Alex Brummer

Meet the stars of cyber space

By Alex Brummer, July 21, 2011

Not so long ago it looked as if generations of young Jews in the Western democracies were destined for professional lives as lawyers, accountants and doctors.

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The son may eclipse the father

By Alex Brummer, July 7, 2011

The Honourable Nat Rothschild, scion of the most famous family in European banking, is proving a surprise package.

After a misspent youth, which saw him branded as a playboy and worse, he could yet become the richest Rothschild of all through a series of spectacular investments in natural resources.

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What's in store for Waterstone's?

By Alex Brummer, June 23, 2011

The fate of struggling music group HMV and its Waterstone's book chain has been of more than just passing interest to investors. The decline of HMV, which came perilously close to administration in recent months, is a story of our times.

No other British retailer has been more affected by the digital revolution.

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The French have it again...

By Alex Brummer, June 10, 2011

Normally the goings-on at the International Monetary Fund struggle to find space in the business sections, let alone the front pages, of our national newspapers.

But an odd confluence of events - the priapic behaviour of former managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the on-going crisis in the euro zone and the struggle over who will succeed DSK (as he is known) - at the Fund have moved it to

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Chin up, things ain't that bad

By Alex Brummer, May 26, 2011

The recovery of the advanced economies from the 'great recession' of 2008-09 has been stuttering. This is not surprising. Countries rarely bounce back from slumps in a straight line, especially after a financial shock on the scale which brought the world economy to a shuddering halt in the Autumn of 2008.

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Review: Money and Power

By Alex Brummer, May 18, 2011

By William D. Cohan
Allen lane £25

Investment banker-turned-author William Cohan is becoming the master of the Wall Street biography. Having plundered the archives at his former employer Lazard and chronicled the rise and fall of Bear Stearns & Co in House of Cards, he has now aimed even higher with an examination of Goldman Sachs.

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The Glencore Jew in the glare

By Alex Brummer, May 12, 2011

Just a few weeks ago, the name Ivan Glasenberg would have attracted little recognition outside of Switzerland, where his company Glencore is based. But the decision to list on the London and Hong Kong stock markets has catapulted the South-African entrepreneur to the top of Europe's rich list.

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Analysis: Calling in the crash team to bring the economy back to life

By Alex Brummer, May 11, 2011

The best book on the Great Crash of 1929 is John Kenneth Galbraith's succinct account, written in 1956, some 27 years after the events that brought the world economy to a shuddering halt. It had the advantage of perspective, something that was lacking from the many accounts of the financial panic of 2007 to 2009. This includes my own effort, The Crunch.

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The West is key in MENA future

By Alex Brummer, April 28, 2011

The turmoil in the Middle East and Africa (MENA) region, which began with riots in Algeria and Tunisia in December 2010, has been unprecedented in its scope.

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London gets ready for giant Glencore

By Alex Brummer, April 14, 2011

The upcoming London and Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) of the secretive global commodities, mining and production group Glencore International AG, will be one of the most fascinating of modern times. In size terms alone it will be the biggest ever flotation on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) raising up to $11 billion of new cash and valuing the whole group at around $45 billion.

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Have the banks not learned?

By Alex Brummer, March 31, 2011

In the light of the bonuses paid by Britain's big banks over the past few weeks - including the 100 or so new millionaires created at the state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland - one might have thought that the crisis, which enveloped the financial system in 2007-08, was over.

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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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Patten's record a real concern

By Alex Brummer, February 25, 2011

One of the Tory great and good, Lord Patten of Barnes, is about to be handed the chairmanship of the BBC Trust. The chance of presiding over the BBC and its £3.2 billion budget is clearly one he could not resist.

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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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Banking: Stars and bars

By Alex Brummer, December 13, 2010

Time was when the City of London divided into two separate breeds of banks.

There were the clearing banks founded by Protestant (in the case of Barclays, Quaker) families. And the merchant banks, many (but not all) with Jewish roots.

When Sir Victor Blank was appointed chairman of Lloyds TSB in 2006, before the disastrous merger with HBOS a year later, it was a case of two firsts. He was the first Jewish chairman of a clearing bank and among the first to travel from merchant banking - at Charterhouse (via GUS) - into the rarefied world of high-street banking.

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