In the news: Thursday

Fashion house, Chloe forces Topshop to destroy entire stock of a hideous yellow dressTopshop, Sir Philip Green’s British counterpart to Sweden’s H&M – or Spain’s Zara, but not quite that of America’s rather trashy, in comparison, Forever 21 – has been slapped with a lawsuit accusing the designer-replicas-trends-on-a-budget stores of copyright infringement. Chloe, the fashion house that put Stella McCartney on the map, claims that Topshop (whose version is pictured on the right) ripped off their original design of the sorry looking yellow rag you see pictured on the left. Topshop was selling the dress for about $70, more than 75% less than the cost of the designer original. Chloe has a zero-tolerance policy for knock-offs and is known for sending out undercover solicitors “to seek out pictorial evidence of counterfeits.” Thus far, the strategy has helped them to preserve the façade of originality worn by hedge fund and soccer wives. Because Sir Philip Green is a rational man, and one that knows to part with ugly when he sees it, Topshop  paid them £12,000 [for damages/legal fees] without any admission over whether it was or it wasn’t [a copy]…[and] felt it was easier to do that and get on with the rest of our lives.” [The Times]

New Zealand’s central bank raises key interest rate to 8.25%
Like pretty much every other country on the planet, barring Brazil and others known for their zests for life, New Zealand’s central bank raised its benchmark borrowing rate by 25 basis points to 8.25% in an attempt to contain inflation. Alan Bollard, the Bernanke of under down-under, appears to think that this will be the final rate hike necessary to reach the central bank’s comfort level, “we think the four successive rate increases we have delivered will be sufficient to contain inflation.” The hike is expected to push the value of the Kiwi north, while hurting domestic exports and helping retail forex traders (read: grandma, substitute teachers, Theatre majors and future actors of the Kabuki school of drama, etc.) in Japan. Though consumer confidence is waning, New Zealander’s are currently riding high on a skilled labor shortage, overall unemployment rate under 4%, and an international rally in commodity prices which has driven world demand for domestic products. [Bloomberg]

OPEC increased output (so far) this month
According to Petrologistics, a company that tracks tanker shipments, the OPEC consortium (barring Iraq and Angola) will have pumped an additional 100,000 barrels of oil per day when all is said and done at the end of July. However, “there’s no major opening of the taps…They fear that if they opened the taps, prices would slide.” While a lull in militant disruptions has allowed Nigeria to up its output, with Iran following suit, Saudi Arabia stands firm despite near-record highs in oil prices this summer. [Khaleej Times]


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