In The News….What Does It Look Like When an Economy Collapses?

Newswise — Europe’s financial crisis has now reached a point where many economists worry the continent’s economy could collapse in weeks, if not days, unless political leaders can agree on a bailout package for economies groaning under unmanageable debt loads.

But what would an economic crash look like when the crash is only metaphorical, so there’s no actual rubble or twisted metal strewn about? And how much time would pass before we knew it happened?

“There would be immediate financial chaos,” said Paul Weller, a professor of finance at the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business. “Europe would be plunged into a deep recession and the real economic effects would come into play quite quickly.”

Most worst-case scenarios that have been playing out in recent days involve a default by Italy’s government on its sovereign debt, a scenario Weller believes is unlikely, but “is more likely than it was a few weeks ago.” The country would need billions of Euros from the European Central Bank to relieve its staggering $2.5 trillion debt, but leaders in other Eurozone countries are balking at such a large amount. They want Italy, Greece, and other struggling countries to put more effort into reforming their economies first, and there’s political resistance in Germany because the country’s still-strong economy would likely bear most of the costs of any bailout.

Weller said the triggering event of an all-out economic collapse would be an announcement that “Italy has begun an orderly debt restructuring, which is really a euphemism for default.”

After that, he says the first immediate visible sign that the economy has collapsed would be runs on banks, leading to long lines at banks and ATMs and people spending lots of time online trying to get their money out of failing banks. This would begin on the day of the default in Italy if not earlier, then quickly spread to the so-called PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain), other Eurozone countries with massive debt and fragile economies that are also in danger of default. Eventually, he said banks in other parts of Europe, in particular France and Germany, would feel the effects, and then banks in other countries.

With no cash, many banks go out of business and those that survive stop lending. Credit dries up, leaving even healthy businesses with no cash to pay their bills or short-term debt and no choice but to close their doors. Workers are laid off within weeks and unemployment shoots up. A default also likely leads to the break-up of the Eurozone and the collapse of the European Union as an economic entity, leading to more economic and political chaos.

Governments fall and in a matter of months, Europe is in a deep recession with high unemployment and unstable, austerity-wrecked governments unable to provide assistance or stimulus.

Weller says the U.S. economy would take a hit because American banks own huge amounts of European debt and credit default swaps written on that debt. With Europe’s economy plunging off a cliff, those banks are forced to swallow a loss on most if not all of that debt.

He says the current European scenario is similar to what happened when the bankrupt investment bank Lehman Bros. collapsed in 2008, causing a credit freeze among other lenders and investment banks that sent the U.S. economy into recession within a quarter. The damage was so sudden and so traumatic that the Federal Reserve immediately took action to minimize the fallout and spent billions of dollars to prop up other weakened financial services companies, while Congress passed the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Weller said the EU scenario is similar, with Italy in the role of Lehman Bros. and the European Central Bank as the Fed. But he is cautiously optimistic that the collapse that would have occurred in 2008 without Fed intervention won’t play out because he thinks Europe’s political leaders will eventually agree on a bailout plan for Italy and other beleaguered eurozone economies. It might not happen until the eleventh hour, but Weller said a collapse would be so catastrophic that politicians, especially in Germany, will do all within their power to sell a bailout to voters as a least-bad option.

“When people stare into the abyss, they often decide other options are worth pursuing,” he says.

Released: 11/29/2011

Source: University of Iowa

Related Link:

http://newswise.com/articles/what-does-it-look-like-when-an-economy-collapses

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New Evidence for the Earliest Modern Humans in Europe

Photo Credit: Chris Collins (NHM) and Torquay Museum A photograph of the maxilla including three teeth, of the earliest known modern human in Europe, discovered during excavations at Kent’s Cavern, Devon, in 1927.

Newswise — The timing, process and archeology of the peopling of Europe by early modern humans have been actively debated for more than a century. Reassessment of the anatomy and dating of a fragmentary upper jaw with three teeth from Kent’s Cavern in southern England has shed new light on these issues.

Originally found in 1927, Kent’s Cavern and its human fossil have been reassessed by an international team, including Erik Trinkaus, PhD, professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, and the results published in Nature.

The Kent’s Cavern human joins the human skull and lower jaw from the Peştera cu Oase, Romania, in establishing the presence of modern humans at both ends of Europe (northwest and southeast) by at least 40,000 years ago.

“Modern humans were previously known to be this old in southeastern Europe, but they had not been documented as early in western Europe until the reassessment of the Kent’s Cavern fossil,” Trinkaus says. “The new date for the Kent’s Cavern upper jaw suggests a rapid spread of modern humans once they had crossed into Europe.”

All three of these fossils, although anatomically “modern,” possess archaic features, indicating some degree of intermixture with the European Neandertals as modern human spread across Europe.

None of these fossils is associated with diagnostic archeological remains, but they date close to the appearance of the Aurignacian industry, Trinkaus says. This supports the long-held view that the Early Upper Paleolithic Aurignacian represents early modern humans in the region.

Released: 11/1/2011

Source: Washington University in St. Louis

Related Link:

http://www.newswise.com/articles/new-evidence-for-the-earliest-modern-humans-in-europe 

Travel News Update: U. S. President Barack Obama Will Be Visiting Ireland This Week

Ha’penney Bridge, Dublin – Photo Credit,Tourism Ireland

Mr. Obama’s heritage has been traced to the village of Monegall in Co, Offaly.

New York, May 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — U.S. President Barack Obama will receive the warmest of Irish welcomes when he visits the Emerald Isle this week. Hundreds of thousands of well wishers will line the streets as the President makes his first visit to Ireland – home to some of his ancestors. Mr. Obama’s heritage has been traced to the village of Monegall in Co, Offaly. There is a great sense of pride in this tiny picturesque village located at the very center of the island, where preparations are in full swing.

Canon Stephen Neill, Local Church of Ireland Vicar, “Since St. Patrick’s Day when the announcement was made that he was actually coming to Moneygall, since then it has literally been a media storm. My phone never stops ringing. But it is a good story, we are happy to share a good news story with the world. This is something very positive and it’s positive for Ireland too. I think it’s very good that the president has indicated his confidence and interest in Ireland by coming to visit us here and I think it is the kind of boost we need.”

President Obama will become one of eight hundred thousand Americans expected to travel to Ireland this year and his visit is being seen as a great opportunity to encourage more U.S. vacationers to make the trip in 2011.

Niall Gibbons, CEO Tourism Ireland, “We have huge connections with America and we look forward to deepening those in years to come and giving a warm Irish welcome to all the Americans that come here. There are 40 million people of Irish decent in America and we think they are going to be thrilled that President Obama is coming here and the genealogical connection is an indelible one and we are delighted that president Obama is coming here to discover his roots with us in Ireland.”

Fiona Fitzsimons, Genealogist, Eneclann, “Well, we traced back nine generations from the president, so we took Megan Smolenyak’s work and we took it back another four generations again, tracing it back to the late 1600s and that’s a real achievement in Irish Genealogy because so many of the records have been destroyed over the previous 300 years. The thing to remember as well, is that the president’s family, they weren’t rich, they weren’t anglo Irish, they were simply a regular family and to be able to trace them back was really quite something.”

President’s Obama direct descendents are looking forward to welcoming home their famous family member.

Henry Healy, distant relative of the president, “We hope he will come and visit the school house behind me where his ancestors were educated. The ancestral home still stands in the village, that’s another important site, also Templeharry church. So there are three important sites within the area for anyone to come and visit, and of course it wouldn’t be a presidential visit to Ireland without a traditional stop off in the local pub for a pint of Guinness.”

During his stay President Obama will also visit the capital city of Dublin where a huge celebration rally is planned.

For more info on visiting the island of Ireland check out – www.discoverireland.com

Event News: Duran Duran to Perform at Cannes Film Festival European Launch of BELVEDERE PRODUCT(RED)(TM)

The creme de la creme of the entertainment and film industry are set to join Duran Duran at the Cannes Film Festival for an unforgettable evening at the legendary VIP ROOM to celebrate Belvedere's exciting collaboration with (RED)(TM) - a new special edition bottle to help raise proceeds for the Global Fund, the world's leading financer of programs to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria(TM). (PRNewsFoto/Belvedere Vodka)

LONDON, May 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The creme de la creme of the entertainment and film industry are set to join Duran Duran at the Cannes Film Festival for an unforgettable evening at the legendary VIP ROOM to celebrate the European launch of (BELVEDERE)(RED).

Following in the footsteps of music icons Debbie Harry and Grace Jones, the Grammy award-winning group will entertain Cannes revellers with a memorable performance.

The Cannes Film Festival is renowned as the world’s most glamorous film festival and will be the setting for the European launch of Belvedere’s exciting collaboration with (RED)(TM) – a new special edition bottle to help raise funds for the Global Fund, the world’s leading financer of programs to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria(TM).

This exciting collaboration will see the introduction of a (BELVEDERE)(RED) Special Edition Bottle in late Summer 2011. Both (RED) and Belvedere Vodka are unanimous in their objective to empower global consumers to help eliminate HIV/AIDS.

Guests will gather at VIP ROOM to toast the launch with classic Belvedere cocktails and enjoy a set from one of the world’s most successful bands

Charles Gibb, President Belvedere and Millennium Imports states “Belvedere Vodka is delighted to join (RED) in the fight against AIDS by helping to raise funds generated from the global sales of (BELVEDERE)(RED) Special Edition Bottle. As one of the world’s leading spirit brands, we are in a unique position to harness the power of our customers to benefit the millions of people who are at risk, or are living, with HIV. We want to raise consumer awareness and incite more global action to eliminate AIDS in Africa. Our message is simple – (PRODUCT)(RED) helps saves lives.”

“(RED) harnesses the collective power of consumers and business to fight HIV/AIDS, so we are delighted to add the (BELVEDERE)(RED) Special Edition Bottle to our existing (PRODUCT)(RED)(TM) portfolio of products and services,” says Seb Bishop, CEO, (RED)(TM) International.

SOURCE Belvedere Vodka

The Royal Wedding Official Album Released

The Royal Wedding Official Album Released. (PRNewsFoto/Decca Label Group)

NEW YORK and LONDON, April 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — For the first time in history, the Royal Wedding ceremony was recorded this morning and will be immediately released digitally today. Decca Records, one of Britain’s historic record labels, will release Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s entire wedding ceremony on the world’s foremost download and streaming platforms within hours of the service ending.

The Official Album of the event was held in Westminster Abbey today — April 29th — and will be rush released, available everywhere in the U.S. on May 10th. Musicians who performed at the ceremony include The Choir of Westminster Abbey, The Chapel Royal Choir, The London Chamber Orchestra and The Fanfare Team from the Central Band of the Royal Air Force. The Choirs were under the direction of Mr James O’Donnell and The London Chamber Orchestra conducted by its Music Director and Principle Conductor Mr Christopher Warren-Green.

Decca Records is a part of Universal Music, the world’s leading record company, which also released the recording of The Wedding of Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales in 1981, and the Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997. The uniquely original new recording will be the next in a historic line to mark major milestones for the royal family, and as such it will enter the homes of millions across the whole world.

The physical album will include a special collector’s booklet featuring the complete order of service, the readings, vows, hymns and blessings, and all the music from this global event with one the biggest audiences in television history. The format of release will be digital download, CD and vinyl to cater to consumers of all ages.

The album is produced by one of the world’s finest classical record producers, Anna Barry, who has produced over 500 recordings of distinction for over 25 years, ranging from works by Andrew Lloyd Webber to opera at the Mariinsky Theatre with Valery Gergiev, and many other legendary artists including Jose Carreras and Zubin Mehta.

The multi-Grammy-nominated producer said of the Royal Wedding recording: “This is a great honor and an enormous responsibility. The wedding means so much to millions of people all over the world — we had to capture every note and every nuance perfectly and have the recording ready within minutes of the end of the ceremony.”

Dickon Stainer, President of Decca Records, said: “This will be the first Official Royal Wedding Album ever to enter the worldwide digital charts. It will capture a piece of history for a new generation.”

David Joseph, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music UK, said: “The Official Album for The Royal Wedding will complement everyone’s personal memories of the event. Thanks to digital technology we will be able to deliver it worldwide almost instantly — it will be the fastest we have ever released an album of this stature.”

Tracklisting:

1. The Arrival of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh – Fanfare

2. The Procession of The Queen – March from The Birds (Parry)

3. Prelude on Rhosymedre (Vaughan Williams)

4. The Procession of the Bride – Anthem: I Was Glad (Parry)

5. Hymn: Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer (Cwm Rhondda) (Hughes)

6. The Welcome and Introduction

7. The Marriage

8. The Vows

9. Hymn: Love Divine (Blaenwern) (Rowlands)

10. The Lesson

11. The Anthem: This is the Day Which The Lord Hath Made (Rutter)

12. The Address

13. The Motet: Ubi Caritas (Mealor)

14. The Prayers

15. Hymn: Jerusalem (Parry)

16. The Blessing

17. The National Anthem (Trad.)

18. The Signing of the Register – Blest Pair of Sirens (Parry)

19. Fanfare: Valiant and Brave (Stubbs)

20. The Procession of the Bride and Bridegroom – Crown Imperial (Walton)

21. Toccata from Symphonie V (Widor)

NB. Bold titles indicate spoken word

http://www.deccarecords-us.com

SOURCE Decca Label Group
RELATED LINKS
http://www.deccarecords-us.com

EU Embassies’ Open House and Europe Week to Start May 7, In Washington D.C.

European Union Flag

WASHINGTON, April 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ –On May 7, 2011, the Delegation of the European Union to the United States and the Embassies of the 27 EU Member States to the United States will open their doors to the Washington public during the EU Open House Day. This annual event will also kick off Europe Week, which means seven days of Europe-related events all over the United States.

Each embassy will be open to the public from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, 2011, offering a rare look inside the buildings and providing a unique opportunity to experience the country’s cultural heritage and national traditions. Free shuttle bus service will be provided throughout the day with stops at embassies and select Metro stations. The EU Delegation and the Embassies will offer authentic music, dance, food, film, art and fun for the whole family.

“This is the fifth year running that the 27 European Union member countries and the EU Delegation work together to present this fantastic event which draws thousands of visitors,” said Ambassador Joao Vale de Almeida, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the U.S.” The EU Embassies’ Open House, the single biggest celebration of the EU in the world, demonstrates the EU’s motto of ‘unity through diversity’ by showcasing the range and richness of European society.”

EU Embassies’ Open House is followed by Europe Week, a week long celebration of Europe across the United States with concerts, exhibitions, performances, and other activities presented by a wide range of consulates, universities, organizations and institutions. From fine art and photography to music and acting, Europe Week will offer an insight into European culture and society, from its rich artistic history to the latest works of its young artists.

May 9 is Europe Day, celebrated annually to mark the signing of the Schuman Declaration in 1950, which laid the basis for what today is the European Union.

SOURCE: Delegation of the European Union to the United States

RELATED LINKS
http://www.eurunion.org