Willy’s a card, isn’t he?

The starting point has to be getting the language and argument right. What prompts anger with executive pay is the belief that it has risen far too fast for far too long with too little justification or relationship to the right kind of performance. Shareholders and society alike want – or should want – executives paid well to build great, purposed companies over time. Instead, the incentives are too much oriented to delivering a high share price in the immediate future, encouraging corner-cutting to get there. If Corbyn had said that last Monday he would instantly have had a more defensible position.

The only viable way forward is to create the best justification process possible, along with the best-designed incentives to produce results that everyone is proud of, as the Purposeful Company taskforce argued in its interim report on pay last November. (Full declaration: I am on its steering group.) Scoring goals in football happens over 90 minutes; scoring goals in business life – innovating, building great products and market share – takes years. Reward should be phased over the same period and designed to build companies driven by purpose.

Which is why CEO pay is almost all in long term share awards these days. The numbers being exactly those that Hutton is complaining about.

Just you wait

Fiat Chrysler has been drawn into the “dieselgate” emissions scandal, sending its shares plunging by almost a fifth.

America’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accused the car maker of fitting 104,000 of its cars with software which cheated pollution tests.

It warned that Fiat “may be liable for civil penalties and injunctive relief for the violations”, news which drove shares down 18pc.

There will be more. Simply because large numbers of people have been fiddling the tests.

I once actually checked up on this

Going to the DMV to pay his bill, he wheeled in five wheelbarrows of coins, weighing in at 1,600 pounds.

It took staff at least seven hours to count the coins, working until early on Thursday morning.

To pay the $3,000 bill, he had spent just over $1,000 in purchasing the wheelbarrows and hiring people to break open the hundreds of rolls of coins.

He paid the bill in US pennies. Unwrapped and loose.

And one day, after a similar sort of thing, I checked up on it all. Called the US Mint, the BoE. And US coins are legal tender. You can pay a debt with them, in any amount. UK ones are not. Can’t recall the actual numbers but you can only demand to pay in pennies up to 20 p, ten p up to a couple of quid and so on.

And yes, you could pay the IRS your entire tax bill in those wheelbarrows of unwrapped pennies. There was an intimation that you might have an ever so slightly raised possibility of being randomly audited if you did but they would have to take the money…..

People around here know the darndest things – so, virtual banks?

Anyone know about this?

By virtual bank I mean that Third Bank of Breqhou does not run its own debit card operation. But if TBB can attract a few thousand people who want a TBB debit card then pretty much everything, other than the actual designation of being a bank, can be contracted out to reputable and efficient companies.

So who here knows about this world?

Can’t be American but other than that – I’ve a possible, a slightly, maybe, possible, few thousand customers. So, how to start thinking about this?

It is of course bankers with their pursuit of profit to blame

The financial regulator has been seeking a rescuer for Manchester Building Society but has been turned down by Nationwide, Britain’s largest society.

The Prudential Regulation Authority has been trying to find ways in recent weeks to save the Manchester, which has 18,000 savers including a few with deposits of more than the £75,000 guaranteed by the government. The society also has 3,000 borrowers.

Oh, you mean mutuals also fall foul of fractional reserve banking from time to time? Oh my, what dos that do to the Spudmonster’s diatribes?

Sometimes, just sometimes, I rather like human beings

Yes, this is all rather trivial and it’s on Twatter and in the Mail and all that.

Ben Carter, from Devon, will only drink from a blue Tommee Tippee cup, prompting father Marc to put out an appeal on social media after becoming concerned the cup was wearing out.
Ben would refuse drinks that were not in the cup and had been to hospital with severe dehydration.

And of course this is all lovely advertising for the company and so on.

Tommee Tippee, based in Northumberland, said it was nearly 20 years since it had manufactured that product, but has now rediscovered the design and found the mould used to make the two-handled originals, stored in a usable condition in China.
It has said it will make a run of 500 cups to ensure ‘that Ben has a lifetime supply and that his family won’t ever have to worry about finding another cup’.

Call it rational self-interest, call it altruism, call it what you will, but there are times when it’s possible to just rather like human beings.


GB Energy Supply, which only months ago boasted the cheapest fixed-rate deal on the market, has ceased trading.

The low-cost energy supplier, which is believed to have had around 160,000 customers, moved to reassure customers that they will not be cut-off following the announcement.

That’s what happens in a competitive market:

GB Energy Supply, which is the first domestic energy supplier to go out of business in a decade, blamed the “swift and significant increases” in energy prices in recent months for halting operations.

Perhaps not quite so good for:

Rachel Fletcher Ofgem’s Senior Partner for Consumers and Competition said: “In any competitive market companies will fail, this is why we have procedures in place to ensure customers’ energy supplies are always secure.

The reverse also applies. That people are going bust is an indicator, although not a proof, that we’ve got a competitive market going on.

Err, whut?

Motorists should become black cab drivers without having to learn the Knowledge, says Thatcherite Institute of Economic Affairs

When did the Telegraph start using “Thatcherite” as a swear word?

And yes, of course, ban the guilds!

Hmm, this means someone I know is looking for a job then

When bills for a corporate credit card used by Karhoo Inc. Chief Executive Officer Daniel Ishag arrived, employees in the London office of the car-hailing startup often spotted unusual purchases. There were designer shoes and clothing, along with veterinarian’s bills for a pet dog. The employees flagged the costs as potentially non-business related, but signs of lavishness continued — first-class flights, a blowout in Las Vegas, Cuban cigars.

Ishag’s spending, described by several employees and those familiar with Karhoo’s finances, came to an abrupt end this week when the company shut down after running out of money. As the extent of the startup’s financial problems became known in recent weeks, Ishag stopped coming to the office and two other executives embarked on a futile attempt to keep the firm afloat, said the people, who asked not to be identified for fear of damaging career prospects. About 200 people lost their jobs.

It also means I’m rather glad I didn’t persuade them to offer us some programming work…..

Demand brings forth supply

Some householders in Greater Manchester are paying a private firm to empty their bins.
Many are angry because some councils have reduced rubbish collections in an attempt to cut costs, and to motivate people to recycle more.
A local businessman who bought himself a truck eighteen months ago is now emptying up to 800 bins a week.

This is going to be fascinating about Sir Philip and BHS

Sir Philip Green and his wife face a demand for hundreds of millions of pounds to fill the BHS pensions hole after the regulator took unprecedented action.

The fascinating bit is going to be how much will they try to ding him for?

Because they are going to have to follow the law, not whatever fantasy Frank Field has in his head. That pension scheme was fine after the dividend. So it’s not that. The pension scheme has got a lot worse after he sold. So maybe he’s not responsible for that? The full £700 million is hugely influenced by BoE interest rates. Is he responsible there?

Just how much will he be dinged for then?

Erm yes, tad over the top really

The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) last night [TUE] confirmed it had parted company with its fat cat boss Stuart Earley, who has been slammed by charity experts and animal rights campaigners for taking home more than £200,000 a year.

It is understood that the charity’s board demanded showdown talks with the 59-year-old after suffering a significant slump in donations, with regular contributors refusing to donate in protest at his massive salary.

Sorta depends on how big the organisation is:

Mr Earley, who oversees the SSPCA’s £14.2m annual income and its 358 employees, earned a staggering £216,000 in 2015 – a salary of £185,000 and a £31,000 bonus – as well as pension contributions of £31,000.

1.4% of turnover.

Makes that $20 million a year they pay the CEO of the $450 billion Walmart seem a bargain, doesn’t it?

All who have done business overseas are most surprised

Rolls-Royce plc, Britain’s leading manufacturing multinational, hired a network of agents to help it land lucrative contracts in at least 12 different countries around the world, sometimes allegedly using bribes.

An investigation by the Guardian and the BBC has uncovered leaked documents and testimony from insiders that suggest that Rolls-Royce may have benefited from the use of illicit payments to boost profits for years.

Shocked even.

But not shocked that it happened, shocked that anyone would think it didn’t.

Seriously folks, certain Johnny Foreigners really are different.

This was a bit hopeful wasn’t it?

A leaked document shows that Goldman was in talks with Powa about possibly helping it to raise money through a private placement on the back of what Powa hoped was a transformative deal in China.

In the document, which was written in September last year, Powa was given a preliminary enterprise value of $16 billion to $18 billion as a “base case”. It was described as the “tech investment of the decade” with a “clear path to $50 billion [valuation]”. Anthony Gutman, a senior banker at Goldman, is listed among the “team for Powa Technologies”.

It’s not entirely certain that transformative Chinese deal even existed let along took place…..

I think Mr. Typhoo can fuck off here, can’t he?

The great Brexit cuppa calamity: UK boss of Typhoo Tea warns of the ‘disastrous’ impact of Leave vote – as the price of imports leaps by a scalding 50%

A price rise might well be reasonable. However.

Let’s make some reasonable enough assumptions. All his costs other than the tea itself are in sterling. So they’ve not changed (sure, maybe some of his paper is imported, but he also exports some production, call that a wash).

Tea costs:

Mr Saha said the cost of importing an 80 kilo bag of tea had soared by 50 per cent – from £100 up to £150 since the beginning of the year – with much of the increase being blamed on the recent fall in the value of sterling.

We’ll be fair and say that half of that is from Brexit. Perhaps the price of tea is just moving anyway as well.

According to Amazon he sells that tea, when packaged, at £5.60 a kg. That’s, as far as I understand it the weight of the tea bags, not the tea. But let’s assume that it is just the tea.

So, his tea price has gone from 100/80 per kg to 150/80 per kg. From £1.25 a kg to £1.87 per kg. Sure, it’s a bit of a leap in raw material costs, no doubt about it. Call it 50 p a kg just to keep things simple.

So, his extra large bag of teabags can righteously go up to £6.10 rather than the current £5.60.

No, of course, that’s not how prices work, it’s whatever they think they can get out of us which determines them and so on. But a 50% rise in his raw material costs should work through to an under 10% increase in his selling costs, assuming that we want to use a cost plus model.

Anyone think he’s talking to the papers about an under 10% rise in prices?

Me neither.

This surprises everyone how?

Bribery a way of life for companies operating in emerging markets

His study identified no particular sectors or executives from certain countries as being more likely to indulge in corruption, and said he was surprised that only 85pc admitted to using bribes.

I’ve worked in places where you can’t get in or out of the country, let alone do anything else, without bribery. These laws saying that you must not bribe Johnny Foreigner create hypocrites, not less bribery.

Teachers want to be professionals – so why complain about professional hours?

Teachers in England work longer hours than almost anywhere else in the world, according to new analysis.

The study found secondary school teachers work an average of 48.2 hours per week, with one in five working 60 hours or more – 12 hours above legal limits set by the European Union.

50 hour weeks are pretty standard among the professional classes, aren’t they?