‘Auntie May’, market meltdown and ‘lady’ products we have known and hated

Planet Business: It’s been an Olympic rollercoaster of a week

Wall Street headache: A trader at work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, when the Dow Jones fell more than 1,500 points in intraday trading. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Wall Street headache: A trader at work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, when the Dow Jones fell more than 1,500 points in intraday trading. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

 

Image of the week: Just a correction?

The stock market sell-off has turned January’s exuberant “melt-up” into meltdown, sending photographers hurtling onto trading floors around the world to capture the human reaction. This trader was pictured at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, when the Dow Jones fell more than 1,500 points in afternoon trading (or the slightly less scary 4.6 per cent), though he could very well be a New England Patriots fan hurting from the Super Bowl result, for all we know. The declines were not wholly unexpected given how crazy markets have been lately, but still, the expression on his face is the perfect combination of “not now” and “not this again”.

In numbers: Welcome to PyeongChang

€10.5 billion Estimated cost of the Winter Olympics, which begin today in PyeongChang, South Korea. The main stadium, which cost €88 million, will be used for the opening ceremony and just three further occasions before being demolished.

4,000 Number of Galaxy Note 8 smartphones that official sponsor Samsung is giving to participating athletes, making it easier for them to keep on top of their share of social media abuse.

550 Number of cameras being used by the host broadcaster to capture all of the action, including every second of every tense slide down the side of a mountain on a tin tray.

The lexicon: Auntie May

Not be confused with Spiderman’s Aunt May, “Auntie May” is a nickname ascribed by the Chinese to Theresa May, as she was kindly told during her recent visit to China. “A lot of Chinese people would affectionately call you, in Chinese, Auntie May,” a television interviewer informed the UK prime minister. “You’re one of the members of the family. Do you like that?” May replied that she was “honoured”. She is now amassing quite an array of monikers, from “Madam Brexit” (as she was once called accidentally by a Polish interpreter) to sketch-writers’ favourite “Maybot”. Meanwhile, May’s advice to aspiring female politicians, issued to mark this week’s centenary of women’s suffrage, was “be yourself”. If only it was as easy as that...

Getting to know: Laurent Potdevin

Laurent Potdevin was the chief executive of Canadian “athleisure” clothing retailer Lululemon from 2014 until this week, when he exited the company after some mysterious misconduct, not apparently involving either the finances or the operation of the business. “Lululemon expects all employees to exemplify the highest levels of integrity and respect for one another,” said the maker of “breathable” yoga leggings. “Mr Potdevin fell short of these standards of conduct.” The French-Swiss Potdevin, a fan of meditation and mindfulness, had until this point been seen as the saviour of the company, after an embarrassing recall of leggings that were found to be more see-through than sheer, as well as founder Chip Wilson’s gaffe that “some women’s bodies” weren’t meant for the company’s clothes.

The list: Lady products

PepsiCo chief executive Indra Nooyi says women “don’t like to crunch too loudly in public”, which is why Pepsi-owned brand Doritos is “looking at” launching a new range of snacks aimed at women. The fast-and-loose Internet interpretation was that “Lady Doritos” were coming soon, which Pepsi denies, but such a move would hardly be out of kilter with today’s ludicrously binary commercial world.

1. Bic for Her: Some good came of these “beautifully smooth” women-pens, as they inspired surrealist stand-up comedian Bridget Christie to write the award-winning show A Bic for Her, dedicated entirely to sexist absurdities.

2. Lady laptops: The Fujitsu “Floral Kiss” laptop, only available in Japan, featured a flip latch that “can easily open the display – even by users with long fingernails”.

3. The Honda she-car: Another Japan special, this short-lived “she” version of the Honda Fit was pink inside and out.

4. Beer for Her: Czech beer Aurosa was marketed last year as “a representation of women’s strength and a girl’s tenderness”. It did not go down well.

5. Ladyball: This one wasn’t a real product, but a marketing campaign by women’s GAA sponsors Lidl, which thought it was a good idea to troll everyone rightfully sick of all this gendered nonsense.

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