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'ExxonMobil has its head in the sand and shareholders should be worried'

Yale sustainability expert Todd Cort says the oil company’s failure to adapt to changing growth models has landed it between a rock and a hard place

A few days before the New York Times reported that a federal auction in the Gulf of Mexico in August drew the lowest interest since 1986 – “the clearest sign yet that the fortunes of oil companies are skidding” – I found myself reading the 2014 ExxonMobil Citizenship Report.

The report cites an energy future that’s heavily dependent on oil and gas during the difficult transition to more sustainable energy sources. ExxonMobil then drafts a socially imperative role for itself:

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Osborne backs Chote for second term as head of budget watchdog

Chancellor confirms nomination and says Robert Chote is ‘undoubtedly best person’ to chair Office for Budget Responsibility

Robert Chote, chairman of the budget watchdog the Office for Budget Responsibility, has promised to continue shining a light on “the darker recesses of the public finances” after the chancellor gave him another five-year term in the job.

The OBR was set up by George Osborne in 2010 to make independent forecasts of economic growth and the public finances, and provide a check on the Treasury’s tax-and-spending plans.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

HSBC rules out revival of Midland brand for UK high street banking arm

Operation in Britain to be rebranded HSBC UK instead, in move forced by rules requiring high street banking to be ringfenced from investment banking

HSBC has demonstrated its commitment to its high street banking operations in the UK by rejecting the idea of reviving the Midland name that hung over its 1,000-strong branch network 20 years ago.

The bank, which is based in Britain and has operations in 73 countries, announced in June that it would rebrand its UK business – and fuelled speculation it could potentially sell them off – as a result of the rules that require high street banking to be ringfenced from investment banking.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Co-operative Group profit rises but investment drive will dent full-year earnings

Mutual swings to profit after ‘fixing basics’ but warns that investment in new stores and pay will affect margins in second half

The Co-operative Group has returned a profit in the first half of its financial year after a strong performance at its convenience stores and funeral homes.

But the mutual warned it would only break even, or make a small loss, for the full year – down from a £124m profit last year – as it invested in new stores, IT and increased staff pay. About £125m of price cuts, mostly targeted on fruit and vegetables, have also been implemented over the summer and will affect profit margins in the second half.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Receding Greek crisis helps boost eurozone growth

Hiring and business confidence rises in the eurozone, with Spain and Italy performing strongly

The eurozone’s private sector is growing at its fastest rate in four years, with business confidence boosted by the easing of the Greek debt crisis despite growing fears over global growth.

Improved confidence across the 19-member currency bloc prompted companies to hire more people last month to deal with rising business volumes. Spain was the star performer but growth in France almost ground to a halt, according to the latest PMI (purchasing managers index) surveys from Markit.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Morrisons shares higher amid takeover speculation

South African businessman Christo Wiese appears to raise the idea of an expansion of his Brait investment vehicle into the UK supermarket sector

Speculation about a wave of takeovers in the supermarket sector has helped fuel a near 5% rise in the shares of Morrisons.

Its shares rose 7.5p, more than 4% higher, to 170p amid the takeover talk and alongside an upgrade on the shares from brokers at UBS from sell to neutral.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

NAB rules out funding Adani's Carmichael mine as buyer LG pulls out

Australia’s biggest proposed coal project loses 4m tonne deal with one of its two big customers as the country’s fourth-largest bank publicly distances itself

The National Australia Bank has ruled out funding Adani’s Carmichael mine, as the country’s biggest proposed coal project also lost a key customer in Korean electronics giant LG.

NAB, Australia’s fourth largest bank, had “no plans to be involved in any financing” of the controversial project, the Australian Financial Review reported. Sources said the bank would not buy in even if approached by Adani, the report said.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Low growth, low wages, low exports: GDP figures are no laughing matter

Joe Hockey’s ‘clowns’ comment may come back to haunt him as defence and housing sector were the only bright spots in a gloomy picture of the economy

The latest gross domestic product (GDP) figures show just how dependent Australia is on exports, and that when they fall away, so too do any hopes of strong (or even average) economic growth.

Three months ago, when the March GDP figures showed surprisingly strong growth, Joe Hockey suggested that those who believed there were “dark clouds on the horizon” were “clowns”.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Joe Hockey says there is no risk of recession in Australia

As the services sector grows at its fastest rate for seven years, the treasurer says the government’s policies are strengthening the economy

Joe Hockey says there is “no risk” that Australia will have a recession as he defended the government’s record on the economy.

After national accounts released on Wednesday showed the economy grew just 0.2% in the June quarter, the treasurer said the government’s policies were adding momentum to the economy.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS