Business Diary: Rogers slams Ben's pawn shop

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The Independent Online

It doesn't look as if Jim Rogers, the investment guru who famously moved to Singapore after deciding Asia offered more opportunities than the West, plans on changing his bearish outlook for the US any time soon. "We have [Ben] Bernanke, who is running the Federal Reserve, who does not know what he is doing," he complains. "The man is taking $400bn on to the Federal Reserve balance sheets – of dicey loans, bad debt. I mean he is turning the Federal Reserve into a pawn shop." An enraged Rogers concludes: "Some day somebody has to pay for this and you know who this somebody is – my little girl, you, me." Get that man a blood pressure tablet.

Topping plays match maker

A new signing for the Scottish Premier League as the football season gets under way – William Hill is to be its first "official betting partner". How did the SPL manage to get the bookmaking chain on board? Well it may just have had something to do with the fact that its chairman, Ralph Topping, has a day job – as chief executive of William Hill. You can't beat a bit of operational synergy.

Bodybuilders to dance new tune?

It's not clear whether this is good or bad news for testosterone-fuelled gym bunnies at LA Fitness, but the company, in the middle of a £30m revamp programme, has appointed a new creative director. Step forward the singer Alesha Dixon – best known these days for her role as a judge on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing. Goodbye pushing iron, hello cha-cha-cha?

Bears in force at Travelodge

This is hard to believe, but Travelodge swears it is true. The hotel group says customers have left 75,000 teddy bears behind in its rooms over the past year – and that most of them were forgotten by grown-up guests rather thank kids. The teddy bear mountain prompted a Travelodge survey that has revealed some shocking findings. Not least, that "a quarter of males reported they take their teddy bear on business trips with them". Are they serious?