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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: 13,713

About Me

(Brit gone native).

Journal Archives

Fed Pushes Into ‘Uncharted Territory’ With Record Assets

(Bloomberg) Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s unprecedented bond buying pushed the Fed’s balance sheet to a record $3 trillion as he shows no sign of softening his effort to bring down 7.8 percent unemployment.

The Fed is purchasing $85 billion of securities every month, using the full force of its balance sheet to stoke the economic recovery. The central bank began $40 billion in monthly purchases of mortgage-backed securities in September and added $45 billion in Treasury securities to that pace this month.

“We’re in uncharted territory,” said Julia Coronado, chief economist for North America at BNP Paribas SA in New York, and a former Fed economist. Even as “the easy money will flow through financial markets and into the real economy at some point and lift us to a better growth trajectory,” the U.S. faces “a lot of risks,” she said.

The Fed’s total assets climbed by $48 billion in the past week to $3.01 trillion as of Jan. 23, according to a release from the central bank yesterday in Washington. The announcement came as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index closed at the highest level since December 2007...

/... http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-25/fed-pushes-into-uncharted-territory-with-record-assets.html

Bank of America issues `bond crash' alert on Fed tightening fears

The US lender said investors face a treacherous moment as central banks start fretting about inflation and shift gears, threatening a surge in bond yields.

This happened in 1994 under Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan when yields on US 30-year Treasuries jumped 240 basis points over a nine-month span, setting off a “savage reversal of fortune in leveraged areas of fixed income markets”...

...Most emerging markets now raise debt in their own currency but the effect of a worldwide tightening cycle could expose a host of problems. “Frontier markets are attracting tremoundous capital inflows and this new carry trade could reverse quite violently. The risk of local bubbles bursting is high,” said Mr Hartnett.

Bank of America said the “Great Rotation” under way from bonds into equities closely tracks the pattern of 1994, with bank stocks leading the way.

Over the past seven years US investors have pulled $600bn from US equity funds and poured $800bn instead into bond funds. This process is going into reverse. Equity funds have drawn $35bn over the last 13 trading days alone, creating the risk of an unstable “melt-up” in stocks over coming months...

/... http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/9825363/Bank-of-America-issues-bond-crash-alert-on-Fed-tightening-fears.html

Renewable Energy Revolution: Declining Costs, Surging Capacity

January 24, 2013

The renewable energy revolution is under way. Renewable power generation now accounts for around 50% of all new power generation capacity installed worldwide.

The combination of rapid deployment and high learning rates for technology “has produced a virtuous circle that is leading to significant cost declines and is helping fuel a renewable revolution,” according to a new global study of renewable power generation costs in 2012 produced by IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency, which announced it is establishing its global headquarters in the United Arab Emirates during last week’s Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

Additions to global wind power generation capacity totalled 41 gigawatts (GW) in 2011, according to IRENA’s “Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2012: An Overview.” That’s in addition to 30 GW of new solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation capacity, 25 GW of hydro power, 6 GW of biomass, 0.5 GW of concentrated solar power (CSP), and 0.1 GW of new geothermal power capacity.

“Renewable technologies are now the most economic solution for new capacity in an increasing number of countries and regions,” IRENA concluded upon analyzing the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) among the some 8,000 renewable power projects in its database and related literature...

Clean Technica (http://s.tt/1ySx9)
Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2013/01/24/renewable-energy-revolution-declining-costs-surging-capacity/#hKAKybxAEug8XQdS.99

“Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2012: An Overview.” (.pdf) : http://www.irena.org/DocumentDownloads/Publications/Renewable%20Generation%20Costs%202012.pdf

Companies are rethinking their offshoring strategies; now "reshoring" or "onshoring".

Here, there and everywhere: After decades of sending work across the world, companies are rethinking their offshoring strategies, says Tamzin Booth
Jan 19th 2013 | From the print edition: Special report http://www.economist.com/printedition/2013-01-19
http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21569572-after-decades-sending-work-across-world-companies-are-rethinking-their-offshoring

... The original idea behind offshoring was that Western firms with high labour costs could make huge savings by sending work to countries where wages were much lower (see article). Offshoring means moving work and jobs outside the country where a company is based. It can also involve outsourcing, which means sending work to outside contractors. These can be either in the home country or abroad, but in offshoring they are based overseas. For several decades that strategy worked, often brilliantly. But now companies are rethinking their global footprints.

The first and most important reason is that the global labour “arbitrage” that sent companies rushing overseas is running out. Wages in China and India have been going up by 10-20% a year for the past decade, whereas manufacturing pay in America and Europe has barely budged... Second, many American firms now realise that they went too far in sending work abroad and need to bring some of it home again, a process inelegantly termed “reshoring”... Choosing the right location for producing a good or a service is an inexact science, and many companies got it wrong. Michael Porter, Harvard Business School’s guru on competitive strategy, says that just as companies pursued many unpromising mergers and acquisitions until painful experience brought greater discipline to the field, a lot of chief executives offshored too quickly and too much. In Europe there was never as much enthusiasm for offshoring as in America in the first place, and the small number of companies that did it are in no rush to return...

... Third, firms are rapidly moving away from the model of manufacturing everything in one low-cost place to supply the rest of the world. China is no longer seen as a cheap manufacturing base but as a huge new market. Increasingly, the main reason for multinationals to move production is to be close to customers in big new markets. This is not offshoring in the sense the word has been used for the past three decades; instead, it is being “onshore” in new places... Companies now want to be in, or close to, each of their biggest markets, making customised products and responding quickly to changing local demand...

...Under this logic, America and Europe, with their big domestic markets, should be able to attract plenty of new investment as companies look for a bigger local presence in places around the world. It is not just Western firms bringing some of their production home; there is also a wave of emerging-market champions such as Lenovo, or the Tata Group, which is making Range Rover cars near Liverpool, that are coming to invest in brands, capacity and workers in the West... As in manufacturing, the labour-cost arbitrage in services is rapidly eroding, leaving firms with all the drawbacks of distance and ever fewer cost savings to make up for them. There has been widespread disappointment with outsourcing information technology and the routine back-office tasks that used to be done in-house. Some activities that used to be considered peripheral to a company’s profits, such as data management, are now seen as essential, so they are less likely to be entrusted to a third-party supplier thousands of miles away...

... That offers a huge opportunity for rich countries and their workers to win back some of the industries and activities they have lost over the past few decades. Paradoxically, the narrowing wage gap increases the pressure on politicians. With labour-cost differentials narrowing rapidly, it is no longer possible to point at rock-bottom wages in emerging markets as the reason why the rich world is losing out. Developed countries will have to compete hard on factors beyond labour costs. The most important of these are world-class skills and training, along with flexibility and motivation of workers, extensive clusters of suppliers and sensible regulation...

/... http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21569572-after-decades-sending-work-across-world-companies-are-rethinking-their-offshoring

How about a Tuareg theme,

and/or pertaining to other peoples of the latest 'war' zone?...

Ali Farka Touré & Toumani Diabaté - Debe live at Bozar



Tinariwen - Live at Womad





/... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuareg & http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuareg

Airbus has a nicely-organised transport system:

... The A380’s size means its fuselage and wing sections are shipped via a surface transportation network that includes specially-commissioned roll-on roll-off ships to carry these sections from production sites in France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom to the French city of Bordeaux. From there, sections are transported by barge along the Garonne River to the Toulouse final assembly line.

As for other Airbus aircraft programmes, production of the A380 takes place in different sites across Europe. Each site produces completely equipped sections, which are transported to final assembly .

Most A380 sections are transported to Toulouse by sea, river and road. A number of smaller components, such as the vertical fin produced in Stade or the nose section produced in Meaulte, France, are carried in Airbus’ Beluga fleet... - http://www.airbus.com/company/aircraft-manufacture/how-is-an-aircraft-built/transport-of-major-aircraft-sections/




... Starting in Hamburg-Finkenwerder on the River Elbe, the ship loads the front and rear sections of the fuselage, from where they are shipped to the United Kingdom. The wings, which are manufactured at Filton in Bristol and Broughton, Flintshire in North Wales, are transported by barge to Mostyn docks, where the ship adds them to its cargo. In Saint-Nazaire in western France, the ship trades the fuselage sections from Hamburg for larger, assembled sections, some of which include the nose. The ship unloads in Bordeaux. Afterwards, the ship picks up the belly and tail sections by Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA in Cádiz in southern Spain, and delivers them to Bordeaux. From there, the A380 parts are transported by barge to Langon, and by the oversize road convoys of the Itinéraire à Grand Gabarit from there to the assembly hall in Toulouse.

After assembly, the aircraft are flown to Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport (XFW) to be furnished and painted... - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ville_de_Bordeaux



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Itin%C3%A9raire_%C3%A0_Grand_Gabarit

Ali Farka Touré & Toumani Diabaté - Debe live at Bozar



Tinariwen - Live at Womad

Indeed you were. Of Medieval Romanesque and Gothic Western Europe.

Rose windows are particularly characteristic of Gothic architecture and may be seen in all the major Gothic Cathedrals of Northern France. Their origins are much earlier and rose windows may be seen in various forms throughout the Medieval period. Their popularity was revived, with other medieval features, during the Gothic revival of the 19th century so that they are seen in Christian churches all over the world... - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_window



Also this at Chartres: ... The north transept rose (10.5m diameter, made c.1235), like much of the sculpture in the north porch beneath it, is dedicated to the Virgin. The central oculus shows the Virgin and Child and is surrounded by 12 small petal-shaped windows, 4 with doves (the 'Four Gifts of the Spirit'), the rest with adoring angels carrying candlesticks. Beyond this is a ring of 12 diamond-shaped openings containing the Old Testament Kings of Judah, another ring of smaller lozenges containing the arms of France and Castille, and finally a ring of semicircles containing Old Testament Prophets holding scrolls. The presence of the arms of the French king (yellow fleurs-de-lis on a blue background) and of his mother, Blanche of Castile (yellow castles on a red background) are taken as a sign of royal patronage for this window... - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chartres_Cathedral



Note on origin: ... The German art historian Otto von Simson considered that the origin of the rose window lay in a window with the six-lobed rosettes and octagon which adorned the external wall of the Umayyad palace Khirbat al-Mafjar built in Jordan between 740 and 750 CE. This theory suggests that crusaders brought the design of this attractive window to Europe, introducing it to churches... - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_window



Suggest accompanying music:





See also: http://www.therosewindow.com/pilot/Paris-N-Dame/table.htm
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