Credit crisis diary: Pots and kettles come to mind

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The Independent Online

Good to see Ryanair so happy yesterday as the Competition Commission confirmed that BAA must sell Gatwick and Stansted. "Monopolies don't work," the airline triumphantly concluded. Oddly, chief executive Michael O'Leary hasn't taken quite the same view back home, where Ryanair's bid for Aer Lingus has been ruled out by the competition authorities.

A sad goodbye for the dove we loved

So farewell then David Blanchflower, the MPC member we all wish we'd listened to a lot earlier. And hello Professor David Miles, who is replacing him. Do we wish we'd listened to Professor Miles in 2004 when he advised the Government to find ways to create a mortgage bond market in the UK, adding to lenders' ability to securitise home loans? Probably less so.

Dropping an early hint about a big story

Did the Financial Times miss out on a scoop yesterday? It carried an interview with Prudential chairman Harvey McGrath, in which he was asked about the likelihood of highly rated Tidjane Thiam moving on. "I would hate to lose Tidjane," Mr McGrath told the paper. "I think the odds of that happening are fairly low." Indeed, within hours of the FT being published, Mr Thiam was appointed chief executive.

Reuters has Turner on the brain

So surprised was the newswire Reuters by the appointment of the first black chief executive of a FTSE 100 company, it couldn't even remember the name of Mark Tucker, who stepped aside to make way for Mr Thiam. You might have thought the latter's name was much tougher to get right, but Reuters insisted on referring to Mark Turner when talking about the new man's predecessor. Maybe everyone in financial services has got Turner on the brain this week, after Lord Turner's banking-regulation overhaul.

Go on, have a look, we dare you

What's HM Revenue & Customs' view on issues of confidentiality? Having seen a host of documents covering its tax-avoidance schemes leaked to the Lib Dem Treasury spokesman, Vince Cable, who has passed them on to HMRC, Barclays Bank has been reduced to appealing for the taxman not to read the sensitive bits it says are confidential. They must surely be tempted to have a peek.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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