Business Diary: The economists get personal
Monday 04 October 2010
When did economists become so shirty? David Blanchflower never stops sounding off, while in the US, Nouriel Roubini has made a name for himself by not pulling his punches. Now Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan, is at it, telling an interviewer he doesn't listen to people such as the US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman. "Did someone predict the crisis before it happened?" Taleb said before name-checking the pair of them. "If the answer is no, I don't want to hear what the person says."
The customer is always right
The perils of Twitter still plague many businesses. PR Week reports that Ocado, the online grocer, has around 20 tweets on the front page of its feed – 15 of them are responses to complaints from its customer-service team. As the magazine says, one might see this as evidence that Ocado is serious about listening to its customers – or you might conclude it must be hopeless to generate so many whinges in the first place.
No respite in Costa Coffee
Could there be a worse time for Britain's payments system to break down than a Saturday afternoon, with shoppers flocking to the High Street? Many readers will know that this is exactly what happened at the weekend, with a number of supermarkets unable to process card payments for an hour or so because of a technical glitch. It was all sorted reasonably quickly – except at Costa Coffee, where at least one branch was still accepting only cash several hours later. Double trouble for those who fled the supermarket for a soothing drink then.
Germany pays its debts at last
Our congratulations to Germany, which reached a historic moment yesterday, finally paying off the last £60m debt owed from First World War reparations, on the 20th anniversary of the country's reunification. There's no denying that it has taken the Germans a little while to pay off what they owed, but the debt is now fully settled and we'll hear no more about it, thank you.
- 1 Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
- 2 A politically correct lefty goes to see Top Gear live – you'll probably believe what happened next
- 3 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 5 Snoop Dogg on why he doesn't regret displaying misogyny towards women
Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
How China's richest man Li Hejun lost $15bn in an hour - and made a fortune
Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
Snoop Dogg on why he doesn't regret displaying misogyny towards women
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
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