Business Diary: Doh! Pensions body favours Flanders

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The Independent Online

Interesting insight yesterday into who the National Association of Pension Funds listens to when it comes to pensions expertise. The list of speakers at its annual conference in October includes heavyweights such as the Right HonYvette Copper MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (as one would expect), and her opposite Tory and LibDem numbers. But none of the politicians took top billing. Instead that went to Stephanie Flanders, the Beeb's economics sage. Interestingly, the explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes is also a speaker, presumably because he is old, rather than because he knows anything about pensions.

Macquarie sexes up research report

On the one hand, it is good to see that the analyst community is dreaming up innovative new ways of bringing in new clients to buy their sometimes heavy-going research. On the other, sadly sometimes it has nothing to do with the quality of the research, the breadth of companies they cover or the pithiness of the writing. No, if all else fails, stick a picture of a pretty woman on the front. That seems to be the approach of the Aussie bank Macquarie, which rather than opting for a photo of a rig on yesterday's piece about Tullow Oil, opted instead for a snap of a blonde and a brunette. Phoarr!

Beach football is Mickey Mouse

Confirmation yesterday that beach football is a Mickey Mouse sport as Disney XD, the US corporation's new TV channel, announced that is to "partner" something called England Beach Soccer. According to yesterday's press release, the group is hoping to get kids involved in what it claims is the UK's fastest-growing sport. It presumably makes this claim because no one had heard of it yesterday, and now three people have expressed an interest.

Internet coupon firm states the

We were lucky enough to receive an earth-shattering piece of research into the exciting new world of internet shopping yesterday. revealed that nearly nine out of 10 shoppers in the UK use the internet to check prices before buying a product costing more than £100.

No, really?

Number of the day: 1050

The level at which the S&P 500 will close at the end of the year, according to research published by Credit Suisse.