Friday, August 30, 2013
Watch the star packed trailer of The Counselor, starring, Brad Pitt Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz and Oscar winner Javier Bardem
Nationwide had planned to enter the SME market and start making loans to small businesses across the UK as soon as next year but suddenly decided to delay their entry until two years later than planned. On first look, this decision is strange as Nationwide already compete with major commercial banks so it would represent a natural transition if they were to starting lending to small business but a considered look at the SME market would make Nationwide’s delay a wise decision.
There are number of reason why Nationwide have decided delay but the most prominent among them would be the insistence of regulators to increase the amount of capital the Building society holds in reserve. One of the key features of the financial crisis of 2007-08 was how undercapitalized high street banks coupled with obscene levels of debt which still effect major banks, including Nationwide, to the present day. Still reeling from the fallout of the last crisis, regulators at the Bank of England are prepared to stand firm and hold fast to their capital demands despite criticism from business and government ministers looking to start another lending bonanza
A second reason why Nationwide may be a little apprehensive about entering the SME banking market is the very nature and structure of the market itself. The UK SME market is run by five major banks that control 90% of the market so this leaves very little room for Nationwide to work with off the bat. While it may be argued that there may be a need for competition, this brings up another problem why Nationwide are less than gung-ho about entering the SME banking market.
According to EEF, it appears that small business (Nationwide’s prospective customers), despite the relative lack of real competition in the market, as they “were reporting an improvement in the availability of borrowing and a drop in the cost of securing loans”. Another reason why Nationwide delayed their entry into the SME lending market is they have little knowledge about very risky market given that a significant number of SME ‘s fail. To illustrate, would you gung-ho about investing money in something that fails 20% of the time in its first years or 50% in the next three? Nationwide, wisely, clearly aren’t. Building Societies like Nationwide are by design conservative organizations so forays into markets as risky as the SME banking market are not done on a whim.
However, Nationwide might have been encourage by data that shows that the rate of business failure has been in decline since the crisis meaning SME have mostly weathered storm coupled with people starting new businesses to replace those who were wiped by the credit crunch. Also with government almost sounding a rallying everybody with an inclination to invest in small business, Nationwide might have been tempted to try their hand.
But even Nationwide to take the plunge into the SME banking market, there is no promise that Nationwide would any more lenient than high street are towards SME’s. With Nationwide being risk averse by nature of their business model, the barriers to funding are likely to be rigid and since they suffer from the same capital shortfalls (though not as large) as other major high street banks, pumping money into SME’s do not look an attractive prospect.
In sum, Nationwide may end up taking the plunge but not without their feet in an ever increasing tide-happy pool.
 P. Cunliffe, 2013, Nationwide delays SME Lending Plans, http://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/425043/Nationwide-delays-SME-lending-plans
A.Stount, 2012, The UK Start Up Economy: Nov 2012,
 M. Flanagan, 2013, Comment: Mutual recriminations over Nationwide, http://www.scotsman.com/business/management/comment-mutual-recriminations-over-nationwide-1-3063255
Thursday, August 29, 2013
In China, a 17 year old son of a popular Chinese military musician has been accused of being part of a gang that raped one girl. His father Li Shuagjiang is famous; he has starred in various television galas and made People’s Liberation Army’s anthems. His father is a well respected musician and the media refers to him as the “general” despite being just a civilian PLA member.
Li Tianyi is minor at the age of 17 years; He told the court he was too drunk and even passed out during the February incident. Tianyi claimed that he did not touch the girl; he neither had sex with nor beat her. He was accused with four others; both lawyer, Tianyi’s and the victim’s released statements through the media and formed a public opinion. This is likely to put indirect effect on the outcome of the case because the Communist party officials’ control courts in China will be influenced. This case brought up the public interest because children of the elite in China are seen as very spoilt. The trial had to be closed because the accused is underage.
Tianyi’s lawyers blamed the bar in Beijing for allowing under aged teenagers drink alcohol. It was not easy for the victim to come forward and report the rape attack because she received threats.
There were big online debates that could not help questioning the reputation of the accused. They lay bare their anger over how the rich and those connected with the powerful people in China go unpunished. This is not the first time this teenager is taken to court. In 2011, he attacked a couple after a small traffic dispute. He also threatened people who gathered to see what was happening and the case got widespread attention.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Check out the trailer for Mike Wells' Lust, Money and Murder Narrated by Mike Wells himself. Get your copy of Lust Money and Murder at Amazon here
Kelly Osbourne is a good friend of Miley Cyrus but, she had to warn her girlfriend. She feels that her friend should watch tongue considering her performance at the VMA. There have been a number of hits since her controversial performance and even her friends are not happy about it.
Kelly said that Miley is her friend and is not planning to dump her for any reason and as a good friend; it’s her duty to warn her. According to Kelly, Miley has to keep her f**king tongue silent. She admits her love for Miley but, she does not like the way she talks. Kelly is not happy at all with Miley, and feels she has to watch what she does.
Her (Miley) nude colored bikini that she wore during the performance was comparable the renowned egg get up worn by Gaga in the VMA event several years ago. It was not amusing and only reminded the VMA attendants the weird fashion donned by stars for this event every year.
There are some stars that are in support of Miley; Adam Lambert was a presenter at the event and defended the embattled star via Twitter. He told those complaining that it may not be their cup of tea, but it does not give them right to criticize her. He continued to say that she doing something good for herself. But actually ended up saying that he did not state his opinion about the performance; so no one knows if he liked it or not! Adam concluded that Miley was merely enjoying and trying getting some slack.
Michael Buble is a singer and at the age of 37 years, he is now the proud father of a baby boy. His wife, Luisana Lopilato is an actress aged 26 years gave birth to their first baby and they named him Noah. They received the bundle of joy on Tuesday night around 2.26 am.
Noah was born in Vancouver, Canada and immediately the proud father shared a photo of the happy family of three in Instagram. He added a caption expressing his joy and gratitude of having a son. In the picture, the beautiful actress who is an Argentine is cradling the sleeping baby while Michael is beaming with happiness. He is swearing blue scrubs of a doctor and a disposable hair cap. The photo shows how happy the couple feels happy with the arrival of their first child.
This couple got married in 2011 in March and they announced Luisana’s pregnancy in January this year. It was done through a video message and Michael spoke saying that he had just found out that he was going to be a father. They found out that baby was a boy the day a new pope from Argentina was selected. They were happy about the coincidence and Michael joked that the boy would not be named frank.
Michael, who is a Canadian, is determined to be the best father possible and kept saying it even before the baby was born. He does not want regret in the future and his family will always come first and not his work.
Yesterday, Alec Baldwin got physical with a photographer who name is Paul Adao. The actor and his wife were having lunch when this photographer came out of nowhere and started taking photos. This is alleged to have taken place in New York.
The photographer was overzealous but when contacted for a comment, he insisted that he did not approach the couple in a hostile way. Adao said that he was just doing his work; asking some questions and taking video.
The couple has a newborn daughter, but she was not with them during the incident. Both Baldwin and Adao admitted that they pushed one another and none of them wants to press charges. The case is now closed by the police and it remains unclear who started the fight between the two.
This is not the first time Baldwin gets into an altercation with a paparazzi. Last year he hit a photographer, just after he obtained his marriage certificate. May be he is not yet used to having his photos taken all the time or simply won't allow it!