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6. SUMMARIZE WRITTEN TEXT
6.13 It'll Never Fly: The City of London
Who would have thought back in 1698, as they downed their espressos, that the little band of stockbrokers from Jonathan's Coffee House in Change Alley EC3 would be the founder members of what would become the world's mighty money capital?
Progress was not entirely smooth. The South Sea Bubble burst in 1720 and the coffee house exchanges burned down in 1748. As late as Big Bang in 1986, when bowler hats were finally hung up, you wouldn't have bet the farm on London surpassing New York, Frankfurt and Tokyo as Mammon's international nexus.
Yet the 325,000 souls who operate in the UK capital's financial hub have now overtaken their New York rivals in size of the funds managed (including offshore business); they hold 70% of the global secondary bond market and the City dominates foreign exchange trading. And its institutions paid out £9 billion in bonuses in December. The Square Mile has now spread both eastwards from EC3 to Canary Wharf and westwards into Mayfair, where many of the private equity 'locusts' and their hedge fund pals now hang out.
For foreigners in finance, London is the place to be. It has no Sarbanes Oxley and no euro to hold it back, yet the fact that it still flies so high is against the odds. London is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in, transport systems groan and there's an ever present threat of terrorist attack. But, for the time being, the deals just keep on getting bigger.
6.14 Beauty Contest
Since Australians Jennifer Hawkins and Lauryn Eagle were crowned Miss Universe and Miss Teen International respectively, there has been a dramatic increase in interest in beauty pageants in this country. These wins have also sparked a debate as to whether beauty pageants are just harmless reminders of old fashioned values or a throwback to the days when women were respected for how good they looked.Opponents argue that beauty pageants, whether Miss Universe or Miss Teen International, are demeaning to women and out of sync with the times. They say they are nothing more than symbols of decline.
In the past few decades Australia has taken a real step toward treating women with dignity and respect. Young women are being brought up knowing that they can do anything, as shown by inspiring role models in medicine such as 2003 Australian of the Year Professor Fiona Stanley.
Almost all of the pageant victors are wafer thin, reinforcing the message that thin equals beautiful. This ignores the fact that men and women come in all sizes and shapes. In a country where up to 60% of young women are on a diet at any one time and 70% of school girls say they want to lose weight, despite the fact that most have a normal BMI, such messages are profoundly hazardous to the mental health of young Australians.
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