cochin instead of Cairo. I still carried emotional scars from the night at Pune station that I got on a train to go to Kolhapur and woke up the next morning to find I was in a compartment parked in the Pune railway yard. I have always had the kind of luck where I take a girlfriend to watch a movie on the sly and run into a nosy old relative who decided to come watch the same movie. And I couldn't afford to let that luck mess up international travel.
There was an air hostess standing at the door, welcoming us with an unnaturally wide smile. The rest of the crew, dressed in crisp dark trousers and skirts and blindingly white shirts, sporting wing shaped lapel pins and painstakingly groomed mustaches, was darting about doing their work. We reached our seats and stared out the tiny oblong window at the terminal, wondering if our friends and family were still there.
Once I was in the seat, I assured myself that despite all apparent obstacles, it now seemed like I would definitely go to England, and fastened the seat belt around my stomach. The engines started humming and the fans started rotating one by one. The plane got going. After zooming along the ground for a mile or so, it slowed down and stopped at the other end of the runway.
As soon as it stopped, I started fearing the worst. The plane had already been delayed by mechanical problems. I wasn't sure if they had fixed the problems completely or had postponed some repairs. Maybe now they'd discover more problems. I also carried emotional scars from bus drivers who'd make passengers board on a scorching hot day, bake them in that tin box for an hour while they waited, and then open the bonnet of the bus to examine what's wrong with the engine.
Luckily, nothing like that happened. In a couple of minutes, the plane started moving again, then sped up, and eventually left terra firma in a graceful glide. I watched the airport rapidly disappear from my view and before I knew it, Mumbai started resembling a gem-laden ornament below us. In that ornament, four million people were probably dreaming as they slept, while I sat with wide open eyes, realizing my childhood dream of foreign travel.
And next to me was my soul mate and my life partner accompanying me on this adventure. Over the previous twelve years, we had built many castles in the air together, while never feeling tempted to build a house on the ground. We never stayed in one place for more than 2-3 years anyway. We had in common a huge appetite for new challenges and new experiences. And the latest one was to be living in England for 5-6 months.
Our flight had been in the air for a while, and the plane was completely dark as was the sky outside, but I still couldn't sleep. The plane was completely packed and experienced travelers were already snoring. Our air-hostess was Japanese. She was promptly and efficiently offering candy and nuts to travelers with a studied smile straight out of the training syllabus. Her walk was brisk and her voice had the crispness of springtime.
I was feeling really hot. That damned suit on my body started feeling like clunky armor and I again cursed myself for wearing it on the plane. I looked around and was taken aback when I noticed at an Englishman sitting in front of me. Here I was, wearing a brand new three piece suit because I was going to his snooty country. And this dude was sitting there looking very relaxed in khaki shorts, a flannel shirt with some twenty five pockets, and a flimsy felt hat that did not match.
So I discreetly looked around at the other white people on the flight. Not a single one of them was dressed even as remotely formally as I was. Sitting there overdressed in that damned suit in the middle of the night, I started feeling like even more of a neophyte than I already was.
Suddenly the Japanese air-hostess appeared with a small wet towel on a plate. I eyed the towel suspiciously for a second. I had no idea what purpose a wet towel was supposed to serve at two in the morning. But I was brought up never to turn a plate away, so I picked up the towel and thanked her. I looked at my wife to see if she had any suggestions, but she was fast asleep. I slowly glanced across the aisle and saw that the guy there was gently rubbing the towel on his face. I did the same, and the cool cologne scented fabric gave me some relief from the intense heat I was experiencing.
Our massive jumbo jet was slicing through the darkness leaving cities and mountains behind. I was finally feeling a little drowsy. Almost everyone around me, including my wife, was already asleep. That Englishman with the khaki shorts was in fact trying to drown out the noise of the engine with his own booming multi-octave snores with his mouth open. The ex-subject of Her Majesty's realm inside me felt relieved to observe first-hand that even the English can snore with their mouths open. Because once our travel plans were made, I was a bit worried about that.
You see, I am one of "those" too. But over the course of my life, I have come across some impressively loud snorers. My grandma says that people with big hearts and minds snore the most. I don't know if there is any correlation between big bodies and big hearts and minds - I won't mind if there is. I started thinking a lot about snoring and hearts and minds. I do remember that I spent a lot of time thinking about it. But I don't know for how long, because the next thing I knew, I was waking up to the dawn's early light.
Our plane was flying over a huge desert. I noted how different this dawn was from any other dawn I had experienced in my life, thousands of miles over a limitless desert. This experience, coming right after I had experienced a darkness so different from any other darkness I had experienced in my life, spurred some philosophical and metaphorical thoughts. It felt like I was witness to the dawn of a new phase of my life. I thought about my recent years and realized that I hadn't really experienced real dawn in years. In Mumbai's fast-paced hectic life, by the time my day ended, it was usually well past midnight. So by the time I usually woke up, dawn would have given up on waiting for me and slid away, making way for harsh sunlight.
Our Japanese air-hostess, still looking as fresh as a dew-kissed flower, was making the rounds with hot fortifying beverages for the morning. I have never found those beverages particularly fortifying immediately after waking up, so I politely declined her offer of tea or coffee. Instead, I got up and headed to the bathroom. Taking care not to wake up or bump into any of the other passengers, I tiptoed my way to the front, and slowly opened the door to what I thought was the bathroom. Instead I found myself face-to-face with the fine gentlemen flying the plane. It was the cockpit door! I guess the expression on my face gave away what my need was because the co-pilot, without saying anything, pointed me to the correct door.
I finished my morning ablutions and returned to the seat to find the "fasten seatbelts" sign flashing. By the time I was able to find the belt and buckle it up, the plane had started its rapid descent. I looked out the window and saw that we were headed to a desert island surrounded by more desert. I assumed it was Cairo, our first stopover. I started looking around the landscape in the hopes of spotting some pyramids. By the time I spotted a bump that I thought was a pyramid and was about to point it out to my wife, the plane was touching down, and before I knew it, it was standing stationary in a foreign land.
I looked at the dinky terminal outside the window and was a little disappointed that a city as renowned as Cairo should have an airport that looks more like an ST bus stand. But once we got off the plane, I learned that we were not in Cairo, but in some place called "Bahrain" instead. I felt a bit like Columbus who reached land confident that he was in India but then discovered that he was instead in some strange land he did not know anything about. And I felt relieved that I had not pointed out those supposed pyramids to my wife.
I had never heard of Bahrain before and had no idea where the hell it exactly was or why we were there instead of Cairo. But we walked into the terminal and headed for the restaurant. I learned that there were oilfields nearby and that Bahrain is a small island nation that is known for its oilfields. That was pretty much all we learned about the place.
We sat in the restaurant, ordered tea, and waited while the plane was refueled. The tea arrived after a long time. One sip of that concoction and I was convinced that in Bahrain, they used dried date palm leaves in lieu of tea leaves and the milk probably came from a camel instead of a cow. Over the course of my life, I have tasted many different kinds of tea......except of course the spilled tea from Mongini's mentioned in the previous chapter. Tea served in small glass tumblers in Mumbai, tea served in mud bowls on the banks of the Narmada, tea served in metallic cups in Madras, masala milk tea, railway station tea flavored with charcoal, tea without milk, tea without sugar, and even Chinese tea made from jasmine flowers. But I will never EVER forget that horrible tea from Bahrain airport. I will happily drink the bitterest castor potion than drink that tea again.
Well, at least the tea was free, because it was paid for by the airline.
Pretty soon, the plane was ready and we all climbed back into its belly. The plane took off soon and headed for Cairo. The flight from Bahrain to Cairo was essentially just desert after desert after desert. Once in a while, just as a change of scenery, there would be a small strip of water. But otherwise, totally barren. Not a single glimpse of green.
And that's when I really understood why the green flag of Islam came was hoisted in these deserts first. The prophet was very clever in choosing the color green for his flag. It is obvious why millions of Arabs enthusiastically followed that rare pleasant colored flag. I'm sure that the green flag was as instrumental in the spread of Islam as the Koran was. Add to it the moon that the desert dwellers probably equated with the relief provided by night, and I felt I had to applaud the prophet for his grasp of semiotics.
It was about 8:30 in the morning. I was staring at the desert out the window hoping to spot a camel train. But in vain. I did spot a lot of dry river beds though. Soon the sun got really bright and the glare made it difficult to keep looking outside. Soon our plane moved from the sea of sand to a sea of water. Being geographically challenged, I first decided it was the Red Sea, then the Caspian Sea, then the Black Sea, and then the Dead Sea. I still have no idea which one it was.
A while later, there were murmurs all around that we were flying over the Suez Canal. All passengers looked out the windows, identified the first strip of water they could find, and assured themselves that it was the Suez Canal. Again, no idea if any of those were actually the Suez Canal. From the height we were flying at, every strip of water looked as tiny as the Fergusson College canal in Pune. But in one strip, I spied some dots that seemed like boats and I silently convinced myself that it was indeed the Suez Canal. It was hard to believe that this tiny strip of water was responsible for almost starting World War 3 and almost sinking my travel plans.
When your plane is flying so high that you can only see the sky and clouds above you as well as below you, you can't help but get philosophical. You forget any fears you have about the plane crashing. Looking at creation from a height that makes even seas look like saucers of water makes you realize how insignificant you are in the whole scheme of things. As our plane flew towards Cairo, I couldn't help but realize that I was looking at the cradle of civilization. These deserts were where the Babylonian, Sumerian, and Assyrian civilizations had once bloomed. Where the library of Alexandria was once home to millions of of books that were burned. I'm assuming some Big Four or Big Five must have had a summit even then and decided that burning books was in the best interests of the world.
As impressive as the sights of great oceans, great skies, and great lands is while flying, one look at the great space when flying above clouds make them all pale in comparison. And you start wondering what the whole point of creation is, and whether you make any difference to it whatsoever.
Our plane was about to reach Cairo soon and I started thinking about it. Egypt is an ancient civilization, much like India. Historians have discovered that trade and cultural links between Egypt and India date back millenia. This is the land that saw rich culture flourish for millenia even before Christ was born. And when Christ was born, the bright star that shone was above these lands too. This is the land where Jews, Christians, and Muslims found their faiths and then unfurled the blood-soaked flags of those faiths.
I was in the middle of these thoughts and didn't even realize when I dozed off. The next thing I knew, someone was yelling "KAHIRO!!!!", waking me up.
The first sight I saw at Cairo airport was of battle-ready fighter jets. Next to them were imposing anti-aircraft guns with their barrels pointed to the sky. The stage seemed to be set for the next big war. The only question seemed to be which actors would enter the stage first and who the director would be. Actors from dozens of countries seemed to be ready, with war-paint on, or make-up on. Who knew when the final act would start and when it would end.
When I read a big sign that said, "WE WELCOME YOU TO EGYPT", I felt like someone had sprayed a stream of cold water on my face on an oppressively hot day. Why shouldn't all human beings be welcomed heartily all over this little planet of ours? Although as long as there exist things like passports and visas, built on an assumption of distrust of fellow human beings, can we really expect true expressions of such humanity? The sign that said "WE WELCOME YOU TO EGYPT"....to any "you" who reached there, regardless of race, religion, gender, creed.....why shouldn't such signs and more importantly sentiments, be displayed everywhere?
The funny thing is, this "WE WELCOME YOU TO EGYPT" sign was right next to the massive anti-aircraft guns and the irony endemic to human existence tickled me and troubled me in equal amounts.
We headed to the restaurant inside the terminal. The waiters there were very friendly and polite, and served us some divine Egyptian coffee. Compared to Mumbai airport, I thought Cairo airport was small. There was a lot of new construction happening around us though. Egypt is currently in the midst of writing a new chapter in its history. Everybody is watching carefully to see which way their new statesman (Nasser) takes them.
It was in Cairo airport that I first encountered Egyptian people. And as I examined their appearance carefully, I wondered how many Egyptians there might be in Mumbai too. Because in terms of appearance, I didn't really see any major differences between Egyptians and Indians. Beyond the facts I had memorized in my childhood to score 2 marks in the history exam, such as pyramids, mummies, pharaohs, and the Nile river, my knowledge about Egypt was as barren as their desert. I had never even thought about anyone living in Egypt other than Cleopatra, General Najeeb, and now this Nasser fellow.
Suddenly, I was overcome by a profound sense of ignorance and curiosity as a foreigner in a foreign land. And sitting there in the Cairo airport, I started thinking about how day-to-day life in Egypt must be and how I knew nothing about it. How do school teachers, lawyers, and bureaucrats here dress? Is it similar to how those folks dress in India? What is the most popular item in a typical restaurant in Egypt? Do wives here refer to their husbands by name or is there some tactful pronoun that has been coined for the purpose like in India? With each passing second, the expanse of my ignorance about this fascinating culture seemed to exceed the expanse of the desert.
Then I started thinking about the people who worked at that airport. For them, a typical day consisted of interacting with travelers from dozens of different countries, for maybe an hour or two at a time, before they went on their way and were replaced by a different set of foreigners. Do they feel the same sense of curiosity and note their ignorance about other cultures? Or has it become just a mundane feature of their lives by now? Do they actively notice the multi-colored lattice of different races and nationalities or does it just pass by in the blink of an eye like a frame from a cinema reel?
I spent the rest of the time in Cairo thinking about all this before we were called back to the plane. The next stopover was Geneva in Switzerland. As our plane surged through the clouds, we gradually left the desert behind and were soon traveling over Europe. Specifically, Italy, as the pilot informed us.
While I was almost entirely ignorant about Egypt except for its ancient history and contemporary politics, I at least knew more about Italy thanks to all the books I had read. Names like Rome, Venice, and Naples started swimming around in my head. I decided that if the plane had to crash right now, I would want it to do so near Naples. I had read that Naples was home to some of the most awe-inspiring sculptures in the world. So if my plane crashed in Naples, I could drag myself to those sculptures, see them first hand, and then die happy.
Yes, I know it is morbid to keep pondering the possibility of the plane crashing but that's how I am and be honest, aren't you too?
But the plane kept going. I kept looking at the Italian landscape underneath and we didn't see Naples or Venice. But we did fly over Rome. It was hard to miss. As I looked at the distant but clear images of various buildings and cathedrals in Rome, I first felt a great sense of satisfaction at seeing them first hand. Then I compensated for the unfamiliar bliss by berating myself for still not having read Gibbon's "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" even after buying it years ago. I made a mental note to read it as soon as I returned home.
When you're flying over different countries of the world, you think more about what you haven't read about those lands than what you have read. In another hour or so, our plane was flying over the gorgeous alps and I realized we were in Europe's Eden.
Soon the plane touched down in Geneva. I had heard a lot of cautionary tales about how the cold in Europe is way worse than anything I might have experienced in India. I experienced it first hand as I walked into the Geneva airport and felt like I had walked into a massive refrigerator. And this was just August! So I shivered a little and prepared for six more months of this inhumanly cold weather. No wonder these white folks ran away and captured our warmer lands.
As soon as I stepped into the chilly Geneva airport, my brain initiated a flashback from 20 years ago from my college days in Pune. I had grown up in Mumbai, where it never gets even remotely chilly. Then in Pune in the winters, every so often, I would wake up to such a chilly morning. It felt more bracing than oppressive, making me feel like running all the way across the world. I had always thought cold weather would make me feel like a shriveled old man, but instead, it made me feel like a daring young man, ready to achieve anything!
Anyway, we walked into the restaurant at the Geneva airport and it looked more like a flower shop than a restaurant. The faces of all the staff members were fresh and enthusiastic like recently bloomed lilies. There was a spring in their step. It didn't look like anyone could ever age, and everyone looked like they were in their 20s even though they probably weren't. We were served coffee in a very elegantly crafted glass cup. And it tasted divine and almost intoxicating. I wondered that if even the coffee here gets my pulse racing so much, what will stronger beverages do? I had heard that Switzerland is a place where extreme beauty and extreme pleasure is the default and my experiences at their airport confirmed it.
I didn't even realize when that stopover at Geneva ended. It was cold, but I was surrounded by beauty, human and non-human, and I felt more alive than I ever had. Before I got back on the plane, I turned around and took a 360 degree mental picture of all I could see of Switzerland from that terminal. The tall trees sheltering cute little houses, the snow-covered peaks of the Alps kissing the deep blue sky. I promised myself to return for a more leisurely visit. When the plane took off, I was looking at a meandering little river as it flowed through the verdant Swiss countryside, when suddenly, our plane ascended above the clouds. And those fluffy white things that a few hours earlier had seemed gorgeous, now seemed like villains for blocking my view of the Swiss landscape. Our journey continued.
The next stop was to be at Dusseldorf in Germany, It had been over 20 hours since we took off from Mumbai. The hands of my watch had already been rotated many times by then. Every hour, the pilot made announcements about how high we were flying, what the temperature outside was, what the local time was, and so on. Passengers around us were saying random things in response to those announcements like, "Oh! 18,000 feet? That's nice! Very high!"
We were flying through clouds at that moment, so I personally couldn't tell the difference between 18,000 feet and 18 million feet. Honestly, this whole thing of estimating distances has been a challenge for me, whether I am in the air or on the ground. Whenever I read about some witness in court say stuff like "the accused was 19 feet away from me", I feel jealous of his ability to express distance so precisely. Because I absolutely suck at it. I can't even remember the inches in my own measurements for shoes, hats, collars, socks, and so on. When a shoe salesman asks what size I want, I just give him the chappals I am wearing then and ask him to figure it out. I have immense respect for people who go shoe shopping and say stuff like "Bring me Number 8 pairs".
And when someone remembers the precise date on which something happened, I feel overcome enough with admiration to go hug them. When I hear someone say stuff like, "I remember it was July 17th...", I am amazed. I suck at dates too. Which is why I always sucked at history in school. Even now, I remember only three dates - Shivaji Maharaj died in 1680, the 1857 uprising happened in 1857, and using multiple reminder mnemonics, my wife's birthday. Other than these three, I have no idea of any other dates. You can ask me when India gained independence and I will try to hedge between 1947 and 1950.
Anyway, the point is, I am horrible with anything that is expressed numerically. So even before I could figure out how high 18,000 feet exactly is, our plane was touching down in Dusseldorf. Before I knew it, we were surrounded by cries of "Achtung! Achtung!" and "Gut! Gut!". My wife and I walked to the terminal, now sick of this sequence of stopovers. Yes. I was in Germany with its rich history and culture and intriguing contemporary split between East and West, but I didn't give a damn. The aforementioned Joshi and Patil left us here and we sat there hoping that we'd reach London before we died of boredom.
Why does the final stretch of the journey always seem to last the longest? Even when I am traveling from Pune to Mumbai by train, it is the same. The time from Pune to Thane or Kalyan seems to breeze by in a happy procession of vada, omelets, chikki, etc. But from there, Mulund, Bhandup, Vikroli, Dadar, etc seem to take an eternity to pass by. Very annoying! It's the same with other trips too. When you're taking a train from Mumbai to Delhi, everything seems great until you reach Mathura, and then after that, things seem to slow down. If you're going from Mumbai to Nagpur. it is Wardha that is the tipping point after which it is all yawns and polite curses.
The flight from Dusseldorf to London seemed similarly annoying and yawn-inducing. Finally, after about the hundredth yawn, the plane started barreling downwards. All the passengers around us seemed to have perked up as the plane continued descending. Finally there was a bump and the plane started slowing down. And a few passengers around me echoed my thoughts,
Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner has told The Times that the Garcia report into corruption around the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids is “not even worth the paper it has been written on” and questioned why U.S. Soccer was absolved after he and Sepp Blatter met President Barack Obama.
The report, produced by American lawyer Michael J. Garcia in 2014 but only released in full this week, said the England 2018 World Cup bid team was found to have “accommodated or at least attempted to satisfy the improper request”of executive committee members, including Warner, ahead of the voting in 2010.
The United States’ effort to host the 2022 World Cup, meanwhile, was found to have generally followed FIFA’s bidding rules.
Warner, who was arrested and charged as part of the FBI’s probe into money-laundering in 2015 and then banned from taking part in any football-related activity for life, told the English newspaper in an email that he continues to “sleep very soundly” following the report’s release.
He wrote in an email: “For me the report is not even worth the paper it has been written on and of course not the whopping fee paid for it either. As it relates to me personally, I continue to sleep very soundly at nights for nothing in the report implicates me personally in any sleaze.”
The investigation found that Warner had requested England 2018 to find his “adopted son” Richard Sebro, a man with no obvious football credentials, a job with Tottenham, then at Wembley, before moving to Aston Villa.
Other favours granted to Warner were the waiving of a £168,000 debt owed to the Football Association by the Jamaican Football Federation and the sponsorship of a £36,000 Caribbean Football Union gala dinner.
Undisclosed “favours and benefits” were also granted by the FA to a team Warner owned — Joe Public Football Club.
Warner told The Times that all the requests he made to the English FA were “for other persons or entities and never for my family or me.”
He also questioned the decision to absolve the U.S. bidding team, citing a visit that he and then FIFA president Blatter had made to the Oval Office in 2009.
He wrote: “I have also taken note that the American investigator has absolved the US Soccer Federation and I ask myself how come? Was this not the same USSF that facilitated a visit to the White House for Sepp and me to meet Obama? How do you characterise that?
“Was this not the same USSF that arranged for [then Confederation of African Football president Issa] Hayatou and his Ex Co members to do the same? But then again this is the US that I guess determines if you fall, live or die.”
Meanwhile, the Serious Fraud Office in the United Kingdom is analysing the Garcia report.
The decisions to award Russia the 2018 World Cup and Qatar the 2022 edition have been dogged by allegations of bribery and corruption since they were made in December 2010.
An SFO spokesperson said: “The SFO is reviewing the Garcia Report. We can make no further comment at this stage.”
Confirmation of the SFO’s interest comes 20 months after its director, David Green, told MPs of potential money-laundering offences, including a payment of 500,000 Australian dollars (£295,000) made by the Australia 2022 bid committee to former CONCACAF president Warner, which may have gone through London.
At the time, Green, who was giving evidence to the Culture, Media and Sport select committee, said the SFO “cannot touch FIFA with the Bribery Act as things stand” as it became law in July 2011 and most of the World Cup allegations took place before then.
In October 2015, the SFO had a team of five going through more than 1,600 documents provided by the FA relating to England’s failed 2018 bid.
Dave Ramsey is asking us to pass along this plan as an alternitive to the 700 billion bailout that is being proposed in Washington DC. Years of bad decisions and stupid mistakes have created an economic nightmare in this country, but $700 billion in new debt is not the answer. As a tax-paying American citizen, … Continue reading The Common Sense Fix instead of the Bailout
After several high-profile and well-paid professional athletes retired from their sport in near-bankruptcy, leagues began providing rookies with some financial coaching in addition to athletic coaching.
It's made a difference, as more players now have diversified portfolios to fall back on when their playing days are over.
When you boil it down, it's an example of a financial wellness program -- learning good habits to build wealth and avoiding financial mistakes. These days, businesses are adopting a similar approach, with financial wellness programs becoming a popular employee benefit.
"More than 40% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and 75% report experiencing financial stress," said Bill Rogers, CEO of SunTrust. "Progressive companies can improve overall wellness in America by offering a financial fitness program for their employees."
Participating employees take part in workshops and online sessions to learn how to establish financial goals. The program stresses the importance of having an emergency savings fund and managing spending habits.
SunTrust says a follow-up survey found employees who had a household budget rose from 43% before the start of the program to 87% when it was completed. By the time the program ended, nearly all participants had set up an emergency funds and increased their contributions to retirement savings accounts by 35 percent.
No sales pitches
SunTrust stresses that its program is non-profit and there are no advertisements or sales pitches for financial products anywhere in the curriculum.
"We've had terrific feedback from our associates about this program," said Scott Smith, vice president of Human Resources at Home Depot. "It's a great way for us to put more power behind the great financial benefits we already offer."
You're likely to hear more about these programs in the months ahead, and maybe even have access to one at your place of employment.
PWC's 2017 Employee Financial Wellness Survey found that employees' financial stress takes a toll on company productivity. Nearly a third of employees said they are distracted by personal financial issues while at work. Nearly half admit to spending three hours or more each week dealing with personal finances at work.
What's behind this growing financial stress? Not surprisingly, for many it is student loan debt.
Forty percent of Millennials and 31% of Gen X employees with student loans reported these debts are having a significant impact on their ability to set and meet other financial goals.
Companies interested in adding a financial wellness program can learn more by reading this report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
(EMAILWIRE.COM, June 30, 2017 ) Market Research Hub (MRH) has recently announced the addition of a fresh report, titled Sweden Wind Power Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2017 - Capacity, Generation, Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), Investment Trends, Regulations and Company Profiles to its report offerings. The report provides in depth analysis on global renewable power market and global wind power market with forecasts up to 2030.
"Wind Power in Sweden, Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2016 - Capacity, Generation, Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), Investment Trends, Regulations and Company Profiles is the latest report from GlobalData, the industry analysis specialists that offer comprehensive information and understanding of the wind power market in Sweden.
The report provides in depth analysis on global renewable power market and global wind power market with forecasts up to 2030. The report analyzes the power market scenario in Sweden (includes conventional thermal, nuclear, large hydro and renewable energy sources) and provides future outlook with forecasts up to 2030. The research details renewable power market outlook in the country (includes wind, small hydro, biopower and solar PV) and provides forecasts up to 2030. The report highlights installed capacity and power generation trends from 2006 to 2030 in Sweden wind power market. A detailed coverage of renewable energy policy framework governing the market with specific policies pertaining to wind power is provided in the report. The research also provides company snapshots of some of the major market participants.
The report is built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, secondary research and in-house analysis by GlobalDatas team of industry experts.
Scope The report analyses global renewable power market, global wind power (Onshore and Offshore) market, Sweden power market, Sweden renewable power market and Sweden wind power market. The scope of the research includes - - A brief introduction on global carbon emissions and global primary energy consumption. - An overview on global renewable power market, highlighting installed capacity trends, generation trends and installed capacity split by various renewable power sources. The information is covered for the historical period 2006-2015 (unless specified) and forecast period 2015-2030. - Renewable power sources include wind (both onshore and offshore), solar photovoltaic (PV), concentrated solar power (CSP), small hydropower (SHP), biomass, biogas and geothermal. - Detailed overview of the global wind power market with installed capacity and generation trends, installed capacity split by major hydropower countries in 2015 and key owners information of various regions. - Power market scenario in Sweden and provides detailed market overview, installed capacity and power generation trends by various fuel types (includes thermal conventional, nuclear, large hydro and renewable energy sources) with forecasts up to 2030. - An overview on Sweden renewable power market, highlighting installed capacity trends (2006-2030), generation trends(2006-2030) and installed capacity split by various renewable power sources in 2015. - Detailed overview of Sweden wind power market with installed capacity and generation trends and major active and upcoming wind projects. - Deal analysis of Sweden wind power market. Deals are analyzed on the basis of mergers, acquisitions, partnership, asset finance, debt offering, equity offering, private equity (PE) and venture capitalists (VC). - Key policies and regulatory framework supporting the development of renewable power sources in general and wind power in particular. - Company snapshots of some of the major market participants in the country.
Reasons to buy - The report will enhance your decision making capability in a more rapid and time sensitive manner. - Identify key growth and investment opportunities in Sweden wind power market. - Facilitate decision-making based on strong historic and forecast data for wind power market. - Position yourself to gain the maximum advantage of the industrys growth potential. - Develop strategies based on the latest regulatory events. - Identify key partners and business development avenues. - Understand and respond to your competitors business structure, strategy and prospects.
1 Table of Contents 2 1.1 List of Tables 6 1.2 List of Figures 7 2 Executive Summary 8 2.1 Government Support in Conjunction with Technology Development Driving Global Renewable Power Installations 8 2.2 Top 10 Countries Account for Over 84% of Wind Power Capacity 8 2.3 Renewable to Account for a Maximum Share of Installed Capacity by 2030 9 2.4 Wind Power to become One of the Primary Sources of Electricity in the Future 10 3 Introduction 11 3.1 Carbon Emissions, Global, 2001-2015 11 3.2 Primary Energy Consumption, Global, 2001-2025 13 3.3 Wind Power, Global, Technology Definition and Classification 15 3.4 Wind Power Market, Technology Overview 15 3.5 Wind Power Market, Turbine Components 16 3.6 Report Guidance 18 4 Renewable Power Market, Global, 2006 - 2030 19 4.1 Renewable Power Market, Global, Overview 19 4.2 Renewable Power Market, Global, Installed Capacity, 2006-2030 21 4.2.1 Renewable Power Market, Global, Cumulative Installed Capacity by Source Type, 2006-2030 21 4.2.2 Renewable Power Market, Global, Cumulative Installed Capacity Split by Source Type, 2015 and. 2030 23
Market Research Hub (MRH) is a next-generation reseller of research reports and analysis. MRHs expansive collection of Wind Power Market Research Reports has been carefully curated to help key personnel and decision makers across industry verticals to clearly visualize their operating environment and take strategic steps.
MRH functions as an integrated platform for the following products and services: Objective and sound market forecasts, qualitative and quantitative analysis, incisive insight into defining industry trends, and market share estimates. Our reputation lies in delivering value and world-class capabilities to our clients.
(EMAILWIRE.COM, June 30, 2017 ) Market Research Hub (MRH) has recently announced the addition of a fresh report, titled Sweden Hydropower Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2017 - Capacity, Generation, Regulations and Company Profiles to its report offerings. The report provides in depth analysis on global renewable power market and global hydropower market with forecasts up to 2030.
"Hydropower (Large, Small and Pumped Storage) in Sweden, Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2017 - Capacity, Generation, Regulations and Company Profiles" is the latest report from GlobalData, the industry analysis specialists that offer comprehensive information and understanding of the hydropower market in Sweden.
The report provides in depth analysis on global renewable power market and global hydropower market with forecasts up to 2030. The report analyzes the power market scenario in Sweden (includes conventional thermal, nuclear, large hydro and renewable energy sources) and provides future outlook with forecasts up to 2030. The research details renewable power market outlook in the country (includes hydro, small hydro, biopower and solar PV) and provides forecasts up to 2030. The report highlights installed capacity and power generation trends from 2006 to 2030 in Sweden hydropower market. A detailed coverage of renewable energy policy framework governing the market with specific policies pertaining to hydropower is provided in the report. The research also provides company snapshots of some of the major market participants.
The report is built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, secondary research and in-house analysis by GlobalDatas team of industry experts. Scope The report analyses global renewable power market, global hydropower market, Sweden power market, Sweden renewable power market and Sweden hydropower market. The scope of the research includes - - A brief introduction on global carbon emissions and global primary energy consumption. - An overview on global renewable power market, highlighting installed capacity trends, generation trends and installed capacity split by various renewable power sources. The information is covered for the historical period 2006-2016 (unless specified) and forecast period 2017-2030. - Renewable power sources include wind (both onshore and offshore), solar photovoltaic (PV), concentrated solar power (CSP), small hydropower (SHP), biomass, biogas and geothermal. - Detailed overview of the global hydropower market with installed capacity and generation trends, installed capacity split by major hydropower countries in 2016 and key owners information of various regions. - Power market scenario in Sweden and provides detailed market overview, installed capacity and power generation trends by various fuel types (includes thermal conventional, nuclear, large hydro and renewable energy sources) with forecasts up to 2030. - An overview on Sweden renewable power market, highlighting installed capacity trends (2006-2030), generation trends(2006-2030) and installed capacity split by various renewable power sources in 2016. - Detailed overview of Sweden hydropower market with installed capacity and generation trends and major active and upcoming hydro projects. - Deal analysis of Sweden hydropower market. Deals are analyzed on the basis of mergers, acquisitions, partnership, asset finance, debt offering, equity offering, private equity (PE) and venture capitalists (VC). - Key policies and regulatory framework supporting the development of renewable power sources in general and hydropower in particular. - Company snapshots of some of the major market participants in the country. Reasons to buy - The report will enhance your decision making capability in a more rapid and time sensitive manner. - Identify key growth and investment opportunities in Sweden hydropower market. - Facilitate decision-making based on strong historic and forecast data for hydropower market. - Position yourself to gain the maximum advantage of the industrys growth potential. - Develop strategies based on the latest regulatory events. - Identify key partners and business development avenues. - Understand and respond to your competitors business structure, strategy and prospects.
1 Table of Contents 2 1.1 List of Tables 5 1.2 List of Figures 6 2 Executive Summary 7 2.1 Fall in OECD Countries Carbon Emission despite a Global Rise during 2010-2015 7 2.2 Technological Advancements and Government Support Driving Global Renewable Power Installations 7 2.3 Top 10 Countries Account for Over 70% of Hydropower Capacity 7 2.4 Renewable to Stock Up Maximum Installed Capacity by 2030 8 2.5 Hydropower Capacity Dominates Electricity Generation in Sweden 9 3 Introduction 10 3.1 Carbon Emissions, Global, 2001-2016 10 3.2 Primary Energy Consumption, Global, 2001-2025 12 3.3 Hydropower, Global, Technology Definition and Classification 14 3.4 Report Guidance 16 4 Renewable Power Market, Global, 2006-2030 17 4.1 Renewable Power Market, Global, Overview 17 4.2 Renewable Power Market, Global, Installed Capacity, 2006-2030 18 4.2.1 Renewable Power Market, Global, Cumulative Installed Capacity by Source Type, 2006-2030 18 4.2.2 Renewable Power Market, Global, Cumulative Installed Capacity Split by Source Type, 2016 and 2030 20 4.2.3 Renewable Power Market, Global, Net Capacity Additions by Source Type, 2016-2030 22
Market Research Hub (MRH) is a next-generation reseller of research reports and analysis. MRHs expansive collection of market research reports has been carefully curated to help key personnel and decision makers across industry verticals to clearly visualize their operating environment and take strategic steps.
MRH functions as an integrated platform for the following products and services: Objective and sound market forecasts, qualitative and quantitative analysis, incisive insight into defining industry trends, and market share estimates. Our reputation lies in delivering value and world-class capabilities to our clients.
Stephens Inc. Serves as Senior Co-Manager Carrizo Oil & Gas (ticker: CRZO) has priced its public offering of common stock it issued in conjunction with its recent Delaware Basin acquisition. As part of its efforts to pay for the $648 million purchase of 16,488 net acres from ExL Petroleum Management, Carrizo is making several different offerings to raise funds. Immediately[Read More...]
Recently my friend Sabine Heimsath asked a few of us native English speakers what the opposite of “technical debt” was. My immediate reaction was to say: I’d say (sarcastically) “proper development” or “decent designer” or even “what we did 25 bloody years ago when we were allowed to take pride in the software we created!” […]
UVA Law professor Richard M. Hynes analyzes the circumstances under which individuals file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In Chapter 11, the debtor maintains control of his or her business operations under the supervision of the court.
Dec 27, 2016, from NPR:
"Big Newspapers Are Booming: 'Washington Post' To Add 60"
In case you're unaware (<i>in case</i>.. ha!) Lee Enterprises, based in Davenport, Iowa, publishes the Lincoln Journal Star.
Dec 12, 2016, Wisconsin State Journal:
"for the full fiscal year, the Davenport, Iowa, newspaper publishing company’s profits rose 50 percent..
For the full 2016 fiscal year, Lee reported profits of $36 million, or 64 cents a diluted share, on revenue of $614.4 million compared with $24.3 million in profits, or 43 cents a diluted share, on revenue of $648.5 million for the 2015 fiscal year.
Lee reduced its debt by $108.7 million in fiscal 2016, decreasing interest costs by $8.2 million..
“In 2016, our enterprises ranked among industry leaders in revenue and operating performance,” Kevin Mowbray, president and CEO, said in a written statement."
It never ceases to amaze me how little the (vocal) right knows about the world around them.
Trump attacks the 'failing media', and the angry little trumpkins all scramble obediently fall into line. Goose stepping in unison with their beloved Hair GropenFuhrer.
If you’ve never heard of Debt Neglector, now’s the time to check them out. They’re a relatively new punk band hailing from my home state, sunny Florida. Most notably, their lineup features former New Mexican Disaster Squad bassist Alex Goldfarb. The band’s debut album Atomicland releases August 18th through Smartpunk Records. I highly recommend giving […]
It's always a great idea to check the fine print of any contract before you take out a line of credit, but many people neglect to do this and owe a lot of money. There's no sense in beating a dead horse here. The important thing now is to work toward getting out of debt, so let's …
It's always a great idea to check the fine print of any contract before you take out a line of credit, but many people neglect to do this and owe a lot of money. There's no sense in beating a dead horse here. The important thing now is to work toward getting out of debt, so let's …
After another six months of discussions, Greek debt negotiations succeeded in once again kicking the can down the road. This column analyses how sophisticated and experienced negotiators like the IMF, the Eurozone leadership, and by now even the Greeks, could have let negotiations drag out for so many years, and goes on to propose a plan which might be just radical enough to meet the needs of all parties.
KeyBank’s Community Development Lending & Investment (CDLI) team will provide a total of $7.3 million in financing to Liberty Affordable Housing, Inc. to support the new construction of 37 energy efficient affordable housing units for seniors ages 55 or older in Gloversville, NY. Specifically, KeyBank will provide a $2.6 million construction loan and up to $4.7 million in LIHTC equity financing.
“KeyBank values helping clients and communities thrive by providing quality affordable housing in neighborhoods across the country,” said Rob Likes, national manager of KeyBank’s CDLI team. “We are inspired by the opportunity to serve seniors in Gloversville, NY, by partnering with Liberty Affordable Housing, Inc. to develop new and critical housing options for seniors.”
Estee Senior Apartments will replace a blighted former school building in a central business district. Eight of the 37 units will provide rental assistance to households earning up to 50% AMI; ten units will target households earning up to 50% AMI and 19 units will target households earning up to 60% AMI. Six units will be set aside for elderly and frail individuals or individuals with disabilities who are veterans. The complex will be managed by CRM Rental Management, Inc.
“We are committed to providing all of our neighbors with excellent affordable housing options,” said Davis G. Yohe, executive director of Liberty Affordable Housing, Inc. “We are thrilled to bring Estee Senior Apartments to Gloversville through our partnership with KeyBank, and believe it will positively and meaningfully impact the neighborhood.”
Residents with special needs will have access to supportive services through the Resource Center for Independent Living, (RCIL) and Northeastern Association of the Blind at Albany, Inc. (NABA) and the Fulton County Office for Aging/Youth.
The project is one part of the Gloversville Comprehensive Plan, a significant neighborhood revitalization effort by local government that responds to housing needs among low- to moderate-income families.
“Our team is dedicated to making transformational change in the communities where we live and work,” added Lynne Callis-Wilson, senior relationship manager on KeyBank’s CDLI team who arranged the financing along with Victoria O’Brien. “We are passionate about this work, and committed to seeing through the development of new, green and affordable units here in Gloversville.”
The financing was made possible by an allocation of LIHTCs from New York State Housing and Community Renewal.
About Key Community Development Lending and Investment
KeyBank Community Development Lending and Investment (CDLI) helps fulfill Key’s purpose to help clients and communities thrive by financing projects that stabilize and revitalize communities. Experts in complex tax credit lending and investing, Key is one of a handful of affordable housing lenders in the country with a platform that brings together balance sheet, equity, and permanent loan offerings. CDLI has a substantial investment and loan portfolio worth more than $2 billion, 90% of which is Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) projects. For its ability to lend to, invest in, and serve its communities –especially low-to-moderate income communities – KeyBank has earned eight consecutive “Outstanding” ratings on the Community Reinvestment Act exam, from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
KeyCorp's roots trace back 190 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $134.5 billion at March 31, 2017. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, insurance, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of more than 1,200 branches and more than 1,500 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit https://www.key.com/. KeyBank is Member FDIC.
About Liberty Affordable Housing Inc. (LAH)
LAH is a not-for-profit organization founded in March 2002 to acquire and develop affordable housing primarily for low income seniors and families. In addition to developing affordable housing, LAH has also assumed ownership interest in four additional properties which utilize Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment programs and other federal and state housing programs for low-income persons and families. Since inception, LAH has successfully completed 19 preservation and new construction projects (15 acquisition/rehab and 4 new construction) totaling 2,749 units. Projects range from 33 to 292 units including both family and senior projects.
Over the course of an average 79-year lifespan, a white individual contributes a net $220,805 to the system, whereas over the course of an average 75-year lifespan, a black individual receives a net $751,200. However, since there are 4.6 times more whites than blacks in the USA, the black share has to be divided among the various contributors to sort out a one-to-one comparison.
So, the net cost to the average White American of the average Black American is $384,109. Married? That's $768,218. Got 2 kids? That's $1,536,436. 4 kids? Now we're talking $2,304,654 lifetime.
Diversity is expensive. Now you understand why you won't have much of an inheritance to leave to your children. Do you really think it's worth it? And then, those natural conservatives to the south, the Hispanics, will surely improve the situation, right? After all, immigration helps the economy! Well, not so much.
In fact, because there are more Hispanics in the USA than Blacks, Hispanics are already a bigger cumulative net drain on the economy, $411,950,000,000 to $389,710,000,000. Needless to say, the ongoing demographic change from a predominantly white society to a less productive, less white one can be expected to have even more serious negative effects on the long-term economic prospects of the United States that it already has.
To quote the original author: "The negative fiscal impact of blacks and hispanics is significant. All of this discussion of a “national debt” and “deficit” is primarily of function of blacks and hispanics. Without them, we would be running budget surpluses today, even when keeping the military the same size."
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video video games like poker in leisure golf gear is permitted
and no licence is required for the same", mentioned KN Suresh, secretary of The Indian Poker Affiliation. For many gamers, although, online poker real cash sites have a lot of advantages. The ante guess is often seen as the standard Three Card Poker bet, as many of the action at the desk revolves around resolving it. The ante guess additionally allows players to incorporate some strategy, in contrast to the PairPlus bet, which is entirely primarily based on luck.
Our members have rated, ranked and reviewed the preferred and greatest US on-line poker sites for USA players. While they don't seem to be quite as rich because the richest individuals on this planet , these guys can hold their own-and then some. One half of the top poker playing duo within the US, Di Dang was simply one of the crucial feared execs in the world back when on-line poker was booming. Other than profitable two titles, Esfandiari also received 3 World Collection of Poker bracelets and sat at six remaining tables - an overall impressive achievement for any professional participant. Advice: If you need true clay chips, and don't mind spending the money, then you need to take into account these.
The Abroad Change Administration Act (FEMA) 1999 was launched to India in 1999 to control the change of international overseas money. High poker execs of India have been repeatedly taking part in within the bigger fields for large prize swimming pools in this decade internationally. In response to a report by KPMG, in 2009, the estimated betting market in India was worth US$ 60 billion. So as to add to the ambience, mood and pleasure, it is very important invest in a top quality poker chip set and quality poker supplies. Computer systems have surpassed the very best human players at chess, checkers, backgammon, and go. Poker is a definite problem due to the aspect of probability, and since the players don't know what cards their opponents are holding.
Ceramic chips have been launched in the mid 1980s as different to clay chips, and are also utilized in casinos, as well as being readily available to the house market. On-line poker tables common around one hundred palms per hour, compared to around 30 palms per hour at dwell tables. DoubleDown On line casino offers all your favorite basic Poker games like Texas Hold'em, Pot-Limit Omaha and 5 Card Draw. On high of the 200% multiplier, all new players at Betfair Poker will obtain a complete of ten tickets to quite a lot of single table and multi-table tournaments. That is the primary sign of an aggressive advertising campaign by Indian poker web sites, which have been offering actual-cash poker since 2011.
Chip Reese was among the best all around poker players on this planet till he not too long ago passed away. However one that is for certain that there is a large opportunity for Poker in India and with daily, there's a new website posting the sport of poker in a a lot-refined manner. Even in those darkish moments the one fixed was and is the love and support we have acquired from the poker fraternity. This recreation is played the precisely same way as Texas Hold'em except that players should not take a look at their two hole cards. Along with Negreanu, he's the only other poker players in history to earn more than $30 million.
In fact, this latest incident is one which displays the differing views of poker world wide. In 2014, I received my first World Series of Poker Bracelet, adopted up with a 2nd bracelet in 2016. When more than one hand has a pair of the same rank, the hand with the highest card outside the pair wins. After a hypothetical name the pot will probably be 1 (SB) + 2 (BB) + 2 (first player's call) + 2 (second player's call). Gowen first rose to poker stardom after profitable the 2003 WPT Ladies Night time Occasion. Nonetheless, they seem to be equally apprehensive about the transaction methods offered to them by the respective online poker rooms.
Reputation of on-line play surged when in 2003, an unknown amatuer web participant named Chris Monemaker took the World Sequence of Poker by storm and positioned first out of 839 entrants to say the title of World Champion. Whereas there are growing alternate options within the Asia Pacific region, in addition to some land-based mostly playing providers in India, the consolation of enjoying on-line poker has opened up numerous new interest within the sport for people in India, who now have the liberty to enjoy having fun with Texas Maintain'em anyplace, anytime. The new crew is taking a look at re-establishing itself on the Goa poker scene and with that in mind have taken over the third degree on the ship and intend to completely refurbish and create an opulent spanking new poker room.
Sumit Sapra from Delhi listed four various factors ranking Quality of the software and User Interface"
on the high. With regards to tales of poker execs going bust, they don't come much uglier
than Erick Lindgren 's unhappy tale of debts, playing degeneracy, chapter, and legal actions.
He points to feedback in the discussion board submit about Viktor
Isuldr1" Blom playing the highest on-line stakes for hundreds of thousands of dollars with out a HUD, and other members who know high stakes gamers that don't use HUDs. Thus, legality of on-line poker or on-line rummy continues to be a grey area and online gaming and gambling stakeholders ought to comply with the relevant authorized tips of India until Indian authorities comes up with some coverage or law on this regard.
Let's start by saying when you just bear in mind to by no means let your stack fall beneath 10 massive blinds, and simply push or fold when the time is correct, you'll grow to be a lot better tournament participant. Within the event of a tie on all five cards, the chip pot is break up evenly between the players left contesting the hand. This standard card game (also known as Indian poker) sees fascinating additions to its set of variations yearly - making both shedding and successful fun, offered you have not gone the Yudhisthira method (let's face it, there are many crafty Duryodhana's out there).
Attain out to our coaches, get entry to specialised poker studying assets and be taught the guidelines of the game to turn right into a champion poker participant. In addition they have a better repute in the poker community, whereas I've heard numerous tales about bwin treating poker gamers very badly. The inaugural occasion in 1970 was contested by six of probably the most outstanding names in the sport and the winner decided by ballot. Gives a wide range of game modes including Pineapple (with fantasy land!), regular OFC and low in the center. After connecting to the internet on your telephone, you will be able to entry hundreds of player tables and thousands of gamers.
He had dominated in cash games for a long interval before the World Series was created, with a coolness that was unshakeable no matter how a table was working. Here's the real deal: most poker web site opinions are written by outsourced content writers that know nothing about poker. Most individuals have performed poker sooner or later in their lives and are already accustomed to the rankings of varied fingers. Don't buy into the misperception that the games are tough and the fish swimming pools have all dried up. The games are nonetheless plenty juicy and beatable.
One among Poker Central's key features is the actual fact it is obtainable for all kinds of platforms including cellular (iOS, Android) and at house (Xbox One, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku). Whether you are a novice or an experience participant, online roulette never fails to entertain. Rakeback increases your winnings from on-line poker as you regularly earn money back from every raked hand or event you play. The list of video games embody rummy, card games-28, fifty six, 112, ball throw, cup and coin contests and the like. The cell phone is pinged by multiple towers and its approximate location determines whether or not the player might sit at actual cash tables.
All the time consult your native laws in your jurisdiction earlier than playing poker on-line. Which means if you deposit $50 on a website with a 50% deposit match than you may get $50 free. If you are planning on taking part in with a poker site that you have already got an account with, you may simply must log in and proceed playing with the balance in your current account. That's it. There are lots of specific situations that you will run into playing poker that I have never lined right here, however I consider that this guide gives you a solid foundation to employing the proper technique for the craziness of on-line poker.
They are saying poker is of enterprise, however not so way back, they said that about entrepreneurship too. Online poker isn't prone to be legalized on a federal level within the fast future, however there are plenty of states looking to legalize online poker on their very own. So I imagine that life, Like your poker recreation is all about steadiness... And I actually enjoy making an attempt to Stability every facet of my life. The place it differs is in the hand ranking, which is all about making the very best attainable flush out of seven cards. It is advisable not only think about the ace-ace in your hand but in addition think about what's on the desk, what the opposite participant might be holding, what his wager tells you about his playing cards and what he's trying to study with his bets.
He has received the World Poker Tour twice until now and made to the final table seven instances and in addition to that, he additionally made to the final table of European Poker Tour five occasions. You have to divide your seven playing cards into two poker palms: a High Hand (typically known as Highest) consisting of five playing cards, and a Low Hand (sometimes referred to as 2nd Highest) consisting of two playing cards. This free android poker app offers you the likelihood to play stay texas hold'em poker. If your telephone or pill helps this version then games on this web page will run without any problems. Like after the Karnataka Excessive Court ruled two years ago that poker, then rummy, had been games of ability, not likelihood, authorized card rooms began dealing fingers across the metropolis, albeit extra low-key than Macau's strip-lit dens of iniquity.
He stunned the poker business when gained over Mike McDonald during the $10,300 PCA Main Event. Each online gaming and on-line collaborating in market of India is quick booming and maturing Entrepreneurs in these fields have started exploring Indian markets to find out their ventures in India. The SFPT will abide by these penalty violations with a purpose to make poker enjoyable for everybody. These sometimes sell at a premium to standard clay poker chips, but with out the metal insert the texture and sound is the most genuine out there. The identical yr the poker website also rolled out its cell app for gamers and the site migrated its poker game lobby from a Flex-primarily based Person Interface to HTML5-primarily based Person Interface, offering a superior UI to its registered players.
Nicely, all the greatest and most impressive sites providing Android Poker apps are waiting for you. The top Indian poker rooms can help you play the poker video games you're keen on head-to-head towards real people or in event format for precise cash. The shortstack however, Dhaval Mudgal of Cardplayer India has began his consistent run of developing last tables ever since making the Main Occasion last desk within the December 2010 event as effectively last evening's IPC 5k. However he can be unable to enhance on his ninth place end from last night by busting out first on the final desk.
Nearly every on-line poker site offers poker bonuses to players, either as bonus added cash to your first deposit (often called the first deposit bonus) whenever you join with a brand new poker room, or as extra bonuses which are given to you at intervals (referred to as reload bonuses). Is the world's largest and most trusted on-line poker guide, providing the easiest on-line poker bonus deals assured, over $1m in unique freerolls yearly and probably probably the most free poker content material out there on the Internet. With Genting Poker roulette, you'll be able to play the world's favorite on line casino game at your individual velocity and leisure.
If two or more gamers have related straight in a hand, the pot is split equally. One three-Card Poker Gold technique that's easy to implement is to play both 3-Card Poker Gold games directly. If you wish to take it simple, you can play the House Method and have a great probability of profitable Pai Gow Poker. Composite plastic chips are low-cost to make, which why they're additionally sold for residence use. This leads to many gamers treating three card poker as a type of entertainment, rather than a money making enterprise. It accepts on-line U.S poker players and is thought to be the quickest processor amongst all of the poker sites.
Be at liberty to review our How To Play Texas Maintain'Em section to construct a strong basis of the game. Clay poker chips usually last 6 to 7 years within the casinos, however can final for much longer with correct care and dealing with. This network accommodates a number of European sports brands who provide a continuing stream of gamblers from the betting area into poker. Ivory chips with numerical and animal designs hand-scrimshawed into the surface are worth greater than those that includes geometric or planet patterns. We note that a few of this info, like ROI, is opt-in to adjust to poker sites' terms of service.
Kennedys has reported its latest financial results, which show an 8 per cent increase in global turnover. For the 2016/17 year, global turnover rose from £138.8m to £149.9m. The firm credits much of the boost to its European region, which saw 118 per cent growth from £6.5m to £14.2m.
Meanwhile, the firm’s debt figure reached £20.3m, representing 13.5 per cent of total revenue. The debt increase was primarily a result of increased headcount and new office openings.
Further to the Company's Proposed Capital Raising announcement released on 15 June 2017, NewRiver is pleased to announce that it has now exchanged conditional contracts to acquire the remaining 50% share in its BRAVO Joint Ventures from subsidiaries of BRAVO II for a cash consideration of £59.4 million. The transaction allows NewRiver to gain control over 4 convenience-led shopping centre assets in Belfast,Glasgow,Hastings and Middlesbrough with a total gross asset value of £240 million, representing a topped up net initial yield of 7.3%.
The BRAVO Joint Ventures generated net rental income of approximately £16.5 million for the financial year-ended 31 December 2016 and had net assets of approximately £120.8 million (of which the Group's share was approximately £60.4 million) as at 31 December 2016. They have indebtedness of approximately £120 million outstanding which the Company intends to remain in place and bring onto its own balance sheet following completion of the acquisition.
The acquisition is conditional on obtaining funding which the Company intends to be satisfied by means of £59.4 million of the net proceeds of the capital raising announced on 15 June 2017 and the obtaining of the consent of the BRAVO Joint Ventures' secured lenders to the acquisition to the extent required, in each case, being satisfied by no later than 31 July 2017.
Key transaction terms
· Prior to the acquisition, the Company owned 50% of the units in the BRAVO Joint Ventures, being the NewRiver Retail Property Unit Trust No.2, the NewRiver Retail Property Unit Trust No.5, the NewRiver Retail Property Unit Trust No.6 and the NewRiver Retail Property Unit Trust No.7.
· The Joint Ventures hold shopping centre assets in Belfast, Glasgow, Hastings and Middlesbrough which were acquired off-market in 2013 and 2014.
· The Company has exchanged contracts in an off-market transaction to acquire the remaining 50% of the units in the BRAVO Joint Ventures for total consideration of £59.4 million.
· The assets acquired in the transaction have a gross asset value of £240 million representing a net initial yield of 7.3%.
· The transaction is structured as the acquisition of the remaining 50% of the units of the joint venture vehicles, and will involve transferring £121.2 million of gross debt onto the Company's consolidated balance sheet.
Overview of assets
The Abbey Centre, Newtownabbey, Belfast (NewRiver Retail Property Unit Trust No.6)
· 320,000 sq ft shopping centre located 6 miles north of Belfast providing a convenient alternative to city centre shopping. The centre has 3 anchor stores; a 44,000 sq ft Next flagship store completed in December 2016, a 35,000 sq ft Dunnes flagship store handed over to Dunnes in June 2017 and a 17,000 sq ft Primark store.The occupier line-up also includes a 15,000 sq ft New Look unit opened on 8 June 2017 and a Nandos unit opened on 20 April 2017 as part of the ongoing re-development of the food court area.
The Avenue Shopping Centre, Newton Mearns, Glasgow (NewRiver Retail Property Unit Trust No.7)
· 202,000 sq ft shopping centre located in an affluent suburb of Glasgow anchored by a 102,000 sq ft Asda foodstore with an occupier line-up featuring M&S Simply Food and Boots.
Priory Meadow Shopping Centre, Hastings (NewRiver Retail Property Unit Trust No.5)
· 290,000 sq ft shopping centre located in the heart of Hastings, in close proximity to Hastings train station and featuring a 1,000 space car park anchored by a 43,000 sq ft Marks & Spencer store with an occupier line-up including Poundland, Boots and H&M.
Hillstreet Shopping Centre, Middlesbrough (NewRiver Retail Property Unit Trust No.2)
· 240,000 sq ft shopping centre located in the heart of Middlesbrough anchored by a 62,000 sq ft Primark store with an occupier line-up including Argos, Sports Direct and Poundworld. The Tees Valley devolution deal and the direct London trains due by 2020 has given the Council and the region new impetus and the Company has been working in partnership with them on a number of schemes, including a new passenger transport interchange, leisure, hotel, restaurants, a college and digital media innovation centre located adjacent to Hillstreet Shopping Centre.
Unless every project you've worked on has been green field and / or built with no time pressure, you'll have found yourself working on a legacy project at some point. Unwieldy methods, mystery sections of code, ancient technologies, wholesale duplication... it's not much fun, but it's a large percentage of the code that's out there.
Projects to replace or rewrite these systems are commonplace, but where do you begin? What if you want to make a case to the business that such a system needs to be replaced? Technical debt can be a useful metaphor to make that case, but while it's easy to explain in the abstract, it's difficult to come up with anything concrete to justify the expense of an update to someone with an eye on their bottom line.
Thankfully, the folks at NDepend have now built technical debt computation on top of their code analysis tools, giving you a much easier way to have these sorts of discussions. This is doubly powerful - as well as putting a concrete cost on choosing not to refactor, the data it presents has the authority of having been produced by a tool. Tools don't try to get nice, tidy-up projects for academic reasons - they impartially detect problems in code. Someone (I think Erik Deitrich, but I can't find the blog) recently pointed out the advantages of an automated critique of this sort - there's no politics or personal opinions involved, and that automatically means everyone takes it more seriously.
A Real-World Example
I'm currently working with a legacy project, so when I heard about NDepend's new technical debt capabilities, I was eager to fire it up and see what it said. With all the default settings, it said this!
The main takeaways are:
Based on the number of lines of code, the project took an estimated 2,536 days of development
The code had 19,486 issues (!) of various severity - 2,736 were Major issues or worse
Based on the number and types of issues, the project's technical debt will take 944 development days to fix; i.e. we are currently 944 days in the hole if we are going to sort this out completely. That's approximately 3.5 developers for a year!
The debt cost was 37.23% (944 technical debt days / 2,536 development days); i.e. 37.23% of the total cost of developing the software now exists as technical debt. Sad face.
As it was a legacy project, it predictably had no automated tests, which would have enabled NDepend to more precisely calculate the total annual interest incurred by the debt. Double sad face. You can still see NDepend's total interest calculation in the Debt and Issues explorer, though (see below) - it was 481 development days; i.e. an additional 481 days of development time needed every year the issues in the code base go unfixed - that's about 2 whole developers!
These numbers make a powerful financial argument for refactoring and cleaning up the code. Which is exactly what we're doing :)
But there's more - Debt and Issues
As usual with NDepend, you can explore the issues it finds in great detail. Selecting from the Explore debt menu:
...you can check out Debt and Issues on a rule-by-rule basis:
The main offenders here are the aforementioned unwieldy methods and direct use of data access code in the UI layer. You see the debt and annual interest here on a per-rule basis, with the annual interest sum in the bottom row.
You can click into a particular rule to see more details, as well as the query used to calculate the debt and interest. For the 'Methods too complex' rule, that looks like this:
Debt is calculated directly from the Cyclomatic Complexity measurement - the number of paths through the method. Interest is calculated as 10 minutes per year if the method is 100% covered by tests, and 2 hours per year otherwise. Again as usual with NDepend, if you think these numbers don't sound quite right, or you'd like a method's complexity to be taken into account when calculating its annual interest, you can tweak the query yourself until you're happy with it - it's just C# Linq in Visual Studio!
Queries, Rules and Issues
The dashboard indicated violation of 8 critical rules - clicking that opens the Queries and Rules Explorer:
Our 8 violated rules are listed in the right-hand pane - again, mainly down to unwieldy methods. Clicking into each rule presents the list of offenders with direct access to the code.
Static analysis has always been a very useful tool, but linking it to technical debt is one of those simple, brilliant ideas - bringing issues into the real world, especially for non-technical stakeholders. Compare explaining that the methods in a code base are too big and complex - some with Cyclomatic Complexities in 100s! - verses explaining that the methods in a code base cost 2.5 months of development time every year. The latter is much more visceral. The former sounds academic - the latter sounds expensive. It's indispensable data when talking about legacy systems.
Major Canadian miner Kinross Gold has launched a $500-million unsecured ten-year debt offering which it will use, in combination with cash on hand, to repay its $500-million term loan due in 2020. Toronto-based Kinross, which has mines and projects in the US, Brazil, Russia, Mauritania, Chile and Ghana, on Wednesday said the debt offering comprises 4.5% senior notes due in 2027.
John 11:1-2 (New King James Version) 1 Now a unshakable man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the municipality of Mary and her sis Martha. 2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord near sweet oil and wiped His feet near her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill.We all now the passageway deeply good of the female person that was a sinner and who water-washed Jesus feet next to her bodily function and anointed them beside her essence after drying the Lord's feet near her spine. WE just power not have notable she was Martha's female sibling and a personage that was awfully enveloping to the Lord in the future day of the coating near essence in the path at a lower place. Luke 7:36-50 (New King James Version)36 Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat near him. And He went to the Pharisee's house, and sat downhill to eat. 37 And behold, a adult female in the town who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the array in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flagon of sweet-scented oil, 38 and stood at His feet astern Him weeping; and she began to hose His feet near her tears, and wiped them with the fleece of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them beside the redolent oil. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he support to himself, saying, "This Man, if He were a prophet, would cognise who and what demeanour of female this is who is poignant Him, for she is a evildoer."Post ads:Diesel - DZ4272 Watch / Men's Stainless Steel Edifice Brown Dial Tachymeter / Torgoen Swiss Men's T10302 Black Phantom Dial 3-Hand / Burberry - Men's Watches - Burberry Endurance - Ref. / GUESS GC Ceramic Ladies Watch G35003L2 / Luminox Men's 3041 Quartz Black Dial Carbon Reinforced / Timex Men's T49897 Expedition Rugged Shock Digital Chrono / Invicta Women's 0954 Venom Reserve Chronograph White / Swiss Legend Women's 20050-BKBGR Karamica Collection / Fossil Women's ES3107 Stainless Steel Analog Gold Dial / Timex T2N524 Men's Indiglo Night Light White Dial Black / Skagen Women's 812XSGXG Gold plated With Swarovski / Breda Women's 5188-white Adele Mini Boyfriend Rhinestone / Adidas Sport Digital Furano Grey Ladies Watch ADP6019 / MULCO MW4-9014-043 BlueMarine Chronograph / XOXO Women's XO5330 Silver-tone Bracelet With Rhinestones / Fossil Nate Stainless Steel Watch Burnished Gold-Tone / Swiss Legend Men's 21818P-BB-01-RA Neptune Black Dial / Timex Men's T5K528 Ironman Traditional 30-Lap Oversize40 And Jesus answered and said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." So he said, "Teacher, say it." 41 "There was a confident mortal who had two debtors. One allocated five cardinal denarii, and the other l. 42 And when they had zip beside which to repay, he cheerfully forgave them some. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will worship him more?" 43 Simon answered and said, "I suppose the one whom he forgave more than." And He said to him, "You have justifiedly judged." 44 Then He overturned to the female and aforementioned to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no dampen for My feet, but she has water-washed My feet near her bodily process and wiped them with the spine of her caput. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this female has not ceased to kiss My feet since the instance I came in. 46 You did not inunct My lead near oil, but this adult female has anointed My feet with musky oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she admired by a long way. But to whom little is forgiven, the identical loves infinitesimal." 48 Then He aforesaid to her, "Your sins are forgiven." 49 And those who sat at the array near Him began to say to themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?" 50 Then He said to the woman, "Your supernatural virtue has salvageable you. Go in order."
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By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com (WNW 290 6.30.17) A CNN producer and a top on air talent were both caught on hidden camera admitting the so-called Trump collusion story was a “nothing burger,” “pretty much BS” and was being followed “because of ratings.” Project VERITAS produced the videos that aired just after CNN was forced to […]
This is an insightful post that every person who is planning for a mortgage or has already taken it should read. Though paying off a mortgage early is good for some to give a feeling of satisfaction and security but at the same time taking smart decisions as per your situations such as financial conditions, your age, your existing debts etc so taking a decision as per the prevailing situation is of utmost importance.
As recently as the early 1990s, most students did not take out college loans. Today roughly two out of every three students borrow to pay for college due to the runaway cost of college. The typical student borrower is now leaving school with debt of roughly $37,000. Just the outstanding federal college loan debt now […]
No, it's more like this: For the entire many-billion history of the universe, prior to 1780, there was no such thing as a U.S. dollar.
Then, in 1792, suddenly the U.S. Congress <strong><em>arbitrarily</em></strong> created laws from thin air, that created the U.S. dollar, also from thin air.
Congress <strong><em>arbitrarily</em></strong> created as many of those dollars as it wished and gave those dollars the <strong><em>arbitrary</em></strong> value it wished: 1.60 grams of gold.
<blockquote>In the Coinage Act of 1834, the 15:1 ratio of silver to gold <strong><em>arbitrarily</em></strong> was changed to a 16:1 ratio by reducing the weight of the nation's gold coinage.
This <strong><em>arbitrarily</em></strong> created a new U.S. dollar that was backed by 1.50 g (23.22 grains) of gold.
The result of this revaluation, which was the <em>first arbitrary devaluation of the U.S. dollar</em>, was that the value in gold of the dollar arbitrarily was reduced by 6%.
In 1853, the weights of U.S. silver coins arbitrarily were reduced.
The Gold Standard Act of 1900, arbitrarily created by Congress and arbitrarily signed by the President, provided that: <em>"The dollar consisting of twenty-five and eight-tenths grains (1.67 g) of gold nine-tenths fine, as established by section thirty-five hundred and eleven of the Revised Statutes of the United States, shall be the standard unit of value, and all forms of money issued or coined by the United States shall be maintained at a parity of value with this standard."</em></blockquote>
Since then, Congress, the President, and the Federal Reserve Board, arbitrarily have changed the value of the dollar many times, and today the FRB changes the dollar's value by arbitrarily changing interest rates.
That is how Monetary Sovereignty works. The U.S. government, unlike state and local governments, is <strong>SOVEREIGN</strong> over the U.S. dollar. It can create as many dollars as it wishes and can make the dollar equal to anything it wishes.
By fiat, the government can make the dollar equal to an ounce of gold, a pound of silver or a partridge in a pear tree. It is <strong>SOVEREIGN</strong>.
"Why is it “dangerous?"
This is just another example of the oldest trick in the book...Be afraid, rule by fear.
All you have to do is ask "HOW?" and then listen to their dumb reasoning or perhaps they'll quietly walk away because they can't answer "how." They only know talking points and change the subject.
Everything is NOT arbitrary. Ever heard of Planck's Constant, Newton's Laws, Ohm's Law, sun and moon.
But debt IS arbitrary. People made it up long ago and now it's gotten out of hand and out of control. The only way out is to arbitrarily create a system of CREDIT, preferably paid forward rather than what we have now; a system of debt paid "back" wards without any end in sight.
As time goes on and everything gets worse, as it certainly will, there'll be a denouement. Humanity will have to get real. Debt will have to be forgiven and a system of credit introduced whether or not the .01% like it.
The choice is oblivion for all or success for all.
I finally got around to listening to the podcast below - was lovely to hear yours and Mark’s voices and discussing HRH Harry’s ‘coming out’ - I was really interested in your views. Its nice to know even the royals are human albeit they’re silver-spooned medicine may be a little easier to access than our own experiences - but hey, all comrades in arms, no less!
I think I’m a few years ahead of you in terms of personal development - what I mean by that is that your boy must be a toddler now (big hugs btw!) and my one child, Cole, is now in his first year of comprehensive, so his social development and emotional wellbeing has taken more of my focus than my own now. I’ve learned to accept myself just about, and I’m now currently preparing for battle to have Cole assessed for certain behavioural issues that have surfaced over the last few years - things like possibly mild dyslexia, concentration and slow processing issues which I know held me back in my adolescent development. Overall I don’t think he’s ‘damaged’ enough for them to be bothered so I have been asking them to look at introducing mental health and emotional wellbeing in to the curriculum. Mindfulness instead of Religious Education? Mental Education as well as Physical Education?
I do wonder how much different my life would have been and how many better choices I would have made if I had understood more about my mental health when I entered in to high school? Would I have been more able to talk about my father’s death, would I have been able to talk about how much I hated my body, would I have been able to channel my anger better - thank GOD I was too scared to try drugs otherwise I think that would definitely have been an outlet of choice - instead I have debts of ridiculous proportions and continue to work a 2 and a half employment cycle until I get sick of it and move on.
Anyway - just thought I’d say ‘hi’ and thanks for still linking me in. Hope you and your family are well and enjoying that miracle you made and not beating yourself up for being a crap mum like I always do - we are enough, we just have to believe it!
Keep up the great work xxx
Much love Mags :D
Will buy AI only if profitable for us: IndiGo president "Let me be very clear that if it is not profitable and does not add value to our employees, customers and shareholders, we will not embark on this journey," IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh wrote in a mail to staff on Air India acquisition bid.
'Half-a-degree of warming boosted extreme weather' Comparing two 20-year periods -- 1960-79 and 1991-2010 -- between which average global temperatures jumped 0.5 C (0.9 F), scientists found that the hottest summer temperatures increased by more than 1 degree C across a quarter of Earth's land areas, while the coldest winter temperatures warmed by more then 2.5 degree C.
Ice-free areas of Antarctica to increase by 2100: Study Ice-free areas may increase in Antarctica by 25 per cent due to climate change, leading to drastic changes in the continent's biodiversity, a study warns. They found the melting ice could create up to 17,000 square kilometre of new ice-free area across Antarctica.
Rare Siamese crocodile eggs found in Cambodia Conservationists have found a nest with 19 eggs from one of the world's most endangered crocodiles. It is boosting hopes for species threatened by poachers and habitat loss. Researchers believe only 400 adults still exist in the wild, the baby crocodiles will be raised at a conservation centre
Europe to meet US plea for more troops to Afghanistan European allies pledged more troops to support Afghanistan's hard-pressed military on Thursday but left details on numbers vague until the United States clarifies its new strategy to break a stalemate with the Taliban.
Washington plans $1.42 bn arms sale to Taiwan The State Department said the package included technical support for early warning radar, high speed anti-radiation missiles, torpedoes and missile components. The US is the sole arms supplier to Taiwan, which China deems its own and has never renounced the use of force to bring the self-ruled island under its control.
German parliament legalises same-sex marriage Germany's parliament voted by a wide margin to legalise same-sex marriage. The parliament voted by 393 votes in favour of same-sex marriage to 226 against. Chancellor Angela Merkel freed members of her ruling conservative bloc to follow their personal conscience rather than the party line.
Nasa rocket releases artificial colourful clouds Nasa has finally launched a sounding rocket that created artificial colourful clouds that were visible from New York to North Carolina. The artificial clouds were launched to track particle motions in space. The rocket was delayed many times over the last 30 days.
NASA's quieter supersonic jet closer to reality The US space agency completed the preliminary design review (PDR) of its Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) aircraft design. QueSST is the initial design stage of NASA's planned Low Boom Flight Demonstration (LBFD) experimental airplane, otherwise known as an X-plane.
Delhi, Haryana to work together to prevent flooding in Gurugram Officials from Delhi and Haryana will undertake a joint inspection for assessing silting in the Najafgarh drain over the next two days. This will be done in order to carry out desilting, if required, as part of measures to be taken up to prevent flooding in Gurgaon, that created a havoc last year.
Life becomes pure joy when you begin to live your life with PASSION..!
Most every one of the truly passionate people I know, who really live their lives to the full, have developed their passion for life by asking themselves a few GOOD questions.
In my opinion, the very best soul-searching questions one can ask to uncover your real passion in life came to me via deceased author John Kalench, he asked:
1. If I didn't have to work for a living... what would I like to do..?
2. If I were just given $1 Million, tax-free... what would I do with it..?
3. If I learnt that I had six months left to live... what would I do with this time... starting now..?
I have learnt that when YOU ask good questions of yourself like this... you will get GOOD answers.
Go ahead and answer these questions for yourself right now.
Take out 3 sheets of paper for each question and write down the first things that come into your mind... no matter how crazy you might think the thought to be. Just let your mind flow and capture your first thoughts.
Having posed these questions to many thousands of people, I have become aware of an almost universal conformity of desire.
People just seem to want to generally be Healthy, Wealthy and Happy... with a very strong specific desire expressed to 'travel the world', to 'spend MORE time with MY family', to 'make a difference in the lives of others'... and to 'get to know my Maker'..!
The answers you wrote down to the three questions above will give you some very strong clues to help you answer the next two questions:
4. What do I believe is MY Life's Purpose..?
5. What is MY True PASSION In Life..?
When you analyse what YOU believe to be YOUR Life's Purpose... and what you believe to be YOUR True PASSION in life... you can now begin to start re-structuring your life to begin living to YOUR dreams... your PASSION.
Nothing, but nothing, becomes more compelling than a person who is on a mission... enjoying their lives to the full..!
And, YOU can begin living this lifestyle right now... every DECISION you take right now can move you one step closer to achieving your dream. You can know that each step you now take can be the most PASSIONATE step you can possibly take because it is ON PURPOSE.
When I did this exercise for myself a good few years ago, this is what I wrote... and how I identified what I wanted to do to live my life with increased PASSION (some will say that I've never really been short of this attitude to life.. :-)
I LOVE my lifestyle... working from home... being my own boss... totally debt-free
I am PASSIONATE about learning of new ways to GENERATE QUALITY INCOME and for testing and building new businesses
I am REALLY PASSIONATE about discovering new ways to generate BIG INCOME from global markets via the Internet
I LOVE to TRAVEL around the world WITH MY FAMILY - that is my idea of FUN
And... yes, that's how I live my life, right now, doing what I want to do, when I want to do it... it's great..!
Well, I like my life... although my lifestyle might not suit everybody.. ;-)
TX-San Antonio, RESPONSIBILITIES: Kforce has a client seeking an AR Staff Accountant to join their team in San Antonio, Texas (TX). This role is Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm, OT possible ME Close. Responsibilities: Records bad debt write offs received by branch throughout month while ensuring proper approvals and documentation are collected prior to processing Calculate National sales commissions monthly for all bu
After nearly two years without a budget, the state of Illinois and those who depend on it may be running out of time. Lawmakers are scrambling to approve a new budget before a midnight deadline on Friday but an agreement between Republicans, led by Gov. Bruce Rauner, and the Democratic leaders in the legislature appears distant.
A long post, basically just posting up my first talk I gave to my youth group last Friday. It was on Philippians 3:1-14. I hope it encourages you as much as it encouraged me to write!
Imagine if the Apostle Paul visited you today. What would he say? To be honest, I am pretty scared of Paul, he would be so angry at all the sin, all the cliques, all the selfishness. I mean, he called the Galations fools! He was pretty full on. But Paul in this passage we’ll see makes it clear that we are to rejoice! To rejoice!
It is essentially his last topic sentence of this letter. And like a good essay, it is building on what was already said before. Chapter 1 we see Paul is in prison for the gospel, and he is in partnership in the gospel with the Philippian church. In the gospel, Paul is also taking a courageous stand, that may end in death, but is all for the glory of God. Then in Chapter 2 we see Paul encouraging an attitude of Christ-like humility - which is putting others above yourself - in response to the gospel that Jesus did the exact same. These all culminate in his appeal that the Philippians “rejoice in the Lord”. But, aren’t all the things Paul just said previously pretty tough things to do? They require effort, sacrifice and oh, maybe even death. Brilliant. Where does the rejoicing come from then?
We’ll see that Paul is basically saying “Rejoice, by looking to Jesus” Keep that in your head. Rejoice, by looking to Jesus, as we see how Paul looks backwards, looks upwards and finally looks forward to explain his appeal to the Philippians to rejoice in the Lord.
Paul Looks Backwards The immediate context of his urging for the Philippians to rejoice is actually in response to a danger in the church. We see Paul’s warning in v2. “Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh.” The danger was that people in the church were reverting back to Jewish customs. They were looking backward to their life pre-Jesus, and actually going back to it. Paul makes it clear in the next few verses the differences pre-Jesus and in-Jesus. (We don’t really ever get post-Jesus, we never go beyond Jesus). It’s there in your outline. Pre-Jesus – Boast in Self, as opposed to in-Jesus – Boast in Jesus. Some of the Philippians were boasting in their own good works to be right with God.
What does Paul do? Well, he looks back himself to where he was pre-Jesus. This is like his CV, a list of all his achievements. v5 “If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.”
Paul is totally boasting here. And if you were a Jew, you’d be super impressed. Paul is saying he is the closest anyone could be to being a good person. In modern day terms, he is like the Minister’s kid, who can recite the whole of John, who never complains about doing the dishes, who is in our eyes, perfect, especially compared to us. But Paul knows that we shouldn’t be comparing our good works with each other, we actually need to compare them with Jesus.
And so we get to our 2nd Point – Paul looks upwards. Paul says we need to put Jesus into the picture, and that changes everything! v7 “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.” Straight after his immaculate CV, Paul says compared to Christ, everything on Paul’s achievement list is rubbish. His CV has turned out to actually be a criminal record, a loss to his personal standing. The almost perfect Paul says it’s all for nothing. Three things arise from that. Well, firstly, it gives hope to all of us who feel like we were never up to God’s standards in the first place, who have nothing on our CV, who know how far we are from God. Paul says none of that matters, every good work he has done to make him feel more confident in his goodness is just more rubbish on the heap.
Secondly, it humbles us who think we have our goodness all sorted. Oh, we’re from a good Christian family, a good school Christian group, a good church. But that is all pointless if you don’t have faith in Jesus. Those are good things, but they become bad if you rely on them, instead of Jesus. They become rubbish.
And finally, that gets us questioning, what is it about Jesus that changes the playing field so much? Why does looking to Jesus make Paul rejoice, even though it basically meant all he had worked for in the early part of his life was meaningless.
Well, that is answered in Verse 10 “To know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead” Ok, everyone, you need to put on your seatbelts because this verse needs some serious unpacking.
First, to “Know Christ” That’s not to know about Christ or to know of Christ, it is to know him. Like you would know your parents or a friend. Paul knows Jesus, meaning he has a personal relationship with him. That might not seem so special, yeah, Paul knows this dude called Christ, but then.
“Know the power of his resurrection”. Woah, this isn’t some ordinary guy, he rose from the dead! And again, this is Paul “knowing” the power of his resurrection, and this isn’t the objective textbook “ I know the answer” kind of know. When Paul says know the power of his resurrection, he is basically saying “To personally experience the power of his resurrection”. How can he do that? Well this is where we have to answer the question, what isthe “power” of his resurrection. What was achieved at the resurrection?
The answer? The defeat of sin and death. We as humans were under a curse for rebelling against God, and enslaved in the reality that because of our sin we would die. What Jesus achieved when he died and rose again was that we were free from sin and death, and could actually truly be right with God. None of this, us ourselves trying to be right with God nonsense, which never worked anyway. The power of Jesus’ resurrection is that it is the power to forgive our sins and make us right with God again. Paul is experiencing the amazing truth that his sins are forgiven and he is now right with God!
The “sharing in his sufferings” is the same idea, even though it might sound a bit weird, actually it’s another reason for great rejoicing. Basically, when Jesus dies, we also died. He represented us on the cross, so his sufferings, his punishment that he experiences, we also experienced, (although not physically). That’s the basis of the statement, Jesus dying on the cross for us. Here it is talking about it in the representative sense. If you don’t get the mechanics, don’t worry, the basic thing is that the punishment for sin is gone away because the death that it required to be paid has been paid by us, through Jesus who was our representative. And therefore we can now “Attain the resurrection from the dead!”
Maybe an analogy will help. Jesus on the cross can be described as the captain of the soccer team. The soccer team is all the Christians in the world. As the captain Jesus represents us. Say, our team did something really stupid, like score 20 own goals. The captain is the one who represents the whole team and resigns. Because the captain has taken that punishment, that team gets to play on normally, because the debt has been paid.
Obviously, with Jesus it is a little different. But basically, the point is that Jesus has the power to save. Look upwards because we are now seated in heaven with Jesus, because of the amazing power of the resurrection that we also personally experience if we trust in Jesus.
But not only are we looking at Jesus up in heaven, we are looking forward to the future here on earth, where we are working to be more like Jesus.
Which is our final point – Paul looks forward.
Paul knows that currently, he isn’t in heaven. Sadly, we aren’t in heaven either. Yes, we know Christ, we know we are saved by trusting in Jesus’ resurrection, but God hasn’t fully completed his work in us yet. And that gets Paul excited. He looks forward to the future, even when he’s here on earth, where he knows with God’s help he will be moving towards completion in Christ, even though he knows it will only be finished in heaven. I want to stress that THIS IS NOT A “JESUS SAVES YOU, SO NOW DO GOOD WORKS” message. I’ve got that capitalised in my notes. It is not! That is made clear as Paul says he is “forgetting what is behind”. He has left behind all his rules and regulations that make him right with God. It comes back to “knowing Christ”. Paul has his eyes on the prize “in Christ Jesus” which means by knowing Christ Jesus, by being in a personal relationship with Jesus. Paul knows we are not perfect now, but we still do know Christ Jesus. We are still looking at him. And as we look at him we will change. God will change us. With grace driven effort, we can change to be more like Jesus, whom we know. And as we change we rejoice, and we stumble and fall but God continues to mould us to be more like the final product which we will be in heaven, and which continues to spur us on. To go back to the soccer team analogy, before, we were kicking own goals. Don’t continue to kick own goals! That’s just pointless. You can see your future, in heaven, knowing Jesus, so be transformed to be more like that final day, and rejoice!
So, Paul’s final point, to “rejoice in the Lord” well, it comes from looking to Jesus. Where you see how fruitless it is to rely on your never good enough good works, especially compared to the 100% certainty of salvation found in Jesus’ resurrection. Looking to Jesus, knowing him as your saviour and Lord means we will change. God will change us. But we look to Jesus and see how good he is and we rejoice in that change.
So , I urge you to Rejoice in the Lord, by looking upwards and onwards to Christ. Let’s pray.
Heavenly Father, Thank you that we can rejoice. Thank you that we can know Jesus, and know the power of his resurrection, that has saved us from sin and death. Pray that you would change us as we look to Jesus. Help us to rejoice, by looking upwards and onwards to Jesus. In his name we pray, Amen.
Olympia, WA – The Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs announced today that it has received $921,250 in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service programs, and Serve Washington, the state’s commission on service and volunteerism.
Of the $921,250 federal investment, $630,500 will support 50 AmeriCorps members serving in the Washington Vet Corps program. Most of the 50 AmeriCorps members are veterans themselves and will act as peer mentors or navigators to veterans and military families at colleges and with community partner sites across Washington. During the program year, the AmeriCorps members will be responsible for outreach to 9,000 veterans and or family members on and off campus, connecting 400 individuals to services and benefits, as well as training for 1,500 faculty, staff, administrators and community stakeholder on veterans' cultural competency to increase success in veterans' transition from military service. In addition, the AmeriCorps members will leverage an additional 2,000 volunteers that will be engaged in service to support and raise awareness of veterans' issues.
“We are excited to receive funding for the 2017-18 service year to support our Vet Corps program,” said Lourdes “Alfie” Alvarado-Ramos director of the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs. “Vet Corps members serve a vital role on higher education campuses and communities across our state helping to ensure veterans and their families are successful in their higher education pursuits. We also rely on our Vet Corps to help connect veterans and families to their earned benefits and refer them to local resources such as health and mental health care.”
“The unique model of the Washington Vet Corps program enables AmeriCorps members, most of whom are veterans, to serve our country again through national service,” said Serve Washington Executive Director Debbie Schuffenhauer. “While serving their fellow veterans, AmeriCorps members’ also improve their own employment prospects, educational opportunities, and personal wellness.”
The remaining funds will provide up to $290,750 in education scholarships for the AmeriCorps members funded by this grant to help pay for college, vocational training, or pay back student loans.
The Washington Vet Corps is currently recruiting for AmeriCorps members to begin service this fall. AmeriCorps members typically receive a modest living stipend and a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, or scholarship, upon completion of their service. Those interested in serving can learn more by visiting www.my.americorps.gov, then search for Vet Corps.
Beginning this fall, AmeriCorps members serving through the Washington Vet Corps will join the more than 80,000 AmeriCorps members serving across the country in 21,600 locations. These members help communities tackle pressing problems while mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve.
Since the program’s inception in 1994, more than 1 million men and women have served in AmeriCorps, providing more than 1.4 billion hours of service and have earned more than $3.3 billion in education scholarships to pay for college or pay back student loans, more than $1 billion of which has been used to pay back student loans debt.
The Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs serves those who served by helping connect veterans and their family members to the benefits and services they earned through their military service. For more information, visit http://www.dva.wa.gov/.
Serve Washington advances national service, volunteerism and civic engagement to improve lives; expands opportunity to meet the local critical needs of residents of Washington; and strengthens community capacity while creating healthy and resilient communities. For more information, visit www.ofm.wa.gov/servewa.
AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and the Volunteer Generation Fund, and leads volunteer initiatives for the nation. For more information, visit www.NationalService.gov .
LONDON (Reuters) - Emerging markets have had one of their best first halves to a year on record, with stocks up 17.5 percent and a 15 percent surge by Mexico's peso underscoring how worries about U.S. President Donald Trump's policies have been forgotten for now.
As this graphic - http://tmsnrt.rs/2hn5N02 - shows, Poland has been the star performer for stocks trackers, with a 34 percent rise in dollar terms thanks to strong growth numbers and a more than 12 percent rise in the zloty.
Central and eastern Europe has been a hotspot all round.
The Czech crown is up over 11 percent versus the dollar, Hungary's forint is up 8 percent despite an uber-dovish central bank and Romania's leu, in a country which has just had a political crisis, is up 7.7 percent. (See graphic, http://tmsnrt.rs/2hniYya)
Mexican, Indian, Chinese, and Turkish stocks have taken off, climbing somewhere between 20 and 30 percent.
The boom has come as investors have shrugged off the U.S. rate rises, oil and tech tumbles and looked to the positives.
The dollar has just had its worst quarter in almost seven years which means EM currencies are up. Global growth is gaining traction and borrowing costs via bond yields had been steadily sliding again until this week.
As well as flying equities, bonds in local emerging market currencies have returned almost 11 percent in dollar terms, while hard currency sovereign debt is up over 6 percent. (For the breakdown click here http://tmsnrt.rs/2ih2QQ9)
There are always laggards though.
Russian equities, heavily oil-reliant and a star of late 2016, have lost 15 percent and the rift between Qatar and its Middle East neighbours has seen its stocks clobbered 12 percent in a matter of weeks.
Though there has been a rebound this week, Brazil's real has been a poor performer. It is down over 1 percent due to fresh corruption scandals that have hit the country.
Another one to avoid has been the Philippine peso which is down 1.7 percent on fears that Islamic State, on the backfoot in Iraq and Syria, is trying to set up a stronghold in the Muslim south of the country.
LONDON (Reuters) - Global investors cut exposure to U.S. stocks in June, citing caution on stretched valuations, and raised their euro zone equity holdings to their highest since September 2015, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.
The Reuters monthly asset allocation survey of 47 fund managers and chief investment officers in Europe, the United States, Britain and Japan was carried out between June 15 and 28, a month in which U.S. tech stocks sold off heavily.
The rout saw the combined market cap of the five biggest U.S. tech firms drop by $120 billion in less than a week and sparked of a global equity market reversal.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq is set to end June down 0.9 percent, bringing a seven-month winning streak to a close. It is still up 14 percent so far this year.
Around three-quarters of poll respondents who answered a special question on tech stocks said they were not overvalued, but investors have reduced their U.S. equity holdings and rotated into euro zone stocks this month.
U.S. stocks were trimmed to 39.7 percent of global equity portfolios, the lowest since November when Donald Trump was elected U.S. president. Since then the S&P 500 has rallied hard and is up 8 percent so far this year on expectations of tax cuts and increased spending.
But investors have grown increasingly sceptical that Trump can deliver on his promises.
"An unprecedented level of economic and fiscal policy uncertainty still surrounds the new U.S. administration," said Mouhammed Choukeir, chief investment officer at Kleinwort Hambros. "This could spill into financial market volatility."
He prefers Europe, where valuations are cheap and political noise has quietened since the French election in which centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron won an emphatic victory.
Investors raised their euro zone equity holdings to 19.3 percent, a near two-year high, in June.
They also showed a preference for euro zone debt over U.S. bonds, raising the former almost 1 percentage point to 27.2 percent of their global bond portfolios. In contrast, they cut their U.S. debt holdings by 2.2 percentage points to 37.9 percent, the lowest since March.
The U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the second time this year in June and set out plans to start cutting its $4.5 billion portfolio.
The move showed the Fed's willingness to look past a run of soft inflation data and signalled a determination to move ahead with policy tightening. That has driven the U.S. bond yield curve to its flattest in a decade.
Although three-quarters of poll participants who answered a special question on the U.S. economy thought it was strong enough to withstand another Fed rate rise this year, a number expressed reservations.
Jan Bopp, an asset allocation strategist at Bank J Safra Sarasin, was amongst those who thought the Fed could be making a mistake in hiking rates.
"My concern is that the U.S. economy is losing momentum," he said, citing car sales, lending surveys and manufacturing. "Despite all that the Fed seems to be very dedicated. If only to get rates high enough to have ammo for the next downturn."
The caution was also evident in broader positioning, with investors trimming their overall equity allocations to 46.5 percent, the lowest since March, and raising their bond holdings to 40.7 percent, the highest since December.
"The upswing in global growth that started in 2015 is cooling off and inflation pressures are easing. This is good for bonds but stocks may be disappointed and we are only modestly overweight," said Trevor Greetham, head of multi-asset at Royal London Asset Management (RLAM).
Investors raised their exposure to UK assets after the June general election, lifting UK equities to 9.9 percent, while UK bond holdings jumped 1.5 percentage points to 10.4 percent, the highest since January.
The election resulted in a hung parliament, weakening Prime Minister Theresa May's hand in Brexit negotiations.
As a result, three-quarters of poll respondents who answered a question on the election outcome, said it made a softer Brexit more likely, rather than the hard Brexit that May had previously promised her supporters.
"The prime minister failed to win backing for a tightly controlled Brexit process focused on cutting immigration and leaving the single market," said RLAM's Greetham, adding that opponents of a hard Brexit within both the Conservative and Labour parties would argue the public mood is one of compromise.
However, Raphael Gallardo, a strategist at Natixis Asset Management, thought it was hard to see how the supporters of a soft Brexit could unite to exert power, saying new elections would be needed for a soft Brexit majority to gain control.
(Additional reporting by Maria Pia Quaglia Regondi and Hari Kishan Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.)
LONDON (Reuters) - World stocks were on track for their best start to a year since 2003 while oil and the dollar were facing their biggest first-half drop for years.
The early months of 2017 were marked by the so-called Trump trades premised on U.S. President Donald Trump's pledges of multi-trillion dollar spending and by a change in Europe's political and growth outlook that has lured back investors.
But arguably the most significant shift for investors came in the last week of the second quarter when, in what looked like a concerted move, central bank policymakers appeared to signal it would soon be time to wind back the monetary stimulus that has buoyed markets for much of this decade.
As this graphic http://reut.rs/2sxO66c shows the dollar index, already down 4.5 percent for 2017 a week ago, was down 6.5 percent at Thursday's close and on track for its worst quarter in seven years and worst first half since 2003.
This despite the U.S. Federal Reserve raising interest rates twice this year.
The euro, boosted by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi hinting on Wednesday at tweaks to the bank's ultra-loose monetary policy stance, is up more than 8 percent year-to-date and heading for its best quarter in seven.
Dollar weakness has helped lift emerging equities, as measured by MSCI's main index almost 18 percent in dollar terms so far this year.
World stocks have gained more than 10 percent in dollar terms, their best first half since 2003.
Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index gained 9.6 percent, just ahead of the S&P 500 on 9.2 percent.
Stuck at the bottom of the performance league table, down 16.5 percent in dollar terms year-to-date is Brent crude oil, hit by a perception that output cuts agreed by OPEC producers and others will not be enough to stem the glut of oil.
It was on track for its worst first six months of any year since 1998.
In Brexit-bound Britain, which has just been through a messy election, the pound has dropped 3 percent against the euro. The weaker currency has been a boost for exporters, lifting the country's main FTSE 100 stock index 8.2 percent.
Emerging markets have shrugged off the U.S. rate rises and the oil and tech tumbles. Bonds in emerging market currencies have returned almost 10 percent in dollar terms, while hard currency sovereign debt is up 6 percent.
But within emerging markets there are losers as well as winners. (See graphic, http://tmsnrt.rs/2dZbdP5)
Russian equities, heavily oil-reliant and a star of late 2016, have lost 17 percent but energy importer Turkey's stock index has risen 30 percent, despite inflation, domestic political risks and policy wobbles.
The Mexican peso is the world's top performing currency, up 15 percent on the dollar, as faith wanes in Trump's ability to implement anti-trade and anti-immigration pledges. (See graphic, http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh)
Perhaps the biggest surprise has been Poland's zloty which has surged 13 percent against the dollar.
Brazil's real has been one of the worst-performing currencies, down 4 percent in 2017 due to fresh corruption scandals that have hit the country.
(Reporting by Marc Jones, Sujata Rao, Dhara Ranasinghe and Nigel Stephenson; Editing by Toby Chopra)
To access the newsletter, click on the link: http://share.thomsonreuters.com/assets/newsletters/Indiamorning/MNC_IN_06302017.pdf If you would like to receive this newsletter via email, please register at: https://forms.thomsonreuters.com/india-morning/ FACTORS TO WATCH 9:15 am: CDSL Listing ceremony in Mumbai. 11:00 am: Central Bank of India annual shareholders meet in Mumbai. 11:00 am: Singapore Airlines event in Mumbai. 2:30 pm: SpiceJet to launch its first SpiceStyle Store in Gurgaon. 3:30 pm: Earth Sciences Minister Harshvardhan at an event in New Delhi. 3:30 pm: Hindustan Unilever annual shareholders meet in Mumbai. 5:00 pm: India government to release May infrastructure output data in NewDelhi. 5:00 pm: RBI to release weekly foreign exchange data in Mumbai. 6:00 pm: Earth Sciences Minister Harsh Vardhan, World Bank Team at an eventin New Delhi. 6:30 pm: RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya, Banks Board Bureau ChairmanVinod Rai at an event in Mumbai. LIVECHAT - WEEKAHEAD Reuters EMEA markets editor Mike Dolan discusses the upcoming week's mainmarket inflection points at 3:30 pm IST. To join the conversation, click on thelink: https://forms.thomsonreuters.com/communities/ INDIA TOP NEWS • Fast forward; GST set to transform face of Indian logistics industry India's greatest tax reform - replacing an array of provincial duties with anationwide goods and services tax - is transforming the logistics industry in acountry where moving stuff around is notoriously difficult to do, executivessay. • IndiGo eyes Air India stake in possible privatisation India's biggest airline, IndiGo, has expressed unsolicited interest inbuying a stake in state-owned Air India, the junior aviation minister said onThursday, a day after the cabinet approved plans to privatise the carrier. • Eris Lifesciences edges lower after $264 million IPO Indian drug maker Eris Lifesciences Ltd's shares swung between gains andlosses in a tepid market debut on Thursday, after raising $263.8 million in aninitial public offering. • Coal India betting big on renewables, says minister Coal India Ltd, the world's largest miner of the dirty fuel, will generate 1gigawatt of renewable electricity this year as part of its plan to produce asmuch as 10 GW clean power in total, a federal minister said on Thursday. • India could raise import taxes on crude, refined veg oils- governmentsource India is likely to raise import duty on refined and crude vegetable oils,like palm and soyoil, as local oilseed prices slumped below the governmentsupport levels, a government official told Reuters on Thursday. • Mutual funds managers need to improve due diligence: SEBI Indian mutual funds need to improve their due diligence before investing incorporate bonds and not rely only on credit ratings given rising concerns aboutpotential defaults, the chairman of the country's capital markets regulator saidon Thursday. • CRISIL Ratings buys 8.9 percent stake in rival CARE for $68 million CRISIL Ltd, majority owned by S&P Global Inc, bought a 8.9 percent stake inrival CARE Ratings for 4.36 billion rupees $67.55 million, expanding into thecountry's ratings business at a time of surging corporate bond issuance. GLOBAL TOP NEWS • China factory growth fastest in 3 months as new orders, output rise China's manufacturing sector expanded at the quickest pace in three monthsin June, buoyed by strong production and new orders, reassuring news forauthorities trying strike a balance between deleveraging and keeping the economyon an even keel. • Trump administration reverses policy on fiancés as travel ban takes effect U.S. President Donald Trump's administration reversed a decision late onThursday as its revised travel ban took effect and said fiancés would beconsidered close family members and therefore allowed to travel to the UnitedStates. • Their fortunes enmeshed, Trump and Putin to hold first meeting next week U.S. President Donald Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putinnext week at a summit in Germany that brings two world leaders whose politicalfortunes have become intertwined face-to-face for the first time. LOCAL MARKETS OUTLOOK (As reported by NewsRise) • The SGX Nifty Futures were at 9,504.50, little changed from its previousclose. • The Indian rupee will likely fall against the dollar on expectations localshares will follow regional peers lower, as bond yields harden in developednations amid bets interest rates are headed higher in the U.S. and Europe. • Indian government bonds are likely to edge higher today as some banks mayboost debt purchases on the last day of the fiscal first quarter. However, freshsupply of bonds and higher U.S. yields may lead to selling by some investors.The yield on the benchmark 6.79 percent bond maturing in 2027 is likely to tradein a 6.49 percent-6.54 percent band today. GLOBAL MARKETS • Wall Street fell sharply on Thursday, with the S&P 500 and the Dowindustrials suffering their worst daily percentage drops in about six weeks, asa recent decline in technology shares deepened and outweighed strength in bankshares. • Japan's Nikkei share average stumbled to two-week lows morning afterinvestors turned risk-averse as major central banks signalled that the era ofcheap money was coming to an end, which hurt both U.S. and European marketsovernight. • The dollar languished near a nine-month low against a basket ofcurrencies, bogged down by growing expectations of more hawkish monetarypolicies in Europe and Canada and doubts about another U.S. interest rateincrease this year. • Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields rose to six-week highs on Thursday on thelikelihood that central banks in Europe will become less accommodative, beforebonds pared price losses as stocks declined. • Crude oil futures were on track for their biggest weekly gain sincemid-May, ending five weeks of losses with prices underpinned by a decline inU.S. output. • Gold prices steadied, supported by an easing dollar and falling equitieseven as comments from global central banks suggested monetary tightening inEurope and Canada. CLOSE FII INVESTMENTS EQUITIES DEBT PNDF spot 64.56/64.59 June 29 -$176.48 mln $145.75 mln 10-yr bond yield 6.87 Month-to-date $498.85 mln $4.55 bln Year-to-date $8.48 bln $17.99 bln For additional data: India govt bond market volumes Stock market reports Non-deliverable forwards data Corporate debt stories [IN CORPD] Local market closing/intraday levels [IN SNAPSHOT] Monthly inflows [INFLOWS RTRS TABLE IN] ($1 = 64.63 Indian rupees) (Compiled by Benny Thomas in Bengaluru)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The euro and sterling rose on Thursday and U.S. bond yields spiked as hawkish comments from central banks signalled an end to ultra-loose monetary policy on both sides of the Atlantic, while technology shares dragged Wall Street stocks lower.
The dollar index <.DXY> touched its lowest since October, before Donald Trump was elected U.S. president, as investors shifted to the view that Federal Reserve might not be the only game in town when it comes to higher interest rates.
With the Fed approving dividends and buybacks in major banks as part of another round of stress tests, U.S. financial stocks rose but not enough to offset declines in technology and interest rate-sensitive sectors.
"Part of the reason why tech is down today is the steam in the recent rotation out of some of big tech winners and into banks," said Michael Scanlon, portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management in Boston.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 167.58 points, or 0.78 percent, to 21,287.03, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 20.99 points, or 0.86 percent, to 2,419.7 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 90.06 points, or 1.44 percent, to 6,144.35.
European shares logged their biggest one-day loss in nine months as a rising hawkish chorus from central banks weighed on defensive, dividend-paying sectors.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> lost 1.36 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> shed 0.54 percent.
Emerging market stocks rose 0.19 percent. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> closed 0.71 percent higher, while Japan's Nikkei <.N225> rose 0.45 percent.
As euro zone bond yields rallied, the euro surged to as high as $1.1445 , its strongest since May 2016. The dollar index <.DXY> fell 0.46 percent, with the euro up 0.55 percent to $1.1439.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney surprised many on Wednesday by conceding a rate hike was likely to be needed as the economy came closer to running at full capacity.
That sent sterling above $1.30 on Thursday for the first time in five weeks, leaving it close to its highest levels since last September. The pound was last trading at $1.3006, up 0.63 percent on the day.
The Bank of Canada also had its say, with two top policymakers this week suggesting they might tighten monetary policy there as early as July.
The Canadian dollar strengthened 0.30 percent versus the greenback at 1.30 per dollar.
"The shifting monetary policy trajectories of other central banks is making other currencies more attractive relative to the U.S. dollar," said Kathy Lien, managing director at BK Asset Management in New York.
The Japanese yen strengthened 0.16 percent versus the greenback at 112.12 per dollar.
Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields rose to five-week peaks in sympathy with higher European government debt yields, as investors evaluated the likelihood of less accommodative policy.
"What's going on in Europe is really what's driving us here," said Brian Daingerfield, a macro strategist at NatWest Markets in Stamford, Connecticut.
Treasury 10-year notes last fell 13/32 in price to yield 2.2666 percent, from 2.223 percent late on Wednesday.
U.S. oil futures were slightly higher after hitting a two-week peak, extending a rally into a sixth straight session after a decline in weekly U.S. crude production temporarily alleviated concerns about deepening oversupply. Brent ticked lower.
U.S. crude rose 0.29 percent to $44.87 per barrel and Brent was last at $47.36, up 0.11 percent on the day.
Gold fell as the central bank comments lifted bond yields.
Spot gold dropped 0.3 percent to $1,245.31 an ounce. U.S. gold futures fell 0.26 percent to $1,245.80 an ounce.
Copper rose 0.75 percent to $5,925.00 a tonne.
(Additional reporting by Tanya agvrawal in Bengaluru and Sam Forgione, Karen Brettell and David Gaffen; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Meredith Mazzilli)
Our government officials, both state and federal, are bashing each other on the heads while trying to change health care, dealing with debt limit increases or reductions, looking at unemployment that doesn’t seem to be going down, few new jobs being created, gas prices rising again, lowering taxes for the rich and increasing them for […]
The US fertility rate has edged down to a record low, as young Americans choose to postpone or not have children. The US has seen a steady decline in fertility since the 2007 economic recession.
The so-called general fertility rate in the country is 62.0 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The trend is driven by a decline in birth rates for women in their 20s, whereas the birth rate for those in their 30s and 40s has increased — but not enough to make up for the lower numbers in younger women.
Even though among other developed nations the fertility rate in the US remains relatively high, births have been in continuous decline since the economic recession of 2007, shows data from the National Center for Health Statistics, which is part of CDC.
Dave, "If Trump can manage to pull growth off the 2% peg its has been on for 2 decades – republicans will do well in 2018. If he can not then republicans should not do well."
First, I think this administration is showing that the President does not have much influence in Washington when the party is not aligned with the presidents agenda. And I suspect that future GOP presidents will have the same problem as Trump given the fact the Democrats are of two mind sets, liberal and socialist, while the GOP is a multi headed monster where they are unable to come to "compromises" within the party to get anything done. Where the Democrats are all aligned like ducks crossing the street, the GOP is like a group of chickens scattering every which way possible when anything comes up. (Worse than herding cats!)
As for your comments about economic growth, one thing that is mentioned occasionally, but not by the conservative mouth pieces, since they want growth as their talking points, is the changing demographics in the country.
1. The baby boomers that fired up this economy for decades are aging, they are no longer buying big ticket items, they are downsizing and their money is now going to leisure and healthcare.
2. The housing boom of the 90's will most likely never be seen again like it had been. Why? The cost of new housing. And much of that is due to land cost. Where land could be purchased for a few thousand per acre when housing boomed and houses could be put on postage sized lots, land now cost up to, and sometimes over 6 figures per acre. Then add to it the growing regulations where communities require lots to be of a certain size, and the land alone has added thousands to a cost of housing construction.
3. The millennials, the next largest demographic group are now starting families and they are now finding they have to pay for things themselves. They no longer are living with mommy and find that what she paid for the past few years is really expensive. They also are finding they have to pay off high student debt that resulted in a somewhat do nothing degree so, due to these reasons and some others, they do not have the money for big ticket items.
4. The millennials also do not want to start out small like their parents did in housing. They grew up in large homes with spacious yards and that is what they want. So the small starter homes are not being built, this generation is living in rental property and that also reduces large ticket purchases, like appliances.
5. The growth in the Hispanic population. One of the fastest growing demographics is the Hispanic population. It will take some time for this group to achieve the standard of living that middle class America enjoys for a number of reasons.. They do not have the money to spend on large items, but their money goes to basic needs.
6. And my last comment, the changing job markets. Over the long run, it is estimated that 40% of all jobs by 2050 (just 30 years from now) will be gone and taken over by robots. Cabbies, Uber drivers, truck drivers, railroad employees, restaurant workers, most warehouse workers and most all manufacturing left in America will be done by robots. This leaves healthcare and service workers, like plumbers, electricians, etc as the major employers in America. (They say technology will drive jobs, but I believe all of those will be overseas and not in America). So as we move toward this 40% reduction which is happening now, people will experience a down turn in income also impacting economic growth.
I think 1-2% is the new normal.
The congressional supercommittee announced Monday that it failed to come to an agreement on reducing the deficit. After three months of negotiating, the Democrats and Republicans just couldn't agree on how much spending to cut or how high to raise taxes. But this is not a story about how the left and right disagree with each other. In fact, they actually largely agree. Alison Fraser , director of economic policy studies at the right-leaning Heritage Foundation, says this: We are on the wave, of the leading edge of 78 million baby boomers retiring into entitlement programs. So going forward, spending in the future is unsustainable. Bob Greenstein , president of the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says this: Over the course of a few decades, the debt would rise to over 100% and then over 200% of GDP and then keep rising. That's not sustainable. Everyone agrees that our nation is pretty deep in debt — about $10 trillion in debt. And they agree that within a decade or
// // // // Most of the discussion about student debt in the United States has centered on its excessiveness, the negative impact it has on home-buying for the next generation, various refinancing schemes, and (for the grossly uninformed) how Read More »
Over the past week, we’ve seen things really heat up on the healthcare front. Passage of H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), by the House marks the first leg of the journey for major reform. Budget reconciliation bills are only able to introduce, or make changes to, those provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that affect the federal budget, e.g. revenue, expenses, and the debt limit. Further, Congress may only use one budget reconciliation action per fiscal year.
– The World Is Now $217,000,000,000,000 In Debt And The Global Elite Like It That Way: The borrower is the servant of the lender, and through the mechanism of government debt virtually the entire planet has become the servants of the global money changers. Politicians love to borrow money, but over time government debt slowly ... Read more
The Supreme Court has set July 4 to rule on an application filed by National Democratic Congress (NDC) businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, seeking to temporarily halt his oral examination by the Attorney General over the GH 51.2 million supposed judgement debt paid to him by the state. The court, presided over by sole judge, Justice A.A. Benin, i ...
The promise of free college education helped propel Bernie Sanders’ 2016 bid for the Democratic nomination to national prominence. It reverberated during the confirmation hearings for Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education and Sanders continues to push the issue.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A federal control board overseeing Puerto Rico's finances announced Friday that it will allow the U.S. territory to ask a court to restructure roughly $9 billion in debt held by the island's power company if needed, angering bondholders who had reached a tentative deal with the company as they brace for a multimillion-dollar default.
To learn more about this topic, visit AL.Law Via America’s Lawyer: Mike Papantonio talks to Adam Minsky, an attorney specializing in student loans, to discuss why student loan debt has reached nearly $1.5 trillion. Transcript of the above video: Papantonio: More than one million people defaulted on their student loans last year, compared to just
Heartland CA S09 DVDRip x264-TAXES |Video Bitrate| : 1354 kb/s |Video Resolution| : 720x406 |Video Frame-rate| : 23.98 fps(r) (eng) |Audio Info| : aac, 48000 Hz, stereo (eng) Name: Heartland CA Summary: Life is hard on the Flemings' ranch in the Alberta foothills where abused or neglected horses find refuge with a kind, hard-working family. Debts abound and the bank is about to foreclose. Can they keep the ranch running?
ACROSS 1 Dunkin’ Donuts beverage, slangily 5 Wile E. Coyote’s supplier 9 Surname at Tara 14 Mountaineer’s objective 15 Credit union offering 16 Amass, as a debt 17 Veteran news anchor with five Emmys 19 Lint- collecting navel 20 Health buff’s haven 21...
Genre-crossing Atlanta producer/DJ Distal has turned in a new mix which can be streamed and downloaded now. Appearing via Mexican event series Ensamble ahead of his performance for the party on May 31, Distal’s mix is a fast-paced voyage through the upper ends of the BPM spectrum, with a slew of future-minded beats and juke-indebted …
CATCH A WAVE Physicists are the surfers of science, with a long history of fascination with waves.
Physics fans are a lot like surfers. Both think waves are really fun.
For surfers, it’s all about having a good time. For physicists, it’s about understanding some of nature’s most important physical phenomena. Yet another detection of gravitational waves, announced June 1, further reinvigorates the world’s science fans’ excitement over waves.
Waves have naturally always been a topic of scientific and mathematical interest. They play a part in an enormous range of physical processes, from heat and light to radio and TV, sonograms and music, earthquakes and holograms. (Waves used to even be a common sight in baseball stadiums, but fans got tired of standing up and down and it was really annoying anyway.)
Many of science’s greatest achievements have been discoveries of new kinds of waves or new insights into wave motion. Identifying just the Top 10 such discoveries (or ideas) is therefore difficult and bound to elicit critical comments from cult members of particular secret wave societies. So remember, if your favorite wave isn’t on this list, it would have been No. 11.
10. Thomas Young: Light is a wave.
In the opening years of the 19th century, the English physician Young tackled a long-running controversy about the nature of light. A century earlier, Isaac Newton had argued forcibly for the view that light consisted of (very small) particles. Newton’s contemporary Christiaan Huygens strongly disagreed, insisting that light traveled through space as a wave.
Through a series of clever experiments, Young demonstrated strong evidence for waves. Poking two tiny holes in a thick sheet of paper, Young saw that light passing through created alternating bands of light and darkness on a surface placed on the other side of the paper. That was just as expected if light passing through the two holes interfered just as water waves do, canceling out when crest met trough or enhancing when crests met “in phase.” Young did not work out his wave theory with mathematical rigor and so Newton’s defenders resisted, attempting to explain away Young’s results.
But soon Augustin Jean Fresnel in France worked out the math of light waves in detail. And in 1850, when Jean-Bernard-Léon Foucault showed that light travels faster in air than water, the staunchest Newton fans had to capitulate. Newton himself would have acknowledged that light must therefore consist of waves. (Much later, though, Einstein found a way that light could in fact consist of particles, which came to be called photons.)
9. Michelson and Morley: Light waves don’t vibrate anything.
Waves are vibrations, implying the need for something to vibrate. Sound vibrated molecules in the air, for instance, and ocean waves vibrated molecules of water. Light, supposedly, vibrated an invisible substance called the ether.
In 1887, Albert A. Michelson and his collaborator Edward Morley devised an experiment to detect that ether. Earth’s motion through the ether should have meant that light’s velocity would depend on its direction. (Traveling with the Earth’s motion, light’s speed wouldn’t be the same as traveling at right angles to the direction of motion.) Michelson and Morley figured they could detect that difference by exploiting the interference phenomena discovered by Young. But their apparatus failed to find any ether effect. They thought their experiment was flawed. But later Einstein figured out there actually wasn’t any ether.
8. James Clerk Maxwell: Light is an electromagnetic wave.
Maxwell died in 1879, the year Einstein was born, and so did not know there wasn’t an ether. He did figure out, though, that both electricity and magnetism could be explained by stresses in some such medium.
Electric and magnetic charges in the ether ought to generate disturbances in the form of waves, Maxwell realized. Based on the strengths of those forces he calculated that the waves would travel at the fantastic speed of 310 million meters per second, suspiciously close to the best recent measurements of the speed of light (those measurements ranged from 298 million to 315 million meters per second). So Maxwell, without the benefit of ever having watched NCIS on TV, then invoked Gibbs’ Rule 39 (there’s no such thing as a coincidence) and concluded that light was an example of an electromagnetic wave.
“It seems we have strong reason to conclude that light itself (including radiant heat, and other radiations if any) is an electromagnetic disturbance in the form of waves propagated through the electromagnetic field,” he wrote in 1864. His “other radiations, if any” turned out to be an entire spectrum of all sorts of cool waves, from gamma radiation to radio signals.
7. Heinrich Hertz: Radio waves.
Not very many people took Maxwell seriously at first. A few, though, known as the Maxwellians, promoted his ideas. One physicist who had faith in Maxwell, or at least in his equations, was Hertz, who performed experiments in his lab in Karlsruhe, Germany, that successfully produced and detected radio waves, eventually to be exploited by propagandists to spread a lot of illogical nonsense on talk radio.
His success inspired much more respect for the equations in Maxwell’s theory, which Hertz found almost magical: “It is impossible to study this wonderful theory without feeling as if the mathematical equations had an independent life and an intelligence of their own, as if they were wiser than ourselves,” Hertz said. His prime experimental success came in 1887, the same year that Michelson and Morley failed to detect the ether. Hertz died in 1894, long before his discovery was put to widespread use.
6. John Michell: Seismic waves.
Michell, an English geologist and astronomer, was motivated by the great Lisbon earthquake of 1755 to investigate the cause of earthquakes. In 1760 he concluded that “subterraneous fires” should be blamed, noting that volcanoes — “burning mountains” — commonly occur in the same neighborhood as frequent earthquakes.
Michell noted that “the motion of the earth in earthquakes is … partly propagated by waves, which succeed one another sometimes at larger and sometimes at smaller distances.” He cited witness accounts of quakes in which the ground rose “like the sea in a wave.” Much later seismologists developed a more precise understanding of the seismic waves that shake the Earth, using them as probes to infer the planet’s inner structure.
5. Wilhelm Röntgen: X-rays.
When Hertz discovered radio waves, he knew he was looking for the long-wavelength radiation foreshadowed in Maxwell’s equations. But a few years later, in 1895, Röntgen found the radio wave counterpart of the opposite end of the electromagnetic spectrum — by accident.
Mysterious short-wavelength rays of an unknown type (therefore designated X) emerged when Röntgen shot cathode rays (beams of electrons) through a glass tube. Röntgen suspected that his creation might be a new kind of wave among the many Maxwell had anticipated: “There seems to exist some kind of relationship between the new rays and light rays; at least this is indicated by the formation of shadows,” Röntgen wrote. Those shadows, of course, became the basis for a revolutionary medical technology.
Besides providing a major new tool for observing shattered bones and other structures inside the body, X-rays eventually became essential tools for scientific investigation in astronomy, biology and other fields. And they shattered the late 19th century complacency of physicists who thought they’d basically figured everything out about nature. Weirdly, though, X-rays later turned out to be particles sometimes, validating Einstein’s ideas that light had an alter ego particle identity. (By the way, it turned out that X-rays aren’t the electromagnetic waves with the shortest wavelengths — gamma rays can be even shorter. Maybe they would be No. 11.)
4. Epicurus: The swerve.
Not exactly a wave in the ordinary sense, the swerve was a deviation from straight line motion postulated by the Greek philosopher Epicurus around 300 B.C. Unlike Aristotle, Epicurus believed in atoms, and argued that reality was built entirely from the random collisions of an infinite number of those tiny particles. Supposedly, he thought, atoms would all just fall straight down to the center of the universe unless some unpredictable “swerve” occasionally caused them to deviate from their paths so they would bounce off each other and congregate into complex structures.
It has not escaped the attention of modern philosophers that the Epicurean unpredictable swerve is a bit like the uncertainty in particle motions introduced by quantum mechanics. Which has its own waves.
3. Louis de Broglie: Matter waves.
In the early 1920s, de Broglie noticed a peculiar connection between relativity and quantum physics. Max Planck’s famous quantum formula related energy to frequency of a wave motion. Einstein’s special relativity related energy to the mass of a particle. De Broglie thought it would make a fine doctoral dissertation to work out the implications of two seemingly separate things both related to energy. If energy equals mass (times the speed of light squared) and energy equals frequency (time Planck’s constant), then voilà, mass equals frequency (times some combination of the constants). Therefore, de Broglie reasoned, particles (of mass) ought to also exist as waves (with a frequency).
That might have seemed wacky, but Einstein read de Broglie’s thesis and thought it made sense. Soon Walter Elsasser in Germany reported experiments that supported de Broglie, and in America Clinton Davisson and coworkers demonstrated conclusively that electrons did in fact exhibit wave properties.
De Broglie won the physics Nobel Prize in 1929; Davisson shared the 1937 Nobel with George Thomson, who had conducted similar experiments showing electrons are waves. Which was ironic, because George’s father, J.J. Thomson, won the 1906 Nobel for the work that revealed the existence of the electron as a particle. Eight decades later Ernst Ruska won a Nobel for his design of a powerful microscope that exploited the electron’s wave behavior.
2. Max Born: Probability waves.
De Broglie’s idea ignited a flurry of activity among physicists trying to figure out how waves fit into quantum theory. Niels Bohr, for instance, spent considerable effort attempting to reconcile the dual wave-particle nature of both electrons and light. Erwin Schrödinger, meanwhile, developed a full-fledged “wave mechanics” to describe the behavior of electrons in atoms solely from the wave perspective. Schrödinger’s math incorporated a “wave function” that was great for calculating the expected results of experiments, even though some experiments clearly showed electrons to be particles.
Born, a German physicist and good friend of Einstein’s, deduced the key to clarifying the wave function: It was an indicator of the probability of finding the particle in a given location. Combined with Werner Heisenberg’s brand-new uncertainty principle, Born’s realization led to the modern view that an electron is wavelike in the sense that it does not possess a definite location until it is observed. That approach works fine for all practical purposes, but physicists and philosophers still engage in vigorous debates today about the true physical status of the wave function.
That detection is certainly one of the most phenomenal experimental achievements in the history of science. It signaled a new era in astronomy, providing astronomers a tool for probing the depths of the universe that are obscured from view with Maxwell’s “other radiations, if any.” For astronomy, gravitational radiation is the wave of the future.
The borrower is the servant of the lender, and through the mechanism of government debt virtually the entire planet has become the servants of the global money changers. Politicians love to borrow money, but...
Written by Steve Castellanos Tuesday, 06 January 2009
The new president of the San Joaquin Delta College board of trustees say its time for the college administration and the board to mend the college's reputation.
On Nov. 4,  voters of the San Joaquin Delta Community College District elected me along with C. Jennet Stebbins, Mary Ann Cox and Teresa Brown, to positions on the college’s board of trustees. On Dec. 10, we were sworn in, and on Dec. 16, my fellow board members appointed me as their president.
It is now time for the college administration and the board to roll up our sleeves and collectively begin the difficult work of mending the reputation of this college that is so vital to the economic and cultural strength of the region.
During the past several months, Delta has been the subject of intense public scrutiny and criticism. This is unfortunate, but with a new year upon us and a renewed spirit of cooperation in the air, it is now our challenge to replace the public’s suspicion and frustration with optimism and trust. We will do this by consistently making well-informed, student-centered decisions in the full light of public scrutiny.
As the president of the board, I commit to the public that we will move quickly while learning from the past to make sure that it is good policy and not political concerns that guide Delta College to a much brighter future.
As an architect, I am acutely aware of how important it is to build on a solid footing. While it is no secret that the college has some challenging issues it must immediately address, it does, however, have an unshakable foundation.
Simply put, the faculty, staff and administrators I’ve met in my short time at the college get up in the morning and go to work determined to change lives. They understand and hold sacred the extraordinary role they play in the well-being of the more than 20,000 students who place their dreams of a better future in the college’s hands each semester.
Also, Measure L controversies notwithstanding, Delta has a long tradition of making responsible financial decisions dating back to its first days as a public institution. Accordingly, the college has prudent reserves, has very little long-term debt and, in relation to its peers, is well prepared to navigate the difficult financial issues we all know lay ahead.
But perhaps the greatest reason for my optimism about Delta’s future is the fact that members of the public have demonstrated time and time again that they place enormous value on the work of the college and are unwilling to accept anything less than excellence from those of us who have the privilege of serving such a fine school. Seldom does one get to build on a stronger foundation than that.
I understand that when the public trust is strained, sentiment means little, and words mean even less.
Action is what counts, and I think it is important to state publicly that the board and the administration are fully aware that we have a great deal of work to do if we want to restore the college to its rightful place in public opinion — and we intend to do just that.
• Steve Castellanos, a resident of Valley Springs, is the new president of the San Joaquin Delta College board of trustees.
The borrower is the servant of the lender, and through the mechanism of government debt virtually the entire planet has become the servants of the global money changers. Politicians love to borrow money, but over time government debt slowly but surely impoverishes a nation. As the elite get governments around the globe in increasing amounts of debt, those governments must raise taxes in order to keep servicing those debts. In the end, it is all about taking money from us and transferring it into government pockets, and then taking money from government pockets and transferring it into the hands of the elite. It is a game that has been going on for generations, and it is time for humanity to say that enough is enough.
According to the Institute of International Finance, global debt has now reached a new all-time record high of 217 trillion dollars…
Global debt levels have surged to a record $217 trillion in the first quarter of the year. This is 327 percent of the world’s annual economic output (GDP), reports the Institute of International Finance (IIF).
The surging debt was driven by emerging economies, which have increased borrowing by $3 trillion to $56 trillion. This amounts to 218 percent of their combined economic output, five percentage points greater year on year.
Never before in human history has our world been so saturated with debt.
And what all of this debt does is that it funnels wealth to the very top of the global wealth pyramid. In other words, it makes global wealth inequality far worse because this system is designed to make the rich even richer and the poor even poorer.
Eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity, according to a new report published by Oxfam today to mark the annual meeting of political and business leaders in Davos.
This didn’t happen by accident. Sadly, most people don’t even understand that this is literally what our system was designed to do.
Today, more than 99 percent of the population of the planet lives in a country that has a central bank. And debt-based central banking is designed to get national governments trapped in endless debt spirals from which they can never possibly escape.
For example, just consider the Federal Reserve. During the four decades before the Federal Reserve was created, our country enjoyed the best period of economic growth in U.S. history. But since the Fed was established in 1913, the value of the U.S. dollar has fallen by approximately 98 percent and the size of our national debt has gotten more than 5000 times larger.
In 2017, interest on the national debt will be nearly half a trillion dollars.
That means that close to 500 billion of our tax dollars will go out the door before our government spends a single penny on the military, on roads, on health care or on anything else.
And we continue to pile up debt at a rate of more than 100 million dollars an hour. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the federal government will add more than a trillion dollars to the national debt once again in 2018…
Unless current laws are changed, federal individual income tax collections will increase by 9.5 percent in fiscal 2018, which begins on Oct. 1, according to data released today by the Congressional Budget Office.
At the same time, however, the federal debt will increase by more than $1 trillion.
We shouldn’t be doing this, but we just can’t seem to stop.
Let me try to put this into perspective. If you could somehow borrow a million dollars today and obligate your children to pay it off for you, would you do it?
Maybe if you really hate your children you would, but most loving parents would never do such a thing.
But that is precisely what we are doing on a national level.
Thomas Jefferson was strongly against government debt because he believed that it was a way for one generation to steal from another generation. And he actually wished that he could have added another amendment to the U.S. Constitution which would have banned government borrowing…
“I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its Constitution; I mean an additional article, taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.”
And the really big secret that none of us are supposed to know is that governments don’t actually have to borrow money.
But if we start saying that too loudly the people that are making trillions of dollars from the current system are going to get very, very upset with us.
Today, we are living in the terminal phase of the biggest debt bubble in the history of the planet. Every debt bubble eventually ends tragically, and this one will too.
Bill Gross recently noted that “our highly levered financial system is like a truckload of nitro glycerin on a bumpy road”. One wrong move and the whole thing could blow sky high.
When everything comes crashing down and a great crisis happens, we are going to have a choice.
We could try to rebuild the fundamentally flawed old system, or we could scrap it and start over with something much better.
My hope is that we will finally learn our lesson and discard the debt-based central banking model for good.
The reason why I am writing about this so much ahead of time is so that people will actually understand why the coming crisis is happening as it unfolds.
If we can get everyone to understand how we are being systematically robbed and cheated, perhaps people will finally get mad enough to do something about it.
Who needs Russia when the Tweety-Bird-in-Chief is hacking his own presidency into a global joke? Or at least it might be a joke if the USA weren’t such a menace to international order, and to itself, by the way. Interestingly, the 25th amendment allows for the removal of a president from office on account of incompetence or disability, but not for being an embarrassment to the nation.
They may come after him anyway with the 25th, especially as the financial system unravels later this year, because this time, unlike 2008-9, central bank interventions will not avail to rescue the faltering money system from nine years of previous central bank interventions. All it takes is for the “liquidity” flows to seize up and before you know it, there’s no food in the supermarkets because everything in our just-in-time economy is exquisitely calibrated to the sure expectation of getting paid, and when that goes, it all goes.
Then the question arises: well, can’t you just re-start the liquidity flows? Not when the process requires another abracadabra magic act of summoning X-trillions of dollars out of absolutely nothing when the previous X-trillions created out of absolutely nothing are rushing at warp speed into the black hole of deleveraging because it has been discovered that the “loans” they were based on can never be paid back, not in this universe or any number of universes like it. In a word, they’re worthless.
Deleveraging is the polite term economists give to your net worth rapidly evaporating. Liquidity is the polite term for cash money and things denominated in them that can readily be converted into cash money. The problem with the kind of liquidity-creation solution to deleveraging is that it rapidly leads to money itself becoming worthless.
The preview of coming attractions is currently playing out in Illinois — soon to be joined by Connecticut, California, Kentucky, and many other bankrupt states. Illinois is dead broke. It can’t pay the contractors who fix things like roads and storm drains, and supply food to its prisons. It’s over $200-billion deep in pension obligations that will never be honored. Its Medicaid system is a shambles. It doesn’t even have the cash-on-hand to pay lottery winners (what happened to all the cash paid into the lottery by the suckers who didn’t win, which is supposed to pay off the winners?). The state legislature hasn’t passed a budget in three years.
The governor and the mayor of Chicago and everybody else nominally in charge have no idea what they’re going to do about it. Think the federal government is going to just step in and save the day there? They’d have to bail out every other foundering state and that’s just not going to happen, especially with that same federal government about to run out of cash money itself, with no resolution of the debt ceiling controversy that might allow it to even pretend to borrow more money by issuing treasury bonds that are instantly bought by the Federal Reserve — which, of course, is not an official government agency but a private banking consortium contracted to manage the nation’s money.
Do you begin to see the outlines of the clusterfuck rising like a bad moon over the harvest season of 2017? The American people, by and large, have no more idea how false and fragile the financial arrangements of the nation are than the average eight-year-old has about why the re-po squad is towing away Daddy’s Ford-F150. We’re just doing what we always do: gittin’ our summer on. Breaking out the potato salad and the Bud Lites — at least those who have enough mojo left in their MasterCards to charge the party supplies.
An awful lot of Americans must be maxed out, though, people who actually used to work at things and get paid for it. Each one of them is a walking Illinois now, facing each dawning day with a bigger load of problems, more things they can’t pay for, and moving closer to the dreadful day when everything is gone, every chattel, every knickknack, the very roof over their head, and most particularly the belief that they live in a fair and decent society.
So, I wonder what we’re going to do with a Tweety-Bird-in-Chief in the White House when this deal goes down. Stresses and tensions are out there a’buildin’ and the time for being a nation of feckless idiots is drawing to a close. The sad thing is: it wasn’t even fun while it lasted.
Over the last couple of week’s, volatility has certainly picked up. As shown in the chart below, stocks have vacillated in a 1.5% trading range ever since the beginning of June.(Chart through Thursday)
Despite the pickup in volatility, support for the market has remained firm. Importantly, this confirms the conversation I had with Kevin Massengill of Meraglim just recently discussing the impact of Algorithmic Trading and how they are simultaneously currently all “buying the dip.”As he notes, this is all “fine and dandy” until the robots all decide to start “selling rallies” instead. (Start at 00:02:40 through 00:04:00)
But even with the recent pickup in volatility, volatility by its own measure remains extremely compressed and near its historical lows. While extremely low volatility is not itself an immediate issue, like margin debt, it is the “fuel” that when ignited “burns hot” during the reversion process.
Currently, as we head into the extended July 4th weekend, the bull market trend remains clearly intact. With the “accelerated advance” line holding firm on Thursday’s sell-off, but contained below the recent highs, there is little to suggest the advance that began in early 2016 has come to its final conclusion.
However, such a statement should NOT be construed as meaning it WON’T end as it more assuredly will. The only questions are simply when and how deep the subsequent reversion will be?
Volatility is creeping back. The trick will be keeping it contained.
In the meantime, this is what I am reading over the long holiday weekend.
All In Til It Drops, Forget All Warnings; The Ultimate High Risk Game
By: Doug Wakefield
I have not posted to the blog recently since week by week equity markets continue to reflect "perfect calm". Don't get me wrong, banana peels and trends are building that could shift the landscape quickly.
Yet today, what we are watching is not only "perfection" in the S&P 500 and Dow, but in South Korea's Kospi Index, India's Nifty 50, and in Argentina's MelVal Index.
Do global headlines support a time of world peace and booming economic prosperity worldwide? Do they support a "perfect calm" in global stocks?
Think with me. Don't fall asleep from the continued drone of algorithmic calm.
Look at these four charts, developed by UBS and Citigroup found in two recent articles on Zero Hedge.
Credit growth has fallen off a cliff. The "perfect" stock market view is not supported by "perfect" credit growth.
Is the solution even MORE debt? The Keynesian central bankers seem determined to outrun the largest stock bubble on record by printing their way out of this conundrum.
After 8 years and over 12 trillion in asset purchases between 2009 and 2016, central banking actions continue telling the crowd, "we have your back". Yet the reality of 2000-2002 and 2007-2009 make it clear there is no such thing as a permanent bailout.
These charts by Citigroup make it clear that the era of the "assisted" stock investor is facing the reality of a severe credit contraction.
There is no "the market feels"; only "the computers reacted". Without someone's computers preset to trade at specific technical lines over and over again, the "perfect calm" would not exist. A crowd of humans worldwide could never be this precise.
June 9th was a yet another major warning to global equity investors. Ignoring so many fundamental and technical warnings is only increasing more system-wide risk. When the patterns change due to extreme crowding, the big shift will not present investors with much time to mentally and financially adjust.
For 6 weeks I have been adding to my longest newsletter since starting The Investor's Mind in 2006.
It is called "Ten 'Little' Dominoes". We finished domino #8 last week, with #9 being released next week. Click here to join those reading The Investor's Mind as we monitor these world trends, and seek to prepare for what lies ahead, rather than hope in more "assistance",
Our analysis of the global markets and metals markets are prompting us to issue a warning that may not shock a number of our followers – but may surprise others. We use a number of custom indicators, custom indexes and other specialized features to try to keep our valued members aware of moves before they happen at ActiveTradingPartners.com. You may recall our recent article warning of a VIX spike between June 9th and June 13th in correlation with a US market correction (NASDAQ). We nailed this and predicted another VIX spike on June 29th, 2017.
Are you ready for what might become the most opportunistic setup we’ve seen in over a decade? Well, before we get to the guts of our incredible setup, let’s go over some other data to support our predictions – the global markets.
On May 3rd, 2017, we authored an article regarding Global Economic Shifts that were taking place as a result of Capital Migration and renewed risk factors throughout the global markets.
Our hypothesis was that capital will always attempt to locate and migrate to financial environments where risk is mitigated and returns are sufficient. We consider this an active and intrinsic role of global capital – the hunt for the ability to thrive and develop success/profits.
Since this research was completed, a number of new and interesting facets have evolved. Two of the most interesting are the shifts within the Arabic nations with regards to Qatar and the almost total isolation recently enacted on this wealthy nation and the news from Europe that a number of smaller, regional banks are collapsing with broader, tangible relations to the EU banking system. This type of disruption within a financial environment (think globally) causes capital to migrate rather quickly to more stable locations for self-preservation.
China/Asian markets appear to be developing a level of “moderately healthy financial environment” in terms of global market capital migration. In the past, I would have warned that Asia/China could become a temporary safe-harbor for capital as it migrates out of riskier environments and I would still support that claim simple because China/Asia are less of a mature market compared to other. Thus, the likelihood that China/Asia could see dramatic asset revaluation or some type of unexpected market function issues is still near the top of my list. Yet, we can’t accurately predict when this will happen and until extended signs of weakness cause us to adopt a more concerned stance, we have to understand that capital will move to environments that seem suitable for success. At this time, we believe China/Asia are viewed as just that – moderately suitable for capital deployment and investment (till things change).
Asia Chart You will see from our chart that a defined support channel is in place and resistance bands appears to be setting up near the end of June and throughout September 2017.
BRICS markets appear to have “rolled over”, as predicted, near resistance bands that indicate pricing levels may be setup for some level of correction. It is our opinion that an 8~18% correction may be near as capital will likely migrate away from perceived increased risk and towards healthier environments. This would put a downside target on this chart near $13k~$12.5k.
The European markets appear to be at a critical juncture near a classic Fibonacci retracement pattern. Many people do not understand one of the basic concepts of Fibonacci theory that is; price will always attempt to develop new higher highs or lower lows. Keeping this in mind, any failure to develop higher highs in the European markets within the next 2~3 months will likely result in perceptions being that these markets are developing greater risk. Thus, capital may migrate away from the uncertainty and risk towards healthier alternatives. The European markets chart shows clear price channels that originated near July2016 – the date Theresa May assumed the Prime Minister role. It is interesting how the perception of an environment of strength, protection, leadership and opportunity can change the way capital migrates from different environments. In this case, the disruption in Europe with May’s election victory changed the way people saw the future opportunities in Europe. Now, with recent elections, banking issues, further debt issues and uncertainty with leadership, we can only assume that perception will change, again, towards an environment that is more risky and unstable – prompting capital migration away from these markets.
Meanwhile, on another continent… The US markets appear to be the “Garden of Eden” in terms of capital migration. It is true that the entire US/Canadian/Mexican conglomerate market is suitable and in perfect financial health, but it is also true that compared to many others, these market present the potential for the best and safest deployment of capital. The charts show that capital appreciation has been tremendous since the US Presidential Elections and may launch much higher if extended risk exists in other global markets. Again, capital is always searching for a safe and suitable environment for deployment. Taken in global terms, there are really only two suitable locations for capital and the others are inherently more risky. These conditions may change over the next few months, but our analysis points to one critical factor that could disrupt many aspects of this global capital environment. One thing that could be related to a massively disruptive event.
We are now at the point that you have been waiting for. The incredibly disruptive and opportunistic setup that could change everything in the global markets (or so we hypothesize). Before we get to the details, we want to make certain that you understand this type of research if far from 100% guaranteed or set in stone. We develop our analysis based on a number of massively moving components within the global economy and are predicting price moves that may be weeks of month in advance. We advise you to consider this a learning experiment in the sense that there is absolutely no way we can state with 100% certainty our research/analysis or conclusions will play out exactly as we suggest. It is impossible for anyone to know what will or may happen, accurately, in the future. That is what trading is all about – making an educated guess and protecting your trade.
Well, here it is, folks. The setup/opportunity that may turn into the biggest move in the markets for the next century.
Think about this for just one minute. Given the knowledge that capital will migrate to sources of safety and investment return while avoiding environments that are risky. And, given that we’ve made fairly clear points that much of the global is setting up for some levels of disruption, uncertainty and greater risk – leaving only China/Asia and the US as the safe-harbor capital environments. We’ve also detailed how the China/Asia markets are setting up for disruption with technical resistance levels and exposure to other global environments.
We’ve highlighted that Europe may enter a period of disruption and uncertainty with recent elections, debt, banking issues and more and illustrated that BRICs markets are rolling over as an early warning that emerging markets might contract as global capital migrates towards safer environments. This is not doom and gloom stuff, this is just what happens when markets are disrupted. Now, look at the setup in these custom metals index charts. A clear Flag formation has setup near historical lows that is nearing the Pinnacle. My analysis of this pattern shows that we are setup for one more lower price rotation before the rally begins. One more attempt at buying near ultimate lows before we could see a massive, explosive rally capable of at least a 50%+ run. Long term, this run could be much bigger.. much, much bigger. Fibonacci theory shows the potential for 125% or 225% gains are easily posible.
Oddly enough, our research shows that this lower wave of metals prices should complete near or before June 29th. Remember that date from the beginning of this article? That’s right, this is the date that we predict would initiate a volatility spike (VIX Spike). Just how big will this VIX spike be? If our analysis is correct, the real VIX/volatility expansion won’t begin to happen till near the end of August or near the middle of September, 2017. Our analysis shows that the Metals will begin to make a move near the end of June or early July 2017. Our analysis also shows that the US and global markets will begin to see increased volatility near Aug/Sept 2017. We also believe that any move in Metals will likely be the result of extended risk factors globally.
Handicapping whether the rise of one power inevitably leads to armed conflicto
By Andrew Browne
Is President Donald Trump’s vision for ‘America First’ on a collision course with Xi Jinping’s ‘China Dream’? Here, Mr. Trump welcomes the Chinese president at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., on April 6. Photo: CARLOS BARRIA/REUTERS
SHANGHAI—Two fiery nationalists— Xi Jinping and Donald Trump —now occupy the seats of power in Beijing and Washington.
In their mission to make their countries great again, one pursues the “China Dream,” one “America First.” Both see the other as the chief obstacle to their ambition; they’re locked into a zero-sum competition.
Halting efforts to cooperate on North Korea have papered over deep tensions on a range of issues including the South China Sea.
Are the U.S. and China headed for war? That has been the recent hot question in China circles, spurred by a deluge of books that handicap the chances.
Graham Allison, the Harvard professor who popularized the term “Thucydides Trap” to describe the risk of conflict when a rising power challenges the incumbent, isn’t optimistic.
Thucydides, the Athenian historian and general, summarized the causes of the Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.) in a single line of a monumental history: It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this inspired in Sparta, he wrote, that made conflict inevitable.
War has resulted in 12 out of 16 similar setups over the past 500 years, Mr. Allison asserts, including Germany’s challenge to Britain that led to World War I.
In a new book that bears the ominous title “Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?” he lays out how conflicts over trade, the South China Sea or cyberspace could all spin out of control.
It is “frighteningly easy to develop scenarios in which American and Chinese soldiers are killing each other,” he writes
Nonsense, responds the noted Sinologist Arthur Waldron, a history professor at the University of Pennsylvania. War is by no means ordained.
In a caustic review of Mr. Allison’s book, he declares that the Thucydides Trap is a fallacy. Dig deeper into Thucydides’s text, he argues, and it becomes clear that Sparta, though warlike, tried to head off confrontation with Athens, at one point suggesting a simple compromise.
There’s much more here than an academic dispute over classical history.
Fundamentally, the two professors disagree in their estimates of China’s rise, and thus the severity of the challenge it represents to the U.S.-led order that has kept the peace since World War II.
Mr. Allison focuses on data showing China’s wealth and power soaring ever up.
Mr. Waldron dwells on figures that indicate China’s crippling vulnerabilities. He mentions chronic water shortages and energy wastage. Others point to an alarming surge in corporate debt and an aging population that could stall, or even reverse, growth.
Those who live in China, rather than observe it from afar, juggle both perspectives daily.
Inhale the toxic air in almost any city and it’s clear why wealthy Chinese are fleeing.
Yet, testifying to China’s creative energy are the fleets of emerald, blue and fluorescent orange bicycles that have overrun the same cities in a matter of months as multiple startups have jumped into a bike-sharing business powered by smartphone apps.
China is choking to death; China is vibrant. Both are true. Washington’s challenge is to make sense of these contradictions, and steer a policy course that avoids the extremes of capitulation and reckless belligerence.
The Obama administration was timid; Beijing seized the opportunity to start turning the South China Sea into a Chinese lake.
To the extent that the Trump administration has a China policy, it’s on hold due to North Korea.
Mr. Trump has suspended the verbal hostilities he unleashed on the campaign trail in hopes that his Chinese counterpart will use his influence to halt Pyongyang’s nuclear program. If, as seems likely, Mr. Xi can’t, or won’t, deliver a solution this truce could quickly crumble.
Influential voices are urging a hard line. Ely Ratner, a senior fellow at the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, recommended last week the U.S. should consider basing troops on disputed South China Sea islands. Whether the White House takes that inflammatory suggestion, once its disillusion with Beijing’s North Korea efforts sets in, expect renewed bellicosity on issues from trade to Taiwan.
There’s little doubt about Chinese intentions. As the journalist Howard French points out in his erudite book “Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power,” China aspires to restore its position at the pinnacle of East Asia.
The coming decades, he writes, will involve “a certain amount of yielding to China.”
How much will depend on a fine understanding of Chinese capabilities. While China has made giant leaps in military technology—enough to strike U.S. aircraft carriers—it will become progressively harder and more expensive to advance further.
In a speech two years ago, Mr. Xi insisted that “there is no such thing as the so-called Thucydides trap.” But he went on to warn against strategic miscalculations by unnamed “major countries” that “might create such traps.”
The next few years will be perilous: The risks of conflict can’t simply be dismissed. Mr. Waldron, though, is confident that Chinese leaders would quickly smother any unintended conflict rather than escalate and risk their country’s ruin.
- All triple-net REITs grow earnings by utilizing spread investing. - The higher the multiple, the lower the costs of capital, and that translates into BIGGER MARGINS. - The low cost of capital (high equity multiple) is the most important competitive advantage in the net lease industry.
This article is one in a sequence of articles that I refer to as “If I Had To Own Just One REIT” series. As you may recall, I recently wrote on the Healthcare REIT sector and I selected Ventas, Inc. (VTR) as my top pick. I summed up my BUY recommendation as follows:
VTR is my favorite Healthcare REIT and one of the best managed REITs overall. While I don't consider the shares anywhere near bargain-pricing levels, I consider the stock soundly valued and worthy of an entry position. For a deep value investor, I would wait on a pullback, but I have no problem recommending shares at the current price point.
I also wrote on the Shopping Center REIT sector and I explained that “after surveying the list of vetted retail REITs and considering which of the companies are worthy of ownership, I find Retail Opportunity Investments Corp. (ROIC) one of the best REITs to own.”
Given the more recent news and powerfully disruptive force in the retail sector – Amazon (AMZN), it’s critical that investors focus on QUALITY. As I explained in a recent Forbes article,
The best quality real estate with the highest sales productivity should thrive as successful retailers want to drive sales and inventory turnover..., Amazon is recognizing that to build a successful mousetrap, the blueprint must include REAL ESTATE.
In other words, it’s now more critical than ever to own Retail REITs that have the highest quality assets. There is no reason to be cute, hoping to capture outsized returns by investing a REIT like Spirit Realty (SRC) that leases to Shopko and formerly invested in a struggling grocer, Hagen. I summarized my thoughts in a recent article,
The cream always rises to the top, and today REIT investors have an opportunity to pick up shares in a stalwart REIT that has a superior low cost of capital advantage. It’s critical to always examine the underlying revenue generators of a REIT and remember that “quality is not free.
Now it’s time to continue the “If I Had To Own Just One REIT” series and today I’m writing on the Net Lease REIT sector. I’m sure you already know the company but in case you don’t here’s a clue…. O, O, O, It’s Magic.
The Basic Net Lease REIT Overview
Before I start on the discussion of Realty Income (O), let’s begin with a general overview of the Net Lease REIT sector. Net Lease REITs are different from Shopping Center REITs because their lease structure and growth drivers support a predictable revenue stream relative to other forms of retail real estate. This snapshot below compares Realty Income (and Net Lease REITs) with Shopping Center/Mall REITs:
One of the most important differentiators for Net Lease REITs is that they drive growth through acquisitions. When is the last time you saw a Mall REIT acquire a Mall? Net Lease REITs like Realty Income have a large pool to fish in – the sector is highly fragmented and there are opportunities to invest in practically every state in the U.S. (Realty Income owns properties in 49 states).
Here is a snapshot comparing Realty Income’s market capitalization with the Net Lease REIT peers:
Over the years, Realty Income has evolved into a massive Net Lease REIT with 4,980 properties located in 49 states and Puerto Rico. As you can see below, the company has a highly diversified portfolio spanning 49 states (not in HI):
It’s hard to fathom how much Realty Income has grown over the years, from one Taco Bell site to over 4,900 properties. The company now has incredible scale, well diversified by tenant, industry, geography, and to a certain extent, property type.
No tenant represents more than 6.8% of revenue as Realty Income has 250 commercial tenants, 45% are investment-grade rated (including 9 of the top 20 tenants):
As you can see, Whole Foods is not on the list of Top 20 tenants. During the first quarter, Realty Income added Kroger (NYSE:KR) to its top 20 tenants, representing 1.2% of annualized rental revenue. But more importantly, the top 15 tenants represent higher quality credit, less cyclical industries and greater diversification vs. 2009:
No industry represents more than 11.1% of rent and the company has considerable exposure to defensive industries: Top 10 industries represent strong diversification, significant exposure to non-discretionary, low price point, service-oriented industries:
Realty Income’s roots are in retail with growing exposure to mission-critical industrial properties:
Realty Income’s management team is highly experienced at sourcing deals and when the company invests in retail it seeks strong unit-level cash flow coverage (specific to each industry). The company seeks tenants with service, non-discretionary and/or low price point components to their business with favorable sales and demographic trends.
Keep in mind, there have been 13 retail bankruptcies in 2017 and 12 of them were related to apparel, electronics, and general merchandise. Realty Income has little exposure to these categories: 5 apparel BKs and O has 1.8% of ABR in apparel, 3 sporting goods BKs and O has 1.3% of ABR in sporting goods, and O has .30% exposure in electronics, 1.7% in general merchandise, and just .65% exposure in shoes (i.e. Payless BK).
Also, Realty Income has 3.67% exposure (based on ABR) to the grocery sector. The company has Wal-Mart and Kroger as Top 10 tenants. As I said earlier, it’s critical to invest in quality retail and that means avoid REITs that have exposure to weaker chains like Shopko (i.e. SRC) and Bi-Lo (i.e. WHLR).
Of all of Realty Income’s tenants, Rite Aid is, in my opinion, the biggest watch list candidate. There is doubt regarding the Walgreen merger and RAD is highly leveraged (rated B by S&P). Realty Income has 69 RAD stores but I don’t consider this dire news given the fact that Realty Income has cherry-picked the real estate and the pharmacy sector is growing.
Who knows, maybe the RAD leases become Amazon leases… I’ll save that article for another day…
Realty Income remains comfortable with the momentum in the drugstore industry and continues to view the exposure favorably given the industry’s attractive demographic tailwinds, non-discretionary nature and continued growth from in-store pharmacy pickup.
Additionally, Walgreens and CVS (the top two drugstore tenants) have generated 15 consecutive quarters of positive same-store pharmacy sales growth.
Most importantly, over 90% of Realty Income’s retail portfolio has service, non-discretionary and/or low price point components. The Non-Retail-focused investments are Fortune 1000, primarily investment-grade rated companies.
The Magic Starts Right Here
All triple-net REITs grow earnings by utilizing spread investing; this simple formula is described as follows:
Cap Rate - Cost of Capital = Spread
By using this example, assume a triple-net REIT acquires standalone buildings at a 7% cap rate, and then, after subtracting the cost of capital (~5%), arrives at a spread (that's the profit margin) of ~2% (or 200 bps).
Over the years, I have been reading many articles on Seeking Alpha and other investing websites, and I'm amazed that most analysts miss the "most important thing" when it comes to net lease investing:
The Low Cost of Capital Advantage.
Let's consider the equity details related to spread investing.
To arrive at the earnings yield, one must divide the P/FFO ratio into 100. For example, a P/FFO of 21x divided by 100 is a 4.7% earnings yield. Since assuming Wall Street charges around 6.5% for equity, the earnings yield after issuance costs is .935 (100% - 6.5% = 93.5%).
So, the Nominal Cost of Equity is arrived at by dividing the 4.7% earnings yield by .935, or 5%.
With a 7% cap rate (on a purchase), the 5% NCE is equal to 2.0%. Thus, on a $100 million investment, there is $2 million in new profits for all shareholders. The same thing at 25x P/FFO equals a 4.27% NCE that translates into around $2.73 million (in profits) on a $100 million acquisition.
So, very simply, the higher the multiple, the lower the costs of capital, and that translates into BIGGER MARGINS.
(In reality, it's actually lower than that, because O uses free cash flow instead of equity. Cash has a 0% nominal cost.)
Realty Income’s investment spreads relative to its weighted average cost of capital remained healthy in the first quarter, averaging 170 bps, which were well above the historical averages. Realty Income defined investment spreads as initial cash yield less the nominal first year weighted average cost of capital.
As illustrated below, the low cost of capital (high equity multiple) is the most important competitive advantage in the net lease industry:
Low cost of capital allows Realty Income to acquire the highest quality assets and leases in the net lease industry:
Realty Income avoids lease structures with above-market rents, which can often inflate initial cap rates:
Assuming identical real estate portfolio, consider two different lease structure scenarios...
Realty Income’s cost of capital advantage drives ability to source, fund, close on accretive M&A deals, like the ARCT transaction that closed in 2013:
Large, diversified portfolio offers capacity to absorb co-mingled portfolio opportunities, like the Inland portfolio that closed in 2014:
Realty Income’s property diversification, cost of capital, and willingness to acquire $250mm+ transactions with diverse property types provides unique growth opportunities in addition to traditional single-asset or retail sale-leaseback pipeline.
The Fortress Balance Sheet
In the first quarter, Realty Income issued approximately $800 million in common equity at an average price to investors of approximately $62 per share (trading at $53.76 now).
Realty Income has the highest credit rating in the net lease sector, the company issued $700 million in fixed rate unsecured debt with a weighted average term of 18.3 years and a yield of 4.1%.
The company’s credit spreads remain among the lowest in the REIT industry and leverage continues to decline with net debt to total market cap of approximately 26% and debt to EBITDA of approximately 5.5x. Realty Income currently has approximately $1.5 billion available on its $2 billion line of credit. This provides ample liquidity and flexibility as the company continues to grow.
The company is rated BBB+ by all three major rating agencies (Moody's, S&P, and Fitch), and is likely to become an A- rated REIT soon. Key metrics include: 93% fixed-rate debt, weighted average rate of 4.15% on debt, staggered maturities (8.1 year on average), and ample liquidity ($1.68 available on revolver (L+90bps) with $120 million (annually) of free cash flow.
O, O, O, It’s Magic
What company would copyright the name, “the monthly dividend company” if they did not intend to generate reliable monthly dividends?
As you can see, Realty Income has had Zero dividend cuts in 22 years as a public company:
The “Magic” of Rising Dividends: Yield on Cost, Dividend Payback long term, yield-oriented investors have been rewarded with consistent income. There are potential benefits to investing long term in a company that regularly increases its dividend. The longer you hold your shares, the higher the yield you will receive on your original investment, assuming dividends increase over time. Additionally, the compounding of reinvested dividends could generate increased investment returns over time.
Investors who have elected to reinvest their dividends have enjoyed the following returns over time (as of 3/31/2017):
Buy, Sell, or Hold?
Keep in mind, Realty Income’s share price (of $72.00) is down considerably over the last 11 months.
The dividend yield has compressed by 230 bps, representing a cushion for investors (Note: I had a “Trim” on shares at $72.00).
Let’s examine Realty Income’s dividend yield, compared with the peers:
Now let’s examine the AFFO Payout Ratio:
Realty Income's Payout Ratio is higher than most peers, but the company does not have considerable office exposure and the quality of the income stream justifies the low 80% ratio. Now let’s examine the P/FFO multiple:
As you see, Realty Income trades at the highest P/FFO multiple in the Net Lease REIT sector, but that does not mean shares are expensive. I would argue that shares are now “soundly” valued and that the premium valuation (relative to the peers) is warranted based on management’s skillful strategy for managing risk. Obviously, I would encourage investors to buy Realty Income if the price drops, but I consider fundamentals sound and I’m maintaining my BUY recommendation.
Although the Amazon/Whole Foods deal was a surprise last week, it should be no surprise that Realty Income has been able to successfully manage risk for more than two decades. The fact that Amazon is betting on brick and mortar serves to validate the argument that real estate is an essential asset class for delivering goods and Realty Income remains in an enviable position to be the dominant Net Lease consolidator.
In conclusion, if I had to buy just one Net Lease REIT, it would be Realty Income... O, O, O, it's magic!
AFFO per Share Forecaster (powered by FAST Graphs):
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Brad Thomas is a Wall Street writer, and that means he is not always right with his predictions or recommendations. That also applies to his grammar. Please excuse any typos, and be assured that he will do his best to correct any errors,if they are overlooked.
Finally, this article is free, and the sole purpose for writing it is to assist with research, while also providing a forum for second-level thinking. If you have not followed him, please take five seconds and click his name above (top of the page).
Gauchos: saddle up. Argentina, one of the world’s most notorious serial defaulters, came to market on Monday with a 100-year sovereign bond, and investors snapped it up with all the macho bravado of the legendary horsemen of the pampas.
Really? A dollar-denominated bond that pays back 100 years from now, from a junk-rated country that has barely managed to stay solvent for more than half that time in its entire history as a creditor?
While there is certainly an investment case for taking part, several analysts warn that this issue is a classic sign of a market getting ahead of itself.
The point, though, is not the 100 years. The complexities of bond maths mean that, once maturities go beyond 30 years, the investment case barely changes. Barring default, with a yield of nearly 8 per cent, the bond will repay investors in full in about 12 years, all else (such as inflation) being equal — and that’s leaving aside its resale value. Many investors will have much shorter horizons.
In a world starved of yield, the 7.91 per cent on offer proved to be quite a pull and the bond attracted orders of $9.75bn for the $2.75bn issued. “People are looking out over the next 12 to 24 months and see a pretty positive outlook [for Argentina],” says David Robbins, head of emerging markets at TCW in New York. “Duration in high yield is something they are more comfortable with.” Argentina, he notes, is in effect selling equity in its economic recovery.
With so much else priced to perfection on global markets, this may seem to go with the territory. But others warn that we have been here before.
Sérgio Trigo Paz, head of emerging market fixed income portfolio management at BlackRock, says the rationale and the pricing are all good. But, he adds: “When you put it into perspective, it gives you a sense of déjà vu.”
Argentina’s is not the only noteworthy sale this week. Russia reportedly attracted demand of more than $6bn for 10-year and 30-year eurobonds expected to be priced later on Tuesday at yields of about 4.25 per cent and 5.25 per cent respectively.
This is happening just as the US Federal Reserve has embarked on “quantitative tightening”, raising interest rates last week for the second time this year and preparing markets for an announcement on how it will begin shrinking its supersized balance sheet later in the year.
It is not hard to see parallels between today and 2013, when the Fed announced the approaching end of quantitative easing just as investors were piling with enthusiasm into a series of high-profile eurobond issues by African governments. Some of those went badly wrong as investors fled emerging markets in the subsequent “taper tantrum”.
Investors may feel Argentina is less vulnerable this year to the dangers of “original sin” — issuing debt in dollars that must be serviced from revenues in your own, potentially weakening currency.
Last year’s dollar strength has faded and the peso has weakened against it by only about 1.5 per cent this year.
While a repeat of the taper tantrum is not expected, Mr Trigo Paz is among those warning that we are nevertheless at an inflection point.
He sees two scenarios. In one, the Fed is right about inflation and rates will continue to rise.
This would turn the Argentine bond into “a bad experience”. In the other, markets are right, US inflation and payrolls will disappoint and we will be back in a low rate environment, which will be good for the bonds — until deflation rears its head again, hurting the Argentine economy and its ability to pay.
In the meantime, he says, there is a “Goldilocks” middle ground in which investors can suck up an 8 per cent coupon. Beyond that: “It doesn’t look good either way — which is why you get an inflection point.”
Jim Barrineau, co-head of EM debt at Schroders, agrees. “Issuance like this will be the most volatile when the market cracks,” he says. “You do well until you don’t.”
At bottom, the question is whether the strong flows into EM assets this year, more than $35bn into EM bond funds alone, will continue to cushion investors from upsets down the road. It may be that the sheer quantity of money in search of yield will overpower events.
“You’re getting a ton of inflows, including passive inflows, compression of yields and compression of default risk,” says Mr Barrineau. “And people need to put money to work.”
However, he added: “History shows in EM that this type of environment doesn’t last for ever.
“This is the type of thing that when the tide turns is just poised to underperform. We’d rather pass on issues that appear to be the product of a frothy market.”
Is Amazon/Whole Foods This Cycle’s AOL/Time Warner – A Sign That The Party’s Over?
Towards the end of the 1990s tech stock bubble, “new media” – i.e., the Internet — was ascendant and old media like magazines, newspapers and broadcast TV were yesterday’s news.
This was reflected in relative stock valuations, which gave Internet pioneer AOL the ability to buy venerable media giant Time Warner for what looked (accurately in retrospect) like an insane amount of money.
Now fast forward to 2017. Online retailing is crushing bricks-and-mortar, giving Amazon all the high-powered stock it needs to do whatever it wants. And what does it want? Apparently to run grocery stores and pharmacies via the acquisition of Whole Foods, the iconic upscale-healthy food chain.
The two deals’ similarities are striking, but before considering them here’s a quick AOL/Time Warner post-mortem:
(Fortune) – The landscape of mergers and acquisitions is littered with business flops, some catastrophic, highly visible disasters that were often hugely hyped before their eventual doom. Today marks the 15th anniversary of one such calamity when media giants AOL and Time Warner combined their businesses in what is usually described as the worst merger of all time. But what happened then will happen again, and ironically for the exact same reasons.
A lot of people thought that the merger was a brilliant move and worried that their own companies would be left behind. At the time, the dot-coms could do no wrong, and AOL (AOL) was at the head of the pack as the ‘dominant’ player. Its sky-high stock market valuation, bid up by investors looking for a windfall, made the young company more valuable in market cap terms than many blue chips. Then CEO Steve Case was already shopping around before the Time Warner opportunity came up.
On the other side, Time Warner anxiously tried, and failed, to establish an online presence before the merger. And here, in one fell swoop, was a solution. The strategy sounded compelling. Time Warner (TWC), via AOL, would now have a footprint of tens of millions of new subscribers. AOL, in turn, would benefit from access to Time Warner’s cable network as well as to the content, adding its layer of so-called ‘user friendly’ interfaces on top of the pipes. The whole thing was “transformative” (a word that gets really old really fast when reading about this period). Had these initial assumptions been borne out, we might be talking today about what a visionary deal it was.
Merging the cultures of the combined companies was problematic from the get go. Certainly the lawyers and professionals involved with the merger did the conventional due diligence on the numbers. What also needed to happen, and evidently didn’t, was due diligence on the culture. The aggressive and, many said, arrogant AOL people “horrified” the more staid and corporate Time Warner side. Cooperation and promised synergies failed to materialize as mutual disrespect came to color their relationships.
A few scant months after the deal closed, the dot com bubble burst and the economy went into recession. Advertising dollars evaporated, and AOL was forced to take a goodwill write-off of nearly $99 billion in 2002, an astonishing sum that shook even the business-hardened writers of the Wall Street Journal. AOL was also losing subscribers and subscription revenue. The total value of AOL stock subsequently went from $226 billion to about $20 billion.
Now back to Amazon/Whole Foods. Amazon is going to apply its advanced technology – online ordering, fast delivery, drones, autonomous cars, whatever – to the quintessentially meatspace business of selling groceries. And it’s paying $13 billion to find out if this is a good idea.
Whether it is or isn’t is less important than what this type of M&A says about the mindset of a given cycle’s favored companies. When undreamed-of amounts of money start pouring in (as with the dot-coms of old and today’s Big Tech) it changes the perception of risk. $13 billion is a terrifying amount of money to bet on a new and untested idea – except in the context of a near-trillion dollar market cap, where it seems downright modest.
When the next bear market hits, though, that kind of money might seem a bit hubristic.
As with so many other extraordinary recent market events (record-high stock prices combined with record-low volatility, negative yields on government bonds, soaring debt/GDP combined with falling inflation), Amazon/Whole Foods might or might not be the bell that rings at the top. But when the history of this time is written, there’s a good chance that it will be somewhere on the list.
An issue of Supervalu Inc. debt rose 2% against its face value during trading on Wednesday after Telsey Advisory Group lowered their price target on the stock from $5.50 to $4.50. The debt issue has a 7.75% coupon and is set to mature on November 15, 2022.
CHICAGO, June 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated (NYSE: JLL) today announced that it strengthened its solid financial position by issuing an aggregate principal amount of €350 million of Senior Unsecured Notes. The private debt issuance included €175 million of...
The United States has a higher maternal mortality rate than any other developed country, but federal policy makers are considering reducing access to insurance coverage for pregnancy care. Last week, the US Senate released the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, following the passage of the American Health Care Act in the US House of Representatives. Both pieces of legislation would allow states to waive out of the requirement that insurance plans in the individual market cover maternity and newborn care, as part of efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The ACA requires that all individual market health insurance plans cover 10 essential health benefits, including maternity and newborn care. Ever since the passage of the ACA, some people have objected to the maternity requirement, claiming it is unfair to men and some women who do not expect to become pregnant. The maternity requirement seems to be targeted more publicly than other essential health benefits, such as pediatric services, mental health and substance use services, and prescription drug coverage. This raises the question: Is maternity care different than other medical services?
Maternity care is different.
When a woman receives maternity care, the health care services are provided to the woman, but lasting benefits of maternity care affect both the woman and the child. The importance of maternity coverage in improving child health has long been recognized in our public health programs. The oldest federal-state partnership, the Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant Program, has aimed to improve the health of mothers and children since 1935, in part by providing access to comprehensive prenatal and postnatal care. Medicaid has had a special category covering pregnant women up to a higher-income level than other adults for 30 years, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides affordable coverage to pregnant women up to a minimum of 185 percent of the federal poverty level. CHIP coverage for pregnant women technically covers the “unborn child” and not the woman. This is an important distinction because it is a reminder that the intent of the coverage is to improve health outcomes for children. Reducing infant mortality and improving health outcomes for children is an important public health goal that is extended through the ACA by requiring insurance coverage of maternity and newborn care, but it should not be the only goal of maternity coverage.
We cannot ignore the importance of maternity care for the health of women, in addition to the health of children. Routine prenatal care improves health outcomes for women by identifying treatable complications such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and ectopic pregnancies. Postnatal care screens for postpartum depression and infection. If a woman does not have health coverage for her pregnancy, she may forgo prenatal and postnatal care that could identify risks and help her and her provider take steps to prevent life-threatening complications.
Yet, just as the policy discussion to eliminate access to insurance coverage for pregnancy services occurs, women are dying from preventable complications of childbirth in the United States. A recent study by the CDC Foundation found that 60 percent of maternal mortality deaths are preventable. There are numerous factors besides health coverage that result in the high maternal mortality rate in our country. However, taking away access to affordable coverage for pregnancy care will no doubt place women’s health at risk.
We do not need to imagine what the future of maternity coverage would be without a benefit requirement. Less than 10 years ago, because there was no federal maternity requirement in the individual insurance market, women in three-quarters of the states were often unable to find or afford maternity coverage. At the time, only 12 states imposed a requirement on individual market insurers to cover maternity benefits.
In many states, the only way to purchase maternity coverage on the individual market was by purchasing a rider in addition to a health insurance plan. A rider is supplementary insurance, available for an additional premium cost that provides coverage for benefits not otherwise covered in the base policy. Riders varied but generally cost thousands of dollars a year, sometimes more than the base premium. For example, under a rider offered in Topeka, Kansas, a woman would have paid $9,682 between the annual cost of premiums just for the maternity rider and the deductible for her maternity rider and care. In addition, riders often covered only a small proportion of pregnancy related costs, with annual maximums as low as $2,000.
In its analysis of the House bill, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that maternity riders will cost more than $1,000 a month if states waive out of the maternity coverage requirement. The CBO also estimated that the cost of pregnancy care and delivery will be $17,000 for women covered by private insurance. The actual health care charges, which a woman without insurance might be billed, may be almost double—in 2010, the average billed costs of prenatal care alone was about $6,200. Women could face similar bills for a stillbirth or later-term miscarriage. Without maternity coverage, children start their life in a family in economic hardship because they are born into families facing thousands of dollars of medical debt.
For three years now, women have had options to purchase comprehensive insurance with maternity care outside of employer-based coverage. Many women purchasing this coverage are also eligible for tax subsidies that reduce their premium and cost sharing, making both the coverage and care more affordable. We have moved forward toward ensuring that all women in the United States have access to affordable prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal services. Eliminating the requirement for health insurance plans to cover maternity would place the health of women and children at risk and place financial hardship on families welcoming a new child.
BEIJING (MNI) – China’s collective debt and other financial obligations owed to foreign sources rose for the fourth consecutive quarter, even as the domestic economy and cross-border capital flows improved, a unit of the People’s Bank of China. China’s so-called comprehensive foreign debt stood at USD1.44 trillion at the end of March, a gain of […]
The euro came off yearly highs on Friday but was still set for its strongest quarter in six years as investors pile into the currency on a brightening euro zone economy and its implications for monetary policy in the bloc. The single currency dropped 0.1 percent to trade at $1.1426, but in the April-June quarter […]
Oh, good evening my hackfriends! I am just chuffed to share a thing with yall: tomorrow we release Guile 2.2.0. Yaaaay!
I know in these days of version number inflation that this seems like a very incremental, point-release kind of a thing, but it's a big deal to me. This is a project I have been working on since soon after the release of Guile 2.0 some 6 years ago. It wasn't always clear that this project would work, but now it's here, going into production.
The virtual machine is still a bytecode interpreter for now; native code is a next step. Oddly my journey here has been precisely opposite, in a way, to An incremental approach to compiler construction; incremental, yes, but starting from the other end. But I am very happy with where things are. Guile remains very portable, bootstrappable from C, and the compiler is in a good shape to take us the rest of the way to register allocation and native code generation, and performance is pretty ok, even better than some natively-compiled Schemes.
As is often the case with these things, I got the idea for removing the stack limit after talking with Sam Tobin-Hochstadt from Racket and the PLT group. I admire Racket and its makers very much and look forward to stealing fromworking with them in the future.
Of course the ideas for the contification and closure optimization passes are in debt to Matthew Fluet and Stephen Weeks for the former, and Andy Keep and Kent Dybvig for the the latter. The intmap/intset representation of CPS soup itself is highly endebted to the late Phil Bagwell, to Rich Hickey, and to Clojure folk; persistent data structures were an amazing revelation to me.
While I'm high-fiving, large ups to two amazing support teams: firstly to my colleagues at Igalia for supporting me on this. Almost the whole time I've been at Igalia, I've been working on this, for about a day or two a week. Sometimes at work we get to take advantage of a Guile thing, but Igalia's Guile investment mainly pays out in the sense of keeping me happy, keeping me up to date with language implementation techniques, and attracting talent. At work we have a lot of language implementation people, in JS engines obviously but also in other niches like the networking group, and it helps to be able to transfer hackers from Scheme to these domains.
I put in my own time too, of course; but my time isn't really my own either. My wife Kate has been really supportive and understanding of my not-infrequent impulses to just nerd out and hack a thing. She probably won't read this (though maybe?), but it's important to acknowledge that many of us hackers are only able to do our work because of the support that we get from our families.
a digression on the nature of seeking and knowledge
I am jealous of my colleagues in academia sometimes; of course it must be this way, that we are jealous of each other. Greener grass and all that. But when you go through a doctoral program, you know that you push the boundaries of human knowledge. You know because you are acutely aware of the state of recorded knowledge in your field, and you know that your work expands that record. If you stay in academia, you use your honed skills to continue chipping away at the unknown. The papers that this process reifies have a huge impact on the flow of knowledge in the world. As just one example, I've read all of Dybvig's papers, with delight and pleasure and avarice and jealousy, and learned loads from them. (Incidentally, I am given to understand that all of these are proper academic reactions :)
But in my work on Guile I don't actually know that I've expanded knowledge in any way. I don't actually know that anything I did is new and suspect that nothing is. Maybe CPS soup? There have been some similar publications in the last couple years but you never know. Maybe some of the multicore Concurrent ML stuff I haven't written about yet. Really not sure. I am starting to see papers these days that are similar to what I do and I have the feeling that they have a bit more impact than my work because of their medium, and I wonder if I could be putting my work in a more useful form, or orienting it in a more newness-oriented way.
I also don't know how important new knowledge is. Simply being able to practice language implementation at a state-of-the-art level is a valuable skill in itself, and releasing a quality, stable free-software language implementation is valuable to the world. So it's not like I'm negative on where I'm at, but I do feel wonderful talking with folks at academic conferences and wonder how to pull some more of that into my life.
In the meantime, I feel like (my part of) Guile 2.2 is my master work in a way -- a savepoint in my hack career. It's fine work; see A Virtual Machine for Guile and Continuation-Passing Style for some high level documentation, or many of these bloggies for the nitties and the gritties. OKitties!
getting the goods
It's been a joy over the last two or three years to see the growth of Guix, a packaging system written in Guile and inspired by GNU stow and Nix. The laptop I'm writing this on runs GuixSD, and Guix is up to some 5000 packages at this point.
I've always wondered what the right solution for packaging Guile and Guile modules was. At one point I thought that we would have a Guile-specific packaging system, but one with stow-like characteristics. We had problems with C extensions though: how do you build one? Where do you get the compilers? Where do you get the libraries?
Guix solves this in a comprehensive way. From the four or five bootstrap binaries, Guix can download and build the world from source, for any of its supported architectures. The result is a farm of weirdly-named files in /gnu/store, but the transitive closure of a store item works on any distribution of that architecture.
This state of affairs was clear from the Guix binary installation instructions that just have you extract a tarball over your current distro, regardless of what's there. The process of building this weird tarball was always a bit ad-hoc though, geared to Guix's installation needs.
It turns out that we can use the same strategy to distribute reproducible binaries for any package that Guix includes. So if you download this tarball, and extract it as root in /, then it will extract some paths in /gnu/store and also add a /opt/guile-2.2.0. Run Guile as /opt/guile-2.2.0/bin/guile and you have Guile 2.2, before any of your friends! That pack was made using guix pack -C lzip -S /opt/guile-2.2.0=/ guile-next glibc-utf8-locales, at Guix git revision 80a725726d3b3a62c69c9f80d35a898dcea8ad90.
(If you run that Guile, it will complain about not being able to install the locale. Guix, like Scheme, is generally a statically scoped system; but locales are dynamically scoped. That is to say, you have to set GUIX_LOCPATH=/opt/guile-2.2.0/lib/locale in the environment, for locales to work. See the GUIX_LOCPATH docs for the gnarlies.)
Alternately of course you can install Guix and just guix package -i guile-next. Guix itself will migrate to 2.2 over the next week or so.
Welp, that's all for this evening. I'll be relieved to push the release tag and announcements tomorrow. In the meantime, happy hacking, and yes: this blog is served by Guile 2.2! :)
Strong analytical skills and experience with income-producing real estate, corporate level financing, tax structuring, debt structuring, negotiating and... From Indeed - Tue, 20 Jun 2017 17:54:17 GMT - View all Brooklyn, NY jobs
A lot of the trained jobs you list sound like things that shouldn't require a 4 year degree. It sounds like a specialized technician that would just need a certification. Sounds like most of the training would come with hands on work immediately after being hired.
That shouldn't be financially crippling to attain, and I am quite sure it isn't already. I think of many high school graduates who went to SMCC (or other specialized school for a trade) with a purpose and came out without debt and got right to work.
Perhaps some or more federal subsidy for proven college applicants would make sense to me, but letting everyone go out four years on the government budget makes no sense to me.
I tend to lean right and therefore don't agree with much of this personally, though I will admit I can see how several of these would work out just fine. I mean, there's a couple I outright agree with, such as number 9, and perhaps flavors of 3, 5, and 7.
What I really can't get behind, and it very much bugged me around the election season, is number 4 — Extending free public education through college.
College is not a right. College is not for everyone. Heck, I'm not even sure if high school is for everyone. There is a lot of pressure though for kids now to go to college because that's the "only way they'll ever get anywhere".
A lot of that pressure ends up with kids going to outrageously expensive private colleges that cripple them with debt, and they can't make anything of it because they weren't fit in the first place, and now they don't have a job to pay that debt. Maybe they go back to school for another few years!
There is no reason to have college turn into the new high school, where you would need to go post grad now just to get a job. If we think young people are starting careers late now, public college is going to make today's young professionals look like infants.
What needs to happen is people need to do a better job planning for their futures and doing a cost/benefit analysis of the college and career path they choose. I'll give my higher taxes in your kingdom to make sure people can get health coverage, but I sure as heck will not be paying for a bunch of kids to drink away 4 years on the governments bill.
And before I hear how there are hard working kids that can't afford the chance to go to college, there are many affordable state schools with a lot of financial aid packages/scholarships out there. If they can't qualify for that, then they don't qualify for that next step of education yet. Perhaps they work until they can afford the school, or they score higher on their tests to get money off their education bill. You don't even need the financial aid in many cases. As long as you can land a career by leveraging your (for now) meaningful degree, (and plan your finances well), the debt will be paid off in a reasonable time. If we saturate the market with degrees, there will still be people going into debt to increase their "qualifications" for the career.
Free college is a grab for young voters. I don't see any benefit to it. It will just hurt people who have already gone through the process. We need to prioritize back to the high schools and make sure our students can compete internationally, because we're falling behind there. 4 more years of subsidized education will not fix that.
Congratulations Ron and thanks for paving the way for so many of us in the FinTech space. You spent your career as a uniter of our space, and in doing so built a tremendous legacy. We do indeed all owe you a debt of gratitude which is part the reason you will always be "the Mayor of FinTech Town" in my mind. Thank you for your hard work and helping lead the way and then passing along the playbook.
June 30- For other diaries, please see:. Top Economic Events Polling unit diary Today in Washington Political and general news. 4- Jul Japan Auction of 10- year government bonds 4- Jul Belgium Auction of Treasury bills 5- Jul Germany Auction of 5- year Federal notes 5- Jul Japan 6- month discount bill auction 5- Jul Sweden Auction of Treasury bills 5- Jul Norway...
Treasury yields rose to five-week highs on Thursday in sympathy with weaker European government debt, as investors evaluated the likelihood that central banks in Europe will soon become less accommodative. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Tuesday the ECB might tweak its stimulus so it does not become more accommodative as the economy...
A concerted effort to cut away at Egypt's debt to foreign energy producers has made significant progress over the last year, but is still falling short of goals set by Cairo to ease the country's energy and financial burden.
New York Times conservative columnist David Brooks once confessed his debt to BU sociologist Peter Berger, “whose writing I’ve longed mimicked, copied, and stolen from.” Across the divide, liberal Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne quoted the Lutheran Berger as a wise exemplar of religious belief that rejected both fanaticism and relativist dismissals of faith. […]
Updated 4:55 p.m. ET Bad news for history nerds everywhere: Apparently it's not as popular as it used to be to visit living history museums like Colonial Williamsburg . The organization in eastern Virginia says it is cutting jobs and outsourcing multiple job categories in an effort to reduce hundreds of millions of dollars in debt. In an open letter to the community on Thursday, Colonial Williamsburg President and CEO Mitchell Reiss says the museum's foundation has been losing millions of dollars a year and was more than $300 million in debt at the end of 2016. He says the organization will lay off some employees and will outsource operations of its retail stores and golf facilities, commercial real estate management and much of its maintenance in an effort to cut costs. Under the outsourcing agreements, Reiss says affected employees will be allowed to stay on for at least one year. A spokesman says that no costumed interpreter positions are being eliminated and that those who are
What proposed state and federal changes mean for the future of health care policy in Arkansas.
Health care policy impacts millions of Americans, including the more than 300,000 Arkansans currently covered by the state's Medicaid expansion program. The details, however, can get confusing quickly. It's hard enough to keep track of all the names — private option, Arkansas Works, Medicaid expansion, Obamacare, ACA, AHCA. On top of that, it seems like every month lawmakers propose to shift the policy ground beneath our feet. The Arkansas legislature met in a special session earlier this month to approve Governor Hutchinson's plan to alter the state's Medicaid expansion, adding work requirements and cutting eligibility. That plan now awaits approval from the federal government. The same day the governor signed that bill into law, the U.S. House passed the American Health Care Act, which would completely undercut the governor's proposal and threaten the very existence of Medicaid expansion in Arkansas. It's now in the Senate, awaiting a vote.
The Medicaid expansion helped cut the state's uninsured rate in half. What would the proposed changes coming from the governor and Republicans in Congress mean for those who rely on that coverage? Let's take a look.
What is the Medicaid expansion? What is Arkansas Works?
The Affordable Care Act (often called Obamacare) provided funding to cover low-income adults under the Medicaid program. This expansion of Medicaid covers people who make less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level — that's $16,400 for an individual or $33,600 for a family of four. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that states could choose whether or not they wanted to accept the Medicaid expansion. Arkansas decided to move forward, but with a twist: The state obtained a special waiver from the federal government to use Medicaid funds to purchase private health insurance for the Medicaid expansion population, a policy that became known as the private option. Later, when Hutchinson became governor and continued the policy, he re-branded it as Arkansas Works. Whatever name it goes by — Medicaid expansion, private option, Arkansas Works — the program covers more than 300,000 Arkansans, with most of the costs covered by the federal government through the ACA.
How will Hutchinson's proposed alterations to the Medicaid expansion change who is eligible?
Hutchinson, with the legislature's backing, is seeking permission from the federal government to limit eligibility for Arkansas Works to households at or below the federal poverty line (that's $11,880 for an individual or $24,300 for a family of four). That would mean that current beneficiaries who make between 100-138 percent of the FPL — more than 60,000 of the state's working poor — would be removed from the program.
Assuming the ACA remains in place, what options will those cut from coverage under the governor's plan have for health insurance?
Most of the 60,000 people who would lose Arkansas Works coverage would be eligible for the ACA's Health Insurance Marketplace, often called the exchange, where they can buy subsidized health insurance. The ACA provides income-based premium tax credits and cost-sharing reduction subsidies that keep premiums, co-pays and deductibles relatively low.
Others will not be able to get subsidized coverage on the exchange, because their employer offers them health insurance (the state Department of Human Services estimates this applies to 20 percent of the beneficiaries in the 100-138 FPL group). If that employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) meets two tests — it's considered "affordable" under the law and meets a "minimum value" standard in terms of coverage — then they are barred from getting the premium credits and cost-sharing reductions that would make coverage on the exchange affordable for them. Those who fall into this category would typically face higher costs and receive less generous coverage if they switch to ESI.
Will the working poor have to pay more under the governor's plan?
The governor has claimed that the 60,000 people being removed from the Medicaid rolls "will not lose access to coverage" and would get "the same level of financial support that they have now." In fact, those beneficiaries will pay more than they do today — sometimes much more — and coverage will be skimpier for many.
Under the terms of its Arkansas Works agreement with the federal government, the state is allowed to charge beneficiaries who make between 100-138 percent of the FPL premiums up to 2 percent of their household income. However, currently, the state charges a flat rate of $13 per month.
On the exchange, premiums for plans equivalent to Arkansas Works are designed to be equal to 2 percent of household income (because of the federal subsidies, that's what this group will have to pay for premiums regardless of whether the unsubsidized premium that insurance companies charge for the plan goes up or down). That's significantly more than $13 per month. An individual right at the poverty line would have to pay up to $20 a month in premiums. An individual who makes 138 percent of the FPL would have to pay up to $27 per month. Meanwhile, larger family sizes will have larger incomes in order to fall in the 100-138 FPL range. So a single mother of three, for example, who is right at the poverty line, would be on the hook for $40 per month premiums on the exchange; if she was at 138 percent of the FPL, she would be on the hook for $56 per month premiums.
For those who have to move to ESI plans, the premium increase will be even more dramatic. For an ESI plan to be deemed affordable, premiums cannot exceed 9.69 percent of household income. That means that a plan could have premiums nearly five times what someone was paying under the 2 percent max allowable under Arkansas Works (and even more than that compared to the flat $13 premiums that the program is imposing this year). Under the Medicaid rules in the Arkansas Works waiver, an individual living at the poverty line could be charged no more than $20 monthly; the most that a single mother of three could be charged is $40. But if those same beneficiaries get insurance through a plan at work, they could face employee-contribution premiums of up to $95 or $195, respectively, and would then not be allowed to shop on the exchange. They would have to find a way to pay those premiums or go without health insurance.
What happens if people don't pay premiums?
If people are unable to pay their premiums under Arkansas Works, they don't lose their coverage; they incur a debt to the state, which likely isn't collectible unless the individual has a state tax refund from which to withhold. On the other hand, if people are unable to pay their premiums on the exchange, they'll be booted off of coverage and become uninsured for the remainder of the year. These premiums are relatively small, but this is a population with almost no disposable income. Forty dollars a month may not sound like a lot, but for a family of four at the poverty line, that could be the difference in getting enough groceries to go around. Currently, only 25 percent of these beneficiaries are paying the $13 premiums each month. If they struggle to keep up with premiums on the exchange, they'll end up without coverage.
Will the working poor get the same level of coverage under the governor's plan?
Those who are sent to the exchange will get plans that have a similar amount of coverage to the plans on Arkansas Works, though that coverage may take different forms (for example, they might have deductibles, whereas Arkansas Works only has co-pays). However, there is one key difference, which will lead to many having to pay more out of pocket on the exchange plans. Under Arkansas Works, Medicaid rules impose a strict limit on the total amount that beneficiaries can be charged between premiums and cost-sharing (it cannot exceed 5 percent of monthly or quarterly income). There is no such rule on the exchange, and while there are out-of-pocket limits, the total amount that beneficiaries have to pay could exceed 5 percent of income.
For example, consider an individual who makes $12,500 a year: If she was being charged premiums at 2 percent of her income, the most that she could be charged in cost-sharing under Arkansas Works on a monthly basis is $35. Over the course of the year, that would work out to $360. If that same individual was on the exchange, the available plans average nearly twice that, $660.94, as an out-of-pocket maximum — and that's only over the course of the year, with no protections for monthly/quarterly charges.
Things look much worse for those who are routed to ESI plans instead of the exchange. For a work-sponsored plan to meet the "minimum value" test, it only has to cover 60 percent of average expected costs, as opposed to 94 percent under Arkansas Works. That could mean $5,000 deductibles or $7,000 out-of-pocket maximums, expenses that many people in this population could not realistically afford to pay.
Will the governor's plan increase the uninsured rate in the state?
Almost certainly, yes. Many will not be able to afford the premiums or the cost-sharing and will have no choice but to go without coverage. Others may struggle to successfully navigate the system and find their way to coverage alternatives in the first place. Moving this population from Medicaid to other coverage is not as easy as flipping a switch. Sixty thousand people will receive a sudden letter that their coverage has been canceled; many of them have no experience purchasing private health insurance. The transition would require a massive outreach and education effort and excellent communication. The Hutchinson administration has often faced criticism for its failures at such outreach, including a botched eligibility renewal process in 2015 that led to tens of thousands of eligible beneficiaries losing coverage. In similar transitions in other states, even with much more extensive outreach efforts than Arkansas has ever done, attrition was significant as people inevitably got lost in the shuffle and ended up with gaps in coverage.
"Our greatest concern is that tens of thousands of Arkansans will become uninsured because they are no longer eligible for Arkansas Works, unable to afford other coverage, or simply fall through the cracks because of the constant policy changes," Marquita Little, of Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, said. (Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families have provided donations to the Arkansas Nonprofit News Network.)
What happens if Donald Trump and the Republican Congress repeal the ACA and replace it with the American Health Care Act (AHCA)?
The AHCA would completely unravel Arkansas Works, as well as Hutchinson's plan for Arkansas Works 2.0.
The Medicaid expansion would be completely phased out, eliminating the enhanced federal funding for new and returning enrollees starting in 2020. Without that funding, Arkansas could not realistically continue to offer Medicaid coverage for the population of low-income Arkansans reliant on Arkansas Works under current law, now numbering more than 300,000 beneficiaries. Forget about Arkansas Works 2.0; Arkansas Works itself would be dead.
Hutchinson said that he hopes the enhanced match rate for Medicaid expansion will be saved now that the AHCA is in the Senate. But even if it is, the AHCA would still completely undermine Hutchinson's plan for the 100-138 FPL population because of the way it changes the subsidies on the exchanges. Hutchinson's plan presupposes that the 100-138 FPL population can rely on those subsidies. The ACA offers tax credits that ensure that the amount people are charged for premiums on the exchange will not exceed 2 percent of income; the AHCA has no such limit and its tax credits aren't based on income. The Arkansas Works beneficiaries that Hutchinson aims to send to the exchange would find themselves faced with premiums that most of them could not possibly afford if the AHCA passed in its current form. Premiums would be even higher for older people in this population because the AHCA would also allow insurance companies to charge higher amounts based on age than the ACA does. Under the AHCA, regardless of how poor the consumer was, the Congressional Budget Office found that the average monthly premium faced by an individual who is 21 years old would be $120; at 40 years old, $200; at 64 years old, $1,216.
Hutchinson acknowledged this problem. "The governor would like to see the AHCA's tax credits increase for the lower income populations to account for this issue and ensure there are affordable coverage options available outside of Medicaid," his spokesman J.R. Davis said.
In addition to drastically lowering the premium tax credits available to poorer and older Arkansans, the AHCA would also altogether eliminate the ACA's cost-sharing reductions, which offer cost protections from co-pays and deductibles to low-income consumers. Under current law, people in the 100-138 FPL range can sign up for plans that cover 94 percent of the average cost of medical expenses; under the AHCA, those same plans would only cover 70 percent. Under the ACA, someone who was sent to the exchange as part of Hutchinson's plan would face an average deductible across eligible plans of $246 and an average out-of-pocket maximum of $661. Under the AHCA, cost-sharing would skyrocket, with deductibles for those same plans ranging from around $1,500 to $3,500 and the out-of-pocket maximum ranging from around $3,600 to $7,150.
What other impacts would the AHCA have on Arkansas health care?
In addition to eliminating the Medicaid expansion and increasing costs on the exchange for poorer, sicker and older Arkansans, the AHCA would also enact hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to the state's traditional Medicaid program (the program that existed before the ACA's expansion), covering the elderly in nursing homes, low-income children, very poor parents, the blind, the disabled and other vulnerable populations. Such cuts would put additional burdens on the state budget or force the state to cut services or eligibility for traditional Medicaid.
In addition to cutting eligibility, the governor's proposal would institute work requirements for Arkansas Works beneficiaries. The Obama administration did not allow work requirements for Medicaid because it said such requirements were not consistent with the purpose of the program, which is to increase access to health care. The Trump administration has signaled that it is receptive to the idea of work requirements, so Hutchinson is trying again with the request.
The details of the work-requirement program still need to be worked out between the state's Department of Human Services and the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, but here is the outline of the governor's plan, according to DHS:
In order to continue receiving coverage, beneficiaries must work 20 hours per week or 80 hours per month. If they are not working, they have to participate in job training programs (or potentially certain approved volunteer activities).
Beneficiaries must be in compliance for nine months out of the year. Otherwise, they will be kicked off of coverage and locked out of the program for the remainder of the year.
People aged 18-49 will be subject to the work requirement, and those older than 50 will be exempt. The following groups will also be eligible for exemptions:
Those deemed "medically frail" — the 10 percent of Arkansas Works beneficiaries who have the most intensive medical needs.
Those caring for an incapacitated person.
Those caring for dependent children in the home.
People receiving unemployment benefits.
Those participating in a drug or alcohol addiction treatment program.
DHS projects that around half of Arkansas Works beneficiaries would be eligible for an exemption.
This analysis is courtesy of the Arkansas Nonprofit News Network, an independent, nonpartisan news project dedicated to producing journalism that matters to Arkansans.
Frustration with the state's takeover of Little Rock schools scrambles the usual political lines on an upcoming millage election.
On May 9, residents of the Little Rock School District will vote on a ballot measure that would allow the district to make facilities improvements totaling $160 million, if approved. According to LRSD Superintendent Mike Poore, the measure is not a new tax, since it would not raise the rate of 46.4 mills now levied on property owners. Instead, by refinancing debt on an existing bond, the district would push back the expiration date of a portion (12.4 mills) of the current tax rate by 14 years, from 2033 to 2047. The LRSD says the projects to be funded by this extension of debt would include construction of a new high school in long-neglected Southwest Little Rock, major renovations to the McClellan High School campus and improvements to almost every school building in the district, from roof replacements to air conditioner upgrades to new windows. The work could begin as early as this summer, with some efforts completed in time for the 2017-18 school year.
So why are many public school advocates — including the city's most visible African-American civic leaders — urging a "no" vote on May 9?
In a word, distrust. Since January 2015, when the district was taken over by a 5-4 vote of the state Board of Education, the LRSD has been governed not by a locally elected school board, but by Arkansas's education commissioner, Johnny Key, a gubernatorial appointee. The proximate reason for the takeover was low student performance at six schools (out of the district's 48 campuses) that were deemed to be in "academic distress" based on test scores over a three-year period. But many in Little Rock saw other reasons for the state's actions: a racially motivated animus toward the majority-black local school board, which was dissolved by the January 2015 state board vote, and a desire to promote privately operated charter schools at the expense of public ones. For those critical of the takeover, the past two years have only confirmed these suspicions.
Two charter operators in Little Rock, eStem Public Charter Schools and LISA Academy, are dramatically expanding and will likely draw many students away from the LRSD in the coming years — perhaps thousands. The state board authorized their expansion plans in March 2016 over the vocal protests of the district's erstwhile superintendent, Baker Kurrus, who was fired by Commissioner Key shortly thereafter. Kurrus had served just one year on the job, having been hired by Key in 2015. Then, in the 2017 legislative session, the Republican majority created a new law that will soon allow charters to force districts to sell or lease school buildings deemed "unused or underutilized." The LRSD will close two buildings at the end of the current school year, and the ongoing migration of families toward charters raises the possibility of more closures in the future. And more charter operators are eyeing the Little Rock market: In March, a New Orleans-based operator called Einstein Charter Schools began the application process to open a campus in the city. All of this means the district is asking taxpayers to shoulder millions of dollars in additional debt to improve public buildings at a time when the future ownership of those buildings is itself in doubt.
Those who believe racial prejudice propelled the takeover find fault both with charter growth and with the district's priorities while under state control, especially the recent closure decisions. The LRSD soon will shutter two K-5 elementary schools, Franklin and Wilson, along with a pre-K facility, Woodruff Early Childhood Center. The LRSD's alternative school, Hamilton Learning Academy, will move to the Wilson building, with the old Hamilton building likely to be used by adjacent Bale Elementary. Franklin and Wilson are located in majority-minority neighborhoods and their student populations are mostly African-American and Latino. Though many of the projects outlined in the LRSD's list of capital improvements to be funded by the May 9 vote would benefit schools serving black and Latino students — the Southwest Little Rock high school most of all — many activists are deeply skeptical the district will follow through with those promises. Because the ballot measure does not specifically state which projects will receive funding, some warn the $160 million could be directed toward schools in more affluent, whiter neighborhoods rather than those with the greatest needs.
Superintendent Poore is at the heart of this controversy. The decision to close or repurpose schools was his, and he defends it as a difficult but necessary choice. (Key, who acts as the district's board while under state control, gave final approval.) For years, the LRSD received $37 million annually from the state as a result of a desegregation lawsuit — over 10 percent of its budget — but those payments will soon end. Although both Poore and his predecessor, Kurrus, made major cuts in other areas, the district still had to trim $11 million from the 2017-18 budget.
Poore told the Arkansas Times recently that school closures were painful, but also long expected. "The reality was we had 2,300 vacant elementary seats — 4,100 when you add in the portable [buildings] — and so we took out of the mix two elementaries with maximum capacities being just under 1,000." If the LRSD doesn't close buildings, Poore argued, it would have to cut back on staff. "Yes, these two schools closing, and the preschool closing, that has an impact on our communities, but I'll tell you what could have had a bigger impact. ... When 80 percent of your business is people, now you're talking about privatizing food service, privatizing custodial. ... We could have been impacting hundreds of employees if we'd taken that route."
As for the charter school issue, Poore said he urged legislators to vote against the recent legislation, which will give charters the ability to wrest underutilized buildings away from districts. Poore has not been as outspoken as Kurrus on the potential harm that charter growth can deal to the LRSD, but he's made it clear he doesn't want the district's facilities to be colonized by outside schools. For that reason, he is moving quickly to find a new use for the Franklin and Woodruff buildings, and the district is now reviewing proposals garnered by a recent RFP.
"We're trying to be aggressive about repurposing," he said, adding later, "I don't believe we want to enhance the number of charter seats [in Little Rock] right now."
Poore argued that capital improvements are necessary if the district hopes to retain students or to win back families that have left the LRSD for charters or private schools. He pointed to studies showing modernized facilities can boost student achievement by several percentage points. "I can't control [charter growth], but what I can control is what we do. ... If you've improved academic performance and you're creating a better learning environment and it's a more pleasing building to kids and patrons, that prevents some of the issues that we're already facing right now in terms of our competitiveness. And it ties into the bigger picture of what this district has to do to have the community believe that, and, more importantly, have families say, 'I want my kid in Little Rock schools.' "
Poore also said the proposed debt extension on the May 9 ballot is "just the first phase" in a larger, long-term plan to address the full $340 million in needs identified by a 2014 study of district facilities, which will eventually require a modest millage increase. Getting the ball rolling with an initial $160 million investment will build confidence for that future vote, Poore believes. "My No. 1 target that has been given me since I came in, from the governor, the commissioner and this community, is [to] get local control back. But the No. 1 thing to do is to serve kids well, and they deserve to not have a roof that leaks. They deserve to have air conditioning that creates fresh air [and] hallways that aren't dark and dingy," he said.
Yet for many, the May 9 vote itself is a reminder that LRSD voters have not weighed in on a school issue since the September 2014 local board election — a few months before the state takeover dissolved that body. State board member Jay Barth, a Little Rock resident, recently pushed his colleagues to set a timeline for release of the district from state control, but the effort foundered.
"There are people who are critical," the superintendent acknowledged, "who say, 'Really, Mike Poore? You're coming to ask us in May to extend the debt, and you just closed schools? And really, you're coming when we don't even have local control?' Well, on the local control issue — this does allow every citizen in this whole community right now [to speak]. You can't get a truer form of democracy than everyone gets to go vote on this issue. So in that sense, it really is a deal to let the community say, 'Here's what we think.' "
And what does the community think? To get a sense, we asked school advocates on both sides to make their case.
I am a sixth-generation Little Rock residential property owner. I witnessed my parents paying a poll tax in order to vote. I am a product of the segregated and then newly integrated Little Rock School District. I attended the district at a time in which white schools received textbooks first. By the time black schools got the books, they were soiled, pages were missing and text had been marked through. In spite of all of that, I believed I received an excellent education.
I am a parent who served as a "room mother" and whose children attended Woodruff, Pulaski Heights and Williams Magnet Elementary Schools; Pulaski Heights, Horace Mann Magnet and Forest Heights Middle Schools; and Parkview and Central High Schools. I believe my children received a quality education.
I am a pastor who has served as a volunteer in public schools. I believe every child needs a great school where they are immersed in diversity, encouraged to think critically and empowered to expand their worldview. As a United Methodist, I operate within our tradition that declares education is a right of all children. This is affirmed by scripture, which calls us to "train children in the way they should go" (Proverbs 22:6).
However, I believe that we must regain local control of our schools BEFORE voting for any millage. The LRSD is no longer in academic distress (if it ever was, as six schools do not a distressed district make). While I have many friends on the opposite side of this issue, I cannot in good conscious vote for the millage until we have an elected LRSD board. There's just something about the basic American principle, "No taxation without representation." For these reasons, I urge you to vote against the millage!
Rev. Maxine Allen is the president of the Christian Ministerial Alliance.
State Sen. Joyce Elliott
Little Rock School District students deserve not just better facilities, but world-class facilities. So let's just stipulate that we all agree on that point and try to understand why many of us feel as if we are redlined to bear the burden of a master plan not revealed to us. For example, most of the millage extension supporters I have observed do not have schools closing in their neighborhoods.
LRSD students, parents/guardians, educators and others deserve to have their district back, not under state control. To this date, there has been no compelling reason put forth for the state to have assumed authority over the LRSD when 42 of the 48 schools in the district — 87 percent — were not in distress. The number has since climbed to 45 schools, or 94 percent. It was a raw exercise of power by folks who gave vague answers such as, "Well, something needed to be done." Yes — about the few schools in academic distress. Taking over the entire district was totally unwarranted. If I have a couple of teeth that need to be extracted, would you extract them all using the logic "something needed to be done"? Certainly not. But that's just what the State Board of Education did.
And now the extended apparatus of the board, Commissioner Key, has wielded power far beyond addressing the schools in academic distress by hiring a superintendent (Baker Kurrus), firing that superintendent, installing present Superintendent Michael Poore and unilaterally closing schools in historically underserved neighborhoods south of Interstate 630. And now, folks who advocated for the state board to seize control of the LRSD, such as the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, are leading the effort to extend the millage with glossy flyers and bright yard signs.
I cannot vote for a tax without elected, accountable representation. I want the best for LRSD students, but I am not prepared to dishonor the blood-soaked history of all those who sacrificed to guarantee me full citizenship rights. There are many voters who share my visceral feeling that a tax election imposed by one person is a betrayal of democracy. There are others, it appears, who have no problem with it and who are cheerleading to carry out a vote under conditions you might find in a developing country.
This election is a deliberate attempt to force us into a false dilemma: On May 9, choose better facilities for students, or choose to insist on restoration of our rights as citizens. Let us not choose but work together to demand both. Let's not give in to political extortion.
Will the folks who pleaded for the takeover now join in the demand to return the LRSD to us? I hope so. I am ready to join hands with you.
Joyce Elliott is a Democratic state senator representing a portion of Little Rock and a former teacher.
For the first time in my life, I will be voting AGAINST a bond measure for important civic infrastructure. My opposition to the bond extension comes down to trust, transparency, accountability and inclusion.
A deep distrust rooted in more than a century of racial and economic segregation is the LRSD's biggest challenge, not finances. The state takeover and Education Commissioner Johnny Key, our one-man appointed school board, have made it worse.
Commissioner Key consistently refuses to meet with the community and has failed to produce any vision for the school district other than a massive, polarizing charter school expansion. He is barreling ahead despite clear data showing that charter schools fail to outperform LRSD schools with similar demographics. Those charters leave the LRSD with a more segregated student population and significantly fewer resources to meet their needs.
The greatest tragedy of Commissioner Key's charter mania is the distraction from effective education reforms we could be working on together. We should be expanding community schools, not closing neighborhood schools. We should be recruiting and developing more world-class teachers, not demoralizing and chasing them away. We should be building community partnerships to help our students meet their full potential, not alienating wide swaths of the city. We should be dramatically expanding early childhood education, summer and afterschool programs, and supports for low-income students and English-language learners.
The LRSD is attempting some of these reforms, but it is constantly being undermined by the state. In 2015, legislators attempted to hand the entire district over to private charter corporations. Then, the commissioner fired our superintendent, Baker Kurrus, for telling the truth about charter expansion's harmful effects. This year, the legislature passed a law requiring us to give closed school buildings to charter corporations while those in control of the district simultaneously shut down schools in the most vulnerable parts of town in a sham public engagement process.
Now with no trust, transparency or accountability, and no district-wide plan for the future, Commissioner Key asks for a bond extension? It's outrageous. How could anyone trust him with a blank check?
Those arguing for the bond extension rightly point out that LRSD facilities have many needs. They fail to make a case for the urgency of doing this while we remain under state control. The bond that we are being asked to extend doesn't expire for years to come.
There's no reason why Little Rock taxpayers can't make this decision once LRSD is back in local control. The schools our kids deserve are rooted in evidence-based and community-driven reforms. In the coming years I hope to vote for a transparent and accountable bond measure that unites our city. For now, VOTE AGAINST.
Bill Kopsky is a Little Rock School District parent and public education advocate.
Marion Humphrey Sr.
I intend to vote against extending this millage because I do not trust either Education Commissioner Johnny Key or the Arkansas State Board of Education.
Key was placed in charge of the district after the state board's racist and immoral vote on Jan. 28, 2015, to remove the lawfully elected and majority African-American district's board of directors. The takeover came after the district's board was notified by letter on July 10, 2014, that six out of its 48 schools were in academic distress. The district was given just one semester in which to correct the acknowledged problems with those schools. No further academic proficiency testing was done between the time of notification in July and the time of the takeover the following January. The fix was already in.
The state board simply wanted someone other than the duly elected district board members in control, even if that meant recklessly throwing the district into disarray and chaos in the middle of the school year. The majority of the state board removed a local school board composed of people whom the Walton Family Foundation and the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce did not want to be in charge of the district — and especially its $330 million budget.
Yet Key has not made himself available to the general public to discuss why the millage extension is necessary. Whether he does not want to disclose what he intends to do with the additional money or whether he does not have time to be bothered with some of us, Key is simply not accessible to many district patrons. Perhaps he has targeted the voters he thinks he needs for passage of the millage extension and sees no need to waste his time with others.
I am not convinced that additional money is needed to make the capital improvements that proponents suggest, and I am not confident in the judgment of Commissioner Key. If he cared about families living south of I-630, why would he close schools such as Wilson, Franklin, Woodruff and Hamilton? After all, Wilson received an exemplary rating from the Arkansas Department of Education. If our concern is truly about a great education for the children of this district, why would an intelligent and thoughtful educator close an exemplary school and do collateral damage to its neighborhood as well?
For my first time ever, I intend to vote against a school millage.
Marion A. Humphrey Sr. is a retired Pulaski County Circuit judge and a pastor at Allison Memorial Presbyterian Church.
Dr. Anika Whitfield
It is really simple. The LRSD is currently being managed by two men, both of whom were appointed to their positions, are not natives of Little Rock, did not attend the LRSD and do not have children who attend the LRSD now or in the past. Education Commissioner Johnny Key and Superintendent Michael Poore are making decisions for our district without locally elected representation or accountability.
Key will argue that he appointed the LRSD Community/Civic Advisory Board to represent the people of this city. The problem with that argument is that Key chose persons who will serve his interest in supporting the expansion of charter schools. Key has been publicly lobbying to replace traditional public education options for students with private-public charter schools.
In addition, Key has refused to meet in public settings to engage with parents and community members who have questions about school closures, community impact studies, plans for academic improvements in schools designated to be in academic distress, ways to assist traditional public schools, and ways to help advertise, recruit and promote the great programs and opportunities for students, parents and teachers in the LRSD — just to name a few of his denied requests for public meetings.
Given the fact that Key is the sole board member of the LRSD, the only person who makes the final decisions for the LRSD, and the sole person who has the power to overrule Poore's decisions, it would be unwise to hand more tax money over to this appointed leader who has shown little to no respect for the residents of Little Rock, the students who attend the LRSD and their parents. Key has publicly said that he would not be open to yielding to the Little Rock Board of Directors and mayor to conduct neighborhood impact studies before closing schools, displacing students and school personnel and taking away public, anchoring institutions from people who fund and support them.
Voting for the May 9 LRSD millage tax extension would be like Walmart giving Target money and expecting Target to use those funds to improve Walmart's business. Not going to happen. It would be like giving a thief keys to your home and expecting the thief to protect your home and possessions. Not a wise choice. I strongly encourage voters to vote AGAINST the May 9 LRSD millage tax extension.
A better investment of taxpayers' dollars, time and resources would be to directly invest in students, schools, teachers and families in the LRSD. This way, you know that your dollars will be spent on students and teachers that need these resources, and not on brick and mortar. Invest directly in students, teachers, families and schools in a way that you can ensure is actually meaningful and not destructive to the vitality of the LRSD.
Dr. Anika T. Whitfield is an LRSD graduate, an alumna of Franklin Elementary and a volunteer in the district.
As I walk the halls of McClellan High School each day, I see a small community high school filled with Lion pride, exceptional talent and growing potential. Unfortunately, with the good also comes the bad. I have immense pride in my school, but sadly I cannot say the same about my district. I have been in the Little Rock School District all of my life since kindergarten — bouncing around from school to school — and I've seen most of what the district has had to offer.
Our buildings are older than most of our parents. In fact, most of our grandparents can remember these schools being built. That means everything in these buildings is outdated. Things that would have sufficed 60 years ago would never make the cut today.
To further explain what I mean, I want to place you in my shoes. So, here we are at the doors of McClellan. It's springtime and the flowers are blooming. The sun is out, and it is beautiful outside. The bell sounds, and it is time for first period. The main halls are so cramped that it's difficult to pass through the crowd. It's hard to not feel a shoulder or a backpack invade my personal space and even harder to not trample over someone's feet. I can avoid going to my locker; I stopped using it due to the fact it frequently jammed. There wasn't enough space in there, anyway. I finally get to class and take my seat. As my teacher is talking, I can't help but be distracted by what's going on next door. Most of our walls either (a) don't reach the floor or (b) are paper-thin. Yet I am expected to focus.
A teacher of mine once said, "You know you have a friendship when you can have a conversation with disagreements and still go out for lunch." Now that I am 18, I am able to sit down at that table with you and join the conversation. Let's establish a friendship based on the well being of the students in this district. With all of our agreements and disagreements, let's at least be able to agree that the students deserve better. I deserved better, and I had to settle. Don't force other kids to do the same. Let's go out for lunch May 9.
Faith Madkins is a senior at McClellan High School.
I am the proud mother of two, soon to be three, young children. My oldest is in pre-K at Forest Park Elementary. My younger two will follow their big sister to Forest Park, Pulaski Heights Middle School and eventually Central High. My family is committed to being in the Little Rock School District for the next 18 years. That is why this vote is so important to me.
Schools all over our district are seriously overdue for upgrades and improvements. The buildings are on average 53 to 68 years old and have gone without any major capital investments since 2000. Our kids deserve the best possible learning environment. They should not be in buildings with leaky roofs or cafeterias without air conditioning. Every student in the district deserves modern, clean, safe facilities.
This vote will invest millions back into our schools and will impact the entire district — every school and every student. Roof repairs, window replacements, new security systems, restroom renovations and heating and air conditioning replacements will improve the lives of every student, teacher and staff member in the district. The list of improvements to be made comes from a study conducted in 2014, and the funds generated will go directly toward these capital improvements ... no surprises.
Our kids deserve better. After talking with several people about this vote, I acknowledge that some would rather wait until a local school board has control of the money. I, too, look forward to the swift return of our local school board. On this issue however, how long should we ask our kids to wait and allow their education to suffer in the meantime? We cannot let perfection be the enemy of the good when we have a chance to improve all of our kids' classrooms and learning experiences immediately. By voting FOR this ballot measure on May 9, my daughter will enter kindergarten this fall in a school that was improved this summer.
Every day, as my 4-year-old walks into school, I expect her to do everything she can to maximize her learning experience. As her parent, I know it is my responsibility to do the same for her, and right now that means supporting this investment in her school and schools across the district. The time is NOW to invest in our kids and our community, so I look forward to voting FOR our kids on May 9.
Mollie Campbell is a Little Rock School District mom.
In 2014, the Little Rock School District commissioned a facilities study that indicated that approximately $300 million in facilities upgrades and improvements were needed. In January 2015, the school board voted unanimously to approve a $375 million facilities plan.
At that same time, the Central Arkansas Library System had just opened a new library and revitalized our facilities throughout the region. These new facilities helped bring the joy of reading and learning to thousands of students. It was amazing to see the impact that a new library could have on a community by providing a place for people to read, gather, access the internet and learn. These libraries gave students the tools and resources they needed to study, learn and excel. Many of these fine new buildings were constructed when voters approved the refunding of existing bonds. This is exactly the same funding method that the LRSD is proposing to voters.
I saw firsthand what a difference investing in our libraries made in our city and in the lives of children. I know that investing in our schools would have an even greater impact. We need to give students the tools for success, and reinvesting in our aging, outdated academic facilities is the best way to do that. These old buildings do not do that, and we are hampering our students' ability to learn by denying them modern facilities.
If we vote now to extend our bonds, we will raise an additional $160 million to begin addressing the needs of our school facilities. Every school, and therefore every community, in the district will feel the investment of this money by the 2017-18 school year. This investment in our neighborhoods will save us huge dividends by lowering the operational costs of our schools and making them more energy efficient, with better lighting and renovated restrooms and roofs.
By providing them with new facilities, modern technology and a better learning environment, we will empower our students to succeed. By improving their schools, we can increase academic achievement while also providing them with a safer and healthier learning atmosphere. Join me in supporting our kids; join me by voting FOR on May 9.
Bobby Roberts is the former director of the Central Arkansas Library System.
As the founder of P.A.R.K., I understand the importance of investing in education. We see the impact that P.A.R.K's modern facility in Southwest Little Rock has on the success of our students. By supporting this vote, you are ensuring that every student in the district will be able to learn in a new and improved learning environment.
In Southwest Little Rock, this vote means that over $95 million will be invested into the community. At a cost of $55 million, a new high school off of Mabelvale Pike would be built beginning this summer and would serve hundreds of students. This school would open in the fall of 2019 and would be equipped with the newest classroom and athletic facilities. With 21st century sports facilities that would be available for community usage, this new high school would benefit everyone in the community.
McClellan High School would also receive a $40 million investment, completely revitalizing the school. Improvements like updated HVAC, roof and window repairs, classroom remodeling and technology updates would create energy savings and enhance the learning environment for our students. This repurposing of McClellan will change the lives of every student that will go through the school.
Improved schools throughout the district can only be a good thing for Little Rock and our community. A vote FOR on May 9 will be a major boost for Southwest Little Rock. With your support, we can give our kids the modern learning environment and facilities they deserve!
Keith Jackson is the founder of Positive Atmosphere Reaches Kids, a nonprofit based in Southwest Little Rock that provides afterschool and summer programming for youth.
There have been no new major capital improvements in our schools since 2000. That means that a student graduating this year will have gone through his or her entire academic career in schools that are outdated and in dire need of improvement. By voting to extend the debt on our bonds for an additional 14 years, we will be able to invest $160 million into rebuilding and rehabilitating every school in our district — all without raising the tax rate.
On average, district elementary school buildings are 68 years old, middle school buildings are 69 years old and high school buildings are 53 years old. A successful election will allow the district to make much-needed improvements district-wide before the start of the 2017-18 school year, including lighting, heat and air conditioning repair and window and roof replacements. These improved facilities will not only support the increased academic achievement of our students by improving their learning environment, but will also create a return on investment by decreasing energy costs. These improvements were selected as priorities after holding 46 community forums.
I'm tired of Little Rock being a donut hole. I'm tired of being surrounded by other cities that are investing in their schools and making a difference in their students' lives. We have watched surrounding districts pass millage increases, build new schools and improve existing ones, and we have done nothing for nearly 20 years. We have a chance now to make a difference.
This choice should be an easy one. We cannot have a great city and a great community without a strong, viable school district. Students are going to go to school tomorrow in a school that desperately needs help. They are going to use outdated technology and go to class in buildings with leaky roofs. This is something we can change. We need to create a better atmosphere for our students, and this vote is the way to do that.
Gary Smith is the chairman of the Committee to Rebuild our Schools Now.
And seeing the decision of the Supreme Court, the Antichrist went up into the White House: and when he was set, his supporters came unto him. And he opened his smirking mouth, and lectured them, saying,
Cursed are the poor: for theirs is the kingdom of debt servitude to the banks because they will be denied bankruptcy;
Cursed are they who mourn: for they shall not see the coffins with their children coming home from my bloody battlefield;
. . .
It’s certainly a breathtaking economic initiative and many wonder if it’ll come to fruition because of the massive infrastructure costs it will take to pull everything together. One thing we can say, China is ambitious!
For me, the talk was all about how important this enterprise will become for the Gospel’s advance. Christian business leader after Christian business leader were extolling the potential, saying we must capitalize on this moment because the potential is too big to miss! And, the timing is interesting in that the country’s Church has laid an ambitious plan to repay the debt they owe God be sending 20,000 missionaries from their country across these belts and roads by 2030: see Vision 2030 and Asian believers cast vision for massive outreach.
The idea is not without its critiques either: Check out Asian Access Council of Reference Member and ChinaSource CEO Dr. Brent Fulton’s reflections—One Belt, One Road, One Mission?
Certainly, the extraordinary plan will be something to watch in the upcoming decade. And, regardless of its success, the implications are enormous and worth thinking about. For Asian Access, we will continue coming alongside leaders in this country to fulfill our founders dream, “My Vision is to Empower your Vision!” and one new way we are approaching these throughout various sectors of society is our new business venture. Check it out: A2.business
We used to see our role as exclusively coming alongside emerging young pastors, leaders of leaders who have potential to influence their cities, regions and countries. Now, we realize that in order to fully fulfill our vision, we also must come alongside emerging young leaders in the business sector as well. Together, we aspire to see the Church overcome the “Sacred/Secular Divide” and catalyze a movement “to see a vibrant community of servant leaders… leading the Church across Asia… to unite the Church, multiply leaders and congregations and extend the transforming power of the Gospel.”
Like I said Stuey, it is never ending with him/she/it. Usually druggies start having a lot of serious losses of memory and delusional thoughts after a few years of continual use.....and then one day, they just wake up dead.
Pot heads just get stupider and stupider, with more and more memory loss.
Eventually they just become like little children again, with autistic similarities.
If given enough time, they fade into slobbering fools with geriatric problems X 10.
Thank God I got over partaking of childish pleasures and put away childish things like smoking grass. I did partake of the wild wood weed up till the late 80's. It took about ten years for all the associated memory problems and lung issues to clear out.
<b>There most certainly are Medicare and Social Security Trust Funds and they hold (own) about $5.5 trillion of the outstanding $20 trillion in US Treasuries as required by law passed by Congress.
Each year the US Treasury issues more than $7 trillion in US Treasuries which are sold through auctions held by the 20 or so primary dealers of US Treasuries. About $6 trillion of those proceeds are used to repay in full the owners of matured US Treasuries with about $1 trillion in net new US Treasury borrowing each year.
The reason that yields (interest rates) on US Treasuries are so low is because the DEMAND FOR US TREASURIES IS NOW QT RECORD HIGH LEVELS and the highest bids in prices win at auctions and prices of US Treasuries are INVERSE TO YIELDS. There are about 3 bids for every US Treasury sold which is why the yield on 10 year US Treasuries is around 2.20%.
US Treasuries are owned by MILLIONS OF DIVERSE PEOPLE AND ENTITIES in the US and globally.
There is no such thing at all as the "petrodollar" as oil accounts for less than 7% of the annual global use of the US dollar which is used in around 83% of all global transactions for all sorts of goods and services around the world
The US made no such deal as you assert at all with Saudi Arabia which is just one of the world's many oil producers. The 3 largest oil producers are the US, Saudi Arabia, and Russia and Russia doesn't even price oil in dollars nor does Iran. Saudi Arabia has never owned much in the way of US Treasuries at any time. In fact, Saudi Arabia holds (owns) practically NONE OF THE OUTSTANDING $20 TRILLION in US Treasuries.
Treasury Says Saudis Hold $117B of US Debt...
The more commodities prices collapse the higher the value of the US dollar will rise axiomatically. Oil has plummeted from $114 per barrel in June 2014 and is now about 60% lower in June 2017 at around $45 per barrel which represents a 120% increase in the purchasing value of the dollar against oil.
I would suggest you learn about the US Treasuries (bills, bonds, notes, and TIPS) markets at:
Very direct and seemingly true statement
I am surprised it has stayed up this long
Go JC upholder of truth and justice
I will not waste my time reading the derogatory replies that you will undoubtably receive below but there is nothing wrong with pointing out obvious biases and predjudices
There are no Social Security or Medicare Trust Funds; they are only baskets of IOU's. The "funds" are in deficit, and it is projected that Medicare will be fully paid out and unable to replenish itself in 2023, while Social Security will pass the point of no return in 2034. Assuming the actuaries don't revise the numbers to earlier dates.
The only reason foreign governments buy United States Treasuries is because of the guarantee they will not be defaulted upon. It is that demand, along with the petrodollar arrangement, that creates a reason for any foreign nation to hold dollars. If OPEC decides to accept other currencies for oil, the petrodollar market collapses, and so does the value of the dollar as a world benchmark currency.
All I am suggesting is that this will become an untenable situation, and that we force the end of it sooner rather than later. If something's going to fall, do we allow for a controlled fall, or force a disastrous collapse?
I say, give it a push.
Simone Veil was a witness of the 20th century and of the tragedy of the Holocaust. She was a champion of the struggle for women's rights and the construction of Europe. A survivor of the Nazi Death Camps, she tirelessly promoted historic knowledge as a bulwark against the persistent daemons of racism and anti-Semitism.
Forever marked by war, Ms Veil was an early promoter of, and key contributor to, the construction of Europe as an instrument of peace.
A woman of strong convictions, she served as minister in several French governments initiating major advances for the rights of women, for which we are indebted.
Simone Veil had a vision for France and Europe based on freedom and a full commitment to human rights. She grew to become a universal figure and model for millions of men and women around the world.
A great friend of UNESCO, Ms Veil frequently visited the Organization, contributing her clarity of vision to debates on the role of culture and education in advancing the struggle for human dignity. Her immense legacy will not be forgotten.
Simone Veil, former minister, politician and French academician, died on 30 June 2017, at the age of 89.
China Evergrande Group has come under the spotlight after it issued a US$6.6 billion bond last week, the largest US dollar bond ever completed in Asia, even as the debt-laden property giant has vowed ... - Source: www.scmp.com
OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY: Treasury to Run Out of Cash in Next 3 Months, Leading to Default or Delay of Payments. On March 15, 2017, the suspension of the debt limit expired and since then the Treasury has been able to borrow additional funds without violating the debt ceiling. “The Congressional Budget Office projects that if […]
The Institute of International Finance is perhaps best known for its periodic – and concerning – reports summarizing global leverage statistics, and its latest Q1 report was the most troubling yet, because what it found was that in a period of so-called “coordinated growth”, global debt hit a new all time high of $217 trillion, or over 327% of global GDP, up $50 trillion over the past decade. So much for Ray Dalio’s beautiful deleveraging, oh and for those economists who are still confused why r-star remains near 0%, the chart below has all the answers.
Not surprisingly, China continues to be the biggest source of global debt growth, with the country’s total debt load now surpassing 300%.
While much of the debt issuance at the financial sector level has moderated in recent years, supplanted by outside money created by central banks, debt in the non-financial sector has continued to grow, and as of Q1 2017, hit an all time high of 242% of GDP.
An interesting observation by the IIF: despite the recent dollar strength (if not so much in the past quarter), dollar bond issuance in Emerging Markets has been on a tear over the past year.
Another notable observation: while the EM bond universe has increased by $2.5 trillion to $18.4 trillion since 2016, only 25% of this debt is tradeable via benchmark bond indices.
What is more troubling, however, is the IIF’s observation that despite the relentless foreign portfolio inflows into EM, the credit quality of many emerging markets has deteriored rapidly in the past year.
This is an especially acute problem because there is over $1.9 trillion in EM bonds and loans coming due by the end of 2018. Should the EM sector fall out of favor with investors, and if the debt can not be rolled over, it could result in substantial liquidity events across the EM space.
Finally, here is perhaps the most troubling chart of all: for all those wondering how oil-exporters in the Gulf region have funded their budgets, and maintained their economies from sliding into recession or social disorder, the answer is shown below: a dramatic increase in new debt issuance.
So what is the policymakers’ response as global debt hits new all time highs? To raise interest rates.
In many industrialized countries around the world, the male-dominated labor force is shifting to become more egalitarian. As more members of both sexes choose to prioritize their careers over their personal lives, family planning is taking a backseat.
In the most extreme cases, such as in the so-called "demographic time bomb" that has formed in Japan, populations have actually started declining. Economists have forecasted this demographic time bomb — a way of referring to the vicious cycle of low fertility and economic downturn — could spread in 20 years' time to other countries that have similar demographics as Japan in the late 1990s.
US population growth has followed a similar, albeit less extreme, trajectory. Millennials are increasingly choosing to forgo parenting in an effort to move up in their careers, pay off their massive student debt, and gain financial independence from their parents.
The US case is notable, however, when it comes to its lack of federal parental leave policies. There are only three other countries on Earth that do not offer employees paid time off on a national level. Research has found this factors into low fertility because poor work-life balance forces couples to choose between having kids or pursuing careers. They can't do both.
For that reason, demographers often encourage world leaders to enact more family-friendly policies if they want to boost fertility rates.
"The countries that have been most successful at adjusting for a dual role for women, both as mothers and as professionals or at least workers, interestingly end up with more of both," Richard Jackson, president of the nonprofit research group Global Aging Institute, told Business Insider in 2016. " They end up with higher fertility rates and more working women."
Federal government Christian student loan consolidations are available to students and parents who have borrowed money to finance education and want to pay off the debts in a manner that is easier and cheaper.
Like you probably have as well…I tried so many different “make money online” programs…it did not take long before I was confused, OVERWHELMED…and deeper in debt. You name it, I tried it. From affiliate marketing, pay-per-click, Facebook ads, emails and more. Nothing worked and I continued to lose money. Just when I was about to […]
It's the end of the financial year (EOFY) and businesses are starting to file their tax returns. We all want to minimise our taxes, how can tradies do this? Most tradies are considered small businesses and can make a number of tax deductions.
If you've purchased equipment or a work vehicle worth less than $20,000, you can write off the complete cost of the equipment or vehicle. If your vehicle or equipment cost more than $20,000, you can claim 15 percent of the total purchase price. Next year and in the following years, you can claim 30 percent.
This write-off includes many types of equipment, including vehicles, equipment, office furniture, laptops, mobile phones and even things you may not think you can deduct for. Provided they are used in your place of business, you can even deduct TVs, gym equipment and other items for recreational use by your employees.
The $20k write-off is only available for businesses that make $2 million or less per year. Most tradies make less than that, so look into this deduction. It has been extended to 30 June 2018, so remember it when you file next year's tax return.
You only have to pay tax on invoices paid in the 2016-2017 tax year. Many businesses put off invoicing clients until after they have filed their tax returns. While you will have to pay taxes on your earnings next year, you can save this year by deferring invoices until after the start of the new tax season.
While no one likes to not be paid, there is one advantage to bad debts. You can write off bad debts on your income tax return. Go through your records and record the debts you don't believe will be paid or may not be paid until sometime in the distant future. If the debts are paid, they will be part of your earnings next year, but can be written off this year.
If you have employees, you have to pay superannuation. Pay superannuation before 30 June and you can claim it as a deduction on your tax return. Bear in mind that the superannuation must be paid and received by the employee's super fund before you can claim the deduction.
The same applies to bonuses. Pay any employee bonuses before 30 June to claim them as tax deductions. As with superannuation, the bonuses must be paid before 30 June for you to be able to claim them.
The above are some of the major tax deductions you can claim. You should keep good records and claim every possible deduction. Basically, any business expense can be a tax deduction. This includes items such as:
Repairs and maintenance to vehicles and equipment
"Travel" expenses include travel from your home to your place of business
Dry cleaning or other cleaning expenses
Home office expenses
Gifts and donations
Self education expenses (provided they are for your work)
According to the ATO, any expense related to your business is deductible. You must be able to prove to the ATO that:
You needed to incur the expense to earn an income
The expense is not private or domestic in nature
The expense is not related to a capital asset
The best way to claim petrol expenses is to calculate the distance you travel and only claim petrol expenses for places you go to for work. You may need to provide the ATO with work related travel expenses. They may include receipts for petrol purchases and an odometer reading. If you work in various locations, keep a logbook of the distance you travel to those locations. At the end of the year, you can calculate the total distance traveled and deduct the petrol expenses from your earnings.
Even small expenses can add up. There is no reason to pay more tax than you must pay, so record keeping is important.
The ATO requires records in writing. They can be written receipts or digital receipts. While the audit period for small businesses is two years, the ATO recommends keeping your records for the past five years. This includes all your earnings and deductions.
Remember that you will pay expenses in different ways. Sometimes you may pay cash for small transactions. As a general rule, you must have receipts for deductions over $300. If the deductions are for smaller amounts, you do not need to keep receipts, but must be able to show how you arrived at the dollar amount. It may be in your best interests to keep receipts for smaller purchases. You will have them on hand in case you are audited.
There are two ways to prepare your income tax return. It's probably in your best interests to hire a tax professional. You can deduct the expense from your income tax return provided they are BAS registered tax agents or tax agents with the Tax Practitioner Board. To find out if your tax agent is registered, you can use the online tool at the Tax Practitioner Board.
If you choose to file your own tax returns, you may be able to make some tax deductions. Some of these may include:
The cost of tax reference materials
Obtaining financial advice from a registered tax agent
Any expenses incurred through dealing with the ATO about your tax records
Other deductions you may be able to claim include travel associated with tax advice; obtaining a valuation related to a deductible gift or donation of property; or interest charged by the ATO.
While filing your own tax return may be difficult, you can download an ATO app that helps you keep track of expenses on the go. The app also includes tools and calculators to help you do your taxes correctly.
The most important thing is to not take your tax obligations lightly. Keep all receipts and keep a logbook if necessary. Claim all possible deductions and have a way to back them up if you are questioned by the ATO. If you are audited and have left something out, you could face a fine.
While keeping tax records can be time consuming, they will save you money this year and in subsequent years. The money they save you can be substantial, too. Don't leave any legitimate deductions out of your tax return. They all add up and can make the difference between a high tax bill and a manageable tax return.
You need renovations, but you don't have enough cash to finance them. What can you do? There are several ways to finance your renovation, but look at each one carefully. You don't want to get in over your head and be strapped with debt. What are your options?
Using credit cards to finance your renovation is probably the worst way to go. Interest rates on credit cards are high and you may never be able to repay the amount you've borrowed. The only reason to use a credit card may be for smaller purchases that won't put too much of a dent in your card balance. For example, if you're doing DIY painting, you can use your credit card to purchase paint, rollers and other supplies.
Credit card interest rates are much higher than other ways of financing a renovation. On top of that, if you take cash advances, you will have to pay fees for the advances. Save your credit card for smaller purchases and look into more affordable ways to finance your renovation.
A better way to finance your renovation is to refinance your mortgage. Depending on the value of your home and its increased value, you may be able to finance a major renovation by refinancing your mortgage.
There are two ways to refinance. If you are paying your mortgage off comfortably, you can negotiate higher monthly payments and pay off your home more quickly. If you are struggling, you can extend your payments and pay the same or less per month.
It's a good idea to anticipate this when you're shopping for home loans. In some cases, you may have to pay a high "break fee" to refinance. In other cases, refinancing can be the least expensive way to do a large renovation because interest rates are lower and your payments are spread out over a long period of time.
There may be some disadvantages to refinancing:
You may need to take out Lenders Mortgage Insurance for larger projects
Fees may be involved
Refinancing can extend your loan period
You may not get a favourable rate if you have a bad credit rating
In some cases, refinancing can damage your credit rating
Weigh the advantages of refinancing against the disadvantages. In many cases refinancing can be an ideal way to finance a renovation. In other cases, it can be a mistake.
An offset account is another way you can refinance your mortgage. An offset account is like a savings account, but the money you borrow is "offset" daily against your loan balance. This can save you money on interest rates.
Offset accounts are available to borrowers who have paid off a significant amount of their home loan. For example, if you had a $350,000 loan and you've paid off $50,000, that money may be available for you to borrow. An offset account can be ideal because you can dip into the account as you need the money. In some cases, you may need to pay off an offset loan in a fixed period of time. If that is the case, be sure you can pay off the loan within the fixed period.
With an offset account, you only pay interest on your home loan. For example, if you've paid $25,000 on a $350,000 loan, you only pay interest on the $325,000 you still owe. Offset accounts also have tax advantages.
If you need to refinance your home to get an offset account, the cost of refinancing may be prohibitive. Ideally, when you're shopping for a home loan, ask if offset accounts are available. Your home loan rate may be slightly higher, so shop around and find the best home loan you can. Offset accounts are available for both variable and fixed rate mortgages.
If you're doing a major renovation, you might want to take out a construction loan. One advantage of a construction loan is that you have an amount of money you can draw on to finance your renovation, but you don't have to use all the money that is available. You also accrue interest as you use the funds. On a major project such as a home extension, this can save you money.
The disadvantage of a construction loan is that you may need to refinance your home to qualify. Fees can be expensive, so find out what fees you will need to pay before you commit to this type of loan.
It's no secret that property prices have been rising in Australia. This can work to your advantage if you need to finance a renovation. A home equity loan is based on the current price of your home versus the price you paid for it. To get a home equity loan, you will have to pay for a home valuer to determine the value of your home. Home valuers charge on average about $400, so it is not a major expense.
The disadvantage of a home equity loan is that you have to prove you are capable of paying it back. This can be negotiable in some cases. For example, you may be able to extend your home loan period and pay a lower monthly rate.
You may be eligible to have a line of credit issued to you for your renovations. A line of credit is like a credit card, but at a much lower interest rate. The disadvantage of a line of credit is that you need to exercise self discipline. You can use a line of credit for any purchase, but you don't want to get in over your head.
A credit line can be risky, but if you exercise self discipline, it can be a good way to finance some renovations. One advantage of a line of credit is that if you can't make payments, you can pay the interest only, but it won't reduce your principle.
If you have been paying more than your minimum monthly mortgage payments, you may qualify for a redraw facility. Your redraw amount is based on the extra payments you have made. Over time, this can amount to a large amount of money.
There is no single answer for everyone. As mentioned above, use your credit card only for small purchases. Your other options will depend on:
How long you've owned your home
How much your home has increased in value
The nature of your existing mortgage
Your ability to pay off the financing for your renovation
Look at all the ways to refinance your renovation and choose the one that works best for you. You may want to extend your loan period to finance your renovation. Remember that fees may be involved and if you have to refinance, refinancing fees may be higher than you want to pay.
You can find a way to finance your renovation. Even better, renovations can increase the value of your home. Renovating can be the best way to increase your potential wealth, but you don't want to pay more than you can afford. Be realistic about your renovations and find a way to finance your renovation that works for you.
That piece on Turnbull is gold, comedy gold.
<blockquote>Malcolm Turnbull has taken a veiled swipe at Tony Abbott, writing in a column that it is time for builders “not wreckers”.</blockquote>
Says the man who spent the entire time Abbott was PM, leaking and wrecking.
<blockquote>He is hailing a “year of delivery” on schools, energy and national security as he embarks on a political offensive to win back electors while fending off a growing threat from his predecessor, Mr Abbott. </blockquote>
Putting us 500 million dollars in debt. That's some 'year of delivery', of debt.
<blockquote>Mr Turnbull, having batted away questions about his predecessor all week, wrote in the column that voters were sick of politics and personalities. “Frankly, so am I,” he said. “This is a time for builders, not wreckers. For leaders who get things done and don’t just talk. <strong>For negotiators and deal-makers who trade in results, not in platitudes.</strong>”</blockquote>
Says the man who has delivered nothing but platitudes and only get things done at vast cost to the taxpayer.
<blockquote>On energy, Mr Turnbull said his government was guided by engineering and economics - not ideology and politics.</blockquote>
Engineering to pump water uphill, at a loss, and whose 'economics' will cost at least 500 million dollars.
<blockquote>Mr Turnbull told The Weekend Australian the government had spent the past year delivering on policies, such as the $23 billion boost to school funding legislated last week over the objections of Labor and the Greens.</blockquote>
With there being no evidence that these billions will do anything because there are no plans on how they will be spent (or pissed against the wall).
<blockquote>“We’ve delivered tax cuts for small business. We’re acting to ease the pressure on energy prices by ensuring there is adequate supply for the domestic gas market and we are building Snowy Hydro 2.0,” he said.</blockquote>
If they had not stuffed the market, there would be no need to ensure supply. And Hydro 2.0 is a grand plan to pump water uphill! At a nett loss! I do not expect it to proceed.
We would be better off with Humpty Dumpty in charge. At least his head is not full of rocks.
<a href="http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/inquirer/liberals-under-turnbull-have-elevated-politicking-over-policy/news-story/b91f94942f8ef291b74c56f8544b7534" rel="nofollow">Liberals under Turnbull have elevated politicking over policy</a>
<em>How did it come to this for the Coalition? And what is the way forward? At heart, the answer is quite simple but the complexities of personalities and politicking have complicated the descent and will hinder any recovery.
Elected in a landslide just four years ago, the Liberals have frittered their mandate, undermined public confidence, failed on the most important task of budget repair and gone some way to making a Shorten Labor government inevitable.
Linking poor policy, clumsy politics and susceptibility to personality-driven leadership solutions is straight-talking — or rather the lack of it. As George Orwell explained better than anyone, the retreat from direct language in politics is a symptom and a cause of muddled thinking.
We cannot think with clarity if we don’t speak plainly, and vice versa. The Liberals have fallen into the leftist whirlpool of spin. They have succumbed to what is poison for the centre-right — fashion.
Tempted to endear themselves to the progressives of the media/political class, they have forgotten their core value, the primacy of good sense over superficial appeal. Like the inch-deep state Labor model that Kevin Rudd took to Canberra, they have elevated politicking over policy substance.
This has manifested itself in meaningless rhetoric, aimless positioning and an obvious lack of policy coherence. Superficial language has encouraged superficial policy, and vice versa. The damage is anything but superficial. It is substantive and long term — for the party and the nation. On climate, energy, education and fiscal repair the Liberals have surrendered policy strength and differentiation. Nods to fashion have them almost indistinguishable in practical terms from what is now a deeply green-left ALP.
As we contemplate the prospect of a Shorten-Di Natale government that would deliver higher taxes, deeper deficits, more debt and higher power prices, we need to comprehend that this is precisely the formula that has been delivered so far by the Coalition. The difference is only in degree. Perhaps the only clear policy contrast is the extent of accountability for unions. It should have been impossible for a Coalition government to drift down this path.
The Liberals have not been prepared to speak simple truths; to argue unpalatable facts. (Let’s leave the Nationals out of this for now because they have been largely innocent spectators as their Coalition partners have fallen into dysfunction.) There are pivotal aspects of important national debates that are obvious to any well-informed voter or self-evident to the common sense of mainstream Australians but are never mentioned in direct terms by Liberal politicians. The only people who seem to be prepared to say what they think are political outliers such as Pauline Hanson; she is prone to wade in without nuance or factual ballast yet still wins a political dividend just for engaging on the tough issues.
The debate, otherwise, is constrained like a polite dinner party within invisibly delineated, politically correct boundaries set by the media/political class
Take climate policy. No Liberal politicians, much less those in cabinet, will even discuss modelling and observations on global warming, preferring to inoculate themselves from leftist attacks by repeating meaningless mantras about “believing” in climate change. You may as well say you believe in tides.
The dinner table debate on climate assumes two enduring myths: that scientific research has settled on a climate trajectory; and that Australia’s emissions reductions will make a difference. So it is all about how we cut emissions. Significant developments such as the publication in Nature Geoscience this month of a paper by Benjamin Santer and others (including Michael E. Mann) on differences between modelling and measured warming are ignored. “Over most of the early 21st century, however, model tropospheric warming is substantially larger than observed,” these pre-eminent scientists found.
“We conclude that model overestimation of tropospheric warming in the early 21st century is partly due to systemic deficiencies in some of the post-2000 external forcings used in mode simulations.”
Hold the presses. They are admitting warming is not as bad as they predicted. And they don’t really know why — so much for the science being settled.
Given that politicians are at the forefront of emissions reduction, renewable energy and taxation policies designed to reduce global warming, they should be engaged in discussing crucial facts about the problem they claim to be solving. Voters may just be interested.
Even if, for argument’s sake, we accept the most alarmist forecasts we still hear no politicians addressing the manifest futility of our policy responses. We are told to accept the world’s most expensive electricity at diminished reliability to meet non-enforceable emissions reductions targets that are ignored or not even set by many nations and cannot make the slightest difference to the global environment because they are being dwarfed by much larger increases in emissions overseas.
Few things could be more important to the economy and national debate of this energy-rich nation; yet this element of debate is studiously ignored by Liberals — presumably for fear of attracting the opprobrium of the media/political class. Tony Abbott speaks plainly about it now, only after losing the prime ministership.
Likewise in education, Liberals do not point out that all the available evidence suggests increased expenditure will not improve our declining standards. Instead, they will borrow and spend an extra $23.5 billion and claim virtue because this is less reckless than Labor’s goal.
On fiscal repair, the Liberals accept what the parliament may allow, effectively offering a budget veto to Labor, Greens and crossbench senators. Cold arithmetic dictates what can pass the Senate but where is the advocacy for more reform and less spending?
The Liberals under Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull invented new taxes, directly contradicting their narrative and ideological wellspring. They broke promises. Plain speaking gave way to weasel words as they tried to compete with Labor’s disingenuous “fairness” argument.
This week Abbott spoke clearly about the financial and strategic madness of buying inferior submarines at a higher cost with longer delays when better, more cost-effective and timely nuclear options are available. Again, this clarity clashed with his language and actions as prime minister, highlighting how the hidden inhibitions of power seem to undermine logical decision-making and unvarnished arguments.
To revive their fortunes and defeat Labor, the Liberals must get back to their roots of rational and pragmatic policy based on frank and honest debate. This is their foundation. This conviction came to me in adulthood, as it does for many, after a misspent youth of ideological delusion. Writing in Quadrant this month my News Corp colleague Tim Blair explained his centre-right conversion in perceptively blunt terms.
“The best part of adopting conservatism after years of leftism, by the way, is how much easier life becomes,” he concluded. “If you’re a conservative, facts are generally all you need to establish a case or mount an argument. If you’re a leftist, however, you always have to find a way around the facts, which is why combative lefties always sound like lawyers knowingly representing a guilty client.”
Here lies the secret of the Coalition’s present disarray and future revival. They’ve forgotten first principles and need to examine facts, debate practical solutions and fight to deliver them.
Compromise will always have its way but they might start with conviction instead of guardedness, and give us clarity before endless subclauses. Orwell argued that just as our language becomes “ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish” so too does the “slovenliness of our language” make it easier for us to entertain foolish thoughts. Damn straight.</em>
Recently my friend Sabine Heimsath asked a few of us native English speakers what the opposite of “technical debt” was. My immediate reaction was to say: I’d say (sarcastically) “proper development” or “decent designer” or even “what we did 25 bloody years ago when we were allowed to take pride in the software we created!” […]
>mother owned a store mortgaged in the house
>divorce with dad
>mother keeps store dad keeps house
>mother sells store and dad is still sick under the mortgage
>learn that my hand had been broken for 6 months and I need surgery
>Get bone removed from my hip and put into my hand
>live with mum while I recover
>tortured by my own mother after a hip surgery because she stole my pain meds and got high
>mother spent my university funds that I spent my weekends from 9 to 12 working at her store and saving the money In the bank forcing me into a job I hate for a year to save some money to go to go to a community school
>Mom goes bankrupt and my dad has to pay off all of her debts
>I gotta pay 160/mo to help or house is lost
>save up $4000 and am going full time school while I find a better job
>learned that my mom has taken a week looking trip to Hawaii when she was stupidly bankrupt and working minimum wage
I stopped talking to her for 6 months after the pills ordeal and I can't do that to either of us again.
[Editor’s Note: You’ll find a video showing you a real life example of a Perfect Plan B at the bottom of this article.] Yesterday we talked about how most of Western civilization, including the United States and much of Europe, have long ago departed from the original ideals that made them great. The values of liberty, economic freedom, self-reliance and independence have been replaced by debt, consumption and over-regulation. Decades of bungling leadership have completely broken the financial system, and governments and central banks have dug themselves into a hole that is impossible to solve. As we noted, though, it’s impossible to predict precisely when, one day, the worst consequences […]
I like Einstein better as a scientist than an advocate of socialism. He's right about the concentration of wealth, but I believe that has occurred not spontaneously but by design through the PRIVATE central banking system used in almost every country in the world. Individuals and nations are enslaved by non-payable debt. The US Constitution is a very good framework that has been violated by the creation of the Federal Reserve and the implementation of the income tax. All the technological innovations of the last centuries should have lead to more leisure time and less work for people. But through inflation, boom bust cycles, artificial interest rates, we are losing ground to the NWO. I see a day when cash is outlawed so every transaction can theoretically be taxed. But I'm hopeful that individual spirit, initiative, and cooperation among freedom loving people will develop a barter system to circumvent this tyranny. Americans are fiercely defensive of their second amendment rights and they need them now more than ever.
As Puerto Rico grapples with a debt crisis, its governor is pushing Congress for statehood -- a move that, contrary to critics, he says is necessary to solving the territory's debilitating money woes.“We...
The Mr. is planning (once again;) to retire (for good) at the end of 2013. That gives us one year to adjust our budget (and attitudes) for life on his pension(s) and what savings we've squirreled away. He deserves to hang up his badge after 25+ years of community service. We have plans .. and then the Lord has plans .. hopefully some will be the same.
You can bet (Lord willing) we won't be sitting around (much). We have fire wood to gather this summer, mini vacations to take (Glacier National Park), family to visit (us), and odd home repairs not to put off. Grandchildren to fuss over.
We've worked like dawgs paying off debt the past few years (knock on wood .. ) and have learned to be content not needing the latest or greatest gadgets; this all on one income.
We won't be jet setters or pet sitters. We have a special needs son, Nathan, that will keep us young at heart and close to home; he's a blessing.
So with the New Year about to begin, may the good Lord prepare our hearts, minds AND finances to be adequate and sustaining. May He give us peace and servant's hearts to give of our time and help to others. Welcome 2013
Republicans came into power with such hopes and dreams. Hopes and dreams about crushing the future of working people and handing over more money and power to the already wealthy and powerful, but we are talking about the goals Paul Ryan was meditating solemnly on as he did keg stands in college, here. And now … never count them out or underestimate their ruthlessness, but congressional Republicans have painted themselves into something of a corner:
It’s not just health care that Senate Republicans are hoping to get back on track after they return from their July 4 vacation. President Trump and Congress have a lot on their plate before their summer recess in August — raising the debt limit, passing a budget, moving on tax reform. It’s a daunting agenda during the best of times.
And this is not, to put it mildly, the best of times, what with a president who doesn’t know what’s going on and resets the agenda on a whim via Twitter, all while his team is under investigation for collusion with the foreign government that got him into office despite a popular vote loss. That’s the setting for Republicans to try to pass a wildly unpopular healthcare bill that they’ve already had to delay a vote on, and, as Ryan Lizza explains, everything else in their agenda may hinge on that, because “For obscure parliamentary reasons, Republicans can’t move on with the rest of their wish list until they pass the health-care bill.”
They planned to use one reconciliation bill for health care and a separate one for the beast of tax reform. But one of the many arcane rules about the reconciliation process is that any new reconciliation bill cancels out the old one. [...]
If the Senate health-care bill dies and Republicans move on to tax reform, they will have an interesting choice to make: do they give up on health care and propose only a tax-reform bill? Or do they combine tax reform and health care into one monster bill, which would make passage even more daunting?
Senate Republicans are still talking Trumpcare, and plan to bring it back after July 4 recess. We absolutely MUST make sure they don’t have the votes. Keep calling your Republican senators at (202) 224-3121. Tell them “NO DEAL” on Trumpcare. Then, tell us how it went.
You see, talking about actual outcomes as they result to actual human beings, who we all thought were at the core of healthcare policy, is not being “thoughtful.” Well, sorry, Mr. Roy, but we're going to talk about it because it's real. People are going to die prematurely (and leaving mountains of debt for their loved ones) if Trumpcare becomes law. Here are the numbers as run by Vox: 208,500 deaths in the next decade.
The Congressional Budget Office projects that if the Senate Republicans’ health care bill becomes law, 14 million Americans will lose their health insurance in 2018, and, by 2026, 22 million would lose coverage.
Drawing on that work, we estimate that if the Senate bill becomes law, 22,900 excess deaths will occur in 2020 — and the figure will grow over time. 26,500 extra deaths will take place in 2026. Over the next decade, we estimate that a total of 208,500 unnecessary deaths will occur if the law is passed (see Table 1).
We also calculate anticipated additional deaths, state by state, using state-level coverage losses for the year 2026 (see Table 2). The predicted excess deaths by state range from 30 in North Dakota to 2,992 in California in 2026 alone.
We delayed Trumpcare—for now. But the GOP leadership is hell-bent on denying health insurance, and is working hard to coerce Republican senators. We need three Republicans to stand firm. Call your senator at (202) 224-3121 and tell them “NO DEAL.” Then, tell us how it went.
The Congressional Budget Office worked fast in responding to Sen. Ron Wyden's request for an analysis of the long-term cuts to Medicaid in Trumpcare. They must have had the data right at hand, because here it is.
In CBO's assessment, Medicaid spending under the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 would be 26 percent lower in 2026 than it would be under the agency’s extended baseline, and the gap would widen to about 35 percent in 2036 (see figure below). Under CBO's extended baseline, overall Medicaid spending would grow 5.1 percent per year during the next two decades, in part because prices for medical services would increase. Under this legislation, such spending would increase at a rate of 1.9 percent per year through 2026 and about 3.5 percent per year in the decade after that. […]
The first 10 years of projections in CBO’s extended baseline match the agency’s 10-year baseline projections, which are based on a detailed analysis of the Medicaid program. Beyond the coming decade, however, projecting federal spending on Medicaid becomes increasingly difficult because of the considerable uncertainties involved. A wide range of changes could occur—in people’s health, in states’ decisions about Medicaid eligibility and covered benefits, and in the delivery of medical care—that are almost impossible to predict but that could nevertheless have a significant effect on federal spending on Medicaid. Therefore, for the projections beyond 2026, CBO has adopted a formulaic approach—one that combines estimates of the number of enrollees with fairly mechanical projections of growth in federal spending on Medicaid per enrollee (adjusted to account for demographic changes in Medicaid enrollees). That straightforward approach, which was designed to help make long-term projections of federal deficits and debt, can be usefully applied only when analyzing proposed changes in law that, like this bill, would affect spending in a similarly straightforward manner.
Here’s that figure referenced.
Gee, why didn't Republicans think about taking into account all those thing like increasing prices for medical services and use actual existing data for figuring stuff like this out?
Just so everyone is clear about this now, yes, this is a massive Medicaid cut for the long-term. More than one-third of it—a whopping 35 percent—would be gone relative to current law, the Affordable Care Act. That, by the way, would kill a lot of people.
The end of Medicaid as we know it? No exaggeration. The Senate version of Trumpcare has worse long-term cuts to Medicaid than the House version, to pay for tax breaks to the wealthy. Call your Republican senator at (202) 224-3121, and give them a piece of your mind. Tell us how it went.
Bankrupt natural gas storage company Ryckman Creek Resources received court approval Thursday in Delaware for a $2.5 million executive bonus plan that hinges on the eventual sale price of the debtor's assets.
Since the FED created their QE game of charades, the “markets” are no longer real – none of them. Unlimited quantities of “money” are thrown at them from all central banks around the globe. Heck they even have Janet Yellen convinced that up is the only direction the markets will ever see again in her lifetime!
This boundless supply of limitless “money” has now hit the mathematical fixed quantity of Bitcoin and Litecoin – my two favorites because of their fixed quantity. I liken the unlimited supply of “dollars,” “yen,” “Euros,” “Yuan,” and all other “currencies” around the world, to an F-4 Phantom Jet Fighter going well over 500 miles per hour. Well, that F-4 Phantom just hit the Rock of Gibraltar – the unmovable limited quantity of Bitcoin.
The Rock of Gibraltar is not in a bubble, it is the F-4 traveling at near the speed of sound that is the bubble! This will become evident as the collision between the two plays out over the coming years.
Keep in mind that we're not just talking dollars, the Yuan is the largest player in this space by far - note that they don't call it the Renminbi for nothing! Literally translated it means “The People’s Money” in Chinese.
The market for Bitcoin was previously so small, but growing so fast, that applying technical analysis (TA) to it was pretty much pointless. But over the past few months I have been noticing that reliable patterns like Head & Shoulders were playing out according to known TA rules.
I keep money in Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum, not to speculate, but as a store of value. But that doesn’t mean I’m not paying attention to the TA formations.
I see a reliable pattern playing out now – it’s called a pennant. This pennant WILL resolve not later than about July the 5th (remember that Bitcoin trades year round without “after hours markets” or holidays), and it is a big one!
The run into a pennant is called the mast. This formation resembles a flag, which is similar to a pennant, but shaped as a rectangle, not a triangle. Both the flag and the pennant are consolidation sideways moves. The rule for both is that the entry direction, in this case up, will be the same as the exit direction. And that the length of the mast will be equal into and out of the pennant or flag.
I believe this mast began at about the $1,200 level and ended at $3,000, thus this pattern is worth about $1,800 on a break higher. So in this case, IF THIS FORMATION IS VALID AND BREAKS HIGHER, then I will be looking for Bitcoin to proceed to roughly the $4,300 level, and that it will take approximately two months for it to get there (a proportional amount of time).
This is interesting to me because the bond market has just made a significant move higher, while stocks have cast off a six Hindenburg Omen cluster (showing internal weakness), one of the necessary ingredients for a stock market crash, and at minimum higher odds of a significant decline.
Bitcoin did not exist during the last financial crisis, so we do not know how it will behave in the next. My guess is that speculators who hold Bitcoin may need to initially sell them to raise dollars to pay other “investment” losses. But overall I would expect those who hold dollars to want to move those dollars to safe haven. Where is it safe? Bitcoin. Why? Because it’s secure and it’s a store of value because it has a fixed quantity, unlike tulips or dollars.
A word about interest rates. I think most analysts have this wrong… Mathematically our macro economy is saturated with debt. Mathematically adding more debt to a saturated system does not promote real growth, it actually destroys growth because new “money” that is created has to go to service the debt and to pay interest to bankers who made the “money” from thin air.
As we raise rates I expect that the differential in rates between the U.S. and the rest of the world INITIALLY will cause dollars to repatriate thus INITIALLY fueling the “asset” bubbles higher. This will, and may have already, run out of steam. Once dollars stop repatriating, then the expected slowdown will occur again caused by the math associated from higher interest burden on an already saturated environment. Yes, you read that right. Creating more debt OR raising interest rates BOTH will create a negative math situation beyond the short run.
For those new to the diminishing returns of debt phenomena, here is what I call the Chart of the Century up to the phase transition that occurred in 2009 - 2010:
QE toyed with the numbers and produced this more current chart:
Bitcoin is limited in quantity to 21 million – ever. Litecoin is limited to four times that amount, or 84 million. Thus once all coins are in circulation, the ratio should be 4 to 1. In other words, if Bitcoin is $4,000 per coin, then Litecoin theoretically would be worth about $1,000 if that ratio holds.
But only two weeks ago that ratio was close to 100 to 1. Today Bitcoin is at about $2,560, and Litecoin is at $41.13, or a ratio of 62.24 to 1. I expect that mathematically this ratio will close over the coming years to get closer still to that 4 to 1 ratio. That means that I expect Litecoin to outperform Bitcoin in percentage gains from this point forward in the long run. For example, over the past month Bitcoin has risen 16.81%, but Litecoin has risen 68.92%.
Below is a chart showing a correlating Litecoin flag formation to Bitcoin’s pennant:
Litecoin’s mast appears to me to be about $28 long! If it breaks from say $40, then I would expect a target of $68. That would be a 70% rise which is very comparable to Bitcoin’s target – again, IF it breaks and behaves as TA would expect.
Ethereum is NOT limited in supply, unlike Bitcoin and Litecoin. For this reason it may or may not be a weaker store of value. But it does have better transactional value, a trait that may carry it very far indeed as several major banks and even countries are looking to incorporate Ethereum onto a transactional basis.
It’s performance over the past two months has been astonishing, but it has stumbled recently. I own Ethereum, but wish it had both transactional athleticism and a fixed maximum quantity.
I see the same flag pattern playing out in Ethereum now:
The mast on Ethereum is proportionally longer than either Bitcoin or Litecoin – I measure it to be $280 long! So if it breaks from $290, then that mast length would be targeting $570, a 96% rise!
I think these three cryptocurrencies will all head higher as the math of unlimited quantity smashes against fixed and truly secure quantity.
We will see if these formations play out. The track record is very short, so I will not be that surprised if they don’t. I would not take action until a clear break is made up and out of those formations. If they break below the formations, I will personally do nothing but add to my positions as they reach key support levels.
Excuse me, but I can’t stop laughing at the latest round of central banker charades!
Central banker charades, of course, were created in the year 1913, but they have been improving, and improving the game ever since. So much so, that today’s central banker charades are the funniest version yet – I don’t see how anyone can stop laughing!
Here are a couple of Janet Yellen quotes from her game of charades:
"I want to be completely clear that I strongly oppose ‘Audit the Fed.’"
And my favorite for a hysterical laugh:
"I Don't Believe We Will See Another Crisis In Our Lifetime."
Pick me up off the floor, my stomach hurts! Of course her puppet masters already have the next crisis in motion. LOL, this is fun!
Stress Test Charades were created circa 2009 following the initial panic stage created by the central banks themselves. People in general were losing confidence in the con, so the charade leaders decided to prove that they were not insolvent, that they had real assets!
Of course they have assets! We all know that they own computers and with only a little bit of electricity combined with only half a wit, they are able to generate assets at will! Just look at their own balance sheet charade! Nearly $5 trillion worth of charades that was used to provide “assets” to the banks at no interest so that they could speculate/derivatize/manipulate every former “free market” on the planet!
Of course this charade was so popular in the United States that central bankers around the globe now love to play Stress Test Charades too!
This came after “Indebt Poor Nations Charades” – a very fun and entertaining game where central bankers power up their computers to create unlimited quantities of “money” from nothing, and “lend” it to poor countries who then tax the productive efforts of the poorest of the poor, convert said taxes into gold, and repay said charade “loans” with the gold as spelled out in the central banker charade rule book! What fun!
This all brings me to my newest personal favorite game – Self Finances Stress Test Charades!
Wait… I’m giving my own finances the self stress test…
No really... carry the one, add in accounts receivables, subtract accounts payable, turn on money printing computer, change the rules to the game...
YES!! I PASS! Congratulations to me! Anyone want to buy stock in Economic Edge Blog, Inc.?
On 06.29.17 02:14 PM posted by John Ligon
According to recent (https://www.housingwire.com/articles/40382-fannie-mae-raises-debt-to-income-ratio-to-further-expand-mortgage-lending) reports (https://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/fannie-mae-will-ease-financial-standards-for-mortgage-applicants-next-month/2017/06/05/9b391866-4a0b-11e7-9669-250d0b15f83b_story.html?utm_term=.c33fe7ac1a52), Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored enterprise backed by federal taxpayers, plans to expand its role in the housing finance system by further relaxing general underwriting standards for allowable loans held in its financial portfolio.
Under the expected policy change, Fannie Mae would broadly cover mortgages with high borrower debt-to-income ratios by increasing the maximum (https://www.fanniemae.com/content/guide/selling/b3/6/02.html) debt-to-income threshold from 45 percent to 50 percent, beyond the special exceptions...
Report of the Committee on Development of a Policy Framework for Implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education ACT 2009 in Schools in the NCT of Delhi
March 3, 2010
National Council of Educational Research and Training Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi
Report of the Committee on Development of a Policy Framework for Implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education ACT 2009 in Schools in the NCT of Delhi
Page Acknowledgments 3-4 Introduction and Terms of Reference 5-7 Recommendations related to: 8-22 Chapter II: Right to Free and Compulsory Education
Chapter III: Duties of Appropriate Government, Local Authority and Parents
Chapter IV: Responsibilities of Schools and Teachers
Chapter V: Curriculum and Completion of Elementary Education
Chapter VI: Protection of Right of Children
Summary of main recommendations 23-25 Annexure – List of documents 26
Acknowledgement Ashok Agarwal Advocate Chairperson Report of the Committee on Development of a Policy Framework for Implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education ACT 2009 in Schools in the NCT of Delhi
March 3, 2010
The development of policy perspectives is an important task for National Level Resource Institutions, and in the context of education an initiative was taken by the National Council of Educational Research and Training, New Delhi to constitute a committee to develop a policy framework on the important issue of the implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, using as an example the context of the NCT of Delhi. On behalf of the Committee, I would like to express gratitude and appreciation to Prof. Krishna Kumar, Director, NCERT, for setting up this committee and extending all the help that made it possible for this Committee to complete its assigned task in the stipulated time. On behalf of NCERT, the Committee was facilitated in its deliberations through the good offices of Prof. A.K. Srivastava, (Prof. and Head, DERPP, NCERT), and Dr. N.K. Gupta of the same department, and we are indeed grateful to them for their support. The task of this Committee was completed only through the active involvement, participation and deliberation of its members. I would like to thank Prof. Nargis Panchpakesan for keeping the discussion going, both inside and outside of formal meetings. Dr. Siddiqui and Mrs,Indira Yadav with their experience of heading education in MCD and Ms. Leena Ratti as a teacher in an MCD school provided invaluable knowledge and insights. I am indebted indeed to Prof. Nalini Juneja for her initiative in giving structure to the report and preparing the all important first draft for further discussion. After all this work, I can only hope that the recommendations given in this report, will be seriously considered by the Government of NCT of Delhi, in framing its rules to the Act, as well as in its implementation.
Sd/- Ashok Agarwal Chairperson M-09811101923 Sd/- Sh Ashok Agarwal, Advocate
Sd/- Sd/- Prof. N. Panchapakesan Prof. Nalini Juneja
Sd/- Sd/- Smt. Leena Ratti Dr. M. N. Siddique
Sd/- Sd/- Mrs. Indira Yadav Dr. N. K. Gupta
Sd/- Dr. A. K. Sirvastava
Report of the Committee on Development of a Policy Framework for Implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education ACT 2009 in Schools in the NCT of Delhi
Article 45 of the Constitution of India was originally incorporated in chapter IV dealing with the Directive Principles of State Policy which provided that the State shall provide free and compulsory education to all the children up to the age of 14 years within ten years. The realisation of this provision remained elusive. In 1993, the Supreme Court in Unnikrishnan case interpreting Articles 21 and 45 of the Constitution held that the right to education is a fundamental right and children up to the age of 14 years are entitled to free education and the State shall have no defense to deny the said right. Though the decision in Unnikrishnan case led to debate and filing of cases in the courts to some extent, the realization of right to education has remained unrealized. Whatever achievements the government may claim, the state of public education in reality is dismal.
The Indian Parliament enacted the Constitution (Eighty-sixth Amendment) Act, 2002 amending the Constitution thereby inserting Articles 21-A and 51-A(k) and amending Article 45 in the Constitution. Article 21-A directs the State to provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine. Article 51-A (k) casts a duty on every citizen who is a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years. The amended Article 45 provides that the State shall endeavour to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years. The Central Government has issued notification dated 16th February 2010 under Section 1 (2) of the Constitution (Eighty-sixth Amendment) Act, 2002 appointing the 1st day of April 2010 as the date on which the provisions of the said Act shall come into force.
As a follow up legislation in terms of Article 21-A of the Constitution of India, the Indian Parliament enacted Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. The Central Government has issued notification under Section 1(3) of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 appointing the 1st day of April 2010 as the date on which the provisions of the said Act shall come into force.
In terms of the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, the Government of Delhi is required to frame Rules. The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development has prepared Model Rules under Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 and sent the same to the States including the Government of NCT of Delhi to frame and notify the Rules to enable the Act to function. Certain provisions of the Act need urgent attention by the State Governments as the same contain a time frame of implementation of the same.
The NCERT has constituted a group of experts consisting of Shri Ashok Agarwal (Legal Expert) Chairperson, Prof. N. Panchpakesan; Prof. Nalini Juneja, (NUEPA); Smt. Indira Yadav; Dr. Naseem Siddiqi; Smt Leena Ratti, MCD school teacher; Dr. N.K. Gupta, Reader, DERPP; and Prof. A.K. Srivastava, Head, DERPP (Convener) to suggest a policy framework for implementation of the RTE Act 2009 in the NCT of Delhi.
Terms of Reference
1. To examine the arrangements for school education in NCT of Delhi 2. To examine the capacity of the MCD/ Delhi Government to meet the challenges presented by the RTE Act with focus on quality education 3. To recommend measures for implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 in the NCT of Delhi
Methodology of the Work of the Committee
The Committee held three meetings to deliberate upon the contentious issues raised by the learned members of the committee and another two meetings of a subcommittee to evolve a first draft of its recommendations. At the final meeting, they came to a unanimous decision on the recommendations submitted herein for the implementation of the RTE Act, 2009 in schools in National Capital Territory of Delhi.
Brief Report of deliberations and decisions of the Committee
The recommendations of this committee are focused on improving the ‘quality of education’ and its enjoyment by all children fully, equally and equitably. We are happy to note that the same is the objective of The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, as may be seen in the Statement of Objects and Reasons that accompanied its placement as a Bill before the Parliament of India in 2008. This statement speaks of ‘strengthening the social fabric of Democracy”; of ‘provision of equal opportunities to all’; of the belief in the values of equality, social justice, and democracy and the creation of a just and humane society – only through inclusive education for all. The committee shares with Statement of Objects and Reasons its emphasis on the right of every child to free & compulsory education of satisfactory and equitable quality in a formal school which satisfies certain standards and norms.
It is in order to guide the Government of the NCT of Delhi to achieve these very objectives, that the following recommendations are being submitted by this committee.
Chapter II: Right to Free and Compulsory Education
1.1 The committee noted that the right of the child to a ‘formal’ (recognised) school is clearly stated in the Act in Section 3 and the ‘full time’ nature of such school becomes more than apparent when this Section is read with the Schedule to the Act, which at serial No. 4 specifies 45 working hours for each teacher per week; which for a six day week works out to 7.5 hours per day . If each school would now be required to remain open at least for a normal eight hour working day, then:
a. All double shift schools would need to be forthwith converted to single shift schools, with the teacher pupil ratios as specified in the Schedule.
b. The distance and accessibility norms will have to be adhered to and arrangements made to address any cases of difficulty anticipated or experienced.
c. Supplemental instructions to children, including children with disabilities who have been (age appropriately) enrolled in classrooms will have to be carefully monitored, (and arrangements created for the same) in order to ensure that teachers are child friendly, and the teaching learning environment remains free from anxiety.
d. All alternative modes of education such as for example ‘bus schools’ and other para formal schools would have to be replaced by full time formal schools.
e. The needs of children with disabilities (Section 3) will need to be addressed through inclusive classrooms in accordance with the provisions laid down in Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Persons with Disabilities (2008) as ratified by the Government of India.
f. The right of all children to equal opportunities at this stage would render the ‘Pratibha Vikas Vidyalayas’ and their mode of selective admission as contrary to the spirit of the Act, at least till the end of class eight.
1.2 The admission plan of the Delhi Government for the transition to the upper primary/secondary classes is already a model.
1.3 Private schools- The rights of equitable access to private schools will also have to be strictly monitored by the Government of NCT of Delhi in order to ensure that children with disabilities are not discriminated against in their access to the school, nor are their parents asked to pay more fees because they have ‘special needs’. Sample checking and research is recommended to ensure equal opportunities in all schools for children with disabilities.
1.4 As per orders dated 10.09.2009 of the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in W.P.(C) No. 6771 of 2008 entitled Social Jurist, A Civil Rights Group vs. Govt. of NCT of Delhi, An Action Plan for education of children with disabilities was prepared. This committee recommends the implementation of the Action Plan for the implementation of the RTE.
1.5 Attendance officers- Posts of ten ‘attendance officers’ existed in the MCD and at one time were expected to deal with admission, and truancy in relation to compulsory education. Similar posts need to be created, and renamed for the implementation of the RTE. This committee also recommends that in view of the expansion of number of schools, and enrolment, the number of officers may be increased adequately. These posts may rightly be renamed as ‘Right to Education Protection Officers’ and as part of their duties they should:
constantly ‘walk their beat’ especially at construction sites, garbage dumping grounds, urban villages etc. looking for children who should be in school; enable out of school children to secure admission; coordinate between home and school for children coordinate with community groups, especially mothers ensure issuance of transfer certificates respond to reports of violation of child rights serve to support admission and retention of children in government and private schools all tasks related to service as a ‘nodal officer’ for right to education
1.6 Road Marshals through Volunteers of NCC/ NSS/ Scouts etc. Delhi is a city state, and despite the best of planning, children will need to cross roads in order to reach schools, and in many places this is a risky exercise. Therefore, in order to literally facilitate access to schools, this committee recommends that traffic marshals be deployed at points at which children cross roads on the way to schools. Giving right of way to school goers will not only make the right to education ‘visible’, but will also give a new Delhi/ urban specific task to the NSS/ NCC volunteers to do. Coordination between school and the traffic police personnels is also recommended to ensure safety of the school going children.
1.7 Incentives for children identifying out of schoolchildren It is recommended that children be used to search for and identify children who are for some reason not in school. An incentive of about Rs. 50/- could also be given to children who identify a child who could be brought to school.
Chapter III: Duties of Appropriate Government, Local Authority and parents
2.1 In the context of the provisions of this chapter of the Act, the committee had detailed discussions regarding the right of all children who choose to attend state provided schools to receive equitable quality of education– whether the schools are run by the Government of NCT of Delhi, the NDMC, the MCD, or the Cantonment Board, or even through unaided private and private aided schools.
2.2 It was brought to the notice of the committee that even in this very academic year (2009-10) itself, ad hoc decisions were apparently taken in the MCD resulting in for example i) mid session change of primary school textbooks; ii) mid session introduction of English medium classes in selected MCD schools; iii) mid session transfer of teachers.
2.3 These discussions lead the committee to note that eventualities of this nature were more frequent in MCD schools than in state government schools, perhaps because of the absence of a ‘buffer zone’ of professionally and managerially qualified personnel who could guide the expert implementation of policy decisions (and also serve to prevent ad hoc interferences).
2.4 The committee also discussed the difference in infrastructural provisioning, administration and monitoring and teacher facilities and supports in the different types of state provided schools in Delhi. The committee noted that while decentralisation and devolution to local bodies, and private (aided) managements should not per se be seen as a drawback, (quite the opposite in fact); the attendant differences in outcomes however cannot be condoned as they are contrary to the letter and spirit of the RTE Act.
2.5 The committee also noted the lack of availability of information about school education in Delhi on any one website. The various service providers of ‘state’ provided education, i.e. the Government of the NCT of Delhi, MCD, NDMC etc. by giving more importance to their separateness, with their separate websites, make mockery of the service of education being provided, and show little concern for the public who is expected to sift from one site to another in attempting to piece together fragments of a picture from different sources.
On the basis of the discussions on this subject, the committee recommends:
• All state provided EE / school education whether through State government as provider of EE through Sarvodaya, Pratibha, and Government schools having classes 6-8, MCD, NDMC, or DCB be administered by one single body, perhaps the Government of the NCT of Delhi, but on the basis of a set of non negotiable guiding principles. • This body should also accord approval to all proposed academic changes, such as of textbooks, pattern of evaluation, medium of instruction etc. It should also be referred to for closure of any schools. • A unified website for school education in Delhi with all information about all kinds of schools with a report card for every school.
2.6 In view of the number of children who continue to be not enrolled, or who have dropped out, children of migrants seeking enrolment, etc. the reported closure of almost one hundred MCD Schools in the past decade appears to be incomprehensible, and this committee recommends:
Independent investigation of the reasons thereof, and of the steps that were taken to re allocate the children attending the closed schools.
Govt of NCT of Delhi to deal in future with all such issues, to prevent extraneous reasons from operating to close down schools, or to resist encroachment of the school land for commercial purposes. (land in urban areas such as Delhi has high property value, and schools attended by the children belonging to economically weaker sections can fall prey to such designs).
If for some reason, there are no children available to attend a particular school, then the school building shall be used for other purposes related to education only, such as for a residential camp for migrant children etc.
2.7 Supports for completion of EE- the state is required by Section 8(c), Section 9(c), Section 8(e), Section 9(e), to ensure completion of elementary education especially children of weaker sections, disadvantaged, and migrants. This committee was of the opinion that in the case of Delhi, there is a need to point out to the ‘urban disadvantage’ experienced by weaker sections, disadvantaged and migrants, especially in the case of smaller children and girls. In urban areas, mothers of these children are, more often than not, working to supplement the family income, and at the same time, lack the supports towards child care usually provided by extended families in rural areas. The second urban disadvantage, relates to the security of women and girl children in particular, and is reflected in the case of Delhi through one of the highest rates of reported crime against women. It is therefore recommended that schools provide after school care and protection to children, especially girls, as one of the means of ensuring their continued attendance at school.
2.8 Pre-school education – The RTE Act 2009 in Section 11 suggests that the state government may make arrangements for pre school education. However, the committee is of the view that in the case of Delhi, and in view of the urban disadvantage, the provision of early childhood care and pre-school education should be treated as mandatory.
2.9 Therefore, related to the previous recommendation of care arrangements and in addition to it, the committee recommends the formulation of a ‘workable’ scheme of early childhood care and its convergence with pre school education in such a way that the needs of parents, (rather than merely the needs of the parameters of a scheme) are met. The committee notes that in state schools, it shall be the SMC that shall hence forth be a major player in the site based management of schools. It is recommended that the SMC may design the manner of provision of early childhood care arrangements, and of pre school arrangements. On case to case basis pre school centers may be provided within the school or in smaller centers nearer to the homes of children.
2.10 Appointment of heads of schools and Strengthening of SCERT and DIETs in Delhi- Heads of schools in Delhi tend to be appointed by seniority and very often with only a short time to go before retirement. In such cases, they have little administrative experience (or interest), they are looking forward to retiring peacefully, without ‘audit objections’. In such a situation, dynamic and vibrant leadership can hardly be expected. The committee discussed this problem and suggested:
a. Firstly, the selection of 75% of the heads of schools through direct selection processes, and only 25% through limited departmental examination.
b. The strengthening of the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) and DIETs in Delhi which will work towards the development of a cadre of educational management professionals for management of schools provided by the state. These institutions should also be engaged in full time policy research related to management of education in Delhi
2.11 Inclusion of Private schools in Training Programmes Workshops, Evaluation and Election Duties: Private schools are seldom perceived to be belonging to the same ‘system’ and their teachers and heads of schools are hardly ever included in seminars, trainings and workshops organised by the state providers of education in Delhi. They are also treated differently in relation to the participation of teachers in invigilation and evaluation duties of board exams and for duties related to elections. This committee recommends the proportionate inclusion from private schools for all the above mentioned functions.
Chapter IV: Responsibilities of Schools and Teachers
3.1 In respect of the provision made in this chapter of the RTE Act, the committee took into consideration data, research studies, reports of committees, court cases and other material related to these aspects before making the following recommendations:
3.2 EWS admission and support- The committee noted that Delhi is perhaps the only state with the advantage of having experience in implementation of the rule recommending inclusion of children from EWS in its regular classes. However, this committee noted that the Hon’ble Delhi High Court by an interim order in Writ Petition No. 3156 of 2002 has permitted to the schools under obligation to provide free seats to the extent of 15% instead of 20% to the children belonging to the economically weaker sections but even that is not being honored by the schools.
3.3 Now, however, the obligation of all private recognised schools stands at 25 per cent and the Delhi government is advised to ensure that the problems experienced in the past do not hamper the inclusion of the children of the EWS. The recommendations of the Krishna Kumar Committee and of the Janaki Rajan Committee, 2006 may be referred to in this regard, since they are all the more relevant, and it is imperative that a climate of ‘true inclusion’ is fostered in schools.
3.4 Needless to say, it is expected that wide publicity shall be given to this provision, and rules shall be framed to enable, the eligible parents to take advantage of the choice offered to them.
3.5 Issuance of Birth certificates- Birth certification is a right of the child, and it is recommended that it be ensured that those children who enter state provided schools without a formal birth certificate are provided a certificate through the school. The government, if necessary, may bring amendment in the Birth and Death Registration Act thereby creating an obligation on the State to provide birth certificate to the school children without subjecting them to difficult procedure. This should be made a duty of the school. It also supports the UID project of the central government.
3.6 SMC , School Development Plan, capacity and information needs- The RTE Act 2009 mandates an SMC for each school at the elementary stage. In Delhi, there are no elementary schools. There are primary schools, or middle schools having classes 6-8, or composite schools having both primary and upper primary classes, and secondary schools having upper primary classes. Delhi will need to work out a mechanism to ensure that the children in classes 1 to 8 have the benefit of a school management committee and a school development plan prepared by the committee.
3.7 The committee noted that Delhi will need to replace its nominated Vidyalaya Vikas Committees, at least at the elementary stage, with statutory School Management Committees having wide ranging powers.
3.8 This committee discussed concerns about the awareness building and capacities of these committees, and felt that these areas represent spaces for proactive action, both by the government and the civil society. Orientation and Training of School Management Committees (SMCs) needs to be taken up as an ongoing exercise. This work could be shared among Community based voluntary organisations, SCERT, DIETs, universities and colleges (as part of their ‘extension’ responsibilities)
3.9 One of these measures could be the public display of the School report card since every school already has a DISE ‘School Report Card’. It is further recommended that:
i. a ‘public version’ (i.e. excluding details of SC, ST, minority, repeater, status of children) of this card be displayed in each school. (perhaps on a 3 by 4 ft. Flex sheet) ii. details of funds received (and date of sanction and receipt) also be displayed, (as also details of fees charged from students and salaries paid to teachers) iii. SMC members should be informed through easy to read graphs (prepared by DIETs, / colleges of education/ students of statistics of class eleven in government schools) showing progress of educational indicators related to the school (indicators could be enrolment, attendance, gender parity, teachers attendance, school facilities etc.). The state EMIS cell could even generate graphical pages for each school, which may be downloaded, and explained to the parent members of the SMC. Assistance of government secondary school students is recommended here both for the sake of making statistics come alive for these students, as well as for the sake of transparency. Past students of the concerned primary elementary school should be preferred.
3.10 Teachers’ salaries & Recognition of small schools It was discussed that all schools have, and by law can only exist if they are philanthropic, non-commercial, non-profit and community service, and existing recognised schools need to pay their teachers at scales approved by the Govt. of NCT of Delhi. However, the RTE Act 2009 opens up possibilities for the existence of another category of schools – the hitherto unrecognised schools running perhaps in small premises but now fulfilling the requirements of the schedule of the RTE Act 2009, and of its rules and perhaps with trained (as is required) but underpaid teachers.
3.11 At present, the law is silent on the matter of teachers’ salaries in schools recognised under the RTE Act 2009. While this fact will surely enable a number of small, but otherwise eligible schools to become recognised, it also opens up the possibility of this lacuna being exploited by elementary schools that will now prefer recognition under this Act, precisely in order to exploit a situation in which aspiring but qualified teachers may be willing to trade salary for ‘teaching experience’ in a recognised school. It may well lead to existing schools bifurcating themselves into an elementary stage recognised under the RTE Act 2009, (with no need or state salaries for teachers) and a secondary stage recognised under the Delhi Schools Education Act, 1973 (where teachers are paid state salaries) thus reverting again to the very conditions existing not so long ago when teachers in private schools were exploited by their school managements.
This committee recommends that this issue be seriously considered in the case of Delhi, since the Delhi is yet to frame rules under this Act. While small, unrecognised schools might be fulfilling a real need in some areas of the country, it is doubtful if such is the case for most areas of the city of Delhi, and it may be more advisable to adhere to norms that protect teachers’ salaries even in schools recognised under the RTE Act 2009. However, this committee also recognizes the existence of some exceptional schools run by NGOs which although fulfilling real but un/under served needs, may not be able to subsist on fees charged from students. In such cases, it is recommended that the Govt. consider aiding these schools towards payment of salaries of the teachers.
3.12 Where the neighbourhood Govt / MCD / NDMC School is witnessing declining enrolment, PTR lower than 1:30; this fact should be taken into consideration before giving recognition to another (unaided private) school within one km radius.
3.13 Teacher’ duties- The committee discussed at length the report submitted by a member of the committee on the clerical duties performed by the teachers in MCD schools. It was pointed out that the MCD teachers in the absence of any clerical support in schools have to do the following tasks:
Maintain records of details of expenditure on all funds provided to the school; maintain the staff pay bills, calculate income tax, maintain records of DA, CPC, ACP, GPF, CPF , pre sanctions, quotations, bills, receipts, and post sanctions etc.; maintain leave records, and obtain sanction for maternity leave, earned leave, compensatory leave, child care leave, and special leave; maintain school property register of items bought by school or donated to the school; maintain registers of consumable and non consumable articles; maintain records of teachers details, monthly attendance records of students (average attendance, total number of admissions, withdrawals, minority, SC, ST, total students) answer RTI queries; get books from Kamala Nagar and distribute them and maintain records class wise; distribution of stationery; measure, cut and distribute school dress material; fill different forms for minority/ SC/ST students getting above 50%; work related to Laadli scheme such as filling forms, verifying them, and submitting them at Rohini office; daily, weekly and monthly records of mid day meal; maintaining library records, old records, and providing other sundry details required for EMIS such as grades of students in different subjects according to categories (minority/ SC/ ST, girls, boys etc.) The committee was also informed that these tasks were performed by clerks using computers in Schools run by the Govt. of NCT of Delhi.
3.14 The committee discussion related firstly to the disparity in conditions of service in schools in Delhi, and secondly to the fact that almost all the tasks mentioned in the paragraph have been declared under the RTE Act 2009 as tasks for which teachers should not be responsible. Other solutions will need to be found for these administrative tasks, and under the model rules it has been made the duty of the SMC to ensure that teachers are not burdened with such tasks. The committee recommends that these model rules be adopted for Delhi.
3.15 However, committee also noted that as in all cases wherein the ‘culture’ of an organisation has to undergo a change, there will need to be a change towards a culture devoted to the teaching learning process. This may need steps for example regarding:
Guidelines regarding the work that is required of a teacher of classes 1-5, outside the four hours of classroom instruction. Deployment of administrative staff, (or volunteer workforce of NGOs/ PPP mode personnel etc) for administrative tasks with which the teacher was earlier engaged. Capacity building of both teaching and administrative staff in the new roles etc.
3.16 ‘Leave substitute’ teachers- The absence of a teacher violates the right of the child to education. Therefore, in order to ensure that a class is at no time deprived of a teacher, it is recommended that about 10% extra teachers are selected and placed on a reserve panel to be tapped whenever there is need for a substitute teacher.
Chapter V: Curriculum and Completion of Elementary Education
4.1 Govt. of NCT of Delhi will also ensure continuous and comprehensive evaluation of all children in all state provided schools in Delhi, in such a manner that children are not subjected to anxiety but it becomes clear, which teachers are making efforts and which teachers are not engaging with their pupils (for reasons of their being deployed at other tasks or otherwise). The CCE should be supported with:
‘pupil level’/ ‘class level’ monitoring cards on the website (restricted access) Communication of progress to parents in a manner designed to encourage their continued interest in education, rather than to shift responsibility for ‘disciplining’.
Chapter VI: Protection of Right of Children
5.1 Child line as in model rules to RTE- Again, in the model rules to the RTE Act 2009, this aspect has been dealt with and it was the view of the committee that a mechanism such as recommended in the model rules be adopted for Delhi. The system should be transparent and should enable cross check by NGOs, with Delhi legal services authority, by independent lawyers & by law colleges, in addition to the other safeguards provided. It is recommended that the model rules circulated by the MHRD in this regard be adopted by Delhi.
5.2 Awareness creation about rights against punishment and harassment- It is recommended that the model rules circulated by the MHRD in regards to a child helpline coupled with an alert and action mechanism be adopted by Delhi. Since this right relates to a school, and every school has a unique ID code number, it is suggested that the online mechanism should be linked using this unique ID code to the page of the school – so that all the details of the school are immediately at hand, and the complaints are recorded against a page related to the school. Linkage with NGOs, lawyers, legal services authority is also recommended.
5.3 Discrimination, what constitutes discrimination in this context and Complaints mechanism should be given wide publicity
6.1 It is recommended that part-time instructors for art, music, health and physical education be also provided for the children of classes I to 5 in addition to the general teachers to develop potentiality, knowledge and talent.
6.2 No fee in any kind or form should be charged from the students of elementary school.
6.3 Government of NCT of Delhi may issue notification in terms of Section 1(d) bringing ‘children with disabilities’ within the ambit of “child belonging to disadvantaged group” as defined in Section 1(d) of the Act.
Summary of Main Recommendations
1. State provided School Education should be administered by one unified body-i.e. Government of NCT of Delhi and its schools managed with due regard to decentralisation of responsibility; this body should also accord approval to all proposed academic changes, such as of textbooks, pattern of evaluation, medium of instruction etc. It should also be referred to for closure of any schools (2.5) 2. Strengthening of SCERT and DIETs for policy level research and training of teachers and administrators for implementation of RTE (2.10) 3. Direct recruitment of 75% of Heads of Schools (2.10a) 4. Appointment of ‘Protection of RTE Officers’ (1.5) 5. Inclusion of Private schools in Training Programmes Workshops, Evaluation and Election Duties (2.11)
Delhi rules to RTE Act 2009 should specify:
1. Inclusive education of children with special needs in common classroom (1.1e)
2. Protection of state salaries for teachers in private schools recognised under RTE Act and consideration in exceptional cases of grant in aid for payment of salaries of teachers (3.11)
3. Information about Fees charged by Schools and salaries paid to its teachers should be placed in the public domain i.e. on the Delhi Schools website and also on the ‘school report card’ of each school (2.5)
Measures for Accountability and Voice
1. There needs to be a unified website for all state and state recognised schools in Delhi with School Report Cards and reporting on child progress on measures of continuous and comprehensive evaluation supplemented with remarks of the SMC (2.5, 5.2, 4.1) 2. Information dissemination about RTE to children in schools and Child line as in Model Rules (5.1, 5.3) 3. Orientation and Training of School Management Committees (SMCs) needs to be taken up as an ongoing exercise. This work could be shared among Community based voluntary organisations, SCERT, DIETs, universities and colleges (as part of their ‘extension’ responsibilities)
1. Pre school arrangements either in schools or near to communities (2.10) Crèche and after school care arrangements to facilitate education of girls (2.9) 2. For admission of economically weaker section children in private schools, implement recommendations of Krishna Kumar Committee Report 2006 and Janaki Rajan Committee Report 2006 (3.2, 3.3) 3. Implementation of Action Plan for Education of Children with Disabilities prepared by Department of Education, Delhi Administration pursuant to the orders of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court in CWP 6771/2008 (1.4)
1. Road marshals (NCC / NSS) could be enlisted for helping children cross road to and from schools in addition to the deployment of traffic police personnel (1.6) 2. Birth certificates could be arranged for all children in state schools (3.5) 3. Incentive for each child identifying child out of school (1.7)
4. Establishment of Police beats (with lady police constables) at girl schools to ensure safety and security to the girl students.
5. Government of Delhi should exempt stamp duty on the affidavit regarding date of birth of the child to be submitted to the school for the purpose of admission.
6. Government of Delhi should authorize head of the school to attest the affidavit regarding date of birth of the child to be submitted to the school for purpose of admission
7. School education should be totally free. No fee in any form or under any head should be charged from any student in state funded schools.
List of Documents in Appendix
i. Order dated 29.08.2000 in CWP 3956 ii. . Affidavit dated 25.08.2000 in CWP 3956 (2000) iii. Order dated 31.10.2002 in CWP 5982 (2002) iv. Delhi Primary Education Act 1960 v. Order dated 3.03.2003 in CWP 7027 (2001) vi. Status Report of the GNCT of Delhi dated 16.12.2009 in CWP 6771 (2008) vii. Status Report of the GNCT of Delhi dated 18.12.2009 in CWP 6771 (2008) with final Action Plan for Education of Children with Disabilities viii. Order dated 20.01.2010 in CWP 6771 (2008) ix. Letter dated 15.12. 2009 to DCPCR regarding closure of MCD Schools
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The 2016 Elections is off to a early start. Some people feel that the building block for the Tea Party Independent Forum within the Independent Voting Floor will separate the power of the Republican Party. I am sorry but this is not true. The Foundation of this forum is to bring in new officials as well as a Independent Tea Party Officials. As States move to file for Independence and to form their own Government, this is by all mean a mistake, The Separation of the States will break the Foundation Of The Constitution. Then the United Nations will be in a far better position to apply their New World Order Laws.
It would seem, that most people are concerned about the economy and other issues, people are in dis-trust of Officials in Government from both parties. There are some of us who feel it is time for the Tea Party to take its right-full place in office under the Independent Forum.
I am sorry but most people feel its time to vote out those who did not do their job and vote in new people with no political connections. This political battle for a seat to control a power that is not real, its the Voice Of the People that is the power and the posting of, Under The Cover Of Winter Storm Nemo, this posting does not hold all the information you seek, but I can tell you this that a data search for Political Official who hide their money investments over-seas in Pharmaceutical Narcotics. You may say so what....then why hide the money....?
No my friends this will not separate nothing at all because as time goes forward we are being lost in a connection of United We Stand.
. No matter how many seats get controlled, the job of the balance of the Fiscal Cliff, has not been done, and in the last 11 years over $109 trillion Dollars spent, and according to Officials on TV they only bring in $3 trillion per year...that around $76 trillion spent....so where is the money..? I can show you but not now....
I still have not found a way to tell my twins that they are in debit for $37,000 to balance the budget. I mean how do you tell a 7 year child that they are broke....this gives a whole new meaning to kicking the can down the road....
Then you have Obama Care crammed down our throats by both Republicans and Democrats in Office.
Abortion paid for in the Health Care Bill
Narcotics paid for in the Bill
Gun Rights Under Fire
We may not be able to bring in a Tea Party Official in The 2014 Senate Race for the seats at hand, but to share a 2016 Campaign.....
Sarah Palin, do you want to make history and become the next Tea Party President Of The United States of America...?
Under Section 365(a) of the Bankruptcy Code, a debtor in bankruptcy may assume executory contracts or unexpired leases to which the debtor was a party before its bankruptcy filing. Before it is permitted to do so, however, the debtor must cure any and all defaults existing under the agreement (see 11 U.S.C. 365(b)(1)), thereby making the nondebtor counter-party "whole" upon assumption.
The MCA has notified the Companies (Transfer of Pending Proceedings) Second Amendment Rules, 2017, modifying Rule 4 relating to voluntary winding up and Rule 5 relating to winding up on grounds of inability to pay debts.
The Bankruptcy Panel for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a bankruptcy judge from the Western District of Tennessee abused his discretion by imposing sanctions in the form of attorney’s fees and expenses related to a debtors’ bankruptcy case and related litigation. In the summer of 2008, the debtors signed an […]
June 30- Puerto Ricos financial oversight board on Friday voted to allow the PREPA power utility to restructure its $9 billion debt load through a form of bankruptcy, potentially heralding a messy end to three years of arduous out-of-court talks. The board, created under the 2016 federal Puerto Rico rescue law, known as PROMESA, is in charge of managing the U.S....
New report finds that DRC likely to suffer financial losses, continuing energy poverty if hydropower project advances
Tuesday, June 27, 2017: Today, International Rivers is releasing the first in-depth economic study of the proposed Inga 3 hydropower project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Authored by noted British economist Tim Jones, “In Debt and In The Dark” exposes glaring flaws in the assumptions about the dam’s likely performance. The report finds that Inga 3 will likely plunge DRC deeper into debt, exporting needed power and delivering little, if any, to Congolese citizens while allowing international investors to reap the benefits.
“Claims about the benefits of Inga 3 are wildly overstated,” says Jones. “In fact, the dam would be a huge financial burden for the government and the Congolese people and provide little if any electricity.”
From the outset, Inga 3 has been plagued by dangerously optimistic assumptions about the dam’s performance, including power output well above the world’s most efficient plants, zero cost overruns, and unrealistically low transmission losses.
Using empirical evidence from the performance of similar hydropower projects in Africa and globally, Jones tested proponents’ claims regarding Inga 3’s socioeconomic benefits. He then forecasted the dam’s potential performance across a range of scenarios.
His findings highlight the serious financial risks associated with the Inga 3 hydropower project, and should be deeply concerning to the DRC government, potential investors, and the Congolese people.
“The DRC is one of the most resource-rich countries in the world, but suffers from massive energy poverty,” says Freddy Kasongo of Observatoire d’Etudes et d’Appui à la Responsabilité Sociale et Environnementale (OEARSE).
Emmanuel Musuyu of Coalition des Organisations de la Société Civile pour le Suivi des Réformes et de l’Action Publique (CORAP), adds, “Unfortunately, this study shows that the Inga 3 Dam will further impoverish the DRC without delivering the energy that we need.”
The analysis shows that in the most likely scenarios, the DRC government will lose money on Inga 3. Even with fairly conservative estimates of cost overruns and generous assumptions of power generated, electricity prices, and low interest rates, DRC would stand to lose $618 million per year on the project, or nearly $22 billion over the project’s 35-year lifespan.
These financial losses could run as high as $1.5 billion to $2 billion per year under unfavorable conditions – up to $70 billion over the project’s lifespan – ballooning DRC’s debt levels and harming its long-term economic health.
“Not only will Inga 3 bring in no revenue, it will likely increase DRC’s debt burden,” says Rudo Sanyanga, International Rivers’ Africa Program Director. “And it won’t bring much-needed electricity access to the Congolese people. This would be a disastrous investment for the DRC.”
The project will sell most of its electricity to South Africa and to mines in eastern DRC. The report finds that losses along what would be the world’s longest transmission line to South Africa could leave very little power available to the mines, and the Congolese people would receive little benefit in increased electricity. Under the most likely scenario, 88% of the power would be sold to South Africa, leaving just 90 MW for Kinshasa, rather than the 1000 MW claimed. Under the worst-case scenario, no power at all would be available for sale to consumers in Kinshasha.
International Rivers’ study shows that the DRC could achieve greater energy access for its population if it used the funds intended for Inga 3 on micro-hydropower and solar energy. Such investment would support the DRC to generate enough electricity to increase access by an estimated 2.7 million people throughout the country.
Kate Horner, Executive Director of International Rivers, says, “If the DRC wants to become a true economic leader that sets a model for energy access in Africa, it should press the pause button on the Inga 3 Dam and instead explore energy solutions that can make a lasting difference for the Congolese people.”
International Rivers is a global NGO with offices on four continents. It protects rivers and defends the rights of communities that depend on them.
We want Pandora to win. But does Pandora want Pandora to win? I first met Tim Westergren at a sushi joint around the corner from our office in Santa Monica. I was amazed at what came out of this guy’s mouth. He told me the story about how he was $500,000 in debt on a […]
As we head into the July 4th holiday, it’s important to remember the blessings of this country. In the spirit of celebrating America, I’d like to highlight a few of our presidents who have very solid backgrounds in small business.
For starters, consider that before he led the continental army, George Washington was a farmer, which was a common and fruitful entrepreneurial endeavor at the time. According to MountVernon.org:
Initially growing tobacco as his cash crop, Washington soon realized that tobacco was not sustainable and he switched to grains, particularly wheat as a cash crop in 1766. Washington read the latest works on agriculture and implemented the new methods . . . on his five farms.
Additionally, John Adams, James Monroe, and James Madison were all lawyers (which certainly requires an entrepreneurial flair).
Andrew Jackson was a true entrepreneurial president. Jackson, while also a lawyer, made his first fortune buying and selling real estate. He was also a founder of Memphis, Tennessee. Additionally, his progressive policies were proactive in encouraging both small business and entrepreneurship.
Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer and an entrepreneur. In 1833, Lincoln opened a general store with a partner and took on debt to finance the company. Unfortunately, the venture failed and Lincoln’s possessions were seized by the state. Lincoln also owned a law practice and got a patent for an invention that would lift boats over obstructions in rivers.
Warren G. Harding was an excellent entrepreneur. When he was 19, he bought a newspaper that was about to go under – The Marion Star. Soon after his acquisition, the paper quickly gained success; so much so that his debts were soon paid off and the venture generated income for him for the next several decades.
After President Franklin D. Roosevelt got polio in 1921, he heard a story about a young boy who regained the use of his legs through hydrotherapy. From that point forward, FDR became what is now known as a social entrepreneur – working tirelessly to raise funds to set up a center for people with polio, later to become known as the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation.
Before becoming president, Harry Truman owned a hat store and opened his own clothing store in Kansas City after serving in World War I.
Jimmy Carter’s small business story is one of the better ones. Carter took over his family’s peanut farm after serving in the navy, and he managed to turn that tiny farm into a multi-million-dollar business. Warehouses, shelling plants, industrial farm equipment – the works.
Despite the farm’s great success, Carter almost went broke when he was leaving the White House. However, his acute entrepreneurial skills were what allowed him to turn things around yet again. He founded the Carter Center, and became a best-selling author and speaker. Additionally, he became a millionaire in the process.
Jimmy Carter was one of the savvier businessmen presidents – even to this day.
In 1951, George H.W. Bush founded the Bush-Overby Oil Development Company as well as the Zapata Petroleum Corporation. The latter is what eventually made him a millionaire. George W., made $15 million from his initial investment in the Texas Rangers. Home run!
Today, Bill Clinton has a net worth of over $100 million, mostly from speaking fees. This is more impressive considering he did not enter or leave office rich.
Maybe Barack Obama put it best when he said “[You don’t] have to look a certain way, or be of a certain faith, or have a certain last name to have a good idea.”
Certainly, on this July 4th it is important to remember that even presidents started small (businesses, that is)!
Bank of America, N.A. engages with Steve Strauss to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Steve Strauss is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Steve Strauss. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.
I have been well and truly lost in the wonderful world of uni for a few weeks and now I am finally out through the other side. So I guess I better get back on it with the blogging eh?
Firstly I want to direct you to the lovely Amy and Rachel of British Style Bloggers who I am currently interning for. The site is basically a catalog of British fashion blogs and I know there are plenty of you about so head over and take a look. Also they are running a fantastic campaign called 'Nature Made Us Beautiful' which is all about increasing the number of unaltered image, un-airbrushed, unrealistic images of women (and men too I guess) out there in the media. Its something I've written about in the past and feel pretty strongly about so please help support the campaign by joining the facebook group. Make it your good deed of the day :)
Umm, what else? Well I don't know about you but its May and I was kind of counting on the weather to be a bit nicer by now. We were teased with a few nice days and now its back to lovely, freezing UK. I was hoping to be whipping out the summer dresses and flip flops but looks like we'll have to wait on that one. I just can't wait until I am here:
I think I may have mentioned this before but now that its just over a month away, I'm getting pretty excited. Possibly slightly more excited than the thought of shopping for my holiday. They have some gorgeous summery things in Accessorize right now that just scream of tropical holidays with their bright colours...I could actually buy so much in that shop but student debt says otherwise...anyway, how amazingly lovely is this..
If you've not been in Accessorize lately, seriously you need to get yourself over there because your missing out! Now all we need is some actual sunshine and all will be lovely.
So, I think thats about all for now. Hopefully I shall be posting a lot more regularly than of late so keep coming back! And leave comments etc :) I know a lot of you are in exam/coursework/revision central right now so good luck! Hope it all goes ok for you x
The Practice Leader is responsible for directing all activities related to implementing patient care strategies and tactics within the Clinic. The Practice Leader is also responsible for the overall financial performance of the Clinic.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The essential functions include, but are not limited to the following:
•Manages the day to day operations of the clinic.
• Serves as resource and role model for staff.
• Plans, evaluates, recommends and implements new initiatives as needed.
• Establishes and maintains excellent working relationships with physicians, employees, and vendors.
• Represents, supports and promotes a positive image of ICON when dealing with patients inside and outside of the company.
• Creates and sustains a highly accountable and inspired work environment where employees deliver exceptional customer service; sets the example for how operational and clinical staff work together by demonstrating shared leadership with the Clinical Director
• Cultivates a culture of exceptional customer service through conversations with patients and employees; “wows” on recovery by ensuring a quick and proper response with a personal touch to all patient requests or concerns
• Monitors patient volumes, quality of care, patient experience, and performance of staff to identify areas of improvement.
• Monitors, coaches, and evaluates performance of staff on an ongoing basis in accordance with established performance standards.
• Accountable for achieving monthly revenue goals and managing clinic costs; ensures accurate, complete and timely patient and insurance billing of all services; partners with Accounts Receivable to reduce days outstanding and bad debt; approves and manages all invoices and vendor agreements for the facility.
• Manages reception and scheduling to ensure fluid communication and coordination between patients and clinical staff.
• Maintains sufficient inventory of all office and clinical supplies; Ensures all office equipment is regularly maintained and that the facility is kept clean and reflects a professional and safe environment
• Works with ICON leaders to develop and deploy patient care initiatives and operational projects.
• Hires, trains and manages a high-performing team capable of carrying out the operational tasks and responsibilities
•Ensures all patient and company information and data is handled and managed with the upmost confidentiality and security
• Coaches and holds team accountable for adhering to all operational policies and procedures in accordance with all federal, state and local regulations and laws and company policy including HIPAA and OSHA compliance.
• Plans local marketing initiatives; participates in professional societies and activities related to ophthalmology specifically and the health care industry in general.
• Collaborates with Human Resources to ensure personnel policy development and communication to staff to achieve consistency and excellent employee relations.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS (KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES)
• Bachelor’s degree in business administration, medical office management, accounting, finance or related field required; Experience with electronic medical record systems (EMRs) is preferred.
• Minimum of five years’ experience serving in a general management role with full P&L responsibility, including at least 2 years of experience within a clinical, healthcare environment.
• Proficient in Microsoft Office, specifically Excel, Word, and PowerPoint
• Excellent oral and written communication skills • Excellent problem solving skills
• Ability to write reports, proposals, business correspondence, and policies and procedures
• Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills
• Ability to work effectively and present information and respond to questions from groups of colleagues, clients, customers, and physicians
• Excellent customer relationship skills
• Commitment to model the ICON values at all times.
PHYSICAL DEMANDS AND WORK ENVIRONMENT
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the functions. While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear. The employee frequently is required to use hands or fingers, handle or feel objects, tools, or controls. The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk, sit, and reach with hands and arms. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this position include close vision, distance vision, and the ability to adjust focus. The noise level in the work environment is usually low to moderate.
This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by the employee(s) incumbent in this position. Employees will be required to follow any other job-related instructions and to perform any other job-related duties requested by any person authorized to give instructions or assignments. All duties and responsibilities are essential functions and requirements and are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities. To perform this job successfully, the incumbents will possess the skills, aptitudes, and abilities to perform each duty proficiently. Some requirements may exclude individuals who pose a direct threat or significant risk to the health or safety of themselves or others. The requirements listed in this document are the minimum levels of knowledge, skills, or abilities. This document does not create an employment contract, implied or otherwise, other than an “at will” relationship.
<b>Andrej Babis</b> is a gangster oligarch, and a terrible populist: he will promise anything, that will help him elected... In reality, he supports immigration of cheap work-force for his industries and agricultures...
He bought for his huge money a perfect PR agency, his team is really professional...
One of most rich men in our country, started his bussiness career by stealing Agrofert bussiness from his former Slovak employee by ante-dating stockholders meeting and increasing stock amount, thus forcing previous owner into minority, continued by renting money from state bank for buying a large petrochemical industry with pledge of the stocks, but managed to get the stocks into different company and empty eggshell company with astronomic debt went to bankruptcy, leaving him with large petro-chemical bussiness... Then managed to evade huge taxes by trading untaxed stocks between his companies in recent years. A career leading to being one of richest oligarchs in our small country, full of fiddles and frauds...
Meanwhile as a minister of finances aiming at better tax collection from middle-class by electronic tax evidence (every shop must send online information about the trade and print government-server response code on the bill)...
All this over-taxation of middle class while blocking taxation of banks and stock companies, which wanted the other part of the current government coalition, thus protecting the richest...
The other man - <b>Milos Zeman</b>, is Czech Trump. He was elected by country people against huge media war, against Academy and "Prague cafe" artist clique. Against screaming of all Liberasts, he has good relations with both the West and the East, meeting Putin and Xi Jinping and also British queen, spending a lot of time travelling abroad with a good diplomacy and inland top regions to meeting with people, and is overwhelmingly popular. Zeman is really a wise old man. Formerly a Prognostic institute employee, then prime minister arround 2000.
(But in our country, the President is just a honorary position, the executive power is on government supported by the parliament. President is just "talking"... Sometimes, the Right to Talk is a great achievement in a society, that blocks all dissenter's voices in mass media...)
Living on Czech countryside, I remember last year or even the previous I've seen a pair of niggers, probably tourists. There are <b>no muslims</b> here (probably some are at large cities? There also is one spa city near northern border where is a large community of rich muslims). There are some gypsies drinking and smoking out their brains in pubs, there are Vietnamese diligent retailers (probably some 5-10 families in the town), and 97% white people...
And it's overwhelmingly <b>safe and calm</b> place. There are no places 40 km arround me where I would not dare to go alone on midnight. Even the capital Prague is a pretty safe place, overall we are among 10 most safe countries in the world...
About arms - there is 3% people with gun permits. In our village, the Hunter (woodman) has a long gun. It's not much problem to get the permit, if you are sane and somehow healthy person, it requires doctor inspection and police permit... All men above 30 have been serving 2 (later 1) years in millitary service, unless they worked a civil service instead of it (as I did)... Only recently the mandatory 2 or 1 year millitary service has been abandoned, just when entering NATO...
For those still deciding whether to walk or run to the bookstore to purchase a copy of Susan Howe’s latest book, Debths, this Paris Review preview (Susan Howe’s introduction to Debths) may help solidify one’s quest: run. Howe begins the introduction by recalling one ritual from her childhood, summer camp: “When I was eight my […]
Dva bývalé manažery ČEZ obviňuje albánská prokuratura z uzavření nevýhodných smluv se společností Debt Advisory International (DAI).
Mezinárodní firma, která vymáhá pohledávky, prý dohodnutou práci neodvedla, což poškodilo menšinového akcionáře. Jím byl tehdy stát.
Česká policie zároveň vyšetřuje transakci sedmi milionů eur, která v roce 2009 odešla na účet místního lobbisty Nue Kalaje.
My ninety four year old father lives with my oldest sister's family and my niece snapped this photo of her dzeda, our pop, praying on his knees before laying down to sleep. He does this every night and he prays out loud, in Russian. Since my niece hears these prayers most every night she wanted to capture the moment on film. I'm glad she did.
In trying to decide what to share on this Father's Day the thought came to me to share Jesus' instruction to us on how we ought to pray.
Matthew 6:6-13 (ESV)
6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.9 Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
(For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.)
This last sentence is not included in the ESV but is in the KJV and probably the ending we have all learned.
If you are stuck in your prayer life and wonder where to start try starting with this prayer. We have a heavenly Father who loves us and who hears us when we acknowledge Him as our Father and cry out to Him for mercy and help.
Happy Father's Day!
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Two weeks after announcing a regulatory rewrite of the gainful employment rule for non-degree career education programs, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced late Friday that she was delaying key provisions of the existing rule.
The department will give those programs until July 2018 to disclose information such as graduate employment rates or debt levels to prospective students, a year later than originally scheduled. And it will also extend a deadline to file alternate earnings appeal, citing a Wednesday court order in a lawsuit brought by cosmetology schools.
A Federal Register notice from the department indicated that within 30 days it would set new deadlines for alternate earnings appeals. Those appeals allow programs to address underreported income from tips or self-employment for the debt-to-earnings ratios which determine if they pass or fail under the rule's metrics.
DeVos said the announcement followed through on her promise of a regulatory reset. But critics said it showed she intended to slow walk the gainful employment rule to death. The announcement came late on a Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend for many -- and comes amid concerns from critics of for-profit higher education that the Trump administration is destroying regulations that, even if flawed, were a serious attempt to protect students.
In a statement, the secretary said the gainful employment had been repeatedly challenged by educational institutions covered by the rules and overturned by the courts.
"We need to get this right for our students, and we need to get this right for our institutions of higher education," DeVos said. "Once fully implemented, the current rules would unfairly and arbitrarily limit students’ ability to pursue certain types of higher education and career training programs. We need to expand, not limit, paths to higher education for students, while also continuing to hold accountable those institutions that do not serve students well.”
Gainful employment data released in January showed that about a tenth of all programs assessed under the rule failed the department's metrics. And most of those failing programs were from the for-profit sector.
In the court order this week, federal district court Judge Rudolph Contreras instructed the department to give cosmetology programs more time to file appeals. But he wrote that his narrowly tailored ruling "avoids upending the entire GE regulatory scheme."
“This is a willful misreading of what the judge wrote,” said Ben Miller, senior director for postsecondary education at the Center for American Progress. “It’s a sham excuse where clearly the goal was set in advance. They will grasp for anything to avoid meaningful accountability here, regardless of how spurious the rationale.”
Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of Career Education Colleges and Universities, the chief lobby group of for-profit colleges, applauded the delay of the rule's provisions.
"The rule is clearly flawed. Recent studies and court rulings prove this rule needs to be revisited," he said. "Now, through public comments and negotiated rulemaking, all stakeholders involved have a chance to identify the shortcomings of this regulation. We look forward to working with the Department and others to constructively develop a new source of information for all college career programs that shares with students the incomes for their chosen profession and the average amount of debt for their academic studies.”
Those who graduated from college in 2008 often say it wasn’t the best time to be entering the working world. As graduates were searching for those first jobs, the economy was shedding them and the world was plunging into recession. If those prospects weren’t dire enough, many of those graduates were also carrying debt from student loans.
Those millennials, however unlucky, fared better than their non-college-educated counterparts, though.
A new longitudinal study from the National Center for Education Statistics -- the primary collector of student data on the federal level -- found these results by taking a sample of students who were high school sophomores in the 2001-02 academic year and tracking them through 2012. The nationally representative sample was measured for a variety of factors -- co-habiting, marriage, unemployment, underemployment, student debt carried -- but the economic breakdown in those categories between those who attained completed a postsecondary degree and those who didn’t is especially telling.
Although those who attended college fared better, the 2008 recession was not kind to the study’s cohort of millennials: 41 percent reported being unemployed at least once between 2009 and 2012, a number that cut across the range of those studied, considering 52 percent had achieved some sort of postsecondary credential, and 33 percent had attained a bachelor’s degree.
Even though the timing of graduating might not have been ideal, attaining a four-year degree was still a good economic move for these millennials, on average, according to the report, which attempted to control for outside factors in its economic modeling. Put simply, even in the face of a recession, going to college still paid off.
“Individuals with less education had higher unemployment rates, while those with more education had higher employment rates and were more likely to be working full-time,” the report stated.
By 2012, 78 percent of those who had earned a bachelor’s degree were working more than 35 hours a week. Eleven percent were working fewer than 35 hours, 5 percent were unemployed and 6 percent were out of the labor force.
Of the members of the cohort who only had high school degrees, 64 percent were employed 35 hours or more a week, with 12 percent working fewer than 35 hours -- similar to the number of those with a bachelor’s degree -- and 14 and 10 percent were unemployed and out of the labor force, respectively.
In addition to employment, earning power was also differentiated along educational lines. Those surveyed who had a bachelor’s degree earned, on average, $17 an hour. Those surveyed with a high school diploma earned, on average, $13. (The study also found disparities in pay when accounting for race and gender, as well as socioeconomic background.)
The study notes that it’s still early to be drawing overly expansive conclusions from its data, however.
“It is important to note that this section only addresses cohort members’ early career and labor market outcomes,” it reads. “At age 25-26, many individuals are just starting their careers; some are still enrolled in undergraduate or graduate studies; and others will return to school for additional training later in their careers.”
Still, as the study notes, early labor data is often correlated with later outcomes.
By 2012, 83 percent of those in the cohort were employed, 11 percent were looking for jobs and 7 percent were out of the work force.
The study offered two ways to measure underemployment: based on whether a person’s posted job requirement was less than what that person had, and whether the person’s job was related to what they studied in college.
Neither of these methods is perfect -- after all, 20 percent of those surveyed with associate degrees said they were working in a job that required a bachelor’s degree, and people switch careers and find different fields to work in other than their field of study -- but they’re correlated with underemployment.
As many as 35 percent of those surveyed with a bachelor’s degree were estimated to be potentially underemployed by the first measure, with 16 percent working in a job that only required an undergraduate certificate, and 19 percent working in a job that only required an associate degree. Only 44 percent of those with a bachelor’s degree reported working in a field that was closely related to their major.
Ultimately, the results of the study point to the largely agreed-upon takeaway that -- although economic uncertainty remains, policy prescriptions surrounding higher education abound and debt often has to be taken on in the process of seeking a degree -- those with college degrees go farther economically.
Maybe I’m a bad feminist, but I was on vacation and away from social media when the controversy at Hypatia blew up. Only when I returned to the office late in May and confronted my overflowing email box did I catch up on Rebecca Tuvel’s controversial article on “transracialism” and the ensuing outcry over it: the open letter to Hypatia calling for its retraction, the mea culpa from some of the journal’s associate editors, the defense of the article by the editor, the gleeful crowings of the mainstream press about the pettiness of the intellectual elite and, finally, a second open letter, from a group of what might be described as materialist progressives, decrying the signatories to the first open letter.
I had to swallow the story whole, rather than a course at a time. As a result, I’m not even sure I can even digest it all. Some points from both sides of the argument seem relevant, others not so much. The decibel level doesn’t help anything. Still, this question of how language may harm by (ostensibly) violating identity claims has become so prominent that I feel obliged to try to reckon with it.
I don’t work in philosophy or in critical race or sexuality studies, so I found my way into the contretemps by extracting a few potential teaching moments from it, focusing on the open letter’s criticisms of Hypatia’s editorial process and its call for changes to the same. Some of those issues are specific to Tuvel’s article, but a couple are technical problems -- with conceptual ramifications -- that every scholar deals with at least occasionally. Thinking about how to walk my graduate students through them, I hoped, would help me engage this controversy without getting bogged down in it.
The Obscured Bread-Crumb Trail
First, and maybe most banal, is a matter of citation practices, an aspect of scholarly knowledge production that I just can’t seem to convince my students is both fascinating and vitally important. Some of the most spectacular attacks on Tuvel’s article center on her use of the name that celebrity transwoman Caitlyn Jenner was assigned at birth, a process known as “deadnaming.” The author of the original open letter argued that by referring to Jenner in this way, Tuvel “uses vocabulary and frameworks not recognized, accepted or adopted by the conventions of the relevant subfields.” Tuvel defended herself by noting that Jenner uses that name in her memoir but admitted that was an insider privilege she’d unthinkingly claimed for herself, thus “perpetuat[ing] harm” to Jenner personally and to the trans community over all.
Reasonable people, both cis and transgender, might disagree about whether and how such a practice does harm. (It could also be argued that celebrities, by definition, sacrifice some rights to privacy that the regular folks retain.) When in doubt, it’s certainly most polite to use a person’s preferred name when referring to them directly.
But what about the more complicated case of referring to a trans author -- and to works that cite them -- prior to their official transition? If citations are a sort of intellectual bread-crumb trail that we leave for our readers to follow, how we name authors and represent other scholars’ engagements with their work is important, lest our own readers get lost in the forest.
For example: sociologist Raewyn Connell’s website notes she is the author of 1987’s Gender and Power (Stanford University Press), which was published under the “gender-neutral name R. W. Connell.” The copyright pages lists “R. W. Connell” as the author, as do WorldCat and the publisher’s website. How should the book appear in a bibliography? Contemporary scholarship that engaged with Gender and Power’sarguments referred to the author with the male name assigned to her at birth, and the Amazon.com page for Gender and Power does the same. Is quoting that scholarship “deadnaming”? If so, should we make a journalistic “silent correction” when we quote? Or selectively edit quoted material so that names never appear? Should the difference between the names across time be explained in a footnote, or does that, too, deadname?
This example is particularly real for me as I have directed many undergrad and grad students to Raewyn Connell’s work on masculinity, only to hear that “our library doesn’t own her book, so can I use this one by R. W. Connell instead?” That’s an easy correction in the classroom context, but it speaks to the problem of the obscured bread-crumb trail. The open letter’s call to Hypatia to “commit to developing best practices for naming trans individuals as authors and subjects of scholarly discussions” acknowledges as much. Systematic practices in this area, consistent across disciplines, would indeed be useful.
The other teaching issue raised in the open letter is more complex. Tuvel’s critics argued vehemently that her work “fail[ed] to seek out and sufficiently engage with scholarly work by those who are most vulnerable to the intersection of racial and gender oppressions (women of color) in its discussion of ‘transracialism.’” It thus fell short of Hypatia’sstated commitment to exploring a diversity of gendered and sexed experiences.
In the public commentary on the controversy, “sufficiency” has featured prominently. On one side are scholars who believe that Tuvel’s inattention to, for example, critical race theory allowed her to make a facile, bad-faith argument. Taking concepts like embodied racism and micropolitics seriously would have complicated or perhaps invalidated her own claims, this logic goes. To get around that problem, she just avoided this body of thought altogether. Compounding that intellectual gaffe is a political one: by not engaging critical race theorists, many of whom are people of color, Tuvel re-marginalized a vulnerable population and reaffirmed her white privilege.
On the other side of a yawning chasm are those who claim that as an untenured member of a philosophy department, writing for a philosophy journal (albeit a feminist one that describes itself as “richly interdisciplinary in orientation”), Tuvel is not beholden to critical race theory. Her article responds primarily to the work of one major figure in her field, feminist philosopher Sally Haslanger, who writes about race and gender from a foundation in epistemology, with attention to philosophies of justice. It is to these branches of philosophy -- not other scholarship, and not the social locations of other scholars -- that Tuvel owes deference. Many academics who have staked out this position seem to be professional philosophers aware of and, to various extents, comfortable with their field’s traditional (some might call it airless) rhetorical and argumentative style.
Could Tuvel have opened up her article to more fully consider and engage with critical race theory’s ideas about power and identity? That is a serious teaching question -- let’s answer it first in a deeply prosaic fashion. To wit: while calls for paradigm-shifting interdisciplinary scholarship have increased over the past few decades, the word limit for a typical journal article has not. Hypatia’s word limit is 8,000. Excluding citations, Tuvel’s piece comes in just at 7,900. Engaging with such ideas would have blown her word count out of the water.
Lurking beneath the language of “sufficiency” is a more troubling question: Should Tuvel have written the article without such engagement? Signatories to the open letter clearly believe she should not have. To write without such engagement is to cause harm.
Here is where the teaching issues of academic genres and audiences come into play. Though it’s not analytic philosophy by a long shot, Tuvel’s article is quite discipline specific -- a straight-up thought experiment that proceeds precisely along philosophy’s traditional “if A, then B; if B, then C or D, but not E” lines.
There’s a reason I’m a cultural historian: the abstractness of the one philosophy class I took as an undergraduate drove me nuts. All the arguments seemed true, but none of them seemed accurate -- at least not to the messy reality that I lived in. This sense came back to me on reading Tuvel, but 30-odd years later, I understand that this is just what philosophers do. Or rather, it’s something they can do.
And for good or ill, it seems it’s the thing Rebecca Tuvel wanted to do in this article. (Although I’d wager she thinks somewhat differently now.) Both her CV and her online presence suggest Tuvel is well read in bodies of scholarship -- like critical race theory -- that could have informed and given shape to an argument about transracialism. Apparently she didn’t want to write that article. For whatever reason, Tuvel seems to have been uninterested in authoring an article that used critical race theory to complicate Sally Haslanger’s claims about the constructed nature of race and gender. If we acknowledge that lack of interest, we can move to ask the real teaching question: Is it wrong?
The Act of Saying “I”
As I mentioned above, I may be a bad feminist: most of my graduate teaching shies away from questions of feminist methodology and focuses instead on writing. Specifically, to quote Joan Didion, I teach students that “writing is the act of saying ‘I.’” Within the context of graduate teaching, this means helping students figure out what they are arguing about complex and multifaceted topics with which they tend to have, in clinical mental health terms, deeply codependent relationships. On the road to determining what they are arguing, they must also decide what they are not arguing.
There’s a feminist dimension to this teaching, obviously: bell hooks calls the process “coming to voice”; it’s a version of “empowerment.” We invite graduate students to leave behind their undergraduate lives as talented assignment completers and become instead genuine authors. We succeed in that task when they lose some of their deference to us and the other clamorous voices they have encountered in their course work. Confidence in their own author-ity allows them to say both “this is my argument” and “that could be my argument, but it is not.”
Making such claims is scary; they entail a lot of responsibility. Traditional feminist pedagogy -- indebted to the ethics of care -- provides an easy jumping-off point for discussing the responsibility an author has to sources and audience. We have theory, we have practices, we have models for how to respect those parties.
But we lack a feminist discourse that grapples with the fact that, as Didion explains, writing is -- must be -- “an aggressive, even a hostile act … an invasion, an imposition of the writer's sensibility on the reader's most private space.” To be clear, that aggression inheres not in the things one says (although one can certainly say aggressive things), but in the act of clearing space (in one’s head, on the page, in the scholarly conversation) for one’s own vision and voice. Writing in standard academic English, “the act of saying ‘I’” always already occurs over and against the voices of others. Writers dialogue with some of those voices, but to most of the others, they must say, “That could be my argument, but it is not.”
I’ve developed a few tried and true practices for shifting students out of assignment-completion mode and into the act of saying “I.” Extreme prejudice against passive-voice writing is one. A relentless classroom focus on “argument literacy” is another: understanding the university as an example of what former Modern Language Association President Gerald Graff calls “an argument culture” trains students in professionalism as well as in rhetoric. Teaching counterexamples -- writers like Didion, or Michelle Cliff, Gloria Anzaldúa and Alison Bechdel, who make their points through rhetorical means disallowed in scholarly discourse (narrative, collage, purposeful ambiguity) -- is one more. But I’ve never had a real-life case study of the costs entailed by saying, “This -- not that -- is my argument.” Tuvel’s piece presents a perfect teaching case, and it will be interesting to try it out in the classroom come fall.
A focus on these teaching issues does not resolve the existential question of “harm.” It doesn’t even shed light on the more mechanistic question of what constitutes “sufficient engagement.” At this stage of the game, those questions may not have answers -- at least not good ones. But I like to think that if anything makes me a good feminist, it’s a stubborn resistance to bad answers. For that reason, I’ll be eager to see if, once the heat of the summer dies down, other commentators on the Hypatia controversy can extract a little light from it all.
Trysh Travis an associate professor at the Center for Gender, Sexualities and Women’s Studies Research at the University of Florida.
China’s mounting debt problem recently moved into the spotlight when Moody’s downgraded the country’s sovereign rating. But was the downgrade really warranted?
Though China’s overall debt-to-GDP ratio is not an outlier among emerging-market economies, and its levels of household and government debt are moderate, its corporate debt-to-GDP ratio, at 170%, is the highest in the world, twice as large as that of the United States. China’s corporate leverage (debt-to-equity) ratio is also very high, and rising.
A high and rising debt-to-GDP ratio, which goes hand in hand with a high and rising leverage ratio, can lead to financial crisis through three channels. The first is the deterioration of the quality of financial institutions’ assets, and the decline in the price of those assets. With institutions forced by mark-to-market accounting to write off an equal amount of equity, the leverage ratio rises, leading to a further deterioration in asset quality and decline in asset prices.
The second channel is refusal by investors, concerned about the rising leverage ratio, to roll over short-term debt. This causes the money market to seize up, forcing banks and other financial institutions to tighten credit and raise interest rates, thereby further weakening borrowers’ debt-service capacity. Defaults proliferate and the volume of nonperforming loans rises.
The third way a high debt-to-GDP ratio can lead to crisis is by driving banks and nonbank financial institutions, unable to secure sufficient capital, into bankruptcy. In this case, the public could panic and withdraw their cash, fueling a run on deposits that could lead to the collapse of the entire financial system.
But none of these scenarios seems like a real risk for China, at least not in the foreseeable future. China is, after all, a highly frugal country, with gross savings totaling 48% of GDP. As a result, loanable funds are abundant, and funding costs can be kept low. Therefore, China has more scope than other countries to maintain a high debt-to-GDP ratio.
Moreover, because China’s debt consists overwhelmingly of loans by state-owned banks to state-owned enterprises, depositors and investors feel confident (rightly or wrongly) that their assets carry an implicit government guarantee. And not only is the government’s fiscal position relatively strong; it also has $3 trillion in foreign-exchange reserves – a sum that far exceeds China’s overseas debts. China’s government could, if it so chose, bail out banks in trouble, preventing contagious bankruptcies.
Mitigating the debt risk further, China’s capital account remains largely closed, enabling the government to block capital flight and gain sufficient time to deal with unexpected financial events. It helps, too, that the People’s Bank of China stands ready to inject liquidity into the money market whenever necessary.
None of this is to say that China’s high level of corporate debt is not a cause for concern. But it does imply that deleveraging may not be as urgent as many seem to think, especially at a time when China has another, more pressing policy imperative to pursue – one that could be undermined by rapid deleveraging.
For years, China has been in the grips of overcapacity-driven deflation. The producer-price index (PPI) has declined in year-on-year terms for 54 consecutive months, while the annual rise in the consumer-price index (CPI) is hovering around 1.5%. In October 2016, PPI growth turned positive, suggesting that the debt-deflationary spiral may have been broken. But, after a few good months, the sequential growth rate of PPI has turned negative again, suggesting that now is no time to test fate on deflation.
This is all the more true at a time when the government is clamping down on runaway real-estate prices – an effort that is likely to deter investment, thereby weakening economic growth in the next six months. In this context, a wrong move could tip China back into a debt-deflationary spiral – which would pose a more acute threat to China’s economic stability than the risks stemming from the debt-to-GDP ratio.
Still, Moody’s points out, China’s debt-to-GDP ratio is a serious problem. Moreover, to justify its downgrade, it argues that the government’s efforts to maintain robust growth will result in sustained policy stimulus, which will contribute to even higher debt throughout the economy.
But this reading fails to distinguish between the long-term trend of the debt-to-GDP ratio when the economy grows at its potential rate and the real-time debt-to-GDP ratio when the economy grows at a below-potential rate. When an economy is growing at roughly its potential rate, as China’s is today, it makes no sense to lower the growth target below that rate.
To be sure, China does have reason to implement economic stimulus. The overcapacity that, until recently, dominated the Chinese economy was rooted partly in a lack of aggregate demand (and partly in wasteful overinvestment).
In an ideal world, China’s government could respond by stimulating household consumption. But, in the absence of further reforms in areas like social security, growth in consumer spending is bound to be slow. In the meantime, the government must rely on an expansionary fiscal policy to encourage infrastructure investment, even if it means raising the debt-to-GDP ratio.
Such an initiative should also entail improved financing opportunities – including lower borrowing costs – for small and medium-size enterprises. Meanwhile, the rise in the corporate debt-to-GDP ratio could be stemmed by efforts to improve capital efficiency, boost enterprise profitability, narrow the difference between credit flows and credit-financed investment, increase the share of equity finance, and align the real interest rate with the natural interest rate.
There is no doubt that China’s debts – especially its corporate debts – are a serious problem, and must be curbed. But China must balance that imperative with the more urgent need to maintain a growth rate more or less in line with potential, and prevent the economy from being tipped back into a debt-deflationary spiral. So far, China has managed to juggle these two imperatives. One hopes that it has time to address the challenges before it drops a ball.
Yu Yongding, a former president of the China Society of World Economics and director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, served on the Monetary Policy Committee of the People’s Bank of China from 2004 to 2006. Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2017, and published here with permission.
The report “World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision” was published by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs last week. It suggests that the global population will reach 9.8 billion by the year 2050.
The revised report was a response to high rates of population growth in Africa and India.
The UN report predicts, the populations of 26 African countries will double between 2017 and 2050.
Nigeria, in particular is projected to surpass the U.S. as the third most populous country shortly before 2050.
China, the most populous country in the world for a while now, might see its population size overtaken by that of India by 2024.
The world population grows by around 83 million people each year. This in itself presents a lot of challenges around issues such as food security and sustainability.
Just last week, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index included China’s A-shares as part of its portfolio.
The index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) and is designed to measure equity market performance in global emerging markets.
The agreement to admit mainland-listed stocks, thereby allowing them to be traded by foreigners, comes after China’s three failed attempts at expanding its global market influence.
Analysts have said that China’s inclusion on the Emerging Markets Index could lead to as much as US$12 billion of capital inflows. This is because many overseas investors measure the performance of their portfolios against MSCI indexes and are obliged to buy shares in them.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission stated that the inclusion demonstrates international investors’ confidence in a stable Chinese economy with better prospects and in the steadiness of China’s financial market.
MSCI said the move has “broad support” from international institutional investors and was the result of a loosening of restrictions enacted by China on foreign ownership of ‘A’ shares yuan-denominated stock in mainland China-based companies. Ownership of the shares had once been limited to mainlanders.
Airbus and Boeing have been involved in a 13-year World Trade Organisation (WTO) battle over illegal state aid.
Most recently, the WTO’s compliance panel has rejected several EU claims that the US had failed to withdraw all illegal subsidies to Boeing.
The WTO found all but one of the 29 issues highlighted by the EU to be in compliance with global trade rules.
Both sides are likely to appeal against parts of Friday’s ruling. That would take the EU case to the WTO’s appellate body, which is already considering a separate US case over state aid to Airbus.
Though there seems to be no winner from this the latest round, one can argue that it is ideal for both parties to stick to the status quo for the time being, rather than to lose a battle that could costs hundreds of millions.
Overall, Airbus maintained that illegal state support for Boeing had cost it roughly $100bn in sales over time.
These disputes raise questions over what constitutes protectionism and what’s considered appropriate as part of an industry structure.
Aircraft businesses are government-owned/linked, which also means it makes little sense to think that the owners cannot get involved. How does this differ from engagements by other state-owned or state-linked enterprises in the international business arena?
On a more fundamental level, to what extent do we allow governments to participate in business?
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced that his government is ready to cooperate with China on the Belt and Road Initiative, but only under the right conditions.
Previously Japan, along with India had indicated they were not keen to get involved in the China-initiated project.
Japan’s involvement is contingent on the projects adhering to international norms.
Abe emphasized that it is critical for infrastructure to be open to use by all, and to be developed through transparent and fair procurement. Projects must also be economically viable and the debt sustainable.
Given the strained bilateral relationship that Japan and China have had in recent times, the slight shift in Japan’s stance represents a significant move to smooth the relationship. It also shows a willingness to continue to engage with Asia more deeply, and to avoid being left behind.
The renminbi weakened 6.5% against the US dollar last year, its worst year ever.
But late last year, China tightened capital controls to curb downward pressure on the currency. That effort has largely succeeded, with the renminbi appreciating 1.2% in 2017.
Late last month, China’s central bank changed the way it guides the renminbi exchange rate, a move designed to enhance the government’s ability to prevent renminbi depreciation at a time when authorities are still concerned about capital flight.
In the recently revised formula, dealers will incorporate a “counter-cyclical adjustment factor” in their quotes, according to a statement on the website of the China Foreign Exchange Trading System.
The move will hedge against pro-cyclical fluctuation in market sentiment and alleviate the potential for ‘herd behaviour’ in the foreign exchange market.
The People’s Bank of China permits the US dollar’s value against the renminbi to fluctuate by 2% above or below a so-called “central parity rate” published each morning, also known as the midpoint or fixing. The midpoint is ostensibly formulated by compiling quotes from a group of dealer banks, but the price is understood to be largely determined by the central bank.
Here's my summary of the key events from overnight that affect New Zealand, with news of a major bond market realignment underway today.
But first in Washington, which now can't seem to get anything done amid partisan politics, and a Republican Party that seems to be fracturing, progress on revising their debt limit has stopped, and the Congressional Budget Office now says they will run out of funding authority in early October. The same office is projecting sharply wider budget deficits amid static, low growth over the next ten years.
However, the final data for the American first quarter growth is out today and that saw it revised up to +1.4% from +1.2%. That was due largely to a jump in consumer spending, providing a slightly more encouraging outlook for growth this year.
But there are plenty of reasons to believe the current dynamics in the American economy don't bode well for future growth prospects.
There was Chinese balance of payments data out overnight for the March quarter of 2017. Although there were few surprises, they did note that their external liabilities now total US$4.8 tln.
In the EU people and businesses are feeling quite good again. Their economic sentiment indicator has reached its highest level in almost ten years. Consumer sentiment is leading the resurgence.
In Germany, consumer confidence rose in June to its highest level in 16 years. At the same time, data for German inflation showed a quickening pace, and now up to +1.6%.
In Australia, many businesses and households are about to get a painful surprise when their energy bills arrive in July. There are reports that some will face a tripling of prices. There will be an outcry, for sure.
In New York, the UST 10yr yield is sharply higher yet again today and now at 2.27%. Bond prices are falling as investors seem to be resetting their expectations for the end of QE, and are coming to accept that interest rates are in fact going to rise. The reset is also affecting equity prices today.
The price of oil is little changed today, settling at just under US$45 a barrel, while the Brent benchmark is now just over US$47.
The gold price has slipped again and is now at US$1,243/oz.
And the Kiwi dollar has lost ground as well from yesterday's jump, and is now at 72.9 USc. On the cross rates we are lower as well at 95 AU¢, and at 63.7 euro cents. The TWI-5 index has slipped to 76.6.
If you want to catch up with all the changes yesterday, we have an update here.
Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.
MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
No changes today.
DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
No changes today.
BUSINESS OUTLOOK ANZ Business Outlook Survey for June, out today, showed that a net 25% businesses are optimistic about the year ahead compared to 15% last month. A net 43% expected better times for their own business, up from 38% in May. While investment intentions, export intentions, profit expectations and pricing intentions were up, residential construction and expectations of ease of getting credit were lower.
THE VALUE OF SUNSHINE
Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust has published first of its kind research that tries to estimate the value sunshine expousure adds to a property. The premise is that a house with more sunshine has a higher value and Motu estimates that "each additional hour of direct sunlight exposure for a house per day, on average across the year, adds 2.4% to a dwelling’s market value." By attaching a value to sunlight exposure, the research may enable home owners, who lose sunlight exposure as a result a developments around their house, to receive monetary compensation.
IMF ON LVR
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says that the Loan to Value ratio (LVR) limits imposed by the Reserve Bank have helped ease house prices but have not been sufficient in reducing the risk that borrowers face from rising interest rates or economic shocks that reduce household incomes. Other benefits of the LVR are lower mortgage lending by banks and more better-quality-loans being held on the bank's books.
INSURERS NEED TO UP THEIR GAME
A recent survey by the RBNZ showed that, from a sample of 36 of the 89 insurers, the overall level of compliance, in regards to disclosure rules around financial strength and solvency information, was well short of minimum requirements. 53% insurers comply at a low to poor level, 22% are performing well but there is room for improvement and only three demonstrated excellent level of compliance.
AUSTRALIAN HOUSEHOLD WEALTH
As per the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data, Australian households have a combined net worth of AU$9.6 tln, which is made up of AU$6.6 tln of land and dwellings, AU$4.8 bln of financial assets and AU$2.3 tln of long term borrowings. In the March quarter, household assets outgrew households debt and resulted in a 2.4% increase in net worth. Total household net worth in New Zealand was about NZ$1.0 tln, with NZ$1.2 tln of assets and NZ$0.2 tln of liabilities. However, New Zealand numbers are only available as at June 2015.
FIFTH STRAIGHT DAY
The People's Bank of China has skipped open market operations for the fifth straight day, citing "relatively high" liquidity levels in the banking system and increasing fiscal expenditures near month end. Reversing repos will drain a net 60 bln yuan from the market.
WHOLESALE RATES RISE
Local rates are again higher and steeper, following global moves overnight. The 2 year rate was up +3 bps to 2.27%, 5 year was up +5 bps to 2.79% and 10 year was up +5 bps to 3.26%. The 90 day bank bill rate is up +1 bps to 1.96%.
NZ DOLLAR HIGHER
The NZD is higher than this time yesterday at 73.2 USc and has spent most of the day above the 73.0 USc level. On the cross rates we are trading at 95.7 AUc and at 64.3 euro cents. That takes the TWI-5 to 77.11.
You can now see an animation of this chart. Click on it, or click here.
There are many reasons you might be looking to work from home. Maybe you have young kids, and you want to work while keeping an eye on them. Maybe you've always dreamed of running your own company and starting an online business at home is the way to get there. Maybe you have a spouse who is your household's primary breadwinner and you just need a little extra cash. Or maybe you need a lot of extra cash to kill off some debt with a side gig.
Debt Purchaser and Collection Agency with multi-state collections team, is looking for a full-time in-house counsel position for Ohio collection matters with at... From Indeed - Wed, 07 Jun 2017 20:00:01 GMT - View all Columbus, OH jobs
Back in December, I had the opportunity to review Ken’s financial profile. He’s an airline pilot who earns about $100,000 a year. At 36 years old, his main financial gripe is that he’s tired of carrying around his $45,000 student loan debt. (Can you blame him?) With ample savings, my advice to Ken was transfer […]
Rev. of Ainsi va le Monde. A Poem. Inscribed to Robert Merry, Esq; A.M. By Laura Maria. 4to. II p. price Is. 6d. Bell. 1790.[Link to Robinson's poem]
The title of this poem did not give us an idea of its tendency, we except the inscription; but we presume it alludes to the late triumph of liberty: we shall therefore give an Invocation to Freedom as a specimen, passing over the many elegant compliments addressed to Mr. Merry in flowing numbers. P. 10.
"Freedom--- blithe goddess of the rainbow vest,
In dimpled smiles and radiant beauties drest,
I court thee from thy azure-spangled bed
Where ether floats about thy winged head;
Where tip-toe pleasure swells the choral song,
While gales of odour waft the cherub throng;
On every side the laughing loves prepare
Enamel'd wreaths to bind thy flowing hair:
For thee the light-heel'd graces fondly twine,
To clasp thy yielding waist, a zone divine!
Venus for thee her crystal altar rears,
Deck'd with fresh myrtle---gemm'd with lovers' tears;
Apollo strikes his lyre's rebounding strings,
Responsive notess divine Cecelia sings,
The tuneful sisters prompt the heavenly choir,
Thy temple glitters with Promethean fire.
The sacred priestess in the centre stands,
She strews the sapphire floor with flow'ry bands.
See! from her shrine electric incense rise;
Hark! "Freedom" echoes thro' the vaulted skies.
The goddess speaks! O mark the blest decree,---
Tyrants shall fall triumphant man be free!"
[Analytical Review 23 (February 1796) 293-294]
Rev. of Angelina. A Novel. In a Series of Letters. By Mrs. Mary Robinson. 3 vols. 12mo. About 900 pages. Price 10s. 6d. in boards. Hookham and Carpenter. 1796.
Our readers, we doubt not, will be pleased to see, that we are indebted to Angelina to the elegant pen of Mrs. R. To the merit of the author, as a poet and a novelist, we have already, on several occasions, born our testimony; and we conceive that the production , which is now before us, will in no respect detract from her well-earned reputation. Unwilling by anticipation to diminish the pleasure which our readers may receive from the perusal of these volumes, we forbear to enter on the subject of the piece. We shall only observe, that it's principal object is to expose the folly and the iniquity of those parents who attempt to compel the inclinations of their children into whatever conjugal connections their mercenary spirit may choose to prescribe, and to hold forth to just detestation the cruelty of those, who scruple not to barter a daughter's happiness, perhaps through life, for a founding title or a glittering coronet. The characters in the piece are in general naturally pourtrayed and distinctly marked. The most prominent figure, though the novel bears the name of Angelina, is Sophia Clarendon, a young lady of amiable disposition, and highly accomplished. Her father, sir Edward, a rich city merchant, is a perfect picture of gothic ignorance and barbarity, combined with that pride of wealth, and contemptible ambition, which characterize low and vulgar minds. Belmont, a young man, who had been educated as an orphan, and on whom Sophia places her affections, is distinguished by the ardency of a reciprocal attachment, the nicest sense of honour, an enlightened mind, with a generous and undaunted spirit. His rival, lord Acreland, though chargeable with some enormous errours, is, notwithstanding, a character rather weak than vicious, - the dupe of the malignant machinations of his sister lady Selina. In the portrait of Angelina we behold an assemblage of almost every excellence which can adorn the female mind, beaming mildly through clouds of affliction and
melancholy. Her situation will interest the feelings of the reader, and the disclosure of her history and character form an agreeable and important scene in the catastrophe. The sentiments contained in these volumes are just, animated, and rational. They breathe a spirit of independence, and a dignified superiority to whatever is unessential to the true respectability and genuine excellence of human beings. The story, though it will not greatly rouse or deeply agitate, is yet sufficiently interesting to excite and prolong the attention of the reader; and the phraseology is at once correct and appropriate. There is one errour however, of which, though to some it may appear trifling, we deem it our duty to admonish the author. The errour we allude to is writing "laying" for "lying," and confounding the active with the neuter verb, which she has oftener than once committed.
[Analytical Review 25 (May 1797) 523]
Rev. of Hubert de Sevrac, a Romance of the eighteenth Century. By Mary Robinson. 3 vols. 12mo. 950 pages. Price 13s. 6d. sewed. Hookham and Co. 1796.
Mrs. Robinson writes so rapidly, that she scarcely gives herself time to digest her story into a plot, or to allow those incidents gradually to grow out of it, which are the fruit of matured invention. She certainly possesses considerable abilities; but she seems to have fallen into an errour, common to people of lively fancy, and to think herself so happily gifted by nature, that her first thoughts will answer her purpose. The consequence is obvious; her sentences are often confused, entangled with superfluous words, half-expressed sentiments, and false ornaments.
In writing the present romance Mrs. Radcliffe appears to be her model; and she deserves to rank as one of her most successful imitators: still the characters are so imperfectly sketched, the incidents so unconnected, the changes of scene so frequent, that interest is seldom excited, and curiosity flags.
After this account we shall not be expected to give the outlines of such an imperfect tale; the object of it is apparently benevolent, but it has no centre out of which the moral, that the vices of the rich produce the crimes of the poor, could naturally emanate.
It is but just, however, to observe, before dismissing the article, that some of the descriptions are evidently sketched by a poet, and irradiations of fancy flash through the surrounding perplexity, sufficient to persuade us, that she could write better, were she once convinced, that the writing of a good book is no easy task.
Robert Merry and The Laurel of Liberty: Merry was the leading figure in the "Della Cruscan" school of poetry, a highly sensuous and decorative style controversial in Britain because of its support of the French Revolution and because of its eroticism. His poem The Laurel of Liberty(1790) was an outspoken celebration of the French Revolution and the immediate inspiration for Robinson's Ainsi Va le Monde; Robinson is also responding to his "Elegy Written on the Plain of Fontenoy" (published in The Poetry of the World, Vol. 1, 1788). Hannah Cowley, in whose plays Robinson had acted, was another leading member of the Della Cruscan school, and she corresponded publicly with Merry (whose pen name was "Della Crusca") as "Anna Matilda" in the World periodical. It was Merry who introduced Robinson to William Godwin in 1796.
John Bell: Bell also published Robinson's first volume of poems, and in 1794 became a war correspondent with the British Army in Flanders (see Hoagwood and Jackson, Introduction to Sappho and Phaon, 4, 11).
[Editorial Note: These three reviews of Robinson's works from the Analytical Review are attributed to Wollstonecraft by Janet Todd in vol. 7 of The Works of Mary Wollstonecraft (On Poetry, Contributions to the Analytical Review, 1788-1797. Two reviews (of Ainsi va le Monde and Angelina) are signed "M," the initial Wollstonecraft often used, and one is unsigned but attributed according to style and subject matter by Todd. Wollstonecraft was invited by Joseph Johnson to contribute to the Analytical starting in 1788, and wrote reviews, eventually serving as editorial assistant, until her death in 1797. For an overview of the questions regarding the attribution of Wollstonecraft's reviews, see Todd's "Prefatory Note" to Vol 7 of The Works of Mary Wollstonecraft, 14-18.]
GC Builder, Custom Single Homes, Medical Offices & Emergency Care, Commercial Buildings. Seller will qualify the business for 2 or 3 years. Seller works only 6 months of the year. Licensed to build in PBC. est.40 years, Clean Record with DBPR, never a complaint. No Advertising all work word of mouth. Working with Veterans building homes. Specialized in Medical Offices Construction, MRI centers, Dental offices, Emergency Care Buildings. Remodeling. Sale will come with any new projects. No Debt. Please refer to listing number 6401-82222 and advisor Fatima Grady when inquiring.
This is one of the top rated and most reputable Commercial Sign companies in the state! A must see!! The company has very clean books and records, only hires the best talent, is debt free, and has over 200 businesses on the active client list! There is $500,000+ in FF&E, $100,000 Inventory, and $150,000 of Accounts Receivable included in the asking price!
Over $27,000 in monthly contracts split between 27 clients with 40 buildings net this commercial cleaning business $300,000 in sales. Begun in 2002, this company has grown to include 13 cleaners who provide janitorial services on weeknights and Saturdays. Each client receives a walk-through to ensure that their needs are met by a tailor-made cleaning plan. No two cleaning schedules are the same, so in addition to regular services, clients are offered carpet cleaning, floor resurfacing and window cleaning as requested.
Due to ailing parents, the seller is planning to move to Los Angeles, but his dedication to customer service and engendering loyalty has built a strong business. However, an easy area for growth would be working with property managers to gain more clients. Commercial cleaning is a strong industry, and a growth plan could include offering services to apartment buildings for cleaning between renters.
This business is perfect for someone wanting to manage a profitable company without being involved in labor. Currently, the owner trains employees, bids jobs and oversees quality control.
A 10% down payment of $25,600 would net $44,938 after debts the first year, representing a 175% return.
Excellent business opportunity for this successful and profitable Liquor Retail business located in an affluent area of Monmouth County, New Jersey. The business is in a modern and active commercial mall on a US State highway with a huge volume of drive by traffic. The facility consists of 2,800 square feet in an attractive commercial mall with numerous other successful retail businesses. This liquor business has a gross yearly income of approximately $881,155 and a dependable net income to the owner operator. The sale includes a long term commercial lease agreement with additional options. This modern attractive facility has been fully upgraded with a clean professional image and can be further developed with an improved marketing campaign. Additionally, a percentage of the gross sales is arrived from their E commerce sales which can be further developed with onsite ownership and an improved marketing plan. This retail business has one -part & one full time employees who are unaware of the pending sale and fully expected to remain post-closing, monthly payroll expense is approximately $4,583. This business transaction includes an assignable commercial lease which expires 2/1/2023, plus additional options available, Cost per square foot is $27.00, with a monthly rent of $6,557, all in, and rent security $15,000. The business fixed assets has an estimated value of approximately $345,000 which is based on equipment and licensing replacement cost. The sale consists of a fully equipped commercial retail store, which includes a valuable distribution liquor license, two web sites, displays, shelving, refrigeration, POS system, tables, computers, software including all the necessary, equipment to maintain the day to day business operation and a list of assets will be supplied to purchaser upon request. The facility has appropriate mall private parking on site as part of the commercial lease. The business is active seven days per week, with hours from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. The sale includes a State Issues Distribution Liquor license, a certificate of occupancy from the municipality, Lotto Approval, and the required license approval from the city. The owner will consider financing the sale to a qualified buyer with the appropriate down payment. This is a solid dependable business opportunity and based on the asking price, required down payment and yearly net income, this business expect to supply a consistent return on investment to the owner operator prior to debt service. Please do not disturb business operation, this sale is absolutely confidential, all viewings are by appointment only and photo does not represent this particular business facility.
Super opportunity for this four-year-old supersized, 24,000 square foot, fully equipped modern franchise fitness center / gym with a 2016 gross income of $1,592,000 and a net yearly income of $697,707 plus discretionary income. This state of the art modern facility offers every possible service in the fitness industry. This business presently has 4,100 registered and contract members and expected to further increase its growth within the next twelve months. The build out cost and high-quality equipment represents a substantial investment which will result in an excellent and continued cash flow to the owner operator. This franchise name and brand has been one of the top leaders in the fitness industry for over 35 years. With 300 licensees in 39 states, the franchise has continued to steadily gain global attention by expanding into 17 different countries worldwide. The first Gym still stands in its original location and celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2010. The franchise name and logo provides its gyms instant recognition and credibility associated with an internationally registered trademark and service mark symbolic with quality in the health and fitness industry. Today, this franchise Gyms International is in the midst of tremendous growth and expansion. One reason for this surge in membership and facilities has been the Gyms ability to not only accommodate the conditioned market, but to also attract mainstream consumers and fitness enthusiast by providing excellent fitness facilities. The famous logo is a sign of credibility across the country and is a testament of where this company began. The Gym Trademark is associated with service and quality, and is apparent throughout each and every facility that opens its doors to over 1.5 million dedicated members. It is not uncommon to see an A-list celebrity training at the Gym, including such stars as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cameron Diaz, John Travolta, Jerome The Bus Bettis, Alex Rodriguez, Mike Tyson and Dwayne The Rock Johnson, to name a few. This fitness center business has twenty-seven full & part time employees who are unaware of the pending sale, fully expected to remain post-closing with a monthly payroll of approximately $22,900. The business has an assignable commercial lease which expires July 2, 2024 plus additional options, with a gross monthly rent of $11,000, cost per square foot $9.50 and rent security $22,000. The sale includes a fully equipped gym fitness center with a huge volume of state of the art exercise equipment required for this service industry, which includes, accounting system, POS software system, computers, various fitness equipment, food service equipment, including all the necessary equipment to maintain the day to day operation. Although the business is in a highly populated urban area the facility has appropriate private and municipal parking on site as part of the commercial lease. The business is active seven days per week, with hours from 5:00 am to 11:00 pm. The sale includes franchise approval, a certificate of occupancy from the municipality, food license and the required license approval from the city. This is a dependable business opportunity and based on the asking price, required down payment and yearly net income, this business expect to supply a solid and continued investment return to the owner operator prior to debt service. Please do not disturb business, this sale is absolutely confidential, the employees are Unaware of the pending sale, all viewings are by appointment only and photo does Not represent this particular business opportunity.
Ultra-modern five-year young pizzeria restaurant on an active commercial avenue in a highly populated municipality city located in Bergen County, New Jersey. The business has a limited delivery service which can be further increased to improve the present income. This particular business has one full & one-part time employees who are unaware of the pending sale and fully expected to remain post-closing, monthly payroll $4,450. The business has an assignable commercial lease which expires 2026-01-01 plus additional options, with a monthly rent of $3,400 and rent security $4,950. The business assets have an estimated value of approximately $170,000, based on the past year corporate tax returns. The sale consists of a fully equipped commercial pizzeria Restaurant which includes a full commercial kitchen, refrigeration & freezer units, POS system, displays, shelving, tables, computers, fire suppression system including all the necessary equipment to maintain the day to day business operation and a list of assets will be supplied to purchaser upon request. The facility has appropriate private mall parking on site as part of the commercial lease. The business is active seven days per week, with hours from 12:00 noon to 10:00 pm. The sale includes a certificate of occupancy from the particular municipality and the required state or city food licenses to conduct its day to day business. This is a dependable business opportunity and based on the asking price, required down payment and yearly net income, this business expects to supply a 32% investment return to the owner operator prior to debt service. Please do not disturb business, this sale is absolutely confidential, the employees are Unaware of the pending sale, all viewings are by appointment only and photo does Not represent this particular business opportunity.
National Cartridge Franchise Business opportunity for this retailer with a dependable gross income of $651,560 and a consistent yearly net income based on an onsite / owner operator and prior to debt service. The company launched this franchise organization 20 year ago and presently has retail locations in more than 50 countries, Cartridge World is an industry leader, delivering high-performance printing products that assist their customers, save time, money and quality printing. Cartridge World is the global leader in selling eco-friendly ink and toner printer cartridges and they assist companies and individuals with all their printing needs and services. The company offers complete printing solutions for businesses and consumers and makes printing easy. Whether you buy ink and toner or printers for your home or business you will find expert advice for all your printing needs. This includes equipment and supplies for busy families and college students to fortune 500 clients for printer installation, repair service, printer monitoring and they offer free delivery. They guarantee their services with a 100 percent customer satisfaction guarantee. By choosing Cartridge World ink and toner cartridges, you can save as much as 30 percent over full-priced cartridges and businesses that partner with Cartridge World can save thousands every year. In addition to eco-friendly ink and toner cartridges, they offer bundled printing solutions to meet all printing needs and they offer one low, easy monthly payment. Their printing products and services can improve your bottom line by hundreds to thousands of dollars and the companys software provides worry-free printing by monitoring your printers. They also have an easy order system which allows ordering online and schedule delivery of all your printing supplies. This purchase transaction requires franchise approval. The company obtains national advertising from the franchise and maintains some basic local newspapers ads. The company has three-part time employees who are unaware of the pending sale and fully expected to remain post-closing and the monthly payroll is approximately $4,000. The assets of this business which consists of a turnkey retail operation has an estimated value of approximately $135,000 which includes various printers, shelving, POS & accounting system, tables, computers, software including all the necessary equipment to maintain the day to day business operation and a list of assets will be supplied to purchaser upon request. The business location has substantial private parking at the facility which is part of the commercial lease. The business is active six days weekly (Monday thru Saturday) hours from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. This business transaction includes the certificate of occupancy from the particular municipality and the required city license to conduct its day to day business. The sale includes a commercial three-year business lease which is assignable and expires 2019-01-01 plus additional options, with a monthly rent of $3,911, cost of square feet is $37.55 and rent security $8,000. This is a dependable business opportunity and based on the asking price, required down payment of approximately $100,000 this business expects to supply a 50% investment return, the first year, to the owner operator, prior to debt service.
It has become popular during these challenging economic times to wonder and speculate about the root cause of that sinking feeling in everyone's financial stomach. Were the lenders so greedy that they overlooked basic risks by lending left and right or were the home buyers so greedy that they overlooked basic risks by going into debt with insane [...]
We’re pleased to bring you the premiere of Smartpunk Records new signees Debt Neglector’s song “Atomicland” (listen below). The song is the title track from the band’s forthcoming debut album, which is scheduled to be released through Smartpunk Records on August 18th. You can pre-order the album here. Debt Neglector vocalist Alex Goldfarb commented on the song: “‘Atomicland’ is […]
IF ONE goal has animated the reform of finance since the crisis of 2007-08, it has been a desire to spare taxpayers from having to pick up the bill for bank failures. Regulators have introduced stress tests to see how banks stand up to shocks; America’s latest round of tests concluded this week (see article). They have forced banks to fund themselves with more equity and to issue layers of debt that are earmarked for losses in the event of severe trouble. They have even asked banks to draw up plans for their own dismemberment in the event of failure.
The first real tests of this post-crisis machinery were always going to happen in Europe, which has been damagingly slow to face up to the sorry state of its banks. One such trial occurred early in June, when the European Central Bank (ECB) declared that Banco Popular, a big Spanish...
As Puerto Rico grapples with a debt crisis, its governor is pushing Congress for statehood — a move that, contrary to critics, he says is necessary to solving the territory's debilitating money woes, NBC News reported.
“We recognize there is a debt problem, we’re dealing with it," Gov. Ricardo Rosselló told NBC Wednesday. "But trying to say, ‘Hey guys, work on that and come back to us,’ is kind of ignoring the root cause of the problem, which is colonialism.”
After a June vote yielded 97 percent support for statehood, albeit with record low turnout, Rosselló has been laying the groundwork in Washington for a delegation to pressure Congress on Puerto Rican statehood.
Rosselló interpreted vague comments from White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer as in support of statehood, but he needs top Republican backers to move the question forward before a busy Congress that goes on break soon.
The Crown left a Horowhenua iwi virtually landless and its most precious taonga extremely degraded, the Waitangi Tribunal has found. Lake Horowhenua and Hokio Stream were in a bad state and the Crown also took advantage of an indebted chief to buy...
"Taiwan was the one area which Beijing has asked Trump to stay away from during his meeting at Mar-a-Lago."
"Since the death of Otto Warmbier, any chance of meetings with North Korea are now off.. and our diplomatic relationship with China took a major step for the worse yesterday."
Bass notes that "China is trying to make marginal changes in its balance of trade with US - buying beef once again and importing a lot more crude oil from the US."
But then Bass shifts to the potentially even more precarious situation under the hood of China's economy. As Reuters reports, China's leaders want the restructuring of their massive non-performing loans problem to address financial risks while avoiding big employee lay-offs, and have instigated 'cure by committee'...
"The solution for zombie firms isn't just bankruptcy," a Shandong-based banking official told Reuters. "The impact of bankruptcy is just too big. Just think about the thousands of workers. Social stability is key."
Stability is always uppermost in the minds of Chinese leaders, and even more so this year, ahead of the five-yearly party congress this autumn, when a new generation of senior leaders will be selected.
"China is avoiding the crisis of calling in loans that can't be repaid anyway," said Paul Gillis, professor of accounting at Peking University's Guanghua School of Management. "This buys time to do things in an orderly way."
His final blow to any hopes that this solution will work...
"This exceeds all the equity in the entire Chinese banking system."
However, Bass's final warning of the endgame of this credit bubble is far more ominous, because all of the new-found economic confidence and military condidence is "based upon a massive credit expansion and they're going to have a comeuppance..."
Strong analytical skills and experience with income-producing real estate, corporate level financing, tax structuring, debt structuring, negotiating and... From Indeed - Tue, 20 Jun 2017 17:54:17 GMT - View all Brooklyn, NY jobs
SAFE SERVICE LIMITED status has changed from Registered to In Liquidation on the 26 June 2017 Appointed By 241(2)(a) - Special Resolution of Shareholders. A Resolution of Solvency - That the company would, on the appointment of a Liquidator under section 241(2)(a) of the Companies Act 1993, will be able to pay its debt - […]
JOB DESCRIPTION- COMMERCIAL SALESPERSON. Salesperson will also be expected to assist in the collection of outstanding debts from clients.... $30,000 a year From Blue Chip Exterminating - Tue, 20 Jun 2017 12:18:10 GMT - View all Fenton, MO jobs
Bankruptcy Law: Financially desperate consumers dealing with loan sharks, and consumer rights regarding student debt. Guest: Certified Specialist in Bankruptcy Law Leon Bayer. Listeners with questions/comments for Chuck Finney and Leon Bayer, please call: 415-841-4134
Discussion on Bankruptcy Law: debtors' and creditors' issues. Guest: Certified Specialist in Bankruptcy Law Leon Bayer. Listeners are invited to participate. Please be ready to call-in with questions/comments for Chuck and his guest: 415-841-4134.
Could this be the week we will look back, someday, with the realization that our wine collecting days are over? For one, the span of my life, or anyone’s life for that matter, might not exceed the time it will take to open and drink all the wines we have amassed. For another, the idea of wine, in the age of disruption, just doesn't seem that high on the list of important things to concern oneself with. Or am I wrong? Perhaps this is the perfect time to open up anything, and everything that matters. We’re not getting any younger. And the asteroid is still light years away from impact, isn’t it?
My safe room, it seems, is where the wine is stored. During a recent tornado alert, we were instructed to go to the safest room in the house, one in the middle, away from windows. An interior closet. But it was already filled with wine. So, after pulling several cases out and making room for three, maybe four people, it barely passed as a room to huddle while the storm passed. That night the tornado didn’t make it to our neighborhood, but a few miles away, it cut a path through apartments and homes and destroyed many residences and lives. An act of God, they call it, at the insurance company.
I’m not sure the times we are living are actually being caused by God. There are a few too many humans on the stage, pushing the deity off. For now. But, like the tornado, and the asteroid, it’s only a matter of time. Oh, you’ve spent the better part of your adult life constructing a successful career? You’ve done all the right things, saved money, curbed your debt, stayed lean and ready? Well, get ready for this; because we’ve passed through an unidentified cosmic storm and it appears half of us have been smote with some form of mass psychosis. And the other half of us truly thinks they’ve dodged that bullet. It’s only the other folks, the ones who don’t believe like them.
So, while we wait out the storm, ala 'On the Beach', what would you open today, tonight, this week, just in case things next week get even dodgier? Where have you gone Dr. Strangelove, when we need you, to help us pick out a wine?
Strangelove, like Spock and Leary, are not here. They no longer feel the pain of human bondage, they no more feel the pleasure of wine. We still can. Even if it doesn’t quite feel right in these times, for some of the tribe.
That bottle of 1936 Est! Est!! Est!! (Amabile) I've been saving for so many years. The Hermitage from 1989? The Bi-Centennial Commemorative Champagne from 1976? Probably dead. Oh, all the old port, the 1970, the ’85; good Lord, I have enough port for two nuclear winters. And it will probably survive us all.
There isn’t any white wine of any great consequence to cry alligator tears over; it all gets drunk up quickly. And there isn’t any safe room for rosé here. Sure, there is a bottle or two from the Jura, cowering among the Mouton and the Brunello. I need to liberate them all, soon.
"There isn't time. No time to love... nothing to remember... nothing worth remembering."
Really it is an overwhelming thing, choosing the last bottle, or bottles, of wine to drink before an apocalyptic event...
A picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, 3,500. My friend and colleague, Raffaella, posted a photo from her youth. I thought I recognized that person from my youthful wanderings in Rome. A narrative was begging to be released. But it would be better coming from the woman whose image was reflected in the photograph. It’s timely, as many Italians in the wine trade are putting away their skis and golf clubs from their holiday vacations and getting back on the road. It’s also pertinent for young wine professionals, women and men, to read these words. It covers a life in wine, and in those words, there might be some guideposts for those whose experience in the wine trade hasn’t yet led them. Not yet. Thank you Raffaella, for sharing your story. It’s the story of wine, of a woman in modern times and of Italy during one of the most exciting and turbulent times in its history.
Becoming a Wine Veteran By Raffaella Guidi Federzoni
It all started from a photo that I posted on my Facebook profile. A photo of more than thirty five years ago. A photo of myself, taken at the end of August 1979, last century.
Alfonso saw it and was puzzled by the image of a girl who looked very much in the style of those years: casual, optimistic, a touch arrogant, carefree. And young, oh, so young!
Alfonso is a very close friend of mine, a wine-friend, meaning that I met him thanks to that common denominator called wine.
Because of that photo my wine-friend asked me to write my story and here I am , writing about what happened since that day in August 1979. I will try to focus on the slice related to the wine world, which is anyway a considerable one in what can be called the whole cake of my life.
If you don’t like it or find it boring, blame Alfonso, not me.
The remote past In August 1979 I was back after eight months spent in the USA as an au pair girl, looking after a couple of spoiled kids generated by a very intellectual couple of American academics. My parents sent me there after I gave up law school, as they didn’t know what to do with me, “At least you will learn English”. It was a traumatic and energetic experience for the girl that I was, born and raised in a Roman upper class environment.
You have to think that in those times the cultural gap between America and Europe was wider than the Atlantic Ocean itself, especially regarding the topic “food and wine”. To be sincere I don’t recall a single bottle of wine drunk over there, in New England. I remember huge cartons of milk or orange juice, always enriched with protein/vitamins, but not wine.
Vice-versa I remember vividly the food, rarely consumed all together, in the sense that the father had breakfast at 3.00 pm, the baby had meals five times a day, the little girl had sandwiches randomly and the mother never ate, she was too busy being neurotic about what everybody else was eating.
To cut a long story short, I came back to Italy weighing 10 kilos more after having eaten for eight months a lot of stuff, from baby food to crappy sandwiches, and having swallowed gallons of enriched milk and orange juice.
I came back to my Roman upper class family, a world that I knew very well, but that after the American spell looked dated and tedious.
All I wanted was to leave again.
The past It would take me twenty years to go back to the US. In between I can count at least four different jobs, about a dozen of quick love affairs, half a dozen of houses, one wedding, two kids.
And, of course, the move from Rome to Montalcino.
My first official job in Rome was to be a typist in the purchase department of Bulgari, the very well known jeweler based in the heart of the Roman luxury district. After a year of slaving over a mechanical typing machine for a laughable salary I was promoted Personal Assistant of the Boss of bosses, mostly because nobody else wanted to confront him on a daily basis.
Four more years passed and I was growing more and more frustrated. I was single, a part of the occasional one-night stand, I wasn’t earning very much, I was stuck in a job with no chance of improvement, even if it looked glamorous and glittering.
All I wanted was to leave again.
Then, at the beginning of September 1983, Destiny put its big foot transversally on my path. It had the ravishing look of a blond Sassenach, romantic enough to buy a ruin in the middle of the Tuscan woods, and crazy enough to decide to live there with no money, just a pair of capable hands. Impossible to resist, I gave in to this new adventure and moved out of Rome after having found a job in that area and a flat with running water and sound walls. Craziness and Romance but with a pinch of salt.
When I left, my father said “If you are going to be poor, at least you will be poor in Montalcino.” This because he just completed his three years course at the Roman Sommelier Association. Not that he needed to be a sommelier, he was a well-established lawyer, he just liked the wine matter.
With his bitter-sweet blessing I finally arrived in Montalcino and my first job there was to entertain visitors, showing around the large spaces of a recently built wine concern. Villa Banfi was the name of the estate established by the Mariani family, a leading US importer of Italian wines, especially Lambrusco.
Montalcino, ca. 1984
It wasn’t easy, and that is an understatement. Coming from the pampered world of jewelry and luxury with its rituals consumed mostly in a fashionable city environment, I had to confront myself with the basic country life, even if surrounded by the most spectacular views.
During the two and a half years that I spent working there I learned a lot about wine, its production, marketing and communication.
I learned about new grape varieties: Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc. I learned about the rules of different appellations. I learned about the process of winemaking. I started to learn about tasting and describing what I was tasting.
Not that I was totally virgin on that territory, in my family wine was an essential part of every meal, but a part of Chianti, Lambrusco, occasionally Amarone and Barolo, I didn’t really had the chance of drinking a wide spectrum of different wines.
For the whites was even worst, some basic stuff coming from Apulia in the summer and that was it. Asti and Champagne only for weddings and Christmases.
You have to think that Italy in the eighties was still very fractioned about drinking habits, even for the wealthy classes.
If I look back at those years and even a touch further back, I realize that I was going with the trend. In the sense that I started to be involved in the wine world at the dawn of the Modern Italian Wine Age. I consider myself very lucky for it.
While I was working at Banfi, I had the chance of meeting very interesting people The Marianis didn’t spare anything in bringing to Montalcino wine writers and wine VIP of the caliber of Hugh Johnson, Burton Anderson, Robert Mondavi and so on. I was the sub-assistant of the PR Assistant, but I worked hard, bloody hard I must say. I enjoyed meeting people so different from my original background, not just coming from far, as the human landscape of Montalcino provided any sort of choices: Anglo-Saxons eccentrics, German ecologists, American wannabe artists, Tuscan Squires and above all, local ex sharecroppers turned into small winegrowers.
Slowly I was building up a knowledge about topics that I would have never thought to be so interesting, and a different look to Nature in general.
I was also building up a different body, more used to the rigors of Winter and the discomforts of bad roads, bad floors, bad windows.
In late Spring 1987 I gave my resignations to Banfi and went to work for the Biondi Santi family, in their Montalcino’s estate called Il Greppo. This move was like leaving Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for the Tower of London. I mean from something flamboyant, modern if not contemporary, open to everyone, to an iconic landmark, austere enough to require caution in the approach. There, instead of walking miles through rooms that looked a Nasa laboratories, I was confined behind a desk again. But the place was beautiful, with no division between the old manor house and the offices, the surroundings were gorgeous and Franco Bondi Santi, the owner, was a man totally dedicated to his vineyards and wines.
The pace of work was not so hectic as it had been in Banfi, for almost three years I carried on in learning, concentrating more in the Brunello di Montalcino, its history, its style and its nuances.
At Greppo there weren’t as many visitors as in Banfi, but the average quality of them was high. The people who came to visit were knowledgeable and prepared for a tour in the essential cellar and a quick tasting from a barrel. All they wanted was to meet the Icon in the person of Franco Biondi Sandi who was always gracious in telling again and again the same story.
I watched him and listen to all his words, which slowly deposited in my memory together with his gestures.
In 1988, in Springtime, the Community of Montalcino celebrated the 100 years of Brunello making, 100 “official” years I should say as the wine and its name go back much further. However, it was a big event that witnessed the presence of quite a few international wine writers. It was a big come back for Montalcino and the beginning of the Contemporary Era for Brunello.
10 days after the event I got married.
The 12th of May 1989 my first son, Oliver, was born. In the November of the same year the Berlin Wall was dismantled. A few years later, in 1992 the series of political and judiciary events called in Italian “Mani pulite” would start to roll towards an avalanche that swept away a decrepit ruling class and gave space to a new generation of politicians. I still don’t know if the form changed but the substance remained or not. Today I cynically think that the first option is the true one.
Back in my little country world, life went on.
Because the birth of my son I gave my resignation to Franco Biondi Santi and set up to be a proper Mom and housewife. It took me only less than a year to realize that I wasn’t suited to be a just a Mom, plus any extra money coming in would have been more than welcomed.
Thus, in February 1990 I bought the licence for a Wine shop in the center of Montalcino called Ars Bibendi. My father helped with a little sum of money, considering his love of wines he was hoping to have better and free supplies of his favorite drink.
I embarked in this new adventure with little knowledge of business but with a huge enthusiasm.
It would take me four years to finally understand that I was nor suited for this sort of entrepreneurship. It would take me nights of panic because I didn’t know how to pay my debts, and no answer to the question ”Why they don’t buy these wines, the best for the cheapest price it can be found around here?”. It happened that I decided to buy and try to sell not just the wines from Montalcino, but also from other areas of Tuscany and Italy. This led to disaster, because the people that come to town only wanted the wines from here.
It would take me four miscarriages due to the stress to convince me to sell the business before it was too late.
Looking back to those years now, I see the experience of a wine store a sort of investment to increase my knowledge and my palate. Now that all the debts have being paid since long, I consider myself more than lucky to have experienced four years of learning and tasting in my kitchen with my husband a few friends.
I tasted all the wines that I was going to sell, sometimes more than once.
The bottles that couldn’t be sold ended up in my cellar when the business was finally sold in June 1994.
In October 1995 I gave birth to my second son, Peter.
For a while I worked as a freelance consultant for a couple of wineries. It was odd to be home for most of the time, we were living in a rented farm house with a gorgeous view outside and a freezing temperature inside. The small property that my husband still owned, in the middle of nowhere, was too far and basic for us.
It had to remain a dream.
The almost present Stefano Cinelli Colombini was one of the first friends that we made in Montalcino, an ironic and interesting person who kept that sort of low profile typical of a true country gentleman. His family had been for generations a leading force in Montalcino, not just for winemaking, also for cultural heritage and political power, but he was (and is) always direct and friendly in his relationships without any snobbism. We liked each other, finding a common ground on many subjects. Therefore, when in January 1998 his mother Francesca Colombini phoned me with the proposal of working for the family’s estate Fattoria dei Barbi, I accepted immediately.
Well, almost immediately. First I had a brief talk with my husband, considering the pros and cons of working full time while our kids were still in their childhood. Through the past years he did work not just on his own minuscule property – which was eventually sold – but also as a painter-decorator-tiler, breaking his back and exhausting himself. The final job was to renovate a small town house that we managed to buy in the historical center of Montalcino. We just moved in with eight years old Oliver and two years old Peter. Our families lived far away and we couldn’t afford a baby sitter anymore.
“It’s better that you go out and work and I stay home and look after the children.” He said half joking. And then Francesca Colombini phoned… So, it didn’t take long to reach the mutual agreement regarding our roles. I would have to go out and earn a living and he would stay home, being a housewife cum maintenance man.
It has worked very well, mostly because Simon (my husband) is a super Dad, cook, gardener, butler and above all, companion.
Thus, in January 22nd 1998 I entered the offices of Fattoria dei Barbi, I remember the precise date because it was my fortieth birthday.
After nineteen years I am still there.
My first responsibility was shaping the hospitality, which meant to organize and look after tours-tastings-lodgings for all the visitors. Soon it became necessary to hire a couple of more people because the flow of tourists was getting constantly higher.
Meanwhile I carried on learning the inner mechanism of a large family estate, from the long history of the Colombinis to the locations of the vineyards, from the intellectual legacy of many generations to the personality of the Cellar Master.
Stefano was very busy to manage the transformation of the property into a more agile and efficient modern concern and didn’t have much time to dedicate to the foreign market. That’s why I got up one day with the qualification of Export Manager and my job moved very quickly from looking after the visitors to look after the markets.
In late January 1999, I went back to the US, after almost twenty years.
Since then, I have been back at least sixty times, if not more, I stopped counting long time ago. Plus I have visited regularly Canada, from the East to the West, Japan, China, Korea, Brasil, UK, Russia, UK, Germany.
While I was carrying on with my travels, the rules and situations changed, particularly in the US. What seemed in the late nineties a very stable routine in the sales of Brunello, later became a sort of roller coaster in terms of purchases and loyalty from our customers. A combination of negative exchange rate, growth of production and offer of Italian wines, political instabilities generated by September Eleven, made the American market a huge question mark and a tiresome battle field. And when America has the flu, all the rest of the world gets ill.
I resisted, insisted, persisted.
I resisted to the temptation of giving up the many times in which I thought I couldn’t make it, especially during the cruel years in which my son Oliver was desperately ill and my original family in Rome was disintegrating. It was then that the term “Family business” was enlightened by the generosity of Francesca and Stefano, who not just kept my position at work even when I had little time for it, but also supported myself and my family practically and psychologically.
I insisted in remaining faithful to the wines that I represented. Their fame was tamed by prejudice and I was convinced that was unfair. I build up confidence not just in their quality but also in my capacity of communicating it. Confronting a single customer, or an audience of dozens of people, was my training, and I have trained hard.
I persisted in learning, not just about the wines that I was already calling “mine”, but about any wine that I was hearing of.
Any opportunity given by my travels, during small tastings or large fairs, going around with sales people, I tried, asked and then memorized both tastes and replies.
My bonus, the huge reward of all, was the chance to meet more and more winepeople and their peculiar way of blending normality with eccentricity.
It was, is and always be, the case of Humanity giving a twist to Nature.
The Present I am now in another hotel room, maybe New York, maybe Tokyo, it doesn’t really matter. What matters to make it working for the best is to keep what I call “Pride & Drive.”
The Pride given by the understanding of myself, my experience, my talents, my limits. Not presumption but recognition.
The Drive given by my curiosity, empathy, interest and hardhead.
There is still so much to do. I can’t stop, not yet.
When I move around I notice a subtle difference of attitude towards myself. If once I was The Apprentice, now I am the Veteran. I am not so sure that I like it.
I am not so sure about liking when people slow down their pace in order to wait for me, or give me their arm to get out from a car.
I am still amazed when I look to myself in a mirror and discover that NO, this woman cannot be the girl who drunk and was up late last night.
I am a woman and I am vane.
And talking about being once a girl and now a woman, I have to confess that YES, I had my share of mobbing and sexual harassment, but it was never very bad.
When I was working and living in Rome, in my twenties, I dressed according to my femininity not caring if it could be misinterpreted as a provocation. Much earlier in my life I had a couple of bad episodes that tamed my vision of the male world, but I got over them.
Through the years I realized that if my look could help, it was only for the first five minutes. After a very short time, personality, attitude, knowledge, would have been the cards to play. At this not just on the working side of life, but for the whole of it.
Regarding my job of more than thirty years I have only one suggestion for girls and boys: don’t overdo in IT, it is the wine that eventually seduces, not you.
There is still a lingering discrimination in the wine world, despite the fast growing of women actually “making” wine, and making it very good indeed. This is seen as extraordinary, not normal.
It is OK to be a female promoter, a female sales manager, even a female wine writer, but oh my God, a female wine maker, a wine maker with boobs! You have to be at least Lalou Bize Leroy, otherwise you risk to be classified a wannabe: daughter, wife, niece of a MAN who happens to be the one that started the wine business.
There are exceptions, more and more. When the exceptions will disappear into the regular way of things being, that will be a good day.
The future Visual, social, interactive. Call it what you want, but language is here to stay and so is wine.
I would be a fool to deny the impact of new way of communication and the obligation of knowing its rules. I am well aware of the change and try to use the right instruments, but it would be a short term accomplishment if this language had not substance. The substance is the quality, the depth of words. Yes, words.
If you don’t know the meaning of words and the way of using them, you will be swept away by the next ones who are coming and pressing to be noticed and remembered. There is always somebody more flamboyant than you, more updated, more visible.
But nobody is more you than you, if you are true to yourself and to your work.
The same could be said for wine. Trends come and go, but truth is here to stay.
If you, reader, have been so brave and patient to read my words to the end, now you deserve to open a bottle and drink a good glass, maybe even two.
Written and reproduced with permission of the author, Raffaella Guidi Federzoni. limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy
Money. It's a touchy subject for some people, and it's just a game for others. I've been on both ends of that spectrum: totally broke and busted on one end — and total financial freedom on the other. The former is stressful beyond belief; while the latter is friggin’ awesome. Now, I’m no Warren Buffet by any means, but I do know what it feels like to pull myself out of the brink of bankruptcy and learn how to finally get finances together. And most of my money management education came from two places: 1) Failing miserably in the real-world (and eventually learning from those failures); and 2) Reading lots and lots of books. Today, I we’re going to talk about the latter... More specifically, I’ll be dropping a list of the 16 most powerful money management books I’ve ever read.
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This is a real book of wisdom that goes far beyond what its title entails. Originally published back in 1937, Think and Grow Rich tells us the principles, habits, and secrets of some history’s wealthiest people: Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and many more. Think & Grow Rich is more than just a money management book -- it's a money mind-set book.