Planet Business: ‘Jams’, ‘Bonesmen’ and dirty linen

British prime minister Theresa May is to prioritise the Just About Managing

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai:  not fully sure” whether fake news had contributed to the outcome of the US election.

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai: not fully sure” whether fake news had contributed to the outcome of the US election.


In numbers: Dirty linen


Number of “Egyptian cotton” sheets sold by Target that were found by the US retailer not to contain any Egyptian cotton at all. You can’t trust anyone these days.


Percentage tumble in the share price of Welspun India Ltd, the supplier that is now the subject of several lawsuits in the US over mislabelled sheets – a scandal Bloomberg said had “created a king-sized public relations challenge” for the industry.


Number of towels made by Welspun subsidiary Christy for use by players at the Wimbledon tennis tournament. The women players are given pink ones, so that’s nice.

Image of the week: Basic sums

With his background in engineering, Sundar Pichai has probably got the hang of the whole maths thing by now, although as the Indian-born Google chief executive is a US citizen, he may be more of a “math” man. Pichai dropped in to a London primary school this week as the tech giant announced plans to bring virtual-reality technology to a million UK schoolchildren under a new learning initiative. Later, when asked about the fake news problem, Pichai admitted he was “not fully sure” about whether it had contributed to the outcome of the US election, and said Google would “work hard” to improve its algorithms. Perhaps some of the million schoolchildren will one day be able to help.

Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The lexicon: Jams

“Jams” are nothing to do with the “innovative jams”, which some may remember are part of the UK’s post-Brexit export drive, but is the acronym for people who are “Just About Managing”, who are cousins of the Coping Classes, Hard-Working Families or Squeezed Middle. British prime minister Theresa May has decided to put the “Jams” at the heart of her autumn statement in a bid to do something, or look like she is doing something, to help people still feeling battered by the last recession and now exist in an economy scarred by precarious employment. As May knows very well, the next horror on the horizon for households, thanks in large part to the Brexit-related fall in sterling, is inflation.

Getting to know: Steve Mnuchin

At the time of writing, Steve Mnuchin was said to be in contention for US treasury secretary or one of other top economic roles in Trump’s Donald White House. But who is Mnuchin? He’s a Wall Street financier who served as chief fundraiser for Trump and happens to be a veteran of both Goldman Sachs and something called Yale Skull and Bones, which the internet says is an “undergraduate secret society at Yale University whose alumni are known as “Bonesmen”. Mnuchin is also in the entertainment business, backing films such as Borat and Gravity, and in 2008 he bought struggling Californian lender IndyMac, renaming it OneWest. Three years later, people protesting against OneWest’s foreclosures marched on his Los Angeles mansion. “Steve Mnuchin,” one sign read, “Stop taking our homes.”

The list: Best cities to live in

Thinking about emigrating but don’t know where to go? Networking service InterNations surveyed 14,000 people for its third annual Expat Insider 2016 survey to get the view of people who have found a new home outside their home countries – or immigrants, as they are usually known. The top five went like this:

5. Singapore: edging Vienna into sixth place, the island nation offers high wages to those who flock to work in its financial services sector.

4: Dusseldorf: alles ist gut in the German “city of fashion”, which scored well on quality of life.

3: Madrid: Spanish politics looks less messy by the day – not because it finally formed a minority government, but because everywhere else is even more fractious.

2. Houston: any problems in Houston are offset by the Texan city’s relatively low cost of living.

1. Melbourne: They have excellent work-life balance in the Victorian capital, apparently.