Credit crisis diary: Naughty words creep into bank reporting

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The Independent Online

Red faces all round at two national newspapers this weekend – we'll spare their blushes by not naming them – after a small error crept into their reports of Barclays' sale of its Global Investors division to BlackRock. It's a good idea, of course, to spellcheck what you've written, but automatically accepting the computer's suggestions isn't so wise. Try spellchecking BlackRock yourself to see what happened.

The internet champion ministers forgot

If in doubt, call Martha Lane Fox, darling of the internet era. That's what the Government has done. Pondering ways to encourage take-up of online services amongst the 17 million Britons who don't have access to the internet, the Government had just appointed Lane Fox as a "digital champion". Well, we say the Government – the appointment was unveiled by civil servants last week with not a single minister present. It sort of fell through the cracks after the reshuffle, apparently.

Blanchflower gets his own back

Congratulations to economist David Blanchflower on the CBE he was awarded in the Queen's birthday honours list on Saturday. He's in a minority of one again, of course. All through last year, Blanchflower repeatedly warned of impending economic doom, only for all his colleagues on the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee to ignore him. And in this case, he's the only MPC member to get an honour. Her Majesty obviously reads the financial press.

Tough times, not so tough measures

Those poor old hedge fund executives will have a chance next week to meet up, lick their wounds and console each other on the nasty losses so many of them have incurred over the past 12 months. So where is this year's hedge fund conference? Somewhere modest, presumably, given the cash-strapped times. Blackpool might be an idea, for example. Well, in fact, hedge fund executives will today jet out to Monaco for their conference. The poor loves.

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