Business Diary: Say a little prayer for Goldman Sachs

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The Independent Online

Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein has copped some flak for an off-the-cuff remark about performing "God's work" at the bank. But this alternative version of the Lord's Prayer doing the rounds on the internet will infuriate him. "Our chairman, who art at Goldman, Blankfein be thy name. The rally's come. God's work be done. We have no fear of correction. Give us this day our daily gains, and bankrupt our nearest competitors, just as you taught Lehman and Bear a lesson. And bring us not under indictment, for thine is the Treasury, the House and the Senate, forever and ever, Goldman." Turn the other cheek Lloyd.

HSBC tells customers to remove their gold

New York folk who have made a bit of money on their gold holdings thanks to the soaring price of the precious metal have a problem if they've been storing it at HSBC. The Wall Street Journal reports that the bank has asked its retail clients to remove their gold from its vaults underneath its Fifth Avenue office – to make room for more lucrative institutional customers.

M&S gets a lift from shoppers playing away

Is Marks & Spencer getting a sales boost from an unexpected source? A rather seedy-looking website, illicitencounters.com – it puts people seeking extramarital affairs in touch with each other – claims 70 per cent of its female members buy underwear for their encounters from M&S. Is this the reason why the retailer's share of the lingerie market is up 1.2 per cent, according to recent data?

No floods in London as far as we know

As a bank with Northern roots, you might expect Halifax to know where Cumbria is. Strange then that the bank yesterday shelled out – owned by Lloyds, it spends taxpayers' money, remember – for full-page adverts in the London Evening Standard telling flood victims how to claim on their Halifax insurance.

Thumbs down for Ryanair from families

Bad news for Michael O'Leary's Ryanair, which has just been voted the "worst family brand" in a poll of 1,500 Britons conducting by the market research firm YouGov.

Number of the day: 22

Months (suspended) in the jail sentence given to a German bank cashier who moved cash from rich to poor customers.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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