Trey Anastasio To Perform Solo Acoustic Concert Series

first_imgWith 2017 looking to be a light year for Phish, the band’s members – specifically Mike Gordon and Trey Anastasio – have been announcing tour dates with their side projects. Anastasio has a number of dates on the books with his regular outfit, the Trey Anastasio Band, but the guitarist will also hit the road in true solo fashion for a mini tour this March.Anastasio will go solo for three acoustic performances in the Northeast, spanning from March 8th through the 11th. The shows will take place at Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton, MA on March 8th, followed by Troy Savings Bank Hall in Troy, NY on March 10th, and finally The Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH on March 11th. Ticket information, including pre-sale dates and more, can be found on Trey’s website.The Phish guitarist’s most recent solo acoustic engagement came on A Prairie Home Companion, where Trey performed by himself and with Chris Thile for the variety program. You can check out videos from that here. Additionally, Anastasio performed a solo acoustic mini-set for the acclaimed NPR Music “Tiny Desk” series, and you can watch that video below.Trey Anastasio Solo Acoustic Tour DatesMarch 8th: Academy of Music Theatre, Northampton, MAMarch 10th: Troy Savings Bank Hall, Troy, NYMarch 11th: The Music Hall, Portsmouth, NHlast_img read more

New Recording Of The First Grateful Dead Studio Session Of 1975 Emerges [Listen]

first_imgA newly released reel of The Grateful Dead from 1975 has emerged on archive.org containing what compiler Alan Bershaw believes “to be the first 1975 Grateful Dead studio session, with the musicians recording an embryonic version of the ‘Blues For Allah’ title track.” The twenty-two-minute recording is fully instrumental, and from the notes, only has the core members of the Dead present on the recording.The hard copy of the reel was labelled with the notations, “The First Day” and “January,” which are believed to refer to January 1st of 1975 or the Dead’s first recording session during the month or serve as a reference for the band or for Robert Hunter. While the recording has been in circulation before spliced into two parts, this new version remains uncut and of higher sound quality. Take a listen for yourself below, courtesy of uploader Matthew Vernon, and check out the full notes from the original reel-holder Alan Bershaw below.This reel contains what I believe to be the first 1975 Grateful Dead studio session, with the musicians recording an embryonic version of the “Blues For Allah” title track. Its also the earliest recording for what would become the “SNACK Jam,” that they’d soon begin rehearsing with additional musicians (Ned Lagin, Merle Saunders and David Crosby) the following month. This is not to be confused with any of the content on those February 1975 SNACK rehearsals for the Kezar Stadium gig, as Crosby and Saunders are not present here. It also does not match any other “Blues For Allah” studio outtakes tapes that I’m aware of. It’s questionable whether or not Ned Lagin is present here, but I only hear Keith Godchaux playing electric piano. This leads me to believe that this is just the core band with Mickey Hart back on board. There are no vocals, so Donna Godchaux is not present on this recording.The reel case only contains the notation “The First Day” and a date of “January.” I have a few theories for this notation. It could mean that it was literally the first day of 1975, as in January 1, 1975. I think a more likely theory is that it was simply the first day of 1975 studio sessions sometime in January. Bob Gurman, who I inherited this reel from, thought it was the actual working title of this composition, since it was still an instrumental and prior to Robert Hunter’s lyrics being written. I’ve also speculated that this could have been recorded as a guide reference for the band and additional Kezar musicians prior to those rehearsals. It may also have been recorded for Hunter as a template for writing lyrics. Or some combination of all of these possibilities… I should also add that I’m aware of another version of this recording. I also have a DAT that I think I received in trade from Steven Martin back in the early 1990s. That contains this same recording, but with it divided into two sequences, with a short break in the middle. On this reel, those two sequences are seamlessly spliced together. Despite this spliced version originating from the same two sequences, the reel sounds significantly better and has considerably more dynamic range than the two sequences found on the DAT.I’ve scoured through all known notation for 1975 Grateful Dead studio sessions, outtakes and rehearsals, but can find no mention or match to this particular recording – or of any January 1975 studio recordings for that matter. Surprising, since this is such remarkable quality. It very well may be the earliest recording of the Grateful Dead’s return following the 1974 retirement. Have a listen. I don’t think anyone will be disappointed. Alan Bershaw – January 2017Alan Bershaw – January 2017last_img read more

Lake Street Dive Performs “Good Kisser” On Colbert [Watch]

first_imgLake Street Dive released their new album, Free Yourself Up, via Nonesuch Records last Friday. In support of the new release, the group stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on CBS to perform their lead single “Good Kisser”. Watch the performance below, as well as the official music video here.[Video: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert]Free Yourself Up marks Lake Street Dive’s second release on Nonesuch Records. The band—drummer Michael Calabrese, bassist Bridget Kearney, singer Rachael Price, and guitarist/trumpeter Michael “McDuck” Olson—produced the album themselves at Nashville’s Goosehead Palace Studios with engineer Dan Knobler.Lake Street Dive also kicked off an extensive in their hometown of Boston on Friday night. Most dates on the first leg are already sold out, but they’ve got a lot more coming up between now and November, including shows with support from artists like Madison Ward and the Mama Bears, Mikaela Davis, and Robert Finley. Ticketing information for the upcoming shows can be found via the band’s website and you can order Free Yourself Up here.last_img read more

Happy Opening to the Cast of B’way’s The Father

first_img The Father © Justin “Squigs” Robertson About the Artist: With a desire to celebrate the magic of live theater and those who create it, and with a deep reverence for such touchstones as the work of Al Hirschfeld and the wall at Sardi’s, Squigs is happy and grateful to be among those carrying on the traditions where theater and caricature meet. He was born and raised in Oregon, lived in Los Angeles for quite a long time and now calls New York City his home. Florian Zeller’s The Father, which is currently breaking the hearts of audience members at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre eight times a week, opens officially on April 14. Directed by Doug Hughes, the translation by two-time Tony and Oscar winner Christopher Hampton is led on Broadway by three-time Tony winner and Oscar nominee Frank Langella.To mark the American premiere of the brutally honest examination of dementia, Broadway.com resident artist Justin “Squigs” Robertson penned this sketch. In the center is Langella as Andre, and surrounding him (left to right) are Hannah Cabell as Laura, Charles Borland as Man, Brian Avers as Pierre, Kathryn Erbe as Anne and Kathleen McNenny as Woman.Broadway.com wishes The Father team a happy opening…we hope you’ll be given watches as first night gifts! View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on June 19, 2016 Frank Langella Star Files Related Showslast_img read more

Wildfire Smoke

first_imgIf you’ve walked outside during the last week, you’ve probably noticed the smell of smoke in the air. The current exceptional drought covering much of northern Georgia and surrounding states has created perfect conditions for the growth of wildfires, which can be caused by careless trash burning, sparks from chains dragging behind trailers, or in a few cases, arson. The smoke from the fires can be carried a long way downwind, and winds from the north this week have directed a lot of the smoke right at Athens and Atlanta. Because of high atmospheric pressure,which acts like a lid on the smoke plumes, the smoke is concentrated near the ground. As the wind shifts around with the weather patterns, areas may see exceptionally heavy smoke or may experience clearer conditions. Air quality conditions can be tracked at the Environmental Protection Agency’s AirNow website at airnow.gov. A web page devoted to the fires and plumes can be found at www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=topics.smoke_wildfires. Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division of Air Quality also provides a map of current conditions at amp.georgiaair.org.The smoke particles from fires can be very irritating to lungs, especially for those who are already prone to asthma or other respiratory diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers tips for protecting yourself from wildfire smoke at www.cdc.gov/features/wildfires.No immediate end to the wildfires is seen in the near-term forecast. With no rain forecast for the next week, extremely dry conditions will continue. Winds from the south may come into the area in the next day as a cold front approaches the area, clearing the air for Athens. However, winds from the north will return after the front passes, bringing the smoke back to Athens and Atlanta. Southern Regional Extension Forestry, housed at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources has more information about the smoke at www.sref.info/news/articles/new-wildland-fire-education-resources-offer-extension-more-ways-to-get-involved .last_img read more

Disrupting the Illicit Economy that Sustains the Maduro Regime

first_imgBy Celina B. Realuyo* October 19, 2020 Nicolás Maduro and his cronies remain in control in Venezuela despite intense diplomatic pressure to move to a democratic transition, economic sanctions, and international recognition of Juan Guaidó as the acting president of Venezuela since January 23, 2019. The Maduro regime oppresses the population, destroyed the legitimate economy, engages in massive corruption, and increasingly depends on the illicit economy to survive. Hyperinflation, food and medicine shortages, insecurity and economic ruin have created a humanitarian crisis that has forced over five million Venezuelans to flee the country. The United Nations estimates that 90 percent of Venezuelans are living in poverty. The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating the human tragedy in Venezuela, once the richest country in South America.The Maduro regime engages in various illicit activities including narcotics trafficking, illegal oil sales, and gold shipments. The regime also relies on Cuba, Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, and Colombian guerrilla members of the National Liberation Army (ELN, in Spanish) and former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, in Spanish) to keep itself in power. The U.S. government’s “maximum pressure” campaign seeks to impede access to the illicit economy that the Maduro regime depends on. It includes extensive sanctions on the oil and gold sectors, the public indictment of Maduro and his associates on narcoterrorism charges, a $15 million bounty reward for Maduro’s arrest and conviction, and U.S. enhanced counternarcotics operations, with international support, in the Caribbean and Central America that began April 1, 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns, paralysis of global trade, and collapse of global oil prices are further aggravating the crisis in Venezuela. It is unclear how long the Maduro regime can cling to power given increased U.S. and international pressure and this challenging operating environment for Venezuela.Promoting the cocaine tradeA wanted poster for Tareck El Aissami that was released on March 26, 2020. The U.S. Justice Department has indicted Venezuela’s socialist leader Nicolás Maduro, and several key aides, on charges of narcoterrorism. (Photo: Associated Press)With cocaine production in Colombia at record levels, Venezuela has become an increasingly important transshipment point for international cocaine trafficking. The Maduro regime is enriching itself from the illicit drug trade. On November 14, 2019, U.S. Navy Admiral Craig S. Faller, commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), stated that “Maduro’s regime has facilitated narcotrafficking with over a 50 percent increase of narcotrafficking in and through Venezuela, and Maduro and his cronies are lining their pockets, in cahoots with the narcotrafficking.”The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimated that in 2018, 240 tons of cocaine crossed into Venezuela from Colombia to be flown out of the country with a potential value of around $39 billion on the streets. According to CNN, the cocaine crosses the porous Colombian-Venezuelan border through illegal routes, is then moved by sea to Europe or via small airplanes to Honduras, and transported through Mexico to the United States.The Maduro regime has been implicated in drug trafficking for years in partnership with the FARC and the ELN, which have helped keep Maduro in power. As far back as 2008, the U.S. Treasury Department designated senior Venezuelan officials such as Hugo Carvajal, then director of Venezuela’s military intelligence (DGCIM, in Spanish); and Henry Rangel Silva, then director of intelligence, as major drug traffickers under the Kingpin Act. In February 2017, Treasury added then Vice President Tareck El Aissami, to the “kingpin” list, and accused him of facilitating shipments of narcotics from Venezuela by air and by sea, and of protecting other narcotraffickers operating in Venezuela, (including the Mexican cartel Los Zetas, and Colombian drug lord Daniel “El Loco” Barrera). Two of Maduro’s nephews were convicted in U.S. court and sentenced to 18 years in prison for trying to transport 800 kilograms of cocaine into the U.S. in 2017.Maduro charged with drug traffickingIn a historic move on March 26, 2020, U.S. Attorney General William Barr charged Maduro and 14 members of his inner circle with drug trafficking, money laundering, and narcoterrorism. This criminal indictment is only the second the U.S. has brought against a foreign head of state since the 1998 indictment against Panama’s Manuel Noriega. U.S. officials alleged a detailed conspiracy headed by Maduro that worked with Colombian guerrillas to transform Venezuela into a transshipment point for moving massive amounts of cocaine to the United States. At the same time, the U.S. State Department announced a reward of up to $15 million for information related to Maduro and up to $10 million each for information related to Diosdado Cabello Rondón, president of the illegitimate National Constituent Assembly; Army Major General (ret.) Clíver Alcalá Cordones; as well as Carvajal and El Aissami. While holding key positions in the Maduro regime, these individuals violated the public trust by facilitating shipments of narcotics from Venezuela, and by controlCans with diverse products to make cocaine base paste sit in a clandestine lab next to the Inirida River, Guaviare department, Colombia, on September 25, 2017. According to experts and NGOs, neighboring Venezuela has moved from being a drug transit country to being involved in the first phases of production. (Photo: Raul Arboleda/AFP)ling planes departing from Venezuelan air bases and drug routes through Venezuelan ports, among others.On April 1, 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the launch of enhanced counternarcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere. “In cooperation with the 22 partner nations, U.S. Southern Command will increase surveillance, disruption, and seizures of drug shipments and provide additional support for eradication efforts, which are going on right now at a record pace. We’re deploying additional Navy destroyers, combat ships, aircraft, and helicopters; Coast Guard cutters; and Air Force surveillance aircraft, doubling our capabilities in the region,” he said.U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper drew a link between the pandemic and the new military operation, saying that criminal organizations are trying to capitalize on the fact that governments are distracted by the COVID-19 outbreak. He said, “transnational criminal organizations continue to threaten our security and destroy lives and furthermore, corrupt actors like the illegitimate Maduro regime in Venezuela rely on the profits derived from the sale of narcotics to maintain their oppressive hold on power. The Venezuelan people continue to suffer due to Maduro’s criminal control of the country.” SOUTHCOM has reported five significant cocaine interdiction operations from April 1–May 15, 2020.Evading U.S. oil sanctions Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world, with a total of 303.3 billion barrels in 2019, and its oil revenues account for over 95 percent of export earnings. Venezuela nationalized the oil industry and created the Venezuelan state-owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) in 1976. It turned to international oil companies like ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, Total, and ConocoPhillips for expertise to help develop its extra-heavy crude reserves. The oil industry has deteriorated dramatically over the past 20 years due to mismanagement, underinvestment, expropriations, and the exploitation of oil revenues to fund generous social programs, as well as the regime under Hugo Chávez, then Maduro. Venezuela’s oil production fell to 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2018, a decrease of more than 50 percent below 2006 levels, and further declined to 796,000 bpd by the end of 2019.To pressure the Maduro regime after Guaidó was declared interim president of Venezuela, the U.S. targeted the lucrative oil sector and sanctioned PDVSA on January 28, 2019 to block all PDVSA property and interests subject to U.S. jurisdiction, and prohibit U.S. citizens from engaging in transactions with them. The sanctions were intended to prevent the Maduro regime from further looting the assets of the Venezuelan people.Russia’s state-run energy company Rosneft has been very involved with Venezuela’s nationalized oil industry, providing significant capital investment and equipment since the time of Chávez. Moscow and Beijing own a massive amount of Venezuela’s prospective oil output and revenue as payment on debt. By August 2019, Rosneft took more than 66 percent of Venezuela’s oil shipments that was then resold to Asian buyers. According to Bloomberg, “invisible” tankers that turned off their transponders in Venezuelan waters to avoid GPS detection secretly exported Venezuelan oil reserves to circumvent U.S. sanctions and resurrect the oil industry. Of 10.86 million barrels of oil exported by Venezuela in the first 11 days of November 2019, around half were transported by this method, and most were delivered to China or India.On April 22, 2020, the Trump administration ordered Chevron, the last U.S. oil company operating in Venezuela, to halt oil production by December 1. This wind down order also applied to four oil service providers: Halliburton, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, and Weatherford International. This is the latest U.S. measure to further starve the Maduro regime of its cash. As a result of U.S. sanctions, oil exports must be sold at a large discount, and the country heavily depends on imports of gasoline. In an apparent attempt to skirt U.S. sanctions, five Iranian tankers sailed to Venezuela in late May, carrying at least $45.5 million worth of gasoline and similar products. The collapse of global oil prices to historic lows prompted by oversupply and decreasing demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic will translate into even more of a cash crunch for the Maduro regime as Venezuela sells each barrel of oil at a significant loss.Going for the goldMen work at Nacupay gold mine on the bank of a river in El Callao, Bolívar state, Southeastern Venezuela, on February 24, 2017. (Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP)The Maduro regime is increasingly dependent on gold for its survival. Venezuela has one of the world’s largest in-ground gold reserves and also had one of the largest reserves of monetary gold until just recently. Only a few years ago, Venezuela ranked 16th in the world in terms of monetary gold with more than 360 tons of gold. The increasingly isolated regime has turned to sales of Venezuela’s gold reserves as one of the only sources of foreign currency. The Central Bank’s reserves have fallen to their lowest levels with just 102 tons of gold reserves, worth some $4 billion, but a third of the total is being held by the Bank of England, which has refused to repatriate it back to Venezuela under Maduro. There have been recent reports of “gold for gasoline” schemes between Venezuela and Iran that involved invisible tankers and suspicious direct flights from Tehran to Caracas from Iran state-owned Mahan Air (under U.S. sanctions), as well as “gold for food” deals with Turkey.Besides the actual sale of gold reserves overseas, the Maduro regime has exploited Venezuela’s gold mining sector to enrich itself. The gold sector has become Maduro’s newfound revenue generator, compensating for the oil industry’s collapse. Maduro uses cash and gold from illegal mining to keep Venezuela’s military loyal. While only Venezuela’s state-owned gold company Minerven is legally entitled to process gold, metal from illegal mining has fallen into the hands of Maduro’s inner circle that took over Venezuela’s rogue gold industry in 2017 — it was previously dominated by criminal gangs. First lady Cilia Flores and her family; Rafael Hernández Dala, DGCIM director; and El Aissami — all of whom have been sanctioned by the U.S — lead the government mafia group known as the Team.Operating at least six gold extraction plants, the consortium is capable of producing more than 16 tons of gold per year, but is also forcing the smaller independent operators to sell them their output under the threat of violence, detention, or loss of their access to fuel in the remote mining area. The purchase of this gold, extracted illegally by the small miners, nets another 12 tons per year, worth more than $1.5 billion per year.These gold mining operations sell one part of the extracted gold to the Central Bank and the other part is taken out of the country without any kind of control. In 2018, Venezuela sold almost 24 tons of “unrefined” gold valued at more than $900 million to Turkey, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute. It was exchanged for supplies later included in government subsidized food boxes for poor Venezuelans. In March 2019, a Russian cargo plane made two trips from Caracas to Entebbe, Uganda. Ugandan authorities were investigating the country’s biggest gold refinery, African Gold Refinery, over imports of an estimated 7.4 tons of gold, valued at around $300 million, after state-run media reported it could have originated from Venezuela. U.S. economic sanctions have seen Caracas turn increasingly toward gold transactions to evade international financial barriers and make payments for vital imports, including food and medicine. As a result, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sectoral sanctions on Minerven and Venezuela’s gold mining industry to curb the revenues funding the Maduro regime.The illegitimate Maduro regime relies on the illicit economy through narcotics trafficking, illegal oil sales, and illicit gold mining to sustain itself. The U.S. and partner nations have engaged in an aggressive diplomatic, economic, and law enforcement campaign to isolate, sanction, and indict Maduro and his inner circle in the hopes of moving toward a democratic transition in Venezuela. As the COVID-19 pandemic impacts the health and economy of the Western Hemisphere, the operating environment for the Maduro regime is increasingly difficult. There is hope that the enhanced counternarcotics operations, collapse of global oil prices, and increased oversight of illegal gold mining will curtail these revenue-generating activities that prop up the regime and eventually bring democracy and relief to the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. *Celina B. Realuyo is professor of Practice at the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric and Defense Studies at the National Defense University, in Washington, D.C. The views expressed in this chapter are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, the National Defense University, or the U.S. Department of Defense.last_img read more

Guys and Dolls a Hit at The New Argyle Theatre

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The Argyle Theatre at Babylon Village made its Long Island theatre debut May 10 with the 1950 classic musical Guys and Dolls.Father-and-son owners Mark and Dylan Perlman and artistic director Evan Pappas, along with their fantastic creative production team and cast, mounted an extraordinary production that put ear-to-ear smiles on a full house of excited theatregoers on opening night.“It’s a very sweet show with great characters that you fall in love with,” Pappas says.Guys and Dolls features brilliant choreography, lighting and a set that puts the audience right in the heart of New York City to experience gambling shenanigans, tall tales, broken promises and finally, unequivocal love.Argyle’s beautifully renovated theatre boasts lots of legroom, new concession area, balcony and orchestra pit. The seats are quite nostalgic, too, as they’re right from New York City’s own Beacon Theatre.The cast stars Elizabeth Broadhurst and Todd Buonopane as Miss Adelaide and Nathan Detroit, Spencer Plachy as Sky Masterson, Melissa Maricich as Miss Sarah Brown, and Robert Anthony Jones as Nicely-Nicely Johnson.In addition to comedic flair, each actor portrays their character with so much heart and “honesty,” that “the audience is sure to go on their journey with them,” says Pappas.With all-time favorites such as “A Bushel and a Peck,” “Luck, Be a Lady,” “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat” and “Adelaide’s Lament,” Argyle’s Guys and Dolls is a toe tapping, hand-clapping, laugh-out-loud show, not to be missed.Rounding out the cast are Piera Calabro, Connor Cook, Nancy Evans, David A. Ferguson, Tom Giron, Whitney Renne Hickman, Danielle Sue Jordan, Gerard Lanzerotti, Kyra Leeds, Cody Marcukaitis, Datus Puryear, Stephen Valenti, and Shelley Valfer.“This production, while staying true to the story, music and lyrics, is so fresh and innovative,” Dylan Pearlman says. “The proof is in the pudding.”Argyle Theatre, 34 West Main St., Babylon. argyletheater.com, 844-631-5483. Guys and Dolls tickets $74-$79. Through June 17.last_img read more

This week: NAFCU rep Zook set to testify on NCUA budget; NAFCU ramps up data security push

first_imgNCUA headquarters 14SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr NAFCU this week will continue its efforts to create a strong national data security standard as the Senate Banking Committee holds a hearing on credit bureaus’ data protection. Beverly Zook, president and CEO of Money One Federal Credit Union, will also testify in the NCUA’s budget hearing and the association will monitor the NCUA Board’s consideration of two proposals related to exam appeals.Additionally, Thursday is the compliance deadline for the CFPB’s final amendments to its mortgage servicing rules. NAFCU has a host of resources on the rules available here.The Senate Banking Committee’s hearing begins at 10 a.m. Eastern tomorrow. During the hearing, committee members will hear from two experts on the responsible use of consumer data and how to uphold consumers’ right to privacy.Senate Banking Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, last week sent a letter to three federal agencies questioning their ability to oversee credit bureaus and ensure consumer data is protected. He requested their responses by this Friday.center_img continue reading »last_img read more

European pension funds shrug off risk of asset bubble

first_imgThe risk of an asset bubble bursting and stalling European economic recovery has been shrugged off by pension funds, despite concerns remaining about the impact of quantitative easing (QE) and the lack of structural reforms.Asked in IPE’s latest Focus Group if the European recovery would be sustainable over the medium-term, 20% of pension funds said they were either certain of very confident, while a further half of respondents said they were quite confident.None of the 21 respondents, representing funds with nearly €275bn in assets, felt the recovery was unsustainable, but one did say it remained concerned about the foundation of growth in future.The funds also rejected the idea that a European asset price bubble could derail growth, despite the search for yield driving up prices in markets including real estate and infrastructure. Only 28% said they believed an asset bubble would burst, whereas the remainder of respondents argued it would not occur.According to one Dutch fund, the risk of a bubble was elsewhere. “Such a bubble is more likely in the US, but not in Europe.”However, concerns over Europe remained. One fund representative said growth faced too much uncertainty and cited lack of reform in “key” countries such as France, as well as Greece, as reason for worry.A Spanish fund raised several more potential hurdles facing growth, such as the proceeds of QE not flowing into the real economy and the stimulus programme being launched by the European Central Bank at a time when rates were already low.“Much needed structural reforms have hardly been made in Europe, and now with QE and lower oil prices there is even less pressure to enact them,” the Spanish respondent added.Despite the concerns over lack of reform and the impact of stimulus, two-thirds of respondents said that increased business investment would drive growth over the next 18 months. A similar percentage of respondents felt that monetary stimulus would also drive growth over the same period, while half of pension funds surveyed were neutral on whether growth would be driven by increased labour productivity. Read more results from the Focus Group in the current issue of IPElast_img read more

4 ‘shabu peddlers’ fall in buy-bust

first_imgBACOLOD City – Four suspected drug peddlers were nabbed in a buy-bustoperation in Barangay 10. They were detained in the lockup cell of Police Station 1. Charges for violation of Republic Act 9165, or the ComprehensiveDangerous Drugs Act of 2002 will be filed against them./PN Six sachets of suspected shabu weighing about 1.7 grams valued ataround P11,000 were seized from Arturo Espina III, 27; Arjay Figueroa, 44; JohnRey Almohea, 31; and Brian Jarobilla, 30, a police report showed. The suspects – all residents of the village – were caught after theysold a sachet of suspected illegal drugs to an undercover officer for P300around 11:30 p.m. on March 7, it added.last_img