Heartbreaking and absolutely infuriating. Click through for article and video.
Posts tagged finance.
Great idea to help pay for adaptation projects in developing countries.
In one of the most radical climate programmes yet by an oil-producing nation, the Norwegian government has proposed increasing its carbon tax on offshore oil companies by £21 to £45 (Nkr410) per tonne of CO2 and a £5.50 (Nkr50) per tonne CO2 tax on its fishing industry.
Norway will also plough an extra £1bn (Nkr10bn) into its funds for climate change mitigation, renewable energy, food security in developing countries and conversion to low-carbon energy sources, Environmental Finance reported.
It will step up spending on new projects to combat deforestation in developing countries to £44m, taking up its spending overall on forestry programmes to £327m. Previous forestry projects have involved Brazil, Indonesia and Ethiopia.
Full story at The Guardian
Every big pharmaceutical stocks’ prices were up Friday, shortly after SCOTUS ruling on ACA.
erina asked: I just finished reading a paper by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development called Business Solutions to Enable Energy Access for All (tumblr won't let me link to it). There's a short paragraph that mentions adaptation financing and how it could support access to energy objectives. Do you know anything about/ have any opinions on adaptation financing & how it could be used in conjunction with energy access? (sorry for the long question, love your blog!)
Solid question. To be clear to my readers, adapting to climate change really has nothing to do with reducing carbon emissions (e.g., mitigation). Adaptation is (mostly) about dealing with disasters, like floods, drought, famine, crop failure, infestations, infrastructure, etc. True, there’s some overlap between mitigation and adaptation, but not much.
So, your question about energy might confuse some people. What you’re asking about is increasing access to places that will need more electricity because the climate is changing. Since some communities will be, say, hotter, they’ll need new pumps for clean water, newer A/Cs for hospitals, better roads for ex/importing materials and food, etc. These projects need money and political will.
The high-level sources for adaptation finance for dev projects is the Adaptation Fund, USAID, and the World Bank. Much of these things will, sorry to say, be boondoggles for corrupt politicians. They love to misdirect econ-dev funds towards “local employers,” for instance.
By the way, I skimmed the WBCSD report. Good stuff! I especially like the highlight on page 10 that makes the case that hydro-electric dams will need to adapt to increased flows from climate impacts (floods/rains). Since there will be more turbidity, hydro-operators will need to update their turbines to withstand higher levels of abrasion. MY HEAD EXPLODED!
Not sure if that helped at all. Hit me up if you need narrower details.
You guys - check out Kiplinger Tumblr! Fantastic money-zine curated by a super cute gal!
Every morning, we poll the staff and round up their favorite economic, financial and political reads of the day. Except — not today! Your friendly curator is taking today and tomorrow off to retool “What We’re Reading” as a new daily feature.
In the meantime, I’d love to know what you think about…
This reinforces why I left Wells Fargo bank last month. Besides their high fees and confrontational customer service, they’re just not interested in being a community bank. A bank, to my mind, contributes to our lives by offering a safe an secure space to conduct money business. When I think of a bank, I want to think, “Man, what a great bank.” A bank should back local businesses fairly. It should help people land the right mortgage. And it should properly capitalize land developers who build things around cities. You know, just do the right friggin thing all the friggin time. The below shows that Wells Fargo is not interested in communities, it’s not that type of company despite it’s breezy ads, lofty promises, and pretty horses. Wells Fargo is just bad.
Wells Fargo is one of the top five largest banks in America, a fact that on its own is damning enough, basic human decency not exactly being conducive to success in the financial industry. Despite, or rather because of, its role as one of the leading sub-prime mortgage lenders prior to the 2008 crash in the housing market, the bank was handed $37 billion from the U.S. government, a transfer of wealth from the foreclosed upon have-nots to the haves doing the foreclosing – people like chairman and CEO John Stumpf, whose compensation actually rose after his company’s de facto bankruptcy to a cool $18 million last year.
As Wells Fargo has grown over the years, using its bailout funds to gobble up rival Wachovia and expand to the East Coast, so has the U.S. prison population. By 2008, one in 100 American adults were either in jail or in prison – and one in nine black men between the ages of 20 and 34, many simply for non-violent offenses, justice not so much blind as bigoted. Overall, more than 2.3 million people are currently behind bars, up 50 percent in the last 15 years, the land of the free now accounting for a full quarter of the world’s prisoners.
These developments are not unrelated.
A driving force behind the push for ever-tougher sentences is the for-profit prison industry, in which Wells Fargo is a major investor. Flush with billions in bailout money and an economic system designed to siphon wealth from the working class to the idle rich, Wells Fargo has been busy expanding its stake in the GEO Group, the second largest private jailer in America. At the end of 2011, Wells Fargo was the company’s second-largest investor, holding 4.3 million shares valued at more than $72 million. By March 2012, its stake had grown to more than 4.4 million shares worth $86.7 million.
Unfortunately, it’s a safe investment. While a 50 percent growth in the number of human beings our society cages in rape factories may sound impressive – or perhaps the word is “revolting” – a study released last year by the Justice Policy Institute found that the private prison industry grew by more than 350 percent over the last decade and a half. While other industries of course benefit from state-granted privileges, companies like GEO profit by the state literally kidnapping and handing them clientèle, particularly as of late about-to-be-deported immigrants, of which President Barack Obama has ensured there is a steady, record-breaking supply.
“All prisons are awful,” says Melanie Pinkert, an activist based in Washington, DC, who along with other members of Occupy DC’s “Criminal Injustice Committee” is helping lead a boycott of Wells Fargo, which just expanded to the nation’s capital. “But private prisons take it to the next level.” Indeed, a recent report from the U.S. Justice Department found that at one GEO-run juvenile facility in Mississippi, sexual abuse was endemic, “among the worst that we have seen in any facility anywhere in the nation.” According to the report, GEO staff demonstrated:
- Deliberate indifference to staff sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior with youth;
- Use of excessive use of force by [prison] staff on youth;
- Inadequate protection of youth from youth-on-youth violence;
- Deliberate indifference to youth at risk of self-injurious and suicidal behaviors; and
- Deliberate indifference to the medical needs of youth.
These findings, shocking though they may seem, are not surprising. With an eye on maximizing quarterly profits, privately run facilities are even less inclined than state-run prisons to treat their involuntary customers humanely, skimping on health care and anything else that could hurt their bottom line, particularly programs aimed at reducing recidivism. As the ACLU noted in a report released late last year, “Not only is there little incentive to spend money on rehabilitation, but crime, at least in one sense, is good for private prisons: the more crimes that are committed, and the more individuals who are sent to prison, the more money private prisons stand to make.”
You could play the bubble, because it might not be over yet, but I wouldn’t put money in Apple stockA Yale economist reflects on Apple’s astonishing share price, which has risen by 83% in the past year, and by almost 50% so far in 2012. Apple is an iconic brand—now it is a totemic investment, too. (via theeconomist)
Although there is widespread agreement on the need for adaptation measures to limit the risks posed by climate change, there is no clear consensus on how much adaptation will cost or how it will be paid for. A recent World Bank report suggested that the price of adaptation in developing countries alone will be $70–100 billion a year between 2010 and 2050, while other studies suggest these figures are too low.
The overall bill for adaptation will depend on the severity of climatic changes and the range of measures chosen. The most expensive adaptation measures involve modifying infrastructure and improving coastal and flood protection, so costs will be highest not necessarily where vulnerability is greatest but in regions with a lot of infrastructure that needs to be climate-proofed. Lower-cost measures that can be used as part of an adaptation response include changing behaviours, shifting farming practices and making regulatory reforms.
Costs will be lower if countries plan ahead – for example building roads with drainage systems that can cope with severe rain, rather than retro-fitting these features later on.What are the options for financing climate adaptation? Via The Guardian’s Ultimate Climate FAQs.
One of my favorite blogs is The Big Picture, run by Barry Ritholtz. It’s primarily an economics blog for wonks.
A recent post introduces the difficulties of evaluating long-term municipal infrastructure finance (eg, capital improvement projects) in the context of cancelled infrastructure projects. Exciting, eh?
I don’t agree with every thing in the piece, but over all it’s an excellent introduction to a serious issue that cities around the country face: long-term budgetary shortfalls. Cities are, for the most part, taking in less taxes than they spend on services. As a result, politicians are forced to cut spending on things like services to the elderly, education, employee benefits, and, as here, beneficial drinking water projects (note: true, sometimes they cut on ideological reasons, but despite the headlines this type of action is rare).
Anyway, the above section of drinking water pipe has been leaking for decades. The red outline shows the leak location, and the dotted line shows a proposed fix - build a bypass pipe.
The leak is so big that people’s homes have had to be evacuated. There are expanding sink holes and people are suing for damages. So much water is leaking that it could fill 650,000 swimming pools, or provide 3million Bangladeshis with water per year. The leaks were to cost NYC $60million to fix - a drop in the bucket for NY.
The project got cancelled for budget cutting reasons. And now the leak continues indefinitely and fingers are pointing to who’s at fault (Grr! Bloomberg! Grr! Obama! etc. Grr! Financial vampires!).
Meanwhile, the leak continues, homes are threatened, and drinking water for NYC may be in trouble.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the Heartland documents was what they did not contain: evidence of contributions from the major publicly traded oil companies, long suspected by environmentalists of secretly financing efforts to undermine climate science.NYTimes reporters Justin Gillis and Leslie Kaufman in, “Leak Offers Glimpse of Campaign Against Climate Science,” where the Heartland Institute is plainly busted in its climate denial stance. Must read, here. See also intrigue by Andrew Revkin.
Muhammad Yunus asked to resign from Grameen Bank by Bangladeshi Finance Minister. The reason given was that he is considered to old to work, and should have retired 5 years ago when he was 65, Bangladesh’s legal retirement age. CNN reports that Yunus and his innovative micro-loan lender, Grameen Bank, were recently cleared of fraud and defamation. However, Yunus continues to duck political fire and may be in more legal hotwater for inflated interest rates on his micro-loans. (Yunus’s 2009 Nobel, by the way, was questioned from the start.)
Full report: CNN