Monthly Archives: August 2011

Andrew Hill

Riots in Hackney, August 2011 (Getty Images)

Direct attacks on people, property and businesses are far more terrifying than market turmoil. But there is one striking parallel between the riots disfiguring British cities and the financial crisis that began exactly four years ago: both have shaken the foundations of public confidence in established institutions – the police in the case of the riots, the banks in the case of the credit crunch. Read more

We love robots – tireless, productive workhorses of the modern assembly line. But we also hate robots – sinister mechanical simulacra of the human workers they make redundant.

Andrew Hill

I can only hope a demerger of Kraft Foods into its snack and US grocery businesses will save consumers from the unholy alliance of Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate and Philadelphia cream cheese in a single spread, recently heralded by UK tabloid The Sun.

More worrying, however, is the impact of near-constant corporate reorganisation on the underlying businesses – and particularly on Cadbury. Read more

Andrew Hill

I’m fascinated by Huawei Technologies: it encapsulates all the challenges that fast-growing Chinese companies face – from governance to branding – and then some.

It’s already the world’s second largest manufacturer of mobile network equipment by revenue, but Huawei’s latest big bet is to be one of the world’s top three mobile handset brands by 2015. Wan Biao, chief executive of Huawei’s device unit, set the target at Wednesday’s launch of its cloud-computing smartphone, the “Vision”, based on Google’s Android operating system. Read more

Andrew Hill

Barclays: "a Britain-and-onetime-colonies bank"

It’s common to think of Barclays and HSBC as global banks. Certainly, they’re more international than their big UK rivals, as their recent interim results demonstrate. But Pankaj Ghemawat, professor of global strategy at IESE Business School and author of World 3.0, points out that they are more geographically concentrated than most people think – and that’s a good thing. Read more