World Business


Mark Zuckerberg's neighbours join backyard brawl with developer

Mark Zuckerberg paid a developer $1.7m to abandon plans to build a mansion that would have had a view into the Facebook founder's master bedroom.

Joel Rosenblatt 8:16 AM   Mark Zuckerberg's former neighbours have an axe to grind with the developer who got the rights to their property and then extracted a payment from the Facebook founder to not build a mansion overlooking his house.

Greece needs to leave the euro

Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said it would be "catastrophic" if Greece left the euro.

Allister Heath 12:48 PM    It's time for Greece to put itself out of its misery.

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'Big Australian' shrinks as world's biggest companies get bigger

Of the 20 global firms with the largest drop in market value for the year through March, the top three were energy firms as oil prices fell. Exxon Mobil lost the most, with a $US59 billion decline in value. BHP Billiton shrunk by $US56 billion and BP lost $US38 billion in market capitalisation.

Elizabeth Fournier 9:42 AM   Mega deals are helping the world's biggest companies get bigger but BHP Billiton had one of the biggest drops in market value in the year through March.

Intel's $US16.7b Altera deal fuelled by data centres

Intel's Altera purchase and Avago's Broadcom deal makes 2015 already a record year for semiconductor deals.

Ian King   Intel Corp agreed to buy Altera Corp for $US16.7 billion to defend its presence in data centres, forging a deal that will add to a record year for industry consolidation.

Greece would join IMF's hall of shame

Concerns about Greece's debt talks continue to weigh on global markets.

Scott Lanman   If Greece fails to make any of its $2.2 billion in loan repayments to the IMF this month, it will be enshrined in history with a group of current and former deadbeats that includes Cuba, Zimbabwe and Sudan.

Malaysia Airlines 'technically bankrupt': CEO

'The Terminator': Christoph Mueller has undertaken the project of turning Malaysia Airlines' flagging fortunes around.

Malaysia Airlines is "technically bankrupt", its new German CEO says as he outlines plans to stabilise the failing flag carrier including 6000 job cuts.

China plots robotic future - and India stands to benefit

Made in China 2025 is a 10-year campaign to push the country beyond labour-intensive work into more sophisticated sectors, from robotics to aerospace.

"Whatever industries China will be shedding over the years, India can capture," HSBC's Frederic Neumann says.

Russian tycoon bets half a billion on Soviet art

Sotheby's employees hold Kazimir Malevich's Suprematist Composition in 2008, when the work sold at auction for a little over $US60 million.

Joseph Stalin created Socialist Realism by decree in 1932 to glorify communism through art. Now Vladimir Putin's capitalists can't get enough of it.

Greece locked in talks with creditors as payment clock ticks

With just four weeks before a euro-area-backed bailout expires, Finance Ministry officials have told Greece there's not time to get a disbursement approved.

Nikos Chrysoloras   Greek officials and creditor institutions are locked in talks for another weekend as both sides work against a payment deadline to avert default and a euro-region exit.

The rise and fall of Subway, the world's biggest food chain

The 'Subway fresh' has lost its appeal with consumers.

Drew Harwell   With 43,945 sandwich shops in 110 countries, Subway has become the world's most ubiquitous restaurant chain, posting armies of "sandwich artists" in more American outposts than McDonald's and Starbucks combined.

New Zealand loses love for sheep, gets a new cash cow

Lamb prices at the farmgate rose 85 per cent in real terms and mutton prices more than doubled from 25 year ago.

Flavia Krause-Jackson and Tracy Withers   Once upon a time there were 20 sheep to every New Zealander. Now it's more like seven.

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Wealthy Chinese heading abroad to buy diamonds

China has been the main engine of demand growth for the diamond industry, with sales expected to double in the next decade, according to Bain & Co.

Sonja Elmquist   Wealthy Chinese who made their country the world's second-biggest market for diamonds are increasingly travelling abroad to buy the stones.

World's elderly staging heists, robbing banks

Elderly people in developed countries tend to be "more assertive, less submissive, and more focused on individual social and economic needs" than earlier generations.

Carol Matlack   Loneliness and poverty are two factors blamed for increased criminal activity among senior citizens.

When an off-the-rack Rolls-Royce just won't do

Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II, London

Photograph: James Lipman +44 7803 885275

Aaron Kessler   In the rarefied world of ultraluxury cars, just owning a Rolls-Royce or a Bentley is not enough.

Accused trader offered $3.9m bonus to switch firms

Tom Hayes, 35, is accused of eight counts of conspiracy to manipulate the London interbank offered rate, the benchmark used to value more than $US350 trillion of loans and securities, from 2006 through September 2010.

Gavin Finch and Liam Vaughan   Goldman Sachs tried to poach Thomas Hayes from UBS years before the Libor scandal broke with the promise of a $3.9 million signing bonus.

What Google just announced is a bombshell

The company demoed a new feature of its Android OS which allows its Now service to plug in as a layer that essentially hovers above any app running on your phone or tablet.

Joshua Topolsky   Google's Now on Tap could change everything about your phone.

Wozniak warns of 'internet of things' bubble

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has warned that the burgeoning industry springing up around the 'internet of things' is showing signs of being a bubble.

Rose Powell   Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has warned the burgeoning industry springing up around the so-called "internet of things" is already showing signs of being a bubble.

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5000 heads tipped to roll as cost-cutting JPMorgan swings axe

JPMorgan Chase & Co may cut more than 5000 workers by next year, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Hugh Son   JPMorgan will reportedly cut thousands of jobs over the next year as it seeks to contain expenses and sells businesses.

FIFA sponsors want corruption scandal resolved

Coca-Cola is just one of the big sponsors putting pressure on FIFA deal with corruption allegations

Aaron Ricadela and Duane D. Stanford   Coca-Cola, McDonald's and other World Cup sponsors are putting pressure on FIFA to resolve a corruption scandal.

Questions over banks' role in FIFA bribery case


A raft of banks could face tough questions in the sweeping US crackdown on alleged corruption in global soccer.

What it's like to play Donald Trump's $US269m Ferry Point golf course

Donald Trump, right, sits with golfer and course designer Jack Nicklaus at the Trump Links at Ferry Point golf course in the Bronx during the grand opening this week.

Joshua Petri   It's a former waste site but it'll cost you $US215 for a weekend round on the 18-hole, Jack Nicklaus-designed course.

Dimon chides 'lazy' shareholders who follow proxy advisers

The JPMorgan boss doesn't hold back when it comes to people following proxy advice on company resolutions: "You probably aren't a very good investor."

Hugh Son   Bank boss shoots back after proxy advisers had recommended investors reject its pay packages because the company didn't give a good reason for giving Dimon his first cash bonus in three years.

Goldman's new cop is FBI agent who put away Bernie Madoff

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 13: A Bernard Madoff New York Mets baseball jacket is displayed during a press preview of a U.S. Marhals Service auction of personal property seized from Bernard and Ruth Madoff November 13, 2009 in New York City. The property includes jewelry, furs, artwork and other items forfeited in connection with the criminal prosecution of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme.   Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP

Patricia Hurtado   ​The FBI agent who oversaw the Bernard Madoff investigation and helped pioneer the use of wiretaps that yielded dozens of insider-trading convictions is now working for Goldman Sachs. He's the latest in a line of former feds who've moved to Wall Street firms.

KKR rolls out ex-spy chief in $US4tn hunt for family wealth

Former CIA director David Patraeus is part of KKR's pitch to family offices, a potentially lucrative market for private equity but one that intentionally chooses to stay under the radar.

KKR invited family money manager Matthew McCarthy to New York. First he had dinner with billionaire co-founder Henry Kravis. Then he was introduced to a General.

The $9.2b hit from China and Russia's luxury woes

The Devil Wears Prada? The luxury brand feted in the 2006 comedy with Meryl Streep has taken a 35 per cent hit to the perceived value of its brand.

Andrew Roberts   Luxury isn't what it used to be, with the world's top brands taking a massive hit to their value thanks to Russia and China.

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'The point is you're greedy': Trader called 'ringmaster' at rate-rigging trial

Tom Hayes leaving Southwark Crown Court following the first day of his trial in London on Tuesday.

Jenny Anderson   Tom Hayes, a 35-year-old former trader for Citigroup and UBS, was the "ringmaster" in a concerted effort to manipulate global benchmark interest rates to make as much money as he could, prosecutors said.

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Uber closes in on its last frontier: airports

Most US airports, according to the Airport Ground Transportation Association, do not allow UberX drivers to pick up passengers.

Mike Tierney   US airports, aware of the tidal wave of acceptance for ride-sharing, are gradually rewriting regulations to welcome all manner of cars.

Unilever chief wants to orient company for the long term

Paul Polman, chief executive officer of Unilever.

Lillian Cunningham   Unilever CEO Paul Polman reveals why he is 'ashamed' of the amount of money he earns and the motives behind several of his against-the-grain decisions.

Greek minister hints at default on debt

In the end it will come down to a choice for Athens: pay salaries of public servants or pay international debtors.

George Georgiopoulos and Kylie MacLellan   Greece cannot make debt repayments to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) next month unless it achieves a deal with creditors, its interior minister said on Sunday.