Daily Archives: March 12, 2012

NASA Memory Lane (7)

On Mar 6, 1969.

Gumdrop Meets Spider
NASA – This image, taken on March 6, 1969, shows the Apollo 9 Command and Service Modules docked with the Lunar Module. Apollo 9 astronaut Dave Scott stands in the open hatch of the Command Module, nicknamed “Gumdrop,” docked to the Lunar Module “Spider” in Earth orbit. His crewmate Rusty Schweickart, lunar module pilot, took this photograph from the porch of the lunar module. Inside the lunar module was Apollo 9 commander Jim McDivitt. The crew tested the orbital rendezvous and docking procedures that made the lunar landings possible.


The Global Future of Europe’s Crisis

English: Long-term interest rate statistics fo...

English: Long-term interest rate statistics for EU Member States. (percentages per annum; period averages; secondary market yields of government bonds with maturities of close to ten years) – Source: http://www.ecb.int/stats/money/long/html/index.en.html
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Kemal Derviş – It is now clear that the eurozone crisis will continue well into 2012. The ECB’s generous provision of liquidity to European banks at only 1% interest for up to three years has prevented a banking crisis from piling on top of the sovereign-debt crisis. But that initiative has not succeeded in reducing the “problem” countries’ longer-term borrowing costs to levels compatible with their projected growth rates.

Beyond the specific problems of the monetary union, there is also a global dimension to Europe’s challenges – the tension, emphasized by authors such as Dani Rodrik, and Jean Michel Severino and Olivier Ray, between national democratic politics and globalization. Trade, communication, and financial linkages have created a degree of interdependence among national economies, which, together with heightened vulnerability to financial-market swings, has restricted national policymakers’ freedom of action everywhere.

Around the world, the stock of financial assets has become so large, relative to national income flows, that financial-market movements can overwhelm most countries. Even the largest economies are vulnerable, particularly if they are highly dependent on debt finance. more> http://is.gd/cHymfk

The battle over money funds

Understanding Financial Leverage

Image @Wikipedia

By Thomas Cooley and Kim Schoenholtz – The run on U.S. MMMFs in September 2008 was a critical moment in the financial crisis. It underscored the extent to which these funds, an important part of the shadow banking system, created systemic risk that indirectly threatened the financing of even the healthiest U.S. firms. To end the run, the U.S. Government guaranteed MMMF liabilities, sustaining the funds’ promise to pay $1 for every share.

That guarantee stopped the run, but it also created enormous moral hazard. Were a similar threat to arise today, we can safely assume that taxpayers would remain on the hook to rescue the MMMFs. This uncompensated, rainy-day backstop constitutes a subsidy to the MMMF industry — and to its investors and borrowers.

Should taxpayers continue to subsidize the money market mutual fund (MMMF) industry? more> http://is.gd/ikNAVE

Money or Die

By Laurie Garrett – Global health programs now teeter on the edge of disaster. The world economic crisis and the politics of debt reduction are threatening everything from malaria control and AIDS treatment to well-baby programs and health-care worker training efforts.

Prior to 2000, the links between global health programs in poor and middle-income countries and changing foreign policy priorities in wealthy nations were weak, largely because the programs themselves were just not that large.

With the surge in public support for global health came increased attention from private individuals, corporations, and foundations, leading some to call the decade “the age of generosity.” By 2008, global health enjoyed an estimated $16 billion pot of public-funding gold.

But then the global financial crisis hit. Countries, organizations, and individuals all felt the squeeze. Many severely reduced their giving. As Europe‘s economic situation has worsened, the region has reduced its overseas commitment-to-disbursements ratio for everything from famine relief to HIV treatment programs, undermining the credibility of both G-8 and G-20 pronouncements. more> http://is.gd/D5mjqs

THOMAS Top Ten – compiled on Mar 04 2012

Congress watchLibrary of Congress –

  1. H.R. 347 [112th]
    Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011
  2. H.R. 3261 [112th]
    Stop Online Piracy Act
  3. H.R. 3630 [112th]
    Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012
  4. S. 1813 [112th]
  5. H.R. 4646 [111th]
    Debt Free America Act
  6. H.R. 3012 [112th]
    Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act
  7. S. 1467 [112th]
    Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011
  8. H.R. 1837 [112th]
    Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act
  9. S. 1867 [112th]
    National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012
  10. S.Amdt. 1520 [112th]
    To amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to protect rights of conscience with regard to requirements for coverage of specific items and services