Saturday, 13 August 2011

Safe Havens, Hurricanes , Tipping Points and 44 hour Fastnet

(Lille based artist Stephane Cuchy’s kinetic sculpture CASCADE at Brighton’s Fabrica Gallery on display until August 29th 2011.
Salespeople might care to look at this artwork and ponder on its metaphors of the tipping points in the financial markets, their sales pipeline, actions with unintended consequences – the daily body blows and windfalls of business life.
Scroll down for video of the artwork in motion)

Nautical expressions have been much in evidence from the Governor of the Bank of England and Chancellor of the Exchequer this week and meteorological counter expressions from the shadow chancellor during this holiday season of Cowes Week Sailing regatta.

Our politicians were called back to parliament to debate the riots and the financial crisis.
The Bank of England cut its growth forecast for the UK for 2011 from 1.8% to 1.5%, warning that "the headwinds are growing stronger by the day". A headwind is a wind blowing directly against the course of a ship.

Chancellor Osborne talked of 'safe haven's -a place where ships may shelter from storms.

He said that his austerity plan had made the UK a "safe haven" for the volatile financial markets. He conceded that due to excessive debt in the UK "the recovery will take longer and be harder than hoped."

Mr Balls the shadow chancellor claimed many in Britain would not recognise the message of reassurance projected by Mr Osborne.

"Families and businesses deeply worried about their jobs and mortgages will hear the Chancellor's talk of safe havens and conclude he is either deeply complacent or in complete denial about what is going on in this country," he said.

Mr Balls stressed once again that he believed Government austerity policies had gone too far, too fast. Such "reckless" decisions had "whipped out the foundations of the house and left our economy exposed to this brewing global hurricane", he said.

Meanwhile away from London I guess a number of business people have taken off the week as holiday to race their sail boats to wrestle with the headwinds and ' hurricanes ' of the Solent beyond the safe haven of Cowes harbour.

(One of the nine interconnected buckets ( In the Art installation “ CASCADE”) which through a combined pulley system and water pump system is suspended from the roof above a large rectangular pool.)

Aberdeen Asset Management sponsor Cowes Week (6 - 13 August 2011) claims it to be the World’s premier sailing regatta, with almost 1,000 yachts and 8,000 competitors taking part in top-class sailing.
Cowes Week attracts a wide range of competitors from amateurs to Olympic and World champions.

Other sponsors include Abu Dhabi ocean racing, Hugo Boss watches, Clothing sponsor Gill, Liz Earle naturally active skin care, Mount Gay Rum, Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, Sperry Topsider amphibious footwear ( out of Lexington Massachusetts) , Talisker the single malt whisky made by the sea, and Wight cable the island’s ( The Isle of Wight) leading telecoms provider and the Isle of Wight council.

Video Highlights§ion=multimedia&page=video-highlights

"Time and Tide wait for no man" on Sunday the 14th August as it sees the start from Cowes of the Rolex Fastnet Race one of the great races of the sailing calendar with first signal for the start of the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race sounding at 10:50 BST.

(Water is pumped into each bucket until , at a critical point it empties, releasing its contents into the pool. There is a perpetual cycle of filling and emptying.
The resultant loss of weight changes the height from the pool of the buckets.
The rise and fall of the buckets are like church bell changes in this former church setting at 40 Duke Street Brighton.)

The ‘ Fastnet’ is more than just a race. When the British Isles weather conspires to deliver conditions typical of the time of year it becomes a true test of human endeavour.
It is for this reason that the 608-nautical mile race consistently attracts a large and varied fleet: man and machine set against the elements.

No doubt fast net speed on computers will give folks ashore updates on the race.

The main trophy for overall victory in the Rolex Fastnet is the Fastnet Challenge Cup.

In addition, there are more than 30 additional trophies that will be awarded at the prize giving on Friday, 19 August at the historic Royal Citadel, Plymouth, home of the 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery and overlooking Plymouth Sound and Sutton Harbour, where the majority of the fleet will berth after the race.

Mike Slade's Icap Leopard 3, set the new record of 44 hours 18 min in 2007
Can a faster Fastnet time be achieved?

On return to work the nautical order will be “Batten Down the Hatches” - i.e. Prepare for trouble. The securing of a boat, especially the covering with protective sheeting (tarpaulin), is called 'battening down'. A batten is a strip of wood used to secure the sheeting. 'Battening down' was done on ships when bad weather was expected.

The next G2O meeting November 3-4 will prove critical I guess. The 2011 G-20 Cannes Summit will be the sixth meeting of the G-20 heads of government in a series of on-going discussions about financial markets and the world economy.

The G-20 is the premier forum for discussing, planning and monitoring international economic cooperation.

The Doha Development Round or Doha Development Agenda (DDA) is the trade-negotiation round of the World Trade Organization (WTO) . Its objective is to lower trade barriers around the world, which will help facilitate the increase of global trade.

At the 2011 annual conference of the World Economic Forum in Davos British Prime Minister David Cameron called for the Doha talks to conclude by the end of the year, saying that "We've been at this Doha round for far too long. It's frankly ridiculous that it has taken 10 years to do this deal.”

2011: Priorities of the French presidency of G20 at Cannes in November include:
o Coordinating economic policies and reducing global macroeconomic imbalances
o Strengthening financial regulation
o Reforming the International Monetary System
o Combating commodity price volatility
o Improving global governance
o Working on behalf of development

Well if this is all too heavy for holiday time - maybe it is appropriate to ponder on the song “ Stormy weather” and hear Ella Fitzgerald or Billy Holiday sing

Don't know why, there's no sun up in the sky
Stormy weather, since my man and I ain't together
Keeps raining all the time
Life is bare, gloom and misery everywhere
Stormy weather, just can't get my poor old self together
I'm weary all the time, the time, so weary all of the time
When he went away, the blues walked in and met me
If he stays away, old rocking chair will get me
All I do is pray, the lord above will let me
walk in the sun once more
Can't go on, everything I had is gone
Stormy weather, since my man and I ain't together
Keeps raining all the time
Keeps raining all of the time
I walk around heavy-hearted and sad
Night comes around and I'm still feeling bad
Rain pourin' down, blinding every hope I had
This pitter and ‘ n patter and beating, spattering driving me mad
Love, love, love, love, the misery will be the end of me
When he went away, the blues walked in and met me
If he stays away, old rocking chair will get me
All I do is pray, the lord above will let me
Walk in the sun once more
Can't go on, everything I had is gone
Stormy weather, since my man and I ain't together
Keeps raining all the time, the time
Keeps raining all the time

Enjoy the holiday season kinetic sculpture CASCADE at Brighton’s Fabrica Gallery on display to August 29th 2011

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