Business Diary: Brown's book is no stocking filler

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The Independent Online

It is surely only a matter of time until he begins climbing therankings, but it pains us to report that Gordon Brown's tome on the financial meltdown, Beyond the Crash, remains stuck at around 400th place on the Amazon bestsellers' list. Having eschewed the opportunity to dish the dirt on old colleagues, or shed new light on the crisis at Britain's banks, in favour of an academic treatise on the nature globalisation, this lack of sales is truly incomprehensible.

Axa falls victim to mistaken identity

News reaches of us another protest in London, with animal-rights activists storming the reception of Axa, the French insurance company, apparently as part of the longstandingcampaign against investors in Huntingdon Life Sciences. It seems a bit harsh targeting Axa, which hasn't held such a stake for some time in Huntingdon (and even when it did, the shares were owned by itsinvestment-management arm, which is based in a different office). Still, democracy in action is a wonderful thing.

RBS learns how to wave magic wand

More on our friends at Royal Bank of Scotland, which has succeeded in winding up pressure groups such as the Taxpayers' Alliance (which, it must be said, is not adifficult thing to do). Its crime was to hold a swanky bash at theScience Museum in London for around 400 executives and their clients. The party had a Harry Potter theme, complete withflying Quidditch players and a recreation of the books' Diagon Alley. Enough said about the juxtaposition of the bill for such high jinx and taxpayer support and all that – let's just hope some of the magic has rubbed off on all those RBS staffers who were present.

A parting shot from HSBC man?

Reading online chatboards in a (rare) idle moment, the Diary stumbled across this suggestion from one gentleman who clearly doesn't have a high opinion of City folk: "The EU should put an immediate charge on all bankers' personal assetsforthwith to secure the losses following any future desertion." The contributor says his name is Stephen Green. Surely not the former HSBC chairman, who has just stepped down in order to become the Government's Trade Minister?