Business Diary: Google boss takes fight to the enemy

Good to see The Wall Street Journal give its writers free rein. In an op-ed piece yesterday, Google boss Eric Schmidt said: "With dwindling revenue and diminished resources, frustrated newspaper executives are looking for someone to blame. Much of their anger is currently directed at Google... the facts suggest otherwise." Chief of the get-Google brigade is, of course, Rupert Murdoch, the Journal's owner.

It's Hammer time for your old gold

Happy news from Cash4Gold, the company that buys up customers' unwanted gold, which is quite handy right now given the record price of the precious metal. It has signed up MC Hammer as a partner. The rapper is to star in the company's adverts as part of the deal.

The economists who were once big in Japan

Here's a quiz question. What do new MPC member Adam Posen, Federal Reserve governor Ben Bernanke, IMF chief economist Oliver Blanchard, Nobel laureate Paul Krugman and US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner have in common? The answer is they all made their name studying Japan's "lost decade" of economic stagnation. Let's hope they've learned the lessons.

Dubai's ruler hopes for happier times

You'll be pleased to hear that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is back from the Eid holiday, updating the world via his Twitter page. Strangely, Dubai's ruler still has nothing to say about the financial crisis – unless his wish for better times ahead is an oblique reference to the events of the past week. His latest tweet reads: "I pray to Allah that when we celebrate future national days, we will have achieved our dreams and enhanced our position in the world."

Somalia's booming stock market

Somalia may be dangerous, but it is embracing Western-style capitalism. Reuters reports that pirates based in the coastal town of Haradheere have set up a stock exchange where locals can buy shares in their ventures. Of 72 "maritime companies" on the exchange, 10 have apparently staged successful hijackings so far.

Number of the day: 20

Years since Norton motorbikes, now back in production, were last made in the UK.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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