UK interest rate at record low for six years; India grapples with a rape and its documentary; Zuckerberg’s one rule for hiring at FB

1 UK interest rate at record low for six years (Angela Monaghan in The Guardian) UK interest rates have been on hold at an all-time low of 0.5% for six years after Bank of England policymakers voted for no change at their March meeting. It was at their March 2009 meeting that the Bank’s monetary policy committee decided emergency measures were required to address extreme circumstances.

At that point, they lowered rates from 1% to 0.5% and in another unprecedented move for the then 315-year old institution, pushed the button on quantitative easing. US investment bank Lehman Brothers had collapsed six months earlier with disastrous consequences. Money markets had frozen, and no one fully understood the scale of the crisis that was hurtling head-on towards the global economy.

By March 2009 the UK was in recession. Under the then governor Sir Mervyn King, the Bank initially pumped £75bn of new money into the financial system by buying government bonds in an attempt to limit the worst effects of the crisis. QE was ultimately expanded to become a £375bn programme, which was also left unchanged by the MPC at its Thursday meeting.

Britain is out of recession, unemployment is falling, and the economy is growing at an annual rate of close to 3%. But with inflation at a record low of 0.3%, wage growth weak, and some parts of the economy as yet to regain pre-crisis levels, the pressure is off the governor, Mark Carney, to raise rates yet.

2 India grapples with a rape and its documentary (BBC) The BBC’s film about the 2012 Delhi gang rape and murder case continues to dominate media debate in India. Film maker Leslee Udwin’s interview with the convict appears in India’s Daughter, a BBC documentary which was broadcast in the UK on Wednesday. It was also due to be shown in India, but police secured a court injunction, blocking the broadcast.

A section of the media have taken “strong objection” with the content of the film. Rapist Mukesh Singh, who along with the three others is facing the death penalty, expressed no remorse in the interview with Ms Udwin, and blamed the victim for fighting back.

But some of India’s prominent newspapers and writers have raised questions over the government’s decision to block the film in India. The Times of India says “the real scandal here is not who permitted such an interview, but how disturbingly common such a point of view – which utterly devalues women – is across social classes in India”. The paper says the convict’s views are not uncommon.

The Hindustan Times says the film highlights the “regressive mindset” of some men in India and it needs to be debated. The paper says “banning the documentary is to take the easy way out. The problem it addresses will not go away quite so easily”. The government, the Delhi police and political parties were quick to dismiss the film, and some of them termed it “anti-women” and “anti-India”.

The world of social media has also been active with all shades of opinions on the film. The reaction on social media seems to be divided, with some supporting the ban, and others strongly arguing in favour of the film.

3 Zuckerberg’s one rule for hiring at FB (Josie Ensor in The Telegraph) As the founder of one of the most successful companies on the planet, when Mark Zuckerberg gives job advice it’s a good idea to listen. What does the 30-year-old Facebook CEO look for in a prospective employee? The answer is simple.

“I will only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person,” Mr Zuckerberg said. “It’s a pretty good test and I think this rule has served me well.” Mr Zuckerberg, who has a net worth of around $35 billion, said that he and his team look for people whose values align with the company’s. “Facebook is not a company for everyone in the world,” he said.

One of those people who clearly passed the test is Sheryl Sandberg, the company’s chief operating officer, whom Mr Zuckerberg hand-picked for the role. When asked what it is like to work with Mrs Sandberg, Mr Zuckerberg said he considered her a mentor and someone who has been instrumental in building Facebook into a business and “healthy organisation.”

Facebook’s staff is relatively small compared to other tech giants in Silicon Valley, such as Google, which has almost 55,000 employees. Mr Zuckerberg said that was crucial part of the social media company’s success. “The most important thing is to keep your team as small as possible. Facebook serves more than a billion people around the world but our team has fewer than 10,000 people.

“It’s only possible because of modern technology. Big companies get bloated.” He said the most important thing is to “just have faith in yourself and trust yourself. When you’re young you hear that you don’t have experience to do things, that there are people that have more experience than you. I started Facebook when I was 19,” he said. “Don’t discount yourself, no matter what you’re doing. Everyone has a unique perspective that they can bring to the world.”


About joesnewspicks

This blog captures interesting news items from around the world for those strained by information overload and yet need to stay updated on global events of significance. The news items displayed are not in order of merit. (The blog takes a weekly off — normally on Sundays — and does not appear when I am on vacation or busy.) I am a journalist for nearly three decades.
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