The Anatomy of a British CEO

55% of FTSE 100 chiefs have a background in finance or accounting. 15% come from marketing; 14% technology. The best industries for working through the ranks are retail and hospitality, where around 21% of bosses started out in lowly roles. Education The majority of CEOs have at least one university degree; more than a quarter …

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Ominous noises. Brexit again.

“Just left Frankfurt. Great meetings, great weather, really enjoyed it. Good, because I’ll be spending a lot more time there. #Brexit.” Thus tweeted Lloyd Blankfein, Chief Executive of Goldman Sachs, on 19th October. It was the first time a major American financial services firm had signalled a shift of its European operations away from London …

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Leaders

Without realising, we can tell who is likely to become a leader, automatically giving them more of our attention. When a group of people who don’t know each other meet for the first time, leaders naturally emerge, signaling charismatic behaviour and a variety of vocal cues. A group from Vrije University in Amsterdam have studied …

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Offensive language on the web

Reddit supports longer and more complex discussions than Facebook or Twitter, and, unlike Facebook, it does not require you to disclose your identity. Researchers analysed 3.5 billion comments on Reddit from 25.3 million people between 2007 and 2017. They sorted the comments into two groups: one non-political, the other comprised of things posted to politics …

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Why is pay between men and women so different?

Female high school graduates, aged 21 to 24, earn an average of 92 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts. Curiously, in America and contrary to expectations, the salaries of female graduates, in general, are 79% of those of their male peers of the same age group. Only a year ago the figure …

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Is running a university worth such huge salaries?

To The Times From Louise Richardson’s complaint that her salary as Vice Chancellor of Oxford (£350,000 a year) is not in the same league as footballers and bankers, to the yacht-owning George Holmes at Bolton (£222,120 a year and a £1m loan to buy a house) saying he is underpaid compared with top US institutions, …

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Inequality in the United States

According to the Guardian Weekly (November 11th) the world’s 1,542 billionaires increased their wealth this year by 17% to $6tn, a return impossible to get on most stock markets and rather a distance from the average interest income of 0.35% offered normal people by normal banks. The IMF has told western governments to increase taxes …

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Sexual harassment insurance

Sexual harassment is the consuming subject at the moment in America, with aggrieved women popping up all over the place, and startling news about secret shananigans in Congress (about how the taxpayer has been paying for financial settlements, a lot of them concerning sexual harassment) hitting the news. But there is something happening that I …

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Thought for the day

49% of teenagers say they have contacted someone by email or text message while in the same room as them.   26% of adults have done the same thing. Just 15% of 16-to24-year-olds think that phone calls are the most important method of electronic communication.  (Ofcom/The Sunday Times)

Managers, managers and yet more managers

The number of managers and senior managers employed across the National Health Service rose by 11% between October 2014 and April this year. In the same period, the number of nursing staff and health visitors grew by just 1.1% (and it has fallen since April). (The Daily Telegraph) What do you want more managers for, …

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The end of liberal democracy and humanism? (Part 1)

According to Yuval Noah Harari, in his book “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow” there is new challenge to liberal democracy. It’s primary roots lie not in ideology but in bioscience and information technology. He sugesrs that in the 21st Century “the train of progress is pulling out of the station – and this …

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The people are parting company with the corporations

The disconnect between the people and the business community community has reached huge proportions in the US. Corporations are enjoying record profits but investing very little in the economy. Only one third of Americans believe large corporations are having a positive effect on the country and only 2 in 10 people surveyed say they have …

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The best news sources

Despite significant advances in media and communication technology, high quality journalism remains something hard to come by. Newspaper revenues are in decline, caused by a shift to reading the news online. To make matters worse, many people choose to get their news via social media, eschewing the need to visit news websites at all. As …

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Are Oxford and Cambridge being racist? Part 2

What is the job of a university? To produce people who can think laterally, not literally; who can think critically and for themselves; who can mentally assemble information in a logical way, and transmit the information to others in a clear, concise manner. It is not the job of universities to reflect the racial make-up …

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Are Oxford and Cambridge being racist? Part 1

“Oxford and Cambridge Universities are being accused of a form of “social apartheid”. More than 80% of their offers go to “the top two social classes, the children of barristers, doctors and CEOs”, many of them privately educated pupils from the south-east. In 2015, one in five colleges at Cambridge and one in three at …

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American roads are becoming simply dangerous

I, on this blog, have frequently deplored the state of American infrastructure in general, but one might reasonably assume that the roads in the nation’s capital might be in good shape. Assume nothing! Last night we drove home after a concert on the Beltway, the major highway that rings Washington DC. There was fierce, driving …

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The Americanisation of British culture

One of my first posts on this blog was about how contrary to popular perception, Britain is not the polite and civil country Americans imagine it to be. http://hanrott.com/blog/the-plight-of-british-civility/. In my view, Americans watch far too much Downton Abbey and don’t realise how ugly things have become here. In reality, Britain is increasingly American- your average …

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