Don't believe everything you hear about the state of Ireland's financial institutions. At least one company remains profitable and secure. While Bank of Ireland's market capitalisation has fallen back to €1.2bn (£1.02bn) and Allied Irish Banks is these days worth only €300m, the business we're thinking about is actually increasing in size after a very successful 2010. The biggest company in finance these days? Step forward bookmaker Paddy Power, worth €1.4bn on yesterday's valuation.
Check out fine art vision of Tesco
The all-consuming power of Tesco has become a familiar theme for anti-business campaigners, but one shouldn't make the mistake of thinking the supermarket giant is in any way stifling British culture. Indeed, the concept of Tesco town is the inspiration for Martin Langford's new painting, Tescopolis, which goes ondisplay at the Mall Galleries from Friday. You might describe the work, in which every building is a Tesco, as a modern vision of hell.
Turkey lords it from beyond the pale
Many in the European Union have been decidedly sniffy about Turkey's desire to join the bloc, so you can forgive Mehmet Simsek, the country's minister of finance, for a rather self-congratulatory intervention in the sovereign debt crisis yesterday. Turkey got an International Monetary Fund bail-out a few years back but these days is in much better shape than the likes of Ireland. "Credibility is the biggest lesson we learnt and the single most important thing I would pass on to countries in that situation now," is Simsek's advice to the Irish.
Mega Monday may be blue for sellers
Public relations firms are going into overdrive ahead of what they confidently predict will be next week's "Mega Monday", the UK's busiest online shopping day of the year. Even Visa, the giant credit card corporation, has put something out to that effect. Just one problem: many of the retail sector's most widely respected companies – including both John Lewis and Amazon – says there is a good reason why the peak won't be reached for at least another week. As one points out: "A lot of people will not have been paid by 29 November."
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