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Ghost Dog

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Canary Islands Archipelago
Home country: Spain
Member since: Wed Apr 19, 2006, 01:59 PM
Number of posts: 14,838

About Me

Brit gone native. Cooperative member. Ecology. Cartography. Programming. Music production.

Journal Archives

How Accounting Can Help Build a Sustainable Economy

... Environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues are often referred to by investors as “nonfinancial information.” As Robert G. Eccles, a professor of management practice at Harvard Business School points out, that’s not because these issues don’t have financial consequences. Rather, it’s because there are no standards for how to measure and report on ESG issues, unlike a company’s financials. Eccles, a mathematician by training and one of the foremost experts in corporate reporting, has for the past five years been working to create sustainability accounting standards for the investment community (he is also the chairman of ESG asset management firm Arabesque Partners). It’s been slow going. As world leaders gathered in Paris for the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, I spoke with Eccles about the effort to provide nonfinancial information with the same level of accounting rigor as traditional reports—and what that would mean for the global effort to build a sustainable economy.

HBR: ESG investing of all flavors seems to be gathering momentum. Are you encouraged by this trend?

Eccles: Yes — but with a caveat. Long-term asset owners, such as pension funds, are increasingly putting pressure on their asset managers to look beyond the traditional financial information in developing their investment strategies. As a result, there is a lot of “greenwashing” by asset managers who are rushing to tweak their models to claim they are doing this — too often funds retrofit existing products and call it a “green investment.” I met with some senior folk at a major bank and they were laughing cynically about this asset manager who came into see them and said “We pulled Exxon from our portfolio and replaced it with Google and now we are a green fund.” All the flim flam and hocus pocus will shake out eventually once a company’s ESG reporting becomes standardized...

/... https://hbr.org/2015/12/how-accounting-can-help-build-a-sustainable-economy?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+harvardbusiness+%28HBR.org%29

(US) Market Volatility



... Not surprisingly, the biggest potential selloff catalyst is the Fed itself and specifically the Dec. 16 FOMC announcement, which the Fed is desperate to guide as being "priced in" by the market, but considering the Fed's track record with getting any forecast right, concerns are starting to grow. "As for near-term risks—we believe the most imminent market catalyst will be the December Fed meeting in which we are likely to see the first rate hike of the cycle."

* * *

So far so good, but to a market which has traded mostly on technicals and program buying (and selling) in recent months, there is something far more troubling than just what the Fed will announce:

This important event falls at a peculiar time—less than 48 hours before the largest option expiry in many years. There are $1.1 trillion of S&P 500 options expiring on Friday morning. $670Bn of these are puts, of which $215Bn are struck relatively close below the market level, between 1900 and 2050. Clients are net long these puts and will likely hold onto them through the event and until expiry. At the time of the Fed announcement, these put options will essentially look like a massive stop loss order under the market.

What does this mean? Considering that the bulk of the puts have been layered by the program traders themselves, including CTA trend-followers, and since the vol surface of the market will be well-known to everyone in advance, there is a very high probability the implied "stop loss" level will be triggered, and the market could trade to a level equivalent to the strike price, somewhere in the 1,800 area, or nearly 200 points below current levels.

Which would be a tragedy for the Fed: after all, nothing is more important to Yellen, Draghi et al, than affirmative market signaling - pointing to the (surging) market's reaction and saying "look, we did the right thing", just as Draghi did on Friday when he explicitly talked the market higher in the aftermath of the ECB's disastrous announcement...

/... http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-12-14/market-has-just-gone-nuts

Neocons’ Hegemonic Goal Is Bringing The Extinction Of Planet Earth

... To avoid the coming conflict that the neoconservatives’ pursuit of American hegemony is bringing, the Russians have relied on fact-based, truth-based diplomacy. However, neocon Washington relies on lies and propaganda and has many more and much louder voices. Consequently, it is Washington’s lies, not Russia’s truth, that most of the Western sheeple believe.

In other words, Russia was misled by believing that the West respects and abides by the values that it professes. In fact, these “Western values” are merely a cover for the unbridled evil of which the West consists.

The Western peoples are so dimwitted that they have not yet understood that the “war on terror” is, in fact, a war to create terror that can be exported to Muslim areas of Russia and China in order to destabilize the two countries that serve as a check on Washington’s unilateral, hegemonic power.

The problem for the neocon unilateralists is that Russia and China—although misinformed by their “experts” educated abroad in the neoliberal tradtion, people who are de facto agents of Washington without even knowing it—are powerful military powers, both nuclear and conventional. Unless Russia and China are content to be Washington’s vassal states, for the neoconservatives, who control Washington and, therefy, the West, to press these two powerful countries so hard can only lead to war. As Washington is not a match for Russia and China in conventional warfare, the war will be nuclear, and the result will be the end of life on earth...

... But Putin has caught on. Russia is not going to submit. Soon China will undersand that US dependency on China’s workforce and imports is not a protection from Washington’s aggression. When China looks beyond its MIT and Harvard miseducated neoliberal economists to the writing on the wall, Washington is going to be in deep trouble...

/More... http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-neoconservatives-hegemonic-goal-of-making-sovereign-countries-extinct-is-bringing-instead-the-extinction-of-planet-earth/5495482

Livestream: COP21 Paris Plenary about to start now

http://unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/cop21/channels/plenary-1

"(T)he United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way,” he warned."

True enough.

"Russia has vowed to replace what it sees as a coercive U.S.-led global order with one in which the West respects Russia’s interests." We should all respect each others' interests and consider the historical and cultural as well as the economic and political contexts involved, then seek to work together to build not an elitist federal 'one world order' but a workable planetary confedration.

Putin’s message on Syria isn't mixed, it appears to be honest and open. "On the one hand, he has blamed the United States for creating the conditions that allowed ISIS to emerge; on the other, he has offered to join the United States in an anti-ISIS coalition." The first is accurate and the second appears to be genuine. I don't see any hidden agenda here. As for posssible outcomes in Syria, the US and allies seek to impose regime change by ousting the President while Russia speaks of establishing conditions for an orderly transition (through elections, presumably)...

Ukraine, by European standards, is a large country. Perhaps a Ukrainian Confederation of semi-autonomous regions would work better than attempts to impose a unitary State. Majorities in Crimea and in the industrial Don valley areas did vote against Kiev's policy line.

Syria conflict: Who are the groups fighting Assad?


http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34710635
By Ghadi Sary Chatham House

... The FSA (Free Syria Army) was constantly splintering into competing factions. And as the war in Syria became more atrocious, it began to be reshaped along sectarian lines. A rise in the number of jihadists - both Syrian and foreign - soon followed.

By the end of 2012, jihadist groups were at the core of the anti-Assad front, securing and maintaining territorial control.

Islamist groups in Syria can, however, be distinguished from one another by their goals, the source of their funding and the composition of their manpower.

While many groups are predominantly Syrian, others are of a more international structure. The main Syrian Islamist groups include Ahrar al-Sham and Jaysh Al Islam.

The most notorious international jihadist groups remain the Islamic State (IS) and the Nusra Front
- al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria. The Nusra Front split with IS in 2013, with IS declaring the establishment of an Islamic caliphate in Syria and Iraq a year later...


The rest of the article can be described as history dressed as propaganda bolstering perceptions of whatever 'rump' FSA is represented.

I'm still looking for a list of the 'Opposition groups' attendant at the Saudi meeting.

Good, then, I agree.

Food product labeling does not fall within the scope of what the FDA regulates. Agreed.

It is a political issue requiring a political executive decision and not within the set of subjects amenable to scientific analysis (beyond political, economic and associated social sciences, that is). If the FDA has indeed been formally empowered to decide, unscientifically, on the issue of labeling, then that power has been delegated, I would suggest improperly, by the political executive and should be recovered by the same.

"... a minuscule number of narcissistic hedonists, most of whom fit the profile of psychopathy..."

Perfect description, thanks!

Yes, because people want to make the informed choice, a rational motivation

and reasonable in a democracy. This is DU and that is what labeling would enable.

My personal rational reasons, as, amongst other things, an environmental sciences graduate from the 1970s, include the desire to be able to make choices which might help to avoid or mitigate possible ecosystemic risks from predictable and unpredictable effects on the modified and associated species arising from the use of genetic engineering, and a desire to resist the control and contamination of food chains, human beings, their societies and the natural environment by monopolistic and corrupt crony-corporations.

Your rational reasons against labeling?

Your statements do not logically 'add up'.

People want labeling along with other information so that they can make informed choices.

You cannot prove no people have died from eating food including GMO ingredients. It is logically impossible to prove a negative. So there is no rational argument in your favor on that count, sorry.

Genetic engineering can be simply described a a process of 'cutting and splicing' genetic material to and from anywhere in the gene pool of life on this planet, under total human (corporate) control. Breeding can be described as a process whereby natural selection is influenced by human intervention in this natural process, selecting for desired traits as they emerge. There is a great difference. Some extreme forms of mutation breeding (the process of exposing seeds to chemicals or radiation in order to generate mutants with desirable traits to be bred), especially if in breeding animals, could well be considered inappropriate.

If corporate interests are corrupting and contaminating truly organic products in the USA then, you are right, labeling products 'Organic' would be of little use to the discerning mind. Labeling products as 'GMO', by contrast, would be both unambiguous and useful to people who want to know.
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