Credit Crisis Diary: 23/05/2009

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The Independent Online

The paper that takes health scares seriously

Good news for Daily Mail readers: should swine flu strike millions of people down this year, they'll still be able to get hold of their favourite newspaper. Daily Mail & General Trust's latest set of results reveals that the company is "in the process of implementing a pandemic influenza management scheme that includes provision of anti-viral medication to all staff". Phew.

Not just cold comfort for Magnum maker

Here's the latest instalment in our occasional series of unlikely winners in the credit crunch. Sales of Magnum ice cream are up 16 per cent this year, apparently. The manufacturers reckon they are benefiting from the fact that fewer Britons are holidaying abroad – and that when people holiday in rainy old Blighty, a delicious ice cream helps them convince themselves they are not missing out.

Once sector of the economy still grows

Green shoots, literally. A triumphant missive from B&Q arrives, predicting a bumper weekend for the garden centre world (the spring bank holiday is a key period for the sector). B&Q claims it will sell 50 million plants this summer, and that it will shift 25 million this weekend alone. Sounds as if you will need to get up early to beat the queues.

The bankers still making a killing

Coming soon to a cinema near you: New Town Killers, starring the Scottish actor Dougray Scott, below, tells the tale of two private bankers who are so bored that they spend their down time hunting kids from poorer parts of society. The plot sounds great, but the world has moved on since the film was first planned a couple of years ago. What would once have been a damning critique of global capitalism now sounds more like a nostalgic tour of the City's good times.

Toilet humour for a credit crunch world

In these difficult times, most of us have little cash to spare. But if you are missing the days when you could waste a bit of money without feeling guilty, a company called Thumbs Up may have the answer. Its offering toilet paper designed so that each sheet is a £50m bank note. The product's somewhat inflammatory marketing line is: "Flush money down the toilet? Why not? The greedy bankers already did."