Credit Crisis Diary: 06/06/2009


Charity begins at a hedgie's home


To the ARK annual charity dinner, where City financiers are keen to prove that while they may be down, they're very much not out. The bash for children's charities was organised by Arpad Busson, the hedge fund manager, with the help of partner Uma Thurman, the actress.

The evening, famed for its excess, had a fund-raising target of £10m this year, well down on the £25m raised in 2008. After a tough year, expectations were modest, but the final total came in at a pretty impressive £15.6m.

Exit Stevie Wonder, stage left

The organisers were also keen to point out that the event was not as lavish as in times gone by, and cost a third less than last year's dinner to stage. While the champagne was still flowing, the evening was headlined by a performance from the Swann Band, covering rock'n'roll tracks. Last year they had Stevie Wonder.

Boris backs his banker friends again

Boris Johnson, the London mayor, who has been resolute in his defence of City bankers, naturally felt obliged to make an appearance at the bash, which is in keeping with his view of financiers as wealth creators and philanthropists. "Give, and give a withering retort to all the people who line up to criticise the financial sector," Boris urged the crowds.

Clarkson's cars selling like hot cakes

In the end, the guests were only too pleased to oblige. In the charity auction, a shooting party at Mulgrave Castle in Yorkshire – which went for £280,000, down from £350,000 last year – was one of the few disappointments. A Jeremy Clarkson-hosted test driving event, on the other hand, raised £150,000, while a pass for the Ferrari team's paddock at the Monaco Grand Prix sold for £120,000.

Protesters seek to spoil the big night

Sometimes, however, even the most charitable actions do not please everyone. Arriving at the bash, held on the old Eurostar platforms at Waterloo Station in London, the well-heeled guests had to run the gauntlet of public opprobrium. A small group of protesters – well, three if we're honest – chanted "shame on hedge-fund speculators" as people queued to get in.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
British author Helen Macdonald, pictured with Costa book of the year, 'H is for Hawk'
booksPanel hail Helen Macdonald's 'brilliantly written, muscular prose' in memoir of a grief-stricken daughter who became obsessed with training a goshawk
Sport
footballLive blog: Follow the action from the Capital One Cup semi-final
Life and Style
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£16500 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Finance compa...

Ashdown Group: Client Services Manager - Relationship Management - London

£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Recruitment Genius: Credit Controller / Customer Service

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...

Guru Careers: In-House / Internal Recruiter

£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy