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Monthly Archives: December 2011

2012: The future and how we got here.

At this time of year it is usual for journalists to write a piece about the year just gone, or giving predictions for the one to come. My job has been made much easier with the arrival in my inbox of Roger Martin-Fagg’s quarterly economic update. Roger is an economics lecturer, consultant and broadcaster, and as one of the few experts who predicted our current financial crisis, is well worth listening to. Essentially he looks back at how we got into today’s mess and what we might do to extricate ourselves. The 1990 unification of Germany began a substantial transfer of income from West to East, wages fell, state benefits were cut, companies invested in R&D and apprenticeships and the result was a 20% drop in labour cost, compared to rest of the EU and a rise in unemployment to 12.1% by the time Angela Merkel came to office in 2005. Meanwhile, the Club Med countries were becoming increasingly self-indulgent as governments found they could…

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Breaking News

Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury's will compete on Boxing Day and New Year's Day for shoppers' wallets, while the major supermarkets try to outdo each other with ambitious job-creation plans for 2012. British Airways owner IAG has won out against Virgin Atlantic and has agreed to buy BMI from Lufthansa for £172.5m and could now sell off the airline's regional and low cost off-shoot brands. Mark Jaffe has left his role as marketing director at Associated British Foods-owned ethnic food supplier, Westmill Foods. British Gas commercial director Rick Vlemmiks is leaving the company after just 18 months in the role. Global Radio has promoted Gareth Andrews to the newly created role of group programme co-ordinator. Lisa Kerr is leaving her role as director of strategy at RadioCentre after 18 months to establish her own consultancy business. Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R is set to lose Simon Labbett and David Gamble, creative directors from the group's digital shop, Saint, in the new year.    

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Financial Focus

NEWS: EUROPEAN banks borrowed enough cash from the ECB at its first three-year offering to refinance almost two-thirds of the debt they have maturing next year amid concern that markets will remain frozen. By flooding the banking system with cheap money, policy makers are attempting to stave off a looming credit crunch by encouraging banks to maintain lending. The ECB will hold a second auction of unlimited three-year cash in February, allowing banks to pre-fund themselves for all of next year and beyond, say analysts. THE US’s AAA rating will probably be cut by Fitch Ratings by the end of 2013 unless lawmakers are able to formulate a plan to reduce the budget deficit after next year’s congressional and presidential elections, a company statement said yesterday. UK RETAIL insolvencies may reach the highest level in four years as weak Christmas sales leave chains struggling to meet rent payments due this month, according to a leading restructuring firm. A disappointing Christmas season may be the nail…

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Breaking News

Northern & Shell has promoted Express Newspapers ad controller Jane Putley to the new role of head of trading across its newspapers and magazines, as part of a restructure designed to enable greater collaboration throughout the company.   PRUDENTIAL The British insurer said its chairman Harvey McGrath, heavily criticised by investors for his role in the group's failed attempt to buy Asian rival AIA last year, is to retire in 2012. BANK OF SINGAPORE The unit of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp named Pauline Chung as the managing director and Arthur Fong as the market head for its Greater China team. Chung will also serve as the head of strategy for the Greater China business.

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Financial Focus

WEDNESDAY’S HEADLINES: · Moody’s warn that the UK’s top rating is stable but not safe · US Fed announces tougher risk management rules · German business confidence unexpectedly higher · US building, jobless and payrolls data all positive · Spanish debt auction reduces Eurozone fears · Overnight markets up, Europe set to follow · Euro up for the second day · Oil continues to rise on signs of economic recovery · Corn prices fall as rains look set to help crops

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Breaking News

Twitter has received a $300m (£194m) investment from Saudi billionaire investor, Prince Alwawleed bin Talal and his investment vehicle Kingdom Holding Company. John Lewis has reported its biggest weekly sales figures on record, bucking the downward trend across the retail industry. Lego will launch its first range for girls in 10 years on Boxing Day, supported with TV advertising, as it moves to "reinvigorate" its position in the girls' toy category. AOL Europe's vice-president of marketing and communication director Sarah Gavin is leaving the company after six years amid a restructure involving a number of job losses at the company. DANSKE BANK Denmark's biggest banking group appointed chairman of the board Eivind Kolding to be its new chief executive and succeed retiring Peter Straarup. BARCLAYS CORPORATE The commercial banking unit of Barclays Plc appointed Karla Maloof as the head of insurance, North America. MIZUHO SECURITIES ASIA LTD The unit of Mizuho Securities Co Ltd appointed Hideyuki Kawashima as its president and chief executive, effective Jan.…

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Financial Focus

TUESDAY’S HEADLINES: · Europe channels €150bn into IMF war chest · Draghi reluctant to change ECB bond-buying programme · German confidence low, but UK consumers slightly higher · Asian stocks recover overnight, Europe may start the day lower · Dollar gains from Draghi’s comments and Asian worries · Oil rises on threats of further sanctions against Iran · Gold climbs to trim this quarters losses

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Breaking News

Technology products are dominating the list of the top 10 best-selling toys this Christmas, according to the latest figures from market research firm NPD. Microsoft Advertising UK has promoted group account director Nik Dewar to role of head of mobile ad sales. Leo Burnett London's vice chairman and strategic planner John Poorta is retiring after 34 years at the agency. Virgin Media has signed a multimillion pound deal to be the headline commercial partner of 'Britain's Got Talent' when it returns to ITV in spring 2012. Matt Shreeve, the former head of agency sales at Channel 4, has been appointed trading director at News International. JULIUS BAER The Swiss private banking group named Luigi Vignola as the regional head, Asia, for its markets & custody division. Vignola succeeds Gérard Berclaz. REYL ASSET MANAGEMENT The investment funds manager named Gilles Pradère as senior fund manager. Pradère Joins from Calyon. LLOYDS BANKING GROUP PLC The British lender said Antonio Horta-Osorio will return to the position of chief…

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Financial Focus

MONDAY’S HEADLINES: · North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-il dies · Draghi warns of dangers of Eurozone breakup · Fitch warns of future Eurozone downgrades · Markets fall overnight, European shares likely to follow · Dollar gains from EU concerns and North Korean won’s fall · Oil slides for a fourth day on demand worries · Commodity funds less bullish after Fitch’s warnings

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Wat koopt u voor uw kind deze kerst?

Een recent onderzoek naar moeders met kinderen tussen twee en vijf jaar oud, onthulde dat meer kinderen weten hoe ze een computerspelletje moesten spelen dan hoe ze moeten zwemmen of fietsen. Ook werd aangetoond dat meer kinderen die bijna naar school gaan, weten hoe ze een smartphone moeten bedienen dan dat ze weten hoe ze hun veters moeten strikken. Nog een ander onderzoek (uitgevoerd door de gemeente Plymouth in Engeland), toonde aan dat 72% van kinderen onder de vijf jaar oud, gemiddeld zo’n 30 minuten per dag op het internet zitten. Er is zelfs een YouTube video die laat zien hoe een baby met groot gemak een iPad bedient om vervolgens een magazine te ‘swipen’. De manier waarop kinderen zich ontwikkelen, verandert sterk. De interface van de iPad is ontworpen om simpel en intuïtief te zijn. Kinderen hoeven daarom ook niet worden geleerd wat ze moeten aanraken om te zien waarin zij geïnteresseerd zijn. Het is hierom dan ook geen verrassing dat peuters het makkelijk…

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