Monthly Archives: February 2009

John Gapper

Having used my Kindle 2 for a couple of days, I can offer some thoughts on it. There are lots of reviews of the device around the place so I will focus on one aspect that is close to home – how it functions as an e-reader for newspapers.

This is not intended as the Kindle’s main use, which is to read electronic versions of books. However, you can subscribe to various papers and magazines, including the FT, and they are wirelessly delivered every morning. In the FT’s case, since the Kindle is currently a US-only device, it is the US edition. Read more

John Gapper

As an orange juice consumer, I have observed the uproar over the new Tropicana cartons with bemusement. Even before a revolt blew up, I wondered what on earth Tropicana was thinking. Read more

John Gapper

My FT column this week is on Rupert Murdoch: Read more

John Gapper

After attending the Kindle 2 launch the other day, I decided to buy one and so I have been awaiting its arrival, which is due fairly soon (or any minute now, to judge by the online reviews which are springing up).

In the meantime, I have been amusing myself by tracking my Kindle’s cross-country progress via UPS from the Amazon warehouse in Indiana where it was originally held. Read more

John Gapper

You cannot be half-pregnant, is the saying. The question with the US government’s likely conversion of some of its $45bn of preferred shares in Citigroup into an equity stake of up to 40 per cent is: can you claim half-paternity?

Somehow, I doubt it. The US administration does not want to nationalise troubled banks such as Citi and Bank of America but this move feels like a compromise that will not satisfy anyone and will probably lead to more intervention. Read more

John Gapper

Nespresso, Nestle’s brand of espresso coffee and coffee makers, seems to be going from strength to double strength, according to the company. The brand’s annual sales grew 30 per cent last year, taking them past the SFr2bn mark well ahead of schedule, the New York Times reports.

I wrote a column about the success of Nespresso and the similarities – such as the combination of products and services – that it bears to Apple’s iTunes and iPod (and indeed iPhone) combination. It appeared about a year ago and, despite the recession, Nespresso is still doing well. Read more

John Gapper

These are interesting times at Goldman Sachs, perhaps the most interesting since the convulsion that shook the firm in 1994, when it was still a partnership and Stephen Friedman stepped down abruptly as its senior partner, provoking a wave of other departures.

The announcement this week of the departure of Jon Winkelried, its president and co-chief operating officer with Gary Cohn, has set off a flurry of questions about what is going on at Goldman. The FT reported this morning that Goldman’s bankers are worried that this could tip the balance of power too far towards its traders. Read more

John Gapper

I note that the UK is moving in a gingerly fashion towards abolishing paper cheques. The Payments Council, an odd quango that is responsible for selling the idea of phasing out cheques by 2018 is already ruffling feathers among small businesses and older people.

Coincidentally, the Bank of England Museum held a party this week to commemorate the signing of the first cheque (or check, as the Americans have it) 350 years ago. Read more