Credit Crisis Diary: 06/04/2009


Anti-G20 protesters 1, BNP Paribas 0


Clearly the compliance bods at the London offices of French bank BNP Paribas are more influential in these days of riots and anti-capitalism.

We are told that as the G20 protests got into full swing last Wednesday, a group of financial journalists at one high profile trade magazine were told that that evening's drinks with BNP's bankers were cancelled. Not such a bad idea, you might think given that the gathering had been due to be held at the bank's London HQ just at the time that most of the City was getting smashed up. That is until you learn that all the action was taking place in several miles from the bank's offices, which are in fact in leafy Marylebone, where there was not a hint of trouble. It is a pity that the compliance officers had less of an impact over the actions of some of the bank's employees and their appetite for sub-prime loan, and not altogether clever debt deals.

Three cheers for the Pick-Me-Up girls

Never let it be said that the Brits display anything other than a stiff upper lip in a crisis. Adopting what can only be described as Blitz-like fortitude in the face of the recession, the royally appointed Savile Row tailor Gieves & Hawkes has launched the "Pick-Me-Up girls", a group of, err, talented seamstresses who will take your measurements, advise on the what hangs nicely and even offer a photo, left. Despite vast numbers of City workers losing their jobs, we think many will see a new suit as absolutely necessary for all those interviews that must surely come along at some stage.

Looking for green shoots? Try Serbia

The hunt for recovery promising green shoots is clearly not limited to the UK. Indeed, the search is on, even to the furthest reaches of Europe. Telecom Austria, the country's biggest phone company sent out a triumphant press release last week celebrating a genuine milestone for the group. Pipers pipe, drums roll, the company has signed up its one millionth customer in Serbia, hip-hip hooray! Whatever next? Tesco selling its four millionth apple in Nothern Ireland?

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