Business Diary: Praying for salvation for the hedge funds

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The Independent Online

Good to see man of God Rowan Williams sticking to his principles. The Archbishop of Canterbury has launched several vituperative attacks on the City since the credit crunch, and demanded a ban on short selling. Now the Church of England's commissioners have asked the House of Lords to go easy on hedge funds – their investment funds are some of the industry's biggest customers, you see.

Can't find the words? Let the readers decide

Oops. Everyone in publishing has a tale to tell about forgetting to remove a sub-editor's remarks from a piece before actually printing it, but this example from Money Market, a freesheet for consumers, rather takes the biscuit. "A little over a year since the collapse of the US investment bank Lehman Brothers, the industry (and, sorry about this, but would I just change the end of the first paragraph from "has failed to learn lessons from the past calamitous 12 months" to "has failed to learn lessons from the near banking apocalypse")."

Neds still searching for your support

The folk from our favourite awards scheme are back in touch, seeking last-minute nominations for the Neds. The gongs reward non- executive directors who excel, you will remember. Bank boards are not invited to apply.

Showing the customer you really care

Sainsbury's boss Justin King unveiled second-quarter figures yesterday suggesting sales growth is slowing. Could one reason be his staff's health policy? A store in Bedford has had to apologise after a deli counter assistant refused to sell unpasteurised cheddar to a pregnant customer.

Finance chiefs hit by the downturn

Get the violins out. Accountancy magazine says there has been an 11 per cent drop in the number of FTSE 100 finance directors paid more than £1m. Just 40 of the 96 CFOs for whom information is available breached the £1m barrier last year, the magazine says, compared with 49 out of 92 in 2007.

Number of the day: 11.6%

Net profitability of UK companies in the second quarter – the lowest figure for eight years, according to the ONS.