Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It's Official: McCann is a "Top NBA Mind"


Finally, sports lawyers are getting their due. A few months ago I declared 2012 the "Summer of Sports Law."  With no end to the NHL lockout in sight, the O'Bannon v NCAA case growing steam and national attention, and the power of Roger Goodell being litigated on a daily basis, the demand for insight from sports lawyers is growing—although for some reason our pay isn’t.

Anyways, The Sporting Charts (www.sportingcharts.com) just posted a list of the Top 50 NBA Minds to Follow on Twitter here.  Not surprisingly, our own Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) was listed.  Join me in congratulating Mike on continuing to help grow this important field—and if you don’t follow him on Twitter, consider this your wake-up-call.

[Of course since my account (shameless plug @WarrenKZola) was noticeably absent I’m sure there some sort of accounting error for which I'll definitely sue.]  Seriously...congrats Mike!

Two Updates on the Sports Gambling Front

The past several weeks have saw a number of developments on the sports gambling front.  First, the federal lawsuit filed by the NCAA and the four major North American team sports leagues (NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL) challenging New Jersey's move towards regulated sports betting continues to move forward.  The most recent news involves depositions being scheduled for the league commissioners and the NCAA president.  For more background on the legal and corruption aspects of sports gambling, here is a link to a paper Tassos Kaburakis and I co-authored that was recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Legal Aspect of Sport.  Also, for a comprehensive history of gambling-related federal legislation since 2000, we wrote a piece that was just published in Gambling Law Review and Economics.

Second, authorities in New York and Nevada (working in concert with the FBI, it appears) made a number of arrests earlier this week in connection with an 18 month illegal sports gambling investigation.  The DA's press release alludes to several offshore sports books.  A recent Las Vegas Review-Journal article provides more detail on the sting operation.  For a copy of the full 259 page indictment, click here.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Video of Yale Law School Hot Topics in Sports Law Panel

I moderated the Yale Law School panel last week on hot topics in sports law - a video of the panel is available online. Jimmy Golen was one of the distinguished panelists, as were Craig Masback (Nike), Charles Mechem (LPGA), and Nell DeVane (ESPN). We covered a wide-range of topics, including the legality of age limits in sports, viewing college sports as minor leagues, Ed O'Bannon v. NCAA (and the paying of college athletes), whether the NCAA should have punished Penn State, Title IX, morals clauses (including with Lance Armstrong) etc.  Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz, in the audience, had several insightful comments about Penn State and the NCAA. Here's the video -- and thanks to Warren Zola for finding and sharing it:
In the Legal Zone: Hot Topics in Sports Law from Yale Law School on Vimeo.

Symposium: The Impact of Concussion Lawsuits on the Future of Football


The Mississippi Sports Law Review at the University of Mississippi School of Law is hosting an incredibly timely symposium entitled "The Impact of Concussion Lawsuits on the Future of Football."  I am honored to be participating in this symposium which will be held Friday, November 9, 2012, at the Robert C. Khayat Law Center at 1:30 p.m., room 1078 (free and open to the public).

From the symposium website: "Once thought to be a badge of honor that doctors could quickly 'cure' with a sniff of smelling salt, concussions have now become the subject of litigation that could threaten the future of football and other contact sports. Recent medical studies consistently show serious long-term effects for athletes who have had multiple concussions, including serious brain trauma and reduction in life expectancy. Where re-entering the game after a concussion, or even the week after a concussion, used to be common practice, there is an increasing burden on team physicians and the athletes themselves to consider the implications of going back onto the field. In light of this research, the four major American sports leagues have implemented concussion policies and procedures, but many question if these policies alone are sufficient to protect the athletes from permanent injuries."


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Broadcast Rights, Unjust Enrichment, and the Student-Athlete

At the professional league level there is a long history of disputes and court challenges over property rights in the live game broadcasts.  However, the interest of the NCAA, conferences and universities in live game broadcasts from a property rights perspective has never been challenged in court.  Who owns the copyright to the broadcast of the live game?   What is the origin of the legal right of the NCAA, conferences and universities to the billions in revenue generated by their licensing of the right to broadcast the live games?   Assuming the NCAA, conferences and universities do in fact have some sort of property right or other legal right to sell these rights to networks, should they be recognized as the exclusive rights holder?  Do college players also have some sort of property right or other legal right to a portion of the licensing revenue based upon their substantial contribution to the broadcast of the game?  Afterall, the players are the sine qua non of the broadcast because it obviously does not exist, and it would not generate billions in revenue, without their contribution and year-long preparation. 

My article published this fall in Cardozo Law Review traces the historical development of broadcast rights in the professional sports leagues.  In essence, the courts have held that professional clubs have a quasi-property interest in the right to license the broadcast rights to the networks.  The network is the author of the broadcast and assigns to the league its ownership in the copyright to the broadcast pursuant to a provision in the broadcast licensing agreement.  And college sport has followed on the coattails of the professional sports league model.  Basically, the network pays the NCAA, conferences and universities billions of dollars to let their camera crew enter the stadium door and capture the game being played.  Yet nobody has challenged this exclusive putative quasi-property right of the NCAA, conferences and universities.

There are legitimate reasons to recognize an exclusive right for the professional clubs that arguably do not apply to tax-exempt public universities.  While difficult to explain in any detail in a blog post, a couple distinctions are worth mentioning briefly.  For example, professional clubs are for-profit entities with individual owners who put substantial private investment at risk through their purchase and operation of a team.  Also, professional players are employees of the clubs, which is legally significant in evaluating the property right because the Seventh Circuit in Baltimore Orioles v. MLBPA held that the players' claim to a portion of the licensing revenue was precluded on the basis of copyright law's "works for hire" doctrine  and the players can negotiate with the clubs over the value of their individual contributions to the broadcast.  College players, on the other hand, cannot be subject to the works for hire doctrine simply because, well, college sport has consistently maintained the position that the players are not employees or independent contractors who can be hired.  Viewed within the construct of common law unjust enrichment which is premised on the idea of distributive justice, my article argues that universities obtain an unjust benefit at the players' expense by retaining exclusively for themselves the portion of the increasing rights fees that would normally and equitably be paid to the players for their substantial contribution to the value in the live game broadcast.  My article also addresses whether copyright law preempts an unjust enrichment claim in this context and I explain why I do not believe that it would.

In the O'Bannon litigation, the class did not assert a claim to live broadcast licensing revenue in its complaint.  Just last month, however, the class filed a motion seeking to revise the class definition to include live game broadcast licensing revenue.   If the court ends up denying their request, I nevertheless expect to ultimately see this case coming soon to a theatre near you....

Thursday, October 25, 2012

San Francisco Bay, America's Cup Venue

One of the more striking scenes from the world of sports this week was the pitchpoling of the Oracle America's Cup yacht in San Francisco Bay during reported 25 knot winds.  Seeing this video of the capsizing was a reminder of how important the venue of a sporting event is, including venues for sports other than the major four sports, and how the attorney working with a sporting event must consider the challenges of the venue in preparing contracts for the event.

For an America's Cup regatta, one of the challenges posed by the venue is spectator proximity to the action and safety.  Unlike previous America's Cup regattas held far offshore where few spectator boats might venture, this America's Cup will be held close to shore where there will be many spectator boats.  They likely won't be high-performance racing boats like an America's Cup yacht, but they will be close to the action, on the water, and close to each other, possibly in high winds or rough seas.  Spectator safety risks must clearly be assessed, with the goal of keeping these fans safe during the event while allowing them to enjoy the action.  The America's Cup organizing authority's contracts with the relevant authorities have to address safety issues so that liability is minimized -- where can spectator boats be positioned during a race, how will safety be monitored, how many boats will be allowed in an area, what spectator boat credentials or registration will be required, what liability waivers will be obtained.  By accounting for these issues in contracts, the excitement of America's Cup racing can remain the focus during the event.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

RIP Russell Means

Activist, actor, musician, agitator, politician and former American Indian Movement (AIM) leader Russell Means passed today from esophageal cancer, at the age of 72.  He died at his ranch located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota,  the place where he was born in 1939.  Means was a fierce advocate of American Indian rights and led dozens of protests and uprisings throughout his life ranging from seizing the Mayflower II in Plymouth, Mass on Thanksgiving day in 1970 (protesting discriminatory treatment of American Indians), to orchestrating a 1971 prayer vigil atop the Mount Rushmore monument in South Dakota (dramatizing Lakota claims to the Black Hills), to organizing cross-country caravans in 1972 to Washington, D.C. (protesting a century of broken treaties by the U.S. government), to leading a boycott of Cleveland Indian games in the 1990s (protesting the use of Chief Wahoo as a racist, caricatured mascot/logo).

Russell Means' method of protest was often controversial and violent.  He was arrested many times, served time, shot several times, and criticized as an "opportunist" by critics.  According to the New York Times: "Strapping, and ruggedly handsome in buckskins, with a scarred face, piercing dark eyes and raven braids that dangled to the waist, Mr. Means was, by his own account, a magnet for trouble — addicted to drugs and alcohol in his early years and later arrested repeatedly in violent clashes with rivals and the law. He was tried for abetting a murder, shot several times, stabbed once and imprisoned for a year for rioting. He styled himself a throwback to ancestors who resisted the westward expansion of the American frontier. With theatrical protests that brought national attention to poverty and discrimination suffered by his people, he became arguably the nation’s best-known Indian since Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse."

In protesting Chief Wahoo as mascot and logo of the Cleveland Indians, Russell Means referred to its continuing use as "unconscionable."  He was outspoken throughout his life challenging professional sports franchises and collegiate athletic programs use of American Indian mascots and mimicry of sacred native culture and tradition.  When asked about Florida State's mascot Chief Osceola, Means responded that "we’re the only entire ethnicity in America that is still stereotyped."  In describing American Indians as the only minority group in the United States that is still stereotyped, Means focused in on an interesting phenomenon that has been written about by scholars and debated in symposia:  Why when it would be unthinkable to call a sports team by a racially charged nickname in connection with African American, Latino or Asian citizens, is it still somehow tolerated to refer to teams as "Redskins," "Indians," "Braves," "Blackhawks," "Utes," and "Seminoles"?

Russell Means is most recognized for two well known portrayals, though very divergent:  First, he led a 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, the site of the 1890 massacre of more than 350 Lakota men, women and children, often referred to as the last major conflict of the American Indian wars, where protestors demanded strict adherence by the federal government to all Indian treaties.  Second, he starred as Chingachgook in Michael Mann's 1992 epic "The Last of the Mohicans" alongside Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe.  Means received critical attention for his portrayal of the fiery, brave father/leader of the Mohican people.

Russell Means used his notoriety to advocate on behalf of equality on behalf of American Indians until his untimely death.

Outsourcing NCAA enforcement

An excellent and thoughtful essay in The Atlantic from my friend and law school classmate Stephen Miller, arguing that the NCAA should charge an outside body with conducting major investigations and punishments. Steve is a former Scalia clerk and AUSA; his practice now includes representing athletes in NCAA proceedings. He also is a lifelong Kentucky fan, so he is personally familiar with the vagaries of NCAA enforcement.

This is an interesting take, especially if we begin from the premise that the NCAA is here to stay, that there is good reason to regulate intercollegiate athletics and the conduct of student-athletes (in terms of amateurism, academics, etc.), and that self-regulation, given the structure of college sports, is unworkable.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

O'Bannon v. NCAA: Where things stand

I have an article in the October 15th issue of Sports Illustrated that provides a legal analysis of recent developments in the Ed O'Bannon v. NCAA & Electronic Arts class action. 

Here's an excerpt:

* * *

Second, potentially damaging e-mails involving two other defendants—Collegiate Licensing Company (the NCAA's licensing partner) and Electronic Arts—have emerged. These e-mails portray CLC officials as worried about the legal impact of Electronic Arts's developing video-game characters using real college players' names and then removing those names before retail.

 * * *

Hope you can check it out on page 19 or through this SI Vault link.

Yale Law School Alumni Weekend: Panels on Sports and Entertainment law

I'm thrilled to be part of this weekend's Yale Law School Alumni Weekend, which is centered on sports and entertainment law this year.  If you're in the New Haven area, you might consider registering for it and seeing what should be excellent panels and other events.


Saturday, October 20

9:30 – 10:45 AM
Panel Discussions (two concurrent sessions)

PANEL I. Streaming and Beaming:  Entertainment Where and When You Want It
Moderator:  
Bryan Choi, Thomson Reuters Fellow, and Director of the Law and Media Program, Information Society Project, Yale Law School
Panelists: 
Emily Bazelon '00, Journalist, Slate, and Senior Research Scholar, and Capote Fellow, Yale Law School
Richard Cotton '69, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, NBC Universal
Alfred C. Perry '87, Vice President, Worldwide Content Protection & Outreach, Paramount Pictures Corporation
Kenneth P. Stern '88, Co-founder and President, Palisades Media Ventures, and former CEO, National Public Radio
PANEL II. Many Voices, Many Eyes: The Promises and Pitfalls of Social Networks
Moderator: 
Margot E. Kaminski '10, Research Scholar in Law, Executive Director of the Information Society Project, and Lecturer in Law, Yale Law School
Panelists:
Lori B. Andrews '78, Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Institute for Science, Law and Technology, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago-Kent College of Law
James Grimmelmann '05, Professor of Law, New York Law School
Beth Simone Noveck '97, Visiting Professor, NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and MIT Media Lab, and Professor of Law, New York Law School
Madhavi Sunder, Professor of Law, University of California, Davis
11:15 AM – 12:30 PM
Panel Discussions (two concurrent sessions)

PANEL III.  Yours, Mine and Ours: Ownership of Cultural Capital
Moderator:
Susan M. Scafidi '93, Professor & President, Fashion Law Institute, Fordham Law
Panelists: 
Barton Beebe '00, Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
David Boies II '66, Chairman, Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
Kristelia A. Garcia '03, Frank H. Marks Intellectual Property Fellow & Visiting Associate Professor, The George Washington University Law School, Washington, DC
Marc Porter '87, Chairman, Christie’s Americas and International Head, Christie’s Private Sales
PANEL IV.  In the Legal Zone: Hot Topics in Sports Law
Moderator:
Michael McCann, Director, Sports Law Institute, and Professor of Law, Vermont Law School
Panelists:
Eleanor (Nell) DeVane '93,  Vice President and Associate General Counsel, ESPN
Jimmy Golen '99 M.S.L., Sports Writer, The Associated Press
Craig A. Masback '92, Senior Sports Marketing Director, Greater China, Japan & Global Business Affairs, Nike; and former CEO, USA Track & Field (1997-2008)
Charles S. Mechem, Jr. '55, Commissioner Emeritus, Ladies Professional Golf Association; and Chairman and CEO, Taft Broadcasting Company
12:45 PM

All Alumni Luncheon
University Commons (Enter either on the corner of College and Grove Streets or from
Beinecke Plaza off Wall Street)

Opening Remarks:
John R. Firestone '85, President, Yale Law School Association Executive Committee, and Partner, Pavia & Harcourt LLP
Robert C. Post '77, Dean and Sol & Lillian Goldman Professor of Law, Yale Law School

Presentation of the Yale Law School Association Award of Merit to:
David Boies II '66, Chairman, Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
Presented by: Dean Robert C. Post '77

Remembrances:
The Honorable Louis H. Pollak '48 (1922-2012), Judge, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (1978-2012); and dean, Yale Law School (1965-70) and University of Pennsylvania Law School (1975-78).  
Nicholas deB. Katzenbach '47 (1922-2012), Associate Professor, Yale Law School (1952-56); U.S. Attorney General (1965-66), and Senior Vice President and General Counsel, IBM (1968-86).
80th Birthday Celebration:
The Honorable Guido Calabresi '58, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Sterling Professor Emeritus of Law and Professorial Lecturer in Law and dean (1985-94), Yale Law School

New York Law School Sports Law Symposium Friday Nov 2

I'm excited to be part of this year's New York Law School sports law symposium, which will be held on Friday November 2.  Great work by Brett Hirsch and others in putting it together.  They have followed in the excellent planning of sports law symposiums at NYLS previously shown by Elliot Solop, Alycia Powell and others.

Here are the details of this year's event (and if you are interested in attending, click here):


The New York Law School Sports Law Society and the Institute for Information Law and Policy

Presents:

The Fourth Annual Sports Law Symposium
Friday, November 2, 2012
185 West Broadway
W201 (Events Center)

Fee:        $45 for attorneys (includes CLE’s)
            $45 for attorneys and professionals not seeking CLE credits (No CLE credit)
$15 for outside students
Free for current NYLS students (with a valid school ID)

This CLE program has been approved for a maximum of four hours of CLE credit for both transitional and non-transitional attorneys. New York Law School offers tuition assistance for attorneys who may have difficulty attending CLE events due to cost considerations. Please visit:  http://www.nyls.edu/academics/cle/tuition_assistance to see if you qualify.  

Tentative SCHEDULE                                                                                                                                                               

11:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. 
Opening Remarks

11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m 
Keynote Interview with Mike Zarren  

12:45 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. 
Overview of Current Legal Developments in the Sports Industry  (1 CLE Credit - Professional Practice) 

2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. 
Breakout Sessions
  • Intellectual Property Issues in Sports (W420)  (1 CLE Credit - Professional Practice)
  • Negotiating Rights Acquisitions (W320)  (1 CLE Credit - Professional Practice) 
  • Bankruptcy Issues in Sports (W220)  (1 CLE Credit - Professional Practice) 
3:10 p.m. - 4:10 p.m.
Analysis and Impact of the Concussion Litigation (1 CLE Credit - Professional Practice) 

4:20 p.m. - 5:20 p.m.
Sports Labor Negotiations (1 CLE Credit - Professional Practice) 

5:30 p.m. - 6:20 p.m. 
Breaking Into the Sports Industry 

6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. 
Networking Reception 

 PANELISTS *                                                                                                                                                                              
Jodi Balsam, Associate Professor at NYLS; Former Counsel for Operations and Litigation at the NFL
Robert Boland, Professor of Sports Management & Sports Business at New York University 
Marc Edelman, Associate Professor of Law at Barry University: Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law 
Robert Erb '91, CEO at Schutt Sports; Adjunct Professor at New York Law School  
Frank Golding, YouTube Director, Head of Sports for North America at Google 
Russ Granik, Vice Chairman at Galatioto Sports Partners; Former Deputy Commissioner and COO at  the NBA 
Frank Hawkins, Partner at Scalar Media Partners; Former SVP Business Affairs at the NFL 
Darren Heitner, Founder of the Sports Agent Blog; Attorney at Wolf Law; Contributor at Forbes Magazine
Ronald Katz, Partner and Chair of the Sports Law Group at Manatt
Jeannine Kenney, Associate Counsel at Hausfeld LLC; Plantiff's Liason Counsel for NFL concussion litigation 
J. Carlos Kuri, Vice President and General Counsel at New York Red Bulls  
David Mayer, Principal Counsel at ESPN, Inc.
Michael McCann, Legal Analysts at SI & NBA TV; Professor & Director of Sports Law Institute at Vermont Law School;  
Lauren Dienes-Middlen, VP, Intellectual Property at World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. 
Joe Nahra, Business & Legal Affair Executive at CAA Sports
Matthew Parlow, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Law at Marquette University 
Irwin Raij, Partner and co-chair of the Sports Industry Team at Foley & Lardner LLP
Robert Raiola, CPA; Sports & Entertainment Group Manager at Fazio, Mannuzza, Roche, Tankel, LaPilusa, LLC
Frank Saviano, Associate at Proskauer 
Alan Schwarz, Reporter at New York Times
David Soskin '08, Counsel at ESPN, Inc.; Adjunct Professor at New York Law School  
Meredith Wolff, Associate Staff Attorney at NHL Enterprises, L.P.
Mike Zarren, Assistant General Manager and Team Counsel at Boston Celtics 
Warren Zola, Chair, Professional Sports Counseling Panel, & Asst. Dean, Grad. Management Programs at Boston College

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Getting it wrong on Lance

When Lance Armstrong announced that he was no longer contesting the USADA proceedings, I likened him to Pete Rose and said here that he would be just fine, that he would continue to proclaim his innocence and to remind everyone that no body had ever found him to have doped or used PEDs. I even said so on a radio interview, in response to the suggestion that marketing people had proclaimed him finished as a spokesman, fundraiser, and endorser.

It looks like I got this one very wrong. Yesterday's announcement that Armstrong had been dropped by Nike (which proclaimed itself shocked, shocked that the man who dominated a sport in which everyone doped had been doping himself) and that Armstrong had resigned from his own Livestrong Foundation suggests that he is going to suffer some major fallout. This comes in the wake of USADA releasing the report from its investigation, which laid out in great detail the evidence against Armstrong. Clearly one major sponsor wants nothing to do with him. And clearly either he or other leaders at the foundation believe he would be a drag on fundraising and other charitable efforts.

Perhaps, as Michael Wilbon argued on PTI last night, this is purgatory rather than hell, that Armstrong has to go away for a year or two, then emerge, admit to doping, and ask for forgiveness. In our culture of second chances, Wilbon insists, all be forgiven and Armstrong will be back on the scene as a public figure. Of course, that is what everyone insisted they wanted from Pete Rose and when Rose finally admitted to gambling, he was just buried further. Come back in a couple of years and we'll see.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Today in sanctionable lawsuits

A New Orleans Saints fan named David Mancina has filed a putative class action against Roger Goodell and the NFL, alleging that Goodell and the league's suspension of Saints players entitles Mancina and other Saints fans to damages from (I am not making this up) "the diminishment in the value of their tickets; their personal emotional reaction to the unwarranted penalties inflicted on their beloved team, players, coaches, and executives; and the deliberate reduction of the competitive capability of the Saints due to the selective gutting of the critical components needed to justify the loyalty of Plaintiff and the class." And according to the complaint, he actually had counsel to do this.
The first, obvious response is they lack standing. But the defects in this go so far beyond that. This has to be sanctionable, and I am not someone who is big on sanctions. If one of my students turned this in in a drafting exercise, she would fail.


1) The Complaint does not identify any claim, that is any right or legal obligation to the plaintiffs that Goodell or the league breached on the facts at issue. They  just ask for damages to fully compensate them, but assert no legal rule that entitles them to recovery, but they assert no legal right to recover. We teach in Civ Pro that "he violated my rights" or "he injured me" is not sufficient in a complaint, even pre-Twiqbal. You never expect to actually see one of those.

2) The prayer for relief asks "that Defendants be duly cited to appear and answer this complaint and after due proceedings for judgment against The Commissioner and the League for damages to fully compensate Plaintiffs, and the Class, for damages, and all other general and equitable relief required in the premises." This is utter nonsense. His prayer for relief is that they be made to respond to the complaint.

3) The complaint asserts as one basis of jurisdiction § 1331, but no indication of how this is a civil action "arising under" federal law.

I am tempted to use this in class next semester, as a sample complaint showing what you absolutely shouldn't do. But this is almost so bad as to not be a good illustration of what is bad. Almost.

Quantitative Sports Law

Starting Fall 2013, I recently learned that I will be able to fund at least one PhD student interested in research at the intersection of quantitative methods and sports law.  More details can be found here.  Please contact me if you are interested.

For an example of how math and sports law can intersect, here is a panel discussion on corruption and gambling in sports.  One of the speakers details how he used statistics to determine the scope of point shaving in college basketball.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Importance of setting up an employee retirement fund

As per Republic Act No. 7641, Employers are required to pay retirement benefits to their employees,  in the private sector, regardless of their position, designation or status and irrespective of the method by which their wages are paid, except to those listed under the exemptions.

"... an employee upon reaching the age of sixty (60) years or more, but not beyond sixty-five (65) years which is hereby declared the compulsory retirement age, who has served at least five (5) years in the said establishment, may retire and shall be entitled to retirement pay equivalent to at least one-half (1/2) month salary for every year of service, a fraction of at least six (6) months being considered as one whole year.

Unless the parties provide for broader inclusions, the term one-half (1/2) month salary shall mean fifteen (15) days plus one-twelfth (1/12) of the 13th month pay and the cash equivalent of not more than five (5) days of service incentive leaves.
"

Given this, Employers should plan on how to establish and fund the retirement plan to enjoy the following benefits:
  • Company can enjoy tax-free investments of the retirement fund.
  • Employer will have no issues on cash flow even if there are big cash outlay when an employee retires.
  • Benefits to be received by Employee (in excess of the minimum required by law) will not be taxable.
Retirement Plan: 401(K) 2012
One option on how Employer pays for their Employees' retirement benefits is to pay as Employees retire. This option may hurt the business cash flow. Another option is for Employer to set up a retirement fund to cover for future Employees' retirement benefits.

There are a lot of ways on setting up the retirement fund and one way is through insurance. Personally, I think this is the cheapest and better option. Employer may insure the life of its employees, pay the premium, and use the insurance plan’s cash proceeds to pay the retirement benefits mandated under RA 7641. To learn more on how to set up your company retirement plan through this method, contact me for more details.

Do you know about your Retirement Benefit?


Article 287 of the Labor Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 7641, provides:

Retirement Plan. Credits: s_falkow
"Article 287. Retirement. – Any employee may be retired upon reaching the retirement age established in the collective bargaining agreement or other applicable employment contract.

In case of retirement, the employee shall be entitled to receive such retirement benefits as he may have earned under existing laws and any collective bargaining agreement and other agreements; Provided, however, That an employee’s retirement benefits under any collective bargaining and other agreements shall not be less than those provided herein.

In the absence of a retirement plan or agreement providing for retirement benefits of employees in the establishment, an employee upon reaching the age of sixty (60) years or more, but not beyond sixty-five (65) years which is hereby declared the compulsory retirement age, who has served at least five (5) years in the said establishment, may retire and shall be entitled to retirement pay equivalent to at least one-half (1/2) month salary for every year of service, a fraction of at least six (6) months being considered as one whole year.

Unless the parties provide for broader inclusions, the term one-half (1/2) month salary shall mean fifteen (15) days plus one-twelfth (1/12) of the 13th month pay and the cash equivalent of not more than five (5) days of service incentive leaves.

Retail, service and agricultural establishments or operations employing not more than ten (10) employees or workers are exempted from the coverage of this provision.

Violation of this provision is hereby declared unlawful and subject to the penal provisions provided under Article 288 of this Code."

In a quick summary, if you, as an employee (in the Philippines),
- has served the organization for at least 5 years
- is between 60 to 65 years old

Then you may avail of your retirement benefit, which is 
- equivalent to at least 1/2 month salary for every year of service
- a fraction of at least six (6) months being considered as one whole year

The law is intended to protect the welfare of the workers and employees.




Friday, October 12, 2012

In Defense of the Infield Fly Rule

My two posts on the controversial Infield Fly Rule call in last week's National League Wild Card game generated a number of comments and emails, several suggesting that, not only was the call wrong, but that the rule itself is a bad idea and should be scrapped. This motivated me to write a defense of the Infield Fly Rule, which now has been published on The Atlantic.

By the way, media opinion on last week's call seems to be changing. Two of the stronger defenses are from Rob Neyer and Harold Reynolds (with video breakdown, including highlights of IFR calls happening in similar spots on the field).

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Say It Ain’t So, Lance

The latest news about American Hero Lance Armstrong is not good. Anyone who has had a look at the report of the United States Anti-Doping Agency has to be left with some serious questions.

The first one for me is what kind of an agency is this? It is an ominous and official sounding title but it turns out this group is not a governmental body or agency. It is a private, non profit organization which serves as the police, prosecutor, judge, jury, and appellate court to root out the use of performance enhancing drugs by athletes competing in the Olympics, Pan-American Games, Para-Olympics and, apparently, the Tour de France. On their website, the USADA says their vision is to be “The guardian of the values and life lessons learned through true sport.”  Wow, that’s some vision.  And I guess that’s why they have gone after Lance Armstrong with such zeal.

The report includes a number of sworn statements by Lance’s teammates, his competitors really, who freely admit they used banned substances when they lost to the seven time champion, but they say Lance did, too. The Report cites as evidence that there were “some tell tale signs” Armstrong was using EPO, “such as Lance carrying around a thermos.” Not that anyone saw or knew what was in thermos, mind you, but he did carry one around.

Of course, there are far more convincing statements from a host of his former teammates and others purporting to be eye witnesses to Armstrong’s use and distribution of banned substances and of his withdrawing and then transfusing his own blood in an effort to increase its oxygen content. These are difficult to explain away and probably are the reason Armstrong refused to defend himself against these new charges.

Most damning is the suggestion that the USADA has retest results of some blood samples that had previously been found to be clean and that now show evidence of doping. There is little explanation, however, as to why the first tests done within a short time after the blood was drawn were negative.

I admit the Report with all its flaws is fairly convincing. But it does not diminish my view that Armstrong is one of the great athletes of our time, not to mention all the good work he has done as a cancer survivor. His feats were superhuman as he prevailed time and again over other cyclists who apparently now admit using the same banned substances he is accused of using. And no self-appointed guardian of “true” sport’s values and lessons, whatever they may be, can take that away.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Analysis of Risks to a Project Developer in a Term Sheet Or a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)

Project Finance has become an increasingly attractive technique for financing infrastructure projects in developing countries over the last twenty years. Furthermore, the use of project financing raises difficult legal issues with respect to the ability of developing countries' governments to control the provision of public services that are intimately connected to these infrastructure projects. Project finance has several advantages, such as the opportunity for investors to participate directly in an otherwise inaccessible and lucrative-albeit risky-market and the ability to participate in high-risk investments without diminishing creditworthiness. Lenders for projects are primarily large international commercial banks, such as ABN Amro and Citibank, or multilateral lending agencies, such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). They will in no doubt, therefore, seek to put in some issues in a term sheet.

The first step in setting up a project financing usually involves the sponsors or developers forming a project company known as a special purpose vehicle or entity, which is designed to construct, own, and operate the project facility. Thus project finance benefits sectors or industries in which projects can primarily be structured as a separate entity from their sponsors or developers.
Thus it is the project company, which is the entity that is borrowing funds for the project. The lenders loan money to the project company with the assets and cash flow of the project acting as the security interest for the project loans.
Definitions and Meanings
European Investment Bank defines project finance as "a loan made primarily against cash flows generated by the project, rather than relying on a corporate balance sheet, the security value of the physical assets or other forms of security".
A project developer is the sponsor or the borrower for the project.
A power purchase agreement (PPA) is an agreement which serves as one of the pre-requisites for the lender to borrow funds for a project. It is a contract that "there will be ready market for the project on completion".
A term sheet is an outline of the principal terms and conditions proposed for the project and investment. It is not in itself a legal document but a sort of draft proposals subject for approval by all parties involved.
Types of Risks
In project transactions, there are typically numerous parties from different jurisdictions involved, and accordingly, the laws of many different jurisdictions are potentially applicable to any given transaction. Thus the uncertainties or fears expressed by each party translate to a risk of a sort. It becomes important that the terms sheet or the PPA or the PSA be analysed accordingly and where necessary, find the appropriate legal regulations or instruments to mitigate any risks.
Risks are different for each project - they are often country-specific, and differ depending on the kind of project one wishes to undertake.
There are, generally different kinds of risks with the magnitude being different from one project to another project. Some of the acceptable forms of risks that should be considered at all costs are as follows:
- Sponsor risks
- Pre-completion risks
- Inflation and foreign exchange risk
- Operating risks
- Technological risks
- Completion risk
- Input risk
- Approvals, regulatory and environmental risk
- Offtake and sales risk
- Political risks
Believe it or not, when all the risks-financial, construction & completion risks, technology & performance risks, foreign exchange & availability risks- are critically analysed, it could be deduced that they are to a greater extent linked to government's policies; in other words, political activities or ideologies. Linking political risk to regulatory risk in most of his study, Louis T. Wells, Jr described Political and regulatory risks as a key impediment to private investment in the infrastructure sectors of developing and transition economies; and are defined as" threats to the profitability of a project that derive from some sort of governmental action or inaction rather than from changes in economic conditions in the marketplace: in each case, action or inaction by political authorities or their agents, rather than changes in supply and demand of goods and services, must be the proximate cause of the change in profitability"(Moran H Theodore ,1999). Planning and political risk occurs due to the long gestation periods of infrastructure projects. During these long periods, projects are vulnerable to changes in policy (Vickerman, 2002).
Despite the appeal of project finance, the extensive amount of political risk associated with it is very high. For this report, political risk is going to be mentioned and analysed most as the main risk to the project developer.
Political risk:
Generally, the main known political risks are the following:
-Expropriation:
The act of taking something from its owner for public use. There are many instances in the former eastern Europe and especially in Africa, where governments decide at the break of the day to take something from a private individual for the use and benefit of the public in the name of what they term as "people's power" ," revolution" and so on. This is very upsetting and makes project development a high risk to a project developer.
-Nationalisation:
Transfer of business from private to state ownership. This is not usually experienced in the west as in South America and Africa. Political ideologies in most part of these continents are influenced by one-party state cronies who believe in nationalism than in capitalism. There is the saying that "once bitten, twice shy"; most of these governments are in the developing countries and have the fear that as the west colonised them in the past it could happen again.
-Change of law:
The host government can change the laws overnight and this can affect a project. Sometimes for economic and political reasons, tax laws are enacted which might not be to the advantage of the project developer in terms of the cost increase to certain elements which could increase the purchase price of the product on completion and can jeopardise the PPA.For example an increase in the fuel tax can affect the supply of fuel to the project. Environmental-related issues are also to be blamed for reasons in change of law to please environmentalist pressure group and sometimes for political reasons. Any or all of these could one way or the other affect the project developer in an on-going project or proposed project.
Furthermore, there could be a breach of contract for political reasons.
Thus accordingly, Theodore, (1999) divided the political and regulatory risks that private infrastructure investments and for that matter the project developer are exposed to, into three overlapping categories:
a) Parastatal performance risks: risks of non-compliance with supplier agreements or purchase agreements by the government or government entities leading to political risk. This is to say that government agents or authorities will fail to honour their part of the obligation thereby politicizing the issue.
b) Traditional political risks: risks relating to political uncertainty, lack of Government support, delay in clearances (which primarily have to be taken from government authorities), currency convertibility and transferability, expropriation and breach of investment agreement. This could take any form from delaying permits to failing to sign licenses on time because someone is not happy because no gifts might have "passed under the bridge". There is therefore, the tendency that the project developer will face this exposure, which lenders would not be happy with.
c) Regulatory risks: risks arising from the application and enforcement of regulatory rules, both at the economy-wide and the industry- or project-specific level. They overlap because they affect one or the other politically. Within emerging economies and under developing countries, regulatory bodies are being set up as independent bodies to minimise the political risk faced by the investors. However, in many instances, these so called independent bodies may come under tremendous pressures from their governments and tend to get influenced. For instance, a regulator, for political reasons, may make decisions relating to tariffs that render a project unattractive to investors, sometimes with the view to transfer the deal to a family friend or a political crony. This is a very common practice in Ghana.
Furthermore, infrastructure projects are subject to continuous interface with various other regulatory authorities that expose them to possible regulatory actions thus affecting their profitability. It is conceivable that explicit tariff formulae ensuring remunerative pricing at the start of the project can be negated subsequently by regulatory authorities on the grounds that tariff was too high. This issue is also very common in Ghana where the term "big elephant" has become synonymous with projects that have been abandoned over the years due to the above political reasons.
Nonetheless, the following risks can be argued to have their roots in one political activity or the other.
Legal risks
Following change of law in political risk discussed above, possible legal risks to a project developer include inadequate legal, legislative, and regulatory framework on sales tax, export & import restrictions, pensions, health and safety rules and penalties for non-compliance. Sometimes the case and administrative laws in the country concerned are not developed. These issues are of great concern to lenders and for that matter the project developer will have to deal with this risk.
Construction & completion risk
Another key risk is construction and completion risk. In the event when construction of the project is delayed for any reason whatsoever, the completion date might be affected.Levnders, therefore, focus upon cost & schedule overruns and time-delay risks of the project in great detail.
Sponsor risks
This risk deals with n two significant issues which banks are so much concern with. They are equity commitment and corporate substance (i.e. corporate strengths and experience).On corporate substance; banks consider that sponsor risk has something to do with completion date and for that matter completion risk. For this reason, whether or not the sponsor or project developer has sought pre-completion guarantees, the banks looks further by working with corporate sponsors with substantial technical expertise and financial depth. because of the belief that "one puts his money where his heart belongs", regarding equity, lenders will normally require a contribution between 15% to 50% of the project cost to ensure the sponsor is committed to complete the project on schedule.
Financial risks
Financial risks usually cover interest rates, foreign exchange rate & availability risk, currency and inflation. Inflation really affects the project developer in a PPA for reasons like raising the cost of the project which can delay its completion due to lack of funds. Some governments are also skeptical about foreign investment in their country and sometimes prevent the repatriation of funds by foreigners outside. Devaluation and interest rate just like inflation can also affect the projects negatively especially when provision has not been made in the PPA for that. International funds are often cheaper than local ones, but given the fact that the energy generated is sold locally, and paid in local currency, using foreign loans creates exposure to the risk of currency depreciation.
Environmental risks
Global warming is becoming 'national word' if not a household word. Thus environmental risk is of great concern to both the government and a project developer because of the aftermath of certain projects like land degradation, pollution of rivers, and air. Lenders are concerned about their liability to meet vast claims arising out of pollution caused by borrowers and so demand high in a PPA.In a PPA, for example, the sponsor or the project developer is responsible to provide "reasonable and customary measures within its control required to ensure the protection and security of the site". This goes to say that the project developer is responsible to secure regulatory and other approvals like licences and other local permits needed for the project. The significance of this is that until recently, project developers leave land unattended after exploratory activities and corporate social responsibility was not known to corporate bodies but now it is gaining roots. To please the locals, corporate bodies have to take extra responsibilities because of the aftermath of certain projects. This could even serve as guarantee for borrowers.
Offtake and sales risk
The uncertainty that the project will fail to take off and bring in adequate income to offset the cost of the project is known as Offtake and sales risk. When a project fails to generate the required income, lenders cannot be repaid. Sometimes the selling of the output to the market is also uncertain. Banks in effect have high interest in anything that might affect this risk and so will look for assurances in the business plan of the project developer. The onus of this risk is that the project developer had to make extensive market analysis to get to know the market demand for the product or output. It could be energy alright but if the macroeconomic situation of the country concerned is not sound, the income generated could not meet the investment. Ghana had a similar experience in the late 90s when the government in power decided to extend electricity grid to the rural areas where .It became a big issue as the villagers could not afford the payment of the tariff , the government could not pay either and the electricity corporation had to run a huge debt.
Technology & operation risk:
Technology risk is usually when the technology being applied or proposed for the project is "very new" and not really known by the lenders. Lenders are particularly concerned about such projects and will do anything to minimise such risk. Operation risk deals with the aftermath of the project and it running.i.e the risk that forecasted cash flows arising from the failure of operations of the project. Banks are not only concerned with the competency and financial capability of the contractor but also those who are going to run the project must apply the relevant technology for its day to day activities in order to generate the required cashflow.
- Others like local knowledge, customs of the local people, for example if it has to deal with hydro-related project, some river deities have to be pacified and the project could be delayed for the mere reason that some chiefs or local leaders might politicised the whole customary rites to the extent that the project cost might swell or even be called off.
Even though we are not analysing the responsibilities of the seller and buyer in a PPA, suffice it to say that both parties' responsibilities are considered vital hence the need to have proper enabling environment especially politically in order to execute the project successfully. This will have to come about with the help of the Government in power.
Actually, developers have built up experience in negotiating PPAs and factor in time for negotiations which are necessary to get a satisfactory deal. Wind energy schemes are generally seen as a low risk technology, compared to other renewable energy technologies.
Nevertheless some developers have noted that PPAs are generally not long enough and that it takes time to find a suitable solution which can lead to delays. Most comments in relation to PPAs focused on the need to maintain certainty in the Renewable Obligation in order to avoid destabilising the market. One smaller developer noted that 'political change is a big worry...we wouldn't be able to finance projects if the RO changed'.
The minimum investment criteria for renewable energy projects varied from respondent to respondent, but typically investors do not want to commit to projects until financial close or beyond, when all project risks have been satisfactorily mitigated in terms of planning, technology, performance and long-term revenue security (PPA). Some investors will look for a minimum project size, in terms of installed capacity or output per annum, whilst others will look for a minimum amount of debt to be provided at an internally acceptable rate of return.
Mitigating the Risks
In the World Report 2006 by UNCTAD,some key causes of delay were discussed.
Although of the perceived risks, no single element was unanimously highlighted from the responses as the most significant cause for delay. It was reported that, beyond planning approval, mitigating risks to enable finance and insurance to be secured is the next most significant barrier highlighted by all of the developers. The ability for a developer to raise finance is greatly affected by the perceived risks of the project and or the developer himself. Financial investors or lenders will typically require all risks associated with fuel supply, planning conditions, construction & completion, and wayleave rights, power purchase agreements, technology and the EPC contract mitigated prior to their participation, which would normally not be before project financial close has been reached. This will also inevitably be a concern to a project developer.
Nonetheless, the following approaches have been suggested as ways and means to reduce or eliminate the risks mentioned above. Among them are:
Track record of country:
With regard to political risk, the solution lies in having a stable political atmosphere in the country in which the project developer is investing. And because of the way some political leaders influence the populace with their ideologies, it id expedient that there is a sound legal framework like rule of law in place to combat the way issues are politicised.Sometimes it is clear that personal ideologies are made to take precedence over what will benefit the whole nation. Another mitigating approach is to have proper laid down investment and other financial regulations in place which can help out project developers reduce or eliminate political risk in a PPA.Local knowledge is also very important. A recent issue reported in the News and the Financial Times about locals in Ethiopia killing 9 Chinese workers among 74 people working in an exploration site in Ethiopia because of what the locals described as "not having their permission to mine in their territory". This kind of issue could have been avoided should the Chinese knew about the local perception about their presence with regard to the project and adhered to. In most instances, sound macro-economic indicators i.e. sovereign credit rating, for reserves, trade balance, future government obligations are very important to lenders and provide guarantee to the project risks being minimised.
Insurance by World bank or credit export agencies:
The risks of a Government changing its position in terms of law could be covered on the political risk insurance market. Occasionally, export credit agencies enabled equipment suppliers to sell on credit by covering most of the buyers' credit risk. The market for political risk insurance in developing countries is still small. This is because; first, significant South-South FDI is a recent phenomenon, and as a result, demands for political risk insurance from developing-country. Traditionally focusing on trade, export credit agencies (ECAs) in developing countries have not yet fully developed political risk insurance services for investors and their capacity to underwrite is limited. There are, however, indications that concerns about political risk and awareness of risk mitigators are growing as investors from developing countries seek out business opportunities in other developing countries.
Occasionally, export credit agencies enabled equipment suppliers to sell on credit by covering most of the buyers' credit risk. But in recent years, several new risk mitigation instruments have become available.
Lease-purchase scheme:
The full package of risk mitigants used in typical project finance can carry a high cost, too high for smaller projects. But some of the concepts of project finance can be used even in rather small projects in order to reduce risks. For example, the "limited recourse" aspect of project finance has been used in a lease-purchase scheme for small hydropower plants in Cambodia. It works like this; local entrepreneurs prepare the project, showing that the proposed plant is economically and financially viable. On the basis of this feasibility study, they can then negotiate a power purchase agreement with the national utility, Electricité de Cambodge (EdC), and they would also sign a lease-purchase agreement for the hydropower plant; both will come into operation only once the plant has actually been constructed. On the basis of these two agreements, the entrepreneur can then obtain short-term construction loans from local banks and equipment suppliers - in other words, until the plant is constructed, the entrepreneur takes all the risks.
However, once the plant is operational, the lease-purchase agreement becomes operational: EdC buys the plant from the entrepreneur for the total of his construction loans, which can then be reimbursed. EdC leases back the plant to the entrepreneur, and deducts the payments due for the lease from the electricity payments it makes under the PPA. After a fixed lease period, the entrepreneur can buy the plant from EdC for a symbolic US$ 1. This scheme considerably reduces financing risks and, therefore, costs, and makes this form of renewable energy competitive with conventional energy sources. This scheme in my opinion will work not for small projects but also many projects in general considering the fact that the lease-purchase scheme becomes operational after the project has been completed.
Receivable-based finance:
The crux of the receivables-based financing structure lies in leveraging contractual obligations within the value chain. Receivables from the power purchaser or receivables from other partners in the chain can be used either as security or for directly meeting the financial obligations related to the renewable energy project.
Structured finance techniques:
Structured finance can help overcome some of these barriers and manage many of the risks, though not all (policy-and regulation-related issues need to be dealt with by Governments; limited local managerial capacity or poor understanding of renewable energy projects in local banks can be tackled by donor-funded capacity-building programs, etc.). Financial risks can be mitigated through the incorporation of certain elements into the financing structure (e.g. escrow accounts), while others can be shifted to third parties. The possibilities for shifting risk are improving. For example, the possibilities to shift risk to the capital market, through securitization, have much improved.
Structured finance techniques, which are widely used by financiers in the commodity sector to mitigate a series of risks, can help to reduce the "funding gap" for renewable energy projects, and can help Governments and aid agencies to improve the leverage that they achieve with their financial support. Several case studies illustrate how this can lead to successful projects. Renewable energy is a sector in full expansion -even though it is still far from replacing hydrocarbons as the major source of energy. Renewable energy offers great opportunities for developing countries, in particular for areas that are not immediately adjacent to existing electricity grids. However, private sector financiers are often wary of funding renewable energy projects - a sector with which they are often not very familiar and which carries certain risks. Governments and aid donors support the expansion of the sector, but often have difficulty finding sustainable models.
UNCTAD has done considerable work on the use of structured finance techniques in developing countries, particularly for the commodity sector. Use of such techniques reduces the risks taken by the financier, including by shifting risk from the borrower to other parties who are more creditworthy, leaving the financier with performance risks rather than credit risks on the borrower. The general principles of structured finance and its potential uses for developing countries are discussed in several UNCTAD reports, as are some particular applications (e.g. warehouse receipt finance).
Turnkey construction contract:
With regard to construction & completion risks, a strong Turnkey construction contract is recommended with performance LDs to overcome cost and schedule overruns which could affect the project construction & completion. Lenders can also minimise this risk by analysing whether or not the various contractors' area financially capable and that their obligations are covered by performance bonds or other third party sureties. In another report , another suggestion of fixed price EPC contract with delay LDs was provided to combat cost and schedule overruns. It further indicated that, a World Bank Study of 80 hydro projects studied, 76 projects exceeded their final budgets, with half of those exceeding the cost by at least a quarter. With a strong turnkey construction contract, this risk could be avoided. Another solution is putting in place a sponsor completion support in form of contingency facility, stand-by equity or credit by a credit agency.
Guaranteed-price PPA:
There should be long-term guaranteed power purchase agreement or contracts for projects to serve as a key element that can eliminate the price and volume risks from energy projects for example. Contracts could also be drawn such that banks are offered an outstanding Offtake agreement if the other party's (purchaser) financial standing is not certain and the generator has the ability to set output pricing for the whole time of the contract. Finally on Offtake and sales risks, it is recommended that sponsors consider the fact that lenders will wish to take security to guarantee power and heat sale contract. Lenders could also be assured that should the volume and price risk surface again, the sponsor will be prepared to consider paying a portion of the debt.
On sponsor risks, the effect of reducing this risk is that an invitation could be extended to a more credit worthy sponsor for partnership in the project. Furthermore, smaller sponsors can have their governments guarantee some projects or approach a bank for structured finance after asking for a credit rating form a recognised agency and transfer the risk to a third party.
With regard to technology & operations risk, the project developer must try to reduce these risks and so must show that the technology is not new and has a high success rating. It should also be demonstrated that the contractor in charge of the building of the project is competent and conversant with the mtechnology.Operations and Maintenance of the project on completion must also be assured ion addition to the fact that warranties and guarantees have been thoroughly negotiated. This could be achieved by engaging the services of a recognised contractor with the relevant skills and competency. This is known to be highly acceptable by banks as reduced operation and technology risk.
Ghana has recently celebrated its golden jubilee of becoming an independent state dealing with its own affairs so to speak; however, politics has not changed much because politics is the ideologies of individuals. For that reason, so many people within one political party or government can bring different ideas to bear on the politics of a nation affecting project finance one way or the other. It is the inability of the synchronization or blending of these ideas that is really a matter of concern for political risk in project financing. If these could be suppressed or eliminated, then political risk and all the related risks can be mitigated. The list for project risk could be endless considering the fact that people as well as governments' fear and anticipation are very uncertain.However; the risks could be somewhat minimised or eliminated.
Reference
1. Evaluation of PPP by EIB by (on line) (accessed on 10th February,2007)
2. Hoffman, S.L. (2001) the Law and Business of International Project Finance-a Resource for Governments, Sponsors, Lenders, Lawyers and Project Participants.2nd Edition, New York, Transnational Publishers.
3. HWWA Discussion Paper 263,January 2004 "Measuring The Potential Of Unilateral CDM-A Pilot Study"(on line) available from hm-treasury.gov.uk/media (accessed 10th February,2007)
4. Yescombe, E.R. (2002) Principles of Project Finance.UK, Academic Press.
5. "Proposed Credit to Bosnia and Herzegovina for 3rd Electric Power Reconstruction Project" available on www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDS content. Accessed on 10th February,2007)
6. abnamro.com/btcpipeline (accessed on 10th February,2007)
7. member.aol.com/projectfinance/ (accessed on 10th February,2007)
8. World Investment Report 2006.FDI from Developing and Transition Economies: Implications for development. available online (accessed on 10-02-2007)
9. "Barriers to commissioning Projects" 2005 by Land Use Consultants in association with IT Power for DTI & Renewable Advisory Board. available online(accessed on 20-04-07)
10. "Encouraging investment in infrastructure services: political and regulatory risks" by S.K Sarkar & Vivek Sharma, online

By John Whonderr-Arthur, Ph.D. Esq

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The political is the personal

One of the venerable "predictors" of a presidential election is the World Series winner--American League team means Republican president, National League team means Democratic president. It has held 16 out of 26 times (when I first learned about it in a freshman poli sci class in 1986, it had held 13 out of 20 times).

Now, I'm a Cubs fan, so my rooting and political interests generally align (not that anyone is worrying about the Cubs playing in the World Series). My wife, however, is an Orioles fan and I have been watching and rooting for them (and wearing a '70s-era bird hat) as a show of spousal support. But with the election fast-approaching, Obama's polls tanking, and Andrew Sullivan losing his mind, I am beginning to wonder if I should continue rooting for an AL team right now. What should I do?

By the way, if you are looking for other sports-related predictors, try this: If the Redskins win their final home game before the election, the incumbent party retains the White House. This has held in 18 of the last 19 elections. The 'Skins play the Carolina Panthers on November 4.

7 Questions in Aftermath of Jerry Sandusky Sentencing

I have a new column for SI.com on the sentencing of Jerry Sandusky and what it means for Penn State.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Why to go for best health insurance?

Securing your future for better health benefits, travel safety and life security is very important in the fast pacing world today. The world is competitive and security is a demand if you want to have a safe future of you and of your family. This is a reason why people go on for travel insurance before they plan a vacation because travel insurance means that you are secure while you are travelling away from your loved ones or with your loved ones.


 In a similar way smart people go for fire insurance as well. Fire insurance is a smart move because whether you insure your house or company or factory the insurance company will pay you back all your losses if a fire happens to destroy your assets. This is a reason why people go for fire insurance because this ensures that they can have a sound sleep.


 Insurance is all about keeping your things secured and the future of your loved ones safe. Insurance helps you and your loved ones in unwanted and never dreamt off adversities when there is no one else to help you. Insurance means a long term future planning and commitment towards a secured future. There are many kinds of insurance that always helps you in going through your life easily without many tensions or hassles.

Motor insurance is another form of insurance which benefits a lot. It ensures that your car or automobile is safe, so if you are handing over your bike to your friend or a car to your sister you don’t have to worry about the dents that she would return back your car with. Make sure that you always go for best health insurance so that you get your returns right on time. Taking the best health insurance will ensure timely returns.