June 20th, 2012
02:42 PM GMT
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(CNN) - Now that the Greek people have voted and a government will be formed, we need to think about where this crisis will go.

The new Greek government will invariably go to Brussels and ask for some relief; breathing space is the phrase that will be used.

The Europeans will almost certainly grant it - to not do so would be cruel, especially bearing in mind the terrible suffering of people in Greece at the moment.

But outside of Greece what happens now?  Like a balloon that is squeezed, the European crises merely bulge out somewhere else - and that is what is happening now. FULL POST



May 30th, 2012
12:41 PM GMT
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London (CNN) – ANONYMOUS – Some violence and sexual content
CONTAGION – Disturbing content and some language
COURAGEOUS – Violence and drug content
CRAZY STUPID LOVE – Coarse humor, sexual content and language
DOLPHIN TALE – Some mild thematic elements
DRIVE – Strong brutal bloody violence, language and some nudity
FOOTLOOSE – Some teen drug and alcohol use, sexual content, language
FRIGHT NIGHT – Bloody horror, language including some sexual references
IDES OF MARCH – Pervasive language
IMMORTALS – Sequences of strong bloody violence, sexuality
PUSS IN BOOTS – Adventure action and mild rude humor
REAL STEEL – Intense action
INCEPTION – Sequences of violence and action throughout

Flying across the Atlantic I was browsing through the selection of movies on the Video on Demand.  It soon became clear that the censor who rates the movies for United Airlines takes their job very seriously indeed. Not for them, the normal ratings 14, 16 or Adult. Oh no. That would be far too simple. These days the censors have to give us a real rundown of the experiences we might expect.

FULL POST



March 1st, 2012
01:54 PM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) - Dismissed by many Western sceptics, the ancient philosophy of Feng Shui plays a key role in shaping life in Hong Kong.

CNN's Richard Quest reports on the theory's impact on architecture, business and lifestyles in the territory.



February 28th, 2012
03:49 PM GMT
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(CNN) - The fact that Greece is not officially regarded as defaulting is ridiculous – and how anyone can say the 70% net debt “haircut” for the private sector is truly voluntary simply beggars belief.

But now that Standard and Poor’s has downgraded Greece’s credit to “selective default,” that part of the fig leaf has been stripped away – and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) must declare that a “credit event” has now happened in Greece if the organization is to maintain any shred of credibility.

A “credit event” will enable anybody who’s holding Greek debt to enact a credit default swap (CDS), a form of insurance that investors use to protect against default. For these insurances to pay out, there has to be a “credit event.”

When the Greek parliament decided unilaterally to change the terms of its bond agreements with investors, that was the “credit event,” and now the ISDA must act. FULL POST



February 21st, 2012
06:22 PM GMT
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(CNN) - Back on track, the finance minister cried, giddy from all-night negotiations. Back on track they shrilled, grateful that they had got a deal to shovel another €130 billion into Greece to prevent a default… for now.

Wait a moment. From the second my Blackberry buzzed with economists’ analysis this morning, there has been an uneasy truth they may be “back on track” - but for how long?

It may be raining on the eurozone’s parade. There are a lot of private economists who basically say this deal is not good enough because no matter how much money is being shovelled into Greece, it still leaves the country with a debt-to-GDP ratio that is too high.
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January 27th, 2012
02:44 AM GMT
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Davos, Switzerland (CNN) - To hear the European leaders in Davos you would think the eurozone crisis had only just occurred and there was an urgency to deal with it hitherto unforeseen.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron and European economics commissioner Olli Rehn -– just about any leader in Davos - is now saying that time is of the essence –- that it is time to actually sort out the eurozone's problems. Forgive me. What on earth have the European leaders been doing and promising over the past three years?

Map: Europe in crisis

It is strange that now as we enter a new year they believe 2012 is the right moment to actually take the necessary decisions and implement the changes. And yet they were saying similar things in 2011, in Davos. So it is entirely understandable if we are now skeptical that they have the willpower and ability to put things right. FULL POST



January 26th, 2012
09:15 PM GMT
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Davos, Switzerland (CNN) - It is perhaps not surprising that in a gathering of the elites at Davos, the issue of bankers’ bonuses is never far from the delegates’ minds.

But unlike in recent years - a time when bankers showed remorse over their high pay packets - there seem to be noises of a fight back.

Because with profits strong, the banking bonus culture is back - to the annoyance of many including the British Prime Minister David Cameron and the Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King. FULL POST



January 24th, 2012
03:06 PM GMT
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Davos, Switzerland (CNN) – Snow, snow and more snow.

Overnight and all morning the flakes have been falling, causing havoc with the final preparations for the WEF. Swiss police are looking on in amusement as city-dwellers negotiate the slippery streets. Locals here have looks of resignation as they dig themselves out of drifts - or maybe their weariness is because the Forum is about to start, streets and shops are closed and Davos is about to become a high-security nightmare.

And yet there is a childlike appearance to those of us who have escaped offices and newsrooms to come here. We may huff, puff, complain and struggle in the drifts, but we are secretly like children released from classrooms to play in the snow.

All this snow helps take Davos back to its origins. After all, what was Davos originally, but a remote, isolated, elite meeting where the problems of the world could be solved? Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...



January 24th, 2012
11:46 AM GMT
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Davos, Switzerland (CNN) – For more than forty years, Klaus Schwab has been inviting elites to the Davos mountains. Now he admits things are "very difficult."

On Monday, Klaus Schwab, the World Economic Forum’s founder and executive director, told me he was disappointed with the progress made by leaders during 2011. He had been "hopeful that the economy would grow again. That is not the case." Schwab admitted he was "irritated by an increasing lack of willingness to deal with global issues."

Klaus Schwab is not a man noted for hyperbole or exaggeration. So when he told me of his worries about a "bunker mentality" or "burnout" in voters who "cannot cope anymore," then it’s probably time to worry.

The reason this is so worrying is that there are still so many problems to be solved. Some, like Greece, are in danger of getting worse. There is still no solution, and the politicians are miles away from agreeing on the future direction for the euro crisis. FULL POST



January 10th, 2012
08:24 AM GMT
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London (CNN) – When I first heard that the wife of Philipp Hildebrand, then president of the Swiss National Bank had bought foreign exchange, weeks before the bank changed policy, giving her a thumping big profit, it seemed an open and shut case.

Of course he had to go. FULL POST



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