Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bailed-out banks manipulate interest rates and steal from #publictransit

MBTA should seek better terms from banks on misguided interest swaps - Editorials - The Boston Globe: The T entered into interest-rate swaps in the early 2000s, when interest rates seemed low and were expected to rise. In these deals, the T issued bonds to banks and agreed to pay them back at a fixed rate. In exchange, banks would pay the T at rates that varied with the market. The swaps turned into bad bets when interest rates dipped to historic lows as a result of the financial collapse. Now the T, like transit agencies across the country, is paying down debt at rates far higher than what’s available on the market, costing the T almost $26 million each year, according to a study from a group called the ReFund Transit Coalition. The T can only refinance if it pays a huge exit fee — a step that other public transit agencies have taken.
... banks profiting from swaps — Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and UBS — all benefited from the federal bailout as the nation plunged into recession.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Portland-area bus ridership rise mirrors nation | The Forecaster

Portland-area bus ridership rise mirrors nation | The Forecaster: "PORTLAND — Public bus systems in greater Portland are seeing significant ridership increases in 2012 after several years of stagnant use, mirroring a national trend."

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Friday, June 8, 2012

Feed-back loops, ice-melt, extreme weather. More to come.

More Evidence: Arctic Warming Effect on Jet Stream = More Extremes « Climate Denial Crock of the Week: "A warmer Earth increases the melting of sea ice during summer, exposing more dark ocean water to incoming sunlight. This causes increased absorption of solar radiation and excess summertime heating of the ocean — further accelerating the ice melt. The excess heat is released to the atmosphere, especially during the autumn, decreasing the temperature and atmospheric pressure gradients between the Arctic and middle latitudes."

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Monday, June 4, 2012

Hubway bike-sharing program is on a roll - Boston.com

The Hubway bicycle program station at Beacon Street and Massachusetts… (Essdras M Suarez/Globe…)
Hubway bike-sharing program is on a roll - Boston.com: "If you’ve been seeing a lot of sturdy silver bikes rolling past lately, you’re not imagining it. The Hubway bicycle-sharing system in Boston had its busiest day yet last Sunday, recording 2,531 station-to-station trips. On Tuesday, it eclipsed the 250,000 mark for total rides."

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