Business Diary: A new dividend at Bank of America
Monday 14 March 2011
Who needs real dividends when you can have peace dividends (otherwise known as a period of enhanced returns thanks to afailure to conduct misguided M&A)? That appears to be the message from Brian Moynihan, the chief executive of struggling Bank of America, who welcomed analysts to an investor day at the bank with this little gem ofwisdom: "I can't stress enough to you how much of a peace dividend we'll get without mergers; that peace dividend is effectively apermanent dividend."
Time to give Barber a break
Hell hath no fury like the Daily Telegraph scorned. A few weeks back, Lionel Barber, the editor of the Financial Times, gave a lecture in which he expressed his view that the Telegraph had been wrong to send two journalists to a Vince Cable constituency surgery where they taped him saying bad things about the Murdochs. Cue a massive sense of humour failure at the Telegraph: we have now counted five separate digs at Barber in its City diary column – its latest being the tale of how the FT editor's reception staff don't know who he is.
Ever seen a blinking frog?
Fear not, the US economy is in safe hands. While the rest of the world worries about the size of the US fiscal deficit – and what might happen to the global economy when it begins a concerted effort to get on top of the debt – Alan Simpson, the co-chief of President Obama's debt-reduction commission is on the case. "People just sit out there and blink like a frog in a hailstorm," he says. "They don't have any idea what the hell's going on." Thanks Alan, because now the picture is so much clearer.
Greece makes another killing
As part of its efforts to convince a cynical world that it is on top of its fiscal difficulties, Greece publishes a monthly update on how its austerity measures are beginning to see its debts become just a little more manageable. That's very creditable, of course, but is headlining the update "Release on the State Budget execution" just a tad too literal? We know what they mean, but since the Greeks' budget plan is essentially to kill off state spending, the word execution might be considered a little insensitive.
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