Business Diary: Gross says no to a drink and a chat

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The Independent Online

Bill Gross is feeling grumpy – and not just about the prospects for gilts, though the boss of Pimco, the world's largest bond fund, is no fan of UK debt. No, what's upset Gross is the uselessness of cocktail parties: his March investment outlook starts with a long whinge on the subject. "I lean strongly in the direction of a warm bed and peace as opposed to a glass of tinkling ice cubes and a room resonating with high-decibel blather," says Mr Unsociable.

Now RBS gets blamed for early closing

Another reason for the people of York to hate the bogeymen at Royal Bank of Scotland. It is to blame for the closure of a popular local pub, the Lamb & Lion, say owners Chris and Emma Watkins. They claim they've had to shut the boozer, first opened in 1756, after RBS offered it "untenable" borrowing terms.

Memo to apprentices: don't use the R-word

Lord Sugar is to meet 400 business folk at a bash in the West Midlands next week. It's an "opportunity to speak with the highly acclaimed business guru", say the organisers. Just don't ask him about the recession – when someone did exactly that at a similar shindig last year, Lord Sugar stormed off in a strop.

Happy birthday to the original conman

Be especially careful today about any too-good-to-be-true investment opportunities that come your way. For today is the 128th anniversary of the birth of Charles Ponzi, the Italian swindler, who is widely regarded as the granddaddy of all pyramid investment scams. Watch out for tribute acts seeking to emulate the (not so) great man.

Vince pops up in the most unlikely places

Customers of the price comparison service get a monthly newsletter from the site featuring a cornucopia of interesting articles for their enjoyment. This month, for instance, you have a choice of reading about the new registration plates for cars, the 10 strangest ever car insurance claims, or, bizarrely, an election Q&A from the the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, Vince Cable. He really does get around.

Number of the day: £15

The new maximum transaction size on Visa and Mastercard contactless debit and credit cards, up from £10 before.