Credit crisis diary: Job cuts on the way – just don't tell the staff
Thursday 19 March 2009
When staff at Euromoney were told they would have to take unpaid holiday this year, they took some comfort from their employer's reassuring promise that the measure would help to limit job cuts. Euromoney, however, seems to be telling the City something different. Analysts at Royal Bank of Scotland report: "Euromoney has stepped up its cost-cutting plans, with a target of taking out 15 to 20 per cent of group headcount this year (ie 350 to 400 jobs)." Lots of Euromoney staff are going to be taking even more unpaid holiday.
Groceries man takes a dive
Dr Gordon Campbell, the managing director of the grocery chain Spar International, is a man who can think on his feet – once he's back on them. Bounding up the steps to speak at the Retail Week conference yesterday, the poor man tripped himself up and went flying. "I actually didn't rehearse that last night, which is a pity," said Dr Campbell. "The world is changing – there are great potholes to fall down, and you have to be careful where you are going."
HSBC short seller revealed: it's RBS
A strange disclosure to the stock market, this one. Which lender has just increased its short-selling exposure to HSBC? Only Royal Bank of Scotland, which owns a chunky little short bet on the bank, courtesy of one of the units of ABN Amro it has inherited. RBS betting against HSBC – that's surely the wrong way round?
Bank bosses lack nerve to back themselves
With bank share prices now so low, presumably the big cheeses running them – who never stop expressing their confidence about the future – are excited by the opportunity to snap up some stock on the cheap. Not according to DigitalLook.com, the investment site that monitors directors' dealings in their own companies. Bank bosses have spent just £1,500 on their own stock in the past six months, it says, down from £595,000 in the previous six months.
Too small to make much difference
Good to see private equity is getting serious about risk management. But does the insurer Aon really think a 26-page, pocket-sized booklet is going to be enough to safeguard the sector in these troubled times? Entitled The Private Equity Mini-Guide To Risk Management, it's a little short on the requisite protection. Still, it's the thought that counts.
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