Credit crisis diary: The auctioneers keen on a return to the 1930s

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The Independent Online

No spin seems too far for the organisers of a classic car auction where 60 vehicles dating back to the 1920s will be sold. Consumers are holding on to their pennies everywhere, but the auctioneers Coys, who hope to sell a 1929 Chrysler for more than £150,000 at an event tomorrow, are trying to use the credit crunch to their advantage in their advertising. With suppliers and traders everywhere implementing cash-on-delivery policies in case their counterparties go bust with goods in transition, Coys boasts, somewhat optimistically: "Investors clearly want to have physical possession of their investments and we are looking forward to another encouraging result."

Never mind the job, I've an email to worry about

As if the credit crunch didn't create enough anxiety, one more source of gloom seems to be out there. A sly, insidious drain on staff morale. Email. Having analysed the average Briton's feeling towards his electronic communications, the free email service GMX has reached a conclusion on what Britons will be worried about in coming months: "The GMX 'Personal Email Matters' study found that an alarming number of Britons are suffering from negative emotions caused by a failure to cope with their personal emails." What's next, the Diary wonders. Email-related psychotherapy?

Christmas cheer aplenty in the mailroom

And if emails are a source of concern, let's not forget good old-fashioned snail mail! An unexpected consequence of the recession has been a surge in online Christmas shopping at work by underemployed staff, according to the internet bank Ivobank. So spare a seasonal thought for the mailroom – the one sector of the economy that is picking up our slack.

It pays to be a broker when times are hard

The investment bank Merrill Lynch raised RBS shareholders' hopes yesterday with a trenchant analysis of the bank's problems and how it could extricate itself: sell the US, sell Bank of China, dump toxic assets from the balance sheet. That will be the same Merrill Lynch that advised on RBS's overpriced acquisition of Charter One in the US, the Bank of China stake, and the buy-up of ABN Amro that weakened capital and added £2bn to first-half writedowns. If RBS listens to its broker's analysis there will be plenty more fees as the empire it helped to construct is dismantled. Happy days.

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