Some Sainsbury’s staff have been complaining to the Sun newspaper about cutbacks in the free toast and conserves that accompany their tea breaks – at store managers’ discretion, writes Matthew Vincent. But with 112 of the group’s supermarkets now containing an Argos outlet full of toasters, sandwich makers and other bread-related appliances, one would think this problem hardly insoluble. Indeed, given the sales growth these Argos stores achieve relative to food, they have also been the company’s best hope of jam today.
Marks & Spencer’s seemingly ever-earlier launch of its Christmas TV advert has long been a source of delight to the middle classes and indignation to middle-aged commentators, writes Matthew Vincent. In fact, first sightings of ‘Paddington and the Christmas visitor’ on November 6, a new ad featuring the Peruvian emigre bear, caused one contemporary of Opening Quote to despair: “Just thrown away the Halloween pumpkins and the Christmas ads have started…”.
Is there nothing Disney cannot do? writes Matthew Vincent in this morning’s FT Opening Quote. It has held talks about taking over Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, including the US group’s stake in UK-based Sky. It has rescued the Star Wars film franchise from the cringe-inducing antics of Jar-Jar Binks in all those tedious prequels. And now, it seems, it has helped Primark-owner Associated British Foods boost its annual profit by 22 per cent, with a range of keenly-priced Minnie Mouse accessories and strangely persistent press coverage.
HSBC, having just been accused of “possible criminal complicity” in money laundering, must be glad to be fielding questions on a positive clean-up story today, writes Matthew Vincent in FT Opening Quote. This morning, it has promised $100bn of finance for low-carbon technology and sustainable development by 2025 as part of a package of measures to strengthen its commitment to tackling climate change and other “green” goals.
- The life and speeches of Sadie Alexander
- Kim Rueben on the fiscal impact of immigration
- Stephen Kotkin explains how Stalin defined the Soviet system
- Richard Florida on geographic inequality
- Further reading
- Jeremy Adelman on Albert O Hirschman’s “Exit, Voice & Loyalty”
- Dan Drezner on the marketplace of ideas
- Robert Lustig on the science behind our addictions
- The economic impact of immigration
- Further reading
- Ricardo Hausmann on the tragedy in Venezuela
- Does Amazon present an anti-trust problem?
- Mary Waters on the integration of immigrants into the US
- Lee Buchheit and Mitu Gulati on Venezuela’s debt
- Gabriel Zucman on tax evasion and inequality
- Michael Pettis on the mechanics of trade and the Chinese economy
- Angus Deaton on his Nobel prize-winning career (encore)
- Tim Harford on the lessons of new technologies in economic history
- Encore episode — Heidi Williams on gene sequencing, patent design, and innovation incentives
- Retail hype vs retail facts
Izabella Kaminska chats P2P, narrow banking and upcoming technological disruption with Adair Turner.
- This is nuts. When’s the crypto crash?
- Do crypto enthusiasts fear credit?
- What is tokenisation really?
- Trouble in ICO paradise
- An update on Harry Redknapp’s favourite cryptocurrency
- Congratulations on your sudden interest in cryptocurrencies, Harry Redknapp
- Crypto-Apple dealer attempts to avoid US regulators — updated
- Lol a FoHFs ICO, srsly
- The FCA’s belated views on the ICOmedy
- The hot new thing in initial coin offerings is…
- Dubai or bust for Baroness Bitcoin
- Westworld, cryptocurrency, and the gamification of women
- Don’t be fooled, the authorities are coming after ICOs
- Paris Hilton backs an eyebrow-raising crypto project
- So this is what watching a bubble feels like…
- Crypto-bailouts for struggling startups
- When crypto portfolios go mainstream
- What is crypto’s agenda really?
- Of crypto-Apples and other fantastical fruit…
A cautionary tale from Douglas Adams about the folly of believing in magic money trees.