Hugo Rifkind

Shared Opinion | 14 June 2008

Gordon Brown’s moral compass is more like a dodgy satnav I often miss the glaring messages in fiction, because I am a prosaic and feeble-minded moron. Take Lyra and her altheiometer, in Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights trilogy. I read it ages ago, and it only clicked the other day. It’s basically a science-powered moral compass,

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes | 14 June 2008

It would be a lie to say that I feel sorry for the Tory MEPs who have been attacked for paying their staff allowances to companies of which they or members of their family are members, but they are not the most at fault. Giles Chichester, for example, and Den Dover, did at least follow

Any other business

And Another Thing | 11 June 2008

Don’t ask an African elephant to show you his cardiograms I can’t help liking elephants, and I was delighted to receive from India a silk tie with a pattern of these huge and benevolent beasts, raising their trunks in the traditional gesture which means ‘Good morning and good luck’. I once had a beautiful alabaster

Global Warning | 14 June 2008

The image of women in Victorian times veered between that of madonna and whore, but nowadays in Britain it veers between harridan and slut. This is only natural in a country where vulgarity is not only triumphant, but militant and deeply ideological. The men, of course, are just as bad. Recently, I flew to an

Global rules made in London? Brussels sniffs conspiracy

Christopher Fildes on international accounting standards   How gratifying. One set of rules for the whole world, and all of them springing from a fountainhead in Cannon Street, London EC4. There will have been no such display of global authority since the sun set on the British empire. Washington is warming to it. Brussels is restive.

‘Don’t focus on what you can make, but on what you can lose’

David Craig, a pioneer of the British hedge-fund industry, recalls lessons learned from John Paulson, the New York investor who topped last year’s global earnings league New York in the mid-1990s: my long-time investing partner Richard Atkinson and I were in the city seeking out people with whom we might co- invest. We had run

Ladies, bring us your business plans

In eight years in venture capital, my partners and I have met only a handful of female applicants for capital. Yet we receive 500 to 600 business plans every year. It seems remarkable when you consider that women figure prominently in almost all walks of life — over 50 per cent of medical-school graduates, for

Any other business

How times change: the ECB has become the very model of a modern central bank I don’t suppose many of my readers took part in the European Central Bank’s tenth birthday celebrations last week — but if I’m wrong about Jean-Claude Trichet’s taste in columnists, then bon anniversaire, monsieur le président, though I can’t quite

Opportunities for vintage growth

Christopher Silvester says you don’t have to be rich to invest in fine wine, and the rewards can be handsome Wine as an investment asset class intimidates most people, who mistakenly assume it is a rich man’s game when in actuality it is open to anyone who is prepared to commit a few thousand quid

Time to start putting clients first again

On the face of it, I picked a bad week to volunteer to write about the rebirth of gentlemanly capitalism. My thesis was that the credit crunch would lead to a profound shift in the way the City goes about its business, heralding a return — if not to bowler hats and brollies, liquid lunches