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Business Comment

Simon English: That personal touch as the paranoia escalates

Outlook The banker is on his mobile. Not the work mobile. The other mobile. The one he periodically chucks into the River Thames and replaces. Paranoia is thick.

"Is this call being recorded?" he asks. Not by me it isn't. "All right, come and meet me later. The usual. And don't email me any more. The FSA could already come and seize my computer. I don't want to have to explain why I'm gossiping with you. And the News International thing is giving me the creeps. You lot are in more trouble than we are."

A superb bottle of Chablis followed (he paid) but it can't be a good development if hacks and City folk can only ever communicate in person. Some of us have homes to go to. This guy's got three as it happens. But he works jolly hard so you mustn't be jealous.