Monthly Archives: October 2015

Oil Prices Rise Slightly After Week of Price Drops

There was a slight uptick in the price of oil on Monday as traders wait to see what data from the US and Europe has to say about those economies. The small price rise came after a week of sharp gas-station-727162_1280declines in the price of oil as fears of an oil oversupply continue to affect prices.

According to analysts the additional interest rate cut in China, the sixth this year, is not enough to stimulate the Chinese economy which would help send oil prices up.

“Key economic data from the US on growth in durable goods orders, third quarter GDP and business confidence and unemployment data from the European Union will set the tone for prices this week,” said Sanjeev Gupta, EY’s chief of Asia-Pacific Oil & Gas practice.

Investors are also paying close attention to the upcoming policy meeting of the US Federal Reserve. Although it is expected that eventually the US Feds will be increasing interest rates, the expectation now is that it won’t happen until after the new year begins.

As the world’s second largest economy and largest consumer of energy, any hint of a slowdown in China sends oil prices tumbling and leaves the world with an oil glut. Gupta from Singapore said that the interest rate cut and speculation about more economic stimuli from the European Central Bank “did not help alleviate the market’s short-term concerns about the continuing oversupply in oil.”

Executive director of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol said at an energy conference last week that the market will stay “comfortably supplied” until the middle of 2016.

Thailand Competing for US Business Income

Sunset at Wat Chaiwatthanaram, Ayutthaya, Thailand. Photo by Justin Vidamo

Sunset at Wat Chaiwatthanaram, Ayutthaya, Thailand. Photo by Justin Vidamo

During the eight months between October 2014 and June 20115 Thailand hosted 38,584 Americans who were there to attend business meetings and conventions. That influx of business-related tourism added $108 million to Thailand’s economy. Now the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) wants to add to this flow of revenue through a new marketing campaign designed to attract US businesses and events to the Southeast Asian country.

The campaign is called: “Thailand CONNECT… Our Heart, Your World,” and it includes three key elements which will showcase the country’s meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions industries, known together as MICE.

“TCEB’s role in advancing Thailand’s MICE industry is in line with government policy of reinforcing international confidence in Thailand,” said TCEB President Nopparat Maythaveekulchai. “To spearhead a renewed strategy in 2016, the ‘Thailand CONNECT … Our Heart, Your World’ campaign highlights Thailand’s role not only as a unique destination at the ‘heart’ of ASEAN and an unparalleled business hub at the ‘heart’ of both the emerging Asian region and the global marketplace, but also as a thriving hub, where passionate people offer seamless service from the ‘heart,’ and with an unforgettable smile.”

Marc Lasry of Avenue Capital Group

Marc Lasry

Mark Lasry

Marc Lasry is the founder of the hedge fund Avenue Capital Group. He serves as the firm’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Lasry is a significant donor to the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a trustee of the Mount Sinai Medical Center.


Study Shows Extended Stay Accommodations Rising in Popularity

TownePlace Suites hotel in Hillsboro, Oregon. Photo by: M.O. Stevens

TownePlace Suites hotel in Hillsboro, Oregon. Photo by: M.O. Stevens

A new study by the GBTA Foundation found that almost half of all US international business travelers utilized extended stay accommodations during the past year. The GBTA Foundation is the education and research division of the Global Business Travel Association.

The GBTA Foundation worked together with WWStay to publish “Extended Stay Accommodations: Awareness, Supply and Demand.” The study discovered several interesting trends in this growing sector of business travel. For instance, younger business travelers prefer extended stay accommodations.  Millennials, those in the 18-34 age range, preferred extended stay accommodations the most, with 72 percent staying at least once in the past year. Considerably fewer generation Xers, those in the 35-54 age group, stayed in such accommodations, with only 48 percent using them in the past year. For baby boomers, who are now over age 55, extended stay was not so popular, with only 26 percent saying they stayed in extended stay accommodations in the past twelve months.

“This study showed a clear demand for extended stay accommodations,” said Joseph Bates, GBTA Foundation Vice President of Research. “To ensure demand continues to increase, companies that provide extended stay accommodations should address the challenges noted by becoming more flexible with minimum stay requirements, providing an up-to-date website listing amenities and guest reviews and increasing the supply of extended stay accommodations available.”

Finding the Right Doctor with Castle Connolly Medical

We all want to be seen by competent, empathetic doctors. But what is the best way to find doctors of this sort? You can ask your friends for suggestions and see where they go for their medical care. You can look online for reviews and discussions about doctors. And, you can rely on the medical rating research that you find from companies like Castle Connolly Medical. Companies like this are given the task of rating doctors around the country, and the reviews that they end up creating are undoubtedly one of the most reliable and effective ways to find the doctor you need.

How do they work? Castle Connolly Medical, with Chairman and Co-Publisher John K. Castle of Castle Harlan and President and CEO John J. Connolly, has been helping consumers to find independent and reliable information about doctors for more than twenty years. Their physician-led research teams asked thousands of physicians and health care professionals to identify excellent doctors in almost every field. Their listings are updated annually and their doctors cannot pay to be listed.

Each year, they ask over 24,000 individual physicians to participate. They select physicians who are board certified and they review the credentials of every physician under consideration.

Castle Connolly with John K. Castle of Castle Harlan and John J. Connolly also publish other consumer guides. These include “America’s Top Doctors,” “America’s Top Doctors for Cancer,” “Top Doctors: New York Metro Area,” “The Best in Senior Living & Eldercare Options” and “The ABCs of HMOs.”

Certainly, guides of this sort are one of the the best ways to guarantee that you’re getting the information that you need and the healthcare that you deserve.

Aviation Industry Stable Declares Trade Industry Head

President Ed Bolen of the National Business Aviation Association declared that the industry he represents is as stable as it’s been since the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Bolen was speaking at the Bombardier’s Safety Standdown at the Hyatt Regency in Wichita. The three day annual event is for aviation safety training for pilots and organized by the Canadian owner of Learjet.

Bolen affirmed that the business aviation industry is performing better in recent days, stating that business aircraft flight hours are going up along with fuel consumption. The number of used business planes for sale is also on the decline.

“I think it would be fair to say 2014, 2015 have been as stable as we’ve seen since the Great Recession,” Bolen said in a brief interview.