A Weekly Digest of The World's Financial Press

Financial Times

Why companies should provide investors with more frequent information

BRITISH COMPANIES should move to quarterly reporting immediately, with monthly frequency a realistic target.

An imaginative company would make its data available on its website in manipulable formats. Long-run data, in a standardised format, are also badly needed. Once these steps are taken, the way is clear for more frequent reporting.

Today's annual report is, like a Victorian snapshot, an artificial moment in time. Just over half a century ago, the Lumiere brothers broke free, to bring us the motion picture. Business activity, like the life that films capture, is a flow, not a series of discontinuous steps. It is time for corporate reporting to make that switch.

Peter Martin, FT columnist

Business Week

On how Olivetti's bid for Telecom Italia signals a turning point for European capitalism

A FLOOD of private investment in equities is forcing Italian capital markets to grow more sophisticated fast. And old-boy relationships are fraying. For example, Milan's secretive Mediobanca, once the virtual house bank of the Agnellis, is backing Olivetti, while the Agnellis themselves are publically backing Franco Bernabe.

Hordes of American investment bankers are speeding this transformation. In fact, it was bankers from Lehman and DLJ who came up with the idea for Olivetti's raid. In the coming days, Italian politicans may find it hard to resist interfering. But whether Olivetti succeeds or fails is almost beside the point: For European capitalism, there is no going back.

Cover story

Wall St Journal

On how Tony Blair must now move the euro debate in Britain forward

THE WARS of the euro-(sceptics/enthusiasts) generate a lot of heat, but little light. The only constant in the mindnumbing crossfire was the government's agility in parrying the question of how to decide.

That, at least has changed. Prime Minister Tony Blair made clear he wants to see Britain join the euro as soon as possible. Now, the cards are stacked against entry into EMU. Mr Blair's first test will come in the election for the European Parliament in June.

Mr Blair must win support for his government's policy not with slogans, but by cutting through the Strum und Drang of the current "debate" and putting the arguments directly to the British people.

Leader comment

Financial news

On how the Revenue is trying to chip away pension funds' privileged

tax status

THE REVENUE is in effect trying to move the goal posts retrospectively by using anti-avoidance legislation enacted long before such [share] buybacks were even thought of.

It is Parliament, not the Revenue, that should be laying down the law on taxes. But the Revenue's action is even more extraordinary given the Government's eagerness to encourage funded pensions.

The Revenue appears to be ploughing a semi-autonomous furrow with its "paid-by-results" investigators and it is hard to reconcile what it is up to with the Government's broader policy aims on pensions. The Government should call its tax collectors to heel.

Leader comment


On US threats to impose punative tariffs on European luxury goods over bananas

SOME EXPERTS believe establishing the authority of the WTO is worth America's thick-skinned approach. Still, it is an open question whether the strategy of targeting products is useful; it is certainly ugly to watch.

Unfortunately, there are few choices available to countries whose economies have been harmed by discriminatory trade policies.

For now, America and Europe are squabbling over a little yellow fruit that neither one produces. And folks [producing cashmere] in the Scottish Borders have little choice but to pray that calmer heads - prevail in time to save their fall season - and their jobs.

Len A Costa

The Economist

The single European currency is already showing signs of wear and tear

EUROPE'S ECONOMIC road is looking suddenly much bumpier. This is not the euro's fault. But the rules surrounding it may make things worse. The European Central Bank has said it will not reduce interest rates unless governments continue to reduce their budget deficits. In the long run that is a worthy goal. But now it misses the point. Not only does the combined stance of monetary and fiscal policy need to be eased in the euro area, but in some economies fiscal policy may need to be used to support demand. The euro's design faults increase the risk that a slowdown in growth could lead to a recession. Which might put at risk even the euro's very survival.

Leader comment

The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
Life and Style

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Louis van Gaal at the Hawthorns prior to Manchester United's game against West Brom

Follow the latest updates from the Monday night Premier League fixture

Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)

Concerns raised phenomenon is threatening resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Customer Service Executive / Inbound Customer Service Agent

£18 - 23k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Customer Service Executiv...

ASP.NET Web Developer / .NET Developer

£60 - 65k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a ASP.NET Web Developer / ....

Operational Risk Manager - Asset Management

£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...

Project Coordinator - 12 month contract

£27000 - £32000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our large charity ...

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past