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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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Tesla stock up 40% this week

Category : Business

In the wake of first profit and a glowing review for the Model S, Tesla shares continued to shoot higher Friday.

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Interest List Now Forming for William Lyon Homes’ The Townes at ThreeSixty — A Groundbreaking Collection of Classic Modern Townhomes

Category : Stocks, World News

HAWTHORNE, CA–(Marketwired – Apr 12, 2013) – William Lyon Homes has announced plans for The Townes at gated ThreeSixty, a groundbreaking South Bay address of townhomes inspired by historic Los Angeles neighborhoods and the forerunners of classic modern architecture, Irving Gill and Rudolph Schindler. Showcasing innovation at its best, The Townes will represent the first neighborhood of its kind in the nation, a collection of timeless attached designs graced with light, form and function. With the highly anticipated model grand opening scheduled for summer 2013, now is the time to get dialed in for The Townes by visiting to join the interest list and to stay ahead of the game on early phase pricing and key neighborhood events.

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Jebsen & Jessen Communications Recognised for Outstanding Service Quality

Category : Stocks, World News

Avaya Service Assessment Returns High Scores on JJC Support Service Model

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Let’s Gowex S.A. (LGWXY: OTC Pink Current) | GOWEX signs an agreement with the Italian operator Bluwireless

Category : Stocks

GOWEX signs an agreement with the Italian operator Bluwireless

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Mythbusting: People buy from social enterprises purely on ethics

Category : Business

Social businesses must do more than simply convince consumers that they are ethical. Quality is essential, says David Floyd

As a model for social enterprise, the Fairtrade movement has a lot to answer for. I grew up in a Christian family and, although I’m no longer religious, I continue to recognise, with fondness and respect, many of the apparently bizarre but ultimately socially valuable things people to do as result of their faith.

Buying and, even more bizarrely, drinking some of the earlier brands of Fairtrade tea and coffee certainly fell into that category. Now those days have passed, it’s probably OK to admit that some of these drinks were a cocktail of unpleasantness – if I close my eyes, it’s still possible to recall the aftertaste 20 years on – and additional expense that, by any conventional logic, should have proved commercially lethal.

Instead, Fairtrade has proved to be a massive success because it’s a movement based on a good idea. The idea that customers who buy Fairtrade products know that, as a result of their purchase, the producers and workers who make Fairtrade products are paid a fair price and a premium on top of that to invest in social projects.

The idea was so good that, with the support of particularly socially committed early adopters, it generated enough momentum to give specialist Fairtrade manufacturers time to make their tea and coffee first relatively drinkable, then relatively affordable, until it eventually tasted really good and cost a similar amount to other brands.

Now many Fairtrade brands have progressed from the stall at the church coffee morning to the shelves of the major supermarkets, while many of their corporate rivals are now also producing their own Fairtrade products.

Unfortunately, many in the social enterprise movement observed the success of the Fairtrade brand and make some giant leaps of thinking that were superficially comforting but ultimately wrong.

A reasonable message to take from the Fairtrade experience is that, when choosing which specific product from a range of available brands, a small percentage of people give a very high priority to ethical considerations and a significantly bigger percentage may consider ethical factors if everything else – price, quality, availability – is more or less the same.

This is also suggested by the limited research available on the subject. For many social entrepreneurs, the message has been that there are millions of people who buy Fairtrade products, and therefore there are millions of people who’d really like to buy products from social enterprises if only they could find them.

At the other end of the social enterprise optimism spectrum, in a recent piece social entrepreneur Robert Ashton apparently questioned whether social enterprises could possibly compete with (increasingly socially aware) mainstream businesses at all.

Reflecting on Starbucks’ recent decision to boost its social impact, he noted that: “Starbucks ran a series of full-page press ads explaining their plan to contribute directly to one of the UK’s most pressing social problems: youth unemployment. They’re going to take on 1,000 new apprentices over the next two years.”

Ashton predicts that: “… 2013 will see social enterprises challenged by large corporates. Starbucks sells an awful lot of coffee, sandwiches and cake. A turnover of almost £400m per annum, and 8,500 employees, makes it easy to make a big difference with a very little effort.”

Ashton may be right in the sense that simply boasting of being social enterprise is not a strong basis for a rival company to compete directly with Starbucks on the basis of price, brand awareness and general ubiquity.

However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a local, independent coffee shop – run on a social enterprise model – couldn’t use the fact that it was a social enterprise as an additional selling point, on top of offering good coffee and cakes and alternative to the major chains.

The point is that, for most customers, the social enterprise element would be a bonus and, at best, one consideration among many others. And that’s the situation for most social enterprises selling most goods and services to most customers.

As Matt Jarratt, director of social enterprise development at health and social care social enterprise, SCA Group, says: “In our experience customers, be they private purchasers or commissioners, buy our services because they offer the highest quality and best value for money. They like the impact we create as a social enterprise, but the legal model itself is of little interest to them.”

He adds: “As a social enterprise, it’s up to us to use our model well, but the end result must be that we offer the best commercial and social value possible, regardless of the ownership status of the business.”

Like any other business, a social enterprise has to make use of any advantages it has in order to convince customers to buy what it’s selling.

Depending on the situation, the fact that an organisation is a social enterprise may be a significant factor or entirely irrelevant to the choice a customer makes – but it’s never going to be the sole reason for their decision.

David Floyd is managing director of Social Spider CIC and blogs on Beanbags and Bullsh!t

This content is brought to you by Guardian Professional. To join the social enterprise network, click here.

On the road: Honda CR-V i-Dtec Ex 4WD Manual

Category : Business

‘The ride is very comfortable – Japanese engineering, not your arse, soaks up the potholes’

I try to involve my girlfriend in my famous motoring journalism. It can be interesting to get a

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Inkjet or laser printing: which is more cost-effective?

Category : Business

With the standard inkjet cartridge now producing a measly 200 pages, we look at whether laser printers represent a cost-effective alternative for the home consumer

Back in 1969, a graduate named Gary Starkweather, working in the copier department at Xerox in the US, had a visionary idea. He wanted to utilise new laser technology to create a radically different type of printer. It would scan an image, transfer it electrostatically, and then use heat to fuse tiny specs of toner dust on to a piece of paper.

The top brass at Xerox thought his idea was wildly unrealistic. But Starkweather persisted and a decade later the first commercial laser printers went on sale. The only drawback was that they were the size of a small car – and equally expensive.

As home printing took off three decades ago, it was cheap inkjet models – which simply hammered tiny dots of ink on to paper – that would end up in most people’s homes. The bulky laser version was a business-only product.

However, the last few years have seen the size and price of laser printers drop dramatically. Some models can now comfortably fit on a desktop.

Basic monochrome models can be bought for less than £100, although more sophisticated colour versions – with features such as Wi-Fi and duplex printing – can sell for three times that, and more. This compares with the £50 and less that inkjet printers sell for. So a laser will only make sense if the savings on ink outweigh the extra cost of the machine.

Standard laser cartridges – coloured toner (dry ink), typically cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK) – contain a lot of intricate components, print anything from 1,500-3,500 pages but can set you back a hefty £60-£120 each. Still, that compares well with the measly 200 pages you are likely to get from the standard inkjet cartridge costing around £15.

So do laser printers now represent a cost-effective alternative for the home consumer?

“It depends on how many pages you print,” says Patrick Stead, head of cartridge recycler Environmental Business Products. “Laser can be better value over the longer term, but the initial outlay can be a lot more.”

Hewlett Packard manufactures more than half of the printers sold in the UK. Its bestselling HP Deskjet 3050A inkjet retails for about £90. The cartridges sell for £10-£15 and have a standard page yield of 190 (black) and 165 (colour).

The company’s top-selling HP CP2025 colour LaserJet sells for about £300. Cartridges retail for about £110 and have a page yield of 2,800 (colour) and 3,500 (black).

Cursory number-crunching indicates that if you print only, say, 1,000 pages a year – based on ISO standard 5% paper coverage – then the inkjet, at about 5p per page, is better value

But for anyone who prints more than 2,000 pages a year, a laser printer, at about 3p per page, is cheaper. The savings increase the more you print. A screenwriter, for instance, who prints 10,000 pages, stands to save hundreds of pounds by switching.

“If you print a lot of black and white documents then a laser can save you a lot of money,” says Laura Heywood, managing director, at laser cartridge remanufacturer Kleen Strike.

But inkjet does have its advantages. At the domestic end of the market the print quality is higher and the colour definition better. “If you print mostly photos then you probably want to stick with an inkjet printer,” Heywood adds.

David Connett, editor of industry magazine The Recycler, says: “If you’re buying a laser printer, it’s important to work out what you’re going to use it for before deciding on a model. As a rule of thumb, the cheaper the printer, the smaller the cartridge, and the lower the page yield.”

Samsung’s ML2160 monochrome laser printer, for example, costs about £50. But the cartridges also cost £50 – and print a comparatively modest 1,500 pages.

“Do not buy a laser printer on price alone,” says Heywood. “Always look at the cost of the replacement cartridges and their print yield.”

One way to save money on these is to buy refilled cartridges, which can be 30-50% cheaper than the original price, according to the European Toner & Inkjet Remanufacturers Association.

Peter Thompson, director at laser cartridge recycler PBT International, says: “Properly remanufactured laser cartridges are excellent value. But some producers find ways to cut corners, which can result in leakage and sometimes uneven printing. Try to buy from a reputable seller.”

Experts say it’s always worth investing in a laser that supports duplex printing – printing on both sides of the paper – which cuts down on energy and paper consumption.

“Some laser printers automatically print on both sides,” says Connett. “Other models allow you to reinsert pages manually to print the second side. And some do not support duplex printing at all.”

It may also be worth buying a printer that is Wi-Fi compatible so that one click of a button will allow you to print, whether from laptop or smartphone.

Thomson concludes: “If you think how little ink is in the average inkjet cartridge compared to the average laser cartridge the economics are in favour of laser. Sometimes the cartridge prices aren’t that different. But those for the laser can last an awful lot longer.”

Cyprus bailout: Dijsselbloem’s U-turn creates chaos in the markets

Category : Business

The island has been left in a near-impossible situation by the terms of its rescue, and is likely to require another bailout

The good news for the eurozone was that the markets reacted well to the bailout deal for Cyprus. The bad news was that the rally lasted barely until lunchtime. By then investors were running scared at the prospect that the terms imposed on one of the single currency’s smaller members would be the template for rescue packages for bigger countries.

Credit for the change of mood goes to Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who chairs meetings of eurozone finance ministers and who decided it would be a good idea to go public with the idea that Cyprus was not such a special case after all.

For the past week the message has gone out that there are no comparisons between a country that allowed itself to become the tax haven of choice for high-rolling Russians and other, better-managed, members of the eurozone.

Then, in a couple of interviews, Dijsselbloem said Cyprus would be used as the model for future bailouts.

The comments were an open invitation to any investor with more than €100,000 in a eurozone bank to remove it without delay, which some then did.

By the end of the day shares in Europe were tumbling, the euro was dropping against the dollar and the cost of insuring European banks against default was rising, forcing Dijsselbloem to issue a clarification of his earlier remarks. Confirming that European politicians could not organise a booze-up in a brewery, Cyprus was back to being a special case once again.

Very much business as usual, in other words. Confusion reigns as the eurozone stumbles from crisis to crisis, with the markets already bracing themselves for the next bailout.

In all likelihood, that will be another rescue for Cyprus, which has been left in a near impossible position by the terms of its rescue. The €10bn (£8.5bn) loan from the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund means Cyprus will have a debt-to-GDP ratio of 140% and an economy that is on course to shrink by at least 20% in the next two or three years. In those circumstances an already unsustainable debt ratio will continue to increase. Ultimately the country’s creditors will either write down a good chunk of the debts or Cyprus will leave the euro.

In truth, leaving the single currency looks the better option. Cyprus previously had a flawed economic model; now it has no economic model at all. The financial services industry will be wiped out and membership of the euro means there can be no boost to the only alternative source of revenue – tourism – through a cheaper currency. Cyprus was, in many respects, the eastern Med’s version of Iceland, another small island that allowed its banks to balloon in size. But Iceland is not a member of the euro, and its recovery from financial crisis has been aided by devaluation.

For the time being, though, Cyprus remains shackled to the eurozone, which increasingly resembles a zombie economy. There has been no growth for the past 18 months, there is little inclination to address monetary union’s structural weaknesses and the sort of cathartic crisis that might occasion change is prevented by the ECB’s willingness to pump unlimited amounts of cash into Europe’s enfeebled banks.

Dijsselbloem has a point when he says it is unfair that Europe’s taxpayers should be continually asked to foot the bill for bank losses, and Cyprus has certainly been used as the laboratory mouse for a different approach.

But the botched rescue and its messy aftermath have done nothing to draw a line in the sand. On the contrary, investors big and small now have the sneaking feeling that their savings could be at risk in the event of a future crisis. Dijsselbloem did little to persuade them otherwise.

Socially Conscious Non-Profit, Weartiable, Secures Three New Board Members

Category : World News

FORT COLLINS, CO–(Marketwire – Mar 26, 2013) – Wearitable, a not-for-profit organization, has secured three new members for its Board of Directors. Wearitable sells clothing and other branded items for the benefit of non-profit organizations. Instead of taking a percentage of total goods sold to run its operations, Wearitable is separately funded through charitable donations and its own branded clothing and merchandise. This model makes it possible to run a non-profit where 100% of customers’ money goes to the charity or charities of their choice.

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Bentley mulls Slovakia car assembly

Category : World News

Bentley may assemble its next new model in Bratislava, Slovakia, rather than the UK for the first time, the company says.

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