German CEO's don't dole out threats lightly. Tough labor laws and some of the world's strongest unions have made it too dangerous. But that came to an end last summer, when Siemens AG gave 4,000 workers at two mobile-phone factories an ultimatum--work longer, with no extra pay, or we'll move your jobs to Hungary.
What do stuffed birds, lanvin gowns, Victorian wombat heads and rare books have in common? They are just a few of the items that Comme des Garcons designer Rei Kawakubo has thrown together in her new London store, the Dover Street Market, a place that redefines the designer emporium.
Pity the poor western telecom. First there was the big Internet bubble. Then the bankruptcies and falling share prices. Now the transcontinental fiber-optic networks that major American carriers spent billions of dollars building in the late 1990s and early part of this century are being snapped up in fire sales by foreigners--and Asians are leading the pack.
If alternative-energy companies are so hot, why are their stocks so unpopular? Record-high oil prices make wind and solar increasingly competitive. Fear of climate change should brighten prospects for any alternative to fossil fuels, which release the greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
Here's a pop quiz: guess which European government has expanded the public sector at a rate almost unheard of since the 1970s. It has added 50,000 new government jobs, boosted overall public spending by 63 percent and, during just the last four years, increased average pay among civil servants by 20 percent.
How big is the fear factor? On June 1, the first day of trading after the deadly terrorist shooting spree on oil expats in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, the price of a barrel of oil spiked more than $2 to a record $42, or roughly double the amount that most oil companies consider the natural price in normal market conditions.