Business Diary: An economist swaps sides

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The Independent Online

A new tactic from HM Treasury? Earlier this week, the National Institute for Economic and Social Research published a pretty damning report on the Government's economic policy, basically accusing the Chancellor of getting it wrong. Now the NIESR has announced a new director of macroeconomic research: he is Dr Angus Armstrong, who currently does something very similar for, wait for it, the Treasury. Has George Osborne dispatched an infiltrator?

A chance to put the brand up high

A pitch reaches us from AEG, owner of the Dome in Greenwich, London. It has already enjoyed plenty of publicity for its plans to build a "roofwalk" over the top of the dome, in time for the Olympics next summer, but now it is after a naming partner (O2 is already signed up for the dome itself). So which British businesses might want to pay to have their names associated with this country's answer to the Sydney Harbour Bridge walk? Sky seems an obvious contender – or one of the airlines? Maybe even a bank eager to restore its reputation. Your suggestions gratefully received.

Asda's wine buffs left spitting

Guy Woodward, the editor of Decanter magazine, has ruffled some feathers with an assertion on Radio 5 Live late on Tuesday that it is not possible in this country to buy a decent bottle of wine for less than a fiver. In particular, Asda has promptly branded Woodward a snob. Now, we're not wine buffs here, but we can't help feeling that Asda has a point. It lists a string of award-winning wines it sells in its supermarkets for less than £5. And who were those awards from? Step forward Decanter magazine.

Singing the blues in the City

It is good to see that the Diary's old friend David Buik, now retired from frontline duties at BGC Partners (and a 40-year career in the City) is keeping busy. Buik gets in touch to amuse us with a modern-day reworking of Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Blues". Sample lyric: "The banker in the trench coat/ Kicked out, laid off/Says he's got a bad cough/Wants his bonus paid off/ Look out kid/ It's that crap trade you did."

Don't give up the day job David – oh, you did.