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Business Diary: 19/10/2009

The Wheels come off at National Express

Spinners at the troubled transport business National Express have spent much of the weekend trying to tell anyone who will listen that holding a rights issue had been their plan all along, and that the takeover by Spain's Cosmen family, which was aborted on Friday with ruinous effect on the share price, was only ever a Plan B. Keep telling yourself that, chaps.

Clydesdale still proud to be Scottish

Good to see that Scotland's financial community has not let the problems of Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS dent its confidence – new £20 notes issued today by Clydesdale Bank, now Scotland's biggest issuer of notes, feature Robert the Bruce. That should terrify the Sassenachs.

Will Peston be silenced?

Robert Peston's widely followed blog – loved and hated in equal measure – could be at risk as the ever over-sensitive BBC continues panicking following the Jonathan Ross affair. The Beeb has told all its bloggers that they must not publish opinion pieces online – cue a string of complaints to Auntie about the opinionated blog of the BBC's business editor.

Dodgy directors still getting away with it

After the scandal we've had, we can presumably rest assured that dodgy businessmen and women are drummed out of the world of commerce much more quickly these days. Don't believe it – R3, the insolvency group, says that three in four of the iffy directors it refers to the Insolvency Service evade disqualification.

Number of the day: £700m

Proposed cost of regenerating Preston City Centre, now threatened after one of the developers withdrew