Hardouin http://hardouin.info/ Sat, 27 Nov 2021 07:13:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 Amazon Black Friday greeted by climate activists, strikes in Europe, Retail News, ET Retail https://hardouin.info/amazon-black-friday-greeted-by-climate-activists-strikes-in-europe-retail-news-et-retail/ Sat, 27 Nov 2021 02:51:00 +0000 https://hardouin.info/amazon-black-friday-greeted-by-climate-activists-strikes-in-europe-retail-news-et-retail/ TILBURY: England – Climate activists targeted 15 Amazon depots across Europe on “Black Friday” and the world’s largest e-commerce company also faced protests from workers and delivery drivers in Germany, France and Italy.

Seattle-based Amazon faces criticism from climate activists who say excessive consumption harms the environment, while union alliance says company is not paying workers enough nor enough taxes for governments.

“Black Friday embodies an obsession with overconsumption that is not compatible with a livable planet,” said the group Extinction Rebellion after blocking 13 Amazon deposits across the UK.

“Amazon and companies like this have capitalized on our desire for convenience and stoked rampant consumerism at the expense of the natural world,” he said.

Reuters reporters at an Amazon depot at the docks in Tilbury, eastern England, said protesters blocked the entrance, meaning no vehicles could enter or exit. The group also said it has blocked Amazon deposits in Germany and the Netherlands.

The banners read: “Black Friday exploits the people and the planet” and “Infinite growth, a finite planet”.

Extinction Rebellion said Amazon’s “crimes” included activities that emitted more carbon dioxide than a medium-sized country, aiding fossil fuel companies.

“We have an extensive network of sites across the UK and do our utmost to minimize any potential disruption to customers,” said a spokesperson for Amazon, which hosted the traditional Black Friday discount day at the United States in Great Britain in 2010.

Amazon also said it takes its responsibilities “very seriously”.

“This includes our commitment to be net zero carbon by 2040 – 10 years before the Paris Agreement – by providing excellent wages and benefits in a safe and modern working environment, and by supporting the tens of thousands of small UK businesses selling in our store. “

“We know there is always more to do,” he said.

Unions in Europe’s largest economies have also called on warehouse workers and delivery drivers to strike against what they called Amazon’s unfairly low wages and taxes.

In Germany, the company’s largest market after the United States, union Verdi said about 2,500 employees went on strike at Amazon’s shipping centers in Rheinberg, Koblenz and Graben.

In France, one of the country’s main unions, the CGT, has called on Amazon workers in the country to go on strike. The union coalition also reported a strike in Italy.

“The coalition demands that Amazon pay its workers fairly and respect their right to join unions, pay its fair share of taxes and commit to true environmental sustainability,” the “Make Amazon Pay” coalition said in a statement.

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‘All options’ on table for US as Russia increases troops on Ukrainian border https://hardouin.info/all-options-on-table-for-us-as-russia-increases-troops-on-ukrainian-border/ Fri, 26 Nov 2021 23:05:49 +0000 https://hardouin.info/all-options-on-table-for-us-as-russia-increases-troops-on-ukrainian-border/

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US President Joe Biden expressed concern about the situation in Ukraine and reiterated Washington’s support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

He added that he will meet “in all probability” with his Ukrainian and Russian counterparts Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Vladimir Poutine.

The comments came as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is traveling to Latvia and Sweden next week to attend NATO and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) meetings.

Ms Donfried said the build-up of “large and unusual” troops in Moscow would be high on the NATO summit’s agenda.

“It is now for the alliance to decide what are the next steps NATO wants to take,” she said.

“Next week we will talk about our assessment of what is happening on Russia’s border with Ukraine and we will start this conversation about what options are on the table and what NATO as an alliance would like do it together, ”she said.

US, NATO and Ukrainian officials have sounded the alarm bells in recent weeks over what they call unusual Russian troop movements, suggesting that Moscow may be on the verge of launching an attack on its neighbor , accusations that Russia has dismissed as alarmist.

When asked if Mr Blinken was going to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Stockholm, Ms Donfried replied that she had no such announcements to make, but added: “Stay tuned “.

US Under Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried.

Source: Getty Images / Anadolu

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Ukraine Presidential Administration Chief Andriy Yermak on Friday voiced concerns over Russian military activities near the Ukrainian border.

The two discussed Russia’s “harsh rhetoric” towards Ukraine and agreed that all sides should continue diplomatic efforts to ease tensions, National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne said. in a press release.

“Mr. Sullivan underscored the United States’ unwavering commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” said Ms. Horne.

The Ukrainian military intelligence chief told the Military Times newspaper over the weekend that Russia had more than 92,000 troops massed around Ukraine’s borders and was preparing for an attack by late January or early February.

Moscow dismissed these suggestions as inflammatory and said it was not threatening anyone and defended its right to deploy its troops as it wished.

Ms Donfried was asked what the United States saw specifically different in the formation of Russian troops this time, but she did not elaborate, other than saying it was “important and unusual”.

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Russia’s intentions remain unclear and east-west tensions are high with Ukraine, Russia and NATO all conducting military exercises and Moscow accusing Washington of repeated nuclear attack on Russia earlier this month.

When asked whether the recent escalation had prompted Washington to consider deploying permanent troops to NATO’s eastern flank more seriously, Donfried did not elaborate on the specific point, but said business ministers NATO foreigners would discuss the broader strategy for the alliance’s posture in the 21st century next week.

At the OSCE meeting in Stockholm, Blinken will also address Russia’s occupation of Ukrainian and Georgian territories, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the crisis in Belarus, Donfried said.

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Congress gives the green light to ease the cut to power companies with the support of Podemos – CVBJ https://hardouin.info/congress-gives-the-green-light-to-ease-the-cut-to-power-companies-with-the-support-of-podemos-cvbj/ Thu, 25 Nov 2021 16:54:45 +0000 https://hardouin.info/congress-gives-the-green-light-to-ease-the-cut-to-power-companies-with-the-support-of-podemos-cvbj/

11/25/2021 at 17:23 CET

Sara ledo

Only months and a half later The lower house on Thursday gave the green light to smooth this cut with votes in favor of PSOE and United We Can, in addition to PNV, PDeCAT, Junts, Más Páis-Equo, Nueva Canarias and Coalición Canaria (189 votes in favor, one against and 158 abstentions). The approval of purple party to cancel a rule that came to qualify as “historic” not having “the logo of the electric oligopoly“According to the group’s spokesperson after its approval on October 14, Pablo Echenique, who was not in the hemicycle this Thursday.

On September 14, the government announced a cut in revenues for power companies that will benefit from the rise in gas prices (mainly hydraulic, nuclear and some renewable power plants which, according to the executive, received a market price above their cost), but the large electrical appliances they complain that all the energy they produce is sold to their own trading company under fixed price contracts, so they do not benefit from the very high wholesale market prices (around 200 euros per megawatt hour).

After several weeks of controversy, on the eve of the approval of this gas reduction, the Prime Minister announced to Congress that I would qualify its content, after the reprimand of the PNV, whose spokesperson, Aitor Esteban, warned that this could “harm electrical and industrial consumers”. That week, Sidenor announced a shutdown due to high electricity prices. The next day the the same day the Congress validated it, Vice President and Minister of Ecological Transition Teresa Ribera has announced that she plans to approve a new royal decree to clarify this income cut, which means virtually eliminating the cut.

And so it was. A few weeks ago, the Council of Ministers approved a new royal decree that exempted companies that had signed or signed fixed-price fixed-price contracts from reducing their income. “I think we play a lot and cannot be abused of a mechanism without measuring the consequences ”, reproached him Thursday the deputy of the ERC, Joan Capdevila.

Thus, in addition, it increases information requirements for businesses electricity, both for consumers (they will have to notify one month before any contractual modification), and for the regulator (to whom they must constantly inform these forward contracts, including those signed intra-group), and extend the protective measures for energy consumers by increasing the discount of electric social bonus from 25% to 60% and from 40% to 70% and increase by 100 million the thermal social premium budgetEchenique’s memory

The member of the Basque group, Idoia Sagastizabal, celebrated the decision of the executive that, “in addition to continuing the shock plan to maintain the energy escalation”, the royal decree-law “strengthens the Electricity futures markets and transparent price formation, gives a better knowledge of the functioning of the electricity market and introduces new obligations for producers and traders. “Along the same lines, MP PDeCat, Ferran belHe recalled that his abstention in the previous royal decree was due to “deficiencies and flaws in relation to the reduction mechanism which at the time they had not seen fit to clarify”.

Little by little, steps must be taken to make the term tagging has greater liquidity and volume because the truth is that big companies when they hedge prices between themselves have no incentive in this market, ”Sagastizabal said. The deputy also remembered Echenique that after the PNV abstention from voting of the previous royal decree, in his own words, “he put a tweet in which he said that the PNV was in favor of the power companies & rdquor ;.” What title will apply after this decree? & rdquor ;, Sagastizabal asked his colleague. “We can align with electricity reduce the impact of reduction? WHERE the government does not keep his promise decree against electricity companies? & rdquor ;, quipped.

The “trap” of the social bonus

For his part, the deputy Nestor Rego Candamil, of the plural group, challenged the Executive which registered “in due time” the reduction of the social electricity bonus and the increase in the thermal social bonus. “I say by the way because the modification of the royal decree law by unjustified transfer to power companies deserves negative comments. Good news for electricity companies and bad news for consumers and social majorities, ”said Rego Candamil. While since Vox they have assured that the government “places the deviations from the maximum limit of the social bond” to “make it more digestible. “Okay, but until the bureaucracy improves, families are not going to benefit,” said the MP for training. José María Figaredo lvarez-Sala.

“We will vote yes not because we stopped looking bad that energy which costs 3 euros per megawatt hour, oligopoly companies charge it at 200 euros or more, as is the case in the wholesale market, it seems to us that this is something that should not be accepted without more and this is why we advocate an in-depth reform of the electricity market. The situation cannot last like that, it is frankly unfair (…) but the decree has other issues that we value very positively, ”he defended himself. Juantxo López de Uralde, with regard to measures which extend the consumer protection and those who promote corporate transparency.

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You probably have better options than the candy bar-shaped monitor https://hardouin.info/you-probably-have-better-options-than-the-candy-bar-shaped-monitor/ Thu, 25 Nov 2021 01:15:21 +0000 https://hardouin.info/you-probably-have-better-options-than-the-candy-bar-shaped-monitor/

Another day another interesting gadget go around the internet – this is a very large portable monitor (in terms of aspect ratio anyway) with an 8.8 inch screen running at a resolution of 420 in 1920. It’s called the Elsonic EK-MD088, and while its size, shape, and built-in stand make it intriguing, it also begs the question: what would you use even such a narrow monitor for? And are there better ways to spend your 14,800 yen (around US $ 130)?

Gizmodo points out The most obvious use case for such a large screen: it seems tailor-made to keep scrolling Twitter or Instagram, keeping the internet gloom ever present next to your work. Honestly, this seems like a great way to destroy your brain – when I first saw it I immediately thought it would be good to keep chat apps like Telegram and iMessage open on the side, so that I could keep an eye on what my friends and family were up to all day. You can also use it as a dashboard to monitor your IoT devices, or for more fancy uses – like getting full long cat experience without scrolling or seeing the Tall Tweets.

Above: The type of content this screen was designed for.

There are a few notable quirks about the Elsonic, however. For a, Ars Technica Remarks that it doesn’t appear to be readily available outside of Japan (and even there it won’t ship until February 2022). Worse yet, it uses USB-C for power … but not video. Instead, the monitor has a relatively obscure Mini-HDMI port to handle inputs, which is a pretty big downside for convenience. If you forget your display cable somewhere, you probably won’t meet someone who can lend you a full-size HDMI to Mini-HDMI cable. It also doesn’t appear to have a built-in battery, so while the screen and smart built-in stand folds down to a compact size, you’d lose some of that space savings to the battery you want to bring. with.

Absolutely heartbreaking.

The Elsonic is also fair, and I know that sounds silly, very narrow. While fine for news feeds and timelines, it would be difficult for general use – common second monitor apps like Slack can get pretty wobbly at 420 pixels wide, or may even refuse to go that narrow. Although the product page states that you can also use it horizontally, which would solve the app width issue, 420 pixels barely corresponds to a vertical height; you might be able to see three tweets or messages considering the taskbar and window chrome.

Additionally, one of the marketing images shows someone editing code on it. It sounds absolutely unbearable unless you can sort of write your functions in 50 characters or less. Visual Studio Code will let you resize a window small enough to fit on the Elsonic (unlike my code editor of choice, Nova), but at what cost?

It seems … unrealistic.
Image: Elsonic, via Nojima Online

Pictured: What your window would look like if it was actually running at 420 by 960.

While it’s easy to see the appeal of having a vertical screen that you can take with you, you almost certainly have better options. For desktop use, many regular 16: 9 and 16:10 computer monitors have brackets that already allow you to orient them vertically, giving you even more screen space. This LG monitor currently on sale is about $ 50 more than the Elsonic, but it’s also 24 inches instead of 8.8 and could serve as a decent low-cost gaming monitor in landscape with its 144Hz refresh rate. You could, too. probably get a monitor that could be turned on the side for much less than the asking price of the EK-MD088 by buying some desktop-focused used Dell locally.

If bigger isn’t better for your use case, or you’re looking for a portable solution, you can always buy a used iPad. Apps like Duet Display let you use the tablet as a second monitor for a Windows PC or Mac via a single cable (or even wirelessly using Duet Air or macOS ‘built-in Sidecar utility), and can even support vertical orientation. Pair an iPad Mini with a stand and you’ve got a slightly shorter but wider version of the Elsonic. And, of course, it’ll also be a tablet when you’re done using it as a display.

Image: Elsonic via Nojima online

Seems familiar?

While these solutions may be more convenient for most use cases, I’ll admit that they lack the fun factor that big boo does, and there are some niche use cases where l ‘Elsonic makes more sense. And hey, maybe I’m totally wrong on that point, and we’ll all have dedicated screens for Twitter around this time next year – although that thought is almost too horrible to consider.

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USD / TRY to hit new highs by the end of this year and through 2022 and 2023 – Wells Fargo https://hardouin.info/usd-try-to-hit-new-highs-by-the-end-of-this-year-and-through-2022-and-2023-wells-fargo/ Wed, 24 Nov 2021 15:01:02 +0000 https://hardouin.info/usd-try-to-hit-new-highs-by-the-end-of-this-year-and-through-2022-and-2023-wells-fargo/

In the first weeks of November, the Turkish lira lost almost 25% of its value, while since the start of the year the currency has weakened by more than 40% against the US dollar. Wells Fargo economists expect local action to be taken in an attempt to stabilize the TRY, although further depreciation of the pound and new highs against the dollar are very likely.

Turkish authorities to take action in response to mass sale

“We expect interest rates to be cut again at the next monetary policy meeting on December 16, and the lira to continue to hit new lows against the dollar by the end of this. year and throughout 2022 and 2023. “

“Our most recent forecast for the USD / TRY exchange rate drops the lira to 13.00 in the second quarter of 2022 and finally to 14.50 at the start of the first quarter of 2023. Our forecast implies a further depreciation of approximately 15% of the pound by the start of 2023; However, the risks around this forecast are undoubtedly tilted towards more weakness in the pound than we currently expect. “

“In the very near future, we expect the Turkish authorities to ask local banks to resume selling US dollars and buying Turkish lira; however, Turkish banks probably do not have enough US dollars to disrupt the downward pressure on the lira. “

“We expect the Turkish authorities to contact allies such as Qatar, China, Azerbaijan and other Asian countries as well as Russia with the aim of improving, expanding or even initiating currency swap lines in US dollars. However, the broader market forces are currently too strong, and we doubt that these currency swap lines, if secured, will do much to alter the upcoming depreciation path to read it. “

Satterfield’s lawyer files response to Murdaugh’s motion for gag order https://hardouin.info/satterfields-lawyer-files-response-to-murdaughs-motion-for-gag-order/ Tue, 23 Nov 2021 21:33:45 +0000 https://hardouin.info/satterfields-lawyer-files-response-to-murdaughs-motion-for-gag-order/

Incarcerated lawyer Alex Murdaugh’s “fatally flawed” demand to be abandoned as a defendant in the Gloria Satterfield The civil lawsuit is “akin to the reorganization of the deckchairs on the Titanic – that won’t change the outcome,” lawyers for the surviving sons of Satterfield wrote on Tuesday in response to Murdaugh’s Nov. 17 motion to dismiss.

In his motion, Murdaugh – who faces 32 criminal charges, many of which relate to financial fraud and money laundering – argued that he had no obligation to repay the $ 3.6 million. dollars he allegedly stole from the Satterfield family in their death claim against him because his co-defendants in the case have already more than made up for the loss.

This decision was greeted with confusion, revulsion and much speculation on the part of those who have followed the hairpin turns of this case.

The Flawless Response Filed by Columbia Lawyers Eric Bland, Ronald L. Richter Jr. and Scott Mongillo Tuesday urges the court to dismiss Murdaugh’s petition, saying Murdaugh is simply trying to avoid “paying the price” for his decision to assert his Fifth Amendment rights in the criminal trial.

“It is not surprising,” the lawyers wrote, “and is in keeping with his character, that Murdaugh does not want to pay anyone anything.”

In his “legally unbearable” defense, “Murdaugh attempts to use his own illegal conduct as a shield against claims in civil litigation. “

Murdaugh, a member of the powerful family hanging over law enforcement in the Lowcountry, is currently being held without bail at the Richland County Detention Center on two counts of grand larceny related to the Satterfield case.

Last week he was indicted on 27 new charges related to the theft of money from his former law firm, Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick, and customers, including a law enforcement officer who had been injured in the performance of his duties.

He was also named as a person of interest in the still unsolved double murder of his wife and son, who were shot on the family’s hunting property on June 7.

Tuesday’s filing is the latest volley in a quick back-and-forth between lawyers for Bland and Murdaugh, who appear to be testing tactics on the fly as charges against their client mount.

Less than 24 hours earlier, lawyers for Murdaugh’s “bulldog” said the senator. Dick harpootlian and Jim griffin filed a “desperate” petition asking the court to stop Bland from speaking to the media – primarily FITSNews and our Chief News Officer Mandy Matney’s “Murdaugh Murders” podcast – and asking that Bland be sanctioned by the state for them. statements he made in the press so far.

On Monday night, Bland pointed out how ironic it was that Harpootlian, whom he called a “.44 caliber quote machine,” would call him during his media coverage given Harpootlian’s own potentially harmful comments in the spotlight. .

In a press release from law firm Bland and Richter on Tuesday morning, Bland included a quote from Harpootlian during an interview on “Good Morning America”: “(Alex Murdaugh) made it clear he was going to try to fix all the wrongs – financial wrong – and others he may have committed. Look, he’s come to terms with the fact that he’s going to jail. He understands that. He is a lawyer.”

Bland said his own statements to the press were made in good faith and in the best interests of the public.

His cabinet brief Tuesday explains directly why so many have followed the Murdaugh murder saga: “The public is waiting and watching to see how the courts in South Carolina will treat a once powerful and influential lawyer. “

“Is there an inclusive justice system or a two tier justice system that favors the rich and the powerful?





The Satterfield case

Gloria Satterfield died in early 2018 after a trip and a fall at the Murdaughs Hunting Lodge in Moselle, the same property where Alex Murdaugh’s wife, Maggie, and son, Paul, were discovered murdered last summer.

Murdaugh and others are accused of extracting millions of dollars from a wrongful death settlement filed on behalf of Satterfield’s two sons by Murdaugh’s close friend, Beaufort’s lawyer Cory fleming.

Eleven of Murdaugh’s 32 charges stem from an investigation by Bland and Richter – who discovered a shocking written record showing how Murdaugh would have stolen $ 3.6 million of Satterfield Colony.

Murdaugh has since been accused of laundering that money – along with settlements allegedly stolen from customers, including a law enforcement officer who was injured in the line of duty – and having spent it on himself.

The Satterfield case gripped the nation and was touted as an example of what many say is Murdaugh’s callousness and greed.

“Beyond the reprehensible”

Attorneys for the Satterfield family say “It is not for Murdaugh to declare the ‘everything’ of the plaintiff and announce that the lawsuit against him is over.

Further, they say the more than $ 7 million recovered so far hardly represents the money the Satterfield family lost in potential investments if the money had been returned to them in 2019 when the case took hold. been settled; the money they have to pay in taxes that they otherwise would not have had to pay had the settlement been treated ethically; payment of attorney’s fees and expenses in accordance with South Carolina’s Unfair Business Practices Act; and punitive damages.

According to the United States Supreme Court, punitive damages would be determined, in part, on the “degree of wrongdoing” of the wrongdoing.

“Clearly, Murdaugh’s conduct is beyond blameworthiness and is liable to punitive damages. “

Therefore, the lawyers argued, Murdaugh’s exposure to damages is instead $ 38,990,350.

“Much to Murdaugh’s chagrin, he will have to wait for the jury to rule,” they wrote.

Response to the motion to reject



(via: supplied)

Liz farrell is the new editor-in-chief of FITSNews. She was named the State’s Best Columnist in 2018 by the South Carolina Press Association and is back after taking an almost two-year hiatus from corporate journalism to reclaim her soul. Email him at [email protected] or tweet it @ElizFarrell.



Do you have something to say in response to one of our stories? Or a problem that you would like to proactively solve? We have an open microphone policy here at FITSNews! Submit your own letter to the editor (or guest column) via email HERE. A tip for a story? CLICK HERE. A technical question or a problem to report? CLICK HERE.




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RBNZ floats the possibility of a debt-to-income ratio of 6 or 7 and a test floor interest rate of 7% or 8% https://hardouin.info/rbnz-floats-the-possibility-of-a-debt-to-income-ratio-of-6-or-7-and-a-test-floor-interest-rate-of-7-or-8/ Mon, 22 Nov 2021 21:49:00 +0000 https://hardouin.info/rbnz-floats-the-possibility-of-a-debt-to-income-ratio-of-6-or-7-and-a-test-floor-interest-rate-of-7-or-8/

In a new consultation paper on debt service restrictions, the Reserve Bank assesses the impacts of introducing a debt-to-income ratio cap (DTI) for borrowers of six or seven and a rate test floor interest for bank lenders of 7% or 8%, but points out that these are illustrative models and may not necessarily be where such restrictions would be set.

The Reserve Bank is seeking comments by 5 p.m. on Feb. 28 on the merits and design features of the debt service restrictions on residential mortgages. It says banks will need to prepare their systems for the potential introduction of a regulated DTI limit no later than the end of 2022.

“We are not proposing to implement any restrictions on debt service at this time, but we want to prepare to implement them in case financial stability risks warrant it,” said the deputy governor of the Reserve Bank, Geoff Bascand.

“We invite comments on the merits and potential design of two types of debt service restrictions: restrictions on debt-to-income ratios (DTI) – which impose a ceiling on debt as a multiple of [a borrower’s] Income; and a floor on test interest rates used by banks in their viability assessments that test borrowers’ ability to continue to repay their loans if interest rates rise to a certain level, ”Bascand said .

A first assessment of the expected impacts of implementing a DTI cap of six or seven times gross income and a test floor interest rate of 7% or 8% is provided. However, the Reserve Bank says these parameters are illustrative and do not mean that the tools would be calibrated at these levels if they were introduced.

“At this point, it is unlikely that we will implement both options simultaneously. Instead, we envision a phased approach in which test floors are initially implemented, if necessary to address short-term risks. These would then be replaced by DTI restrictions once the design and calibration of these tools are finalized, ”says the Reserve Bank.

“In the past we have referred to a DTI greater than five as a “high DTI” loan. However, with the continued decline in interest rates, almost 60% of new loans are now made at a DTI above five, while about a third are at a DTI above six. We do not think it is appropriate to calibrate the DTI restrictions to capture a very large portion of lending at current levels. This could create a shock to the housing market and the potential for unintended negative outcomes, such as disintermediation, ”the Reserve Bank said.

“As such, our initial view is that a DTI cap, if implemented, should not be less than six and possibly greater. We modeled the impacts of a DTI cap of six or seven in our initial assessment. “

“We may also wish to set different calibrations for different types of borrowers, for example homeowners versus investors. As such, banks should operationalize their systems so that they can introduce the same or different DTI calibrations for homeowners and investors, ”Reserve Bank said.

“Further consultation on calibration will likely be necessary, if we proceed with the implementation of the DTI restrictions.”

Banks are currently setting their own test rates

In terms of test interest rates, New Zealand banks are currently setting their own means of assessing a borrower’s ability to continue to service debt should mortgage rates rise above going rates. These bank test interest rates have fallen over the past few years, reflecting the low interest rate environment.

“However, they declined more slowly than the official cash rate (OCR), and therefore the margin between test rates and OCR has remained relatively stable. At present, the weighted average test rate in the The whole sector is just over 6%, which represents a margin of 5.5% above the OCR of 0.50%, ”says the Reserve Bank.

“There are several options that could be used to specify a floor if we implemented a test floor interest rate, such as: cushion. vs. A benchmark rate (eg OCR, swap, average floating rate), plus a fixed cushion. d. The neutral interest rate expected by the Reserve Bank, plus a fixed cushion. e. A combination of the above. “

The Reserve Bank says it is currently in favor of option (c).

“A benchmark rate plus a fixed cushion may be the most appropriate methodology to specify a test floor interest rate – because this matches our preference that a test floor interest rate is stable over time, moves automatically and be the same for all mortgage applicants. If we were to take this approach, we would need to specify a preferred reference, eg OCR, swap or whatever, next to the suggested buffer. “

“Option (c) would depend on the benchmark rate chosen. For example, mortgage rates are closely linked to changes in the official exchange rate. However, a longer-term rate, such as a five- or ten-year swap rate, might better reflect long-term trends in interest rates. To ensure that the benchmark is more stable over time, it could be reset periodically, for example every quarter. In addition, borrowers would all be subject to the same test floor interest rate, which would change automatically over time, ”the Reserve Bank said.

The debt service restrictions on which the Reserve Bank is consulted would be macroprudential tools alongside the restrictions on high residential mortgage-to-value ratios already in place.

“We are using macroprudential tools to reduce the financial stability risks associated with boom and bust cycles in the economy. This in turn helps us achieve our statutory goal of “promoting the maintenance of a healthy and efficient financial system”. The macroprudential tool used is the loan-to-value ratio (LVR). These measure how much a bank lends against a mortgaged property, compared to the value of that property, ”says Bascand.

“Although the financial system remains strong and banks are well capitalized, we are concerned that the combination of very high debt levels and unsustainable house prices pose risks to financial stability, especially if the inflows of Current high risk loans go unchecked. Adding more options to our macroprudential toolkit will help us address these risks if necessary, ”said Bascand.

“Our initial assessment indicates that the DTI restrictions are likely to be more effective than the test floors in supporting financial stability and sustainable housing prices. DTI limits link the availability of credit to income growth and therefore may be more effective in limiting debt levels over a longer period of time compared to other macroprudential tools. DTI restrictions are likely to take six to nine months to implement, while interest rate floors could be rolled out more quickly, making it a useful interim measure. “

“DTI restrictions can also be calibrated to minimize the impact on first-time homebuyers. This would align with the official directive given to us by the Minister of Finance and with our memorandum of understanding on macroprudential policy. “

Attempts by the RBNZ to add a DTI tool to its macro-prudential toolbox date from at least 2016, but have already been blocked due to concerns from politicians about the tool’s potential impact on first-time homebuyers.

Why are energy companies going bankrupt? As Bulb enters administration, here’s why UK energy providers are at risk https://hardouin.info/why-are-energy-companies-going-bankrupt-as-bulb-enters-administration-heres-why-uk-energy-providers-are-at-risk/ Mon, 22 Nov 2021 13:52:30 +0000 https://hardouin.info/why-are-energy-companies-going-bankrupt-as-bulb-enters-administration-heres-why-uk-energy-providers-are-at-risk/

Bulb Energy has joined more than 20 energy companies exiting the energy market this year, announcing on Monday (September 22) that it would enter administration due to rising wholesale energy prices.

Wholesale gas prices have climbed 250% since the start of 2021 and were up 70% in August alone.

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The energy of light bulbs in the administration: is the bulb going bankrupt and what happens to the bulb consumption …

The energy price cap is expected to remain in place, but household energy bills have risen by around £ 139 per year to reach £ 1,277 for typical gas and electricity customers since 1 October.

But which energy suppliers have gone bankrupt under the weight of rising wholesale gas prices – and why are energy companies going bankrupt?

Here’s what you need to know.

Which gas companies are struggling due to the UK gas shortage? Energy suppliers are at risk of bankruptcy due to the gas ‘crisis’ – and is Bulb one of them? (Image credit: Leon Neal / Getty Images)

Why are energy companies going bankrupt?

Rising wholesale gas costs in the UK have imposed tough trading conditions on many energy suppliers and gas companies who now have to pay higher gas costs than they receive from their customers .

At present, customers of small energy suppliers will pay less for their gas than their suppliers, leaving them little room to cover trading costs and profit.

Small providers are also at greater risk of struggling to stay afloat if they have not committed to hedging.

A general view of the People’s Energy offices at Shawfair Park on September 20, 2021 in Dalkeith, Scotland. The bankrupt company supplied gas and electricity to around 350,000 homes and 1,000 businesses. (Image credit: Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images)

The costly hedging process allows energy providers to purchase their energy with an insurance layer attached, thereby reducing their exposure to volatile wholesale prices.

But for small independent businesses operating on tight margins, the expenses can often be too high – leaving many such businesses now exposed to soaring gas costs.

As a result, more than 20 companies have already been forced to close their doors due to rising gas prices.

Green energy supplier Bulb energy became the last UK company to go into receivership after struggling to meet the costs of delivering gas to customers at its current tariff.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson opened Bulb’s London headquarters in July, but reportedly called for a bailout in September amid rising wholesale gas prices.

The Financial Times reported that Bulb was in the process of seeking new funding, with a Bulb spokesperson commenting, “From time to time we explore various opportunities to fund our business plans and continue our mission of lowering bills. and CO2 emissions.

“Like everyone in the industry, we monitor wholesale prices and their impact on our business.”

The company’s 1.7 million UK customers have already been hit by price hikes in 2020, as energy companies struggled to cope with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and growing demand for household energy.

In 2020 Bulb, a company already known for its significant losses, recorded £ 63million in losses during the year through March 31, 2020.

Which energy companies have already gone bankrupt?

The companies that have already been placed in receivership due to the rising costs of wholesale gas prices are:

– MoneyPlus Energy (September 7)

– PFP Energy (September 7)

– Popular energy (September 14)

– Service point (September 14)

– Green Supplier Limited (September 22)

– Avro Energy (September 22)

– Enstroga (September 29)

– Symbio Energy (September 29)

– Igloo Energy (September 29)

– Colorado Energy (October 13)

– Pure Planet (October 13)

– Daligas Limited (October 14)

– GOTO Energy Limited (October 18)

– Bluegreen Energy Services Limited (November 1)

– Ampoweruk Ltd (November 2)

– Zebra Power Limited (November 2)

– MA Energy Limited (November 2)

– Omni Energy Limited (November 2)

– CNG Energy (November 5)

– Social Energy Supply Ltd (November 16)

– Neon Energy Limited (November 16)

– Bulb Energy (November 22)

The fall of Midlothian’s gas company, People’s Energy, put nearly 500 company jobs in the region at risk.

What did the CEO of Octopus Energy say about the UK’s energy problems?

Octopus Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies expected to survive the current problems plaguing the energy market.

The relatively young energy company, founded in 2015, has almost two and a half million customers in the UK, serving one in 10 households in Scotland.

Octopus founder Greg Jackson told Sky News on Monday that customers need not worry about a supply disruption.

Mr Jackson said “clearly there will be no disruption in the supply, and customers can sit on it” and stressed the need to “stay calm and resolve” the issues that plague currently the gas market.

The founder also took to Twitter on Monday to say that talk of a UK gas “crisis” could empower the Big Six.

“Make no mistake – there are real energy problems caused by global gas and the UK nuclear weapons shortages – but the idea of ​​’crisis’ is being encouraged by the old Big 6 so to try to convince the government and the regulators to restore the oligopoly comfort that they used to enjoy ”, Mr. Jackson tweeted.

“Without a doubt, there are some silly companies that offered low prices when the market was low, and are looking for a bailout now that it’s high,” he continued.

“They don’t deserve a place in a critical market.

“And the [Big Six] usually overcharged for their operations inflated by opaque prices.

UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the UK government would not bail out “failed businesses” and, in a joint statement with Ofgem, said “the top priority must be continued support for energy customers , especially the elderly and vulnerable “.

What happens if my energy supplier goes bankrupt?

If your energy supplier is forced to shut down due to the impact of gas prices and shortages in the UK, you have nothing to do.

Your supply will not be interrupted and if you are already moving to a new supplier, the change will continue as normal.

UK energy regulator Ofgem will take action to appoint a new company to take over customers from an existing company should it go administrative.

For example, the decline of People’s Energy led Ofgem to appoint British Gas to take over the company’s thousands of customers.

Additional reports by the PA

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China is more of a risky competitor than a distant global rival of the United States (Report) https://hardouin.info/china-is-more-of-a-risky-competitor-than-a-distant-global-rival-of-the-united-states-report/ Mon, 22 Nov 2021 06:23:00 +0000 https://hardouin.info/china-is-more-of-a-risky-competitor-than-a-distant-global-rival-of-the-united-states-report/

Tensions between the US and China are not easing as the Biden administration pushes Donald Trump’s strict Beijing policy forward and turns it into one-on-one competition with the Asian country, report says .

The Hong Kong Post, in an opinion piece, said the Biden administration viewed China as a riskier competitor than a distant global rival.

US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a virtual summit last week. During the meeting, they exchanged friendly words but also categorically expressed their respective countries’ position on topical issues.

The two leaders met for three and a half hours on Tuesday.

According to a statement released by the White House, Biden referred to China’s human rights abuses and Beijing’s trade policy. “President Biden has raised concerns about the PRC’s practices in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong, as well as human rights in general,” the White House said in a statement.

“He was clear on the need to protect American workers and industries from unfair trade and economic practices by the PRC,” he said.

President Xi, for his part, raised the issue of US support for Taiwan, and alliances and groupings that have created “divisions” in the world. This was a reference to the Quad group, which includes India, and the AUKUS agreement between Australia, UK and US for the delivery of nuclear powered submarines to Canberra. .

According to the Hong Kong Post, the two leaders competed at the summit and it is now the status quo ante.

“There was no conflict that the two sides were heading towards and there is none to head towards after the talks. It is an ante status quo. The two leaders have competed against each other. After all, they are. saw each other, albeit on TV screens, for the first time after two previous phone conversations and had met physically the last time when they were both vice presidents under Brack Obama and Hu Jintao, “the report says .

Over the next few months, Biden will “show his teeth” on China more to benefit his country’s public as the US midterm elections approach.

“Tensions are not easing primarily because the United States under Donald Trump has stopped pretending to be friends with China and started a trade war. The Biden administration is moving forward, turning it into a competition for China. face-to-face with China, “he added. report said.

“In that sense, there has been no change in American policy towards China during the two presidencies. If Biden has given any indication, it is because American policy has indeed changed a bit. , seeing China more as a risky competitor than a distant, global rival, ”he added.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Our fight against climate change begins with the export of American natural gas to replace coal https://hardouin.info/our-fight-against-climate-change-begins-with-the-export-of-american-natural-gas-to-replace-coal/ Mon, 22 Nov 2021 00:02:58 +0000 https://hardouin.info/our-fight-against-climate-change-begins-with-the-export-of-american-natural-gas-to-replace-coal/

Unsurprisingly, natural gas emerged “largely unperturbed” at COP26 because policies for cleaner air and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change will continuously support its use.

With 50% less CO2 emissions than the main competitor coal, gas will also remain the main backup fuel for the natural intermittence of wind and solar.

The US Department of Energy modeled in October that global gas demand will increase by more than 30% to reach 186 trillion cubic feet by 2050.

The liquefied natural gas (LNG) trade, of course, has been seen as the fastest growing commodity, and Morgan Stanley say that Global demand for LNG could increase by up to 50% by 2030.

As a reminder, at nearly 50 Gcf / d, LNG now represents 13 to 15% of the global gas market.

The evolution of gas replacing coal in an overwhelming majority of countries based in China and India is our most essential goal in the fight against climate change.

In the United States, for example, a 2020 study from the University of California at San Diego (thanks to my former employer!) found that shutting down hundreds of coal-fired power plants and replacing them with natural gas power plants saved thousands of lives across the country.

Reliable, abundant and affordable, BP World Energy Statistical Review 2021 reports that the world has about 6,645 billion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves, a 35-40% jump from 2000.

With more and more suppliers such as the United States, this expanding sea of ​​available gas is driving the huge growth in demand around the world.

China will increase its gas network by 60% by 2025 and India plans to double the length of its gas transmission network.

For the United States, where the shale revolution made gas prices among the lowest in the world, S&P Global tracks 45 new pipelines will be commissioned over the next five years, and 16 of them are linked to LNG export terminals.

As the leading gas producer (~ 94 Gcf / d) and growing exporter of LNG (9-11 Gcf / d of LNG today), the United States now has six LNG export terminals, and this figure is expected to rise. less to double over the next few years. .

Estimates from our Department of Energy generally indicate that new US gas production exceeds new US demand by a margin of 2 to 1, leaving a lot to export.

And many more Democrats are supporting US LNG as a substitute for coal around the world than many want you to know: “DOE Secretary-designate Granholm signals support for US LNG exports. “

We beat our main competitor of “preferred global supplier” which also offers democratic, unattached, cleaner and more predictable procurement from the world’s best energy companies.

Namely, the United States accounts for over 40% of global LNG projects pending a final investment decision, Canada at around 25% and Australia at just 5%.

And from a moral standpoint, US LNG exports are helping alleviate deepening global energy poverty.

While I am well intentioned, these COP climate summits have become notorious for always ignoring the elephant in the room: abject poverty made possible by starvation of energy.

In the West, we are “fully energy rich” and simply don’t have to see the world’s biggest problem: the vast majority of the world is “not energy poor”.

The decline in LNG exports by our domestic users is short-sighted: exports strengthen our gas industry by encouraging more production and new pipelines.

Our industrial and political groups who are trying to block LNG exports are not thinking enough: somewhere, Adam Smith is nodding to them.

A key study just explained it for oil: “IHS Markit: banning US crude oil exports would probably raise gasoline prices, not lower them.”

The rise in US gas prices since June is not the result of an increase in exports but comes more from the media, traders and oil experts (the latter being limited when it comes to gas because gas, unlike the oil, is NOT a global commodity but always a globalized commodity) creating a link between the two (Figure 1).

In other words, Asian and European prices that recently climbed above $ 50 shouldn’t have pushed our own prices up because our exports have been high but mostly stable for months – with terminals of LNG operating near full capacity.

Even with world gas prices reaching record highs, there has not been a sudden surge in US exports to raise our own prices as we have not had the capacity to export more.

Power generation, industry (e.g. manufacturing) and LNG as a bunker fuel for ships are all high growth opportunities for natural gas – where gas is used more to replace fuels at higher prices. strong emission.

In fact, this year’s global energy crisis and soaring prices are causing many LNG buyers to look for long-term contracts to secure future gas supply, as consumption will increase much more than some of what you know. .

Another example of the continued importance of US gas, Venture Global LNG has just announced a 20-year supply agreement with China’s Sinopec valued at $ 30 billion.

India also hosted a record amount US LNG, with our sellers always looking for the flexibility that is vital to combine longer term and shorter term contracts to attract new customers.

China and India are firmly in the “too big to fail” category, with high expectations of how their demand will grow over the next several decades, regardless of the circumstances.

S&P Global confirms the real takeaway from COP26: “More climate finance, less coal could skyrocket U.S. natural gas exports. “

And for any buyer, the larger our LNG contracts, the more we contribute to reducing potential future CO2 emissions.

This year’s energy crisis is already causing a retrograde return to coal, which is very telling, even in Europe and the we

Being realistic about energy policy means recognizing that “anti-gas” positions are really only “pro-coal” positions.

Time is running out: Bloomberg reports that global CO2 levels have returned to pre-pandemic levels.

The demand for electricity in the still developing world (over 6.7 billion people) is growing so rapidly that even a sharp increase in gas consumption (figure 2) still causes gas to lose market share in favor of coal, the main source of energy (Figure 3).

The Rich and Fully Developed West (OECD) has provided an example of the evolution of coal replacing gas for power generation.

And remember that the International Energy Agency attributed this replacement of coal to gas as the reason the United States has been the climate leader in reducing CO2 emissions the most of any country – without the stifling regulations and insanely high prices that Europe fails with.

Climate conferences like COP26 never go as expected because of one fact: 85% of the planet is poor and a lot more energy is needed – and it has to be inexpensive and reliable because human development has priority.

Coal accounts for more than half of the energy used in some of these poor countries and more than 60% of the electricity, so the Western mandate of “only wind, only solar” is a solution for absolutely nothing. ,

Already bombarded by the ongoing economic destruction of Covid-19, neither has the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change carbon tax recommendation $ 200 per tonne and rising to $ 27,000 per tonne by 2100.

Indeed, when it comes to relying so heavily on weather-dependent energy, Brazil currently presents a gigantic problem for politically favored renewables: climate change makes them even less reliable.

In a changing climate, a greater emphasis on weather-dependent energy actually means MORE, not less, natural gas.

Hydropower is both much more established and reliable than wind and solar, but climate change is do it less available to generate electricity.

With hydroelectricity production more than 75% of Brazil’s electricity, climate change is putting the country in the grip of the worst drought in a century.

This has made Brazil the largest importer of LNG in the United States for three consecutive months.

Closer to home, low levels of hydropower due to climate change left Green California with the need to build five more natural gas power plants to keep the lights on.

For all these reasons, we must remain at the heart of our climate concerns: gas technologies, which are still emerging as the centerpiece of the low-carbon energy transition strategy.

For natural gas, here are some of the options needed for net zero goals:

  • Carbon capture and storage have become a priority for the gas industry, including for the huge LNG construction.
  • Gas transport and storage infrastructure can be prepared for mixing hydrogen and transporting pure hydrogen, at a much lower cost than building new specially designed hydrogen networks.
  • As I explained before, carbon neutral LNG shows how innovative the industry continues to become to improve sustainability and ESG positioning.
  • Canary project and Responsably Sourced Gas are game-changing and will make gas the fuel of choice in a decarbonizing world, also making the United States a “preferred global supplier” for natural gas.

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