This empirical paper investigates the relevance of long-run risks associated with uncertainty shocks to future growth prospects (news about future prospects) for explaining the risk-pricing of oil stocks. An econometric method that incorporates dynamic factor analysis is used for estimating the pricing equation of oil stocks. The results indicate that oil investors care about long-run risks associated with future growth prospects. Long-run risks account for almost half of the total risk-premium of oil stocks. Long-run risks associated with future growth prospects are significantly shaped by latent factors related to the labor market, the price indices, and financial markets. Moreover, our estimated model captures some historical events including the oil crisis of the seventies, the economic crisis of the mid-eighties, the stock market crash of 1987, and the economic crises of 1998 and 2000.
Contributors:Daniel Paul Scheitrum, Colin A. Carter, Amy Myers Jaffe
The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) was established in 1975 to mitigate major oil supply disruptions and to deter the use of energy as a geopolitical “weapon.” However, policies towards the utilization of strategic oil stocks have varied under different presidencies and the SPR has often not been used in sufficient quantity or soon enough to avoid the negative economic consequences that can follow oil supply outages. Economic theory suggests that the existence of public stockpiles of commodities will alter inventory management practices of private market participants. This paper models private crude oil storage in the United States and estimates the private storage response to presidential announcements regarding the SPR. We investigate the incidence of different kinds of announcement events including releases and test sales from the SPR, announced changes in fill rates, and changes of presidency and how these events impact private land-based storage in the United States by region (PADD) as well floating storage. We find significant substitution between private and public stocks for crude oil and find that announcement events are associated with observable changes in private inventory levels, with implications for public policy choices and geopolitical strategies.
Contributors:Xiaofeng Zhu, Heung-Il Suk, Li Wang, Seong-Whan Lee, Dinggang Shen
In this paper, we focus on joint regression and classification for Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis and propose a new feature selection method by embedding the relational information inherent in the observations into a sparse multi-task learning framework. Specifically, the relational information includes three kinds of relationships (such as feature-feature relation, response–response relation, and sample-sample relation), for preserving three kinds of the similarity, such as for the features, the response variables, and the samples, respectively. To conduct feature selection, we first formulate the objective function by imposing these three relational characteristics along with an ℓ2,1-norm regularization term, and further propose a computationally efficient algorithm to optimize the proposed objective function. With the dimension-reduced data, we train two support vector regression models to predict the clinical scores of ADAS-Cog and MMSE, respectively, and also a support vector classification model to determine the clinical label. We conducted extensive experiments on the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) dataset to validate the effectiveness of the proposed method. Our experimental results showed the efficacy of the proposed method in enhancing the performances of both clinical scores prediction and disease status identification, compared to the state-of-the-art methods.
Contributors:Ayman M.A. Omar, Tomasz Piotr Wisniewski, Sandra Nolte
This paper investigates the behavior of crude oil prices, government bonds, and stock market indices around outbreaks of severe international crises and wars. Using a constant mean return event study, we show that these events are associated with positive and significant abnormal returns on oil and bonds, which means that these two asset classes can potentially shelter shareholders from plummeting equity values during international crises. A formal safe haven analysis confirms this insight. Such price movements may reflect a reallocation of funds across asset classes in response to the events, as well as shifts in the demand for oil due to precautionary, speculative, and military motives. We also calculate the weights for optimal portfolios, which could provide insurance against conflict risk.
Contributors:Deepa Dhume Datta, Juan M. Londono, Landon J. Ross
We investigate the informational content of options-implied probability density functions (PDFs) for the future price of oil. Using a semiparametric variant of the methodology in Breeden and Litzenberger (1978), we investigate the fit and smoothness of distributions derived from alternative PDF estimation methods, and develop a set of robust summary statistics. Using PDFs estimated around episodes of high geopolitical tensions, oil supply disruptions, macroeconomic data releases, and shifts in OPEC production strategy, we explore the extent to which oil price movements are expected or unexpected, and whether agents believe these movements to be persistent or temporary.
Contributors:Ana María Herrera, Mohamad B. Karaki, Sandeep Kumar Rangaraju
In this paper, we estimate a factor augmented vector autoregressive (FAVAR) model to investigate the effect of oil price shocks on total private job flows as well as on industry-level job creation and destruction. Following an unexpected oil price drop in the first year, we find that in oil and gas extraction and support activities for mining exhibit a reduction in job creation and an increase in job destruction. Instead, industries in construction, manufacturing and services exhibit an increase in the net employment change. An unexpected decline in the real oil price slows down the pace of gross job reallocation. We demonstrate that the increase (decrease) in private job destruction (creation) observed during the first year is primarily driven by the response of closing (expanding) firms in services and manufacturing.
Organophosphorus nerve agents, like VX, are highly toxic due to their strong inhibition potency against acetylcholinesterase (AChE). AChE inhibited by VX can be reactivated using powerful nucleophilic molecules, most commonly oximes, which are one major component of the emergency treatment in case of nerve agent intoxication. We present here a comparative in vivo study on Swiss mice of four reactivators: HI-6, pralidoxime and two uncharged derivatives of 3-hydroxy-2-pyridinaldoxime that should more easily cross the blood-brain barrier and display a significant central nervous system activity. The reactivability kinetic profile of the oximes is established following intraperitoneal injection in healthy mice, using an original and fast enzymatic method based on the reactivation potential of oxime-containing plasma samples. HI-6 displays the highest reactivation potential whatever the conditions, followed by pralidoxime and the two non quaternary reactivators at the dose of 50 mg/kg bw. But these three last reactivators display equivalent reactivation potential at the same dose of 100 μmol/kg bw. Maximal reactivation potential closely correlates to surviving test results of VX intoxicated mice.
Due to their small size, nanoparticles possess unique properties. Cerium oxide nanoparticles have been already studied for their capacity to adsorb and neutralize toxic compounds including organophosphates. By covalently grafting these nanoparticles to a thickening polymer, their potential aggregation resulting in a loss of surface area and their potential toxicity are avoided. Indeed, copolymers easily form gels in water at neutral pH thanks to low interactions occurring between polymeric chains; thus, gels can be spread on membrane supports to afford protective barriers. However, as we demonstrated previously, a formulation step of these hydride nanoparticle-polymeric compounds is necessary to overcome the cracking of the coating during drying. This work reports the impact of many factors on the efficiency of a new active Topical Skin Protectant (aTSP) including: (1) the presence of CeO2 nanoparticles in the protective coating and their amount, (2) their grafting to a perfluorocarbon thickening polymer and (3) the formulation of the CeO2 nanoparticle-grafted polymer. The combination of all the benefit parameters led to a very effective new aTSP against paraoxon penetration. The major in vitro diffusion studies were performed in Franz-type diffusion cells on two artificial membranes (silicone and Strat-M) and final validation on ex vivo human skin. The comparison of 24 h-exposure between membrane results indicated a difference in the behavior between the two artificial supports and the biological model; Strat-M membranes seeming closer to human skin results. Therefore, positive results regarding occlusive conditions should be confirmed with human skin.
Contributors:M.J.A. Joosen, R.M. van den Berg, A.L. de Jong, M.J. van der Schans, D. Noort, J.P. Langenberg
The main goal of the present study was to obtain insight into depot formation and penetration following percutaneous VX poisoning, in order to identify an appropriate decontamination window that can enhance or support medical countermeasures.
Contributors:Christian E. Demeure, Anne Derbise, Elisabeth Carniel
Yersinia pestis, the agent of plague, is among the deadliest bacterial pathogens affecting humans, and is a potential biological weapon. Because antibiotic resistant strains of Yersinia pestis have been observed or could be engineered for evil use, vaccination against plague might become the only means to reduce mortality. Although plague is re-emerging in many countries, a vaccine with worldwide license is currently lacking. The vaccine strategy described here is based on an oral vaccination with an attenuated strain of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Indeed, this species is genetically almost identical to Y. pestis, but has a much lower pathogenicity and a higher genomic stability. Gradual modifications of the wild-type Yersinia pseudotuberculosis strain IP32953 were performed to generate a safe and immunogenic vaccine. Genes coding for three essential virulence factors were deleted from this strain. To increase cross-species immunogenicity, an F1-encapsulated Y. pseudotuberculosis strain was then generated. For this, the Y. pestis caf operon, which encodes F1, was inserted first on a plasmid, and subsequently into the chromosome. The successive steps achieved to reach maximal vaccine potential are described, and how each step affected bacterial virulence and the development of a protective immune response is discussed. The final version of the vaccine, named VTnF1, provides a highly efficient and long-lasting protection against both bubonic and pneumonic plague after a single oral vaccine dose. Since a Y. pestis strain deprived of F1 exist or could be engineered, we also analyzed the protection conferred by the vaccine against such strain and found that it also confers full protection against the two forms of plague. Thus, the properties of VTnF1 makes it one of the most efficient candidate vaccine for mass vaccination in tropical endemic areas as well as for populations exposed to bioterrorism.