What is a 'hard Brexit' and who is Paula Hawkins?

Planet Business this week lists the highest-paid FTSE 100 bosses and examines the outlook for impressionist art

 

The lexicon: Hard Brexit

Brexit looks set to be very hard indeed for both Britain and Ireland, with new figures suggesting a contraction of 0.2 per cent in output in July. “Hard Brexit”, however, refers to one possible outcome from the UK’s vote to leave the European Union – the idea that it might fail to negotiate a “soft Brexit”, Norway-like membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) where nothing much changes. In a “hard Brexit” world, the UK would leave the EU with no special trade agreements and restricted access to the single market and the capacity to do whatever it likes on immigration. Various degrees of hardness and softness lie in between, with only one thing guaranteed: this one is going to run and run.

Image of the week: Lacklustre trade

BW12PLANETBIZ_WEB

Blue skies, calm seas and what looks like a full cargo load in the port of Qingdao in China’s Shandong province, but the world’s second-largest economy has reported worse-than-expected trade figures, with imports sliding 12.5 per cent year-on-year in July and exports down 4.4 per cent in a continuation of the recent pattern. The subdued figures suggest that further stimulus measures could be in the pipeline in Beijing, with global investor confidence, post-Brexit, remaining very much in need of the economic equivalent of a Berocca Boost.

In numbers: Going once... 

13: 

Percentage rise in the share price of auction house Sotheby’s on Monday, the biggest gain in five years, after the company said its second-quarter profit rose by almost a third thanks to higher margins.

31:

Percentage sales increase in the Asian art market, which went against a general trend of decline in net auction sales. Sotheby’s chief executive Tad Smith said buyers were a bit more keen than sellers at present, leaving the art market “with a paradox”.

47:

Percentage decline in sales of impressionist and modern art compared to a year earlier. The outlook is fuzzy.

Getting to know: Paula Hawkins

Paula Hawkins belongs to a select group of individuals who are closely watched by the media: former journalists who got rich. The former financial journalist for the Times and author of personal finance advice book The Money Goddess has been coining it of late from sales of her hit thriller The Girl on the Train, the success of which has spawned a million other novels with “girl” in the title, as well as an imminent Hollywood film starring Emily Blunt and estimated pretax earnings of $10 million (€8.9 million). Forbes magazine has placed Hawkins as the ninth highest-earning author in the world for July 2015-June 2016, putting her ahead of George RR Martin – though, to be fair, the Game of Thrones author notoriously failed to publish a new book in that period.

The list: Highest-paid FTSE 100 bosses

Despite what High Pay Centre director Stefan Stern called “the occasional flurry from more active shareholders”, the boards of FTSE 100 companies continue to give bigger and bigger rewards to their most senior executives. The average pay packet fora FTSE 100 chief executive swelled 10 per cent last year, but which of them came out top of the pile?

5. Flemming Ornskov: The Danish boss of Dublin-based pharmaceutical giant Shire took home £14.6 million. He was given a 422 per cent boost to his total pay last year to stop him defecting to rivals.

4. Jeremy Darroch: The chief executive of Sky’s total remuneration package was £16.9 million. He wasn’t in the top 10 in 2014, so something must be going right.

3. Rakesh Kapoor: The head of household products company Reckitt Benckiser saw his compensation more than double to £23.2 million, so he should be able to afford a few Finish dishwasher tablets.

2. Tony Pidgley: Paid £23.3 million, Pidgley actually founded the company of which he is chairman, housebuilder Berkeley Group.

1. Martin Sorrell: Way out in front with a £70.4 million pay package, up from £43 million in 2014, the chief executive of advertising group WPP held his place at the top of the list.

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