City Diary

WARREN BUFFET, the celebrated American stock investor, has confessed to a "warm feeling" for the Great Crash of 1929. It turns out that the great man, known as the Sage of Omaha for his stock-picking skills, was conceived just after the terrible slump on Wall Street.

"I'm quite fond of 1929, since that's when it all began for me," he told investors. "My dad was a stock salesman at the time, and after the Crash came he was afraid to call anyone - all those people who'd been burned.

"So he just stayed at home and there wasn't television then, so... I was conceived on or about 30 November 1929 and born nine months later on 30 August 1930. So I've forever had a kind of warm feeling about the Crash."

u

THE OFFICE for National Statistics, like the rest of Whitehall, observed Remembrance Day on Thursday morning with the start of the two-minute silence announced over the internal public address system. A flock of journalist colleagues at the ONS for an 11am press briefing respectfully joined in, but grew somewhat restless until, at four minutes past the hour, the press officer at last announced that it was time to get back to work. It was not until 10 minutes past eleven that the official announcement proclaimed the end of the period of silence. As Jeff Golland, the statistician presenting the briefing, noted mournfully: "Time passes very slowly at the ONS."

u

MUCH NEWSPRINT has been devoted to excited analysis of the split on the Monetary Policy Committee, added to this week by the quarterly Inflation Report. For the first time the Bank of England's inflation forecast has departed from the strict economic theory that predicts that the pound will fall quite sharply and has so predicted for the past two years. The alternative, put forward by chief dove Sushil Wadhwani, is that the pound will stay constant at a high level. The report split the difference, predicting a gentle decline. Rumour has it that Eddie George, an expert committee man, cut through the fancy economic arguments on either side by suggesting taking the average of the hawks and the doves. If the MPC gets its extra researchers, the boffins may be able to work out which theory is the right one.

u

CONSISTENCY IN fiscal policy is hard to achieve, even for a Government that has made "joined-up thinking" one of its catchphrases. Look at the pre-Budget report. Gordon Brown grabbed the headlines with his offer of free TV licences for the over-75s, but it did not please everyone. Andrew Dilnot of the Institute of Fiscal Studies lamented the fact that the PBR "looked more like a mini-Budget". At the IFS briefing he recalled that the idea of the PBR was to start a consultation process ahead of the Budget in March, which is after all about income redistribution.

To much laughter, he highlighted a recommendation from Gavyn Davies' report into the licence fee that reads: "The BBC's funding mechanism is not well suited to solving the problems of income distribution and the BBC should not be used as a benefits agency."

Mr Dilnot added: "Perhaps this was the consultation and that they have decided the consultation should be ignored... or perhaps they should have had more consultation."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Tangerine Dream Edgar Froese
people
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Life and Style
The Oliver twins, Philip and Andrew, at work creating the 'Dizzy' arcade-adventure games in 1988
techDocumentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Krall says: 'My hero player-singer is Elton John I used to listen to him as a child, every single record
music
News
Friends for life … some professionals think loneliness is more worrying than obesity
scienceSocial contact is good for our sense of wellbeing - but it's a myth that loneliness kills, say researchers
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
News
i100
Environment
Number so freshwater mussels in Cumbria have plummeted from up to three million in the 20th century to 500,000
environment
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: Tax Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - OTE £25,000

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Developer - Watford - £45,000 - £47,000

£45000 - £47000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / ...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Product Manager - (Financial Services) - SW London

£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us