Planet Business



Image of the week

White collar gladiators

“WHITE COLLAR boxing” is all the rage: it is rage-filled, judging from the expression on this spectator’s face, although he might be just upset that the battery on his iPhone has run out. The caption on this picture, taken at an event in east London by Reuters photographer Paul Hackett, attempts to explain the phenomenon: “Workers in London’s financial district known as the ‘City’ are naturally competitive and having achieved financial success at a relatively young age, may see the chance to fight it out in a gladiatorial tournament as a natural progression.”

Planet Business has nothing to add except Fight Club has a lot to answer for.

In numbers

The rise and fall of James Murdoch


The age that Murdoch was when father Rupert crowned his younger son chief executive of the FTSE 100 pay-TV company BSkyB in 2003. Investors weren’t too happy about it.


The percentage of independent BSkyB shareholders who opposed his reappointment as chairman last November. An under-fire Murdoch resigned the position this week, but remains on the board.


The number of positions from which he has resigned since the hacking scandal (BSkyB chairman, News International executive chairman and seats on the boards of Sotheby’s and GlaxoSmithKline.)

The lexicon

Wolfson prize

MULTIMILLIONAIRE Tory peer Simon Wolfson, whose day job is chief executive of retailer Next, has devised a £250,000 prize that will be awarded to the person who can come up with the least disruptive way to break up the euro zone.

After entries from 400 people who can recognise a six-figure jackpot when they see one, a shortlist of five economists and investment-types has been announced.

The real interest though was in the entry from a Dutch boy, Jurre Hermans (11), whose illustrated tale of how the Greeks would be incentivised to swap their euros for drachmas via punitive fines seems to assure him a bright future in the upper echelons of the International Monetary Fund.

Getting to know...


NGOZI OKONJO-Iweala is the Nigerian finance minister and a former MD of the World Bank, to which she might return in the top job. Thirty-nine former World Bank economists and managers think she should be its new president and have written an open letter, citing her “outstanding qualifications”.

Her appointment would break a tradition in which the US nominates people to the position – its candidate is Dr Jim Yong Kim, a Korean-American public health expert.

Jose Antonio Ocampo, former finance minister of Colombia, is also in the race, with the no doubt transparent interviews beginning next week.