Planet Business

This week: Clogs, doodles and diamonds

Fri, Nov 15, 2013, 01:00

Image of the week: Pen pals
What could German chancellor Angela Merkel be writing on the notepad of European Commission President José Manuel Barroso? Is it (a) a doodle of UK prime minister David Cameron, (b) hang tight, we’re nearly done with this youth unemployment summit or (c) stop sniggering, I’ve got to talk to Enda Kenny about Ireland’s “bailout exit” after this.

Who knows, but as for the youth jobs crisis, Merkel favours structural changes such as lower salaries and less regulation, while her counterpart in France, François Hollande, prefers ideas like government- subsidised jobs and using more EU funds to alleviate the problem. We predict there will be riots before everyone sorts out their differences.
Photograph: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

By the numbers: What a Croc
Market capitalisation of colourful clog maker Crocs, after its shares rose 10 per cent on the Nasdaq amid speculation the company will be taken private.
Market capitalisation of the “innovative casual footwear” company at its peak in 2007, before competitors started to churn out knock-offs.
Number of footwear varieties sold by Crocs, although it is mostly known for the “classic” clog. Its shoes are made out of a proprietary foam resin it calls Croslite.

The lexicon: Pink Dream
The “Pink Dream” is the name its new owner has given the “Pink Star”, a diamond that has sold for a record- smashing $83 million at an auction held in Geneva this week by Sotheby’s, which said the gem had been mined by De Beers in Africa in 1999 but did not specify the country. . . hmmm. Once cut and polished, the Pink Dream is 59.6 carat, more than double the size of the next biggest diamond in its class.

Sotheby’s played the theme tune to the Pink Panther to close the auction proceedings. Presumably, the new owner, New York-based diamond cutter Isaac Wolf, will not have to hire the services of a bumbling French detective to recover his precious bling from thieves.

Getting to know: Evan Spiegel
The 23-year-old chief executive of mobile messaging service Snapchat reportedly turned down a $3 billion offer for his company from Facebook and is planning to put off raising any other money. “What the . . . why??? Take the money and head to the Maldives,” tech bloggers collectively responded.

The Wall Street Journal outlined three solid reasons – an increasingly active member base, the appeal of its messages’ impermanence (it’s a sexters’ paradise) and its popularity with young people – why Spiegel might have said, “No, actually, my company is worth more than three Instagrams”. Spiegel studied product design at Stanford University before dropping out to work on Snapchat, valued at its last round of funding in June at “just” $800 million.

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