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Issue 75 ■ March 2012

Exclusive to Emirates First Class and Business Class

CELLULOID CEILING Women in Hollywood EAST END REVIVAL London’s Olympic Ambition INDIA’S INFORMAL SECTOR A Hidden Powerhouse

Jean Christophe Babin Timely Innovation

New York 717 MadisoN aveNue east HaMptoN 23 MaiN street Las vegas ForuM sHops devikroeLL.coM

This issue March 2012


Exclusive to Emirates First Class and Business Class

Cover Story 28 Time Waits For No Man Jean Christophe Babin knows that time is precious. As president and global CEO of luxury watch brand TAG Heuer he’s driven by a pioneering spirit, which is reflected in the company’s record earnings. That growth looks set to continue as TAG Heuer keeps expanding the boundaries of three centuries of watchmaking by reinventing the mechanics of ultra-precision time measurement.

Features 34 New Homes for Singapore Hawkers

50 Building Business in China

Singapore’s street food is legendary, and both the

US developers are keen to capitalise on growth opportunities

government and corporations have stepped in to create a

in China. But doing business there can be fraught with

tourist-friendly experience.


38 Chink In the Armour

54 The Celluloid Ceiling

Although companies spend millions on internet security,

With female scriptwriters behind some of the biggest movies,

videoconferencing equipment is often left vulnerable to

from Juno to Kung Fu Panda 2, it seems the gender barrier


has been lifted. But things aren’t that simple.

42 A Sinking Market

58 Lesson for the Eurozone

The slow global economy and a glut in freighters have

Wales packs less economic punch than Greece but it is in a

greatly reduced charter rates. That lowers the value of ships

far better position thanks to money transfers from the central

and is putting pressure on banks.

government. And therein lies a lesson for the Eurozone.

46 The Business of Dharavi

62 3-D Human Anatomy

At first glance, India’s largest slum seems a cliché of poverty.

Anatomy class has gone digital thanks to a free virtual body

But yet its thousands of informal businesses create an

designed by BioDigital Systems.

annual economic output estimated to range from $600 million to more than $1 billion.






Exclusive to Emirates First Class and Business Class


65 Horses and Courses The Emerald Isle offers the twin Irish passions of golfing and horseracing set against stunning scenery and a warm welcome from the locals.

70 Brazil’s First Family of Film The Barretos are the Brazilian aristocracy of the film world, having produced, directed and distributed Cannes winning and Oscar-nominated movies.

74 Preservation and Reservations 82

UNESCO World Heritage Sites can mean big business, but


it can also threaten the very places that need protection.

78 Hands On Cuisine Although in many cultures eating with your hands is traditional, in Western restaurants it is generally frowned upon. But that is now changing.

82 An Olympic Canvas 74

London’s East End is being revitalised by the 200-hectare Olympic Park. But to truly understand the area’s past and present you need to go on a guided tour.

86 The Right Stuff The 2012 Cadillac SRX is irrefutable evidence that General Motors is back with a vengeance.

88 Other Business


Portfolio takes a light-hearted look at the latest business news.

13 Notebook


World business in a nutshell.

19 Observer Spotting and analysing business trends.

26 Column: Martin Fackler A Cautionary Tale

Published for Emirates by

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Printed by Emirates Printing Press, Dubai, UAE


Sophie Marceau





US Volcker Rule Faces Harsh Criticism The world’s largesT banks have

would affect market-making, liquidity,

demanded a wish list of changes to a

foreign institutions and private equity

proposed US ban on proprietary trading,

and hedge fund investments. The restrictions may limit banks’

against the Volcker rule four months

trading profits – once a prime source of

before it takes effect.

Wall Street revenue. Banks including

Bankers and their trade associations

JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Morgan

claim the rule would increase risk,

Stanley (MS) have shuttered or made

raise costs for investors, hurt US

plans to spin off their proprietary trading

competitiveness and be vulnerable to

groups in anticipation of the rule.

legal challenge.

Citigroup is following suit, closing down

The rule, named after former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, was

its Equity Principal Strategies business. Standalone proprietary trading cost

included in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act in

the six largest US banks a net loss of

an effort to restrict risky trading at banks

about $221 million from June 2006

that operate with federal guarantees.

through the end of 2010, according

Five US regulators released the 298-page

to a July report by the Government

proposal, seeking comment on how it

Accountability Office. n

March 2012


seeking to escalate the lobbying effort

Former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker.

Notebook L’Oreal Eyes Growth

Numbers Game

French cosmetics maker L’Oreal will speed up international expansion this year, with emerging markets’ share of sales growing up


million vehicles sold worldwide last year ensured general Motors regained its spot as the world’s top-selling automaker. gM had held the global sales crown for more than seven years before losing it to Japan’s toyota in 2008 as its sales tanked and the us car giant filed for bankruptcy in 2009.


million is the staggering debt owed by a penniless shepherd from the greek island of Crete, making him one of greece’s top state debtors. the 65-year old who lives in a hut and has a flock of 50 sheep allegedly cheated the tax system 17 years ago. the shepherd is one of over 4,000 people and 6,000 businesses and companies on a list of state debtors released recently highlighting the deficits and financial mismanagement greece is faced with.


billion merger deal between switzerland-based commodities trader glencore International and global mining company Xstrata has created the world’s fourth-largest diversified group,

to 40 per cent, according to Chairman and Chief Executive Jean-Paul Agon. Agon denied speculation


million was the record price paid for Cezanne’s the Card players, making it the most expensive piece of artwork. Bought by the royal family of Qatar, the painting will go on display in the Qatar National Museum. the royal family has been collecting high-profile works of art in an effort to turn Qatar into a world-class cultural centre.

The World In Figures glencore Xstrata International. glencore, which already owns 34 per cent of Xstrata, has offered 2.8 of its shares for every one that shareholders hold in Xstrata.


billion net loss in 2011 posted by Nokia stands in stark contrast to the £1.5 billion profit made in 2010. the Finnish company’s phones are still the industry’s biggest seller, but apple iphones and google android phones are overtaking it in the growing smartphone market.


-a-year is how much the First premier platinum card can wind up costing its customers according to Cardhub, a creditcard-tracking website that has examined more than 1,000 credit card offers. First premier, which has 2.6 million customers, says it is helping consumers who would otherwise be rejected by most credit card issuers and therefore needs to price in risk through high fees and interest rates.

that L’Oreal could buy a perfume retailer or Italian hairdresser Rossano Ferretti. “This rumour is baseless. We do not want to take the place of our clients. But we want to acquire brands that we think have a global potential. This is what we did with Clarisonic in the skin care market,” he told

Le Figaro newspaper. Emerging markets comprised around 38 per cent of 2011 group sales and eight per cent 20 years ago. L’Oreal said it expected increased revenue and profits again this year, with emerging markets set to eclipse Western Europe as the biggest contributor to sales.


is the barrier that apple shares breached in February – a first in its more than 30 years as a publicly traded company. Wall street analysts expect the tech titan’s stock, already up 40 per cent in the last 12 months, to continue its ascent.



L’Oreal CEO Jean-Paul Agon is targeting emerging markets. Portfolio



Mandela Ousts Big Five south africa’s new banknotes,

the release of Mandela after he

which previously featured

spent 27 years in jail. Marcus said the new notes

now have Nelson Mandela as

would have enhanced security

the main illustration.

features, that they would be

sa reserve Bank governor

easier for blind or partially

gill Marcus and finance minister

sighted people to identify and

pravin gordhan Zuma said the

would be machine-readable.

use of Mandela’s image was

she pointed out that banknotes

part of the recognition of the

were only second in importance

former’s role in the fight against

to a country’s national flag in

apartheid, the liberation of

terms of identity.

the country and that he was

the current banknotes that

recognised as a leader around

depict the big five wild animals

the world.

will continue as legal tender

the announcement was made

until they are replaced

on 11 February, a date that

by the new design at a date

marked the 22nd anniversary of

to be announced.


images of african wildlife, will

North Africa’s Biggest Car Plant French firm Renault has

Melloussa. The area is near

the factory, which currently

produced under the Dacia

officially opened North

Tangiers, close to Europe, and

has the capacity to produce

brand for emerging markets

Africa’s biggest car factory

offers tax incentives. Renault

147,000 cars annually.

and Renault executives say

in the Moroccan town of

has invested $1.5 billion in

Low-cost cars will be

up to 10 per cent of the production could be sold locally. The plant employs about 2,000 local staff and intends to triple production by 2015. This could boost staff numbers to 6,000 and create up to 35,000 jobs indirectly. In recent years, Morocco’s economy has been expanding thanks to free trade deals with international partners, but unemployment remains an issue – especially for graduates. A number of other foreign car companies aim to open up


near the Renault plant, such

March 2012

as Ford and Chinese and Indian manufacturers.


Notebook DUBAI EVENT NAME: DUBAI INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW WEBSITE: BOATSHOWDUBAI.COM DATE: 13-17 MARCH, 2012 VENUE: DUBAI INTERNATIONAL MARINE CLUB, MINA SEYAHI The Dubai International Boat Show, celebrating its 20th anniversary, is set to showcase the world’s best large luxury yachts and marine supplies to local and international potential buyers who are seeking the ultimate entertainment accessory. Highlights of the show will include world premiers, regional launches and award ceremonies. The event will host 11 members of the world’s most prestigious Superyachts Builder Association. The prized names include Abeking & Rasmussen, AMELS and Benetti who will unveil their latest yacht models and designs. Running alongside this show is the highly anticipated supercar promenade, an exclusive automotive event in the Middle East.

EVENT NAME: SMEINVEST WEBSITE: SME-INVEST.COM DATE: 5-7 MARCH, 2012 VENUE: DUBAI INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION & EXHIBITION CENTRE By generating nearly 46 per cent of the UAE’s GDP and being responsible for 86 per cent of total employment, the contribution made by Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) is key to the region’s economy. This annual forum facilitates the needs of the SME sector by driving business, building business relationships with government buyers and showcasing new business opportunities for both suppliers and procurers.


United Arab Emirates

EVENT NAME: DUPHAT DUBAI 2012 WEBSITE: DUPHAT.AE DATE: 12-14 MARCH, 2012 VENUE: DUBAI INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION & EXHIBITION CENTRE More than 10,000 participants are expected to attend this three-day conference. Hailed as one of the largest annual pharmaceutical events in the world, it brings together experts in the medical field ranging from physicians and scientists to key decision makers. The conference will highlight new trends and technology through lectures and workshops delivered by well-known speakers from prestigious pharmaceutical associations.

EVENT NAME: WETEX 2012 WEBSITE: WETEX.AE DATE: 13-15 MARCH, 2012 VENUE: DUBAI INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION & EXHIBITION CENTRE This three-day conference will see professionals in energy, water and environment management discuss an array of important topics on conservation and green issues. The focus will be on advanced technology in the energy sector such as fossil fuel, nuclear, renewable power generation and conservation.

EVENT NAME: ARABLAB, THE EXPO 2012 WEBSITE: ARABLAB.COM DATE: 26-29 MARCH, 2012 VENUE: DUBAI INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION & EXHIBITION CENTRE Arablab is one of the largest trade shows in the laboratory sector to take place in the Middle East and Africa, connecting experts and specialist pioneers from more than 85 countries. Over 9,000 visitors and 750 exhibitors are expected this year. Participants include some of the biggest international companies. Portfolio


values form the backbone of our approach to Private Banking. Reliability, attention to detail, thoroughness – these are the essential principles that enable us to offer our clients solutions of lasting

quality. Ramzi Charaf, Private Banking

Bank Vontobel (Middle East) Ltd. is regulated by the DFSA to provide financial services to Professional Clients within the scope of its Licence. Persons other than Professional Clients, such as Retail Clients, are not the intended recipients of this communication and must not act upon or rely upon the content of this communication. Bank Vontobel (Middle East) Ltd. is duly incorporated as a company limited by shares under the laws of the DIFC.

Bank Vontobel (Middle East) Ltd. Liberty House, Office 913 Dubai International Financial Centre P.O. Box 506814 Dubai, United Arab Emirates Telephone +971 (0)4 703 85 70 Telefax +971 (0)4 703 85 01





Deforestation in some parts of the Amazon has affected rainfall, causing sporadic droughts.

Protecting the Amazon The rate of deforestation in the Amazon has fallen significantly, but environmentalists fear that there could be a backslide, reports Alexei Barrionuevo. Brazil has made great strides

measure now allows the president to

conserving the Amazon and a Congress

in recent years in slowing Amazon

decrease the lands already created for

in which agricultural interests in the

deforestation and showing the world

conservation. The government is granting

country’s rural north and northeast still

it was serious about protecting the

more flexibility for large infrastructure

hold sway. The furore comes as Brazil is

mammoth rainforest.

projects during the environmental

set to hold a United Nations conference

licensing process. And a proposal would

on sustainable development in Rio de

per cent over the past six years, as the

give Brazil’s Congress veto power over the

Janeiro in June.

government carved out about 60 million

recognition of indigenous territories.

The rate of deforestation fell by 80

hectares for conservation and used police

Rousseff promised to veto any revision

raids and other tactics to crack down

biggest backsliding that we could ever

of the Forest Code that granted amnesty

on illegal deforesters, according to both

imagine with regards to environmental

to landowners who had previously

environmentalists and the government.

policies,” said Silva, who now devotes her

deforested illegally. Then her government

Brazil’s former environment minister,

time to environmental advocacy.

negotiated a version of the code, approved

Marina Silva, became an internationally © 2012 New York Times News service

“What is happening in Brazil is the

Before taking office last January,

Now, a bill seeking to overhaul the

by the Senate in December, that would

respected defender of the Amazon. She ran

47-year-old Forest Code, a central piece

give amnesty to farmers who broke

for president in 2010 on the Green Party

of environmental legislation, is the most

the law before 2008 – provided they

ticket and won 19.4 per cent of the votes.

serious test yet of Rousseff ’s stance on

agreed to plant new trees. The House is

the environment.

expected to debate the legislation once

But since Dilma Rousseff was elected president in late 2010, there have been

The debate over the law has revealed

signs of a shift in the government’s

the stark disconnect between a population

attitude toward the Amazon. A provisional

that is increasingly supportive of

March 2012

again in March. The fight over the Forest Code has stoked the age-old struggle over

Observer development versus conservation in Brazil, a country that bears the weight of international pressure to protect the Amazon because its sheer scale could affect global climatic conditions. Rousseff, a former energy minister, has so far flashed a more pro-development stance, environmentalists say, shifting the balance from the administration of her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who appointed Silva. Agriculture represents 22 per cent of Brazil’s gross domestic product. The so-called ruralists in Congress say the old code is holding back Brazil’s agricultural potential. Environmentalists counter that



Large tracts of the Amazon were cleared as grazing for cattle, which is an inefficient use of the land. Intensive agriculture could double yields from the same area.

there is already enough land available to

heavily represented the less developed

Ministry calls “the largest reforestation

double production and that the proposed

north and northeast are in Brazil’s

programme in the world.” But who will

changes would open the door to a surge

Congress, a relic of the military

pay for all those new trees? And will

in deforestation.


the government enforce the replanting

Last May, the House approved a

“The skewed proportional

requirements? “The small producers don’t have the money to replant,” Jank said.

more sweeping amnesty for those who

representation in Brazil has shown that

had illegally deforested, outraging

the environmentalists have much less

environmentalists and scientists.

power in Congress than they have in

of lands being exempted from the legal

There are also questions about the size

public opinion,” said Gilberto Camara,

requirement to preserve 80 per cent of

consultation with scientists,” said Carlos

director of the National Institute for

the trees in Amazon properties. The new

Nobre, a scientist at Brazil’s National

Space Research, which monitors Amazon

law would exempt “small” properties of

Institute for Space Research that

deforestation. Days after the House vote

up to four “fiscal modules,” which in the

specialises in climate issues.

last May, a poll by Datafolha showed that

Amazon are almost 1,000 acres. “That is

85 per cent of Brazilians believed the

a large property in any part of the world,”

resigned in 2008 after a backlash by

reformed code should prioritise forests

Nobre said. “I see great risk here if this

rural governors to restrictions on illegal

and rivers, even if it came at the expense

definition is maintained.”

deforestation she had put in place. But

of agricultural production.

“In the House, there was very little

Silva, who was raised in the Amazon,

she left what environmentalists consider

After weeks of debate, the bill

Despite the concerns, there is no denying that deforestation in Brazil,

an effective policy to control Amazon

the Senate approved in December

driven largely by clearing land for

deforestation. Among other tactics, da

was somewhat more palatable to

inefficient cattle grazing, has been

Silva’s government used satellite images to

environmentalists. Rather than outright

on a downward trend. Beyond that,

home in on deforesters, organised police

amnesty for past illegal deforestation,

a new generation of satellites over the

raids and blacklisted the worst offenders.

the Senate version lets farmers replant to

next two years will give Brazil access to

“The ruralists have pushed so much

avoid fines. The legislation now goes back

images from seven satellites, up from the

to change the Forest Code because the

to the House. “We have to reconcile the

current two.

government actually started enforcing

generation of income with sustainability,”

it under Marina Silva,” said Stephan

Izabella Teixeira, the current environment

other scientists are predicting that the

Schwartzman, director for tropical forest

minister, said after the vote.

Brazilian Amazon has a chance by 2020

policy at the Environmental Defence Fund in Washington. The vote in the House showed how

The government claims the code will

If people abide by the law, Camara and

to become a “carbon sink,” in which the

reforest about 60 million acres, much of

amount of forest being replanted is larger

it in the Amazon, which the Environment

than the amount being deforested. n Portfolio



O N E 2 W AT C H TExT: HildA d’sOuzA

High Demand for New Planes Global airlines will need 33,500 new planes valued at $4 trillion in less than two decades, with Asia accounting for about 35 per cent of the total, according to aircraft maker Boeing. Asia-Pacific carriers will require 11,450 new aircraft, worth $1.5 trillion, by 2030 according to Randy Tinseth, Boeing’s vice president for commercial planes.


Tinseth, updating earlier Boeing estimates, said the biggest demand in the region will be for single-aisle aircraft that

Thorsten Heins

normally seat between 90 and 200 passengers – the models most sought after in the budget-airline market. Of the 33,500 new planes needed globally, about 60 per

Thorsten Heins became the new chief executive of Research

cent will be for fleet expansion, with the remainder replacing

In Motion Limited (RIM) on 23 January, after four years with the

ageing stocks. In the Asia-Pacific region, 80 per cent will be

company. He joined RIM in 2007 as senior vice president and

for fleet growth.

became the chief operating officer (COO) in 2011. Taking the

Boeing said the world’s passenger fleet stood at 19,410

baton of leadership from its co-founders Jim Balsillie and Mike

planes in 2010, and is projected to reach more than 39,500

Lazaridis, the 54-year-old German is optimistic that he can get

by 2030. To meet demand, Tinseth said Boeing will ramp up

the BlackBerry smartphone maker among the top three mobile

production of models including the next-generation single-aisle

phone companies worldwide.

737 MAX, which will undergo the final phase of wind-tunnel

At the helm of RIM, Heins faces the immediate challenge of staying competitive with rivals Apple and Google amid RIM’s

testing next week. Boeing is also considering rolling out a bigger version of its

tumbling share price, which lost nearly three-quarter of its

mid-size 787 Dreamliner to be called the 787-10X that can seat

value in 2011. Heins, a master’s degree holder from the

up to 320 passengers, or 40 more than the 787-9 model.

university of Hannover, is well aware that in order to regain

Tinseth meanwhile said capital markets and leasing companies

RIM’s smartphone market share he will have to keep its

will likely play an increasing role in financing aircraft deliveries as

innovation engine humming.

funds from European banks ease due to the continent’s debt crisis.

Indications are that the company is ready to roll out a new

The growth potential in the aviation market was underlined

version of BlackBerry software, called BlackBerry 10, as well

by a record order for Boeing at the Singapore Airshow, when

as the Blackberry Playbook 2.0. Heins believes that RIM does

Indonesian budget carrier PT Lion Mentari Airlines confirmed

have one major advantage over its competitors, and that’s

a 230-plane order worth $22.4 billion at list prices. The accord

corporate security. RIM keeps abreast of corporate security

includes 201 of the planemaker’s in-development 737 Max and

issues by speaking to chief information officers, and plan

29 extended range 737-900s.

security measures for corporate devices accordingly. Heins intends to capitalise on RIM’s dedicated following of corporate and government customers who want its proprietary messaging and security features. But Heins is also committed to paying special attention to consumer needs and delivering a powerful marketing strategy. On his appointment Heins said, “We have to do something dramatically different in the US to get our market share back. reuters

I’m here to fight. I’m here to win.” Whether RIM’s new products will deliver the wow factor to consumers will be closely watched in the months to come.

A Boeing 787 dreamliner at the singapore Airshow. Portfolio

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The World

Top 10 reuters

HigHEsT grOssiNg HOllyWOOd Films OF 2011

African union Commission chairman Jean Ping opened the 18th African union (Au) summit earlier this year in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

African Union’s Grand Ambition




Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

US domestic ($) 381,011,219


Transformers: Dark of the Moon



The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I



The Hangover Part II



Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides



Fast Five



Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol



Cars 2



Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows






mOsT PirATEd mOviEs OF 2011 Rank



Worldwide Grosses ($)


Fast Five




The Hangover Part II







The African Union (AU) has adopted an ambitious plan to create


Source Code



a continental free trade area by 2017 and has estimated that


I Am Number Four



Africa’s infrastructure would need about $60 billion over the


Sucker Punch



next 10 years.


127 Hours







9. 10.

The King’s Speech 6,250,000 Harry Potter and the 6,030,000 Deathly Hallows Part 2

414,211,549 1,328,111,219

The AU aims to create the free trade area outlined through a three-step plan. The first point would be the finalisation of the tripartite agreement among the East African Community (EAC), the


Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), and

HigHEsT-grOssiNg iNdiE Films OF 2011

the Southern African Development Community (SADC) by 2014.




Midnight in Paris


emulate the tripartite agreement and come to similar agreements


The Descendants


between 2012 and 2014.


The Tree of Life



The Conspirator



Jane Eyre



Win Win



My Week with Marilyn



Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain



Sarah’s Key



Cedar Rapids


The next step would be to encourage other trade areas to

The final step would be to consolidate all the regional agreements into the CFTA between 2015 and 2016. The AU declaration also emphasised the need for its members to increase spending on infrastructure, implement major power projects such as hydroelectricity, oil refineries and gas pipelines, accelerate the construction of missing links and modernisation of railways, and increase the capacity of ports.

US domestic ($)



Observer Apple Apps Remain Favourite

new Android app for every three Apple apps, Flurry found. A year ago, they created two Android apps for every three Apple apps. While the study only tracked developers who design apps using Flurry’s tools, the shift suggests that Google’s bid to overtake Apple’s industry-leading App Store may be losing some steam. Apple has more than 550,000 apps in its store, compared with over 400,000 for Google’s Android Market. Both companies count on the array of apps to make their phones more enticing and lock in consumers who are already using the devices. Google has made quick gains on Apple since the first Android phones went on sale in 2008. In 2011, though, the growth in new apps for Android was about half the level of Apple, according to the firm, which tracks more than 55,000 developers. The study measured more than 65,000 new software projects over the

Google has turned Android into the most popular operating system for smartphones. And yet the platform may be losing ground to Apple’s iOS in a major area: new applications.

course of the year. Other research firms are seeing a similar slowdown in Android. A survey of about 2,000 developers conducted by Appcelerator

Relative to Apple, fewer apps were created for Android in

and IDC found that fewer programmers were “very interested” in

January than a year earlier, according to Flurry, a company that

developing for Android phones and tablets in November than in

analyses mobile-software data. Developers made roughly one

June, while their interest in iOS devices remained unchanged.





A Cautionary Tale ON THE NIGHT OF 12 JULY, 1993,

well as the national news media, have

source of jobs,” he said. “Fishing alone

the remote island of Okushiri was ripped

descended on Okushiri to seek lessons

cannot do it anymore.”

apart by a huge earthquake and tsunami

from its reconstruction. But Okushiri’s

Watanabe said he wished the island

that now seem an eerie harbinger of

message does not seem to be making a

had built sheltered coves where fish or

the much larger disaster that struck

difference. The country is being driven by

shellfish could be farmed. Others said

northeastern Japan last March.

an outpouring of national sympathy for

Okushiri could have used the government

In the half decade that followed, the

those displaced by the latest disaster, even

money to build factories to process locally

Japanese government rebuilt the island.

as some Japanese quietly question whether

caught fish, or to foster tourism on the

The billion dollars’ worth of construction

it makes sense to begin an expensive

largely pristine island.

projects included not just hefty wave

reconstruction of communities that were

defences but also entire neighbourhoods

withering long before the 2011 earthquake.

built on higher ground and a futuristic

Yasumitsu Watanabe, the head of

difficult, island officials said. Besides using

$15 million tsunami memorial hall for the

government funds, Okushiri borrowed

200 victims.

more than $60 million for its own building projects, a financial burden that will not be

But today, as Japan begins a decade-long $300 billion reconstruction of the northeast

paid off until 2027. “We have no reserves

coast, Okushiri has become something of

left, just debt,” Shinmura, the mayor, said.

a cautionary tale. Instead of restoring the

Okushiri’s bitter experiences have

island to its vibrant past, many residents

prompted some analysts in Tokyo to

now say, the $1 billion spending spree just

propose radically different approaches for

may have helped kill its revival.

rebuilding the northeast. Yutaka Okada, an economist at the Mizuho Research

The rebuilding did bring a surge of well-paying construction jobs. But

Institute, said Japan might fare better if it

that was the problem: Having grown

just gave lump sums to the latest tsunami

accustomed to higher salaries, many of the

victims. Some might pocket the money

remaining young people left the island in

and leave, he said, but others would use it to start new businesses, the sort of private

search of salaried work elsewhere. That accelerated the depopulation seen here and throughout much of rural Japan, as people, especially the young, are drawn to cities. The number of islanders has

The Japanese government spent billions of dollars on rebuilding the island of Okushiri after the 1993 earthquake and tsunami. Residents say the spending spree may have killed the island’s revival.

sector innovation that Japan often lacks. On Okushiri, the end of the reconstruction boom has belatedly forced that sort of entrepreneurship. To find new ways to earn money, Okushiri’s largest

fallen faster here than in other rural areas,


The reconstruction splurge actually made that kind of diversification more

dwindling to 3,160 last year from 4,679

Aonae’s fishing cooperative, said that it had

construction company, Ebihara Kensetsu,

when the 1993 tsunami struck.

been shortsighted to think that the island

has branched out, buying the sole tourist

“We didn’t use more of that

could go back to its original, fishing-based

hotel, selling bottled spring water and

reconstruction money to invest in new

economy. Even before the disaster, catches

even opening the island’s first winery.

industries to keep young people,” said

were declining from overfishing and global

Takami Shinmura, 58, the mayor of

warming. Worse, the number of abalone,

the central government,” the company’s

Okushiri’s sole town. “We regret this now.”

the island’s cash shellfish, never recovered

president, Takashi Ebihara, said. “This

from the tsunami, which damaged their

is true not only here, but in Tohoku and

habitat in shallow waters. “We need a new

everywhere.” n

Since the tsunami last March, hundreds of officials from the affected areas, as

“We can no longer depend so much on


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Jean Christophe Babin knows that time is precious. As president and global CEO of luxury watch brand TAG Heuer he’s driven by a pioneering spirit, which is reflected in the company’s record earnings. That growth looks set to continue as TAG Heuer keeps expanding the boundaries of three centuries of watchmaking by reinventing the mechanics of ultra-precision time measurement, reports Nick Rice. Portfolio


March 2012 February 2012





sparkling sales in 2011. Revenue grew 23

network that currently consists of nearly

level, Switzerland’s highest city, La Chaux-

per cent and doubled profits compared

130 brand-owned and franchised stores

de-Fonds, seems a small and unassuming

to 2010’s figures. TAG Heuer had a

around the world.

place. Nestled into the Jura Mountains, it

particularly solid year, smashing its

is the birthplace of architect Le Corbusier,

records for revenue and profitability in

around a series of departments dedicated

carmaker Louis Chevrolet and designated

2011 with particularly strong growth in

to creating TAG Heuer watches. The

as a UNESCO site for its universal

China and South Korea. That trend is

distinction of being a ‘world-first’ comes

cultural value.

set to continue as TAG Heuer launches

up time and time again. There are

new models and keeps building its retail

banks of new machines using a unique

I have arrived in Watch Valley – the

Arriving at the plant I am guided

cradle of the Swiss watchmaking industry

method of milling watchcases without

and the base from where TAG Heuer

oil lubrication. Another machine, again

continues to grow and develop. Before

the first of its kind, uses a robotic arm

meeting Jean Christophe Babin – the

and digital photography for the stone

man in the driving seat of TAG Heuer

and jewel setting in the movement. Babin

– I’m invited to drive myself to the

knows all the equipment first hand and

manufacturing plant in the Roadster,

tells me later that, “With these machines

a fully electric sports car specially

we go quicker and make no mistakes, it’s

designed by one of TAG Heuer’s

laser technology to the micron. Each

official partners, Tesla Motors.

jewel is checked before it’s placed,

TAG Heuer marked its 150th

resulting in close to 100 per cent

anniversary in 2010 and as part

accuracy, which turns into reliability

of the celebrations toured in this

and watch accuracy.”

car for 37,000 kilometres visiting

I also observe the scientific

16 cities worldwide. I notice in

simulation of extreme conditions used

the console of the Tesla is the

to torture watches and measure what

TAG Heuer Pendulum Concept

they can withstand. So if you were ever

– this timepiece was a world-first;

stranded in the oppressive humidity of a

a mechanical watch movement

tropical jungle, lost in the searing heat of

constructed without a hairspring.

the desert, abandoned in Artic conditions

It’s a reminder of the innovation,

or confined to the bottom of the ocean for

performance and precision exemplified

a year or two, you could take consolation

by the two companies. For Babin it also represents a solid TAG Heuer message, “By daring to innovate you achieve ultimate performance.” TAG Heuer is part of LVMH’s watches and jewellery division, which enjoyed

Charles-Auguste Heuer was appointed to the family firm in 1891. He focused on pursuing innovation just as his father Edouard had, which resulted in the Mikrograph and Mikrosplit in 1916, the first stopwatches capable of timing to 1/100th second.

in the knowledge that at least your TAG Heuer would survive. Since Edouard Heuer founded the company in 1860, TAG Heuer has remained at the forefront of horological technology. The company has succeeded Portfolio


with a series of landmarks that continues

more than three centuries of precedent

to this day.

with a new regulatory system at the core

In 1886 Heuer patented the oscillating

of the watch, the Mikrogirder 2000.

pinion, a clutch like component that

Needless to say, Babin was in good

is still at the core of virtually every

spirits. He has a naturally ebullient

mechanical chronograph. In 1916 Heuer

personality and boundless enthusiasm

revolutionised science and industry with

for the brand. Before discussing the

the world’s first mechanical stopwatch

latest groundbreaking creation, Babin

accurate to 1/100th of a second. This

expands on the emblematic dedication to

made the company the only choice as the

innovation and its vital application in the

official timekeeper of the Olympic Games

world of sport.

in 1920. By the 1960s TAG Heuer became the first Swiss watchmaker in space

“Innovation is a choice not a coincidence. Innovation is in the blood

“Innovation is a choice not a coincidence. Innovation is in the blood of this company. If you look at our history we have set many milestones across the generations.”

when American astronaut John Glenn wore a TAG Heuer stopwatch on the first manned US orbital mission. ALL THIS history came to rest upon the shoulders of Jean Christophe Babin. With no experience in the industry and coming from a career in consumer goods at Proctor & Gamble and consultancy with the Boston Consulting Group, the father of five says his masterstroke was bringing the founder’s great-grandson Jack Heuer back into the business. Heuer had left the family business before it was acquired by Techniques d’Avant Garde to form TAG Heuer in 1985. “With TAG Heuer there have only been six CEOs in 152 years, which explains our focus. When you change leadership

Jean Christophe Babin (R) had no previous experience in the watchmaking industry when he joined TAG Heuer in 2000. But he did have a passion for watches as he already owned 20 of them.

every two or three years, each new guy thinks he’s better than the last guy and wants to put his mark on the brand. But being a family company there was never the obsession to do things differently, because you respect your father and your grandfather. So thanks to Jack Heuer coming back, I was able to understand and capture the essence of the brand,” explains Babin. The commitment to innovation and a lifelong bond with the sporting world are two themes that continually inspire Babin. We met at the Geneva Exhibition 2012 where TAG Heuer stunned the watchmaking world with a new concept watch that both explodes previous chronograph capability and breaks from March 2012

TAG Heuer watches are tested for water resistance. The company patented its first water-resistant case in 1895.



“Then, as motor racing boomed after the war, we saw the natural application of measuring time to 1/100th of a second, because naturally cars go faster than people, so this is how our history began connecting TAG Heuer, more than any other brand, to motor racing.” Babin (R) with Tay Liam Wee (L), who grew Sincere Watch into Singapore’s largest watch retailer, and Formula 1 driver and former world champion Jensen Button (M). TAG Heuer has a close relationship with motor racing.

of this company. If you look at our

record achievements and safeguard

applied to the Olympic Games. Heuer

history we have set many milestones

legitimacy. As Babin reveals, “In the

re-established the integrity of sport.”

across the generations. Jack Heuer

1896 Olympics three runners crossed the

invented the first electronic 1/1000th of

finishing line at the same time. You had


a second device, the first self-winding

no video finish then, so no one knew who

Heuer’s accomplishments is evident in

mechanical chronograph, the first

had won the 100 metres! The integrity

his body language. His face lights up

analogue and digital quartz watches.

of sport had been betrayed because

and he shifts on his seat, animated and

So many innovations.”

eventually the jury, using the naked eye

gesticulating when talking about the

alone, decided it was person A – but

company’s history.

These forward thinking creations galvanised the brand’s association with

maybe it was person B or C. To avoid this

sport, where they are used as tools to

ever happening again Charles August

the war, we saw the natural application

Heuer, the founder’s son, worked to

of measuring time to 1/100th of a second,

develop the chronograph.”

because naturally cars go faster than

The revolutionary Microgirder 2000 can measure time to 10,000th of a second.

Babin continues with this anecdote to

“Then, as motor racing boomed after

people, so this is how our history began

highlight just how crucial TAG Heuer’s

connecting TAG Heuer, more than any

inventions were. “We didn’t choose sport.

other brand, to motor racing and our

Sport chose us. In 1916 we were the only

subsequent involvement with Formula

company capable of measuring beyond

One, Ferrari, McLaren, GT cars, the Tesla,

a fifth of a second. In the 1920s, after World War I, the Olympic Committee

Le Mans 24, Audi and so on.” These associations and the essential

restarted organising the Olympic

applications of TAG Heuer products in the

Games and Heuer was the only

world of sport have time and again proven

company they could appoint

vital. It was TAG Heuer’s timekeeping that

capable of recording time to

produced another unbeaten world record

1/100th of a second. You could

for the closest finish in the whole of motor

now guarantee the results

racing history. It happened in France, in

and the ranking and it was

the 2006 Race of Champions where top Portfolio


drivers from different racing categories go head to head. The winner, Mattias Ekström, beat Heikki Kovalainen by 2/10,000ths of a second (0.0002). That infinitesimal fragment of time corresponded to 10 millimetres of track between the two cars travelling at over 220mph. If the future holds jet plane or even spaceship racing in store, it’s a safe bet that TAG Heuer will be in charge of recording the time. In the present day, the company has the new Mikrogirder 2000. The sweeping hand counting the time on this watch moves so fast it cannot be seen by the naked eye. Spinning at 20 laps per second and breaking the 10,000th of a second barrier, it revolves faster than a helicopter blade. Revolutionary and evolutionary, the Mikrogirder

Tennis star Maria Sharapova sits in the electric Tesla sport car that TAG Heuer used to mark its 150th anniversary in 2010.

breaks new ground as it is not only a chronograph development but has also fundamentally reinvented the hairspring and balance wheel regulatory system invented by Christiaan Huygens in 1675. Every mechanical watch on sale uses the hairspring and balance wheel mechanism in some capacity – until now. As Babin affirms proudly, “It’s the first time ever that a company has broken the 10,000th of a second barrier. Broken, measured and displayed.” SO HOW did Babin and his team do it? “To go beyond what Huygens laid down 337 years ago we had to start from a blank page. Which meant reinventing entirely

“I love to challenge myself. We have challenged conventional watchmaking not to necessarily substitute it, but to prove that we could do better and grow further with different concepts.”

Hollywood star Leonardo di Caprio (L), a brand ambassador for TAG Heuer, is pictured with Babin and Jack Heuer (R), the great-grandson of the company’s founder.

the regulation system so that instead of

watch industry technologies which have

a balance wheel and hairspring, we used

nothing to do with watchmaking.”

beams. If you take skyscrapers, they are

Babin concludes, “I love to challenge

built with oscillating beams. If you have

myself. We have challenged conventional

an earthquake the beams will keep the

watchmaking not to necessarily substitute

building stable but provide the ability

it, but to prove that we could do better

to absorb an eight Richter Scale shock.

and grow further with different concepts.

Basically, no one ever thought about

Because of our innovations we have pushed

applying this theory to watchmaking. We

to the highest level of mastery. I cannot

replaced the famous hairspring with an

accept the statement that it is not possible.

oscillating beam and imported into the

I hate the idea that it’s impossible.” n



NEW HOMES FOR SINGAPORE HAWKERS Singapore’s street food is legendary, and both the government and corporations have stepped in to create a tourist-friendly experience, reports Gisela Williams.


an open-air Asian version of Happy Days:

Lee, a 27-year-old Singaporean chef, as

a circle of what looked like a dozen or so

he gestured toward the dozen or so street

traditional pushcarts and stands were

food stands surrounding our table. “I

accessorised with decorative birdcages,

doubt that one of these hawkers is under

1960s-era furniture and old street signs. A

the age of 40. When this generation is

mix of tourists and locals filled a third of

gone, their recipes will probably go with

the many tables.

them. Their children want to be bankers

Lee and I did a lap to get our bearings

or lawyers. Who wants to slog it out six

and then started ordering. Soon our table

days a week, morning through night, in a

was overflowing with dishes: chicken rice,

hot, dirty environment?”

bak kut teh soup, rojak (a salad of turnip,

Lee himself slogs it out all week –

brown sweet prawn paste sauce), fried

restaurant, the Candlenut Kitchen, which

oyster omelettes and popiah (a spring

specialises in Peranakan food, a labour-

roll made with a crepelike skin). It was

intensive traditional style of cooking that

a greatest-hits collection of Singaporean

is generally considered Singapore’s true

hawker food. The atmosphere may have

indigenous cuisine.

been kitschy and tourist-friendly, but the

We were at the Singapore Food Trail at the Singapore Flyer, a huge Ferris wheel

food was authentic enough. Lee squeezed some lime and added

that’s a top tourist attraction. The Food

chilli sauce to a helping of hokkien

Trail is a new spin on hawker centres,

noodles – an amazingly rich, fragrant dish

a Singaporean tradition in which cooks

of stock-coated egg and rice noodles and

sell their signature dishes to admiring

prawns. I followed suit.

customers for low prices. Loving essays

“Singaporean cuisine is hawker food.

have been written about hawker centres;

This is where we eat every day,” Lee said.

food enthusiasts come from around the

“I wouldn’t come all the way here for

world to sample them.

hokkien noodles, even though these are

But the Food Trail is something


pineapple and bean sprouts, with a thick,

not behind a hawker stand, but at his

really good – sticky and flavourful. I go

different: a hawker food court, which,

to this street in Chinatown, near my

like mall food courts, is organised by a

restaurant, that people call Chinatown

large corporation. Promoted as a tourist-

Food Street. But for tourists, this particular

friendly way to explore world-class street

hawker court is a great introduction to

food, these hawker food courts are a

local street food.”

growing phenomenon in the city. The

Lee went on to say that although he

question on our minds was: would the

approved of any project that supported

food live up to expectations?

local food, he generally avoided food

The Food Trail had the atmosphere of

courts because they were corporatePortfolio


for tourists, difficult to navigate.

owned. “In some cases, they charge higher

join forces, renting out tiny spaces within

rent and sometimes even a percentage

larger ones that are usually owned and

The food court at the Singapore Flyer

of the sales,” he said of the new food

regularly checked by the government.

was conceived by the dining business arm

courts. But as we dug into the popiah,

(Most of the centres were built in the mid-

of Select Group Partners Preferred, a food

he acknowledged that the food was full

’80s to relocate hawkers from the streets

service company. An ad was placed to

of complex flavours and made with care.

and to regulate hygienic conditions.)

initiate an island-wide search for the best

“The hawkers here are not cutting back

While the city just completed a 10-year

“heritage” hawkers (those who have a long

on quality. The dishes are just a little bit

programme of upgrading 90 hawker

tradition of selling a particular dish); 17

more expensive than what you’d find at

centres at a cost of 420 million Singapore

respondents were selected.

local hawker stands.”

dollars (about $325 million), they can still

At an average hawker centre, the cooks

be intimidating, frenetic and, especially

A few days later, I picked up Justin Quek, one of Singapore’s most acclaimed

Shine Amore serves food at a stall at Rasapura Masters, an upscale hawker food court that seats 960, in Singapore. Promoted as a tourist-friendly way to explore world-class street food, hawker food courts are a growing phenomenon in Singapore.

March 2012



“Everyone has their favourites,” he said, “and you tend to always go back to the same places because they know you and you know their food. When I catch a taste, it stays in my mind. It inspires the food I cook.”

Rasapura to another new food court, Food Republic Beer Garden (which has a fully stocked “street bar” and frequent live music sessions), in a parking lot near the St. James Power Station, an entertainment centre close to Sentosa Island, but Quek wanted to make sure I had the original hawker experience and told the taxi driver to take us to an area near the former Jackson Centre on MacPherson Road. “Everyone has their favourites,” he said, “and you tend to always go back to the same places because they know you and you know their food. When I catch a taste, it stays in my mind. It inspires the food I cook.” He took me to a small, grungy street food centre with about eight stalls, sat me down and made a beeline for Lao Zhong Zhong Fine Spice. He returned and gave me a quick tutorial. The star was the thick, pungent spicy sauce, into which Outdoor eating at the Satay Club, a hawker centre. The Singapore government is planning to build another 10 hawker centres over the next decade.

we dipped everything. “This is so good sometimes you just can’t stop eating it,” he said between bites. He didn’t think the hawker culture

celebrity chefs, at his new Franco-Asian

(Surprisingly, restaurants from the

restaurant, Sky on 57, on the top of the

celebrity chefs Mario Batali and Daniel

would die out anytime soon, but like Lee,

almost-215-metre-tall Marina Bay Sands,

Boulud on the floors above were not.)

he felt strongly about preserving it.

than a year ago. Quek had agreed to

ONE OF Quek’s favourite stands was

was pleased to hear that the government

show me around the resort’s Rasapura

Yong Tau Foo, which he described as

was planning to build another 10 new

Masters, a sprawling, upscale food

“very Singapore-style tofu.” There were

hawker centres over the next decade. “It’s

court that seats 960. It features a mix of

also several stalls selling Thai curries and

good news because it will keep rental costs

Singapore food stalls like Lau Di Fang,

sushi. “These new hawker courts are more

and food prices low,” he wrote. “I hope it

which serves a much-beloved dish called

commercialised,” Quek said, “but Rasapura

will inspire the next generation of young

scissors-cut curry rice, and Ng Ah Sio’s

did a good job selecting their vendors.”

hawkers with creative ideas and give a

A few weeks later Lee wrote me that he

a casino mall complex that opened more

bak kut teh soup. The place was mobbed.

The original plan was to continue from

new identity to Singapore street food.” n Portfolio

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CHINK IN THE ARMOUR Although companies spend millions on internet security, videoconferencing equipment is often left vulnerable to hackers, reports Nicole Perlroth. ONE AFTERNOON IN JANUARY, A

Moore has found it easy to get into

Moore, a chief security officer at Rapid7,

several top venture capital and law

rooms around the globe via equipment

a Boston-based company that looks for

firms, pharmaceutical and oil companies

that most every company has in those

security holes in computer systems that

and courtrooms across the country.

rooms; videoconferencing equipment.

are used in devices like toaster ovens and

He even found a path into the Goldman

With the move of a mouse, he steered

Mars landing equipment. His latest find:

Sachs boardroom.

a camera around each room, occasionally

Videoconferencing equipment is often left

zooming in with such precision that he

vulnerable to hackers.

could discern grooves in the wood and


In this case, the hacker was HD

hacker took a tour of a dozen conference

Businesses collectively spend billions

“The entry bar has fallen to the floor,” said Mike Tuchen, chief executive of Rapid 7. “These are literally some of the

paint flecks on the wall. In one room, he

of dollars each year beefing up security

world’s most important boardrooms – this

zoomed out through a window, across a

on their computer systems and employee

is where their most critical meetings take

parking lot and into shrubbery some 45

laptops. They agonise over the confidential

place – and there could be silent attendees

metres away where a small animal could

information that employees send to their

in all of them.”

be seen burrowing underneath a bush.

Gmail and Dropbox accounts and store

With such equipment, the hacker could

on their iPads and smartphones. But

TEN YEARS ago, videoconferencing

have easily eavesdropped on privileged

rarely do they give much thought to the

systems were complicated and erratic,

attorney-client conversations or read trade

ease with which anyone can penetrate a

and ran on expensive, closed high-speed

secrets on a report lying on the conference

videoconference room where their most

phone lines. Over the past decade,

room table.

guarded trade secrets are openly discussed.

videoconferencing – like everything Portfolio

else – migrated to the internet. Now,

would never know in any case.) But with

have seemingly gone out of their way to

most businesses use internet protocol

videoconference systems so ubiquitous,

make themselves vulnerable. In many

videoconferencing, a souped-up version

they make for an easy target.

cases, they are not only putting their

of Skype – to connect with colleagues and

It certainly would not be the first time

systems on the internet, but setting them

customers. Most of these new systems

hackers had exploited holes in office

up in a way that allows anyone to listen

were designed with visual and audio

hardware. After a security breach at the

in unnoticed. New systems are outfitted

clarity – not security – in mind.

US Chamber of Commerce last year, the

with a feature that automatically accepts

chamber discovered that its office printer,

inbound calls so users do not have to press

thousands of businesses were investing in

and even a thermostat in a chamber-owned

an ‘accept’ button every time someone

top-quality videoconferencing units, but

apartment, had been communicating with

dials into their videoconference. The

were setting them up on the cheap. At

an internet address in China.

effect is that anyone can dial in and look

Rapid 7 discovered that hundreds of

last count, companies spent an estimated

With videoconferencing, companies

$693 million on group videoconferencing from July to September of last year, according to Wainhouse Research. The most popular units, sold by Polycom and Cisco, can cost as much as $25,000 and feature encryption, high-definition video capture, and audio that can pick up the sound of a door opening 90 metres away. But administrators are setting them up outside the firewall and are configuring them with a false sense of security that hackers can use against them. Whether real hackers are exploiting this vulnerability is unknown; no company has announced that it has been hacked. (Nor would one, and most

around a room, and the only sign of their presence is a tiny light on a console unit,

“Whether real hackers are exploiting this vulnerability is unknown; no company has announced that it has been hacked. (Nor would one, and most would never know in any case.) But with videoconference systems so ubiquitous, they make for an easy target.”

or the silent swing of a video camera. RECENTLY, MOORE wrote a computer program that scanned the internet for videoconference systems that were outside the firewall and configured to automatically answer calls. In less than two hours, he had scanned three per cent of the internet. In that sliver, he discovered 5,000 wide-open conference rooms at law firms, pharmaceutical companies, oil refineries, universities and medical centres. He stumbled into an attorney-inmate meeting room at a prison, an operating room at a university medical centre, and a venture capital pitch meeting where a company’s financials were being projected on a screen. Among the vendors that popped up in Moore’s scan were Polycom, Cisco, LifeSize, Sony and others. Of those, Polycom – which leads the videoconferencing market in units sold – was the only manufacturer that ships its equipment – from its low-end ViewStation models to its high-end HDX products – with the auto-answer feature enabled by default. In an email, Shawn Dainas, a Polycom spokesman, said the auto-answer feature had several safety elements built in that could be activated by a customer, including password protections, automute and camera control lockup, adding that Polycom also offered a camera lens cover. He said the “security levels have

Mike Tuchen, left, chief executive of Rapid7, with chief security officer HD Moore in the company’s boardroom in Boston. March 2012

been designed to make it easy for our customers to enable security that is






France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy (R) attends a video conference with US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron at the Elysee Palace in Paris. Governments and their departments have tight security measures, unlike many companies.

Defense, banks – put their systems behind

appropriate to their business.”

the firewall,” Weinstein said. “That doesn’t

Of the Polycom videoconference systems that popped up in Moore’s scan,

mean there aren’t exceptions. If you talk

none blocked control of the camera, asked

to outside companies, you need to decide

for a password or muted sound.

if you want to be accessible or totally secure. I could never leave my house and

“Many Polycom systems are sold, installed

be secure. But I want to be accessible. It’s a

access security, with auto-answer enabled

choice people make.”


and maintained without any level of by default,” says Moore. “It boils down to whether organisations are aware of the risk, and our research indicates that many, even well-heeled venture capital firms, were not aware and do not implement even the most basic of security measures.” Tuchen of Rapid7 said that as a short cut, businesses put their videoconference

In some cases, Moore discovered he could leap from one open system into its address

Intel CEO Paul Otellini gives a demonstration on encrypted videoconferencing. Although all videoconferencing systems are equipped with security measures, they are often not used.

book and dial into the conference rooms of

properly,” he said, and “is often skipped.”

Moore’s initial scan but an entry labelled

other companies, even those companies that put their system behind the firewall. That was the case with Goldman Sachs. The bank’s boardroom did not show up in “Goldman Sachs Board Room” popped up

systems outside the firewall, allowing them to receive calls from other companies

IRA WEINSTEIN, a senior analyst at

in the directory of a law firm that Goldman

without having to do any complex network

Wainhouse Research, a market research

Sachs videoconferences with. Moore did

configuration. The safer way to receive

firm that specialises in media conferencing,

not disclose the name of the law firm and

calls from other companies, Tuchen said,

disputed the notion that most companies

said that because he was afraid of “crossing

is to install a “gatekeeper” that securely

keep their systems outside the firewall.

a line,” he did not dial into Goldman Sachs.

connects calls from outside the firewall.

“The companies that really have to worry

But, this process “is complex to configure

about breaches – the Department of

Said Tuchen, “Any reasonably computer literate six-year-old can try this at home.” n Portfolio



A siNkiNg mArkeT The slow global economy and a glut in freighters have greatly reduced charter rates. That lowers the value of ships and is putting pressure on banks, reports Keith Bradsher.

© 2012 New York Times News service


he skyscrapers and

of the worst markets ever for the global

The oversupply is putting financial

immaculate beaches of Singapore

shipping industry.

pressure on the shipowners that

look out on one of the world’s

As recently as several weeks ago,

bought them and the already struggling

largest parking lots: kilometres of empty

large freighters that can carry bulk

European banks that financed many of

cargo ships, as far as the eye can see.

commodities like iron ore or grain were

the purchases.

fetching charter rates of $15,000 a day.

Shipping industry leaders hold little

cargo holds, off the coasts of southeast

Now, brokers and owners say, the going

hope of a quick recovery. “If the tunnel

Malaysia and Hong Kong. And dozens

rate is $6,000 a day – if customers can

is 2012, I can’t see any light at the end of

of newly built ships float empty near the

even be found.

it,” said Tim Huxley, the chief executive

Similar fleets bob at anchor, with empty

giant shipyards of South Korea and China,

Although the fault lies partly with

of Wah Kwong Maritime Transport

their owners from all over the world

doldrums in the global economy, the

Holdings, a Hong Kong-based shipping

reluctant to accept delivery during one

bigger factor is a glut of new freighters.

line with 29 bulk freighters and tankers.


world leaders in ship financing because

monitoring an industry benchmark, the

boom, which continued through the

many of the biggest fleet owners are based

Baltic Dry Index of bulk freighter

spring of 2008, the world’s shipowners

there. But many have abruptly stopped

charter rates, which has lost more than

could hardly place orders for freighters

lending money to shipowners. Some, as

half its value since the start of the year.

fast enough. But because of the long lead

they scramble to muster capital to meet

The index is at its lowest level since

times in shipbuilding, those vessels only

tougher reserve requirements demanded

January 2009, during the depths of the

now are being delivered by the hundreds

by European banking regulators, have

economic downturn after the bankruptcy

– into a very different, much less robust

even tried to raise money by asking some

of Lehman Brothers. And as charter

international economy than when they

shipowners to prepay loans in exchange

rates plummet, so do prices of the vessels

were ordered.

for a discount.

themselves. A large tanker that sold for

Back during the global commodity

$137 million in early 2008, the Samho

For the shipping industry, the glut means not only lower charter fares but

There is a scant secondary market

also steep declines in the value of their

for ship loans right now, except at deep

vessels. The bigger losers, though, could

discounts that banks are loath to agree

eventually be some big European banks,

to, according to shipping finance experts.

many of which are already struggling with

Even for loans on which the vessel is still

big losses on their holdings of government

worth more than the mortgage, these

bonds from Greece, Italy and other

experts say, the discount demanded is

heavily indebted European nations.

about 20 per cent.

Basil Karatzas, the chief executive

Commerzbank in Germany and the

of Karatzas Marine Advisors, a ship

Lloyds Banking Group in Britain are

brokerage and finance advisory firm in

among the institutions that have publicly

Manhattan, estimated that European

said they were reducing their exposure to

banks hold about $500 billion in shipping

shipping loans.

loans on their books and face nearly $100

Societe Generale in France also

billion in losses to restructure them. The

has been looking for ways to reduce

banks’ “biggest concern is what is the

its holdings of shipping loans and

write-off, and how do you treat it from

instead focus on providing financial

an accounting point of view,” Karatzas

advice to shipping companies, according

said. “They do not know how to deal

to two people with knowledge of the

with these losses.”

bank’s moves.

Banks in Europe have long been the

Dream, was repossessed by bankers late last year and sold recently in Hong Kong for $28.3 million. The world’s tonnage of large freighters is climbing by more than 10 per cent a year, with 1,650 large freighters for bulk commodities expected to emerge from shipyards this year alone. As long as

“There is a scant secondary market for ship loans right now, except at deep discounts that banks are loath to agree to, according to shipping finance experts.”

Shipowners, meantime, are nervously

Empty freighters anchored off Singapore. A glut of new freighters and a weak global economy has severely impacted charter rates. March 2012



the shipped tonnage of world trade is

coming years, which would eventually

creeping up at an annual rate of only two

reduce oversupply.

to three per cent a year, the oversupply

Worldwide lending for ships totalled

can grow only more burdensome for the

about $100 billion last year, down only

seaborne freight industry.

slightly from previous years, according

Making the glut especially acute right

to industry estimates. But as much as

now is the fact that shipyards have

three-quarters of last year’s loans were to

delivered a large number of vessels to

refinance or restructure previous loans

owners since the beginning of the year.

that the borrowers were struggling to

Just as some car buyers wait to buy a car

repay, shipping finance executives said.

at the start of a model year – because

Harley Seyedin, the president of the

it will hold its resale value longer –

American Chamber of Commerce in

shipowners have traditionally taken

South China, said that many construction

delivery of as many vessels as possible

projects had slowed to a crawl, with barely

in January, so as to have a full calendar

enough work being done for developers

year’s use before a vessel reaches its first

to persuade their bankers to continue

birthday, said Natasha Boyden, an analyst

financing projects already under way.

at Cantor Fitzgerald in New York. Buyers who might be tempted to refuse delivery of vessels can lose their deposits,

Yet the growing glut of vessels, combined with seasonal factors, could skew the reliability of shipping as a

which are typically up to 40 per cent of the contract price of the ship. But it is getting harder to borrow money from struggling banks to pay for the remaining 60 per cent – particularly with resale values now much lower than the prices at which contracts were signed four or five years ago. Freight rates are now close to operating costs for many bulk freighters, leaving almost nothing to pay the mortgage, so




“Worldwide lending for ships totalled about $100 billion last year, down only slightly from previous years, according to industry estimates.”

more old vessels may be scrapped in the

A bulk carrier loads iron ore in Australia. Brazil and Australia are two countries where bulk carriers are most in demand.

global economic indicator. Bad weather lately off Australia and Brazil, the two countries where bulk freighters are most likely to take on iron ore and other cargo, has made companies leery of chartering vessels and risk waiting for days for ports to reopen after storms. Further confusing the picture is that the cost to ship a container from China to the United States or Europe actually jumped in the first two weeks of this year, as factories rushed to fill orders before shutting down for up to a month for the Chinese New Year. But that could be a misleading metric, because container rates temporarily surge every year for the last sailings before the Chinese New Year. Even if world trade does not slow in the coming months, the shipping industry still has a long way to go before cargo demand can catch up to capacity. Meantime, bulk freighters, container

geTTY imAges

ships, tankers and refrigerator ships by the hundreds may continue to bob idly in the waves, their hulls showing wide bands Dozens of newly built ships are emerging from the giant shipyards of South Korea and China. Their owners are reluctant to accept delivery due to market conditions.

of paint that would be submerged if the vessels were fully laden. n Portfolio

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slum in Mumbai, Shaikh Mobin’s shanty is cleaved like a wedding cake, four layers high and sliced down the middle. The missing half has been demolished. What remains appears ready for demolition, too, with temporary walls and a rickety corrugated roof. Yet inside, carpenters © 2012 NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

At first glance, India’s largest slum seems a cliché of poverty. But yet its thousands of informal businesses create an annual economic output estimated to range from $600 million to more than $1 billion, reports Jim Yardley.


are assembling furniture on the ground floor. One floor up, men are busily cutting and stitching blue jeans. Upstairs from them, workers are crouched over sewing machines, making blouses. And at the top, still more workers are fashioning men’s suits and wedding apparel. One crumbling Portfolio

Workers remove fabric from drying racks at a fabric dying factory owned by Mohammad Mustaqueem.

countries, there is only one economy. But

eyesore, a symbol of raw inequality that

in India, there are two.”

epitomises the failure of policymakers

India is a rising economic power,

to accommodate the millions of rural

even as huge portions of its economy

migrants searching for opportunity in

operate in the shadows. Its “formal”

Indian cities. It also underscores the

economy consists of businesses that pay

determination of those migrants to

taxes, adhere to labour regulations and

come anyway.

burnish the country’s global image. India’s

The recycling area of Dharavi slum in Mumbai, India. More than a warehouse for the poor, Dharavi contains a hive of workshops with an annual economic output of more than $600 million.

“Economic opportunity in India still

“informal” economy is everything else:

lies, to a large extent, in urban areas,”

the hundreds of millions of shopkeepers,

said Eswar Prasad, a leading economist.

farmers, construction workers, taxi

“The problem is that government hasn’t

drivers, street vendors, rag pickers, tailors,

provided easy channels to be employed in

repairmen, middlemen and more.

the formal sector. So the informal sector is

This divide exists in other developing countries, but it is a chasm in India:

where the activity lies.” Dharavi is Dickens and Horatio Alger

Experts estimate that the informal sector

and Upton Sinclair. It is ingrained in the

is responsible for the overwhelming

Indian imagination, depicted in books or

majority of India’s annual economic

Bollywood movies, as well as in the Oscar-

Dharavi are 60,000 structures, many of

growth and as much as 90 per cent of all

winning hit Slumdog Millionaire. Dharavi

them shanties, and as many as one million

employment. The informal economy exists

has been examined in a Harvard Business

people living and working on a triangle of

largely outside government oversight and,

School case study and dissected by urban

land barely two-thirds the size of Central

in the case of slums like Dharavi, without

planners from Europe to Japan. Yet merely

Park in Manhattan. Dharavi is one of the

government help or encouragement.

trying to define Dharavi is contested.

Indian misery. It is also a churning hive

FOR YEARS, India’s government has

Dharavi, Dharavi is a slum, a huge slum,”

of workshops with an annual economic

tried with mixed success to increase

said Gautam Chatterjee, the principal

output estimated to be $600 million to

industrial output by developing

secretary overseeing the Housing Ministry

more than $1 billion.

special economic zones to lure major

in Maharashtra state. “But I have also

manufacturers. Dharavi, by contrast,

looked at Dharavi as a city within a city,

Mobin, whose family is involved in several

could be called a self-created special

an informal city.”

businesses in Dharavi. “In most developed

economic zone for the poor. It is a visual

shanty. Four businesses. In the labyrinthine slum known as

“Maybe to anyone who has not seen

world’s most infamous slums, a cliché of

“This is a parallel economy,” said

March 2012

It is an informal city as layered as




Mobin’s sheared building – and as fragile. Plans to raze and redevelop Dharavi into a “normal” neighbourhood have stirred a debate about what would be gained but also about what might be lost by trying to control and regulate Dharavi. Every layer of Dharavi, when exposed, reveals something far more complicated, and organic, than the concept of a slum as merely a warehouse for the poor. Said Hariram Tanwar, 64, a local businessman, “Dharavi is a mini-India.” THE ORDER was for 2,700 briefcases, custom-made gifts for a large bank to distribute during the Hindu holiday of Diwali. The bank contacted a supplier, which contacted a leather-goods store, Mohammad Mustaqueem, a Dharavi property owner and garment manufacturer, in one of his garment factories.

which sent the order to a manufacturer. Had the order been placed in China, it probably would have landed in one of the huge coastal factories that employ thousands of rural migrants and have

A Labyrinth at the Heart of Mumbai


Dharavi may no longer be Asia’s — or even Mumbai’s — biggest slum, but it is still its most iconic. By some estimates, the slum is home to one million people in an area about two-thirds of Manhattan’s Central Park. Land that once was on the outskirts of Mumbai has now been swallowed by the city and has been subject to multiple rehabilitation attempts since the 1970s.

In India, the order landed in the


Dharavi workshop of Mohammed Asif. Dharavi

soft, black leather, an informal assembly

Naik Nagar





Bus depot





Station Rd.



13th Compound


i av





Social Nagar

Chambda Bazaar




New Transit Camp

et Sh ty .


Hindu Crematorium

A.K.G. Nagar

cramped room doubling as a dormitory: briefcases were due in two weeks. “They work hard,” Asif said. “They work from eight in the morning until 11 at night because the more they do, the more they will earn to send back to their families. They come here to earn.” Leatherwork is now a major industry

1930s Koliwada

in Dharavi, but only one. Small garment factories have proliferated throughout the slum, making children’s clothes or



women’s dresses for the Indian market or export abroad. According to a 2007

1960s Matunga Labor Camp

1/4 mile

line, except that the factory floor is a the workers sleep above, in a loft. The

Dharavi grew outward from the neighborhoods of Koliwada and Chambda Bazaar. By some estimates, this is one of the most densely populated areas in Dharavi, more than six times as dense as daytime Manhattan.

Chambda Bazaar

Muslim Cemetery

Muslim Nagar

Sahu Nagar

In Kumbharwada, most dwellings are used as home and production space. The neighborhood is named after the community of potters, the Kumbhars, who migrated from India’s northwest in the 19th century.




Kuti Wadi


The 13th Compound is at the heart of Dharavi’s recycling industry. An estimated 80% of Mumbai’s plastic waste is recycled in the slum, in some 15,000 single-room factories.

Poon Wala Chawl









d kR

Asif ’s work force consists of 22 men, who sit cross-legged beside mounds of


Koliwada is often considered Dharavi’s original neighbourhood — it was settled by a fishing community in the 17th century. Unlike most of the slum, the area has many old self-standing houses and small patios.

The Slum Rehabilitation Act of 1995 relocated some slum dwellers from huts to new developements. Most of Dharavi’s high-rise structures like the Rajiv Indira project, completed in 2002, were built under this act.

made China a manufacturing powerhouse.

Central Park, Manhattan

Chambda Bazaar

The New Transit Camp started as a temporary relocation site for dwellers as new developements were built around the slum. The site later became permanent.

Sources: Partners for Urban Knowledge Action and Research, PUKAR;; Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture and Environment, KRVIA; Government of Maharashtra; Satellite imagery by GeoEye



study sponsored by the US Agency for International Development, Dharavi has at least 500 large garment workshops (defined as having 50 or more sewing


machines) and about 3,000 smaller ones. Then there are the 5,000 leather shops. Portfolio

N.Y. Times News Service Date: 01/03/11

other slum and set up there.”

And the food processors that make snacks

for more than half the city’s population.

for the rest of India.

Many people live in slums because

Dharavi still exists on the margins.

they cannot afford to live anywhere

Few businesses pay taxes. Few residents

embroiderers and, most of all, the vast

else, and government efforts to build

have formal title to their land. Political

recycling operations that sort, clean and

affordable housing have been woefully

parties court the slum for votes and have

reprocess much of India’s discarded plastic.

inadequate. But many newer slums are

slowly delivered things taken for granted

also microversions of Dharavi’s informal

elsewhere: some toilets, water spigots.

And then still more: printmakers,

“We are cleaning the dirt of the

“They are talking about redeveloping

country,” said Fareed Siddiqui, the general

economy. Some newer migrants even

secretary of the Dharavi Businessmen’s

come to Dharavi to learn new skills, as if

Dharavi,” said Mohammad Khurshid

Welfare Association.

Dharavi were a slum franchising operation.

Sheikh, who owns a leather shop. “But

“Dharavi is becoming their steppingstone,”

if they do, the whole chain may break

TODAY, MORE than eight million people

said Vineet Joglekar, a civic leader here.

down. These businesses can work because

live in Mumbai’s slums, according to some

“They learn jobs, and then they go to some

Dharavi attracts labour. People can work here and sleep in the workshop. If there is

estimates, a huge figure that accounts

redevelopment, they will not get that room so cheap. They will not come back here.” MATIAS ECHANOVE, an architect and urban planner, has long argued that Dharavi should not be dismissed as merely a slum, since it operates as a contained residential and commercial city. He said razing Dharavi, or even completely redeveloping it, would only push residents into other slums. “They are going to create actual, real slums,” he said. “Nobody is saying Dharavi is a paradise. But we need to understand the dynamics, so that when there is an intervention by the government, An Indian boy copies from the blackboard during a third-grade Hindi exam at Habib Raza School.

Radheshyam Nehrua, 15, dries plastic chips on the roof of a plastic recycling shed in Dharavi.

it doesn’t destroy what is there.” Dharavi’s fingerprints continue to be found across Mumbai’s economy and beyond, even if few people realise it. Asif, the leather shop owner, made leather folders used to deliver dinner bills at the city’s most famous hotel, the Taj Mahal Palace. The tasty snacks found in Mumbai’s finest confectionaries? Made in Dharavi. The exquisite leather handbags sold in expensive shops? Often made in Dharavi. “There are hundreds of Dharavis flourishing in the city,” said Mobin, the businessman. “Every slum has its businesses. Every kind of business is there in the slums.” But surely, Mobin is asked, there are things not made in Dharavi. Surely not airplanes, for example. “But we recycle waste for the airlines,” he answered

Indian workers wash sheets and clothes at Dhobi Ghat, a communal laundry. March 2012

proudly. “Cups and food containers.” n



Real Estate


Commercial real estate companies in the United States and Canada are building malls and residential developments in China, drawn by an expanding middle class.

Building Business in China US developers are keen to capitalise on growth opportunities in China. But doing business there can be fraught with difficulties, reports Terry Pristin.






States, announced with some fanfare that

David Simon, disclosed that his company

in commercial building in

it would begin developing malls with two

was in “serious discussions” about

the United States, some US

partners. Four malls were built in so-called

opening outlet centres in China with a

developers are planning projects in China,

second-tier cities, like Hangzhou, which

joint-venture partner and would make a

hoping to capitalise on an immense,

has 5.5 million people according to its

decision in a couple of months.

increasingly urbanised market with a

municipal website. But in 2009 – before

rising middle class. In recent years, annual

three of the malls had opened – Simon sold

Taubman Centers, the developer of

consumer spending has been growing by

its interest and left China. The company

the only major mall currently under

about 18 per cent.

told analysts that the cities lacked enough

construction in the United States

middle-income consumers to make the

(City Creek Centre in Salt Lake City),

with obstacles. In 2005, the Simon

centres profitable. Simon said it lost $20

is planning a foray into China. Last

Property Group, the largest shopping

million in the venture.

summer, Taubman bought TCBL, a retail

But developing in China can be fraught

centre owner and operator in the United March 2012

But in October, Simon’s chief executive,

Another major US mall company,

consulting company based in Beijing.

52 The roofs of Jian Ye Li, a residential and long stay housing project which an Atlanta developer is turning into luxury apartments, in Shanghai

Robert Taubman, the chief executive, said

American real estate, including Hines

the director of Asia Pacific real estate

the company planned to build, acquire

Interests of Houston, Tishman Speyer

investment for Russell Investments.

and update malls throughout China. “It

of New York and Ivanhoe Cambridge

will be the full spectrum of what we do

of Montreal, are developing projects in

IN RECENT months, the government

here,” said Taubman.

China – all with Chinese partners.

has been trying to bring down home

Other well-known names in North

To gain access to the huge Chinese

this policy appears to be easing). The

language and cultural barriers, nurture close

Chinese have also been encouraging more

relationships with receptive local partners,

development of mixed-use communities

and deal with layers of bureaucratic

outside the urban cores and more

complexity as well as opaque and

consumer spending – and developers have

unpredictable regulatory and legal systems.

been responding accordingly.

“You don’t want to get involved in a


Hines, the developer of the Galleria malls

legal action because it won’t go anywhere,”

in Houston and Dallas, completed the

said Daniel Winey, a managing principal

first phase of one mixed-use development

at Gensler, an international architectural

– the 18-hectare California Place in New

firm with a long track record in China.

Jiangwan Town in Shanghai – before

Gensler was the design architect for the

selling its stake in 2010 to two Hong Kong

Shanghai Tower, a supersize 121-storey

developers. In June, Tishman Speyer, whose

office, hotel and retail building under

properties include Rockefeller Center, began

construction in the architecturally striking

development of the Springs, an even larger

Pudong section of Shanghai.

project north of Pudong.

Many private equity investors that

Lisa Love, a Vogue editor, with Robert Taubman, the CEO of Taubman Centers. Taubman is planning to build, acquire and update malls in China.

prices by tightening credit (although lately

market, they have had to brave significant

Portman Holdings of Atlanta and its

flocked to China in 2007, when real estate

partners have nearly finished transforming

prices in the United States were soaring,

Jian Ye Li, a cluster of 1930s traditional-

have since left the country. In China, real

style residential buildings in Shanghai, into

estate specialists point out, what gets built

a mix of luxury apartments and furnished

depends more on the government’s current

housing for temporary stays. Portman was

goals and policies than on market forces.

the designer and one of the developers of

“It’s such a policy-driven market that you

China’s first mixed-use development, the

have to time not just the market cycles but

1990 Shanghai Centre, where the Portman

also the policy cycles,” said Martin Lamb,

Ritz-Carlton hotel is located. Portfolio

on leasing and builds up the confidence

Richard Vogel, a senior vice president at

seems to offer the greatest opportunities for

of the retailer,” said Siu Wing Chu, a

Ivanhoe Cambridge. In the first week,

foreign investors. US developers have played

senior director at the international

shoppers virtually emptied the H&M

only a minimal role in the tightening office

brokerage Savills.

and Zara stores, said Vogel, who is based

Of the commercial property sectors, retail

market in Beijing and Shanghai. Hines

Ivanhoe Cambridge, the Canadian firm

in Shanghai. “They had to schedule

developed the new 21st Century Tower, a

that developed Mary Brickell Village

additional deliveries to keep their shelves

49-storey office building in Pudong with

in downtown Miami, says it has had

filled,” he said.

a Four Seasons Hotel, but sold its stake in

success in teaming up with the Bailian

2010 to a Hong Kong company.

Group, the Chinese department store

IN 2008, the private equity firm Blackstone

chain, to redevelop La Nova, a lacklustre

bought a vacant shopping mall in Shanghai,

to their management contracts in China,

80,000-square-metre shopping centre in

called Channel 1, and brought in tenants

but few foreign companies are developing

Changsha, the capital of Hunan province.

like H&M, Zara and Sephora before selling

or investing in the hotels themselves,

Ivanhoe Cambridge made the centre more

it to a Hong Kong investment company.

said David Ling, in charge of China

inviting and persuaded its partners to

“Private equity companies have been net

and Southeast Asia for the consulting

focus on so-called fast fashion.

sellers over the past 12 months,” said Chris

Western hotel brands are rapidly adding

company HVS Global Hospitality Services. But some foreign retail developers are

When the centre opened last April,

CBRE in China.

“But some foreign retail developers are venturing into second- or even third-tier cities – populous places where the modern shopping centre is often a novelty. ”

of a mature consumer market for its

Although Simon blamed the absence

venturing into second- or even third-tier cities – populous places where the modern shopping centre is often a novelty. That strategy is of course not without risks. “There’s not a lot of historical data to do your planning,” said Sanjay Verma, Cushman & Wakefield’s chief executive for Asia and the Pacific. Retailing specialists say local mall developers are not seeking foreign capital but can profit from Western expertise in design, merchandising and attracting the right mix of tenants. “Partnering with

Brooke, the president and chief executive of

129,000 people showed up, said

somebody with experience will help them

frustrating experiences in China, other retail specialists say the giant mall company encountered other problems that are common there, including a difficult relationship with its state-owned partner. Before joining Russell Investments, Lamb was in China to develop shopping centres anchored by Wal-Mart stores. Just getting a copier was an exercise in frustration that required three different licenses, he said. “Once we had Chinese employees, one of them said, ‘You should have asked me. My brother would have gotten it for you,”’ Lamb said. He also pointed out in China, a contract is considered more of a guide than a legally binding document. “We were always told, ‘If you have a dispute with your tenant, take them out to dinner,’” he said. Despite the potential pitfalls, companies with the breadth of a Simon or a Taubman have the potential to succeed in China, but others may face insurmountable challenges, because China’s fast-growing development companies see no need to share their profits, said Jack Portman, a vice chairman of his family’s company. “If you’re not already there with existing relationships, it’s probably too late,” he

Shanghai’s vacant Channel 1 shopping mall was bought by the private equity firm Blackstone in 2008. They brought in tenants and then sold their stake. March 2012

said. “Unless you have something special to contribute, they don’t need it.” n

Real Estate




Kathryn Bigelow on the set of The Hurt Locker, which earned her the best director Oscar in 2009.

The Celluloid Ceiling With female scriptwriters behind some of the biggest movies, from Juno to Kung Fu Panda 2, it seems the gender barrier has been lifted. But things aren’t that simple, reports Paul Harris.


mainstream Hollywood comedy Couples

Retreat. According to Melissa Silverstein, co-founder of the Athena festival, and the woman behind the acclaimed ‘Women and Hollywood’ blog, the four women were awarded: “For their creativity and their sisterhood.” It is the word “sisterhood” that is key. The talent possessed by the women is not in doubt. It is their self-conscious decision to openly promote themselves in solidarity with other women that is different in a movie world dominated by men. It also goes against an enduring Hollywood myth: that women let into the Tinseltown boys’ club won’t help each other out. “There is a mythology that women can’t be friends with each other because they have to compete for jobs. We have to get beyond that,” said Silverstein. There has never been a greater need. Much media attention focuses on the big-name women directors behind major films or whose projects have walked off with top awards. After all, Kathryn Bigelow’s best director Oscar in 2009 for The Hurt Locker was meant to have put female directors on the map. Just look at Catherine Hardwicke, who directed major Hollywood movies such as Twilight, full of the sort of action and adventure meant to


be the preserve of male directors. Starring Kristen Stewart, Twilight was such a smash that it was the biggest ever opening weekend for a female director. Meanwhile, Angelina Jolie has just directed her first film, the Bosnia war story In The Land

of Blood and Honey, which garnered a Golden Globe nomination. But, like a surprise twist in the third reel, that is not the whole picture. Far from it. “It is really easy to be misled by a few high-profile cases. We can all name a few very successful female directors,” said Professor Martha Lauzen, an expert on women in film at San Diego State University in California. Nor is that just Lauzen’s personal opinion: since the late 1990s she has collected annual data on what jobs women are doing in Hollywood, both behind the scenes and on camera. Her statistics are shocking for the almost total lack of progress they show over more than a decade. In a dig at the notion that everything is equal in Hollywood, Lauzen’s report each year is called simply ‘The Celluloid Ceiling’. The latest Celluloid Ceiling figures for the top 250 US films produced in 2011 have just been released. They make grim reading. Women made up only five per cent of Hollywood directors last year, a

he AthenA Film FestivAl, which opened at Barnard College in New York on 9 February, is a

showcase aimed at celebrating women film-makers and rewarding their art and successes. Now in its second year, the festival consists of screenings, awards and the usual parties, but with a feminist slant. Among those getting accolades was a group of women in Hollywood known as ‘the Fempire’. The Fempire consists of screenwriters Diablo Cody, Dana Fox, Liz Meriwether and Lorene Scafaria, who between them have worked on films that range from the quirky indie smash hit Juno to the big March 2012

Female directors are often stereotyped as being only good at making films for women audiences. The Hurt Locker challenged this perception as it was a war film set in Iraq.





Angelina Jolie on the set of her directorial debut, In the Land of Blood and Honey.

as far back as 1998 the figure was seven

directors is actually going down.” But other groups with agendas like the

per cent. “That is a kick in the gut,” said

Fempire are springing up. They seek

Silverstein. But elsewhere progress is

not to enter the Hollywood boys’ club

hardly fast-track. In total, women made

but to replicate it. Step forward Trudie

up 18 per cent of behind-the-scenes roles

Styler, actress and the wife of pop star

in Hollywood in 2011 – against 16 per

Sting. Styler has set up a production

cent in 2010. But that, again, is only an

company called Maven Films with

increase of one percentage point over

producer Celine Rattray, who recently

1998. About 38 per cent of films employed

won a Golden Globe for The Kids Are All

one or no women in the senior jobs that

Right. The company is aimed at taking on female talent and promoting women-led projects. Its first film is set to be Imogene, a project from rising comedy star Kristen Wiig. It will also star Annette Bening and be written and directed by women. Other deals have been struck with big names such as Julia Roberts, Cate Blanchett and Sarah Jessica Parker. “We’re not making some angry stand,” Styler told Grazia magazine in a recent interview. “But we are two female filmmakers in what is a male industry, and so we’re very supportive of female-driven projects... there’s a plethora of actresses out

the survey studied. Overwhelmingly, the pattern in Hollywood is not of progress towards greater female empowerment, but of stagnation or even retreat. In this context the huge amounts of publicity given to the work of women like Bigelow and Hardwicke seem like tokenism at best. “People tend to see them as evidence of creeping progress, that things get a little better each year, and so then we don’t need to think of it as a problem,” said Lauzen. “But in reality the numbers are stable. Surprisingly so. And the number of women

getty images

drop from seven per cent in 2010. Even

Top and above: Kathryn Bigelow with her 2009 Oscar. The Hurt Locker won six Oscars in total.

there who are looking for meatier roles and we’re reaping the benefits of that.” But the decision of women in Hollywood to start forming their own networks raises the question of why Hollywood remains so gender-divided. Of course, it is not alone. Numerous commentators in Davos earlier this year

“But in reality the numbers are stable. Surprisingly so. And the number of women directors is actually going down.”

at the World Economic Forum have noted the lack of women present as the planet’s major woes are discussed. In fact, at Davos only 17 per cent of delegates are women. Meanwhile, it has been pointed Portfolio

getty images



Dana Fox, Diablo Cody and Lorene Scafaria are among a handful of influential female Hollywood scriptwriters.

They also have to defeat the idea that

reporters on BBC Radio 4’s flagship Today

women are only good at movies that

programme are men. But at least in some

women are believed likely to watch. After

of these areas progress is being made. In

all, Bigelow's Oscar-winner was a war

Davos the number of women attending,

film and the biggest female-directed hit

despite being so small, was at its highest

last year was Kung Fu Panda 2, a family

yet – up from nine per cent in 2002.

animation feature not aimed at a specific

Meanwhile Hollywood still stands out in its intransigence and – at the high-profile

gender market. There are also a few signs of optimism


out that about 84 per cent of guests and

Top and above: Diablo Cody won Best Original Screenplay for her work with Juno at the 2008 National Board Of Review of Motion Pictures.

level of director – for going backwards.

elsewhere in the ecology of Hollywood.

There is likely to be no easy solution.

While the giant studios that produce and

on the recent rise of women journalists

“I don’t think there is a magic bullet,”

market most of the main Hollywood films

in the movie industry could not resist a

said Lauzen, citing Hollywood studios’

are bastions of male dominance, especially

sexist cliché of a “cat fight” in its headline:

testosterone-fuelled corporate culture and

the higher up you go, the media that

“Hollywood hellcats throw down over

it’s “clubbable” atmosphere.

reports on those behemoths is increasingly

traffic, influence.”

Silverstein agrees: “It is a very small club

woman-led. In fact, many of the highest

But it is a potentially important

and there are very few woman decision

profile Hollywood journalists are women.

development. With more women reporting

makers at the top level.”

Queen of the pile is the legendary Nikki

on the world of movie-making, it is more

Finke, founder and editor of the website

likely that the issue of women’s roles in

Deadline Hollywood. Then there is Sharon Waxman, editor in chief of its rival website The Wrap. Meanwhile, Bonnie Fuller has started the gossip website Hollywood Life. But it’s not just online that women rule the roost. At the Hollywood Reporter – often considered the trade leader of the movie industry – the editorial director is Janice Min. This mini power-shift has itself led to the occasional sexist backlash. A report by the New York Observer

and behind those movies will get greater

Both Lauzen and Silverstein believe that true change in the film industry – which lags notably behind television – will mean getting women into more behind-thescenes roles, especially powerful positions. Of course, that is precisely where the groups like the Fempire and Maven Films will come in. Women have to start projects and help other women along, gradually transforming the world behind the camera so their choices and tastes can eventually affect the world in front of it. March 2012

coverage. Problems often get solved only when attention is focused on them. So for long-time observers, there is at least a sense that in the next 10 years some form of progress will be made. But for now a lack of women in power in Hollywood is still hiding behind the success of a few big names. “You don't see a lot of overt sexism. But you do see a lot of denial,” said Lauzen. n


Lesson for the eurozone Wales packs less economic punch than Greece but it is in a far better position thanks to money transfers from the central government. And therein lies a lesson for the Eurozone, reports Landon Thomas Jr.

David Nash, a local artist, with his sculpture in the town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, Wales. The British government's money transfers prop up regions, like Wales, keeping them from the kind of collapse suffered in Eurozone nations like Greece.



Most people do not think of Britain –

Britain’s Greece. For decades,

home to many of Europe’s most outspoken

dependent on transfers from richer

Wales, like Greece, has been

euro sceptics – as having a monetary

countries like Germany. For Britain,

plagued by persistent deficits and

union. But it does, and these money

such a transfer is accepted as the cost of

uncompetitive industries. Yet unlike

transfers are the essence of what makes

keeping the union together.

Greece, which teeters on the edge of

Britain’s common currency a success in

By contrast, Europe’s richer nations,

bankruptcy and faces a possible exit from

knitting together a collection of regions

led by Germany, resist institutionalising

the Eurozone – the 17 European Union

and historically separate countries

any substantial flow of money toward

members that use the euro – this semi-

with different languages, cultures and

Greece apart from a modest amount

autonomous country suffers no threat

economic profiles.

of development aid long made available

of running out of cash or being forced

© 2012 New York Times News service

budget deficits will become increasingly

his could have been

As a sovereign nation, Greece has had

to Europe’s poorer regions for specific

to abandon the British pound, which it

free rein to recklessly spend and borrow,

projects. In Germany, the notion of a

shares with other members of Britain’s

the result of which is its near-bankrupt

so-called transfer union, which many

own political and monetary union:

condition. Wales, by comparison, has

economists see as essential to any

Scotland, Northern Ireland and England.

limited tax and borrowing capabilities,

enduring common currency, is still

This year Wales, including the fading

and the money it gets each year to fulfil its

firmly resisted.

slate mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog

spending needs comes automatically from

in one of Britain’s poorest counties, is

the British Treasury.

expected to receive about £14.6 billion,

And therein lies the lesson for the

As a result, Greece, along with Portugal and Ireland, is dependent on negotiating individual bailouts with the European

or $22.6 billion, from the central

Eurozone: Until it can find a way to

Union and the International Monetary

government. The money is used to cover

ensure that its poorer nations can

Fund in a torturous process that risks

what Wales cannot raise itself from taxes

manage their fiscal affairs, countries like

collapse at almost any turn.

and borrowing.

Greece and Portugal that run constant

“Wales is part of a fiscal union, a nation

Blaenau Ffestiniog was once a thriving town of more than 10,000 people that produced slate slabs for roofing. But decline set in when its slate industry was undercut by cheaper products from Spain and China. March 2012





state in which the political culture is

about 2.9 billion euros a year in structural

ability of workers to move easily from

cohesive enough to legitimise these

funds, or $3.7 billion, devoted mostly to

one place to another, and roughly similar

fiscal transfers,” said Kevin Morgan, an

specific development projects.

economic cycles.

economist at Cardiff University who is

It is not just Wales that benefits from

an expert on Britain’s north/south divide.

British transfers. In 2011, Wales, Scotland

blaenau FFestiniog (pronounced

“But what works at the national level

and Northern Ireland together received

Blay-NIGH Fes-TIN-ee-og) presents a

breaks down at the supranational level.”

£54 billion, or $83.7 billion, a sum that

stark tableau of just how such a currency

is almost twice the level of British

area works to soften the wide disparities

even within Britain about the value of

military spending. The yearly transfer

even within a relatively small and

its union. But they are driven more by

payments total about 3.5 per cent of

cohesive country like Britain.

political and cultural divisions than

Britain’s GDP. Robert Mundell, the

monetary ones. The Scottish national

Nobel Prize-winning Canadian economist

a thriving industrial town of more than

leader Alex Salmond is pushing for a

whom many see as the intellectual father

10,000 people, churning out slate slabs

vote that might provide Scotland with

of the euro, cited a willingness to move

that roofed houses the world over. The

independence from Britain, while

money from richer areas to poorer ones

residue now covers the hills that surround

as a crucial component of any nation

the town, casting a pall that mirrors its

or group of nations bound together by

economic condition. Since undercut by

a successful monetary union, pointing

cheaper slate varieties from Spain and

to Britain and the United States as

China, the mines no longer provide many

examples. The other central requirements

jobs, and the town’s steadily shrinking

of an effective currency zone, he argued,

population is now below 5,000.

As in the Eurozone, there are questions

“Wales is even poorer than Greece, generating a gross domestic product equal to $23,100 per person, compared with Greece’s GDP of $26,900 per person.”

were free trade in goods and services, the

More than a century ago, Blaenau was

It is a proud settlement where virtually

Cardiff, the Welsh capital, is a popular tourist destination. Since the 1990s Cardiff has seen significant development with a new waterfront area at Cardiff Bay.

remaining vague on whether the Scots should then abandon the pound to adopt the euro. In terms of economic contribution to their respective monetary unions, Wales and Greece are roughly equal, packing a fairly weak punch of about three per cent. Both are heavily dependent on public spending. Wales is even poorer than Greece, generating a gross domestic product equal to $23,100 per person, compared with Greece’s GDP of $26,900 per person. Despite the similar economic profiles, Britain is far more generous with Wales than the EU is with Greece. Compared with the nearly $23 billion in funds London sends to Wales every year, which is used to bolster local tax revenue and pay for services like health care and education, Greece receives on average Portfolio

everyone is bilingual. Conversation at

supplement his diet, he says he manages

the town’s fortunes, economically as well

work and in and around town is mostly

to get by. “The welfare state – it’s pretty

as psychologically. “People see themselves

in Welsh rather than English. While more

good, isn’t it?” he said with a wink.

in a declining town,” said Bob Cole, the

people are leaving Greece as the economy

But such a safety net does not come

chairman of the local group that has

worsens, greater language and cultural

cheap. Of the money flowing to Wales

pushed for the project. “We are saying,

barriers make it harder for Greeks to

this year, 42 per cent is destined to pay

‘Look, we are now on the up.”’

move easily to Germany or Italy than

for health and social services, including

for a resident of Blaenau to settle in

free prescription drugs and home day

to such projects, the transfer payments

Birmingham or London, perhaps never

care for the elderly, a critical support for

from Britain’s more prosperous south keep

to return.

towns with a rapidly aging population

the town alive as its tax base shrivels and

like Blaenau’s.

demand for welfare services increases.

A quarter of the town’s population receives unemployment benefits and the

The town is embarking on an ambitious

While the EU contributes substantially

For some here, that dependence is galling

average income is a mere £10,600, half

project to make it more appealing to

– especially now as Scotland’s bid for

the national average. The town lost its last

tourists, including the construction of a

independence gathers steam.

dentist five years ago.

mountain biking complex. Local officials

“There are just too many people

hope that the investments will reverse



“We have a better understanding of what to do with our money than a bunch

chasing too few jobs,” Phil Rogers, a slate

of millionaires in London,” said Paul

mason, said one evening recently on the

Thomas, the town official who represents

town’s threadbare main street. Rogers

Blaenau at the local county seat and who

says he is earning no more today than he

is also a member of Wales’ nationalist

did 10 years ago, but while times are hard

party, Plaid Cymru. But as the bite of the

and he often traps squirrels and rabbits to

recession grows worse and the need for help from the south becomes more acute, such a view is distinctly a minority one. “It’s good to be part of the United Kingdom,” said Glenys Lloyd, a local inn owner. “I was born in Wales, but in the end I’m British, aren’t I?” n


Greece is dependent on negotiating individual bailouts with the European Union. There is no central mechanism where richer countries support poorer ones.

March 2012


Students wear 3-D glasses while looking at a projected computer model of a human body at the New York University School of Medicine. The 3-D virtual body represents an unusual collaboration between industry and academia.

3-D HumaN aNaTomY Anatomy class has gone digital thanks to a free virtual body designed by BioDigital Systems, reports Natasha Singer.

© 2012 New York Times News service


eople wear 3-D glasses

imperfect stand-ins for the living. Death –

for new movies like The

and embalming fluid – take a toll.

Adventures of Tintin. But for

So, in an adjacent classroom, a group

the heart pump. “It’s like a living digital textbook,” said John Qualter, a research assistant

medical school? The answer is yes at the

of students wearing 3-D glasses made

professor of educational informatics at

New York University School of Medicine,

by Nvidia, a graphics processing firm,

the medical school who helped design the

which is using 3-D technology to update

dissected a virtual cadaver projected on

3-D installation.

a rite of passage for would-be doctors:

a screen. Using a computer to control

anatomy class.

the stereoscopic view, they swooped

creation of BioDigital Systems, a medical

The virtual human body is the

through the virtual body, its sections as

visualisation firm in New York that

Medical Centre in Manhattan last

brightly coloured as living tissue. First, the

Qualter helped to found. It develops

December, students in scrubs and

students scrutinised layers of sinewy pink

animations of the anatomy for drug

surgical gloves hovered over cadavers on

muscles layered over ivory bones. Then,

makers like Novartis, medical device-

gurneys, preparing, as would-be doctors

with the click of a mouse, they examined

makers like Medtronic, television

have for centuries, to separate rib cages

a close-up of the heart, watching as deep

shows like Mystery Diagnosis and

and examine organs. But the dead are

blue veins and bright red arteries made

medical schools.

In a basement lab at NYU Langone


visualisation to improve knowledge of

revenue and improve health education.

December at NYU, represents an

complex health topics,” Qualter said. His

“Once the BioDigital Human is really

unusual collaboration between industry

firm hopes to position the virtual body as

being used by a lot of people, we can

and academia. The companies, which

the health education equivalent of Google

leverage that.”

originally paid BioDigital to develop

Maps – available as a free, easy-to-use

medical animations of certain body parts

public website and in an upgraded, fee-

a digital human model will help medical

for commercial purposes, agreed to let the

based professional version. “We want to

students understand anatomy more deeply

design firm freely use the digital models

become a scalable model,” Qualter said, “a

than they can by dissecting cadavers

for educational purposes. In recognition

Google Earth for the human body.”

alone. But the virtual body certainly offers

The virtual body, introduced in

It is too soon to tell whether studying

some advantages.

of NYU’s involvement, the company has

In the NYU lab, Chana Rich, a 21-year-

pledged a small share of future revenue to

Qualter anD his business partner,

the medical school.

Frank Sculli, a software engineer,

old first-year student from Fairfield,

founded BioDigital Systems in 2002 to

Connecticut, dissected an older, female

testing an early incarnation of an

help companies and institutions use 3-D

cadaver. But the dead woman had

ambitious project.

storytelling to make medical topics more

undergone a number of surgeries during

comprehensible and compelling. For

her lifetime, and her body was now

cadaver further on its new medical

instance, the firm created an animated

missing its appendix, spleen and right

education website,,

heart to demonstrate how an implant

lung. “She’s skinny and female,” Rich said,

with the aim of providing a searchable,

from Medtronic could fix a prolapsed

“so sometimes it’s hard to visualise the

customisable map of the human body.

heart valve. At NYU, the firm worked with

smaller vessels.”

“In a cadaver, if you remove an organ, you cannot add it back in as if it were never removed, plus, this is way more fun than a textbook.”

projection room, isolating the liver of

But the medical students were merely

BioDigital plans to develop the virtual

A few minutes later, Rich was in the

Right now, Qualter said, the site is available only in a beta version. But in the coming months, the company plans to offer its code to, say, health websites that want to embed images of the respiratory system, or to doctors who want to show animations of prostate cancer surgery to patients. “We wanted to use our data

the virtual cadaver and examining the blood vessels connected to it. “In a cadaver, if you remove an organ, you cannot add it back in as if it were never removed,” she said as she adjusted her 3-D glasses. “Plus, this is way more fun than a textbook.” But her colleague, Susanna Jeurling, a first-year medical student from Washington, disagreed. Dissecting a real

the medical school to develop animations

cadaver, she said, gives students a unique,

of operations for surgical education.

tactile understanding of the body. “I don’t

Those kinds of commissions helped

think this will ever replace cadavers,”

make BioDigital successful as a small

said Jeurling, 24. “There’s something

business. But its executives concluded

about being able to hold it and turn it

that its growth potential would be

in your hand.”

limited if they remained focused on one-

say they have no plans to phase out

year, they decided to combine all of their

dissection, an educational method

commissioned medical illustrations into

that dates back to the Ptolemaic era.

one virtual human.

The 3-D digital human body is merely

“As a private company, as a service

The 3-D virtual body is like a living digital textbook. March 2012

Administrators at the medical school

off projects for limited audiences. Last

a complementary teaching method,

business, we can make a couple of million

said Dr Marc Triola, associate dean for

dollars annually,” Qualter said. But, as a

educational informatics. “It’s an amazing

product firm with a searchable map of

blend of one of the oldest medical

the human body to market, he said, the

education techniques and the absolute

company has greater potential to increase

newest,” Triola said. n





The besT of leisure and lifesTyle

Horses and Courses The Emerald Isle offers the twin Irish passions of golfing and horseracing set against stunning scenery and a warm welcome from the locals, report Andrew Marshall and Paul Marshall.

a golfer lines up a putt at Tralee Golf Course in County Kerry. March 2012




The Tralee links course was designed by arnold Palmer and is situated in a beautiful corner of ireland with the race track only a few furlongs away.


here are 27 racecourses

other. Adding to the whole Irish ‘Horses

certainly the most famous Derby winner in

in Ireland – more per head of

and Courses’ experience are the locals you

recent times was the outstanding but ill-

population than any country

meet at the tracks, who have a tremendous

fated Shergar who never came out of third

gift of making you feel welcome.

gear in cruising to victory under Lester

in the world, from world-class tracks to smaller ‘country courses’ where flat

Whether you are gambling on the right line for some of the blind tee shots at Royal

race days are held throughout the year.

County Down or hoping for a winner at

is Rathsallagh Country Club, a top-quality

Ireland also boasts over 300 golf courses,

the Irish Derby, here’s six of the best race

parkland option beautifully laid out by

including picturesque parkland layouts

courses and golf courses where you can

Christy O’Connor Jr and Peter McEvoy

and legendary links, that dot the coastline

watch and play.

on 250 acres of superbly natural terrain

like gems – created by nature and linked together to form a necklace of beauty. From the unique one-day beach race

© 2011 New York Times News service

Piggott in 1981.

races, national hunt or ‘jump’ races and

Play: In close proximity to the Curragh

dotted by mature oak and beech trees. It The curragh (counTy Kildare) Watch: A short drive from Dublin is

features several lakes and small streams that meander across the fairways with immaculate greens.

meeting at Laytown, a major racing

‘The Curragh’ one of the world’s most

festival such as Galway, a world-class links

historic and famous horse-racing venues

such as Royal County Down or a lesser-

staging around 20 fixtures annually. The

known parkland course like Rathsallagh,

two-day Boylesport Guineas Festival in

there’s no better way of experiencing the

May, the Budweiser Irish Derby Weekend

at Tralee on Ireland’s picturesque south-

“real Ireland” than spending a day at the

in June/July and the Oaks Summer Racing

west coast. A highlight of the Irish

races and combining it with playing 18

Carnival Weekend in July are the major

racing calendar is the internationally

holes of golf.

meetings. The Irish Derby features some

renowned ‘Rose of Tralee Pageant’ held

of the globe’s finest thoroughbreds, owned,

in conjunction with a four-day racing

on the Emerald Isle you are never far from

trained and ridden by masters of their

festival in August. The history of the

a horse race or a golf course and often they

professions, competing for a prize of

racecourse dates back as far as 1767, and

are only a short gallop away from each

¤1.3 million. Probably the best, and

is intertwined with that of the famous

The great thing is that wherever you are

Tralee (counTy Kerry) Watch: Several days racing are held



laytown in County Meath holds the only officially approved beach-racing event in europe.

pageant, which is contested by girls from

beach. The racecourse itself is a section of

Ireland and around the world, attracting

the three-mile long golden strand, with

an estimated 100,000 people to the area.

the races taking place when the tide goes Play: Representing the first European design of Arnold Palmer, Tralee Golf Club is a traditional links and although only built in 1980 has gained a reputation right up there with the big guns of Ireland’s west coast links. The 590-yard par 5 2nd is a standout hole – a sweeping dogleg right with the beach as a constant hazard for slice-prone golfers. From the tee block, there are panoramic views of the entire course with the Dingle peninsula on the horizon.

out. Don’t miss this quirky event on the

layToWn (counTy MeaTh) Watch: People come from far and wide

Irish racing calendar. Play: Established in 1909, this littleknown traditional links course is situated right next to the beach where the annual race meet takes place. Laytown & Bettystown as it is officially known boasts the distinction of having produced not one, but two Ryder Cup players in Des Smyth and Philip Walton. The 475-yard par 5 18th is a fun finish with two blind shots, including a tricky approach to a green hidden in the dunes. sligo (counTy sligo) Watch: Sligo racecourse is nestled in

to witness this unique spectacle held on

a picturesque spot surrounded by the

the beach in Laytown in early September

Benbullen and Knocknarea mountains.

each year – the only officially approved

The journey here is all part of the

beach-racing event in Europe. Marquees

experience, passing through some of the

are erected to use as weighing rooms,

most beautiful countryside in Ireland.

jockey’s room and bars on a field above the

The racing has an exciting local feel

March 2012

a golfer crosses the bridge at the famous 606 yards par-5 16th at the K Club’s Palmer Course




with competitive cards making for very

Ireland Championships since 1923, past

lively action, especially the early August

winners include Padraig Harrington and

meetings riding on the continued buzz

Paul McGinley while players such as

Races featuring seven mid-summer racing

from the Galway Races.

galWay (counTy galWay) Watch: Starting in late July, the Galway

Hagen, Locke, Watson, Faldo and Clarke

days and nights bring not just Galway city

Play: County Sligo Golf Club is one of

have also sampled the delights of Rosses

but the whole of Ireland to a standstill.

Ireland’s great golf courses located on the

Point. The 455-yard par 4 17th has to be

The Galway Races is probably the most

Rosses Point peninsula, six kilometres

one of the toughest holes to par in all of

lavish and sociable fixture in the Irish

from Sligo. Established in 1894, the

Ireland – a severe dogleg sweeps uphill

Racing World – the racing equivalent

present Championship links were designed

and to the left on the second shot, with a

of the Ryder Cup. It is not only a great

in 1927 by the famous golfing architect,

green that is large but slopes severely from

sporting event, but also a unique social

Harry S. Colt. Home to the West of

the back.

occasion filled with atmosphere, passion

it's not only about the horses, fashion is also an important part of the Galway races.

The Killanin stand at the Galway races. This seven day event brings ireland to a standstill.

The sign says it all about the irish passion for horses. Portfolio


and ‘craic’, and attracts both the true race

line from the tee and then hit it straight.

goer and socialites alike. The excellent

Miss the fairways and you are severely

racing, oyster bars, jazz bands, trade

punished as a minefield of bunkers, gorse

stands, race card competitions and even

and rough awaits. Bring plenty of balls.

a best-dressed lady competition are

all part of this classic Irish experience. Play: Galway Bay Golf & Country Club is situated on the picturesque Renville Peninsula, one of west Ireland’s most historic sites, with the golf course literally peppered with historic remains including the mystical Rathnapours ring fort dating back to the 16th century. Designed by Christy O’Connor Jr, the course winds its way along the shoreline of Galway Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, but its not a links, and has a distinct parkland feel – a rolling landscape combine with water hazards, manicured fairways and top-drawer putting surfaces to ensure a true but fair test. Gary Player described the 178-yard 13th as one of the finest par 3s he has ever seen or played.

A five-mile drive from Downpatrick is Royal County Down’s lesser-known neighbour Ardglass, a beautiful golf course that hugs the coastline with the sea coming into play on eight holes. The par-3 12th is probably the signature hole drawing comparisons with the famous 17th hole at Pebble Beach. n

downpatrick is the oldest racecourse in ireland, and one of the friendliest. doWnPaTricK (counTy doWn) Watch: Situated in the stunningly beautiful County of Down, Downpatrick, in addition to being one of the friendliest racecourses in Ireland, is also the oldest, because racing started here in 1685. The race meetings are always cosy, intimate affairs with flat and jump racing on offer. The highlight of the year is the

Testing royal County down is laid out beneath the brooding Mountains of Mourne and enjoys a magnificent setting along the shores of dundrum bay.

exciting Powers Whisky Ulster National run in late February over 3 ½ miles. Play: ‘Royal County Down’ – the very words are enough to have you running back to the clubhouse shaking with fear. Laid out beneath the brooding Mountains of Mourne and enjoying a magnificent setting along the shores of Dundrum Bay, this superb track is never out of the world’s top ten. Designed by Old Tom Morris for the princely sum of four guineas back in 1889, this is one tough examination for any player, and with so many blind shots, the main challenge is to find a March 2012

horse-racing in ireland is a family affair.




Brazil’s First FAmily of film The Barretos are the Brazilian aristocracy of the film world, having produced, directed and distributed Cannes winning and Oscar-nominated movies, reports Larry Rohter. Bruno Barreto behind the camera on the set of the successful 2000 romantic comedy Bossa Nova. Portfolio



ometimes they limit themselves simply to producing

“there is before the Barretos and after,”

movies, though on many other

said actress Sonia Braga, who first came

occasions they have also written, directed

to international prominence in the

or actually filmed them. But by any

mid-1970s in Dona Flor and Her Two

standard the Barretos – Luiz Carlos and

Husbands, directed by Bruno Barreto and produced by his parents. “They are people who live, breathe and eat cinema, and the result is that they’ve built up a patrimony that continues to endure.” Born in Brazil’s arid northeast, the family patriarch, Luiz Carlos Barreto, now 83, was raised in the coastal city Fortaleza. He has a boyhood memory of watching Orson Welles filming the never-released Four Men on a Raft at a beach there and being “fascinated by all that equipment.” But when he moved to Rio de Janeiro at the age of 17, it was to play football semiprofessionally and work as a journalist. From the late 1940s on he worked for Cruzeiro magazine, similar to Life or

Lucy and their children, Bruno, Fabio and Paula – are the first family of cinema in Brazil. Since the founding of the family production company, LCBarreto, 50 years ago, the Barretos have, in one capacity or another, helped make more than 80 films, the latest of which, Lula, Son of Brazil, opened in the United States in January. © 2012 New York Times News service

In the history of Brazilian cinema,

Those films – in a variety of styles and genres ranging from romantic comedies like Bossa Nova to political dramas like

Memoirs of Prison – have won prizes at Cannes, been nominated for Academy Awards, jump-started the careers of actors and directors and set box-office records.

“Crucially, Luiz Carlos Barreto covered movie stories and got to know directors like Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Glauber Rocha and Carlos Diegues.” Look, first as a reporter and then also as a photographer. He met Lucy, then a music student, while on an assignment, and they married in 1954. Crucially, Luiz Carlos Barreto covered movie stories and got to know directors like Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Glauber Rocha and Carlos Diegues, associated with what by the early 1960s was evolving into the Cinema Novo movement. That eventually led to an invitation to write the screenplay of

From left: Brazilian filmmakers Paula Barretos, luiz Carlos Barretos and lucy Barretos at their apartment in New york. since the founding of their family production company 50 years ago, the Barretos have helped make more than 80 films. March 2012



Assault On the Pay Train, a commercial success in 1962 and one of the first films of the gritty, socially engaged Cinema Novo to win attention and awards at international festivals. “From the beginning the Cinema Novo was a movement that was as much political and ideological as cinematic,” Luiz Carlos Barreto, his bushy eyebrows rising and falling, said during an interview in January at the family’s New York apartment on the Upper West Side. When

the backyard listening to a conversation

Assault On the Pay Train, which had all those elements, exploded at the box office, that gave us credibility.” He was then enlisted as the cinematographer on Pereira dos Santos’ Barren Lives and as cinematographer and producer of Rocha’s Earth Entranced, both of which won prizes at the Cannes Film Festival. True to the Cinema Novo’s

and explain things to me, like the dialectic

between the Italian neo-realist director Roberto Rossellini, in Rio for a film festival, and Glauber Rocha and other leading figures of the Cinema Novo. “It was very exciting, like a seminar on film, to hear them discussing Eisenstein’s films and all of that,” Bruno Barreto said of those days during a telephone interview from Rio. “They were always very encouraging to me and gave me tips. Glauber in particular would always stop of editing, perhaps because that was a way


of explaining things to himself.” By the mid-1960s Lucy Barreto, now 78, was also getting involved in the production company, which eventually also set up a distribution arm. Directors and actors who have worked with the Barretos describe her as the

“From the beginning the Cinema Novo was a movement that was as much political and ideological as cinematic.”

most pragmatic member of the team, a characterisation she embraces. “For me everything is a question of cost and benefit,” she said emphatically, shaking her head and her flaming red hair. “I’m a details person. If you think a film is going to gross X, then its cost can’t exceed Y. This is a risky business, and you can’t be guessing.”

motto that all that is necessary to make a

Both Luiz Carlos and Lucy Barreto have

film is “an idea in the head and a camera in the hand,” both of those influential

also tried their hand at directing, he with

works, as well as many others that went

a documentary, This Is Pele, and she with

on to great success in Brazil and abroad,

Grupo Corpo: A Brazilian Family, about

were edited in the small guest house

the dance troupe of that name. But both

behind the Barretos’ home in Rio.

say they prefer producing.

“Luiz Carlos was 10 or 12 years older

“I don’t have the temperament to be

than most of the rest of us, which meant

a director,” he said. “I don’t have that

he was one of the few to have a home

obsession, that neurosis you have to have.

and wife, the normal life of a married

I don’t want to define the temperament

man,” Diegues recalled. “So his house

of a director – ” His daughter, Paula,



became a home away from home for all of us, a place where we not only worked, but plotted and planned on behalf of Brazilian cinema.” Attentively observing all this were the Barretos’ children. Bruno, the oldest, born in 1955, has vivid memories of afternoons like one when he was 10 and sitting in

top: Fabio Barreto directed O Quatrilho, which was Oscar-nominated in the Best Foreign language Film category in 1996. middle and above: two years later his brother, Bruno Barreto, received the same nomination for directing Four Days in september.

laughingly broke in to say, “so as not to complicate things with your sons.” But, Barreto continued, being a director “creates a deformity in people’s souls. You become the inventor of lives, situations. You become an alchemist.” His shift from cinematographer and screenwriter to producer was more the Portfolio


result of circumstance than design. During

of them. “Fabio is more intuitive, while

would take place in the Amazon; Lucy

his years as a reporter, he had come to

Bruno is more cerebral in his approach

and Paula are at work on a film about the

know many politicians and bankers – the

to cinema. He has an incredible technical

American poet Elizabeth Bishop’s 16-year

people who held the key to obtaining the

knowledge, and even when he was 20,

sojourn in Brazil, with Bruno Barreto as

money needed to make films – and so was

when we were making Dona Flor, he had

the director.

able to “open doors for the rest of us,” as

the bearing of a person who was older.”

Pires has already signed on to play the

But in December 2009, less than a

aristocratic landscape architect Carlota de

Diegues put it.

month before Lula had its premiere in

Macedo Soares, Bishop’s lover, in the film,

ended, its finish hastened by political

Brazil, Fabio Barreto, who is two years

which is scheduled to begin shooting in

repression, some of the movement’s

younger than his brother, was in a serious

May. This will be Pires’ fifth movie with

leading figures, like Glauber Rocha, had

car accident that left him in a coma. Though

the Barretos, so by now she knows what

difficulty adapting. But not the Barretos:

he now responds to some external stimuli,

to expect.

In the 1970s and 1980s their production

after installation of a brain pacemaker in

“They speak frankly to each other,

company had global hits like Dona Flor

May 2011, he remains incapacitated. “I’m

without subterfuge,” she said. “There’s

and Diegues’ Bye Bye Brazil, and in the

religious, so I have a lot of hope and faith,”

always a clarity that I think ends up

1990s they twice won Oscar nominations

his mother said. “I think that if he survived

improving the film, which is, after all,

for best foreign-language film, for Fabio

the trauma, which was so severe, it was so

their common point of interest. When

Barreto’s O Quatrilho and Bruno Barreto’s

that he can return to us.”

there are divergences, they seek a

When the Cinema Novo period


Four Days in September (1997). “The boys are both very fine directors, and sweethearts to work with, but they are very different in their approach,” Braga, who has filmed with both brothers, said

Brazil’s former first lady marisa leticia (C) poses with luiz Carlos and lucy Barreto who produced the film lula O Filho do Brasil (lula, son of Brazil), which centres on her husband’s life, former President of Brazil luiz inácio ‘lula’ da silva.

March 2012

Though Luiz Carlos and Lucy have been

consensus. But they never stop being a

giving more authority to Paula in recent

family, so at times it’s mother talking to

years, both remain active. He wants to

sons, husband talking to wife. That aspect

move the company into animated films

is always there, and in the end, you get

and has been seeking partners for one that

caught up in their passion.” n




Preservation and


UNESCO World Heritage Sites can mean big business, but it can also threaten the very places that need protection, reports Steven Erlanger.


But World Heritage can also be an odd

orld Heritage is

it is designed to protect with all the less-

big business, bringing

savoury aspects of mass travel, from chain

business, giving recognition to traditions

hordes of tourists to poor

hotels and restaurants to the impact of

(like premodern tribal dances and giant

countries that can use the jobs and the

thousands of sport-shoed feet treading on

French family meals) that might have

cash. It can also overwhelm the very sites

fragile ground.

little aesthetic value to any group except


Tourists visit the Saint Paul Subterranean River in Sabang, western Philippines, one of the country’s major tourist attractions and a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is under threat from climate change.



the one that practices it. Whatever the merits, the United

the Leaning Tower of Pisa (the whole Piazza del Duomo, to be fair) and Venice

Nations Educational, Scientific and

and its lagoon. Jordan has Petra and

Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has

Wadi Rum. France even lists the banks

embraced the concept. In fact, UNESCO

of the Seine.

loves heritage so much that it has created two treaties to enshrine it. The first, the World Heritage

Russia has the Kremlin, Red Square and Lake Baikal. The United States lists Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon and

Convention, dating from 1972, builds

the Everglades (cited as endangered).

on the notion of the US national parks

Independence Hall is on the list, but not

system, which was set up to defend a

the White House. Funny, that.

wild landscape before it disappeared.

Luxembourg pretty much lists itself;

The second, the Convention for the

Afghanistan includes the sad remains of

Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural

the great Buddhas of Bamiyan, blown up

Heritage, was introduced in 2003 to

by the Taliban.

defend traditions, not places, and is more controversial. Some 188 nations have ratified the

The Marshall Islands has one listing only: the Bikini Atoll Nuclear Test Site. Some distinction, to put it

first convention. To date, there are 725

gently: to cite for preservation a place of

cultural, 183 natural and 28 properties

devastation consecrated to the potential

combining the two, in 153 countries. The

end of everything.

World Heritage list represents a catalogue

In his book Disappearing World: The Earth’s Most Extraordinary and

of marvels. Italy, needless to say, includes

Endangered Places, Alonzo Addison, a director in UNESCO’s external relations department, arranges sites in varying degrees of distress from a variety of causes, including conflict, theft, development, pollution, invaders and tourism. Conflict is the most obvious threat, whether in Afghanistan, Kosovo or around the Preah Vihear temple on the border of Cambodia and Thailand, where there have been three armed clashes since the temple was listed. The Darfur crisis has done extraordinary damage to the Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to the northern white rhinoceros there, killed for horns by militias seeking to buy arms, Addison notes. But most troubling may be the unintended consequences of mass tourism. Nations want to promote these sites for income. And good or bad,

Crowds of tourists head for Angkor Wat in Cambodia. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has more than 200 hotels nearby, putting pressure on the temple complex and the environment.

March 2012



Addison said in an interview, “The world is more global and some sites can’t deal with all the tourists,” whether it’s Machu Picchu or Angkor Wat. (UNESCO is now trying to put Machu Picchu on the list of endangered sites.) In 2008, The New York Times wrote about the impact on a little town in northern Japan after the naming of the long-disused Iwami silver mines as a World Heritage site. With about 400 inhabitants and little infrastructure, Omori was inundated with hundreds of thousands of tourists, wanting to check off the new site. Norimitsu Onishi’s article described how one 90-year-old man woke up one day to find three tourists relaxing on a sofa inside his house. “The dark side, of course, is consumption,” said Francesco Bandarin, assistant director-general of UNESCO and head of its World Heritage Centre, speaking of the consumerism that so often surrounds heritage sites. “And consumption and preservation do not go together.” If a site is “within an hour of REUTERS

a harbour,” he added, “it becomes inundated by a flood of tourism and geysers of money.” Angkor, long isolated by war and the

More than 2,400 tourists visit Machu Picchu daily during the dry season, creating huge erosion problems.

Khmer Rouge, he said, now has 200 hotels nearby. “This is a big problem now,” Bandarin said. “The tourism industry has a lot of power in many poor countries but a short-term vision.” UNesCo Has drawn more criticism for its second convention, which focuses not on place, but on traditions. The Intangible Cultural Heritage list has been adding what are called “elements” only since 2008. So far, 139 countries have signed the convention, but not the United States. As Addison said, “Even the word ‘intangible’ is hard for average people to get their heads around.” There are 267 traditions enshrined



so far, with 27 described as “in need of urgent safeguarding,” including “the watertight-bulkhead technology of

Leptis Magna, a Roman city in Libya, has escaped mass tourism so far. But this could change when the new government starts promoting tourism. Portfolio


Chinese junks.” The regular list includes oral traditions and performances, social rituals and crafts – from Cambodia’s Royal Ballet to Indonesian puppet theatre. And, perhaps peculiarly, the French gastronomic meal. Cecile Duvelle, the anthropologist in charge of UNESCO’s section for Intangible Cultural Heritage, fiercely defends it to those who think the idea too vague and subjective. “The word ‘intangible’ is recent, but the concept is old: the idea of nonmaterial culture and REUTERS

traditions,” she said. The point, she emphasised, is not to “preserve and protect, which is to freeze something, but to safeguard.” Traditions can change as they are passed down, she noted, as a kind of living heritage that is

Protesters gathered outside Bangkok’s UNESCO building to demand the delisting of the Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage site in 2011. Fighting between Thai and Cambodian troops over the 12th century temple has turned into Southeast Asia’s bloodiest border dispute in years.

continually recreated and evolving, yet

last April where some 60 celebrity chefs

concerns about its implications for

provides a sense of identity. In return

largely prepared meals elsewhere that

intellectual property rights, Washington’s

for listing them, governments commit to

were trucked in and warmed up on

ambassador to UNESCO, David Killion,

specific actions to promote, support and

portable workstations for celebrity guests

says that: “World Heritage is critically

encourage them, whether it is a matter of

and the news media.

important.” Countries fight hard “for

altering or creating curriculums or even stopping deforestation.

Now there is talk, at least, of taking the

the cultural branding rights,” he said.

recognition away because the state has

He points out that Herbie Hancock,

not done much to safeguard the tradition

a UNESCO goodwill ambassador,

tHe traditioNs on the list are

except to advertise it abroad under the

would like to see jazz recognised as an

not judged on whether they are especially

slogan, “So French, So Good!”

Intangible Heritage.

beautiful, let alone marvellous. Rather, they represent the world’s diversity.

While the United States has hesitated to sign the Intangible convention, citing

And Paducah, Kentucky, is pushing for quilting. n

Their inclusion implies that they may be in danger from modernisation and globalisation. “The value,” Duvelle said, “is for the community, not for the world.” Inclusion on the list can, however, lead to manipulation. The French gastronomic meal, enshrined in 2010, is one example. It is meant to preserve the lavish family occasion that marks major life events: births, communions, weddings, birthdays, exam results, deaths. It recognises “that the French community puts a gastronomic meal at the centre of its celebration of REUTERS

life,” said Duvelle, herself French. UNESCO was not pleased that threestar French chefs used the designation to try to promote themselves, culminating in a grotesque celebration at Versailles March 2012

The Lascaux Cave in southwestern France contains some of the most well-known Upper Paleolithic art, estimated to be 16,000 years old. It was closed to the public in 1963 in order to preserve the art.




Hands On Cuisine Although in many cultures eating with your hands is traditional, in Western restaurants it is generally frowned upon. But that is now changing, reports Sarah Digregorio.

Julie Sahni vividly rememberS the first time she had to eat with utensils. Sahni, a New York-based cookbook author and cooking teacher, grew up in India eating the traditional way, with her right hand. Then, in college, she won a dance competition that would take her to Europe. How, she wondered, would she eat? The answer was a three-day immersion course in Western dining etiquette, which progressed from soup (don’t let the spoon clatter on the bowl) to green beans (spear them without sending them into your neighbour’s lap) and finally to a slippery hard-boiled egg. Sahni, 66, mastered the knife and fork, but she has never really liked them. “Eating with the hands evokes great emotion,” she said. “It kindles something very warm and gentle and caressing. Using a fork is unthinkable in traditional Indian eating. It is almost like a weapon.” Eating with the hands is common in many areas of the world, including parts of Asia and much of Africa and

© 2012 New York Times News service

the Middle East. But until recently, you would have been hard-pressed to find many restaurants in the United States or Europe – especially those with $20 or $30 entrees – where digging in manually was encouraged. Now, several high-profile chefs are asking diners to get their hands dirty, in the belief that it heightens the

Patrons eat with their hands at Chef Roy Choi’s restaurant, A-Frame, in Los Angeles. Several high-profile chefs are encouraging diners to dig in manually, in the belief that it heightens the sensual connection to food and softens the formality. Portfolio


sensual connection to food and softens the formality of fine dining. When the chef Roy Choi surveys the busy dining room of A-Frame, his restaurant in Los Angeles, only one thing can dampen his mood: cutlery. “I see people cutting kalbi ribs like a steak, and it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard,” he said. A-Frame, whose eclectic menu Choi says was inspired by Hawaiian cuisine, is utensils-optional. Although a basket of silverware is provided at each table, when the grilled chop or market salad arrives, servers advise customers that they’ll be missing out if they pick up a fork. “Then there are a lot of questions like ‘Am I really supposed to?’ and ‘Is there something else I need?’” Choi said. “But the moment we answer ‘yes’ and ‘no,’ people usually just go for it.” He had thought he might have to provide finger bowls, as many restaurants do in other countries, but hands-on eating proved to be much neater than expected. “You eat with conviction and passion when using your hands,” Choi said. “I hope that people let their guard down and throw out some of the rules we have regarding etiquette and connect like animals.” Etiquette, as a matter of fact, is central to most traditions of hand-to-mouth March 2012




eating; the artfulness and ritual of the practice is part of what people love about it. Hand-washing often comes first. In Muslim communities, a prayer of thanks comes next. Only then can one reach – with just the right hand – to eat. And dining with the hands is not necessarily easy: In some regions, including parts of India, it is most polite to use your thumb, pointer and middle finger, and to let only the first two joints of those fingers touch the food.

“They regard this essential aspect of the cuisine with a kind of embarrassment.” Details differ from place to place, but often rice or flatbread is used to ferry food to the mouth as in Indian roti and naan, Ethiopian injera or Middle Eastern pita. Central and Southern Africans pound root vegetables or corn into starchy mashes like fufu or ugali; you’re meant to pull off a bite-size ball and use it as an edible scoop. Sahni refuSeS to eat Indian food with a knife and fork, even in the most formal South Asian restaurants in New York. “I don’t care if I’m all dressed up, if everyone else is eating with a knife and fork, if the wine pairing is $80,” she said. “It’s essential.”

The A-Frame restaurant offers a menu inspired by Hawaiian cuisine. Dirrane Cove eats a crispy okra dish with her hands during dinner at the upscale New York restaurant Tulsi.

When she reaches in with her right hand, others are often happy to follow suit. But it wasn’t always that way. She remembers an Indian restaurant in Manhattan that, in the 1970s, had unofficial sections for Indians and nonIndians. She says the owners explained that Indians didn’t want non-Indians to see them eating with their hands and that Westerners didn’t want to see it, either. Today, the writer Amitav Ghosh says he doesn’t go to Indian restaurants in Portfolio


Hemant Mathur, owner and chef of Tulsi, encourages patrons to forego cutlery.

London and New York because eating

of touch is integral to good eating, he eats

Hollywood. “It brings us back to our

with hands is discouraged. “They regard

just about everything except soup with his

childhood, and it seems to lighten the

this essential aspect of the cuisine with a

hands. He even named his new cookbook

mood in the room.”

kind of embarrassment,” he said.

after the practice: Eat With Your Hands,

In the United States, most run-ofthe-mill restaurants, with the exception

to be released in April. “I eat with my hands today, and not just

A glimmer of this idea has even made it to the White House. When the New York chef Marcus Samuelsson prepared

of Ethiopian spots, do not forbid the

because it would be a serious shame to let

the state dinner for India’s prime minister

practice, but do not encourage it, either.

utensils slow me down,” Pelaccio writes.

in 2009, he included a bread course

“It has become a sort of philosophy of

(unusual at such events) of naan and corn

mine – a metaphor for life.”

bread with dips. “What could be better

One Manhattan restaurant that does encourage it is Tulsi, Hemant Mathur’s upscale Indian outpost in midtown.

In Los Angeles, Bistronomics, a

than for people who don’t know each

Upon delivering dishes like goat curry

long-running pop-up restaurant inside

other, from all over the world, to break

with roti or stewed chickpeas with puffy

Breadbar, presented a no-utensils menu

bread together?” he said.

bread, servers tell patrons they are best

last spring. The $65 prix fixe, created

eaten with the hands.

by the chefs Jet Tila and Alex Ageneau,

US fine dining evolves, flatware may

included dishes like salt cod croquettes

become more and more optional. “I

and Fatty Cue, the chef, Zakary Pelaccio,

with zucchini puree and grilled lamb

think there will be a four-star restaurant

provides silverware but hopes that the

chops with carrot confit. The chefs plan

where knives and forks are used, but not

nature of his signature dishes, like chilli

another dinner like it this spring.

for every course,” he said. “‘Great’ does

At the New York restaurants Fatty Crab

crab and barbecue, will inspire diners to use their hands. Convinced that the sense March 2012

“It creates more of a social atmosphere,” said Tila, who grew up in

In fact, Samuelsson expects that as

not have to mean one narrative, the European narrative.” n





A woman looks towards the 2012 Olympics stadium in London’s East End. A core part of London’s Olympic Games bid was to revitalise the area.

An Olympic CAnvAs © 2012 New York Times News service

London’s East End is being revitalised by the 200-hectare Olympic Park. But to truly understand the area’s past and present you need to go on a guided tour, reports Elaine Glusac.

EvEn on uncharactEristically

of other construction-site rubberneckers

epicentre of the competition, which begins

sunny days, it’s a lonely walk from the

clogging the sidewalk.

27 July. Though sailing races will be held

closest tube stop to London’s forthcoming

The tourist crush was seemingly

in Weymouth and Portland, and football

200-hectare Olympic Park. But after

what the Olympic bid committee had in

matches around the country, most of the

reaching the 80,000-seat Olympic

mind when it proposed London’s East

games will take place in this industrial

Stadium – skeleton in place and awaiting

End, about a dozen Underground stops

wasteland now poised for a turnaround.

its exterior sheeting – I found hundreds

northeast of fixtures like Big Ben, as the

But long before the Olympics came to Portfolio

Essentials Culture town, the East End played a leading if

as we ascended the Greenway, a seven-

The tour ended at the View Tube, a

shadowy role in London’s history. In

kilometre elevated footpath that follows

neon green shipping-container-turned-

past decades, few tourists may have felt

the area’s sewage system and skirts

community centre. Its Container Cafe,

compelled to visit an area known for

Olympic Park (“Sometimes we get a

posted with local artwork and populated

abandoned warehouses and Jack the

whiff, but it smells quite good today,” our

by lingering coffee sippers, offers the

Ripper’s murder spree. Now two tours

guide observed). Roughly 1.6 kilometres

tour’s only glimpse of residents in the

reframe the area, in the first case as a

from our start, we joined other groups

Olympic area, a mix of scruffy artists,

shining new home for the Olympics,

milling in front of the construction

quiet pensioners and working-class

and in the second as a collection of vivid

zone to survey the stadium, the distant

mothers shepherding their children to an

neighbourhoods that once absorbed

stingray-shaped aquatics centre designed

adjacent playground.

the worst of the bombing in World

by Zaha Hadid, and the Orbit Tower,

War II, gave birth to the Salvation

a viewing platform designed by the

converting the stadium to a home for one

Army, inspired George Orwell and Jack

sculptor Anish Kapoor. Strolling north,

of the area’s professional football teams;

London and now is home to a mix of

we glimpsed the white cube that will

the swim centre to a community pool;

striving immigrants and artists.

host basketball games and the elliptical,

and the athlete’s village to affordable

“The bid was predicated on a part of

wood-clad velodrome by Hopkins

housing. But a tour of Olympic Park

London that was sorely in need of help,”

Architects nicknamed the ‘Pringle’.

reveals little about local life in East


After the Games, plans include

said Steven Back, a Blue Badge guide with Tour Guides, who led me and 12 other visitors on a two-hour Olympic Walk departing from the Bromley-byBow tube station. “The East is the only direction in which London could grow.” Standing before the restored 1776 House Mill, Back described the area during the years before the Industrial Revolution as “London’s breadbasket,” where agricultural fields banked the Lea River, and mills processed grain. Industrialisation transformed the area, introducing soap factories, leather tanneries and chemical plants that polluted the air and water but remained downwind of posh districts to the west. Pockets of gentrification in East London predate Olympic efforts. Shouldering a tripod, a cameraman stopped to ask directions to nearby 3 Mills Studio, the largest sound-stage

Never Let Me Go and Sherlock Holmes II, and currently engaged in preparing for the Games’ opening and closing ceremonies. Despite a few apartment buildings and funky houseboats lining the canals, the Olympic vicinity of East London felt empty, with construction cranes appearing to outnumber people. That sense of desertion changed March 2012


in London, used by the filmmakers of

British artist Anish Kapoor unveiled a scale model of his design, the ‘ArcelorMittal Orbit’, for London’s Olympic Park in March 2010.




Visitors are already being drawn to London’s 200-hectare Olympic Park. In the background is the finished version of Kapoor’s Orbit viewing platform.

London, which is considered Britain’s

one-on-one tours that range from one

minutes late. I found my tall, bearded

gateway for immigrants, with large

to four hours. The organisation’s 22

escort, a retired engineer’s model-maker,

concentrations from Bangladesh, Africa

volunteer guides cover the five East

patiently waiting outside the Hackney

and the Caribbean.

London boroughs, as well as Camden

Central train station.

in Central London. For a more insiderly tour of the

Arrangements require emailing the

Hackney made a jumbled first impression. Ethnic restaurants range from

East End, I contacted the new London

Greenwich-based service at least two

African to Vietnamese. A Greek Orthodox

Greeters service. Founded last February,

weeks before a visit. I expressed an

church is nearby a fashion school. A

London Greeters offers free, resident-led,

interest in art, aiming for Shoreditch or

Victorian-era theatre has a weedy tree

Hoxton on the list of neighbourhoods I

growing on its roof.

“The organisation’s

22 volunteer guides cover the five East London boroughs, as well as Camden in Central London.”

would visit. Three days later, I received

A fuller picture of the area began to

what sounded like a less-than-perfect

form in the Hackney Museum, where

match. A man named Graham Woods was

artefacts included a recreated World

available on my designated date to show

War II air raid shelter with cot and gas

me around Hackney, a working-class area

mask, and exhibitions that charted Asian

with little presence in guidebooks. But in

immigrant waves. Afterward, crossing

premeeting emails, Woods enthusiastically

London Fields (a former meadow for

detailed three itineraries. We settled on

slaughterhouse-bound livestock that is

a two-hour itinerary for which I was 20

now a park with towering London plane Portfolio


trees), we entered a neighbourhood of subsidised apartments built after World War II. As we watched a boy kicking a football on a fenced-in lawn, Woods explained that the brick row houses replaced areas bombed by Nazi pilots aiming for East End factories. His own family’s home here was destroyed, he said. “They said I flew through the window,” Woods said, describing the bombing that left his family uninjured but homeless. “I was two years old. I don’t remember.” We passed three Middle Eastern teenagers in hoodies, a bricklayer tuckpointing an apartment bearing a REUTERS

‘Sold’ sign, and stylish couples hastening down the residential streets en route to The Hopkins Architects-designed velodrome has already been nicknamed the ‘Pringle’.

busy Dalston Lane, where Woods took my arm to avoid careening double-decker buses as we crossed. Now in a bohemian pocket known as Dalston, we looked in on a café called FARM:shop, which grows much of its own produce, raises fish in tanks surrounding the tables, and draws 20-something laptop-tappers at this between-meals hour. We stopped to see the flower-filled Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, a community garden in an abandoned rail yard, then climbed four storeys to the top of a onetime paint factory, now home to the funky Dalston

Customers in the FARM:shop, which grows much of its produce in the East End.

Roof Park with raised herb beds and a bright turquoise shed-cum-bar. In the former factory next door we peeked into Arcola Theatre, spying on a pair of sweaty actors blocking a fight scene onstage, and an eclectic music club called Cafe Oto where hipsters clad in retro plaid capris and muscle Ts chatted over the jazz on the sound system. Though our two-hour plan stretched into three, Woods insisted on escorting me by train to my next appointment in nearby Shoreditch.


The Olympics, I learned from my first guided exploration, has already created An aerial view shows the London 2012 Olympic Games Park, with the Parklands area in the foreground. March 2012

A shop front on Columbia Road in Hackney. This working-class area is being put on the tourist map by the Olympics.

a new destination in the East End. But the Greeters service gives the existing place a face. n



Test Drive


HE LAST CADILLAC SRX I drove had a lot going for it, but it had two fundamental

weaknesses: the engine and the gearbox. The then standard 3.0-litre V6 only started exhibiting some torque at around 5,100 revs. But when you did a kick down you’d land at around 2,000 revs, which meant every time you wanted power it wasn’t there. In short, the engine was underpowered and the gearbox didn’t mate with it properly. Fortunately, the 3.0-litre and the turbocharged 2.8-liter V-6 – which was plagued by turbo lag and nonlinear power delivery – has been consigned to the scrapheap. The 2012 SRX comes standard with a new 3.6-litre direct-injected V-6 with continuously variable valve timing

THE RIGHT STUFF The 2012 Cadillac SRX is irrefutable evidence that General Motors is back with a vengeance, reports Guido Duken.

that delivers 308 horsepower (230kW) and 359 Nm of torque. Even better news

by a button marked ‘eco’, which sits next

is that peak torque is achieved at a low

to the gear lever. In eco the transmission

2,400 rpm and continues through to

switches to a fuel-conscious algorithm

5,300 rpm. That’s a definite improvement

that gears up early and resists downshifts.

on the old 3.0-litre engine with its output

Sport mode definitely increases

of 265 horsepower (197kW) and 302 Nm.

performance, but I didn’t note much of a

I didn’t have to drive more than 500 metres to make up my mind that the

decrease in eco mode. The SRX has always had its suspension

3.6-litre engine is miles better than its

set on the right side of sporty, and

predecessors. Acceleration is smooth,

although it’s been tweaked for a smoother

continuous and the revs aren’t shy of

ride you’ll be disappointed if you’re

red lining at 7,200 rpm. The six-speed

expecting a super cushy limousine ride.

automatic has been carried over from the

Hit a rut hard and you’ll feel it, but in

previous 3.0-litre V-6, but its computer has

normal conditions the ride is comfortable,

undergone a thorough reeducation. The

smooth and never sloppy. The four-wheel

transmission now upshifts and downshifts

independent suspension system makes for

predictably, always landing in the sweet

good cornering at speed, with little body

spot as far as power is concerned, with the

roll, aided by the standard all-wheel drive.

net result that the SRX now inspires the

The rack-and-pinion hydraulic steering

driver with a confidence that was lacking

system – which offers a variable-effort,

in previous models.

speed-sensitive steering system as an

The six-speed automatic has four

The six-speed automatic comes with new software and has four driving modes. The button marked ‘eco’ switches to a fuelconscious algorithm.

option – is biased towards sport sedan-

modes. There’s ‘normal’ for everyday

style driving. The steering resistance

that works in concert with the standard

use, while moving the shifter to the

requires an ounce of effort, the feedback


left accesses sport mode. In sport,

is good and the SRX goes exactly where

braking system. No problem with the

the transmission holds gears longer,

you’re aiming it. In my opinion the SRX’s

stopping power, but the brake pedal feels

downshifts earlier, and resists moving

cornering ability is beyond reproach for a

fairly lifeless, something I noticed on the

into the top gears. Manual control is also

crossover vehicle.

Camaro as well.

available, if sport mode isn’t to your liking.

Stopping power is handled by the

The cabin is well insulated from the

The fourth transmission mode is accessed

StabiliTrak electronic stability control

outside world, with little wind noise and Portfolio


tyre noise is absent except on some of the rougher tar roads. As for the interior, the Cadillac designers have applied the maxim if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. In other words the 2012 SRX looks the same as the previous model. The dash still features Cadillac’s familiar pop-up navigation, the cargo area still has the U-Rack storage setup, and the sound system is still the potent eight-speaker Bose unit. However, interior door lock switches have been added to the door panels (and retained on the centre console) and Bluetooth is now standard on the base model. IN FACT, the SRX puts some of its competitors to shame with an array of standard equipment that includes leather-

The SRX has an extra stowage space under the cargo area floor. The cargo area itself still has the popular U-rack storage system.

trimmed seating, keyless access, rear-view camera system, front seats with eight-way

along with a chromed-out grille that

fact, this luxury crossover has been a

driver’s adjustment, power sunroof, and a

comfortably straddles the line between

certifiable hit for General Motors that

rear floor console with audio controls and

glam and gangster. The hunched rear

has brought in new buyers from all sorts

climate controls.

end gives the SRX an aura of menace.

of desirable demographics. When I drove

The base SRX comes standard with

the previous SRX I thought close but

expressive ‘art and science’ design to date

18-inch wheels, while the 20-inchers on

no cigar. But now, thanks to the new

with some fine attention to detail such

the Luxury Collection model have a new

engine, the General Motors folks have

as its vertical tail lamps that are actually

machined-face finish.

every reason to be grinning like Cheshire

The exterior is Cadillac’s most

small fins, a fine touch of nostalgia

In the US the Cadillac SRX has moved

cats. The SRX is now a major league

without being kitsch. Cadillac’s iconic

from number nine in its segment to

contender for anyone who has $45,000

vertical headlamps dominate the front

number two behind the Lexus RX. In

to spend on some good wheels. ■

March 2012



Other Business

A Taxing Drive It was at least the fifth raid

The Italian police are working hard at netting tax offenders. Their modus

targeting wealthy Italians since

operandi is to set up checkpoints where

a December sweep at the posh

they stop motorists, mainly targeting the

Cortina d’Ampezzo ski resort,

drivers of luxury cars.

where 251 high-end cars were stopped, including Ferraris and

halted more than 350 vehicles,

Lamborghinis. Rome, Portofino on

mostly luxury SUVs and Porsches. At

the Italian Riviera and Florence

checkpoints, including one adjacent to

have also been targeted.


In Milan in January the police

the fashionable Corso Como, the police

Italian authorities are applying to

got the driver’s license and registration,

luxury-car owners the same logic they

¤30,000 for 2010 and 2009. Another 19

which they passed on to the national

displayed more than a year ago, when tax

luxury cars were owned by businesses,

tax agency. The tax authorities will use

agents started tracking down the owners

which posted a loss in the previous year.

the data to check if the cars’ owners had

of yachts berthed in Italy’s harbours to see

This is a serious problem for the Italian

declared enough income – and of course

if they were current on their tax payments.

government, which estimates that tax

paid the right amount of income taxes –

In the raid in Cortina D’Ampezzo, tax

evasion costs the country about ¤120

agents found that 42 luxury car owners

to justify their lifestyles.

had declared income of less than

billion a year in lost revenue.

‘Winterpeg’ Buys Snow While Europe dealt with a severe cold snap, the Canadian city of Winnipeg had the opposite problem. gETTy imagES

Winnipeg – often nicknamed ‘Winterpeg’ for its harsh winters – enjoyed its third gETTy imagES

mildest January in

Untying the Knot

more than a century

most married couples check into

with an average

hotels for a romantic break, but a new

Jim Halfens, who said he spotted a

concept in the Netherlands is more of

gap in the market in a country where

a break-up affair by providing couples

the average divorce can easily run into

with a swift and cheap divorce.

five figures and take months to

temperature of -10.8 Celsius. The warm temperature caused a snow shortage for the first time in 48 years for the annual Festival du Voyageur, a popular snow-sculpting event that attracts

The concept, called the ‘Divorce

it is the brainchild of entrepreneur

complete. Halfens uses a number of

international artists. As a result the city had to truck

Hotel’ helps husbands and wives to

high-end boutique hotels around the

in 200 loads of fake snowflakes for the event.

arrange all the necessary legal

country, including the Carlton

documentation to end their marriage

ambassador Hotel in The Hague.

The story has been pretty much the same over the rest of Canada, creating a shortage of real snow.

over the course of just two days.

The Canadians can thank a flip-flop in air pressure

They meet a mediator and a series of

process and are rigorously screened

patterns for the mild winter, which has funnelled

lawyers behind closed doors who will

by the divorce hotel legal team. if the

warmer southwest air across the Prairies. Nearly all of

split assets, agree alimony payments

husbands and wives are squabbling,

the country’s main grain-growing region has received

and arrange visitation rights – all for

or barely on speaking terms, they are

below-normal precipitation since 5 November.

a fixed fee.

deemed unsuitable for the process.

Couples have to apply to use the

Por tfolio



Life is in the movement

Portfolio | March 2012  

Portfolio | March 2012

Portfolio | March 2012  

Portfolio | March 2012