Business diary: Sinking feeling for the French

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The Independent Online

As France continues to reject suggestions it might be close to losing its prized AAA creditrating, it is fielding Christian Noyer, the governor of the Bank of France, to put the country's case. And very effective Mr Noyer is too: a high-flying civil servant, he is exactly the sort of sophisticated communicator the French need right now. Still, the name might raise a few eyebrows in the Anglo-Saxon world, at least amongst those with linguistic skills. For Noyer translates as "to drown" or "to flood". As in drown or flood with debt.

DSK sees art imitate life

Can this really be allowed? The popular television show Law & Order is about to return for a new series in the US, and the season premiere has an eye-catching plot, according to the Daily Intel, the gossip site. It apparently tells the story of an Italian dignitary who is accused of rape while on a posting in America. He'll be played by Franco Nero. There's no leak on how the episode concludes, but presumably Dominique Strauss-Kahn will be glued to the screen.

Bad behaviour in the leisure sector

Here is some more bad news for the pubs and restaurant trade, which is already being hit for six by the consumer spending slowdown. New figures from Sweet & Maxwell, the legal data specialist, reveal that there has been a 19 per cent increase in the number of reviews of alcohol licenses in the past year, mostly because police have been requesting them. So not only can many customers no longer afford to patronise these establishments, those who do come out to spend often behave so badly theythreaten the future of their hosts. Hardly the best business model.

Facebook sets a relevance test

Facebook appears to be getting tougher on users of whose behaviour on its network it disapproves. A Diary correspondent complains that he has been suspended for 15 days for leaving "spammy or irrelevant" posts. The items in question don't appear to be flogging anything, so that just leaves irrelevant. Don't 99 per cent of the posts on Facebook fall into that category? That's rather the point of the social network, surely.