Column Eight: Long shot becomes longer

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The Independent Online
The Bingham report has dealt a lousy set of cards to Eddie George, the bridge- playing deputy governor of the Bank of England. Ladbroke Racing has just lengthened the odds on his becoming the next Governor of the Bank from 9-4 to 11-4.

Sir David Walker, the vice- chairman of Lloyds Bank, whose odds are unchanged at 7-4, is no longer the favourite to succeed the beleaguered Robin Leigh-Pemberton.

The punters' choice is now Sir David Scholey, who - amid a flurry of hand signals from the tictac men on Threadneedle Street - has had his odds dramatically shortened from 9-4 to 6-4.

Terry Smith, the head of research sacked by UBS Phillips & Drew over his controversial book on the flattering accounting techniques used by the likes of Grand Met and Ladbroke, is set to make waves next Thursday.

Mr Smith, who this week joined the small broker Collins Stewart, is to speak at a conference entitled Accounting For Growth: Beyond the Book. Pitted against him are speakers from Ernst & Young and KPMG Peat Marwick, beancounters whose clients are enthusiastic users of creative accounting techniques.

It promises to be a lively conference. 'Terry has been updating his material,' says a Smith acolyte ominously.

Sir John Quinton, chairman of Barclays, plans to keep busy when he retires in December. Sir John, who was ultimately responsible for one of the most disastrous spates of lending to property and construction companies in living memory, is joining the housebuilder Wimpey Group as chairman from 1 January.

Times are tough at TSB Group. Graham Wallace, the media relations manager, is no doubt fed up with fielding calls about disastrous Hill Samuel and the embarrassing sackings of senior executives. The intrepid Canadian took himself off to Africa yesterday and is making his way down the Niger river from its origin in Senegal . . . to Timbuktu.

Irving Scholar, the ex-chairman of Tottenham Hotspur, blows the whistle on the battle for control of the football club with the publication next month of Behind Closed Doors.

The blurb from the publisher, Andre Deutsch, says it is the first time Mr Scholar has 'broken his self-imposed silence' on the matter.

Silence? Irving Scholar? Anyone close to the deal would say that it was a job getting him to shut up for more than two minutes.

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