Business Diary: Krugman sticks it to the Fed

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The Independent Online

It seems safe to say that Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, was not entirely impressed with the US Federal Reserve's limited extension of quantitative easing on Tuesday. Here's what he told the New York Times yesterday: "The Federal Open Market Committee has spoken. What's my reaction? The Fed's current policy is grossly inadequate, logically bizarre, and slightly – but only slightly – encouraging."

New generation of martyrs

What would you do if you felt you were underpaid for your work guiding people round sites linked to the Tolpuddle Martyrs, the agricultural labourers transported to Australia in 1834 after protesting about wage cuts? Protest, of course, which is exactly what a group of professional tour guides in Dorset have been doing. Now 11 of them have gone on strike over the £26.65 a day they receive to show tourists around the Old Crown Court in Dorchester. Will their bosses see the irony?

Where to hear the word of God

Good news for Freesat viewers in need of a spot of divine inspiration. The latest new channel on the service, which is potentially available to up to 14 million homes, is God TV – offering "a 24-hour line-up of exclusive Christian programming". The boss, Rory Alec, adds: "Freesat will enable more viewers in the UK to experience our unique schedule, with the added bonus that it has no subscription fee or monthly bills." God moves in mysterious ways, but at least this one is free.

Driving a hard bargain

Do as I say, not as I do – that seems to be the message from executives when it comes to company cars. A report published today by accountant PricewaterhouseCoopers reveals that companies are becoming ever more tight-fisted about the cars they offer staff, reducing the choice of vehicle available or limiting staff to diesel-only models, for example. Naturally, PWC adds, 80 per cent of chairmen and chief executives are allowed to choose whichever car they want.