Business diary: One science park, two brains

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The Independent Online

Ping. An email arrived inviting us to the opening of the Bristol and Bath Science Park this morning - it's so new, the invite warned us its postcode won't work with your satnav just yet. David Willetts, the minister for universities and science, is cutting the ribbon, which seems rather fitting, somehow. This then, is a science park serving two towns, that is being officially owned by a minister famously known as "two brains".

A surprise for Clydesdale Bank?

We couldn't immediately work our why a headline in last week's Western Mail, the Welsh newspaper, had caught our eye for some reason. Then we remembered. "Welsh businesses have a positive outlook, says Clydesdale Bank", it read. But presumably not Clydesdale Bank itself, which doesn't have any branches in the principality, or even an office there any longer having shut down a business centre in Cardiff a couple of years back much to the disappointment of the locals.

Beeb ambushes Goldman star

It's safe to say that Jim O'Neill won't be hurrying back to the BBC any time soon. Invited on to Radio 4's Today programme, the eminent Goldman Sachs economist, famed for inventing the 'Brics' phenomenon, was no doubt expecting to be asked for his sage thoughts on how the Greek sovereign debt crisis might be resolved. Instead, he was rather neatly ambushed by presenter John Humphreys, who was more interested in asking O'Neill about Goldman Sachs's dealings in Greece prior to the crisis. Not amused doesn't begin to do his reaction justice.

How Barrett landed on his feet

Still on our friends at Goldman, it's always reassuring to hear that amid the wreckage of the past few years, some bankers got their timing right. One of those was Matt Barrett. After five years earning a small fortune as Barclays' chief executive the bon viveur had a sedate couple of years as chairman before departing just before the crisis, seemingly never to be heard of again. But the old charmer has resurfaced as a director of Goldman Sachs Bank USA, the deposit-taking bit of the Wall Street giant, which is doing just fine. Ain't life grand?