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Thursday newspaper round-up: Bulb, LV=, Opec, Lidl

Thu 25 November 2021 07:34 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - The government has begun to count the cost of Bulb Energy's collapse as many begin to wonder whether it is a fair price to pay for policymakers' failure to spot a looming market breakdown. The life-support scheme set up to allow Bulb to keep supplying gas and electricity to its 1.7 million customers through the winter months could cost taxpayers up to £1.7bn according to a court application to hand the company to a special administrator. - Guardian

Bosses at the insurer LV= have been criticised over alleged conflicts of interest in its controversial £530m private equity takeover, which has been labelled a "three-act tragedy". LV= plans to demutualise in order to receive investment from Bain Capital, a US private equity firm. However, three-quarters of its member-customers must back the plan in a vote on 10 December. - Guardian

Major oil states including Russia and Saudi Arabia have been urged to ramp up production in a bid to bring prices down to "reasonable levels". Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency (IEA), called on members of the Opec+ cartel to "make the necessary steps in order to comfort the global oil markets". - Telegraph

The introduction of short-term visas will not solve labour shortages in the food industry, the boss of Lidl has warned, adding that the retailer was working "harder than ever before" to keep shelves stocked. Christian Härtnagel, chief executive of the German discount retailer's UK business, said that there were labour shortages "in every corner you look at the moment". The supermarket chain is raising wages for its lowest-paid workers, from £9.50 to £10.10 per hour outside London and from £10.85 to £11.30 in the capital from March next year as it battles with rivals to recruit staff. - The Times

When Steve Ballmer became Microsoft chief executive in 2000, the company was dominant; a tank, unstoppable. University students discussed how to answer likely interview questions if they were lucky enough to be considered for a job there. However, technology rarely stays still and soon new competitors such as Google and the once-mighty Nokia were threatening its dominance. In theory, this could have been Ballmer's chance to understand what had succeeded in the past and work out what to do next. He wasn't a man who operated like that, however. If there were threats coming from outside, he felt his job wasn't merely to block them - it was to obliterate them. - The Times

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