Monday, November 30, 2009

Making Markets in Her Home Country

Did you know there exists a nascent, operating stock exchange in the Dominican Republic? And did you know the head of the exchange is a Consortium alumna from Michigan's Ross School? Darys Estrella Mordan for the past two years has been the CEO of the BVRD, the Stock Market of the Dominican Republic.

The exchange, formed in 1988-89, does not yet trade equities, but is taking steps to do so first by overseeing an active market for commercial paper and bonds among about a dozen issuers. Over time, the exchange will permit stock trades when it is assured of an active, liquid market for stock trading. That will occur when the investing public there gets comfortable with an electronic, liquid trading venue, when local, family-owned companies become confident enough to issue stock to the public and after the launch of other government-privatization programs.

For now, less than two dozen banks and brokerages are members and engage in daily fixed-income trading over a two-hour period of about 16 bond or CP issues (about $1 billion in daily activity).

Estrella Mordan is charged with leading the exchange into equities, but will do so when the timing is right. In its latest issue, she told Bloomberg Markets she wanted to build an equity platform emphasizing liquidity and transparency. "When you have a centralized platform, when you have a screen where you can go to see the prices, everybody wins," she said. The first IPO on the exchange is scheduled for 2011.

Estrella Mordan's road from Consortium graduate to head of the exchange was not a winding, distorted path. Every step or pause on the road paved a way to the next opportunity. There are links in the path--enabled by a Consortium MBA, preparation and hard work, but also by contacts, a Goldman pedigree, steadily increasing knowledge in the trading industry, and long-time interests in returning home at some point.

As she told Bloomberg Markets and Hispanic Professional magazines, she grew up in the Dominican Republic and decided to attend college in the U.S., graduating from Vassar College. A Hispanic Studies major, she took a job at the asset-management firm Deltic, a first immersion in business and investments.

After eight years at Deltec, she pursued and applied for the Consortium fellowship, entering Michigan in 2000. (The Orientation Program was in Chicago that spring.) She interned at Goldman Sachs after the first year and joined it full-time after graduation. While at Goldman, she specialized in fixed-income sales, eventually becoming a Vice President.

In the meantime, she had an urge to return home or do something related to building capital markets in her native country. While at Goldman, she helped found "Dominicans on Wall Street" and had opportunities to meet the top finance people of the Domincan Republic. After just five years at Goldman, when the exchange looked for a new CEO, her name was known among board members; it decided to offer her the job.

Within five years after her Michigan/Consortium degree, she was already leading a critical trading operation in a place she wanted to be, tasked with the challenge of expanding a business and pushing it into a daring direction of stock trades.

For more about Estrella Mordan, see For more about the exchange, see
Tracy Williams
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Getting People Ready to Lead

In its latest issue (12/7/09), Fortune Magazine offers another one of its lists--to add to lists of the top 500 companies, top admired companies, powerful women and top 40 under 40. This time it recognizes the top companies that are best in grooming leaders, those who will eventually take over the company or who will occupy top roles in finance (CFO), technology (CIO), operations (COO), or legal, marketing or administration. (See

Some companies are widely known for identifying talent among mid-tier managers early. They groom them for years to become competent, effective and visionary leaders. In some cases, companies identify the pool of leadership potential, develop them, but let them compete to win top jobs.

GE has been a standard-bearer in how to identify, develop, and groom managers. The Jack Welch (former CEO) way of developing leaders is legendary: management-development classes and seminars, painfully detailed evaluations, and confidential talent books that keep close track of those who will run GE in the next generation. GE and other firms are obsessed with evaluating and assessing talent and meticulous about offering an array of experiences to get people prepared.

These companies do such an outstanding job that those who don't get the coveted top spots when the time comes tend to go elsewhere to become top officers in other companies.

Fortune's list includes names we would have expected. Many are companies and institutions that perform consistently, have a meaningful global presence, and maintain spotless reputation and brand. They are companies that tend to be stalwarts in their industries. They nurture young talent with the intention it will remain with the company for decades.

The Fortune list is intriguing in two other ways:

(a) At least 10 of the top 25 in North America are or have been important Consortium sponsors. Many on the list have been lead sponsors at Consortium orientation programs (Eli Lily, Proctor & Gamble, General Mills, and Pepsico, e.g.). Other Consortium sponsors (past and present) on the list include 3M, American Express, Target, HP, and Colgate-Palmolive.

That of course implies a long-term commitment to diversity, a recognition that these companies see potential, value and talent in all employees no matter where they are from. They are also companies with constituents around the world: employees, customers, suppliers, and shareholders. Hence, their top leaders need to be competent managers of complex, widely dispersed organizations, affecting diverse cultures.

(b) Only two of the top 25 were financial institutions: American Express and CapitalOne. The large, familiar investment firms, investment banks, insurance companies, commercial banks and fund companies didn't make the cut.

Why so few financial institutions? Why wouldn't they be recognized as places that get people ready to lead? There might be a few reasons.

(a) In banking, the top leaders tend to be those who grew up in the organization as top deal-doers, who focused on transactions, clients, client pitches, deal closings and deal revenues--not necessarily as cost and efficiency managers or experts in organizational management. That's not to say financial institutions don't have efficiency and organization experts. Traditionally, top "rainmakers," top client bankers (with substantial client lists), and top traders have been those who've found an easier path to the top.

Hence, the best managers and arguably the best leaders are not necessarily nurtured upward or rewarded with growth and responsibility. They may exist, but they may not get sufficiently recognized or promoted to top positions.

(b) Compensation has often been based--for mid-tier bankers and traders--almost solely on revenue generation. The appraisal system, therefore, doesn't always encourage people to become shrewd business-unit leaders or take risks to learn about other sectors in the institution. Some deal-doers and traders may, in fact, have exceptional leadership potential, yet they know the score: Deal, client, product and trading revenues will likely be what will permit them to advance swiftly (and earn large bonuses).

(c) Large financial institutions have excellent programs for developing entry-level talent. They include training programs, expectations guidelines, mentor programs, and opportunities to work in different units to learn as much as possible. That spirited emphasis of development dwindles after associates become middle managers and vice presidents, when they observe revenues will get them paid, if not pushed up to the next level.

Young professionals learn the scorecard and tend to avoid taking risks that might help them in the long term, but hurt them in the short term. Thus, they may avoid transferring to groups where they have little expertise, avoid overseas assignments that put them out of view, or avoid the possibility of failure of any kind--all essential steps in becoming smart leaders.

(d) The appraisal process is less about developing long-term leaders, more about rationalizing compensation (bonuses) to reward recent performance. Financial instititions devote enormous amounts of time to the appraisal process. Only modest amounts, nonetheless, are spent on legitimate, sincere assessments of talent potential for the long term.

(e) In many institutions, there is pressure to win the next deal, do the next trade, or sell the next financial product to maintain status as a top broker, trader or banker. Therefore, time spent on ferreting talent, developing it, teaching it broader skills, evaluating it, promoting it, and making sure it remains in the institution is time spent away from clients, deals, trades, commissions, research, investments, transactions, and closings. Many senior managers likely see the importance of talent development, but are often confronted with tough short-term objectives that can't be skirted over casually.

Some financial institutions (Goldman Sachs, e.g., although it didn't make the list) are well known for nurturing talent and grooming it for leadership. Many others are the product of a series of mergers. Others are merely fighting to remain financially healthy. While they must manage through merger integration, the financial crisis, or capital shortfalls, they haven't devoted sufficient time to leadership for the long term.

Yet somehow the IBM's, the GE's, the Pepsicos and P&G's have gotten it right. They project 7-10 years out. They identify a pool of potential senior managers every year and put them on a track to get them prepared to run the company. They take chances with them, permit them to run business units at an early age, encourage them to take assignments in Europe or Asia, and push them to assume positions outside their comfort zone. They promote them, pay them and reward them with more challenges (and more confidence).

There is no reason why prominent financial institutions can't do the same. To say the least, it could assure them top talent, including young professionals, would be willing to stick around for a long time.

Tracy WilliamsAny source

How to simultaneously pass a stimulus, lower deficits, and disallow a filibuster

A large stimulus can be done through reconciliation, and therefore need only 50 votes plus the Vice President, if it's deficit neutral. But how can it be deficit neutral and still be a stimulus? One answer is that for reconciliation it must be deficit neutral over a period of 10 years (see here and here), so put in the spending now, and the tax increases, on the very wealthy, to more than pay for it 5 or more years later. If unemployment is still high by then, do another one of these stimuli at that time.

Yes, the Republicans will howl. They can't say it will explode the deficit (with much traction), because it's deficit paying. And, in fact, if the tax increase is a large permanent one on the wealthy, as it should be, the CBO score could show it paying down trillions in debt over 20 years to satisfy the deficit hawks. Nonetheless, the Republicans will, of course, say that the economy, and civilization as we know it, will end because taxes are being raised, despite the fact that Bush had massive tax cuts for the rich and brought us to the brink of a depression and trillion dollar deficits, while Clinton raised taxes and turned record Republican deficits into record surpluses, and had the longest economic expansion in U.S. history. I sincerely hope that if this happens Obama will end his harmful aversion to touting the achievements of the last Democratic president. The constant reply to Republican claims of disaster whenever taxes are raised should be Clinton, Clinton, Clinton (and in California Pat Brown, Pat Brown, Pat Brown).

And it's crucial for the Democrats to understand that any negative at the ballot box from the Republicans screaming tax increase, will be swamped many, many times over by passing a stimulus, and jobs programs, that will make unemployment and the economy far better by election time. A bad economy at election time, that's improving very slowly if at all, will hurt the Democrats immensely more than the Republicans screaming about tax increases which will be only on the very wealthy. Unfortunately, it may be too late for great improvement by the 2010 midterms, but strong action now would also greatly improve prospects in 2012, when not only much of congress, but also you know who, is being voted on.

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ZIP vs. PAF: Has Database Copyright Enabled Postcode Data Business?

Have you ever noticed that there no such field as "Legal Science"? That's because the scientific method is hard to apply to the development of laws. Just imagine applying an experimental law to one population while giving a placebo to a control population. Occasionally a circumstance appears where we can look for the effect of some particular bit of jurisprudence. Today's example is the database copyright. In the UK and other European countries, there is a special type of copyright (lawyers call it sui generis) that applies to databases. In the US, there has been no copyright for databases as such since 1991, even if they are the product of substantial investment.

In the US, databases can only be protected by copyright if they are expressions of human creativity. This is intended to be a fairly low bar. If the selection of data, for example, represents the judgement of a person, then the database can be protected by copyright. What isn't protected is the mindless labor, or "sweat of the brow" effort that someone has made to accumulate the data. The 1991 Supreme Court decision that established this rule was a unanimous one written by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. It retrospect, the opinion seems prescient, as if the Court had anticipated a day when sweating brows would be banished by scraping computers and global networks of information.

Rob Styles has a post on his blog that got me reading and thing about these database copyrights. His key point is a suggestion that distributed, Linked Data will disrupt database intellectual property rights as profoundly as P2P distribution networks have disrupted the music and entertainment media businesses.

Like all great blog posts, Styles' is at the same time obviously true and obviously wrong- i.e., thought provoking. First, the obviously true part. When technology makes it trivial to reaggregate data that is readily available in a dispersed state, then businesses that rely on exclusive access to the aggregate become untenable. The example discussed by Styles is that of the Royal Mail's Postcode Address File. It turns out that in the UK, the Royal Mail has made a modest business of selling access to this file, which lists every address in the country that receives mail together with geographical coordiantes. This arrangement has been recently in the news because of Ernest Marples Postcodes Ltd., a small company which attempted to provide free API access to Postcode data, but was shut down by a threat of legal action from the Royal Mail. Apparently the royal Mail won't let websites use the postcode data on a website without paying a £3750 license fee. They also offer per click licenses which cost about 2p per click. To all appearances, the Royal Mail supports a healthy ecosystem of postcode data users- they list 217 "solutions providers" on their web site.

Styles' point is that the facts contained in the postcode file are in the public domain, and with Semantic Web technology, a large fraction of these facts could be made available as Linked Data without infringing the Royal Mail's copyrights. Once the data has entered the cloud, it would seem impractical for the Royal Mail to further assert its copyright. My posts on copyright salami attempted (unsuccessfully, I think) to construct a similar evasion for books; Rob's suggested postcode copyright evasion is clean because the "slices" are truly in the public domain, rather than simply being fairly used, as in my scenario.

How does the US differ in the availability of postcode data? In the US, the data file that corresponds most closely with the Royal Mail's PAF file is the USPS Topological Integrated Geographic Encoding and Reference/ZIP + 4® File (TIGER/ZIP+4). In the US, not only is there no database right, but works of the government are considered to be in the public domain. In general, government agencies are only allowed to charge for things like TIGER/ZIP+4 to cover distribution costs. Thus, it's not so surprising that the USPS doesn't even list a price for the TIGER/ZIP+4 file. I called up to ask, and found out that it costs $700 to get a full dump of the file. USPS does not offer updates; I was told that the release file is updated "every 2-3 years". The USPS, unlike the Royal Mail, seems uninterested in helping anyone use their data.

Since the USPS doesn't put any license conditions on the file, companies are free to resell the file in most any way they wish, resulting in a wide variety of services. For example, will sell you a license to their version of the Zip+4 file, suitable for use on a website, for $1998, updated quarterly. This is about 1/3rd of the price of the similar offering by the Royal Mail. has a similar product for $2000, including updates. On the low end, "Zip code guy" says he'll send you a file for free (the data's a bit old) if you link to his map site. On the high end, companies like Maponics provide the data merged with mapping information, analysis and other data sets.

The purpose of copyright has historically been "for the Encouragement of Learning" according to the Statute of Anne and "To promote the Progress of Science and Useful Arts" according to the US Constitution. The different copyright regimes used for the UK and US now present us with an experiment that's been running for over 18 years as to the efficacy of database copyrights. In which country, the UK or the US, have the "Useful Arts" surrounding postcode databases flourished the best?

After a bit of study, I've concluded that in the case of postcodes, database copyright has so far been more or less irrelevant to the development of the postcode data business. And even though the governmental organizations have completely different orientations towards providing their data, the end result- what you can easily buy and what it costs- is not all that different between countries. Although it's argued that the shutdown of and the higher cost of data in the UK are a result of database copyright, there is clearly more at play.

In theory, one way that copyright promotes commerce is by providing a default license to cover standard use of protected material. In fact, there are very few database providers that rely solely on copyrights to govern usage terms. In both the US and UK, the "good" postcode databases are only available with a license agreement attached. These licenses preserve the business models of postcode data merchants; it's not clear that was complying with license agreements even if it wasn't infringing a database copyright.

Since UK database copyrights don't have effect in the US, we might imagine setting up Royal Mail Postcode business in the US to exploit the absence of copyright. Would we be able to do something that we couldn't do in the UK? Well, not really. We'd probably still want to get a license from the Royal Mail, because £3750 is not a lot of money. It would cost us more to ask a lawyer whether we'd run into any problems. And at least in theory, the Royal Mail would have the freshest data. This is the reason I think Styles' post is "obviously wrong"- the distributed availability of data won't have a big effect on the core business of the Royal Mail or any other database business. It would have exactly the same effect as the absence of copyright protection in the US has had on the UK postcode market. In other words, nil.

My main worry about licensing from the Royal Mail would be in the area of allowed uses; I don't don't really trust an organization with the words "royal" and "mail" in its name to be able to understand and fairly price all the crazy smashed-up uses I might invent. Database copyrights give producers like the Royal Mail the ability to arbitrarily disallow new uses. Since it's hard to prove that any given fact has been obtained free of database copyright; the threat of an infringement lawsuit by the Royal Mail could even stifle non-infringing postcode applications.

What I don't see in the postcode data "experiment" is evidence that database copyright has had any great benefit for "the useful arts" in the UK compared to the US. If that's true, then why bother having a special copyright for databases?

As data lives more and more on the web, and becomes enhanced, entailed, and enmeshed, it makes less and less sense to draw arbitrary lines around blocks of data with copyright of autonomic aggregations. Although we need innovative licensing tools to build sustainable business models for data production, maintenance, and reuse in a global data network, we don't really need the database copyright.

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Temps d'Hivern

Tal i com ja es va anunciar, el canvi de temps ha arribat tal i com s’esperava, amb precipitacions que no serien molt importants (A Tossa han caigut 7 litres) i una baixada de les temperatures que ens endinsaria en ple hivern com així ha estat.

Tot i que els ruixats desapareixeran, tot i que sembla que podem tenir un desembre més humit que el novembre (tampoc seria molt difícil tenint present la poca pluja acumulada aquest mes), les temperatures hivernal continuaran, sobretot les nocturnes. Malgrat tot, les diürnes s’aniran recuperant. Aquesta matinada glaçarà en moltes zones interiors de la nostra població, per tant, demà a primera hora del matí podrem veure la primera glaçada important en tota la Vall de la Riera de Tossa y zona de Can Vergonyós (temperatura mínima que podria rondar els -2ºC / –3ºC).

Així que abrigar-s’hi que l’hivern és aquí.
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Oakland Raiders 10 percent share worth $60 million

Oakland Raiders Manager of The General Partner Al Davis recently announced that 10 percent of the organization was for sale. That news started a small set of media speculation web posts on the value of the organization based on Forbes annual blast about NFL team values. From Forbes, the Oakland Raiders are worth $797 million, which would put the 10 percent chunk at $79.7 million.

Mr. Davis, I'll give you $35 million for that 10 percent

But the Forbes estimate is wrong. Way wrong.

It's wrong because the number's based on 2008 information, yet presented in this year: 2009. Moreover, media discussion on the Raiders value mentions the credit crunch, and the national economy, but fails to include the local employment situation.

People need income to buy tickets and that money comes from jobs. In September 2008, California's unemployment was just 7.7 percent, and we thought that was terrible at the time. Now the rate is at 9.6 percent as of October, and in Oakland it's over 17 percent.

So let's do some quick figuring. If jobs are needed to buy Raiders tickets, then its reasonable to say that Raider ticket purchases are attached to the unemployment rate. It's fair to use the statewide unemployment data because the Raiders are a statewide draw - sports is Oakland's true export industry.

So we take 7.7 in 2008 and subtract it from 9.6 in 2009. That's 1.9, which when divided by 7.7 (the previous year's rate) gives us 24.67 percent. Or, the magnitude of the total increase of unemployed Californians over the previous year is 24.6 percent.

So we have to subtract that from the Oakland Raiders total value since it was based on 2008 information. That leaves us with $797 million minus $196.67 million, or $600.33 million.

So the Oakland Raiders 10 percent stake is valued at $60.33 million. Or, $60 million.

It is worth it? Well. Let's just say this: I would not buy it for more than $35 million if I could and here's why.

While my estimate's based on an adjustment to reflect current state economic conditions, it does not include what may happen in 2010.

The UCLA Anderson school projects that state unemployment will rise to 11 percent by mid-2010. So if you bought the Raiders 10 percent stake at $60 million, you'd have taken about a $20 million bath in less than one year. Since there's no guarantee things will get better by 2011 absent a massive second economic stimulus, why even spend $40 million for the team? 

New stadium for the Raiders? Okay... With what money and who's political will? I don't care what Oakland City Councilman and Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority Chairman Ignacio De La Fuente says, justifying building a new baseball or football stadium in this economic climate is pure folly, and this comes from a person who's a big advocate of stadiums as economic development.

This is one time I'd agree with California Attorney General Jerry Brown, who I know would make the same statement. In the past, I'd argue with him; not today.

I'm an idealistic realist. We're in bad times and it's going to take massive levels government spending to right this national economic ship. Preesident Obama should have pushed for $2.4 trillion, not $787 billion.

And justifying stimulus spending on a football stadium alone, as opposed to part of a larger complex, is a losing political fight because for the first time such costs compete with money for basic services. I've never seen an economic climate like this before.

Folks, we're experiencing the result of 30 years of job loss to foreign economies that I estimate has cost us $976 billion in revenue wealth, over $400 billion during the last eight years alone. I don't know if the collective American population is too slow to catch on, but all of this talk of too much government spending is the mouthing of idiots.

Sorry to be so honest and to a degree sharp, but I'm trying to convey in an effective way just how much trouble we're in. We've lived off a credit system that absorbed our nations economy from these Worldwide economic structural changes until the overall increase in weight of consumer debt over the past five years was just too great for the system to bear. The result is where we are and are going to be for a few years.

So spending even $60 million for 10 percent of the Oakland Raiders is just not a good idea. Yes, by advocating one purchase it for $35 million I'm stating the organization's value will fall to just about $400 million by 2011.

And if you're saying I'm just a blogger, I will tell you this is the same report I'd write to the Mayor of Oakland if I was his economic adviser, which I was from 1995 to 1999 and all the additional institutional models and data I use only point to the same conclusion. So slam my blog post you may, but let's talk in 2011 and see where we are. I'd look forward to that conversation.

Dubai: looking backwards and forward

There seems to be a mixed reaction to Dubai news across global markets today.

Japanese shares closed higher on hopes that Dubai problems would not spread, while European shares closed lower Monday (likely due to fears over European banks' lending exposure to Dubai), and Dubai's benchmark index closed down 7.3 %.

Here in America, the major averages are still negative on the day, though the Dow and S&P 500 are climbing back towards neutral territory at 2:10 EST. As the NY Times points out, Wall Street is still trying to gauge the likely fallout from Dubai, along with the underlying meaning (if any) of post-Thanksgiving retail shopping figures.

"Wall Street shares fluctuated on Monday as investors gauged the fallout from Dubai’s debt crisis and weighed results from the first weekend of holiday shopping...

...But traders on Monday seemed more focused on the situation in Dubai, where Dubai World, the emirate’s investment arm, said last week that it would not be able to make on-time payments for some of its $59 billion in debt.

That rattled the markets Thursday and Friday, but on Sunday, the central bank in the United Arab Emirates tried to reassure investors by pledging to make extra financing available to all banks in the country, including foreign institutions with local branches.

Uri Landesman, head of global growth at ING, said investors saw danger in the potential ripple effects to other developing economies, even if American banks are not affected."

Judging (correctly) that the Dubai story would continue to be a big concern heading into this week, Gregor Macdonald and friends spent a fair amount of time on this topic in last Sunday's MacroTwits hour on Stocktwits TV. Here are a couple of interesting articles on Dubai that were shared in that macro discussion.

The first is a December 2008 Bloomberg article that I dug up from an old blog post. If you read through this year-old piece on Dubai's bursting real estate bubble, you'll notice many of the key names (Nakheel, Emaar Properties) and themes (a debt fueled building boom) which have figured so prominently in last week's Dubai World debt story.

The second is an article from The Independent shared by Gregor Macdonald called, "The Dark Side of Dubai". As those who kept up with the Dubai story this decade will probably guess, the piece focuses on the reportedly near slave-labor conditions that supported the rise of Dubai and the environmental and social problems which have accompanied it. It's a long piece, but definitely worth a look.

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Juncker confirmé à la tête de l'Eurogroupe. Par Didier REMER

"Jean-Claude Juncker conservera son fauteuil de chef de l'Eurogroupe."

Le premier ministre luxembourgeois, et actuel président de l'Eurogroupe devrait conserver son fauteuil et voir -dans une certaine mesure- son périmètre d'action augmenté de nouvelles prérogatives par une mission étendue et confortée. Récent grand perdant de la présidence unique de l'Union Européenne suite au Veto de la France et faisant ainsi les frais d'un grand écart peu apprécié par Paris lors de la crise financière et la lutte ouverte contre les juridictions à fiscalité jugée trop opaque, le premier ministre luxembourgeois devrait conserver son fauteuil avec une mission plus encadrée et laissant une place plus importante aux décisions des chefs d'états de l'Union Européenne pour un travail plus cohérent. Jean-Claude Juncker ne fait pas l'objet d'un procès en incompétence, mais d'une volonté pour l'Union Européenne de lisser son image au niveau international, depuis la récente crise financière, l'Europe doit se doter d'une équipe diplomatique plus cohérente et donc toujours plus efficace selon certaines sources qui qualifient la dernière passe d'armes entre le président français Nicolas Sarkozy et Jean-Claude Juncker comme clairement improductive. "Il ne faut pas laisser l'épaisseur d'une feuille à cigarette entre le message des dirigeants européens et ceux qui comme Jean-Claude Juncker sont en charge des questions sensibles que sont l'économie, la finance, les échanges commerciaux... Le contexte actuel est défavorable à toute division perfectible ou pas..." et d'ajouter "Le voyage en Chine avec le gouverneur Jean-Claude Trichet sera l'occasion de vérifier si Jean-Claude Juncker peut se conformer à cet esprit..." Selon nos sources. Chacun sait déjà qu'il en sera ainsi, monsieur Jean-Claude Juncker pourra démontrer ses réelles qualités de diplomate lors de cette visite. Reste l'épineuse question du secret bancaire et la monté au créneau du chef de gouvernement luxembourgeois face à l'administration Obama sur la fiscalité du Delaware et du Wyoming, dont le luxembourg partage la deuxième place mondiale sur la question de l'opacité financière. De tous les européens, Jean-Claude Juncker est bien celui qui fait force d'un franc-parler au point d 'en oublier que sa parole est aussi celle "de toute l'Europe", la leçon, trés sévère à son endroit de la présidence unique de l'Union manquée devrait lui inviter à cette réflexion "tourne 27 fois ta langue avant de parler!". Bien que bon client de l'humour, je ne pense pas que Jean-Claude Juncker soit dans la bonne période pour ce genre de gentillesse... Il a un avantage certain sur ceux qui le critiquent avec abondance, il était là avant eux et sera bien là après eux! L'histoire plaidant en sa faveur! Il devrait voir sa fonction rendue plus cohérente et donc efficace, pour ne plus se limiter à un rôle consultatif, son implication pour les orientations économiques devrait se voir amplifier. Qui s'en plaindra?

Photographe: Tous droits réservés

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FMI:Economie mondiale stable mais fort vulnérable! Par Didier REMER

"Le professeur d'économie Strauss-Khan adepte du pragmatisme."

Dans son dernier opus du "Bulletin du FMI en ligne", le secrétaire général du Fonds Monétaire International, Dominique Strauss-Khan ne cache plus ses inquiétudes sur l'état actuelle de l'économie mondiale. L'organisation supranationale ne fait pas l'économie d'une remise à l'heure des pendules. Loin du climat optimiste ambiant, le FMI souhaite préciser les nombreuses lacunes qui caractérisent la reprise et cette sortie de crise qui n'est pas au bout d'un certain tunnel... La récente crise de Dubaï et la fin annoncée de son mirage montre bien que les risques systémiques de la crise mondiale peuvent encore livrer quelques mauvaises surprises... Le secrétaire général du FMI le sait trop bien, il ne faut pas compter sur un miracle mais bien sur une prise de conscience généralisée! Ce qui est loin d'être acquis à la cause salutaire pour trouver ce nouveau moteur tant souhaité pour une économie mondiale redressée. Le FMI fait force d'utiliser les modèles les plus efficaces pour orienter les choix des états vers cette indispensable rédemption toute collective, en tous cas sur le papier, car dans les faits, le jeu collectif n'est que pur phantasme... On remarque plus un jeu de dupe qui s'opère dans l'ombre des grands rendez-vous que sont les G20 et autres grandes messes internationales. Pour le FMI, c'est une question que doivent impérativement se poser l'ensemble des chefs d'états: n'est-il pas temps de jouer collectif? Car les chiffres, eux, parlent toujours plus que les bonnes intentions de circonstances... Le professeur d'économie Strauss-Khan se veut toujours didactique, mais sa classe compte un bon nombre d'élèves pour le moins dissipés... Quand ils ne sont pas clairement sans phase avec la réalité que souligne le F.M.I: Le vieux modèle de croissance a vaicu!

Voici donc le dernier bulletin du FMI:

Le 23 novembre 2009

Les conditions financières se sont améliorées mais restent loin de la normale

Les stratégies de sortie devraient attendre le retour de la stabilité financière et le redémarrage de la demande privée

Pour retrouver le chemin d’une croissance soutenue, l’économie mondiale aura besoin d’un nouveau moteur

L’économie mondiale reste en quelque sorte en phase d’observation: elle est stable, s’améliore mais reste fort vulnérable, a déclaré aujourd’hui le Directeur général du FMI, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, lors d’une conférence à Londres.

S’exprimant à l’occasion de la conférence annuelle de la Confederation of British Industry, M. Strauss-Kahn a dit que les principaux pays avancés en particulier demeuraient fragiles et tributaires des soutiens publics. Les conditions financières se sont améliorées mais restent loin de la normale.

«Il semblerait que la confiance revienne, mais les systèmes bancaires de nombreux pays avancés restent sous-capitalisés, entravés par des actifs à problèmes hérités de la crise et, de plus en plus, des prêts improductifs, a déclaré M. Strauss-Kahn à la conférence du patronat britannique. Du côté des ménages, la fragilité financière et le chômage élevé vont freiner la consommation pendant un certain temps. Et l’ampleur des déficits publics ne fait qu’ajouter à ces vulnérabilités».

M. Strauss-Kahn a estimé qu’il était encore trop tôt pour retirer de façon généralisée les politiques d’accompagnement engagées sur les plans budgétaire et monétaire et dans le secteur financier. Il est préférable d’attendre que la demande privée reprenne de façon soutenue et que la stabilité financière soit solidement rétablie.

«En abandonnant trop tôt les mesures d’accompagnement, on tuera la reprise. En les abandonnant trop tard, on sèmera les germes de la prochaine crise, a-t-il affirmé. Nous recommandons de pécher plutôt par excès de prudence, car nous avons plus à perdre à agir trop tôt qu’à agir trop tard.»

De même que le rythme de la reprise varie d'un pays à l'autre, les stratégies de sortie doivent aussi varier, a souligné M. Strauss-Kahn. La priorité absolue doit être donnée au rééquilibrage des finances publiques, surtout dans les pays avancés.

Les stratégies de sortie s’accompagnent aussi d’un autre défi : la gestion des flux de capitaux vers les pays émergents. «Dans un grand nombre de pays, l’appréciation de la monnaie devrait être la principale riposte, mais d’autres instruments sont également disponibles, dont
Le vieux modèle dans lequel la croissance de l’économie mondiale est alimentée par la consommation des ménages des États-Unis et d’ailleurs a vécu, a déclaré M. Strauss-Kahn (la baisse des taux d’intérêt, l’accumulation de réserves, le resserrement de la politique budgétaire et les mesures prudentielles dans le secteur financier. Le contrôle des mouvements de capitaux peut aussi faire partie de la panoplie», a précisé M. Strauss-Kahn. «Mais nous devons être conscients que tous ces instruments ont leurs limites. Il faut faire preuve de pragmatisme».

Le vieux modèle de croissance a vécu
S’agissant des sources de la croissance future, M. Strauss-Kahn a déclaré que le vieux modèle dans lequel la croissance de l’économie mondiale est alimentée par la consommation vorace des ménages des États-Unis et d’ailleurs a vécu, ou qu’en tout cas il ne durerait plus très longtemps.

«Pour assurer une croissance soutenue de l’économie mondiale, il faut que quelqu’un d’autre prenne la relève. Pour ce faire, on pense en premier lieu aux pays excédentaires, a indiqué M. Strauss-Kahn, en notant qu’en Chine et dans d’autres pays émergents d’Asie les exportations commençaient à céder le pas à la demande intérieure, avec le soutien de politiques budgétaires expansionnistes.»

«Mais ces pays ont encore fort à faire, a-t-il ajouté. Le changement serait facilité par le renforcement des systèmes de sécurité sociale et la hausse des dépenses de santé et d’éducation, ainsi que par des réformes visant à développer l’accès au crédit. Une appréciation de la monnaie chinoise, de même que de certaines autres monnaies asiatiques, sera aussi nécessaire.»
Notant que le secteur financier des pays avancés avait entraîné dans sa chute toute l’économie mondiale, M. Strauss-Kahn a appelé à maintenir le cap des réformes pour rendre ce secteur plus sûr et plus stable, sans décourager l’innovation financière.

Une meilleure application des règles

«Nous avons besoin non seulement que les règles soient améliorées, mais aussi qu’elles soient mieux appliquées, ce qui signifie qu’il faut renforcer la capacité de surveillance et de contrôle, a déclaré M. Strauss-Kahn. Le nouveau système règlementaire doit être mieux à même d’éviter la captation réglementaire et un relâchement de la vigilance. C’est là une autre leçon de la crise.»
En ce qui concerne la gestion des risques dans le secteur financier, M. Strauss-Kahn a ajouté qu’il était indispensable de rompre le lien entre les comportements à risque et les rémunérations. «À cet égard, le G-20 nous a demandé de réfléchir à la taxation du secteur financier. Il y a diverses manières d’aborder ce dossier, aussi entendons-nous considérer cette question sous plusieurs angles et examiner toutes les propositions», a-t-il déclaré.

Source: F.M.I / I.M.F Tous droits réservés

Photographie: Tous droits réservés.
Any source

La nieve irrumpe en cotas altas con vientos de 120 kilómetros por hora

Irrumpió la nieve en la estación invernal de Manzaneda, y los esquiadores más madrugadores no dejaron de aprovechar la ocasión. Los primeros copos otoñales irrumpieron también en zonas como A Mezquita o Carballeda de Valdeorras.

A la vuelta de diciembre, la temporada de nieve ha hecho acto de presencia en la estación invernal de Manzaneda, donde este fin de semana se pusieron a punto sus infraestructuras, después de que se hubiese tendido un manto de entre 10 y 15 centímetros de grosor, según Meteogalicia. Las temperaturas que propiciaron la nieve fueron realmente invernales, la noche del sábado dejó el termómetro en la estación de Manzaneda a cuatro grados centígrados negativos. El frío se contagió se zonas como Carballeda de Valdeorras, con tres grados negativos, y O Barco, Muíños y San Xoán de Río, donde la temperatura cayó a un grado negativo.
Con este telón de fondo, que la nieve cayese no era sino una consecuencia lógica, a las puertas del mes en el que irrumpe el invierno. Las previsiones de Meteogalicia eran que en el oeste ourensano, y a partir de 800 metros de altitud, comenzase a nevar. Eso incluía las montañas de Eixe, Manzaneda, Carballeda y San Xoán. A media tarde de ayer los copos sorprendieron a los habitantes de zonas como Gudiña y A Mezquita, así como a los automovilistas que transitaban por puertas de entrada a Galicia como los altos de A Canda y O Padornelo.

Pero la nieve no fue un asunto exclusivo del oeste de la provincia, porque también en el alto do Vieiro, entre los municipios de Bande y Verea, cayeron los primeros copos del otoño. Eran aproximadamente las once de la mañana. El agua-nieve se extendió a todo el concello de Bande.
Y junto a la nieve, las rachas de viento. Tendentes a aminorar a lo largo del día, sin embargo arreciaron con fuerza durante la noche y la madrugada. Fuentes de Meteogalicia destacaron los vientos de 120 kilómetros por hora que se llegaron a alcanzar en zonas de Carballeda de Valdeorras, a una altura de 1.600 metros. En el municipio de Celanova, las rachas alcanzaron los 94 kilómetros por hora, y en O Barco, a 1.200 metros de altitud, los 87. En cuanto a la lluvia, Vilariño de Conso registró 38 milímetros por metro cuadrado.
Circulación condicionada en Casaio
La Dirección General de Tráfico informó de incidencias circulatorias al menos en dos puntos de la provincia, como consecuencia de la nieve. En concreto, en la OU-122, en Casaio (Carballeda de Valdeorras), entre los kilómetros 24 y 27, y en Manzaneda, en la OU-0704, entre los kilómetros 1 y 8.
Fuente: La RegionAny source

Sunday, November 29, 2009



Lu sur :
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Un Hackeur a volé des données du GIEC et on s’est rendu compte que les chercheurs trichent pour faire croire au réchauffement causé parl’homme !!!! novembre 22, 2009 par fonzibrain

La BBC confirme cette information qui a mis la blogosphère anglophone en ébullition, et commence à toucher la grande presse. Un pirate aurait réussi à pénétrer les ordinateurs du Hadley Center (parfois désigné sous le vocable de CRU, Climate Research Unit), le centre
d’études climatologiques de référence du GIEC, vertement critiqué par Vincent Courtillot dans ses vidéos pour refus de communiquer ses données brutes, et dont je vous entretenais des soupçons de fraude scientifiques qui accompagnaient son directeur, un certain Phil Jones.
Tout acte de piratage actif d’un ordinateur dont l’utilisateur n’a pas souhaité ouvrir l’accès est un acte répréhensible, mais en l’occurence, j’ai du mal à en vouloir au(x) Hacker(s), malgré
l’illégalité de son acte. Le butin, de 61Mo une fois zippé,comporte 72 documents et 1073 e-mails.
Véracité : probable Le pirate a mis les fichiers en libre accès sur plusieurs serveurs de“dump”, que vous trouverez facilement. Naturellement, il est possible que le pirate ait “rajouté des truffes” au produit de sarapine, et que les révélations “croustillantes” qui commencent à fleurir ça et là ne soient que des hoax. Mais, comme le fait remarquer Lubos Motl, le pirate aurait alors
réussi à insérer des fichiers d’une vraisemblance incroyable en quelques heures, entre son forfait et la mise à disposition. De nombreux commentateurs notent que trop de détails sont trop vrais pour avoir été fabriqués. Soit nous sommes en présence d’une véritable guerre informatique déclenchée par une organisation anti-réchauffiste aux puissants moyens (mais vous savez, moi, les théories du complot…), soit, plus probablement, les fichiers sont authentiques. D’ailleurs, Phil Jones lui même semble avoir reconnuque le Hack était réel et les mels sans doute authentiques. Dernière minute avant bouclage : Real Climate reconnait que les
messages sont authentiques et tente maladroitement de les minimiser enarguant que leur contenu, qui n’était pas destiné à être publié(vrai) est “normal”, et que les phrases gênantes, une fois replacées dans leur contexte, ne le sont plus. Ah ? Contenus : décapants
J’ai pu moi même télécharger le dossier “FOI2009″. J’ai donc pu vérifier moi même la présence des mels cités par Watts, Motl,McIntyre (dont le site est en panne, record de trafic oblige). Le
Herald Sun australien reprend l’histoire à son compte et livre des détails. Ce site met en ligne les fichiers txt sous forme de portail cherchable (belle réactivité). Selon les réchauffistes sur Twitter,le buzz est hors de tout contrôle.Ces mels, s’ils sont authentiques, révèlent des pratiques frauduleuses, il n’y a pas d’autre mot, de certaines personnes très influentes dans les cercles réchauffistes, dont les travaux sont la base des rapports du GIEC. C’est la plus grande affaire de fraude scientifique depuis Lyssenko. Quelques exemples Ce tableau Excel, que des internautes se sont empressés de publier sur google docs, montre les sommes considérables que Jones a collectées depuis les années 90. Plus de 13 Millions de livres sterling au total.
Des extraits intéressants (cités par Watts, Motls, The Examiner, et bien d’autres) ont été traduits par “domip” sur lepost. fr : From : Phil Jones
Subject : Diagram for WMO Statement Date : Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15 +0000
Prof. Phil Jones Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) 1603 592090
School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) 1603 507784 University of East Anglia
Norwich Email NR4 7TJ UK
Je viens de terminer d’utiliser l’astuce Nature (ndt : la revue scientifique) de Mike (ndt : Michael Mann ??) qui consiste à Incorporer les vraies températures à chaque série depuis les 20
dernières années (çad depuis 1981) et depuis 1961 pour celles de Keith’s (ndt : probalement Briffa) afin de masquer le déclin. A noter que le déclin dont il est question est probablement celui des températures, mais Phil Jones affirme que ce n’est sûrement pas cela mais qu’il ne se souvient plus de quoi il parlait à l’époque, ce qui n’a rien d’étonnant d’ailleurs. L’astuce
“Nature” est décrite ici par St. McIntyre, qui est statisticien de formation.
D’autres font part de leurs propres doutes quant à la réalité du réchauffement :
Le fait est que nous ne savons pas expliquer l’absence de réchauffement actuellement et c’est ridicule. Les données du CERES publiées dans le supplément d’Août BAMS 09 en 2008 montre qu’il devrait y avoir encore plus de réchauffement : mais les données sont certainement fausses. Notre système d’observation est déficient.D’autres évoquent la suppression de preuves, au moment de l’affaire du Freedom of Information Act
Peux-tu effacer tous les emails que tu as échangés avec Keith reAR4 ? Keith fera pareil.Peux-tu également écrire à Gene et lui dire de faire de même ?On va demander à Caspar de faire pareil.
Ici est évoquée la tentative de masquer la période de l’Optimum Médiéval (pédiode médiévale pendant laquelle il faisait plus chaud qu’actuellement) :
Je pense que le fait d’utiliser une période de 2000 ans plutôt
que 1000 répond au problème soulevé précédemment par Peck par rapport au mémo, et que ce serait bien pour essayer de “contenir”le soi-disant “OM” (ndt : Optimum Médiéval)
On y apprend également les pressions exercées sur les revues scientifiques afin que les études réfutant le réchauffement climatique ne soient pas publiées…
Je pense qu’il va falloir cesser de considérer “Climate Research” comme une revue à comité de lecture légitime. Peut-être devrions-nous encourager nos collègues de la communauté de la
recherche climatique de ne plus soumettre d’article à ce journal ni citer d’articles de ce journal. Nous devrions aussi penser à en parler à nos collègues plus raisonnables qui siègent au comité
éditorial… Qu’en pensez-vous ?

Et d’ici demain, de nombreux autres secrets devraient être livrés par “the Jones files”. Si c’est authentifié, et même real climate semble le reconnaître, c’est un gigantesque climategate qui se profile. Les protagonistes avouent sans ambage dans leurs échanges qu’ils “retravaillent” les données pour les faire coller à leurs hypothèses, et recommandent la destruction de documents alors qu’ils sont sous le coup d’une investigation au titre du “Freedom of Information act” du royaume uni, ce qui est illégal, et tend à indiquer qu’il y aurait “quelque chose à cacher”. Rappelons que les données de températures du présent et du passéfournies par le Hadley center, qui s’est déjà rendu célèbre en refusant de communiquer ses données brutes à des gens comme Courtillot ou McIntyre, sont réutilisées (et sans doute de bonne foi) par des milliers de scientifiques dans le monde, dans des travaux étudiant la relation entre températures et toutes sortes de phénomènes, géologique, zoologiques, historiques, etc… Une fraude aussi importante sur les données de températures récentes obligerait des centaines d’équipes de travail dans le monde à reprendre leurs résultats de recherche : les dégâts de cette possible fraude dépasseraient sans doute le cadre du changement climatique. Les coupables de telles manipulations doivent être jugés.
Suites politiques
Au plan international, voilà qui scelle certainement le dernier clousur le cercueil d’un accord lors de la conférence de Copenhague. Il est urgent qu’à la lumière de ces découvertes, une action forte soit entreprise auprès de nos parlementaires pour forcer une suspension de TOUTES les lois votées au nom de la “lutte contre le réchauffement climatique anthropique”, le temps que cette affaire soit tirée au clair. LA TAXE CARBONE doit être ABANDONNEE et les lois
“Grenelle” abrogées de toute urgence. Nous ne pouvons plus nous permettre de voter des lois et taxes liberticides et anti-économiques au nom d’une science aussi
ouvertement biaisée.Incidemment : L’article témoignage de X.Driancourt sur le site de
l’institut Hayek il y a quatre jours prend une toute autre dimension…
Pour se tenir au courant : le fil de commentaires sur Skyfal agoravox lisez l’article sur agoravox je n’ai pas mis les liens, il y en a trop.
Quand hier ou avant hier, un lecteur du blog m’a envoyé cela, je suis resté sur le cul, c’est tellement énorme que ça ne m’étonnerais pas que ce soit vrai.Je parle du vol de donné et de la
triche, parceque le réchauffement je n’y crois plus depuis que j’ai appris que les planètes du système solaire se réchauffaient.J’espère que cette info va faire le tour du monde, vous vous rendezcompte, ils changeaient les données pour que ça colle à leur modèle, de la pure fraude, rien que ça ! J’en connais un qui va rigoler, c’est Claude Allègre !!! Je me souviens, quand je croyais au changement climatique à cause de l’homme, je pensais qu’il était dingue, ou payé par les pétroliers.Souvenez vous de cela aussi, quand on a appris que des scientifiques qui s’opposaient au réchauffement étaient payés parles pétroliers, ce qui est dingue, c’est que même si c’était vrai, et surtout si cétait vrai, cela constituait un argument très important en faveur du réchauffement climatique causé par l’homme, je m’en souviens cela m’avait marqué !!Les manipulations, la construction des représentations mentales des gens est une science, et nos élitesexcellent dans ce domaine !!!Avec leurs projets de taxe verte, les anti rechauffement vont monter au créneau, j’imagine qu’on va les qualifier de conspirationnistes, comme pour le 11/09 , comme les vaccins, mais si cette histoire est vrai, c’est évident que la théorie du
réchauffement entropique va en prendre un coup.Vous remarquerez que sur de plus en plus de sujet, il y a comme une fracture entre ce que le médias disent et ce que les gens croient, comme dans toute société totalitaire. La révolution est en marche, le fossé entre le peuple et les gouvernants n'a jamais ete aussi fort


23 Novembre 2009 : Un scoop ! La presse anglophone et la blogosphère se sont littéralement déchaînées ce week-end, avec des titres aussi explosifs que "Climategate : supercherie stupéfiante et malversation dévoilées au Centre de Recherche sur le réchauffement du Royaume Uni" (DailyTech); "La main dans le sac"(Skyfal); "Climategate : Le dernier clou dans le cercueil du réchauffement anthropique ?"(The Telegraph UK) et une foule d'autres comme le Boston Herald, Times, Guardian UK, Nature, BBC News, Christian Science Monitor, United Press, CBS, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Associated Press, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times ont tenté d'analyser la situation
Et de fait, il s'agit bien d'une nouvelle étonnante, pour ne pas dire explosive !

Voici : Un ou des hackers inconnus ont rendu publics 6500 fichiers dont 1073 emails, provenant du célèbre CRU (Climate Research Unit) de l'Université d'East Anglia qui fait la pluie et le beau temps aussi bien au sein du GIEC que dans les courbes de températures publiées par le Hadley Center (d'où le nom de HadCru) et le MetOffice Anglais (l'équivalent de Méteo France).
Et ces courriers électroniques valent leur pesant d'or.Tout comme les fichiers, les codes etc...
Ces fichiers couvrent les 13 dernières années.

Ce qui est important mais qui est rarement signalé dans la presse et la blogosphère, c'est la manière dont ces données ont été rendues publiques (sur Internet, bien sûr). Cela représente une masse d'information considérable qu'il aurait été impossible de transmettre sur papier : 217,7 mégaoctets de textes et de données.
Le (ou les) hacker ont pris soin d'expliquer leur démarche en précisant ceci ,en entête du fichier :

" Nous pensons que, dans la situation actuelle, la science du climat est trop importante pour demeurer dissimulée.
C'est pourquoi nous mettons dans le domaine public une sélection, prise au hasard, de correspondances, de codes (NDT: informatiques) et de documents. Nous espérons que cela ouvrira les yeux sur cette science et sur les gens qui sont derrière".
C'est explicite !

D'autre part, et cela est aussi rarement noté : Le gros fichier en question s'appelle FOI2009, ce qui n'est pas anodin
En effet,
FOI, pour les américains et les anglais signifient "Freedom Of Information" (Freedom Of Information Act). Autrement dit, le hacker, bienjones qu'il n'ignore pas qu'il commet une irrégularité en piratant des information du CRU, pense relever du FOIA qui, pour les anglophones, est un principe sacro-saint. Compte tenu du soin avec lequel le package a été préparé, soigneusement ordonné et distribué avec une table des matières très pertinente, il apparaît évident que le hacker est quelqu'un qui connaît parfaitement toutes ces questions. A mon humble avis, il s'agit probablement d'un chercheur ou d'un ingénieur de l'Université d'East Anglia, du CRU lui-même, ou du Hadley Center qui a été choqué par ce qu'il a vu et qui a pensé que c'était son devoir de le faire savoir au public.


Any source

New farm commissioner a setback for reform

The appointment of Romania's Dacian Ciolos as farm commissioner looks like a setback for reform. Romania has a bloated farm sector and has been in trouble for its management of EU funds.

The smart money recently was on the appointment of Andreas Pilebags from Latvia. France was hoping for an Irish appointment, but then swung behind Ciolos who undertook his postgraduate study in France.Any source


To celebrate and commemorate Atwater Village’s 100th Anniversary, 1910-2010, Friends of Atwater Village (FAV) has designed a calendar highlighting photos from the 1920’s to the 1970’s. The calendar is  now available for sale, $10.00 donation.

Pick up your copy at…

Atwater Village Farmers’ Market (3250 Glendale Blvd) - Sunday, November 29th

Winter Wonderland event (3111 Glendale Blvd) - Friday, December 4th

For more information or to reserve your copy contact us at 323.913.2999 or at
Article any source


LA Weekly article outlines Los Angeles City Council failures on regulating Medical Marijuana Dispensaries. Click here for LA Weekly's "L.A.'s Medical-Weed Wars" article.

 Atwater Village has three remaining medical marijuana dispensaries which continue to operate despite 2007 city wide moratorium and a recent City Council action that denied or caused them to withdraw their hardship exemption requests to remain open.

On June 9th, 2009 the L.A. City Council, including Council President Eric Garcetti (CD13), voted to deny the hardship exemption applications of L.A. Collective (3401 Glendale Boulevard - CF 05-0872-S215) and Global Meds Collective (3425 Glendale Boulevard - CF 05-0872-S282). While Atwater Alternative Care Collective (3106 Glendale Boulevard - CF 05-0872-S435) withdrew its hardship exemption applications prior to the City Council vote.
With their hardship exemption applications either denied or withdrawn it was expected that the Department of Building & Safety would refer all cases to the City Attorney's office for prosecution to force their immediate closure.

To date all three marijuana dispensaries continue to operate unabated and in total defiance of both the 2007 moratorium and their hardship exemption denials.
Article any source

Open House: Atwater Playhouse & Atwater Art Center at the Casitas Artists Complex

Please, join us on Dec. 12th and 13th, from noon to 5pm, to celebrate the Grand opening of the ATWATER VILLAGE ART CENTER, and the 4th Birthday of the ATWATER PLAYHOUSE.

Come and enjoy some nibbly treats and drinks while discovering where we create visual and performing art.

And since we are close to X-mas...we'll have prizes waiting for you! Free tickets to the theater, and discounts for the art classes!

ATWATER VILLAGE ART CENTER: Vivian and Ed continue the traditions of a conceptual and individually driven spirit, teaching affordable painting, collage and drawing classes to anyone 5 years old and up.

ATWATER PLAYHOUSE & Method Acting School: Jamie Paolinetti and his theater company are proud to convey 100% organic acting to the audience.. For four years they have been bringing to life world premiere plays, and have been teaching The Method to actors eager to learn this organic craft.
Article any source

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday Football Diary(Saturday Edition)-By David Ortega for Football Reporters Online

Friday Football Diary-By David Ortega for Football Reporters Online
[Saturday Edition]

Dear Diary

Week 12 presents one of the biggest and likely one of the most anticipated matchups this season. Just like the Colts and Patriots in week 10 gave us one fot he ages, this Monday night when the Patriots visit the Sainst this matchup promises to be just that and everything more!

A Classic in the Making

There's no secret that both the Patriots and the Saints are loaded with tremendous talent on offense and have one of the premiere passers in today's game. Monday night's matchup promises to be a great matchup of two high scoring potented offenses.

Over their past five games the Patriots have scored no fewer than 27 points and are averaging 37 points per game. Their offense has been led by none other than quarterback Tom Brady (3,049 yards) who has passed for over 300-yards in each of the five games. Brady has also sprayed 14 touchdowns in the same time span. With his two trusty receivers Randy Moss (eight touchdowns) and Wes Welker (79 receptions), expect Brady's bunch to continue the show.

The Saints on the other hand boast just as an explosive offense as the Patriots, but they are finding more balance ways to put points on the board. Quarterback Drew Brees (22 touchdowns) still leads the offense with his plethora of receiving options; Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, and Jeremy Shockey, but this year the Saints have added balance with a running attack. Both running backs Pierre Thomas (584 yards) and Mike Bell (514 yards) anchor the leagues 5th ranked rushing attack.

When these two teams meet on Monday night, it will be a fantasy owner's dream matchup with big plays, lots of yards, and plenty of scores.

Fantasy Notes:

While some of Brees passing numbers are down (274 passing yards per game) this season, he's become more efficient with over 68 percent of his passes completed and 22 touchdown. His leading receiver is Marques Colston who has 44 receptions this season, but has not gone over 100-yards in his last five games.

The Patriots offense has been on a roll this season and no one has been quite on fire as quarterback Tom Brady. Brady has passed for 300-yards in five straight games and thrown 20 touchdowns this season, while his wide receiver Wes Welker has also been sizzling along the way. Welker has 61 receptions in his last six starts including three games with at least 10 receptions. Running back Laurence Maroney has not seen a lot of carries this season, but he's finding the end-zone often; Maroney has scored a touchdown in five straight games.

10 Things
On my Sunday's Watch-List

1. If he's plays Sunday, Steven Jackson against the Seahawks will be a key watch. The Hawks are ranked 16th against the run and Jackson has been a beast of late.
2. If Kurt Warner plays, he's been plenty good the past couple of weeks throwing nine touchdowns and on Sunday he faces the Titan's 31st ranked pass defense.
3. Can Terrell Owens follow up his big game last week with another this week against the Dolphins 22nd ranked pass defense.
4. The Texans let one get away Monday night, but on Sunday I'll be watching to see if Matt Schaub and the offense can exploit the Colts 18th ranked pass defense.
5. Brady Quinn finally had his first big passing day last week against the Lions, can he do it again this week facing the leagues 20th ranked pass defense (Bengals)?
6. The Chargers have been on a roll and running back LaDanian Tomlinson has been playing well scoring three times in his last two games. Can he continue against the Chiefs 27th ranked run defense.
7. The Vikings quarterback Brett Favre has been playing as well as any quarterback in the league with nine touchdowns in his last three games. On Sunday Favre will get the Bears 8th ranked pass defense that has allowed 18 touchdowns this season.
8. With Portis and WEstbrook out, I will be watching to see which back has the bigger day Rock Cartwright (135 yards rushing) or LeSean McCoy (452 yards).
9. Quietly the Jets are the leagues number two ranked rushing offense and on Sunday they play the Carolina Panthers (ranked 26th against the run). I will be watching running backs Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene.
10. Monday night I will be watching both the Saints and Patriot's offense with all of their playmakers; Brady, Brees, Colston, and Moss to name a few.


by TJ Rosenthal for Football Reporters Online

QB Mark Sanchez is struggling but won't be benched. Free safety Kerry Rhodes , compared to Ed Reed before the season by Rex Ryan, WILL be benched. Ryan will now sit in on offensive meetings as a way to help Sanchez with his development. Oh, and David Clowney's twitter account was hacked into this week as some creep threw violent taunts towards a fan who sent the Jet wideout not so kind  thoughts on the Patriot loss. Welcome to "As The Jets Turn," the latest episode in the Gang Green's 2009 season as the club readies for Carolina . 

It seems like light years ago that this soap opera was full of hope and promise. Now at 4-6, losers of six of the last seven, the Jets look to simply regroup against another 4-6 team, the Carolina Panthers. A club like the Jets whose run game is dangerous yet  whose QB Jake Delhomme, has also come under fire for underperforming this season.

For the Jets, the formula is simple on paper. Sanchez must limit his mistakes ( he's 3rd in the NFL in interceptions with 16)  while Thomas Jones and the Jet run game move the chains. The Jet defense must regain its early season form and create pressure on opposing team's backfields. 

The D must also find a way to start creating turnovers,  something they've been unable to do all season. FS Kerry Rhodes who many thought would become the next Ed Reed, the ball hawking future hall of fame Raven, (a former leader on Rex Ryan's Baltimore defense),  has not made one big play all season. His tentative play has led to big plays given up by the Jet secondary. Eric Smith will replace Rhodes this week who was benched by Ryan in order to send a message to his team. How the Jets react to the benching will go a long way in determining Ryan's presence as a leader of this team in the future.

Ryan has also decided to now sit in and observe the offense at team meetings. Admittedly Ryan likened the experience to "French class," but something had to be done and sitting the future of the team Sanchez, was not on the head coach's radar. Many Jet faithful are starting to wonder though, if its it too early to throw the season away and allow Sanchez the growing pains. What if backup QB Kellen Clemens can settle down an offense that has turned it over too often during this two month swoon? A swoon that has dropped the Jets from first place to a game out of last in the AFC East. Jet analyst and former Jet QB Ray Lucas voiced his belief on SNY that the move to Clemens might be the right one in order to save 2009.

If the Jets want to have any chance on Sunday they have to do one thing. Stop the league's number four rusher (982 yards) Deangelo Williams. He's a faster version of the league's number five rusher  Maurice Jones-Drew, who torched the Jets for 123 yards weeks two weeks ago.  The Panthers defense ranks 11th overall, fourth against the pass at 185 yards per game. That doesn't bode well for the Jet air attack which has struggled to move the ball since the arrival of the player thought to be perhaps the missing playoff piece in WR Braylon Edwards in week five. Sanchez averages 179 passing yards a game. To score, the Jet ground game has to be effective. More carries for Shonn Greene, the rookie backup with big play potential exemplified in Oakland a month back 
may be on the menu.

With Buffalo up next in Toronto on Thursday, the Jets play two games in five days. A win streak would leave the Jets at 6-6 and talking playoffs again.  Anything less than a two game sweep though, and the talk around Florham Park the rest of the way will be about the development of Sanchez and 2010.


Stop Deangelo Williams: Forget Jake Delhomme. He's good for a few mistakes, missed opportunities and a bunch of yardage that add up to field goal chances. It's Deangelo Williams who must be stopped. Williams can single handedly ruin the Jets as quality RBs often do. It's in the Gang Green's DNA to face a tough back and get dominated. If it happens Sunday, it's light out for 2009. For real.

Sanchez, throw to the Green Jerseys! Interception happy Mark Sanchez HAS to cut down on the INT's. Otherwise one of two things will happen. Or both. The Jets will certainly lose. Two, the rookie will be benched for Clemens during the game as Rex Ryan tries to save a season evaporating faster than electronic appliances  on Black Friday department store shelves.

Shonn Greene, Dustin Keller, Braylon Edwards,  you guys alive? : The Jets need a spark on offense. Here are three players that can provide that. Greene needs more touches, Keller and Sanchez need to get on the same page now and Edwards has to stop dousing his hands with vaseline before he enters the huddle. Catch the ball Braylon let's go. Enough already.

follow TJ Rosenthal on twitter @ thejetreport for daily Jet news and thoughts regarding Gang Green

Latest interview with Richard Werner

Prof Richard Werner, a prominent international exponent of the reform of credit creation was interviewed by the Financial Times Deutschland (FTD) on 26 November.
If you cannot read German, a Google toolbar button will translate the text. Click here to install the Google toolbar.

In the article by Erich Gerbl, Werner says that the world economic system is unsustainable as it is and he challenges governments to act to change this. But he says that despite much discussion about reforming the banking system he does not hope for much change. He explains that whilst it is illegal for ordinary people to create money, banks are licensed to do so and in fact make about 98% of the entire money supply. He emphasized that it is not the central banks that do this but privately owned banks which are in the business for their own profit. They do not have to justify the use they put the created money to and this leads to speculation in such things as oil and financial products. This type of activity does not help the true productivity of the communities they are in. Sometimes the results are destructive, as now when hedge funds are driving up the price of oil. Governments have rescued the banks, but have left them with the power to continue behaving in the same way. Werner says that we will continue to see the repetition of financial crises (100 already world-wide in the last 40 years) as long as we allow this to continue.

Governments could easily bring pressure to bear on banks to end the credit shortage by challenging banks to divert new money to productive use. They could threaten to withdraw their banking licenses or even to take over their money creation rights. Challenged by the interviewer that such statements are quite extreme, Werner responded that the current system is extreme. His minimum compromise position would be to impose strict conditions on banks: to prohibit them lending to any activity that did not contribute to the gross domestic product, thus preventing credit-driven speculation and the subsequent banking crises.

Werner has been increasingly focusing on credit creation as key to macroeconomics from his long insider experience in banking and finance in Japan from 1990. His ideas are essential for any media editor who has the freedom to follow new leads in the hope that some may lead to answers for the sorry state of our economic system. The message may be getting through - this week Werner appeared on the UK’s BBC1 TVnews and Radio 5, as well as in the FTD, as above.Any source

The Collapsing Dubai

Once, Dubai World has a motto saying: “The sun never sets on Dubai World”. The state-backed group was the mastermind of world’s famous 7-star hotel, incredible man-made Palm Island, and world’s tallest building – The Burj.

By utilizing the oil wealth, Dubai had diversified into property and tourism since 2001. Property prices had gone up several folds – in this desert. Foreign workers are several times more than their own population. It was doing very well until overspending sets fire on its huge debts.

With up to $80 billions of debts due end of 2009, Dubai is scratching its heads very hard now. This was all started a year ago when the global economic downturn ended the sizzling hot property boom. Dubai was empty pockets after their oil money was drained by collapsing real estate prices and over-ambitious development plans, which sparked panic selling across the world on fears of, prolong global recession.

HSBC and Standard Charted Bank were believes to be the biggest financier to Dubai World, with the rest of the debt financed by regional banks. Yet, can Dubai pay back now? Impossible – with its tiny population and workforce!

Luckily, its oil-rich neighbour – Abu Dhabi – is more than enough to fund a bailout and has incentive to do so. In exchange, Abu Dhabi would gain control of Dubai, whether economy or political. Not surprisingly, Abu Dhabi sovereign funds are searching for investments around the world, cited Citigroup as example, eagerly flush its muscle in Dubai. Of course, Abu Dhabi existing economy involvements in Dubai created a too-big-to-fail scenario here.

For us, please rest assured that developments there would not impact our recovery path, except confidence. The dipping of stock markets worldwide this few days was mainly driven by emotional. In fact, this is a very good excuse for investors to exit the markets, which deem profit-taking.
Any source



Bonsoir à tous,

J'ai envoyé, il y a quelques jours, un message dans lequel 'exprimaisessentiellement mes craintes que le "virus ukrainien" ne s'étende.Hativement, sous l'effet du dégout que m'inspirais l'interview deRoselyne Bachelot sur le site de Christophe Barbier, je proposais une fermeture des frontières. Mes propos pouvaient être considéré
extrémistes mais il est clair que, s'il y avait un foyer de virus "tueur fou" en Ukraine, il convenait de prendre des précautions. Le contrôle aux aéroports me semblait le minimum Si le virus se diffusait à partir de l'Ukraine. La libre circulation de personnes infectés n'aiderait pas leur situation mais aggraverait la notre...
Les autorités, les mêmes qui nous ont caché pendant 3 semaines ce quise passait en Ukraine, et qui continuent de nous le cacher n'ont rien fait. Elles ont simplement laissé le virus se propager (s'il se propage de cette façon...).On a retrouvé ensuite le virus "tueur fou" en Pologne, dans l'Iowa, en Norvège et le voila en France.
"Deux cas mortels de mutation du virus de la grippe A (H1N1),similaire à celle survenue en Norvège, ont été signalés vendredi en France"
Je ne sais pas si les contrôles aux aéroports auraient pu éviter cette propagation. Honnêtement je ne le crois pas mais c'est ce qui auraitdû être fait dans un monde *sain*.Aujourd'hui on ne peut qu'admirer l'anticipation de notre ministre de
la santé (à la mode 1984 où un mot exprime son contraire). Elle anticipe un virus tueur le 25 novembre et il est la le 27. Pas besoinde foulard sur la tête ni de boule de cristal (mais l'utilisation d'un téléphone portable peut aider).Attendez-vous maintenant à une campagne de terreur (des victimes dont les poumons sont rouges de sang et qui meurent dans d'atrocessouffrances avec gros plan sur leur poumons carbonisés à la télévision). Et attendez-vous à voir le troupeau affolé se précipiter
vers l'aiguille "salvatrice".Je sais, j'en fais un peu trop là mais êtes-vous sûr(e) que le
contraire va se produire ? Dans la logique, lorsqu'il existe un foyer d'infection, la maladie se répand de façon concentrique à partir de ce foyer. Ici ce n'est pas le
cas. Après une attaque en Ukraine, le virus est apparu en Pologne,puis en Norvège puis aux Etats-Unis et maintenant en France. Des témoignages font état de vols d'avions épandeurs à basse altitude avant l'épidémie. De nombreux en Ukraine, quelques uns dans les autres centres d'infection (dont un chez moi cette après-midi, j'y reviendrais, peut-être...).Aux Etats-Unis, on propose maintenant dans certains aéroports aux voyageurs de se faire vacciner à l'aide du FluMist (injection nasale).
Donc si un américain se rend en voyage en Europe, il sera peut être vacciné. Le FluMist a comme particularité d'être équipé d'un virus vivant (aténué) mais qui peut quand même se propager pendant 21 jours.Temps largement suffisant pour un voyage d'affaire ou de tourisme.Plus besoin d'épandages, il suffit de faire un bonne promo sur les vols New-York-Paris.
Suis-je alarmiste ? Je ne le pense pas. J'essaie d'anticiper ce qui peut se produire avec un risque bien évident d'erreur. Mais il est plus facile de prévoir après

Michel Combe
Any source