MT's week in 60 seconds

The best of this week's business news: duelling doll-makers, flush footballers and prize plonkers.

Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012

School half-term may have thinned numbers in the Square Mile during this shortened week, but the doom and gloom has kept on coming. Yesterday we learned that house prices suffered their biggest drop in 16 years in May, while those habitual doom-mongers at the CBI warned that prices continue to soar on the high street. Large swathes of the UK even found themselves without power on Tuesday, after nine of our power stations suddenly broke down all at once – which is never a good sign. In fact, nerves are so frayed that even children’s doll-makers are at loggerheads: this week the US owner of Barbie launched a $1bn court battle with the creators of Bratz...

But there was some light amid the black-outs: Burberry announced bumper profits thanks to soaring sales of its bags and shoes - in the same week that Deloitte’s football finance review revealed that the beautiful game is booming in England, with wages (and thus WAG shopping budgets) at an all-time high. Surely no coincidence. And Richard Desmond has been exemplifying the glass-half-full attitude to life: the owner of the Express newspapers and OK magazine has apparently put aside £17m for a new private jet – which is a bit of luck, given that all these business-class airlines keep going down the tubes. Perhaps he read this week’s report suggesting that bosses usually don’t get sacked even when their company’s doing badly. 

Two departing corporate titans who are definitely jumping, rather than being pushed, are Vodafone boss Arun Sarin, who quit as CEO this week just when he finally seemed to have won over his doubters, and former Man Group CEO Stanley Fink, who is stepping down from his non-exec role at the company he built up into the largest listed hedge fund manager in the world. New challenges await for both, and who knows, their career highlight may be yet to come. After all, ex-Premiership footballer David Ginola has just snapped up an award at an international wine festival – which means his prize rose has already won as many medals as he did playing for Spurs...

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