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One More at the Party – Estonia

One More at the Party – Estonia

The Eurozone welcomed a new comrade on the first day of 2011: Estonia. The press reported somewhat muted celebrations around the country and in the capital, Tallinn. This Soviet breakaway had a poster campaign in anticipation of the event – a modern shot of a handsome, well-scrubbed smiling family comprised of early thirties parents and a cherubic baby; somewhat at odds with the current death-pallor of the European Union, but a picture of Irish government ministers handing out cheese isn’t exactly a positive PR spin, now is it? Nonetheless, some celebrated and others berated. The loss of the Estonian currency, the Kroon, was actually lamented by many. And of course the question of ‘what will this mean for us now?’ was on everyone’s lips. Estonia is now the 17th country to adopt the Euro, and the new question on many economists lips is, ‘will the single currency even survive?’

A good question, indeed. Portugal and Spain are currently fighting for dear life as the IMF is perhaps preparing to hand out yet another dubious flotation device, and old Germany sits there shaking her head wondering what the hell will happen next. Tony Blair’s former Economic Advisor, Derek Scott, was quoted in The Guardian saying that the problem is that higher inflation for the struggling countries in the Euro, means that their goods and services will never be able to compete with those of the relatively healthy Germany. And they can’t devalue because of the shared currency – the only option being austerity and deflation. And Germany isn’t prepared to ‘recycle the current-account surpluses it has accumulated,’ as that would ultimately destroy their own economy.

The economic experts don’t reckon the single currency will die, but perhaps there will be a breakaway of the northern European states (essentially those not in ‘better’ shape). But, as one blogger pithily pointed out at the end of a recent piece on Estonia’s acceptance to the collective: ‘I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me how you have one currency and 17 finance ministries.’ But, for now, we can toast a new partner in the messy battle to keep Europe’s single currency alive.…

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A Look at Financial Analyst Jobs

A Look at Financial Analyst Jobs

All major business decisions are made with finance in mind. The role of a financial analyst is to provide financial support to clients and fellow colleagues that will help them make sound business decisions and set strong forecasts for the future.

The exact nature of the role itself will vary depending on the size of the organisation, with larger ones, the analyst will be dealing with strategic analysis whereas in smaller business, the analyst might also look after preparing and collecting accounts.

They will be asked to set financial budgets for the long term and short term plans of an organisation and will need to advise on decision making in regards to financial implications before decisions are made. All the plans, advice and practices will be scrutinised to ensure they are inline with financial regulations and legislation which the analyst will be expected to keep up to date with as changes are made.

Financial analysts will also be required to monitor and interpret cash flow while predicting any upcoming future trends that will affect business decisions. They will look at existing processes and try to streamline them so that value added analysis and insight can be incorporated. As well as looking at their own organisation, analysts will need to look at competitors in the market and identify market trends that can be used to push their own business forward.

Good communication is key within the role as the analyst will be expected to liaise with auditors to ensure the correct monitoring is carried out and talk to external contacts such as solicitors, bankers and statutory organisations. When it comes to personal skills a financial analyst will be expected to be very results driven. This means that they will be expected to not only be proactive but hit all deadlines while remaining calm under pressure. An analyst will need to have very clear views on how to prioritise things and be able to drive relevant changes.

There are many industry sectors that a financial analyst can work within including Telecommunications, Consumer Products, Media, Retail, Business Services, Professional Services, Pharmaceutical, Advertising, Public and Not for Profit.…

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Student Credit Card Debt, How it Happens

Student Credit Card Debt, How it Happens

Student credit card debt is a problem that will simply not go away all by itself. This problem will require effort from all sectors, family and parents, the student themselves, the issuers of plastic money, the educational agencies and the government. It should all start at home and I will tell you why in a moment.

By the time the students get to college, they are an easy market that can easily be tapped. There is the fantasy of easy money that the credit card companies are good at marketing. Then with the students, who are financially naive and expect high future earning, can easily fall trap into advertisements of easy money.

This is not the only factor that contributes to the vulnerabilities that lead to the student credit card debt. Another factor that contributes to the student credit card debt is that most of them have not had the necessary education to prepare them for the world of finance.

The way the colleges and universities invited the credit card issuers due to added revenue they receive from it also play a role to this problem. At least now most have policies that restrict the activities of the credit card companies. Some are even requiring classes where the students receive lessons on consumer and personal finances. The government is also trying to help by formulating some regulations that will limit fees of the issuers.

When they hit college, most students really do not have the know-how on credit card management and other stuff related to personal finances. This is where this website will be helpful for we will walk you through the ins and outs of personal finances and how to meet the pitfalls that could be lurking around the corners.

The “Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc.” report that among high school students, only 15% take a class on personal finance which is a darn shame because there is a non-profit organization called the “Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy” that helps promote financial literacy starting from kindergarten all the way to Grade 12.

This brings us to the problem where some parents really do not talk about finances with their kids or if they do, the kids do not listen. The kids just think this is one of those mumbo-jumbos created by the adult world to make their life miserable, not knowing that down the road they will truly be miserable if they do not listen.

Parents do have to talk to their kids about the rights and the corresponding responsibilities that come with owning a credit card. They really have to educate their kids in this regard to avoid the financial trap that await these kids in college. This should be done consistently starting as early as possible in a non-threatening way so the young will not get put off by the knowledge you will impart to them. Here are some tips:

First and foremost, be a good example by showing diligence in buying things wisely and paying promptly.

As soon as the child is mature enough, getting a credit card that you will co-sign with him can reap dividends later on. There are two schools of thought in this regard. Some experts say to do it as early as possible. Others say to wait till the third or fourth year of college which I do not accept as true because the students are inundated with credit card offers as soon as they arrive in college.

The credit card you co-sign should be one with no annual fee and with a low limit.

Talk to the child about the terms of agreement with the issuers like the interest rate on purchases and cash advances.

Have him write down the expenses and review these and the statement every month.

Discuss the finance charges if the balance is not paid in full like the interest, penalties, fees and other ramifications including the impact it will have on one’s credit report.

Discussion with the student should also involve some psychological aspects like resisting the lure of advertisements and free stuff. The free t-shirt that came with signing up for a credit card could cost one hundreds of dollars in the long run. Learning also about want and need will give one a sound perspective of money that will make them avoid the problems of student credit card debt.…

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Half of Commercial Mortgages Fail to Refinance

Half of Commercial Mortgages Fail to Refinance

The commercial real estate (CRE) market peaked in 2007, and has since been in a prolonged process of collapse. This is true for asset valuations across property types (residential apartments, office, industrial, self storage, health care, etc.), as evidenced by rising capitalization (cap) rates across the board.

Cap rates are to real estate what P/E ratios are to stocks; they measure the value investors are willing to attribute to each dollar of net operating cash flow generated from the property. In other words, cap rates can be computed by dividing the net operating income (NOI) by the value, or amount that an investor paid for a property.

Rising cap rates means that investors are demanding higher risk premiums on their commercial real estate investments. The going rate for high quality CRE is about 7 percentage points above the 10-year Treasury bond, or equivalent maturity “risk-free rate.”

In a continuation of the CRE saga, Bank of America announced that over half of commercial mortgages have been unable to refinance as notes reach maturity.

Nearly $1.24 trillion of commercial mortgages need to be refinanced over the next four years. With so much debt outstanding and in need of refinancing, the BofA announcement makes a bad situation worse.

Between 50 percent and 60 percent of loans on skyscrapers, hotels, shopping malls and apartment complexes failed to refinance within a few months of their maturity date this year, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts said in a report.

As a comparison what went on during the boom years, we should note that a record of $251.1 billion in bonds tied to commercial mortgages were issued in 2007 compared to $1.7 billion issued so far in 2010.

Commercial real estate firms are increasingly desperate. According to Thomson Reuters there are at least 12 CRE firms planning to sell equity in IPOs over the next year. Given that equity sales earlier this year have either completely failed to materialize, or have been executed at deep discounts, it is not likely that CRE firms will be able to re-capitalize properties that have decreasingly profitable operating margins.

Without a big government bailout, the 41 percent CRE decline since 2007 might just be the start of something much worse.…

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Commercial Finance – Tips on Where to Look

Commercial Finance – Tips on Where to Look

When looking for funding to start a business or to expand an existing one, you can look at commercial finance as an option. There are many lenders that are available to help you get a loan that suits your needs. It is an easy and convenient way for you to raise capital, purchase equipment, buy land or relocate your business. These lenders will provide you with a loan that is tailor-made for you even if your credit score is bad.

There are specific requirements that they look for before they can extend you the loan. They will need to take a look at your business plan so that they are in a position to access your strategies and if you will be in a position to repay the money. The size of the business is another factor that they consider so that they are able to gauge the amount you actually need if you have exaggerated or underestimated.

There are many advantages of getting loans from commercial finance lenders. You do not need any proof of income and the loans are approved no matter your credit score. It is also approved quickly and they’re flexible repayment terms. The criteria used to approve this type of loan is different since it usually involves a large sum of money.

If you want to hasten the approval process, you will have to show three years financial statements, a business plan and a few of the most recent tax returns. However, this varies from one lender to the other. You can also access loans online and you will need to provide the required documents. If you are in financial difficulty, a commercial finance loan can help you avoid bankruptcy and re-establish stability.…

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Hollywood Movies – Why Some Fail at the Box Office

Hollywood Movies – Why Some Fail at the Box Office

For decades Hollywood has been making movies of different genres. One such genre is sex and violence. But do these movies do really well at the box office or are they really appreciated by people around the globe? Well some admire them while the majority discards them if they fail to relate with the characters.

Hot and sensuous contents are part of the Hollywood movies which pulls the crowd to the theaters. Characters make a sizzling entry during a scene which tunes a person’s mood and takes them to a different world. But scenes like these do not make the Hollywood movies to break box office records.

Of course, we do get tempted by such sizzling scenes so do our children. Movies should be based on strong script, a good story lineup and a unique form of screenplay. These are the elements that make the movies to reach the stardom.

Though there are certain movies that had such disturbing scenes, yet they have managed to break the box office jinx and won numerous awards. It is because the people have liked them.

Titanic, The Graduate, The Reader and many more such movies that bagged Oscar, Golden Globe and the BAFTA awards and became the people’s choice. Whereas movies like “Basic Instinct”, “Species”, “Cool Surface” and many more such movies that contained such adulterous scenes failed miserably at the box office. These movies really run out from the story and showcase much on the intimate scenes which needs parental advice when watched at home.

Movies are meant to entertain viewers and should manage to pull a huge number a crowd to the theater. But, contains like this fail miserably at the box office which drives the movies out from the theaters within a week. Movies should be made for everyone including the kids, but adulterous scenes are triggered by the letter “A” which excludes children from getting into the theaters.

We all know about such movies, but it is better to make a romantic movie such as “Gone with the Wind” and “Titanic” than to make movie that have intimate scenes. Sometimes such movies tend to show certain unexpected scenes which might disturb our sentiments.

Before the release of an adult movie, the censor board takes a thorough checking on such movies and passes it with an “A” grade. The movies hit the theater and with the alphabet printed on the poster, people come to know about the quality and it’s contain. This is why censor board plays a crucial role while approving any kind of the movie before its release.

Though editors play a crucial role in editing contains of the movie, yet censor board plays its role to give out the final approval before the release. The censorship panel takes a firm look of the movie and the juries decide over the scenes, which part must be deleted and which one should be in the movie.

Though censor board enacts its role while editing certain scenes, still movie makers like to make such bold movies that contain certain disturbing scenes. Maybe certain groups of people enjoy such movies but majority of them consider it to be a time killing performance.…

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Why Your Credit Score is Important in Buying a New Car

Why Your Credit Score is Important in Buying a New Car

Every morning when you go out to start your work-dependent car do you have problems just getting it to idle? Have repair shops told you a figure that was more than you make in a month? Have you lost a job because your vehicle wasn’t depedable enough, but you have no room in your budget to get it fixed? You want to get a new car so badly, but dealerships push you away because of your previous payment history. If these things are so, then this article is perfect for you.

There is one very important thing that car dealerships look at when they decide whether or not to give you an auto loan for a new car, your credit report. If you don’t have a great credit score, then don’t even waste your time applying for a loan because you will immediately get shut down and rejected, Your next question is, “How can I get a new car if I am up to my eyes in debt and haven’t had a good credit score in ten years!” The answer is very simple, you get a credit repair. After this is done, this gives you the opportunity to get a loan and improve your life by getting a car that you can actually hold a job with because it is dependable. And, looking five years into the future, because you can actually depend on your car you can actually hold a job now. And, since you can hold a job you can actually have a reliable source of income because you don’t have to worry about losing your job every day. And, since you can actually have a reliable source of income you can start thinking about saving money for the future. And just think, all of this was made possible because you made the valuable investment of a credit repair.…