Technical debt

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  • “If you work in technology, you’re probably familiar with terms like ‘technical debt.’ The metaphor seems easy, but using it to influence change can be remarkably hard. To do that, you’re going to want to present options to decision makers, backed up by evidence. I’ve been impressed watching Chris Sterling research and refine his work in just this area for several years, and I’m pleased to see him release it as a book.

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  • Shipping imperfect software is like going into debt. When you incur debt, the illusion of doing things faster can lead to exponential growth in the cost of maintaining software. Software debt takes five major forms: technical, quality, configuration management, design, and platform experience. In today’s rush to market, software debt is inevitable. And that’s okay—if you’re careful about the debt you incur, and if you quickly pay it back.

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  • In any given software developer's career, there are many different things they need to create. Of the software they need to create, given time constraints and resources, it's almost impossible for them to perform the research involved to produce everything correctly from scratch.

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  • Private investors may need to isolate their cash flows to debt , usually only a single mortgage, from the cash flows to equity, usually their savings. Private investors may need this information to record any shortfall between rent received and loan interest, for personal income tax measurement.

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  • The authorities have reached consensus on the way forward for a Debt Resolution Strategy with Cabinet approval of the Zimbabwe Accelerated Arrears Clearance, Debt and Development Strategy (ZAADDS) in 2010.

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  • This demand feature bridges the gap between borrowers and lenders. It allows governments to issue the long-term bonds they prefer, while making that debt eligible for purchase by money funds that must invest in short-term securities. Sound like the SIVs we discussed earlier? VRDNs are like SIVs in many respects, but with some key differences. First, there is generally less concern about the credit quality of the bonds in a VRDN than the securities held in a SIV—governments are usually pretty good payers.

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  • Income tax rates are at the center of many recent policy debates over taxes. Some policymakers argue that raising tax rates, especially on higher income taxpayers, to increase tax revenues is part of the solution for long-term debt reduction. For example, in the 112th Congress the Senate passed the Middle Class Tax Cut (S. 3412), which would allow the 2001 and 2003 Bush-era tax cuts to expire for taxpayers with income over $250,000 ($200,000 for single taxpayers). Other policymakers argue that maintaining low tax rates is necessary to foster economic growth.

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  • As previously mentioned, preferred stocks are junior to the debt obligations of the company and senior to common equity. Figure 3 shows the priority of various security types in a typical capital structure. In this graph we scaled the order of priority by the average proportion of each security type for financial and non-financial firms in the S&P 500, in order to highlight not only the priority but also the different relative importance of each security type for financial versus non-financial firms. When a firm is liquidated, debt holders are paid first. If debt holders are...

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  • India’s government bond market has grown steadily—largely due to the need to finance the fiscal deficit—and is comparable to many government bond markets in emerging East Asia. At 36% of GDP, the Indian government debt market compares well with the markets of its neighbors (Figure 4). In absolute terms, however, given India’s greater overall size, the Indian government bond market is considerably larger than most other emerging East Asian markets (Table 2). The need to finance a large fiscal deficit has stimulated issuance and growth of the government bond market.

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  • For example, firms with non-executive directors that are also executive directors in other firms use, on average, significantly more debt (24% relative to 20%). In terms of employment, we find that firms with non-executive directors are significantly bigger. They have larger boards with, on average, 8.37 members as compared with 6.96 members in the other firms. They also have a significantly larger percentage of non-executive directors on the board, 57% as opposed to 51%. In terms of performance, ROE and ROS all show that firms that...

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  • We propose a solution that is similar to the “Brady Bonds,” used to prevent default in a number of Latin American countries. In the mid-1980s, Mexico and a number of other Latin American countries faced debt crises. In 1988, Mexico offered to exchange its debt obligations with new bonds that were collateralized by a thirty-year zero-coupon US Treasury bond. New bonds were issued by Mexico at market prices reflecting a discount of about 30% at which the old bonds were trading. Seventeen Latin American and other countries followed the initiative with similar plans.

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  • We are also concerned with the inclusion of market making activities within the ring-fence: market making activities provide a service for companies that need to hedge risk arising from their business activities. Furthermore, these activities provide services for governments issuing sovereign debt and banks issuing senior debt including covered bonds issued in order to fund lending to the real economy. Due to the difficulty of carrying out this definition, the Liikanen Group has opted to place into the ring-fence all the market making activities.

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  • My first debt in writing this book is to my father Dr. Alapati Appa Rao, who is responsible for my love for education and books. This book is a direct outcome of the early scholarly interest nurtured by him, as well as his support and encouragement for writing the Oracle 9i book, which is this book’s predecessor. John Watson, the Technical Reviewer for the book, did a superb job in not merely catching technical errors, but also in prodding me to explain several concepts clearly and accurately. I’ve gained immensely from John’s collaboration on this book....

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  • In general, the intrinsic value of an asset = the present value of the stream of expected cash flows discounted at an appropriate required rate of return. it’s like common stock - no fixed maturity. technically, it’s part of equity capital. it’s like debt - preferred dividends are fixed. missing a preferred dividend does not constitute default, but preferred dividends are cumulative.

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  • There is a choice of books on securitization, collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), and structured credit products. In fact, both of us have written other books on the subject. This book, however, was conceived as a short, handy and easy-to-comprehend guide to securitization, minus technical details. The idea originated while both of us were working on a comprehensive article on securitization: One which says it all in a limited space and serves as a curtain-raiser on the subject.

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  • The Bank, IMF and World Bank participated in a Government Forum organized in March 2011 to discuss the recently approved Strategy for Arrears Clearance. A major conclusion from the workshop was the importance of reaching agreement on a Staff Monitored Program with the IMF as a critical component of the path towards arrears clearance and debt relief and a grandfathering of Zimbabwe by the IDA Executive Board if it is to benefit from the HIPC Initiative.

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  • The government recognized most of its financial liabilities towards private depositors and committed itself to paying all the frozen deposits by 2011. Nevertheless, this law was, from the very beginning, full of technical and practical difficulties. It assumed the debt conversion into bonds on a voluntary basis. The bonds were issued in paper format and thus were liable to forgery and theft. The non-electronic format of bonds proved to be complicated for trading and clearing procedures as well.

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