Media Navel Gaze: January 17, 2012
The Week Unpeeled
The year has started amid a mixed picture, with the employment numbers gaining some ground but some well-known consumer names going to the ground like Hostess Brands, the makers of Twinkies, filing for bankruptcy protection (again) and vultures like Delta and US Airways (or private-equity firms) reportedly hovering over American Airlines. On the political front, Mitt Romney, the current leading Republican hopeful was forced to defend his company Bain Capital to some extent private equity and market capitalism.
- S&P downgraded the credit rating of nine countries in Europe, including France, which lost its triple-A status;
- A tie-up between Deutsche Borse and the NYSE Euronext has looked to have gone awry after the EU Competition Commissioner announced he will not back the merger without further conciliations;
- Sir Richard Branson launched Virgin Money, in a move to improve banking for consumers, with a £10m advertising campaign following his £747m takeover of Northern Rock;
- Lloyds Banking Group Chief Executive Antonio Horta-Osorio has waived his bonus for 2011 due to a two-month absence, the bank's performance and the tough economic circumstances faced by its customers;
- Facebook usage in Britain has declined by seven percent, leading to concerns that the social network may have reached saturation point;
- The First Lady sent out her first Tweet and gained more than 100,000 followers in a few hours to @michelleobama; and
- And Khloe may not be a Kardashian.