Alex Brummer on Business

Tchenguiz arrests put SFO in limelight

By Alex Brummer, March 16, 2011

The high-profile dawn raids and arrests of the Iranian-born Tchenguiz brothers, Robert and Vincent, is a big test for the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), which is masterminding the case against them.

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Middle East crisis: threat to us all

By Alex Brummer, March 3, 2011

Now the North Africa and Middle-East crisis is getting really serious.

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The online battle for retailers

By Alex Brummer, February 17, 2011

When new chief executives, Marc Bolland and Dalton Philips recently took control at Marks & Spencer and grocer Wm Morrison, respectively, both pledged to play catch-up on internet sales. Whereas market leader Tesco and Waitrose-partner Ocado have made a good fist of having success online and developed strong brands, others have lagged behind.

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What a mess for the Murdochs

By Alex Brummer, February 3, 2011

It has been all but impossible to pick up a newspaper or turn on the television recently without hearing about Rupert Murdoch. The Australian-born media tycoon has built an empire that stretches across the globe. Hardly surprising then that controversy follows him, similar to some modern-day Citizen Kane.

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Gas equals cash - and lots of it

By Alex Brummer, January 20, 2011

Israel's recent economic success is indisputable. While much of the global economy was struggling to escape the 'great recession' in 2010, growth in the Jewish State climbed by four per cent, fuelled by a high-tech sector that represents an astonishing 40 per cent of exports.

But Israel has been viewed globally as something of a one-trick pony, dangerously dependent on one industry, which has been the main driver for the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE). That has now changed dramatically.

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Charity - a funny old business

By Alex Brummer, January 6, 2011

When it comes to giving, British companies are somewhat put to shame by the United States, where several of the country's heavyweights are committing a significant proportion of their wealth to charities.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have pioneered a whole new approach to philanthropy.

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Cleaning up the Madoff mess

By Alex Brummer, December 22, 2010

When Bernard Madoff was sentenced to 150-years imprisonment two years ago, the Nobel prize-winning campaigner and writer Elie Wiesel suggested an appropriate punishment for the financier was that he were locked in his cell with a video screen playing a continuous loop of his victims.

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Who's top of the high street?

By Alex Brummer, December 9, 2010

Britain's retailers are heading into the holiday season in a remarkably chipper state. They have had a surprisingly strong year.

In the food sector, Tesco remains steady, Sainsbury's continues to gain ground and Waitrose is challenging Marks & Spencer in the "quality market".

So far, the pre-Christmas sale signs have yet to appear, although many of the supermarket chains, including Morrisons and Asda, are seeking to attract shoppers by offering early discounts on champagne, wines and spirits.

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Strauss-Kahn has Europe on his mind

By Alex Brummer, November 25, 2010

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the suave managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), finds himself at the vortex of the euroland crisis.

Until this spring it was inconceivable that the IMF would become involved in the developed economies of Western Europe except to conduct its annual check-up.

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Murdoch's mountain to climb

By Alex Brummer, November 11, 2010

When the Murdoch family controlled News Corporation launched its £12.3bn bid for the 60 per cent of BSkyB, which it does not own, in June, what a storm it unleashed.

The deal, orchestrated by James Murdoch, who runs News Corp in Europe and is non-executive chairman of BSkyB, was poorly executed and prepared.

First, the price of 700 pence offered was inadequate and galvanised the normally-docile independent directors on BSkyB into action. Secondly, it raised questions of conflict of interest because of James Murdoch's role at News Corp and his job as chairman of BSkyB.

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