Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Prominent Economist Pens New Financial Crisis Book

Discussing his new book "The Shifts and the Shocks:What We've Learned-And Still Have To Learn-From The Financial Crisis,"former World Bank senior economist and current Financial Times columnist Martin Wolf said one of the lessons learned is how much can be hidden away in the strange crevices.Today there is more capital in the system than in 2008;there is a very chastened mood;some deleveraging of economies has occurred;the mood is a little bit of recurring optimism.That doesn't mean it can't become more fragile again.
The staggering complexity of the financial system made it difficult to foresee the crisis of '08-such as the shadow banking system,particularly in housing finance.Loans were packaged by intermediaries into very complex securities parceled out into tranches of risk.Huge new pools of investors bought these securities.These were replacements for the old,simple banking system.The whole thing started to be a house of cards.*
The regulators should have seen there was no single,overarching US regulator.The Fed thought there were no huge risks:these were grownups who could understand the risks they were creating,the Fed thought;but the capital structure encouraged people to hide the risks.*
The US economy now is roughly a sixth smaller,so getting inflation above the target is going to be particularly hard.It's very important to avoid deflation,so you have to keep rates low until the economy really recovers.Nobody wants to lend anymore.Banks only want to lend to people who won't spend it.There's no point in that.The fiscal position has tightened dramatically.The demand side of the US economy remains incredibly weak,meaning the world's economy is also.
The monetary policy might tighten a bit,but I think short term rates will not tighten to what we consider normal for a very long time.Ultimately we are headed for another financial crisis;the system isn't reformed enough.Here in the US,it won't be in this decade;I would be concerned about succeeding decades.The risks are there that,as soon as recovery starts,people will start borrowing again,and the structures for that are there,author Martin Wolf observed.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Boeing's Commercial Space Business

Boeing's commercial space business got a reaffirmation Tuesday when NASA announced it had chosen Boeing's Crew Space Transportation-100 and SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft to begin flying US astronauts to the International Space Station in 2017.bOEING GOT A 4.2 billion dollar contract;while SpaceX got a 2.6 billion dollar contract.Boeing has been part of every American human space flight program,and we're honored that NASA has chosen us to continue that legacy,said John Elbon,Vice President and General Manager of Space Exploration.The CST-100 offers NASA the most cost-effective,safe,innovative and proven successor to the Space Shuttle.*
Boeing hopes to take commercial passengers and other governments to space eventually as well,working with Bigelow Aerospace and Space Adventures.*
In July,Boeing completed the critical design review and Phase Two Spacecraft Safety Review for the CST-100.It is the only competitor to pass a CDR as well as all Commercial Crew Integrated Capability development phase milestones on time and on budget.Boeing is building a factory in Florida for the capsules.It is working on an initial run of three spacecraft.John Mulholland,Commercial Space Exploration Program Manager noted the upcoming certification tests on pad abort.Well over 100 parts have been delivered to Boeing,which is utilising the old shuttle hangar OPM-3 for the assembly,integration and testing of the CST-100.*
The CST-100 has a seven person maximum capacity.It is a manned spacecraft that was built from scratch,which hadn't been done in decades.Unlike the shuttle program,Boeing will be delivering a service as well as hardware.CST-100 is a complete transportation system,including the Spacecraft;Launch Vehicle;Ground Operations;Mission Operations;and Recovery.*
The interior of the CST-100 features tablet displays and multicolour LED lighting,which is already used in Boeing commercial airplanes.The capsule can be manufactured without welding,for greater structural integrity.The Atlas V rocket has been selected for initial flight tests and verification of the spacecraft.*
Boeing partner Bigelow Aerospace is developing an inflatable commercial space station,while partner Space Adventures has already brokered space flights aboard the ISS.*