Fortuna High boy’s soccer was victorious against rival Arcata High by a score of 3-1 on Wednesday night in Arcata.The Huskies (7-0, 2-0) jumped out to an early lead with a spectacular first-half goal from freshman forward Antonio Garcinuno.“It was a roller coaster ride,” said Fortuna head coach Daniel Holmes. “There were lows and dips in the match tonight, and that’s alright.”The Huskies got all they could handle from Arcata (0-2-1, 0-1-1) during what was a particularly physical match …
Another study, this one published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology, warns that over a 20-year time frame, power plants using natural gas with a 4% leakage rate have about the same impact on climate as coal plants. If leaks can be kept below 2%, natural gas is still better for the environment than coal.If there’s some positive news in the Science study, it’s that methane is removed from the atmosphere much faster than carbon dioxide, so emissions can be lowered fairly quickly if sources of the leaks are found and plugged. Where the leaks come fromResearchers estimate the rate of methane leakage in two ways: with top down (TD) and bottom up (BU) observations. Top-down studies use aircraft, satellites, and tower networks. Bottom-up studies develop estimates by measuring emissions at individual pieces of equipment or facilities, or by taking measurements directly downwind.“Our BU method and TD measurements yield similar estimates of [methane] emissions in 2015, and both are significantly higher than the corresponding estimate in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory,” the report says.The authors said they believe one of the reasons for such a wide discrepancy is that conventional sampling methods “systematically underestimate” the number of equipment malfunctions and leaks. Moving natural gas from production sites to processing plans or transmission pipelines accounts for 20% of total emissions, which are largely overlooked by the EPA.Emissions could be lowered significantly with the use of well-designed detection and repair systems, the report says. If individual pieces of equipment and whole facilities were operating as designed, emissions would be lower.The study was a five-year effort led by the Environmental Defense Fund involving more than 140 researchers and 40 institutions, The Times said.Richard Meyer, managing director of energy analysis for the American Gas Association, said that the new emission estimates amounted to “speculation,” adding, “I have questions about their method and worry that some alternative hypotheses were too readily dismissed.”An EPA spokesman said in an email, “We are looking forward to reviewing this study.”Steven Hamburg, the chief scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund, told The Washington Post, “Scientists have uncovered a huge problem, but also an enormous opportunity. Reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector is the fastest, most cost-effective way we have to slow the rate of warming today, even as the larger transition to lower-carbon energy continues.” The amount of methane leaking into the atmosphere from gas and oil operations in the U.S. is far higher than official government estimates, putting at risk the environmental advantages of burning natural gas over coal to make electricity. A study published in the journal Science last month reports that emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas are roughly 60% greater than what the Environmental Protection Agency thinks they are.The leaks are equal to 2.3% of gross U.S. gas production, or 13 million metric tons a year. Losses are worth $2 billion annually. That’s enough natural gas to fuel 10 million homes, The New York Times said.Natural gas, consisting mostly of methane, produces about half the amount of carbon dioxide as coal when it’s burned. Production has boomed in recent years with the rapid growth of hydraulic fracking, making natural gas an attractive substitute for coal. And as utilities have shifted away from coal, emissions have fallen — they’re down by 27% since 2005, The Times said.When natural gas escapes into the atmosphere, the picture doesn’t look as rosy. Methane has 80 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide over a 20-year time frame. So, as the leakage rate goes up, the environmental edge that natural gas has enjoyed goes down.“Natural gas losses are a waste of a limited natural resource (~$2 billion/year), increase global levels of surface ozone pollution, and significantly erode the potential climate benefits of natural gas use,” the authors said. They add that over a 20-year horizon, the climate impact of methane leaks is about the same as carbon dioxide emissions from all U.S. coal plants operating in 2015. Natural Gas Pipelines Are LeakingReport Warns That Climate Change Efforts Are Too SlowLandfills Are a Big Methane Problem RELATED ARTICLES
The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Chhattisgarh police on Monday registered a complaint against Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee president Bhupesh Baghel in an alleged case of land grabbing.Mr. Baghel and his family members have been accused of illegally acquiring 12 plots in Bhilai area of the State and booked under Sections 13(1) and 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act by the EOW. The case dates back to 1995 and a complaint was filed by Anand Kumar Sahu in 2008 after which the State ordered an inquiry, which was completed in 2015.“It is not a question of my plots or property. This shows political anxiety of Chief Minister Raman Singh and [former Congress leader] Ajit Jogi,” Mr.Baghel told reporters. “This is an attempt to divert attention from the Chief Minister and the government’s corruption scandals. The CM has openly talked of ‘commission raj’ in Chhattisgarh. We are raising these issues and to divert attention such acts are being committed.”
In this edition, read about TFSA’s recent State Cup and awards night as well as the 15’s Girls Bronze Medal winning efforts at the School Sport Australia Championships in Canberra. To view, please click on the attachment below.Related Filestfsa_newsletter_november_2010-pdf
Some $401.9 million has been provided to continue work in four parishes, under phase two of the government’s Rural Road Rehabilitation Project.The allocation, which is set out in the 2013/14 Estimates of Expenditure, currently being reviewed by the Standing Finance Committee of the House, aims to rehabilitate approximately 47 kilometres of road and supporting infrastructure in sections of Clarendon, Trelawny, Manchester and St. Catherine.These corridors include: just over 22 kilometres of roadway from Sour Sop Turn to Danks, and Danks to Mears Bridge (Trout Hall) in Clarendon; 16 kilometres of road linking Stettin with Highgate Hall in Trelawny; and the 8.8 kilometre Williamsfield to Greenvale road.Jointly funded by the Government of Jamaica and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the project, which commenced in April 2008, has seen implementing agency, the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, undertaking several activities up to the end of February 2013.These include: completion of land acquisition surveys; approval of 407 of 507 parcels of land by the National Land Agency (NLA), for acquisition; and commencement of negotiations with the property owners for the acquisition of the lands.Activities slated for execution during 2013/14 include: surveying of 198 parcels of land for acquisition between Danks and Trout Hall in Clarendon, and commencement of the land acquisition process for 98 parcels between Sour Sop Turn and Chapelton in the parish and awarding the contract to effect road works along that corridor; and relocation of 139 utility poles.The project, which has been extended twice, is slated for completion in June 2014.By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter
Shipyards are the backbone of the Dutch maritime cluster. For centuries, these shipyards have been a breeding ground for innovation.From the 18th-century cargo ships that sailed the seven seas, to the high-tech vessels that are launched today, it all started with an idea combined with determination. It is an industry that can lean on the knowledge gathered by many generations.Dutch shipyards are looking to the future and get motivated instead of discouraged when told that it cannot be done. Maritime Holland asked several shipyards on what new projects they are working on and how they see the future.Bijlsma WartenaBijlsma Wartena is developing three sustainable Multi-Purpose Vessels that are contracted by Rijkswaterstaat. The successful launch of the first ship took place on March 16.“Sustainability, innovation and efficiency are the key drivers of our shipyard,” says Tjeerd-Wiebe Bijlsma, director of Bijlsma Wartena.“By serving our customers, we go for quality. We collaborate closely with the client in order to deliver customised solutions. That is the strength of our small and agile organisation.”MPV-30“Last year we won the tender that was issued by Rijkswaterstaat to build a series of three MPV-30s. The first two vessels will be delivered by the end of 2018 and the last vessel will be delivered spring 2019. On March 16, 2018, the successful launch of the Merwestroom, the first MPV-30, took place.“This ship was designed and built by Bijlsma Wartena. Due to the rotatable propulsion, the MPV-30 can navigate in all directions, allowing it to perform activities such as marking the waterway, patrolling duties, conducting soil and fishery research.”Sustainable“By designing these vessels we focused on sustainability and efficiency. Where other ships require a vessel to turn on generators at all time, our vessels only require generators to work for 3.5 hours per day. A performance measurement system is installed such that the crew is aware of the degree to which the generator works efficiently. When there is an excess of energy, it is not discarded like in conventional ships.“In contrast, the excess flows to the large package of batteries that the vessels is equipped with and can be used later on. In addition, the residual heat from the engines is used for the heating installation of the ship. Besides that, the solar panels that are installed on the roof are another source of energy. Because of these sources of energy, the consumption of fossil fuels is low. This causes the CO2 emissions of these vessels to be extremely low. On an annual basis, the vessels ensure a reduction of 20,000 kilogrammes of CO2 emissions. Lastly, the three MPV-30s that we are building for Rijkswaterstaat have a hydrodynamic hull and therefore experience little water resistance.”Innovation“Cooperation between shipyards will strengthen the Dutch competitive position. Keeping each other up to date on novelties is essential as we can keep continuously improving ourselves. It is important to develop multifunctional ships with a sustainable character and to be innovative. Innovation is key for the Dutch shipbuilding industry as we are part of a true knowledge economy.”Shipyard De HoopShipyard De Hoop is currently in the process of finishing a 135-metre River Cruise Vessel for Lueftner Cruises.“The challenge is to make these ships as silent as possible. Fuel savings are also important nowadays. Next to that we are always looking to increase comfort for the guests. Think of climate control and the lay out of the cabins. The cruise vessel will be very luxurious,” says Patrick Janssens, CEO of Shipyard De Hoop.Another recent contract is for building six tugs for the TCO project of Caspian Offshore Construction from Kazakhstan, for the further development of the Tengiz Oilfield. The tugs will primarily be tasked to assist barges and vessels along a 75-kilometre long channel, through the shallow waters of the Caspian Sea, to the offloading facilities at Prorva.Unique designThe series of six are of two different custom designs – four larger and two smaller. The larger tugs will feature azimuth stern drive propulsion and have a bollard pull of 14 tonnes, while the smaller vessels will be assigned as harbour tugs, with a bollard pull of 30 tonnes. Both designs are characterised by a special hull, with a shallow draught and large diameter propellers. The first tug Kabanbay Batyr, with yard number 481, was delivered on March 19.Due to the special requirements for operating in the channel and at the offloading facilities in TCO project, the tugs have specific designs, developed at in-house at De Hoop. Both designs are characterised by a special hull, with a shallow draught and large diameter propellers.“The designs of these vessels are unique. There were no standard designs available.”GalapagosShipyard De Hoop has also secured an order for the design and construction of an innovative expedition cruise vessel for Celebrity Cruises. The vessel, to be named Celebrity Flora, will be constructed entirely at the Lobith facilities.“Celebrity Flora will mark an evolutionary turning point in the approach to ship design. Designed and classed for worldwide service, the cruise vessel is optimised for experiencing the land and marine environment of the Galapagos in high comfort. Celebrity Flora will be the first vessel to be built according the latest probabilistic damage stability regulations, and therefore complies with the relevant Rules and Regulations for 2020, supplemented with the client’s constraint to comply with a two-compartment damage stability regulation. “Furthermore, other than complying with future international rules and regulations, the vessel also commits to specific Galapagos National Park Directorate Regulations, whereby explicit environmentally low-impact (exterior) features and materials were applied.”“With many Dutch suppliers and subcontractors on the client- approved ‘makerslist’, this project is a great opportunity for the Dutch shipbuilding industry as a whole,” says Janssens.“At the moment the market is still weak and the prices remain under pressure. In this environment the Dutch maritime cluster keeps on delivering unique and innovative vessels. This is something we should be proud of.”Kooiman Marine GroupEarly this year Kooiman Marine Group delivered the innovative patrol boat RPA 8 to the Rotterdam Port Authorities. This ship distinguishes itself in terms of hull shape, propulsion system, efficiency and emissions in comparison with comparable vessels in the market.For a Dutch owner, Kooiman Marine Group is building a chemical tanker. This vessel is customer specific designed and will be operating the inland waterways of Western Europe.Recently the construction of the hull for an inland waterway barge with suction pipe and sieve installation commenced. Delivery of this ship will be during the second half of this year.LNG bunker pontoonFor Titan LNG Kooiman Marine Group developed an LNG bunker pontoon. Delivery of this pontoon is scheduled for early 2019. It will be the first floating LNG bunker station in the Netherlands and is intended for the bunkering of LNG for both seagoing and inland waterway vessels.The conversion of the DC Eems from a sea going cargo vessel into a suction hopper dredger with its own dry unloading installation is nearing its completion. The vessel is renamed into DC Brugge and is expected to commence dredging operations relatively soon.Maintain production“It is our expectation that the current market situation for new building and repairs will stay at the same level with possibly some increase in one or two sectors and some decrease in others. For our company being involved in repairs, major conversions and new building of custom developed ships, we expect to be able to maintain our production at a steady level till the end of this year.”“In our point of view the focus will be more and more on the reduction of exhaust emissions. Such can be achieved with the implementation of LNG propulsion system and / or a hybrid propulsion installation. In addition, a substantial improvement on lowering exhaust emissions can be achieved by improving on the hull resistance of a vessel like we did with the delivered patrol boat RPA 8.”Damen Shipyards Group“In the offshore wind industry Damen is really challenging the role played by helicopters as the traditional personnel transport method,” begins Damen Programme Manager Innovation Solco Reijnders. “We are moving forward from the success of the Bibby WaveMaster – a vessel designed for long-term support, autonomy and crew comfort – to develop the Fast Crew Supplier 7011. Specifically designed to replace helicopters for offshore transport, this vessel combines speed with high passenger capacity.”Reijnders also points to the harbour, terminal and public transport sectors to demonstrate industry trends: “We are seeing a move towards cleaner propulsion systems involving diesel-electric or fully electric systems.”Efficient operationsResponding to the general trend that the shipbuilding industry is becoming more technology-driven and is demanding more innovative solutions, Damen is working with forward-looking technologies.“Digitalisation of on-board systems allows us to use this vast amount of data to develop new tools for our clients and their operations.”“We are also experimenting with Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), which, don’t forget are two fundamentally different technologies. In teleporting the user to a virtual location, VR allows designers and engineers to experience their own designs. And we can use AR to digitise processes in our yards – to complement hands-on operations of our personnel in order to make their work easier and more efficient.”Looking beyond bordersIn terms of cooperation, Damen participates in numerous pre-competitive research programmes within the Dutch maritime cluster.“These are mostly at the fundamental stages of research; studying detailed subjects of the ship design process,” he notes.“In executing these programmes together and sharing our facilities, the research undoubtedly benefits. And this, of course, enables us to develop rapidly as one maritime cluster.”Although cooperative research within the Dutch maritime sector is of clear significance, Reijnders is also keen to point out the importance of looking beyond national borders.“European research is also pushing the limits and accelerating the technology towards, for example, cleaner fuels.”Royal BodewesRoyal Bodewes is involved in some interesting projects. NB-742 and NB-743 (MV Eeva VG and MV Mirva VG) are hybrid ships where the main engine can operate on processed fish oil. To minimise the emissions the ships main engine is optimised for normal service. To reach the requested power of the ice class regulations, additional power can be added on the shaft by an electric motor. Having this boost system, the propulsion can also be taken over by the auxiliary engines which makes the vessel diesel electric.Coaster NB-744 (MV Ina Lehmann) is the first coaster delivered and certified according to IMO Tier 3 emission regulations. NB-803 (MT Coralius) is the first European built LNG feeder/bunker vessel in its size. NB-766 and 767 (MV Furuvik and Cymbidium) are both Ecotraders with a Groot Crossbow which are executed as self-discharging cement carriers.“Royal Bodewes is constantly optimising its building process and started in 2015 with a new building facility on the yard. This optimisation is a continuing story as we start this summer with an expansion on the existing halls.”Changing future“With respect to the Dutch maritime cluster, we see a changing future. We believe that the market is slowly recovering. There is a growing interest in new ships although ship newbuilding prices will stay under pressure. The maritime cluster has to be innovative and gain more efficiency to withstand the competition from low cost countries.“The maritime infrastructure in the Netherlands with shipyards, co-makers and suppliers is important to withstand the competition in the international market. With this maritime cluster we are playing a unique role worldwide.”Holland ShipyardsHolland Shipyards is continuing on the delivery of the IJveer 60 and IJveer 61 to GVB, the public transport company of Amsterdam.These deliveries have led to the securing of a follow-up order for two more ferries and an optional three. These hybrid ferries, with diesel-electric and battery propulsion and exhaust gas cleaning, are the result of Amsterdam’s aim to become a green city.“We are currently building a repeat order of plain suction dredgers. This indicates that Holland Shipyards is making work of developing standardised products and deepening its product portfolio,” says Marco Hoogendoorn, sales manager Holland Shipyards.“Expectations are that the market will slowly recover. There are a lot of inquiries. However, they will definitely not all materialize in orders. We have to be careful not to be too optimistic. However, we see a clearly visible upward trend at the moment.”Order bookHolland Shipyards is looking at a decent order book for this year.“We expect some additional orders to come through before the last quarter this year. We expect that our experience with hybrid drive-train solutions will fuel a part of our order book, as well as some very good relations with our existing customers. At this moment we are executing a large offshore project for one of our customers, and we expect this project to significantly expand in scope as well, further filling our order book. Also some industry wide tenders are expected. However, we expect competition will be fierce, to say the least,” says Hoogendoorn.“Where people like to think of the Dutch shipbuilding industry to be a high-tech industry, there is also still plenty of movement in the low-tech side of the market. This typically concerns one-offs and rapid response projects, but nonetheless, there is a good niche there. Standardisation may become less common in the Netherlands, as many foreign shipyards can replicate against lower rates than we can, due to a variety of factors.”Launching costumerHolland Shipyards sees that the government is slowly starting to take up its role as a launching customer, which is a good development. On the regulatory side, the yard still sees various parties struggle to reach the latest requirements.“Also attaining finances has become a determining factor for projects seeing daylight, more so than before. This has raised the requirement for customer financial services to be provided by shipyards or other parties, apart from directly from the conventional institutions. Most notably the private sector and crowd-funding have been big movers in this segment.”“In the past few years, we have approached a few projects on a joint basis with other shipyards. Some yards are fairly open to collaboration and together we can make more of an impact. More important however, is the collaboration between shipyards and suppliers. In order to remain a technological leader, this connection is far more important. We did see this in the development of some of our hybrid designs, for example. Only by implementing hi-tech or cost-effective solutions, the Dutch shipbuilding industry can remain ahead of the game.”Thecla Bodewes ShipyardsThecla Bodewes Shipyards is specialised in the development and building of both standard and client oriented vessels of various type: inland and sea-going. Over the last years the yards have delivered a wide range of very different vessels. In 2016 the Multi-Purpose Bed Leveler Tera Plana was delivered to Boskalis followed by the Spring 2017 delivery of a small specialised Ro-Ro Cargo Vessel to a French client and in September last year the River Ferry Zilverstad to Dutch shipping owner Ferry Service Schoonhoven.Caspian SeaFurthermore, over the last months of 2017 the third triple propelled Inland Pusher Sheila J. has been delivered to a Paraguayan shipping company. Also the first of three ice class 1C very shallow draught Pusher tug to the Caspian Sea was delivered. In October after a construction time of only three months an IMO 2 chemical barge was delivered to Kazakhstan just before winter closure of the Caspian Sea entrance channels.Unique designFor 2018 new and exciting developments are contracted and planned. Besides the second and third Ice pusher for Russia, the first Flyshooter with electrical winches will be delivered to a Dutch owner. The last project is a breakthrough for the yard. It is also a step forward in innovation, control of fishing gear, maintenance cost and hygiene. Most recently in close cooperation with Conoship International a state-of-the-art aluminum passenger ferry has been contracted for a German ship owner. Very light-weight and shallow draught with highspeed and small fuel-efficient engines, this unique design is specially developed to sail for day passenger and special charter trips. The ferry will be delivered in spring 2019.“Looking forward we will continue in successfully adding value for our clients by focusing on their needs while creating an optimum balance between design and production efficiency,” says Thecla Bodewes, CEO and owner of the Dutch shipyard.Royal IHCAs the technology innovator Royal IHC designs and supplies vessels and equipment that enables our customers to outperform and add value to their activities. The company’s products will maximise the uptime and performance and minimise operational costs. The past year Royal IHC had some very challenging and innovative projects.In the dredging market we have designed, built and delivered in 2017 world’s first LNG powered hopper dredgers – Scheldt River and Minerva – for DEME in 2017. Another innovative project Royal IHC are currently working on for DEME is world’s largest self-propelled cutter suction dredger Spartacus. The vessel will be 164 metres long and the first LNG powered cutter suction dredger in the world.In January IHC launched the DC Orisant, a versatile gravel hopper that it suitable for both the dredging and offshore wind market. It is the first complete diesel electric aggregate dredger on the market, which enables it to sail at the most economical speed in all situations.EfficientIn the offshore market Royal IHC have secured an order for an integrated reel lay vessel for Subsea 7. The vessel will be unique for its compact dimensions which are facilitated by the creative positioning of its three engine rooms and main reel, efficient use of the superstructure, and low-profile pipelay ramp.The design of the reel lay system focuses on operational efficiency and flexibility, alongside crew safety. In addition to maximising performance and minimising operational costs, sustainability is becoming an increasingly important driver for vessel innovations.Vessels have to comply with stricter regulations for exhaust emissions. This means that an alternative has to be found for heavy oil, like alternative fuels or after-treatment. In the future, the importance of CO2 reduction will increase and this will determine how vessels will operate. In the long run, vessels can no longer sail on fossil fuels and we will have to find alternatives such as batteries and hydrogen.In addition, energy saving remains an important driver for innovations such as more efficient hull forms, energy-efficient drive systems and temporary energy storage.ForefrontDutch shipyards will continue to distinguish themselves on innovative and complex vessels. Royal IHC’s distinctive capacity lies in the fact that the company can perform such complex, high risk projects competitively and quickly. In addition, sustainability aspects will become increasingly important and Royal IHC thinks that Dutch shipyards will (have to) be at the forefront in the design and construction of vessels that are based on sustainable energy systems.Collaboration within the maritime cluster is important to realise the ambitions mentioned before. Particularly the cooperation with innovative suppliers who will deliver reliable solutions and components that make new technologies, such as batteries, alternative drive systems and alternative fuels, applicable in ships. This article was previously published in Maritime Holland edition #2 – 2018.,This article was previously published in Maritime Holland edition #2 – 2018.
February 21, 2014 476 Views In preparation for the launch of its first-ever national marketing campaign, Trulia announced the appointment of Kira Wampler as chief marketing officer (CMO).Wampler comes to Trulia from Lytro, where she served as VP of product and marketing. There, she adopted a strategic and data-driven go-to-market strategy, launching the company and the light field camera category to critical acclaim.For Trulia, her job will be to lead marketing initiatives for and increase the growth of the company’s award-winning products.“After thorough research and testing, we feel confident that we can extend our brand, drive even higher levels of engagement and deliver a more compelling ROI to our subscribers through a national marketing campaign,” said Pete Flint, CEO and co-founder of Trulia. “With the addition of Kira as Trulia’s first CMO and Steve Hafner of Kayak joining our board, we have the experienced team in place to extend our brand through a national advertising campaign.”“I’m thrilled to join Trulia and excited to create and launch high impact programs to reach and activate Trulia’s uniquely engaged consumer audience,” Wampler added. “We have defined a consumer-driven and authentic approach to our marketing efforts, allowing us to break through in the category.” Share Movers & Shakers Trulia 2014-02-21 Tory Barringer in Headlines, News, Technology Trulia Appoints CMO Ahead of Marketing Campaign
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Ryan Williams doesn’t look like a running backwho was lying on the turf at Lambeau Field after suffering aseason-ending knee injury against the Green Bay Packers just 341days ago.When training camp opened in Flagstaff for the Arizona CardinalsWednesday,Williams simply looked like the back the team drafted in the 2ndround of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Virginia Tech.Taking advantage of Beanie Wells being placed on the PUP(Physically Unable to Perform) List, Williams took on a sizableworkload in his first practice of camp — so much so, that itsurprised even himself. What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke The crowd in attendance didn’t seem to mind, as they voiced theirapproval.“It was cool, I loved the support,” he said. “I’m sure a lot of peopleout there were paying attention to my rehab, my recovery and myprogress, so for them to be paying attention to rooting me on todayfelt good.”Despite his impressive first day, Williams knows there will becompetition for carries when Wells returns to practice followingoffseason knee surgery.“Beanie will be back, and he’ll be himself and I’m ready to do a 1-2punch,” Williams said. “That’s my bro, man. For the last two tothree months we’ve been in the rehab facility together and I feel likethis injury has brought us closer together.” – / 35 “I actually practiced more than I thought I would today, for my firstday,” Williams said. “They said I was going to be limited in my playsand everything so I didn’t know that I was going to run routes, Ididn’t know that I would get that many carries, and I really didn’tknow that I was going to get the ball on that screen.”If he was surprised, it didn’t show. The second-year pro lookedvery comfortable on the upper practice field at NAU, even if hebelieves he’s not quite at full strength just yet.“I do, I do,” Williams answered when asked whether he has anylingering effects from the torn patellar tendon in his right knee. “I’lladmit, I’m not 100 percent, but I’m as close to it as I’ve been sinceAugust.“If I were to guess, I’d say I’m about 85 or 90 (percent), sothroughout the rest of this month and August, I’m trying to get thatlast ten to 15 percent back.”Williams had one of the highlight moments of Wednesday’s practicewhen he took a handoff from quarterback John Skelton, side-steppeddefensive lineman David Carter and zig-zagged thoughseveral defenders on what would have been a long gain. Thepractice, after all, was a non-contact walk-through. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Comments Share Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Top Stories
Russia’s Consumer Rights Protection Society (OZPP) has filed a lawsuit against four pay TV operators – Tricolor TV, Akado, NTV+ and VimpelCom – alleging that they violated the rights of consumers by dropping the Dozhd channel from their programming line-ups without warning.The OZPP has filed a suit with the Ostankino district court in Moscow after receiving numerous complaints about the decision of the operators to switch off the channel.According to the OZPP filing, the exclusion of Dozhd violated the rights of consumers by breaking the terms of their subscription agreements with providers, citing Article 4 of the country’s consumer rights protection law.Russian operators moved swiftly to remove Dozhd from their programming line-ups after a political furore surrounding the channel’s posting of a survey asking whether lives could have been saved had the city of Leningrad – now St Petersburg – surrendered to Axis forces during World War II rather than withstanding a costly three-year siege. The channel is seen as one of the few media outlets to give airtime to opposition figures and voices critical of President Vladimir Putin’s regime.
It is my contention that the 70-year debt supercycle has come to an end. To put the current financial situation in perspective, here’s a long-term history of the debt-to-GDP ratio, which reached a record high at the beginning of the current crisis. It was a dramatic change in 2009, unlike anything since the aftermath of the Great Depression. Inflation spiked dramatically in the 1973 and 1979 oil crises. More recently, official government numbers haven’t shown wild inflation. Prices for energy, food and domestic services – like medical care and education – have had big jumps. But thanks to cheap foreign manufacturing, we are able to import goods at attractive prices, so overall inflation doesn’t reflect the extreme money creation by the Fed. Wage growth is nonexistent, largely due to foreign competition and high unemployment from offshoring manufacturing. The forces of inflation can easily overcome a weak economy to destroy a currency: this has happened in countries like Zimbabwe, Argentina or Yugoslavia. Once things get out of hand, it is hard to say whether it is the weak economy that causes the government spending and further deficit destruction of the currency, or the reverse. But that doesn’t matter once people lose confidence in the government and its paper issuance. The chart below shows government numbers for inflation that seem awfully low compared to what most people experience. The erratic behavior of commodities is likely to continue, so I think prices will continue to rise. But even using these conservative government numbers, when we subtract the inflation from the interest rate to show the real return to an investor, we get negative numbers. This, too, is unsustainable. The clear driver of this extreme expansion of government debt that I call a “Bond Bubble” is the Federal Reserve’s flooding of markets with liquidity to drive rates to zero. The chart below shows a projection what will happen to the Fed’s balance sheet as it continues to distort the rate to zero by extending its monthly purchases of $40 billion of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and $45 billion of Treasuries out to 2016: And here is a simplification of the above by just averaging the numbers to a single line in which you can see an imprecise confirmation that, despite wide variability, there is an underlying pattern in world markets. It is my contention that the actions of the Fed, which were started to counter the credit crisis of 2008 with four programs of quantitative easing, have brought us the incredibly low interest rates (aka, the Bond Bubble) we have today. By purchasing so many credit assets, the Fed is driving the price of bonds higher, and thus interest rates much lower, than they would otherwise be. The black line in the chart above is the 10-year Treasury rate – you can see that it drops with each of the big balance sheet expansions. The resulting asset bubbles in stocks and housing are a direct result of the monetary creation by the Fed. The growth in Fed purchases will likely continue so that the low rates of the Bond Bubble don’t collapse. But the effects of the Fed’s economic stimulus decline with each new injection of money. There will come a time when the Fed announces a new program of balance sheet expansion by asset purchases that will cause the interest rate to rise because of fears of inflation from money creation, rather than fall as the Fed desires. At that point, we’ll know the Fed’s power to manipulate the economy has dissipated. Just How Low Can Interest Rates Go? The chart of 10-year Treasuries below shows that the current level of 2% is lower than it has ever been, except for a brief low of 1.5% last fall (blue line). It is the lowest in 240 years. This is happening in spite of government deficits expanding at a trillion dollars per year as far as the eye can see. We are at the bottom of a 32-year bull market in bonds (drop in rate). To get a view of how extreme today’s rate is, I added the red line, which is 100 divided by the interest rate. It shows a rise as rates fall and makes the bubble of low rates more obvious – which is currently higher than ever. The chart below, which shows the interest rates of 187 countries, has some underlying patterns. At first blush it just looks like spaghetti, but if you step back, you can see that rates were rising into 1980. Then many fell until the recent crisis, after which new deviations appear. In Europe, rates went both ways: up for the PIIGS and down for the safe havens like Germany. The highest the debt-to-GDP ratio had previously been for the United States was 301% at the bottom of the depression in 1933 when GDP collapsed and debt was high. The level became unsustainable in 2009, despite low interest rates. Weak borrowers were signing up to finance houses that they thought would increase in price forever. The point of the chart is that this downturn is different from all the recessions since World War II. Total market debt includes debt of the federal government, state governments, households, business, financial institutions, and to foreigners. The components of the above total debt are shown below, so you can see which ones are stabilizing and which may be approaching unsustainable levels. Looking forward, the most important problem is that the federal government has inserted itself into the economy with huge deficits to try to combat the slowing of the private sector. As you can see, private-sector borrowing has not increased, even as federal government deficits have ballooned to unprecedented levels. In essence, we are building our recovery on government debt. Debt and Interest Rates Suggest Higher Rates Are Possible The chart below shows the comparison of Greece’s growing debt (in blue) and the resulting rise in interest rate. You can see that as Greece’s debt to GDP rose above 100%, the interest rate rose toward 20%. Lenders lost confidence in the ability of the Greek government to actually pay back its debt. During the credit crisis, junk bonds were the worst performers as investors feared they would lose their money in default. Rates rose on BBB corporate debt as well. At the same time, government debt became the safe haven, and as people moved to the safe haven, they drove the price of Treasuries up and their interest rate down. The premium has gone out of the lower-rated markets, with rates even lower than before this crisis started. It’s not that risk has disappeared: I think it is more likely that the flood of excess money is chasing any kind of return it can find, and that is driving rates to record-low levels. The above six charts confirm that rates of all kinds are at 50-year record lows. In contrast, the stronger countries have been able to accommodate their government debt increase and still maintain moderate interest rates. The United States is shown in the following chart. Central banks have aided the government in managing to keep rates low despite big deficits, by buying the debt. Balance sheets of the world’s central banks are growing rapidly to support government deficits while forcing rates to low levels. It is a bubble. A Look at Interest Rates Worldwide I’ve written extensively in previous articles about central bank expansion, but it’s worth reminding ourselves that excessive money creation is not just a US phenomenon but a worldwide experiment. Once this feeds back on itself as ordinary people recognize the destruction of the fiat currency systems, we can expect inflation on a worldwide basis. The similar decline in interest rates in Germany and Japan is the result of their central bank interventions to support their economies by driving rates lower. Between now and that day of reckoning, you can rest assured the purchasing power of your money will continue to erode. This, of course, means that to make a profit, you have outpace inflation. One of the best approaches you can take is to follow the lead of contrarian investing legend Doug Casey and invest in emerging trends… When you buy Treasury bonds, you are putting your fate in the hands of the government, expecting it to give back your purchasing power and a reasonable amount of interest to you, in return for the use of your money. Should you trust these authorities with your money? I believe we are headed for a serious loss of confidence in the value of the dollar, which will be accompanied by a burst of the Bond Bubble. This Ponzi scheme is getting ready to explode. The point is that these extremely low rates are unprecedented, even when looking back to the last Great Depression. They could spring back a long way. The low rates induced by the Fed are transmitted to many other market rates, as shown in the following charts. These charts need little comment, except that all of them confirm the simultaneous movement to many-decade lows.