Business Diary: Murdoch, by royal appointment

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The Independent Online

Is nothing sacred? It was bad enough that back in 1997 Buckingham Palace decided to allow ITV to produce the Christmas broadcast of the Queen, breaking a monopoly that our national broadcaster had enjoyed since 1932 (for the past 13 years, the BBC and ITV have taken it in turns to make the programme). Now the Palace has decided to let Rupert Murdoch's Sky in on the act, too – it is going to produce the broadcast this year and next, and the task will then be alternated between the three broadcasters.

Apprentice 'star' seeks new job

Alex Epstein, the Apprentice contestant who was kicked off the show long before the final, doesn't quite seem to get it. Despite having lost out, he is still touting his services to all and sundry, this time with a round robin email to newspapers putting himself forward as a new columnist. It's a jobapplication only marginally undermined by his way with words. Apparently he "could add a fresh and exiting [sic] addition to your publication". What else would one expect from the former "head ofcommunications" and you will no doubt be relieved to hear that he still has "a real passion for business".

WikiLeaks: Cayman bankers don't care

Go on WikiLeaks, do your worst. That's the message from Anthony Travers, who is the chairman of Cayman Finance. He professes himself unmoved by the news that WikiLeaks has the account details of 2,000 wealthy folk who bank in the Cayman Islands – because the territory has "a long and established record of banking transparency". That's not necessarily the first phrase that comes to everyone's mind when thinking of the Caymans, but we're happy to defer to Travers' expertise – the revelations will no doubt be dull.

More wise words from Archer

A big thank-you to Howard Archer, IHS Global Insight's chief economist, who took the Diary's gentle ribbing yesterday of his use of the phrase "squeaky bums time" in good spirit. So much so he sent us a list of his favourite jokes about economists. Our favourite is: "An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn't happen today". So true.