Co-op Legal Profits Down

Caused by investment spending, according to the Gazette here. Meanwhile, sales were up.

What this shows is that conglomerates like the Co-op can balance lower profits in one area with bigger profits from another business, It is also a reminder that they have an advantage over high street law firms in being able to invest when times are hard.


Back it Up!

I am always haunted by the story of the man who religiously inserted the backup tape into his server every night and ejected it every morning. Unfortunately, he never hit the return button at the end of each backup to complete it. The result was no backup over a period of years.

I have backed up so much data over the years that I had to set up a new (and bigger) backup device this morning. It took a remarkably long time for the first backup. But that means that I will not have to endure that heart stopping moment when the laptop dies, and the last backup was a month or two ago. What is more, my insurers and the Information Commissioner are happy as well.

Why am I so confident about the backup? The first thing I did was to restore one of the documents as a test, proving that it worked. I will test again every fortnight or so, to check that there are no problems.

And I will sleep soundly tonight.



Why Germany is Successful

An interesting article from Richard Anderson at the BBC on the background to Germany’s current success. He explores a broad background of factors, and makes the point that copying one aspect (such as vocational education) without the others may not have the desired effect.

One point he does not make is that, over the last few years, German real pay has declined gradually. This has been done consensually (again because of the structure of German companies, where worker representatives sit on the board) in order to keep their products competitive.

The other issue for manufacturing is that employment in the sector (not production) is in decline pretty well everywhere. Workers become more expensive, even in very low wage economies, and are replaced by machines. Tim Worstall explains why at Forbes here. Clearly there are differences between standard and non standard items, and between large and small products (hence Honda build cars in Swindon).

Can or should Germany move to being a service economy? What happens to its competitiveness if the Euro fails? Discuss.