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Businesses can and will adapt to the age of populism

AS THEY slid down the streets of Davos this week, many executives will have felt a question gnawing in their guts. Who matters most: shareholders or the people? Around the world a revolt seems under way. A growing cohort—perhaps a majority—of citizens want corporations to be cuddlier, invest more at home, pay higher taxes and wages and employ more people, and are voting for politicians who say they will make all that happen. Yet according to law and convention in most rich countries, firms are run in the interest of shareholders, who usually want companies to use every legal means to maximise their profits.

Naive executives fear that they cannot reconcile these two impulses. Should they fire staff, trim costs and expand abroad—and face the wrath of Donald Trump’s Twitter feed, the disgust of their children and the risk that they’ll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes? Or do they bend to popular opinion and allow profits to fall, inviting the danger that, in the run up to their 2018 annual general meeting, a fund manager from, say, Fidelity or Capital will topple them for underperformance?

Wiser executives…Continue reading Click Here For Original Source Of The Article

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Air India may segregate some women passengers for their own safety

SEGREGATION on airlines has a long history. Sometimes it is understandable. Carriers’ business models depend on them drawing a curtain between those of us stuffed into economy-class seats and our betters who have paid for lie-flat beds. Other times it has been immoral. While racial segregation on American planes was never legal, in some airports during the first half of the 20th century it was the norm to insist that blacks did not mix with whites in the terminals. 

That particular outrage has been consigned to the past. But new forms of segregation are replacing it. This time, though, they are less to do with enshrining differences and more for the benefit of those being segregated. Or so the argument goes.

On 11th January, Ashwani Lohani, the boss of Air India, told The Hindu newspaper that the carrier plans to reserve six seats in the front rows of its aeroplanes for women passengers who are travelling alone. As the paper explains:

The move assumes significance, as it comes soon after an on-board...Continue reading

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