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Officials say university’s $1.2 billion endowment loss will only affect 2010

first_imgThough the nationwide financial crisis has had little effect on the university’s operating costs for this year, the $1.2 billion loss endured by USC’s endowment over the last year will likely have an impact on the school’s spending for 2010, administrators say.Until June 2007, the endowment, which pays for 5 percent of the university’s operations and accumulates interest through various investments, enjoyed steady growth leading to a high of $3.7 billion.But it began a decline later that year, mirroring the first tremors of the worldwide market crash, falling from $3.6 billion in June 2008 to $2.4 billion by March 2009.“All markets were down. International stock markets were down, US stock markets were down, so there was no place to hide,” said USC associate senior vice president and treasurer Ruth Wernig. “Everything pretty much went down. Plus, we’re in the middle of a credit crisis.”USC aims for low risks and high returns by diversifying its investment portfolio, with substantial investments both in the United States and abroad, Wernig said. Endowment funds are also invested in real estate, energy investments, bonds, venture capital and hedge funds.Though the information for the most recent financial quarter is still being compiled, Wernig said the endowment rose slightly to $2.5 billion in June, and showed improvement in July, August and September as well.Despite a $1.2 billion loss over the course of a year, the administration minimized the importance of the endowment for the university.“It’s a significant loss for the endowment, but a drop in the endowment does not have a big effect on the university like it does at other schools, so that’s a good thing,” Wernig said.USC’s interim senior vice president and chief financial officer Robert Abeles said the loss over the past few months did not affect spending for this fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2010.As with last year, $140 million, or 5 percent of the endowment, will be spent.The reason the endowment payout — the amount the university uses on an annual basis — hasn’t decreased, Abeles said, is because USC calculates the payout based on an average of the endowment value over the past three years, rather than just the previous quarter.This calculation, known as a rolling average, shields the university payout from year-to-year fluctuations of the market.Lawrence Picus, a professor of education policy and finance at the Rossier School of Education, said he would be surprised if some schools don’t use a rolling average to help smooth out fluctuations.“By having a rolling average, it gives us a soft landing when the value of the endowment goes down,” Picus said. “It’s a strategy to make sure that no one is badly hurt in bad times and that we wisely think about how to use the money in good [times].”As a result, the endowment payout this year still factored in gains made in the stock market three years ago, nullifying some of the losses from over the last year, Abeles said.“The endowment went down a billion, [but] no one has felt that effect yet because we’ve kept the payout constant,” Wernig said.Next year, Abeles said, the endowment’s decrease will have more of an impact on spending because the worst months of the economic crisis will be calculated into the rolling average.“The bottom line is [there will be] no effect on the university’s operations this year, but there’s a potential effect for fiscal year 2011. We’re getting into years now that weren’t so good for the endowment,” he said.The Board of Trustees, which approves the payout percentage in the spring, will vote whether to increase it to match this year’s $140 million, or keep it consistent and less money.Abeles said it would be difficult to project how much the payout might be cut next year, but said he expects it to be cut by less than 10 percent — meaning the overall operating budget would lose no more than half a percent of its funds from the payout.At the same time, Abeles said, he has warned the administration to be cautious about its spending and hiring. It is also not committing to beginning construction on new buildings, he said.Abeles said the university’s endowment losses over the last year are relatively small compared to other private universities, but affects the school less, because of its lack of dependence on the endowment for operating costs. He said the biggest problem USC would face financially is if people couldn’t afford to attend or if enrollment was dropping.“We haven’t had that problem. We’ve probably been the least affected of the major universities by this decline, and we don’t expect it to be a major factor in the years ahead,” Abeles said.last_img read more

Screen Fatigue? Here Are Some Top Board Games To Pass The…

first_imgPictionary Ludo Snakes and Ladders Monopoly Scrabble Ludo (known as “Ludi” in Jamaica) is one of the most popular board games played by Caribbean nationals and Caribbean-Americans. The basic goal of the game is to guide your tokens from “home” (by rolling a dice) clockwise around the board along the game track to the finish center square. The first person to get all their tokens to the square wins the game. This classic game sees two to six players make their way around a board as they buy, sell and trade properties to win. With only one winner of Monopoly, players collect rent from their opponents, with the goal being to drive them into bankruptcy. Money can also be gained or lost through community chest cards and tax squares. Players can also end up in jail, which they cannot move from until they have met one of several conditions. Movies, TV shows and video games are a great and entertaining way to pass the time, but it is ideal to take a break from sitting in front of a TV or computer. Board games are a great way to keep you and your family entertained while in quarantine. Many board games are also educational and are a great way to keep your mind sharp and test your skills. Chess Chess is one of the oldest known board games still played to this day. The objective of the game is to move around the chess pieces on the board with the hope of capturing the other player’s pieces and scoring checkmate. Chess is considered a game for thinkers and strategists.center_img Players attempt to gain points by making high scoring/unusual words from the letters on the tiles. The tiles show the points they are worth. Each player picks seven unseen tiles from a bag and hides their letters from opponents. When it’s your turn, you have to try and form a word. Inspired by the family-friendly 90s movie, the aim of the game involves making your way through a jungle. Players roll the dice with the aim of being the first to get to the center of the board and win the game. However, on the board are “jungle” animals for players to get past. They use the deck of danger cards to reveal and decode the secret message in order to move on. This board game is for two players, played on a draughtboard. Each player starts with twelve disc-shaped pieces in three rows along one side of the board and moves them diagonally with the aim of capturing all the opponent’s pieces. Draughts is similar to another popular board game, Checkers. Pictionary is a classic game of drawing and guessing pictures. The game includes a game board, four playing pieces and category cards, a one-minute sand timer and a die. Each board square is coloured and corresponds to a category of cards with various words. Players have to attempt to draw (usually scribble) an image that illustrates the word on the card. While the United States, parts of the Caribbean and much of the rest of the world have been forced to stay at home due to the coronavirus, pandemic, many people are looking for ways to enjoy their free time. Jumanji Draughts This is one of the less competitive, classic board games. Each player throws the dice, working their way around the board looking for ladders and trying to avoid sliding down the slippery snakes.last_img read more

Simeone banned for eight matches

first_imgAtletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has been handed an eight-match ban for his conduct during the second leg of the Supercopa de Espana.The Argentine was sent from the touchline due to his over-exuberant protests in the 25th minute of the match against Real Madrid on Friday, and was seen to tap the fourth official on the back of the head twice in the aftermath.Atletico went on to win the two-legged encounter 2-1 on aggregate, but Simeone’s behaviour was expected to land him in hot water.After eventually making his way down the tunnel, Simeone continued to flout the rules by making his way into the stands to watch the remainder of the encounter.And the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) slapped Simeone – facing four different charges – with an eight-match suspension on Monday.He will also be required to pay more than €4,000 in fines. The suspension will see him missing from the dugout until October, sitting out Atleti’s trip to Real on September 13.Simeone has 10 days to appeal against his punishment.last_img read more

MH370 plunged into the ocean at almost 400km/hr

first_imgAustralia’s crash investigator has revealed that data indicates that MH370 could have been descending at up to 20,000ft (6,700m) a minute in the moments just before it impacted the ocean with 239 passengers and crew. In his first interview after taking over as Chief Commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), Greg Hood told that the automated satellite communication with the Boeing 777 in its final minutes showed that its descent increased dramatically from about 5,400ft (1,200m) a minute to up to 20,000ft (6,700m) a minute.The big increase suggests that no one was in control of the aircraft, he said.His comments come after some media outlets have cited a two-year-old FBI report into a flight simulator program on MH370 Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah’s home computer to claim that he glided the 777 in a controlled water landing and that the ATSB is looking in the wrong place. The FBI analysis of Zaharie’s hard drives was widely publicised in 2014 and Britain’s The Telegraph reported in June of that year that investigators had found a route plotted to the Southern Indian Ocean.“We have known about the FBI report for two years and it was widely reported in the media at the time,” said Mr Hood.“It is nothing new.”“It potentially shows planning and possibly intent, but it does not tell us where the aircraft is.”MH370 disappeared in mysterious circumstances on March 8, 2014, after communications from the jetliner were cut during what was supposed to be a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.Experts from Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) developed a mathematical analysis of the hourly pings from the Boeing 777 detected by a geostationary satellite with known information about the aircraft and sophisticated modelling to determine a 120,000 sq. km area where they believed the airliner most likely impacted the ocean. Although the main communications systems were disabled on MH370, the aircraft’s satellite link was still communicating with Inmarsat’s Indian Ocean region satellite.  These communications contained no explicit position data but consisted on two occasions of log-on requests from the aircraft and in five instances of hourly interrogations from the satellite. Experts were able to combine the time delay as the signals travelled between the aircraft and the satellite with the performance limits of the aircraft and the Doppler shift – the change in frequency when an object is approaching or receding from an observer – to calculate the likely Indian Ocean impact zone.    About 110,000 sq kms of that area have so far been searched and the Malaysian, Australian and Chinese governments have agreed to suspend the search if no credible new information emerges once the full 120,000 km zone has been swept.Mr Hood said that he was coming into the search with fresh eyes and was confident after reviewing all the data that the search was in the highest probability area.“I am still confident that we will find it,” he said.The most recent claims suggest the plane travelled to a point south-west of the current search area but ATSB analysis indicated that MH370 “did not have sufficient fuel to fly to the end point” of the FBI’s reported route. Mr Hood also defended the modelling used to define the search area, saying it had been extensively validated by DSTG using satellite and flight data from the accident aircraft and other sister aircraft. He said the Search Strategy Working Group included specialists from Air Accidents Investigation Branch (UK), Boeing, Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group, Inmarsat, Thales and the US National Transportation Safety Board.“We are also exchanging information with other interested parties such as the Independent Group.” Mr Hood said it may take up to December to search the remaining 10,000 sq. km because search team Fugro needed to launch a special autonomous underwater vehicle to search some difficult terrain and investigate a number of sonar contacts of some interest.“These are locations that require further investigation,” he said.“However we can’t launch this vehicle in conditions above a 9ft (3m) swell but for several weeks, the search vessels have regularly encountered conditions greater than 10m including last week when the Furgo Equator encountered a 78ft (24m) wave.”Three ships are still involved in the hunt for MH370 with Fugro Discovery and Chinese vessel Dong Hai Jiu 101 currently undertaking operations in the search area, and Fugro Equator currently in Fremantle, Western Australia resupplying.  Investigators also continue to examine debris found on beaches in Africa and on islands off the continent’s coast.last_img read more

10 months agoLiverpool defender Van Dijk: Record price-tag never affected me

first_imgLiverpool defender Van Dijk: Record price-tag never affected meby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool defender Virgil van Dijk says his world record transfer fee has never weighed on him.Van Dijk left Southampton a year ago for Liverpool in a £75m deal – a record for a defender.The Dutchman told AD: “Quite frankly, it does not do much for me. I can also do very little with it. It is, at most, something that people will start with when you play a lesser game. “But that amount … I know it works like that in football.”De Vrij also said: “I am the proud captain of my country. I play everything at Liverpool, in the international matches with the Oranje squad we all have an excellent feeling. But it goes on and on. We play football in England every three or four days. There is little time.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Ringo Starr Contributes To Songs After Sandy

first_imgRingo Starr has contributed a song to a new compilation raising money for victims of Hurricane Sandy.Also donating songs to the album are Joe Walsh, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jeff Lynn, Joan Osborne and many more.While the effects of Hurricane Sandy devastated much of the eastern United States, many of the small coastal communities in New Jersey and New York, were hit especially hard. To help these small largely lower income communities get back on their feet, such as Red Hook Brooklyn and the Far Rockaways, a host of amazing artists have contributed to Songs After Sandy: Friends of Red Hook For Hurricane Sandy Relief, Volume 1.“Songs After Sandy: Friends of Red Hook For Sandy Relief” is being sponsored by the Not For Profit Green Ground Zero, which was founded for exactly this purpose, to help communities rebuild after disasters. In this case it is particularly poignant as they also advocate for green restoration which creates a more sustainable environment while hitting the root of the problem of global warming.All proceeds from this campaign will go to Restore Red Hook, Red Hook Initiative, Occupy Sandy, specifically the “Wedding Register” they maintain where they detail items needed in specific communities and Green Ground Zero.To find out more and order the compilation, click here.last_img read more

Mexico starts oil industry rescue with refinery overhaul

first_imgMEXICO CITY — Mexico’s new government has detailed plans to build an oil refinery in the home state of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and to renovate six others as the oil-producing country attempts to lower its dependence on imported fuel.Energy Minister Rocio Nahle said Sunday that Mexico will import 80 per cent of its gasoline needs this year because existing refineries work on average at 38 per cent of capacity due to a lack of maintenance and investment. She says the national oil company Pemex should be able to meet 70 per cent of Mexico’s gasoline needs.Lopez Obrador has said his government will spend an additional 75 billion pesos ($3.65 billion) next year on Pemex, which has seen its crude extraction plummet to levels not seen in years.The Associated Presslast_img

Soldier killed as Pak army violates ceasefire along LoC in Rajouri

first_imgJammu: An Army soldier was killed when Pakistan violated the ceasefire by heavily shelling forward areas and posts along the Line of Control with mortar bombs in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district Thursday, officials said. Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire in Keri belt of Sunderbani sector this morning, they said. One soldier was was killed in Pakistani firing, they added. Pakistani troops have violated the ceasefire over 110 times along the LoC since January.last_img

EC urged to take action against PMs asset declaration

first_imgNew Delhi: Launching a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera on Tuesday questioned the prime minister’s assets and raised doubts over “alleged irregularities” in the property declared by the Prime Minister himself in an affidavit.The Congress has urged the Election Commission to take action against Narendra Modi’s past affidavit. A delegation of Congress party also submitted a memorandum to EC in this regard. The Congress accused the Prime Minister of furnishing contradictory information regarding his assets in Gandhinagar. According to the party, PM Modi has submitted differing details of the same property in different affidavits. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The Congress allegation came after public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Supreme Court seeking a court-monitored probe into the “irregularities” in the affidavits submitted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The PIL was filed by Maharashtra-based journalist Saket Gokhale. In his petition, Gokhale has claimed that PM Modi had previously mentioned a plot of land in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar that was allocated to the former Gujarat CM by the state government in his 2007 affidavit for the Gujarat Assembly elections. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KAs per Congress spokesperson, in an election affidavit in 2007, Modi declared that he was the sole owner of Plot 411 in Sector 1, prime property in Gandhinagar. “Modi listed the area of the plot as 326.22 square metres and the cost of its purchase as Rs 1.3 lakh. Based on the market rates prevailing in Gandhinagar, this plot is presently worth about Rs 1.18 crore. Modi was the then CM of Gujarat and had also declared in his affidavit that he had spent Rs 30,363 to construct on the piece of the same land,” Khera told reporters while addressing a Press conference. However, the property did not find mention in the prime minister’s affidavit for the 2012 state elections or the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Instead, PM Modi declared 1/4th ownership of another property in the same area. The former plot of land was missing in PM Modi’s 2016 and 2017 asset declarations as well. According to Gokhale, the land records still indicate PM Modi’s name. The petition has been filed under Article 19(1)(a) (freedom of speech and expression) of the Indian Constitution.last_img read more

Gov Snyder signs Rep Victorys drainage district bill

first_img28Jun Gov. Snyder signs Rep. Victory’s drainage district bill Categories: News,Victory News A bill introduced by Rep. Roger Victory to give county drain commissioners more flexibility in their jobs was signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder today.The bill amends the drain code to allow a local government petition for addition and reduction of land from an original drainage district. The action would provide county drain commissioners more leeway in revising district boundaries.Under current law, initiation and construction of single county and inter-county drainage districts requires petitions from a percentage of property owners whose land is impacted by a new or existing drain.“There are thousands of drainage districts throughout the state. Many of them are old and not updated as our community landscapes change. As a result, determining the correct number of property owner signatures and reviewing those deeds takes time and is problematic,” said Victory, of Hudsonville. “This is common-sense legislation that makes the job easier for our elected commissioners and ensures that community members will receive fair and accurate drain fees within a reasonable time frame.”When a local government petitions to add or remove land under Victory’s bill, a drainage board will notify all individuals whose name appear as owning lands in the drainage district. At a called meeting, the board will determine if the addition or removal is necessary with input from those landowners.For inter-county systems, the drainage board will be required to communicate with commissioners of counties included in the district as well as an official of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.last_img read more