Europe to help finance Lithuanian LNG

“This investment is critical for Lithuania to diversify and secure its energy supply as well as provide backup in the event of gas supply failures,” the EIB said in a statement. Lithuania and other Eastern European countries are trying to add more diversity to an energy sector dominated by Russia. EIB Vice President Pim van Ballekom said the project would help ensure a sustained supply of natural gas for energy and increase competition in the country’s energy sector. The LNG facility will include about 10 miles of pipeline that will connect the terminal to the Lithuanian natural gas grid. “The LNG terminal in Klaipeda is a critical component of Lithuania’s energy strategy as it is the alternative solution for gas diversification in the short term,” Lithuanian Minister of Energy Jaroslav Neverovic said.

Progress on Housing Finance Reform

A fundamental change in this situation requires Congressional action, which is always difficult in our divided political system. Even so, legislation introduced recently by a bipartisan group of eight senators led by Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, and Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, has focused renewed attention on housing finance reform. Todays Economist Perspectives from expert contributors. I was among the many people providing technical advice to the group working on the Corker-Warner proposal and think there is much to like in it. The legislation includes the essential elements of housing finance reform: a dominant role for private capital; considerable protection for taxpayers against future bailouts; a secondary government backstop to ensure stability; competition and entry by new firms into housing finance so that no future entity is too big to fail; a clear delineation of the roles of private firms and the government; an empowered regulator to ensure that loan quality remains high for guaranteed mortgages; and support for activities related to affordable housing. A paper I wrote with Ellen Seidman , Sarah Rosen Wartell , and Mark Zandi has a proposal similar in many respects to the Corker-Warner bill.

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