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A Ukranian soldier tries to persuade Russian troops to move away from a Ukrainian military base in Balaklava, Crimea on Saturday. Photograph: Anton Pedko/EPAThe crisis in Crimea has caused more than just tensions in the area. 

The world’s 300 richest people, made up by many Russians and Ukrainians, lost over $44.4 billion after the stock exchanges collapsed yesterday, Monday 3rd March.

Bloomberg's Billionaires Index shows the wealth of Russia's tycoons shrank by $13 billion within 24 hours last Monday, 3rd March.  This index is a daily ranking of the richest people on Earth.

This is the full text of the statement from Microsoft about their buyout of Nokia devices.  

Microsoft Corporation and Nokia Corporation today announced that the Boards of Directors for both companies have decided to enter into a transaction whereby Microsoft will purchase substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business, license Nokia’s patents, and license and use Nokia’s mapping services.

IBM was a has-been in 1994. Fujitsu, Digital Equipment, and Compaq were hammering down its margins and stealing profits. EDS and Andersen Consulting were stealing the hearts of CIOs. Intel and Microsoft were running away with PC profits. Customers bemoaned Big Blue's arrogance. 

Today, IBM is an e-business powerhouse. Big Blue is back on top, a leader in e-business services. The company, which lagged behind every computer trend since the mainframe, caught the Internet wave. By 1999, it had completed 18,000 e-business consulting engagements. One-fourth of its $82 billion in revenues originated from the Internet. 

Liberty Reserve, a currency digital exchange company in the US, has had an indictment filed against its operators last Friday. 

They have been accused of helping criminals around the world launder more than $6 billion in illicit funds linked to everything from child pornography to software for hacking into banks.  It has been termed the PayPal for criminals.

uropean flagsRome was not built in a day—and neither was Europe.

We have come a long way since the Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957 to start unifying Europe. Nevertheless, when we speak of Europe, we still refer to individual countries far more often than to a united continent. Our European identity isn’t one we wear comfortably. We introduce ourselves by saying, “I’m Hungarian or French or Polish.” Rarely will you hear, “I’m European.”

manufacturingIt strikes me that the old term of ‘economies of scale’ in terms of production is yesterdays expression.  As we all know, digital printing has been around for years and has, to an extent, revolutionised the printing industry.  But printing small quantities is not the sole role of digital printing.  You have read on this site many articles in the past on 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing because it involves building up material layer by layer. It can be used to make such things as prototypes, hearing aids, toys, machine parts, medical implants, to just start the list.  It has been around for 10 years or longer, but is it going to hit the high street in a similar way as digital printing?

 

 

UK

 

Britain was threatened with a triple dip recession by the Bank og England who put 50/50 odds on it and youth unemployment nearly hit 1 million on the morning that George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, was delivering his new budget.  Their budget deficit is £120 (€150) billion, has not changed for two years and is likely to stay there for another one. That means Britain’s debt-to-GDP ratio is set to peak at 86% in 2016-17. 

 

The rich get richer - the poor get poorer

Billionaires of the World

Carlos SlimForbes list of billionaires is an annual ranking of the world's wealthiest people, compiled and published by Forbes. The total net worth of each individual on the list is estimated, in United States dollars, based on their assets and accounting for debt. The list only represents each person's valuation on a single day, due to daily fluctuations among exchange rates and stock valuations.

 2006 Billionaires

Bill GatesBill Gates returns as the world’s richest person for the 12th year in a row.

Ireland has four people in the list, John Dorrance III (292), Sean Quinn (292), Anthony O’Reilly (562) and Dermot Desmond (746).

Canadian playboy Calvin Ayre went down to Costa Rica a decade ago and began taking illegal bets over the Internet.

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