What are the 12 most successful products out of Shark Tank?

Scrub Daddy

Scrub Daddy was introduced by Lori Greiner in the fourth season and became the biggest success of the show. Sales of innovative sponges have reached more than $ 50 million within three years of appearing on the show. USD.

Tipsy Elves

Tipy Elves spokesman Evan Mendelsohn and Nick Morton brought the party to the fifth season of Shark Tank. Business partners signed an acquisition of the holiday apparel range with Robert Hergavik, who in 2014 Business Insider told Business Insider: “When they were on the show, they made about $ 600,000 a year, two seasons ago, and we’re going to pay $ 12 million this year. USD. Just one of those stories. “


The Breathalyzer appeared in the fifth season of the show, which sold a way for consumers to check their blood alcohol level with smartphones. Co-founder Charles Jim signed with Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec and Laurie Greiner, and has since expanded his business to introduce Mint, a product focused on oral health.

Bubba’s-Q Boneless Ribs

The fifth season of Shark Tank was the best with Bubba-Q boneless ribs. Bubba founder Baker showcased his work at the show and signed a deal with Daymond John, where he expanded to more than 150 retail stores, including Costco and Sears.

Ten Thirty One Productions

Marc Coupé has invested heavily in Season 5 of Shark Tank, signing a $ 2 million deal with Ten Thirty One Productions. The entertainment company behind the haunted house grew nervous just after the show and sold millions.

Wicked good cakes

Wicked Good Cupcakes is the perfect solution for the fourth season of the Shark Tank. The bakery company signed a contract with Kevin O’Leary to continue publishing his book and expanding his business.


The sixth season of the Shark Tank began with the Pompas deal. Socks are associated with Diamond John and soon became one of his most successful investments.

Simple sugars

Young entrepreneur Lani Lazzari has signed a deal with his company Simple Sugars for the sixth season of Shark Tank. Lazzari started its business with Mark Cuban, expanded its range of natural skin care products and impressed its investor with the success of the business after the show.

Cousins Maine Lobster

After the show’s sixth season, Shine Tank cousins ​​Maine Lobster soon became one of the show’s most successful alumni. The food truck signed a contract with Barbara Corcoran and has since become more successful


Lumio delights in the sixth season of Shark Tank with beautiful accordion lamps that open like a book. Co-founder Max Gunawan signed an agreement with Robert Herjavec and went on to search for products in museums and retailers around the world.


Founder Rick Huber solved a classic problem when his producer ReadeRest introduced the third season to the Sharks. This magnetic section, which allows users to track their reading glasses, impressed Laurie Greener, who signed a product deal. In the two years since its appearance on the show, Redist has posted about $ 1.5 million.

Chord Buddy

Chord Buddy took part in Shark Tank’s third show season and introduced a new way to learn the guitar. Robert Herjevicius signed a product that brings technology to the classical instrument and succeeded the following year.

How to demolish a nuclear power plant without blowing it up

London (CNN Business)This is how you demolish a nuclear power plant German-style. No big red button. No dramatic countdown. No “kaboom!”

The engineers who brought down a disused power plant on the River Rhine last week did so without an explosion.Instead they used robots to gently collapse it like a house of cards.

Or at least, as gently as you can flatten an 80-meter (262-foot) concrete cooling tower.

The tower was part of the Mülheim-Kärlich power plant, which was in operation for just over a yearin the 1980s. The plant was shut down in 1988following licensing issues and concerns about the risk of earthquakes in the area. The hefty task of dismantling began in 2004.

The spectacular moment the cooling tower came crashing down.
The spectacular moment the cooling tower came crashing down.

Germany decided to phase out all its nuclear power plants in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in 2011. And it’s also planning to close all its coal power plants by 2038 in an effort to cut its greenhouse gas emissions, which are currently the largest in Europe. That means there are likely to be many more such demolitions in the coming years.

Decades ago, Germany’s power plants were a symbol of its engineering prowess. Today the country has become a world leader in taking these complex buildings apart.

Robot power

In May last year, engineers began shortening what was then the 162-meter-tall cooling tower at Mülheim-Kärlich. They attached a robot to the lip, and for the past year it’s been munching its way down the building -— a bit like a caterpillar devouring a leaf.

By June this year, the tower was half its previousheight.

The robot eating its way around the cooling tower.
The robot eating its way around the cooling tower.

Engineers still needed to finish the job. But as project manager Olaf Day explained, they didn’t have permission from authorities for an explosion, so instead came up with a different plan.

The tower was supported by 36 V-shaped pillars.Last week, the team of experts used a giant robotic “hammer” to weaken some of the pillars, and then another high-tech pair of “scissors” to cut them until the tower collapsed, said Day.

“It was the first time in the world this demolition method has been used [on a nuclear plant],” he said, adding that the entire “hammer and scissors” process took just under four hours.

A robot weakens one of the supporting pillars of the cooling tower.
A robot weakens one of the supporting pillars of the cooling tower.

There was another benefit to this unique method.

Explosives cause”huge amounts of dust that fly everywhere,” explained Professor Miranda Schreurs, chair of environmental and climate policy at the Technical University of Munich. The Mülheim-Kärlich tower, however, just “fell in on itself,” producing minimal dust.

While the tower was not deemed radioactive, there’s still an interest in “minimizing potential spread of any harmful materials,” she said.

The new nuclear experts

For more than three decades, the cooling tower dominated the skyline in this small town in western Germany, the legacy of an erawhen the country generated around 30% of its electricity from nuclear power, according to Schreurs.

Back in the 1970s and early 1980s, nuclear energy was seen as a “sign of Germany’s engineering prowess,” Schreurs said.

But when the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in nearby Ukraine caused radioactive clouds to drift over western Europe, concerns about the safety of nuclear energy “took on a whole new dimension,” she said.

Following the reunification of Germany in 1990, more Soviet nuclear plants in the former East Germany were decommissioned that “did not meet the West German safety standards,” said Schreurs.

Germany has been cooling on nuclear power since 2000, but it was Japan’s Fukushima disaster in 2011 that really swung the government into action.

Chancellor Angela Merkel quickly set new deadlines. Of the country’s 17 reactors, eight were immediately shut down. The seven reactors still in operation today are due to close by 2022.

As the plants closed down, a new industry has emerged.

Even after a power plant shuts, “you still need people who are experts in radioactive materials, you still need people who know how to deal with the robots that operate inside nuclear facilities,” said Schreurs.

That know-how could be exported to other countries. There are about 450 nuclear power plants in the world, many of them approaching the end of their lifetimes.

“So you’re not going to have the same level of expertise as you have here in Germany,” said Schreurs. “That means Germany will probably play quite an important role in helping other countries to also deal with decommissioning.”

Mind the energy gap

Today Germany gets about 12% of its electricity from its seven nuclear reactors, and over 40% from coal, according to the World Nuclear Association.

The big question is whether renewables will reliably be able to fill the gap, particularly in a country with a large energy-intensive manufacturing sector making cars, steel and chemicals.

Germany currently produces more electricity than it needs and exports the surplus to neighboring countries. But one difficulty is that the supply of renewable energy is variable.

“The biggest issue in terms of security of supply is when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine,” said Hanns Koenig, of energy market analysis firm Aurora Energy Research.

That could be resolved by efforts to create a much more integrated European power market, he added.

The end of the nuclear era will mark Germany in a different way too.

After the cooling tower came down, Day described the surreal feeling of driving past the site with “no landmark for orientation.”

“It was astonishing,” he said. “And it must be even more astonishing for the people who have lived here for 30 years.”


When Bezos met Dimon: Behind their powerful friendship

New York (CNN Business)Jamie Dimon had recently been fired from Citigroup and had visions of living on a houseboat when he flew to Seattle after receiving a call from an Amazon headhunter in 1997.

On that trip, Dimon had lunch with Amazon (AMZN) founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. That meeting became the start to a decades-long friendship that has spurred new ventures and inspired the leadership style of the JPMorgan Chase CEO.

“We just hit it off and we’ve been friends ever since,” Dimon told Poppy Harlow in an interview for the CNN documentary “The Age of Amazon.”

Bezos wanted Dimon to join Amazon,which at the time was a three-year-old, money-losing company with fewer than 300 employees.But Dimon, who had spent his life in financial services, felt he’d be a “fish out of water” at the e-retailer. He told Bezos a job at Amazon wasn’t for him, though he now wishes he’d bought the stock when the company made its public listing that same year, at $18 per share. Now it trades above $1,700.

“Most of my money was always involved in my companies,” Dimon said. “But in this particular case I should have said, ‘You know what, this is different. I’m going to make an investment in that guy.'”

Today,more than 20 years later, Dimon, 63, is running America’s biggest bank and Bezos, 55, is the world’s richest person heading the world’s most valuable companyAmazon, of course, now sells much more than books on its online marketplace, and it has developed a massive distribution network and hardware business and led to the adoption of cloud computing.

Dimon calls Amazon a “business miracle” — comparing its success to such game changing products as the Ford Model T or Apple’s iPhone, while noting that Amazon is unique because it has disrupted and generated growth in so many different sectors. But he stresses that Bezos has retained the qualities that drove him as a startup entrepreneur.

“He’s very curious, very responsive, very smart, and I use the word humility because he’s humble about what he knows and doesn’t know,” Dimon said. “Like, I read a quote recently about CEOs that like to be wrong, he likes that. It wasn’t about him, but that’s the kind of humility that he has.”

Dimon says he’s learned from Amazon and Bezos lessons that changed the way he runs JPMorgan Chase(JPM). Among them are Bezos’ focus on speed and his obsession with meeting customer needs. After watching Amazon target tiny details, such as how many milliseconds it takes to go from one screen to the next, Dimon urged his tech team to take similar steps.

“And we didn’t really think about it very much until I was reading something about Amazon and I said, ‘My God. We’re just — we’ve got to be much faster,'” Dimon said.

The latest development in the Dimon-Bezos relationship is ajoint venture created along with Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett. It’s a nonprofit called Haven, founded last year, that aims to fix American health care with better outcomes and lower costs. The three found their dinner conversations often revolving around such failingsas widespread obesity, the high cost of life-saving medical procedures and a lack of wellness education for children. Buffett, Dimon and Bezos decided to pool their resources in an effort to find solutions.

“What we said is, ‘Let’s look at that and hire some really smart people, talk about the problem and then let them go take a crack at it,'” Dimon said. “Can we find ways to crack it? Little ways. Telemedicine, you know, a drug, chronic care, better design of an insurance package. … We want to do it for our people and then if we can, help America in some way.”


Cathay Pacific CEO resigns amid Hong Kong protests

Hong Kong (CNN Business)Cathay Pacific CEO Rupert Hoggis resigningafter a tumultuous week for Hong Kong’s leading airline.

The company has been caught in a political firestorm because of the city’s pro-democracy protests that have angered Beijing. Its business and stock price is also hurting -— hundreds of its flights were canceled when protesters overran the airport and bookings are down.

“This is a grave and critical time for our airlines.There is no doubt that our reputation and brand are under immense pressure and this pressure has been building for some weeks, particularly in the all-important market of mainland China,” Hogg wrote in a memo to staff which Cathay shared with CNN Business. “Could we have managed things differently? In hindsight, ‘yes’.”

Paul Loo, the airline’s chief commercial officer, is also stepping down, the company said in a stock exchange filing on Friday. The resignations, first reported by Chinese state media, will take effect on Monday.

“Recent events have called into question Cathay Pacific’s commitment to flight safety and security and put our reputation and brand under pressure,” said Cathay Chairman John Slosar in a statement. “This is regrettable as we have always made safety and security our highest priority.”Cathay Pacific says it could fire staff who support Hong Kong protests

Slosar did not elaborate further, but the airline has been swept up in numerous controversies related to the demonstrations.

China said last week that it would not allow Cathay flights crewed by people who have taken part in “illegal demonstrations, protests and violent attacks” to use its airspace, a rule the airline said it would follow.

Cathay then warned it could fire employees who take part in illegal protests. On Wednesday, the company said it had terminated two pilots, without disclosing the reason. A well-placed source within the company told CNN the pilots were fired in association with activities related to ongoing protests.

The company source said one of the pilots was charged with rioting in Hong Kong and had been suspended from duty since July 30.

China’s aviation authority said earlier this week that it met with Merlin Swire, the billionaire head of Cathay’s biggest shareholder, Swire Pacific. Swire Pacific has been among the companies to condemn “illegal activities and violent behavior” in Hong Kong.

Worker participation in the protests is not the only issue that Cathay is grappling with. The political turmoil that has engulfed Asia’s premiere financial hub for nearly 11 weeks is also starting to take a toll on Cathay’s bottom line.

The airline was forced to cancel more than 150 flights last week amid a day of mass demonstrations and strikes. The protests at Hong Kong’s international airport earlier this week led to nearly 1,000 flights being canceled.

Cathay said last week that protests affected its passenger numbers last month, and were continuing to “adversely impact” future bookings.

Cathay’s (CPCAY) stock has plummeted nearly 24% since April.

“It has been my honour to lead the Cathay Pacific Group over the last three years,” Hogg said in a statement. “I am confident in the future of Hong Kong as the key aviation hub in Asia. However, these have been challenging weeks for the airline and it is right that Paul and I take responsibility as leaders of the company.”

Hogg will be replaced as CEO by Augustus Tang, the chief executive of Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company, another Swire firm. Loo will be replaced by Ronald Lam, the head of HK Express, a Cathay subsidiary.

CNN’s Laura He, Michelle Toh and Sandi Sidhu contributed to this report.


Hong Kong protests: ‘We don’t want to leave but may have no choice’

Hong Kong seemed an obvious place for co-founders Jamie Wilde and Taylor Host to set up their artificial intelligence start-up.

They had lived there for several years and knew the financial hub well.

“It’s a business-friendly jurisdiction, easy to build a professional team and it’s easy to raise financing here,” British-born Mr Wilde says.

The co-founders set up Miro in Hong Kong in 2017. The firm uses artificial intelligence and computer vision to gather data for sportswear companies to enable them to target consumers more effectively.

Business was looking up, sales were growing and investors from the US were keen to invest in the start-up.

But then Hong Kong got hit by a double whammy: it became caught in the cross-fire of the US-China trade war, and months of street protests tarnished the territory’s reputation as an investment destination.

“We found we were often challenged by potential investors about why we are based in Hong Kong,” says Mr Wilde.

“The perception driving a lot of these investment decisions in the US was that Hong Kong is getting closer to China. The risk of staying here has gone up.”

The firm lost out on two potential investments, with its Hong Kong base given as one of the reasons behind the decision.

Mr Wilde and Mr Host have decided to move their company’s headquarters from Hong Kong to the US, but are keeping some operations in the city.

They’re not alone in re-evaluating their strategy about whether to keep their business in Hong Kong.

‘Is Hong Kong safe?’

Months of political unrest in Hong Kong is threatening the city’s global status as a major financial hub. Protests against an extradition bill have broadened into a pro-democracy movement concerned about China’s growing influence in the city.

Those protests led to sweeping flight cancellations earlier this week. Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific said the disruption had affected more than 55,000 passengers, with a total of 272 departures and arrivals cancelled.

Businesses are seeking advice on Hong Kong’s safety and are being advised to come up with contingency plans in the face of further protests.

Increasingly, many companies are considering bypassing Hong Kong altogether.

A protester waves a black flag at the Hong Kong International Airport during an anti-government protest.
Image captionProtesters have more recently demonstrated in Hong Kong’s airport, disrupting thousands of travellers.

Dan Harris, managing partner of law firm Harris Bracken, said that over the past three months businesses have been asking: “Is Hong Kong safe? Should I send our people there?”

He is based in the US and advises clients on their strategy in China and Hong Kong.

“What we are mostly getting is clients saying they will not be setting up in Hong Kong, or just asking our opinion on what they should do to lower their footprint in Hong Kong.”

Is Hong Kong’s star status at risk?

Hong Kong has long been the premier destination for doing business in Asia – a gateway to China, and the rest of the region.

Its stock market ranked as the third largest in Asia in 2018 and fifth largest in the world in terms of market capitalisation, according to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

The recent protests have grown to reflect wider demands for democratic reform ahead of a 2047 deadline.

That’s the year when Hong Kong’s Basic Law agreed between Britain and China, guaranteeing a special level of autonomy for the territory, ends.

View of the "concrete jungle" that constitutes the entanglement of buildings on February 27, 2018 in Hong-Kong, China.
Image captionHong Kong is one of Asia’s most important financial hub.

But while protesters are fighting for the kind of rights that first gave Hong Kong its business appeal, some worry it is that fight that is now threatening the city’s livelihood.

The latest growth figures show that Hong Kong’s economy grew by 0.5% in the second quarter of 2019 from a year earlier, its weakest pace since the global financial crisis of a decade ago.

Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics, says there is “a growing risk of an even worse outcome if a further escalation triggers capital flight”.

Reflecting this gloomy outlook, the Hong Kong government has lowered its growth forecast for this year to 0%-1% from 2%-3% previously. It has also announced a $2.4bn (£2bn) economic stimulus package to shore up growth in the territory.

What’s the business impact so far?

More than two months of protests have already taken a toll on Hong Kong.

Bank branches near protests were temporarily shut in June, while one analyst estimates that the recent airport disruption has cost the Hong Kong economy some 300 million Hong Kong dollars ($38m; £32m).

“If the disturbance [lasts] a longer period of time, definitely the confidence of international investors and international passengers in the normal operation of the Hong Kong airport and aviation industry would be very much tarnished,” said Dr Law Cheung-Kwok, director of policy and research at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

He said the aviation sector as a whole contributed about 8% to Hong Kong’s gross domestic product.

Tourism too has also been hit by the turmoil, with preliminary figures showing a “double-digit decline” in the number of visitor arrivals in the second half of July.

Anecdotal evidence shows people are increasingly considering jumping ship. Inquiries about residency and citizenship elsewhere have increased, while private banking clients are making inquiries about moving accounts to Singapore.

Picture of team at Miro, artificial intelligence startup, at their Hong Kong office
Image captionMiro says it is considering relocation for the safety of its team

And that’s the conundrum that Miro’s co-founders are now facing – whether or not to leave a place they have long called home.

Initially peaceful protests have become increasingly violent, with some saying unwarranted force by the police has escalated tensions.

“We have been having more difficult conversations considering physical relocation, for the safety of the team,” says Mr Wilde. His office is based in the heart of the busy Wan Chai district, near where many of the protests have taken place.

“We don’t want to leave this city, but if things continue to escalate, we may have no choice.”


Germany steels itself to face recession threat

Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, could be heading for a recession.

Data from the German statistics office on Wednesday showed the economy shrank by 0.1% between April and June.

That takes the annual growth rate down to 0.4%. Germany narrowly avoided a recession last year.

But this time, there are predictions the economy will continue to contract for another three-month period.

The main driver of the economic weakness appears to be rising global trade tensions.

Marcel Fratzscher, the president of the research institute DIW Berlin, told the BBC that he believes Germany’s first recession since 2013 is probably already under way.

“Most likely we will see another quarter of negative growth, and that’s by definition a technical recession,” he says.

He forecast the economy to shrink by 0.1% between July and September.

“It’s very mild, but also at the same time, not a very strong performance,” he said.

germany gdp

Exports slowing

Germany has traditionally relied on selling its manufactured products, such as cars, abroad.

That is a strength in good times, but appears to be a drag during the current trade tensions.

Data last week suggested that momentum in Germany’s exports slowed in the first half of the year and reversed in June.

Other figures showed there had been a 1.5% fall in industrial output in May.

Volkswagen cars for export wait for shipping at the port in Emden, Germany
Image captionGermany is sending fewer cars abroad

“Industrial production is suffering from a severe setback of less global demand and increasing international trade problems,” says Klaus Deutsch, the head of economic and industrial policy at the BDI, a business lobby organisation with one million members.

It predicts a recession may not happen this year, but would be hard to avoid next year if the current global turmoil continues.

Companies that supply Germany’s carmakers, including Continental and Bosch, have warned about the impact of the worldwide slowdown on sales of cars.

“Most companies don’t yet have to lay off workers or make drastic changes, but the mood has been softening strongly, and if things continue deteriorating, many companies will have to cut back production, perhaps move to temporary work schemes and reduce output even further,” Mr Deutsch told the BBC.

US tariffs

The current situation has the potential to get much worse for German carmakers.

The US has threatened to impose extra tariffs on European-made cars, something that would hit the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz particularly hard.

US President Donald Trump recently joked about the potential for tariffs at a media event at the White House.

But many in Germany don’t see the funny side, particularly as US national security has been cited as part of the justification for any new border taxes.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the threat to designate European carmakers as a security threat came as “a bit of a shock”.

But her government believes the German economy will grow slightly this year, and does not think further stimulus is necessary.

And economy Minister Peter Altmaier had said the country was not yet in a recession and could avoid one if it took the right measures.


Some Germany-based economists have said they expect the country to escape a recession this year, pointing to the near-record low unemployment rate and strength of domestic-focused businesses.

But with a potential recession looming, the government has been called on to spend its way back to growth.

The German government had a fiscal surplus of €58bn (£53.6bn) in 2018, so it has plenty of cash to spend, should it choose.

“It makes sense for the government to spend more,” says DIW Berlin’s Mr Fratzscher.

“It needs to act now in order to prevent a deeper recession or protracted slowdown in the economy, rather than wait for that to happen,” he says.

The BDI business lobby organisation wants new tax incentives and investments in climate change mitigation measures and new digital technologies.

On Tuesday, Chancellor Merkel said she did not see any need for a fiscal stimulus package to counter the effects of a slowing economy, but said Berlin would continue to pursue high levels of public investment.


Six things that affect your chance of a pay rise

How easy is it to get a pay rise?

You could try to wrangle more money out of your employer with hard work or canny negotiating tactics.

But in practice, other factors are likely to be more important. Some of these are in our control, but more often they come down to luck.

Being young (and born at the right time)

Pay tends to rise the fastest during your 20s. That is because you are likely to start off on a low salary and quickly gain skills and experience.

This rapid pace then slows during your 30s and 40s, with pay rising by 2% and 1% a year respectively. It then generally starts to fall as people move towards retirement.

Until now, every generation has tended to earn more than the one before it. For example, those born in the early 1970s earned about 16% more at the age of 28 than those born in the late 1950s.

But for millennials, it is a different story.

Those born in the late 1980s earned less at 28 than the generation born 10 years earlier. That is because they started their careers in the middle of an unprecedented pay slump, following the 2008 recession.

However, there are ways to improve your pay growth. Going to university while young delays work, but often leads to faster pay growth for the rest of your 20s.

Graduates born in 1980 saw their average pay rise by 8% a year in real terms between the age of 22 and 30. That is compared with 6% per year for those whose highest qualification is A-levels, or 3% for those with an equivalent vocational qualification.

Changing jobs

Rather than negotiate a pay rise with your boss, you could try ditching your employer altogether.

In 2018, workers who stuck with the same firm saw their average pay rise by 0.6% a year, after inflation.

But the typical pay rise in the year after changing employer was more than seven times higher, at 4.5%. A new job may make the most of the skills an employee has gained, while switching employer is often an opportunity to negotiate a pay rise.

Moving area and changing jobs

If you want a really big pay rise, you need to move house too.

In 2016, the typical pay rise associated with changing both jobs and region was 9%. People often move to cities such as London, Edinburgh or Manchester, where there is a wider pool of jobs to choose from, and often higher pay.

Despite this, young people in particular are moving jobs less frequently than they used to.

In part, this is because there are now fewer employment black spots across the UK and less of a need to up sticks to find work.

Less positively, it is also because those bigger pay rises are now often swallowed up by higher housing costs.

For example, rents have grown by more than 90% in the highest-paying local authorities over the past 20 years, compared with 70% in the lowest paying.

Consequently, young private renters are two-thirds less likely to move home and job than they were in 1997.

Being a man

Almost 50 years on from the Equal Pay Act, significant progress has been made on closing the gender pay gap.

Nevertheless, on average, men are still paid 18% more per hour than women across full and part-time work combined.

The gap is smaller among younger workers, but grows to 11% by the time people hit their 30s. It continues to widen with age as the “motherhood penalty” kicks in.

The gender pay gap widens as we age

One factor is that many mothers go part-time, which tends to pay less per hour than full-time work.

In 2018, more than half of working women with dependent children were part-time, compared with one in 10 men.

The gender pay gap grows to its widest when employees are in their 50s, when women are still far more likely to work part-time, but for other reasons.

A quarter of older female workers provide unpaid care – for example, to their parents or grandchildren – compared with an eighth of male workers.

Being at the bottom – or at the top

How fast your pay increases also depends on where you sit on Britain’s pay scale – and those at the bottom have seen their pay rise by the most in recent years.

Over the past two decades, the lowest-paid fifth of workers have seen their real pay grow by 40% – twice as fast as middle earners.

That is mainly down to the introduction of the National Minimum Wage in 1999, which has steadily risen over time. It now stands at £8.21 for people aged 25 and over, making it one of the highest minimum wages in the world. This has in turn boosted wages for those in the pay band above them, the government claims.

But pay growth has not just been strong at the bottom. Those at the top have done well too. Average pay for the top 5% of earners grew about 50% faster than a middle-ranking worker over the last 20 years.

The highest and lowest paid workers have seen their pay rise the fastest

Being more productive – and hoping everyone else is

There are lots of reasons why our pay may grow, or shrink from year to year – from the decisions we take, to changes in government policy and how society values the work that we do.

But the long-term driver of what happens to our collective pay is how productive we are. The more we produce per hour, the more our employer can afford to pay us.

Britain’s productivity was growing at about 2% a year pre-recession, but is effectively in the same place now that it was 10 years ago.

Earnings growth is the lowest in decades

Boosting productivity, and consequently wages, is mainly in the hands of employers and the government, who can invest more in things like equipment, technology and training.

This is the key to making sure the next generation enjoys higher living standards than the current one.

About this piece

This analysis piece was commissioned by the BBC from an expert working for an outside organisation.

Nye Cominetti is an economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation, which describes itself as a think tank that works to improve the living standards of those on low to middle incomes.


Brexit: ‘I don’t want to struggle with the mortgage’

“We are heading for instability.”

Ian Rutter is a healthcare worker at a hospital in Harrogate, and he is very worried about the economic effects of Brexit.

So much so, he has taken on more weekend agency work to set money aside, and has cut his spending.

With the prospect of a no-deal Brexit and increased trade tensions with the US, along with recession warning signs in other economies, he believes the UK economy is “almost heading for the perfect storm”.

“Jacob Rees-Mogg [the Brexit-supporting leader of the House of Commons] has said we will be better off in 50 years time. I’ll be dead in 50 years time, I’d rather be better off tomorrow,” Mr Rutter says.

The 54-year-old lives in Huddersfield, and commutes to work in Harrogate by car, an 80 mile round trip.


He normally gets a new car, via financing, every two years, but has held off due to concerns about repayments.

“I sound like Frazer from Dad’s Army – ‘We’re doomed! – but I really am genuinely worried about the future,” he says.

He is not going on holiday this year, has not upgraded his phone, and has put buying a new television on hold. The one luxury he still grants himself is a season ticket for Leeds Rhinos rugby league club.

Mr Rutter is also concerned about the effects of Brexit on his work in terms of finding staff.

“My support workers are Polish, Italian, Lithuanian. The house-keeping staff are from Spain and Portugal,” he says. “I work in Harrogate, which is an affluent area, and we struggle to recruit people for low-income posts.”

Richard and Emma Ward
Image captionRichard and Emma Ward have postponed a short holiday this year due to concerns about Brexit and the pound.

Richard Ward, a 29-year-old project manager from Leicester, has also put some of his spending on hold.

He and his wife Emma, a children’s nurse, put off booking a short holiday to Poland or Hungary due to Brexit being postponed.

They are concerned about the pound dropping while they are away, and the holiday becoming more expensive.

‘No-one knows’

“We were thinking about going within the next month. We’ve put it off,” he said. “When the referendum result came in, the pound crashed against the euro. We worried that would happen again.”

Mr Ward works in the construction industry. The company he works for, which imports goods from Europe, has already raised prices due to the drop in the pound.

He is concerned a no-deal Brexit will lead to queues of lorries at Dover, disrupting his firm’s work.

“If we get a deal, I don’t think too much will change. I don’t see that happening,” he said.

“The reality of the situation is no-one knows what will happen if we leave [the EU] without a deal.”

Saving more

Some argue that the economic risks of a potential no-deal Brexit have been exaggerated by those who do not want to leave the EU.

But just under a third of UK consumers have changed their spending habits due to Brexit uncertainty, and just under a quarter have put off making major purchases, a survey by KPMG suggested.

People are also delaying booking holidays and making stock market investments, the accountancy firm said.

Paula Smith, head of banking at KPMG UK, said: “It is clear people are uncertain about the future, spending and investing less while saving more.

“However, while people work to protect their finances from Brexit uncertainties, interest rates remain stubbornly low, so savings aren’t really working for people.

“The business world has been cautious about investing for growth since the referendum and that’s clearly playing through into the real economy and people’s financial confidence.”

Younger people tend to be more concerned about the economic effects of Brexit, with 46% of 18 to 34-year-olds delaying big purchases or putting more money into savings, said KPMG.

People aged 35 and over have put more money into savings, while the over-55’s tend to be least worried, with only one in five changing their spending habits, it said.

In London, one in 20 people even delayed their wedding due to Brexit, the accountancy firm found.

Consumer spending growth in the UK fell to a record low in July, according to the British Retail Consortium and KPMG, due to Brexit uncertainty and slow real wage growth.


General Electric: Madoff investigator alleges $38bn fraud

A private financial investigator who flagged warnings about Bernard Madoff’s $65bn Ponzi scheme is now targeting one of America’s blue chip companies.

In a 175-page report Harry Markopolos claimed General Electric (GE) was hiding an accounting scandal.

He accused GE of concealing $38.1bn in potential losses and alleged the company’s cash situation was far worse than disclosed.

GE called it “meritless, misguided and self-serving speculation”.

Chief executive Lawrence Culp also accused Mr Markopolos of “false statements of fact” and said he had not checked his facts with GE before publishing.

Mr Markopolos’s analysis of GE’s financial position, called General Electric: A Bigger Fraud Than Enron, claims: “The $38bn in accounting fraud amounts to over 40% of GE’s market capitalization, making it far more serious than either the Enron or WorldCom accounting frauds.”

The report highlights the conglomerate’s exposure to long-term care insurance in the US and its oil industry services business.

Mr Markopolos’s referencing of two of corporate America’s most notorious frauds in the report was seen as potentially serious, as both led to criminal prosecutions.

GE hard hats
Image captionIn the past two years GE has announced more than $40bn in writedowns

GE’s share price fell 15% on Thursday following news of the report and an appearance by Mr Markopolos on the CNBC television network. The stock closed down 11%, GE’s worse one-day fall in 11 years. As a sign of faith in his company, Mr Culp bought $2m worth of GE shares, according to reports.

Mr Markopolos disclosed that he had given an advance copy of his report to an unnamed hedge fund, and would receive a percentage of the profits from any share price movement.

Some analysts dismissed the report, with John Hempton, co-founder of the Bronte Capital hedge fund calling it “silly”. However, Reuters noted that there are Wall Street analysts who have long been concerned about claims of GE’s low cash flow, charges and asset writedowns, and alleged opaque financial reports.

In the past two years GE has announced more than $40bn in writedowns and accounting charges. The company has also disclosed that its accounting is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice.

‘Financially motivated’

Mr Culp told reporters in the US that Mr Markopolos’ report contained factual errors and constituted “market manipulation – pure and simple”, because the investigator stood to profit from short-selling tied to its release.

Earlier, GE issued a robust response to Mr Markopolos: “We remain focused on running our business every day and… will not be distracted by this type of meritless, misguided and self-serving speculation.”

The company said it “stands behind its financials” and operates to the “highest-level of integrity” in its financial reporting.

“Mr Markopolos openly acknowledges that he is compensated by unnamed hedge funds. Such funds are financially motivated to attempt to generate short selling in a company’s stock to create unnecessary volatility.”

He is best known for alerting regulators in the early 2000s to signs that money manager Bernard Madoff’s investment firm was a Ponzi scheme, a deception in which unusually high returns for early investors are generated with money from later investors.

Madoff was arrested in 2008 and later sentenced to 150 years in prison for the fraud.


Ted Baker dumps Debenhams for Next on children’s clothing

Ted Baker is ending its partnership to sell children’s clothing through Debenhams and is switching to Next.

It has signed a five-year deal with Next, who will “create and sell” Ted Baker-branded clothes, shoes and accessories for babies and children.

The news comes just months after Debenhams, which has sold Ted Baker’s children’s line for more than a decade, announced plans to shut 22 stores.

But Ted Baker said it still had a profitable tie-up with Debenhams.

The brand said it “retains an established and mutually profitable relationship with Debenhams”, which still sells Ted Baker lingerie and nightwear.

However, it will stop selling Ted Baker’s children’s line through Debenhams at the end of February next year.

The Next collection will launch in spring 2020 and will be created by the High Street chain “in collaboration with” the creative team at Ted Baker, the brand said.

It will be available through Next’s stores and the Ted Baker website.

Next already sells Ted Baker’s clothes through its website under the Label brand.

The High Street chain’s boss, Simon Wolfson, said: “We have worked with Ted Baker for a number of years through Label and recognise the power of their brand.”

In a statement, Ted Baker boss, Lindsay Page, thanked Debenhams for “establishing and developing” the childrenswear line.

“Our childrenswear collections – which are small in size but big in style – have already proven incredibly popular with Ted Baker customers.”

Mr Page replaced Ted Baker’s founder and chief executive, Ray Kelvin, who resigned earlier this year following allegations of misconduct, including “forced hugging”.