Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Games are a chance for Britain to showcase its freedom and openness

IT’S fitting that the Olympic flame, which passed through the City yesterday, is lit in Olympia by focusing the sun’s rays in a mirror. The modern Games is a mirror of nations, in which the host nation and its guests reveal themselves to the world.

Take the torch relay. For the Nazis, who ran the first relay in 1936, it was a statement of imperial intent. The flame crossed Czechoslovakia like a dog marking its territory. For Britain’s latest Games, the same symbol is instead a beacon of both a peaceful ideal and more local anxieties, criss-crossing the length and breadth of our small island, in an effort to bring a spirit of national unity to a Games centred on London. Continue reading

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Filed under Human nature, Olympics, Politics

The Batman of business: Private equity has the guts to do the dirty work

BATMAN and Barack Obama are conspiring to put private equity under a Bat Signal-shaped spotlight this week. The unlikely duo have come together thanks to the similarity between Bane – the name of the villain in The Dark Knight Rises – and the Obama re-election campaign’s attack against Republican Mitt Romney’s career at Bain Capital. Continue reading

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How to give like a businessman: The lesson of Andrew Carnegie’s Gospel of Wealth

THIS week’s announcement that British venture capitalist Michael Moritz has given £75m to Oxford University is a welcome reminder of the great contribution that many in the financial services industry continue to make to worthy causes, either in public or behind the scenes. Moritz’s gift will support scholarships for the poorest students. In so doing, he joins the likes of hedge fund billionaire Arpad Busson and his Absolute Return for Kids charity and Lord Stanley Fink, the former Man Group chief executive, who donates 30 per cent of his income every year to charity, and City A.M., which raised £1.5m in its 2011 Christmas appeal. Continue reading

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The fall of Bob Diamond: How tragedy can stalk even the most powerful

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Filed under Business, Economics, Finance, Human nature, Liberal education, Literature