The Great Debate UK

from UK News:

Is everything “just too damn complicated?”

January 14, 2009

The trouble with banking, a private equity chief told a hearing of MPs this week, is that it has just become "too damn complicated" and needs to get back to basics.Many readers might agree with those refreshingly candid words -- and they might think too that it's not just banking that has become tangled up in glue."It used to be so easy -- now it takes for ever," we sigh in unison.Maybe the Internet is partly to blame. It was supposed to simplify things but, for many, it has made whole areas of life vastly more frustrating. "Simply click" may be meant as a breezy invitation to a stress-free transaction -- but in reality it is often the gateway to Hell.Need help? -- simply phone our 24/7 advisers in Asia. (But let's not go there...)Could the apparent growth of office bureaucracy also be playing its part? Commentators have frequently bewailed the growing tide of fussy, box-ticking procedure and the swelling ranks of email-happy bureaucrats with grand-sounding titles. Got any of those?Do you find any particular areas of home or office life more complicated than they used to be?If so, simply click on that "post comment" link down there. Easy eh?

from The Great Debate:

Pension assumptions hitting the wall

By J Saft
January 14, 2009

James Saft Great Debate -- James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

That 8 percent annual return on investment you and your pension fund manager were banking on is now looking almost as optimistic as Madoff's magic 12 percent, as deleveraging and deflation bite.

from The Great Debate:

Global imbalances and the Triffin dilemma

January 13, 2009

John Kemp Great Debate-- John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

For the world monetary system, the financial crisis which erupted in the summer of 2007 is a cataclysmic shift that will prove every bit as significant as the outbreak of the First World War (which heralded sterling's demise as a reserve currency) and the suspension of gold convertibility in 1971 (which marked the end of bullion's monetary role).

from Africa News blog:

Selling Africa by the pound

January 13, 2009

The announcement by a U.S. investor that he has a deal to lease a swathe of South Sudan for farmland has again focused attention on foreigners trying to snap up African agricultural land.

from The Great Debate:

Ukraine gas crisis spurs EU energy policy

By Paul Taylor
January 13, 2009

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

The gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine that has left hundreds of thousands of Europeans shivering in the winter cold is bound to accelerate plodding European Union efforts to build a common energy policy.

from UK News:

Decision time at Heathrow

January 12, 2009

The government has approved the third Heathrow runway, in the interests of jobs and British competitiveness.

from The Great Debate:

Downturn hits China’s manufacturing heartland

January 12, 2009

John Kemp Great Debate-- John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own --

The global slowdown is hitting China's modern manufacturing base in Guangdong province especially hard. Deputy governor Huang Longyun on Thursday warned a news conference "the situation is grim" and the manufacturing hub around Pearl River Delta is bearing the brunt of China's slowdown.

from The Great Debate:

Do tough times draw TV-viewers to Web?

January 12, 2009

-- Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

In the first global recession of the Internet Age, budget-conscious consumers are showing they no longer have an endless appetite for every new gadget or media service.

from The Great Debate:

Of boom, bust but maybe not the Black Death

By J Saft
January 9, 2009

James Saft Great Debate -- James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

As the crisis has deepened we've had to search farther back in history for precedents, and with deflation at hand much of the debate now centers on how similar the next while will be to the Great Depression.

from Photographers' Blog:

Finbarr from the field

January 8, 2009

On Jan. 14 Reuters hosted a live video Q&A with our renowned photographer Finbarr O’Reilly about his experiences in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. Finbarr addressed what drew him to Africa and the most difficult aspects of being a photographer in a war zone.