Summer holiday is around the corner! But mums and dads planning a great vacation with the kids and family might still be in two minds about where to go.Hong Kong Airlines has the best solution! By simply joining Hong Kong Airlines “Sweeten Family Up” Getaways to Australia campaign, travellers will have a chance to win free round-trip Business Class air tickets to Gold Coast*, enjoying the holiday in zoos and famous theme parks in Australia.From today to 6 July, Hong Kong Airlines is launching “Sweeten Family Up” Getaways to Australia online promotion, giving away free round-trip Business Class air tickets to Gold Coast*, which is worth more than HKD$500,000!To win the grand prize, simply visit the campaign site, upload photos of your family to the picture templates featuring different signature activities of Australia, then design a creative slogan to submit your unique entry. Results will be announced by 13 July on Hong Kong Airlines’ official Facebook page.Apart from online promotion, Hong Kong Airlines will host game booth at the Olympian City from 25 to 26 June. Visitors can register the online promotion on site, and play game in the booth featuring tourist attractions at Queensland and Hong Kong Airlines’ “Sweeten You Up” services to win attractive prizes.Besides flying with Hong Kong Airlines Business Class to enjoy sunshine and beautiful beaches at Australia, we have more surprises for you! Hong Kong Airlines listens to its passengers and understand their hassle when travelling with kids.To sweeten up your inflight journey, kids (7-12 years old) travelling with Hong Kong Airlines for the first time can receive a travel journal where they can enjoy various games, fill in information about their flight, and collect photos taken with cabin crew. If you are flying on your birthday or special events, please contact Hong Kong Airlines in advance for a “Sweeten You Up” celebration in the air.Hong Kong Airlines commenced twice-weekly direct service to Australia on 8 January 2016. The new triangular service operating from Hong Kong to the Gold Coast, and continuing to Cairns enroute back to Hong Kong on every Tuesday and Saturday.The Gold Coast route is operated by A330-300 wide-body aircraft, with its business class cabin featuring 32 seats. Each seat can turn into a flatbed when fully reclines to 180 degree horizontally and measures an overall length of 6 feet 1 inch. As a full-service airline, passengers can enjoy the convenience of traveling with up to 30KG of checked baggage on free-of-charge basis.*Terms and conditions apply Enter to win hereSource = Hong Kong Airlines
Discover L.A. welcomes Aussie plane in #EveryoneIsWelcome StuntAustralians travelling on Virgin Australia flight VA23 to Los Angeles were given a unique warm welcome over the weekend with Discover Los Angeles showing the world that #EveryoneIsWelcome in the City of Angels.Over 1,000 Angelenos came together to address the anti-welcome sentiment that is coming out of the USA, creating one of the world’s largest, human-powered “welcome” signs, sharing a warm message of love, support and inclusivity.Synchronised volunteers, including L.A. based Australian actress Tammin Sursok (Pretty Little Liars) and TV personality, Jason Dundas, spelt out “welcome” in four languages: English, Spanish, Chinese and Arabic in a spectacular, stadium-style show. Source = Discover L.A.
SITA’s robotic kiosks to the rescue in busy check-in areasSITA Lab, which explores the future of technology in air travel, has unveiled KATE, an intelligent check-in kiosk that will autonomously move to busy or congested areas in the airport as needed, promising to relegate check-in queues to the past.Using various data sources – including flight and passenger flow information – KATE can identify where additional check-in kiosks are required to reduce passenger queue times at check-in. KATE uses existing SITA data systems such as Day of Operations Business Intelligence and FlightInfo API.Multiple robotic kiosks can be automatically or manually deployed simultaneously and in formation to assist passengers, providing airports and airlines greater flexibility in managing peaks in passenger flow. The kiosks can also communicate through a Cloud service to ensure that the right number of kiosks are at the right position when needed, making them highly responsive to changes in the airport. A design patent application for the kiosks is currently underway.Renaud Irminger, Director of SITA Lab, said: “The peak and troughs in the flow of passengers presents a challenge to many airlines and airports and we have been approached by many customers requesting a solution. They want kiosks which can be easily deployed when and where they are needed. Building on SITA’s successful AirportConnect® Open platform, and our previous work with robotics, KATEleverages new technologies to provide operators much more flexibility and efficiency in the way they will use their kiosks in future.”SITA’s cutting-edge robotic kiosk makes use of geo-location technology to find its way through the airport. KATE will use Wi-Fi to connect to vital airline and airport systems, dispensing with the need for cabling or other fixed attachments. This allows the kiosk to move around freely across the airport terminal, using obstacle avoidance technology to avoid bumping into people or things.KATE and her fellow robotic kiosks will automatically return to their docking stations when they are low on power or need to be resupplied with boarding passes or bag tags.One of the key benefits of SITA’s autonomous kiosk is that it can be deployed anywhere inside the airport as well as other offsite locations such as train stations. This is particularly relevant during periods of disruption – such as weather delays or flight cancellations – where additional kiosks can be moved from landside to airside to check-in large numbers of rebooked passengers. KATE provides passengers access to her easy-to-use interface to check-in and print bag tags.KATE follows in the footsteps of LEO, SITA’s fully autonomous, self-propelling baggage robot launched at the 2016 Air Transport IT Summit in Barcelona, Spain last year. Source = SITA
First airline in the world to operate a single use plastic free flightFirst airline in the world to operate a single-use plastic free flight on an ultra-long haul sectorEtihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, will be the first airline in the region to operate a flight without any single-use plastics on board, in a bid to raise awareness of the effects of plastic pollution. Flight EY484 will depart Abu Dhabi on 21 April, landing in Brisbane on 22 April – Earth Day.H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Transport said: “Sustainable and efficient transport is core to the government’s vision, and we commend Etihad’s proactivity in paving the way for sustainability and efficiency in air transportation. The investment in sustainable alternative fuels and the focus on emerging environmental concerns such as plastic pollution reaffirms Etihad’s commitment to the Abu Dhabi transport vision.”The milestone flight is part of Etihad’s ongoing commitment to the environment, to go beyond Earth Day celebrations, and pledge to reduce single-use plastic usage by 80 per cent not just in-flight, but across the entire organisation by the end of 2022.H.E. Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, Chairman Etihad Aviation Group, said: “This step is an extension of Etihad’s pioneering environmental efforts. Inaugurating 2019 with the locally sourced biofuel flight and the operation of the longest single-use plastic free flight are testament to our commitment to leading effective change towards sustainability.”Last year, the United Nations called for global action to beat plastic pollution, stating that 400 million tonnes of plastics are produced every year, 63 per cent of which are intended for single-use. Governments around the world are starting to ban single-use plastics – something the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) advocates.Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “There is a growing concern globally about the overuse of plastics which can take thousands of years to decompose. We discovered we could remove 27 million single-use plastic lids from our inflight service a year and, as a leading airline, it’s our responsibility to act on this, to challenge industry standards and work with suppliers who provide lower impact alternatives.”Buzz, Etihad’s current supplier of amenity products, are supporters of the project and have collaborated with the airline to provide sustainable amenity kits, eco-plush toys and award-winning eco-thread blankets. Buzz pioneered and produced the blankets out of recycled plastic bottles.In some instances, the sustainable choice was easy. Etihad worked with suppliers to ensure products were not wrapped in single-use plastics. For others, more innovative products had to be sourced including Cupffee’s, edible coffee cups, made entirely out of natural grain products.Etihad identified over 95 single-use plastic products used across aircraft cabins, most of which were replaced with eco-friendly alternatives including cups, cutlery, dishes, headset bags, cart seals and toothbrushes. Once removed from this flight, Etihad prevented over 50 kilograms of plastics from being landfilled. Where suitable replacements could not be sourced, these items were not loaded.As a result of planning the Earth Day flight, Etihad additionally committed to remove up to 20 per cent of the single-use plastic items on board by 1 June 2019. By the end of this year, Etihad will have removed 100 tonnes of single-use plastics from its inflight service.“We are making this promise not only for the environment but also for the wider community. Our guests and employees are largely responsible for facilitating this positive change, as they brought to our attention the effect plastics within our industry have on landfills, waterways and our oceans, contaminating our soil and water,” added Mr Douglas.Employees of Etihad’s Ramp Management team, based at Abu Dhabi International Airport, launched an initiative to reduce 1.6 million plastic bottles in a year. During the summer months, over 13,000 bottles are distributed daily. As of last month, 19-litre water dispensers were distributed across all break-room facilities, not only reducing single-use plastics but also saving the airline AED 800,000 yearly.As part of Etihad’s commitment to sustainability, the airline will also work with the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi on their marine environment clean-up, amongst other initiatives, to ensure environmental sustainability. Source = Etihad Airways
Promotion and development of tourism, including tourism related infrastructure in their respective States/UTs including island are primarily the responsibility of the State Governments/UT Administrations. Ministry of Tourism under its various existing schemes extends Central Financial Assistance for development of tourism infrastructure to the State Governments/UT Administrations, subject to adherence to the scheme guidelines. In addition, under the recently launched Scheme of Swadesh Darshan, a circuit for development of Coastal Tourism has been identified for development of backwaters, mangrove and cruise tourism.Under the directions of the Ministry of Home Affairs, a sub-group of Task Force headed by the Ministry of Tourism comprising representatives from Ministry of Information & Broadcasting; Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change; Ministry of Shipping; Archaeological Survey of India; Coastal India Development Council; Indian Coast Guard and Maritime Board of Government of Gujarat has been constituted to provide inputs for identifying islands for holistic development. The sub group of the Task Force will indicate islands with historic places and with tourism potential for holistic development.
NASA has said that research into new environmentally-friendly technologies could save airlines billions of dollars.The U.S. space agency recently concluded a six year study, called Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA), which was aimed at revamping aircraft design and improving efficiency. As per NASA, these projects could cut fuel consumption of airlines in half, reduce aircraft pollution by 75% and noise to nearly one-eighth of today’s levels.“If these technologies start finding their way into the airline fleet, our computer models show the economic impact could amount to $255 billion (for US carriers) in operational savings between 2025 and 2050,” said Jaiwon Shin, NASA’s associate administrator for aeronautics research.ERA’s mission was to study the feasibility, benefits and technical risks of new aircraft design concepts and technologies which would reduce aviation’s impact on the environment. This was then split into three categories: airframe technology, propulsion technology and vehicle systems integration.
Trip 360º powered by Cox & Kings will revolutionise adventure travel in India. With Safety, Sustainability and Sociable forming the core values of Trip 360º, it aims to establish India as a global adventure destination by crafting high-quality expeditions, and catering to thrill seekers.Explaining more about the new itinerary, Rohan Prakash, Business Head, Trip 360º, said, “Each of the Trip 360º itineraries is tailored specifically for individuals who love getting out of their comfort zones and embracing new passions and experiences. Our itineraries vary from soft, medium and hard adventures and cater to all levels of adventure travellers. We have handpicked and trained expert guides, leaders and suppliers to offer different adventures of international standards.”Karan Anand, Head-Relationships, Cox & Kings, said, “The adventure travel business is huge in India; however, it is largely fragmented and unorganised. Many independent professionals and local operators offer adventure activities to travellers at low costs and with substandard services defying international norms, compromising on safety and sustainability standards. Trip 360º, addresses these issues by filling the gap and bringing out the best that India has to offer in the adventure landscape, in a safe and sustainable setting.”On the other hand, in a move to make tourism more inclusive and accessible especially for those that are not able to travel due to disabilities, Enable Travel- India’s first accessible holiday initiative was launched to cater to the travel aspirations for such individuals. Enable Travel, powered by Cox and Kings Ltd aims to provide tours and carefully crafted leisure outings for people with disabilities across mobility (wheelchairs), hearing, speech and vision impairment.The initiative was unveiled by Debolin Sen, Head, Enable Travel; Karan Anand, Head- Relationships, Cox & Kings along with Enable Travel’s panel of experts- Rustom Irani (wheelchair), Divyanshu Ganatra (vision), Shama Noorani (wheelchair), Group Captain (Retd) Prabal Malaker (wheelchair) and Dr. Alim Chandani (hearing), thus making Enable Travel a product made by the disabled for the disabled.
Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan will be hosting the 2017 Summer Universiade, an international multi-sport event, organised for university athletes by the International University Sports Federation (FISU).The Universiade is staged every two years in different cities. The Summer Universiade consists of 14 compulsory sports and up to three optional sports chosen by the host country which includes Archery, Athletics, Basketball, Fencing, Football, Artistic Gymnastics, Rhythmic Gymnastics, Judo, Swimming, Diving, Water Polo, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis and Volleyball.The 12 days sports event is the only summer multi-sport event in the world that connects students at both academic and athletic levels and is broadcasted by more than 100 TV channels.Talking about the event, Ko Wen-je, Mayor of Taipei commented, “This is a very exciting opportunity for Taipei in terms of growth in tourism and visibility in the sporting arena. We are expecting a large number of tourists and participants from India during the event. We invite tourists from India to come and enjoy the city of Taipei and everything that it has to offer in terms of a buzzing night-life, cosmopolitan culture, fantastic food and historical sites apart from a world class sporting infrastructure.”
In a bid to lure travellers in Donegal, an article highlighting Donegal and its connection to Star Wars has appeared in the online version of the Metro, profiling the county to its 1.6 million potential British holidaymakers for Donegal and the Wild Atlantic Way.In conjunction with Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland in London invited journalist Almara Abgarian to visit Donegal last month. The resulting article was published under the headline, “May the force be with you as you explore Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way”.The article highlights Donegal’s rugged coastline and the wide range of land and water-based activities on offers, such as climbing, horse riding, surfing, diving and paddleboarding. Almara states that “for all its stunning views and adventure activities, it’s the stillness of Donegal that will stay with you.”Julie Wakley, Tourism Ireland’s head of Great Britain commented, “We are delighted with the excellent coverage in the Metro online. It’s a great way of showcasing Donegal to a large audience of potential British visitors, helping us to spread the word about what a great place it is to visit and what makes a holiday in Donegal so memorable. Publicity is an important element of our overall promotional programme, helping to raise awareness through the British media of the many things to see and do on a holiday in Ireland.”
Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing S & P Index Service Providers 2011-07-26 Ryan Schuette Case-Shiller Levels Hopes for Price Rebound in Data, Origination, Servicing July 26, 2011 410 Views Share A “”Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index””:http://www.standardandpoors.com/home/en/us released Tuesday revealed slight bumps in home prices across composites collected for some 20 cities, with the nation’s Capitol leading the way with an upward arc, even as existing-home sales flat-lined in June and single-family starts showed nominal signs of life.[IMAGE]According to the index, 10- and 20-city composites jumped May over April by 1.1 percent and 1.0 percent, respectively, with only three in 20 assessments ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô namely, Detroit, Las Vegas, and Tampa ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô showing declines and Phoenix staying unchanged.””We see some seasonal improvements with May’s data,”” David M. Blitzer, S&P Indices index committee chairman, said in a “”statement””:http://www.standardandpoors.com/servlet/BlobServer?blobheadername3=MDT-Type&blobcol=urldocumentfile&blobtable=SPComSecureDocument&blobheadervalue2=inline%3B+filename%3Ddownload.pdf&blobheadername2=Content-Disposition&blobheadervalue1=application%2Fpdf&blobkey=id&blobheadername1=content-type&blobwhere=1245315652608&blobheadervalue3=abinary%3B+charset%3DUTF-8&blobnocache=true. “”This is a seasonal period of stronger demand for houses, so monthly price increases are to be expected and were seen in 16 of the 20 cities. The exceptions where prices fell were Detroit, Las Vegas and Tampa. However, 19 of 20 cities saw prices drop over the last 12 months. The concern is that much of the monthly gains are only seasonal.””He said that “”May’s report showed unusually large revisions across some of the MSAs. In particular, Detroit, New York, Tampa and Washington, D.C. _[sic]_ all saw above normal revisions.””””Our sales pairs data indicate that these markets reported a lot more sales from prior months, which caused the revisions,”” he added. “”The lag in reporting home sales in these markets has increased over the past few months. Also, when sales volumes are relatively low, as is the case right now, revisions are more noticeable.””[COLUMN_BREAK]Blitzer went on to discuss composites faring “”poorly”” over the year. Of 20 MSAs, he said, all but one, plus two composites, came out with negative annual growth rates back in May. Dropping 3.6 percent, the 10-city composite fared better than its 20-city sibling, which posted declines to the tune of 4.5 percent in May in contrast with figures from the same month last year.Of all the cities, Washington, D.C. ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô known for its attractive, high-turnover job market ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô upended the weaker, other data with gains in annual growth and monthly increases, which came out to 1.3 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively.The index held that average home prices over May slumped to levels seen in 2003, yielding peak-to-current declines at -32.1 percent for 10-city composites and -32.3 percent for 20-city composites. Meanwhile, 10- and 20-city composite peak-to-trough rates fell to -33.5 percent and -33.3 percent, respectively.””We might have a long way to go before we see a real recovery,”” he added. “”Sustained increases in home prices over several months and better annual results need to be seen before we can confirm real estate market recovery.””A corresponding report from “”Capital Economics””:http://www.capitaleconomics.com/ offered up analysis about the trends.””With 4.5 [million] homes still in the foreclosure pipeline, we think that prices may edge a little lower towards the end of the year,”” the report said. “”But even if prices don’t fall further, a rapid and sustained rebound is unlikely when demand is being constrained by the high unemployment rate, lenders’ rising down payment [sic] requirements and widespread negative equity.””The report adds a hopeful note: “”After falling by 32% over the last five years, prices may have found floor.””””Two consecutive months of month-over-month growth and continued relative strength in the non-distressed market segment are positive seasonal signs in the housing market,”” said Mark Fleming, chief economist at “”CoreLogic””:http://www.corelogic.com/, according to “”Global Economic Intersection””:http://econintersect.com/wordpress/?p=11219. “”Slowly declining shadow inventory and stabilized negative equity levels are also positive signs. Nonetheless, the fragile economic recovery is still critical to the long-term recovery in the housing market.””
Calling the property one of “”America’s original ‘green’ houses,”” “”Curbed””:http://curbed.com/archives/2012/07/18/one-of-americas-original-green-houses-on-the-sea-ranch.php#50063e6185216d7458002c69 is reporting that a home in California’s Sea Ranch development has hit the market for $1.2 million. The listed estate is part of a concept that was conceived by Al Boeke in 1963, when he tapped a notable roster of architects to participate in building Sea Ranch as the nation’s first “”green”” housing project. The master plan for the seaside area was created by Lawrence Halprin, and he and his contemporaries went on to invent a style of home that is now known as “”third bay tradition,”” which Curbed describes as a combination of “”modern and vernacular architecture.”” The 3,000-square-foot house that’s currently for sale features exposed beams, fieldstone fireplaces, and a charming courtyard. Constructed in 1972, the cottage-style home is said to reflect its hillside surroundings.[COLUMN_BREAK][IMAGE] Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Celebrity Homes Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-07-18 Abby Gregory Historic ‘Green’ Home in Sea Ranch Lists for $1.2M in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology July 18, 2012 480 Views Share
Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bureau of Labor Statistics Investors Jobs Labor Department Lenders & Servicers Mark Lieberman Payrolls Processing Service Providers Unemployment 2013-06-06 Mark Lieberman Unemployment,Initial Jobless Claims Fall During Holiday Week Share First-time claims for unemployment insurance fell back to 346,000 for the holiday-shortened week ending June 1, dropping 11,000 after increasing 13,000 one week earlier, the “”Labor Department””:http://www.ows.doleta.gov/press/2013/060613.asp reported Thursday. Economists expected initial claims to drop to 345,000. Claims filings for the week ended May 25 were revised up to 357,000 from the originally reported 354,000.[IMAGE]The number of persons continuing to collect unemployment insurance for the week ended May 25, reported on a one week lag also declined, falling 52,000 to 2,952,000. The prior week’s original report of 2,986,000 original claims though was revised up to 3,004,000.The four-week moving average of initial claims rose for the fourth straight week, up 4,500 to 352,500–the highest level since mid-April. The four-week moving average of continuing claims fell 15,250 to 2,975,750, the lowest level since May 2008. Continuing claims have been falling in part due to the ongoing federal budget sequester.Responding to sequestration cuts, some states have reduced the number of weeks out-of-work individuals can receive benefits while others have lowered payments. The sequestration cuts reduced unemployment programs at the end of March; the four-week moving average of continuing claims has fallen for seven straight weeks beginning in mid-April.As a result of the sequester impact, comparative and trend data for continuing claims are becoming increasingly less reliable with improvement in that data series as likely to come from increased hiring as changes in the unemployment insurance programs.Initial claims for the week ended June 1 were affected in part by low seasonal adjustment factors, which inflate the raw data. The adjustment factors will increase for the week ended June 8, which could mean an increase in claims. Filings for the week ended June 1 were also affected by the Memorial Day holiday for which most state offices were closed. Even though filings can be made electronically when offices are closed, state workers must still process them, squeezing five days of work into four.This week’s data on initial claims will have no impact on the Employment Situation report for May to be released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics tomorrow. That report is based on employment and payrolls for the calendar week, including the 12th day of the month. [COLUMN_BREAK] From mid-April to mid-May, first-time claims dropped 11,000 and the four-week moving average fell 21,500, suggesting layoffs will not be a drag on payroll numbers for May.Economists expect the BLS report to show an increase of 167,000 payroll jobs in May compared with an increase of 165,000 in April, with the unemployment rate unchanged at 7.5 percent. The forecast also sees average weekly hours climbing back up to 34.5 from 34.4, which could be a drag on job creation. Payroll processing firm ADP reported a 135,000 increase in private sector jobs in May compared with 113,000 in April. The May results fell short of expectations of 171,000 new jobs.The Labor Department said the total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending May 18 was 4,646,761, an increase of 68,169 from the previous week. There were 5,970,572 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2012. Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending May 18. According to the BLS, 11,659,000 persons were officially considered unemployed in April with 4.35 million “”long-term”” unemployed, that is, out of work for at least 27 weeks. Of those individuals counted as unemployed, 7.01 million were not receiving any form of government unemployment insurance for the week ended May 18, down from 7.08 million one week earlier.The Labor Department also said states reported 1,760,593 persons claiming EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits for the week ending May 18, an increase of 33,934 from the prior week. EUC benefits this year are threatened by the federal budget sequester. States continue to borrow from the federal government to cover shortfalls in those funds, which will eventually have to be repaid–unless Congress intervenes–with higher assessments on employers. Since those assessments are a percentage of payrolls, they discourage employers from adding new workers. As of June 4, 22 states had borrowed a total of $21.1 billion. One week earlier, 22 states had an aggregate $21.2 billion in outstanding loans to cover shortfalls. Five states–California, Indiana, New York, North Carolina and Ohio–each owe more than $1 billion, which may require higher unemployment premiums or special assessments on employers in those states.According to the Labor Department detail, also reported on a one-week lag, the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending May 25 were in California (+8,622), Missouri (+2,999), Kentucky (+1,750), Pennsylvania (+1,333), and Kansas (+1,325), while the largest decreases were in Michigan (-2,185), North Carolina (-1,747), South Carolina (-867), Tennessee (-686), and Texas (-608)._Hear Mark Lieberman Friday on P.O.T.U.S. radio, Sirius-XM 124, at 8:45 a.m. and again at 12:20 p.m. Eastern._ June 6, 2013 418 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Servicing
in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News November 10, 2014 447 Views Share What’s Next for CFPB after the Midterms? Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Dodd-Frank Politics Richard Cordray 2014-11-10 Seth Welborn The U.S. midterm elections have been over for less than a week, and already Democrats are circling the wagons to protect what will certainly be a top priority on the Republicans’ list of changes to make—the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).Republicans have hinted, some not-so-subtly, that the bureau is in need of reform, and they intend to do just that now that they have a majority in both the House and the Senate. It is widely speculated that financial regulation overhaul, which includes CFPB and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, along with Obamacare will be two issues (expected )Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Senate Banking Committee Chair Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) will go after first when they take their new seats in January.CFPB was created in 2011 from the controversial Dodd-Frank Act, which was passed by the Obama administration in 2010. The bureau’s stated mission is to “make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans—whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products.” In carrying out this mission, the CFPB has penalized financial institutions to the tune of millions and millions of dollars, including levying a $37.5 million fine to Michigan-based bank Flagstar in September and a $2 billion penalty against mortgage servicer Ocwen in late 2013.Penalties like these and CFPB Director Richard Cordray’s declaration that the bureau will “vigorously enforce” new mortgage servicing rules with have caused many Republicans to believe the bureau embodies overreaching bureaucracy—too powerful because it is not accountable to Congress.In an editorial in the Wall Street Journal in July, Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) lamented what he believed to be a lack of accountability on the part of CFPB, openly questioning why a single director heads the bureau when the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, and the Securities and Exchange Commission are all led by boards. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, expressed his disdain for CFPB in an interview with the Wall Street Journal shortly before the recent election. Hensarling called CFPB an “unaccountable federal leviathan” in the interview and wondered why the bureau is not accountable to Congress or any government agency despite being funded by the Federal Reserve. Not only that, Hensarling said, only the president can remove the bureau’s director and even the U.S. Supreme Court has to defer to the CFPB’s decisions.Republicans know that making significant changes to CFPB will be a difficult measure. The politics of restructuring an authority with the words “consumer” and “protection” in the title are tough if not handled correctly. Just last week, Barney Frank, one of the chief architects of the Dodd-Frank Act, told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that he sincerely hoped that the Republicans would “come after” CFPB because doing so would certainly mean a backlash from the American people. The campaign commercials with big bank CEOs lighting their cigars with $100 bills write themselves.The reforms proposed now are aimed at curtailing the bureau’s power by replacing Cordray with a five-member board and giving Congress control of the Bureau’s funding. The key for McConnell, Shelby, and Hensarling, and the rest of the Republican caucus will be to make the case that the administration has over-corrected and gain bipartisan support.
FOMC Government Interest rates 2017-02-22 Sandra Lane Optimistic Report for Housing from FOMC February 22, 2017 605 Views There was good news for the housing industry coming from a Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which released its meeting minutes on Wednesday.Taking place on January 31 and February 1 in Washington, D.C., members of the FOMC said their economic forecasts and judgments about monetary policy had not changed much since the December meeting. Against this backdrop, they thought it appropriate to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at ½ to ¾ percent at this meeting. Members felt that recent indicators of activity in the housing sector were generally positive. Starts and permits for single-family housing and sales of existing homes rose moderately in the fourth quarter, and real residential investment bounced back after two quarterly declines. A couple of participants commented that supply constraints might be holding back new homebuilding.Regarding the housing sector, consumer spending posted a moderate increase in the fourth quarter, and participants generally anticipated that further gains in consumer spending would contribute importantly to economic growth in 2017. They expected that, although interest rates had moved higher, household spending would continue to be supported by rising employment and income as well as high levels of household wealth. The consensus was that the labor market had continued to strengthen and that economic activity had continued to expand at a moderate pace. Job gains had remained solid, and the unemployment rate had stayed near its recent low. Household spending had continued to rise moderately, while business fixed investment had remained softHowever, there were some concerns expressed by participants at the meeting. They emphasized their considerable uncertainty about the prospects for changes in fiscal and other government policies as well as about the timing and magnitude of the net effects of such changes on economic activity. In discussing the risks to the economic outlook, participants continued to view the possibility of more expansionary fiscal policy as having increased the upside risks to their economic forecasts, although some noted that several potential changes in government policies could pose downside risks. In addition, a few participants noted that prospects for residential investment would also depend on whether household formation picked up and how housing market activity responded to the recent rise in mortgage interest rates.Regarding the outlook for inflation, some participants continued to be concerned that faster-than-expected economic growth or a substantial undershooting of the longer-run normal unemployment rate posed risks to inflation.Participants generally agreed that the Committee should continue to closely monitor inflation indicators and global economic and financial developments. It was discussed whether current assessments of economic conditions and the medium-term outlook warranted altering earlier views of the appropriate path for the target range for the federal funds rateThe recent improvement in consumer sentiment was also viewed as a potentially positive factor in the outlook for spending, although several participants cautioned that an elevated level of sentiment, even if it was sustained, was likely to make only a small contribution to household spending beyond those from income, wealth, and credit conditions. Finally, the view that gradual increases in the federal funds rate were likely to be appropriate also reflected the assessment that the neutral real rate, defined as the real interest rate that is neither expansionary nor contractionary when the economy is operating at or near its potential, was currently quite low and was likely to rise only slowly over time. in Government, Headlines, News Share
You might also be interested in Indian grocery startup BigBasket raises US$150M in … India: Maharashtra grape growers to organize marke … January 09 , 2019 Mahindra Agri Solutions (MASL) on Wednesday inaugurated its new table grape packhouse in Nashik, which it describes as a “one of its kind” in India.The facility was inaugurated by Dr. Pawan Goenka, managing director of Mahindra & Mahindra.It covers 75,000 square feet, has 12 precooling chambers, 280 metric tons (MT) of cold storage capacity, and can pack 90MT of grapes per day.Mahindra has over 14 years of experience in grape harvest and post-harvest management and today it is one of the leading exporters of the fruit from India.It said the new packhouse will be instrumental in maintaining the freshness of the grapes along the supply chain.“The inauguration of this modern Packhouse is another significant step for our Agri Business. This facility is a testament to the ‘Make in India’ initiative and will further the cause of Delivering FarmTech Prosperity by helping Indian growers meet stringent global quality standards,” said Goenka.Ashok Sharma, CEO of Mahindra Agri Solutions said: “We are delighted to bring this state-of-the-art packhouse for all the stakeholders in the grape value chain. This model facility will go a long way in building the confidence of international customers.”With avant-garde refrigeration, processing and packing technology, this packhouse will enable us to ensure the highest quality supplies as per global standards.” World’s leading lemon exporter gains access to Ind … India: Maharashtra table grape exports surge 20% t …
Luxperience Helen Logas has sold luxury travel trade forum, Luxperience, to US-owned company, Diversified Communications Australia, effective 4 October 2017, for an undisclosed sum.Ms Logas was inspired to create Luxperience in 2012 with the aim of raising the profile of some of the world’s unique travel experiences and products, and to connect these to elite travel buyers and corporate meeting organisers from around the globe.“I’m quite emotional about selling Luxperience as it has been a major part of my life for the past six years,’ she said. “I’m so proud of my team’s efforts in establishing it as a must attend event in the calendars of the global visionaries of the travel industry. I know I am handing the baton on to a worthy company in Diversified Communications.”Of Luxperience’s new home, and future, David Longman, General Manager Diversified Communications Australasia, said:‘‘We are very pleased to announce the acquisition of Luxperience. Helen and her team have done excellent work to develop a strong brand and successful event since its launch. “As a premium event, Luxperience – which features an invitation only hosted buyer model, awards and networking opportunities – is in a great position to understand and service the needs of this growing community. “Since the launch of Luxperience in 2012 the events have been built on similar principles to Diversified where inspiring meaningful connections are at the heart of what the event is all about. We are excited to be able to work with the team and continue the good work, delivering a world class event for the luxury and experiential travel sector.” Diversified Communications is pleased to announce that the majority of the current Luxperience team will transition to Diversified, moving into their offices in Kent Street, Sydney. IMAGE: Luxperience founder Helen Logas/Camera Creations
Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The cuts just keep on coming.The Arizona Cardinals announced Monday they have released running back Beanie Wells.The move comes as a bit of a shock but not all that big of a surprise, as Wells had a very rocky four years in the desert.Just been informed that I’ll be released today. Would like to thank the Cardinals organization for give me a chance to live out my Dreams— Beanie Wells (@BeanieWells26) March 11, 2013 Comments Share Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Taken with the 31st pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, Wells showed promise as a rookie when he rushed for 793 yards and seven touchdowns. After a down 2010, Wells ran for 1,047 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2011, but his production dropped in 2012 in large part due to injuries and ineffectiveness.He played in just eight games, rushing for 234 yards and five touchdowns. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact SBNation – NFL power rankings, Week 4: Bears, Patriots rising #25(last week #28)I don’t know how much longer Carson Palmer’s going to last behind that offensive line, especially in Bruce Arians’ pass-happy offense. He’s been sacked nine times and has thrown four picks and three touchdowns so far this season. Arizona moves up by virtue of other teams, worse teams, sliding far in the rankings. NFL.com – Week 4: Bears, Saints ascend; 49ers plummet#24 (last week #19)Carson Palmer and the Cardinals’ offense went right down the field on the opening drive in New Orleans, passing five times and running it six while converting on both third downs and finishing up with a score. But it was all downhill from there. Arizona struggled in protection, struggled to protect the football and struggled in the secondary. If the Cardinals can steal a road win in Tampa Bay this week, they’ll have a chance to put together a nice stretch, as they’ll be at home for four of five after that. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling ESPN – 2013 NFL Power Rankings: Week 4#22 (last week #21)Carson Palmer converted 3 of 11 third-down drop-backs Sunday, targeting Larry Fitzgerald once (dropped pass). Sunday was the second straight week Fitzgerald was targeted only once on third down. 0 Comments Share The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Sports Illustrated – NFL Power Rankings Week 3#21 (last week #21)Over the course of a 48-hour span starting Sunday, the Cardinals lost three linebackers (Sam Acho, Lorenzo Alexander and Alex Okafor) to season-ending injuries. I’m not ready to blame anyone for this turn of bad luck, but if we find out later that John Skelton broke a mirror on his way out of town, it would not be a surprise. Brian Billick – Fox Sports Net – NFL Power Rankings Week 3#24 (last week #23)I don’t care how undersized he is or how unimpressive his 40-yard dash time was … Tyrann Mathieu is going to be a star in this league. His ability to create turnovers reminds me of Charles Tillman in Chicago. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The Arizona Cardinals suffered a 31-7 blowout loss at the hands of the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, and they were plagued by many of the issues that led them to stumble to last season’s finish line. After putting together a perfect opening drive, the Cardinals offense sputtered and converted just 3 of 11 third downs while quarterback Carson Palmer took a beating. The Cardinals didn’t fall drastically in any rankings despite the blowout, but that’s in part because they were already so low. Top Stories
Former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner was a teammate of Levi Brown’s for three seasons, all of which saw Brown playing the right tackle position.However, while Brown was never charged with protecting Warner’s “blind side,” the QB, who is now an analyst for the NFL Network, has seen the tackle’s work up close.Wednesday morning, Brown was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers, ending a disappointing run in the desert. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling LISTEN: Kurt Warner, NFL Network Analyst Your browser does not support the audio element. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories “A little bit surprising, obviously,” Warner told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Wednesday morning about the deal, noting that the team re-signed him to a contract last year and had him in the starting lineup this year. “He’s struggled at times this year.“But, I think, on the same note, I’m surprised that Pittsburgh went and traded for him with the fact that he hasn’t played necessarily great football up to this point in the season.”That is not to say Warner, who is now an analyst for the NFL Network, believes Brown is a lost cause. The future Hall of Famer said Brown is “extremely physically talented,” but struggles with the techniques of being an NFL tackle. “So much of what separates good from great is the ability to have great technique and to rely on that in different situations,” he said. Warner said the 29-year-old Brown needs to figure that part of the game out because, regardless of how talented he may be, it will be the difference in his career. “But he definitely has physical talent.” 0 Comments Share Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires
Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories Arizona Sports NFL Power Rankings Week 9: Cardinals hit bye on a high#28▲4A nice fourth-quarter comeback by Josh Rosen has some optimistic. OutletRankingsCardinals’ RankMovementComment NFL Power Rankings, Week 9: Panthers, Seahawks on the rise#28▲2Larry Fitzgerald played Hall of Fame football Sunday. If I knew how to type the tiny superscript “2” that denotes “squared” after ” Hall of Fame football,” I would, because Fitzgerald was already on his way to breakdancing into Canton on the first ballot. Yet, when rookie quarterback Josh Rosen needed chunk yardage late, he went to Larry Legend (the other Larry Legend). Fitzgerald caught a handful of key Rosen heaves late — from Arizona’s second-to-last touchdown to one that required him to go up and take a hit — to fuel Arizona’s comeback win. After the kid (Christian Kirk) hauled in a Rosen fastball in the back of the end zone, there was Fitz, trucking a Niners defender for the two-point conversion. Week Nine power rankings#28▲4Sweeping the 49ers doesn’t mean what it once did. NFL Power Rankings: Steelers might end up being the contender we thought they’d be#29▲3It’s not ideal that the Cardinals looked so bad for three quarters. But seeing rookie quarterback Josh Rosen lead a fourth-quarter comeback, including a last-minute drive for the win, is the kind of thing that can give Rosen a lot of confidence. It also should give the team a lot of confidence that Rosen is developing right on schedule. NFL Power Rankings Poll: Rams Still No. 1, Panthers Leap Into Top 5#28▲4The Cardinals are out of the bottom spot thanks to a win in Byron Leftwich’s first game as offensive coordinator. Unlike some of the other teams at the bottom of this list, they do have plenty to play for this year. Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) High Ranking: #28 – Arizona Sports, NFL.com, SI.com, PFT, SB NationLow Ranking: #30 – ESPNAverage Ranking: 28.6 NFL Week 9 Power Rankings: Rams, Saints set to battle for top spot in NFC, rankings#29▲3That was an impressive fourth quarter for Josh Rosen last week. It’s something to build upon. NFL power rankings: Halloween tricks and treats include Eagles’ return to top 10#29▲1if Larry Fitzgerald’s son duped him into spiking a football for the first time in his life … worthwhile ruse, kid. For the fourth straight season, the Arizona Cardinals have swept the San Francisco 49ers.This year’s version required a late fourth-quarter comeback engineered by rookie quarterback Josh Rosen to pull off an 18-15 win Sunday at State Farm Stadium. Both of the Cardinals’ wins this season have come against San Francisco, and that’s enough (at least for this week) to push Arizona up in the battery of NFL Power Rankings we sample from across the internet each week in The Consensus. 1 Comments Share – / 39 NFL power rankings 2018, Week 9: Steelers climb as top 10 teams become clearer#28▲3The Jets, Buccaneers, Browns, Cardinals, Bills, Giants, 49ers, and Raiders round out the bottom eight. NFL Power Rankings: B/R’s Expert Consensus Rank for Every Team Entering Week 9#29▲2The Cardinals will head into their bye fresh off their best game of the season. The extra week will give new OC Byron Leftwich more time to work on improving the Arizona offense. And then two weeks from now, the Cardinals will travel to Kansas City and come crashing back to reality. Enjoy that good feeling while it lasts, guys. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling NFL Week 9 Power Rankings: Scary trends for all 32 teams#30▲2To say the Cardinals’ halftime adjustments aren’t working might be the understatement of the season. Arizona has scored just seven points in the third quarter this season — all in Week 7 against Denver — which is the fewest in the NFL. The Cardinals went scoreless in the third quarter through the first six games, making their already-difficult lives even tougher when it came time for them to come back from deficits. In order for the Cardinals to have any hope of turning their season around, they’ll need to find ways to put up points after halftime.