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James Rickards on 'The Death of Money'

May 4, 2014

Hosts John Makin and Gwendolyn van Paasschen (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Hosts John Makin and Gwendolyn van Paasschen
"Jim Rickards has re-invented himself as an insightful analyst of the global financial system. He demonstrated that during a stimulating May Day discussion of his new NY Times bestseller, The Death of Money at our home in Georgetown." That was prominent economist John Makin, who, with his wife Gwendolyn van Paasschen, graciously hosted a cocktail party Thursday evening to celebrate the latest book by the bestselling author of Currency Wars.

Before Rickards warned of the collapse of the dollar and its global ramifications, 50 invited guests were treated to cocktails and hors d'oeuvres in the exquisite van Paasschen-landscaped garden.

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

In Death of Money, which reads like a tightly woven thriller, the author details pre- 9/11 insider trading, shares his role in Pentagon financial war games, demystifies Special Drawing Rights (SDR's ) currency created by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and waxes eloquent on the power of gold.

In the last century alone, Rickards explains, the international monetary system changed three times; the first after WWI, the second after WWII (Bretton Woods agreement), and the third was in 1971 after President Nixon closed the gold window as a managed dollar devaluation.

James Rickards in Georgetown home of John Makin and Gwendolyn van Paasschen (Photo by: Judith Beermann) James Rickards in Georgetown home of John Makin and Gwendolyn van Paasschen

There's misplaced confidence that central banks can save the day in the next liquidity crisis, says the author. "While we refuse to face truths about debts and deficits, dozens of countries all over the globe are putting pressure on the dollar. We think the gold standard is a historical relic, but there's a contemprary scramble for gold around the world, and it may signify a move to return to the gold standard. We greatly underestimate the dangers from a cyberfinancial attack and the risks of a finiancial world war."

The imminent threats are financial warfare, deflation, hyperinflation, and market collapse. "Only nations and individuals who make provisions today will survive the maelstrom to come."

"Whether the new monetary standard will be based on gold, SDRs or a network of regional reserve currencies remains to be seen."

Jim Rickards, Gwendolyn van Paasschen, Mark Bigeier and Theresa Burt (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Jim Rickards, Gwendolyn van Paasschen, Mark Bigeier and Theresa Burt

Rickards recommends preparing for a monetary collapse by investing in tangible assets, starting with gold. Other suggestions include land (without the buildings), fine art, alternative funds (hedge funds and private equity funds) and cash.

From the audience, a question about bitcoins elicited an insightful comment that, like the dollar, bitcoins are digital currency and unbacked. A more secure asset, Rickards suggests, would be if the IMF moves to a gold-backed SDR.

"The fact that gold is an element is important because that means pure gold is of uniform grade and quality at all times in all places ... Gold is not a derivative, a commodity or an investment."

James Rickards signing copies of his book (Photo by: Judith Beermann) James Rickards signing copies of his book

Ed Emes and Charlie Eisen (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Ed Emes and Charlie Eisen

Jon Makin, Ann Rickards and Gwendolyn van Paasschen (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Jon Makin, Ann Rickards and Gwendolyn van Paasschen

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Boffi Turns 80, Debuts New Designs in Milan

April 23, 2014

Boffi founder, Paolo Boffi (seated) and CEO, Roberto Gavazzi (Photo by: Julia Walter) Boffi founder, Paolo Boffi (seated) and CEO, Roberto Gavazzi

“It’s all in the details,” says Boffi Georgetown's manager, Julia Walter. Fresh from Milan and the 2014 Euro Cucina, the International Kitchen Furniture Exhibition, this year’s celebration also marks Boffi’s 80th birthday.

For a company that literally invented the modern kitchen, to have its founder, Paolo Boffi at the weeklong celebration, was extroardinary.

'Open' kitchen (Photo by: boffi.com) 'Open' kitchen

From its inception, Boffi has focused on creativity, production and entrepreneurship, finding the best modernist designers and world-class art directors including Luigi Massoni, Antonio Citterio and Piero Lissoni.

This year, Lissoni debuted the first indoor/outdoor kitchen, aptly named ‘Open Kitchen.’ “A monobloc stainless steel kitchen, specifically engineered for outdoor use. Open is not a kitchen, it’s much more. It's a machine, for preparing dinner, having a drink, listening to music, chatting with friends, cooking a meal or enjoying a good dish."

'Origine' by Alessandro Andreucci + Christian Hoisl, 2014 (Photo by: boffi.com) 'Origine' by Alessandro Andreucci + Christian Hoisl, 2014

These days, in addition to innovative kitchen and bathroom design, the company designs wardrobe systems, and, for the first time, a ‘fitness center.’  The idea of ‘Origine’ is to “combine the functionality and ‘charm of Swedish wall bars with the added asset of a full length mirror.” It’s also the perfect solution for a completely integrated modern bathroom and workout area.

“Always pioneers,” Julia explains, “Boffi is keen on improving current models, with an eye to eco-sustainablity, being super innovative, and constantly introducing new finishes.

Patricia Urquiola’s ‘Salinas’ kitchen is a great example. This totally original design has a gutter-shaped element providing useful storage space and all the connectivity needed to operate appliances, making the design sutiable for placing anywhere in a room. The modular elements are available in different finishes, including Urquiola’s exclusive Nerosicilia countertop with glazed lava.

'Salinas' kitchen (Photo by: Julia Walter) 'Salinas' kitchen

What’s new in the bathroom? ‘DueC,’ a sink available as a single or as a double ‘C’ with an open storage unit between. ‘Eclipse’ is an elegantly designed tap system with “opening and water adjustment control swivels out of the vertical axis of the base.” Never need to worry that that the water drips again.

All 2014 Boffi designs will be arriving in Georgetown soon. In the meantime, check out the current designs, MaxAlto furnishings and Robert Shields' photographs.

'Salinas' by Patricia Urquioia, 2014 (Photo by: Julia Walter) 'Salinas' by Patricia Urquioia, 2014

'Eclipse' taps by Studiocharlie, 2014 (Photo by: boffi.com) 'Eclipse' taps by Studiocharlie, 2014

Boffi is located at 3320 M Street. Tel: 202.337.7700

'DueC' by Victor Vasilev, 2014 (Photo by: boffi.com) 'DueC' by Victor Vasilev, 2014

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Play Acronyms of Georgetown

April 20, 2014

The first reader who can correctly name these Georgetown businesses from their acronyms wins a Dish tote bag! Please respond in the comment section below this article but only if you have all 11 answers. And let us know how to contact you.












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