Credit crisis diary

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The Independent Online

Mack's convenient loss of memory

Poor old John Mack, the beleaguered chief executive of Morgan Stanley, who has asked the US Treasury, Federal Reserve and even Hillary Clinton to clamp down on those dreadful short-sellers driving his investment bank into an early grave. It's a shame Mr Mack hasn't told all his colleagues about his views on shorting. This lack of communication can be the only explanation for Morgan Stanley making such a quick buck from shorting HBOS in the spring, when it was also taking the bank's cash for advising on its £4bn rights issue.

That won't donicely, sir

The Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, is spitting blood about the disappearance of Bank of Scotland into Lloyds (not least because he's had to cancel a trip to the Ryder Cup so he can lobby the banks not to cut Scottish jobs). Lloyds' insistence yesterday that it would continue to produce Scottish banknotes, as Bank of Scotland has done since 1695, isn't likely to appease the firebrand Scotsman. He'll no doubt insist on receiving Royal Bank of Scotland notes from the cashpoint, rather than national currency printed by a bunch of Sassenachs. After all, it's not as if the only other issuer of Scottish banknotes, the Clydesdale, is much good: it was sold to National Australia Bank years ago.

Friends in just the right places

City analysts were a little sceptical about the meagre £1bn of synergies promised by Lloyds TSB and HBOS yesterday, particularly given the widespread – and damaging – suggestion in most newspapers yesterday that the merger would cost 40,000 jobs. Did the downplaying of job cuts, especially in Scotland, have any connection with the Scottish constituencies of Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling? Or, as one analyst asked Eric Daniels, "Was this document written by the Scottish Labour Party?"

The bailiffs who call with courtesy

We know all about the villains from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, but we shouldn't forget the good guys out there too. To that end, best of luck to all those named on a shortlist for the Debt Collection Agency of the Year awards 2008. It's a booming business right now, and many of the would-be winners have provided testimonials from "creditor clients" to give them the edge over the competition as the battle for the gongs hots up. Don't these sensitive bailiffs just warm your heart?

Sorry doesn't have to be the hardest word

Still on the subject of winners, the online greetings card company Greetz has spotted a gap in the market – friends and families of the poor souls caught up in the credit crisis. It is rushing out a new range of cards with which they can commiserate.

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