Πέμπτη, 17 Ιανουαρίου 2013

marilena: TENS OF MILLIONS GATHER AT INDIA'S MAHA KUMBH MELA...

marilena: TENS OF MILLIONS GATHER AT INDIA'S MAHA KUMBH MELA...: In Allahabad, northern India, a megacity of millions is sprouting up at the confluence of the Yamuna and Ganges rivers. For millennia, Hi...

TENS OF MILLIONS GATHER AT INDIA'S MAHA KUMBH MELA

Tens of Millions Gather at India’s Maha Kumbh Mela

In Allahabad, northern India, a megacity of millions is sprouting up at the confluence of the Yamuna and Ganges rivers. For millennia, Hindu devotees have flocked to these holy banks to participate in a ritual cleansing known as the Kumbh Mela; this year’s Maha Kumbh Mela is a particularly auspicious iteration in cycles of these pilgrimages, which occur four times every 12 years. In 2001, nearly 70 million flocked to the Ganges’ shores here.
Tens of Millions Gather at India’s Maha Kumbh Mela

Read more: http://world.time.com/2013/01/15/tens-of-millions-gather-at-indias-maha-kumbh-mela/#ixzz2IGCioW8I


Tens of Millions Gather at India’s Maha Kumbh Mela

Tens of Millions Gather at India’s Maha Kumbh Mela

Tens of Millions Gather at India’s Maha Kumbh Mela

TIME PHOTOS

marilena: How's your economic mood?

marilena: How's your economic mood?: http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2013/davos/mood-map?hpt=us_t3 cnn

How's your economic mood?

marilena: Germany to bring home its gold by 2020

marilena: Germany to bring home its gold by 2020: Employees of the Bundesbank, Germany's central bank, stack gold bars for a news conference in Frankfurt.  ( Frank Rumpenhorst / EPA  /  Ja...

Germany to bring home its gold by 2020

German gold
Employees of the Bundesbank, Germany's central bank, stack gold bars for a news conference in Frankfurt. (Frank Rumpenhorst / EPA / January 16, 2013)


BERLIN -- Germany's central bank announced Wednesday that it would reverse a decades-old policy of storing gold abroad and reclaim $36 billion of bullion from New York and Paris to ensure that half of the country's reserves were on home soil by 2020.
About 674 metric tons of gold -- sent abroad to keep it out of the reach of the Soviet Union during the Cold War -- is to be "repatriated" and deposited in the Bundesbank's vaults in Frankfurt. The move would eliminate Germany's gold reserves in Paris and reduce those in New York, but would leave its bullion in London untouched.
"The two most important functions of gold reserves are to build domestic confidence and to ensure the option that the gold can be quickly exchanged into foreign currency," Carl-Ludwig Thiele, a board member of the Bundesbank, told reporters Wednesday.
Thiele said the move had nothing to do with the reliability of Germany's allies in storing the gold. Rather, he said, it was no longer necessary to maintain reserves in Paris now that France and Germany share a common currency, the euro.
The shift in strategy comes on the heels of a critical report from Germany's Court of Auditors in October calling for more stringent oversight of the country’s gold reserves. The report said the Bundesbank should verify that Germany's gold is still accounted for in foreign vaults.
Some politicians seized on the report as an opportunity to criticize the Bundesbank's policy of storing gold abroad and demanded that all its reserves be shipped back home. When Thiele was summoned to explain the policy to the German parliament last year, he said that the Bundesbank had more pressing problems.
Wednesday's announcement signaled that the Bundesbank had acceded to lawmakers' demands.
In total, the Bundesbank has 3,391 metric tons of gold reserves, worth about $182 billion. Only the United States keeps more gold on hand.
Germany built up its gold reserves during its postwar economic boom, when exports were booming. The world was still on the gold standard then, and Germany traded in its dollars for gold.
When the gold standard came to an end in 1971, most countries slowly dissolved their reserves. Germany, however, held on to the precious metal, but shipped much of it abroad to keep it safe from the Soviet Union.
Now that the Cold War has ended, Germany no longer needs to keep its gold "as far from the Iron Curtain as possible," Thiele said.
Los Angeles times

Τρίτη, 15 Ιανουαρίου 2013

marilena: Dolce and Gabbana Become Billionaires Amid Global ...

marilena: Dolce and Gabbana Become Billionaires Amid Global ...: Designers Stefano Gabbana, left, and Domenico Dolce attend the Dolce&Gabbana and Martini gold Dance Art Garage party in Moscow. A su...

Dolce and Gabbana Become Billionaires Amid Global Spending Spree



Designers Stefano Gabbana, left, and Domenico Dolce attend the Dolce&Gabbana and Martini gold Dance Art Garage party in Moscow.
A surge in global demand for luxury goods and clothing has unveiled three Italian billionaires as valuations of the world’s best-known fashion brands soar.
Domenico Dolce, 54, and Stefano Gabbana, 50, the co- founders of Dolce & Gabbana Srl, the Milan-based fashion retailer whose Plumeti Tulle and Lace prom dresses sell for about $4,000, have joined the ranks of the world’s richest, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Sandro Veronesi, the 53-year-old owner of closely held Calzedonia Group, the retail franchise that sells bras, bikinis and briefs through its Intimissimi and Tezenis brands, has also amassed a 10-figure fortune.
“They are in two completely different market segments,” Carlo Pambianco, founder of Milan-based fashion consultancy Pambianco, said by phone. “Both are among the most valuable unquoted fashion companies in Italy.”
Growing global consuming spending has fueled a bull market for fashion retail companies. Shares of Italy’s Prada SpA more than doubled in 2012. New York-based Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. shares were up 87.3 percent during the year, and Germany’s Hugo Boss AG rose 44.5 percent.

'Consuming Class’

Fashion billionaires are benefiting from what New York- based consultancy McKinsey & Co. calls the “rise of the consuming class.” According to an October 2012 luxury goods report from Boston-based Bain & Co., global sales of apparel, accessories, cosmetics and fragrances expanded by 10 percent in 2012 to $275 billion, the third straight year sales grew by at least 10 percent.
“There’s solid momentum in the sector driven by strong demand out of the newer markets,” said David Wu, a luxury goods analyst at Telsey Advisory Group in New York. “China continues to be a huge growth opportunity and more attention is being paid to Brazil and India especially.”
At least four other fashion billionaires have been created in the past 12 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. None have appeared on an international wealth ranking.
Among them: Spain’s Sandra Ortega-Mera, the 44-year-old daughter of Amancio Ortega, the founder of the Zara chain and the world’s third-richest man; Tory Burch, 46, the co-founder of New York-based shoe and handbag-maker Tory Burch LLC; and Prada executives Marina Prada and Alberto Prada Bianchi.

Arnault, Pinault

Dolce & Gabbana is valued at $5.3 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, applying the 1.1 billion euros ($1.5 billion) revenue in 2011 as reported by the company to the average enterprise value-to-earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization and price-to-earnings multiples of four publicly traded peers: London-based Burberry Group Plc (BRBY), New York’s Ralph Lauren Corp., Prada and Hugo Boss. Enterprise value is defined as market capitalization plus total debt minus cash.
Dolce, who is D&G’s chairman, owns a 41.8 percent stake in the company, filings with the Italian Chamber of Commerce show, giving him a net worth of at least $2.2 billion. Gabbana, who is president, controls a 40 percent stake valued at $2.1 billion.
The remainder of the company is held by Dolce’s siblings, Alfonso and Dorotea, according to Orbis, a database of company information published by Bureau van Dijk. Paola Locati, a Dolce & Gabbana spokeswoman, said they declined to comment on the net worth estimates.
“Freedom means not having anything that forces you to do what you don’t want to do,” Dolce said in a 2005 interview with Time magazine explaining their persistent refusal to sell out to suitors including Bernard Arnault’s LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (MC), the world’s largest luxury-goods company, and the Gucci Group, owned by Francois Pinault’s PPR SA. (PP)

Milan Nightclub

Dolce and Gabbana met in a Milan nightclub. Their designs first appeared on Milan’s fashion show catwalks in 1985. The billionaires, who were romantically involved for about 20 years, became embroiled in a court battle over charges of tax evasion in 2007.
The designers are accused by Italian prosecutors of selling their clothing brands to their wholly-owned Luxembourg-based holding company, Gado, for less than a third of their market value, each avoiding more than 416 million euros ($540 million) in taxes.
Both have denied the charges. Gabbana threatened to leave the country in a Twitter post last November. Their trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 30.
Such distractions have done little to derail their product line, which is known for edgy designs and luxury pricing, according to Pambianco. Its dresses, leather goods and perfumes are sold at 251 Dolce and Gabbana outlets and other retail stores worldwide.
“They always are provocative in some way or other,” he said. “They are completely different from Armani which is much more restrained.”

Democratic Underwear

Calzedonia’s business model takes the opposite approach, selling low-priced lingerie and swim-wear through a network of 3,200 owned and franchised stores in Europe. Veronesi founded the company in 1986 to sell stockings, before expanding into underwear with Intimissimi in 1996, and Tezenis in 2003.
Veronesi’s 85 percent control of Calzedonia is valued at $1.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg ranking, based on the average enterprise value-to-Ebitda and price-to-earnings multiples of two publicly traded peers: Columbus, Ohio-based Limited Brands Inc. (LTD), the owner of Victoria’s Secret, and La Senza brands.
Calzedonia declined to comment on Veronesi’s net worth estimate.

Strict Controls

Calzedonia maintains strict controls over its brands and product lines, keeping each focused on targeted consumers. Tezenis focuses on younger consumers, while the Calzedonia chain sells stockings and socks. Veronesi acquired knitwear label Falconeri in 2009, adding jumpers and jackets to the range.
Veronesi has said Calzedonia’s will grow in northern Europe and the Middle East before expanding in Asia and the U.S.
“We focus on Europe, because although we are very strong in Southern and Eastern Europe, we have little presence in the North,” Veronesi told Italian fashion magazine Moda24 last year.
To contact the reporters on this story: Tom Metcalf in London at tmetcalf7@bloomberg.net; Zohair Siraj in New York at zsiraj1@bloomberg.net
bloomberg


marilena: Teachers-only gun training

marilena: Teachers-only gun training: http://www.reuters.com/news/pictures/slideshow?articleId=USRTR3CGH2 reuters

Teachers-only gun training

marilena: Pope's secretary "Gorgeous George" on Vanity Fair ...

marilena: Pope's secretary "Gorgeous George" on Vanity Fair ...: ( Reuters ) - Archbishop Georg Ganswein, Pope Benedict's private secretary, who has been dubbed "Gorgeous George" by the Italian media...

Pope's secretary "Gorgeous George" on Vanity Fair cover


A cover of Italy's Vanity Fair magazine shows Archbishop Georg Ganswein on cover in this handout picture released by the Vanity Fair press office on January 15, 2013. REUTERS/Vanity Fair press office


(Reuters) - Archbishop Georg Ganswein, Pope Benedict's private secretary, who has been dubbed "Gorgeous George" by the Italian media, is now a real-life cover boy.


The prelate has landed on the cover of Vanity Fair.
The cover on the Italian edition of the magazine shows the 56-year-old archbishop smiling, his blue eyes beaming, above a headline that reads "Father Georg - It's not a sin to be beautiful."
The magazine calls Ganswein "The George Clooney of St Peter's" and says it dedicated a cover story to honor his recent promotion to the rank of archbishop and as recognition of his growing power in the Roman Catholic Church.
A spokeswoman for the magazine said Ganswein was not interviewed for the article and did not pose for the cover photo, which she said was a close-up of an existing picture.
Ganswein, who has been Benedict's personal secretary since the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected Roman Catholic leader in 2005, was elevated to the rank of archbishop earlier this month.
A German like the pope, he was also promoted to the job of Prefect of the Pontifical Household, a position that will significantly increase his power as the pope gets older and frailer.
As prefect, Ganswein - already one of the most recognizable and powerful figures in the papal court - will arrange all the pope's private and public audiences and his daily schedule.
And, because he will be keeping his job as chief private secretary, he will have even more power in deciding who has access to the 85-year-old pope.
Vanity Fair said the article about Ganswein was a "close up profile of a particular monsignor". The magazine goes on sale on Wednesday.
(Reporting By Philip Pullella, editing by Paul Casciato)
reuters