Proust's Total Recall

Elisabeth Proust
Image caption Elisabeth Proust is the new boss of Total's UK exploration and production arm

The oil industry stereotype is not renowned for its gender balance or appreciation of women's distinctive contributions. But the new boss at Total (Exploration and Production) UK is changing that.

Elisabeth Proust (it's pronounced Proost) is a very senior figure in the French oil giant, and recognised outside it with the French state's highly prestigious Legion d'Honneur.

She previously worked in Paris and The Hague, seeking out investment opportunities. That included Russia and India, for instance - not oil regions for the faint-hearted.

Her last two postings were in charge of the company's operations in Indonesia and then Nigeria. Again, very tough gigs.

Moving from Africa to Aberdeen at the end of last year means she has yet to see much daylight or feel much warmth from her new billet.

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Trade flows north, a lot less south

Banknotes Image copyright PA

Warm, humorous, gutsy, sparky, soulful, determined and fun.

If Scots were to be seven dwarves, that's what they might be called. (Until the nation's cynics get to work, of course.)

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Second wind for UK oil and gas?

Animation of Shetland plant Image copyright Total
Image caption Two 18 inch pipelines have been laid to take the gas produced 90 miles to land

There's a second wind to Britain's oil and gas industry. And it's been in the pipeline for years.

Getting to "first gas" from the Laggan field has taken a long time. The Laggan field was discovered 30 years ago. Nearby Tormore, scheduled to come on stream later this year, was found nine years ago.

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Spitting tax, splitting tacks

Money and tax form Image copyright PA

Who wins and who loses? It's not just about seats at Westminster. The question is about the power to vary tax rates.

"Varying" could take taxes down, but we're not hearing much about that happening.

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The Clydesdale workhorse set loose

Image copyright Clydesdale Bank

Clydesdale Bank is set to float on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Just what lies behind the move - and what lies ahead for the long-standing financial workhorse?

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City Deal or no deal?

Aberdeen harbour

Aberdeen's been getting love bombed with political tourists, though true to stereotype, Aberdonians would prefer if the affection were expressed in financial terms.

Both Scottish and UK governments have been accused of being slow off the mark in responding to the oil downturn and its impact on the city.

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Whatever happened to Silicon Glen?

Circuit board Image copyright Getty Images

It's not that long since Scottish factories made three out of every 10 personal computers built in Europe. Nearly two-thirds of Europe's cash machines were from Dundee.

Not any longer. Silicon Glen - the name given to the mainly central belt electronics manufacturing phenomenon - continues to decline.

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The Quality of Life salesman

Pierre and Sophie Bellon Image copyright AFP
Image caption The Bellon family owns a third of a business worth £10.6bn

If you like your tech stocks, the sales news from Apple will have had you salivating.

And sure enough, the numbers are boggling; in only three months at the end of 2015, more than 75 million iPhones sold, more than £53bn in revenue, £13bn profit.

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Scotland and England: growing closer, living apart

Engineer trainees

The more Scotland has diverged politically from the rest of Britain, the more it has become economically similar.

It's one of those paradoxes of the 21st century, which was underlined this week by the Resolution Foundation.

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For sale: the business of bad news

The Scotsman

The long-running decline of Scotland's national newspapers could be about to turn a page.

The owner of The Scotsman, Johnston Press, has announced that it's in the mood for selling assets.

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