Business Diary: IMF errs on the safe side

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The Independent Online

The crisis at the International Monetary Fund continues to play havoc, with officials forced to change their plans at short notice. "We're sorry to inform you that we are postponing the International Monetary Fund's event for bloggers set for the Loews Regency Hotel in New York City on 7 June," says a missive from the authority, which explains that John Lipsky, who had been intending to host the bash, now has other commitments in his role as acting managing director. But is it Mr Lipsky's schedule that's the problem, or does the IMF simply wish to avoid hotels at all costs these days?

The secret of Haines' success

As CNBC eulogised its veteran anchor Mark Haines, who died suddenly on Tuesday night, we learnt what lay behind the gruff interview technique he has used to rough up slick chief executives. "They are all on drugs," he once told a rookie reporter. "Treat them as if they have been smoking pot." Haines estimated he had interviewed 21,000 chief executives over the years. Earlier this month, the 65-year-old had said a teary on-air goodbye to his co-host of five years Erin Burnett, because she was leaving CNBC for CNN. The moment looks doubly poignant now.

Microsoft censors its own email

For all its success, you do have to wonder whether the left arm of Microsoft always knows what the right arm is up to. Diary, of course, applauds the security measures employed by the computer giant on behalf of customers of its Hotmail e-mail service. Still, how does the rest of the company feel about the measures that classify marketing emails from Microsoft's own Bing search engine as, erm, junk mail?

UAE is all setto go metric

Breaking news from the United Arab Emirates: next time you're there, don't even think about asking for a gallon of petrol or talking about distances in terms of yards. The country announced yesterday that it is to shift to the metric system on 11 November this year. In fact, gallons have already been dispensed with – litres were introduced at the beginning of the year – but the dropping of yards, feet and inches, in favour of metres, will complete the transition.