July 4th, 2012
12:53 PM GMT
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(CNN) – The room was filled with a certain buzz and not an empty seat could be found in the grand ballroom. I counted 14 television cameras lined up across the back of the room, and the center table where I was sitting had chief executives representing about a dozen sectors from advertising to power transmission.

A few minutes later a young, dapper man in a cobalt blue suit, matching suede loafers and a crisp white shirt - minus a tie - takes the center seat to my right. All eyes fix their gaze on Greece's rising star, 38 year-old Alexis Tsipras.

With a calm demeanor, but electric smile, the leader of the far left Syriza party and now the official opposition in the Greek parliament greets the host of the conference Daniel Franklin, executive editor of the Economist magazine. He turns and offers the same warm handshake to me and the first public policy address to the Greek business community gets underway.

Moments later, Tsipras takes the stage and wastes little time accusing the newly elected coalition government, made up of leaders from a previous generation, of rolling over in Brussels since it "could not negotiate to obtain oxygen that was given to others without a fight". FULL POST



July 4th, 2012
12:10 PM GMT
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London (CNN) - Fresh from the frying pan and about to leap into the fire, former Barclays boss Bob Diamond faces a UK parliamentary committee today to answer questions on a rate fixing scandal that cost his bank $450 million and Diamond his job.

Diamond resigned yesterday - alongside COO Jerry del Messier – saying “the external pressure placed on Barclays has reached a level that risks damaging the franchise.”

A memo published by Diamond ahead of his testimony today appears to point the finger at senior central bankers and politicians, suggesting Barclays was encouraged to lower the rate known colloquially as ‘LIBOR.’

David Ruffley, a Conservative member of parliament for Bury St Edmunds, is one of 13 lawmakers from a cross-party panel which will grill Diamond later today.

World Business Today spoke to Ruffley about the questions lawmakers want answers to. FULL POST



July 4th, 2012
11:02 AM GMT
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London (CNN) – Here's a question for football fans - if your team was given a $100 million cash injection this summer, what would you like to see it spent on? New players? Contract extensions? Stadium improvements?

If you're a Manchester United fan, the good news is that your team is planning to get that $100 million in cash. The bad news is, all the money's going straight to servicing one of the biggest debt piles in sports.

The team revealed its plans for a $100 million public offering on the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday night, crushing hopes in Asia that the world's most popular football club would choose to float in Singapore. In filing with the SEC, however, the club also showed just how difficult it will be to keep up with its noisy neighbors (and reigning English champions) Manchester City, bankrolled by Sheikh Mansour's bottomless pockets.
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