Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Next Up: Class of '12

A brand new class of Consortium students has just taken the stage at business schools across the country--including new Consortium school Cornell. Over 300 attended the Orientation Program in Orlando in early June.

It's their turn to make their marks, explore what schools have to offer, endure core courses, and dive into the tough, frantic world of recruiting. Two years later, we promise, they'll emerge comfortably proclaiming that these will have been two extraordinary years: case work, study groups, all-nighters, corporate presentations, technical interviews, career strategizing, finance problem sets, business policy, operations research, investment analysis, internship offers, networks, new friends and the spring-break trip to China, Russia, South America or Africa.

In the current class, about 80-100 have indicated they have some interest in finance. Within finance, their interests cover a broad span--from community banking to venture capital. This crop of potential bankers, advisors, brokers, analysts, traders and financiers, remember, started applying to business school just as the financial system was on the brink of collapse. Many were in the middle of the fracas--at banks, brokerage firms, trading firms and mutual funds. While the world of finance was in the middle of uncertainty, chaos and frenzy, they were making tough decisions to go to business school.

The events of past two years have not discouraged students from considering finance. The 80-100 number is typical of any Consortium year. Many come from financial institutions and want to return to finance, but perhaps in a different role, at a smaller organization, and with more responsibility. Many might have come from banks, but want to return to financial management at a corporation. Some have little experience in finance, but have the interests, aptitude and guts to try banking, trading, or investment research.

While the numbers have hardly changed, what students are thinking of doing within finance appears to be evolving over the past few years. As always, opportunities, experiences and compensation influence what people want to do (and perhaps in that order nowadays, unlike 5-10 years ago).

An unscientific sampling of this year's first-year students suggest large numbers of them are interested in investment management and private banking. That is likely due to the growing number of opportunities among the big-name firms and the efforts by the same firms to promote these areas of finance.

Investment banking is not as popular as was in five years ago, but there are always still more than a few with their sights on Morgan Stanley or Consortium sponsors Goldman Sachs and Bank of America. That several Consortium students gained prestigious internships at top banks this summer is an encouraging sign to the class that follows. That fact might encourage more first-year students to pursue it once they get to campus.

Venture capital and private equity appear to be as popular as ever among first-year students. That might reflect a growing entrepreneurial interest and also efforts on their part to specialize in certain industries or attain the ultimate investment-management experience. Opportunities in these areas are fleeting and often hard to find. Yet these firms hire MBA's and value their skills and experiences.

One surprise among this year's group is a continued interest in real estate--after the industry's problems the past few years. This, however, might reflect students' long-term views of the market and their efforts to do what they really want to do.

It's not a shock that fewer students have indicated they are interested in trading. Many have done their homework and know the erratic tendencies of trading firms, big banks and hedge funds in hiring MBA's. They hire them, but sometimes without rhyme, reason or logic. Many quant-oriented Consortium students like trading and are interested, but are realistic about opportunities in the realm.

As in previous years, students interested in finance tend to be concentrated in certain Consortium schools--NYU, Dartmouth, Yale, Michigan, Carnegie Mellon, and Virginia. Cornell was new this year and contributed a large list of Consortium students interested in finance. New Consortium arrivals next year, UCLA and UC-Berkeley, will no doubt influence the aggregate interests of the Consortium first-year class.

Many Consortium first-year students still get a chance to explore their interests a few times before they start classes, as some are invited to late-summer "boot camps," sponsored by big banks or invited to participate in other pre-business-school programs. By the time school starts, they will have polished their strategies. They need to (and have been advised to), because once school starts, the b-school pace becomes an incessant whirlwind.

Uncertainty still engulfs the marketplace. Yet it's ponderous concern about the pace of the recovery (and the return of the glory days of deals, transactions, investor returns and clients) that keep people wondering. Not concern about the viability of a financial system, as the way things were two years ago, when this group was gathering application forms.

Nonetheless, it's always the first-year class that helps boost moods and gets everybody hopeful and spirited about the years ahead.

Tracy Williams
Any source

Randall Cunningham loses his 2-year-old son in hot tub

Randall Cunningham
Former NFL Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Randall Cunningham reportedly lost his 2-year-old son in a hot tub accident.

According to the Associated Press, the Las Vegas, Clark County Coroner says that the cause of death of Christian Cunningham was pending investigation.

Christian Cunningham appeared to die from an accidental drowning, but that's not official. The youngest Cunningham was pronounced dead at St. Rose Dominican Hospital Siena campus in Henderson, Nevada.

At the time of the incident, Tuesday, Randall Cunningham was out of town. Christian Cunningham is the youngest of his four children.

Randall Cunningham is an ordained minister and pastor of a church in Las Vegas with his wife Felicity.

Cunningham was one of this spaces favorite quarterbacks, and in 1998 was one missed field goal kick from playing against John Elway and The Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl. Instead, the Vikings were upset in the 1988 NFC Championship by The Atlanta Falcons.

Lundi 12 Juillet 2010 orageux

Des orages en perspective pour ce Lundi 12 Juillet 2010 ?

Matin :
On prendrait les mêmes et on recommencerait.
L'anticyclone ne bougerait pas d'un pouce sur le Portugal et l'Espagne, ainsi sur l'axe Autriche allant à la Scandinavie.
Entre les deux, la France sous un système dépressionnaire qui se déploierait jusque vers la Tunisie.
Du coup, les averses pourraient être nombreuses dès le début de la journée avec parfois quelques coups de tonnerre.

Les températures minimales oscilleraient entre 11°C à Embrun et 20°C à Nice en passant par 14°C à Guéret, 16°C à Paris et 18°C à Biarritz.

Après midi :
Le reste de la journée promettrait d'être copieusement arrosé.
Une forte convection se manifesterait sur l'ensemble du territoire.
Dans ces conditions, les orages se feraient de plus en plus nombreux principalement du Midi Pyrénées à l'Alsace en passant par le Massif Central.
A l'arrière, sur un grand quart Nord-Ouest, le temps serait nettement plus frais avec pourquoi pas quelques précipitations.

Les températures maximales seraient globalement assez inégales par rapport aux normes de saison (à affiner) : elles partiraient de 19°C à Brest pour aller à 23°C à Nantes, 25°C à Clermont Ferrand et 28°C à Strasbourg.
Au Sud, entre 20°C à Bayonne et 31°C à Grenoble en passant par 25°C à Toulouse et 29°C à Ajaccio.
Any source

Prohibition's rise and fall: EconTalk interview with Daniel Okrent

While yesterday's post dealt with money laundering and present-day drug smugglers, today's feature looks at their 1930s precursor: bootleggers of alcohol and the US Prohibition era of the 1920s and '30s.

Russ Roberts of the EconTalk podcast speaks with author, Daniel Okrent about his latest book, Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition.

Roberts notes at the outset that the book is not only a history of Prohibition, but also a thorough look at America and its social history leading up to the Prohibition era. It also seems to provide a real insight into the development of the progressive movement and its resulting "well intentioned" legislative acts.

Have a listen to Okrent's and Roberts' look back at the rise and fall of prohibition; you may enjoy the insights on the unintended consequences of Constitutional amendments which were set up to restrict individual rights (rather than defend them).

Related articles and posts:

1. The Economics of Prohibition (free pdf or hard copy) - Mark Thornton at

2. End the Drug War - John Stossel at Reason.
Any source


Honduras was suspended from all participation in the Sistema de Integración Centroamericana (SICA) by a unanimous vote of its members on June 29, 2009.

Yesterday SICA held a summit of heads of state in Panama City, Panama. Major themes for discussion were economic integration, regional security, and the re-establishment of democratic institutions.

Absent was any mention of Honduras in the agenda of this group. Instead, it was widely reported that the reincorporation of Honduras would be discussed by the meeting of Foreign Ministers, being held in parallel.

The way it was supposed to work was that the Foreign Ministers would hash out the wording of the resolution and pass it along to the Summit, which would then approve it. Panamanian Vice President Juan Carlos Varela announced June 28 that there would be a consensus declaration at the end of the meeting. "Just about everything is closed (about the recognition of the Honduran government)," Varela said. Porfirio Lobo Sosa said it was a sure thing that Honduras would be reincorporated in the meeting. Mario Canahuati said by telephone, "Honduras is in SICA, it's signed."

It didn't happen.

At the end of the summit meeting, Mauricio Funes, the Salvadoran President who presided, expressed his disappointment at the lack of a resolution reincorporating Honduras. "We did not stamp the wording on the reintegration of Honduras," Funes told the press.

What this means is unclear. Many of the rights explicitly denied by the resolution of a year ago have been tacitly restored, such as access to BCIE loans. However, Honduras cannot currently participate in the finalization of the free trade agreement with Europe, or benefit from the joint purchase of medicines.

SICA will hold an extraordinary meeting in El Salvador on July 20, 2010, where Funes will again take up the formal reincorporation of Honduras.Any source

Clima caldo e afoso fino al 6 Luglio

Temperature in aumento, toccheremo i 32-33 gradi nei prossimi 4 giorni e minime intorno ai 20 gradi con possibilità di sporadici temporali serali che dalle prealpi sconfineranno fino in pianura. Per un cambio di circolazione dovremo attendere l'inizio di settimana prossima.Any source

Welsh Labour at their worst

The worst of the Labour Party was on display at the Welsh Grand Committee earlier via their MP’s we had sneering, pettiness, bullying, heckling, cat calling of opposition speakers, constant interruptions, MP's openly challenging the Chairman’s authority and shouting down the Chief Secretary to the Treasury as well as calling Tory MP’s liars, refusing to ask questions and generally undermining proceedings its a timely reminder to voters and other parties that Welsh Labour are in politics for themselves, nobody else.

Procedures may not have been followed to the letter (although David Cornock says Labour and Plaid knew before they admitted to) about Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander’s appearance at the Committee, but it was an opportunity for Welsh MP of all parties to grill him on the substantial impact the budget will have on Wales, instead Labour turned it into a three ring circus with Peter Hain and Wayne David as the ringmasters.

Labour will think that they have secured a big victory, but all they are doing is undermining their role as MP’s and the business of Westminster thereby strengthening the hand of those who want more powers to the National Assembly for Wales, something the likes of Wayne David and his ilk still bitterly oppose.

So if Danny Alexander is invited to address the Finance Committee in Cardiff Bay following a similar meeting at the Scottish Parliament Finance Committee, lets hope that the Labour Circus tent is left well and truly at Westminster and our Assembly Members show more tolerance, intelligence and wit than Welsh Labour MP’s did today.

More from David Cornock HERE and coverage of this mornings session from the Committee is HEREAny source

Dimanche 11 Juillet 2010 chaud

Un coup de chaleur pour ce premier week-end de départ en vacances et notamment pour ce Dimanche 11 Juillet 2010 ?

Matin :
Les hautes pressions décideraient de camper plus ou moins sur la façade Ouest de la France.
Du coup, le début de la journée ressemblerait au scénario suivant : quelques nuages bas au lever du jour, suivis d'un soleil franc et massif et à nouveau des nuages.
En allant vers le Nord-Est, la couverture nuageuse pourrait être plus importante.

Les températures minimales oscilleraient entre 11°C à Aurillac et 20°C à Nice en passant par 14°C à Limoges, 16°C à Paris et 17°C à La Rochelle.

Après midi :
L'anticyclone pourrait avoir quelques faiblesses remarquables !
En effet, une perturbation en profiterait pour arroser assez copieusement toute la France : ces précipitations pourraient être orageuses y compris sur le pourtour méditerranéen !

Les températures maximales seraient globalement assez conforme aux normes de saison (à affiner) : elles partiraient de 22°C à Brest pour aller à 25°C à Nantes, 26°C à Moulins sur Allier et 27°C à Strasbourg.
Au Sud, entre 24°C à Tarbes et 29°C à Perpignan en passant par 27°C à Ajaccio et 28°C à Toulouse.
Any source

Nota su MACD - max e min

Spesso l’incrocio di punti di max e min locali del MACD rivelano la presenza di un max e min locale nelle quotazioni, cioè un’inversione di tendenza nel breve…

(utile  per stop loss strategy)Any source

Nuove figure di trading per il trading system


Arco di Fibonacci: tende a far vedere il punto massimo dopo rintracciamento SHORT (STOP profit long)

Forchetta di Andrews : utile per i movimenti long e shortAny source

Evoluzione 1 - 2 - 3 Luglio 2010

Buongiorno a tutti!!

L'alta pressione continua a dominare il tempo sul Mediterraneo, e rimarrà ben salda almeno sino a Domenica. Tuttavia, il crescente aumento dell'umidità nei bassi strati soprattutto al Nord, accompagnata a deboli infiltrazioni fresche in quota, favorirà per domani la formazione di isolati focolai temporaleschi sconfinanti anche sulle pianure. Da venerdì a domenica tempo stabile ovunque, ma dall'inizio della prossima settimana le cose potrebbero cambiare. Infatti la coda di una perturbazione atlantica si addosserà sulla catena alpina, sfociando poi sull'Italia con un ricambio d'aria e probabili fenomeni temporaleschi anche intensi. Se i modelli meteo-numerici confermeranno da lunedì inizierà a soffiare maestrale sulla Sardegna, e da martedì venti di bora scivoleranno sull'Adriatico a partire dai lidi nord. Molto presto per avere certezze, tuttavia è sempre bello vedere un pò di luce in fondo al tunnel di afa, stabilità e piatta Mediterranea.


Giovedì 1: accentuazione dell'instabilità al nord con brevi rovesci o temporali sparsi, specie nottetempo e all'alba sulle pianure e nel pomeriggio sui rilievi. Qualche temporale in più anche lungo tutta la dorsale appenninica, per il resto abbastanza soleggiato. Lieve calo termico nelle aree raggiunte da temporali.

Venerdì 2: La stabilità guadagna nuovamente tutta la penisola, con sole quasi ovunque. Sviluppo di nubi cumuliformi pomeridiane sulle Alpi e sui rilievi del sud, con isolati rovesci anche temporaleschi, soprattutto nel pomeriggio.

Sabato 3: Al mattino sole ovunque; nel pomeriggio nubi cumuliformi sulla regione Alpina del n-e con isolati rovesci. Temperature in aumento ovunque, mari calmi e venti deboli, con brezze pomeridiane lungo le coste.


Mar Ligure

Giovedì 1: Mari calmi ovunque.

Venerdì 2: Mari calmi ovunque.

Sabato 3: Mari calmi ovunque.

Isole Maggiori

Giovedì 1: Mari calmi o poco mossi.

Venerdì 2: Mari calmi ovunque.

Sabato 3: Mari calmi ovunque.

Mar Tirreno

Giovedì 1: Mari calmi ovunque. Brezze da n-w nel pomeriggio

Venerdì 2: Mari calmi ovunque. Brezze pomeridiane.

Sabato 3: Mari calmi o poco mossi.

Mar Ionio

Giovedì 1: Mari calmi ovunque. Brezze da terra che accentueranno il caldo.

Venerdì 2: Mari calmi ovunque.

Sabato 3: Mari calmi ovunque.

Mar Adriatico

Giovedì 1: Mari calmi sul settore centro-nord, poco mossi a sud per venti moderati da n-w nel pomeriggio.

Venerdì 2: Mari calmi o poco mossi.

Sabato 3: Mari calmi ovunque.

Al prossimo aggiornamento!!!

Ecco cosa vede GFS per le ore centrali di martedì 6: dopo una bella "scoreggia" di maestrale sulla Sardegna, la bora irromperà nel pomeriggio a partire dal Veneto e Romagna....staremo a vedere!!

Any source

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

European Bank Stress Tests vs. U.S. Stress Tests

I must confess some ignorance on the exact nature of the stress tests being conducted in Europe. When we conducted ours, the criteria were laid out in a fairly robust and comprehensive manner. Everyone could see what assumptions were being used and, though many scoffed at the scenarios as being too rosy, it would appear that there was some measure of success.

From what I have read, such as this post from Naked Capitalism, the tests do not include possible losses that the banks would incur from sovereign debt defaults. In other words, say the fictional Bismarck Financial had $50 billion in equity, but $75 billion in holdings of sovereign debt from Greece, Portugal, and Spain, they would be wiped out in a rolling series of debt defaults. However, under the stress tests (as I understand them), these exposures would be excluded. That would have been similar to if in our own stress tests we had excluded the possibility of further house price declines and rising mortgage defaults. As it turned out, the estimates for house price declines in our own stress tests were actually much more pessimistic than what panned out.

This brings me to a point here for those looking at Europe right now. Our own stress tests, despite being widely mocked by the more pessimistic analysts and observers, actually did  a good job of quantifying the unquantifiable. The most dangerous aspect of early 2009 was that no one knew the exposure the banks were facing and financial markets froze under the uncertainty. It was nearly impossible to raise capital to replenish the equity positions of these companies. The stress tests provided a benchmark from which investors could use differing assumptions on whether or not a bank could be saved and decide then whether to supply it with more capital. As it turned out, as I recall anyway, not one of the major banks tested has since failed or had to be swallowed up by another in an emergency basis in the way that National City and Wachovia were in late 2008.

This was all possible because the standards being used were transparent and they were actually fairly sensible. I liken it to if a company forecasts that based on 4% GDP growth they expect to earn $4.50 a share. You can say that's nonsense and you think the economy will only grow 1% so they will earn less, but it's all out in the open and the market can decide, based on good information, what price capital can be raised at. From this perspective, the European stress tests do no seem adequate and I think it would be wrong to apply the relative success of our own experience to Europe.Any source

What does a 2.95% yield on the 10-year mean?

Back before the world blew up in 2008, if ten-year treasury rates were much below 4%, I would say that you were either in a recession or a financial panic. Below 3%, I would have said that things must be pretty nasty right now. Well, I would say that the confluence of bad news out of Europe, China, and our own markets does indicate that conditions are fairly rough, but I think the more important signal is that there is absolutely not a chance of a major inflation outbreak. Indeed, 2.95% on the ten year indicates that we are either at 0% inflation or even have a mild case of deflation about to set in.

In either case, this is highly unusual and bears watching. My own suspicion is that investors are ridiculously risk averse, but the extent of the rally in bonds now has taken on a different life. It's hard to say for certain what such low yields portend.Any source


Article any source

Définition de "traînée de condensation" issue de l'encyclopédie Quillet 1975

"Bande de nuage généralement blanche et étroite qui se forme dans le sillage des avions lorsque l'air au niveau du sol est suffisamment froid et humide. Ces traînées sont très fréquentes à l'arrière des avions à réaction volant à très haute altitude."
Sans commentaires...

Nos mémoires concertées se souviennent de ce qu'on nous disait alors: "très haute altitude": 8 000 mètres.
« suffisamment froid et humide » :  après vérif sur le site de la NASA (document pdf) :  une traînée de condensation ne se forme que si deux conditions sont réunies. Le taux d'humidité doit être supérieur à 68%, et la température inférieure à -39 degrés. Il faut généralement atteindre 10 km d'altitude pour créer ce phénomène, qui ne tient généralement pas plus de 2 minutes en suspend.

Alors, les avions à hélices, qui volent à 2000 mètres et qui font des grosses traînées, c'est quoi ??? 

signé Benêt

Any source

Get your United season ticket at.... errrr.... White Hart Lane?

The club's attempts to sell season tickets have moved on to an email shot to all "One United" members....

This is the email that members received today:

Note the lack of green and gold (so before January), in fact note the t-shirts (so not a photo from the harsh winter months)....

Note the.... errrr..... blue chair.... note Anderson on the pitch (and relatively up with play too).....

And suddenly you realise that the razor sharp Glazer marketing machine is trying to offload season tickets at Old Trafford with photos of..... errrr...... United away at White Hart Lane on September 12th 2009 (the third goal by Rooney in case you wondered).....

Thanks goodness these brilliant people are in charge of our club.

LUHGAny source

Une artiste tisse des chemtrails autour de la statue de Jules Janssen dans le parc de l'Observatoire de Meudon

C'était le 5 juin dernier, lors d'une manifestation culturelle à destination d'un public extérieur à l'Observatoire.

Son nom Solweig Von Kleist, artiste plasticienne. 

Je la cite: "Il s'agit d'une première ébauche d'une "lettre vidéo" adressée à Jules Janssen, fondateur de l'observatoire de Meudon, projetée sur la statue même de Janssen: " Jules, regarde un peu le ciel de nos jours..." 

Alors que le ciel était plein de CT, elle n'a pas eu de peine à faire comprendre au public ce que son œuvre signifiait.
Les photos, en revanche (voir album), ont été prises le lendemain par un ciel nuageux. 

Une artiste à faire connaître, une action à encourager 

Jules Janssen fut donc un grand homme de la fin du 19ème siècle, pionnier de l'astrophysique et de l'observation du soleil. C'est à Meudon; qu'il décéda en 1907.
Voir l'article de Wikipedia
La Société Astronomique de France décerne chaque année un prix Jules Janssen 

En sa mémoire et pour notre ciel à tous !
BLUE SKY and NATURAL CLOUDS ! ClaireAny source

VWAP Channel for congested markets (midas channel) - pro real time formula

For references, see Stock & Commodities, July 2010
on web also

variabili: periodo (n)
range superiore percentuale (kup) - kup è intero
range inferiore (kdown)


//meglio avp=customclose
//così decidi cosa utilizzare


return vwap as "vwap", upper as "vwap up", lower as "vwap low"

with f-factor of correction (not corrected formula)

for i = 1 to n



c= c+1


return vwap as "vwap", upper as "vwap up", lower as "vwap low"


- buon uso forse per intraday, non multiday
- l'utilizzo col fractal dimension non "depura" i dati :(

- quando il prezzo rompe, la banda ROVESCIA la sua funzione (da resistenza a supporto e viceversa)
- spesso dopo la rottura succede un throwback 
- molto buono per uso intraday (non tantissimo per usi multiday)
- nei mercati con trend tende a "fallire": nel catturare gli swing highs al rialzo e gli swing lows al ribasso
- è ottimo invece nei catturare gli swing lows in uptrends e gli swing highs in uptrend
[io: gestione posizione stop loss in visione isterica del mercato]
==> decidere un punto di partenza e da lì disegnare nuovi canali ogni volta (specie quando fora): forte utilizzo intraday
- sfruttamento della POROSITA': il MIDAS/VWAP Channel perde di efficacia le bande superiore ed inferiore diventano livelli di resistenza/supporto
- osservazione: il Midas Channel a differenza di altri indicatore di canale (come Raff, Donchian) incorpora l'informazione relativa ai volumiAny source

Samedi 10 Juillet 2010 chaleur

Chaleur encore pour ce Samedi 10 Juillet 2010 ?

Matin :
L'anticyclone couvrirait toujours le proche Atlantique ainsi que le centre de l'Europe.
Entre les deux, un champ orienté dépressionnaire ; du coup, avec de l'air froid arrivant sur un sol chaud et humide, le temps deviendrait instable : de nombreuses averses se produiraient un peu partout avec localement de l'orage.

Les températures minimales oscilleraient entre 10°C à Gap et 20°C à Nice en passant par 14°C à Orléans, 16°C à Paris et 17°C à La Rochelle.

Après midi :
Pas de changements à attendre au niveau de la position des centres d'action (anticyclone, dépression).
Dans ces conditions, la chaleur serait parfois suffocante !
Les nuages à développement vertical s'en donneraient à cœur joie : ainsi, le risque orageux augmenterait sensiblement au fil des heures, notamment de l'Aquitaine à l'Alsace.
Fortes précipitations et activité électrique pourraient être au programme en fin de journée et en soirée !

Les températures maximales seraient globalement chaudes pour la saison (à affiner) : elles partiraient de 23°C à Brest pour aller à 27°C à Nantes, 29°C à Clermont Ferrand et 32°C à Strasbourg.
Au Sud, entre 25°C à Tarbes et 35°C à Grenoble en passant par 29°C à Ajaccio et 32°C à Toulouse.
Any source

Bloomberg: Wells Fargo, large banks aided drug gangs

Here's a rather interesting piece of reporting from Bloomberg: "Banks Financing Mexico Drug Gangs Admitted in Wells Fargo Deal".

"Just before sunset on April 10, 2006, a DC-9 jet landed at the international airport in the port city of Ciudad del Carmen, 500 miles east of Mexico City. As soldiers on the ground approached the plane, the crew tried to shoo them away, saying there was a dangerous oil leak. So the troops grew suspicious and searched the jet.

They found 128 black suitcases, packed with 5.7 tons of cocaine, valued at $100 million. The stash was supposed to have been delivered from Caracas to drug traffickers in Toluca, near Mexico City, Mexican prosecutors later found. Law enforcement officials also discovered something else.

The smugglers had bought the DC-9 with laundered funds they transferred through two of the biggest banks in the U.S.: Wachovia Corp. and Bank of America Corp., Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its August 2010 issue.

This was no isolated incident. Wachovia, it turns out, had made a habit of helping move money for Mexican drug smugglers. Wells Fargo & Co., which bought Wachovia in 2008, has admitted in court that its unit failed to monitor and report suspected money laundering by narcotics traffickers -- including the cash used to buy four planes that shipped a total of 22 tons of cocaine..."

This is a must read piece, and one that will surely lead you to consider the realities of criminal enterprise arising from the illegal drug trade.

There must be an inordinate amount of pressure and danger for bank insiders who try to blow the whistle on these money laundering activities. The lure of profits from laundered money must be great (surely greater than the settled fines) and the risk of crossing violent criminals with refusal to do business may be fatal.

Bloomberg's piece also serves as testament to the fact that criminals will always find a way to work around intrusive laws, while law-abiding citizens who are not focused on evading the law will often be stymied or ensnared by these same regulations.

"...No big U.S. bank -- Wells Fargo included -- has ever been indicted for violating the Bank Secrecy Act or any other federal law. Instead, the Justice Department settles criminal charges by using
deferred-prosecution agreements, in which a bank pays a fine and promises not to break the law again...

...Large banks are protected from indictments by a variant of the too-big-to-fail theory.

Indicting a big bank could trigger a mad dash by investors to dump shares and cause panic in financial markets, says Jack Blum, a U.S. Senate investigator for 14 years and a consultant to international banks and brokerage firms on money laundering.

The theory is like a get-out-of-jail-free card for big banks, Blum says.

“There’s no capacity to regulate or punish them because they’re too big to be threatened with failure,” Blum says. “They seem to be willing to do anything that improves their bottom line, until they’re caught.”"

Check out the full article, along with the related video clips from Bloomberg TV.

Related articles and posts:

1. Show us your money - Reason.

2. Feds sift through financial data - Finance Trends.

Any source

Il problema degli stop loss e dei stop profit: cioè finchè la barca va lasciala andare...

Atteso un ultimo minimo, non
necessariamente assoluto,
nella seconda parte di Giugno e
rally estivo sino a fine Agosto.
Stamane è stato raggiunto
l’obiettivo tecnico a quota 20.974
sul quale apriamo una posizione
al ribasso. Crediamo che i corsi
siano destinati ora al ribasso con
orizzonte alla prima decade di
Luglio. Negazione di questo
scenario una chiusura di sessione
superiore a quota 21.265

Max Oggi

il “fin che la barca va” significa che bisogna chiudere (stop profit) una posizione a ridosso del limite di bollinger (alto/basso) in caso di trend rispettivamente al rialzo/ribasso per poi riaprire nelle vicinanze della media mobile a 20 periodi.
Prima di chiudere attendi la prima apertura/calo confermato alle 10 del mattino
Più tardi potrebbe scendere di parecchio

giorno 22/6/2010 :

FTSE Italia All-Share 21.160,52 -0,86
FTSE MIB 20.609,03 -0,97
FTSE Italia Mid Cap 23.536,04 -0,41
FTSE Italia Small Cap 21.814,37 -0,33
FTSE Italia Micro Cap 21.167,01 +0,25
FTSE Italia STAR 10.837,51 +0,41
Chiusura diurna del 22/06/10

Estero Cambi Materie Prime Indici Etici
Indice Valore Var%
NASDAQ 100 1.910,25 +0,76
Dow Jones 10.457,14 +0,14

minimo FTSEMIB a -1,6%

FTSEMIB: punti 29/6 punti 19.236 (c'è stata anche la rottura dell'EMA 20)

Altri principi generali

Finche la barca va: al rialzo tende a formare un doji (=derivata prima dei prezzi, ovveri rendimenti, nulla). Spesso accade che dopo il doji ci siano 3-4 sedute di borsa negative/non brillanti e poi riparte al rialzo anche senza toccare l’ EMA20.Al ribasso la formazione di un doji non è detto sia sufficiente, anzi in alcune occasioni continua a calare.

L’utilizzo degli stop loss tramite EMA 5 e 9 è buonino solo in posizioni al rialzo ed in periodi di non particolari trend (quindi nel 2009 avremmo chiuso posizioni troppo presto).
In posizioni short assolutamente inadeguati.

Come stop loss può essere usato anche uno degli indicatori che solitamente sanciscono l’apertura: VORTEX, DIRECTIONAL MOVEMENT, RANDOM WALK INDEXES*, RSI, MACD

* rivedi blog fine maggio, dove il RWIbp è utile come stop profit in fase di chiusura dei RWIlpAny source

What's Wrong with Mainstream Media: the BBC takes the prize today

Start with the headline:

"Honduras still split one year after President's removal"

Removal? a little sanitized, perhaps, but maybe the story will correctly label what happened a coup.

But readers will look in vain for a clear statement that this was a coup, a rupture of the Honduran constitutional order, and illegal.

Instead, repeatedly the reporter, Julian Miglierini, says things like "Manuel Zelaya was removed from office and expelled from the country".

Well, no. President Zelaya was kidnapped and expatriated (illegally) and then the Congress passed a resolution (for which they had no authority) claiming he was no longer the President and appointing their own head as dictator at the head of a de facto regime.

Perhaps worse, Miglierini describes what ensued as "deep uncertainty" rather than dictatorship, repression, and resistance.

But then, he thinks that the event he dare not name only "left Honduras politically isolated for several months".

Even by his own chronology, in which the inauguration of Porfirio Lobo Sosa appears to have been magical healing that started "a period of relative stability", half of 2009 was consumed by the de facto regime and its destructive isolationist policies.

And what does "a period of relative stability" mean? the confrontation in the Bajo Aguan; the murders of journalists; the assassinations of members of the resistance, and of ecological activists; these hardly mark "stability". Miglierini simply channels the Lobo Sosa administration's retread of the tried and true claim that the violence is due to "a general crime wave" caused by drug cartels.

Most vehemently, the coup of June 28 was not "the climax of a political crisis". It was another step in a long boiling political crisis that continues today.

No surprise then that
Many in Honduras think that, 12 months on, the political divisions that precipitated the crisis have not subdued; some even argue that they have worsened.

But you will search in vain for the voices and names of many individuals who argue things have worsened, or even acknowledgment of the visible organized resistance, which in Miglierini's wretched reporting is relabeled "supporters of Manuel Zelaya".

Only Patricia Licona, a former Zelaya administration official, is quoted to balance the voices of Lobo Sosa, Mario Canahuati, and most egregiously, Martha Lorena Alvarado, a member of Roberto Micheletti's regime, who makes what reads as a thinly veiled threat against Lobo Sosa for even talking about complying with the constitutional requirement to let Honduran citizens with whom she disagrees politically return to their country:
For example, when (Mr Lobo) sounds too indulgent with Zelaya's possible return, he irks part of the Honduran people.

No wonder "Mr Lobo's government is struggling to leave the crisis behind".

The concern in Honduras is not just "how solid the democratic order", as Miglierini would have it.

As we have underlined many times here, and paraphrasing Brazil's Celso Amorim: a coup is a hard thing to leave behind.Any source

Another Cheryl Gillan own goal

I don’t know if the Civil Servant being moved after having words with Cheryl Gillan story in the Western Mail today is true, but the fact the paper has established that the Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan had stayed in the 5 star St David’s Hotel in Cardiff when she visits Wales shows an appalling lack of judgement on her part especially when money for families in Wales is tight and about to get tighter.

The Conservatives favourite phrase 'Were all in this together’ was no more than a good election soundbite, but now the new Welsh Secretary has proved it’s and continued to show what a liability for the party she is as well.

Let’s hope that she finds herself a decent Special Advisor who knows something about PR as well as Wales so she can try and limit the considerable damage she has already done, not only for her sake, but because it’s proving a gift for her opponents and is reinforcing prejudices that were barely hidden towards the Conservative Party in certain sections of Welsh society.Any source

Vendredi 9 Juillet 2010 chaud

Chaleur imposante pour ce Vendredi 9 Juillet 2010 ?

Matin :
Les hautes pressions se lacheraient de la Scandinavie à l'Italie en passant par l'Allemagne tandis qu'une dorsale viendrait lécher la France.
Concrètement, la journée commencerait sous le soleil avec quelques nuages bas côtiers.
De quoi partir en vacances sans soucis apparents !

Les températures minimales oscilleraient entre 10°C à Briançon et 20°C à Nice en passant par 15°C à Nevers, 16°C à Paris et 17°C à La Rochelle.

Après midi :
L'anticyclone ne bougerait pas d'un iota !
Du coup, la chaleur s'installerait assez rapidement avec des pics d'ozone probable vu le faible vent attendu.
Comme de l'humidité persisterait, le risque orageux serait assez fort en montagne, plus localisé en plaine.
Dans ces conditions, les départs à la plage risqueraient d'avoir du succès !

Les températures maximales seraient globalement chaudes pour la saison (à affiner) : elles partiraient de 23°C à Brest pour aller à 27°C à Nantes, 28°C à Orléans et 30°C à Strasbourg.
Au Sud, entre 25°C à Tarbes et 33°C à Nimes en passant par 29°C à Ajaccio et 30°C à Toulouse.
Any source

Productionist move at Defra

Rural development programmes should place more emphasis on competitive agriculture and less on environmental considerations, according to new farm minister Jim Paice:
Rural development

In some respects this may be seen as a return to a MAFF-style productionism at Defra, even if the name of the department has not (yet) changed. However, it is often forgotten that there are three dimensions to sustainability: economic, social and environmental. What the balance should be between these is a matter for debate.

The biggest challenge facing Defra is the budget cuts that are going to hit it given the ring fencing of the NHS and lower than average cuts that are likely in defence and education. If it wasn't for coalition politics, one might wonder why Energy and Climate Change needs to be a separate ministry.Any source

Monday, June 28, 2010

Commemorating the Coup d'Etat of June 2009: Opinions

Marking anniversaries is a basic human impulse. When the event was a positive one, we call this a celebration. When, as in the case of the coup d'Etat in Honduras, the event was violent, destructive, and disruptive, the word we use is "commemorate": to remember together.

So it is that in Honduras today, those in opposition to the coup, to the de facto regime it initiated, and to the administration of Porfirio Lobo Sosa, elected under the shadow of that regime, gathered in public, to share in marking the passage of a year since the legal order was broken in their country.

We would normally be in San Pedro Sula at this time of year, when the celebration of the founding of the city, the Feriana Juniana, takes place. In San Pedro yesterday and today the Artistas en Resistencia continued their practice of using the arts as a weapon of protest, organizing a sleepover Sunday night with cultural activities and fireworks, and promising a concert and screening of the film "Quien Dijo Miedo".

As it happens, El Tiempo, the only newspaper in Honduras that dared to print accurate stories during the coup and de facto regime (and as a result, saw its circulation increase), is published in San Pedro Sula. So it was the first place we went to see how the marking of this anniversary would be covered.

The first notable thing is that the front page includes a whole series of stories on the topic. This even includes reporting on the alternative truth commission sponsored by the Human Rights Platform.

But even more striking is the editorial stance of the paper. Of six signed editorials, four overtly condemn the coup d'Etat. There is only one that openly supports the coup. (*)

The lead (unsigned) editorial is striking: it calls attention to the connection between drug-trafficking and the coup, quoting Hugo Martinez, chancellor of El Salvador, for the punch line: "There are only two sectors that are interested in the governments in the region being weak: drug-traffickers and golpistas".

Luis Alexis Ramos writes of the "Anniversary of a betrayal" (or even, "Anniversary of an act of treason"
promoted by the oligarchic classes of the country, with the collaboration of unscrupulous and ambitious politicians and congress members, clerics and pastors that left the pulpit to meddle in politics, and with the backing of the most backward groups of the decision-makers of the Armed Forces of Honduras...The only positive thing that was obtained through this attack on the Constitution perpetrated by the Honduran oligarchy, is that the people became conscious of their role in defense of democracy, woke up from their stupor of decades; they illuminated their mind with the thoughts of liberty and rebellion in the face of injustices, and that their courage was an armor against all the affronts and the blows that the received defending their right to protest.

In "The Virus of golpismo", Eduardo David Ardon argues that due to the long history of coups in the country
we have not attained the development that the people long for, and we believe that it is only possible when a democratic process is initiated in which popular sovereignty is respected and a system of participation with justice and equity truly takes shape, because if not, if there is not justice for everyone, there will be peace for no one.

Ardon identifies golpismo as a virus in the bloodstream of some politicians because their ancestors carried out previous coups. He traces an intricate web linking many of the authors and supporters of the latest coup to relatives involved in previous disruptions of constitutional government. He continues
The golpistas of yesterday, today, and always, are the same and the people knows them already, so that it fights against them in every circumstance.

The causes of those coups and attacks on the Constitution, also are the same, since at every moment it has been the defense of their economic and political class interests, that do not compromise with the ideas of liberty and progress of the Honduran people.

Efraín Bu Figueroa labels the coup of 2009 an "Historic Rupture",
with which constitutional order was broken in Honduras. A ferocious repression was begun against the people and the independent press was silenced by bayonets. Old death squads were reactivated, that human rights institutions have denounced as dedicated to the selective elimination of the opposition, actions that persist to the present, many of them disguised as crimes by common delinquents.

The coup was fostered by powerful groups, affected in their economic interests by the diverse popular measures taken by the government of citizen power....

The political crisis of 2009 is the eruption of a political-social volcano, whose destructive energeies have been building up for many decades.... When the people began to receive timid responses to their vital needs, the controlling elite saw its special interests menaced, and its hegemonic power in danger....

One year later, Honduras is no longer the same nor will it go back to being so. The coup d'Etat, was a consequence of the distortions and weaknesses of the system, placing in evidence its failure; but at the same time opening the door, in a moment of inflection, to advance without fears, with hope and under new paradigms to a State of justice, and equity, and of confidence under new leadership and renewed ideas.

Finally, Efren D. Falcon writes in "First things First" that the answer to the question "what do Hondurans want?" is complex, beginning with what he identifies as a lack of understanding about the political-economic situation of the country on the part of the small middle class, in which he places himself. His critique of the political-economic elite is harsh:

the political leadership confuses itself and merges with a coarse business class that has not learned how to measure the consequences of its actions. It manipulates with hypocrisy and cynicism poverty and need; it makes a party of an unwanted social conscience-- that is quoted with discretion and without dignity-- but that it keeps in its Prada handbag or Armani wallet when it isn't speaking in public, citing measures of inequality that they themselves sponsor.

To this, he contrasts

the growth of a social movement whose extension has no equal in national history. We call this phenomenon the Resistance: resistance to the coup d'Etat, and against an infinity of irregularities that today are perfectly unmasked. What is moving through the country today is a resistance against the present social and political-economic order, ever stronger winds of change.

These editorial opinions contrast vividly with the failure in much of the English language press to understand that the coup of 2009 was a response by a threatened political-economic elite to the possibility of broader effective participation on the part of the Honduran people, to relatively small steps toward economic equity and participation in governance by that people.

The repeated recognition that there is no going back, and that the resistance movement mobilized by the coup may well be the real lasting legacy of that attempt to hold back change, is and should be the story, one year after what history will look back on as the grossest miscalculation by a group in power thinking they could hold back change by force and will.

*The sixth signed editorial in Tiempo, by Nicaraguan writer Sergio Ramirez, is ambiguous. It presents an argument against people who rely on "one book". If we take this as a call for tolerance of pluralism, mark it in the category of opposed to the coup. Ramirez, a former revolutionary during the anti-Somoza fight in Nicaragua, wrote in negative terms about the coup in Honduras last year, calling the international press to task for not identifying it clearly as a military coup, calling attention to the dangerous political involvement of the military, to cite just two examples.

But he also is engaged in fighting against what he sees as the danger of continuismo in Nicaragua. So the framework for his editorial is not that of the Honduran editorialists, and he makes no mention of the anniversary. Yet it is interesting to read in the context of that anniversary. He asks explicitly whether we should hold against Marx "the socialism of the 21st century". References to 21st century socialism in Honduras usually come from those who see danger in the kinds of participatory democracy promoted under Manuel Zelaya. We would not be surprised if this editorial is read by those people as support for their position, regardless of Ramirez' own intentions.
Any source

Google Docs viewer on Mobile Browsers

(Cross-posted with the Google Docs Blog)

Last week, we announced that the Google Docs viewer supports .doc and .docx attachments. Today we’re also releasing a mobile version of the Google Docs viewer for Android, iPhone and iPad to help you view PDFs, .ppt, .doc and .docx files you’ve uploaded to your documents list, without needing to download the file.

With our mobile viewer you can switch quickly between pages and pan/zoom within a page. On your iPhone and iPad, you can pinch to zoom in or out.

You can try it out by going to on your Android-powered device, iPad or iPhone and select any document in these formats that you've previously uploaded. Let us know what you think in the Mobile Help Forum.

Any source

Finde Vinarosenc 26-27 junio

Blanca inicia el largo, asegurada por Edesio

Finde Vinarosenc

26-27 junio 2010

Champi, Marie-Claude, Sara, Miguel Ángel, Edesio, Najat, Blanca de las nieves y Jorge

Cuando terminó la temporada de esquí de travesía, leí un cariñoso mail de Champi en el que nos decía: "Espero que esto no se quede sólo en una amistad de nieve".
Y ahora sin nieve, seguimos disfrutando de todas otras actividades de verano y volvemos a reunirnos.
Esta vez es Blanca de las nieves la que organiza un magnífico plan de fin de semana multiactividad ofreciéndonos su casa de Vinarós. El plan era flexible y variado, para todos los gustos: Escalar en roca, salidas en bici de montaña, voleybol, piragüismo, playa, mar, paseito, pescaito, cenas, etc...
Resultó triunfal, como a ella le gusta llamarlo. Yo trabajaba el domingo, pero aún así disfruté de la velada del viernes y de todo el sábado, escalando en El Castellet por la mañana y disfrutando de comida, paseo y sunset-voley en Peñíscola.
Qué bien volvernos a ver todos de nuevo! Quiero más!

Sara y Edesio, recogiendo la cuerda

Los pies de gato de Edesio, detalle

Jorge escalando con la cuerda por arriba, así cualquiera, eh??

Blanca, equilibrio de manos y pies

Por la tarde paseo por Peñíscola junto al mar. Se puede escalar en este acantilado??

Blanca, Champi, Sara y Marie-Claude
Najat, Marie-Claude, Edesio, Champi, Miguel Ángel, Blanca, Sara y Jorge, en Peñíscola

Partido de voley el sábado con la puesta de sol

Marie-Claude aprovecha sus centímetros de más para realizar el smash del día
Para ver el resto de las fotos, pinchar aquí

Any source

Disclosure of subsidies may end

Transparency in the CAP may be reduced with a ruling which suggests that EU rules which require member states to publish details of payments to individual farmers may be invalid. An opinion by an ECJ Advocate General is often indicative of the view that the Court itself may take. German farmers had challenged the rules on the grounds that they were an invasion of their privacy.

Advocate General Elinor Sharpston said that the rules were disproportionate and that there were discrepancies in the reasons the European Commission and the European Council had given for needing the legislation. The assumption that farmers consented to disclosure when they applied for subsidies was also open to question on the grounds of whether it was explicit enough.

Reform advocates have used the information to draw attention to the very large sums of money paid under the CAP to big landowners or to food processing companies making use of export subsdies. Farmers' organisations argued that members of the public often confused Single Farm Payments with profits.

How many members of the public have been interested is open to question. The information is not that readily digestible and is not equally available for all member states (in the UK it can be found on the Defra web site). However, when I have looked at information relating to farms in areas I am familiar with (admittedly not a representative sample) I have been surprised by how relatively low the payments have been. They would be higher, however, in areas like East Anglia and Lincolnshire.

Depending on the nature of the final ECJ ruling, the Commission may have to redraft the rules rather than scrap them altogether.Any source

One Year of Resistance: What Could Porfirio Lobo Sosa Do?

As I write this on June 26, one year has passed since the day we left Honduras. We had tickets to return in a couple of weeks to continue our work. We also knew we would be returning later, in August or September, for another event.

The political situation was tense enough that we told the students who were staying to be careful. In particular, despite any interest they might have, we suggested they stay away from the central square in San Pedro Sula on Sunday, when the polling for the cuarta urna initiative would take place. We were concerned there would be violence, given the passion and at times, frenzied irrationality, of those protesting Manuel Zelaya's proposal to test the depth of support for constitutional reform.

But despite conversations about rumors of a coup with Honduran colleagues, we did not believe, truly believe, that Honduras could turn back to that past. So when we were wakened on June 28 by a call from one of our students with the news of President Zelaya's kidnapping and expatriation, the disruptions of media and internet service, and cut-offs of electricity, we struggled to come to terms with this failure of democratic process.

We are still struggling to understand it, and the events that followed under the de facto regime, and continue under the administration of Porfirio Lobo Sosa. We have, with many others, found the actions of the United States disappointing, and determinative in breathing new life into the de facto regime at points when it seemed that a restoration of the elected government might be possible. Instead, Roberto Micheletti held on to his delusional "presidency", destroying any chance for elections to be held that would allow for participation by dissenting politicians and that might have honestly acknowledged the level of nonparticipation and open repudiation of elections held after such a breach of public order.

One of the things we struggle with constantly is the question, what could a real leader in Honduras do at this point to begin a process that might allow the country to come to terms with these events sooner rather than later? We have, like others, been horrified at the cynicism of the US position that ticks off a list of gestures in order to claim that the coup is behind us. We think there is ample evidence that the gestures Porfirio Lobo Sosa is performing satisfy no one except the US, and have further weakened Honduran government and civil society.

So we debate, constantly, the question: what might Lobo Sosa do now that could genuinely make a difference? Is Honduras doomed to spend an entire presidential administration in this state of suspended animation? In commemoration of one year of Honduran resistance to this coup and its aftermath, we offer the following list of actions that a Honduran president who truly wanted to start a process of national dialogue would have to take:

(1) Declare officially that the coup d'etat was an unconstitutional disruption of the rule of law. We know from his candid statements to Spanish media that Lobo Sosa admits that a golpe took place. But Lobo Sosa not only was incapable of leading the members of his own party to repudiate the coup after the November elections, he assented to the Congressional resolution reaffirming the illegitimate actions of June 28, 2010. As long as the official line in Honduras is that what happened was legal, there is no possibility of coming to terms with what happened.

(2) Recognize the existence of the FNRP as a legitimate voice of opposition, respect the insistence of the FNRP on determining its own structure and leadership, and acknowledge its communications as legitimate political statements of an autonomous public opinion that cannot be dismissed as "radical". This one is complicated. Honduran politicians want to neutralize the FNRP by drawing attention to its internal debates (as if such differences in opinion are absent in other political groups), by characterizing it as radical, and if those attempts do not work, by suggesting it is simply a typical political movement that will be converted into a conventional party. It will be a challenge for Lobo Sosa to craft a statement that accepts the legitimacy of the Frente without also attempting to redefine it or minimize its importance. But it is critical that he acknowledge that the conventional political parties whose presidential candidates he drafted into his cabinet do not represent the opposition to the coup, and thus, that his government is not one of "reconciliation and unity".

(3) Fund Sandra Ponce, the Fiscalia de Derechos Humanos (who has the investigative and prosecutorial authority for responding to complaints of human rights abuses) and direct her to immediately investigate the human rights abuses documented by the IAHRC. State clearly and in public that he accepts the IAHRC's findings and acknowledge that abuses continue today.

(4) While we doubt Lobo Sosa has the political power to do it (and we question whether he has the support to accomplish even the first three items we list) if he could, he should remove from executive branch offices those proponents of the coup d'etat appointed by Micheletti who are still to be found throughout the Honduran government.

(5) Acknowledge formally that he cannot guarantee Manuel Zelaya Rosales that if he returned to Honduras, which is his legal right, he would be free of politically-motivated prosecution. By insisting that Zelaya can return anytime, without admitting that the judicial branch, full of adherents of the de facto regime and complicit in the coup d'etat, is primed to pursue prosecution of a frivolous list of charges, Lobo Sosa is being disingenuous. Hondurans were encouraged in the months leading to the coup to be afraid of political differences, and were inspired to call for adherence to narrow orthodoxies of thought, belief, and action. Zelaya is one of the most powerful symbols of the purging of political diversity, and if Lobo Sosa would acknowledge that the country cannot tolerate his presence, he would be acknowledging that the country is not capable of healthy political debate.

(6) Finally, we would hope that Lobo Sosa could find the courage to reject the utility of the artificial performance of the steps outlined for Micheletti in the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord. He needs to be the one to admit that having politicians from other parties in his cabinet is not "a government of unity and reconciliation". He should be the one to say that Honduras is not ready for a "Truth Commission" constructed simply to give cover to a few powerful international allies that want to stop having to deal with Honduras. He could do more good by saying clearly what everyone in Honduras knows: the truth of what happened on June 28, 2009 is well established. There is nothing about the events that is unclear. It is how people in support of the coup justify those events, in contrast to how the opposition understands them, that is separating Hondurans. And those are not matters of truth: they are matters of interpretation. If Honduras needs to move on, what it needs to move on from is precisely the terms of the Accord, which never worked, never really stemmed from Honduran intentions, and stands in the way of the country beginning to confront the fissures that broke open one year ago today.Any source

Pets, Naturally

Nothing's too good for my pooches! My pets are my kids. With all the dog-food recalls it's scary to think of what could happen to your pets. But there's a lot we can do to keep our pets in great shape and protected from all the chemicals.

Using a chemical-free cleaner for your pets is one thing you can do to lessen their toxic load. Did you know that our shower gel can actually be used on pets? It's actually a great cleaner for fur. In fact, when my little white cat Hannah decided to play around in the fireplace (bad kitty) the shower gel got all the soot out. She was mad about the whole bath thing, but I was happy to see my clean white kitty again.

Choosing a natural food is a good idea too. Here are my suggestions for some natural foods:

A great dog food. You can find it at Whole Foods and other natural food stores. No gluten, no by-products or fillers. High in omega-3 and 6 fatty acids for a shiny coat, plus lots of vegetables and protien. Probably the highest quality dog food that I've found. My dogs especially love the wet food. The downside? The hefty price tag. Ususally $2.50 plus for a can of wet food, and $25 for a 15 lb bag. Same thing goes for the cat food. Higher price tag, but quality ingredients. My cat's don't seem to take to it as well as some other brands, though.

Pet Promise
You can most likely find this brand at your regular grocery store. It's reasonably priced (just a little bit more than Iams) and contains no by-products, wheat gluten, (it does contain corn gluten), rendered meats, or antibiotic-fed meats. Its my cats' favorite food and the dogs take to it well too. I just learned that it's owned by Purina, so now I'm a little sketchy on it.

Newman's Own
This is a good food--a lot of organic ingredients and meat is the first ingredient. It's a little pricier (in-between the Pet Promise and the Wellness) but for some reason my dogs don't like it. They'll eat the wet food, (around $3 a can) but they won't touch the dry food.

Brandon Farms
This is the best value that I've found. The certified organic canned food is half the price of the other premium brands, and the dog food is the most affordable of the brands out there. It too is certified organic. It's not my cats' favorite, but they'll eat it. And the dogs eat theirs up just fine. It's somewhat hard to find, but I can get it at my local Smith's Marketplace a lot of the times. Smith's is owned by Kroger, so most likely you'll be able to find it in your area. (Kroger owns Smith's, Fry's, Fred Meyer, Owen's and a bunch of other chains.)

For more information about the brand you're using, and if it has been affected by any recall, visit The Pet Food List.

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Calls for a ‘Training Wage’ to replace unpaid internships

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has called for a ‘Training Wage’ of a minimum of £2.50 per hour for graduates to replace unpaid internships after research carried out by the CIPD found that nearly 40% of Internships are unpaid and are therefore only open to those graduates who could afford to work for free and who lived close to the businesses and organisations offering the opportunities.

The proposed training wage of £2.50 an hour – which is the current minimum rate of pay for apprentices – would be introduced under the plans, to cover all interns and apprentices regardless of their occupation or industry sector. Any position that is advertised as an internship would automatically trigger a legal obligation on the part of the employer to pay at least the training wage throughout the entire duration of the internship, helping to reduce complexity surrounding the issue of payment for young people and also support better enforcement arrangements.

From HR magazine ‘Tom Richmond, skills adviser at the CIPD, says: "The continued existence of a major loophole in the national minimum wage legislation has created a lot of confusion and concern around the issue of whether interns should be paid or not. We believe that the introduction of this Training Wage would reflect the contribution that interns make to their organisations, which is likely to be less than that of a fully-trained member of staff, at the same time as avoiding concerns over reductions in the number of internship opportunities that may result from all interns being paid the full minimum wage.

"Alongside the introduction of the Training Wage, a number of related issues would also need to be discussed, including which working rights interns should be entitled to. Nevertheless, the creation of the Training Wage would represent a significant step towards ensuring that internships promote social mobility, provide young people with valuable experience and help tackle exploitation in the workplace. What’s more, organisations would still be able to recruit young talent at a reasonable rate during this difficult economic period and beyond."

At a time when graduates are being hit hard by the sluggish economy and taking jobs they are overqualified for and limiting the opportunities for others who are unemployed, giving graduates experience in their field of expertise and receiving at least some remuneration for doing so seems like a good idea to me.Any source

Site Clinic: secondo appuntamento

Eccoci arrivati al secondo appuntamento con la Site Clinic dedicata ai proprietari di siti e ai webmaster italiani.

Potrete trovare sul Forum di assistenza per Webmaster il secondo sito analizatto nell’abito dell’iniziativa. Anche questa volta ci siamo focalizzati solo su alcuni degli aspetti che riguardano una buona ottimizzazione della struttura e dei contenuti di un sito e non su un’analisi completa che tenesse conto di tutti gli aspetti migliorabili.

Siamo convinti che tutti potranno trovare validi spunti per mettere in pratica varie migliorie nel proprio sito!

Qui trovate i due appuntamenti:

Inoltre vogliamo ringraziare tutti coloro che dopo il primo appuntamento ci hanno offerto i loro commenti e suggerimenti. Vi invitiamo quindi tutti a visitare l’analisi del sito sul Forum di Assistenza Webmaster.

Stay tuned per il prossimo appuntamento!

Any source

Primeres nits tropicals.

Avui hem tingut les primeres nits tropicals generalitzades en molts punts, recordeu que es considera nit tropical quan la temperatura mínima no baixa més enllà dels 20ºC.

Observant el mapa següent sobre les temperatures mínimes, podem observar com a la costa central y àrees properes les temperatures mínimes han estat per sobre dels 20ºC, en alguns punts, fins i tot, per sobre dels 21ºC. Avui, a més d’un, ja li haurà costat dormir.

Per altre banda, avui sembla que serà el dia on les tempestes poden ser més virulentes i fortes a punts de la meitat nord de Catalunya,amb algunes calamarsades incloses. Veurem com evoluciona el dia per la zona del Pirineu i altres punts de muntanya, fins i tot, es poden arribar a zones del prelitoral. A la costa, podrem veure bones encluses mirant cap a l’interior i al vespre, arribarien algunes desfetes de les nuvolades tempestuoses de l’interior.

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