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Business News

Business Diary: Shorting row is behind Wace now

This week's gala dinner organised by Arpad Busson, which raises so much money for his fabulous children's charity ARK, is also a shining example of how people can be rehabilitated.

Busson's co-host Ian Wace, is a hedge fund manager who is best known for a series of short-selling positions that his firm, Marshall Wace, took against several leading banksduring the credit crunch. Such strategies were widely attacked only a couple of years ago, but now Mr Wace is happily rubbing shoulders with Prince William and his new wife, as well as a host of other celebrities.

When Premier went to the Hilton

Having been a cost-conscious manager in his days at EasyJet, Andy Harrison appears to be following suit at Premier Inns, which falls within his empire now he is chief executive at Whitbread. Still, did Premier miss a trick in summoning hundreds of workers to anoff-site venue to tell them they would be workers no longer? It hired rooms at a Hilton Hotel to do the dirty deed, rather than one of its own chains. Premier Inn's poster boy Lenny Henry would surely be unimpressed.

Pay nothing, or we'll repossess

The ongoing row about American banks foreclosing on millions of the properties of homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgages has taken a new twist. Bank of America is now targeting even those borrowers who are up-to-date with their repayments. A Massachusetts homeowner is making the headlines after the bank sent him a letter threatening to repossess his home unless he paid them "$0.00" immediately. Good to hear this sort of incompetence is not solely the preserve of British institutions.

Paulson on European tour

It seems potentially stellar returns are not the only benefit to be had from investing the funds run by hedge fund mogul John Paulson, who famously made billions of dollars bybetting on the credit crunch. His latest event for investors has just come to a conclusion in Paris – it featured a series of impressive speakers, workshops on his trading strategies and a very pleasant evening cruise on the Seine. The last bash was in Las Vegas – who knows where they will go next.