Business Diary: Role reversal for estate agents and the OFT

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The Independent Online

Surely some mistake. No sooner has a missive arrived from the Office of Fair Trading declaring that it is not in favour of regulating estate agents, then the National Association of Estate Agents is in touch to declare how disappointed it is with that decision. Isn't the OFT supposed to be in charge of protecting us all? And aren't estate agents meant to be the sharks?

The perfect act to get the page hits started

Good to see struggling AOL redoubling its efforts under its new European head of media and marketing supremo David Shing. Its music channel is very proud of its latest exclusive content – an interview with the musical phenomenon of our time: none other than Jedward. That should get the traffic figures soaring.

Welsh MP set for downsizing

More spread betting fun from the folk at City dealing house BGC Partners, who are offering odds on the outcome of the general election. The spreads on offer reflect the possibility of a hung Parliament, but we're intrigued by the Plaid Cymru betting. You can sell at 2.5 MPs or buy at 3.5. Who is this half an MP planning to stand in Wales?

Ben & Jerry's seek cool replacement for Freese

Let us wish the CEO of Ben & Jerry's every success in his career now he that is quitting the Unilever-owned business. But we can't help thinking, that Ben & Jerry's will struggle to find a replacement with a more appropriate name. Who better to have running your ice cream company than a man called Walt Freese?

Second time lucky for Lord Mandelson?

No doubt Business Secretary Lord Mandelson felt compelled to visit the Corus plant on Teeside scheduled for closure today – not to make a public appeal to Corus bosses to reconsider would have looked callous. Let's hope yesterday's intervention proves more successful than Mandelson's meeting with Kraft boss Irene Rosenfeld, who made polite noises about her purchase of Cadbury, only to go back on a promise not to shut one of its factories less than a week later.

Number of the day: 86 per cent

Number of Legal & General clients told there is a high risk of their endowment policies not paying off their mortgages.