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Persimmon's managers to share £240m, with £20m for Mike Farley

Former boss will enjoy payout at housebuilder that mirrors one at Berkeley Homes as Britain endures housing crisis that is pushing up prices and rents

Mike Farley, the former boss of Persimmon, is to collect nearly £20m in shares this December, part of a £240m payout lined up for managers at the housebuilder. At least 140 senior executives will share the award – the first tranche of a 10-year bonus scheme that could be worth nearly £620m by 2021, based on Persimmon’s closing share price on Friday. The managers will get the maximum award if they hit a target to return £1.9m to shareholders over the 10-year period beginning in 2011.

The payouts, which mirror a multimillion-pound bonus scheme at Berkeley Homes, come amid a housing crisis in Britain that politicians on all sides argue is pushing up houses prices and rents.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

British berry sales soar as liquidiser revolution whirls on

Blueberries and raspberries sales up as newer, robuster varieties bring greater yields and liquidisers such as Nutribullet fly off the shelves

It is the liquidiser revolution that is changing what we eat: sales of blueberries and raspberries are soaring as health-conscious shoppers embrace smoothies as a short cut to consuming one of their five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

Demand for blueberries is up by nearly a third this year, while raspberry sales are ahead by 20%. Their popularity has been supported by the engineering of robust new varieties that survive the trip from field to fridge in a better condition.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Digital fabrication does away with housebuilding headaches

Facit Homes removes some of the mess and chaos of traditional construction by using wood – and a computer system focusing on precision and efficiency

With a large tract of land behind their end-of-terrace Victorian house in south London, married couple Terry Green and Mickey Dell had long wanted to build on it a modern home for themselves.

Their problem was that the only access was through a passage – similar to an open-ended garage – on the ground floor of their home that barely allowed for a vehicle to get through, and ruled out access for builders. The solution came when they found a way to construct a two-bedroom eco-house off site, using wood, then pieceit together like a jigsaw.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Linkin Park bets on hybrid theory that they can be tech start-up investors, too

The enormously successful rock band has teamed up with Harvard Business School for Machine Shop Ventures, their newly formed investment firm

Aging rockers used to buy pubs in rural England or get interested in organic farming. Not Linkin Park. The band behind Hybrid Theory, 27m copies sold since its release in 2000, have their eyes on a tech-filled future.

Machine Shop Ventures, their newly formed investment firm, has begun acquiring stakes in companies like ride-sharing service Lyft, Blue Bottle Coffee and the hot shipping startup Shyp.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Market turmoil is yet another lesson in need for international policy cooperation

World hasn’t changed much since financial crisis, which showed an economic model based on widening inequality and uncontrolled capital flows is unviable

And so it begins. Shares are falling, currency markets are in turmoil. The price of oil is going through the floor, burning the fingers of speculators who have made the wrong bets on borrowed money. Welcome to the crash of August 2015.

Financial markets being what they are, there is every chance there will be a bounce on Monday. Investors will be sniffing out bargains and be hoping that the scale of last week’s falls will prompt a response from central banks. Even in the most severe bear markets, prices never go down in a straight line. But don’t be fooled. This could get ugly.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

In no other industry would firms think it good to milk their best suppliers dry

Northern supermarket Booths sets a lot of store by paying farmers properly for milk, but most food retailers seem to regard the opposite as as a badge of honour

As the row about the price of milk in Britain rages, the most sensible comments have come from the boss of northern supermarket chain Booths.

“We see farmers not just as suppliers, but customers,” Chris Dee, chief executive of Booths, said last week.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Zurich watches the clock as RSA takeover deadline nears

The Swiss insurer’s £5bn bid for RSA was announced in July. Now there are just two days left to find a deal – and RSA’s Stephen Hester isn’t minded to sell cheap

Tuesday is the big day for RSA and Zurich. A leak in July forced the Swiss insurer to announce it was considering a £5bn-plus bid for RSA, led by Stephen Hester, the former boss of Royal Bank of Scotland; under takeover rules, Zurich was given until 5pm on Tuesday to make an offer or walk away.

Hester has shown little enthusiasm for selling RSA, despite a potential payday of more than £3m for him if there is a takeover. Advisers for the two companies have been trying to hammer out terms, but there is said to be a big gap on price.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Fracking: who’s who in the race to strike it rich in the UK

Situation is similiar to early days of the US shale boom, says industry expert

In The Frackers, a book about the fracking industry in the US, Gregory Zuckerman tells the story of “new billionaire wildcatters” who made fortunes and went on to use their wealth to shake up Hollywood, education, politics and sport. In the UK, a similar book would present a very different narrative, as local anger and government delays slow the expansion of the industry.

But now, with the award of licences for fracking in 27 locations in England, some of those who have doggedly supported the controversial method of extracting gas from deep beneath the ground are hopeful they are about to embark on the first chapter of a new, more profitable, journey.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

China syndrome: how the slowdown could spread to the Brics and beyond

Emerging markets, once the world’s great economic hope, could see the good times end as Beijing falters. We look at which countries are most vulnerable to the 21st century’s next financial crisis

Tumbling share prices. A sell-off in commodity markets. Capital flight from some of the world’s riskier countries. Hints of a looming currency war. Financial markets ended last week in panic mode as fears emerged that the world was about to enter the next phase of the crisis that began eight years ago in August 2007.

Back then, the problems began in the developed world – in American and European banks – and spread to the rest of the world. The bigger emerging markets – China and India most notably – recovered quickly and acted as the locomotive for global growth while the west was struggling.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

North Sea oil output is set to rise … at just the wrong moment to make a profit

Investments made while the price was at $100 are starting to bear fruit: but now more crude is just adding to the glut

In the North Sea, a 15-year slump in oil production will almost certainly be halted this year. The turnaround after so many years is but one of a myriad of reasons that the global price of Brent blend crude fell last week to $46 per barrel, from highs of above $65 in the spring – a fall seen on stock markets around the world as a signal to sell.

The UK produced about 850,000 barrels a day last year – less than 1% of the world’s total and down from nearly 2.1m a decade earlier. But a surge in investment – mainly before June 2014, when the global price of oil stood at a heady $115 – has, for now, borne fruit: provisional figures have shown a 3% increase in output from the UK continental shelf in the first six months of the year.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS