January 8th, 2013
04:08 PM GMT
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London (CNN) - Remember Bowie Bonds?

I barely remembered that David Bowie was one of, if not the first, celebrity to securitize his intellectual property to raise cash, through bonds.

In Bowie’s case, he and Prudential Insurance raised funds (Wikipedia says $55 million) in 1997, giving investors interest based on revenue from his catalogue from the 1960s through 2000.

Did it work? It’s hard to say given the story seemed to fizzle out, though it’s fair to say other names have used bonds in a similar manner since then. FULL POST

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Filed under: Business

September 21st, 2012
05:50 PM GMT
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London (CNN) – When you read that something from Apple may not be working, the frenzy in the blogosphere is amazing to watch.

Especially when there are hundreds of people lined up 50 meters from where I write, in order to get a new iPhone complete with the problem. They are ignoring us!

Can Windows 8 compete with iPhone?

This time around, it's not the antenna or a silly voice command system still in beta. It's the very reason people like me love a smartphone - the map.

August 1st, 2012
06:57 PM GMT
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London (CNN) – Did London 2012 Olympic organizers scare off too many people?

It started to occur to me last week that I was getting seats on trains and buses at times that I shouldn’t. I had the fastest commute home in 22 years. I beat my best by ten minutes and now compare myself to a certain female swimmer.

Transport For London (TFL) warned us for years that there would be a 20% increase in travel during the Games and that certain stations would be "exceptionally busy."


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Filed under: BusinessOlympics

May 17th, 2012
07:24 PM GMT
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Editor's note: This blog was originally published after talks to form a new government following the May 6 election failed. Greece now faces its second election, on June 17.


London (CNN) –  Hello, Greece.

The world is again focusing on you. The economic pain and social unrest has rightly made voters and politicians the world over debate austerity, growth and structural reform.

What you are going through has made it clear that austerity is not an easy solution.

You, the Greek people now have a chance to do something I suspect millions in Europe would dearly love to do - vote on whether to leave the euro. That is what June 17 will now be about, because there will be massive pain for you, Greece, if you stay with the economic reforms, and even more pain if you reject the loans from Europe and the International Monetary Fund. Pain either way.

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Filed under: BusinessFinancial crisisGreece

May 7th, 2012
04:12 PM GMT
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London (CNN) – So far, the markets have taken the elections in Greece and France in stride. And why not? What has changed?

France helped broker the so-called Fiscal Compact, which is at the heart of closer integration in Europe. Does France now want to pull away from the eurozone and allow Germany to take all the decisions? Of course President-elect Francois Hollande would not want that.


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Filed under: European UnionGreeceRecession

March 21st, 2012
05:52 PM GMT
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London (CNN) –It will come as no surprise that the Conservative-led UK government says lower taxes bring in more revenue, because the rich will come and business will spend.

Taxes cut, pensioners hit

And it is not a surprise that left leaning parties disagree and say that such a policy will get the rich off the hook while poorer workers pay too much tax.

UK finance minister George Osborne is trying to have it both ways.

March 16th, 2012
06:51 PM GMT
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London (CNN) – When asked by CNN for comment about the new Nike shoe nick-named the ‘Black and Tan’ one man in Newry, Northern Ireland asked, “How about if an Irish company came out with a shoe and called it 'The Taliban' how would the Americans feel?”

That might be a bit harsh. The Taliban are known the world over.

Yet, Nike has fallen into the trap many American companies face. What sounds normal to your American customers can offend elsewhere.

February 27th, 2012
04:55 AM GMT
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Barcelona (CNN) - It seemed only fitting that I use my mobile phone to make my way to Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress, so for the first time I downloaded my boarding pass to my iPhone, checked in while on a bus, and handed my phone to the British Airways check-in staff upon arrival at Terminal Five. She did not blink an eye. I'm not sure why I waited so long to fully use the BA app.

Then, of course, I promptly turned my phone off after getting to the gate, and then had to stand aside to restart the damn thing (why does the iPhone take so long to boot up?).

Lesson learned.

Then we were packed into the A321 full of tech geeks and gurus. I had a look around and saw the normal amount of iPhones, BlackBerrys and iPads. But I also noticed a healthy number of Nokia phones with Windows OS. Nokia’s Lumia phone was a star at the CES in January. We await Nokia's press conference Monday to see what handsets Europeans can get their hands on.

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Filed under: MobileNokiaTechnology

February 10th, 2012
04:34 PM GMT
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London (CNN) – Give eurozone finance ministers credit.

Markets had been rising. The euro was at a two month high. The banks had apparently agreed to take a steep loss on the Greek bonds they hold, or bought in the secondary market for cents on the euro.

Then, they snapped defeat from the jaws of victory. Why?

Greek politicians have now been told they need to put austerity pledges in writing and then into law, all by next Wednesday; the new deadline.

February 7th, 2012
03:52 PM GMT
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London (CNN) – In December 1991, I was a 27-year old journalist covering the creation of a European treaty in Maastricht. Negotiations took some weeks, but exactly twenty years ago on Tuesday the city, sandwiched between Belgium and Germany, witnessed the signing of "The Treaty on European Union." The European Union had been created.

I recall forgetting my pass (yes, that one pictured above) and having to get a taxi back to our hotel in Germany to get it. And I remember the story being a bit confusing. I had moved from the U.S. to Europe only a year earlier and was trying to figure how things differed across the Atlantic.

I wondered if the so-called Maastricht Treaty really was creating a "United States of Europe" as some called it? And why did Britain say it had an "opt in" to the treaty, when everyone else called it an "opt-out"? Would the French, Italians and Dutch really be happy to scrap their centuries-old currencies for a new one, yet unnamed?

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