Wednesday, 26 February 2014

German Supermarkt's 'supergeil' Advert Earns Superstar Status

Friedrich Liechtenstein's video promo for mammoth Edeka chain goes viral as store goes for more funky fresh image

Read the Guardian article here | Philip Oltermann in Berlin | Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sunday, 23 February 2014

HSBC to Announce Bonuses Totalling £2.4 Billion

LONDON EVENING STANDARD: HSBC will announce staff bonuses totalling just under £2.4 billion globally for 2013 and is expected to report a significant rise in pretax profit, according to reports.

Europe's biggest bank is expected on Monday to announce the size of its bonus pool, a sensitive issue as many Britons still blame banks for the 2008 financial crisis after which the state was forced to bail out RBS and Lloyds.

Earlier this month Barclays prompted an angry reaction from politicians and labour unions after it increased its bonuses by 13 per cent to £2.4 billion even as it announced plans to axe 12,000 jobs. » | Agency | Saturday, February 22, 2014

Monday, 17 February 2014

Counting the Cost: The Price of Closed Borders

We look at the global immigration debate and examine whether foreigners are good for a country's economy, or a burden.

Five Élite Bankers Die In Apparent Suicides

There's been a string of bizarre deaths in the globe's financial circles. In the past few weeks five high-profile bankers have died - all from apparent suicides. RT's Tesa Arcilla investigates.

The Joris Luyendijk Banking Blog »

Sunday, 16 February 2014

David Cameron's Plans for EU Referendum Are 'Bad for the Economy', Mark Carney Warns

Mark Carney speaks on BBC's 'The Andrew Marr Show'
THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: Governor of the Bank of England says prospect of referendum will create "uncertainty" for businesses and mean that they "hold off" on investment

David Cameron's plans for a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union are "bad" for the economy and could hamper investment, the governor of the Bank of England has warned.

Mark Carney said that the prospect of a referendum will create "uncertainty" for businesses and mean that they "hold off" on investment.

He compared the referendum, which is due to be held in 2017, to the near collapse of the banks and the financial crisis in the Eurozone.

His intervention is likely to prove embarrassing to Mr Cameron, who has pledged to reform Britain's relationship with the European Union before an in/out referendum in 2017. » | Steven Swinford, Senior Political Correspondent | Sunday, February 16, 2014

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Inside Story: Scotland: A Rocky Road to Independence

The British government warns Scots of the consequences of its plans to withdraw from the Union.

31,2 millions de francs pour le gagnant de l'Euro Millions

TRIBUNE DE GENÈVE: Un chanceux a trouvé la combinaison gagnante de l'Euro Millions et a remporté 31,2 millions de francs ce vendredi.

Un joueur a trouvé vendredi la combinaison gagnante de l'Euro Millions et a remporté 31,2 millions de francs. Il a coché les numéros 2, 4, 6, 19 et 39 ainsi que les «étoiles» 2 et 7.

Lors du prochain tirage mardi, le jackpot atteindra 18 millions de francs, a indiqué vendredi soir la Loterie romande dans un communiqué. [Source: Tribune de Genève | ats/Newsnet | vendredi 14 février 2014

Cardinal Vincent Nichols: The Wealth Gap Is Widening

Friday, 14 February 2014

The New Dust Bowl: 'Epochal' Drought Hits California's Central Valley

The cracked-dry bed of the Almaden Reservoir in San José,
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Washington is finally waking up to California's worst drought since the 16th century, but is it too little too late? Nick Allen reports

On the road into the small California farming community of Mendota the signs read “Stop – dust bowl!” and “Save Water” as farmers in orchards are busy bulldozing withered almond trees.

It didn’t used to be like this here. Until recently this town of 11,000 people was proudly known as the “Cantaloupe Capital of the World”. Of all the many local crops its melons were most prized. Mendota’s farmers have been growing them since the 1920s, when Greek immigrants arrived and found the soil was perfect. The lush fields used to provide 70 per cent of America’s cantaloupes.

But today Mendota is becoming known for another reason. It sits at ground zero in an unfolding, slow motion billion dollar disaster, what climatologists are calling an “epochal” drought. Analysis of the rings in ancient sequoia trees suggests the region is experiencing a lack of rain not seen since 1580, around the time Sir Francis Drake reached the California coast and claimed it for Elizabeth I. » | Nick Allen, Mendota, California | Friday, February 14, 2014

Monday, 10 February 2014

A Land of Money and Fear: The Swiss Vote Against 'Mass Migration'

SPIEGEL ONLINE INTERNATIONAL: Switzerland's economic success is enviable, yet its people fear decline. On Sunday, voters approved a plan to reintroduce immigration quotas. The move is likely to create significant problems for the country's relations with the EU -- and could be expensive.

When a country is doing well, you can usually see it. Take Zurich, Switzerland, for example. The city has changed so much in just a few years that parts of it are almost unrecognizable. Entire new districts have sprung up with chic apartments. Office towers have shot up. Shops, restaurants and bars are full, despite the fact that a beer can be a bit steep at a price of six francs, or five euros. The people have money.

Experts are united in their opinion that this prosperity is the product of Switzerland's networked economy. The country has profited enormously from open borders and from an influx of qualified foreign workers. Indeed, the European Union is its largest trading partner. Despite this, a razor-thin majority of Swiss voted in favor on Sunday of an initiative to reintroduce restrictions to the number of foreigners allowed to live and work in the country. Some 50.3 percent of eligible Swiss voters cast ballots in favor of the initiative introduced by the right-leaning, nationalist Swiss People's Party -- rejecting immigration policies of recent years that have been highly successful. » | A Commentary by David Nauer | Monday, February 10, 2014

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Europe Watches Swiss Immigration Vote

BBC: Swiss voters are going to the polls on Sunday in a nationwide referendum on immigration which is being watched closely right across Europe.

The proposal, from the right-wing Swiss People's Party, calls on Switzerland to abandon its free movement of people treaty with the European Union and introduce strict quotas on immigration.

Switzerland is not a member of the EU, but has adopted large sections of EU policy, including free movement and the Schengen open-borders agreement, in order to have access to Europe's single market.

Brussels has always insisted that the Swiss will not be allowed to cherry-pick only the aspects of EU policy they like.

But its successful economy, and soaring unemployment in many eurozone countries, make Switzerland a very attractive destination. » | Imogen Foulkes, BBC News, Geneva | Saturday, February 08, 2014

Related video »

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Osborne: Fracking 'Won't Slash' Household Energy Bills

BBC: Large-scale fracking in the UK is not likely to lead to big reductions in household gas bills, Chancellor George Osborne has said.

Extracting shale gas would boost tax receipts and aid the UK economy, Mr Osborne said.

But he played down expectations that consumers would see big reductions in prices in evidence to a Lords committee.

David Cameron has previously said it had "real potential" to cut bills.

Speaking to the House of Lords economic affairs committee, Mr Osborne said both he and the prime minister were big supporters of fracking.

But he said he did not want to suggest that the UK would see the kind of price cuts seen in the US - where prices are down by up to 40%. » | Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Meltdown: The Men Who Crashed the World

The first of a four-part investigation into the world of greed and recklessness that led to financial collapse.

Un Français remporte 88,3 millions de francs

TRIBUNE DE GENÈVE: Un joueur français a remporté ce vendredi le gros lot de l'Euromillions.

Le chanceux empoche 88,32 millions de francs [Suisse]. Il s'agit du septième gain le plus important en France depuis la création de la loterie européennes en février 2004. » | ats/Newsnet | vendredi 31 janvier 2014

Inside 'Billionaires Row': London's Rotting, Derelict Mansions Worth £350m

THE GUARDIAN: The North London street where billionaires can buy homes, never live in them, let them rot and still make millions

A third of the mansions on the most expensive stretch of London's "Billionaires Row" are standing empty, including several huge houses that have fallen into ruin after standing almost completely vacant for a quarter of a century.

A Guardian investigation has revealed there are an estimated £350m worth of vacant properties on the most prestigious stretch of The Bishops Avenue in north London, which last year was ranked as the second most expensive street in Britain.

One property owner, the developer Anil Varma, has complained that the address has become "one of the most expensive wastelands in the world". At least 120 bedrooms are empty in the vacant properties.

The empty buildings include a row of 10 mansions worth £73m which have stood largely unused since they were bought between 1989 and 1993, it is believed on behalf of members of the Saudi royal family.

Exclusive access to now derelict properties has revealed that their condition is so poor in some cases that water streams down ballroom walls, ferns grow out of floors strewn with rubble from collapsed ceilings, and pigeon and owl skeletons lie scattered across rotting carpets.

Yet, despite the properties falling into serious disrepair, it is likely that the Saudi owners of the portfolio made a significant profit from the £73m sale. The records available show that one of the mansions was worth only £1.125m in 1988.

The avenue, close to exclusive Highgate and Hampstead, is home to Richard Desmond, owner of Express Newspapers and Channel 5, members of the Saudi royal family, and Poju Zabludowicz, a billionaire art collector and philanthropist. » | Robert Booth | Friday, January 31, 2014