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Bumper payouts for housebuilding executives as market booms

Berkeley boss Tony Pidgley to face tough questions at AGM over his £23.3m pay package, while Persimmon scheme is spread across 135 of top team

Two of Britain’s largest housebuilders, Berkeley Group and Persimmon, could hand out about £1bn to their top executives and managers in pay and bonuses over the next six years, boosted by strong UK house prices and government-subsidies for home-buyers.

Tony Pidgley, founder and executive chairman at Berkeley, is expected to face tough questions on Tuesday at the group’s shareholder meeting near its headquarters in leafy Cobham, Surrey, after it emerged last month that his pay package last year was worth £23.3m.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Sir Adrian Cadbury obituary

Former chairman of Cadbury Schweppes and author of the 1992 report that set the standard for corporate governance

That Sir Adrian Cadbury’s 1992 report on corporate governance is still recognised around the world as the starting point on how companies should be managed is no surprise. It bore his hallmarks – clarity of analysis, attention to detail, moral certainty and an expectation that people will behave well if properly encouraged – which marked out an exceptional business career which turned a family chocolate business into a worldwide empire.

Cadbury, who has died aged 86, kept close to his roots throughoutmmerce, promoting local charities in the family’s Quaker tradition and, as a long-serving chancellor, helping build the new Aston University into a rival of its older neighbour in Birmingham.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

America's decline in wages can be traced to the George W Bush era

What if a re-reading of the data reveals the Reagan and Clinton years actually boosted the wages of blue collar and middle income households?

One of the statistical touchstones for left-leaning economists is the run of figures showing that US workers have suffered three decades of flat wages. There is no better way to illustrate how capitalism, marching to its own tune, fails most of America’s 160 million workers than wage data that hardly moves from year to year after inflation is taken into account.

Nobel prize winner Joseph Stiglitz and best-selling economist Thomas Piketty often characterise the 1980s and 1990s, as well as the 2000s until the financial crash, as periods of stellar growth that bypassed the average worker. This story of workers slaving, only for corporations to reap the benefits is allied to Piketty’s history of wealth accumulation, which puts a figure on the astounding riches in property and savings amassed by the most affluent 1% in recent years.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

The innovators: smartphone shortcuts at the click of a Flic

Silicone button connects a wide range of smartphone functions, from taking a selfie to triggering a panic alarm

When engineer and Shortcut Labs co-founder Joacim Westlund wanted to track his tobacco consumption, he developed an app for it. But pulling out his phone and navigating through multiple apps to find the right one proved frustrating, so he decided to create a shortcut through the process.

From that niche frustration has come Flic, a silicone button the size of two pound coins stuck together that triggers specific functions on a smartphone. It has an adhesive back so it can be stuck on a wall or cupboard, or attached with a clip to a belt, jacket or a bag strap.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

US-appointed egg lobby paid food blogs and targeted chef to crush vegan startup

Internal emails reveal coordinated attack by American Egg Board to quash the rise of Hampton Creek’s egg alternative in possible breach of federal regulations

A government-controlled industry group targeted popular food bloggers, major publications and a celebrity chef as part of its sweeping effort to combat a perceived threat from an egg-replacement startup backed by some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names, the Guardian can reveal.

Related: Government-backed egg lobby tried to crack food startup, emails show

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Central banks can do nothing more to insulate us from an Asian winter

The ECB’s new tree sculpture offers an ironic counterpoint to the lack of growth in the world’s second-biggest economy

The European Central Bank proudly announced on Friday that it is erecting a 17-metre-high bronze and granite tree outside its Frankfurt headquarters – an artwork intended to “convey a sense of stability and growth” – and, with its gilded leaves and massive trunk, presumably also wealth and power.

But when Mario Draghi, the ECB’s president, appeared before the world’s media on Thursday at his regular press conference, it was the limit to central bankers’ power that was on display.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Berkeley lays on the shares with a trowel

Tony Pidgley’s housebuilder has its AGM this week. But whatever the news there, he’s already done well

If you are a politician who accepts the odd small token of esteem from top businesspeople, you have to admit to it. For example, Boris Johnson once received a glass paperweight and an engraved trowel worth £500 from the housebuilder Tony Pidgley, so there’s a record of the London mayor being presented with these objets (if not what he did with them).

Frustratingly, however, there’s no central record of the gifts doled out by politicians to businessmen, although one such offering to Pidgley’s trade will be in evidence this week.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Labour leadership races can change fast; interest rates, not so much

Jeremy Corbyn looks like a racing certainty. But whatever happens, the election will be more definite than the endless false alarms sounded over the base rate

That bookmaker Paddy Power had not only stopped taking bets on Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership of the Labour party but was actually paying out was, shall we say, hot news. While it did not exactly spoil my holiday, it did make me kick myself that I had not placed a small wager on Corbyn a month or so ago, when the quoted odds were 100-1 against him.

I am something of a horseracing man, although I hasten to add that I only bet in tiny amounts. As the presenters of the Today programme’s tips know, the old music-hall joke applies all too often: “I follow the horses. The trouble is that the horses I follow also follow the horses… ”

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

China's central bank governor says yuan has stabilised against the dollar

Zhou Xiaochuan tells G20 meeting in Turkey the exchange rate ‘tends to be stable’ in the wake of the yuan’s devaluation and stock market chaos

China’s central bank governor has told a meeting of the G20 that China’s currency has stabilised against the dollar after the country’s surprise announcement in August to revalue the yuan amid stock market turmoil.

Related: Why is China’s stock market falling and how might it affect the global economy?

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS