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WSJ: U.S. Coal Sector Faces Reckoning

first_imgFull article ($): U.S. Coal Sector Faces Reckoning What isn’t sustainable are the publicly traded coal powers built atop the recent China-driven commodity boom, and the corporate structures—headquarters, salaries, pensions—they maintained. FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享John W. Miller for the Wall Street Journal:Peabody Energy Corp. warned Wednesday that it could go bankrupt, signaling the end of an era for listed U.S. corporate coal companies, even as their mines continue to fuel a big chunk of the country’s power stations.A chapter 11 filing by St. Louis-based Peabody, the U.S.’s largest coal miner, would be the latest in a wave of bankruptcies to hit top American coal producers, including Arch Coal Inc., Alpha Natural Resources, Inc., Patriot Coal Corp. and Walter Energy, Inc.U.S. coal miners are wrestling with high debt levels, low energy prices, new environmental regulations, the decline of steel production, and the conversion of coal-fired power plants to use natural gas made abundant by shale drilling.The industry’s troubles come amid a larger political debate over the future of coal that has flared up in the presidential contest. Most Democrats, concerned about the effects of burning fossil fuels on the environment, advocate a switch to cleaner energy sources, while Republicans decry job losses in the coal sector that they predict would come from policies cutting carbon emissions. The industry’s setbacks have been especially damaging in the coal strongholds of Wyoming and Appalachia.To be sure, this isn’t the end for coal. Just under one- third of the U.S. grid is still powered by coal, and hundreds of mines are still profitable and operating.center_img WSJ: U.S. Coal Sector Faces Reckoninglast_img read more

It’s time to stop judging smartphone addicts

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Chad Davis Chad Davis is Industry Sr Solutions Marketing Manger, F5 Networks, which is the leader in app security and multi-cloud management. He can be reached at c.davis@f5.com. Web: https://www.f5.com Details People have a complicated relationship with their smartphones. Those amazing mobile devices simultaneously offer a ready means to waste time and save it. They are both a distraction and a portal of productivity.As Google noted in declaring a “mobile majority,” based on a global survey finding that more people connect to the Internet through their phones than any other device, we have at our fingertips an instant source of information, entertainment, and social bonding. In a recent Forbes article, Brian Solis contends that their smartphones dictate the behaviors, expectations, and aspirations of “connected consumers.”“Pretty much anyone you want to do business with is obsessed with their mobile device,” Solis writes. “You can judge it or learn from it, but you can’t ignore it if you care about customer engagement.”It’s time to stop fretting about mobile devices as an addiction and start embracing opportunities to connect members with the financial solutions your credit union can deliver. For starters, one key actionable takeaway from Google’s business research is that 75 percent of smartphone aficionados says their mobile devices help them to be more productive.  Enter the branch appointment app, which offers members a quick and easy way to book time with a financial professional at the office of their choice to consult on important financial decisions. At the same time, your credit union can use the information members provide in scheduling an appointment to be prepared in showcasing the products and services they want and need.As much as members have embraced mobile and self-service options for managing their money, many still prefer to talk directly with knowledgeable professionals about their most significant commitments, like buying a car or house, paying for home improvements, planning for retirement, or signing on for business services. Even as online options to open accounts or track down solutions to service issues become more common, your credit union can win over members who prefer to handle these tasks in person by inviting them to schedule an appointment to take care of business. Offering an appointment app also underscores that you know how valuable members’ time is and that you are ready to help them make the most of it. This efficiency cuts in both directions: Research with Kronos clients shows that the vast majority of members who make branch appointments keep them, and the up-front notice helps branch employees be better prepared to provide the best possible service and identify additional sales opportunities.These strategies can help your credit union build member relationships by delivering on their evolving expectations for their trusted financial advisor and improve operational efficiencies and bottom-line results: Let members decide how and when to connect. For all the attention that mobile and other digital channels receive, what many members value most is getting to choose among a full range of delivery options. Offering a mobile appointment app can underscore that your credit union is a full-service financial institution and underscore your commitment to convenient access. Even consumers who rely heavily on digital channels will appreciate the opportunity to schedule appointments when they need guidance from financial professionals on more complex matters.Optimize frontline resources to drive service and revenue. Inviting members to make appointments connects them with valuable financial expertise and simultaneously provides branch managers with valuable data for smarter scheduling. Branch employees trained to deliver specialized services can be scheduled to meet demand and ready to serve with the appropriate materials lined up in advance to streamline the interaction. You can also offer more specialized services on specific days and/or at certain locations. As a result, the organization can increase branch efficiency, improve productivity and decrease costs by optimizing staff resources.Take a data-driven approach to branch sales and service. Appointment scheduling tools and lobby tracking software provide useful information about what services members want and when they are most likely to visit a branch for the kinds of interactions that result in increased sales. Detailed information about branch traffic patterns can guide decisions about scheduling, sales training, and marketing based on demand for services at each location.Two additional statistics from business research support the benefits of an appointment app for members and your credit union. First, a survey from GetApp Lab indicates that 70 percent of customers prefer to book appointments online rather than by phone. Especially for members who are already comfortable booking everything from restaurant reservations to doctors’ appointments on their smartphone, an appointment app from their credit union would be a natural and much-appreciated service.Second, Google reports that mobile searches for “best” increased more than 80 percent in two years. To enhance your credit union’s standing as members’ best choice for financial services, a full range of service and channel options, including convenient appointments at their favorite branch, can help forge a strong and lasting connection.last_img read more

Moody’s: German Shipping Lenders Face Squeeze on Profits

first_imgAlbeit early signs of recovery became visible during the first months of 2017, the shipping industry’s protracted slowdown will continue to exert pressure on German ship lenders’ profitability.In its latest report, Moody’s rating agency informed that the five biggest German ship lenders reported outstanding ship-related loans of EUR 59 billion at the end of 2016, with an average problem loan ratio of 37% in 2016, up from 28% in 2015.This rise forced several banks to raise reserves and, in part, realise losses during 2016. While this has improved the banks’ aggregate problem loan coverage ratio to 51% at the end of 2016, from 45% in 2015, Moody’s believes a coverage ratio of at least 60% is necessary for banks to be adequately provisioned for potential losses from shipping loans.“Despite measures taken by individual banks in recent years, some German lenders to the shipping industry will face incrementally higher credit costs as long as the industry fundamentals remain weak and supply outstrips demand,” Michael Rohr, a Moody’s Vice President – Senior Credit Officer, said.Sustainably raising the coverage ratio to this level will be most challenging for DVB Bank S.E. and Norddeutsche Landesbank GZ. These two banks therefore are at risk of incurring net losses and see their capital erode further during 2017, Moody’s informed.last_img read more

Europa League: Inter advance behind closed doors due to coronavirus

first_imgRelatedPosts Vidal lands in Milan to complete move from Barca to Inter Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ David Silva recovers from COVID-19 Inter Milan booked their ticket to the Europa League last 16 on Thursday with a 2-1 win on the night and 4-1 on aggregate over Bulgarian club Ludogorets to deafening silence and a surreal atmosphere behind closed doors of their San Siro Stadium. The Italian government ordered the game be played in front of an empty stadium because of the spread of coronavirus, which has particularly hit the northern Lombardy region of which Milan is the capital. Italy has the largest coronavirus outbreak in Europe with 650 people infected and 17 deaths. The game was closed to the public and journalists with only broadcasters allowed into the 80,000-seater San Siro. “It’s certainly a surreal situation,” said Inter director Giuseppe Marotta before the match which had just a few hundred people present. “The public is a fundamental component of football, without the audience emotions are diminished. “But the protection of citizens must be safeguarded. We accept, albeit reluctantly, these decisions.” Ludogorets’ players and staff arrived at the stadium wearing protective facemasks. Despite their concerns, the reigning eight-time Bulgarian league winners went ahead of 26 minutes through Brazilian midfielder Cauly Oliveira. Cristiano Biraghi pulled Inter level six minutes later finishing off a Cristian Eriksen through ball with Romelu Lukaku adding a second just before the break. The Belgian striker picked up Alexis Sanchez’s cross but his header bounced off Ludogoret’s goalkeeper, before striking Lukaku’s head as he lay on the ground and into the net. Inter will also play next Sunday’s Serie A game against title-rivals Juventus behind closed doors at the Allianz Stadium in Turin.Tags: Europa LeagueInter MilanLudogoretslast_img read more

Clippers play to the end, beat Timberwolves

first_imgThe Clippers were bludgeoned from the start by the Timberwolves’ front line of Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic. They saw Matt Barnes get ejected for a flagrant foul, Rivers and DeAndre Jordan pick up technical fouls, and Blake Griffin foul out in overtime after taking a nasty elbow to the head from Love earlier in the game.And they lived to tell about it.“It used to be me getting techs and stuff like that, so I actually got the chance too feed off that energy tonight,” Paul said. “I got the chance to be the one to tell everybody to calm down, let’s just win the game. I kept saying in the huddle ‘Regardless of all this stuff that’s going on, let’s just win the game.’ ” Dudley, in a bit of a shooting slump and 0 for 6 from the 3-point line, was still ready when Paul found him and the Clippers trailing by two.“It was just him making a play and finding me,” Dudley said. “I don’t know how he found me because I kind of went over to the right side. You’ve got to make those ones, especially when you’re wide open in a clutch situation. I’m glad I did tonight. This was not going to be another teachable moment for Doc Rivers and the Clippers.Lesson learned. Lesson applied. Mission accomplished.“The biggest thing we’ve learned as a team from Doc, and it’s great that it came to fruition tonight, that even in practice, he always talks about the game is not over,” Chris Paul said. “When we got down three or four there with seconds left, we could have just said we lost this one, we fought hard. It’s crazy, he says it all the time. The game is not over, extend the game. We found a way.”Paul made the crucial steal that led to Jamal Crawford’s tying basket in regulation play, then found Jared Dudley with a sweeping pass to led to a 3-pointer with 38.6 seconds left that gave the Clippers the lead for good in their 120-116 overtime win over Minnesota on Sunday night at Staples Center. “You know when your mom’s texting you you’re not playing well.”Love had 45 points and 19 rebounds, Pekovic added 34 points and 14 rebounds, but the Timberwolves committed their 19th turnover in the final seconds of regulation and it was costly.With a two-point lead and the ball, they inbounded to Kevin Martin, but Paul came up with a steal and fed Crawford for a dunk with 7.7 seconds left to force the extra period.“I saw nobody with (Martin) so when they threw it to him my initial thing was to steal it from him somehow, some way,” Paul said. “I saw he was about to dribble the ball with his left hand to get to my body, so I backed off a little bit and got a hand on it.”Griffin, with a gash in his forehead from his third-quarter experience with Love’s elbow, had a season high 32 points and 10 rebounds, Darren Collison made his first seven shots and scored 16 off the bench and Crawford had 22 points for the Clippers, who won their fifth straight.Paul scored nine of his 19 points in overtime and finished with 13 assists.The game was close throughout but clean, until a hard foul by Barnes on Love was ruled a flagrant 1. Then the officials, per rule, reviewed the play and made the penalty on Barnes more harsh, a flagrant 2 which brings an automatic ejection.And a game that looked to be determined on slugging it out in the paint turned into a succession of 3-pointers with a sprinkling of points in the paint.Love hit the two free throws he was awarded, and then the Timberwolves were awarded possession and Love hit a 3-pointer for a five-point possession.Minnesota, looking for its first win over the Clippers this season, took an 85-83 lead into the fourth quarter, but not before Crawford hit a 29-foot 3-pointer to close the third period.It was the first time in five games the Clippers let an opponent reach the 100-point plateau and it tested the statistic that showed the Clippers entered the game 13-0 when scoring at least 104 points.The heated battle continued with 3:18 left, when Love was charged with an offensive foul for swinging the ball through and catching Griffin flush on the forehead with an elbow. Griffin had to be immediately treated for the ensuing gash just beneath his hairline.Griffin said he got a “Band-aid concoction” instead of stitches and that he was not knocked woozy.“No, I was in it,” he said.On the bench, though, Rivers was treating an entire team that had taken blow after blow from the Timberwolves.“Everybody lost their composure, everybody,” Rivers said. “We kept gathering ourselves and I thought that was very important. There were a lot of times in the game where we could have just given in and we didn’t.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more