Business Diary: Laffer takes Buffett to task

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The Independent Online

Warren Buffett's complaint that he (and lots of other wealthy individuals) don't pay enough tax has prompted some withering attacks from those who do not share his views.

Even Arthur Laffer – he of the "Laffer curve", which predicts tax revenues will fall if rates rise too high – is having a go. Buffett is a "hypocrite", says Laffer, because as most of his money is tied up in theoretical capital gains, he wouldn't pay more tax under his own proposals. "It's never seen a tax, and when he gives [the investments] to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, it never will," Laffer says. "This is ridiculous."

Geithner turns 50 on the wrong day

Happy birthday Mr Treasury Secretary, happy birthday to you. Yes indeed: many belated happy returns to Tim Geithner, who, we learn, turned 50 on Thursday. And what better way to spend your birthday than watching stock markets around the world turn red because your failure to get on top of economic policy is deemed likely to prompt a disastrous double dip?

Hat-trick of horror for Lord Sugar

It really has not been Lord Sugar's week: first the tabloids pictured unflattering pictures of him on holiday in Monaco, then he saw the bank shares he bought – seemingly at the bottom of the market – take yet another nasty tumble, and finally a third disaster occurred. While trying to watch his beloved Tottenham wallop Hearts on Thursday evening, the satellite dish on Lord Sugar's yacht went awry, depriving the great man of pictures of Spurs' triumph.

Debrett's gets sniffy about email

Our thanks to Debrett's, the experts on all-things etiquette-related, for an extensive guide to the use of email. It has a string of tips for not upsetting the recipients of your electronic missives, but one can't helpfeeling Debrett's heart isn't really in this modern style of communications. "Aim to stick as closely as possible to the conventions of traditional letter-writing," it advises, adding: "There is no replacement for paper and ink; in this day and age where propriety is so often sacrificed for the sake of immediacy, the truly sophisticated correspondent will put pen to paper rather than dashing off a quick email."