Business Diary: Britons should bank on Phillies

Those Britons who don't share their countrymen's traditional prejudice against baseball, but who simply cannot decide on a team to support, might like to consider the Philadelphia Phillies.

It is not only because they currently boast the best win-loss record in their league and are a good bet to make the World Series. Reaching the sport's Holy Grail would be good for us UK taxpayers because we sponsor their home field: Citizens Bank Park. Citizens Bank is, of course, owned by Royal Bank of Scotland. Go Phillies!

HSBC court out after job cuts

While we are on the subject of bankers and sport... HSBC was accused by the unions on Thursday of trying to bury bad news as it announced hundreds of job cuts on the same day as Lloyds Banking Group swung the axe itself. The London office was certainly much emptier yesterday. Not because the unfortunate employees are already filing out of the building but rather because senior managers had headed to Wimbledon to cheer on Andy Murray. Eyewitnesses said the bank's corporate tent was full yesterday: good to see the bankers still have their priorities right.

Money rolls in for Betfair outsider

Some raised eyebrows at the online bookie Bodog this morning – all of a sudden they've had to install David O'Reilly, Betfair's in-house legal counsel, as the favourite in the race to replace David Yu as chief executive. It seems a bit unlikely – he's not even on the board. But after introducing him at 6-1 following a request from a punter, they've slashed his odds to 2-1 due to the weight of money that's come in for him. How the City would react to such an appointment is anyone's guess.

Banker quits for life as witch doc

The credit crunch forced many in the City to rethink their careers, with tales of those who headed off to teach, set up their own businesses or travel. Few will have considered the path taken by Thomas Heathfield, formerly a consultant at a high street bank, who moved to a little village in Zimbabwe and trained to become a witch doctor. The qualifications were slightly different to consultancy, as he wasn't allowed to sleep for three days, had to master tribal dance and vomit goats blood.

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