Ecuador buys two Damen Stan Patrol vessels

Damen_Stan_Patrol_VesselDamen has recently signed a contract with Astilleros Navales Ecuatorianos (Astinave) to construct two Damen SPa’s 5009 for the Ecuadorian Coastguard. The Ecuadorian shipyard will build both vessels locally with Damen Technical Cooperation, which is Damen’s method of ‘building on site’. Continue reading “Ecuador buys two Damen Stan Patrol vessels”

Europe’s Malaise: The New Normal?

By George Friedman

georgefriedmanRussia and Ukraine continue to confront each other along their border. Iraq has splintered, leading to unabated internal warfare. And the situation in Gaza remains dire. These events should be enough to constitute the sum total of our global crises, but they’re not. On top of everything, the German economy contracted by 0.2 percent last quarter. Though many will dismiss this contraction outright, the fact that the world’s fourth-largest economy (and Europe’s largest) has shrunk, even by this small amount, is a matter of global significance.

Continue reading “Europe’s Malaise: The New Normal?”

Boskalis posts record half year profits

logoboskalisRoyal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) realized a net profit of EUR 253 million in the first half of 2014 (H1 2013: EUR 123 million). Revenue rose 21% in the first half of the year to EUR 1.5 billion (H1 2013: EUR 1.3 billion). Organic revenue growth was 13.4%. EBITDA amounted to EUR 466 million in the first six months and the operating result (EBIT) was EUR 338 million (H1 2013 EBITDA: EUR 280 million and EBIT: EUR 162 million, respectively). Continue reading “Boskalis posts record half year profits”

Turkey’s Geographical Ambition

By Robert D. Kaplan and Reva Bhalla

stratforAt a time when Europe and other parts of the world are governed by forgettable mediocrities, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister for a decade now, seethes with ambition. Perhaps the only other leader of a major world nation who emanates such a dynamic force field around him is Russia’s Vladimir Putin, with whom the West is also supremely uncomfortable. Continue reading “Turkey’s Geographical Ambition”

Signs Of The Fed’s Era Of Secrecy Coming To An End

By Ralph Benko

fedThe Federal Reserve increasingly is attracting scrutiny across the board.  Now add to that a roller coaster of a thriller, using a miracle of a rare device, shining a light into the operations of the Fed — that contemporary riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma: Matthew Quirk’s latest novel, The Directive. “If I’ve made myself too clear, you must have misunderstood me,” Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan once famously said. Continue reading “Signs Of The Fed’s Era Of Secrecy Coming To An End”

Obama checkmate?

By Ralph Benko

uscapitolHouse Speaker John Boehner’s proposed lawsuit against Barack Obama is causing a great deal of chatter in Washington.  Political stunt, as Obama has called it?  Or, maybe, checkmate, Obama? There is a quiet gap in the U.S. Constitution.  There is no explicit mechanism to discipline a president who fails to carry out his Constitutional duties.  This gap sat there, barely noticed, for centuries.  Barack Obama, apparently, noticed it.  He is exploiting it.  That exploitation is a serious departure from Constitutional principle … whether or not one supports his policies, whether one is a progressive or conservative. Continue reading “Obama checkmate?”