Poor petals. The financial crisis has clearly devastated the big investment banks. In the first quarter of this year, Goldman Sachs and its three main rivals made a collective profit of only $14bn. How are you supposed to live on that?
Paul Lewis went to New York to uncover The Truth about Goldman Sachs – a brutally simple truth: they use fiendishly complex financial instruments to make shedloads of money, and they do it better than anyone else. At the company's New York HQ, in the 42nd-floor meeting room – "helicopters fly below me" – Lewis met Edith Cooper, the head of Human Capital Management (surely a posh term for "personnel officer"). She doubles as the company Cerberus and was in no mood for humble pie. They've done a review of their business practices, she said: "The conclusion is not that we need to start all over again, but to take this opportunity to see that what we do is appropriate."
So, business as usual, was Lewis's conclusion. It's hard to disagree with Matt Taibbi's assessment of Goldman in Rolling Stone: "... a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money".
Considerably higher-minded has been Moments of Genius – fascinating four-minute nuggets of science history from the great and good tucked in before the news. Among the gems have been Stephen Fry on Dr Ignaz Semmelweis, who discovered the role of handwashing in preventing cross-infection, and Brian Eno on the Game of Life, a computer program that mimics evolution and is, he told us, "virtually impossible to describe on the radio". Unlike the Second Law of Thermodynamics which, thanks to the actor Sam West, I now more or less understand.
But now for the really big news. Matt coming out of jail, Helen's putative pregnancy, Pip missing one of her exams – not to mention tomorrow's single-wicket competition: as if all that wasn't excitement enough in Ambridge's giddy social vortex, the makers of The Archers, if the rumours are true, are thinking of staging the 60-year-old soap's first murder. No indications yet as to perp or victim, though my money would be on old lag Matt taking out a contract on his half-brother Paul. But I have a victim wishlist as long as one of Adam's polytunnels: Matt himself, whingeing Susan, cheating Brian, nasty Will, übersnob Linda, feckless Jude, grumpy Jazzer, broody Helen ... I could go on. And on.
If it does happen, can I suggest importing John Nettles from telly's Midsomer, where they're used to the rural idyll being shattered by the sound of corpses hitting the floor?Reuse content