BBC Business - Peston's Picks
News and Topical Debate from the BBC's Robert Peston
We're all gulled by special offers
I asked the boss of one of our largest fashion retailers whether he was concerned about the substantial size of price increases he would have to force on consumers in the new year, as a consequence of the looming VAT rise, the increment in the cotton price (which has softened a bit) and the substantial inflation which China is now exporting (in contrast to the deflation that it used to export).
He more-or-less called me a blithering idiot. Visible price increases? Don't be so naive, he said. Most of...
The end of EMI is nigh?
Sooner or later - and it may be sooner - we are likely to see the end of a once great British corporate name, and a still resonant name in the music business, EMI.
Because those close to EMI tell me they expect Citigroup, the giant US bank, to seize control of the business and then quickly sell it off in pieces.
For reasons that aren't entirely clear to me, there is a belief at EMI's current owner, Terra Firma, that Citi may attempt to take control of EMI fairly imminently - although I am not sure how that can happen earlier than March (see below).
The expectation is Citi would then sell EMI's music publishing arm to the private-equity house KKR for about £1.2bn.
And EMI's recorded music business would...
Bankers seek deal with ministers on bonuses
The talks involving those who run our biggest banks, on how to take the sting out of criticisms of the bonuses they're to pay their top people in the new year, have moved to a new phase.
You'll recall that a fortnight ago I disclosed that bank bosses are talking to each other to examine whether it might be possible to end the arms race of paying higher and higher...
The perilous condition of Portugal's banks
The Portuguese central bank has warned today that Portugal's banks have become too dependent on loans from the European Central Bank and will need to raise significant amounts of new capital to "resist additional adverse shocks".
The analysis of the weakness of Portugal's banks, contained in the Banco de Portugal's Financial Stability Report, is disturbingly similar to the structural flaws in Ireland's banks, which took Ireland to the brink of bankruptcy.
There is however one important difference, which some will argue makes Portugal's financial predicament more perilous: Portugal's banks have not only been borrowing colossal sums from the ECB, they have also been lending billions of euros to the Portuguese government...