Lloyds Rights Issue

Maybe you saw that Lloyds is embarking on a £13.5bn Rights Issue. If you already own Lloyds shares you will be given the option to buy 1.34 new Ordinary shares for every 1 you hold, at 37 pence each.  One might expect that Lloyds would be looking for additional funds after the HBoS take-over that was encouraged by the UK government.  It has since then emerged that the value of HBoS was inflated by a secret loan made by the Government and also that apparently Lloyds chief executive and the former chairman both knew about the secret arrangement. This was not disclosed to the investors during the time of persuading that a take-over of HBoS would be a good idea. With this loan, and another such secret loan made by the Government to RBS, having been repaid early this year it is not surprising that funds are low. No, I’m not going to refer to bonuses again…

My MBA class is now busy with the Integrative Project that sees them competing against each other in a virtual market – lots of hectic decision-making and, dare I say, a bit of industrial espionage taking place! After that we have a week of revision before the exams. And then, before we know it, it is time to pack our bags and set off for the Christmas break.

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And now it’s all over…

Well, this semester’s classes at least.  Yes, my not so new MBA class have now completed the classes this semester and are now busily preparing for the Integrative Project that takes places this week. Then it’s revision and exam time, and in a few more weeks and we will all be way for the Christmas break. Tempus fugit as a very dear friend of mine would always say. Next semester we will welcome a number of exchange students from EADA, Fisher College of Business, ESSEC Business School and Schulich School of Business. I’ll also welcome back Bidzina who’ll be taking the next stage of his Modular programme. So a lot of new inspiration into the programme.  I like this because it prevents the ‘group think’ that could otherwise easily emerge in a comparatively small MBA class.

This week also sees another graduation ceremony. A number of MBAs from the 2008 intake will present themselves for the traditional capping with the bonnet, allegedly made from the material from John Knox’s breeches. If true that of course makes it very old. A small item was added recently though. Piers Sellers (alumni, astronaut and ecologist) took a university emblem with him on one of his space jaunts and this emblem was later fashioned into the bonnet. You won’t find many bonnets like that! But as always it will be a happy and sad occasion. It’s good to be able to celebrate with the soon-to-be-alumni but also sad to say good-bye.  I do hope that I’ll get the chance to meet with many from the supporters’ team: the family and friends of our students.  That is always a great pleasure.

If you visit regularly you will have noticed that it has been some time since my last entry. I caught flu (no not the flu) at a busy time so couldn’t stay at home which is the best cure for flu. Therefore this has been lingering producing fatigue. I say I’m fine but I think only a good long Christmas break will mend this.

The run up to Copenhagen

Countries, organisations and individuals are preparing for the UN Climate Change conference in Copenhagen in December.  Hopes are high that real results will be reached but in that context it was interesting to see the list from the EU Commission of industries that because of competition restrictions should be pardoned from paying for carbon emissions the next five years. The list include industries such as coal mines and vineyards. Do we detect a pattern? The publication of the list is even more surprising given that  EU will be asking other major CO2 emitting countries such as the USA and China to get their act together at the upcoming conference. Although the EU seems to be prepared to drop the list if a proper international agreement can be reached in Copenhagen. Call me a cynic but I don’t think we will make real progress until the major Governments in the World find their parliaments two inches deep in water. And it is difficult because we don’t know how any of the changes that we want to make will affect the economy.  This is the most frequent explanation for not doing enough – we can’t afford it. I shall refrain from making the obvious rhetoric reply.

The MBA class is doing well.  We are in week eight of teaching. Next week is the last week of classes before our Integrative Project. After that it is time for revision and exams before we take the Christmas break. Next semester we move on to the Strategy courses and electives. We will welcome five exchange students from Essec Business School, Fisher College of Business and Schulich School of Business.