The Golden Age…

norman peires golden age One of the ways that getting older impacts, and I have noticed this a lot, is wondering whether you are at the ‘right’ point in your life for your age. People seem to gauge how far they have progressed, whether in their career or in their personal life, through age markers. I see it in my own children as they compare where they’re at with everyone else. Continue reading

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Ethical business, successful relationships…

Africa is the new frontier in the world, the “untapped market”, with tremendous wealth in the ground. Small wonder that foreigners are exploiting this up and down the continent. West Africa in particular is very exciting in terms of mineral wealth. And it’s also an interesting study in the power of ethical business practices. Continue reading

Moving situations…

My wife and I were in Italy recently for a couple of days and during our visit we had some interesting conversations about the current immigration situation there. Italy is on the frontline of the current surge of movement of people from North Africa and the Middle East trying to come to Europe across the Mediterranean – most arriving on its shores after horrendous journeys on crowded boats run by people traffickers.

The European Union encompasses some 500m people, and has wealth, political freedom and stability. OK, it might have deteriorated slightly because of the imposition of monetary union on members when it doesn’t really fit (as American economist, Milton Friedman once said “you cannot have monetary union until you have political union”). But together with the US it is still generally the most developed and prosperous union across the board. And yet we have people coming here who are desperate, and I believe entitled to safe haven, and we are – in the main – refusing them asylum.

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When in Rome…

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. It’s a common phrase I found myself considering recently. Look up its origins and you’ll find it comes from a Medieval Latin saying attributed to St. Ambrose – which literally translates as “if you should be in Rome, live in the Roman manner; if you should be elsewhere, live as they do there.” For me, this proverb carries a lot of weight and wisdom, and deserves reflection, perhaps even more so now in an age of multiculturalism.

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The power of incentive

Recently, I’ve been thinking – in the light of the recent election – about the difference between what lifts people up and moves them forward and what keeps them stuck in detrimental situations.

Personally, I amEconomist cover relieved that this government has been returned. The path that Labour was pursuing was worrying a lot of the country’s rainmakers. Many I spoke to were getting ready to leave, as the environment proposed to them from a taxation point of view was such a turn off and seemed to penalise the wealthy. When the coalition took over the country at the previous election it was in a perilous state. The only practical solution was to ensure that the UK could borrow more cheaply and to show investors and lenders that it was prudent to lend to us. Continue reading

Creativity is everywhere in New York

As someone who has spent much of their life pursuing business goals, I am truly inspired by those who choose to take the creative route. Lorna and I really value art – albeit different types – and enjoy seeing the cultural side of cities, so while we’re in New York visiting Guy, Milou and Ona, we’re going to make the most of all the art galleries and exhibitions here.

There are of course the big three; The Met, the Guggenheim Museum and the MoMa (Museum of Modern Art), but there are also a collection of smaller galleries that I’ve been told are worth a visit.

There’s a real abundance of street artists, performers and pop-up exhibitions in this city; you get the sense that the whole city is a living, breathing museum. Like London, New York has a vibrant, buzzing cultural scene, and there are always new things to go and see, or do. Continue reading

Why New York is such a fine example of urban regeneration

The High Line

The High Line. Photo: Flikr

At the moment I’m on holidays in ‘The Big Apple’ visiting my son Guy, his lovely wife Milou and their daughter Ona, my precious granddaughter, who is now 15 months old. This isn’t our first time here, so we’ve seen a lot of the sights before, but I’m still looking forward to exploring the city a bit more and eating at a few of my favourite restaurants – on top of spending plenty of time with my family of course. Continue reading

The equality debate scales new heights

I’ve always believed men and women doing the same job should be paid equally. It’s common sense, and those who believe differently should question their motives. Women are as good as, if not better, than men in many occupations and should be equally rewarded.

I wrote recently about the phenomenon of ‘overwork’ and how men are often guilty of clocking up extra hours to be ‘seen’ to be working hard, at the detriment of women who work equally as hard but may have to fulfil more family obligations.

The battle of the sexes goes on and I think when we stop looking at the differences, and analysing who does what and in what way, we’ll start to get somewhere! It’s often been said that equality is a human issue (not just a female issue) and we need to stop defining ourselves and each other in terms of gender. Continue reading

The highs and lows of the property market

I think property is such a valuable asset to have. While Lorna and I are based in the UK for much of the year, we also have properties in the South of France and the French Alps, and quite regularly visit friends and family around the world, so I’m always curious about how the property market at home compares with abroad.

Now, if someone had told me thirty years ago that you’d need to have a least a quarter of a million pounds to buy an average three bedroom house in London I would have laughed, but that’s the stark reality now.

With many key-workers being forced out of the capital into surrounding satellite cities, or opting for shared-ownership schemes, it appears that owning your own home outright is not necessarily an option for all. Continue reading