CUNA’s Mike Schenk debates fellow economist Steve Rick of CUNA Mutual Group.by: Adam MertzBy maintaining near-zero interest rates, is the Federal Reserve helping or hampering the economy?That question served as the basis for a stimulating one-hour debate between economists Mike Schenk of CUNA and Steve Rick of CUNA Mutual Group on the final day of the CUNA CFO Council Conference in New Orleans.Leaning heavily on a narrative indicating underlying “bifurcation” of the economy, and particularly weakness in construction and manufacturing sectors of the labor market, Schenk argued during his share of the point-counterpoint presentation that the Fed should stay the course, pushing off any interest-rate increase until 2017.An increasing interest-rate environment sows the seeds for a recession,” Schenk says.“Extreme caution is the rule of the day here, especially because the economy remains extremely weak, because labor markets have a long way to go, and incomes have not been increasing. continue reading » 11SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » The last few months have demonstrated the cooperative nature of credit unions, NCUA board nominee Kyle Hauptman told members of the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday. Hauptman, a native of Maine and current economic advisor to Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), said he particularly enjoyed working with Arkansas credit unions and their companions in the Cornerstone Credit Union League.“Credit unions help people achieve the same American dream that my dad experienced, born in Brooklyn to parents with fourth-grade educations. His dad, my grandfather, worked in the NYC subway putting up advertising,” he said in his testimony. “That man’s grandson is now before the US Senate, a testament to American opportunity, and at NCUA my overarching goal will be extending that kind of opportunity to as many people as possible.”Hauptman recalled losing his job, savings and work visa while working in Asia for Lehman Brothers and said it “showed me first-hand the risks associated with liquidity, interest rates and balance-sheet management,” a perspective he said should be both “valuable and somewhat unique on the NCUA board.”He also touted his ability to work in a bipartisan fashion, recalling his work with the staff of Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Sen. Sherrod Brown’s (D-Ohio) staff on reforming anti-money laundering laws.
Quadrant Energy has made additional oil discoveries in the Crespin and Milne sections of its Dorado-1 well offshore Australia, following a recent find at the Caley formation.Ensco 107 rig (Photo by Ensco, supplied by Spoke Corporate)According to Carnarvon Petroleum, Quadrant Energy’s partner, light oil has been recovered from the Crespin Member containing a gross hydrocarbon package of 50 meters and a net oil pay thickness of 22 meters. The company added that the quality of the reservoir encountered was better than pre-drill estimates with average porosities of 14 percent.Light oil was also recovered from the Milne Member containing a gross hydrocarbon package of 30 meters and a net pay thickness of 18 meters with an average porosity of 13 percent, which was also better than the pre-drill estimates.The Dorado-1 well is located in WA-437-P exploration permit where Quadrant Energy is the operator with an 80% interest, and Carnarvon Petroleum is its partner with the remaining 20% interest.The well was spud in early June using the Ensco 107 jack-up drilling rig, and the company confirmed an oil discovery in the Caley Member and the presence of gas and condensate in the top of the Baxter Member that was drilled into to enable the evaluation of the Caley Member.At the end of July, Quadrant observed elevated gas readings during drilling of the well, further indicating the presence of hydrocarbons.Quadrant’s partner, Carnarvon, said on Wednesday that the results follow the completion of wireline evaluation.Adrian Cook, Carnarvon’s managing director, said: “The oil discovered in the Caley Member is very significant in terms of its likely scale and in proving that this play works in the basin. Discovering more oil in the Crespin and Milne Members makes this a truly incredible find, for Dorado and for similar structures nearby that have been identified in Carnarvon and Quadrant’s prospect list.”Carnarvon confirmed through pressure data that the Dorado structure contains multiple oil columns in the Caley, Crespin, and Milne Members and a gas and condensate column in the Baxter Member, aggregating to a total net hydrocarbon pay of 132 meters.The Caley, Baxter, and Milne sands did not encounter any water, whereas the lower section of the Crespin sand contains an interpreted water contact.“With drilling and evaluation of the Dorado-1 well now completed, Carnarvon’s assessment of the hydrocarbon volumes associated with this discovery is now well underway,” Cook added.