Business Diary: If you can't beat the bankers, join them
Friday 22 January 2010
Want to make a few quid at the bankers' expense? Well you could always take a punt on how much they are going to trouser this bonus season. Paddy Power will give you odds of 2/1 on a total UK payout of £7bn, or 8/1 on more than £10bn. Or go low, with a 12/1 shot on a total windfall of £3bn. That the lowest figure attracts the highest odds tells you what punters think about bankers' claims of restraint.
Sex and the City California style
Americans really go the extra mile in business disputes. When fund manager Jeffrey Gundlach left his Californian employer TCW to set up his own business, DoubleLine, the company sued him. So far, so straightforward. But then TCW searched Gundlach's offices and let it be known it had discovered 12 sexual "devices", 34 "hardcore pornographic magazines", and 36 "hardcore sexually explicit DVDs and videocassettes". Is Gundlach denying the haul? Not really, but he has written to clients of his new firm fuming about invasion of privacy and TCW's "salacious disclosure".
A curious moment for a sales pitch
An email arrives from Jessops, offering interest-free credit on spending of £250 or more. Odd, given the headlines, as Jessops was wound up yesterday after years of financial troubles. The email, in fact, comes from the retail business, sold off to private equity concerns and very much still trading, while it is the old parent company that is being wound up. Still, interesting timing.
Swimming in dangerous waters
BBC director of news Helen Boaden is keen to dismiss suggestions that the corporation is an aggressive media monster. "Compared to sharks and minnows, the BBC is a dolphin," she told the Oxford Media Convention yesterday.
Time to go with the economic flow
Never mind quantitative easing or the fiscal stimulus, an invite arrives with the answer to all our woes. "Could Feng Shui be the saviour of the economy?" the folk promoting World Feng Shui Day ask us. If only Gordon Brown had thought of that.
Number of the day: 16,000
The number of job cuts Lloyds Banking Group has announced since the credit crisis, according to trade union Unite.
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