Business Diary: Saying sorry for the sins of your fathers

You can't choose your parents, as Rothschild and Freshfields have been reminded this week. The investment bank and City law firm both had to apologise yesterday after revelations that their businesses have historical links to the slave trade (though both their founders were abolitionists).

Ernst & Young shares the spoils

Happy days at Ernst & Young, the accountancy firm, which doesn't seem to be too troubled by the global slowdown. It's just appointed 48 new partners in the UK, a record for E&Y. Most of the appointments were made in the accountant's tax services division, one of those areas where the work just never seems to dry up.

Tough tasks ahead for the new season

Who goes, who stays? You decide. Manchester City's long-suffering fans have always dreamt of being able to give half the team the boot – and maybe they'll be able to do exactly that now their beloved club has signed up Endemol as its broadcasting partner. The production company is, of course, best-known for making Big Brother. What price Roque Santa Cruz or Gareth Barry to be evicted first?

Give them a break for once, Vince

That Vince Cable, he's always whinging. The latest missive from the Lib Dem Treasury man lambasts the Treasury for failing to help more people with its mortgage rescue scheme. The accusation is grossly unfair, given that official figures show the number of families in mortgage difficulties who have been helped by the scheme has tripled in the past month alone. Ok, so the total is still only six, but it all helps.

If it sounds too good to be true...

What will these fraudsters think of next? A pretty authentic-looking email is doing the rounds, targeting the self-employed and purporting to be from HM Revenue & Customs. It informs the recipient they're due a tax rebate – crucially, a small one, so as to appear credible – and asks for their bank details. Sadly, it's a hoax – the taxman tells us it never gets in touch this way.

Number of the day: 473k

The number of jobs cut by private companies in the United States during the month of June.

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