It's Monday morning, the best part of the week. And in many companies the fun will be doubled by the weekly meeting, at which members of staff bluff about their own achievements and carp about the failure of others. But not everyone relishes the chance to take a break from productive work. A survey by electronics firm Sharp has found that only one in seven people nods off during meetings. Nearly two thirds say meetings go on for too long. Depressingly, that means more than a third think they are too short.
Visitors to the United States will probably be familiar with the popular beverage sold there as "beer". According to an on-line American dictionary, beer is defined as "any of various beverages, whether alcoholic or not, made from roots, molasses or sugar, yeast, etc." Although alcohol is no more essential to American "beer" than horsemeat is to British "sausages", some manufacturers have sought to differentiate their product by including it, albeit at child-friendly levels. But now consumers have realised that their beer is being diluted to homeopathic levels and they are aggrieved. Not only are they no longer buying the stuff, they have launched a class action lawsuit against one producer. Read more...
"Sterling hits two-year low after downgrade"; "Sterling slips in response to Britain's AA downgrade"; "Pound falls to two-year low as currency markets lose faith"; "Rollercoaster pound to hit our holiday spending: Sterling falls to 16-month low against euro after Britain loses gold-plated credit rating". Whilst their authors surely penned the headlines in good faith, they look more than a little passé on this morning's newspaper websites. The Daily Mail is closest to the mark with its "rollercoaster" reference but all the papers are eerily silent on what has happened to the pound since yesterday afternoon. Read more...
In an attempt better to understand its clientele a firm called Diamond, which sells car insurance to women, commissioned a survey. The findings were astonishing: Women buy twice as many shoes as men. Whoever would have thought it? But there was a serious aspect to the study too. In 2012 British women spent £3.5bn on footwear. Assuming a population of 63.2m, divided equally by gender, that means the average female spent £110 on shoes during the year. A figure like that doesn't exactly smack of recession, austerity or lack of consumer confidence. Read more...
On Monday night eight armed men broke into Zaventem airport near Brussels. They drove to a Swiss-registered aircraft that was loading on the ramp and transferred 120 packages from the hold into their van. Mistaking their actions for the normal behaviour of baggage handlers, police allowed the men to carry off diamonds worth $50m. So far the men have not been caught. If apprehended, they are likely to be charged with either insider trading or money laundering, both of which carry heavier penalties than armed robbery. Read more...
Mathematicians at the University of Michigan, the eponymous originator of a highly-regarded index of US consumer sentiment, have come up with an algorithm to reduce the effects of jet lag. In the best traditions of benevolent science they have packaged it as a free Iphone application called "Entrain". On their arrival in a new time zone the app requires users to spend particular periods in different light conditions, including one described as "bright outdoor". That isn't a great deal of help to anyone flying from Tokyo to Helsinki in mid-December.
The Daily Mail and the Daily Express both report this morning on a bill that will be put to a vote in the European Parliament next week. To reduce the aggravated bureaucracy involved in taking a car from one EU country and re-registering it in another, the proposal is to standardise vehicle registration plates. The two tabloids are incandescent with rage about the idea. They see no justification for making Britons drive around with funny foreign letters and numerals on their number plates instead of decent British ones.
There are apparently no limits to the effort of researchers to push back the frontiers of human knowledge: For reasons which will probably forever remain unclear, a study sponsored by the Alton Towers funfair asked 500 children, aged between six and ten, to identify pictures of fruit, people and things. Seven out of eight kids correctly identified Mr Tumble and nearly three quarters of them recognised Mr Cameron. Unfortunately, less than two thirds knew what an avocado was and one in twenty thought a triangle had two sides. And one in seven thought they were on a different planet, perhaps as a result of watching Nigel Farage get the better of Nick Clegg in last night's televised argument
The problem with all these asset purchases - the £375 of government bonds bought by the Bank of England over the last four years - is that the money handed out in the process has not gone where the Monetary Policy Committee intended. The idea was that the banks should lend it to people and businesses who should, in turn, stimulate the economy by spending it. Other things’ being equal the premise is entirely sound; make money cheap enough and the borrowers will snap it up. Read more...
A couple of weeks ago the remains of Yorkist King Richard III were unearthed from a car park in Leicester, where they had lain since his death at the battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. His present-day admirers are calling for the remains to be reburied in York. Now, according to the Daily Mail, their campaign has received support from beyond the grave. A piece on the paper's website today is headlined; "Richard III's ancestors demand York burial". Read more...
Researchers at Brooklyn College have discovered that women who regularly watch reality television programmes, such as Here Comes Bunny Booboo and Reluctant Housewives, are three times more likely to use tanning beds than those who prefer documentaries and cooking shows. They are also have twice as many handbags and are four times more likely to sprain an ankle by falling off their platforms. Read more...
The world of foreign exchange and international money transfers is fast-moving. This is why we’re always anticipating the changing needs of the market, and of our customers, to develop new services.
We provide a level of service that keeps our customers coming back to us. The fact that 99% of them would recommend us shows that we’re doing something right.
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Providing comprehensive foreign exchange and money services:
- Foreign exchange for businesses and individuals, with spot and forward delivery, currency options and fast worldwide payments.
- Bulk currency trading and cash services used by banks and other financial service providers.
- Travel money delivered to your home or collected from our network of bureaux de change at Gatwick, Stansted, Southend and Southampton airports, and across Central London.
- Explorer multi-currency card - a one of a kind currency card on which allows you to load as many as 14 different currencies onto it.
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