This book records the first success stories of a new form of financial intermediation, the hometown investment fund, that has become a national strategy in Japan, partly to meet the need to finance small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. The hometown investment fund has three main advantages. First, it contributes to financial market stability by lowering information asymmetry. Individual households and firms have direct access to information about the borrowing firms, mainly SMEs, that they lend to. Second, it is a stable source of risk capital. The fund is project driven. Firms and households decide to invest by getting to know the borrowers and their projects. In this way the fund distributes risk but not so that it renders risk intractable, which was the problem with the "originate and distribute" model. Third, it contributes to economic recovery by connecting firms and households with SMEs that are worthy of their support. It also creates employment opportunities, at the SMEs as well as for the pool of retirees from financial institutions who can help assess the projects. Introduction of the hometown investment fund has huge global implications. The world is seeking a method of financial intermediation that minimizes information asymmetry, distributes risk without making it opaque, and contributes to economic recovery. Funds similar to Japan's hometown investment fund can succeed in all three ways. After all, the majority of the world's businesses are SMEs. The first chapter explains the theory behind this method, and the following chapters relate success stories from Japan and other parts of Asia. This book should encourage policymakers, economists, lenders, and borrowers, especially in developing countries, to adopt this new form of financial intermediation, thus contributing to global economic stability.
What a true gift we have in Peg Bresnahan's dazzling new collection, In a Country None of Us Called Home. The narrative voice in these poems has a focus that is honest, steady, and absolutely clear. There is also a sharpness of observation, as when she comments on the everyday birds of Sri Lanka that hover daily in smoke, insignificant and scientifically unnamed. But they too carry their own signature, "since they always wake at dawn, / fly to burning fields/ and sleep at night/ wrapped in wings/ the color of tropical seas." Peg's gift is to offer the ordinary a moment of uniqueness that each life deserves. This collection indeed is a gallery of the extraordinary and small planted in time-a vision that perhaps only the photographer or poet can arrest perfectly. Inspiration radiates from every life and distant land visited in this eloquent book of poems. -Katherine Soniat, author of The Swing Girl
I stepped out the front door and was instantly unsafe. I looked up and down the street for any sign of trouble. Not seeing any, I proceeded to the truck and raced off. Just how much credence do we place into the safety of one's home? Used to be our homes were sanctuaries from the rest of the world. There we would go to escape the rat race and relax, alone, or with the neighbors. So then the neighborhoods were sort of insulated also. You could walk the dogs, mow the lawns, and know where your kids are at, with relative security. As the world got smaller, we grew farther apart. We melded into our headphones and electronic devices. The gossip of yesteryear was the internet drama of today. Then, we brought the world into our homes. Our sanctuaries became dens of iniquity, the twenty-four hour news channel. The more we listened, the more fearful we became. Until everyone was suspect, everyone was an intruder, and everyone was bad. The television has become white noise for scared zombies. I miss the old house...
Detailed and compelling, this volume traces the political and geographical pilgrimage of communist Nan Green, along with the constant campaigning, activism, and dilemmas it posed.
One of the special joys of having outdoor space is the wildlife it attracts-and this Specialist volume helps gardeners turn their little plot of land into an animal-friendly haven. Concise and easy to use, It gives expert advice on planning and planting to create an ideal environment for birds, butterflies, reptiles, and mammals-a place where these wild creatures will find everything they need to survive and thrive. There's pond-building guidance, instructions for assembling and siting nesting boxes and feeders, ideas for both town and country gardens, and advice on making the area pet- and child-safe.
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