Business

Dear Mr Jaitley, Even though the government overshot its fiscal deficit target—4.1% of gross domestic product—for the year in the first nine months of 2014-15, we are fairly confident that you will succeed in sticking to it by paring expenditure in the January-March fourth quarter, taking care of lower revenue collection. We are also certain that you will reiterate your commitment to fiscal consolidation when you present the Union budget over the weekend. The purpose of writing this letter is not to outline an agenda for stimulating public investment, bringing down fiscal deficit, and launching big and bold reforms but to flag an issue which is very critical for the nation’s economic growth—reforms in public sector banks (PSBs), which account for 70% of the banking industry. You didn’t...
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Dear Tim and Art, I hope I find you both in good health. As you know, I have followed the technology industry for nearly two decades. In that time, Apple has re-invented a few industries: computers via the iMac, music players and their distribution via the iPod and iTunes, computing platforms again via the iPad, and the handset industry via the iPhone. The success of these products has led to an annual revenue base approaching $170bn, and operating profits and free cash flow in the $40bn-50bn range. It has also allowed you to amass a net cash position in the $150bn range and a market capitalisation sitting around $460bn today. All these are staggering and very large numbers; however, therein lies the rub. I think the key to Apple’s future and investors’ perception is not how many...
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Dear Business Manager, You, and others in your industry, have recently been suffering “the slings and arrows” of public vilification every time you have a conference, sales meeting or strategic planning retreat. BSC Management, Inc., has introduced “Ethical Events,” which will address the negative public perception with good works. Ethical Events will turn condemnation into approbation. We will help change the impression, but not the content, of your meetings in a well-planned and highly organized socially conscious event. How? For example, we may: Pair your company with a local non profit affiliate Plan break-out sessions at a local hospital Organize some time feeding the homeless in a soup kitchen or building houses for the poor Arrange for you to mentor students in financial...
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Dear Pet Industry Federation, In your recent article 'Politics and Puppies' on the Pet Industry Federation (PIF) website, your chief executive Nigel Baker has finally provided the official industry response to last September's backbench debate on the sale of puppies in pet shops. He generously recognises the achievement of myself and supporters of PupAid's campaign in significantly surpassing the 100,000 signatures needed to trigger the debate. Possibly Mr Baker and Pet Industry Federation had not anticipated such a tremendous groundswell of public opinion on this issue but the impending event forced Pet Industry Federation into action and a week before the debate, Pet Industry Federation circulated an email to MPs urging them not to support a ban on puppies sold in pet shops...
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I was a resident of Freiburg from 2001 to 2009 with an artist visa. In 2002 I arranged with Volksbank Freiburg for my artwork to be transported from New York to Freiburg for exhibition. Volksbank paid a portion of the transport costs and for the insurance. The shipment was also supported with a grant from the Freiburg Kulturamt. In the course of shipping over 30 paintings were lost/stolen and that many more damaged, some beyond repair. About 100 drawings were also damaged. The shipping was carried out by Artsped Schutz and their affiliate in New York, Transcon International. When the shipment arrived at Artsped Schutz after a 2 month delay they unpacked the container without me being present, as required by law. They informed me the next day of the arrival and assured me ‘alles ist in...
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Dear Council of State, Parliament and City of Helsinki In the framework decisions of the Council of State (March 2014) it is proposed that the State will give up Helsinki-Malmi Airport “in order to improve the prerequisites of housing production in Helsinki region“. City of Helsinki, however, according to its own information, has enough building land to last until the 2030’s even in its fast growth scenario. In addition to this, the new metropolitan government will make a huge land reserve available to city planning in the near future. http://bit.ly/land-reserve In the future, Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport will not be able to serve unscheduled traffic flexibly. Even today, a time slot for using its runways must be applied for hours in advance. Malmi is the only...
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Dear Mr. Sinegal and Mr. Jelinek, Throughout the 90s, my older brother Matthew worked part-time at a grocery store. He was punctual, cared for his customers and he completed his work (clearing grocery carts from the parking lot) with excellence. But, the part-time minimum-wage salary, lack of benefits and toxic work environment prevented this job from becoming a career. When a Costco opened up in our neighborhood (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) in the late 90s; its reputation for treating its employees with dignity preceded it. Matthew applied immediately in hopes of joining the Costco team. A few short months later, Costco took a chance on him. Today, 11 years later, after several promotions, consistent pay increases and with a supportive team around him, Matthew has found his career....
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Dear Mr. Harris, I was very interested to see the June, 2013 issue of Canadian Geographic (to which I have subscribed for years) centered on the theme of "Energy Matters". The subtitle, "13+ things you didn't know about energy in Canada" led me to believe initially that the article would be a broad look at all aspects of energy production and use in this country. To my astonishment, I learned that the content of this article was strictly limited to enumerating the sites and magnitude of energy production in Canada. I was less astonished to see this narrow focus when I learned that the article had been partnered with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. But then, I learned that the Royal Canadian Geographical Society is being funded by the CAPP in its planned Energy IQ...
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Dear Gordon: I am writing to let you know that we are making a public commitment not to commercialize sterile seed technologies, such as the one dubbed "Terminator." We are doing this based on input from you and a wide range of other experts and stakeholders, including our very important grower constituency. As you know, sterile seed technology is one of a class of so called "gene protection systems." This is a group of technologies, all still in the conceptual or developmental stage, that could potentially be used to protect the investment companies make in developing genetically-improved crops, as well as possibly providing other agronomic benefits. Some would work by rendering seeds from such crops sterile, while others would work by other means, such as deactivating only the...
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Dear Messrs. Idei and Stringer: Kudos to Sony for creating the recent NetMD extension to the Minidisc format! NetMD is a boon to users and is certain to increase the format's success. On behalf of the Minidisc's community of users, may I extend our appreciation. Indeed, the high-speed audio downloading capability and improved computer integration of NetMD highlights a surprising omission in Minidisc: its lack of a facility for taking audio recordings directly from Minidisc to PC. As editor of the Minidisc Community website, this is the single most frequent topic that I am contacted about. Readers are genuinely bewildered; how can Sony's Minidisc, so perfectly suited to digital field recording, be so unsuitable for getting their recordings onto a computer? Anyone wishing to transfer...
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