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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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House price inflation down, says ONS

Category : World News

House prices across the UK went up 1.9% in the 12 months to February, but the difference between London and other regions is increasing.

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Simple Steps for Smart Spending

Category : Stocks, World News

MISSION, KS–(Marketwired – Apr 4, 2013) – (Family Features) These days, people are thinking more about how to make smarter decisions with their spending. In fact, simple spending cut-backs can mean a huge difference to your family’s bank account. Get back to the basics of what you really need, and you’ll eliminate unnecessary spending and stress, while keeping more cash in your pocket.

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BMW of North America Sponsors Event Benefiting Half the Sky Movement

Category : Stocks, World News

LOS ANGELES, CA–(Marketwire – Mar 1, 2013) – BMW of North America, L’Etoile Sport & Frey Wille sponsored an event On February 21, 2013, in celebration of women in Hollywood that are making a difference from the inside out with a breakfast and Pre-Oscar beauty gala.

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Morrisons – what the experts say

Category : Business

Retail analysts consider Morrisons’ options as festive sales tumble 2.5% after shoppers turn to supermarket rivals

Kate Calvert, Seymour Pierce

“Morrison has had another difficult Christmas, showing that management’s more aggressive promotional strategy has not resonated with customers. Its fresh focus has perhaps taken the offer too far away from its traditional value roots and we are not convinced there is a fresh/craft differentiated niche to be carved out.”

James Collins, Deutsche Bank

“[Online] will take some time – and start-up cost – to address, while management appears to be banking on changes in [communications] in the short term, part of which will be the new TV ads and programme sponsorship of Ant and Dec, who are, apparently, ‘in 20% of UK households every weekend’. We think, in the current climate, in particular, that customer behaviour won’t be heavily influenced at the margin by more awareness of provenance, points of difference etc, and that historic attempts to drive this as a point of difference did not yield much response.”

Jon Copestake, Economist Intelligence Unit

“Morrisons has been slow to respond to the increasing role of e-commerce and has been trailing behind competitors on the move to convenience channel formats. These factors have combined with a weak market sentiment in 2012 and a growing tendency towards polarised shopping habits which has pressured the mid-market retailers. Christmas trading is especially telling for retailers because it is usually a time for consumers to ‘trade up’ to more premium sellers, as evident by the strong results posted by Waitrose over the festive period.”

Joseph Robinson, Conlumino

“Unfortunately for Morrisons, it has found itself squeezed in a market characterised by falling customer loyalty and low volume growth. With the volume of promotional activity intensifying, the grocer has been unable to deliver a strong enough value message. Indeed, Morrisons’ update cites vouchering as a factor, which suggests Tesco’s aggressive investment with a view of retaining the initiative in the UK market is having a marked impact. Furthermore, the prevailing northern bias of Morrisons store portfolio has left it more susceptible to the general economic malaise and a rising tendency among consumers to view the hard discounters as a viable alternative – for quality, as well as price.”

Could the UK be the next Japan? There’s no reason why not

Category : Business

Both countries are suffering double dip recessions and are struggling with falling gross domestic product

For all their differences, Japan and Britain are quite alike. Both have experienced severe financial downturns that left their banks severely impaired. Both have had double dip recessions. Both are operating at levels of national output 3% below their recent peak.

Japan’s recent performance has been wretched. The growth figures for the third quarter showed gross domestic product falling by 0.9%, largely as a result of weak demand for its exports.

Again mirroring Britain, consumer spending and investment struggled, and without higher post-tsunami reconstruction investment from the government the drop in GDP would have been still greater.

Japan’s problems go deeper than the territorial spat with China, which only flared up in late September and had little impact on the third quarter growth figures. The country’s export-dependent model has been suffering from an overvalued currency and a marked slowdown in global trade, and ministers have been urging the Bank of Japan (BoJ) to provide more monetary stimulus.

But, as in the UK, banks that sell bonds to the BoJ tend to sit on the cash. A more aggressive strategy – buying foreign bonds to drive down the value of the yen – does not appear under consideration. Meanwhile, the dire state of Japan’s public finances – it has the highest net debt to GDP ratio in the G7 – makes expansionary fiscal policy difficult.

Could Britain become the next Japan? No reason why not. The concern in London should be that the difference between the two countries boils down to eight time zones and two decades.

Pre-Marketing: Businessmen as president

Category : Stocks

Also: Is Facebook “broken on purpose”? The difference between founder Larry Page and CEO Larry Page.

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According to “The Donald,” the Fed’s pledge to buy $40 billion in mortgage securities each month is just creating “phony numbers” and will not ultimately benefit the economy. Nor will it will do anything to spur additional activity in the housing…

Category : Stocks, World News

According to “The Donald,” the Fed’s pledge to buy $40 billion in mortgage securities each month is just creating “phony numbers” and will not ultimately benefit the economy. Nor will it will do anything to spur additional activity in the housing market. “Mortgage rates are already very low,” Trump says, “but the banks aren’t lending. So it doesn’t make any difference.” 20 comments!

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Large age gaps in a relationship: our readers respond | The people’s panel

Category : Business

Guardian readers share their views of big age gaps in couples following news George Soros, 82, will marry Tamiko Bolton, 40

Chuckjaeger: ‘A large age difference is of no real concern’

I was born in 1977 and have two older siblings. So far, so normal. Except for the fact that being born in 1912 – the same year the Titanic went down – my father was old enough to be my great-grandfather. To further compound the issue, my mother was born in 1945 – a difference of 33 years between their births.

As a child, I was never overtly aware that other people’s parents were of similar ages; my mum and dad were just like anyone else’s. The true impact of the age of my father only struck home as a teenager. My father died from age-related illnesses two years after he retired. He was 79, I was 14. It devastated my family; we had to sell the house we grew up in and completely readjust to new lives. My dad was not there to see me graduate from school or university, see me pass my driving test or have a pint with me on my 18th birthday.

Twenty-plus years on, my mother has not remarried and I often worry about her being lonely or unfulfilled. But my experience has taught me that a large age difference is of no real concern: both of my parents loved each other and my childhood was idyllic. Fleeting thoughts of selfishness on their part occasionally surface – they both knew how old Dad would be when I would be a teenager – but they gave me the best upbringing I could imagine. What more could a child want?

jmonteros: ‘My 61-year-old father doted on his 18-year-old bride’

After my mother’s death, my 61-year-old father married a young girl of 18. They had three boys together. My siblings were uniformly horrified, and some refused to be civil to him up to the time of his death, aged 73. Some common assumptions are that young women marrying a much older man are looking for security. I believe, from my experience, that it is indeed true – as it probably is for the better half of all women entering into marriage, regardless of age.

My father revelled in starting a new family and endlessly doted on his new bride. From my perspective, she did love him and cooked incessantly for him, always trying to please him … quite the contrary to my dear departed mother. He was in seventh heaven, and quite frankly, I am very thankful she married him. I say to all who seek such unions, more power to you, we need more happiness in this world!

Iona: ‘There are pros and cons to our 28-year age gap’

I was 19 when I met my husband. He’s 28 years my senior. At the time I was headstrong and eager to speed life up. Out of school only one year, I’d started an accountancy course. It’s probably no coincidence that I was also hunting for a mortgage at the same time and looking for a husband. I had a doll’s house mindset. The thought of living alone made me nervous, and setting up a home seemed the most practical way of avoiding this.

My husband was a successful designer, had worked overseas and was thinking of retirement. We got on very well, had similar interests and senses of humour. I became pregnant almost immediately. There were eyes raised at the beginning of our relationship; an expectation from people that I was “chosen” for youth and looks. But we’ve been together over 20 years now, and our age difference is now rarely mentioned.

There have, however, been pros and cons to our situation. When I was young I tended to hang on his word – he is clever and has had a lot of life experience. But as I matured, tensions sometimes set in. I developed my own opinions and became less willing to be lectured or talked down to. I also gave up education to parent our children: he was unwilling to see me go back to work and told me so. This is partly to do with insecurity; he has mentioned being worried that I will find a “younger model” to replace him with. One day, I’ll have to think about health issues – in fact, I do wonder about how I would perform as his carer – but so far he’s had amazing health.

But there are a lot of pros, too. There was never any issue about commitment. My husband had already lived a pretty full life – if men have biological clocks, his was definitely ticking. He is a very devoted and dependable father; his maturity really came into its own when he became a dad. We’ve worked very well as parents, planning and agreeing on courses of action, giving the children a strong framework. The fact that he had a steady income and a house relieved much of the pressure young couples must feel when they become parents.

Although it may not have been my wisest choice to settle down so young, I feel I’ve gained in having a partner who carries with him so much life experience and fullness of character.

minkymoo: ‘We’re all youngsters inside’

I have recently started seeing an older man. I’m 34 and he has just turned 50 – a gaping chasm of 16 years. In the past I have generally dated men my age or younger, so this sudden leap into the world of “the older man” was a life change for me, and what a splendid one it has proved to be. Yes, I may not be able to go all misty-eyed at his memories of being a new romantic in 1982, nor he about my girlhood obsession with PJ & Duncan, but as it turns out – and you may want to sit down for this one – we are pretty much the same age mentally.

Our cultural references may be a bit different, but that’s the only thing highlighting our age gap. We laugh at the same things and have similar hobbies, and yes, I find him very attractive indeed. He might not be able to do the splits as well as he used to (allegedly) or stay up very late week nights, but who gives a damn? I remember my dear old grandma saying on the morning of her 85th birthday that she still felt 21 inside, and I think this is something people forget when denouncing couples with an age gap. We’re all youngsters inside.

And kids? Yes, that would be lovely thanks. Old dads rock. I have one, and he’s still able to play “it” with his grandsons at the age of 72. And win.

Morigel: ‘If the woman is older it is trivialised as a cougar fling’

I am 49, and my partner is 33. We have been together for the last six years and have weathered the twilight years of my fertility together. While childrearing was discussed and rejected, it remains to be seen whether this is something he ultimately decides he cannot live without. I do think there is a big difference in how age-gap relationships are viewed depending on who is older, largely because of reproductive issues: while older men are sometimes derided for “trading in” their aging wives for younger models, they are generally given a pass or even lauded. If the woman is the older, it is either trivialised as a “cougar” fling, or viewed as a tragedy for the hapless younger man. In our case, we each grappled extensively with the age difference in our own way in the beginning, but realised after a couple of years that what we really wanted was to be together.

The key to age gap relationships is not to try to deny the difference, but not to get too hung up about it either. We joke about it a lot, give each other space for our own age-cohort-related activities, and generally enjoy and respect each other as people, which is about as much as any of us have a right to ask from a relationship. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

Taxi for Mr Buckles: MPs savage G4S boss over Olympics chaos | Simon Hoggart

Category : Business

He came across as someone who couldn’t organise a tea party at Twinings, or a pig-out in a pie shop

It was horrible, painful, almost bestial. I have never seen anyone get such a monstering at a select committee. If Nick Buckles weren’t a multimillionaire who got rich by paying peanuts to people who can’t get any other work, you might begin to feel sorry for him.

Almost. As it is, we found it hard to believe not only that he is still in his job as chief executive of G4S, but that he was ever appointed in the first place.

He came across as someone who couldn’t organise a tea party at Twinings, or a pig-out in a pie shop. If I saw him searching bags and patting down pockets outside the beach volleyball venue, I’d run a medal-winning mile to reach safety.

Like Manuel, he knew nothing. It had all come as a terrible surprise, mere years after the contract had been signed.

This is how miraculously incompetent he seemed to be: “My first priority is to make sure that my company comes out with its reputation intact,” he said, in the first few minutes.

Reputation intact? What distant planet does he come from? Its reputation has been shredded across the front pages of the world. They can restore shattered Ming vases these days. But the reputation of G4S is in tiny, irreparable shards, a global joke, a source of multinational mirth.

It didn’t help that Mr Buckles wears a silly mullet hairdo, and has a tan that is the result of a recent holiday, somewhere hot, that contrasted with the pallor of most MPs.

But you’ve never heard of anyone being brown-faced with shame. And he had no more contrition than, say, Bob Diamond. He hadn’t known. He hadn’t even bothered to find out before coming to the select committee. And he plans to keep the £57m management fee, on the grounds that they will be delivering some of the promised security guards! This is the equivalent of a plumber bursting a pipe, flooding your house, then demanding his call-out fee because he’d already put a lot of work in.

Here are just some of the words MPs used to describe him and the continuing disaster: “fiasco”, “shambles”, “humiliating”, “inexcusable”, “astonishing”, “amazing”, “unacceptable”, “amateurish”. And that was just throat-clearing.

Nicola Blackwood told the wretched Buckles: “Your performance today will lead quite a lot of people to despair.”

Before the meeting she had had little confidence in G4S. “Now we don’t have any at all.”

When the home affairs committee have found a victim they grab him like a pride of lions and chew off as much as they can. When Buckles said that he was “disappointed” the chairman, Keith Vaz, the Mighty Vaz of Vaz, said that he was disappointed when his football team didn’t win. “Isn’t there a better word?” he asked, his voice dripping with sarcasm like juice from a very sour lemon.

Buckles might not have been contrite, but he knew how to do rueful.

David Winnick told him his company’s reputation was “in tatters”.

“At this moment I would have to agree,” he admitted. He revealed that he hadn’t know about the crisis until 3 July – less than four weeks before the Games begin. And three days later his sidekick, the majestically monickered Ian Horseman-Sewell, was boasting they could not only cover the Olympics here, but another one simultaneously in Australia! Wired to the moon, as the Irish say.

Disaster followed disaster. It turns out that too few G4S staff turned up at a cycling event in Surrey . When would Mr Buckles know how few people would show? At 9 o’clock, he said. That’s 9pm after the understaffed event.

Mr Horseman-Sewell chipped in. There was a difference between people not showing up having been accepted, he said, and a shortfall. We were in the realm of the higher metaphysics. I understood this to mean there was a difference between the no-shows who exist in the form of real human beings, though absent, and shortfall, who don’t exist at all.

MPs came up with a stream of horror stories, of constituents who had been accepted and vetted, and had then heard nothing at all. Those who had paid for training then not received contracts. A woman who had spent 84 minutes on the hotline to find out if her son was required, and no one could tell her.

By this time Mr Buckles was looking like a stunned fish – floppy mullet front and back. He was asked if G4S would pay for the accommodation for the police who would need to be drafted in. Long pause. “… Er, yes,” he finally said, making Mr Vaz believe he was making policy on the hoof. By this time, though, I suspected that if the committee had demanded a suite at the Ritz for every copper, he’d have promised it. With no charge for the minibar.

After nearly two hours the horror was over. With a hardly disguised demand from Vaz for his resignation fresh in his ears, Buckles somehow dragged himself away.

Facebook Proves It Has No Social Skills Whatsoever

Category : Business, Stocks

By Carol Kopp NEW YORK (Minyanville) — What’s the difference between Facebook’s top management and a gang of socially stunted hackers who disrupt 900 million email accounts just because they can?

Not a joke. The only difference is that Facebook management presumably is not trying to enrage, confuse, and inconvenience people, especially people who are their customers.

You see, Facebook has been unable to exploit the potentially lucrative business of “free” email, because nobody uses the Facebook email service. …

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