Monti’s Qatari deal, Ecommerce froth, Billabong LBO, Bionic mannequins, Outlandish Anna

Mario Monti | Source: CBC

Italy’s Monti seals investment deal with Qatar (Reuters)
“Qatar agreed on Monday to invest as much as 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in Italian companies, aiding efforts by Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Monti to breathe life into a weak economy.”

Most E-Commerce Froth Since 2000 Stirs Up Investor Doubts: Tech (Business Week)
“As e-commerce companies prepare for the holiday season, their investors are in the market for some discounts of their own… After pouring more money into retail startups in the third quarter than in any period since the dot-com bust in 2000, venture capitalists concerned over the formation of an e- commerce bubble are balking at deals they consider overpriced.”

Billabong director mulls leveraged buyout (FT)
“Billabong has been thrust back into the takeover spotlight after the head of its North American business stepped aside to start work on a potential bid for the struggling Australian surf, skate and snow wear company.”

Bionic Mannequins Spy on Shoppers to Boost Luxury Sales (Business Week)
“The EyeSee looks ordinary enough on the outside, with its slender polystyrene frame, blank face and improbable pose. Inside, it’s no dummy. A camera embedded in one eye feeds data into facial-recognition software like that used by police. It logs the age, gender, and race of passers-by.”

This Story Has Legs! (
“‘Ees-a bizarre!’ she grins. I can’t help but agree, although, in fact, this is relatively tame for Dello Russo, a woman who has carved a second career out of, and attracted a legion of new fans through, her outlandish dress sense.”