Business Diary: Nobel to blame for credit crisis

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The Independent Online

At last, the true villains of the credit crisis have been identified: step forward the committee responsible for choosing the winners of the Nobel Prize for Economics (another one is due today, by the way). Nassim Taleb, the economist who wrote Black Swan, says it should never have given the 1990 award to Harry Markowitz, Merton Miller and William Sharpe, who won for their work on portfolio theory and asset-pricing models. He reckons their theories have encouraged too much risk-taking. "I'm not blaming them for coming up with the idea, but I'm blaming the Nobel for giving them legitimacy," says Professor Taleb.

Punters bet on Miliband return

Do the punters know something we don't? William Hill has slashed the odds on one of the contenders to be the next shadow Chancellor. Yes, we know the former Home Secretary Alan Johnson got the post rather surprisingly last week, but William Hill seems to think a change might be in the offing sooner rather than later. And it's cut what it offers on David Miliband to succeed Mr Johnson from 25/1 to 20/1.

Time to wrap up for wool week

Feeling chilly as the autumn cold begins to bite? Well, you'll be pleased to hear the next seven days are designed with you in mind. Yes, it's officially National Wool Week. Don't think we're making this up – it's an initiative backed by retailers including Burberry, M&S, John Lewis, Selfridges, House of Fraser and Debenhams. Even Prince Charles has been signed up to promote the week.

Yorkie really is truckers' fave

Good news for Nestlé. Its famous claim that Yorkie is the chocolate bar of choice for truck drivers appears to have been verified. A survey by Truck & Driver magazine puts Yorkie at number one, followed by KitKat (also Nestlé) and Cadbury's Dairy Milk. The survey is only marginally undermined by the revelation that the truckers would also choose Jeremy Clarkson – who once implied they were all serial killers – as their ideal cab companion for a day.