Martin Vander Weyer reflects on yesterday's extraordinary general meeting of Northern Rock shareholders and assesses what hopes the shareholders should place in their board.
Martin Vander Weyer wonders whether 'City spivs' are responsible for the current economic turbulence.
Tuesday’s announcement that the Treasury will guarantee lending from other banks to Northern Rock is last ditch bid to avoid having to nationalise the bank. But in truth, most of the best options were closed off by inaction back in September.
Martin Vander Weyer draws lessons for company directors from the morality tale of a long-forgotten City scandal which blighted the life of a celebrated Edwardian grandee
‘How’s business?’ I asked the Mr Big of commercial property in a city somewhere north of Watford Gap last week. I won’t say which city, because this Mr Big is so big there – his logo is on office block after office block – that he would be instantly identifiable.
Does anyone actually resign anymore? Nowadays a resignation is regarded not as a final act but as a temporary career break and that’s bad for business.
Sir Richard Branson's critics dismiss him as a PR hound but Branson is a lot more than just a flashy front-man. Martin Vander Weyer assesses his business record.
Do falling beer sales indicate a recession is on the way?
With Alistair Darling coming under increasing pressure after the loss of the personal data of twenty-five million people by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, Martin Vander Weyer reviews how Darling and Gordon Brown have also moved into the firing line in the whole Northern Rock debacle. They along with its employees and shareholders now have the most to fear from the crisis.
Is prison reform an economic issue, as well as a moral and social one? Well, if it’s uppermost in my…
I like to think I was the first (indeed I may have been the only) journalist to have been invited…
Martin Vander Weyer on waiting for a train and his youthful radicalism
Martin Vander Weyer on why more is better when it comes to guest books
‘A triumph for the European Commission’ (as USA Today chose to describe it) is not something usually to be celebrated here. But yesterday’s finding by the European Court of Justice against Germany’s ‘VW law’ – protecting Volkswagen against takeover via a blocking minority vote held by the state – really does look like a blow for greater dynamism, industrial synergy, and efficient use of capital throughout Europe.
The concentrated aroma of — how shall I put it — deep piggy doo-doo that wafts through your car window…
Over the past 20 years or so, I have found myself almost continuously on the client side of building contracts, large and small, domestic, corporate and charitable, in four different countries: Britain, France, Hong Kong and Japan. It is an activity in which optimism is rarely justified by experience: builders the world over tend habitually to under-estimate the time required for any task, to have trouble with supply chains, to misread architects’ plans, and to fall off ladders and take time off to recover
The proposals in the pre-Budget report were a desperate, knee-jerk response to the swing to the Tories in the polls. Rather than demonstrating Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling’s vision for the country, it revealed their commitment to blatant, vote-chasing expediency. Ultimately, this will make the country think less of them.
Martin Vander Weyer says that while pay restraint is unlikely to break out in the City anytime soon, the sub prime woes and the Northern Rock debacle might just have made bankers a little more aware of how they fit in with the rest of society.
When I bumped into Barclays chief executive John Varley at Wimbledon one mid-week afternoon in July, I thought he looked…
The first thing to be said about this combination of history, autobiography and polemic is how heavy it is — not in the literary sense, though it is by no means light reading, but in the literal sense that it is a surprising weight in the hand. Befitting its title, it is printed on unusually thick, glossy paper, the better to carry a set of beautiful illustrations relating to the development of paper money and the follies and manias connected with it. Befitting its multimillionaire publisher-financier-connoisseur author, the book is an idiosyncratic artefact, a craftsman-made container for the distillate of a lifetime’s observation of the interaction of paper and wealth. In short, it’s a rich man’s book, but none the worse for that.
Hindsight suggests that the Rock was always likely to get the Northern into trouble one day.
Don’t mind me asking,’ a Geordie lad accosted me on the train, ‘but aren’t you Sid Waddell?’ I looked blank.
I’m back, as Arnold Schwarzenegger famously declared in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. In fact I haven’t really been away, just hovering in cyberspace to leave room for other contributors in our slimmed-down-for-the-beach summer Business section.
Shoppers stay home as rates and floods rise — but there’s a bit of better news for M&S
Fast bucks all round as Saga and the AA form the Victor Meldrew conglomerate