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Greece: Preliminary Draft Debt Sustainability Analysis

International Monetary Fund – IMF Country Report No. 15/165. July 2, 2015 – “At the last review in May 2014, Greece’s public debt was assessed to be getting back on a path toward sustainability, though it remained highly vulnerable to shocks. By late summer 2014, with interest rates having declined further, it appeared that no further debt relief would have been needed under the November 2012 framework, if the program were to have been implemented as agreed. But significant changes in policies since then—not least, lower primary surpluses and a weak reform effort that will weigh on growth and privatization—are leading to substantial new financing needs. Coming on top of the very high existing debt, these new financing needs render the debt dynamics unsustainable. This conclusion holds whether one examines the stock of debt under the November 2012 framework or switches the focus to debt servicing or gross financing needs. To ensure that debt is sustainable with high probability, Greek policies will need to come back on track but also, at a minimum, the maturities of existing European loans will need to be extended significantly while new European financing to meet financing needs over the coming years will need to be provided on similar concessional terms. But if the package of reforms under consideration is weakened further—in particular, through a further lowering of primary surplus targets and even weaker structural reforms—haircuts on debt will become necessary.

Washington Post database collecting data on citizen killings by police

“The Washington Post is compiling a database of every fatal shooting in the United States by a police officer in the line of duty in 2015. The Post is tracking more than a dozen details about each killing — including the race of the deceased, the circumstances of the shooting, and whether the person wasContinue Reading

Unisys Security Insights – Report for US

“Consumers in the U.S. are most concerned about data breaches at retailers and government agencies. U.S. consumers indicated relatively lower levels of concern about data breaches at other organizations such as airlines, healthcare and telecom companies. Interestingly, the perceived threat of data breaches is low for banks and utilities, possibly reflecting traditional high levels ofContinue Reading

BP Deep Water Horizon Settlement of 18.7B to states is tax deductible and spread over 18 years

WSJ blog: “BP PLC agreed Thursday to pay $18.7 billion to settle federal and state claims over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The penalty includes the biggest pollution fine in U.S. history. Here’s what you should know…” See also via New York Times –  BP to Pay $18.7 Billion for Deepwater Horizon Oil SpillContinue Reading

Promoting an open research culture

Science 26 June 2015:  Vol. 348 no. 6242 pp. 1422-1425 DOI: 10.1126/science.aab2374 “Transparency, openness, and reproducibility are readily recognized as vital features of science. When asked, most scientists embrace these features as disciplinary norms and values. Therefore, one might expect that these valued features would be routine in daily practice. Yet, a growing body of evidenceContinue Reading

GAO Reports – VA Disability Benefits, Navy Working Capital Fund, Electricity, Federal Transit Benefits, Medicaid, Youth Athletes

Veterans’ Disability Benefits: VA Can Better Ensure Unemployability Decisions Are Well Supported, GAO-15-464: Published: Jun 2, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 2, 2015. Navy Working Capital Fund: Budgeting for Carryover at Fleet Readiness Centers Could Be Improved, GAO-15-462: Published: Jun 30, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2015. Electricity: Generation Mix Has Shifted, and Growth in ConsumptionContinue Reading

GAO – Bank and Other Depository Regulators Need Better Data Analytics

Cybersecurity: Bank and Other Depository Regulators Need Better Data Analytics and Depository Institutions Want More Usable Threat Information, GAO-15-509: Published: Jul 2, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 2, 2015. “Regulators use a risk-based examination approach to oversee the adequacy of information security at depository institutions—banks, thrifts, and credit unions—but could better target future examinations by analyzingContinue Reading

Medicare Advantage 2015 Spotlight: Enrollment Market Update

Kaiser Family Foundation – Jun 30, 2015 | Gretchen Jacobson, Anthony Damico, Tricia Neuman, and Marsha Gold “Despite concerns that reductions in payments to Medicare Advantage plans enacted in the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) would lead to reductions in Medicare Advantage enrollment, the number and share of Medicare beneficiaries enrolling in Medicare AdvantageContinue Reading

A ten-year follow-up of a study of memory for the attack of September 11, 2001

A ten-year follow-up of a study of memory for the attack of September 11, 2001: Flashbulb memories and memories for flashbulb events. Hirst, William; Phelps, Elizabeth A.; Meksin, Robert; Vaidya, Chandan J.; Johnson, Marcia K.; Mitchell, Karen J.; Buckner, Randy L.; Budson, Andrew E.; Gabrieli, John D. E.; Lustig, Cindy; Mather, Mara; Ochsner, Kevin N.;Continue Reading

Paper – Internet searching not a substitute for knowledge

“Searching the Internet for information may make people feel smarter than they actually are, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association. “The Internet is such a powerful environment, where you can enter any question, and you basically have access to the world’s knowledge at your fingertips,” said lead researcher Matthew Fisher, aContinue Reading

Federal Funding for Science and Engineering Declined by $1B

“In FY 2013, federal agencies obligated $29 billion to 995 academic institutions for science and engineering (S&E) activities. This represents a 6% decrease in current dollars from the $31 billion obligated to 1,073 academic institutions in FY 2012. This is the third year in a row of declining S&E funding to academic institutions. These statisticsContinue Reading

UK Airports Commission: Final Report 2015

From the Report: “The London airport capacity problem has perplexed governments for over fifty years, for reasons that are not hard to find. The considerable benefits of aviation accrue to the many, while the environmental costs are borne by the (relatively) few. For those who live near them airports are noisy neighbours and are greedyContinue Reading