Tag Archives: Branding

47.3% in Spain Expect Worse for 2013

13 Dec

An opinion poll carried out by the Government agency CIS, revealed 47.3% of Spaniards believe 2013 will be worse than 2012, whilst 31,7% think it will be much of the same. Only 12.6% had any hopes that it might improve, as predicted by the despairing Prime Minister Rajoy.
54.7% described the present economic situation as ‘very bad’. In the list of the 10 worst problems for the country, unemployment and evictions were top, followed by the political parties, the problems with the health system, corruption, the banks and immigration.

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Spain’s Black Money Whitewash

13 Dec

As Hacienda, the Spanish tax authority, continues to chase ‘the little man’ with more enquiries, inspections, taxes and IVA, what news of those millonarios who keep their money in Offshore Tax Havens?

A fiscal amnesty put into place in June by the Government to bring back money stashed offshore with a flat 10% tax on the entire sum returned and reported was looking like a flop after only 6% of the estimated 2,500 million euros of the expected surge of money had in fact shown up by late October.

An estimated figure (when was it ever anything else?) of 71.7% of all money which eludes the Spanish Tax-man is said to come from grandes fortunas y corporaciones empresariales – the über-wealthy and large companies. Despite this, it is reported that Hacienda prefers to spend most of its energies on investigating the self-employed, small companies and ordinary private-sector employees.
According to the BBC, the world’s ‘super-rich’ were holding at least $21 trillion in ‘secret tax havens’ at the end of 2010. Where much of it is evidently going to stay.
The amnesty, which ran out on the final day of November, eventually collected 1,200 million euros of off-shore money – a miserly portion of the hoped-for sum.

The Minister for Hacienda y Administraciones Públicas, Cristóbal Montoro, in a final attempt to increase the amount, had reminded the wealthy in late November that crimes against the Public Purse are never ‘prescribed’ – which must have encouraged a few of Spain’s wealthier patrons of the Swiss banking system to roll over.
Thus, the fiscal amnesty which was to bring in untold millions from off-shore bank accounts, paying a measly 10% and no questions asked, was anything other than a success, with less than half the expected windfall collected.

An amusing article in a Spanish web-page called ‘Voxpopuli’ notes that Hacienda should have sent a photographer to Geneva airport in late November to record the long lines of people wearing dark glasses while carrying little more than a bulging briefcase and queuing up for their flights to Spain.
Now it seems that the civil servants who make up the staff of Hacienda were against the idea from the start and they have decided, despite guarantees to the contrary from the Department of the Treasury, to audit all those millonarios who, gritting their teeth as they reluctantly decided to do the right thing, sidled into the bank recently with a heavy suitcase. It hardly needs saying that this poor sportsmanship on the part of Hacienda will probably discourage others from stepping forward at a later amnistía fiscal.

A tax-man from Hacienda, writing on Monday in the ‘Nueva Tribuna’, suggests that a reorganisation of Hacienda and the Tesoro Público (in charge of the politics of the economy), allowing more focus on the Wealthy, would generate savings and weaken the ‘underground economy’ with an estimated increase in revenue to the State of over 6 billion euros.

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Risk Free Offer! Sell your business direct, pay no Commissions!

12 Nov

Limited Free Trial – Free (for 30 days after your first buyer response)

What’s the Offer?
Business Owners Direct is highly committed to selling businesses. We offer prospective advertisers the opportunity to test the service first.

With our Free Trial, you get to take out a listing on the site without paying for it. You will be able to view some of the information a buyer has provided, however we will withhold the full contact details. Once you pay, we will then release the contact information of the buyers interested in your business.

This gives you the unique opportunity of seeing whether there is a market for your business before you pay to advertise.
The Offer lasts for 30 days after you have received your first response. After this time, your listing will expire. You will need to choose from one of our advertising packages to continue.

Please note, you can add a website address, attachments and video to your listing. However these will not be displayed while your listing is part of the Free Trial. As soon as you upgrade your subscription these will become visible to all buyers.

http://www.businessownersdirect.com/sales/index.php/offer

Bloomberg’s Obama endorsement is a vote for big government in time of crisis

2 Nov

It would be weird if Hurricane Sandy didn’t play a role in New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s endorsement of Obama. In an ideal world, Sandy would play a role in everyone’s decision about who to support for president, including those who already voiced a preference. (Confidential to Heavy-Hearted in NJ: it’s not too late!)

As with many issues close to the hearts of progressives, Obama has not been as decisive and legislatively active regarding climate change as they would like. It’s not even clear he could do more – so much depends on a cooperative Congress. But at least, he continues to acknowledge that the problem exists. Mitt Romney can only be counted on to move whichever way the wind blows, not questioning too deeply if it carries greenhouse gases with it.

Bloomberg didn’t cite climate change alone, of course. He laid out a brief list of issues – including reproductive rights and marriage equality – any one of which would strike a chord with independent voters who aren’t, you know, still primarily concerned with keeping their jobs and paying their bills.

Sandy has pushed off the splash-page a lot of what the presidential campaigns had been focusing on. For actual voters, however, Sandy’s aftermath has only driven home the precariousness of their economic, and even physical, safety.

With these concerns at the forefront of their minds, Bloomberg’s reasons for endorsing Obama matter less to swing voters than the fact of it. On Twitter, political know-it-alls dismissed the mayor weighing in as an ineffectual gesture by an east coast elite with sarcasm along the lines of “I’d been waiting for the New York billionaire to tell me what to do!” (Of course, for some reason, we’re still paying attention to Donald Trump.)

Yet, Bloomberg’s turn to Obama – even his decision to make an endorsement at all – matters because his wealth and location are details compared to his reputation for getting things done. If he sometimes uses his power to accomplish things that people don’t necessarily want, like “big soda” bans, I wonder if, in this time of national political gridlock, Bloomberg’s affection for the nanny state isn’t as important as his animation of it.

If there was a time for government-as-helicopter-parent, it’s now. We can rebel later, when the lights come back on.

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Risk Free Offer! Sell your business direct, pay no Commissions!

31 Oct

Limited Free Trial – Free (for 30 days after your first buyer response)

What’s the Offer?
Business Owners Direct is highly committed to selling businesses. We offer prospective advertisers the opportunity to test the service first.

With our Free Trial, you get to take out a listing on the site without paying for it. You will be able to view some of the information a buyer has provided, however we will withhold the full contact details. Once you pay, we will then release the contact information of the buyers interested in your business.

This gives you the unique opportunity of seeing whether there is a market for your business before you pay to advertise.
The Offer lasts for 30 days after you have received your first response. After this time, your listing will expire. You will need to choose from one of our advertising packages to continue.

Please note, you can add a website address, attachments and video to your listing. However these will not be displayed while your listing is part of the Free Trial. As soon as you upgrade your subscription these will become visible to all buyers.

http://www.businessownersdirect.com/sales/index.php/offer

City banker who almost sunk UBS denies being a ‘rogue trader’

30 Oct

Kweku Adoboli, the investment banker accused of almost sinking Swiss bank UBS with illicit dealing, denied on Monday he was a rogue trader and said other members of his team knew about his “off book” activities.

Adoboli, 32, who is alleged to have cost the bank £1.4bn, said he ran up major losses only after giving in to pressure from senior colleagues to change his market position. Giving evidence at Southwark crown court for a second day, Adoboli, who repeatedly broke down on Friday as he described UBS as his “family”, was close to tears again when asked by his barrister, Paul Garlick QC, about the term “rogue trader”. After a pause he replied: “It doesn’t feel fair.”

The court has heard how Adoboli ran a series of trades which were not properly hedged – balanced by deals which would mitigate losses if the market moved unfavourably. These were initially very profitable, with the proceeds kept in a side account Adoboli called his “umbrella”. But during the summer of 2011 Adoboli’s non-hedged deals went badly wrong, at one point racking up potential liabilities to UBS of £7.5bn. The losses began, Adoboli told the court today, when senior traders persuaded him to switch his generally gloomy view of prospects for exchange traded funds (ETFs), his area of work, to a more bullish one, only for the market to head consistently downward. “My market view in July and August was guided, sometimes under considerable pressure, by senior traders around me,” Adoboli said.

“At that point I should have held on to my conviction of fear of the market. At that very point I changed my position, that is why I don’t believe I was a rogue trader. I wish I was a rogue trader. I wish I hadn’t listened.”

Earlier, Garlick took Adoboli through a series of printouts of electronic chat conversations from March last year which, the defence argues, show Adoboli’s colleagues on the ETF desk, fellow senior trader John Hughes and junior colleagues Simon Taylor and Christophe Bertrand, had full knowledge of his umbrella account, so named as it was intended to protect them from a rainy day of heavy trading losses.

“We were all using the mechanism in various ways,” Adoboli said of the umbrella system. Taylor and Bertrand used it “in exactly the same way I did” when he and Hughes were both away, Adoboli added. One private chat between Hughes and Taylor showed them discussing the balance of the umbrella account, at that point in profit by $19.6m (£12.2m), the court heard.

Adoboli was arrested in September 2011 after walking out of the UBS office and writing an email to senior staff outlining his losses, the court has heard. Sasha Wass QC, prosecuting, portrayed Adoboli as a reckless and solitary gambler whose losses grew exponentially as he staked ever greater sums trying to claw them back. He was motivated, she argued, by a desire to boost his bonus, which over five years went from £10,000 to £250,000.

Adoboli told the court there was no apparent direct connection between the money a trader made for UBS and their annual bonus. Asked by Garlick how bonuses were calculated, he said: “It’s a difficult question to answer. I don’t believe that any of us really understood how bonuses were decided.”

The Ghanaian-born banker joined UBS as a graduate trainee in 2003 after completing his degree at Nottingham University, moving to the ETF desk in 2006. He denies two counts of fraud and four counts of false accounting between October 2008 and last September.

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Apple loses senior executives in management shakeup

30 Oct

Apple is losing two of its most high profile executives in the firm’s biggest management shakeup since co-founder Steve Jobs stepped down as chief executive.

Scott Forstall, senior vice-president of iPhone software and one of the original architects of Apple’s OS X software, will leave next year. John Browett, poached just five months ago from Dixons to become head of retail, is also set to leave. Apple said that four key executives — including top designer Jony Ive — would “add responsibilities to their roles.”

The rare shakeup comes shortly after the introduction of iPhone’s latest software was marred by a mapping disaster. Tim Cook, the chief executive, was forced to apologise for Apple Maps, meant as a rival to Google Maps, after it proved inaccurate and incomplete. Last week the company delivered disappointing financial results as iPad sales fell short of Wall Street’s targets.

Eddy Cue, senior vice-president of internet software and services, will take charge of Maps and Apple’s Siri voice recognition responsibilities. The retail team will report directly to Cook until a replacement for Browett can be found.

The company said Ive will provide “leadership and direction for Human Interface across the company” in addition to his role as the leader of industrial design.

“We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple’s history,” said Cook. “The amazing products that we’ve introduced in September and October, iPhone 5, iOS 6, iPad mini, iPad, iMac, MacBook Pro, iPod touch, iPod nano and many of our applications, could only have been created at Apple and are the direct result of our relentless focus on tightly integrating world-class hardware, software and services.”

Browett was appointed just five months ago and was set to receive a $56m pay package over five years. It’s not yet clear how much of that will be triggered by his early departure. There have been reports that he clashed with other Apple executives.

Forstall has been a major influence at Apple for over a decade. He joined the firm in 1997 and was responsible for several releases of the Mac OS X operating system, most notably Mac OS X Leopard. The company said the management shift would “encourage even more collaboration”.

Trading in Apple’s shares is suspended at present with the closing of News York’s stock exchange as the city braces itself for the arrival of hurricane Sandy.

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