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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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Creating an inclusive workplace – starting with white men

Category : Business

When one male-dominated company tackled gender diversity head on, they saw some interesting results and began to let go of the ‘myth’ of meritocracy

Taking advantage of workplace diversity is one of the critical challenges of leadership. Organisations with a track record of developing leaders from a particular background are likely to be suffering from diversity, inclusion and leadership problems at the same time.

Because of this, women continue to be under-represented at senior levels of most global corporations. Even when women do “all the right things” to advance their careers, Catalyst research shows they’re offered fewer of the “hot jobs” and sponsorship opportunities that can lead to promotion. Old-fashioned sexism and gender biases unintentionally embedded in talent management systems are largely to blame.

This isn’t a problem women can or should solve alone. It’s up to today’s business leaders – mostly men – to devise and implement effective strategies for tapping a labour pool comprising 50% women. With trends such as board diversity quotas and women outperforming men in the classroom, the cost of doing nothing will only increase.

The secret is the ability to create a sense of belonging and cohesion among all people in a business or organisation, without glossing over the differences in their experiences, values and skills. Finding commonalities while also understanding and leveraging our differences can yield big rewards.

Rockwell Automation, a global engineering company, is finding this out first-hand. The company wanted to increase the gender and ethnic diversity of its North American sales division, which was historically dominated by white men. But rather than embarking on a diversity recruitment initiative, it focused on changing its culture first.

Working with White Men as Full Diversity Partners, a leadership development organisation based in Oregon, Rockwell began from the premise that, like it or not, group identities matter.

Central to effectively leading people “like us” and people “different from us” is first understanding how our own group affiliations affect us and the ways in which others react to us. For the mostly white male leaders of Rockwell’s North American sales division, this meant grappling with something most white men don’t think of: what it means to be a white man.

Programme participants examined white male culture and experiences, and also practised skills such as critical thinking about how colleagues’ group memberships affect their work experiences, addressing rather than avoiding difficult points of difference among colleagues and actively seeking out perspectives of colleagues from different backgrounds.

A follow-up study by Catalyst on the impact of this program found early evidence of a cultural shift, including an increase in workplace civility and a decline in negative gossip. In addition, participants began letting go of the myth of meritocracy – that the best talent naturally rises to the top of organisations – and started to accept that group-based inequities exist. Importantly, managers also began to understand how they play an integral role in creating an inclusive work environment where all talent can be tapped and valued equally.

For Rockwell managers, recognising that staff were affected by and responsive to their identities as white males was a breakthrough that made them more inclusive and effective leaders. This is a critical lesson for other organisations: rather than feeling responsible for group-based inequities that they did not create, white male managers should feel empowered and equipped to lead the creation of an inclusive workplace.

The results at Rockwell are a testament to the power of turning old ideas about leadership upside-down and the importance of understanding and managing group identities through honest dialogue. Empowerment and skill-building, not shaming and blaming, are key to engaging men as advocates for change.

Jeanine Prime is vice president for research at Catalyst

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Global PC sales tumble, data shows

Category : Business

Global sales of PCs fall 14% in the first three months this year, the biggest fall since research firm IDC began tracking the industry in 1994.

Read this article: Global PC sales tumble, data shows

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More men working beyond pension age

Category : World News

More men than women have been found to be working beyond state pension age in the UK for the first time since comparable records began in 2005, official figures show.

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Conrad Black lands TV talk-show job in Canada

Category : Business

But some might say Black has just found himself a gullible Canadian fool in Moses Znaimer

We ought to have seen it coming last year when Conrad Black lumbered around London’s TV studios plugging his latest book – and labelling Jeremy Paxman a “priggish, gullible, British fool” along the way. Oh the wonder at seeing a baleful bear of notoriety snarling and snapping at Paxo, Adam Boulton and Co! What on earth could he do next? Silly question: obvious answer. Black was surly and snarly enough to make a great talk-show host himself.

And so it comes to pass, in Canada to begin with, as Conrad takes over half the presenting duties on something called The Zoomer – Television for Boomers with zip – which, being interpreted, means current affairs for those in late middle-age. He will offer an interview “with some of the world’s greats” each week, plus a feature slot called, inevitably, Talk Black, where he can play grumpy old ex-newspaper proprietor and prison reformer to his heart’s content.

“If ever you’re giving a dinner party, this is the guy you want to invite,” says Black’s new boss, Moses Znaimer. Yet somehow, far in the distance, you can hear Paxo singing a new song for Moses. “Who’s gullible now?”

Sir Ray Tindle ought, at 87, to be putting his feet up, not buying ever more struggling newspapers and putting his private company profits up by 278% in 2012 (on the latest figures). But then Ray is the wisest, canniest old bird around. They laughed a couple of years back when he began buying shares in Johnston Press at 4.5p a time. But now JP is up to 12.5p and Ray, with more than 51m of them, has seen his bank account take a £3.1m bounce – bigger, as it happens, than the £1.52m profit his papers have just recorded. Life changing as recession recedes? Perhaps. But life-affirming? Absolutely.

HMV chain to appoint administrator

Category : Business

Troubled music and DVD retailer HMV, which began trading in 1921, announces it is to appoint an administrator, putting about 4,350 jobs in jeopardy.

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Supporters of Scott Salyer, Former CEO of SK Foods, Uncover a New Bombshell: Incriminating Bribes by Food Broker Randall Rahal Began Long Before Rahal Was Working in Connection With Salyer

Category : Stocks, World News

LOS ANGELES, CA–(Marketwire – Jan 5, 2013) – Supporters of Scott Salyer, former owner of SK Foods LP, have unearthed a crucial detail that could prove a bombshell in his case. They allege that food broker Randall Rahal, whose reported bribes and kickbacks on Salyer’s behalf are a crucial part of the incriminating evidence against Salyer, had an established history of bribes in the industry long before he began his relationship with SK Foods.

See the original post here: Supporters of Scott Salyer, Former CEO of SK Foods, Uncover a New Bombshell: Incriminating Bribes by Food Broker Randall Rahal Began Long Before Rahal Was Working in Connection With Salyer

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Local stores attract long lines of shoppers – Kansas City Star

Category : Stocks

Kansas City Star
Local stores attract long lines of shoppers
Kansas City Star
When the Sears at Metcalf South Shopping Center in Overland Park opened at 8 o'clock Thursday night, the line stretched the length of the center. “Are you ready to spend some money?” a store employee shouted before opening the doors. “Nice and slow.
Shoppers head out to stores earlier than ever on Black FridayWashington Post
Black Friday Sale Rush Creeps Into ThanksgivingHuffington Post
Holiday shopping season began early, but Black Friday still critical for retailersSan Jose Mercury News
Los Angeles Times

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UBS rogue trader Kweku Adoboli jailed over ‘UK’s biggest fraud’

Category : Business

Junior City player, 32, sentenced to seven years after dispensing with hedging safety nets and racking up losses of over £1.5bn

Kweku Adoboli, a relatively junior City trader who almost destroyed the banking giant UBS through increasingly reckless illicit deals, has been jailed after being convicted of what police describe as the biggest fraud in UK history.

Adoboli, 32, racked up eventual losses for the bank of over £1.5bn during three years of secretive, off-the-books trades, which he managed to conceal from bosses. At one point, the potential liabilities totalled more than £7bn, a sum described by prosecutors as sufficient to bring down the bank.

The judge, Mr Justice Brian Keith, jailed Adoboli for seven years after the jury at Southwark crown court convicted him on two counts of fraud. He was acquitted on four separate charges of false accounting.

Police and prosecutors sought to portray the Ghanaian-born, British-educated former public schoolboy as an out-of-control gambler who dispensed with the safety net of parallel hedged deals – a requirement that limits profits but, crucially, caps liabilities – purely so he could become a star trader with a big bonus.

Perry Stokes, the City of London police detective chief inspector who led the investigation, said Adoboli was “a young man who wanted it all and was not willing to wait”.

Describing the case as the UK’s biggest fraud, he said: “To all those around him, Kweku Adoboli appeared to be a man on the make whose career prospects and future earnings were taking off. He worked hard, looked the part, and seemingly had an answer for everything. But behind this facade lay a trader who was running completely out of control and exposing UBS to huge financial risks on a daily basis.”

The court heard that despite a combined salary and bonus of £360,000 Adoboli existed in financial chaos, losing £123,000 in a year on private markets-based spread betting and taking out a string of payday loans to cover the shortfall.

However, the judge told a tearful Adoboli he rejected claims that the young trader had been out primarily for personal gain, saying this could also explain the acquittals for false accounting.

But he added that Adoboli seemed “profoundly unselfconscious” of his failings, and should have realised he was being dishonest. He told him: “There is the strong streak of the gambler in you, borne out by your personal trading. You were arrogant enough to think that the bank’s rules for traders did not apply to you.”

The trial heard Adoboli had had a rapid ascent through UBS after joining as a graduate trainee in 2003. Moving from a back office role to the exchange traded futures desk, he began his illicit deals in late 2008, initially accruing substantial profits. These were lodged in a secret account he called his umbrella and drip fed back on to the regular books. But as European markets hit turmoil in the summer of 2011, the trades began to make a loss, which he desperately attempted to recoup with ever-bigger punts.

As the losses mounted, UBS’s back-office accountants pressed Adoboli on apparent anomalies. Soon after midday on 14 September last year, Adoboli walked out of the bank’s headquarters and returned to his east London loft apartment to compose an email that accepted “full responsibility for my actions and the shit storm that will now ensue”, also apologising for having put the bank at risk.

The email, and Adoboli’s acceptance that his actions cost UBS such as vast sum, could have indicated that his decision to deny all charges was misguided. But giving evidence, he insisted his colleagues had known about the umbrella, and said UBS bosses placed him under enormous pressure to increase profits, whatever the means.

The accumulated testimony was deeply damaging for UBS, which lost its chief executive after Adoboli’s arrest and is being investigated by the Financial Services Authority and the equivalent Swiss watchdog over apparent control failures.

All three of Adoboli’s desk colleagues admitted they knew about the secret account, to varying extents, and his two bosses over the period showed an apparently relaxed attitude to daily trading maximums being exceeded. All five have either left UBS or been sacked.

Against this drip-feed of bad publicity UBS fielded several court benches worth of firepower: there every day were a varying lineup of solicitors from the City law firm Herbert Smith, the leading fraud barrister Allison Clare and a phalanx of phone-wielding PR enforcers who intermittently harangued reporters during breaks if they disliked what had been filed.

UBS said in a statement: “We are glad that the criminal proceedings have reached a conclusion and thank the police and the UK authorities for their professional handling of this case. We have no further comment.”

Despite the regular technical jargon, much of which arose from Adoboli’s sitting with his legal team so he could consult with them rather than being in the dock, the nine-week trial was rich in compelling human drama. A devastating opening speech by the lead prosecution barrister, Sasha Wass QC, portrayed Adoboli as a narcissistic status-chaser whose hubris compelled him to try to claw back his losses with ever more reckless bets. She said: “Like most gamblers, he believed he had the magic touch; like most gamblers, when he lost, he caused chaos and disaster to himself and all of those around him.”

Adoboli himself wept copiously and frequently as he began his testimony, telling the court how he felt betrayed by an employer to whom he had been so dedicated he missed his grandmother’s funeral to remain at his desk.

He painted himself as a man culpable but also wronged, expressing remorse over the losses. However, he added: “I’m devastated. But in the end, the reason I’m most sad is because these losses weren’t the result of dishonesty or fraudulent behaviour. It was the result of a group of traders who were asked to do too much, with too little resource, in a market that was too volatile.”

It is telling that the jury and judge, if not police, accepted this explanation, at least in part. Given a 50% tariff reduction and time spent on remand or under curfew, he could be out of jail in just over two and a half years’ time – which would work out as one day in prison for each £1.6m in losses.

One in 10 shops empty, says BRC

Category : Business

More than one in 10 UK shops is empty, according to the BRC, the highest since it began collecting data on occupancy levels of High Street premises.

Excerpt from: One in 10 shops empty, says BRC

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Members of Congress demand fuller explanation of Petraeus affair – Los Angeles Times

Category : Stocks

The Hindu
Members of Congress demand fuller explanation of Petraeus affair
Los Angeles Times
Members of Congress demand fuller explanation of Petraeus affair. A Florida woman is identified as the person who complained to the FBI about emails from CIA Director David Petraeus' biographer, Paula Broadwell, exposing his affair and leading to his
Tampa woman identified as source of FBI's Petraeus probeReuters
Petraeus revelation began as cyber-harassment (blog)
FBI under gun on PetraeusPittsburgh Post Gazette
Houston Chronicle (blog)

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