Credit crisis diary

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The Independent Online

So how do I get tothe scoop?

The paparazzi wouldn't miss a celebrity falling out of Bouji's in the wee small hours, but they obviously need help spotting the leading players of the credit crunch. Bank of America's head honcho in Europe, Jonathan Moulds, was putting in the hours on Sunday, as his bank pulled out of talks to buy Lehman Brothers and snapped up Merrill Lynch instead. Leaving his Canary Wharf HQ at 4am on Monday, having been told to avoid the media at all costs, Moulds was accosted by a photographer and feared the worse. But the poor snapper just wanted to ask directions... to Bank of America.

Get your lovely banks, nice and cheap

Are Lloyds TSB and Barclays getting bargains with these deals for HBOS and the best bits of Lehman? Don't ask Sir Fred Goodwin at Royal Bank of Scotland what he thinks – unless you want your head bitten off. After all, just 12 months ago the consortium of RBS, Banco Santander and Fortis shelled out £54bn for ABN Amro. In today's market that would buy up Barclays, Lloyds, HBOS and Alliance & Leicester, and leave enough change to snap up Marks & Spencer too.

A new look for the Red Devils?

So the US Federal Reserve has saved the day for Manchester United's shirt sponsors. But now that the Fed owns 80 per cent of AIG, isn't it time for a little brand awareness action from the chaps from New York. Will Sir Alex Ferguson's United players take to the field on Saturday wearing these shirts?

Don't all rush at once for this one

A great opportunity you might want to miss. The independent financial advice company Baronworth wasted no time yesterday morning punting out emails which offered the chance to invest £500,000 in income bonds managed by AIG – which has apparently assured the broker that it is "business as usual". Tell that to the hundreds of British savers with existing bond holdings who cannot get at their cash for three months, after AIG imposed a 90-day ban on withdrawals yesterday.

The investment that keeps on giving

Still cash-rich in these difficult times? Then why not help out an impoverished ex-Lehman trader who is flogging a "Lehman Brothers Collectible Cigar Humidor" on eBay. Go on, it's apparently a "piece of history" and the seller only wants a measly £150. A bit skint, I hear you say. Well, how about a Lehman Brothers Operating Principles cube? It apparently opens out to display the Lehman principles – including "smart risk management". At 99p, it's the cheapest laugh you'll ever buy.

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