Consternation among Britain's financial scribes at a pow wow of bankers in London yesterday. The star turn was Barclays Capital's Bob Diamond, but there were plenty of other big names from high finance. Sadly, journalists were imprisoned in a side room and kept away from delegates by unsmiling security men. The organisers who invited the hacks and then acted as if they were diseased? The Wall Street Journal.
Hornby's invaluable experience
The rehabilitation of Andy Hornby is complete. After the former HBOS chief executive was forced to quit the bank as it teetered on the brink, he landed the top job at Alliance Boots. Now he has been asked to give next year's British Retail Consortium 2010 lecture, entitled "Retailing... what's changed with the credit crunch". One change Hornby may omit is that people now realise hotshot retail industry executives don't know how to run banks.
Dinenage is charm personified
Happy days at Videotile, a specialist firm that makes internet videos for business. A press release explains it was asked to make a film starring the celebrity presenter Fred Dinenage. "Fred is very professional and friendly," gushes the starstruck marketing director Andrew Hines. "You could say we got on very well."
No mercy for China's financial criminals
Nick Leeson should think himself lucky. China has just executed a former securities trader for embezzlement, the first time its capital punishment laws have been applied in the financial services industry. The Beijing Evening News reports Yang Yanming was sentenced to death in 2005, but took the location of the $10m he pinched to his grave.
Holding the Prime Minister to account
The Independent has done its best to prepare people for today's pre- Budget report, with plenty of analysis of what the Chancellor might say. Still, we can't help envying similar coverage on the satirical online paper The Daily Mash. Its report is headlined: "Brown unveils radical package of lies and bullshit".
Number of the day: $6.5m
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