Business Diary: The bottle to take on Volvic

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Handbags at dawn in the bottled water industry. Volvic, the French water giant, has put out a triumphant press release championing what it claims is the "UK's first plastic bottle made using plant material". That's really got up the nose of Belu, one of its British rivals, which is renowned for its high ethical and environmental standards. A spokesman haughtily points out that it has been using bottles made from corn since 2006. Thank goodness these folk don't drink anything stronger than water.

Sticking it to Barclays Bank

Fancy striking a blow against the capitalist system? Check out the suggestions on for how one might customise the Barclays Bank-sponsored bikes now available for hire in London. The rear mudguards feature two variations on the theme: "Barclays: Look, no brakes", or "Barclays: Take you for a ride". A prize for anyone with a photo of a bike that has been attacked this way.

An unusual degree of wealth

Don't believe all this nonsense about how skint students are these days: the Blackstone private equity group clearly doesn't. It's one of the lead investors in Nido Spitalfields, a fantastically posh development in a trendy part of London with chic flats and rooms in a new high-rise. With prices going as high as £330 a week, the folk behind Nido say foreign students are the target market. No surprise there.

Davies to shoot from the hip

We're looking forward to the publication of The Financial Crisis: Who is to Blame?, a new book by Howard Davies, a director of the LSE. Davies, who these days sports designer stubble, has relaxed since his days running the Financial Services Authority and serving as Deputy Governor of the Bank of England. He pledges to cast the net for blame far and wide, with suspects "ranging from greedy investment bankers, feckless borrowers, dilatory regulators and myopic central bankers to violent video games and high levels of testosterone among the denizens of trading floors".