Business diary: New ECB boss has royal connections

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The Independent Online

Good to see Mario Draghi laying down the law to European Union members over the weekend: the Governor of the Bank of Italy, who is soon to take over the running of the European Central Bank, was warning governments to embrace the concept of austerity a little more whole-heartedly. That prompted the Diary's Italiancorrespondent to remind us that some in his home nation still think of Draghi as Mr Britannia. The banker got the nickname in 1992 when he attended a meeting on the Royal Yacht with leading City figures to discuss the privatisation of Italian industries. Draghi has, of course, outlasted the yacht after which he was named.

The wrong place to jump ship?

The latest issue of PR Week splashes with a story on how News of the World journalists have been besieging public relations firms with applications for jobs since the demise of the paper. The boss of one such firm, Edelman, reveals he has already had pitches for work from two NOTW hacks. Sadly, however, Edelman may be just a little too busy for a while to consider recruitment – it's doing some demanding crisis management work for a new client: one News International, the owner of the defunct paper.

How to stop them from foreclosing

Is your home facing repossession? If so, maybe it is time to follow the example of the Spanish, who are not taking kindly to the nasty old banks snaffling people's homes, even in cases of sizeable mortgage arrears. So much so that a group of like-minded individuals have set up PAH, an organisation that helps people facing foreclosure. Ring the group on the day the bank is due to collect the keys and it will send you enough people to form a human chain around your property to protect it.

Another reason to hate the banks

Reasons to dislike the banks, number 172: they don't seem to have moved with the times when it comes to race relations. A research paper published by academics at Nottingham University reveals that ethnic minorities often find it much harder to persuade banks to lend to them – by 2009, three times as many racial minority households faced credit constraints compared with white households, the paper reveals.