Martin's Feed
Dec 3, 2012

An Englishman abroad and a Japanese scandal

Dec 3 (Reuters) – The corporate execution took just eight
minutes.

The board of Japanese camera and endoscope maker Olympus
Corp voted unanimously on October 14, 2011 to fire
president and CEO Michael Woodford, one of the few foreigners
ever to run a major Japanese company.

There was no discussion and Woodford was not allowed to
comment. His secretary had been told to leave the building so he
could not say goodbye to her. He was ordered to leave his
apartment within a few days, and told he must take the airport
bus when leaving the country, rather than a company car. The
summary justice was almost unprecedented in Japan’s corporate
culture.

Feb 4, 2010

Global accounting rules may face big delays

NEW YORK, Feb 3 (Reuters) – The world’s top accountants are
warning that plans by the United States to move to global
accounting standards are vulnerable to major delays and the
process could get very politicized.

In interviews during last week’s World Economic Forum in
Davos, top executives from three of the Big Four accounting
firms said discussions over a roadmap to move U.S. companies to
international standards were reaching a crucial point.

Feb 2, 2010

Australia faces private equity “chill”: Schwarzman

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – Australia will find it very difficult to attract new private equity investments while a tax dispute remains unresolved, warned Stephen Schwarzman, the chief executive of one of the most powerful private equity firms, Blackstone Group <BX.N>.

In an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Schwarzman said a standoff between the Australian Taxation office and U.S. buyout group TPG <TPG.UL> over the tax treatment of the A$1.58 billion ($1.42 billion) profit it made selling out of department store group Myer <MYR.AX> has had an impact on the investment climate.

Feb 1, 2010

Dealmaking back in fashion, as CEOs buy growth

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – The manic dealmaking of the years before the financial crisis may be some way off, but acquisitions were certainly back on the agenda for the CEOs of many companies attending the World Economic Forum in Davos over the past week.

Savage cost cutting, capital raising and debt refinancing mean that a lot of the more profitable companies now have strong enough balance sheets to be opportunistic if a deal is presented. The debt markets are also open again to help finance deals, and market gains mean their shares can be used as currency in transactions.

Feb 1, 2010

A week of tense bankers, recovery hopes, star gazers

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 31 (Reuters) – The top executive
was on a roll — Barack Obama didn’t know what he was doing, he
didn’t understand business, he didn’t realize knee-jerk
pronouncements could destroy jobs.

It was a private, five-minute, expletive-filled tirade
against the U.S. president for this reporter’s benefit. Welcome
to one aspect of the World Economic Forum’s annual
schmoozefest.

Feb 1, 2010

Private equity firms bullish on 2010 outlook

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 31 (Reuters) – The heads of three
of the largest private equity firms in the world expressed
optimism that 2010 will be a stronger year for acquisitions and
for sales of companies already in their portfolios.

However, in interviews with Reuters while attending the
World Economic Forum in Davos in the past few days, they had
varying views over whether the size of deals could start to
head back up to the $10 billion mark, or even above, from the
post-financial crisis limits in the $3 billion to $5 billion
range.

Jan 30, 2010

Banks, regulators agree need for global response

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – Leading bankers seeking to quell a political backlash over their role in the financial crisis agreed with regulators on Saturday that new banking rules should be globally consistent.

A closed-door meeting of dozens of financial sector heavyweights on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum made some progress on bank capital and liquidity requirements, and legal structures, participants said.

Jan 30, 2010
via Davos Notebook

Davos, Google and Chinese walls

Photo

One big item nowhere to be seen on the official agenda in Davos this year was the delicate matter of Google’s clash with China.

So was the censorship row censored in order not to offend the Chinese?

That’s not the way the Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum, sees it.

Jan 29, 2010

Brazil sees strong growth, low inflation

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – Brazil’s top finance official painted a rosy picture of an economy that was growing strongly enough for the government to remove some stimulus measures but was not getting so overheated that inflationary pressures were becoming a problem.

Talking during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Finance Minister Guido Mantega also said that he was pleased that the real currency had fallen about 7 percent against the U.S. dollar this year, though he indicated he expected a further decline.

Jan 29, 2010

Major global banks split on regulation fight

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – The world’s top bankers are at odds about how to fight back against a global push for tougher financial regulation, with commercial and investment banks struggling to reach agreement.

Top executives from leading U.S. and European banks held behind-the-scenes talks on their response, people attending the talks said. But a deal has proved elusive.