RECESSION INCREASES SUICIDE AND MURDER
Unemployment and recession add to the death toll from suicide, murder and heart attacks but cut the number killed in road accidents, according to the most comprehensive analysis so far of the health effects of economic downturn. Researchers at Oxford University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine analysed the effect of economic changes on mortality rates in 26 European countries from 1970 to 2007.
BERTELSMANN FORMS MUSIC DUO WITH KKR
Bertelsmann, the German media group, has launched a new music publishing venture with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts to acquire catalogues of songs with about €250m of financing from the US private equity group.
EX-CLSA BANKER ADMITS HK INSIDER TRADE
A former investment banker at regional brokerage CLSA and a fund manager yesterday both pleaded guilty to insider trading in Hong Kong, as the regulator continues its crackdown on the offence. Insider trading was made a criminal offence in Hong Kong in 2003, but the Securities and Futures Commission only launched its first prosecution in February 2008.
SAMSUNG LEADS BRIGHTER TECH SECTOR
A bullish profits forecast from South Korea’s Samsung Electronics this week has spurred hopes of a broader recovery in Asia’s technology sector.
Samsung shares gained this week on news that second-quarter operating profit on a consolidated basis was expected to increase more than five-fold to Won2,200bn ($1.7bn) from the first quarter.
MEGA LOSSES REVEALED IN BRANSON’S RETAIL EMPIRE
The multimillion-pound failures of three of Sir Richard Branson’s highest-profile companies have been revealed for the first time. Accounts filed with Companies House show that Sir Richard accumulated operating losses of more than £300m from the Virgin Megastores retail business. The 125 UK stores were sold two years ago to Zavvi, which itself went into administration at the end of 2008.
BBC TO CUT PROGRAMME BUDGET TO FILL £2BN PENSION BLACK HOLE
The BBC will be forced to cut millions of pounds from its programme budgets to plug an estimated £2bn black hole in its pensions scheme.The public broadcaster has warned its pension scheme members that in April last year the fund was £470m in the red.
The Daily Telegraph
GERMANY CONSIDERS DIRECT LENDING
The German government is mulling the “unprecedented” step of lending directly to companies as credit dries up for both Mittlestand family firms and the industrial export giants. Peer Steinbrück, the country’s finance minister, said radical action is called for as the credit crunch “manifests itself more and more”, leaving companies struggling to roll over debts.
$400BN SIV MARKET SOLD OFF IN TWO YEARS
Almost all of the $400bn (£247bn) of assets held in structured investment vehicles (SIVs), the complex credit products hardest hit by the credit crisis, have been disposed of in just two years. The collapse of the SIV market, which took 21 years to build up to a peak of $400bn in July 2007, has cost investors dearly, with many losing their entire investments.
WILL STREET JOURNAL
JUDGE DISMISSES SOME CLAIMS IN COPYRIGHT SUIT AGAINST YOUTUBE
A federal judge overseeing a $1bn copyright class-action against Google’s YouTube dismissed some of the plaintiffs’ claims for certain types of damages from the video-sharing site. US District Judge Louis Stanton ruled that one group of plaintiffs, which includes Britain’s top soccer league, couldn’t request damages for videos with non US copyrights that may have appeared on YouTube.
TELEFONICA COULD FEEL BLOW OF ALIERTA VERDICT
A Spanish court is expected to deliver its verdict this month in the insider-trading trial of Telefónica Chairman César Alierta — a long-awaited decision that could have profound consequences on Europe’s biggest telecom firm and Spain’s close-knit business community.