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NIR Remains Relatively Strong – BOJ Governor

first_imgNIR Remains Relatively Strong – BOJ Governor Finance & Public ServiceFebruary 20, 2009 RelatedNIR Remains Relatively Strong – BOJ Governor FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Governor of the Bank of Jamaica (BoJ), Derick Latibeaudiere, has said that the Net International Reserves (NIR) remained “relatively strong”, despite a drop in the level, due primarily to sales in the foreign exchange market to ease demand pressure and stem depreciation in the value of the dollar.The reserves currently stand at US$1.7 billion and according to Mr. Latibeaudiere “continue to provide some cushion and insurance for the future,” primarily against factors such as the impact of the global economic downturn.Speaking at the BoJ’s quarterly press briefing at its downtown Kingston headquarters on Wednesday (Feb. 18), Mr. Latibeaudiere said that having learnt from previous challenges to the Jamaican economy, efforts have been made to build a sound banking system and a responsive monetary policy framework, and “we have also been ensuring that we maintain a reasonable level of reserves for insurance.”“There was therefore some cushioning, as we entered this period of global financial and economic downturn. The banking reforms of earlier years ensured that Jamaican banks were adequately capitalised, and were subject to strict regulatory requirements and oversight. Consequently, our exposure to the troubled global financial institutions has, so far, been minimal. In addition, our monetary framework enabled the Bank of Jamaica to take decisive action to maintain stability in the financial markets,” he informed.Mr. Latibeaudiere pointed out that while the value of the Jamaican dollar depreciated by 12.2 per cent in 2008, it remained below the level recorded by some traditionally stable economies such as Brazil, Iceland, Mexico, Russia, and South Africa, which experienced exchange rate depreciations ranging between 20 per cent and 43 per cent.Inflation rates in those countries also spiked upwards of 18 per cent and public sector debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has increased to as much as 108.9 per cent.“Our reserves have remained relatively strong in spite of the Bank’s intervention in the foreign exchange market, and inflation is now on a downward trend. Indeed, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in its last report on Jamaica, commended the Bank for being proactive in its policy stance, as it recognised that exceptional developments require exceptional policy action,” the Governor said.He noted that consequent on intensification of the crisis in the global financial markets in December, some local institutions were called on, at short notice, to repay loans that had been extended by international banks. This, he explained, followed increased tightening of global credit conditions, and investors’ decision to further reduce their exposure to risks, particularly emerging market debt. Global stock market indices, he added, also declined, and central banks in major developed countries reduced their interest rates. Heightened aversion to risks has, however, kept credit conditions tight, he further said.“Consequently, interest rates in the private retail markets have not fallen in tandem with the central banks’ signal rates. These developments, along with unfavourable reports from rating agencies, had a negative impact on Jamaica’s sovereign bonds,” the Governor pointed out.As a result, he said, demand pressures in the local foreign exchange market intensified, despite sales by the BoJ, adding that this was sharply reflected by the 9.7 per cent depreciation in the value of the dollar in the December quarter. These developments, Mr. Latibeaudiere explained, were largely influenced by the loss of credit facilities, the pay out of margin-call liabilities, and a slow down in tourism and remittance inflows. Additionally, that commercial importers were affected by the credit facilities loss, which heightened the demand for cash to repay outstanding lines, and pay for current imports during the “period of seasonably high demand.”Consequently, the Governor said the BoJ implemented several measures in the December quarter to ease the demand pressures, and maintain stability within the financial system.These were: intervention sales of US$432.1 million in the foreign exchange market; establishment of a special foreign currency loan facility in October, for security dealers and deposit-taking institutions with foreign currency needs to repay margin arrangements in Government of Jamaica global bonds; establishment of a foreign currency intermediation facility in November to open the flow of credit in the system, and extension of same to include deposits and loans in local currency.Other measures include increasing interest rates across the spectrum of open market instruments in October and December; offering a special 15-day Certificate of Deposit to primary dealers and commercial banks in November; and increasing the statutory cash reserves requirement from 11 per cent to 13 per cent in December.Mr. Latibeaudiere lamented that, despite these measures, depreciation of the exchange rate continued, with demand remaining strong while supply was below seasonal levels.“The Bank has, therefore, implemented a temporary facility to satisfy the demand of public sector entities. By providing foreign exchange on a timely basis for payments such as oil imports, this measure should help to reduce some of the pressure in the market,” the Governor informed.He added that the monetary policy continues to be tight, with incremental increases totalling three percentage points in the cash reserve requirement, being effected in January and February.“We are going to have to be very careful about how we manage our external accounts. That’s why all of the monetary reinforcements that we have put in place, we can’t just start dismantling them, because any further demand for foreign exchange that is encouraged by bad policy, is simply going to mean a deterioration in the reserves,” Mr. Latibeaudiere stressed. RelatedNIR Remains Relatively Strong – BOJ Governorcenter_img RelatedNIR Remains Relatively Strong – BOJ Governor Advertisementslast_img read more

 

Orchard Lounge at Slake, Friday April 25

first_imgThe dazzling husband-wife duo from Chi-town, Orchard Lounge, made a marvelous return after a mini-hiatus, on April 25 at Slake NYC.  Produced and promoted by Mr. Bugsly, this event was definitely highly anticipated by all OL fans in and around the tri-state area.It’s always interesting to experience favorite performers in a venue they’ve never played before. Over months and years past, OL has spun at NYC venues such as Club 39, Hudson Terrace, Highline Ballroom, and more recently Output Club in Brooklyn. However, it was the multitude of rooms at Slake NYC that literally provided an infinite number of dance floors and couches absolutely essential for an proper Orchard Lounge set.  If you’ve never been to Slake, this is a multi-room, multi-level venue with a unique vibe to each nook and cranny.Tucci got the night started with an energetically deep set in the main room, and really did a great job of warming up the crowd in preparation for Orchard Lounge.  Queen B and Spencer (Orchard Lounge) arrived around 2am, and wasted zero time getting their distinctive groove started.  New York City was more ecstatic than ever to have the pair back in town; an OL set never disappoints.If you’re already craving more, fear not; you can catch Orchard Lounge Sept 5-7 at Catskill Chill Music Festival in upstate Hancock, NY.  [Photo Credit: Slake NYC ]last_img read more

 

Joe Bertolino leaving Lyndon State College

first_imgby Timothy McQuiston Vermont Business Magazine Vermont State Colleges (VSC) Chancellor Jeb Spaulding confirmed today that Lyndon State College President Joe Bertolino has accepted the presidency of Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). The move will bring him closer to his family in New York and New Jersey. The VSC Board of Trustees is likely to appoint an interim president for Lyndon State College within the month. Bertolino has been president of LSC since 2012. He told VBM late last year that he felt his time in Lyndon was drawing near its end and that he wanted to be closer to the New York City area. He previously had been a vice president at Queens College/City University of New York.“SCSU will have a dynamic new leader in Joe Bertolino. On behalf of the VSC Board of Trustees, I would like to thank Joe for his years of leadership and the strong sense of community he instilled at Lyndon State College. We remain steadfast in our commitment to a strong future for Lyndon and wish Joe the very best in his new role,” stated VSC Board Chair Martha O’Connor.VSC Chancellor Jeb Spaulding said, “During his time at Lyndon State College, Joe and his team have created a strong, studentcentered community that supports the success of all students.”He has also led efforts among his colleagues to build stronger connections among the colleges of the VSC. I am confident the Board will use this transition as an opportunity to build upon Joe’s work to enhance students’ academic experiences, to leverage systemwide resources on their behalf, and to pursue a strong alliance with Johnson State College.”This is the second recent opening for a VSC presidency. Dan Smith announced last month that he was leaveing Vermont Technical College (Story) for the Vermont Community Foundation.Lyndon continues to receive national recognition for its atmospheric sciences, electronic journalism arts and outdoor recreation management programs. This year it introduced the college’s first online degree program in early childhood education and created a new Center for Professional Studies. Recent capital projects include two new science labs, a new music, business and industry lab, a new electronic journalism arts studio, new smart classrooms, a new veterans’ lounge and several other public spaces. In the past two years, Lyndon has secured a record number of gifts from a record number of donors. With these new scholarship funds, many local students have come to Lyndon who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to attend college.In a message to the Lyndon community today, Bertolino wrote, “Lyndon is an extraordinary institution. Today I continue to be enamored with it. I am particularly proud of the relationships that we have built and that have strengthened our community. We have always come together to support one another. While the profile of our institution has increased, so too has our LSC Pride.”While Bertolino has had a profound impact on LSC and it has advanced his career in many ways, all of which he is aware of and appreciated, he told Vermont Business Magazine in its December 2015 issue (story by Joyce Marcel) that being the president of Lyndon State had one unforeseen down side: “Initially, I don’t think I fully appreciated what it means to be in a small community,” he said. “I have no anonymity here. What I say and what I do matters and is interpreted by many different people in many different ways. I might make a side comment or a joke, only to hear later that I’ve made some decision that I don’t know about. I have no privacy and I have no life. When I first came here, people would grab my cart in the White Market and pull me around the market and tell me what I should buy. And business is always being conducted. If I’m in the Dollar General or the Miss Lyndonville Diner, it is not unusual for someone to sit down in the booth and start talking to me about business. So I realize that my life is not my own.”Bertolino said at the time that he did not see himself staying at LSC for the rest of his career. “I’ll be here for a little while longer,” he said. “I’ve been very honest that I love it here and it’s a great place. The chancellor has asked me to stay and I’ve agreed to do that for the next couple of years. There’s a lot of work to be done here and with the VSC. I think we’ll be able to turn the enrollment situation around and generate additional revenue and get some major donors. You can’t just focus on 18-22-year-olds any more. I think with all we’re doing, we’ll be successful. And the relationships we’ve been developing with middle schools and high schools become critical.”Bertolino, openly gay, is also a national advocate for LGBTQ equality in higher education.He is a member of a group called LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education that only began organizing in 2010 with nine people. Now its membership is closer to 60. The rapid rise of opportunities for openly gay men and women at the college president’s level is keeping pace with the rapid expan­sion of gay rights in America, including the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn anti-gay marriage laws.“One of the reasons LGBTQ presidents come together is to hopefully mentor others,” Bertolino told VBM. “We want to say that if you are a good leader, the oppor­tunities will present themselves. But not in every region of the country, mind you. I’ve been out for virtu­ally all my college career. So when I was searching for a presidency, search firms would call and I’d say, ‘Before we continue this discussion, I have a partner of 20 years and his name is Bil. Is this going to be a problem? If so, let’s not waste each others’ time’.”Bertolino’s partner is Dr Bil Leipold, the chief of the Human Resources Office at Rutgers University in Newark, NJ.“We have a home in central New Jersey and we’re in a 400-mile commuter relationship,” Bertolino said. “He did not follow me here. The secret of our relationship success for 22 years is that sometimes we live together and sometimes we don’t.”A statement from VSC said Bertolino was selected by SCSU after a highly competitive search and will begin his new role in late August.Lyndon State College, founded in 1911, combines a liberal arts education with nationally recognized professional programs that integrate theory with handson experiences to prepare individuals for career success. Lyndon State offers twoand fouryear degrees and graduate degrees in education and liberal arts. Founded in 1911, Lyndon’s beautiful hilltop campus is located in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.last_img read more

 

Luxury market sees 54% drop in short sales

first_imgThis summary looks at single family homes over $500,000 in all areas of the Northeast Valley, including Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Fountain Hills, Rio Verde, Arcadia, Biltmore, Cave Creek and Carefree.SUPPLYThe supply of active listings offered for sale as of May 1 is 2,222 down 2% from last month and comprising 2,122 normal (down 2%), 83 short sales (down 8%) and 17 lender-owned (up 31%). Last year on the same date we had 2,017, with 1,803 normal, 179 short sales and 35 lender-owned. So supply is 10% higher than last year, with more sellers encouraged by the improvement in the market. Homes in distress have declined significantly over the last year with short sales down by 54% and lender-owned homes down by 51%. 2,222 luxury home listings remains a sufficient supply to satisfy the present number of buyers and the market remains fairly balanced, without the chronic shortages of supply which have been affecting prices at the low end of the market. For homes priced over $2,000,000 there are 454 active listings, down 8 from last month but 3% higher than the 439 we measured last year. This higher priced sector has more plentiful supply than the lower priced ranges. However this year there are only 2 lender-owned home and 5 short sales over $2,000,000, down from 5 and 13 on May 1, 2012.DEMAND – SALESThere were 354 sales closed though ARMLS in April, up 16% from the 305 reported in March, and up a strong 31% from the 271 we saw in April 2012. Since last December sales numbers have been getting increasingly impressive and this was the strongest April for sales over $500,000 that we have seen since 2007, when there were also 354 sales. There were 7 sales over $3,000,000 compared with 8 in April 2012, and 18 sales between $2,000,000 and $3,000,000, up from 10 in April 2012. The range from $1,500,000 to $2,000,000 declined from 16 to 11 sales, but all the lower price ranges saw substantial increases over last year. 92% of sales were normal in April 2013 compared with 82% last year.last_img read more