Business Diary: Putting the wind in Hayward's sails
Wednesday 06 April 2011
At the height of BP's Deepwater Horizon crisis last summer, the oil giant's then chief executive, Tony Hayward, was pilloried for taking a day off to take part in the Round the Island yacht race in the English Channel. Now it appears something good may have come out of the day after all – also sailing in the race that date (part of the crew that came fourth out of 1,754 in fact) was Julian Metherell, the Goldman Sachs banker with whom Hayward now plans to start an energy investment fund. Did the two start hatching their plans over a post-race drink?
Strauss-Kahn on black swan alert
Has Dominique Strauss-Kahn actually read Nassim Nicholas Taleb's The Black Swan? We know what the International Monetary Fund chief was trying to get at when he told a lecture audience that "numerous black swans are now swimming in the global economic lake", but he has rather missed the point of the metaphor. Taleb's black swan is a rare and unpredictable event – by definition the sort of thing you can't see coming in advance, and absolutely not something that travels in a flock.
Yahoo! states the blinding obvious
It seems even Yahoo!, the American internet company, can't resist the temptation of trying to cash in on the nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton. It has launched a royal wedding pop-up site, explaining that "searches worldwide on Yahoo! for the royal wedding have increased 8 million per cent since the announcement of the royal engagement". One imagines the real percentage might actually be closer to infinity, given that there wasn't a royal wedding to search for before the engagement.
King makes awise decision
There is much indignation on many blogs about the news that Justin King has given shares in J Sainsbury to his wife for "financial planning purposes" – to save on the couple's joint tax bill, in other words. But to be clear, the Sainsbury's boss has broken no rules and in sharing his assets with his wife he is simply taking advantage of rules open to all couples keen to be as tax efficient as possible. A case of "every little helps,", or even "pocket the difference", he probably wouldn't say.
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