Monthly Archives: December 2009

John Gapper

Guy Hands’ attempt to escape the winner’s curse by taking legal action against Citigroup over his badly timed 2007 £4bn acquisition of EMI strikes me as a hostage to fortune.

If the lawsuit succeeds, it could strike fear into investment bankers who try to push up the price their clients gain in auctions by giving all bidders the impression that others are keen to buy. Read more

John Gapper

Is manufacturing going the way of digital industries such as technology and media, where anyone with a good idea can distribute it cheaply around the world?

That is the latest notion popularised by Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine, who previously brought us The Long Tail and FreeRead more

John Gapper

Accenture has dropped Tiger Woods, along with the posters that I discussed earlierRead more

John Gapper

Jeff Immelt’s speech last week at the West Point military academy last week was most notable for his criticism of the shift to “meanness and greed” in business leadership. As I noted last week, it expressed the frustration of many industrial companies at excesses on Wall Street.

But Mr Immelt also made broader arguments about the need for the US to turn away its reliance on consumer consumption and services in order to regain competitiveness: Read more

John Gapper

Goldman Sachs’ changes to its bonus structure for its 30 most senior executives strikes me as, if not a perfect scheme, a solid step in the right direction.

The main flaw is that it has confined the paying of bonuses in shares that remain restricted for five years to members of its management committee rather than all 400 of its “partners”. Read more

John Gapper

The attack by Jeff Immelt, General Electric’s chief executive, on “meanness and greed” among business leaders is an interesting straw in the wind.

His speech at West Point coincided with the decision by Alistair Darling, the UK chancellor of the exchequer, to levy a 50 per cent windfall tax on the bonus pools of banks operating in Britain. Read more

John Gapper

My FT column this week is on Richard Branson and space commercialisation.

John Gapper

Tiger Woods’ personal crisis shows little signs of receding – fresh revelations about his “transgressions” keep on being published and his mother-in-law was briefly taken to hospital on Tuesday. So it is not surprising that there are hints of his sponsors’ support wavering.

Although companies that have affiliated themselves with the golfer’s name – including Nike, EA Sports, Gillette and NetJets – insist they still have faith in him, PepsiCo has dropped a Gatorade drink named after him. Read more