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Business News

Business Diary: A nicer way to describe those bankers

Many people have their own names for bonus-grabbing bankers – mostly unprintable – but Stephen Hester, chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland (84 per cent owned by the taxpayer) uses a different term. He and his colleagues are now "stewards of public money", he explains. We know that, Stephen – it's the fact that you keep stewarding it into executives' pockets that worries us.

A painful reminder of where the crisis began

Still on RBS, do staff wince every time they see a TV report on their employer? Every outside broadcast now seems to take place in front of RBS's glass-fronted building in the City of London. The office used to be the HQ of ABN Amro, the Dutch bank for which RBS paid so much two years ago, plunging it into this mess in the first place.

Do what I say, not what I do

The fat cat row is also continuing in the US, where Johnson & Johnson has just announced 8,000 job cuts. Trades unions are a little exercised by the timing of the redundancies – a week ago chief executive Bill Weldon made headlines by buying two properties next door to each other on the waterfront in Florida. The price was a cool $8.45m.

The battle to be the greenest grocer

What is Waitrose doing? First it let Sainsbury's revel in having a better record on palm oil imports and now it has lost out to its rival in being first to install charging points for electric cars at its stores.

Greasing the wheels of the recovery

Well done to WD-40, "the world's number one lubricant company". Sales have tripled this year, as Britons have embraced a "make-do-and-mend" culture in the face of the slump. To boost the brand further, WD-40 is to sponsor James Wade, the world's third best darts player.

Number of the day: 7.8 per cent

The increase in sales at John Lewis last week compared to the same week of 2008, as the recovery continues.