ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Originally utilized in 1969, LIBOR—the London Interbank Offered Rate—was officially adopted by the British Bankers Association in 1986 as a benchmark rate and has subsequently become the global standard for the rate at which banks lend to one another. LIBOR rates are set by banks daily, with each bank providing the estimated rate at which it expects to borrow funds at a series of maturities (as well as a variety of currencies, which has led to Euro and Yen LIBORs, among others).The presence of such a robust interest-rate setting process led market participants to adopt LIBOR rates as the basis for a wide variety of financial products. Current estimates place LIBOR as the reference rate in over $200 trillion of active financial contracts in the cash and derivatives markets. LIBOR exposure can most commonly be found in the investment portfolios of banks and credit unions in the form of variable rate mortgage-backed securities and collateralized mortgage obligations.With no guarantee that LIBOR will continue to be published as of the end of 2021, global financial regulators have drafted plans to facilitate floating rates in the post-LIBOR world. In the United States, the Alternative Reference Rates Committee has chosen the secured overnight funding rate as the replacement for LIBOR, and in our previous article we discussed the differences between the two benchmarks and the challenges to a smooth transition. Fannie Maeand Freddie Mac have recently released a joint playbook and timeline outlining the LIBOR transition, which should help ensure a smooth transition from LIBOR to SOFR. continue reading »
Image courtesy of GabadiThe Spanish company, Gabadi, has formed an alliance with South Korean Hankuk Carbon to work together in the small- to medium-scale LNG bunkering market.The South Korean company specializes in manufacturing thermic insulation for the liquated natural gas sector (LNG) and electronic substrates.Gabadi said the agreement further expands the company’s presence in the Asian market as it had already created a joint venture in China with Aojiheng Offshore Engineering and secured contracts in Singapore.The company is currently executing methane carrier repair at the Keppel Shipyard in Singapore. It became the first company, not being a shipyard, in being granted the license by the technologist Gaztransport and Technigaz, for the construction and repair of its membrane tanks for gas carriers, it said in its statement.Gabadi and Hankuk Carbon believe that joining forces would enable both companies to obtain new contracts, related to the LNG bunkering, in different geographical locations, such as USA, China and Europe.
After a nine-year hiatus, Phi Gamma Delta, an international fraternity also known as “Fiji” or “Phi Gam,” returned to campus this semester and is prepared to deal with the issues that forced it from The Row initially.Because of financial difficulties, Fiji closed its USC chapter in 2000 to pay off accumulating debts. With its return this year, members are making plans to keep this kind of problem from happening again.Comeback · Recruiters from Phi Gamma Delta’s national office tell sophomore Collin Rice about the fraternity, which has returned to USC. – Dieuwertje Kast | Daily Trojan“We have an alumni adviser who is our financial adviser that will work hand-in-hand with the treasurer to look over the budget,” said Justin Burns, national director of chapter development. “The undergraduates are still in charge, but we have amazing alumni who … are advising in their areas of expertise.”Its debt paid off, Fiji wanted to return to USC, so it applied and was selected by the university and the Interfraternity Council from among a number of international fraternities.Ray Carlos, assistant director of Fraternity and Sorority Leadership Development at USC, said Fiji was selected because it has both a good system in place and an existing house on The Row.“[Fiji] has alumni who are very involved on this campus. They have a very strong international headquarter, which means they have a number of people who can give resources and support for the chapter and the colony here,” Carlos said. “But most of all, they were very interfraternal. They knew that they were not going to come in and focus on themselves — they want to make the entire community better,”The Fiji house, located on The Row, is currently leased to students from other fraternities and sororities. Though Fiji has returned to USC, the current residents will be allowed to remain in the house until their leases expire, Carlos said.Meanwhile, Fiji is working to recruit a strong class of new members.The fraternity has been contacting sorority chapter presidents, asking them to help find men on campus who are not Greek but would like to help start a Greek organization, Carlos said. Blessing Waung, president of the Panhellenic Council, said the sororities are willing to help out as much as possible.“If they have events they want us to come out to, we’ll definitely be there to support them,” she said. “We’re really excited because there are so many fraternities that are coming back.”Burns said he encourages students to consider becoming involved with Fiji because they will have the chance to be part of its founding pledge class.“They have a great privilege, but more so, a responsibility to create a fraternity that is unique to this campus,” Burns said. “Over the next year or so, as this group continues to develop, they are setting the course, they are setting the tone as to where this is going to go.”The membership process is recommendation-based and there is no rush process, Burns said.“It’s a mutual decision. The men that we’re meeting with need to take time to talk about it with their friends to think about it themselves and to ask questions,” he said.Some students said they would consider pledging Fiji, as opposed to other IFC fraternities.Nick Valerio, a freshman majoring in fine arts, said he liked that there was no rush process.“I’d be interested because the whole rush process is this whole big ordeal that’s really time-consuming,” Valerio said. “A lot of people are really turned off to the whole rush/frat, kind of thing.”In addition to the benefit of being able to join a fraternity without rushing, Danny Luber, a freshman majoring in psychology, said he liked that Fiji was an international fraternity.“The international idea is pretty cool,” Luber said. “Also, I think it would appeal to people who are … [now] interested in being involved in that, but they don’t want to go through the whole rush process.”The fraternity began to recruit members on Sept. 9 and will continue to recruit until Oct. 21.
Jason Kander, a former Army Intelligence Officer, dropped out of the Kansas City mayoral race to focus on his mental health. (Photo from Facebook)The Dornsife College of Arts, Letters and Sciences canceled its Distinguished Lecture event, which was scheduled for Sunday, after the speaker dropped out of the Kansas City, Mo., mayoral race.Jason Kander, who was set to run as a Democrat in Kansas City and speak at the event, announced that he would be dropping out of the race to treat his chronic PTSD and depression. Kander served as an Army Intelligence Officer in Afghanistan 11 years ago. Since then, Kander said that he has dealt with suicidal thoughts and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression but avoided seeking treatment.“I’m done hiding this from myself and from the world,” Kander wrote in a statement published on his website. “When I wrote in my book that I was lucky to not have PTSD, I was just trying to convince myself. And I wasn’t sharing the full picture. I still have nightmares. I am depressed.”After seeing the statement, Ali Bissonnette, chief of staff at USC Dornsife’s Center for the Political Future, said her team assumed the event would be canceled but contacted the event donors and Kander’s team to confirm. Robert Shrum, director of the Center for the Political Future, sent an email to students who RSVP’d following Kander’s announcement. Shrum previously said that Kander had been selected to speak because of his service in the army and his political involvement. Before becoming a frontrunner in the Kansas City mayoral race, Kander was a former Secretary of State in Missouri and the Democratic nominee in the 2016 Missouri senate election. “He’s an outstanding person,” Shrum said. “[He’s] exactly the kind of person we should have for the lecture.”Since the cancelation notices were sent out, Bissonnette said students have shown sympathy and understanding for Kander’ decision to focus on his mental health. “Most of the people I’ve spoken with have spoken words of support about [Kander’s] bravery in coming forward with his challenges and putting his own health and mental well-being first,” Bissonnette said. In his statement, Kander said that he plans to come back to politics after he goes through treatment. The politician wrote that he decided to be public about his struggles with PTSD and depression to help others who are facing similar struggles and encourage them to also seek treatment. “I hope it helps veterans and everyone else across the country working through mental health issues realize that you don’t have to try to solve it on your own,” Kander wrote. “Most people probably didn’t see me as someone that could be depressed and have had PTSD symptoms for over a decade, but I am and I have. If you’re struggling with something similar, it’s OK. That doesn’t make you less of a person.” Shrum said that he commends Kander for stepping away from politics to take time for himself. Shrum hopes Kander’s withdrawal and public statement will help more people understand PTSD and other mental health issues.“A lot of politicians, a lot of people in public life would’ve just said, ‘I’m going to push ahead with my political career,’ and he has decided that he’s going to deal first with these problems and then come back to the political world,” Shrum said. “Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, I think you have to admire him.”