|Examining banks’ loan exposure backed by residential real estate|
MSN published a Vancouver Sun article quoting Thomas Davidoff, a UBC economist, about Canadian banks’ exposure to loans backed by residential real estate.
An analyst looked at all six major Canadian banks and found that exposure to loans supported by residential real estate was $1.1 trillion at the end of April 2016.
Loans made by Canadian banks, all together, to residential real estate mortgages account for about 47 per cent of their total, and just over half of those are uninsured.
“Residential mortgages are a huge part of the financial economy,” Davidoff said. “In a downturn, at minimum, many lenders lose a source of profits and could lose money servicing and taking losses on defaults.
|Female CEOs and senators disproportionately blond|
Slate reported on research by Jennifer Berdahl and Natalya Alonso, professors at UBC’s Sauder School of Business.
The researchers found that two per cent of the global population and five per cent of white people in the U.S. have blonde hair, but 35 per cent of female U.S. senators and 48 percent of female CEOs at S&P 500 companies are blonde.
|THC effects include sluggish behaviour|
The International Business Times reported on UBC research that found THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, makes rats less likely to exert the cognitive effort needed for tough tasks.
“Perhaps unsurprisingly, we found that when we gave THC to these rats, they basically became cognitively lazy,” said Mason Silveira, the study’s lead author and a PhD candidate in UBC’s department of psychology. “What’s interesting, however, is that their ability to do the difficult challenge was unaffected by THC. The rats could still do the task— they just didn’t want to.”
|World’s tallest timber tower topped off|
Treehugger reported on UBC’s timber tower which was completed ahead of schedule.
The 18-storey building is made of glue-laminated wood columns supporting cross-laminated timber floors. The final wood panel was installed on Aug. 9 and the last glue laminated column was installed on Aug. 12.
“Construction just went really smoothly,” said John Metras, the managing director of UBC Infrastructure. “It was well designed and the construction sequence went smoothly.”
|Parents should ease up on war against bacteria|
|Globe and Mail|
Work by UBC microbiologists Brett Finlay and Marie-Claire Arrieta was featured in the Globe and Mail.
The scientist urge parents to ease up on their fight against bacteria since early exposure can help young immune systems learn to combat disease.
“Playing in a sandbox is okay,” Finlay said, adding that parents need to operate within some reason. “You don’t want them licking the floor of a major subway station.”
|Rising rent prices in Canada remain tough to clearly track|
Yahoo Finance quoted Thomas Davidoff, a UBC economist, for a story on rising rents in Vancouver.
Vancouver rents jumped 15 per cent from April to August this year, according to rental data collected from Craigslist by Davidoff.
“On an annualized basis, I’m finding rents are going up since March,” Davidoff said.
The article reported that Davidoff’s finding conflict with those on Padmapper, a site that aggregates rental listings from more sites including Craigslist, ViewIt and Kijiji. Some possible reasons for the discrepancy include a lack of cohesive data and the building of new condos.
|Luxury cruise ship heads to Arctic, no environmental review|
Radio Canada quoted Michael Byers, a UBC professor and Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law, for a story on luxury cruise ship travelling through the Arctic.
The liner Crystal Serenity began the voyage from Alaska on Aug. 16 and is now about halfway through the trip.
”When I think about the prospect of dozens of large cruise ships sailing through the Canadian Arctic each summer, I worry. I worry about the impact of a possible oil spill. I worry about the impact of ship noise on marine mammals like whales and walrus,” he said.
|Sex education should call body parts by their names|
|Globe and Mail|
The Globe and Mail published an op-ed by Lori Brotto, a UBC professor of gynaecology, on the need for school-based sexual health education to include the scientific names for our body parts.
“By referring to genital anatomy by anything but their proper terms, we are implicitly communicating to children that those parts should not be talked about. The negative implications of this can include a general embarrassment about sexuality that produces barriers for healthy sex-related communication in the long-term,” she wrote.
|Gold medal should be end goal for climate race|
The Vancouver Sun published an op-ed by James Tansey, the executive director of UBC’s Centre for Social Innovation and Impact Investing at the Sauder School of Business.
Tansey, who served on the advisory panel for the province’s Climate Leadership Plan, said one problem with the 37 recommendations that informed the plan is that some will not have much impact.
“The plan to reduce emissions through improved forestry certainly makes sense in a jurisdiction with a vast land base and upstream regulation of natural gas emissions also makes sense. Both policies will have a significant impact on emissions. But otherwise there is little that is new or ambitious about the plan,” he wrote.
|Can developing nations lead movement towards climate solutions?|
CBC featured an upcoming UBC Dialogue program with moderator and CBC digital journalist Lisa Johnson.
The program, taking place Sept. 19, will dig into the challenges and opportunities facing less developed countries in the coming years.
|One-on-one with UBC President Santa Ono|
UBC President Santa Ono discussed a range of topics in an in-depth interview with Global BC. Ono expressed optimism in UBC’s future, notwithstanding recent issues. He emphasized plans to involve the whole campus in shaping UBC’s future.
“We will be leading ideation and strategic vision stage in the next few months, where we talk about our collective vision for the university and produce a document which will be a strategic plan from which many decision and resource allocations will flow,” said Ono.
|Metro house sales plummet after offshore tax introduced|
Tsur Somerville, a UBC real estate economist spoke to the Vancouver Sun for a story on dropping home sales in Metro Vancouver.
Official MLS data available only to realtors showed that home sales in Metro Vancouver declined by up to 86 per cent after the foreign investor tax was introduced earlier this month.
UBC real estate economist Tsur Somerville said he believes that the offshore buyer tax slowed sales, but warns against reading too much into August statistics.
“It was a dramatic intervention,” Somerville said. “Part of that could be the foreign buyers (exiting the market) but more critically I think it is people saying ‘I don’t know where this is going, let me wait it out.’ So that would cause a drying up in market liquidity in August.”
The story also appeared in the Ottawa Citizen.
|Vancouver readies to host inaugural Americas Masters Games|
|Business in Vancouver|
Business in Vancouver featured the inaugural Americas Masters Games, a 22-sport event that is expected to attract more than 10,000 people, including more than 5,000 athletes over age 30.
UBC will host many of the events including baseball at the UBC Thunderbird Park Baseball Field, and athletics at UBC’s Rashpal Dhillon Track & Field Oval.
|CBSA improperly schedules border staff|
|24 Hours Vancouver|
24 Hours Vancouver highlighted UBC research which found border line-ups could move up to 18 per cent faster if Canada Border Services Agency would schedule shifts to anticipate traffic demand.
Sauder School of Business operations and logistics professors Yichuan Ding and Robin Lindsey and former UBC exchange student Yinyu Ye determined that current staff shifting was reactive to long line-ups rather than proactive.
“We came up with what we consider substantial benefits, a nearly 18 per cent reduction in waiting time. If you add this up over the months and years and the people — it’s 3,000 to 5,000 people coming across the border every day. The potential benefits are very large,” Lindsey said.
|Japanese sister city visits the city of sails|
Kelowna Now reported on a group of officials from Chubu University who visited UBC’s Okanagan campus.
The universities are building a “sibling relationship” as the professor and students toured the university and popular spots in the city of Kelowna.
“Our visitors were particularly interested in the innovative research happening at UBC Okanagan and we look forward to explore possible research partnerships with them in the future,” said Philip Barker, the university’s vice principal of research.
|Hollywood may help save dying languages|
|Kelowna Daily Courier|
Kelowna Daily Courier featured work by Christine Schreyer, an anthropology professor at UBC’s Okanagan campus.
Schreyer is an executive producer on an upcoming documentary about conlanging, which is the art of creating languages.
“This film, created by a really talented group of people, raises awareness about why conlanging is relevant in our society,” Schreyer said. “New languages are important since they are a fascinating way to explore the wide range of human creativity.”
The film’s director is the language consultant for Star Trek Into Darkness.
|Cross-genre novel sets werewolves in India|
The Calgary Herald featured a novel written by Indrapramit Das, an alumnus of UBC’s creative writing program.
The Devourers is a cross-genre literary fantasy novel exploring the migratory journeys of immortal shapeshifters.
The first draft of the book was written as Das’ thesis.
|T-Birds prepare to defend their Vanier Cup title|
The Province reported on the high expectations for the UBC Thunderbirds football team.
Last season the team closed out their schedule with eight straight victories capped off by the school’s first national championship in 18 years.
“When you are the Edmonton Eskimos of the 1970s and you win every year, you know how to come back and be ready,” said head coach Blake Nill. “This team has never done that. So we’re working on skill sets associated with grounding the kids. They need to realize that this season is going to be even more complex.”
The story also appeared in the Ottawa Citizen and the Vancouver Sun.
|UBC men’s team rebuilds with Surrey United talent|
Mike Mosher, the UBC men’s soccer team coach, spoke to Surrey Now about the large number of athletes on his team who are products of Surrey’s soccer organization.
On a roster of about 25 to 30 players there will be 11 players from Surrey United this season.
“It’s just the way it’s shaken down over the last three years,” Mosher said. “They (at Surrey United) have had very strong under-17 and under-18 teams, with players who we recruited, and it’s been a good fit for some of them, both athletically and academically.”