Category Archives: Debt Consolidation

Gianfranco Ferré. In another light: Jewelery and Ornaments of Turin

For Ferré, ornament has always been a passion, linked in an inseparable way to fashion collections and the result of a passionate and often innovative approach, never less than that reserved for dress. As the curator of the exhibition Francesca Alfano Miglietti emphasizes: “Ferré builds a free zone within a world of reference, processing each object in the wake of a system of general classification of concepts that become objects. And so shiny stones, enamelled metals, polished shells, painted woods, Murano glass, retro ceramics, Swarovski crystals, and even wood and leather and iron and copper and bronze, in the succession of an enchanted horizon of brooches, necklaces, belts, rings , bracelets, jewelry. For Ferré, ornament is not the lesser of a precious child, but a concept of eternity that must represent the immanence of the present “.

The exhibited objects, created for fashion shows from 1980 to 2007, are told as a complement to the dress and its accessory but are exhibited together with some garments in which it is the jewel-matter to invent and build the dress, becoming its substance and soul . Also in this case the attention of Gianfranco Ferré to the materials is crucial, as an essential part of his research.

The exhibition project – designed by architect Franco Raggi – plays on the contrast between the Senate Hall of Palazzo Madama, an environment of immense architectural merit, and the minimalist and essential iron and glass structures of the exhibition, highlighting the imaginative beauty of the jewels designed by Ferré that seem to soar in the twilight.

NOTES OF GIANFRANCO FERRÉ FROM interviews, lectures and press folders of collections
“I believe that jewelery is the most immediate element to express a desire for innate, timeless beauty, as old as the history of humanity, rooted in our sensitivity because it is able to translate emotions and sensations into reality. In the past, the jewel has had extraordinary representative values, as a symbol of wealth, power, prestige, authority. Now it is above all a manifestation of personality. It is a means for self-representation. Like the dress and perhaps more than the dress “.

“… often the jewel is a complement of the garment and its accessory, sometimes even necessary, is an effect detail. In some cases, on the other hand, it is precisely the jewel-matter that inventes and builds the garment, becoming its substance and soul “.

“In my process of creative elaboration, even when applied to the jewel-object, there is a great passion for research. It is in my nature to start from the authentic preciousness, from the timeless appeal inherent in the reverberation of noble metals, into the enchanted reflections of the hard stones, into the magical glimmers of the purest crystal. It is a declaration of love, faithful and never forgotten, for all that is written in the DNA of authentic luxury.
This is accompanied by the taste, equally innate in me, for experimentation that is expressed, for example, in the reinterpretation of ‘poor’ materials, historically alien to the culture of jewelry, such as straw, raffia, wood, leather, the network. Or materials that are children of industrial culture, like the whole range of metals – from foundry iron, copper, bronze – or Plexiglas, resin, or even glass paste.
Materials, which for me are essential to give luxury a new connotation, more articulate and fluid, more nuanced, richer and more stimulating “.

“In the jewel, a world. Or better the world. Always the object of incommensurable symbolic value, for me the jewel makes an infinite number of references, references, glances to the most diverse realities, as real as oneiric from which I draw inspiration. In this I do not feel the slightest difference between ‘dreaming’ a dress or a jewel. Because the impulse to rediscover stimuli and suggestions in an infinitely heterogeneous horizon, devoid of temporal boundaries no less than spatial, is very similar “.

Rita Airaghi – Director of the Gianfranco Ferré Foundation

The exhibition aims to offer the public, for the first time ever, the vision of a specific aspect of the creativity and planning of Gianfranco Ferré – what concerns the jewel-object – with the clear and firm intention to underline how the stylist has always reserved special attention to it, in terms of research applied both to form and to matter and in terms of inspiration, with results that are almost always innovative and surprising. Not only that: the exhibition itself aims to demonstrate how even in the design of the ornament Ferré adheres strictly and coherently to the data that make up its educational background, related to architecture and design.

A second reason should be taken into consideration that reinforces the reason for the exhibition, linked in particular and even personal terms to the intense story of Gianfranco Ferré in the universe of creation. The event aims to be a fitting tribute at the beginning of its journey, which has its first stop exactly in the ornaments, in the bijoux and in the accessories. A departure motivated more by curiosity than by a conviction already established, more by the taste of manipulating the matter than by the determination to become a stylist, only reached several years later. And we know well how this first love has become a love of ever one of the leading protagonists of contemporary luxury and style.

A love, that of Ferré, for the jewel-ornament never confined to the background, the ornament immediately enters into symbiosis with clothing, one seems not to be able to do without the other, in an intertwining impossible to loose in terms of design and inspiration, experimentation and fascination. This shows the fidelity of a passion and an interest that is expressed on the basis of two postulates, a methodological one, an aesthetic-stylistic one, well attested by the objects on show. The first: like the dress, the jewel for Gianfranco Ferré is boundless terrain of confrontation with matter – in all its innumerable identities – and of innovation, of attempts and progress in its elaboration, which make one think of the experimental method affirmed by Galilei . The second: like the dress, the jewel dresses and decorates the body, emphasizes its key points, it acts as a link between the first and the second, is linked to the physicality of the human figure, almost it was part of it.

Starting from the assumptions following which Ferré faces the jewel it is inevitable that they can give life to real clothes, built as such to cover the whole body and overlap the silhouette until it is completely sculpted. Two different objects, one shared soul. The light that ignites the pure ornament, in short, is undoubtedly the same as the jewel-dress.

Testimony then of the work method of Gianfranco Ferré, the exhibition is inserted with consistency in the exhibition planning, in the logic and in the operational choices of the Fondazione Torino Musei, a reference area to which everyone, in the territory and beyond, watch with attention and appreciation . It is a place of culture, in which even the jewelry-ornaments of the designer can find a right place and exposure.
Shiny stones, enamelled metals, polished shells, painted woods, Murano glass, retro ceramics, Swarovski crystals, and even wood and leather and iron and copper and bronze, in the succession of an enchanted horizon of necklaces, bracelets, brooches: from classic to contemporary, from tradition to invention, every jewel-object of Gianfranco Ferré must represent its own time. For Ferré, ornament is not the lesser of a precious child, but a concept of eternity that must represent the immanence of the present.

The attitude of the stylist with respect to the ornaments is typical of the “storyteller”, of the builder of charms, of the inventor of relationships. An attitude that arises in the places of the project, a way of thinking about the idea, which saw one of the first steps in the IX Triennale di Milano, in 1951, dedicated to the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts, which sees for the first time, on display, the presence of the bijou. The main novelty factor of the IX Triennale is the confluence of the decorative arts towards design that represents the world of industrial production and the opening to international experiences.

The ornament of the female body, but also male, already appears in prehistoric times, up to be a recurring theme even in the texts that accompany the institutionalization of Christianity. All human groups make great use of personal ornaments of all kinds: necklaces, bracelets, earrings, ornaments for the head, made of seeds, feathers, shells, bone or ivory, stones, metals. In all cultures, the first elementary support for personal ornament forms is the body, subjected to manipulations of an aesthetic and symbolic nature. And ornaments are always considered shields and armor that perform the function of mark of honor: the helmet, the crown, the tiara, the miter, the ecclesiastical hats, the mantle, the pavilion, the crosses, the necklaces and the ribbons of the various orders of chivalry.

Gianfranco Ferré has chosen the path of the language of materials, the way of a form of creativity that chooses the ornament. Jewels-ornament, objects for the body. Decorations as an ancient ritual and perennial magic. Beauty as a value and as a rigor, in the construction of a kind of embedded signs, of fusions between body and object, a tribal and mystical encounter between light and opacity.

There is something inexpressible and irreducible in the passion of all the world’s cultures for the luminous stones and for the glitter of the facets, a conjunction between finite and infinite, in a dialogue between materials that collect and emit light and vibrations, containers of legends, sentimental encounters and stories. Objects that return the intensity of dreams, objects that conserve sunlight when the world is covered in darkness.

Gianfranco Ferré. In another light: Jewels and Ornaments
Palazzo Madama
Piazza Castello – 10122 Turin
From 12 October 2017 to 19 February 2018

Nationalized banking saves your accounts, presents benefits and sells your “crown jewels”

fter a 2012 in which the group of Spanish credit institutions presented losses of 50,000 million euros (according to data from the Bank of Spain itself), banking returned to the path of profits in 2013. Even the nationalized savings banks ( BFA-Bankia, CatalunyaCaixa and Novagalicia), which led the red numbers during the past year, are showing positive results . The three companies received direct aid for an amount of more than 43,000 million euros.

The financial sector recorded a joint loss of 50,000 million in 2012, according to the Bank of Spain The nationalized (CX and NCG just presented results) return to the numbers in black, although much of these results are due to “extraordinary benefits” obtained by the sale of participated companies or other divestments, as academics and analysts have pointed out to this newspaper. In total, the old savings banks, now controlled by the Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring (FROB), have earned at least 1,368 million euros from this sale of assets and other financial operations.

The problem is that these extraordinary results can only be obtained once, since entities no longer have those assets.These sales report capital and results – although they also sacrifice sources of dividends – in the short and medium term, but as long as the business and the recurrent (ordinary) results are not sufficiently recovered, we can not speak of a sustainable and healthy path of the banking and banking sector. each individual entity “, explains a Professor of Economics at the Complutense University of Madrid, who has preferred not to give his name.

The carry trade , another round business

Along with the non-recurring income from the sales of these non-strategic assets, the investment in public debt (the so-called carry trade ) has been another of the most profitable businesses for the entities . The operation is as follows: The banks obtained cheap, almost free, money from the ECB. With this, they bought sovereign debt from European countries such as Spain, while the risk premium was triggered. As a result, a clean and risk-free benefit via interest paid by the taxpayer . “The recovery of national public debt values ​​in 2013 accounted for 14% of total financial income,” as the analysts of the study service of La Caixa point out.

The technicians of La Caixa also indicate that the sale of this same public debt has yielded substantial profits to the bank in 2013. In particular, the “closing of positions”, now that the prices are higher, has generated more than 11,000 million euros. euros in income.

” The sector remains vulnerable, ” according to the rating agency Fitch, as toxic loans continue to rise and the interest rates with which entities lend continue “stubbornly high,” as they point out in their latest report on Spain, to which This newspaper has had access.

A margin of interest to the downside

The IMF recognizes that the result of the banks is being obtained with activities far from its traditional activity International authorities and analysts consulted by this newspaper point out that the apparent profitability shown by the Spanish banking system so far this year is far from being solid The International Monetary Fund (IMF) itself stated in its report reviewing the financial system in Spain that entities have increased their profits “with operations not related to their core business” , which leaves the real capacity to generate capital in the air. the usual activity of banks: capture deposits and lend money.

“The capacity to generate income with the traditional activity of the bank continues to be reduced “, point out the IMF inspectors, who also point to swaps of hybrid instruments (preferred and subordinated debt) as a source of extraordinary income. However, interest margins – the profit they get from borrowing and granting credit – have fallen due to the low rates imposed by the European Central Bank (ECB) and the closing of the tap on financing for families and businesses.

The Monetary Fund estimates that the generation of banking income will remain at low levels “until the economic recovery is more robust” . And is that a large part of the interest margins are still earmarked to provision assets on balance that continue to deteriorate (for example, delinquent loans, which continue to increase month by month, the default rate is already touching 13%). This same concern for the profitability of Spanish banks is maintained by analysts from international banks such as Danske Bank, which in its latest report speaks of a “high risk” in the sector.

This circumstance is especially hard for the nationalized entities, which as a whole suffer ratios of arrears above the average . Bankia, for example, registers a percentage of loans with at least three months of non-payment of 13.56%, according to the accounts of the third quarter. The three nationalized savings banks have had to provide more than 3,400 million euros , well above their net benefits. Even so, it has been precisely the reduction in the volume of provisions, another of the reasons why the accounts of the entities have presented better results in 2013.

The accounts, entity by entity

  • BFA-Bankia: The entity chaired by José Ignacio Goirigolzarri has obtained a net profit of 818 million euros in 2013 (that of the entire group, that of Bankia alone is reduced to 509 million). A good part of these results have been obtained thanks to the divestments, which have allowed a positive balance of 330 million. Among the crown jewels sold by BFA-Bankia are the participation in Indra, the financiers Finanmadrid and Inversis, and the City National Bank of Florida (CNBF) . According to statistics from the Bank of Spain itself, the entity has received a total public aid of 22,424 million euros so far.
  • CatalunyaCaixa (CX): The Catalan entity obtained between January and September a net result of 532 million euros , according to the accounts deposited with the CNMV. This benefit was achieved after allocating more than 650 million euros to cover losses and thanks to obtaining more than 563 million euros with “financial operations” such as preferential swaps and the sale of investees. CX has needed more than 12,052 million euros from the public treasury to recapitalize .
  • Novagalicia (NCG): The nationalized Galician bank resulting from the merger of Novacaixa and Caixa Galicia -recently sold to Venezuelan Banesco for 1,003 million- obtained a net profit of 18 million euros , after having allocated more than 1,309 million to provisions. NCG returned to the benefits, although it could not have done it without the more than 652 million obtained with financial operations (hybrid swaps and divestments). Among the “non-strategic” assets sold by the bank, there are 29 business shares (in Sacyr, Elecnor, NH Hoteles …) with which 222 million euros have been obtained, in addition to the sales of EVO Banco, 66 other offices of Banco Etcheverría. The entity has needed 8,981 million euros of public aid.

Mike and Edd, from Jewels on wheels’ “A Seat Ibiza is a classic because it evokes the past”

The drivers of ‘Jewels on wheels’: the mechanic Edd China (left) and the commercial Mike Brewer next to one of the pieces that have gone through the program.

Image result for edd china mike brewer

Eleven years ago they decided to enroll in a low-cost television project focused on their great passion: cars. Since then, Mike Brewer (expert in the sale of vehicles) and Edd China (mechanic) successfully drive the Jewel on Wheels space (Discovery MAX). With a docurreality format, the program has managed to catch a diverse audience with a fixed structure: the purchase of a second-hand vehicle (usually a modern classic) that they repair and then sell it to another bidder.

What does a car say of its owner?
Edd China (EC) : Many things, as many as dogs or shoes. Someone has a Ferrari because he wants others to know that he has been successful; A Volvo denotes that it is a practical person, who values ​​safety and order. There are parents who acquire sports models because they feel nostalgia for their youth …
Mike Brewer (MB) : And if you take good care of your car you can not be more than good people. If they have mistreated him, surely they are not!

And what do you think of the Spaniards after seeing their car park?
We have barely had time to see it. We can only say that they have treated us here with great affection and that we intend to return to look for a Seat Ibiza Mk 1.

United States is the paradise of car bargain hunters

The Seat Ibiza is very common in Spain. How would you convince your millions of drivers that it is a glamorous classic?
MB: A car becomes classic when it starts to bring you memories. Seat Ibiza Mk 1 is already a very old car and there are people who make that car smile and evoke the past.

Can any car with the passage of time become classic?
EC : It also happens with cars that are rare and even ugly. In England there was a car called Allegro whose aesthetics did not like anything, was even considered one of the worst manufactured vehicles in history. However, currently there are so few that have become a precious object. In short, the classics have to do with memories, passion and appearance.

Which country is the paradise of the buyers of automobile bargains?
U.S. They have sold billions of cars throughout history and continue to produce millions, so you can choose from a wide variety and it seems they never run out.

Related image

And the best car producer?
The country that makes the best cars in the world is Great Britain. It is the birthplace of the Bentleys, the Rolls-Royce and the Aston Martin. And today, at its plant in Sunderland (northeast of England) more Nissan are manufactured than in all Italy.

We do not argue loudly in front of the camera as they do in the US

Tell me what a perfect car should have.
A US V8 engine, the bonnet of a Citroën BX, the rear end of a Ferrari 250 GTO, Rolls-Royce fins and perforated wheels like those of the Lamborghini. Also, it would be convertible and we would have our wife sitting next to us with the sunglasses and the credit card.

Your program has been exported to many countries. What are the keys to your success?
MB: The main one is that the Jewel stars on wheels are the cars and not their presenters. We talk about mechanics, about details about the car, but not about ourselves. Neither Ed nor I argued loudly in front of the cameras as in some American formats. We are motor enthusiasts and that is why we believe that it interests the audience.
EC: It also has to do with the transformation, with the ‘how to do’ something. The public is interested in seeing how it is recycled, how a car is arranged from the beginning to the end. And we include the public as part of the story, we speak to you directly.

A Darac of 1903 already contains the DNA of today’s vehicles

Image result for edd china mike brewer

In recent years the docurrealities about cars have grown like foam. Do you follow any?
We have been with Joyas on wheels for eleven years. That has caused many imitations to arise. Some we like more than others. We are both Overhaulin ‘ fans of Chip Foose because although Chip is a star, he is not the protagonist of the space, but the cars. Fast & Loud is different, it focuses more on its characters, but we are very envious of the presenters because they have managed to capture how well they spend it in the workshop and have managed to take that fun to the screen. In general, we see the programs of the competition because we believe that we can learn from each other.

What would you say is the most important car that has gone through the program?
MB: For me, there would be two: the Volkswagen Beetle and the Mini Mark I. They are two icons within the motor world. The Mini is the most representative car in the United Kingdom and the Beetle sold more than 22 million. I can not think of two older stars.
EC : I would add a Darac from 1903 that went through our program number 100. In it you can see the DNA of the current cars. It was an experiment at the beginning of the century. They had tried everything: steam cars, electric cars, diesel, gasoline … Finally it was the Darac that marked the beginning of the new era of cars.

How has Jewels on wheels evolved after more than a decade on the air?
The presenters are a little thicker and we have more gray hair, the workshop is more beautiful, the tools are better and the transformations are more ambitious, but the essence is the same: you buy a car, it is arranged and sold. The format works because we stick to what we know, which is the motor world.