Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Academic push-up for Mone

Another week, another insecure tycoon feels the need to paper over a lack of academic qualifications by accepting an honorary degree (either the height of vanity or a begging letter – depending on if you’re giving or receiving).

This time University of Hertfordshire (Hatfield Technical College, as was) has doled out the award to Ultimo bra founder, Michelle Mone (possibly pictured below in the outfit she chose to receive the Chancellor).

Mone left school at 15 (to help support her ill father) but snubbing academia didn’t overly hinder her as she’s now supposed to be worth about £45m. Also receiving a gong was Tesco’s clothing boss, Terry Green. Sadly, there’s no room for a snap of him sporting the supermarket’s trolleys.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Sindy Column...

Joe Bloggs founder, Shami Ahmed, crops up in IG Group legal spat. For this week's column, click here.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Former BP man to go green?

Where next for Andrew Gowers, the former PR man for Lehman Brothers (deceased) and the humiliated BP, who it was revealed last weekend is to leave the oil major? Allied Irish?

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Kill Phil

When you're a Russian lawyer, who's been working on a case involving a reputed crime boss, there are some emails you really don’t want to see.
So when the message “KILLKILLKILL” flashed up on his computer screen, it might have caused a slight a tremor in the bowels of Alexander Dobrovinsky - the lawyer working on a tax claims case against the now-bankrupt cosmetics chain Arbat Prestige, involving charges against his client, Vladimir Nekrasov and Semyon Mogilevich (one of the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted" fugitives).
It wasn’t an instruction, however, but a marginally less traumatic message from PR Newswire to its subscribers, telling them to obliterate a dodgy Dobrovinsky press release on Philip Morris. Phew!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Sindy Column...

For this week's effort, click here.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Everybody needs good neighbours

I read that Chancellor, George Osborne, is ready to be a "good neighbour" to Ireland and will help bail out the country's stricken banking system.
Is that a U-turn? It's not what he told hacks onboard the Prime Ministerial plane on the Government's sales trip to China last week.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Fate tempting

Balfour Beatty shares have had a good run of late, but is it now time to sell?
Oh dear. These books are usually a precursor to dreadful news. Standard Life dumped its mutual status not long after the release of The Building of Europe's Largest Mutual Life Company. Standard Life 1825-2000. But nobody has yet trumped the classic example, which is (of course) BZW - The First 10 Years.
The bank failed to make its 12th birthday.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Sindy column...

For this week's column, click here.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Beyond Petroleum

Congratulations to Anthony Henshaw, who was named on Friday as the new chief sustainability officer (whatever that is) of controversial Indian mining group, Vedanta Resources. He might be busy, as the company is no stranger to the odd run-in with human rights campaigners and environmental groups, but Henshaw sounds experienced enough as the press release states he’s spent 30 years in the cement, oil and gas industries while naming his previous employer as buildings material group, Cemex.

When pushed, the company’s spinners add oil and gas groups Cuiaba and Transredes to Henshaw’s CV, but strangely they omit to mention the place where he worked in his last job but one. That would be BP, where he was involved in formulating “oil spill response” plans. Why omit that detail, I wonder?

Monday, 8 November 2010

Shooting the messenger

Brunswick, the self-regarding City PR firm, presided over the recent flotation of Ocado when it assisted the internet grocer's persistent claims that it might be worth as much as 275p a share (it ended up slashing the price to 180p). It then merrily spun away as the shares have slumped below 140p. Now a fellow Slacker emails with a rumour doing the rounds that Brunswick might be about to lose the account. So harsh.

Sindy Column...

For this weekend's effort, click here.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Our survey said...

In a mistake of colossal proportions, SlackBelly has been named as the sixth most influential UK finance blog. Let's just go over that statement again, because it might surprise an intelligent reader. Yes, old Slacky is the sixth most influential UK finance blog - and that's according to media monitoring company, Cision (who must have inserted this site following a long lunch).
Anyway, trailing little old me in this highly important survey is Stockopedia, Labour and Capital, Frisby’s Bulls And Bears and Bond Vigilantes.
What have they done to deserve such an insult?

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

MCC steals a cheeky single

Much talk about consumers bringing forward purchases to avoid the VAT rise in January. Is there a section of the UK that this move does not affect? Possibly not. Even MCC, the institution's institution, has brought forward the payment date of members' 2011 subs to December - just to avoid the hike.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Yu done it

Just one week into life as chief exec of a public company, and Betfair boss David Yu has dropped his first monumental clanger. In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph over the weekend, Yu claimed that Betfair is a "bookmaker" - a startling admission as up until now the betting exchange had angrily denied this charge.
Instead, the company always claimed to be a technology platform, which high street bookies say allows Betfair to pay "around three times less in tax and levy than traditional UK bookmakers".
Their lobbyists have all noticed this cock-up and are anxiously exploring ways to convert this open goal into a taxation victory. In fact, William Hill has just put out a press release on the Yu interview. It's title? "Betfair's Identity Crisis - just who are Yu, David?"
Very droll.

Sindy Column...

For this week's column - click here.