PEOPLE & BUSINESS

Its an ill wind, so they say. The turmoil in Asian financial markets and the collapse of the Peregine investment bank has British receivers licking their lips.

After all, the UK's liquidators have got sweet fanny adams to do over here at the moment, since company receiverships in the UK are at their lowest since the mid 1980s. In contrast, most observers expect Peregrine to be just the first of a rich crop of corporate casualties out East.

Big names in British bankruptcy that sprang to prominence in our last recession, and who have been spotted in various part of the Far East recently, include Colin Bird of Price Waterhouse, Stephen Adamson of Ersnt & Young, Murdoch McKillop of Arthur Andersen and Gordon Stewart of Allen & Overy.

It makes sense. They all have loads of experience of cross-border crashes, and the current Asian crisis has been sparked off by cross-border lending to places like Thailand and Indonesia.

Neil Cooper, a partner with Buchler Phillips in London, who has spent a long career specialising in multinational company collapses, said: "These days there's a wealth of [insolvency] talent in Hong Kong, which will be supplemented by shipping in more talent from London and Sydney."

"In the early 1980s it relied on immigrant labour, with people like me flying into Hong Kong to do the biggest jobs. I did three receiverships in Thailand once," Mr Cooper added, with a hint of nostalgia in his voice. Buchler Phillips is opening an office in Thailand via its associate Ferrier Hodgson specifically to deal with the expected avalanche of insolvency and restructuring work, Mr Cooper said.

It's an old saying that timing is everything. I've just received a report from the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office on the six months after reunification with China, which starts: "1997 was a momentous year for Hong Kong. There were sceptics who thought that it would bring changes to Hong Kong that would fundamentally alter its nature. How wrong they were." Stick around. They might be right in 1998.

Just to put Hong Kong's problems into perspective, how about this sound bite yesterday from Japan's Ministry of Finance: "Japan's bank bad debts now total 76.7 trillion yen." Even in yen that's a lot of money.

A "totally bald" lawyer is to run a marathon in the Sahara this year for charity under the banner: "Fat cat turns desert rat."

The self-deprecating chap in question is Robin Spencer, a partner in the insolvency group at Lovell White Durrant. The barrister turned solicitor will run the145-mile Marathon des Sables this March, and aims to raise pounds 50,000 for the Variety Club Children's Hospital at King's College Hospital, London.

The run will take six days and will cross the sand dunes, river beds and palm groves of southern Morocco, where temperatures can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mr Spencer, 39, is anything but a health nut, having only taken up running seriously last April. Since then he has been running 30 to 50 miles a week, a routine which has already brought his weight down from 13.5 stone to 11 stone and his resting heart rate down from 70 to under 50. Makes you sick, doesn't it.

He is also the only bald participant in the race. Mr Spencer's baldness is caused by the condition alopecia totalis - Duncan Goodhew, the swimmer, has the same condition. Mr Spencer believes it will be a positive advantage in the Sahara: "There are no hair washing facilities in the desert. Hirsute competitors may find this uncomfortable, given the heat and dust, whereas I will be restored by a quick wipe from a damp cloth."

The new money market rate for the euro, which will replace Libor if we ever get round to monetary union, will be called "Euribor", according to Paribas yesterday. How very appropriate. I think we all know a few Euribors....

As the graduate recruitment season begins, the questions asked at interviews seem to be getting more and more bizarre.

The Diplomatic Service appear short of jokes, asking young hopefuls what makes them laugh. Management consultants are getting a particular reputation for mind-bending posers. According to Nicki Henrion, head of consultant recruitment at Boston Consulting Group, "Each person is asked how many petrol stations there are in south-east London."

Surprisingly, Ms Henrion claims interviewers know the answers to this type of question and they expect reasonably accurate answers, too. Sounds to me like taxi drivers have a bright future in consulting.

News
The current recommendation from Britain's Chief Medical Officer, is that people refrain from drinking on at least two days a week
food + drinkTheory is that hangovers are caused by methanol poisoning
Life and Style
techConcept would see planes coated in layer of micro-sensors and able to sense wear and tear
News
Patrick Stewart in the classiest ice bucket to date
people
Sport
Premier League Live Saturday 23 August
sport
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
News
newsRyan Crighton goes in search of the capo dei capi
Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Extras
indybest

Arts and Entertainment
Actors front row from left, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyongío Jr., and, second row, from left, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyongío and Angelina Jolie as they pose for a
film
Sport
sport
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Life and Style
news

As Voltaire once said, “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Market Administrator (1st line Support, Bloomberg, Broker)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Market Administrator (1st line Support, Trade Fl...

Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Directory, ITIL, Reuter)

£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...

Data Support Analyst (Linux, Solaris, Windows Server, Reuters)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Data Support Analyst (Linux, Solaris, Windows Se...

Helpdesk Support Engineer (Windows, MS Office, Exchange)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Helpdesk Support Engineer (Windows, MS Office, E...

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition