Business Diary: 27/06/2009


Cashing in on a belief in free markets


The Economist arrives, with the curious omission of almost any coverage of the latest row over City bonuses.

Could this be connected to the fact that The Economist published its own annual report this week? It showed that former CEO Helen Alexander, who stood down last July, less than four months into the year, took home almost £1.2m, including a £678m payment from a long-term incentive plan.

Buik offends some powerful people

More embarrassment for David Buik, the BGC Partners frontman who has a reputation for, how shall we put it, acting in haste and repenting at leisure. Buik fired out one of his splenetic emails yesterday, berating the leading US Democrat Nancy Pelosi for a supposed expenses outrage. Minutes later, another email was dispatched, confessing that he'd been passing on duff information and begging forgiveness.

The Mandelsons: like father, like son

A long-standing Independent reader gets in touch to complain that Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, has not had the courtesy to reply to a letter he sent with ideas for job creation.

Our reader, who sent the Lib Dem Treasury spokesman, Vince Cable, the same letter and got an acknowledgement straight away, has nagged the Business minister's office several times, but to no avail. The last time he encountered such rudeness, he adds, was 22 years ago, when the advertising manager of the Jewish Chronicle failed to respond to a complaint he had made. And the identity of the discourteous sales executive in question? It was none other than Mandy's dad, George.

Memo from the boss: get a haircut

James Caan, the entrepreneur, is a tough man to please. Having persuaded the former Dragon's Den judge to invest in his company Insynergy, Spike Hughes, left, was invited on to the business TV channel CNBC along with Caan himself. Full of praise for Hughes' business acumen, Caan revealed one nagging doubt. "The only downside to Spike", he complained, "is his hairstyle." One imagines that Hughes has already been to see his local barber.

Number of the day: 33

Number of years Tony Pidgley has run the housebuilder Berkeley. He is now to move up to the chairmanship.

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