Business and Leadership Ltd.

Goldman Sachs has hit the headlines again today, and for once the story does not concern the generous remuneration packages awarded to its staff. According to Felix Salmon at Reuters, Henry Paulson (pictured), the former US Treasury Secretary who was at the helm when the financial crisis hit in the autumn of 2008, held a meeting with Goldman Sachs’s board in Moscow in which he revealed details of future government policy. The revelation is contained in a new book, Too Big To Fail, written by New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin, which describes the events leading to the collapse of Lehman Brothers last year. Sorkin’s book alleges that Paulson…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

The US Treasury has criticised the Chinese Government for what it sees as a lack of flexibility in the Chinese currency, the yuan. In its Semi-Annual Report to Congress on International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies published yesterday, the US Treasury also said that China’s renewed accumulation of foreign exchange reserves risks unwinding some of the progress made in reducing global imbalances when stimulus packages are eventually withdrawn and demand by China’s trading partners recovers. Both of the rigidity of the yuan and China’s reacceleration of reserve accumulation are “serious concerns” that should be corrected to help ensure a stronger, more balanced global economy, the US Treasury said. It also…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

The US publisher McGraw Hill is to sell its popular business magazine BusinessWeek to Bloomberg . The acquisition will strengthen Bloomberg’s online, television and mobile products, Bloomberg Chairman Peter Grauer said in a statement yesterday. “BusinessWeek will be a powerful addition to our portfolio of leading news and information services,” he added. McGraw-Hill said the transaction would enable it to continue focusing resources on building the size, scale and global presence of its brands. Details of the deal were not disclosed. However, BusinessWeek cites “knowledgeable sources” in its story on the deal, saying that Bloomberg’s cash offer is in the US$2m to the US$5m range and that it has agreed to assume liabilities,…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Ireland’s recovery from recession will be slower than elsewhere, the Central Bank said today as it acknowledged hopes are rising that the global downturn in European and the world economies has now reached a turning point. However, despite the gloomy comparisons to other economies, the bank did raise its forecasts for Irish economic growth in its latest quarterly bulletin. The bank’s latest forecast suggests that, while the pace of decline in economic activity is moderating, the weakness in Irish economic activity is set to persist into the first-half of 2010. However, it has raised its forecast for economic growth in 2009 and 2010 slightly from its last quarterly bulletin. The…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Workers at Coca-Cola HBC (Bottlers) Ireland have begun industrial action today at the company’s main Irish distribution centres. Pickets have been placed on Coca-Cola HBC depots in Tuam, Cork, Dublin, Waterford and Tipperary. The strike follows the decision by Coca-Cola HBC to outsource 130 jobs to third-party operators. According to SIPTU, last week the 130 Coca-Cola HBC drivers and warehouse staff involved in the dispute received letters from three private transport companies offering them new employment at what the trade union described as “greatly disimproved pay and working conditions and containing threats of redundancy”. The companies, Brian Daly Transport Services Ltd of Ratoath County Meath, Liam Carroll Haulage Ltd of…

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Rupert Murdoch

One of the world’s biggest media companies, News Corporation, today revealed that fourth-quarter operating income had slumped by over 30pc to US$3.6bn, a US$1.7bn decline from the record US$5.3bn in operating income reported during the same quarter a year ago. The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch (pictured) also warned in a conference call following the results that the group is planning to charge for news. News Corp, whose assets include TV station Fox, social-networking website MySpace, newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, and the 20th Century Fox film studio, reported a fourth-quarter net loss of US$203m (US$0.08 per share) compared with net income…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Cuts of up to €5bn in public expenditure are to be proposed to the Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan TD, later this week by the group charged with identifying where savings can be made in the public purse. The Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes, which has been nicknamed An Bord Snip Nua, will make over 400 recommendations on where money can be saved in public expenditure, the Irish Times has reported this morning. The group, which is chaired by UCD economist Colm McCarthy, was set up in late 2008 to review public services staffing levels and spending. According to the paper, sources say that proposed cuts…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Consumer confidence across the EU and euro area has improved for the third month in a row, according to the latest Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) from the European Commission. The ESI increased by 3.2 points in the EU and by 3.1 points in the euro area, to 71.1 and 73.3 respectively. However, despite this continued rise, the indicator still stands below the lows reached in the last major economic dip for the region, towards the end of 1992. The increase in the ESI resulted from an improvement in sentiment in services and among consumers, the European Commission said. The majority of member states registered an improvement, the ESI showed. Among…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Elaine Geraghty has announced she is stepping down as chief executive of Newstalk 106-108FM and will be pursuing a PhD at Dublin Institute of Technology. The new chief executive of Newstalk will be Frank Cronin, who has represented Setanta Holdings on the board of Newstalk since 2002. Elaine Geraghty has been chief executive at Newstalk since 2005 having held a number of positions with the Communicorp Group since 1989. Geraghty led the station through the successful national licence application process and its move from a Dublin based news station into the first Irish national talk radio commercial operator. “Newstalk has made such progress and I have worked with a tremendous…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

At a time when few businesses can afford any more cashflow problems, international and Irish based ‘time thieves’ are targeting Irish businesses and exploiting weaknesses in their telecoms security to steal millions of euro annually, according to market intelligence from Minute Buyer, provider of telecoms solutions to the corporate market. The company has seen a significant increase in telephone fraud and hacking in Ireland over the last three months, according to Shaun Hayden, Director, Minute Buyer. He admits accurate fraud figures are nearly impossible to pin down because so many organisations are reluctant to talk about it publicly, bust says the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation estimates that time theft…

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