Business Diary: The perfect event for Cherie Blair

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The Independent Online

Cherie Blair is an excellent choice as the keynote speaker for a forthcoming conference aimed at women entrepreneurs. Her career achievements have been all the more impressive for the fact that she has had to cope with the distractions of her husband's job. Still, the name of the event in question might raise a few eyebrows given the way the Blair family has amassed so many assets in recent times. The summit for entrepreneurial women, to be held at Imperial College in June, is entitled "We Own It".

Ward fails with second prediction

Back in January 2007, Simon Ward, an economist who was then working for New Star Asset Management, made headlines as the only one of 50 of his peers to correctly predict that the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee would raise interest rates that month. Mr Ward, now working for Henderson, went for the double yesterday and, given the numbers, the achievement would have been even greater this time. Unfortunately for him, on this occasion the 66 economists who disagreed with his prediction that base rates would rise following the April MPC meeting were proved to be right.

Osborne almost left in the dark

The energy industry has spent a great deal of time explaining to politicians that unless they agree a new policy framework there is a danger of the lights going out in Britain in a decade's time. Did someone decide to deliver this message personally yesterday? Just 15 minutes before the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, was due to deliver a speech to the British Chambers of Commerce yesterday, a power cut saw the Westminister conference hall hosting the bash plunged into darkness.

Peston borrows our joke

It was good to see the fun side of Robert Peston on Twitter yesterday – the BBC's business editor suggested that in order to solve its financial problems, Portugal might like to nationalise Cristiano Ronaldo and then lease out the footballer's services. The gag sounds remarkably similar to The Independent's April Fool's Day story last Friday revealing that the Real Madrid star had been sold to Spain for the same reason.