Archive for January, 2013

Another one bites the dust…..#retail #HMV #highstreet #tragic #unemployment #sad

January 15, 2013 1 comment

So we witness the demise of yet another high street name to the great ‘internet revolution’


HMV (Photo credit: Leo Reynolds)

HMV today called in the administrators, hot on the heels of Jessops, the photographic retailer.

So now what?

We are all responsible, we are all guilty, we’ve all done it, looked at the products in store on the High Street, scanned the barcode and then checked the price at Amazon on our smartphones and bypassed the enthusiastic, helpful and attentive staff in favour of the cheaper deal.

What could HMV or Jessops have done to avoid the demise. In the face of the internet giant Amazon (the moral tax issue) and new technology, not a lot it would seem. Many others will suffer as a result, landlords on the High Street, the tax payer (more unemployment benefit), local councils (parking fees and fines) coffee shops etc etc…

It remains to be seen what will happen next, now that we can’t ask advice anymore or touch the product before we buy it.

Common sense don’t be a high street retailer without it.


The cost of failure in the City of London #austerity #fail #sad

January 11, 2013 Leave a comment

City Wine Bar to Install Rooftop Barriers And Employ Guards After Fourth Jump Death
2013-01-11 15:23:01.658 GMT

Telegraph reporters
Jan. 11 (Telegraph) — A City wine bar has employed a
security guard and will install high barriers to prevent people
committing suicide after four people fell to their deaths.
The Coq D’Argent restaurant at No 1 Poultry in the City of
London will install the 2m-high protective measures after four
people fell seven storeys to their deaths in five years.
Security guards will question anyone found alone on the
rooftop bar, next door to the Bank of England.
Volunteers from the Samaritans have given training to staff
at the restaurant, a favourite with financial workers.
The plan was heard at the inquest into the death of banker
Nico Lambrechts, 46, who jumped to his death after being unable
to pay his children’s school fees.
The City of London’s health and safety officer, Rachel
Sambells, said Government regulations on suicide hotspots meant
talks were underway to raise the height of the wall on the
terrace to 2m by using metal bars.
She said: “The measurements of the barrier itself was fully
compliant. There’s no direction of a dereliction of duty.
“In the longer term proposals are for a raised barrier.
“The terraces have been closed off in the main part and a
security guard has been employed to patrol the area.
“If anyone is up alone up there he approaches them and makes
sure they don’t have the same intention.”
British Library worker Rema Begum, 29, jumped from the same
restaurant just a month before Lambrechts after losing her job in
a row with bosses.
Stockbroker Anjool Malde, 24, jumped clutching a glass of
champagne in 2009 after being suspended from his job at Deutsche
In May 2007 Richard Ford, 33, also a City worker, threw
himself off the building, landing on a bus.
Mr Lambreacht’s widow wept as City of London Coroner’s Court
heard how the father-of-three, who lived in Cobham, Surrey, had
contemplated ending his life after he was unable to transfer cash
from his native South Africa to pay for school fees for his
The South African died of multiple injuries, including
severe head wounds, climbing over the terrace just after midday,
minutes after a long phone call with his wife Adele, captured on
His GP, Dr Mark Jenkins, told the court how Lambrechts was
healthy apart from being slightly overweight.
He added: “I didn’t have the opportunity of meeting him but
I understand from his widow that he was under an enormous amount
of pressure from his new work which must have become unbearable.”
The court heard how when the South African had moved his
family to London at his previous employer, financial giant
Merrill Lynch, the process had been managed for him, but at
Investec had to organise it himself.
The man who hired him at Investec Asset Management, Domenico
Ferrini, told the court how Lambrechts had moved to the firm,
which was due to move back to Cape Town, on July 1 last year
after years at the rival company.
He said: “He was very interested to start with and it was a
wonderful opportunity within our growing business.
“I think there were a few things he was worried about.
Relocating back to South Africa concerned him and the political
climate there – was it the right thing?
“The transition of being very successful in his previous
job, and having to re-establish himself at Investec. I tried to
help him find his feet, that kind of thing.”
Because the firm was due to move to Cape Town, Lambrechts
had agreed to be paid in South African Rand but had struggled to
move cash to the UK so he could pay for his children to attend
private school, the court heard.
PC Trish Robinson, who was called to the scene minutes after
the banker jumped from the rooftop terrace, said it was clear “it
was a very deliberate act”.
She added: “I think it was just general stress of moving
companies, the relocation of his family to South Africa – the
usual stress you have.
“Between three or four weeks beforehand he was at a very low
“He had been trying to get the money situation sorted out
and trying to settle into his job. On one occasion he said he was
going to be home and didn’t turn up, so his wife text him and his
daughter read the text, and he had said he was very low and had
been sitting somewhere and contemplated suicide.”
Coroner Dr Roy Palmer recorded a verdict of suicide said he
was sure that Lambrechts, of Hillview Place, Cobham, had intended
to take his own life on October 11 and was ‘very sorry’ that his
widow had lost her husband in the tragedy.
“I have to be sure, and I am sure, that he intended to die
by his actions,” he said.
“You don’t fall seven floors and go over a wall without
“I do not doubt that he was seriously stressed but I
conclude that he killed himself and I am very sorry that he did
so in such sad circumstances.”

Basel III and acronyms #GHOS #LCR #HQLA #athhb

January 7, 2013 Leave a comment



Bank (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

As world bankers attempt to secure their jobs for another few years, the Basel III project has successfully produced more acronyms and watchwords for people to spout off at their morning meetings.

The crux of it seems to be that the LCR will not be as onerous as originally planned and will be phased in over a much longer period of time, by which time everyone will have forgotten why it’s there!

No doubt in 20 or 30 years time from now, some bright up and coming banking analyst will highlight the hidden ‘value’ that is represented in the banking sector, as they will be sitting on billions worth of assets and cash that they don’t need anymore for the financial Armageddon that will never, never be repeated again…

Common sense, send BASEL III back to where it belongs #dustbin

For those of you, who don’t know #athhb is an acronym for ‘after the horse has bolted’

French actor Depardieu meets Putin, picks up Russian passport #aurevoir #tax #France #Russia

January 7, 2013 Leave a comment

English: Russian external Passport Русский: Ро...

English: Russian external Passport Русский: Российский загранпаспорт (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

French actor Depardieu meets Putin, picks up Russian passport | Reuters.

As Gerard and Vlad become new best friends, there is one thing that puzzles me. If the tax rate in Russia is 13% what rate of tax do Russian oligarchs living in the Uk pay?

Presumably less than 13%?

Food for thought as you buy your train ticket this morning….