Letters to the editor - 12/09 - Tesco in the US, Pensions crisis, Best of Twitter

Tesco in the US

[Re: What Tesco’s US debacle tells us about the wisdom of markets, yesterday]

Few UK companies can stand up to the price competition and, significantly, service levels of US retail. Even new car dealerships are open up until 10:30pm at night in America. Where else in the world could you find a car finance deal at 10:25pm? And I have always found US stores more generous in terms of customer service and returns, often giving the customer the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps these differences in working culture account for part of the problem that UK firms (like Tesco) find when moving to the US.

Name Withheld


Pensions crisis

[Re: Private pensions have become a piggy bank for spendthrift states, yesterday]

Ros Altmann is absolutely right to emphasise the vulnerability of private pensions to state appropriation. An even wider issue, however, is the shockingly low amount of workers actually saving for a private pension in the first place. The Pension Policy Institute has produced data showing that just 41 per cent of women and 44 per cent of men in their 30s are accruing a non-state pension. Government raiding of these schemes may increase the burden on future generations, but we should also do more to increase participation.

David Emmanuel



Strong jobs rise in London: up 197,000 vs a year ago to 5.221m. Highest level since measure began in 1996.

Almost all the rise in employment in last 12 months has been among over 50s: 273,000 of 275,000.

Portuguese consumer prices fell 0.7 per cent in July. ECB doing a good job on price stability then.

Building a business is not rocket science. It’s about having a great idea and seeing it through.