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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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Davos prepares for dose of daftness

Category : Business

The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting looks set to be as unintentionally hilarious as ever

Robert Louis Stevenson arrived in Davos in 1881 wrestling with a grand project – and left with Treasure Island. You may question if that is an exact metaphor for what’s going on in the Swiss mountain retreat this week, but it is just the type of symbolism that appeals to delegates at the World Economic Forum, so please don’t mock this boondoggle.

The WEF’s annual meeting is almost certainly the most important glühwein-guzzling session on the planet (during January), and scepticism is merely a sign of envy that you can’t get in. Certainly the 11,000 permanent Davos residents will be honoured to receive their important guests, as their town gets a temporary bump up the per capita ego rankings, while the rest of us tune in to the world’s largest intellects and wallets pretending this isn’t all about networking.

As usual, the organisers have plumped for an un-mockable theme – Resilient Dynamism – as well as staging enticing sessions such as Friday afternoon’s unmissable: “Enterprise Resilience”. There delegates will be educated on how “enterprises [can] improve resilience to global risks” by a bill that includes, er, Tom Albanese.

That is resilient. It was only last week that he was ousted as Rio Tinto boss after a series of catastrophic acquisitions.

Big dipper

There is, as Sir Alex Ferguson might put it, a resonance of squeaking emanating from HM Treasury.

Britain’s retailers clearly endured a tight Christmas – if you hadn’t worked that out from the swelling casualty list, it was confirmed by the Office for National Statistics on Friday, with figures showing that high-street and online spending fell by 0.6% in the three months to December.

That performance merely intensified speculation that the economy contracted in the final quarter of 2012 and, while it’s not yet certain it did, we will find out more this week when the ONS makes its first stab at fourth- quarter GDP. Some cheery souls reckon that will show we’re five-sixths of our way towards a historic triple-dip.

All of which leaves George Osborne in an unusual position, as he sits hoping that an army of forecasters have called the current quarter wrong. Sadly for the chancellor, he’s not relying on the economists to mess things up, but the meteorologists, who have a better hit rate. Presently, they reckon it will continue snowing until the middle of this week, knocking the already feeble economy, as well as prompting further rumbles at 1 Horse Guards Road.

Crunch time for Chemring

Investors in Chemring Group, who are desperately trying to forget what happened last year, should look away now. There will follow a brief synopsis of the events of 2012.

In a tough market for defence spending – compounded by technical problems afflicting new products – the company issued a pair of profit warnings and its potential saviour – a bid from US private equity group Carlyle – suddenly collapsed after the US firm decided the price wasn’t right. Chief executive David Price certainly wasn’t: he also lost his job.

New boss Mark Papworth took over at the back end of last year and Steve Bowers, who seems to be well-respected in the sector, was named as finance chief earlier this month. Against that backdrop it is tricky to see how 2013 could possibly be worse, although the company is expected to kick it off with a fairly depressing set of numbers when it announces full-year results this week.

Investec reckons that revenues will edge up 2% to £737.6m while profits will slump by 42% to £70.8m, so much depends on how impressive the market believes Papworth’s initial performances are – and especially if he can avoid more bad news. That is not a given. The old City adage has it that profit warnings come in threes.

Bradley Wiggins on booze, fatherhood, tax … and Lance Armstrong

Category : Business

In wide-ranging Guardian interview, Tour de France winner says he has withdrawn from tax-avoidance scheme

Bradley Wiggins has pulled out of a controversial tax-avoidance scheme following a barrage of criticism, the first British Tour de France winner has told the Guardian in an exclusive interview in which he also details his considerable disdain for Lance Armstrong and the legacy left by the US rider’s years of organised doping.

Last week, Wiggins was criticised for having joined Twofold First Services, a tax partnership which takes advantage of farming tax reliefs. But in the interview in Weekend magazine, Wiggins says: “I had a small investment in Twofold, following guidance from my professional advisers. I had, however, claimed no tax relief of any amount in regard to this investment. Given the concerns raised about it, I have now instructed my advisors to withdraw me from the scheme with immediate effect.”

Wiggins is odds-on favourite for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, but his victory in this summer’s Tour was dogged by innuendo that his dominant performance, and that of his team, Team Sky, must be shaped by drug use, something he has repeatedly and passionately denied. Calling his accusers “wankers” – not for the first time – Wiggins describes the corrosive legacy of Armstrong, newly stripped of his seven Tour wins because of his endemic, team-wide doping regime. “It wasn’t a surprise,” Wiggins says of the report that damned the Texan. “The anger is more: I’ve got to pick up the pieces. He’s still a multimillionaire, and he’s not here to answer the questions. I can’t not answer them because I’ve got to go and race next year, and I hate talking about it.”

Armstrong was never his hero. “He was someone I respected and admired. I’ve met quite a few sportsmen, but I don’t think I’ve met anybody as … powerful as him.” He describes Armstrong as “quite an intimidating person to be around” and someone who exists in a cosseted bubble of entourages and chauffeur-driven cars. “If I’m going to Kilburn, I get on a bus. He’d have a car waiting for him with a bodyguard. He’d go to races on a private jet. I take my kids to school. It’s what keeps you normal. I don’t want my kids growing up as fucking idiots, d’you know what I mean?”

Wiggins describes how he is determined to be a good father to his children, Ben and Bella, because of his own experiences growing up. His Australian cyclist father, Garry – “he wasn’t a nice person” – walked out when Wiggins was two, and ended up a violent alcoholic. He died in 2008. “Because of what he did to us, I’m, sort of, the way I am with my own family,” Wiggins says. “I cherish them. It was a lesson of how not to be with my own children. So it’s not ‘like father like son’. It’s the complete opposite … Not having my father around has made me a better person.”

Ben, seven, is a promising junior cyclist. Wiggins says: “I’m not just saying this because he’s my son, but he is fucking good. I think he’ll be better than me. But I’m not pushing him at the moment. I feel sorry for him that he’s my son, because he’ll never get a fair shot; he’ll always be compared to me, which is sad really.”

Wiggins appreciates the attentions of well-wishers but says his new fame brings difficulties, particularly for his family. “They ask your wife to take the photo, which is a bit rude,” he says of some. “After a while that becomes tiresome, especially when you’re having a pizza with your children, or you have to have a photo with somebody else’s kids while yours stand to the side.”

Wiggins describes himself as fundamentally shy and even, to use his wife’s phrase, “emotionally retarded” when it comes to expressing feelings, and he is prone to having a drink if he has to go on stage to talk. In a lull following his three-medal haul from the 2004 Olympics, he had a well-documented period in which he drank heavily. In the interview he describes a period of being “bored shitless”, often arriving at his local pub when it opened and gaining weight: “I got quite big. I wasn’t huge. I was probably 83 kilos (13 stone).”

Lack of money was one of the post-Olympic depressions faced by Wiggins, he says: “It got me down. You think if you win the Olympics, you’ll become a millionaire overnight. But I was still scraping the barrel, looking down the back of the settee for pound coins to buy a pint of milk.”

It remains to be seen if Wiggins will even race in next year’s Tour, with the Giro d’Italia his stated goal for 2013. More unlikely sounding is the notion, floated in his autobiography, that he could compete at the Rio Olympics in 2016 in a completely different sport. “Imagine that, going and winning the coxless lightweight four: Olympic gold in rowing four years off.”

What can UPS do for stocks?

Category : Business

While investors cheered UPS’s third-quarter earnings, sending the stock up more than 2% Tuesday, it wasn’t enough to offset the other dismal earnings reports coming out.

See more here: What can UPS do for stocks?

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VIDEO: Cameron ‘would veto EU budget’

Category : Business, World News

Prime Minister David Cameron has said he would veto the EU’s 2014-20 budget if it wasn’t a good deal for Britain.

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The bittersweet taste of Japanese words

Category : World News

A little while ago a friend of mine who’s been living in Japan for few weeks texted me in a bit of a dither, saying, “This guy I barely know said I was sweet! Is he coming on to me?” It turns out the word he used was amai (甘い), which nominally means sweet as in sugar. In English if you call someone sweet it’s a compliment, but not in Japanese. I had to tell her that the guy wasn’t getting overly friendly with her but he wasn’t being too nice either, since amai means someone is being naive or shortsighted.
Japanese is littered with many such food-oriented words, phrases and colloquialisms that mean something quite different from what you may think. For instance, the actor Ken Watanabe is often described as being shibui (渋い). That doesn’t mean someone took a nibble of him and found him bitter tasting. It means he’s cool, handsome without being pretty, and mature — a man who appeals to both sexes.

Originally posted here: The bittersweet taste of Japanese words

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Kipper Williams on Manchester United

Category : Business

‘Still, it wasn’t as bad as van Persie’s debut’

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The downside of rising home prices

Category : Business

It wasn’t that long ago when it seemed foreign buyers were propping up the U.S. housing market. Just as fast, they’re leaving.

See the article here: The downside of rising home prices

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Best of StockTwits: Don’t bury Intel just yet

Category : Business

Intel was the top performer in the Dow Wednesday even though its guidance wasn’t necessarily awe-inspiring. Just goes to show PCs are not dead after all.

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Bank stocks rebound after downgrades

Category : Business

Investors breathed a collective sigh of relief Friday that the downgrades of some of the world’s largest banks wasn’t as bad as it might have been.

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Phelps, Lochte set for battle at trials

Category : World News

Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte renew their rivalry at next week’s U.S. Olympic trials, where both swimmers are entered in seven events, including six against each other.
They’ll open the eight-day meet in Omaha, Nebraska, on Monday in the 400-meter individual medley, a grueling event that Phelps had said he wasn’t going to swim anymore after the 2008 Olympics, where he won a record eight gold medals. He holds the world record in the event.

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