Business Diary: S&P does the dirty on Moody's

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The Independent Online

There really is no loyalty in this world any more. You can see why people might have concerns about the outlook for Moody's, the credit ratings agency. All that regulatory scrutiny following the financial crisis can't be healthy for it, and Europe is mulling setting up its own rival to the big American firms. These are hardly auspicious times. Still, Moody's must be a little put out to see its own credit rating put on negative watch by rival Standard & Poor's. Presumably we can expect it to return the favour?

Wrong number for Orange

At least one influential City figure wasn't yesterday nervously waiting for the European Central Bank verdict on whether its latest offer of funding to eurozone banks had caused another panic on the markets. Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, and tennis nut, very sensibly had better things to do with his time. He was in the Centre Court Royal Box at Wimbledon cheering on Andy Murray.

Charming idea for motorists

Good to see that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the insurance business. An outfit describing itself as Motoring First gets in touch, offering "to insure your driving licence for £29.99 a year". In practice, that means it will pay for a specialist lawyer should you get caught for a "minor motoring offence". In other words, pay this premium today and you can in future sail past speed cameras at stupid speeds in the hope that Motoring First will get you off. What a charming idea.

Wrong number for Orange

Red faces at Orange, which has found itself on the wrong end of an embarrassing ruling from the Advertising Standards Authority. It ran advertisements claiming to have the UK's "biggest 3G network covering more people than any other". Rival mobile phone network 3, which trades on the same claim, took exception to the advert, complained to the ASA and yesterday won its case. But really, children, do stop bickering.