Business diary: Time is running out for BP

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Bookmaker Paddy Power – renowned for offering odds on the most uncomfortable of subjects – reports a surge of betting on BP going bust as a result of the ongoing crisis in the Gulf of Mexico. So much so that it has cut the odds on that eventuality from 10-1 to 4-1. Still, BP chief executive Tony Hayward might take some comfort from the bookmaker – the odds on him surviving the crisis have also been cut, reflecting a £10,000 gamble Paddy Power has received backing him to keep his job.



Skilling misses his coffee fix

Spare a thought for Jeffrey Skilling, the former Enron chief executive who is now serving a 24-year prison sentence following the energy company's breathtaking collapse. Archelle Georgiou, who has just interviewed Skilling in his jail, reports for Fortune magazine that the former businessman cuts a lonely figure – and that he had to ask the journalist to buy him a cup of coffee. Skilling and his fellow inmates are apparently banned from going near the vending machines, on pain of solitary confinement.



BA supports England in style

Good to see Martin Broughton, British Airways' chairman, flying the flag for England at Saturday's match, though some of the airline's long- suffering customers might wonder whether he ought to have stayed at home to work on the ongoing industrial dispute. Naturally, Broughton flew BA to South Africa – he was spotted in First Class on the way home – but his working day will have got off to a slow start yesterday morning. The plane was delayed and landed at Heathrow 90 minutes late.



Banking on a World Cup boost

Co-operative Bank is the latest company trying to cash in on the World Cup with a pitch that is tenuously related to the game. People are more likely to change the football team they support than their bank, it claims. Doesn't this rather pointless research undermine the company that is publicising it? After all, Co-op spends a good deal of its time trying to poach its rivals' customers.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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