Monthly Archives: February 2009

John Gapper

Jeff Jarvis was not happy with my review of his book in the FT the other day, which is fair enough since I disagreed with him.

(Incidentally, I found the experience of meeting the person whose book you have just criticised on the morning the review is published rather disconcerting – we were both in Davos). Read more

John Gapper

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My FT column this week is on today’s announcement of a $500,000 salary cap for executives of financial institutions that get into serious trouble and are bailed out by the US government. I think it is both inevitable and justified: Read more

John Gapper

I like Sergio Marchionne’s attitude to Chrysler, the troubled US car company in which Fiat plans to take a 35 per cent stake in exchange for helping it to make small cars.

Most chief executives who form joint ventures such as this have extravagant promises for how they will transform the prospects of the company with which they are linking up. No so the boss of Fiat. Read more

John Gapper

So Sandy Weill, the former chief executive of Citigroup, has retreated from using the bank’s corporate jet fleet in the face of hostile headlines, notably “Citi’s Sky-High Arrogance” in the New York Post.

It is a further indication of the extreme inadvisability of companies and banks that have either been given public money, or are seeking it, allowing their executives to fly in Gulfstreams and the like. Read more

John Gapper

There is a fascinating interview in the FT today with Sir James Black, the scientist who helped to discover beta blockers and cimetidine, a stomach ulcer treatment. The thing I took from it was his extreme scepticism about drug company mergers, which seem to be revving up again.

Sir James view of mergers such as last week’s $68bn takeover by Pfizer of Wyeth is: Read more