Credit crisis diary: Do they know it's Christmas in the City?

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The Independent Online

For a new take on the Feed the World charity appeal song, have a look at www.Bleedtheworld.com, with its appeal for cash for disadvantaged bankers. The chorus is great: "And there won't be City bonuses this Christmas time, the only thing they'll get this year is fired, no strippers or cocaine, just anger, hate and blame." The po-faced comments on the site from anguished web surfers who think this is a genuine appeal are even better.

Fear and loathing on the high street

There has been much complaining in the retail industry about the dangers of the media talking shops into collapse by over-dramatising trading problems so that the prophecy becomes self-fulfilling. What, then, will retailers make of this email, sent out yesterday by David Buik of BGC Partners. Mr Buik, a City pundit, headlined his comments: "RETAIL – be taken from here to a place of execution.... And may God have mercy on their soul." That should get people shopping.

A big profit is a shoe-in for one retailer

Not everyone is doing badly in this global recession. Take Ramazan Baydan, for example, who owns the Baydan Shoe Company of Turkey. He has been swamped with orders for his Model 271 shoe, which just happens to be the piece of footwear thrown at George Bush by an Iraqi journalist last week. Thousands of new orders have come in from Muslim countries, Mr Baydan says, as well as from the US and the UK. Maybe Woolies ought to be dispatching its famous pick'n'mix sweets for the next Bush press conference.

Everything reallymust go this time

There is one piece of good news for Officers Club, the retail chain that has appointed PWC in case it needs to go into administration. Three years ago it had an embarrassing run-in with the Office of Fair Trading over the way in which it advertised discounts off prices that weren't actually genuine prices in the first place. Now at least Officers Club will be able to start running closing-down sale promotions with impunity.

Redefining the meaning of good news

When times are tough, investors have to take comfort where they can find it. Asked to comment on the flat share price performance of Ten Alps yesterday, the media company's spokesman rather smartly pointed out: "Level is the new up." He's got a point, you know.

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