Bunhill: Dying for success

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The Independent Online
SOME unchristmassy reflections. Stock markets are unsentimental places. Shares in Time-Warner went to an all- time high after the death of the media giant's founder and chairman, Steve Ross. Presumably punters are hoping to save on the late chairman's remuneration - well over dollars 100m ( pounds 65m) at last count - and are betting that his successors will pursue slightly less grandiloquent policies than he did.

The share-price rise follows the rule that the removal from the scene of an awkward personality can indeed work wonders, as witness the jump in the price of shares in the Savoy Group after the death of Sir Hugh Wontner, seen, rightly, as a big obstacle to a profitable take-over.

But punters studying the health of such dominating personalities as Tiny Rowland should beware: shares in Mirror Group jumped with joy following Cap'n Bob's unfortunate tumble, but the joy was strictly temporary.