Finance news. My opinion.

October 26, 2014

Two years after her death, child stricken with brain cancer still inspires

Filed under: management, money — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 9:51 pm

This time there is no crying. But the atmosphere in the East York bungalow feels strikingly similar to the night of Stella Joy Bruner-Methven

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October 25, 2014

Shooter dead after attack at high school near Seattle, police say

Filed under: finance, prices — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 6:47 am

MARYSVILLE, WASH.—Police in Washington state say a shooter is dead after an attack at a high school north of Seattle.

Marysville Police commander Robb Lamoureux said Friday the shooter was a student and could not say if anyone else was wounded.

Live video showed students being evacuated from Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville, about 50 kilometres north of Seattle.

Arthur White, who lives across from the school, told The Daily Herald that a large number of police vehicles converged on the scene quickly late Friday morning low rates payday advance.

Ayn Dietrich, an FBI spokesperson in Seattle, said the agency had personnel on their way to the scene to help authorities with the investigation.


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October 23, 2014

Eurozone survey rise does not ease recession fears

Filed under: legal, online — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 4:11 pm

LONDON (AP) — A stronger than anticipated economic survey Thursday failed to inspire much optimism in European markets amid ongoing worries over the state of the 18-country eurozone and of France in particular.

A broad survey of activity in the manufacturing and services sectors by financial information company Markit rose unexpectedly in October. But any boost to confidence was quickly offset by a pessimistic assessment of the eurozone by credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s that added to the gloom that has gripped markets in recent weeks.

“We believe that the eurozone’s problems are still unresolved,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Moritz Kraemer.

Since the summer of 2012, when European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the bank would do “whatever it takes” to save the euro, a sense of calm has come over markets. Over recent months, however, concerns have mounted over the region’s paltry levels of economic growth.

Markit said it composite purchasing managers’ index for the eurozone — a gauge of business activity across manufacturing and services — rose to 52.2 points in October from 52.0 in September. Anything above 50 indicates expansion.

The rise was unexpected, with most analysts anticipating a modest decline. For a while, the survey’s results helped European markets to rally, but that soon dissipated and the Stoxx 50 index of leading European shares was trading 0.3 percent lower in early afternoon trading.

Timo del Carpio, European economist at RBC Capital Market said there was nothing to suggest the recovery will be anything but “a sluggish and fragile affair.”

The overall increase in Thursday’s survey was largely due to an improvement in Germany, particularly its manufacturing sector. Germany’s advance helped camouflage the problems afflicting France. Business activity in Europe’s second-largest economy fell for a sixth successive month and deteriorated at the fastest rate since February.

“While the survey suggests the euro area has so far avoided a slide back into recession this year, a renewed downturn cannot be ruled out,” said Chris Williamson, Markit’s chief economist. “Growth is so anemic that increasing numbers of companies are being forced into laying off staff and slashing prices in an attempt to cut costs and boost sales through discounting.”

Figures next month are expected to show the eurozone grew modestly in the third quarter after recording no growth in the second. Again, Germany is expected to be the main reason behind the overall advance.

In a wide-ranging report, S&P said it stood by its assessment of a year ago that the eurozone’s underlying problems — largely relating to debt — have not been dealt with. In particular, it said Draghi’s pledge, which lay behind the market calm, may have had the unintended consequence of governments deferring the “necessary but politically unpopular” structural reforms that it says are needed to boost long-term growth.

Reforms it touts include changes to the tax regime, labor markets, pensions and education as well as opening up sheltered sectors to competition. France and Italy are the two countries most economists think have been slow in pursuing reforms.

“How governments react to the current volatility and economic slowdown will be important determinants for the eurozone’s future direction,” S&P’s Kraemer said.


October 15, 2014

UK unemployment rate drops to lowest since 20080

Filed under: debt, online — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 1:11 pm

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s unemployment rate dropped to 6 percent for the June to August period, down from 6.4 percent in the three months before and the lowest rate since 2008.

The Office of National Statistics said Wednesday there were 1.97 million unemployed people, 538,000 fewer than a year earlier. The agency says it was the largest annual fall in unemployment since records began in 1972.

Samuel Tombs, senior U.K. economist for Capital Economics, says the figures suggest Britain is starting to see the pick-up in productivity required for the recovery to maintain momentum guaranteed pay day loans.

Pay including bonuses was only 0.7 percent higher than a year earlier. The Bank of England has expressed concern about slow wage growth, and the muted figure will encourage policymakers to keep interest rates low despite the strengthening economy.


October 10, 2014

Katy Perry scores Super Bowl halftime gig: report

Filed under: debt, management — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 4:48 pm

Katy Perry has reportedly edged out Coldplay and Rihanna and will perform in February’s Super Bowl halftime show.

The report in entertainment publication Billboard comes on the heels of earlier stories that that league was asking artists to pay for the chance to perform, since the massive exposure has helped previous halftime acts increase their sales and profiles.

Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers were watched by a record 115.3 viewers last February, while the actual game had 111.5 million viewers.

Perry had a pointed response last Saturday on ESPN’s College Game Day, saying, “I’m not the kind of girl who would pay to play the Super Bowl.”

Perry hardly needs to hike her profile since she has 58.1 million Twitter followers, the most on the site.

The NFL has been tight-lipped on the pay-to-play story since it broke in the summer, when the Wall Street Journal quoted unnamed sources as saying big name acts balked when asked to pay in order to take the stage.

The NFL has yet to make an announcement on who will play at Super Bowl XLIX.


October 9, 2014


Filed under: loans, news — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 1:52 am

At Universal NutriBeverage Sdn., two years of rising costs have Director Terence Kuah wishing for good news in Malaysia

September 30, 2014

Filed under: legal, money — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 10:47 pm

As development has leapfrogged the Greenbelt area north of the GTA into the fast-growing area around Barrie, many farmers have been playing a lucrative game of musical chairs.

They’ve been selling off valuable spreads for development that their families have farmed, in some cases for generations, and been snapping up cheaper land within an hour’s drive where they start all over again.

That double demand, of sorts, for farmland in the South Simcoe area has been “extraordinary,” according to ReMax’s annual farm report released Tuesday. That high-demand stretch, largely along Highway 400, includes Barrie, Tottenham, Innisfil, Springwater and Bradford.

There developers have paid up to $54,000 an acre for hay fields that can be converted to housing. Just down the road – in areas where land is designated solely for farming – prices have also been escalating, but to a relatively affordable $10,000 to $12,000 per acre, says ReMax.

That’s encouraged some long-time farmers to even split their businesses, says former farmer and now ReMax farm specialist George Atkinson: Dad maintains some of the valuable old parcel and sells off the rest to help the kids buy up new, cheaper farms within easy commuting distance so they can share costly farm equipment.

In Kitchener-Waterloo, where prices have started to level off, farmland is now amongst the priciest in the province — $14,000 to $18,000 per acre. That’s also lead to relocations, with some Mennonite families moving to Quinte and Renfrew counties to the northeast. There farmland is a more affordable $8,000 to $12,000 per acre, notes ReMax.

For the most part, the price of farmland across Canada has largely held steady or increased just slightly over 2013, says the report, after years of substantive price escalation.

Alberta, however, has been plagued with the same inventory problem now driving up prices in the Toronto house market: Bidding wars caused by too much demand for too little supply.


September 27, 2014

On climate, Canada buries its head in the oilsands

Filed under: debt, uk — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 4:51 pm

When dinosaurs strode the Earth millions of years ago, seemingly unaware their end was near, I could imagine the spirit of a smiling Stephen Harper and his merry band of Canadian climate-change deniers hard at work. “Not to worry, my little ones,” I can hear them saying to any dinosaur that listened. “It will all turn out just fine in the end.” Fortunately, the rest of us now live in a post-dinosaur frame of mind and are not so sanguine.

When the history of this fragile planet is written, I suspect this past week will go down as a hopeful one. If for only a few days, the right-wing political echo chamber of self-serving cynicism and apathy about the perils of climate change was pushed to the background.

Instead, through the power of worldwide protests and the surprising legacy of oil magnate John D. Rockefeller, we were reminded that people care about the growing threats to their world, and that there is something that can be done about it.

Last Sunday, in what was called the “People’s Climate March,” hundreds of thousands of people turned out in more than 150 countries and 2,000 separate locations — including in Canada — to demand urgent action on climate change. Although it received scant media coverage in the U.S., it was regarded as the largest march of its kind in history. In New York City alone, more than 300,000 people participated.

The next day, heirs to the fabled Rockefeller family, which made its fortune from oil, announced they would sell their investments in fossil fuels and reinvest in clean energy. The Rockefeller fund said it was joining a coalition of hundreds of other institutions and individuals to rid themselves of more than $50 billion in fossil fuel assets. For the Rockefellers, this included investments in Canadian industries.

All of this came as the United Nations on Tuesday prepared for the largest gathering of world leaders ever devoted to climate change, and the first such meeting in five years. More than 100 leaders attended the summit — but not Prime Minister Harper, even though he was in New York on Tuesday. It was a prelude to an even more crucial meeting in Paris at the end of next year when the world’s nations need to work out a new international climate-change agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol fast payday loan.

The initiative by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund took many by surprise. It was described as an effort to make oil, gas and coal investments as toxic as tobacco stocks became in the 1990s, or investments in apartheid South Africa in the 1980s. Stephen Heintz, the fund’s president, said the founder of Standard Oil in 1870, if he were alive today, would be “leading the charge” into renewable energy. It comes at a time when the “divestment movement” is gaining traction in many companies and on university campuses.

In the debate about climate change, the South African apartheid parallels have been cited by many. Can companies today be pressured to stop their investment in fossil fuels — like the Rockefellers — in the same way that companies in the 1980s were pressured to end their support of apartheid South Africa?

In recent months, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu has been particularly critical of Canada’s approach to the development of Alberta’s tarsands. This is in contrast to how he viewed Canada during the protests against South Africa in the 1980s.

I remember when I was part of the CBC news team in 1985-86 covering the state of emergency in South Africa, Tutu in particular told us how important Canada’s boycott of apartheid was for their campaign to replace that government.

Last Sunday in The Observer newspaper, Tutu urged that a similar campaign happen: “Never before in history have human beings been called on to act collectively in defence of the Earth . . . Who can stop climate change? We can. You and you and you, and me. And it is not just that we can stop it, we have a responsibility to do so.”

With Canada’s next election scheduled for October of next year, only a few months before the crucial Paris climate change summit, it will be critical to see “which Canada” shows up in Paris.


September 19, 2014

Colombia Buoyed by U.S. Outperforming as China Sales Slow - Bloomberg

Filed under: legal, lenders — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 2:15 pm

Exports of flowers to the U.S. and fuels to India are buffering Colombia from a slowdown in Chinese growth that is hurting the Andean country

September 17, 2014

Mayor Rob Ford diagnosed with cancer

Filed under: money, term — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 11:43 pm

Mayor Rob Ford has been diagnosed with cancer.

Dr. Zane Cohen, the renowned colorectal surgeon, made the announcement at a news conference at Mount Sinai Hospital on Wednesday afternoon.

Ford, who withdrew from the mayoral election on Friday, was hospitalized a week ago. He is now a council candidate in Ward 2 (Etobicoke North).

Ford, 45, said earlier in the week that he was vomiting and in pain. He suggested his condition was dire, telling the Toronto Sun, “I guess the good Lord wants me somewhere else.”

Doug Ford replaced his younger brother on the mayoral election ballot. He has not yet formally begun campaigning.

“It’s a tough day,” he said in brief remarks outside Mount Sinai earlier on Wednesday.

Doug Ford, brother Randy Ford, mother Diane Ford, and the mayor’s wife Renata Ford visited the mayor in the hospital ahead of the announcement.

“We have a lot of faith in the doctors and we have a lot of faith in God,” Renata Ford said.

Unless he takes a formal leave of absence, Rob Ford will remain in charge of the city until the new mayor is sworn in December 1. Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly is the city’s de facto leader, having been assigned most of the mayor’s powers in November.

The Fords’ father, former MPP Doug Ford Sr., died of colon cancer in 2006, three months after he was diagnosed.

“The most important thing, most important thing, is your health,” Rob Ford said in his speech at the wedding of assistant Jerry Agyemang in August. “Friends, you can have everything in the world. If you haven’t got your health you don’t have very much.”

A scheduled evening debate between mayoral candidates John Tory and Olivia Chow was cancelled in the early afternoon. Tory and Chow are both planning to respond to the Ford news on a street corner behind city hall after 5:30 p.m.

“I hope Mr. Ford doesn’t have cancer,” Chow, whose husband Jack Layton died of cancer in 2011, said earlier in the day. She said she had worn yellow, the colour of the anti-cancer daffodil symbol, in support.

“Today, our thoughts are with the mayor and with his family, and we will resume the campaign at an appropriate time in full,” said Tory. He said he was sending Ford “positive energy.”

After Ford dropped out of the mayoral race, he said he was “unable to commit to the heavy schedule required for a mayoral candidate” but was able to run for council.

“I could be facing a battle of my lifetime, and I want the people of Toronto to know that I intend to face this challenge head on, and win,” he said in his statement last week.


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