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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
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

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Financial Advisers and Paraplanners

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This extremely successful and well-established...

Guru Careers: FX Trader / Risk Manager

Competitive with monthly bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced FX...

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue