Business Diary: 24/10/2009
Saturday 24 October 2009
Murdoch's board all look the same
James Murdoch was on good form at Sky's AGM yesterday, gently chiding one shareholder who asked why the broadcaster did not screen a more ethnically diverse range of shows. His answer, that "Sky is all about inclusiveness; we strive to do that", was only slightly undermined by the company's board, who were all sat behind him. It consisted of 13 white men and one white woman.
The mystery of the black horse
Ian Gordon, a banking analyst at Exane, sums up perfectly the situation at Lloyds Banking Group in a note pointing out that, depending on who you believe, the bank could come up with a massive jumbo rights issue as soon as this week, or do nothing at all for the next month. The truth, as Mr Gordon added in his briefing, is that nobody knows. Perhaps it's time the bank told us.
A rare (and shortlived) triumph for NatEx
Guess which train operator tops the tables in the latest survey from the Office of Rail Regulation. You got it: step forward National Express, taking the title of the most improved operator, thanks to a very impressive rise in punctuality on its East Coast Main Line franchise during the first three months of the year. It won't be in the tables next year, mind you, since the Government has since stripped the company of the contract.
BBC bosses have cancelled Christmas
More controversy at the BBC. The decision to invite Nick Griffin on to Question Time caused plenty of grief, with staff – like the wider public – split on the rights and wrongs of the issue. But scrapping the Christmas party allowance, a move that was announced internally this week, prompted a much more united response – of fury. Last year, the Beeb halved the allowance – which was once £50 per staff member – but has now abolished it altogether.
Number of the day: 0.2%
The average forecast for third-quarter GDP growth made by 33 economists on Thursday. The figure was -0.4 per cent.
- 1 Three of Pope Francis' relatives die in Argentina car crash, including two young great-nephews
- 5 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
Syria conflict: President Assad finally turns on Isis as government steps up campaign against militant strongholds
Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
Ice Bucket Challenge: Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Oprah – the most entertaining reactions so far
Iraq crisis: Islamic State's message to America - 'We will drown you all in blood'
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
World peace? These are the only 11 countries in the world that are actually free from conflict
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