Business Diary: Protests don't occupy Boris
Tuesday 29 November 2011
The Mayor of London is in no mood for compromise. Other politicians might have trodden carefully at this time of social unrest, but Boris Johnson was more than happy to turn up to a charitable event run by the City, where top-of-the-range Aston Martins were parked outside to make a statement about the wealth of participants. "Baffling protests against capitalism that have led to not a single resignation of a banker, but of three clerics," Johnson told the audience. "When it comes to protests, I cycle past them very quickly."
Chancellor cashes in on statement
George Osborne's own department is doing its bit on the deficit by refusing to provide the press with copies of today's autumn statement – or the associated documents – unless they pay for them. The full package, in the past always provided free by HM Treasury's press office so that journalists can scrutinise and report the Chancellor's proposals, will cost almost £120 this year.
Greece watches its figures
Greece's statistics gurus have been accused of massaging the figures again – this time, in a different way to the tricks that helped them get into the euro in the first place. Andreas Georgiou, boss of Greece's independent statistics agency, is being investigated amid claims he exaggerated the extent of the country's fiscal crisis, the FT reports. "I am being prosecuted for not cooking the books," Mr Georgiou complains. "In Greece, statistics is a combat sport."
KPMG and the crystal ball
Full marks to the public affairs team at KPMG: the accountant was particularly well-briefed last week on what was going down in Westminster. "Infrastructure looks set to be the big story next week," head of infrastructure Richard Threlfall told us on Friday, before explaining how the Treasury was likely to talk up its hopes for UK pension fund investment in big British projects. Spot on.
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