Daily Digest 12/17 - Japan Passes Energy Sector Reform, How Much Nature Do We Have To Use?
Poland’s move followed a similar move by the Mediterranean island-nation of Cyprus in March when the government confiscated 10 percent of all bank accounts. Cyprus sought to raise 6 billion euros to meet a condition set by international bankers, including the International Monetary Fund as a condition of finalizing a proposed Eurozone bailout.
Dimon is now spending billions on an army of accountants and other “risk professionals” to examine JPMorgan. Yet this flurry of activity will not improve the bank’s core risk knowledge, because the global banking system has enormous systemic hidden risk. Dimon’s debacle is not an isolated case.
The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet is poised to exceed $4 trillion, prompting warnings its record easing is inflating asset-price bubbles and drawing renewed lawmaker scrutiny just as Janet Yellen prepares to take charge. Among Fed officials, “there’s discomfort in the sense that the portfolio could grow almost without limit,” former Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn said last week during a panel discussion in Washington. Kohn said there was “discomfort in the potential financial stability effects” and added: “There’s some legitimacy in those discomforts.”
"Megabanks trade risk via derivatives contracts to another firm while keeping the underlying asset on their books," says Too Big Has Failed. "This way they can bypass capital requirements and take on more debt. This in turn allows them to make more trades, but it also means that if a sudden downturn surfaces in the markets, the firm which borrowed way beyond their means may quickly go bankrupt."
Speaker after speaker at the Nobel Week Dialogue emphasized that one of the biggest challenges of the upcoming decades will be bringing more of the world's population into the energy economy, providing them with access to electricity and the other benefits that can accompany it, like refrigeration for food and medical supplies. The benefits don't stop there; Richenda Van Leeuwen of the UN Foundation noted that simply having access to lighting in the developing world can increase family income by about 15 percent.
The Fukushima nuclear crisis certainly had profound implications for Japan. In November 2013, Japan’s lower house and upper house successively passed legislation to start electricity sector reform in 2015. Nuclear energy, which used to account for 30 percent of Japan’s electric power, was discarded after the earthquake and Fukushima incident, leading to energy price hikes (see graph below). The new bill, designed to break up monopolies, curb electricity prices and facilitate the development of renewable energy through a series of liberal reforms, is the child of the Fukushima nuclear crisis.
"(Alberta Environment) is consulting on a tailings management framework with industry and First Nations," department spokeswoman Nikki Booth said in an email. "Included in that consultation are discussions about introducing tailings water (free of the tailings) back into natural waterways at the end of a project."
How Much Nature Do We Have to Use? (cmartenson)
If you want to grow your savings and avoid going into financial debt, you need to spend your money no faster than you earn it. To do this, you need to know exactly how much money you make and spend over a given period, and compare the two. You can then create a budget for continuing to live within your means by predicting how your future earning and spending may change. Similarly, if you want to ensure that you are not overusing ecological assets—which provide the ecological services on which all human activities, including the economy, depend—you need to know how productive these assets are, and the rate at which you use them.
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