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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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Ackman: P&G CEO may need to go

Category : Business, Stocks

Bob McDonald, who’s led P&G since July 2009, serves on the board of 21 different organizations, and Bill Ackman thinks that may be more than a few too many.

Excerpt from: Ackman: P&G CEO may need to go

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S&P 500 closes at a new record

Category : Business, Stocks

U.S. markets continue to climb higher into record territory, led by Bank of America and Apple.

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Teen immigrant angst _ a factor in bombings? – – NECN

Category : Stocks

San Francisco Chronicle
Teen immigrant angst _ a factor in bombings? –
CHICAGO (AP) — There are likely many factors that led Tamerlan Tsarnaev to allegedly mastermind the recent Boston bombings. Some experts who track immigrant youth say feeling ostracized might have been one of them — and that he may have been
Teen immigrant angst _ a factor in bombings? – New York News | NYC Breaking
Teen immigrant angst—a factor in bombings?Contra Costa Times

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LED lighting sales boom at Philips

Category : Business

Philips, the world’s top lighting maker, says LED sales rose 38% in the first quarter from a year earlier, as the Dutch group reports steady results.

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VIDEO: Osborne: ‘UK economy is healing’

Category : Business, World News

British Chancellor George Osborne has said he will stick to his current economic plan despite calls from the IMF to rethink his austerity-led approach.

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Licht + Design Chooses Bridgelux as Premier Lighting Supplier

Category : World News

European Lighting Designer Upgrades All Retail Food and Product LED Fixtures With Bridgelux VERO Arrays

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Would we have had social enterprise without Margaret Thatcher?

Category : Business

Thatcherism taught us that a mixed market in the public sector is the future, and that a ‘state or market’ debate is outdated

There probably aren’t many Margaret Thatcher fans among social entrepreneurs, with most attributing the growth of market economics in social arenas to the measures introduced by Tony Blair. But would we have had the Right to Request without de-nationalisation or the Right to Buy?

As Ed Miliband said during parliament’s tribute sitting, Thatcher was right to recognise that our economy needed to change. In 1982, she said: “How absurd it will seem in a few years’ time that the state ran Pickfords removals and the Gleneagles Hotel.”

Thatcher introduced the idea that government should stop being the default employer and that the public sector needed mixed models of delivery – thinking that has been shared by successive governments ever since.

Looking at public sector reform through the point of view of the Transition Institute, set up to promote increased social value in public service created through non-public sector providers, we can see two major spikes in change; the first when Thatcher allowed the private sector to enter the domain of public services such as in municipal maintenance and waste collection; and the second when Blair introduced the concept of social enterprise into education, health and the then Department of Trade and Industry.

At my organisation, the Transition Institution, we know that the market economy drives down costs but can also fail if equal priority is not given to the needs of service users and the wider community, termed social value. Our work shows what can be achieved when the priority of cost effective services are shared with the needs of those that rely on services. We promote the work of co-operative schools, staff-led community interest youth services, and mutual delivery of community care.

The Transition Institution calls for plurality, a drive for an increase in social and economic value, demonstrating the coexistence of free market forces and social responsibility. The introduction of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 and the support of the cabinet office, led by Francis Maude, for the promotion of mutuals within the public sector have encouraged those seeking change in this field, but progress is slow.

Thatcher was perhaps the great advocate of the free market, even though employment in the public sector was 3% higher when she left office than it is now. She undoubtedly questioned the monopoly of the state and did not limit her introduction of market forces to the nationalisation of British Airways, British Gas and British Telecom, but went on to assert that the state can not commission, deliver and appraise every service without the emergence of a conflict of interest that does not serve the wider public, an idea continued under Blair.

In 2011, David Cameron said: “The Blair government took some good steps, like foundation hospitals and academy schools, but they were too tentative … The public already benefits from services delivered by private and third sector providers, from running walk-in clinics to providing school caretakers, and the government is right to recognise that there is scope to do more.”

Yet even with that commitment and other stated aims to grow mutualism, social value and community engagement, we have yet to see a third spike. Many prospective and new public sector spin-outs continue to be confronted by sceptical parent authorities and voracious private sector competitors with the advantage that they can get in quick. As in Thatcher’s era, it is money that counts: then inflation hit 21% and drove the government to think the unthinkable. Today, it’s the deficit and, with banks limiting borrowing, those with access to capital are moving faster. I do not have the results of the 2013 national Transition Institute survey yet, but I am willing to guess that access to capital is a big issue for today’s independent public service providers.

Margaret Thatcher introduced an idea that continues to grow, that of a mixed market in the public sector. Her scepticism about the public sector led to a deep-seated faith, shared by some in government today, that only unfettered competition can give us quality and affordability. In contrast, some on the left maintain that only the state can care for its citizens.

This is 2013 not 1983 and if the banking crisis and subsequent recession have taught us anything, it is that it may be hard to describe and tricky to measure but what the public sector needs is a mixed approach – only a combination of competition tempered by social value can create affordable and sustainable world-class public services.

Allison Ogden-Newton is chair of the Transition Institute.

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Bridgelux Announces Commercial Availability of Vero(TM) LED Arrays

Category : Stocks, World News

Highly Innovative, Versatile LED Array Design Drives Strong Market Demand

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Billabong in fresh takeover talks

Category : Business, World News

Australian surfwear firm Billabong is to start talks over a possible takeover by a consortium led by its former US boss Paul Naude.

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An economist’s view of The Low Road

Category : Business

Bruce Norris’s play skewers the failings of capitalism, but ignores some sensitive and nuanced debates

In broad terms, I’m sympathetic to the central theme of this play by Bruce Norris. From 18th-century America to today, he examines the idea that capitalism has failed as a model of human advancement – that it’s just led to a “greed is good” culture. If we look at the last 20 years, I can’t disagree – something has gone badly wrong, not least with the role of banking and the City. But Norris’s position is too black and white: the reality is a lot more complex.

Churchill famously said that “democracy is the worst form of government, except all those other forms that have been tried”. It’s the same with capitalism: yes, something has gone wrong, but it has still led to huge leaps of prosperity. Look at the Soviet Union: not only did it collapse in chaos, it revealed huge levels of poverty and disparity. If you took a straw poll, I don’t think anyone watching this play would want to return to 18th-century standards of living.

The play is also a bit too hard on its narrator, Adam Smith: we see Jim Trumpett, a passionate advocate of the free market, inspired by Smith’s writings about the “invisible hand”, and the way that market interference can be bad for society. Smith did write about this in Wealth of Nations; but he also wrote The Theory of Moral Sentiments, which is much more about cooperation – the need for a “helping hand”, as Gordon Brown put it in 2010.

Norris tries to marry Trumpett’s rise and fall with what’s going on today in the eurozone. To me, this felt glib and clunky, and I was frustrated by the fact the play didn’t really consider how we can get out of today’s crisis. There’s a line about handing the keys back to the driver after the car has crashed. That’s a bit trite – and it ignores the sensitive, nuanced debate that’s going on between today’s economists about the negative effects of capitalism, and of excessive austerity.

I did enjoy the play, though – and I appreciate that many of these flaws are down to the necessary constructions of theatre. You wouldn’t want to go out on a Friday night to watch a lecture about how we can get out of this economic mess. That would make for dull theatre.

• Neil Shearing is the chief emerging markets economist at Capital Economics Ltd. The Low Road is at the Royal Court, London SW1 ( until 11 May.