March 30, 2013

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 20:1-9

On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.

So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, "They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don't know where they put him."

So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.

They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.  When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.

Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead.

March 27, 2013

Naked Vision

Naked Vision

I was sent to fetch an eye
promised for a fresh corneal graft.
At the doctor's rooms nurse gave me
a common paper bag;
in that, a sterile jar;
in that, the disembodied eye.

I sat in Davey Street
on a low brick garden wall
and looked. The eye looked back.
It gazed, lucid and whole,
from its colourless solution.
The window of whose soul?

Trees in St David's Park
refreshed the lunchtime lovers:
riesling gold, claret dark;
late flowers flaunted all colours.
But my friend and I had eyes
only for one another.



The fire in leaf and grass
so green it seems
each summer the last summer.

The wind blowing, the leaves
shivering in the sun,
each day the last day.

A red salamander
so cold and so
easy to catch, dreamily

moves his delicate feet
and long tail. I hold
my hand open for him to go.

Each minute the last minute.


Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a simple healing technique that you can use by yourself or with a therapist/practitioner. You can combine it effectively with some other therapies, or use it as a standalone technique. In this chapter, you discover how EFT evolved, how it works, and how you can benefit from using it on yourself and others. You also find out a small sample of the problems EFT can help with and, if using EFT on yourself, when you may want to find outside help from a therapist.

Although you may not have heard of EFT, you may well be familiar with the therapies of acupuncture, acupressure, shiatsu, and kinesiology. All are part of the energy therapies family tree. Broadly speaking, energy therapies are techniques that work on rebalancing the flow of energy that gets disrupted as it travels through channels in your body known as meridians. This bit is important to maintaining good emotional and physical health. There’s also a bit of psychology thrown in here, which is why you also hear people referring to EFT as an energy therapy, energy psychology, or meridian therapy. I explain the most popular of the other energy therapies – and you can use them with EFT is what you may call a modern-day version of these energy therapies, some of which go back more than 2,500 years.

Other theorists say that EFT taps into a part of the brain that stores and processes information, used in neuro-physiology. No one exactly knows but, after all, do you need to know exactly how something works if it’s doing you no harm, only good? Because many people use EFT to great effect, the best advice is to continue to use it until scientists come up with their own theory.

March 25, 2013


A floater is a debt obligation whose coupon rate is reset at designated dates based on the value of some designated reference rate. The coupon formula for a pure floater (i.e., a floater with no embedded options) can be expressed as follows:

coupon rate = reference rate ± quoted margin

The quoted margin is the adjustment (in basis points) that the issuer agrees to make to the reference rate. For example, consider a floating rate note issued by Enron Corp. that matured on March 30, 2000. This floater made quarterly cash flows and had a coupon formula equal to 3-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) plus 45 basis points. Under the rubric of floating-rate securities, there are several different types of securities with the feature that the coupon rate varies over the instrument’s life. A floater’s coupon rate can be reset semi-annually, quarterly, monthly or weekly. The term “adjustable-rate” or “variable-rate” typically refers to those securities with coupon rates reset not more than annually or based on a longer-term interest rate. We will refer to both floating-rate securities and adjustable-rate securities as floaters.

As noted, the reference rate is the interest rate or index that appears in a floater’s coupon formula and it is used to determine the coupon payment on each reset date within the boundaries designated by embedded caps and/or floors. Common reference rates are LIBOR (with different maturities), Treasury bills yields, the prime rate, the federal funds rate, and domestic CD rates. There are other reference rates utilized in more specialized taxable fixed-income markets such as the mortgage backed securities and asset-backed securities markets. For example, the most common reference rates for adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) or collateralized mortgage obligation (CMO) floaters include: (1) the 1-year Constant Maturity Treasury rate (i.e., 1-year CMT); (2) the Eleventh District Cost of Funds (COFI); (3) 6-month LIBOR; and (4) the National Monthly Median Cost of Funds Index.

March 24, 2013


Funding agreements (FAs) are short-term debt instruments issued by insurance companies. Specifically, a funding agreement is a contract issued by an insurance company that provides the policyholder the right to receive the coupon payments as scheduled and the principal on the maturity date. These contracts are guaranteed by the insurer’s general account or a separate account. FAs are not publicly traded and therefore are less liquid than other money market instruments such as commercial paper. In recent years, medium-term notes (U.S. MTNs and Global MTNs) have become increasingly popular. These are securitizations whose cash flows are backed by a portfolio of FAs. Moody’s estimates in 2000 the amount of securities outstanding backed by FAs was approximately $20 billion.4

Coupon rates may be either fixed or floating. Reference rates have included U.S, Treasury rates, LIBOR, commercial paper rates, the federal funds rate, and the prime rate. The unique feature of FAs is that the holder of this security has an embedded put option with a 7, 30, 90, 180 day or year expiration. Therefore, FAs are putable back to the issuer at par. Yields offered on FAs depend on the credit quality of the issuing insurer, the structure of the embedded put option, and the term to maturity.

Like many financial instruments, FAs have had setbacks. Specifically, there is credit risk and a major default increases the concerns of investors about the product. In August 1999, General American Life Insurance Co. failed to meet its required interest and principal redemption when investors put back the FAs the company issued. The option was putable in seven days. The exercise of the put option by investors followed the downgrading of the insurance company by several rating agencies. Investors eventually received their payments when Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Co. acquired General American Life Insurance Co. and satisfied the obligation. Since this incident, life insurance companies issuing FAs have made every effort to address the concerns investors have had with these contracts. Specifically, prior to 1999, most FAs were putable in seven days. The contracts now tend to have longer-dated puts. In addition, there is increased use of FAs backing medium-term notes that are typically sold without puts.

The major investors in FAs are money market mutual funds—both institutional-oriented funds and retail-oriented. Short-dated putable FAs are structured to qualify as 2a-7 eligible money market mutual fund investments because they are illiquid investments since as we noted earlier they are not publicly traded. Seven of the largest institutional money market funds held FAs as of mid 2001. The top four issuers of FAs sold to institutional money market funds are Transamerica Occidental Life, Monumental Life, New York Life, Allstate Life, and Jackson National Life. The major issuers of FAs sold to retail-oriented money market funds are Monumental Life, Travelers, Metropolitan, GE Life and Annuity Assurance Co., and Pacific Life. Five of the top ten retail-oriented money market funds invest in FAs as of mid 2001. A study by Moody’s in October 2001 investigated the reasons why money market mutual funds invest in FAs. The following reasons were cited:

1. FAs are attractive short-term investments.
2. FAs are highly rated and are “stable value”–type products
3. Investors like FAs as an established product.


So early it's still almost dark out.
I'm near the window with coffee,
and the usual early morning stuff
that passes for thought.
When I see the boy and his friend
walking up the road
to deliver the newspaper.
They wear caps and sweaters,
and one boy has a bag over his shoulder.
They are so happy
they aren't saying anything, these boys.
I think if they could, they would take
each other's arm.
It's early in the morning,
and they are doing this thing together.
They come on, slowly.
The sky is taking on light,
though the moon still hangs pale over the water.
Such beauty that for a minute
death and ambition, even love,
doesn't enter into this.
Happiness. It comes on
unexpectedly. And goes beyond, really,
any early morning talk about it.


A Northern Morning

It rained from dawn. The fire died in the night.
I poured hot water on some foreign leaves;
I brought the fire to life. Comfort
spread from the kitchen like a taste of chocolate
through the head-waters of a body,
accompanied by that little-water-music.
The knotted veins of the old house tremble and carry
a louder burden: the audience joining in.

People are peaceful in a world so lavish
with the ingredients of life:
the world of breakfast easy as Tahiti.
But we must leave. Head down in my new coat
I dodge to the High Street conscious of my fellows
damp and sad in their vegetable fibres.
But by the bus-stop I look up: the spring trees
exult in the downpour, radiant, clean for hours:
This is the life! This is the only life!


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 22:14-71.23:1-56. 

When the hour came, Jesus took his place at table with the apostles.

He said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, for, I tell you, I shall not eat it (again) until there is fulfillment in the kingdom of God."

Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and said, "Take this and share it among yourselves; for I tell you (that) from this time on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." 

Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me." And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you. And yet behold, the hand of the one who is to betray me is with me on the table; for the Son of Man indeed goes as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed." 

And they began to debate among themselves who among them would do such a deed.  Then an argument broke out among them about which of them should be regarded as the greatest. He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them and those in authority over them are addressed as 'Benefactors';
but among you it shall not be so. Rather, let the greatest among you be as the youngest, and the leader as the servant. 

For who is greater: the one seated at table or the one who serves? Is it not the one seated at table? I am among you as the one who serves.  It is you who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer a kingdom on you, just as my Father has conferred one on me, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom; and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers." 

He said to him, "Lord, I am prepared to go to prison and to die with you."  But he replied, "I tell you, Peter, before the cock crows this day, you will deny three times that you know me." 

He said to them, "When I sent you forth without a money bag or a sack or sandals, were you in need of anything?" "No, nothing," they replied.  He said to them, "But now one who has a money bag should take it, and likewise a sack, and one who does not have a sword should sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in me, namely, 'He was counted among the wicked'; and indeed what is written about me is coming to fulfillment." 

Then they said, "Lord, look, there are two swords here." But he replied, "It is enough!" Then going out he went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. When he arrived at the place he said to them, "Pray that you may not undergo the test."

After withdrawing about a stone's throw from them and kneeling, he prayed, 
saying, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done."  (And to strengthen him an angel from heaven appeared to him. He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground.) When he rose from prayer and returned to his disciples, he found them sleeping from grief.

He said to them, "Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not undergo the test."  While he was still speaking, a crowd approached and in front was one of the Twelve, a man named Judas. He went up to Jesus to kiss him.  Jesus said to him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"  His disciples realized what was about to happen, and they asked, "Lord, shall we strike with a sword?"

And one of them struck the high priest's servant and cut off his right ear.  But Jesus said in reply, "Stop, no more of this!" Then he touched the servant's ear and healed him. And Jesus said to the chief priests and temple guards and elders who had come for him, "Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? Day after day I was with you in the temple area, and you did not seize me; but this is your hour, the time for the power of darkness." 
After arresting him they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest; Peter was following at a distance.

They lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter sat down with them.  When a maid saw him seated in the light, she looked intently at him and said, "This man too was with him." But he denied it saying, "Woman, I do not know him." 

A short while later someone else saw him and said, "You too are one of them"; but Peter answered, "My friend, I am not." 

About an hour later, still another insisted, "Assuredly, this man too was with him, for he also is a Galilean." 

But Peter said, "My friend, I do not know what you are talking about." Just as he was saying this, the cock crowed,  and the Lord turned and looked at Peter; and Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, "Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times." He went out and began to weep bitterly. 

The men who held Jesus in custody were ridiculing and beating him.  They blindfolded him and questioned him, saying, "Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?"  And they reviled him in saying many other things against him. 

When day came the council of elders of the people met, both chief priests and scribes, and they brought him before their Sanhedrin. They said, "If you are the Messiah, tell us," but he replied to them, "If I tell you, you will not believe,  and if I question, you will not respond. 

But from this time on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God."  They all asked, "Are you then the Son of God?" He replied to them, "You say that I am." Then they said, "What further need have we for testimony? We have heard it from his own mouth."

Then the whole assembly of them arose and brought him before Pilate. They brought charges against him, saying, "We found this man misleading our people; he opposes the payment of taxes to Caesar and maintains that he is the Messiah, a king."  Pilate asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" He said to him in reply, "You say so." Pilate then addressed the chief priests and the crowds, "I find this man not guilty." But they were adamant and said, "He is inciting the people with his teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to here."

On hearing this Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean; and upon learning that he was under Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod who was in Jerusalem at that time.  Herod was very glad to see Jesus; he had been wanting to see him for a long time, for he had heard about him and had been hoping to see him perform some sign.  He questioned him at length, but he gave him no answer. 

The chief priests and scribes, meanwhile, stood by accusing him harshly.  (Even) Herod and his soldiers treated him contemptuously and mocked him, and after clothing him in resplendent garb, he sent him back to Pilate.  Herod and Pilate became friends that very day, even though they had been enemies formerly. 

Pilate then summoned the chief priests, the rulers, and the people  and said to them, "You brought this man to me and accused him of inciting the people to revolt. I have conducted my investigation in your presence and have not found this man guilty of the charges you have brought against him,  nor did Herod, for he sent him back to us. So no capital crime has been committed by him.  Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him." 

But all together they shouted out, "Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us."  (Now Barabbas had been imprisoned for a rebellion that had taken place in the city and for murder.) Again Pilate addressed them, still wishing to release Jesus,  but they continued their shouting, "Crucify him! Crucify him!" Pilate addressed them a third time, "What evil has this man done? I found him guilty of no capital crime. Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him."  With loud shouts, however, they persisted in calling for his crucifixion, and their voices prevailed.  The verdict of Pilate was that their demand should be granted.  So he released the man who had been imprisoned for rebellion and murder, for whom they asked, and he handed Jesus over to them to deal with as they wished.

As they led him away they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country; and after laying the cross on him, they made him carry it behind Jesus.

A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him. Jesus turned to them and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, 'Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.'  At that time people will say to the mountains, 'Fall upon us!' and to the hills, 'Cover us!' for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?"  Now two others, both criminals, were led away with him to be executed. 

When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left.  (Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.") They divided his garments by casting lots. The people stood by and watched; the rulers, meanwhile, sneered at him and said, "He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Messiah of God."

Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine  they called out, "If you are King of the Jews, save yourself."  Above him there was an inscription that read, "This is the King of the Jews."  Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us."

The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, "Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation?  And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal."  Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."  He replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle.  Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit"; and when he had said this he breathed his last.     The centurion who witnessed what had happened glorified God and said, "This man was innocent beyond doubt."

When all the people who had gathered for this spectacle saw what had happened, they returned home beating their breasts;  but all his acquaintances stood at a distance, including the women who had followed him from Galilee and saw these events. 

Now there was a virtuous and righteous man named Joseph who, though he was a member of the council,  had not consented to their plan of action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea and was awaiting the kingdom of God.  He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.  After he had taken the body down, he wrapped it in a linen cloth and laid him in a rock-hewn tomb in which no one had yet been buried. 

It was the day of preparation, and the sabbath was about to begin.  The women who had come from Galilee with him followed behind, and when they had seen the tomb and the way in which his body was laid in it,  they returned and prepared spices and perfumed oils. Then they rested on the sabbath according to the commandment.