Thursday, August 14, 2014

Modern Expression of Value: Art of Significance (Arnold Choi and Bonhams)

A 345 year old cello - originally constructed in 1669 - and has survived, not stored in a museum but for the last three years in the possession of renowned Canadian Cellist Arnold Choi - a dream com true for him.  The Stradivarius is quoted as been valued at $11MM.

A 1962 Ferrari GTO is an iconic machine to all Tifosi and automotive enthusiasts across the globe.  With very few original examples ever built, their sales are closely followed.  Recent sales have been rumored to have topped $50MM.  This particular example has been in the same ownership in Italy for almost 50yrs, and sold at Bonham's Quail Lodge Auction on Thursday, August 14th for $38MM.

<i>The Ex-Jo Schlesser/Henri Oreiller, Paolo Colombo, Ernesto Prinoth, Fabrizio Violati</i><br /><b>1962-63 FERRARI 250 GTO BERLINETTA</b><br />Chassis no. 3851GT<br />Engine no. 3851GT

These circumstances bring forward an interesting comparison.  From a value perspective, they are both considered (mostly) irreplaceable.  I feel that replacing 345yr old wood is almost impossible, isn't it?  The materials and engineering are in place to re-create the original car if it was ever damaged.  Re-creation GTO's generally have sold for a significant discount.  So in terms of ease of replacement and rareness, would it not seem logical for the price of the cello to be significantly more than the Ferrari.  They are equally cherished by their admirers, fans and those that are fortunate enough to interact directly.  Their advocates would each debate their superiority to extremes.  It highlights that the 'relative' value for art is what the next person will pay for it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Shell brings leading technology to offshore East Coast Canada (Shell)

Bringing Best Technology to Deep Water Exploration Offshore Canada

Published on 8 Aug 2014

Shell's Shelburne Basin Venture Exploration Project marks the first time 3D Wide Azimuth (WAZ) Seismic technology was used in Canada. This technology provides much clearer data in water depths of 1500 to 3500 metres, 250 to 350 kilometres offshore Nova Scotia. Shell used this new technology in an environmentally responsible way and is committed to offering employment opportunities to the local communities in Nova Scotia.

RIP ~ Robin Williams ~ thank you

I (and the family) generated many uncontrollable laughter and memorable moments with Robin Williams.  From my early days watching Mork and Mindy, to the movies and standup comedy.  At the Met.  Mrs. Doubtfire.  Good Morning Vietnam.  Most memorable and cherished experiences.  Live on robin - you are a special soul.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

WORLD ECONOMIC OUTLOOK (WEO) UPDATE ~ An Uneven Global Recovery Continues ~ July 2014

An Uneven Global Recovery Continues

July 2014

Download Full-Text PDF:

  1. The global growth projection for 2014 has been marked down by 0.3 percent to 3.4 percent, reflecting both the legacy of the weak first quarter, particularly in the United States, and a less optimistic outlook for several emerging markets. With somewhat stronger growth expected in some advanced economies next year, the global growth projection for 2015 remains at 4 percent.1/
  2. Global growth is expected to rebound from the second quarter of 2014, as some of the drivers underlying first quarter weakness, such as the inventory correction in the United States, should have only temporary effects, and others should be offset by policies, including in China. But the first-quarter setback will only be partially offset.
  3. Downside risks remain a concern. Increased geopolitical risks could lead to sharply higher oil prices. Financial market risks include higher-than-expected U.S. long-term rates and a reversal of recent risk spread and volatility compression. Global growth could be weaker for longer, given the lack of robust momentum in advanced economies despite very low interest rates and the easing of other brakes to the recovery. In some major emerging market economies, the negative growth effects of supply-side constraints and the tightening of financial conditions over the past year could be more protracted.
  4. In many advanced and emerging market economies, structural reforms are urgently needed to close infrastructure gaps, strengthen productivity, and lift potential growth.
Global growth moderated more than expected in the first quarter of 2014, from an annual rate of 3¾ percent in the second half of 2013 to 2¾ percent—some ½ percentage point lower than the forecast in the April 2014 World Economic Outlook (WEO). Although there were upside surprises to activity—in Japan, and also in Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom—four negative surprises dominated.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

VICE NEWS: The Rise of the Islamic State: ISIS (or is this just plain terrorism)

VICE has an unprecedented look at the establishment of the Islamic State - a five Part series.  I find the 'life' depicted in this series to be very unsettling.  The images of the teaching and coaching of very young children in acts of violence against humanity is reprehensible.  I understand that this is a very different culture, that their perspective is very different from a western perspective, and I should not expect to understand it.  However, I cannot accept the principles of this culture, a passionate hate culture.  I cannot see this leading to good things.