Priced Out Of Paris (Thomas C.)
At the New Cities Summit I had a coffee with Saskia Sassen of Columbia University, leading thinker on cities. That took some doing: Sassen arrived from Bogotá that morning, and was flying to Zurich hours later. “Cities were poor,” she told me, in between. “In the 1970s London was broke, New York was broke, Tokyo was broke, Paris was much poorer than now. And the built environment was a bit run down.”
The Independent on Sunday has learned that a military decision has been taken in Iran – even before last week’s presidential election – to send a first contingent of 4,000 Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria to support President Bashar al-Assad’s forces against the largely Sunni rebellion that has cost almost 100,000 lives in just over two years. Iran is now fully committed to preserving Assad’s regime, according to pro-Iranian sources which have been deeply involved in the Islamic Republic’s security, even to the extent of proposing to open up a new ‘Syrian’ front on the Golan Heights against Israel.
Gold reserves stored securely (Dana T.)
“The New York Fed and the Banque de France also offer to store gold holdings for other central banks free of charge. The Bank of England charges warehousing fees amounting to roughly €500,000 per year. Storage in the Bundesbank’s own vaults, too, involves costs. Matters of cost, however, are not the sole consideration in determining the choice of storage facility. The usability of gold as a reserve asset and storage security are much more important”.
They want students who have had access to top-quality means of knowledge transfer. In this view, perhaps MOOCs are hot because, in the ideal, the lectures would cost the students (and the colleges) next to nothing and be taught by the most famous scholars in the world.
Simply put, Bass explains, we do not want to admit that there is this serious (potentially perilous) outcome that disallows the world to continue on the way it has, and that is why so many people, whether self-preserving or self-dealing, miss all the warning signs and get this wrong – “it’s really important to understand that people do not want to come to the [quantitatively correct but potentially catastrophic] conclusion; and that’s why things are priced the way they are in the marketplace.”
The view on: Australia’s economic future, with Dr Ken Henry (Arthur Robey)
Just where is the Australian economy heading? The investment mining boom has peaked, and the structural changes sweeping manufacturing continue. Dr Henry tells SBS business reporter Ricardo Gonsalves that Australia can reposition itself as a quality supplier of high grade goods and services the growing Chinese middle class will increasingly desire – but only if critical microeconomic productivity reform is taken seriously.
Jim comments on what he sees as the bright spots within the American economy and the effects of growth in domestic energy markets. He believes that an economic renaissance may occur in certain pockets of the country and details why he thinks this may be so.
But the reality, says Stockman, was different—a severe recession was in the making because of “the housing and credit boom” fueled by the Fed’s policy of low interest rates under Chairman Alan Greenspan and then Ben Bernanke. “It wasn’t going to be a Great Depression,” says Stockman. And now, says Stockman, “ All this cheap money is doing nothing but creating a temporary illusion of recovery setting us up for the next fall.”
Statistical Review of World Energy 2013 (ScubaRoo)
The BP Statistical Review of World Energy has been published for 62 years. More information can be found in about the review. Our definitions and explanatory notes page explains the terms used in the Review. A list of referenced countries can be found on regional definitions. The conversion factors cover calculation between weight, volume and calorific measures. Links to the organizations and companies that contributed to the Review are listed in links to contributors.
The U.S. and European sanctions have deeply affected Iran’s international oil trade, reducing its exports by more than 50 percent and costing Iran billions of dollars in revenue since the beginning on last year. Tightening the screws, the Obama administration is now attempting to reduce Iran’s oil exports even further, to less than 500,000 barrels per day through tighter sanctions. Nevertheless, despite plummeting sales overseas, Iran, OPEC’s second largest oil exporter, remains one of the world’s largest oil producers, with sales bringing in tens of billions of dollars in revenue annually.
What if you could make biofuels without using plants? Or oil without extracting anything from the ground? That’s been the goal of the U.S. Department of Energy’s “electrofuels” program, a $48 million research effort involving 14 separate projects that is wrapping up this year. Instead of relying on corn, sugar cane, or other plants to collect the sun’s energy, electrofuels researchers use microorganisms.
Cavaliero says that the pair was drawn to aquaponics because it is a very sustainable way to grow food that requires minimal external inputs. Green Acre Aquaponics uses 10 percent of the water that is used in common agriculture, she says. “Compared to conventional farming, the environmental taxing is a fraction. [Aquaponics is] pretty much a win-win when it comes to producing food in a sustainable manner.”
The elaborate climate fortification program, spelled out in a 400-page report, has elements ranging from public assistance to protect buildings and harden critical infrastructure to far-out concepts for construction of both permanent and temporary seawalls to protect both waterfront and the creeks and canals that can be “back door” gateways to flood waters. The total cost of the program comes to about US $19.5 billion, which is roughly equivalent—perhaps not coincidentally—to the estimated cost of Sandy.
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