Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010


One of a rare breed of journalists turned academics, Sir Geoffrey Owen came through the ranks at the Financial Times as industrial editor, US correspondent, deputy editor and finally editor in 1981. Along the way he took five years out to sample the real world, working for Harold Wilson's Industrial Reorganisation Corp and then British Leyland. Now teaching corporate strategy at the LSE, he writes this month about the Ford in our future.


There is no place like home, says Gill Upton, and it isn't hard to see why. For the past 15 years, she hasn't spent much time there as she moved about the world as a travel journalist, editor and broadcaster, including 10 years as editor-in-chief of Business Traveller magazine. All of which leaves her more than qualified to tell us who uses which hotels in eight of the leading city destinations for UK business travellers.


Ever since reading The Wonder Boys (now a Michael Douglas film) the Times' City and business editor and new resident MT columnist says she can't get enough of writer Michael Chabon. His latest novel is set in the US in the '50s and features two men who make and lose a fortune from comic books. In her regular column Patience will be talking about winners and losers in business - but from an insider's point of view. A keen cook and skier, she loves relaxing by the seaside.


Our new illustrator for the property page's 'Roofless' cartoon is quite the surrealist, liking nothing better than turning something familiar into something funny. Among his own work, Scott's favourite is The Last Cuppa, a take-off of the religious masterpiece; it depicts Van Gogh drinking from a cup, the handle of which takes the form of his ear. He draws for the FT and a variety of computer mags and is planning his first holiday in eight years - to see his very patient girlfriend in LA.


The peace of a quiet summer Sunday was shattered two years ago when Antony Barnett's major scoop - one worthy of the name for once - of New Labour's 'lobbygate' dealings were splashed all over the Observer newspaper (where he is now public affairs editor). Together with the US journalist Greg Palast, Antony exposed dubious dealings in high places, a theme also explored by George Monbiot in his new book Captive State, which Antony reviews on page 47.


The author of Sources Close to the Prime Minister and The Times Guide to the New British State, David Walker has spent much of his career in the halls of power, shadowing senior policy advisers. A former leader-writer for the Times and Independent and now analysis editor of the Guardian, David writes in this issue on how to get ahead in the civil service. He lives with Guardian colleague Polly Toynbee, who has to listen to him sing and play the clarinet.

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