Credit crisis diary: Merrills helps to redefine banking

Merrill Lynch has been a little short of successes in recent months, so who can blame it for patting itself on the back after successfully advising on a major M&A transaction? "This revolutionary transaction redefined banking in Europe and the art of mergers and acquisitions worldwide," Merrill's annual report,published online, says. What a pity the deal in question was Royal Bank of Scotland's purchase of ABN Amro, though there is no disputing thatthe takeover did indeed redefine banking.

Calling 'West Wing' fans

The banking analyst Sandy Chen is clearly a fan of the US politics sitcom West Wing. In a lengthy note on UK banks, Chen recommends the Government follows the lead of King Canute, and then refers to Schumpeter's "creative destruction". The last time the two ideas were invoked in the space of a few minutes? Episode two of the second series of West Wing.

Check your sources before you rage

David Buik, splenetic spokesman for the City broker BGC Partners, was in formidable form yesterday, spewing outrage over an email he had received with statistics on how many MPs are bankrupts, wife-beaters, criminals and so on. Mr Buik would be right to be angry, were the email not a hoax, which has been widely and repeatedly exposed in the media. Reminds one of the satirist Chris Morris conning hapless MPs into warning of the dangers of the fictional drug "cake".

Poor old posties made to look daft

A cunning marketing wheeze from the folks at LoveFilm, who persuaded Royal Mail to dress up some posties to celebrate the company signing up its millionth customer. Good news for LoveFilm, which rents out games, CDs and DVDs; not so good for the poor posties, who look like demonstrators for Fathers for Justice.

Faiman heads East

Jonathan Faiman, co-founder of the online grocer Ocado, is moving on to pastures new, with plans for an agricultural business in Russia. Mr Faiman, who is understood to be well-connected among wealthy Russians, reckons there's an opportunity for industrial-scale production in the country. Check your Ocado groceries for Made in Russia tags from now on.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Evening Administrator

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...

Guru Careers: Executive Assistant / PA

£30 - 35k + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Executive Assist...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Reach Volunteering: External Finance Trustee Needed!

Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot