The Great Debate UK

Rolls-Royce on a roll despite downturn?

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David BaileyProfessor David Bailey works at the Coventry University Business School and has written extensively on globalisation, economic restructuring and industrial policy, with particular reference to the auto industry. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Recent comments by Tom Purves, Chief Executive of the British based but German-owned luxury car firm Rolls-Royce, struck me as interesting on a number of levels this week.

Firstly, despite the downturn, the firm has apparently received some 1,500 “serious expressions of interest” in its new Ghost model to be unveiled later this year. If these were translated into sales they could effectively double RR’s annual sales.

The Ghost will be unwrapped in September and has generated much interest after a prototype has toured the globe. Despite the global downturn, it seems that firms – luxury brands included – can still innovate and develop new products for new markets.

D-Day’s lasting legacy

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nick-hewitt_000006_1- Nick Hewitt is a historian in the Department of Research and Information at the Imperial War Museum in London. He studied history at Lancaster University and War Studies at King’s College, University of London, where he specialised in naval history. He joined the Imperial War Museum in 1995. The opinions expresed are his own.-

“D-Day at last! Invasion! Hurrah! God save the King!” wrote a Cheshire schoolgirl on the evening of 6 June 1944. For her, news of the successful D-Day landings clearly meant a great deal. But looking back after sixty-five years, what was the historical significance of D-Day?

Berlin must refuse Arcandor credit note

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alexander-smith– Alexander Smith is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

Arcandor’s chief Executive Karl-Gerhard Eick has warned that if his department store group is forced into insolvency, it will do to the retail sector what the collapse of Lehman Brothers did to finance. It is hard to know whether Eick really believes this, although one has to hope he does not.

Don’t scapegoat the Germans for crisis

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paul-taylor– Paul Taylor is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

A revisionist theory on the causes of the global financial crisis blames surplus countries like China, Japan and Germany as much as highly-leveraged, deregulated finance in the United States and Britain.

Germany’s political and economic phoney war

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paul-taylor– Paul Taylor is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

Germany is becalmed by a political and economic phoney war five months before this year’s most important European general election. But a lack of real economic debate now risks prolonging the political stalemate and delaying much needed reforms.

Germany’s bad bank fudge

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REUTERSpaul-taylor– Margaret Doyle and Paul Taylor are Reuters columnists. The opinions expressed are their own –

LONDON/PARIS, April 23 (Reuters) – Germany is to set up a system of bad banks before the summer recess to hold some 250 billion euros of toxic assets. Finance Minister Peer Steinbruek has assured taxpayers that his solution — called “eine Bad Bank” (there is no German word for the concept) — will not weigh on the budget.

from The Great Debate:

U.S. fights fire, Germans fear flood

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Paul Taylor Great Debate-- Paul Taylor is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

The United States is fighting a fire in the world economy, but Germany and some other European countries fear a flood of inflation as a result.

That clash of cultures is at the heart of transatlantic debate over whether Europe should spend more and ease monetary policy to revive growth, with a deep economic contraction certain this year and an end to the recession not yet in sight.

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