Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Oil Rally Looks Doomed, in Five Charts (BusinessWeek)

The glut remains, and producers are ready to pounce with fresh supplies.

Oil has surged 20 percent this month to $57 a barrel as expanding violence in Yemen stoked concern that supplies could be disrupted.
The rally follows the biggest drop since 2008, with crude falling as low as $43.46 a barrel in March, as a price war broke out between OPEC producers and U.S. shale drillers. West Texas Intermediate oil, the U.S. benchmark, is now back up at close to a four-month high. Prices gained in each of the last six weeks, the longest stretch in more than a year.
Before deciding prices will race back to $100, here are five charts worth keeping in mind.
"The cart is moving ahead of the horse," Barclays Plc analysts said in an April 27 report.
Long-dated futures are falling
Even as prices rise for oil contracts that will be settled in the next few months, the price of oil is actually falling when delivery won't take place for years.
For example: two months ago, crude oil for delivery in January 2019 sold for $68.32 a barrel, according to New York Mercantile Exchange data. Monday, the same contract traded at $66.35.
That could indicate that traders are betting the near-term rally has overshot.
U.S. stockpiles are at an all-time high
The U.S. has almost 500 million barrels of crude oil in storage. That's by far the most oil in storage since record-keeping began in 1982.
Supplies have grown because of surging domestic production and restrictions on most crude exports.
 Heard of the 'fracklog'?
Companies have already drilled thousands of wells and are waiting for prices to recover before they start pumping. That could quickly flood the market with fresh supplies, capping the rally.
The three top-producing shale fields have more than 3,400 drilled but uncompleted wells, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. In oil-producing regions nationwide, there are more than 4,000.
 Saudi Arabia keeps on pumping
The Saudis sent the market into a freefall in November when they decided to defend their market share instead of propping up prices, and they show no sign of changing course.
The kingdom's output was close to an all-time high in March, according to the International Energy Agency, and Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, the deputy oil minister, said on April 27 that the market is in "excellent" condition.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries next meets in June.
Producers are locking in prices now for oil produced later
Producers, merchants and other industry participants are selling futures and options contracts that will lock in future profits, ensuring they can keep pumping, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission show. Such so-called short positions are the highest since October 2011. That could be a sign of drillers locking in a future price now because they might not get a better one. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Next Friday/Próximo Viernes May 1, 2015 in Books & Books

Qué?  Presentación del Libro
What?  Book Presentation:

Dónde? Where? Books & Books, Coral Gables
Cuándo? Viernes 1 de Mayo
When? Friday, May 1, 2015

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

En Mi Opinión: Ricardo Tribín Acosta

Humildad no es considerarnos menos

Hay personas que se creen humildes, sin en realidad serlo. Más bien lo que desarrollan es un estado tal de sumisión que alcanza límites de humillación y tal concepto lo menos que puede tener es de esto. Humildad es la verdad, decía una persona a quien seguía en sus disertaciones, y esta es una sola, ni más, ni menos, de lo que ella es. Resulta entonces que la mejor forma de complementar esta definición sería la de catalogarla como la justa medida.

Que más podría agregarse a ello? Algo bien sencillo. Humildad es, no tanto pensar menos de nosotros, sino más bien pensar en nosotros menos, todo lo cual conduce a una liberación del egocentrismo muy conveniente para nuestra paz interior. Es el buscar salirnos de nosotros para ver cómo podremos ser de mayor ayuda a los demás, esto es al Universo mismo, del cual somos parte.

Logrado este estado de conciencia podremos concluir que estaremos obrando en humildad, lo cual nos aproximará cada mes a la verdad, objetivo buscado por el pensamiento desde el principio de los siglos.

Miami, abril 23 de 2015

NOTA: Invito con aprecio a que bajen de la web mi quinto libro Sortilegio de Pasiones en: 

Monday, April 27, 2015

When Google errs: A cautionary tale of great power (ZDNet)

Summary:When Google makes a mistake, the results can be catastrophic and leave website owners with little recourse. Here's what you need to know.

The web runs on Google search and woe unto any website when Google makes a mistake and thinks your site has done something wrong. This story is a personal tale of woe and my own plea for help.

Everything was great until I purchased the domain at an auction. Without the hyphen, I hoped the new web address would make the site just a bit easier for users to find. Little did I know that this change would serve as a catalyst for Google to incorrectly take a "manual action" and classify the entire domain as "pure spam."We started cxo-talk.comabout two years ago to present video discussions with some of the foremost business leaders of our time. These interviews include top executives from companies such as Microsoft, Salesforce, SAP, Oracle, Workday, Kroger, Ford, Adobe, Harvard, Federal Communications Commission, White House, General Services Administration, and many more leading organizations. Today, we have almost 110 long-form interviews and has built up one of the most important video libraries on innovation in the world.

Here's how the announcement of pure spam looks in Google Webmaster Tools, the company's control panel for site owners and administrators:

Google Webmaster Tools
Google takes manual action "on sites that use spammy techniques, such as demoting them or even removing them from our search results altogether." Since the manual action, in this case, affects the entire site instead of only some pages, we can presume that someone at Google believes is the worst kind of horrible offender.
Here's what I think caused the problem, although in truth I actually have no idea. Although Google Webmaster Tools offers some help, in cases like this it basically opaque unless you know their secret incantations and interpretations.
After purchasing the new site at auction, we implemented 301 redirects to push incoming traffic from old to new site. However, only later did I complete a Google change of address, due to my ignorance. As a result, I suspect Google views the old and new sites as unrelated; therefore, whomever took the manual action may believe that the new is merely scraping all the content from the old Incidentally, I submitted the change of address last week, but Google shows the move as still in-process.
In contrast, Bing Webmaster Tools accepted the change of address immediately and showed no problem with the site.
Unfortunately, this is all speculation because I have no idea what Google actually thinks is the problem. Some people suggested that perhaps the domain I purchased was a spam site, but it does not seem to be blacklisted anywhere. In addition, Google reports, "we haven't detected any security issues with your site's content."
I did submit a request for Google to review the manual action, but five days later have not heard a thing. I am at Google's mercy. So, if you can suggest anything, please let me know.

Steps you should take

Obviously, when Google makes a mistake, there may be a severe negative impact on your website. To avoid this, it is imperative that site owners follow Google's webmaster guidelines for issues such as content, structure, and domain changes.
Unfortunately, Google has become like the IRS: a complicated system that requires experts to help you navigate it.
Like the IRS, making a simple mistake -- or even no mistake at all -- can cost you dearly when something goes wrong. At least the IRS has a call-in telephone line; despite Google's vast size and importance, webmasters facing a Google error can do nothing except wait and hope Google responds.
Before setting up a site or making significant changes, I suggest getting advice from experienced developers to guide you properly regarding the ins and outs of making Google happy.
When you do have questions, try the Webmaster Central Help in the Google Product Forums. In this case, the appropriate section is "Crawling, indexing & ranking."
All this begs the question of Google's responsibilities to webmasters. Given its power, Google should be more transparent over these issues. At the least, it should hire more support technicians to help rectify its own errors.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Consul Generals and Trade Commissioners in CAMACOL

Consul Generals and Trade Commissioners

CAMACOL celebrated a special luncheon on Wednesday, April 15th, 2015, with Consul Generals and Trade Commissioners to strengthen ties and invite them to attend CAMACOL's 36th Hemispheric Congress of Latin Chambers of Commerce and Industry to be held June 1 - 4, 2015, at the Biltmore Hotel, in Coral Gables. Representation from over 23 countries will be present in this international event. Our Consul Generals and Trade Commissioners will also be present to give us their support.

Nombres de izquierda a derecha:

Richard Noriega / Luis Cuervo / Ma. Lucia Trucillo, Cónsul General Adjunto del Uruguay en Miami / Georgette Pepper representando a Canadá / Rodolfo Rodríguez Cambronero, Cónsul de Costa Rica en Miami / Maria Hilda Feitosa, Agregada Comercial de Brazil en Miami / Fernando Dominguez / Mario O. Gutierrez / Adolfo Sun, Cónsul de Taiwan en Miami / Burton Landy, Cónsul Honorario de la Republica de Korea en Miami / Luciano Garcia / Betty Gradera.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The 10 Most Important Facts About Google's Project Fi Wireless Service (BusinessWeek)

Google's new wireless phone service explained

Google just announced a new wireless phone service that puts the search giant even deeper into the cellphone game. Here's what you need to know.
1. It's called Project Fi.
2. It starts at $20 a month. For that price, you get unlimited calls and texting in your country along with Wi-Fi tethering. International phone service is available in 120 countries, but it's going to cost you a bit extra depending where you are, and who you're calling. (International texts are free, however.)
3. You pay more for data, but only what you use. You can select various amounts of data for different prices. ($20 for 2 GB, $30 for 3 GB, etc.) But if you don't use all your allotted data, you get refunded the difference on your next bill. International data is the same price.
4. You need a Nexus 6. For the time being, the service only works on Google's flagship Android phone. If you don't already own one, you'll have to buy it from Google (for $649) when you sign up.
5. No contracts. But they won't pay for you to break your current contract.
6. It piggybacks on the Sprint and T-Mobile LTE networks. In addition to using Wi-Fi hotspots, the network gives you access to cell towers from both companies nationwide.
7. It will switch between cellular and Wi-Fi networks seamlessly. If you start a call using Wi-Fi, and then go outside, your phone will switch to the cellular network without dropping the call.
8. It also works on your computer and tablets. Calls, texts, and voicemails can all be sent via Google Hangouts no matter what device you're using.
9. You need to request an invite.
10. It works in most of the country. Go here to see if your neighborhood is covered.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Inside a multi-million dollar datacentre (TechRepublic)

The hub

Behind most apps and cloud services lies a datacentre - but just what goes into building one of these hubs of the online world?
Equinix opened the doors to its new $145m (£98m) facility in Slough, England last week - a multi-storey glass and steel block that will initially pack tens of thousands of servers in a 236,000 square foot hall.
Equinix has invested more than $7bn over the past 15 years in the datacentres that make up its International Business Exchange - recently opening new centres in New York, Toronto, Melbourne, Shanghai, Singapore. This LD6 datacentre is the sixth that Equinix has launched the London area and one of more than 100 it runs in 33 markets worldwide. 

Inside the data hall

Initially LD6 can house 1,385 server cabinets in a 236,000 square foot data hall, with space for a further 1,385 cabinets to be made available at a later date.
The hall will hold shared-colocation servers and each customer will usually deploy their own machines. Those that require a high security environment will sit within a cage.
Equinix hasn't named customers lined up to use the centre but said financial services, network service and cloud service providers have expressed interest.
To maximise the space available for computing infrastructure the building is designed to only need support pillars down the middle of the hall.
The hall can support up to 1.5kW of machines per square metre and 12 kVA of cooling per cabinet.

Purpose built

The centre is monitored 24/7 and has biometric controls and a mantrap to prevent unauthorised access.
A building management system polls the infrastructure every 15 seconds for temperature and humidity readings and reports back to the on-site monitoring centre.
The building has been designed to provide the optimal width for air ducts for the fresh air cooling system.
"In effect we started with the cooling technology and then designed the building around it," said Equinix UK managing director Russell Poole.
It took about two-and-a-half years to fill a co-location space of the size offered by LD6 in another of Equinix's datacentres.

Data from above

Data cables run overhead, while power and cooling is provided underfloor.
Fibre cross connects run in the yellow tray with copper cross-connects above, and will feed the server cabinets below.

A breath of fresh air

Much of the building is devoted to the machinery that keeps the servers powered on, supplied with data and properly cooled.
The building minimises energy use by cooling servers using fresh, rather than artificially chilled, air.
Air is drawn from outside and passed over heat exchangers that cool hot air pulled from the server cabinets. This cooled air is piped back to the data halls and to the cabinets through floor vents and the process begins again. The system helps keep the server room at a maximum of 22C and the air flows never mix to prevent contamination.

Liquid refreshment

This pipe running up the side of building takes water from a borehole drilled to a depth of 350 metres.

When the temperature rises over 20C, water is sprayed on to the heat exchangers and evaporates, removing additional heat from the air circulating through the facility. If the temperature hits 30C then a chilled water system can be used to extract even more heat.

Piped in

By minimising the energy needed to cool the server halls, Equinix can run the building with a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating of just 1.2 - ahead of the industry average of 1.7. PUE is a measure of what proportion of the total energy consumed by a datacentre goes to running the servers and how much drives the cooling and other infrastructure.

The LD6 datacentre is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design gold-accredited.

Redundant power

Each server is powered by two mains supplies, so one can take over in the event of an outage.
Each power line is backed by two uninterruptible power supplies, able to support the full load of the datacentre for up to eight minutes.
That eight minutes should provide enough time for the centre's diesel generators to begin producing power. By the time the centre is complete there should be 32 generators capable of running the centre for 36 hours.
Power to the building's cooling, fire suppression and security system are also backed up by an UPS.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Harvard Is Sitting on Over $40 Billion (BusinessWeek)

In a Moody's study, the Ivy league school is shown to be the richest

The rich are getting richer in U.S. higher education, a new report shows.
The assets of the 40 wealthiest institutions, led by Harvard University, have increased 50 percent over the past five years, according to research being released Thursday by Moody’s Investors Service, the New York bond-rating company.
That’s more than twice as fast as colleges with the lowest credit ratings, many of which have been struggling to fill their seats as the number of high-school graduates declines.
“This growing gap will pose increasing competitive challenges for less-endowed institutions that do not have the resources to invest in facilities, financial aid and strategic initiatives,” Moody’s said in the report.
Moody’s said the wealthiest 40 schools account for almost two-thirds of the total assets of the 503 schools it rates.
The company offers a broader tally of wealth than most reports. Harvard, for example, has a $36.4 billion endowment, the largest in higher education. Moody’s report features a chart that adds in cash and other funds. Harvard had $42.8 billion as of June.
The richest include such public institutions as the University of Texas, with $36.7 billion in cash and investments. Still, state universities have far larger enrollments, so they are poorer than private colleges on a per-student basis.
The favored few raise more money from alumni and earn more on their investments. The 40 richest schools collected 60 percent of total gifts in higher education in the year ended June 30. They also kept less cash on hand and more of their money invested in stocks and other high-return investments, Moody’s said.
Because of this riskier strategy, schools with large endowments posted some of the steepest investment losses in 2009 due to the credit crisis. They were also among the quickest to recover, Moody’s said.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Big Oil Is About to Lose Control of the Auto Industry (BusinessWeek)

A pollution-free revolution is coming

While the U.S. pats itself on the back for the riches flowing from fracking wells, an upheaval in clean energy is quietly loosening the oil industry's grip on the automotive industry.
Presentations by analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) this week pick away at the idea that supply alone is behind the plunge in crude prices to $50 a barrel. The presentation also shows that low-pollution cars are gaining ground, weakening the link between oil and driving.
The result: Future transport is likely to look a lot different than what the major oil companies are fueling now. Instead of biofuels such as ethanol and green diesel making the internal-combustion engine fit into a world with greenhouse gas limits, wholesale new solutions are coming fast. “Where we are is in an age of plenty,” said Michael Liebreich, BNEF's founder. “We have cheap oil, cheap gas, cheap renewables. You do have an abundance of supply in a way you haven't had for decades. We also are in an age of competition.”

Oil Demand Has Flatlined for a Decade

Source: EIA
As the presentations indicate, oil consumption has flatlined for a decade as supplies from all those fracking wells surged. Through the economic boom, the financial crisis, and the recovery now underway, demand peaked in 2004 and has fallen ever since.

Dramatic Improvements in Miles per Gallon Cut Gasoline Demand

Part of what explains dwindling gasoline demand is as dull as it is important: efficiency. “This is a global phenomenon,” Liebreich said. And it's one of the hidden reasons why the London-based research group doesn't expect a quick rebound for crude.

Electric Vehicle Sales Quintupled in Four Years

Source: Bloomberg
Electric vehicles are starting to take off, with global sales of 288,500 units last year, according to BNEF research. While that's just 0.5 percent of all car sales, it's more than five times the number in 2011, and manufacturers are preparing for more. Because ...

Electric Car Battery Costs Are Falling as Fast as Solar Panel Costs

Source: BNEF, Maycock, Battery University, MIT
Costs are plunging in the electric car business as quickly as they did in the solar industry in the last decade. The price of lithium-ion batteries that power most electric cars has fallen 60 percent from 2010 and will keep declining at the same pace, BNEF estimates. That will bring the price of no-pollution cars within striking distance of ones that require gasoline within a decade.

Fuel-Cell Cars Are Moving Out of the Lab and Onto the Street

Source: BNEF
Fuel-cell cars also are moving from the laboratory to the showroom, starting in Japan with models from Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. By 2018, Japan will be the biggest market for fuel-cell vehicles, with 4,200 cars on the road, almost double the figure for the U.S., according to BNEF researcher Claire Curry.

The Biofuel Investment Plunge Is Cutting off Big Oil's Favorite Clean Solution

Source: BNEF
The future is not uniformly bright for clean energy. Investment in biofuels has plunged 90 percent since peaking at $29.8 billion in 2007. Gasoline substitutes made from corn and sugar in the form of ethanol represent about 10 percent of the U.S. fuel supply, but efforts to make an alternative from crops that can't be eaten have stalled. And lower oil costs eat away at the economic rationale for cleaner fuels.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Four Ways Rich People Can Still Hide Their Money (BusinessWeek)

The Swiss bank account is no longer so secret, but there are other ways to keep assets away from prying eyes

Wealthy Americans are running out of ways to hide their money. The IRS has been relentless in prying open the secret Swiss bank account—dozens of Swiss banks are cooperating with the agency. Just last month, a settlement with the private bank BSI revealed bankers used coded language and nameless credit cards to help Americans avoid taxes.  Credit Suisse and UBS, Switzerland’s largest banks, have already paid fines for similar shenanigans.  
The rest of the world is also getting less hospitable to American tax dodgers. A 2010 federal law, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, requires all foreign banks to report to the IRS on their American customers. It’s working so well that Americans abroad say they're having trouble opening bank accounts even for legitimate purposes. Banks don’t want the regulatory and paperwork hassle. 
What’s left for the secretive and tax-averse American? Not much, accountants and attorneys say. Here are four ways the wealthy can still get secrecy or lower taxes—though rarely both at the same time. 

Go overseas

There are legitimate reasons to have an overseas bank account. Americans who live overseas might want ready access to their money. An offshore trust may offer more protection from creditors or lawsuits than one set up in the U.S. An overseas limited liability company, or LLC, might let you hide aspects of your business from competitors. That’s “totally legal,” says Martin Press of the Gunster Law Firm. “You can have money anywhere in the world.”
It's not the tax dodge it used to be. Traditionally, banks in tax havens such as Switzerland haven't reported those accounts to the IRS, making it possible to hide not just what's in the account but its entire existence. The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act is putting an end to that, though. 

Hide inside a shell

The rich often use shell companies, like LLCs, to buy property or investments, so that the company name, not the individual, shows up on public documents. Another reason these structures are used to buy into hedge funds, private equity, and venture capital funds: Rich investors mostly want to avoid endless solicitations for other investments. “Once you get on somebody’s list, you get hit with every proposal,” says Domingo Such, a partner at the law firm Perkins Coie. While other investors won't know your business, the IRS still will because LLCs are required to file tax returns every year. 

Use a trust 

Trusts can be used to keep assets hidden from nosy neighbors and to keep tax bills down, within reason. Income from property or investments held in the trust goes to the beneficiaries free of estate or gift taxes. Beneficiaries also can avoid regular income taxes—if the trust pays the taxes rather than the individual. Another advantage of trusts is the way they pass automatically to heirs after your death. Otherwise, your possessions and the details of your estate can get caught in the probate system, which is often quite public. 

Hire an expert

The wealthy can still afford to hire sophisticated accountants, who spend years searching for legal ways to lower tax bills. A recent U.S. Senate report identified a few esoteric strategies that rely on derivatives or deferred compensation to lower tax bills. Most of the time, the goal isn’t to hide money but to control the timing of income and what form it arrives in. For example, taxpayers can pay lower rates if income is in the form of long-term capital gains rather than ordinary income.
Still, clients are getting cautious about aggressive tax planning, especially if it involves any overseas transactions, says David Gannaway, a former IRS agent and now an accountant at O’Connor Davies in New York. Taxpayers now know the IRS is watching what happens overseas, and the effect is similar to when drivers know police are out looking for speeders. “They’re not driving 95 down the Interstate,” Gannaway says. “They’re driving 75 with their foot close to the brake.” 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Economía de China crece a su menor ritmo en seis años

La economía de China creció un 7.0 por ciento en el primer trimestre, como esperaba el mercado pero a su menor ritmo en seis años, reforzando las apuestas de que los funcionarios adoptarán más medidas para impulsar el crecimiento.

Economistas consultados por Reuters esperaban que el Producto Interno Bruto (PIB) creciera un 7.0 por ciento entre enero y marzo comparado con el mismo período del año previo.

En el último trimestre del 2014, la economía de China creció un 7.3 por ciento según una base de comparación anual.

Según una base trimestral, el crecimiento económico se desaceleró a un 1.3 por ciento entre enero y marzo después de que se realizan los ajustes por estacionalidad, dijo la Oficina Nacional de Estadísticas, comparado con un crecimiento de un 1.5 por ciento de los tres meses anteriores.

Analistas esperaban que el crecimiento según una comparación trimestral fuese de un 1.4 por ciento.

Los indicadores de actividad en marzo fueron todos más débiles que lo previsto.

La producción industrial subió un 5.6 por ciento en marzo respecto al año previo, por debajo de las estimaciones de un avance de un 6,9 por ciento.

La inversión en activos de renta fija, un motor clave de la economía, creció un 13.5 por ciento cuando se le compara con el mismo mes del año pasado. Analistas esperaban un aumento de un 13.8 por ciento.

Las ventas minoristas subieron un 10.2 por ciento, comparado con las expectativas de un alza de un 10.9 por ciento.

Los decepcionantes datos respaldan las predicciones de analistas de que el crecimiento económico de China se desacelerará este año a un 7 por ciento, su menor ritmo en un cuarto de siglo.

México reporta superávit en comercio agroalimentario por segundo mes consecutivo

15 Abril del 2015

La balanza comercial mexicana de bienes agroalimentarios observó por segundo mes consecutivo un superávit, acumulando un saldo positivo de 331 millones de dólares, informó la Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación (SAGARPA).

El saldo comercial de los agroalimentos mexicanos pasó de un déficit de 99 millones de dólares en enero-febrero de 2014 a un superávit de 331 millones de dólares en el mismo período de 2015, según datos revisados por el Banco de México.

Las exportaciones del sector, que incluye a los subsectores agropecuario, pesquero y agroindustrial, registraron cuatro mil 453 millones de dólares, lo que representó un crecimiento de 8,17% respecto a enero-febrero del año anterior.

Mientras que las ventas al exterior de productos agropecuarios sumaron dos mil 387 millones de dólares, marcando un aumento de 9,79% interanual; las agroindustriales, alcanzaron dos mil 066 millones de dólares, es decir, 6,36% más que el mismo período de 2014.

Por su parte las importaciones agroalimentarias se situaron en cuatro mil 122 millones de dólares, refiriendo una disminución de 2,22% en comparación con el periodo enero-febrero del año anterior.

A nivel mensual, febrero reportó ventas internacionales de agroalimentos por dos mil 292 millones de dólares, lo que significó un incremento de 7,6% en relación al mismo mes de 2014, precisó el Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI).

En tanto los productos agropecuarios ascendieron a mil 154 millones de dólares, lo que representó un aumento de 4,8% en relación al mismo mes del año anterior.

Los camarones congelados (+52%); melón, sandía y papaya (+51,5%); frutas y frutos comestibles (+32%); ganado vacuno (+27,5%); aguacates (+26,2%); cebollas y ajos (+22%); café (+20,9%) y cítricos (+14,5%) fueron los productos del sector con mejor desempeño indicó la SAGARPA.