All posts by Billy

Are bullets more Jamaican than Usain Bolt?

 

In 2015 there were 1192 murders in Jamaica. The country had about 45 slayings per 100,000 people in 2015 keeping it ranked as one of the world’s most violent countries. By comparison Chicago, which has roughly the same population as Jamaica, around 2.7 million, had 468 killings in 2015. With the recent Olympics showcasing the physical superiority of some of Jamaica’s athletes, the darker side to real Jamaican  issues gets pushed aside. Usain Bolt has brought a lot of attention to Jamaica but he gets more attention as an individual than the Country as a whole.

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David Adjaye

David Adjaye & The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture

David Adjaye, a British architect born in Tanzania son to a Ghanaian diplomat is working on a astounding building in the heart of Washington DC. The almost complete Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) was a challenging project for the globally recognised architects, and is their most high profile project to date. The architects Adjaye has become kind of an underground celebrity, winning awards and being interviewed by GQ magazine.

David Adjaye

The building is stacked in three volumes which forms the upper portion of the building. It’s covered in bronze plates perforated with patterns which is a reference to the history of African American craftsmanship. In 2009 Adjaye was selected as a team of architects which also include, Freelon Group, Davis Brody Bond and Smith Group to design the five hundred million dollar project. The design features a crown motif from Yoruba sculpture.

Smithsonian under construction

Adjaye speaks about having to prove himself to members of the black media community in order to be selected for working on this project. He’s done a hell of a job in projecting the cultural aspects of African art into a fascinatingly meticulous design which I hope will inspire the people of Washington DC to find out more about African History and architecture. DC has absolutely horrendous crime rate statistics with rapes and aggravated assaults happening on a daily basis. For the people of the city to know of a black man who creates art which doesn’t glorify negativity would be a positive change for for the people of the city.

Smithsonian construction

 

Smithsonian cross section

Banking stress tests

What is a stress test in banking

A stress test in the land of finance is an analysis or simulation designed to determine the ability a financial instrument has to deal with an economic crisis. Usually projections are based on the best case scenarios. We’ve all seen Dragons Den for example, where the pitcher is asked about yearly projections, Yr1,2,3. These estimates are based on hitting targets, growing workforce & consistent economy etc. In the lucrative world of banking the following is usually considered in a stress test;

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Why black lives don’t matter to most people

There has been a lot of talk about the Black Lives Matter movement  since extra light has been shed on the unjust killings of black men by white policemen in America. The movement started with campaigning against violence towards black people after the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter became popular on social media when George Zimmerman was acquitted of murdering Trayvon Martin, a black teen, in 2013.

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Extreme Luxury

The most luxurious brand in the world

The Birth of LVMH

Luxurious international conglomerate LVMH comprises of  60 brands including Moet & Louis Vuitton. The company’s chairman and CEO is Bernard Arnault, born 5 March 1949. Arnault is a French business magnate and art collector who’s estimated wealth is said to be at $37bn. After graduating in engineering in 1971 he joined his father’s civil engineering company Ferret-Savinel. Through well timed liquidation &  acquisition Arnault swooped from construction to luxury goods and in under a decade he became the first shareholder of LVMH which is now the world leader in luxury brands

 

Subsidiaries

LVMH is a French multinational luxury goods conglomerate some of who’s subsidiaries are;

Wines and spirits – Cahteau Yquem, Hennessy, Moet, Belvedere, Krug & Dom Perignon.

Fashion – Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Berluti, Fendi, Givenchy, Donna Karan & Marc Jacobs.

Other brands – Nude, Fresh, Guerlain, Fred, Hublot, TAG Heuer, Zenith & Bvlgari.

Culture & Performance

LVMH was formed by the merger of fashion house Louis Vuitton and Moet Hennessey in 1987. The company operates in over 70 countries and employs 125,000 people. There are 3,860 stores worldwide and the reach in Asia especially is growing significant pace. There is a historic energy that flows through the company and its long standing past will contribute to its vivacious future. They utilise the benefits of the digital era and have found a way to ensure their legendary craft appeals to generations to come. Their support for iconic and popular events has helped them to continually develop contemporary branding concepts. Personally, I find the choice of celebrity endorsements sublime. The company share price has been steadily rising for nearly ten years, and this dividend paying stock shows no signs of slowing down. LVMH truly epitomises what a luxury brand should be.

Their Christian Dior celebrity choices are of the highest quality in entertainment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why worry about Banks

Azealia Banks is probably more mentally stable than you.

Azealia Banks is a female American rapper born in 1991. Notorious for her sharp tongue and liberating music, Azealia has inspired just as many people as she has offended and her life journey seems to reflect this. Growing up she had a  troubled childhood. Her Dad passed away from pancreatic cancer when she was 2 and her mom submitted Azealia and her two sisters to physical and emotional abuse.

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Skepta the Mastermind

Skepta aka Joseph Junior Adenuga born in 1982  is an MC from Tottenham North London. He started his musical career as a DJ and began to develop his own sound as part of the roll deep crew with his brother JME. Grime was still underground at this stage and a lot of the music and MC’s sounded the same. Skepta didn’t really stand out at this point as Wiley, Kano and Dizzee Rascal became the evolving faces of the scene. Skepta branched out to form Boy Better Know which was a truly independent record label. From here Skepta’s originality and audible proficiency was showcased on a variety of singles, mix-tapes and clashes. The sound remained within genre, with typical grime beats and a jabbing flow. Listen to ‘Microphone champion’ and you can see the potential of the artist swallowed up by what the status-quo expected from a grime artists at the time. This is why the grime scene stayed stagnant for so long.

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Donald Trumps most sincere speech

Propaganda is so powerful these days  that the media can make you believe anything. Especially in the weird and wonderful world of politics. With the up and coming US presidential election we have been given a delectable bad guy in the form of Donald Trump who is most famous for the Celebrity apprentice TV show. We have always known him to speak his mind, and in the current debates he has been given a platform to showcase his borderline bigotry and the whole world ran with it. Trump speaks as a lone wolf amongst controlled monsters who spout corporate rhetoric in the hope of receiving votes. He is different and will have a tough time if he is to win. He has however, had some progressive things to say in his speeches and debates.

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