Credit crisis diary: The rich are already threatening to leave

The good folk of the City are not happy with the Chancellor's plans for a 50p rate of income tax on high earners. One email doing the dealing-floor rounds is a parable about a group of drinkers who lose out when their richest member stops buying the drinks. The moral of the story is apparently this: "The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up any more. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier and the weather is nicer."

Fighting it out in the City

As accountants and lawyers, respectively, KPMG and Freshfields aren't really rivals. But no one seems to have told the KPMG bean-counter who had admitted assaulting a Freshfields legal eagle after a drunken row. The gentleman in question had just been made redundant by KPMG and may now be struck off the chartered accountants' register.

Property professionals trade insults

There are also fisticuffs in the world of online estate agency, though thankfully the protagonists have not yet come to physical blows. Rightmove, the market leader, has warned estate agents that they may find themselves cut out of the home-buying process if they use rival PropertyIndex, which has just done a deal with eBay. Cue a furious response from PropertyIndex. Boss Lee Bramzell says: "It's a reminder of the film The Village. Rightmove have started trying to scare estate agents in the village about the apparent dangers of life outside."

Primark snares the biggest catch

More on Primark, the retailer supported by all the best celebrities. Its aficionados include, as we reported this week, members of the Royal Family and the Prime Minister's wife. Now it turns out that Primark has signed up the biggest star of them all: Susan Boyle of Britain's Got Talent, whose singing has been admired 100 million times on YouTube so far.

Stamping all over the men with the money

The US footwear giant Timberland had better not ask its bankers for an overdraft any time soon. Its latest ad campaign, which will run on billboards across London, has a little fun at the banking community's expense. "We build things to last. Maybe we should start a bank", says one ad. Plus: "One American institution that won't fall apart".

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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