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Business News

Business Diary: Roubini splashes out on a new pad

Doom pays. Nouriel Roubini, an economist who specialises indismal forecasts about the global financial system, isn't doing too badly himself – and the US housing downturn has done him a favour. Public records reveal he has just splurged $5.5m (£3.5m) on a penthouse in New York's East Village. It sounds like a lot of money, but the purchase price is 25 per cent lower than what Roubini would have had to pay at the peak of the market in September 2008, when the credit crisis intervened – and gave him his opportunity to shine so brightly.

Santa's pay linked to performance?

Was he too fat, too thin, too grumpy, or just plain dirty? Retailers want to know what you thought of their Father Christmas grottos this year – Shopper Anonymous, which specialises in providing mystery shopping services to the high street, reports a big increase in demand for its undercover investigators to check out supermarket Santas. Just don't give the kids the opportunity to critique the real thing.

Apple 'tipped' to buy Facebook

Saxo Bank has a Christmas tradition of entertaining clients with a list of 10 outrageous predictions for the year ahead. The idea is to suggest events that are extreme but not impossible (three of last year's came true). Space does not allow us to print all 10 of this year's ideas, but here's a selection of the most interesting ones: Apple to buy Facebook; US Congress to ban third round of quantitative easing; oil prices to fall by a third; S&P 500 to hit all-time high. Place your bets.

Where to hide with a hangover

More now on the office party season. Budget hotel chain Travelodge has already published one long commentary on the economic cost of people being too hungover to work (£620m – can it really be true?), but its market research team has clearly been working overtime, because now it's published even more detail. One in two "fragile workers" admits to taking a catnap at work the day after the night before, apparently. Under the desk is the most favoured location – seems a bit obvious to us – closely followed by a refreshing snooze in the toilets.