That squelching sound you can hear is chief executives shifting uncomfortably in their seats. Those that are paying attention have noticed something. It is that shareholders are ever keener to see activist investors get to grips with underperforming companies, to deliver the ultimatums more traditional City shareholders still think of as ungentlemanly. To shake trees and see what fruit falls off. Yesterday Saga was the latest to come under attack. Elliott Capital Advisors revealed it has taken a 5% stake in the tour operator cum insurer. What Elliott plans next we can’t be sure, but it won’t be to sit passively by while the business falters. They are an interesting bunch at Elliott. It was they who persuaded Whitbread to break itself up by selling Costa Coffee for nearly £4 billion (thanks very much, said the other shareholders). More ruthlessly, Elliott fought the government of Argentina for 15 years over unpaid bond debts, detaining an Argentine naval training vessel … [Read more...] about Who will be next on activist investors’ not so little hit list?
Argentine financial crisis
WHEN CHRISTINE LAGARDE was asked last year whether she was interested in a job in Europe, the head of the IMF made an emphatic denial. “No, no, no, no, no, no,” she told the Financial Times. “I have a very important job here that I want to do and I’m not going to leave that beautiful vessel when there might be rough waters out there.” But the vagaries of European politicking are such that on July 2nd she was anointed successor to Mario Draghi at the European Central Bank (ECB), as part of the package for top EU jobs. The decision comes as a surprise to bank-watchers. Ms Lagarde’s name had been floated as a possible candidate but, her denial aside, she had been thought an unlikely choice because of her lack of an economics pedigree. Like Jerome Powell, the head of America’s Federal Reserve, Ms Lagarde is a lawyer by training. Unlike Mr Powell when he was appointed chairman, she has no central-banking experience, though she held various … [Read more...] about A change of direction under Christine Lagarde is unlikely
Ten years ago today Boro slipped meekly out of the Premier League. Gareth Southgate's side gave up an 11 years top flight tenure and began a long dark spell in the shadows. Do you remember that last game? I do, despite conscious attempts to airbrush it from history. It was a limp 2-1 defeat at West Ham on a final day when Boro needed to win well and hope Hull and Newcastle lost but when instead of going gung-ho they sat back and meekly accepted their fate. It was a 14th defeat on the road for Southgate’s brittle Boro. They had not tasted victory away from home since Aston Villa in November. It was another day when Boro looked shot-shy. They had scored just 28 goals in 38 games with the top scorers Tuncay on eight, Afonso Alves on seven and Mido managing a meagre five. It was a day when Stewart Downing was crocked and most of the big money buys were banished leaving Southgate to pad out his squad with kids and play people out of position. It wasn’t a great swansong. … [Read more...] about Where are they now? Boro team relegated after defeat to West Ham
The city's world-class Sheffield Doc/Fest will return next month with an incredible programme of films and documentaries. The event is a world-leading festival celebrating the art and business of documentary and non-fiction storytelling across all forms.Highlights for the 2019 festival, which takes place over six days from 6-11 June, include:- FILM Asif Kapadia’s Diego Maradona opens the festival, plus BAFTA Masterclass;- FILM Spotlight strand includes Ai Weiwei, Werner Herzog, Jeanie Finlay, Nick Broomfield, Waad Al-Kateab, Ursula Macfarlane;- ALTERNATE REALITIES free digital art exhibitions featuring 28 immersive, interactive experiences and live performance;- Accessible & Affordable Festival: return of From Door To Doc, The Light Free Screen on Howard Street and Doc/Fest Exchange on Tudor Square;- Celebration of Northern Stories including world premiere of Sheffield-based filmmaker about Woodseats Working Men’s Football Club;- Northern feminist film … [Read more...] about Programme highlights for Sheffield Doc/Fest 2019
Argentina first needed to borrow from the International Monetary Fund back in 1958. In the six decades since the country has signed 22 agreements with the Fund. Most were subsequently derailed or ended in failure. Despite his pro-business credentials, Argentina’s current president, Mauricio Macri, has joined this parade of disappointment. In little more than three years, his government has signed two agreements with the IMF. And recent developments suggest that Argentina’s troubled history with the Fund may be about to repeat itself. The latest chapter began in June 2018, when the country was running fiscal and current-account deficits equivalent to a combined 11% of GDP. Investors became wary of Argentine bonds, forcing the Macri government to rush to the Fund for help. With the strong backing of the United States, Argentina was soon given a $50 billion IMF loan to use over the next three years. The government pretended that this was just a … [Read more...] about The IMF is fueling an Argentine crisis – again