Business Diary: Singing the same tune at last
Friday 13 May 2011
Anyone who thinks trade union leaders are too busy reading Marx to have a sense of humour should have been at the Unite meeting of British Airways cabin crew held following yesterday's agreement with the airline. Unite leader Len McCluskey told members he was exhausted following the lengthy dispute but still on his feet. Then he played Elton John's I'm Still Standing to emphasise the point. What did BA executives listen to on their return to the office, we wonder? You Can't Hurry Love? Come Fly With Me?
Goldman thought the squid was bad
Round Two. Two years ago, Rolling Stone magazine's Matt Taibbi scored a direct hit with his description of Goldman Sachs as a "giant vampire squid". Now Taibbi is back with a new piece on the investment bank – and if anything, it's even less flattering. Take this, on Taibbi's accusations of rule-breaking: "Goldman isn't a pudgy housewife who broke her diet with a few Nilla Wafers between meals – it's an advanced-stage, 1,100-pound medical emergency who hasn't left his apartment in six years and is found by paramedics buried up to his eyes in cupcake wrappers and pizza boxes." Someone is going to be cross.
Lady Gaga sends message to banks
Anyone who is anyone in New York finance was at the Robin Hood Foundation's annual gala this week. The bash raises money for charity by charging bankers through the nose for an evening of entertainment. What did they get for their money – tables cost as much as $250,000 – this year? Well, 4,000 staff from Wall Street's finest were treated to a live set from Lady GaGa – though she did flip them the finger after complaining she'd broken a nail.
A taxing battle of the sexes
There are two ways to look at new research from Met Life that shows men working until state retirement age will pay almost twice as much income tax as women – £420,500 to £220,000, for the record. Unreconstructed dinosaurs can use the figures to cement their prejudices; more modern thinkers will note the insurance company reckons most of the difference is down to the fact that women, on average, earn 41 per cent less than men.
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