Credit crunch diary: Goldman Sachs pulls plug on piggy banks

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The Independent Online

So Goldman Sachs is going to become what we used to call a high street bank, is it? Some over-excited souls have been making enquiries at the great institution to see if they can open a current account. Fantasists wondered whether Goldmans would offer a chequebook featuring illustrations of those nice woodland animals, like NatWest used to. Maybe a collection of Goldman Sachs piggy banks would be made available to junior savers, or a railcard for students. Alas, no. Goldman Sachs says it is "not in retail banking" and has no plans to do so. Then again, it added: "Never say never."

Blairites line up a new job for Gordon

Some readers may rcall that, a few years ago, senior Brownites suggested that the then Chancellor was "seriously" considering taking the job of president of the World Bank when it became vacant. Now some mischievous Blairites are reopening the possibility, given the Prime Minister's passionate commitment to reordering international institutions: "If we set up this global financial institution to sort out the credit crunch, who would be the best person to run it?" the enemy of Gordon wonders. "He might even be good at it."

City boy racers neglect their car maintenance

Even more painful than a stock market crash: the latest victim of the credit crunch is road safety. Research by Protyre, apparently our "largest independent tyre dealer network", shows that more than three-quarters of motorists visiting its 31 outlets had at least one defective or badly worn tyre, a dramatic increase on a year ago. Surprisingly, drivers of family cars seem to be more responsible than the owners of expensive wheels, with a lower percentage of family cars having more than one defective tyre compared with premium models – those usually fitted with lower profile tyres. Well, if you can't afford to look after the Aston Martin, boys, it might be safer to take the bus.

In for a penny, in for a fake pound

The rush of fake £1 coins prompts a gag now so old it can celebrate its own silver jubilee. In 1983, the then Chancellor, Nigel Lawson, decided to replace the £1 note with a coin that looked like the historic £1 gold "sovereign" – made from a yellowish nickel-copper alloy. When the "round pound" was issued, it was nicknamed "Maggie Thatcher" because it was "round, thick, brassy, and acted like a sovereign".

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