Credit crisis diary: Blue ski thinking

Three cheers for the Pollyannas at Jet Republic, who either haven't realised the world is in economic turmoil or simply don't care. The private jet company – hardly the most recession-proof of sectors – has launched a Ski Card that promises to give clients "easy, hassle-free access to Europe's finest ski resorts". The only problem is their glittering new deal targets a dwindling bunch: those in the City set to pick up bonuses this year. Oops... As the joke runs, for many bankers keeping their job will be their only bonus this year.

Nevertheless, with optimism that would put Molière's Candide to shame, Jet Republic's chief executive, Jonathan Breeze, says: "Many people are still receiving large bonuses, and those that love skiing should be interested in our new Ski Card." For just €54,600 (£53,430) you and five bonus-rich pals will be entitled to 10 hours private jet travel to resorts across Europe. The number of times bonus-less bankers could fly to Geneva on a budget airline for the same cost? 1,820.

Happy new year

All this jovial talk is more contagious than the seasonal sniffles, with several groups signing up to the bulls' rearguard action yesterday. One association put out a statement saying the bounce in house prices could be as steep as the recent precipitous falls. Which disinterested group came out with this great news for homeowners? Why, the National Association of Estate Agents, of course. This comes just as a private equity investor says now is the time to get stuck into buyouts, as company valuations have dropped to sensible levels. This good tip from Hotbed, while it does have some merit, is based on comparative numbers from the 1991 downturn. It fails to mention that the buyout market was then a fraction of the size, how many deals failed, and that this time around access to debt has dried up, and hence the lucrativefinancial engineering with it. That is why most of the big houses are now spending more time than ever "focusing on their portfolio companies".

Turned out nice again

In the middle of an economic tempest, the legendary investor Warren Buffett looks to have landed another windfall: betting on balmy weather. The billionaire owner of Berkshire Hathaway is set to pick up $224m (£155m) from Florida if the state is not battered by a Katrina-style hurricane within the next 24 hours. In July, Florida disclosed it had paid $224m for Buffett to pitch in should a storm smash the state up: he pledged to back debt worth $4.4bn. But so far the state hasn't needed to raise funds for storm repair. It looks like the wily tycoon is basking in the sunshine once again.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
News
Image from a flyer at the CPAC event where Nigel Farage will be speaking
news
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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: Telesales / Marketing Executive - B2B - OTE £25,000

£17000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity to join this new...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £21000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Recruitment Genius: Business Control Manager

£36000 - £44000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Encouraging more businesses to ...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower