Bringing back the former P&G boss won’t ensure the Pampers-to-Scope giant reclaims former glory. His last decision – of a successor – flopped. But unlike the turnaround facing J.C. Penney’s returning ex-CEO, Lafley’s job is somewhat simpler: oversee cost cuts and brand building.
In theory, inflation should have picked up when central banks cranked up the printing presses. Instead, it’s slowing down. In the U.S., it’s nearly 1 percentage point below target. Policymakers now have to start worrying about their worst enemy – deflation.
Auditors in China can no longer claim that “state secrets” prohibit disclosure to the U.S. watchdog. That should keep Chinese companies from being banned in U.S. markets. There are open questions about sovereignty and state capitalism, but those are fights for another day.
The Wall Street firm has made all the changes business-standards enforcers wanted. An activist investor even dispensed praise at its annual confab. Lloyd Blankfein still has to show the new approach can last. But with results improving, some of the old luster may be returning.
The software titan has for years been stuck in a piracy trap in China - many use its products, and few pay. Cloud-based services like Windows Azure are less prone to misuse. This time there are new problems: fierce competition, and politicians that favour domestic rivals.
It’s easy to see how Jamie Dimon would consider an independent chairman at JPMorgan a demotion for him. If peers like Lloyd Blankfein hold both top jobs, CEOs only may feel like second-class citizens. U.S. financial regulators could turn the division of labor into a virtue.
SoftBank and Dish Network have pulled out the stops in their battle to control the U.S. cellphone operator. But SoftBank has the edge. The claim that Japanese ownership of Sprint is a risk to national security is half-baked and shows Dish boss Charlie Ergen’s desperation.