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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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Bop Design Announces Tips to Convert Web Leads Into Paying Customers

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Building Relationships From an Online Call-to-Action

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Bangladesh building collapse: safety fears grow as death toll mounts – video

Category : Business

Clothes workers in Bangladesh say the recent building collapse in Dhaka has made them concerned for their own safety

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Bangladesh factory collapse: rescuers find owner’s gun as death toll hits 550

Category : Business

Dhaka police are questioning Rana plaza owner Sohel Rana about gun licence, and have arrested structural engineer

Rescue workers combing through the rubble of the factory complex that collapsed in Bangladesh killing more than 500 people have found a pistol belonging to the building’s owner.

Dhaka police say that Sohel Rana has accepted that the weapon belonged to him. They are investigating whether he had a licence to own the weapon. The discovery did nothing to improve the public image of Rana, now portrayed as a gangster figure able to use his power to circumvent building regulations.

There have already been accusations that he muscled out competitors and illegally grabbed the land on which the Rana Plaza stood before its collapse.

Detectives are continuing to investigate Rana’s background and have also arrested the structural engineer, Abdur Razzak, previously credited with raising the alarm about the danger of collapse. Detectives are investigating his role in advising Rana on adding three storeys to the building; their weight is one of the main suspected causes of the collapse. Razzak was said to have been alarmed by cracks which appeared the day before the collapse, but Rana and some factory owners are understood to have claimed he told them it was safe for the building to remain open.

Yesterday the death toll from the collapse had risen to 551, with fears that there may still be a large number of bodies under the structure. Workers pulled 19 bodies from the rubble on Saturday morning, the 11th day of the rescue operation, having recovered 80 the day before.

Meanwhile, western brands are facing mounting pressure to improve working conditions. Leading UK brands have been urged to sign up to the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement, which provides for independent structural inspections of factory buildings, with the reports to be made public. But so far only two groups have done so, the US-based PVH which owns Calvin Klein and Timberland, and German retailer Tchibo.

UK brands say they are following the lead of the Ethical Trading Initiative, which is instead supporting a Bangladeshi government national action plan launched in March. That plan does not involve structural inspections, although the government has ordered factories to produce building certificates within a month.

The textile industry is worth £13 billion a year to the Bangladeshi economy and companies there are desperate to persuade Western brands to stay, despite concerns over safety in factories where hundreds of people have died in fires and collapses in recent years.

The Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association has promised action to prevent a repeat of the Rana Plaza disaster and urged brands not to cancel orders.

Disney, however, has announced that it is halting all production in the country by the end of March next year. Other major brands met in Germany on Monday to discuss what could be done to improve factory safety in Bangladesh.

A statement issued on Thursday from the ETI – whose members include Primark, M&S and Walmart – said that UK retailers would take a common approach to fire and building safety. They would improve factories to an agreed minimum standard and would strengthen the role of health and safety committees in unsafe factories.

ETI director Peter McAllister said: “We are appalled by the recent factory fire tragedies, and last week’s deplorable Savar building collapse. Together with our company, trade union and NGO members, we are committed to driving real, sustainable change for workers by tackling the chronic, widespread health and safety issues that plague Bangladesh’s garment sector.”

But Bangladesh’s Finance Minister, AMA Muhith, did little to boost confidence in change when he dismissed the collapse during a visit to Delhi, saying: “The present difficulties … well, I don’t think it is really serious – it’s an accident. And the steps that we have taken in order to make sure that it doesn’t happen, they are quite elaborate and I believe that it will be appreciated by all.”

The country’s home minister, Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, struck a more aggressive note on Friday when he warned more arrests could follow. ”This is a case of sheer negligence and sheer arrogance,” Alamgir said in an interview. “Arrogance on the part of the owner and negligence by the engineers and the local government authorities.”

Primark, which acknowledged that it bought from a factory in the collapsed building, has urged other brands which used it to join it in offering financial assistance to the families of victims.

Jump in new home registrations

Category : Business

The house-building industry has reported a significant jump in the number of new homes being registered.

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Jobs to go in Nationwide shake-up

Category : World News

A total of 500 jobs are expected to go as Nationwide integrates three regional building societies into its main operations.

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Lawsuit seeks to halt Empire State Building IPO

Category : Stocks

Some shareholders in the Empire State Building are in court this week seeking to block plans for a trust and subsequent IPO for the landmark building and other Manhattan properties.

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Dyesol Ltd. (DYSOY: OTCQX International) | Dyesol and Printed Power (Singapore) Entering a New Market

Category : Stocks

Printed batteries and sensor networks are to be integrated with energy generating Dye Solar Cell technology in products being developed by Printed Power Pte Ltd in a new venture with Dyesol Limited.

Tapping into the multi-million dollar wireless remote sensor market and emerging printed battery market for near term Combined Energy Generation and Storage devices is driving the vision to develop a low-light indoor DSC-powered product.

“This is a really exciting time for Dyesol as we will be leveraging exciting advances in solid state (dry) DSC research to access a new commercial opportunity,” said Dyesol Director Gordon Thompson.

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How housebuilding helped the economy recover: Britain in the 1930s

Category : Business

New development created a third of the increase in GDP between 1932 and 1934. Could we repeat the experience today?

In the early 1930s Britain recovered impressively from a double-dip recession which ended in 1932. In every year from 1933 to 1936, before rearmament could have made any difference, growth exceeded 4% per year. Growth was not driven by fiscal stimulus; indeed it blossomed at a time of fiscal consolidation. So what was the magic formula?

The main ingredient was the “cheap-money policy“. From the middle of 1932, short-term interest rates were reduced close to zero and monetary policy was expansionary enough to stop prices falling and sustain mild inflation in pursuit of a target, set by the chancellor, Neville Chamberlain, to return prices to the 1929 level. The approach was similar in many respects to “Abenomics” in today’s Japan.

How did the cheap-money policy stimulate the real economy? A very important channel was through development of new housing. The number of houses built by the private sector rose from 133,000 in 1931-32 to 293,000 in 1934-35 and 279,000 in 1935-36. Many of these dwellings are the famous 1930s semi-detacheds which proliferated around London and more generally across southern England.

These figures are way ahead of any other year since the second world war. The building of these houses directly contributed an additional £55m to economic activity by 1934, and multiplier effects from increased employment probably raised the total impact to £80m – or a third of the increase in GDP between 1932 and 1934.

House building reacted to the reduction in interest rates and also to the recognition by developers that construction costs had bottomed out; both of these stimuli resulted from the cheap money policy.

House building was responsive in the 1930s for two reasons. First, the supply of mortgage finance grew rapidly and became more affordable in an economy in which there had been no financial crisis that curtailed lending. Building society mortgage debt rose from £316m with 720,000 borrowers in 1930 to £636m with 1,392,000 borrowers in 1937 when about 18% of non-agricultural working-class households were buying or owned their own homes.

In these years, deposits fell in some cases to 5% and repayment terms were extended from around 20 to 25 or even 30 years, reducing weekly outgoings by 15%.

Second, houses were affordable to an increasing number of potential buyers: 85% of new houses sold for less than £750 (£45,000 in today’s money). Terraced houses in the London area could be bought for £395 in the mid-1930s when average earnings were about £165 per year. Houses were cheap because the supply of land for housing was very elastic, which in turn meant that there was no incentive for developers to sit on large land banks. Underpinning the availability of land for house-building was an almost complete absence of land-use planning restrictions which applied to only about 75,000 acres in 1932; the draconian provisions of the 1947 Town and Country Planning Act were still to come.

Could we repeat the 1930s experience today? It would be very difficult since both mortgage availability and planning rules are very different. Nevertheless, given that we build far fewer houses than are needed to cope with the number of extra households each year, it is desirable to increase the supply of new houses.

A 1930s-style house building boom would not only be a great boost to economic recovery but would also address real social need. The directions for reforms which could re-create 1930s conditions are clear enough but, sadly, politically too difficult.

Nicholas Crafts is professor of economics at the University of Warwick

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BMW to assemble Mini cars in India

Category : Business, World News

BMW is to begin building the Mini in India, in a move that suggests confidence in the country’s emerging car market.

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