Business Diary: 03/08/2009


Foxton's boss calls the end of the downturn


Here's the best buy signal we've seen yet for the housing market. Jon Hunt, the founder of the estate agency Foxton's, reckons the slump is over and that prices have fallen to levels where good opportunities now exist. Mr Hunt famously sold Foxton's at the top of the market and was rumoured to be considering buying back in after it plunged in value. A man to follow then.

A party Lord Myners might want to miss

Will he show or won't he? The Treasury minister Lord Myners has been extended an invitation he must be tempted to refuse – the chance to speak at a meeting organised by angry Bradford & Bingley shareholders. A B&B action group is fighting for a better deal for investors following the nationalisation of the bank and it wants Lord Myners, left, to come to a public meeting in Knightsbridge to put his case. If he goes, it should be an interesting exchange.

Turbulent times for wind energy backers

The British Wind Energy Association may be one of the most powerful voices in the campaign to develop alternative energy supplies. But the industrial dispute prompted by the Danish company Vestas's decision to close its wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight, pictured, has been a tad embarrassing to say the least. No matter: a BWEA briefing note blaming the Government for the dispute (think regulatory uncertainty, lack of tax breaks etc) is doing the rounds. That's OK, then.

Murdoch and Immelt force staff to make up

Fox News and MSNBC have finally signed a truce, according to a report in The New York Times. The American television channels' presenters have been sniping at each other in public for years now, pushing up their ratings, but executives have finally ordered a peace deal. The rapprochement follows a direct intervention by Rupert Murdoch, whose News International empire includes Fox, and Jeffrey Immelt, the chairman of MSNBC's parent company, General Electric. The pair issued the edicts to pull pugnacious underlings into line after being embarrassed by questions about the simmering row on television.

Number of the day: 200

The number of RBS staff who earned more than former chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin last year

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