Credit Crisis Diary 02/05/2009

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The Independent Online

If you're feeling sick already, it's too late

More on our friends at Healthcare Connections, currently doing a roaring trade flogging Tamiflu to people worried about swine flu – for a total consideration of around £60, compared to the £7.10 NHS prescription price. A reader gets in touch to say that the company's sales staff told him it could take several weeks to get the medication out to him once he parted with his cash. A little disappointing since Tamiflu is most effective when used during the first few days of infection.

Horlick feels the heat again

Another blow to Nicola Horlick, right, the City superwoman who looked a little less clever when it emerged that her fund management company, Bramdean, had taken a big hit from the Madoff affair. One of Bramdean's biggest shareholders, Elsina, controlled by the entrepreneur Vincent Tchenguiz, has now called an extraordinary general meeting of the company, in a bid to unseat its entire board.

Desperate times call for desperate measures

Do you think the posh grocer Whole Foods Market is struggling to get punters through the doors of its flagship outlet in Kensington High Street in London? Efforts to pull in a crowd seem to have been stepped up: the store is hosting a series of events, ranging from Cuban dancing shows to a lecture series on coping with allergies. There is even a "Free Salsa Class for Thirsty Thursday Customers". Given the price of some of its food, perhaps a seminar on how to do a full week's shop without giving your bank manager heart failure might be more appropriate.

Primark outfoxes the demonstrators

Primark hasn't got where it is today without some smart thinking. When executives discovered the opening of a new store in Tooting, south London, due today, was to be the target of a demonstration by War on Want, they acted quickly. An embarrassing scene was avoided by the simple trick of opening the store 24 hours early – the doors were thrown open yesterday morning.

The economist who sees the future

Global Insight's Howard Archer is famed for his ubiquity, commenting on matters economic at the rate of two or three topics a day. But yesterday's attempt to comment on Halifax Bank's figures on house price inflation in April was even more impressive than usual, given that those statistics aren't due to be published until next week. Sadly, Howard can't, after all, see the future – it was a fat finger email error.