Credit crisis diary 05/12/2008

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The Independent Online

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Mixed messages from the headhunter Michael Page yesterday. The PRs were lauding the company's straight-talking attitude, saying the management "always tell it like it is.

When they did well they said so, when things softened, they also said so". This came as the group brought an interim management statement forward from January talking of the weakening outlook. The news gave shareholders the jitters and the share price slumped. So obviously they had a host of executives ready to "tell it like it is". Er, no. "They won't be doing any media calls," the PR said.

Blades runner

Sheffield United, relegated from the Premiership last year, are about to tumble out of another table altogether. The group of football clubs on the market will be one smaller come January, after the Blades' holding company applied to have its shares delisted from AIM. The group complained of the low liquidity of its shares, their decline in value, the cost of the listing and the lack of interest from investors in injecting cash into a football club. Having James Beattie, (above, centre) up front all season can't have helped the mood much either.

Irish promise II: Golden Isle

So it turns out that Northern Ireland's mineral deposits (see yesterday's diary) for which it won the "most improved" country at the 2008 Mines and Money Awards ceremony two nights ago, include gold. Yes, you read that right, gold. Now maybe this was common knowledge, but the Diary has been asking itself: "Why no gold rush in Ulster before?" Well, it turns out after years of prohibition, maybe understandably, dynamite can now be imported into the region, so those miners can set about ripping up the ground and get their hands on the stuff.

Sack race

This investment banking cull is getting ridiculous. Twice in the past few days, the Diary has organised meetings with City insiders to beef up its anaemic contacts book, yet neither look like they'll make the weekend. The first cancelled the power lunch hours before the appointment, with the one-line lament: "I've been made redundant." The second was there for the meeting but has been told to train up younger colleagues to carry out suspiciously similar tasks to his own. This just days after his institution announced widescale job losses. Other more paranoid diaries might think they have acquired the kiss of death during the downturn.

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