Business Diary: Oddbins manager gets personal

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The Independent Online

Three years ago, Simon Baile was hailed as the saviour of Oddbins when he took control of the off-licence chain. Sadly, it didn't work out in the end – the company went into administration in the spring after the taxman vetoed a rescue plan – and it seems some people at Oddbins hold their managing director responsible. This farewell message was sprayed on the door of the Oddbins branch in Islington, London, yesterday: "Goodbye everyone, it's been a pleasure – Simon Baile, I hope you rot in hell".

De La Rue's cashis out of date

De La Rue, the banknote printer, got into all sorts of difficulties last year when it emerged that a quality problem had hit some of its production. Its annual report, published yesterday, was admirably frank about the difficulties, but has it compounded fears about De La Rue's standards? The report features a lovely close-up of one of De La Rue's banknotes, featuring the signature of Andrew Bailey, the Chief Cashier of the Bank of England. The only problem being that Mr Bailey was replaced in that position by Chris Salmon in April.

How the rich are suffering

Get your violins out for the real victims of this inflationary age: folk with more money than they know what to do with. The Stonehage Group, which specialises in advising what it describes as "ultra-high net worth" clients, reports that inflation in the luxury goods and services sector is higher than anywhere else. Apparently, the cost of things including fine wine, champagne and art is up by an average of 18 per cent this year. How our hearts are bleeding for the poor souls stuck paying these prices.

Cooper has tough act to follow

May we offer a warm welcome to Louise Cooper, who will shortly be replacing David Buik as BGC Partners' "voice of the City" – if the legendary Mr Buik could ever be replaced. Ms Cooper, a chartered financial analyst, has a brain the size of a planet and a CV that boasts of stints at the BBC World Service and Goldman Sachs. But she's good fun, so we won't hold the latter against her. Shock horror: we hear she's a tad more liberal than the ferociously conservative Mr Buik.