Monthly Archives: December 2008

John Gapper

This is not exactly news, but I note it anyway. I have just been walking through SoHo in New York at the start of what should be one of the busiest shopping weeks in the year, leading up to Christmas (and Hanukkah).

In practice, the streets were easy to walk around and I would say that fully half of the shops had Sale notices in the windows, several advertising up to 50 per cent off some goods. That does not bode well for retailers’ holiday sales. Read more

John Gapper

The alleged fraud of $50bn at Bernard Madoff’s investment advisory business will send a scare through the fund-of-funds that put investors’ money in hedge funds in return for a fee, but the implications for hedge funds are less obvious.

His business, although hedge fund-like, was not structured like most hedge funds, and there would have been more safeguards if it had been. It would be very hard for most hedge funds to operate Ponzi schemes, as Mr Madoff is alleged to have done. Read more

John Gapper

I have written a column for the Weekend FT on government bail-outs and industrial policy:

The failure of the Detroit bail-out bill in the Senate was caused by tensions between right and left, Republicans from the south and Democrats from the unionised rust belt, and purists and pragmatists. Above all, however, there is confusion about what governments should do. Read more

John Gapper

Sony’s PlayStation 3 is not doing very well at all.

Bernard Madoff’s alleged “giant Ponzi scheme”Read more

John Gapper

I think Jim Surowiecki is right that a government attempting to set precise wage levels as part of a rescue package – as the Senate Republicans were trying to do with the ill-fated Detroit bail-out – is less than ideal.

He puts it this wayRead more

John Gapper

Further to my column on US newspapers below (and the Drudge link to it) I did not have the same experience as Gideon Rachman of Drudge readers.

True, I have been receiving a few emails suggesting that it would be a good idea if the FT went out of business and I lost my job (one, for example, starts: “You half-wits in the industry still don’t get it.”) Read more

John Gapper

Well, I think I had that coming.

Having suggested in a recent column that Matt Drudge was losing influence, I was awaiting some response. Read more

John Gapper

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My FT column this week is on the problems of US newspapers and what society will – and will not – lose by their disappearance. Read more