A tale of hot air that survived the centuries

People & Business

What kind of author chooses the nom de plume "Magna Farta"?

Laurence Worms of Ash Rare Books, the self-styled "only antiquarian bookshop in the Square Mile", has just unearthed an 18th-century pamphlet signed with the above name.

The pamphlet is titled Change-Alley Excised: or the Bulls and Bears in an Uproar.

It was published in 1733 and is a rare satire on stockbrokers and their fury at the proposed imposition of taxes by Britain's first prime minister, Robert Walpole.

Mr Worms says: "Mr Walpole's proposal to raise taxes on tobacco and alcohol caused a huge uproar with the brokers who traded in them."

In an uncanny parallel with many recent City rows, Mr Worms says the brokers feared that the new regime would allow a handful of big players to corner the market.

"The plans for the taxes were dropped," he says. "But later Adam Smith and other economists said it was a brilliant idea and they should have done it."

Mr Farta's pamphlet contains one of the earliest recorded references to "bears" in the stockbroker sense. The earliest reference, adds Mr Worms, is by the essayist Richard Steele in 1709: "I fear the term `bear' is hardly to be mentioned in polite society."

Tell that to PDFM.

Bill Harrison, 48, the ebullient chief executive of BZW, who was recently poached from Robert Fleming for a four-year pounds 5.8m package, has already cast fear into his new staff.

BZW underlings, attending Wednesday's launch of the book celebrating the bank's 10 years of existence, call Mr Harrison "the human dynamo".

One Barclays person says: "He's so enthusiastic. His work schedule starts at 6.30am every day and he's on the go until dinner."

Awed BZW staff say that Mr Harrison often has two breakfast meetings, the second at 7.45am, so who knows when the first one starts. Then he has a business lunch, leaves work at around eight or nine, and sometimes has a business dinner with clients.

How does he fit it all in?

David Nash has been appointed chairman of Kenwood Appliances, which should more than make up for missing the top slot at Grand Metropolitan several years ago.

Mr Nash was formerly chairman and chief executive of Grand Metropolitan's food sector, but was pipped to the post for the top group job by John McGrath last year.

Mr Nash joins Kenwood as a non-executive director and will replace Harold Mourgue as non-executive chairman effective from 9 December.

Mr Nash is currently chairman of Amicus Healthcare Group and is a non- executive director of Cable & Wireless, Sun Life and Provincial Holdings. He is also a non-exec at Imro, the investment regulator.

NatWest Securities has poached a team of three sales people from SBC Warburg who specialise in selling UK and continental equities to Scandinavian investors. They are Patrick Rarden, Mogens Rye and Peter Kysela. Mr Rarden has been with SBC Warburg since 1993 and a director in the equities division since 1995 with responsibility for the sale of UK equities to Scandinavian countries. Prior to that he worked in Deutsche Bank in London and Dusseldorf.

Mr Rye had stints with Baltica Securities and Unibors Securities in Copenhagen, while Mr Kysela formerly worked for Cernegie International in London and Hagglof & Ponsbach in Stockholm.

And finally, with reference to yesterday's item about Elizabeth Hurley being listed by accountants Ernst & Young as their Jamaican fraud investigations partner. A humiliated E&Y spokesperson has just phoned me to admit it was a typing error. Jamaica's fraud sleuth is Elizabeth Hartley.

"It must have been a Freudian slip by the typist," laments the spokesperson.

Or a clever publicity coup by E&Y's fraud section, perhaps? E&Y was inundated with calls yesterday morning, after my piece appeared, asking for the pamphlet.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Market Risk & Control Manager

Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam