World trade talks end in collapse

July 29, 2008

BBC reports on the collapse of talks on world trade.

Marathon talks in Geneva aimed at liberalising global trade have collapsed, the head of the World Trade Organisation has said.

Pascal Lamy confirmed the failure, which officials have blamed on China, India and the US failing to agree on import rules.

World trade talks end in collapse


Loch Fyne pays ‘below minimum wage’

July 25, 2008

BBC reports on how “ethical” fish restaurant pays its staff below the minimum wage, making up the difference with the tips staff earn from customers.

The “ethical” fish restaurant group, Loch Fyne, pays staff salaries below the minimum wage, the BBC has learned.

It relies on customer tips to boost total pay to a lawful level, along with a growing number of restaurants.

Loch Fyne champions marine conservation, and proclaims a corporate philosophy of “an enterprise with respect for animals, people and ecology.”

Loch Fyne pays 'below minimum wage'

What they are doing is not illegal, many consider it unethical.

Like many business organisations there main reason is to keep costs down in a competitive business environment.

Interest rates steady at 5%

July 23, 2008

Interest rates steady at 5%

BBC reports on the decision by the Bank of England to keep interest rates at 5%.

The majority of Bank of England policymakers voted to keep rates steady at 5% at its July meeting, but one voted for a cut and another for a rise.

The surprise split underscores the challenge faced by the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) as it balances slowing growth with rising inflation.

Most businesses would have been looking for a cut in interest rates as rising food and fuel costs eat into consumers’ disposable income. Cutting interest rates would reduce credit and mortgage costs. Cutting interest rates would also reduce businesses financial costs if they had been borrowing.

Photo source.

What a waste…

July 23, 2008

According to a recent survey, we as a nation in the UK throw away 1.3m unopened yogurts every day.

What a waste...

The BBC reports on the survey:

More than a million unopened pots of yogurt and yogurt drinks are thrown away in the UK every day – that’s 484 million a year, according to recent research.

And it’s not just yoghurt!

4.4 million whole apples and 1.2 million sausages are thrown away each day.

What a waste!

What are you throwing away?

Photo source.

Supermarkets reduce petrol prices

July 22, 2008

Is this a response to changes in the business environment or simply a marketing ploy?

BBC reports

Retailers Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s have all said they will lower the price of petrol, prompted by falling oil prices.

Supermarkets reduce petrol prices

You decide!

Photo source.

Barbie firm wins Bratz court case

July 20, 2008

BBC reports on the winning of a legal case brought by Mattel, the makers of Barbie against MGA Entertainment the makers of the Brtaz dolls.

Mattel has triumphed in a copyright court case against the maker of the popular Bratz dolls, MGA Entertainment.

A California court ruled that the creator of Bratz dolls, Carter Bryant, came up with the idea while he was working for Mattel.

It means that Mattel could be awarded millions of dollars when the jury comes to consider damages.

This case demonstrates the legal recourse that companies may take if they feel their ideas have been stolen.

Sony Ericsson to axe 2,000 jobs

July 18, 2008

BBC reports on the decision by phone giant Sony Ericsson to cut two thousand jobs.

Mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson has said it will shed 2,000 jobs worldwide over the coming year to cut costs.

This article demonstrates the impact that the economic downturn can have on a business and organisation, and cutting costs (by axing jobs) is a response to the decrease in sales and revenue.

Sony Ericsson said

it was aiming to cut operating costs by £300m a year

The article places the blame on the state of the economy, specifically the credit crunch.

Consumer demand has been hurt by a credit crunch that has prompted banks to withdraw many loans and mortgages.

As a result, many consumers have had less money to spend and have had to cut back on their outgoings.