Business Diary: 19/12/2009

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The watchdog keeping an eye on your gifts

Does the Financial Services Authority have a new job, policing what mums and dads spend on their kids at Christmas? It has released a survey revealing that the average family will spend £442 this festive season, with 40 per cent saying they plan to spend less than last year.

No word yet on whether the FSA is pleased about a display of such fiscal responsibility, or disappointed about people's mean-spiritedness.

Kraft tries to sweeten up its audience

Having faced accusations of being too low-profile in her efforts to lead Kraft to a takeover of Cadbury, chief executive Irene Rosenfeld, left, is fighting back. Kraft has finally got round to sending more chocolate to City commentators (Cadbury has been sending goodies out on an almost weekly basis since the bid saga began). Toblerones all round.

The most precious gift of all is time

Britain's bosses are a lovely bunch, insists the Institute of Directors, with a new survey of what managers are planning for Christmas. Bonuses may have disappeared at most companies, but at least 58 per cent of directors plan to let their staff leave early this festive season. Bless these warm-hearted folk.

Little changes on planet retail

The retail analyst Verdict is celebrating 25 years in the business with the publication of an interesting "then and now" package of research. It reveals that 25 years ago, Tesco was market leader in the supermarket sector, while Marks & Spencer was top of the pops in department stores. How little has changed.

Twitter could solve your headaches

At last, someone has found a use for Twitter. Video-on-demand service Blinkbox is using the social networking site to launch a global search for a hangover cure.

Number of the day: £45m

The average earnings this season of the 16 football clubs still in the Champion's League, Coventry University says.