Business Diary: Friends across the ocean

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The Independent Online

It's good to see our friends in the US are keen to kiss and make up now that BP finally seems to be getting its act together over the Gulf oil spill. Simon Hobbs and Mark Haines, the anchors of CNBC's Squawk on the Street, have taken to wearing ties emblazoned with the Union Jack and the Stars and Stripes.

It's an elegant sartorial trick that underlines how we are all back on speaking terms again after a very public falling out. Thank heavens for the special relationship.

Sir Stuart's latest degree

The urbane Sir Stuart Rose has not forgotten the Yorkshire roots of Marks & Spencer, the retailer from which he is shortly due to step down as chairman.

Not only has he accepted an honorary doctorate from Leeds University, in the town where M&S was founded as a humble market stall back in 1884, but the institution has been chosen as the site of a massive new company archive.

Right ranch, wrong Paulson

Those Paulsons have so much fun. Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson has been a little disturbed to see US press reports in recent days that he has shelled out the best part of $25m on a ranch in Aspen, the upmarket resort in Colorado.

His concern stems partly from the damage that reports of such extravagance might do his reputation as a former policymaker. More importantly, however, the purchase was news to him. Further investigations by the Paulson family have established that the buyer was in fact John Paulson, the super-rich hedge fund manager.

Fabio's lessons in life

To the World of Learning Conference & Exhibition, where delegates are asked: "What can business learn from Fabio's management?" Not much, some said, but the most popular response was that Capello's leadership of England's World Cup squad demonstrated the importance of "strategies and tactics that play to the strengths of the individuals and the team". Quite.