Business Diary: God's banker urged to help all his creatures

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The Independent Online

As if Goldman Sachs boss Lloyd Blankfein doesn't have enough to cope with, now he has the animal rights activists from Peta on his back. They want Goldman staff to give some of their bonuses to animal shelters. "Dogs and cats are the hidden victims of the recession," says Peta boss Tracy Reiman. "As a major player in the financial markets, Goldman has an opportunity to help those animals who are now without a family or a place to live."

McFall finds his way to another gong

Congratulations to John McFall, the combative chairman of the Treasury select committee, who has just won Which?'s 2009 Consumer Champion award. Should the West Dunbartonshire MP wish to visit the consumer group to say thank you, he'll have no problem finding its HQ. He can use the £400 satnav he bought at taxpayers' expense last year.

What better way to spend a penny?

Is this the ultimate book for the toilet? The good folk at Thomas Crapper & Co have published a new edition of a fascinating little tome to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of the firm's eponymous founder. Flushed With Pride: The Story Of Thomas Crapper tells you everything you could want to know about the great man (and remember, he popularised the water closet rather than inventing it).

Shelley arrives in new post with a bang

Good to know civil servants have retained their sense of humour during these troubled times. A press release from the Health and Safety Laboratory arrives trumpeting the hiring of a new boss, Peter Shelley, for its Explosives Notified Body (it clears things like fireworks for sale). The headline is, of course, "HSL makes explosive new appointment".

Back to the future with Microsoft

Microsoft needs to realise not all of us are quite so good on visions of the future. It scheduled a press conference for 4pm yesterday but refused to tell journalists what it was all about. Even so, the technology giant still insisted everyone had to submit their questions in advance.

Number of the day: 1 million

The number of mince pies sold by Greggs, the bakery chain, in the run-up to Christmas.