Business Diary: Berlusconi bounce goes floppy

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The Independent Online

Our compliments to Louise Cooper, the savvy spokeswoman for the City brokerage firm BGC Partners, for this observation about the failure of the effective resignation of the Prime Minister of Italy to provide sustained relief to his country's stock and bond markets. "The Berlusconi Bounce. But like the effects of his chosen drug Viagra, the rise proved temporary." One might just note that in the case of Italy's bond yields, the challenge is to get them down rather than up.

A bonus for one smart banker

Not that we want to encourage the vain folk of the City, but Cad & The Dandy, the Savile Row tailor, reminds us that there are only three days remaining in its competition to find the best-dressed banker in London. The competition is open to men and women working in London's financial services industry – there are £3,000-worth of bespoke suits up for grabs for the winner.

A gamble certain to pay out

Bookie William Hill is now quoting 16-1 on England's friendly with Spain getting called off over the poppy row with Fifa. It seems a bit unlikely, we have to say. Such a drastic step really ought to be 50-1. But fair play to the bookie, whose chief executive is also the top man at the Scottish FA, which has said it will donate profits from all its novelty poppy on shirt markets to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. Not a bad reason to have a bet.

Wooden spoons for John Lewis

Yum yum. The folk at John Lewis are teaming up with the Women's Institute in an effort to revive the traditions of "Stir up Sunday", the day Britons are supposed to make their Christmas puds. John Lewis, which will launch the campaign next week, thinks it has a chance of persuading people to start stirring because sales of its wooden spoons have doubled in recent months.