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The Big Picture

The Big Picture

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Leading Blog: A Leadership Blog This is a post by David Dotlich, Chairman and CEO of Pivot Leadership. He is a co-author of The Unfinished Leader: Balancing Contradictory Answers to Unsolvable Problems with Peter Cairo and Cade Cowan. To be a leader today in almost any organization means you are daily, if not hourly, bombarded with problems and challenges that don’t have clear-cut “right” answers. Or, even more confounding, there are many “right” answers, depending on your perspective. Such challenges include meeting contradictory needs (for example, tending to your “stars” while building the team as a whole), delivering quarterly results while investing for the future, maintaining consistent standards and policies while accommodating unique customer requirements, or staying focused on results while adhering to your company’s purpose and values.

trend analysis By Chris Ebert It is often possible to tell what the weather is, simply by looking out of a window. If folks are bundled in heavy jackets, it’s probably cold outside. If everyone’s in their shirt sleeves or short pants, then chances are good that it’s warm. The stock market environment can be determined the same way, except that instead of clothing, stock traders use stock options for protection. Some stock options are like heavy jackets, while others are like short pants.

Eurozone Crisis: In the Eye of the Storm The Eurozone crisis has been in retreat since the introduction of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) three-year long-term refinancing operations (LTROs) in late December 2011. At the European Council Meeting in early March, journalists who cover the crisis fretted that boredom loomed. The current lull does not indicate that the Eurozone is in the clear, but rather it is simply in the eye of the storm, and more drama inevitably awaits. Extend and pretend So far, there are three key mechanisms the troika — the European Commission, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and ECB — has employed to buy time for the Eurozone’s weaker countries to regain competitiveness and return to growth. Each of these could fail over the next few years, prompting a renewed intensification of the crisis. The first of the Eurozone’s time-buying mechanisms is the bailout programs that have been provided to Greece, Portugal and Ireland.

DAILYBAIL The company also practices dirty accounting tricks like "forward funding," "advance funding," and "delayed obligations," deceptive tricks that hide its precipitous finances from auditors and its investors. This company routinely borrows from its workers' pension plan to pay off its debt. Its accountants then claim that because the company owes the borrowed money to its own pensioners and not to outside creditors, the resulting hole in the pension plan doesn't really count as a liability. Sometimes, the company's executives neglect to pass a budget at all. When that happens, they keep the company running with "emergency expenditures," which its accountants don't consider real expenditures for records-keeping purposes, even though they're paid with real money.

Real Time Economics China’s GDP growth fell in the first quarter to its slowest pace since September of 2012, slipping to 7.4% on-year growth from 7.7% the in the fourth quarter. The increase was slightly higher than economists’ expectations of a 7.3% gain. Authorities released other data that suggested continuing weakness, but not at a quickening pace. Industrial production grew 8.8% on year in March below expectations of 9% but up from an average 8.6% expansion in January and February, combined to limit distortions from the Lunar New Year holidays. Retail sales were 12.2% higher on-year in March, up from 11.8% growth in January and February. Fixed-asset investment, meanwhile, slipped to 17.6% on year in the first quarter from 17.9% growth in the first two months.

A BiggerPockets Investment Prop Commercial Real Estate Compelling Tax Benefits of Real Estate Syndication by Brad JohnsonApril 15, 2014 Real estate syndication offers passive investors an opportunity to realize current income while increasing equity through forced principal pay down and asset appreciation.

About African Regional Coverage / Team About African Regional Coverage Specifically, the African Regional Coverage (ARC) Programme aims to: promote free, transparent and immediate access to knowledge about regional public policies regarding sustainable development and related work in the fields of water, sanitation, climate change, energy, natural resources, forestry, biodiversity, transport, human settlements and other key issues;increase the transparency and visibility of African regional processes regarding sustainable development; andstrengthen institutional decision-making on sustainable development in the region.

Credit Slips Today is the day for filing amicus briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court in NML v. Argentina (pari passu case). Brazil, France, Mexico, the Jubilee Network and Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz are all asking the court to take the case.

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