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Business News

Business Diary: Cramer thanks the Chinese

Jim Cramer, the rather volatile television presenter who gets so excited on CNBC, is taking Ben Bernanke's warning this week about economic uncertainty with a pinch of salt: he has come up with a list of 10 reasons for people to stay positive. Top of the list for the ultimate free marketeer Cramer is this back-handed compliment to Beijing: "The Chinese Communist Party's exemplary display of capitalism, the successful soft landing of its overheated property market, has allowed other parts of its economy to take off again."

Triple photo whammy for BP

BP just doesn't seem to get it. The Washington Post reports that bloggers have now caught the oil company doctoring spill-related photographs three times in the space of a week. None of the alterations are major – they included making it seem as if a helicopter was in the air, rather than on a landing platform, for example – but if you're a scandal-hit oil major battling to restore trust in your most crucial market and under the closest scrutiny, fiddling with photos doesn't seem like a great idea.

Reich splits the difference

Economists and politicians have languages of their own that they use to befuddle the rest of us mere mortals, deliberately or otherwise. Still, hats off to Robert Reich – the former US labour secretary who is now an economics professor at Berkeley, and thus a member of both professions – who has this novel take on a familiar theme in his blog. "We're not in a double-dip recession yet," he says. "We're in a one-and-a-half-dip recession."

Capita banking on crime boost?

We were intrigued yesterday by Bloomberg's coverage of Capita's latest trading update. "Capita Group Plc, which provides a criminal records service for the UK Home Office, rose the most in 19 months after reporting improved margins and predicting 'significant opportunities'," the wire service reported. Does the oursourcing company know something we don't about a forthcoming crime wave?