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Monthly Archives: March 2014

BIS – Property price statistics, March 31, 2014

“The property price statistics bring together data from different countries. The BIS, with the assistance of its member central banks, 1 has obtained approval of various national data providers to disseminate the statistics as long as the original national sources are clearly indicated. The sources and any relevant disclaimers are listed separately (sources of data). Copyright in these data must be honoured. The property price statistics currently include data from 54 countries, and are available at different frequencies. The data differ significantly from country to country, for instance in terms of type of property, area covered, property vintage, priced unit, detailed compilation methods and seasonal adjustment. This reflects two facts. Firstly, that the processes associated with buying and selling a property, and hence the data available, vary between countries and secondly, that there are currently no specific international standards for property price statistics. However, Eurostat has taken the lead in drafting a Handbook on Residential Property Price Indices under the aegis of the Inter-Secretariat Working Group on Price Statistics. This handbook will give recommendations on best practice for compiling residential property price indices and will present these in the context of the different user needs for such indices. A draft of the Handbook is available for public comment. The Handbook builds on work undertaken at a number of international meetings over recent years to identify the requirements for improved data on property prices from an economic, monetary and financial stability perspective. In disseminating these statistics, the BIS and its member central banks are following up on Recommendation 19 in the Report on “The Financial Crisis and Information Gaps” submitted by the Financial Stability Board and IMF to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (initial report October 2009progress report May 2010progress report June 2011progress report September 2012 and progress report September 2013). This webpage and the related property price database contain links to other websites for the convenience of users. Neither the BIS nor its member central banks endorse these websites or assume any responsibility for their content. The Property price dataset is updated on a monthly basis at the end of each month.”

BIS – External audits of banks – final document

March 31, 2014: “The recent financial crisis not only revealed weaknesses in risk management, control and governance processes at banks, but also highlighted the need to improve the quality of external audits of banks. Given the central role banks play in contributing to financial stability, and therefore the need for market confidence in the quality… Continue Reading

The standardised approach for measuring counterparty credit risk exposures

March 31, 2014: “The Basel Committee’s final standard on The standardised approach for measuring counterparty credit risk exposures includes a comprehensive, non-modelled approach for measuring counterparty credit risk associated with OTC derivatives, exchange-traded derivatives, and long settlement transactions. The new standardised approach (SA-CCR) replaces both the Current Exposure Method (CEM) and the Standardised Method (SM) in the… Continue Reading

Recent trends in the foreign exchange and money markets

Speech by Mr Peter Zöllner, Head of the BIS Banking Department, to the 53rd ACI Financial Markets World Congress 2014, Berlin, 29 March 2014. “FX turnover reached an all-time high of $5.3 trillion per day in April 2013, up by 35% relative to 2010. This was faster than the 20% rise from 2007 to 2010, but… Continue Reading

The inside story of MIT and Aaron Swartz

Follow up to previous postings on Aaron Swartz, via the Boston Globe – More than a year after Swartz killed himself rather than face prosecution, questions about MIT’s handling of the hacking case persist, By Marcella Bombardieri. “..MIT is a cradle of world-class scientific research with unpublished data and unpatented inventions on its network, and its leaders felt… Continue Reading

Pew – Shrinking Majority of Americans Support Death Penalty

“According to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey, 55% of U.S. adults say they favor the death penalty for persons convicted of murder. A significant minority (37%) oppose the practice. While a majority of U.S. adults still support the death penalty, public opinion in favor of capital punishment has seen a modest decline since November 2011,… Continue Reading

New GAO Reports – American Samoa, Defense Acquisitions, National Preparedness, Puerto Rico – Statehood

AMERICAN SAMOA AND THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS: Economic Indicators Since Minimum Wage Increases Began, GAO-14-381: Published: Mar 31, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 2014. DEFENSE ACQUISITIONS: Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs, GAO-14-340SP: Published: Mar 31, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 2014. NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS: HHS Has Funded Flexible Manufacturing Activities for Medical Countermeasures, but It Is Too Soon to… Continue Reading

Law Firms Are Pressed on Security for Data

Matthew Goldstein, New York Times: “A growing number of big corporate clients are demanding that their law firms take more steps to guard against online intrusions that could compromise sensitive information as global concerns about hacker threats mount. Wall Street banks are pressing outside law firms to demonstrate that their computer systems are employing top-tier technologies to… Continue Reading

Taken by Storm: Business Survival in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Basker, Emek and Miranda, Javier, Taken by Storm: Business Survival in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (March 30, 2014). Available at SSRN: “We use Hurricane Katrina’s damage to the Mississippi coast in 2005 as a natural experiment to study business survival in the aftermath of a cost shock. We find that damaged establishments that… Continue Reading

Federal Employees’ Retirement System: Budget and Trust Fund Issues

Federal Employees’ Retirement System: Budget and Trust Fund Issues, Katelin P. Isaacs, Analyst in Income Security, March 24, 2014 “Most of the civilian federal workforce is covered by one of two retirement systems: (1) the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) for individuals hired before 1984 or (2) the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS) for individuals hired in 1984 or… Continue Reading

Commentary – How Copyright Laws Keep E-Books Locked Up

The Digital Paradox: How Copyright Laws Keep E-Books Locked Up By Hilmar Schmundt “…In many cases, it is the readers themselves who, through their taxes, pay the university authors whose studies they are then unable to access. It is also likely that many professors themselves cannot even afford a subscription to the journal in which their work… Continue Reading

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Issues Fifth Report

“The Working Group II contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report considers the vulnerability and exposure of human and natural systems, the observed impacts and future risks of climate change, and the potential for and limits to adaptation. The chapters of the report assess risks and opportunities for societies, economies, and ecosystems around the world. Climate… Continue Reading