Business Diary: Darling steps in for absent comic

To the National Business Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel, where the Chancellor of the Exchequer was on hand to give out some gongs. No comedian as entertainment, but Mr Darling was happy to step in. With the taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland behind one of the trophies, the Chancellor ad-libbed: "I'm delighted to see my bank is sponsoring one of these awards". Someone liked it: the Chancellor was asked for his autograph during dinner.

The taxman gets his just deserts

Less popular at the awards bash was HM Revenue & Customs. It triumphed in its category – bizarrely picking up the trophy for "marketing strategy of the year" – but the audience started booing when the organisation's name was read out during the nominations.

Once a friend of the WEF, always a friend

Fair play to the World Economic Forum, which is clearly a loyal ally. The literature handed out at this year's India Economic Summit, held in Delhi this week, is plastered with pictures of one of last year's keynote speakers. That fact B Ramalinga Raju, ex-chairman of IT consultant Satyam, has since been arrested on charges relating to a £1bn fraud at the company, seems not to have bothered it one jot.

Literally pulling teeth to raise some cash

The soaring gold price is boosting trade at OuncesPounds, which buys up Britons' unwanted gold. The company used to be offered old jewellery but now people have started trying to sell it their gold teeth. Not such a bad idea – a single gold tooth might be worth as much as £500 at the current gold price, the company says.

Repossessing the same home twice over

Embarrassment at the TUC which dispatched a worrying email yesterday warning people about the latest mortgage repossession figures – the only problem being that the data doesn't come out until today. Not a case of seeing into the future, apparently, but a simple repeat of the release it put out last time this data was published.

Number of the day: 55.5bn

The loss in rupees posted by Air India last year. The £722m shortfall was caused by a collapse in bookings.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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