Most of the world’s countries have medium, high, or very high levels of peacefulness. The Cold War period saw a spike in internal conflicts and civil wars, but overall conflicts between state militaries are becoming less frequent. However, global peacefulness has been falling for the past seven years, and over 500 million people currently live in countries at risk for further declines in peacefulness in the short-term. That’s because, today, peacefulness is as much about what happens between people and inside our borders as it is about armies and wars.
Mr Caruana said the international system is in many ways more fragile than it was in the build-up to the Lehman crisis. Debt ratios in the developed economies have risen by 20 percentage points to 275pc of GDP since then.
Credit spreads have fallen to to wafer-thin levels. Companies are borrowing heavily to buy back their own shares. The BIS said 40pc of syndicated loans are to sub-investment grade borrowers, a higher ratio than in 2007, with ever fewer protection covenants for creditors.
The international monetary system has collapsed three times in the past 100 years – it collapsed in 1914, again in 1939, and again in 1971. So these collapses happen every 30 or 40 years, and it’s been a little over 40 years since the last one. Now, that doesn’t mean it collapses tomorrow like clockwork, it just means don’t be surprised if it does.
Debt settlement companies, which offer to help borrowers lower their monthly loan payments for a hefty upfront fee, have long been fraught with problems. But federal and state regulators are spotting new instances of abuse as the companies shift away from their traditional targets — credit card and mortgage debt — to zero in on student loans. The companies are coming under fire for potentially questionable tactics.
“The message we’re trying to get out is that the plague bacteria is present here in Colorado, and to take necessary precautions to avoid getting infected,” is the warning from health officials as a Colorado man is infected with the rarest and most fatal form of the pneumomic plague, an airborne version that can be spread through coughing and sneezing. As Bloomberg reports, it is the first case of pneumonic plague seen in the state since 2004, and rather stunningly, he appears to have contracted the illness from his dog. “We don’t think it’s out in our air,” House said. “We think it’s in our dead animal populations.”
The casino, which opened in 1984 under the tutelage of its namesake, Donald Trump, joins Revel Casino-Hotel and Showboat Casino Hotel in announcing closings at the end of the summer tourist season. The latter two properties employ about 3,100 and 2,100 people, respectively. Atlantic Club’s closing, meanwhile, left about 1,600 without work.
According to BP, drivers whose vehicles rely on burning oil have a little more than a half-century to find alternate sources of energy. Or walk. BP’s annual report on proved global oil reserves says that as of the end of 2013, Earth has nearly 1.688 trillion barrels of crude, which will last 53.3 years at current rates of extraction. This figure is 1.1 percent higher than that of the previous year. In fact, during the past 10 years proven reserves have risen by 27 percent, or more than 350 billion barrels.
Some Company Announces Groundbreaking New Battery, Again (Arthur Robey)
I thought it would be fun to collect all the threads about the wonderful new batteries we are frequently promised.
Gold & Silver
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