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
The new Prime Minister’s trusted policy enforcer and adviser on business issues has been mistreated by the media
Can Patak’s fiery flavour survive in ABF’s big corporate cooking pot?
Hot tips in the World Bank stakes: Blair, Bono, Clarkson ...but not me
The Dow Jones Industrial Average of leading US stocks passed 13200 for the first time last week.
If you have a long-lost Continental lover, you have a little under six months to arrange the perfect reunion under the clock at St Pancras on 14 November
The house may be a bargain — but how about the Chippendale to go with it?
To Armoury House, headquarters of the Honourable Artillery Company, for lunch with the recruiting officer
The real credit crisis: the nation refuses to give any to Gordon Brown
The row about private equity is mostly the Labour party arguing with itself
Don’t believe in trickledown economics? Consider the parable of the Chelsea nanny
The benefits of privatising BA seem to have worn off — so why not do it again?
Who’s new in 2007 — and how are things in Sakhalin, Comrade Lobachov?
Snouts still in the trough — and now bosses want 20 per cent of every profit
Think of this as a two-for-one Christmas special, a City Life column gift-wrapped inside Any Other Business.
On the way into Boston from Logan Airport, you pass a cavernous, closed-off tunnel entrance, full of construction vehicles, looking at night like an avant garde set for Siegfried.