CITY DIARY: The clocks haven’t even gone back yet and M&S has already put up its Christmas trees
The Christmas trees are up at M&S
The clocks haven’t even gone back yet and Marks & Spencer has already put up its Christmas trees. M&S customers are traditional, discerning types so I hope the retailer’s ‘ard-as-nails boss Steve Rowe doesn’t face a backlash for pushing Yuletide on them so early. His football side Millwall’s precarious position near the foot of the Championship table is apparently giving him quite enough to shout and swear about as it is.
Spain’s Pablo Isla, boss of Zara owner Inditex, has come top of the Harvard Business Review’s 100 best performing chief executives. Suave Senor Isla, 54, earned £9.5 million last year, a hefty chunk of change for sure, but relative pittance next to our top earning fat cats such as Persimmon’s Jeff Fairburn (£47 million), Melrose’s Simon Peckham (£42.8 million), or Berkeley Group’s Rob Perrins (£28 million). Incidentally, none of this obscenely well-rewarded trio even warrant a place on the prestigious Harvard list.
Well-connected Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales’s grandiose plans to reinvent journalism are in tatters after his news website Wikitribune laid off all of its reporters. Wales’s last investment, ‘ethical’ mobile phone operator The People’s Network, turned similarly sour when the firm’s share price sank from £1.34 to less than a penny. Undeterred, he’s now backing his friend and walking partner, ex-BBC news chief James Harding’s ‘slow news’ website Tortoise.
Donald Trump isn’t the first American president to pressurise his Federal Reserve Chairman over interest rate rises. Creaky economist and former Fed chair Paul Volcker, 91, tells the New York Times he was summoned to the President’s library in 1984 by Ronald Reagan’s chief of staff James Baker, who implored him not to raise rates before the next election. Why the library? ‘Unlike the Oval Office, it probably lacked a taping system,’ he suggests.
The World Economic Forum’s twerpish demand for people to stop referring to this week’s Future Investment Initiative in Saudi Arabia as ‘Davos in the Desert’ has predictably fallen upon deaf ears. Most major news outlets continued to refer to it that way yesterday. Even the terrified-to-offend BBC.