Business And Finance

Making sense of Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn

“IMAGINE a world where we are no longer looking up to tech titans such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook…because we are one of them.” So wrote Jeff Weiner, boss of LinkedIn, in an open letter on June 13th. Not much imagination is necessary. Microsoft had just announced it would pay $26.2 billion to buy the professional social network, ...

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Business travellers have all but abandoned taxis

ONE of the big questions facing the business-travel industry is the extent to which it will embrace the sharing economy. Corporate-travel bookers, for example, are still deciding what they think about Airbnb. While road warriors seem to like staying in strangers’ apartments, the suits back at HQ worry about booking their employees into places which have been subject to less ...

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Unyielding

TRY and try again. On June 8th the European Central Bank (ECB) started buying corporate bonds, in its latest effort to gin up inflation in the euro area. Prices declined slightly in May compared with the same month a year before; the ECB’s inflation target is just under 2%. The scheme has already helped boost the zone’s corporate-bond market. Doing ...

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No El Dorado

WHEN phone footage came to light last year of a stripper opening the throttle during the take-off of a commercial jet operated by Aerolíneas Argentina, the public outcry was predictably fierce. Argentina’s state-owned flag carrier swiftly sacked the pilots who had invited her into the cockpit and the lady herself was banned from the airline for five years. Endangering the ...

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After Brexit; ye ken noo

THERE is an old story that puritanical Scottish preachers used to tell their congregations about sinners cast into the fires of hell. The condemned call out to the Almighty for mercy who replies “Did I not tell you to abandon your lives of drinking, fornicating and sinning?” “Yes, lord” comes the pitiable reply “but we didna ken.”* “Well” comes the ...

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The germ of an idea

No more soft-soaping “HARMLESS to humans”, assured the slogan on humidifier disinfectants sold to South Koreans in the early 2000s by Oxy, a local unit of Reckitt Benckiser, an Anglo-Dutch consumer-goods company. A widening criminal investigation by South Korea’s government into dozens of cases of lung disease, some of them fatal, suggests the opposite. It is now examining compensation claims ...

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Have we reached the bottom for service levels on aeroplanes?

MOST people agree that the glamour of regular business travel is not what it used to be. Budget airlines and cheap long-haul carriers have initiated a race to the bottom, on service as much as price. Charging for every possible add-on has not just made for opaque pricing but has also added new layers of inconvenience and complexity to flying. ...

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