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Big business is not to blame for rising pay inequality

US corporations could soon be forced to reveal what their CEOs earn compared with the average worker. But we also need to look at the bigger picture

Inequality is back in the spotlight as the US Securities and Exchange Commission prepares to vote on pay ratios. For the first time, America’s largest businesses could be forced to publish how much more their chief executives earn than the average worker.

The disclosure, required under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, has long been in the pipeline. If voted in, businesses can expect the new rules to inspire greater levels of scrutiny. Research by Harvard Business School shows people have no idea how much CEOs earn and, when asked, grossly underestimate their boss’s pay. In the US, CEOs earn up to 300 times more than the average salary, yet most estimate the gap to be a fraction of this, at 30 times the average wage.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

How cities are innovating towards a circular economy

The high-density nature of living in cities complements the circular economy and a whole host of initiatives are popping up, from Singapore to Detroit

Cities are increasingly embracing circular economy principles; updating and adapting policies, sharing knowledge, and encouraging innovation for less wasteful systems. As chief executive of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Andrew Morlet has noted that built-up urban areas lend themselves particularly well to circular business models. This is due to the close proximity of citizens, retailers and service providers; the highly-skilled workforce and technology savvy markets; and high concentrations of biological and technical nutrients.

Cultural trends and city lifestyles are also playing a part, according to Dustin Benton, head of energy and resources at environmental think tank Green Alliance. “There’s something here about cultural power. If you can get the people who are the creators and makers – the early adopters – interested, then it tends to spiral and is picked up more broadly,” he explains.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Standard Chartered's new boss halves dividend to shareholders

Bill Winters quashes rumours about HQ move as he reports 44% fall in first-half profits after bad debts in India and fraudulent loan in private bank dent results

The new boss of Standard Chartered has halved the dividend and attempted to quash speculation that the emerging markets-focused bank is to move its headquarters out of London.

Bill Winters, making his first presentation since he replaced Peter Sands in June, also left the door open to tapping investors for cash to bolster the bank’s financial strength. A full strategic review will be presented later in the year as the investment banker tries to cut costs and bolster returns to shareholders.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

UK services growth slips in July as employment hits 16-month low

Latest PMI figures suggest economic recovery is slowing, with possible knock-on effects on Bank of England interest rate rises

British services companies grew less than expected last month as hiring eased to its slowest pace since March 2014, suggesting the economic recovery weakened at the start of the second half of this year.

Wednesday’s Markit/Cips services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to 57.4 in July from 58.5 in June, undershooting a Reuters forecast for 58.0 but still indicating expansion among services businesses.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Telecoms group Spirent slumps 16% after profit warning

Company blames cost of investment for disappointing market

One of the day’s biggest losers so far is telecoms testing group Spirent Communications, which has lost nearly 16% following a profit warning.

The company said it expected revenues for the full year to be in line with forecasts but added that profits would be “materially below our expectations” due to plans to invest in new products and its acquisitions “given the opportunities for growth in this time of unparalleled change.”

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Virgin Australia cancels all flights in and out of Bali as volcano spews ash

Airline says Mount Raung’s eruption and unfavourable winds make for unsuitable conditions after Jetstar cancels four flights and delays two others

Virgin Australia has cancelled all flights in and out of Bali as volcanic ash spewing from the Mount Raung volcano again plays havoc with flights.

The airline said the eruption and unfavourable winds made for unsuitable flying conditions on Wednesday morning and urged customers in Bali not to go to Denpasar airport until they had a confirmed rebooking.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Councils allowed to relax Sunday trade laws to promote 'thriving high streets'

Mayors and councils to decide which areas are free from current law, which stops shops more than 3,000 sq ft opening more than six hours on a Sunday

Mayors and local councils are to be given new powers to relax Sunday trading laws for high street stores to allow them to compete with large out-of-town shopping centres and online retailers.

Under government plans to allow high streets to “grow and thrive”, councils will be given powers to zone areas where Sunday trading laws could be relaxed. The changes would mean that a local council could declare that shops on a designated high street could be allowed to operate under more relaxed hours while out-of-town shopping centres with fewer local ties could face restrictions.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

New Rolls-Royce investors claim 'good directors should challenge forceful CEO'

Quote features on ValueAct Capital’s website, who own more than 5% of engine firm, in a message sure to attract attention of new chief executive Warren East

If Warren East, the new chief executive of Rolls-Royce, wants to sleep well at night, he should probably avoid reading one of the two rotating quotations on the front of the website of ValueAct Capital, the San Francisco-based activist hedge fund that recently unveiled a stake in the British aircraft engine maker.

It comes from the legendary investor Warren Buffett, and is a warning to any chief executive in charge of an under-performing company.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

SFO chief says more Libor charges on the way after Tom Hayes conviction

David Green says the 14-year sentence handed to former trader is ‘part punishment, part deterrent’

More criminal charges are to be brought against individuals suspected of rigging Libor following the conviction of Tom Hayes, according to the head of the Serious Fraud Office.

David Green, the director of the fraud-busting agency, told the Wall Street Journal that the 14-year jail term handed down to Hayes would “send a strong deterrent message” to others considering rigging benchmark rates.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Why has Shire joined the biotech bonanza with Baxalta bid?

The sector is awash with mergers and acquisitions but it’s hard to understand what the appeal of Shire/Baxalta is meant to be

The old wisdom said hostile deals don’t work in the world of cutting-edge pharmaceutical research because successful science requires willing partners. In the current bid-a-week biotech bonanza, such niceties can be thrown out of the window, it seems. Shire, the Dublin-based and London-listed outfit, has gone hostile with an all-share $30bn approach to US group Baxalta after being given the cold shoulder by a company spun out of former parent Baxter only last month.

Related: Shire pharmaceutical makes $30bn move for Baxalta

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS