Archive for April, 2012

Rich list is a bit… rich

The Sunday Times Rich list is something of an annual fixture and no doubt those that think happiness is gauged purely by levels of bank balances will be gawping away at the numbers this morning

But do we really need this? Do we really want to know? I would suspect that Cameron and co would rather not given that the overall tone of the “list’ is that the rich have got richer… again

This blog avoids politics, but any observer could surely see that this is hardly welcome for the present administration coming on the back of the news about the double dip, the politically insensitive cut of top rate tax and the hiking of VAT on cheap sustenance food as well as the slap in the face for Bob Diamond.

I believe the UK as a whole is well past the days of wealth resentment and rightly there is plenty of admiration for enterprise but at the same time, there is a strong belief in “fairness”. It is arguable that Thatcher came to power simply because the tide had turned against an administration that was perceived (possibly unfairly) as being out of touch and unable to engage beyond its natural constituency

History being repeated?

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Mickey Mouse?

Talking to an invoice financier today i did rather come out with a classic. My client has a number of big film studios amongst their order book and….

“they have Fox, Sony and Disney. Not mickey mouse companies at all”


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What exactly is invoice finance?

A succicnt a readable explanation here from the industry’s house magazine

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Is the euro crisis over?

Not according to the markets. Spain is now the new focus with bond markets hitting 6% which very close to the 7% benchmark which was considered unsustainable when similar market concerns surrounded Italy

As ever, it will be difficult to predict how this will unfold but despite the relative recent calm, the euro zone is not out of the woods yet and naturally enough this does reverberate across the economies

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A future for Sony?

Remember the old Sony Walkman? Well it appears that the business might be going the same way as the product itself.

Maybe not but it is hard to believe that such an iconic name with a fine reputation for quality and innovation is now struggling, but that is certainly true of Sony

A fine analysis in the Washington Post here

Hard to believe that Sony makes money out of films and life insurance but not electronics. They have lost money on the TV’s for many years and as the article highlights, their innovations have simply not competed with the dominant Apple brand

Restructuring is essential but it has been very slow to come to hand. Simply put, this mirrors the japanese banking crisis during the 90’s whereby an inability to confront the problem exacerbated the difficulties

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Pret a manger

This is entitled “should we worry about the rise of pret?” Its does have a very Guardian ring about it (although it appeared in its sister paper the Observer) that such a successful company employing more and more people (although not enough british according to Boris) should be “worried about”. Its worth a read though to just see the conflicting mentalities which also have a ring of economic debate about them

One side of the argument is that dominant retailers are a “bad thing” whereas the other side is that their success has raised the bar for others to aspire to

My view is that Pret is hardly “dominant” anyway and they have certainly “raised the bar”. London (which is really Pret’s core market) has never been better served by food outlets

what do you think?

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Why the high street traders go bust?

A summary of the tales of woe from the high street.

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