Credit crisis diary: Lambert puts hisfoot in his mouth

Much mirth at the Treasury Select Committee hearings yesterday where Richard Lambert decided to lambast financiers who claimed to be able to "make gold out of stone or whatever it is... er... alchemy". "That's a bit unfortunate," pointed out the MP Sally Keeble. The CBI chief was sitting next to Jon Moulton, über-financier at Alchemy Partners.

Curse of Davos strikes

One man who won't be appearing at Davos next month, as billed in the World Economic Forum preliminary programme, to lecture on "Innovation: the view from Asia", is B Ramalinga Raju, founder of Satyam, who is currently languishing in an Indian jail on fraud charges. A great shame. At the WEF Delhi conference in November, Mr Raju offered this pearl: "The manner in which value is created is different to the old ways." Not so different, as it turns out.

Come on guys, it's for charity

The International Financial Review's annual awards provide the perfect chart of the financial crisis. Three years ago, Goldman Sachs gave £600,000 in the charity auction held at each awards bash. Last year, the donation was down to £250,000. And at this year's do, held on Monday night, all Goldman could manage was a paltry £10,000.

The perfect woman for the job

Who better than Barbara Ridpath to head the International Centre for Financial Regulation, an august new body launched yesterday as theUK seeks to influence the debate about regulation in a post-credit crunch world. Ms Ridpath waspreviously head of ratings services for Europe at Standard & Poor's,one of the organisations that did such sterling work warning us all about the risks taken by the banking sector. Oh, hang on, that's not quite right.

Save your kisses

Heard this one? Two women are walking through the forest whena frog appeals to them. "Help me, ladies, I'm an investment banker who, through an evil witch's curse, has been transformed into a frog. If you kiss me, I'll be returned to my former state." The first womangrabs the frog, and stuffs it insideher handbag. The second woman, aghast, screams: "What are you doing, didn't you hear him?" The second woman replies: "Sure,but these days a talking frog isworth more than an investment banker."

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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