Business Diary: Get Barclays while it's still British
Friday 12 August 2011
Is this decision by the BBC (remember that the first "B" stands for "British") just a little premature? The corporation's Today programme on Radio 4 is launching an annual business lecture in November and has invited Bob Diamond, the chief executive of Barclays Bank, to be the first speaker. But will Mr Diamond still be presiding over a British company by then, given the frequent hints that Barclays might be off to pastures new should banking reforms not go its way?
Samsung has the allure of the illicit
Has Samsung inadvertently found a way to ensure its new Galaxy tablet computer really does turn out to be a credible rival to Apple's iPad? Apple, you will have seen this week, has successfully applied for a court order to stop Samsung selling the Galaxy in the European Union while the two companies sort out a patent dispute. The rarity value of the devices is turning them into a must-have for some. Take the celebrity scientist Professor Brian Cox, who says: "Am now obsessed with getting a Samsung Galaxy tablet because I'm told I can't have one."
Gold bugs rub Brown's nose in it
City fund manager Terry Smith is officially a meanie. What other conclusion can one draw from the blog he's just posted about former prime minister Gordon Brown's decision in 1999 to sell great chunks of Britain's gold reserves? With the gold price at record levels today, Brown's decision to sell has proved to be an £11bn error of judgement, Smith says. "We could have paid for the Olympics with the amount of value he surrendered and had over £2bn in change left." Come on, Terry, everyone makes mistakes.
Actavis sheep are behind the times
The generic drug maker Actavis reckons its Sominex sleeping pills are so good they'll mean the sheep you would otherwise be counting have nothing to do. But has the company's marketing team been slumbering too? Its ads (currently running ad nauseam) feature some cute woolly creatures lounging about on a garden wall reading the "News of the Wool". Presumably that means there's been no phone hacking in sheep land and that Rebecca BaaaRooks still has a job.
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