Credit crisis diary: Let the bankers go to Strasbourg

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The Independent Online

At last, a job prospect for all those disgraced bankers. The Jury Team, a group set up to promote independent candidates for public office, reckons City workers out of a job should think about standing for the European Parliament, which, it says, is in dire need of people with more business expertise. The way party politics has become mired in sleaze represents an opportunity for independent candidates, the Jury Team adds, missing the rather obvious point that bankers aren't exactly squeaky clean. Still, at least they know what it takes to run a gravy train.

Send that man a wooden spoon

Is Justin King, the chief executive of Sainsbury's, short of friends within the supermarket group? Unveiling new trading figures yesterday, Mr King appealed for his audience to show him some love, it being five years, almost to the day, since he took up his job at the supermarket. "It is my fifth anniversary on Monday, if anyone would like to send me a card," King told the throng.

Seeking the invisible hedge fund manager

We know the hedge fund world can be secretive, but this is ridiculous. When asked yesterday if he could provide a picture of Alan Howard, the founder of Brevan Howard, the hedge fund group's PR man was friendly but frank. No he couldn't, he said, since no photos of the Conservative Party donor were in the public domain. If it was any consolation, he added, he had never actually seen Mr Howard himself.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone

Legal & General boss Tim Breedon is, no doubt, an opinion former on matters economic, so no one is questioning his right to take a view on issues such as quantitative easing. Still, it must have been tempting for Mervyn King, if he heard Mr Breedon's negative comments yesterday about the merits of QE, to ask whether the L&G man might be better off putting his own house in order, given the plunge into losses the insurer has suffered, and the halving of its dividend.

Flying into a storm

Sour grapes from Ryanair, which, like other airlines, has been ordered by the European Union to stop automatically charging all customers for travel insurance, unless they specifically ask for cover. "Ryanair carried 58 million passengers last year and our preloaded insurance did not cause any problem – passengers who did not want insurance simply opted out," says the Irish carrier.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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