Business Diary: From bad to worse, or reverse?

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The Independent Online

Stuart Gulliver, the boss of HSBC, is clearly proud of his analysis of the eurozone sovereign debt crisis: so much so that he repeated his critical assessment of the deal on Greek debt several times during yesterday's briefing to analysts on the first half of the bank's trading year. The deal saw the crisis move from "acute to chronic" status, Gulliver said. He had to be asked to explain whether that was an improvement or not.

Rolet still sour about TMX

It's no surprise to see Xavier Rolet, chief executive of the London Stock Exchange, adding his name to the list of opponents to the merger between Deutsche Borse and NYSE Euronext. In an interviewyesterday, he warned the transatlantic merger might damage the competitiveness of the City of London. This opposition is surely in no way sour grapes about the collapse of his own transatlantic deal – while many Americans don't like the Deutsche transaction either, they haven't killed it off in the way the Canadians last month torpedoed Rolet's plans to merge the LSE with TMX.

The lawyer who loves a default

Have you ever heard of Lee Buchheit? If not, chances are you've never worked for agovernment about to default on the national debt. Buchheit is a senior partner at Cleary Gottlieb, the American law firm that has just been appointed by the Greek government to advise it on the restructuring of its liabilities. It's a wise choice by the Greeks, for Buchheit is the go-to man for such problems, having previously advised the governments of both Iceland and Argentina on similar matters. Good news for the lawyer too – there's plenty more work in the pipeline, Lee.

Retail banking back in fashion

Times they are-a-changing: a Reuters source reports that Lansdowne Partners, the well-known hedge fund, has sold its entire $850m stake in Goldman Sachs. The move is apparently not a statement on the virtues of Goldman in particular, but part of Lansdowne's generallybearish view on investment banks full-stop. The fund is instead moving its money into retail banks. How the mighty have fallen.