As many as 7,000 Swiss private banking jobs could be culled if European regulation aimed at improving market infrastructure goes ahead as planned

September 29, 2013 6:12 am

Swiss private banks face 7,000 job cull

By Madison Marriage

As many as 7,000 Swiss private banking jobs could be culled if European regulation aimed at improving market infrastructure goes ahead as planned. The Swiss Bankers Association has warned that heavy job losses are inevitable if the proposals, which would force Swiss banks to set up branches or subsidiaries in the EU to access onshore clients, are approved. The proposals form part of the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, which aims to improve investor protection and competition across Europe. Read more of this post

Siemens CEO Kaeser Cuts 15,000 Jobs to Catch Up With GE

Siemens CEO Kaeser Cuts 15,000 Jobs to Catch Up With GE

Siemens AG (SIE)’s new Chief Executive Officer Joe Kaeser will cut more jobs than initially planned to boost earnings after the failure to catch up with rivals General Electric Co. (GE) and ABB Ltd. (ABB) cost his predecessor the job. The company will eliminate 15,000 jobs, representing 4 percent of its 370,000 workers worldwide, and a third of the cuts will come in the German home market, Siemens spokesman Oliver Santen said by phone yesterday. He declined to give more regional details. Siemens, Europe’s largest engineering company, had initially planned some 8,000 job cuts globally, a person familiar with the program told Bloomberg in October. Read more of this post

Jimmy Choo founder Tamara Mellon puts the boot into private equity; They come in and raid – raid your bank account and take your accomplishments. It’s all about fattening the pig for the slaughter, with no care about the people or the product. They came in, their only focus was their exit strategy, [and] on exit, you are thrown to the wolves.”

Jimmy Choo founder Tamara Mellon puts the boot into private equity

The Jimmy Choo co-founder wants to boot private equity out of fashion.


Tamara Mellon co-founded Jimmy Choo in 1996, after a stint as Vogue’s accessories editor Photo: Rex Features

By Katherine Rushton

9:00PM BST 28 Sep 2013

The first fashion collection Tamara Mellon will produce under her own name includes an extraordinary garment called “Sweet Revenge” – a pair of tight-fitting leather leggings that end with high-heeled boots. The Jimmy Choo co-founder is counting on this item to put her new venture on the map. The name is deliberate. It is, she says with a wry laugh, an example of the kind of innovation that was all but bled out of the luxury shoe label before her departure in 2011. Mellon, 46, takes a dim view of the private equity industry’s compatibility with the fashion business, or any creative endeavour for that matter, after a bruising decade at Jimmy Choo while it was being passed between different private equity owners. “They’re the sociopaths of investment banking,” she says. “They come in and raid – raid your bank account and take your accomplishments. It’s all about fattening the pig for the slaughter, with no care about the people or the product. “I’ve been through three private equity deals, and it was the same thing, every time. They came in, their only focus was their exit strategy, [and] on exit, you are thrown to the wolves.” Read more of this post

How Converse went from bankruptcy to a $1.4 billion business

How Converse went from bankruptcy to a $1.4 billion business

By Laura Lorenzetti September 28, 2013


As its parent company commands, Converse is just doing it. The 105-year-old brand has grown at breakneck pace since Nike rescued the company in 2003, two years after it filed for bankruptcy. Since its cultural heyday in the ’80s, the hip sneaker has experienced a rebirth. On Thursday, Converse posted an 18% increase in revenue over the past three months, a shining star on an overall impressive balance sheet for Nike. From now on Converse will report its earnings separately, heralding the brand’s standalone success. In 2002, the flailing company reported just $205 million in revenue. Since, Nike has transformed the brand into a $1.4 billion business—and this year’s revenue is on pace to surpass that number. Converse has seen the strongest growth in the North America, China and the UK, where it’s made significant investments over the past several years. How was Converse able to turn around?

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VF Corporation’s TSR-Led Transformation

VF Corporation’s TSR-Led Transformation

by Gerry Hansell, Jeff Kotzen, Eric Olsen, Frank Plaschke, and Hady Farag

SEPTEMBER 17, 2013

VF Corporation is the world’s largest apparel company, with a market cap of $22.8 billion and a stable of strong brands ranging from heritage businesses Lee and Wrangler jeans to more recently acquired lifestyle brands such as The North Face and Timberland. Over the past seven, five, and three years, VF has delivered a TSR of 19 percent, 21 percent, and 30 percent, respectively, making it a consistent top performer among its direct peers. (See Exhibit 1.) The company just missed making our top-ten rankings for the broader global consumer durables and apparel industry by half a percentage point; it came in at number 11.

Value_Creators_2013_art3_Ex1_lg_tcm80-143776 Value_Creators_2013_art3_Ex2_lg_tcm80-143779 Value_Creators_2013_art3_Ex3_lg_tcm80-143783 Value_Creators_2013_art3_Ex4_lg_tcm80-143787 Read more of this post

Managing the “Unmanageable”: Radical Innovation

Managing the “Unmanageable”: Radical Innovation

by David Küpper, Markus Lorenz, Andreas Maurer, and Kim Wagner

SEPTEMBER 25, 2013


In recent decades, one of management’s objectives has been to add discipline to innovation. Companies have greatly improved the efficiency of new-product development, and managers have been able to draw on a variety of processes, methods, and tools to maximize the return on their R&D investment. Unfortunately, these advances have had the unintended consequence of discouraging radical innovation: technical breakthroughs that render existing products obsolete or that create new markets altogether. In this report, we look at products—not services or business model innovation. Unlike incremental innovation, radical innovation involves a great deal of uncertainty—the very quality that is not tolerated by most management techniques. As a result of this intolerance for uncertainty, companies have been undertaking less and less radical innovation. A recent study by the Product Development and Management Association found that radical innovation accounted for only 10 percent of an average company’s innovation portfolio, down from 21 percent in 1990. As the new productivity measures gained traction, managers naturally gravitated to projects that succeeded under the new constraints. More and more, breakthrough projects with high failure rates and less predictability lost out when investment priorities were set.

Managing_Unmanagable_Ex1_Large_tcm80-145175 Managing_Unmanagable_Ex2_Large_tcm80-145178 Managing_Unmanagable_Ex3_Large_tcm80-145181 Managing_Unmanagable_Ex4_Large_tcm80-145184 Managing_Unmanagable_Ex5_Large_tcm80-145187 Read more of this post

The Most Innovative Companies 2013: Lessons from Leaders

The Most Innovative Companies 2013: Lessons from Leaders

by Kim Wagner, Eugene Foo, Hadi Zablit, and Andrew Taylor

SEPTEMBER 26, 2013

“Innovate or die,” goes the oft-cited corporate cry, and according to The Boston Consulting Group’s most recent survey of innovation and new-product development, companies across all industries and regions have taken the admonition to heart. Respondents ranked the importance of innovation higher than ever, building on a trend of the last five years.

( has explored the state of innovation with eight surveys since 2005. The data collected from more than 1,500 senior executives each year allow for comparisons over time as well as across regions and industries. The findings capture executives’ views of their own innovation plans, as well as their opinions of other companies’ innovation track records. As in past surveys, the 2013 results reveal the 50 companies that executives rank as the most innovative, weighted to incorporate relative three-year shareholder returns, revenue growth, and margin growth. The list has its share, as always, of well-known technology innovators (especially among the top ten), but automakers also show a strong surge, a trend that began last year and gathered strength in the current results. This time, we also asked respondents to identify up-and-coming companies at which innovation is driving rapid growth.

Most-Innovative-Companies-2013_ex1_large_tcm80-144756 Most-Innovative-Companies-2013_ex2_large_tcm80-144759 Most-Innovative-Companies-2013_ex3_large_tcm80-144762 Most-Innovative-Companies-2013_ex4_large_tcm80-144765 Most-Innovative-Companies-2013_ex5_large_tcm80-144768 Most-Innovative-Companies-2013_ex6_large_tcm80-144741 Most-Innovative-Companies-2013_ex-sidebar_large_tcm80-144753 Most-Innovative-Companies-2013_ex7_large_tcm80-144744 Read more of this post

How Value Patterns Shape Priorities for Value Creation

How Value Patterns Shape Priorities for Value Creation

by Gerry Hansell, Jeff Kotzen, Eric Olsen, Frank Plaschke, and Hady Farag

SEPTEMBER 17, 2013

How do successful companies make the right choices in order to create attractive shareholder value? There is no one simple or universal formula. Companies as different as the North American retailer of high-end yoga and exercise clothes Lululemon Athletica, the Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Company, and the U.S. industrial supplier W.W. Grainger all delivered shareholder returns over the past five years that were strong enough to earn them a spot in our top-ten rankings in their respective industries. But they illustrate the diversity of company starting positions, and each achieved superior performance following quite different paths.

Value_Creators_2013_art2_Ex1_lg_tcm80-143751 Value_Creators_2013_art2_Ex2_lg_tcm80-143754 Value_Creators_2013_art2_Ex3_lg_tcm80-143757 Value_Creators_2013_art2_Ex4_lg_tcm80-143760 Read more of this post

Unlocking New Sources of Value Creation

Unlocking New Sources of Value Creation

by Gerry Hansell, Jeff Kotzen, Eric Olsen, Frank Plaschke, and Hady Farag

SEPTEMBER 17, 2013

Unlocking New Sources of Value Creation is the fifteenth annual report in the Value Creators series published by The Boston Consulting Group. Each year, we offer commentary on trends in the global economy and world capital markets, share BCG’s latest research and thinking on value creation, describe our experiences working with clients to materially improve their value-creation performance, and publish detailed empirical rankings of the performance of the world’s top value creators. This year’s report offers four different perspectives on successful value creation. We begin by analyzing the recent disconnect between uneven global economic growth and buoyant global equity markets. Next, we describe how senior executives can use value patterns, a concept we introduced in last year’s report, to identify the most appropriate “unlocks” to create new value. We follow with a detailed case study of how one BCG client, the branded apparel company VF, has used a focus on total shareholder return to transform the company’s business, accelerate its growth to the point that today it is the world’s largest apparel company, and deliver shareholder value at the top end of its peer group. Finally, we conclude with our annual rankings of the top ten value creators worldwide and in 25 industries for the five-year period from 2008 through 2012.

Value_Creators_2013_Ex1_lg_tcm80-143734 Value_Creators_2013_Ex2_lg_tcm80-143737 Value_Creators_2013_SidebarEx_lg_tcm80-143740 Read more of this post

The 2013 Value Creators Rankings (BCG)

The 2013 Value Creators Rankings

by Gerry Hansell, Jeff Kotzen, Eric Olsen, Frank Plaschke, and Hady Farag

SEPTEMBER 17, 2013

The 2013 Value Creators rankings are based on an analysis of total shareholder return at 1,616 global companies for the five-year period from 2008 through 2012. To arrive at this sample, we began with TSR data for more than 9,000 companies provided by Thomson Reuters. We eliminated all companies that were not listed on a world stock exchange for the full five years of our study or that did not have at least 25 percent of their shares available on public capital markets. We further refined the sample by organizing the remaining companies into 25 industry groups and establishing an appropriate market-valuation hurdle to eliminate the smallest companies in each industry. (The size of the market valuation hurdle for each industry can be found in the tables in “Industry Rankings(”) In addition to analyzing our 1,616-company comprehensive sample, we separately evaluated those companies with market valuations of more than $50 billion. We have included rankings for these large-cap companies in “Global Rankings (”

Value_Creators_2013_AppEx1_lg_tcm80-143906 Value_Creators_2013_AppEx2_lg_tcm80-143909 Read more of this post

Cracking the Code of Practical Creativity

Cracking the Code of Practical Creativity

SEPTEMBER 23, 2013

Nearly all organizations and their leaders feel the imperative to grow and to innovate and thereby to generate value for shareholders and society. Responding to this imperative demands creativity and discipline in equal measure—and most executives would say that, of the two, creativity is the harder to come by. BCG creativity experts Luc de Brabandere and Alan Iny, who have helped innumerable clients generate their next big breakthrough ideas, have detailed their approach in their new book, Thinking in New Boxes: A New Paradigm for Business Creativity. They recently shared their thoughts on how to drive practical creativity. Read more of this post

Playing to Win in Emerging Markets: Multinational Executive Survey Reveals Gap Between Ambition and Execution

Playing to Win in Emerging Markets
Multinational Executive Survey Reveals Gap Between Ambition and Execution
by Amitabh Mall, David C. Michael, Lori Spivey, Andrew Tratz, Bernd Waltermann, and Jeff Walters

SEPTEMBER 13, 2013


Emerging markets are more important than ever, and they make up a large share of many multinational companies’ revenues and growth. Yet even so, multinationals have not mastered these markets. That’s because they are not playing to win. The BCG Globalization Readiness Survey, a recent poll of more than 150 top executives in multinational companies, revealed a large gap between the aspirations of these companies in emerging markets and their performance on key capabilities—especially when it comes to attracting and retaining local talent.

Playing-Win-Emerging-Markets-ex1_large_tcm80-143203 Playing-Win-Emerging-Markets-ex2_large_tcm80-143191 Playing-Win-Emerging-Markets-ex3_large_tcm80-143194 Playing-Win-Emerging-Markets-ex4_large_tcm80-143197 Playing-Win-Emerging-Markets-ex5_large_tcm80-143200

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Shortages send milk prices in China to 2nd highest in world

Shortages send milk prices in China to 2nd highest in world

Yeh Wen-yi and Staff Reporter


The price of raw milk in China has increased since July due to shortages in supply, as the price of the commodity in the country has become the second most expensive in the world behind only Sweden, according to media reports. China Mengniu Dairy Company reported that the price of raw milk has increased 12% on average and domestic dairy companies including Mengniu, Bright Dairy and Sanyuan have given notice to supermarkets about potential price increases. Read more of this post

Is BlackBerry Ltd too Canadian to fail?

Is BlackBerry Ltd too Canadian to fail?

Terence Corcoran | 27/09/13 5:33 PM ET
More from Terence Corcoran | @terencecorcoran

Saving BlackBerry to keep it Canadian ignores the success in our history of failure

Some already call him the Warren Buffett of Canada, but if Prem Watsa hopes to hold on to that flattering label he might want to drop the Canadian nationalism that seems to be driving his attempt to take control of BlackBerry Ltd. A big nationalist spirit pops up whenever the head of Fairfax Financial talks about his US$4.7-billion plan to buy all the outstanding shares of the world famous smart phone maker. As he put it the other day, “One of the reasons I went on the [BlackBerry] board, and I said it publicly, was to keep the company in Canada and to make sure it survives and exists in Canada. It is one of Canada’s most successful companies. Companies do fall on hard times and they come back again and we expect this company to do the same.” Read more of this post

In BlackBerry’s hometown, coming layoffs hardly the economy killing tragedy many might have expected; the Kitchener-Waterloo region is now a fluid tech hub and appears to be capable of not only weathering the storm, but finding a silver lining to the clouds hovering over BlackBerry

In BlackBerry’s hometown, coming layoffs hardly the economy killing tragedy many might have expected

Matt Hartley | 28/09/13 | Last Updated: 27/09/13 6:34 PM ET

Since its inception, there has always existed an inextricable link between the legend of Research In Motion and the small Southern Ontario city that plays home to the now struggling Canadian technology company’s global headquarters: Waterloo, Ontario. RIM’s emergence as a powerful force in the mobile world, thanks to the success of its BlackBerry smartphones, not only mirrored, but helped accelerate the elevation of Waterloo’s status to that of an internationally recognized hub for technology and innovation. There’s no question that BlackBerry — formerly known as Research In Motion — helped put Waterloo on the map as a technology hub, and just a few years ago, the spectre of substantial layoffs at the smartphone company could have proved disastrous for the local tech industry. Read more of this post

China still relies heavily on the import of core techniques and technologies, with 80% of the integrated circuit (IC) chips used in the country being sourced from abroad

China relies heavily on IC chip imports

Staff Reporter


China still relies heavily on the import of core techniques and technologies, with 80% of the integrated circuit (IC) chips used in the country being sourced from abroad, the Shanghai-based First Financial Daily reports. Gu Wenjun, a senior analyst at market-research firm HIS iSuppli, said China’s imports of IC chips amounted to US$192 billion last year, far more than the US$120 billion spent on oil imports. He added that the country has an acute shortage of high-end chips and its domestic enterprises still cannot develop them due to their weak research and development capabilities, limited capital investment, and lack of production experience. Read more of this post

Asian social networks move to conquer Europe

Asian social networks move to conquer Europe

POSTED: 29 Sep 2013 12:08
Move aside Facebook and Skype. Asian social networks, already hugely popular on their continent, have set their sights on Europe where they could prove stiff competition for their US rivals. China’s WeChat and Japan’s Line, which let users make free calls, send instant messages and post funny short videos and photos, take attributes from Facebook, Skype and and WhatsApp and roll them all together. This week, Line executives travelled to France and Italy for a public relations offensive aimed at raising awareness of the mobile app, which already counts some 230 million users around the world including 47 million in Japan alone. Read more of this post

50 Powerful Statistics About Tech Mega Trends Affecting Every Business

50 Powerful Statistics About Tech Mega Trends Affecting Every Business

by  on Sep 23, 2013

There are five mega trends impacting the IT departments of every company: Mobile, Social, Cloud, Apps and Big Data. In this presentation, Vala Afshar reveals ten startling stats for each mega trend.

How Popeyes went upscale: Here’s how you turn around a fast-food brand, according to the Popeyes playbook.

How Popeyes went upscale

By Lydia DePillis, Updated: September 27, 2013

Over the past few years, on the once-dingy midtown strip of 14th Street in Washington D.C., corner stores and carry-outs have yielded to upscale bars and boutiques. You can walk for blocks and blocks without finding so much as a sandwich for less than the price of a movie ticket. Until, that is, you hit Popeyes — the greasy chicken ‘n biscuits fast food joint that’s been around for three decades, and feels increasingly out of place as vintage clothing stores, glistening condos, and farm-to-table restaurants spring up on all sides. Inside, however, the franchise is undergoing a transformation of its own. Read more of this post

Chart of the day: US breweries have exploded, from 89 in the late 1970s to more than 2,500 today, a 2,750% increase!

Chart of the day: US breweries have exploded, from 89 in the late 1970s to more than 2,500 today, a 2,750% increase!

Mark J. Perry | September 22, 2013, 10:45 am


Beer drinkers rejoice: There are now more breweries in the US than ever before – 2,538 as of June 2013 (including 2,483 craft breweries) – according to the Brewers Association (“A Passionate Voice for Craft Brewers”), see chart above. Compared to the low of only 89 US breweries in the late 1970s, there’s been a 2,750% increase in US breweries, primarily because of an explosion of new craft breweries. Great Stagnation? Not for US beer drinkers – there’s never been a better time to be alive than today, and it keeps getting better all the time.

7 Signs That the Craft-Beer Craze Has Gone Totally Mainstream

By Brad Tuttle @bradrtuttleSept. 22, 20133 Comments

From Hollywood to Costco to your state senator, everyone seems to want to be associated with craft beer lately. Here are a few indications that craft beer can no longer be classified as a niche category with limited appeal to the masses.

There’s a Craft-Beer Billionaire
Amid the soaring popularity of craft beer, hundreds of new breweries launch annually and sales have been rising 15% or so per year. The phenomenon has allowed thousands of entrepreneurs to make decent livings, and it’s made a few craft-beer pioneers extremely rich. Most obviously, Jim Koch, the high-profile founder of the Boston Beer Co. (maker of Samuel Adams), became a billionaire after shares of company hit new highs last week, Bloomberg News reported. The Boston Beer Co. accounts for 1.3% of all beer sold in the U.S., making it America’s largest craft brewer and the fifth largest brewer overall, according to the Brewers Association. The company’s stock price has increased tenfold since the middle of 2009. Read more of this post

Tangled web of deceit, debt and lawsuits: An alleged fraud ring in Australia seems to have run a sophisticated scheme

Tangled web of deceit, debt and lawsuits

September 28, 2013

Ben Butler

An alleged fraud ring seems to have run a sophisticated scheme, writes Ben Butler.


They were the scammers so slick they ripped off a fraudster, if the allegations against them are correct. Stephen George Snowden is a convicted criminal who built part of his nursing home empire using $7 million he admits taking from Westpac by exploiting a flaw in the bank’s systems. But he appears to have met his match when he ran up against an alleged fraud ring connected to Melbourne solicitor John Voitin. It is alleged that a sham loan made in September last year by a company controlled by Clare Sowersby, Mr Voitin’s wife, was part of a scheme to wrest control of six nursing homes from Mr Snowden. Read more of this post

Heavy Metal-Loving Governor Tipped for Indonesian Presidency

Heavy Metal-Loving Governor Tipped for Indonesian Presidency

By Olivia Rondonuwu on 12:05 pm September 29, 2013.


In this photograph taken on August 25, 2013, Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo (C), is mobbed by rock fans as he arrived to watch the concert of Metallica rock band at the Bung Karno stadium in Jakarta. (AFP Photo/Olivia Rondonuwu)

Wearing a black T-shirt and leather jacket, the governor of Jakarta thrusts his fist into the air among a sweat-soaked, headbanging crowd at a concert by rock band Metallica. If being among the people is unusual for an Indonesian politician, doing so at a heavy metal gig is one of the reasons 52 year-old Joko Widodo has quickly risen to the top of opinion polls as a figure regarded as outside the establishment. “I listen to loud metal songs, from Metallica to Led Zeppelin, to Napalm Death… because rock is my passion,” the skinny governor of the Indonesian, told AFP ahead of the concert.The city chief’s laid-back demeanor hides a potent political force and is part of the down-to-earth charm that has captivated the nation and shaken up a political arena dominated by aloof figures from the era of dictator Suharto. Read more of this post

How Many ‘Greater Fools’ Does It Take to Make a Bubble?

Sep 27, 2013


How Many ‘Greater Fools’ Does It Take to Make a Bubble?



Where do market “bubbles” come from? A team of neuroscientists and economists has produced the first scientific evidence for what prudent investors have long believed: Paying attention to what others are doing is the easiest way for traders to get carried away. This new research can’t prevent the mass contagions that lead to bubbles. But it might help you step back before you get swept up in the next one. Economists have struggled and failed to explain why markets turn into manias. Some have denied bubbles exist; others have argued bubbles must somehow be “rational.” Often, the argument is that bubbles are caused by “uninformed” traders, or “dumb money,” while the “smart money” sits on the sidelines. The latest findings suggest, however, that bubbles might be caused not by traders who lack information but by those who have too much.

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New Warning Issued on China Local Government Debt

September 27, 2013, 2:04 p.m. ET

New Warning Issued on China Local Government Debt


BEIJING—China’s local government debt has nearly doubled since 2010, an official newspaper reported Friday, raising fresh concerns about potential repayment problems and the health of the banking system. The state-run Economic Information Daily, quoting the results of a government audit, didn’t give a figure for the new level of local debt. But a doubling of the total found in the last audit in 2010 would put the tally at around 20 trillion yuan ($3.28 trillion)—or almost 39% of the nation’s gross domestic product last year. China has been concerned that local-government debt levels were rising quickly as economic growth slowed and local administrations and the companies they hold stepped up borrowing to give the economy a helping hand. Most of China’s local governments are forbidden from borrowing money directly, so they have created local-financing vehicles to skirt the restrictions and raise funds for infrastructure and other projects. Those vehicles racked up massive debt levels in 2009 and 2010 as China rolled out a giant infrastructure-based stimulus program in the wake of the financial crisis. Read more of this post

2,564 Birthday anniversary of Confucius celebrated around China

Birthday anniversary of Confucius celebrated around China

(Xinhua)    16:44, September 28, 2013

A performer takes part in a memorial ceremony to mark the 2,564th birthday anniversary of Confucius at the Confucius Temple in Qufu, east China’s Shandong Province, Sept. 28, 2013. Qufu is known as the hometown of the great Chinese philosopher and educator Confucius. (Xinhua/Guo Xulei)


Have-Nots Squeezed and Stacked in Hong Kong

September 27, 2013

Have-Nots Squeezed and Stacked in Hong Kong



In Hong Kong, a Cubicle to Call Home: One of Asia’s premier banking, trading and logistics centers is a difficult place for low-income residents to live.

HONG KONG — On the first floor of a hulking residential building, at the end of a dimly lighted corridor, a narrow door opens up into Hong Kong’s economic underbelly. Twenty-two men live in this particular 450-square-foot apartment in the neighborhood of Mong Kok, in cubicles each hardly larger than a single bed, stacked above one another along two narrow passageways that end in a dank toilet and shower room. Each cupboardlike cubicle has a sliding door, a small television, some shelves and a thin mattress. Most of the men have lived here for months, some for years. “Luckily there is air-conditioning. If not, sleeping would be impossible,” said Ng Chi-hung, 55, who is unemployed and occupies one of the bottom bunks. “If you live in such environment, you have to adapt to everything.” Read more of this post

Book Review: ‘David and Goliath’ by Malcolm Gladwell

September 27, 2013, 6:07 p.m. ET

Book Review: ‘David and Goliath’ by Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell too often presents as proven laws what are just intriguing possibilities and musings about human behavior.


David Boies is the super-lawyer who represented IBM against the U.S. government, the U.S. government against Microsoft, Al Gore against George W. Bush and gay marriage against California’s Proposition 8. A man at the top of his profession, presiding over a firm of 200 lawyers, he would seem to be a metaphorical Goliath. But Malcolm Gladwell sees this literal David as a figurative David too, because Mr. Boies came from humble origins and faced mighty obstacles to success. Read more of this post

The “Breaking Bad” school: The best show on television is also a first-rate primer on business

The “Breaking Bad” school: The best show on television is also a first-rate primer on business

Sep 28th 2013 |From the print edition

THERE are obvious reasons for watching “Breaking Bad”: for once the Hollywood hype surrounding the television series is justified. But there is also a less obvious reason: it is one of the best studies available of the dynamics of modern business. A Harvard MBA will set you back $90,000 (plus two years’ lost income). You can buy a deluxe edition of all five seasons of “Breaking Bad”, complete with a plastic money barrel, for $209.99, or a regular edition for less than $80. Read more of this post

James Packer’s former money man shares the billionaire’s top tips: You only need one or two very good ideas per year

Matthew Smith Reporter

James Packer’s former money man shares the billionaire’s top tips

Published 27 September 2013 10:13, Updated 27 September 2013 10:14


Paul Skamvougera: You only need one or two very good ideas per year

It’s been a rapid rise for Paul Skamvougeras, who took over from Perpetual’s star fund manager John Sevior in July 2011. Despite his background in managing money for James Packer, investors weren’t immediately convinced with the replacement. “He might be good but is he Sevior good?” they asked. Fast forward two years and its “John who?” after “Skamma” notched up a 31.2 per cent return to July 31. Now he’s been asked to step into the breach once more following the departure of Charlie Lanchester. Today Skamvougeras talks about his three biggest positions and what he learnt from James Packer.  Read more of this post

Howard Schultz: What Next, Starbucks? The coffee CEO on the future of the company, from modern drive-thrus to wine and kale

September 27, 2013, 8:24 p.m. ET

Howard Schultz: What Next, Starbucks?

The coffee CEO on the future of the company, from modern drive-thrus to wine and kale


Starbucks SBUX +0.19% CEO Howard Schultz says he’s never been a “coffee person.” Sitting in his sprawling Seattle office overlooking Puget Sound, he says that what he’s always been is a merchant. It’s a title he is particularly comfortable with one morning earlier this month. A few hours before, his company’s stock price reached $76.24 a share, the highest it had been in its 42-year history. Read more of this post

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