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We’ve talked about the post-post-crisis era as one that is neither risk-off (a period like the financial crisis, when investors shun riskier assets) nor risk-on (a period like the post-crisis period, which we define from March 2009 through November 2014, when investors embrace riskier assets). In a post-post-crisis landscape, markets have a mixed outlook, in which growth is uneven and interest rates remain low.


The Taper Tantrum vs. the Recent Rise in Yields

In 2013, the “Taper Tantrum” occurred when the market learned that the US Federal Reserve planned to wind down its quantitative easing program — signaling the end of monetary policy easing and the beginning of a shift toward monetary policy tightening. Consequently, Treasury yields rose 100 basis points over two months. The move higher in yields seemed like a reasonable reaction to such signaling.

The recent move in interest rates also makes sense. The market is taking several things into consideration:

1. Uncertainty about the leadership of the Fed. Janet Yellen’s term as chair is due to end in February 2018. Given the Fed’s dovish policy during her tenure, the market is fearful that Trump will appoint a more hawkish leader who is more eager to raise interest rates and reset the tone.

2. Looser fiscal policy. Trump has championed both lower taxes and higher infrastructure spending. These policies, if implemented, would likely boost gross domestic product and increase the federal budget deficit.

3. Higher inflation prospects. Looser fiscal policy should be a tailwind for inflation. In addition, any protectionist policies, such as amending the North American Free Trade Agreement or implementing tariffs, could cause prices to move higher.

Bond Fundamentals Moving Forward

On one hand, lower taxes, fiscal stimulus and deregulation are all positive factors for riskier assets like stocks (and by extension negative for safer assets like Treasuries). But there are still many uncertainties and other factors that provide reasons to be constructive on fixed income:

1. Uncertain geopolitical backdrop. China is currently growing at a reasonably healthy pace, but that has been aided by a rapid expansion in credit.

2. Uncertain U.S. government policy. To paraphrase Aristotle, the market abhors a vacuum. Following the election, many aspects of government policy are in flux, from spending plans to foreign relations.

3. Risk that fiscal stimulus plans miss their target. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center’s analysis of Trump’s income tax plan finds that, while high-income taxpayers would enjoy most of his proposed tax savings, middle-income families would receive an average tax cut of $1,000.

4. Risk of a trade war harming growth. If Trump were to follow through on his proposals to increase tariffs on foreign goods, his actions could spiral into a trade war. This would be negative for U.S. GDP growth.

5. Risk of restrictions on immigration hurting economic growth. One little-known fact is that the growth in GDP per capita has trailed total GDP growth by 40% since the financial crisis.

6. Risk of a shock hitting the economy. External shocks are, by nature, difficult to predict but can have wide-ranging effects.

7. Large number of buyers of U.S. government debt. U.S. and foreign pension funds and insurers use Treasuries as an important component of their portfolios, and this shows no sign of changing.

What This Means for Investors

Although it seems very likely to us that the Fed will raise rates gradually in years to come, expected risk-adjusted returns for investing in bonds remain appealing. Recent volatility in the municipal bond market is beginning to present more opportunities for munis*, while healthier realized inflation makes us continue to be supportive of Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities.
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We’ve talked about the post-post-crisis era as one that is neither risk-off (a period like the financial crisis, when investors shun riskier assets) nor risk-on (a period like the post-crisis period, which we define from March 2009 through November 2014, when investors embrace riskier assets). In a post-post-crisis landscape, markets have a mixed outlook, in which growth is uneven and interest rates remain low.


The Taper Tantrum vs. the Recent Rise in Yields

In 2013, the “Taper Tantrum” occurred when the market learned that the US Federal Reserve planned to wind down its quantitative easing program — signaling the end of monetary policy easing and the beginning of a shift toward monetary policy tightening. Consequently, Treasury yields rose 100 basis points over two months. The move higher in yields seemed like a reasonable reaction to such signaling.

The recent move in interest rates also makes sense. The market is taking several things into consideration:

1. Uncertainty about the leadership of the Fed. Janet Yellen’s term as chair is due to end in February 2018. Given the Fed’s dovish policy during her tenure, the market is fearful that Trump will appoint a more hawkish leader who is more eager to raise interest rates and reset the tone.

2. Looser fiscal policy. Trump has championed both lower taxes and higher infrastructure spending. These policies, if implemented, would likely boost gross domestic product and increase the federal budget deficit.

3. Higher inflation prospects. Looser fiscal policy should be a tailwind for inflation. In addition, any protectionist policies, such as amending the North American Free Trade Agreement or implementing tariffs, could cause prices to move higher.

Bond Fundamentals Moving Forward

On one hand, lower taxes, fiscal stimulus and deregulation are all positive factors for riskier assets like stocks (and by extension negative for safer assets like Treasuries). But there are still many uncertainties and other factors that provide reasons to be constructive on fixed income:

1. Uncertain geopolitical backdrop. China is currently growing at a reasonably healthy pace, but that has been aided by a rapid expansion in credit.

2. Uncertain U.S. government policy. To paraphrase Aristotle, the market abhors a vacuum. Following the election, many aspects of government policy are in flux, from spending plans to foreign relations.

3. Risk that fiscal stimulus plans miss their target. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center’s analysis of Trump’s income tax plan finds that, while high-income taxpayers would enjoy most of his proposed tax savings, middle-income families would receive an average tax cut of $1,000.

4. Risk of a trade war harming growth. If Trump were to follow through on his proposals to increase tariffs on foreign goods, his actions could spiral into a trade war. This would be negative for U.S. GDP growth.

5. Risk of restrictions on immigration hurting economic growth. One little-known fact is that the growth in GDP per capita has trailed total GDP growth by 40% since the financial crisis.

6. Risk of a shock hitting the economy. External shocks are, by nature, difficult to predict but can have wide-ranging effects.

7. Large number of buyers of U.S. government debt. U.S. and foreign pension funds and insurers use Treasuries as an important component of their portfolios, and this shows no sign of changing.

What This Means for Investors

Although it seems very likely to us that the Fed will raise rates gradually in years to come, expected risk-adjusted returns for investing in bonds remain appealing. Recent volatility in the municipal bond market is beginning to present more opportunities for munis*, while healthier realized inflation makes us continue to be supportive of Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities.
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#1: Uncertainty Is a Sure Thing. Keep Calm and Carry On.


When it comes to shock and awe, 2016 delivered. The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, turmoil in China’s markets, challenges to globalization — clearly, the world remains an uncertain place.
Swift and dramatic change can inspire powerful emotions and lead to very human, but ultimately destructive, investment decisions. For investors confronted with confusion and uncertainty, the natural temptation is to retreat. “Keep calm and carry on” may be good advice, but for many investors it can be hard to follow.

#2: Diversification Still Matters, So Keep Your Balance.
In the 2008-2009 bear market, diversification didn’t matter. The Great Recession took a toll on nearly every asset class and portfolio. But in the 2000-2002 downturn, diversification worked. If you hadn’t piled into tech, you were spared a lot of pain when the dot-com bubble burst.
The debate over investment diversification is likely to go on and on, but today a strategic allocation in stocks and bonds around the world remains a hallmark of a portfolio that can help investors fulfill their objectives in the long run.

#3: Income is Scarce. Casting a Wide Net Can Pay Dividends.

There are nearly 50 million people over 65 in the United States, and many of them have one thing in common: They want their dividends. Millions of retiring baby boomers need income, but they may have to search far and wide for yield.


#4: Relax, It’s Not All Doom and Gloom.
Take a deep breath. Relax. In an age when doom and gloom seem to be all we read about or see on television, it just might be possible that things aren’t as bad as they seem. In fact, things may just be getting better — and not for the few, but for the many.

#5: Life Happens. Control What You Can With a Long-Range Plan.

Don’t get too high or too low. Try to maintain an even keel. Fight fear with facts.

All of those can be hard to do when the world’s markets and global economy are going through times that can be both exhilarating and frightening. The evidence shows that euphoric investors tend to buy high, and fearful investors sell low.
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The web can be a great place, but not everyone online has good intentions. Here are three simple ways to avoid scammers and stay safe on the web:


Beware of strangers bearing gifts
A message is probably up to no good if it congratulates you for being a website’s millionth visitor, offers a tablet computer or other prize in exchange for completing a survey or promotes quick and easy ways to make money or get a job (“get rich quick working from your home for just two hours a day!”). If someone tells you that you’re a winner and asks you to fill out a form with your personal information don’t be tempted to start filling it out. Even if you don’t hit the “submit” button, you might still be sending your information to scammers if you start putting your data into their forms.
If you see a message from someone that you know that doesn’t seem like them, their account may have been compromised by a cyber criminal who is trying to get money or information from you – so be careful how you respond. Common tactics include asking you to urgently send them money, claiming to be stranded in another country or saying that their phone has been stolen so that they cannot be called. The message may also tell you to click on a link to see a picture, article or video, which actually leads you to a site that might steal your information – so think before you click!

Do your research
When shopping online, research the seller and be wary of suspiciously low prices just like you would if you were buying something at a local shop. Scrutinise online deals that seem too good to be true. No one wants to get tricked into buying fake goods. People who promise normally non-discounted expensive products or services for free or at 90% off probably have malicious intent. If you use Gmail, you may see a warning across the top of your screen if you’re looking at an email that our system says might be a scam – if you see this warning, think twice before responding to that email.

Watch out for scams using the Google brand. Google does not run a lottery. We do not charge training fees for new employees – if you receive an email saying that you have been hired by Google but have to pay a training fee before you can start, it is a scam. Watch out for people claiming to sell cars using Google Wallet. Find out more about various scams using the Google brand.

When in doubt, play it safe
Do you just have a bad feeling about an ad or an offer? Trust your gut! Only click on ads or buy products from sites that are safe, reviewed and trusted.
Many online shopping platforms have trusted merchants/sellers programs. These sellers typically have a visible stamp of approval on their profiles. Make sure that the stamp or certificate is legitimate by reviewing the shopping platforms’ guidelines. If the platform doesn’t offer a similar program, take a look at the number of reviews and the quality of reviews on the seller.
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Flower Fails


Because of the amount of money that consumers are expected to spend this Valentine’s Day on flowers, consumers can be certain that scammers and unscrupulous businesses will also be looking to benefit. To ensure that a Valentine’s Day bouquet is delivered as planned, follow these scam savvy tips:
- Let the BBB guide purchases. Research trusted florists and gift shops, check out customer reviews, and look for scams at bbb.org.
- Pick up the phone or visit the shop. Even if ordering online, visit or chat with the brick-and-mortar shop prior to making a purchase. Discuss the arrangement you are looking for, inquire about guarantees and ask about delivery times. Don’t make a payment until the order is clearly outlined and always ask for a receipt.
- Watch for unsolicited calls and emails. This time of year, phishing scams spike for those looking to treat loved ones with flowers and gifts. Fake e-cards can carry viruses, and unsolicited emails claiming to require additional funds for gift delivery are common.
Beware of Cupid Cons
The Internet’s ability to connect people through social media and online dating has been a godsend for many single folks. But with that convenience come opportunities for scammers to prey on the love-struck.
This is a common narrative with many Valentine’s Day scams. An interesting stranger builds a fake relationship with an unsuspecting target through phone or video calls, texts and emails. Eventually, the scammer claims to be experiencing a financial hardship — or begs for funds to come visit the love-struck victim. After money is exchanged, the scammer cuts off contact. These types of scams are tricky because scammers know how to make people feel vulnerable and how to get them to do what they want.
How do you avoid a Cupid con? Looking out for the following red flags can help protect both your heart and wallet:
- Your new friend is a constant no-show. Traveling for business, house-sitting for an out-of-state friend, visiting family far away and other last-minute schedule changes are all common excuses scammers use to avoid meeting people face-to-face. An interested girl – or boyfriend would normally want to make time to get to know you better in person. So, if a new love interest is avoiding you, it’s time to get a little suspicious.
- Their social media profiles don’t match, are very new or are nonexistent. Contact information, pictures and background information the person shares with you should match what you see on their social media profiles. A shortage of online friends and contacts, stock photos and spelling/grammatical errors can be clues that you are being wooed by a scammer.
- They ask you for money. Asking for a loan from even the closest of friends can be uncomfortable (not to mention unwise), so why would a new love be boldly asking you for cash? From medical emergencies to claims of being robbed — a romantic scammer isn’t afraid to brazenly beg. Be particularly wary of anyone asking you to send funds via wire transfer or a gift card. And never give money or share banking information with someone that you have not met in person or don’t know very well.
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Awareness and education are the best line of defense against fraud, and consumers can protect themselves by applying common sense and not letting emotion get in the way. Anyone can fall victim. Fraudsters even coach potential victims to ignore warnings such as this.

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Shrikant Khandare 4 years ago in Plugin announcements • updated by jan otte 4 years ago 1

can you add some plugin for converting slim code to html code just like textmate for linux 

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Ava Watson 3 years ago in Plugin announcements 0
WELCOME
The consulting rooms are located in West Hill House, a quiet building in Swain's Lane, set back from the road. Swain's Lane is one of Highgate's most charming streets. It is within 50 metres of Hampstead Heath and with easy access to bus, train and underground. Local restaurants and cafés add to the friendly, village atmosphere.
  • Full-time receptionist and support staff
  • Purpose-built for individual and group psychotherapy
  • Architect-designed and elegantly furnished
  • All lighting and heating supplied from renewable sources
  • Soundproofed
  • Fully ventilated
  • Entryphones to all rooms
  • Waiting areas
  • Rent by hour or session
  • Daytime, evenings and weekends, 7 days a week
  • Broadband free of charge

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Jaella Israel 4 years ago in Plugin announcements 0

Households to claim green energy grants


South Ayrshire householders could claim up to £1200 to install green energy upgrades to their homes.


The Green Homes Cash back scheme, managed by the EnergySaving Trust, means each South Ayrshire household could be eligible for the funding towards installing a new boiler, insulation or other energy efficiency measures.

Energy Saving Trust figures show 31 per cent of Scots householders have an interest in installing double glazing, 37 per cent are interested in fitting insulation to their home and 22 per cent would consider investing in a new energy efficient boiler.


Mike Thornton, Director, Energy Saving Trust in Scotland, said: “The Green Homes Cash back scheme gives grants to South Ayrshire householders who invest to make their home – and Scotland – a greener place to live. The scheme is also open to people who rent property, as long as they have their landlord’s permission.


“And anyone who submits a claim through the scheme before 31 December 2013 will also receive up to £150 towards the cost of the assessment through which applicable measures are recommended, making this a great time to put in insulation or upgrade your heating system.”


The Scottish Government’s Green Homes  Cash back scheme lets householders claim: up to £500 for insulation measures including loft, cavity or solid wall; up to £400 to replace an old boiler and up to £300 for other measures (such as glazing, LED lighting and heating controls).


Mr. Thornton added: “A great example of how this money could be used is loft insulation – the £500 cash back could pay for the entire cost of fitting the insulation to an average three-bed semi, which can save householders up to £180 a year on their heating bills.


“They say you don’t get something for nothing, but the cash back scheme really is money in the bank for those installing energy efficiency measures.”

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “It is our belief that everyone in Scotland should live in a warm and safe home that doesn’t cost the earth to heat. Rising energy bills are a huge concern for this government, and fuel poverty is an absolute scandal in an energy rich country like Scotland. I would urge anyone who would like to reduce their energy bills to contact Home Energy Scotland hotline from the Scottish Government on 0808 808 2282 or visit homeenergyscotland.org as soon as possible to find out more.


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Electric cars are clean today and will only get cleaner tomorrow


By Max Baumhefner and Cecilia Springer


Source : http://grist.org/business-technology/electric-cars-are-clean-today-and-will-only-get-cleaner-tomorrow


/100-percent-electric-car

Uncovering a fraud is uniquely satisfying, which is perhaps why news outlets continue to provide electric car deniers with a platform to proclaim they aren’t as green as they appear. But close examination reveals the latest round of skeptics to be lacking in substance.

Numerous peer-reviewed articles have reached the same conclusion: From cradle to grave, electric cars are the cleanest vehicles on the road today. And unlike cars that rely on oil, the production of which is only getting dirtier over time, the environmental benefits of electric cars will continue to improve as old coal plants are replaced with cleaner sources and manufacturing becomes more efficient as it scales up to meet growing consumer demand.

“Did your account for the pollution from the electricity it takes to power the vehicles?”

This question has been asked and answered. Using today’s average American electricity mix of natural gas, coal, nuclear, hydro, wind, geothermal, and solar, an electric car emits half the amount of harmful carbon pollution per mile as the average new vehicle. In states with cleaner mixes, such as California, it’s only a quarter as much. To find out how clean your electric car would be today, plug your zip code into the EPA’s “Beyond Tailpipe Emissions Calculator.” Those benefits will only improve as the electric grid becomes cleaner over time.

Before the Natural Resources Defense Council began advocating for vehicle electrification, we did our own homework, publishing a two-volume report in partnership with the Electric Power Research Institute. The work took almost two years and concluded that a long-term shift to the use of electricity as a transportation fuel provides substantial reductions in carbon pollution and air quality benefits.

green-colored car


It’s essential to take a long view when examining vehicle electrification, because the electric grid doesn’t stand still. Since the time we published that report, the EPA has adopted power plant standards for mercury and other air toxics, ozone-forming emissions, fine particulate pollution, soot, and coal ash; proposed standards for greenhouse gases from new power plants; and has been directed by the president to adopt greenhouse gas standards for existing plants. Meanwhile, 29 states have adopted renewable energy targets to reduce emissions. Driving on renewable electricity is virtually emissions-free.

“Did your account for the resources it takes to build the cars?”

Producing an electric car today requires more resources than producing a conventional vehicle, generally due to the large batteries. However, comparing the efficiency of relatively nascent and small-scale electric vehicle manufacturing to the efficiency of conventional automobile production, which has benefited from more than a century of learning-by-doing, is misleading. Automakers are racing to save money and materials through recycling and more efficient production. Those who win the race will win the market.


Even with today’s technology, on a lifecycle basis, the electric car is still the cleanest option available. Higher emissions from manufacturing are more than offset by the substantial benefits of driving on electricity. We examined six peer-reviewed academic studies and found that in every case, electric vehicles win by a substantial margin, with estimates ranging from 28 to 53 percent lower cradle-to-grave emissions than conventional vehicles today.


Opponents often rely upon the original version of a Norwegian study, which has much higher estimates of emissions associated with the production of electric cars. Those skeptics generally cherry-pick from the original version of that article, and ignore the fact it was correctedpost-publication, resulting in its estimate of the comparative emissions benefit rising from 22 percent to 28 percent. In other words, even the source relied upon by skeptics shows a substantial lifecycle advantage for electric cars. The Norwegian study finds the lowest benefit relative to the other articles examined partially because it includes an estimate of emissions associated with the disposal of advanced battery materials that is higher than other studies, which brings us to the next question:


 “What about mining and disposing of the materials needed to make the batteries?”


First off, there is no shortage of the materials needed to make advanced vehicle batteries. A recent article in the Journal of Industrial Ecology concludes, “even with a rapid and widespread adoption of electric vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries, lithium resources are sufficient to support demand until at least the end of this century.” Another analysis of the trade constraints associated with the global lithium market came to a similar conclusion, and noted that even a “five-fold increase of lithium price would not impact the price of battery packs.” Furthermore, companies like Simbol Materials are already finding innovative ways to acquire lithium by harvesting materials from the brine of geothermal power plants — no mining required.


Secondly, advanced vehicle batteries are unlikely to be simply thrown away; they’re too valuable. Even once they’re no longer suitable for automotive use, they retain about 80 percent of their capacity and can be re-purposed to provide grid energy storage to facilitate the integration of variable renewable resources, such as wind and solar. Automotive batteries can also be repurposed to support the electrical grid at the neighborhood level, preventing the need to invest in costly distribution system equipment. Pacific Gas & Electric plans to use money saved through the strategic deployment of used battery packs in neighborhoods throughout Northern and Central California to provide electric car drivers with rebates to reduce the purchase price of new electric cars.

Finally, those batteries that aren’t repurposed will likely be recycled. Conventional vehicle manufacturing is one of the most efficient industries in the world — around 95 percent of vehicle parts are recycled, reducing the energy needed to make more parts. It is worth noting that conventional lead-acid car batteries are consistently the most recycled product for which the EPA provides data [PDF], with a recycling rate of 96 percent. Advanced battery recycling could cut associated emissions in half, according to a 2012 study from researchers at Argonne National Laboratory. Companies are already investing in such technologies.

In summary, a sustained and serious examination of the cradle-to-grave impacts of electric cars reveals they are the cleanest option available today, and that the environmental benefits of vehicle electrification will only increase over time. That’s not only good news for the eco-conscious, but for any consumer interested in driving on a cleaner fuel at a price equivalent to buck-a-gallon gasoline.

Cecilia Springer is an associate at Climate Advisers, where she manages projects on transportation and sustainable supply chains.

Max Baumhefner is an NRDC attorney with a focus on the juncture of the electricity and transportation sectors.


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