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Life hung by a thread: endurance of Antarctic fauna in glacial periods

Life hung by a thread: endurance of Antarctic fauna in glacial periods

first_imgToday, Antarctica exhibits some of the harshest environmental conditions for life on Earth. During the last glacial period, Antarctic terrestrial and marine life was challenged by even more extreme environmental conditions. During the present interglacial period, polar life in the Southern Ocean is sustained mainly by large-scale primary production. We argue that during the last glacial period, faunal populations in the Antarctic were limited to very few areas of local marine productivity (polynyas), because complete, multiannual sea-ice and ice shelf coverage shut down most of the Southern Ocean productivity within today’s seasonal sea-ice zone. Both marine sediments containing significant numbers of planktonic and benthic foraminifera and fossil bird stomach oil deposits in the adjacent Antarctic hinterland provide indirect evidence for the existence of polynyas during the last glacial period. We advocate that the existence of productive oases in the form of polynyas during glacial periods was essential for the survival of marine and most higher-trophic terrestrial fauna. Reduced to such refuges, much of today’s life in the high Antarctic realm might have hung by a thread during the last glacial period, because limited resources available to the food web restricted the abundance and productivity of both Antarctic terrestrial and marine life.last_img read more

New alert details NCUA’s proposed rule on FCU fees

New alert details NCUA’s proposed rule on FCU fees

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr During its July board meeting, the NCUA proposed a rule to exclude from total assets any loan a federal credit union (FCU) reports under the PPP or similar future programs. NAFCU sent a Regulatory Alert to member credit unions detailing the proposal and seeking feedback on the approach to operating fees.The rule would amend the period used for the calculation of an FCU’s total assets to the average total assets reported on the FCU’s previous four call reports – rather than using the Dec. 31 call report data from the previous year – reducing the risk the NCUA under- or over-collects operating fees relative to the board-approved budget and providing more certainty to FCUs about the operating fee charges for the forthcoming year.NAFCU highlighted in the Regulatory Alert that the proposal will impact all FCUs. It also provides calculations for merged or converted FCUs and makes technical amendments to clarify that no refund of operating fees is available for FCUs that convert to any other type of charter, regardless of timing.The association would like credit unions’ feedback on whether: NCUA headquarterscenter_img continue reading »last_img read more

Romanian regulator to expand pension fund corporate investment

Romanian regulator to expand pension fund corporate investment

first_imgBobocea told IPE the association had been discussing potential changes with the AFS for some months.These include reviewing the risk coefficients of the asset classes pension funds can currently invest in.“This would ultimately lead to more direct investment in stock,” he said.For example, while the limits state that funds can invest between 0% and 70% in government bonds, in practice, the numerous valuations force medium-risk funds into investing 60-65% into state securities.The APAPR has also proposed the possibility of buying and trading corporate bonds, currently restricted to “regulated stock markets”, on the OTC market, and allowing interest rate risk hedging and other uses of derivatives.“The current legislation is restrictive and only allows for some forex hedges,” said Bobocea.The AFS’s announcement follows on from prime minister Victor Ponta’s statements to the Romanian press in July that appeared to rule out either a Hungarian-style nationalisation of the second-pillar funds or a Polish-style expropriation of their government bond assets.These spectres were raised last year following rumours the government intended to review the second pillar’s performance with the IMF.Ponta has since stated that he wanted to find, along with the European Commission and IMF, a solution enabling the funds to expand their investments beyond government bonds in ways that would benefit the real economy.He told the Romanian financial weekly Capital that while the Hungarian solution produced good results in the short term, in the medium term, it would prove a mistake. Romania’s financial supervisory authority (AFS) has announced it intends to review the regulations for private pension funds to increase their direct investment in the real economy, primarily via listed equities and corporate bonds.According to the authority, the second and third-pillar fund investments in Bucharest Stock Exchange (BSE) listed companies totalled RON2.73bn (€617m).The funds are large shareholders in the recent major state-owned company IPOs on the BSE, with 20.6% in nuclear power plant Nuclearelectrica, 22.8% in natural gas producer Romgaz and 18.6% in electricity distributor Electrica, as well as holding significant stakes in other strategically important companies.Mihai Bobocea, adviser to the board of the Romanian Pension Funds’ Association (APAPR), added that, according to the association’s estimates, pension funds now account for 10% of the BSE’s trading volume.last_img read more