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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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Jon Corzine sued by MF Global trustee

Category : Business

Former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine sued by bankruptcy trustee Louis Freeh, charging he and top lieutenants are to blame for collapse of commodities trader.

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VIDEO: A childcare crisis in urban India?

Category : Business

In urban India just one in every four women goes out to work, with social attitudes and a lack of opportunities partly to blame.

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London Whale boss: I was misled

Category : Business

Ina Drew, the former head of the chief investment office, placed much of the blame for the massive loss on London traders.

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Drew: JP Morgan losses not my fault

Category : Business

Ina Drew, a former chief investment officer at JP Morgan, says she is not to blame for trades that led to multi-billion-dollar losses.

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On the downside: bad meat and angry meteors. On the upside: awesome footage | Charlie Brooker

Category : Business

This week, I’ve seen things that have changed me. I have watched animal carcasses being hacked apart and been petrified by meteors hurtling from the sky

As a fan of nightmarish dystopian sci-fi, I’ve been enjoying watching the rolling news channels immensely of late. Well, for a few seconds anyway, until I remember it’s all really happening. Then I stand up and start smashing dustbin lids against the wall, screaming. If you live in London, you’ve probably heard me.

First we had an equine restaging of Soylent Green in which we all, as a nation, looked up from the trough for a moment to spit out a lump of unidentified sinew. It turns out thousands of us may have gobbled off a horse. The shredded stallion scandal shows no signs of abating, and last week went international, as it was revealed the meat in your microwaved lasagne has racked up more air miles than Elton John by the time it hits your tonsils. Seriously, did you see the maps showing the route it takes? France, Luxembourg, Romania … it’s like James Bond, but deader and dumber and minced up and eaten.

Surely they could cut down on transportation costs by simply constructing a pipeline to carry the minced slurry from one nation to the next. And why stop there? Once you’ve laid the pipes you can expand the system – make it like the water supply, but for ground mammal sludge. You pay a small fee to have your house connected to it, and hey presto: a torrent of warm bolognese on tap 24 hours a day. And add some fluoride while you’re about it.

The Romanian connection to the horsemeat scandal initially got the news broadcasters quite excited, because for a moment it looked like we could pin the blame on insensitive horse-murdering foreigners. Suddenly there were news packages littered with shots of Romanian pony-and-trap riders clopping through the streets of Bucharest, the unspoken implication being that the entire nation was a medieval anachronism where horses were in plentiful supply. To be fair to the reporters, the Romanian meat industry didn’t do itself any favours by supplying a heavyset media spokesman who sat in a poky office smoking at his desk, with what looked like a sizeable collection of reindeer skulls littering the floor.

But about 10 minutes later the finger of blame pointed back home, as British police began raiding meat plants all over the country. Let’s face it, chances are none of us has actually eaten a cow since about 1998. It’s been horse, horse, horse. And it won’t stop there. They’ll be turning up evidence of peopleburgers next. I know it and you know it. Might as well get used to the idea: you are a cannibal, and have been for years.

One peculiar consequence of the story is that just about every news bulletin for the past 10 days has featured stock footage of the inside of an abattoir; strings of chewed flesh spewing from mincers while anonymous men in bloodstained overalls hack dementedly at scarlet carcasses. I’ve seen things that have changed me. The other day a guy was sawing a lamb carcass in half; it was mainly hollowed out apart from the kidneys, which were lolling about uselessly like glistening brown eggs, while the anchor monotonously droned on about traces of phenylbutazone. Meanwhile, I was eating lunch without pausing for breath. I’m fairly confident I could now eat sandwiches in a field-hospital tent during a civil war. I couldn’t have said that two weeks ago

It’s strange the broadcasters feel the need to show us this, and show us it repeatedly. We’ve spent years trying to pretend we don’t understand how dead cow is made, and then they go and spoil it all by grabbing a fistful of entrails and wiping our faces with it. Still, at least all this negative coverage of meat makes vegetarians happy. Or at least it would do, if they had the energy to be happy.

Just about the only thing that eclipsed the ongoing horse horror was the petrifying footage of the Russian meteor strike, some of which resembled a celestial game of Angry Birds played by God. It’s not very often you see an image on the news that makes you instinctively want to run for shelter. If those pictures of the blazing fireball searing toward the ground didn’t make your bowels shiver like a ghost, you’re simply not human.

Having spent most of the 1980s having regular nightmares about nuclear war, I was thrilled to discover how accurate the images of imminent destruction I’d pictured in my sleep actually were. Come to think of it, if the meteor had hurtled over the Urals at the height of the cold war, chances are Moscow would have mistaken it for an incoming nuclear attack and launched an immediate counterstrike on western targets, and I wouldn’t be sitting here typing this now. I’d be stabbing a man to death in a fight over the citadel’s last remaining potato.

The images couldn’t have come at a better time, given that a far bigger asteroid was due to scrape past us later that same day, passing close enough that if you climbed on your roof and reached up, you could scratch bits of spacedust off it with your fingernails.

In the end, asteroid DA14 chickened out of destroying us and ran away to hide behind the sun like a pussy. Which was almost a disappointment when you consider just how awesome the footage would’ve been.

Still, so far 2013 has brought us meteor strikes and mass cannibalism (probably). And it’s still

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AUDIO: Poltergeists: an economic phenomenon?

Category : World News

Might the recent economic downturn be to blame for the rise in ghost sightings?

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Investors yank $150 billion from stocks for 3rd year

Category : Business

Blame the Baby Boomers. While the U.S. stock market has been on a bull run since early 2009, individual investors have been pulling billions of dollars out.

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Bureaucracy has become the BBC’s dieback disease | Simon Jenkins

Category : Business

So unwieldy is its vast, multilayered hierarchy that the corporation has lost all capacity to allocate blame for its mistakes

Who is next for the chop? Politicians, journalists and bankers have been butchered in the marketplace. My guess is that managers are the next victims of the media mob-rule that passes for accountability in today’s public realm. There may be honest managers, but there were honest politicians, journalists and bankers, and much good it did their professions. Once a group is identified and cornered, the public requires nothing but bourgeois blood sacrifice. As the crowd drew back from this week’s bout of sadism, the corpse of the BBC’s top manager was torn and bloody, lying in the dust.

The cause of the BBC’s current angst was well illustrated by a diagram in today’s Guardian. It purported to show the tangled lines of responsibility for “managing news” at the corporation. It looked like a Rorschach test for demented spiders. I am told this was the creation of McKinsey, consultants to the gentry and architects of such exquisite constructs as the restructuring of the NHS and the Ministry of Defence.

The diagram put the chairman of the BBC Trust, Lord Patten, at the top and, at the bottom, the benighted producers of Newsnight, Peter Rippon and his “replacements”. In between was a total train crash. Lines went this way and that. Matrices overlaid hierarchies. Boards serviced boards. There was a director of news, a deputy director of news, a head of newsgathering, a head of newsroom, a controller of news production, a controller of news strategy. There were programme controllers, acting controllers, directors and heads, all on six-figure salaries. These people do not report and make no programmes. They attend meetings and diffuse blame.

Once during the BBC regime of Lord Birt and his McKinsey guru, Nick Lovegrove, I arrived at Broadcasting House to take part in a programme. A doorman told me to go round the back, as “this entrance is for meetings, not artistes”. When David Cameron holds the inevitable “judge-led inquiry” into the BBC, McKinsey should be prominent on the stand. It murdered George Entwistle.

The BBC is no more than a reduction to absurdity of what was once treated as a joke, the bureaucracy of Yes, Minister out of Parkinson’s law (“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”). Over-management was a tolerable curse sent to plague us all, like bad weather. Yet today, tales of woe from hospitals, defence procurers, university administrators, compliance regulators and health and safety officers show the joke has gone sour. Bureaucracy has become a poisonous, sapping enterprise, averting risk and costing a fortune. It is the “dieback disease” of the BBC.

The management guru, the late Peter Drucker, was asked what was the ideal size of an organisation. If it is small it should be bigger, he replied. If it is big it should be smaller. He failed to point out that his maxim was asymmetrical. Small organisations can easily grow, but big ones seldom get small, except by capitalist catastrophe. Since public sector bodies do not go bankrupt, they go on getting bigger. The BBC is far, far too big, whatever recent outsourcing has achieved.

At the spine of this process are managers, still barely recognised as a profession. In the NHS, doctors are assumed to make good managers; in education, teachers. In government, politicians now regard themselves as managers; and at the BBC, it is broadcasters. In the last case, one talented producer after another slithers into the steaming vat of goo that is BBC bureaucracy. Rare is the executive who, like David Attenborough in 1972, resists the temptation to become director general because he prefers making programmes, much to our delight.

What remains baffling is why all British governments – and many corporate executives – come to office pledged to reduce bureaucracy and decentralise power, and none does so. Tony Blair’s government crawled with management consultants – who have nothing in common with managers. Government spending on them rose from £300m a year in 1995 to £2.5bn by 2004. In seven years, Blair increased the number of categories of healthcare managers from some 1,700 to 5,529, and then wondered where the money went.

Like Blair, David Cameron promised to decentralise, localise and bring in “big society, not big government”. He even appointed Francis Maude to bring it about. The only innovation amid a welter of centralisation has been a few quangos gone and the suggestion that every new regulation must replace an old one.

One high-profile upset after another is nowadays attributed to failure of management: phone hacking, exam chaos, pensions mis-selling, the G4S Olympics contract, or Jimmy Savile. As organisations grow, the scope for corrective action and clear managerial responsibility dissipates. Lines of authority are stretched. The more people are implicated, the more exaggerated is the blame. All contact with sense of proportion is lost in a collective screech for judicial inquiry.

When the Costa Concordia hit the rocks last January, blame was clear. Everyone knew the captain was in charge and should take the rap. In two recent media upsets, at News International and the BBC, the sheer size of the organisations sent accountability shooting up the line to executives who had little or no role in what enveloped them. Executive blame should be a rifle shot, not a cluster bomb.

The media mob yells across the road at managers, “Why not just apologise?” or “Why did you know nothing?” The truth is that any organisation that has not two but six, eight or 10 layers of management cannot possibly account for decisions at the front line. As with the BBC’s Greg Dyke over the David Kelly affair, Entwistle had to resign not because he made a particular mistake but because his hierarchy was so overstaffed as to lose all capacity to monitor activity or allocate blame.

Schumacher was right. Big is not beautiful. It may suit the machismo of corporate strategists. It may be seductive and lucrative for some. Growth may even be the right thing to pursue for a time. But a bureaucracy is like a monopoly. We are against them until we have one of our own. Then we become its fiercest defenders.

In the private sector the antidote is bankruptcy. In the public sector there is nothing but frenzy and ridicule. But in both cases, how to de-bureaucratise is the Fermat’s last theorem of management studies. It has yet to be solved. So we stumble on, hurling abuse at managers and dragging them from one feeding frenzy to the next.

Please, the stock drop is all about Obama – Opinion

Category : Business

Europe? The fiscal cliff? The Dow drops 300 points and everybody is tripping over themselves to say something else is to blame.

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Poll: Michigan Young Adults Worry About Losing Jobs to China, Support Lowering Taxes to Encourage Hiring

Category : World News

Young Michiganders Blame Cheap Wages Abroad, High Taxes, and Excessive Regulations in the US for Loss of Jobs to China

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