Abu Dhabi (CNN) - An Abu Dhabi mosque is being adorned with beautiful new mosaics - thanks to some traditional Italian craftsmanship.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is first and foremost a place of worship, but in less than five years it has become synonymous with the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Enrico Fantini is a fourth-generation Italian mosaic artisan who was recruited to work on the vast exterior ground and key parts of the grand interior. “We are very proud to have an Italian tradition - the mosaic started in the Byzantine world, the Roman world,” Fantini told CNN’s John Defterios.
(CNN) – Dust off your old comic books: a collector has sold a near-mint copy of the first issue of the Batman comic book for a whopping $850,000.
The seller reaped a stunning return on investment, after paying $315,000 for the No. 1 issue two years ago, according to the auctioneer. The comic book was priced a mere 10 cents when it was published in 1940.
The sale to an investor partnership was arranged privately by Dallas-based collectibles auction house, Heritage Auctions. The identities of the buyer and sellers have not been revealed.
Playing on nostalgia, vintage comic book sales have been on the rise in recent years. A rare comic book collection reaped Heritage Auctions over $8.9 million in February, breaking the company’s own world record of $6.03 million from May 2011. According to Heritage, comic auctions grossed no more than $2.2 million when the company began auctioning comics over a decade ago.
(CNN) – JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon shocked Wall Street just after the market closed Thursday with news that the company had lost $2 billion since April 1 on trades in credit default swaps.
Sound familiar? It should. Credit default swaps based on housing mortgages created the tinder that was ignited by rising home defaults to create the conflagration of the 2008 financial crisis.
Trading in derivatives such as credit default swaps were designed to hedge against risk. But as we know, banks and other market players used these tools to create products that seemed to take the danger out of risky bets and reaped huge rewards - right up until the moment they didn’t. Banks and other businesses were stuck on the wrong side of the trade, trapped with a mountain of debt they couldn’t pay.
Speaking on a Thursday conference call – which the Financial Times’ Alphaville called “the most excruciating bank conference call we’ve ever heard” – Dimon said JPMorgan's losses stemmed from trades designed to hedge against risk, but those trades went awry due to "errors," "sloppiness" and "bad judgment." It doesn’t help that, just a month ago, Dimon decried the build-up of credit default swaps at JPMorgan’s London office, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, as a “tempest in a teapot.”
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