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Aug 18, 2011

Smartcompany News & Analysis: Markets tumble again on global recession fears, Clothing label collapses, How Billabong lost 25% of its value in minutes, Tackling gender pay gaps

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Today on SmartCompany we bring you the latest on another tumultuous day of global markets. After Wall Street fell more than 4% last night, Australian markets have dropped by about 3% in morning trade, although some companies – including Billabong International, which fell by a staggering 25% at the open – have been hit much harder.

We also look at the collapse of another fashion brand and examine a possible way to tackle the growing gender pay gap in Australian companies. Plus in Boss Lady, I explain why companies are missing out on valuable leadership skills by ignoring older workers.

For all this and more, head to our home page.

How I
How I sold my business to ESPN
FootyTips co-founder Heath Kilgour explains how he and business partner Nathan Isterling caught the attention of the world’s largest sports media network. BY PATRICK STAFFORD
How I sold my business to ESPN

Exit Strategies
Selling your business – a life-changing event
Selling a business is often a life-changing event and if you are going to do it, make sure you walk away with as much as you can. BY TOM MCKASKILL.

Aunty B
We don’t have enough cash to support production. Help!
You have hit a classic entrepreneurial dilemma. You have to invest in growth infrastructure.
Aunty B

Online Sales
Chris Thomas
If you sell online, then iPad optimisation should be taken seriously as a revenue opportunity.
Chris Thomas

Gen-Y Millionaire
Kirsty Dunphey
How do you find the perfect balance of being friendly with those you manage without them losing respect for you as their leader if you're too familiar?
Kirsty Dunphey

Selling Strategies
Trent Leyshan
When you cold call your window of opportunity to engage a stranger is only a few seconds before you hear the death knell… clunk!
Trent Leyshan

Boss Lady
Amanda Gome
Valuable leadership skills are being lost because too many companies ignore older workers.
Amanda Gome

NFA takes emergency enforcement action against IFINIX Futures Inc.

Kitco New York Market Close Report

New York Market Close Aug 18/11 05:22 PM EDT

The Australian Business Briefing: Miners stunned by PNG plan

Miners stunned by PNG plan
Copper mine Rowan Callick PAPUA New Guinea is planning to hand to landowners the ownership of the country's vast resources.
Dark clouds over US economy
US construction Kathleen Madigan WITH each piece of weak US economic data, the risk of a downturn increases for the world’s biggest economy.
Rich harvest for Wesfarmers
Wesfarmers' rich harvest Andrew Burrell WESFARMERS is proving to be a bellwether of the economy, posting a 23 per cent lift in net profit to $1.92 billion.
ASX makes hay from derivatives
ASX Richard Gluyas THE ASX has reached a historic tipping point, with revenue from derivatives trading outpacing equities for the first time.
Foster's rejects SABMiller bid
Foster's, beer Blair Speedy FOSTER'S has formally rejected a $9.5bn takeover offer from SABMiller, but investors are confident a deal will go ahead.
NAB chief says rates in holding pattern
Cameron Clyne Richard Gluyas INTEREST rates are likely to remain on hold until Christmas, with arguments for a cut or an increase both persuasive, a leading banker says.
Wesfarmers mulls sale of coalmine
wesfarmers logo Andrew Burrell WESFARMERS says it will decide whether to offload its Premier Coal mine in Western Australia within months.
Financial Markets
Wall St plunges on recession fears
Wall Street trader Jonathan Cheng US stocks tumbled on growing fears of a global recession amid a grim mix of economic data and concerns about Europe's banks.
Gold strikes record above $US1800
Oil slips 6pc on weak US data
Financial Markets Coverage
Mining & Energy
Gold strikes record above $US1800
GOLD PRICES Matt Day FEARS that prospects for growth in the US and Europe were slipping pushed gold to its third record in as many days.
Oil slips 6pc on weak US data
Copper price slumps 1.6pc
More Mining & Energy

The Australian Capital Circle: COAG crunch time for Gillard, premiers

Capital Circle Newsletter

COAG crunch time for Gillard, premiers
Julia Gillard faces a tough COAG meeting today, with a trio of coalition premiers promising trouble for the PM.

The Prime Minister is in Canberra today for the Council of Australian Governments meeting with state premiers. A picture with the premiers is scheduled for this morning. A post-COAG press conference is scheduled for about 1.30pm.
Tony Abbott began his day with his regular Today show appearance. He's off to Adelaide to continue his campaign against the carbon tax.
***Email Capital Circle. Click here to subscribe***
COAG will dominate the political agenda today. The state premiers dined with the Prime Minister at The Lodge last night and they'll meet again at 9.30am. Ms Gillard reportedly took Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu to task over dinner after he said the carbon tax would cost 23,000 jobs in Victoria.
The Herald Sun reports Ms Gillard fiercely rejected the claim and told the Premier he was "falsely raising alarm and concern". The presence of two new(ish) Liberal Premiers in Baillieu and NSW's Barry O'Farrell will be a relief for WA Premer Colin Barnett, who has been the sole conservative in this meetings for some time.
On the carbon tax, The Australian reports the premiers will attempt to force the release of secret commonwealth modelling on the state-by-state economic impacts of the carbon tax.
Carbon tax aside, the PM and premiers will also discuss mental health, a national disability insurance scheme and rolling out the welfare changes announced in the federal Budget.
The Craig Thomson affair is also dominating the news today. Fairfax papers report: CALLS were made to
Peter Brent
Peter Brent
Thommo in Dobell
Labor MP Craig Thomson, one of the class of 2007, is in trouble. His seat of Dobell on the NSW central coast, north…
More Peter Brent

The Economist | Business This Week: Higlights of News Coverage From 13th -19th August 2011

The EconomistBusiness This Week

Highlights from The Economist online's Business this week

» A bitter pill to swallow
» Still a triple-A nation
» Getting hostile over a beer

» Google shook up the smartphone industry with a deal to buy Motorola Mobility, the former mobile-handsets division of Motorola, which split in two in January. The $12.5 billion purchase is Google's biggest by far and will enable it to integrate its Android operating system better with Motorola's devices, making them more competitive with those of Apple and others. Google also benefits from Motorola's vast portfolio of patents, which Larry Page, Google's chief executive, said would help to "protect Android from anti-competitive threats".
» A German court that recently sided with Apple in a patent dispute with Samsung, and issued a temporary injunction to stop Samsung selling its Galaxy tablet computer in most European countries, refined its decision and said it would apply only to Germany for the time being. Meanwhile, Taiwan's HTC filed another lawsuit against Apple in their separate patent dispute.
A bitter pill to swallow Click Here!
» A federal judge in Virginia ruled that a patent held by Pfizer for the active drug in Viagra is valid until 2019, dealing a blow to Teva, an Israeli generic-drugs company that wanted to produce its own version. Sales of Viagra are worth $1 billion a year to Pfizer in the United States alone.
» Economic growth both in the euro area and the whole European Union slowed to just 0.2% in the second quarter, according to a first estimate. GDP rose by only 0.1% in Germany and did not grow at all in France, raising more questions about the ability of those countries to back any further potential euro-area bail-outs.
» Japan's economy shrank by 0.3% in the second quarter, but this was better than had been expected, largely because personal spending fell by only 0.1%. The government has poured money into reconstruction projects since the earthquake and tsunami in March.

Still a triple-A nation
» Fitch held America's sovereign debt rating at AAA and said the outlook was "stable". Standard & Poor's now stands alone among the big ratings agencies in having downgraded American sovereign debt to AA+. Its decision has not led to an increase in the yields on Treasury bonds.
» Iceland increased its benchmark interest rate for the first time since its cataclysmic bank crash of 2008. The krona has depreciated against the euro this year, contributing to a rise in inflation.
» Warren Buffett raised a few eyebrows by asserting that "a billionaire-friendly Congress" had "coddled" the wealthy for too long and should raise taxes on the rich. The investor, believed to be the world's third-richest man, said his income-tax rate amounted to 17.4% last year, whereas the average burden on others in his offices was 36%.
» Bank of America continued to divest its MBNA credit-card business outside the United States, selling its Canadian portfolio to Toronto-Dominion Bank and announcing that it was seeking a buyer for its European (mostly British and Irish) holdings. Brian Moynihan, BofA's chief executive, has come under pressure from investors to boost the bank's share price, which has fallen by half over the past year.

Getting hostile over a beer
» SAB Miller took its A$9.5 billion ($10 billion) offer for Fosters directly to shareholders, after two months during which the Australian brewer's board refused to discuss a deal.
» Asahi, Japan's biggest beermaker by sales, agreed to buy Independent Liquor, a drinks company based in New Zealand. The NZ$1.5 billion ($1.3 billion) deal gives Asahi control of Independent's ready-to-drink brands, such as Purple Goanna and Vodka Mudshake, which are some of the biggest in the Asian market.
» CCTV, China's main state broadcaster, started a campaign attacking Baidu, China's biggest search engine, alleging that it is easy to commit fraud through its website. It described Baidu, which has around 75% of the market for internet searches in China, as a "monopolist" that abuses its power. Observers noted that CCTV has just launched its own search engine.
» Facebook's implied value was estimated at $66.5 billion, after Interpublic, an advertising group, sold half its stake (previously thought to be around 0.4%) in the privately held social-networking website for $133m. It bought its holding in 2006 for $5m. In January Facebook was thought to be worth $50 billion after Goldman Sachs made a big investment in the firm.
» It emerged that Manchester United is planning to raise around $1 billion from an initial public offering in Singapore by the end of the year. The English football club has a huge number of fans in Asia.