Monthly Archives: November 2009

John Gapper

China’s export-led growth strategy has been very successful in providing employment for people moving from the countryside to cities, and has provided strong GDP growth, but it has weaknesses that have become more apparent since last year’s financial crisis.

That was the impression I got on my recent visit there, as noted in my column a couple of weeks ago, and it is reinforced by reading the European Chamber report on severe over-capacity in Chinese industries such as wind power, steel-making and oil refining. Read more

John Gapper

The intrigues of the Murdoch family are always fascinating, especially since Rupert Murdoch wants one of his children to succeed him at the helm of News Corporation.

That makes Lachlan Murdoch’s sale this week of half his non-voting shares in News Corp, followed by a deal for his company to buy a 50 per cent share in Daily Mail & General Trust’s radio operations in Australia, an interesting event. Read more

John Gapper

The financial crisis has come full circle. Having started in Florida, home of speculative property development and sub-prime lending, it is culminating in Dubai, the most fragile of the United Arab Emirates.

The ambiguity over the financial strength of  Dubai,  a trading entrepot that relies on Abu Dhabi, the richest of the emirates, for financial backing ended on Wednesday with the disclosure that it wants investors to agree a debt standstill at Dubai World, its flagship holding companyRead more

John Gapper

pinn

My column in the FT this week is on the Cadbury takeover battle: Read more

John Gapper

Silicon Valley’s commitment to shareholder democracy – or to public shareholder democracy as opposed to the influence wielded by venture capital firms – does not seem to be strong.

The news that Facebook has established a dual-class share structure, converting its existing shareholders to Class B stock carrying 10 times the voting rights of Class A shares, suggests that (despite its denials) Facebook is readying itself for an initial public offering. Read more

John Gapper

There are sometimes doubts about US brands overseas and whether they enjoy the same influence and respect as they do at home. I wonder, however, whether the opposite is a bigger worry.

The thought is prompted by talking to senior executives of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, the US hotel chain that owns brands including Sheraton, Meridien, W, Westin, and St Regis. Read more

John Gapper

Rupert Murdoch’s talks with Microsoft about removing his newspapers’ stories from Google, and giving the rights to index them to Microsoft’s Bing, could be a pivotal moment in internet economics.

Mr Murdoch appears to be willing to sacrifice a lot of traffic to the websites of papers such as the Wall Street Journal and The Times in return for a payment from Microsoft. In effect, he would be swapping his revenue stream from online advertising with a payment from Microsoft for drawing visitors to Bing. Read more

John Gapper

Ingram Pinn illustration

My column in the FT this week is on Beijing’s rapid development: Read more