June 4

Mortgage problem won’t go away – Dr Kinsella

first_imgEmail ECONOMIST Dr Stephen Kinsella of University of Limerick, has warns that the mortgage problem won’t go away, because we do not have an effective debt resolution system.“People are individually confronting the problem, unfortunately, the court doesn’t seem to be able to come up with a reasonable solution.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Advertisement WhatsApp “One of the biggest problems we have is that we don’t have a debt resolution system”.The economist feels that we need to see a change in Irish bankruptcy laws.“It seems to me to be a no brainer. We need to bring it in line with International best practice.“Now we are seeing businessmen flying to the UK to become bankrupt. If someone is bankrupt in one member state, it covers the entire EU”.He believes that if there is another increase in interest rates, more people will slip into arrears.“Mortgage holders are under huge strain and the banks don’t feel like being forthcoming or co-operating.“As interest rates rise in the coming year, more people will be driven into arrears.“There are 44,000 people in arrears and what we’re seeing now from the regulators figures is people moving from interest only, to arrears, to eventual default.“The banks have the Irish borrower underneath their boot and there is no real reason for them to change that’.He is economics adviser to the New Beginning group, a representative group defending mortgage holders.“There has been an overwhelming response, we are receiving hundreds and hundreds of calls.“They are down at the Four Courts everyday providing a really good service. There are very few moments in your life where you are as vulnerable as you are when you face losing your home”.Dr Kinsella described the banks as “very bust” and said that the biggest problem is the time horizon.“Children born now are still going to be dealing with this mess in 15 to 20 years.“For now we need to focus on Europe and hope that debt levels are addressed”. Twitter Facebook Print NewsLocal NewsMortgage problem won’t go away – Dr KinsellaBy admin – April 6, 2011 684 Linkedin Previous articleKnock, knock…this is your Census enumeratorNext articleMunster name squad for Amlin Trip adminlast_img read more

September 29

Switzerland’s BVK closes in on 100% pension funding level

first_imgOver 2013, the pension fund outperformed its benchmark by 80 basis points.It also outperformed the average Swiss Pensionskasse, which returned approximately 6% over the period. The BVK’s strategic equity allocation is at 30%, with another 41% in fixed income and a relatively high real estate allocation at 22%, the vast majority of which is in directly held Swiss properties.To ensure alignment of interest between the managers of the property and the BVK as owner, the pension fund will be integrating the employees of its external facility manager in the coming months, it said.“This will ensure the properties are managed according to the investment strategy,” the fund said.The BVK said it was already well placed for its future as an independent foundation, as it operates with a relatively low total expense ratio (TER).All Swiss Pensionskassen have to calculate this benchmark figure in future, but the BVK was the first to do so before it became mandatory. Currently, its TER stands at 0.19%.For 2009, Swiss consultancy c-alm calculated an average TER of more than 0.5% for Swiss Pensionskassen. The Zurich pension fund also pointed out re-negotiating mandates had helped it save CHF70m annually compared with 2009. The CHF26bn (€21bn) BVK has generated a return of 7.4% in its last year as a public pension fund, raising its funding level to 96.1% from less than 90% in 2012.The pension fund for the Swiss canton of Zurich has also been reorganised as a private foundation as per 1 January, meaning that it will now have to achieve full funding and maintain sufficient buffers.According to a statement, the BVK said the transition to an independent foundation would be “formally finalised” in the third quarter.A trustee board has been named, while Thomas Schönbächler is to remain as managing director of the fund, which in recent years has weathered the storm of a corruption trial against its former head of asset management.last_img read more

December 21

As fans prepare for farewell to Pence, Blanco ponders future in baseball

first_imgSAN DIEGO–With little left to serve this season, nostalgia will be the dish of choice at AT&T Park next week.When Hunter Pence strolls to the plate, sprints to the outfield and jogs in toward the dugout, fans will stand and cheer his every move, knowing it may be their last opportunity to celebrate a leading figure of the Giants’ golden era.Pence has two rings, but no certainty.He hasn’t publicly stated whether he wants to continue playing baseball next season, but the pending free agent …last_img read more

December 20

Will Smith signs with Atlanta Braves, Madison Bumgarner expected to reject Giants’ qualifying offer

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — The Atlanta Braves are expected to be one of the teams that pursues former Giants ace Madison Bumgarner in free agency this offseason.On Thursday, the Braves announced they signed another high-profile left-hander who was a big part of the 2019 Giants’ pitching staff.Atlanta agreed to terms with former Giants closer Will Smith on a three-year deal worth $39 million that includes a club option of $13 million for the 2023 season. The deal was completed minutes before MLB’s …last_img read more

December 19

Can Materialism Provide a Sense of Purpose?

first_img(Visited 162 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Studies show that having a sense of purpose enhances mental and physical health. The problem for materialists is how to conjure it up out of matter in motion.New Scientist, the staunchly atheist rag in the UK, is no friend of creation, conservatism, or the Bible. Once in awhile, though, they do have to face reality. Reporter Teal Burrell recently contributed a piece to New Scientist about “A meaning to life: How a sense of purpose can keep you healthy.” Can she get from atoms to purpose?As human beings, it is hard for us to shake the idea that our existence must have significance beyond the here and now. Life begins and ends, yes, but surely there is a greater meaning. The trouble is, these stories we tell ourselves do nothing to soften the harsh reality: as far as the universe is concerned, we are nothing but fleeting and randomly assembled collections of energy and matter. One day, we will all be dust.Spoken as a consistent materialist. And yet— we aren’t dust yet.One day, but not yet. Just because life is ultimately meaningless doesn’t stop us searching for meaning while we are alive. Some seek it in religion, others in a career, money, family or pure escapism. But all who find it seem to stumble across the same thing – a thing psychologists call “purpose”.We each have a few days left (she says in effect) before turning to dust to find this elusive thing called ‘purpose.’The notion of purpose in life may seem ill-defined and even unscientific. But a growing heap of research is pinning down what it is, and how it affects our lives. People with a greater sense of purpose live longer, sleep better and have better sex. Purpose cuts the risk of stroke and depression. It helps people recover from addiction or manage their glucose levels if they are diabetic. If a pharmaceutical company could bottle such a treatment, it would make billions. But you can find your own, and it’s free.She defines purpose by its effects, not by its essence. We still don’t know what it is. This ‘vague’ and ‘ephemeral’ purpose — is it just a comfortable fantasy? Can it be conjured like a genie out of the materialist bottle to do its master’s will? Distinguishing hedonic (pleasurable) from eudaimonic (goal-directed) purpose doesn’t seem to help much, although the latter seem to provide most of the health benefits. Burrell slights religion, arguing that while religious people tend to score higher than others in purpose-driven health benefits, not all of them do, and some non-religious people experience purpose. (By this she fallaciously reasons that all religions are equivalent. I Corinthians 13 is vastly different from a belief that by killing as many infidels as you can with a suicide bomb you will have endless sexual bliss in the afterlife. Both involve ‘purpose’ of a sort, but can they really be compared? Would Burrell congratulate the latter if his purpose made him feel good? Word has it that ISIS is recruiting brainwashed captive Yazidi children as suicide bombers. Some purpose.)When all is said and done, for a materialist like Burrell, a sense of purpose must boil down to particles in motion. “If people with purpose live longer, there must be some biology underpinning that,” her favorite authority figure opines. Ratcheting up his perhapsimaybecouldness index, he speculates:That something could be a brain region called the ventral striatum, an area activated when people are told to focus on things of value. Cole has found in as-yet-unpublished research that people with more activity in this area show similar patterns of gene expression to those with high levels of eudaemonic well-being. Focusing on something positive and bigger than yourself may activate the ventral striatum, which can inhibit areas like the amygdala, which usually promotes the stress response. Another indication of this comes from research showing that higher scores on a scale of purpose correlated with less amygdala activation.And one study indicates that people with higher eudaemonic well-being have both increased activity in the ventral striatum and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. “Things that you value can override things that you fear,” says Cole.An alternative theory for how purpose could affect biology is by preserving telomeres, caps on the ends of chromosomes that protect DNA from damage, but that shorten with age and stress.If materialism is true, however, it would make no sense for Burrell to advise people on how to improve their sense of purpose. “Who” makes that decision? If your brain determines your feelings, you could just take a ‘purpose pill’ and cure a brain imbalance like you would cure any other illness. But even then, “who” would decide to take the pill?In the view of Burrell and New Scientist, it all ends in death. Some purpose.How would you respond to this article? Let’s hear some comments. Come back later for our thoughts.last_img read more

October 28

18 days ago​Man Utd defender Tuanzebe: International break will help us

first_img​Man Utd defender Tuanzebe: International break will help usby Ansser Sadiq18 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe believes the international break has come at the right time for his side.The youngster was in the team for their 1-0 loss away to Newcastle on Sunday in the Premier League.It is a result that puts United only two points above the relegation places.Now the players go away with their countries, before coming back for a huge league clash against Liverpool at home in two weeks.”Yeah, you can see we shut them out for a long period of time, Tuanzebe told MUTV after the game.”The only way they were able to score was a counter when we weren’t really there. The goal, it is what it is: a 20-yard shot, it wasn’t like they played through us or anything like that.”We go back to the drawing board, the international break [is] now time for us to regroup. We believe in what we’re doing, in time it will come.”Now it’s just that tough phase. Next game we look forward to is Liverpool. [We] definitely want to get a result in that game.” About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

October 27

UNC Paid Duke Over $27K For Locker Room Damages, But AD Bubba Cunningham Clearly Isn’t Happy

first_imgNorth Carolina football spray painted 'UNC' in Duke locker room.Well, so much for UNC and Duke getting along. As a result of the damages the North Carolina football team caused to Duke’s locker room and facilities after this past November’s football game, the Blue Devils sent the Tar Heels a $27,140 bill. Head coach Larry Fedora and school AD Bubba Cunningham each wrote personal checks for $13,585 to split the cost, according to The Herald-Sun. But it doesn’t appear that UNC’s brass are necessarily happy about it. Cunningham, in a letter to Duke AD Kevin White, claimed that he didn’t understand the charges. He also made note of the fact that someone painted D-U-K-E on some of UNC’s pillars last year.“While I may not understand the charges assessed, we take complete responsibility for our students and our programs.” Laura Keeley, Duke beat reporter for the Raleigh News & Observer, also mentions that Cunningham was disappointed that Blue Devils coach David Cutcliffe didn’t return Larry Fedora’s “apology call.”Bubba Cunningham also said he was disappointed Duke coach David Cutcliffe never returned Larry Fedora’s apology call— Laura Keeley (@laurakeeley) February 13, 2015Keeley also tweeted out a number of photos of the damages. Photo of said damaged locker room carpet in the Duke visitor’s locker room, which was replaced for $22,028.44 pic.twitter.com/qdcwqUP0LL— Laura Keeley (@laurakeeley) February 13, 2015Spray paint on Duke practice facility walls pic.twitter.com/XL3rzXVuCe— Laura Keeley (@laurakeeley) February 13, 2015More spray paint damage in Duke vistor’s locker room pic.twitter.com/ts55QzDWx6— Laura Keeley (@laurakeeley) February 13, 2015More spray paint damage in the Duke visitor’s locker room — repainting that & Wallace Wade billed at $4,470 pic.twitter.com/acJ3n1c7h2— Laura Keeley (@laurakeeley) February 13, 2015And, finally, the picture of Wallace Wade spray paint damage pic.twitter.com/fQdHYMip7H— Laura Keeley (@laurakeeley) February 13, 2015Duke and North Carolina renew their rivalry this November 7th in Chapel Hill.[CBS Sports]last_img read more

October 13

Hawaiis low unemployment rate masks underlying problems

first_imgHONOLULU, Hawaii – Are there downsides to a low unemployment rate? In Hawaii, which has the United States’ lowest jobless rate at a minuscule 2.1 per cent, the answer is yes.Employers are frustrated by their inability to find workers. And unfilled jobs may be slowing the state’s economic growth.A low unemployment rate is certainly better than a high one. And many employers are responding to the worker shortage by offering higher pay.Still, Hawaii’s experience serves as a cautionary tale for the nation as a whole: Low unemployment can mask underlying problems. Nationwide, the jobless rate is at a 17-year low of 4.1 per cent, and economists forecast it could drop another half-point by next year. That would bring the rate to a half-century low.U.S. employers are already complaining about their struggles to find qualified employees. The number of open jobs nationwide reached the highest level on record in January.Like the rest of the country, Hawaii has an aging population, and its unemployment rate has been held down in part by retiring baby boomers.The state also has unique challenges, such as an economy long dominated by tourism. Many of Hawaii’s available jobs are in the service sector and don’t pay enough to cover the state’s high housing costs. And economists say Hawaii’s ongoing economic sluggishness could make it harder for the state to pay its public pension obligations in the future, and fund highways and other expensive infrastructure.U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, a Democrat, cited the deceptively rosy jobless rate when she launched her campaign challenging a sitting governor from her own party in this year’s election.“We cannot wait as more and more of our young people, discouraged by the future they see for themselves here, leave Hawaii in hopes for better opportunities on the mainland,” Hanabusa said in January. A recent poll conducted for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser gave her a 20-percentage point lead over Gov. David Ige in the August primary.Hanabusa was pointing to a trend reflected in census data: People are moving away from Hawaii even as employers here clamour for workers.Last year, the state suffered a net loss of more than 1,000 people. On Oahu, home to Honolulu and major military installations like Pearl Harbor, the population declined an average of 11 people per day. The median price of an Oahu home tops $770,000.According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 47 per cent of Hawaii’s residents spend more than a third of their monthly income on rent. That’s greater than any other state. About one-quarter of renters put half of their income toward housing.The personnel squeeze is forcing employers to offer incentives to attract workers.Maui Divers Jewelry, a retailer in the old whaling town of Lahaina, offers employees extra money to cover the cost of driving to its stores from Maui’s bigger cities.Star of Honolulu Cruises and Events has raised the hourly wage for servers on its boat cruises to $12 from $10.“They can be picky now, I feel like. The ball is in their court,” Sheridan Andres, the company’s human resources manager, said of job applicants. Star of Honolulu is also advertising for kitchen staff, boat maintenance workers, bus drivers and supervisors.Hawaii Pacific Health, one of the state’s largest health care providers, is pursuing a pilot program to train medical assistants at five public high schools so they’ll be ready to walk into jobs when they graduate. The company has 7,000 employees, along with 44 openings for medical assistants and more than 400 openings overall.The demand for labour is driven by a tourism surge that brought a record 9.4 million visitors to the islands last year. Strong hiring and income gains in the Western U.S. mean more Americans can make the trip. And Japan and Canada, where most of the state’s overseas visitors come from, also are experiencing solid growth.That’s led to an increase in low-paying hotel and restaurant jobs, which accounted for 60 per cent of Hawaii’s job growth in 2017, according to data compiled by Moody’s Analytics. Hotels and restaurants employ about one of every five workers in the state, double the proportion in the rest of the U.S.Adam Kamins, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics, says the state has had little success in luring better-paying tech jobs from western states such as California or Washington, because of high housing and business costs. Tech firms are instead moving to cheaper states such as Utah, Colorado and Idaho.An economy with an unemployment rate as low as Hawaii’s should be growing about 3 per cent a year, said Eugene Tian, the state’s chief economist. Instead, it’s growing at about 1.5 per cent.“We don’t have enough housing. We don’t have enough trained labour. That’s limiting the growth,” Tian said. “They are connected.”Paul Brewbaker, an economist with consulting firm TZ Economics, said Hawaii’s growth rate has lagged the nation’s for the past decade. On average, Hawaii’s economy has grown just 1.6 per cent per year compared with the national average of 2.1 per cent since 2009.On a per-capita basis, gross domestic product in Hawaii was one-third higher than the national average 40 years ago, Brewbaker said. It’s now the same. The trend could have profound consequences for Hawaii in the long term.“Where do we go from here? If we’re on this road, how do we pay for the public employee retirement system? If we’re on this road, will we ever be able to build another freeway, not to mention a mass transit system?” Brewbaker said.___Rugaber reported from Washington.last_img read more

October 13

Fire crews extinguish suspected dryer fire in mobile home

first_imgAccording to Blades, the cause of the fire is under investigation but is not considered suspicious. He said that the fire is suspected to have started inside the home’s dryer.The Fire Department was able to get home’s tenants set up with Emergency Social Services assistance since they did not have insurance. Blades said that at this point, it’s not clear whether the home’s owner had insurance, but that the fire department will continue to try and contact the owner.The Fire Department was also busy at around 3:15 Thursday afternoon responding to a transformer fire that occurred in the 9600-block of 103rd Ave. That fire cut power to 32 customers between 103rd and 104th Avenues, and between 94th and 96th Streets for roughly two hours. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fire crews in Fort St. John were busy on Wednesday morning extinguishing a fire inside a mobile home.Deputy Fire Chief Darrell Blades said that crews were called out to a report of a fire inside a single-wide mobile home in the Peace Country Mobile Home Park. Upon arrival, crews were able to extinguish the blaze, which had erupted inside the laundry room/washroom area of the home, in a matter of minutes.Blades said that fire damage was contained to the laundry room, while the rest of the mobile home suffered smoke damage and minor water damage. He estimated that value of damage to the home’s contents is estimated at between $15,000 to $20,000.last_img read more

October 12

Morocco to extract uranium from its phosphates by 2015

first_imgRabat- Morocco’s 2015 Uranium Recovery from Phosphates draft project was approved on the Thursday.The committee on Foreign Affairs, National Defense, Islamic Affairs and Moroccans residing abroad approved last Thursday in the lower of house of the parliament a draft project concerning a Moroccan-French cooperation agreement on peaceful use of nuclear energy. The draft project consists of uranium exploitation and recovery from phosphates.According to the Minister-Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Mbarka Boubid, this agreement is an opportunity to strengthen ties between Morocco and France on the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Last November, Morocco’s minister of higher education, Scientific Research and Executive Training Lahcen Daoudi announced that Morocco would start extracting uranium from its phosphate by 2015. The Moroccan Minister confirmed a statement made few months ago by Mustapha Terrab, CEO of the Cherifian Office of Phosphates, who had said that Morocco’s project of extracting uranium had reached a “very advanced stage.”Morocco is the largest phosphate exporter, and holds 75% of world’s reserves of phosphates (85 billion tons).© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more