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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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Investors: Look beyond Merck’s patent loss

Category : Business, Stocks

Big Pharma is back, with shares of giant drug manufacturers doubling the returns of the broad market over the past six months. Yet Merck has been conspicuously left behind.

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Privatisation: the good, the bad, and the ugly

Category : Business

Privatisation has been an area of contention since Thatcher, and its impact on many UK communities is still being felt today

The good

Although many of the now-privatised companies are part or fully owned by foreign companies, they have proved to be lucrative investments and were once the means by which Margaret Thatcher aimed to create a nation of shareholders.

In 1986, when British Gas was floated on the stock exchange, shares cost 135p each, or 334p in today’s terms. Since then, British Gas has undergone several organisational changes and the resulting organisation, BG Group plc, is worth £11.09 a share. A £100 investment in 1986 would have gone up by £821.

Some privatisations have brought improvements for consumers. According to the water and sewerage regulator Ofwat, since the privatisation of the 10 state-owned regional water authorities in 1989, the number of customers at risk of low water pressure has fallen by 99%.

Those critical of state-run services often cite the six-month wait for the installation of a new BT line that customers allegedly suffered before telecommunications were privatised. New BT lines are today installed within 15 days, according to BT’s website.

The bad

Many would say the standout failure of privatisation was that of British Rail. While the actual process did not take place until after Thatcher had left office, she was known to be discussing it with the then Department of Transport months before her resignation. At the 1990 Tory party conference, a month before she left office, her then transport secretary, Cecil Parkinson, said: “The question now is not about whether we should privatise it [British Rail], but how and when.”

Since the privatisation the amount of government subsidies to the rail industry has risen higher than it was in its state-run days. A yearly average of just over £1bn in the late 1980s rose to a high of more than £6bn in 2006-2007, according to a public spending report from the House of Commons.

In 2011, the then Conservative transport secretary, Philip Hammond, alluded to the sharp rise in ticket prices since privatisation when he described train travel in the UK as “a rich man’s toy”. Five years earlier, economists at UBS bank said train travel in the UK was the most expensive in the world.

… and the ugly

For opponents of privatisation, the most damaging legacy has been job losses. In the decade after the miners’ strike of 1985, more than 200,000 jobs were lost as a result of coal privatisation, as well as creating the largest British industrial conflict of modern times.

Since privatisation, more than 100,000 jobs have been lost at BT, while the restructuring of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) – the result of an industry being left increasingly to its own devices by the government – led to the loss of 15,000 jobs in Teesside.

The government’s laissez-faire approach to the changes, and the resultant sudden, mass unemployment led to the transformation of what was once a region booming from steel industry to one of the most impoverished in the country. By the time it was privatised in 1988, British Steel had shed 20,000 jobs.

Supporters of privatisation would reflect upon it as a move that was necessary in order to adapt to increasing international competition, yet its impact on many communities within the UK is still felt today.

Millions ‘stop work to be carers’

Category : World News

More than two million people in the UK have left jobs to care for disabled, sick or elderly loved ones, a survey by Carers UK suggests.

Continued here: Millions ‘stop work to be carers’

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Banker bonuses down? Don’t believe a word of it.

Category : Stocks

New York City bean counters would like you to believe that Wall Street bonuses have plummeted. In fact, the reality is much different, at least for those who are left in the industry.

Original post: Banker bonuses down? Don’t believe a word of it.

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VIDEO: ‘Electricity error’ may close pub

Category : Business

A Kent landlady has said she may be forced to close her pub after a mistake by her electricity supplier left her facing a £17,000 bill.

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Iraq must not blind us to Blair’s skill and seriousness | Martin Kettle

Category : Business

If we use the war to rubbish the former PM’s record, we brush aside the still relevant dilemmas he grappled with at home

Tony Blair inevitably cuts a much-diminished figure these days. It is eight years since he last fought an election, and nearly six since he left British politics. He, we and the world have all moved on, thank goodness. Partly by choice, partly through circumstance, he

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Dominique Strauss-Kahn fails to have kiss-and-tell book banned

Category : Business

Former IMF chief did win a court order insisting a card outlining his objections should be placed inside every copy of the book

Dominique Strauss-Kahn has failed to have a kiss-and-tell book by an old mistress banned but won a court order insisting a card outlining his objections should be individually placed inside every copy of the book sold.

The French former chief of the International Monetary Fund, who was forced to resign after a sex scandal in New York, gained a partial victory following a court hearing just 24 hours before the sexually explicit book in which he is described as “half man, half pig” was to be released.

He also won €50,000 (£43,700) in damages from the author, his former lover Marcela Iacub, and from her publisher, as well as a further €25,000 from the news magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, which was also ordered to devote half its front page to the court order as punishment.

Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers had asked for €100,000 in damages from each party and a full front-page publication of the ruling.

Iacub’s book Belle et Bête, which can be translated as Beauty and Beast or Beautiful and Stupid, was written after the author’s seven-month affair with DSK, as he is known, between January and August last year after his political career had been destroyed.

Although Iacub did not name Strauss-Kahn in the book and has claimed some of its more graphic sex scenes were “fiction”, she told Le Nouvel Observateur that he was indeed the book’s protagonist.

The disgraced former minister, who was the Socialist Party’s presidential hope, was forced to resign as head of the IMF in 2011 after being arrested in New York and accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid. He denied the charges and was later cleared after doubts were raised over Guinean-born Nafissatou Diallo’s credibility when she was found to have misled officials in her immigration application. However, DSK was forced to settle a civil case with Diallo, reported to be more than $1m.

On Tuesday Strauss-Kahn turned up at the Palais de Justice in Paris to express his “shock” at what he described as a “despicable and false” book.

The 63-year-old said he was horrified by the “dishonest” way in which the intimacy of his private life had been attacked by someone who was “out to make money”.

“Is anything allowed in the pursuit of gain?” he said, claiming the book was tantamount to “shooting a man already down on the ground” and had devastated his private life, his family and his children.

Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers read an email from Iacub to him claiming she had been manipulated by “colleagues”, and that she was suffering a guilty conscience because she had “made believe I was in love with you, mad about you”. The court was told the message, which she asked DSK to delete, concluded: “I’m sorry.”

Iacub’s lawyers told the court she could not remember the email and that she stood by her work, taking “full responsibiliity” for a book of “love and passion”. She was “manipulated by no one”, her defence lawyer said.

In a letter to Le Nouvel Observateur DSK attacked the magazine for publishing extracts from the book saying it “made him sick”. His estranged wife, heiress and broadcast journalist Anne Sinclair also wrote an open letter to the left-of-centre publication.

“How could you stoop so low? You have given credit to the manoeuvres of a perverse and dishonest woman driven by her fascination for the sensational and the lure of money,” she wrote.

Last week the magazine revealed Iacub visited Sinclair while writing the book.

“It wasn’t a very loyal thing to do, but there were things I didn’t understand about DSK’s psychology … the conversation with Anne Sinclair was fundamental,” Iacub said.

“She was very kind, but I understood at what point that she was convinced that she and her husband – because I remind you that they have still not divorced – are part of a caste of masters of the world.

“She said something, that I report in the book: ‘There’s nothing wrong in getting a blow job from the cleaning woman.’

“But for her, the world divides into masters and servants, between the dominant and the dominated, and it’s normal. This terrified me a bit, as if we were still living in a society under the ancien régime.”

As he left the

Palais de Justice on Tuesday, Strauss-Kahn said: “I just want one thing, to be left alone.”

Strauss-Kahn is under investigation for his role in a vice ring in northern France involving a network of prostitutes in northern France, but has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

Italy’s election mess won’t knock out Europe

Category : Stocks

The political uncertainty resulting from Italy’s election could lead to market volatility but is unlikely to tip Europe back into crisis, as long as previous reforms are left intact.

See original here: Italy’s election mess won’t knock out Europe

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Russia ‘losing billions illegally’

Category : World News

Russia’s central bank governor Sergei Ignatiev says that $49bn (£33bn), or 2.5% of GDP, left the country illegally last year.

Originally posted here: Russia ‘losing billions illegally’

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Blankfein still missing Goldman’s magic number

Category : Stocks

With one year left, Goldman Sachs looks like it will come up woefully short of producing a big payout for its CEO and other executives.

See the article here: Blankfein still missing Goldman’s magic number

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