Business Diary: Female grooming trend raises eyebrows

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The Independent Online

The recession has brought much pain in the form of rising unemployment, tumbling house prices and bankruptcies. But in terms of human aesthetics, surely nothing is as tragic as the fashion trend for women to shave their eyebrows during the recession. Following the lead of ever-so-sensible models, right, more women are apparently shaving off, or bleaching, their eyebrows to make a cut-price fashion statement. After all, they only have to pay for a pair of tweezers or a bottle of peroxide. Given that the treatment makes some women look like bald aliens, Diary can't wait for the recession to end.

ESPN takes the Mickey with new footy rights

ESPN, the US sports broadcaster owned by Disney, launched in the UK football market by snapping up the Premier League rights lost by Setanta when it collapsed. It has since gone further, and said it would bring matches from Germany and the Netherlands to British living rooms as well as the top flights from, um, Portugal and Russia. An insider put the Diary in its place by saying there are about 500,000 Portuguese in the UK, as well as plenty of Russians. Fair enough, but not so sure that argument holds water over its rights to the Belgian and Swiss leagues. Maybe Disney will put these leagues on the Mickey Mouse Channel.

Time off could be brief for finance veteran

Daniel Godfrey is one of the great survivors of financial services – he's been the boss of the Association of Investment Companies for 11 years now and given what has happened to the industry it's quite an achievement. What's he going to do next? "Take a step back," he tells Diary. "But I enjoy communicating and I enjoy the financial services industry." Given that he shouldn't be short of offers, there will no doubt be a place for him on an investment trust company board or two.

Lean British Airways scraps meals

Some customers may think British Airways' latest cost-cutting measure takes the biscuit... or the sandwich. BA is scrapping all meals – except breakfast – on its short-haul flights after 10am, to save £22m a year. While some passengers may grumble, airline food has never agreed with many palates.

Number of the day: 47,584

The number of mortage approvals for home purchases in June – the highest figure since 2008.