Business Diary: 29/05/2010

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The Independent Online

Bonus counsel from Kerviel

Some very helpful advice from eFinancialCareers, the online employment site for the City.

Traders need to "know their own worth" before they start negotiating bonus payments, its guest columnist points out this week. And who is the sage the site has lined up to dispense this wisdom? Step forward Jérôme Kerviel, the Société Générale trader who goes on trial next month over his role in the €4.9bn (£4.2bn) trading loss racked up by the French bank last year.

How to get a deal in Berlin

Here's a little tip for the Greeks, for when they next visit Berlin to discuss those oh-so-painful austerity cuts. Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, will no doubt be keen to drive a hard bargain, but there might be a way to secure an edge in the negotiations. Prospect magazine reports that Ms Merkel is scared of dogs – so much so that Vladimir Putin often turns up to meetings with her accompanied by his beloved black Labrador, Koni, just to seize the initiative. It must be time for Greek officials to get passports for their pooches.

Tax hike spells opportunity

Say what you like about Britain's financial services industry, but you cannot fault its entrepreneurial instincts and all-round opportunism. While there are plenty of stockbrokers and fund managers complaining about the mooted increases in capital gains tax, the spread-betting business Spreadex prefers to take the glass-half-full approach. It has written to potential new clients, urging them to dump their shares and switch to spread betting, on which no CGT is payable.

Unite could drop the double act

Union leaders at Unite are furious that David Laws, the Chief Treasury Secretary, wants to hire a spin doctor on an annual salary of £58,000 while he is simultaneously wielding the axe over public spending. Still, Unite might want to look a little closer to home for examples of waste. It took two media officers to write the 242-word press release it issued yesterday complaining about Mr Laws.