NHL Playoffs: First Round Predictions; Calgary or Vancouver? Winnipeg or …

Theres always gonna be another mountain

Im always gonna wanna make it move

Always gonna be an uphill battle

Sometimes Im gonna have to lose

Aint about how fast I get there

Aint about whats waitin on the other side

Its the climb

– Miley Cyrus

Its a nice feeling, when you get an idea. And then you look at the stats, and they back your idea up.

I used to get that legitimized giddiness when Id write essays in university. Typically, youd just pick a conclusion to come to and then youd start doing your research – it was truly a great feeling when your work would support the conclusion you prematurely came to.

So heres to yesterday, where Im thinking, I dont think theres ever been a year where its so even in the NHLs playoffs from the Presidents Trophy winners to the 16th place team. And it turns out, historically thats basically true.

Never once in the past 35 years (which is the modern era, all things considered) has there been such a small point difference between 1st place (the New York Rangers) and 16th (the Calgary Flames). New York finished with 113 points, Calgary with 97. A relatively nonexistent cleft of 16 points.

(Last year, there was a 28-point gulf between the Boston Bruins and the Dallas Stars, for your reference.)

And Calgarys not the worst team in this playoff bracket, either. Many will throw the Canucks into that bonfire. Others the Pittsburgh Penguins, who only made the postseason because Boston was that much worse. The Flames are favoured by many in their first-round series against Vancouver, while the Winnipeg Jets (only two points better, in the second Wild Card spot) are favoured by many over the 1st-place Anaheim Ducks.

Thank the loser point. Thank the new division format. But playoff hockey is suddenly like a 16-person best-of-seven game of rock-paper-scissors. Maybe you miss the bureaucracy or the feudal system of old, or maybe you dont.

PREDICKIES!

New York Rangers – 1st in the Metropolitan, 1st in the NHL (113 points)

Pittsburgh Penguins – 2nd Wild Card, 3-5-2 in their last 10 (98 points)

Maybe this is a good thing for Sidney Crosby and crew. Right?

Maybe they needed a year to munch on the crusts of a humble pie. Maybe they need some perspective, after years of riding in on a beautiful white horse that attracted a lot of praise and a lot of their enemies ire. With nearly 100 points but a massive slip from the Easts top half, the Penguins are probably the most doubted team in the National Hockey League right now. Does that mean theyll do better when expectations are low? Does that mean theyre just waiting to pounce, Venus Fly Trap-style?

Could this really a bonus, that they dropped to the cusp of the Connor McDavid draw?

No. Of course not.

Rangers in 5.

**********

Montreal Canadiens – 1st in the Atlantic, 1st in Canada (110 points)

Ottawa Senators – 1st Wild Card, 2nd to Winnipeg in Canadians hearts (99 points)

Ill be honest: Its going to be impossible for me to ever see the Habs as the top-seed team theyre trying to convince us they are.

I know Carey Price is the best goalie in the world, at least right now. I know PK Subbans fun to watch. I know (the injured) Max Pacioretty is probably the most underrated player in the NHL and that Brendan Gallagher is the tallest short guy in the game. Im aware they deserve all their points and maybe even some more.

But when I look at the Canadiens, Im always going to see a vulnerable team. Im going to look at them like the rest of Canada looked at the Canucks a few years ago, as a delicious favourite to feast on. Thats how were all looking at Anaheim right now, by the way. (More on that below…)

But somebody tell Ottawa theyre the underdog. Because they have no idea, and I dont think theyre content with just making the playoffs.

Sens in 6

**********

Tampa Bay Lightning – 2nd in the Atlantic, 1st in total # of Steve Yzermans (108 points)

Detroit Red Wings – 3rd in the Atlantic, 1st in Former Greatness (100 points)

You know I – like you – have very little to say about this series. I just have a feeling of which team is going to win, and I know Steven Stamkos plays in Florida.

But I also know Mike Babcock coaches in Michigan, Pavel Datsyuk isnt slowing down (7 points in his last 5 games), Henrik Zetterbergs the best captain in the NHL, Gustav Nyquist is the high-flying X-factor, and some Medusa-like combination of Petr Mrazek and Jimmy Howard could probably be sewn together to stop a puck or two.

But, what the hell… Steven Stamkos.

Bolts in 7

**********

Washington Capitals – 2nd in the Metropolitan, 1st in the greater DC area (101 points)

New York Islanders – 3rd in the Metropolitan, 1st on Long Island (101 points)

Its time for John Tavares to win a playoff series, and its time for Alex Ovechkin to play for a Stanley Cup. Or at least, get a little closer to doing so.

Toss in New Yorks bulldog Kyle Okposo and Washingtons terminally underrated all-world playmaker Nicklas Backstrom, and youve got a pretty good two-headed fight to the finish.

But with guys like Ryan Strome, Anders Lee, Frans Nielsen, and Brock Nelson, plus others, the Isles supporting offensive cast is stronger and deeper. And even though they banked off the bumpers like a bowling ball down the lane to the playoffs, its not like Washingtons a world-beater either.

Isles in 6

**********

Anaheim Ducks – 1st in the Pacific, 1st in the West, 1st in Bra Size (109 points)

Winnipeg Jets – 2nd Wild Card, on their 5th Wind (99 points)

What does 1st in Bra Size mean? It means theyre top-heavy. Everyone loves Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf, and nobody doubts they can win. They already have a Stanley Cup they shared in just their second NHL seasons, and they have two Olympic gold medals. And Ryan Kesler was an excellent addition to a team that looked, only 10 months ago, like it needed just one more piece to get over the hump.

If you told me in September that the Ducks would be the only California team to make the playoffs – that both LA and San Jose would have failed and fallen early – I would have first pulled the pipe out of your mouth, and then I would have rolled my eyes and walked away. I also would have told you Anaheim and Chicago would play in the Western Conference Final.

Now, Im not sure either will. In fact, Im not sure either will escape the first round.

Theres only a 10-point separation this year between the top team in the West (Anaheim) and their opening round opponent (Jets). Compare that to 2011, when the 8th-seed Hawks took the 1st-place Canucks to Game 7 overtime, and the jump was 20 points. Or last year, where Anaheim escaped in six games over Dallas with a 25-point advantage.

And Winnipegs not your average Wild Card. Theyre bigger, faster, and stronger than the Ducks. Theyre also going to have the loudest, most invested home crowd of any team in the NHL, and theyre playing for that crowd.

The Jets have also bounced back from repeated blows to their lineup this season, overcoming injuries to Evander Kane and Mathieu Perreault early and often, then Dustin Byfuglien and Bryan Little down the stretch, and finally they made the playoffs while Buff was serving a four-game suspension for trying to decapitate JT Miller. Winnipeg should have bowed out with grace a long time ago, and they never gave up – they never even leaned on a loss.

Its going to be the best series of the first round, with an outcome 28 years in the waiting.

Yes, Winnipeg last won a playoff series in 1987. Before I was born.

Jets in 7

**********

St. Louis Blues – 1st in the Central, 1st in a division that contains the Hawks, Wild, and Predators (109 points)

Minnesota Wild – 1st Wild Card, 6th in the Real Standings (100 points)

A loss in their final game meant the Wild dropped back into the bottom half of the Wests playoff picture, but dont worry, Twin Citizens – theres been no team hotter in the conference, all things considered, since Christmas.

Nobody should want to play the Wild. And they seem to have this deal with winning series under the thumb of other teams – Colorado really should have put them away last year but didnt, and the Minnesota team of 2004 became the first in NHL history to win two straight series after trailing 3-1 (first Colorado, then Vancouver).

Of course, 2004 has nothing to do with 2015. And St. Louis for once have resisted the feeling that Brian Elliott isnt good enough for them. The veteran goalie has been excellent this season doing battle with the young Jake Allen, all behind perhaps the deepest team in hockey, forwards-plus-defencemen-wise.

Neither team has a trump card: Zach Parise and Vladdy Tarasenko are the clubs most talented forwards, while Alex Pietrangelo and Ryan Suter cancel each other out. Both have no-name brand awesomeness in goal.

Its pretty even. And when its even, tie goes to the runner.

Blues in 7

**********

Vancouver Canucks – 2nd in the Pacific, 7th in Canadians Hearts (101 points)

Calgary Flames – 3rd in the Pacific, 1st in Red Miles (97 points)

Ah, finally. My zip code.

First, lets actually give these two clubs their credit: 101 and 97 points, for two teams that were no doubt predicted to miss the playoffs, perhaps by a ton, is an incredible accomplishment. And while both teams are probably seen as the Wests weakest remaining, dont start thinking either Vancouver or Calgary won these spots by default – they didnt just Plinko into their spots ahead of LA, San Jose, and Dallas.

They beat all three of them, and they surged at every moment they were supposed to fall away. Vancouver battled through injuries to everyone but the Sedins and Lack, whereas Calgary overcame a relatively lacklustre roster (supposedly) and a massive injury to Mark Giordano. They also beat Los Angeles with a critical 3-1 win to clinch.

These teams earned their spots.

Second, there seems to be some idea floating around that Calgarys inexperience will pull them down against Vancouver. Not sure why – experience means nothing in the first round. The Flames dont have to be Tom Brady to beat the Canucks; all they need to do is score a few timely goals and win four of seven games.

(The funny thing about experience is, one day you have none and the next day you have it all. Brady was a rookie the day before he won his first Super Bowl in 2002, and he was a champion the day after. Or Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, who won their first Stanley Cups in their third years. All Calgary needs to do to beat away their older judgers is beat Vancouver. Crazier things have happened in my bedroom.)

If Monahan-Gaudreau-Hudler outscore Henrik-Daniel-Burrows/Vrbata, Calgary probably wins the series.

And if it comes down to Game 7 – as these two franchises well know – itll be decided by a big goal and/or a big save, maybe or maybe not from the same team.

So, which one will it be?

Well, experience may not matter for Vancouver, in my opinion, but their roster is still superior. The Canucks are loaded up-top, with the twins and Vrbata. Below that, their depth is really quite astonishing, considering the Canucks finished with just 83 points in 2014. Burrows, Bonino, Higgins, Richardson, Matthias, Horvat, Kenins, and Hansen can all defend and put the puck in the net, and Zack Kassian could be a huge boost if he returns.

Then again, the Flames havent known theyre supposed to lose all season, and they certainly dont now.

And where I mentioned Vancouvers depth as their trump card, the flip could be proposed from Calgarys rancher fans – that their team has a Check Mate cancel-out player for every one of the Canucks. This Calgary team reminds me a lot of the 04 team, and of Vancouvers 94 team, actually. Not saying theyll go on a run to the Cup – just saying, theyre scary.

Although, they dont have an Iginla. Or a Kipper. And Bob Hartleys no Darryl Sutter… and that 04 series game down to Game 7 overtime.

You know what? I was gonna go with Calgary, legitimately.

But screw it, Canucks in 7.

(Its gotta be won at home.)

**********

Nashville Predators – 2nd in the Central, 1st in Collected Guitar Picks (104 points)

Chicago Blackhawks – 3rd in the Central, 1st in Regrettable Trades for Antoine Vermette (102 points)

Is Vermette Chicagos Aaron Boone?

The creative, two-way centre was a terrific trade deadline pick-up, it seemed, until he started playing for the Blackhawks. Hes no doubt a very good player, but he just hasnt found his place in Chicago – like Martin Havlat or Brian Campbell before him. He may even be scratched, and some are ripping Joel Quenneville for how hes handled a talented, 200-foot, do-anything forward.

Translation: Is Vermette actually failing, or is he being set-up to fail?

Well, nobody really cares, because Patrick Kanes back.

The leagues most dangerous scorer has missed seven weeks and will be tossed into the tumbling dryer with his team in full swing. The Hawks havent missed him – in the standings, at least – and managed to stay ahead of the pack in his absence.

Still, Kanes comeback will give Chicago the bump in many analysts minds, especially since the Blackhawks lost their final four games to finish the season. (Thats only slightly worse than the Predators, of course, who lost their final three games.)

Now, for Nashville…

Whats there to say, really, about a team hardly anyone outside of Tennessee gets to watch?

We know theyre good. Because theyre here. We know theyre built to roll as one, like a Carthage elephant pack. We know theyre good enough to beat Chicago, just maybe not good enough to beat them four times. And we know two names – Shea Weber and Pekka Rinne. The d-man and the goalie are maybe the two best players in this series, on their own – as wonderful as Kane and Jonathan Toews are, or are possible of being. Its really a battle between 1a, 1b, 1c, and 1d.

Plus, the Preds have home-ice advantage.

This basically comes down to whether you trust in Chicago to make their fourth long playoff run in six years – a pretty damn hard feat in todays meat-grinding NHL – or whether you trust in the Nashville team that showed up early and often this season.

Myself, Id wager the Cup on Chicago if I really had to. But I also think Nashville may be the pee-coloured antidote that sucks the Blackhawks depleted magic dry, which would be believable in a year where anythings happened.

Preds in 7.

**********

Stanley Cup Prediction: Tampa Bay

Its going to be a weird year, like 2012, where Westeros is left for dead and conquered by a bunch of tribes. All want the throne, and many have the game, but its unclear right now which of them could rule, if any.

The Lightning are the only team that brings a game no other team does, and if they get past Montreal they could easily snowball through the East – through whoever wins between Montreal and Ottawa, through a very good but beatable pair of New York teams – and over the last left standing in the West.

Ill put my chips on Tampa, and on Stamkos.

(*This post was originally published on White Cover Magazine…)

VIDEO: Devil Town – NHL Highlights

Chapter 11 Reform: Proposed ‘Adequate Protection’ Recommendation Hurts …

In December 2014, the American Bankruptcy Institute Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 released its recommendations for amendment to the current Bankruptcy Code. If implemented, these recommendations would deeply impact secured lenders and their borrowers. Secured lenders’ concerns include limitations on, among other things, rolling up prepetition debt, liens on avoidance actions, and milestones in DIP financing agreements. While the bankruptcy bar has provided publications summarizing these concerns at a high level, it is now useful to examine individual recommendations more closely.  This article addresses the effect of one recommendation – the standard to be used in the calculation of adequate protection – on secured lending to retailers. As further explained below, if enacted, the Commission’s recommendation would severely disrupt the secured lending market in general, but may be even more problematic for borrowers in the retail space. Secured lenders would ultimately adapt to the new environment by underwriting loans that offer reduced incremental liquidity, higher pricing, and more restrictive structure.

Background

The ABI Commission’s recommendations include a new standard for calculating adequate protection at the commencement of a bankruptcy case. Specifically, the Commission recommends that the adequate protection required to safeguard a secured creditor’s interest be determined based on the “foreclosure value” of the collateral, defined as the net amount a secured creditor would realize upon a “hypothetical, commercially reasonable foreclosure sale of the secured creditor’s collateral under applicable non-bankruptcy law.” This method of calculation marks a departure from current practice. Although the Bankruptcy Code does not currently provide a specific standard, many courts apply standards such as “going concern value,” “reorganization value,” or “market value.” These standards are generally much higher than “foreclosure value.”

The new “foreclosure value” standard would disrupt the secured credit market, allowing debtors to more easily establish the adequate protection needed to access a secured lender’s cash collateral or to obtain post-petition financing with liens that are pari passu with, or senior to, a secured lender’s existing liens.  The Commission’s other recommendations do not mitigate this risk. For example, the proposal that a secured creditor should ultimately receive “reorganization value” for purposes of distributions would be of little help to a secured lender whose cash collateral and senior liens have already been diluted. After competing liens attach to the same asset, proceeds of the collateral may still be distributed at “reorganization value” – but now this value will be sliced apart and distributed among multiple creditors.

Lending to Retailers

The Commission’s adequate protection framework would be especially troublesome for retailers. These companies often have a capital structure that includes asset-based loans, in which inventory and other assets are pledged as collateral. Lenders carefully structure these loans so that collateral value always exceeds amounts outstanding. In the context of inventory, collateral value generally means “net orderly liquidation value” (NOLV). This value assumes that inventory is sold in a going-out-of-business (GOB) sale overseen by a bankruptcy court, instead of through a foreclosure sale under state law.  GOB sales generate significantly better recoveries than foreclosure sales. In a GOB sale, liquidators seek to maximize recovery by selling as much inventory as possible through the retail channel.  Liquidators are experts at using the retailer’s existing store base to drive sales. Only after the benefits of this channel are exhausted will liquidators look to sell inventory to wholesalers and other potential buyers. In contrast, lenders pursuing a foreclosure remedy would need to seize inventory and sell primarily through alternate channels.  While this framework may be sufficient for wholesalers, it ignores the obvious channel for liquidating a retailer’s inventory. A market for appraisals of retail inventory at “foreclosure value” does not even exist.  For these reasons, a world in which adequate protection is calculated at “foreclosure value” would be disruptive to secured lenders and the retailers who borrower from them.

Continued on Page 2…

North American Palladium looking to sell, reduce debtLOCAL

THUNDER BAY — The owner of an area mine is looking to reduce debt in order to sell.

North American Palladium, which owns Lac Des Illes, announced Thursday that its entered into an agreement with Brookfield Capital Partners to cut debt and increase liquidity before looking to sell the company.

Despite producing 45,600 ounces of palladium so far this quarter at Lac Des Iles, located around 90 kilometres Northwest of Thunder Bay, NAP says a decline in prices coupled with a weak Canadian dollar forced it to ask senior secure lenders for certain financial and other relief until August.

The full media release issued by North American Palladium:

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – April 15, 2015) – North American Palladium Ltd. (NAP) (TSX:PDL)(NYSE MKT:PAL) (the Company) announced today that, following discussions withBrookfield Capital Partners Ltd. (Brookfield), the Company has entered into an agreement with Brookfield aimed at significantly reducing the Companys debt and enhancing the Companys liquidity (the Recapitalization).
The Company has retained CIBC World Markets Inc. to act as its financial advisor in connection with the Recapitalization and to conduct a strategic review process to solicit interest in a sale of the Company. The Company has until June 30, 2015 to obtain a superior proposal to the Recapitalization, with closing to occur within a specified timeframe thereafter.
The Company has obtained covenant relief from its senior secured lenders in respect of certain financial and other covenants until August 15, 2015. Although the Company produced approximately 45,600 payable ounces of palladium in the first quarter of 2015, covenant relief was required as a result of a decline in palladium prices and weakening of the Canadian dollar, and lower production volumes in March combined with higher expenses, which impacted the minimum shareholders equity and leverage ratio covenants.
The Company has also entered into an immediately available US$25 million interim credit facility with Brookfield. NAP is continuing normal business operations at its Lac des Iles mine and the Companys obligations to employees, trade creditors, equipment leases and suppliers will not be affected by the Recapitalization.
If no superior transaction emerges from the strategic review process by June 30, 2015, the terms of the Recapitalization will be as follows:
bull; Conversion of all amounts owing to Brookfield into equity, resulting in Brookfield owning common shares representing 92% of the common shares outstanding on a fully-diluted basis after giving effect to the Recapitalization;
bull; Conversion of the 2012 and 2014 convertible debentures into equity, resulting in holders of convertible debenture owning common shares representing in aggregate 6% of the common shares outstanding on a fully diluted basis after giving effect to the Recapitalization;
bull; Existing holders of common shares will own 2% of the post-Recapitalization common shares outstanding on a fully-diluted basis;
bull; The Companys outstanding warrants and options will be terminated;
bull; After completion of the Recapitalization, the Company will undertake a $50 million rights offering to raise equity, pursuant to which all shareholders at that time will be able to participate;
bull; The $50 million rights offering will be backstopped by Brookfield and other parties; and
bull; Employees, trade creditors, equipment leases and suppliers will not be affected.
The terms of the Recapitalization are outlined in an agreement the Company has entered into with Brookfield. A copy of the Recapitalization term sheet has been filed with regulators and is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and EDGAR at www.edgar.com.
The Recapitalization is subject to receipt of customary approvals, including convertible debenture holder and shareholder approval, as well as customary closing conditions. A holder of convertible debentures holding approximately 54% of the Companys convertible debentures has executed an agreement to support the Recapitalization.
The sale process and Recapitalization plan represent the best alternatives available at this time to preserve substantial value in the assets and operations of the Company, and to pursue longer-term growth and expansion opportunities at LDI, said Phil du Toit, President and CEO. We believe decreasing the debt burden and strengthening the capital structure is essential for the Companys future.
Technical Information and Qualified Persons
Mr. James Gallagher , the Companys Chief Operating Officer and a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed and approved all technical items disclosed in this news release.
About North American Palladium
NAP is an established precious metals producer that has been operating its Lac des Iles mine (LDI) located in Ontario, Canada since 1993. LDI is one of only two primary producers of palladium in the world, offering investors exposure to palladium. The Companys shares trade on the NYSE MKT under the symbol PAL and on the TSX under the symbol PDL.
Cautionary Statement on Forward-Looking Information
Certain information contained in this news release constitutes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of Canadian securities laws and the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. The words potential, preliminary, believe, forecast, will, anticipate, expect, would, could, estimate and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this news release include, without limitation: information pertaining to the Companys strategy, plans or future financial or operating performance, such as statements with respect to the Companys strategic review process, the Companys ability to consummate a strategic transaction, projected production, operating and capital cost estimates, project timelines, mining and milling rates, cash flows, projected grades, mill recoveries, metal price and foreign exchange rates, and other statements that express managements expectations or estimates of future performance. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risk factors that may cause the actual results to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks include, but are not limited to: the risk that the LDI mine may not perform as planned, the possibility that commodity prices and foreign exchange rates may fluctuate, the possibility that the Company may not be able to generate sufficient cash to service its indebtedness and may be forced to take other actions, and uncertainty regarding the ability to consummate the Recapitalization. For more details on these and other risk factors see the Companys most recent Annual Information Form/Form 40-F on file with Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities and the SEC.
Forward-looking statements are also based upon a number of factors and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by management, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. The factors and assumptions contained in this news release include, but are not limited to: that the Company will be able to consummate the Recapitalization or other strategic transaction on the terms described in this news release, the Companys ability to continue normal business operations at its Lac des Iles mine, that metal prices and exchange rates between the Canadian and United States dollar will be consistent with the Companys expectations, that there will be no significant disruptions affecting operations, and that prices for key mining and construction supplies, including labour, will remain consistent with the Companys expectations. The forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. The Company disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, events or otherwise, except as expressly required by law. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.

Australians struggle to reduce debt as cost of living continues to rise.

Eighty-eight per cent of Australians say day-to-day expenses, rent or mortgage repayments, groceries and bills, are the most common roadblocks to paying down debt.

Experian research also showed 65 per cent of Australians incorrectly believe contributing to superannuation or saving money can have a positive impact on your credit score.

Andy Sheehan, Managing Director of Credit Services at Experian said the figures not only highlight a knowledge gap when it comes to understanding credit worthiness but also the difficulty Australians face in paying down debt as the cost of living continues to rise1.

Australians are more reliant on credit now than ever before. The Australian Securities and investment Commission noted recently that the average Australian credit card debt in 2014 was more than 30 per cent higher than the year before, he said.

We know that the most effective way to manage credit card debt is to pay it off in full each month however, we also know that many of us are arent able to manage our debt in this way2. Our research suggests that about 19 per cent of Australians pay only the minimum repayment on their credit card and five per cent of those people prefer to put extra cash in savings instead of paying down their debt.

How we manage debt has a major impact on our life. While saving is important, its also important to make paying down debt one of your priorities, said Sheehan.

Unsurprisingly, one in three Australians who participated in the survey (33 per cent) said they were nervous about their ability to access and manage credit and according to the research, their concerns are justified. Sheehan explained there is a significant lack of consumer understanding about the behaviours that impact creditworthiness, particularly when it comes to savings and superannuation.

Australians are too busy lsquo;getting by to worry about their creditworthiness. Our research shows that Australians are alarmingly misinformed when it comes to credit reports. In overseas markets, consumers are more empowered to take charge of their credit profile, actively manage their credit reputation and use it to get a better deal. In order for this to become the norm here, Australians need to be better informed and more proactive with their credit reputation, said Sheehan.

The new figures show we still have a long way to go. The research shows that only 23 per cent of Australians actually understand what a credit score is and how it is used by lenders to grant credit.

Sheehan said comprehensive credit reporting was a step in the right direction as it will encourage people to become more aware of their positioning in the credit landscape.

Comprehensive credit reporting is good news for consumers. The negative credit reporting system doesnt take good credit behaviour into account. Australians deserve to be recognised for good financial behaviour and this should be reflected in our credit report to enable better deals, explained Sheehan.

Additional findings from the research show:

  • A further 19 per cent of Australians incorrectly believe that having multiple lines of credit open can positively impact their creditworthiness
  • 40 per cent of Australians have up to three lines of credit available to them that they use infrequently
  • 60 per cent of people said their bank is meeting or exceeding their expectations on providing information about their credit profile, compared to just 45 per cent in February 2014

People should also be aware that they can access their credit reports from Experian for free at any time. It is a good idea for them to do this to help prevent identity theft and confirm the accuracy of their credit history.

Consumers looking to receive a copy of their free credit report and score can do so by visiting the Experian Credit Services website: www.experian.com.au/credit-services/credit-services.htmlor for general service enquiries consumers may call Experian Credit Services on 1300 783 684.

EveryWare Global, Inc. Announces Commencement of Trading on OTC Pink …

LANCASTER, Ohio, April 17, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — EveryWare Global, Inc. (OTC Pink:EVRYQ) announced that effective today the Companys common stock will be traded under the ticker symbol EVRYQ on the OTC Pink markets.

In light of EveryWares voluntary filing for protection under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code on April 7, 2015, the Companys common stock was delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market effective at the opening of trading on April 17, 2015. The Company does not intend to appeal the delisting determination.

As previously disclosed, the Company has reached an agreement with its secured lenders on a comprehensive balance-sheet restructuring that, among other things, will substantially reduce the Companys long-term debt. To implement the restructuring, the Company filed a voluntary petition for a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

About EveryWare Global, Inc.

EveryWare (OTC Pink:EVRYQ) is a leading global marketer of tabletop and food preparation products for the consumer and foodservice markets, with operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Asia. Its global platform allows it to market and distribute internationally its total portfolio of products, including bakeware, beverageware, serveware, storageware, flatware, dinnerware, crystal, buffetware and hollowware; premium spirit bottles; cookware; gadgets; candle and floral glass containers; and other kitchen products, all under a broad collection of widely-recognized brands. Driven by devotion to design, EveryWare is recognized for providing quality tabletop and kitchen solutions through its consumer, foodservice, specialty and international channels. EveryWare was formed through the merger of Anchor Hocking, LLC and Oneida Ltd. in March of 2012. Additional information can be found at www.everywareglobal.com, www.oneida.com, and www.foodservice.oneida.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

The Library of Congress Offers Grants to Support the Creation of Civics Apps

Funding, Grants Awards

The Library of Congress Offers Grants to Support the Creation of Civics Apps

The Library of Congress is offering up to $950,000 to one or more grantees to support the development of Web- and mobile-based applications for K-12 education. To be eligible, apps must deal with the subjects of Congress and civic participation.

The Library is looking for organizations to work with its Teaching With Primary Sources (TPS) program, so the selected partners will be expected to use and incorporate not only the Librarys online primary sources, but also the many other resources available online from the Library of Congress.

Those eligible to apply include public, private, not-for-profit and for-profit organizations, including colleges, universities, cultural institutions, other educational organizations, collaborative partnerships (such as an organization with content expertise paired with an organization possessing technological expertise), states, public or private agencies (including for-profit agencies) and Native American tribes and tribal organizations.

Applicants should be prepared to demonstrate a record of success in developing and implementing curriculum on Congress and civic participation, as well as developing and maintaining online interactives or mobile apps for classroom use.

The total amount of funding available is $950,000, but there is no minimum award amount. Individual funding levels will depend on the content and quality of applications, as well as the number of applications received. The grants will support program activities for 24 months, from October 2015 through September 2017.

The application deadline is May 31, 2015. For more information, application requirements, and selection criteria, see the Notice of Funds Availability here.

Explained: Comparing credit cards for bad credit

Anyone with a bad credit rating will be held back from everything from getting a loan, to potentially jobs, flats mobile phone contracts and more.

One way to help improve your credit score is by using a credit card for bad credit. These can give you the chance to show you can be trusted with credit while letting you spread the cost of purchases.

If you’re looking for a credit card for bad credit, it’s worth spending some time comparing them to find the best deal. Here’s a quick rundown of everything you need to know…

Do understand the APR

When you’re comparing credit cards for bad credit, you’ll see something called a representative annual percentage rate (APR).

That headline rate is not necessarily the rate that you will be offered if your application is successful. At least 51% of accepted customers have to be offered that rate but you could be offered a different rate if you are accepted.

Do plan to clear the card each month

You might be attracted to a credit card for bad credit that offers an interest-free period on purchases. However, if your credit history is bad and you want to use this card to rebuild your credit score as well as discipline yourself into using a card sensibly then you probably want to avoid running up debt.

Factor in the APR and any interest-free period, but also look for a card that makes it easy to manage your account online or offers a useful debt-management benefit.

Don’t apply for loads of cards

You might decide that, rather than compare cards and then choose the best, you’ll just apply for several to make sure that at least one approves your application. This is a really, really bad idea.

When you apply for any kind of borrowing, it leaves a note on your credit file. The idea is to let other lenders know you’ve been applying for credit, so that it’s harder to get into problem debt.

So even if you only intend to use one card, applying for several can mean that you’re refused all of them. It’s a much better idea to choose a good card that you’re likely to qualify for and then only apply for that.

Don’t expect a high spending limit

Streckenbach: I kept promises on taxes, job creation

I would like to thank the voters of Brown County for allowing me the honor to serve as Brown County executive over the past four years.

I truly appreciate the trust you have instilled in me to manage the county’s 28 departments, 1,700 employees and $280 million budget.

Four years ago, I pledged to freeze taxes, lower the debt, cut wasteful spending and create jobs. I also said I would not run for another term if I did not keep my promises.

I’m happy to report that, with the help of my committed team, I was able to keep my word.

Not only have we frozen taxes, we actually reduced them. The property tax levy is $1.3 million lower today than four years ago. Those are dollars that are back where they belong — in the pockets of hard-working families and businesses in Brown County.

I’ve also paid off more than $23 million in debt principal. The days of putting government spending on a credit card are over in Brown County. Our children and grandchildren deserve no less.

While we cut wasteful spending to lower taxes and reduce debt, we were still able to protect important services that taxpayers expect from county government. We made smart investments in public safety, child welfare services, and quality of life enhancements that help create a community that attracts and keeps hard working families to and in our area.

To help keep our streets and neighborhoods safe we funded a Drug Task Force officer and an assistant district attorney. The county is also working to protect our children from sex offenders by funding two child sex crime analysts.

We’ve partnered with leading stakeholders in our community to help carry out our social service mission by providing them over $38 million, which is helping improve and protect the lives of our most vulnerable families. We’ve also provided needed funding to help victims of child abuse and to provide safe housing for the mentally ill.

By getting our fiscal house in order and making smart investments, we’ve seen our economy grow. In fact, there are over 5,000 more jobs in Brown County than when I took office.

Using my own experience as a small business owner, I reshaped the way the county viewed economic development. We are now partnering with job creators and investing in important infrastructure that businesses rely on to create and maintain jobs like highways, rail, port, airport and waste recycling.

We also made smart investments in our quality of life by expanding well-used trails and our new Adventure Park that will not only help generate revenue for the park, but other family fun attractions.

We have accomplished much in just four years, but there is so much more I want to do to make Brown County the best place to raise a family, start a business and enjoy retirement. I would be honored to again have your vote. Together, we will continue to move our county forward.

Troy Streckenbach of Allouez is the Brown County executive. He is running for re-election.

Troy Streckenbach

He has owned and operated six businesses in Brown County for the past 16 years. He has a degree in international studies, with an emphasis in business and political science, from UW-Oshkosh. For more information, go to www.troyforwi.com.

The CFPB Just Made World Acceptance A Zero

Summary

  • The CFPB, FDIC, and OCC have made it crystal clear that they are going to destroy consumer lending.
  • World Acceptance is a year into a CFPB investigation of its practices that will not end well. The CFPB historically wallops its targets.
  • The likely result will be a forced cessation of offering unnecessary insurance add-ons to loans, which is 60% of net income, and a massive fine.
  • 75% of the companys loans are from treadmill re-financings, which the CFPB will likely prohibit.
  • The company will be left with no business model, have to repay its credit line, and be out of business, driving the stock to zero.

AA launches share sale to reduce debt

AA launches share sale to reduce debt

Date:

30 March 2015

  |  

Author: Daniel Puddicombe

Motoring organisation the AA has announced it is launching a £200 million share sale in order to reduce its £2.7 billion debt pile.

The company said it would save around £45 million a year in interest payments and allow it to start paying a dividend.