We hear one of the stumbling blocks to a deal between Nasdaq and the London Stock Exchange is the question of leadership – specifically whether the former's Bob Greifeld or the latter's Xavier Rolet would get the top job in the event of a merger. It's a curious debate – after all, the reason the LSE is in play is that Rolet, for all the good work he has done since taking over in London two years ago, made such a mess of the merger with Canada's TMX. Wouldn't it be a little peculiar to see him get a promotion off the back of that?
A rare celebration for the euro
Our congratulations to Helmut Andexlinger, who has just won a eurozone-wide competition to design a new €2 coin to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the single currency. This will be only the third time that coins have been issued with one design on the side normally reserved for national symbols. Still, the Austrian won after a public vote on five shortlisted designs – and any disgruntled losers in the contest might want to ask for a recount, with all Greek votes excluded.
Bank bosses face a public vote
Bruce Packard, the well-regarded banking analyst at Seymour Pierce, seems to have taken exception to a speech made last week by Marcus Agius, thechairman of Barclays Bank, in which he appeared to suggest investors would not put up with lower returns as a price worth paying for banking reforms. "We think that it is not the shareholders, the institutions and pension funds which are being unrealistic, it is the managers of banks who are not prepared to accept 'utility-type returns'," Packard wrote in a note to clients yesterday. And to prove a point, he's conducting a poll of investors' views. We look forward to the results of the vote with great interest.
Topshop finds itself a neighbour
This is a novel alliance: Travelodge is teaming up with Sir Philip Green's Arcadia Group, the owner of Topshop, opening the latest of its budget hotels above the Princes Street branch of the retailer in Edinburgh. The deal works commercially for both parties, but especially well for Travelodge customers one imagines – handy if you forget your pyjamas, say.