Friday, November 30, 2007

The Auction

In case you missed it, Google officially announced today that we'll be applying to participate in the upcoming 700 megahertz spectrum auction. You can read more about it on the Official Google Blog. As Chris notes, we'll be obligated to remain silent on this for awhile -- just so you know.Any source

Nueva Estación Meteorológica en Orihuela

Una nueva Estación Meteorológica Profesional, proporcionará datos meteorológicos de la ciudad de Orihuela. La estación fue instalada el pasado domingo. Se encuentra muy cerca del centro de Orihuela, concretamente en la Avenida de la Vega.

Podremos obtener datos de temperatura, humedad, presión atmosférica, velocidad y dirección del viento y precipitación entre otras cosas.

La estación es una OregónWMR100.

Dicha estación/web está colaborando con 14 proyectos meteorológicos: Meteoclimatic, Weather Underground, Awekas, MeteoNix, Ontimet, World Weather Station, LightningRing, Weather Station Finder, Global Weather Stations, Topp Weather Sites, TopList Weather Finder, Private Weather Station Online, Top de estaciones meteorológicas españolas y Harwich Weather.

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Islamic Banking and Finance in Sri Lanka: A Paradigm of Success

By Riyazi Farook

Sri Lanka’s modern financial sector has undergone significant reforms since the early 1990s, notably to reduce the government’s role as a direct financial provider. A wide range of institutions offer financial services, including public and private banks, development finance institutions, merchant banks, investment banks, specialized financial institutions, microfinance institutions, leasing companies and insurance companies.

There is also a burgeoning stock exchange. The government is taking steps to strengthen the institutional and regulatory framework for financial services. A remarkable recent evolution is the reform and reorganization of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL).

The monetary unit in Sri Lanka is the rupee (LKR), which consists of 100 cents (US$1 approx LKR 110). In addition to being the island’s monetary authority and the sole bank of issue, CBSL acts as financial adviser to the government.

Currently, more than 15 foreign banks have set up branches in the island nation. What is more significant is that some of these branches have been established for more than 100 years. Sri Lanka also has more than 10 local banks, including two that are state-owned (Bank of Ceylon and People’s Bank).

Sri Lanka is one of the few non-Islamic countries to have legislation for the Islamic banking sector. Following amendments to the Banking Act No 30 of 1988 in March 2005, there is now adequate flexibility for conventional banks to establish Islamic banking windows and launch Islamic financial products. However, efforts in strategic marketing communication to promote and raise awareness of these products are still in the infancy stage.

CBSL has already authorized Islamic banking to be carried out in licensed commercial banks as a regulated and legal activity. However, CBSL is studying the Islamic banking concepts and once the requirements are legislated in the Banking Act, Sri Lanka would have increasing opportunity to establish a full-fledged bank. Meanwhile, senior Muslim ministers are also backing an initiative to allow full-fledged Islamic banks to operate in the country.

Sri Lankan Muslims have long awaited the entry of a full-fledged Islamic financial institution that can provide them the opportunity to invest or deposit their money in a Shariah compliant manner. Islamic microfinance institutions in the rural areas are also keen to capitalize on this need, but most are offering limited service in small communities with a high density of Muslims.

The country has the potential to become an Islamic banking hub for the South Asian region. Nevertheless, only if CBSL expresses its interest and development initiatives does Sri Lanka stand a chance of competing and establishing itself in the market. Therefore, government organizations, monetary authorities and the private sector must work with Islamic banking institutions to achieve this objective.

In light of this, it is high time that Sri Lanka came up with a strategic framework on the Islamic financial sector in order to address the needs of all segments of the community. There are specialized local and overseas institutions and professionals, some of whom are experts in Islamic banking; others may have good managerial skills to contribute to the promotion of Islamic banking and its concepts. Therefore, it is paramount to include such specialists in a discussion on building a conceptual framework for Islamic banking and finance in Sri Lanka.

Players in Islamic finance

The market value of the Islamic banking sector in Sri Lanka is estimated at LKR 70 billion to LKR 100 billion (US$634 million to US$907 million). Islamic financial services providers currently active there include Amana Investments Limited, Ceylinco Islamic Investment Corporation (CIIC), Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB), National Asset Management Limited (NAMAL), First Global Investments Group and ABC Investments.

Amana Investments, established in 1997, leads the country’s Islamic financial services market. Its subsidiary Amana Takaful Ltd (ATL) began operations in June 1999 and is acknowledged as the market leader for Takaful services (commonly perceived as the Islamic alternative to conventional insurance). ATL was listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange in late 2006.

CIIC made its entry in 2003 and is fully backed by Ceylinco Insurance, one of the leading conventional insurance providers in Sri Lanka. CIIC offers both selected Shariah compliant and Takaful products.

New kid on the block MCB — owned by MCB Pakistan — commenced operations early this year. It offers both Islamic and conventional financial products.

NAMAL is the first fund management company in Sri Lanka licensed to manage unit trusts. Together with Amana Capital (a subsidiary of Amana Investments), it launched the NAMAL Amana Equity Fund early this month. The objective of the equity fund is to achieve significant growth over the medium to long term by primarily investing in equity securities that are Shariah compliant.

First Global Group is a public limited finance investment company that deals with Shariah compliant investments and financing products and services. Domestically, it is the first institution to promote training and career development programs related to Islamic banking and finance.

Finally, there’s ABC Investments, a relatively new Islamic investment group that claims to have strong funding backing from different countries. It has a memorandum of understanding with the Central Bank of Sudan in which the latter’s experts will provide assistance on training and development to ABC — especially in its Takaful segment — and will be working closely with leading Islamic financial countries for the funding in Takaful as they plan to start off with general insurance.

Barriers in Takaful industry

The Takaful concept is steadily gaining acceptance in Sri Lanka, where there are now 13 licensed insurance companies. Takaful was introduced in 2002 with the entry of ATL, which recently created history in Sri Lanka and the Islamic financial services industry worldwide when it was ranked 203rd in the world’s first comprehensive “Top 500 Islamic Financial Institutions” published by The Banker, the global finance magazine of the Financial Times Group, in its November issue. ATL accounted for US$5.55 million worth of Shariah compliant assets.

A second Takaful operator, Ceylinco Takaful Limited, made its debut in mid-2006. Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation Limited — the republic’s largest and strongest composite insurance provider with LKR 50 billion worth of assets under management — has also announced its intended foray into Takaful. Two of the country’s largest insurance operators (Ceylinco Life and Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation) also plan to offer Takaful products.

The Sri Lankan market, including that for Takaful, faces several challenges, however. One is the current legal environment, which is deemed unfavorable to Takaful operations. Other hurdles are reluctance on the part of regulators to introduce the necessary changes in law to encourage the development of Takaful, a lack of investment opportunities that are Shariah compliant and acceptable to the insurance regulators, a high capital requirement, severe competition, consumer resistance to a new form of insurance based on religious principles and the fact that Muslims represent only about 9% of Sri Lanka’s population.

Overcoming these barriers is more crucial for the Takaful industry in Sri Lanka. Its operators should make a concerted effort to convince insurance regulators to accept the salient features of Takaful and treat it as a new business model. They could also form strategic alliances to promote their products.

Human resource needs

Sri Lanka should aim to produce highly skilled practitioners and professionals as well as specialists and researchers to develop human capital needs for its Islamic banking and financial services industry, both at local and international level. Shariah scholars are scarce but they are highly critical to the success of the republic’s Islamic banking industry and its growth.

International Center for Education in Islamic Finance recently established the faculty of Islamic banking and finance, the first in Sri Lanka. It is hoped that the faculty will fulfill the need to produce a pool of Islamic professionals for the fast-growing global Islamic banking and financial services industry.
Any source

11 Month FDI Statistics in Vietnam: $15 Billion Attracted, BVI the Second in the List of Top Investors

According to the 11 months statistics on Foreign Investments in Vietnamese economy, in this period the country attracted $15 billion in FDI. Pahn Huu Thang, the director of the Foreign Investment Department at the Ministry of Planning and Investment, attributed this to the country's political stability and the fact that investors gained more confidence in the economically booming Southeast Asian country. He also said that Vietnam's admission into the World Trade Organization contributed to the rise in foreign investment.

The list of foreign investors in the 11 months through November is topped by South Korea, with the investment capital of $3.7 billion. The British Virgin Islands are, again, in the second place with $3.5 billion, - compared to US$1.73 billion FDI, reported in the 10 month statistics. The BVI are followed by Singapore with $1.5 billion.

By words of Thang, they expected foreign investments to top $16 billion till the end of this year, - the amount that would top last year's previous annual record of $12.2 billion by more that 30%.

Since 1988, the government of Vietnam has licensed more than 8,000 foreign investment projects worth about $80 billion.
Article any source

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New magical blue circle on your map

We've all been there: You're out and about, and you need to figure out where you are, what's around you, and how to get there. Google Maps for mobile can help you do all that, but first you have to enter in a starting point using the keypad. And let's face it -- entering things into your phone using the keypad is so 2006. While some people are lucky enough to have GPS-enabled mobile phones that provide location information for Google Maps for mobile, the vast majority of us are not. So what to do?

Starting today, we have an answer: Google Maps for mobile with My Location . My Location is a new beta technology from Google that uses cell tower identification to provide you with approximate location information, so it will work on phones without GPS. Simply fire up Google Maps for mobile, press [0], and the map will indicate your approximate location by centering on a blue circle like this:

If you do have a GPS-enabled device, My Location can actually complement it. My Location kicks in faster than GPS in most cases, so you can access your location even faster on the map. It also works reliably indoors (unlike GPS) and doesn't drain your phone battery at the rate that GPS does.

Of course, this feature is in beta, which in this case means a few different things: First, although accuracy and coverage may vary, both will improve over time as more and more people use Google Maps for mobile. Second, My Location isn't currently supported on all devices (see our Help Center for more on this); we're working on that. Third, we'd love to get your feedback on it -- feel free to leave your comments below.

To give Google Maps for mobile with My Location a try, text "MYLOCATION" to 33669, or head to on your mobile browser.

If you'd like to learn more about the My Location technology, take a look at this short video:

Any source

We're open for business

Welcome to the new Google mobile blog. We hope this will be your first stop for the latest news and views from our global team that has been working to bring you innovative mobile products for awhile, now.

Through this blog, we plan to share with you over time more on what we're up to, who we are, and what we think is going on in this dynamic industry. We'll have plenty of product launches, features, and tips to tell you about. We also hope to introduce you to some of our partners and some of our users along with the applications they love. Additionally, we plan to offer up comments on trends in the industry and even an occasional take on non-Google products we feel are particularly noteworthy.

Earlier this month we launched Android, one of our most ambitious mobile initiatives to date. While Android is an important part of our mobile strategy, so too is our goal of developing useful and compelling mobile products for our current and future users, devices, platforms, and partners. As always, you can find out more about our full suite of Google mobile products at

Finally, we're very interested in reading what you have to say so we invite you to submit comments below pertinent blog posts. We'll do what we can to respond; feel free to respond to each other as well. For specific questions on Google mobile products, please visit our discussion group and submit them there.Any source

BVI Premier Hon. Ralph T. O'Neal Speaking on Offshore and Financial Matters in his Yesterday's Presentation

In his speech on November 27, 2007, the Premier Hon. Ralph T. O'Neal addressed the territory with a report on the main achievements for the first 90 days of work in the office, and on the First Meeting with the UK Government.

In the part of the presentation that concerned the Financial Services Industry, the Premier talked about meeting of the Cabinet and the Financial Services Commission, to discuss their annual report for 2006 and their work plans for 2008.

In the course of discussions, it was decided that the Commission would meet informally with the House of Assembly, in order to discuss with its members the matters related to the financial services industry. Also, it was proposed that a seminar would be held sometime next year for members of the House of Assembly and Permanent Secretaries and senior officials, in order “to get more people in the Territory to understand and appreciate what the financial services industry means to the Territory.”

The Premier very positively evaluated the familiarization visit of a Chinese delegation from the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) of the People's Republic of China that took place on November 8-10. During several meetings with key officials, the Chinese delegation discussed several issues concerning company registration and establishment, exposure of the information of registered companies, Administration of Foreign Exchange and taxes, and co-operation with international and finanacial regulatory institutions.

Today, the Premier leaves the Territory, to attend the ninth annual Meeting of the Heads of Government of the United Kingdom Caribbean Dependent Territories. Among the questions to be discussed at the Conference there are: UK's action plans for combating international corruption, constitutional modernization, OECD harmful tax initiatives, European Union Savings Tax directive, etc. Among other matters discussed there will be the National Audit Office report on the management of risk in the overseas territories.

Premier Hon. Ralph T. O'Neal also has been invited by the House of Commons Foreign Relations Committee to give evidence regarding the Territory, and he expects to have a one to one talk with the Under Secretary of State, Mrs. Meg Munn.

The Premier is planning to hold discussions on the complete purchase and development of the Virgin Gorda airport, - the project that was started in 2002 . He will also visit the famous BVI House, to hold there some of his meetings with the private sector.
Article any source

Monday, November 26, 2007

BVI Premier hosts 10 member delegation from the China Ministry of Commerce

Premier of the British Virgin Islands, Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal, hosted a 10 member delegation from the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) of the People's Republic of China headed by its Vice Minister Madam Ma Xiuhong. It was the familiarisation visit of Chinese delegation to the territory, and its members held meetings with Governor David Pearey, the Premier, Mr Robert Mathavious, Managing Director of the Financial Services Commission, the Director of the International Affairs Secretariat Mrs. Lorna Smith and members of the private sector.

The visit included a day trip of the delegation to Virgin Gorda and a lunch hosted by the Premier O'Neal. In his speech, the Premier said that it is important to build on the relationship between the two countries since the British Virgin Islands play an important role in the economy of China.

Before visiting the Territory, the delegation of China also made visits to the Cayman Islands and United States Virgin Islands.
Article any source

Friday, November 23, 2007

Alerta Amarilla por lluvias y vuelven a bajar las temperaturas

Una borrasca situada en el Golfo de Cádiz irá avanzando hasta llegar a esta zona. Entrará por el estrecho de Gibraltar y seguirá su ruta por el Mar de Alborán hasta llegar enfrente de las costas de la Comunidad Valenciana. En su trayectoria dejará lluvias de intensidad débil, pudiendo llegar a ser moderadas, y si van acompañadas de tormenta pueden ser de intensidad fuerte.

Imagen de la Borrasca situada en el Golfo de Cádiz.

La alerta amarilla
corresponde a un riesgo bajo de que caigan 20 litros por metro cuadrado en aproximadamente 1 hora.

Las temperaturas bajarán en toda España, aqui bajarán levemente. Esta bajada se debe a que tendremos viento del Norte procedente de el centro de Europa.Any source

Jeff Goldblum's "Pittsburgh" Mockumentary Withstands Stagehand's Request for A Temporary Restraining Order

Stagehand Debbie Sue Croyle appeared briefly in Jeff Goldblum's "Pittsburgh" mockumentary. She sued claiming she did not sign a release and was humiliated by statements made by Goldblum in her brief scene.

Croyle asked for $4 million in damage as well as the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). Croyle had agreed to sign the release in consideration for a monetary donation by the producers to a charity. One of the producers made such a donation on the day the lawsuit was filed.

Croyle argued that this was too late, but the defendants argued that no deadline was ever agreed upon. U.S. District Court Judge David Cercone denied the request for a TRO because he believed her lawsuit was unlikely to succeed. After viewing the scene, the judge was not persuaded she was likely to win a suit based on injury to her reputation.

The TRO would have forced the producers to delete the scene, stop selling DVDs, and prevent the film from being broadcast on television.

Film Producer Arrested for "Art Department Work" Done to Create Bogus Foreign Pre-Sale Distribution Agreements

Gary Hoswam has been arrested for bank fraud based on using bogus contracts with foreign sales distributors to borrow money.

The FBI alleges that Hoswam faked ten foreign pre-sale distribution agreements for the film "Going Back" in order to secure $4.8 million in loans from Comerica Bank. At the time, Hoswam was the CEO of Greenlight Films where he helped produce dozens of projects, including, "Global Heresy," "Ignition," and the TV show "The Tudors." In 1999 and 2000, Hoswam worked with Harel Goldstein of Hilltop Entertainment and another man to secure financing for six films. According to the FBI, false foreign pre-sale distribution contracts were created using whiteout and cutting and pasting information from genuine contracts. In 2007, Goldstein signed a plea agreement. He told the FBI that Howsam said some "art department work" would be necessary in the negotiations with Comerica. Goldstein later wore a wire to a meeting with Hoswam in order to gather evidence against him. Comerica has also filed a civil suit against Hoswam. Hoswam is out on a $500,000 bail and has been placed under house arrest in Los Angeles.

Fourth Circuit Court Affirms that Haute Diggity Dog May Continue to Sell "Chewy Vuitton" Line of Dog Products

Huate Diggity Dog (HDD) sells dog toys and dog beds that parody famous trademarks, including those of Louis Vuitton Malletier (LVM). HDD's products include "Chewy Vuitton," "Chewnel No. 5," "Furcedes," and "Sniffany & Co." The "Chewy Vuitton" products had interlocking letters similar to the LVM's famous trademark and also had colors similar to LVM products.

LVM sued HDD for trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and copyright violations. The District Court granted HDD's motion for summary judgment on all three theories resulting in the case being dismissed. On appeal, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the lower court's conclusions on all three counts. The Fourth Circuit adopted a different line of reasoning on the trademark dilution claim.

Both Courts agreed that the "Chewy Vuitton" products constituted a parody of LVM's products. Consumers would "recognize a humorous association with the Vuitton mark, without likely confusing" anyone that the product was an LVM product. The Courts also agreed that there was no copyright violation since HDD's use of copyright was a fair use and non-infringing. In addressing the trademark dilution issue, the District Court found that LVM had failed to state a cause of action because HDD's parody was not likely to dilute the LVM trademark.

The Fourth Circuit agreed with the conclusion, but differed in its reasoning. It found that because LVM's trademark was so strong and because HDD's products clearly and intentionally communicated that they are parodies, there is no basis for finding a dilution by blurring claim against HDD.

The opinion can be read at:


Registration online is now possible for $35 as part of a beta test of the Copyright Office's web-based registration program. To participate, fill out the Request Form at


Mark will be bringing his one day Risky Business seminar to Tupelo, Mississippi on Friday, November 30, 2007. Those who attend this comprehensive all day seminar will learn how independent films are financed and distributed.

Topics include organizing your company, raising financing via pre-sales, debt and limited partnerships, negotiating tactics, principal terms of the acquisition/distribution agreement, cross-collateralization and creative accounting. Particular attention is paid to how producers and filmmakers can protect their interests by watering down warranties, getting added to the E& O policy, using lab access letter to retain possession of the negative, and utilizing termination and arbitration clauses.

This seminar is being organized by the Tupelo Mississippi Film Commission and is co-sponsored by Tupelo Convention & Visitors Bureau; Tupelo Film Commission; BancorpSouth; MS Film Office; MS Arts Commission; and Gardner-Watson Ice House. More info at: More info at: source

Thursday, November 22, 2007

BVI FSC Publishes Series of Documents on Anti-Money Laundering issues

Recently the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission has published a series of new/updated/amended documents related to anti-money laundering issues:
  • The Liberia (Restrictive Measures) (Overseas Territories) (Amendment No 2) Order 2007
  • The Lebanon (United Nations Sanctions) (Overseas Territories) (Amendment) Order 2007
  • The Iran (United Nations Measures) (Overseas Territories)(Amendment)Order 2007
  • Notice of Revision of Consolidated List of Individuals on whom a Travel Ban and assets freeze have been imposed
  • Notice of Revision of list of Individuals and Entities associated with Usama Bin Laden, Taliban and Al-Qaida
  • Notice of the list of Revision of Consolidated List of Persons connected with the Taliban and Usama Bin Laden
  • The North Korea (United Nations Measures) (Overseas Territories) (Amendment) Order 2007
These documents describe United Nations sanctions, certain restrictive measures (such as procurement of military goods and technology, supply of specific proliferation-sensitive goods, asset freezing), imposed by the European Union members to uncooperative countries as well as contain lists of individuals and entities subject to a travel ban and assets freeze.
Article any source

Health Check Attacks Peripheral Ills

It is difficult to say anything new about the CAP Health Check proposals because they have been leaked so extensively. What they amount to is finding a patient who has a number of chronic long-term illnesses which require radical treatment, but then proposing to concentrate attention on the patient's toothache and Athlete's Foot.

The proposed capping of payments to large farms is intended to increase the popularity of the policy by reducing transfers from taxpayers to those who are already propserous. It thus would enable the Commission to portray the policy as one that primarily helps small, marginal or peripheral farmers, albeit in a very inefficient fashion. The issue of why there should be subsidies at all for commercial aspects of farming activity is thereby evaded.

The industry's protectionist subsidy seeking mindset has not actually helped it. It has diverted attention from the needs of the customer and the opportunities presented by higher value added products. A recent example is to be found in efforts to get more Government purchases of food sourced from Britain. Presumably more is not being so sourced because of price/quality problems. Why not identify and tackle those problems?

I never expected much from the Health Check. But there is a need to aim for a more radical reform of policy in the run up to 2013.Any source

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mes de Noviembre muy seco

Han tenido que pasar 21 dias para estrenar en mes de Noviembre en cuanto a precipitaciones se refiere. El tiempo anticiclónico está dominando dicho mes, pero en los próximos dias nos afectará un frente que proviene del Océano Atlántico. Los frentes en esta zona, no son nada beneficiosos para dejar abundantes precipitaciones, asi que los próximos dias se caracterizarán por cielos nubosos o cubiertos que pueden dejar chubascos débiles, que como mucho llegarán a intensidad moderada. La lluvia que hemos recogido hoy ha sido mediocre, tan sólo 0,3 litros por metro cuadrado.

La media de precipitación en el mes de Noviembre es aproximadamente 35 litros por metro cuadrado...Any source

BVI Financial Services (Administrative Penalties) Regulations Amended by Adding Late Penalty Schedule

On November 16, 2007, the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission published the amendments to the Financial Services (Administrative Penalties) Regulations.

These amendments are published to update the previous version of the BVI Financial Services (Administrative Penalties) Regulations, which was gazetted on 14th December, 2006 and came into effect on 15th January, 2007. The amendments were gazetted on 27th September, 2007 and came into effect on 31st July, 2007.

Administrative Penalties Schedule is redesigned as Schedule 1 and Late Penalty Schedule (Schedule 2), and completely new subsection 5A (describing late penalty Schedule 2) is introduced by the amendments 2007:

5A. (1) The Commission may impose an administrative penalty on a licensee in accordance with Schedule 2 where the licensee fails to pay
(a) any fee or charge payable under the Act or any regulatory legislation; or
(b) any penalty payable under these Regulations on or before the date upon which the fee, charge or penalty is due for payment.
(2) Where the Commission decides to impose a late payment penalty on a licensee under subregulation (1), it shall send a penalty notice to the licensee stating
(a) the fee,charge or penalty in respect of which the penalty is imposed; and
(b) the amount of the proposed penalty calculated in accordance with Schedule 2.
(3) Subject to regulation 8(6), a licensee that receives a penalty notice shall pay the penalty stated in the notice to the Commission within fourteen days of receipt of the notice.”

Late Penalty Schedule 2 is introduced in the following redaction:

Description of Fee/PenaltyPenalty payable
1. Penalties for late payment of fee or charge payable under any regulatory legislation
For the late payment of a fee or charge payable under any regulatory legislation
(a) Where the fee or charge is paid 1-30 days after due date20% of fee or charge payable, subject to a minimum of $80.00
(b) For each additional period of 30 days, or any part thereof, during which fee or charge remains unpaid10% of fee or charge payable, subject to a minimum of $20.00

The maximum penalty payable under paragraphs (a) and (b) shall be 100% of the fee or charge payable
2. Penalty for late payment of administrative penalty, other than late payment penalty)
For the late payment of an administrative penalty imposed under Schedule 1
(a) Penalty paid 1-30 days after due date10% of penalty payable
(b) For each additional period of 30 days, or any part thereof, during which penalty remains unpaid10% of penalty payable

The maximum penalty payable under paragraphs (a) and (b) shall be 100% of the administrative penalty payable”

Other sections as well as Schedule 1 of the BVI Financial Services (Administrative Penalties) Regulations are amended accordingly.
Article any source

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


It's been five days since Ron Silliman posted his generous review of Damn the Caesars, Vol. III. Despite the charges leveled against it, particularly the willful misreading of the editorial statement, I frame the review as generous simply because of the space and careful attention devoted to discussion of the journal—attention for which I'm naturally grateful. As most of us know, any mention of a publication on Silliman’s blog—however ephemeral that publication might be—translates immediately to a quantitative increase in sales and a qualitative increase in discussion around that publication. Further, it's no small honor having a figure of Silliman's stature think so carefully through your work and the work of those you promote. This is something. It truly is.

But were there a rubric for quantitatively measuring the overall value of a poetry journal Damn the Caesars would have failed terrifically. According to the essentialist logic of statistical analysis, of the body count, the primary value of a journal becomes commensurate with coverage, with an equitable balance of authors from whatever culturally-constructed categories are believed to be determinate but are otherwise underrepresented at a particular historical moment. Driven by this logic in reviewing the journal, Silliman foregrounds what he reads as an irresponsible exclusion of women. Although he writes in the last sentence of the review that he suspects this was not my intention, he speculates earlier that the editorial statement which appears at the end of Vol. III may have been constructed as a "prophylactic" against charges of exclusion.

If this were the case—if the editorial were some kind of hermeneutic shell through which I protected myself and the journal—then logic like numbers would suggest that the exclusion of women was willful. In other words, crafting a disclaimer before publishing the journal would mean that I knew in advance, long before any charge has been leveled against me, that I've been excluding women. And doesn't knowing in advance suggest intention through a refusal to act, a refusal to solicit and publish work by women poets?

Of course the editorial statement wasn't constructed and strategically placed to protect me from charges of insufficient coverage. Having edited the journal for nearly three years, my aim in constructing the statement was simply to think through my position as editor. Part of my aim was also to address for readers the complexity of the journal's aesthetic. Often misreading the title of the journal, no small number of poets have insisted on sending me what they clearly view as "political" or protest poems. Deeply frustrated, I attempted to clarify an editorial position that would respond to this problem. But I also wanted to think through what it means to edit, to take work and transform it, to coral it in a pen with the work of others such that particular aspects of a poem might rise to the surface, so to speak, while others fall away. Editing is a form of reading but in subtle and highly nuanced ways it also determines how the work edited will be read by others. It is never preinterpretive and what we find at stake in editing is not only the reception of a poem, but the very poem itself. Aware of this, I found it essential to begin rigorously thinking through the ethical implications of editing.

Although I refuse to crunch numbers in advance of discussing the Spahr-Young debate which seems to have occasioned Silliman's willful misreading of Damn the Caesars, it may be useful to discuss how work gets into the journal. With very few exceptions, all of the work published in DTC is solicited. Most of the men I solicit for work tend to respond and respond quickly. There are a few who don't, but they tend to be the exception. But let me provide a partial list of the women I've asked for work, women who, for one reason or another, were not necessarily hostile toward the journal or my request but simply unable to provide work. And keep in mind I've asked many of these poets several times, as all are poets I deeply admire or believe produce meaningful work. They range in age, among other things, and include: Renee Gladman, Hoa Nguyen, Lisa Robertson, Stacy Szymaszek, Wang Ping, Christine Hume, Carla Harryman, Nancy Kuhl, Jessa Crispin, Jenny Boully, Cecilia Vicuna, Lyn Hejinian, Fanny Howe, Dodie Bellamy, Eileen Myles, Rosemarie Waldrop, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Rachel Loden, Jennifer Moxley, Lisa Jarnot, Linda Russo, Gloria Frym, Leslie Scalapino, Maighread Medbh, Aine Miller, Eileen Sheehan. Let me repeat: this is merely a partial list. Many of these poets have responded warmly to my requests but have, for various reasons, been unable to provide work. Some have not responded at all. Perhaps those letters soliciting work never made it to these poets. Perhaps these poets were simply too busy to respond. If we look at poets such as DuPlessis and Waldrop, we might simply assume they're busy or have committed the work elsewhere. Some of the poets mentioned here I'm friends with. Some I have asked once and others I've asked three or four or five times over the past two years. In any event, perhaps these names should be included in body-count calculations, as I've painstakingly sought mailing and email addresses for each of them, and have crafted careful letters and messages discussing their work and requesting new work for the journal.

There are a number of women poets whose work I follow closely but refuse to solicit. I refuse simply because close friends have recently published their work or are planning to publish them. This is certainly the case for British poets Frances Kruk, Sophie Robinson and Harriet Tarlo—all of whom were featured in the latest issue of Pilot. As editor Matt Chambers is a close friend, I made the decision not to ask Kruk for work, however much her forceful poetic intervention might mean to me. Rather than compete with Pilot, which is published in the same town with partial support from the same university, I chose to publish other poets.

Both Chambers and I have taken an active interest in contemporary British poetry over the past few years, just as Eric Mottram took an active interest in American poetry during the 1970s. But despite Mottram's place in British poetry and his tireless attempt to bridge the Atlantic through promoting American poetry at home, I suspect with some sadness that few reading this will know his name. Unfortunately the tree here is still a distinctly American one and we are, for the most part, guilty of the "literary jingoism" David Jones scholar John Matthias accused us of years ago. Indeed, the Brit po issue of Chicago Review, while it makes a much-needed gesture toward ameliorating what I read as a destructive literary patriotism within the US also serves, in many ways, to reinscribe this patriotism. The issue -- carefully edited and introduced by Sam Ladkin -- appeals to nation as the organizing principle and announces itself as a "British Poetry Issue." But as such it comes perilously close to standing in for readers within the US as the British Poetry Issue, as a representative sample of all the various poetries being produced in Britain at the present moment. Aware of how utterly impossible and frustrating the task of editing within the coordinates of inflexible categories can be, Ladkin selects four poets situated at intersecting points where various poetry communities within Britain have overlapped and informed each others' projects. In conjunction with the fifteen reviews and various notes at the end of the issue, a reader might get some sense of the poetic landscape in Britain, but this grasp of the landscape would only be partial. In other words, all editing excludes, willfully or otherwise. Where, for example, are poets of color in CR's Brit Po issue? Ladkin could have solicited work from David Marriott, some of whose work has been published through Andrea Brady and Keston Sutherland's Barque Press, but would Marriott—located for some time in Santa Cruz, California—qualify now as a British poet? Moreover, if Ladkin had selected a poet of color as one of the four featured, would this poet have been read as a poet as such or reductively instrumentalized and framed as representative of all non-white communities within Britain? Would the non-whiteness of this poet have been foregrounded in an introduction or biographical note? The questions are complex and not easy to answer.

But let's turn back to Frances Kruk, whose work as poet and Yt Communications editor is mentioned only in passing by Keith Tuma in CR's Brit Po issue. Her work is particularly important to me. The buzzsaw staccato lines which are characteristic of her poetry speak a rage and investigation of the grotesque seldom found among Anglophone poets regardless of sex. Take the following lines from the collection Clobber:

this being how i char the pretty
off the lip how i burn
mine quick electric prick
tough take it
cold and skinless

If we didn't have the seeming transparency of the name to rely on we might read this as Silliman reads those poems by Billy Childish that appear in Vol. III of DTC, one of which Silliman believes "almost Archie Bunkerville in its masculinist take on the world." Mired as we are in this particular historical conjuncture, with Gordon Brown playing a fool in the UK and the Bush administration running riot here, it's unclear to me why refusal, resistance and rage are always reductively and, in my opinion, irresponsibly gendered. This is to say, when a poet such as Billy Childish attempts to take stock of his lot as an artist that has spent a good deal of his life living in abject poverty, when he attempts within the frame of the poem to shore up the few fragments he has against the socio-economic nightmare of British neoliberalism, such a gesture is read as a masculinist poetics. And indeed the Childish poem is far more complex than this quick reading suggests. But we do find a very similar poetics operating in Kruk's poems. Rage is present in the work of both Childish and Kruk—not to mention that of fellow Yt Communications poet Sean Bonney. But this rage is contained within the limits of the poem. It is a purely textual rage, a rhetorical rage. Moreover, rage is often specific to class and while it may at times be gendered and read as purely masculine, the context, even if it is only within the frame of the poem, can be so overdetermined that it cannot be reduced to gender but must be thought carefully in the full plenitude of its complexity.

Since founding the journal I have been painfully aware of the uneven balance between men and women in its pages. Just today I received work from British poet Harry Gilonis. Then work from Richard Kostelanetz. Linda Russo wrote shortly after reading Silliman's review and said she was eager to contribute, though still working through the poems she hopes to send. Similarly I am waiting for work from Stacy Szymaszek. At the present moment, however, I have in hand contributions from Alan Gilbert, Chris Martin, Hugo Garcia Manriquez and a number of other men. That ALL of the work I have in hand is from men and none of it from women is deeply troubling to me. But as I state above, this isn't the result of not having asked. As for not publishing work submitted, I recall having rejected work by one woman, and this piece was an interview with a man. As for submissions from men, I've received dozens if not hundreds. With few exceptions, most of these submissions seemed unsuitable to me. Anyhow, to identify a gap in coverage and rush to publish work which fills that gap also seems insufficient. What would it mean to publish all submissions from women, regardless of content or quality, in order to correct this imbalance? This would not only be a disservice to other contributors within the journal, it would be a disservice to those contributors published exclusively for the purpose of filling the gap. That is, to edit along such lines is to instrumentalize the work of others, to use someone's work in order to fulfill an undisclosed agenda. If we are to take work expressly for the purpose of filling such gaps, do we disclose this to the contributor? Do we say we've taken the work not because we connect with it, not because it fits the broader theme or aesthetic of a particular issue, but because it merely fills a gap that critics and poets with clout or institutional power have identified? Again, the conversation is complex.

Any response I might formulate to Silliman's review—and the larger discussion around the Spahr-Young thesis advanced in Foulipo and again in the latest issue of CR—can never be more than provisional. As the conversation unfolds the material and intellectual landscape beneath the issue of the body count shifts. If we look to other categories, other gaps, we might take into consideration editors such as Cid Corman. There are few women poets that appear in the pages of Origin and if we counted heads the numbers would certainly be criminally uneven. Nonetheless Corman devoted an impressive amount of energy to publishing and promoting the work of Lorine Niedecker. Corman didn't publish a wide range of women poets but committed himself almost entirely to the work of one. If not for his efforts—along with those of another poet-editor, Jonathan Williams—it is quite possible Niedecker's work would have fallen completely out of circulation. The case is the same for Corman's commitment to the work of Larry Eigner. When Eigner's work appeared in Origin it wasn't framed as a poetry of disability. As editor, Corman was careful not to read Eigner's work through his disability. Rather it appeared alongside the work of Olson, Creeley and others, positioned within the journal such that it stood on the same ground and in dialog with the work around it. But perhaps I'm just beating the old sameness/difference conversation into the ground.

In any event, it's with the deepest respect that I respond to Silliman's review. Due to the haste with which his blog entries are written and posted he's become an easy target in recent years. People hammer away without reservation at his characteristically aggressive, even masculinist, attacks on the work of others. Nonetheless, most of us would agree that we learn more about contemporary poetry through reading his blog than through most other sources. If we devote our attention exclusively to his blog and allow it to define our sense of him in the present moment, it becomes easy to forget how important works like New Sentence expanded the scope of the possible within poetry or how anthologies like In the American Tree rigorously and self-reflexively questioned the ethics of anthologizing, of constructing categories. Indeed, in a moment of anger that's somewhat embarrassing to me now, I read through the table of contents for In the American Tree looking to count bodies and crunch numbers. After I counted names and tallied figures I skimmed through the preface, which I haven't read in some time, and came across the following sentence: "Anthologies are not facts, but individual viewpoints over complex fields of information." Although he's been given to reducing the complexity of such fields of information in recent years, it was nice to read that statement again. The same can certainly be said of magazines. Damn the Caesars represents one individual viewpoint, but fortunately it is one among many—so much so that where I have failed as an editor perhaps others can succeed.

ADDENDUM: In somewhat of a gross oversight on my part, I failed to mention that the British Poetry Issue of Chicago Review (53:1) was coedited by Robin Purves—though both Purves and Ladkin recently informed me that the more serious error in the statement above lies in the assumption that nation was the primary organizing principle of the issue. Neither Ladkin nor Purves, in editing the issue, aimed to offer a representative range of contemporary British poetry, but rather a select number of UK poets who, in their opinion, currently produce interesting and innovative work. Before the issue went to print both Ladkin and Purves suggested using the less representative title "4 UK Poets"— though, in an effort to command attention and generate conversation, CR went with the more provocative "British Poetry Issue".

Any source

Sunday, November 18, 2007

EU warns Romania on farm payments

Romania has been told to tighten controls in its farm payment systems or face a severe cut in it subsdies next year from the EU. The European Commission said that independent auditors Deloitte had found 'major deficiencies in the software module designed to ensure that payments are made correctly.'

The Commission said that Romania could lose about €180m in subsidies next yar if it failed to correct problems in its software systems. It delivered the warning amid persistent complaints from some of the EU's western European members that Romania was not fully prepared for the challenges of EU membership when it became a member last January.

The financial stakes are high because Romania is due to recive €443m in direct payments next year, part of a grand total of €4.3bn between now and the end of 2013. Agriculture accounts for about 40 per cent of employment.Any source

Hoy se ha dado la temperatura mínima anual

La pasada madrugada hemos batido record en Orihuela. Se ha alcanzado una temperatura mínima de 1,2ºC. Ha vuelto a helar en zonas cercanas a Orihuela y de nuevo la temperatura mínima que hemos registrado en Orihuela ha sido beneficiada por la ausencia de viento durante la madrugada.

Aqui os pongo un pequeño seguimiento que hice:
A las 20:45 horas en Orihuela teniamos 10,5ºC.
A las 21:45 horas en Orihuela teniamos 10,0ºC.
A las 23:00 horas en Orihuela teniamos 9,4ºC.
A las 00:00 horas en Orihuela teniamos 7,2ºC.
A las 00:50 horas en Orihuela teniamos 6,2ºC.
A las 01:32 horas en Orihuela teniamos 5,9ºC.

Por tanto 1,2ºC registrada el 18 de Noviembre de 2007 es de momento la temperatura mínima anual en Orihuela.Any source

Saturday, November 17, 2007

BVI Insurance Association looking for ways to rescue BVI domestic insurance business

The BVI Insurance Association that was recently formed to work in the domestic insurance sector, is to deal with many issues affecting the industry and to address many challenges, some of them even threatening functioning of the sector.

The President of the BVI Insurance Association and the Managing Director of NAGICO Insurance Company Shan Mohamed has told about the main problems of onshore insurance industry. He said that members of the Association would need to come together and agree to work with certain parameters, to ensure that the industry remains strong, and customers' interests are respected and protected. The President of the Association expressed concern over too large number of accidents in the BVI, and said the association will lobby to Government to address this issue.

An important point made by Mohamed is that the association was formed to protect the domestic insurance industry in the BVI, because financial institutions, for example banks, are seeking to enter the property insurance market, and their number may be critical to other companies, particularly medium and small insurance agents. By his words, this becomes common practice in developed countries, and the current situation should be evaluated by the BVI FSC and other Government bodies responsible for the approval of new licenses.

After saying a few words about the problems of onshore insurance business in BVI, we should note that BVI offshore insurance business is sound and perfect. Offshore insurance business in BVI is another good example how offshore jurisdiction can improve the quality of offshore financial services. Industry professionals should remember how in early 90s there were couple thousand captive insurance companies registered on the BVI. Most of them were shell captives, some were related to grey business, and even money laundering. By introducing stringent requirements to minimum capital, due diligence and other measures, the number of licences was reduced to several hundreds, but BVI dramatically improved the quality of BVI-licensed captive insurers.

Parent companies for most BVI-licensed captives are located in the U.S. However, the offshore territory is of global importance, being the basic jurisdiction for captives from such countries as Switzerland, Guernsey, Taiwan, South America and the Middle East.
Article any source

Frío en Orihuela

Las temperaturas como ya anuncié ayer, iban a bajar bruscamente, y así ha sido. Ha helado debilmente en zonas cercanas a Orihuela, aqui nos hemos quedado muy cerca.
La temperatura mínima que hemos registrado en Orihuela ha sido beneficiada por la ausencia del viento durante la noche.

Aqui os pongo un pequeño seguimiento que hice:
A las 21:30 horas en Orihuela teniamos 9,9ºC.
A las 22:45 horas en Orihuela teniamos 7,6ºC.
A las 23:45 horas en Orihuela teniamos 6,1ºC.
A las 00:10 horas en Orihuela teniamos 5,9ºC.
A las 01:03 horas en Orihuela teniamos 5,5ºC.

La temperatura mínima de hoy ha sido de 2,1ºC.

Hoy también será una noche fria, se espera que sea más que la de ayer.
Any source

Friday, November 16, 2007


Rich is in Austin, Texas, & will respond to Silliman's review when he returns on Sunday (11/18).
-KOAny source

Brusca bajada de temperaturas

El frio se está haciendo notar hoy y se notará en los proximos dias también. Una entrada de aire frio centroeuropea, más concretamene de la masa polar continental, de ahí su sequedad, está haciendo bajar las temperaturas bruscamente.
A Orihuela empezó a afectar esta masa de aire frio ayer por la noche y esta mañana nos ha afectado de lleno, dejandonos una temperatura mínima de 5,7ºC. Este registro estuvo favorecido por la calma casi por completo del viento que estaba soplando con rachas moderadas durante la tarde-noche de ayer del Noroeste.

Temperaturas en superficie previstas para la madrugada del sábado.
No se saben las temperaturas que van haber en Tierra, pero aproximadamente de 5º hacia abajo en esta zona. Pinchar en la imagen para hacerla más grande.

Está noche (madrugada del viernes al sábado) se espera que sea la más fría, hay posiblidades de que hiele en Orihuela, pero tendria que ser bajo el efecto de una inversión térmica, difícil de que ocurra en dicha ciudad. Eso sí, se espera que la temperatura mínima que se registre sea menor que la de hoy, anteriormente dicha.
Este frio nos acompañará hasta el domingo, pero en este dia ya se notará un aumento térmico durante el dia. El lunes ya tendremos las temperaturas habituales de esta estación, Otoño.
Any source

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Amount of FDI in China Rises, BVI the Second in the List of Top Investors

China's Ministry of Commerce has published the ten months statistics of Foreign Direct Investments in Chinese economy. From January to October, the number of newly established foreign-invested enterprises reached 30,826 – 6.78% less if compared to the same period of the last year, and the amount of utilized FDI was US$53.995 billion – up 11.15% compared to the same period of 2006.

According to the information released a month ago, FDI level in China continued to rise. In October the number of newly established foreign-invested enterprises was 2,620 – down 14.01%. However the utilized FDI totaled US$6.776 billion – that is up 13.18%.

In the current top list of countries having the largest FDI in China, the British Virgin Islands are ranking the second, with US$12.914 billion of FDI. They are preceded by Hong Kong (US$18.655 billion), which is traditionally the major FDI source for China. Other countries on the list are South Korea with US$2.945 billion, Japan (US$2.81 billion), Singapore (US$2.245 billion), the United States (US$1.987 billion), the Cayman Islands (US$1.788 billion), Samoa (US$1.457 billion), Taiwan (US$1.294 billion), and Mauritius (US$907 million).

The amount of FDI made by the top 10 countries and territories including British Virgin Islands accounts for nearly 87.05% of the total FDI utilized in China in this period.
Article any source

Monday, November 12, 2007

BVI IFC Hosts Roadshow in London

This month, the BVI International Finance Centre hosted a roadshow in the city of London to demonstrate its commitment to what is widely recognised as the world's financial capital. The BVI IFC has informed about its plans to visit London, Dubai and Qatar and some regions of Asia, in February 2007, when CEO of BVI IFC Mr.Humphry Leue reported about selecting the roadshow destinations and other marketing initiatives in 2007.

Hosting roadshows in different parts of the world is one of the ways how the BVI territory is popularized by the BVI IFC, and the Financial Services Commission. The event in London that lasted for three days, followed the London Presentation organized by the BVI International Finance Centre in October; this time, it included a series of business development meetings with senior figures at London's leading private banks and law firms. Also, the BVI side organized evening receptions during which more than a hundred delegates were briefly informed on the new developments and opportunities in the BVI's Trust and Corporate business sectors.

Delegates were addressed by the Deputy Premier of the BVI, The Hon. Dancia Penn OBE, the Executive Director of the BVI International Finance Centre Lorna Smith, and the Deputy Managing Director of Regulation at the Financial Services Commission, Kenneth Baker. Some of the BVI's leading financial services practitioners also made their presentations. On the whole, the roadshow delegates were provided with an update on the regulatory environment, legislation, and current trends in trust and corporate business.

Sherri Ortiz, Chief Operating Operator of the BVI IFC, has concluded, - "We were pleased that the Roadshow attracted such interest and delegate feedback suggests that the bond between the BVI and the London financial community will continue to strengthen in the months and years ahead."
Article any source

Sunday, November 11, 2007

New Farm Bill 'offers no reform at all'

At one time in the 1990s it seemed as if the USA might lead the way in reducing farm subsidies. Not any more. A new version of the US Farm Bill, just approved by the Senate's Agriculture Committee, has been attacked by acting US farm secretary, Chuck Conner. The long-awaited Senate version of the Bill, which follows one from the House of Representatives in August, provides plenty of goodies for American farmers for the next five years. For example, there would be a permanent $5bn 'disaster' fund.

Mr Conner said bluntly that the draft Bill offered 'no reform at all'. The lack of a meaningful cap on payments would allow millionaires to continue to participate in farm programmes. Just how widespread this practice is has been illustrated by our friends at CAP Health Check by superimposing the number of beneficiaries on a Google map of New York City. Other wealthy areas in cities like Los Angeles also contain their fair share of sofa farmers.

It's a story all too familiar in Europe: take away money from taxpayers and consumers on average incomes or less and give to wealthy landowners.Any source

Saturday, November 10, 2007

'Global Islamic Financial Intelligence Summit-2007 ' -Riyazi Farook

Video quality: Poor
Radisson Edwardian Mayfair Hotel, London


Financial Times Global Events produce timely and focused UK and international banking & pensions events of the highest standard. With a strong brand and reputation, our high calibre speakers and rich agendas attract only the most senior delegates. In 2007, Financial Times Global Events will deliver over 80 conferences, briefings, roundtables and awards dinners in London, continental Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America, attracting the highest quality delegates from the banking and financial services sector. Financial Times Global Events have a combined 85 years experience in events production. We strive to make every event a success.

Any source

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Number of BVI Business Companies Exceeded the 800,000 level in the Second Quarter 2007

By the data provided last week in the BVI FSC 2nd Quarter Statistical Bulletin for 2007, the total number of BVI Business Companies achieved 802,850 by June 30 of this year. According to the BVI companies registration statistics that shows the dynamics of companies' growth in 2006, the number of new registrations is constantly increasing, and the data for the second quarter 2007 confirm the continuing growth.

Just simple illustration by 5-year statistics of BVI business companies registered in the first quarter and in half a year (not cumulative):

YearCompany incoporations in Quarter 1

YearBVI Company incoporations in half a year

The statistical bulletin also includes the statistics of banking & fiduciary industries: in the first half of the year 2007 there are one Class I Trust, one Class III Trust and three Restricted Class II Trusts registered.

The investment business sector statistics indicated that 24 new Mutual Fund Managers have been registered in the BVI, 154 new Professional Funds, 48 new Private Funds and 2 new Public Funds. The cumulative number of BVI registered Funds as at 30 June 2007 is 1548 Professional, 791 Private and 211 Public Funds. By the structure of BVI registered Funds, during the first half of the year 2007 the proportion of Professional Funds (by the number of Funds) increased from 59% to 61%, but the portion of Private Funds and Public Funds has reduced from 32% to 31%, and from 9% to 8% respectively.
Article any source

Previsiones Meteorológicas

Previsiones Meteorológicas en Orihuela (Alicante)

A partir de ahora, las previsiones meteorológicas para Orihuela las podrán ver pinchando en el logotipo que hay en la derecha o en esta dirección:

Any source

Friday, November 2, 2007

Property Truth – Developers’ Secrets

Who will make a TV programme to show clearly the secrets of the property market that a successful developer uses to make his profit? In his final Truth about Property programme on 1st November, BBC2’s Andy Verity brought to a close his interesting series (to re-run it: It included renting, planning, unaffordability, the desirability of ownership, nimbys, 800,000 empty homes, low house-building numbers, and so on. He mentioned the total cost of land as the largest single item in the price of a house and quickly moved on. He quoted Adam Smith to illustrate the monopolistic character of the housing market.

The programme visited a large site that one major national property developer had bought in the early 1990s – Verity might have pointed out that this was the low point of the approximate 18-year land price cycle. Wise developers will now be taking their gains. They know when to buy and when to cash in their profits. This will give them funds for buying cheap land at the bottom of the coming slump. For more on property price cycles see Fred Harrison’s book: Boom and Bust. Shepheard Walwyn.

Adam Smith’s answer to the land monopoly was to tax the value of the land of each plot. If you owned an empty house or flat, or empty land with planning permission, you would have to pay this tax whether empty or occupied, so you would rent it, sell it or build on it. Prices would drop and become less volatile over time. Rents would drop. Pressure to build on green fields would reduce. More people could buy their own home. Yvette Cooper the Housing Minister who spoke on the low supply of new homes should love this tax which increases supply at a stroke – but no one mentioned it! All monopolies are the target of democratic governments except the land monopoly. Why?

There are several factors that need to be sorted out to bring a fairer housing market – read The Free Lunch – Fairness with Freedom and find out how they would work. See also this BLOG July 9 & 19.

Any source

Thursday, November 1, 2007

CAP still takes up nearly 47 per cent of budget

The CAP still took 46.7 per cent of overall allocated EU expenditure in 2006, compared to 46.2 per cent in 2005, according to figures released by the European Commission. However, this represents a decrease on the 49 per cent figure in 2003. It also accounted for 0.44 per cent of GNI.

The ten accession states received 9 per cent of overall CAP funding including 27.4 per cent of the Rural Development Budget. France remains the individual member state with the largest share of spending but this was down from 20.7 per cent in 2005 and 21.6 per cent in 2004.

68.4 per cent of the money was spent on direct aids, roughly half of which went on the SPS in the EU-15. Spending on export refunds and intervention dropped to just 5 per cent and 1.5 per cent of the CAP budget respectively.

Five member states (Austria, France, Ireland, Portugal and Spain) are net beneficiaries of the CAP budget, as are virtually all new member states (Malta got only €9.4m in agricultural spending). Their share of spending will increase in the coming years with the phasing in of the SFP.

More details at: Finances Any source

BVI FSC Issues 2nd Public Statement on Boston Life and Annuity Company Limited

Yesterday the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission has issued the 2nd Public Statement concerning Boston Life and Annuity Company Limited, pursuant to Section 37A of the Financial Services Commission Act 2001. The document was published on the official site of BVI FSC on October 31.

The previous public announcement concerning Boston Life and Annuity Company Limited, and signed by managing director/CEO of the Commission Robert Mathavious, was published on July 13 of this year. Both public statements were issued to protect the public interest of those who are related to Boston Life and Annuity Company Limited, including customers, creditors, or investors of the company.

In the public announcement published on July 13, 2007, the Commission issued a directive to the company, that prohibited Boston Life to enter into new contracts for insurance business for 90 days, until the notice provided by the BVI FSC. In the last public statement, BVI FSC informed that:

- The cease and desist Directive published on July 13 to Boston Life and Annuity Limited is extended, until such further date as the Commission may specify.

- The Directive was extended in order to facilitate the Commission's ongoing investigations into the Company, and for the preparation of the investigative report by Kroll Inc., the Examiner conducting the investigations on behalf of the Commission.

Among the other documents issued by the BVI FSC during this year to protect general publics from scams, misunderstandings or offences, there was also Advisory Warning No. 1, concerning Dexter Insurance Company, Ltd.
Article any source