Business World

Wednesday 11 December 2019

The Punt: European Central Bank hit in a sensitive area

Former editor of the Sunday Business Post, Cliff Taylor. Photo credit: Maxwell Photography Limited
Former editor of the Sunday Business Post, Cliff Taylor. Photo credit: Maxwell Photography Limited

Oh dear. The European Central Bank (ECB) will take on one of the most sensitive jobs in the commercial world when it begins overseeing banks across the euro area at the end of the year.

Once it does, Mario Draghi's blue-eyed boys and girls in Frankfurt will be in receipt of no end of sensitive data about hundreds of banks. So it is slightly alarming to learn that the ECB has suffered a theft of data including contact information for people who have registered for events and visits at the ECB. One imagines that's a pretty select bunch - most of Europe's top bankers, political leaders and economic brains must have pitched up at the ECB at one time or another in recent years.

The ECB learned of the theft following an "anonymous email seeking financial compensation" - in other words, when it was hit up by the thieves for cash.

The data was mostly encrypted but included email addresses, street addresses and phone numbers that were not.

German police are now on the case, and the ECB said in a statement that no market sensitive data was compromised.

Changes at US clothing giant

POPULAR clothing chain American Apparel is evidently keen to show its changed culture. The controversial retail giant has named the first woman to its board as part of a shake-up.

Media executive Colleen Brown, who now serves as managing director of Newport Board Group, is one of four new directors named to American Apparel's board, according to a regulatory filing posted this week.

The move adds fresh perspective to a company known for its racy advertising and sexually- charged culture.

American Apparel founder Dov Charney, who was replaced as chief executive last month, has been sued for harassment amid allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

The company, already struggling to revive a business that lost $270m (€200m) since 2010, has been in turmoil since the board replaced Mr Charney, setting off a battle for control of the company.

The board reshuffle is part of an agreement with Standard General, a New York-based hedge fund that put together a rescue financing deal for the retailer. The two co-chairmen from the existing board are staying, while the other remaining directors are resigning.

In the midst of this, Mr Charney has been fighting to get his job back, saying his termination was illegal and violated his contract.

Business Post 
seeking editor

'Sunday Business Post' editor Cliff Taylor is off. After 10 years at the helm he's moving on to pursue other interests.

The Punt understands the hugely respected financial journalist is making a clean break from the Biz Post, he won't be taking on a column or emeritus gig and plans to take a couple of weeks off to consider his next move.

SBP political editor Pat Leahy will take over as acting editor, and The Punt understands there will be an advertisement for a permanent replacement, presumably in this weekend's paper.

Taylor is among the most respected and credible financial analysts in the country.

Given how firmly he keeps his finger on the economic pulse, The Punt is very curious indeed to see where he pops up next.

He has previously been tipped as a contender to take the helm back at his old shop, the Irish Times, where he spent 17 years.

The 'Sunday Business Post' itself was saved from insolvency last year, bought out of Examinership by newspaper executive Paul Cooke and Key Capital. The Punt understands that Cliff, having stayed around to steady the ship post buyout, saw his tenth anniversary in charge as a natural jumping off point.

Irish Independent

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