Credit crisis diary: Ben Bernanke tops the bestseller charts

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The Independent Online

Poor Ben Bernanke is assailed for failing to predict the severity of the credit crisis, but it is not all doom and gloom for the brainy Fed chairman. Whichever way the economy turns out, it looks like he'll pick up a nice little royalties cheque. His four-year-old book, Essays on the Great Depression, is suddenly essential reading for the scared denizens of Manhattan's financial district, and a fruitless run-around the city's bookstores found copies were being snapped up faster than their computer systems could say Out Of Stock.

Peston on the receiving end again

The BBC Business Editor Robert Peston may soon find himself at the centre of the credit crunch story once again. The former Tory leader Michael Howard has written to the Financial Services Authority demanding an investigation into how Mr Peston and several other journalists were so well-briefed on the now infamous meeting on Monday night between bank bosses and the Chancellor. Reports of the meeting sent share prices plummeting on Tuesday.

Time to invest yourlife savings?

Recessions are good for your financial well-being, honest. The investment company Seven points out that in each of the past three recessions, the UK stock market has posted strong gains – 26 per cent during the 1990-92 slowdown, for example. So when you lose your job and the bailiffs come calling, take comfort in the knowledge that at least your pension fund should be rising in value.

Clocking up some impressive borrowing

Another credit crisis problem: the national debt clock in Times Square, New York, above, has run out of numbers. US debt went above $10trn at the end of September and the Dunst family, which set up the clock to draw attention to the level of national debt, says it can't add extra numbers until the new year. In the meantime, the dollar sign has been turned into a "1".

Just rewards for aman about town

A satisfying few days for David Blanchflower presumably. Not only has the MPC member's campaign for an interest rate cut now been vindicated, the decision was taken one day early, so he's been able to swan around for the past 24 hours with some spare time. Now resident in the US, the taxpayer meets the bill for flying Mr Blanchflower over and putting him up for each month's MPC meeting. Still, after his long battle to cut our mortgage bills, we probably owe him one.

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