Business Diary: 30/04/2010

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RBS boss falls prey to credit card conmen

Spare a thought for Sir Philip Hampton, the chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland, who has fallen victim to a spot of credit card fraud. Sir Philip, like so many of his customers, discovered someone had pinched the details of his plastic only when his card was rejected mid-transaction. Bet he didn't have to spend too long waiting for the call centre to sort the problem out, though.

Is bad language the preserve of the French?

The Washington Post's approach to swearwords is rather curious. Its reports on the Goldman Sachs hearings in the Senate on Tuesday censored the word "shitty", which was how one of the bank's staffers had described a controversial deal in an email. But the Post was happy to explain that the word omitted was "merde", in the language of the under-fire Goldman trader Fabrice Tourre. So French speakers aren't offended by bad language, then?

Mason put out by Brown's election gaffe

"Bigot-gate" may have been manna for political journalists who long ago got bored with this election campaign, but not everyone in the media was so delighted. Paul Mason, the combative Newsnight economics editor, had been looking forward to fronting a big package for Wednesday evening's show on Europe's sovereign debt crisis. He got squeezed, much to his irritation. "The whole thing gets a total of four minutes on Newsnight because of Gordon Brown's gaffe," Mason whinges on his blog.

It's going to take more than a nice bouquet

Much embarrassment at npower, which has just sent a pensioner in Yorkshire a final demand for a £10,801 electricity bill. The lady in question was not impressed – particularly as the bill was addressed to her husband, who died nine years ago, and related to a farm the couple had sold in 1988. Still, at least npower has sent her a bunch of flowers.