Credit crisis diary: The supermarket man who changed the world

English Heritage is excellent at erecting those striking blue plaques when it comes to marking buildings significant in the lives of aristocrats or the cultural great and good, but it sometimes lacks the common touch. So it was good to see Sir Jack Cohen's childhood home, in Whitechapel, east London, commemorated with a plaque yesterday. As founder of Tesco, Sir Jack has had a more profound impact on modern society than many of those who already have plaques to their name.

There is no investment bank holiday

US investment banks may be struggling right now, but the tough guys who made them what they are (or were) are on the case. Take this email sent out by one investment banker on Good Friday – a bank holiday in America just like here – to staff who'd had the temerity to stay home. "We are an investment bank. Unless you are an orthodox something, please get into the office. We are getting paid minimum wage for a reason – we are not making money, which is hard to do from home. Join Wells Fargo and become a teller if you want to take holidays."

Britney fans miss out

Hoping to catch a Britney Spears gig to lift the recession gloom? Well bad luck unless you live in the US. Spears had hoped to launch a world comeback tour, entertainment gossip site Holy Moly reports, only for her advisers to warn against gigging outside the US on economic grounds. Apparently Britney's concerts are expensive to stage and her people are worried the dollar is set to dive.

How to survive in jail

Give the Americans some credit – there's always a money-making opportunity just round the corner. The Madoff family have reportedly hired Wall Street Prison Consultants to advise Bernie on how to cope with life in jail. For $500, former convict Larry Levine will instruct criminals expecting to go down on how to deal with everything from gang members to securing an early release.

Kings of self promotion

Top marks to Hextalls, the law firm bought out of administration this week. It won't get into trouble again if its self-congratulatory website is even half accurate. "Hextalls is a vibrant, dynamic and forward-thinking City of London law firm with foundations that run deep and strong," the site says.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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