I was relatively late in getting into Dylan properly...into my early 20s - although before that I'd appreciated individual songs, such as Lay Lady Lay, Like A Rolling Stone and others.
However, when his force finally it hit me, it hit me hard. Chimes of Freedom, To Ramona and Ballad in Plain D all affected me on a deep emotional level in different ways, while the likes of One More Cup of Coffee had a beguiling exoticism.
In the last months of his life, a physically weakened Christopher Hitchens travelled to the Texas Freethought Convention and while there, an eight-year-old girl asked Hitchens what books she should consider reading. Intrigued, Hitchens spent 15 minutes chatting with the youngster and sketching out a reading list (below). His last words to her? "Lots of love...remember the love bit..."
In the 1840s Henry David Thoreau swapped his busy schedule in Concord, Massachusetts, for a wooden hut he built himself near Walden Pond. We had the privilege to visit Walden in July 2012; it exceeded expectations in its tranquility and beauty - and the swim in the pond itself was unforgettable.
Please see below selected recent privacy-related change.
T.S. Eliot died over 50 years ago now, His legacy remains profound and his poetry moves me deeply.
In 2016 I had the privilege of visiting his final resting place, East Coker.
I read or listen to the peerless Little Gidding often, and almost every line entrances, as if peering through a veil at something once known, but half-forgotten because not looked-for.
Imagine that we could build "start-up countries" and escape limiting, outdated forms of governance that hold people back. "Seasteading", according to its advocates, has the promise to do this, creating new "spaces for human freedom".
Inspiring the world for 50 years and counting...more than half a century since Dr King spoke, and still as powerful and relevant as ever...
In a tribute programme from the BBC, global figures celebrated the legacy of Dr King by reading the words of "I Have a Dream".
Please see below selected recent intelligence about the Americas. This is a synthesis of major recent developments at corporates, business schools, thinktanks, media, commentators, and other key influencers.
- The OECD forecast that Brazil’s economy will shrink by 4.3% this year. Official data this week showed that the country’s GDP contracted by 5.4% in the first quarter compared with the same period last year. Although bad, many economists were expecting the figure to be much worse.
Please see below selected pre-2016 intelligence about the Americas. This is a synthesis of major recent developments at corporates, business schools, thinktanks, media, commentators, and other key influencers.
- Brazil’s annual rate of inflation rose to 10.5% in November, the highest it has been in 12 years. In a further blow to the embattled government Moody’s downgraded all its ratings for Petrobras, the country’s state-owned oil company, which is at the centre of a corruption scandal, and warned Brazil’s sovereign rating was at risk because of the country’s “worsening governability”.
PwC Canada acquired Cinovate, a leading Canadian Salesforce.com consultancy. PwC says the deal enhances its ability to deliver a suite of cross-industry, cloud-based Salesforce solutions to the marketplace for implementation by the firm’s more than 420 Salesforce-Certified technology consultants. Cinovate was founded in 2009 by Ron Caruso and Matthew Fidler, the firm’s Managing Partners. Cinovate’s operations will be integrated within PwC’s Salesforce Consulting operation, led by PwC’s Justin Wortley.
- Puerto Rico managed to avoid a default by paying all the principal and interest due on $354m of a category of bonds that carry government guarantees. The American territory made the payment by using money that had been set aside to pay a lower class of bonds next month. The island is struggling to cope with $72 billion in debt. Alejandro García Padilla, the governor, went to Congress this week to ask it to pass a plan that would allow Puerto Rico to seek a type of bankruptcy protection; he warned that “we have no resources left”.
- The Federal Reserve raised rates for the first time in 9 years. The FOMC announced rate lift-off by raising the target range on the fed funds rate by 25 basis points to 0.25% - 0.5%. Moreover, in line with expectations, the FOMC and Chair Yellen delivered dovish forward guidance regarding the future path of rate hikes. Past episodes of first rate increases in a U.S. monetary policy tightening cycle were often accompanied by a flattening U.S. yield curve, and currency depreciations and/ or monetary policy rate increases in emerging markets. The close correlation with emerging market borrowing costs suggests that lift-off in 2015 may increase global financing costs, especially for vulnerable countries.