Business Diary: Billions of reasons for Scots to stay

The rise and rise of the Scottish National Party has got the Institute of Economic Affairs thinking about Scottish independence – and not in a good way. The IEA's message to the Scots is that if they want to break away from the rest of the UK, they'll have to take their share of the national debt with them. It reckons £110bn, around 10 per cent of the total, is fair because that's Scotland's share of spending. That should give Alec Salmond, the nationalist leader, something to think about.



IMF outsider attracts support

Not too many people are prepared to go on the record as giving Stanley Fischer, the Bank of Israel Governor, much chance in his last-ditch bid for the top job at the International Monetary Fund. But at least Paddy Power, the bookie, isn't ruling him out – it has slashed its odds from 33-1 to 12-1 over the past couple of days following some sustained support for the new man from punters. Still, the Israeli ought not to get tooexcited: Christine Lagarde remains clear favourite at 1-8, with Agustin Carstens some way behind too on 7-1.



Protesting in the banks' back yard

Are you planning to be in the City tomorrow? If so, look out for a bit of pop-up street theatre from the Robin Hood tax campaign against the banks. It explains: "A giant casino board, chips and resplendent image by renowned artist Peter Kennard will fill the square outside Royal Exchange. Casino bankers will place multi-billion pound bets on a game of roulette they are guaranteed to win. Croupiers will take bets from teachers and nurses that have no choice but to gamble their jobs away in a game they cannot control." It's not the most subtle of metaphors but it promises to be entertaining.



Caan starts as he means to go on

Will James Caan's new app – it's called Business Secrets – include smart marketing as one of its tips for success? The former Dragon's Den man is appearing at Apple's store in Regent Street, London this week to plug the app, which has already been quite a hit. The promotional material makes it very clear that Caan's work will not be free to download forever – it's all about getting customers to take the plunge.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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