Executives should not buy nobility on the shareholder’s dime

Respectability and profitability seem to sit together uneasily

illustration of Jack Welch
©Ingram Pinn

Perils of the chief who stays too long

For a talented leader of a large company, seven to 10 years in post is about right

Ingram Pinn illustration
©Ingram Pinn

Excitement over a small news story

The latest journalism start-ups reflect a dichotomy at the heart of digital publishing

Apple’s ‘holy war’ made the Valley fertile

Rivalry may stem from vanity but it is often extremely effective. Jobs was a master

High-frequency trading as represented by the market data company Nanex
©Nanex

Fast and loose

Michael Lewis’s exposé of high-frequency computerised trading is a narrative tour de force but passes over the case for defence

Ingram Pinn illustration

Goldman performs a high-speed retreat

The rush into a business profitable for those with an edge has gone into reverse

Ingram Pinn illustration
©Ingram Pinn

Tragedy demands corporate tact

GM dealt deftly with a fatal fault while Malaysia Airlines’ crisis has become a diplomatic disaster

©Ingram Pinn

It is time that Bitcoin grew up

You cannot challenge currencies, disrupt a global industry and then complain about scrutiny

Punishing London’s oligarchs is not enough

The most punitive financial sanction would be to target state-controlled Russian banks

Ingram Pinn illustration
©Ingram Pinn

Do not leave activism to the hedge funds

The danger is that directors talk to the loudest voices but spurn contact with anyone else

No such thing as the banking profession

Self-inflicted injuries result from a lack of both common purpose and shared values

Bitcoin is more than a speculators’ currency

People could gain ownership rights to digital goods similar to physical ones

Elite migrant workers must be welcomed

Skilled migrants boost their host cities by inspiring economic activity and job creation

Davos lacks Valley’s revolutionary spirit

The tech set stands out while a familiar crowd returns to the task of making the world nicer

Bankers risk all on the City treadmill

While long hours are not worth the effort, those able to effect change do not care

Fiat’s lone card player needs a new deal

Sergio Marchionne is not an automobile guy and could not become one even if he wanted to

What viral content does to news

The fastest-growing forms of online ‘content’ are click-bait headlines and videos

In search of balance

While the income gap in industrialised societies grows inexorably wider, global inequality is shrinking

Doctors should prescribe not promote

Drugs groups could be tempted to reproduce murky practices in vulnerable emerging markets

Old banks are back but without managers

The public face of an industry in desperate need of a reputational makeover will live on

ABOUT JOHN

John Gapper John Gapper is associate editor and chief business commentator of the Financial Times. He writes a weekly column, appearing on Thursdays on the Comment page, about business trends and strategy. He also contributes leaders and other articles.

He has worked for the FT since 1987, covering labour relations, banking and the media. In 1991-92, he was a Harkness fellow of the Commonwealth Fund of New York, and studied US education and training at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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