Should We Own Our Washing Machines? (Nervous Nelly)
The lease model might have a number of advantages: manufacturers would be able to supply top-end machines most economical in energy and water; it would be in the makers’ interest to maximise longevity to minimise service bills; and it would create a supply-return loop so that old machines went back to makers to be re-furbished, updated or taken apart and cannibalised – and in the last resort melted down.
Hinrichs said S&P still rated Germany as a triple A with stable outlook and did not see any reason for concern: “It is one of the few AAA and stable countries that we still have in Europe”.
China's Gold Reserves: Watch What They Do, Not What They Say (westcoastjan)
More recently, Gao Wei, an official from the Department of International Economic Affairs wrote a commentary in the China Securities Journal in November 2012 stating: "While gold prices are currently near record highs, China can build its reserves by buying low and selling high amid the short-term volatility." Gao also described China's gold reserves as being "too small", according to articles on the subject released by Bloomberg.
Defined benefit plans provide guaranteed income and benefits for life upon retirement. Defined contribution plans set aside money that workers can draw on during retirement.
After being sent to a summit in Rio de Janeiro last summer he was given an opportunity to study in New York thanks to Tribal Link's Indigenous Fellowship Program and the Nataasha van Kampen Foundation. The Post Factory in Manhattan has been helping him learn to edit so he can pursue his dream of becoming a documentary film-maker.
Is The "Buy to Rent" Party Over? (westcoastjan)
“Investors are buying homes, in part, to rent them out, and that has added a lot of rental supply, and that’s preventing rents from rising,” Jed Kolko, San Francisco-based Trulia’s chief economist, said in a telephone interview. “It means some investors will start to think about selling those single-family rentals.”
“They’re effectively pushing prices up on each other,” Chang, a former Morgan Stanley housing analyst, said in a telephone interview.
The problem seems simple in the abstract: There are young Canadians who need to get an education and then a job after that, and there are Canadian companies that are desperately eager to hire these people. But there’s a missed connection here: The educational choices of these young Canadians are steering them into fields that are either dead ends, low-paying or hopelessly glutted with applicants. If they’d all just take up welding or natural resources extraction, with a minor in information technology, all our problems would be solved.
Detroit and Cyprus offer debt lessons for budget (westcoastjan)
With standards set by the car business, city employees had good benefits and pension packages. But with the woes that have befallen the automotive sector, the city has shrunk by more than half and with it, the tax base. As taxes declined, the city made up the difference with borrowing. At first the loans were small. Then, they got bigger.
Now, Detroit has been living on debt so long it can’t cover its interest payments — not while running the city at the same time. Something had to give.
Silver and Gold Purchases: Domestic and Offshore Storage (GE Christenson)
If you want to buy and sell easily without taking delivery of actual metal, then perhaps you should invest in an ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) for gold and silver. The fees are minimal; ETFs are convenient and good for frequent trading. The two most popular are GLD and SLV. They are also criticized by many analysts, so I encourage you to also consider PHYS, PSLV, GTU, and others.
Tanker rout reversing as U.S. buys more Middle East oil (westcoastjan)
Refineries in the Gulf of Mexico, the world’s largest importing region, are buying more oil because U.S. consumption is expanding at the fastest pace in two years. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, 70 percent of whose output comes from the Persian Gulf, increased production for the first time in six months in February, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The extra cargoes are easing the biggest regional glut in tankers for this time of year since at least 2010.
China's Suntech Power in $541m debt default (westcoastjan)
"We are currently exploring strategic alternatives with lenders and potential investors, which could help to set us on a path towards longer term success."
The firm has outstanding loans from International Finance Corporation as well as Chinese domestic lenders.
Russia, Saudi Arabia hope to emulate U.S. shale boom (westcoastjan)
Saudi Arabia is seeking to develop its natural gas resources to meet rising domestic energy demand. Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Saudi Aramco, is searching for shale gas in the northwest of the country as it explores for unconventional resources such as sour gas in the oil-rich eastern region and in the Empty Quarter deserts, Senior Vice President of Upstream Amin Nasser told a conference March 10 in Manama.
Coal Is the Fuel of the Past and the Future (James S.)
If you do not have an abundance of natural gas, as here in the United States, then coal is your default choice. It is shipped around the world in larger and larger quantities. The more the world has resisted the burning of coal, the more it has had to fall back on it. Alternative energy, attractive in theory, is yet to make its mark.
The process, officials and engineers at Lockheed Martin Corp say, would enable filter manufacturers to produce thin carbon membranes with regular holes about a nanometer in size that are large enough to allow water to pass through but small enough to block the molecules of salt in seawater. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter.
It's 500 times thinner than the best filter on the market today and a thousand times stronger," said John Stetson, the engineer who has been working on the idea. "The energy that's required and the pressure that's required to filter salt is approximately 100 times less.
"Between now and 2040, fresh water availability will not keep up with demand absent more effective management of water resources," the report said. "Water problems will hinder the ability of key countries to produce food and generate electricity."
About 780 million people around the world do not have access to clean drinking water, the United Nations reported last year.
Mike Holmes: Water makes the world go around (westcoastjan)
Or how many times has a broken water main paralyzed an entire section of a city? The headlines say it all. When you notice these things you start to understand how important plumbing is just to keep everyday life going. And when natural disasters — like a flood or earthquake — compromise a plumbing system, we quickly learn just how important plumbing really is. Just look at Haiti and Japan.
Gold & Silver
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