Credit crisis diary

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The Independent Online

Another way to cash in on the crunch

What's in a name? Well at least $1m if you want to cash in on the credit crisis and you believe the folks at the auction site eBay. It's just opened the bidding for the domain name www.afterthebailout.com, which for some reason it expects to go for a fortune. Bids start at $1m, which seems a bit steep to us, even if as eBay's public relations adviser claims, this is the chance to "own your own piece of history that's happening right now".



Meet the next manager of our greatest toyshop

Judging from her CV, Beverly Hughes the Children's minister, pictured, doesn't have much experience in the commercial world. That could be a problem because if the Government eventually takes control of Baugur's stakes in British companies – the logical extension, some believe, of its decision to freeze Icelandic assets in the UK as the banking collapse row continues – she's resumably the best choice as the new manager of Hamleys.

They don't only sing when they're winning

Genius. That's the only word to describe the City traders' version of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" currently doing the email rounds. Space doesn't allow us to print all the lyrics (visit www.sdj-pragmatist.blogspot.com/2008/03/bohemian-rhapsody-anyone.html) but here's a sample: "Is this the real price? Is this just fantasy? Financial landslide. No escape from reality. Open your eyes. And look at your buys and see. I'm now a poor boy. High-yielding casualty. Because I bought it high, watched it blow. Rating high, value low. Any way the Fed goes. Doesn't really matter to me, to me. Mama – just killed my fund. Quoted CDOs instead. Pulled the trigger, now it's dead."

Don't look down

A word of warning to the select group of financial journalists invited by Halifax Bank to a Christmas trip on the London Eye. Probably best to make sure the pod doors are well and truly locked given the kicking the press has administered to the bank and its senior executives.

Stable doors, anyone?

Who says the credit rating agencies are slow to respond to financial crisis? Fitch, one of said agencies, yesterday downgraded its outlook for Hungary from stable to negative. Granted, the downgrade came after Hungary had already announced it was seeking help from the European Central Bank and that it is in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, but you can't expect the ratings chaps to warn us of problems before they become public, surely?

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