SBM settles Angola, Brazil corruption affair

sbmSBM Offshore has reached an out-of-court settlement ex Article 74 of the Dutch Criminal Code with the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office (Openbaar Ministerie) over the inquiry into alleged improper payments.  Furthermore, the United States Department of Justice has informed SBM Offshore that it is not prosecuting the Company and has closed its inquiry into the matter. The settlement with the Openbaar Ministerie and the United States Department of Justice’s decision relate to payments to sales agents in Equatorial Guinea, Angola and Brazil in the period from 2007 through 2011. Continue reading “SBM settles Angola, Brazil corruption affair”

The Gold Standard Did Not Cause The Great Depression, Part 2

by Ralph Benko

gold-standard-liberty-coinAs noted in my previous column, AEI’s James Pethokoukis and National Review‘s Ramesh Ponnuru — among many others — appear to have fallen victim to what I have called the “Eichengreen Fallacy.” This refers to the demonstrably incorrect proposition that the gold standard caused the Great Depression. Pethokoukis proves exactly right in observing that “Benko is a gold-standard advocate and apparently doesn’t much like the words ‘Hitler’ or ‘Nazi’ to be in the same area code of any discussion of once again linking the dollar to the shiny yellow metal.” “Doesn’t much like” being falsely linked with Hitler? Perhaps an apology is more in order than an apologia. Continue reading “The Gold Standard Did Not Cause The Great Depression, Part 2”

Erasmus, Stellenbosch Universities join forces

logoeurErasmus University Rotterdam and Stellenbosch University (South Africa) are going to collaborate even more intensively. On Tuesday, 11 November 2014, Rector Magnificus Prof. Huibert Pols, on behalf of Erasmus University, and Prof. Johan Hattingh, on behalf of SU, signed a Memorandum of Understanding and a partnership agreement in respect of a joint PhD programme. There is already faculty and institutional level cooperation with Stellenbosch University. Continue reading “Erasmus, Stellenbosch Universities join forces”

What the Fall of the Wall Did Not Change

By George Friedman

georgefriedmanTwenty-five years ago, a crowd filled with an uneasy mixture of joy and rage tore down the Berlin Wall. There was joy for the end of Germany’s partition and the end of tyranny. There was rage against generations of fear. One fear was of communist oppression. The other fear was of the threat of a war, which had loomed over Europe and Germany since 1945. One fear was moral and ideological, while the other was prudential and geopolitical. As in all defining political moments, fear and rage, ideology and geopolitics, blended together in an intoxicating mix. Continue reading “What the Fall of the Wall Did Not Change”

Vueling to fly Rotterdam-Barcelona route

rtmairportSpanish airline Vueling announced it will fly between Rotterdam (RTM) and Barcelona (BCN) airports from April 2015. Flights will take place four times a week: on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Flights are already bookable at http://www.vueling.com. The Vueling flights come on top of those carried out by Dutch airline Transavia (of the Air France-KLM Group), that connect the two cities four times a week already. The frequency of Transavia’s flights will be increased to 6 or 7 per week during summer 2015. The abundance of cheap flights between RTM and BCN will contribute to the growing tourist and business links between the metropolitan area of Barcelona (5,4 million people and the capital of independence-minded Catalonia) and the metropolitan region of Rotterdam-The Hague (2,5 million inhabitants and combining the largest port on the Atlantic with the political capital of the Netherlands).

Van Oord wins Shell Gabon order

logo-vanoordVan Oord has been awarded the EPC contract for the replacement of a dual 10 km long oil export line. The client is Shell Gabon. The execution period runs from November 2014 to the summer of 2015. The export line runs from the Gamba terminal, 200 NM south of Port of Gentil, to a pipeline end manifold (PLEM). The existing 30 inch line will be replaced by a looped dual 22 inch sea line system with pigging facilities allowing for inspection and cleaning. Van Oord will deploy shallow water pipe lay barge Stingray. The project contributes to Gabon’s export of energy and is important for the economic development in the region.

Boskalis acquires 15% of Fugro

logoboskalisRoyal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) last week acquired a 14.8% stake in Fugro N.V. Boskalis said it views Fugro as an interesting company with activities that fit very well with its own activities. Boskalis wants to enter into a dialogue with Fugro to explore possible options for cooperation. Boskalis stressed that it has no intention to make an offer for Fugro. Continue reading “Boskalis acquires 15% of Fugro”

The Gold Standard Did Not Cause The Great Depression, Part 1

by Ralph Benko

gold-standard-liberty-coinAEI’s James Pethokoukis and National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru — among many others — appear to have fallen victim to what I have called “the Eichengreen Fallacy,” the demonstrably incorrect proposition that the gold standard caused the Great Depression.  This fallacy is at the root of much confusion in the discourse. Continue reading “The Gold Standard Did Not Cause The Great Depression, Part 1”

Madeira’s Shipping Register is EU’s fourth largest

sdmlogoBy the end of September, the International Shipping Register of Madeira (MAR) became the fourth largest international shipping register of the European Union, reaching the largest number of vessels since its creation. According to the Sociedade de Desenvolvimento de Madeira’s data, by the end of September of 2014, a total of 316 vessels was registered in MAR, 53 more than the total number registered at the end of 2013, a result which represents an extremely positive development for this sector of the International Business Centre of Madeira (IBCM). Continue reading “Madeira’s Shipping Register is EU’s fourth largest”

OECD urges Brazil to tackle foreign bribery

logooecd_enBrazil must build on the positive momentum started with its new Corporate Liability Law and its first indictments in one foreign bribery case to investigate and prosecute more proactively foreign bribery. Since Brazil joined the Convention in 2000, of the 14 allegations identified in the report, only five have been investigated and three investigations are still ongoing – a very low number in light of the size of Brazil’s economy. Continue reading “OECD urges Brazil to tackle foreign bribery”

Strong growth in Rotterdam’s roll on/roll off

portofrotterdamIn the first nine months of 2014, 15 million tonnes of roll on/ roll off cargo was handled in the port of Rotterdam, 8% more (+1.1 million tonnes) than in the same period of 2013. This increase is due almost entirely to the growth of the British economy. With annual throughput of around 20 million tonnes, Rotterdam is among the top 3 ferry ports in Western Europe. The difference between cargo leaving Rotterdam (8.1 million tonnes) and incoming ro/ro cargo (6.9 million tonnes) is smaller than one would expect from an import-focused economy like the British one. Certainly now that the British pound is also expensive in relation to the euro, therefore putting a brake on exports. Ro/ro transport from Rotterdam to England focuses very much on foodstuffs: a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, but also preserved products, frozen produce (meat, dairy products, a lot of potato products), onions and drinks (wine, beer, soft drinks). Consumer durables such as furniture and white goods, hygienic paper products (nappies, toilet paper, tissues, etc.) and car parts are also important. Continue reading “Strong growth in Rotterdam’s roll on/roll off”