June 23rd, 2011
06:58 PM GMT
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(CNN) – A surprise attack from an unlikely source sent oil prices reeling Thursday.

The International Energy Agency, the Paris based research arm of 28 industrialised countries, held an emergency press conference to announce that its members would release 60 million barrels onto the market – allocating two million barrels a day for a month.  Half of the total will be coming from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. 

It is only the third time the IEA tapped reserves; the first was in 1991 during the Gulf War, then again in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina wiped out some production in the Gulf of Mexico.

This move triggered memories of G-7 currency interventions in the mid-1980s, the fabled Plaza and Louvre accords, when collective action by central banks was taken to either raise or lower the U.S. dollar.
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June 23rd, 2011
06:32 PM GMT
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(CNN) – We’d all like to invest as wisely as Warren Buffett, wouldn’t we? And maybe we can, because helpfully he’s the kind of billionaire investor who believes in sharing his insights.

Google “Buffett sayings” and many of his do’s and don’ts are just a click away. You can get them in books too, not to mention Mr Buffett’s letters to shareholders of his investment company Berkshire Hathaway. Don’t waste time, as I did, on the quotes of Jimmy Buffett – not if it’s investment that interests you, anyway.

Some of the sayings attributed to W. Buffett (“Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked”) have a kind of folksy cleverness to them that make you think, “Yes, I see what you’re (allusively) saying!” Others are a lot more direct, and seem to offer common-sense prescriptions you can follow, like “I never invest in a business I don’t understand.” Well thanks, but who would?

In fact, lots of us certainly have, and probably will again. It’s harder to avoid than you might think.

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June 23rd, 2011
02:39 PM GMT
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Cannes, France (CNN) - Cannes Lions used to be a festival for ad agencies, then the clients started coming and now the content owners are coming. James Murdoch, Jeffrey Katzenberg and our own Jeff Bewkes, who heads up Time Warner, are all here this week.

Martin Sorrell, boss of the multi-billion dollar WPP group of creative agencies, talks of a new triangle of agencies, clients and media/content owners. In effect a new structure to the creative sector.
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June 23rd, 2011
01:29 PM GMT
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On a recent visit to a London showroom my mother – a Saab driver since the mid-90s – traded in her SE900 Turbo for a new Mercedes CLK 250.

At first glance the two cars seemed to offer the same attributes: Both were black, both convertible, with leather seats and walnut dash, and both appealed to the luxury market.

Had her car not been a bit on the ‘mature’ side, half of me would have wondered why she was keen to swap.
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