Mobile phone operators struggle

Mobile phone operators “around the world” are seeking mergers as a way to share the costs of capital infrastructure expenditure. In the US the number of major groups might reduce to three. In Greece worsening economic conditions mean there may soon be only two mobile operators to choose between. Regulators are trying to stop this […]

Tesco forced to postpone mortgages

Tesco, striving to build ‘the people’s bank’, had been expected to introduce mortgages this autumn. But plans have had to be postponed as the company struggles with IT systems and a “raft of tougher legislation.” Tesco has been very keen to move into banking, having been negatively affected by price rises on core purchases such […]

BA returns to an earlier time

A minor story this one, but an important one. British Airways is bringing back a ‘tag line’ invented 90 years ago: “To fly. To serve”. The slogan remained on company uniforms even when advertising told us that BA was “The world’s favourite airline”. It is now being brought back as the core of a new […]

A return to manufacturing?

As the search continues for ways to end the recession, good ‘old-fashioned’ manufacturing seems to be having a resurgence. Business Secretary Vince Cable says Britain is “beginning to see” a shift towards manufacturing taking a greater share of output. (Of course that could mean that manufacturing is declining, but services are declining faster.) But in […]

Carbon trading to hit airline profits

The airline industry is expected to face a €1.1bn bill next year when carriers around the world are brought into the EU carbon trading scheme. This is a quarter of the industry’s estimated profits this year, as estimated by IATA. (The EU decided to make any airline flying into or within the EU will pay […]

Japan’s first iron ore swap agreed

Mitsui, the Tokyo-based trading house, announced it has signed the country’s first ore swap, with Credit Suisse. The swap allows Mitsui, which acts as a middleman between iron ore miners such as Vale of Brazil, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton and the Japanese steelmakers, “to hedge the price of the commodity, avoiding the volatility of […]

Iron ore derivatives set to “take off”

An interesting example of how our financial system works is playing out before our eyes. And it reveals a likely future for peak oil. Yesterday buyers and sellers of a basic physical commodity, iron ore, announced that they had agreed a new approach for setting prices. The changes had two main parts. First, prices will […]