Panellists at last week’s IPE 360 conference in London highlighted a range of political concerns for investors – not all of which were necessarily on the radar yet.Vincent Reinhart, chief economist at Standish Mellon Asset Management, warned of the potential for “policy mistakes” in China in the near future.“Its desire to project a military force as powerful as their GDP on the global scale could lead to them interfering more than the US,” he said.Roughly 60% of global GDP was generated in emerging markets, Reinhart said, and half of that emanated from China. “Global GDP has actually been less volatile over the last few years because much of it is being increased in a region that delivers growth at 6.5% year-on-year,” Reinhart said.But he urged investors to “consider the tail risk in China”.With emerging markets getting wealthier but global GDP growth shrinking, some parts of society were being left out in the developed world – leading to the rise of populism.Reinhart said: “These global economic readjustments create resentment and there is no growth to appease the anger, which in turn leads to voter resentment against trade, migration, etc, and to more geopolitical risk.”Turning to the US, where the effect of populism has been arguably most prevalent, Reinhart said his biggest concern was “thinking about the day when three Republican senators say they want to run for president. This would mean there is no majority government anymore and it would be an incentive for [president Donald] Trump to use executive action wherever he can.”BrexitFor Anthony Arnull, Barber Professor of Jurisprudence at Birmingham Law School, the greatest political worries were related to Brexit – in particular the difficulties facing the UK government when seeking to strike new trade deals after it leaves the EU.Apart from the “chaotic lack of preparation” both leading up to the Brexit vote as well as to the negotiations with the EU, Arnull highlighted that the UK government’s plan to “peel off” some members from the bloc was “not looking very realistic”.“The EU does not welcome the UK’s departure but it is now in a post-referendum phase, adjusted to the idea that UK is leaving,” Arnull said. “It might even think the EU will develop faster without the UK, and this is a difficult dynamic for the UK to deal with.”More uncertainty over trade was added by Donald Trump, he said. Trump has promised both German chancellor Angela Merkel and UK prime minister Theresa May that their respective markets would be “first on the list” for a trade deal. “Now the UK does not know where it is on this list,” Arnull said.Finally, Ian McKnight, CIO at the Royal Mail Pension Plan in the UK, highlighted Italy’s forthcoming election as a potential flashpoint.Discussing potential triggers for an equity market selloff, McKnight said: “There could be something with the Italian election coming up next year. A lot of Italian MPs – as I understand it – will be against the EU. That’s potentially a catastrophic event.”Italy’s next election must be held no later than 20 May next year.See the July/August edition of IPE for a Special Report on Italy’s pension system.
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USC coach Lane Kiffin is disappointed because of well, you know, his team’s record.“With the players that we have, we should not be 6-3,” he said during his weekly conference call with reporters Sunday night.That’s rather clear.Once ranked atop the Associated Press top-25 poll, the Trojans are now nearly out of it entirely, falling to No. 21 after back-to-back losses to Arizona and Oregon.Should they in fact finish the season outside the top 25, they would become the first preseason AP No. 1 team to finish the season unranked in 48 years, when Ole Miss went 5-5-1 during the 1964 season.Though a trip to the Pac-12 championship game, a berth in the Rose Bowl and a top-10 finish are all still technically in play, because of such astronomically high preseason expectations, 2012 will always — at least on some level — be given the dubious distinction as one of the most disappointing seasons in program history. Fair or not, that will be the perception.Here’s an attempt to explain what went wrong, at least through the first nine games.Schematically, something is still off on defenseThe most glaring problem for USC remains its defense. Counting the last two games, the Trojans have surrendered a total of 101 points and 1,318 yards of offense. The Ducks set various USC opponent single-game records Saturday for points, total yards and seemingly everything else. So it comes as little surprise that for the second-straight season a sizable portion of the fan base is calling upon Kiffin to fire his father, assistant head coach for defense Monte Kiffin, or at least suggest retirement.Last season, coaches attributed the “growing pains” to inexperience. The elder Kiffin suggested USC’s defense needed more time to develop and better grasp the nuanced system. And for the final weeks of 2011, it looked like something was working; the trajectory pointed upward.But Lane and Monte arrived in January 2010, and to maintain “our guys need more time” would be a bit delusional considering we’re now 34 games into the Kiffins’ tenure.So, it might be time to reboot the system“We have to re-evaluate the whole thing,” Monte said Saturday night after the game. “I totally agree with that.”Asked if a philosophical change was in order, Lane added: “We’ve got to look at what we’re doing, obviously.”Something needs to be fixed — and what exactly needs fixing is probably above the pay grade of a college sportswriter.Summer roster defections Over a span of 30 days in late July and August, USC lost two of its most important returners on defense in senior defensive end Devon Kennard and senior cornerback Isiah Wiley. Kennard, who has 135 career tackles, tore his pectoral muscle while weightlifting on the eve of training camp and is redshirting this season as a result. Wiley, who started the final six games in 2011 opposite Nickell Robey, was declared academically ineligible in August and lost his scholarship this season as a result.Factor both players, particularly Wiley, into the rotation and some of the defensive issues on display in recent weeks are alleviated. The team’s problems on this side of the ball aren’t just limited to schematics — personnel, or the lack thereof, factors in too.Experience hasn’t been evidentNational pundits listed experience as one reason for USC’s lofty preseason ranking, evidenced by the nine returning starters on offense and the addition of junior Silas Redd, a transfer from Penn State. But despite that makeup, they have looked undisciplined for much of the season. Though the Trojans committed just three penalties versus Oregon, they have been penalized a total of 86 times this season, ranking last among 124 Football Bowl Subdivision teams.Penalties have either stalled offensive drives or given the opposition another chance to move the ball downfield. It’s been a well-documented issue, but also one that’s lingered for much of the season and probably cost the team at least one game (see: Arizona).The offense has had its lulls Counting some basic overlying statistics, USC’s offense meets the billing. Yes, it can score with the best of them and put up plenty of points even in a loss as seen last Saturday. On the season, USC averages 37 points and 465 yards per game. But these numbers are slightly misleading given the unit’s uneven performances.Senior quarterback Matt Barkley has thrown 10 interceptions through nine games and it’s become increasingly likely he’ll surpass his single-season high of 14 set during his freshman season in 2009. Moreover, with those 10 interceptions, the team ranks 84th nationally in this category. And as for fumbles lost, it’s had 11 — 103rd nationally. For every big play, seemingly a fumble or interception is soon to follow.Too many distractions? It’s funny, in a sense. USC’s slogan in the months leading up to the season opener against Hawai’i was “prep not hype.” The phrase was even painted on the sidelines at Howard Jones Field, but for much of the fall, there’s been one controversy after another instead. So much for a mellow scene.In mid-September, USC barred Los Angeles Daily News beat writer Scott Wolf from practice after he reported sophomore kicker Andre Heidari had undergone knee surgery. The ban was later lifted.A week later, Lane Kiffin stormed out of a post-practice news conference after a reporter inquired about an injured player’s return to practice.“We made a mountain out of a molehill on the injury reporting, and I told [Lane] that,” USC athletic director Pat Haden said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times last month.In October, USC also received quite a bit of attention for swapping jersey numbers, a potential NCAA rule violation, during its game against Colorado. Redshirt freshman quarterback Cody Kessler wore No. 35, the number of punter Kyle Negrete, during an extra point conversion. He usually sports No. 6.None of these incidents alone were particularly alarming, but added up, it seems all the more the puzzling.Maybe Lane Kiffin can’t exist without controversy? Maybe he’s just creative? Maybe he’s just trying too hard?With a bevy of talent on USC’s, these all appear to be distractions that should have been avoided.
Wellington Police notes for Wednesday, September 25, 2013:â€¢12:07 a.m. Officers investigated possession of methamphetamine, battery of law enforcement officer and obstruction of law enforcement in the 1300 block Michigan, Wellington.â€¢12:26 a.m. Juvenile male, 16, Wellington was detained and referred to juvenile court.â€¢9:51 a.m. Officers investigated theft of services in the 600 block N. Jefferson, Wellington.â€¢9:54 a.m. Tiffany A. Hartwell, 38, Wellington was served a notice to appear charged with keeping a kennel without a kennel license.â€¢9:57 a.m. Officers investigated a forgery and theft in the 900 block W. 8th, Wellington.â€¢10:04 a.m. Kathleen J. Ryberg, 18, Wellington was served a notice to appear charged with theft and obstructing official duty.â€¢10:37 a.m. Shelsea D. Clinkingbeard, 20, Wellington was arrested and charged with theft. She has bonded.â€¢11:36 a.m. Officers investigated a theft in the 200 block S. F, Wellington. lawnmower. It has been recovered.â€¢1:42 p.m. Officers investigated a domestic battery by a known suspect in the 400 block N. Olive, Wellington.â€¢4:08 p.m. Non-injury accident at 2nd and Jefferson involving vehicles operated by Timothy J. Bickerstaff, 32, Wellington and Nicholas C. Weikal, 19, Wellington.â€¢4:29 p.m. Timothy J. Bickerstaff, 32 Wellington was issued a notice to appear charged with driving while license is suspended and disobeying a stop sign.â€¢4:34 p.m. Officers investigated a theft of a license plate in the 900 block E. 16th, Wellington.â€¢7 p.m. Officers took a report of lost property in the 600 block E. 9th, Wellington.â€¢7:23 p.m. Officers took a report of a domestic family dispute in the 400 block N. Olive, Wellington.â€¢8:47 p.m. Officers investigated burglary and criminal damage to property in the 1400 block Michigan, Wellington.â€¢9:21 p.m. Officers took a report of found property in the 400 block N. Olive, Wellington.