Sunday, March 29, 2020

Gio Ponti and Italian Modernism Essay Example

Gio Ponti and Italian Modernism Essay Ana Mihajloska History of Architecture And Modern Interior Design Fall 2010 Gio Ponti and Italian modernism Love architecture, be it ancient or modern. Love it for its fantastic, adventurous and solemn creations; for its inventions; for the abstract, allusive and figurative forms that enchant our spirit and enrapture our thoughts. Love architecture, the stage and support of our lives. These are the words of one of the most famous and renown architects and designers of Italian Modernism, Gio Ponti. He was born in Milan, where he studied architecture and design. Through out the course of his life Gio Ponti became known in various areas. He was a poet, painter, industrial designer, architect and the founding director of Domus magazine. Out of all his work of design he became known as the Godfather of Italy’s post-war design renaissance. His main idea was to propagate for design excellence, and he encouraged everyone to use good design in order to be able to enjoy the vivid, sensual and good life ( la Dolce Vita). After graduating he did not start working as an architect but instead as an art director of ceramic manufacturer, Richard Ginori. We will write a custom essay sample on Gio Ponti and Italian Modernism specifically for you for only $16.38 $13.9/page Order now We will write a custom essay sample on Gio Ponti and Italian Modernism specifically for you FOR ONLY $16.38 $13.9/page Hire Writer We will write a custom essay sample on Gio Ponti and Italian Modernism specifically for you FOR ONLY $16.38 $13.9/page Hire Writer In the year 1925 he won the ‘grand prix’ at the Paris expo. In 1928 he founded the Magazine â€Å"Domus† along with Ugo Ojetti. Later in his life, Gio Ponti revived his interest in architecture by building houses in Milan, Paris. This structures were known as â€Å"domuses† , common for his style which looked like typical Milanese homes from the outside, contrasting the interiors which were innovative with flexible spaces and modular furniture. His buildings were characterized by harmony between form and function, which is in fact the main idea of the modernist movement. His design was functional and economical in terms of materials and production, in other words his goal was to minimalize the product and the cost of production. His architectural career began in partnership with Mino Fiocchi and Emilio Lancia. During this period he was influenced by the Italian Neo-classic movement. Some of the works commissioned in collaboration with his partners were the ‘Bouilhet Villa in Garaches, Paris, in 1926; the Monument to the Fallen done in partnership with the reknown architect Giovanni Muzio; the Casa Rasini aparment blocks in Milan and the Domus Julia-Domus Fausta complex. His later major commissions were the headquarters of a chemical firm Montecatini, and also the construction of the Pirelli Towers in Milan in partnership with Pier Luigi Nervi and Arturo Danuso. In 1960’s he designs the two Caracas houses, the Villa Planchart and Villa Arreaza, which were known for their ‘Joie de Vivre’ style. These structures are perfect example of his playful and open-minded attitude towards his ideas and design. Gio Ponti was also known for his contribution to Italian furniture and industrial design in general. Going back to the beginning of his career when he was working at the Manifattura Ceramica of Richard Ginori in Milan he designed some great works which include: a line of furnishings for the Rinascente stores, known as Domus Nova; ceramic objects such as porcelain, vases, sanitary ware; he was also known for his furniture designs like chairs for example. He designed the angular â€Å"Distex† chair for cassina and also the most famous â€Å"Superleggera† which is perfect example of his idea of good design. The chair is made in such a way that is extremlly light hence the name ‘Super light’, that it could be lifted up by a child simply with one finger. He also worked as a designer of decorative glass bottles for Venini, and as a designer of lamps for also Venini and Artemide, two very famous Italian companies. His design of lamps was divided in two types: very shiny ones, with bright and vivid colors; and minimalist kind, with simple and functional forms. One of his most famous was the ‘Billa Lamp’. The work of Gio Ponti still stands as the hallmark of Italian Novocento modernist movement. His ideas and creations are representation of the principles of Modern design. Following the idea of ‘ form follows function’ he was trying to incorporate the least amount of material in his works, still creating something that is extremely functional with excellence of design. Bibliography: ? http://www. designboom. com/portrait/ponti/bio. html ? http://designmuseum. org/design/gio-ponti ? http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Gio_Ponti Figure 1 Images from the Domus magazine Figure 3 Villa Planchart, Caracas,1955 Figure 2 Pirelli Tower, Milan, 1956 Figure 4 Superleggera, 1957, Cassina

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Summary of Lorenzo essays

Summary of Lorenzo essays In the movie, Lorenzo's Oil, the true story of Lorenzo Odone and his family's fight to save his life is vividly prtrayed. The movie examines the ravaging effects of a disorder called ALD is a rare, genetic disorder characterized by the breakdown or loss of the myelin sheath surrounding nerve cells in the brain and progressive dysfunction of the adrenal gland. There are different types of ALD. The type that Lorenzo has is the most severe. It affects only boys and usually occurs between the ages of 4 and 10. The movie begins by showing 5 year old Lorenzo in perfect health, running and playing as other boys his age. Then, he suddenly becomes ill. At first his behavior begins to change. Lorenzo, who had been a very loving and friendly child, begins to show aggression and hyperactivity in school. Shortly thereafter, he becomes physically ill. Lorenzo's diagnosis is very bleak. The doctors explain to his parents, Augusto and Michaela, that their son has a rare incurable disease that will cause his brain to deteriorate and he will die within a couple of years. As Lorenzo's father begins to research this disease, he reads a list of symptoms that Lorenzo would soon face: seizures, loss of muscle tone, stiffness and contracture deformities, swallowing difficulties and further signs of damage to the brain tissue. As the disease would progress, symptoms would include paralysis, hearing loss, visual impaired Augusto and Michaela refuse to accept this. They begin to research and find that there is a link between certain foods and the disorder that their son has. They immediately begin to limit his dietary intake of these foods such as peanut butter, spinich, and other foods rich in the saturated fatty acids (VLCSFA). At first Lorenzo begins to show progress with the level of ...

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Improving Organizational Communication through CFM Essay

Improving Organizational Communication through CFM - Essay Example Conway Inn & Hotel has gone through reductions in customer flow in the last two and a half years, which has seen cutbacks in some of the services offered by the organization. Because of the reduction of customer flow, many customers have stopped frequenting the establishment, which has occasioned small-scale staff layoffs. Consequently, the organization has seen a decrease in revenues, which has also affected the confidence of the employees in the organization’s capability to keep them employed. An increase in customer flow and subsequent transition into a high performance organization can go some way in resolving this issue. The organization would also like to explore the possibility of franchising into Best Western. The customer flow at Conway Inn & Hotel has slowed down, which can be seen by reviewing the registration logs that are meant to alert the organization on dropping rates of customer flow. The establishment has been popular with the local population, as well as vis itors travelling through the town because of various amenities offered, such as cab services, free Wi-Fi connection, and refrigerators in the rooms. The downturn in customer flow, however, has seen the organization cut back on several services, which must be maintained if they are to have a competitive advantage over their competitors. There have been several attempts to improve on customer service, although the organization has been faced with difficulties with this because of the reduced customer flow. Therefore, this analytical research paper will seek to answer the question: â€Å"How can Conway Inn & Hotel transition into a high performance organization?† The best way to do this, as will be argued, is through customer flow management, or CFM. Literature Review Customer flow manag

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

The defence of self-defence Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 words

The defence of self-defence - Essay Example An individual is allowed in the eyes of the statutory defence to make use of reasonable force in an attempt to avoid committing a crime in such situations in which the individual cannot use the common law to avail himself. It is for the jury to decide as ordinary members of the community what exactly can be qualified as reasonable force in a certain case considering its individualistic facts. Ross is physically a very strong man, and he needed to protect himself not only against the first attempt of Samantha to injure or kill him but also her subsequent attempts. He needed to use at least as much force that would help him achieve that. His use of force did not instantly cause the death of Samantha. Therefore, Ross is innocent in the case of Samantha’s death. The defence of self-defence In the case under consideration, although Ross may be blamed for killing David, yet the blame that has been placed on him for killing Samantha is not right because what he did was an attempt to defend himself from the harm that Samantha was just about to cause him with her golf club. Self-defence makes a very important part of the English law’s doctrine of private defence. Ross should not be found guilty of the murder of Samantha and the defence of self-defence should have been put to the jury. ... English law has self-defence as a complete defence of justification in any case that includes any kind of assault. This makes self-defence unlike the loss of control that applies just for the mitigation of what would be classified as murder to manslaughter otherwise. Unlike loss of control, self-defence is a complete defence. Because of this completeness, the interpretation of self-defence is done in a comparatively conservative manner in order to avoid the development of a justification standard that is too generous. Increasingly forgiving defences provide the cynical defendants with greater incentives of the defence’s exploitation in their planning of the use of violence as well as when they have to make an explanation of the matters following the incident. Jury in the cases involving self-defence are entitled to consider the defendant’s physical characteristics, though such evidence does not have much probative value in reaching the decision if excessive force was im plied. According to the principle of general common law, â€Å"A defendant is entitled to use reasonable force to protect himself, others for whom he is responsible and his property. It must be reasonable† (Beckford v R (1988) 1 AC 130 cited in Smart Self Defence, 2011). In the case under consideration, Ross is a heavy man who is more than six feet in height whereas Samantha is petite with a total height of only five feet and three inches. Ross’ above average physical structure and excessive strength in comparison to Samantha along with Samantha’s below average height may give Ross some advantage in the eyes of law since not only Ross was too powerful, but also Samantha was too petite in

Monday, January 27, 2020

Problems And Prospects Of Venture Capital

Problems And Prospects Of Venture Capital Venture capital is a type of private equity which provides funding for businesses which are newly started with high potential growth. Venture capital is very important to countries; this is because it creates job opportunities, advance technology, which in turn increases economic growth of the country. (Mason, C. Pierrakis, Y. 2009) What distinguishes between venture capital and private equity is that private equity is usually involved in investing in large company where as venture capital invest in small start up companies. These small and young businesses generally have high level of uncertainty, thus making them more risky. In additional, these businesses generally dont have many tangible assets making it extremely difficult for them to secure bank loans, therefore making venture capital a very good option for them. VC firms are not interested in companies that are trying to create a market, or companies that are in a mature market, instead they look for markets that have a large number of potential users. (Mason, C. Pierrakis, Y. 2009) A typical venture capital investment usually lasts from 3 to 7 years, and the standard sequences of venture capital investment are the following: The founder of an idea or product will try and persuade the venture capital firm that their idea/ product is sensible and profitable. If the venture capital firm is happy with the founders proposal, it will provide funding for the founder to set-up; this includes management team, development of a fully functional prototype, marketing research. In return the VC firm will get an equity stake of the invested company. Once the setting-up is finished, the VC firm will provide funding and support on promoting and selling the product. If the product is successful, reaching the targeted market shares, the VC firm will exit cashing in its investment. (The Smart Set-Up 2008) The first VC firm was found in 1946 by MIT President Karl Compton and General Georges F. Doriot named American Research and Development (ARD) which was structured as a close ended fund. ARD was extremely successful since it turned an investment of $70,000 in Digital Equipment Corporation to a value of $355 million after the companys initial public offering. A number of VC firms which was structured as close ended fund was established after ARD, but it wasnt until 1958 the first VC limited partnership was established by Draper, Gaither and Anderson. Limited partnership became more common in the 1960s and 1970s; however the majority of VC firms are still structured as close ended fund. (Gompers, P. Lerner, J. 2001) Today, Venture Capital has been affected by the recession. Not as much money is being invested as 5 years ago during the height of the technology bubble. Currently Venture Capitalists are decreasing there overall amounts invested but are moving towards allocating more to later-stage investments. Currently there are fewer young entrepreneurs with great new ideas who are willing to risk building and sustaining a business. However this downturn is not expected to continue forever and it is China that will lead the way as the new most exciting venture market with 1.3 billion potential consumers. Yet, it is not only China who will rise from this downturn, UK along with other traditionally strong venture markets will re-emerge, but the question remains whether or not it will attract as much venture capital as it once demanded. Although China is set to become the biggest venture capital market, it can without a doubt learn an awful lot from past experiences of the UK market to assist its de velopment. (Deloitte. 2009) UK Venture Capital Industry Overview Introduction: importance of the UK venture capital industry Although the private equity industry in the UK founded its roots back in 1940s, it started to take off and grow rapidly from the mid 1980s, and now is second only in importance globally to the USA. In Europe the UK private equity market is regarded as the most mature (Tannon et al. 2005 cited in Soderblom 2005). 40% of the European PE industry is shared by the UK funds. As of % of GDP, the UK is the most significant private equity investor in Europe at a level of 1.10% (Figure 1), but out of this only 0.21% goes into venture capital financing while the rest is invested in the buyout sector (EVCA, 2005b cited in Soderblom 2005). It is important to note that in Europe the terms venture capital and private equity or risk capital are often used interchangeably, as European private equity funds typically include three main sub-categories: venture capital for start-up businesses and early stage companies; later stage expansion capital; and management buy-outs and management buy-ins. This t erminology differs from the one in the US, where private equity funds are considered as separate institutions from those managing venture funds (European commission 2006). That is why in UK venture capital is regarded as an integral part of private equity, but as the riskier part of the whole portfolio of PE funds. The UK VC Industry has been always compared to the US VC Industry in its performance and main development drivers. However, Richard, chairman of Library House (2007), argued that instead of benchmarking each European country against the whole US, it is more reasonable to explore the difference in VC performance between separate states, and then compare them with countries in Europe. Thus, Library House has produced a league table, which put the UK a third in this ranking in 2006 with 515 minority stakes worth à ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚ ¬1.78bn. California was first with 1,367 deals worth à ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚ ¬9.1bn, followed by Massachusetts with 338 deals worth à ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚ ¬2.1bn. Development of Venture Capital Industry in UK and recent trends VC Industry in the UK started from 1945, when Industrial and Commercial Financial Corporation (ICFC) was created (Clarysse et.al. 2009) to provide capital to growing independent businesses, which later became a global private equity firm, with à ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚ ¬8bn of assets under management (3i 2009). However, in 1970s availability of experienced VC managers proved to play an important role in taking-off the industry and developing it to the most successful in Europe. From early times of the development, the UK VCs were concentrated on leveraged buyouts and expansion type deals, as start-up opportunities were weak and not promising (Clarysse et.al. 2009). This is still the case in a current VC industry in UK making investments in established companies traditionally more attractive. Nevertheless, the UK VC Industry has shown a radical increase from  £26m invested in 1983 to  £1,048 in 2008. High-technology companies made more than 50% of those investments (Clarysse et.al. 2009). Over the last decade, the UK has been maintaining the average level of VC investment in early stage development of new ventures between 20% and 30% of total VC (BVCA 2009). VC Industry in recession Business XL (2009) reports that investments in ventures have decreased since 2006: 2 billion compared to estimated 750 million in this year. This suggests that venture capital industry was affected by the financial crisis. In the face of the recession that has challenged their existing portfolio companies, VCs are trying to secure more money to support those companies. Thus, most of the emerging opportunities are passing by without being considered by venture capitalists. Even though lower valuations of ventures seem to be a good deal for opportunistic VCs, according to Deloitte Research (2009), global trends indicate that large VC firms ($ 500million or more) have cut their investments more than small investment firms ($99 million or less). As the figure shows after the â€Å"dot-com† bubble in early 2000s the value of VC investments was falling gradually. But then, according to BVCA (cited by Mason et al. 2009) private equity and venture capital investments tripled in value between 2003 and 2007 from  £4bn to almost  £12bn. However, the value of investments fell by 28% in 2008 as the financial crisis took place. These trends indicate thatinvestment activities in Venture Capital Industry are very cyclical and fairly dependent on the general state of the economy. Source: BVCA Report on Investment Activity (various years) Importance of VC industry for growth of the UK economy According to BVCA (2009), companies backed by venture capital are more efficient and grow faster: VC-backed firms compared to those that do not receive venture capital backing are more innovative and produce more patents (Kortum et al. 2000), they develop and launch their products to the market faster (Hellmann et al. 2000), and have faster managerial professionalization (Bruton et al. 2005). In the UK during the time 2002-2007, the annual growth in number of people employed in VC-backed companies was 6%, sales growth was 12% annually, and exports were 14% annually (BVCA, 2009). Research undertaken by IE Consulting (2008) implies that venture capital funding plays a crucial role in making the whole UK economy more productive and competitive. VCs provide seed capital for new businesses helping them to develop the new high-tech products, market them, and to grow further to set-up their manufacturing and sales operations. Even though VCs contribution to growth of national economy is indirect, through funding new venture companies, this role is indeed the cornerstone of increasing innovation activities and development of advanced high-technology based firms in the country. The survey among 1013 VC-backed businesses (IE Consulting 2008) in UK identified that 86% of respondents have grown their businesses â€Å"organically† since receiving venture capital funding. 91% of the surveyed venture companies confirm that â€Å"venture capital was responsible for the existence/survival of their businesses and allowed them to grow more rapidly† (IE Consulting 2008). Moreover, there are also tax implications from the growth of VC-backed firms: public revenues increase as a result of growth in sales of those firms, and consequently more taxes are received by the government (including not only corporate taxes, but some other taxes resulting from growing venture firms operations). All these facts underlie the positive impact of venture capital industry on the overall economically important factors of the country such as job creation, growth of small and medium-sized businesses, investments in innovation and high-technology firms. Problems of Venture Capital industry in the UK Although UK is considered to be a world leader in Private Equity and Venture capital sector, second only to the US (IE Consulting 2008), still there are problems to be resolved as there are concerns that UK lags behind in the growing of ‘new high-tech based economy and innovation activities. The figure below taken from the report by Think Play Do Group (2009) prepared for BVCA, comparing VC industry development to US and Israel, the world-leaders in VC, shows that VC investments in the UK as a % of GDP are much lower than those in the US and Israel (Figure 3). This confirms the concerns that underinvestment in VC industry should be resolved and underlying problems identified and treated appropriately. Supply and Demand drivers for Venture Capital in the UK Since Venture Capital is so important for the economic development of the country, it is necessary to gain insight into how VC Industry is driven by supply and demand determinants. Moreover, the problems in the development of this industry can be identified through the closer look into both sides of it. Main demand side determinants of VC performance in the UK The demand for venture capital is drawn by the quantity and quality of innovative companies looking for funding and that are able to produce particular rates of return on those investments (Clarysse et.al. 2009). So, first of all, demand for VC is highly driven by early-stage entrepreneurial activities in the country. According to GEM Global report (2008), which explores the relationship between entrepreneurship and economic development, and particularly investigates â€Å"Entrepreneurial Attitudes, Activities and Aspirations† across 43 countries worldwide, in the UK 41% of adult population agreed that there are good opportunities to start a business in the next half of the year, and 52% considered entrepreneurship as a desirable career choice. However, only 5% expected to start a business in the next three years. All of these resulted in a very low rate of entrepreneurial activity, especially at the early stage which is just 5.9% of the whole population. Compared to the US (10.8%), this entrepreneurial activity is quite low, and might be a result of high percentage of respondents (38%), who believe that fear of failure would prevent starting a business. Clarysse et.al. (2009) explain that with bankruptcy laws that are more entrepreneur-friendly in the US compared to the UK, where there is high correlation between company and personal bankruptcies. One of the most important factors affecting the demand of VC is a stock of knowledge, which can be gathered through universities or national laboratories. Strong RD culture and easier spin-outs from those universities proved to have very positive effect on formation of new companies. It is also commonly considered that due to the lack of a culture of commercialising research in most of the European Universities (including the UK), these conditions are less effective in facilitating the commercialization of business ideas compared to countries where universities are normally private and dependent on commercialising research in order to increase revenues. Thus, indications of technological opportunities, such as growth rate of RD investments, availability of patents and access to university spin-outs seem to have a great impact on the demand for venture capital funding mainly through increasing number of new start-up firms exploiting those available opportunities. Statistical data (Worldbank 2008) indicate that between 1996 and 2006 RD expenditure in the UK as a percentage of GDP was stable between 1.5% and 2%. Fairly low capital gains taxes in the UK have had favourable effect on demand for VC in the UK, as it makes more people willing to start their own company. CGT rate has been reduced since 1988 from 40% to 10% for higher-rate tax payers for long-term investments. Though in 2008 this rate increased again from 10% to 18% in 2008, it is still low enough to encourage new business start-ups. (Clarysse et.al. 2009) According to statistical analysis conducted by Clarysse et.al. (2009) entrepreneurial activity is an important determinant of VC investments in the UK, so in order to enhance VC activities in thecountry policy makers should work on increasing entrepreneurial activity. Main Supply side determinants of VC performance in the UK There are different factors identifying the level of supply of VC, such as the situation on the exit markets, regulation policies, the fiscal environment and wider economic situation. The main problem is that the amount invested in early stage company is still low in the UK. The investors in the country are more interested in established businesses rather than in new innovative small companies, which is evidenced by the dominating buyout sector. According to Martin et al. (2003) and EVCA (2005) cited by Soderblom (2006), over 70% of all private equity goes into buyouts. For the last few years the early stage investments have substantially decreased in the UK, where VC allocations to seed and start-up phases account for only around 5% out of total PE investments (EVCA, 2005b cited by Soderblom 2006 ). Even with the fact that between the early 1990s and 2001 the volume of investments in high-technology companies in the UK increased tenfold (Martin et al., 2003) the VC investments in high- tech firms as a percentage of GDP was only 0.21% in 2005 (EVCA, 2005b cited by Soderblom 2006). The Figure 4 below illustrates these trends during the last decade. These low investments in early stage firms can be explained by the notion of â€Å"short terminism† which is the prevalent attitude towards returns on investments in the Capital market in the UK (Oakey 1995). It is evident that new high-tech based firms (NTBFs) have had a bad reputation among investors for being unreliable due to their inability to meet â€Å"fast return† demand and other â€Å"milestones† predicted in their business plans (Oakey 1995). Even more recent studies (Lockett et al. 2001) on â€Å"whether or not the UK VC industry has become less biased against investment in new technology-based firms† conclude that, although, investment in new high-tech based firms have increased by 2000s, the investors do not appear to be lowering their target rates of return for technology-based investments compared to non-technology-based investments at the same stage. So, even with higher acceptance rates for NTBFs, technology still proves to be a more important risk factor than stage of investment. Especially, the survey by Lockett et al. (2001) indicates that venture capitalists believe that many of NTBF proposals continue to be riskier than non-technology projects due to issues in management quality, intellectual property protection and potential market size. So there comes the problem of equity gap for the NTBFs. These firms are unable to get investments from either business angels or venture capitalists. The reason is that the small private Investors have limited financial resources and generally invest relatively small amounts of equity that is not enough for the new ventures and at the same time venture capitalists invest in bigger projects and the minimum sum they provide is higher than that the company asks for. According to the 2004 Bridging the Finance Gap report, the equity gap affects businesses seeking to raise between approximately  £250,000 and  £2 million of equity finance, and that this gap is most severe for sub- £1 million investments and for innovative businesses at an early stage of their development. Exit strategy for investor. On the supply side, stock market activity and the availability of trade sale opportunities were found to be important elements. VCs think in milestones but dream of exits. Visible exits such as stock market introductions are important for VCs to raise funds. It does not really matter whether these companies are introduced on local or international public markets as long as the stock market is liquid.(source) Ideally, investments are realised through an IPO, an industrial trade sale, or a secondary sale (Sà ¶derblom 2006). However, deep and liquid stock markets and favourable conditions to realize trade sales tend to be the most important factors for VC industry to flourish. Bringing a company to IPO indicates the quality of the VC and is important for investors in considering subsequent funding rounds, even though IPOs only account for less than 5% of total exits. A secondary market in for stock exchanges in the UK was created with AIM (Alternative Investment Market founded in 1995, and has grown significantly, from having a capitalisation of  £82.2 million in 1995 to nearly  £40 billion at the time in 2008. Furthermore, the London Stock Exchange launched techMARK to help promote existing quoted technology stocks and attract new ones to the exchange. However, according to BVCA there is a slow development of early stage VC in Britain and the whole Europe because of the absence of a f unctioning pan-European stock exchange for early stage ventures. The problem is that the European second-tier markets are fragmented (as several second-tier markets were launched) which resulted in limited capitalisation and liquidity of individual markets. Thus, reforms in capital market regulations may be needed to allow the creation of a single stock market for growth companies (including the UK markets) promoting economies of scale (Clarysse et.al. 2009). The sizes of public funds in the UK have not enabled the industry to reach a sufficient critical mass and the limited availability of follow-on financing has resulted in a â€Å"second equity gap†. To address this, the government could cornerstone an investment into a fund-of-funds that would attract private capital from institutional investors which would invest in venture capital funds able to demonstrate a track record of strong performance. (source) The Importance of balance between private sector and public sector investors in VC industry Since the early development of venture capital industry till late 1990s venture funds were primarily publicly-funded and supported by Business Expansion Scheme, which was replaced in 1994 by the Enterprise Investment Scheme (Mason et al. 2009). At the beginning of 20th century Many of these funds became ‘hybrids, involving a combination of public money and private investors, with incentives which enhance the risk-reward profile to attract private investors. Although free-standing private sector investments increased in numerical terms from 2002 until 2006, they have declined as a proportion of total investment activity from 81% in 2001 to 56% in 2008. In the UK the increased involvement of the public sector is even more apparent in the early stage venture capital market (Mason et al. 2009) accounting for the majority of such investments. In 2001 public sector funds were involved in 36% of investments. By 2003, as the various funds established by the Labour Government came on st ream, this had risen to 51% and by 2008 accounted for 68% of all investments. The proportion of public sector investments in the form of co-investment schemes has grown from 28% in 2001 to peak at 56% in 2007, falling back to 45% in 2008. (source) Nonetheless, emerging evidence from a NESTA/BVCA study (Nightingale et al, 2009 cited by Mason et al. 2009) indicates that companies that have received funding from public sector venture capital funds have not performed significantly better than those firms that did not receive funding from such sources. One interpretation is that public sector venture capital funds may not be able to add value to the companies they manage, because there is a â€Å"necessity to attract, reward and hold together experienced and committed venture capital executives to manage public funds.† In other words, the individuals running public sector funds are highly rewarded and incentivised to make the best possible returns. On the other hand, public sector venture capital funds may not be able to attract capable investment managers, and consequently they are unable to make good investments (quality of deal flow, domain knowledge, effectiveness of their due diligence). Thus, dominating position of pub licly funded VC funds especially in economically lagging regions resulted in inefficient performance of regionally based funds in the Midlands and north of England, along with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland due to lack of entrepreneurial eco-system and necessary networks with expert VC managers and external investors, and this in turn resulted in the VC industry in UK being concentrated and limited in traditionally active centres as London and Cambridge. Analysis Such a market would have two crucial benefits; first, it would greatly improve the ability VC-backed companies to raise large sums of capital required for global expansion and secondly, it would help to increase the average valuations of MA transactions. Further research should be conducted to fill the gaps and update the existing literature on the feasibility of a Pan-European stock exchange. A briefly description of development of VC industry in China How it originated and developed? Chinas venture capital business started from the middle of 1980s. For about twenty five years development, Chinas venture capital has made a great improvement, especially in the recent four or five years. However, there are still a lot of difficulties and problems facing China venture capital. For example, lack of appropriate regulations and policies, inflexible venture capital investment mechanism, lack of diversity of funding sources or lack of effective exit mechanism and so on. In 1983, the State Science Technology Commission (SSTC) (now the Ministry of Science Technology or MOST) set up a Research Group of Countermeasures to the Influence of the New Technology Revolution in order to carefully study the international technology situation. (This was the first time for China to truly face the implications that were taking place in the development of the global economy. After that from 1985 to 1995, the Central Government and some local governments financed and set-up investment institutions that intended to pursue the venture capital business. (Jack C. Fensterstock, Aimin Li 2001) In the year 1999, lots of government funding were lost, because of not deeply and really understand VC. After that both government and private started to change, for example, make some polices and gave better conditions for those who is good at VC. Since 2006, VC is on its boom in china, with the government supplying majority of it, however the amount of both private funding and the funding from abroad has developed significantly, More, VC in china is paying more and more attentions on new technologies. (Jack C. Fensterstock, Aimin Li 2001) Policy support in China Venture capital as a risk investment, it is highly risky but also highly profitable. More integrated laws or regulations are needed for Chinas venture capital development. In China, to protect and regulate the VC markets, Chinese government had made some National laws and some local laws duo to its own background. (As the graph shows below) In China, there are several different business activities of Venture capital. However, it is not permitted for VC enterprises to invest in guarantee services or real property business activities. Venture capital investment business; Venture capital investment business carried out on behalf of other organizations such as VC enterprises or individuals; Venture capital investment consulting business; Venture capital investment management services provided to VC enterprises; Participations in VC enterprises and venture capital management consultancies. (China: Venture Capital Regulations Published January 6, 2006 Hong Kong) With the development of policy, technological and understanding of VC, both organizational and institutional elements in China are becoming more and more complex. The system that has emerged so far is highly complex in terms of variety and number of organizational actors. Although the result has been dramatic, the series of changes are best seen as evolutionary and primarily driven by Chinas larger objective of national technological and economic development. As such, key changes in Chinas science and technology policy and business system structure during the transition era can be linked to the emergence and nature of Chinas venture capital industry. In this context, venture capital is simultaneously an extension of prior policy trajectories, as well as a potential answer to problems that other policy initiatives have not been able to solve. Balance between private and public For the venture capital industry in China, unlike other countries, it has been promoted not as a means to private gain; it is a critical mechanism to connect among scientific, technological capabilities and output. one hand, with national and regional economic and social development on the other which includes the total set of related actors and institutions, has undergone a dramatic transformation over the last two decades. The source for fund is very single, most of them are from government, or mixed by both private and government. Also, for Chinese government, it is always believed that both science and technology are the most significant parts of its search for economic development. (Steven WHITE, 2008) Most venture capital funds have a fixed life of 10 years, with the possibility of a few years of extensions to allow for private companies still seeking liquidity. The source for fund is very single, most of them are from government, or fixed by both private and government, and government takes the risky, compared with others, this kinds of fund do not want to take high risk investment. The national and local governments may establish venture capital investment guidance funds. The funds are to support the establishment and development of VC enterprises by taking equity participations and providing financial guarantees, etc. The state shall use beneficial tax policies to support the development of VC enterprises and to encourage them to invest in small and medium size enterprises, in particular in the high tech sector. The foregoing preferential policies shall be set forth in regulations to be drafted by the relevant authorities. Exit mechanism of Venture capital in China Chinas venture capital business started from the middle of 1980s (2). For about twenty five years development, Chinas venture capital has made a great improvement, especially in the recent years. Yet there are still a lot of difficulties and problems facing China venture capital. Compare to developed countries, China venture capital still lagging far behind. Exit mechanism as the major process of making profit from investment, it is very important to Venture capital. However, Because of the lack of appropriate laws, regulations or market structures and so on, exit become extremely difficult for China venture capital industry. Exit mechanism of venture capital mainly including four methods, initial public offering (IPO), mergers and acquisitions ¼Ã…’repurchase ¼Ã…’write- off (10). In China, about 15% of venture capital exit mechanism is by IPO in recent years, this is higher than in developed countries, this is not good because over half of listed companies are overseas-listed; over 37% of venture capital exit from mergers and acquisitions which is the highest compare to the other exit mechanisms (Qisong Wang, 2004), and this is still increasing. Both numbers are proving that chinas venture capital exit mechanism lacks of flexibility, the reasons lead to exit inflexibility can be described as follow: lack of appropriate laws, policies or regulations; inadequacy of a well organized market structure; absence of a efficient intermediate service system; limitation on enterprise ownership structure, and so on. One big very important element should be taken into consideration is that the Chinese government involvement. Most domestic venture capital institutions in China carry a government background or were once state owned enterprises, this deprive them of the capability of adapting to the high marketization, ardent competition, high intelligence, and high-responsiveness of the venture capital industry (Gongmeng Chen, 2005). The inflexibility of venture capital investment mechanism and lack of competitiveness is another problem to China venture capital development. If they do not thoroughly press forward with the marketization and globalization reform, even though they can have some development it will not be a long-term intrinsic development. No matter the market or policy environment in China, both have limited the adjustment of venture capital development. What the government can do is to build a more specific regulation system to rule the whole venture capital market. The Chinese marke t is attractive to foreign venture capitalists because of large domestic demand, rapid economic development (Chang Sun, 2006). Government itself can do investing but the more important thing is to encourage private equity and other forms of capital to involve into venture

Sunday, January 19, 2020

John F. Kennedy’s Assassination: the History and Reflection

John F. Kennedy’s assassination was, and still is, a difficult one to understand. On November 22, 1963 President Kennedy was shot twice: once in the back and out the throat, and another in the brain, with a third bullet missing Kennedy. He arrived in Dallas, Texas and started his route in an open limo. When the limo glided down Elm Street, Kennedy was shot. Three shots were heard among the crowd and the President had been fatally wounded. The Zapruder Film captured the assassination. It showed Kennedy being shot as well as the Governor, Connally. Kennedy was shot through the throat and the Governor was hit in the back. Not long after that, Kennedy was shot a second time, this time in the head/brain. Police searched the sixth floor of the Book Depository and not only found the spot where the shooter had been, but also three bullet shells and the rifle used to do the job. Lee Harvey Oswald was the murder suspect and when Oswald, when pulled over, shot a Police officer four times there was little doubt that he had committed the crime. Oswald was eventually found and arrested him in a movie theatre. He was then taken to the Police Headquarters where he was questioned, and when he was to be transferred to another jail (two days after the assassination) he was shot by a man, Jack Ruby. Vice President Johnson was then sworn into the Presidency and spoke briefly to the public. Many conspiracies rose from the assassination of whether Oswald worked alone, for someone, or with someone. John F. Kennedy’s assassination was a surprising one for me. The irony in this assassination seemed to be part of a story. I couldn’t believe that they actually had footage of the shooting. The reality of the case was a lot to take in, especially since that was only around 48 years ago. It is hard to imagine the pain he must’ve been feeling and the pain his wife was going through to see her husband struggling to breathe and then see his head shot in front of her eyes. My question is how was she able to handle that? To see her husband die right in front of her eyes and not being able to help him. It made me think about how fragile life is, how one second you’re happy and content with your life and the next you don’t even have one. Did Mrs. Kennedy have help coping with the traumatic loss? Did she take precautions more seriously? Did she ever enter into a stage of depression? Mrs. Kennedy was a very strong woman to have lived through her husband’s murder in front of her eyes. Robert Oswald was Lee Harvey Oswald’s brother and according to him and research Lee had a tough life. Lee didn’t grow up with a father and had no friends in his teen years. He took an interest in communism and would eventually consider himself a Marxist. Lee Harvey Oswald joined the Marine Corps and was superb at his ability in the shooting range. Lee was able to shoot 200 yards away from a target at 49 out of a possible 50 times at an impressing time. Later on he moved to the Soviet Union where he wanted to join in the Soviet Union agency, but was rejected. Oswald eventually got a job and found a wife, Marina. Oswald was ambitious to make something of himself and to make himself known, so much so that when he returned to the United States he was expecting reporters to be there to cover his return. To his disappointment no one was there. Oswald was an abusive husband, and he also planned on being a political assassin. Wanting to make a mark on history, Lee bought a hand gun as well as a rifle under the name of A. Hiddle. Afterwards he plotted on killing an ex-general, Walker, but didn’t succeed when the bullet bounced away from the intended target off the glass of a window. Marina too Oswald to New Orleans hoping to calm him down and get his mind off of whatever he was thinking of. To her disappointment, he started handing out leaflets stating, â€Å"HANDS OFF CUBA! and getting into fights with Anti-Castro Cubans and got himself arrested. After that he wanted Marina to help him hi-jack a plane to Cuba, and later Marina left him to go back to Dallas. Lee got a job back in Texas at the Book Depository when the route for the President came out in the papers. Convenient for Lee, the route went passed right where he worked. Lee’s chance for a place in the history book s was there and he took it. The day before he killed Kennedy he left a note to his wife with some money saying to make sure his son gets some shoes. November 22, 1963 Lee arrived with the rifle wrapped up in a 38-inch long paper bag. Saying that it was curtain rods, Oswald walked in and awaited the President to pass by. When Oswald shot the three shots he fled, killing an officer in the process, and hid in a movie theatre. When he was arrested he was questioned and taken to transfer jails when another man by the name of Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald. One of my main questions is why Lee Harvey Oswald would leave the rifle, the three shellings, and the paper bag used to cover the rifle, behind. Also, I wonder why he didn’t fully think the whole thing through. He should’ve had an escape plan in the ready after the job was done. Many criminals don’t miss this step in the planning and it seems like Lee didn’t even think about it. It seemed that Lee did this in the spur of the moment, which is a good thing for the officers to find all the evidence left behind, and he didn’t full think. Jack Ruby was another man whose life story was a sad one. As one historian said, he was a â€Å"wannabe never-was†. Ruby was known for his bad temper and his need for importance. Ruby hung around the police and became well known among them. He got close to them to the point where he could come and go in the headquarters as he pleased. When he heard about Lee and how he had been suspected of killing the president he drove over to the headquarters with his dog in the car and parked a block from the police HQ. Ruby actually caught Lee by luck, Lee was supposed to be transferred before the time Ruby showed up but wasn’t because Lee wanted to change his clothes. As Lee was being walked out Ruby stood out and shot Lee in the gut. Ruby was arrested on the spot. He believed he was an American Hero and that he did the right thing. Because of the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald conspiracies flourished throughout the American nation. I wonder whether or not Ruby premeditated the killing of Lee. Since it said that Ruby was lucky to see Lee there, it got me thinking. If Ruby was heading over there with the intent on killing Lee I thought that he would’ve arrived on time or by the time that Lee was scheduled to be there, not the time that he was already supposed to be gone. If I wanted to kill someone I would make sure that I would show up at the right time where my intended target was going to be, not just show up and catch him by luck. To me I think that it is weird to think that Ruby was planning on killing Lee when he drove up to the headquarters with his dog in the car and showed up at the supposedly wrong time. The Warren Commission was the investigation of the assassination. There were two goals of the Warren Commission: to settle the mood in the U. S. A, and to dispel any rumors of foreign intrigue. Johnson wanted the Warren Commission to finish before the next election in 1964. The longer the investigation went on, the more conspiracies would thrive. The Warren Commission explored the evidence found at the crime scene. Using the spot where Kennedy and Connally were shot and the trajectory of the bullet, they were able to pin-point the location of the rifleman to the sixth story window of the Book Depository. Fingerprints were found on the paper bag, the boxes, and the place where the rifle was fired that all matched Lee Harvey Oswald’s. The bullets that were found in Governor Connally’s thigh, Kennedy, and also the miss-fired one, could all be traced back to Oswald’s gun, this would prove that only Oswald was involved in the murder. When the Warren Commission came out to the public, many American’s didn’t believe it. The fact that the twenty-six volumes some had mistakes, only fueled the conspiracy theories. The public, and the people who worked on the Warren Commission, didn’t find out until later that the Kennedy administration was trying to figure out a way to kill Castro. Johnson couldn’t help but believe that Castro had something to do with the assassination, and as a result he believed that: â€Å"Kennedy wanted to get Castro, but Castro got him first. † The Warren Commission was a smart move I think on Johnson’s part, but I think it was kind of hypocritical. Johnson wanted the Warren Commission to settle mood in the U. SA, but at the same time Johnson was worried. Also the goal of the Warren Commission was to somewhat stop the conspiracies, but yet Johnson had his thoughts of Cuba’s intervening. I find that somewhat hypocritical. I wanted to know how long it actually took to finish the Warren Report. If it didn’t take a lot of time to write or investigate than that should account for the mistakes that were found with the report, but those mistakes cannot have a reason unless I was to be there and look at the report for myself. The House Select Committee on the Assassination was appointed by the House to deal with the many different conspiracies. The Chief Council was G. Robert Blakey. This Committee re-examined the Warren Commission, the evidence and more of the Assassination. When the re-examination was done the Committee only confirmed that Lee Harvey Oswald really was the only killer. They asked Castro if he had anything to do with it and Castro responded that it would have been insanity to kill the President. Although both investigations came up with the same result, many Americans still refused to accept it. Theories about a second shooter in the grassy knoll became popular, especially with a cop’s microphone recording of what seems to be a fourth shot, not fired by Oswald. This conspiracy was denounced though because the cop‘s position at the time of the shootings was too far from the locations of the firings to be recorded. G. Robert Blakey believed that that the killing of Lee was a mob hit. That someone had to take out Lee to make sure he wouldn’t say anything, but if that were true than another person would have to take out Ruby to make sure he wouldn’t talk and so on, and that becomes a never-ending cycle. These acoustic findings were soon rejected. It baffles my mind to learn about the many different conspiracies that were and are still around. I cannot fully understand the reasoning behind the many beliefs about the assassination of JFK. It seems that for every conspiracy that was proved faulty there were at least two more that took it’s place. And even those that were denounced people still believe them. I don’t know why it is so hard to believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was the only assassin. Perhaps it was a way to cope with the pain back then, but even now many people I know don’t know much about the Kennedy Assassination or even care, but when asked about the conspiracies they take a side. Why? Oliver Stone was a very famous movie director who directed a film about the assassination of JFK and the Conspiracy theory of Jim Garrison. This movie fueled conspiracy. Garrison (in history, not the movie) was obsessed with proving a conspiracy. He promoted himself as the only one brave enough to uncover the truth. Jim only put one man on trial, and that was Clay Shaw. He never gave an explanation as to why he thought Shaw would conspire to kill Kennedy. When Perry Raymond Russo, Jim Garrison's key witness against Clay Shaw, was faced with a polygraph test, he freaked out, and recanted his testimony; saying that he actually didn’t see Shaw conspire against Kennedy. When Garrison heard of this he went crazy, but still put Clay Shaw on the stand. The jury found Garrison’s claim without a base and threw it out. Unlike the â€Å"truth†, Oliver Stone’s movie JFK made Garrison look like an American hero. What was Oliver Stone’s reason to make this film how he made it? In some ways it makes Garrison look like the American hero, but I wonder if that theme was constant throughout the movie as I watched the trailers. In the movie it seems like Garrison is fighting for the truth and fighting for the American people. But is that the real message? Another scene I saw was a complete laugh. There was a scene where Garrison (in the movie; the actor) was explaining how the bullet that shot Kennedy shot down Kennedy’s back then shot up through his throat then the bullet curved left then right then into the back of Connally. That whole scene was a questionable moment because common sense says that a bullet will not go down, up, left, right, left, and then down again.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

“Death Penalty” Pros and Cons

â€Å"Death Penalty† Pros and Cons Francisco X. Lendor Introduction to Criminal Justice (1102 CCJS100 4021) Due on: Tuesday, March 26, 2011 â€Å"Death Penalty† – Pros and Cons History over the years has taught us of many different ways on how to control or punish people who don’t follow the rules and laws imposed by society and courts. These are adopted by society to establish behavior standards. Whether some of them are effective or not, these must be respected in order to not fall into a severe punishment like the death penalty. Aâ€Å"The enormity of killing one’s fellow man with premeditation is the principal reason for the existence of the death penalty. † Throughout history, death penalty has been debated in many different ways. Groups protesting bring up their point of views with their pros and cons to defend their position in favor or against this punishment. A perfect example of why some groups oppose to this penalty is discussed in articles 1â€Å"Anti-death penalty groups raising money for exonoree Anthony Graves†, by Diane Jennings, and in 2â€Å"Testimony to begin today in death penalty trial of man accused of killing wife, stepdaughter and showing stepsons their bodies†, by Jennifer Emily. In the first article, a group from the Texas Moratorium Network was raising money to help, in this case, Anthony Graves. Graves spent 18 years in jail for murders he never committed, and was finally released from the â€Å"death row† from Texas after prosecutors declared him innocent. On the other hand, on the second article, Gary Green was facing a final decision to be convicted of capital murder in Texas. After stabbing his wife, he killed her 6-year-old daughter and proceeded to show their bodies to his stepsons. Jurors in this case were to decide Bâ€Å"whether to impose a death sentence or send him to prison for life without parole. † Death penalty brings positive and negative contributions to society. Even though, there have been a lot of proven mistakes when imposing it, and it still shows to be unsuccessful on removing evil from society. One of the pros death penalty contributes to society is that it deters some population from committing murder. It also gives peace of mind to the victim and their families and puts an end to the crime. Also, the fear of the highest form of punishment will keep potential victims alive. Sometimes families of the victims begin their healing process once the murderer is put to death. Politically seen, it also gives pride to politicians and some others may even secure their â€Å"positions† by taking a well known murder case to a closing point. Proponents of the death penalty say Câ€Å"it is an important tool for preserving law and order, deters crime, and costs less than life imprisonment. † They also argue that Dâ€Å"retribution helps console grieving families, and ensures that the perpetrators of heinous crimes never have an opportunity to cause future tragedy. † But it comes to the fact that these arguments just help them justify their support to punishment, while it is still not supported by a majority. Society still has a lot of issues against the death penalty. One of the most commonly questions people ask themselves is; what would it accomplish to put someone on death row? If the victim is already dead, you cannot bring him back. It is not true that the opponents feel â€Å"fear of death† will prevent one of committing murder. Statistics show that most of the murders are done on the heat of passion when a person is unable to think rationally. Therefore, how can one think of fear in the â€Å"heat of passion? † Opponents also argue the fact that there have been a lot of cases where the person being convicted was mistakenly accused. Worse than that, many have often been mistakenly killed due to the capital punishment process, and it is often inconsistently and arbitrarily applied. For Christians, a perfect example of a person driven to the death row being â€Å"mistakenly accused† was Jesus. Legitimate murderers, in the bible, were granted freedom and forgiveness, but Jesus was convicted, accused, and finally killed. This argument is mostly used by religious activists and protesters against the death penalty. People with deep-rooted belief to religious viewpoint often defend the right to life above any punishment that will threaten or jeopardize it. Based on the information published in both articles resumed above, and over the internet, I conclude that death penalty is not a deterrent, as violent crime rates show to be consistently higher in death penalty jurisdictions. Whether you are a hardened criminal or a government representing the people, killing another human being is wrong. It is wrong from the eyes of the â€Å"justice†, and so it is wrong viewed from the eyes of God or the â€Å"Supreme Being† in which we believe. Keeping killers off the streets for good through the Life Without Parole (LWOP) also prevents re-offending without having to harm murderers’ life. As Voltaire once wrote; Eâ€Å"let the punishments of criminals be useful. A hanged man is good for nothing; a man condemned to public works still serves the country, and is a good living lesson. † BIBLIOGRAPHY . UMUC Library: Guide to Criminal Justice  Resources—UMUC Article: Anti-death penalty groups raising money for exonoree Anthony Graves, by Diane Jennings – Reporter of Dallas Morning News UMUC Library: Guide to Criminal Justice  Resources—UMUC Article: â€Å"Testimony to begin today in death penalty trial of man accused of killing wife, stepdaughter and showing stepsons their bodies†, by Jennifer Emily – Reporter of Dallas Morning News REFERENCES â€Å"CITED† TIME in Partnership with CNN (online): http://www. time. com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,905684,00. html 2nd paragraph of: UMUC Library: Guide to Criminal Justice  Resources—UMUC Article: â€Å"Testimony to begin today in death penalty trial of man accused of killing wife, stepdaughter and showing stepsons their bodies†, by Jennifer Emily – Reporter of Dallas Morning News 2nd paragraph of: http://deathpenalty. procon. org/ 2nd paragraph of: http://deathpenalty. procon. org/ http://www. deathpenaltyinfo. org/