Business Diary: US bank bosses fight for gay rights

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The Independent Online

It's good to see that American bankers are prepared to play an active role in civic society. The campaign in the state of New York for gay men and women to be given full marriage rights – a step on from civil partnerships – has been given a fillip by a high-profile letter of support from business leaders in the Big Apple. "Increasingly, in an age where talent determines the economic winners, great states and cities must demonstrate a commitment to creating an open, healthy and equitable environment in which to live and work," say the leaders, who include Goldman Sachs's Lloyd Blankfein and Morgan Stanley's John Mack.



Rajaratnam hasto sit it out

Poor old Raj Rajaratnam. While waiting an eternity for a New York jury to return with a verdict in the Galleon Group insider dealing case – the jury, out for more than a week so far, even took a day off yesterday – the defendant has picked up a nasty ailment. Rajaratnam had had to seek the court's permission to absent himself from the proceedings in order to get treatment for a "bacterial infection of his foot". It must have been a bit more than a spot of athlete's foot – the infection apparently needed emergency surgery.



Apple Store down but not out of loop

Only at Apple. When any other company posts a technical notice online explaining that its website is down while being upgraded, people start complaining about being inconvenienced. When Apple does it – the Apple Store was offline for several hours yesterday morning – the blogosphere goes into a frenzy of excitement about the new product that the upgrade might reflect (it turned out be a new version of the iMac computer). It is truly the ultimate PR machine.



At least Brits still have free ATMs

We all know that Britons don't like their banks, but it might be an idea, just occasionally, to thank the heavens for some lucky stars – like free banking, for example. JP Morgan Chase revealed yesterday that it is abandoning an experiment which saw customers charged $5 every time they make a cash withdrawal in the US. It is now reverting to the $3 that it usually charges.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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