Credit crisis diary: Leaving the White House in the red

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The Independent Online

President George Bush is on course for a notable – or should that be notorious? – achievement. Barring a dramatic stock market recovery over the next couple of months, he is set to become the first two-term US president since Woodrow Wilson almost 90 years ago to leave office with the Dow Jones index standing at a lower level than when he was sworn in – 11 per cent lower than in January 2001.

Guy Hands' gift that keeps on giving

Memo to enterprising booksellers: give Guy Hands a call. Last Christmas, the private equity scion sent out a little present to friends and contacts, a copy of JK Galbraith's work The Great Crash 1929. The book was even personalised with a cartoon flysheet, quoting the economist's wise words: "A good knowledge of what happened in 1929 remains our best safeguard against the occurrence... of those days." So what will the incredibly prescient Mr Hands be sending this year?

Worth more than the paper it's written on

Laura Gilbert's approach to protesting against the bailout of Wall Street banks was different. Rather than shouting abuse as she stood outside the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, the artist handed out her latest work, 10,000 copies of her picture of a zero dollar bill. Very clever, though the satire was somewhat undermined by the fact that she didn't get near a banker.

Poor Vince, left fumbling in the dark

It's not always easy being a Liberal Democrat. With Alistair Darling desperate to counter accusations he was dithering on Tuesday, Treasury staff spent much of the evening briefing journalists and key MPs about his plans for a £50bn bank bailout the next day. But someone forgot to tell Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrats' Treasury spokesman, who is never short of a word on the credit crisis. He knew the Chancellor had something in mind for yesterday morning, but no idea what was coming and was reduced to sending out press releases appealing for "something dramatic".