The Week Ahead: FOMC Meeting to Announce Rate Hike?

first_img David Wharton, Managing Editor at the Five Star Institute, is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, where he received his B.A. in English and minored in Journalism. Wharton has over 16 years’ experience in journalism and previously worked at Thomson Reuters, a multinational mass media and information firm, as Associate Content Editor, focusing on producing media content related to tax and accounting principles and government rules and regulations for accounting professionals. Wharton has an extensive and diversified portfolio of freelance material, with published contributions in both online and print media publications. Wharton and his family currently reside in Arlington, Texas. He can be reached at [email protected] Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News  Print This Post Home / Daily Dose / The Week Ahead: FOMC Meeting to Announce Rate Hike? Previous: Real Estate Crowdfunding Earns $10 Million in First Week Next: How Do Non-prime Loans Help Underserved Borrowers? Share Save Tagged with: Federal Reserve FOMC Interest rates the week ahead About Author: David Wharton Sign up for DS News Daily Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days agocenter_img Related Articles Federal Reserve FOMC Interest rates the week ahead 2018-06-10 David Wharton Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Week Ahead: FOMC Meeting to Announce Rate Hike? Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago June 10, 2018 2,549 Views The Federal Open Market Committee will meet again this week, with the group’s Forecasts scheduled for release on Wednesday, June 6, at 2 p.m. ET, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s press conference scheduled thereafter at 2:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday. While the FOMC could always surprise us, many industry experts expect the Fed to announce another short-term interest rate hike.The May meeting of the FOMC left interest rates unchanged, after having increased them previously in March.“In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 percent,” the Fed said in a statement after the meeting. “The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting strong labor market conditions and a sustained return to 2 percent inflation.”The Central Bank had stated that it was targeting an inflation rate of 2 percent at the beginning of the year, and after the meeting, it said: “On a 12-month basis, both overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy have moved close to 2 percent.”The FOMC forecast report covers GDP, the PCE price index, the unemployment rate, and forecasts of the next change in the Fed funds rate and the expected rate at the end of the next two years. The FOMC forecasts are compiled based on individual outlooks from each Fed governor and District president.Here’s what else is happening in The Week Ahead.CoreLogic Loan Performance Insights Report, TuesdayFannie Mae Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey, Tuesday, 7 a.m. ESTConsumer Price Index, Tuesday, 8:30 a.m. ESTMBA Mortgage Apps, Wednesday, 7 a.m. ESTConsumer Sentiment Index, Friday, 10 a.m. EST The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Subscribelast_img read more

New Vermont rental housing Web site and Washington County lead law settlements announced

first_imgLandlords, tenants and municipalities now have a place to find Vermont’s law on the legal health and safety requirements of rental housing: www.rentalcodes.org(link is external). The website features checklists of the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, including links to relevant codes and contacts. The website was developed by the Attorney General’s Office working in conjunction with the Vermont Housing Finance Agency and other state agencies and stakeholders as a part of a safe rental housing study committee.‘We know from enforcing Vermont’s lead laws that landlords often have difficulty locating the various laws they need to comply with,’ said Attorney General William H. Sorrell. ‘While ignorance of the law is no excuse, we understood the difficulty and worked on www.rentalcodes.org(link is external) to make it easier to know the law. We hope the website will help everyone involved in rental housing in Vermont understand exactly what is required of them, as well as what rights they have in the rental process.’The website provides a central location for rental housing rules, regulations, and guidelines, with viewers able to access information based on who they are or an area of interest.For more information on the new website, go to www.rentalcodes.org(link is external) and click on the links for “About Us” and “About This Site.”Attorney General Sorrell also announced today that his office has settled claims against a pair of central Vermont landlords for violations of the state’s lead law. Landlords Mary Fernandez of Northfield and Jane Osgatharp of Montpelier have each entered into settlements with the Attorney General with the combined civil penalties and lead hazard reduction work totaling $16,500. Actions were brought against both landlords for failure to bring rented properties into compliance with Vermont’s lead in housing law, which requires Essential Maintenance Practices (“EMPs”) to be performed every year on all rental properties built before 1978.”Lead poisoning is a serious issue in Vermont, and we take compliance with the lead law just as seriously,” said Attorney General Sorrell. “While we try to work with landlords as much as possible, we have a duty to protect tenants from unnecessary exposure to lead paint, especially children.”In addition to completing the required EMPs, both landlords have agreed to perform substantial lead hazard reduction work to further decrease the likelihood of lead exposure for their tenants. Fernandez will put $5,000 into improvements on five Northfield properties and Osgatharp will put $7,000 into improvements on five properties in Montpelier and Waterbury.Prior to legal action, both landlords were sent letters of notification regarding the violations and requesting that all rental properties be brought into compliance within 90 days. The letters are part of an ongoing campaign by the Attorney General’s Office to target lead paint violations in rental housing across the state. For more information on Vermont’s lead law, or for copies of the court documents in these and other lead enforcement actions, see the Attorney General’s website at http://www.atg.state.vt.us(link is external) and click on the “Lead in Housing” link. Attorney General August 23, 2011last_img read more

CO-OP accepts membership invitation to Clinton Global Initiative

first_img 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr CO-OP Financial Services has accepted an invitation to become a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, founded by President Bill Clinton to gather international leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.“CO-OP came to the attention of CGI earlier this year when the organization served as an advisor to the CO-OP THINK Prize 15,” said Samantha Paxson, Chief Marketing Officer for CO-OP. “Our ‘challenge’ encouraged people from all walks of life to develop ideas that called on the power of community to financially empower those who need it most.“It was clear that the goals of CGI align well with the core credit union value of people helping people,” said Paxson. “We are delighted to bring a credit union voice to the spirit of collaboration that is at the heart of CGI, as well as demonstrate to global leaders in the fields of business, philanthropy and government what credit unions can do to effect change for the better.”CO-OP’s inaugural contribution to the organization took place in June by joining more than 1,000 leaders in Denver, Colorado, for the 2015 CGI America conference. The gathering focused on developing solutions for economic growth, long-term competitiveness and social mobility in the United States. CO-OP participated in the Financial Opportunity working group, which was one of 10 topic-specific working groups that met multiple times throughout the meeting. continue reading »last_img read more

1400 Genes Essential to Grow a Fish

first_imgA team from MIT scanned the genome of the zebrafish and concluded there are about 1400 genes essential for embryonic and early larval development.  They did hands-on mutation experiments with 315 of these and found that mutations usually produced visible defects within 5 days that were invariably lethal.  Estimating that they had experimented on about 25% of all essential genes, they say, “Our data suggest that there are roughly 1,400 embryonic-essential genes in the fish.”  Comparing these genes with yeast, algae, mouse, human and worm genomes, they found many homologs that indicate these genes are all highly conserved, even though some of them build different structures.  They feel, therefore, that the results help narrow down the class of essential genes required for embryological development of all organisms.  Moreover, they feel these genes constitute an evolutionarily-conserved class in all living things, from yeast to humans:The fact that there is such a small number of embryonic-essential genes and that they include genes that comprise coherent genetic pathways of development suggests that the genetically essential genes have a unique status in biological processes.  Consistent with this possibility, we found that the yeast or worm orthologues of genes that are essential in fish have a high probability of also being essential in these species.  Thus genes that can be detected in genetic screens, and in particular those that are essential for early viability, seem to have retained this special status through evolution.  The implications of this observation are not known, but we suggest that these genes may be all or most of the genes that are absolutely required for many biological processes whereas most other genes may serve to assist these critical genes in making biological processes more robust.  Evolution may have required that the number of genetically essential genes be small and that they remain the same genes.1Amsterdam et al., “Identification of 315 genes essential for early zebrafish development,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0403929101, online preprint July 15, 2004.How on earth can these researchers consider 1400 essential genes a small number?  How can they still believe evolution produced these genes, when mutations in any one of them cause death?  A dead fish larva cannot evolve, because it cannot reproduce.  1400 genes!  Think of it.  Just getting one of them by chance is astronomically improbable, to say nothing of getting the second or third to match the first (see online book, p. 110).  Forget it; it will never happen in this or any other universe.    By attributing the “special status” of these genes to Evolution, and by claiming that the personified tinkering goddess named Evolution “may have required that the number of genetically essential genes be small,” they are easy winners of Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Mining’s contribution to South Africa’s global competitiveness

first_imgAt the 2015 Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town from 9 to 12 February, the Department of Trade and Industry will emphasise the government’s strategic focus on industrialisation and improving connections between mining and the rest of the economy, writes DTI Minister Rob Davies. Kruger rands, minted for almost half a century, are one example of the value the beneficiation of raw materials can add to South Africa’s extraordinary metals and minerals resources. (Image: Brand South Africa) Department of Trade and Industry Minister Rob DaviesThe Investing in African Mining Indaba is an annual gathering bringing more than 7 000 leaders in the global mining industry under one roof at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, with this year’s event taking place from 9 to 12 February. The indaba includes an exhibition, conferences, meetings and onsite and offsite events, during which the industry, investors and governments discuss strategic investments.This year South Africa has created a prestigious national pavilion co-hosted by the Departments of Trade and Industry, Mineral Resources and Science and Technology. The pavilion will also allow 20 private companies and state-owned enterprises to showcase cutting-edge products to potential investors and project promoters. The keynote address by the mineral resources minister, always a major highlight, will take place on Tuesday 10 February. On the same day South Africa will host a mining investment conference with the three ministers as panellists, where policy and regulatory challenges and opportunities will be discussed.At the event, the DTI will emphasise the government’s strategic focus on industrialisation and improving connections between mining and the rest of the economy. South Africa aims to extend value-chain activities within the country, increase local content in the supply of capital goods and services, improve access and inputs for mineral-based products to the rest of the economy and promote the transformation of the sector. We aim to ensure that more value is added to domestic mineral products ahead of export, so as to extract greater economic value and employment from the country’s mineral resources, estimated to be worth $2.5-trillion.In the Engineering and Metals Journal Annual Survey of Global Metal-Mining Investment 2014, South Africa featured in the top-10 planned international mining projects, coming in at eighth position. These are projects where detailed investment quantum, commodity type and stage of investment pipeline, among other factors, have been concluded. The output of South Africa’s capital goods industry has expanded consistently in real terms since 1994. Rising exports since 1983 point to the industry’s global competitiveness. However, its import penetration ratio has also been rising steeply, reaching 56% in 2012.In September 2014 the DTI a study to assess the viability of and mechanism for a Resources Capital Goods Development Programme for plant, machinery and after-market in mining, to stimulate local content and exports of this equipment. The study will examine the sector support interventions required, identify action plans and a proposed mechanism which, if implemented, will unlock and deepen local capital goods manufacturing industries in South Africa.It is against this background that the DTI is giving exposure to South African companies actively involved in supplying products and services to both the local minerals value chain and export markets. Products and services on show at Mining Indaba include corrosion protection liners, valves, steel tubes, pipes, enamelled covered conductors, trackless underground mining equipment, liquid storage solutions, centrifugal separators, surveillance systems, mining sensor systems and hearing protection devices.Despite a declining contribution to GDP and employment, South Africa’s minerals value chain remains a pillar of the economy and a major global player, accounting for a significant proportion of world production and reserves. The sector contributes 8.6% – some R263-billion – to GDP, creating over 500 000 direct jobs and an additional 500 000 indirect jobs. It accounts for 50% of forex, 12% of investment and 13.2% of corporate tax receipts. South Africa is a major supplier of coal, platinum group metals, gold, diamonds, chrome, iron ore, vanadium and manganese.Although South Africa has exceptional mineral resources, further downstream and upstream beneficiation has not fully reached its full economic potential, mainly due to structural conditions within key value chains. The DTI is at the forefront of driving the country’s industrialisation agenda, in which beneficiation is key.So too is promoting investment in the sector using policy levers and incentives, encouraging local content throughout the minerals value chain, availing industrial financing, reducing export cargo dues on beneficiated cargo, export credit insurance, and stimulating market opportunities, especially exports into the rest of the continent and South America. South Africa will also explore support measures to increase the local value-add of inputs into the minerals value chain.Economic forecasts reveal that the global economy is likely to continue expanding at a moderate pace in 2015, pushing demand for minerals slightly higher. Even though China and parts of Europe are still on a slow the economic growth, the US is on a rebound and Japan’s economic recovery is still on track. According to Deloitte, the mining sector appears to be coming back into favour with investors, with sector valuations, mining capitalisations and total returns showing signs of recovery.During Mining Indaba, the DTI will also host delegations from a number of countries, including the UK, Turkey, Canada, China, India, Iran and Japan.For more than 20 years Mining Indaba has been an important event in Cape Town, bringing over R500-million in direct revenue to the city over the last eight years, creating 4 500 direct and indirect jobs and selling 20 000 hotel nights.Follow Mining Indaba on Twitter via the hashtag #MiningIndabalast_img read more

Report Local, Non-Emergency Issues Via Facebook With SeeClickFix

first_imgThe Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos To encourage that, the Facebook app features game mechanics that will help encourage activity and interaction. The app will award Civic Points for completing certain tasks, and eventually neighbors will be ranked based on their standing.SeeClickFix says that over 40% of the reports that have been submitted via the mobile apps and websites have been marked as resolved. It seems likely that expanding the reach to Facebook will help add more visibility, and hopefully, more accountability. Tags:#Facebook#NYT#web SeeClickFix allows community members to report and track on non-emergency issues they see, notifying local municipalities when there’s a problem that needs to be fixed. SeeClickFix helps bring attention to the sorts of issues that local governments might not otherwise know about or pay attention to: potholes, graffiti, illegal dumping, and the like. By having a mechanism to flag these issues, SeeClickFix serves to empower citizens to track what’s going on in their neighborhood and provides a more efficient means by which governments can identify these issues.The company was founded in 2009 and already has over 200,000 users reporting problems via its mobile apps and website. Now the company has added a Facebook application, giving users yet another way to report issues.The Facebook app will tie directly to SeeClickFix’s reporting platform, giving users access to the site’s 140,000 registered public officials. “Facebook has proven to be a powerful platform for encouraging people to plant virtual trees and improve virtual neighborhoods,” says SeeClickFix CEO Ben Berkowitz, who argues that SeeClickFix will help bring some of that virtual care taking so popular via Facebook games like Farmville out into the real world. audrey watters Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Related Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

Solar Owners Are Givers, Not Takers

first_imgThe report, Shining Rewards: The Value of Rooftop Solar Power for Consumers and Society, examines recent analyses of net-metering programs conducted by utilities, public utility commissions, and independent groups to assess the value of solar power.As the chart at the top of this page details, of the 11 net-metering studies reviewed, eight found that the value of solar energy was higher than the average local residential retail electricity rate; the three that didn’t were conducted by utilities.The median value of solar power across all of the studies was nearly 17 cents per kWh, compared to the nation’s average retail electricity rate of about 12 cents.In other words, despite utility claims that solar costs too much, and that solar users are benefiting at the expense of other customers, the opposite is more likely true. Solar panel owners are givers, not takers. With the solstice behind us, summer has officially begun. Across the country, that means the sun is shining and the mercury is climbing, and our air conditioners and the electricity grids they rely upon are stretched to their limits.In response, we’ve seen utilities urge customers to turn up their thermostats a notch or two to ease their burden. They’ve recommended the use of fans, energy-efficient bulbs, and double-paned windows — all good measures to reduce energy use.What we haven’t seen is much action by the utilities to encourage people to go solar. In fact, in state after state, by proposing to increase fees for owners of photovoltaic (PV) systems or to lower their reimbursement rates, utilities are doing the opposite.That’s a shame, because a new Environment America Research & Policy Center report shows that when people put PV panels on their rooftops and in their neighborhoods through programs like net-metering, they reduce the strain on our electric grid, lower prices for all electric customers, and cut pollution to boot.Net-metering programs credit solar panel owners at a fixed rate — often the retail price of electricity — for providing excess power to the grid, similar to rollover minutes on a cell phone plan. These programs are the law of the land in 44 states, and have helped solar energy skyrocket across the country; last year, every two and half minutes, another U.S. home or business went solar. Rob Sargent is the energy program director for Environment America and oversees policy and strategy development for energy and global warming campaigns. This blog was originally published at Huffington Post. Even utility studies see benefitsEvery single one of the studies — even those conducted by the utilities — found that solar customers offer net benefits to the electric system, as the second chart shows (see Image #2, below).Solar panels connected to the grid help bring down ongoing energy costs. They reduce the amount of electricity utilities must generate or purchase from fossil fuel-fired power plants. And they reduce the amount of energy lost in generation, long-distance transmission and distribution, losses that tend to cost ratepayers.Solar also brings down new capital investment costs. By reducing overall demand, solar energy production helps ratepayers and utilities avoid investing in new power plants, transmission lines and other forms of electricity infrastructure.What’s more, solar power boosts the local economy, producing local jobs that can’t be outsourced. And as everyone knows, solar helps cut our dependence on dirty sources of energy and the global warming and air pollution that comes with it.This study has real implications right now for debates raging across the country over net metering and other rooftop solar programs. Nevada, for example, is considering a new fee for solar panel owners who sell excess power. Arizona Public Service is proposing to lower the reimbursement rates for solar power. The Wisconsin Public Utility Board has approved a similar plan to lower payments to solar customers, which advocates are appealing.As these battles unfold across the country, decision makers should take into account the report’s findings, which reinforce what advocates have long argued: solar power has far more rewards than costs. Instead of penalizing its use, we should be encouraging it, right alongside programmable thermostats and double-paned windows. RELATED ARTICLES Solar Power Can Cut Consumers’ Bills and Still be Good for UtilitiesMaine Completes Value of Solar StudyColorado Electric Co-op Weighs New Solar ChargesIn Maine, A Battle Royal Over Energy PolicyWisconsin Alters Net-Metering RulesNet-Metering Is Preserved in KansasMajor Utility Wants Lower Net-Metering Rateslast_img read more