The world this week: Libs shake up UK, Microsoft and co post strong earnings, Obama slams ‘batallions’ of lobbyists

**This must be terribly boring for readers outside the UK but there just might be a sea change going in British elections.

Thanks to the televised debates between the three main UK political party leaders the old consensus of a stitch-up between Labour and the Conservatives looks like it might be broken.

And that will have a big effect on Britain, the UK economy and the UK’s relationship with the rest of the world; Europe (slightly friendlier) and the US (not as submissive).

**Some of the world’s biggest companies have posted quarterly earnings this week and from Microsoft to Tesco (which still does half years) they have been strong.

Goldman Sachs, of course, made more money per head than anyone else. But the world’s legislators are out to nail the Goldmine and current CEO Lloyd Blankfein (“we’re doing God’s own work”) may have to fall on his sword before the staggeringly profitable bank gets back into political credit.

The good news is that money is flowing again.

**Barack Obama took Wall Street to task this week, saying the bankers were stupid to resist a pretty moderate level of extra legislation. In particular he pilloried them for employing “batallions of lobbyists’ to try to get him to change his mind (which he won’t).

And he’s right. Many, possibly most, of these lobbyists are owned by the big comms groups, Omnicom, WPP etc. They’re in danger of making themselves seriously unpopular in the real corridors of power. Time to lay off a bit?

**We were upbraided this week for ignoring the launch of a couple of new regional papers in the UK, belated and rather unexpected signs that a pretty moribund branch of the media (and not just in the UK) was showing signs of life.

We’ll take another look at it. Any sign of a revival in regional print media is clearly a Good Thing.

In the meantime thanks for reading; do send us your news and views. In particular we’d like to hear from people in Asia and the Far East. What are you up to? Do you get the recognition you deserve from a business still dominated by low-growth US and Europe?

Contact details are on the home page. You just need to register to post a comment (I know it’s a fag but it takes less than a minute).

Or email me direct on [email protected]

And, as a special treat for getting so far, here’s something for the weekend:

Well they do say Katie’s the next big thing.

Good night.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.