Credit crisis diary: 07/02/09

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The pink 'un tempersits criticism

Can it really be true, in these dark days of recession – and when the media industry is suffering particularly savage times – that the Financial Times is set to pay bonuses to staff at assistant editor level or above? That's the gossip at the paper and it might explain why the FT has been lessstrident than any of its rivals on the issue of bank bonuses. Still, rank and file staffers told to expect a pay freeze this year won't be impressed.

Mervyn needs a black cat

Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, right, is clearly not a man who worries too much about superstition. Announcing the detail of its asset purchase facility yesterday, the Bank said the first part of the scheme would come into operation next week, on Friday 13 February, to be precise. Not an omen, we hope.

Heard the one about the tax on Polish suits?

Much mirth in the bean-counting community about a highly technical guidance note just published by HM Revenue & Customs. It features a lengthy – and increasingly surreal – example of a Polish plumber who arrives in the UK and buys two suits, which may or may not be taxable. It seems pretty unlikely such matters would be top of the list of worries for Polish plumbers arriving here, but for those who are concerned – and to add to the bizarre nature of the update – our accountancy friends at Blick Rothenberg say the Revenue's answer is completely wrong.

Barclays under pressure in Uganda

So this is what the credit crisis has come to. In Kampala, the Central Bank of Uganda has had to issue a statement reassuring people about the financial health of Barclays – a big presence in the country – after unfounded rumours about its immin-ent demise began doing the rounds.

American women climb the greasy pole

While women are faring worse inthe UK's economic downturn – because they are more likely towork part-time, and part-timersare getting canned first whencompanies make job cuts – theopposite is the case in the US. Indeed, the number of women in work in America is about to rise above the number of men for thefirst time, because male-oriented industries such as car manufacturing are at the front end of the lay-offs there. Presumably, equalitycampaigners are cock-a-hoop.