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Daily Archives: August 26, 2013

Financing Natural Catastrophe Exposure: Issues and Options for Improving Risk Transfer Markets

Financing Natural Catastrophe Exposure: Issues and Options for Improving Risk Transfer Markets, Rawle O. King, Specialist in Financial Economics and Risk Assessment. August 15, 2013

“The federal government has an established institutional framework for disaster preparedness, reduction, prevention, and response—mainly disaster assistance. However, concerns have been expressed about the nation’s increasing exposure and vulnerability to natural hazards. The rising cost of financing recovery and reconstruction following natural disasters, reports of the nation’s increasing vulnerability to coastal hazards, questions concerning the capacity of state and local governments and private insurers to deal with the rising costs, and disagreements concerning the appropriate role of the federal government in dealing with these costs have all become major topics of congressional debate. The financial consequences of catastrophic natural disasters, such as Hurricanes Katrina (2005) and Sandy (2012), are largely a result of increasing population growth and the rising concentration of property assets in vulnerable disaster-prone areas. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hurricane Katrina caused more than $80 billion in economic losses (both insured and uninsured) to private property and infrastructure and, more recently, Hurricane Sandy caused more than $65 billion in economic losses. New York and New Jersey—two of the nation’s most populous states—were especially affected by Hurricane Sandy-induced storm surge and coastal flooding. Sandy also triggered a sustained and heightened policy interest in the potential effects of climate change and population growth on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the feasibility of innovative public-private sector catastrophe risk management and financing initiatives, and consideration of cost-effective and practical adaptation strategies to make society more financially resilient.”

Changing the Federal Reserve’s Mandate: An Economic Analysis

CRS – Changing the Federal Reserve’s Mandate: An Economic Analysis. Marc Labonte, Specialist in Macroeconomic Policy. August 12, 2013 “The Federal Reserve’s (Fed’s) current statutory mandate calls for it to “promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.” Some economists have argued that this mandate should be replaced with… Continue Reading

Financial Disclosure by Federal Officials and Publication of Disclosure Reports

CRS – Financial Disclosure by Federal Officials and Publication of Disclosure Reports, Jack Maskell, Legislative Attorney. August 22, 2013 “High-level officials in all three branches of the federal government are required to publicly disclose detailed information concerning their financial holdings and transactions in income-producing property and assets, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and real… Continue Reading

DOD – Information Technology and Cyber Operations

Via Steven Aftergood, testimony of director of the National Security Agency and Commander of U.S. Cyber Command: Information Technology and Cyber Operations: Modernization and Policy Issues to Support the Future Force, hearing before the House Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities, March 13, 2013 (published July 2013). “Potential adversaries are demonstrating… Continue Reading

New SEC Ethics Rule Expands Ban on Former Employee Contact

Bloomberg: “Hundreds of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawyers and examiners face new obstacles to cashing in on their agency experience under an expanded ethics rule to take effect in January. The change targets the practice of regulators moving to jobs at law firms and investment banks where they capitalize on their SEC relationships. The… Continue Reading

Der Spiegel – New leaked NSA documents outline NSA surveillance at UN

Spiegel Online International, Laura Poitras, Marcel Rosenbach and Holger Stark: “The NSA documents seen by SPIEGEL also show that the US intelligence agency has managed to penetrate deeply into the UN. In June of last year, a report notes that the NSA had gained access to the UN’s internal teleconferencing system.” Continue Reading

Case studies and summaries from OCLC Research FAST users survey

FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) Users: Summary and Case Studies, written by Research Assistant Jeff Mixter and Consulting Project Manager Eric Childress, includes case studies of sixteen parties (nine adopters, seven non-adopters) in six countries that have expressed interest in FAST, as well as a profile of OCLC’s own use of FAST. Key highlights… Continue Reading

FDA finalized the definition of the term “gluten-free”

“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently finalized the definition of the term “gluten-free” on food labels, which means all manufacturers that want to use that phrase on their products must adhere to strict guidelines. As stated by the FDA, the term gluten-free now refers to foods that are either inherently gluten-free or foods that… Continue Reading