Is disaster nigh? Watch the central banks for some important clues

first_imgOld hands in the property world are beginning to worry about an imminent shift from boom to bust. Is another financial crisis just around the corner?Certainly there are disconcerting signals, especially in debt markets. In a low interest rate world the search for yield has caused investors to make a silk purse of many a sow’s ear. This is particularly true of Eurozone sovereign debt. At the start of this week 10-year benchmark government debt in Italy, Spain and Portugal yielded 2.96%, 2.86% and 3.6% respectively. That compares with 2.55% for comparable UK gilts and 2.45% for equivalent US Treasuries.Have these heavily indebted Eurozone countries recovered so fully from their problems that investors are being adequately compensated for risk? Surely not. The differential against the US and UK is ludicrously narrow. At the same time credit spreads in the corporate bond market have narrowed, making little allowance for poor liquidity in the secondary market. When hard times come and investors look for the exit, they will find no takers. Lending standards are also declining in a way that smacks of the euphoria that prevailed before the credit crunch struck in 2007. Structured products such as collateralised loan obligations are back, as are such rickety instruments as payment-in-kind notes (PIKs).Contingent convertibles, a novel instrument much used in the banking sector, have never been tested in a crisis. Current heady prices being paid for Cocos, as they are known, are almost certainly mispricing risk. Most sinister of all, volatility across the capital markets has collapsed. This brings to mind what economists dubbed The Great Moderation before the financial crisis. Markets had become so stable before 2007 that central bankers were patting themselves on the back, taking credit for what they assumed would be a lasting era of unruffled financial calm. This syndrome was accurately diagnosed in the post-war period by American economist Hyman Minsky who saw capitalism as endemically unstable. He argued that because stability breeds complacency there was an overwhelming temptation to take on more debt. Increased leverage and excessive risk-taking then invariably led to financial crises and fiscal bailouts. Minsky’s work went out of fashion after his death in 1996, so the prophylactic force of his argument was lost on the current generation of policymakers. What is happening today appears to be following the Minsky paradigm. Because yields in credit markets are so low, investors are taking on leverage in order to boost returns through carry trades — borrowing via the lowest yielding currencies or financial instruments to invest in riskier paper with higher yields. Investors such as mutual funds, hedge funds and real estate trusts are, for example, borrowing overnight in the $4 trillion repo market, where they pledge securities as collateral against very short-term loans. To those few observers who were around in the mid-1970s this looks dangerously familiar, becausesuch funding dries up instantly in a crisis. Back then the first property companies to go bust were the ones that had borrowed in the money markets to fund long-term development. Such carry trading thrives in low volatility markets, but it always involves a maturity mismatch. That spells disaster when volatility returns. No longer Wild WestBefore we jump to the conclusion that disaster is nigh, though, it is important to recognise that one feature of the pre-2007 scenario is missing. The property market is not going as wild as it was back then. In the US residential market, from which the worst tremors emanated, prices have recovered somewhat but are not overheating. In the UK they are too high in relation to earnings by historic standards. But they are kept high by sclerotic supply and the Help to Buy scheme.Much the same can be said of commercial property in both countries. It is true that these markets are buoyant, but they are not leveraged as they were before the financial crisis, because bank lending to the sector has been severely curtailed. Nor has the search for yield had as dramatic an effect in property as it has had in the corporate bond market. That said, excessive credit expansion may have decamped to the shadow banking sector. Note, too, that financial crises are not always sparked by risky behaviour in the property market. A more pressing danger today may be the overhang of debt in both the public and private sectors of the developed world. One of the problems with the policy response to the financial crisis is that it has left us with an even bigger debt overhang than at the start of the crisis. The implication is that we are hostage to an interest rate hike when central banks finally abandon their bond buying programmes. The timing of financial crises is inherently unpredictable, but the behaviour of central banks provides important clues. John Plender is director at the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forumlast_img read more

Eni Plans FLNG Unit Off Mozambique

first_imgEni of Italy is reportedly planning to build an FLNG facility to unlock the gas reserves from a field offshore Palma district, Mozambique.Bernama reported that Eni recently issued a “Public Announcement for Expression of Interest” for an FLNG facility in the Mozambican media, asking the companies to express their interest by May 5, after which they could potentially get an “Invitation to Tender” package from the Italian company.Eni recently announced in the company’s 2014-2017 strategic plan that it expects to order three FLNG units by the end of 2014, which would be located along the Mozambique coast.Eni is the operator of the Area 4 in Mozambique with an indirect 50% participating interest, owned by Eni East Africa, which holds 70% of Area 4. The other partners are Galp Energia (10%), KOGAS (10%) and ENH (10%, exploration phase only). CNPC holds an indirect stake of 20% through Eni East Africa in Area 4.[mappress]LNG World News Staff, April 16, 2014last_img read more

Challenging times

first_imgStay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY To continue enjoying, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Subscribe now for unlimited accesslast_img read more

World marks International Day of Persons with Disabilities

first_imgQuick FactsOut of 7 billion people in the world, over 1 billion people in the world have some form of disability, 1 in every 7 people is disabled.More than 100 million disabled people are children.Children with disabilities are almost four times more likely to experience violence than non-disabled kids80 percent of all people with disabilities live in developing nations.50 percent of disabled people cannot afford healthcare.Did you also know that:Rehabilitation helps to maximise functioning and support independence of people living with disabilities.People with disabilities can live and participate in the community.Disability barriers can be overcome.More than 170 countries and regional integration organisations have signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which promotes and ensures which ensures the human rights for all people with disabilities. Every year on the 3rd of December the world marks the International Day of Disabled Persons.The annual occasion was started in 1992 by the United Nations, aiming to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development.The theme of this year’s event is “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all”.Currently there are over one billion people in the world that have some form of disability. That’s one in seven. Of those more than 100 million disabled persons are children. Research shows children with disabilities are almost four times more likely to experience violence than non-disabled kids.In China, the number of disabled people is nearly 85 million. Each year nearly 200,000 babies are born with disabilities.In 2014, the Chinese government implemented a special education promotion plan, aimed at creating education opportunities for the disabled. Since then about 11000 people with disabilities have been able to attend schools and colleges.last_img read more

Thai Military: All 12 boys have been rescued from cave

first_imgRescued schoolboys are moved from a military helicopter to an awaiting ambulance at a military airport in Chiang Rai, Thailand, July 9, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha All 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped for more than two weeks deep inside a flood Thai cave have been rescued, a Thai navy SEAL unit said on TuesdayRescued schoolboys are moved from a military helicopter to an awaiting ambulance at a military airport in Chiang Rai, Thailand, July 9, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha“The 12 Wild Boars and coach have emerged from the cave and they are safe,” the Thai navy SEAL unit said on its official Facebook page.The “Wild Boars” soccer team and their coach got trapped on June 23 while exploring the cave complex in the northern province of Chiang Rai after soccer practice and a rainy season downpour flooded the tunnels.British divers found the 13, hungry and huddled in darkness on a muddy bank in a partly flooded chamber several kilometres inside the complex, on Monday last week.After pondering for days how to get the 13 out, a rescue operation was launched on Sunday when four of the boys were brought out, tethered to rescue divers.Another four were rescued on Monday and the last four boys and the coach were brought out on Tuesday.Celebrations will be tinged with sadness over the loss of a former Thai navy diver who died last Friday while on a re-supply mission inside the cave in support of the rescue.Related Mecca Pilgrimage: Cave of Hira Cave Tourism in Rwandacenter_img Egypt Mulls Military Intervention in Libyalast_img read more

Second CARIBVet Meeting underway in Dominica

first_img Sharing is caring! Tweet LocalNews Second CARIBVet Meeting underway in Dominica by: – September 10, 2013 Share Sharecenter_img Sub regional veterinary public health advisor in the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and Chair of the CARIBVet Veterinary Public Health Working Group, Dr Alexandra VokatyThe second meeting of the Caribbean Animal Health Network (CARIBVet) Veterinary Public Health Working Group began Tuesday morning at the Fort Young Hotel. Members from various islands across the Caribbean to include Dominica, Suriname, Barbados, Jamaica, Guadeloupe and Grenada are present on the island for the group’s three day meeting. Currently, thirty countries and territories are uniquely united through this working group. Sub regional veterinary public health advisor in the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and Chair of the CARIBVet Veterinary Public Health Working Group, Dr Alexandra Vokaty said at this morning’s opening ceremony,focuses on zoonotic disease; diseases which humans can contract them from animals. “The goal of the veterinary public health working group is to regularly assess the health situation regarding zoonotic and food borne diseases,” Dr Vokaty explained.PParticipants of the three day CARIBVet veterinary public health working group meeting in DominicaThe Group also promotes “coordinated multidisciplinary activities to increase disease knowledge in the Caribbean and to improve epidemiological surveillance, diagnosis, prevention and control of these diseases that affect human and animal health in the Caribbean”. The veterinary public health working group, she added, was formed by merging two other working groups; one which focused on Salmonella and another on Rabies. This group was then further extended to include Leptospirosis. Moreover, she stated that it makes sense to have this working group so that a region such as the Caribbean, with a lot of small countries who have small veterinary services can work together on issues of common interest exchanging information. The first meeting of the CARIBVet Veterinary Public Health Working Group was held in Puerto Rico in December, 2011.Dominica Vibes News 244 Views   no discussions Sharelast_img read more

UFC Fight Night: Dos Anjos vs Alvarez for Lightweight Title

first_imgLAS VEGAS, Nevada – The UFC will hold three straight cards on three straight nights in Vegas over the weekend and they begin tonight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.The card is main-even-ted by a UFC Lightweight Championship bout between current champion Rafael dos Anjos and former two-time Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez.It is a matchup Pay Per View Worthy that the UFC is willing to give away for free via fight pass.At 27 – 4 Alvarez is a veteran of the cage, and a well decorated one at that. He has competed in the Japanese DREAM promotion, where he made his name in their inaugural Lightweight Grand Prix and also fought once for ProElite’s EliteXC promotion to name a few.Perhaps most impressive is his stint as a two time Bellator Lightweight champion. His UFC career got off to a bumpy start as he lost to Donald Cerrone at UFC 178 in December of 2014. Since then, he has been on a tear, Ripping off back to back wins against the likes of former UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez to earn his title shot Thursday night.Speaking of fighters on a red hot winning streak, Rafeal dos Anjos is on one himself. The current UFC Lightweight champion is recovering from a injury, but that should not slow him down. He has won his last 5 straight fights in dominating fashion. During that stretch he holds knockout wins over Donald Cerrone and former champion Benson Henderson along with convincing decision wins against Nate Diaz and Anthony Pettis. This fight is without a doubt between the best two fighters in the division and could be an instant classic.I’m taking Eddie Alvarez in a second round knockout upset victory to win the title.Agree or disagree, let us know by leaving a comment or tweeting at Vince McKee at VinceTheAuthor.Also, don’t forget to visit our fine sponsors here – Related TopicsDana WhiteUFC Vince McKeelast_img read more

Ada “Alis” di Kokpit Boeing 737? Ini Penjelasannya

first_imgDilansir Simple Flying, jendela alis atau eyebrow windows terletak tepat di atas regular cockpit windows. Bila ditelisik lebih dalam, jendela alis ini bisa dibilang berada persis diagonal di atas kepala pilot dan kopilot; masing-masing dua alis. Sebagaimana namanya, disebut jendela alis karena posisinya (jika dilihat dari kejauhan) bentuknya memang menyerupai alis.Selain Boeing 737, pesawat Boeing lainnya yang juga menggunakan jendela alis ialah 707 dan 727. Meskipun sudah tak lagi menjadi desain standar perusahaan, jendela alis masih digunakan hingga saat ini bila mana maskapai menginginkannya.Dilihat dari bentuk dan posisinya, keberadaan jendela alis memang bisa meningkatkan visibilitas kru kokpit dalam berbagai kondisi, saat bermanuver tajam dan saat melakukan visual approach menuju runway. Jendela alis juga memungkinkan kru kokpit melihat pesawat lain di sekitarnya dengan lebih baik untuk mencegah terjadinya kecelakaan.Alasan lainnya, keberadaan jendela alis di atas jendela utama pesawat juga dinilai dapat membantu kru kokpit dalam kaitannya dengan navigasi dengan melihat bintang. Namun, alasan tersebut sedikit banyaknya ditolak oleh banyak kalangan karena dinilai tak masuk akal.Dirunut dari sejarah, jendela alis ini sebetulnya adalah ide dari Regulator Penerbangan Sipil AS (FAA) sebagai syarat sertifikasi. Kala itu, FAA khawatir dengan visibilitas kru kokpit. Oleh karenanya, dibutuhkan jendela alis untuk membantu visibilitas ekstra. Tak heran bila pesawat-pesawat model awal Boeing, seperti disebutkan di atas, dilengkapi dengan jendela alis.Setelah dilakukan berbagai penelitian, diskusi dengan para pakar, dan tentu saja seiring perkembangan avionik modern, Boeing pun menyimpulkan keberadaan jendela alis tak benar-benar banyak membantu. Oleh karenanya, setelah tahun 2004, produksi pesawat dilakukan tanpa melibatkan jendela alis.Khusus berkenaan dengan visibilitas, sertifikasi Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) atau sistem untuk mencegah terjadinya kecelakaan pesawat udara pada akhir tahun 1980an benar-benar telah membuat keberadaan jendela alis menjadi usang.Baca juga: Ada di Jepang, Kamar Hotel dengan Simulator Kokpit Boeing 737-800!Lagi pula, posisinya yang tepat berada diagonal di atas kepala pilot juga membuat mereka terganggu pada penerbangan siang hari. Utamanya saat musim panas. Di waktu-waktu tersebut, sinar matahari menerobos masuk ke dalam kokpit sehingga mengganggu visibilitas kru karena kelebihan cahaya.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading… Related Industri penerbangan terus bergerak maju dari tahun ke tahun akibat pesatnya perkembangan teknologi. Bahkan, perkembangan teknologi mau tak mau menghilangkan berbagai hal yang sebelumnya diandalkan; salah satunya eyebrow windows.Baca juga: Bingung Bagian Bawah Mesin Boeing 737 Rata? Ini Penjelasannya!Bagi Anda yang ingin melihat eyebrow windows di pesawat-pesawat Boeing, khususnya 737, tentu kemungkinannya sangat kecil. Sebab, sudah sejak tahun 2004 lalu, eyebrow windows atau jendela alis sudah tak lagi digunakan seiring kemajuan avionik modern.last_img read more

Japan marks three years until Rugby World Cup

first_imgIt’s been a year since Japan shocked the world with its stunning victory over South Africa at the Rugby World Cup in England. And ever since the Brave Blossoms’ breakthrough performance, rugby has been in a far brighter spotlight.As the host nation for the 2019 World Cup, that is certainly a plus. Organizing committee CEO Akira Shimazu said at a countdown fan event in Tokyo on Tuesday — which marked exactly three years until the World Cup’s opening match — that preparations for rugby’s showpiece tournament have gotten smoother over the past year since Japan’s World Cup success. IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 RELATED PHOTOS KEYWORDS Japan prop Kensuke Hatakeyama shakes hands with a fan at a 2019 Rugby World Cup countdown event in Tokyo on Tuesday. | KYODOcenter_img GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES Brave Blossoms, 2019 Rugby World Cup, 2015 Rugby World Cup “Hopefully, we’ll be in a favorable pool and get through the group stage, advancing to the knockout stage,” he said.But the team’s achievements in Britain last year don’t guarantee anything for the Japan national team and the organizers of the 2019 tourney, which will be the first World Cup to be held in Asia and played in a country where rugby is not a major sport.Hosting the World Cup is a golden opportunity for the game in Japan. And the organizers and players feel that they need to capitalize and step up preparations and promotions for the event right away.“We only have three years,” said national team player and two-time Top League MVP Shota Horie. “While we’ve got to improve every single day as players, we’ve also got to spread the game across the nation. In order to do that, we need support from the fans and the association (Japan Rugby Football Union).”Said top player Kensuke Hatakeyama: “As a player, I’ve got to play at a level where I deserve to be chosen (for the national team). And off the field, I want to raise the values of the sport.”Fumiaki Tanaka, a diminutive scrum-half and vocal leader on the national team, has urged the association and organizers to put more effort into promoting the game and take advantage of the recent rugby boom.The 31-year-old insisted that Japan should put the South Africa victory behind it and begin moving forward (the players and invited fans watched highlights of the Japan-South Africa game during the event).Tanaka said that the players have set the bar high since ex-Japan coach Eddie Jones was at the helm, so he is not too worried about their performance and mindset.But he doesn’t feel that the association and administrators have done enough to promote the game, citing the case of last season’s Top League opener between his Panasonic Wild Knights and Suntory Sungoliath at Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground last November. The game took place immediately after the World Cup, but the stadium was almost half empty due to the league’s poor ticket sales strategy.“It’s now or never,” Tanaka said of the sport’s current popularity in Japan. “Both the players and association have got to do their jobs. If we fall into darkness, how are we going to promote the game from there? If we work together more, I believe that the 2019 World Cup will be a tournament that everybody will fully enjoy.” last_img read more

‘Red Ribbon Week’ Brings Drug-Free Lifestyle Awareness

first_imgIn 1988, NFP sponsored the first National Red Ribbon Celebration. Today, the Red Ribbon serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities. Story as aired: Kenaitze will also have free Tobacco Quit Kits available this week only in the center’s Gathering Space. The Kenaitze Indian Tribe is hosting Red Ribbon week from October 23-27. The 2017 Red Ribbon Week Theme is “Your Future is Key, So Stay Drug Free.” You can visit the Dena’ina Wellness Center at any time throughout the week for local resources and information on how to live a drug-free lifestyle. FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The National Red Ribbon Campaign began in 1985, in response to the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena, angered parents and youth in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the destruction caused by drugs in America. On October 16, Governor Walker declared October 23-31, as Red Ribbon week in Alaska: “Red Ribbon Week offers Alaskans the opportunity to raise awareness about the effects of drug abuse and to encourage drug free lifestyles.”last_img read more