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Societies thrive on the efforts of usurpers; Market leaders can always be forced to improve or even be ousted by small outsiders’ ingenuity

September 10, 2013 3:51 pm

Societies thrive on the efforts of usurpers

By Luke Johnson

Market leaders can always be forced to improve or even be ousted by small outsiders’ ingenuity

Superior innovation and service are two ways in which start-ups can gain advantage over bigger competitors. I was reminded of this last week when I served as a judge in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards. We debated the qualities of almost 50 finalists to decide who would be the champion in the British awards (for which the Financial Times is the media partner), and saw how focus and a different approach can pay off in business. Read more of this post

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End of cheap money hits Asian groups; Few companies have hedges against strengthening dollar

Asian groups struggle with end of cheap money

By Henny Sender

Few companies have hedges against strengthening dollar

Hong Kong-based hedge fund Senrigan Capital is suing Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group over the compensation it says it is owed as a shareholder inSiam Makro, a Thai retailer that CP is acquiring. The dispute revolves around the appropriate exchange rate between the baht and the dollar. If the investors prevail, it could raise CP’s transaction costs by millions of dollars. The dispute is one of many complications materialising across the region as the dollar strengthens dramatically against emerging market currencies – a surge that few companies in Asia anticipated and fewer still had hedged themselves against. Read more of this post

China Shadow Banking Returns as Growth Rebound Adds Risks; new credit almost doubled in August from the previous month

China Shadow Banking Returns as Growth Rebound Adds Risks

China’s broadest measure of new credit almost doubled in August from the previous month in a sign leaders are committed to meeting economic goals even at the cost of adding financial risks. Aggregate financing was 1.57 trillion yuan ($257 billion), the People’s Bank of China said in Beijing yesterday, topping the 950 billion yuan median estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. New yuan loans from banks accounted for about 45 percent of the total, down from July’s 87 percent, as non-traditional credit played a bigger role. Read more of this post

Investors are worried about another cash crunch in China this month following June’s unprecedented crisis, as the end of the quarter and two public holidays approach.

Sep 11, 2013

Investors Wary of Another China Cash Crunch

SHEN HONG

Investors are worried about another cash crunch in China this month following June’s unprecedented crisis, as the end of the quarter and two public holidays approach.

But analysts say Beijing has enough financial resources and the resolve to avoid another credit crisis, though borrowing costs will almost certainly rise over the next two weeks due to banks’ need to meet capital requirements and consumers’ demand for cash to pay for holidays. Read more of this post

For most of human history everyone was an entrepreneur

For most of human history everyone was an entrepreneur

BY FRANCISCO DAO 
ON SEPTEMBER 10, 2013

There’s a narrative in the tech industry of the entrepreneur as a hero that has always made me a bit uncomfortable. As an entrepreneur myself, I certainly respect the risks that entrepreneurs take, but the grandiose self talk is a little out of control. Recently, it occurred to me that not only is entrepreneurship not a sign of exceptionalism, but it’s actually our natural way of working. Read more of this post

Is your business a mayfly, a turtle or a chameleon?

IS YOUR BUSINESS A MAYFLY, A TURTLE OR A CHAMELEON?

ARTICLE | 10 SEPTEMBER, 2013 09:26 AM | BY JEREMY HAZLEHURST

So, farewell then, Nokia. Well, not quite. But the absorption of the Finnish mobile phone giant by Microsoft was a big moment in the story of its decline. It is probably a matter of time before the name is history. Apparently there was a lot of hand-wringing and soul-searching in Finland about the deal, but the writing has evidently been on the wall ever since the infamous “burning platform” email by its CEO Stephen Elop, the former Microsoft man who will now go back to his old employer, taking Nokia with him. But is it really sad or bad that Nokia has died? The tech revolution has seen many next big things come and go. Blackberry might soon vanish, and Taiwanese handset maker HTC seems to have already enjoyed its moment in the sun. MySpace is forgotten. Kodak will be soon. Creative destruction is rife elsewhere, too. Numerous high-street mainstays have been wiped out in recent years. Ditto Detroit. The world is changing quickly.

Mayfly businesses
Some hard-nosed capitalists argue that firms have a sell-by date and that we shouldn’t mourn their death. That’s just the market being the market. This argument says that businesses are like mayflies, which flourish for a short time, then die. That’s life. Read more of this post

Laser-Focused CEOs Multiply With Promises From IPads to Macaroni; The phrase “laser-focused” appeared in more than 240 transcripts of earnings calls and investor events

Laser-Focused CEOs Multiply With Promises From IPads to Macaroni

Liam McGee has a special way to emphasize his commitment to creating value at the 203-year-old company he runs, Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG)

“Our team is laser-focused on execution,” he said on a March 2012 conference call, laying out plans to divest units and halt some annuity sales. It was one of at least six events in the past two years when McGee used the language of technology to describe the insurer’s ability to aim its attention. He’s not alone. From children’s book publishers to organic-food purveyors, chief executive officers are increasingly beaming light on their targets. The phrase “laser-focused” appeared in more than 240 transcripts of earnings calls and investor events compiled by Bloomberg this year, a pace that eclipses the 287 in all of 2012. Read more of this post

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