May 29, 2020

You’re the Boss Blog: Has LinkedIn Changed the Way You Hire?

Steve Uster: “I’m a huge fan of LinkedIn for small-business owners, and I’ve never paid them a dime!”Chris Young for The New York Times Steve Uster: “I’m a huge fan of LinkedIn for small-business owners, and I’ve never paid them a dime!”

Today’s Question

What small-business owners think.

A small-business guide we’ve just published discusses several examples of how companies are using online tools to revamp their hiring processes. One example is Eldridge Capital, an asset-backed lender based in Toronto that recently introduced an offshoot, Zillidy, to issue small loans to small businesses.

Because those loans are backed by personal assets like luxury watches, jewelry and fine art, Steven Uster, chief executive of Eldridge Capital, needed to hire a chief appraiser. He placed ads in local media outlets and inquired at area gemology programs, but after several weeks had failed to find any viable candidates. Then he went on LinkedIn and typed “gemologist or jewelry appraiser Toronto” into the search bar. Within an hour of reading the profiles that appeared in the search results, he had four candidates, one of whom he hired a week later. “I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me sooner,” he said. “It should have been obvious.”

The guide suggests other tools and other less obvious tips, and it points out that LinkedIn has multiple levels of membership. In Mr. Uster’s case, he used his free basic account to find the appraiser. Once he spotted the abbreviated listings for a handful of promising candidates, including their current and most recent previous employers, he simply searched for them online to find out more. “I’m a huge fan of LinkedIn for small-business owners,” he said, “and I’ve never paid them a dime!”

Please read the guide and tell us what has worked for you.

Article source: http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/15/has-linkedin-changed-the-way-you-hire/?partner=rss&emc=rss

DealBook: Iceland Wins Major Case Over Failed Bank

A branch of Landsbanki, Icesave's corporate parent, in Rejkjavik.Olivier Morin/Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesA branch of Landsbanki, Icesave’s corporate parent, in Rejkjavik.

BRUSSELS — Iceland won a landmark case at a European court, ending an acrimonious legacy from the collapse of its banking system more than four years ago.

On Monday, the court upheld the country’s refusal to promptly cover the losses of British and Dutch depositors who put more than $10 billion in Icesave, the bankrupt online offshoot of a failed Icelandic bank.

In a judgment issued in Luxembourg, the court of the European Free Trade Association, or EFTA, cleared Iceland of complaints that it violated rules governing the protection of depositors drawn up by the European Union. While Iceland is not a member of the Union, it is bound by most of its rules, as a member of EFTA.

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The case has attracted widespread attention because it touches on issues of cross-border banking that have been at the center of the European Union’s efforts to ensure the future stability of the region’s financial system. The Iceland banking collapse in 2008 — and the mayhem it caused far beyond the country’s borders — raised issues directly relevant to the 27-nation Union.

Monday’s court ruling in Luxembourg marks a significant victory for Iceland. Unlike Ireland, Iceland declined to use taxpayer money to bail out foreign bondholders and depositors. This triggered a bitter dispute with Britain, which used anti-terrorism rules to take control of assets held in Britain by Icesave’s parent, Landsbanki.

In a recent interview with British television, Iceland’s president Olafur Ragnar Grimsson denounced Britain for its legal approach — using anti-terrorist rules — to seize Icelandic assets. “We were there together with al Qaeda and the Taliban on that list,” he said. “We have not forgotten that in Iceland.” He referred to the maneuver as Britain’s “eternal shame.”

After the 2008 crash, the Icelandic government tried twice to settle the Icesave debts. But the country’s voters, asked to approve settlement plans in two separate referenda, rejected the proposals. Foreign holders of bonds issued by Icesave’s corporate parent, Landsbanki, and two other failed Icelandic banks lost some $85 billion. Those losses were not at issue in the Luxembourg case, which involved only customers with bank deposits.

The Iceland government, in a statement by its foreign ministry after Monday’s verdict, said that Landisbanki had already paid out some $4.5 billion to Icesave depositors, covering nearly half of all initial claims by individuals, chartities and others in Britain and the Netherlands. The ministry said the bank would eventually reimburse the rest.

“It is a considerable satisfaction that Iceland’s defense has won the day in the Icesave case,” the Icelandic government said in its statement. The Luxembourg ruling, it added, “brings to a close an important stage in a long saga” and “Icesave is now no longer a stumbling block to Iceland economic recovery.”

Iceland’s economy, which went into a nosedive after the banking crash, is now growing again. The credit-rating agency Fitch recently raised its rating of the country’s debt, noting that its ‘‘unorthodox crisis policy response has succeeded in preserving sovereign creditworthiness.’’

But the Icesave saga has clouded the recovery.

Icesave collapsed in October 2008 along with its parent, Landsbanki, and the rest of Iceland’s banking sector in a spectacular blowout. Caught in the wreckage were some 350,000 people in Britain and the Netherlands who, lured by unusually high-interest rates, had put their money in Icesave accounts.

The Icelandic government protected the deposits of Icelanders who had money in failed banks by moving them into new, solvent versions of the banks. But the government declined to cover the losses of foreigners with on-line accounts operated by Icesave, a move that prompted complaints of illegal discrimination to the court in Luxembourg.

The case against Iceland was bought by the Surveillance Authority of the European Free Trade Association and revolved around interpretation of a European Union directive requiring that deposits in European banks be covered equally by deposit guarantee systems. Britain and the Netherlands supported the case.

But the court, according to a statement summarizing the verdict, ruled that the directive on guaranteeing bank deposits did not oblige Icelandic authorities to ensure immediate payment to depositors in Britain and the Netherlands “in a systemic crisis of the magnitude experienced in Iceland.”

Iceland argued that all Icesave depositors will eventually get their money back but that the government, confronted in 2008 with a total breakdown of the financial system, did not have the means to offer immediate payment of all claims. The court also cleared Iceland of complaints that it violated non-discrimination rules when it protected domestic depositors by moving their accounts to solvent new banks but reneged on protecting foreign depositors in Icesave.

Article source: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/01/28/iceland-wins-major-case-over-failed-bank/?partner=rss&emc=rss

In New York, Comic Fans Flock to the Smaller Convention (of 100,000)

Comic-Con International, the pop culture behemoth that has attracted comic book fans to San Diego for 41 years, has been struggling under its own weight. Because of size limitations of the city’s convention center, attendance was capped a few years ago at 125,000. But the grand spectacle has spilled into the city’s streets. Hotels have increased their rates, and organizers have threatened to move the show.

Two thousand miles away, New York Comic Con is content to be smaller and leaner.

The New York show, which opened Thursday night at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Manhattan, bounced around the calendar for a couple of years before finding a home in October last year, when 96,000 fans made the trek to New York to attend.

Organizers expect attendance at the show, now in its sixth year, to surpass 100,000 this year. And while its rival in San Diego grapples with growing pains, New York Comic Con is finding its footing.

“San Diego was the arena rock show; New York is the acoustic show,” said Jeremy Corray, creative director at World Events Productions, a television distribution company that is making its first visit to New York Comic Con to promote “Voltron: The Defender of the Universe,” an animated series from the 1980s. “San Diego has evolved into entertainment con. New York is a little more focused and manageable.”

That focus has helped New York Comic Con establish its position as the premier comic book convention on the East Coast, organizers say.

“We are very careful about this,” said Lance Fensterman, show manager for New York Comic Con, which is organized by ReedPOP, an offshoot of Reed Exhibitions. “We want our show to be reflective of New York City. We have a lot of reverence for San Diego, but we are a different animal.”

To help cement its identity, Mr. Fensterman said, organizers are seeking to establish ties to New York’s business community, including public relations firms, publishers and deal makers. To build that connection, ReedPOP organized White Space, a pop culture summit meeting for entrepreneurs scheduled for Thursday night, calling it “a mind-inspiring think tank to spur unexpected connections between innovators of TV, film, comics, games, technology and advertising.”

And yet, Hollywood has come calling. Lucasfilm is attending to promote its new movie, “Red Tails,” an action movie inspired by the Tuskegee Airmen. And Warner Brothers TV will be on hand, as will Adult Swim and Marvel Entertainment, which will be revealing new film of its much-anticipated summer blockbuster, “The Avengers.”

Marvel is planning to assemble cast members of “The Avengers” for a panel and is promoting an appearance by Stan Lee, the former publisher of Marvel Comics and the co-creator of many of Marvel’s well-known characters, including Spider-Man and Iron Man. Mike Pasciullo, senior vice president of brand planning and communications at Marvel, said the company appreciated the more intimate feel that New York Comic Con offered.

“For a company like Marvel, the fans are very important,” he said. “Since the early days of Stan Lee, Marvel has always been about community. We want to make sure it stays that way. It’s part of the DNA of Marvel.”

Other companies feel the New York connection as well. Hasbro will attend the show for the first time this year, bringing some New York-themed exclusives. But more important, it’s a chance for the company’s marketers and designers to connect with consumers, John Frascotti, Hasbro’s chief marketing officer, said.

“Today’s marketing is a two-way street,” he said. “As a company, you have to really listen closely to your fans.”

And those fans are very important to the exhibitors that attend New York Comic Con. Capcom Entertainment, a video game publisher, is making a return visit to the convention because of the enthusiasm shown by fans last year. Francis Mao, senior director of creative services and events at Capcom, said the company increased its budget for the show by 30 percent this year, adding more game demonstrations, panels and exclusive products for sale.

“Our store is not making a profit, but we are able to get the fans all these exclusive things,” Mr. Mao said. “It’s all seen as an investment, and it pays off.”

That payoff spreads to all the exhibitors, and comes back to ReedPOP. Mr. Fensterman would not disclose the company’s costs for the show, but said they were in the “double-digit seven figures.”

As long as ReedPOP can maintain a balance between growth and identity, exhibitors and fans will keep coming back.

“We can take a little bit deeper dive here in New York,” said Peter Armstrong, director of product development at THQ, a video game publisher. “You do feel like you’re able to spend more time talking to people, and to me that’s cooler.”

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=ed476ecdd868b870dfa38dbd48ae0973

British Police Make Arrest in Net Attacks

The British police announced the arrest on Wednesday of a 19-year-old man who they said was the spokesman of the online vigilante group Lulz Security, which has claimed responsibility for a string of attacks on the Web sites of government agencies and private corporations.

In a statement, the police said the man used the online alias Topiary and had been picked up during a raid on a residence in the Shetland Islands, the rugged archipelago off the northeastern coast of Scotland. The police said they were also questioning a 17-year-old but had not arrested him.

On Twitter, Topiary described himself as a “simple prankster turned swank garden hedge.” His missives were often facetious, suggesting the handiwork of someone who relished playful language.

Lulz Security, the offshoot of a larger and more amorphous hacker group called Anonymous, has said it was responsible for attacks on the sites of PBS, the Senate, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and a company associated with the F.B.I.

The most recent post on Topiary’s Twitter feed is dated July 21, two days after law enforcement authorities announced the arrests of more than a dozen people in the United States, Britain and the Netherlands, who were accused of participating in online attacks at the instigation of Anonymous. “You cannot arrest an idea,” Topiary wrote.

In the United States, 14 men and women, mostly in their 20s, were charged in connection with an online attack last December against PayPal, after the online payment company stopped taking donations for WikiLeaks.

On Wednesday, in response to those arrests, Anonymous called on supporters to cancel their PayPal accounts. Shares in PayPal’s parent company, eBay, dropped 3 percent, in line with declines in other tech stocks.

A PayPal spokesman, Anuj Nayar, denied that any significant number of PayPal users had canceled their accounts in response to the call for a boycott. “We haven’t seen any changes to our normal operations, including account opening and closing,” Mr. Nayar said.

The attack on PayPal’s site last December slowed down the company’s system, but to such a small extent that it would have been imperceptible to customers, he said. At no point, Mr. Nayar said, was the Web site shut down.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=c9dd203835eb3bc85f5f385b65cb0bd3

British Police Say They Arrested Hacker Group Member

British police on Wednesday announced the arrest of a 19-year-old man who they said was the spokesman of the online vigilante group Lulz Security, which has claimed responsibility for a string of attacks on the Web sites of government agencies and private corporations.

In a statement, the police said the man used the online alias Topiary and was picked up during a raid on a residence in the Shetland Islands, the rugged archipelago off the northeastern coast of Scotland. Police said they were also questioning a 17-year-old but had not arrested him, and were conducting a search at another address in Lincolnshire, while a search continued at the Shetland Islands address.

On Twitter, Topiary described himself as a “simple prankster turned swank garden hedge.” His missives were often facetious and occasionally provocative, suggesting the handiwork of someone who relished playful language.

The most recent post on Topiary’s Twitter feed is dated July 21, two days after law enforcement authorities announced the arrests of more than a dozen people in the United States, Britain and the Netherlands, who were accused of participating in online attacks at the instigation of the hacker group Anonymous and its offshoot, Lulz Security. “You cannot arrest an idea,” Topiary wrote.

In the United States, 14 men and women, mostly in their 20s, were charged in connection with an online attack last December against PayPal, after the online payment company stopped taking donations for WikiLeaks.

On Wednesday, in response to those arrests, Anonymous called on supporters to cancel their PayPal accounts. Shares in PayPal’s parent company, eBay, dropped and then recovered somewhat. In afternoon trading they were down 3 percent, in line with other technology stocks.

A PayPal spokesman, Anuj Nayar, denied that any significant number of PayPal users had canceled their accounts in reponse to the boycott call. “We haven’t seen any changes to our normal operations, including account opening and closing,” Mr. Nayar said.

The attack on PayPal’s site last December slowed down the company’s system but to such a small extent that it would have been imperceptible to customers, he said. At no point, Mr. Nayar said, was the Web site shut down.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=c9dd203835eb3bc85f5f385b65cb0bd3