Column Eight: Crisis, what crisis?

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The Independent Online
FIRE alarms are not allowed to interrupt too much of the day at Goldman Sachs, the merchant bank well known for demanding many, many hours' work from employees.

A recent telephone caller was deafened by a siren in the background, followed by a disembodied message to this effect: 'Attention. A fire has been reported in the building. We are investigating. Meanwhile please stay at your workdesks.' No mention of assembling at Emergency Exit B.

FIAT'S latest advertisement extols the virtues of its catalytic converters, and advises customers to walk to the showroom to cut down on emissions. A better suggestion might be to refrain from buying a car at all.

SIR JEREMY Morse, chairman of Lloyds Bank, is due to present his review of the role played by the governing body of Lloyd's of London tomorrow. Bankrupted names who say they are waiting for Lloyd's to speak sense over this year's pounds 2bn losses might take comfort from a Crystal Mark accepted by Sir Jeremy on behalf of his bank last night. The award comes from the Campaign for Plain English - in recognition of clear communication.

SOME names may be inclined to emulate Class War activists and picket the 21st birthday party planned for Christopher Coleridge, son of David, the Lloyd's chairman. While most admit that Lloyd's current problems are not the fault of Coleridge Senior, they could still feel that holding the bash at the Savoy Hotel's River Room is a little conspicuously consumptive.

GRAHAM Taylor has quit] But before Lineker lovers and football fans alike punch the air in delight, we should point out that this Graham Taylor is the managing director of the Oliver Group, shoe retailers, who relinquished his position yesterday.

NOT content with fitting out the loos in Moscow's first McDonald's, NV Koninklijke Sphinx, a Dutch sanitation firm, has moved on to the Kremlin. There it will supply tiles, loos and sinks for 50 washrooms as part of a renovation programme. No 'flushed with success' jokes please.

FURTHER clues emerge on the Canary Wharf collapse. A sketch plan of the Cabot Square buildings appears to indicate that the planners could not count.

Numbers 1, 10, 20 and 25 are all there, but all numbers in between seem to be either public conveniences or telephones.