Saturday, December 19, 2009

Announcement & Points of View - December 19

Below the announcement is today's Points of View section. The two main topics for today cover financial regulation (primarily banks) and climate change (following the close of the Copenhagen Summit). There are some very good points made for both topics, and as always, it is good to understand varying points of view.

Announcement - Holiday Office Schedule - With Christmas fast approaching, we wanted to detail our holiday office schedule. On Thursday, December 24 and Friday, December 25, Rollins Financial and Rollins & Associates will be closed to celebrate Christmas. Our office will reopen on Monday, December 28 at 8:30.

Our office will also be closed on Friday, January 1 to celebrate New Year's Day. Our office will reopen for 2010 on Monday, January 4 at 8:30.


Not All Banks Are Created Alike - By Robert G. Wilmers - The Wall Street Journal - "Congress is moving rapidly toward new financial-services regulation, focused on limiting the sort of 'systemic risk' said to have helped bring on the current recession. But we are also in a period where there is great concern about the limited availability of credit to fund companies whose growth could bring down the country's persistent high unemployment."

Even Bigger Than Too Big to Fail - The New York Times - "Asserting that it 'is among the strongest banks in the industry,' Citigroup announced on Monday that it would soon repay $20 billion of federal bailout money. This from a bank that has been in the red for most of the past two years, that is expected to limp through 2010 amid a torrent of loan losses, that saw its stock price close after the announcement at a measly $3.70 a share — and that, like other big banks, is still reluctant to lend."

London as a Financial Centre: The Real Windfall - The Economist - "BRITISH AIRWAYS lost £292m ($465m) in the six months to the end of September and its pension fund has a £3.7 billion deficit. Its cabin crew responded by voting to strike over the Christmas period, alienating the millions of customers that pay their wages and fund those pensions. Similarly, London now risks losing its reputation as a hub of international finance, driving away mobile capital and taxpayers at a time when the government’s deficit is above 10% of GDP. There will be no immediate exodus. But the impression that tax policy is now designed to maximise the number of Labour votes rather than the state’s revenue should worry Britons as well as financiers."

Climate Change

Global Warming and an Odd Bull Moose - By Daniel B. Botkin - The Wall Street Journal - "Most of the major forecasting tools used in global-warming research, including the global climate models (known as general circulation models of the atmosphere) and those used to forecast possible ecological effects of global warming, paint a picture of nature more like a Hudson River School still-life than like the moose that kicked at the shore. These forecasting methods assume that nature undisturbed by people is in a steady state, that there is a balance of nature, and that warnings the climate is at a tipping point mean that the system is about to lose its balance. In fact, however, nature has never been constant. It is always changing, and life on Earth has evolved and adapted to those changes."

Goodbye, Copenhagen - By Tobin Harshaw - The New York Times - "Let’s play Double Jeopardy. Presidential Headaches for $2,000, please, Alex.

It was the contentious debate over which Barack Obama declared on Friday, 'The time to talk is over.'

What is the Copenhagen Summit? Of course. But before we get to Final Jeopardy, let me ask a serious question: Wasn’t two weeks of talk exactly what most everyone involved expected from the great environmental get-together? "

Copenhagen's Lesson in Limits - The Wall Street Journal - "Mr. Obama's inexplicable injunction yesterday that 'the time for talk is over' appears to have produced an agreement to continue talking. The previous 12 days of frantic sound and pointless fury showed that there isn't anything approaching an international consensus on carbon control."

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