Daily Archives: March 11, 2010

Tony Tassell

In the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe series, the character Zaphod Beeblebrox wore a nifty pair of “Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses”, which had been specially designed to help people develop a relaxed attitude to danger. At the first hint of trouble they turned totally black, preventing the wearer from seeing anything that might alarm.

The UK pension industry now seems to want to adopt the accounting equivalent. The National Association of Pension Funds has called for an overhaul of accounting rules that govern the disclosure of company retirement liabilities, arguing that these are intellectually flawed and partly to blame for the widespread closure of schemes.

The move is hugely significant, not only for the UK but around the globe. The UK led the big revolution in pension fund accounting over the past 10 years to value assets and liabilities of a scheme at a snapshot of current market values. Read more

Jonathan Guthrie

Carlos Slim

Carlos Slim

Carlos Slim Helu has snatched the title “World’s Richest Man” from Bill Gates in this year’s rankings of billionaires from Forbes. A jump in the value of the Mexican’s telecoms business America Movil helped put his net worth at $53.5bn, $500m ahead of the Microsoft founder.

The Forbes rankings makes compulsive if snoopy reading for those never likely to appear in them, as well as for some that already have. I once lunched with a couple of US billionaires who could not get over how much higher up the league table the guy at the next table was. Read more