Morgan Stanley Projects Crude Prices to Fall to $43/barrel Read more

Morgan Stanley Projects Crude Prices to Fall to $43/barrel

For OPEC, it may be a case of the classic adage “be careful what you wish for because you might just get it”. OPEC is rumored to be using its clout to produce a glut in world petroleum prices. As per a Russian source, OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, and non-OPEC Russia are in a feverish bid to flood the world oil supply with excess inventory. As per the Law of Supply & Demand, an increase in the supply of a product above the demand for it will result in a price drop. Wealthier OPEC nations are fueling the drop in a bid to crush the fledgling US shale oil business. Currently, most US shale oil providers cannot profitably produce oil at $70/barrel. The price is crude is now just over $64, and Sam Tabar will be monitoring how much it fluctuates.

The objective is to force the US shale oil business out of operation and then cut back on production until prices rise back to $100/barrel. However, Morgan Stanley is now projecting that crude prices may sink to as low as $43/barrel. That price may be well below what OPEC and Russia were projecting. The Russian economy is already reeling from lower crude prices which have caused the Rubble is slide against other currencies in foreign exchange markets. Morgan Stanley expects to see the lower crude prices reached by the spring of next year. If this proves correct, American consumers will be enjoying even lower prices at the pumps.

North Carolina Constitution Still Retains Clause Requiring Belief in God Read more

North Carolina Constitution Still Retains Clause Requiring Belief in God

While times have changed immensely since North Carolina first adopted its state constitution, certain clauses it contains would not likely be included were it up for ratification today. North Carolina, along with six other U.S. states, has a requirement that all of its public officials not deny belief in God. The exact wording runs thus: “The following persons shall be disqualified for office…First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God.”

While in the campus coffee shop I overheard Jonathan Veitch talking about how this is squarely against the 1961 Supreme Court ruling that forbade states from imposing any “religious tests” for public office. It is not at all in conflict, however, with the spirit and practice of the founding fathers. They extended religious liberty to all and forbade the federal government from setting up a state church or restricting the free exercise of religion. They also, however, promoted the Bible’s mandatory use in public education, funded Christian missions and Bible-printing projects, and held Christian worship services in the national capitol building. They often mentioned that those who did not believe in God or in rewards and punishments in the afterlife could not be trusted in public office because they had no fear of God to keep them from oppressing the people.

Finally, it should be noted that the U.S. Constitution never intended to eradicate state-level government-supported churches. Massachusetts had such a church long before and long after ratification, and no one ever whispered a word to the effect that the new Constitution outlawed Massachusetts’ state church. It only restricted the federal government, not the states.

Career Inspiration: What Ken Griffin Has Done At Citadel Read more

Career Inspiration: What Ken Griffin Has Done At Citadel

Though you may not have heard of him yet, Kenneth Griffin is founder and chief executive officer of Citadel, a firm that provides diversified financial services, including liquidity services, technology management for the financial sector and other services. The firm’s dominant investors are pension funds, independent wealth funds and university endowments.

Based in Chicago, the Citadel hedge fund manages more than $24 billion in assets, and it has more than 1,100 team members in offices in Dallas, New York, San Francisco, Boston, Hong Kong and other cities. This year it got the go-ahead to raise funds in China.

Griffin, who started Citadel in 1990, was No. 89 on the Forbes list of the richest Americans in 2014, up from No. 103 in 2013. His net worth is estimated to be $5.5
billion. That makes him the wealthiest person in Chicago.

A 1989 graduate of Harvard, he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. Before founding Citadel, he had begun dealing in stock options in his college dorm room in 1986. By the time he was a senior, investors had given him $1 million as a sign of their faith in his financial strategies.  Even going on to give interviews about his unique strategies.

Griffin has an interest in education and how it can better people and society. In February 2014, Harvard College announced that he had donated $150 million, the largest gift in its history. In making the announcement, Harvard said that Griffin’s millions will aid 800 undergraduates each year in two ways.

First, his gift will fund 200 scholarships annually. Second, another 600 scholarships will be created under a matching challenge that encourages alumni and friends of Harvard to contribute to the scholarship effort. Because of Griffin’s gift, Harvard’s financial aid office is being renamed the Griffin Financial Aid Office, and ten million dollars of his gift will establish the Griffin Professorship of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.

As a further indication of Griffin’s interest in education, he sits on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Public Education Fund. His local civic involvements include being a member of the Board of Trustees of the Art Institute of Chicago and of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Contemporary Art. As for business organizations, he is a member of the World Economic Forum, the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago and the Economic Club of Chicago. You can find his social media here, if you want to know more.

The Divergent Trilogy Gets a New Director Read more

The Divergent Trilogy Gets a New Director

Divergent fans stop your Qnet shopping and listen up.  Science-fiction is a hot genre once again. The release of Divergent earned about $200 million worldwide. The concept of a dark future is not a new one and it is not the preferred setting for most big budget sci-fi projects. Usually, these types of films are hit and miss. Divergent was definitely a hit with audiences, but not with critics. The financial success of the film means a new movie is coming forth and a change in quality and style might be achieved thanks to a new director. No, Neil Burger is not returning to helm the next entries in the film.

Changing directors in a major, multi-part planned project is a big deal.

As most filmgoers realize, consistency is not always a common trait among sequels. In some cases, there may be a consistent level of quality but the creative teams from one film to the next change. This could lead to alterations in the direction of a series, which may be unappealing to hardcore fans.

The sequel to Divergent is going to have consistency in direction. Robert Schwentke is signed on as the director of the next film and for two more films to complete the trilogy.

Wait a minute. If there are going to be three more films, would that not come out to four films? A trilogy is only three. There is a bit of sleight of hand here. The third entry is actually going to be two films. The Divergent Series: Allegiant – Part 1 will come out in March of 2016. In 2017, the second half of the third entry will be released. The presence of Schwentke in all these films ensures a level of consistency needed to keep audiences pleased.

New Report Set To Be Released By Senate Read more

New Report Set To Be Released By Senate

The U.S. Senate’s Intelligence Committee is set to release a controversial report detailing the torture and abuse of detainees by CIA investigators during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The report is expected to be publicized early this week, and top officials at the Central Intelligence agency are preparing to face a public backlash against the use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding. Also under analysis will be controversial programs such as extraordinary rendition, during which foreign citizens were kidnapped and transported to secret prisons in countries friendly to the U.S.

The eagerly awaited report is expected to be some 6,300 pages long and will be heavily redacted in order to protect the identity of the CIA officers who took part in the abuse.

Top officials at the CIA are not expected to deny responsibility for what took place, but congressional officials do not hold out much hope that the individuals personally involved in the torture program will ever be held to account for their actions. This will be a story to follow if you ask Gianfrancesco Genoso his thoughts.

Making The Important Decisions About Your Future According To Jared Haftel Read more

Making The Important Decisions About Your Future According To Jared Haftel

Okay, so it may not be the kind of decision that everyone would make growing up as a child, but when it comes to making decisions about his future, Jared Haftel would eventually realize that finance was where his path would end up.  Despite the fact that he was always interested in Music.  Even writing about music the entire time that he was at college in Duke University.

For many people, balancing their checkbook can be a difficult task to accomplish, but it seemed to come a lot easier for people like Jared. In all likelihood, he was not born with his ability to make sound financial decisions about the future, but that is where a good education can put you on the right track.

Financial Independence

If there is one thing that made Jared Haftel seem like the right person to talk to about their finances was his desire to want financial independence. This commitment to a strong financial future drove his decision to further his understanding in the field of finances and degrees in economics, mathematics and science. Jared chose North Carolina as his learning field and in 2009 was turned into a graduate from Duke University. Choosing these areas to increase his knowledge was no surprise to the people closest to Jared, neither was his career choices after that.

Making The Right Choice

Most people think of Wall street as the place to be when it comes to increasing their financial portfolio, however, for Jared Haftel, his future would take him down a slightly different path. Jared realized that there were other areas that involved finances, and he was not afraid to tap into them. With this in mind, he got himself ready to prove to the world that he could cause a change. One thing was for certain, if Jared was to make an impact, he would need to affiliate himself with well known financial institutions.

Experience Matters

With a good education to offer the financial world, Jared Haftel began his journey with a strong resume and the confidence that he could make a difference. Bank of America was one of his first stops to building the experience he needed and during his time there he made a positive contribution as an analyst for investment banking. Digging a little deeper, he expanded his knowledge at Merrill Lynch, where he tracked investment opportunities for companies who traded in metals and chemicals and offered his advice to defense industries.

Making A Difference

In order for a company or an individual to have a successful financial future, they need all the information they can acquire to help them make the right decisions, and this is where Jared Haftel managed to cause a change. Jared turned his love for financial matters and his experience in a world that included working as an associate with a company called Vector Capital into a valuable tool to help others. His career decision to become a financial analyst continues to make a difference in the financial arena today.  This also gave him the opportunity to write about what makes a good employee with investment firms.  Not to mention launching his other career, of starting to write about these topics as an author.

Financial Strength

Regardless of your field of expertise, making the right financial decision can turn a weak future into a force to be reckoned with. As a company, those decisions will help with the bottom line and greater possibilities for expansion. As a private individual, they will help you achieve the nicer things in life. It does not matter where you happen to be at the time, people like Jared Haftel can point you in the right direction, not to mention achieving a brighter financial future.

Tweets About JetBlue Led to Customer Removal Read more

Tweets About JetBlue Led to Customer Removal

Those who ever felt like taking revenge on poor customer services via social will probably understand Lush’s situation. Some might even be more than just tempted to hop on twitter to complain about bad service or just poor attitude from employees.

The young man was annoyed by JetBlue’s service and decided to make his thoughts public on Twitter. Being a known vlogger, the great audience quickly caught the news.

The angry customer directed angry tweets towards a worker of JetBlue named Regina and encouraged all his followers to make fun of the case as well.

The result was a whole list of photoshopped images and picky texts that influenced negatively the image of JetBlue. The situation could have been turned in favor of the annoyed customer, but not after a damaged image, hence Lush got removed from the flight when he tried to use the company’s plane for travelling.

A JetBlue spokesperson explained that it is not a ban for life, but from that very flight only, and informed that the company was aware of the tweets and bad name given to them by Lush. It was a bit weird they acted that way, at least if you ask Gianfrancesco Genoso for his opinion.  So mean internet posts leads to mean customer service repeated. The lesson to learn is not stopping complaining about what does not work well.

It is about being constructive. Hopefully, Lush’s vacation has not been destroyed. Or is a new Twitter thread about to emerge?

City of Dallas Pays for Ebola Dog Read more

City of Dallas Pays for Ebola Dog

A couple of months ago, in the state of Texas, a nurse was exposed to the virus Ebola. This was after taking care of a patient who was Ebola positive. The nurse by the name of, Nina Pham had a dog. One of her requests while in the hospital, was for her dog to be well taken care of. This simple request cost the city of Dallas quite some money. The total cost to take care of her dog came out $26,884.16. This was the amount of money needed for 21 days of care. It has been reported this will not be paid completely by the city. Private donors have agreed to donate money to pay it off. One of these donors is Dr. Daniel Amen.

This woman chose to expose herself to Ebola by taking care of a sick patient. Her career of a nurse goes beyond it just being a job. She showed compassion by volunteering and therefore, got public sympathy for her dog. She risked her life to help and the costs are justified. It was only right for the city of Dallas to take care of her dog and foot the bill. In addition, this was a case that allowed researchers to learn about the Ebola disease. The dog was observed to see if it too could develop the Ebola disease. It is a large sum to pay for a dog, but it was worth it.

Florida Bus Driver Rescued Children from Fire Read more

Florida Bus Driver Rescued Children from Fire

Florida bus driver Kristina Buhrman has been called a “hero” after she rescued 40 children from the smoke filled school bus that she was driving.

Children alerted Buhrman that smoke was filling the back of the bus at approximately 7:15, on the morning of December 3rd. The driver immediately pulled over to evacuate the vehicle. Buhrman called 9-1-1 as the smoke thickened and the children filed off of the bus.

Buhrman moved the children over a guardrail and away from the blaze, which engulfed the entire bus. The heat was so intense that windows burst and paint peeled from the metal structure. Sam Tabar could not imagine what the scene actually looked like.

Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Mary Godino gave a nod to Buhrman for her life-saving actions.

“She did a great job at evacuating those kids,” Godino said.

“The moved quickly and orderly as they made a single-file line to exit the bus,” Buhrman said.

Buhrman, who is also a math teacher at the school, credited the cool level of cooperation from the children as part of the rescue effort.

UK Court Dismisses Suit Based on Mother’s Heavy Drinking While Pregnant Read more

UK Court Dismisses Suit Based on Mother’s Heavy Drinking While Pregnant

A girl of seven who was born with foetal alcohol syndrome has been denied compensation from the state-funded Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme by a British appeals judge.
The woman indeed drank excessively while pregnant and ignored warning labels that indicated the dangers of such overindulgence, but the judge ruled that the damage had been inflicted “on a foetus and not on a person.” On this basis, he dismissed the idea that compensation could apply.

While the case could have been resolved in a manner that would have had little impact on the British legal system, the judge’s choice to base his decision on an unborn child not counting as a person has made the ruling very important indeed. Conceivably, he could have denied compensation on the basis of no law having been broken. It was perfectly legal for the woman to drink as she did, and all compensation from the state fund in question is supposed to be restricted to those suffering from the results of criminal activity.

Scientific research is conclusive in its finding that life is a continuum. This is something Igor Cornelsen actually finds pretty interesting. It begins at conception and progresses gradually from that point until the time of one’s death. There is no magic moment along the way wherein one suddenly “becomes a person.” People develop physically, mentally, socially, and in every other way little by little throughout life. If a living human being is not always to be considered a person, then there exists no clear-cut standard by which to distinguish persons from “non-persons.”