Business Diary: An early end to French holidays

We hear that well before French President Nicolas Sarkozy interrupted his holiday to take personal charge of the country's banking crisis – insert your own joke here – Francois Baroin, his finance minister, had already decided to end his holiday early and ordered his chief civil servant to do the same.

Could it be that the duo recognised the real problem for France right now is its moribund economy, as in yesterday's dismal GDP data, not the markets crisis which blew up after their return – and for which they now blame short-sellers.

Soros faces legal claim from ex

He may be 80, but George Soros, the hedge fund mogul, is still getting into scrapes. His lawyers are currently fighting off a lawsuit from a young woman with whom he was stepping out until recently. Adriana Ferreyr, a Brazilian soap opera star, wants a large pay-off from the financier – she alleges a row in bed ended up with him trying to assault her. Soros denies it.

Short shrift for short-selling ban

David Buik, the irascible former markets commentator at BGC Partners, the brokerage firm, has broken off his retirement once again, so enraged is he by the decision of some European countries to ban the short-selling of financial stocks. "I have heard of a few bone-headed and crass initiatives in my time, but I think Spain's, Belgium's, Italy's and France's decision to ban 'short-selling' temporarily takes the biscuit," Buik complains.

Lewis sticks it to the Germans

Hats off to Michael Lewis for these thoughts about Germany's role in the latest eurozone meltdown, aspublished in the latest issue of Vanity Fair magazine. "The Hamburg red-light district had caught [anthropologist Alan] Dundes's eye because the locals made such a big deal of mud-wrestling. Naked women fought in a metaphorical ring of filth while the spectators woreplastic caps, a sort of headcondom, to avoid being splattered. 'Thus,' wrote Dundes, 'the audience can remain clean while enjoying dirt!' Germans longed to be near the shit, but not in it. This, as it turns out, was an excellent description of their role in the current financial crisis."

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...

Guru Careers: C# Project Team Lead

£55 - 65k (DOE): Guru Careers: A unique opportunity for a permanent C# Develop...

Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada