Business Diary: Goldman oils the way for price drop

Some good news for drivers for once – the oil price has fallen this week.

Among the reasons for this is the bearish note published by Goldman Sachs on Tuesday, in which the bank appeared to be calling the top of the commodities market. Goldman is, of course, widely followed, so that prompted a sell-off. Just bear in mind, however, that the bank doesn't always get it right. In 2008, it confidently predicted that oil might spike as high as $250 (£153) a barrel. In the end it peaked at (only) $147.

Summers: not nuts for UK policy

The US has charted a different course from the UK on economic policy, preferring to leave tackling its deficit until it is sure the recovery has been secured. There is room in this world for different opinions, of course, but Larry Summers, the former US Treasury Secretary, has an interesting take on the British approach. "I am too soon out of government to use a word like 'nuts'," he says, before adding: "If Britain enjoys a boom over the next two years coming from increased confidence, I will be required to quite radically rethink my view of how the macroeconomy operates." He's not optimistic for us then.

Mixed demand for National Express

It never rains but it pours for National Express. Under pressure from activist shareholder Elliott Advisors, the transport company has the added headache of transporting thousands of fans from Manchester to Wembley for today's FA Cup semi-final. The company reports that demand has exceeded their expectations, with nine coaches booked for Manchester City fans, while Manchester United supporters needed just the one. Insert your own joke about Man United fans all living in London here.

Banks sometimes see people right

A good news story from the banking sector for once. Standard Chartered has raised more than $1m for Seeing is Believing, the charity that tackles preventable blindness, by asking its partner brokers to donate a day's trading fees to the cause. Brokers donated more than $500,000, double what Standard Chartered had expected, but the bank has stood by its promise to match the donations with a contribution of its own.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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